Summer

Summer came and went. It left behind a northwest parched by a succession of hot spells so extraordinary that even climate change deniers had their ‘come to Jesus moments’. Rain arrived, at last, in early October. The dire predictions retreated, forgotten along with admonitions to floss our teeth, avoid sugary drinks, and quit smoking. We are … More Summer

Divisive Devices

Recently, my iPhone began to act erratically. New iterations of its operating system had rolled out. But the device could not effectively process the changes. Family and friends blared the horns of their newer models as they passed me on the digital expressway. The time had come to upgrade. I visited the store of our … More Divisive Devices

Books

Oregon’s reputation for tough winters suffered a setback in 2017/18. November, December, and January stretched like lazy cats across the blanket of the Northwest sky. They shed rain but mild temperatures prevailed beneath their sleepy overcast. On Mt. Hood, skiers lamented the lack of snow. In the valley below, orchardists fretted. They prefer harsh conditions … More Books

Too Old To Die Young

“It’s just … it’s like it’s always right now, you know?” Mason from Boyhood  An inversion layer spreads over the Hood River Valley. Temperatures drop to the high 20s at night and creep into the mid-30s during the day. At elevation, upon the slopes of Mt. Hood, sunny skies prevail. But here, in the foothills, … More Too Old To Die Young

Wet Weather

“Just remain in the center; watching. And then forget that you are there.” Lao Tzu In early November, wet weather arrived to cleanse the Hood River Valley. Seasonal debris in our yard glistened with rain. Oval blades of lilac nested with the serrated ellipses of cherry. The lobed margins of oak leaves tucked themselves into … More Wet Weather

My Beautiful Life

          “I prefer the absurdity of writing poems to the absurdity of not writing poems.” From Possibilities by Wislawa Szymborska   My Beautiful Life I walked alone this afternoon. October’s velvet light slipped through The shade of a Big Leaf Maple And tattooed my arms with shadow.   Erratic winds stirred the branches And … More My Beautiful Life

Autumn Slips Forward

Autumn slips into place without a sound. One leaf, then another bleeds color at its edge. At first glance, I wonder, is that tree diseased? On succeeding days, the contagion spreads throughout an entire branch. Silently, the season tattoos foliage with melancholy. Autumn slips forward with the quiet magic of chemistry. Daylight declines and temperatures cool. … More Autumn Slips Forward

Things Fall Apart

“There is no goal, but only the path.” Taoist saying   Recently, my wife and I traveled with friends to Glacier National Park. Our journey through the Northwest included a stop at the classic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, WA. From there we visited historic lodges in Montana and Waterton Lake, Alberta. We dined in expansive … More Things Fall Apart