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#WritePhoto Tower Of Power

October 12, 2017 7 Comments


Tower Of Power

Tower Of Power

The Roman army built the arches, aqueducts, and city streets

Then conscripted the local constabulary, farmers and priests

They marched off to conquer and manage all humans and beasts

The emperor demanded tribute in service, and taxes paid in gold.

The able bodied were enslaved and abducted to serve the will of Rome

It is hard to say which one issue caused the empire to crumble and fall

Maybe that imperial power concentrated in one place was never real at all

The ruins of foundations laid down long ago are remnants from the past

Mighty political forces appear and disappear, never meant to last




This poem is in response to this week’s photo prompt on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.  Join us each week to read, comment, or submit your own take on the photo.  I think this poem is also inspired by today’s political climate.



Ghost In The Glade

October 5, 2017 8 Comments



They slipped away during the end of the ceremony to look outside

When they saw the movement on the forrest floor little sister cried

Where is father now that his soul has gone to heaven and his body has died?

The strong scent of cedar and pine, paternal memories in gusts of wind

The light shot down from a hazy sky with a spiritual message to send

Everything that is the father’s is mine, the connection will never end



The poem this week is a response to Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt on her Daily Echo. Join us each week to be inspired by her images to read, write, and comment. Check out the hashtag #writephoto on twitter.

Tom Petty’s Last Show

October 3, 2017 4 Comments

Tom Petty had some final words for his audience in Los Angeles, California as he closed out the last concert of a world tour. “I wanna thank you for 40 years of a really great time,” he said. One week later the rock legend would be dead, after suffering cardiac arrest in the early morning…

via Watch the Final Moments of Tom Petty’s Last Ever Live Show — TIME

#WritePhoto Skulls And Shadows

September 29, 2017 8 Comments

skull sign

skull sign

They looked down on the path with hollow eye sockets

Warning visitors to the woods that not all who enter leave

Some are murdered, skinned and eaten during dinner parties

Others are made into shoes or caps for theater troops

Life in this place must be a precarious race with survival

Assumptions made before entering will warp and strengthen

Turning everyone into either hunter or desperate prey

The shadows cast by the skulls grow long in the afternoon

The darkness grows deeper, the silence is discomforting

The sign is an omen of impending doom from which there is no escape



This gloomy little poem was inspired by Sue Vincent’s Echo.  The photo prompt each Thursday is food for thought and for writing.  Please join the group to read, comment, or submit your own version.

#WeekendCoffeeShare Shift Change

September 24, 2017 3 Comments

When You Are Engulfed In Flames

When You Are Engulfed In Flames

If we were having coffee in Tucson this weekend I would invite you to sit down in the living room with a cold iced tea. It is lovely weather now, with a little bit of chill at night. You probably think of this as summer weather, but for us it is a big deal to have highs below 100. We get all excited when “sweater weather” arrives, sometime in October. I have switched my hours at work in order to be there early to harvest outside.  This is a fun change of pace.  I am, however, having an issue with lack of ambition when I arrive home.  I was finishing all my fitness activity and writing before going to work in the morning.  That way I can relax when I get home.  Now I am all about relaxing when I get home, but have not finished my own daily tasks.  I must apply some discipline to make this shift change work.  I am slacking on everything but my job.

The clearing out of the barn across the street is going very well, with only a few more personal items to move and review.  I have thrown away loads more useless, outdated paper files.  Just this morning, I found something I really wanted to find.  I bought some amazing double sided cashmere fabric in Paris about 15 years ago.  It has been in a plastic box for the last 10 years, with a couple of little pieces of cedar wood to repel moths.  Lo and behold, the cedar works and the fabric is much more than I thought it was.  I am lucky it is all still in perfect condition.  Now that I have kept it so long I must find the perfect use for it, but not so perfect that it takes another 10 years to decide. I am thinking of a long reversible wrap skirt.  I have one in silk, and think it is classy.  My new motto is use it or ditch it for a clutter free life. It is time for this heavily hoarded fabric to get to work clothing me.

If we were having tea I would tell you I am behind on all my office work, which includes blogging. I excuse myself during this time because closing my real estate deal and finding space for all the stuff I want to keep is the most important task I will complete all year.  I think once this job is done I will gratefully return to by diligent practice of writing.  My financial load will be lighter, and my office will be better organized. The one task I have completed ahead of schedule is the payment of my real estate taxes.  I am delighted to be paying about half of the tax bill I have had for the last 10 years.  This makes me feel super happy and free.  In 3 weeks my erstwhile tax burden will be another family’s future home.  Everyone is a winner in this deal.

