In search of story


March 26.22: Coping, but barely

You think you’re funny, don’t you,

oh, gods of endless snows?

Your humor leaves me cold (haha)

with frostbite on my nose.

Of this white stuff

I’ve had enough,

Begone! And go away!

It’s time for spring —

quit dawdling!

But come back on Christmas Day.



Yes, dear reader, on this late March morning,

it’s a white, white world out my window.

Part of me says it’s pretty.

The rest of me has a different opinion.


More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.



March 13.22: Coping, but barely

A robin skims the frosty grass,

stopping, starting, stopping;

the housefinch goes a-nesting,

pecking, pulling, hopping.

The chickadee, bright eye on me,

zigzags in spritely play;

the sun, at rise and setting,

is chirped along its way.

As winter’s bony grip

reluctantly lets go,

songbirds return a-twitter

in growing crescendo.

Far away in birddom

the elders meet en masse,

solemn, introspective,

with all due gravitas.

Somber-visaged sages,

exchanging thought and word,

they ponder and deliberate

what it means to be a bird.

The enigma of horizon,

the mystery of skies

inform their academia

as they Socratize.

Music quite eludes them

but they don’t think it wrong

that others ponder being

in transiency of song.

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.

And, of course, to the pelicans.


February 13.22: Coping

Late winter’s aspect,

dispirited, bland,

and the song of the pothole

is heard through the land.

Hungry holes


for tasty hubcap,


with siren song

that calls to tire,

come-hither croon

sweetly dire.

Like magnets do they

pull cars in,

dine on axles

with demonic grin.

Their song grows louder

the wider they,

the better to swallow

a whole Chevrolet.

Fanged predator,

your tentacles reach me;

I sing back in words

my mom didn’t teach me.


Dear reader, it is my opinion (I have many) that there is more than one kind of pothole in life. I seem to be dealing with a blog pothole. For the last couple days, whenever I try to write a comment in one blog, I suddenly find myself in a different blog. Blam! Just like that! So far as I can tell, I’m doing nothing but typing my comment in Dan’s blog, and suddenly I’m in Susan’s. I’m typing a comment in Susan’s blog and suddenly I’m in Dan’s. And so on.

It’s the case of the hopping blogs. Whether this is a WordPress pothole or my computer’s or my brain’s, I know not. Meanwhile, I will be gone from comment sections but not because I don’t have something to say!




February 4.22: Coping

This bossy bird

with sword-like cry

stabbed my head

though pleased my eye.

My shovel rang out

through the snow;

he seemed to think me

slothful though.

He barked his mind

in notes of steel

that I had

insufficient zeal.

Bossy bird!

Why don’t you fly

somewhere that wants you

not nearby?

But then an echo

sliced the air —

his ladylove?

OK! Go there!

She and he,

buzz-saw duet,

each one playing

hard to get.

But still I heard

him like drill master

prodding me

to shovel faster.

Though lovely in his

lofty venue,

blue jay pie

was on my menu.




February 2.22: Coping

February first,

a winter storm is lurking;

ice and snow and sleet —

is their inner clock not working?

What ever are they thinking,

popped up so green and straight?

Could it possibly be spring

they prognosticate?


Dear reader, if you live in this country, you know that winter is about to smite us again; snow and ice are roaring at us and the last couple days have seen people dashing about, not in the best of moods, trying to prepare. Yesterday it was 50. I took advantage of the anomaly and walked around the house. It was like taking that big breath before diving underwater again: one bit of fresh air before the next hunkering down.

I about fell over when I spotted these shoots. They must have sprouted in January! There was a strange sound: me, laughing out loud. I think I might even have talked to them: “Are you nuts?” (Gardeners are weird.)

We are about to get walloped, according to the weatherpeople. I prefer the forecast of the daffodils.



January 19.22: Coping

A bit of brown bird,

his feathers a-fluff,

perched on the noon of my day.

So tiny a plume

seemed hardly enough,

but he blasted the doldrums away.

I do believe, dear reader, that this is a Carolina Wren. I was walking the familiar carpet path in familiar routine when he (barely) caught my eye, and I nearly undid myself getting to the camera without scaring him off. The sighting of anything other than the occasional crow is unheard of right now, and this little being was therefore all the more miraculous.







November 18.21: Coping

I’m lonely;

I’ll make me a world,

God said.

Now comes the echo,

in winter wind

— loneliest sound —

that lifts dead leaves

like empty chalices,

a last offering

before ice that freezes

even loneliness,

and the moldering carpet

woven by the wind

becomes blanket

for wiggly unseens.

And yet

I’m lonely


each of us,

after all,

only one.


With thanks to James Weldon Johnson for his poem “The Creation,”

and to the anonymous student

in a high school speech meet many years ago

who put it in my head.