Seven Falls Poem and Painting

Seven Falls

Time is a thin veil here, 
      where the mountain plays catch with the creek
      tossing it into the air seven times and bringing it to rest in
      seven cold emerald pools.
      It is fun to imagine all of the others 
      who have climbed this sandstone jungle gym 
and slid down these mossy water slides…

Look at these shadows of Chumash kids laughing here 
      hundreds of years ago 
      as if it were yesterday.
            What do they call the “cannonball” 
            in a world of stone tools, I wonder,
      as they leap from that ledge with a splash
      long before Fremont’s soldiers pushed cannons 
over muddy San Marcos Pass.   

Look at those Franciscan monks  
      sneaking upstream from the Mission below
      through the oaks and sycamores
      to strip down and lighten up 
      long before the city sprouted below 
and oil platforms invaded the horizon.

And look now at the evolution of the swimsuit styles
      that the swimmers have donned here for the last hundred years,
      from striped long-underwear to bikinis
      on the families of ranchers, fishermen, oil workers and 
      now suburbanites and college kids.
      They appear and disappear in strobe light flashes 
like an old grainy filmstrip before these lovely pools.

Different swimmers on common ground…
We’re all still here in one form or another, 
      the natives and the pioneers.  
We’ve all come to bring out our inner amphibian—
      to dive beneath the cold living water 
      with our much older ancestors
      the frogs and salamanders… 
Feels so good, doesn’t it?
      …to crawl out on our bellies 
      and warm our blood 
      on these radiant sandstone benches 
freckled here and there with fossils.
Seven Falls

Fairview Gardens painting

I made this painting last Friday at the ribbon cutting for the newly re-opened farm stand at Fairview Gardens.  I was painting with artist friends Chris Potter and Kit Boise-Cossart  Stop by when you get a chance and pick up some beautiful locally grown produce.  The paintings are for sale in the stand and half of the proceeds benefit the education programs at the farm.

Fairview Gardens

still hiking

I’ve tired of this 
       sitting while wishing I were walking
       walking while wishing for a rest.
Seems whichever I choose, I can’t have my druthers
       my feet are doing one 
       while my head does another.
             They’re not birds of a feather
             but I’ll bring them together
       by flying while still in my nest.

So, here I am walking with my shoes in my pack
       so my feet can be felt by the ground.
I’m thanking the thorns and the sharpest of rocks
       for reminding my head to slow down.
I’m not in a hurry, cause I’m already here,
       the destination’s the journey, you know,
I’m just standing here rolling this earth ‘neath my toes,
       like an immense beach ball spinning below.  
I’m letting the trail do the hiking for me while
       this large grove of aspens glides by,
or now letting these switchbacks switch right back below me
       awaiting the approach of the sky.  
Oh the people I meet as our trails intertwine
       rekindle all faith in mankind,
I enjoy those who ramble impractical distances
       knowing each step there’s something to find.