Photo Friday: Rhyolite Ghost Town (Nevada)


Rhyolite began in early 1905 as one of several mining camps that sprang up after a prospecting discovery in the surrounding hills. The town declined almost as rapidly as it rose, its population nearly zero by 1920. Now there are just a few remnants of the town that was. The area is an easy drive from Death Valley, California, where we were visiting at the time.

Photos taken January 2012

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Object


Here’s another one from the archives, this time from my second poetry collection, Pagan Blues (2007):


I have placed it on the alter
for the devout to devour.

I have buried it in sand
forsaking it to the sun.

I have left it near the edge
letting gravity run its course.

I have split it in two
exposing it for the gods.

I have set it on the pyre
transforming it to ash.

I have ground it to dust
scattering it at sea.

I have hung it from a cross
skewering its side.

I have named it
and left it unnamed.

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Photo Friday: Mendenhall Glacier (Alaska)


Mendenhall Glacier is about 12 miles (19 km) long located in Mendenhall Valley, about 12 miles from downtown Juneau in the southeast region of Alaska. Originally known as Sitaantaagu (“the Glacier Behind the Town”) or Aak’wtaaksit (“the Glacier Behind the Little Lake”), the glacier was named Auke (Auk) Glacier by naturalist John Muir for the Tlingit Auk Kwaan (or Aak’w Kwaan) band in 1888. In 1891 it was renamed in honor of Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, a US physicist and meteorologist. It extends from the Juneau Icefield, its source, to Mendenhall Lake and ultimately the Mendenhall River.

Photos taken July 2008.

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence


Was reminded of this poem, which was written as part of a series of poems that ended up in my first poetry collection, In a Strange Land (2003). It didn’t make the cut and has remained unpublished, though still seems timely given recent events.



A favorite teacher once lost me here,
holding steadfast to his belief in the Creation,
casting off opposing views with a zealot’s indignation.
I tried to introduce a third option for those of us
between primates and miracles, but was silenced.

Then you with your grey eyes closed as I read to you,
hours of exchanges between us, a lifetime of discovery
that could have been, but again this issue.
“How can it even be considered a science?”
you once asked. I was struck silent.


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