Spring Reflections


It is March 1st, and I ask, is it here to stay in Connecticut? The pussy willows have been open, showing their fuzzy gray catkins, for about 2 weeks now. My purple crocus has been blooming for about a week, and even my daffodils have been above ground since almost the beginning of February. The briskness of my step, and my higher energy indicates, yes, spring is here to stay.

I noticed a few of the local farms have turned over their dirt. Being so close to Ellington, CT., the air was perfumed with the annual application of manure two weeks ago. If I was still planting an edible landscape in my backyard, I would have attempted to put garden peas in the ground last week. That is a sure sign we are experiencing an early spring, just as the groundhog predicted on Feb. 2.

Springtime is a favorite topic of poetry. There are nearly as many odes and ballads to spring as there are to love. The lyrical nature of songs to springtime seems a perfect combination. Few carry hidden meanings or profound realizations. They are simply pretty and full of idyllic landscapes, bending flowers, soft air, and warm sun. One of the most famous poems to spring is Daffodils. William Wordsworth was walking with his sister when they came upon this vast growth of daffodils. Dorothy recorded the experience in her journal, and it inspired William to put it to poetry. Dorothy wrote:

When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the water side, we fancied that the lake had floated the seed ashore & that the little colony had so sprung up – But as we went along there were more & yet more & at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness & the rest tossed and reeled and danced & seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the Lake, they looked so gay ever dancing ever changing. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here & there a little knot & a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity & unity & life of that one busy highway – We rested again & again. The Bays were stormy & we heard the waves at different distances & in the middle of the water like the Sea.[9]
— Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere Journal Thursday, 15 April 1802

Daffodils at Hubbard Park, Meriden, CT.
     Daffodils by William Wordsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

    Another very lyrical poem about spring comes from Poetry of Wales by John Jenkins. Many of the poems were written by clergy and reflect the melodic and pastoral views of  the Welsh writers. This particular poem was writen by the Rev. Evan Evans. A brief introduction in the book talks a little about the Reverend.

The poem from which the following translation is extracted was composed by the Rev. Evan Evans, a Clergyman of the Church of England, better known by his bardic name of Ieuan Glan Geirionydd.  He was born in 1795 at a freehold of his father, situate on the banks of the river Geirionydd, in Carnarvonshire, and died in 1855.  He composed a great number of poems on different subjects, religious and patriotic, several of which obtained prizes at Eisteddfodau, and one on the Resurrection gained the chair or principal prize.  This poet’s compositions are distinguished by great elegance, sweetness and pathos, and are much esteemed in the Principality.  Several of them have been set to music.]”

“To the Spring.

Oh, come gentle spring, and visit the plain,
Far scatter the frost from our border,
All nature cries loud for the sunshine and rain,
For the howl of the winter is over.

Approach gentle spring, and show the white snow
Thou cans’t melt it by smiles and caresses,
Chase far the cold winter away from us now,
And cover the fields with white daisies.

Oh, come gentle spring, alight on the trees,
Renew them with life and deep verdure,
Then choristers gay will replenish the breeze
With their songs and musical rapture.

Oh, come gentle spring, breathe soft on the flowers,
And clothe them in raiments of beauty,
The rose may reopen its petals in tears,
And sunbeams unfold the white lily.”

