Twas the Third Day of Christmas

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Twas the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a turtle swimming from a reef wreath.  Perhaps it was scared by the storm’s worrisome wind, scattering lawn chairs and spinning our chimney cap ’til we thought it might take flight.

We find turtles without trying.  Last summer we found them while paddling up the Lagunitas Creek, out of Point Reyes Station.  After our paddle we stopped by Spirit Matters and found a lovely Kwan Yin seated on a turtle.  This past September, on our trip to Kauai, we found turtles while exploring the reefs at Tunnels on the north shore.  Turtles are magic in that when we find them, we are always in an environment that makes us smile.

Spread joy and good cheer.

The Sleeping Giants Woke Up

I haven’t always been a Giants fan.  I played baseball as a kid and worshipped the Milwaukee Braves.  Mostly because they drove the Dodgers crazy and the Dodgers were my folk’s favorite team.  My mom listened to them on her little black and silver transistor radio.  She hung on every Vin Scully word.

When the Dodgers moved to LA in the fifties, we got to see Eddie Matthews, Warren Spahn, Lew Burdette, Joe Adcock, and Hank Aaron in person.  Eddie Matthews, the soft-spoken third baseman with the big bat, was my favorite.  He drove the Dodgers nuts, but when we went to watch him play at the LA Coliseum he usually struck out.

Don Zimmer, rest his soul, was the worst.  He was not known as a home run hitter but in 1958, when the Dodgers moved to LA, he had the left field fence figured out.  The coliseum was a football stadium for the LA Rams, but home to the LA Dodgers for the few years it took to build them a baseball stadium.  They erected a 50 foot fence in left field to prevent rampant home runs, but Zimmer had its number.  He hit, what would have been routine fly balls in any other park, that flew over the left field fence.  He hit 17 home runs that first year, the most he hit in his major league career.

Back to the Giants.  Last night Dinard Spann and Matt Moore woke up the Giants defensively and we had a Panik Attack.  Moore came darn close to a no hitter, the giants bats made noise, and Denard Span showed serious speed.  Serious D.  He ran nearly 100 feet and reached a speed of over 20 mph to track down what would have been an extra base hit into the left-center gap in the third inning.  He made another in the ninth.  He was flying.  Joe Panik’s swing looks back and what a swing it is.  One piece, built for contact, and he can certainly take it deep when it matters.  IT MATTERS NOW!!!

So, my dear Giants, I have been patient, though disappointed, since the All-Star break.  Last night you showed your stuff, which you’ve kept carefully  under wraps.  Don’t be bashful, play Giant’s baseball?  Ball contact, speed, hits when it matters.  It’s almost September.  It’s time to go.

Change Seven Magazine 2.2

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I submitted three flash fiction stories to Change Seven Magazine, and they published them today.  Each story is in some way connected to surfing.

Change Seven is an online literary journal that pays tribute to Dorothy Parker, that feminist dame who was so far ahead of her time that it hurt.

The origin of the site’s name comes from the following:

“It takes me six months to do a story. I think it out and write it sentence by sentence—no first draft. I can’t write five words but that I can change seven.” ~ Dorothy Parker, The Paris Review, 1956

I am honored to have my work in this journal.

The magazine is here                      https://changesevenmag.com/issue-2-2/

The Battle by the Bay

The Giants have been whooped by the As three games straight in their annual battle by the bay.  Tonight the Giants have one more chance.  Back in 1989 this same match up was set against an area-altering event during game three of the World Series.  This is short short fiction about that day from the point of view of a very young not-yet-baseball fan.

On the TV a man with no hair talked about a battle and a bay.  He called a little man a giant.  The little man had black streaks under his eyes.  The TV made a funny noise, then squiggly lines, and then it went black.  Mama Rose took my hand, put Bobby’s hand in mine, and ran from the house.  The screen door slammed.  She took us to the park across the street and set us in swings.  She kept looking up at the trees and wires. She looked at her watch and then looked up and down the street.  She asked us if we’d felt anything.  We both shook our heads.

A woman with bright red hair came into the playground with a little girl and a brown dog.  She asked Mama Rose if she’d seen the news.  Mama Rose said, “Don’t scare the boys.”

“What happened,” I asked, but Mama Rose didn’t look at me.

The red haired woman talked about a game and a stick and a cypress.  She talked fast and looked up at the trees.  Mama Rose asked if her husband was ok.  The red haired woman did not answer.

A man smoking a cigarette came into the park carrying a small girl with snot running from her nose.  The man closed one eye and held the cigarette in his lips.  Something from the smoke end dropped on the little girl’s arm.  She yelled “Ouch,” while he wiped up the snot with a white rag.

“The Marina got hit hard,” he said to Mama Rose.

Mama Rose shook her head and shushed the man.  She took me and Bobby back to the house.

She looked up the stairs and said, “Dave I need you.”

She told him to watch us while she ran next door.  He turned on the TV.  A man with wires and stuff coming out his ears talked fast with a crunched up face.  There was a large grassy place with lots of orange seats and people running.

He pushed a button on the remote.  A car was driving on a street over water.  The road in front of the car fell and the car vanished.   He pushed the remote and there was a sideways house with smoke coming out of the windows.  He pushed the remote and a car was driving on a street over water.  The road fell and another car vanished.  A woman with big eyes and a bright red mouth talked fast about an epicenter.  She did not blink.

“Daddy Dave,” asked Bobby, “What’s an epicenter?”

Daddy Dave turned off the TV and said “Let’s have a snack.”

Bobby asked if we could watch cartoons.  Daddy Dave said that the TV was over heating and we would have to wait until it cooled down.

Mama Rose came back with two kids I did not know.  The one with the orange shirt said a truck was squashed like a pancake.

“A pancake?” asked the other kid.

“A pancake,” said the kid again.

Mama Rose told the boys to play in the back yard.  The one in the orange shirt said that he’d just seen a bunch of people squashed like pancakes.

“Out, out,” Mama Rose told the boys.  “Out!”

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Steps: indoors or outdoors

This is my post for Cees Weekly Black and White challenge for STEPS.  It’s been a while since I’ve played.  Been busy bettering my writing with the Writers Studio San Francisco. They meet weekly on the seventh floor of the Mechanic’s Institute, which is a great old building at the base of Post Street near Market in San Francisco.

These are the stairs that take me there. At least part way. There’s a great old library in the building and lots of people playing chess. Next class starts June 28.

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African SUP

It’s been at least two weeks since I stepped foot in the surf.  The waves have been large and unruly but it rained which is good. My ten week workshop with the San Francisco Writers Studio has been fulfilling. This class ends Tuesday. I signed up for the next one which starts in two weeks. Between now and then I plan to publish some of the work I’ve done in the class.

Yesterday I got wet and it solidified the notion that SUP days are better than others.  Even though I lost my footing more than once, I caught waves and paddled the length of the beach. After an hour session I left the water with a clear head and sore muscles.

So why the title African SUP?  Watch the one minute video: It’s the music.