Angels in the Eddies
Intelligent design or cosmic dice, Whatever brought us here, well here we are. Not isotropic goo, all fire, all ice But spectral lines and wishes on a star. Perhaps if entropy were really high We wouldn't wonder if our lives made sense, Or how we came to be, or when, or why A certain order grows in turbulence. And so our ancient goal, our grail, our call, Must be to keep the chaos wolves at bay Creating things when nothing's there at all And mourning when it finally slips away As autumn fades and snow is crystalized, Our destiny is to be organized.
Watching Our Children Grow
Now and again, I think I can see Something looking like a mystery Usually, though, it looks like work to me: Watching our children grow. Every day, seems they're in that mood Maybe sleepy or in need of food Looking to start another family feud. Watching our children grow. Smallish condo on leasehold land Trike in the kitchen, need a minivan Living room littered with a box of crayons. Watching our children grow. He stuck his tongue out and he widely grinned I asked him why and he pulled it back in, He said, "Want to do that? I was licking the wind." Watching our children grow. I remember back when things were new Could taste the sweetness in the morning dew Our lives were simple and our cares were few. Now we're watching our children grow. Sometimes I see it in the corner of my eye Like the faintest star in the evening sky You don't see it unless you don't try. Watching our children grow. It's a hint of you and a hint of me Still's something of a mystery They say it runs in the family, Watching our children grow.
Love and Thin Air
Our beginning was heady, those memorable days, Though we really weren't ready, not in so many ways. From the moment we met, from our first tentative kiss I thought, "it's not gonna get any better than this." Now I don't love you like I used to -- and it's time you should know Though it's probably something that's beginning to show, How could I have imagined, more than ten years ago... Just how far love would take us and how much it would grow. On our first date in the mountains, we said "Let's hope that it clears So we can see through the clouds and the subsequent years." Looking back now its clearer, its a view that we share It's a decade of landscape through love and thin air. Now I don't love you like I used to -- it's time you should know Though it's probably something that's beginning to show, How could I have imagined, more than ten years ago... Just how far love would take us and how much it would grow. Now we wake up each morning, try to open our eyelids, We look over at each other, and we look at our kids. How could this ever have happened, how'd we get here from there? Making this home and our family, out of love and thin air. And I don't love you like I used to -- it's time you should know Though, I hope that by now it's beginning to show It's much more than we imagined a decade ago, Just how far love would take us and how much it would grow. Now we wake up each morning, try to open our eyelids, We look over at each other, and we look at our kids. How could this ever have happened, how'd we get here from there? Making this home and our family, out of love and thin air.
Amazing how one day we just appear. Then overnight, it seems, we're history. This fate of ours, this cosmic mystery sends chills through me: of joy and sometimes fear. I think sometimes about a boy I knew. Someone I would not recognize today If not for a few memories and our name. We live not just one life, but quite a few. We are the children of our former years And with our parent's lives we are combined: Grandfather's stories seem as real as mine. Not GrandPa, nor the boy, have disappeared. So when I say I'm history, that's right, But history is more than overnight.
Pacific waters kilometers below And waves in clouds a thousand meters high Stretching between edges of the globe The oceans of the sea and of the sky. And I float freely here above it all Part aerodynamics, part champagne Keeping me from danger, from the fall Here it only pours, it doesn't rain. And when the fuel is low and glasses dry We sink into the thicker air below Descending through the turbulent grey sky The seats go up; the flaps go down; we slow. We hit the ground, and bounce, spoilers extend, As waking shocks the dream and brings its end.
It won't snow here; the winter months bring rain. No snowmen here, no sleighbells in the night. And though we dream that Christmas will be white, We don't wake up to find the world has changed. And yet the morning lasts throughout the day. The sun illuminates the hills; they glow With winter light as pure as powder snow. The sunset lingers, finally giving way. And while the view of lights through frosted glass Can make a house seem warmer than it might Our thoughts of friends will do well for tonight. We let good cheer, if not the snow, amass. I hope, my point, this sonnet has implied: We need not freeze, to feel that warmth inside.
