January 2018

Happy New Year! Wishing our Old Frog Pond Farm community near and far a new year filled with joy and discovery. January’s poem was selected by Moira Linehan.



         by Betsy Sholl


Because the titmice at the feeder are

all silk and tufted gray, and the cardinals

beautifully paired in their marriage

of subtle and brash, I have to read

the same sentence seven times,

then finally give up and study instead

the suggestions of bright red flashing

as house finches occupy the feeder.            

On my lap an essay explaining

Dickinson's deft ironies, elusive

dashes and slants, so dense I have to stop

wanting to get to the end, the bottom

of anything, and just live in the drift

of phrase and clause, until once again

a feathered thing—a nuthatch heading down

a rutted trunk—catches my eye, and I

am torn like an old uneasy treaty,

within a single mind two tribes dwelling,

people of the book, yes, but also others

literate in seed husk, rain slant, cloud,

a thousand twittering tongues.


—from Late Psalm, Univ. Wisconsin Press


Betsy Sholl served as Poet Laureate of Maine from 2006 to 2011.  Her eighth collection of poetry, Otherwise Unseeable (University of Wisconsin), won the 2015 Maine Literary Award for poetry. She currently teaches in the MFA Program of Vermont College of Fine Arts, and lives in Portland.