hat if you are minding your own business and a curious stranger passes you by, carrying a sack that wafts a fragrance that strikes a chord — reminiscent of an intangible emotion; something distant, lost, perhaps never quite found. A mere aspiration. As evocative, perhaps, as a foreign market teeming with spices and intrigue. Would you be drawn out of your corner, that staid familiar spot you inhabit upon this globe, to chase an inexplicable aroma which has dazzled your olfactory senses? Might it compel you to pursue this cloaked mysterioso away from the light, away from the familiar, down gloomish twisty lanes of an alien corridor that seems to have cropped up alongside the paths to which you are accustomed? Could you find yourself swept up in a trek of discovery, exploring things that were hitherto unnoticed? Should you take a chance, trail an arcane personage, or heed the lifelong warnings against unknown individuals? Caution dictates to be wary of the odd. Yet what if serendipity awaits your footsteps? What if you know that everything could get better, or believe it will with all your heart? Would you risk departing from what’s safe and sound, what is sane and logical?

If not, what would it take to make you budge? A forklift or a crane? Some dire pronouncement of disaster? A windfall of fortune? A whim?

Perhaps the realization that the world is passing you by, and you have been stuck in a rut far too long. Shouldn’t that be enough reason or excuse to change, to at least improve? To tread beyond the boundaries, jar yourself from the frustration and stupor of everyday drudgery? But it isn’t that easy. No, it’s never that simple. We crave rites and rotes and allow ourselves to be corralled like sheep, told this is the way we’re supposed to do things. We become locked into patterns of existence so tightly structured that we fear a chain of elements would tip like dominoes if we made the slightest adjustment. Everything is so exorbitantly complicated. And for some, they have labored so long and hard to reach a certain level, to achieve a sense of sameness and security, that it would verge on lunatic to toss it away.

Most people, methinks, would rather play it prudent and conventional instead of divert from the tried and true course. It is way too easy to let time pass, keep doing what you’re doing, maintain the status quo. But before you know it, a whole chunk of life drifts past that you scarcely lived much less recall. You were too busy with the daily grind, working for a brighter future, waiting for things to improve. And you forgot what really matters, which is to be aware and endeavor to make the most of every moment. That is where life is real. In the present. Not the future and not the past. The future can give us hope. The past can furnish wisdom, connections, an identity. Or something to rise above and make us stronger. In the present is where we have the power to change. The chance to grow. The opportunity to love and give and fully live.

We need to be reminded that our hours upon this earth are limited. So here I am with my foolish prattle, going on and on about stepping outside your comfort zone, disrupting your ritual-oriented mind state, veering towards the unmundanities in life! Why must I persist in nudging you to be more and see more, to glee more and spree more, to feel free more? Because, because, because . . . now and then behaving a little lunatic or seeking better ways of doing things might be just the ticket out of the static psychosomatic compulsive ruts we have carved for ourselves! Be it work or play, virtual or reality, on a couch in front of the tube, in a bottle or some other obsession . . .

Perhaps because of a departure from the norm, we may stumble across a serendipitous chance at unanticipated good fortune. Would that be so dreadful? For some just a taste of adventure, a break from the regular routine would suffice. Ya never know . . . until you try.

So give it a whirl if your life is incomplete. Not happy or content. Wander off on some tangent compelled by your nose or your eyes or your ears; by your blood or your brain or your heart. If only for a moment. Open the door you’ve closed and locked tight with large bolts, a sturdy beam, the latest security device. Sure, sure, spy from the peephole and peek through a crack before unlatching the chain. Poke your head out a bit. Sniff the air for danger. Listen to your instincts. Don’t let down your guard. But take the first step. Take it. Stand poised on the threshold. The rest is up to you, whether to take a subsequent step or retreat to the familiar. Maybe where you are is where you belong. What you prefer. Maybe you’re just not ready for more.

Maybe I should mind my own business and write some new poems.



A chance encounter on a stodged day

When figurative briars had lost their sway

In a brief unfettered flash of scent

Did an ordinary moment transform to bent

For Gladiola Crumpet, who was not apt to drool

By a fragrant odor was reduced to a fool

She abandoned her direction with a screeching halt

Left her bike to rot on the bustling asphalt

Ignoring horns, angry voices upraised

The lady charged forth a little bit crazed

Rampaging after that delirious smell

Disregarding the tower that clanged a knell

Quite heedless was she to the ominous lurch

Of the ground across which the dame must search

Her nose in the air, snuffling like a bloodhound

Until the source of enticement was found

She arrived at a corner, peered every which way

The perfume had lingered; its source didn’t stay

A ski-masked thug tried to slow her down

Demanding her loot with a knife and a frown

She kicked his shin then elbowed his gut

Clubbed him with her bag and a keen “Tut-tut!”

Nice as you please, she stepped over him

Left him lying there as she marched off prim

While a meteor formed a crater nearby

A piano just missed her, dropped out of the sky

A parade balloon escaping dipped kind of low

So she waddled like a duck yet failed to slow

The bridge she crossed did contortions and wags

It collapsed behind her leaving dust and crags

But she never noticed as she stormed ahead

Finally catching up with a man called Ned

Whose chin was scruffy, his amble curved

And he clutched a prize that was undeserved

For he’d swiped the bag off a baker’s truck

A fresh cinnamon roll, it was just his luck

That Gladiola Crumpet had detected a whiff

Full of sweet nostalgia embracing her sniff

For she cherished the memory of a cinnamon bun

Capped by snow-white icing, how it smelled like fun!



