Showing posts from 2008

june's end haikus

smoke fills the canyons
rivers carry ash and tears
one thousand fires burn

I dream of japan
rice flowers and clean streets
cherry blossoms floating

the world is on fire
to cool my famished skin
I drink the river in

june days are long
we swim in glass green water
for hours, far away

in the dark night
we cross the ancient bridge
where miners hung

spirits fill the skies
in the smoke of burning woods
they sing in the night

crash, shattered glass,
midnight at the riverside
a black bear plunders

I dream of laughter
a tribal path to the river trickster’s strong limbs

sometimes the hollow is a dream world

Sometimes the hollow is a dreamworld.
In the springtime the road is thick with pollen and bees
land on my fingers, and the blossoms are bright and frilly
as ruffled petticoats a hundred years ago.

I am lucky that these are old orchards,
not commercial and rarely visited. I am lucky
that the vineyards have not overrun this cool dip of valley and that the wildflowers
and redwoods here are forgotten by society.
It is my forest, my haunting, my dream.

I have lived in this tiny pocket of california so long now I sometimes forget my age,
when I came here, my first impressions, the passing seasons,
the ways I’ve changed.

It has been a month now since the day of rupture, evaporation.
Sadly, agonizingly, I dream it night after night:
not a pleasant dream, but not really a nightmare, just a painful repetition of the reality of that evening and my life collapsing around me.

I am home,
in the tiny kitchen of our cottage,
wearing an old homemade jumper of faded flowers.
I am washing old jars I picked up at the thr…


if you ever check this, don't forget me!

my creative juices are dry right now as i've been writing nonstop for the last six hours to finish a paper for tomorrow. three more to go and then i've got a summer to myself! in the meantime, i am definitely planning to write more stories and more creative stuff here in this blogspot but for now that is a promise yet to be fulfilled.

for now, here is a celebration of my beautiful momma and some mother's day pictures.

having a margarita!
with the painting emily made for her:
homemade tortillas at los hermanos...
beatty girl laugh attacks:
photographed by joey and emily:

manila, luzon, philippines

When it rains on a summer night and a cool breeze smelling of earth drifts through the open window, there is another place Matilde remembers. For thirteen years the Philippines were home for her little family, she bore her first child there, and then six more, all boys. she also truly grieved for the first time there, and when they finally boarded the ship for California, they left many kind friends behind and her heart split open again like a broken coconut. The palms, a hundred different kinds of palms, sway lazily in her dreams, and she remembers them everywhere, lined up along the wide veranda, hanging from pots under the eaves, fanning and cooling the garden and the rooftop. She remembers the wispy ferns, the birdbaths and fountains, where she would walk and take her siesta, my dream time, she told the boys, to get away for a few moments and revel in the floral wonderland of the philippines. such flowers! orchids, the boldest and brightest colors she'd ever seen, violet, fus…


she only wore white around the rancho, because it kept her cool, she said, in all that central valley stagnant dry heat. but the truth was, it reminded her of home, of her family in their soft clean lace and silk, flowing, pure, fresh. she knew she romanticized home, but one minute detail, the smell of honey or jasmine on a windless morning, could take her back. back to the hidden turquoise pools and her older sisters' laughter as they tossed mangoes from the treetops, how the fruit would bounce on the earth and sometimes split, and Matilde would run pick up the sticky chunks, red juice dripping off their fingers, licking her fingers like a little monkey to the sounds of her sisters giggles and secrets.

she had been fixteen years old when she first saw walter. she was dazzled by the angle of his tall frame, the foreign sounds that jumped stacatto from his tongue, and his suits so bright the sun bounced off his chest. he came to talk to her father, el General, choosing men from thei…

matilde sola

matilde looked around as the dust settled, moscas and ants, skittering up the gravelled road, beyond the wooden sign and the well and the oak tree, following that car as it sputtered out of sight.

Her oldest son, proud and strong and handsome. Too handsome, she thought worriedly, thinking of his espejo, the way he peered into it for too long, reflection of his father's tall grace. walter walking on the farm with the younger boys; matilde alone in the white house, shading her eyes, crying again, for her sister, for her sons, for the old songs and dances of home.

she cooked a pot of rice and slices of fried pork for dinner. the boys came running when she called them: i must remember, i am blessed. but this is a small world, these are narrow roads and slow cars and horses and fields. there, san francisco, money and expenses and big wide roads and women and trolleys. the dangers her son faced, he who had held his baby brother high in the air and looked at her proudly, saying "mama,…

california dreaming

secret roads lined by eucalyptus take you out to lagunitas. there are wineries and pear orchards and pumpkin patches, hayrides, mount tamalpais, sea lions. north of the golden gate, the climate is almost mediterranean: apple trees grow out of sandy soil, firm and tart fruit, blossoming trees with petals floating on coastal breezes in march and april. champagne is made here, and up north marijuana grows in fields cultivated with care and precision, and all the world is green.

where i was born--hidden, the word means. what is hidden here? spanish treasure, hidden in the green valley between the desert and the sea. or is this place itself hidden, tucked in, like kissing an infant good-night, among avocado groves, peacocks, pomegranites, plums. chicken feathers and dirt roads, a mysterious house that burnt down to its spindly frame, hospital, down the hill, loose and free, out to the mall, the cinema, the sea.

or older, the people that made jewelry from shells and bowl…


here i have a blog of my very own tiny corner of the mysterious and indecipherable cyberworld.