Poetry Corner

The Mirror

More than a Reflection
The Mirror allows us to gaze upon
Our own Outlines
Our Shells
Our Masks
Our Cloaks
Our Framework

Do you look at your Outside
In the Mirror
Or do you take the Time
To look into your own Eyes
To what others might see
Inside

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Cicada

Susurrus then silence
A crescendoing cacophony accompanies
The rocketing temperature
Of summer’s supreme days and nights

My children complain of the clatter
The scraping song of the hard-shelled insects
Who surrender their sheddings
On the hose outside the House

 

 

 

Pouring the Cup-Promo

Originally posted on Writerbee's Book Reviews:

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On the faraway planet of Bona Dea, in a society forged by ancient settlers, trouble is brewing. Young psychic Axandra, never comfortable with her gift, is being forced to use it for the benefit of her people as ruling matriarch of the entire world and host to a powerful entity known only as the Goddess.

Struggling with her fate, used as a pawn between warring factions, life for Axandra is almost too much to bear. Even the ministrations of her beloved companion, Quinn, may not prove powerful enough to overcome the stress threatening to destroy Axandra’s fragile soul.

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Lost in the Twitterverse

Apparently I am ignorant to the laws of the Twitterverse. I’m finding the lack of punctuation, abbreviations, and slang creates a confusing atmosphere where being drawn into a feed may or may not be a conversation, but they look surprisingly alike in structure. Throw in numbers used as words, and I become baffled, my eyes losing focus among the characters.

I grew to adulthood believing that a conversation was a mutual exchange of information between people with an understanding of the topic, a direct interchange of two or more willing participants.  I have found myself pulled into a poorly written Twitter exchanges because someone attached my handle to it, but in no way was the “conversation” directed at me or inviting my comment, at least not to my understanding. Due to a lack of punctuation, a tweet can be read with several different meanings, not all of which leave a positive impression. Usually, I refuse to be drawn in, for I know that the “discussion” will eventually be lost within the multitude of misguided mentionings.

Twitter’s inherently brief structure has always puzzled me, hence my long delay in joining the ranks of the Tweeters. Constructing a coherent message in 140 characters or less is not impossible, but does restrict the use of vocabulary and is further limited if one wishes to include a handle or a link or a hashtag or any of the myriad of tools to gain exposure from tens of thousands of eyes. I prefer to restrict my Tweeting to business, but even that proves challenging to get the entire, clear message across the eyes of the Tweetees. It does provide practice in succinctness.

At times, I read Tweets and shake my head in utter confusion as to what they mean. They look like gibberish, a jumble of letters and numbers and characters of a language alien to my background but somewhat resembling my native tongue.  And we wonder why we are no longer able to understand each other in real life.

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Just 5 Minutes?

This is a question I seem to be asking constantly of late. “Can I have just 5 minutes by myself?”  or “Can you two get along for just 5 minutes together?”

Five minutes seems like a much more difficult goal than ever before. Or it is just that when I think of five minutes, it’s really a much shorter time in real life than in my head. But it seems that every time I turn around to try to work on a task, there is an interruption. Whether that is at home or at work, I just need 5 minutes to finish what I’m doing.

Well, I’m sure that this happens to other people. So what do you do when you need that five minutes and it’s just not in the stars for today? Or any day, it seems?

Can I have just 5 minutes, PLEASE??

 

 

 

Driving Tips – Stop Stopping

Warning, this is a bit of a rant.

I live near Kansas City. The Metro area holds about 2 million people (about half a million in KCMO itself). Two major interstates run through the city, I-35 and I-70. After all, we are the center of America, the crossroads of the country. So why is it that drivers in the metro can’t figure out how to merge without stopping four lanes of traffic!

After driving on the east coast near NYC, Hartford, and other much larger metropolitan areas (such as Chicago on the way back), I am simply amazed that millions more people can drive without the same jams. The Chicago area holds three times as many people in a consolidated area as the entire state of Kansas.  They have traffic, but it still moves forward a lot faster than I-35 N at 5:30 on a Tuesday evening. And I-35 N is against the outgoing rush hour of people fleeing downtown KC to head home to their suburban McMasions in south Johnson County.

It’s called the zipper, people. You look ahead, you adjust your speed, and you make room for a car to weave in ahead of you without smashing down on your brakes. If you are merging, take advantage of that hole. Hit the gas. Share the road. We’ll all reach our destinations on time and in one piece if we cooperate on the roadway. We’re all in the same hurry.

I known this is part of the American psyche. Competition, speed, my-way on the highway. We are taught from childhood that we need to be faster and more aggressive than anyone else, even when it isn’t in our best interest to do so. Sometimes you have to assert yourself to get where you need to go, but bottling 6 lanes down to three in  a few miles isn’t the place for it.

I don’t mind letting people in, as long as they are respectful in the process. Use your blinker so I know you’re coming. Don’t try to take off my front bumper when you squeeze in. Don’t try to ram my behind. I’ve usually got kids in the car, and–while I don’t mind if you hurt me so much–if they get hurt because you’re being a jackhole, I will sue you to your last dollar.

