Don’t Be Afraid To Cry

A large room with a window
Could have been a bedroom
Floor cluttered with shirts
New, men’s sport shirts
With designer logos
On left, chest pockets
Logos, of a Southwest
Native American talisman
Slow parade of unfamiliar
Men, of all persuasions
Came and went
Helped themselves
To expensive garments
From the window
My father’s face–reflected
Disappointment, sadness



Rained before dawn

It’s happened before

And, will happen again

Children wrote

Screaming letters

On flaming blackboards

With squeaky chalk

What a crazy dream!

Another busy Saturday

Yogurt samples everywhere

Not that I didn’t like yogurt

Freebies before

School term started

Great day for people watching

Parents, with kids in tow

Amazing–a parking place

Right in front of the store

Hidden between rows

Of five-gallon cans

Of pork and beans

I got what I came for

Dog treats and cheese





PROFITABLE: It sent all my kids through Smile School

Call 555-7149 or TXT BLG4SLE to 81235


A “For Sale” ad posted on the wall near the entrance of a local supermarket–except it wasn’t real.  It was in my dream early this morning.

The star of my dream was Emily, a character in Haverty’s furniture commercials.  Emily and Ned are newlyweds.  Somehow, they miraculously raised a family in a very short time frame.

My conversation with Emily started this way.  “The Green Mountains–are you familiar with them?”

“No–I’ve never heard of the Green Mountains,”  Emily answered.

“They’re in Vermont, I replied–dropping a hint.  “Sorry, doesn’t ring a bell.”

“Haven’t you heard of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys during the Revolutionary War?” I asked–getting frustrated.

Emily didn’t have an answer–appeared bored with my line of questioning.

“You surely have heard of Ethan Allen furniture–haven’t you?”

“Well–yes I have,”  Emily answered.  Ned, who had been quiet up to this point–nodded in agreement.

“It’s named after the same guy,”  I answered–breathed a sigh of relief.

Back to the real question–“Why are you selling your blog?”  I asked, somewhat puzzled.

“Ok–I just don’t need it anymore.  It’s cluttering up the house.  I’m much too busy these days,” Emily answered.

I liked Emily.  Once she made up her mind–that was the way things were going to be.

What in the world was “Smile School?”  It was too late to ask.




Too much of everything

For an insomniac at 3 AM

Every tick of the clock

Every house creak and crack

Amplified one hundred times over

Bizarre thoughts reigned supreme

Imaginary shadow puppets

From cast light reflections

Led parade marches through

Silhouetted towns and villages

One half of the world gone mad

While the other half–slept

With one eye opened


pope francis

The last time, it was Bob Dole, that crashed my dreams.  This morning, Pope Francis was there.  Along with some of the higher ranking cardinals on his staff.  I’m not Catholic, so I’m not versed in church hierarchy.

Right before, I woke up–they were in my bedroom; standing beside my bed, talking.  A flock (word choice?) of eight or nine cardinals, found room to mill about and chat.  My bedroom isn’t small, but it isn’t conference room size, either.

The group ran out of topics to discuss, made their way to the door.  It was a lot like, parishioners, departing, after regular Sunday Mass; complimenting the Good Father, for meaningful words, and wishing him well.

It was departing words, between Pope Francis, and his most-trusted staff member–that I found most compelling.  Right before exiting–Pope Frances, gave him a hug and said, “I love you. ”  The Cardinal answered–without hesitation, “I love you, too–Brother.”

Many people have no concept of what the word “love” really means.  The powerful four-letter word, pulsed through my body, like an electric shock.  No further explanation was needed.

At that moment, I knew Pope Francis’s words, were honest, genuine–from the heart.  I answered back, “I love you–Brother,” and meant every word.



“I had to meet you,” He said.

“Why?” I answered in amazement.

“Because, you’ve got more blog views, than I do.”

“I just don’t get it,” Bob Dole said.  “I was vice president and later ran for president.”

“I’m sorry, Senator Dole.  I really don’t know why, either.”

I liked the affable, former vice president and senator.  I’d never seen a more gracious political loser.  Why was he haunting my dreams?

“Is it Mr. Dole, or should I call you Vice President Dole, or Senator Dole?

“Oh heck, Son, I’m not in the spotlight anymore–just call me Bob.”

The picnic had to go on.  I needed to say something appropriate.

“Let me reiterate how important Bob Dole’s WWII generation was to me and other “baby boomers” like me.  You guys and gals taught us the value of hard work;  to respect others, the importance of family, and to honor our country.”

The weirdest part, I was making political speeches at a favorite childhood picnic spot–where two rural state highways intersected to form a “Y.”  The green space between the legs of the “Y” was perfect for picnics and family gatherings.  A tower in the middle had a rotating beacon light to direct aircraft.  Lighting for nighttime activities was coin-operated.

“And, furthermore, I want to thank our guest, Bob Dole–former congressman, senator, vice president, presidential candidate; you’re welcome to come back anytime.”

“Next time, bring hot dogs,” An anonymous comment came from the darkness.  “Some snacks would be good.” “Bring a roll of quarters–we can’t see you in the dark.”

I’d never met the man, before last night in my dream.  I never considered him to be a loser.

“Bob Dole, if you intend to hang out in my subconscious mind.  A little advance warning, please, before your next visit.”


overgrown barn

Pigeons roosted each night
Swallows nested over the door
Ruts from parked cars healed
Lush, green grass revealed
Memories faded from that day
The pain never went away

Auctioneer’s cajoled, hollered
Pride, dignity, sold for dollars
Family members worked the crowd
Hid, what they couldn’t say out loud
Somehow, all was well
Only time would tell

Rough hands that tilled the soil
Became tired from years of toil
Inner fires burned no longer
A family’s dream died that day
By pen stroke, signed away
The meadowlark still flew
Killdeer cried as if they never knew


–Image from Mike’s Look at Life,” original title “Overgrown Barn”