Maggie Harrison isn’t just a winemaker.  


She’s a farmer, chemist and businesswoman. She lops off grape samples and cuts twine to lash vines with the ring-mounted utility knife she carries when walking the vineyard and scanning for any sign of fungus.

To record field notes about the fruit, she uses a fountain pen.

And Harrison also carries a poem, The Children’s Orchard, because, she says, it evokes everything about the harvest: the angle of the light, the smell of the fruit, the way the soil feels under your feet.


CaP LogoI never carry a knife.  A pen, well, hardly ever.  But a poem ~ I have Harrison’s habit.  I carry this one with me when I head for the gym.


Self-Portrait     by Mary Oliver

I wish I was twenty and in love with life
and still full of beans.

Onward, old legs!
There are the long, pale dunes; on the other side
the roses are blooming and finding their labor
no adversity to the spirit.

Upward, old legs! There are the roses, and there is the sea
shining like a song, like a body
I want to touch

though I’m not twenty
and won’t be again but ah! seventy. And still
in love with life. And still
full of beans.


I carry these, thrown by Extraordinary Potter Sue (and our Shortcuts contributor), when I’m off to have a sweet treat.  Or two.

i carry my heart, e e cummings
i carry your heart, e e cummings



One in my wallet…



…and one (thousand or more) on my iPod.


Do you carry poems, too?

Maybe here…


…or here?

poem tattoo images


How do you carry yours? Do you walk in time to the rhythm of it?


Does it stick in your mind, ring in your ears, touch your heart, free your soul?

What poem do you carry?

Toni 7/24/13

2 thoughts on “A KNIFE, A PEN, AND A POEM

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