sna poems, series supplementum #42: happy hollow

bit of a late entry; end-of-term was something else!

happy hollow is a 192-acre park in rock county, wisconsin between janesville and beloit. i grew up in janesville, and used to drive to beloit quite a bit down hwy 51; never knew this was here. apparently my parents used to visit sometimes when they were younger.

the land, along the rock river, was purchased in three installments by the county from private landowners. it’s still in kind of a ‘u’ shape due to there being a farm field on either side of the drive in.

mother’s day morning neither of us could sleep, so my wife suggested we venture out before anyone else was up. we laid there for a bit, then i said, ‘well, those birds aren’t going to watch themselves.’ i hung a “gone birdin'” sign on my parents’ tv and we lit out down hwy 51 in the breaking dawn.

so many song birds, delightful flowers, a quadruped skeleton in the underbrush near a false-solomon’s seal stand, and some bald eagles flying downstream. the highlight though had to be the prothonotary warbler who hung out with us for a good 10-15 minutes overlooking the river. chipper little guy.

first id’s of waterthrush, prothonotary warbler, and small-flowered buttercup!


blue-grey gnatcatcher

on hornbeam

algae collecting


grass on the mudbank

the rock flows

all brown and lovely


the oriole’s call


over morning mood



bouncing call

clear by the outlet

sna poems, supplementum anthropocenum #8: black hawk island

black hawk island is a strip of low-lying land on the rock river near fort atkinson, wisconsin and lake koshkonong. it also just so happens to be the nearly life-long home of wisconsin’s preeminent poet, lorine niedecker. with my growing admiration of niedecker’s work over the last few years, it was a bit of a pilgrimage to visit her cabin and be physically present for the first time where her “life by water” occurred.

my own early life was supported and shaped by the same river, downstream, flowing past the edge of the glacial outwash fan i grew up on, and i admit to a certain naive camaraderie with lorine on account of this riparian confluence. either way, it was fantastic to have a few spare moments where she lived and made.

we found

ourselves there—