Poem: Vagabond’s House

Vagabond’s House 

by Don Blanding


When I have a house . . . as I sometime may . . .
I’ll suit my fancy in every way.
I’ll fill it with things that have caught my eye
In drifting from Iceland to Molokai.
It won’t be correct or in period style,
But . . . oh, I’ve thought for a long, long while
Of all the corners and all the nooks,
Of all the bookshelves and all the books,
The great big table, the deep soft chairs,
And the Chinese rug at the foot of the stairs
(It’s an old, old rug from far Chow Wan
That a Chinese princess once walked on).

My house will stand on the side of a hill
By a slow, broad river, deep and still,
With a tall lone pine on guard nearby
Where the birds can sing and the storm winds cry.
A flagstone walk, with lazy curves,
Will lead to the door where a Pan’s head serves
As a knocker there, like a vibrant drum,
To let me know that a friend has come,
And the door will squeak as I swing it wide
To welcome you to the cheer inside.

For I’ll have good friends who can sit and chat
Or simply sit, when it comes to that,
By the fireplace where the fir logs blaze
And the smoke rolls up in a weaving haze.
I’ll want a wood box, scarred and rough
For leaves and bark and odorous stuff,
Like resinous knots and cones and gums,
To toss on the flames when winter comes.
And I hope a cricket will stay around,
For I love it’s creaky lonesome sound.
read on

The Art of Letter Writing

With the advancement of technology, the art of letter writing with a pen and paper is dwindling fast but a few of us are still trying to keep the tradition alive.

Are you fed up of only receiving bills and junk mail in your mailbox? It’s always nice to receive a surprise card or letter that has been handwritten instead of the boring stuff that you’re not really interested in, so why not surprise someone by putting pen to paper.

I’m in a small group of six people who send a Round Robin of handwritten letters that has been going on for about a year now. It’s fun and I don’t just get one letter to read but five.

How does it work?

Person number one writes a letter (maximum two pages) about anything they like  – what they have been doing since receiving the last letter, any vacations they are planning or have been on, hobbies they do, book recommendations, recipes etc. They then send it to the second person on the list.

When the second person has received the envelope they write their letter, read person one’s letter and then add their letter to the original and post both letters to person number three.

Mail all the letters you have received, adding your own to the envelope and then wait for it to come back to you.
Mail all the letters you have received, adding your own to the envelope and then wait for it to come back to you.

Person number three then reads both letters in the envelope, writes their letter and adds it to the envelope. Three letters now wing their way onto person number four. Person number four does the same and sends all the letters on to person number five and so it continues until all the people in the group have received, read and written letters.

Once a letter has been received by a recipient they have up to two weeks to read and respond with their own letter. There’s usually a sheet of everyone’s addresses so each person knows who they need to send the complete package to. This should always stay in the envelope as a reference sheet. Any changes can be made to the address list should anyone move home during the round of letters.

Once all the letters have been sent back to the very first person in the group, they remove their first letter, read all the letters they have not yet seen and then add a completely new letter to the package. They then send it on to person two who removes their letter and adds a new one. This continues round and around until it completes a second journey and the whole process starts again. This way of sending letters is often called a Round Robin.

As you get to see your original letter you can then re-read what you wrote to everyone so you don’t forget or repeat yourself.

Why not give the art of letter writing a try and spice up someone’s mailbox. You’ll give them a nice surprise as they won’t be expecting it – especially when it’s hiding in with the junk mail and you may even inspire them to put pen to paper and write back to you which will cheer up your mailbox too.

Writing Set
Make it even more fun and interesting by investing in a writing set