April 30, 2017 Poem: “Arrival”

In memoriam Sandra Petrek

It is mete and fit for journeys to end;
for the train to pull into the station,
for all tired travelers to disembark.

Let us imagine them gathering now
in a fine hotel, mere steps from the tracks,
where they can stop, unknot the tiredness

of the body, the fatigue of the mind,
rest for a moment alone. Soon, they shall
join those waiting, who traveled before them,

in the glittering dining room. Candles
will be lit, and glasses lifted in joy.
Reunion will suffuse their hearts like wine

filling a glass to the brim and beyond,
washing away even the memory
of pain. But for now, just for a moment,

let us imagine them pausing as they reach
final clarity, still content to listen
to us, to music we make from their names.

Leslie Schultz

For me, this has been an intense month, and the daily task of the poem steadied me.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who were there for me this past April as readers.                             You know who you are!                                                                                                   Your daily presence cheered me on each day.

                In gratitude, Leslie

April 29, 2017 Poem: “Narrow Steps”

Narrow Steps

Lately, I fear being pulled under.
And, so, ladders appear everywhere:
across the street, next door, near
my porch. Even here,

inside a monumental marble-walled
museum, a microcosm
of skill and beauty culled from
the whole blue marbled globe

we inhabit. And so, I am
asking for the courage to see
how to rise above, to find one step
up, one step back into hope.

Leslie Schultz

This is the penultimate day of NaPoWriMo– hope to see you tomorrow for the final poem in this year’s series.


Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

April 26, 2017 Poem: “Shadow Fall”

Shadow Fall
for Tim

“The Higgs boson is invisible,
but visible as a shadow falling
on the collided particles.”

This idea of a dress
absorbs and reflects
the light of the mind,

exciting particular
clouds of knowing
and unknowing.

Unwearable, fixed, it
conjures the constant instability
of that all-penetrating field

shuttling silently but
musically—warp and weft
strung and unstringing

eternity. Here we
might glimpse particles
of our own excitement

at life, those little
bursts of vertigo
and joy, see how

we, too, just might be
incised into the universe,
part of the blind intaglio
of what we divine.

Leslie Schultz

Earlier this month, I asked Tim to give me a challenge word to work into a poem. His word? “Higgs boson.”

Tim reads far more deeply in science than I do, and has recently been looking at Most Wanted Particle: The Inside Story of the Hunt for the Higgs, the Heart of the Future of Physics by Jon Butterworth (a Christmas gift from Julia.)

I’ve been mulling his challenge for a few weeks. Hmmm….maybe I was stumped?

Today, I thought of the very exciting exhibition mounted two years ago by the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis in honor of 2013 Nobel Medals in all fields, including the one to Peter Higgs for physics. The exhibit combined information on the awards with new creations in music, fashion, and floral design inspired by each. In particular, the memory of how designers Josephine Bergqvist and Klara Modigh interpreted the concept of the Higgs boson gave me a way into making my own interpretation in poetic form.

I went several times, passing, mesmerized, through the galleries and taking the photographs below.


Just four more poems to go! Until tomorrow,  LESLIE

Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

April 25, 2017 “Magi Minus Two”

Magi Minus Two

Snow falls outside
as he sets to work on his prototype.
First, he threads colored drinking straws
on string, fine-tuning
the count, the order,
getting proportions right.

Then he begins cutting
thin tubing—silvery
late into the night, choosing
clear fishing line, tough
but fine.

This intent man, a college senior
majoring in math and physics,
is counting down the days until
Christmas, here in married
student housing, and the ten days
beyond, to my birth,

by quietly fashioning
a great stellated dodecahydron,
a form with twenty points arrayed
in three hundred sixty degrees;
a star to hang above
his dining table,

rigid and shining,
but collapsible, something
beautiful that could follow us
wherever he might lead:
its center open, able to hold
all the hope in the world.

Leslie Schultz

My father loved speculative thought, science fiction, and mathematical principles. When I was three, he attempted to  explain a theory of time travel to me by making a paper loop and a paper mobius strip, then having me compare their surface areas and structures. He was also fond of relocating.

Although the poem imagines how it came to be, I recall this homemade star in all our homes (nine total) at least until we moved to Australia when I was twelve years old. I can also recall him talking about how he had made it, as well as packing, unpacking, repairing, and restringing this sculpture. When I called it a “star,” he corrected me with “dodecahedron” explaining that “do” signifining “two,” plus “deca” signifying “ten,” equaled “twelve.” (It still  confuses me to me, as this form had twelve faces has more than twelve points. Perhaps one of you can elucidate?) It was not my first encounter with mathematics but it was, I think, my first encounter with Greek.

I took the image of the light fixture at Como Conservatory in 2004, shortly after my dad’s death in December 2003, and I sometimes make it into a Christmas card.

This image is of me with my dad’s mom, Grandma Phyllis, and, in the background, the original dodecadhedron of my world.


Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

April 24, 2017 Poem: “Those Ever-Present Mirrors of Myth and History”

Those Ever-Present Mirrors of Myth and History

Sometimes, after my morning shower,
when I ponder my mirror, that little
square above the sink,

I think I see evidence
not so much of middle-age,
but rather of something medieval:

me, as icon from another age.
I look to myself rather…raw—
or skinned, or parboiled—

and unblinking: some abbess
or uncoiffed good wife,
becoming crone.

I suspect that I am not
alone in preferring discreet
modern emollients—

little creams, tiny brushes,
and mineral paints—
to recreate some faint

retroactive allure; or
in taking modern joy in sound
teeth and bones, ample

fresh greens in winter,
abundant fruit, coffee, and tea;
unlimited hot water

for laundry, and lamplight,
and vitamins E, C, and D.
Ah! Now as I

(no longer quite naked,
thanks to foundation garments
and a delicate hint

of hypo-allergenic make-up)
reach for a new dress printed
with pink flowers and leaves

as green as any sea, I glance
into a farther mirror, catch
just a glimpse of Aphrodite.

Leslie Schultz

This last, impromptu photo was taken last October, just before Halloween, (Thanks, Tim!) as a surprise to text to our daughter at college. I was imitating the “Mel Head” from a cartoon she used to watch with her dad so many years ago (“Jack’s Big Music Show”). In the background, I can see another icon of womanhood, this one from my own childhood: the green-faced witch from the Hollywood movie of “The Wizard of Oz” (played by Margaret D. Hamilton). (Coincidentally, the kind-but-to-me-intimidating-and-scary headmistress of the girls’ school I attended in Australia was also named Margaret D. Hamilton.)

Hope you, too, are surprised by a smile today!


Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!