Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Horizon Problem-3 Word Wednesday (late)

"History of the Universe" by Yinweichen - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

The inflationary Universe. According to the theory of inflation, the early Universe expanded exponentially fast for a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. Cosmologists introduced this idea in 1981 to solve several important problems in cosmology. One of these problems is the horizon problem.

The inflationary epoch lasted from 10^−36 seconds after the Big Bang to sometime between 10^−33 and 10^−32 seconds. This is the actual "Bang" in the big bang. Following the inflationary period, the Universe continues to expand, but at a less accelerated rate.

Even theoretically, there is no way to say much about the period before 10^-36 seconds. There is little meaning to be found, and actually not much meaning before 380,000 estimated years passed - that being the horizon of the knowable universe from our point of view.

The horizon problem in Cosmology has to do with how fast things happened and why the cosmos is so uniform no matter where we look. There is no known way for different locales to communicate with each other given the known limits to that communication and so no known reason why things turned out so uniform.

Thom at Three Word Wednesday offered up amusing; deeply; and elastic as the three words. Click on Three Word Wednesday to see the other contributions.

The Horizon Problem

Walking the damp stones
you placed beside the north wall
of our High Street House
I realize how
amusing my life's become
in the deeply lit
frame of my struggle
to remain elastic in
the gnarly fingers
of my latter days.

I see who I should have been
as they recorded
the metrics of souls,
mine and yours - all the others
to establish rank.

I scored fourth highest,
flying in the thin upper
strata of the crowd
making my Momma
ever so thoroughly proud
and while I am not
so much, I remain
mostly all I think about.

But I think of you
too, Sweetie...sometimes.

‎September ‎3, ‎2015 4:15 PM

Monday, August 31, 2015

Jonny Applepoem

On the left as labeled; on the right, Braeburns.

Jonagold apples were developed in 1953 in the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station of Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Jonagolds are a cross between the Golden Delicious and the Jonathan. There are two possible heritages for the Jonathan, which was named either after Jonathan Lash or Jonathan Hasbrouck. Oddly, my mother's last marriage was to Louis Hasbrouck of the early New York Dutch Hasbroucks. I wouldn't mind if Jonathan was some kind of relation to Louis.

The exact source of Braeburn apples is unknown but they are probably a cross of the Lady Hamilton and Granny Smith apple.

Both these varieties of apples are commonly available in the fruit displays of America's west coast supermarkets.

Jonny Applepoem

I was trained to dash
from tree to tree, grabbing nuts
in my squirrel like
passage, modestly
crossing your mythos with mine,
me the wannabe
road guard all got up
in old military gear
with black grease striping
my eyes.

Eating hard
sweet apple, a Jonagold
or a good Braeburn,
I do feel it now.
I clean me all up - cold cream
to remove the grease.
Possibly God knows
what I really mean to say
but I surely don't.

‎June ‎2, ‎2014 11:14 PM

The poem was written near the end of a poetry collaboration between Irene Toh and me - a month long trade of poems back and forth.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hard To Breathe - Three Word Wednesday

Art from Deviant Art by Yonaz, Lurking Behind The Tree. Find more of this work clicking on the link.

Today is Three Word Wednesday. Click on the link to find that site. Thom has offered these three words: Menacing; Rampant; Unravel.

One day at a time.

I have been outside in Oregon's Willamette Valley noontide, careful to keep in the shade. The temperature today is a wonder. If you sink into reverie there is no temperature - neither too cool nor too warm.

I have a calico cat we call Celeste. When I sit still outside my basement door she will come and weave all around me, allowing me touches if I want. When she settles, though, she is typically just beyond reach.

The shadows drape across the concrete ways and change as the sun moves along. My position is on the north side of the house so once the morning sun has reached some height there is shade the whole day through.

I awoke this morning and found myself climbing out of a deep chasm. I am still working that out and it is past noon now. I am seventy in a few months. I think something sits on my left shoulder most days now.

It's Gotten Hard To Breathe

You can be so fey.

Slipping away you left sign,
aromas twining through
the wooly branches
and the half eaten shadows,
the leaves of the old
grapes which no longer
bear any true fruit.

Or false
for all that matters.

A menacing time
has come and threads run rampant
through my crooked ways.

