A Kind Spirit Has Published! – (“Finally Back Home” by Irfaan ‘Ihsan’ Jaffer)

Though he has recently experienced a horrible crash of his site, a loving spirit has published his poetry!  Thanks to the staff at WP his site is restored!  Magical!  Please allow me to direct you here:

Finally Back Home by Irfaan ‘Ihsan’ Jaffer

There is not a poem, in this collection, one could not sit with and find peace.  Thank you, Ishan, for this prayer and gift and hope.

I look forward to reading these poems again and to immerse myself into their flow.


The Sweet Gum Rescue

I’ve fallen again so…I’ve ordered a walking cane to use when I am walking/hiking on uneven ground. Made from the wood of the sweet gum tree…one of my favorites.  It’s free form and will come 34″ high.

The fall happened when a stroller rolled over my foot and tripped me while I was walking on some uneven park grounds.  Ahh…  The joys of walking in the park!  And I fell – you said gracefully – but…still I hit my head (not badly) and have an ache in my neck that’s getting better over two days.  Bruise on my right hip and top of my right hand.  My head ached, initially, but had stopped by the time we reached home.   Perhaps my goddess, Artemis, watches over forests and parks!

Hmffff.  This did not deter me from pulling out one of my hiking sticks so we could go to a hilly park to watch The Taming of the Shrew with  friends.   I was really glad I brought the darned stick, too…not only were there hills to climb but also exposed tree roots calling my name.

So I cried and ordered the cane.  My macular degeneration has done something to my depth perception and that does something to one’s balance.  Oh well…yes…better to order the cane.

This is about the 4th time I’ve fallen in two years.  Once a terrible head fall in the tub.  (a total slippery fall not to do at all with macular degeneration) Others not so bad head-touching falls.

My cousin just recently died from hitting his head in a fall.

I worry enough about just living each day some days…I’m not so carefree.  I never have been.

Last evening, we went with a group of friends to see The Taming of the Shrew.  It was free.

I was remembering how my mother made my dad seem so old when he eventually needed a cane  and he, therefore, seldom would use the one we gave him.  Even though you so carefully measured one of my hiking sticks to my perfect height…I still felt like I was embarrassing you…

silly me.  Sometimes I just don’t see the differences between the ways we love each other and the ways my parents loved.  That could be a fault of mine.

You were excited with me as  we looked for canes to order.  When I decided on this free form one, you agreed it was perfect!  Those beautiful sweet gum trees.


Nothing Could Have Stopped Us – A Short Love Story

So I’m practicing expanding a scene from 100 words to about 300 words.  Maybe that’s a good number of words for a scene.    Tomorrow’s  goal is 500 words.  Here goes:

Nothing Could Have  Stopped Us

There were three bundles of letters.  One for each year we’d spent as pen pals and one from the year before he died.  My mind had wandered as though there we were.

“Mimi isn’t it true that you and grandpa were pen pals before you married?”  Irene, my always-having-to-know-something-private granddaughter, was as chipper as a New Orleans summer day is long.

Her mother, my daughter, Helen, cleared her throat.  “It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, Irene.  You listen to me now.  Life was more respectable then. Wasn’t it,  Mom?”

“No.  It was 1964″  I rolled my eyes.

“Oh good grief, Mom.  That’s not helping matters.” Helen wrung her hands and sat down in a wing back chair near the fireplace. She pushed the poker into a log.  The room crackled.

I looked at my granddaughter and we chuckled.  “They’re going to meet here, Helen.  It’s all perfectly respectable.  Irene is a grown woman.”

“But you’re taking sides, Mom.”

“I’m not taking sides, Helen.  You’re invited, too!”

One thing was for sure.  The heart knows a distance differently than the mind.  My daughter had met her husband in college.  Her daughter wanted to meet a man she knew from the internet.  And old respectable me had married my pen pal.  I don’t know how my daughter thought she’d sway me.

“Well your father’s not too happy about this, Irene.”Helen made another feeble attempt for normalcy.

“Was your dad happy about you and grandpa meeting?”  Irene gave me a pensive look much resembling her mother’s.


“But -”  my daughter fumbled for words.

“But it didn’t stop us,” I finished.

Nothing could have stopped us.  Everything tried.   We just weren’t prepared.  We just weren’t thinking that one of us would go off and die like that in some war far away.  Even his last letter took years to sink in.

My dearest Peggy,  I may not make it home to you and our little daughter, Helen.  I hope this letter reaches you and that you will never forget how I love you so.  Kevin



Charms & Demitasse Spoons – A Poem

This afternoon, we were all a flutter cleaning out boxes.  You found a good luck charm I’d been given.  And I remembered other charms.Charms & Demitasse Spoons

Sometimes we choose
to remember
or to remember not.

She watched her childhood
charms and
demitasse spoons
float away.

It’s ok.
I’ll create new charms
and wear them
I’ll use unmatched spoons
with only a single
Key West demitasse.

We ate mile high
key lime pie
not knowing
that beautiful sunset
was us.

I want to remember
that day my heart was broken.


Red Paper Lanterns

I wrote this for this week’s   Friday Fictioneers led by Rochelle     100 words  (or so)  based on the photo prompt below.  Come join us!

Red Paper Lanterns

A cool breeze was coming through the open restaurant window.  Red paper lanterns swayed from the ceiling.

It’s happiness enough to know one is superior to the fork people  was written on your chopstick wrapper.

“I wonder what that means?”  I asked.


“That.”   I pointed to the fortune.

You shrugged and tore off the wrapper.    “Look at yours.  Who comes up with these things?”

Ask for what you need.  I shook my head slowly and smiled.

“I’m an easy touch for needs tonight. Try one.”

“I’ll take a rain check.”

“Great answer!  That’ll make the fork people happy.”



photo copyright – Marie Gail Stratford