Tuesday, 23 September 2014 | Robinson Jeffers: De Rerum Virtute | Tom Clark

“… a cathedral of ancient ice …”

word pond

This magnificent blue iceberg was shot from a ship off the South Sandwich Islands in Antarctica. It’s a cathedral of ancient ice, with a little group of Adélie penguins and a prion perfectly positioned overhead. To catch the moment and frame it perfectly reveals skill, in this case, of a photographer in love with ice: photo by Cherry Alexander, 1995, from 50 Years of Wildlife Photographer of the Year: How Wildlife Photography Became Art, edited by Rosamund Kidman Cox (Natural History Museum, 2014) via The Guardian, 17 September 2014


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Dian Fossey and the Google doodle

Google doodle celebrates Dian Fossey's 82nd birthday

Google doodle celebrates Dian Fossey’s 82nd birthday

Google has celebrated the 82nd birthday of late American zoologist Dian Fossey with a Doodle on its search page, The Independent reported today. The Guardian carried a similar story. Dian Fossey was born on 16 January 1932, in San Francisco, California.

Considered the world’s leading authority on the physiology and behavior of mountain gorillas, Dian Fossey fought hard to protect these “gentle giants” from environmental and human hazards. She saw these animals as dignified, highly social creatures with individual personalities and strong family relationships. Her active conservationist stand to save these animals from game wardens, zoo poachers, and government officials who wanted to convert gorilla habitats to farmland caused her to fight for the gorillas not only via the media, but also by destroying poachers’ dogs and traps.

Tragically, on December 26, 1985, Fossey was found hacked to death, presumably by poachers, at her Rwandan forest camp. No assailant has ever been found or prosecuted in her murder. (Biography.com)

The capacity of human beings to embrace, support, and protect life stands in stark contrast to our willingness to plunder, exploit, and murder.

The Dian Fossey doodle is the latest in the more than 1,000 doodles created for Google’s homepages around the world. Answering the question, “How did the idea for doodles originate?”, an About page explains that “In 1998, before the company was even incorporated, the concept of the doodle was born when Google founders Larry and Sergey played with the corporate logo to indicate their attendance at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. They placed a stick figure drawing behind the 2nd “o” in the word, Google, … intended as a comical message to Google users that the founders were ‘out of office.'” (About Google Doodles)

Feeding the birds

feeding the birds

feeding the birds



Old man tossing bread
by the handful to the birds
– those I always feed.


Around the city I see pensioners – men in the main – with bags of bread. At bus-stops, getting on and off the buses, occupying park benches … they’re feeding the birds.

In my little garden, I am visited by blackbirds, finches, and silver-eyes, as well as by sparrows and starlings.

For an occasional treat, I sit in Civic Square with a packet of hot chips. Seagulls and sparrows are quick-eyed and quick-witted, often catching the scraps I throw to them. The pigeons don’t get much to eat from me – they’re not quick enough.


Image found on imgfave – posted by Rose By Any Other Name

The small details of childhood

Tsushima Yūko

Tsushima Yūko




There were times when snow
fell. And rain, of course. He re-
called the sound of rain.

He remembered the sound of rain. All at once the murmuring of the trees would grow loud and vibrant, then raindrops would strike the stones and the dead leaves and soak their surfaces. Soon the sound of the rain would merge into a single mass, absorbing the child’s ears and eyes into it. Rivers would form on the straight paths, and the sound of splashing water followed after them as the child and the father walked along. (Tsushima Yūko, in Laughing Wolf)

The haiku is derived from text on p12 of Laughing Wolf; only the word ‘remembered’ is altered. I’ve just begun reading the book today; I know virtually nothing about it. But the quality of the writing seems so strikingly like haibun. 

Yūko Tsushima is the pen name of Satoko Tsushima, a contemporary Japanese fiction writer, essayist and critic. She is the daughter of famed novelist Osamu Dazai, who died when she was one year old. (Wikipedia)

Also see: http://what-when-how.com/literature/tsushima-yuko-literature/

Tsushima Yūko. 2011. Laughing wolf. Translated by Dennis Washburn. Ann Arbor MI: Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan. [p12]

Ephemeral art on a rock

A flock of finches
lands on a jagged river boulder,
painting it buttery yellow.

Dr Sunwolf (WordWhispers)

Not sure Dr Sunwolf considered making these words a haiku. In point of fact, I’ve chopped off his his second sentence and turned it into a title.

And no – it doesn’t quite scan. If I’d needed it to scan, I’d have removed three words: “lands”, “a” and “buttery”.

Wait a minute!

Barbra Streisand … a song in A Star is Born … What was it?

Ah yes! Everything:

“I’d like to plan a city, play the cello
Play at Monte Carlo, play Othello
Move into the White House, paint it yellow.”

Waterfront prowler

On a sunlit rock
you stretch out, washing yourself,
at the water’s edge.

waterfront prowler (23 Nov 10)

waterfront prowler (23 Nov 10)



Out prowling the waterfront yesterday on a little photographic jaunt, I interrupted a lovely cat’s ablutions. So I sat awhile, and was eventually able to capture this charming portrait. Then, looking up I saw a man approaching with a plastic pack of cat-food. Peering over at my feline friend, he smiled and said: “No, you’re not the one I feed.”