March Events

Saturday, March 12
I will be meeting with the Wit and Wisdom Poetry Club from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at The Arbors in Manchester, CT. The group is part of the Connecticut Poetry Society and has published a few anthologies of local authors works and they have also run a few contests for teens. The group will be participating in the national event called Poetry In My Pocket. Several businesses in Manchester will have baskets of our poems for patrons to choose and carry with them for the day, and hopefully share with their friends and family. I chose one poem from Facets, “Morning Song.” The other two are new, “Walking With Deer” and “Mood and Color – Seasons of Mary  ” I will post the businesses you may find these poems when they let us know at the meeting.
Sunday, March 13
I will be meeting with the Second Sunday Book Club in Ellington, CT. to discuss my book, Facets. I will also be sharing an excerpt from my collection of short stories called Chronicles of Wabbaquasset. It is a large book club of about 17 members. They invite local authors to their meetings to discuss their current book, as well as works in progress. The meeting is from 6 p.m to 9 p.m. I am not certain if they accept new members to the book club, but I will ask at this meeting.
Tuesday, March 15
I will be meeting with the Tolland Writer’s Circle at the Tolland, CT. library from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tolland Public Library is located at 21 Tolland Green. The phone number is 860-871-3620 if you are interested in joining the group. The group has just celebrated its first anniversary. It is a lively group that works on writing prompts prepared by the leader, Judith Dreyer. We share our writing with each other after each prompt, and discuss our current projects. Judith keeps us informed of up and coming literary events throughout Connecticut. This month we will be bringing some of our writing to be printed in a publication through Tolland Library.
Enfield Library Discussion
The discussion and slide show of Facets was canceled on Feb. 24. I unfortunately became ill from the previous night and could not make the discussion. I have since rescheduled the discussion for April 20th at 7 p.m. The photo exhibit will not be up because someone else has the month, but I will be bringing a few of the photos to the discussion, and I will also have handouts and a slideshow of other photos that relate to the poems. The book will be available for sale. The reminder will be sent out to my readers around April 1.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Spring.





Interview With David Binder -Beyond the Blog

I was approached about a month ago by David Binder. He wanted to interview me. I said yes. Here is the link to the interview. https://sites.google.com/site/dalanbinder/blog/0635-266post-junemitainterviewwithdavidalanbinder

After answering David’s questions, I realized I had more to say so I am going beyond that interview with much more insights into writing and the artist.

As a writer, I have concluded I am not an artist in the purist sense. I may be disciplined, but writing cannot be restricted to a certain time of day if you want to reach that higher place where art lives. You have to be a a lot crazy to find it. That I am not.

An artist will feverishly write chapters and books for days with little sleep or food. They will gather what ever they can find for a writing surface, including walls.. It is madness and I am not “mad,” I am in a box where writing is done on store bought paper. It is done  with good pens. It is done with computers. I conclude it is not art, but it is writing.

We are in a box of convention. We are locked in our phones or in our Facebook pages. We see too much and think too little. The search for honest and true creativity is not something that is searchable. It is something only a few can attain to be called artists. Art cannot be disciplined. It cannot be pulled out of a busy schedule of jobs, family, domestic chores. It cannot be tamed. It must remain the wild, rarely seen animal that it is.

That said, where does it leave the writer who wants to be an artist? Well, we all are not meant to be artists. That is saved for only a select few. However, you can be a writer even if you are not considered an artist.

Journalism, though it has taken a terrible blow in this modern age, is still a viable profession. We will always need news and up to date information. That said, there are many online avenues to earn a living in journalism, and our visual media will always need good writers.

Non-fiction is a growing genre. To write a book of non-fiction takes two things, discipline and research. You do not need to be an expert at anything to write a non-fiction, but you do need good research skills. One of my favorite books I have recently read is a non-fiction by Justin Martin. It is called Rebel Souls, and delves into the first American Bohemians. Justin spent hours searching through archives and seeking many of the original written material from the 1850’s and 60’s. This is a wonderful book to read, and because I am so close to New York City where it all happened, I can relive some of what Justin put forth in the book. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Rebel-Souls-Americas-Bohemians-Lawrence/dp/0306822261  This book could never have seen the light of day without being a dedicated research professional, such as Justin Martin.

So you want to write a romance. Once again, you can be a disciplined conventional person to write a fictional romance. It can be written at any age, at any stage of your life. Younger writers will be idealists without much experience in the romance department, but with imaginations. Older writers have seen and experienced many romantic moments, and can give a realistic twist to their story. Is it art? I say not, but it is usually entertaining. If there is any romance novelist that is also an artist, I would class Joyce Carol Oates in that narrow place.

So when does the writing cross over into the realm of art? Poets and short story writers do border on the art of writing more profoundly than most novelists, but this is only my opinion. You as a reader can decide to agree or to be inflamed with disdain for that premise.

