Archive for the 'poetry' category

somehow I missed these pages

Dec 14 2010 Published by under poetry

what do you do with those blank pages in a notebook, lab book, or journal? Not the ones at the beginning or end, but the pages you accidentally miss while writing, or skip when they stick together. Do you go back and use them for something else or just let them lie empty?

somehow I missed these pages
nestled in a mountain of thoughts
two blank pages that appear
in the heart of the furor
blank and waiting

a pause, lull in the ringing sound
a moment without movement
an empty page, not the beginning
nor the end of the journey
but a moment forgotten, ignored

how many blank pages are there?
prolonged moments of sublime nothing
between the rise and the fall
these empty pages are a testament
to all those moments that leave no mark

a child on the street, begging for coins
a glass of scotch among old friends
the ticket taker on the train
or the quiet taxi driver.
moments that mean nothing, but are everything.

I shall fill these empty pages
with moments from the void
that were, but are never remembered.

2 responses so far

How to always have a clean(er) pair of underwear while working in the field

Dec 10 2010 Published by under poetry

begin with three pairs
wear pair one for one day
wear pair two for one day
wear pair three for two days
you now have two pairs that are cleaner than pair three

now start the cycle again, but this time
wear pair one for two days
wear pair two for two days
wear pair three for two days
you still have two pairs that are cleaner than pair three

continue extending the days
after each cycle, the "fresh" underwear
will always seem much cleaner

wear pair one for three days
wear pair two for three days
wear pair three for three days
repeat forever and enjoy your field season.

3 responses so far

the song they all sing

Dec 09 2010 Published by under poetry

On a spice plantation in India,
it echoes through the cashew trees. The song
that slowly changes, the song they all sing.
The same song they sing on the Beaufort docks,
while mending their empty shrimp nets. The song
that sharply rises, the song they all sing.
And on a coffee farm in New Guinea,
among the hog hands of Carolina,
in the California vineyards, the song.
A somber hymnal, the song they all sing.

How can it be that men who work the earth,
from distant nations, alien cultures,
all sing the song? In their own languages,
yet still, the same song. The song they all sing.
The drought is too long, the rains are too short,
the frost too early, the spring comes to late,
and no one remembers a time before,
when they could not predict changing seasons.
And the ones who see sing a song. The song
for a broken world, the song they all sing.

One response so far

5 lines about sea level rise

Nov 23 2010 Published by under poetry

slack, the moment before the drop, when the sea lies still, entranced
low, the plunge, as the ocean lifts her veil, beckoning beneath
rising, the rushing surge of surf and foam through unmarked inlets
high, waters' dominance over land, barriers wash away
and beyond, the eerie silence of a tide that never falls.

One response so far

Tiny Oceans

Nov 08 2010 Published by under poetry

Tiny Oceans

It's just a little spit of bay
a few fathoms from my house
populated by derelicts
rotting on their moorings.

Or the channel that runs between
our dock and Carrot Island
where we take students to watch whelks
at low tide, by moonlight.

The beach by Ironsteamer Pier
where children dig for sand crabs
while I sit watching the tide fall
in the August sun.

It's the braying banker horses
where Diamond City once stood
now lost to the enduring dunes
a legend, forgotten.

And it's the old menhaden plant
abandoned on its island
as skiffs and leisure boats steam by
empty and unaware.

It's the fish house at the end of Front Street
the old piling we used to climb
shrimp boats, waiting for their captains
marshes, mud flats, sand.

It's a thousand tiny oceans
empty, waiting to be filled.

No responses yet

Four haikus on the coalescent

Nov 07 2010 Published by under poetry

a shared history
unites geneology
time moving backwards

two populations
both alike in character
no private alleles

demes across divides
isolation-by-distance
deep divergence times

modeling gene flow
legacy of dispersal
migration laid bare

One response so far

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