Category Archives: Fortunate Mistakes

To Reach for is Not To Reach

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When fate makes a fissure, we’ve three ways to go.
One is acceptance, another is woe.
But the third is to shatter the old status quo
by using the break as a window to show
a new direction where we may go
to learn what before we had no way to know.
What makes a man’s life is what’s beyond his reach.
Why stop at a wall when you could make a breach?
What today is impossible may be the goal
for a man with a chisel who carves out a hole.





Everyone must know a joker––
plotter, trickster, laugh-provoker
who doesn’t know quite when to stop.
Who needs, in fact, a humor cop
to tell him when he’s done enough––
pulled his ultimate ruse or bluff.

The dribble glass, the rubber poop
placed upon your house’s stoop?
Definitely adolescent
if not actually prepubescent.
Yet still this buffoon thinks he’s funny.
With lists of jokes, he’s over-punny.

Every occasion, every rumor
is met by him with off-base humor.
It’s his role to create sensation
in the most serious conversation.
Exploding cigars, salty gum,
whoopee cushions ‘neath your bum.

No matter how you beg this friend
to bring these antics to their end,
he never seems to listen to
what he’s requested to “not” do.
so when he streaked my garden party,
elegant, refined and arty,

he finally found himself undone
when he’d half-completed his naked run.
Dear friend, when you chose where you stepped,
you should have veered or should have leapt.
When he replaced your rubber poo,
my dog just pulled a joke on you!

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The prompt today is “Joke.”


Lost: The Ones That (Fortunately) Got Away

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Out of Reach.” Write about the one X that got away — a person, an experience, a place you wanted to visit.


The one or two who got away
I’ll not call back another day;
for, compared to all the rest,
it seems I got to keep the best!


Though a poetry press was up my alley,
I never saw a single galley;
for the editor did not choose me
though I thought the  job was meant to be.

I decided to go back to college
to get some other sort of knowledge.
Met the editor’s wife in my first class,
who professed her spouse to be an ass.

Art took the place of words for years,
as I happily changed gears;
for although the poetry press was hot,
it seems the editor was not!


The pounds I lost over the years
have lived up to my greatest fears.
They decided they would all come back.
Have old home week. Rejoin the pack!

But I will not give up the fight
to try to curb my appetite.
I buy these capsules that are magic–
a spell against an outcome tragic.

Expensive?  Yes.  But worth the cost,
to keep at bay those pounds  I lost!


Our Own Little Universes: Pains, Rips, Stars, Itineraries and Insights

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Our Own Little Universes: Pains, Rips, Stars, Itineraries and Insights

Yolanda and Pasiano must have thought I was crazy when I started packing a week ago for my 2 month trip to the beach. First, all of my clothes piled on the bed in the spare room, then art and jewelry-making supplies piled on one end of the other bed, computer and photography needs piled on the other end. Bags full of other art supplies. Then two days ago, little piles of spices and kitchen tools, canned goods, disinfectant for fruit and veggies, bags of papers I’ve been wanting to sort for 13 years. (There will be time at the beach, where I know no one.)

But now it was the night before and with the car mostly packed with suitcase and bags, I still had hours more of sorting and packing to do. I knew it would probably mean a late night, and I’d have 5 or 6 hours of driving to do. Could I get enough sleep so I wouldn’t be driving sleepy, by myself, with no one to spell me?   I have been rushing around trying to get dozens of details finished before I leave and I was so tired last night, with still a half-dozen things to do, that it occurred to me that there was no law decreeing that I have to leave today!!!  So, I’m putting off leaving until tomorrow morning. That way I can finish packing at my leisure, sort out what I’m doing re/ the illustrations for the book and whether to take the scanner or not and get a full night’s sleep before driving to La Manz.

I don’t know why I get these mind sets about how things “have” to be done.  Such a relief and so glad I decided to do this because I was up three times with severe leg cramps during the night–sometimes both ankles, once my inner thigh and opposite ankle…Such agony that a hot shower couldn’t ease. If I had neighbors, they’d think I was either having the best sex of my life or that someone was killing me, because I was moaning and screaming out at great volume!  Then I thought to get in the hot tub and they eventually eased.

