Monday, November 12, 2007

Homing Pigeon

One of seven pigeons that we picked up from a fellow who had way too many for his small loft. This one would have been one of ten if I hadn't have let the first five out of captivity too soon and three flew off never to return.
It turns out that you must keep the birds for several weeks in a new location before you release them else they will return (or try to return) to their previous home. These birds have been domesticated for centuries to return to their source, sometimes for thousands of miles, to deliver an attached message. What the mechanism is for this is still a mystery; still being researched. Tiny pieces of magnetite in their heads is one possible reason , as they orient to the magnetic fields of earth.
I found a dead pigeon on the road and picked it up about the time this fellow was looking for takers of some of his bunch (your basic synchronisity) and it turned out that it was a racing pigeon, one of thousands in the world released miles from home and timed to its' return. They have leg bands which not only identify the owner but register a return to the original loft for purposes of competition and recordkeeping (big surprise-- competition). So I had to get some birds, as directed by coincidence, didn't I?
Anyways, I have another week before release of the latest 5 (3 of which are really young), so maybe these will return to my humbly-built abode and brighten my day with their presence.

Update: two weeks later: All six birds are flying now. Circling the sky in a counterclockwise circle above my head. A flexible wing of soaring beauty threading through the trees at the edge of the lake and disappearing over the woods to appear with a new leader (a confab in the trees?).
Back each night in their loft to be closed up against beasts of the night and other dark treachery.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Procedures For Underground
(Northwest Coast)

The country beneath
the earth has a green sun
and the rivers flow backwards;

the trees and rocks are the same
as they are here, but shifted.
Those who live there are always hungry;

from them you can learn
wisdom and great power,
if you can descend and return safely.

You must look for tunnels, animal
burrows or the cave in the sea
guarded by the stone man;

when you are down you will find
those who were once your friends
but they will be changed and dangerous.

Resist them, be careful
never to eat their food.
Afterwards, if you live, you will be able

to see them when they prowl as winds,
as thin sounds in our village, You will
tell us their names, what they want, who

has made them angry by forgetting them.
For this gift, as for all gifts, you must
suffer: those from the underland

will be always with you, whispering their
complaints, beckoning you
back down; while among us here

you will walk wrapped in an invisible
cloak. Few will seek your help
with love, none without fear.

by Canadian writer Margaret Atwood (from Procedures for Underground 1970)

Where the hammer hits the anvil she is there in the sparks!

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Goat

The dark blue 1965 Pontiac with the engine displacing 389 cubic inches, 325 horsepower (when new), Carter AFB 4 barrel carb, dual exhausts, Muncie 4 speed transmission ; no AC, no power steering, no power windows, just power to the rear wheels, and not
a metric bolt to be had in its construction. Inside is bucket seats, 4 on the floor., AM radio, and wing- windows. Designed by John Delorian when fresh at General Motors. It would get 18 miles/gal on a good hiway- driving day and ran down the road straight as an arrow. We drove it over 300,000 miles through two engine overhauls, multiple carb rebuilds, brake shoes every 50,000 miles or so, and two bodies (the body above is from the parts' car which I had to switch out with the old body after it totally rusted in essential places.) I have probably had a wrench or screwdriver on every bolt and screw on this car at one time or another; and busted every knuckle on my right hand trying to get them loose (the bolts or screws, not the knuckles!) It was only stuck once: in florida sand near Port St. Joe at the road to the beach where the helpful fellow who is always there passed by and pulled us out.
The lower shot is headed east in the Oregon desert in the goat's first iteration with the original paint. We were camped near this lake to repair my brother's '53 Chevy pickup which was suffering a broken universal joint on the driveshaft probably from the drive over Mount Hood.
Fortunately there was a small store nearby (in the middle of nowhere) which had some bolts and power to run our drill to fix the part. Then a swim in the lake behind our campsite.

Monday, August 27, 2007


an apparent easy climb, pacing
with a vertical component
a path walked by many
but completed by only a few

but then, life
a distant bong
disembodied cheeps, where are they
(I think those birds are just passing through)
heavy-satin feel of summer pond floating flowing
a brief respite from the steps

There were cities
down below there will be cities again.
after the journey through death awakens
to a knowing that one suffering
means that we all suffer.

rising above ancient distant lands
one day to maybe know the void
trapped in that last second of awareness
forever like an insect caught in amber

years pass gaining altitude and perspective
knowing the self just a little more with each step
into the heights of wisdom
until we are fully aware of where
and who we are.

