In the interest of simplifying my life, I have begun to merge my three websites into one.
In the process, some of the content of my old Bahá’í site Idol Chatter will be abandoned, but what I consider worthwhile has been retained, however Bahá’í content is not linked as prominently as it was before.
The other site that I am merging into kaweah.com is my proof-of-concept Robinson Jeffers site, the Inhumanist. I plan to spend more time enhancing and cleaning up this content, but I don’t have time to manage a separate site indefinitely.
I apologize for all the inconvenience of broken links, lost content, and broken image links. I’ve already cleaned up much of the mess, and I plan to do more in the future.
I expect the two old sites to be available until the end of 2023.
A brutally honest and boldly naive tribute to wounded hawks, inspired by a hawk that Robinson Jeffers and sons fed for weeks before the poet was finally compelled by sympathy to turn a gun on the bird.
Robinson Jeffers’ depiction of the Central California Coast as a place populated by Anglo-American ranchers and a Hispanic underclass (some if not all indigenous Californians) seems probable enough, but Jeffers’ human landscape lacks the Asiatic tone of some of the key people of the coast. Tamar is a conspicuous example of this issue.
I am of the general opinion that each of us has a religion. Each of us holds something to be sacred, though not all of us choose to follow self-proclaimed infallible guides. Not all of us involve prayer as part of our religion, but for those of us who do, prayer can take the form of a poem. For Bahá’ís, sunlight is a favorite metaphor for right guidance from God, but not everyone thinks that light is necessarily the best guide. For Robinson Jeffers, a prayer to a Goddess of darkness is more appropriate than a prayer to a God of light.
There is an outlaw thread in Igneous Range, so one of the Robinson Jeffers poems that it reminds me of is the Summit Redwood:
First published in 1928
Reading by Kaweah
A companion lyric to Cawdor and a splendid fire-poem in its own right, The Summit Redwood has never been selected for any anthology, possibly because it appears to put “people of color” in a bad light, or perhaps because its style appears to be inconsistent. I happen to see it as a marvelous portrait of kindred defiants: a red tree and a red man.
Redwoods don’t often grow on summits, particularly on the coast, but often enough for the purposes of this poem. They are shaken by lightning commonly enough. Continue reading →
I wrote most of Igneous Range before I had any idea I was writing a Jeffers novel, thematically anyway: violence, vultures, redwoods, defiance, and above all fire. A repeating theme is the dominance of the subconscious, and there is also a sense of insanity.
Oh, and there’s genocide as well.
Toward the end of the story, Armen encounters a crazy old man in a cave who preaches the insanity of man. He does not mean that man is evil; only that man is not rational:
There are lots of intelligent animals, but there is only one mad animal.