In search of story


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!





Connections: July 22.17

The impatiens on the screened porch

are spluttering, soaked and indignant,

protesting the face full of rain

blasted by winds unbenignant.

You’d think all the thundering torrents

would make this rank air feel better

but the impatiens will attest to the fact

it just gets wetter and wetter.



Connections: July 14.17

It’s an earthen air

sagging over the dawn


sweating on the lawn

popping with toadstools

and yesterday’s rain sits still

gathering the scent of soil

and a nameless farmer’s till

ghosts of crops past

rain-wafted now

old farms unburied

by summer storm plow

smells of wet summer

airy thick soup

fragrant toothsome

morning droop.





Connections: August 28

getPart (2)The rational being within us

when heat and humidity combine

demands we take proper action:

get out and stand in line


the muggier the air

the longer the queue

the better the vanilla

the caramel

the goo.

(That’s me on the left. I think the photographer got my good side.)

And yet more thanks to the S.W. Berg Photo Archives.



Connections: July 13

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday was sticky hot

the air was thick as mush

but I had to grab my camera

and get out there in a rush.

This visitor, this summer sprite,

this unabashed  flirt,

demanded my

attentive eye

and mud upon my skirt.

But would he alight, becalm his wings?

Sit still for just a



He just kept whirring


flitting to and fro.

I chased that Casanova

’round marigold and bee

and wondered if my neighbors

had a butterfly net for me.