Ici Repose

Vincent and Theo

In a pretty little French town, Auvers-sur-Oise,

we will walk up from the station,

past that church, past that wheat field,

to his grave, against the cemetery wall,

alongside his brother Theo, and we’ll pray.


Church of Auvers-sur-Oise

Wheat Field with Crows

Daubigny's Garden

Daubigny’s Garden, possibly Vincent’s final painting


An Autumn Dance of Death

bees hive

Female worker bees are working long hours

gathering autumn nectar for the colony’s winter.

Like me, they’re storing carbohydrates and protein

for when they stay inside, although unlike

bees, I hope not to die there.

Murmurations of Grace

October starlings flocking in swooping, harmonious groups.

Thousands of birds in murmurations above me.

Communicating at a higher level than me.

I will never swirl in the air

or on Earth with such innate grace.


If you’re curious about the wonder or the science of murmurations, I have written elsewhere about those aspects. 



The Lonely One

Perhaps not lonely but solitary by choice

in a dark corner where being bright

means more attention from this distant observer 

gazing at you in wonder and disappearing, 

lost, like one swallowed by a whale.




This poem is inspired by a star named Fomalhaut which s a white Autumn Star. the brightest star in the constellation of Piscis Austrinus and one of the brightest stars in the sky. Its Arabic name means the mouth of the fish or whale. In this false-color composite image, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, we see the orbital motion of the planetary system around it – Fomalhaut b (later named Dagon). Fomalhaut is much hotter than our Sun, 15 times as bright, and lies 25 light-years from Earth. It is blazing through hydrogen at such a furious rate that it will burn out in only one billion years, 10% the lifespan of our star. Based on these observations, astronomers calculated that Dagon is in a 2,000-year-long, highly elliptical orbit. The planet will appear to cross a vast belt of debris around the star roughly 20 years from now. If the planet’s orbit lies in the same plane with the belt, icy and rocky debris in the belt could crash into the planet’s atmosphere and produce various phenomena. The black circle at the center of the image blocks out the light from the bright star, allowing reflected light from the belt and planet to be photographed. Credit: NASA, ESA, and P. Kalas (University of California, Berkeley and SETI Institute)