Why do I contend that poetry and short stories are art? Primarily because those are the two least read genre’s. Those two writing forms are very flexible in experimentation and discovery of motivation and emotion. You don’t have many words to work with to convey your meaning. Most do not find poetry or short stories entertaining, and when you are reading them to get through your English classes, you consider it a grueling experience.

Poetry, especially, requires much more thought. It goes deeply into our secret places, and it is largely personal. I find that writing poetry and short stories defy entrapment and being boxed into a specific time frame.

I have noted my mental state while writing poetry. Often I do get crazy as I try to make the poem work, or as I explore hidden places that most would rather let stay buried.  I write poetry in fits and spurts. It is a type of writing that will prey on your mind over time, and the deeper you delve, the more inner you become. That is where art lives.

I often must leave poetry behind when I find myself in dark moods more than light ones. When I start dreaming nightmarish scenarios, it is because I have been touching on God’s world too deeply. When I find I need to write at 1 a.m, even though I need to be at work by 7 a.m., I am nearing the place of art. It will make you crazy and you will start acting out of your normal range of behavior.

I will never be an artist because it scares me too much, and I am not willing to take the risks. I like living in a stable place. I love my husband and my daughter, and don’t want to leave them out of the picture as I pursue some higher place where art lives. I am human, and will remain human. I will be a writer, but never an artist.





Artist’s Info for Current Exhibit

Hello to my friends and family. I wanted to share my information that is posted currently at the Enfield Center Public Library on Middle Rd. in Enfield, CT. Through the end of February, some of my photos from Facets are on display in their community room. I invite all who are interested, to my presentation of the book at the library on February 24th. That is a Wednesday night and will run from 7 p.m. to around 9 p.m. Hope some will come

The Flyer that is at the library

blog header     Welcome to my current exhibit. The photos in this show are from my first published book of poetry and photography. Written under my pen name of Julyn S. Pride, the book is available through Barnes and Noble or through Amazon.com.
As a photographer, I believe that if Ansel Adams or Henri Cartier Bresson lived today they would utilize the many digital tools, to expand their working knowledge of the craft of photography. My camera is a digital Sony A35 SLR. Yes, I LOVE digital photography. All the photos I used in the book, save one, were taken digitally.
As a long time poet and aspiring writer, I am not ashamed to say that I self-published Facets on Sept. 17, 2015 through the miracle of economical websites such as Create Space. I have joined the ranks of indie (independent) authors, a recent phenomenon that saw 40% of the e-book dollars going to indie authors for the first 3 quarters of 2015. As an indie author, we are “dominating traditionally published authors” in sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller, and romance genres but — and here is the surprise – we are also taking “significant market share in all genres,” according to Publisher’s Weekly.
Self-publication is not a new phenomenon. Walt Whitman, one of America’s finest treasures, was largely self-published, including his most famous work, Leaves of Grass. The difference today is the ease of self-publication, as well as its cost effectiveness. I am proud to call myself an indie writer and am glad to be in a growing profession. I hope I can continue to be a part of that industry as it evolves and changes.
I have always wanted to find a route to join my photography and my writing. My first combining of the two occurred when I became a journalist/photojournalist for newspapers such as The Journal Inquirer and The Regional Standard. To wear both hats has become necessary to be a successful freelance journalist in modern changing markets. Thankfully I have had formal training in both genres. I received my photography training through the New York Institute of Photography, and my journalism skills through the Communications program at Manchester Community College. I was a fine arts major as well at MCC with a focus on English.
The book, Facets, is a concept piece. The poetry follows a natural flow of life, beginning with our inborn love of nature, and takes the reader through the various phases of life, right to that of spiritual awareness. The photos are my visual interpretation of some facet of each poem. The choice to use largely black and white is to continue the idea of poetry by removing the distraction of color and create a more thought provoking picture.

I hope you will find some common experience as you read the poems and view the photos. Please come to my discussion of Facets at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24. I will be talking about some of the stories behind the poems, as well as my creative processes in the writing of the book. I will read several of the poems from the book, and read a few new ones I am writing for my next collection of poetry and photography. I will have books available to purchase on February 24th ($10.00) if you would like one but do not want to go through Amazon or as a special order through Barnes and Noble. Hope to see you on Feb. 24.


