I often get asked about the Salton Sea. Whether it is still there. Yes, but a little smaller. I am looking at a mid to dark blue sea as I write this, sitting at my dining room table (the view is better than the wall in front of my desk), which means it’s pretty breezy out there. I love the fact that I can tell the windspeed by the color of the sea, and that sometimes one half of it will be dark and the other light. That when there is no wind, it is the same color as the sky.
This morning I walked down to the shore, such as it is, now perhaps a half mile of what will eventually be salt flats – some of it dry enough to walk on, much of it not, so I can no longer go to the water’s edge without ending up up to my thighs in fish guano.
I took a photo of the ‘reflecting pool’, which when I moved here almost fifteen years ago was full of water up to the far side of that little row of vegetation in the front.
When I returned I wrote this:
Palm Springs to Yuma – not a hint of breeze,
the silence is so loud you’ll hear your heart
beat in your chest. Your breath will stop and start
as you behold the mirror Salton Sea’s
become on such a day. A piece of sky
stretched on the desert floor – cerulean rug
of knots so fine. And ’til a stop will tug
the air, that blessed earthly canopy,
and then that sea to ever deepening blue
then gray, then black with whitecapse, watch this glass
this polished surface thirty five miles vast
reflects the sky it lives under, to you.
On windless days, the Salton Sea shines most,
more than the oceans found on either coast.
On Thursday I had to go over to Borrego Springs for an Art meeting. I was held up by gazillions of wonderful visitors looking for the right place to stop to look at flowers. Of course you can’t see flowers in detail when you’re driving at 55 – the speed limit along the S22 which for those non-locals is the only road between Salton City and Borrego Springs.
I don’t know what it is, but it’s one of my ‘private collection’ because I’m apparently the only person who goes where this flower is.
By the time I was late for the meeting, I’d composed this in my head and plan to put it on a sign at the corner of S22.
While you’re trolling for flowers at 20,
that vehicle that’s riding your ass
is a local that’s late getting somewhere,
so please let the tailgater pass!
Yesterday I went to pick up my paintings from the Imperial County Fair. I often enter about 10 paintings but this year only had four that fit the categories well (you can only enter two in each category). I was pleasantly surprised to find that ‘Arrows‘ had won 3rd place in “Non-objective or abstract paintings, any media”, and “Hope Rising” had taken 1st place in the same category.
Following the county fair, one of our local museums, Pioneer’s Museum, hosts the first and second place winners in each category, so I had to run off to drop Hope Rising at its next venue. My good friend Ginger Ryerson who curates the art wall there and the art shows was there for the intake. Hope Rising is a heavier piece so I helped her hang it.
This sonnet has been something of a challenge – in that it is the first poem I’ve written in over three months. Some things been going on in life that just take the stuffing out of you sometimes.
A poet friend of mine, Larry Jaffe, once wrote a poem that all poets connect with. It had no lines, just a title: “I lost another f****** poem in the shower.”
I lost a poem in the shower today –
as water flowed, it ran right from my mind.
It formed and then the liquid washed away
the verse, leaving no residue behind.
I lost a poem driving down the street –
blanking my mind, the idea began to sprout.
I listened to it, it really was quite neat
but by the time I’d parked it’d fluttered out.
And in the doctor’s waiting room one time
I couldn’t find some paper fast enough
to get it down a pen and catch the rhyme,
my turn was called, it vanished with a puff.
And I’m sure there’s many a poet that has said
They’ve lost a masterpiece, snuggled in bed.
I was accepted as the ‘Artist of the Quarter’ at The Journal – an online literary magazine. I had applied as both a poet and an artist and was accepted in some sense, for both, because of the poetry in my painting. Here’s the link to the issue that contains my interview, though it is accessible from the front page also.
I haven’t posted any sonnets for a while. I also write non-sonnets! Here’s a fun one to make a Monday morning a bit lighter.
I’d rather be with someone.
I’d rather be with someone who’s a laugh a minute than a dollar a second.
I’d rather be with someone who’s good in bed than god at the bank.
I’d rather be with someone who’d prefer to watch the sun go down than the dollar rise.
I’d rather be with someone who tries to make me happy than who’d try to buy me happiness.
I’d rather be with someone who’s a good kisser than a good spender.
I’d rather be with someone who’d prefer to keep me warm at night than buy me a mansion in the sun.
I’d rather be with someone who’ll dance with me than bring me diamonds.
I’d rather be with someone who’s good company than who’d buy me a company.
I’d rather be with someone who’s got a good heart than a good portfolio.
I’d rather be with someone who’s my honey pie than my sugar daddy.
I’d rather be with someone who’s an equal than an equals.
I’d rather be with someone who’s well read than wealthy.
I’d rather be with someone who’s likable than loaded.
I’d rather be with someone who’s intelligent than in clover.
I’d rather be with someone who’ll say I need a face-lift because he wants to make me smile.
I’d rather be with someone who’ll take me to the ball game than buy the team.
I’d rather be with someone who’ll rent us a row boat than buy a yacht.
I’d rather be with someone who’s still values our relationship when we’re broke.
I’d rather be with someone who’s real than rich.
I don’t want to be with someone who’s valued in millions, I want to be with someone who’s priceless.
I realized that I had not posted this sonnet, despite the fact that it was inspired by the experience of a fellow blogger. Rhi had gone for a very important interview and had asked for some accommodations to help with the difficulties with environment unfamiliarity due to autism. They guessed at how they needed to overcome her difficulties and did not succeed too much. Perhaps as a consequence, neither did she at securing the job. I recommend you read her blog entry before you read the sonnet.
A day in your moccasins
We able-bodied try to understand
the difficulties of the body bent
into a chair, or missing foot or hand
by hobbling ourselves, with the intent
of walking in your shoes – or wheels – or world
of silence. We can don masks, hold a cane,
experience the perspective of hands curled
to uselessnes by age’s creeping pain.
This path we walked can help us build a bridge
across the chasms that hold back those not whole;
and yet one group we still leave on the edge
unable to feel how you’re untypical.
We can’t take steps inside a spectrum mind.
Only see footprints in the sand you left behind.