Reclaim the Past

Trying to find the most efficient

Method for cutting grass

Simple enough gas or electric

Had a few different ones over the years

And actually no major problems with either one

Except for a memory from youth

Push mower

Why not?

Granted my memory of hot summers

Has faded

But wouldn’t that simplify my life

No plugs or gasoline

Just sharpen the blade periodically

Better for the environment

Great exercise

Hasn’t there been a

Enough time saver inventions

Most just freed up time

To be busy with something else

From radio to TV

From three channels to 1003

House phones to cell phones

Coffee to cappuccino

Be honest this list is endless

Are we forced to choose

Which technology we will use

To describe our lives

The latest fad or ad

Or are we able to

Personally define

Who we are

By our choices

True we will lose time

With a push mower

But actually

Isn’t that our choice

FXC 4/30/19


Hadn’t thought of you

Gosh darn

I’ve know you a long time

Spent odd moments together

Mostly small talk

Including the weather

Children, sports

Of course the BLACKHAWKS

Two crusty old souls

Knew you could draw, paint

Didn’t really understand what it is you do or see

As you work

I’ll admit it, I could not understand it



Luscious hues

Peaceful, anguished

Images that began to speak to me

Now, now

Hope it is not too late

To share our vision

You adding color to what I write

We will be a new beautiful shade in the rainbow

You and I

Now I know why

It took so long

You and I

Fine wine!


4/26/19 Copyright

Grandma ma Mary

So hard to visualize a young mind

To see the inner workings of burgeoning ideas

Yet yesterday while at the grocery

Witnessed maybe the most electrifying

Connection between reality and possibility

Was strolling down the aisles with my 9 year old granddaughter

My head was buried in a frozen food section looking for vegetables

My granddaughter seemed to be clearing her throat and saying, ‘ PaPa’

Actually she did so about three times

Finally it dawned on me that she was trying to get my attention

I stood up and looked back

My granddaughter with her hand on her hip

Was pointing to a thin elderly woman near a grocery cart

I use elderly gingerly now as it seems to be a generic term

For a lot of us

And while pointing my granddaughter said, ‘PaPa, Grandma ma Mary’s sister’

As I tried to grasp what was happening my granddaughter again said,

‘PaPa, Grandma ma Mary’s sister’

Now I had it

This lovely lady sharing Kroger with us

Had been identified as Grandma ma Mary’s sister

Certainly some similarities

Slim build, grey hair, glasses

Tried to explain to the woman

The possible connection

My granddaughter was making

Without missing a beat the woman asked

‘Well, how hold is Grandma ma Mary?’

What a spot! Should I reveal my mother-in-laws age?

Had to, 94 I said

The woman said, ‘well, I am close to that’

The new found connection having been made

The three of us had to go our separate ways

Couldn’t wait to hear my granddaughter

Telling her Grandma ma Mary about her long lost sister




It’s all we have

Watching robins or squirrels

Scurry about

Seeking food or a mate

Remind us of how simple

Their lives are

But therein lies our challenge


Free will

Don’t really know if it is free will

We all benefit or struggle from our birth heritage

Wealth, race, disability, gender, upbringing

All we have is nature or nurture

At the end of the day then

Is there a measure

Of a person

A clear understanding

Of good or evil

Seems the media tells us

Just by what they shout out

What grabs people’s attention

Like a traffic accident

Is presented as news

And yet in our heart of hearts

Yours and mine

We know how we were

At the end of the day

Did we do the best we could

In a a very confusing world and

Resolve to do better





Two Lane Barber

The holidays are always

An excellent time to clean up

New clothes, new look, new haircut

Since 1973 have been going to Two Lane Barber

Actually Two Lane is now on a four lane street

Of course early on was taking little ones

Who rarely liked the experience

The memory of which brought back

Visions of my Mother of seven

Marching her three boys to the neighborhood shop

Don’t know why she didn’t just use a bowl

Worked for a number of my friends

Always specific instructions were given

Cut above the ears and eyes

None of us really cared

Till about fifth or sixth grade

Believe that coincided with puberty

Along with the discovery of Brylcreem

The perfect antidote to wayward hair

My memory of girls began about the same age

It was kinda a good formula

Shower, brush teeth and Brycreem

We might not be the perfect choice

At least we were clean and you could see our faces

So yesterday was Easter Saturday and you guessed it

My seemingly life long friend

Set expectations

For my appearance

Would even drop me off at

Two Lane on the four lane street

Simple enough, correct?

Got out of the car

Of course had to be given the money

For the haircut

There we were standing outside the shop

50 degrees and drizzling

Nonetheless knew we had an audience

As my instructions were being given

She might as well have walked in with me

And handed the barber instructions

But no after years I was worthy

Of receiving the instructions of the

Barber gallery on a Saturday morning

In full view

As if the instructions were not followed

I would be brought back to have it done right

‘Take your hearing aids out, make sure they get the hairs out of your ears

Your eyebrows and you know your nose

I’m quite sure the coffee drinking group inside

Could read lips and were giggling already

Would have been dauntingly embarrassing

Except they now cut the grandchildren’s hair too

Actually I believe we should have our pictures on the wall




Pink Eye

Well surprise, surprise

Woke in the middle of the night

Very dark

Thought the night light had gone out

Stumbled to the bathroom

Left eye was not right

Seemed to be stuck

Unable to open

Turned on the light

Whoa, whoa

It hurt to look at the eye

Shades of red filled the whole eye

So that is what is referred to as bloodshot

Makes no sense

Quite aware little ones got it

Not that I really remember when ours did

Any immediate cures at 3 AM?

