Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Beltaine ~ Féile Na Bealtaine

Happy Beltaine ~ Féile Na Bealtaine. The night of Bel's fires. Light a candle tonight, smudge the house with sage smoke. Jump over the candlestick. This is a night of enchantment, like Halloween, when the doors of the Otherworld open. Magic happens.

The Celtic day begin at sunset. So April 30, at sunset, is really May 1. Got it? Good. I won't mention that the calendar we use, is not the same as the one used in the Middle Ages, so it's anywhere from 4 to 9 days off, depending upon which century you hailed from.

I was driving down Hwy 80 from Martinez when the lurid sunset outdid its own clichés. I was stuck in the mother of all traffic jams and the sky was practicing its own weird version of coastal alpenglow. I thought of Heidi's firebird. A phoenix sky to herald the beginning of summer. (No not, the Summer Solstice, that's the half-way mark of summer.

added & revised 4/30/2016 from a FB memory

Monday, April 25, 2011

Car Thieves

Car thieves TOWED off my elderly Honda Civic during the wee hours about a month ago—and then abandoned it in a local parking lot under the freeway—they must've snagged the wrong red Honda and then realized it was older than dirt. Dented door, broken signal light. And a general sense of outrage. Do I have to pay the parking ticket as well?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Killing my cameras softly

I taught 3 poetry classes at one school (5th grade) in SSF, and 4 after-school art classes at Brett Harte Elementary School near Hunter's Point, a dicey part of SF adjacent to Candlestick Park—I'm deep in the trenches and loving it. Otherwise, it's been a pretty shitty day. A kindergartner decided to hug me for all she was worth for doing art with her and so she launched herslef at me to hug me and my best camera went flying—this right after my tea spilled all over my MacBook. So now my shutter won't open all the way. The other camera too took the plunge in a similar fashion. All this loving. I'm down two Nikons. And I can't document the incredible artwork the kids did. At least my 23-year-old little red Honda hatchback (Lil Rix) is behaving. Not a place you want to break down while being white.

added & rev. 4/17



Dyslexia at work:
I misread a banal story
of a director whose concussion
changed his life
and sent him
on a quest for brainalities.


Sunday, April 17, 2011


After the Celtic Games closed,
we all sang in the gloaming
until a pink moon rose
mightily over the tule springs
at Floyd Lamb State Park,
then the peacocks all woke up
and joined in on Hey Jude.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Petroglyph hunting at Mouse's Tank, Valley of Fire, NV

Petroglyph hunting at Mouse's Tank, a box canyon in the Valley of Fire, NV. (Eastern Mojave Desert). The Navajo Sandstone is the same formation found in Red Rock Canyon and Utah's Zion National Park. The Valley of Fire, once the bottom of a deep ocean basin became a desert 150 to 180 million years ago; the dunes fossilized into sandstone; 65 million years ago, subduction along the North American plate caused faulting, uplifting so older limestone rock is now on top of younger redrock!

There were so many petroglyphs we couldn't see them all in one day! There were two hidden sandstone pools like large baths at the end of the boxw hich are catch-basins for runoff—and occasionally become a cistern for a waterfall.

The entire canyon (1/2 mile) is one vast storyboard. Sad that erosion has taken its toll and sides of rock faces have sloughed off, taking the ancient stories with them. We didn't have time to hike to AtlAtl Rock (even more petroglyphs). Next time.

 The canyon is named 'The Mouse's Tank' because a Southern Paiute Indian renegade,'Little Mouse,' who went wild whenever he got drunk, was accused of gunning down two prospectors and other crimes, hid out there in the 1890's.

 The petroglyphs are 4000 to 700 years old, and many were re-eched later. Different styles, enigmatic symbols. Not necessarily Paiute as the Lost City—aka Virgin Anasazi pueblo is nearby in the Moapa Valley.

added 4/17