Saturday, October 25, 2008

This CAN'T Be It . . .

I want to believe I live in an America that will not let the disease of a McPalin presidency spread. That the stunningly inane George W. Bush got into the White House in the first place was hard enough to swallow. That we ended up with John Kerry trying to displace him was another blow (sorry Senator Kerry--I voted for you but I didn't think you were the strongest candidate to go up against the Republican machine)--almost as big a blow as the resulting 4 more years. Even the idea that there are Americans that would choose McCain and Palin over two people who are as smart and compassionate as Barack Obama and Joe Biden is unthinkable. But I have seen and heard some of the people who will be voting for the McPalin ticket. Scary. Very scary.

I am afraid and ashamed of America for allowing the Bush administration to take over--no, not just take over but rape our government and spit on us by spending our tax money on a war devised to make the rich richer at the cost of our priceless and irreplaceable soldiers' lives and the lives of innocent civilians in Iraq. Pro-Life means nothing to the McPalins of the world--only on their terms. Our country, pushed into areas of the world we have no business being in, has become, well, I was going to say a bully, but that's way too light a word. Our country has become a cruel and insane serial murderer. If Obama doesn't win--we'll only spiral further down.
Vote Obama. This could be it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hiking, reading, making stuff

After two months of hiking 4-5 times a week this is the first week I spent without a day in the woods. Feels wrong. Very wrong. I guess the woods, especially the redwoods, have become kind of a sanctuary for me. With all the studying of Jeffers, Muir, the book I recently finished, Grayson, by Lynne Cox, and all the spiritual poetry I've been wading in (reading and writing), it's no wonder the woods are a sacred place for me. But I think nature has always has provided that for me. When I'm climbing up and down some mountain, I'm centered and can feel my breath. Trees don't care about time in the way that we do. They know what they're born to do and they do it without griping about it. I have a lot to learn from trees.

Speaking of centering . . . I'm rereading Centering by M.C. Richards. All the poetry I've been reading and writing and I'm signed up for a pottery workshop at the end of this month, the book really has a lot to say to me. Funny how that book keeps making reappearances since the first time I read it. I think that was in Gabriele Rico's class. I remember how my creativity was so fired up. I was drawing and writing and I didn't know I had to pick either one. And, well, I don't. I guess I'm seduced by two muses and that's just how it's going to be.

So tomorrow looks like I'll be breaking my hiking fast. A day off, coffee and a book in bed in the morning. And then I plan to be on "tree-time" maybe at Pogonip in Santa Cruz or Nicene Marks in Aptos. Maybe Villa Montalvo--all beautiful places.

Friday, August 15, 2008

"Buckskin Horse" finds a home


Yarroway Mountain Press has just released a beautiful anthology of horse poetry called Cadence of Hooves. They happen to have included one of my poems: "Buckskin Horse." I wrote the poem at a week-long poetry retreat in Marfa, Texas organized by the poet (and friend) Dawn Trook. I was lucky enough to work with both Scott Cairns and Brigit Pegeen Kelly. This particular poem came from Brigit's workshop, but Scott's workshop produced a poem called "Echo" that would later be reformed into a sonnet that won a Phelan award at San Jose State University.

I'm kinda' liking this poetry stuff!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

. . .and counting

Not that I'm counting . . . but there are 12 more school days until summer. I think the kids are as ready as I am to have this time off. School is rough, although for a lot of kids there's not a lot other than school. This occurs to me occasionally as I'm racing from my classroom to the parking lot and I notice the same kid sitting at a picnic table on school grounds, day after day. I think I was that kid some thirty-forty years ago. I used to hang out near the art room at my junior high, hoping Mrs. Wright would show up and let me in to draw--or really just to keep company with her. She was this beautiful hippy artist teacher (it was the early 70's) who lived in Redwood Estates, drove a green Volvo station wagon with dog claw scratches on the passenger side. She showed us a a pen and ink drawing of her two dogs she'd drawn from a photo and we were in awe of her skills.
Well, she turned me on to art, but more than anything, she took time to listen to my teen-age angst (and I mean a lot of time--a lot of angst), made me feel valuable, both as an artist and a person. She meant a lot--no, she means a lot to me. How can I, now an art teacher myself, not think of her often?
So--Marilyn Wright--wherever you may be (hopefully it is in a magnificent, creative space): I get it! And I hope there might be a student out there who respects me/remembers me the same one day.

Monday, April 28, 2008

4 months later

Okay--short and sweet. School is almost over for the year. Summer approaches as I (feel the need to) retreat. I have to say, being both a teacher and a student is engulfing, overwhelming . . . yet satisfying. I'm taking two grad classes in the MFA program at SJSU, both are poetry seminars, and both require large amounts of reading and writing. O the responsibility of deadlines! But I think I'm doing alright and after having taken some time off to deal with issues in my personal life, I'm making a steady comeback. Steady is not a bad thing and certainly more my style than splashy would be. Unfortunately, no self-portraits for now, but I intend to make more pictures this summer. I feel there may be a summer writing/illustrating project in the works. More about that later--hopefully before the end of summer. I have a feeling this blogging business will be easier while I'm reaping the benefits of teaching . . . time for art and writing!