Thursday, December 8, 2011

Winter at the Beach

They've been continually working on rebuilding the beaches in Galveston since Ike. These were taken at the seawall where there are flower covered dunes once again. Yea!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Illustration Friday: Silent

Inspired by Mary's post for this weeks topic over at IF.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tennessee Trip 2011

The Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee as seen from my friends' house. I went to visit for a week of hiking and relaxation. It was great to get away from the Texas heat and drought. The fall color was at it's peak.

We had a picnic dinner one night on a hill just up from their house. We ate Amish cheese with wine, and watched a front roll in.

The next morning, I awoke to this view outside my window. It's been months since I've seen it rain like this.

When the sun finally came out again, I went hiking around their property. They own about 100 acres in these mountains.

The hike was photographically inspiring. I've posted more pics here at Silk Creek Portal.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Haunted Tour

Haunted Tours

I once saw the Aurora Borealis
Tried to capture it, but it flitted away
Now I search for my faithful camera
Finding only incomplete equipment gifted me
In a misguided attempt to prepare for passage

I offer guided tours for your reading pleasure
Through secret corridors
Behind the walls of my childhood home
Where a colorless version of those Northern Lights
Flickers among apparitions that haunt here

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Whereas Exile



Bithiah's Assignment

Sunday, August 21, 2011


...or the lack of both. This poem seems to demonstrate the lack. The > Language > Place Blog Carnival's theme this month is Individuation/Assimilation. I'm a little late to join the carnival this time, but thought I'd post this anyway. Maybe next month.

rush hour

stepping out of line
from a nameless crowd
and losing my place -
socially extrinsic

waste by-product of a
selfish generation
my speech is drunkenness
my sickness self-inflicted
coughing up anger chunks
intoxicating and toxic
ineffectual smears

driving exhaust-fumed freeways
with backward exit signs
slapping laughing faces
belligerently – just like them

groping for wisdom, but
babbling into empty ears
they see I’m lost
nakedness turned inside out
shame and weakness
bead up like sweat

they’re indifferent, and
I’m too tired
or maybe lazy
damned dyslexia

Loop 610's bridge over the Houston Ship Channel, obviously not during rush hour. To me this bridge reminds me of a giant serpent slithering across the landscape. Rush hour traffic gives it the illusion of movement. This pic was taken on a Sunday morning.

This is Beltway 8's bridge over the same ship channel. It makes me think of an invading Roman army. It's a toll bridge, so the traffic's not usually too heavy. This pic was taken during evening rush hour.

Here's a view of the east side of downtown, from 610's bridge. I live between the two bridges, but closer to 610.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Dickinson Inspiration

Still enjoying my new poetry book. Emily frequently wrote poetry about death.

Relentless Grief

Mother of Silence, father of Cold
Summer’s birds have flown
Sleeping children tucked ‘neath a fold
Spring’s sod and tears not their own

No scraped knee, nor thoughts of what cou’ be
Processional ended too soon
Relentless grief gnaws malignantly
In the house of a winter moon

The living long to be, unwittingly
Reunited beneath the fold
But desire wars with proclivity
There’s no peace in growing old

I wrote this for a friend who said she finally found the right words to describe what she has felt for years, "relentless grief". People say, "there's no getting over the death of a loved one; you just learn to accept it." I think that it is impossible for us to accept death, because our natural inclination for survival is too strong. When we lose a loved one, a war begins inside us. The battle is between the desire to be with our loved one and the desire to survive. It can not be reconciled while we yet live, so what we really come to "accept" is living the rest of our lives with this battle inside us. We learn to live with relentless grief.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ice Water River

my foot knows where to go
though I’ve forgotten
alighting each step
with precision

like a grasshopper
descending the embankment
leaving roots undisturbed
and sand in its place

grade steepens and
steps turn to leaps
building momentum
yet retaining agility

I marvel – after
months of heavy heat
from a parched withered land
such a light footed find

Ice Water River from below
they say too cold to swim
but I’ll just wade
and find relief from the Drought

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reading Emily Dickinson

After reading many of Ashok's commentaries on Emily Dickinson's poetry, I've become very fond of her work.

I bought this book the other day, and it's been inspiring me to write. For example, I came across this poem, and something about it just sang to me.

Summer for thee, grant I may be
When Summer days are flown!
Thy music still, when Whipporwill
And Oriole—are done!

For thee to bloom, I'll skip the tomb
And row my blossoms o'er!
Pray gather me—
Thy flower—forevermore!

I'm sure when she wrote "anemone" she was refering to the woodland flower, but I thought of this:

Anemone, I long to be
Eternal summer by the sea
Tropical calm – Hibiscus aplomb
In the shadow of Mango Tree

Blossoms wilt when Delta silt
Crosses the Ocean’s current
May Bed’s frailty embolden me
Oh, Drifting garden deterrent!

