Isn’t it Obvious?


Isn’t it Obvious?

Isn’t it obvious she dyes her hair?
A color like that is really so rare
that all of the passersby simply must stare.
And look at that bust line and that derriere!

Her skin like a peach, her curves like a pear––
Not an inch of flab on her and no wear-and-tear.
It can’t all be natural. Wouldn’t be fair.
She looks lovely in clothes and she looks better bare.

She looks great as she is, no need for repair.
The contrast is more than a woman can bear.
Though to others I maintain I really don’t care,
each time I see her it’s like a nightmare.

I look in the mirror and just can’t compare.
No facial hair has she. No need for Nair.
Her face never wrinkles, not here and not there.
Her makeup? No smudges. Her nails never tear.

Her clothes never look a tad worse for the wear.
Bags under her eyes? There have never been. Ne’er!
She looks perfect in public. The same in her lair.
And her consort’s the same. They’re the ultimate pair.

Except, isn’t it obvious, she dyes her hair????

It must be obvious by now that the daily prompt was the word “obvious.”



When we go to bed, they sneak in
and loll about on the chair cushions,
combing their coarse straight hair,
leaving traces we’ll brush off with the lint brush, blaming the cat.


They mine the refrigerator,
looking for wine spills or crumbs of cheese.

The more intrepid jump on the rubber pillow of the sink squirter,
starting a slow drip they can drink from like a water fall,

then make the long trek into the cave of my computer room,
their eyes on the precarious towers of books.
They give each other a hands-up
onto the power key of my computer,
then all jump in sync to turn it on.

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The files they fill they bury deep,
but sometimes I find them by accident
when I discover a folder I don’t recognize,
open it up and read words
I don’t remember writing.

This morning when I wake up I find
piled on the dining room table
under the large paper globe light
dozens of tiny wings,
each veined uniquely, like a fingerprint–
pale brown with a darker cuticle along the upper edge.

Shaped like an oblanceolate leaf,
veined like a feather,
they have been attached by junctures so fragile
that fairies could have chewed them off, perhaps,
twisted them until they snapped,
or pulled them off like socks,
shedding their wings like garments.
I wonder why a fairy would shed its wings,
then slip into imagination–which is the part of our minds
through which fairies speak to us.

They tell me they have been building a house within our house
for so long that it is now finished,
and so they plan to stay,
determined to be warm forever.
Our house will be the old fairies home
where they will come when they have started
crashing into other fairies,
or careening the wrong way down a one-way air path.


Stripped of their wings, they are like retired aviators,
snugged into some warm corner of our house
away from the cat
and from marauding mice,
telling stories of glorious flights of wing and fancy–
that time caught in the spider web–
the other caught in the updraft–
chills and thrills from an earlier life.

How lucky
that I have found these clues
before they could be swept aside,
blown by the smallest breeze of some passing human
onto the floor and then obliterated.
These wings are so light, so fragile
that I imagine fairy bodies to be
crushable as grasshoppers–
their bones, like ladybug shells,
more fragile than mice.


But these are not the perfect Barbie Doll fairies
of the movies or books, for they have told me so–
writing their self-portraits on my screen exactly thus:
“More like trolls or gnomes, we have crags and crevices,
warts with sticky hairs growing from them.
Fairies fart and belch and scratch our bottoms.
We steal sugar water from the hummingbird tube
and seed from the bird feeder.
In the fall, we mine apples like mother lodes,
wrapping tiny chunks of them in leaves,
which we leave in the footpath
so passing humans can press out the apple juice
with the soles of their shoes.”


More industrious than the fairies of books,
real fairies are architects, doctors, poets and cooks.
Some are storytellers. Some weave clothes.
But there are no firemen or policemen and only a few judges,
for they never set fires or break their own rules.
Caught up in human tragedies, fairy folk depend on human bureaucracy
to solve the problems or compound them.
Rules and laws are not fairy things, although retribution
against the human world has been known to occur.”


Fairies with no wings
supervise hummingbird disputes.
(This is why they have a few judges.)
They herd fleas away from squirrel backs
onto the backs of mean cats,
tease raccoons,
kick leaves from roofs into down spouts
to plug them up and make fairy swimming pools.
They bungee jump from spider webs,
bronco bust yellow jackets,
shake down pollen from the limbs of redwood trees,
ride around on the backs of a different animal every night.

