Compost: Writing for Family

I write for my family, about my family’s history – both long-ago history (genealogy stories!) and recent history (I was a hippie – and still am, really) and the stories in-between (WW2 & Depression-era stories). Someday these essays might be made into a book. I’d love to know if you think these family stories are of interest to others, so here is one, about one of my childhood adventures – with a pig. Please comment! The Sad Saga of Betsy the Pig

Haiku Friday: Tradition

My haiku for today:

many traditions
are rooted in dumb reasons
no one remembers

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

Ghostwriting for a Dog: Going Naked

Goody Beagle here. It’s getting cold outside, the season when my human has the quaint idea that dogs need coats as well as fur. A couple of years ago she bought a wool sweater (so itchy!) made just for dogs my size, which she’ll be breaking out any day now. I can hardly wait to see what horror she bought for Alex Terrgi – but wait! Maybe she’ll make Alex wear the wool sweater and let me go naked, the way dogs are supposed to be. Alex won’t care, he panders to the human (so disgusting!) and will probably wear that sweater with pride instead of shame.

I think humans should get rid of their fear of cold and their prejudice against nakedness. Raw unadorned nature is always best.

My human and I are still working on my next book. If you missed my first book, it’s called Dog Park Diary and is available on Amazon.

Haiku Friday: Dawn

My haiku for today:

welcome the gray dawn
hitchhike on the wings of crows
pretend you are free

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

Compost: Winter Comes

It will soon be Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, so perhaps this would be a good time to share a winter story from my soon-to-be released ebook, Eating Mythos Soup: poemstories for Laura. Let me know what you think.

I am old and the wintertime cold has seeped into my bones. I am the deserted child of an ancient wrinkled gardener.

My father moves slowly because he is older than the dirt he loves so well. He is tall and thin with black cracked skin, and his arms, ropy veined and polished like ebony, stick out of his too-small coat. He is burdened with a hoe and a rake and a shovel, and all the tools he needs to keep his garden alive.

His coat, olive green with patched pockets, flaps around his ankles, and he wears mismatched tennis shoes with no laces. Under his coat he wears a faded orange flannel shirt, and torn loose jeans. His eyes seem to be lost in the million crinkles on his face, but sometimes, as on a dark cloudy night when the wind blows, they like stars twinkle briefly between the shifting clouds.

My father is the wintertime gardener and it is his job to cover the seeds and blanket the bushes and roots with mulch. He ties berries on the bare tree branches for the foolish birds who forgot to migrate. He is cold and lonely, moving like a shadow between the leafless branches of the garden.

But his dreams, ah his dreams are warm and moist. When he breathes his dreams upon the ground, extravagant and beautiful fungi appear. They thrust suddenly out of the cold rotting compost and their convoluted lobes flame in vivid scarlet and orange and blue.

He dreams of me. I am one of the fungi, a small delicate one with feathery blue veins on my pointy cap and buttery yellow splotches on my slender stalk. My father is sorry he left me so long ago, but still he knows I will be able to forgive him from the depths of my own winter.

The sun hangs over the thick black hills and the smoke from distant bonfires drifts lazily across the leaden sky. The trees in the garden are silent; their tongues are buried under their fallen leaves.

My father the gardener takes off his tennis shoes, and places his long narrow feet carefully on the cold packed ground. His feet look like short planks of dark rotted wood. He wriggles his toes into the hard earth, digging with his horny toenails that are almost as dark as his skin.

He sings a mumbling song and dances a thin spiky dance upon the earth. Soon his mumble grows into a gospel song, but instead of Jesus, he shouts my name. He wakes his rake and his hoe high in the air, stretching his arms out to their longest length, and he thrusts them, up down, in rhythm to his song. His dance sways and shakes and his hard pounding old feet high-step their way around the garden, and the winter flowers bloom.

Eating Mythos Soup: poemstories for Laura will be available as an ebook early next year. Stay tuned.

Haiku Friday: Wander

My haiku for today:

down a darkened path
wander because you wonder
if it goes somewhere

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

Ghostwriting for a Dog: Gifts from the Highchair

Goody Beagle here. Have I told you why I love human babies? My human’s newest grandchild is just a little over a year old, and she is wonderful because she’s just like all human babies – she’s both messy and generous with her food.

She is just the right height for me and Alex to lick her face and hands and clothes while she’s toddling around the floor, and there is always some leftover food there. She doesn’t care – in fact I think she likes our licks.

Even better – she has learned how to share her food with Alex and me. Sometimes she hands us her cookies and laughs when we gobble them up – we are always careful when we take them out of her hands – both Alex and I know that biting a baby is absolutely taboo.

My favorite time to hang around the baby is when she is sitting in her high chair eating her lunch or dinner. She often – and I mean like every time she sits there – drops food on the floor. Sometimes she does it by accident because babies are clumsy, but now she’s learned how to throw food on the floor on purpose, when she doesn’t want any more or doesn’t like whatever it is. We always like whatever it is!

So now you know why I am a fan of babies.

My human and I are still working on my next book. If you missed my first book, it’s called Dog Park Diary and is available on Amazon.

Haiku Friday: Muffins

My haiku for today:

raspberry muffins
stuffed with coconut shavings
dripping warm butter

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

Compost: Words Don’t Die

Way back in 2000, my first book Eating Mythos Soup: poemstories for Laura was published, BEB (before ebooks). I am happy to announce that Eating Mythos Soup will be given new life in ebook form early next year. Very exciting!

From the back cover of Eating Mythos Soup: “There is a being named Laura, to whom people tell their stories. Laura is a being in another dimension, a shape-shifter, an angel or a guide; her role is to eat the stories people give her. Here are fifty-two poemstories for Laura, stories sizzling with imagery and metaphor and alive with the joy of language. They come from all sorts of people – a gardener, an accountant, a purple witch, an angry parrot, a clown in a bear suit. They are full of hope, fear, love, sex, dung, joy, and guilt. Reading them is about as close as we’ll ever come to understanding who or what Laura is.”

To whet your appetite, here are the first few paragraphs of Chapter 1.

Laura says, “There, there,” to comfort you, and you are comforted. The thick balm of Laura slides over your heart, a salve made of honey and nettles. You are at peace.

Laura has mink-dark hair, deep black, deep brown. She spreads it like a mantle over your shoulders to warm you, as you tell your tale.

Laura likes to drink Greek wine, raw with a nip in it, but sweet as honey as it hits the back of her throat. The wine highlights the doubts and confusions of the stories Laura hears, yours and others. Oh, how Laura does love the absurd. Laura’s laugh is rich and fruity, thick like the honeyed wine she drinks. It bubbles like slow boiling porridge and splatters on the sky.