Friday, June 30, 2017

The path to mastery

that dedication to getting down on your hands 
your hair falling into your face
your feet grey with dirt
face sweaty
looking over at the athletic body a few yards away
mastery is swinging your left left around
without falling over
while keeping your torso high off the ground
and not falling over
this is the path to mastery,
the sweat, imbalance, and doing it again.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

storm coming in

the clouds rolled in and I and pulled off the road to watch
blue sky turned to roiling darkness, the wind coming up
my windshield speckled with raindrops.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bagels for Bike to Work Day

I never stop at the breakfast stations for Bike to Work Day.
Why, since I just ate the most delicious breakfast.
Today I stopped at the new bagel place, Wood Grained Bagels.
I don't like bagels.
They are heavy and calorie-laden and gross,
but why were so many people lining up on weekends -
I had to know, I could take a tiny piece that would be offered
and be on my way.
He handed me a whole bagel, still warm,
honey-maple cream cheese,
I was hooked. I took another.
I ate them both.
I like these bagels,
they will be my downfall.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

11:30 - 1:30 everyday

I look at his arms, more precisely
the definition of his muscles and how his arms
fill the sleeves of his shirt.
I found out that he's gone to the gym
every day from 11:30 - 1:30 even though
he's a highly paid vice president at my company.
I try not to stare or to make comments.
I used to hope he was single when I still was.
He's married.
I wonder if his wife likes his arms as much as I do.
I dont know if that's possible and I probably would never
have the chance to ask her, whoever she may be.
He's in my office every day to discuss the project I am leading
and I try not to look at his arms,
It's the hardest part of the job.

Monday, June 26, 2017


I passed her once and noticed the 
beauty of her hair swinging on every stride.
I passed her again, noticing her lithe legs,
her even rhythm, that she was engrossed 
in whatever her headphones were telling her.
She wouldn't notice that I kept appearing in
front and behind her.
I rode ahead and pulled out my camera,
head down, staring at the screen, waiting 
for her to pass so I could capture that
beautiful swing of her ponytail.  

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hauling wood

they could be anywhere,
in Slovakia, Slovenia or Cincinnati
France, Frankfurt or Philadelphia.
China, Chile or Chernobyl.
two boys hauling wood in a wheelbarrow
for a family to cook their meal,
for a summer bonfire to roast marshmallows,
are they rich or poor, no one can tell,
boys all over the world wear the 
same clothes, first, second or third hand.
mixed race, curly hair like a black person,
the light color of a white person, the fine
features of an Italian, they are everyone
and no one.
just two boys hauling wood somewhere
to somewhere for something.

(this is a picture I shot of the two Copeland boys)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Dancing capoeria

Braids and pigtails fly through the air
and legs and arms, they're dancing,
diving, kicking and smiling.
this is capoeira.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The beauty of a collarbone

her beautifully smooth skin,
fresh, her white teeth, her smile,
the faintest hint of fine peach fuzz
where the light graces her shoulders
and dances across her fine collarbones.
a summer frock, floral, blues and rose,
a delicate ring on her left hand,
the radiance of love.
Youth as it should be, full of promises,
of adventures not yet experienced,
roads not yet taken,
yet always knowing that there
is someone watching over her,
with some of the same freckles,
some of the same smile,
dimples made of the wrinkles
from many years of smiling
at her.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


She was alone, almost hidden behind the tall grasses,
her red backpack bobbing with every stride.
It was that time of day when the world is suspended
between night and day, this longest day of the year.
Two young men heavily tattoo'ed told me that
they had just seen a bear cub moments ago.
But we only see sky and grass, clouds and
a distant house, the forest and hillsides 
in the distance and a woman, alone, wearing
her small red backpack, heading home.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Alone in the field

a tree alone in the field,
no wait, there are sunflowers close by
and a cloud drifting by,
the sun is standing behind and a
forest is whispering, birds are twittering
before settling into their nests.
we are never alone, the wind caresses
our cheek and the sounds of people,
cars and trucks, birds, dogs barking,
at least one constantly surrounding us.
we may find seek solace in the darkest cave,
but there will still be water dripping somewhere,
the flap of a bat's wings, or the rumble of
thunder will reverberate within.
never alone, we must find solace in 
while being surrounded in sound.

Monday, June 19, 2017

what if

what if
there are really no words worth speaking 
about this single leaf basking in the morning light.
I could imagine the whoosh of water in the stem
or the crackle of photosynthesis in each cell,
but no words
there's no human needed in these woods,
nothing is pruned, trees rise from brambles,
the grass is high.
heavily laden seedheads bow the stems
towards the ground.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

In Flight

The click of a camera lens and
This moment will never be forgotten, a 
Dragonfly in flight, double iridescent wings 
Lofting up and out of the garden.
I have watched children in flight out of 
The nest, perhaps a bit unstable at first
Then lofting to careers and loves,
To adulthood on tiny wings that have 
Grown stronger with every headwind.
The wings of the dragonfly look so fragile,
they are wings as strong as steel.
Our fragile wings can be as strong
As steel.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Photography school

I learned to look in the foreground,
to look for shadows and light.
I learned to see instead of just walking by
blind to beauty.
the teacher talks to me through the movement
of electrons and radio waves, through fibers
and ether, 
he talks to me from the other side of the world
where he takes photos of silhouettes at
an unknown beach, of unknown people speaking
languages I do not understand.
he is teaching me the language of seeing,
of touching, of appreciation of the
tufts of grass in the foreground,
the shadows that they cast.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

that tree that I see every day

that tree I see every day is all of a sudden interesting.
at the base, a large bulbous structure sprinkled with 
sprouts on bark resembling elephant skin.
Two trunks reach towards the sky from such
an unlikely base.
Bella and I have walked by a thousand times,
but I never really looked, I never felt, I never
bothered and so I wonder how many times
I have never really looked, felt nor bothered
to really notice.  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Plan