I watched you unwind
and your hair did unravel
while a dry wind blew
through my heart's channels,
rattling places full of dust,
the dust time laid down
so very long ago.

I would tell you of my love
if that made any
difference between
the broken remains of stars
and rings of shattered
moons. This should change me
but it does not.

I know well
these ends of the dead.

August 26, 2015 1:12 PM

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Last Great Ship - A Magpie Tale

Sunday at the computer - the air is serious - so many wildfires surrounding us.

In the last few hours the air has scoured out a bit. It was "Hazardous" and is still rated so in the last 24 hours as of last update by the Dept. of Environmental Quality. It is now only rated "Unsafe for sensitive groups" in my neck of the woods. It will probably drop to "Moderate" sometime soon. However, I am not liking it much. The light is yellowed and hazed. The sun looks weird.

My thoughts are unsettled. Normally it would be a "Magpie Tale Sunday" and I have written a Magpie anyway. Tess is on vacation. I will not link to her page because she does not have one. Tess runs a great poetry prompt, choosing images she likes. Over the years I have grown quite fond of the lass.

The Last Great Ship

On that day wild fires
appeared behind the dry dunes
and sand spit on us
on the red born wind.
We knew the end was coming
for the whales and all.

Bend over - kiss ass.
Say goodbye the ways you dare.
Board the lifer's boat.

Use your first class chit
at long last and sit right down
in the wide soft seats
up front near the hatch
so you can debark at once.

Then recall the rest
who stayed to feed fish
and wolf and high flown osprey
one toe at a time.

‎August ‎23, ‎2015 1:59 PM

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Hedge

In the spring a year ago, I was engaged with Irene Toh of Singapore in a poesy dance where she would write and then I would reply and off that reply she would write again and so on. This trading of poems was not really a conversation in any direct sense but in a deeper field it is instead a communion of sorts. We have of course remained friends as only the Internet could allow from Singapore to Oregon City on the instant.

Her poem was called Hills & Bamboo. Click on the title to see the poem.

The Hedge

I wear a cincture
on my craft. Should I call this
love? I must ponder
the old growth and ways
the new bamboo says to me
a gold coin safely
can be used, stipend,
it says, and by God coming
straight down from heaven.

Trying to rebuild
my holy place takes a skill
beyond all my days.

He said, keep the ruse
of my life a verdant hedge
and the art of it
divine in my core.
There I finish the touches,
then give it all back.

May 29, 2014 9:08 AM

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Asking The God

Asking The God
For The Gift

If you will present
me with quality beyond
my ken then I will
return to your hold
the dragon's eye and socket
I stole the last time
I came by your place.

I confess my shortcoming
right here and right now.

I am a small man -
a thief lacking in conscience
unless my motives,
hidden and exposed,
lead me elsewhere into stone
circles and cold sprays
of consequentials
beyond my control.

‎August ‎20, ‎2015 3:56 PM

I worked very hard all my life, first learning how to not get caught, but later learning how to live without having to worry about that. Now I am far too old and all reason to worry has been stripped by natural changes. I still try to steal from the Gods though. I like to think I amuse Them. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Cthulhu Explains - Three Word Wednesday

Thom of Three Word Wednesday offered us these words: Kneel; Nasty; Purr.

I of course immediately thought of H.P. Lovecraft and the Great Old Gods:

Cthulhu Explains

Nasty times of day:
there are two. I try to jump them
best I can most days.
The main way, I dance
past the old dark gods of war,
kneel and pledge my blood.

Then if I find death
bubbling beneath my gill slits
I begin to sing out
all sweetness and light
as if my true tenor purr
could disperse the pain
of holding my soul
back from its old bitter ways.

I just kill for food.

‎August ‎19, ‎2015 10:24 AM

For those who do not follow vintage science fiction and fantasy, Cthulhu is a long time favorite of whom Wiki says this: Cthulhu is a deity created by writer H. P. Lovecraft and first introduced in the short story "The Call of Cthulhu", published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1928. Considered a Great Old One within the pantheon of Lovecraftian cosmic entities, the creature has since been featured in numerous popular culture references. Lovecraft depicts Cthulhu as a gigantic entity worshiped by cultists. Cthulhu's anatomy is described as part octopus, part man, and part dragon.

