Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Cues for 100 word stories.

Instead of words as CUES, how about characters? 1. Beautiful, straight, white woman. 2. Black female activist. 3. One studly guy/womanizer 4. One effemintate, gay that wears bowties. 5. One handsome, capable, shy, white guy. 6. One, old, retired professor.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Quotation Marks. I always forget these rules:

Commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks in American English; dashes, colons,
and semicolons almost always go outside the quotation marks; question marks and exclamation
marks sometimes go inside, sometimes stay outside.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Two, older poems.

A Visit to the UPS Counter

A small machine
in a deep fold
of my brain
lifts each corner of my mouth in turn
and I smile at the pretty woman
behind  the counter.

A whisper
sends a spark to my chest,
and I let go
all the charm
I can muster
as the worm in my groin
stirs, recoils,
from the electricity
of this unfamiliar arena.

A feeling, not unlike
paints the inside of
my stomach.

Her teeth are
straight and white.
Her eyes reflect
something  from the inside
I’d never seen.

I am validated.


Family Gathering

I was picked up
by one leg
dropped hard
onto the middle
of the living room.

I sat there for a long time
looking at the flocked wallpaper.
A lady in a bright, red dress
joined me,
sitting quietly,
staring straight at me
her legs opened in a wide
her back straight and stiff.

Two little kids and a dog
joined us.
A boy, about ten
a girl, five.
The dog was
solid black.
His mouth was open
as if to bark, but
I couldn’t hear anything,
only the adenoidal breathing
of the little girl
with her doll house
creating her own
little family gathering
in the living room of a
tiny cardboard house.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Who Was the Falling Man from 9/11? - Falling Man Identity Revealed

Remembering 9-11 and commemorating the loss of so many souls. This article is hard to read, but is very impactful.

Who Was the Falling Man from 9/11? - Falling Man Identity Revealed: Do you remember the photograph of the falling man? In the United States, people have taken pains to banish it from the record of September 11, 2001. The story behind it, though, and the search for the man pictured in it, are our most intimate connection to the horror of that day.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Snakes of Summer. POEM

All summer I saw them
as they scurried in front
of my whirling mower blades.
Some of them evaded the
metal blades.
The slower ones were halved
and quartered.

The first time this happened,
I was shocked and saddened.
The second time
angry at myself
for mowing the fields
I called home
and thought of as my private park.
I made adjustments.

I walked the field with my dog
before I mowed, chasing the
gopher snakes ahead of me to their dens.

These slow moving, diurnal creatures
usually sunned themselves in my field,
readying themselves for active nights
hunting lizards and rodents.

Their prey is suffocated by the
constriction of loops of their
chocolate spotted body, and
then they dine, shyly,
maybe a little remorseful
about what they’ve done.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Abeeku: A poem



Abeeku stole a bright, gold watch from
the busy shop in the market.
The shopkeeper
saw him slip the watch into his waistband -
chased him, yelling and gesturing, “?? ,?? 
“ Thief, thief!”
The crowd caught up -
surrounding Abeeku
in the middle of the street.
They beat him.
Someone slipped an old tire over his head,
and another
and another helped
pull the tire over his arms
pinning them to his side.
The shopkeeper picked up the watch
its crystal broken and
its case scratched and split.
He put it on his wrist and
joined the chant, “Thief, thief.”
A boy pressed through the throng
with a tin of petrol,
pouring it over Abeeku’s head.
A shadow offered matches
and Abeeku was covered in flame
at dusk
while the African sky
was ablaze
in red and yellow light.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

One of my poems from February, 2011

A Sign

The madman chalked red X’s
on the sidewalks of the houses 
if he suspected 
or had evidence
that people there 
were unkind to each other, 
or their dogs.

When he was a young man,
he studied hobo signs 
chalked on railroad cars, mailboxes, fences, 
buildings in barn yards, 
in towns he probed.
Signs that said “doubtful”, “mean dog”, 
“be ready to defend yourself”, 
“dirty jail”, or “nothing doing here” 
sent him away
or might draw him closer 
to investigate.

He was a harvest hobo, 
following the crops in the West.
Once beaten senseless, and left to die 
in a Fresno alley. 
They laughed when they punched and kicked him, 
stealing his knapsack and his kit. 
The beating injured his brain.
He was never the same. 
He lost all inhibitions and good judgment. 

He couldn’t remember what rows to pick
when he picked grapes in Visalia 
and oranges in Porterville. 
He lost track of time, and had to write everything down. 
He made little sketches so he could find his way 
back to his box under the railroad bridge. 
At night, he played his harmonica 
until he dropped into dreams of his days as a boy 
or his job with the city.

He dreamt of the beautiful woman that gave him
a whole pie when he begged for food at her door. 
He dreamt of the old, black man that looked into 
his eyes for a long time before tears 

The old man saw himself in his eyes. 
He saw a man with even less than himself, 
and it was more than he could endure. 

The hobo impressed the dirt path 
in front of the man’s simple cottage 
with a new mark – a mark never seen before. 
It was an austere eye, 
a large tear in both corners, 
made with polished pebbles 
and shells he carried in his pack.

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