What Did Lingonberries Have To Do With Anything?

Heads with nothing in them
Had lots to say
Why were days so long?
Why did all my friends
Have white beards?
No answers
Only groans–and
Excuses for puns
Stand up straight
For perfect pasta
Iraq, paper, scissors
Down bubble, half-bubble
Lingonberries were a
Big thing in Sweden
Or so, I’ve heard


Breaking News

I was bored in a small town
All my friends were bored
In their own small towns
Were you bored
In your small town, too?
Abysmal, but not unusual
In Anytown, USA
Mr. and Mrs. America
We interrupt this
Magical scene
For more primal screams
Confusion, delusions, delights
Live, in your living rooms
Endless power struggles
Ratings sweeps weeks
New developments
With more to come later
Your indulgence begged
Breaking news?
Small towns
Weren’t that bad
After all




Looked Good On Paper

Sandwich generation
Played on rock piles
Squirrels circled tree
Trunks to evade predators
Words wrapped around
Page after glorious page
Returned to the beginning
Got to be rights
Didn’t have much time
To prepare actions, overreactions
Poised on limestone embankments
Dunce caps ready
Tried to act surprised


What If…?

Truth became untruth
Along debris-strewn
Potholed streets
Confidence bashed
To smithereens
Meaning, rendered
Second guessed
What if this or that
Happened instead?
Would outcomes
Have been different?
“What if” games
Short trips
To madness



Of One Mind

She said nary a word
As to what were her plans
Could this be a trap?
For late-bloomers
Said those with
Closed-minded attitudes
She shrugged off skepticism
No, not in these latitudes


Twenty-First Century Good Fellas (Updated)

“I really like you kid; in an appropriate, non-gender specific sort of way, of course,” Said Sal.

“Jimmy, you’re gonna’ go places if you follow a few ground rules.”

“What do you mean, Boss?” Jimmy asked.

“It means you have to change your ways of doing business. You can’t go around cracking coconuts–like you did with Herman the German. So what if he didn’t sell, locally grown, sustainably produced agricultural products?

“Where was your empathy? Why, in the old days, I woulda’ head-slapped you already. I’m going to be more sensitive and give you one more chance. Don’t screw it up.”

“Don’t thank me. Thank Big Eddie for bailing you out.”

“Eddie, what the hell are you doing? I’m braggin’ on you and you’re falling asleep on me?”

“Sorry Boss, I was meditating,” Eddie answered. Sal’s face was beet red.

“Do your meditating somewhere else–on your own time.”

Big Eddie hadn’t been the same since bariatric surgery–in a quest to become “Not-so-big-Eddie.” Last night at Luigi’s he’d ordered vegetarian lasagna. Lucky for Eddie, Sal hadn’t noticed. Eddie’s Yoga classes would have been the last straw.

“Don’t neither of you lunkheads get too comfortable. I’m not done talking.” Sal was on a roll. Big Eddie craved a fresh-fruit smoothie in the worst way, but kept quiet.

“This business has changed. Think of what we do, as Sal’s Security Services. I want you two guys to become security consultants. Instead of intimidation, arm-twisting and gourd-cracking, you’ve got to play to people’s fears and anxieties.”

“It’s like being a bartender. Bartenders listen. You should say things like, ‘How ya’ doin’ Pal? What can I help you with? That’s a tough break. I’m here for you.’ Listen to people, be sensitive to their needs. Even if you don’t feel like doing it.”

“They sell salty snacks at bars; and how about salty, movie theatre popcorn?” Do you two, knuckleheads have any idea why they do that? Sorry, that was insensitive of me. Do either of you two gentlemen have any idea why they do that?”

“So, they can sell more drinks, Boss.” “That’s right, Jimmy. Keep thinking that way, and I’ll keep you around. Think of people’s fears as salty snacks. We will quench their security needs–just like those, 64 ounce, refreshing, cold drinks.”

“Big Eddie, you’re lookin’ good. You’ve dropped some weight, got those double chins tightened up.”

“Thanks Boss,” Eddie answered. “Still got a ways to go.”

“Jimmy, stop wearing that stupid baseball cap turned around backwards. We’re professionals–want people to like us.”

Both of you could stand to be more sensitive.  Jimmie and Eddie looked as if they’d been shot.  Sal fractured many bones over the years–none of them sensitive.

“Next week you’re both going to sensitivity classes.  Don’t look at me that way.  If you want to work for me–you’ve got to go.”

Sal, alleged, but never convicted, wise guy, became Sal–mentor, philosopher, proprietor of Sal’s 21st Century Security Services.  That was then, this was now.

Jimmy and Eddie looked spiffy in their new, dark green uniform shirts.  Eddie sighed, contemplated going home to play with Biff, his new boxer puppy.


More Tales From New Oyster Cloister

Not much good news lately. There are other headlines, however. Here are a few.

  • Where Gordon Ramsay will never eat.
  • Mysterious uranium particles found in Alaska
  • Amy Schumer wed secretly
  • Most Americans were in debt
  • Why most freezers didn’t have lights
  • Losing an aircraft engine in flight was no big deal
  • Sixteen vacation ideas for introverts
  • Still more cute toddler and pet pictures

The author reserves the right to complain about anything, and everything at any given moment.  There were no implications of interest, admissions of guilt, in any of the above topics.