September 11, 2016
Pack Creek Ranch, San Juan County, Utah.
The second week of September in 2016.
Cooler weather, clear skies by day and by night.
Aspens and oaks turning gold and flame in the high country.
Here’s a story I lived and then wrote about several years ago.
It came to mind again when a friend asked if I wanted to watch football with him this weekend, and I said, No, but I’d really like to watch the Paralympics in Rio. His response shocked me, and I quote: “Why would you want to watch that stuff?”
And I had a mental flashback of a time in a bar . . .
Never in my life have I started a fight in a bar - never.
That’s a carefully crafted sentence.
Yes, I have actually been in bars when fights started.
And I have done my part in the fracas – I admit that.
But that was way, way back in the day - during college and the summers when I was a cowboy - when a little free-for-all dustup in a saloon on a Saturday night was part of the fun.
But I never started the ruckus.
And I haven’t felt either the sense of mischief or rage necessary to take part in violence in a bar in many a year.
But today . . . today . . . I had a close call.
This posting might have been a letter from a jail cell.
While out for a walk on a warm afternoon, the need for a gin-and-tonic rose up in my mind as a good idea - just as I was passing a local sports bar.
So. Why not? And in I went.
Sat down at a table and ordered.
Three chairs over from me was a nerdy little guy - glasses, flip-flops, cargo shorts, shaved head, tattoos, rings in his nose and ears - deep into his laptop.
Several screens in the bar were showing several football and baseball games.
I asked the bartender if he ever turned on the Paralympics – and would he do that - because the games were happening now.
The nerd looked up, snarled, “Nobody watches that crap - it’s just fun and games for freaks and cripples and bleeding hearts. A crock of shit.”
The pause button went on - in the bar - and in my mind.
The bartender stood still and stared at the nerd.
While rage rose up in me.
Bar fight rage.
I slowly turned my head and gave the nerd a look that said, “Run for your life, Jack, because I’m coming after you with a chair and will wrap it around your sorry-ass head, and stomp the crap out of you while you’re down.”
I got up and walked over to stand in front of him.
I told him that he was the real freak - the one who didn’t recognize courage and true grit. The competitors at the Paralympics are people with no legs or arms who swim and row and cycle and run and jump. People who are blind and deaf and run races. People with Down Syndrome compete. There’s the guy who had no arms who won silver in archery, for god’s sake, and many of the participants have been torn apart in military combat and came back to compete with what was left of their bodies.
And I wasn’t polite when I said it.
And I went on . . .
The mantra of our times is that “we gotta have hope,” but the competitors at the Paralympics live hope. Hope is not an abstract ideal for them - it’s a reality created by courage and pain and determination and . . . you are the most hopeless piece of crap I’ve ever seen . . .!
And while I was verbally cutting a piece off his hide, my anger rose – and the volume of my voice rose with it.
I was tempted to pick up a chair and go for him – I’ve not been that angry in a long, long time.
I didn’t realize I could still get that mad.
I wanted to do serious damage to the nerd - make him one of the handicapped.
But I didn’t do that.
I didn’t pick up a chair or even reach for one.
I didn’t need to.
Because the nerd was already handicapped himself - a loser - blind and deaf and stupid - insensitive to those who bring audacious daring and invincible gallantry to a cynical world.
My rage shifted to pity.
And my stare shifted to the bartender, who shook his head, as much outrage in his eyes as in mine.
His eyes also said, “Take it easy . . .don’t do it.”
Our vibes must have made the nerd uncomfortable – even afraid - because he slammed down the lid on his laptop, slid off his stool and slunk away out the door and down the street.
I finished my drink in silence.
The bartender brought me another - “On the house,” he said.
And he turned a channel to the Paralympics, where a one-legged man was competing in the high jump.
And life went on . . .
(I know - the real Olympic games are over, but I urge you to take the time to watch the Paralympics – if not live, then on YouTube videos. You can see almost any event. And be astonished. I would not believe what they accomplished if I did not see it with my own eyes.
And I guarantee that your view of the human race will be uplifted – and you’ll be less likely to believe that there’s no hope in the world or that people are no damn good. See it. Believe it.)
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September 05, 2016
Pack Creek Ranch, San Juan County, Utah.
The first week of September in 2016.
