Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Old  Oraibi

Old Oraibi has no stone
To mark the spot where the land grew small,
When soldiers tore at sons and daughters
And families bowed and broken watched--
Ahi-yo, Ahi-yo

Old Oraibi has no stone
To build the school of grief where children
Learn the hunger they shall need
To please the soldiers of the dusty flag--
Ahi-yo, Ahi-yo

Old Oraibi has no stone 
For the town crier to rest where he cries,
His messages found beneath pottery shards
Where dark tales stain the dust--

And so the stranger kicks the dog,
And so he cripples the faithful horse,
And so he crushes the Savior-God
That he has brought to the People of Peace.

Old Oraibi has no stone
To seal the shrines, the fourteen kivas,
Split and charred like Old Oraibi,
Hating themselves, like Old Oraibi--
Ahi-yo, Ahi-yo.

© Copyright 2019 by Cary Kamarat . 
All rights reserved.

AMERICAN LEGENDS, by Cary Kamarat, available at Amazon.com :

 Share your travel experiences and impressions by clicking on the word
‘comment’ below.  Alternatively, send your comments directly to the
 author at dinosasha@juno.com. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

(an American Legend)

Pools of life, as the waters subside
Carry cells of a reborn kind—

A sprout arises beyond its nature
Bearing Man, the lonely savior—

Lovely and pale, the willow tree
Bends to search for the unseen—

Where willow bows to kiss the earth
Woman ascends, of shimmering birth—

Garden creatures tend to their needs,
Dance of the butterfly, honey of bees—

Song of the bird, milk of the beast,
Only the dog must wait till they sleep:

With little to offer, he lays at their side
His own gift of love for humankind.

© Copyright 2018 by Cary Kamarat . All rights reserved.

From AMERICAN LEGENDS, by Cary Kamarat, to be published in 2019.

Please share your travel experiences and impressions by clicking on the word ‘comments’ below.  Alternatively, send your comments to the author directly at dinosasha@juno.com.

Monday, December 11, 2017



I saw the flag
under a gray but cloudless sky,
under a mist that wanted to erase
dreams and legends and song...

Vaig veure la senyera
sota un cel gris però sense núvols,
sota una boira que volia esborrar
somnis, llegendes i cant…
I heard the beating of shields,
the metallic din of a rusted past
all great with promise as it painted
a path of crimson and gold
to dreams and legends and song…

Vaig sentir el batre d’escuts,
fragor metàl.lica d’un passat rovellat 
que amb grans esperances va pintar
de carmesí i d'or el sender
cap a somnis, llegendes i cant…

I savoured the bars of red
that unfolded like fingers of blood
pointing to roads of more suitable color,
the color of dreams and legends and song…

Vaig assaborir les barres vermelles
que es desplegaven com dits de sang,
assenyalant camins de color més adient,
color de somnis, llegendes i cant…

© Copyright 2017 by Cary Kamarat . All rights reserved.

Please share your travel experiences and impressions by clicking on the word ‘comments’ below.  Alternatively, send your comments to the author directly at dinosasha@juno.com.

Monday, May 8, 2017






© Copyright 2017 by Cary Kamarat . All rights reserved.

Please share your travel experiences and impressions by clicking on the word ‘comments’ below.  Alternatively, send your comments to the author directly at dinosasha@juno.com.

Sunday, March 5, 2017



Cold, blustery days don’t always keep Ocean City residents and visitors off the beach.  For those who hang around long after the summer season, late autumn and winter are some of the very best times to walk the strand.   The population is reduced to what often feels like a small church congregation, and most of those who venture down to the water feel a kind of ownership, as if our broad beaches were a part of the personal real estate that we all own or rent. 

On one such day, the winds had settled down enough for me to venture out and enjoy the incredibly blue sky they left behind.  Just three blocks from where I call home, a sizeable gray lump came into view, not far from the water’s edge.  My first thought was that it  looked like an inflated fur coat.  As I drew closer, the term ‘beached whale’ came to mind, but the lump in question was much too small for that.  Just then, an endearing cartoon face glanced back at me over the lump’s shoulder.  Seals do have a way of looking exactly like the drawings of them we see in children’s books.  

This one appeared healthy enough, sufficiently so to throw an unexpected honk—or was it a bark— in my direction.  It was holding a position that I later learned was a healthy, sort of flexed- banana pose, and as I steered clear to pass up that mismatched voice and face, the seal managed a slight sideward roll to keep me in view.  From that vantage point, I couldn’t help but notice the tip of a bloody gash on its underside, most of which was pressed hard to the sand.  Some combination of Good Samaritanism and Smalltown Ways kicked in, and I called 911.  


My call triggered a range of contacts that mobilized a whole professional and volunteer community, which really cared about our distressed visitor no matter how ornery its bark.    Police Department Animal Control personnel contacted Jennifer Dittmar, manager of the National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program and the person in charge of volunteer training, which usually takes place at area libraries and restaurants. She immediately contacted local marine animal first-responder volunteers and Sandi Smith.  Sandi is the development and marketing coordinator for the Maryland Coastal Bays Program. who coordinates the seal stewards program and arranges for volunteers to monitor the haul-out site, a somewhat graphic term designating the spot where the seal decided to come ashore.  

First responder Tom Erbe was equipped with high-definition photo lenses.  He took pictures of the seal and sent them to a team of experts, including biologists and veterinarians at the National Aquarium.  The wound on the little fellow, who we finally couldn’t help but call Sammy, really told the story.  But the National Aquarium team was looking for other signs of distress, such as unusual clouding of the eyes or being underweight.   While Jennifer Dittmar got everything underway, Sandi Smith dispatched periphery cones, brochures, and sandwich board signs to assist the volunteer monitors in their task of giving the seal all the room it needed to survive.  

