With Richard Aston I share a love for science and logic, a love for poetry, and a love for the Susquehanna Valley. His home is Wilkes-Barre and mine was (for 25 years) Bloomsburg -- both Northeastern Pennsylvania Susquehanna River towns. We met long ago at a gathering of the Mulberry Poets (a group in which Richard remains active) in Scranton. His recent collection of poetry Valley Voices (Foothills Publishing, 2012) has recently arrived in my mailbox and I'd like to share one of the voices in his collection -- a gathering of poems from a writer who has listened to the members of the communities in which he lives and has created memory portraits so that they will not be forgotten. Here is one of his Susquehanna valley voices.
Chess Champion by Richard Aston
My loss at chess,
to IBM's computer Deep Blue,
unmasked the sport as just another game,
my brain as equivalent to a machine
whose workings are as clearly understood
as a simple child's toy,
whose language is expressible by
Boolean ones and zeros,
whose logic uses only: not, and, or,
greater than, less than, equal to;
My fascination with the strategies
and many possibilities in chess,
set me up for an ego-crash,
but also elevated me for anyone
intoxicated on artificialities.
Another poem by Richard Aston was posted on 25 October 2010 in a posting entitled, "Writing poetry like mathematics."