Ode to Ikea

In Sweden it gets very dark
Along with freezing weather;
So lots of time they have time to put
Their furniture together.

They send it out in boxes
Which come promptly to your door
So you can then assemble it
In sixteen days or more.

Their stuff is good – it’s very good –
But I do not agree
That furniture for daily life
Should be the death of me.

Morning, Noon and Night

Morning, she is soothing
Tranquility and grace
Doe’s eyes with a pensive gaze
Quiet voice and sudden smile
Keen mind in pursuit of solitude
Tired, intelligent and placid

Noon, she is curious
Active and bright
Absorbed in detail, but lost in reality
Ambitious and Honest
Competitive and Loving
Upright, smart and soft

Night, she is a fire
Passion and fortitude
Eyes laughing or blazing with anger
Caring completely, but hesitant to commit
Spirit generous but fallible
Sad, sharp, and faithful

Morning, Noon and Night
Peace, Joy and Love brought to an ashen life
As if the faces of the very stars
Turned empty darkness
Into a glistening city of the blessed


nights when they are crying you do all you can to comfort them
and when heartbreak comes in teenage years your heart breaks, too
you pour out every lesson you’ve ever learned
share every enthusiasm you know
and shape your very existence around attempts to bring them joy
teach them right from wrong
give them security
make them feel loved and worthy
give them what they need to go after the life they want to live

and then they grow up

armed with all that

and despise you

because it wasn’t enough

Poem from Old Lecture Notes

Old Notebook

There are two types of knowledge

Seeks to use techné
(or technology or magic)
To dominate our surroundings,
Including both nature and
Other human beings

The other
Seeks to use logos
(or reason or the principle of order)
To understand our surroundings
Including ourselves, nature, and others

The second of these might be called

The first might be called


Like so many things:
if you want to know how much you need it,
go without it.

The body and spirit, two receptors —
waiting always for emanations,
freezing, lifeless, without them.

The cold can be bracing, filling our lungs
(as when we breathe the air of solitude)
but only when relieved
by the warmth of companionship.

We need the heat between two people,
the glowing pyre of connection
in passing or for keeping.

Bring me in from this Winter!
I’ve done without for too long.
Invite me to share you,
don’t leave me shivering here.

I now truly know:
if you want to know just how much you need something,
go without it.

Fire in the Cold

Clymenenic Sacrifices


They hide their meaning with their words:
Achieve academic success,
Attain professional acclaim,
Make a difference to the world.

But when you learn for learning’s sake,
Work at a profession in quiet dignity,
Or make a difference “only” to your family and friends,
You clearly disappoint them.

They will not say it,
But fame is what they seek:
It is all they really want or value,
And cannot understand anyone who does not.

And we see it daily:
Sacrifices to Clymene on television;
Children sacrificed to Clymene in vicarious hope;
Souls sacrificed to Clymene where people work or learn.

Fame constantly needs a sacrifice,
And we constantly oblige:
Women and girls, boys and men,
So many die for her — willingly.