A Round the Corner
“When thou made the quadrangle round,
then is all the secret found.”
- George Ripley, The Compound of Alchymie
2. Grown Here Before
4. Love in Process
6. Why I Love You
8. No One Cares…But
10. Maple Fingers
11. What You Taught Me About Them
12. Seven Billion Counting
2. A Round the Corner
3. Bits and Pieces
11. Stars in Us
12. Greater Good
6. No Escape
10. High Energy
12. Space / Time
So the numbers say
But not lacking in flavor here any day
Cooking in steady mid-life as we speak
Master chef in your thermonuclear oven
Known by many names you’ve always been the same
Sending energetic winds to stir us high above
Cycles flaring every eleven years adding violent magnetic spice
Constantly dishing out a thousand watts to each hungry table here below
We should not take you for granted
As though you are not truly
Grown Here Before
Roll with the changes.
Novel psychology? No, see the
Book Of Changes, I Ching
Archetypes of the unconscious
Not a new Jungian love affair
Ask the gods of Mt. Olympus
Get rich quick schemes?
Going on since the tax collector was
Called out by Jesus to give up his fortune
Compassion with conservative tones-
Not premiered here- just perverted since true Compassion
Knows no bounds or recipients
You think it’s your greatest idea, in reality
Been around forever
Furthering nothing but promoting more of you
Lose weight! Bulk up! Feel young!
Sounds new because people have no other life today for
Moving, lifting, walking, or sweating out stress
Social media! Connect now! Real time!
All just poor reality-free TV substitutes for
Meeting, talking, knowing warm personal faces
What is left now but
Newer, more concentrated artificial sweeteners?
Pure sugar was grown here before
Sun’s nearest neighbor
Flying low at twilight
Starting small, thinking bigger
Short years, long days, magnetic ways
Love in Process
Born without asking - or did I? -
Request another chance to make it right
Riding the circle another time to perfection
Putting pieces together from past life with
Every correct answer now in my sight
As a singularity what was I going to be?
Standing alone like a tree in an open meadow
Looking for what or who I never knew
Waiting, wanting and hoping to find
Pieces of my missing self in another one’s shadow
At the moment I felt most empty
I fell in love with a beautiful girl
Ever since that day we’ve been together
Even when we’re separated by an ocean
She’s still within me like a pearl
Seeds of life are a gift from life before
Though still we question our very origin
Unaware that in the most silent doubtful moment
We never were alone at all
Love was in process before it began
Evening or morning star
Not a star at all
Not pretty up close
In this furnace of our family
Vanity’s mirror keeps deadly heat within
Liquefying passions like molten lead
So my dear Earth’s sister
As close as we are together
How little love we have to share
Why I Love You
First of all: there is no simple Why
As if I’m still making up my mind to
Chose between some objects on the shelf -
Consumer Reports no more - shopping time is over -
We are already enjoying what we’ve got
Which brings me to who you are and how
You radiate something special
Just look at all you’ve taught me:
To love people, so many of whom you’ve helped
Listened to, worked with, wondered about
How you’ve taught me love of people’s best friend
Without whom you never would be complete
How their warm ways have enriched my cold self
They all loved you and you never let them down
I should be so lucky to know how to know why
Your reflection mirrors the Sun
Shining by night, mostly unseen by day, while
We always wonder what we will be doing by moonlight
Facing each other we dance and spin
I with my oceans all around
You with a new face now and again
Lovers look to you for inspiration
Seeking to connect with their missing other side
Consummating what they find in summer nights under your light
Facing each other we dance and spin
While oceans here are falling low
Your face becomes a crescent again
Around our only Sun
We orbit all for one
Weaving our path together
Facing each other, dancing and spinning
I rise and fall with liquid attraction
Watching you wax to a new beginning
When once again your face is full -
Legend has it that werewolves may prowl -
Transfigured – transformed - lunatics out of control!
Still facing each other we dance and spin
Oceans now moved to bring high tide in
Your face perfectly round now as we
Cycle through all of your familiar shapes again
Surrounded by oceans without, emotions within,
Facing each other while we divinely dance and endlessly spin
No One Cares…But
Fallen down, laughed at
No one cares just how you achieved that
Foolish, funny position, as they stare at
You at the bottom of the stairs
Or did someone see you on the way there?
