• 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
Banner Slider jQuery by WOWSlider.com v2.5m

Elevator Music

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

If there is a passage
that leads into 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 patients
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.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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.

Accounting

Posted in Poems on August 28th, 2015 by christofino – Be the first to comment

What does a day of work really cost
How much is a dream forever lost
What do you gain from a stranger’s smile
At what price comes the unseen trial?

How much for that magic eye
Spells that work and tears that dry
What would you pay to spare her pain
How many drops in a bottle of rain?

Where go feelings thrown into the deep
Sleepness nights, no soul to keep
What cost to silence dogs of war
To have the rich count the poor?

How do you reignite love’s lost touch
How much for a kiss from Lady Luck
Would you do anything to right a wrong
Or is it enough to remember in song?

Carpenter’s Song

Posted in Music on July 28th, 2015 by christofino – Be the first to comment

A few sounds from the 609 Central analog archives.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Passing by the Temple of Accumulated Fragrance (Wang Wei)

Posted in China, Poems on July 1st, 2015 by christofino – Be the first to comment

Which way to the Temple of Accumulated Fragrance?
After several miles, nothing but clouds and peaks.
No trail that passes through old trees,
Just a bell that tolls, somewhere deep.

A spring’s gurgle in a jumble of rocks,
The sun’s light cold through green pines.
Empty by a pond’s twilit curves,
Quieting dragons of the mind.

read more »