My father, from the age of 60-ish, often joked about how getting old was not for the faint of heart, referring to his own faint and failing one. My mom, widowed by her second husband at 60-something and anything but happy about her reflection in the bathroom mirror, dashed out and got a facelift before his ashes were cold. My friends, most now of a certain age, lightheartedly complain about their creaking knees and aching back, tossing out a wry “ain’t for sissies!” as they lumber out of their overstuffed recliners.
We oldsters laugh, shrug it off, move a little…
To some of us, time has a shape, often twisty and convoluted, with no beginning and no end. The years stretch backwards into a deep, black hole of memories, and forward into an impenetrable dense fog.
In “normal” years, I think of time as mostly linear, but, to my mind’s eye, each current year is like a spiral, with December at the top, representing a steep mountain to climb through the fall months, then sliding down into spring, flattening out into a long, level summer, with all previous years trailing behind like the undulating tail of a kite.
the climate heats up
new virus — can we adapt?
Hello, I’m speaking to you from the year 2169, when your future people –– we call ourselves Fumans, sounds like “few mens” because we’re few and far between –– don’t look quite the same as you do. We all have the exact same skin color, for one thing.
We just want to thank you, our honored ancestors, for finally taking the bold and difficult actions that rescued humanity, in the nick of time, against impossible odds, from certain extinction. …
The following story began its life as a 75-word novel, one of dozens I scribbled for a Facebook group a couple years ago. We were having fun, loving words, telling stories, challenging each other to be funnier, pithier, juicier in our offerings.
Writing these extreme short forms is excellent practice for writing in general. Every word has to count, has to contribute to the storyline and character development, and must generate a level of suspense. And most of all, it has to entertain.
And although these super-short novels were intended to amuse and impress the others, sometimes a story would…
I’ve lived in Chicago a couple of times, for about four years each stint. The first was for graduate school, coinciding with the three worst winters in the history of the city—the most snow, the coldest year ever, and both the coldest and snowiest—one right after the other. My car was buried for months under drifts plowed and piled to the moon.
The second time I lived there—yes, go ahead and call me crazy—was about 20 years later, when I accepted what I thought was going to be a really cool job with United Airlines.
This time, instead of in…
Sometimes when I turn around
I hear a most unwelcome sound.
It rips, it roars,
and seldom is the culprit found.
“Bad doggie!” says the guilty one
the moment his nasty deed is done.
It wafts, it hovers,
even under the covers.
My partner thinks it’s so much fun.
Well, that’s enough of that subject! What’s love got to do with it, you may be wondering? Everything. Consider this: If you’re in a crowded elevator with a pack of strangers and someone cuts loose, that’s not love. That’s “get me outta here, now!!”
And if you’re in bed…
According to Michael Burg, MD (AKA Medium Michael Burg), “there’s a Medium — but well done — war of words brewing.” So far, the “combatants” include: Jennifer McDougall, Terry Trueman, Will Hull, Skye Mo'ipulelehua Kahoali'i, Jupiter Grant, and moi. And I’m adding Lee Ameka, Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她), and Shadowgnosis. Fortunately, Michael Burg, MD (AKA Medium Michael Burg) has agreed to take the blame for all of it, because, after all, he started this with that drippy, greasy, cheesy triple-decker “lamerick” below.
Right. So off we go! And like every man would have us believe, size does not matter.
Don’t get me wrong. I love men. I love their strength, their hairiness, their woodworking and machine skills, and I love their parts. But one of their parts, the one most different from mine, is a real troublemaker when it comes to toilet hygiene.
Actually, I’m a little bit envious of guys’ ability to hose off the bark of a tree, or to sneak off behind the barn and “aaaahhhh…” And this is especially true when I’m doing a 7-mile hike in the woods with a bunch of women who have to squat behind a bush (please, no pun intended!)…
Springtime at Bufflehead Pond Farm
This duck pond is a weedy mess—
better for birds and bees, I guess.
The Kingfisher’s name is Mr. Eddie.
When minnows jump, he’s always ready.
The red-winged blackbirds have returned.
For some time I was quite concerned—
their nesting reeds too thinly scattered—
but to them, it scarcely mattered.
A blue heron pair high in the trees
floats down, wings spread, on gentle breeze.
They wait and watch—so calm and still.
To see one strike gives me a thrill!
As evening comes the swallows swarm
in orange and indigo uniform. …