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Retired fairies
climb the couch as though it were the Matterhorn
with a fishhook for a pick.
They go sliding on the dust of top shelves,
spelunk down drains,
wander through house plants like jungles.
They remove tiny portions of cloth from our clothes
to sew clothes for themselves,
then let moths take the blame.

They eat the last piece of candy in the dish,
then raid the refrigerator for additional provisions,
jump on the remote to start the television, and watch late night TV
with the sound turned down.
In the early mornings before we rise,
they turn it off–after reprogramming the TV
to record their favorites instead of ours.


We see fairies every day,
But they know well the art of camouflage,
persuading us that we saw something else–
a hummingbird, a mouse.
What can be seen can be killed or captured.
That which is hidden, we let alone.
That is why fairies stay in shadows.
All small fluttering, scurrying things form a fraternity.
The rules between them firmly established–
rules on what they will let be seen
and what will be keep secret.

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So when your cat jumps for no reason,
or stares at the spot where you see nothing,
sending chills down your back,
you must now realize that it is fairies.

And when you call for your children
to do the dishes
or their homework
And they don’t answer,
blame the fairies
who at night first whisper tomorrow’s mischief in kids’ ears,
then stuff in ear wax to protect them from the noise of the world.


And when you lose your glasses or your keys,
it is the work of fairies
who want to encourage you
to see from a finer eye,
to travel in your mind, and so hide objects
that distract you,
and spread dust over things
like books and old art supplies
that you should pay attention to.


When you see a fast movement
out of the corner of your eye
and see the leaf that falls,
it is a fairy who has detached it
to distract your attention from what you really saw–him.
When you hear a noise and run to the next room
to find a book just fallen from the shelf, look on the shelf, quickly,
for the fairy foot disappearing behind the stack.


There is more in this world than what we see–
forces guarding us and guiding us,
forces keeping the balance.
And if you think that they are powerless because they’re small,
if you think because they can’t be seen they don’t exist,
think of the atom,
then reconsider


Hard Lessons


Learning Disabilities

I have no water in my house. I’ve had no Internet for weeks. My dog is at the vet’s having major surgery that will cost $1,000 U.S. that I need to go to the bank to withdraw along with another $1,000 I offered to loan to a friend to buy a car they need to buy who just called to say they need the money tomorrow! Problem is I can’t get to the bank because I’m hoping for a call from Telmex saying they’ve figured out my internet problem––and the plumber who is going to try to come at 3. All this and to top off the perfect day, I have amoebas and the new medicine I got yesterday has given me a headache and fever. Or I’m just stressing out and the entire kit and caboodle is giving me a fever and headache.

I’m beginning to fear I’m no longer able to handle running a house. The floor is covered by boxes of three different types of tile I have laid out to try them out. I have a dozen things to complete before I leave in a little more than a week. I’ve been trying to get a haircut for a month, but no time to do so. Gripe gripe gripe. You would think I would learn, but somehow time and time again I am getting into these high-stress situations where hyperventilation is the norm.

From a perfectly organized house last night my house has turned into a disaster area. Files from the file cabinet lay piled on the headboard/case of my bed—leftovers as I looked for a brochure of the water system to try to figure out what particular tube I need for the purification system. My bed is covered by the contents of six different big baskets I pulled down from the closet to look for a pair of gloves to handle the tube I bought after visiting four different water supply places. No, none had a man to come install it. Yes, I broke it installing it. Good thing I had one glove on—all I could find.

My desk is covered by little slips of paper concerning tile types, prices, business cards, discarded amoeba meds (wrong variety for what the lab told me yesterday) and old VHS tapes (what are those doing there?) Earlier, when I needed to call the water place to see if they could locate another purification tube light (answer was no) I couldn’t find one phone of four that I have in the house that was still in its cradle. Then when I did, turns out one of the lost phones was clicked on so I couldn’t call anyway. Search house again. Finally found it on the bookcase by the doggie domain. What in the world was it doing there and where in the world are the other 3 phones that are still lost? Last night I found them all and restored them to their cradles. Do I have Telmex poltergeists infesting my house every night?

Yes. At.The. End. Of. My.Rope.

