Strange kitchen

At the office all the morning. At noon dined at home. After dinner my wife and I to my Lady Batten’s, it being the first time my wife hath been there, I think, these two years, but I had a mind in part to take away the strangenesse, and so we did, and all very quiett and kind.
Come home, I to the taking my wife’s kitchen accounts at the latter end of the month, and there find 7s. wanting, which did occasion a very high falling out between us, I indeed too angrily insisting upon so poor a thing, and did give her very provoking high words, calling her beggar, and reproaching her friends, which she took very stomachfully and reproached me justly with mine; and I confess, being myself, I cannot see what she could have done less. I find she is very cunning, and when she least shews it hath her wit at work; but it is an ill one, though I think not so bad but with good usage I might well bear with it, and the truth is I do find that my being over-solicitous and jealous and forward and ready to reproach her do make her worse. However, I find that now and then a little difference do no hurte, but too much of it will make her know her force too much. We parted after many high words very angry, and I to my office to my month’s accounts, and find myself worth 1270l., for which the Lord God be praised!
So at almost 2 o’clock in the morning I home to supper and to bed.
And so ends this month, with great expectation of the Hollanders coming forth, who are, it seems, very high and rather more ready than we. God give a good issue to it!

a strange kitchen
the stomach

it cannot make too much
for the land


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 28 February 1665.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

All my best lies

The latest batch of iPhone photos and epigrams from my Instagram feed (by way of Flickr). Here in the northeast, late autumn has to be the most under-appreciated time of year, but as I hope at least a few of these snapshots suggest, it does have a kind of sombre beauty.

Bark patterns on a red maple log suggestive of a smugly closed eye.
A hopeful outlook is a kind of blindness.

Continue reading “All my best lies”

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

Tongues make the best flags: more instagrammatic photos

Two boards in an old fence barely held together by a rusty hinge, the gap also bridged by a fallen oak leaf.

A spectre is haunting my Instagram page — the spectre of Trumpism. But more cheerful subjects, such as death, imprisonment, and the evolution of teeth, also continue to pop up.

A deflated balloon in the woods with a picture of a baby elephant on it tan the words "baby boy."
The shining lies may seem harmless, but they are indigestible and will cause acute distress to many we never see.

Continue reading “Tongues make the best flags: more instagrammatic photos”

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

The eyes are the first thing to go: more Instagram epigrams

Another arboreal face, this time on a beech, with wide eyes looking upward.

I’ve taken to walking all the way down and back up the mile-and-a-half-long Plummer’s Hollow Road every day now, and what’s curious is that, despite having walked this road many thousands of times in my life, I still notice two or three new things every time. You can see a lot just by looking, as Yogi Berra supposedly said. Of course, most of what I see are trees. And many observations don’t make good photos — but a few do. And by the time I get back to the house, sometimes I’ve thought up a caption as well.

Log over stream with eye-shaped opening on the side and fur-like moss on top.
The eyes are the first thing to go, melting back into the head, murmurs my lover, the undertaker’s assistant.
Continue reading “The eyes are the first thing to go: more Instagram epigrams”

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

Woodchuck in the woods and other instagrammatic things

Woodchuck in the woods. Also, yes—a groundhog in the ground.

I have a hand-me-down iPhone 4S and an Instagram account linked to Flickr, and so I’ve been amusing myself with poetic one-liners. It started with a particularly antisocial woodchuck, who (unusually for his species) has a den in the middle of the forest.

Woodchuck in the woods. Also, yes—a groundhog in the ground.
Woodchuck in the woods. Also, yes—a groundhog in the ground.

Continue reading “Woodchuck in the woods and other instagrammatic things”

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

Where we sat

Up to the office, where we sat till noon and then I home to dinner, and after dinner with my wife to her study and there read some more arithmetique, which she takes with great ease and pleasure. This morning, hearing that the Queen grows worse again, I sent to stop the making of my velvet cloake, till I see whether she lives or dies.
So a little abroad about several businesses, and then home and to my office till night, and then home to supper, teach my wife, and so to bed.

where we sat
with great ease
the oak lives or dies


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 22 October 1663.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

Active voice

(Lord’s day). Up betimes, and fell to reading my Latin grammar, which I perceive I have great need of, having lately found it by my calling Will to the reading of a chapter in Latin, and I am resolved to go through it.
After being trimmed, I by water to White Hall, and so over the Park, it raining hard, to Mr. Coventry’s chamber, where I spent two hours with him about business of the Navy, and how by his absence things are like to go with us, and with good content from my being with him he carried me by coach and set me down at Whitehall, and thence to right home by water.
He shewed me a list, which he hath prepared for the Parliament’s view, if the business of his selling of offices should be brought to further hearing, wherein he reckons up, as I remember, 236 offices of ships which have been disposed of without his taking one farthing. This, of his own accord, he opened his cabinet on purpose to shew me, meaning, I suppose, that I should discourse abroad of it, and vindicate him therein, which I shall with all my power do.
At home, being wet, shifted my band and things, and then to dinner, and after dinner went up and tried a little upon my tryangle, which I understand fully, and with a little use I believe could bring myself to do something.
So to church, and slept all the sermon, the Scot, to whose voice I am not to be reconciled, preaching.
Thence with Sir J. Minnes (who poor man had forgot that he carried me the other day to the painter’s to see some pictures which he has since bought and are brought home) to his lodgings to see some base things he calls them of great masters of painting. So I said nothing that he had shown me them already, but commended them, and I think they are indeed good enough.
Thence to see Sir W. Pen, who continues ill of the gout still. Here we staid a good while, and then I to my office, and read my vows seriously and with content, and so home to supper, to prayers, and to bed.

a grammar of rain
is like the open road
a full thing whose voice
I am nothing to


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 21 June 1663.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

Proverbial (11)

Sir George Carteret, Sir Williams both and myself all the morning at the office passing the Victualler’s accounts, and at noon to dinner at the Dolphin, where a good chine of beef and other good cheer.
At dinner Sir George showed me an account in French of the great famine, which is to the greatest extremity in some part of France at this day, which is very strange.
So to the Exchange, Mrs. Turner (who I found sick in bed), and several other places about business, and so home. Supper and to bed.

A chin of good cheer
in a famine
is the greatest extremity.

*

Some part of this day
is another.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 9 April 1662.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

Proverbial (10)

All the morning at the office by myself about setting things in order there, and so at noon to the Exchange to see and be seen, and so home to dinner and then to the office again till night, and then home and after supper and reading a while to bed.
Last night the Blackmore pink brought the three prisoners, Barkestead, Okey, and Corbet, to the Tower, being taken at Delfe in Holland; where, the Captain tells me, the Dutch were a good while before they could be persuaded to let them go, they being taken prisoners in their land. But Sir G. Downing would not be answered so: though all the world takes notice of him for a most ungrateful villain for his pains.

All self-things change.

To see and be seen
is to be taken prisoner.

The land would not answer the world.

Take no ice for ungrateful pains.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 17 March 1661/62.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).