Poetry and Rhymes

The Creamsicle

Helen Condon is a rug braider and master artisan who lives in Parishville, NY. Her website, Adirondack Rug Braiding (www.adirondackrugbraiding.com) has information on her rugs, baskets, and wreaths. Helen has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and teaches memoir writing. Here is a poem that Helen wrote about buying Creamsicles in the late 1940s.

Keeping Watch:

My poetry has quite naturally turned to the natural world and the people of my major folklore fieldwork area—the western mountain and lake region of Maine—where I have been writing about the Richards, a family of loggers and homemakers, woodcarvers, storytellers, and knitters, as well as about others in the community: hunters, river drivers, schoolteachers, and more. The challenges of doing fieldwork in logging country, in a town of twelve hundred souls about 40 miles from hospitals and other services, also claims its space in my writing, both of poetry and ethnography.

The Poetry of Everyday Life

…clichés are also part of the poetry of
everyday life. When my close friend Carol
Reuben starts conversations with “What’s
the story, morning glory?” and ends them with
“Okey-dokey, artichokey,” she is not only using
rhymed clichés; she is expressing her characteristic
playfulness. Some people even use silly clichés to create others: Toodle-oo, Kangaroo; Take care, Polar Bear; Keep on Talking, Steven Hawking. When Lucas Dargan, my late father-in-law, said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt,” the time-worn phrase nevertheless captured his thoughtful, succinct, and sparing use of words. He had made it his own.


Our heartfelt congratulations to storyteller, author, poet, Abenaki elder, and Voices columnist, Joseph Bruchac, for being appointed as the first Poet Laureate of Saratoga Springs. The ceremony took place at City Hall on January 17, 2023. Bruchac was selected through a competitive nomination and interview process by members of the City’s Poet Laureate Committee. His two-year appointment will run through December 2024.