Sunday, June 20, 2010

I love this Yeats poem:

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Notes from physics class

Notes from Physics 221

external control is the objective,
the prerequisite of which
is knowledge of the workings
of the internal forces which
maintain the equilibrium of the body.

possession of this prerequisite
necessarily implies the attainment
of a proportionate depth of insight
with respect to that body
out of which one wishes to emerge.

separation from that body
enables one to view objectively,
judiciously, impartially the body,
to measure its dimensions,
define its properties,
derive its qualities,
understand its nature and origins.

the energy required
to thrust an internal body outward---

Notes from chemistry class


broken pieces
scattered all about,
resisting silently
their reconstruction.

subatomic particles
in random motion
looking for the best nucleus
to revolve around.

mass confusion
and disorder
as the electrons collide,
mix and split,

rejecting organization,
and responding
only to light
from a pure source.

Notes from Botany class

Notes from Botany 140

Generations alternating
naturally selecting,
introducing variation,
peacefully refusing
weak connections and denying
life to those that can't survive.

Generations alternating
genetically mutating,
giving rise to every feature,
showing bias to no creature,
but preserving in its nature
its desires and its drive.

Generations alternating
gametes fertilizing,
energizing all creation,
changing forms without cessation,
seeking just that combination
that will make its species thrive.


One of my favorite Claude McKay sonnets...

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger's tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth!
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate.
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time's unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I love this John Masefield poem! I first heard it read in Mrs. Kennedy's fifth grade class, then studied it in the ninth grade (the third form).

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song, and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and the grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull;'s way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yawn from a laughing fellow rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

Sonnet #27 (second in the sweet peace trilogy)

Sweet peace, spring love was never meant to last:
It's just a stint, a pause, a brief delay
In what is otherwise a boring, gray
Sojourn we call our lives. Today her buds
And blossoms tantalize our eyes; in haste
We contemplate the taste of spring romance.

Sweet peace, spring's bittersweetness gives us cause
To recollect and circumspect love's laws;
And yet, spring love commands her subtle dues,
And moves our thawing thoughts to feel her views.
Spring love intoxicates us: drunkenly
We stumble, stagger, tremble, wild and free.

Sweet dreams, sweet peace, soft beats your angel wings,
My weary, weathered soul awaits next spring.

Sonnet #34

We sought asylum after we were freed.
Resettlement and refuge was our hope
And dream. We recognized that we had been
Excluded from the human race, and yet,
We chose to cast our buckets where we were.
Our nobleness convinced us that some day
We’d reap in joy what we had sown before
In blood and tears: and all the while our fears
Suggested otherwise; to wit, we had no right
To earn by birth what we had been endowed.

In retrospect, we should have sought asylum
Off these shores. One hundred years and more
Have passed, too many years to resurrect those
Pristine hopes and dreams. And now, today,
The time has come to seize what we are due.

sonnet without punctuation

We mourn the setting of a brilliant star
Who blazed a path for many, then burned out
At first he sang sweet songs of puppy love
He later sought through song to heal a world
His passions lifted us before his fall
As children we adored his boyish ways
We grew, became adults with his success
As men and women we thought we knew his pain
His stardom overswept us like the dust
That sweet melodic voice became a rasp
On our subconsciousness, his call to heal
Was crowded out by bills and laws and hate
And so we mourn a man who paid the price
And hope that lesser lights will now suffice

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sonnet #21

Remember years ago when we first met?
You selling books, me browsing, reading books
At Brandon’s store? We were so young, and life
So unrevealed, so full of promises
And boundless hopes and dreams, and guarantees
And opportunities. You went away.
I stayed and made mistakes. We met again,
You east, me west, you school, me ships and seas.
Confused, we erred and severed friendship’s bond,
And all seemed lost between us save a thread,
A laser beam of hope that, over time,
Compressed, distilled and purified, survived
Until today. We meet again. What fate
Awaits is ours to plan, to recommend.