Cooler weather, with thunderstorms and showers daily.
Aspen groves clearly turning gold in the high country.
Fall . . .
Three barleycorns placed end to end.
What’s a barleycorn?
A kernel of a plant –a cereal grain
What’s important about three of them placed end to end?
That’s about the width of the average grown man’s thumb at the first joint.
And so . . . ?
That’s an inch, give or take an unch – since about the 7th Century.
What’s an unch?
It means the length of 3 barleycorns or the width of my thumb is an approximate measurement – variable – almost – not quite – plus or minus a teeny-tiny bit.
You mean . . .?
Yes, sorry, but it’s a sloppy, inaccurate, way of measuring.
Give me an accurate measurement.
OK, an inch is 2.54 centimeter.
Well, that’s no help, I’m an American and we don’t do metric.
Never mind, don’t hurt your brain thinking about it. Besides, you carry on with your daily life without much accuracy or precision. No problem.
What do you mean?
Consider the following sentences – ones you use all the time:
I’ll be there in just a moment.
Just a pinch more of salt.
It’s just a little way down the road.
I’ll love you forever.
Give me a handful of that.
About a foot long.
From time to time.
Come for dinner at sixish.
I won’t be long.
Just a dab will do.
And words like nearly, almost, just about, soon, sometime, later, barely, some.
Oh . . . well . . . sure.
About 2,500 years ago, Protagoras, the Greek philosopher, figured out that “Man is the Measure of All things.”
That measurement is relative to us in our relationship to our world and lives.
And the act of measuring affects that which is measured.
That’s Heisenberg, and his theory of uncertainty.
And it helps to know that most measurements are pretty loose and untidy.
The key word in the measure of life is “approximately.”
And, yet, somehow, we get by. . . . mostly.
* * * * *
For me, one measure of the changing of seasons is seeing the first big yellow school bus on the Spanish Valley Road between the ranch where I live and downtown Moab.
Another indicator is the “Back To School Supplies” signs in local stores.
One more is the absence of children in the City Market, and even the library
during the middle of the day.
The town is quiet for a good part of the day now.
Summer is over – school is in session.
These hinges on the swinging doors of the stages of the year provokes both memory and desire in my mind.
I smile when I remember getting the list of school supplies I would need, and going with my mother to the local stationery store to stock up on a combination of what was required and what-I-didn’t-really-need-but-wanted-anyhow.
The urge to resupply in this season remains strong in me, and while in town on Friday, I bought a new calendar, a 12-pack of yellow pencils, a box of paperclips, a box of rubber bands, and a ream of computer paper.
I was tempted to buy a new set of Crayolas – with 64 colors, and a built-in sharpener at the end of the box.
But . . . I already have several on hand from previous years extravagance fueled by nostalgia and optimism . . .
There is an artifact of my elementary school days on my desk - still in regular use.
“Bobby Lee 5th Grade” – is written on it in block letters with a pencil.
It’s a ruler, and I’ve had it for 70 years.
It’s real wood – with a brass edge on one side – useful for measuring, drawing straight lines, and for tearing a piece of paper in half.
The odd thing about this one is that it is 15 inches long.
Not 12, which you might expect, nor 18, which would be a foot and a half. 15.
Why 15 inches? A mystery then, and still.
I once thought of the ruler itself as a unit of measurement.
My desk at home was 4 rulers long and 3 rulers wide – an old door, actually.
My bed was 5 rulers long and 4 rulers wide.
And I, myself, was 4 rulers high – if I kept my shoes on and stretched up.
The ruler is one more arbitrary unit of measure in my life.
Now I am 4 inches short of 5 rulers tall, approximately . . .
That would be 213 barley corns . . . or 71 thumbs . . . give or take an unch.
In a way, the ruler is also a measure of time – 70 years since I bought it.
The ancient Greeks believed in the Moirai – the Fates – who were three sisters.
Clotho was the one who spun out the thread of a person’s life.
Lachesis measured out the length of the thread of life.
And Atropos cut the thread of life off with her shears.
As accurate a view of measurement as three barleycorns, end to end.
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August 28, 2016
Pack Creek Ranch, San Juan County, Utah.
The last week of August in 2016.
Cooler, breezy days – cloudy, with afternoon thunderstorms and rain overnight.
