Thursday, June 14, 2012

Scientific Method

Scientific Method

In the floor
in the study
in the house
in California,

when we used
to live there,
a strange

a tiny mound
of dirt, or sand,
or soot, thumb-
print sized,

dark particles,
like coffee
grounds. I’d
sweep them up

and make this
sound, Hmm,
how did they
spill from the

ceiling each
day, what was
this cairn in
memory of.

What was the
message. Then
I waited three
days to sweep,

and when I did,
I made this sound,
Ah. A pinprick
in the floorboard,

termites under
the floor, chewing
steadily, calmly.
The house wasn’t

going anywhere.
When we told
the landlords in
California, they

said, Oh yeah,
termites, bet we
have those,
concern or fear.

The house was
not falling down
yet, is still not
falling down yet.


  1. So funny that the first inclination was to look up, and not in the place itself where the answer could be found. Another good addition to your thought-provoking perception v reality poems.

  2. Cute, and only native Californians would be so nonchalant about termites. I alway fear that one day our upper floor will land on our lower floor! Have a great Thursday. : )

  3. Once again your endings . . . but his time "only" a chill, not a cannon shot (which I mean in the nicest way--not didactic cannon shots, but dull thuds or 2 x 4s upside the head). This one is not a kill shot, but it gets my attention. Not all houses are eternal; probably none of them are.

  4. I'm still trying to figure out how you related that image to this poem.

    We once had "termites under the floor, chewing steadily, calmly." It was quite a project getting rid of them and repairing the damage.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Tight structure was effective here. Great use of cairn.

    (My prior comment had a typo, hence the removal.)


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