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THE FARTHERMOST VIEW

Selected Podpieces

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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CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT UNFAIR TO BIRDS

The other day Pippin and I got a late start on our morning walk. It was pretty darned cold, so we strode briskly down the hill through the bright sunshine. As we came to the end of the street, I heard a screech owl calling, what the Cornell Lab of Ornithology refers to as its Agitated Bark and Bill Clap. Read More 
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TWELVE

Taking Aim
My Companion and I had a visit this summer from our twelve-year-old grandson and his mother. He’s two inches taller than he was last year, he has braces, and he still wears his beautiful blond hair in a buzz cut, which might look fine on a military man but is not what I’d prefer to see on a grandson. However, until someone consults me on the style I prefer, I will hold my tongue. Read More 
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