2021 November-December

November 1, 20201 You do not have to rage, all bright and raving. Go gently if you can. Let go of all that sharp need. Prove that fading is a form of grace. November 2, 2021 Smoke trees having some sweet goodbyes with the sun. November 3, 2021 It’s a tiny tragedy that some days... Continue Reading →

2021 January-February

SE Belmont. Portland, OR Mt. Tabor Portland, ORRockaway, OR Before the flood warning and the high wind warning and having my hotel room jiggle in the wind all night and waking up to no power and driving home through torrential rain. The sky did a magic trick called sun and cirrocumulus.The crows came out to... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite: Week 45/46

11/1/20 Kick through the remaining crack and rattle. In a couple days the rain will come, an invitation to the season of softness. 11/2/20 On this corner, under this tree, for this day, the light is rosy. Such things are still possible. 11/3/20 The morning rose surprisingly gentle. Nothing more to do. Or rather, calm... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite: Week 43/44

10/16/20 This is a whale’s backbone and this is a whale’s cervical spine. And we were there together. And we are here together. The whale marks the trail off the beach and into the dunes and toward the bay and around the cape and in the direction of home. My dream wrist wears one of... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite: Week 41/42

10/1/20 Of course the trees don’t really talk to me. Not in English. Not in cedar, maple or magnolia either. It’s just a way to fill up the awkward silence that first arises at a reunion of forgotten kin. 10/2/20 Ferns, waving me closer against all precautions. 10/3/20 I went to take a picture of... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite: Week 39/40

9/16/20 The punk rock kids across the street still sit on their front steps and smoke. The builders rebuilding the burnt down house across the street still nail and paint. But clients call and cancel, unable to step outside to get the mail. And I only duck out for thirty seconds at a time to... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite: Week 37/38

9/2/20 Mushrooms are an excuse. Going in, I didn’t care if I found any. Going out, my empty hands were free for moss and bark. 9/3/20 In the midst of all this dry and pale, red demands its due. 9/4/20 This is so much better than the picture I thought I was taking. A dahlia... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite: Week 35/36

8/21/20 With so much on fire, it’s nice to see something soft and green take over. 8/22/20 There’s a jewel in the center. But it’s not the prize. Let’s maze our way there slowly and make plenty of mistakes. 8/23/20 I picked these flowers from my yard. All the others I’ve picked have faded in... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite: Week 32-34

8/6/20 In the middle of the afternoon broil, the shadows revealed themselves as beautiful monsters licking coolness onto my feet. Overnight, they turned themselves into rain clouds. 8/7/20 I just liked the flower and didn’t see the wasp at first. Neither seemed to care For my visit. 8/8/20 The police turned into riot police a... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite- Week 30/31

7/23/20 My friend’s conservative aunt in Austin asked him how he was doing with worry in her voice. She’d seen Portland on tv. He asked her how she was doing in retort, having seen Texas on tv. 7/24/20 This tree came with a name tag it read to me. Incense cedar. And that, apparently, was... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite: Week 28/29

7/9/20 The once-hidden sweet was never shy. She just wasn’t ready. Beauty is the armored body, opening. 7/10/20 The dance goes silvery then delicate then complicated then slippery then gone. 7/11/20 There is deep satisfaction in a miniature, a diorama, a dollhouse. Not so I can be god/giant wielding tiny things with my meaty fingers,... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite: Week 26/27

6/25/20 This tree told me they had young dreams of being a cloud but it took many many years to become one. 6/26/20 Stayed up too late nursing a hunch about out a slightly different future. Followed by two heart-racing phone calls, some strange number wanting 4am FaceTime. Who is this? I texted back but... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite Week 24/25

6/11/20 No words today. Just color and light 6/12/20 I heard two gunshots in the middle of the night, close but not too close. And then I chased the guns through my dreams, one gun for each BANG. In the middle of my third dream, the guns turned into knives and the bangs turned into... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite Week 22/23

