Category Archives: Money

NaPoWriMo 2015, Day 7: Filthy Lucre–Dropped Bills, Three Vignettes

Dropped Bill

It falls so easily from open purse or pocket,
unnoticed as you walk away;
and yet to the one who finds it,
such a gift.
A mere surprise, perhaps, baksheesh,
or a next meal they otherwise may have gone without.
Such a small joy for whomever finds it,
whether they pass it on or spend it soon.
Well worth letting a fiver drop by accident,
now and then, like a beneficent God
waiting to see what will happen.

Dropped Bill II

What passes more quickly or more often from hand to hand,
or has more life in it: oil from the fish and chips it purchased,
dirt from the field, lost signs of love?
Everything in life is pressed into the bills we pay
for most of what sustains us.
Yet we call it filthy lucre
as though these signs of life are bad.
Perhaps Shakespeare coined the term, regarding Shylock’s usury.
We’ll look it up after—both you and me.
But even if I’m right, now that I’ve written this verse and you have read it,
Bill Shakespeare may no longer have complete dominion
over our connotation of the term.

Dropped Bill III

King James version of The Bible (Titus 1:10-11), For there are many unruly and vain talkers and     deceivers . . . Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which  they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

Who knew there was a book in the Bible called Titus?
Not me, though I won the prize, week after week,
for learning the most verses in Sunday School.
True, I’ve forgotten much of what I once knew;
but I was a child who loved money,
hoarding my quarter allowance
in a large blue piggy bank,
and so I doubt an allusion to filthy lucre
would have passed me by,
even without Google to look up the word.
Surely some motivated teacher would have defined the word.
Then I would have known that the term “filthy lucre” was Biblical,
and let Shylock off the hook ever after–
applying it, ironically, to those like politicians
who, for the sake of filthy lucre,
do not pass bills.

The Prompt: Write about money! It could be about not having enough, having too much (a nice kind of problem to have), the smell, or feel, or sensory aspects of money. It could also just be a poem about how we decide what has value or worth.

To find out more about NaPoWriMo, go here:

When is Enough Enough?


This picture of the sunset a few nights ago is proof enough that the best things in life are free, but they are easier to enjoy when one is not hungry.

                                                          When Is Enough Enough?
To want all or to want nothing are both dangerous. Those who want all are the conquerors and exploiters and power lords who have brought the world to the state it is in today. They will exploit the poor and the weak but get their feelings of the most power from exploiting those equal to them in power. The world is a game to these people and we are all pawns.

But to want nothing may lead to despair. True, in a few holy men, it has been the path to enlightenment; but for those living within the world and not to the side of it, to want nothing can lead to apathy and powerlessness.

I think the secret lies in wanting enough and then wanting enough for others as well. This doesn’t have to be done by charity. It can be done by the way we vote, the way we treat our neighbors, the way we invest our money and the way we conduct our own businesses. It can be done by the way we bargain for a trinket on the beach or handle wrong change.

Sylvia Plath was probably correct in her statement, “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” When the richest woman in the world commits suicide or one of the richest men in the world gauges those living hand-to-mouth with unfair cellphone charges and policies, one has to wonder what great lack they are trying to fill and whether in fact they have any true take on what the world is really about.

Money Optional

The Prompt: Work? Optional!—If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?

Since I am already retired and spend most of my day making art and writing, I guess my answer is yes. I do it because I feel it is my reason for living and without that work, life seems to lose its importance. I do it because it forces me to look closer and to think more deeply. I do it pretty much every minute I’m not sleeping. Really, I always did what I wanted to do without taking into consideration what would sell and that still seems to be the case since I’m not getting wealthy on what I do, but I swore when I retired that I would stop doing all those parts of making art that I hated: the applying for shows, the promotion, the pictures, the resumes, the mailing lists. Now I just enjoy the creation and if I am sending them out to an unaccepting universe, nonetheless, I’m having the experience of creating, which any serious writer or artist will tell you is  the most important part and why we really do what we do.

Today is my 221st post, and since it is a short one, please scroll back and read an earlier post you haven’t read before and if you have the time, please comment. 

For instance, if you’d like to know why I ended up in Mexico, read this: Foreign Tongues or, if you want a love story with a happy ending, read this: The Ballad of Poor Molly.

Thank you for reading my blog.  Although yes, I do it for myself, I can’t help but feel gratified when others find what I write to be of consequence or enjoyable.  Judy

The Daily Post: The Windfall

Today’s prompt  was “Gone With The Windfall”:  You just inherited $1,000,000 from an aunt you didn’t even know existed. What’s the first thing you buy (or otherwise use the money for)?

The Windfall

Money money everywhere and not a drop to spend.
The tax men took so much of it, I thought they’d never end.
Then friends all asked me for a loan and how could I say no?
My brother’s operation increased the money flow.
My doggies needed flea baths. My kitty needed spaying.
My neighbor asked me for a loan. His fruit trees needed spraying.
My friendly local banker called me on the phone.
Not to ask for a deposit, but to ask me for a loan!
The plastic surgeon of my wife just put me on his dockets
which meant a lift  for me, of course, but simply of the pockets.
Now my kids all want new cars. My aunties prefer rings.
All of those that I hold dear now simply want new things.
When I try to talk to them, my words escape their ears.
They only want to talk about their loans now in arrears.
So when you ask me what I’d spend my million bucks on, friend,
my answer only takes one word, repeated end-to-end.
I’d lend and lend and lend and lend and lend and lend and lend.