Here is photos of the exhibit in the community room. I have about 20 photos from the book on display at the library.

Front wall at the library.


Back wall at the library.

January Newsletter – Happy New Year


It is a new year, one with no mistakes in it. I hope that 2016 holds wonderful accomplishments and opportunities for my book, as well as new endeavors regarding poetry and other writing projects.

Monet’s Table is done. I collected the remaining pieces on Dec. 29. I received many positive compliments from people regarding the concept of Facets, as well as on the black and white photos and gallery wrapped canvasses.

The December reading at University of Hartford was somewhat chaotic, and rather unexpected. There were at least 65 people at the CPS holiday party. Two poems were presented by lecturers, and both got my juices flowing.

The first poem was written by Jane Hirschfield. She is a poet with several books to her credit. The poem discussed was called The Supple Deer.

The Supple Deer

Jane Hirshfield, 1953

The quiet opening
between fence strands
perhaps eighteen inches.

Antlers to hind hooves,
four feet off the ground,
the deer poured through.

No tuft of the coarse white belly hair left behind.

I don’t know how a stag turns
into a stream, an arc of water.
I have never felt such accurate envy.

Not of the deer:

To be that porous, to have such largeness pass through me.

Originally published in Come, Thief (Knopf, 2011); all rights reserved. Copyright © by Jane Hirshfield.


The next poem presented was The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens. He was an insurance executive for The Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company in Hartford, CT. and wrote his magnificent poems while walking to work or in the rare moments he had to reflect and digest the days events.  The two poems seem to have a common thread through them. They are about things seen as memories of a passing incident. They both represent the passing of time as seen in a moments reflection by another. Both poems have had numerous analyses, but the best one is that which the individual reader feels.

The Snow Man

Wallace Stevens, 18791955

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

From Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens by Wallace Stevens. Copyright © 1954 by Wallace Stevens.

I was able to read one of my poems from Facets. I chose Provincelands – Sunrise Ebb Tide. It was well received and I was very glad for the event, hearing many others poetry. That was perhaps the best part of the CPS party.

So, what is happening for January? The month is preparing for winter weather, so I have nothing coming up immediately. I will be visiting the Enfield, CT. library this week to measure out wall space. Lisa Sprague, the head librarian, has offered to have me set up my photos at the library for the last part of January, and the month of February. It will be in conjunction with my presentation of Facets on February 24th at the library.

I will continue seeking out avenues for lectures and art exhibits throughout January. The reading planned at Fox Hill Center has fallen through, which is also part of the reality of poetry and writing.

It is time for poetry and short story contests. I am submitting my poem “Walking With Deer” to the Al Savard Memorial Poetry Contest by January 31, 2016. The poem is still a working poem, and it is not yet in its final stage, but I will post what I have so far.


Walking With Deer

Bright sun
Roar of wind at my windows.

The chunked up roadsides from the snowplow
Make it hard to walk.
Behind an old red barn
There floated deer tracks to the marsh.
Deep they cut under bending firs,
Nothing but a buff coat for warmth.
White pine sentries hug the hoof broken marsh trail
My treaded boot walks beside the deer tracks.
A burst of drift, a ghost flying through sunshine
Hits my face, stings it,
So unlike the deer
Untouched by cold or wind –
To achieve their envious crossings.
Their view in day and mirrored moonshine
See more pines and snow and grassy islands
Nestled in springfed frozen waters.
We see them differently,
An obstacle feared
Or a necessity to overtake.
I hear the snort first,
Look up and there stands a doe.
Startled, our reveries disturbed,
In a flash of white she turns and dashes
Back through the woods.
I turn to go back home.
Retrace the steps that walk beside the deers.
We are alone along the trail,
Share a common moment, separate yet the same.
Only our tracks break the snow.
I was walking with the deer as close as I could.
To walk with deer is wondrous.

Deer Encounter

That is all I have for now. Some of the wind has been knocked out of my sails regarding Facets, but it will not stop me from pursuing the purity and truth of poetry. I will always have faith that something I write adds joy to another’s life, or gives them hope and a brief happiness. It is not always about the bottom line. When it comes to art whether it be written, painted, photographed, sculpted, or any other method of creation, to pursue excellence and to strive to be the best we can be is what makes it worthwhile, and why we continue to create.


