Saturday, February 28, 2009

all fountains
in Rome and
all Romes are
in Italy which
should be
just about
information on
to base

Friday, February 27, 2009



ing;edge, of

(inquiry before snow

E. E. Cummings

Thursday, February 26, 2009

THE FLOWER is the photo du jour. The images I have had in my head today have been associated with the movie Slumdog Millionaire and a couple of days Margaret and I spent in Mumbai four years ago. Bob Smith has written to me about the film, and I feel compelled to share what he wrote....about SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, the movie
Bob Smith, Pennington, New Jersey

Knowing the world to the extent that I do and worrying about the way we are heading with global warming, limited resources, a population that won't stop growing rapidly, I wonder how many generations in the future will it take before our descendents are "slum dogs" scrambling around for food and shelter.   How long will it take before the sins of our generation seriously endanger the life of another in such drastic and horrible ways?   I'm being too pessimistic, but the movie did get my mind cranking in that direction.  Also, destiny, that sense there is something/someOne controlling the path we take in life, it's what I have to put up with on a daily basis.  We call it "God's will" and it is an excuse for not changing self or situation.  "Guide us, O God, to be and do what You would have us be and do..."  When nothing gets's in the context of God's will.  Proposition 8...God's will.  It's not articulated is such a way, but patterns of behavior reinforce it over and over again. The hopefulness of the movie was in the unconditional love Jamal had for Latika.  His willingness to place himself in danger in multiple ways for the one he so completely loved was a ray of hope throughout the movie. I do believe in such love and it's life changing consequences, but resignation to destiny scares me. The Taj Mahal Hotel and the Gateway to India on the waterfront of Mumbai. Dhoby Ghat is the site of Mumbai's remarkable laundry industry. It isn't far from where some of the film was shot.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

North Park’s water tower at the corner of Howard Street and Idaho Street is the only one of its kind left in the city of San Diego. I like it for reasons I can’t explain. Perhaps it reminds me of the water tower I remember in the little town of Glenwood, Arkansas. Maybe it's because it makes me remember a bicycle trip across American when I saw water towers of towns in the middle of the country long before I saw the towns themselves. Perhaps it’s that it can be seen from a long way off, and anything that imposes itself on me from a great distance must be respected. Perhaps it’s accidental urban art that won’t be seen as important until its gone. Perhaps it’s that I think of the Eiffel Tower when I see it. Perhaps it’s that the water tower is old and so am I. If news comes in my lifetime that there are plans to take it down, I’ll organize a protest.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24A few minutes after I took this photograph tonight, I listened to President Obama speak to the nation about America's economic crisis. After the speech I had the distinct feeling that I will look back on this picture years from now and will be reminded that February 24, 2009, was the day when a brilliant young American President told his nation and the world that the sun is not setting on America's glory days. I heard in his message a strong statement of belief that America's best days are ahead. The sun will come up tomorrow on a stronger, wiser America.

By the way, this photograph was not taken with one of my Nikons but with a little Olympus point-and-shoot (C-7000) camera. Margaret and I were having dinner with Ed Jirjis and his brother Sam at Ed's place when the sunset stopped conversation.

Monday, February 23, 2009

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23I continue to be intrigued by the glass office buildings in Mission Valley, especially on days when we have clouds.

On Saturday the mourning dove chicks left the nest outside my window.

*Smale Foweles Maken Melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open eye

My companion birds have flown.
The nest is empty. I am lonely.

But in a month or two
she will come again
to renew my faith.

When she returns,
like Chaucer’s little bird,
she sleeps all night
with open eye

and waits to begin
what she by instinct
is assigned to do.

*From the prologue to the Canterbury Tales...
by Geoffrey Chaucer

Sunday, February 22, 2009

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, SAN DIEGO, is a structure whose architecture transcends its purpose. Cathedrals belong to the world, not just to the places where they happen to have been built. Like its cousins scattered around the world, like Salisbury Cathedral in England, for example, the San Diego church dominates the landscape. Just as I can't erase even in my imagination the 750-year-old cathedral from the Salisbury Plain, I can't imagine Mission Valley without its Methodist Church. The old Mission San Diego Alcala at the east end of the valley is a great place to visit, but it's not a commanding presence. Even the beautiful basilica at the University of San Diego on the hill at the western end of the valley is forgettable. I like both the inside and the outside of the Mission Valley Church and Salisbury Cathedral.

The back view of the church reminds me of a cave, a comfortable cave, a cave I don't mind entering. I started a piece of writing that I can't seem to finish, and it doesn't fit either the Mission Valley church or Salisbury Cathedral; but it's a reminder that some churches are frightening caves.

There are caves I’m afraid to go into
and rooms where I don’t want to go
no matter how lovely their doors.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Bless the madness.
This area is not secure.

Pray for disillusion.
This area is not secure.

