NaPoWriMo, April 21, 2019

Five years ago, in Edinburgh,
I drank much strong tea
sitting in tea shops
book stores
and cathedrals.

Twenty-five years ago, new to Seattle,
I drank many mochas
from La Peche and Tully’s
between running copy jobs
and fixing computers.

Caffeine helps
mind climate
in cloudy, foggy places.

NaPoWriMo 2017, poem 7

Seattle Wind Storm

Wind howls, tree branches break

— wait, there must be some mistake

I asked for fluffy clouds and sun

and didn’t get a single one.

This grey sky nonsense is the pits

instead of Green Lake, I just sits

waiting for some warm — oh, poop.

I think I’ll go heat up some soup.

November…and the Flowers are Having a Party

img_0083

Autumn leaves? Never you mind that. Ice plant still has flowers.

 

img_0082

Pansies are up for another round, while Ice plant keeps on blooming.

 

img_0077

Dahlia has not bloomed yet, and that flower bud has been staging itself for days, shyly refusing to open.

 

img_0079

While the Dahlia on the other side of the hedge says, “Come on out, the weather’s great!”

 

I can't remember the name of this cool flower but it has not stopped blooming since spring.

I can’t remember the name of this cool flower but it has not stopped blooming since spring.

 

Lithodora, back for another round.

Lithodora, back for another round.

#BlackLivesMatter at Seattle Public Schools

On October 19, 2016, hundreds of people who work at Seattle Public Schools will be wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts to school, and many educators will be using part of the day to teach students about institutional racism. Capping off the day is a rally at Washington Hall (153 14th Ave. Seattle) from 6-8pm, featuring speakers, musicians and poets.

I sincerely hope we are beginning to see a big shift in the conversation about racism.

If you are a white American like me, it’s likely you were raised to be “colorblind.” The post civil rights era I grew up in was framed with the assumption that all races are equal, so naturally, we assume, there’s no more racism, except perhaps in some backwoods southern or rural outposts. But this utopian idea hides an important truth: despite the occasional exception, African Americans in general are still struggling. “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps” is a hollow platitude when tossed haughtily at people who have been unable to grow wealth thanks to redlining, the school to prison pipeline, and bias in the criminal justice system.

Returning to Black Lives Matter, I know some of you may wondering what the organization actually stands for. Please take a look at the guiding principles and 11 Major Misconceptions about the Black Lives Matter Movement. And if you are still saying, “But…All Lives Matter,” please watch this video.

From the Major Misconceptions link above: “The statement “black lives matter” is not an anti-white proposition. Contained within the statement is an unspoken but implied “too,” as in “black lives matter, too,” which suggests that the statement is one of inclusion rather than exclusion.”

We are all in this together. When some people are left out in the cold, we all suffer.

White supremacy: “The belief that white people matter more than others.” -Prof. Eddie Glaude

#BlackLivesMatter: “an online forum intended to build connections between Black people and our allies to fight anti-Black racism, to spark dialogue among Black people, and to facilitate the types of connections necessary to encourage social action and engagement.” –BLM official website

Greenwood Gas Explosion, Aftermath Pics

In the wee hours of March 9, my husband and I woke to a loud noise and shaking.

“Earthquake?” he mumbled sleepily.

“Too short,” I replied.

I looked out the window to see if someone had broken out our car windows or something. Everything looked fine, but then I heard the sirens. If it had been later in the morning I probably would have stayed up, but instead I fell asleep, then woke to the news on Phinneywood.com that three of our local businesses were obliterated in a gas explosion and dozens of businesses’ windows were blown out.

Today I walked around and took some photos.

 

Buildings obliterated: Quik Stop, Mr Gyros and Neptune Coffee

Buildings obliterated: Quik Stop, Mr Gyros and Neptune Coffee

 

Directly across the street from the blast, Seattle ReCreative was hit hard

Directly across the street from the blast, Seattle ReCreative was hit hard

 

Even a block away there was some serious glass damage

Even a block away there was some serious glass damage

 

Looking up Greenwood just north of the 85th St intersection there is damage all the way to Green Bean.

Looking up Greenwood just north of the 85th St intersection there is damage all the way to Green Bean (which was unscathed, fortunately, considering that place already had to rebuild after the arson some years ago took four other Greenwood businesses).

 

Other side of the street, a block away from the blast.

Other side of the street, a block away from the blast.

 

Around the corner, an old building begins to crumble.

Around the corner, an old building begins to crumble.

 

At the carpet store a block away and around the corner.

At the carpet store a block away and around the corner.

 

Gordito's

Gordito’s

 

IMG_8126

IMG_8134

Glass and rubble

Glass and rubble

 

Around the corner and down the road

Around the corner and down the road. By the way that Xhale Tobacco place will change your watch battery or your car key remote.

 

Couth Buzzard ... open! Along with boarded up Chaco Canyon and Coyle's Bakeshop

Couth Buzzard … open! Along with boarded up Chaco Canyon and Coyle’s Bakeshop

 

Razzi's

Razzi’s, home of the best gluten-free pizza crust

 

Post Office

Post Office

 

Flag at Half-mast

Flag at Half-mast

Day 3: Share photos of the city where you live and tell us why you like (or don’t like) living there. #crazyrebelliousart

Share photos of the city where you live and tell us why you like (or don’t like) living there.

Seattle is a city of neighborhoods, and I love my neighborhood and my neighbors. Though I’m not a fan of this ugly building:

When they finished the lettering it said "The Healing Corner"...yet another medical marijuana place.

When they finished the lettering it said “The Healing Corner”…yet another medical marijuana place.

I like Seattle because of the mild climate we used to have prior to climate change.

I like how intrepid the plants are here in rain-town, with the gumption to show up in the cracks.

Marigold in October

Marigold in October

Someone must have dropped a tomato. Good luck with the cold weather, Buddy.

Someone must have dropped a tomato. Good luck with the cold weather, Buddy.

I like Seattle because of the public transportation I used to ride before I got a car.

We have some awesome sunrises and sunsets. Here’s a sunrise I captured last week:

IMG_7307

I don’t like Seattle because the politics here are big time messed up. For example:

And sometimes the sun really is just way too bright. Here’s a blinding sunset:

Great fireball!

Great Fireball in the Sky!

Big Fire, Little Fire

Photo of smokey skies in Seattle.

Seattle skies show smoke blown in from Central Washington fires.

I’ve spent a lot of time this past month exploring sites like http://www.wildlandfire.com/ to see exactly what part of the United States is on fire at the moment. And I’ve been having some weird thoughts. You see, when you look at the tiny little fire icon on a map, it doesn’t seem real. It just looks like a tiny little baby fire, the sort that you could snuff out with a wet towel or a fire extinguisher.

So then I click on the tiny baby fire icon to find out more information. Let’s say, for example, the More Info tells me the fire is 12 acres big and has been burning for a month. It tells me the resources on hand are 19 fire engines, and at least 30 firefighters. I start wondering how 19 fire engines and 30 firefighters have still not put out a 12 acre fire after a month.

I get silly ideas, like: why don’t the residents of the nearby city do a bucket brigade? Why don’t I just drive 6 hours to the fire and put it out myself? With, you know, my mental willpower, rain stick, and a whole lot of spit.

  • But then I think about how busy the map makers must be this time of year, trying to keep maps like this updated.
  • I think about how it’s likely by now the fire has in fact been contained even though the website doesn’t say so.
  • I think of how many firefighters are working hard out there.
  • I think of how resources are likely being diverted to fight the significantly larger fires.
  • I think of how many firefighters have died fighting the fires this year.

And I’m grateful so many people are making such a strong effort to put out all the fires, big and small.