Sunday, August 21, 2016


No one knows for sure how they got there, who put them there, or why; how they disappeared or who took them away. But we long-term residents can surmise...

The tragic tale began one evening on a quiet mountain road-- not in Verona, as one might think, nor even in Italy, but a rural mountain area of scenic Shiga, Japan not far from Kyoto-- a region more famed for its historic struggles among samurai clans-- as Etsuko was returning to our home on the mountainside in the twilight and came upon the young couple lying in the road, clearly and tragically deceased, perhaps only moments before. They had been carefully but oddly arranged; nothing in the scene seemed to fit...

Etsuko slowed the car and glanced out the window for a passing glimpse of the clearly mismatched pair: one was a young monkey, a Montague of sorts; the other was a member of another notable animal family: a young raccoon-- say of the Capulets, in keeping with human/animal history and tradition. 

They had been laid out side by side, perpendicular to the road, requiring drivers to “go around” somewhat. Clearly they had been placed there with care, to make some impression; or, if by their own actions, which seems more likely, had arranged themselves in the romantic tradition of Romeo and Juliet.

Nor did any part of the forensic scenario fit the available methods of fatality: poison (none around), roadkill (not flattened), animal savagery or gunshot (no wounds)-- with no injuries or bloodshed to be seen, the two individuals in the flower of their youth were just lying there peacefully together, Juliet reaching her little paws for Romeo’s little hands, exactly  as though she had found him dead in the morning because he had thought she was dead when he found her, and so killed himself in grief, to be with her once more, but she wasn’t dead, only in an induced coma he didn’t know about, and when she came out of the coma and found him dead, she killed herself to be with him, the two young lovers figuratively holding paws throughout the night on the stage that is all the world.

You see how only one set of facts fits together perfectly: it was romance that claimed them; mythic romance, eternal love and no mistake: interfamily/interspecies, what’s the real difference, but if art is any indication, the Monkey Montagues and the Raccoon Capulets have been united forever by this epic tragedy involving their beloved children.

Then in the morning, the pair were gone. No doubt their families had taken them home. The romance, the romance!

So much is to be found in these mountains of legend... 

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Heian-kyo Media page

Great review on Lulu! Profound thanks for that. Additional kind words or comments/reviews, Facebook etc. "likes" also much appreciated.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

                                                             (from future archives)

Remember those simpler, innocent times, before the “Not In My Garden” movement (when it was already too late), when you could still say “Some of my best friends are root vegetables”? Before tomatoes had a temper? When cabbages had nothing to hide? When an onion could be trusted? Before the great genetic disaster fully empowered rutabagas? Back when you’d never think of using an uzi on potatoes?
Well, that was the old past. The authorities still assured us it was ok: "The tomato won’t hurt you, just don’t make any sudden moves." They told us not to be afraid, they assured us that horned zucchini weren’t dangerous, so long as you grabbed the right end; they told us we could eat foods with a few odd genes and safely glow in the dark, that we needn't worry about deformities in our children or mutations compounding in future generations, but those assurances always sounded Monsantoish to me. 
By the time I came of age it was still considered unnatural for an adult to be afraid of fanged string beans, but when as a child I got caught in the bean patch— no, I can't get into that, there's little time left...  
It’s been half a century since the first rogue DNA escaped into what they used to call the "wild"-- back then you could distinguish cultivated areas, and it was still safe to travel through most gardens, though I’m not sure how they did that. I think they used fences or something, but the sudden emergence of metal-devouring tyrannocorn caught us all by surprise, made short work of barriers. Not long after, the brontomelons began to roll over everything. 
I hope someone finds this note someday, if there's ever anyone left, so at least they'll know that vegetables weren't  always ruthless, that there was a time when fiber was passive, that we humans once had a stronghold at the top of the food chain...
Have to end here; a squadron of turnip drones has just spotted me; wish I didn't glow in the dark...