Hiking in the Grampians.
Photographed 29th September, 2017.

Photographed 21st December, 2020.

Portals, with creeper.

Photographed 16th August, 2018.

anywhere is

The land of the summer stars… the winter garden…that way…the land of paradoxes…the city of angels…aigle… anywhere is…roma…the island of ebony….

persia…the island of the four precious walls…the willows on the water… the land of three winters…ole inigo…thoraigh… wood of dreams…the plain of the winds…

anywhere is…gaothdobhair…this way… a whispering world…orinoco… lothlorien….the palace of solitude…. the garden of the singing-ringing tree…

the land of illusion…cuyahoga… the painted ball…the crystal sea… lake disappointment….aldebaran…life… my way home…anywhere is…

—Roma Ryan, on “Anywhere Is”;
performed by Enya in The Memory of Trees (1995)

My childhood haunts keep beckoning to me.

Those playgrounds of my youth I long to see;
But the routine of my day bids fancy wait
Until the canyon's call shall find me free.

Today I heard the call and came at last.
The spell of sweet nostalgia held me fast,
And, giving in to pleasant reverie,
I mingled with the ghosts of Zion past.


I turned and said, "Greetings, old Flanigan Peak."
A voice came back, "Take to whom you speak,"
Brash upstart, you will not find here
The gift of immortality you seek."

“In tales you tell and pictures that you paint,
Your forebears oft appear without a taint;
But while you venerate ancestral lore,
Antiquity alone does not make one a saint.

“Those ghosts of yesterday with whom you talk
Are merely squatters in this land, and mock
The sanctity of these enduring shrines;
For flesh is not as durable as rock.

“Frail man, look quickly at my alpenglow;
For you shall pass, much as the winter snow.
Long after you have gone I’ll keep my watch.
I saw the Anasazi come and go.”

“Great Watchman, I look up to you.” I said,
“But let me also love my kindred dead,
And all whose sweat and toil built thoroughfares
On which the feet of all the world now tread.

“I’ll worship at these temples, not built by man,
And sing about their splendor while I can.
But I would give the pioneer his due.”
And the mountain smiled approval of my plan.

Then as I left I thought about my day;
And all my friends of now and yesterday.
I know their deeds are graven in the stone;
Instead of lightly scribbled in the clay.

As long as I can feel and hear and see
I’ll come here oft, just save a nook for me.
And when these senses dim, I’ll take my place
Among the ghosts of Zion yet to be.

—"The Ghosts of Zion" (excerpted),
J.L. Crawford

Girl sitting at window writing

Girl sitting at window writing;
Rennie Ellis

At the Pinnacles.
Photographed 24th April, 2013.

Selections from "El cántaro roto"

La mirada interior se despliega y un mundo de vértigo y llama nace bajo la frente del que sueña:
soles azules, verdes remolinos, picos de luz que abren astros como granadas,
tornasol solitario, ojo de oro girando en el centro de una explanada calcinada,
bosques de cristal de sonido, bosques de ecos y respuestas y ondas, diálogo de transparencias,
¡viento, galope de agua entre los muros interminables de una garganta de azabache,
caballo, cometa, cohete que se clava justo en el corazón de la noche, plumas. surtidores,
plumas, súbito florecer de las antorchas, velas, alas, invasión de lo blanco,
pájaros de las islas cantando bajo la frente del que sueña!

Abri los ojos, los alcé hasta el cielo y vi cómo la noche se cubría de estrellas.
¡Islas vivas, brazaletes de islas llameantes, piedras ardiendo, respirando, racimos de piedras vivas.
cuánta fuente, qué claridades, qué cabelleras sobre una espalda oscura,
cuanto río allá arriba, y ese sona remoto del agua junto al fuego, de luz contra la sombra!
Harpas, jardines de harpas…

—"El cántaro roto" (selections),
Octavio Paz

Vega nightfishes in the Great Sky River. Copyright © 2021

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