Moment to Moment:  Poems of a Mountain Recluse, David Budbill, 1999 

Learned only yesterday that Budbill, Vermont poet of Judevine Mountain (Wolcott, VT) had died of Parkinson’s in September at the age of 76 and chose to re-read this volume on this the final day of 2016.  Budbill is a wonderful poet—simple and complex, humble and ambitious, content with a cup of tea and a wood stove fire and constantly worried about money, fame, and notice—whose work is accessible and speaks beautifully about nature, friendship, love, loss, aging, and the interaction between man and nature.  The whole book with its ancient Chinese poets and its observations from 30 years on Judevine Mountain could be quoted here but these are just a few of my favorites:  The cycle of the seasons is to teach us to prepare/for our own deaths./ We get to practice every year, especially in the fall./I’ve had fifty-eight practice sessions now./But, I’m not getting anywhere./ I can’t seem to get it./ The more I practice, the older I get, the less I want to die.”  Hard to beat that.  I’ll miss his voice.