House in the Field

This is the reverse angle of a homestead near Waterville, Washington (one of my earliest posts was “In a field of wheat,” which shows this structure in infrared from the opposite side. (You can see it here).

I drove by this place not long ago and noticed it is starting to lean. Not many more winters ahead for this fellow, I imagine…

©Brad Skiff


Stone and Shadow

On a log above the chafing tides, I met a worn stone resting in the sun. Only a foot or so of sand spared his perch from the encroaching waves, so I sat briefly with my new friend.

“How did you come to this place?” I enquired.

“Before you, there was another,” he replied. “She set me gently on this spot, a kind act with a cruel shadow, and now I rest ensconced in the sunset.”

“Isn’t this a pleasant pause? Hasn’t the surf refined you enough?” I asked.

“Do you see my flaw, that gap upon my curve? It’s well-worn, I grant you, but if you allow me further reprieve, I shall remain the same. However, if you commit me to the certainty of the surf, perhaps the churning stones below will wear my blemish away.”

My head drooped, and I could feel the sand shifting beneath us. I thought of my own flaws, then scooped up my friend and tossed him into the receiving foam. With wisdom beyond my fathom, he settled into his jumbled routine, and I, well I walked away from those crashing tumblers and wondered why I feared them so.

©Brad Skiff


The school year is almost over, and tempers are as short as the remaining days. I do not wish to conflate education and gun violence, that is not the point of this image. Rather, this photograph of an armored bank car window is a metaphor for my psyche this time of year. Teaching is unlike any other profession I’ve experienced, and I worked in that big old “real world” for many years before choosing to stand in front of 120+ teenagers each day. Minute-by-minute, over-produced dramas, disappointments, and never-ending demands take their toll. But, with some rest, those filimented cracks heal, and the lager gouges slowly fill back in…mostly…

bullet proof

©Brad Skiff



Yeah, it’s a nerdy thing to do.

Last weekend was the Renaissance Faire at the Chelan County Fair Grounds. I take my son every year, and it’s always the same. Quaint tents full of homemade wares, oddly mixed with dollar-store quality items, line each side of the avenue; axe throwing and various Nordic activities abound; and, of course, there’s the world-famous gauntlet of badly spoken Shakespearean English to navigate.

Oh, and there’s jousting. Each year I bring my camera in hopes of catching a memorable shot. Here’s one of my favorite photos from a couple of years ago.


© Brad Skiff



A little rum, and this short poem came out…


Mine is a pleasant cage,
but I will the air to burn.

Dreams, like origami unfolded, trace
the telltale lines of your clever beauty.

Is all the world a lie to lust for?
Must an arm’s length be your worth?

Age is less than counting time
and space more than your uncounted smiles.


© Brad Skiff