Step Inside

“Enter when you will, take what you need, leave something of yourself when you go”

I have a friend I met over a bottle of scotch in a Brandywine Valley bed & breakfast some odd years ago who travels constantly and widely, sending me bits and pieces of the world as he goes. Each picture contains a sense of mystery, or surprising humor, and/or most likely the bicycle he rode in on.

I forget where he said he shot this wide planked shack. It is intriguing, don’t you agree? The sun and scattered leaves promise it is a bright, brisk day, yet, I wonder what musty odor fills your nose when you poke your head through the door, what scurrying varmint lives in the corners, what fingers grab your ankle once you cross the threshold and the heavy door slowly shuts out the light, the long, strong boards slide through the door handle locking  you inside…

… you go first…I am right behind you…

FLEDGLINGS

What privileged robins live in my back yard…

racing through the sprinkler, barely giving me any notice…

but WHO, may I ask, tipped over the big blue pot under the umbrella?

Hmm?

Emil Catt, was it you?

HERE’S TO THE DAD

PLAYING TIJUANA BRASS AS LOUDLY AS I CAN

IN HONOR OF OUR SOMETIMES CROSS-EYED, LONG GONE OL’ MAN

HERE’S TO THE “HARKS!” THE OCCASIONAL EYAH,

ALL THE LOVELY FLOWERS FROM HAWAI-YAH

CHEAP RED WINE; FRESH, HOT BREAD

ARM WRESTLING NIGHTS WITH STEVE AND WITH TED

WINNING KITES MADE WITH BOB

SLURPY DINNERS WITH CORN ON THE COB

ERIC ON HIS SHOULDERS AS THEY “WALKED THE RANCH,”

LOUD, LOUD MUSIC THAT MADE US ALL DANCE

LOUD GUITAR STRUMMIN’,

MOM ALWAYS HUMMIN’

TOUGH AS NUTS, BUT A SOFT OL’ TOUCH

WE COULD MAKE HIM MAD, BUT NOT TOO MUCH

AS ONE OF HIS GIRLS, ROX, MAG, RUTH

I’LL TELL YOU THE TRUTH

HE WAS PRETTY DAMNED COOL

SOMETIMES ACTED THE FOOL

BUT ONLY TO GET US TO STOP OUR MOPING

I’M SURE WE BECAME THE PEOPLE FOR WHICH MOM AND HE WERE HOPING

SO IT’S ALL GOOD

LET’S SHARE SOME GOOD FOOD

AND A LAUGH OR TOO

AND RAISE A GLASS OF HOMBRE

THAT’S IT

I’M DONE…

MIDNIGHT MASS ON WALKER

 

 

Howling wind strafed the runway, rang the steeple bells, edged into every crease in the glass filled every nose and eyelash with grit. We stood to sing, knelt to pray, and pounded our breasts when the communion bells rang.  How our heads ached.

Santa came while we were out.

50 word story  6/16/17

 

 

 

 

HOT SUN DAY

Emil Catt staring at the hole in the wall;
mesmerized by the possible appearance of a bunny;
bombarded by an angry mama bluebird,
which makes no bones about claiming the crusts of bread
I tossed out beneath the apple tree on my little hill.
Emil does not want your crust of bread, Mama…
He wants rabbit for dinner.
6/7/17

SATURDAY, EARLY

This morning,

early,

before the traffic…

before even the neighborhood dogs were out snuffling in their yards,

I hit the open space…

all the birds were in diversionary action mode…

robins, running ahead of me, away from their nests…

red finches flitting from tall grass to tall grass…

no coyotes, though, too late in the morning for them, I imagine. The sun had been up at least half an hour.

The grass in the gulch is not yet high enough to mow;

the willows promise to be full and greedy all summer long…

cattails just greening up…

and Emil Catt has begun a new habit of slurping his morning drink of water from the day lilies, coming back into the house soaking wet, and leaving paw prints on the new wood floor in the kitchen…

and now it’s 8:15

so the day’s work must begin

the luxury of a slow morning

packed up until tomorrow…

6/3/17

MEMORIAL DAY, 2017

I could not find you today, James.

Too many flags. Too many headstones. Too many names.

I thought I would never forget just where they placed you.

Near the flag pole above the lake, with all proper ado,

Among others from the Gulf and other wars

With a view of the beautiful, wide outdoors

below ye.

You were, and are loved, my dear young friend;

You worked hard to make good, then went ’round the bend.

You died much too early at your very own hand

in a blast to your head from your pistol; a broken man,

while your bitch of a wife stood yelling how unfair you were to her.

You went to war, but it was always, always all about her.

I could go on…

but I really only wanted to say I couldn’t find you today,

but I looked… I looked… and I still pray

for the repose of your soul, that your heart has healed;

the full purpose of your life finally revealed.

Some say suicide is a coward’s way out,

but knowing you, I have no doubt

it was your perfect solution for all your pain.

I cannot find fault in your accurate aim,

though I selfishly wish you’d missed.

***

Peace be with you, James Edmond, USAF

 

DAMN!

Damn, it’s a beautiful day!

Cloudless crystal blue skies and crisp, cool air

Lush green lawns soaking up what’s left of the snow

Pretty young woman swinging in her polka dot dress along South Broadway

Chickadees, robins, and doves noising up the trees

White capped mountains calling “get your *ss up here!”

Harmonizing with ol’ John Denver singing and strumming on the CD

Life is GOOD!

Life is good…

yes, it is

 

5/4/17

QUAGMIRE

Have you noticed the similarity of words used to describe a swamp?

Sog, bog, slog…

My shoes grew soggy as I slogged through the bog in the open space.

Muck, suck, duck…

The duck was sucked into the muck before he knew what was happening

I’ll have to keep working on this one..

 

MAY DAY, 2017

May our hearts be lighter as the days grow brighter.
May all our cares be few.
May we all find joy, as we employ
our best in all we do.
5/1/17

J & B & M&R

Today we will gather

to bid B adieu

though he will remain

on our minds, hearts

in every day things;

quick silly family stories,

tears as we drive,

dinners he would like,

holidays he will miss,

graduations, weddings, birthdays, breakfast,

big moments, small things,

private moments at home.

****

God bless my family,

my daughter, my grands.

Help them always remember

the best of him,

their husband, their dad.

May they live fully

without long held sorrow,

May joy, laughter, smiles

shine through their days,

and may they remember

how he loved them,

and they loved him.

Amen

4/30/17