plain talk don’t matter much

      like salmon do, swimming upstream, that’s the job.   salmon do it, why not me?   although do remember what happens to them afterwards.
      pebbles and eggs.

plain talk for folks who don’t much care for impressionistic abstract stream of consciousness free association kind of stuff.   is that you?
only forever lasts forever.   nothing else.   nothing.

there’s these folks who say, once upon a time there were no stars, only hydrogen with a little helium perhaps, oh yea, and some dark matter scattered unevenly throughout whatever whatever was.   the hydrogen was appealing to gravity so some of it gathered together too.   in clumps.   bigger and bigger clumps.   are you following?   everything is still all and totally dark, no light.   in time enough hydrogen got itself heavy and heavier, pressing in on itself.   you can kinda do the same with your hands.   gets warmer, doesn’t it.   so did the hydrogen, till that moment, a great ball of it ignited and began to burn.   now, now there was light in the universe.   first time, you understand.   there was a very first single star.   imagine that.   but good ideas, they repeat.   more and more first stars began to shine.   and in the shine, things began to move more and more, and more stars came to heaven.

      we are a speck of dust upon a speck of dust.

      we are but a sentence in the book of the universe.   so it is incumbent upon us to write the best sentence we can do.

that’s where we are right now.   so many many many galaxies, each with so many many many stars within their gathering.   over more time, galaxies they get attracted too and fly right through each other, changing each in many many many ways.   and that’s where we all are right now this very instant.
lots of stars and lots of light.   beautiful, that’s what we think to ourselves.   and we are right.   beautiful.   we live in the age of stars.

but all things, yes Virginia, they must come to an end.   many many times stars have grown old and died – some few into mysterious big black holes that make us wonder even more – what is all of this and who are we.   some just turn to a sort of burnt out coal and done forever too.   now some some far away day all the hydrogen will all get burnt up by stars and their lights will all go out one by one by one trillions of times.   almost black.   but not black holes we now understand, they evaporate slow slow slower than that, in so doing release a little heat, which we can also call a kind of light.   now that will take an even long long longer time and we certainly by then will also be gone like the stars.   but yes, eventually even the black holes will run out of steam.   the universe will be all dark and without heat.   no stars, no us.   like it was in the beginning.   perhaps.   we’re not sure.   but we won’t be wondering then.   so that property you’re thinking of buying as a long-term investment, understand long-term don’t mean very long.   and surely, not forever no matter what you think or want.

I wonder what god thinks of all that?   do you?
and in case you weren’t sure about your participation, yes Joni Mitchell was right.   we are stardust, billion year old carbon.  we are golden.   literally, all body, all of earth, this was once upon a time in the middle of a burning burning star, the molecular result of consuming hydrogen.   all this dirt, all these leaves, all these limbs, you and me.   no stars, no us.

so, you see the poetry of existence?   everywhere.

      two cats in an alleyway.   they’re not mine, one is black, the other stripes of grey and darker grey.   I shutter my eyes so they won’t be afraid of my gaze.   does that work for you?


            please fully enlarge image for an amazing view & see below

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Stolovy (Spitzer Science Center/Caltech)

This dazzling infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows hundreds of thousands of stars crowded into the swirling core of our spiral Milky Way galaxy. In visible-light pictures, this region cannot be seen at all because dust lying between Earth and the galactic center blocks our view.

Full size TIF quality image (beyond stunning)
          are you feeling any less lonely?
Joni Mitchell, Woodstock, or if you’d like a little more, Shadows and Light

if you know

if you know when, you won’t know where.

if you know where, you won’t know why.

if you know the name, you won’t know who.

if you know your big left toe, you won’t know how soon.

          being stubbed again.   unpredictable.

if you know the path, you won’t know the wolf.

          a basket of apples.   or grandmother’s house.

if you know analytic geometry, you won’t remember anyway.

if you know German, you won’t know how to type.

          odd but true.   my reality says.

if your teacher goes for a smoke, your painting improves.
          you even win a big blue ribbon prize.   so there!

if you’re a deer on the beach, you won’t get eaten by a rabbit.
          I swear by a stack of bunnies, this is the truth.