(thanks moi)

The whiteness of the cloud
Is unfolding from my mind
I stare around in wonder
Have I left my life behind?

I catch the scent of the mountains
And turn my head, surprised
My gaze is caught and held and I
Am helpless...mesmerized

Beautiful landscape, liquid grace
Oh let me touch your pretty face
Enchantment falls around me
And I know I cannot leave

Here's a meaning for a life
The landscape shelter me from the storm
Pacify my troubles as if
The landscape is a woman ... soft and warm

(courtesy of Azer)

Thanks to those who added, maybe inspired by the photo or the moment; you are special.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Building the Better

Built, I suspect, to simulate the ancient dhow. Dubai sand on the Persian Gulf, looking north.
Now this may be worth breathing in the exhaust fumes of ten-thousand SUV's!
Perhaps it is just the shape of the building and not its intention that sways opinion.

Update 2/08: The wing-looking attachment on the seaward side of the hotel is a restaurant; sitting at a table, the effect is of floating over the gulf. There is a film on the construction of this which depicts lavish treatment on the inside of the building including gold leaf , marble, silk and satin everywhere. At $2000 a night minimum this is to be Dubai income for when the oil runs out!

the Burj Al Arab
thanks Nasra

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Building the Bigger

The ideal and the real. Burj Dubai tower is to be the highest building on the planet at about 3000 feet. (true height is yet to be determined as it is still under construction)
Designed by Skidmore, Merrill and Owings of Chicago and being built by Samsung of South Korea and a whole lot of sweat labor from the rest of the world.
I wondered where all of that oil money was going.
Click for Progress link

It is said that one will be able to see Babylon from the top!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Spider Flower

A cleome spinosa expressing itself. Turns out that if you snip a flower for indoor viewing, two more develop in its place. Snip those and four more appear. 1 2 4 8 16 32 64 . . . A geometric progression. Looks like this may be an import from South America and an annual although the seeds readily come up each year making it a perennial to me since I don't have to keep planting it!

Seng-Ts'an died A.D. 606. He was a Chinese Zen Master, and the Third Founding Teacher of Zen. The following is about half of the original poem. It is found in Stephen Mitchell's The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry. Harper Perennial, 1989.


The Great Way isn't difficult
for those who are unattached to their preferences.
Let go of longing and aversion,
and everything will be perfectly clear.
When you cling to a hairbreadth of distinction,
heaven and earth are set apart.

If you want to realize the truth,
don't be for or against.
The struggle between good and evil
is the primal disease of the mind.
Not grasping the deeper meaning,
you just trouble your mind's serenity.

As vast as infinite space,
it is perfect and lacks nothing.
But because you select and reject,
you can't perceive its true nature.
Don't get entangled in the world;
don't lose yourself in emptiness.
Be at peace in the oneness of things,
and all errors will disappear by themselves.

If you don't live the Tao,
you fall into assertion or denial.
Asserting that the world is real,
you are blind to its deeper reality;
denying that the world is real,
you are blind to the selflessness of all things.
The more you think about these matters,
the farther you are from the truth.

Step aside from all thinking,
and there is nowhere you can't go.
Returning to the root, you find the meaning;
chasing appearances, you lose their source.
At the moment of profound insight,
you transcend both appearance and emptiness.
Don't keep searching for the truth;
just let go of your opinions.

For the mind in harmony with the Tao,
all selfishness disappears.
With not even a trace of self-doubt,
you can trust the universe completely.
All at once you are free,
with nothing left to hold on to.
All is empty, brilliant,
perfect in its own being.

In the world of things as they are,
there is no self, no non-self.
If you want to describe its essence,
the best you can say is "Not-two."
In this "Not-two" nothing is separate,
and nothing in the world is excluded.

The enlightened of all times and places
have entered into this truth.
In it there is no gain or loss;
one instant is ten thousand years.
There is no here, no there;
infinity is right before your eyes.

The tiny is as large as the vast
when objective boundaries have vanished;
the vast is as small as the tiny
when you don't have external limits.
Being is an aspect of non-being;
non-being is no different from being.
Until you understand this truth,
you won't see anything clearly.

One is all; all are one.
When you realize this,
what reason for holiness or wisdom?
The mind of absolute trust
is beyond all thought, all striving,
is perfectly at peace, for in it
there is no yesterday, no today, no tomorrow.

