Tuesday, September 30, 2008



[Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect posed a Monday Poetry Stretch to write an acrostic poem about fall. I love the crisp air this time of year, even if I hate the falling leaves, pretty though they are.]

Chilly mornings make me

Roll over and hug the covers tight.

Icy toes hit the floor on the way to the

Shower to warm up. Nevertheless, I

Prefer this to turning on the furnace.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wall Street Woes Limerick


[Mad Kane prompts us to write a limerick and/or haiku on Wall Street Woes. I liked that turn of phrase so much, I used it.]

We put money in and it grows.

Or so we do hope and suppose.

But the mortgage disaster

makes prices fall faster

and now we all sing Wall Street woes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cafe Writing Seven Things


[Cafe Writing is back with more prompts and one of them is to describe seven tastes or scents that define autumn to me. I warn you not to read it if you are hungry!]

1. homemade donuts
I haven't yet put the story in my blog, but when I was a kid I used to get a hankerin' for homemade donuts around about August. It was always too hot to put a pot of hot oil on the stove to deep-fry them, so Grandma and my great-aunt always made us wait until it cooled off. The first cool weekend, when we went over on a Saturday or Sunday, there would be homemade donuts rising underneath tea towels on the counter. We'd fry them up and glaze them and eat way too many. They were worth the wait.

2. a crisp apple eaten right in the orchard
I love "sweater weather." And a day when I can put on one thin extra layer, and go out into an orchard under a clear blue sky with a bag lunch and an empty container to fill with apples - (sigh) is a delight. We'd usually get one or two pecks (four pecks make a bushel) of several kinds. The orchard where we go uses no pesticides and they have several varieties with overlapping seasons. One of the first things is to pick a perfect one on the small side - maybe a Macoun, or a McIntosh, or a Cortland. Then it gets polished on my sleeve or shirt-tail. And I crunch into it and try not to be a total slob about the juice. Mmm.

3. honey
For Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, it is tradition to start with something sweet. One tradition is to dip apple slices into honey. Another is to eat honey cake. I have a ton of recipes for honey cake, and there are many different styles. And they all taste like fall to me.

4. apple cider
I have nothing against apple juice at other times of the year. But the only kind of fresh (not fermented) apple cider I can get in the grocery store these days is pasturized. I love it when I can find an orchard to sell me unpasturized apple cider. It tastes fresher. And if you leave it just a little too long, it starts fermenting, with tiny little bubbles that make it "spritzig."

5. blueberry pie
I know that blueberries are a summer fruit, not normally associated with autumn. But my dad loved blueberries. He preferred blueberry pie or cobbler to a birthday cake and his birthday was in early October. I taste his fall birthday when I have blueberry pie. Especially when it has vanilla ice cream on top.

6. candy corn
I don't love candy corn, but it is ok. I almost never buy it in the store for myself. And most times of the year, I can pass it up. But something about October makes me dip into the candy dish of artificially colored, artificial-tasting wedges of tooth-rotting sweetness. I remember eating it at my grandma's house, nibbling off the tiny white tip first, then biting off the orange middle part, leaving the stubby yellow base for last. The ones you can find now with a chocolate layer are just wrong. And I seem to remember my college roommate taking me to the candy store in her hometown, just to get fresh candy corn. I must say that the nuances were wasted on me. But then, I didn't turn it down either.

7. pumpkin pie
Just as my dad preferred pie to birthday cake, my mom's favorite birthday treat is pumpkin pie. She, too, has a fall birthday (albeit much later in the season). I like pumpkin pie enough I sometimes have a slice for breakfast. Usually eaten out of hand - no need to dirty up a fork and plate.

The only problem with this list is now I'm hungry!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

9th Grade Track


[I'm finally catching up with some of my favorite blogs and discovered a prompt at Mad Kane's Humor Blog to write a Limerick or Haiku on things I wasn't good at. I immediately thought back to running the 800-yard event in 9th grade. It wasn't pretty.]

In running I had but one pace -
that was slow, even when in a race.
But I did win one prize
when I once moved my thighs
to just barely come in at fifth place.

Thursday, September 18, 2008



[This weeks Totally Optional Prompt was to write a poem in blank verse, that is a poem with meter with or without rhyme. I toyed around with a the sound of triplets or a waltz. That makes it largely "dactyl" I think, though feel free to correct me. This is less of a work in progress, and more a exercise. Go check out what other folks came up with. Oh, and click here if you want a definition of obbligato.]


cupcakes on weeknights or choc'late chip pancakes
tending to needs of her family and friends
fridge always stocked and the always-clean linens
proof of her love and devotion to home
others came first and she always came after - yet
there she was nearby with smiles and a hug
then she was gone and the melody faltered
weft-less the family fabric was frayed

Wednesday, September 17, 2008



[Read Write Poem challenged us to write an elegy. I had trouble with the subject until I remembered the jolt I got (many years ago now) when reading a campus newspaper.]

Unexpected Death Notice

She was so young! and I
had not known she was ill.
I cannot believe I won't bump
into her on campus, on my way
to the bank or the post office.
It makes me feel emptier,
and ashamed I didn't know.

She was the boss of my boss,
chic and savvy, with impeccable
taste and a great deal of patience
for my impetuous boss and others.
I thought she was fair, but a bit
gullible. She lost her cool
when she thought we had
pieced together the shredded
files from the bag outside her door.
But her smile was less
than chic, a little rough
around the edges and
it made me like her more.

I saw her name and picture
in the campus newspaper
and I sent a copy to my old
boss, who had moved on
years ago. He was shocked
too and we commiserated.
And days later, I still can't
believe she's dead, while
I'm still here.

Sunday, September 07, 2008



[Read Write Poem challenged us to rubberneck and then write about it.]


Teenage boys know they can
be seen: posing for the girls,
or mooning them.

But you, and that guy over there,
seem to have forgotten. You don't
remember that I can watch you
run your fingers through your hair.
I see you put on eye makeup at
40 miles an hour. I stare as you
run an electric razor over your chin.

I see you pick your nose and lean
over to pick up the CD you dropped.
I see your left hand gesturing and your
right hand holding the phone to
your head and I hope you are at least
steering with your knees.

Did you know I watched you turn
to talk to the small people strapped
into your back seat so that you missed
the light turning green?

I check out the newspaper propped
against your steering wheel. I see the
map you are struggling to fold into
a more manageable shape. I wonder
what book holds your attention while
you speed down the turnpike.

Did you know I memorized your
face when you kept straying over
the lines, jerking back into your lane
when the rumble strip jarred you awake?

I saw you changing your shirt after work.
At least you waited for a stop light
to change shoes. Did you know you
are not invisible inside your car?