My soapbox.

February 23, 2014 § 3 Comments

This is not really a soapbox.

It’s a milk crate found by the side of the road. Sturdy and useful, you can carry books in it, or pretty much anything that isn’t liquid or small enough to fall through the holes.

I wasn’t looking for a milk crate when I set out on my walk, but I wasn’t surprised to find it.

Something useful is always being  dumped at the curb, where, if no one grabs it, it will be added to a landfill, becoming part of a lingering monument to our collective wastefulness.

As you can tell from the preceding paragraphs, I have more on my mind than grabbing one milk crate out of the stream of throw-aways, so now that I’m standing on it, let me elaborate.

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The Snowman.

February 16, 2014 § 4 Comments

Matthew and the snowmanI grew up in New Jersey.

My grandson, Matthew, is doing the same.

Here he is, making one of the many snowmen that will dot the winters of his childhood.

All will become one in his memory. The Snowman.

Along with birthdays and Christmases, pets and best friends, small, bright winter memories, polished and clear, will travel with him.

Anyone who grew up where the snow flies has them. Here are some of mine.

Shoe-skating on a scrim of new snow.

Snowfall in the woods.For-real skating on Grover’s Mill Pond on Christmas skates. White of course. With toe picks I never went fast enough to use.

Freezing a snowball to throw at my dad in July.

Snow angels.

Snow-building with one mitten, one bare hand (winter stole one out of every pair).

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February 9, 2014 § 2 Comments

Opossum jaw bones.

I need marsupial jaw bones

threaded on a leather thong

to hang around my neck.


each with its serrated edge of teeth

to clatter when I dance.

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He grinned.

February 2, 2014 § 6 Comments

English is a well-upholstered language.

A Harvard/Google study put the number of distinct words in the language at 1,022,000 with an annual growth rate of 8,500 words.

Resourceful and robust, English equips the writer with muscular verbs, subtly shaded adjectives, not to mention adverbs (which should only be used in a pinch).

Consider the verb “to walk.” Not much color there, no vivid mental picture, just a workman like verb for putting one foot in front of the other.

But “walk” has about sixty synonyms, each with a different shade of meaning: strut, limp, sashay, amble, lumber, march, pace, plod, meander, stride, stagger.

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