Thursday, July 19, 2018

an excerpt from my forthcoming poetry book, Choose Your Own Adventure and Other Poems

Choose Your Own Adventure:
The Galápagos Mating Dance

You are a single woman, about to embark upon your most challenging and dangerous mission. Equipped with a libido and the instinct to bear children, your objective is to find the perfect mating ritual in the Gal├ípagos Islands. You bravely face elaborate courtship dances, rough foreplay, and single parenting – but will you return to the U.S. with the partnership pattern that works for you?

Chapter One

You are a blue-footed booby.
A male approaches you
and begins to dance,
taking giant steps in place
to flaunt his turquoise feet,
indicators of his health.
If red throat pouches
are more of a turn-on,
skip to Chapter Two.

He offers you twigs and grasses,
symbols of the nest
you will build together.
Impressed, you dance too,
face-to-face walking
on a treadmill.
You mirror each movement,
a connection found
in how much you can act
like one another.
His dancing escalates-
wingtips, tail, beak
all point skywards.
When you match
his sky pointing,
the bond is sealed.
He whistles; you honk.
Even after nesting begins,
you continue to dance.
If you would rather
he stop trying to get it on,
so you can focus
on being a mom,
skip to Chapter Three.

You both incubate the eggs,
taking breaks only to hunt.
While you are off to eat,
he strays from the nest,
dances the booby-two-step
with other females,
but when you return,
he comes back immediately.
If you prefer a partner
who can abstain
from flirting with others,
go to Chapter Two.

Your family stays together
six months, one season.
Once the juvenile leaves the nest,
you both move on to new mates-
no empty nest syndrome for you.
If you prefer a partner
to grow old with,
rekindling the romance
once the kids are gone,
skip to Chapter Six.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Leaving Catalunya Behind

I moved back to Turkey in August of 2012.  Though my stint in Barcelona was shorter than expected, one year was an excellent amount of time to get a taste of Catalunya.  I will leave this blog open as I now have dear friends in Barcelona that will surely warrant a visit again soon. There are more Catalunya adventures to come!  I feel it!  And why burn down bridges?  I didn't close down my Turkey blog and here I am one year later adding to it again:
Thanks for following my adventures...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Climbing in Siurana

I am falling in love with the countryside of Catalunya.  Little by little, hiking and, especially now, climbing are exposing me to its hidden gems.  This is Siurana, an area about two hours from Barcelona near Tarragona.  This gorge was like a mini grand Canyon with its colors and the vibrant light.  
I went climbing with an international gang I met through the Barcelona Hiking & Climbing group.  This is Jorge having a go on the crag called Grau dels Masets (Oest). I think this climb was called "Anau" ("anew" in Catalan).

Lili on "Why," probably wondering this same thing:
My belay station, Andoni, below:

After a day of climbing, we explored this village perched atop a hill:

We ate dinner at this refugio:
Full moon!

A Voyage to Van Gogh's South of France

A trip I have been planning since I moved here, my Van Gogh mecca finally came into being on a three day weekend just recently. My girl friends, Julie, Shabari and I, rented a car and drove to the South of France to visit the landscapes and towns which inspired Vincent Van Gogh's most famous paintings- Arles and St. Remy- as well as visit other famous towns of the region: Aix-en-Provence and Marseilles.
We arrived late Friday night in the town of Arles, and woke up the following morning to look down on the breakfast courtyard of our cute little hotel in the old part of town:
We spent our first day wandering the streets of Arles.  Notice the purple lanterns lining the streets:
Shabari & Julie, my South of France partners-in-crime:
The River Rhone! Picture these lanterns lit at night and the stars shining bright above and you've got Van Gogh's "Starry Night on the Rhone."
The inspiration for "Night Cafe:"

A very happy street performer. I love this photo!
This is the hospital Van Gogh visited to get his ear sewn up after his argument with Gauguin:

A Saturday food market: Olives!
Mini sausages:
A colosseum. I guess it still hosts bull fights now-a-days.
Van Gogh's yellow house was destroyed during WWII, but something about this street corner reminded me of his painting of the house he inhabited during his time in Arles, and then that yellowish building on the right was a shop called "Yellow House." Hmmm...
Lunch stop:

On the road again to St. Remy, the town where he voluntarily checked himself into a mental hospital, and painted 150 paintings in one year's time.
Single cypress trees suggesting "Starry Night."
St. Remy:

Everywhere in the South of France, you'll find lavender for sale. We missed the lavender fields' blooming, because we were about a month too early.
Cicadas = a sign of good luck.

The house where Nostradamus was born:
On the road again to Aix-en-Provence. No lavender, but fields of poppies:
Our apartment which we rented through airbnb:

Walking around Aix:
There was a festival in town that weekend called "This is the South." We caught this Cuban band one night:

Mmm...French pastries and breads...
A Sunday food market! We stocked up on cheese, salami, and fruit for a picnic lunch in the courtyard of our rented apartment.

As part of the festival, we saw these two girls doing a modern interpretive dance on a chandelier.

The girls perusing menus outside cafes:
We did a lot of eating :)
On our last day, we drove to Marseilles only because our guidebook kept using words like "seedy" and "sketchy" and so we couldn't resist a quick Monday morning stop-by.
This port town boasts a North Africa-meets-southern-Europe feel. A little Arabic:
Our only hint of seediness, poor Ali's fate:
This basilica reminded us of Sacre-Coeur of Paris and The Duomo of Florence. It's Byzantine.
A Monday food market! We sure lucked out on the markets...
And finally our road trip complete, driving back to Barcelona:
The South of France is lovely, and though this trip was a quick overview of four towns in just three days, now I know to where I'd like to return for a longer, slower spell of painting and writing.  Such beautiful light, bright colors, and friendly people...