If we were on our second glass of iced tea I would ask how life and writing is going in your world.  I hope you are more focused and productive then I am these days.  I am listening to David Sedaris read his book, “When You Are Engulfed In Flames”.  This does inspire me to try creating memoir again.  His stories make me laugh out loud.  When I finish his book I will dive into an eighteen hour course on the history of ancient Rome.  Listening to different kinds of books on my audible account makes my work day zip by quickly.  I get a lot of “reading” done while doing my job.  There is a contest to produce a 30 second promotional video for audible telling how you use it.  The winners will be awarded new Volvos.  I am seriously considering entering this contest.  Have you tried audio books? They are my new favorite thing.



Thanks for joining us for this digital beverage party.  Join us to read, comment, or share your own week with the crew.  Follow the hashtag #weekendcoffeeshare on twitter to join the party.


#WritePhoto Dream Flow

September 21, 2017 7 Comments


Flowing River

Flowing River

The edges of the stones were mossy and slick.  When we tried to climb on them we slipped into the rushing current of the river.  We were carried swiftly downstream, looking for a jetty or an overhanging branch on which to cling. There were no helpful signs. The river had run away with us, and in our folly we had lost our way deep in the forrest.  The adventure had turned into a nightmare without a map or a plan.

This little hike started out with innocent curiosity about where the source of this river .  Some said the tributaries trickled down from the whole mountain range, naturally seeking the sea.  Others told stories of a hidden artesian spring deep in a cave, which was the main source of all the water we found in between the river’s banks.  It had been said in ancient times a hermit guarded the source of the spring, to keep the enemies from polluting it. The folk tales of the valley mention healing powers, even miraculous restoration of wealth and status, attributed to bathing in the river water. The hermits and the shamans kept the secret of the waters for themselves.  They stopped healing the sick, and started selling miracles to those in power at the time. After a time the spring ran dry, and the flow of the river was diminished.

We found shelter under tall trees on the shore where we finally landed. We sat at the edge of the water and watched for the others.  Our voyage of discovery had been ill-advised to say the least.  We now found ourselves miles from our intended destination, wet and without a plan.  As the afternoon shadows grew long we heard voices coming from the woods.  Our shouts for help were finally met with the sound of our companions calling our names. Once reunited we felt better, but still had no idea where we were. We built a fire and told our individual stories of falling into the current and finding our way to this place until we all fell asleep.

After a long heavy sleep we awoke to find ourselves safe and sound on the shore where we had started our day.  We all had strange dreams about the river which we recounted to each other on the way home.  It was surprising how similar our dreams had been.



This story is in response to Sue Vincent’s photo prompt in her Echo.  Each week writers interpret a photo to share.  Join us to read, comment, or write your own piece.



#WeekendCoffeeShare Harvest Time

September 17, 2017 3 Comments

reaping what you clone

reaping what you clone

If we were having coffee this weekend in Tucson I would still be pouring iced beverages for both of us. We finally have a bit of a cold front easing us into the fall season. We had a wacky weather year, and many of the plants are confused. One of my jasmines is blooming again, but my lemon tree dropped all the fruit. I am selling my most productive trees, grapefruit and calamondin, in the lot across the street. I am sure I can strike a deal to buy some of the citrus crop because there are way too many for one family to handle. The sale is taking place before real estate taxes are due, which is a fabulous financial bonus.  The family buying it are interesting and cool.  They seem like they will make great neighbors.

If we were having iced tea I would try to persuade you to take home a few books, or some art work. The emptying of the barn is taking place for real now. I have a month to do it, but hope to finish before schedule because I have a trip to Phoenix planned for October. I will attend my first cannabis conference and expo at the convention center up there. There are two days of speakers and trade show displays. Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, will be the keynote speaker. I am sure I will learn a lot about the state of the industry.

Our outdoor crop is being harvested now at the grow.  I think it is really fun to work outside for a while.  I get tired of the fluorescent lighting indoors.  It is nice to have fresh air and natural light for a change. We have a shade cover to protect our skin. The flowers are big and tight, so the growers can take pride in the final product.  It is a happy time for all participants.  The harvest will continue for months, I think. Perhaps the best news about work is that a tortilla company has bought the building next door to ours.  They will set up a tortilla factory there.  We will soon be the best smelling neighborhood in the world.

