107 places

people in 107 countries have come to this blog : albania / algeria / argentina / armenia / aruba / australia / austria / bahrain / bangladesh / barbados / belarus / belgium / belize / bosnia and herzegovina / brazil / brunei / bulgaria / cambodia / canada / chile / china / colombia / croatia / cyprus / czech republic / denmark / ecuador / egypt / el salvador / england / fiji / finland / france / georgia / germany / ghana / greece / guatemala / honduras / hong kong / hungary / iceland / india / indonesia / iran / iraq / ireland / isle of man / israel / italy / japan / jordan / kazakhstan / kenya / korea / kuwait / latvia / lebanon / liberia / lithuania / luxembourg / macao / macedonia / malaysia / mauritius / mexico / moldova / mongolia / morocco / myanmar / nepal / netherlands / new zealand / nicaragua / nigeria / norway / pakistan / panama / peru / philippines / poland / portugal / puerto rico / qatar / romania / russia / saudi arabia / senegal / serbia / singapore / slovakia / slovenia / south africa / spain / sri lanka / sweden / switzerland / taiwan / thailand / trinidad and tobago / tunisia / turkey / ukraine / united arab emirates / united states of america / venezuela / vietnam

28 February 2011

blue mattress

I remember when I said these trucks look like they have a blue mattress wrapped around them. You thanked me with your smile.
Photo: Trucks and wind farm, Xinjiang, 2010

27 February 2011

clock


Ten past eight.
Quarter past nine.
Ten twenty. 
Photo: Jumping poles for horses, New Zealand

26 February 2011

warm, warmer

I don't know what to write today. I 'just' want warmth. Somehow, on some days, words can bring this. I believe this.
Jane Hirschfield writes, ''I suppose some would say it's terribly old-fashioned, or terribly arrogant, for a person to use 'we' in a poem to speak of 'us all,' but it's a concept I still believe in...''
Photo: At a hat-maker's, Hue, Vietnam

25 February 2011

four doors

I like to read the daily column by Jane Bowron, a journalist who lives in Christchurch. She and other survivors have made a temporary community, with shelter, food, a hand-dug toilet. And tolerance, she says. The front page of the same newspaper reads 'City of lost souls' in huge print, with individual photos of thirty missing people. To see into their eyes is to see life.
In a small country like New Zealand, no one and nowhere is far away. Everyone I know knows someone in Christchurch. A few hours before the earthquake struck, one friend had purchased air tickets to visit relatives in the city. An artist I know was to give a workshop in a few days. A fellow poet was there three weeks ago for a funeral. And the wedding of a friend's cousin is still going ahead next weekend.
Photo: Four doors in an alleyway, near Suzhou, China

24 February 2011

elephant in a handkerchief

About forty people have been in touch to ask about the Christchurch earthquake, if we are safe, if rescue efforts are fast and coordinated, to send goodwill, care, courage, more. Thank you, everyone.
One friend knows I am geographically far away from Christchurch, but also knows that the event must feel "like a hand brushing against you or a cold wind rushing past." Another friend tells me of his fear during an earthquake in Greece. A poet from Egypt says the expression "to wrap an elephant in a handkerchief" means to condense life into a few words.
Photo: A sunshield, Queen Elizabeth Park, Masterton, New Zealand

23 February 2011

I am thinking of Christchurch

Yesterday, the second earthquake in Christchurch. The front page of today's The Dominion Post says, "It was a city just learning to sleep without fear" and a friend in New Zealand writes in an email, "we are all in it".
I felt the quake last September. The bed was shaking, miles and miles away. This time, though unfelt, there is more fear. Yes, we are all there.
Photo: Lichen and rail at a cemetery in Masterton, New Zealand

22 February 2011

saturated, sated

I took this photograph when I was still using Kodachrome 64 film. How I miss the saturation of the colo(u)r transparency, the image as a mounted slide, as a tangible thing in the hand. And the image projected in a darkened room. Delicious.
Photo: Ginza, Tokyo, through a window, at a window

21 February 2011

wind, water, tangle

I think of wind, as if the branches are being blown as I type. I think of water, the limbs in wavy movement. And I think of the tangle of hair under the hood of a winter jacket: as a child, after many hours of wintertime play, I would come home to my mother sifting through the hair-clump at the back of my head.
Photo: Fallen tree, from train window, the Wairarapa, New Zealand

