Sunday, December 4, 2016

Travertine Revisited

When my longtime friend, Willie, read this poem 8 years ago, he wrote a comment that was a poem in itself and joined the one I wrote: "Why does this remind me of some of your... poems from some 40 years ago? Perhaps it's that focusing down through layers and layers of existence to what turns out to be the pebble."

Layers and layers of limestone sediment and time is pretty much what travertine is. But there's more. There's light and life and ages snagged in this mineral that is also a recording mechanism. You take old limestone and polish it right in a rockgrinder and you get snapshots of old forests --and, in imagination, scenes of prehistoric life. My favorite bit of travertine got doodled again last year and recently used in another blog. Here is the rock (upper left), with its real scene of million year-old tree trunks in it, and my doodle of imagined dancers below.

Here is the poem:


Eyes of creatures long gone
And what they saw are
Caught under crystal
From solution--
Light of other days compressed
Into stone, deposited
Here and there--
Their tongues lapping
At the surface of waters
Long since turned
To desert.
Here, amid red,
Green, yellow are
Black veins in
Travertine that tell
Of seas, rivers, lakes
Come and gone,
Prairies carbonized.
There is much to read
In a pebble. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Back Porch Poem

Grampa's pistola,
A watch --gold-- a
Rule of folding brass,
A netting shuttle I
Watched, when I was
Little,  get whittled
From shingle under
A shady tree sees me.
Grandma's scissors parked
In Portuguese cork,
A box of pins,
This is how settlement
Begins: someone
Builds a shadow,
A shadowbox, and under
Glass each soul looks
Out, out of the past,
And in reflection
Sees outlines of
Things to be --like
Us, like you and me.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Cosmos stooped
Over stone today.
Raindrops ran their
Rail into shadow.
Nothing is really alone.
All our roots are there.
Where raindrops go,
Stems lean, life shares.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

North Gate

This wall away --things
Forgot-- is not well-laid.
A weightless thought
Alone can shift stone,
And this jumble of
Memory will lift and
Tumble out to me.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Transit umbra, lux permanet

Shadow passes, light remains.
What follows --bodies, brains,
Lives, worlds-- contains what
Unfurls in quotient: energies
Sent in rhythm from the sun.
To be or not to be -- or two
Bees on a sunflower-- this
Unmeasured hour matters not 
To me, but when I see this photo, 
Taken by my wife, I see what 
Sun and shadow made 
Of life: "...pretty sunflower
waves hello." --her caption.
I for one must laud the
Light that made it so.