Tuesday, February 28, 2017

picking cotton

I was admiring her beautiful woven cotton skirt today.
she's very organic
and won't wear synthetic fabrics
they  make her feel claustrophic.
have you ever seen the cotton workers
at mills and sewing machines, 
gathering the piles to fill box cars,
they are all brown
from Bangladesh and Burkino Faso,
Romania and Arizona.
we sleep on cotton sheets
and wear beautiful cotton clothing
they drown in cotton.

Monday, February 27, 2017

what do we tell our children

what do we tell our children
shall we start with the Holocaust,
the ejection of the Jews from Spain,
the Klan,
the pogroms,
we don't need to look at history,
shall we tell them about the toppled tombstones
in the Jewish Cemeteries,
the bomb threats,
the young Indian man, murdered 
for looking different?
what do we tell our children
what do those who do this 
teach their children?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

when did you last look at your rug?

reflecting on the Trump presidency
I looked down at my feet and saw the rug,
the carrots, soup kettle, chef's hat and mitten,
the onions and red peppers.
so bright and cheerful, this rug has lasted
longer than the Obama presidency, maybe 
even through the reign of George W,
and it still makes me smile.
My rug will endure Trump, and probably
the next one, too, unless I throw it in 
the rubbish heap.
I wonder how many people compare the 
lifetime of their rugs to the political cycle.
Many things of beauty and joy endure,
even Trump cannot take away my rug. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

adult children

adult children
an oxymoron.
adults have their own lives, jobs, independence.
children rely on parents, run to them for love and support.
no wonder we are all confused with this idea of
adult children.
is she my child and needing attending, or an adult
I'll chat with once in awhile when we both have the time
and interest.
this is what I ask myself
and is he a child needing guidance and support
or an adult with his own path,
occasionally calling his mother
as a dutiful son
and what about me, the mother,
do I hold no interest as a smart and independent
woman of my own right,
one that would, no doubt, if not also a mother.
a double oxymoron then of interesting mother
and adult children.
the discomfort of paradox.
make that triple docs,
or quadruple if you count
their father.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

missing Cobus

I don't have to count exactly right
and he ignores the wrong notes,
I can hum and sing and play in no particular order
and he finds it refreshingly "new"
He lets me be free and embraces it.
I miss Cobus.
When I listen to him play, my heart sings
and I don't care if he plays the wrong notes
or the wrong rhythm, even though I know he doesn't.
He just plays to my heart
And even though I know I will never play like him,
his generous heart created this magic playground for me
where anything goes,
as long as I show my heart.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Being lost: the experience of postage stamps

what is it to be lost, forgotten, misplaced
unsure of the future, what hands will slip you into a dark drawer,
what tongues may lick you, how your skin will be peeled away.
purchased, then forgotten in a post office envelope,
of value, yet discarded, what mystery
like an underemployed engineer in a world of need.
she left five sheets in an envelope, thinking we'd been
transferred to a box, we were smaller and her fingers
 left us behind in the dark.
$34 left behind, no chump change, 100 postcards without
postage, you'd guess she would return to look for us.
and she did, clumsily, not seeing the envelope, going to
the counter, glum-faced, to buy another 100, another $34,
only to finally spot us in a bent envelope.
she was happy,
now we are 200 stamps for 200 postcards.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dear Cory

Dear Cory,
You hear us, even with earplugs,
the din is deafening, the signage singes your eyes.
Dear Cory, Senator Gardner, the cards keep
arriving in Yuma, Denver, Ft. Collins and Pueblo,
in Washington, at your senate office, at home,
at your mother's house,
they keep coming,
we keep standing outside your door,
calling you on the phone,
and we'll keep doing it,
until you listen and act for us,
or until 2020 when we vote you out,
whichever is sooner.

Monday, February 20, 2017

we need each other

no one loves us like a dog.
doesn't even have to be our dog,
their paws will reach under the chain link gate
towards our human hands
asking to be touched,
petted and loved
as they love us.
a warm paw meets a warm hand,
claws on fingernails,
pads on skin.
our thumb strokes their soft fur.
a man may be stoic in human tragedy
but show me a man who does not
cry at the loss of his dog.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

making crepes

you have to move fast
between melting butter, pouring in the batter
flicking the wrist to spread it over the pan,
flipping it
flopping the perfectly browned crepe into
the waiting platter.
no lolly gagging, reflecting on
whether there's a better way.
Reflection is for another day.

la recette:
250 g farine
4 œufs
1/2 l lait
1 pincée de sel
2 cuillères a soupe de sucre (pour les crêpes sucrées)
50 g de beurre fondu
Confiture selon votre gout

J'ai fait une recette double pour 6 personnes.

Friday, February 17, 2017

fake news

Russian army withdraws from Crimea,
Families all over the country open their doors to the homeless.
Americans lose weight and take care of their health.
Corporations pay their fair share of taxes.
All children regardless of class or race graduate from high school.
The Tibetans regain control of their county.
#45 completes a phrase without referring to himself,
#45 admits that the Russians hacked our election.
We all make daily choices that show respect and care
for our only Home, planet Earth.
I wish these fake news stories were true.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

spring cleanup

if I'm not running late
I grab the rake.
If my lunch is made,
I'll shout hurray
and weed away.
the crocus is rising, 
yellow buds are surprising
how brilliant 
how starry
how lovely
how darling.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

the power of the written word

we were seven
but two left early.
words were written on cards depicting
bears in the mountains,
the Pearl Street Mall,
the Flatirons,
bob cats and other things we love,
things that are threatened.
Old and new friendships,
illegible writing, some stilted,
some dreamy and some angy,
some addressed to mothers,
some to sons.
our dreams and hopes are written
tomorrow they will be carried away in a
our postman's cart
to be read by mothers and sons,
husbands and wives,
one family to another.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

