Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Lakeside Grace

In dreams of yesterday - from boyhood in Jacksonville, Florida
Athens, Georgia
July 24, 2014

There were high summer Sundays
so blessed, instead of church
we’d head for Starke.

Unshackled from Seersucker,
kicking off shoes
for swim suits and flip flops

and freedom to breathe,
we packed the family wagon
squirming in the back seat.

While Mom passed out peppermint,
Dad steered us south
to ski the day at Kingsley Lake.

Four brown and freckled
stairstep children carve
the crystal surface to exhaustion

then snorkel the shallows
floating a dreamscape
like airships over fairy towns

with towers of algae and silverside
minnows by forests of lake grass
and plains of fine sand.

Perfect days wane
as we ride home with Ray Charles
crackling on the car radio  

Sing the song, children.
A half century softens
when his chorus confirms

I can’t stop loving you
and I live again in memory
of a lonesome time

sensing the shadow
of an awful obligation –
growing up means going on.

Halfway home we stop once more
by the random roadside stand
to choose a ripe melon

forged of water and sun
much like our happy lives,
for even now I close my eyes

and taste it yet –
the sweetness of late youth,

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

To Probe the Impenetrable

Athens, Georgia
July 13, 2014

“Behind it all is surely an idea so simple, so beautiful, that when we grasp it - in a decade, a century, or a millennium - we will all say to each other, how could it have been otherwise?”  
“In any field, find the strangest thing and explore it.”  
- John Archibald Wheeler

Pierce the veil and plunge 
beneath the scale of seeing. 
Probe impenetrable horizons 
and peer at the echo of origins. 

Corral the ghost that animates 
the spell of elegance that looks 
on all as made of strings, looped 
and coiled on 9-D branes, 

excited to the higher harmonics 
in a manifold landscape of quark 
and gluon, EM waves, and fields 
that warp space…

He has shown thee, O man, just 
what is good and what required. 

                          … Oh do not 
feign a humble pose. We stole 
the fruit, now find the cipher 
and call ourselves clever. If all

arose from empty void and we 
the fragile wisp of naught  
evolved to render the real; if 
awareness dances with truth — 

then let us feast on forbidden 
fruit and live forever, serenaded 
by a spare tune, not quite harsh,
played dolce on the cosmic harp.