Life interruption:
cottage remodel moves me
away from this blog

(regular posts will resume in about 3 months)

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Obsessed of late with someone’s stricken lung,
impressed with every pulmonary fact
I have to learn, has given wisdom tongue
I hear, who’s known for years that I’ve ransacked
with smoking arrogance my breathing tree.

Tobacco first and then the weed I’d score,
I fired and inhaled so lustily,
I learned to cough and yearly to ignore
the signs my body gave to modify.

I’m smart, but I suppressed intelligence.
I bargained when too ill to quick-deny
the logic, science, choking evidence.
I’m lucky I’ve so far avoided death.
I promise now I’ll concentrate on breath.

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I never angled for a better school;
I figured safe and good was hard to miss.
I didn’t want to elevate a fool
in family, or ignorance as bliss.
Although scholastic days were overlong,
experience with boredom is a skill
my offspring had to learn – their brains were strong,
and teachers were too impotent to kill
their spirits: safe at home, asphalt abroad.
They learned to educate themselves some ways.
Their schooling never drove me to applaud,
but also didn’t damage them, or craze
their moods, or motivate a turn to bad
behavior. And it taught them both to add.

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The rain at 10 p.m. last Sunday night
concluded days unsettled, gray, and wet.
I stepped outside to savor sound and sight,
and looking up, I noted heaven’s net
of stars – amid the drizzle shone the belt
and sword Orion wears, and slightly east
there hung the moon at full. At that I felt
the boons of my existence like a feast.

I’ve obstacles and nettles in my path,
but I can walk with stamina and spine.
My worries are without resentment, wrath,
or railing. Life’s an analog design:
My dial spins to miracle from pain,
like moon and stars illuminating rain.

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I went to bed a little after 9
the other night, although that might result
in pre-dawn waking. I could read the sign
of stress in neck and belly: much tumult
from tenants and concern about a kid
confirmed my bed the place that beckoned me.
I snuggled empty-minded, worry-rid,
till I was startled rude-awake at 3.

The sound of power sawing filled my space.
I rose and was confronted by the light
of firemen, who swarmed about the place
next door, and axed the roof, and filled my sight
with quick response. Perspective grew like glare.
I’m better now and watching roof repair.

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The Day of the Lab Tests


I thought the fasting rule meant no caffeine;
I spent my first three hours coffee-less.
I walked in January brown and green
and gave up blood and urine for some tests.

It wasn’t all that difficult. No bad
occurred. The air was clean. I feel okay.
But now I’m home with fresh-made coffee, glad
to know the yuck’s behind me for today.

I’ve exercised and cleaned the house and me.
I get to stay an hour warm at home,
with solitaire, or reading history,
and shortly after I complete this poem,
I’m heading west by bus and train, to spend
the afternoon with my best toddler friend.

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I used a monthly planner till a year
ago, when I cut back as office thrall.
I bought a tiny calendar but near
misplaced it in my bag, it was so small.
Selecting something bigger now, I got
a sturdy spiral book too large to tote
conveniently. I leave it home and jot
appointments till I later make a note.

That’s working well enough, but now I find
I’m grabbing scraps of paper to record
the sundry tasks that tend to crowd my mind
when I hold them within. This week’s reward
is simple, now I understand what’s missed:
a pad of custom paper for each list.

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