Campaign Frenzy

Decisions, delusions,
Headaches, contusions,
I’m in a state of dire confusion!

This 2016 campaign
Produces intense mental strain.
Truth-sleuthing should not be such a pain.

There is this poll and that,
I can’t tell fiction from fact
So my mind changes at the drop of a hat.

The gluttonous media enjoys this grand feast.
Candidates are morphing into horrid beasts
As I try to pick one I dislike least.

Oh where are the unbiased voices
Guiding me to intelligent choices?

To think about Sanders
Can stir up my dander.

Ideas about changes in guns to tote
Means Hillary won’t get my vote.

And when it comes to Trump…
Well, consider me a mugwump.

I’m not gonna be a quitter
But for now I’m a fence sitter.

This first appeared in the local weekly paper, the Prospect-News,  in my Close to Home column.

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Summer Rap

imageDenim derrières and tie-dyed tees
Remind me of summers of the younger me,
When all was fun, no worries or fears
That cloud the summers of my boomer years.

Shorts were cut-offs made at home,
Halters and tank tops screamed Coppertone.
Sandals on my feet and radio in hand,
I walked the streets in a calmer land.

Bikes and skates and kick the can
Kept me on the move and somewhat tan.
The sidewalk gang played out till dark,
Home wasn’t far from the neighborhood park.

I work to move, to stay active now,
And avoid hot sun no matter how
White I am at the end of the day,
Which is earlier no doubt, sad to say.

But life is good with friends about,
I might move slower, but I still shout
So all can hear and enjoy those near,
Smiling thru the summer of another year.

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Disillusioned American Voters

imageAmerican voters are frustrated. A recent NYT editorial cartoon showing Trump and Hillary stranded on a desert island indicated the American public would be the winner in the upcoming election if they both stayed there.

Why are American voters disillusioned? Could it be the sense that no candidate truly represents them? Casting a vote – that privilege and responsibility Americans cherish – seems ineffectual on the national level.

Could American voters feel overwhelmed by the responsibility to affect change at the top? Perhaps it’s the thought that corruption and injustice reign throughout the nation’s governing institutions, not just in a few federal offices. Will one vote in one election year matter?

I am an American voter beginning to think I can’t help change the country’s political environment. There is an uneasy fear churning in my soul as little by little my liberties vanish.

How can voters rally to clean house on the federal level when it seems that injustice and evil are not just trickling down to take over our lives, but are swooshing toward us in a flash flood of corruption that destroys truth and freedom in its path?

Maybe it’s not the trickling – down effect that’s the culprit. Maybe corruption has been creeping up. Complacency toward political climates on the local level- in our city councils, county commissions, lower courts, law enforcement agencies, school boards, industry-has perhaps allowed small government to be the training camp for candidates who wind up on our national ballots.

If we as American voters ignore corruption on the local level, the nation’s political climate will continue to deteriorate. We can’t protest and fan the fires of change if we keep dousing those fires in our hometowns. Those who directly influence our lives in a way that those in Washington don’t should be leading the fight for truth and justice. They should not be the ones who take lightly the fact they have power over individual destinies. Justice should be doled out equally; truth should not be swept under the rug. Those in power at the local level cannot be those who use that power unethically.

“It’s been suggested that we’ve moved to a post- factual society, where evidence and truth no longer matter, and lies have equal status to the clarity of evidence.” Alexander Betts

If we can’t affect change on the local level , what makes us think we can at the federal level?

My vote matters in my hometown.

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49 and Holding! 😜

Banish the blues,  believe in tomorrow, behold

another year;

Investigate curiosity, invite joy, intimidate un-

founded fear;

Respect the future, relish the present, remember

what has been;

Toss self-doubt, talk often to pals, travel to places


Herald the heavenly, hate untruths, hold dear the

very precious;

Dance for the soul, drive different byways, delight

in cuisines delicious;

Address routine, acknowledge needs, anticipate

loads of fun.

Yearnings change. Years come and go. You’re

gifted another one.




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Caution: Adults at Play

ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKE JACK A DULL BOY; ALL PLAY AND NO WORK MAKE JACK A MERE TOY. This proverb  was already a familiar one when it appeared in print in 1659 -the first part that is. Author Maria Edgeworth wrote the second part in 1825. Obviously the challenge of  balancing work and play isn’t a new one. It’s an ever-present theme in literature and music and film and television. Why is it so hard for adults to kick back and play a bit with all the reminders?

In retirement I am becoming more proficient at play. One might think that is a no-brainer but not if the definition of play is considered. According to Brown and Vaughan in a book not to be found in our library circuit – Play: How It Shapes the Brain Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul- any activity one considers playful should be (1) voluntary (2) pleasurable and (3) fully engaging. During legitimate play time takes a backseat since the process is more important than the outcome.

Play should come with the warning: STOP IMMEDIATELY IF THIS ACTIVITY BECOMES MANDATORY WITH A DEADLINE. And it’s all relative. column writing has a deadline b ut it is a game for me still in a multitude of ways. I love learning a poker game from my brother-in-law but teaching me is a drive-to-drink source of great stress for him. Golf can’t be ‘real’ play for my sis if she won’t let me accompany her until I get good at it! Fishing is great play for my brother because it doesn’t really matter to him if he catches anything. I get that and it is play for me if I don’t have to bait the hook. Sis-in-law loves to paint walls – she is fast and efficient and clever with color schemes and it’s all a headache for me. Son loves woodwork; all that measuring twice and cutting once with noisy power tools keeps the fun at bay for me. Daughter-in-law is so creative in her ‘work’  designing custom nails it seems like play perhaps for her; it is oh so tedious for those not detail oriented.

I would add the component of laughter to the definition of fun. Wii games with grandchildren qualify because grandmas are so bad at playing them as does Wii bowling wth adults who aren’t concentrating on the scores. As grown ups we should model five-  year-olds; they are imaginative and spontaneous and not too worried yet about judgment from others. Being part of their fun is the greatest joy.

Originally written for my Close to Home column in The Prospect-News.


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My Side of the Fence

The grass is always higher on my side of the fence.

At first glance to you it won’t make any sense.

Why is starting a mower harder than starting a blender?

It’s useless to pout and blame it on gender.


The battery’s not dead – that’s easy to hear

But it won’t be long till it is, I fear.

Countless tries make it and me tired.

Would be great to say on first try it fired.


Mowing’s a favorite chore of mine;

Beats inside chores any of the time

Though evidence doesn’t  match this sentiment

As vegetation soars from vanishing sediment.


So I muster the energy to use a push mower.

No motor means it’s quiet but oh so much slower.

By the time I finish one complete round

For sure the starting point can’t be found.


The sounds of the blades remind me of Dad –

Linking chains of smiles for all the fun we had

In city yards. While we played as he mowed

Seeds of precious memories were sowed.


Wild flowers I haven’t seen in a while

Remind me of Mom and make me smile.

Those tiny blossoms normally don’t peek

Through sheared blades in a lawn low and sleek.


As spring rains fall I hear the grass grow

And some remarking why doesn’t she mow

Don’t worry I am doing just that.

You may not hear it and I won’t get fat.


My face will be red but not from blushing.

My clothes will be wet but not from splashing

In the cool of the Current while riding a boat.

Could now be the time to get a pet goat


PS. If you notice some strange punctuation practices here

my comma only works when I hold one of the spacers down and then I get a gillion of them.



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Sudden. Deafening. Close. Terrifying. Fight or flight? Fight what? Fly where? Is that terror coming from this direction? Or from this way? It must be right here. Impossible! I am in the house. Run outside or stay inside? What is that pounding in my head? NO! I can’t faint. Breathe.

At the front door the terror again. I have to see it. I have to know.  My Siamese cat DaVinci many times his normal size darts in. The deafening decibels surround me. Is something falling from the sky? is it a creature stalking its prey? Stalking me?

Imagine  Paul Bunyan dragging a bow across strings on a violin the size of a semi that he is holding over you or under you or behind you. I had consumed only the recommended medicinal dose of red wine before bed so I was not having an inebriated-induced nightmare. In case you were wondering.

This morning there are no prints in the soft earth anywhere around the house.  The Siamese is not interested in joining me on the front porch. My hands hurt and my neck and shoulders are screaming for relief from adrenaline pumped suddenly through my system at 4 in the morning.

Varied wildlife roams throughout Ripley County though I cannot always tell fact from fiction since I am city born and bred. What was the source of that petrifying sound and how can I keep it away?

This first appeared in The Prospect-News in my Close to Home column.  A local yokel teased me that perhaps a possum paid me a visit. I know they visit but they are relatively quiet. A neighbor has shared that mountain lion prints have been identified up the road a ways. These creatures have also been seen on game cameras throughout the area. After listening to vaious YouTube videos I have decided it was indeed a mountain lion I was hearing.



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