Shine A Light


Working on my soon-to-be-offered workshop.

I’m practicing shining a light into the shadows.


Phenology is Alive and Well – Report #1

Lesser Periwinkles ©2016 Bo Mackison

May 1, 2016

Owen Conservation Park, west side of Madison, Wisconsin

Start: 8:10 am
cloudy 43˚F
wind 10 mph NE
barometric pressure 30.10
humidity 80%

hear Woodpeckers, species unknown
Fiddle heads emerging
Trout lilies in full bloom
Jack in the pulpits, just emerging from earth
Honeysuckle, in tight bud
Chokecherry, leaves clustered
Robins, common
Bluejay, male adult
Lesser periwinkle (vinca) in moderate bloom
Dutchman’s breeches, close to full bloom
Virginia bluebell, full bloom
False solomon seal emerging
Wood anemone in bloom, moderate show
Bloodroot, emerging foliage
Yellow bellwort, in moderate bloom
Columbine emerging
Creeping charlie (ground ivy, spreading mint) dense blooms, disturbed ground near trail
Wild geranium (potted geranium) in moderate bloom
Maple tree shoots, six inches high, thick
Crabapple trees, several varieties, in moderate bloom


Golden Alexanders ©2016 Bo Mackison

Common blue violets (wood violet, wooly blue violet)  in bloom, profuse
Garlic mustard in bloom (invasive weed threat)
Golden alexanders, moderate bloom
May apples, foliage emerging, no blooms – love these clusters of green umbrellas
rafter of wild turkeys – one adult male, three adult females
Confederate violets (blue and white variation of common purple) uncommon
White oak trees with emerging leaves
Ironwood trees, partially open leaves, still curled
Red maples, partially opened leaves
Silver maples, partially open leaves
Sumac, 5 ft high “sticks” with emerging red leaves
second rafter of wild turkeys – one adult male, five adult females


Rafter of turkeys ©2016 Bo Macksion

Red wing blackbirds, common
Cardinals, a pair
Mallards, pair in water
Yellow warbler


9:43 am
46˚F cloudy
wind 5 mph E
humidity 72%


Twice a week phenology reports in woodland and prairie; once a week reports from pond. At Owen Conservation Park, Madison Wisconsin

Phenology is the study of plant and animals and their cycles influenced by climate and seasonal change, i.e., birds nesting/migrating,  flowers blooming, trees leafing.


Opening to the Sacred – A Poem

Wupatki - Finding the Open Spaces

Opening to the Sacred © 2014 Bo Mackison

A poem is . . . an act of devotion and holy rebellion; a source of healing and a journey of risk. ~ Edveeje Fairchild

I enter emboldened.

I come in holy rebellion.

Enough groveling at feet of stone-struck statues
incapable of emotions, no welcoming nod,
refusing to utter soothing words as balm to my aching heart
or offer celestial embrace.

Safe behind barred doors,
chain link fences,
security-guards on watch.

From whom do you seek protection?

The penitent, the silenced one, the hesitant seeker?

I rise in holy rebellion.
I will not bow nor cover my face with
a black mantilla and your rules.

I do not come in holy rebellion.

I am Holy Rebellion!

Practice Resurrection — Photography to “Manifesto” by Wendell Berry

All Text: Excerpted from “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” by Wendell Berry


Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die…

Pop Art Shopping Carts

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

Garden Water Pump in Sanford Farm Garden, Old World Wisconsin

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it…

Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Redwood Abstract

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

What's in this Pond?

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

West Bluff, Devils Lake State Park

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.


Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.


Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts…


Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Lavender Fields and Bee Boxes

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts…


As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go.

The Path Beyond

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.

Kure Beach Sunrise, November 8, 2013

Practice resurrection.

Excerpts from “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” by Wendell Berry


I’m posting a poem each day in April, National Poetry Month. Updated poems from my blog archives, new poems written as sacred practice, and selected, favorite poems from other poets. Today’s photography essay was inspired by the words of Wendell Berry and posted in honor of Earth Day 2016.


Whispering Shimmer Awakens the Soul

Prairie of Coneflowers @2014 Bo Mackison

 “When I look in the mirror, I see a woman with secrets. When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us.”
~ Terry Tempest Williams

Look at the prairie.
See the coneflowers?
Look in the mirror.
See the secrets?
Look into the shimmering souls.
Listen to the whisper of intuition.
The whispering shimmers
unleash the secrets, the words, the truths.

Awaken the soul.