Please allow me to pour you another glass of iced tea while you tell me how your writing is going.  I have little to say about my own.  My excuse for low levels of production is that I have to focus on the barn cleaning before all else.  I have done it for a couple of hours today, and will return to the task later this afternoon. I believe when it is all finished my muse will be happy and inspired to create. I have been listening to books on audible more than writing anything myself.  Are you feeling inspired lately?

The linky is down in New Orleans this week.  Our hostess Diana at PartTimeMonster graciously holds the party when her internet is working. Use the hashtag #WeekendCoffeeShare on twitter to find the action this week.


#WritePhoto Refraction

September 15, 2017 4 Comments



When the light streamed through the glass we could see the patterns on the ceiling and the walls.  The old stairway stood at the center of the building.  It  was the grand entry to the upstairs office suite of the wizard.  Guests would be met at the front door by the secretary butler, then shown to a small waiting area to be announced to the staff on the upper floors.  When the bell rang the wizard was ready to receive petitioners.  The group filed up the stairs in silence, taking in the opulence of the place.  When they first got a glimpse of the altar they usually gasped in shock.  The wizard knew how to impress with all the right lighting and stage effects.

There was always a pattern.  The wizard demands tribute, or proof of loyalty in return for his miracles.  The petitioners start out on their quests for glory with full faith and a joyful attitude.  They return without figuring out to what or whom they owe tribute and loyalty. After much tribulation the wizard reveals himself to be a fraud with no power at all.  The power he endows is the lesson of the master trickster.  Once this lesson is learned, the petitioner has solid confidence in his own ability to find the right answers.

He still keeps office hours at the top of the stairs. Knock three times with the big dragon door knocker, and you can still be admitted to the chambers.  Make sure you ask to go home, and don’t get stuck in the holding pattern of illusion.  His game never changes.  Some say he is just a collection of habit patterns.  Others say he is a hologram. See for yourself, but set firm boundaries, or you may become lost in the reflections and refractions.



This is a piece that has been inspired by Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt.  In  her blog, the Echo, we gather to share impressions on one of her intriguing photographs. Join us by reading, commenting, or writing your own fiction or poetry inspired by this picture.

Notes from a small dog – How to fix your human

September 14, 2017 2 Comments

A Dog’s View Of Human Health Care

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Well, you might have noticed the two-legs has been a bit quiet… she had to go to the vet, the one with the knives… and we four-legses know that’s never a good sign. Some of my boy dog friends can attest to that! So, she packed me off to stay with my friends for a couple of nights… and you should have seen the state of her when they finally let me come home. Not a pretty sight! And the little whimpers and moans…she sounded like a sick cat…

She says the two-legs vets do stuff like this all the time, so I’m not to worry, but it does get to you after a while. When I’m not well, she strokes my ears and lets me have the sofa. Yeah, I know I always have the sofa anyway…but when I’m poorly, she actually lets me have it.

So, I got…

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#TeaTuesday Soda Pop Substitute

September 12, 2017 3 Comments

regional names for the stuff

regional names for the stuff

One of my colleagues at work announced her intention to give up diet soda for her health. She has cut down from an amazing eight daily, but still has a steady habit. I suggested she might be able to switch to tea if she found flavors that satisfy her taste buds.  She agreed to try a “tour of tea” I provided in the form of several tea samples from my major stash at home.  She accepted the gift and with encouragement from her daughter she is trying the flavors in the starter pack.  I gave her some black flavored tea, chocolate chai, lemongrass, and more to pique her interest in this broad field.

I have thought about how much money is spent in the United States on soda pop and similar sugarcoated drinks (usually made with corn syrup).  It is shocking when you think about it. Half of us drink soda every day, but the popularity is waining.  People are aware of the health risks associated with soda consumption and are making the switch to other beverages.  Bottling companies are shifting production to meet the demand for calorie free seltzers and other beverages.  The bottler still makes a giant profit on shipping and selling what is mostly water, or in many cases, only water, to the world.  Brewing tea at home, especially in the sun which provides free energy and perfect brewing conditions, is a wonderful way to drink very well at low cost. You just provide the water and the jar, then strain it and keep it in the fridge.  The range of flavor and health benefits available from tea is wide and deep.  The expiration of tea can last a lifetime and constantly be inspirational.  I can’t say that for soda.

I drink tea because I love it, but I am proud of all the money I save by brewing my own. Math alone should convince you to switch, but I know the pull can be very strong for the old habits. I hope my colleague will be able to happily switch her preferences.  If you have a soda addiction you want to kick, I highly recommend tea tasting to all my gentle readers. It is a bargain.

white blueberry tea

white blueberry tea


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