Monday, November 30, 2009

Meta Sonnet: In Which The Sonneteer Contemplates Birthdays

These sonnets aren't as easy as they look,
Especially the birthday greetings, which
For all they've seemed like others, gen'rally took
A lot more work. Pentameter's a bitch
No matter what, but there is something more
When writing to one person something that
We all are saying: "Person I adore,
I hope your birthday's really where it's at!"
But in a way that makes it all about
That special guy or gal and not just some
Bad formula or something I've spit out
Just for the sake of getting the thing done.
But when I learn I've made that someone smile
I know that it's been worth it all the while!

Happy Birthday, IsoBan!

His illustrations stun me ev'ry time
I mosey to his blog to see what's new;
Chris Butler's not yet reached his artist's prime.
But fine art isn't all that he can do -
Go listen to him. He's another wise
And thoughtful voice on matters we find strange.
I'm liking what I'm seeing through his eyes,
And, too, participating in his range
Of Google Waves. His birthday is today,
A Monday, but if there is anyone
Who can transcend that, it is he, I'll say.
So go forth, IsoBan, and have some fun.
Then please continue opening up minds
With thoughtful questions and intriguing finds.

In Which The FDO Is Greeted On His Natal Day

360535127_8513b2936a, originally uploaded by double_up.

I hold the world in trust for when our man
Scott Sigler takes his post here at the helm
As our Dark Overlord. He really can
Take over governance of this, his realm,
Whene'er he chooses but he likes to watch
His fey Dark Regent squirm, I sometimes think.
Today's his natal day, so we're a notch
Much closer, I suspect, now, to the brink
Of his dominion. Best to be prepared!
Your chicken scissors you will yield to him
As tribute. Only hot goth chicks are spared.
To be delivered via forklift, limb
By limb (though "forklift" won't be what it's called)
And dumped before him all tangled and sprawled.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

In Which I Commemorate A Very Important Nap

The ISS oft makes me crane my neck
To see it passing overhead at dawn
Or dusk. But now up there upon one deck
A new experiment is going on
Combining the two things I love the most
(That's space and entomology if I've
Not been too clear on this here blog)! A toast:
To Butterflies in Space! Well may they thrive!
And just today a caterpillar formed
A crysalis, the first in micro-gee!
It's been many a day since news has warmed
My heart as this has. They could hear my squee
From orbit, I am sure. And now we wait
To see the butterfly ere it's too late.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In Which A Flickr Pool Absolutely Makes My Day

I deeply miss the grasshoppers who flit
Around the Greenway as I pedal through
Their congeries in summer. Sometimes it
Was my best moment all day. How I rue
Their passing and the odd mantid who hid
Among them. But today I found this pool
With help from Bug Girl - she's the one who did
Call my attention to it. All my cool
Escaped me in one squee to look at these:
So many origami arthopds!
E'en entophobes among you, if you please
Will find one to delight you. Oh, ye gods!
The internet's a true, great treasure chest.
But I love all the insect pr0n the best.

In Which I Am Slightly Late To Jeremy C. Shipp's Birthday Party

I fear that I'm a few short hours late
In wishing happy birthday to a man
Whose stories I love so. I feel less Kate
For not knowing till now. But I'm a fan
And better late than never, I shall say!
O Jeremy, your stories break my heart
And bend my mind in such a crazy way
How can I aught but love you, for my part?
I hope the gnomes and Mrs. J gave you
The day you wanted most, and that the clowns
That fill your attic kept well away, too.
May this next year be full of more profound
And lovely work to haunt us from your brain
To all our eyes and ears, is my refrain.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Flash: Make It Stop!

Sonneteer's note: this is the thirteenth installment of my sonnet-by-sonnet summary of a larger work, The Interstellar Feller, to be released sometime next year. To see the story so far, check out Part the Oneth here, Part the Twoth here, Part the Threeth here, part the Fourth here, Part the Fiveth here, Part the Sexieth here, Part the Seventhuth here, Part the Octthhhh here , Part the Ninth here, Part the Tenth here , Part the Eleventh here and Part the Dodecothhh here. And yes, this will be a podcast sometime in the new year.

