Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.

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91. Drowning [100 poems challenge]


91.          Drowning

Although it is a heartfelt wish
To swim as freely as a fish
And dive below without a nervous dread;
I find, instead, I shut my eyes
No matter how I strategize
To keep them open, staring straight ahead.

And so my time beneath the wave,
Is short, because I’m not so brave,
The reason for my timid state I share:
It really doesn’t […]

90. Triangle [100 poems challenge]


90.          Triangle

There is, in every orchestra,
Kept with the xylophone,
A three-ways folded metal rod
That plays a single tone.
Its primitive simplicity
Musicians might resent,
But does its artful symmetry
Make maths folk feel content?
Well, though they recognise its sound
And find it rather quaint,
Geometry’s definition says
A triangle it ain’t.

23 July 2013


Comments: I had the idea for a few days but […]

500th post

I don’t think that anyone’s wondered
If we’re getting near post five hundred
When I press “submit”
This one will be it …
Provided the count hasn’t blundered.

30 July 2013

I had thought about some sort of extended celebration/reminiscing/analysis together with a beautiful photo and some wit, but I haven’t posted today’s “100 poems challenge” poem, the materials for […]

89. Through the Fire [100 poems challenge]


89.          Through the Fire

By the blazing council fire light
Wood gathered (I’m sure there isn’t enough
But they don’t yet know how much is really needed)
Damp paper scrunched beneath the pyramid
Lit with the second awkwardly held match
Sputtering at first, and hesitant,
Then the gentle crackling as the wood takes flame
And flares enough to sustain itself.
We have met in fellowship […]

88. Pain [100 poems challenge]


88.          Pain

You can’t believe the agony
When ears first notice that
The note that should have been a G
Is barely a G flat.

25 July 2013 (well, technically the 26th)


Comments: I had a variety of possible ideas for this one, but some of them were too serious, and I was “serioused out” after 82. Can You Hear […]

87. Food [100 poems challenge]


87.          Food

Your body reaches
From the mud,
A slimy leech is
Hunting blood.
You should be chided
As it’s rude
That you’ve decided
I am food.

23 July 2013


Comments: I think chiding is a fairly mild reaction to such predatory actions, don’t you? (Never mind the rampant hypocrisy reflected in what I decide is food!)

Themes to come: 88. Pain; 89. Through the […]

86. Seeing Red [100 poems challenge]


86.          Seeing Red

Are we not
More generous
Than this:
That we cannot deal
With those who flee?

Apparently not.

21 July 2013


Comments: Whatever the reasons or route of arrival, surely we shouldn’t be making such an unmitigated hash of dealing with asylum seekers. (This was written on the weekend that our Prime Minister came up with a strategy that appeared […]

85. Spiral [100 poems challenge]


85.          Spiral

When life is spiralling out of control
It takes a special kind of madness
To stop and ponder whether the phrase
“Running around in ever diminishing circles”
Is mathematically and geometrically

19 July 2013


Comments: And then write a poem about it. And then search the dictionary to confirm that this is more an “aphorism” than a poem (which […]

84. Out Cold [100 poems challenge]


84.          Out Cold

A glorious winter sunrise
Breaks through the ancient pencil pines;
Shards of brilliant dawn-light
Shimmer sharply on the frozen lake
And send long shadows stretching out
Across the ice-rimmed tussocks.

Newly risen after chilly night
I stand a moment near the edge,
Poised to photograph the glory
Of an iridescent morning.
But, barely warned, the scene goes black,
I topple forward, fall face-first
And finish prone […]

83. Heal [100 poems challenge]


83.          Heal

Invisible wounds
That ache,
Their pain
Not physical,
Sore and itching
In the aftermath
Of hurt.

I do not
Leave them be
But niggle
At the scabs
And so the
Scars remain.

Some injuries
Mark me as
Victim of
Others’ acts
And inadvertent;
With time
My anger fades
Or I forget,
And throbbing fades.

But some are
Mistakes and
Erring judgements,
The pangs of regrets
And foolishness.
These cut deeper
And hurt longer
Since in
I will not
Let them heal.

18 July 2013


Comments: Don’t […]