Barbie’s Barn

Hear tell mostly from girls even women

Of the joys, fun, pure delight

Playing with dolls growing up

Sexist though it may be, I understand

Not exactly sure why one would play with inanimate objects

But I suppose boys dressing up as cowboys seems the same

Thought ‘Barbie’ had retired

Seemed my offspring dabbled but then abandoned

Dolls particularly ‘Barbie’

But then she was resurrected by the pandemic

So much time to use

Even iPads and game consoles did not

Satisfy the urge for pseudo interaction

And with two day or even next day delivery guarantees

Facebook, Etsy, Amazon, eBay, etc., etc., could deliver

Copious amounts of dolls, clothes, houses, furniture

Filling up rooms, whole rooms

Yet, this is America lest we forget

The America with horses

‘Barbie’ needed a horse

The horse needed a barn

‘Barbie’s World was now festooned with gates, farm animals

And ‘Barbie’s Barn’

FXC Copyright 11/29/20

Getting tired

Wax and wane

Such an apt description of life

But never more so

Than in one’s latter years

Wait a minute?

Later years has a definite number

But that begs the first introspective question

Seemingly there is no rhyme or reason

To longevity

Known those who smoked until 81 before leaving

Others’ lives shortened in vehicle accidents

You read the same headlines

So how does one sense they are in their later years

A few indicators

You are now the eldest in a large extended family

Doctors visits now occur as frequently as a spring rain

Close friends slip away unexpectedly

Difficulty facing the mirror each morning

Even more resistance to accept the image

Grandchildren run circles around you

But now you cheer rather than chase

Alas there comes that quiet reflective moment

That moment your body sets you down

To rest and think

Forever is not really forever

And that’s okay

Love you

Frank X Cameron 11/24/2020 Copyright

Thinking back to 1776

Actually 1492 or 1650 would do

Any number of older white men could tell you

That it was important to make a strong America a United States of America

So many had come from so far to procure religious, political, and financial independence

This is America, created by taking it from the Indians

The land worked by those enslaved

A devastating Civil War

And yet just as it has always been

So today these same goals are America‘s capitalism goals

No power on earth or within can’t stop us from achieving our goals

Though we are a nation of immigrants we resent and resist any more immigrants from coming into America

Women got the right to vote in 1919 but will always fight for equal rights

Persons of color no matter how “American” they are have always been discredited

These issues were true during the founding of America and are still bubbling in our political life today

Don’t really have any hope for change

50% on each side of the question

Let’s just pray!!

FXC 11/10/2020 Copyright

What’s for dinner?

It often seems that life goes full circle

And yet unbeknownst to us

That circle had been closing for a very long time

A lifetime even as we now look back

This particular round shape currently under consideration is


Quite right as there are as many divergent issues about food as there are about politics and religion

Thinking to yourself or reminiscing with a good friend

Actually you could be discussing food with anyone

As food is an acceptable topic around the table

And yet there needs to be an order to the discussion

Just a suggestion

Early memories of food

Family traditions about food

Likes and dislikes

Current alterations to the culinary experience

So why does this matter?

Well some people are tired talking about the weather

Politics and the pandemic are steeped in anxiety

Food is potentially more appealing

Food will always evoke visceral memories

My father ate Limburger cheese and drank buttermilk

That should cause your stomach to curdle just thinking about it

All of us have those type memories or very pleasant reflections

Seems like every family has their own history at the dining table

From saying prayers, please and thank you

To discussing the days events

And for such a gathering there were always rules

Eat everything on your plate, if your late for dinner you don’t eat

But only after children have left the nest

Do discussions start about what was served at the table

Tuna fish casserole, hot dogs with sauerkraut , skillet liver,

Ad infinitum are the examples along with the varied reactions to those memories

Nonetheless we have all moved on

Some dishes were modified, some never copied

And not all have had their personal chef through life

And so it is that though political, health, religious topics permeate

At the end of the day for better or worse

Just one question

What’s for dinner?

Frank X Cameron 10/29/2020 Copyright


Did not recollect

Ok I forgot

The annual rite of Christmas

The captivating story of Santa Claus

The reindeer, the midnight ride

Little children understanding

The need to be good

To be rewarded with presents

So often now Facebook, Amazon, Google, etc

Already know what we want

But who exactly knows if we’ve been good

Don’t look in the mirror

Worst liar in the world looking back at you

Just one candidate to decide

Whose been naughty and nice

Yes it is Santa Claus I was told

By an introspective four year old

As she gazed through a Christmas tree display

Santa knows if you’ve been bad PaPa

Didn’t want to tell her

There was a long line of people

Who know if I had been bad

Let’s leave them outside of this conversation

FXC 10/12/2020

Little eyes see it all

This moment

So indecisive about

The existence of God

Yahweh, a Supreme Being

Life tosses us in so many directions

Good, evil, apathetic

It would seem we cling

To our upbringing or rebel

But ultimately we don’t know

Whether coming or going

Most seem to feel they are the righteous

But the young, the very young

Seem to understand

The purity of goodness

That reaching out with kindness

Is an undeniable eternal gift

Thus my grandchild

Like yours

Can make a cupcake with help

Give it to you

Reaching up eyes searching


“PaPa I made this green cupcake for you because I know green is your favorite color”

