In search of story


Connections: January 17.18

My new coffee mug

has a roguish air


and provocative

not unlike

a well crafted poem,

in frugal lines




With thanks to dear friend Donna for the mug and many hours of coffeetime.




Leave a comment

Connections: January 3.18

Yesterday I wrote about the Nothings. Old year, new year. What are the lessons? Old camera, new camera. Where are the images? Nothing heard, nothing seen.

Is there a connection? Yes.

I have found that the photograph is what speaks to me. Unchanging, it stares back at me as I stare at it. It’s different from the real thing, which breathes and changes before my eyes and ears. Whatever reality is trying to tell me, its voice is in the photograph. The arrest of time creates the pause in being that allows listening.

Does any of that make sense, dear reader?

I am missing that connection between the photograph and the words. Feeble as they may be, my words often tumble out of the photo rather than my brain. I know I’ve heard something. But now, with no working camera, I am in a mute world because I can’t photograph anything. A few years ago, before my writing mate Tamara taught me about photography and writing, I wouldn’t have understood this connection. But now I depend on it. I am floundering without it.

The icy white beauty outside my window blankets the little world I live in, and I can’t hear it.









Connections: November 12.17

My bedroom. Eat your heart out, Martha Stewart.

And do I hear “been there, done that,” dear reader?

What I want to reflect on, though, isn’t the chaos. It’s the book on the bed. Throughout all this mayhem, I’ve spent a few minutes every night with this book. Fittingly, I finished it on Veterans’ Day.

The book is “Tail-End Charley,” by James E. Brown, who kept a journal during his time as an Army Air Corps pilot. A kid who grew up quickly in the skies over World War II. To me it was fascinating, not just for the story in it but for the story about it.

Jim Brown wrote a book based on his journal, but it wasn’t published. Fast forward to 2017. His son, Gary, a writer also, took that manuscript and made it happen. He and his wife, my writing mate Tamara, and their daughter, a graphic artist, did it. They self-published and this handsome paperback is the result.

It is very personal, not just because it is first-person, but because it is brought to the world by his family.

I never met Jim Brown, but, boy, do I feel as though I know him! Underneath his descriptions of planes and places flows his understated narrative about himself, subtle and steady. In my opinion, his understatement is consistent with his generation and when he allows us a glimpse into his own feelings its rarity makes for eloquence.

I recommend this book, not because I know and like Jim’s family (I do), and not because I love reading about war (I don’t), but because of the down-home skinny kid who reveals himself in it.



Connections: October 13.17

Economy of words

is not my strongest suit

I’m Irish, blather-minded,

an English major to boot.

But occasionally I’ll do it

say it all in just one word

here’s syllable to prove it

in a box of the absurd.

Packing up my years

forces me to see

in wording and in living

downsizing is the key.