chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

Tag Archives: November

found poem: IT’S A TUESDAY

found poem: what ended

found poem: the break

found poem: November



November morning…

cotoneaster ~ 26 November

First hard frost:
rime of white

leaves that were green
just days ago now red

dainty ermine ruffs
round their ruddy faces

ready for snow:
rhyme of white

© j.i. kleinberg


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Since that first musing on a dawn sky on November 20, 2010, chocolate is a verb has provided me with focus, opportunity and audience. It has served as the proverbial blank slate on which I discover and explore what’s on my mind.

For each of you who visits, I am deeply grateful. Every day I am encouraged by the little spikes in the bar graph that show me you’ve been here. I am warmed by your “Likes” and moved by your Comments. Through your presence here, you have helped me find and trust my voice — my many voices.

. . . . .


found poem by j.i. kleinbergNovember’s wind whips and flaps, billows and blows. Every anchored thing protests, slamming and popping on the verge of taking flight. Enormous trees bend at the hips. Cartons and water jugs turn into kites, newspapers into birds.

found poem by j.i. kleinberg

Among the leaves…

leaves and friend
My jacket should be emblazoned with a warning: I stop for leaves. The day is clear, the sun turning the last of the red and orange trees into stained glass. I bend to pick up shards of maple and oak, turn them in my fingers, let them sink back to the littered ground.

Ahead of the wind, the day’s ambitious raking demarcates yards. But enormous drifts of color pool through the neighborhood. In one, perhaps 30 feet from the nearest house, a tiny pumpkin shines in its failed camouflage.

From the dozens of leaves I’ve picked up and dropped, I keep two huge, glossy maples, carry them with me and set them, curious centerpieces far from trees, on the metal table anchored to the sidewalk outside the museum.

—–Today is the one-year anniversary of the beginning of chocolate is a verb, and the 300th post. If you are a subscriber, thank you. If you’re not, this would be an excellent time to subscribe!


Prairie Fire crabappleAfter the shakedown — high wind, torrential rain — the maple trees on the back slope are mostly bare and the squirrel highway is back in view. For half the year, there’s just a shimmy and bounce as they zip along the branches from tree to tree. But now, in the frosty morning sunshine, the squirrels dash and dart, pause to flick their tails and bark their warning, then scramble and soar into the dense cover of the cedar or Doug fir.

A moment later, a squirrel appears on the fence and makes a quick jump to the pecan tree and then the crabapple. There, in a wintry ruff of fur and in the company of fluffed-up chickadees and juncos, it sits on its haunches and consumes the bitter, hard, cranberry-sized fruits that decorate the tree for the season.

a riff on leaves…

November leavesClouds clotted in the east, scraps of clear sky above, rain gathering itself for another drenching. In the cool air, the wan November sun does its best to warm my back as I pick up leaves and more leaves, as if this leaf thing, like the dishes thing, could be done, could be counted as an accomplishment. The yard is freckled, then blanketed with leaves, mushrooms sprouting, cyclamen sending out their curled tendrils.

I read the leaves, like runes, their color and curl, their angle and order, their drift from the source. Some saturated and already well into decay, others leathery, with fat rain drops standing on their tanned skin. Tiptoeing between the shrubs, kneeling to reach across the top of a mounded cedar, I pick the leaves from the feathery green fronds of a twisted cypress, drop them into a bucket, reach and drop, over and over.

Silly, I tell myself, glancing over my shoulder at the still-leafy maples in the next block. The trees aren’t finished, and neither are the dishes, but I persist, today as yesterday, this year as last, in this autumn dance, this moist meditation.

across the street…

newspaper deliveredI’ve stepped outside to fetch the newspaper in the first gray light of chilly pre-dawn. Across the street, a runner and a dog. The dog is very small, maybe a chihuahua, with perky ears and long white hair and legs that move so fast they’re a blur. The person, slender and fit and moving at a good clip, is dressed in a dark jogging suit and a white knit cap.

In this light, it’s impossible to tell from appearance or footfall or gait whether it is a woman or a man. Either way, the runner makes a quite-audible plastic swishing/squishing sound, as if, under the jogging suit, s/he is swaddled in dry cleaner bags.

I pick up the paper and slip quietly back inside.
photo by =Tom= on flickr

November dance

Bellingham Repertory DanceIn the darkened room, as the dancers reached and glided and leaped through columns of light in the moves of their silent dance, the air whispered, shushed, erupted with the sound of hail pounding the metal roof.

Two more performances. Hail or no hail, go see them. Bellingham Repertory Dance.
BRD photo from the Cascadia Weekly


Rose-of-SharonWindows misted with fog, sky soggy gray, trees fringed with reds and russets. A wash of damp, rustle and slap of leaves shaken by impulsive wind. A single Rose-of-Sharon tightly furled, hanging on, hopeful: just one more day of sun, one more chance to lure a bee or bird, to flaunt a crimson throat before the bitter shear of winter, the weightless tumble, the slow sodden churn to mulch.

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