Category Archives: writing

Garden Surprise at Dusk

Just before bedtime tonight, in between swing set play and  some left overs from the Methodist ice cream social, the girls discovered these yellow beans ready for picking. Then we remembered that the north half of our pea rows are snow peas–great for picking and eating the whole pod. Hope’s excited to pack her lunch tomorrow for Totus Tuus (whatever that is).

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Another surprise at dusk for me: an awesome half moon seemed to suddenly appear against the pale blue sky. So I wrote this spontaneous haiku. I guess most all of my haikus are spontaneous–my friend Tim might call it slam haiku. Just whatever words are given.

half moon rises in still blue
solo artist on shy dusk
floating pearl sends rest
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Posted by on July 28, 2009 in garden, poetry, writing


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Reality Check

numbers.jpgNot that we’re shooting for big numbers here, but thought I’d share some bartblog stats. Turns out, for some God-forsaken reason, 2,232 people read this little joint in the month of January 2008. We have lots of family (and even a few friends!), but not that frickin’ many…

Welcome to all of you ‘non-Barts’ (or -Knoxes or -Clevelands or -Wicks)  out there who keep showing up for more nonsense. We’re glad you’re here…

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Posted by on February 1, 2008 in etc., writing



Remembering Grandpa Joe

cards.jpgMy Grandpa Bartmann died 6 years ago this month. I spoke at his wake and funeral, along with other members of the family. For some reason, as I was poking around through some old folders on my computer the other day, I ran across the written versions of both talks I gave. It was nice to read them through, and it reminded me that a few of my aunts had asked me for a hard copy of my notes back then. I don’t think I ever gave them up–it was just too fresh and personal at the time.

Well, aunties, here they are. Better late than never…




Posted by on January 27, 2008 in Family, Love, writing



More Haiku

haikus easy

I’ve been writing a lot of Haiku lately (a lot compared to the amount of haiku I used to write, anyway–which is none). I ran across this awesome little ditty by Rolf Nelson this morning. You can buy his haiku on a Threadless tshirt if you click here.

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don’t make sense

–by Rolf Nelson

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Posted by on October 6, 2007 in poetry, writing


Grandpa Said

I need your help.

Well, I need your help if you’re a member of the South Dakota-based Bartmann or Knox families.  Or a friend. Or anybody, really, who knew either of my Grandfathers, Clinton “Sam” Knox or Joe Bartmann. I have this new writing project idea. I’ve been thinking lately about somehow gathering all the memories and history of my family tree, and wasn’t quite sure how to organize it in a way that would be meaningful.  Then, on Easter Sunday at the Bartmann gathering, Mary Johnson (my Grandpa’s first cousin) and Grandma were sharing some family history with me and others around the table in Mom and Dad’s garage. Mary has a couple of books from Esentho, Germany–the village where the Bartmann’s came from and where Great Grandpa Anton grew up–and some pictures and a very cool Bartmann family tree dating back to the late 1400’s (holy shit!).

So, back to the writing project. Instead of writing a generic family history, like “the Bartmann Book” or something, I’d like to write our family stories in a little different way. I’ll put them together in a collection of short stories and poems, all around the context of “Grandpa Said…” Now, these stories shouldn’t just be about my  grandfathers. I want all the fun, serious, wierd and scary stories that our families have told. I want the life lessons we’ve passed on and on–not just spoken stories, but values and ideals and principles that have been taught by action (or non-action), word or tradition.

So this is why I need your help. Send me your memories. Please. You can post them in the comments, or email them to me. I won’t promise to complete this project by any certain date, but I will work on it. You can send me pictures too! The best way would be to scan them and email them to me. Thanks for your help…


Posted by on April 17, 2007 in Family, Growing Up, writing


If I want to write

I do. I want to become a good writer. It’s important to me. I think it’s important for just about anybody. I’ll never hire someone who isn’t good at it, no matter what the meat of the job is.

So, as of today New Years Day, I begin a new quest of sorts. I call it Write365. (One of) My new project(s). It goes like this: I write something meaningful every single day for at least the next year. Every day. Some days it might be here on the pages of bartblog or the other blogs I’ll be writing on. Others, it’ll be in my private journal (that only my kids will ever get to read after I’m pushing daisies). The third way might catch more than a few of you off guard in the coming year–I’m going to start writing letters to people that need them.

You may not know you need one, but there are lots of things I’ve said or done or even thought about that I need to fix or write about. Some letters will be about my true feelings and hopes, some will be long overdue apologies, and others will be stark confessions (please don’t be pissed if you think you deserve one of these letters from me and don’t get one anytime soon–I can’t cover all the stupid things I’ve done in one year). I’m making a list. Be forewarned…

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Posted by on December 22, 2006 in writing