After my stop in Xi’an, I was eager to resume my walk. But was I ready for a difficult multi-year trek to the Russian Far East and the Bering Strait? Would I arrive in winter, and would the strait be frozen solidly enough so that I could walk across the ice, possibly wondering whether Sarah… Continue reading From Kirk Yetholm to Edale: On the Road Again →
Yes, I did it! I walked most of the way across China, starting at Kashgar, a city near China’s western border. Although I walked the miles actually (really, truly), I accomplished the trip virtually (not really, not truly), tracking my progress on a spreadsheet and a map, putting one foot in front of the other… Continue reading Kashgar to Xi’an: I Did It! →
“Once in a lifetime,” Miss Smith told us. “Or maybe twice.” She was our fifth-grade teacher, and she wanted to make sure we paid attention to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of England, which would be happening in about a month. We knew that Princess Elizabeth was now the queen of England, but the… Continue reading Miss Smith, the Queen, and the Coronation Scrapbook →
It was a kinder, gentler time, or at least I thought it was. I was unemployed and unhappy, and I wanted—no, needed—to go somewhere. My friend Joyce, who was about to move to Washington to seek her fortune, offered me a ride. Although Washington was not on my list of places to go for a… Continue reading ￼My (Not Typical Tourist) Visit to the Capitol →
Because I am a poet, I respond to words before images, sentences before styles, paragraphs before pigments. I love to look at paintings, but for me words come first. It is not surprising, then, that my obsession with Albert Pinkham Ryder, a painter who was born, as I was, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, began… Continue reading Albert Pinkham Ryder’s Chemical Sins, and Me →
Yesterday was the Fourth of July. Independence Day is not my favorite holiday. In fact, it’s my least favorite holiday, not because I lack patriotic fervor and not because I hate fireworks (although I do hate fireworks if they’re directly over my head)—no, not for either of those reasons. I certainly don’t hate the music,… Continue reading The Bizarro Yankee Doodle Dandy →
There are many ways to get from Kashgar, China’s westernmost city, to Aksu, about 300 miles to the east. If you left on train #7558, you would arrive in Aksu 9 hours and 28 minutes later. On this slowest and cheapest of the railroad options, a ticket costs only ¥53, or about US$8.… Continue reading Slow: Kashgar to Aksu →
A couple of weeks ago, as I was scrolling through the news items on Poetry Daily’s website, I came upon Ruth Weiss’s obituary. Although I didn’t know who Ruth Weiss was, the thumbnail in the news feed immediately caught my attention. Ruth Weiss, who was, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, a “trailblazing poet in… Continue reading Green Hair & Jam →
I have an ancestor from Santa Maria, Azores. His name is António Ferreira Couto, and he was born probably between 1660 and 1680. He married a woman named Catarina Velho, who was probably also born on the ilha de Santa Maria, but I don’t know that for sure. António and Catarina are my 7th great-grandparents.… Continue reading Looking for António Ferreira Couto →
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