Current occupation: Animal behavior researcher/herpetologist and enthusiastic turtle tutor for decades unmentionable. And oh yes, co-director of the Conversations with Writers series [held Last Mondays at 7:00, at the Influence Music Hall, 135 SE Third Ave., downtown Hillsboro, Oregon] and writer. The big project, written for intelligent general readers, is WIP Diode’s Experiment: A Box Turtle Investigates the Human World: what can happen when a group of turtles is socialized, given some power, aerial mobility, and plenty of behavioral enrichment. For previews, see http://chelonianconnection.blogspot.com.
Former occupations: Starting in grade school, picker of cutworms from potato fields; camp counselor; research assistant in oat breeding for the Agricultural Research Service, USDA, i.e., Girl with the Hoe, plus the scythe and the scales; library assistant and spinner of records; public school and university teacher; leader and performer in early music ensembles; librarian of biomedical institute and user of Linus Pauling’s Stanford library card and parking permit; editor of scientific papers and theses; naturalist on San Francisco Bay; senior manager/information and assistant to the president of biomass ethanol R & D company; city staffer for preventing water pollution; and, for most of that time, explorer of turtle cognition—but, I confess, never a miner.
Contact Information: A Northwest native finally and happily returned after stints in Idaho, the Midwest, NYC, and California; lots of schooling (Lewis & Clark, Indiana University, Columbia University, San Francisco State); and a penchant for—to me—important and interesting jobs, with disregard for details like a living wage. A late comer to poetry and to submissions of anything, now starting to collect prizes and almost-prizes.
The Miner in Me
(after Jim Daniel’s “You Bring Out the Boring White Guy in Me”)
You bring out the miner in me,
the daily blackness of me
red-scrubbed so briefly.
You, my light, bring me the lamp
I strap to my head, the way
I search out our sustenance
from the substance even darker than I.
You bring out the shocks of the drills in me,
their echo through my bones
reechoing through our night
with the rattle of the rails,
the coal that strikes the blackened, beaten cars.
Do they quiver, rattle through your bones?
You, your fear, bring out the fear in me,
eternal fear of falling rock, the fear of eternal silence.