Black on black

He sits chatting idly as he butters his toast at a table for four, but he is alone.

His black coat is scrunched at the elbows, but he does not remove it.  Black leather loafers with the tassels look new,  and he jostles and bounces one crossed leg incessantly. He must be hot, one leg of his black jeans is pushed up to the knee, a black dress sock slouches toward his ankles. The other pant leg is pulled down correctly – but only in the front. It is climbing crookedly in the back. His leather kangol hat is lopsided, revealing curly grey and black hair just waiting for a trim.  Scruffy face shows the beginnings of a silver  beard on his dark skinned face. Crumbs gather in groups on his moustache.
He talks steadily a slight island accent evident, as though waiting for a reply that will not come. Two ice teas and two small cups of juice are spread out in front of him. He pauses in his one sided intangible conversation, sips coffee from a smoking cup, and looks toward the empty chair in front of him.  Scratching his chin with slender fingered hand, he smiles at the waitress walking by and catches her attention with, “Hola” before reverting to English to request creamers.

Then, he resumes his solo conversation, tugging at his crawling sock and forcing it to meet his knee.

Sponsored: My Pancakes Taste Different Today!

img1902-copyWe are all responsible for protecting  the environment. This is the message young Ethan learns when he tosses a metal can into the river to make a splash.  What he thought would be a fun end to his fishing trip caused harmful changes to the environment, and those changes were reciprocated.  Ethan’s pancakes are different because he’s inadvertently changed things.

Along with learning cause and effect of choices and actions, readers also learn about the harvest to table process of foods. img1894-copy

 My Pancakes Taste Different Today!

 Authors Heather and Bruce Galpert have done a beautiful job presenting this environmental preservation concept in an easy to read and comprehend story.  Educational text is paired with colorful illustration by Barbara Cate.

My three year old talked through the vibrantly colored illustrations and was quite responsive to the text.  Though younger than the target age, she understood that Ethan had made a mistake and the world changed. After we had read it together, she retold the story page by page to our dog.  The text is heavy on some pages, but she didn’t seem to mind the occasionally long viewing of these parts. And I know a book is a great find when she rereads it.

Four down toward forever

On this occasion of our fourth anniversary

we’ve much to celebrate

despite obstacles and adversity

our calendars share several new, significant dates

each day marked in memories

you can bet our girl’s birth is among the greats

have you counted the times you’ve had to “cheese?”

photos collected of our daily lives

until each child said,  “No more, mom. Please.”

in sickness we’ve dwellt, for health we’ve strived

laughter marks the moments

together, we’ve promised, keeping faith alive

even as we now wade through uncertain currents

our children growing up, and unfortunately, distance

someday they’ll return to appreciate parents

remembering they

re always loved, that’s an insistence

you and I, we’re blessed

soulmates returned, taking forever, we chance.

{written 3/14, as a Terza Rima example}

The skin I’m in

Some days, I wish I were in a different skin. If I looked different, surely things would be easier. People would be more receptive, would value my opinions and my work. Wouldn’t they?

I wouldn’t have to prove my worth, my credentials would be sufficient. I’d actually have kudos bestowed upon me. I’d be respected before I had to earn it. And life wouldn’t be met with critics thinking I got where I was with quotas instead of by merit.

w nonconformist

And then I remember I am who I am and what I am. If I looked different, I wouldn’t be me.

Villanelle #1

Sentenced to enternal strife.
Forever seems so long to be trussed
when miserable and bickering. How is this life?

Once vowed to be your wife
and in you misplaced my trust.
Marriage: a sentence to eternal strife.

Our love, we’d thought was lasting; rife.
now, it’s tarnished. metallic covenant has rust
Miserable. Bickering. How – tell me – is this life?

Arguments unceasing, I question remaining the wife.
Rethinking commitment: release is a must
from this sentence of eternal strife.

Your betrayal cuts like a knife
truth becomes lies. Your words I cannot trust.
I’m miserable. We’re bickering. How is this life?

No longer can we share this life.
Untie our binds that once were trussed.
Sentenced to eternal strife.
Miserable bickering… how is this life?


She holds her tears, does not complain
as you treat her with disdain
neglecting her to pursue your whims
careful, soon what’s left of love will dim

once before, you cherished her
showed her daily how much she was valued
each display of tenderness secured
now, like old photo albums, you’ve come unglued

pictures – the visual record of the past
scatter across the floor
depicting the love that is no more
happiness did not forever last

[the poetry unit has begun again… today: the quatrain]

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