One Bob Dreams of

perfect ocean waves. Delicious blue-gray

waves that carry the sailboat in a beautiful

zigzag line to where ever its sailor wants

to go. The sailor, call him Bob, wants

a pancake, and it’s the definitely a pancake

kind of day. The weather, call it

Lucky, is a sailor’s delight. And the world, his

to be circumnavigated on weekends and paid

vacations. There are other Bobs, but he never

thinks about them. Oh no. One Bob dreams of

Beef stew. Another Bob dreams he explores

the planet Neptune like a boss. And there’s a small

baby Bob in the old timey wooden cradle that

the grandmother rocks so gently with her foot,

and she hums a song that lulls the world to sleep.

Being Alone in the Universe

A spacewalk

it’s slippery

a cliff                                falling to the edge

myopic you.

A spacewalk

749 painstaking steps


stops your thought.

what I was seeing so

I said,

just, Wow.


Erasure from interview of Chris Hadfield, astronaut:

Chris Hadfield: Gosh, I’m not sure how to describe it. I was there for the birth of all three of my children. I did the first F-18 intercept of a Bear bomber off the coast of Canada. I represented Canada in a bunch of different levels, including as a fighter pilot. I was a test pilot doing all sorts of very fascinating, challenging, brand new work. I went to Mir, I went to the ISS. But nothing compares to going outside for a spacewalk. Nothing compares to being alone in the Universe; to that moment of opening the hatch and pulling yourself outside into the Universe.

Sometimes you’re driving on a mountain road, it’s slippery and you’re doing a bunch of curves and you don’t really see anything because you have a cliff falling away on one side and another cliff up on the other. But suddenly you come around a corner and you say, “Oh wow!” And there you’ve got the whole valley in front of you, or they make one of those nice pullovers where you can stop and look out, and you do, and you stop and you get out of your car and walk over to the edge and you see where you are, where all those little myopic turns have taken you.

A spacewalk is very much like that in that the opening of the hatch is probably step 750 of the day. And steps 1 through 749 were all boring and minuscule and each one was on a checklist and you had to do every one right, so you were very painstaking. But suddenly you do this one step, and suddenly you are in a place that you hadn’t conceived how beautiful this could be. How stupefying this could be. And by stupefying I mean, it stops your thought.

You’ve probably heard me say this before, but I knew I couldn’t keep notes up there and I would forget stuff so I sorta resolved to myself that I would verbalize and attempt to, as eloquently as I could, express what I was feeling and what I was seeing so that later I could listen to the recordings of it and remember, and not have missed such an amazing experience. And yet when I listen to the transcripts of what I said, most of it was just, “Wow!” It was so pathetic! But the experience was just overwhelming!

At Sea

If the gale sends all its force north by northwest
like madness blasting through the storm, then fierce waves
take hold of me, and it’s not clear
whether I’ll breathe again. But I do
breathe again and revert to swimming
the open waters. The ocean rocks
me, indolent mother, effective
system of certain,
infinite, beautiful