Monthly Archives: September 2018

Richard ‘Dickie’ Grubb

This is right up there with the best blog entries I’ve seen over the five years I’ve been blogging. I hope you read it through to the end!!

Kelly Shaw's Notebook: Prose writing about my new life on the Mendocino coast, California.

Richard ‘Dickie’ Grubb

The Eulogy

‘Dying is a sad game, even if you perfect the idea. My name is Frank Robertson, I was a friend of his, the one there, lying in the casket, keeping me to my promise. But for Richard, death is an achievement. He and I played golf together twice a week for the last nineteen years, never missed, not once.  Richard’s goal was to die. In the main most don’t achieve it. Most flop around the idea, and flirt with an attempt here and there, and some, by pure accident, actually manage it. That’s why it’s a sad game. That’s why Richard’s suicide is nothing more than an achievement!

This is how I started my eulogy for Dickie. Naturally I I could see many in the congregation fidgeting uncomfortably, mostly those closest to ‘Dickie’s’ widow , Edith. A small, slight, sharp featured faced woman, dressed in the…

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Marrying Up

Marrying Up

The hippie that she married was excessively hirsute,
which was her final reason for giving him the boot.
But since her alimony was embarrassingly meager,
perhaps we can forgive her for being oh so eager

to try to find a richer man—a man of good repute
exceedingly well-barbered, who wore a business suit.
She knew that she could find him if she hung out at the Ritz,
so she dug out her old three-inch-heels and donned a bit of glitz.

Adopting her most snobbish air, she hung out at the bar
to try to find this different man who was more up to par.
She knew him when she saw him.  He’d a Rolex on his arm
and she was sure if she exuded her usual class and charm,

she could attract his notice and flirt and joke and tease
until within an hour she had brought him to his knees.
It’s true he came right over and was smitten from the start.
and within an hour or two, she knew they’d never part.

He dined her and he wined her and he smothered her in flowers.
She gloried in her craftiness and her seductive powers.
It was a whirlwind courtship. When they honeymooned in Prague,
she knew her social standing had gone up a cog.

The hotel that they stayed at was the very best.
Anything she wanted appeared at his behest.
Fresh pastries from the kitchen, whisked to them piping hot.
Shops with furs and diamonds. She had to have the lot.

She said, “Dear, never leave me.” He said, “I never will,”
yet the final day at check out, when they handed her the bill,
surprised, she held it out to him, and then she murmured, “Honey?”
as he sprinted for the door, saying, “I thought you had the money!”


(Illustration from Pinterest.) The prompt words today were hirsute, eager, alliance and adopt.


Should I or Shouldn’t I ?!


The word prompts today are inspire, surmount, enthralling, mistrust and today I’m adding Matt’s new prompt site to my inspiration list.  His command is that we invent a new punctuation mark and write a post inspired by it. What would you do if you were given four words and a situation and told to use them in a poem or story? You’d probably wind up with a poem as ridiculous as this one is!!

Should I or Shouldn’t I?!

I am plagued by indecision.
Should I choose that vain incision
leading to the skin division
that might lead to the derision
of those who might choose nature’s pace
written on their neck and face?

I must admit I do mistrust
those who deal with jowls and bust
by removing parts of them,
and so I hem and haw and hem.
As enthralling as it would be
to be confronted with less of me,

I can’t surmount the fear that I
would be the first face lift to die!
Or,  lovely as other ladies look,
I fear I’d end up in a book
of great disasters and that mine
would be a face most leonine!

Or if I had a chest reduction,
all the cutting and the suction
would lead to results most distressing.
What would happen, I am guessing,
is that the surgeon would have the gall
to leave me with no breasts at all!

If I had need to punctuate
a sentence that concerns my fate,
I think that it would culminate
with a mark that had a mate.
Although I am inspired to do it,
another part seems to eschew it,

?! would be the punctuation
designating consternation.
It’s what  I’d have to use until
I decide if I won’t or will.
Half of it anticipation,
the other half, my hesitation! (Matt’s first prompt is to invent a new punctuation mark and write a post inspired by it.)

100,000 Poets/Artists for Change



If you live in the Lake Chapala area, please join us as I join 99,999 other poets and artists around the world in calling for change on Saturday, Sept 29, 2018 from 5 to 7 at the studio of Pat Apt, 5-B Ramon Corona, Ajijic.  (Kitty-corner across from the Chapala Society on the street that runs up to the Ajijic Church.) Look for news of these readings wherever you are.  Judging by the title, they should be going on in many locations!  

We will each be reading for 10 to 15 minutes and I head off the show, so don’t be late!!


Judy Dykstra-Brown
Armando Garcia-Davila
Susa Silvermarie
Noris Binet
John Ward
Margie Keane

Hope to see you there! HERE is a link to the official site.  Look for a location near you.  I just talked to one of the organizers to ask how to find out if there are events in your city, and he said at this point you have to go to the blog link and search but that they are  wayyy behind, something like 2000 people and groups, 600 cities, 100 countries.  Good news.  Hope you can find or organize one near you!

