Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Love

He wasn't actually my first love (that was Elvis). But because he died before he had a chance to disappoint, he was a lingering one. I tried to breathe in every frame of  "Rebel without a Cause," knowing in my heart that I could have saved him.

Even now, when I drive through Cholame I have to stop at the Jack Ranch Cafe, read every word about the crash. And even though it's not really even about him, I could watch "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmie Dean, Jimmie Dean" a hundred times. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cast Not Your Pearls Before Swine

Nor your votes and campaign funding support to those who abandon the public option for fear of offending insurance companies and big pharma.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Just one of those days...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Love Embrace of the Universe

"The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Me, Diego, and Mr. Xolotl," by Frida Kahlo, 1949.

Warm sand
crackle of shells underfoot
fresh fish, rotting seaweed
live clams in net bags draped dockside
flap-flap of fresh tortillas
pepper sting of salsa
cold Pacificos
music from the thatched hut bar
barely audible buzz of sand flies

Fuchsia-covered walls
large rooms with wooden floors
and ceiling fans that stir warm moist air
yellow-brown lizards moving with the sun
flicking in and out of the shade
butterfly kisses
language that does not need words

Hot as Hell

OK, so it wasn't quite this hot here today, but it was damn close: 107 at the high point. Even now, at almost 7:00 pm, it's still in the low nineties. But, we like it that way, for the most part, and when it begins to cool off in the evening, it's a little slice of heaven. Really. No really, it is.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

National Treasures

Devil's Tower in Wyoming was the first US National Monument, so designated on this day in 1906 by President Teddy Roosevelt. It makes me feel more than a little guilty that I spend so little time exploring the natural world these days.

Monday, September 21, 2009

People I Admire Also Born September 21

Faith Hill
Bill Murray
Steven King
Diane Rehm
Leonard Cohen
H. G. Wells

Happy Birthday to Me!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Black & White

Colorful ballroom
The orchestra tunes
Two men in tails
wait anxiously
for their gracious assault
on society's line
between private and public

The restless crowd peers
through chandelier lit space
into an unknown world

Twin Fred Astaires
in chaste embrace
begin their journey
around the floor

Paulo Freire 1921-1997

Brazilian educator Paulo Freire was known for his philosophy-"pedagogy of the oppressed"- which inspired hundreds of grass roots organizations, college classrooms, and school reform efforts. Exiled from Brazil in 1964 for his work among the rural poor, he continued his efforts in Chile and elsewhere. In 1979 he received political amnesty and returned to Brazil where he died in 1997.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Just Another Day in Paradise

For the next 24 hours, my job is to feed and water the horses, feed the chickens, gather the eggs, bring in the mail, drag the garbage can down from the road, clean my room, pick up my granddaughter from school, play with the dog, kiss up to the cat, try to stay cool, and have lunch with a dear friend.

"Two Horses in a Yellow World," Casey McGlynn

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

If You Want Anything

Lauren Bacall will turn 75 on Thursday.
The following excerpt is from her recently
published biography, By Myself and Then Some.

Raised by her wise and loving immigrant mom
and uncle, Lauren Bacall knew, even in high
school, that she wanted to be an actress.
She took acting classes, modeled clothes,
sold industry papers in the theater
district, ushered at shows, danced at the USO
—anything to get a break.

Barely 18 when director Howard Hawks brought
her to Hollywood for a screen test, she soon fell
in love with Bogart, married and started a family.

After Bogart's death a decade later, she rebounded
with Sinatra, but tied the knot with Jason Robards
before finding her way as a single woman, with
friends and work as her passion.

Autumn Leaves

It's a beautiful day here in Pacific Grove 
but I'm yearning for something blue. 
Enjoy the following video of jazz saxophonist 
Cannonball Adderley. Born on this day in 1928, 
he died suddenly from a stroke August 8, 1975. 
He was known for his exuberant, happy sound 
but this one makes me want to sit quietly 
and think about things lost. 

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Circular Reference

Today is the anniversary of the writing of "The Star Spangled Banner" by Frances Scott Key.
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  

I've been a huge fan of Hoyt Axton since I first heard his music in the early 70s. One of my favorites is "Country Anthem" which ends:

I'd like to sing my country's anthem,
But I can't seem to make it ring.
Old Frank Keyes, the man who wrote it,
Obviously didn't sing.

I can't sing much but I can sing this stanza. Go figure. 

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Tuesday 9/11

Dear Friends:
Chris was scheduled to return from Durban today. I do not have her itinerary but was told that she was traveling on Delta Airlines with Marlene. Their flight from Johannesburg was scheduled to arrive in Atlanta at 8:10 am this morning. I am frantic with worry.

Wednesday 9/12

Dear David,
I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you in this terrible time. I hope both you and your partner are ok. I know your offices are near the WTC. As is everyone everywhere, I am stunned by the events of the last 24 hours. Do take care of yourself.

Dear WILPF Friends,
I spoke with Chris on the phone this morning. She is stranded in Atlanta but hopes to get on a flight in the next day or so. She is traumatized, but calm.

Dear Doris,
I spent most of yesterday morning in tears then received a call to teach in the afternoon. A room full of zestful 5th graders completely captured my attention and for four hours I thought only of how to inspire them to love language and numbers.

Thursday 9/13

Dear Berta,
Unable to pray as I have no god, I found comfort on my knees this morning, scrubbing the kitchen floor by hand, scraping away old paint, dirt, anything that got in the way. I'm meeting on Friday evening with a small group of co-counselors, to do what we can together to clear away the fear, restore our ability to think about these events and to talk about what we can do next. I can only agree with your assessment of our role in creating this situation. I find myself afraid of the consequences of speaking out. It seems so easy for us (the US) to assume the role of avenging angels. What will become of us?

Friday 9/14

Dear President Bush,
We are deeply saddened by the events of September 11. A grievous atrocity has been committed against the people of the United States. We keenly feel the nation's loss, and desire that justice be done. However, we are concerned that hasty assignment of responsibility could lead to actions that might undermine the United States' pursuit of justice and heighten the anti-American sentiment that led to this tragedy. We trust that thorough investigation of these events and cooperation with the international community will lead to lasting, peaceful justice.

Saturday 9/15

Dear Friends,
In this time of sorrow, it is important to make sure your voice is heard. There are a number of websites that attempt to do so. If you have not already done so, please consider giving your response.

Sunday 9/16

Dear Ric and Billie,
This has been a hard week. I have struggled to get my thoughts straight, figure out what makes sense to me, and what am I willing and able to do. I'm irrationally fearful to speak out, feeling very isolated here in a new community that I love but do not really know. Pickups with American flags tied in the back careen around town. I worry for the safety of the young Muslim poet that reads at the Faultline on Tuesdays. I can only tear myself away from the TV if I’m able to reattach myself to the radio.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It All Makes Sense Now...

...why I haven't been able to write for days. My muse is out walking the fields with Hesiod.  

Thursday, September 3, 2009

is a quick look
for what you're thinking then
but when
you want to tell your story
in all its blazing glory
please come back
on track
to here
and now
because it matters!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

When the Lights Go Out

Last Thursday evening we lost power for a few hours when a small plane clipped one of the power lines south of us. We spent the evening outside, watching the sunset, eating by candlelight, talking. An unexpected respite from tv and all the other worldly "pleasures. " I don't wish for more power outages but...