"Yectara, we know what you have aboard"
A thousand creepy voices buzz and hiss
Directly down Pepito's spinal cord
Or so it feels like. Something's quite amiss.
Around the room his fellows all convulse
And his bright lady fair looks like she'll retch
Or whatever a cyborg who's repulsed
By what she feels might do should something catch
Her off her guard like this. "How dare you bring
Such foulness from this system?" says the swarm
Of voices? Signals? Vibrations that sting
E'en as they move along the nerves? What form
Would such who speak this way nat'rually take?
Pepito blocks such thoughts as his knees quake.

In Which Don and Carol Beat The Odds Some More

It's said that opposites surely attract
And that would be the case with this odd pair,
My mom and dad. He's Wyoming way back
(Fourth generation), while she hails from fair
Old San Francisco. Rawlins, where they met,
Hath never seen their like, before or since.
A cop and a newslady - that would get
A double-take from anyone. No hints
That they were meant to be would they accept
Until they stumbled on each other at
A party, and since then they've gladly kept
Each other's company, and I, their brat
And one more child from harm and foolish ways.
Congratulations, guys, and love always!

In Which My Own Dear Personal Sister (XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX)

'Tis beer day; so my sister hath declared
Though per my calendar this is the date
Some (censored) years way back our mom was spared
The further joys of pregnancy. I hate
To out her in this way but Sister Kris
Is old enough to (Oh, redacted) be
(This section lost to viruses) now. Miss
Sherrod the younger spends this day as she
Likes best: with foamy brew and TV sports
And then a live Trailblazers game. Don't say
I told you it's her birthday; out of sorts
Is not the way to leave her on this day.
Just play some ABBA and some A-HA, then
Wait till next year to do it all again!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

In Which I Try To Elucidate Why I Love Thanksgiving So

Each holiday together is a small
And sep'rate miracle as time goes on.
I dislike somewhat that we have to call
A special day to do it, then be gone,
But so we do and here we are again,
To dine and dig each other. As these go
Thanksgiving is my favorite, has been
E'er since one in a church in college, so
Damned groovy, that, it changed me through and through.
Good food and love can always make a day
A special one; add friendship to it, too,
And gratitude comes naturally, I'd say.
I know for most today just starts a round
Of celebrations - but this one's profound.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In Which I Discover An Unpleasant Allergy

The Devil's Fishbowl it has oft been called,
Most mem'rably by Robyn Hitchcock. I
Am always slightly shocked and quite appalled
To come to visit folks only to spy
A television that is never dark,
Not even during meals or talk or games.
It shuts me down to see it; harsh and stark
Alienation grips me. Call it names,
The Glass Teat or the Boob Tube, still it has
A death-grip on the consciousness of those
Who worship at its altar. I'm a spaz
When seeing it, I wrinkle up my nose
And mental nausea kicks in. And yet,
I feel like I'm the jerk because I fret.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In Which Mystery Science Theater 3000 Reaches The Legal Drinking Age

I'm told that twenty-one short years ago
Was MST3K's debut. I'm stunned!
This may well be my all-time fav'rite show.
Bad movies, mostly sci-fi, mocked and punned
By Joel, then Mike, and wondrous robots three,
Tom Servo, Gypsy, Crow (and Cambot, too
Of course, so kind of four). That once TV
Held wonders such as this can see me through
A dismal survey of much modern fare:
Imagining what these guys would have said
While watching the new Indy Jones, I'd bear
Much worse, I like to think. Still in my head,
I send a Bannergram to Joel and Trace
And Josh and all the Best Brains guys. My face!