Since I can't be
eternally by the sea
I bring it to me

Meet Boomhower the Beta. He isn't actually from the sea, but we like to pretend.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Aid for Japan's Artists

My friend, Yuko, is an artist in Japan who was affected by the recent disasters in Japan, and was just interviewed by the Arts NPO Aid program. The interview isn't in English yet, but there are some photo's of her wonderful work. The Arts NPO Aid program is a non-profit program set up to help Japan's artists get back on their feet after the 311 quake/tsunami/nuke disaster. Please visit the Arts NPO website to show your support.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Windows for Drips of Ink

I miss my home. All these pics were taken from my window there.

My computer desk sat just inside looking out over my gardens.

My window was so much more entertaining than any TV.

This little guy and I had a wonderful arrangement. He really loved a certain weed with little yellow flowers, which I let grow in my gardens, and in return, he didn't eat any of my other flowers.

Such a serious little fellow.


Caught with the evidence still on his beak.

Someone's hungry.

Is that a look of guilt?

This little guy would get angry at his reflection... every day!

Well, he's certainly well fed.

And, when they're done eating...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I've Been In La La Land Lately...

...and haven't been doing much blogging. It seems I've been in the mood for drawing mythological beings instead.

This is a color pencil sketch for a project that I'm working on for a friend. I call him Thor, but he seems to be dressed for a warmer climate, like maybe Greece. Could be because of the 100 degree weather we've been having lately.

I made this one with different colored ball point pens. She was originally just an outline I made for this piece of digital art from several years ago.

The weather we've been having has been wreaking havok on my mood lately. We're six months into a drought right now. I've been trying to save my gardens, but may end out loosing a tree. I've been known to cry when a tree dies, and there are dead trees everywhere I go. These little beauties help lift my spirits when I go out to water.

I like to imagine that little faeries danced on the top of this one and left a trail of their steps.

And, the Faerie Princess left her crown on this one.

But, then I wake to sad dreams in the morning. This morning the dream was about a dog that I had abandoned and then died before I could get back to it. It made me think about a real dog that I used to have years ago, whose death was surrounded by mysterious circumstances. So, I wrote this poem.

Taken to the Woods

taken to the woods
by a friendly face
did she wonder
why he was with her
instead of me?

visit to her favorite place
ends abruptly with a
bullet in her brain
I failed her again

old and sickly
I left her vulnerable
was it a mercy killing?
look of horror on his face
when I mention that
she was getting better

extra effort required
isn’t given when needed most
another piece of me is gone
and the cycle continues

he leads me astray
but I follow willingly
into the woods
looking for peacefulness
because it’s just easier
he thinks he’s doing me a favor

This last one was written the other morning.

My Conscience is so Much Crueler

while my subconscious
whispers to me in my sleep
like a compassionate lover
“you underestimate yourself”
“feel unworthy of giving encouragement”

my conscience becomes enraged
lies in wait for me to wake
to scold with a harsh voice
like an angry father
humiliates and rejects me
until there is no more desire to wake

Well um... I think I'll go back to my mythological world now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Patterns of Sand

Elaborate granular legends

Continuously reshaped

By elemental sculptors
Of dead fish

Bone and scale epitaph

That one day rolls back
To the sea from which it came

For my sweetie, who teasingly said I would write poetry about dead fish.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Brain Rash

apocalyptic apparitions rain like ash
on an otherwise clear day
mushrooming delusional brain rash
keeps contentment at bay

boredom rolls in
befogging a creative high
sacrifices begin
mediocrity must die!

clarity becomes a blue sky illusion
passing clouds irritate
scourging syndrome cycles toward confusion
when aversions animate

darkening doom
locks me in a room
imagined tomb
infectious fume
that consumes

emptiness rolls in
befogging a creative high
medications begin
numbing desires to fly

extremes too surreal
what do I really feel?
driven to zeal
strained and concealed
only haziness heals
when you’re…
locked in a room
imagined tomb
with infectious fumes
that consume

This poem is for my stepson, who's going through a tough time. He's a poet, and is into rap music.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Look What's In My Backyard

I think they're somebody's pets, because you don't see this in an inner city neighborhood everyday. They wandered in while trying to avoid the dogs on either side of us, and then found a hole in the back fence to continue on their journey.

I count 15 babies.

The only other place I've seen this type of duck was in Mexico. This last pic was taken in Puerto Vallerta. I googled them and discovered they're called Black Bellied Tree Ducks. They are only found in South Texas and Mexico.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

No Way Out

"Is there no way out of the mind?" - Sylvia Plath

outside the air is real
and ascends in currents and streams

I breathe dust and ash
wipe silt deposits from my eyes
swim through a smoky mire toward

stage lights cast blue reflections
on musicians playing with passionate fury
cast highlights on an inebriated audience
artificial fog obscures the source that is

shrinking room at one end of a tunnel
the other end twists and turns
culminating at a dead end with a peep hole

outside the air is real
I strain to study and then
turn back to the smoky mire