Lost your way, no direction home
Thinking you’ve even forgotten where you’re goin’
You could ask for a little help, but it’s moot
When a Mapquest or a Google route
Would get you there without a human’s boot
Robbed, everything taken, feeling downer than down
Everyone around you has high times going on
Sparkling jewels, places to go, things to do
Everything you once aspired to
How can you ever feel rich again and new?
Worst of all, your friends are lost and gone
Though they were few but always strong
Those you counted on, lose or win
Those with whom you’d never end
Just wanted to get the gang back together again
So if there’s nothing and that’s the end
Maybe you’re wrong. Because it’s just about knowing
What is living beyond that dark smoky screen
Lost in all the magic you may have been missing
Someone who cares but remains unseen
Hidden. Silent. Secretly watching you
What you are doing, how you’ve been struggling
Knowing every place you should be going
Replacing old doubts with hope that’s new
No one cares, so you feel…
But maybe we do.
Third one out
Next to none
Home to everyone
I’ve ever known
Ten thousand hands wave in the sky
Rising together, moving with the slightest breeze
Each individually unique, yet organically organized
Serving the business of one magnificent, unified being
We simply call a tree.
Now a leaf may not need actual fingers
Or need to do what we normally like to do
Like holding, moving, playing, working, loving
Or just picking up food to drop in our mouths.
Hand holding is not needed at all; they know a better way.
Not all leaves have fingers, at least not grouped in fives
There may be but a single proud digit
Long and thin as blades, shaped like ovals, hearts or spades.
Towering palms. Lowly blades of grass. Poison leaves of three.
Uniquely, visible veins in a maple leaf proudly reveal its winning hand.
A single stem, replicated with fractal fashion,
Makes the critical connection to branch and then trunk
Held loosely enough to move yet communicate and transport
Air, water, energy, and essential elements
Handing them off from above to below, and back.
These veins tell the story of the heavens brought to Earth.
Handiwork of the finest biochemical machine imaginable:
To grow without desire except to be in the way of the Sun
To give endlessly without asking for any kind of payment
All the while appearing quietly modest but outrageously beautiful.
Dutifully, peacefully, receiving the abundant blessing of solar flux
Releasing oxygen from water, its universal captor
Fixing carbon dioxide into its own body to grow strong
Asking nothing more in return but a healthy Earth to live upon
All the while decorating its face with living glory.
This is a normal Maple year: To bud, grow, and live,
To (apparently) die in Autumn, diffracting into rainbows of green, yellow and
Drying and falling down to Earth without a parachute
Then coldly being transformed back to basic nutrients
Until Spring opens up Winter’s grip to build toward the sky once more
What You Taught Me About Them
Two pairs of eyes glowing in the dark
Soft paws leading to sharp whiskers
First introduced us to each other
From them I first learned quietly
In mostly psychic, Sphinx-like ways
How to sit, stare, silently being there
Eventually when these lives could not last forever
I was there through final days, hours and minutes
Witnessing life needing to expire before me
Soon enough, bigger, louder friends would enter in
Starting as puppies wrapped in blankets
Held tightly throughout the night
Opening a new book the first chapter was training
So we learned how to walk together
Walk, pull and run, going outside, going far
Always happy when we’d come home
Always ready to meet, greet, eat and go back out
Being ‘just’ a human would never be the same
Friendship in a warm fur coat!
Joy in a toothy tongue-waving smile!
Boundless energy of bright-eyed wagging love!
Thank you for taking me back to school
Opening endless books of animal stories
Making me a better man
Seven Billion Counting
Individuals written large
Eighty million more per year
220K a day
Nine thou an hour
A buck fifty a minute
Birth frequency = approximately 2.5 Hertz
Faster than a beating heart
“One” defines unique-
Never more and never even existed-
“Two” was dawn’s First Creation
From there grew every root of today’s tree of humanity
Wildly successful beyond design
Multiplying now exponentially
Combinations, permutations, all relations
Help connect the one to the many.
Superconscious, synchronous, ubiquitous
Are ways we can connect with ourselves
Part of a group, a granfaloon
Needing a sense of belonging to
Something greater than our individuality
Organized in tribes did we
Prove time tested ways of life
Raising young, revering elders
Providing for the common good
Teaching, sharing, passing along established traditions
Warring, winning, slowly evolving
All the while never straying outside of those very norms
Family, nucleus, forcefully bound together
Communities, neighborhoods, share the load
Commerce, transportation, communication connect and grow
Towns, cities, counties sprinkle in local flavor
States define and bind a country
Countries, borders artificially divide
Earth as one planet spinning in space
Blasting into the future caught us by surprise
One leg grounded in old traditions
The other leg stretching to reach the sky
Bedroom community. Work from home.
Commuter dad. Single, mom. Virtual family.
Alternatives at every turn.
Prospects confuse as complexities cry out for attention
Now how do we do the worldly math?
Conserve every possible life?
Is every sperm and egg sacred?
If sacred: turn up the multiplier
If optional: define the choice
If undesired: control uncontrolled growth
If we do not know: status quo
Small outer neighbor
Rusty red, dry, unbreathable
Nothing to do with human war
Peacefully our rovers crawl across your face
Sniffing and snapping photographs
Getting to know you better
If you had atmosphere, if you had life
It might be feverishly fun
On nights when your two moons are full
A Round the Corner
Roughly speaking: corners, defined, are square, not round
(What wizard quipped “cake ‘r’ square, pie ‘r’ round”?)
So we bend some rules to get there as we move on.
More precisely: to turn a corner is to
Move orthogonally, at ninety degrees
Like a chess rook on Euclidean coordinate boards
Turning a new direction is simply a full left or right turn.
Diagonals are a fraction of this. In an airplane you can experience
3D freedom including up and down besides left and right.
Turning corners can be scary.
A body in motion tends to remain the same unless forced to change.
We experience forces when we force ourselves to turn.
Stuck in a linear rut forever goes nowhere. It’s boring too.
Not to change ignores the spiral change potential of life
Risking to leave us behind forever in a lost, useless past.
How can we turn corners as a people?
Religions have taught us many ways:
Godliness. Selflessness. One in the Same.
Change sides. Move around. Seek the other view.
Talk to others. Wait your turn in line. Don’t think you are always right.
Pray for your enemies. Pray for yourself. Pray for us all.
Humanity has shortcut many corners leading to oppression and war
Yet of our many wrong turns some have been toward light
Showing the true way: leaves of a flower seek sun.
We can grow strong, decide where we go, and control who we will be.
How will we navigate our next move? It’s a matter of simply going a
Round the Corner.
Bits and Pieces
Remnants of something that once was
Lost in space between here and
The Next Big Thing
A life in between
Nothing but a smattering of
Big, round solid things
You thought you should be part of
Never mind what they say about you
It really means nothing because
If you would ever be in control
Your damage would be quite smashing
Into those big guys that is
The ones on the map
Never mind, you have your space
Your address is Asteroid Gap
Did you ever feel like this?
Tossed aside, blown apart
Part of nothing
Waiting for a new start
A life in between
Nothing but a smattering of
Big, round, more solid things
You thought you should be part of
Welcome to reality
This is the family
We exist like this
There is no other way
Bits and pieces are part of the whole.
Almost a sun.
Gaseous and frozen outside
Yet mysteriously warming inside
Seen every night since human birth
Among your dozens of moons
Some of them could be an Earth.
First of our large outer brothers and sisters
Your great red spot alone could swallow us whole.
A god among planets you are
“A rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world”.
Nelson Mandela endured 27 years in prison
Treated like an animal for being who he is.
When set free he took back his country
Without revenge in his heart, through nonviolence in the streets,
Winning by the new election process including all the people
Leading his country on a path toward freedom and equality.
I am so humbled by this man and this story
My own petty life situations and challenges fading to nothing
I can only breathe anew and cry out thanks for
A saint among men once again in our lifetime.
