• Free & Frugal ParisAn insider's guide to the City of Light
  • China Explorer: A Travel Guide
  • Bed and Breakfast on a French Farm
  • Morning Ceremony: Zhiyuan Temple
  • The Unsung Museums of Paris
Free & Frugal Paris1 China Explorer: A Travel Guide2 Bed and Breakfast on a French Farm3 Morning Ceremony: Zhiyuan Temple4 The Unsung Museums of Paris5
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Hot off the press: Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks guide

Posted in Books on April 8th, 2016 by christofino – Be the first to comment


Without a doubt, one of my all-time favorite projects was working on this national parks guide to one of the most beautiful corners of the globe. Excited to finally see it in print – and just in time for the NPS centennial!

If you’ve yet to be inducted into the Utah fan club, it won’t take much: this is a state where labyrinthine canyons, red-rock spires, moonlit desert arches and slickrock playgrounds reign. It doesn’t matter if you’re a couch potato or hardcore thrill-seeker equipped with a GoPro. Grab a bike, rope or paddle and get out there and have fun!

Dreamer

Posted in Poems on March 29th, 2016 by christofino – Be the first to comment

Dreamer, your midnight river
is only navigable in an old
leaking canoe, a torch mounted
to the bow, casting shadows
across the fathomless surface
fluid ribbon of darkened waters.

Watching you sleep
it’s like studying a painting,
wanting to jump inside the frame
and sing a song
that will take you past
the hidden whirlpools and submerged rocks
crocodile logs so close
you could lose a hand,
the trees’ branches that hang down
a crooked web of already eaten fingers
against the sky.

But I have to trust
you have your own paddle
that will guide you through the mind’s
razor-edged maze,
turn your worries into flight
fears into freedoms
and imaginary worlds into
a smile
that shows the way
out of the river’s gaping mouth
to a place
where you can hear the lapping waves
before the morning’s first light

rises above
ocean:
infinite sight.

Paleodog

Posted in Comics on March 2nd, 2016 by christofino – Be the first to comment


Introducing the new family comic strip, Paleodog.

 

Elevator Music

Posted in Poems on January 21st, 2016 by christofino – Be the first to comment

If there is a passage
that leads to the stars
then to open the door
music is the key.

A pulsing breath
spinning warm gold
out of the cold and cruel air
we breathe.

Imagine if your lifetime
of trips and falls,
stabs and punches,
hard corners, loneliness,
sorrow and injustices
were to melt away.

If the walls inside crumbled
and slowly the old pains
forgotten and imprisoned
began to flow.

A few drops at first
forming in the corners
of the eyes.
The trickle builds
into a crescendo
and then release –
the weight of all those injuries
fossilized over time
leaving the body
hot on the cheeks.

Finally, you are ready
let down your guard.
Ready to enter the current
to open your mouth
and sing.

Stag

Posted in Uncategorized on January 4th, 2016 by christofino – Be the first to comment

It was midnight when we saw
the solitary buck
parading down the suburban sidewalk
his crown of antlers reflecting
the pale moonlight,
head held high, as majestic as a king
deposed, in a realm unworthy
of such grace.

Waiting Room

Posted in Poems on November 30th, 2015 by christofino – Be the first to comment

Watching the wind grab the snow
with bunched fists
and scatter it across the lapis sky
above the distant ridgeline
it’s like the breath of some god
made manifest before our eyes.

And indeed, the breath of some god
is what we are all waiting for
here, in the hospital,
where the chemo patients sit
in armchairs looking out
through giant windows
at nature’s cruel majesty,
which is cell by undying cell
gradually doing them in.

The older ones
you can tell yourself –
natural. If not cancer, then the flu,
heart attack, stroke.

It’s when you see an eight-year-old
walking stoically out of radiation
that the tears finally come to your eyes.

We are all victims
in the end
but only some get to be angels
with footprints so light
they have already blown from the earth
by the time the rest of us
have driven home.

Lonely Planet Kids: The Travel Book

Posted in Books on November 7th, 2015 by christofino – Be the first to comment

Did you know that Myanmar’s snub-nosed monkey sneezes every time it rains? That the British Navy defended the Somalian coastline from pirates by blasting Britney Spears? That the, ahem, Mongolian death worm allegedly kills its prey with electric shocks that shoot out of its eyes? This was one editing project where I constantly had at least one child looking over my shoulder, and the entire family is very excited to now see it in print!

If you’ve got a child who loves learning about the world (or is perhaps studying for an upcoming Geo Bee), grab a copy and read up on all those fascinating facts about our planet’s 196 countries.

Traveling in the Mountains (Du Mu)

Posted in China, Poems on October 8th, 2015 by christofino – Be the first to comment


A rocky path twists through the mountain’s chill
clouds gather and part
revealing distant homes.

I stop the cart amid twilit maple trees
frosted leaves glittering more red
than any of spring’s
most brilliant blooms. read more »

Lake Merritt Blues

Posted in Music on September 28th, 2015 by christofino – 1 Comment

An ode to Oakland’s tidal lagoon.
From the 609 Central analog archives; featuring Munson Wu on the rhythm sticks.

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Owl

Posted in Poems on September 17th, 2015 by christofino – Be the first to comment

Owl
you call out
from the dusk,
an eerie song
that catches
my daughter’s ear.

Hoo-hoo
hoo
hoo

Is that death you sing of there
or a pledge to protect the souls
of the not-yet-dead?

We follow the hesitant notes
into the yard,
a chorus of insects
expanding into the empty space
while we wait.

Hoo-hoo
hoo
hoo

We know you owl,
we listen to you outside the window
sometimes, when darkness falls
but this is the first time you have shown
your tufted head.

The children creep closer
thinking they can capture the moment
with their hands
or perhaps steal a closer look
that will somehow unveil
mysteries hidden
in the shadows.

Hoo-hoo
hoo
hoo

Occupying the same fence post
as hawks and larks
a perch shared by the winged,
I wonder: if I could balance there
what would I see?

Not the play from my current spectator’s seat,
but the inherent role
that’s played inside the things
a mouse scurrying through the grass
the silent wings
that swoop down
and the talons that squeeze

our hearts
when you
depart.