New Work: Photos, Writing & Music

Dew caught on pine needles on a forested path, part of the Pacific Crest Trail and a lone cloud on a blue Oregon day and fall-colored trilliums with blue Oregon Grape and sun shining through old man’s beard and a bridge over a cold stream that flowed from a blue glacial lake and a golden field with bits of sparkling water peeking through.

We headed out a dirt road, part of the wash that had just held rain enough to create the telltale signs of a stream, of movement of water over the red clay earth, patterns around stones, deeper curving lanes and thin lines wound around rock and some small puddles remained. Foam and foot prints of dogs, people, and cattle. Stones and grass and small trees and brush piled around bigger trees that somehow survived the extremes of existence there having rooted between stone formations.

We left Phoenix, and as we flew over, saw rivers made into roads, the matrix of that city’s construction – rectangular and far-ranging, seemingly endless, the only green in the golf courses, trees disallowed from the banks of the Salt River and its tributaries. Saw the Grand Canyon, the mighty Colorado denying any road so far and home to where the Columbia and the Willamette wind and seep their wide waters, civilization digging and dredging.

Sun water trees. Arizona.

It was lightning and rainbow shards and dark clouds and red mountains in the distance until it changed to juniper and piñon pine, blue berries visible from the road. We drove the deep canyon road through the four thousand foot elevation rise near Dewey and Humboldt, towns before the Verde Valley. Sun and cloud shadows and chalk colored mesas covered the valley floor, the deep red rocks of Sedona and the black mesas and peaks beyond.

Not far from Jerome.

Not far from Tuzigoot.

We walked through the narrow space between the livestock gate and the post and a downed log, a meter thick. There were wooly bear caterpillars and dragonflies and damselflies and red-winged black birds and ladybugs and hummingbirds.

We waded through the tall grass along the old logging road to a place where grass was pressed flat. Deer? Elk? The road, ungraded, deep rutted, and slippery, was muddy.

We passed a bald spot where nothing grew. I wanted to find the wound and heal it.

At the bottom of that narrow field, we went left and there in front of us was a meadow, filled with white flowers, edged by a forest.

Sunrise, trees, and a path to follow.


Pebble Creek


Songs from Soft Hearted Stories 


This song is included in Soft Hearted Stories: Seeking Saviors, Cowboy Stylists, and Other Fallacies of Authoritarianism
Everything, written by Jenny Forrester, performed and recorded by Peter LeClair.

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