Sunday, July 15, 2012


Dearest Readers,

The leitmotif this week is what I saw below my head, or what I found above it.

The Dunn Building, Wales Street, Rutland VT 7.13.2012
 This is the Dunn Building in downtown Rutland. Cousins on my mother’s side built this structure for the Dunn Bowling Alley in the first half of the last century. It now houses the Salvation Army. My maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Dunn as was my mother’s middle name. I hadn’t planned on it, but events occurred this summer that have encouraged some genealogical research, and visits to a couple cemeteries to discover my Irish ancestors. The Dunn and Fagan families arrived in the area after the Irish Potato Famine in the mid 1800's. They started small farms, fought in the Civil War, and worked on the Rutland Railroad while others moved to Buffalo, towns in upstate New York, and Troy to find jobs.
–more on that in a later post.

Center Street, Rutland VT 7.10.2012
 Sky in Vermont has a life force that swings from serenity to anger and back again as the prevailing westerly winds encounter Canadian cold or North Atlantic fronts. Sky is riled and roiled by wind and rains, or pacified by blissful days of dry clear blue, fluffed with curls of cumulus. Nightime affords an array of stars and planets in a blanket of dense quiet.


 I’ve soothed myself by beginning to quilt my 89 vintage printed portrait hankies one at a time, rather than together on a bedspread. This is the view of the first one looking down at my knees sitting on a bench in Main Street Park. An 80 something woman named Esther told me she always walks through the park, but this was the first time she ever saw anyone doing “fancywork” as she called my needlework. It started a nice conversation. She lives in an apartment home formerly known as "Shadowlawn" that my parents rented a room in during the summers in the 1950s.

Academy of St. Aloysius uniform from memory

 At home in my studio I pinned a replica of my Catholic Grammar School uniform to quilting fabric and batting that I had spread on the floor. More to come on these projects.

I leave you, readers with the view on the ground beneath my feet. I’m compiling a botanical gallery of plants that I remember from my Vermont childhood.

This week’s poem at the bottom is entitled Sky. The weekly portrait is #15-Relieved.

Lush Ferns and low three-leaved ground cover

Bachelor Buttons

Black Eyed Susans

Small Brambly Roses (my name)

Brushy Wild Daisies (my name)

Catalpa Tree with seedpods in Main St. Park (flowers have passed)

Orange Choke Cherry Bush (childhood name)

Red Choke Cherry Bush (childhood name)

Dried "Coffee" Plant (childhood name)

Geranium and Petunias in window box

Popular climbing porch vine (name unknown)



Pompoms (childhood name for Hydrangea)

Bluebells (childhood name)

Queen Anne's Lace

Roadside variant of Bachelor Buttons

Abundant roadside yarrow-like flower

Yankee Clover (VT State Flower AKA Red Clover)

The three-leaved ground cover in flower

Tiger Lilies

Wildflower pond near the Rutland Hospital on Upper Allen Street 

Sky is an internal organ–
Hiding behind the mask
Of weather’s flourish and display.

Sky is a slip-slider
Of intestinal outpourings
And rootless indecision.

Sky, like skin is a membrane
That belies the warren worlds of gastric
Global dimensions beyond the surfaces of
Flat white heat or stunning cold.

Sky breathes out dew and damp,
fire and vapor, snow and smog.
Noisy grumblings leak through her screen
From hollow tunnels, and Hubbellian holes
Expelling atmospheric juices
From ages and ages ago.

Sky burps out puffy plops of gaseous nimbus,
Thunderheads, mackerel, anvil
And accumulating cumulus–
Traces of a bilious otherworld
Of tangled tubular turbulence
Coiled at her celestial core.

-Sunday 7.8.2012


  1. Dear Cecelia, your SKY, FANCYWORK, and FLOWERS engage me, mesmerize me, pick me up and take me to a world that is previously unknown to me. I am so happy for you, living this SUMMER of 2012 in close proximity to your childhood. Looking up and looking down. Who are you at this moment?

    Glad you have begun stitching! Can't wait to see what follows!

  2. Thank you, Ruth. I'm on my low-lying air mattress bed writing from groundlevel and glancing occasionally out my bedroom window at the white, moist summer skin of sky above my head. My life here has reduced (or expanded?) itself to small gestures with metaphysical implications.