Morning mist softens the far view of the mountains and valleys.
The fine, thin wedge of Fall lifts Summer up and on and away.
SECRET SKILLS AND TALENTS
“Do you have any idiosyncratic personal talents?”
“Such as . . .?”
“Can you wiggle your ears, roll your tongue into a tube, cross your eyes, raise one eyebrow, write with both hands simultaneously, touch your nose with your tongue, kiss your own elbow - things like that . . . ?”
This is a conversational gambit I sometimes use at cocktail parties and receptions and other occasions when people are standing around making mindless small talk.
I preface the question by saying, “You look as bored as I am, can I ask you an
Because I select my targets carefully, I always get a positive response.
And when I ask and elaborate my oddball question, I get smiles and laughs.
Many people can perform some of the skills I’ve mentioned.
Most of these are talents discovered or developed as a kid, and probably not exposed again – until you become a parent or grandparent.
These secret talents are a great way to engage and impress small children.
A young friend described them as “Sure-fire babysitter skills.”
Moreover, some people have truly extraordinary abilities.
One guy could make his head hair stand up, another lady could dislocate half the joints in her body, many people could whistle shrilly, one man could talk backwards, and several people could imitate bird and insect sounds.
There were people who claimed less immediately demonstrable talents like walking on their hands, putting their feet behind their neck, juggling, doing the “moon walk,” burping a tune, and passing gas on demand. Who knew?
If the tables are turned on me, I usually say, “I can hypnotize chickens.”
No! Yes! I hypnotized 12 at once – left them all on their backs in their pen.
(Doesn’t harm them, by the way, and they always get up and walk away.)
You could do this, too – go the web, “How To Hypnotize A Chicken” (https://www.google.com/#q=how+to+hypnotize+a+chicken) – several sites and techniques can be seen on YouTube, with an explanation of why this works available on Wikipedia.
Your first problem, of course, will be to obtain a chicken . . .
Now I’m working on a new secret talent.
It involves musca domestica – common house flies.
I’m learning to catch flies with my bare hand.
No! Yes! Why?
The easy answer is that silliness is part of sanity.
Looseness is an antidote to being uptight all the time.
Being able to play is essential to mental health.
If you don’t still sometimes do things that are foolish, or wacky, or a little loony then you will lose contact with your inner child, and miss the simple delight that comes with doing something just for the higgledy-piggledy hell of it.
Catching flies with your bare hands can be done.
And I can do it – I have witnesses.
What’s the secret, you ask?
There are half a dozen You-Tube videos demonstrating the technique.
The best, and most entertaining one, is Japanese (with subtitles.)
The man who has the skill with his hands can also catch flies with chopsticks.
The proof is there at the end of the video – wait for it.
The master fly catcher spent time studying the habits of flies, and their weaknesses,
as the video demonstrates – he began by paying attention and thinking like a fly.
The essential element is patience and attention, and moving very slowly.
Employing the techniques of the young man from Osaka, I can now catch
flies two times out of three attempts.
If I put a little smear of apricot jelly on an open table and wait, flies will gather sooner or later, and, while they are busy feeding on the sweet, I slowly move my hand closer and closer (I can get within 2 inches of them that way,) and then WOOSH! GOTCHA!
Using this bait and being patient, I twice caught two at once this morning.
Advice: I emphasize that having a clear field to work in is essential. If you don’t clear away the dishes from the table before you go fly hunting, you will clear the dishes anyhow as you strike. (The voice of experience.)
The next time I have dinner guests, and the conversation lags, I’m ready.
A fresh twist on after-dinner entertainment.
So, you’re maybe thinking, “How utterly dumb is this?”
And I reply, dumb, yes, but harmlessly entertaining, and life must have some entertainment, yes?
All work and no play dulls life.
Talking with a Buddhist friend about this, he expressed some concern over harming or killing living things.
If you catch a fly mindfully, it will still be alive and functional – and you can go outside, and open your hand – catch and release.
True, the flies’ mental health may be affected – it may be as annoyed at what’s happened to it as you are when it tormented you – but fair’s fair.
And if you approach catching flies this way, your moral code will remain intact – no harm done.
Fly catching is a break from doing serious work and serious thinking.
Something I often need.
And you? What secret talents do you have? Tell me.
Also, let me know about your luck with chickens . . .
