we do not know

Robin L. Chandler, 2021.

WE DO NOT KNOW THE FUTURE. We do not know when the next war will start. We do not know when the last glacier will melt. We do not know when the last coral reef will bleach. We do not know how much oil we might still burn. We do not know when the last Javan rhinoceros will die. We do not know how nation-states will cope with millions of climate refugees. We do not know what policies economic crisis will be used to justify. We do not know when the Amazonia will collapse. We do not know how many more concentration camps will be built. We do not know when the Colorado River will go dry. We do not know toward what insidious ends the righteous hate of the downtrodden will be turned. We do not know when the Arctic Ocean will be ice free. We do not know what politics looks like in a world of catastrophic ecological collapse. We do not know when the Gulf Stream will slow to a stop. We do not know what we are capable of getting used to.

From Beginning with the End by Roy Scranton in Emergence Magazine

land of little rain

the east side. Robin L. Chandler, 2021.

It is thus that the novel takes its modern form, through “the relocation of the unheard-of toward the background…while the everyday moves into the foreground.” There is, however, an important difference between the weather events that we are now experiencing and those that occur in surrealist and magical realist novels: improbable though they might be, these events are neither surreal nor magical. To the contrary, these highly improbable occurrences are overwhelmingly, urgently, astoundingly real.

Amitav Ghosh The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable

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!