My mother came to walk alongside me as I noticed a parked school bus.  Brilliant yellow, unmistakably school bus yellow.  It was small…a seat row larger than the one D and I rode to school during those two years we were living on the farm.  

She and I reminisced about the scent of fresh baked bread that would welcome D and I home and the school dresses she made at the beginning of the 4th grade.  I think there is a first day of the fourth grade photograph in which I’m wearing one of those dresses.  Smiling…hanging on a wooden aged fence.

She silently listened as I thought of school, friends, 4-H, swimming, and reading. Today, I suddenly realized that it never came into my mind to consider what life was for her living on the farm with four children in a 10-wide trailer away from family and friends. She in Colorado. They in Oregon/California. No phone…just the postal service. No radio. No television.

Silence. Silence was her life-long companion. The silence I recently have become acquainted with when a snippet of the mediation bell simply disappears.

She trusted life within that small rural community.  She never said, “No” to weekends away from home…sleep overs that began on a Friday after school and ended on Sunday after church. She never questioned which church. There was that moment she did frown and say, “I don’t like that” as I described a Sunday service.

She greeted each friend that walked into the home with a smile…the authentic smile…the eye smile.

After we moved into town I roamed through a backyard that extended south to the Yampa River, north over the creek and up the hill behind our home, and to the eastern and western edges of town.  

During that summer the only concerns she expressed was to be home before dark and to wait an hour after eating as I would join a group of friends on the dirt path to the Yampa river with worn, faded, and tattered bath towels draped over our shoulders. Black inner tubes of various sizes dragged behind us filling the air with the pungent scent of faded rough rubber. The sounds of splashing water and laughter would fill the air as we gathered along the river bank and swam to the sandbar.

No parents…no supervision.  Freedom.  My mother gifted me freedom. 

isolation retreat 74th day

W H Auden: “Refugee Blues”

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you’ll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew;
Old passports can’t do that, my dear, old passports can’t do that.

The consul banged the table and said:
‘If you’ve got no passport, you’re officially dead’;
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
‘If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread’;
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
It was Hitler over Europe, saying: ‘They must die’;
We were in his mind, my dear, we were in his mind.

Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
But they weren’t German Jews, my dear, but they weren’t German Jews.

Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren’t the human race, my dear, they weren’t the human race.

Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors;
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.

Moving Poems, Refugee Blues by W H Auden, by Dave Bonta

Set to the verses of W.H. Auden’s 1939 poem, the multi-award winning “Refugee Blues” charts a day in ‘the jungle’, the refugee camp outside Calais. More intimate and unlike much of what has been seen in the mass media, this documentary poem counterpoints the camp’s harsh reality of frequent clashes with the French riot police with its inhabitants’ longing for a better future.

skycape photography: Nikon D750 f/8 1/400s 150mm 400 ISO edited in Capture One and Photoshop

head pillowed on arm, 

such affection for myself?

and this smoky moon


*cited in

The Sound of Water

Trans: Sam Hamil

As I was reviewing old post, these were two WP images and one haiku that were posted in April, 2013

with each lightning flash,

each roll of thunder, me and

the world grow richer


100 days…15th day


The Spring of My Life

Trans: S Hamill

Well…what did I do…should have taken notes…hum…

In response to Apple’s recent decision to retire Aperture, I have been exploring Lightroom and Photoshop as  alternative application options…so this week I jumped right into Photoshop and learned rather quickly that I need a tutorial for the various tutorials and that my learning style is most likely one built upon trial and error…but after learning about layers and playing with masking I did create an image that I eventually took into Silver Effects for a final touch up.

Visit Captivate Me to join in the fun