Golden Bougainvillea: Flower of the Day, Sep 25, 2018

This vine grows over my wall at the lowest end of the garden so I forget it is even there. Today I made quite a few new discoveries about my lawn and garden.  You’ll be seeing a few of them in the upcoming weeks. This is the first. I love this color and think I may have to plant another one in a spot where it is easier to see.

For Cee’s Flower of the Day prompt.

An Ex-Pat’s Credo

Click on any photo to enlarge all.  The Poem “An Ex-Pat’s Credo” follows the photos.

An Ex-Pat’s Credo

Some may think my generation’s recent mass migration 
to be a “giving up” on life—a certain violation.
That rubric that we stay engaged to ease our children’s lives—
to witness births of babies (then their twos, threes, fours and fives)
may not be the paradigm we choose when we are older.
Some of us want changes, and some of us are bolder.

We want to spend remaining years discovering and delving.
Do you think it’s selfish to continue with our “selving?”
Families are wonderful and we love them well,
but parents can’t be always living by the bell.
Once a child is  raised and off on their next adventure,
their parents have not signed any articles of indenture. 

They, too, can now be off to see what else their life may hold,
and though that path’s not right for all, before they’re very old
they might desire a warmer place or country that is new,
but  what they choose to leave behind is certainly not you.
They’ll carry you in hearts and minds, and they’ll still hold you dear.
They’ll Skype you and they’ll Facebook. They’ll visit every year.

They’ll be there for graduations, celebrations and each birth.
They’ll share your family’s traumas, their successes and their  mirth. 
But they won’t be waiting at home for you to call,
for the children to find time for them between school and football
and proms and camp and movies and parties with their friends,
for they well remember that the schedule never ends!

See this as rehearsal for the day your kids will go 
off to other places to learn and change and grow.
You’ll wish them well and though you’re sad, will send them to their fate.
and then perhaps decide there’s more than kids to educate.
You’ll then be free to concentrate on new states of existence—
free we hope as we’ve been from their loud insistence

that you spend the whole rest of your life putting them first
no matter what your own dreams are, no matter how you thirst
to see what there is left in life, perhaps, like us, to travel
not through a wish to leave behind, not seeking to unravel,
but rather like two busy bees intent upon their hive,
demonstrating by their acts that they are still alive!

The prompt words today are migration, violation, rubric (an established rule, tradition, or custom) and concentrate.  Here are the links:

Earrings and Surprises: Flower of the Day, Sep 24, 2018

When Pasiano went to the vivero for more soil for my new pots, I asked him to choose two plants for the pots we’d put at the entrance to my house and to just surprise me. These are the plants he bought. Yolanda says the red and white one is an “aretes” plant, which means earrings–I guess because the red hangs down from the white.Through research, I’ve determined that the arete plant (actually, earrings of the queen) is a variety of fuchsia and the other plant is a hydrangea.  Mystery solved. They are the only white flowers in my garden.  A surprise that the Americano chooses all the bright colors and the Mexicano chose white, albeit with a little splash of blue or red in the center. 


For Cee’s Flower of the Day prompt.

Office Courtship


Office Courtship

He found her shy and taciturn and not a little quaint.
She found him impetuous and lacking in restraint.
That personal space she guarded he invaded every day.
Her solo act he tried to crash, yet still she ran away.

He brought her flowers and chocolates. He courted her with rigor,
and yet the space between them seemed only to get bigger.
He had run out of wooing room. His prospects were too dim.
He felt that he had gone too far out that proverbial limb.

His thoughts that he could win her were just a wishful whim.
And so at last, he must give up. The lass was just too prim.
He did not seek her company. He did not text or call.
He gave a mere polite “Hello,” when they met in the hall.

Her flower vase sat empty. No chocolates in her dish.
It seemed that he had given her, finally, her wish.
She checked her phone charge. It was fine.
She waited for his pleas to dine

or see a film or to go dancing.
More and more, friends found her glancing
down the hallway, and they guessed
what she looked for, so they pressed

her for an answer as they queried
about why she always tarried
in the coffee room when she
usually brought her tea

in a thermos from her house.
Why she wore that low-cut blouse,
why she seemed a bit distracted
and when he passed, she overacted.

They all knew that overall
she’d gone too far to build a wall.
They told her if she wanted him,
she had to make that wall a scrim

and turn her light on from inside

to throw her solo act aside
and show him who she really was.
It became the office buzz

then, how the one who’d been the quarry
set her cap to woo and marry
one she’d formerly eschewed—
thinking him too brash and rude.

And this is how she turned the tide.
She bought a card and wrote inside,
“Faint heart never won fair maid,”
bought flowers and chocolate and paid

a string quartet to serenade him
and by doing so, she made him
once more resume all his wooing,
add his billing to her cooing.

And thus goes office romance.
Fellows given half a chance
will resume what they once started
and if they are not weak-hearted

wind up with the prize they sought,
forgetting that the one who fought
the romance and sought to repeal it
was the one to finally seal it!


The photo I used to illustrate this poem is of my nephew Jeff and his wife Julie.  They are the parents of Ryan, my nephew who recently visited. The prompt words today are quaint, personal, taciturn and solo, and here are the links: