Sunday, July 2, 2023

Gentle Giant

 Listening to jazz guitar, sipping coffee, enjoying the music and people watching.

Dad is sitting at the table

  faded orange ballcap

  a red beaded necklace around his thick neck

  a pair of kids sunglasses hooked onto the front of

  his army green t-shirt.

He's a big guy,

  towers over everyone when he stands

  to get his daughter a straw for her milk.

She's wearing a navy dress with a white bow

  and a red white and blue crown on her head,

  a rainbow face painted on her cheek.

He gets up again to get glasses of water for the kids and grandpa.

Big brother has a spider on his cheek

  and a red beaded necklace on his neck,

  He also has Dad's nose and eyes.

Mom and Grandma are at the counter ordering.

Dad goes to check on them,

He nods,

  returns to the table with more glasses of water.

A gentle giant

An ordinary life.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Only One Here

Working 9-4 at a small college library, during summer, can be a solitary job.

I'm the only one here

I can hear water dripping in the fish tank

on the other side of the room.

It's a big room.

It used to be filled with thousands of books

on metal shelves.

Now there are six square tables, 

One large round table

  with a well-used power strip in the middle,

Brown faux leather couches near the windows,

Plants on ledges.

The water noise keeps me company

as I sit

trying to think of something to do.

I hear a door close

in the hall,

probably someone coming in to use the restroom.

If they want to refill a water bottle,

I'll have company

for a minute or two.

I swear there's a hum,

Is it in my head

or is it coming from the HVAC system or lights?

I feel like the library queen,

Perched on my chair,

Looking out at the vastness..

Across from my perch at the desk,

A sign in a cracked plastic holder,

"Book Sale 2 for $1,"

We rarely sell any

of the outdated textbooks

and class related materials.

Maybe they were read once upon a time,

Now, they gather dust,

their spines lean on each other

and stare at me

every minute I am at the circulation desk,

which is around 55 minutes of each hour,

Except for when I pulled half a dozen books in the morning

and placed them in the red bin

for transit to other libraries

that perhaps are more busy than mine.

Time to make my hourly rounds

check the empty study rooms,

maybe push in a chair,

walk up the stairs,

  even the lizards are absent today,

walk through the stacks,

check that the A/V equipment room is still looked,

come back down,

maybe step outside for a minute to

feel the sun,

then back inside,

just in case the phone rings

or someone comes in,

Maybe I'll check the book drop,

even though I checked it three hours ago,

It was empty then,

just like it was empty yesterday

and the other days I checked it.

Working alone is okay,

but it's easier

when there are people in the building

and I can feel some of their energy.

Alone, in the building,

I feel my energy wane

and look for ways to recharge.


Two instructors come back,

their office is being recarpeted

so they're working from here.

And then a student comes in.

and then another.


I am not alone.

Except the students leave within fifteen minutes.

So it is just 

two instructors using computers

in the quiet room,

And me making the rounds more often than necessary

so my feet don't cramp

on the rim

of the black chair

I wiped down when I got here

because it is a hair and dust magnet.

I'm not the only one here

but it is quiet,

I'm thankful that the battery operated clock

was taken down

and the battery not replaced.

The echo of ticking

would not be as

easy to listen to

as the melodic drip of water

in the fish tank.

Oh, did I mention that the student who cleans the tank

came in, 

talking on his phone,

did his job,

and left?

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Another One Gone

I've seen a constant string of death notices from friends about close family members and friends dying. Not sure why. Maybe it's my age. Maybe it's who I know. Maybe because of social media I'm seeing more death notices and this isn't anything new. Whatever the reason, it got me writing.

Friends sharing stories, pictures, videos,

  tears, smiles, crying, laughter.

Another good one gone.

Why her? Why him?

They try to reason

  reassure each other

  support each other.

Someone asks about the spouse, partner, children

Are they doing okay?

  (of course not)

Is there anything we can do for them?

What can we do to help us accept

  that another one is gone

  too early?

Rest in peace dear friend.

We will carry on

  as you would want us to,

And we will bring a piece of you with us

  on our journey. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

For Lettie

After a four year fight, she is at peace. Cancer sucks.

You were a warrior,

light and grace,

with a heart of gold

and a smile that could lift the saddest heart.


we'll treasure

the moments we shared.

Shed tears, tell stories,

sing songs, and move on,

because that is what you would want us to do.


light, and grace

with a heart of gold

and a smile that could lift the saddest heart.

Five foot two, flapper style.

Pole dancing in the library.

Scooter queen.

Parrot mom.

Lifting a glass.

And, oh that laugh.


light, and grace

with a heart of gold

and a smile that could lift the saddest heart.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Linus's Song (The House In the Cerulean Sea)

Written for a local writing contest where entries have to be based on the book, "The House In the Cerulean Sea" by TJ Kline. It's a beautifully written book with a couple of themes, one of which you aren't aware of right away. I think it's also a late in life coming of age story, about Linus. 

Didn't know what I was looking for,

  didn't know what I was missing,

  didn't know how deeply I could feel

    about someone who felt that way too.

Didn't know until I found


Learning new things when 

  you're set in your ways

  can be difficult.

But learning how to love and live with 


  came easy once I shut the door to doubt.

I was content with my life,

I had my patterns and routines,

I thought that meant I was okay.

I didn't know what content and happy 

  really meant

  until I 

  began to know you.

I can feel my heart beat 

  faster when I see

  you walking

  toward me.

I can feel the pulse 

  in my neck


  whenever you are near.

I didn't know,

  no, I didn't know,

  I could learn to love.

I didn't know,

  no, I didn't know,

  the strength your love could give me.

I didn't know,

  no, I didn't know,

  and now I do.

I know I'm thankful 

  every minute 

  I'm with