2 March 2005 7:46 PM


     Faster, faster,
I must keep going.
I hear the monotonous sound of foot steps behind me.

     Faster, faster,
My chest constricts restraining my breathing.
I continue to hear the steady thump of boots.

     Faster, faster,
I turn down the alley hoping for a way to escape.
I sense his presence still behind me continuing this nightmare.

     Faster, faster,
I see a chain link fence at the end of the dismal alley.
I smell the leather of my persuader’s jacket.

     Faster, faster,
I jump and begin to scale the rusted barrier.
I feel his hand grasp my foot.

     Faster, faster, I try hopelessly to break away and escape.
I turn and scream when I…….

Fenner, New York
late 1980s

Cue the Hitchcock music…. Remember I’m posting my poetry collection in reverse chronological order. So, while the poems may not be as good, remember that I was at least cuter back then.

Posted by geoff at 7:46 PM

11 December 2004 7:58 AM


Silent as an Indian through the brush,
It lays,
   a crushed page of notions.
   a forgotten memory outside the memoirs,
Who will note it?
Not a one.

Still as water of the indigo pool,
It lays,
   a crumpled sheet of recollections,
   a disregarded conception within convolutions.
Who will grasp it?
Not a one.

Shadowed like the mind of man,
It lays,
   a deserted file of impressions,
   a mangled idea beyond understandings.
Who will read it?
Not a one.

Fenner, New York
late 1980s

I don’t remember what, specifically, inspired me to write this poem. I was obviously thinking of a discarded notes of some sort, but I’m not sure if just this general concept or a more specific experience was the impetus.

Posted by geoff at 7:58 AM

2 November 2004 12:26 AM

Adapt to Survive

An earthquake tilts a pin oak to the Earth,
Yet its toppled limbs continue to thrust.
The fire that transmutes a jack pine to dust
Stimulates it seeds for the wood’s rebirth.
Flood waters flow from sky, river, and firth,
And yet a cyprus swamp remains robust.
A wind enraged shreds maple limbs; the gust
Is beaten by buds that increase its girth.

A skyscraper is toppled to the ground;
A cottage becomes a smoldering hive;
A steel bridge is buried beneath the sound;
A barn is tumbled in a windswept dive.
   Man needs to learn from nature so profound.
   That nature always adapts to survive.

Cazenovia, New York

This is the first sonnet that I wrote. I think the second one is stronger. Like the second sonnet, this one is also inspired by Transcendentalism philosophy that I was studying in school at the time.

Posted by geoff at 12:26 AM

7 September 2004 10:49 PM

Philmont Skies

As I stood upon the mountain top,
The sky was but a sea;
And the clouds, islands.

Cimmaron, New Mexico

Once you’re there, you understand why its called “God’s Country.”

Posted by geoff at 10:49 PM

8 May 2004 7:57 AM

The Cycle

Leaves fall, a skeleton of limbs extends,
Yet with the warmth of springtime new buds grow.
The rhythms of the grizzly bear’s heart slow,
Yet as the daylight grows, his slumber ends.
The petals of the rose the snow suspends,
Yet flowers return from the seeds below.
The earth is frozen by the hoary snow,
Yet desolate soils the spring rain amends.

Pestilence, war, famine, death daily ride;
Hooves spark the holocaust that lights the way
To Armageddon: Void. Nihil. Empty.

Light. Genesis. Spring. And a baby cried;
Then mankind toddles to begin its day
And strides to a halcyon melody.

Fenner, New York

This sonnet, one of two that I have written, was very much inspired by the Transcendentalism philosophy that I was studying in school at the time. The influence of the Transcendentalists is reflected in terms of theme and natural imagery as well as the language.

Posted by geoff at 7:57 AM

28 April 2004 8:22 PM


   a continuous function,
   without limits,
   or asymptotes.

   an integrable function,
   the virtuous area above the axis;
   the malicious below.

   an oscillating function,
   with elated maxims,
   and depressed minims.

   an implicit function,
   with an inverse curve,
   and their common point — death.

   a continuous function,
   that after its intersection,
   deviates beyond the Cartesian plane.

