Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sophia Found by Barbara Spring

She is in galaxies and billions of worlds.
Sophia is in photons and the darkness of caves
in stately waves and gentle winds, in living water
air streams and seeps, deep jungles
and grassy meadows.

Sophia infuses granite, gold, diamonds, emeralds,
rubies, carnelian and lapis lazuli
and all precious matter.
She penetrates sandstone, bogs and deserts
all places high and low; wastelands and cities.
She creates the tensile strength of spider webs
and gives intricate designs
to butterfly wings, spotted cats,
colorful snakes and frogs
and our finger prints.

She is on hilltops and at your crossroads.
She is under the oceans and permeates
mountain ranges and Earth’s core.
She is in the glaciers, mists and snows.
Sophia shows migrations the way
and is found in all seasons.

She is love that flows like milk
from mother to baby
the love between a man and a woman
the love toward people
of all colors and conditions.
Sophia is the Love that was present
from the beginning.

excerpted from Sophia's Lost and Found: Poems of Above and Below

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Interview with Barbara Spring

I was born in New York City, spent some growing up years in Columbia, Missouri, then my family moved to East Lansing, Michigan when I was 10. After high school I graduated from Michigan State University with a major in English. I always liked to write. I became an English major after taking a poetry class at Michigan State from the Poet Laureate of Canada, A.J.M. Smith. I have taken many post graduate courses in outdoor education, art, photography, and I have studied writing with Wm. Stafford, Robert Bly, Nancy Willard, N. Scott Momaday and many other notable writers Lisa:Why did you write The Dynamic Great Lakes? Barbara:I could not find an up to date book on the five Great Lakes and their connecting waters, dunes, wetlands and other features. I could not find any book for the general public about the interconnected Great Lakes. So I wrote one.

Lisa:Who were your mentors?

Barbara:My first mentor was my father, E. P. Reineke, a research scientist at M.S.U. in the physiology dept. He did some important original research there. I learned to love and appreciate nature from him. My husband, Norm Spring has been a long time outdoorsman and conservationist. I have learned a great deal about nature and the democratic process from him.

Lisa:What are some books that have changed your life?

Barbara:Silent Spring by Rachel Carson opened my eyes to what we are doing to the environment. After reading the book and recommending it to my husband, we both became activists on behalf of the environment before the first Earth Day in 1970. I also loved A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. I required my students to read it when I taught writing classes at Grand Valley State University.

Lisa:Who do you think would enjoy reading this book?

Barbara:I wrote The Dynamic Great Lakes for a general audience.

I spoke to school children this week. I opened my talk with a space photo of Planet Earth and explained that the water they saw was 98% salt water-only about 2% is freshwater. "Dang!" said a kid in surprise.

The audience for my book is really adults, but school age kids will find it interesting, too. It is an up to date reference to the five Great Lakes and their connecting waters: their fishes, dunes, wetlands, seasonal changes and changes caused by people. The Dynamic Great Lakes will be an eye-opener for anyone.

Lisa:Why is the Dynamic Great Lakes an important book?

Barbara:The Great Lakes are important but often misunderstood. They are about 20% of all the fresh surface water on this planet. People need to understand their dynamics in order to make sound decisions about them. Recently a grassroots movement in Michigan blocked oil companies from further oil exploration under Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The risk of polluting the lakes with oil and noxious gases was intolerable. There will be more schemes that threaten the health of the Great Lakes. Armed with knowledge, people will demand the right thing of their government. They will also be careful of what they do in their personal decisions. The lakes' water is low this year, but it will rise again. People who know this is a natural cycle will not build too close to the water.

Lisa:Why is this book a good choice for Earth Day?

Barbara:The book encourages people to think globally and act locally. Everything is connected to everything else. This means that what we burn, what we release in the water and land and what we eat are all connected. We often forget that we are part of the whole and flowing web of life. Our actions will affect us now and in the future.

Lisa:How is your book different from other books about the Great Lakes?