To my Valentine

don't bother buying over-priced flowers.
they wilt.
forget the extravagant card.
it will go in the recycle bin.
look at me and listen
every day.
At night, I hug you first
and then I roll over for sleep and you hug me
before going back to reading your book.
ski with me without giving me too much instruction
and let me pace you up to the boys on my
new electric bike.
thank you for the gift
I love it.
I love you,
my dear Valentine.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A record for the Donald

how many days did it take for the public to realize
what a mistake they made at the polling place,
whether it be a mailbox, a rural school room, the county courthouse.
it took eight days for the Donald to have a majority of Americans
to disapprove of his performance, a record low.
Was it the immigration order,
the Wall,
was it Betsy's confirmation, or maybe Mnushin,
how about Flynn, who talked to the Russians
and had to resign less than a week later.
the number of days is far exceeded by the number of 
blunders, illegalities and stupidities

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Riding with the boys on my electric bike

my bike is red and black
and has a battery that whirs quietly,
propelling me along with the pack,
leading more than following,
cutting the wind.
they draft behind me, grateful,
perhaps a little resentful at this freckled
I laugh into the wind.

Friday, February 10, 2017

roaming the snowy plains

i was alone in the museum
me and buffalo on the snowy plains
the wind chilled my bones, my light clothing
whipped in the wind, their dark thick fur barely moved,
they were stoic, moving slowly from place to place,
alone on the snow
as we all were moving in singles and doubles,
a few babes in arms through the galleries,
weaving through each other to find the best
food for something deep inside
unspoken, not quite a hunger, a yearning
maybe, something that needs filling
as the buffalo also ranges across the snow
looking for something we cannot see
below the pristine white.
we are all searching.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

smiling in the dark

she's smiling in the dark
in a back corner of a bar
we don't see the celebratory drink.
three judges ruled against the  president.
a celebratory drink against authoritarianism.
she never thought she's be in the resistance
for herself and her children
for others and their children
for the earth.
she is so small, sinking into the oversized chair
in the dark, in a back corner of the bar
her drink in hand, determination
behind the smile
she's a fighter
a junkyard dog.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

executive orders

stop eating animals.
but I love lamb and it's the worst,
those delectable little lamb ribs flying onto my plate
all the way from the verdant hills of New Zealand.
that juicy hamburger topped with dijon mustard
lettuce and tomatoes.
do we have to
follow this executive order to stop eating animals
can we skirt the rules, eat pork chops while
hiding behind a magazine on a fast moving 
subway, is there another way.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

we don't need no educashen

we don't need no educashen, Betsy,
we don't need no fancy cars
we don't need no billionaires
betsy, just leave us all alone in our
deteriorating slums, our decrepit classrooms,
we don't need no extra pencils,
we don't need no extra books,
betsy, just leave us all alone, we can find
our way alone
betsy, walk the primrose path with the whites
and the wealthy, help them with their applications
to the ivys, Betsy,
just leave us all alone.

Monday, February 6, 2017

a productive day accomplishing nothing

yes. interested. want to work work this.
fast electrons generating corona discharge in a laser cavity
while flying over the SAA.
yes, project started
contamination modeling for the UV instrument
heading to Europa.
we need to do those electrical conductivity measurements
from liquid nitrogen temps up to 150C
Get B going on the vacuum chamber measurements
and better write that procedure, get those masks
machined and finish up
finish up but I have hardly started
it was a productive day but no experiment
was done, no models were run, no
papers written.
most satisfying accomplishment,
getting Karen to myself for a coffee.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

an absence of flute

a sick father-in-law in Houston
a sister-in-law in labor
taking care of a son.
those are his reasons.

for me,
a daughter and her love
over for wine and cheese
another birthday celebration,
the end of the 50s,
I hadn't really realized that.

darkness and its late
hot milk ready to culture
dirty dishes and unpacked suitcases.

tomorrow is Monday
much to be done

flute will take a back seat
my warm bed calls me.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Tracks in the snow

emerging from the fog below
every tree shrouded in white
the ice chilled me.
sun now and blue sky,
we are rolling down hill now, 
we break on rocks or find our way around,
we may roll to a stop at a snowbank 
our tracks may be uneven or unsure
some of us will gather speed on a downhill
forming a path for others
I saw all this on the mountain under
sunshine and blue sky
the world was beautiful
we are all beautiful.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Calculating at night

I'm cold and it's dark outside.
I missed the political rally at the Rayback
standing room only.
Running SindaFluint models for purge flow
into a spectrometer to keep the dew point
less than 8C.
how many people care about that
until they understand that calculation means
they can look forward to views out into the
heavens one day.
Some would care.
Trump wouldn't.
I do.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

the airport

behind every concession counter is a black woman,
an Hispanic woman, a person
of color, size, accent different from me.
every TSA kiosk, a black man,
the janitors are black or Hispanic,
the kind people who wheel old people through
the airport, all different colored than me.

every seat on the airplane is filled with
white people, every bar filled with
white people.
at work, almost every engineer and scientist,
every technician seems to be white,
a few Asians, a few well educated rooted in other cultures.
there are few that look different from me.
in the meeting today, there were white people
in a white room with beautiful mountains in the background.

I want a rainbow of colors and sizes
in my life, at my work, in my neighborhood.
I will pull her from behind the counter
and ask her to walk with me to the
bar for a drink.
She will never go back.