lunar disambiguation


          out past sky.

moon.   moon didn’t make her reflect that second face.

reaching out to gather Light was already like falling.     falling into wind.

looking up.   looking up.   someone said they were stars.

color the shape of ruby in a sea.   dare risk the farther edge.

      world made the color of her sleep.

thus momentum,

making lures the shape of Light.   see them defy gravity.

rising up.   rising up.

          the lyric sense of you.   second lingering.

take the shape she remembers now.

          insistence an undervalued attribute.   oh gravity.

take the shape of Light on a clouded afternoon.

                    why did I ever let go.

another radiant wing.
but most.   most what I remember is

          the scent of you.

          I’d know you in the dark.

analytic geometry and calculus


I know who told me to turn the radio down or to take the garbage out to the trash.   I know who told me what they want at the grocery store.

I know what the weatherman said.   what to wear that day.

I even remember scratches of what they said in school way way back then.
analytic geometry and calculus, for one.   I was proud of that, even though all I could remember was the name.

       but here’s a question.
who told the atoms how to dance?

       are they happy, do you think.


HRP32A 40 Inch Liquid Hydrogen Bubble Chamber, SLAC

images: a) bubble chamber image of atomic particles, b) hydrogen atom,
c) SLAC bubble chamber.

science folk are very clever folks.   SLAC, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Palo Alto, California.   a bubble chamber is a bathtub-like device filled with liquid hydrogen kept under pressure so it won’t boil away.   high-energy particles are then fired into the chamber where they can interact with the hydrogen nucleus.   simultaneously the pressure is reduced allowing the particles to leave a trail of boiled gas bubbles in their wake.   cameras take pictures from three points of view to later be able to calculate the three-dimensional path of each particle.   the chamber is repressurized, ready for the next event.   then the physicists go away and ponder what was seen.   I’m no physicist but I did work there for several years doing the grunt work to categorize and measure the millions of images produced.

think of it as a giant meditation machine.   listening to the universe.

thanks, about time (she said)

    odd how even so few as three words can be rearranged.

it’s kind of a zoo inside my head.   pardon please doubtless mistakes I’m near bound to make.   but I’d like to think kindly of each and every wild critter here contained.   fair warning though, they might just lick your face.

old adage.   you are what you eat.   I have one, more my own.

       you are who you appreciate.

so that’s big half of what I’m doing here.   neither is that meant figurative.
you, you’re included too.   let’s begin.   join me please.
about relationship.
mother, Virginia.   fair enough starting there.   grandmother, Janet.   great uncle, Louis.   young uncle Robert, we said, Bob.   blood family.
Carolee Bennett.   do what’s different, unexpected, as often as you can.

Ren Powell.   prose is poetry.   she taught me that.   organically.

Laura Bloomsbury.   photography is poetry.   see, she is.

Cindy Knoke.   colors like this woman.   I do too.

Kerfe.   she’s all over the place.   thankfully.
not forgetting, Julie.   she who cares for me.   my life is hers.
have you noticed.   I have.   who you appreciate becomes more beautiful.
again, not figurative.   maybe my eyes just open more, really see in front of my face.   whatsoever the truth, it pleases me.   sincere.

due regard, William Stafford.   he who openned poems to me.  no less, my life.   American poet and pacifist.   Appointed the twentieth Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, 1970.

       Even the upper end of the river believes in the ocean.     Stafford
I do.
about writing.
why write.   said before, however.   bottom of an unhappy barrel, I made a prayer, said, what do I do?   commonplace thoughts swarmed round my head.   next day arrived.   no clouds parting.   no face of god overhead.   but more clear than blue sky, one word.   write.   just that, nothing more.

I took it as genuine.   besides, if I posed a prayer, least appreciative response would be, take the answer to good heart.   I did.   what’s that not mean – not write and publish, not a great novel, not even poetry (my choice, that), not write well, not fame or recognition, not one whisper more.   write.