I didn't get the entire poem on my original post; apparently still haven't gotten it.
The man was prolific

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Into the Abyss

Marked Words

if only my father were here.

if my own heart weren't ready
to burn up burn down,
we could discuss the creativity
of protest,

but i stall
correcting my own ignitions:
then i can't get
over it
because i can't
in units of

i don't even know
how many. i don't
how to start. back
at thirteen colonies?
at forty-one shots?
at three thousand folks
in offices? at
without college degrees, without
good salaries, joining
the military?
at the thousands whom the kids kill
dropping some bombs?
at my mom's mom?

she had tumors
on her brain,
made her think she saw
she'd say, 'mark my words,
the building moved.'
maybe she was
prophetic. no, she was just
dying, but we are all
just dying.

mark my words (i try
to hear words from before
i was born). i imagine her
last-minute-prophecies were prayers
now striking my eardrum
(boom boom boom,
the buildings are moving)
close my eyes -- close yours
(boom boom boom - mark my words).

which is your building
(you are a building)?
where are you moving
(boom boom boom)?

whose words are we marking with
these tears
from before we are born,
with gravity and inertia on their side?
they start from hot springs of betrayal, fall
out of the eyes of prophetic grandmothers
who call out for gods or validation,
down their cheeks into the eyes of their children,
and theirs and theirs, down
and down until they leave
just dry tracks on the chins of us.
us. whose tears
are these tonight
that will not dry?

This by Kathryn Baxter writing for "Poets Against War".

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New Buddies

The newest bunch with sprig on the top-left squalking about something. She is testy these days maybe because the muskrat ate all of the eggs she was sitting on! Spotts to her left; seems that the white ring which is supposed to be around his neck spilled down onto his breast in vitreo. There are some, primarily in England and Australia, who raise these male ruen ducks to be shown and rated as to color of plumage and consistency to a prescribed standard. So por spots would be an outsider as would his brother adjacent with no white at all. The two males battled for primacy with bullyboy being finally put in his place by spotts. A wondrous spectacle. Another female is off to the right-- standoffish as usual. But she looks just like the female in front, just not as friendly.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Art as Flirtation and Surrender

In your light I learn how to love.

In your beauty, how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest,

where no one sees you,

but sometimes I do,

and that sight becomes this art.

"Rumi" by Mark di Suvero, 1991 -- found at Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City.
Keep seeing references to this fellow; seems everyone knows of him but me. Then its kismet after coincidence! The poem is by him also, naturally.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Woods edge hide the soul
The essence is revealed now
we can enter safe

Thanks Jhanajian

Friday, April 13, 2007

Lost And Abandoned

I discovered this rooster was left by neighbors moving on when I realized that I could still hear his crow after they had left. So over to feed and try to catch the guy and take him to safer ground when I saw those spurs on his legs. They appear to project about 45° from the back of his leg toward the insides of the legs, and are about 3" long! So although I had him within grabbing distance (because food is the universal attractor) I decided not to grab him. I have seen pictures of fighting cocks and believe that they jump into the air and slash with these weapons.
Perhaps that's why the coyotes, owls, coons, hawks, and other predators have left him be . . . as I will.
Many suggestions on how to trap him have rolled in but I think I will feed him, admire him, awaken by him , and let others catch him! Good luck brave souls.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Persian Portal

The Dome of the Inner Sky

The Great King is within me.
He is my dearest friend.

Don't look at my sallow face,
Look at how I stand with legs of iron!
Always turning toward that one
who gave me life.

I am the glorious Sun,
the ocean laden with pearls.
Within my heart is the grandeur of heaven,
Outside, the lowly earth.

I travel in this world like a bee in a jar.
But don't listen to my woeful buzzing
My house is filled with honey!

O heart, if you want to join us,
raise yourself
to the dome of the inner sky
Enter the fortress that no one can break.

The vast and mighty waters
move the grinding stones of heaven.
I am that great wheel,
crying so sweetly,
turning with the flow of rushing water.

Men, demons, and spirits all follow my command.
Can't you see that I am Solomon,
With a shimmering seal on my ring?

Why should I be weary
when every cell of my body is bursting with life?
Why should I be a donkey's slave
when I ride upon a magical horse?
Why should I be less than the Moon
when there are no scorpions at my feet?
Why should I stay at the bottom of a well
when a strong rope is in my hand?

I've built a place for the falcons of my soul
Fly this way, O birds of spirit,
for I am surrounded by a hundred mighty towers!

I am the rays of the Sun
dancing through the windows of every house.
I am carnelion, gold, and rubies,
even though this body is made of water and clay.

