24 August 2016


00:00 hours.
Midnight bivy in the west orchard.
Doing Tai Chi in the moonbeams
and amidst hidden moon shadows.

I loosen up, flow, dance.
Alternately I shake out one foot
then the other, and
my movements start to quicken.
Deer, who had been resting in the
nearby thicket shadows which
border the orchard, take flight.
Who is this stranger in their midst?

Looking up, I see Lyra, the lyre.
Now, after over 40 years of mystery,
I finally see it and
know why it is so named.
Vega is both the brightest star
in tiny Lyra
and also one point of the larger
Summer Triangle.
I only now see the lyre as Vega passes
westward over the zenith,
leading the Triangle with it.
In this new, high westerly, orientation
the little stringed lyre is obvious.

Perseus is rising high in the NE.

01:00 hours.
Capella is moving up
in the NNE.
There is a lone star low in the south.
In Virgo?

02:00 hours.
I ramble through dewy grass
in the orchards and groves,
peeking up at patches of open sky.
Due east I see the Pleiades rising
with Taurus right behind.

02:30 hours.  Time to bivy.
I lie down in warm comfort,
but hear stomping of hooves
from the other side of the thicket.
A deer snorts strongly at my
mysterious presence.
I snap my fingers, not too loudly,
twice, and then there is silence.

05:30 hours.
Waking just before dawn
I see Orion and Sirius
in the SE.
Harbingers of new seasons.


20 August 2016

August Full Moon

Still damp after rains.
Fog starts near streams
and moves up through
moonlit fields.
The Moon chases Altair
as Vega leads
the Summer Triangle west.
Classical Guitar Alive on
radio fills the still night.
Warm bivouac gear
and a lawn chair
warm my heart.
Watching the Full Moon.
How many times
have I seen it?
How many more?
I will resolve
(second step of Path)
to seize more opportunities.

27 July 2016

Cousins Arriving

Our cousins have been arriving in the lead-up to our family reunion of first cousins this weekend. It is wonderful to see them.

22 July 2016

July Evening

Dragonfly evening.
Rock n Roll plays at dusk.
Fireflies everywhere.
I look up,
and I see Mars bright in Scorpius.

16 July 2016

St. Swithun’s Day 2016

St. Swithun’s Day marks the midpoint of summer – “summer” as defined by meteorologists (and not astronomers), being from 1 June to 31 August.  The Ides of July.

I am Stateside and enjoying my stay with my family here.  My cousin Danny just arrived ahead of our cousins’ reunion here in two weeks.  He was a brother to me growing up, and it is great to see him again.  We have so far discussed music, our youth, Vietnam, women, and lots and lots of other topics – with great enthusiasm.

On St. Swithun’s Day, I have traditionally listed the books and movies I have read or seen in the half year since New Years Day.  But I did not get the list together yet and hope to post it one day.  This visit has been a whirlwind, and I have not given much time to my writing.

The Moon is a gibbous waxing one, heading toward the Full Moon on Monday which is the Buddhist holiday of Vesak, celebrating both the birthday and later the Enlightenment (at age 35) of Gautama Buddha.  In Thailand it will be a major five-day holiday.  It will probably rain on Monday, but I’m hoping for a clearing sky by dark.

Blessed coolness.  Zen delight.


28 June 2016

Bivouac in the Woods

Pine Tree Bend – Midsummer week

I carried a “lazy man’s bivouac” up to Pine Tree Bend the other day, returning the next afternoon.  It was a refreshing experience to be alone out in the woods overnight.  So rejuvenating.

By “lazy man’s bivouac” I mean hauling only the extremely lightweight bare essentials:  sleeping bag, mat, water filter, etc.  No tent, cooker, etc.  (Ok, I admit it, my sleeping mat is one that converts into a lounge chair at ground level, a Therma-Rest “Therma-Lounger”, a decadent luxury at only one pound of extra weight in the pack.  I will not apologize.)

I was entertained by chipmunk Olympics in the afternoon as four or five of the little critters chased each other and tumbled together.  Then birdsong at dusk, the song of the Thrush (Wood Thrush?).  After complete darkness the fireflies provided an astonishing display.

I was in ecstasy as I simply sat in the woods, watching and listening.

Blessed coolness.  Zen delight.


Moonlight Return on Back Roads

The Moon was a waxing gibbous one, rising in the late afternoon well before dark in the southeast.  I was visiting one of my dearest friends from my youth, and they provided me with precious conversation and companionship all afternoon and evening, also cooking me a fantastic pot roast.  It was an incredibly high time of friendship and direct communication, a priceless memory that tapped into old memories.

I had planned on walking, on back roads, the three miles or so back to my SG lodgings and had hoped to be under way while the Moon was still high and bright.  At about 01:30 hours I noticed that the Moon had peaked and was descending low into the southwest, so I headed out (“to the territory ahead”, as Huck Finn put it).  It was a very fine walk in the moonlight.

It took me 1 hour and 20 minutes to cover the ground.  By the time I reached the farm – at 03:00 hours – Mars was sinking out of sight in the southwest and the Moon was following.  What amazed me was that not one dog barked as I walked by numerous farms on the back roads.  (And not one car went by – on a Friday night!)

The day with my dear friend and the moonlight walk home is a high point of my sojourn in the USA.