Sunday, December 18, 2011

Keeping Warm

January will return.

A chill sea breeze cuts through the sunny woods, surprising those of us expecting autumn to last forever.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Rapt in a solitary world of two
circling, chasing, courting
communicating who knows what
with locked gazes

Stranger, unseen intruder,
fascinated but uncomfortable
watching ancient rituals
of intimacy

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Small Stone Blogsplash – we need your help…

Kaspa & Fiona have taken over my blog for today, because they need our help.

They are both on a mission to help the world connect with the world through writing. They are also getting married on Saturday the 18th of June.

For their fantasy wedding present, they are asking people across the world to write them a ‘small stone’ and post it on their blogs or on Facebook or Twitter.

A small stone is a short piece of observational writing – simply pay attention to something properly and then write it down. Find out more about small stones here.

If you’re willing to help, we’d love you to do things:

1) Re-post this blog on your own blog any time before June the 18th and give your readers a chance to hear about what we’re doing. You can simply copy and paste the text, or you can find the html here.

2) Write us a small stone on our wedding day whilst we’re saying our vows and eating cake, post it on your blog, and send it to us.

You can find out more about our project at our website, Wedding Small Stones, and you can also read our blog at A River of Stones.

We also have a July challenge coming soon, when we’ll be challenging you to notice one thing every day during July and write it down.

Thank you for listening, and we hope we’ll be returning from our honeymoon to an inbox crammed with small stones, including yours.

Kaspa & Fiona

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beware: Beach Plum Blossoms

Beach Plum blossoms herald spring on the salt-sprayed barrier islands.

Popcorn white blossoms cover the  beach swale,  entwined, however, with an evil partner: poison ivy, juicy red and groping for the unwary.

Beauty and terror in one eyeful.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Utilitarian Ephemera

Grandma's paper of needles lasts nearly forever,  handed down from one reluctant sewer to the next. One loose button, not yet even a decade separated from its shirt, finds its way home at last.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gray-blue Sound

Gull on the eye of
man-in-the-sea, quietly
breathing at low tide.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mug Shots

Twitchy white-throated sparrow,
frozen in time,  paused with the distant,
vaguely hostile gaze of a frontal mug shot,  
and a reluctant profile pose
before flying away to anonymity.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Bloody claws erupt:
a seashore burial prank
gone dreadfully wrong. 

Blank mind beach walk
Prepare for sensory onslaught,
Visualize undiscriminating experience,

But what gurgles forth
To claim a proper moment of attention?
Beachcomber graffiti.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


This morning I joined a Great Backyard Bird Count walk at the Wm. Floyd Estate in eastern Long Island.  It's an annual weekend "citizen science" activity collecting information from birders across North America.  In gale force winds, most birds were hunkered down, quiet and out of sight, but toward the end of the walk, we were treated to a pair of American robins, by no means uncommon, but the first of the season in these parts.   Spring can't be far away!  Else perhaps these impatient robins will come to regret their hurry north in our next white-out.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


As the snow melts here, roaming  gangs of deer are back, prowling their ancestral suburbs, seeking out ornamental plantings not yet gnawed clean away.  I see these poor creatures, collectively impoverished,  malnourished by their own fecundity, seemingly incapable of recognizing how they despoil their own paradise.  They cannot be blamed for their inhuman failure of vision.

I know, it's not January anymore and this isn't a small stone.  I will, however, have a few things to share here from time to time.  I'll try to make it worth your while to drop by occasionally.  Thanks for visiting.

Monday, January 31, 2011

31. Signing off

Monthlong writing fling
ends like a dim memory
of Molloy crawling.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


What is it with Dripping Icicles
within reach
that impels their harvesting?

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Free food for volunteers:
        grim coffee, aged muffins,
redeemed by shining young eyes
at science trivia contest.

Friday, January 28, 2011


The Fallacy of the Daily Stone:
exalt the one
unfairly belittle the rest

  Each moment a beach stone
"Pick me!  Pick me!"

Thursday, January 27, 2011


How much thought
goes on behind this wary eye
in 3 milliseconds?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Condensation Polymer:
joins  double-male
making chains from fragile links.

see also Condensation Polymers poem by dale
and this video chemistry demonstration

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Unfaded primary colors
after years of quiet bovine companionship,
Office scenery
as faithful as the Swiss friend
Who once liberated this poster for me.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Archaic interferometer ramp generator
      touchy piezo alignment
      fringe lock stabilization asymmetry
Divergence?  Optical flatness? Photodiode bandwidth?
Good enough for government work?

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Backyard lemons migrate east
No time to evolve thick winter fur 


Three hours vanish, traceless
blended into empty transit time
          substituting for what was once
          (and someday soon may again be)
          the voyage of a lifetime.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Waking itchy, tight skin over rosy cheekbones:
January sunburn in Paradise.


Not exactly an accidental observation, noted by attentive presence in the moment.
At few other places on Earth can one watch and listen to hundreds of northern elephant seals besides
Año Nuevo Point

Birthing, nursing, establishing mating dominance, but mostly conserving energy and lolling around on the beach like fat slugs on winter holidays.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Grass-fed pig ears
Corn-fed carrots
Biodynamic sea salt
Disconcerting sunshine
January in Oakland.


Five chairs against the walls turn an X-ray corridor
to a sparse waiting room, offering no more
to read than a single Harley Davidson magazine,
to the mild distress of our momentary companion patient,
evidently no biker.

"Here, try my Walrus,"
We discover another closeted Canadian.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Urban Redwood summit:
Canine micro-wilderness
Land-marked by urine,
Primate stone-scribbles
& Government graffiti.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Oblivion, not!
Snipped, scattered.
Respectful return to woods
After Christmas cheer.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Feedlot tree
Happy now, unsuspecting.
But come Christmas 2014
A flash of cheer, then oblivion.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Dunkel Test:
Knowing what went wrong,
{Malt, hops, yeast} palette might be transcended.
Resilient microbiology.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Eyes squint shut against bitter windy glare,
a chill iodiferous swell
tells my nose where I am.

January beach stones

Small ones floating on quartz sand
enlaced in ice-sand.

Big ones not yet polished round
enfilmed by crystal sea-foam.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Enforced day of rest
Working up a sweat
'cleaning' the pristine snow.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Quadrature Fourier transform
  radio-frequency lock-in
  fiber laser frequency comb
  with yellow masking tape

Monday, January 10, 2011


Super Monday: back-to-work day,
expecting fires to put out.
Sure enough: even before the coffee's brewed,
insistent strobes and bells announce emergency.

Donning silly vest and hat,
Counting the morning people leaving,
Accounting for those not yet present,
Who won't need to chill outside while false alarm clears.

Coffee is ready, let the real fires begin.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Six tidy piles of mail
   Decorate an otherwise uncluttered kitchen island,
   Count the days away from postal trivia,
   Evoke a smile for the thoughtful house-sitter.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Noble moose, backwoods icon.
Beer label   well, ok.
But convict?
Zebra cross-dresser?
Cop jokes.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Deceptively calm and bright,
Chill winter climb alone up unfamiliar mountain trails.
Bootprints before me turn back or aside,
Until only  small-foot mammal tracks precede me to alpine ponds.

"Can't get lost here," I think,
as I retrace the woodland superhighway I had climbed with focus.
Free to wander in my mind now,
Adjust layers, notice the flurries, rejoin familiar footprints descending.
No drama after all.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Long shadows

Anxious to get home before sundown