Tag Archives: Merri

Poetry and photography

Speaking of me, you may have noticed my twin interests: photography and poetry. I think of them separately, but both are creative expressions or the Universe talking back to itself visually versus verbally. I hesitate to bring the two together in the most obvious way, which would be to associate a poem and a photo. Foremost, there is "the thing not named," a concept I get from Willa Cather, although it is older and widely practiced. I have felt that if one *needed* to explain a poem, something went wrong (possibly in the reader’s head, not mine). The urge to explain is strong in me and all of my poems arise in a context that I could document and my 3 readers might even enjoy that.

I’m certain a poem and a photo could work together, but I’m reluctant to yoke the two together, to require you to see what I see in a poem or hear what I hear in a photo. I don’t even want to do that to myself, let alone to you, Dear Reader.

However, some things go together like [insert one thing] and [insert something that goes with that]. For example,

chaco  05-06-13 0007

Of course, over a period of 30 years, I’ve taken a lot of photos of Merri, any one of which might work as well here. And, she figures into more than one poem. But these two are a good fit, you have to admit.

Likewise, the pairing of my preaching raven with Wind Makes Crazy.

Poetry and photography are always on my mind, but in particular, I’ve wanted for quite a while to produce a book of either or both. Maybe someday.


MR and the gastrolithI am writing
frantically writing
desperate to record
these fragile thoughts

done. Back in bed,
she says,
“I thought aliens had abducted you.”
How can I hope
to be so imaginative? mjh


Listen to Merri! (22 seconds)

This poem is yet another true story.

We’ve been together 31 years (in October) and married 21 (in May). She is my muse and my best friend (cliché though that may be).

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)

30 Years Ago

mjh & MR in Landmark Shopping Center photo machine, Alexandria, VA, January 1984Friday night, Halloween weekend, 1981, Robert Coontz brought someone new home for dinner (probably spaghetti). I stood in the living room to meet her and she walked around the far side of the coffee table, nose in the air. She wasn’t avoiding me (she said), just sniffing her surroundings, having been a dog in a former life. That was my introduction to Merri Rudd, my belovéd-to-be.

[photo: mjh & MR in Landmark Shopping Center photo machine, Alexandria, VA, January 1984.]

Our Twentieth Wedding Anniversary

To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we stayed in a B&B in Taos, on the ski road, just past Arroyo Seco. We hiked twice up near the Ski Valley. We dined at pet-friendly patios. Luke was the hit of Sabroso’s; a large group wanted to “friend” him on Facebook. It was a lovely time.

Hard to believe it has been 20 years. We’re hoping for 27 more.

From 20th Anniversary

The Catalyst

To Merri Rudd, brilliant on both sides of the lens. [my Dedication from Digital Cameras & Photography for Dummies].

Merri changes my perspective. (That should always be present tense.) She will crawl on her belly for a photo, whether to get to mountain gorillas or through the wildflowers. For years, Merri shared with me her Nikon camera and fabulous Nikkormat macro zoom lens. On every roll of 36, I’d shoot 30+ and she’d shoot a few. The best on the roll was usually hers.

Mer half-jokes about us switching roles with the advent of digital photography. She has seen more of the 40K+ photos I’ve shot since 2000 than anyone else has. She’s a great editor and ruthless about deleting bad photos.

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