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My Works

A Book of Feasts, Recipes and Stories from American Celebrations

"There is a communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine drunk"- M. F. K Fisher

"Live simply, but celebrate special occasions. -Horace

"Mention childhood celebrations to almost anyone and the memories spill forth. The first bite of that special chocolate birthday cake Mother spent two days preparing. The well worn family stories that aunts and uncles told around the table... The scent of cinnamon and almond filling the kitchen..the flowers, the candlelight, noodle pudding, hoppin'John, homemade pickles. The sounds, the smells and especially the tastes return as vividly as ever.

Why are we filled with longing when we recall these special memories? What is the magic of communal feasting that we find so nurturing?

These are the questions that inspired nearly three years of research and travel as we interviewed, photographed and feasted our way across the US. It was a journey of discovery..." -Introduction, A Book of Feasts (Longstreet Press, 1993)

Island Quintet, New Works by Five Vineyard Poets

Edited by Julie Kimball, (Westmeadow Press, 2006)

The Fourth of July

There is talk at the pool
of barbecues and picnics.
But we stay close
watching from the high terrace
flashes of fireworks
bursting across the skyline.

We draw back the bedroom curtain
for you to see,
you, our dying patriot.

We tell you that you can go
and you hear our brave goodbyes
even as we trip
on the edges of our loss.
Yet you gaze past us
your eyes held in rapt salute
to a standard
somewhere far in the night sky
beyond the colors
of red white and blue.

Vineyard Poets

Edited by Julie Kimball, (Westmeadow Press, 2004)

Not On My List

I will not make a list of these things.
They are more important
than a loaf of bread
or calling the plumber
and the library book due yesterday.

I will simply walk on the beach
when the sound of surf
won’t let me turn away
and write
when the gift of a phrase
is newborn and just opening its eyes
and sit on the porch
because the chair is empty
and the yellow finches are feeding
and kiss your cheek
because it is there
and turned upward, unsuspecting.

And I will eat that peach
because its ripeness
will not wait for me
to do my chores.

July 31, 2001


"I've always admired people like Uncle Chet, envious of those who go to wine tastings and can still make lucid conversation even after the last glass of sauterne. I long to be able to down mega slices of mile high pie after a feast of barbecued shrimp and roasted oysters and corn on the cob. But alas, those of us who are more grazers than gluttons have learned instead to cultivate friends who are "enablers", seeking the perfect Epicurean co-dependency."

Poem of the Month

The Orchid

The bloom is just beginning to fade now after four months.
All the while you were gone
she soaked in the voices at our table,
the slant of afternoon sun,
brilliant and unhindered by summer leaves,
the moisture of steam from soup pots,
tea cups and morning mists.
She gave back a rich alabaster light
and graceful presence
hung on a single arching stem.
We marveled at her endurance,
the length she held forth
counting backwards the weeks
then months
of her unfolding.
Her petals, plumped
nourished us in your place
filled our eyes and hearts,
while you,
planting yourself away
blooming too,
soaked up the sound and feel of another place.
We marveled at your endurance,
and ours
counting forward,
the weeks, the days,
then hours when you return.