I took it like a father might say to a son, please go mow the lawn.

that’s the gravity beneath my sky.   I feel thirsty when I don’t.   yes, true, I have self-centered thoughts, like anyone and there are issues about what poems have for a result.   sometimes I’ve nearly stopped.   but the boat remains.   now, current has more draw.
not much book schooling on my part, except for those I read myself.
fish in the net.   I try to pay attention.   I work to learn.

I am friends with words with language, with meanings and good faith.

I like poems that talk with themselves.

I like fresh caught words.   not the same porridge every day.   please.

I make my own rules of thumbs.   what works is what works.   nothing else matters more than shoes & socks.

       faith to me means, god never took us out of paradise.

so remember who and where we are.   no lies.

no world traveller.   so write from where I live.   small observations.

free associate.   this process I trust implicitly.   ask, what response comes to mind, trust that it relates.   why.   because it just did relate.   someone wisely once said, in life understanding is the bobby-prize.   accept what you receive.   some call that grace.   me too.

engage.   that’s the part that rubs the most.   writing is a solitary process.   fine.   but later, can we talk, writer to writer, person to person.   curiosity.   (honestly, lonely sometimes).   (don’t play if you’re unwilling to pay the price.)   (but still, you understand.)
some bowls I bring to this feast.   a few more pages wanting me.

poetic minimalism.   big words for small things.   fewer words that shy from contribution given.   more focus laid to active words, old habits require labor to break.   but look, where the meaning rests.   as well, more like real life casual conversation, corners rounded off.

space & form.   these do matter to me.   constantly.   regarded like commas and periods.   like music is, the space in between is how the notes take needed breath.   confess I’m as much visual as audible.   maybe I think they are the same.   can’t help myself.

and a tail I hope forgives me some.   or not.   I consider no-sin to try and fail when the labor is of good heart.   some new path through the briar.   learning smiles more on failure than any otherwise.
last and first, slow drum that it is.

there are issues afoot.   two doctors examine and treat and say, doing well all considered.   yet that’s not how I feel inside myself.   don’t know last pages, not yet I think.   however aggrieved if I move out of sight with no due right thanks given to some ones who’ve been good company.

odd to say, but, explicit serves better fare than implicit, unknowing.

       I want to appreciate being alive.

know this.   to write is one gift.   to read is another gift.

       my gratitude.


weighing of the heart

great one Anubis, lord beneath our feet, weigh my heart to be
a feather, kin of truth, thus spare me from the jaws of Ammit.

dare risk lying to your heart.   the measure of measures.

from earthen feet to skyward face, how horizons circumnavigate.
       how dreams are dreaming us.

living feels like dying.   another lie on the fire.   do I know
       less than I did before.

here.   another tributary.
if you observe, if you listen to a secret long enough, truth is revealed.
       one priest says.

we are born into lies.   we face into the shadow of Light.
with death we turn facing into Light.   all truth made visible.

       wisdom here observed.
how many times have I already been eaten alive.   countless I suspect.

is it fair.   is it right.   that we be judged by all creatures great and small.
       I think yes.

what does language think of me.   have I been kind.   considerate.
which words have known my tongue, my lips.   like water moves.   like waves
       a universe surrenders everything.   stories painting.

       one fingerprint.
About Anubis.   The Egyptian god of the dead was instrumental in passing into the afterlife.   To the Egyptians, the heart rather than brain, was the source of human wisdom and the center of emotions and memory, thereby considered the most important of internal organs.   Because of this the heart was left inside the deceased’s body, later to reveal the person’s true character.   In the “weighing of the heart” rite by Anubis, god of the dead, the heart is compared to one feather of the goddess Maat, who personifies order, truth and what is right.   If it weighed more than the feather, it was immediately consumed by the crocodile diety Ammit.   All this reflected their real Nile life and the hazards faced.

While not a spiritual follower of their mythos, that phrase “the weighing of the heart” very much appeals to me.   What a poetic and provocative way to express “judgment”.   Egyptians were both very poetic and practical I think.

