March 3, 2016
For Tommy's wife and children, his best friend Jeff, and all of Tommy's family and friends -
I will survive
and calla lilies
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Thursday, March 05, 2015
Seventy years ago today Mom and Dad got married at a very young age. I wondered how it all would have turned out had they stayed married all this time. Mom wondered about that too as she told me the story about how she met Dad. I could see it in her eyes.
the hours and years spent
in that one moment
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
Monday, December 08, 2014
Friday, November 07, 2014
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
It was a holiday, we were at the cabin enjoying morning walks, fresh air, the serene magnificence of the oaks, the blue jays, life...and then the phone rang.
it's been five years
since you passed
still, I find it so hard
to move that mountain
Thank you for serving in the Air Force, Dad. Your eight kids miss you.
Thursday, February 06, 2014
NaHaiWriMo prompt - bump
Finally, a bit of winter has arrived in Southern California, hurried cars, auto wars, frustrated drivers forgetting the trickery, the slickery of roads, all going home at the same time, the same pace, the same rat race, fighting the sleep in a heap of wet smog, dodging a Beemer who wants to be first, is the worst, all getting there in due time, eventually, but with this rhyme we are all the same, as we drive home together in the rain.
bumper to bumper
all the way home
Saturday, February 01, 2014
Small Stone - Jan 31
The fog rolls in, gently over parched hills, fading the green from the pines, changing browns into grays, turning the familiar scenery into an unknown land, yet adventurous, wanting nothing but the freedom to roam and play out its part, in the uncertainty and inevitable ways of the forest.
again mom calls memom
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Small Stone - Jan 28
It still hasn't rained in this area yet. A few sprinkles last weekend that evaporated so fast they couldn't be measured. These past few days the sky has filled with plenty of clouds that look promising but seemingly scatter and dissolve into the sunset, adding one more day without rain.
painting pink dragons
Monday, January 27, 2014
Small Stone - Jan 27
I went to see an elderly friend in the hospital today. She was in a deep medicated sleep, breathing heavy, eyes silent and unaware, hands and arms bruised from all the care she was given in the ICU; remnants of a survivor of a massive heart attack. I wondered if she knew I was there? I couldn't wake her, no one could wake her. Just held her hand and told her that I loved her and wished her well so we could play cards again...her favourite thing. She didn't stir until I got up to leave. Again, I held her hand, told her I loved her and would come visit in a few days. With eyes still closed, she gave back the faintest, most lovely smile.
pulling at the sun
pulling at my heart
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Small Stone - Jan 11
Today, yes even on Sunday, I got a phone call from an obviously scumbag Telemarketer who asked for my stepfather by his full formal name. He said he talked to my stepdad a few months ago about remodeling the kitchen and was following up to see if he was going to honour the contract by putting a deposit down. I listened to his spiel about how easy it would be over the phone to use a credit card, and waited until he stopped talking and then said, "I don't know about the arrangements you’ve made with my dad but I can try to forward the message to him if you would like and he can take care of it? The silly Telemarketer said, “I would appreciate that, Miss. So I said, “It might take a while to get a hold of him though because he died eight years ago and I don’t exactly know where he’s at."
He hung up.
blowfish for sale
every day of the week but
never on sunday
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
A DAY OF FORMIDABLE CHANGE
by Stevie Strang
It was Friday morning, church day for the ninth and tenth graders, and we were on our way to Mass. Down the dreaded steps to the lower field, across the volleyball court and then up another steep set of stairs to the campus chapel. It was a weary trail of exercise just before lunch and too soon after the morning gym class. We couldn’t wait to be Seniors and then we would be able to walk across the coveted ramp that ran beside the library windows on the second floor. The ramp was a straight walk from the classrooms to the chapel but was also a privilege, earned and reserved, only for the Senior class.
Three months into the new school year and already two tenth graders were expelled for smoking marijuana in The Cave under the Senior ramp. As we filed into the little European style chapel, Sr. Ursula stood at the foot of the alter, arms sternly folded at her chest and hidden under the bib of her black habit, waiting to reprimand both classes and warn us of the perils of cannabis and mortal sin.