I don’t even want to ask how many hairs on my head

Yes, yes your eyes, your thoughts

Refresh my faith

I love you dear child

FXC 10/2/2020


Many years spent eating

Never dreamt an opportunity

Might arrive

To actually be an Executive Chef

Frequently studied menus

Even recipes

But beyond PB&J and tomato soup

Had never gotten a whiff

In a kitchen with real responsibility

An iron clad grip by the resident executive chef

Prevented any upstart

From trying their hand at a culinary delight

For a long time I was placated

With slicing, and dicing

Thawing, marinating

But even seasoning was beyond my pay grade

As my ‘pinch of salt’

Seemingly was not actually the right, ‘pinch of salt’

It was accepted by myself and others

That I would be forever relegated to the kitchen

And yet after many, many years of my tasting

Fatigue began to affect the Executive chef

Occasionally now slivers of responsibility

Drifted my way slowly

Turning the oven on, setting the temperature

Greasing the pan, determining the timer

Sometimes even meal preparation skills

Were developing

At the end of the day, in my innermost thoughts

I understood I had no intuitive understanding

Of the culinary arts

Other than what I read in a recipe

Nonetheless hunger, endless hunger

Motivated a drive to create delicious dishes

Yet even now, I accept I will never really be an

Executive chef with the responsibility of

Satisfying divergent tastes

So though I remain hopeful of upward mobility

And the perceived chance to advance from Sous-chef

I respectfully serve at the discretion of the current

Executive chef

Frank X Cameron 9/24/2020 Copyright

Mind games with a 4 year old

Old enough now to expect respect

Maybe even demand respect

From the younger generation

Really younger generation

And more to the point

When playing a head game one on one

The assumption is that I know the ending, I WIN

Not anticipating one so young would see clear through

My alleged sense of humor

Case in point

On the swing set, said young culprit was not behaving

Was told I would find the biggest stick possible for correction

Suddenly the swinging stoppecd

Little feet quickly found a bush and branches

Very carefully a little hand found a little stick

Brought it to me

Simply stating, “Here PaPa”

Understood almost immediately

Someone had played a head game on me.

Insult to injury

No eye contact was made

Will just have to up my game!

FXC 9/13/2020 Copyright


Once upon a time

Long , long ago

In a tiny Chicago suburb

Nestled so close to Lake Michigan

Lived two children

Still clawing their way through high school

Inexperienced in life and love

Nonetheless with the urging of normal biology instincts

Began a story 51 years long

Rife with passion, sadness and joy

So many books with so many similarities

Why this journey though harrowing at times

Stayed on the tracks though often the turns in the road

Might seem to derail

When other stories were cut short far before their time

Prognostications would indicate no possibility of success

Life never predictable

Vagaries permeating

Left this couple to chance

Still with gnarled hands

Clinging to friends and family

Tired eyes still smiling

Grandchildren, yard work, sewing and writing

Await, the story not finished

Though no longer rushing headlong

Seems the heart will pen the final chapters

Of this tale now along the banks of the Ohio

Peaceful moments, grateful memories, thank you all!

FXC Copyright 9/13/2020

Continue reading

30 minutes, slow down

Heard tell the heavyweight of

Package delivery

Has put their foot down and

Will now deliver packages in 30 minutes

Using drones

Drones, a word, a concept

That didn’t exist till Star Wars

This march of progress

Has now become a race

To increase the population of hoarders

What is it that needs to be somewhere in 30 minutes

Mothers in a delivery room

I get that

Pain relieving medicine

Makes sense

Bride walking down the aisle

Oh dear Lord please hurry

There are more examples

But none that need to be at my house in 30 minutes

Including food, sex and religion

Trust me I need a good thirty minutes

Before I’m ready in any of those areas

So hold on to your stop watches

Take a survey of individuals sitting on their porches

Waiting for the sun to rise or set, the rain to soak the lawn or just smiling as grandchildren roll in the grass

I’m not worried about thirty minutes

Let’s try a switch

Let me just enjoy this thirty minutes

But who is counting

FXC 9/1/2020 Copyright