Spring Symphony, Three Colors- 2 Poems

Day 2. Spring Symphony. Inspired by all of the California Poppies in bloom now. And the music I want to be making. I miss arranging parts for a horn section.

Collage, washi, pen/ink, water color, and sage leaves from the garden.

Day3. Three words. When the art teachers ask ‘what is your color palette?’ I show them my words.

Watercolor, ink.

Sappho’s Muse


Muse awoke

You promised me a poem

I faltered…no time-

Then read your Sappho! she whirled

Leave your fragments, crumbs to Air!

Tanka. ©Tara Linda


I’m enjoying this awesome new book~ Searching for Sappho by Philip Freeman. I like it because in addition to offering her poems, it presents her fragments within a cultural construct; what could have been happening in and around Sappho on Lesbos and elsewhere in the region, notably Sparta and Athens, as she was living and writing? What could have influenced and inspired her? What were the marriage ceremonies that she wrote so much about? What is a possible cultural basis of the last Sappho poem found- as evidenced by other neighboring Greek writers, existing histories (that were not burned), and the writers who came later quoting Sappho in their poetry courses and writings in ways more complete than her found fragments show. What is news to me is that while she had her detractors, yes, there were more who respected her- masters, Aristotle among them- who held her poems, songs, and words as a supreme example of a highly skilled poet who equaled and surpassed the writers of her day, in voice, complex Greek forms and technique, as well as output.  This book is a fast read; highly recommended. Even if your Muses spurn you for not wanting to put it down to write for them. 😉




Happy New Year and Full Wolf Moon Wishes~

I am THRILLED for a New Year, and a Full Wolf Moon to kick it off.

The Farmer’s Almanac says of this moon’s name:

Full Wolf Moon reminds us of the cold and deep snows of midwinter,… wolf packs howled hungrily outside Native villages. Thus, the name for January’s full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule.”

Tara Linda 2012 Final 5_15 SmallSource: Accordion Babes Calendar.    2012. Tara Linda copyright.

The new year has filled me with a serious urge to clean, toss, and simplify in my immediate environment now. To make way. This is especially so before beginning my next recording projects, some of which will be tracked in my studio first (yippee!)

But first, I must THANK you ALL for following my blog this year.  I will be stepping it up in 2015 with more poetry (promise), TONS more musica (3 projects in the works!), and an incubating new project dying to bust out.

For 2015, I wish ALL of you MORE of EVERYTHING~  including…

Abundant Muses and Rebellious Creativity;



Travel to Exotic places;


More Magic, Mystery, and Beauty:


Stillness, and Time to savor Life


Abundance and Peace to you My Friends~ Happy 2015!

Pardon My Spring: Beauty with a Cost

Yes, I do feel a tinge of guilt, seeing my friends in the Midwest and East Coast regions experiencing this….

I started to call this post “Pardon my Spring: or Don’t Hate Me ‘Cause I’m Warm and Beautiful”; but that seemed a bit obnoxious.  Yes, I do feel a tinge of guilt, seeing my friends in the Midwest and East Coast regions  experiencing this:


chi-ugc-North Ave. Beach-chicago-below-zero-2014-01-29Chicago

Marinas ChicagoSource


chi-ugc-photo-icy-flying into Nashville-2014-02-05 Source for 1st & 3rd, 4th photos.

…when we on the Pacific side, Oakland, SF Bay CA are experiencing this:



~ 60 deg. F, and a Spring that started in January.

But all this beauty has come at an ugly price: for the first time in my lifetime, we’ve experienced a Winter with no rain. Our two small drizzles brought us this early Spring, yes, but they have also left us 90% below normal rainfall. Our ground water reserves are unreplenished, reservoirs are at 30%, and everyone is bracing for a busy fire season.  River levels for our salmon are at all time lows, and Central Valley fields lie fallow. Gov. Brown has declared all of the state a drought zone, and Obama brought emergency funds for farmers- on Valentines Day.  As a former fisheries biologist, I worry about the fish: no one has come to their aid. So our salmon runs will likely be badly reduced for the next 4 years.

But we’ll take this embarrassing blush of beauty while it lasts. 

flowers0922Tulip Trees

If you are in the cold dead zone of Winter, come out and spend some sunny warm days on the West Coast. Oakland was voted top 10 US cities to come visit. 😉

Either way, Warm thoughts to our frigid friends to the East; hang in there- your Spring will come soon!

Happy New 2014- Keep Celebrating!

I like to begin my annual celebrations now, like everyone else, but we all have the benefit of carrying on with our celebrations through the Asian New year as well! The Asian year is a lunar year with an extra moon…

Happy New Year Everyone!  I like to begin my annual celebrations now, like everyone else, but we all have the benefit of carrying-on with our celebrations through the Asian New year as well! The Asian year is a lunar year with an extra moon, thus the extra month  (i.e. “the Tibetan year is comprised of either 12 or 13 lunar months, each beginning and ending with a new moon. A thirteenth month is added every two or three years, so that an average Tibetan year is equal to the solar year”. WikkiP)  So just a note to let you know that your celebrations should go on until at least Jan. 31st.  Woo-Hoo!!

