the old masters

Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. Robin L. Chandler, 2021.

Many years ago, when we wanted to learn about jazz, our dear friend Peggy, a connoisseur of improvisational music, began our education with the 1961 album Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane.  The album was recorded in 1957, when Monk and his quartet, featuring John Coltrane on tenor sax, were deep in their landmark six month residence at the Five Spot Café in New York’s East Village.  To this day, over sixty years later, their grooves are rubies, my dear, gems I turn to when I need to bebop and blow the blues away.

departure and arrival

After a year confined, while Shiva created and destroyed, the open road beckoned. The horizon open, the land infinite, and my mind seemed lotus-like, unbound.  And Earth shared: sky, mountains, trees, deserts, meadows, and rivers. My soul replenished: hope glimmers.

Clockwise: Thunderstorm over Wheeler Peak, Taos, NM; waterfall at Whitney Portal, Lone Pine, CA; sentinel trees at Whitney Portal, Lone Pine, CA; monsoon over Mt. Langley, Lone Pine, CA; and the San Francisco Peaks from Bonita Meadow, Flagstaff, AZ. Watercolors by Robin L. Chandler, 2021.

“This bird has flown”

For All Time. Robin L. Chandler, 2021.

Patiently we live stream, waiting for Wek’-Wek’ the last Peregrine chick to fledge from Sather Tower.

On nearby Evans Hall, his brothers Fauci and Kaknu, and his parents Annie and Grinnell encouraged the youngster to join them.

At last, “this bird has flown.”

So the story ends, and so it begins.

In this our lost year-of-Covid, Annie and Grinnell have raised two families and unknowingly shared their intimate life with a world of humans. 

In darkest March 2020, these beloved Peregrines were a gift to the imagination when four walls defined our world. With joy we watched as Annie laid her eggs, the chicks hatched, devoted parents provided food for their brood, and Grinnell kept the chicks warm at night while Annie took her rest. And then with excitement, in May 2020, we watched as the brothers Sequoia and Redwood flapped their wings, caught the wind and soared for the first time. And a few days later, with her brother’s encouragement, Poppy joined them and was airborne. And all was delight.

Another year has passed, and another family raised and fledged. Annie and Grinnell we thank thee for showing us that dedication and devotion will guide us through the darkness. Until next year dear Peregrines, good hunting and fair winds.

Jughandle

Hope Bears All Things. Robin L. Chandler, 2021.

humming truck tires on Highway One drowned by the Pacific

lanky Bishop Pines loom

headland prairies rise above the cold rough waters

cliffs glazed in reds and yellow ochre

clockwork of tides, migration of whales, and nesting of birds

comfort reborn

sheltered by a windswept fir

nomadic narcissi bloom

winter tragedies fade

new beginnings found

“the most basic tenet…”

Awake, Arise, and Vote!
Robin L. Chandler, 2021.

The Right to Vote is ephemeral.

It is as fragile as a butterfly.

It must be protected, or it becomes extinct.

Democracy, like nature, must be nurtured.

It is fragile and easily destroyed.

And it is difficult to restore what has been lost.

Dante and Virgil divine this “comedy,”

And point the beast to the gates of hell.

Raise your hands and be counted.

Awake, arise, and vote!