Fall’s Reach

Catching fall in the act.

More Images here.


Leaf Finder General

Puddle Reflection (click on image to enlarge)

She rakes leaves as if she’s in a battle with fall

With those pranksters of maple, oak, alder, and all

Who best be off elsewhere, staying clear from her home

Or sticking fast by autumn’s mist to the garden gnome

Better not sneak under her feet, returning to haunt the grass

I swear she’ll burn them like witches if they reappear in mass



I think her lawn looks nice, with a little extra spice

But I wouldn’t dare give her any advice

You see, I’m only her 8-year-old son

I just want to play in the leaves for fun




Beach Memories

Beach Fort – Fort Stevens Oregon

Memories from the Ancient Vacation

  • My crown was made of construction paper, adorned with crayon-drawn jewels. A gift that was handed down from generations past (starting with my big sister).
  • Ribbon kelp, broken sand dollars, seagull feathers, were my minions.
  • The waves marked the boundaries of my sandy realm, beyond them, ships teetered on the curve of the round world. Fools!
  • My scepter was a lone wooden chopstick, blessed by the sand dune fairies, painted purple with glitter.
  • Roasted marshmallows were the staple food of my land, harvested from plastic bags, which grew wild in the grocery store.
  • There were morning rituals to be performed, such as the hallowed mini-boxed cereal, opened along perforations. An elixir was added, milk. I would bless the brew with a plastic spoon.
  • In my kingdom nothing was saved. Saving was sacrilegious. It was barbarian to wash a utensil and reuse it. Paper plates were saints. So, it was written, so it was done.
  • I wore a bathing suit and rubber sandals. It was a commandment from the priests (mom and dad). I was to look as idiotic as possible. That was the way to true enlightenment.


Memories from the New Vacation

  • My crown was a snapback cap with my favorite sports team logo, even if I didn’t have a favorite sports team. Even if I didn’t like sports.
  • My minions were, apps, emojis and text messages. Even selfies followed me!
  • The beach marked the boundary of my condo, where people were known to walk! Fools!
  • My scepter was an iPhone, blessed by the corporate fairies called computer programmers.
  • Marshmallows were replaced by tempeh, harvested from plastic bags which grew wild in the “natural” section of the grocery store.
  • Sugar cereal was banished, replaced by (gulp) unsweetened granola with vanilla almond milk (cheater)
  • In my kingdom nothing was saved. Saving was sacrilegious. It was barbarian to be caught with technology older than 2 months. So it was texted, so it was done.
  • I wore Crocs clogs, with cargo shorts. I didn’t need mom and dad to help me appear idiotic. This is the way to true enlightenment?


Early Exit

Some leaves make an early exit.                                                      

They wait for rain.

More photos here.



Back Burner

Click on image to enlarge. 
The last little glimpse of a bull kelp. 

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Emily Dickinson’s Refrigerator

‘Twas the vinegar that tippeth

Toward the leftover quiche

Oh, lonely empty bottle, recycler boon

When sun meets to kiss moon—

And mustard, your yellows bold

A bit old, but still at play—

Mummified lime, plastic lined

Awaits blessed water of the fizzy kind—

Four salad dressings,

Daughters of the virgin oil—

Bright Wednesday’s sauce

Must find solace at all cost

Before the scourge of poisoned moss—

A couple of red jellies

To keep a merry belly

Harvested during the sweetness

Of His grand spring—

A dire few leaves of spinach

Must be eaten in a pinch

Or thrown into a stew anew

Cat food can, oh my love be content  

Yet, small miracles abound

In these cool vestiges—for—

Behind the onion skins

And forgotten slice of apple

My hand moves with assured fate—

Look at what Providence hath left!

A cold beer is found no less!

O, wonderous workings, I’m blessed.





He’s moving to a song he knows and it’s a song we’ve heard before but can’t place.

As he moves, the sweat, sores, and scratches stay in place. What’s inside him is externalized.

He doesn’t care about our inner secrets, our inner fears, our hates, our loves that set us howling upon each other. It’s out/in him.

He’s howling, loudly, to someone that isn’t there, but we recognize his attempt to get through. At times, we think he’s trying to get our attention. We hear, but don’t want to hear. We shake it off, thinking he’s outside us.

His voice seems primal, an odd sort of desire. We recognize its motions.

Shirtless, he scares us. He slams the metal lid of a garbage can on the sidewalk, a sidewalk he will sleep on, a sidewalk we walk upon…every day.

We don’t help him.

We expect someone else to talk to him, clean his face, recognize the song and put it in a playlist, so when it plays, text pops up, telling us what it is.

We must move to a song we know. It’s a song he’s heard before but can’t place.



Rampant Dust

Click on to enlarge

We’re rampant dust with sunlight between our fingers.


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Ghost Story For The Wilderness Impaired

Slough Reflection
Timothy Lake July 2018

She’s a ghost. I know that. She brushes her fingers along my shoulders and I will look up to find her playing among the trees, pretending to be the wind. She’ll drop a pinecone or a small branch as a reminder. Then, off she goes to the deeper part of the forest where I can’t follow. She laughs. I can’t hear it, but I know she’s laughing.

This spirit of hers doesn’t frighten me. But there are times when the forest is as still as death. It’s upon these moments, in silent life, when I look behind me on the trail and shudder in my aloneness.

She returns, that’s what ghosts do, with her sound, a rustling, a stirring, a theme she buries deep inside me. Its tune reminds me that I’m also a ghost. At times, this makes me sad, to know I’m as invisible as her, but it’s her way of empowering me, to haunt. I can’t help but to be…a ghost.

I can tell you this one thing. It’s the only thing I really, really know. If you listen, you will also know you’re a ghost. Even when you’re in the middle of nowhere, look up, and see a jet leaving contrails high in the sky, above the wilderness, without making a sound.



Ghost Fence

Ghost Fence

(Click to enlarge image)

Check the gallery out here.


Searing Times

Inside a burnt tree. More photos here.

I wish I could dance in this wind. But its heat wilts me, keeps a dull, slight fever about my skin. I feel it drags everything into a blur, the flora, the fauna, the restless water, the dry grass. There’s so many separate lawns being watered in the midst of this drought.

 I await the first flirt of coolness, a gift from the ocean, when the wind tugs at my hand and compassion soothes the baked streets, the overdone frenzy.


The View

Click on image to enlarge.
The northern trailhead of the Oregon Coast Trail.

If I hike alone, I can only tell you what you missed.

If we hike together, we’ll see the view.


Here, the wind whips beachgrass, stinging our legs through cotton jeans, a grass that rattles its voice, a scolding, chaotic rustle. Our bare feet run across their roots to reach the soft sand.

There, we’ll see the side of the wind waves know, lulling us into a dreamer’s state, a duet with the flapping of our jackets, a rhythmic trance. We dig toes deep into sun-drenched sand, feeling the same heat, ‘til cooled by the night’s tide.


The grass settles into quiet view.


(Click on image to enlarge. More of Elan’s photos here.

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