Turtle island I call that place.   glad you saw the turtle too.
          life.   as good as it gets.   promise.
if you try to understand, you’re in for a surprise.   boo!
          or boo-hoo.   you been warned.   another choice.

step on a line.   break the rules.   circumference.
you go.   no, you go first.

          no matter what.
being a shameless restatement of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
          inaccurately.   certainly.   momentum don’t know where.


            please fully enlarge images for best views

MBA webcam views of Monterey Bay used with permission.   please support the Monterey Bay Aquarium

show me

show me how you sit.
show me how you raise your hand.

          how do you shape a prayer?

show me what grasps my finger,
newborne ripe, unwavering.

show me a broken finger, now healed.
show me where you sleep.

will I see a beginning or end of a universe?

show me a needle and thread.
show me a basket you made by hand.

show me coincidence.
show me reasons why.

show me the bottom of your shoe.
show me counting to ten.   fingers or toes?

          show me a golden thread.
show me your feet when you first awake.
show me bare roots.   waiting rain.

show me the palm of your hand.
show me where thoughts germinate.

show me a broken wing.   does it still write
words inside our sky?

make me a painting that sees my face.
show me an ocean made of plums.

show me syllables, spoken words in a bowl,
one perfect sentence.   listening.

show me that.
pine tree needle basket and stone arrowheads, made and found by Virginia, my mother, close to home when she was young.

a better look on the water

repititious I suppose, but I never grow weary of the view.   fog not smoke.

seven hundred miles might so well be Mars today.       only moderately warm, but all doors & windows button closed to reduce the amount of not-good-to-breathe wildfire smoke around our part of Washington state.       beautiful blood red sun setting into the sea, but that’s all the best to be said.       and Monday they say, we can breathe again.       eager we wait.

            please fully enlarge image for best view

MBA webcam views of Monterey Bay used with permission.
please support the Monterey Bay Aquarium

looking from here

here, this path you may dare navigate, then by chance grant bare fallow reach

face to face, sacred poem dares

dare you risk your wooden boat past certain seas, not knowing what comes next beneath your furrowed gaze, new Worlds or the edge of Everything?
maybe words unshaped by wind and risk.   maybe meanings unlike meant yesterday?   does your voice pronounce unkempt reason here?
you don’t know what you don’t know.    poems are bigger than.
            by nose or tail as is your like, so engage (another) self.

go.   sit outdoors, blindfolded.   for a time listen, feel, taste the air.
then, unmasked, write what landed on you.

close your eyes.   draw a circle with your pen.   is it round?   does it connect?
now put three words inside.   then one more, a cousin, outside the line.

rub hands together like starting a fire.   by your hands, give that heat to your face your eyes your ears.   write how that arrives and leaves.

meditate on a single breath.   now, write that.

small mirror in hand, write only what you see behind yourself.   dare you also walk that path?

make your space too dark to see.   now write.   worry not about following lines, rather how do the words want to shape themselves.

observe a garden bird for so long as it wants to be seen.   disinterest disallowed.   what difference betwixt flight and land?   say what you see.

write a poem left-handed – or whichsoever is reversed.   give attention to how thoughts ride and reside with the words given onto the page.   what difference granted space?
            let sleeping dogs lie.
what makes them sacred?   your heart & hand, your fingers like morning bells.

this is how you learn to play the violin.


in many ways I’d rather be here than someplace else.   what difference I make, makes no difference here.   fish will find me familiar fare.
becalmed means staying in place.   water says, please.
not so easy, speaking truth.   so I tell myself, the world still shines like heaven does.   no, don’t think it is diminished even an atom’s worth.   but me?   I feel excluded.   that’s not possible.   same water, same ocean, same sky even.   
there’s the lie.   familiar, I should admit.   a perfect world with an imperfect me.   my logic ain’t even dependable.   memory is shy.   like I used to be.   now there’s fog between me and my eyes.   I used to adore the fog.   now I just feel confused.

for a time I thought the thread was linear, one after another you understand.   thinking my share of life growing short, though that coming with a certain peace.   then, less dire, being focused on more lively attitude – just because.    maybe that was more-right I felt.   then, was it next, realizing my attitude made absolutely no difference in how the soup would result.   my body a ship, me a passenger.   now they seem a matter of simply holding hands, all attitudes available all the time.   choose.

the medical teams did their chore, fixing me – well, better than before.   and a second now is testing my chemistry – so far so good – or – too early to say.   maybe I feel better.   maybe physically.   but there’s another ring to wear.   how do I feel?   I mean, how do I feel being me?   not an easy question to answer right now, today.

the queen is dead, long live the king.

seems appropriate to say, even if I can’t say why.

maybe it’s arrogance or defensiveness, why I hold myself apart – worse, not better, is still apart and a manner of crown if you understand.   ungenerous of me.   the answer to pain is love.   with another once upon a time, we said that.   does not say what pain qualifies.   and I did say I would never lie about the truth of being here.   if it seems something less, then that’s a statement about myself, not about the world of life.   you understand?
perhaps the best spoonfuls of this whole post are the two pictures of Monterey Bay in the morning fog.   the rest, the text, your forberance is asked.   but still feel I owe you something of me, no matter the glamor or no.

