In search of story


October 30.22: Coping, but barely

With enigmatic aspect

of jarring puce-y pinks,

they gaze into unseens,

each vacant penguin sphinx.

Contemplative and placid,

in ignoble habitat,

I seem to hear their mantra:

My kingdom for a hat!

One may quibble about puce and maintain reasonably that puce is in the eye of the beholder; however, puce is also a reference to the Puce Stamps in Walt Kelly’s Pogo. Our intrepid photographer, Bill, named the color.

Many years ago, in the times of antiquity known as The Fifties, Bill and his wife Donna were high school debate partners, and one of their warmest debates was Pogo (Bill) vs Peanuts (Donna). Rowrbazzle! vs Good Grief! I should know: I was there.

Ergo, puce penguins.

I have written before about ancient friendships, and no doubt I will again. They rule!

With thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.

and apologies to Shakespeare.


October 29.22: Coping, but barely

I have googled my grandma’s house from time to time just to see it again. I’d often wondered, if it ever were on the market and there were photos of the inside, would I look? It was, there were, and I did. I know the truth of “you can’t go back,” but I had to try.

I stared in disbelief at the photo of her kitchen, now a jigsawed greasy soulless room with a Dogpatch ambience. But the dark woodwork around the door to the dining room was unchanged. There was the portal. I saw the grate in the floor, a forgotten everyday that I once considered so exotic a part of her home. I held to that and imagined. There was an ache in me that told me I was there.

It was on that very spot that a little-girl me asked Grandma “Don’t you want to live to be a hundred?” She stunned me with “Oh, no! That’s TOO old!” I can today feel that thud inside me: my grandma couldn’t die ever. Only the grate and I remember what Grandma taught me that day.

How many little things in our daily lives do we see to the point of invisibility? What an injustice we do them. The everyday has power.



Thanks to my grandson, who nabbed this screenshot for me. If my grandma weren’t already dead, this dirt would kill her.


October 26.22: Coping, but barely

There was a time

when I would climb,

jump and hang and crawl,

confetti’d leaves

in shoes and sleeves,

telltales of autumn brawl.

With summer old

but not quite cold,

the air a heady brew

of acorn dust

and toadstool must,

the world was strangely new.

The leafless trees,

my youthful knees

together rocked the day;

in nature’s gym

my scuffed-shoe vim

had eternity to play.

I’d like to now,

but, holy cow,

I just can’t make me do it;

if I should try

I fear that I

would very shortly rue it.


With more thanks to photographer S.W. Berg

 and Fort Harrison State Park.

I think I can say without fear of (much) contradiction that I am not the only one in this blogging room who would love to kick leaves all the way up to that big old dead branch, climb on it, jump up and down, hang from it, walk it like a tightrope. Nor am I the only one who would decline the temptation. There isn’t enough liniment in the world.




October 23.22: Coping, but barely

The wall begins

its conversation

with multi-tasking


engaging eye

and then the brain

with starkly pied

dreamlike terrain.

Abrupt and bumptious

in everyday city,

startling our inner

Walter Mitty.

A follow-up to Friday’s post is in order. Our intrepid photographer, S.W. Berg, aka Bill, returned to the muralist to see how the work was progressing and to find out more about him. So, with many thanks to Bill, I can now tell you that the artist is Dathan Kane, who earned his BA in Fine Arts from Virginia State University in 2014, and whose murals and canvases have been commissioned in Virginia and elsewhere. His website: http://www.dkaneart.com

Thanks also to the artist for permitting the photos.

As you can see, the mural has grown. The artist thinks it will be some time before it is finished, but I hope Bill can snag a photo at that time too.


October 18.22: Coping, but barely

Party food

it feeds the heart

even before

festivities start;


thus depicted

makes for diet


and so it behooves

the party planner

to include an apple

or bannaner.

Or stick of celery,

knob of berry,

to appease the health-food


But, health aside,

it must be said

the apple is ever

in party red;

it adds panache

to homey show

with beneficent, jolly

Pickwickian glow.

Then in slices

like little smiles

it spreads its cidery,

juicy wiles

in sticky comfort

all around

with virtuous munchy

party sound,

and if you’re The Grandma

you tend to cooking

and lick your fingers

when no one’s looking.



With thanks to Susan Rushton, whose praise of Jazz apples caused me to try them. She said I should look for the reddest, so I did. Will it surprise you, dear reader, to know that the reddest were on the bottom of the pile? I will leave to your imagination how I distinguished myself in that shopping moment.

I join Susan in praise of Jazz apples; on the occasion of my grandson’s 17th birthday, we all approved! Next will be a search for Judy’s favorite, the Macoun.

I learn so many good things from bloggers!



October 14.22: Coping, but barely

It wrapped me like a cloak, that papery sound. October’s leaves, battered and bruised, but holding yet, whooshed thickly in a wind tantrum determined to strip away every remnant of summer, thrashing the trees and twisting each leaf, growling down from the dishwater sky and around our little homes, impatient for winter.

The air was warm still, but one muscular shove from the south bore an invisible stream of ice, a whisper in the tumult, frost-winged specter. I felt it and knew then it was saying what it came to say, this insistent rush.

I bent over the lavender, itself bent low. Spent, sleepy, it offered up a final incense as I trimmed back its floppy stems. Two fat bees lumbered through the air to watch and sniff. They too heard the Babel of the papery leaves, in tongues of crimson and copper, and saluted the deep purple of my harvest. They too knew the time.


October 12.22: Coping, but barely

The refined high art of breakfasting

cannot too much be touted;

its value to the day

ought never to be doubted.

In cherry tomato season

it’s especially exact;

one keeps the tomato whole,

juicily intact.

It’s cozied in the mouth

(don’t try to sing or whistle

lest you wing it into orbit,

the oops’d misguided missile)

along with crusty morsel

of sourdough browned just right,

one aims for balanced tandem,

the perfection in the bite.

The delicacy of timing,

simultaneous squirt and crunch,

requires selfless practice

sometimes ’til half-past lunch.