Getting Fortified

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In the clear, brittle light of that summer afternoon, the simple lines and time-worn stones of Presidio la Bahía seemed to exemplify the classic Spanish fort: strong; stalwart; impenetrable; beautiful.

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Even softened by the glow of approaching evening, its limestone walls appeared equally secure: though warmer, and more inviting.

Curious, already warmed by the welcome I’d received from a fort volunteer, and eager to explore the place I’d call home for three days, I unlocked the door. Heavy and resistant, it required a second push before it fully opened. Cypress? I wondered. Not cedar. Maybe mesquite.  

Stepping into the room, I stopped: surprised by streaks of sunlight spread across the floor. Seeing curtains drawn across the single, small window, I turned, seeking the light’s source. Much to my amusement, I found it: streaming through my fort’s strong, stalwart, impenetrable door.

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Maybe Leonard Cohen’s right, I thought. Maybe there is a crack in everything. Whether light alone would filter through those cracks was yet to be determined. (more…)

Published in: on February 14, 2016 at 10:39 am  Comments (94)  

The Necklace

Seed
by seed
autumn strings
her nascent jewels,
twists the aging vines
 and smiles sweet content:
snailseed brilliant in red; 
peppervine’s glossy black twining;
 purpled lantana, amethyst drupes
for the love of a season soon leaving.

 

Comments always are welcome.
Published in: on October 25, 2015 at 9:05 am  Comments (114)  
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Seeing Here, Seeing Now

Deep-rooted sedge

Lovely though the flower of the deep-rooted sedge may be, the plant often becomes invasive. When that happens, it deserves to be dispatched, but its very attractiveness can lead to a certain dithering among those who encounter it on their property. At such times, a variation on the  advice offered by Peg Bracken, household management maven of the 1960s, proves helpful.  “When in doubt, throw it out,” she liked to say. In the case of the unwelcome sedge, “When in doubt, dig it out,” would work just as well.

Like all good aphorisms, Bracken’s has endured over time and seems infinitely adaptable, even beyond the realm of plant management.  I’ve grown fond of my own variation for writing: “When in doubt, leave it out.” It’s not only good editing advice, it’s far less harsh than, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” (more…)

Shadows by Starlight

Wing
 weary
  nightflyers
 tumble toward rest;
bank low through owlets
  scattered and still; lend voice
  to the tree-bound, huddled or
  hunted — sweeping through sleepers’ dark
feathered dreams while stars limn their flight, limb
to strange limb, seeking, then finding, their peace.

Comments always are welcome.
Special thanks to Terry Glase for the use of his photo titled “Sunrise.” Click HERE for three larger views of the same sunrise, shown on his site. For more information on the Etheree, a syllabic poem that, in its basic form, contains ten lines and a total of fifty-five syllables, please click HERE.

 

Published in: on October 2, 2015 at 9:51 pm  Comments (101)  
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Remembering Ismael

Becoming a varnish worker isn’t difficult. With a vehicle to serve as a combined company headquarters, warehouse, and service fleet, about $200 to invest in sandpaper, varnish, and brushes, and a wardrobe of stylish, second-hand tees, you could start today.

Things will go even more smoothly if you already possess some important personal qualities: infinite patience, a tolerance for frustration, and a sense of humor. The humor’s especially important. It helps to keep things in perspective when fresh varnish is ruined by fog, pollen, wind, rain,  insects, or The Yard Crew From Hell: that charming band of brothers given to revving up their leaf blowers just as you’re putting away your brush.  (more…)

Published in: on August 16, 2015 at 12:23 pm  Comments (120)  
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