And your skill at catching flies. . . .
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August 21, 2016
Pack Creek Ranch, San Juan County, Utah
Third week of August in 2016
Cooler, breezy days – afternoon thunderstorms - clear skies at night –
and a full moon this week.
All In The Family was a situation comedy that ran on CBS television for 9 seasons – 1971-1979 – and is regarded by many as one of the best television series of all time. It’s creator, Norman Lear, is considered a creative genius. The program and its cast won just about every award the TV industry had to offer - for good reasons.
The show seemed to get at the core of the ordinary lives of ordinary people.
The audience thought, “That’s us. A situation comedy.”
And the laughs in the show were echoed by the saving grace of the laughter of the viewers at themselves.
Alas, I never saw the program – didn’t have a television in those days, and no time to watch it if I did have one.
Now, thanks to media innovation, I can view the entire series on my computer.
And that’s what I’ve been doing every evening for the last few weeks.
I’ve been watching the re-runs because I want to go to bed laughing.
And I do – but I also go to bed thinking.
All In The Family broke ground in addressing almost every social concern usually avoided on television at the time: racism, homosexuality, women’s liberation, rape, religion, miscarriage, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, menopause, impotence, and ignorance.
Moreover, the program did it through comedy provided by the unlikely combination of a working class blue-collar bigot named Archie Bunker and his dingbat wife, Edith.
The program seems timeless - as relevant now as it must have been at the time.
The issues raised by the program remain unresolved.
They are part of the news of this day in August, 2016.
A small-but-important detail in the series caught my attention.
Archie Bunker’s chair.
Physically, it was the pivot point around which much of the action revolved.
It was a featured presence in almost every episode of All In the Family.
Many comic incidents in the program focused on Archie’s reaction when someone else sat in his personal chair. Whenever that happened, the barometric pressure
in the room became as intense as if one of the characters had passed gas.
It’s such an ordinary chair – drab and worn - not a fancy leather lounger with all the variable positions – no built in massage features or electric controls.
It was soiled and stained, and not so solid that it could not be broken.
In one episode a leg of the chair was cracked off when Archie’s son-in-law sat down heavily in it, and through a mix-up at the repair shop, it was sent to the dump, where an artist found it and included it in a gallery show, where Archie finally found it and reclaimed it – as an essential part of his identity, not art.
That’s double funny now because the actual chair from the set of the show is on display in the Smithsonian as an important item of Americana.
Archie Bunker’s chair became an icon.
A totemic representation of the focus of one man’s identity.
Edith had a chair, too, alongside Archie’s, but it wasn’t so precious to her, and
she often gladly offered it to others to sit in.
The word “chair” has power and suggests authority.
“The Chair recognizes Mr. Jones.” “She is Chairing the meeting.”
Chairman or, sometime, Chairwoman – or simply, least sexist, The Chair.
The physical object has become short-hand for recognized leadership.
Homo-Chair-man might be a replacement for our category of Homo Sapiens since we spend so much time sitting in them – the species that mostly sits.
I, too, have my chair – two, in fact. (see my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/robertleefulghum
As far as I know, nobody else has ever sat in either one – not while I was present.
But I only think of one as My Chair.
I’ve sat in that chair to read, to think, to nap, to listen to music, and to eat.
The chair is my space – my retreat – my refuge – my sanctuary.
It’s not just a chair, but an existential focus of my daily-ness.
Never a day goes by that I don’t spend time in that chair.
It’s a sacred place.
Come to think about it, there are other things and locations that define this sense of mine and me.
My place at the table where I usually eat.
My cereal bowl.
My coffee cup.
My bathrobe and slippers.
My favorite belt.
And my desk and my computer.
(There’s another personal chair there, too, but I’m not attached to it.)
There’s no monetary value attached to any of this.
It’s all both worthless and priceless..
Nobody else really wants what’s truly mine or values it.
These things are simply part of the rituals of my day, and my sense of well-being.
It’s true that I don’t have my room.
Sometimes I wish I did.
Teenagers have a need for “their room” but they don’t have a personal chair – for them, their space is usually the middle of their bed.
It’s rare for an adult to say, “This is my room.”
I suppose a woman may think of the kitchen as her space – just as a man might think of the garage or the basement or a workshop as his.
