Tom Stock

Poet, Essayist, Photographer, Naturalist

Category: Poetry (Page 1 of 8)

Fire – the poem

A frozen stream from

A magnesium rim

Meandered on the ground

From the scorched hulk of a car

In Santa Rosa, California.

Abandoned when a wall of flame

Rushed in and past

They ran to safety

Just in time

There were many other

“Just in time” stories

Relentless winds turned up the heat

Burning, melting, destroying

This was no volcano, tornado

Hurricane, tsunami

Fire. fire, fire

With heat so high

It vaporized almost everything

In its path

Where a house was

A second later…

Rubble with only a

A fireplace left standing

Fiery embers lifted into the smoke

Orange-yellow specks

Wiggling in darkness

To land and ignite new hungry flames

A conflagration that turned

Almost everything to ash

That will drift afar

To fertilize its’ simple molecules

Left from that complicated,

Interconnected world                                                        tom stock

Notice o All 8 Digits – a poem

Both hands and their fingers

And thumbs

Can drum on a hollow surface

When boredom wants something to do

Those vice grip thumbs

Ready to help their partners

Eight fidgety fingers

Each with their own little brain

So many things they can do

How about make a basket?

Train your fingers to make something useful

Keep up the good work

Keep those nails clean and trimmed

Don’t forget your fingers

Where would you be with even one missing digit?

You are incredible

You do a thousand things

Without us even thinking

They are so automatic

Good job fingers

Good job


Tom Stock – basket and mat maker

Making Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Big, round red tomatoes

Sit beside a cutting board

With the sharpest, serrated knife I own

I cut hem in half, then half these

Gut the pulp

Lay the juicy, red strips on a screen

Set it in full sunshine

Cover with netting

No insects permitted


Hot days are best for evaporation

It may take three or four days

The day star will do its work

No electric dehydrator for me.


These leathery almost sightless strips

Shrunken and dry

Are ready for February

When you bring the sunlight back.

Duct Tape – The Poem

Sticks where I want it
And sticks where I don’t want it
Sticks to my fingers
Resists unsticking
Jumps from finger to finger
“Annoying.” I say
“Stop complaining. “She says
It refuses to leave
I shake it
I pull
I grab
Like a friend
Who doesn’t stop talking
Or a fly around a lamp shade
Guaranteed to hold and stay
It’s what duck tape is for
Like a mosquito that buzzes your ear
A guest who overstays their welcome

Read More

Who Are These Savages?

They sat in a circle, cross legged
Drumming, rattling, singing,
It is a circle of medicine, family
Our clan and all our relations:
The winged, four legged, many legged,
The finned, grandfather rocks,
The leafy beings, and the Mother

A blazing fire and glowing faces
Womp womp womp da da womp
Boom da da boom da da boom
Children, women, men
The pipe, the smoke

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Pick Tomatoes – The How Tos

(Dedicated to Max Wheat who offered critique)

Cruise around the tomato beds
To look for red roundness among green foliage
Stoop and fondle a candidate
Squeeze to feel a little give
Give it a gentle twist
It should break off easily
Look for more by spreading vines gently
Gently place the tomato in the best basket you own

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Do The Math

For thousands of years
We were innocent – human activity was small
Now it’s our fault
We are choking the planet
Most of us are good people
BUT…just by our existence,
We are not good for the planet
There’s too many of us

Read More


I don’t like sudden
It’s too sudden
Like a champagne bottle cork about to pop
I know it will happen, but I jump anyway

I want things slow
No surprises
Show me a world
Where there are ample warnings
Where slow changes are slow

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Eclipse – Poem and Essay: August 21, 2017

Within the path of totality
So brief, but spectacular
Not so much in our side yard
A pinhole viewer
I call it my “eclipse-o-meter”

I held the device
Pointed to the sun/moon eclipse
A tiny image, the size of a period
A smiley-face Sun
The moon bite
No telescope, no trip
No glasses
To totality lane

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Facebook Rant – the poem

Facebook is not for me
I let myself get sucked in
Commenting with stupid stuff
And this takes away
From my longing to be engaged
With the natural world
To have my hands in soil
Planting things
Watching things grow
Hearing the wind and rain
How can Facebook complete
with a real tree?

Read More

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