5/27/20 Some buildings look more at home in their Covid clothes than others. I can’t call this place old friend since it’s been decades since I walked through the doors. It’s more like a friendly spirit that’s lingered at the edges of my entire adult life, grumbling the same thing all along. I’ve got nothing... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite: Week 20/21

5/13/20 This would have been a block I raced by as a kid. A place where the doors don’t have handles, the stairs are more moss than concrete, and the ground cover is just waiting for its moment to devour. Why make the walls out of holes if you didn’t want everyone passing by to... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite – Week 18/19

4/29/20 This was a different neighborhood, but barely. A block I’d driven by a thousand times but never passed through on foot. And there they were, filling the front yard of an unassuming house. I nearly fell to my knees, but caught myself and simply bowed my head instead. Forgive me, I said. My worship... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite – Week 16/17

4/15/20 If you stand in just the right place, relax your eyes in their sockets, tilt back your head, unstick your tongue, remember your right twelfth rib, make friends with your knees and sink into the wide universe one inch under the cracked sidewalk, then a light appears behind a skull-sized ball of blooms and... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite – Week 15

4/9/20 I remind myself: Long conversations without the word virus or shelter will return. My friends hips, legs and feet will return. Days not slashed through with the same universal grim will return. Diane will return, washing my hair and rubbing deep into my scalp before she cuts off all the ratty ends. Noisy bars... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite – Week 11

3/11/20 The calls have come. Soon I’ll be officially non-essential. My hand on their sharp shoulder blades, their paper-thin arms and aching fingers now has a different kind of potential. I become threat instead of tenderness, harm instead of relief. I’ll sit at home like their sons and daughters and watch the world try to... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite – Week 10

3/4/20 I drive through the farmland around Forest Grove every week and every week I search for a safe spot to pull over and take a photo of the beauty there: The unpredictable sky, the geometry of fields, the satisfying disruption caused by small hills and solitary oaks. The shoulders of the roads are mostly... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite – Week 9

2/26/20 Yesterday a caregiver taught me that cats have 13 muscles in each ear. A nursing home resident taught me that a busy elephant is called a multitusker. And a palm tree taught me that it grows beautiful purple berries. Feel it - the slip of space between rib and lung. 2/27/20 Waterfalls of tea... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite – Week 7

2/12/20 The snow diamonds were laid out in wide swaths, a valley of shine. But the windows of the van refused even a moment of clarity so the diamonds came streaked in sand and frost. The driver bit his nails for four hours straight, one hand and then the other, pausing only to pass the... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite – Week 6

2/5/20 One moment you’re a star. One moment you’re a puddle. It’s the same moment. 2/6/20 I don’t know. I keep writing and erasing. Erasing isn’t really part of freewriting rules. But who’s in charge here? Who decided, that instead of straight metal bars, to go with the a more elaborately patterned panel? As far... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite – Week 4

1/22/20 At 5:43pm I can still make out the mess of wires running between houses and utility poles. The clouds have sunset-tinted bellies. The neighbors’ upstairs light is on but I can hear their band starting up in the basement for a second practice this week. No sweet rhythms. Everything is fast and loud and... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite – Week 2

1/8/20 We all have crazy ideas now and then, but not too many of us get far in the execution of them. Something interrupts, quashes or dies before we get to the turret-building stage. Not this guy. He didn’t care that he had no plans or permits, no idea really, other than that original crazy... Continue Reading →

Photo Freewrite – Week 1

I'm easing back into an active writing practice by committing to freewrites prompted by my daily photo posts on Instagram. Nothing polished and precious here, just a handful of sentences bubbling up and out each out day. I'll be posting them collectively here once a week. Maybe you'll be inspired to join me with your... Continue Reading →

daily tabor 2012

 In 2012 I gave myself the goal of daily walks to Mt. Tabor, a big, beautiful park near my house in Portland, OR. I actually started daily walks there in the summer of 2011, but on January 1st of the new year, I added an extra component of taking a photograph of the park and posting... Continue Reading →

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