December 2017 -- Daybreak
October 2017 -- Night Watch
September 2017 -- The Princess
August 2017 - Pelham
July 2017 -- Siena
June 2017 -- Loyal, Straight, and True
May 2017 -- A Thousand Flowers
April 2017 -- Oboe Rap
March 2017 - March Madness
February 2017 -- The Cost of Doing Business
January 2017 -- Reflection at a Winter Window
December 2016 -- The Creation
November 2016 -- Hemolymph Moon
October 2016 -- Vortex
September 2016 -- Do You?
What an odd year, 2017! Although each year has its headline events, 2017 was filled with more than its fair share of unexpected surprises. January found me in Brazil searching for bugs and birds in the retreating Atlantic Coastal Forest. May began the process of renovating a “final” house after 37 moves. June was spent in Italy visiting old haunts and discovering new ones. Fall was a time of transition as we moved deliberately into the new house and discovered the abundant nature that now surrounds us. All this played against the background of an absurdist political climate and other disasters natural and unnatural. How fitting that the year should end with an event totally out of context: A small flash mob appeared in the street in front of our house New Years Eve and, in 19-degree temperatures, proceeded to have a wedding! I wish the happy couple, whoever they may be, a warm and wonderful new year!
In keeping with the rather irregular and uncertain nature of the past year, I offer as the January Poem of the Month one of my favorites from Swatting Gnats (2012), with a shout out to Erwin Schrödinger who would have been 47,624 days old today :
Schrödinger's Cat is Out of the Box
and May Have Fled the State
Midnight passed some time ago, or so it seems to me
From where I sit in the lab with the clock mocking me from the wall.
Examining the evidence like a forensic detective,
I find uncertainty at every turn. I suspect Heisenberg,
Though my observations might have contaminated the evidence.
My investigation and my thoughts become increasingly random.
On the window, scrawled in glycerin, “S=k log W”.
Boltzmann must have had a hand in this!
Opening The Book, I dive into spacetime, seeking answers.
Running from the scene, I glance over my shoulder
And see the crime undone, one step back by one step back,
Discrete layers of time peeling away.
I see me at the computer, at the moment of the cat’s escape,
Committing e-mail to the Internet;
I see me reflecting and revising, forming random feelings
Into thoughts that bring order to my perceptions;
As I run faster, I see vignettes, exchanges, data points
Without individual meaning, forming a reality in aggregate.
So where was the crime?
I turn and run back toward the lab,
Moving forward in space and in time,
Peering into the Future, which coexists with Past and Now.
Perhaps the future holds the key.
Perhaps the consequences will determine
The gravity of the offense and reveal whether
The crime was in the observation, or in the interpretation,
Or in the telling.
from Swatting Gnats, 2012
Where Old Fliers Come to Roost
Ancient Eagle Press
Each month Ancient Eagle Press offers a poem appropriate to the season or the mood of our editorial staff. Poems may be new or drawn from existing AEP editions.
Poem of the Month