Brakes should be used sparingly on the Interstate. It’s a highway meant to speed people through the area. It’s not for sight-seeing or lollygagging. If you follow the rules and give a couple of car lengths at high speeds, you’ll have plenty of time to slow down in the event of an emergency. If you are tailgating at 70 miles per hour, it’s your fault if the person in front of you needs to slow down and you don’t have time to react. Do you remember high school physics? What happens when an object moving at a high rate of speed hits on object standing still. A big bloody mess that didn’t need to happen.traffic

Now, I respect that Kansas Citians are not quite so crazy at high speeds as New Yorkers and Massholes (it’s 80 or get outta my way). We’re a little bit nicer to each other. Just a little. Because, you might actually know the person in front of you from somewhere, since there aren’t as many people around.

So, people, let’s figure out how to drive our cars and do it safely so we can get to our destinations without road rage or accidents. Please, and thank you.

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Photo obviously not KC, since we don’t have any mountains nearby.

ChatAbout – Earning Rewards

In my silly, crazy mission to earn Amazon Giftcards (or Starbucks if I feel inclined to trek to the nearest store 15 miles away), I have found yet another site asking for my opinion to earn a point or two at a time.

On ChatAbout, all you have to do is enter 20 word comments about any news article or question you see listed for 1 point. Bonus points are received for spraying Twitter and Facebook with shares. Even more points can be earned by completing “special offers.” (Frankly, I don’t look much at these, since I really don’t want to spend big money to get a few bucks on Amazon – not unless it’s something I’m looking for anyway, like gifts.)

But, for 50 points right here, I’m posting this blog. Short and Sweet.

 

Beach Time

While many people enjoy jumping in the cold water to swim the ocean, I enjoy sitting and watching the existence that is the ocean and everything that makes the deep blue water the living organism that fuels our planet. I watch the people on the beach, if there are any, and the things they do to enjoy their time. Or I take a walk, absorbing the details of the scene around me, such as the coarseness of the sand or the way the terns dive into the water or the white noise of the water in perpetual motion.

Old Silver Beach happens to be have a shallow shelf that extends at least 50 yards out into water, so at low tide you can walk most of the shelf with barely more than your waist in the water. There is velvety soft sand starting at ten feet out, easier on the feet than the coarse, pebbly sand at the natural high and low tide lines. There aren’t many shells or sea glass fragments for fossicking, though I gave it my best. I collected a few pieces of well-scrubbed quartz and volcanic rock to take home. My children played in the sand with Daddy and the awesome Aunties, digging forts, building castles, and sifting sand grains.

Shallow ShelfThe children jump into the water without much apprehension, hurrying out into the short waves with boogie boards, goggles, balls, and buckets. My little one coined the term “sea salad” while running away from bits of kelp and sea grass washing up the shore. Amongst the green bits, I noticed some fragments of sea grass moving against the current. Following one, I discovered these were actually pipefish, a member of the same family as seahorses, swimming along the shore. These are six to eight inches long and colored to blend in with the seagrass. I also spotted hermit crabs (one of which pinched my foot as I walked too close), clams, oysters, gulls, terns, and a flock of four swans flying overhead. The swans nest in inlets and estuaries along the coast.

My husband and I decided to walk up the nearby estuary at low tide. The current coming out of the reinforced channel was nearly strong enough to push us back out to the sea. We trudged ahead, curious what we would find in the grassy wetland on the other side of the road. More oysters and other shellfish cluttered the shores. Gulls nested in high areas that were surrounded by water at any tide. Minnows swarmed in the current, popping to the surface to feed on passing algae and bugs. Shrimp moved about in the brackish water. Fiddler crabs no larger than tennis balls scuttled in the mud, hiding in their burrows so fast you barely got a look at them. Later, I observed the tide pushing into the estuary and Low tidesubmerging most of the sandbars.

Back at the beach, where we parked our belongings for several hours of the day, we ate a picnic lunch of sandwiches, chips, and cookies. The ring-billed gulls attempted to make friends with our party, daring within a few feet hoping we’d toss a scrap. We refused and they moved on to the next beach blanket. After lunch, there was more water and sand time. We usually attracted children from other families when we played ball in the water. One pair of children joined us and our Waboba (Water Bouncing Ball), and we noticed that they were being attended by a pair of young care givers whose main purpose on the beach was sunbathing and texting.

My son, who until this trip was complaining that he was terrified of water and crossing it in any form, such as bridges or boats, made his way to the farthest edge of the underwater shelf and didn’t complain once about getting his head wet. He wasn’t worried at all about the water into which he’d plunged. He was happy to find other kids to play with during the summer days.

My daughter waded out while holding hands with an adult. She’s only 2 1/2 and easily knocked over by incoming waves. She ventured out about half-way from dry land before heading back, grinning the entire time.

One of the best parts about Cape Cod lodging is the outdoor shower, so the sand and salt stays outside where it belongs. The house we rented this year had a shower with a spacious cedar frame and walls and plenty of hot water for the six of us to wash up (separately) before going inside. After a great day at the beach, it was time for clam chowder.