Happy Valentines


“Comment se fit-il que leurs lèvres se rencontrèrent? Comment se fait-il que l’oiseau chante, que la neige fonde, que la rose s’ouvre, que mai s’épanouisse, que l’aube blanchisse derrière les arbres noirs au sommet frissonnant des collines?
Un baiser, et ce fut tout. .”

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables



How was it their lips met? How is it the the bird sings, the snow falls, that the rose opens, that May blooms, that the dawn whitens behind the dark trees shivering on the summit.

When they finished, when they had said everything, she laid her head on his shoulder and asked:

What is your name?

My name is Marius, he said. And you?

My name is Cosette.


Thoughts on a Thistle


What images and thoughts come to mind when seeing a butterfly alight on a prickly thistle?

Prickly is the purple thistle
To birds and beasts and man
But not the butterfly


Oh Mary in her purple gown
Has a visitor today,
A thistle blooms in May


Each flower blooms and waits
For a butterfly – to come, to sit, and sip,
Then to fly away

Or, finally

The gentle summer wind blows
Not half as sweet as the nectar of a flower
To a butterfly


Purple thistle, gently kissed
By a Swallowtail butterfly
Summer’s pleasant, winter’s not


Pardon my presumption

Messier 104, NASA


Pardon my presumption,
In your eyes I see
My own
Staring back at me
And wonder
How singular
It must be
To share a soul
Rather than
Our Being
A Mystery…

From one soul
To another
Across the universe
My God
Mind your manners,
It matters
As every child knows
There is nothing more to say than,
And, it is impolite
To stare.


A poem is an incomplete image of a thing.

The Messier 104 galaxy is nicknamed the Sombrero galaxy. This NASA photo combines the infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope with a a visible light image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

The point being, I guess, that things aren’t always what they seem. Or, that it takes two eyes, to get a complete image. Or, – you fill in the blank.

My sparse poem is a revision of Morgan Bradham, Soul Stare.

Pardon me, Morgan, for my presumption in having your permission to mess with your beautifully written poem, but the fascination lies in the unique expression of images with words.

Blue, my world is blue

You are here, in the middle of the universe on a blue dot.




The author and astronomer, Carl Sagan said this of the scientists who study this planet:

“It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works — that white light is made of colors, that color is the way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light, that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue for the same reason that the sunset is red?

It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it.”

The excerpt from Carl Sagan’s speech which follows was inspired by an image taken, at Carl Sagan’s suggestion, by Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990 as the spacecraft left our planetary neighborhood for the fringes of the solar system, engineers turned it around for one last look at its home  about 6.4 billion miles away.




“My love, I had a crazy dream or was it?”

Your dress was white, the sun was bright, the sky was blue, the grass was green, and there, the two of us, you and I, in a field picking dandelions. In the midst of all the bright, bright yellow, stood a solitary flower. Its color hoary white with age.

You said, “Make a wish and blow.” I said, “I would have only one true wish.” I pursed my lips, I closed my eyes, I wished our love would forever last.

But before I could, a puff of wind blew away the flower.

[Mon amour, je fis un rêve, ce fou ou ce n’est pas? Read this poem in French]

Lest we forget

A memorial for six Servicemen and women killed in a suicide attack at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015.

(wsj.com: Tech Sgt. Robert Cloys/U.S. Air Force / Associated Press)

God of our fathers, known of old—
Lord of our far-flung battle line—
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies—
The Captains and the Kings depart—
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe—
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard—
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!

Recessional by Rudyard Kipling, reminding us of the sacrifice of the few and the fate that may befall us all.

No man is an island

‘No man is an iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee….’ John Donne, Meditation 17

no man is an island
no man is an island

The path less traveled

Everything we do
And everyone we meet can be meaningful in the path of life.
Pay attention to your senses, learn along the way,
Do not be afraid to take risks,
And you will find
That there is beauty in living.
And if perchance,
One takes a path less traveled,
There is a new path for others to follow.

The path less traveled
The path less traveled

What we see depends on what we are looking for.

Life's path
Life’s bright path

Arise Juliette and light the dawn

Balcony from Romeo and Juliette
Balcony from Romeo and Juliette

When you look at a scene with your naked eye, your brain selects the subject that is interesting. But cameras don’t discriminate. They gather up everything in view like a vacuum cleaner. It is your job to select what matters and keep all the garbage out.

Here is a morsel of a view of the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

In Photoshop, I made a few minor adjustments with levels and vibrance, then added the poster filter.

Voila, Romeo is patiently waiting for the morning sun.

Waiting for Juliette

This dating Juliette is grating on my nerves
Waiting, waiting
I hate she’s late
Be gone the moon, it is not too soon
For the sun to rise
And warm my bones
I deserve better weather
Or at least a sweater
While I am standing here

Open yonder window
I am cold and stiff as the dead
And all I ask is if
I can get a whiff of
The perfume from your hair
Arise fair lady,
Do you think I’m made of stone
Dammit, is this a pigeon perched on my head
It is time to get out of bed

Romeo waits for Juliette
Romeo waits for Juliette