Gabby, Yvette and I sat on the ninth grader’s side, in the back pew next to the stained-glass window that had the most purple in it. The morning sun filtered through the windows on the other side of the chapel and beamed their brilliant colours over to us, making rainbow fairies on the wall just above Elaine Bronson’s ratted Bubble hairdo. Why we thought that was so funny, I don’t know, but we sat there and giggled about it until Elaine turned around and told us to shush. She was holier than we were, silently kneeling and praying for forgiveness before she would receive communion, so we followed her example and knelt down.
even the rainbow fairies
Pat Crumley came in late, as usual, and sat in the pew in front of us next to Elaine. She was detained in Sr. Leo’s office with a verbal warning about her skirt being too short…again. Sr. Leo did not know that Patricia was with the two tenth graders in The Cave, under the ramp; Pat gave us a quick glance of relief as she knelt down in prayer. The first year at the Academy, a prestigious all-girl college prep school, was a filter. If you were called into the office three times you were expelled, never to return. That was Patricia’s second offense.
It was almost eleven o’clock and Mass had not yet started. Sr. Ursula told us to read our prayer books or quietly say the rosary while she went to see what was delaying Father Booth. As soon as she was out the door both classes started accusing each other of snitching about the marijuana incident.
“You should be expelled too!” A tenth grader from the front pew stood up and pointed a finger towards Pat.
“Shut-up candy-ass or you’re gonna get pants’d during lunch.” Pat shouted back.
Blame was echoing all the way up to the exposed wooden beams of the tiny chapel when Sr. Sheila, the principal, finally came in and slowly walked up to the podium.
“You’re a goner now, Pat,” Yvette whispered and then made the sign of the cross and sat back in the pew.
Sr. Ursula and Sr. Sheila scanned the chapel from front to back with solemn faces of disbelief, seemingly searching for someone to blame, something to scream at. Gads, had we been that loud?
The chapel went completely silent.
“I have some disturbing news...” Sr. Sheila hesitantly said.
The pause was almost unbearable for Patricia. She closed her eyes and bit down on her lower lip.
remembering the moment
“The President…our President…”
Patricia opened her eyes.
“President Kennedy…has been shot and killed.”
Pat turned her head towards us and let out a scream then quickly covered her mouth. Yvette’s face went pale as Gabby gathered our three bodies together and cried. Two boarder students from Venezuela fell to their knees and started praying the Hail Mary out loud. Elizabeth from Connecticut fainted. One by one bursts of tears and gasping screams emerged from each pew and flooded the chapel as tenth grade girls comforted ninth grade girls. Elaine Bronson threw up.
Sr. Sheila tapped the microphone. “Girls, girls…now girls, we have to be strong and pray for the departed soul of our fallen President, for his wife, his children, and our saddened country. Father Booth will not be available for Mass at this time so please return to your homerooms for further instruction and information.”
She then excused herself, her black veil rhythmically flying up in an angry breeze that was powered by her hurried exit back to the privacy of her office.
Stunned into silent weeps, we filed out of the chapel, past the nurse who was tending to the bump on Elizabeth’s head, back down the stairs to the lower court and up the second set of stairs, without complaint, holding hands and comforting each other as we returned to our homerooms to listen on the PA system to the sparse details of what had gone so wrong in Texas.
The mundane childishness of ninth and tenth grade bantering and silliness seemed pointless. The purity of innocence was shattered. We were thrown into the grown up world, by tragedy, by default, by necessity.
We did not know it then but we were changed in many ways; many ways that we had yet to discover and fully understand.
how green the grassy knoll
Published in SIMPLY HAIKU, Winter 2011, Vol.8 No. 3
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
Veterans Day - for my brother Fred
I remember the day we drove you
To the airport that dreary morn
All of us bravely smiling at you,
Young and somber in your uniform
Young and somber in your uniform
We knew the one-way ticket ride
Was a crap-shoot you were attending
All in the name of Freedom
With the outcome terrifyingly pending
Did I ever tell you, “Thank you”
Did I ever say I’m sorry
When you came home such a different man
When your eyes looked haunted and weary
From the things you saw and experienced
Those few years that you were away
It made a difference in all of us
For the price that you had to pay
Every day we thank our lucky stars
That you are with us still
Unlike the boys we grew up with
Who never made it over the hill
They will forever be in our thoughts
As we think of their families
And give thanks to you and all of our Troops
That we live in a Country that’s free
Did I ever tell you, “Thank you”
Did I ever say I’m sorry