Ireland from Space

Ireland from Space
Ireland from space, October 11, 2010. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Fractal Shadows

Take the jagged spine of the Karakoram 

as seen from the heights of Haramukh, 

then examine the folds on the face of K2, 

creased with valleys of shadow and snow.

See the ravines with ribbons of ice 

heaped with scree and hills of rubble –

their ripples and rills reprise the peaks

in the span of the Karakoram.

Trace the chiseled edges of Ireland 

around an image taken from space, 

then zoom to the shores of Kerry and Cork 

where promontories part the sea. 

Swoop over cliffs at Mizen Head Bridge 

and follow the surf line east 

past fissured inlets and hideaway coves 

that reprise the whole coastline of √Čire.

Probe your life with a one-word prayer, 

confess your worst day in a diary, 

compose an account of your favorite year, 

then draft your own obituary. 

Savor the play of creation – 

how days reprise decades, 

how moments harbor whole lives, 

how we inhabit the fractal shadows. 

Aerial View of the Baltoro Glacier, by Guilhem Vellut, Paris

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Becoming the Color of Winter

When the world tilts toward darkness 

and seasons of color wane, 

as you feel life ebbing, look for me: 

I am the glint on evergreens 

when lit against the clear embrace 

of cold air cleansed on Arctic ice. 

I am the patch of bare terrain 

of ochre mudded with umber stain 

softened by a misting gray. 

I’m the stubble field of muted tan 

suffused in amber overtones 

streaked with shades of fading sun. 

And I’m the warmth of dancing light 

above a bed of hissing embers 

and layers of burnt-orange ash. 

Deep in an endless winter night 

on the bitter edge of winter, 

I will be your summer dream 

of sea-green tinged with deep blue hues 

framed by sunbeams slicing through storms 

that rumble along the horizon.