11 October 2014

Prickly Sphere, Charlo, Montana

“So it is with life. 
Those thorns, the prickly problems of life, cause us to strive to rise above them and then, as we do, we learn. 
We learn to exercise true compassion, true kindness - or the thorns, if we let them, cause us to brood, to mourn over our trials. Then we plant the seeds of bitterness, hate, and ruin - weeds. 
We may reach up for the rose or down to the weeds...the weeds in life that tangle us, strangle us, and cause us to lose hope.” - James Michael Pratt

10 October 2014

Small City at Sunset, Missoula, Montana

At six
  the sun sets
escorted by puffs of blushing clouds,
distributing its last golden wealth
to the immediate heaven
while the whole cosmos
turns green and blue with envy
The mountains stretching —
   a huge black cat
the humming city nestles cosily to rest. 

- From "City Sunset" by Celestine Kulagoe
from Some Modern Poetry from the Solomon Islands, edited by Albert Wendt (Fiji: Mana Publications, 1975)

(Click the above text links to read the full poem and learn more about the author.)

09 October 2014

Dock - Flathead Lake, Polson, Montana

In case you wonder, “Why would anyone label their dock?”, the full inscription actually reads “PRIVATE DOCK”.
(Hmmmm... I hear the murmur - especially if you know I don't have a boat, or a dock, or convenient acquaintances who share such - wondering, how then did this photo come about?)
But given the lack of hangers-about, and the lure of this perfect, weathered pier, I ran with that golden maxim, “Sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness, not permission.”
And - lucky me ! - there was no need to request either! 

Untroubled, I sat down where the seagulls had not left their brand of graffiti and savoured the luscious lake and mountain view, to a soundtrack of lappy-lappy waves backed by a sighing wind section. 
Livin' a version of the Montana good life!

08 October 2014

Water Skipper, Missoula, Montana

“Whenever we’re asked
If we walk upon water
We answer
            Of course.
To be sure.
It’s quite true….

Should we be questioned
On whether it’s easy
We answer
Quite easy.
A snap.
It’s a cinch….”

Paul Fleischman’s entire charming poem in the voice of water skippers is viewable here in a preview of his book “Joyful Noise, Poems for Two Voices.” Fleischman’s witty bug’s-eye-views, paired with Eric Beddows charming illustrations, will set your inner child to begging your adult self to ‘PleasePleasePlease go to the bookstore and buy this for me!’

07 October 2014

Stone-Gathered Moss, Missoula, Montana

The un-rolling stone is often derided, by association, for its lack of ambition. 
But there’s a reassurance and restfulness in the clear calm of this mossy pause.
Besides, the Western Montana experience of rolling stones is that they ricochet madly down mountain sides and are something you only hope to see on a highway warning sign
- or in concert at your local stadium.

06 October 2014

Mums the Word, Missoula, Montana

"...The bee, his hive, 
Well-honeyed hum,
 And Mother cuts 

Like plates washed clean 
With suds, the days
 Are polished with 
A morning haze." 
- from John Updike's 'September'

05 October 2014