Thursday, June 28, 2007

On vacation for a few days...

...a much needed time out, visiting family and such.

Posting and commenting will be sporadic (if at all) -- but I look forward to wandering through your worlds once I'm back!


In response to Clare, Keeper of the Snails, who tagged me for a "random facts" meme -- what's the HTML for a Bronx Cheer?

In any case, I'm game, and apologies to those who I've inflicted the entirely optional meme-tag upon.

Here are the rules:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each participant posts eight random facts about themselves.
3. Tagees should write a blogpost of eight random facts about themselves.
4. At the end of the post, eight more bloggers are tagged (named and shamed). (NB: I cheated, only tagged five. Neener neener neener.)
5. Go to their blog, leave a comment telling them they're tagged (cut and run).

My random facts:

1. I saw Night of the Living Dead when I was 9 years old, and it put me off scary gory movies forever.
2. It didn't help my reaction to that movie that I grew up living next to a graveyard, near the place where The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was set.
3. My first car was a used Olds Cutlass V8, which I treated as if it were a 4-wheel drive vehicle, bouncing through desert ravines to visit friends when I lived near Phoenix.
4. When I was about 9 years old, Zita Johann was trying to make a children's TV show and one of my brothers and I were to be in it. (It never happened, and I'm glad for that.)
5. I made money selling custom-made Creepy Crawlers in elementary school until I was busted for distracting the other students.
6. Kevin MacPherson was in many of my illustration classes in college and I envied his native ability -- he always made drawing and painting look so easy.
7. I've only shot a gun -- it was a shotgun -- on one occasion. A girlfriend and I, for fun, shot up old discarded hot water heaters on her husband's family ranch.
8. I've had predictive dreams, much to my amazement and discomfort.

Tagged, you're now it!

Granny J
Amber Lounder
James H.
Rethabile Masilo
Karen McL.

Glass hearts

"... But let us go a step further.

Allow the sun’s rays

to fall on a good glass prism and project the

rainbow colors on the nearest wall


From "Transfiguration" by Jesse Glass

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Lotus philokalia

"...Of course it is made of would, and want,
the threads and piecework of desire. Its shape
is various, always changing but always
insufficient, soliciting revision. ..."

From "Regarding the Monument" by Scott Cairns

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bursting through

Sharing a little more time and space, better late than never...

Time and space

Up too late (painting class) last night, then up too early (gym time) this morning.

So I've been remiss in not prepping much for today.
I offer up some Time and Space for you, to offset my lack of space and time for posting.

More, later!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lipstick red

...with a little surprise (easier to see if you click on the image to enlarge and wander a bit.)

Friday, June 22, 2007



At the tip of my tongue one phoneme,
pressed like a flower between tongue
and tooth, blossomed: a breath of steam
delicate as dandelion achenes hung
mid-air on rippled sound, dispersed.
Glorious glossolalia, this un-naming—
I stammered sub-vocal mutters, burst
out “What is that called?”—aiming
the question at the sky, the sky-blue
damselfly, rocks, the maidenhair fern,
myself, the world. None gave any clue,
clue enough I’d found Eden: learned
I’d been shorn of what names I knew;
the only tongue spoken here—value, hue.

Time lapsed

Thursday, June 21, 2007

For John Alexander

An older poem...a new image to go with it.


Masters Track

Every arc is different. I heard Mr. John Alexander
lost his wife and sank before a friend pulled him out
into his new adventure, before he could bring himself
to pull hard against the same curve again and again.

The same curve and different each time – light shifting,
the smell of woodsmoke one day and wet grass the next,
one knee aching more than at other times, tempo changing
in small ways. We all felt those things; few spoke it.

John sewed his racing flats out of old bedroom slippers, told
me once he trained by dragging a truck tire tied to a rope
around his waist. He was over 70 years of age, forged iron
for legs by then, faster at the 400 than many 40-year-olds.