The wizards left us long ago, and I Know now how much we've lost to history. Their eyes could focus sharp the mystery In simple things and would let nothing by. I looked into such eyes though, yesterday Where images, like raindrops, were distilled From seas of time. I saw bright moments stilled In silver rhyme, so they could not slip away. Familiar things, these days, seem strange to me: I feel the pull of stars through years of space And hints of understanding from a face Amidst the surf. These, I must squint to see; They fade in waves. From time to time they rise In silver foxes, seals, and wizards' eyes.
Four raincoats drying in the hall, And cards on counters, taped to walls. This time of year we think of friends, And all that's happened since last year's end: When Laurel first began to walk -Now she runs and loves to talk, And Elliot turned three this year, Full of life and free of fear. With Laurel at NITC and Elliot at Bing, Getting out in the morning is no easy thing. ' Guess we've always packed in as much as we could, While once it was hiking, now it's parenthood. Sharon works mornings, then works afternoon. A.M. out at NASA, but starting real soon, She'll be running our company half of the day Then running our family: director of play. And Dad's doing more than just reading Babaar, With his research at school and an SBIR. 'His' SWIFT was successful in 1993, With stories in print and Ilan on T.V.. Now it's almost vacation, we're inside for the storm, Making hot cocoa and just keeping warm. We're thinking about you, and wish you good cheer: Happy holidays, and a splendid next year.
From time to time we find ourselves in awe Of winter peaks, or maples in the fall, Or countless wonders that we always call the most amazing thing we ever saw. The more we see, the less we are surprised. And so we feel that wonder less and less: "Oh yes, it's grand, but frankly, I confess, It's not so far from what I had surmised." Just when I thought I had it figured out, This mystery of life too thinly veiled, He changed the plot; he looked at me; he wailed. I'd no idea what it was all about. I look at him and marvel at it all At Elliot and maples in the fall.
Fire in the Mountains
There's a place I used to know quite well In the Oregon Cascades, With old growth fir and juniper, And ferns in spots of shade For the things that I was given there I never could repay, So when I found that it was gone I felt suddenly betrayed. There was a fire in the mountains; There was a woman, was a friend. In all the time I'd spent up there I never realized, how soon it would end. It must have started in the valley floor I saw it move across her face It spread among the underbrush Leaving ashes in their place A hundred years of history Vanished without trace Except the scars of those few days Which time would not erase. There was a fire in the mountains; There was a woman, was a friend. In all the time I'd spent up there I never realized, how soon it would end. There really wasn't much to see, That you could call a warning. There was even less that I could do When I awoke to smoke that morning. Well, I always knew the danger there When things began to dry But when the sky grew dark with smoke I was never more surprised. There was a fire in the mountains; There was a woman, was a friend. In all the time I'd spent up there I never realized, how soon it would end. I've started walking other trails now, That I walked some time ago. Places that I've left behind And some I've never known. And though I loved that place so well And hate to see it go They say when forests do burn down It lets a healthier one grow. There was a fire in the mountains; There was a woman, was a friend. In all the time I'd spent up there I never realized, how soon it would end.
Night Eagles -- A Lullaby
Draw pictures of eagles On the backs of your eyes, Follow them up In the clear desert skies, And circle away, Circle away. Imagine the wind As it blows through your hair, The sun on your back, And the cold of the air On your tears, On your tears. Then tightes the muscles In your powerful wings And dive... Can you hear the wind sing In your ears, In your ears? How long will it be 'Til a foolish care Becomes too much weight And you fall from the air, Crashing down Crashing down... to bed. Now you're lying Awake once again, Trying to sleep. But you stumble when You try so hard. You always stumble When you try so hard. Just draw pictures of eagles On the backs of your eyes, Your troubles can't travel Nearly so high. Tonight you're an eagle, Tonight you're an eagle. Draw pictures of eagles On the backs of your eyes, Follow them up In the clear desert skies, And circle away, Circle away.
