Wednesday, January 18, 2017


The seconds tick
tock tick tock
on by
and the page is blank
with not a word.
It's absurd.
My roving eye catches
and I see myself
at the bottom of a cup
not a glass, a cup
of coffee.
I know what you were thinking
It's not as bad as that,
not yet;
though nothing's set
in stone.
Like a drumbeat of my being
the minutes tick
tock tick, and 
I feel I should be feeling
but there's nothing.
Not a worry,
tensions blurry,
though they should be
vehement, vivid, vibrant
in my eye
and in my mind,
but there is
It's all slipping away
and I should be
chasing, choking, clawing
it back
instead I sit here
and I write
and I watch
the hours
tick tick tock.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A quest for singularity

Is there a more hopeless fate
than being a human mean?
Not lots or little gifted,
just somewhere in between
She is smart and capable,
passable, competent, fair
Never breached extraordinary,
and sadly is aware
of being merely average,
yet wanting so much more
Trapped in triviality,
for history to ignore
An unresistant speck in a surge,
lost in tide and time
No footprints in the sand for her,
just faceless pantomime
What is she but a footnote
on a swiftly turning page
A mute supernumerary 
in an unfortunate age
Born a century too early,
or a hundred years too late
To be, perhaps, exceptional 
but never truly great.
In a multitude of equals
she draws comfort from none
In a herd of trudging many, 
she but struggles to be One

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thoughts from a Walmart checkout line

So I was in Walmart last week, waiting to checkout on a particularly crowded evening. It occurred to me to wonder whether anyone in the crowd was telepathic (who among us hasn't thought about that one, at least once....right?). I then started wondering how I could possibly tell even if someone around me could in fact read my mind. So I did the only thing to be done, under the circumstances. I deliberately thought "I know you can hear me" very loudly (so to speak) and immediately started intently examining the faces of the people around me. This drew some confused and awkwardly shifting gazes (particularly from the two ladies standing right behind me), but I concluded these to be more a reaction to being suddenly owlishly scrutinized by a dumpy little stranger than proof of thought-reception. Though disappointed it dawned on me that, if someone could in fact hear what I was thinking, they wouldn't fall for the whole I-know-your-secret trick because they'd mind-read a bright red Admiral Ackbar warning right alongside it (it's a trap)! Now this was a real quandary and kept me occupied through most of checking out (I must confess I shockingly ignored the very enthusiastic high school senior manning the counter. Sorry, high school senior). As I was paying up, I realized there's no real way around that caveat so I decided to make one last attempt and leave. So I thought (deafeningly, just in case) "CAN YOU HEAR ME?" and scanned my surroundings.

Right then, I saw this 8 year old (or thereabouts) little girl turn to look right at me. 


And she nodded.

For the space of about 1 second, I felt an overwhelming mixture of disbelief, excitement, guilt (gosh knows what other thoughts I inflicted on that poor child), and a bunch of micro-feelings that are impossible to name. A real live telepath???

Nope. Of course not.

Turns out, the little lady was nodding acquiescence to some request from her mother who was standing some ways behind me. This sad, but also much more believable, truth brought on another barrage of pesky feelings. Mostly embarrassment (accompanied, of course, by an inevitable reddening of cheeks because why shouldn’t my vascular system make things worse when it can?).

It is forgivable, I think, this entertaining of a totally nonsensical notion with some seriousness (or total conviction) for a brief moment in time. Even scientists and academicians and researchers are allowed their own pet fantasy and science fiction hopes and dreams after all, even if they will almost certainly never be reality.
Plus, Walmart was clearly the wrong place to try this. Even telepaths should be allowed to navigate that treacherous quagmire in peace.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

New year's dishes

Another year rolling past, 
another digit, done at last.
Changes, hopes, are spoken words. 
Will they come? Be lost unheard?
What has changed? It's a normal day 
What is new, in a real way?
Much to rejoice, much to rue. 
But at the end of the day, I've dishes to do.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Miles of blank paper

I feel so pointless
like a pencil with no purpose
like a sub-optimal product
in an ineffective surplus.

The tide I started out with
has now rushed ahead without me.
I am drowning in the backwash
of this mediocrity.

The joy of helping others
someone's hope to carry through
I'm sure it is enthralling!
But that is not what I do.

To know there is one other
to share days with, one by one
To spew out genome copies with!
But that's not what I've done.

I find myself confounded
in normal conversation
when people ask me casually
"what is your occupation?"

"I learn for a living"
How silly is that sounding?
In a competitive world
this reply is most astounding.

Many do conclude, I know,
that I am just confused,
and the reason that I do this is
I know nothing else of use.

But the worst, the absolute worst -
is that nagging inner view,
that haunting, crazing question
"what if I suck at this too?"

Friday, December 5, 2014

Twixt night and light

Night - roiling dense and dark,
the aftermath of day,
smoldered across half this world
and Shadow lost her way
She fused into the inky black
stealing through the wild
and vanished swooping from the land
where lurid unlight smiled.
But as the rayless fog advanced
its restless step was halted
and in the midst of sooty gloom
a flash of light exhalted!
A gleam, a tiny golden spark,
a radiant piece of day
It tore the shroud of night aside
and Shadow came out to play
Leaping, swaying, soar and surge
vast as the light expanse
and now! as tiny as can be,
in her merry Shadow dance.
But the spark burst forth in radiance
so brilliant to behold
and Shadow faded once again
consumed by luminance bold

Monday, June 2, 2014

Small talk

Clack clack clack the tongues run on
will it ever cease?
Endless broadcasts of everything
ever thought
to think.
Eardrums resonate with the thrum,
the droning hum.
I only wish
they could blink
as well.
Words on words on wordy words,
missiles seeking minds,
aimed at attention,
crushed by perception.
Do their masters ever wonder,
I wonder,
is there anything they say,
utter, mutter,
that has not been said
a thousand times before?