Life With Horace

poetry & essays

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Transition from moonlight

Awake not by choice,
my mind wanders freely
to think about change
as a passage, a progress.
Seeing light through the window
too early for sunrise,
the lamp of the huntress
sends beams without warmth.
As the moon sets I rise,
glance out at the shapes
tall pines against sky,
emerging from darkness
to frame the new day.

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First quiet

The morning’s first quiet
this time to myself
is precious and needed,
reflection and energy
both brew with my coffee.
Music a backdrop,
dogs fed and peaceful,
warming my feet.
This moment’s soft hug
the day’s work ahead.


an early morning shortling.

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lunch with a cousin

Being a southern girl at heart, my grandmother always set great store by her cousins. I’m with her on that, a good thing since I have a ton of them!

Yesterday, Cousin Stan came for lunch. My late husband’s first cousin, he lives in San Francisco and was making a swing through New England reconnecting with family and friends.

It was a really nice time — first a walk through the woods with the dogs, up the hill to see what animals had been visiting, and what colors were left in the woods. Over lunch there was lots of talking, catching up with news from our families, ourselves.

Turns out Stan is one of those special family glue people. He likes to keep in touch, connect branches of the family with each other. My uncle was like that, and family, sometimes quite distant cousins no one had ever heard of, often came to visit or for lunch.

I told him about discovering my cousin Cassie and her family, then through her Elizabeth, the three of us meeting this summer, third cousins all descended from one great great grandfather.

Seeing Stan brought back so many memories. He resembles his father and my late mother-in-law, and has some of their mannerisms, small things that tugged at my heart. They were with me in those moments. Guess I’m feeling a little wistful today, actually more than that, to be honest. It’s all good.

My youngest brother and sister and I are meeting up on the left coast next month. We’ll hang out, see lots of my son and his family, and also see Stan. It’ll be a good time.

copyright © 2013 KH Rantilla

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thoughts about writing, and a surfeit of color

The urge to write comes in fits and starts, but lately haiku has drawn me in and I respond to its economies of length, of expression. Wonder if it is about not pressuring myself to do more. Probably.

I’ve also been working on a blog piece about cleaning my family’s place out, which was a mammoth undertaking. The importance of that piece to me lies in the loss of place and identity, the clearing out of things that don’t matter and the taking in of things that do, like relationships.

A writer I greatly respect posted recently that writing is hard work. Yes, I agree with that, having been through that process with my drawings over the years. Simply having the creative urge is all well and good ~we’d be nowhere without it~ but taking that urge and channeling it through one’s own prism is quite a process, and not done lightly.

Photography is an area where I’ve discovered that emotion cannot carry me all the way. Many times I’ll want to shoot something because I have a visceral reaction to its beauty, a color, a circumstance. It took quite a while for me to stop and think about composition, for instance. The surprise has been that the emotion remains after I stop to consider how to capture what I’m seeing.

Right now it is High Fall up here in New Hampshire. The colors are intense and still haven’t peaked, an amazing year for color. I’ve been making the rounds of favorite places to shoot, many on a daily basis. The dogs don’t quite know what to make of these last few days. We get out at Rockwood Pond, they swim, I shoot, back in the car and off to the wetland. Repeat. The other day they were ready to go home before I was!

That’s pretty much where I am too, sated, filled up with all of the color and glow and glory around me. Not that I won’t take some pictures, or feel the colors in my gut. Just going to walk, look, and enjoy. The dogs will be happy.