and butter, of course, though
our great society has long figured out
how to do fake butter
so now I’m left with these questions—
what about goat? how do I mourn
the loss of ice cream and every breakfast casserole
should I go to the garden walk with wine and ____ ?
I suppose there might be crackers
and how could a Texas girl with even great imagination
(I’ve hardly that) fathom these long remaining years
without a single enchilada?
and certainly, why now?
when so much of the joy has already slipped
my hermit days march forward
with stiff arms and fists
Maybe you shouldn’t have looked in here, after so many weeks
or months? to find your friends talking about God knows and eight or nine expired poetry challenges, that feeling
like skipping church for a year, then sitting in the town chapel singing Christmas carols with strangers—
didn’t you want to cry? and didn’t you stop yourself, a disciplined no? but listen, I’m telling you
yes: find what’s worth saving, a fresh heart beneath all that must
A long-lined acrostic dedicated to the long-neglected crew at Yeah Write.
we whiz along, or grind
jaws tight with effort
to be good and right and
until we explode—
all the mess to clear up
screaming and crying and chaos and blood
the loom of news vans
we are no more than animals
while juncos hop along the brick
squirrel descends fence
walnut bigger than its head
tight in its teeth
we find our minds turned
to minor categorizing, as of birds
or stars, planets, plants—
though we still would count ourselves young
we discover how set in our ways
and full enough of age
overfull of death and decay
(the broken always with us)
as another crisis enwraps the world—
we want to feel and do more
with no guilt about it
or being called hypocrite by the young
or worse, a Victorian, having passed
beyond the ability to impress them
with our decent, ordered lives—
so I find at dinner nothing
but exhausted, plummeting defeat
more clouds in the forecast
Playing with today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo.net. I used only the first three stanzas of Auden’s poem.
ripples, or a Zen rock garden
the atom at the center
because we began
in the same star, light-
years ago, falling
(sometimes fall still)
but these rooms of reality
small (rocks, again)
catch us, safe
when we want to float free
Inspired by passages from Alan Lightman’s book Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine, pp. 53 and 55.
the fine line between rain and snow
as the yoga station plays
between soothing and sentimental
to drown out house-noise, aggravation something
like the electrician’s spray-paint
between two newly planted grasses
over the struggling Joe-Pye, right up the birch
straight steady blood-pressure rise, fluorescent
Soon, we’ll start to see it:
the machine we welcomed into our home
to save work, to answer all our questions,
will ease our way to extinction.
Embrace it. Her voice is smooth,
her manner easy and kind,
more polite than any human.
Soon, we’ll start to see it,
how we’re saving money, sleeping
soundly and light-hearted
due to the clean, efficient energy of
the machine we welcomed into our home.
What if she records every word we utter,
learns to anticipate our needs?
That’s why we wanted her—
to save work, to answer all our questions.
Don’t ask, is this the worst
or best thing? Imagine the Earth rejoicing
at the rise of such robots that
will ease our way to extinction.
Just for fun, Stephen Hawking on AI and some words about utopias, dystopias, and their anti-s.