Once the team of experts determined the seal was not in jeopardy, first responders Chuck and Ellen Erbe came down to the beach with an oversized dog kennel and a makeshift baffle board arrangement for coaxing the seal into it, in preparation for its ride to the Aquarium.  The Baltimore Aquarium is one of three available sites providing care.  The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach, like Baltimore, has place for only a couple of these cases, and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, New Jersey, has the most spacious facility for the purpose.  These three centers work together for effective intake and treatment.  Our Sammy spent an overnight in Baltimore being stitched up, then was sent off to Brigantine for recovery and re-release two months later.

All I had seen during that coaxing process was a cantankerous animal  that really didn’t want to be there. It took a while to calm him down—soothing tones, a little light whistling, and some very slow and quiet movement helped.  Remarkably, he never stopped looking adorable—which is part of the challenge.   People want to walk right up to a seal and get in really close, forgetting that from the seal’s perspective we probably look more like grizzly bears than playmates.  As with other wild animals, any kind of human intervention can be very stressful, even if the seal is sick or injured.  When they feel threatened they can bite, and they are susceptible to a range of diseases that include herpes and rabies.   For that reason, volunteer monitors, brochures, and sandwich boards all emphasize the importance of maintaining that ‘safe distance’.  

I was a little surprised to learn that the recommended distance is  as much as four or five car lengths due to the stress factor.  For humans under stress, a weekend in Disneyland or Vegas may be all we need.  But much more quickly for seals than for us, stress in the wild can be a real killer.  Seals haul out on the beach to rest from their journey, from their search for food, or possibly from a shark that has tried to turn them into a tasty morsel.  The Marine Mammal Protection Act is in place to remind us that these animals need undisturbed rest to stay healthy and alive, and to protect them with a potential fine of up to $500 for human harassment.

Seals—harp seals, harbor seals, hooded seals, gray seals—may very well be the center attraction.  But they’re not all there is to the show.   Maryland Coastal Bays Program staff meet with passing residents and visitors near seal haul-out locations to educate them on seal behavior and to provide photo oppportunities at a respectful distance.   Observers are cautioned not to send out seal location details on general social media in order to prevent a large crowd from gathering.  But the crowd that does gather—normally a fluid group of anywhere from two to ten people—offers a great way to share warmth on a cold day, to provide children with mini-lessons on nature, to appreciate the beauty around us, or just to participate in ‘why we do this’.

Migrating from northern New England to North Carolina, seals travel our coastal waters throughout the winter.  Their populations have increased, which means that sightings and strandings along the Mid-Atlantic coast have become more frequent.  Volunteer coordinator Sandi Smith feels “it’s exciting to have a winter visitor, and the seals are all a part of our circle of life.  It’s nice to be able to protect them, and perpetuate that whole circle.  Back before the seal steward program started, Ocean City Animal Control was the only one out there, and it was really tough on them.  So it seemed like a good idea to support them and develop the current program.”

The extended outreach program focuses on educating Mid-Atlantic coastal communities regarding the roles individuals play in supporting healthy ecosystems for marine mammal populations.   The National Aquarium Marine Animal Response Team numbers more than a hundred volunteers, and over the years productive partnerships have been developed with the City Council, the Coast Guard, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources,  Coastal Fisheries, and local water-recreational businesses from jet skis to the National and State Parks of Assateague Island.    

I asked Sandi, “With all the stakeholders involved in this network, who is it that finally decides when the seal has had enough intervention?”  She didn’t need to think very long for her reply— 

“The seal does.”

Of course.  

© Copyright 2017 by Cary Kamarat . All rights reserved.

Please share your travel experiences and impressions by clicking on the word ‘comments’ below.  
Alternatively, send your comments to the author directly at dinosasha@juno.com.

Friday, October 7, 2016


Quebec City, 



La Belle Province


Little John was a trapper who didn’t know how to walk on the pavement, poor, unlettered, but he was handsome as a prince. Lithe, tall, and bearded, we all called him Little Johnny Beard.  He carried the lakes in his eyes, and the sun in his blood.  He had a fine singing voice, planted houses along his way like a gardener plants cabbages.  His heart, like his voice, flowed over the land, covered it.  He was a maker of villages.  A builder by trade.... 
There's six old lakes I've got to move,
And three new waterfalls to bed,
And eighteen swamps to scrub and broom,
A town to build before day's end!







The language of this country was virile, the faces human.  Poetry, like perfume under the brambles, was hidden deep beneath many a wrinkle.  The oar had led them to a safe and rugged port. These people knew how to sing and how to build a dike….these men who came rolling in, portaging want and misery, for the sole purpose of shaping fortune and happiness for innumerable sons and daughters....



 The majestic Saint Lawrence River,
great swallower, treasurer, and distributor
of the waters of Quebec...

Two mountains to cross, but I'll get through,
Two rivers, I'll drink them dry!
So onward ax and onward shoes!
At home her love abides....



All text from Pieds nus dans l’aube
by Félix Leclerc.
English translation, adaptation,
and all photographs:
© Copyright 2016 by Cary Kamarat .
All rights reserved.
Please share your travel experiences and impressions by clicking on the word ‘comments’ below.  Alternatively, send your comments to the author directly at dinosasha@juno.com.