I’ll work on a better attitude.

            please fully enlarge images for best views

MBA webcam views of Monterey Bay used with permission.   please support the Monterey Bay Aquarium

young fossil feet

some future day will some creature, someone not us, find this relic this remembrance this sign of our passing, some folk they say, who made their own rock and here these traces of the world inhabited then.   

certainly the memory of a fallen leaf.   maybe even a shoe.

here, see, how we look

how we look is how we understand.

there was a young woman who wondered how her sight said what she saw.
what other ways might there be?   so she went walking her city streets in company with other eyes, other noses, other feet.

a child, a toddler, who sees everything from three feet tall and six inch feet.   a dog who sees with his nose, who’s been here, who passed along,
who left some message for other scents to know and recognize.   a doctor, a modern medicine man, who looked to see what people said with their bodies, their balanced walk, even the scent of their breath, how it was, their health inside their hidden lives.   a stone mason man who knew every texture and face and quality of stone throughout the region and what had been used to build and sheath each structure along the path.   a master of font and print who could read the history of each building saying who and from where their history was made by their style of alphabet.

what about the relics of our own lives?   who was I at five years old, what broken toys, what old shoes, how worn the soles, what scribbles in chalk or crayon on paper to please a parent?   who was I at ten years old, with a new camera Christmas present, my very first photography, and Uncle Lou, please step to one side while I imagine the flowering plant in black and white, and please, people only confuse the idea for me.   who at twelve or at fifteen, wearing a first graduation suit so out of reality, looking like someone I was not and never would be, not even close.   where was any reality of me, a modern life, wife with blonde hair, a white picket fence around the house?   did anyone see the doubt and insecurity?
wasn’t I obvious?

near everything I saw wasn’t really there.

rules for seeing more

be blessed with the ability to admire the unlovely.

explore by surfaces by textures, by finger by toe by tongue.   by taste.

forget what’s uninteresting.   the bottom of a chair, what’s behind a drawer, people’s knees.

gaze at something long enough and it may become odd, unfamiliar.   try.

          To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.       Paul Valery

compassion emerges from imagining the world alive.

          Alexandra Horowitz

when collecting a pebble, collect one more to keep the first company.   if not keeping it, return it to where it was found, that it not suffer from having been moved from its home.

allow body to speak.   a sweep of hands, a circumference, a shoulder shrug, a loose hillside rock, a turn of head, the next place you will go.

          point first, then speak, say

          look there


more blue

it doesn’t make more sense now, does it?

better should be more blue.   shouldn’t it?   why then,

this this means more confusion.   more ambiguity.   more clamor.
        overcast was an open door.

there, there was a more peaceful quality before becoming more,
        more blue.

not to be mistaken for cormorants, for pelicans.   their flight is
        more tall than me.   more like swimming is.

although, to be honest, at first more blue, more bright, seemed
        like a good idea.   more so than more before.

        I made change my vocabulary.   standing watch.

yet what more me than only the more of me planted here?
        who attends?   where does the circle close?

I am.   I am more enamored, more color-struck, more convinced, more unsure, more afraid, more the same, more unconvinced, more two people inside of one, maybe three, more tranquil.   not surrendered yet.

really, I thought recovery would be something other, something more of less, than this is.
I can only now say what the mystics say.    we’ll see.

        more blue remains.     with or without me, more blue remains.

            please fully enlarge image for best view

MBA webcam views of Monterey Bay used with permission.
please support the Monterey Bay Aquarium

morning water lights

morning lights looking east on Monterey Bay from the southern lip.

a water beacon, close hauled, then far over, Moss Landing, Marina, Seaside.
               is any reason necessary?

patience may bring all that’s needed.    sea lions above and below.    pelicans in imaginary flight.    otters that swim with the seaweed beds, eating and sleeping on their backs.    afloat.    then cold Pacific water finds the shore the rocks the sand, my toes.    I may ask for more at times, but that’s the more I don’t need, being me.

in her French flavored English, genuine, she calls you dear and yes, my sweet when she delivers the food to your table and booth.    maybe she even sits down with you for a bit.    that second floor restaurant right above the beach.    wouldn’t old friends act that way?    maybe she is, exactly that.
another face now.
things change you know.    rowboats moored close ashore, there to reach other boats, deeper away.    a few with motors, most not.    one small blue sailboat with yellow sails. those colors always make my memory smile.    twin gondola boats with swan heads bow and stern.    one long oar to move, fish and crabs and starfish below the glass bottom window pane.
no more, none.

at low tide some gathering of rocks just off the beach.    high enough for dry feet.    but watch the seaweed above the waterline.    slippery.    so bend with care.    abundant small crabs in their shells, sea anemones eager to touch, eager to hold childish fingers, eager to taste.    the rocks remain, but things change.    including me, bigger, more changed, more easy to fall.
                   yet I’m also a rock in that ocean place.
                   you understand?

            please fully enlarge image for best view

MBA webcam views of Monterey Bay used with permission.
please support the Monterey Bay Aquarium