Words, words, words


It is now Spring and the ranch is alive with flora and fauna.
Quail, rabbits, robins, and towhees flit through our grassy
five acres sequined with apple blossoms, daffodils, iris, and pansies.
The deer and our four horses graze with an occasional nod toward
the rancher who carries her muckrake.  A flicker taps the top
of our horse shelter like a jack hammer then looks up.
The silence lingers.



August, the august month Augustus gave us,
Brings out the sun to warm our face
And calls for a time to be lazy.
Enough of a world so crazy
Just be lazy, like a laid down rake
Or children who lie on the lawn
And stare at the sky
To see nothing.

Leave the lawn alone, August says.
Doff your cares and the workaholic ways
That forced you into this trance.
Take a chance on happenstance
Be yourself in a world long gone.
Lie down on the lawn
To stare at the sky
And see nothing.


Lynn said...
It's trying real hard to become fall here in California, but not quite making it yet. We had ONE day of rain! One! And then back to near summer weather since then. ??? I am sure it's just around the corner. Enjoy yours!  October 20, 2010 7:21 PM 

Photo by Brian M. Biggs:
                                                                                            "A Maul and the Night Visitors"
                                                                                                        (Think Opera)

May 11, 2010

Today is Miss Xuan's birthday and in her honor I post this paragraph from my memoir:

The memoir covers the year I spent in Vietnam as a Marine Lieutenant and three return trips beginning in 2001.  During the Vietnam war I worked with Vietnamese school teachers and my return trips were to visit two of those teachers.  The following paragraph comes at the end of a chapter that chronicles my first meal in Miss Xuan's home.  It's July 1966 and Miss Xuan lives with her family in a small village north of Danang.  The meal is bun bo and after the meal I receive an old cobwebbed pepper mill as a gift because I admired its unique qualities.

"Miss Xuan and her brother walk me out to my jeep.  I wave goodbye and drive the bumpy road toward MASS-2.  I'll write a letter to my wife, I say to myself while I keep an eye out for anything unusual at the dark edges of the road.  I'll explain each detail of the evening.  I'll send the pepper mill home.  My wife will read the letter to our daughter and they will both enjoy my evening's experiences: the meal, the books on the shelves, the orangey brown color of the walls, the subdued lighting, the photos and miniature bananas on the altar, my pistol and web belt that sat too close to the altar, the dishes on the table, the celadon teacups, and the smiling, inquisitive, honey colored faces of my hosts.  This visit to the home of Miss Xuan was a gift, like the old broken and cobweb-strewn pepper mill that sits in my lap."

The Marigold

The marigold, so frail in early spring,
Becomes a blazing foothill full of color
To edge the garden by Midsummer's eve.
They suffer through the slugs of April's rain
And bloom those stunning orange cushions
So flamboyant in their simplicity.
Patula, Everett Dirksen's plant of fame,
Became his cause célèbre: "National Flower"
He argued in the House and in the Senate
For years and years and years to no avail.
But still these aphid blocking blooms
Give each of us a sun kissed smile.

         So, may the Senator's belovéd flower
         Aye, finally achieve its finest hour.

On Sunday, March 24, 2013 I read from my Vietnam story published in Crab Orchard Review at the "Artist Edge" Salon in Sandy, Oregon.

My piece is called "Lessons from Vietnam - The Crabs of Vung Tau"

To watch a video of the reading , it's the top one on the right.  Click the arrow.

Letter to the company known as John Deere:

Dear John Deere,

John, dear and loving husband that he is, or was, has gone off the deep end.  He no longer depends on me to nudge him out of bed in the morning.  He's so obsessed with his new riding mower, he gets up with the crows and marches out the door with his green John Deere baseball cap you sent him, the one with "Owner's Edition" embroidered on the side, and hops on his mower to cut the grass.  Oh, in case you aren't aware of your demon machine and its powers, Owen Case, the neighbor a half-mile to the east, is also obsessed with his John Deere.  What is it with men and their machines?  Deer used to roam through our property in the afternoon while I enjoyed a proper tea ceremony.  This was important to me, me being English and all. 

But no more.  John, with green hat on,
practically killed a fawn cutting the lawn
while the doe and I looked on.


  1. klowry_2@netzero.comMarch 31, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    Great video about the crabs and Vietnam!
    Was also great having you and Vicki over for Easter dinner.

  2. Thanks for checking out my Blog Phil. We loved the Easter Dinner. Next year we can all come out here and I'll do the plastic eggs. That could cost you a fortune.