Pet Goldfish

i suppose everyone
had a goldfish
from the pet
store or school
fair, glistening orange
in plastic bag
captured bit of
rippling nature, and
we tried to
keep it alive
with flakes and
water changes, but
after a few
months it died
and what did
we learn? how
to understand loss
that toilet flush
goodbye, what is
life? what is
death? it meant
nothing, and everything

We All Get Wet

often the best response
is to give up
abandon all hope of
truly knowing how the
acorn becomes a tree
it just does, and
one day that barked
branched swaying nature
will topple, call it age
or disease, shifting roots
or unsteady ground, but
this too will just happen
and yet, we try so hard
to control all of life
when really, clinging
tightly is like pretending
a summer storm isn’t
made of rain, at some point
we all get wet

Modern Homework

Sitting with my daughter and her iPad, we
fill in boxes that pose questions about
Greek Civilization. Art = statues, writing=
Plato, upper classes made laws, were
citizens, slaves did what they were told to
do. Box after box on the screen, covering
500 BC to 146 BC, until Rome conquers
Athens. Less than memorization, we cut and
paste words from other screens into hers. I
imagine Socrates in the agora, watching us,
wondering what happened, how we stopped
interrogating the machine, our flesh fingers,
puppets, moved to reduce everything to this.