I am white, I am American, I feel the struggle and energy
Of all of us on this poor messed up planet.
These words end here so I can go to work to continue this cause.
Sixth from the Sun
Most distant to ancients
Known since the beginning
Fully seen only with telescope eyes
Had we a pool big enough
You could easily float in it
Dense you are not, mostly hydrogen you are
Cold outside, metallic but soft
Best known for your marvelous rings –
Oh, the rings! –
We now have pictures taken up close
Dazzling us with razor thin rainbow beauty
Don’t touch that candle! It’s hot!
Mother’s warning pours into our young ears
We love mother and believe her.
It must be good advice.
We could continue to believe what mother said
Never testing the rules or thinking about it again.
But one day we put our finger in the flame anyway
Forgetting – or challenging – that advice.
It did not hurt if we moved fast enough
Thanks to newly discovering speed and duration.
While physical plasma endures like the sun
We might luckily glide in and out of its flaming presence.
Perhaps we choose to try the experience over and over
Experimentally finding a way to avoid hurting ourselves
Eventually learning new ways to touch fire that
Mother never told us about, or ever imagined herself
We could find good ways to mitigate bad results
Using other prudent advice that mother gave us
Growing accustomed to novel results
Or even putting them to useful purpose.
We could become quite addicted to the thrill of
Burnt flesh, continually returning to the forbidden deed
Once we had found just the right amount of near burns
Producing pleasant and interesting new effects.
What if for some reason like an X-man gene
We could start our own flames without help?
We could change the rules for ourselves while wondering
If we should extend the ability to everyone else:
Not a comic book, this reads more like the story of mankind
To doubt, look deeper, struggle with truth, challenge belief
To end up knowing more than mother and hoping
Mother would understand.
So far away you were mistaken for a star
Lucky seven, cool as ice you are
Blue, bland at first sight
Crawling around your long orbit with 20-year seasons
Spinning sideways like no one else
We recognize your attitude
More power to you for being so bold
To end up that way on your side
Somehow you turned
A Round the Corner
Ancient man barely survived
Competing as animals against animals
Not long after, a few wide but shallow and aggressive ones
Thought they were somehow better than the rest
Soon entire civilizations unwittingly submitted to
Shallow differences used as weapons of suppression.
History is bloated with overconsumption of the flesh.
Dominating others. I Am Better. King, pawn.
Ruling class, bereft of class. Super rich, struggling poor.
Slave, free. Superior, inferior. Superman, not even a man.
Apparently this human flaw is evolving, but can it ever be ending?
Mountains seem unmovable, yet through millennia rise and wear away.
Not by birth, money, race or religion!
Not by anything predetermined by fake power brokers!
Dawning now, early transitions begin to engage
All of Earth’s billions in broadly spreading rainbow arcs.
Leaders speak eloquently; those who will, carefully listen.
Politicians scheme, others dream of solutions:
Those who walk lift up those who can’t
Dancers give nimble new legs to tired old sitters
Poets write prophetically; all shall learn to read
Creative artists recreate us all
Mathematicians multiply exponents, others simply add
Taught by those who are smart, all become smart
Random rungs on directionless ladders appear to confuse with
Countless artificial colors without social order
No longer even ruled by worthless promises of snake oil
Shedding that skin to metamorphose into
The future, relentlessly moving ahead
Humankind waking up and living new dreams
Not by any predetermined external code but by
Choosing to rise up and live in our highest levels
Nothing about King of the Sea
Suits you but your distance
Truly commanding the last outpost before
Our family ends far short of the nearest star
Most distant of our brothers and sisters
Unknown to ancients as a planet, Galileo took you for a star
We have now visited you but only in passing
On our journey to explore up close what lies far beyond you
Stars in Us
They begin as dark wisps of simple gases
More dispersed than Earth’s best vacuum
Pulled and congealed slowly by gravity
Catalyzed by dusty magnetism, so far
Quiet. But not yet alive.
Eventually the time of birth arrives
Gestation being ticked off in millennia
Hotter and denser does the young pre-stellar object grow
Till when, if massive enough,
The miracle of hydrogen fusion ignites:
A new star is born.
