Crying Over Callas

Crying Over Callas

Your voice, expressing the highs and lows
the limits of human pleasure and pain
in this our earthly existence

Your voice, rich and vibrant, warm, nuanced,
complex, multi-layered
screechy in the modern medium of compact disc
I grieve for those who know you only through that medium
I grieve for myself, never hearing you sing in person

Your voice always makes me cry.
Joy and loss in full measure, telescoped together,
floating forth from vinyl

Sagan could have sent you alone on Voyager
sole and complete expression
of humanity’s gifts and sorrows

My body knows first, before my brain.
Is that Callas singing?
If I’m crying, it is she.

Please check out my special favorites: #2 at 10:50Carmen, Act I, Scene 5: “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle” (Bizet); and #9  at 41:17Orfeo ed Euridice, Act III, Scene 1: “J’ai perdu mon Eurydice” (Gluck)


Posted in Art, music, opera, Poems, solar system | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pumpkin Treat

OR is it bumblebee…?


Posted in Grandchildren | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Another Gateway: Grandchildren!

Another gateway to the sweet heart of the universe: GRANDCHILDREN!

Here is our grandbaby Ezra on his birth day
at two months
at eleven weeks

His voice is melodious.  He smiles and clucks with pleasure and alert interest.  He imitates the sounds I make.

He comes from a state of bliss and serenity and takes me there.


from The Unexpected Universe by Loren Eiseley, chapter 6, “The Golden Alphabet”:

The soul of the universe, the Upholder, reported Rasmussen of the Alaskan Eskimo, is never seen.  Its voice may be heard on occasion, through innocent children.  Or in storms.  Or in sunshine….
What it whispers, said the men of the high cold, is, “Be not afraid of the universe.”

I am losing my fear.


Posted in Grandchildren | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Oh, You Uncommon Loon/Heart Lake Bliss

Early this August we went backpacking for the second year at Heart Lake in Yellowstone.  The distance is eight miles from trailhead to lake and another two miles around to our campsite.  Some campsites are as much as five miles from the head of the lake.  We stayed in the same two campsites last year and had similar perfect weather.  Misty and hazy this year, with morning fog.  The beaver lodging next door again came for a visit, but I had to wait until the third evening before he was willing to approach.

Loons were newly nesting near the lake, and their calls are the wildest sounds I have ever heard.  Otherworldly.  A wail which sounds just like a wolf howl; a tremolo sound on the wing.  Their wing span is enormous; you can hear them in flight from a distance.  Listen to these recordings from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site and tell me what you think.

I call these sites the Ritz Carleton of campgrounds.  Fields of flowers so thick and lush you can’t walk through them.  A musical stream barreling by your tent heading to the lake from the mountain waterfall high above.  Plenty of sun for warmth and abundant trees for shade. A beach close by. And then the water.Grizzlies are active in this area.  The National Park Service opens Heart Lake for hiking and backpacking in mid-July every year.  Until then, the bears are given free reign.  Evidently, this year at least one bear was displeased with the mid-summer human incursion.  Soon after backpackers arrived, one bear sat on a tent during the night.  When the humans made enough noise and commotion, he ran off to the next site and repeated.  No matter that these were the sites we occupied two weeks later.  A bear can get just about anywhere in short order.  No one was hurt, but the bear did make his point.  We helped him be good by taking meticulous care to secure all food several feet off the ground.

During our stay, a Park Service helicopter flew in several times with building supplies for the remote ranger cabin.  As it circled, a bald eagle and a pair of sandhill cranes took to the air, duplicating the circle.  It was as though the birds felt a kindred spirit had arrived and were eager to share the joy of flight.

I have noticed this with water birds and, of course, the beaver.  When you backpack, you have time to get into the water and enjoy a swim.  There’s no need to hurry out before dark.  When you do this, the swans, geese, loons, beaver come to you.  It’s as if they are saying, “You look a bit strange, but you’re one of us now.”

Yellowstone in general, and Heart Lake in particular, takes me to another dimension.  Straight to the sweet heart of the universe.  I get there a handful of other ways, too – and that’s for another posting.

*The Park Service permits you to stay for only two nights at the same Heart Lake campsite.  After that, you have to move.

Posted in Birds, Department of the Interior, national parks, Yellowstone | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

D-Day Landings/Normandy Invasion June 6, 1944

The Cliffs of Normandy

Fifty years after, walking on flat ground above
the water, vast to the sight and empty yet, steel blue, placid
like the black cows grazing on the furrowed field
sky a colored mirror
watching, waiting, breath bated –
for an eye blink’s vision clicking quickly into clear focus –
armada of liberation, filling the sea
idea so daring, it stuns still
conceived and carried out with brilliant care
burden of risk bearing great hope
present sacrifice agreed exchange for future life

Aerial view of Pointe du Hoc 6:30 am June 6, 1944 from Spitfire, LC Denton

present day with memorial

Rangers scale La Pointe du Hoc


Posted in Poems, rescue, World War II | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Smooth Sailing for All Ships of State

old-sailing-ship-in-sunsetMarital Ship of State

Ego objects, but heart may await
course adjustment to marital state
gentle strength takes the helm
guides the journey to harmony’s realm
fair wind ahead – bear up and away
loving limits save the day.

Everyone thrives on loving limits –––
dogs, children, friends, family, even spouses


Posted in Poems | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Moving Forward

Two days ago a pick-up truck was parked in the neighborhood with this message in its back window:

You have no choice.  You MUST move forward.

I viewed this with some surprise and a bit of foreboding.  Was this a pre-election communication?  Apparently so.  I looked for the magical truck today to take a picture, but it was gone.  Nevertheless, I have taken its instruction to heart.

A poet weary of words is an anomaly.  For the future, I intend to move forward with hope and a positive attitude.  For my part, that means doing my best to model, on a personal level, the attitude and behavior I want to see on a community and national political level:  inclusiveness, respectfulness, and open-mindedness.

So be it.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Time for a Master Swim Lesson

heading homeheading home

Posted in national parks, Nature, wilderness, Yellowstone | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Is Poetry Hard?

Ipoetry is hard

I saw this sign recently outside a local restaurant.  Is poetry hard?  Not for Bob Dylan.  Being enigmatic, this sign evokes him.

Posted in Art, Poems | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Academy Makes Magical Choice

Bob (Nobel Laureate for Literature) Dylan

Words weave their magic
soft voice of power spins spell
Dylan wins Nobel

 New York Times article on Dylan’s Nobel win

some of Dylan’s influences

Posted in Art, music, Poems | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments