May 2013

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We ventured to Eugene yesterday for the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum Wildflower Festival. It was a sweet affair, with booths for selling treats of the edible, garden, and treasure variety. We ate and drank, bought some gifts, and walked the paths to spy as many varieties of wildflower as we could. We saw fourteen in the wild and countless others on educational display, which I wish I had looked at before hiking around, so I would not have gotten quite so close to the poison oak. Thankfully this silly goose only touched the flowers!

That’s Camas pictured above

Columbian Larkspur

This tree was more than 400 years old when it met its demise. The hubster is 6’1″ for reference – the awe of creation!

The Oak Savannah

Wild Hyacinth

Tiny and yellow – I wish I knew the name.

Oregon Iris

Siberian Candyflower

Bracken Fern Fiddleheads

Wild Yellow Pea


Crab Spider on a Daisy

The hubster teased me for defying the principles of the Prime Directive by knocking the spider off the blossom. Anything for the bees…



Cow Parsnip

Straight Beaked Buttercup

Red Columbine



The Phantom

The phantom leaves traces


propellers on high

a tiny check mark

seen at 7:18.

I knew the phantom as flesh and bone

raven curls

eyes stolen from the sea.

Letters and words over years and miles

left to wither

into the dead silence

of space.

The universe doesn’t give a whit about the phantom

nor me

nor you.

It hurtles us

into each other

into stellar bodies

into nothing at all.

I knew the phantom for an instant

flashes of bicycles

shaved legs

tender smiles.


only silence


but drifting

straining that fine thread.

The phantom’s cares

fear? aversion? revulsion?



The universe’s cares as open as sky

casting stones that burn through atmospheres

toxic interstellar clouds

brilliant stars now deathly black holes.

Don’t let us be a black hole, dear phantom.

Don’t let us disappear

not while we still have breath.


speak of fear

speak of wonder

speak of sky

speak of waves

speak of any thing

just speak

before you can’t

before I can’t

before the universe

renders us two dust motes in the cosmos



Colleen Sohn



Being a Person

Be a person here.

Stand by the river, invoke the owls.

Invoke winter, then spring.

Let any season that wants to come here make its own call.

After that sound goes away, wait.

A slow bubble rises through the earth and begins to include sky, stars, all space, even the outracing expanding thought.

Come back and hear the little sound again.

Suddenly this dream you are having matches everyone’s dream, and the result is the world.

If a different call came, there wouldn’t be any world, or you, or the river, or the owls calling.

How you stand here is important.

How you listen for the next things to happen.

How you breathe.

William Stafford

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I sit on the back porch, feet up, nibbling cheese. Guilty pleasure that, any variety but goat, the miserable, ever-present tang clinging to my throat, no matter what they say.

It is heavy with heat and this scramble on the keyboard a break from lying prostrate with a book propped on my chest. Though the reading could be better. I vacillate between two lesser books that also happen to be the favorites of people dear to me. I hate that, hate that I see their earnest faces and kind eyes in the midst of my dislike. And now, an invocation of whatever spirit will make my next read so wholly captivating that I read until my eyes ache and pulse quickens.

A trio of hummingbirds competes for our garden, and I marvel at the fierceness, the fantastic fluttered wing spirals and wild chirps of battle.

A crow breaks a cracker in the bird bath, some snack gleaned elsewhere and slowly savored here. She is quiet and delicate in her work, and I marvel at the fact that she does it all without hands. Her onyx feathers gleam, and she watches me, coyly perhaps. We are friends but not that kind, not yet, her penetrating eyes intent on me as I speak to her, of her beauty, mucky messes, and occasional early wake-up calls. She’s finished eating and scratches her head with her left foot, even considers a bath, lightly splashing with her beak, no matter the diminutive size of the vessel in relation to her body.

A squirrel is five feet away from her, hoovering every last remnant the finches and sparrows and jays messily toss out of the feeder, some silent agreement, perhaps. Another claws madly in a wild dash up the neighbor’s sequoia.

Paris is stretched on the concrete of the patio, five feet from me, wholly unaware of the life that surrounds her, pretending she is some Egyptian, I think, so regal is her posture.

I hear the bushtits flit about and a robin chirp in the distance. Children rough house nearby and the steady thrum of traffic drones in the distance, though sometimes I cannot hear it and am elsewhere, some fine elysian field, where all that I love lasts and there is no rush to capture it for another hour.

Happy Birthday, Allison!


Peony season is upon us a little early, thanks be to a long stint of dry and warm weather.

I am wishing for rain and dreaming about horseback riding.

The strawberries are ripening, but some little creature is beating us to the punch when it comes to actually eating them. We may have to start getting up earlier.

My palms are sweaty.

I hurt my wrist, gardening, of all things, so rather than practice yoga and re-injure myself, I have been walking, complete with wide-brimmed hat or parasol. Though this morning, I danced, a wild thunder of stomps and shakes.

Listening to the Black Angels and Devendra Banhart. Happiness.

My favorite little boy visited on Wednesday, and as we were eating lunch, he moved quite close and said, “You aren’t old, but you have a lot of old hairs on your head.”

That same day, in related not-old news, I flew a kite!

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