Middlebury, Vermont

This is another poem written at the New England Young Writers Conference at the Bread Loaf Campus. This poem is an example of what can happen when a philosophical teenage poet is a little too excited about calculus.

Posted by geoff at 8:22 PM

8 April 2004 7:22 PM

It Has Begun

The seven bowls of His fury
      are poured upon the earth
      to commence the Apocalypse.
It has begun.

The first,
      that kindles caustic sores,
      is the cancer of ultra-violet rays.
The second,
      transmuting the sea to blood,
      is the red tide of prolific microbes.
The third,
      that poisons the rivers,
      contaminates with toxic chemicals.
The fourth,
      that annuls the shelter from the burning sun,
      fracture the ozone shield.
The fifth,
      enveloping the world in darkness,
      is the blanket of cities’ smog.
The sixth,
      that parches the Euphrates,
      is the searing greenhouse.
The seventh,
      that ignites the lightning,
      thunders from the ocean’s ominous clouds.

The seven bowls of His fury
      are poured upon the earth
      to commence the Apocalypse.
It has begun.

Middlebury, Vermont and Fenner, New York

I began this poem, inspired by the book of Revelations at the New England Young Writers Conference at the Bread Loaf Campus. Over ten years have passed since I wrote it, and, unfortunately, the environment is even more damaged and at even greater risk than it was then.

Posted by geoff at 7:22 PM

21 March 2004 12:25 PM


With its Lordly
Beds, the Royal Palace
Lies; outside a man sleeps on a
worn bench.

Cazenovia, New York

This poem was one part of the first exercise of my Advanced Placement English class in high school. It was a wonderful exercise. It started like most first assignments in English class in that we were to write about our summer vacation. However, after that initial part, the exercise was quite unique. I believe the second part of the assignment was to condense what we had written to a single page; next, a single paragraph; next, a single sentence. The second to last part of the exercise was to write a poem based on the original writing. The final part of the exercise was to reduce our report on our summer vacation to one word. Mine? The title of the poem, Antipodes.

The inspiration for this poem was the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain in all its magnificence and opulence. As we were walking by the palace, I noticed a homeless man sleeping on a park bench out front. At some point, we heard that the Royal Family was traveling abroad. That juxtaposition remains a vivid memory.

Posted by geoff at 12:25 PM

8 March 2004 11:31 PM

The Journey

As I lay in the valley,
I opened my eyes and the dazzling light blinded me,
Yet I could see the halo of the sun overhead.

   As I crawled toward the mountain,
   I opened my fist and the piercing rocks cut me,
   Yet I could feel the warmth of the earth below.

      As I toddled toward the mountain,
      I opened my mouth and the sour skin sickened me,
      Yet I could taste the sweet nectar within.

         As I walked toward the mountain,
         I opened my nose and the thick smoke nauseated me,
         Yet I could smell the fresh breeze above.

            As I climbed the mountain,
            I opened my ears and the screeching wind deafened me,
            Yet I could hear the soothing melody ahead.

               As I stood upon the summit,
               I opened my heart and the mountain embraced me,
               And gave my life a flame.

Cazenovia, New York

I wrote this poem for an Advanced Placement (AP) English assignment. I’m not sure what the assignment was, but, based on reading this poem, perhaps it was related to multiple metaphors and parallel structure. I feel like this poem is unfinished and needs polishing. I probably ran out of time and had to submit it.

Posted by geoff at 11:31 PM

28 February 2004 9:03 PM

Sunshine Marble

A white rose covered with morning dew
Sparkles as crimson light of a spring sun
Refracts through transparent spheres and
Projects dappled rays upon gossamer petals.

Aroused by spring’s morning essence
A turtle’s head slowly emerges
And finds the white rose
Shimmering in spring’s dawn.

The turtle warily approaches the shining rose;
As he nears a soft spring breeze blows
A sunshine marble from a petal which falls
And scares him back behind his staunch shield.

And he waits until another spring breeze
Gives him the courage to once again
Peek at the rose.

