Ssshhhhh. . .

It’s not a crime to believe
whatever you believe
unless, of course,
you shoot a baby
to make her mother
believe it, too.

There’s nothing wrong with marching
as long as when you’re done
you go home and watch the news
and hope you’ve made things better
instead of marching and
marching and marching
blowing up city after city
and never considering
laying down your arms.

And you’re not wasting your breath
by keeping your mouth shut
and listening up,
really listening
for a change.


Egg Test, Redux

It’s Open Link Night again at dVerse Poets, and I’m dusting off an oldie, originally published in the inaugural issue (November 2010) of the (now defunct) print & PDF journal AND / OR.

This piece recalls and reflects my working days as a Special Educator, when I regularly had to administer the Woodcock-Johnson Cognitive Achievement Assessment.



This is Nish. Point
to Nish. Good.

This is Hondar.
Point to Hondar. Now
point to Nish. Good.

This is Kiptron. Point
to Kiptron. Good.
Now point to Nish.
Point to Hondar. Good.

This is uh, Whatsisname.
Point to whatsisname.
Now point to Hondar.
Kiptron. Nish.

This is a tough one. Point.
Good. Now Hondar.
Whatsisname. Nish.
Kiptron. Good.

Point. Point. Kiptron.
Good. Whatsisname.
Uh, point. Now Hondar.
Nish. Good.

Good. Good. Point.


I was fortunate enough to have three (3!) pieces published in the same issue. If you’re interested, you can read them all here:  Ron. in AND / OR

dVerse Poets Pub
Open Link Night
OLN # 324


First Things First

Before Inserting Dentures

He winces himself out of bed
groans down the hallway
leaning on his wobble cane
tries to pee but can’t
ingests half a dozen pills and
brushes what’s left of his teeth.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge
FOWC 09.29.22
~ Before ~


Fishing Saved My Life


Fishing Saved My Life

I used to work at Fish Mart,
every night up and down the aisles
fishing for fish by the thousands
—fifty of these, twenty-five of those—
dipping plastic gallon buckets,
netting them out of their tanks,
toting them up to the packers
who bagged them up,
oxygenated the bags,
loaded them with icepacks
into suitcase-sized styros
and shipped them off
to hundreds of pet stores
all across New England.

It wasn’t much of a job,
but it kept me alive;
kept me from wasting away
like the couch-potato I’ve become;
kept me upright, kept me moving
six or eight on-foot miles per night,
back and forth among the tanks,
fishing and fishing and fishing.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge
FOWC 09.28.22
~ Market ~




Up on Prospect Hill
the foliage had vanished
(as it always had)
but that was decades ago
and now the birds were gone too

Tuesday Twiglet #298
~ a bare hill ~


Thank You, Ms. K

She’s done, at last.

She tells everyone
she’s a retired teacher
but after almost 40 years of
underpaid classrooms,
unending paperwork and
unresolved conferences,
not to mention thousands of
unruly, unwilling students
her refugee status is clear.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge
FOWC 09.26.22
~ Refugee ~


Shop, Shmop I Say

Culinary Innovations

She’s been gone almost a week.
Solitarily homebound, he discovers:

You have to let them egg-soak
a little longer than bread slices,
but French toasted Ritz Crackers
are almost as delicious as
French toasted Fig Newtons.

The Last Ride

It takes him almost six hours to drive home, but it doesn’t seem that long because, upon arrival, he can’t remember most of the trip. He remembers being excited to see her, enjoying most of the weekend, and being surprised and dumbstruck when she told him it’s over; that she just isn’t feeling it anymore.

So he’s home, re-entering his hermit ways, and knowing that nothing will ever be the same. He tries to be hopeful, but hope’s not a viable option.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday
SoCS 09.24.22
~ Home ~
Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt
Prompt #278 / 82 Words
~ Viable ~

socs-badge-2019-2020  wk-278-viable (1)

Tutorial’s End


He smiles when she speaks,
smiles when she tells him
she’s gone back to school,
working on her Bachelor’s
in Human Services.

He smiles because he’s
happy to see her, happy that
things seem to be going well;
that she’s avoided lockup,
avoided all the bad press
that used to stain her days.

As she exits the dojo,
he tells her Goodbye, Grasshopper
and they both smile.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge
FOWC 09.23.22
~ Apprentice ~




Every mirror becomes a time machine.
I remember watching my father shave.
His diligence waned over the decades:
straight razor, safety razor, electric,
then none. He looked like Santa when he died.

I gave up shaving ages ago, too.
I still trim up a bit (once in a while)
but I can’t stand to watch myself do it;
hate how my ancient Methuselah smirks,
watching me through the time machine’s window.