Friday, July 18, 2008


Blooms wet with rain. All photographs taken back in late May, in Portland.

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Monday, July 14, 2008


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Wednesday, July 09, 2008


And clear was the paley moon
When his shadow passed him by;
Below the hill was the brightest star
When he heard the houlet cry, saying

Why do you ride this way,
And wharfore cam' ye here?
I seek the Witch of the West-mer-lands
That dwells by the winding mere.

The call was like a high, soft whinny coming from high up in the trees. As if someone were calling without wanting to be heard. A quiet, cascade of notes that floated out on the evening air.

I swiveled, trying to locate the new sound's source, and narrowed it to the thick of the locust tree about thirty feet overhead, right near my front door. I scanned the leaves, looking for interruptions in patterns of color or form. Locust leaves are small and make distinctive, fan-like silhouettes against a bright sky. Nothing seemed to break their symmetries. My eyes shifted to the bark, where rivulets of black shadow carve through the brown.

Suddenly, there against the trunk I noticed two yellow eyes, luminous and round, looking directly into mine. With ear tufts pricked up and small head bobbing to follow movements, it looked much like a grey kitten. There were four of them.

Over several days, I watched them watching me come and go from the house. Watched the first fluttering moves from one branch to another. Watched the big one urp an owl pellet, and feed something fluffy in bits to the others. Found the fallen, still-damp pellet full of beetle bits. Heard the big one call sharply from the power line through darkest dusk to bring the other three back after the day's adventures. Another evening: suspiciously raucous activity high in the box elder where the starlings nest.

Haven't seen them at all the last few days. They've left a song running in my head.

And she's bound his wound with the golden rod;
Full fast in her arms he lay,
And he has risen hale and soond
Wi' the sun high in the day. She said:

Ride with you brindled hounds at heel
And your good grey hawk in hand.
There's nane can harm a knight wha's lain
With the Witch of the West-mer-land.

—Archie Fisher

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

On the road


dark pines on the sage hills,
yellow-, blue-, purple-sprinkled muddy meadows
bursting with fresh green grasses —
the valley itself more colorful than
the lines that pull us across the map

Click on photos for larger views — it's worth it.

Friday, June 27, 2008



suddenly we remember what they are —
shooting stars
littering the bright valley floor,
fallen in pink and purple pools,
their brilliance competing with the snowy peaks,
still blown-back, nodding, bobbing

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Under the category of self-definitions

Seen on the back of a box trailer:

Sheet rock
Mental dexterity

Tree trimming

and ----
French tutoring
Equine boarding
Free advice

Opera is the ultimate art form

At the airport


A young man in black suit and tie dashes through the gates, dropping bags. Family bearing welcome banner extend the hall's width. His embrace knocks his mother onto the floor.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cell phones are handy


Yeah, we’re done performing now. We're down here between the
Christian fanatics and the pirate band. Don't worry, we'll just
watch for you — the river of people levels out here.