As Wiki writes, one cannot read in the F & SF of the nineteen fifties and sixties for long without encountering at least a reference to Cthulhu if not a cracking good story, as they used to call them.

And as an aside, my maternal grandfather, a Dutch immigrant who participated as a mining engineer in the Alaska Gold Rush even though stone deaf, was known as H.P. Noordwal. Any guy with the initials H.P. can't be all bad... It goes further. For Lovecraft, H.P. stood for Howard Phillips. Howard is morphed from Old Norse Hávarðr, which means "high guard". My grandfather was Hartog Phillipus. Hartog is a Dutch surname and a Jewish given name where Hart relates to "deer" as it sometimes does in English.

To find the other contributors to Three Word Wednesday, click here.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Tough Call

How can I write joy
without seeming a sappy
fool at the cliff's edge?

How can I touch you
when you are roiled and knotted
up with disaster
if I am so free
of the darkness that besets
you, many others?

How can I be you
if I am at peace when you steam
in the world kettle?
But how can I lie,
Tell you I'm fading and dim
when it's just not true,
when sadly and soon
it will be again my turn
treed, to snap and snarl.

January 17, 2011 3:52 PM

Saturday, August 15, 2015

It's In The Seasons

disaffection tried and true
and you and me crossed
as if you were fall,
and I was winter falling
as ashy gray snow,
but no... no green, you
too late for green even though
time is definite.
And me, I am spread
on cold gray ground, added to
gray and windy drifts.

January 24, 2011 7:14 PM
Modified August 15, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015


Do I have to tell
all, reveal every crack
in the cosmic egg?
Do we not find peace
in between the toes of stones
laid to rest askew?

I would scratch your itch
if you would tell me the truth
of your windblown hair.
I would sing with you
as we traverse the rubble,
the rough ice bound ground.

‎January ‎24, ‎2011 4:41 PM

Thursday, August 13, 2015


My dire skin flakes off
and lands in piles on the floor
as if in the song
she sang yesterday.

The fresh binding shines, toughens
as I stretch my thews
and show my new bluff.

Here I stand astride it all
and pump my new blood.

January 24, 2011 6:07 AM

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Simian Anxiety - Three Word Wednesday

This is Three Word Wednesday and Thom has given us Enigmatic; Gruesome; Irritate.

To see other offerings, both stories and poems, click on this link to find the contributor list. By the way, this is week 440 by Thom's count. That is basically eight and a half years of Three Word Wednesday. I know Thom wanted to quit a while back and we wouldn't let him. I guess this is his version of penance for being a very bad little boy.

Simian Anxiety

The enigmatic
ape moans only when he is
urged while rolling on
his napping tangle
of flattened green fronds of fern.
The gruesome hunter
after freshly spilled
brains and dextrous apish feet
trips his own self up.
I did not intend
to irritate the tender
tissues on display
but the gorilla
made me overreach and touch
places I should not.

‎August ‎12, ‎2015 10:54 AM

Monday, August 10, 2015


I keep writing as if it makes a difference.
I hope my words are as deep as they seem.

Say the same thing this way:

The ocean's deep beneath my leaky boat.
I hope the bailing can is sufficient.

In the distance there are dolphins.

‎August ‎10, ‎2015 1:05 PM

Sunday, August 9, 2015

I Really Screwed Up - A Magpie Tale

Image selected by Tess for today's Magpie Tale. Click on the link to see the contributor list and find the others who chose to write to this prompt.

I Really Screwed Up

The sky got that small,
as if a little white cloud
thinking of the storms
it contains but then
choosing to kiss you because
I did not move fast
and do so myself.

Now I'm seventy and I
remember all that
and a sting courses
the lip of my eye, leaving
a rising tidal
flow behind to show
the unutterable truth
of my heart's stature.

‎August 9, ‎2015 9:05 AM

This is a variant on a true story. Enough said.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Skirting The Edge

Image imported from Google, taken off this blog

"From Volastra to Corniglia, the trail follows stone walls covered in moss. How many men laid these rocks over how many centuries, I wonder?" Written of the Cinque Terre.

Of this area, Wiki says: The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. "The Five Lands" comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Over the centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible corporate development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside. The Cinque Terre area is a very popular tourist destination.