Thus her crossing paths with a hungry thief

Serendipitously and beyond belief

Should lead them each to collide with Fate

Since the pair of them couldn’t bear to wait

To devour a bite fraught with pure delight

Of that gooey goodness clasped by Ned so tight

Both had rushed headlong into the fray

The commotion and furor of a doomful day

Yet neither heeded the calamities

Of a world around them rife with tragedies

They blocked completely what did transpire

Of curses and worses and events most dire

The bakery truck nearly ran Ned over

By a narrow miss was he not pushing clover

An electric line snapped and he almost fried

By a marginal distance he might have died

When a chef run amok waved a bloody cleaver

And a minister gone mad tried to make him a believer

By wielding a cross to pound his point

Casting acid rain to cleanse and anoint

There were frantic birds and manic squirrels

He was giggled at by a pack of schoolgirls

Then chased by a gaggle of elderly matrons

And jostled by exiting cinema patrons

All but trampled as locusts landed upon

Ned’s shoulders and head whilst traveling yon

A traffic cop whistled a blast in his ear

And a flame-throwing welder nigh gave him a sear

A computer hacker used a real axe

The plastic bits flew from rabid whacks

A shard struck Ned between the eyes

So his face was bleeding, yet to his surprise

Gladiola pasted a flowered bandaid

To stem the tide and a match was made

He offered half of the cinnamon roll

A true sacrifice not to gobble it whole

The sweetest gestures can be simple as this

A tender deed, a kind gift or a kiss

And off they strolled unexpectedly blessed

Sticky hands in hand, as you may have guessed.

the silence of the birds

Deep in a vale where the moon never shined

Lived a scurrilous sort whose stone heart was unkind

For he kept in his dungeon all manner of birds

In a darkness so dreary, there are no better words

Where it always was night to the poor little dears

Perched on worn furnishings, feathers dampened by tears

And not one made a peep, all were silent as death

Till it sounded too harsh to expel but a breath

No twitters, no warbles, not a song note was sung

Most forgot being a bird, they could trill with their tongue

So afraid of a quill-drop had the birdies become

That the thought of mere thinking struck all of them dumb

They were captive and broken, in spirit not wing

Abiding the gloom, throats unable to sing

Eyes adjusted to blindness, no glimmer in sight

Of the dawn or the sun, there was no trace of light


The lord of these birds was a drudge named Sneed

Whose motive that tweeting would make his nose bleed

Compelled him to hunt and incarcerate

All birds within ear of his decrepit estate

But an ornithologist chanced on the scheme

When plumes were found scattered as if from a dream

No birds could be spotted nor heard in a tree

As if none existed in reality

The intrepid birdwatcher arrived at Sneed’s door

And inquired if he’d seen a few birdies or more

Sneed was hiding a peacock behind his back

He had snatched from a meadow and stuffed in a sack

Then pulled out to toss in the dungeon at hand

The Twitcher was shocked when the peacock’s tail fanned

Burgeoning broadly beyond the man’s bulk . . .

The birds have been rescued and Sneed left to sulk.

poetic justice

There was a poet who lived to rhyme

In fact, she did it most of the time

Sunrise to sunset, the couplets flew

Till her face would puff and turn to blue

But one eve this lady could not end a verse

If she wasn’t a lady, you’d have heard her curse

Instead she decided to pace up and down

Which caused her face to get stuck in a frown

So then she resorted to eating crumbcake

But that tasted moldy and was a mistake

Spitting it out, she ran to the sink

Where she rinsed her mouth and still couldn’t think

The poet grew addled and flustered as well

So desperate was she that she rang a brass bell

To summon her muse from a comatose nap

Who was grumpy and bearded, yet a mischievous chap

“You need to drink vinegar, for that is a must!

It should help you think better, and clear out the rust!”

He cackled right merry, had a brief laughing fit

And snickered as he watched her gulp down quite a bit

The poet turned dizzy from revolving in circles

Then went through a series of tizzies and irkles

Her mind was too fuzzy to do more than whim

And the muse was amused that she listened to him

His next-best suggestion was to caw at the moon

Of course, she felt tipsy and collapsed in a swoon

He revived her by pouring cold milk on her head

She blinked and sputtered and with cookies was fed

Yet she couldn’t conclude that difficult line

Howe’er she might focus and whimper and whine

The muse trussed her up, then duct-taped her clam

He made a nice sandwich of butter and jam

Grinning, he ate it while she mumbled loudly

Mocking her fury, the fella sauntered off proudly

“You’ll get it one day!” Her muse waved toodle-oo!

He laughed and departed to sleep as he’ll do

The poet would manage to squirm from her rope

Ripping off tape, she stalked after the dope

He snored while she taped him, stamped FREIGHT on his brow

And shipped him to Eureka; he’s living there now.

~ Published ~
September 30, 2011

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