Category Archives: Life Lessons

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 15 April 2018

Every Sunday I gather a line from each of the previous week’s poems. I call it a ReVerse. I like to read the finished word collage a few times and then write what I’m thinking about it in this space.

But…I was detoured today, and so, there is this…

I don’t normally notice them. The judgmental, self-righteous trolls that stare daggers through us as we go about doing the things people do, like living and breathing. Maybe it’s the swelling tide of intolerance, where it’s become the acceptable norm to shun, to hate, to refuse to serve people like us. No cake for you…we don’t do gay.

We have a Sunday morning routine. After we drop our pups at the groomers, we head to our favorite breakfast spot for coffee, omelets and pancakes. It’s a comforting way to pass the time. At least it had been, until today.

Today, after being settled into our booth, we waited…and we waited…and we waited. After 10 minutes it was hard not to suspect that we were being snubbed, especially when our server glanced our way several times, obviously, before turning away to tap into a computer screen, or to fold napkins. Was she hoping we would just leave…no hot cakes for you? It was hard not to take it personally. She got her wish. After 20 minutes we left our booth. Her back was still turned. She hardly noticed.

But we didn’t leave the building of our favorite breakfast spot. It is our lovely, weekly routine after all. We asked to speak to the manager and while we waited I watched our server as she glanced over her shoulder, peered over the rims of her glasses, and raised her eyebrows when she discovered she had won the battle. Her battle. I can only imagine her silent, “hallelujah, thank you lord!”…the victory cry of this “good and faithful servant” having received her reward for standing her hallowed ground against the likes of sinners like us. I can only imagine.

Sadly, I believe I’m not far off the mark. I have been schooled by many of these saints, that I’m headed for eternal damnation, hell, if you will, and that their great and powerful god considers me an abomination. Or at least they do, and they should know because god, their god, speaks to them. Not only that. There are verses in his book; this one and this one and that, proof that their god hates me and so, they should too.

After apologizing, the hostess offered to reseat us; to bring us coffee, to take our breakfast order herself.

I smiled, “Thank you, but not that server’s section please, any section but hers.”

We were escorted to a sunny window booth. The hostess made good on her promise, bringing us coffee and creamer, and one cup, not two. She was most apologetic, serving was definitely not her forté, and of course it was easy to overlook, because she was being so kind. She was so very kind.

The manager stopped by, as I had requested, ready to listen, I could tell.

“We come here every week,” I said. “We love this place. It’s our routine. But today we were blatantly, obviously, ignored by the server of our section; not a word of acknowledgment that we were there. For twenty minutes…”

And then I did something that I hate myself for. I started to cry. It was not a loud, attention-grabbing spectacle of a cry. My face simply flushed and my eyes welled up; a few salty droplets burned my cheeks on the way down.

I apologized of course. I don’t normally let these sorts of things get to me you know. I just wanted breakfast at my favorite spot with my partner of 18 years, coffee with two sugars and cream, a glass of cool water, and pancakes…and to chill, read the news on my phone, and wait for the groomer to call. I just wanted to breathe. But I cried, damn it! Living should not be this hard.

It would be easy to tell you the franchise name. To call for a boycott, for justice; to invite others to rise up against a business who would employ such a sad, hateful zealot. But it’s not about the place or the business. It’s not about shutting everything down that doesn’t value me or my right to be.

It’s about kindness, and the lack of it. It’s about what we are becoming. It’s about the whittling away of civility and the rise of hate, emboldened by our leaders. It’s about the pervasive lie, the worst lie of all…that there is an “us” and a “them”, that others are not to be trusted, that only some people matter.

Yes, it would be easy to lump the whole franchise, or people, into my own personal boycott crusade, but I’d be forgetting the kindness of that hostess, and the manager, and the other servers who have been lovely to us on previous visits, and the one who finally served us today. That would not be very kind of me.

You might be surprised to hear that I pray every day. It’s true. What do I pray for? That might surprise you too. I pray, not for comfort, or heaven on earth; not for prosperity, or to pass an exam, to live forever, or to land the perfect job. I don’t pray to be protected from others who are not like me. I pray simply that the hardness of life not harden my heart. I ask the universe to remind me, most of all, to be kind.

It’s the hardest thing to do and be, and sometimes I fail miserably. I get angry, and defensive. But mornings like this remind me why kindness matters. It’s a very big, small thing to ask, not only of others, but of myself…please be kind. Please. Be. Kind.

There is still a ReVerse in the wings. I will let it speak for itself this week.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 15 April 2018

spring is in flux, bitter
on moonless nights, the veil
the flicker of a new thought
of a single wick consumed
breathing is overrated
a few lone travelers that no one would miss, to save civilization
this very moment I’ll take a stand
one last hurrah, dark night at the gate
much too busy surviving
‘cause all work and no play is a chore
let’s rollick instead, for spite
prickly, pale petal pins
then suspended, in fact,
pause with me a spell
shy and sweet
there’s a lovely stillness
count my blessings, count sheep, pray my soul to keep
the end never comes
might linger til mid-day, it’s my bliss
rarely do I remember my dreams
it’s true…every one sweet


Sorry…Not Sorry – A Rant

A rant, as requested for Mindlovemiserysmenagerie’s Sunday Writing Prompt. Interesting prompt this week MLMM. Normally I would apologize for ranting, but since you asked…

Sorry…Not Sorry – A Rant

Do I offend you because I speak my mind? Because, in your words, “I care more about my beliefs than I care about you?”

Now you demand an apology and my silence in order to be welcomed back into your presence. Sorry…not sorry.

