The Top of the Mountain

Under the tutelage of creative writing instructor Chris Belden, inmates of Garner Correctional Institute have published three editions of a literary magazine, Sentences. Issue number 4 is ready to be printed, with more original prose and poetry, Chris says, but funding is needed. “If just 30 people donate $10 each we will be able to print enough copies to distribute to the inmates,” he tells me, and anyone who donates $10 will receive a copy. So, if you want to go www.kickstarter.com/orihects/1522882778/sentences-volume-iv, you can get more information on how to help this issue of Sentences break out in print. Just a reminder, the way kickstarter works, if the minimum goal of $300 is not met, no money is disbursed at all. Here’s a sample of the cover art by inmate Anthony and poetry from  inmate Miguel, “Untitled.”

4 walls — 2 windows — 2 bunks — 1 on top

no celly — 1 door with 1 trap — they’re both locked

2 sheets — 1 blanket — no pillows and no dreams


1 view of 1 sky — stars, I don’t see

5 days —1 rec for 2 hours

one smells cause 2 nights with no shower


2 plugs but no TV — no music

4 books and 1 rope… don’t do it

cause one fights till one dies


and there’s no wins with no tries

1 promise this 1 life that one’s given

1 talk through 1 vent and one listens


1 mirror to see one’s self

1 CSW to 1 block, but no help

now there are 2 bins


but no stuff to put in

1 light — 1 toilet — and 1 sink

no wife — no girl — and no friends


1 stress for 1 kite

1 think in one’s chair

about one’s life.


3 trays

you don’t eat

that’s no food


one educates

one’s self

with no school


one suffers

with just 1 day

and 1 night


picture this

for the rest

of your life.


It’s try, try again for the Newtown and Joel Barlow High School hockey teams, who will attempt, after two snowouts, to play their first annual Warrior Cup game, Friday, February 28, at the Danbury Ice Arena, at 7:50 pm. The game supports the Wounded Warrior Project. Donations will be accepted at the game or at www.support.woundedwarriorproject.org/individual-fundraising/Newtown. The teams have set a goal of $10,000. Admission is free for military members and veterans.

Fresh fish is my favorite meal, but I guess I’ll have to keep my paws out of Hawley Pond. Don Ramsey, NMS technology education teacher, was out and about after last week’s big snowstorm, and has shared this rather humorous photograph he took in Ram Pasture. I would think “no fishing” would go without saying in this weather… I wonder if there has been a problem with ice fishermen angling for those big pond carp under the cover of darkness or something?

The First Selectman’s office received a card in the mail to “Snow Plow Drivers,” from a resident on Ferris Road, with gift cards to Dunkin Donuts.  The card reads “Thank you for taking care of Ferris Road and roads to and from it this winter. Enjoy some hot coffee.” I’ll bet those kind words will warm the hardworking drivers as much as the coffee.

I’m thankful that I have a cozy home and a full bowl, but some of my less fortunate peers could use assistance. A cat food drive gets underway at Caraluzzi’s Newtown Market, this Saturday through March 8, and the Animal Center will be eternally grateful — as will their feline charges — if you could contribute a can or two, or a bag of cat food. Donation receptacles are by the exits.

I cover my ears when I hears someone moan, “Why do I even own a CAT?” I’ll tell you why: according to a Weather Channel video, cats can predict the weather. Am I lounging on my back with my mouth open? Uh-oh. A storm is on the way. That sneezing attack is not an allergic reaction to the dog; it means it is going to rain. Lately, I’ve felt the urge to do my grooming with my back to the fireplace. That’s good news, because I’m trying to let you know there’s a thaw coming. I’m amazed TWC would share this bit of wisdom. If you have a cat, after all, who needs The Weather Channel?

There were a few cars lined up to return books to the outside book drop at C.H. Booth Library this week, so I guess word has gotten around that if you don’t want to risk misplacing books and other items checked out before the January 4 flooding closed the library, the book drops at the front and rear of the building are back in business. Don’t worry, though, if you can’t plow through the snow drifts or dodge the raindrops to return your books or DVDs. No fines will be levied against items checked out prior to January 4. Just keep track of your books and return them when the library opens its doors again, hopefully on March 8.

How about baking a mouth-watering cherry pie this weekend, in honor of George Washington’s birthday, Saturday, February 22? I wonder, though: if he got in trouble for chopping down the cherry tree, as is rumored, maybe cherry was not his favorite fruit anymore…

I’ve got my umbrella, snow boots, shovel, and boat ready —  whatever the weather brings, it won’t stop me from getting to the news that matters. Open the pages next week, please, and… Read me again.

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