Another of their symbolic rituals when installing a Pharaoh into their tomb, the last step as all the attendants departed, was to place a watered plate of rice seeds near the sarcophagus.   Thus, in the dark, the seeds would germinate making a last real symbol of “life” for the dead king.   A rather beautiful and intimate ritual.

a gift of salt

no, please, stay with me.   here, my word.   one face.

I am here for you.   just the way I was imagined to be.   so, I am.
when I’m awake I do just what god asks me to.   we call that fair.

                   when am I awake, you might ask.

zinc can make you fresh.   like a tomato bed.   fast asleep.   but no, awake.
it’s the color red.   it’s the scent of soil.   the way your lips are, close to me.

imagine rusty iron.   imagine the color of skin.   imagine being closer than before.     imagine imagining completely the way it is.
                   like an ocean is.

                   we say master, when the world is the way you say it is.   navigate.

imagine seedless melons.   well, we can say, wrong.   imagine seeds inside.
imagine birth.   mother.   imagine wanting more.
                   imagine bigger.
what makes us this way?    zinc.   a little bit.   some sun.   what you eat.   all of it.   what you breath.   what you touch.   understand?   what you see.   what you say.   feeds back inside.   the price of milk.   bread.   directions to the hospital.   the name you name yourself, inside.   even Tuesday’s do.

a donut or two.   rarely.   like many things.   do, or else.
a taste of shellac.   it’s safe you know.   beetle’s backs.   dark navy blue knee-high socks.   a brush to scrub your back.   there see, there you are again.   the movies you watch.   the stories you tell.   the ones we swallow like food.

salt then.   salt makes bigger than.

sugar, yes.   but not so much as to confuse a life.
plum sauce.   you never know when you will.
two spoons tamari.   there is a way you do that no one else does.
butter.   an ounce.   fat is where ideas take root.

                   cooking pots & pans.   as wise as books.

salt.   given by angels.   given by oceans.

salt.   makes the moment sacred.   in a pinch.

salt alone is a bitterness.   salt with another makes the distance sweet.

tongues will make feast upon summer salt.   nothing lost.

          that’s how we know each other.   taste, one of six.

salt.    evergreen.

fully formed

she’s making this up as she goes along.

she’ll make it half a block, then decide.

where she’s going comes into play.

it’s the great unknown they speak about.

catechism never predicted what she found.
this time she heard response from strangers.

she was by all accounts, surprised.
it was counting rocks and measuring water

that revealed the most to her.   unexpectedly.

she said, I speak with them as human beings.

she realized, as is music as are sciences,

she needn’t tighten the strings to appreciate.

just as god doesn’t paint every dawn one by one

a thousand thousand times.
dawn knows what to do.
she observed, we get what we’re ready to receive.

along with birds and rocks, we are god’s agents

here.   beingness is a function of willingness.

openness to possible.
the thing about the ocean is, constant motion.

likewise, she is never only just one person alone.

she is everything touching her.

no borderlines.   wet.
dawn and dusk are one coin.

all that ever was, all that is or will be, emerges here.

the grasp of fingers intertwined.

landing from a sky inside.   we arrive.
while dawn makes day makes dusk makes night,

each interact yet each carries its own table of truths.

plates and knives and spoons and forks.    placed by hand.

the great grand theory of everything is simply

there is not one.   there are many.
we are.
a pleasure when feet find their way.


seventy-five years in one place

gathered here

I’m past obscuring that ruckus fact.

I might even think, how many places?

where have I been, a self-measurement.
a church bell rings.   but not here.

there, two birds in a bush.   maybe three.

I wait.   patiently.   but the cat makes no noise.

neither does it want my gaze.

is that water?   too far I think.   or maybe rain.

geese are not shy of being heard.   they make

mark a certain time of day.   then depart.

or the ferry whistle competing with the fog.

OK, that’s rain.   no doubt this time.

crickets get the last word.