I was out on a bicycle ride yesterday when I came upon a huge, mossy-backed snapping turtle on the side of the road. It was obvious that she was laying a clutch of eggs–right there, inches from the busy highway! I would have wagged my finger at her for such wanton indiscretion, but she could’ve snapped it off like a twig, so I kept my distance. Very few of the typical hundred or so turtle hatchlings survive as it is, but these will literally be left by the side of the road. It seems strange to me, but turtles have been around for a couple hundred million years, so they must be doing something right.

Whenever I run into a turtle, it reminds me of that anecdote about a science teacher who was explaining the physics of the earth in space to his class, when one of the students stood up and said that the earth rests on the back of a great turtle. When asked by the teacher what that turtle rests on, the student replied, “It’s turtles all the way down.”

–Photos by me

escort (archives)

i lie on the beach

under tangerine skies

amid scattered

and twisted debris,

while 13 black birds,

dispatched from

the sun,

are fast coming

‘cross the dark sea.

they’ve come

to escort

a lost soul

to the west,

a soul that’s been

newly set free,

and their black

beady eyes

look around

for their prize–

o why are they

looking at me?

–photo by me

Shot of the Day 6/15/22

“Lake of Fire”

It’s another great morning of jaw-dropping beauty, and I am officially 7 months sober today!!

I like this photo because, if I look at it in just the right way, I can see a roiling, fuming lake of fire beyond the trees that extends to the distant purple mountains.

–Photo by me

Lilacs (haibun)

The lilacs have finally blossomed here after a late spring, and I’m out for a walk around the neighborhood on this beautiful sunny morning. As I move in closer to a large bush for a photo, the fragrance wafts up and envelops me; it is so overwhelming, that I feel a bit drunk, in fact, and I’m 7 months sober! A warm rush of memories float on the aroma.

Moving along to the next bush, I remember the Greek myth about how Pan, god of the fields and forests, relentlessly pursued the nymph Syringa for her beauty, until she turned herself into a lilac bush to escape him. Today, Syringa is the scientific name for the lilac.

Last year at this time, I took my youngest granddaughter to the park to introduce her to the luscious flora there. We found some magnificent lilac bushes, and I suggested that she take a whiff. She leaned in and inhaled deeply; a smile came across her precious little face, and she said, “I knew purple would smell nice.”

o nymph syringa

you once bewitched the god pan–

now, you bewitch us all

–Photos by me