Monday, November 23, 2009

In Which There Is No Stopping Today's Birthday Girl

Zoomzilla, on her skates or motorbike,
Our Lady Frostbite really can't be stopped.
A streak of mohawked blue we can't but like,
Her lovely face and mind just can't be topped.
I have no notion what she'll do at last
When she's "grown up" but full-time awesome can
Be her milieu, I think, and going fast,
And climbing rocks and riding space-worms when
She isn't reading just amazing books
Or playing music that blows out the top
Of my poor skull -- with which she throws out hooks
In her descriptions that make my brain pop
E'en ere the music makes me tap my toes.
Melinda's why that part of PA glows!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

SONNET DARE: In Which I Consider The Volatility Of Online Relationships

The written word is marvelous, unless
It is the only basis folks have got.
For understanding. It's too hard to guess
Intent behind bare words when they have not
A face to watch, a voice to listen to.
Relationships online have this pitfall
Built in before one thought, even, comes through
For misinterpretation. I won't call
This flaw a fatal one but it's severe.
Imagination fills in gaps that would
Best be left empty, and the common fear
That one is being dissed -- which never should
Come into play, still does -- and what we find
May shatter 'stead of bring us peace of mind.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

In Which I Almost Give Up

A place I have found sweet threatens to turn --
I won't say sour, but there's a bitter edge
To my experience these days. Tears burn.
Remembering one to whom I made a pledge
Of endless love and friendship won't be there
Is hard, but harder still, I start to find,
Is when another denizen won't spare
A thought to why things change, becomes unkind,
And makes me feel unwelcome in my space.
I'm digging in my heels but there are times
When I just want to give up, turn my face
Away. But I would lose much more. To rhymes
I turn to put my discomfort in words.
I'm really just a chicken and it hurts.

In Which The Real SpaceCat Is Greeted On His Birthday

The Real SpaceCat, my great Wyoming chum,
Who also goes by name of Walter Hawn,
Has made another journey 'round the sun,
But need not wonder where the time has gone.
This cat's been living life like we all should.
A broadcasting career in which all pride
Is justified, and now he takes some good
And lovely photographs and, in his stride
Writes lovely haiku for us all to read.
I've yet to meet him, but the day I do
You all will know; it will be quite a screed
I write to celebrate. I hope it's soon!
I won't say, quite, that Walter's getting old,
But rather that he's wonders to unfold.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Flash: First Contact?!

Sonneteer's note: this is the twelfth installment of my sonnet-by-sonnet summary of a larger work, The Interstellar Feller, to be released sometime next year. To see the story so far, check out Part the Oneth here, Part the Twoth here, Part the Threeth here, part the Fourth here, Part the Fiveth here, Part the Sexieth here, Part the Seventhuth here, Part the Octthhhh here , Part the Ninth here, Part the Tenth here and Part the Eleventh here. I'm truly thrilled you're sticking with me through this silliness!

The fair Yectara's rarely one to curse,
Unless she's well and truly been inspired
To do so. Rarely has there been a worse
Occasion than presents itself as, tired
From crop circle exertions, ship and crew
Just moments after breaking orbit are
Within the hostile crosshairs of a blue
And yellow starship! It's beyond bizarre!
"To battle frakking stations!" comes her cry
But ev'ry cacogen's already at
Its post, still masked and cloaked, as they let fly
Their own sharp streams of expletives at that
Which menaces them. Comes another blast,
Then subspace radioed demands at last.

In Which I Have Mixed Feelings Over Vat-Veganism

Last night I made elk chili for our meal,
Tonight homemade tomato sauce I plan,
Homemade tomato paste, too. Yes, I feel
Quite proud to make my own. I do think Man
Does best when he's an omnivore but I
Don't do the supermarket meat thing, no.
The chemicals and cruelty just don't fly
With me. Per William Gibson today, though,
I ponder now a future in which meat
Comes not from animals, milk not from cows,
Eggs not from birds; all vat-grown. Could be sweet,
Or could be even more disgusting. How's
It strike you? We already eat such stuff
As great-grandma would not call food, sure 'nuff.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In Which I Consider Wellness

How often, I now ask, do we take note
Of days like this, in which there is no pain,
No coughs or wheezes, no scratch in the throat,
No twisted limbs or joints - naught but a plain
And ordinary health? This state is mine
Right now; I walk without a hitch and feel
Not one bit out of sorts. In fact, I'm fine.
We take these days for granted, mostly. We'll
Not even recall that we had them when
Next we fall ill or hurt ourselves, I'm sure.
Our bodies go unnoticed if they've been
Free of the ills that make us insecure.
But if you're well today, just take a sec
And savor how it is to be unchecked.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In Which I Ponder Urban Fossils

Our Greenway is a long path of concrete
That winds all through Cheyenne, though it's not whole
As yet; it's discontinuous. Complete,
It will let bikers and the sorts who stroll
To travel all around, no care for cars
Except at a few crossings. Ere that day
More cement must be poured, must set for hours
And opportunities galore will lay
In wait for leaving traces, casts and tracks
Such as I saw out there this afternoon.
Bike tire trails, paw prints, outlines and cracks
All testify to what landed too soon
In that congealing muck before it cured.
They'll know of us in future; that's assured.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In Which The Iron Man Starts Another Trip Around The Sun

My admiration for him is well-known,
Our IronMan1176, he's styled,
Or Avery K. Tingle if your own
Staid preference goes there. How I have smiled
In reading his great blog, his novel and
His random thoughts on Twitter. He's one guy
I'm happier to have as a friend than
To be on the wrong side of, or as I
Affirm is worse, to be a stranger to.
He works as hard as he plays, also loves
Devotedly, as Molly'd surely coo.
His fierce determination quickly shoves
Aside what obstacles get in his way.
And it's his mumbleth birthday just today!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Atheist's Grief

I'm sorry, I'm a skeptic, don't believe
My friend is "out there" somewhere. He's just gone.
Not waiting in a next life to receive
Me or his other friends when we've "moved on."
An afterimage burned within my heart
Still glows and will do so for long years yet
As ever happens when one does depart,
Those left behind must strive to not forget
The lost one. If they do, there's nothing left
But ashes blown before the wind. That's all.
I wish I could think otherwise, bereft
As I am now. 'Twould be nice, but I call
Myself out for pretending. Mac's just dead
And all that's left's his voice inside my head.

In Which A Month Passes

Today's the first when I have thought, in truth
Of skipping on the sonnet-writing. Why?
Well, Twitter's like a smile with no front tooth
Since one of us was lost. I look and cry
Whene'er something reminds me that he's gone.
Today it was the shuttle launch. I gawk
At ev'ry one and know the day will dawn
When up will go the last of them. Such talk
Was part of what I shared with Mac - we feared
The space program had peaked and would decline
Through politics and budget cuts. I cheered
To see Atlantis launch, was feeling fine,
But then, I don't know why, it hit me square:
A month has passed since he left us. Not fair.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In Which There Is A Flapple Over Apple

The deed was done a year ago; the news
Came from the Patent Office last month, and
Was in the New York Times today. "Let's fuse
Our lovely tech with advertising! Grand!"
Quoth Randall Stross (I paraphrase) by way
Of summing up his thought's on Apple's move,
Applying for a patent on, they say,
A gadget highjack, quite against the groove
We think is Apple's. Make your iPod freeze
Until you prove you've watched the ad it's shown?
Anathema! Yet cooler heads say "Please,
Is this indeed the Apple we have known?"
Perhaps it's just a measure to prevent
Some others making real what we'd resent.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In Which I Mash Up Astronomy And Nirvana, Because I Can

I'm happy 'cause today I found my sun
Has much less lithium than it quite should
But it's not in my head, the reason, one
That is not in my head; my will is good:
I'll tell you why. Yeah. Planets make it slow,
The star's rotation, and the mineral,
So heavy, deep within the star must go,
Drawn there by mighty force to fuse. Farewell
To it then; it is something else. Thus those
With less of the third element, are more
Than likely candidates for planets. Prose
Ill serves such wonders. Mirrors? I've broken four!
But I must tell you I'm not going to crack.
I love this news; I'm never looking back!

Friday, November 13, 2009

In Which We Are Greatly Pleased

Comes now the news: the LCROSS probe has found
Some water where we'd long hoped it would be.
In Crater Cabeus on Luna, 'round
The Moon's south pole. This means a lot to me
For reasons that soon all will understand
(Though it means some slight rewrites must be done!)!
To have a source of water near at hand
Bodes well for future colonization
And making of the Moon a right foothold
For future space development. This here
Is just the kind of news that cheers my old
And sci-fi loving heart. I hold too dear
The hope that someday mankind will explore
And learn about the universe next door.