Art of Hung LiuArtist: Hung Liu

I am ready to think all things “new” about now: last year was good, with only a few disappointments.  Musically, I had a tour fall through. Community-wise, some muggings and more crime on our street affected me emotionally more than I expected. Didn’t want to  talk about it, here or anywhere: I felt we simply needed to ACT and quickly to prevent a pall of defeat from settling in. We started our first street teams/neighborhood watch group, and with everyone’s interest and energy, things are better. There is less fear (I’ll talk about all of this later- what we learned, etc.)  Meanwhile, I’m back with a better attitude.  We just did an “Out with the Old” smudge of our home, the street, and for me- old attitudes. I love the traditional, Native Indian ways of clearing and cleansing. It works so well for something like this.

ec3c40ccca47e21a267e6f0bcc2c9082Source: Peter Justice.

On a higher note- we in the Oakland/SF Bay area have a new bridge!!  Earthquake ready- and built for bikes too! It was pure joy to ride our bikes across it in the first warm months of Fall.BayBridge

ON THE HORIZON- 2014: I am happy to say that the vision of my jewelery venture- Three Muses- is manifesting. I will be expanding while finetuning certain styles. And, I’ve started not one, but TWO new musical projects!!  I will gush on all of this soon enough, but first…

I MUST stop to WISH ALL of YOU who take the time to visit me here, an *Amazing*, Crazy-happy new year–Everywhere you  are! May you enjoy:

Unspeakable Beauty, Mystery, and travel-

Mark AdamusPhoto Source Mark Adamus

More Music, whimsy, and Art:GrrlGuitaristssource.

Stellar Health, and more moments to enjoy your Life!

tea for trees6020

Thank you for continuing to visit this blog. I will be reinstating weekly posts on: Inspired in Oakland, Artists Crush, and New Art and Poetry 52:365.  Leave a comment with your blog/website so that I can come visit you;).

The Tree of Life and Death- Day of the Dead Exhibit, Oakland Art Museum

What makes Oakland’s Day of the Dead exhibit special this year, is the depth of its symbolic presentation; overlapping the Day of the Dead traditions we now know, with the early, Meso-American symbolism and rituals of the first cultures- highlighting the Tree of Life and Death.


Last weekend’s festivities- Food, music, masks, and special exhibits at Oakland’s Museum of CA.

Dod-3612Much of it still going on.  This is my favorite mask from Etsy artisan MasqueFaire.

What makes this year’s exhibit special, is the symbolic presentation; overlapping the Day of the Dead traditions we know now, with the early, pre-hispanic symbolism and rituals of the first cultures- highlighting the Tree of Life and Death.

The first MesoAmerican Day of the Dead rituals, held in August and September, coincided with seasons, harvest rites, and the return of La Monarcha who carried souls back to loved ones.  Before the Europeans changed the date to coincide with their calendar, Dia de Los Muertos celebrated the natural cycles linking man with nature.

Tree of Life and Death, complete, sacred, essential-

trunk standing firm on land, limbs skyward, branches

touching heaven, roots fearlessly growing into darkness, detritus, death~

connecting man with both realms~ underworld and divinity alike.

man today with his ancestors past…


Day of the Dead was an agricultural celebration, and one recognizing the center of the life: “Axis Mundi; life-giving force at the center of the universe…”   The tree held not only the power of the life force for man within its column, but also the cause of cycles (time), and what was born of them: the movement of stars, moon, sun.


DodAztec3705And to show the natural cycles of life and death together in partnership, this Dia de los Muertos exhibit is nested in the natural history wing of the museo- alongside stuffed bears and unearthed dinosaurs.  It is very comforting actually, to find myself standing firm, tierra firma, beside trees, or grinding masa for tortillas outside, or dancing to musica in the corridors… This is a great show, with lots of activities for kids; going on through Dec. 8th.  There is more-the first accounts of Aztec festivities, tree rituals in four quadrants, as documented by the Spanish… Go see!


Rolling with Summer: 1

This has been an eventful Summer so far, we played a crazy fun world music fest in El Cerrito, CA, and the front door has been non-stop revolving with family visits. WoooHOOO!


Musically speaking, things have been up and down; a big Europe tour AND a jazz and wine fest we were to headline- were BOTH cancelled last month. Heart breaking. But I’m now enjoying every second of a  6-show tour in Texas… Yippee!! I wrote this just before leaving town..

The one constant,

thread through it all, beyond

uncertainty, change, helicopters overhead

bad news or sweet~ is pervasive sun,

and warm dirt beneath my toes, both

revealing so much beauty, flora blooming flourish

booming warm garden with and 

without slugs- bursting blooms, weeds or fruit

layered green, happy

growing, growing all the same.  

This post is inspired by illustrator/Chef Stella’s sweet post asking us all: What’s growing in your garden…


Mine is spread out front and back- with a small patch, and various pots about. These are pics from awhile back, but are on my phone now, – will update with more recent ones when I get home. Tomatoes, squash, and rhubarb!

a-garden 3agarden-2

I love traveling & performing, but I miss my BoyBeast, my girl Chula, and my garden. 😉

Thank you to all who keep reading these sporadic posts!! Texas updates from the road next.

