My friend John Scarlett, who I’ve talked about in earlier blog posts, is a talented blacksmith, farmer, poet and student of poetry and writing. He’s always involved with interesting literary happenings. He turned me onto renga (and I’ve been participating in an online renga group ever since) and the finer points of crafting haiku (not that I can do it, but I appreciate the finessed touch).
The latest to come down the literary turnpike from John is the weathergram. As usual, John doesn’t just talk about literary form and practice, he actively engages. He sent the photos included here from a recent family gathering where everyone wrote and hung weathergrams.
John traces his interest in weathergrams to Lloyd Reynolds. John wrote:
“I think the whole world should know about Lloyd Reynolds (1902-1978) and his teaching years at Oregon’s Reed College and his influence on Gary Snyder and Steve Jobs. Reynolds built on an ancient Japanese tradition but called his version weathergrams, because like leaves (and us) they deteriorate, fall to the ground, and enter the soil to grow new leaves and poems. After retiring he published a pamphlet entitled Weathergrams in 1972. It explains what a weathergram meant to him and how to make one as well as some that he wrote. In 1983 after his death another collection was published. Both are out of print. It is a great group activity.”
Finally, here’s a YouTube segment featuring Lloyd Reynolds demonstrating the art of calligraphy: