Author Archives: lifelessons

About lifelessons

My blog, which started out to be about overcoming grief, quickly grew into a blog about celebrating life. I post daily: poems, photographs, essays or stories. I've lived in countries all around the globe but have finally come to rest in Mexico, where I've lived since 2001. My books may be found on Amazon in Kindle and print format, my art in local Ajijic galleries. Hope to see you at my blog.

Toilet Paper Blues (and Greens and Yellows)


Toilet Paper Blues (and Greens and Yellows)

Once paper for the toilet came in every hue—
green or blue or yellow to wipe away our poo.
And though we all liked paper that was soft and squeezable,
most people felt that  color wan’t very feasible.

Hue was always optional, for you could still find white.
Which had the best capacity for capturing the light.
Of all the other choices, white was still the best
to help you find the toilet on your midnight quest.

Now in the tissue aisle, no color meets our sight.
Green and blue and yellow seem to have taken flight.
We use our toilet paper for what its created for
without the added problem of matching our decor.

My poem isn’t delicate, it mentions words like poo.
I hope this does not put off such proper folks as you.
You will perhaps forgive me for my word choice this one time,

for feces’s not poetic and caca doesn’t rhyme!

Prompt words for the day are color, optional, squeezable and quest.

12 Questions to Get to Know Someone (Answered)

This is an interesting set of questions the blog linked at the bottom asked us to answer.  Since they are things I’d like to think about, I’m going to try to answer them.


What keeps you up at night?  All of the things I still have left to do.  I hate giving up on the day because there are much more interesting and rewarding things to do other than sleep.

What’s the most surprising self-realization you’ve had? I have many negative impulses but just choose not to act on them. I am disappointed that I would even think of them, even though I know at heart I would never do them.

What’s the most illegal thing you’ve done? Driving as fast as my new Firebird would allow me to. I wanted to know if it would go as fast as the speedometer would register.  It did.  I can’t remember if it was 140 or 160 mph.  It was a perfectly straight divided road at night with no other cars on the road. I was very young.

What lie do you tell most often? That I’m going to start my diet tomorrow.

What do you regret not doing? Starting my diet six months ago.

What gives your life meaning? Writing and doing art.

What do you most often look down on people for? What do you think other people look down on you for? I look down on other people for cruelty toward others. Other people probably look down on me because I am overweight. Boy, I’m really on a roll here, aren’t I?

What bridges do you not regret burning? I don’t regret selling almost everything and moving to Mexico.

What are you most insecure about? My weight.

How do you get in the way of your own success? I don’t want to do things in the usual way.

What’s one thing you did that you really wish you could go back and undo? There was something I said to my boyfriend in high school that wasn’t true but I said it to hurt him. I wish I could take it back.  If he were still alive, I would do so. This was not an untruth I told him about anyone else. It was an untruth about how I felt about him. 

What are you afraid people see when they look at you? My grandmother.


Doling out the Punch


Doling out the Punch

If you construct your paradise at the cost of others—
build it on the suffering of children and of mothers—
do you really think that it is worth the cost
of creating your own heaven on what others may have lost?

You may feign indifference as you sally back and forth,
but do you really think that your soul’s increased its worth?
Do you even think of things like this as you amass
your fortune or is the very core of you this crass?

Heaven can’t be heaven, in fact it’s really wrong
if you don’t want to pull the least of us along
on your pilgrim’s progress toward riches and toward fame.
Life’s composed of more than making wealth a game.

It should be so obvious that it does not need telling
that happiness cannot be found in buying and in selling
so long as what you’re selling is the suffering of another.
Every nationality and race is still your brother.

How can you enjoy  riches and revel in it all
then seek to keep it for yourself by building up a wall,
hoarding all your plenty behind your man-made ridge?
Instead of building fortresses, we should build a bridge.

I know this has been said before, but still I must relate
all of this just one more time to our dense heads of state.
Some of us cannot believe that you have the nerve
to still be insisting that you are there to serve

as you grab all the pie and say there’s not enough
to share with the others because times are so tough.
What’s more, you try to get us to build your wall for you
so you can keep on doing all those shell games that you do,

insisting that we’ll profit by tax cuts for billionaires,
assisting all the bloodsuckers to become zillionaires.
Making up the deficits by cutting our security
and calling it entitlement? We question your maturity!

Are you simply spoiled boys playing with our nation?
Have you made a private playground of your God’s creation?
Do you get to pour the punch, determining the ration?
One percent is what you dole out for our satiation.

While you “one percent” gulp down all the ninety-nine
portions of the elixir that you find mighty fine,
children thirst and suffer. The homeless face the cold.
Have no doubt.  It’s our security that’s being sold!!!!


The prompt words today were lost, paradise, indifference and worth.

One Rhyme Friday: Rude Awakening


Rude Awakening

I must say that I don’t believe and in fact, I eschew
your variety of reasons for doing what you do:
cutting right in near the front of a lengthy queue,
breaking into conversations never meant for you
or gobbling down two cookies when there are just a few.
All of these rude actions are things that make me rue
the day that you arrived in town and first came into view.
You shuffled ‘cross the dance floor, doing the old soft shoe,
asked if you could have a dance and then commenced to woo.
Oh, if only that was something that I could undo!
I’m tired of your rudeness that you seem to do on cue
whenever there is someone interesting or new
that I’d like to get to know. You just don’t have a clue.
But stuff this in your big mouth, please, and then begin to chew.
You be the ass. You be the monkey. Be the kangaroo.
I no longer want to be the trainer in your little zoo!


Want to try doing a poem that makes use of only one rhyme?  Write one and send me a link to it in my comments.

Venetian Dreams


Venetian Dreams

The year we did the Grand Canal,
I came home feeling humble.
My own life just seemed so banal.
My dreams began to crumble.

My life was filled with piety
of very little note.
None of the notoriety
could my First Baptist quote

compared to all the beauty
I’d seen in St. Mark Square.
I felt it was my duty
to be living over there.

I needed no incitement.
My life here seemed so rote.
I needed the excitement
of traveling by boat.

Though it seemed an overindulgence,
I sought to be alone.
I needed the effulgence
of sun shining on old stone.

I could sell my small red Honda,
put my jewelry in hock.
(I had visions of a gondola
waiting at the dock.)

I imagined a “For Sale” sign
in front of my small home.
It seemed a “Get out of Jail” sign.
This housewife sought to roam.

If it sold within two fortnights
I could take off, traveling solo.
I could trade in Sunday sportnights
for a flight to Marco Polo!

I would feel I was at home again.
I’d missed the sights of Venice.
I wanted to be where I’d been,
free from all the menace

of getting three kids off to school
and ironing hubby’s shirts.
I sought to trade the Golden Rule
for romantic nights and flirts.

I’d give up school bake sales
for pannetone and gelato
eaten with Italian males.
“Me First” would be my motto.

I tried to conjure the Rialto,
but I saw the Bridge of Sighs
as my sound track’s rich contralto
assumed a different guise.

“Mommy, Mommy! was the chorus
of my shattered dream.
My stone fantasies were porous,
issuing a frantic stream

of nightmare shrieks and pleadings.
I started down the hall.
My daughter’s midnight needings
my most urgent call.

The canals were left in shambles
as verity flooded in.
So much for fantasy gambles.
My real life won again!

The prompt word today are canal, overindulgence and humble.