Cleveland, Ohio

I wrote this poem for Carolyn very early on in our relationship. I presented it to her on Valentine’s Day in 1993. I distinctly remember finessing the wording of the second to the last stanza in the recesses of Sears Library, which at the time was actually a library, on the Case campus. When we were married in 1999, we decided to share this poem with our family and friends. My brother read it during the ceremony and we included it in the program.

Posted by geoff at 9:03 PM

15 February 2004 5:08 PM

Three Trees

Tree “Stop making my Father’s house
Into a market place!” 1

Half a century ago
An idealistic young man
Planted a honey locust
Near His house.

Five years ago
Another idealistic young man
Planted four honey locusts
Near His house.

And the now old man
Prophesied to the younger,
“In fifty years you will return as I have
And see not one but four full grown.
And while watching the people rest
In the shade of their branches,
You will know that you have made a difference.”

Today the young man returns;
The world has touched him with its cynicism
Yet he retains his youthful idealism.
He finds the threesome destroyed.

   The idealist is saddened
   For he understands not why;
   For the cynic
   The answer is blatant.
   The idealist knows
   Their branches had no tempting fruits 2,
   Yet to the cynic
   The rutted ground is tainted with the color of money.
   The idealist knows
   That no locust plague devoured the trees 3,
   But to the cynic
   We enslave ourselves to Mammon 4.
   The idealist knows
   That the first angel did not blow her horn to consume the trees 5,
   Yet to the cynic
   The mark of the Beast is upon us all 6.
   The idealist knows
   That no alter to another God has been erected where the trees once stood,
   But to the cynic
   The golden bull-calf is in our communities 7.


The trees were betrayed for a carnival,
A carnival that didn’t even earn 30 pieces of silver 8.

The memorials of Chesser, Grime, and Bargabos.
Lie buried, rotting…

   The idealist knows they have died
   But hopes they will grow again.
   He sees green shoots
   Growing from the severed trunks;
   To the cynic
   They will never be the same.
   He smirks at the thought of buying nature
   To replace that which was destroyed.
   And he knows that…
   “Big Money got no soul.” 9

Cleveland, Ohio

1 John 2:16
2 Genesis 2:17
3 Exodus 10:12
4 Luke 16:13
5 Revelation 8:7
6 Revelation 13:17
7 Exodus 32:4
8 Matthew 26:15
9 N. Peart “Big Money”

Yes, I was a bit upset when I wrote this. In 1988, I completed my Eagle project. My project was to plant four trees and a number of shrubs and install a couple of benches in the lot next to the church that I attended. Five years later, while I was away at college, the church that I attended held a carnival to raise funds. In order to hold this carnival, someone decided to cut down three of the four trees that I planted. Reportedly, the carnival didn’t raise much money. Not that it would make a difference if it did.

Even back when I wrote this I realized that I am a cynical idealist. Since then, I’ve refined my understanding and now realize that, in general, I am cynical about the past and idealistic about the future. For me, this division is preferable to the reverse which would be quite depressing. Not that I really have a choice….

The picture, from 1998, is of the surviving honey locust tree; it is even larger now. In the upper-right corner, the branch from the older honey locust is visible. Mr. Walter Parsons planted the older honey locust over 65 years ago. One of my finest memories of my Eagle project is him commenting to me that someday my trees will be as large as the one that he planted and I will watch people enjoying their shade. While it has been fifteen rather than fifty years, I have enjoyed watching people enjoy the tree. The tree is currently holding a yellow ribbon for each of the military personnel that are related to the church and serving in Iraq.

Posted by geoff at 5:08 PM

6 February 2004 12:55 PM

His Word

my best friend:
   i felt as close to as possible.
a new friend:
   i thought different.
another person:
   i barely knew at all.

but one night,
through many hours,
through many tears,
with shaking limbs,

He showed me that which
no speaker can preach
and no book can tell.

He showed me:

a closeness, never felt before;
a brotherhood, indefinable;
a friendship, unbreakable;
and a community built upon His Word.

Cleveland, Ohio

Spiritually, as well as in general, I’m a very private person. However, since I’ve decided to post my poetry more or less indiscriminately, I’m including this one. This poem was inspired by an incredible all-night discussion with three friends at Case, the kind one only seems to have in college. For those of you who have had a similar experience, this poem will be more meaningful than for others.

