Enough Rope

So I gave them enough rope 
like you said, and they 
tied me up with it.

I bring this up, because 
if you'll recall our conversation 
you had said, and I quote...

Yes, I'll hold.

Copenhagen

Light particles already
waved their goodbye as
apparent effects when they entered the eye

See the studious chaps
when the functions collapse
asking who, what and where, also why

Probability means
what it means when it does
but cannot when it probably doesn't

Does not at all mean
the experiment seen
was such, when it probably wasn't

A Word Apart

The space bar keeps the words apart
as if they want to fight
but if they ran together all
it wouldn’t be quite right.

A little space is what we need
for us to get along
a little time to catch our breath
correct me if I’m wrong.

So let me tell you this one thing
my lips upon your ear
let’s enjoy ourselves apart
for six months, no a year.

To this she said a decade
would hardly be enough
and gathered all her things in arm
and left in quite the huff.

I said I didn’t mean it
but she’d gone and hadn’t heard
now my space bar mocks me
at the end of every word.

Well now I’ve gone and done it
to deny it would be wrong
I went and done wrote lyrics
to a goofy country song.


A Word Apart originally appeared here October 5th, 2016.

Gallery, July 2020

Here’s some photos from a brief visit to the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, and a few around the Hive, all taken in the last week of July, 2020. My latest obsession is the High Pass filter which, when abused, gives that smokey, dreamy look. Both bird photos taken at home. At the nature center I saw no birds at all, as in none.

Catwalk

Catwalk grating with treatment.

it's nice when things are smooth to touch
our fingers like this very much

and good when walkways claw and grip
our feet don't like it when we slip

especially when we're way up high
as we could fall and maybe die

before we've had a chance to mend
our evil ways: we meet our end

Chakra

The Wheel

Behold the wheel as motion incarnate. Inventor of the metaphor. Roundation is its pride, spokes the whispering of its ministers, its axle the secret grief. Turning until the grease dries up, then burning.

A mechanism, its gears a-turning. In thinking, wheels turning, turning. Spheres of influence, around, around. Circles have no need of ground. Sanskrit chakra has a sound like wheels knocking cobbled lanes. Strike and clap again, again. The arc, a portion of the round, its back is bent. It makes no sound.

The curve that sneaks in fluidly all paths and motions, blunts the angle, rounds the bend, transcribes the swing. It does its thing. It snugs the rim of hat and crown. Same as same when upside down! Once gone, just wait, it comes around.

Self, the center of conception, the spokes relate in rays the scenes. The never was but could have beens. What comes around, will go around, in startless parts, no stops or starts. It turns upon its secret grief. The axle happy in its grease. How does it make its way, by feel?

The ship, it has a steering wheel.

Fascist Boot-heels Come On Down

Here’s a little protest ditty in honor of the Federal forces invading Portland, and the armed MAGAs who cheer them on. May you all be arrested, detained, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law, if there’s anything left of it when Barr & Co. complete their project. (The cadence is the same as a boot camp drill sergeant’s call-and-response song.)


Fascist boot-heels come on down
     the dread antifa's in our town
Follow this psychotic clown
     you can't tell up from fuckin' down

Fascist traitors you're in luck
     folks down here is dumb as fuck
They clutch their guns and cry in fear
     dressed up in their combat gear

They see Dumbo spouting lies
     about the libtards they despise
And realize 'he thinks like me'
     there is no shame in hatred, see

Just tell'em it's okay to hate
     you bring your torch and don't be late
We'll burn a cross and knock some heads
     come on down and join the Feds

The unmarked cops will cast a net
     and disappear some bums, you bet
You'll know that it can happen here
     when jackboot troopers club your ear

Forget your daddy fought a war
     to stop them nazis ever more
Now the nazis run the place
     you cheer them on in all disgrace

The framers they can't help us now
     they weren't all-knowing anyhow
Quote us now some Thomas Paine
     while it's all twirling down the drain

We'll fix it come election day
     unless they figure out a way
To thwart the People's will, at last
     and disappear the vote you cast

Fascist boot-heels come on down
     the dread antifa's in our town
There is no time to fool around
     you don't know up from fuckin' down

Birding

Cooper’s Hawk

Birding can be difficult to understand for the uninitiated. I have many times spoken excitedly with coworkers about a bird I’d seen that morning and sensed that they were feigning interest while quietly wishing I’d just hurry up and finish my story. (I do the same thing when people talk excitedly about their favorite team winning a game.) If you haven’t made the connection yourself, it is hard to see what the fuss is about.

There are two main types of birding: planned and unplanned. Unplanned is the best—it’s like getting an unexpected bonus. A third kind is a blend of the two, just noticing local bird-life as you go about your day, the no-big-deal birds because you see them all the time. This is still birding, but not the kind you write home about. So between the three, we are always either birding, or ready to be birding on short notice. Sometimes we eat and get some sleep.

I was taking a small bag of garbage out to the receptacle on the street the other morning and noticed a bird, startled by my presence, flush from the ground in the empty lot across the street. The lot there is cleared for new construction and I see doves, pigeons, and sparrows there all the time, but this bird was bigger so I stopped and focused. It was a hawk of some kind, with prey in its grip, flying straight into our property.

I went back in the gate and looked around, but could not spot it. Then a few minutes later I heard the Blue Jays start squawking and crying. This is reliable hawk-alert behavior for jays. They hate raptors and are fearless in their efforts to expel them from their territory. They will scream and dive-bomb a hawk until it gets fed up and leaves. This I have seen many times now. So I followed the noise and located the bird, halfway up an oak, perched on a thick branch and dining on its prey. I could see the striped tail and for sure had a Cooper’s Hawk up there.

On the rooftop.

This tree happens to be located next to the apartment building so I grabbed my camera and headed to the rooftop with the intention of sneaking up and getting a photo. There’s plenty of foliage between myself and the oak up there, but I did find a gap that afforded a nice view, without the hawk noticing me. The above photo is the result.

I watched for a while as the jays kept at it, the hawk ignoring them and picking away it is victim. I could not see what unlucky bird it was, but statistically most likely a White-winged Dove, the most plentiful hawk prey around here.

So there you have it: I was minding my own business, doing a mundane chore, and all of a sudden I’m birding. I know what you’re thinking and you are right: we birders are all nuts. What we do borders on the sort of compulsive behavior that some would think needs treatment. Maybe so, but as maladies go this one is pretty enjoyable.