Now the books are on the shelves and I am back with the familiar problem of running out of space. I have a backlog of reading–of which Colombia provided little. I have a good, deep bathtub and wonderful places to walk. I also have a commodious chair. Katrina got it for $5 and my original take on it was that it would soon be sitting by the dumpster. But my father-in-law came clean out of retirement to deal with it and seems to have retrofitted the thing with a new usefulness and long life. It is large, dark, winged and commodious.

The woods are all in splendor. It is a fool who is not out these days, especially since the maples seem to be peaking. Those trees prepare for winter with great festival. I noticed in the drought of mid-September they gathered a cool, moist umbrage other trees seemed lacking. In central Ohio right now the maples are resplendent even with the clouds all overhead. It is that mood of the tragic splendor of good things passing you get in Beowulf and Tolkien, that of autumn with its raining leaves.

Wandered into Karen Wickliffe’s on High, that great vast collection of used books. Inexhaustible is what it is. The rising tide of stacks piled in front of the shelves is up to two feet in some aisles quite obliterating the bottom shelves; the tide is three or four feet up in corners. As a result of that excursion I now have the map of Beleriand I needed. It is going to be gold frames for the LOTR maps this time.

The lava lamp is functional, two strings of Christmas lights are in place, the van Gogh and a Sisley print are both framed, Ed Hopper prominent on the kitchen wall, the correct location for the fan according to the exigencies of the apartment determined, and my job still a week and a half from beginning.

I’m working on Planet Narnia with enthusiasm. There will be a review in the near future.


The autumn comes again.
During the night I hear
the sound of passing trains.
It always seems the sound
is heading to the north
where birches cast their lines
and leaves in hollow lands.
The autumn’s swollen streams
float little yellow boats
toward the south. And steam
dissolves–the northward plume
intent on meeting winter.