Almanack Contributor Joseph Carosella

Even after thirty years as a language teacher, Joe Carosella still firmly believes that Every Day Is a Beautiful Day. He hikes avidly in the Adirondacks and the UK, loves nature, ice cream, travel, languages, and words in general, and spends a lot of time writing poetry and reading. His poems have appeared in Adirondac and Ridgeline. [Instagram: josephaicarosella]

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Up in the air

red hawk

A red hawk called, and circled in the sky
above my route, as I went jogging by.
I stopped and spoke to her. She screeched again,
then perched with grace upon a leafless limb.
Instead of anywhere, you’re here, I said.
She rustled feathers, showing off her red.
Whatever you’re meant to help me learn today,
I’ll try to learn it – thanks. The interplay
of hawk and human spirits – just us two –
was good, a moment’s gift. And what ensues
from such communion? That’s yet up in the air
(to use a phrase). But it helps me to prepare.
I’ll see what comes, and think of my red hawk,
and keep in mind our unexpected talk.

Photo at top: Red Hawk. Wikimedia Commons photo.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Just Right

sun peeking through trees in winter

A Winter Morning as they’re meant to be.
A cold and sharp and crisp one. Thoroughly
exhilarating, after sunless days.
A pick-me-up. I hope this bright snap stays.

Photo at top: Wikimedia Commons photo.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Sideyard trees

poetry logo

Locust, maple, mulberry limbs

stand strong against the sky,

stand sturdily against the whims

of weather whistling by.

This morning, dark against the blue,

they welcome dawn’s advance:

stark and steadfast, tall and true,

in stately sylvan stance.

They stretch and reach, and higher grow.

They dance up in the breeze.

They awe the people here below,

these simple, noble trees.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Watch This!

Christmas lights on trees.

I rose at five, to walk. I hoped for stars.
And bright they shone, despite streetlamps and cars.
Down here I saw December’s common sights:
leftover snow, and people’s Christmas lights
lit through the night – to cheer the passerby?

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Poem: Letting Go

Maple tree


Letting Go

A hard frost comes: the Solomon’s Seal
is changed from green to straw.
The yellow maple leaves, genteel,
obey November’s law.
Like bats or butterflies they flit,
but always down they come.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Poem: November 18

cozy den with fireplace

November 18

The squirrels are up, they dash about.
I’m up as well – but don’t go out
to sit or walk. Why? I’ll explain.
It’s mid-November: Wind, and Rain.
Oh, I’ve been out in rain before.
And wind – that’s something I adore.
So why stay in? Because it’s cozy.
It’s good not every day is rosy.
At times we like a break from bright
to help us keep a sharper sight:
what seems opposed, like yang and yin,
or dark and light, are always in
a dance, connected. So I decide
this morning I’ll just sit inside.
My chair, my blanket and my tea
will let me ponder, cozily,
November’s contrasts: bluster, charm,
chilly outside, inside warm.


Photo at top: Wikimedia Commons photo.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

The long trail

The long trail rises, dips and onward goes.
My soul, too, has its ups and downs. It knows
what it can’t know: what any day may bring.
And that it’s not in spite of everything –
no, it’s because of all – that we can sum
up circumstance and happening and come
to see ourselves, to see that what we’ve had
and seen and done and been, the good, the bad
and all the many days of in-between –
the days of trials, and those of lustrous sheen –
define us, lend our character its forms.
Life has its share of grim and threatening storms,
at times it leads us through the grime and mud,
or thirsting drought. But then the blessings flood
into our lives. The long trail onward goes.
It twists and turns. It drops us into lows.
Then high we rise. We step and set our pace
each day once more, and maybe find our place.


Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Mulberry picking after the rain

Remember? Yesterday it rained.
That made the purpling berries swell.
Today I pick, my skin gets stained –
magenta and violet splotches tell
that I have visited those friends
whose boughs that bear these berries bend
inviting me to stretch and eat
this sticky, drippy, bursting treat.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

March fever

When trees in morning March winds sway

it’s different from November’s gray,

those heavy pessimistic skies

which dormancy or death belie.

In March, with Spring’s rebirth in sight,

the treetops stretch toward Life, they fight

off stiffness, Winter’s coat they shed.

From deep below their sap is led

to flow, to course.  How they rejoice –

with dancing limbs their find their voice.

They won’t sleep now – they’re wide awake.

Their thirst for growth with light they’ll slake.

And I, who sit beneath and watch,

as one who might a fever catch,

am caught myself and share their thrill –

Life finds its way, and always will.


At top: Butterfly on dandelions. Wikipedia photo.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Poem: Birdsong for our age

birds on a feeder in winter

The birds are singing.  Weeks too soon.

For them, is climate change a boon?

Won’t they need bugs or seeds to eat?

The ecosystems once were neat

and dovetailed nicely, well-designed.

But now look, Nature is inclined 

toward unpredictability.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Primal Pleasure 

fire starting provided by CCEPrimal Pleasure

It wasn’t really on the list,

but why not take, I thought, an hour or so

to shift some things in the garage.

It was a good excuse to start an outdoor fire, 

to warm my hands between each shifting shift.

 Except, I spent more time beside the fire pit

than working hard on the garage.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Poetry: Let’s Talk Backpacking

winter hiking

Challenge that toward discomfort slips,

which morphs then into dull hardship.

Angry shoulders, feet forlorn.

Sweaty toes, shirts rank and torn.

In the darkness, making camp.

Wood that doesn’t burn for damp.

» Continue Reading.

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