Category Archives: Icons and Symbols

What’s in Your Junk Drawer?

Here’s what I found in mine.  What did you find in yours?

  1. Stick-on Googly Eyes
  2. Five screw drivers, but never the one I am looking for.
  3. Three tubes of dried up Super Glue
  4. Old unused stamps in very odd denominations that I will never use.
  5. A shoe box filled with pens, pencils, and markers—more than I can use in a lifetime.
  6. Batteries that may or may not still work.
  7. A ruler and a protractor
  8. A small compass and a step minder that work, but not for me
  9. Three hand calculators
  10. Notes for poem and story ideas that I may or may not write
    1. A flap of skin next to my thumb nail catches on everything
    2. Anger as a lifeline
    3. Dear Hillary: Thank you.
    4. The Abortion Diaries
    5. Forgiveness, redemption, surrender, evil, suffering, healing


I recently discovered what I should have always known.  My feet are faithfully waiting to take me onward.  They keep going.

I believe feet are under-rated.  Perhaps you can contemplate your own feet and write about what they’ve meant to you, where they’ve taken you, how they have been good to you.

Look down.  They’re ready!


Icons of Childhood

We all have our icons of childhood–special objects or places that epitomize what it meant to be a kid.  Here’s one of mine, and I’d like to hear about some of yours.

The flat spot between the back seat and the back window of those big sedans from the 1950s and 1960s.  

Remember being small enough to find that the perfect place to crawl into and take a nap while Pop or Mom drove at night or on a long trip?  It wasn’t perfectly comfortable, since those back windows used to curve, and the space was tiny.  It was cozy, however.  Much nicer than trying to sit between two bigger sisters who made you take the middle of the back seat where there was a big hump on the floor pushing your knees up into your chest.

The Rubber Ducky…

is angry.

Grocery Store

It’s part of your routine, I suspect, those frequent trips to the grocery store.  But though routine, only you visit the grocery store in your own unique way.  It’s a story; it’s a poem; it’s a tragedy; it’s a memoir; it’s a comic riff on life these days.  I’ll post one of my trips to the grocery store to get you started, but I’m sure you have your own grocery story to share.

Grocery Store

My favorite reality check is

when I leave the grocery store,

pushing my cart with its many brown bags.

The automatic doors open

and the sky greets me.

The blacktop of the parking lot meets my feet.

I like to check in at that moment,

noting if my hands are tight on the bar of the cart

so I won’t scream or perhaps melt into the pavement.

Other days, my heart leaps to the beauty of the clouds.

Sometimes I am drawn to the sight of other shoppers

whose lives I do not have to live.

That woman so heavy her gait is a struggle

That man with the loosened tie who hawks and spits

That gray-haired, firm-jawed man with pain visible in each uneven step

That mother herding children who are whining about what they want

Then I’m back inside myself—my own legs moving, cart rolling, my car in sight, another day I’m in.

And I’m alive today, each step, this one at the grocery store,


That Old Hat

That old hat turned up on the bus driver’s head on the same day he slammed his fist into the fat lady’s briefcase.  I’ve seen that hat before, I thought.

Back to School

It’s that time of year.  Thoughts may turn to school supplies, the end of freedom, the return of friends you haven’t seen.  This time of year may mean you’re sending a child off to college, knowing it’s the beginning of the end of their life as a daily family member.  You may be facing classes yourself, in one of the many forms now available for learning.

Do you have any stories about going to school?  Share them here!


These days you’ll find it very common to sit in your family room, watching TV while you have your computer or tablet open on your lap and are talking on your smart phone.  Screens, screens, screens.
But maybe this is only the start.  I challenge you to look forward (or sideways) (or inward) (or cross-eyed) to imagine multiplying (or layering) (or smashing) (or climbing inside) those screens to see how they affect your life.

Heart’s Desire

In the movie, “Patton,” George C. Scott speaks these words about war, “God help me; I love it so.”

I am not a war promoter, but I love this passion.  It’s passion for something that  bursts from his heart and describes his yearning.  He doesn’t care what other people want or care about.  THIS is what he loves.

What do you love?

The Window

I stand in front of the window.  It has been painted so many times that I can’t get it open.  But tonight I try.  I wrestle it, pound on the edges, yank at the bottom, push at the top.  This window has never been opened to my knowledge.