Elemental 2: The New Bay Bridge

Crossing over after a writers group meeting in Alameda. It was a typical foggy summer evening in San Francisco. Traffic was heavy on the approach, but thinned out on the bridge itself, typical for a late Sunday afternoon.

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Good old San Francisco has so many problems. Hardly even works as a city. But views are great.

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The City is best seen during fog. Just self’s humble opinion.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poetry Saturday: Laura Jean Baker

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Moon Over Park Avenue, New York, May 2016

Human Weather (an excerpt)

by Laura Jean Baker

August made a habit: warming our bodies
to the point of sacred.
On Dog Star days for twenty years
we loved to our dew point,
honeyed our moon,
and kneaded our bodies
into the wholesome shape of babies.
Girl-boy-girl
slid into the not-yet warmth
of every other May.

Better late than incomplete,
we made our last
between Autumn sheets; a boy named Frank,
he’d skid across the cusp of June and July.

The poem originally appeared in Calyx, a Journal of Art and Literature by Women, summer 2012.

About Laura Jean Baker: she earned her MFA from the University of Michigan. Her poetry, fiction, and memoir have been published in The Gettysburg Review, Connecticut Review, Cream City Review, Third Coast, Confrontation, and War, Literature, & the Arts.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Wondering About Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3

It is sweltering here up in the Pasadena Hills, and self feels no inclination to go outside. In the daytime, Pasadena is a sleepy city. At night, everyone drives with fury almost, zipping past slower cars and switching lanes with abandon. Self finds it very disconcerting. Especially as her GPS Navigator tells her where to turn only after she reaches an intersection, at which point she is usually in the wrong lane.

So, no going outside today. She’s re-reading a Calyx poetry anthology, A Fierce Brightness: Twenty-Five Years of Women’s Poetry, which she stumbled across in her house two weeks ago. Here’s the first half of a poem by Sheila Demetre:

A Woman Is Running For Her Life

Under my ribcage a live coal
is singing. It wheedles from its hutch
of bone, glows blue in every kindling breath.

I need these bright shoes to burn up centuries
of inertia, of sickness holding me limp
with forehead ground against my tangled knees.

Celestial now, I’m all brush and sweep.
My elbows scribble, quickening the air I slog.
Don’t touch my sparks, my hieroglyphs of heat.

She absolutely loves the “hieroglyphs of heat.”

Tomorrow is Episode 3 of Game of Thrones. Does Euron die? Does Yara die? Does Ellaria Sand die? Does Olenna Tyrell die? Does Grey Worm die? If Grey Worm dies, will Missandei go crazy? Does Meera Reed die? If Meera dies, does Bran get to have a wheelchair at last? Do we see Gendry (finally? Cause the tweets are getting ridiculous) Do Brienne and Podrick get to spar again? Does Ned Stark come back from the dead? Does Stannis Baratheon come back from the dead? Will we see more of Ser Jorah’s horrible greyscale? Will Sam be retching again? Will Dany continue to be her insufferable self? Will Sansa be more of her cryptic self? Will Jaime continue to be disconcerted? Will Cersei continue to be sarcastic? Will we ever find out which skilled blacksmiths created the Giant Crossbow aka Dragonkiller? Will Arya Stark continue to evolve? Will Wun Wun come back as a wight?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading: More from BARBARIAN DAYS: A SURFING LIFE, by William Finnegan

How has self spent this Fourth of July? Her first Fourth in Sacramento?

She’s spent most of the day (it’s past 5 p.m.! How did the time pass so quickly?) looking up Game of Thrones Season 7 spoilers (lol), perusing Twitter, and eating quarts of ice cream. That’s right, self said it: she’s eating quarts of ice cream. And an It’s-It (It is soooo hawtt here in Sacramento!)

She is on p. 132 of Barbarian Days, William Finnegan’s Pulitzer-Prizewinning memoir of his surfing days. Here he describes what it felt like to work in a bookstore in Maui:

The bookstore was three small rooms on a rickety old pier at the west end of the seawall. There was a bar next door. Ocean sloshed under the floorboards. The couple who owned the store trained me and, having picked up danger signals from local authorities, fled Hawaii for the Caribbean, leaving me to run the place along with the draft dodger, one of whose names was Dan.

Hilarious!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Other Takes on ‘Evanescent’

“One day they’ll be painted over, completely erased . . . “

— Krista Stevens, explaining this week’s Photo Challenge on The Daily Post

The evanescent is powerful: whether it’s a fleeting moment of sunshine in London, or the moment just before the seeds of a dandelion are scattered by the wind, or the delicacy of woodland fungi, or a collection of bird shots, or a moment when sun pierces the cloud cover around Aoraki/Mount Cook, or a 10-year-old photo of New York’s Grand Central, one never forgets the moment that is captured.

Hats off to these six bloggers:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Wanderlust: Cork

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is WANDERLUST.

  • Have you traveled anywhere exciting lately? This week, let’s see where you’ve been.

— David W., The Daily Post

Right now, self is in the beautiful city of Cork. Since it was such a gorgeous day, self went for a walk and wound up exploring the grounds of the UCC (University College, Cork):

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Crossing the River Lee

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The Glucksman Gallery, in University College – Cork

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Lower Grounds of UCC, Just Outside the Glucksman

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Favorite Images So Far 2017

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Morning Fog, Mendocino: January 2017

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Sunday Evening, Trafalgar Square, London: March 2017

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Annaghmakerrig Lake, Early Morning: March 2017

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The Main House, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig: Under a Crescent Moon: March 2017

Still Earth

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On the way to the Dance Studio, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig

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Walking Around the Lake Yesterday Morning (Before the Hailstorm)

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Leaves and Sky

Surprise! It’s Spring

Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise!

— Wallace Stevens, quoted in The Daily Post

Yesterday was self’s first walk to the lake in over a month. It’s but a five or 10-minute walk at the most. But self has been busy, and the weather’s been unpredictable.

Yesterday, Esther came to change the sheets. So self took advantage of the break to go out of her cottage. And the first thing she noticed was: close by the cottages, there were suddenly so many flowers! (Has it really been that long since she took a walk? Apparently, it has! Surprise!)

Self had a lovely walk. Spring has truly arrived!

Here are some other beautiful spring shots:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Density in Annaghmakerrig

Self loves looking at things up close. Very, very up close.

But she also loves looking for patterns.

And she also works (in her writing) through layering, which is more the way a visual artist works.

And this week, in Annaghmakerrig (more specifically, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre), she found many, many opportunities to elaborate on The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week, DENSE:

Pillows and bedcovers:

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Pillow and Blanket: Self loves the saturation of color. Also, she’s never seen a white so blinding as it is here in Annaghmakerrig.

More trees! This shot self took yesterday evening. It had rained all day. Suddenly, around 7 p.m., sun!

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Annaghmakerrig, After a Day of Constant Rain

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Bernadette Burns: Whether it’s because she lives on an island (off Skibbereen, West Cork) and self’s father came from an island (in the Philippines), self saw so many affinities with her work. Look at the dark boat, floating on an ethereal sea. The boat looks amazingly DENSE, yet it floats.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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