Paintbrush branches

Happy fall! It’s my favorite time of year and in celebration of this glorious 5th day of the season (September 22 was the first day of fall 2012), here is a poem:

Wet Canvas
By Annette Marie Hyder

Brown, yellow, and gray
burnt toast and clay
are spattered thickly
on the drop-cloth forest floor.

The trees reach
paintbrush branches
towards the sky
scratching titanium streaks of clouds
onto the still wet canvas.

I want to touch it
mark myself indelibly
carry the leaves and the clouds
and the fresh tube of blue sky
away as part of me.

St. Anthony Park Home Tour

This modern home on Gordon Place is one of nine homes featured
on the St. Anthony Park Home Tour. Photo by Lori Hamilton

Don’t miss the St. Anthony Park Home Tour. From the advance ticket information: “Join us touring new and old homes featuring the eclectic mix of people, homes, and interests that make up our vibrant community. From a restored prairie school to an expanded bungalow, to a transformed cottage and new house featuring “green technology”, and many more, the houses reflect the variety of life-styles of our urban village.

The tour is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 6. Advance tickets are
available online for $15 each at, as well as at
Micawber’s Books, 2238 Carter Ave., The Bibelot Shop, 2276 Como Ave.,
and the St. Paul Classic Cookie Company, 2386 Territorial Road. Or you
can buy them here.

Tickets will be on sale on the day of the tour for $20 each at Park Midway Bank, 2300 Como Ave. The tour takes place rain or shine.”

The St. Anthony Park Home Tour is featured in the Park Bugle.

Article excerpt:

“Home tour touts local craftsmen and green technology

This year’s St. Anthony Park Home Tour on Saturday, Oct. 6, continues
the tradition of celebrating the diverse housing that adds so much to
the neighborhood’s ambiance.

The nine homes on the biennial tour were selected by an informal
process, largely word-of-mouth, and a lot depends on an owner’s
willingness to participate, according to neighborhood resident Rose
Gregoire, event coordinator. 

“There’s a lot of work that goes
into preparing for the tour and not everybody is comfortable with
trangers passing through their homes,” Gregoire said.

year, I was particularly interested in featuring homes that incorporated
green technologies, and we always want to feature the work of local
craftsmen.” Read the entire article here.

With Ribbon As Black As the Sky

By Annette Marie Hyder
“What Leaves Do At Night”, EP Version
(For M)

The stars blaze with a wonderful fire
that warms the night
as owls hang-glide
the shadows
and black walnut leaves shake in the wind
who is to say they’re not dancing?

I think of a night in a park on a bench —
and the light falling kisses of rain
“Maybe 13 drops, but six for sure!” you said,
how I liked your specificity
how you talked about:
“cloud cover”
and “rain”
and “the stars behind the clouds”
and “how the wind shakes the branches
of the black walnut trees”

into making shadows that played
“beneath amber streetlights”
that shone on “that old pine tree
with feathered wing branches
that hang like the ones in a movie”

(listening to you talk, sometimes,
hearing your joy in the things around you
is like listening to poetry for me)

and a deer — summoned
by my talk of gazelles sprinting up mountains —
made her appearance too
in that  small park in the middle
of an industrial neighborhood
where I laid on a bench with my head in your lap
and tied your hand to my heart
with ribbon as black as the sky that night,
with ribbon beautifully black as the sky

the seams of the sky

By Annette Marie Hyder

are still being stitched together
i can see where the edges of the fabric of the day
come together with a glove tight fit
all along the bodice of the shore
lace hemmed with crinoline clouds
and deep flounces of midnight blue
shimmering to all the shades of dawn
it looks like a party dress day —
one i can’t wait to dance in

Wayfinding art bikes

Clockwise from top right: Garden Bike, Amy Sparks’ Yarn Bomb Bike, Pink Cadillac Bike. Photos by Kristal Leebrick

Sweet new rides in the Creative Enterprise Zone

Here’s a link to a swell project that was proposed by local artist and environmental designer, Carrie Christensen, and set in motion by the St. Anthony Park Community Council (SAPCC): These bikes are the bomb.

Article excerpt:

To motivate people to get out of their cars and to explore the area surrounding the Central Corridor by bike or on foot, the St. Anthony Park neighborhood in St. Paul is getting nearly a dozen “wayfinding bikes.

As a part of the project, the artfully decorated bikes/public art pieces
will be strategically placed here and there, with signage that conveys
travel times and distances to certain local destinations, according to
council materials.


St. Anthony Park Community Council
(SAPCC) set the project in motion, which local artist and environmental
designer Carrie Christensen took on. Her focus is on sparking
“awareness of place and to create more ecologically, socially, and
economically functional spaces,” according to council materials.

One bike looks like it could be from the 1930s or 40s, with fin-like lines that resemble an old Cadillac car, she says.

