Sheep Shearing at the Bedlam Farm Open House

This weekend was the Open House at Bedlam Farm, hosted by Jon Katz and Maria Wulf.  Jon and Maria have become my dear friends and I had the joy of helping out with the Open House. Hundreds of people from … Continue reading

Cambridge Memorial Day Parade

This weekend we spent our first Memorial Day in Cambridge, NY.  Our friends, Jon Katz and Maria Wulf invited us to watch the Memorial Day parade with George Forss outside his Ginofor Gallery on Main Street. Memorial Day is conflicting … Continue reading

Rally for Jobs and Horses

Hundreds Rally in support of the Carriage Horses of Central Park on the steps of City Hall

Hundreds Rally in support of the Carriage Horses of Central Park on the steps of City Hall

Yesterday, I attended a rally at City Hall for the Carriage Horse Industry.  Hundred of drivers, workers and their families were joined by Teamsters, other union members, New Yorkers and animal lovers to protest the Mayor’s introduction of a bill in the City Council to ban the horses by 2016.  It was a day of rallies at City Hall, rallies for and against the Carriage Horses, a “die-in” calling for a further inquiry into the death of Eric Garner. It is an important moment for the Mayor and Council to get their priorities straight.

I was at the rally standing for the horses in my Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood who bring beauty and majesty with their calm and peaceful spirits to the neighborhood and to thousands who visit them in Central Park every day.  And to stand with the carriage owners, drivers and workers and their families who have broken no laws, and care for their horses with deep love, respect and pride.

It was the biggest rally to date in support of keeping the horses in NYC.  The Teamsters were out in full force, joined by 10 plus other unions including 32 BJ SEIU.

A highlight of the rally was getting to connect with Jon Katz and Maria Wulf, who came down from Bedlam Farm upstate to participate. Jon has been an eloquent and important voice writing and speaking out on behalf of the drivers and horses and the importance of having working animals in our midst!  Maria, a fiber artist created a beautiful quilt depicting the bond between horses and humans, which appeared in a sign brought to the rally by Pamela Rickenbach of Blue Star Equiculture.

Here are some photographs from the rally.  It was a hugely positive day and we have a long way to go. The majority of Councilmembers remain undecided. It will be about a six month process before the bill comes up for a vote. I am cautiously optimistic. I hope you will take a moment to write your Councilmember and ask them to vote against the bill.

Stephen Malone at the podium.

Stephen Malone at the podium.

Angel Hernandez, Carriage Horse Driver

Angel Hernandez, Carriage Horse Driver

Representative from 32 BJ SEIU adds his support.

Representative from 32 BJ SEIU adds his support.

Maria Wulf and Jon Katz

Maria Wulf and Jon Katz

Frank is a carriage driver I met over a year ago when I visited Clinton Park Stables  It was great to meet his family.

Frank is a carriage driver I met over a year ago when I visited Clinton Park Stables It was great to meet his family.

Teamsters from NJ joined Rally for Carriage Horses!

Teamsters from NJ joined Rally for Carriage Horses!

High School student, Alexandra Summa launched a post card campaign to save the carriage horses.

Alexandra Summa, launched a post card campaign to save the carriage horses.

Professor of Veterinary medicine and expert on the abuse of horses speaks about the excellent health and living and working conditions of the Central Park horses.

Professor of Veterinary medicine and expert on the abuse of horses speaks about the excellent health and living and working conditions of the Central Park horses.

Demos P. Demopoulos, Sec-Treas of the Teamsters, Local 533

Demos P. Demopoulos, Sec-Treas of the Teamsters, Local 533

Maria Wulf with Poster of her quilt and Pamela Rickenbach

Maria Wulf with Poster of her quilt and Pamela Rickenbach

Bhairavi Desai, the Executive Director of the Taxi Workers Alliance.  "We are in the struggle together..."

Bhairavi Desai, the Executive Director of the Taxi Workers Alliance. “We are in the struggle together…”

Calling all horse lovers! Christina Hansen, carriage horse driver and advocate.

Calling all horse lovers!
Christina Hansen, carriage horse driver and advocate.

 

Mary Kellogg

Bedlam Farm Door

Bedlam Farm Door

In June, we traveled to the Bedlam Farm open house in Cambridge, NY at the home of Jon Katz and Maria Wulf.  Jon is a New York Times bestselling writer/blogger and Maria is an artist. Jon is an author, photographer and has written several books about living with dogs and animals.  I have a been a fan of Jon’s work for many years and a regular reader of his blog, Bedlam Farm Journal. Jon and Maria have created a growing creative community on line and a place of encouragement for many writers and artists.  Twice a year they host an open house at Bedlam Farm. I will be sharing several posts about the day we spent there.

A highlight of the afternoon was meeting Mary Kellogg.  Mary lives on a farm in North Hebron, NY.  And lives there alone.

She is a wonderful poet and gave a reading of some of her latest poems. I have shared a couple of poems here from her book, My Place on Earth.  The book includes Jon Katz’s beautiful photos and was published by Bedlam Farm Books.  Mary has been writing poetry since she was 11 years old, but never showed her poems to anyone until recently.  Many thanks to Jon and Maria for encouraging Mary and publishing her work.

Mary Kellog at June 21st Bedlam Farm Open House

Mary Kellog at June 21st Bedlam Farm Open House

PATHS

paths can stray through endless days

with a whistle and a song

or travel by the river

Where life is lax and long

 

they can lead a wedding march

on a path known by heart

or close a path in funeral arch

when life finds peace at last

 

a stone and cobble path worn smooth

by endless wandering feet

can find the soft and tender touch

where sand and seashore meet

 

the orb of day and silver footed queen

take infinite paths thru cosmic light

some of these can not be seen

but by the minds of those who dream

 

wind can find a path within a pile of leaves

spin them recklessly on angels wings

where in the winter ice will form

skating paths for hooves and things

 

paths can lead us high or low

sadness laughter joy and love

paths of life can be fast or slow

count your paths and you will know

April 24, 2002

 

Bedlam Farm

Conversation, Bedlam Farm

Robin’s Song

at dawn light

bursting

magic of song

repeated, renewed

garlands of joy.

 

a stone wall

for a lyrical evening show

announcing summer dusk

while night waits in the wings

May 5, 2007

Mary Kellogg at Bedlam Farm

Hearing Mary read was joyous.  It was a pleasure to meet her, she has much to share about life with a earthy luminosity.