In search of story


August 29.20: Coping

Who knows our curves and swerves,

angles, arcs,

down to our nerves?

The shadow knows.

Who knows our stride, each slip and slide,

but must keep up

tight by our side?

The shadow knows.

Who knows our pounds and rounds,

but vowed to silence

makes no sounds?

The shadow knows.

Who knows to blear, to interfere,

to block the light

its whole career?

The shadow knows.


Once upon a time, dear reader, there was a member of the family known as “the radio.” Look it up. One of its programs was called “The Shadow.” Now even I am not old enough to remember “The Shadow” (though I do remember the radio), but I am indebted to it for its immortal words: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.” How awesomely ominous.

(An edit here: after I read Judy’s comment below, I realized that I am more than old enough to remember “The Shadow.” I just don’t. But in the interests of honest blogging I must clarify.)

As you know, dear reader, I have often thanked S.W. Berg, aka Bill, for his wonderful photography. This is Bill. His camera went off without him, in cahoots with his shadow. A nice conspiracy.




August 16.20: Coping

Discouragement abounds,

angst, depression, fears;

my pate completely addled,

my brains ooze out my ears.

I feel as though I’m squeezed

by vise of pointless tripe;

innuendo and conspiracy

spring up in endless hype.

And isolation never helped

the cause of sanity;

it gives the upper hand

to crazed inanity.

I look for logic, reason,

a sense of what should be;

I find it in the bakery

in sweet geometry.



I do not make light, dear reader, of those who have little food. Or none at all. I know how fortunate I am to think about desserts.


Many thanks to photographer S.W. Berg

and to the artist-bakers at la Madeleine.


August 12.20: Coping

Morning came

too quietly,

neither chirp nor trill,

but only cicada’s

serrated drone.

A very timid cricket

tuned his small pipe.

There I stood,

knee-deep in July,

prickly and unsure,

so restless was the quiet.

Now the dark of August nights

and no firefly winks.

The Green Heron blats

like fallow French horn

once or twice a day,

and maple leaves,


bleed at their edges.

Do I imagine

the urgency?

Time is out of sorts,

as am I.




August 10.20: Coping

“The malignant air of calumny has taken possession of all ranks and societies of people in this place…The rich, the poor, the high professor and the prophane, seem all to be infected with this grievous disorder, so that the love of our neighbor seems to be quite banished, the love of self and opinions so far prevails….The enemies of our present struggle…are grown even scurrilous to individuals, and treat all characters who differ from them with the most opprobrious language.”

According to David McCullough’s book “John Adams,” Christopher Marshall wrote the above in 1776.

Perhaps spellings have changed, and maybe vocabularies have weakened a bit, and maybe also “social media” is no longer the handwritten letter, but otherwise Mr. Marshall would not be much surprised, it would seem, by any of the news accounts today. So I pass it along to you, dear reader, for what it’s worth, and I leave it to you whether to laugh or to cry.