The way we were taught to race: spend it all by 300 meters
and hang on, grind it out, gut it out. Others still ran
their race with some reserve, but I learned to relish
that moment when pain caught me, emptied me, nothing left.

Every arc is different, but the way our coach taught us –
drive hard against the curve then float then drive – it seemed
the same arc as an old star flaring, hotter, brighter, each
sparking burning atom turned fast as light before the end.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Yes, they were this blue

Relentless breezes made catching these beauties a challenge -- the bruised petals attest to the whip-saw winds.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Rather than make the image the very first thing you see, in deference to my arachnophobic readers please consider this a Spider Alert.

Warning: what follows is a pic of the largest spider I've seen (other than tarantulas in West Texas.)

How big was it?

I think the large abdomen was at least 1 1/2" in width. It looked like the size of a small plum.

(My apologies for not bringing something for scale near the Giant Lichen Orbweaver I saw, but I was mighty startled when it zipped a few inches in front of my face.)

It was so heavy, its web sagged alarmingly and needed extra support -- which the spider provided with at least six anchoring strands on one corner of the web alone.

Once I got over my shock, I caught a pic or two, and then sat on a nearby bench and waited for the spider to do something.

I must have scared it as much as it startled me -- it took a full 30 minutes before it decided it was safe, and slowly crawled arm over arm over arm over arm back up the web, over the anchor strands and into a little cedar-surrounded nook.

(Alright, you arachnophiliacs, this one's for you...)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Blue light, special

You might think these farm-house tomatoes were set on a blue painted table, but you'd be wrong.

The power of mid-day Texas light burning through a blue plastic tarp caused the lovely Wayne Thiebaud-esque colored shadows. We bought some tomatoes and bell peppers and zucchini bread -- all on the honor system (click on the small pic to read the sign.) Yum!

Monday, June 11, 2007


I decided to sketch rather than press a shutter-button, and was surprised to find:
* How impatient I was with the time spent sitting
* How impatient I was with the process of building up an image mark-upon-mark
* How many spiders there were

(Click on the pic to see the sketchy details.)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Random foolishness


I’m the new deck, and I’m the joker
in the pack: the divine fingernail, having
slit the cellophane, shuffles my foolishness
until every slippery bit’s interlaced.

Look, and you still won’t see it—how
each card uncannily dealt repeats in bells
and motley, numbers snaking away from
the jingling, every face card now the Fool.

The teller leaves my multiplicities face-up
on the silk and I read myself through others’
readings, all fortunes interwoven, a net of near-
meaning until an infinite hand passes over this
iterative dream, fanning me, us, back to one.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tercet woods

"Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
ché la via diritta era smarrita. ..."

-- Dante, Inferno


Playing with a camera, I find something lost (and something gained) in translating the world into an image, analogous to these translators' journeys into Dante.

"When I had journeyed half of our life's way,
I found myself within a shadowed forest,
for I had lost the path that does not stray. ..."

-- Mandelbaum's translation

"Midway in our life's journey, I went astray
from the straight road and woke to find myself
alone in a dark wood. ..."

-- Ciardi's translation

Monday, June 04, 2007


Two different takes on these bones:
One, by D. W. Hayward, in the fine e-zine Eclectica.
And another, by Emily Dickinson.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Heavy flowers

The flowers were dense, bending the stem down across the caliche embankment, loose limestone rolling beneath my feet.

People, people

Fast-moving people (except for the woman with close-cropped hair) and slow-moving hand...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Anther dancer

It's a challenge to show the iridescence of a flower petal -- the way light, as in oil painting, passes into the object before bouncing back off suspended pigments and dazzling our eyes. This photo missed catching some of the sparkling light, but it didn't miss catching a busy little anther dancer finding its target.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Twining prickles

A biologist who works at this particular wildlife refuge emailed me a plant list -- more then 400 species! -- and mentioned the positive effects prescribed burning has had on restoring the land so it can host that much variety.