December Newsletter – Merry Christmas

  1. Christmas_wallpaper__002931_

What a glorious time of the year to be sharing our art with each other. There are Artist’s Open Studio’s happening all over the eastern part of Connecticut. We have art fairs and holiday parties going on. It is a busy month, not only for artists but for families and local businesses. As we try to ease into Christmas, after stuffing ourselves with wonderful Thanksgiving dinners, let us remember those who don’t have the ability to pursue their creative lives due to poverty, homelessness and job losses. Think about donating some of your art to local shelters or offer your special skill to nursing homes or hospitals. As a poet, I plan on offering a reading at a Vernon nursing home, and my book, Facets, will be donated to Tri-Town Shelter. If you are a photographer, perhaps you might think about heading to a shelter and taking some portraits of the families there so they can share them with their family. There are many ways to share your art, even if it is creating decorated cakes and cookies. Food can be as much an art as painting, writing, or photography. It is the sharing of caring that we can give. We can even extend it into next year and donate our time and skill to those who face hard edges every day.

Hard Edges


On The Street


The flesh eating air
Begins to eat her at sunset.
There are white pines brushing
Her skin with a biting,
Spider mites or something.
They hit her skin and burn it.
The sounds of motors spinning
Are a constant.
She lays in a bed of ferns
With the sky for a roof
And watches the moon
As it makes its way
From east to west.
Below, the glaring headlights
Mask the brilliance of the moon
And it seems there are thousands
Of moons flashing across her closed eyes.
The light is never enough to read
On the dark hillside beside the bridge.
She tries to sleep,
Between 2 and 5 is the best time.
There is a brief relief then.

Exhibit Continues At Monet’s Table

Through the month of December, my photo’s from Facets will continue at Monet’s. I am planning on switching a few of the black and white photos out and replacing them with some color canvases, just to keep the exhibit fresh. Books are still available there for $10.00. Monet’s is located at 167 Tolland Stage Road, Tolland, CT. Their menu is exquisite and well worth a visit on a Wed. afternoon.

Readings and Book Signings

I will be having a reading of Facets at Fox Hill Center in Vernon, CT. the week of December 14. (Postponed until January per request of Fox Hill.) It is still up in the air when it will be, since I have to keep in mind my normal work schedule, but I will post the date when I have firmed it up.

There will also be a book signing and reading on Sunday, December 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. I will be attending the Connecticut Poetry Societies holiday party at the University of Hartford, 1265 Asylum Ave., Hartford, CT. at Butterworth Hall. Facets will be available for purchase at that time. It will be a wonderful time of food, poetry and the love of the written word.

December Open Studio cancelled

Due to the opportunity at U of H, as well as the reading at Fox Hill, I will not be able to have my open studio that I had announced last month. It is not to say I won’t have one later, but I think a better time would be when the lilacs make their annual sweet entrance, letting us know that warmer days are ahead. However, I am always open to a visit by any interested friend or fellow writer. I have the studio decorated for the holidays, complete with a tree and lights wrapped around the open beams. A few Christmas knickknacks peer down from the open wall frame, and the propane heater warms the place up very nicely.IMG_1479

Where Is Facets?

Currently, the book may be found at the following retail shops.

  • Thistle Glass Crafts
  • 50 Main St.
  • Ellington, CT.
  • 860-875-3895


  • The Red and White
  • 46 Tolland Green
  • Tolland, CT.
  • 860-454-0669


  • Monet’s Table
  • 167 Tolland Stage Rd.
  • Tolland, CT.
  • 860-875-7244


  • June Mita
  • 860-424-1845

The marketing will continue through the month of December, as I try to find new shops and retail outlets that might be interested in carrying Facets. I will be making a visit to Barnes and Noble next week in Manchester to find out if they would at least have me do a book signing during National Poetry Month which occurs in April. I will also be heading to their Enfield store as well. There is no harm in trying. The worse that can happen is that they say no.

Have a great holiday season, and support your local artists.

Follow my photo blog for more poetry and photography.              Connecticut Photographer