Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rocky Butte

Equinox is only a week away. The shortening from day to day is noticeable. Clouds from the west have replaced the smoke, and temperatures are falling.

Saturday I walked up the north end of Rocky Butte and down the south end. There's a tunnel on the south side, a little 180-degree corkscrew like a hairpin bend flipped over on itself. On the eastern shoulder is a neighborhood of homes perched on dizzily steep slopes, peering out towards Troutdale and Gresham.

The sun was orange; the air was still, and unseasonably hot. The hill is crowned by a small park, a stone wall ringing a plaza and some shrubbery, breached in a couple of places by flights of steps. It was too smoky to see the mountains, but I can only guess that Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams would be visible as well as Mt. Hood. If I were organizing a Portland version of Plein Air, that would be one of the spots I'd pick.

What other places? The Zoo and the Arboretum. The Japanese Garden, the Chinese Garden, Waterfront Park and the Esplanade. The Rhodo Gardens at Crystal Springs. There must be good locations on Mt. Tabor. Private homes along the Alameda Ridge, if homeowners would agree to it. Sacramento overlooking Rose City golf course. Fern Hill Park, out by the old Whitaker site. Leach Botanical Garden. The new plaza and fountain at PSU, on the site of the old Mill St. building. Heck, some of the OHSU buildings have million-dollar views...

I just volunteered to serve on the board of the Oregon Poetry Association, through at least April, replacing a board member who's had to resign for health reasons. Then I have the option to run in the general election. Hmmm...

The Plein Air anthology should be out some time in October: I'll post the link, and the 5th Plein Air poem, at that time.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

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