Category Archives: Uncategorized

Shattered Mug

 

You weren’t supposed to see me this morning.

I had intended to leave before you got up. But the white and gold coffee mug, the one you bought in Maine last year, slipped away from my hands and shattered all over the kitchen floor.

It was only 5 am when you turned on the lights to see what had happened. And I stood there, feeling every bit as guilty as the day I came home with that stray.

You somehow knew that instinctively.

With only your smile standing between us, you helped me clean up my mess (not for the first time). I was grateful for your company, even if only for a few minutes. Then I kissed your cheek and left, bag in hand. I haven’t stopped thinking about you all day.

Perhaps my clumsiness wasn’t much of an accident.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Street Fair

 

On our way to the concert, the one at Joe’s Pub yesterday down in the East Village, we walked through nearly a mile of temporary stands and tents filled with shorts, hand bags, wallets, sunglasses, lemonade, and sausages – ones either smothered in pepper and onions, or pierced by wooden skewers looking very much like fleshy, misshapen lollipops.

At every stop, we searched for something a little different in a style or color not normally found at Target or Walmart. And at bargain prices having been mass produced, as they were, in such exotic places as Nepal and India and Croatia and Switzerland.

Some vendors openly mixed their politics with their sales – “Socialism: we are Trump’s worst nightmare” – and some just hustled for big name, corporate America. Side by side. All just trying to make a buck. The same buck it turns out. And each in their own way on a cool New York City summer day.

We did walk off with a few things. Gifts to ourselves and, in return, a gift to this street economy of merchants. Many of whom will return again next week to a street not called Broadway.

Even the socialists, I suspect.

A profit is still a profit.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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Hands

 

Whenever the barbershop apron failed,

the floor stepped in to collect every

last bit of gray that fell from my

head. Except for those few

strands that dangled

precariously from

his hands.

 

Hands that moved quickly across

my face. Then side to side

And with every passing,

an old memory was

recaptured.

 

The faint smell of tobacco on

fingers that held the same

brand of cigarette that

my grandfather had

smoked whenever

he too cut my

hair.

 

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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Self Improvement

 

Books tell us that there are a million ways to better ourselves.

Some outline the ten best ways to make friends with our money. Others want to help us to shed forty pounds without much effort. And the ones that promise to bring us every joy in the universe just by thinking about them, well don’t get me started.

The one sure thing that these books all have in common, besides pointing out just how miserable and drab our lives will continue to be without them, is in their ability to raise us up. To give us a heightened perspective from which to view the world.

No, not in some spiritual sort of way.

I mean physically. At the dinner table. When placed under our bottoms.

My Kindle just doesn’t seem to cut it.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Left Mirror, Right Mirror

 

If I could stand in front of two mirrors hanging next to each other, one angled slightly to my left and the other slightly to my right, my face would disappear in the small space between them.

My eyes now trained on the separate parts, it wouldn’t take long before I no longer even recognized myself, presenting first one side and then the other. My friends might soon feel compelled to choose, dismissing the one that no longer best suited them.

Only those who dared to stand in the space between the mirrors would still feel the full weight of my presence.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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Evening Ride

 

I’m not very fond of it, my commute home.

I don’t so much mind the ride in the morning. In fact, it’s peaceful and uncrowded and the signal on my phone connects pretty well for most of the trip. I’ve discovered that it’s as good a working environment as any to begin a new poem or a short story in just under an hour.

But right now, I’m riding the train home. It’s loud and it’s crowded and no one is self-aware enough to notice just how annoying they are to everyone else. Text messaging dings followed by gum chewing pops.

Some of us are still occupied with work that should have been left behind earlier. The rest are trying to set their minds on that place to which we are anxiously heading. A place where we are loved and cherished and neglected – often at the same time.

And all I really care about is whether I will be able to finish this piece before I get to my station, even as I bother my seat mate by annoyingly tapping out words on my phone.

It turns out that the answer is yes I can.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: My Own Photo

 

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Sunday Morning Walk

 

Because I don’t get to do it during the week, Sunday mornings are typically set aside for a slow walk around the neighborhood with Toby, our playful, nine year old cockapoo. Unlike me, he needs to sniff at every tree stump, clump of grass, and misplaced object. And, if the urge hits him just right, to re-mark his territory for the hundredth time. I guess none of the earlier times took. Or maybe he doesn’t care to remember all the hard work he undertook just last week.

I’m on a slightly different mission. I have no need to stop and smell anything, least of all the neighbor’s neatly stacked pile of refuse – the one containing those newly discarded Amazon boxes. But I do like snapping pictures with my phone. A kind of photographic journal. A reminder that these hot summer mornings are constantly being seduced by the fall to go back to wherever it is that hot summer mornings go once they leave here.

But Toby and I will be here in the fall and most of the winter. No doubt I’ll still be taking pictures. First of the leafless trees, then of some dirty piles of snow. And Toby will bring his game too. He better than anyone seems to understand that there’s always one more chance to make your presence known. Even if it lasts only for the day.

And he seems to be content with that.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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Afraid Of The Dark

 

It’s not as if you can always count on the sky to let you peek through the clouds. Sometimes they stand in the way of our own shadows. And while we tell ourselves differently, we really aren’t all that obsessed with daylight anyway.

It’s the nighttime that changes everything. The time when we surrender every reminder of every falsehood that props us up. And those moments of sweet release can drive out a covetous grace. Even if we find ourselves lying again come morning.

Maybe we shouldn’t be so afraid of the dark after all.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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Silent Corners

 

If I were to stay here long enough, I might still be able to imagine your voice.

It wasn’t all that long ago when you and I sat here, right at his table, to plan our day.

Or sometimes life.

Your voice always managed to fill the room, even reaching beyond this corner. Even when you thought you had been whispering. And once expressed, a spontaneous idea quickly became your inevitable course of action. I always got caught up in your latest schemes because I never wanted to stop hearing your voice.

The times you cried were always the most difficult for me. Over time, I learned that your tears had less to do with some ordinary sadness and more with your uncanny ability to see the world as it really is.

You seemed to have everything you needed to completely shut yourself off from everyone.

But you never did.

And your tears would later flow so naturally, so unassumingly, into that brilliant laughter. As if no daylight existed between them.

Today, there are no more tears. Not yours anyway. And here I am, just trying to recall how one single voice might sound crying out into some big empty space.

Just like it used to be, before you first showed up.

Before you somehow managed to entertain even these silent corners.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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Skydiver

 

Sometimes I imagine what it might feel like to be a skydiver.

The heart pounding fear just before the jump, the immediate regret as soon as I do.

And then, maybe, a few moments of freedom as I quickly separate from the plane, before the parachute opens. Free falling toward the ground, it gets maddeningly bigger and greener, more concrete and real.

Then I begin to fear the worst. What if some catastrophic mechanical failure causes me to speed up as I approach the earth? Would I, like some incandescent space debris, travel fast enough to burn up before hitting the ground? Would I pass out moments before I smash every body part into untraceable fragments?

Then, suddenly shaking me loose from my nightmare, the parachute rips open and I am momentarily pulled back up into the air.

Peace descends alongside me. I float in solitude, eying the ground below as if through the camera lens of some made-for-television movie. One from World War II, perhaps, where I’m now altogether ready to do my part in liberating the newly defeated citizenry.

A perfect landing, one swallowed up in nylon and Kevlar. As I pull myself back up, I make quick, stabbing motions to gather up and fold my beautiful little safety net.

I stare back up into the sky, ready for another run. Back to where I came from.

Glorious.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

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