Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte


To look at my present as possible past
Daunting endeavor, confusing at best
Then Aha! moment furnished direction
Live in the now! where else?

Standing in line at a ballyhooed art show
On my feet two hours at least
Energized by engagement I realized
My cane and I can go miles before rest

A present rich with much possibility
Brand new exploration if I open my eyes
Reach for new challenges from creative grab bag
Open doors not extensions of past

With curiosity checked-out travel offerings
Searching for something I had missed before
Discovered adventures focused on interests
Not only the aging seek learning in classrooms

And so next September I head for New Hampshire
To learn and to listen to sizzling Cool Jazz
Taking first step toward reimagination
Living into new perspectives on life


Give and Take

Two big trips in one month have undone me.
I see in the mirror that aging’s o’er taken me
My bones creak with knowing, my gait is slowing
I certainly have been brought up short.

Mind set on perseverance I plowed ahead
Burned all my energy going the distance
Got home, collapsed and then I asked
Is this really worth it?

The answer calls for creative investment
Spending my energy on what I like best
Expanding, enriching life in my home town
Short travels with family icing on my cake.


Writing 101- Composition Notes

Today the cool breeze of early autumn stirs the leaves on the big oak tree outside my window. It rained all day two days ago and I could see for the first time that leaves had fallen on the stones of the patio below. For now bright sun casts shadows on the desk beneath the window where a basket of bills to be paid and three house plants sit. The desk drawers serve to store file folders and personal business-related stuff.

The room I write in is the smaller bedroom of two in my apartment. Against one wall is a futon intended for guests whose main occupant is a little plush stuffed Eeyore who has been with me for a while. On the walls are a couple of framed diplomas, a wooden clock in the shape of Ohio that ticks away time, a picture in the shape of a turtle created from folded paper and a swing-arm lamp. On the wall opposite the futon, my desktop computer sits on a glass-topped table with my land-line telephone on one side and my printer on the other. A comfortable office chair completes the set. This is the stage setting for my writing. The minute I sit at my computer to write it dissolves and my writing process absorbs me.

Prompts and creative ideas come from Word Press, daily experiences and reflections, memories, out-of-the-blue lines for poems, what’s going on out my window, the newspaper. Inspiration reaches me at a feeling level. It is like a seed planted that I can trust will grow into writing when I sit down at my computer. Writing haiku I begin on paper to keep track of the allotted syllables. Everything else takes form as I type. This is where the magic happens. I have a general idea where I am going but that is often not where I end up. Words written remind me of other words and I follow the trail like breadcrumbs tossed out by my muse. I tinker and tweak until I like what is on the screen before me. It is a tiny aha! moment when I’m satisfied that I’ve translated my feelings and ideas into words. Besides my helpful muse, a mischievous genie lives in my computer. Sometimes when I’ve written something particularly long I strike a key I’m unaware of and all that I’ve written vanishes. I haven’t figured how to restore it. However, I don’t give up. Doggedly I begin again only this time I abbreviate my piece. The result usually turns out much better for the editing and I thank my genie for knowing when I’ve gone on too long.


Cuba 2012 – Love Songs Written on My Heart: The Bay of Pigs, Black Beans, and Charcoal Made from Scratch

We traveled from Havana to Cienfuegos, where we would spend two nights, on a road that took us by the Bay of Pigs. The coastline that sunny morning gave no hint of the 1960 invasion of Cuban exiles, supported by U. S. Naval forces, who were pushed back and defeated by Castro. We stopped by the Bay of Pigs Museum. There were pictures, old uniforms and guns on display. People besides our group silently looked around. It is a sad place and honors a moment of history we must remember.

This morning blue waters of the bay lapped at beaches which were unnaturally vacant. A few families picnicked. Children splashed in the water. Mostly sea birds had the run of the place. Often our bus was the only vehicle on the road except for farmers going about their business in horse-drawn wagons. Not even the trucks carrying hitch-hikers to work passed by. And remember, private cars are rare. It was a drowsy sort of morning and many on our tour were lulled to sleep. Until – what’s that up ahead? The oncoming lane was covered with what looked like sheaves of wheat to me. But I didn’t think wheat grew in Cuba. There were men standing by a truck that I imagined was hauling their produce to market. The farmers were trying to gather up their crop I thought. Jose set me straight.The sheave-like stalks were black beans, a staple of the Cuban diet. The tall stalks had been piled on the road where the truck could be driven back and forth over them, dislodging the black beans. I realized that this was another instance of Cuban ingenuity, in this case making use of a road less traveled to shell beans.

A little further on Jose had the driver stop the bus. Jose got off and walked toward a strange mound of dirt that seemed to be on fire. A gnome-like man who looked as if he lived deep in the earth appeared. He was short and stooped with a pecan colored face wrinkled like a very dry prune. He greeted Jose as an old buddy with a hug and a back slap. Jose knew everybody on his regular route as travel guide. The old man followed Jose back to the bus and climbed up to be introduced to us. His withered face sparked and came to life as Jose translated the man’s account of the process of making charcoal. The smoke I saw was an essential ingredient. Wood is placed in an earthen oven and set on fire. Days pass as layers of dirt are added to “cook” the wood until the tall mound of dirt and smoldering fire reduce the wood to little pieces of “charred coal”. The old man had been tending his charcoal-making though eras of change in Cuba. The need for charcoal to make fires for cooking food remained the same.


Cuba 2012 – Love Songs Written on My Heart: A Hitch-Hickers Guide to Cuba

One day in Havana we visited a private home,
A lone remnant of the former years and better times.
Part of “now” was lounging by the curb – a grand old car,
Hull of Chevy model I remembered well from teen-age years.
But, guess what?! its engine is an immigrant from Italy.
Cubans shopped abroad – found Fiat parts met quite well their needs.

Welcomed in, we stepped into the home – a bit of Cuba as it was “before”.
Ushered into enclosed outdoor garden space – riot of flowers, shade of trees,
Birds and little lizards kept us company. In chairs positioned circle-wise
We took our seats. Coffee rich and dark was brought, in tiny cups of porcelain
With saucers, white and elegant. We drank and wondered what was next.
We were soon delightfully surprised.

She appeared, our person we were to meet that day. Young woman,
Graduate of School of Law now working at low-paying job.
Cuban education is excellent and free.The future is no guarantee.
She lived with parents like most young people must.
Learning English is a plus. Hers came gratis from American TV.
“Gossip Girls” bequeathed hers. I like her spunk. “Future time” make way.

Travel to city job from family home in countryside was no small feat.
Bad roads, no bus to catch, owning private cars obsolete
The people figured out another way – Pooled together to buy trucks
To pick up hitch-hikers waiting on road sides. Our lawyer-to-be had brains.
Pointing to her feet shod in eye-catching stiletto heels she said,
“Who would pass me by? These are my ticket every time.”