In search of story


Disconnections: July 28.18

It insists:


Watch the air





with tumbling prism



bow and rise

and bow again

see-sawing fountainous

hypnotic swing

drink and bath.


your toes remember

it’s OK

  if you smile.





Disconnections: July 4.18

In an amazing, death-defying feat of coordination and grace, I balanced colander and bowl and camera as I cleaned beans yesterday evening on the swing. There was a hope of incoming storm — how we need the rain — and as I sat there I felt the change: the breeze rose almost to the level of wind, the underbellies of leaves rolled upward, and a blessed cool-down settled on a hot world.

The colander belonged to my Grandma O’Hern. She too cleaned beans in it. In her cotton summer housedresses, shoulder-to knee apron, Grandma shoes, and, yes, hairnet, she was always cleaning something. Except when chores were done and she’d sit on her swing on her screened porch. On my luckiest days, I sat next to her.

She was the daughter of immigrants. Both my grandmas were daughters of immigrants. Neither finished grade school. I sat for a long time yesterday evening looking at that colander. Of course I was no longer on that deck but was in her kitchen, on her swing.

The 4th of July finds me very introspective this year. From sea to shining sea one vast ad-hominem attack.  Purple-mountained alternative facts. Amber waves of tweets. A fruited plain of party lines.

I guess the colander challenged me to fly the flag today for the right reasons.

It never did rain last night; some things we cannot influence. I choose to think the flag says there are some things we CAN influence.



Disconnections: July 2.18

Dear reader,

It is 5:30 in the morning. The humidity is 92%. My house temp is set at 79 and the air conditioner is working hard to keep it there.

My Uncle George’s attic was the hottest place I’d ever known. Now my upstairs feels like that. It’s a dusty, dry, old-house hot. My house isn’t nearly as old as Uncle George’s, and not half as magical, but my upstairs sure bakes me just the way his attic did.

The retention pond is just what you’d expect, supporting a layer of foaming goo, exuding plague, at the very least. Yesterday it looked as though someone had spilled a tanker of WD-40, and I felt a real pang of sympathy for the poor frogs.

The flowers are doing their brave best, bless their little stamens, but this extended wet heat is good for nothing except that pond goo. Everything droops. Mold and mildew are dancing with joy.

Twenty minutes outside is the maximum. If that. All gardeners know that twenty minutes is nothing, so, when that is all the time you have, it’s triage watering. Deadheading and weeding are luxuries you can’t afford to indulge in. Forget standing back and regarding the whole with your head to one side, deciding what to do different next year. No time for gardener’s neuroses!

Everyone I hear from says ditto, ditto. The wilt is universal. So do be careful, dear reader. Water yourself first!





Disconnections: June 12.18

Basking in my sunshine

snuggling on my fence

this manic excavator

is pure impertinence

taunting me, Goliath,

feigning innocence

as though his bright-eyed smallness

masked malevolence

but I know his evil habits

— curse his tiny hide! —

he’s only biding time

’til Goliath goes inside.




Connections: April 28.18

And so it begins


triumphant bow

or nemesis

the garden that was

the one that will be

hover in mind


evolving in increments

slow, heuristic

I allow a trifle




And so, dear reader, with this first purchase,

begins the adventure of turning someone else’s garden into mine.