Pushcart Prize Nominations Celebrate My Range

Question: What do an airplane crash, a Nez Perce mound, a Nepali leopard, an insectivorous bat, and terrestrial ecological food webs have in common? Answer: each one forms the basis of a story that different sets of literary editors chose to represent their best published works (for a given year) by nominating the essay for […]

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We become the smoke we once fled

The Kincade Fires of Sonoma County have, at last, been vanquished. But their destructive taint remains on the land, in our hearts and within our storyscapes, never to be erased. Yesterday, the anniversary of the Camp Fire (the deadliest and most destructive of California’s wildfires, so far) Paradise residents gathered for a memorial service unveiling […]

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Kleptophiliacs and Mudflat Heroes Make Me Swoon

Come join me in Bali! (Underwater, in the northwest corner of Bali, to be exact.) Where wily critters commit outrageous acts, both visible and invisible to the naked eye. The air is tinged with salt, the light gauzy as the Balinese sun opens its eyelids. A kingfisher shrieks, swoops, perches with quarry. Omnivorous deer graze […]

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Random Acts: a poem against racism

Poetry brings us together, slows us down, blows our minds like fluffy puffs of dandelion becoming airborne and dancing off in all directions. In Mendocino county, poets gather in art galleries and hotel lobbies, after-hours in restaurants, and in friends’ living rooms. If we are lucky, poet/DJ/educator Dan Roberts shows up with his recording equipment […]

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Meiosis/This Becoming Poem

Local spoken-word poetry is a blessing, freely available, if you know where to find it! In Mendocino county the local poetry scene is broadcast – virtually singlehandedly – by poet/activist/educator Dan Roberts, whose biweekly poetry-world music show Rhythm Running River airs alternate Sunday afternoons from 2-4PM on KZYX & Z. Every Spring a day-long poetry […]

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That time I witnessed the Contra War

Thirty years I ago, while I was an undergraduate at Boston University, the USA was engaged in an illicit war in Nicaragua, an effort headed by a man who was recently ousted as head of the NRA (Oliver North). Working as a paralegal at Equal Justice Institute, a pro-bono political asylum firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts, […]

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“Holdfast” – a love letter to our coastline

I. Mendocino headlands, 6:20 a.m.  Muffled grey skies, finger-chilling breeze, salinity infusing nostrils and eyes. The rhythmic whoosh and sigh of waves engulfing, abandoning, then reclaiming landfall with the fervency of ambivalent lovers. We have one hour before the minus tide recovers a sister-world of beings left gasping in dry oxygen. My girlfriend Terry leads the […]

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