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THE FARTHERMOST VIEW

Selected Podpieces

MARCH COYOTES

On one side of our yard a wooden fence blocks the view, but at the north end between that fence and the neighbor's garden shed is a gap where we can see right into their yard. One March day in between storms I was standing at the kitchen sink when I happened to look out the window just as a coyote trotted past the gap and disappeared behind the fence. Read More 

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BREAKFAST CEREAL

Starting to write an essay, or a poem, or a short story, is like going shopping with the whole world as your marketplace.

It's like the cereal aisle: a mile-long aisle six shelves high filled with brightly colored boxes, and you walk slowly along reading the similar-sounding names of the cereals. All bran, Multi bran, Multibran flakes, all bran grains. Deciding among 200 kinds of cereal is daunting and even anxiogenic.

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NAMING THE DEAD

It's funny, isn't it, how people often get nervous about saying the name of a recently dead person. When we run into a widow, or a newly-orphaned adult, or a parent whose child has died, we'll say, “How are you doing? I'm so sorry for your loss. Is there anything I can do?”  Read More 
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THE CHIMNEY SWEEP

As I lay awake last night at three in the morning, casting around for something to think about other than my failures, mistakes, and sins, in the back, or at least the side, of my mind I was silently reciting Blake's “The Chimney Sweep,” which I had memorized many years ago because I had a recording of Gregg Brown singing Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, and since I loved his voice I listened to it over and over again, until smaller players and tinnier recordings replaced my little stereo and my vinyl records, and I never got around to replacing them.  Read More 
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WATCHING WILDLIFE

The other day I saw a video of a weatherman standing in front of a live camera, talking about, of all things, the weather. He was pointing out at the San Francisco Bay, and was about to launch into a weather update, when suddenly the upside down face of a giant, wild-eyed bird appearedat the top of the screen, peering out at us.  Read More 
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