The third time this happened, about an hour ago, I almost fell asleep in the hot tub, but woke up, thought I needed to get out, and glanced up to see the quarter moon perfectly centered through a tear in the umbrella I’d positioned over a side of the hot tub.  You know what happened.  I had to get up, naked, dripping, cold, and go get my camera and then back into the hot tub to try to capture that phenomenon.

Dozens of shots later, with flash and without, I’d gotten a few barely effective shots, but realized how these pains of life sometimes lead to highly personal insights and experiences, so although the camera did not catch exactly what I’d experienced, my mind and memory had, and it might be that thing I remember in my last hour or last moment and gain strength or hope from.  So intimate, these night experiences with ourselves.  Those times when we realize we really are our own universes.  Our own little gods, having the final power over ourselves.

In short, although if I thought I had to drive alone to La Manzanilla today, I’d be so worried that I would fall asleep at the wheel, instead I don’t have to worry.  I can do my final packing today and then get a good night’s sleep.

I’ll leave tomorrow.

Life Is Too Short to Be Afraid

Staid: adjective: sedate, respectable and unadventurous. “staid law firms”
synonyms: sedate, respectable, quiet, serious, serious-minded, steady, conventional, traditional, unadventurous, unenterprising, set in one’s ways, sober, proper, decorous, formal, stuffy, stiff, priggish

Life Is Too Short To Be Afraid

Life is too short to be afraid,
caught, traditional and staid,
serious, steady, lacking flair,
always well-clothed and never bare.
We were not meant for formal fare,
pinched and tucked with perfect hair.

We’re meant to flap and drag and wear
with tattered bits and unkempt hair.
Life’s meant to mess us up a bit
as we make use of all of it.
Not just the parts traditional,
decorous and conditional.

Take a chance to win or fail.
Face the flood and face the gale.
Jump right in with both your feet
when adventure you chance to meet.
Go out to meet the world with grace,
hand extended, face-to-face.

In this great apple called mankind,
live in the fruit, not in the rind.
In the messy, fragrant, toothsome center
be an enjoyer, not a repenter.
Buy life full-price and not on clearance.
Live on the pith and not appearance.

For all too soon it will be over.
That field you rolled in, full of clover,
will sprout small stones that bruise your spine.
The rich mussels on which you dine
will be something you’ll have to pass
for fear that you might suffer gas.

The places where you want to go
can’t be got to when you’re slow.
You won’t have the energy
to travel fast and travel free—
to hitchhike, backpack, hop a train
when you have rheumatism pain.

So gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
“Real” life will wait another day.
Be silly and take chances now.
Forsake the contract, pledge and vow.
Too soon the walker and the cane.
You never will be young again.

The Prompt:No Time to Waste—Fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.” Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion.



Sticking to the Text

The Prompt: Bad Signal—Someone’s left you a voicemail message, but all you can make out are the last words: “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.” Who is it from, and what is this about?

“Corpus linguistics reflects the shift in academic focus from the brain
to the text as the appropriate source of information.”

Sticking to the Text

Mister tall, dark and handsome has left me in the lurch,
standing at the altar in my little hometown church.
My friends are all around me and my niece clutches her flowers.
The guests have entered all their pews ‘neath ribbon-bedecked bowers.
My bridesmaids stand around me in their pastel-colored gowns,
My father close beside me, all their faces swathed in frowns.

I have my cellphone with me in a special little pocket
sewn into my wedding dress beneath my granny’s locket.
It buzzes reassuringly. I know it is my love.
I fumble as I strip my hand of bracelet and of glove.
I reach into my bodice and switch my cellphone on.
I notice that my mother is looking sort of wan.

I ask at once if it’s my groom and if he will soon come.
“The guests are restless, dear, I say, and father’s looking glum.”
But it is not my true love talking. Rather, it’s his brother.
(The one I’ve always loved the most, though I would wed another.)
He voice-texts me he’s sorry, but I’m making a mistake.
His brother’s a philanderer, a scoundrel and a rake

who really loves another­—a lowlife moll named Ruth.
He says he’s tied him up for now ‘til I can hear the truth.
Their plans are just to bilk me, to steal my money and
make off with it together once he has claimed my hand.
He’s so sad he has to relate this, he tells me with a sigh.
“I should have told you months ago,” he adds, and then says, “Bye.”