Friday Flash: In Which Unexpected Events Transpire

Sonneteer's note: this is the eleventh installment of my sonnet-by-sonnet summary of a larger work, The Interstellar Feller, to be released sometime next year. To see the story so far, check out Part the Oneth here, Part the Twoth here, Part the Threeth here, part the Fourth here, Part the Fiveth here, Part the Sexieth here, Part the Seventhuth here, Part the Octthhhh here ,Part the Ninth here and Part the Tenthethththth here. Wow!

The Grokulator's course now firmly set,
Yectara turns to our Pepito, smiles,
And pats him on the ass. "So now you'll get
A right reward for enduring these trials.
We're finally off on a trip through space
And maybe time." Pepito is confused
At this remark, but soon his handsome face
Shows more alarm than puzzlement as, bruised
By passing debris from a console, he
Grabs onto his Yectara in alarm!
The solar sails, deployed, bring up to speed
The ship, and just in time! Someone means harm
To all the Grokulator and her crew!
Or so that warning shot might tell one. True?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In Which I Try Not To Think

My kitchen table's empty for the first
Time since the last I had a dinner guest.
My living room has also seen of burst
Of ordering, and it's all for the best.
Much empty space is mine to contemplate:
"'Twill help you clear your mind," my Erin said.
Perhaps it's so, but nothing will abate
The sound of longed-for voices in my head --
Though even they keep saying not to think
But just to be. I think I've no idea
How that is done. I do not want to drink
Or take a pill; I seek no panacea.
I really want to find a little peace.
But grief keeps stalking like a hungry beast.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

With Molly At The Off-Leash Dog Park Of A Wednesday Evening

So many doggies in the Mockler park
And Molly does not know how much she likes
To be among these animals who bark
And frisk about and sniff. One of these nights
I'll fail to get my girl to go at all.
She'll eye the car and know we're off to get
Some exercise, and she'll reject the call.
She likes okay the other dogs she's met
But much prefers to sniff the mail they leave
When it has aged. When proffered a fresh source
She turns her nose away. I do believe
At heart she is a kitteh, though of course
No kitteh would be caught dead herding labs
As she will do when toys are up for grabs.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In Which I Uncertainly Prepare To Catch A Wave

Today on impulse I just threw it out
That I would take a Google Wave invite
If one were offered, though I am without
A clue, really, as what might come to light
Once I am on there with my Twitter buds.
Collaboration always sounds quite good,
But sometimes leads to unbearable duds,
If no one has an idea of what should
Be happening. Does anybody know
What we're supposed to do once we're on board?
I'm always game to give something a go
And pitch in with my best creative horde.
Right now though all I think about is hype
And wonder if I'm quite the waving type.

Monday, November 9, 2009

In Which I Gloat Over A Great Chance To Watch The International Space Station

My Twitter feed comes with a special "twisst":
An application that alerts me when,
Like Horkheimer I look up, I'd have missed
A special sight if facing wrong. I've been
A gawker at the skies since childhood, and,
Like many thought I'd be an astronaut.
That didn't happen, but in quite a grand
Tradition I watch ships launch and you ought
Not be surprised I sometimes crane my neck
And watch for our space station overhead.
Tonight at 6:07 a bright speck
Will come from west-northwest. I'm oft in bed
When such a chance occurs, or there are clouds.
Tonight though, I shall see it; nothing shrouds!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

R.I.P. Peter Storer

It's been a while since I quaffed down a beer
With you my friend, and now I guess I won't,
Not evermore, but I resist the tear
I want to shed. Your daughter's right; you don't
Want us to cry. We had a lot of fun
In building our community. You were
A hell of a fun guy to know. I'm one
Of many who will miss you. There's a blur
Now in my eyes, but still to this I cling:
I've memories galore to make me smile,
As do we all. But may I say one thing?
While you had quite a run I still revile
That fate just took you from us. Friend, farewell.
I know that where you are you're raising hell.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

In Which I Have A Tiny Panic Attack At Work

Alone here in a fishbowl, full of folk
Absorbed in work and play, ignoring me,
I suddenly can't shake or call a joke
The feeling that has made me want to flee:
Just weeks ago a jackass in a truck
Hit me on Deep Blue as I crossed a street.
Just days ago another tested luck -
The driver, texting, nearly made me meet
My newly-dead friend sooner than I'd planned:
Was head-on for me and swerved as I did
To miss. It seemed dead-certain that my grand
Time on this Earth was done. Did someone bid
Him look up? It's unknown. But now the sense
That something wants me dead, too, is intense.

