Retirement is becoming a more common word in my vocabulary.  A lady, met on-line, retired from her elementary school teaching job.  Upon which, I wrote this for her:

Let us all gather for a great big cheer.
It's been a long, happy, rewarding career.
Many a child was given a good start.
For each of them got a piece of your heart.

It was not a sacrifice, trying at times.
For the world to function, it takes all kinds.
And those kinds had to be mentored and nurtured,
To have any hope for a bright, new future.

So a big door is closing, there is no going back.
But the memories will linger, for there is no lack.
A new door is opening, it is shrouded in haze.
But I'm sure, like you, it will never cease to amaze.



It came to be my daughter’s birthday. As a present I wrote:

Conceived in love, let loose to live.
Thrown to the world, transformative.
Gather experience, take strength.
Generate an effect, at length.

Do not forget, be sure to play.
Take every chance, along the way.

Money and jewels, items of kings.
These aren't counted, when the world sings.

Look inward, what your heart can give.
Conceived in love, let loose to live.


Finally finished the third “snow” poem from my December drive. Enjoy.

December Snow
Time for another trip.
The studs are mounted and ready to go.
I noticed they weren't presenting themselves
With as much enthusiasm and confidence as I would like.
The sky was not overly threatening.
The roads were clear.
I didn't feel rushed to finish the loading
And there were a few stories still to be spilled.
I'd be gone for awhile and miss the Christmas season
With these folks.
I lingered.
The light snow that began to fall
Was easily ignored by pulling on another yarn.
Yes, I know, the car doors were still open.
At some point you couldn't be ignored.
Was that at the first inch or the second?
Everyone helped me throw your snow out
and the rest of my things in the car.
Time to go.
Well, actually, I should have gone with the earlier time.
There were two passes to pass
And too many miles to go too slow.
Luckily, the snow plows were doing their job.
So sorry, but you wasted a dump.
Over pass one and over pass two.
Not the fastest but not too slow.
But now what?
Light, fluffy snow that billows as I drive by.
And by billow, I mean you can't see a thing when behind a truck.
Who needs to see?
Stay in the left lane, zoom by
And you are in the clear.
And repeat.
And you develop a feeling.
Like I'm feeling the force of this billowing cloud
Pushing me to the left.
I can now hear/feel the rumble strip.
BTW, for anyone not awake, this would be a good time to open your eyes.
I am now presented with a decision.
Is that trucker really trying to put another notch in his belt?
Do I slam on my brakes, remembering the snow, ice and that I can't see?
Or do I accelerate, remembering the snow, ice and that I can't see?
Studs are not born, they are made.
I'm going to look you in the eye
Or at least in the direction I think the eye of your storm is,
And say bring it on, I'm motoring on.
I won.
But I bet we'll meet again.



Progress is being made on the big adventure, however there is a delay. I can be of value helping my brother move, so I am. Also, I have a Black Belt review coming up at the beginning of March. It is a two day affair. I’m thinking I need to put in some serious preparation time. Good thing I’m retired. Besides working hard I’m going to squeeze in more and longer trips to the studio in Salt Lake City.

Speaking of which, I just ran down there for a couple of days of lessons. I used the opportunity to finally, actually sign up with Airbnb. Then I looked for places. What choices. I chose a place to try to maximize the chance of an adventure, a goat farm. Here are some pictures and the entry I left in the guest book.

If you need an Airbnb stay
And want to mix in some hay.
Then you have to try Jayme’s place
Where she has made you space.
Head out and enjoy the big town
Or just get out and look around.
Hear the grunts, barks, baas and clucks.
The only thing missing are some ducks.
But there is a wildlife area past the rear
Adding up to a stay that is superior.



So, it is over with Ell. Time to get back to work.
Like a kid with a new toy, I am now a “poet”. Which means I have to be a poet.
Over the next few weeks I insert poems into initial greetings. I’ll share a few below, but basically I want to say they had no effect, which is not to say they didn’t have a bad effect. No response from any of these. I don’t do this anymore.  You’ll be shaking your head, but all of these were written within some context of their profile.  I had to show how clever I could be.

Is your intuition still on high?
For you, I am just not the right guy.
Or are you holding back on the start?
Of what could be a path to your heart.
Didn't your Mother say,
Dark alleys and gutters, you should not stay.
Wasn't she very clear,
Fun at first, but what came of too much beer?
Oh, hello again.
It is nice to see
My young friend from the
State of Hawaii.

Most people are jealous
Of what you do not miss.
Searching, searching all over
Where is the state of bliss?
A cricket is an odd creature
To think that it is a feature.
Small and hard and black and shiney
Folks want to render it slimey.
Then there is the music to hear.
Quite the enjoyment to be near.
They are an interesting class.
Specially if you are a bass.



I’m going to meet Ell. Butterflies. I walked up to the door. It opens.
I’m shocked, instantly.

Now my friends all know that I have many a fantasy running in my head. I want the world to be one way, it is another.

Please, please, please do not misunderstand. Ell has never said an unkindly thing. Her work is probably saintly. Via email, text and phone she has inspired me in my poetry.

Call me a hypocrite for claiming tolerance. I have issues over weight and so does she. Mine are psychological, hers are physical. Sorry, but she does not look like her pictures. I stumble through the day. She is a perfect hostess. I am a perfect gentleman. I’m chastising myself to look past this one issue. I try. Being a coward, I never address the elephant in the room (now stop that, not her, the issue). Eventually, I leave diplomatically.

I called back from the road. It was a long drive back home, real long.
Let us say we had a disagreement over the situation, with her pointing out some of my shortcomings. She scored some points by reminding me I could not see the future and what her intentions were. I was suffering from cognitive dissonance.

Over the next several days we talked. She tried very hard to recapture the past and convince me of the future, which included the two of us together. I wrote her:

Life is a jumbling, tumbling mess,
Where we honestly try our best.
But that is not always enough,
To bring all of us through the tough.
And end in a jumbling, tumbling mess.

In the end, amazingly, we stayed friendly. I kept corresponding with her both as a friend and as my “poetry editor”. I continued writing and she continued to like everything I wrote.

And then one day she called with awful news.  She had been diagnosed with cancer.
Please, meaning no disrespect, but I’m going to skip ahead to: she was treated successfully.

During this time an amazing thing happened. She reached out to a very old friend, who turns out to have always had a flame for her. He was available and willing to come help her through this tough time. He did. They decided to get married. He bought them a house on the lake.

I’ve never heard from her since.

I sent her this poem. I don’t know if she liked it:

Two fast sailing ships met on the sea.  
The SSA and the SSB.             
Both courses were running parallel.
So close, being spotted on each swell.

Long from port, long at sea    
Enjoying each other’s company.   
Swapping stories, comparing sights,   
Happily they passed through the night.    

With busy crews and too much sea.  
Back they went, on with their journeys. 
Often the case, noted in the logs.
They drifted apart, lost in the fog.  

Many storms later, beaten by the sea.  
With places they would much rather be. 
Being plagued by alternate visions,             
Wondering which were the right decisions. 

A harsh mistress they say of the sea.  
How can it make anyone that happy.   
But luck and the right currents and winds,
What was lost may be recovered again.   

Thus written is one legend of the sea.
When the SSA re-found the SSB           
Joyous celebration was the report. 
Now they reside in the same small port.