The guests sit in stunned silence, for they’ve all overheard.
I hear a mourning dove call out—a most appropriate bird.
My father begins sputtering. My mom says not a word.
My bridesmaids begin fluttering. The day has turned absurd!
I hit “reply” upon my phone and hear it dial him.
It rings and rings and with each one, this day becomes more grim.

But finally he answers and I ask one question of him.
I ask him what his motives were and tell him that I love him!
He answers that he loves me, too, but never guessed the truth.
To take away his brother’s girl just seemed to him uncouth.
But now that he’d found out their plan, he couldn’t let me wed him.
He couldn’t stand to see me say my vows to him and bed him!

I asked him where he was just as he walked right up the aisle.
And love suffused my body to replace the shame and bile.
It mattered not a whit to me my groom had found another,
for I found a happier ending when I hitched up with his brother!
I’ll just let your imagination guess what happened next.
Just let me say I’ve always preferred sticking to the text!


D-Picted (X-Rated)

                                                                               D-Picted (X-Rated)

I was taking my daily sunset walk on the beach at La Manzanilla, Mexico when I came upon this idyllic scene. He was sipping a margarita and staring out to sea as the water ebbed and flowed—never reaching higher than his chair bottom. Of course, I had to comment.


“Is the view good enough for you?” I queried, with a noticeable lack of originality.

“Do you want to see for yourself?” he asked. He quickly rose from his chair and motioned for me to take his place, taking my camera from my hand as he handed me his Margarita.


He told me to look his way as he turned the tide by taking a picture of me, and so I didn’t see at first a part of the landscape obvious in this next picture.


But as often happens in an evening tide, that object quickly washed ashore to enter my picture,


and quickly dominate it.


The End

(I promise.  This was not a staged incident.  It happened exactly as I describe it with no prompting by me.  I love getting out in the world.  No imagined story ever duplicates what happens in real life!!)

The Prompt: Edge of the Frame—We often capture strangers in photos we take in public. Open your photo library, and stop at the first picture that features a person you don’t know. Now tell the story of that person.

Special Note to viewers of my blog:  Please also see the next posting “Sur-Prize” to enter a contest celebrating my 10,000th viewing.

Delayed Happy Ending

Delayed Happy Ending

Chick flicks of old all told about
mistakes that somehow all turned out.
There every moment led to the next.
One day, the thing that had them vexed
inevitably turned and turned.
The swollen nose, the fingers burned,
led to the clinic in the end
where “she” ran into a long-lost friend
who asked her to be wined and fed
along with “the one” she later wed.

This tale, however, is not my own.
For once, my inspiration’s flown.
This is the prompt I cannot take,
for if I’ve made a good mistake,
I find I can’t remember it.
My memory box has up and quit!
Bad ones? Yes. I’ve made them all.
The step that led me to a fall.
The boyfriend stalker, the friend who turned.
The candle lit, the finger burned.

Decisions made can’t be controlled.
Not all straw can be spun to gold.
I’ve drunk the milk and smelled the flower
with the bee inside. The milk? Turned sour.
I can’t remember a single time
when my mistakes have turned sublime,
yet I don’t believe all luck is rotten
I probably have just forgotten.
So if you know me, remind me, please,
of those times my sour milk turned to cheese.

If you do, I’ll write the theme
suggested to me, ream on ream.
(Or at least a stanza or a line.)
But remember, the story must be mine.
I need reminding, I know I do,
of the time fate dropped the other shoe
and turned mistakes into success—
made happy endings out of some mess
or corner I’d painted myself into.
Come on, dear friend, give me a clue!!!

Today’s Prompt: Favorite Mistake. Is there a mistake you’ve made that turned out to be a blessing—or otherwise changed your life for the better? Tell us all about it.