Thursday, December 22, 2005

Counting Down to the big day

One gift already received - the ANWAR vote went the right way.

Sunday, I attended a concert in Tillamook, OR, my daughter second soprano on the left.

Wonderful music and the dynamics of watching orchestra and chior get ready was most interesting and resulted in this little ditty:

The Orchestra Tunes Its Instruments

The sounds of forest, field and garden
fill the blue sanctuary –

dragonflies and damsel
bubble bees and sand fleas
wee green frogs and a great toad
ducklings lost among herons

a hippo out of Africa

crickets escaped from a hearth
geese and starlings’ song
bright as bells and chimes

and a very human trumpet


Ben arrives this afternoon - the house full of a 4 year old.



Friday, December 16, 2005

December News IV: Politics

Will it get any stranger?

This day (12/16/2005), the president accused of authorizing spying on citizens. Earlier in the week, Novak says W knows who the CIA leak is - and does nothing against his promise.

We torture but don't.

The House pushes the Patriot Act - with further errosion of our rights.

The big preachers refuse to object that Congress is cutting programs for the needy, more interested in politics than charity. They want every baby born, even if they starve afterward.

The reasons for being in Iraq based on faulty intell (says W), but that is okay.

It's ok if Tom the Hammer steals but not that Bill lies about sex.

Tax cuts for the very wealthy.

Can anyone say Rome?

My current view: Don't vote the man, vote the party. We need at least one house to become Democrat, if not both. As long as the GOP is the majority, the craziness with continue.

And don't forget it has been 1000 days since victory declared with over 2000 military killed. How many years will it be before we reach the number who perished during 911?

To end, read the Newsweek piece on Bush in a bubble, and Esquire's January back page.

Be cool and vote often.



December News III - the book published, A River Transformed

And now the biggie. I finally published the first of four planned books: A River Transformed - Wang Wei’s River Wang Poems as Inspiration which can be purchased at

The book is a collection of verse libre sonnets inspired by Wang Wei's River Wang poems; my translations of Wang's work; a cinquain and tanka for each; and a collection of other Eastern style poetry, many Chinese short songs. An example:

The Question Answered (I)

When asked why I retire among pine mountains,
I laugh silently. Why answer, my mind at rest?
Peach petals float away the last of my ambition.
There's quiet tranquility beyond the fields of men.

Questions, Answers (II)

Why live so far beyond clear cuts,
pastures, orchards?
I would chuckle at the answer,
if I understood the question.

Salmonberries drift along rapids
towards canyons alive with fireflies.
Under stars, above dew-soaked ground
there'll be peace enough, left alone.

(responses to Li Po's "Question and Answer in the Mountains")

Come over and give it a look. If you are into Eastern poetry, it will be a nice addition to your collection; and a good present for a friend.

My store will be at


I said 4 books. The second will be a collection of song parodies (the first posted below), the poems from MindFire's "Eye of the Coming Storm" (my volume will be A Mote in the Eye of the Storm) and other unpublished work.

Proceeds from Mote will be donated to Habitat for Humanity; and if both River and Mote purchased together, the profit from both will be donated.

Expect in in the store in January.

The third will be a collection I wrote with two other poets titled The Garbage Collection. It will be expanded to be a good length and make it worth your pennies. An example:

dog in garbage can

saran wrap and ziploc
transparent blossoms on roses

screw top wine bottles
lawn ornaments

morning paper
and enquirer dance out of step

o and rosie

spinach salad
tuna helper
splattered art

discarded for pepperoni sausage
olives cold cheese strings
anchovies spit into ditch
pineapple saved for dessert

thanks given for plastic cans

(A true story and the event that started the collection.)

The fourth and final volume will be a reissue of my chapbook, Reflections, also expanded to a good length. If all goes well, the last will be out by June.


Does self-publishing work? Maybe, maybe not; but it beats the alternative -nothing.

More ahead?



December News II - the new FireWeed

The monthly companion to MindFire is FireWeed, much, much smaller. The December issue is ready to read at - 7 poems selected by the editor and I, experimental, workshop, book reviews, contest winners, politics and more.

BTW, FireWeed is not published in the months we do MindFire.




December news I - Health

Is there any reason to have a blog if we are not going to keep it up?

Answering my own question, of course not; but then shit happens.

For most of the year, I've been feeling under the weather, tired. With good reason. Just before Thanksgiving, I ended up in the ER - felt like a 1000 pound rock on my torso. The diagnosis is anemia. My body not absorbing B-12 which is needed to make blood, so I was a quart or so low and trying to operate without enough oxygen.

The cure - transfusions, then B-12 shots all my life.

The good news is I have more energy than in a long time; but still not up there. I need more shots (weekly for the month) to raise the red blood cell level.

BTW, our HMO posts the lab test; so we know where we stand in comparison to a range. B-12 above the low limit barely. Red cells are also, but furthur towards the middle.

My literaty mag has been a struggle due to computer problems and health. I almost gave it up, but now I feel good enough to keep going. In 2004, we did 2 issues, in 05 3, in o6 we hope for 4.

I'm doing this in stages, so on to part II.