Wednesday, 29 July 2015

WW: Boys in the surf

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Poem: As You Like It (The Hermit)

The habitation of a hermit

Through the magic of Twitter, I recently met Prabhu Iyer, a poet in Chennai (India). Among his many compelling works is a Hermit cycle that succinctly encapsulates the eremitical impulse and mindset. He has graciously given me permission to post a movement I particularly like here, and so I'm sharing it with you.

The envoi alone could serve as the motto on the Great Seal of the Nation of Seekers, if we had such regalia.

by Prabhu Iyer

Let the film end before intermission
characters be underdeveloped
let the plot lie open like cut veins

and let the background score
resonate in the hall at its shrill note

It's a broken piece of the heart
cracked into two:
two faces reside here now
on either sides of the chasm.

Make whatever you wish out of it
Sweet or bitter end,
tragedy, comedy or farce
or thriller or horror,
write your own story, make it up.

take any road up the hill
to eternity beyond.

(Скит [Hermit Dwelling], by Аполлинарий Михайлович Васнецов [Apollinary Vasnetsov], courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and a generous photographer.)

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

WW: Tadpoles again

(It's happened again: tadpoles growing on the beach. This time it's a brackish puddle by the headlands. I don't know if frogs breeding in this dangerous, inhospitable zone is new, or I just never noticed it before.)

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Summer Trip


Here's a really now happening, courtesy of the Rusty Ring Experience:
  1. Type the word "psychedelic" in Google Search.
  2. Press Enter. (Some browsers do this automatically.)
  3. At the top of the search results page, click on "Images".
  4. Like, groove, baby!
Word up to all my fellow survivors of the 70s. Keep on truckin'.

(I wonder, if I replaced my desk lamp with a blacklight...)

(Artwork courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and a generous artist.)

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

WW: Windcar

(Photo doesn't look it, but this vehicle is really flying. The draught
kite pulls it equally well in all directions, wind direction notwithstanding.)

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Rock Groups 2015

Great sand stones

Time again for the yearly crop of Awesome Rock Groups Waiting To Happen. Same rules as ever:

  • Anybody who wants one of these can have it. There is no trademark, copyright, or grigri on any of them.

  • Remember that people often steal my names without telling me, or even waiting for me to think of them. So vet any you want carefully to make sure someone else isn't already that.

  • All clients of mine (which you become the moment you assume one of these identities) are entitled to tell everyone that they were named by a Zen hermit monk.

Where a name suggests a possible genre I've included that information as a serving suggestion.


Rock Groups 2015

The Next of Kin

Antofagasta (Spanish rock)

The Blacks (political rap)


Massive Transit

Under Where



Flags of the World




Gravesend (English folk rock)

Finisterre (Celtic rock)

Crabapple (American roots rock)

Umlaut (without one; irony-parsing metal group)

Goana (Oz group)

The HouseMartians

Polysynthetic (electronica)

The Caecilian Mafia

Man Ray

Left For Dead



Zoot Suit Riot (hot brass'n'sax swing)

Morticia (emo girl group)

Tucúquere (Andean roots rock)

Chompipe (Guatemalan roots rock)

Zopilote (Mexican roots rock)


The Axes of Evil

Urban Renewal (Motown revival group)


Cheap Meet

Camouflage (alt country)

Whammy Bar

Too Wellington

Back 40 (rockabilly)


The Virtual Uninhabitants

Bomb Vomit

Gregory Go Boom

Lothar and the Hill People

Tumour Spoon

No Jump Julie (Seattle sound)

Bluegill (country)

Watermelon (psychedelic)


Titular Lizard

Biff Blake and the Parasitic WASPs

(Photo courtesy of Kathy Reed and Wikimedia Commons.)

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

WW: Ironically good news

(When I was a kid, there were no sea otters on this coast. At all. They'd disappeared completely by the 1920s, relentlessly exterminated to the last individual by trappers. In the 1970s, they came under federal law, and today killing a sea otter, or even possessing so much as a bone, carries a crushing fine and/or ten years in prison. And lo, some days ago I found this on the beach. I'd heard rumours they were out there again. I don't know what killed this one, but it wasn't a trap or a rifle. So as I've often noticed, environmental regulation works. From the bald eagles that have gone from oddity to pest, to oil-free sand, to the now-rarity of dead birds and marine mammals on the tidelands, the beach is visibly better off than it was when I was a boy.)

UPDATE, 9 July 2015: Evidently this is not an isolated incident. Experts don't know why sea otters (and other marine mammals) are washing up on the North Coast in unusual numbers this summer. They first suspected domoic acid, a toxin that builds up in clams this time of year, due to a seasonal algae bloom, but now they seem to have written that off. Nevertheless I've noticed a remarkable number of dead razor clams in the surf of late. And sea otters live on clams. Anyway, the story is here.
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