Wednesday, July 31, 2013


       A ladybird flies off
Dividing her wings
       Into two.

Haiku:  Takano Soju (高野素十) (1893-1976)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


The biggest mystery I’m working on solving is finding out what exactly happened to the animal wildlife in Tuxedo Park, New York.

We’ve lived in TP since 1992, and prior to that had spent a lot of time there visiting my parents and friends who moved there after discovering how beautiful it was.

One of the Park’s great glories was its wide and splendid assortment of forest animals – gentle deer and opossums, groundhogs, chipmunks, raccoon families, squirrels, wild turkey hordes, black bears, abandoned and often feral cats (we adopted many of them), and a vast array of other residents and transients.

They are all gone now.  Our only visitors now are crows.

The “deer culling” programs of the past, which justifiably caused loud local consternation and controversy, have clearly been replaced by something more sinister.

But what?  Bins of poisoned corn in the woods?

Tuxedo Park was once a place absolutely teeming with animal life.  Sighting newborn fawn deer every late spring gladdened hearts and raised hope.   

The woods now are sterile and silent.

Monday, July 29, 2013


To know, know, know him

Is to love, love, love him

Just to see him smile 

Makes my life worthwhile

To know, know, know him 

Is to love, love, love him

And I do

Mick Farren:  To Know Him Is To Love Him  (Link)

Sunday, July 28, 2013


After a mile of winding and a thousand feet of elevation, the final curve gave out onto a bowl the size of a deserted stadium.  It was part natural, part blasted, hanging there in the belly of giant peaks.  The back walls of the bowl were sheer rock faces.  There were semi-circular holes blasted into them at intervals.  They looked like giant mouse holes.  Some of them had been built out with waste rock, to provide sheltered entrances.  Two of the entrances had been enlarged into giant stone sheds, roofed with timber.

NOTE:  Initially, Die Trying’s plot seems insanely extravagant, but eventually the cynicism about most human character that undergirds it makes the whole of the work actually seem as naturalistic as Gilbert White’s writings on Selborne.  Combining elements of John Buchan’s chase, war and crime novels, especially, The Dancing Floor, Mr Standfast and The Power House, Lee Child achieves something quite original here.  It is art and therefore a lot happier in the end than today’s (and yesterday’s and tomorrow’s) newspaper headlines, which are just creepy.