Lazy Northern California Sunshine on Ya Day
Sittin here singin, Just started thinkin, My eyes blinkin in the sun Sittin here thinkin That I should be thinkin About something else. Oh on a lazy Northern California sunshine on ya day. I set my thoughts to wonder on whatever comes my way. Well I think people should Spend some time in the woods And consider where, if they could, They would go. It's days like today That make people say They say I keep wasting my time But I won't be like the man Who has made up his plan But never sees the mountain that he climbs. Oh on a lazy Northern California sunshine on ya day. I set my thoughts to wonder on whatever comes my way. People say don't take life so serious There things that to you may seem mysterious There things you can't understand and you'll become delerious If you try. Well, I'm afraid I can't agree When the things I feel and see Come together and keep telling me to try. On days like lazy Northern California sunshine on ya days. I set my thoughts to wonder on whatever comes my way. Sittin here singin, Just started thinkin, How much I enjoy the summer sky It's good to spend a day With nothing much to say Just lookin at the way a hawk will fly Through a lazy Northern California sunshine on ya day. Just set my thoughts to wonder on whatever comes my way.
The Laws of Physics
Well gravity's got its rules, it has to obey, Now that Mr. Einstein has had his say. But we don't interact in such a simple way; I don't love you a fourth as much When you're twice as far away. No I don't believe in the inverse square law When it comes to me and you I can be bombarded by thousands of miles And the memories of the loves I've been through Well you'd better not anticipate Our love will dissipate And scatter off into the blues 'Cause I don't believe in the inverse square law When it comes to me and you. Now I must admit to a bit of confusion When it comes to the principle of Pauli exclusion What he had to say I really don't recall But when you're two places at once You're not anywhere at all. No I don't believe in Bose-Einstein statistics When it comes to you and me I can be surrounded by hundreds of ladies In all their finery. But you'd better not anticipate Our love will dissipate In the light of someone new 'Cause I don't believe in Bose-Einstein statistics When it comes to me and you. So no one tell me what's bound to happen Fate don't stand at windows 'rumblin and wrappin'. Our lives are not determined Half as much as I am To stay close to you. No I don't believe in the laws of physics When it comes to me and you I can be bombarded by thousands of miles And the memories of the loves we've been through Well you'd better not anticipate Our love will dissipate And scatter off into the blues 'Cause I don't believe in the laws of physics When it comes to me and you.
Calling Me Home
Been wondering round the last few years Under sunny skies and an occasional tear I like what I'm doing here, just fine You won't see me complaining 'bout California sunshine. But give me Oregon rains, Those stay inside days, Like the last line of my favorite poem Yeah, the rain is falling And I hear it calling me home. The rain is falling And I hear it calling me home. There's just so long I can wander Just so long I can roam, all alone When the rain is falling And I hear it calling me home. Now I'm sitting inside watching the day roll by. There's little wonder, the rumbling thunder Has taken so long to fly. I may be wet in California, But I'm in Portland in my mind. When rain is falling And I hear it calling me home. There's just so long I can wander Just so long I can roam, all alone When the rain is falling And I hear it calling me home. Now I can picture a pair of old wine glasses And half of a bottle of wine They're sitting on the top of a table by the window As the sun starts trying to shine. They're catching the light that was caught be the raindrops And sparkling in your eyes Then I try to come back to this dark cold evening Lord, I really have to try Because the rain is falling And I hear it calling me home. There's just so long I can wander Just so long I can roam, all alone When the rain is falling And I hear it calling me home.
Why I can't quit.
I watched the sunset from the top of a ridge in the Sierra foothills. The evening breeze was warm and carried the now familiar scent of partly dried grasses. Swallows circled in the last thermals of the day chasing the insects that were carried higher than they might have cared to go. I thought back a few hours and looked down on myself from 'two grand over', my eyes focussed on the closest features to detect the drift, my ears ringing some from the continuous sound of the wind, my arms braced for the next 'pop'. A red tail hawk rises quickly a few hundred yards south and I turn to follow. The distant snow-covered mountain range tilts as I turn to core the lift. I circle and relax. These sights and sounds awaken me; I feel a part of the place. I suppose the metaphysical aspects of hang gliding are to be found to some degree in backpacking, climbing, Zen, or perhaps certain drugs. If this kind of transcendental "nonsense" were all there was to hang gliding I could quit. As I circle I think about other things as well. The change in washout with angle of attack actually improves the span loading of these wings. The low bar pressure achieved by some of the designs is acceptable only because of the increased stability at low alpha -- produced by the variable camber that reflex bridles create. On no other aircraft has aeroelastic tailoring been so effectively applied. It must be the reduction in Cnb due to sweep with decreasing CL that causes this dutch-roll mode at high speeds. There is something about this thinking on both sides of the brain at once that is hard to do without. I suppose that there are safer sports: computer hacking, watching T.V., even wind surfing or skiing. I must say that this is hang gliding's major detraction for me. But it is not dangerous enough to give up. I shudder to think what life would be like if we were to abstain from everything which held some risk. As someone has said, "some people tip-toe through life in order to arrive at death safely." For some the danger is an attraction: not for me. If it were just a cheap thrill, I could quit. This is not what attracts me to the sport. Rather, it is finding myself out on a ridge in the Sierra foothills at sunset, enjoying the smell of the air, the challenge of the aerodynamics, and the company of those who do too.