Barbara:I limited my topic to changes in the Great Lakes, both through natural forces and through changes caused by people. There have been a great many changes and I believe people will be interested in learning about the Pacific salmon planted in the lakes to feed on the pesky alewives that invaded them through the canals around Niagara Falls. They will be interested in other exotic species such as the zebra mussels and how they got into all five Great Lakes Lisa: How did you research the book? Barbara:I began with observations. We live within view of Lake Michigan. I can observe the change of seasons and what kinds of fish are being caught. I have also observed all the other lakes and their connecting waters. I then set out to find out authoritative information about the lakes by interviewing experts. The book is interdisciplinary. I interviewed a geologist, fish biologists, and naturalists. I asked them for good sources in print. I went out on Grand Valley State University's research vessel, Angus to see what research was being done. I enjoyed working on the Dynamic Great Lakes because there was always something new. Lisa:What else have you written? Barbara:As a journalist, I have written articles for the Grand Rapids Press, a major newspaper in West Michigan. These articles were about travels, profiles of interesting people, and outdoor subjects. I also have had articles published in Michigan Out of Doors magazine, Michigan Natural Resources magazine, Muskegon Magazine, Field & Stream and many others.  click the link

Monday, February 20, 2017

Barbara Spring's Amazon page

My Amazon page  click the link for my books.  I have a couple of videos of my poetry reading also.

Sculpture from Frogner Park in Norway.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Two Octogenarians. in French Guadeloupe

Norm and I stayed on the French island of Guadeloupe and stayed at Rose des Ventes, a charming little hotel close to the beach.  The first night we were there I wondered at the loud noise. The next morning I found it was the surf booming in.  We could also hear frogs everywhere all night on the island--they sounded like spring peepers. And the roosters crowed all night.

At our hotel we went up to an outdoor deck where we were served le petit dejeuner of yogurt, hot chocolate, croissant, baguettes and butter, jam--more than we could eat.  The young couple that run the place were very considerate and gave us anything we needed.

The beach sand here is a golden color.  The island was built by a volcano.  In the near distance we could see a smoking volcano, Montserrat.  The water was very warm but the waves were so strong that I got knocked around a lot and came back with a truck load of sand inside of my bathing suit. The boogie boarders were enjoying it though.  Norm didn't want me to try that again so we walked the beach and I snapped a few photos and appreciated the varied sounds of the Caribbean as well as a mix of people enjoying a day at the beach.

There are restaurants on this beach and we ate le dejeuner where we saw the most people.  I ordered red snapper--delicious, and Norm ordered octopus.  I sampled it and it was very tender and tasty. It came with salad and red beans and rice. We did not need to eat for the rest of the day.

For more information contact our favorite travel agent Jared Hauk at

Friday, January 20, 2017

Sophia's Gold


                                                                        Sophia's Gold

Her sound unrolls a bolt of star-woven cloth,
Her dance steps the spiral galaxies.
Sophia’s signature: the stars, the inner ear,
logos rhythms of nautilus shells, whorled
sunflower centers, DNA.

Sophia, we forgot your light filled flowers—
ancient people carved your name
in caves, upon rock faces.

A young girl dances among coltsfoot—
in the forest a fawn stands for the first time—
mermaid purses wash on shore from the sea.
White milk flows from the golden dome
where the ancient world worshiped:
Hagia Sophia.

A fern bursts through black asphalt,
a nun tends the dying in Calcutta,
an artist designs a rose window,
an unknown composer writes a hymn to Sophia:

Sophia’s sound and dance is
turning coltsfoot gold
sun and flower one.

Poetry Mentors
                        click the link
   --Barbara Spring

excerpted from my book Sophia's Lost and Found.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Singing Sands

Singing Sands

Singing sands speak of people
And in a high pitched key
Lake sands sing secrets—
Sing me to sleep.

Waves sort myriads of quartz grains
That sing of glaciers that crunched hard
Stone and sing of cities buried
Under the dunes.

I dream of First Nations
And flint spear points
10,000 years old buried under

 The singing sands.

                                 Barbara Spring