But it’s not the same as “My Chair.”
I can even say I know where “My Grave” is – my final place of repose.
The site was purchased years ago, and that’s where my ashes will be buried.
What’s left of me will sit in a hole in the ground.
I actually visit it from time to time to remind myself of my ultimate destiny.
I get some perspective there on ultimate reality.
Finally, a room of my own.
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August 13, 2016
Pack Creek Ranch, San Juan County, Utah
Second week of August, 2016
Cooler, breezy days – clear skies at night – just right for taking a look at the Perseid meteor showers in the early morning hours between August 11 and 12,
And I did that – celestial fireworks first class! Wow!
(A piece of advice, as an aside before we plunge on – if you are being driven mad by the single kamikaze fly in the room that seems drawn to you and only you, don’t lose your cool and try to smash it with the fly swatter when it lands on your computer keyboard.
You can delete a lot of work that way.
Besides, now you’ve got a piece of icky fly mush stuck between the keys.
Wait - wait – j u s t w a i t . . . for it to land on a hard surface. Then, WHAP!
Just saying . . . )
(Perspective: This meditation began last Sunday when I looked for the news of the day in my shelf of books of poetry.
Even though I’m not all that religious, I try to keep the Sabbath as a day of rest. Even God did that, according to the book of Genesis.
A day off from the usual daily habits of my work week restores sanity.
Poetry is a good door into another way of being and thinking for my Sabbath.
So, last Sunday I went through the door, and I’ve stayed there over in the land of poetry for the rest of the week, reading and thinking about poems.
Don’t know why, but, then I don’t have to know, do I?)
* * * * *
To begin with, here’s the first poem from the first book I picked up last Sunday –
a kind of rhyming secular prayer for the day:
O Karma, Dharma, pudding and pie,
gimme a break before I die;
grant me wisdom, will and wit,
purity, probity, pluck and grit.
Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind,
gimme great abs and a steel-trap mind,
and forgive, ye Gods, some humble advice –
these little blessings would suffice:
to beget an earthly paradise,
make the bad people good –
and the good people nice -
and before our world goes over the brink,
teach the believers how to think.
Phillip Appleman wrote that.
* * * * *
If you browsed around where I live, you might be surprised at the lack of books in my library. Visitors are sometimes surprised – “Where are your books?” they ask.
Well, I actually do have a library – with a huge number of books of all kinds.
But it’s in downtown Moab – called the Grand County Public Library.
I don’t want to maintain or live in a book cemetery – I want books I’ve read to have an ongoing life - not collect dust on my shelves.
So I contribute most of the books I’ve read to the care of the GCP Library.
If I want or need them, I know where they are.
The books I do keep are those that I want to read again –
There’s even a shelf for books that I want to read again and again and again.
Most of them poetry.
Yeats, Auden, Sandburg, Neruda, Collins, Oliver, Bukowski, Lear, and on and on.
Maybe 200 volumes – monographs, collections, and anthologies.
Most are well-marked – underlined and starred and annotated.
These are all Used Books – well-used books – by me.
It doesn’t have a “Use-By” or expiration date on it.
And I’m often intrigued when I open a volume of poetry I’ve not considered for a while to find new poems I had not marked as important before –
And to find poems I once marked as important and now don’t know why –
And to find new meanings in poems I once thought I had understood,
And – best of all - to find poems I cherish still – after many re-considerations –
ones I wish I could memorize if I had that kind of spongy, facile mind-meat.
My high school English teacher, Miss Louise Gayle, insisted we memorize poetry – mostly classic stuff, the meaning of which was lost on a sixteen-year-old pubescent man-child who just wanted to get out of school and become a dude ranch cowboy.
Even though I complied to pass English and please Miss Gayle, I hated having to memorize poems that I really didn’t understand or care about.
But now – now - I still remember many of those lines of poems I disdained.
They come back to mind like the music of songs I once knew.
How I wish I had stored a lot more in my memory bank . . . .
* * * * *
Sometimes I attend poetry readings or contemporary poetry slams.
Not often – because so many poets are not talented at reading their work.
Their oral skill does not match their skill with the written word.
But, still, I go.
More than any other reason just to be in the same room with those who appreciate poetry, who write it, and understand why it’s important.
