Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Baktun 13.1.1.1.1



JH says "two thousand twelve gets closer every year"
this was two thousand four
Los Incas on the turntable and
really dinosaurs stalking annelids in the wet grass
and the San Pedro stew setting in

JB says "don't wear out that jacket"
or, "don't wear that jacket out"
or maybe, "don't out wear that jacket"
the meaning melting off the words and
I'm dumbly out wearing a brown suit coat with green paisley lining

BE says, not much really
On Land wooming out the open windows
of the Volvo wagon as we roll up
Hi Mountain Road and
unnamed Cretaceous sandstones are budding across the ridge

AK also quiet in aviator glasses
when we get to the peak and stroll to the lookout
a woman, a volunteer, a docent, a wildlife biologist
I'm not exactly sure
is wanding a radio antenna left and right in long slow arcs

CL says "we had number 22 fly over last weekend, I could see the wing tag"
we all look up
"She's not there now"
Rufous Hummingbirds are zipping and flitting
and later the sky busts open into Paracas tapestry

stop me if you've heard this one.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A parable:

Coming home from Bells Bend, on a failed jaunt to see the Whooping Cranes.

Drove past this fellow once. Heroically midway in the oncoming lane. I am aware, thanks to the internet, that people regularly intervene in chelonian road-crossing events. It is a thing. It is done.

"Flipped a bitch" with the help of a gated drive. Now (then) I've got a Lexus behind me with the box turtle square in the left tire kill zone. Pointedly I ease over onto the shoulder and around the little man with a wide berth. I hope the Lexus is watching.

Now past the turtle, Lexus is rapidly approaching with no sign of deviance from its luxury path. Rotten phytoplankton from Tethys, Caricao, Gulf, Central American Seaway, North Slope (ichthyosaurs flipping about the Otuk/Shublik seas) who knows, sparked by artificial lightning cast by fingers of metal and clay, fed by atmospheric oxygen spewed from the cells of the lineal descendants of the same dead plants, exploding in the cylinder, pushing the piston, cam, camshaft, torque, drive line, axle, hub, rubber tire, strange alchemy of atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere.

And I'm all, "nah dude, turn, turn, turn, turn,"

And the Lexus veers.

And I continue on past the road crew that's eyeing me with suspicion now for too many passes (but there will be one more!)

And onto the sod farm road. Three point turn, and around again. Past the Osage Oranges and Hickory Trees, up onto shoulder. Hazards on. Now approaching the reptile who is just to the double yellow.

Who sees me, and hunkers down, sealed with a hiss.

I like the way this turtle feels. In my hand. Heavy for its size. This is how the experts suggest you select a cantaloupe. The anterior marginals are dinged. Maybe a past very lucky run-in with the terror machines or who knows what. And I walk it to the far side of the road, hoping we can read a turtle's intention by the vector orientation. Anyway. What else can I do?

On finishing things:
feeling doomed
and not halfway done
passed by fate
then
shielded by fate
then
ferried by fate

it's enough to make you worship beardy dudes in Subarus.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

forced poem

brevity is the soul of suck

Saturday, September 29, 2012

word problem















Q54. One bird weighing 7 g departs Pelee Island, Ontario travelling southwest at an average rate of 43 km per hour on September 13th experiencing an average westerly cross wind of 10 km per hour. A second bird weighing 11 g departs East Fork State Park on September 17th travelling due west for 134 km at an average rate of 21km per hour with an average headwind of 6 km per hour before turning south and continuing at the same rate, experiencing the same 10 km per hour westerly crosswind as bird number 1. Assuming that daily foraging time for each bird is inversely proportional to mass divided by average daily energy expenditure and each mile travelled requires 4122 calories.

On what day will each bird arrive in Nashville?




There are several approaches to solve this problem:

Start with
the right-hand-rule,
given
I = S cos Z
where Z =
cos^-1(sin 36.1658º
sin [{23.4º*2
/(365.242/2)
*266}+{11.5[23.4º*2
/(365.242/2)]+-
23.4º}]+cos 36.1658
cos [{23.4º*2
/(365.242/2)
*266}+{11.5[23.4º*2/(365.242/2)]+-23.4º}]cos 15º(Time-12)
and the ever slanting 
dance of light filtered
through the understory;
the lingering chill 
in the dew
,and the lightning bugs
snuffed out like 
candles;
a subtle twist in the
seat of the soul
and the
irresistible
call of
Zugunruhe 

Or,
the heuristic approach:
watch the 12-day forecast
read the bird listservs daily
note the field marks
and check Sibley repeatedly

Or, for extra credit
integrate the obliquity,
eccentricity 
and 
precessional terms

Thuban drifts and winks over Gizeh
ice swells in the valleys 
and pours down across the continents
blitzkrieg by the millimeter-per-year
the little refugee camps 
adrift among the
Nunataks
playing the
Hardy Weinberg game
to pass the time

and the continent itself creaking out
and aft and up
like fingernails 
(everyone is always saying)

and even before that
the ripple through the Flora Family
the Devil's Tick
like a thumbprint pressed into wet clay
and later South America creeping up
to kiss the scar
down where the bugs never disappear
and the leaves never turn

and anyway all of these approaches converging
on the same results

these
  little
    drab 
olive and yellow 
  birds
   falling 
    from the sky 
and into our garden

on the crisp, unseasonably cool days
around the autumnal equinox
of 2012

and it's almost enough to make you think
the Mayan Long Count had it right
all along