and at the side of the road, 13 malvados, bald eagles, sulking in the trees
I’ve got a request out to Carlos, my friend in Madrid, for the Spanish definition of “bad ass”, a word used two days ago to describe the attitudes of the bald eagles I saw sulking in the trees at the side of the road. Somehow I just know it’s going to be exceptionally poetic… One of my new year’s projects is to collect great Spanish words and put them on little business cards with the webaddress of a newly designated blog on them and leave them in coffee shops (because we don’t have those great Spanish instituions, the taberna, here) and see if anything happens. There’s this little current of Spain and Latin America running in this city and I’m curious to see where it runs…
I sometimes write to a friend and give her wildlife reports from out west. Most often I send her a bear report, as this friend and I met at Banff and were morbidly fascinated with the bear terror that skulks about the place every so often. While at Banff I did a lot of hiking with three other writers and we’d sing, laugh, talk, shout the whole time we were in the woods – we heeded the advice the park wardens gave at our introduction to wildlife session. Sadly, during our stay at Banff, a cyclist out for an afternoon spin was dragged from her bike and killed. This, of course, ratcheted up the general bear angst and added a certain frisson to our hikes (as well as a few more bells and cans of bear spray to our back packs). But as the bears around here are taking siesta – apparently they don’t really hibernate fully- today I emailed Helen not with a bear report, but with a birdish report. Driving home this morning, from my sister’s on the north of Vancouver Island, I saw 13 bald eagles with bad ass attitude, perched on a tree. As I wrote to Helen, they looked slightly hungover and strangely unimpressive…kind of like teenagers hanging out at the mall, or worse, outside the liquor store. There was a dead deer on the highway and I think they were daring each other to swoop down and pick at it without being hit by a car… a game of eagle one might say… Anyway, the other wildlife note I wrote Helen, was the screech owl I heard at 6 a.m. as I was just waking up. Totally terrifying sound… kind of like a cat being shredded (sorry cat lovers… I’ve never heard a cat shredded but I think a screech owl cry breaking early morning might sound rather similar). Rather impressive. As for nice things under the tree. Somehow Santa stopped at Salt Press in the U.K. (one of my favourites) and picked up Alexander Hutchison’s Scales Dog. I shall now pour myself something nice and crack it open.What did Santa leave you?
Okay, so there’s a link to the Scots and some of their fine poets such as Colin Wills and his blog… now here’s a link to one of my most favourite places in the world…Taberna Ultreia in Finisterre. We met Jose and Carmina at their taverna when we walked into Finisterre at the end of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, and it felt like walking into home. It’s so lucky in life when one meets kindred folk and though our Spanish is terrible, our Galician non-existant, thanks to Jose and Carmina’s english skills and hospitality, and open invitation to play music there every night, we now have yet another place on earth that claims a bit of our hearts Taberna Ultreia, in that gorgeous fishing village on the north Atlantic coast, is where artists gravitate. Last time I checked their website, I saw they were hosting a reading for three Galician poets. I’d have given anything to be there that night… here’s to enlightened tabernas everywhere…Ultreia (onward)! Jose, by the way, is a beautiful musician and singer. Stop by and hear him sometime.
I just had an email from Colin Will, a Scottish pal, and fellow Scottish School of Poets colleague. He’s just become the chair of STAnza, the Saint Andrew’s poetry fest. and he sent me his blog which has lots of interesting things on it, not the least being this link Best Scottish Poems 2007. Definitely worth checking out. Colin’s blog is called Sunny Dunny and can be found on my blogroll.