Should I move? Can’t stand to think about that. Perhaps there is someone pleasant willing to trade free rent of my casita for a few managerial tasks such as dealing with electricity, phone, internet, gas and minor construction. No, I don’t need a keeper yet, but my house certainly does. It seems to be reaching that age when everything needs attending to. Walls aren’t crumbling, but floors need replacing, the walls painted less than a year ago need a second coat, and someone needs to search the Virginia creeper vines to find those hummingbird moth caterpillars that are pooping bee bees all over my terrace table and the steps outside the doggie domain.

Yes. At. The. End. Of. My. Rope.

I need to pick up Frida in an hour and still can’t get hold of Pasiano or Yolanda to come let the plumber in. If the plumber comes. And even then, I won’t have purified water—just water, at least, to flush toilets and wash with.

Headache. Chills. Frustration. Breathe. No one has died, at least today. Calm down. Was I always such a fussbudget? Yesterday I was screaming “Fuck, fuck, fuck!” when I had for the zillionth time lost my keys. They were no place. How could I be so dumb???? It was past time to leave for something important and the other set of car keys had vanished into the void 4 years ago. This was my last set. Last chance. I looked in the outside locks, the inside locks, the bathrooms, kitchen, under the bed, on the nail on the wall where I usually hung them. Emptied out my purse. Twice.

I imagine, now, neighbors passing in the street hearing this madwoman scream invectives at herself. With all my doors and windows open, they must be able to hear me as clearly as if they were inside my house. For 15 years, I’ve overlooked this fact until once earlier this year when all three of my dogs were barking and I roared “Frida!!! Stop!!!!” above the din, a friend protested,“Judy! You are worse than the dogs. You should hear yourself. You must scare the neighbors!” my friend uttered this softly. Unlike me.

I had to shout to be heard above the dogs, right? But did I need to scream at the keys?

I found them eventually and was only 10 minutes late to the appointment I started to leave for half an hour early. I found them by calmly retracing my steps which took me eventually by my open closet door with the new file cabinet inside—my keys dangling from its lock. I had gone to get some necessary file, but the cabinet is so new it had not yet been added to my key recovery route. It has been now.

I am, you see, capable of learning. It’s the remembering that is the hard part.

The End (Perhaps)

Postscript: Just now the lovely lovely girl from Techno Agua called. She has called all over town and located the right water purification tube light. It is 60 pesos above the price I paid for one this morning. Is that a problem? No problem. The plumber can come at 3. I just called Pasiano and although he still is not answering his phone and although Yolanda is working and can’t come to let the plumber in, her husband has agreed to do so; so when he arrives, I can go, hopefully, to the bank and then to get Frida. The tide is turning. Maybe today will turn out to be slightly less frustrating than earlier happenings indicated. 

An hour later: good news and bad news. I got to the bank in time to get the $1,000 U.S. for the surgery (highway robbery in Mexico and fitting that the vet’s name is Ladrone!) and the $1,000 for the car, but when I got to the vet’s I was informed that Frida still hasn’t awakened and so I need to leave her for the night. They assure me they’ll feed and water her when she wakes up, but although I understand I can’t take an unconscious dog home, nonetheless I know she’ll be traumatized to wake up in a cage away from home and to have to spend the night there. Also, I was supposed to sit the info booth at the Lake Chapala Society tomorrow so will have to try to find someone to sit in so I can go get Frida and take her home. Always a new thrill. Still no internet at home, so I am at the mall. Getting to be a regular mall rat as they have free wifi and otherwise it is $15 U.S. a day to use my phone as a hot spot as I was over my limit in just four days.

Are you tired of my whining yet?


The Prompt word today was “Learning.”

Duck!: Flower of the Day Aug 22, 2016

I promised Bernadette I’d show this little creature today. She saw little aliens in my milkweed blossom photo yesterday. I thought they looked like either aliens or ducks. How do you vote?



My Life by Tens

My Life by Tens

Up to Age One? Cares had I none.
At age ten? Pretty zen.
Then at twenty? Zip aplenty.
Turning thirty? Feeling flirty.
Nearing forty? Lithe and sporty.
Turning Fifty? Bali’s  nifty.
Big six-oh? More oats to sow.
Big seven-oh? One year to go.


(Click first photo to enlarge and see years.  Hover to just see years.)


The prompt today was “FIfty.”  This was all I could come up with.