As a youngster I thought I had
convinced my grandmother
to one day entrust me with
the old family recipes, since
my mother wanted little to do
with the kitchen and less with
anything that came from “there.”
It was a bit of a shock to learn
years later that grandma was
born in London, that her mother
shared my mother’s dislike
for the kitchen and both favored
take out whenever possible.
She did finally share her specialties
which I carefully wrote down
for posterity, only to discover
that someone in the family
was named Betty Crocker.
When you ask me of the sea,
living, as I do, fifteen miles
from the nearest ocean, it
is not the sandy beaches
of Hutchinson Island I recall,
nor the crowded sandbox
that is Fort Lauderdale’s beach.
If you ask me of the sea,
it is perched on the horizon,
far in the distance, looking
out of the kitchen window,
or perhaps that of the library,
over the yard, with its
deflated soccer ball,
the fence, and finally
to the Irish Sea, cloud
shrouded at the horizon.
This is what Lloyd George
saw each day, so it is
little wonder eschewed
burial in London or even England
for this hidden estate in his
beloved Ty Newydd in Wales.
First published in Dreich, Issue 10, Autumn 2020 (Scotland)
I am compiling a list, ever so slowly,
of places I still want to visit,
and you may be surprised to find
that Paris, London and Madrid
are nowhere to be found.
It isn’t that they lack beauty, charm
and countless things to see and do,
it is simply that they have been usurped
by other places commanding my attention.
I’ve been to Zeeb and Pawpaw, if
driving by on the interstate counts,
and I am certain in Michigan it must,
but I do need a good laugh at times,
and Yeehaw Junction just might
satisfy my need perfectly, and, failing
that, there is always Surprise and Carefree,
and if I want to lose myself for a while
Nowhere is waiting patiently for me,
although I have heard it’s a bit hard to find.
No, what I really need is Happy Corner,
and from there, as I age I know I must
eventually, end up in Truth or Consequences.
Charing Cross Road
cramped sagging shelves
an out of print
slim, collected works
a damp chill
enfolds old leather
as the door opens
and shuts on
a late February.
Morning, my purchases
sink in the plastic bag
dancing as I walk
to the tube
at Leicester Square
with my new gems
destined to cause
in my bookcase.
A fog settles in over High Wycombe
gray clouds shroud a full silver moon
great beasts, sinews drawn tight,
ready to spring forward,
instead crawl along the motorway,
the faint lights of London cast
a glow to the sky, my breath
seems phosphorescent, falling
coating the grass, stiff in the breeze.