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Showing posts from April, 2014

Nothing to be planted, Taking nought for granted

It is a small pilgrimage for many of us: the trip to the nursery or home supply store to buy plants for spring. This year, in my part of the state, there are almost no plants for the buying. Here, all the world's a Stage 4: no watering outdoors. Spring has never felt so somber.

Standing bythe shelves that used to carry vinca, impatiens, petunias, marigolds, veronica, salvia, and so many other "friends," I feel bone-deep regret. "If only" moves into my brain to beat its drum. 

Yesterday, a friend helped me rig a pump system that will send bath and shower water into a rain barrel outside the bathroom window. If only I had done this years ago.

I now keep a pitcher in the sink to collect "run-off" from washing hands, fruit, vegetables. If only I had been doing this for 20 years or more. It is so very easy to do. 

If only we had all done easy things for 20 years or so, it could have, would have made such a difference. 

I can't speak for everyone, but I didn…

Be Moved, Be Beautiful

I don't watch many online videos, but a friend sent me this one, and I am glad she did. It is 10 minutes of quiet, reassuring, restorative glory. Enjoy!
The image at left is by Louis Schwartzberg, who writes:
"Beauty is nature's tool for survival."

For more information on Louie Schwartzberg and his work, go to


A Rewarding Trip

I made my first trip to Palo Duro Canyon in 2012. It took a long time to get here, having been introduced to its existence when I was studying the work of Georgia O'Keeffe in college. I learned yesterday that a poem I wrote about the canyon has won First Place in Poetry in the Press Women of TexasCommunicationsContest. It appeared in the 2014 Texas Poetry Calendar published by Dos Gatos Press.


I expected the summer-seared red clay, the smattering of October’s gilded leaves, the cedars’ great dark thumbprints on the rises of the land
but not the splashes of ochre that jump at my eyes; some look as though a giant Pollock has come by and slung a mix of Mars and Hansa yellows on the slopes’ surround, followed by a fling of sheer chartreuse. Others appear geometrically designed, inlaid bands colored carefully within invisible lines.
The ochre sings out—loud. I feel it wants to taunt the bold blue sky, intimidate the red majority of land. …

One Duck's Wake

My absence from the blog since January has been one-third circumstantial and two-thirds intentional. I came across a quote from a Mexican poem recently: "¿Quién soy yo para cantarte? / Who am I to sing to you?" 
The question gives voice to my dilemma about blogging. Who am I to add one more voice to the ever-growing chorus online? There was a time when communication experts feared just one kind of mental bombardment: commercial messages. In today's world of content marketing and management, our content is fast becoming the commercial. Anyone can publish anything any time. I don't want to participate in the bombardment. Also, there is already a great deal of really good content online and offline. What do I add to that grand soup? Medicinal garlic? Warming cayenne? Refreshing fennel? Or an unrecognizable pinch of celery salt?
There is a small lake near my home where I walk often. The lake is never without a duck, or ducks. Part of what I enjoy during my walks is watchin…