The Year Ahead: Life + Art

Right now, on a sunny morning in May 2013, I hear a clang outside my window. It sounds much like a long-gone string of cowbells, one that used to hang from the ceiling of the front porch.

It’s not, though. The current sound emanates from a brand-new harbor bell, manufactured in Maine and sent to us at Christmas by our Uncle Bill and Aunt Shirley. It has been so icy and snowy in Minnesota that it was April 30 before we were able to hang it up, just in time for six inches of snow on May 1! Even in Minnesota, that is extreme. The snow eclipsed the blooming scilla for a time.

Scilla mean spring in Northfield. Every year, blue pools of tiny blooms flood the greening lawns. Only in one place have I seen them mixed with a white version (see photo above). Since those original bells fell and I wrote the poem below, so have sixteen happy years dropped, like beautiful ripe fruits, into my memory.

A lot of slow and quiet changes can happen in a year’s time. This year marks a new adventure for me: embracing the concept of weekly posts, on Wednesdays, seeing what I can do with the format and seeing whether or not I enjoy it. I plan to alternate poetry with short essays on a variety of topics. The common thread is always artistry from the heart. Each week, I will also share photos and brief thoughts, along with news.

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I hope you’ll stay with me as we see how it unfolds!






A Year


hang on a rust-
colored string, silent now,
listening.  Blue wisteria.
Bees drone.


filters through leaves.
Gold litters brittle grass.
A squirrel springs, the silent bells
bounce, clang.


coats the cowbells.
Three blue-white shadows fall
quietly to snow.  Only bitter
cold cracks.


String snapped
in the last storm.
Bells fuzzy with rust lie
in warm mud surrounded by sweet
pale green.

Leslie Schultz (1997)

Your Own Words
for William Warden, Jr.

One little arrangement
could sound after you, when
you are long gone; your words,
placed just so,
could clang like the harbor bell

Leslie Schultz (2013)

8 thoughts on “The Year Ahead: Life + Art

  1. Hi Jean,

    Your work with your mother’s story quilts ( is so inspiring to us as we explore ways to tell the stories from our lives! Thanks for cheering us on. Leslie and Julia

  2. Thank you for thinking of me, and inviting me to join in! You and Julia are my FAVS and I am happy that I get to hear more from you both. I’ll be watching and reading and savoring your blog. Lovely so far!

  3. Coming from such an experienced blogger, that means a lot to me! Your blog and Swamp Lily Review have shown me how to bring a digital form into a fine literary endeavor. Thanks for your inspiration, Jan.

  4. I appreciate that! It has taken me a while to think through how I could make this form my own, but now I have a glimmer…stay tuned!

  5. I appreciate your comment, Gretchen. Thanks for being the very first one to post.

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