October 17, 2014
De Stella Nova

Kepler’s 1604 naked eyes saw the birth

of a star, actually that supernova was

the star’s death. With no telescope invented,

he watched the spiral galaxy’s Milky center

explode into night, 20,000 light years away.

This is the remnant of Kepler’s supernova, the famous explosion that was discovered by Johannes Kepler in 1604. The red, green and blue colors show low, intermediate and high energy…

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October 12, 2014
At Hemingway’s House

At Hemingway’s House

We tried to feel his once presence here,

but the life energy had been transformed.

The tour group took pictures without ghosts.

The staff set tables for a wedding.

I saw Kilimanjaro snow on his table.


Hemingway’s writing table in his Key West home.

He acquired the home in 1931 and lived and wrote there until he divorced Pauline in 1940. She got the home in the divorce and continued to live there…

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October 8, 2014
Seen Unseen

The day begins with a lunar eclipse.

Obscured by clouds, it still happened. Unseen

by me like so many deaths, births,

tragedies, triumphs. Tonight I see a child

splashing the full moon from the ocean.


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September 12, 2014
Grave View

Sleep would not come to me again

last night that turned morning turned afternoon.

I stayed awake all night reading poems

afraid that someone will cover my eyes

if I close them. I smell dirt.

grave view

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Filed under: death grave insomnia sleep 
August 30, 2014
Late August

Birds pecking rapidly at the yellowing grass.

Squirrels harvesting acorns that tap all afternoon,

falling on the table, chairs and me,

staring at the setting sun. It hurts.

And every day I think about dying.


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August 17, 2014
The Weight of Your Soul

The Weight of Your Soul


You may have seen the film 21 Grams (2003). Buried within its non-linear stories of three characters in a past, present and future swirl was the titular reference to the weight of a soul.

The title refers to research by physician Dr. Duncan MacDougall that dates back to 1901. His goal was to measure the mass lost by a human when the soul departs the body at death. His experiment started with six…

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August 12, 2014
Or Not To Be

Or Not To Be (for Robin Williams)

One leaves us by his own hand.

One that loved wisely but too well.

To sleep, when peaceful dreams may come.

May. If so, he knows. For us,

there’s tomorrow, and hopefully tomorrow, and tomorrow.


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August 12, 2014
The breaking of so great a thing should make  A greater crack: the round world  Should have shook lions into civil streets,  And citizens to their dens. 
 William Shakespeare

The breaking of so great a thing should make
A greater crack: the round world
Should have shook lions into civil streets,
And citizens to their dens.

William Shakespeare

June 17, 2014
After many a summer dies the swan

After many a summer dies the swan


The aurora at the start of day

cannot hold against the fall of night.

Being granted immortality but not eternal youth

is no wish fulfilled. Fear of death,

natural as the sunset, twilight, darkness, acceptance.

* Though this poem’s title is a line in Tennyson’s poem “Tithonus”, I was inspired by the the Aldous Huxley novel
that uses the line as its title. They both share the theme,

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June 4, 2014
Elegy Written By A Churchyard

Elegy Written By A Churchyard

Under the sequestered cool of hardy oaks,

behind a noiseless gray churchyard, I rest.

Not so far in time and place,

from the madding crowd who will also

rest here, seated upright or lying down.


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April 29, 2014
On Death and Dying

On Death and Dying


Last year, it could not happen. Denial

But, damn you, for this curse! Anger

We prayed together, one truly believing. Bargaining

No life. No meaning. Nothing but depression.

Someday, they say, will come unlikely acceptance.

On Death and Dying

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April 25, 2014

Hamnet http://wp.me/s4ctFT-hamnet

Hamnet Shakespeare was baptized 2 February 1585

and buried 11 August 1596. Only son

of William Shakespeare, fraternal twin of Judith.

No poems or speeches written for him.

No lines can ever bring one back.



1890 engraving by unknown German artist of William Shakespeare reciting lines to his family. His wife, Anne Hathaway, is sitting in the chair on the right; his son Hamnet is behind him on…

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April 14, 2014
"I go to seek a Great Perhaps."

François Rabelais

French Renaissance man Francois Rabelais died 461 years ago. His legacy includes the word Rabelaisian—used to describe good-natured, bawdy humor. This quote is supposed to be his dying words — that may be in dispute, but I like it nevertheless.

April 12, 2014
Death and the Bible

Death and the Bible

William Blake's  “Ancient of Days”

William Blake’s “Ancient of Days”

Poet Billy Collins has quipped that majoring in English means majoring in death. It is the big theme in literature. I was an English major.

None of us likes death and we don’t like to think about it, but we can’t help but think about it.

I had a course in the Bible as literature in college. The course didn’t convince me that the Bible is literature or convince me…

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Filed under: Bible dead death 
March 25, 2014
The Dead and the Living

The Dead and the Living

The dead are a part of those

who lived  – or perhaps it is that

the living are a part of those

who will one day be the dead.

We want to belong. We do belong.


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Filed under: dead death life living 
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