Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Yes! It is winter here on the East Coast. Another snowstorm. And all the quiet that is so nice. Until the snow ploughs have at it.

Added 30 minutes a day of reading about writing to the "practice." Today I was meandering through The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction: Building Blocks

Here is Ethan Canin on aging.

"... I'm present often at the moment of reckoning in their [old people's] lives. It's the moment from which their lives diverge. In other words, it was one way before that day and it will be different after that day. You see a lot of people at that kind of juncture where they're thinking about what they've done and that's brought on what's happened to them."

There's been a lot of cancer cropping up around me lately. There is even that moment before you know someone is ill, perhaps fatally, and then you do know, and everything changes. The mother of my dear friend, John V., is one of these people who is ill. John wrote this poem yesterday and allowed me to share. No time like the present for both prayers and gratitude.


in the end
we are dust.

easy to say
with your back
against the wall.

taking it as it comes
we won't know anything 
until the last tests are in.
hollow words to placate ourselves
from the inevitable.

she says
i'm not what i was
i'm slowing down
my time is come
i'm here on overtime
as your father used to say.

he joked
the first hundred years
are the hardest.
brave words
in the face of the unknown.

she says
here's where the will is
here's the key to the drawer
your sister won't know where to find it
so you remember to.

i'm numb
this is the end
but not before
we tip the garbage men.

i lived in this house
i'll die in this house

and so you will mom
so you will.

the new stove is a problem
the new sofas are not right
the old wallpaper is failing
the carpet needs cleaning
it's always something.

i can't take care of a cat.

life gets in the way
its meaning is lost on us
and when least expected
it rubs our noses in it

we hesitate
between emotions
we don't understand
the punchline.

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