The Moon Has Set

More jungle pics from the Padre.

It’s foggy at the moment but the setting moon was visible an hour ago. I had to applaud it for the big show last night. The Blood Wolf Moon or some such name that at the moment I can’t remember. But it was cool. Maybe even the genesis of a poem, who knows.

I have been working on a poem about the big tree removal that happened over the weekend. Wiley and his friends Dom and James were here with me putting our combined weight into a successful outcome. I don’t have a before and after photo but maybe a poem would suffice for the occasion.

These occasions for poetry to arise are rare but obvious to me now that I understand. Somehow I am touched, is there a better word? But I must be arrested, afraid, shocked or inspired. There are more I am sure. But it is not going to happen on just the intellectual level that is for sure. I can’t write a poem about the most commonly used postage stamp in the United States in 1954. Or can I? I’m the guy when someone says, “You can’t take a good photo in this light.” I will try. Never say never.

Will the morning walk is happening here momentarily. The Camino calls. It’s the Joyful Mysteries for Rosary praying today, Monday. Miss you loves, Felipé.

A Friend Named John

Phil at Wiley and Henna’s wedding, August 4th, Raven Ranch.

Yesterday a friend of mine named John came by to walk and to ask me questions. It was an interview for the local paper, the Beachcomber. See right there, a guy has to just feel darn lucky to live in a place that has that title on it’s weekly journal. And part of that journal is a feature that John writes called Life Lessons From Our Seniors.

Really Felipé a senior? Wait a minute. Well, maybe Phil is a senior. Let’s leave it for him then. I think Felipé is more on the timeless side of things. Yes, that fits the moment perfectly. The article is about Phil and we will leave Felipé out of this one. Phew!

I mean John is a friend of Felipé’s also, yes of course. Everyone should know John actually. That would be a good thing for the world in general.

So, yea, poor Phil has to carry the burden on this one, this “senior” designation. I mean “middle age” is a horrible designation and that seems mild all of a sudden compared. Hmmm. I think we need a new system, this doesn’t seem to fit anymore. Let me get my people in gear on this.

That was a nice thing about our old friend the Camino. It seemed to mix pilgrims up nicely. Young and old got together and did it together, the job at hand. It sort of made you forget about the lines that sometimes exist that separate us. I think that was part of our job on the Camino to do a lot of forgetting. How does that strike you?

Yup, time to move on today. Have to move things forward. Tomorrow then loves, Felipé.

Oh Thanks So Much

I need Mary to untie my knots.

Yesterday I took it upon myself to organize an area of the house that I, how do I put it politely? We all have those places don’t we? I just have been piling stuff there for a year now and thinking that was cool. Anyway yesterday I organized the chaos.

But what I want to say to you was that I was moved by all the cards and letters that I found in there from y’all. I had looked at them all when I got them but what struck me was the amount of it all. Thank you so much! I can’t possibly keep up with all that correspondence but you know that I love you separately and together.

I am being interviewed this morning for a feature in the local newspaper. John a friend is scheduled to walk this morning and do the interview along the trail. How fitting!

OK, time to go for now. Thank you loves, Felipé.

A Holiday

This was Monday. Pic by Sherie.

Oh, I really screwed up yesterday and missed my treatment at the hospital. I know I always go on Wednesday and Friday every other week but for some reason they scheduled me for Tuesday and Thursday this week and eureka I didn’t catch it. I guess I was so worried about the traffic boondoggle in Seattle that I missed that important detail. Oh well, my people will cover for me there. So, really the upshot is a chemo holiday, don’t have to report back for a month. Could go walk a Camino in the meantime!

So, beside Felipé screwing up what else is new? Well, the radio interview on Voice of America is out for you to listen to. It turned out very nicely and it it is easy to get to. Here are the directions:
– go to
– go to Health and Wellness
– go to Frankly Speaking About Cancer
– go to Phil’s Camino
– hit the “snag” button

That is if you don’t have the link but here it is for you:

Phil’s Camino Show

OK, I think that is good. Anyway one of those two ways should get you there. And you will like it. We did a bit of laughing and carrying on about the Camino beside talking about the heavy stuff. And somehow I think it is our best feature that we can keep things as light as possible while treading through the trenches. That is one thing that I see we are good at.

William our Canadian Bureau Chief (CBC) was the first to check in via email to say that he heard it loud and clear way up there in Calgary. Thank you William for giving us that report.

Off I go loves, Felipé.

This Afternoon

Vashon Island appearing out of the fog from the Tacoma ferry. Sherie’s pic.

A great shot of the north pasture at Raven Ranch.


Annie and I have our radio interview available today. That is 1 PM PST at . Look for Frankly Speaking About Cancer. It’s an hour long show. And you can always get back to it because it is archived there.