Statue of Liberty
I remember the statue of liberty It was bronze, eight inches tall It must have cost at least five dollars, back When that didn't seem so small. I had to beg for you to buy me one And I was thrilled you finally did I don't know why now that should make me cry You were forty; I was a kid. How could that be so long ago? Seems like just the other year When we waited to see if it would snow. I was young and you were here. I'm playing with my daughter now At the San Francisco zoo. Says she'd really love that toy giraffe And it makes me think of you. I wonder if she'll remember this If she'll cry or if she'll laugh Some night when she is forty five And she thinks of that giraffe. How could that be so long ago? Seems like just the other year When we waited to see if it would snow. I was young and you were here.
'Tis the Season
The sun now climbs just higher than the trees, To whom the shorter days contain a code, Their leaves, like stars, arranged upon the road In constellations shifting with the breeze. It's that time of year when children don't get bored Inside the house discovering old toys, When girls are queens, and princes, once just boys, Defend their Lego castles from the Zord. But also it's the time that we step back. We wonder at the stars in darkest night, And how our friends and family make it bright; It's great that there are stars admid the black. May dark grow light and wonders never cease, And may next year bring happiness and peace.
Somehow Decembers always mark the years, While other months fly by before they're here. It's Winter when we get the chance to think About the things, unnoticed when we blink. Like kids who once reached up to find our hand, Now wondering why we don't understand. And friends we talked with just the other day. How could that possibly have been last May? But now the full moon shines before the storm. Forecast says teens, but now the fire's warm. What better time to think of winters past, New chances, and old friendships that will last. And as wind cries and snow starts to appear I promise not to blink again next year.
Fork on the Left
Fork on the left, spoon next to the knife Rules of the road, suggestions for life But the critical concepts, to avoid utter disaster Aren't quite the things that we're taught how to master... You've got to learn how to smile, at just the right time How to tell if that girl is just too good at lyin' You've got to learn how to talk and when to be quiet When you really should land and when you can fly it... Fly it home. You might know that not much, really goes with white zin And that how to say thank you depends on the country you're in But the important decisions can't be condensed in a rule Or a curricular aspect of primary school... You've got to learn how to smile, at just the right time How to tell if that girl is just too good at lyin' You've got to learn how to talk and when to be quiet When you really should land and when you can fly it... Fly it home.
What Better Time Than This
What better time to pause, and start to think About the years now gone and yet to come As sunsets linger turning clouds to pink And children sing, 'a rup pa pum pum' What better time to stay inside and play A winter novel and a cup of tea December winds can howl throughout the day Relentless, but they're no concern to me. What better time to spend among our friends And talk about those things that matter most We stay long after solstice night descends Until no one can make another toast. And though there've been some moments I will miss, I cannot think what better time than this.
It's felt this way since first I can remember: A certain scent, a color in the light, The smell of rain that's fallen in the night. I'd know without my Pilot, it's December. Some thirty, forty years ago, we'd wake Each day, these days, and pray for fallen snow Then open eyes as wide as they could go To see the world iced, like frosted cake. Now that we say we know what life's about, We write down lists of all that lies ahead: Review the paper, make the gingerbread. We sometimes leave the most important out. To all that we can't name, a winter toast: It's things not on the list that matter most.