I know these people are out there in my daily world – but they don’t wear POET or POETRY READER on their T shirts. There’s no real Poet’s Uniform.
And even in a room full of them, it’s not like being in the midst of a gathering of
jockeys or professional basketball players. Poets come in all sizes and shapes.
Poetry reading occasions reminds me that the poetry people are around – and I am not alone in my passion for the art of poetry.
It’s said that there must be thousands of unknown poets – but every poet is known by at least one person – himself – and he writes poetry to know that person better.
(When I’m work up the passenger list for my version of Noah’s Ark, poets will have priority - along with musicians.)
* * * * *
Me? Am I a poet? No – not yet . . . .
Do I write poetry? Yes, but I’ve only published a few poems, and regretted it later.
Whatever the poetry gene or aptitude is, I don’t seem to have it.
Which is to say that I haven’t found my own voice in poetry form – not yet . . .
These are the times of “aps” – and I wish there was a poetry “ap” –
Not an “ap” for my phone or computer – but for my mind.
If I knew where to search, I’d go looking, find it, buy it, and stick it in my ear
or swallow it whole.
When I look through the scrap pile of pieces of poems I’ve written, I don’t see anything I’m proud of or think worth letting free in the world. Not yet. . . .
But notice the words “not yet” – the wrestling with words toward poems continues.
I’m not waiting for that period of life when I have lots of free time, lots of energy, and no distractions.
That’s called death.
The poems must come before that.
Poetry can be like sprinkling gunpowder on your life and throwing on a match.
That’s the kind of poetry I want to write – sooner rather than later.
Words that start fires and give off light.
Why don’t I take a course in writing poetry – go to workshops?
I tried that once – stuck it out a couple of weeks and dropped out.
Taking a college course in writing poetry felt like studying autopsy techniques because you love people.
Most poets say, “First get out into the world – engage it with all your senses, and then take that down into the workshop of your soul and forge a poem out it.”
I subscribe to that advice.
* * * *
What I like about poetry:
Poetry doesn’t have issues of fiction or non-fiction.
Nobody asks of a poem, “Is this true?”
Nobody demands of a poet, “Did that really happen or did you make it up?”
Nobody fact-checks a poem.
And there are very few editors involved in poetry – the poet does that work.
Poetry is language dependent – hard to translate from one to another.
Poetry is reader dependent – a collaboration between the poet and the readers,
who must read between the lines, wrestle with the meaning of words, and bring
their own life to add to the understanding.
All poetry is translated by a reader into his own personal language.
Poets are comfortable with sharing and borrowing – I don’t mean stealing or plagiarizing – it’s a communal attitude toward mutual inspiration.
Poets take a burning coal from a poem and carry it on to set fire to their own.
And most poetry isn’t copyrighted, anyhow.
It’s hard to make a living as a poet – but it’s not about the money.
Poets can’t make a life without writing poems – writing poetry is about being alive.
Poetry has forms and frames, but poetry has no rules –
If you put down some lines and say, “That’s a poem.”
It’s a poem.
* * * * *
“Poetry is philosophy’s sister – the one that wears make-up.”
So said Jennifer Grotz
“Poetry is language returned to its once magical state. The words are surprised to be there. Some seem relieved – others embarrassed. The poet has brought them out
of the orphanage for a day at the beach.”
Billy Collins, the poet, said that.
* * * * *
I began this meditation with poetry, and I’ll end that way:
The last two stanzas of “Courage” – by Anne Sexton:
if you have endured a great despair,
then you did it alone,
getting a transfusion from the fire,
picking the scabs off your heart,
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.
when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in the little ways,
each spring will be a sword you’ll sharpen,
those you love will live in a fever of love,
and you’ll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you’ll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out.
* * * * *
In fairy tales there’s often someone who is a buyer of magic beans.
Jack and the Beanstalk comes to mind.
He’s an optimist, to say the least. He takes the beans home and plants them, cares for them, and waits for them to sprout, grow, and bear fruit or miracles, and takes the consequences.
That’s me. A buyer of magic beans.
A reader of poems to take, carry away and plant in my mind.
Always hoping that the beans will reproduce, and I will become a purveyor of magic beans myself.
The poems I planted are still growing – and harvest time is coming.
Someday you may meet me on The Way, asking,
“Want to buy a bean? Grew them myself.
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