All posts by Carol Moffat

Hunter’s Moon

Hunting Song (Navajo)


       Comes the deer to my singing,
Comes the deer to my song,
Comes the deer to my singing.

He, the blackbird, he am I,
Bird beloved of the wild deer.
Comes the deer to my singing.

From the Mountain Black,
From the summit,
Down the trail, coming, coming now,
Comes the deer to my singing.

Through the blossoms,
Through the flowers, coming, coming now,
Comes the deer to my singing.

Through the flower dew-drops,
Coming, coming now,
Comes the deer to my singing.

Through the pollen, flower pollen,
Coming, coming now,
Comes the deer to my singing.

Starting with his left fore-foot,
Stamping, turns the frightened deer,
Comes the deer to my singing.

Quarry mine, blessed am I
In the luck of the chase.
Comes the deer to my singing.

       Comes the deer to my singing,
Comes the deer to my song,
Comes the deer to my singing.

from George W. Cronyn, The Path on the Rainbow (1918)

advent 3

 Hunter’s Moon ,Blood Moon, Sanguine Moon (given by The American Indians) are all names for the October full moon. Travel Moon and Dying Grass Moon are other names given it.

Before The Wind

1st day

going to kindergarten

It’s a small thing
your sneakers unlaced
the hole in your hand-me-down jeans
that bunch at your ankles
like paper bags.
No matter;

you march up the steps to school
and don’t look back.
with the unmatched mittens
you drag three favorite dragons.
Your hat, a small crooked flag on your head
signals arrival.
On your shirt
the clipper ship under canvas
sails boldly into blue
like you at five years old
how you take each day

sail boat

-Carol Burnes


Grandma’s Hands

Scott Lucas lives in North Platte, Nebraska.  After pursuing  music and art, he came home from the army to study Nuclear Medicine.  Lately he has returned to the arts by way of writing poetry, short stories, some free lance journalism and singing in an 80 member regional choir.  This poem speaks to me not only about multi-generational threads that  spin patterns of  exqusite love , but  also of the vital pulse beat in living  with grace amidst the current of our day-to days.



I can close my eyes and still see her hands.
Tatting, almost iambically
while conversation flowed.

Tatting perfectly without the slightest concentration,
like the Pilgrim’s Progress prayer.
Fingers darting electricity quick.
Imperturbably coping without pause.
Little pistons tatting miles of frothy beauty
in lacy twists and turns.

Through children, and grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Her frail hands in constant motion
rhythmically digesting most of a century.
I can close my eyes and still see Grandma’s hands.

Scott L. Lucas

Bertha Morisot
Bertha Morisot

Stackhouse Park Shakespeare

Stackhouse Park
Stackhouse Park


Here in Johnstown, July means Shakespeare In The Park.  The brain child of Laura Gordon, this show has gone on for the past 26 years. I have been to The Ashland, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and can tell you that Shakespeare at Stackhouse Park every July is right up there with the absolute best.  Time was when Laura Gordon turned her 7th Grade English class room into a small Globe Theater.  I remember 7th graders so enthused about Shakespeare  that Elizabethan English was their second language.  This year the presentation is “Much Ado About Nothing”, and again promises to delight. 

Much Ado Ticket

Powell Stackhouse Park Pavalion

                         July 14, 15, 16, 20,21,22,232016                                                  7:00PM


William Shakespeare


“Sigh No More, Ladies…”

(From “Much Ado about Nothing”)

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more.
    Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea, and one on shore,
    To one thing constant never.
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
    And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
    Into hey nonny, nonny.
 Sing no more ditties, sing no morestackhouse5
    Of dumps so dull and heavy.
The fraud of men was ever so
    Since summer first was leafy.
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
    And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
    Into hey, nonny, nonny.
Stackhouse Park Pavallion
Stackhouse Park Pavalion





Winter is beautiful  in Pennsylvania and very long.  Spring is busy making green, green with lots of rain.  And now it’s time to get out the kayak.  On occasion I’ve gone down the Youghiogheny River, often I’m at the Quemahoning with my friend “The Other Carol”.  A couple of times I’ve been down the Allegheny — once on a flat wooden raft. This song filters though my brain as the sun shines and the water calls.  Sung by Aileen and Elkin Thomas from  THE JOURNEY album. {Shantih Records, 1986} Their timeless art and sound accompany me on many of my adventures, mental and otherwise.

I was born in the path of the winter wind
I was raised where the mountains are old

Their springtime waters came dancing down  And I remember the tales they told


The whistling ways of my younger days
Too quickly have faded on by
But all of my memories linger on
Like the light in a fading sky

River, take me along in your sunshine, sing me your song

Bald Eagle Creek at Castanea. Feet on bow of kayak.

Ever moving and winding and free
You rolling old river, you changing old river
Let’s you and me, river, run down to the sea

I’ve been to the city and back again
I’ve been moved by some things that I’ve learned
Met a lot of good people and I’ve called them friends
Felt the change when the seasons turned

I’ve heard all the songs that the children sing
And listened to love’s melodies
I’ve felt my own music within me rise
Like the wind in the autumn trees


River, take me along in your sunshine, sing me your song
Ever moving and winding and free
You rolling old river, you changing old river
Let’s you and me, river, run down to the sea


Someday when the flowers are blooming still
Someday when the grass is still green
My rolling waters will round the bend


And flow into the open sea

So, here’s to the rainbow that’s followed me here
And here’s to the friends that I know
And here’s to the song that’s within me now
I will sing it wherever I go

Bill Staines – Lyrics/Music


Kentucky Derby

Are you the one who gave the horse his prowess
    and adorned him with a shimmering mane?
Did you create him to prance proudly
    and strike terror with his royal snorts?
He paws the ground fiercely, eager and spirited,
    then charges into the fray.

Montado Guterez Cruza la meta en el Derby dy Kentucky
Montado Guterez   – Cruza la meta en el Derby de Kentucky

He laughs at danger, fearless,
    doesn’t shy away from the sword.
The banging and clanging
    of quiver and lance don’t faze him.

Sarah Sis finishes the eighth race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 7, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

He quivers with excitement, and at the trumpet blast
    races off at a gallop.

    At the sound of the trumpet he neighs mightily,
    smelling the excitement of battle from a long way off,
    catching the rolling thunder of the war cries.


Job 39:19-25

Lexington & Concord April 19, 1775

“But the whole meaning of history is in the proof that there have lived people before the present time whom it is important to meet.” -Eugen Rosenstock -Huessy

Paul Revere’s  Ride  

  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–


One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.


Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.


Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,

And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,–
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.


Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,–
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

boats at night

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.


A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.


It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.


You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.


So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

The Shot Heard Around the World

Christ The Redeemer

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy. 

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console,

To be understood as to understand,

To be loved as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

-St. Francis


“Forgive , daily, those who caused the wounds that keep you from wholeness.  Increasingly, I find God uses our wounds in His service.  By harboring blame for those who casued them, I slow the act of redemption that can bring healing. ” – Phillip Yancey



Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”


Sonnet 43: How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways

For Art


Elizabeth Barrett Browning


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.holding hands
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.