Tom Stock

Poet, Essayist, Photographer, Naturalist

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Duct Tape – The Poem

Sticks where I want it
And sticks where I don’t want it
Sticks to my fingers
Resists unsticking
Jumps from finger to finger
“Annoying.” I say
“Stop complaining. “She says
It refuses to leave
I shake it
I pull
I grab
Like a friend
Who doesn’t stop talking
Or a fly around a lamp shade
Guaranteed to hold and stay
It’s what duck tape is for
Like a mosquito that buzzes your ear
A guest who overstays their welcome

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Shake Down Sail – September, 2017

After a two year break, I stepped aboard NANCAT once  again. The name comes from Nancy Catherine Keating, my wife. I have a small thirteen foot wood wood catboat. The boat is the smallest of a class of boats known as catboats. They are suited to shallow bays because they have shallow drafts. Cat boats have their masts far forward and are not noted for speed. They were the boats that plied the Great South Bay early in the 20th century. Fishermen and clammers liked them because their broad beams and stability made it easy for their work.

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Art From Art: Ekphrastic Writing – an example


Jazz with the motor running; EMS van flashes past, loud beeping, and siren blasting warning drivers to the side/ this is emergency/ first responders have the right of way/ we are coming through/ move aside/ you block our passage/ life or death!


I crouch before yellow flowers of Goats Beard plants, relatives of dandelions, looking for insects / I catch tiny native bees in sunlight / their flights jerk and jump /  left / right / up / down /  hover – like me, manic/ impulsive/ darting like a half back who clutches a football down field / dodging in cubistic starts and stops/ fake left / fake right/ break a tackle/ charge through an opening into a clear field.

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The Four Women in Picasso’s studio:

Left to right:

Number one – bare breasted all fashionable, stares at the painter, posing    for the master who sees her form, color posture

Number two – she is reflected in a mirror – checks her hair and makeup,      competes with woman number one
Number three – charges stage right, angry,

Number four – lounging, exhausted, distraught,


Art Classes with Tom Stock: Fall, 2017

Tom Stock’s schedule of three art classes to be held at the Community Art Center at Gallery North on North Country Road.

Divine Basketry: Weaving with local Vines:  October 8, 2017; Sunday 2:00 – 4:00PM   $40

Mat Making with Bamboo or Tall Reed Grass: November 5; 2017, Sunday 2:00 – 4:00PM  @40

Art from Art: Ekphrastic Writing Workshop: December 3; Sunday; 2:00PM – 3:30PM  $30


Spoke baskets, step by step, using vines. Vines are abundant. They don’t have enough woody tissue to stand on their own. They climb on those that stand. Participants are encouraged to collect vines to bring to class. The instructor will provide some for those who don’t. Bring clippers


First Americans made mats to cover their shelters, cover bare floors, back rests, and bedding. Our mats could be used as wall hanging, window shades, or privacy curtains. Several plants are available locally such as tall reed grass, bamboo, cattail, sunflower or artichoke stalks. We will learn how to tie, add, tie in a simple meditative process to create something beautiful and useful.  Bring Clippers.


The purpose of art is to enlighten and engage us. First we react to a piece of art that we like, then we define what and  how it inspires us emotionally. It may take us to another place. That other place is Ekphrastic. It may be drawing, painting, singing, dancing, sculpting or any other art form

Ekphrastic is defined as a vivid, often dramatic, verbal description of a visual work of art, either real or imagined. Participants are asked to bring in two or three works of art that they like. We will discuss, respond, create, and share. See the example posted in my blog…

Lakeland County Park

In order for visitors to experience Lakeland County Park, a series of boardwalks are necessary. This is because most of the park has a wetlands habitat. Elevated four feet above the ground, visitors have a grand opportunity to look down to see vegetation that required wet soil.

The maze of boardwalks is extensive. There are straight-aways, zig zags, and alcoves where one can sit. Touch-me-not or jewelweed is in full bloom in September. Dense stands of this plant are easy to spot. The orange blossom stands out against its green leaves.

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Who Are These Savages?

They sat in a circle, cross legged
Drumming, rattling, singing,
It is a circle of medicine, family
Our clan and all our relations:
The winged, four legged, many legged,
The finned, grandfather rocks,
The leafy beings, and the Mother

A blazing fire and glowing faces
Womp womp womp da da womp
Boom da da boom da da boom
Children, women, men
The pipe, the smoke

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Tomato Sauce

The art of making tomato sauce lies in meditation. I stood over a large pot, a seething cauldron of watery, bubbling red. This short essay will guide the reader through the process.

These tomatoes were two weeks late due to a late spring. Tomatoes thrive in hot sunshine and water. Their stalks are weak and must be staked.

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Black Box

And god said:
I am all knowing
I know every hair on your head

God is aware that an engineer created the black box
To record information on airline routes
That would withstand crashes and submerging for long periods of time

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Pick Tomatoes – The How Tos

(Dedicated to Max Wheat who offered critique)

Cruise around the tomato beds
To look for red roundness among green foliage
Stoop and fondle a candidate
Squeeze to feel a little give
Give it a gentle twist
It should break off easily
Look for more by spreading vines gently
Gently place the tomato in the best basket you own

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Do The Math

For thousands of years
We were innocent – human activity was small
Now it’s our fault
We are choking the planet
Most of us are good people
BUT…just by our existence,
We are not good for the planet
There’s too many of us

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