Well, someone reminded me , again, that I have a blog. I've been busy scribbling on the new project, a MS to combine poems I've written with references to or influenced by Thoreau — combining them with autobiographical entries in prose. To let you know (you faithful few) that I'm still here, here are two poems which have nothing to do with that project. They're just poems recently written or revised. Seasonal: autumn's end a distant hope of spring.
Every snowflake is unique, we're told by
those who can not possibly know — "every"
being an infinite term. But a perfectly
safe contention since error guarantees
results will vary even in repeated measure
of the same, the real shape the average of
But lets leave knit-picks aside
for, on this mid-October, sunless, windless
morning there is as yet no snow, I stand
and watch oak leaves fall. Each leaf, bent, stiff,
in dying, falls uniquely to a common fate —
well, a singular end — and each seems free
to fall its own way: glide, twist, tumble, spiral .
Each pathway of descent, inscribed, would add
another fiber to a random woven screen
to shield us from regrets of the season's
I turn to science and propose my
hypothesis: that, as no two snowflakes
share the same shape, no two oak leaves ever
follow the same path in falling — and my excuse
for standing here is testing my hypothesis.
My paper will be titled Free Will Falling.
Maple Syrup Season
"What's worth more — or was it less? — Uncle George
would ask, "a fart in a wind storm, or a
piss hole in the snow?". It's odd what's recalled
when it might be just as well forgotten.
For several days of maple tapping weather
I've stepped outside at dawn. The sun has inched
its way north to clear the notch in the eastern
hills across the frozen pond by dawn which
makes us think of spring despite the snow
piled along the walk where I stand in robe
and slippers near the wood pile. The sun's light
gives only light as I watch the piss hole grow,
remembering today how unaccountably
we recall some silly childhood phrase or joke
like the title of an imaginary book,
The Yellow Stream: the author, I .P. Freely.
What is worth more, the certainty I assign
the sun's slow ascension. the will with which I
act out the ritual of seasons, or the
lemon-custard yellow flowering on snow?
And why just these random, seeming useless
memories? Why indeed, to paraphrase
Thoreau, should these things make up my world
as I stand here, glad the wind's not blowing?