Presidents for Giants & Pilgrims

So my friends Kelly Cook and Daniel Mothershed aided me this President’s Day, the same day I had set to release the album. Together we wrote a series of false quotes from all sorts of leaders of the free world.

With each statement posted advertising the new album I would giggle to myself and hum “hail to the chief”. I included all of our work below. It just made me laugh too much not to share it.

“This album is cherry! It has real teeth!”
-George Washington

“Better than an extra large bathtub!”
-President Taft

“More legit than I’ll ever be.”
-Jefferson Davis

“They’re not as good as The Civil Wars, but who is? I listen to their new album while fighting vampires.”
-Abraham Lincoln

“If you buy one album this year? Buy Frozen. Two? Giants & Pilgrims: Almanac No. 1!
-President Coolridge

“Upon hearing this new album I smiled and said aloud, ‘hashtag, thanks Obama'”.
-President Obama

“It sounds like a Cuban Missile Crisis in my soul; the fall of communism in my heart. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for Giants & Pilgrims.”
-President Kennedy

“Check out song 3, two minutes in. Who’s playing that great sax solo? It ain’t Hillary.”
-Bill Clinton

Here’s the link to the album that all these fantastic leaders are talking about:


A love poem for my wife, Betony.


My Love, there is a distance between us

The same found between all of us
Space, void from one to the next

And you know,
You and I have chosen to close the distance

To draw near each other
to know and to be known
lessening the gap between
two such people

It’s within the distance
there is fertile ground
to struggle, dig, anticipate
bare fruit

This space pushes, pulls, quakes
grows, prunes, and grows again

And You and I
have given ourselves over to this endeavor
to let it drive
and nurture us

the rest of our days.

Without it there would be
You and I
the birth of us
without the birth of

distance’s gift

And I am thankful,
for You and I

my Love

I’m thankful for us

February Almanac Poem: The Bird Understander

bird understander


Of many reasons I love you here is one

the way you write me from the gate at the airport
so I can tell you everything will be alright

so you can tell me there is a bird
trapped in the terminal      all the people
ignoring it       because they do not know
what do with it       except to leave it alone
until it scares itself to death

it makes you terribly terribly sad

You wish you could take the bird outside
and set it free or       (failing that)
call a bird-understander
to come help the bird

All you can do is notice the bird
and feel for the bird       and write
to tell me how language feels
impossibly useless

but you are wrong

You are a bird-understander
better than I could ever be
who make so many noises
and call them song

These are your own words
your way of noticing
and saying plainly
of not turning away
from hurt

you have offered them
to me       I am only
giving them back

if only I could show you
how very useless
they are not

Arnold, Craig (2009). the bird understander. from

February Almanac Poetic Intro

Welcome to the month of February and to our online Almanac. It’s good to navigate these pages together for the good life.

For our Giants & Pilgrims February Almanac theme we chose the word “Send”. Most of the pages deal in this theme: the way we communicate to each other, the letters and notes we give, how love and care is something easy to feel, but hard to say. We felt this would be so appropriate to talk about within this month!

Here’s a poem written to expound upon these ideas. Encouraging the gathering of our words to go out to those who need to hear them.

February is a written letter
Words forming at the tip of our tongue
about to be spoken

 We believe in this edge 
of winter
Bending towards the promise 
of spring

 And so we dare to 
Tell, share, say, send
this love so easily felt;
so hard to put into words

 Against the fear we intend
to send it anyways