A Poem Carved Out of a Self Experiment

Moments in a Long August Day


I stand in the office.

sunlight comes in through two windows

one behind me and one to my right.

My hand is moving away from the book I just put down.

A woman talks fast and loud.

She swivels around in her large office chair to face me.

I see the slight curved wrinkles at the corners of her eyes.

The hum of computers is there underneath her voice.

The words come fast, so fast they can’t mean anything.

One metal prong, curved as it comes up from the file,

reflects itself in the straight tilted end.

My finger and thumb closed together nearby.


I sit tilted forward, leaning over a yellow file folder,

black lines hard on the yellow.

Someone talks behind me in loud, dry, tones

rough rocks moving together.

The whispery hum of computers still underneath it all.


Both of my hands lightly grip the black steering wheel.

Through the windshield I see a narrow two lane road rising in front. Trees form a solid wall of shifting green in many shades, leaves glittering as the breeze moves them.

Dark green leaves against the bright yellow of a house.

In the distance a hillside,

a patchwork forest against the cloud washed sky.


I am counting pieces of plum colored printer paper.

The sound of a drill comes from under my desk.

A man is on his back head and shoulders hidden by the desk.

legs lay apart flat on the floor.

Someone reads an Email about impending change.


I sit on a couch

paperwork on a coffee table.

A man looks from me over to his 3 year old son.

He says something in Punjabi.

The boy nods his head and replies in clear singing tones,

also in Punjabi.

“He says that he wants to go to school now,”

the man says.

“He is ready.”

The boy smiles at me.

I smile back.


The light is green.

I steer the car through the intersection

up the hill.

“What was that beep?” asks my son.

“It was just my watch.”


I am walking toward a parking lot with only a few cars here and there. My wife, who walks next to me, tells me some ideas she has about college and her career.

Across the parking lot

enormous trees,

spreading, chaotic oak, symmetrical pines, narrow cottonwoods are scattered about an undulating field of short cut brown tinged grass.


I sit at a glass table on a second story deck in the cool stretched shadows of an ancient furrow barked hemlock.

A bowl of minestrone steams

It is too hot to eat.

I take a bite of jicama, sweet, crisp, and wet.

My wife talks about her work and change.


The headlights shine on the bushes and telephone pole as I steer the car around the corner

Up the street and down into the driveway.

My daughter sings with the radio.

I turn off the car.


All is still.

This entry was posted in All part of the process, change, Family, House and home, paying attention, poetry, Self-Experiments, working world and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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