Whatever pearl you seek,
look for the pearl within the pearl!

The surface of the earth says,
"The treasure is within."
The glowing jewel says,
"Don't be fooled by my beauty
the light of my face
comes from the candle of my spirit."

What else can I say?
You will only hear
what you are ready to hear.
Don't nod your head,
Don't try to fool me
the truth of what you see
is written all over your face!

Translated by Jonathan Star, from the book
Rumi, In the Arms of the Beloved

I have recently been directed to Persian poetry and found this fellow Mevlana Jalal-e-Din Mohammad Mevlavi Balkhi Rumi who has been related much lately, in english. Born 1207 AD or 6th Rai'u-'l-avval 604 A.H. (don't hold me to this persian date, I am only quoting, but would love to know what "A.H." represents) in NE Persia which is presently Afghanistan. Lived in Baghdad for awhile I see. I wonder what he would have see there then?

The photo is titled "Door" and is by a Gate Photo under name of "Persian Architect" in Dubai. This is a picture of a gate in Teheran, Iran.

Friday, March 09, 2007


"They walk alone, and yet they are together--
Along the road to Nirvana, the Perfect Ones
With antique minds, pure- hearted, high-spirited,
With sunken cheekbones, despised by the common people."

A song by Hsuan-chueh living about year 713. He was apparently a monk of the School of
Shen-hui. A Buddhist school in the south of China.

An ancient ode to those just one bubble off of level; in the construction of society.

I don't know why history so engages me now. I used to believe it useless and "why are they teaching me this!". Perhaps we take example from those who are now dust.

I really should attribute this song: Taken from "The White Pony" (an anthology of chinese poetry) edited by Robert Payne. 1947
Another song I like:

"Purify the five eyes, Possess the five powers.
If once you have known truth, you know the unknown.
In a mirror the body's shape is easily discerned,
But in vain can you grasp the moon on the water."

Monday, February 26, 2007


I guess you would have to say Pegasus Unicorn with the wings and all.
Turns out that Pliny depicted the body of a horse, head of a deer, feet of an elephant the tail of a lion, with a black tapered horn projecting a length of two cubits for the Unicorn in his "Natural History" written about year 30. Those in the middle ages took this work to be the truth about life in the natural world.
Looks as though he might have had many flights of fancy as well as bad luck since he was buried in Pompeii by Vesuvius.

The Graphic is from Angel at her blog

Friday, February 16, 2007

Duck Slushee

Each morning for the past month or so I must break out a patch of the pond for the ducks after the overnight freeze. I usually remove the ice chunks with a leaf rake but this time they sped right into the ice bath hoping for the best . . .
A racoon got into the pen over the top a day after this was taken and ate little girl (top one) but sprig is still squalking. I immediately covered the pen with chicken wire and sprig is spending the nights under the duckhouse after being freaked by the coon whilst the two were in the duckhouse that night. I can think of no worst trauma than to have my buddy eaten within sound of my ears and hearing the crunching but I have to believe that ducks have short memories. There was a small pile of feathers and a webbed foot left after the incident.
Having gotten nine of ten ducks killed in the last two years, I wonder if I should continue with this endeavour. But sprig needs a few buddies and spring is almost here so I will get some more Rouen duck chicks for her. Death is , after all, just a heartbeat away for any of us and this serves to remind me of that.
I found a quote recently which makes me feel a bit better:

"If those who owe us nothing gave us nothing, how poor we would be." Antonio Porchia

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Fractal Art

I really like the blue depths of this one. Of course the beauty can only come out in full resolution of the fractal since it is generated by the result of mathematical calculations for each pixel on the screen (a color assigned).

This was found at stacey's blog

Naming these can be a lot of fun- for me, at least-since each one seems to have a distinct effect on me, taken as an optical experience.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


If you can keep the roof integral, these old barns can last forever-- barring other calamities.
This one is over 125 years old and will be gone, I estimate, within one year. The left shot shows how the side which remains covered by the roofing is still in good shape. But it is the east side which will pull the structure down as it deteriorates . This exists on the missouri river valley farmland (some of the richest in the country) available after the river was channelized and levies built to contain the once-meandering river. When these are gone, they are replaced by "engineered" buildings of not quite the same appeal.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Small Life

Big Al is gone!

Way gone after a rainy dark night on the pond; leaving not a
feather, drop of blood, or final squalk, that I heard, to mark his demise.
Having broken through, for too short a time, the veil of consciousness to
present us with his beauty.
I am grateful for the knowing.