Archive for February, 2015

world without wilds


Brush Fire, Edges Wild Series, Casselle Landi, Italy © Jim Korpi

In a world without wilds no coyotes howl in the front field. No raccoons dig under the garage door to get at the chicken feed. No snakes hide in the tall grass. No deer jump in the garden. No rabbits eat the herbs. No foxes eat the rabbits.

There are cats in the abandoned building sites. Pigeon shit breaks up the monotony of the cold stone streets. Fur coats are fashionable. Hunters place poison at the edges of fields to prevent domestic dogs from stealing the stocked pheasant they chase with shotguns and their own domestic dogs. Farmers lie poison on the paths of rodents who burrow by their crops. The deep ammonia smell of spread manure from feed lots opens the top of your nose and stays there until you shower with perfumed soap.

Every place you step feels overstepped, overrun, worn. No competition is left but that which exists among ourselves. The wild within us has been fenced in, locked up, bred out, or extinguished.

life, liberty and land


Two Roads Converge Ahead, Belfast, Ireland © Jim Korpi

“That they are entitled to life, liberty and property: and they have never ceded to any foreign power whatever, a right to dispose of either without their consent.” – The Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress, Resolved, N. C. D. 1, 1774

See more images from Belfast, Northern Ireland

knowing the breeze


Feeding the Birds, Belfast, Ireland © Jim Korpi

Seamus Murphy smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. Only, it’s not packs. He rolls his own. He prefers a specific tobacco.
Just after a meal his pouch comes out of a pocket. He removes a small filter from the bag and holds it between his lips while pulling a wrapping paper from the pouch. The paper is held with his left forefinger, middle finger and thumb to form a valley while his right hand spreads caramel colored tobacco evenly inside. The top edge of the paper is licked and both hands roll tobacco and paper into a cigarette. This all happens in one minute and 20 seconds.
Outside, the Belfast wind irons flat the conflicting British and Irish flags on their poles.
Murphy steps into the breeze. Instinctually he lifts his face to the current of air to smell it, to feel it blow across the soft hairs below his eyes, those always missed by his razor. He pauses there for a second. Then as quickly as the needle of a compass points north, Murphy turns his face away from the wind and cuffs his hand in front of his mouth for protection. His eyes and forehead are lit with a flash of orange light, smoke signals from his hands and he turns back to the breeze to take a bit of it in and then blow into it a mix of steam and smoke.
In this moment of lighting a cigarette in the wind he connects to something primal, some forgotten instinct in us all to know the breeze.