I don't do PowerPoint slides.
I only plan experiments and write them on the board.
I photograph them on my iPhone and put them
in presentations. 
I don't do Visio either.
I meet with Vice Presidents, I don't do
mid-managers or those who should be.
I'm a snob, an impatient intellectual
who can't be bothered to explain when there 
is work to be done, and no one has any better
ideas, they hardly understand the problem except
that they have to give a daily briefing to
the customer behind some closed doors.
This experiment has never been done,
stupidly never done,
so typical of the bureaucratic system that 
denounces science experiments when in 
fact, science is what saves us all.
Science is the closest we can get to 
pure truth.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Chase the Ball

Chase the ball,
it's flying through the trees,
still visible, a lime green orb flitting
through branches and leaves.
Run, it will soon fall to the ground,
almost impossible to find.
Run, chase the ball that is rising in 
front of you, catch it before it
disappears, before it is lost.
Catch it with your bare hands, your teeth,
your tail wagging, your heart
beating, not knowing what to
do with it, with yourself
once you've caught the ball,
the stick, the job, the opportunity,
your life.
Life is too short to miss the ball.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The First 500 miles

I stopped on the way up the steep climb
to take this photo,
Five hundred miles of sunshine and sorrow,
of exertion followed by the fastest descents,
the wind rushing by so fast as to bring tears
to my eyes.
I've seen forest and plain, been alone and
in the company of many, wheel to wheel,
leading until breathless, then falling back.
Five hundred miles, so many more to go.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Waiting for Mail

When the mail truck rolls up,
they open their mouths hungrily,
gagging on circulars, bills and requests for donations.
they are thirsting for a handwritten postcard from Paris,
or a lengthy handwritten letter from someone they
to love is to write
to write is to love.
I found a lost fountain pen tonight
and will write someone I love in the morning
It may be you,
It could be you if you had a different 
address from your wife.
you know who you are.

Friday, June 9, 2017

My daughter and me


she sent me her picture and asked whether 
I thought she  looked like me.
I'd say so, when I was young like her,
so vibrant and fresh, both close to the water,
She sent me her dissertation and asked me 
if she were as smart as me, and I said,
yes, but smarter, so fresh and young,
your mind so quick.
She told me she was engaged now
and I said she was so far ahead of me.
she's be happy the first time around,
choosing a man with a generous spirit,
and handsome and smart on top of it!
she traveled for France and all I can say
is that I can speak French better than her,
I'm fine with that. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017


she closed the door.
this information is sensitive.
not secret, certainly not top secret,
but still, a need to know basis.

I noticed that she has aged,
that her neck, once smooth and taut
as that of a dolphin slipping through water.
I can tell I'm getting older, too.
I am just behind her.

We resumed our discussion and
I wondered at why this topic is sensitive,
until I realized there was a failure and
no one wants to talk about it.
I always want to learn,
failures are the way.

She looks damn good, though,
and I'm five years behind her.
I'll look good, too.

I'll be doing some work on this.
I know I should be promoted.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


on a summer evening
the two friends stroll along the dirt path
between walls of tall grasses.
one, short and greying
the other, young and slender.
one marks a special spot on the trail
as the other waits her turn to follow suit,
and when the young one wants to play,
she tries not to scare the small one too much, 
taking care to bark at a little distance
and not show too many teeth.
she sometimes jumps on the little one
but the overexuberance is quickly forgotten
and they resume their stroll along the path
through tall summer grasses, only dimly
aware of the hum of voices behind

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Their Announcement - my wishes for you, my darling daughter

to capture this moment in memory
(unlike our trip to the San Juan Islands)
I remember you coming into the kitchen to tell me,
showing me the delicate ring gracing your left hand.
me hugging you, me crying and hugging and crying.
you brought a bottle of champagne
We poured some into the two flutes for you and Chris,
ones that had been
gifts for my own engagement to the man I love.
I wish you such happiness and more, of being 
loved and accepted for all that you are.
I see the love in your eyes, the smiles,
the affection, the going forth into the world
you told me of your travels together
along roads that were not really roads,
you will travel such roads 
hand in hand.

Monday, June 5, 2017


I never noticed the tall, spiked leaves of this plant,
Off to the right of the trail, underneath the giant steam pipes,
this monster weed
[note: weed is any plant that is undesirable per the viewer]
looked as if it could leap upon me and eat me whole.
I would never be seen again.
Good thing I noticed.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Paper flowers

Paper flowers do not fade
nor does the ink on the card which 
contained them.
they do not need to be watered en route
nor do their petals fall to the ground.
they are neat,
well contained
and inexpensive.
I sent them to my mother for her birthday
she loved them,
for that, they are worth a million dollars.

Friday, June 2, 2017


so when he's not home to cook for me,
I manage.
plenty of antioxidants in wine,
fiber in popcorn,
minerals and water in watermelon.
I'm missing greens, I admit, but tomorrow
in the garden I will harvest turnip greens,
lettuce and kale.
It all averages out.
I'm getting fresh air and relaxation,
the neighbors stroll past the garden,
pausing to admire,
I love to watch them enjoy the 
fruits of hard work.
yes, a lovely evening indeed.
well fed,
nourished in beauty.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

we eat at our desks while working

we eat at our desks while working,
I can see what he has for lunch today.
he has a kid and a wife and a new job.
I like him, but we are not friends.
we would be
if our time
was not billed out in
by the Corporation.