15×30″ oil on canvas– Available now! Spacious ocean-side home with unrivaled ocean views in Goleta, the good land. Open floor plan is airy and welcoming with plenty of natural light. Sustainable architectural design uses reclaimed timbers throughout. Exquisite natural landscaping by world-renowned designer Mother Nature. Fantastic curb appeal! (What’s more appealing than no curb at all?) Also notice the quaint heating and lighting system based on age-old technologies that are making a comeback. Experience to the ultimate in simple living…
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…
Is there anything more uplifting to see than free-range kids still running around barefoot and playing with sticks and plants?
This one might be a sentimental one in a few years… one of those places where the kids have spent a LOT of time climbing and swinging. The last few patches of grass are surviving the drought. Some day we’ll sheet mulch and put in food and natives. Acrylic on Birch Panel 12×12
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!
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 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?
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!
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.
Home on the Range
Oh, give me a home where the windows won’t close, and there’s wall-to-wall carpet of weeds no one mows, where the lighting is solar, when the ceiling’s not stars, and you can get there by foot, but there’s no path for cars. And let me rest in a bed, of dry leaves and duff, and think of how nothing can be more than enough. Let my only plumbing be rocks and a spring, and the only evening news be what the birds sing. Let me leave boards for fences inside of the trees. Let wild space be my blinds when I want privacy. I’ll dig in the humus and see what roots linger, when I want the whole World Wide Web at my fingers. Sure I can’t own a place, that already owns me, but I’ll still mind the mortgage compassionately. So before I die, I can write in my will, “Kids, you were born with nothing-- you have most of it still...”