Friday, February 19, 2010

Refuge - an Unnatural History

“Tolerating blind obedience in the name of patriotism or religion ultimately takes our lives.
When the Atomic Energy Commission described the country north of the Nevada Test Site as ‘virtually uninhabited desert terrain,’ my family and the birds at Great Salt Lake were some of the ‘virtual uninhabitants'." – Refuge, an Unnatural History, Terry Tempest Williams

Williams and her Utah family are among the group of unfortunate people known as Downwinders. See


Quote from Walden:

I plan to build me a house which will surpass any on the main street in Concord in grandeur and luxury, as soon as it pleases me as much and will cost me no more than my present one. – Walden, or Life in the Woods, Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Guardian

From "The Guardian" as published in Feed Your Brain.


The Guardian

The Guardian moves in circles, round and round, beside the road. She is not coiling, not preparing to strike, just circling. Is she injured by a passing car? Is she warming up, absorbing heat from the pavement? Is she preparing to give birth?

I stop the car but don’t get out. I don’t want to meet the guardian. I have no wish to uncurl the scaly body and take an accurate measurement of the guardian’s length. I have enough woodsman’s knowledge to have a healthy respect for the power of a mature timber rattlesnake.

What the Ants are Saying

it wont be long now it wont be long
till earth is barren as the moon
and sapless as a mumbled bone

dear boss i relay this information
without any fear that humanity
will take warning and reform


- excerpted from Don Marquis, “What the Ants are Saying” as it appeared in The Lives and Times of Archy and Mehitabel. (1935)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Creation

The Creation:
An Appeal to Save Life on Earth
Edward O. Wilson, 2006
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
New York
ISBN 978-0-393-33048-9 pbk

"Pastor, I am grateful for your attention. As a scientist who has spent a lifetime studying the creation, I have done my best here to brief you and others on subjects I hope will be more a part of out common concern. My foundation of reference has been the culture of science and some of secularism based on science, as I understand them. From that foundation I have focused on the interaction of three problems that affect everyone: the decline of the living environment, the inadequacy of scientific education, and the moral confusions caused by the exponential growth of biology. In order to solve these problems, I’ve argued, it will be necessary to find common ground on which the powerful forces of religion and science can be joined. The best place to start is the stewardship of life."
So begins Chapter 17, the final chapter, of Edward O. Wilson’s book, The Creation. Wilson wrote the book as a letter to a Southern Baptist preacher, and has no fear of directly referring to both their differences. He begins with a reference to his own early experiences in the faith, his departure from it, and their common roots as southerners.
Within the framework of this unique approach, Wilson describes subjects already known to his readers: the importance of nature as our home, the destruction of nature by habitat loss, invasive species and other causes, and the love of nature (Biophilia). The Creation is a book long appeal for science and religion to find common ground and save the natural world.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ham and Rye

It seems like half the times I visit Bicentennial Library there are fire trucks outside Patton Towers. This morning there were several, and it was the real deal. They were evacuating the building with tall ladder trucks. I didn't think of the second stanza of this poem as prophetic, but it appears to be so.

Ham and Rye

I went to the deli a gleam in my eye
said "Give me some ham and put it on rye."
They said "we've got whole wheat and foccacia for to die
but don't get upset sir, we ain't got no rye."
Ham and Rye.

Sirens are screamin' headed downtown
one day Patton towers will burn to the ground.
I'm still sittin' here hangin' around
Pour me a whiskey and I'll drink it down
Ham and Rye.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Recipe for Love

From my chapbook, Searching for Cranes

Recipe for Love

Take two marginally sane people
Place in an extra large mixing cup
Add vodka, sugar and lemon juice
Set fire to vodka
Add ice, quickly
Serve shaken.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wolf Moon

The mountain wrapped in snow
The city glow of lights below
The orange pumpkin moon
floats above the skyline.
I look up, howl.