Wild Brush

Settling for nothing less...

A child of spring, perennial boy of summer
he grows like Jesus' mustard seed
sown in earth with tiny beginnings,
untended soil in open lands,

Unschooled and undisciplined
in the refined sense, growing still
a wildfire of wild brush,
creatively propagating by instinct,
Never the less...

Uncultivated representation of mankind
growth of ranchland range in the rough
tilled and fallowed only by nature,
bearing small flowers among abundant growth
Settling for nothing less...

He creates his own unconfined handsomeness
resplendently interesting of its own accord,
blooming and dying to bloom again
agelessly with each growing season,
Each time to display more than less...


Nestled Among Boulders

Saquaro, Prickly Pear and Ocotillo...

Alone Together

Thought particles lay between the lines...

We journey together in connected silence
unbroken negotiating commonplace details,
since consultation is unnecessary surplus exchange.
Minds keeping time in the same spherical clock.

Little needs to be spoken when existent knowledge
understands each other's cognitive processes,
surrounded in suspended spatial wordless awareness.
Intuitively aware of where we are introspectively.

We say so little that when we do thought particles
lay between the lines with quiet acknowledgment of meaning,
minimalist speech with clarity requiring no question.
Intention of direction in synchronicity where we are headed.


Bridge Over A Divide

Crossing over to another side...

Each time I approach a bridge
which crossing goes another place,
a breath, a flinch, a loaded cartridge,
briefly fears gun barrel firing into space,
since on the other side is a ridge.

Now having traversed span trepidation aside
up and over crest, rocks crunched underfoot,
crushed to reach what is over divide.
Finding oasis cultivated with deep taproot,
With arbor replacing bridge over path as guide.


Out of Range

The remote path is richly kaleidoscopic...

Roadway roughly wrangled into earth,
rambling up and down side to side
beeline but written slightly bent toward peaks.
Bordered cottonwood, aspen, oak, pine
bearing chroma spring in streaming streaks,
testifying broken back of winter.

Predawn morning destination is fixed in sights.
He and I expedition to burrow deep into furrows 
of distant mountainside for respite.
Far from inquiring minds and busy bodies,
which distract, disquiet lives that don't fit,
although settled long ago into embracing accord.



Nature is a sentiment...

Post hard spring rain,
that soaked needy desert floor,
there a single droplet remains.
Clasped to twig leaf branch,
unwilling to take leave,
and fall without the chance,
to bid adios to burgeoning flowers. 
Assignees of the tiny water beads
contribution to baptizing largesse,
a rich offering to arid land enhanced.


Sitting and Resting My Booted Feet

In quilted emerald fields of desert clover...

I've been trampling long over high desert terrain
A range covering dry sand and silt alternating gravel and rocks,
Sockets of arid thistle, punctuated with prickly pears and creosote.
Trudging, mostly looking at the ground to avoid the sun,
In a slow ocular dawning my eye corner notices a damp wash.

A centerline trickle of water causes my head to tilt and squint in the sun.
Ah ha! The wash widens ascending down with alluvial fan's beaded streams,
Pouring from mesa lined with deep tap rooted bushes and in between
A rich overlay of desert clover to rest my feet while sitting on a boulder.
Enveloping my boots it tantalizes my feet before being soaked in cool water.


Roadside Memorials

Here marks the last spot on earth seen alive...

Roadside memorials have a long history and in the Southwestern US they are usually marked with crosses as the main feature originally due to the Hispanic heritage of the region. It does not mark the place where someone is buried but where they were last seen alive and not necessarily where they died. These memorials are created by family and friends to commemorate the person and the cause of death is due to some sort of traffic mishap.

To me the ones that I have come across regularly over years that have been maintained are particularly poignant. It is an indication that the person who is now deceased has not been forgotten by those left behind. The memory is so strong that the tribute continues to be tended as the spot of the final place the soul lost to them was a whole person intact as they knew them. These photographs are of a roadside memorial in a rather remote area of Arizona and the highway depicted has a reputation for wicked collisions and fatalities and referred to as the "Highway of Death."

These markers are also meant to serve as a warning to travelers cautioning them to drive safely. The Arizona Highway Patrol started placing white crosses in the nineteen-forties and fifties to mark the site of fatal car crashes and the tradition was carried on by family members of fatal collisions. In Arizona and New Mexico Department of Transportation workers are not required to protect them but generally they are left unaltered or moved if necessary out of respect for the caretakers.


Rules? There Are Rules?

On creativity and innovation stifled by The Rules...

Although I learned elements of composition in photography, art and writing along with other rules such as theme, perspective, point of view, balance, development as they applied to each genre there's a point where is seems to me once the basics are learned they're simply guidelines. Yes, yes, yes, I know many photographers, artists and writers will argue with me on the fine head of a pin over that concept but they miss the point. My real message is they become restrictive to the truly creative person and unless the rules are bent, reshaped, molded and played around with nothing new is discovered.

Photography is a great example of too many people going to the workshop and learning techniques, going out and perfecting them to a fault. The result is the vast majority of photography is dull and boring and it is omnipresent and all looks alike. Let me state to prevent being misunderstood that I think there is value in learning the basics and for many hobbyists they're a necessity but to move into being a visual artist my view is you have to and must experiment. How many black and white photographs of birds in flight or sitting on the wire are there? The cliche is replicated by the millions and you would think the standard way it's been done wouldn't be seen anymore yet I see it enough that it makes me want to do it differently...just because.

Here's another cliche for you: it's a metaphor for life in general. Personally I'm quite alright with the majority of people following the rules in all sorts of things whether it's artistic or the mundane details of daily living. It gives me the opportunity to stand up to do something different and stand out when I do. Which is rather odd for a somewhat anti-social person such as myself and perhaps there is some complex psychology there I don't want to bother delving into. There are enough people without artistic talent who like to study why anti-social behavior and creative expression seem to go hand in hand. Make that three cliches in this writing.

So here are three photographs I snapped in classic black and white following rules when I originally took them. They would have been good stock photos I suppose for a collection or I could have edited them in the usual workshop way. Instead I processed them with fairly simple techniques and I won't go so far as to say they're spectacularly unique or different and quite possibly they've been done similarly before. The purpose of my divergence in their creation was to renovate and metamorphose images that originally followed rules and see if bending them would lead to innovation either now or as progress in developing my own distinctive visual art.


Solar Shimmers Surreal

Valley of the Sun...

Desert rays of sun scintillate and diffuse,
Scrambling waves of lines and light.
A mindbending apparition, a mirage,
Yet somehow our human lenses
Auto-correct to make sense of it all.


Stamen of Aloe Vera

Bursting fertilizing seeds into orbit...

Organ of reproduction, filament and anther.
An Aloe Vera stamen as thread of the warp,
Stands and releases its labyrinthine pollen grains
To the atmosphere for animal kingdom and weather,
In mode of distribution paradoxical and perplexing.
Serving as propagation of the salving medicinal succulent.