Que Viva Frida! Happy Birthday

Celebrating Frida this whole weekend in the SF Bay. Here are favorite photos, quotes, and excerpts from dedicated websites about her life.

“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh

and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is

the most ridiculous thing.”    -Frida Kahlo

San Francisco is celebrating the life and legacy of Frida this weekend, her anniversary. Teatro Frida just showed a 1966 documentary of her time with friends here in the Bay Area, circa 1930’s, plus the first 1980’s Mexican film of her life.

Frida with flowers

Born on July 6th, 1907 in Coyoacan, Mexico, Frida’s life was rich with experience, art, and historic relevance- all overlapping a tumultuous time in Mexico when the struggle for social change and justice gained momentum.  (Sources: wikepedia, and Frida official website- Mexico)

The Mexican Revolution began when Frida was three years old in 1910. Frida, with her rebellious soul, always preferred to give her year of her birth as 1910 in order for all to associate her directly with the revolution.


Frida was blessed with a good home, committed parents, and an artistic father who was a great photographer. Challenges began for Frida in her early childhood, with a severe case of polio.


“I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because

I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head

without any other consideration.”

Frida and Diego were married on August 21, 1929 and this “marked the beginning of one of the most well known and extravagant love stories known to humankind. The loving couple soon became iconic throughout the world. At first, Frida accompanied Diego throughout the United States as he was commissioned to paint frescos in cities such as San Francisco, Detroit and New York. Little by little, Frida started to establish her own prestige and fame and soon became world-renowned for her own work, personality, and authenticity.”


Frida broke artistic molds, shunned traditions, and demonstrated her unique expression through hard work as she developed her own style. In 1938, Frida met Andre Breton. He described her artwork as “surrealism of the highest level.” Frida responded by saying:

“I do not paint dreams…. I paint my reality…”

Andre Breton introduced Frida to Julian Levy, who helped her set up an exhibition in New York City in 1939, and subsequently in France. Frida became the first Mexican artist to exhibit her own work at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Though Frida’s life-long experience of pain was undeniable, the principal elements of Frida’s artistic life are considered to be love, joy, passion and creativity. Frida showed great perseverance for achieving her dreams and also showed her happiness, love and passion for life despite all the adversities she overcame. Frida was able to redefine her life through her art and she fulfilled one more dream when she had her first exhibition in Mexico City in 1953.

life-frida-kahlo“Frida lived life to its fullest in the most passionate of ways. Her iconic existence, unique expression and extraordinary artwork have provided humanity with continuing optimism, strength and courage for the future. She died on July 13, 1954, and left behind a legacy that will forever impact and influence the world regardless of age, gender, nationality, and ethnicity”:

“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”
Frida Kahlo


Here is awesome footage of Frida and Diego at home. (SFMoma)



California’s Spring is looking very orange right now…

So much going on right now with music and creative projects- I don’t know how

to talk about it, or where to start. It’s as if I am in a fixed state of hyperventilation.

Or one giant slow motion hold-your-breath as the world spins crazy by.
In short- we are playing lots of gigs, morphing new sounds in between, jamming out

the wine country on weekends (yay!), all while my creative urges are morphing (exploding)

in new directions as I experiment with new things- media, materials, techniques all

hours of the night. It feels good! Studio is aMess. 😉 (that should be a word).

I could spend time writing…or making…

Taking a breath to look around…here is a mural down the street from us near the Native Indian center-
native center

and northern California’s Spring is looking very orange right now~


orange flowr_7735

nasturtium orange daisy

Creative updates Next…

Day 27: World Oyster

She said yes for one reason, One
to study disappointment in D- minor.

She said yes for one reason, One
to study disappointment in D- minor.

And to see the view from shore- the one
well painted, with the face of each fate
laying down another card, one for each life
transecting this point by location

temperament, desire, or demon,
manipulation and choice of poison
-with a pinch of folly passed off as

karma. High stakes, each calling the play, as
stoic bluff or confident intimidant as fates
do so violently well. And she said

yes to see them writhe. Those dated fates, gods
bygone, almost forgotten, because everyone knows
even gods relinquish, but more important, she knew
that now, nothing would disappoint, no matter the stupid words to

pour from your mouth; the hype, self-indulgent drivel, the same
stories you tell city after city, smile after smile,
ear after ear…

yes, she said, spitting out sand grains
blown in by an eastern wind, enabling
a lyric, ending a very old song-

“She may not have had an ocean view
But she could hear the beach when she kissed you-
And when the world is your Oyster-
Just a little will do.”

Prompt: I wrote this thinking of all of the fake people in the music business. How you have to “take it with a grain of salt” and decide not to be affected by any of it. It can take work- but no one else is in charge.  Falseness and egos are everywhere to some degree, and we can take the grain of sand for what it is, tuck it away, and make a pearl out of it. (Don’t burn any bridges!!)  I didn’t realize how much it all bothers me until I started writing: I intended for this poem to be very short. 😉
It all reminds me of the Zora Neale Hurston quote:
“I do not weep at the world; I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”

Sand (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)