Bikes will be adorned according to various themes, creating a mermaid, garden, rainbow and yarn bombing, among others.” Read the entire article here

Keep a look out for these bikes as you explore Saint Anthony Park.
Take photos of the bikes you find and post them to our Facebook page! (I’d love to see a Wicked Witch of the West bike for Halloween.)

Would you like to get regular updates on our neighborhood doings? Events like the Saint Anthony Park Home Tours, the Creative Enterprise Zone Give and Take, The Annual Town Meeting, and more? Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Saint Anthony Park Community Council
Creative Enterprise Zone page
Transportation Committee page
Park Bugle

The Wind In the Trees

By Annette Marie Hyder

The breeze runs its fingers through the trees
like a lover’s touch through tangled hair,
whispers secrets to the leaves
that I can’t help but overhear.

By the water of the lake I wait —
the fish beneath the satin sheets of water
can hear the beating of my heart
as can the frogs and birds, the foxes and the deer

that nibble at the shoots along the shore.
On nights like this longing is a kite
pulled by the string of our desire.
I close my eyes and lean into the wind.

September 11 Anniversary

Best tool-hope image courtesy of Joanna Meriwether

May hope be in your heart
By Annette Marie Hyder

but also in your hands —
as a tool to use
on the damaged places
the weak and ravaged areas —
to build a better world.

Links to other 9/11 poems:
Sunday Things: Prayers on 9/11
9/11 Tribute in Light: a light in the dark, alight in the dark
tow · er (tow´ er)

News coverage for anniversary of 9/11: At ground zero, can there be a politics-free 9/11
CNN: 9/11 responders wait for compensation for their illnesses
Huffington Post: Agreement reached for Sept. 11 museum’s completion

Thousands and possibly millions of websites hosted by were down Monday

Out of Reach, Rob Dobi at

Sorry you couldn’t reach me!

My site is hosted by and crashed right along with all the others. News reports:

“Domain registrar and hosting company GoDaddy is experiencing outages
that could potentially affect millions of websites. The issues were
first noticed around 10 a.m. PT and have been intermittent since then, a
spokesperson for GoDaddy told CBS News. The outages have impacted their site as well as those belonging to customers.

The publication notes that calls to GoDaddy customer support are being
redirected to a voice message stating they are aware of the situation
and that it involves multiple services including email and web hosting.
The message further suggests that customers keep an eye on their
official Twitter feed for additional updates.

A member of hacker group Anonymous is already claiming responsibility
for the attack according to some accounts reportedly linked to the
group. @TibitXimer tweeted earlier: “Basically, every GoDaddy site on the planet just crashed.”” Read the entire article here.

More links to news coverage:

CBS News: GoDaddy goes down, Anonymous claims responsibility
Technorati: GoDaddy Experiences Downtime, Infuriates Customers

Check to see if a website or service is down for everyone or just you:
Down for Everyone or Just Me?

Sunday Things: Conch Noise

It’s hurricane season now and, although I no longer live where those wild tempests blow, I am reminded of the way the palm trees tremble beneath heavily bruised skies. Of whispers that haunt the mist like ghosts and the way the heat and rain draw tattoos that pattern-swirl down arms and legs in beads of sweat instead of ink. And of how, after the lull before the storm, the rain’s heavy fists pummel everything in sight.

But for every time I think of the destructive force of nature I am reminded of its great beauty too. What draws my thought from there to here to now be thinking of you?

Conch Noise (an excerpt)
By Annette Marie Hyder
A poem from The Real Reason the Queen Hated Snow

On a lonely beach, in a lifeguard tower presumed upon a dare, two siblings sat as the sun sank down and seagulls cursed the air.

The stiff sea breeze remonstrated and their hearts stirred ill at ease. They could also hear the sea’s low murmur as they clutched their sunburned knees. Two sphinxes cast in flesh and bone, they held each other tight and marveled at the beauty of the coming of the night.

The stars were a sparkling fishing net to catch golden tomorrow’s fish in and the song of the sea was theirs to hum to the booming surf’s loud din.

Huge rocks were tumbled and broken by the mercies of the sea. They cupped pools of water in their crooked rock hands, which teemed phosphorescently, with little fish that frothed and bubbled, with shells that glinted and winked, with seaweed fronds that undulated and crabs all rouged and pinked.

The moon shone like Mother of Pearl, aflame luminescently, and purfled and pearled, nascently gilding, the wavelets of the sea. The sea can whisper such sad songs of lost hopes and sunken dreams but it can also crash with joy and sparkle with moonbeams.

Remember that night, sometime when you’re walking on a beach along the brink. Remember flying fish and deep sea monsters and sea snakes that curl and kink. And that vociferous conch shell that you press to your ear? Don’t drop it down with a start. That roaring you hear is equal in “shellibels” to the noise you make in my heart.