Now given this process of solar life we may ask:
Is sacrifice of hydrogen to make helium
Violent? Destructive? Unnatural? Or Immoral?
Violent: to the extreme.
Destructive: yes, but also creative.
Unnatural: depends on what you’re used to
Immoral: nothing like we know.
Violence, you see, is a matter of degree.
When matter reaches a Billion degrees
The natural repulsion of positive charges
Turns into a stronger, friendlier nuclear binding force
Upon which fusion becomes a sweet release;
Tremendously sweet it is for energy lovers.
Destruction, too, is relative. There is no absolute since
One form of matter creates another.
Sure, a little mass is lost to make big energy but we only need to say,
“So long and enjoy your trip” at the fusion reaction station
To a traveling positron, a tiny, elusive neutrino, and
High energy gamma radiation travelling at light speed forever.
This is all unnatural to us, maybe, but not to stars.
What is unnatural about shining on for billions of years?
Yes, spotty cycles come and go-
We said that it is a violent life after all-
But could there be a better example of true dependability than
Stars burning and continuing to be born to burn in across the universe?
Twinkling stars so pretty from here are now understood to be
Up close violently hot and bright, making more than they take,
Which is all natural and good.
To question at all is uniquely human
Limited to primitive communications between Man and God
For if God thought the life of stars was bad at all,
Why are there so many of them? Why do we revolve around one?
A few twists remain in star birth and death.
Ultra -violence of the Supernova kind may arise when
One star devours its smaller companion, eating enough to explode.
(Is this a meat or vegetarian diet?)
Similarly, an old, massive star will also explode as a Supernova
Creating light equivalent to a Galaxy for a while
Leaving behind new elements as nutrients for new celestial bodies
These are some lessons we can learn:
To live long and steadily, doing what we do best.
To create anew from what we consume.
These are some questions that will burn:
Is it anything but natural for matter to be destroyed to create different
Is a violent explosive end that is an inevitable consequence of mass a
While our own Sun is not expected to die a Supernova death,
When it burns out its remnants will expand to slowly engulf us here
And in the expansive arms of our red giant we will be no more.
This death too fertilizes the local galactic neighborhood to grow new life.
For a planetary nebula is also natural and a lesson in morality.
Earth and all life upon Her was carefully chosen to come from stars
Stellar protons fuel nuclear fusion
Destroying hydrogen for the sake of creating helium
Releasing enough energy to feed their cold passive planets
Does hydrogen care?
Or gladly enter its next life as the
Next the helium burns too
Shedding energy, yielding carbon, nitrogen and oxygen:
Do any of them hold a grudge?
Fusion goes on to make silicon sands
Peaking out at iron to make us all strong
Metals dispersed for next generations of stars and people
Should the star be massive enough
Rather than a quiet, shrinking death as a dwarf
As a Supernova it becomes an instant galaxy of light
Who here says, You can’t change me? Just leave me alone?
No one. The new forms swirl and flow without end
Spinning with light, energy, space, hope and joy
Matter to energy
Matter to new matter
Not about killing
It’s all about who accepts becoming the future
Forces and physics of matter and energy, space and time
Continuously becoming a Greater Good.
Where am I, so far from everything else?
A lonely speck in an amorphous cloud is who I am
Separated by more space than in Earth’s finest vacuum
I can drift, but no, some other mass there attracts me
Coming closer, just we two, then more
Buffeted by energetic winds all around
Electrostatic attraction turns me on
Magnetism modulates my senses in a song
I will become something much more very soon
Am I gaining weight? (But in a good way?)
Am I destined to change and lose my individuality?
Certainly it is so, for I feel stronger forces tugging at me
Oh yes; it is so, I am whirling, coalescing and storming
I feel the forces of others joining
Together we are going to be forming
Something different, could it be a new body type?
Out of thousands of years of strife
It seems a star will come to life
As a father I have just the slightest right
To appreciate what a mother does on that special night
But being there was all the world to me
I was there at the beginning, and god willing through it all I will see
I shall not repeat more famous stories
Novels replete with human mysteries glorious
But one of us must tell the tale of how a sun is born
What they go through, how they are formed
Much too simply: gravity attracts, increasing mass
Heating the core, more and more.
