“I don’t think it is enough appreciated how much an outdoor book the Bible is. It is a ‘hypaethral book,’ such as Thoreau talked about – a book open to the sky. It is best read and understood outdoors, and the farther outdoors the better. Or that has been my experience of it. Passages that within walls seem improbable or incredible, outdoors seem merely natural. This is because outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary but the common mode of existence. It is our daily bread. Whoever really has considered the lilies of the field or the birds of the air and pondered the improbability of their existence in this warm world within the cold and empty stellar distances will hardly balk at the turning of water into wine – which was, after all, a very small miracle. We forget the greater and still continuing miracle by which water (with soil and sunlight) is turned into grapes,” – Wendell Berry, “Christianity and the Survival of Creation” in Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community


the substance of silence

There is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question. Eternity is in the present. Eternity is in the palm of the hand. Eternity is a seed of fire whose sudden roots break barriers that keep my heart from being an abyss.

– Thomas Merton, journal entry – 7/4/52



As a man is, so he sees


Fun I love, but too much fun is of all things the most loathsome. Mirth is better than fun, and happiness is better than mirth. I feel that a man may be happy in this world. And I know that this world is a world of imagination and vision. I see every thing I paint in this world, but everybody does not see alike. To the eyes of a miser a guinea is far more beautiful than the Sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes. The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity, and by these I shall not regulate my proportions; and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. As a man is, so he sees. – William Blake

for a friend who died on this day in 2000

striped bass

For my friend Joe – who died on this day in 2000. I miss you every day.

On the Feast of St. James the Greater
(for Joe C.)

This is where
he would have fished

him in the dark

gathering gear
stripers transfiguring

the moon’s
light he loses

all balance and
bearings thunder

muffling the dry
night sky

what we heard
is in the mist

blowing over
Ram Island

like walks

we’ll never take


Tattoo by Shug Lescault from issue 2 of Hole In The Head Review.
Look for Issue 3 on 08.01.2020 with wonderful work by Betsy Sholl, Charles Simic, Linda Aldrich, Alice B. Fogel, F. Daniel Rzicznek, Sara Pirkle, Meghan Vigeant, Janet Powers, Greg Clary, Russell Barajas, Michael Hettich interviews Denise Duhamel, and much, much more.