It’s gloomy and grey outside and not raining but the sky looks like it wants to. And it probably would if I stepped outside without a raincoat. You’d think the sky wouldn’t have a mean streak or sense of humor but I’m not convinced….

The pigeons are at the bird feeder in all their  Laurel and Hardy bumbliness. The least graceful of the birds they forget every day how to get into the bird table and flap frantically around several times before landing. I like when they miss and have to land in the grass and the expression on their face resembles mine when I stumble in a public area. Just keep going like no one notices…..or look back at the ground frowning fiercely…and THEN keep going like no one notices.

2019 came and went without much fanfare. 2020 will be marked (Barbara Walters memes already cropping up) but 19 seemed not to attract much attention. With the Madness of the Giant Cheeto constantly in the news, perhaps a mere new year got kicked aside like illegal detentions and collusion (old news) and people are more concerned with ….oh, I don’t know….the end of the world?


But here I am and here you are and the writing squeals for attention in the background even when I throw coats over it or move it to another room and lock the door. It’s who I am on a very basic level. Depression, despair, insomnia, worryworryworry, rememberwhenyou, the Fraud Police,….they all help in roadblocking but cannot be allowed to detour me forever. So….

Here I am in 2019. No resolutions really, just trying to be me in the best way I know how. Writing myself sane and being grateful to be able to do so. I will get back on the bird table no matter how many times I forget how and no matter how stupid I look when I miss. The important thing is to try. 


I’m glad you are all there. *waves*


and I bid you, as always, peace,


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Metamorph (or My Defense Against the Dark Arts #45)


I only noticed it when it was already grown thick enough to make my usual clothes unwearable,


Disgusted and fascinated both,

I ran an apprehensive hand across my midriff

and found my shell was smooth, nut hard

and pearly if you looked at the right angle…

In response I filled my dresser with lotions and lemon wax 

in case I needed to be shiny.

(there is nothing quite like that showroom finish…)

I was more heavily layered across my heart

which I suppose made sense.

Days passed and I watched the change slowly glaze over over me,
like syrup over a cold teaspoon,

and found it only speeded up when I read or watched the news,  

unlike poor Gregor

who metamorphed in one night.

Finally one day I was completely encased,

and my friends stopped trying to get me to a spa,

or a bar,

stopped saying,

“but you have a pretty face!”

And my mother decided the neighbors would talk anyway,

so the curtains were opened.

And I did crosswords with my shiny pointed pincer,

and learned the names of all the constellations as I lie 

on a thick furry rug under the window,

gazing out at the night,  

studying the stars,

and wondering if I was hard enough to reflect back

the lights in the sky.


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I hang limply,


without grace or charm of form,

around your neck,

and lurch in warning when your hand moves near.

I am no mere reminder for you

but a lifetime sentence.

 And I, 

the victim,

must serve it with you.


Some days you try to forget,

this feathered and boned necklace hunched across your neck.

And I try to forget too,

with my eyes tight shut,

pretending that your breathing is merely the swell of the sea…

Then you speak and break my spell.

Often you curse me,

as if I wasn’t already,

hanging under you

catching your breath, your dreams, your rages,

your fear…

wearing tracks along my curled and moldering form.

Your aim has damned us both,

and this exile is as far and as unforgiving as the sea…



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Millie Was Gray


“Millie was gray.”

“The two bitches was gold.”

The doors shut and the outside light slid over the train like vaseline

and nobody looked at anyone else

but everyone saw everything…

“Millie was gray.

The two bitches was gold…”

She had a head of ragged hair and a voice with a crack in the middle,

and her strange lit eyes never wavered from the space between her feet.

She sat,

repeating her lines,

in monotonous rhythm,

as the train played counterpoint.

Millie was gray…”

Ker thump 

Ker thump

“The two bitches was gold.”

There are rooms in trains and in boxes, 

and in alcohol wipe smelling corridors,

and inside heads,

that lead no where,

offer no exit,

and once inside let you bump endlessly into the walls

as you vainly try to progress.

While you remember that you have a destination…

Ker thump 

Ker thump

“Millie was…”

Watching the light tap the windows as the train accelerates,

anxious for the last lap,

gathering up newspapers and coffee cups

and confusion and broken bits of words and 

jettisoning them at the station.

The unseen wall still there,

still taking the battering,

still allowing no escape.

“Millie was gray.”


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This Strange Place


It’s a strange place, 

that louring sky and expansive sand swept landscape

 inside my head.

Where no one sits and sings, 

or bakes cakes,

or watches leaves turn colors,

or laughs.

Where nothing ever changes and no one ever wins…

no one plays at all.

A space kept blank and bland

with no moving parts or beating heart,

no favorite candy bar,

no late night thoughts.

It should be a clean place,

it should be,

but instead it’s greasy to the touch,

and rough on the lungs

 like breathing steel filings.

And it’s no wonder 

that no one wants to live here,

but the more I try to avoid it,

the fuller and more clamorous it gets.

And I have been cast,

by myself,

in the part of constant smoother

and placator,

to save anyone else

the rasp and sting 

of this strange place…




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The Elephants Graveyard

It’s a new moon in the elephants graveyard,

and the procession approaches with a thudding grace

 felt underfoot,

a ripple along the viscera.

And the trees rise black and sharp against the pewter sky,

and the bones

lie piled in solemn spacings,

all deckled edges and memory pressed,

as the moon stands silent sentinel overhead.

It’s a new moon in the elephants graveyard

and the packed earth rumbles in recognition

as the memory keepers close around.

The wise eyes dark with the burden of years,

the air full of tears and longing, 

even the hills sigh as they pass,

the ghosts following like pale mourners,

and the morning will rise only after it is certain,

that their time of committal is done.




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Some new friends for Mr Fray

#sendmeyourfaces  #friendsofmrfray



image1Mr Fray in artwork!


‘Mr. Fray’ is available at Amazon the world over!

and don’t forget to… 


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