Posted by geoff at 12:55 PM

31 January 2004 5:48 PM

Out the Looking Window (reprise)

As I look out the window of my English room
Wishing that the day would be over soon.
I see the concrete and the brown sod
That make up this nature — a material quad;
The fiber optics that run through the pipes;
The phones on the poles and the flickering lights.
No sun, nor stars, do I observe;
Just the gray haze of Cleveland that I don’t deserve.
I yearn for white snow, crab grass, and stars,
But here the night’s dark with the smog of those cars.
Eyes to the ground, I walk back through this hell.
Back to my house where I work and I dwell;
To hope my dreams, like a childhood song
Take me back home, to where I belong.

Cleveland, OH

While working on my computer engineering degree at Case (formally known as Case Western Reserve University whose motto actually was “a tradition of excellence even longer than our name”), I was required to take a single English course, technical writing. I think one of the early assignments was to write something, anything. Again, at the time, I probably thought it ironic to write about looking out the window of the classroom. I also probably thought it ironic to write a poem for a technical writing assignment. Regardless, this is the Cleveland version of the “Out the Looking Window” poem. Cleveland has a lot to offer, but it can’t compare to upstate New York for me.

Posted by geoff at 5:48 PM

29 January 2004 8:08 PM

Out the Looking Window

As I look out the window of my English room,
Knowing that the day will be over soon,
I see the sparrow and the chickadee
Dance on the branches of the big oak tree.
I see the chain fence that imprisons the dog,
The squirrel sitting on the log,
The grass that sways in the gentle wind;
I see the clouds that look at you and grin,
And the old large home on Green Street,
And in the background the waving wheat.
Then I hear the old school bell ring,
Ending the happiness that the window brings.

Cazenovia, New York
1985 or 1986

So far, I’ve been posting poems in reverse chronological order. I’m deviating from that pattern since this poem is somewhat of a prerequisite for the next poem that I will post. I wrote this poem as an English class assignment in sixth grade. At the time, I probably thought it was ironic that the topic is about looking out the window during English class.

Posted by geoff at 8:08 PM

27 January 2004 9:27 PM


In the end what is there?

Is its expression nothing more
   than billions of birds in flight illuminating the phosphor plane as they escape forever?

Is its thought nothing more
   than a sustained stream twisting and turning through the silicon canals?

Is its legacy nothing more
   than a landscape of peaks and valleys preserved in plastic; ever awaiting the light of the laser sun?

I sit watching the birds fly through the plane,
   imagining the streams flowing,
      listening to the landscape spin beneath the sun,
         and yet there is nothing to touch, to feel, to hold…

So I go outside and splash barefoot in a babbling brook,
   feeling the cold crisp water and the perfect pebbles between my toes.

San Francisco, California

A number of my poems are influenced by science and technology. This one reflects on the dichotomy of my technology-focused aspirations and nature-focused inclinations and on my difficulty in finding a balance. I wrote this poem on a napkin in the Thirsty Bear brew pub, whose beers and tapas I would highly recommend, during MacWorld San Francisco.

Posted by geoff at 9:27 PM

25 January 2004 1:25 PM

kittle lid

big belly bulging
kittle lid kicks, pokes, punches
we three wait anxious

Naperville, Illinois
October 2003

I wrote this for Carolyn for our wedding anniversary. Obviously, Dylan was the inspiration. Since we didn’t know if Dylan was a boy or a girl, we called him “kittle lid.” I’m not sure if that name came from the Capitol Steps’ Lirty Dies or my high school Spanish teacher.

Posted by geoff at 1:25 PM

20 January 2004 9:33 PM


Snowdown A cold wind blows rain;
walkers, heads down, slowly climb
up to Eryri.

Stretton, Staffordshire, England
January 2003

Dad, Mom, Grant, Carolyn, and I climbed Snowdon (Eryri is the Welsh name), the highest peak in Wales, on New Years Day 2003. It was cold, cloudy, and windy all the way to the top. The sun finally broke through the clouds as we were heading back down.

Posted by geoff at 9:33 PM