“One Crimson Leaf”

One Crimson Leaf

lay bare
against the grayness
of fall

One lured my eye
to this last show
of fiery red
its yellowed veins

halted my steps
to finger-jagged edges
symmetrical design

One crimson leaf
in a world gone numb
made my heart

The poem originally appeared in The View From Here: Poetry to Help You Soar! An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry  and also in the Daily Sentinel. 



“Bonferroni Stew”


Bonferroni Stew

I drift into a fitful sleep as my troubled mind stirs
Ingredients added one by one, pot
Worn by wear, metal and copper scorched
By too many uses over time, spoonfuls
Of alphas and beta in my statistical soup blended over flame
And even in my dreams I see the square roots simmer

One by one into the mix the samples go, bubbles
Form round the central tendency, nominal variables stirring
My mind from sleep disturbed by blue flame
Turned orange. Mean, mode, median added to the stockpot
Sums of squared errors peppered and measured, stirred
With rank order repetition lest it burn

While I ponder my power tables, flames
Climb higher as I add cups of raw scores, simmering
Just enough for Bonferroni to demand a spoonful
“Not enough!” He adds a splash of Cramer’s phi, ladling
Degrees of freedom into the plentiful pan
Confidence intervals spilling down the sides singed

My hand hot as I wipe partial correlation coefficients, burned
The small entering my senses even in sleep, blazing fire
Dichotomizing the phoenix from the ashes
Numerators and denominators in the double boiler
I toss and turn, knowing the correlation between cook
And confidence limits a delicate balance, I churn

The thick robustness, sampling just enough dollops
To keep it all straight, keep it holding constant, teaspoons
Are more than I can measure. Errors, errors, errors burn
My confidence interval, but I focus on the task, stir
The difference scores, tend the grand means, fry
Up main effect but stay focused on the simmering

Sampling sums of all the parts stewing in the pot
On my stove, in my dreams, in my stockpot
Of standard deviations from myself cooked
Overcooked, pureed probabilities, reduced by fire
Once independent, now congealed by flame
Theorems burned into a restless mind, stirred

When exhaustion whips my values I step away from the pot
Watching the pan burn, the crusted spoon
The ingredients bubble, simmer, stew.


Image by Jenn Barnett.

Poem originally published in Fulcrum Journal.

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