Soon it ignites thermonuclear fire
Fusion is on and here we are.
This is the birth of a sun followers dream
From one to two, hydrogen to helium
Nothing is more grand in the grandest scheme than
Stars being born again and again.
Look around, find a grownup
Not a baby any more – not behaving badly as before
Outgrown childish ways, moving forward day to day
Working, contributing, self-relying
So it is across the world, those who grow up show their output
Think main sequence and all that means
Giving, yielding energy beyond our wildest dreams
Not a hundred years or so; could be billions, maybe more
Maturity can be a long, starry way of life
I hate this part near the end.
Too rigid: help me find just how to bend
Having gone on all this time I wonder
What has been missed, or just tossed under?
Never mind that life was good
Giving energy, providing food
All good things must come to closure
While those involved should keep composure
If you had lived a billion years on the moon
It would somehow still seem too soon
But this is the beauty of what we know:
We come, endure, and always grow.
Like a collapsing star we morph to something new
Making new material for the next cosmic crew
The name is too strong. Our emotions are so weak.
Yet “it” is all around us.
Luckily we are talking about stars.
If you think the universe is set forever, you are wrong.
Every celestial body has a life, evolving, moving on.
The fixed stars are not fixed, just very distant.
If massive enough, expect a supernova explosion
Following which a denser-than-you-can-imagine party goes on
Ending with a neutron star or even a black hole.
Those below Chandrasekhar limits see another fate:
Expanding, not spectacularly, but quietly
To cool off and retire as a white dwarf.
Do we have choices like this?
Are we subject to the fates of mass, energy and time?
Read these pages. We surely are.
Fallen and can’t get up
Nothing can escape
Nowhere to go
Nothing is everything
In the center of what you cannot see
I’m all that should never be
A singular victim of all that gravity
You active galactic nuclear Black Hole
One here, one there
Could be equals, or one dominating the other
Doubles, multiples, we come in sets
Mirrors of each other and mutual guests
Are you a twin of someone unknown?
A lost soul looking for where you are from?
Everything is a duality of form
Hot, cold, plus, minus, on and on
For when two were ever one
There the magic has begun
I walk alone but am drawn off course
What is the attraction? Very powerful. The right direction.
Compass, you must tell the truth
Based on poles within the Earth
Forces may be electrical, or magnetic,
Gravity you may temporarily forget here
All around us, magnetosphere surrounds us.
Let the solar wind never ground us
We see you in distant stars
Pulsars, Magnetars, powered by north-south field bars
Silence. Start low, just above what you can hear.
Move the dial up, through radio, TV and more
Then there will be heat in red (think infrared ovens)
Rainbow colors yellow, green, and blue, to ultraviolet (tanning salons)
Beyond the unseen ultraviolet
We encounter what (for lack of a better name) we still call X-rays
And how do we see what is beyond our sight?
Not with eyes, but with instruments that extend our senses
Surrounded by spectrum
Immersed in a rich, wavy sea
Can we hear what is being sent?
Can we hear what we should see?
Breaking up atoms
Making new ones
Capable of changing matter itself
These are energies at work in atoms
Do gamma rays scare you?
They should – but we are protected
What goes on within stars
Is not revealed entirely to us
High energy transposes to lower energy
A million years or so is the journey of a
Gamma ray to the surface of the Sun
Can we ever comprehend this trek?
Appreciate how this energy is passed along us?
We are lucky to be on a safer longer wavelength
Ticking from moment to moment
What is next and what is going forward
Define a taken for granted revolution
Counted by what the Moon does with us
Simply an elliptical cycle
For as long as anyone remembers
Marking years by the thousands
Needing thousands more
To cycle around the Milky Way
What becomes of space and time?
Is where we will be in a singularity
Space / Time
Just pure light
What to expect?
Scales of space and time
It also warps the mind
What’s it mean?
We are relatively what we are
Just A Round the Corner.