Monday, May 30, 2011

Yaquina Bay

Yaquina Bay, Newport, Oregon.
Click on the picture to get a bigger view.

In this picture which looks basically a little west of south the headwater of the Yaquina River is the main subject, which is thoroughly tidal all the way back to east of Toledo, Oregon, eight miles inland. Because the tidal zone and the slow flow of the Yaquina makes this body of water mainly a salt incursion of the Pacific Ocean, it is instead known as Yaquina Bay.

At the bottom and to the left of this photo by the US Army Corp of Engineers, there are three rows of apartment style duplexes that were made top and bottom two bedroom apartments. The master bedroom was at the rear (northern exposure) in each, the master bath in what is the northwest corner. North is to the bottom of the photo. Each apartment had a full glass wall and a patio or deck on the south end, the viewpoint overlooking the bay. You see these apartments built on a fairly steep hillside, with the roofs of the five in the lowest row completely below and not blocking the view of the seven units above them. To the right (west) of the seven unit row is a separate row of three. In the middle of that row and upstairs is where I lived with my wife and three cats. We were the first tenants in the building. The complex was built by the man who had the house east of the lower five units, a fellow named Brice. He called his complex "Embriceadero", reminiscent of the luxury Embarcadero Hotel on the bayfront to the East and just outside the boundary of this picture. This was in 1976-1979.

We lived there nearly three years before moving back to the Portland Area from which we had come. In some ways this time overlooking Yaquina Bay was the happiest time in my life, but it was not so for my wife. I didn't really want to but for her sake I agreed and we moved to Lake Grove, south and west of Lake Oswego, itself upriver of Portland above the Willamette River, on the river's west side. Lake Grove basically holds the southwest tip edge of the man created lake (an expanded swamp flooded by a dam) that gives the city of Lake Oswego its name.

Yaquina Bay

I lived on the bay,
above its north front, my home
a soft box that breathed
in the gales sweeping
in from the ocean, bowing
the south wall, curtains
falling away, showing
the plumb line, the house top bent
in the storm's ancient


the blooming secret of joy
she grew in my heart.

May 29, 2011 8:40 AM


  1. I love the notion of a storm agonizing. Of a sudden it seems completely true, that the firmament has angst with which it must grapple.

  2. you lived there only three years, maybe the wind blew you back inland. I think of me so firmly rooted in the forest protected from the wind, i long for storms to lift me up and take me

  3. We often consider our emotional life to be subject to storms and our emotions are surely energy expressions. When we act out it is as a release of pressure that we do so. We think then in metaphor with the weather which is also all those things on a different scale. If the world is my heart then the storm is my temper expressing. The people who quarrel with us poets about this are people who are sure the world itself is not alive.

    But even some scientists now take what is called the Gaia hypothesis seriously and the Gaia hypothesis states that life is so all pervasive and influential that it has formed the parts of the world that matter to life in its own image, and thus a storm being an emotional expression can in that way be literally true if the Gaia hypothesis is true.

  4. jozien, an inner wind of the heart took us back inland.

    My wife was a social worker for the State of Oregon, Children Services Division. The trouble for her of working in the Newport Office was that Lincoln County is too small in a small town way and her engagement with many people too unpleasant with dark emotions arising out of distressed lives. She would go to the store and see people, or to the laundromat and end up doing laundry with them, people who did not care for her because of what her job was. This lack of public privacy was most unpleasant and overwhelming.

    That is why I could not argue with her need to leave town.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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