{ Category Archives: poem }

A Good Poem

good poem

A good poem always ends
with an involuntary, shaky
inhale, a gasp

of sorts, but unique
to the occasion,
always a surprise,
the threshold of either
a tear or laughing, or
trying to make another poem-

(This is not a good poem)

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Indian Summer

view west

Indian Summer

Walking through town
in Nederland Colorado at the peak
of Indian Summer at 8500 feet
above sea level, sky clear to the ozone,
aspen trees acid yellow against the
dissolving charcoal/green breaking
moray of tapering evergreen
and purple beetle-kill,
the mundane smells of everyday life
at midday- creosote, food frying,
mingling with wild smells
from just beyond town- snow melt rapids,
pine resin, sweet leaves dropping,
meadow grass seeding, a hint of chill
in the wind at my back, reminds
how small and welcoming and cozy
Town can be as winter approaches
and how generously it opens up
just before.

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Patina Retina


I know how long it takes the chain to rust, the paint to peel, the grain to crust.

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A Walking Song

walking song

sometimes I make up songs during a long walk

There is no better design tool than a good long walk. It may not always lead to creative breakthroughs, but does reliably clear the noggin and put things in perspective. Before I begin to think about a particular project during a walk, I usually find myself simply getting into the cadence and breathing of walking, sometimes making up phrases and melodies to help me focus. Whether or not I make progress with the project at hand, I always return to the studio feeling relaxed and optimistic, eager to field the inevitable challenges of the day.

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The Quiet Mechanics of Country Life


Here the soils of daily washing
stay on the land, conveyed by gravity
through pipes to the leach fields
to join the earth of the tree duff,
filtering fresh rainfall to
replenish the dwelling well.

Meanwhile the ferrous field well
spews rustily over the garden,
adding a mineral edge to
the lusty bite of a tomato or
the lean green snap of a pole bean,
washed clean by the other water.

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Wishing Wands

seed head

One of three ‘seed heads’ of stainless steel and crystal, fabricated by Jeff McCann

After a year of planning with the City of San Jose’s Public Art Program, we’re excited to be finally installing our Wishing Wands sculptures at Berryessa Creek Park. The latest Wowhaus project consists of three 12′ high sculptures depicting ‘dandelions’ in their parachute ball stage, rendered in stainless steel and Austrian crystal. The concept was inspired by the universal practice of children blowing on the plant’s downy-dry seed head and making a wish, which is what we found the neighborhood children to be doing during our exploratory site visit to the park last year. While the sculptures were under fabrication, Ene conducted a wishing workshop with the children who frequent the park, where they made wishes on the 120 crystals to be mounted on the three seed heads. Like magic wands, the sculptures will cast cascades of tiny rainbows when the sun refracts through the prismatic crystals.


a neighborhood boy makes a wish on one of the 120 crystals; early concept rendering

The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is one of the world’s most prolific weeds, whose English name is a corruption of the French dent de lion (lion’s tooth). In many languages, the flower’s name reflects the universal appeal of blowing on the seed head during its parachute ball phase; the flower is variously called pusteblume (German for “blowing flower”), soffione (Italian for “blowing”; in some northern Italian dialects), dmuchawiec (Polish, derived from the verb “blow”), одуванчик (Russian, derived from the verb “blow”).

The First Dandelion, by Walt Whitman

Simple and fresh and fair from winter’s close emerging,

As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, had ever been,

Forth from its sunny nook of shelter’d grass–innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,

The spring’s first dandelion shows its trustful face.

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Scent Memory (Yankee Beach Cottage)


In the powdered donut drawer,
a bank’s blue ballpoint pens.

Beneath the white pine floor
damp sand beds cedar cellar beams.

Above the front screen door,
the transom’s wavy pane’s trimmed,
pinned with enough loving imperfection

to shed a season’s rains in a blow,
sweetening the chamfered glow.

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