In search of story


May 5.23: Coping, but barely

I read to the bug.

When galaxies — galaxies! — collide,

a quasar is seared into being,

bright as a trillion suns!


The bug shrugged.


Quasar P172+18 sent its light to us

13 billion years ago! It arrived today!


The bug did not look up.


Our Milky Way galaxy will collide

with the Andromeda galaxy in

5 billion years!


The bug yawned.


Where is wisdom?

In the orbit of the wee bug,

immersed in so small a self,

or in the soul-freezing vastness

of what is

and has been

and will be?

I do not comprehend either.


With thanks to Ashley Strickland, space and science writer for CNN and her article “Solving the mystery of the most powerful objects in the universe.” I did get the feeling that the bug wondered why he wasn’t mentioned in her article.



August 24.21: Coping

Aesop says be like the ant,

eschew grasshopper ways:

the ant puts by and plans ahead,

grasshoppers waste their days.

The ants in frantic harvest

prepare for winter’s grey.

The grasshopper, all moony,

ponders the green of today;

in foolery like writing

does he his muse pursue;

he yearns to be a poet

and use words like “eschew.”


Many more thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.

I have no idea how he got the grasshopper to pose like this.


August 12.21: Coping

This unpleasant-looking fellow

appears to think that he

has right of way and title

to private property.

I am sure I heard harrumph!

as I dared to hover near;

suspiciously he eyed me

with arrogant bug leer.

“My mentor was a Klingon”

(how absurdly braggadocious)

“who considered me outstanding,

in point of fact, precocious.”

“Cloaking device engaged!”

he proclaimed as he lifted and veered

to a multi-green leafy lilac

and forthwith disappeared.




June 12.21: Coping

What count today?

How many swings and swerves?

Is her language getting colorful?

Are we getting on her nerves?

Did you see my body slam?

Mid-forehead, perfect aim!

Well, I got her on her ear —

I love this summer game!

What sport her dodge and dip,

her crazed and darting eyes,

her twitch at our chorale

of razors in the skies.

I’ll race you to her head!

Come on! I double-dare!

The winner is the one

who gets tangled in her hair!




May 22.21: Coping

Victor Herbert wrote songs for my parents’ generation, so I was raised with some of them. One, I think, he wrote especially for writers: “Ah, sweet mystery of life!”

Writers know the mystery of life is words. Mysteriously they come. Mysteriously they go. Who can understand?

I’ve been without words for a few weeks now. Total blank. Tabula rasa. Nada. Zip. I’ve started a few blog posts that were the undead of writing.

Meanwhile we’ve gone overnight from Too-Cold-To-Garden to Yikes-It’s-Suddenly-Summer-and-Get-Those-Plants-In-NOW! It’s been wonderful to take my dejected writer self to the dirt.

It used to be that digging in my dirt was about worms. Now it’s about cicadas. More, there’s a little bush in front festooned with their overcoats. Apparently a bunch of cicadas got together and decided to shed simultaneously, leaving their outsides dangling on my little shrub like so many crispy-looking ornaments. Ick.

That ghostly emptiness speaks to me. The writer is only an exoskeleton when she doesn’t have words, and the wind whistles through her as she dangles from some metaphorical shrub.

I know that my sadistic muse is nearby, smirking.