Friday, November 6, 2009

In Which The Construction Gods Smile On Me At Last

Returned from Saratoga, lo, I find
That Dell Range Avenue is nearly back
To normal, on my eastern end. My mind
much eased by this, I failed to note that smack
Amidst us all, new traffic lights now hang
At Marble Avenue! So that is what
The mess was for? Illus'ry safety bang
In my own subdivision? That's great, but
I still won't fall for it, not on my bike.
Or in my car, or walking. Red or green,
They're still just symbols. Sure we all would like
To think they are preventive, but the scene
Just down the street at Converse surely proves
That head-in-ass is still how traffic moves.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


The trees are naked in November sun,
Shed leaves are dry and clatter through the street;
Cool browns, dull greys, some golds but only one
Bright hue relieves the muted palette. Sweet,
The year is ending. Dormancy prevails.
Yet deep inside each thing is closely held
That which against all chills' attacking fails.
Not death but strength tones down the colors. Quelled,
Then, should be any talk of loss, ennui
Or sadness. Beauty sometimes takes on stark,
Surprising forms if one has eyes to see.
It's there throughout these days, e'en in the dark.
Take time today; go outside and admire
The bold tenacity that guards the fire.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

In Which My Ipod Punks Me Slightly

It was a lovely noon Wyoming drive
To Saratoga after playing chess
With a dear friend. I felt well and alive -
And blaring loud my iPod, I'll confess -
When suddenly my heart stopped; in my ears
Mac Tonnies' voice was murmuring. I had
Reloaded just that morning; it appears
I missed that -- and I won't say this is bad --
His Coast-to-Coast appearance made the cut.
I'm proud of what he did there, though the shock
Of hearing him while driving hurt me. But
Once tears cleared I stopped my car and took stock:
I've him and all the music we have shared
Right there, and it's OK now I'm prepared.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Which I Geek Out On Some Cool Objects

Those who have seen me 'round know how I love
Two pieces of odd jewelry that I've got.
Each morning these days I dither: which of
These two artworks I'll wear and which I'll not
(The two of them together would not work;
They both are necklaces). The Earth and Moon?
The grasshopper? Sure, you may smile and smirk
But get some Surlyramics of your own
And see how good you are at choosing which
To wear each day! If science turns your crank,
If skeptic witticisms flip your switch,
Then you'll do well to click over and thank
Me later for the tip. I was not paid
To write this, mind. I just like what she's made.

Monday, November 2, 2009

In Which More Good Medicine Comes My Way

As doors open and close, we spin around
And sometimes we lose track of who has come
Through with us. Mostly those we've lost are found
But sometimes gone for good, and we're left dumb,
Confused and sad and lonely, crying out
For someone who's no longer there. That's pain,
But those same doors whose closure gave us doubt
Can also bring just what we need: we gain
In losing. Old friends still along with us
Step up and help, and strangers become new
And wondrous sources for what we lack. Thus
Has gone my week-and -change since something drew
Mac Tonnies from our lives. There all along
Were people waiting to help me be strong.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

In Which I Rejoice In Having Lots And Lots Of Company!

Of NaNoWriMo it is Day One; I
Have yet to write a word, but am not blue.
Though precious hours keep on ticking by,
I'm sanguine, though there is so much to do!
Those fifty-thousand words of fiction won't
Just write themselves, but I think I might feel
A bit like they are! Now, dear readers, don't
Go thinking I'm blase; this is a real
Commitment, but this year so many friends
Have made it with me that I'm giddy from
Anticipation. We bust out our pens
(Or typewriter in my case) and succumb
To that old urge, court muses, make our starts
And know that all around beat sim'lar hearts.