20 February 2011

the river and me

There are many rivers that stay with me: The Nile, Rhine, Yangtze, Waingawa, Tongariro, Mississippi, Thames. Crossing a wide one is like an extra birthday. Stepping over a creek, another joy.
Photo: Algiers Ferry, New Orleans

19 February 2011

room, home, enough

We look through the window. See fireplace, shelf, bench, bookcase. Enough. A home for words. A home for us.
Photo: A view into a home, Martinborough, New Zealand

18 February 2011

red on sand

We were told a story of a shipwreck here, years ago. All the whisky was saved, they said. The people too.
Photo: Morning on a beach, Ireland

17 February 2011

before facebook

I often say I prefer faces and books to facebook.
But all three have their stories.
Photo: At a church in Ireland

16 February 2011

delicate access

One of the books I have written is called 'delicate access' and this magnolia bud could be its cover. Or a page, pages.
Photo: Dew on bud, Wairarapa, New Zealand

15 February 2011

before, beyond

It is the bud I love, and the after-flower.
Photo: Magnolia, Wairarapa, New Zealand

14 February 2011

warm, warmer, whipped

The other day, we had afternoon tea with friends. Around us, a tall eucalyptus, weekend wind, flowering potato, and in the center: a pear tree, laden. Their hens brought forth eggs during our time together. I held them in my hand.
Warm, warmer. 
Photo: An omelette for two, with five fresh eggs, whipped

13 February 2011

blue stars


... And stars hang like pretty teenagers
waiting for their chance
Photo: Hydrangea, The Wairarapa, New Zealand
Text: excerpt of my poem 'The Great Rann'

12 February 2011

burnt orange

The worn orange
of amber fire
autumn ground
late dusk haystacks
happens
when the shock of red
is shed to collect
a little sallow
yellow
and some sorrow of brown
Photo: Evening wall, Vientiane, Laos
Text: excerpt from my poem 'burnt orange'

11 February 2011

hair and memory

I have always liked strumming the hair on a man's arm.
I remember pulling at my grandfather's hair, line after line. Lightly. Here they are again.
Photo: The back of a sunflower, Greytown, New Zealand

10 February 2011

cow times three

The first time I was close to a cow was in Vietnam, here it is, tied up on the side of the road. Then, in Gujarat, India, when I was documenting the major earthquake of 2001, city cows slept among fallen buildings. Now, in The Wairarapa of New Zealand, I like to see into the large eyes of two cows, mother and son, who live within yards of the house, a fence of four thousand volts between us.
Photo: Hanoi, Vietnam

09 February 2011

motherlove

When I went to the hot springs with my mother,
some people thought she was the daughter.
Photo: My mother and friend, near Takayama, Japan

08 February 2011

I call myself tree

I call myself 'tree' sometimes. Wanting to be as
strong, graceful, responsive. As giving and receiving.
Photo: Niagara Falls, Canadian side

06 February 2011

fly, fly

Last night, we looked at fields of stars from our field of grass. Two satellites were seen. One shooting star. New wind after a hot, still day. And the sprinklers ran overnight on the neighbouring pastures.
Photo: Sculpture at entrance of a swimming pool, China

05 February 2011

lasso

Maybe every writer has a lasso.
To loop, word after certain word.
Photo: Road post, Los Angeles (where I began as a writer)

04 February 2011

chocolate cosmos

I have been gardening lately. Pulling up weeds. Watering. 
Dirty knees. Order. Wonder. We have poppy, rose,
dahlia, green onion, tomato, cauliflower, radish, blackberry, lemon, lime, tangerine, flax, a long native grass...
In another garden I know, a browny-red flower smells like chocolate.
Photo: Chocolate Cosmos and poppy in a friend's garden, London

03 February 2011

new year for the moon

Today, a new year for the moon.
For the rabbit there, too.
For all.
Photo: A new hotel, Yunnan, China

02 February 2011

if you should bow

Whaia e koe te iti kahurangi ki te tuoho koe -- me maunga teitei / Seek the treasures of your heart. If you should bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.
Photo: Looking through glass, Tai Tsang Uk, Hong Kong
Text: A motto of a school group in Masterton, New Zealand

01 February 2011