Yesterday Sherie from San Diego come over for the day. Check the pics. We got some cleanup done along the trail which was much needed. And we got a little time in to shoot some arrows in the pasture in the sunshine. Yea the pasture was in the sunshine and so were we. Golden all around.

Today it is extremely foggy and probably will be half the day. I have things to get done work wise. Last day before treatment tomorrow in Seattle. Boy, I am so thankful that I had such an easy time this round of chemo with the side effects. What a blessing!

Tomorrow I get to face the “Big Squeeze” traffic jamb. There is a particular road construction hurdle being experienced at this time and for an estimated three weeks onward that affects the flow of traffic through Seattle. The first day of this was yesterday and tomorrow I get my chance to experience it and then again Friday. What fun!

Maybe you have seen this on your hometown news. Just briefly an aging and much used major traffic viaduct is being replaced by a tunnel underneath it. So the viaduct was closed on Friday to start the final construction of the entrance and exit of the tunnel to reconnect the highway. We are feeling our way into it today being the second commuter day of the three weeks. People are taking trains, buses and ferry boats to try and avoid the situation. I am still dithering on a plan.

So that is the situation here in and around the Emerald City. Thanks for being here with us. That’s the situation loves, Felipé.

A Frosty Sunday

Foggy sunrise yesterday.

Frosty and sunny here in the neighborhood today. Went to Mass with Catherine earlier. The Christmas decorations were all down at church, seemed sort of sad, come and gone. We had a good tailgate party afterward at the Thriftway. Most of the talk was about poetry today. I feel like one of the guys!

Friday Annie and I had the interview for Voice of America Radio. That was an interesting process to be a part of. It appeared to have all gone well. They have some editing to do to shape it for the hour long format. And that airs Tuesday the 15th at 1PM PST at . It is in a series of shows called Frankly Speaking About Cancer. And the show is archived there also so you can always hear it later.

We have a walk this afternoon at 3:30 if you are in the neighborhood. I’ll hold the sunshine for you. And tapas afterward, don’t forget that.

I am working on the next poem. Well actually I have a number in the works so who knows who will get finished first but stuff is happening. This is all very exciting for me. Thanks for hangin in there though the rough spots.

OK, off I go. Things that need to happen loves, Felipé.

Voice of America Interview

Annie and I just finished an hour long radio interview with Voice of America. They have a segment entitled Frankly Speaking About Cancer and our show will be aired soon.

Air Date/Time
January 15, 2019
1:00 p.m. PST/4:00 p.m. EST

So check that out at that time or you can always do it later because all of their shows are archived.

Frankly Felipé.x

What Is That Above The Sink There?

Well, Poem #2 has arrived. I’m happy and am celebrating it’s birth.

Jungle pic from Padre.

What Is That Above The Sink There?

I hear her screams.
Our kitchen quiet now, still early.
See there an old black and white
Photo of Rebecca’s mother
Mary and Martha her twin.

Some of the construction dates back
To the thirties
When maybe a guy named Wilson
Tried to grow currants here.

There those three skulls:
Coyote, beaver and raccoon,
Evidence of lives lived
Out in the elements.
Our kitchen, a place to get in
Out of the rain.

The fire in the wood stove quietly
Goes about it’s business,
Warmth it’s only thought.
It dries my hat and jacket
And the corn from the harvest
In September.

The table made from sturdy oak
Stained with the history
Of our forty years together.
I hear screams again, so close.

Ah, she finally gives birth
Here long ago in this very room,
Her first born. I see him
Occasionally out and around town.
His birthplace just about
Where this table is here.

What is that above the sink there?
An ancient stone spear point?
One of our fine ancestors used that
To get his people dinner. The blood
Red long washed away now.

Invite him in, that hairy man.
Let him dry off by the fire.
He will love all that corn in the rack.
And he will recognize her screams.

What is that a sign of
When time runs together so?
No before, now and later
But all present together.

Phil Volker 1/10/19

Gone Poeting

Very timely, The Padre just sent some wonderful jungle pics to us. He knows what’s goin on.

It is actually quite close to “Gone Fishing” at least in my experience. But today I thought I would just be mostly absent because poetry is starting to leak out and it would be good to gather it up and see what we have.

Catherine put some interesting things on comments: Yeats once said that, “rhetoric is the argument you have with others, poetry the argument you have with yourself.” “Because f you weren’t arguing with yourself, figuring something out for yourself or working through some issue that’s pressing itself upon your life – you could probably rest quite happy in silence. But because there is a fertile dilemma, a rich imbalance somewhere in your life, or heart, or understanding, you write a poem.” (Bill Moyers)

Yea, something like that maybe. So off I go to the Poetry Jungle to explore and map.

Absent today, gone poeting loves, Felipé.