The world is not what it was thought to be...
This area is not secure.

When winter followed spring...
This area is not secure.

and love and like were not the same.
This area is not secure.

Strawberries and promises don’t keep forever.
This area is not secure.

Friday, February 20, 2009

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20Carol and Ken Holmgren see the El Cajon Valley from their home on Sierra Vista Avenue. Their part of Sierra Vista is a private road that would be right at home in any of several European landscapes. Except for the eucalyptus trees near their house the view from their back deck reminds me especially of that corner of Europe shared by Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

NOT THE DAILY POST... Couldn't resist these photos I took today from the Secor's house in El Cajon. Scroll down to find the photo-du-jour...
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19The pair of mourning doves nesting in the planter outside my window are parents of two chicks. One of them was glaring at me as I was taking the picture. The adults have been coming back to the same nest for three years. These two chicks are big enough now to be very demanding. I think they will be able to fly away in a couple of days. The mother is more patient with them than the father. He comes in with food, feeds the greedy chicks and leaves immediately. She sticks around for awhile; and when the chicks get rowdy, she hops up on a perch above them until they settle down. She tolerates my getting very close. We know each other; she has been watching me write for weeks.

This E.E. Cummings poem says it all.

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it’s sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there’s never been quite such a fool who should fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

e.e. cummings

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18only if the trees by the river
lean against the wind not
away from it the seagulls
get confused about where the food is
free and the fish hide before sunup
when over by the jetty pelicans dive
up and down and up and down the
cats dropped off in a box when
who would have guessed homeless
people get used to the cold even rain
before or usually after the mailman
has forgotten who lived in the house
before the storm and whenever spring
comes usually before seven police units
surrounded the church after the sermon
in the center of every flower
god or maybe even God big G
lives and nobody knows or can know
which is what an Agnostic big A
I once knew in a previous life
said was his excuse for putting off
deciding the moon in its second phase
does very little to make daffodils yellow
or hamburgers at big city restaurants
sail into the sunset two at a time
half price on Thursdays.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


One life for each of us.
That’s how it works.
I’ve got mine, and you’ve got yours.
God damn, how I love turnips,
mustard greens, and black-eyed peas,
anything that smells and tastes of earth.
Choose, if you want to, refined pleasures
smooth and bland, elegant on the plate.
Let me have some straight talk, blunt,
about the way the world really is.
You take the woman from the university
who has nothing more to learn.
I’ll have a small bunch of those marigolds.
You take the orchids.

Monday, February 16, 2009

why did you go
little fourpaws?
you forgot to shut
your big eyes.

where did you go?
like little kittens
are all the leaves
which open in the rain.

little kittens who
are called spring,
in what we stroke
maybe asleep?

do you know?or maybe did
something go away
ever so quietly
when we weren’t looking.

E.E. Cummings

Sunday, February 15, 2009

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15. It's worth clicking on these to see them larger.Every flower, like every child,
is a special flower.
What makes it special
isn't immediately obvious.
It doesn't have to be obvious.
It's a mystery.
The center of you
is like the center
of a flower.

God in you is like
God in a flower.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14THE RAIN SHOWERS that swept over San Diego last night cleared away haze. This was a good day for photographing the city from Cabrillo Point.Click on the photographs to see them larger.

Friday, February 13, 2009

EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA... Click on the images to see them larger.The photograph above was taken from Ed Jirjis' back yard in El Cajon. Grossmont College is across the way under Caul's Mountain. The photograph below was taken from Will's and Estelle's back yard. El Cajon is Spanish for "the box." The town, boxed in by mountains on all sides, is well named.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

TODAY'S PHOTOGRAPH is an accident; but after seeing it, I thought it was an accident worth owning. I accidentally tripped the shutter as I was taking the camera out of the case in a dark room. The shutter stayed open for long enough to make these lines of light. The word photography means literally writing with light.TIME OUT OF JOINT

This seems to be the season for trying to get something for nothing. Thievery and forgery are age old attempts to get money without earning it. What seems unusual and novel are some newly hatched schemes reported daily in newspapers and on television. Big bank and giant corporation executives, already the highest paid people in corporate America are joined by San Diego firemen and a Los Angeles mother in outrageous grabs for money. The four firemen, those strong, courageous, fearless defenders of public safety, claim to be sexual harassment victims who have suffered headaches, anxiety, anger and other stress-related issues because of their participation in an annual public celebration and parade. Each is asking for a million bucks as compensation for his suffering. The Los Angeles welfare mother of six who gave birth to eight more children she didn’t need, children who are likely to have multiple disabilities, has established a WEB site asking people to send money. Is there a special school for scoundrels where people learn and practice schemes for getting money without working for it? If such a school exists, I shouldn’t be surprised to learn that it is asking to be included in the government’s stimulus plan.