Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My soul is dancing.
My feet are still and silent.
My heart sings softly.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Caesar Chavez, a painting by Pozos
TOMORROW, MARCH 31, IS CAESAR CHAVEZ DAY in California, and I'm psyched for it. At the annual Caesar Chavez Breakfast at San Diego Convention Center this morning, I heard a young woman from Holtville High School read her essay that won an $8,000 scholarship. She quoted Chavez several times. She reminded us that he said, "Only by giving our lives, do we find life." Her essay also reminded me of another saying that I believe also came from Caesar Chavez. "My life is really the only thing that belongs to me." Maria Reyna's essay made me remember why I liked working with high school students. It was all about hope for herself and for her generation, and indeed for all of us. Caesar Chavez, who didn't get as far as high school in his own formal education, was an advocate for education for all people.

FARM WORKERS' PRAYER, written by Caesar Chavez

Show me the suffering of the most miserable, so I may know my people's plight. Free me to pray for others, for you are present in every person. Help me to take responsibility for my own life, so that I can be free at last. Grant me courage to serve others, for in service there is true life. Give me honesty and patience, so that I can work with other workers. Bring forth song and celebration, so that the Spirit will be alive among us. Let the Spirit flourish and grow, so that we will never tire of the struggle. Let us remember those who have died for justice, for they have given us life. Help us love even those who hate us, so we can change the world.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I approach you slowly at the patch of mysterious buttercups.
Like bovine shadows in a dark meadow,
we seek nothing... only to be allowed to wander
beside the imaginary brook, meandering together
through the deep green wideness of my soul.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The irises are blooming in a preschool playground at Claremont United Methodist Church.GOD SHOWS HIMSELF

God shows himself first
in little birds and flowers.
Later in music

Friday, March 27, 2009

FRIDAY, MARCH 27Van Hanh Buddhist Temple; chùa Vạn-hạnh

San Diego County is full enough of interesting places to keep me going out day after day to be surprised by what I find. Van Hanh Buddhist Temple at 8617 Fanita Drive in Santee was established by an expatriate Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, and poet named Nhat Hanh. He joined a Zen monastery at the age of sixteen, studied Buddhism as a novice, and was ordained as a monk in 1949. He is referred to as Thich Nhat Hanh, the title Thich is used by all Vietnamese monks and nuns, denoting their membership in the Shakya (Shakyamuni Buddha) clan. For those of us who have lived in Asia, driving up to the temple on Fanita Road is a little like going home. The temple “feels” like the best places in Southeast Asia. There is a serenity that pervades the grounds and the buildings. During the Vietnamese War Thich Nhat Hanh spent time in the U.S. raising money for refugees. Martin Luther King, Jr. was so impressed by the man that he nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ed bought a big, framed photograph of a bridge across a canal in Amsterdam... all black and white except for an orange bicycle... I came home after seeing it, looked through my photographs and found one of my own with an orange bicycle... and did the same thing with it. Even though it's not an original idea, at least the photograph is my own. I got carried away with Photoshop and couldn't stop myself until I had done some interesting things with Spanish Village in Balboa Park.JAZZ ON THE EDGE

Sitting there talking
as if the conversation had slipped back into place
interrupted in some forgotten summer
two friends together again
light and sound zooming through time and space
affirming the connectedness,
the predestination
the absolute essential unavoidable belonging
no punctuation marks
just the catching up
what’s happened

How has it been out there on the edge
my Friend
especially at night

That other exchange of greeting
in a dream surrounded by photographs
moving icons in a black and white cathedral
stations of the cross
how do you do
out there on the edge
the necessary prelude

There is more here
than meets the village eye
promise of perhaps poetry
a symphony of primary colors
tucked away since age sixteen
the background music
saved back for this superficies
these two asteroids
shooting through space
a direct hit

Play it now
Out there on the edge
while I listen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Take Notice World: My friend, formerly known as Dave Andrews, is now Dave Yoshida. He has taken the sir-name of his partner Clyde.

My mind zoomed off into a speculation about what's involved in reinventing oneself, or at least renaming oneself: How much of what and who we are is the result of what we are called, who people tell us we are? My own first name is Luther. I can’t help but wonder what seventy-four years of being Oliver or Henry or Thomas would have made me. Jerral is spelled strangely. What difference would it have made in who I am if the name by which I am called had been spelled Gerald? Even the spell-check software on my word processing program acknowledges the correctness of Gerald but doesn’t recognize Jerral. When I type my name, the computer always puts a little row of red dots below it to remind me that it is wrong. The only other Jerral that I’ve ever known is my son, David Jerral; and, of course, Margaret and I gave him that name for the same reason, I guess, that I was given the name Luther... My father, who was called Luke, was Luther. What if I were Oliver Jerral Miles, or Henry Gerald Miles, or Thomas Jerry Myles. Would I be who I am. What difference does a name make.

Everybody knows what Shakespeare said about a name: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Of course, Juliet said it about Romeo, but she was young and in love. What did she know?

