Driftwood Beach Shack

beachshack-gleason

48″x36″– Acrylic on Canvas– I love beach shack architecture… this one was beautifully made with driftwood, palm fronds and the timbers from the old wave-eaten sea wall.  It is nicely decorated with a sandstone coffee table, a redwood log sofa that delivered itself on tides from Northern California and breathtaking views..  Shelter for any sea-loving soul who follows the trail down from the cliffs.  Free, wild, natural, public real estate: the very best kind– location, location. location…

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Guerrilla Gardening

Gardeners of the world unite!
Let’s slip out in the full moonlight
          with seeds in hands
          and watering cans
And garden spades stashed out of sight!
For our first organic plot,
lets sneak into a parking lot
          and plant fruit seeds
          so folks won’t need
To go indoors for apricots.
Street medians we will reclaim,
This public land won’t look the same,
          We’ll line each route
          with herbs and fruit
Overflowing into the lanes.
Three sisters: corn and squash and beans,
Are now sprouting outside Dairy Queen,
          They have no clue,
          that it was you,
And nice touch with those collard greens.
And if we have any luck,
Children will soon learn to pluck
          free string beens,
          climbing the swings,
And extend recess and save a buck.
Once we’ve pulled out all the stops,
Who’ll want those corporate monocrops?
          No genetics here,
          And we’ve got beer-
Once we harvest that creekside hops.
We’ll pry concrete with fig tree roots,
We’ll enlist scrubjays as recruits
          to plant an oak
          at every stroke,
And give new meaning to “grassroots.”
Let’s plant city parks and vacant land,
With a living, humming garden stand,
          Let’s teach the youth
          with food and truth,
That what sustains them is in their hands.
Let “Compost! Compost!” be our cry,
It’s a freedom none can be denied,
          To love the ground,
          and help it rebound,
Gardeners of the world, unite!


			

Tracking

I can see your damp body print in silhouette on the bath towel,
and the tooth marks you left on the tight cap of the new 
toothpaste tube.
     A couple of loose hairs lie tangled in the hairbrush.
     Damp feet mopped up the light rain of last night’s dust 
     on the wood floors and apparently navigated 
     around littered baby toys 
     before turning left towards the what appears to be 
a nesting area...  

On hands and knees now, the light just right
     I see the subtle depressions of your feet on the carpet,
          the fibers slowly standing back 
          to their usual upright position.
Here, the tracks meet those of a much smaller creature.
I see ghosts of small lips and handprints 
     on the sliding glass mirror
     and in it’s reflection, 
          a stuffed white rabbit,
          over-loved and re-restitched, 
     wrapped in a blanket by small, uncoordinated fingers.

Drips of drying milk lead back to a feeding area 
and the scattered remains of finger-painted oatmeal...
          still luke-warm.
     I trail the crumbs of cold pumpkin pie on the counter
     to the well-worn “one minute” button on the microwave
     which begins your morning ritual 
     with a digital “beep.”
I smell fresh coffee on a breeze from the west.

Hot on the trail, 
     I follow my intuition through a slightly swaying side door. 
No less conspicuous than a stick snapped in the wilderness 
silencing sparrows,
     I hear the hum of a clothes dryer stop 
     with the creaking of its door.
Slowly I stalk,
          fox walking, 
          hawk-eyed, 
          ears perked up like a deer,
          into the garage and-
                 There I find you...
                 throwing a warm soft towel, 
                 hot and fluffy from the dryer 
                 over our daughter’s head... 
          our hysterically laughing coyote pup 
     with those five-toed muddy tracks that grow too quickly.  
Funny that you should think it’s time for us to clean the house.

Setting Traps

Setting Traps

What do the string around my finger,
     the note in permanent ink fading on my hand,
     the time-capsule buried in damp mulch 
          beneath the oak tree eight years ago,
     the post it on my steering wheel,
     and the alarm clock set to detonate at 5:30 am 
have in common?

Why did I hide my car keys again?
     ...and where?

There is a freedom in forgetting
     and a pirate thrill in digging up lost memories.
But most reminders tend to make me think,
                                   remember,
                                   plan,
     in the everbusy buzzing of my mind.
More than ever, I need DE-minders, for when I’m lost up here 
     replanning and premembering 
     in nowhere land.
Do they sell daydream alarm clocks or watches that lie?

Sometimes I can be nothing but grateful
                    for bee stings,
                    stubbed toes,
                    seagulls with good aim,
                    and cold shivers: 
things that wake me, unaware, from the cavern of routine.
Thank you, headache, for reminding me I have a head.

Tired of waiting for grace or luck 
     to bring me to the present,
     I’ve mapped out my Monday blind spots,
     hidden along my well-worn game trails
                     between the bathroom, 
                     the computer, 
                     the teapot...

And here I am setting traps for myself, 
     camouflaged in regularity and custom
     to catch me in oblivion.
     Won’t I be surprised 
     to find this bucket of ice water 
     suspended from the doorway 
as I come into work tomorrow morning?

Revised Idioms

     Revised Idioms 

If we’re clever, we can feed two birds with one scone.
After all, there’s more than one way to pet a cat. 
Let’s provide the straw that seasoned the camels snack.
Let’s leave all our eggs in the nests and save the basket
     for those lovely lemons life keeps dealing us.  

It may seem like we have to wait ‘till the cows go roam,
     or until we finally let the pigs fly, 
but changing our ways will be 
     easier than shooting 
     pictures of fish while surfing in a barrel,
     which is to say, 
difficult.  

But let’s start seeding around the bush.
People who live in glass houses should really grow seedlings.
Let’s turn under an old leaf
     making rich fertile compost.  
It’ll be like taking candy from a baby 
    and replacing it with a healthy homegrown peach.
To err is human. To try again, divine.
A switch in mind takes time.
After all, Rome didn’t topple in a day.
Curiosity took but one of the cat’s lives...
     the other eight died of boredom and apathy.

Trees don’t grow on money, you know.
A fool and his free time are easily parted by money. 
A penny slaved is a moment burned.
And that guy with the bird in his hand is a swindler,
     the two in the bush are priceless.
Life boils down to survival of the fittest. That is,
     those that fit the best on this beautiful, interconnected planet
     persevere indefinitely.  
Don’t put all your legs in one casket.
Divide and conquer? 
Rather, unite and concur!  
It’s a dog greet dog world. 
Splints and salves can mend our wounds, but words can truly heal us.
When it comes down to it, 
     laughter is the best medicine
     and he who laughs last 
laughs alone.

So let’s go out on a limb and watch the sunset.
We’ll talk of how the proverbial glass is completely full… 
     half clean water, half fresh air.
Come, the hour’s getting late.
Who cares if the shoe fits... 
     bare it!