Norma Jean

10 minutes after I turn out her bedside lamp
my 3-year-old is still fighting sleep,
fidgeting, asking for water, to use the toilet,
to go say ‘night to mama one last time.

I lie back on the floor and think of Norma Jean,
the 6,500-pound elephant who was the star of the Clark and Walters
circus, struck and killed by lightning in Oquawka,
Illinois in 1972. I went there with my parents once

and saw the tombstone. They buried her where she fell,
right in the town square. My daughter finally starts to snore.
I lie in the darkness a few more minutes, glad of the first
quiet moments of the day. “Bummer,” I think to myself.
The circus went out of business the following year. I get up
from the floor and leave my daughter’s room squinting into the light.


Mid-Winter Alone at the Farm

12:30 p.m., the house is silent;
Mist floats across the frozen field, fracturing the light.
The sun a few degrees above the forest, inching higher
drifting south, warming the midwinter afternoon –
Some have gone back to work, some shopping, to visit friends,
Driving the icy highways, hoping to arrive before dark.
Shadows sharp and long on the empty furrowed field –
Soon the sun will be trapped behind the grove of pines
At the property’s edge, casting a chill upon the house.
The mist rolls on, pressed to the earth by an unseen force.


Google Web Alert for David de Young

Google Web Alert for David de Young


By David J. de Young with apologies to David S. De Young

The Physics of Extragalactic Radio Sources
A unique feature of the book is De Young’s emphasis on the physical processes associated with extragalactic radio sources: their evolution, their…”

One fine fall evening, out of the ether it came,
a Google Web Alert for my very own name.
I’m used to these, as I’m an internet famous sort of chap,
but this one seemed to come from a parallel universe’s map.
When in high school, an astrophysicist I said I’d like to be,
But as time wore on I was inclined more poetically.
Not much chance now I’d write The Physics of Extragalactic Radio Sources.
In college, I took a completely different set of courses.