Monthly Archives: September 2015





My feet have slowed—
my eye measures distance
and my mind weighs

the importance of moving
as I withdraw
from all the magic

flashing the horizon
like explosions
of another war

that will not wound me,
fatally. This time
is mine to spend,

frugally. Summer sighs
into September shadows
as I wait for storms

to wash the outside
world clean away.
Too old to play football

or politics anymore,
I hear colors sing
without a score.


Rough Fire: Evacuation Orders Lifted



139,000+ acres
49% containment






It is nothing, really, but a damp breeze
through the screen door rattling papers
on my desk, clearing the evidence

of last night’s flat bread from the kitchen
before returning to morning black—
light drops on a metal roof.

Fourth dry summer of drought,
it sweeps dust from my brain,
teases hair on my bare chest

as if I were wild, alive again—
as if we might escape this hell,
rinse the taste from our mouths.

Too early to storm, it is nothing, really,
but a damp breeze playing rain—
a few gods revisiting survivors

and the dead—playing with the possibility
of change. Once again, I am reminded
that nothing stays the same.


September Echinopsis







The prospect of having to gather this country ahead of the Rough Fire is daunting.


Smoke in the Valley


7:20 a.m., Sept. 11, 2015

7:20 a.m., Sept. 11, 2015

Smoke continues to get worse throughout the Valley as the Rough Fire moves within a mile of the 2,000 year-old General Grant Tree and grove of giant Sequoias, also threatening the communities of Wilsonia and Pinehurst as it moves up the Mill Creek drainage, and towards the town of Dunlap on the western edge of the fire. Currently consuming 128,000 acres in the Kings River watershed with only 29% containment, the fire is expected to burn rapidly through the drought and pine beetle impacted timber today. Cost to date to fight the fire, that began with a single tree struck by lightening on July 31st, approaches $80 million. 2,570 personnel, 14 helicopters and 18 dozers battle the blaze in rough terrain.

Mandatory evacuation orders have kept Dry Creek Road busy. We helped haul four gooseneck loads of horses and mules from Miramonte yesterday, the last of the stock removed from the Cedar Grove Pack Station ahead of the fire that now burns upcanyon past Hotel Creek and towards Granite Lake. Park and pack station structures were saved.


Miramonte - 10:00 a.m., September 11, 2015

Miramonte – 10:00 a.m., September 11, 2015

Cooler weather is forecasted after today and into next week that should help firefighting efforts.


Rough Fire




For a moment,
we succumb,
give in, yield

to our senses,
to the unknown—
forgetting everyone

we have been
or may ever be—
to let each second

wash over us
as we consume
each detail

that becomes
our flesh melting
into timelessness

gone beyond
any hope
to hold its shape,

waiting to explore
that prolonged moment
as if in the womb again.



Rough Fire

The Farmers Almanac vs. El Niño Predictions




                    Pacific Southwest Summary:


Although the early part of the winter season will feature above normal rainfall, the drought will continue as rainy periods will diminish in the season’s second half and precipitation will be below-normal for the winter season as a whole, with below-normal mountain snows not helping ease the drought. The stormiest periods will be in mid- to late November, early to mid-December, early January, and early March. Overall, temperatures will be slightly cooler than normal. The coldest period will be in late December, with other cold periods in early and late January and mid-February.

April and May will be cooler and slightly rainier than normal.

Summer will be hotter than normal, with near-normal rainfall. The hottest periods will be in early June, early to mid- and late July, and early to mid- and late August.

September and October will be slightly cooler than normal, with near-normal rainfall.

Facing continued smoke from the Rough Fire and 110 degrees before week’s end, we’re looking forward to the end of summer.






Here but a moment,
no time to light on laurels—
fly until you die.






Yearning is an easy look
backwards, a slow-moving canvas
colored to taste, shaded by habit.

Our war whoops but echoes
fading in canyons on trails of broken
brush long-overgrown, mocking

our wild-eyed blindness
since sharpened and tempered
by scars upon scars and time.

Now is the moment we begin
to be all we can—to revel
in its rich accomplishment.