Poetic Necessities

Do you recall that one I wrote you back
when I was a good guy and not some fool.
Or do you think I’m just a clueless hack,
despite that piece you considered a jewel?

I wish I could still weave such lovely odes
but I seem to have lost that ability.
They’d flow from my heart and soul by the loads
and you loved my poetic facility.

But those days are gone, returning no more
like the friendship we shared like no other.
Necessities fall from where my heart tore,
each poem bloody Invention’s mother.

I’ll never admit you were ever my muse,
but for some things I wrote, you lit the fuse.


Recipe for Desire

From what I recall,
at first touch, your cheek
was so soft and warm,
and I laughed to myself
when my silly brain compared it
to a pillow of bread dough,
proofing by the stove.
But that’s me, always making
the odd connections,
usually wrong, sometimes poetic,
a few even right…for a while.
And I wondered what
it would be like to hold on
to your soft and warm self
and, more importantly,
what it would like to feel
your touch on my skin,
because you wanted to touch me.
That would be a communication
needing no words but understood
even by a deaf man, a blind man,
a man who compares a woman
to the staff of life aborning.
And that’s what you became,
a staple of my lonely existence
and the leavening of so many
of my dreams. Oh, for a taste!

Love Is Blind

There’ve been a few I always could make smile,
don’t ask me just how, though God knows I tried.
But, just as often, it was I, shy of guile,
who was left without love. In fact I cried.

I know, who cares about the jester, the fool,
when all I hoped to win was their nearness.
Oh, who am I kidding? I’m such a tool.
This fool wished to be their prince, so fearless.

They’d draw me close, but I wanted nigh to,
a proposition always doomed to fail.
In the end, they’d find others to sigh to,
but those ends weren’t The End of my love tale.

Chasing after Princesses, their faults unseen,
love found me, in the blue eyes of my blind Queen.

If I Recall, That’s the Spirit


I hope someday you reach that point in your life, as I have, when you recognize Christmas doesn’t march up to you like a balloon-festooned Fifth Avenue parade anymore, one whose colors, sounds and corporate sponsorships you can see from blocks away. Nor does it sneak up on you on little mouse feet in the snow. Christmas has become like old age to me now. One day I’m humming along to the rustle of life’s green leaves, all the while ignoring the gifts of my black hair, firm chin and memory like a 100-terabyte computer. The next blink, I’m shaving silver filings off the lower chin of some barely recognizable guy in the mirror. And suddenly I hear (and need to turn up the volume on) a song I think might be called “Silver Bells.” And that’s OK, because the tree downstairs today is always green, and somewhere inside me a little kid is coiled in bed — quiet as the whispers of angels’ wings — for that sunrise when I can charge into the living room in an explosion of torn paper and cardboard before we three brothers trek to church and back. These days, Christmas just IS. And, should you reach my tinsel-topped, Santa-in-training-bodied and memory-leaking station in life, you might recognize it doesn’t need to come at you but once a year. You can charge into it every sunrise, tearing open the gift of that new day and giving it to all you meet. If I recall, that’s the spirit!

A mid-December rambling. Now back to our regular programming.

In Voce Completa

When I was in my teens, I’d walk home
from my best friend Tom’s house at night,
whistling my way through his good Neighborhood
and then into one which was losing a bit
of its neighborliness — my ‘Hood.
Sometimes, if it was late enough, I’d swivel
my head to see who might be on the street and,
if I discerned my sojourn suitably solitary,
I’d break into song, solo, in sotto voce.
I thought I sounded pretty good in my
circular role as vocalist and audience, though
I could never replicate this level
of musical expression to an audience.

Maybe I was kidding myself, as kids are wont to do,
but even today I find it interesting how great
I sound in the car warbling in mezzo voce
to the vast audience of commuters around me
as the radio bathes my soul in music.
To tell you the truth, since this confession’s
already gone on as long as a Grateful Dead set,
I’ll even break into song while I have
the lawn tractor roaring beneath me. But still,
I can’t sing for you, except like this,
in this full-throttle expression of my soul.
Maybe not full-throated, but quite unafraid.

I’ll bet you think you sound pretty good, too. Don’t ask me to dance, though. That was my Mom’s gig.


Photo by Michael Shannon on Unsplash

“Why do you always do that, Great-grandpa Bill?” Ginny Benson asked

“Do what, Ginny?” replied old Bill Frye.

“Take off your glasses and tap them on the table when you look out that window?”

“Do I do that? Hmmm…I guess I do. Didn’t even notice the tapping. Here, let me put them back on so I see your pretty face,” Bill said with a smile.

“So why do you do that? And always when you look out the window on the ocean side of the house,” Ginny said.

“My, you do notice a lot for someone so young. Just the ocean side, you say?”

“Yep. Hardly ever when you look out the road side of your house.”

“Hmmm…maybe because I’ve seen the ocean long enough in my life that I know what she looks like? Don’t even need my glasses,” old Bill said.

“Uh huh. But you always tell me how the ocean’s a living thing, changing every second and you have to keep your eyes on it. So why…?”

“My, my, but you’re a tight listener, Ginny. With a memory like your great-grandmother’s, God rest her sweet soul. And you favor her more each and every day.”

“Okay. But you still didn’t answer my question. Why do you take them off and tap them on your table like that,” Ginny said as she sat at the window seat next to Bill.

“…and in your stubborn lines of inquiry, I might add.”

“I guess.”

“So let’s see, why do I take off my glasses when I look out at the ocean? Well, like I said, I was a seaman for more than sixty years, even if you’ve only ever seen me live on shore. I’ve probably spent more time at sea than ashore.”

“Mommy and Grandma say they’ve seen more of you since Great-grandma June died than they ever did.”

“Yeah, well, making up for lost time, I guess. And I regret that loss. That’s what old seamen do, Ginny. We sit around, stare out windows and listen to the clock tick as we look back, remember how lucky we’ve been and then regret,” Bill said, looking out the window again.

“Regret? You’ve lived a long time, made a successful career in commercial fishing for six decades. You even survived Pearl Harbor, Grandpa told me,” Ginny said, her voice rising.

“He did, did he? What’d he tell you?” Bill’s eyes narrowed.

“He said you escaped from a ship after it was torpedoed by the Japanese. He told me it capsized and you got off. But he told me that’s all he knew. Even Grandma doesn’t know what happened.”

“I survived, honey, when a lot of other men didn’t. Isn’t that enough to know?”

“I suppose. But you still didn’t answer my questions.”

“How old are you now, Ginny?”

“Thirteen. Fourteen in two weeks.”

“My you’re growing up so fast. So bright, so mature for your young age. You know what I was doing when I was about your age?”

“I don’t know. Paper route?”

“At fifteen I was working on my uncle Frank’s boat off Port Orford. I hauled in Dungeness crab for him every day until I turned 17, when I decided I’d seen enough of crabs and the Oregon coast. Told myself I never wanted to see no crab pots or fishing nets again. I wanted to see what the rest of the world looked like from the deck of a real vessel. So I joined the Navy.”

“Still waiting on tapping your glasses, Grampy Bill.”

“I admire your persistence, Ginny. Must’ve gotten that from me. So I signed up and they sent me to basic training and then to a ship called the USS Oklahoma, which was moored in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii. I never seen any place so beautiful in my life. It was a sweet time, let me tell you. All that warm sunshine, the sweet smell of hibiscus and Island girls. After standing in cold water and smelling of crab and whiting for two years, this was heaven,” Bill said, a softer tone to his voice. 

“I met a girl there named Missy Kochiyama. This is before I met your Great-grandmother. Japanese-American girl, born in Hawaii. Nisei they called kids whose folks had come from Japan. For whatever reason, we hit it right off when a buddy of mine asked me to tag along to meet some girls he knew. After that, whenever I got shore leave, which happened more times than you might think, we’d meet up and have us a sweet time. We were real close.”

“Did you love her?”

“Yep, honey, I did. And she loved me, too. I even gave her my Mom’s watch, which your great-great-grandma gifted to me before she passed. And she gave me a watch with Japanese characters that her dad used as a student in Kyoto. We told each other that our watches were each other’s beating hearts. And whenever we wished we could be near one another, to just put the watch to our ear and there the other would be.”

“That’s so sweet! So how’s this fit into…”

“Oh, yeah. Well, the Oklahoma was one of the biggest and best battleships in the fleet. And to stay that way, we trained and drilled and had inspections to keep us sharp. In fact, we were preparing to have an inspection on Monday, December eighth, so we had a lot of our doors and hatches wide open when the Japs hit us. Three torpedoes, bang-bang-bang, in our port side right off.” 

“That must have been so frightening, Grampy Bill!”

“That was the second most frightening thing ever happened to me, Ginny. Water began pouring in from the holes those fish made and with all those hatches open, the Okie took on water faster than anyone could close and dog them. The ship began to list to port and a lot of boys found themselves trapped before they could get above decks. Then five more fish hit her and the Okie really began sinking and over she went.”

“Oh my God!”

“Me and a bunch of fellas were trapped in a compartment underneath the No. 4 gun turret, which, when she went keel-over-teakettle, was then underwater. We were stuck in there for 25 hours, with no power, thinning air, and water starting to come over my feet like on that old trawler of my uncle’s,” Bill said.

Ginny leaned forward and grasped her great-grandfather’s crooked hands.

“So what did you do? What happened?” she said.

“We all took turns banging on the bulkhead above us with a wrench. Clang-clang, clang-clang! Like a horrible heartbeat. It was an awful racket and with everyone’s nerves shot, it became almost too much to bear. We could hear the same thing going on in the Number 4 Radio Room next to us. Some of the guys were ready to die after eighteen hours of this stuff. I knew exactly how long we were locked in that box because I kept looking Missy’s dad’s watch. When one of the guys saw the Japanese figures on its face, he tried grabbing it from me and I dropped it into the water, which was rising higher all the time. I found it and put back in my pocket. The air pressure getting tighter and the continuous clanging made my ears hurt so bad. I was pretty sure I was gonna be deaf before I was gonna be dead.”

“Then what happened, Great-grandpa?”

“Other sailors and civilian workers from the Navy Yard brought in air compressors, pumps, chipping tools and torches alongside the part of our hull still above water. We had no idea this was going on, of course. It wasn’t until we heard the first sounds of an air hammer a full day after the attack. One of the guys in Number 4 Radio Room, on his way out, told a fella from the Navy Yard we were still alive on the other side of the bulkhead. He banged on the steel and yelled to tell us he was gonna get us out.”

“And he did. Wow!” 

“It wasn’t that simple, Ginny. See, we had water rising and if they just cut a hole in that bulkhead, willy-nilly, all the air that was in our compartment would blow out that hole and water would take its place. We knew this because as soon as we saw a drill bit come through the wall, we could hear the hiss of the air going out and watch the water begin coming in. So four of us went under the water and horsed the hatch shut. That gave us a chance, I guess. But it wasn’t going to be that simple.”

“What do you mean?”

“The water was still rising as the construction crew started at the bulkhead with an air hammer. I heard later that when they tried cutting through another place on the ship with an acetylene torch it sucked the air right out of the compartment. The water rushed in and all those fellas died on the spot. So with the water rising in our compartment and that air hammer gnawing away at the bulkhead, it was a race to see if we’d get out in time, if at all. And now I can tell you what was the most scared I’ve ever been. Right there.”

“I…I can’t imagine, Grampy Bill.”

“I hope you never try, Ginny. After about an hour of this stuff, the big fella who was hammering into the wall had finished the third side of a square he was cutting for us. But time was running out for him, too. Water was up to his knees and rising as fast as it was for us. We were ready to tear into that slab of steel with our fingers by then. This fella knew none of us had too long left, so he says, ‘Look out for your hands, boys,’ and he takes a sledgehammer and begins wanging away at that steel. He bent it back toward us until there was this triangular space we could shimmy through. We got out of that ship as fast as we could, let me tell you. But found out later more than 400 of our shipmates weren’t so lucky. That’ll gnaw on you for a long time, Ginny.”

“What a story! So when you look out at the ocean you take your glasses off and tap them like those wrenches and hammers and stuff you heard that day?” Ginny said.

“Yeah, I guess I do,” Bill sighed.

Just as she was about to get up, Ginny asked, “Whatever happened to that girl, Missy, Grampy?”

“I never saw her again. Even went down to where they kept all the bigshot Japanese residents. Like those internment camps they had back on the mainland. She wasn’t there either.”

“How sad. Well, thank you Grampy Bill. I’m honored you shared that story with me.” Ginny kissed Bill’s forehead.

“You’re welcome, honey. But let’s just keep it between us, okay? Our secret. Just some of those things old men think about when our real last day grows near.” Bill gave Ginny a wink.

“You bet. Love you, Grampy Bill.”

“Love you, Ginny.”

As she left the room, Bill stared out at the ocean again and sighed. 

“Couldn’t tell her. Just couldn’t,” he whispered to himself.

Once more he felt for the old tarnished watch in his breast pocket, its hands pointing to about 8:30 AM, when the salt water stopped it on December 9, 1941. That was two days after Missy Kochiyama took her father’s car out to Pearl Harbor that Sunday morning in hope of waving to young Billy Frye, when he said he would be above deck.

With his fingers touching the old watch, old Bill gazed toward the southwest, removed his glasses and tapped heartbeats on the table with them as the sun set in the Pacific behind Neahkahnie Point on the Oregon coast.

Another first-and-a-half draft based on Sarah Salecky’s Six Weeks, Six Senses project. This week’s theme was the Sense of Sound. I was presented with three photos for inspiration: one showed an old man staring into the camera, a pair of eyeglasses, and, finally, a photo of the ocean at sunset . The fact that today is the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor pushed me in that direction. And another prompt I read today suggested I try writing a story all in dialogue. I came close, but I couldn’t finish it the way I wanted that way…today..

Who Knows Where the Time Goes?

Photo by Namroud Gorguis on Unsplash

The road from Plattsburgh to Chateaugay wound through the Adirondacks, past farms and little clusters of gas stations and McDonalds and such, just as it always did. But now there was a Dunkin Donuts where the old Dairy Queen would tempt me with deep-fried and soft-serve goodies. I had to laugh at that, as I passed the sign signaling the turnoff to the Dunkin Reserve State Forest outside Cadyville.

“Even the North Country’s got to change, I guess,” I said to the static-filled radio voices out of Plattsburgh. Soon enough, static would be all I’d hear.

I’d decided to take the long way, Rte. 374 West, just for the scenery and the time to remember. But a rainstorm was watering down or washing out whatever of the old sights I had wanted to see. And my memory wasn’t as good as it was the last time I passed through. The trip should’ve taken me something like an hour to complete. Though in my head, it was taking years. One, because of the weather, and Two, because it was taking me back forty-some years.

As if the weather wasn’t dreary enough, one place I really didn’t need seeing was the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora. Even with the rain turning some of the scenery into an Impressionist watercolor, Dannemora is perpetually dreary. Its drab and chipped painted walls sit right there, not ten feet from the curbside. The exterior gave only a small taste of the depressing and dangerous world within those walls.

Passing the final tower, I took a look at the prison in my rearview mirror, like one would a traffic accident, when I hit one of Dannemora’s year-round potholes. I should have remembered how the town grew potholes like weeds and drivers were always going hub-deep in some of them when they hid beneath the shiny surface of a puddle that filled and camouflaged them. Taking another peek at my rearview mirror, to see the size of the crater my car just crashed through, I almost hit a young guy with his thumb out, who was walking by the side of the road. He dove into some weeds.

“You okay, man?” I asked after I’d pulled by the side of the road and jumped out. I found him wiping mud from his glasses, his faded denim jacket and pants covered in wet and sticky dead leaves.

“I think so. What the hell were you doin’, mister? You coulda killed me,” he said.

“I’m sorry. I hit one of those damned potholes and I guess I lost control of my car.”

“I’d say you sure did. What’re you one of those people who spend their days staring into a damn phone? Ow, my ankle,” he said as he took a step toward the road. “Jesus, bad enough I gotta hoof or hitch my way to Brainardsville, now I’ve gotta do it on a twisted ankle.”

“Jesus, I’m sorry. Um, maybe I can give you a lift. Brainardsville is on my way. Let’s get you out of the rain at least,” I said.

“That’d be cool. Thanks. Let me get my bag,” he said. He pulled an Army surplus backpack from beneath the autumn-dead bush that had shed its yellowed leaves on just about everything he wore. After he brushed most of the leaves off, he sat with his bag between his feet in the seat next to me.

“I don’t know whether to thank you or cuss you out,” the young guy said. “But a lift’s a lift, so I shouldn’t complain too much, I guess.”

“No. Anytime you can put Dannemora in your rearview mirror is a good thing, I always say.”

“You been inside?” he asked, his blue eyes widening a little. I wasn’t sure if that was in surprise or actual interest.

“A few times. Back when I worked for the newspaper in Plattsburgh. Now I’m a freshly retired guy and I figured I’d sort of retrace my steps in life while I still have the time. Now I can slow down to see the scenery I missed while I was hustling to make a deadline or running for some other dumb reason,” I said.

“Apparently that’s not working out so good for you…or me,” he said, as he rubbed his ankle.

“Yeah, sorry again. By the way, my names James, but folks call me Jamie…even at my advanced age,” I said with a chuckle, extending my hand.

“I’d appreciate it if you’d keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, mister…Jamie. I don’t need my Grandma losing another of her own before she passes,” he said. “And my name’s Loyal.”

“Wow, now that’s a North Country name if I ever heard one. And I’ve not heard it in over forty years. Knew a guy from these parts by that name…”

“Yeah, well named for my Grandpa and there’s a lot of us around here living under that curse even today,” said.

“So where are you comin’ from?” I asked him. We still had twenty or so miles to go and WIRY lost its crackling voice a ways back. I figured small talk was all I had. Cellular service had even gone flat here in this section of the mountains, so I couldn’t even stream anything from my phone.

“The prison.”

“Oh, you work there?”


“Oh…I see,” I said, dividing my vision between the highway and him. “Sorry.”

“Meh, it is what it is. I only did three of five to fifteen. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong crowd, if you know what I mean,” he said. He stared out the window. His words turned to steam, clouding the view until he wiped them away with his hand.

“You got any music to play? I mean real music? I’ve had too much hip-hop and country since I been inside,” Loyal said, changing the subject.

“I’m afraid not. WIRY still sucks and cellular sucks and I didn’t bring any CDs. I’m a forgetful old cuss, I guess.”

“This car doesn’t have a tape player?” Loyal asked. It sounded like he’d been away for a hell of lot longer than he’d been on earth. “My family’s truck still does.”

“No, afraid not. Why’d you ask?” I said. Now I was interested.

‘Cause I got this here tape my Grandma sorta gave me when I went inside. It’s tunes she used to play and sing for me when my Mom was alive and even after. This old tape has seen a lot of wear and tear, but I’ve fixed it with tape every time it breaks,” Loyal said as he fished in the between his feet.

“Would you mind if I played it on this?” he asked, pulling an old portable cassette player from the backpack.

“Jeez, how old did you say you are? I haven’t seen one of those in twenty years,” I said with a little laugh. “Here comes Lyon Mountain, by the way. I’d say another twenty minutes to Brainardsville.”

“Yeah. So do you care if I play this or not? It’s old stuff, tunes my Grandma loved and my Grandpa hated. Ol’ Loyal would pitch a fit and head for the bar if she played or even hummed them.”

“Sure, since I’m driving down Memory lane today, might as well have the right music to set the mood.”

Loyal pushed the PLAY button and turned up the volume so I could hear the pops and gaps in the tape that began with the harmonized hmmmm-hmm-ummm-hmmmm-hmmmm-hmmm-ummm-hmmm-ummm of Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon, just before Simon laid down one of my favorite acoustic riffs that kicked off his song “America.”

I heard, “Let us be lovers, we’ll gather our fortunes together…” and I got that same cold sinking feeling I always did when I heard that song.

“Man, Loyal, you’re playing one of my favorites. Your Grandma has good taste.

“Yeah, she loves every song on this cassette, A-side and B.”

The sky began to brighten and I could see Chateaugay Lake to my left. I couldn’t help humming along myself. And then came the Moody Blues placing their stamp on what I always called Art Rock with “Nights in White Satin.”

“Wow, been a long time since I’ve heard this one, too.”

“Yup, my Grandma says this is Art Rock, whoever he was. I went to school with some LaRocks, though none of them was named Art.”

That cold dip from Simon and Garfunkel tired into an iceberg in my gut.

“Say, Loyal, you never told me your Grandmother’s name,” I said, almost dreading the answer.

“Her name’s Mary Grandjean,” he said.

“Oh, don’t know her.”

“But she goes by Sandy. She used to have sorta blond hair, so everyone calls her Sandy. Sandy Benson Grandjean,” Loyal said as he hit FAST FORWARD. “I really like this next one. So’s my Grandma and so did my mom.”

I closed my eyes for a second. I was afraid I knew what was coming up. I was as sure of it as I was that around the next bend was the intersection where I’d leave Loyal off for Brainardsville.

Before it even began, I started humming the intro to “Looking at the Rain.” The strings came up and then the oh-so-Canadian baritone of Gordon Lightfoot. My heart pounded and my hands sweat on the wheel.

How old are you, Loyal?” I asked.

“Twenty-three,” he replied.

“You say your Mom has passed?”

“Yep, when I was five. She ran with one of those wrong crowds, too. Driving home drunk, she went off 374 and…that was that.” Loyal sighed against the window. I mouthed the words, “Wishing this was all a dream…and I’d find you sleeping when I wake…”

“You say somethin’, Jamie?” Loyal asked.

“No, son, just love the words to this song. Always meant a lot to me,” I said.

“Yeah, sometimes poor old Grandma wipes her eyes when she hears it. Well, here’s where I get off I guess,” Loyal said. He seemed so much calmer just from playing those songs.

“Let me drive you to your Grandma’s. I don’t want you making that ankle any worse.”

“No, really, it’s okay.”

“Please, let me. It’s the least I can do,” I said. Was I sounding frantic?

“Okay, just hang a right on 190 and then your first left onto Church Road. It’s the first house on the right,” Loyal said. I could see the excitement in his eyes, could sense his heart beginning to beat harder, faster, too.

If he felt my chest, I’m sure he’d ask to be let out now.

“This is it right here. That’s my Grandma’s place with the redwood porch.”

A woman in her late fifties or early sixties hurried out the door, off the steps and trotted to the road as I slowed the car to a stop and Loyal jumped out into her tearful hug.

“Oh, Loy, I’ve missed you so. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to pick you up, but the battery went on the truck again and I didn’t have someone who could jump it or change it,” she said.

She looked a little rounder, shorter, and tired. But that voice I’d never forget.

“Well, it’s okay. I got a ride just a couple of blocks from the prison from Jamie here. Jamie, this is my Grandma, Sandy Grandjean,” Loyal said. His grandmother leaned to look at my face through the passenger side window. Her joyous expression quieted, but her eyes widened to their old sapphire glory.

“Thank you. I‘ve been so worried about him. Even getting home today. Would you like to come in for a cup of coffee?” she said. Sandy turned her head to get a better look at my face.

“No thank you, ma’am. I’ve got to be up the road in Chateaugay in about a half-hour. See an old friend. But I appreciate it. And, by the way, I also appreciate your taste in music. That old cassette brought back a lot of memories,” I said.

“Cassette? Loyal?”

“Sorry, Grandma. Grandpa got it for me before he passed,” Loyal said.

“I thought he threw it out after all these years,” Sandy said. “Well, I’ve lived the past couple of years without it. It’s the second copy of the original. But I’m a hundred times happier that I have you back than that old tape. Oh, I’m sorry, Mister…Jamie?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Hey Grandma, we were just listening to this when we drove up,” Loyal said as he hit PLAY again. Lightfoot sang:
Waiting for a line to fall
Telling you it’s all a big mistake
But the words won’t come
I know I’d feel the same
Looking at the rain

Sandy just stood silent for a second and then leaned back into my window, and said, “Thank you, Jamie, for giving me my grandson…again. And that old music, too. God bless you.”

“You’re welcome, Sandy. God bless you, too. Best of luck, Loy,” I said. I slowly pulled away, but looked back in the rearview mirror. There Sandy stood, watching me drive off like the last time I saw her.

I shook my head at how life winds and winds, but sometimes brings you back to people and places you missed from your first time.

It was then I recalled what the next song was on that old cassette, a mix-tape before mix-tapes got that name. I knew it because I put it there, as well as on the CD I replaced it with years ago, the one my wife hated hearing because I’d get all quiet, distant she said, when I played it. And I started hearing that old Fairport Convention song, the one I replaced on my CD with the solo Sandy Denny version, because…Sandy.

Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving
But how can they know it’s time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I have no thought of time
For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?
Sad, deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving
Ah, but then you know it’s time for them to go
But I will still be here, I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time
For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?
And I am not alone while my love is near me
I know it will be so until it’s time to go
So come the storms of winter and then
The birds in spring again
I have no fear of time
For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?


This is an afternoon’s work (or joy, since that’s what I experienced writing it). It was inspired by three photos from Canadian writer and teacher Sarah Salecky. I used one of them as the illustration. I was supposed to center on the sense of sight, but I think hearing barged in, too. But so much of this story is found between the lines in the things Jamie sees in the rearview mirror of his mind. At least that’s my story…