Weekly Poem 12-22-15 The Black Forest

The Black Forest


Birds speak like children eager to be heard

Louder and louder until one dominates the conversation

Where water rushes, eager

to reach the end.


Here, where a woman is digging

her old body heaving shovels

of cow scent earth. She

pauses looking at her black land

her house, the upper level a barn

to keep her warm.


Nearby, a chapel sits, the

doll’s house model of the baroque

twin towers in the village.

A crucifix hangs on the door

White against the trees

Rangy pines, darken

into shadows.


And I think of the person

who planted these,

I imagine it was you

who crept between

the logging machines,

pushing seeds down with your thumb.


I try to remember when

these forests touched

in every walking place.

I close my eyes

And you are not here,


Yet I know,

I know the sky’s color

Would race down

and embrace us

like it has for us

in spaces before.

(from 1988)

This is a poem I wrote while in the Black Forest in Germany. The speaker is an immortal being returning to place of significance. It’s also a poem about missing someone I wanted with me on my travels.

REMINDERS about WEEKLY POEMS: If you decide to use my poem somewhere, please let me know, credit the author, and link it back to my website. Thank you!

Frosty Morning

A thick frost this morning.

Looking toward Indian Island in Eastsound.

I love the yellow light of the sunrise contrasting against the soft gray.



A frosty field with Mount Constitution behind the clouds on the right.


Weekly Poem-11-18-15 Starling Murmation

I have many poems sitting around on my computer collecting dust. I decided to start sharing some of them. I am far from being a brilliant poet, but this seems like the right thing to do. 


Starling Murmation


Patterns of pepper separate and swirl together

A vortex of wings,

Waves across the sky scatter and connect,

Over the cottonwood trees

Branches like shredded ribbons from the wind.

Silver leaves tarnished under clouded sky.


The birds merge and separate,

Twisted into a helix of wing and body.


Shifting of light and shadow,

The patterns illuminate something active

Controlled choreography

Not random or indifferent,


Patterns seeking connection.

Each bird responsible for a piece of twisted sky,

Perfect swarms of light.

(From November 2011)


This poem came about after seeing a bird murmation near Crescent Beach on Orcas Island. 

REMINDERS about WEEKLY POEMS: If you decide to use my poem somewhere, please let me know, credit the author, and link it back to my website. Thank you!

Dare Mighty Things

On a visit to JPL last year, I saw this sign in a building:


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I’m not a scientist, not even close. I am in awe of all things inventive and new about science. I love the realm of possibility.


Dare Mighty Things doesn’t even make sense exactly. I mean, how do you dare a thing? Yet, that’s one of the reasons why I like the sign so much.


My sons and other members of my family have science brains. They can wrap their heads around abstract possibility, force, nature, numbers. I stand back and nod in awe.

Innovation leads to success,

Yet, failure is also a huge part of innovation.

Daring means things go wrong too. Mighty doesn’t happen unless we take risks

I think pretty much everything Elon Musk does is amazing, yet even with an innovative company like Space X, failure happens.

I cannot create an alternative fueled spaceship or navigate rovers on planets, but I can write.

The past few years I’ve had my own version of spectacular rockets blowing up.

Years of work on novels end in fiery ruin.

I stare at the pieces and start over,

Do it again

And again

And again.


Sometimes, it get’s hard,

Painfully, wretchedly hard.

But what other choice do I have?


I have to create.

I have to write.

I cannot stop.


When I face that blank screen, the possibilities swarm through my brain.

My own version of space travel starts when my fingers hit the keyboard.

To possibility and beyond! 





For a day of peace.

These are not the kinds of anniversaries I don’t like.

I prefer to look back on happy days, beautiful moments, a new level of understanding.

Here’s to a future with more love and less war.



Writers and others Involved in Projects,

You know that point when you have that Really Great Idea or RGI and plunge passionately into a project only to find yourself completely stuck a short time later?

Yes, I think you know what I mean.

Well, that’s happened to me. Fifty pages in, and I’m staring at Scrivener like it’s an unreadable map.

So, here’s my list of things to do to get going again:

1–Go back to my outline and see what I need to work on. Add, develop, or otherwise change.

2–Take a walk. Okay, I take lots of walks, but these do help.

3–Talk to my critique group.

4–Read. I have to be careful with this one; I tend to read to avoid getting unstuck.

5–Daydream. I do this every day, non stop. I’m a daydreaming champion!

6–Clean the house. My best ideas happen when I’m doing things I dislike . . .

7–Eat chocolate. This needs no explanation.

8–Talk to my sons. They’re funny, have good ideas, and are brutally honest about my bad ideas.

9–Remind myself how my day job is not my dream job. Always motivating!

10–Set a timer and get it done! One word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page . . .


Time to turn a RGI into a RGFT (Really Great Finished Thing)!

Looking for Whales

I spent last Saturday morning at Lime Kiln State Park on San Juan Island.

It was still early. The crowds hadn’t arrived yet.

Lime Kiln State Park

Lime Kiln State Park

I searched for whales, but there were none to be found. I saw some harbor porpoises, but they disappeared before I could get a photo.

The lighthouse looked lovely in the morning light.