Category: Nature

December 16


Bright sun bathes the world
In light
But still
No warmth


Glaring ice and snow
Open sky above
Each word a cartoon
In steam


© Gayle Force Press 2001

Almost Autumn



Mom’s sick 

And the baby’s just been born

These are the days when life matters most


We ignore all the trees that failed to bloom

In front of the houses that hold

Not close enough 

Little bitty families of great big people

And there’s so much ‘just in case’

In every day we spend

And spend and spend


© Gayle Force Press 2006


Rain Shower


God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain for the righteous and the unrighteous.

-Matthew 5:45



Most days I stand still

When the sky begins to rain

Letting nature dictate to me

How I should feel

What my condition should be


I’ve imagined it a shower

Somehow cleansing me

Washing away the stains

Of my dirty, daily life


Today I avoided the rain

Feeling too dirty

Much too stained

To be cleaned

Even by the rain



© Gayle Force Press 2002 


Trash Day



The strong, nearly intoxicating

Smell of burning trash

Comes to me past a state park,

an ancient river that gave this
place its name,

3 creeks,

a gorgeous pond,

and half a medium-sized city.



At least

That’s what my imagination tells

I want to believe that if the
trash burners truly exist

They live in spheres separate from

There can be no points of mutual

No chance that I’ll take the
parking spot they covet

Or that they could snag the last
copy of the Gazette where I stop

For my coffeedonutpaper


Not those folks.

People who are my bogeymen

These fearsome apparitions.



I know all about the east side of
this not so large town.

The pond I’ve heard about,

Those several creeks that may be
only a windy one,

The valley where a river ran dry,

And the state park I’m afraid to



© Gayle Force Press 2002



Four Season State


Winter in Indiana

Is a confusing blend of possibilities

And patterns

There will be snow

Sooner or later

A little or a lot


Wind will cause grief

But rarely damage

The ice will send many to the hospital

Few to the morgue

Still we’ll chatter intently

About the rain and the snow

The cold sunny days

And the joy

Of a four season state



© Gayle Force Press 2008



The First Fires


There were massive thunderstorms last night in the Indianapolis area. This morning there were multiple houses on fire and the common response seems to have been shock. It's almost as though we forgot that lightning can generate fire. I suppose that's okay. After all, in modern America, we are dramatically unaccustomed to being subject to the whims of nature.


The storm and aftermath made me wonder again about the initial human relationship to fire. I have lots of questions but no answers…


How many times have people discovered fire?

What was the first source of ‘controlled’ fire? Was it lightning; was it lava?

Was it an accident?

How long ago did it happen?

Were the people who found it hailed or cursed?

Did those individuals become powerful as a result?

Did it happen multiple times in the same place or in different places?

Have other animals ever ‘controlled’ fire?

If not, when will it happen?


Lots of questions but no answers.




Changing the Lenses


Much has been made about the super large moon we've seen lately. While Megamoon is beautiful to look at, I am also struck that our perception changes so much, so quickly. Spending a night watching the Moon race across the sky feels wonderful in part because we can see some of the fundamental processes of our universe at work in just a few hours. Really, at moonrise or moonset, we can notice those processes in a matter of minutes.


In astronomical terms, it's stunning that an object so close in size as our Moon is to Earth is also so close to us. The Moon is a quarter of the size of the Earth. However, the Moon and Earth are incredibly far from each other in our terms. The distance between the two objects is something like 250 000 miles. Going a quarter million miles in a car means you talk to your friends about how great your car is and how many years it took you to go that far. In the late 60s it took 3 days for Apollo 8 to travel that distance. 3 day! Is that incredibly fast or incredibly slow?


I recently had a conversation prompted by something I read on Wikipedia about Sedna, the most distant sizable member of our solar system. I acknowledged that I was overwhelmed by how far away Sedna is from the Sun. Sedna is now about 3 times as far from the Sun as Neptune, but at times, it is 32 times as far! At that distance, how could the Earth and Moon be viewed as anything but a singularity?


Close. Near. Fast. Slow. These two celestial relationships (Moon-Earth, Sedna-Sun) make me think concretely about how much our view depends upon the lens we choose to use at any given moment. My guess is that changing lenses impacts our view of our own universes in similar ways. That's maybe even harder to understand.






Surprise- A poem welcoming Spring




Such a welcome, warm surprise

Like the first day each year when it’s clear that Spring

Has arrived at last

When the air smells different

Morning rain is no longer unpleasant


That was your visit

Yielding my new discovery of you

As well as the us I’d almost forgotten

Used to exist


Your absence, as Persephone’s,

Always leaves me aching

But now I believe we’re casting aside

Winter’s last snow, revealing ready soil

Soil ready for Spring

And pleasant rain



© Gayle Force Press 2006