Saving the World

We spent Thanksgiving with Studly Doright’s family in Hereford, Texas. Studly’s mom, Saint Helen, lives on the outskirts of town in a pleasant home with a generously sized backyard. The yard is decorated with a variety of cute gnomes and small plaster animals that have always delighted her great grandchildren.

Our youngest granddaughter, Harper, invited me into her world of make believe in this backyard paradise, telling me that a bad villain had taken over the world and turned all the real gnomes and animals into statues. Only by defeating this villain could we bring the statues back to life.

Five-year-old Harper launched an impressive attack on the villain using a mix of martial arts and boxing, admonishing me to stay out of the fight unless things looked really dark. At one point she staggered back and urged me to enter the fray.

I must say I was something of a whirling dervish, kicking and clawing at this imaginary bad guy. I threw in a few impressive head butts and Harper said, “Nana, you can stop. You won several minutes ago.”

“Harper!” I exclaimed. “We did it! We saved the world!”

In her most serious, matter of fact voice, Harper replied, “Of course we did.”

We then went around the yard waking up all of the animals and watching them reanimate.

“They’re all alive now,” she smiled. “Well, except this one. He’s still headless.”

I guess we didn’t save everyone, but we came so close.

Peace, people.


squares within squares
within squares
and on into

stare tunnel-ward
feel the draw of hyperspace
or shrink into
nothingness, as near
as possible

at the epicenter
just a dot stands guard;
a placeholder
hinting at the end of
this world

or a precipice
into a universe beyond
tunnel’s end
oh, such exquisite

I’m no artist, and that’s probably why my time fiddling with an Etch-a-Sketch consisted primarily of drawing decreasing squares until I could go no further. The resulting tunnel provided countless hours of contemplation for me as a child. I’m either incredibly imaginative or unbelievably dull.

Peace, people!


When I was diagnosed with having a slight case of cancer several years ago, my imagination ran wild. “What if” became my go to sentence starter: What if it’s worse than they think? What if it’s spread? What if I die? What if our insurance doesn’t cover everything?

In many ways the “what ifs” were worse and more debilitating than actually having cancer. 

After my lumpectomy when a beaming surgeon told me that everything looked great the “what ifs” took a big break. Now my imagination could be used for good and not for evil. That came in handy when I began the tedious process of radiation therapy.

Every weekday for six weeks I had to lay completely still for 15-20 minutes while a machine slowly rotated around my upper torso delivering carefully measured doses of radiation. My view was lackluster, featuring yellowing acoustic ceiling tiles and one small poster of a forlorn looking puppy with a sappy saying printed underneath.

During my first couple of radiation treatments I imagined I was sunbathing on a favorite beach in Florida. But without a book sunbathing is no fun, and soon that fantasy fell by the wayside. 

Then I concocted an elaborate scenario in which I was a captured American spy being interrogated by the KGB. Every day my captors brought me into the Chamber of Truth and did their best to extract critical information from me. Every day I was able to resist their interrogation techniques. I was that good.

Once I graduated from radiation therapy I almost missed my daily interrogation. Maybe I developed Stockholm Syndrome, but I never divulged state secrets.


Me and the Band

We’re rockers, me and the band
We play hard, driving drums
Screaming guitar, sexy bass
Boom, boom, thrum, mmmm, thrum
Straight through your heart and
Down into your soul, bypassing
The brain; no need for control.

We’re hard core, me and the band
Tight jeans and black tank tops
“Prayin’ for Eyebrowz” emblazoned
On the front; tour dates printed
On the back. Coming soon to a
Venue near you, groupies lined up
For autographs and souvenirs.

We’re imaginary, me and the band
Rockin’ in our minds, or at least
In my mind. My drums, my vocals,
My screaming Les Paul. A one-woman
Show straight from my brain to
Your Facebook feed: Boom, boom,
Thrum, mmmmm, oh baby, thrum!
peace, people!


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