Back to Dave Yoshida: Dave has a fine business. His business, like his name, is of his own making. He keeps the books for a variety for companies, both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He has taken a load off my mind for several years by doing my income taxes. I will be as confident that Dave Yoshida is the right person for the job as I was when Dave Andrews was the go-between in my relationship with the United States Internal Revenue Service and the State of California. Mr. Yoshida can be reached at (619) 220-0375.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Something about the loneliness of mountains,
the way Aspen leaves quake, or are they birches?
About the people who live in comfortable houses
above a bridge under which homeless children sleep?
About deep green woods at dusk perhaps like death
becoming subtly darker until only outlines remain?

I live in the condominium community on the hill across the valley. The bridge and the wooded area by the river below our place is home to dozens of people, some of them children. I hope I never forget they are there and that I have responsibility to do everything I can to get them back in homes. One of the things I am proud to say I did was to vote for the good man who is now president of my country. In his news conference tonight he said, and I quote, "It breaks my heart that any children in our country are homeless." He pledged to continue to work to get their parents back to work and the families back in homes. The historic gates at the north end of Park Boulevard will serve to remind me that the good life is closed off to far too many people.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The pure white orchid
blooms on bare green fragile stem
promising nothing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I could take a hundred pictures of the ocean every day, and every one would be different from all the others. I particularly like the simplicity of this one. I usually don't like the horizon to be right at the middle of the image. This time it's slightly above the middle, but not far up. I like depth of field I got this time from the markings in the sand.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I'll never know,unless some one who sees these photographs tells me, what kind of butterfly this caterpillar will become. It was crawling across the parking lot where I live. I'd have stepped on it if I had been watching where my feet were going. If I hadn't got down with a close-up lens, I'd never have know what a marvelously designed creature it is.THE CATERPILLAR
by Robert Graves

Under this loop of honeysuckle,
A creeping, coloured caterpillar,
I gnaw the fresh green hawthorn spray,
I nibble it leaf by leaf away.

Down beneath grow dandelions,
Daisies, old-man’s-looking-glasses;
Rooks flap croaking across the lane.
I eat and swallow and eat again.

Here come raindrops helter-skelter;
I munch and nibble unregarding:
Hawthorn leaves are juicy and firm.
I’ll mind my business: I’m a good worm.

When I’m old, tired, melancholy,
I’ll build a leaf-green mausoleum
Close by, here on this lovely spray,
And die and dream the ages away.

Some say worms win resurrection,
With white wings beating flitter-flutter,
But wings or a sound sleep, why should I care?
Either way I’ll miss my share.

Under this loop of honeysuckle,
A hungry, hairy caterpillar,
I crawl on my high and swinging seat,
And eat, eat, eat—as one ought to eat.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak responded to world-wide criticism that the recent incursion into Gaza included blatant attacks on civilian women and children and the elderly by saying that “The Israeli Army is the most moral in the world, and I know what I’m talking about because I know what took place in the former Yugoslavia, in Iraq.” In an interview with The New York Times, Amir Marmor, a 33-year-old history graduate student in Jerusalem and a military reservist, said he was stunned to discover the way civilian casualties were discussed in training discussions before his tank unit entered Gaza in January. “Shoot and don’t worry about the consequences,” was the message from the top commanders, he said.

This morning’s Union-Tribune newspaper in San Diego reported on another war, our very own Iraq War. U-T staff writer Stever Liewer writes, “Six years ago today, Americans sat rapt in front of their televisions as U.S. and allied tanks thundered across Iraq’s dusty frontier. The ensuing weeks of shock and awe brought a tumultuous roll into Baghdad, the fall of President Saddam Hussein and a premature assertion that the Iraq mission was accomplished. In that heady spring of 2003, few expected that nearly 1400,000 U.S. troops -- almost as many as were involved in the invasion -- would still patrol the country six years later. More than 4,200 American military personnel have died in the war."

Nowhere in the U-T story is there mention of the many thousands of Iraqi citizens who have died in the six years since the war began. As a matter of fact, between 91,000 and 100,000 thousand Iraqi civilians have died from violence since the war began. The Iraq Body Count project’s documentary evidence is drawn from crosschecked media reports of violent events leading to the death of civilians, or of bodies being found, and is supplemented by the careful review and integration of hospital, morgue, NGO and official figures.

So, now who wants to be the first to talk about “moral” armies and “moral” war?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Click on these images to see them bigger.
I learned today that the name of the ubiquitous eucalyptus tree means “well covered” in Greek. It is indeed the bark of the tree that gets my attention. I went back today specifically to visit a rainbow eucalyptus tree behind the Museum of Photographic Arts. The bark of the tree changes from season to season. When I was there toward the end of the summer last year, the bark had become worn and dull. As the old bark peels away, new bright colors appear. Along the way I stopped to take photographs of other trees, all of them eucalyptus. These trees are native to Australia, but they thrive in our Mediterranean climate.