MIDDLEBURY — Ted Scheu, by his own count, has written thousands of poems in his 65 years. The prolific writer, educator and children’s poet has a flair for putting words together. And he playfully notes that “Ted Scheu” rhymes with “poetry guy.” Well, the poetry guy will blaze a new trail later this winter. For the first time ever, Scheu will see one of his poems etched into the very fabric of his hometown. As winner of the first phase of the “Word on the Street” project, Scheu’s poem titled “My Place to Fly” will be engraved in the Main Street sidewalk outside of Middlebury’s Ilsley Public...
Winter’s Delicate Solitude   This is the closing-in time of year: The weary earth rests, leans back and retires; Pine-quilted hills guard the brink of the world, Horizons now strangely attainable. The sky yawns, heavy-lidded and colored With sleep, and lowers on the lazy creek. As wind chimes silence their icy tingle, The streets gather closer; the village curls, Like a mouse, into itself to preserve A vital warmth in a long night so still With cold, so brittle, an unkind word or A wayward careless thought could shatter it. — By Matthew McDonough   Originally from Rhode Island, Matthew...
Winter Solstice   The dry rustle of leaves is what I remember, and the lateness of the hour — moon yet to appear. Something ending, something about to begin. Raven makes a different sound than owl, makes a different sound than snow falling not quite silently over December woods —     a passion falling from darkness as Earth turns imperceptibly toward her spring. By Susan Jefts     I wanted to use a solstice poem for the December column, but was having a hard time finding the right one, so I took the suggestion that a couple of the column’s readers recently made that I use one of my own poems...
Not enough mud to say it’s mud season yet. That’s in March, April   and May. Just enough for the deer to leave a good impression.   On the dirt road. Among the spent shells. And someone   else’s glistening boot tracks. The turkeys slip here,   too, losing their trail of feathers.   The wind’s likely to make a headdress of. To catch   on a crown of antlers. There’s still   a skin of ice, we have to think twice   about. And not enough gravel to make us feel sure   of ourselves. Until July. Our spring.   Our summer. Fall slipping toward winter.   — Gary Margolis, Cornwall
In Whom We Live and Move and Have our Being   It’s October Snow geese fly far above the trees in sleek silence. Canada geese circle noisily above the stubby cornfield. White pines drop their needles through the clear air transforming the forest floor into a golden carpet between one day and the next.   And beneath all that motion lies mile after mile of aquifer, acre after acre of unmoving rock sturdy enough to support this forest but porous enough that water seeps, squeezes, filters its way pore by careful pore.   And who can say which is more amazing the golden needles the clear air those...
Hillsides ablaze with color  orchards open for picking  offering fresh cider and doughnuts.  Harvest dinners, farmers markets  crisp cool nights under down quilts,  at every turn a new glory to behold.  That’s October in Vermont.  Miriam Hard  Middlebury 

THE EARLY AFTERNOON sun casts a shadow across a neatly stacked pile of wood in Cornwall. Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
My woodpile ain’t pretty, bent, forked, not sawn square short, long, fat and gnarly like an old wizard’s hair.   Stacked cut colors aren’t even ends dapple the rack tan, red and yellow and old cuts are black.   My firewood looks like me dry, wrinkled and crochety bad joints and old bumps and a certain obstinacy.   When the dead tree is standing and the bark gone for good that old, light, dry timber Roger called “Biscuit Wood.”   Attacking big chunks when wielding a maul Roger said yell “Wenh!” and give it your all.   Apple is crooked, but it smells so sweet Beech is smooth and clean and neat...

POET AND UNIVERSITY of Vermont professor Major Jackson will present work from “The Best American Poetry 2019,” on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 6:30 p.m., at The Vermont Book Shop in downtown Middlebury.
MIDDLEBURY — Poet, University of Vermont professor and guest editor of “The Best American Poetry 2019,” Major Jackson presents this new published annual collection with featured poets Didi Jackson, Vievee Francis, Camille Guthrie and Jane Shore on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 6:30 p.m., at The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury. The event is free and open to the public. A booksigning will follow Jackson’s talk. Opening with a stirring essay on the transformative power of art in today’s tense times — and, in particular, the impact of accessible, daring verse — Jackson presents an illuminating collection of...
Russ Reilly, who among other things was a long-time announcer at Middlebury College football games, died July 24. A memorial service will be held at Mead Chapel on the Middlebury campus this Saturday, Sept. 21, at 3 p.m. For many years, Gary Margolis sat next to Reilly in the football announcer’s booth, spotting and running the 25-second clock.   Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, you would say, please remove your caps and honor this great country of ours.   As Legion Post 27 presents our colors. The word great bouncing off the peaks of the Green Mountains, beginning   to turn orange again...

VERGENNES NATIVE ALEXANDRIA Hall has made a name for herself in the writing world and recently won the prestigious 2019 National Poetry Series Open Competition for her collection titled “Field Music." Photo by Benjamin Stein
VERGENNES — As far back as she can remember, Alexandria Hall considered herself a poet. “Even before I could write I was creating these little books of stories that I just wrote for myself,” she recalls. The work of this Vergennes native and member of the University of Vermont class 2015 is now receiving much wider attention — just four years removed from UVM, she has been named one of five winners of the prestigious 2019 National Poetry Series Open Competition for her collection titled “Field Music,” which will be published by Ecco, an imprint of Harper-Collins. Hall grew up in Vergennes,...


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