Category: Nature

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Advice to Self and Poets in General

When confronted with the immensity of the ocean crashing against La Jolla cliffs craggy like Ireland and the island of Islay refrain from attempting to describe the waves and sky and gulls and wind and salty spray as a poet might using nouns as verbs “the sea lips the shore” “the pelicans wing the coastline”...

they paved paradise and put up a parking lot 2

Runyon Canyon Follow-Up: No Parking Any Time

“The parking lot idea, putting a lot inside Runyon Canyon, is dead on arrival. It’s not going to happen.” – John C. Gile, President, Friends of Runyon Canyon With apologies to Jackie Gleason, what we have here is a failure to communicate. Call it a simple misunderstanding. Or clumsy public relations. Or meager community outreach....

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Friends of Runyon Canyon?

Runyon Canyon Park, the dog-friendly nature sanctuary in the hills above Hollywood, has been the subject of several essays in this space, as well as a scenic location in at least two or three of our books. It’s just about the greatest part of living in this neighborhood, and maybe all of Los Angeles. For...

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So You Think You’re an Environmentalist?

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of global climate change and environmental devastation. Fossil fuels are a major contributor, yes, but livestock are actually the chief malefactors in terms of greenhouse gas emissions – and a litany of destructive ancillary effects. Environmental harms associated with the meat industry include deforestation (particularly in the Amazon basin),...

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Poem: Water and Honey

Water flows downstream. Water seeks the nadir. Honey does, too. But whereas water finds crevasses and depressions, Filling all the little lacunae, Seduced by gravity and soaked in its own enthusiasm, Honey journeys won’t be assimilated. They conclude only when you can’t get any lower, When you stumble into a ceaselessly bleak pit of despair,...

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They’re Lizards

Nothing that’s ever walked, slithered, swum or flown the earth has ever been as intelligent as human beings. We’re the smartest species ever. The things we can do with our brain can’t be done with a sparrow’s brain, or an ant’s. Or even a dolphin’s. They’re clever, sure. And other species can do stuff we...

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Pavlov’s Dogs

On a recent trip to Madagascar in search of wildlife in its natural habitat, we visited the magnificent Andasibe National Park, where a dozen species of lemur monkeys found nowhere else in the world make their home in the forest canopy. Viewing sifaka (“dancing lemurs”) normally seen only in captivity cavorting in the wild, leaping...

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Poem: Changeable

Chameleons are cute what with their changing colors and all that adorableness ready-made for advertising campaigns but when hunting they are less charming more like their brutish brethren that merely slither unblinking and expressionless the toughest poker pedant to take an oath Hippocratic or otherwise you would not find the same cute chameleon quite so...

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Poem: Minor Miracles

Looking at the sun and hearing the yellowrumped warblers I realized conclusively today that all of this Everything is a miracle All this Life Please begin enumerating counting to 300 billion and perhaps When you reach the end of your Time here On yes this miracle of the galaxy You will know the truth like...

failed magician 0

Poem: Tubular Tubers

Tubular tubers must propagate rumors of doves in distress emitting foul humors. Now what would inspire this rank impropriety, this cunning indictment besmirching society?   A rift is the answer, a chasm, a cleft, a cleaving, a shearing, a conscience bereft of feeling and thoughts of the popular kind, the ones that come straight out...