69 and pink eye

Have heard the refrain about certain illnesses

Posing danger to young children and the elderly

So 69 dumps me into the elderly demographic

Maybe I have been delusional about age

I get there are elderly people

Usually I can see them from afar

Avoiding mirrors

Allows me the imaginary image

Of self perception

Quite quickly however

A diagnosis will be made

Most people shy away from pink eye

Your best friends and closest relatives

Even your closest companion

Remarks about,

‘You look pretty bad’

All adamant about a visit to the doctor

They are trying to protect themselves

And their loved ones

Now eye drops and a warm moist clothe

Scramble to return me to the world of the healthy

And I get it

Just the look from others while walking by

As they look away, shy away

Flat out pretend you are not there

Is enough pressure to use the drops

Even if I can’t put them in myself

But let’s admit

It is perturbing

To be pigeon holed

With pink eye and elderly

What else could go wrong

It would spread to the other eye?

Please, please

Just look away





The arrival of summer

Greatly influences

Color selection for socks

Don’t mean to be a chauvinist but

Understandably women are more attentive

To this conundrum

Undeniably to their advantage

Not sure I have ever seen

A woman who is not color coordinated

Thank you very much

Their innate ability transcends the seasons

Unfortunately this innate ability

Is not shared with men

Save for one item


Never really paid ANY notice to socks

Never bought any

Was always the recipient of gifts

For my birthday

Mostly sedate and refined

Browns, blacks

Occasionally a dark blue

What did it really matter

Anyone really paying attention

Maybe another corporate climber

Deciding whether the color of my socks

Indicated potential for leadership

And yet at some point

Warm weather would dictate


Now, now

The legs are exposed

Potentially very white legs

How to select colors

To match the skin

As summer tans

Now, light browns, or even flesh tones matter

Hey and what about the color of the shorts

Seemingly the sun has exposed the paleness of the male

But there are a few colors for the man of summer

Which are serious no no’s

White, black or dark blue

White as it shouts, I AM VERY OLD!!!

Black that speaks of color blindness

Dark blue as if he is still employed

What color then?

Various tans as the skin darkens with the sun

So now there is no need to contact

A fashion consultant

After many years of summer color ignorance

Men have specific suggestions

For their white winter legs




Shhh Shhh

Used to be I could talk to myself

Oftentimes no one would hear

When someone came within earshot

Muttering would ensue

Never seemed to matter

My attire, well, maybe not pajama bottoms

Outside the house

Unless getting the Sunday paper

Well now that the Sunday paper has been mentioned

Quotes may be used

As an example

The New York Times

Don’t read too much into that politically

Not for this reference anyway

Actually I need not even reference the paper

Or any quotes I might care to use



Never heard of it

Neither had I


Is another word for ‘Memory’

Google, and here I can quote liberally

Accumulates EVERYTHING about you

What you look for, where you shop

Who your friends are

And does it in 3D

Even predicts where you are going

And what you will do

Never really cared

As haven’t really thought

I had anything to hide

Even came to consider

‘Sensorvault’ as a possible ally

For memory care

Sending an email

Just start typing

Names pop up

Select one

Ideas pop up

Word prediction

When replying to an email

Automated suggestions

Are just a click away

That’s a nice touch

All under the guise of

AI. Artificial intelligence

What is artificial about that?

They are picking my brains

Well okay there questions about that

But then

The coup de Grau

The piece de resistance

Facial recognition

There I had them


While surfing Facebook

Would take a good look

At current pictures

Of old friends

And I mean old like my age

Sometimes there was a glimmer

Of a memory of that person

Other times did not have a clue

Then of course my visage appeared

Some heinous apparition

No modeling clay could reform

Nor heavy makeup conceal

The ravages of time

Even Facial recognition

Would blink

At the challenge

But my real grievance with

The collection of my memories

Is that I don’t want Google

Writing my autobiography

Surely I can’t be written with

Auto-correct even though oftentimes

I wish I could auto-correct parts of my life

So as I am in the last chapters of my book

Have decided there will be no photos

Thank you very much



Just don’t know

Sometimes it seems as if the world is shrinking

Seems like it used to be

Unlimited possibilities

Of opportunities and energy

Suppose age might play a role in that

One area where the opposite occurs

Is religion

Depending on inherited or acquired faith

Oftentimes specific rules or commandments

Were required for acceptance by that religion

Never really had it explained

All the various religions and beliefs

Seemingly though admission to eternal life

Was dependent on ‘living the faith’

Occasionally an update might occur for the particular group

One item that often remained the same was that violence

Might be inflicted on opposing views

Martyrs seem be commonplace in all beliefs

There is some wonder then if a loving Supreme Being

Is commanding all this

Or if religion is a tool of manipulative humans

Is there any sense in this world?

Can there be conclusive PROOF

Of a Creator

Then here we are

From a modicum of world views

To a panorama

Of who we really are

And where we might be going

If that even ends up mattering

How would it be if the answer

Lay in all of of mankind

Heaven help us



Adopted family

There is a school of thought

I might have married too young

20 seemed a good biological choice

However there is a possibility my

Maturity level was 14

Can’t say I had assimilated all the information

My parents had been trying to pass on

Seemingly just wanted to get out the door

And REALLY? The young lady I was looking at

Had all the right prospects for a perfect future

For both she and I

And the six children we had already decided to have

Would have helped if I had remembered

One iota of insights I should have inherited

And yet, and yet

Caught a significant break

My new adopted family seemed to be concerned

There daughter, and sister

Might need a little help

Training her new young man

Nothing wrong with luck

It has taken decades and much imput

From brothers, father-in-law, Mother-in-law, sisters

To train, mold, cajole

The new adopted member of their family


When prettied up

I now stand as a proud example that

‘Hope springs eternal’