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Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.
~ Henry David Thoreau.
Photo by Richard Fogg.

Heron Rises from the Dark, Summer Pond, a poem by Mary Oliver

Pas de deux by Richard Fogg

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself–
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn’t a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

The first bee of spring

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Photos by Richard Fogg



The Wild Hawk


The wild hawk stood with the down on his beak and stared with his foot on the prey.  ~ Lord Alfred Tennyson

Photos by Richard Fogg


Bashful and the Bee


Apotheosis by Emily Dickinson

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Photo by Richard Fogg

Come slowly, Eden!
Lips unused to thee,
Bashful, sip thy jasmines,
As the fainting bee,

Reaching late his flower,
Round her chamber hums,
Counts his nectars — enters,
And is lost in balms!


Moonset (Photo and poem)

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Photo by Richard Fogg


Moonset, a poem by Emily Pauline Johnson:

Idles the night wind through the dreaming firs,
That waking murmur low,
As some lost melody returning stirs
The love of long ago;
And through the far, cool distance, zephyr fanned.
The moon is sinking into shadow-land.

The troubled night-bird, calling plaintively,
Wanders on restless wing;
The cedars, chanting vespers to the sea,
Await its answering,
That comes in wash of waves along the strand,
The while the moon slips into shadow-land.

O! soft responsive voices of the night
I join your minstrelsy,
And call across the fading silver light
As something calls to me;
I may not all your meaning understand,
But I have touched your soul in shadow-land.

Book trailer for Tales from the 359th Fighter Group

Hope you enjoy the trailer for our new book about the 359th Fighter Group.  The book is now available on Amazon!

In December 1943 the newly formed 359th Fighter Group flew its first mission in the European Theater of Operations. Twenty-two months later World War II ended, and in November 1945 the 359th was inactivated, with 346 combat missions and 13,455 sorties to its credit. This collection of mission and POW reports, bar stories, and post-war reflections provides a first-hand account of life on base, in the air, and going on leave in war-time England, as recounted by the 359th’s pilots, officers, and enlisted men.


Wild Geese

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Photo by Richard Fogg.

Poem by Mary Oliver:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Tales from the 359th Fighter Group

Proofs should arrive on Wednesday. This one’s been underway for a long time!

Tales front

Back cover, sans ISBN:

Tales back

Lake Scene

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Photo by Richard Fogg

For a moment let’s not consider
the beauty of the mallard
paddling, paddling on the lake.
Overlook her iridescent shawl
shimmering green like a silk kimono;
ignore her resplendent composure
as she drifts in splendor
like Cleopatra’s barge.
Disregard her breast, chestnut hued,
a mahogany bib,
and think nothing of her hind-feathers
like soft gray cumulus clouds.
Concentrate instead on the wake,
the silver trail left behind
as she’s paddling, paddling on the lake.
Take note of reflections,
the expanse of water, the trees,
bordering the water. The sky—
and its reflection.

Now, close your eyes
and consider the beauty
of the bird itself

~ Lake Scene with Ducks by Sonny Rainshine