Oil On Canvas
excerpt from CITY SLICKER’S GUIDE TO THE AMISH COUNTRY
Summer is born
from the smell of turpentine and oils on canvas.
It is a portrait of honeybees laden with pollen
and the hog-nose snakes
that masquerade the lane as cobras.
It is martins in the birdhouse and bats in the attic.
Summer is the lust that lives in the loam.
of radishes, peppers, and yellow squash.
It seduces the onion
and brags about the taste of the lush tomato
that lives in the sun. The beets don’t care.
Their blood is passionate
no matter the circumstance. And the peas,
they know the truth of openness
will always come. It is the corn that listens
to the depth the carrot and potato will go
to reach the cellar.
Summer is wading
the spring fed creeks, picking cowslips
and violets to set on the table.
It is making love in a bed of purple vetch
and building castles in the cumulus clouds.
It is long days that lead to dusk when pheasants erupt
from the washes thick
with alder and pussy willow brush.
It is the ever presence of the hawk and crow, the piles of stone
from which red sumac glows
with a fire we capture
to light the barbecue. We have friends and family
potlucks of beer
and bullshit. We grill fresh perch
and trout galore. We argue
and go to war
Summer brings moths that come to the door
and beat their wings in Jesuit frenzy. Crickets
conduct great symphonies to the firefly ballet
of lightning bugs
that flicker the lawn. The sky is full
of heat lightning. The moon
looks bigger than life.
is like that. It is a glutton of gifts from God to us
and from us to our spouse and family. It is art to be hung
on a friend’s wall. It is a wish come true. Summer
is Happy Birthday.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®
I will be at the Blue Phoenix Book Store in downtown Alpena on Saturday May 13th from 1:00 to 3:00 for a reading and book signing for anyone that would like to partake. Please do introduce yourself due to time, distance and senility. Just kidding, I still have all my faculties though I may not have had any in 1970.
The Lamp Maker
We live in a world in need of those with the magic of light. Men that can capture the glow and the twinkle from a witty man’s eyes. Men with sight. Men with imagination and wands to cast spells of warmth and delight— a Merlin, Aladdin or Fairview’s Lamp Maker.
Who? Mark Miles, the man who has made a quest to salvage the future from the past. The Amish Country’s magician who can reach into a barrel and coax a genie into a bottle, a toaster or a Coleman lantern. He turns the ordinary into extra-ordinary lamplight. Lamps that chuckle, giggle or gossip from a living room table.
Mark Miles, a 20 year Navy veteran now spends time combing through the inventories of second hand stores and flea markets where he looks for objects that call out from our childhoods. Coleman lanterns electrified can give us everyday reminders of quality time spent with our dads and grandpas. Vintage kitchen appliances repurposed connect us visually to grandma’s welcoming kitchen of years ago. You won’t believe the variety of antiques that he transmutes* into lighting, end tables, rustic flag holders, chairs and wine glass holders; all with his unique Americana style.
You can view many of the Lampmaker’s unusual designs on-line at his Facebook page: milesmakeovers, or for-sale in the windows of Fairview’s favorite bargain store, the Sunrise Thrift Shop, a few hundred paces east of the traffic light at the corner of M33 and M72.
*transmutes- alters or changes into something different than its original purpose.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®
Excerpted from “City Slicker’s Guide to the Amish Country”
A Simple Man
What is the weight of all
the truth and lies in the world?
Are they equal to
the curvatures our heads
press upon our spines? Continue reading
My Love From Cotulla
for my wife Mary on her birthday 4/7/17
I love the breeze
that brings me kisses
soft lipped and rose scented
all the way from Cotulla, Texas. I love her whisper
and warm sweet breath, I love her tender
evening caress, I love her. Continue reading
How Does One Maintain Integrity?
There is a difference between having integrity and being pompous. Integrity contains a degree of humbleness and the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes to validate rightness when it is present and deserved. It also rightly contains the ability to stand one’s ground in the face of wrongness and persuade by rightness to move wrongness toward more rightness. I know that’s a mouthful, but think about it and I think you will agree that it is true.
Let me give you an example of how this might work. Continue reading
Forgetting can be an inch
or a light year, a truth or a lie
depending how it’s measured— love Continue reading
I believe cultures resonate to the vibrations artists create and instill upon their work. Author’s words carry the weight of their focal points. This focus can help or harm the society into which their creations permeate.
As an example, a comedian stands in front of a community and pokes fun not at everyone in general but at a select group of people. The vibration moves and resonates with like seeds of prejudice harbored by his audience and grows. Soon we have ill feelings being expressed against a select group of people. Good or bad? Continue reading
I know my vegetables because I grew up on a farm that raised them. I planted them, nurtured them, picked them and ate them. A good vegetable has a distinct complexion, aroma, color and appearance that speaks quite eloquently. When I see one I know it, but it is rarely in a grocery store. The grocery store vegetables are bred and judged on qualities that are not natural to a vegetable. A hard, juiceless tomato is a good grocery store tomato because it withstands abuse, and because it is picked and shipped green and then forced ripened it lacks a good tomato’s flavor and vitality. It is an anemic mutant of what a real tomato should be. I won’t eat it. Continue reading
I am a voracious reader. My preference has always been hardback books. I even shy away from paperbacks unless they are poetry books which seem perfectly fitted as paperbacks. I have never been able to read a novel on an electronic device, though I can read poetry and children’s books on my iPad. I am curious as to whether anyone regularly reads books electronically or if this ebook thing is mere hype and a fad that will pass.
I think I can envision a more robust reading experience on a big screen TV. You know, kick back in a recliner and read a book in huge print while sipping a craft beer. Continue reading
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All of our E-BOOKS can be downloaded for free until April 3rd in celebration of National Library Week. Reviews welcome and much appreciated.
Richard and Mary Rensberry, Authors at QuickTurtle Books