Home

Looking at the Sky

Leave a comment

I caught the almost full moon rising this past Friday.  It is a full moon in Gemini with the sun in Sagittarius.  Gemini is an air sign, Sagittarius is fire.  Air relates to ideas and intellect, Fire is energy, action.  This should be a great time for getting things accomplished like communicating, or – as one of my sources says over and over again – learning new internet skills.moon cropped

I have been following the signs, and especially their elements, for a year and a half now.  It didn’t take long to discover that because of the way the elements are assigned, there are only two full moon/sun combinations.  It’s either air and fire or earth and water.  Earth connects to all things physical, water to matters of feeling.  The moon is never full in a water sign, for instance, when the sun is in an air sign.

I’m beginning to find this structure a problem.  Why can’t we have a powerful water and air combination?  Would that mean storms, wind and rain?  Perhaps, but it would also mean that the intellect and feelings would be strong together – in other words, a combination of head and heart.

And why not air and earth?  This could be an appropriate time to apply our heightened thinking skills to the very down-to-earth problems of homelessness and hunger.  My sources suggest that the compassion of an earth/water combination should lead to this.  It hasn’t happened so far.  I guess we’ll have to solve these critical problems without the aid of the stars.

Word Play

1 Comment

I have been learning a lot about tanka from Ribbons, the journal of the Tanka Society of America – too bad the acronym is in such heavy use elsewhere – and I have been experimenting with the form.  Sometimes, I know all I’ve got is a five line poem.  In the following two short pieces, the play of homonyms took over.

 

My thoughts coast toward
the California coast; others
shore up the Jersey shore.
Is it a fault to lie by omission
about where the fault lies?

 

My brother wanted
to coast down the mountain,
returning from the coast.
Papa said no, of course,
the road no sled or ski course.

Have fun with words.  You never know what might come of some word play.

 

Is It Winter Yet?

1 Comment

Of course it isn’t winter yet by the calendar.  But many plants are reacting to recent freezes and changing their colors.

P1000309Cottonwoods in the arroyo are all golden, but haven’t yet dropped their leaves.  The leaves of the buffalo gourd vine, on the other hand, have all frozen, leaving the gourds to show their stuff.  P1000307In my back yard the four-wing saltbush is covered with ochre seed pods. P1000304And the tall grass plant is turning leaf by leaf from green through red to yellow to brown.P1000313There’s an extra glow in the morning sun which I haven’t found a way to catch in the camera.  I haven’t caught it in words either, though I admire it from my desk every morning.

September Revisited II

3 Comments

No pictures this time.  I shared pictures from an afternoon reading I did for my new book soon after it happened in September (see “We Had A Party” posted September 28).  There was also an evening reading, which was not so well suited to photographs.  Instead, I got a poem out of it.

The poem is in a form developed by Allison Joseph. She calls it a sweetelle.  The form is ten lines of fourteen syllables each, with the first, fifth and tenth lines identical.

Introduction

Thank you for this fine occasion to read from my new book
though this is a dark corner and the microphone will not
stay put.  I’m stalling in the hope that others will appear.
Vain hope, false promises; it’s past the time we should begin:
Thank you for this fine occasion to read from my new book.
But it’s not new to me.  More than a year in production
since I signed that contract.  No additions since.  Take a look
at the cover, another’s work.  Inside, it comes to this:
I’d like to introduce you to some friends from former years.
Thank you for this fine occasion to read from my new book.

At first, I thought the name “sweetelle” meant that the subject should be sweet – something I’m not very good at. It has since occurred to me that the name may have been chosen to point out that this is a form with repeated lines which is not to be confused with the “villa(i)nelle.”

I learned about this form through a post which Joseph mistakenly posted on her CRWROPPS list, and then explained. The acronym stands for Creative Writers Opportunities list, which can be found at: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/CRWROPPS-B. If you are a writer, especially a poet or short fiction writer, you will find this a great resource.

September Revisited I

1 Comment

At the first cool spell in September I went out on a hike to see what the rains had done in the hills.  Yes, there was green.  And some wild flowers.  Then I got involved in my book readings.  It was over a month before I got the pictures transferred to the computer.  Then I forgot that I had done that.  Another month has gone by.  Here, at last are some views I found to share from that September hike.grassYes, there was grass along the trail.grass.sotolAnd thick growth as I climbed into the canyon.  There were lots of sotols.  These were not affected by the rains, they had bloomed in the spring and long since gone to seed, but I found one worthy of a close-up.sotolI was not up to a long hike, but it was pleasant to get closer to one of the Organ Mountain peaks.peakThere were flowers blooming, thought none were very showy.  If I went back this week, the grass would all be yellow and the flowers gone.

yellow flower

purple cropped

Sunrises

1 Comment

What is it that makes a sunrise so attractive? The ephemeral nature of it is no doubt part of it.  The clouds don’t stop moving so that their effect can be admired.11.15 sunrise

The difficulty of capturing a sunrise is surely part of the attraction. Painters are naturally interested in sunrise and sunset because the colors are so varied and hard to reproduce.  I can’t do a sunrise justice in a poem, because there aren’t enough names for all the variations in the color, and people don’t agree on the names there are.  Photography has its own complications of capturing the shifting light against darkness elsewhere.11.16 sunrise

In our household we are such creatures of the clock that we only notice the sunrise at a few brief periods of the year. The rest of the time we are up too early or too late.  The problem of being too late is obvious.  The problem of being too early is caused by my inability to put off getting to work – near a window through which the sunrise does not appear.

These photos were taken on two consecutive mornings―this past weekend. Two very different beginnings of two different days.  This morning there were no clouds at all to create any colors.

The Bad Guys

5 Comments

In case anyone imagines that I like everything and anything that will grow in my garden, I decided to devote a post to the nasty weeds I’d like to get rid of.  There are three.  P1000217

Nutgrass is a very attractive grass.  The deep green leaves are a contrast to most of the paler greens of the desert.  But it is terribly invasive, sending its roots deep and out in all directions.P1000218

Bermuda grass is known in many places, but wasn’t a problem where I lived in the east.  It too is attractive when it is young, and it can – almost – be kept under control as a lawn.  When it matures, however, it sends runners out, long and strong.  they appear spreading out over sidewalks looking for places to root.P1000216

Goathead, as the name may suggest, is the worst of all.  It is also the prettiest, with delicate leaves and a pretty little yellow flower.  Its seeds stick to everything, are a danger to bare feet, and can pierce through gardening gloves.  I may get lazy with nutgrass and Bermuda grass, but this plant I pull on sight.

I’ve recently realized that I’ve been taking more pictures than I’ve had time to post this fall.  This is a first step in correcting that oversight.

Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 258 other followers