Andrew Hubbard

Andrew Hubbard was born and raised in a small fishing village on the coast of Maine. He graduated from Dartmouth College magna cum laude, receiving awards in creative writing and psychology, and a degree in English. He completed his formal education at Columbia University, receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, summa cum laude. For most of his career, he worked as the Director of Training for a number of major financial institutions. He is a well-known speaker on the topic of corporate training, and has authored three books and dozens of articles on the subject. He is a former martial artist and competitive weight-lifter, a casual student of cooking and wine, a gemologist, a collector of edged weapons, a licensed handgun instructor, and an avid outdoor photographer. He currently lives in rural Indiana with his wife, two Siberian Huskies, and a demon cat. His previous book with IP was Things That Get You.


Things That Get You

The Divining Rod

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The Divining Rod

The old folks believed
In many things we do not,

And one was called dowsing:
The art of finding where to dig a well.

Some few old men had the gift
And for a dollar, or as a favor,
They would walk your property
Holding hard the spreading ends
Of a Y-shaped witch hazel stick,
Fresh cut and never peeled,
And where water perked not far below
The water’s will would pull
The stick end down
And point the place.

I saw it once, as a little boy.

The dowser came to Shepard’s farm
In a rattletrap 40s Chevy
Driven by his daughter.

I remember he was stooped and thin
With wide, faded, blue suspenders,
Flimsy white hair, and high veins on his backhands.

He was kind of scary
But he said I could come along,
And I wanted to.

From the car he took
His stick (with fresh whittle marks
Where he’d trimmed it)
And a little cloth bag
That went over one shoulder
(He called it his medicine)

And we walked out and out
To a giant field bounded by maples and evergreen.

He bowed his head for a long time,
Rolled up his sleeves
And held his stick’s spread legs
At arm’s length, chest high.

He wandered aimlessly (it seemed)
Around the field
And I followed him
For a while,

Then I got bored,
Wandered away,
Picked some buttercups,
Wandered back:

Nothing continued to happen.

The dowser’s shirt-back
Had a splotch of sweat,
And I was getting hungry,

Then he stopped.
The veins popped out on his neck
And the point of his stick
Dove ground-ward so brutally

The bark sprained off
Showing the green under-bark
And pale, damp wood beneath.

“There she be,”
Was all he said,
And marked the place
With three stacked stones.

Back at the house
They gave him a glass of rum
And he dozed in a chair
Before his daughter took him home.

So many years have passed.

So many beliefs lost
And so little to replace them.

I wonder now
How to weigh
What we have gained
Against what we have lost
And what really happened
In that sunny summer field:

Is the magic in the stick
Or in the man?


Wren’s Nest

After a night of heavy wind
I found it in the street.

Barely a puff of knitted twigs
But so perfectly formed
It took my breath away.

A disk a handbreadth across
With a half-circle bowl in the middle
To cup a little, feathered body
And two pale eggs.

I whirl in wonder:
How could you learn
To construct such a thing?

And then to see it fly away
On a stormy night!

I so hope you were done with it,
And not in need.

The Last Butterfly

Winter portends…

A squirrel makes a ruckus
In the noisy leaves
Racing home with a walnut
As big as his head.

The first skim of ice
Crusts our pond
Holding the last fallen leaves
In a death grip.

A few vagrant snowflakes
Twirl out of the oatmeal sky
Uncertain and tentative.

The implacable fist of winter
Is weeks away
But tries its growing strength—
Tossing naked treetops,
Shrivelling the sere cornstalks,
And wilting flowers at a breath.

Outside my door this morning
The last butterfly
Fluttered feebly at the whisper of warmth
Coming from the crack at my doorsill.

I coaxed him in,
Sat him on my desk
Under the warm lamp.

I went for coffee
And when I came back
He was gone.

I didn’t look for him.
I didn’t need to.


Last night the rain came roaring down.
Half-asleep, I imagined a lion
With infinite lungs
At work on our rooftop.

Big drops like small, wet fists
Pounded leaves off limbs
And petals off flowers.

Today dawned as perfect
As a new baby, and my songbirds
In maple, oak, and hemlock
Threw their energetic souls
Into every note they flung
To the rinsed, blue sky.

Come with me and let us see
Where our feet want to lead us,
Let’s look at the water lilies
In a way they’ve never been looked at before
And say the things
We ought to always have said.

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