Skirting The Edge

I will answer no questions
in the never ending quest
because the inquisitives reach
beyond themselves in gyres
and gymbals, bruising all the walls
of self and skirting the edges
of not self as if to fall
into the pit of abscond.

If I were to answer, the poise
of things would wail in distress.
I would convulse legitimately
instead of as the fool I choose
to act. If you try for meaning
here, on your own head be it.

January 24, 2011 5:48 AM
Modified August 7, 2014 2:50 PM

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Street Life - Three Word Wednesday

This is Three Word Wednesday. Thom chose
Addicted; Defiant; Filth

You Can Get Used To Anything

It is no longer
strange to find myself a full
week without a bath,
wearing clothes stiff with
filth, only keeping the dope
and fit needle clean
as best I still can.

I am addicted to white
dope, can take or leave
the green but money
oh the money. I really
really need the gelt
and to know the way
to the dealer's open house
taking defiant
strides past the narcos
on their satanic black beat,
daring them to strike.

‎August ‎5, ‎2015 5:43 PM

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Telling The Truth

Telling The Truth

Who is talking now?
Which one of you all said that?
Putting me in blinds
on both eyes, leaving
one ear unstopped then jumping
all over the place -
even using sound
effects to cover your voice,
well, it worked, damn it.

What's next? Waterboard?
Me sent to Guantanamo?
Covered in orange
jumpsuits forever?
Sleeping in bright light, exposed
to whoever cares
but oh, no one will?
All because you say I pump
hot air in my truth.
Oh man, I never!
Well, I say hardly ever...
at least not this time.

‎May ‎27, ‎2014 1:43 PM

Written in collaboration with Irene Toh's A Glib Sheen Images in this post are of the prison facilities in Guantanamo.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Lover's Anxiety - A Magpie Tale

This image of a sprite asleep in a forest nest was chosen by Tess for this week's Magpie Tale. Click on the link to find the contributor list.

Lover's Anxiety

I caught you sleeping,
mid-dream I suspect, sweetie,
and in your green nest,
your spooning repose
calling for me to join you
my front to your back
if only I could
figure how to silently
and feather light do
such a delicious
thing keeping you from waking
to my ungainly
and ugly presence.

‎August ‎2, ‎2015 6:44 AM

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rule For Shape Shifting

On the quick reform
from human to beast it is
important to kill
only for food if
you don't want to get sicker,
go rogue, surreal,
end up bad, hunted,
chased into a corner, treed
snarling and spitting.

‎January 19, ‎2011 2:21 PM

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Scene of the Crime - A Magpie Tale

Image chosen by Tess for today's Magpie Tale, Mag 280. Click on the link to see other responses to this image of a face down metallic giant. By the looks of things this summer is a busy one since there are not so many contributors this morning.

The Scene of the Crime

The gray of fallen
things seems leached from the lead sky
and washed by the rain,
draining back into
the gated river beyond dreams
of warmer places
themselves sucked and parched,
wrinkled and wizened and dried
from the wave action
of the neighboring
and turbulent salt laced sea.

In such disturbance
I find you face down
and partial, streaked and drilled through
one hundred five times.

‎July ‎26, ‎2015 11:07 AM

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Watts - Three Word Wednesday

On August 11, 1965, a black motorist was arrested for drunk-driving, and a minor roadside argument suddenly turned into a riot. There followed six days of looting and arson, especially of white-owned businesses, and police needed the support of nearly 4,000 members of the California Army National Guard. There were 34 deaths and over $40 million in property damage. The riots were blamed principally on unemployment, although a later investigation also highlighted police racism. It was the city's worst unrest until the Rodney King riots of 1992.

In this week's post Thom offers us the following prompt:

Metallic; Optimal; Polished

Click on this link to find the contributor list.


Remember those days
with the metallic sunshine
and the sullen heat
even under trees
so burnt the deep shade blue got
up and walked away?
Remember how birds
stopped flying, confused from heat
and water's empty
dish even though we
wished to help them through the spell?
Remember empty
shelves and what we lost
and how we yearned for winter?
Here we are again,
polished and optimal
despite the riot, the rest
of the spilled red blood.

‎July ‎22, ‎2015 6:30 PM

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How Some Dogs Must Feel - Collaboration

This poem was written spinning off the first line in Irene Toh's poem Rouge.

