Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 11: Hew Paints Goats

Today was a tough prompt that resulted in a letter poem.  I've always been fascinated with the fact that Jack London's ranch was on Sonoma Mountain.  Sonoma Mountain is one of the tallest mountains in our region.  From it's peak you can see all the way to San Francisco and beyond.  Sonoma Mountain also figures as part of the Coast Miwok creation story.  I always wonder what Jack London knew about Coast Miwok folk lore.  Here is my draft:

Dear Jack London -

Each building on your estate is hewn of stones gathered from our local quarries.  And so many quarries still advertise that Jack London quarried stones from here! But, stones are complicated around here.  Limestone flakes into the soil, metals what we grow.  Then, deeper, you find sinks in.  Take, for instance, Annadel State Park, to the west in Santa Rosa, which was once a quarry where Coast Miwok and Pomo Indians were interned.  The thick stones they dug out, and carried, to stack into neat rock walls (some of which still stand) fenced them in.  You must have heard about those quarries.  You, who lived on the very flank of Sonoma Mountain, or Oona-pa’is in Coast Miwok must have known about their creation story. How Coyote-man perched on top of Oona-pa’is while he made the plants and animals of the region, before creating the people.  At the heart of every mountain is a wealth of stones.  That morning, in 1906, when you and Charmian rushed to the peak to see what the earthquake had done, you found only destruction in all directions.  As if what was under us had risen up to undo what had been done.

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