if you lose yourself,
look up towards the sky, between the trees
you will find yourself again
the breeze against your skin will awaken you.
in preparation for the new year, the old will gently
drift down onto the newly fallen snow
to be taken up by the earth.
if you lose yourself, look in a new place
with less prejudice and with an open
heart, look within nature on a cold day
at the very end of the year
holding hands with someone
one letter after another
a word, a phrase, a sentence
they come slowly and leave slowly
or come quickly and leave even more quickly.
practice practice practice, repeat repeat repeat
listen, repeat, listen, repeat, practice,
so many errors, so many
they fade away to
a perfect melody
it's all about abstol, she said
noting that 1e-6 was not small enough
for molecules bouncing round and
round off telescope walls.
how obvious I noted as
she lowered this mysterious
parameter to 1e-16, how quickly
then did the problem disappear
as negative values rose
in positive glee to join their
brethren on the log-log plot.
the electric candles glow in the windows
casting eerie shadows across the wooden floor
long legged monsters waver towards me
settled here under a heavy quilt as if winter
resided here, inside instead of out where
the snow has turned to ice on frozen roadways
and sidewalks left unshoveled pitch pedestrians
face forward into crumpled piles.
it's warm under here and quiet, the dishwasher
has finished humming, the dog is snoring
downstairs and I can imagine hearing the
last droplets of water evaporating off the
clean dishes in the kitchen.
the swish-swish of water
against dirty dishes,
squash, cereal, coffee, milk,
peanut butter, beans
all washed away, a cloud
of steam greeting me
when I open the door,
feeling the clean warmth
of the plates against
my fingertips as they
get stacked anew, ready
for another day.
We called it Slumerville back then
but now it's a cool place to be like all
the neighborhoods around there you would
never walk around alone, at night, in the dark.
no one bought Christmas trees and riding a
bike was to take your life in your hands
and hold it out to a passing bus or car.
Somerville was not gay or festive
happily times changes and people
there buy Christmas trees and ride
bikes; a mini-van even roars past,
not even brushing against his pedal
as they rush across the intersection.
The car seats are only warmed by our bottoms,
intial temperature being minus fourteen Fahrenheit
by the can-hardly-believe-it green LED display in the car
that I'd rather not believe
as that means
it will be minus 25 in the morning and
I complain of being duped into this romantic weekend
of outdoor fun and skiing, hot toddies and sunshine.
I admit that
it was sunny outside, the skiing was fun,
the food was yummy and we sit in front of
the fire to warm our buns before settling them
unhappily on car seats cooled to minus 14
Fahrenheit for the endless drive
up the hill to a warm bed
show me how telescopes capture the stars
how do we fathom the edges of the universe
the movement of atoms on brittle surfaces
as we study the ingredient list for German
chocolate cake or mix up eggs and milk
for Christmas morning waffles with
blueberries, bananas and whipped cream.
take me to lunch, invite me to ski,
embrace me for all who I am as I
embrace you, love me as
I love you.
after eight minutes on a treadmill
my brain slightly addled
a mindless TV series waiting downstairs
I admit a lack of inspiration
our new bed, on the hard side, calling me
knowing he is already snuggled under
the covers waiting for me to slide
under the sheets, flannel jammies,
eyeglasses and hearing aid, things
may have changed but they sure
can't be any better.
"Elle s’est éteinte paisiblement dans sa 96ème année"
the flame lingering on the diminishing wick, finally
extinguished in a pool of molten wax, a thin tendril of
smoke rising, then dissipating with a passing breeze.
" très diminuée mais avec la chance
de ne jamais avoir souffert physiquement"
a wisp of a woman in the end who did not suffer
in the last years, thankfully, after many years of
so much suffering at the hands of those
who do not live anymore, who finally left her
to live in peace and now, in the darkness of this
night, for her to glide silently whereever she may
choose, on a breeze, along the riverway,
gazing across the sea
with eyes that see
Lower yourself below my eyes to
Limit my view to the truth but do not
Lie bald-faced to me, preparing your Lare to tempt me to believe
Lazarus who betrayed One who
my ears don't work
nor do my eyes, my feet
don't run, my brain doesn't
think, my arms don't windmill,
my am I tired on this
Friday after a week
of molecules rushing
from here to there
is rushing for the holidays
I am ready to rush to
put my feet up, turn
off the brain that cannot
think, the fingers attached
to these arms that can no
it has to be from McGuckin Hardware
where Steve will find us the perfect
commercial tree, the ones with one side
that's a bit cock-eyed, a bit less expensive.