How Some Dogs Must Feel

How she sought me out
I will never know for sure
because I see how
her eyes dart sideways,
then to the ceiling before
she speaks some glib rhyme
about it all.
Something creaks up there rather
like giants moving
some comets about.
After that she looks at me,
back I should say at
me cringing as if a blow
soon will box my ears.

‎May ‎26, ‎2014 5:08 PM

Monday, July 20, 2015

Inner Heat

In my molten heart,
bright colors, bright intentions,
do you feel them rise
in five beat rhythm,
in seven beat counterpoint
reaching to ripe smoke,
to the sulphur shaped
red hot stink of truth, to ash
smeared across my brow?

January 20, 2011 11:30 AM

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Question - A Magpie Tale

The Question

"What would be up there,"
She whispered to me as if
I could have a view
from here and the stones
to peer past the bannister
in any damn case.
The sounds of the war
were just as loud in this place
as anywhere else
though the fusillades
did not yet penetrate
the walls of the keep.

‎July ‎19, ‎2015 1:22 PM

The image of the ascending spiral staircase chosen by Tess for today's Magpie Tale. Tap the link to access the contributor list.

Running On Empty

I Wish I Understood You

Your trace is too weird
and should not be anything
it so seems to me.
I look left and up
and down the way for a light
or for some throughway
with a right turn sign
which could give me peace of mind,
tasting the fine grit
your wheels have spit up
over and over again -
invisible clouds
trying to keep up -
just like me racing with you,
running on empty.

‎July ‎19, ‎2015 5:10 AM

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Death In Hamlet
"Life is hard. Then you die."

He's acted his last
surreal moment, descent
into inertia.
Me: "Cut! That's a wrap!"
And you call, "Kill the damn lights."
He just lies there, still.

‎January ‎20, ‎2011 7:17 AM

Friday, July 17, 2015

The End Of Things

Lord Byron on his death bed.

That I shall die is a primary question
meant to be asked
meant to be lived
and the answer still remains absurd
no matter how I ask,
no matter how you cry.

‎January ‎20, ‎2011 6:29 AM

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stella - Three Word Wednesday

Written for Three Word Wednesday. Check out the creativity of all the other participants using the links you find there.

This portrait is true except she is a happy dog, neither dark inside nor lonely. She does find me boring. I am sure of that. Also, while this image is a good likeness, it is not of Stella. Neither image is actually of Stella but both capture something of her mien.

Stella, The Half Irish Wolfhound

This dog is dark both
inside and out and graying
in the eyebrow hair.
She appears lonely
most times and finds me boring
no doubt because I
do not move so good
these days and though she's older
she can still run, run
til her heart explodes
and her tongue hangs halfway down
to the gray wood deck.

‎July ‎15, ‎2015 9:56 AM

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Backlight - A Magpie Tale

Image offered by Tess at The Mag. Click on the link to see how other people responded to this image of the backlit woman striding toward sunset. Sunrise? I chose sunset as fitting to the mood I was feeling looking at her. Her? Probably.

I am dedicating this poem to a good friend, Marie De Stefanis.


I watched you stride tie
to tie, then crunch the gravel
as your mourning dress
wrapped your slenderness
in the sunset shimmering
in the yellow sky.

The tracks, going west,
were weedy and rusty brown,
the trains stopped long since.

I would have held you.
I wished to -knew I could not-
even from inside
I knew this too deep
to duck, my usual way
most times, most places.

What twisted me up
as you strode toward sunset,
you were still backlit
and I saw your shade
take your lead from you, reaching
its own way forward.

‎July ‎12, ‎2015 6:55 PM

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Inner Dove, The Inner Sea

The Inner Dove,
The Inner Sea

I entered your dream,
your sea dream, your green sea foam
rich in possibles,
even probables
and now I wonder how doves
of the morning shall
color themselves up
far beyond the sadder gray
of their normal lives.

‎January ‎14, ‎2011 1:00 PM

Friday, July 10, 2015

You Have Changed Me

It is my long fate
(and I have not tried to run)
to find your bright fire.

I now invoke all
songs, I now call all long drums
to the central ring.

It is time, this time
stripping the nonsense away
once, once and for all.

‎January ‎14, ‎2011 9:18 PM

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