Showing posts from November, 2008

coyote jawbone

amid the bottles
cans and trash by roadside
coyote jawbone

[At least it looks more canine than feline, but I don't know for sure. Does anyone else out there? The jawbone is exactly 5 inches from one end to the other. The haiku works as a poem, I think, even if my animal physiology is off.]

koalas on sticks

I think of cattails as something common to my home town of Waukegan. I was surprised to see them in Taos. And I was especially surprised to see one stand of them in full bloom. I wrote this haiku.

sometime last night
desert cattails exploded
koalas on sticks

New Mexico haiku

I'm on vacation in Taos. On the beautiful drive down, I had a series of haiku moments. Writing haiku makes life worthwhile.

lone dark pinon
new mexico mesa
and sky

Which goes from focus to field. And here's one that goes the opposite direction:

mountain snow dust
stirs golden valley into
herd of pronghorns

And here's one that's just about how nature reclaims what man makes:

white mountain road
snow snaking parallel
to river below

And just before I stopped for lunch, I saw:

two crows feast
on bloody ball of meat:
table mesa

And on the long road south of Fort Garland:

beetle in the sand
long straight line between peaks
me on two lane road

And finally, flapping up from a field into the sun, against a backdrop of blinding snow-capped peaks:

until just now
I did not know that ravens
are made of light

Colorado Association of Libraries conference 2008

I enjoyed the conference, and was particularly grateful to see a couple of my Board members show up and participate. One of the reasons many librarians give for enjoying their work is the sense of collegiality. I certainly enjoyed presenting with Rochelle Logan, Diane Caro, Jody Howard on "Books We Hate." And I had a marvelous time with my fellow directors, Shirley Amore (Denver) Jon Walker (Pueblo), Eloise May (Arapahoe), Janine Reid (High Plains), and Pam Sandlian Smith (Rangeview) in our session with young/new professionals looking for jobs.

The directors all have their own quirks and emphases. But in the main, we share a lot of common approaches: we're looking to make a difference in our communities, to be a significant asset, to strive for excellence, to be effective advocates for literacy and lifelong learning, and not least to have fun. Those themes ran through the keynote by Chicago's Mary Dempsey, Colorado Commissioner of Education Dwight Jones, ALA President…

2008 election results and the library

Now to report the results of the library's 2008 mill levy campaign: We lost.

As of today's still unofficial tally, we got 55,394 yes votes (47% of the total cast) and 62,442 no votes (53%). So we lost by over 7,000 votes. The school district's issue went down by about the same percentages.

I find myself surprisingly light-hearted about it. I truly don't think this reveals some secret disgruntlement with either institution. I think it's clear that our community was worried about the economy, and is hunkering down.

It's also clear that when you lose by 7,000 votes, there isn't much you could have done that would have won. The community has spoken.

But I have two other thoughts.

First, here's a bit of very good news. I have witnessed the birth of several new civic leaders, most of them folks who had never participated in the political process much before, but revealed themselves to be tireless organizers, and passionate and articulate speakers on our behalf. I…