The truth is, you offend me. You, and your willful aversion to the truth. You and your self-righteous double-life…all love and politeness on the outside while you fester with fear and hatred on the inside.

I guess you thought you had me this time by denying that I existed, by breaking my heart, by disowning me. It had always worked in the past, with me acquiescing to your demands, tiptoeing on eggshells, towing your rigid, unforgiving line, playing by your rules. But I finally realize that nothing I do or don’t do will appease your self-involved, demanding heart.

Once, it didn’t matter to me if I assumed my expected ‘present but silent’, unquestioningly loyal role in your perfect life. But now? Now I see your heart, clear as day, and I am deeply embarrassed, disheartened and disgusted that I allowed myself to be tossed by your whims for so long. 100 “I’m sorry’s” will not make you happy. Not even 1000.

And frankly…can I be frank? Oh what the hell, you’re not listening anyway. I need to sleep each night. I need to live what I believe to be good and compassionate and true. I need to know that I did not sell my soul for the sake of a win.

Even so, I’ll always love you. We are blood, after all, connected by the strands of our DNA, but I’m not going to beg anymore. I happen to like who I am. And I’m learning that liking myself is what matters most of all, even if it means losing you.


Do I feel better? Not really…well, maybe a little, but my heart is still broken. Ranting can’t fix that. 😢💔😢

The Midnighters

“Parliament is in session,” declared Ozzie, “we have a couple of live ones this evening!”

“Whooooooh…I love the futility of it all,” hooted Ollie.

Orville chimed in, “Foooooools.”

Otto, the quiet one, just ogled. He was good at ogling and freaking out fearful humans. ‘Am I a good omen or a bad one…whooooo can tell?’

“Shhhh!” Otis screeched.

“Whooo, look! They’re coming!” Odin announced.

Two souls bolted over the hill and into the valley, their hapless former selves stumbling behind in pursuit. It was futile, just as Ollie had said. After a few dips and swoops the souls faded into the mist, leaving their fleshy hosts in darkness.

Once a person loses his soul it is nearly impossible to get it back. Give your soul an inch of freedom from reason and it is sure to bolt. It’s a slippery slope. An epidemic of epic proportions orchestrated by legions of soul-less heads who are miserable and in need of adoring followers.

But at least the midnighters were entertained.

“They never had a chance,” sighed Ollie.

“Same time tomorrow then?” Odin asked his fellows.

“Wouldn’t miss it. This is better than barn crashing!” Orville guffawed.

“Whoooo’ll be next? Whooooo knows?”


A bit of silliness for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge based on the odd painting above, that I discovered, after a quick google search, is by Hugo Gerhard Simberg (24 June 1873 – 12 July 1917), a Finnish symbolist painter and graphic artist.

Finito…A Month With Yeats – Day 30

iphone disaster

“And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,”W.B. Yeats



When mercury in retrograde descends
all manner of calamities ensue
before my final poem could be “penned”
I dropped my fragile iPhone in the loo!
It’s glaring at me now, it’s apple face,
perpetually glowing like a fool.
That bloody thing is buried now in rice
what peaceful thoughts I might have had are doomed.
Oh, woe is me, for I am out of sorts.
It almost makes me want to grab a pen
and scribble in a notebook just for sport…
it takes me back, you know, rememb’ring when.

Perhaps I should be thanking mercury
for making me endure this misery.
Without my phone intact I finally see
that I don’t need it to write poetry.

(but I do hope the rice works and my phone comes back to me)


Not the poem I had envisioned for my final poem this month-long challenge. I write most everything on my iphone…well, except this little rant. I suppose it’s a good way to end the month. Sometimes I take my poetry and my writing too seriously. This definitely put it into perspective for me. My head is full of words. I just need to scribble them down. That is the important thing. Thanks Jane Dougherty for this “Month with Yeats”.

Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 12 November 2017

With every sensational soundbite, those who are paying too close attention (I am all to easily sucked in…guilty as charged) are reeling from the downward spiral of our uncivil civilization. I happen to have an American front row seat, but from your comments; you my friends across the pond, and from the north, south and east, this current state of unrest seems to be global. With nuclear options being flexed and monsters being exposed, I have even heard the “A” word mumbled under pundits baited breaths. “A” for apocalypse…oh my!

But I’m not buying it. And, well, if I’m wrong….that’s okay. I can deal with being wrong especially since there won’t be anyone around to say “I told you so…” Why am I not buying it? Not yet? There is still enough good in the world to hold this implosion at bay. Patriarchy is going down. Hate is being exposed for the ugly blight that it is. And we are starting to believe the women…and the innocents when they point at the emperor declaring that he is buck naked. He’s always been naked. I know it’s a shock, but that’s how truth rolls.

At any rate, the bad guys will still try to distract us from the truth, blame the victims, call monsters heroes. I don’t expect them to go down without a fight. But they are clearly desperate. That’s a good sign.

I know you’re weary. But we’re in the final stretch it seems to me. The apocalypse may be coming, but for a chosen few. I expect to be standing when the smoke settles.

Peace, truth, love…resist! ❤️

Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 12 November 2017

she lights up a room / she’s a sorceress cackling, tock-tick-tick-tock-<
..sorry to interrupt your eternal bliss<
ool nor-eastern zephyr whispers<
aging from coal soot nostrils<
rumbling to dust<
he burning stench of liquid iron, oozing<
hoose me, choose me<
..haven for hoards of crude middling beasties<
irtue is disdained<
oo beautiful to bear<
o not lose heart<
hey’re going down<
eartless fools who<
ish that you were here instead<
..brief glimmers of recognition


A shi sai or ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the shi sai features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.

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