he smiles at us and asks our names, having
helped countless middle aged women
with gardening questions over the summer,
I was yet another, unnamed until tonight
when he asked and who was the lovely
young woman with me,
he sorted through rows of trees
to find the perfect one for her,
I'd be foolish to think it was for
me, but he will remember me
in the summer when I ask him
countless questions about
tomato varieties and fertilizers
and he will smile remembering
her that night when we picked
out the Christmas tree.
one single note
like the most beautiful song
from a simple bird
in a lush forest,
a single accomplishment
after one week of
of the one single note
over and over
until it sings
time the flute
went to her
18 degrees and snow on the ground
beautiful cloud of breath in front of me
my lungs chilled
I wrap a scarf around my face
and run, making footprints
in fresh white powder
the stream and I run
along this path
each attending to
her own work.
it's cold out
and dark and I feel lazy
facing a bed to be made,
a desk to be cleared,
almond milk to be purchased,
flute practice, a floor calling to be
swept, for goodness sake.
so I don't walk up the hill
in the dark to write with
my friend and wouldn't you
know that this laziness facing
all my chores, I left the most important
left undone, writing with Ana
on a Monday night,
it's just not the same
without seeing her.
she briefly opens her eyes against the bright sun
to stare at the two of us wrapped in down jackets, scarves,
hats, gloves, thick socks and boots
out in the cold bitter wind
fumbling for the phone
to capture her lazy gaze
from inside the window
where it is warm
he knows he does
everytime a letter comes in from his mother
and he kisses the envelope, so happy to hear from her;
he puts a check in the mail with a note signed
"your loving son" knowing it will get to her
and make her smile.
Bob Dylan on the road
drafting off the UPS truck in front,
just a simple way to save gas
by drafting the U.S. goverment.
next time your Ferrari breaks down,
think of the Post Office and how the
person in the blue uniform will get
out of their car and give you
a helping hand.
bow against strings
there is no bow here in this house
that will make music, we will have no
opportunity to clap our hands when the fiddle plays
wonder where Peter and the Wolf will go next
in the dark heavily forested woods.
this situation cannot stand as the music
is there on this stand in this room
waiting for a young musician
to come home.
she's actually not very nice, helpful, generous or calm,
preferring to sequester herself up a steep set of stairs away
from the family, man and dog on the couch relaxing as
they are prone to do, too far away behind two closed doors
to even hear them and she even sleeps with ear plugs so the
snoring and heavy breathing do not interfere with understanding
the velocity distributions of micrometeoroids in space and how that
might affect the high accuracy star tracker on mission X.
actually, she tends to be bossy, express overconfident characteristics,
and have limited patience for most everything including,
but not limited to, people who do not interest her, dogs who
stop to sniff every 5 feet, calculations that have been done before,
doing laundry or any other household related task.
she loves to ride her bike over piles of dry leaves
and hear them crackle under her tires.
I. The Front Page
The Syrians are being slaughtered as we watch and wait
The rich stay rich.
The Dreamers dream on and file paperwork.
JAXA was hacked by the Chinese.
Lawyers occasionally do good so
no one has to move out.
Red is still in.
It's tacky to dis-invite someone if they
want to bring someone you don't like.
3. Week in Review
Alfred Hitchcock was scary.
We need more babies to support the older generation.
Syrians can walk through some tall reeds and
across the river into Turkey.
Love has a short shelf life,
learn to love those around
you and hope they do the
same for you.
she worries about the cat.
hovering outside the gate, she stammers
and stutters, shifting her weight
back and forth
from left faded sneaker to right and back again.
on a crisp morning she stands at the corner
staring intently at the settting Moon.
her usual outfit, denim skirt, black jacket,
white hat, blue scarf, thick socks,
her signature accessory:
a pink backpack.
I stop behind her to snap a photo;
we have greeted each other so many times
I always wanted to capture her essence of
innocence, her rounded face and body,
her simplicity, her earnest expressions
of concern mixed with a certain reproach
about the cat who bounds over the fence
effortlessly and disappears into
a neighbor's bushes.
I walked past her without looking back
until a car pulled up to catch her
and I turned to wave good-bye,
her face hidden behind tinted windows.
many sheets, much length, so many inches,
even feet of toilet paper
do not make a nice comfy wad for the required job at hand.
the sheets are microns thick instead of millimeters, or mils if you like
this roll, this magic roll of toilet paper, so attractive, inexpensive, single sheeted
roll of sh...t never ends, each day, it continues on and on, light shining
through its translucent sheets, no worries about destroying virgin forests
or recycled ones for that matter, one could not unroll enough to
make a nice comfy wad for the job at hand, it does not have the
Charmin' squish, or quilted softness, it is steely and thin
and never runs out.