The Poetry of Mary K O'Melveny



                             My deck is littered with glass

                             twisted metal, tortured hooks.

                             There is a flurry of sound –

                             Cardinals, Finches, Jays and Doves - 

                             they are outraged!

                             Where is breakfast/lunch/dinner?


                             I had been pulling back

                             from those wintry feasts.  The longer

                             sun casts light on other prey.

                             Yet I like to watch them all,

                             waiting their turns politely, a few

                             modest thoughts sparking out from eager beaks.


                             The Mother and her cubs are large.

                             Roaming the yard earlier, they picked off

                             all lower hanging  birdseed banquets,

                             rolled around with their spoils

                             in the thick of night,

                             glistened in shine of moonlight.


                             The crime scene deck is twenty feet

                             off the ground.  We did not dream

                             the calculations of that climb.

                             My trellises lie crumpled like paper,

                             claw mark hieroglyphics rise up and up,

                             speaking volumes of triumph and conquest.


                             The newest planetary discoveries

                             sizzle and shimmer in some time frame

                             long lost to us.  Scientists peer into

                             super telescopes, hoping to find signs

                             of life as we might know it Eons later

                             in the Goldilocks zone of Sun-like stars.


                             I want to know if my three adventurous

                             marauders might just as easily

                             laugh out there in that not too hot

                             not too cold night, lit by some distant Moon,

                             as they execute their stealthy tour de force

                             while all around them are sleeping.





In May, 2016, new data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope revealed the existence of 1,284 new planets orbiting Sun-like stars in the Milky Way, the closest of which could be 12 light years away from Earth.  Based on information about those planets, Astronomists and Astrobiologists have determined that at least nine may orbit in their Sun’s habitable zone where, given sufficient atmospheric pressure, the planetary surface and average temperatures can support liquid water for a period long enough to generate life.  This zone is also known as the “Goldilocks Zone” because the region around the star must not be too hot or too cold but rather “just right,” as was the porridge in the children’s fable “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”  NASA launched its Kepler telescope in 2009 and it has been regularly discovering new planets ever since. See, e.g.,




         “GOLDILOCKS AND…”  was first published in 

The Offbeat, Vol. 17 ( May 2017)


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