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The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor: Episodes

The snow is falling on the tall pale reeds near the seashore, and even though in places the sky is heavy and dark, a pale sun peeps through casting its yellow light across the face of the waves coming in. Someone has left a bicycle leaning against the trunk of a sapling and gone into... <a class="excerpt-read-more" ...
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why, I have forgotten, and what arms have lain Under my head till morning; but the rain Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh Upon the glass and listen for reply, And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain For unremembered lads that... <a class="excerpt-read-more" ...
With one dear friend we go up the highest mountain thousands of feet into the birdless snow and listen to our breaths in the still air for a long time beside the observatories later we stretch out on the dark crumbled lava slope looking west at the sun yellowing the clouds below then go down... <a class="excerpt-read-more" ...
Never better, mad as a hatter, right as rain, might and main, hanky-panky, hot toddy, hoity-toity, cold shoulder, bowled over, rolling in clover, low blow, no soap, hope against hope, pay the piper, liar liar pants on fire, high and dry, shoo-fly pie, fiddle-faddle, fit as a fiddle, sultan of swat, muskrat ...
The text of today&#8217;s poem is not available online.
It was afternoon tea, with tea foods spread out Like in the books, except that it was coffee. She made a tin pot of cowboy coffee, from memory, That&#8217;s what we used to call it, she said, cowboy coffee. The grounds she pinched up in her hands, not a spoon, And the fire on the... <a class="excerpt-read-more" ...
Winter. Time to eat fat and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat, a black fur sausage with yellow Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries to get onto my head. It&#8217;s his way of telling whether or not I&#8217;m dead. If I&#8217;m not, he wants to be scratched; if I am... <a class="excerpt-read-more" ...
Now that the worst is over, they predict Something messy and difficult, though not Life-threatening. Clearly we needed To stock up on water and candles, making Tureens of soup and things that keep When electricity fails and phone lines fall. Igloos rise on air conditioners, gargoyles Fly and icicles ...
Watching the hands of my son kneading challah dough on the maple cutting board in my kitchen, a memory rises of my mother bending over our kitchen table in Flatbush, pressing, stretching, folding flour, water, eggs into a living elastic. Sometimes in my dreams, Mom appears, whispers of her mother in ...
Not a red rose or a satin heart. I give you an onion. It is a moon wrapped in brown paper. It promises light like the careful undressing of love. Here. It will blind you with tears like a lover. It will make your reflection a wobbling photo of grief. I am trying to be... <a class="excerpt-read-more" ...
The elm tree is our highest mountain peak; A five-foot drop a valley, so to speak. A man&#8217;s head is an eminence upon A field of barley spread beneath the sun. Horizons have no strangeness to the eye. Our feet are sometimes level with the sky, When we are walking on a treeless plain, With... <a ...
There&#8217;s a tractor in the doorway of a church in Red Wing, Nebraska, in a coat of mud and straw that drags the floor. A broken plow sprawls beggarlike behind it on some planks that make a sort of roadway up the steps. The steeple&#8217;s gone. A black tar-paper scar that lightning might have made... ...
Moonlight fills the laurels Like music. The moonlit Air does not move. Your white Face moves towards my face. Voluptuous sorrow Holds us like a cobweb Like a song, a perfume, the moonlight. Your hair falls and holds our faces. Your lips curl into mine. Your tongue enters my mouth. A bat flies through ...
Life is absurd. A man can count on that. After the great triumph, you&#8217;re left standing alone, Standing on the corner, holding your hat, Trying to call a friend on your cell phone. Men my age are arrested for public exposure Who only needed to take a leak in the bushes. They didn&#8217;t run through... ...
Contrails scrawl the sky under which sawhorse-and-lumber tables offer up the hoard and store of fifty years. Neighbors have come to scour house and barn and implement shed. Yes, we&#8217;ve come to haul it all away— their nests of pillows and quilts and feather ticks, the glazed plates and bread crocks, ...
His heavy body would double itself forward At the waist, swell, and come heaving around To slam at his seatback, making the screws groan And squawk down half the row as it went tilting Under my mother and me, under whoever Was out of luck on the other side of him. Like a boxer slipping... <a class="excerpt-read-more" ...
White roses, tiny and old, flare among thorns by the barn door. &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;For a hundred years under the June elm, under ...
There is so very little we can do, Friends, for these beautiful children of ours, They will come to grief and suffer and you And I bow to darkness and evil powers. The gentle boy who wrote poems goes For a walk in January and does not return. His mother and father search the woods.... <a class="excerpt-read-more" ...
Late afternoon: only a few old men at the bar drinking and talking quietly. Waitresses for the evening shift begin to ar- rive. One stands a moment at the far end of the dining room and looks out the window facing the lake. Snow is falling. The lake is completely obscured, but still customers will... ...
The doe, at a dead run, was dead the instant the truck hit her: In the headlights I saw her tongue extend and her eyes go shocked and vacant, Launched at a sudden right angle—say from twenty miles per hour south to fifty miles per hour east—she skated many yards on the slightest toe-edge tips... ...
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