Posts Tagged: kids

Gone, just gone, 10 years on…

The idea of the kids still haunts me ten years later.

Very infrequently I have nightmares about ghostly green, purple, and burnt orange faces of Japanese children floating above their anguished parents, who are still living bitter lives in tiny yatai-shaped temporary houses scattered throughout a cartoon nuclear meltdown hellscape version of Fukushima.

I know the reality isn’t quite that bad. But ten years on folks in Tōhoku still can’t go home, and in the deep ocean there are the bones of innocent kids from 3/11 that will never be discovered nor buried. For ten years the loss of those lives and their potential has bothered me, and probably always will.

I wrote this poem about the lost children in 2014 for the third anniversary of the disaster. It’s also an ode to the sorrow and horror felt by a man who merely edited other people’s stories from the disaster but didn’t actually experience it himself. So take that for what it’s worth as you read the poem, and I hope you enjoy it…

Gone, just gone

The bubblegum kids no one is ever going to know,

rotting out their lives in the cold of Mishima’s boiling sea.

There’s grace in the truncheons of justice they may have become.

There’s iron will in the blood they will never spill on land.

There’s a permanent school of candyfloss and diamond textbooks

waiting to teach them about the ghosts of great emperors.

It’s the time when they died that will never forgive, and will ever hate itself

for taking them walking to the undersea graves of lost civilizations.

There’s teeny shoes floating in the sea that had warm, happy feet in them.

Tokyo2013 1724-1

There’s a TV somewhere that always shows cartoons only Japanese children can understand.

There’s a tear we cry for strangers who will never grow up to be our friends.

Or invent new light.

Or cure the gangrene in our hateful bones.

There is soil that will never be disturbed, for there is no reason to displace it for graves.

It is fine soil, still, and we should honor it by planting flowers that taste like rice candy.

We should remember that sometimes the bubblegum kids see with both a living and a dead set of eyes.

And we should love them, and we should remember them,

And we should hold what we know of them with a warmth that radiates down into the deepest chasm at the bottom of the sea.

(—For the lost children of Japan after March 11th, 2011. Photograph taken in Nakano 5-chome, Tokyo in September 2013. See my other photo work here and here.)

This past Thanksgiving

In the time of coronavirus, my wife and I didn’t do much on Thanksgiving Day 2020 but stay home and cook for ourselves. We didn’t even watch the Macy’s parade. Cooking Thanksgiving feast for two people, which included an 11-pound turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and a persimmon pie, was a surprisingly time-consuming endeavor.

Still, I did get out briefly a couple of times during the day and shot this collection of photographs. Enjoy…

A suspension of color in my deceased father-in-law's living room...
Brisbane, California, Thanksgiving Day 2020

A suspension of color in my deceased father-in-law’s living room.

The calm of the world as the sun comes up...
Brisbane, California, Thanksgiving Day 2020

The calm of the world as the sun comes up.

A turkey at my neighbor's house...
Brisbane, California, Thanksgiving Day 2020

A turkey at my neighbor’s house.

The turkey goes into the oven...
Brisbane, California, Thanksgiving Day 2020

Our turkey goes into the oven.

MidtownBrisbane 2215-5

The flag and a family on the high street.

Last-minute grocery trip for daughter and father...
Brisbane, California, Thanksgiving Day 2020

Last-minute grocery trip for daughter and father.

My wife would like to show a happy world to everyone...
Brisbane, California, Thanksgiving Day 2020

My wife would like to show a happy world to everyone.

(Photographed in Brisbane, California on Thanksgiving Day, 2020. I hope yours was happy and safe. See my other work here.)

How we get to the snacks

So, the coronavirus, yeah. How are you holding up? It’s crazy out there, right? Not like ‘violence in the streets’ crazy, not yet, but nutty enough. I really hope you’ve got enough savings and food and family support and job security to get though this as painlessly as possible.

I’ve been going out every day, mostly just to my local grocery store a few blocks from my house to get Dr Pepper and cigarettes. And I started a little project photographing people wearing masks, at food stores and elsewhere, to protect themselves from viral infection. It’s not a world-changing project, but it’s something to keep me occupied while we’re all mostly stuck at home all day.

So I hope you enjoy the photos here, and the growing number of photographs I’m compiling here. Thanks for having a look.

Dressed like the frozen food section is contagious Antarctica...
San Francisco, California, March 2020

At a Grocery Outlet in San Francisco

Happy family in virus time...
San Francisco, California, March 2020

Waiting in line outside a Nijiya Market in San Francisco

Lovely eyes and a virus mask...
Brisbane, California, March 2020

At Midtown Market here in Brisbane, California

(San Francisco and Brisbane, California, March, 2020. See my other work here and here.)

My week of shooting, 24 March 2019

Codename: Homeless Dancing Albinism

Photographically speaking, I had a great week. It was full of the brief but enriching encounters with people that drive home to me why I’m a photojournalist. Even in the most mundane places, and my life right now encompasses a LOT of mundane places, I observe instances of friendliness, open-heartedness, and joy that keep me hopeful that all of us just might be okay if we don’t burn it all down…

  • On St. Patrick’s Day, an affable homeless man and the dollar bill I’d just given him at a freeway off-ramp in San Francisco…

SF RAW 1343-5

  • Tuesday at my local grocery store I was on line with a lady and her dog, so I did what I do and photographed them both…

MidtownBrisbane 1421-4

  • On Friday while having a quick bite at Costco I shared a table with this little girl with albinism and her mother…

ChloeAndMom 1-3

MitchellBouyerMemorial 3-2

  • On Saturday it was a nosh at McDonald’s, and an encounter with this cool teenager who smiled despite the new braces on his teeth…

DanielBraces 1-1

That’s it for this week. Until next seek see my other work here and here.

Remember: people and the world are more beautiful, odd, and interesting than you think, you just have to stop and look long enough to notice.

My week of shooting, 24 February 2019

Codename: Pink Tuba Fire…

Welcome to the first installment of a new weekly feature here on Brisbane Graphic Arts Museum. It’s an ongoing showcase of photographs from my growing body of photojournalism and street photography work, featuring what I think are the best and/or most interesting photos I shot during a given week. I hope you enjoy my work, or get some value from it, and will come back here each week to see how I’ve been seeing our world.

Here we go…

  • On Tuesday I unintentionally unnerved this adorable little girl who was walking past my house with her grandmother…

AlexandraSasha 6-1

  • On Wednesday there was this kid in a shopping cart at a Japanese supermarket in San Mateo where my wife and I were getting some groceries…

RAW-SanMateo 36-2

  • On Thursday Brisbane’s only public house, the Brisbane Inn, caught fire on the top floor and burned for a while. See more photographs of the incident here.

Fire at the Brisbane Inn-5...
Brisbane, California, February 2019

  • On Saturday I encountered this fuzzy pink kid at the public unveiling of a raccoon statue in a small park here in Brisbane. You can also see this photo in this collection

The brilliant fuzzy pink...
Brisbane, California, February 2019

  • Also on Saturday, I came across tuba player rehearsing in a shopping center parking with his banda group for a gig they were playing later in the evening…

Brisbane RAW 2106-5

And that’s it for this week. Until next seek see my other work here and here.

Remember: people and the world are more beautiful, odd, and interesting than you think, you just have to stop and look long enough to notice.

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