Mother’s Day

2 posts

Random Thoughts on Another Mother’s Day in May

  • It’s Mother’s Day (don’t forget the apostrophe). Have you called your mother yet? If you have siblings, you should aim to be the first because delays are like weeds. Some people never get out of them.
  • This post is a 4-minute read. I heard you’re supposed to put that up front on everything busy people read these days, but I’m late. It took you six seconds to get this far, by the way.
  • Why do people have such little patience for reading but endless patience for the internet and TV? When you log on to the internet, do you see a page that warns you “6 hours” before you get lost clicking here, there, and everywhere?
  • Finally, some 70-degree (Fahrenheit) weather has found Maine. Every year, Maine is in fair Mr. Fahrenheit’s mostly lost and rarely found bin.
  • Speaking of lost, non-Americans may wonder how we not only lost Celsius but the metric system.
  • 70-degree weather can only mean pine pollen will soon cast a yellow pall over anything outside (or inside, should you leave the windows open).
  • Want to impress your kids? Watch a streaming movie they’d never guess you would on TV (any zombie movie will do), then tell them you actually liked it. They love to box and package your take on the world, so any unwrapping you can do is always fun.
  • Nota bene: If you do the above, be prepared for many more recommendations on what to watch.
  • Spring of 2023 and already we’re seeing too much politics related to 2024. As if we’d recovered from 2020! No, no, and no.
  • I love how people can get logical about President Biden’s age and the dangers of his running for office again but NOT get logical about the dangers of a psychopathic, sociopathic narcissist (among other things) running for office again. Remember selective hearing? This is selective logic.
  • How many outstanding poetry submissions is too many outstanding poetry submissions?
  • Better question: How long should a poetry submission be outstanding (read: “In Progress”) on Submittable? Slow progress. That’s the motto for understaffed, overtaxed poetry staffs.
  • I love it when you pay a $3 reading fee for a journal that never gets back to you. Literally never, I mean. After a year you query and they never get back to you. After 18 months you query and they never get back to you. So you use email vs. Submittable’s message system, but they never get back to you. Meanwhile, they’ve opened up new submissions reading periods as a means of collecting more reading fees (or, as they call them, “Ka-Ching! fees). I recently had this experience with the Southampton Review. What’s Latin for “Let the Submitter Beware”? It should be on the Submissions page of outfits like this.
  • Did you call your mother yet?
  • Speaking of matters maternal (and maternal always matters, let me tell you), it’s interesting that States-side we say “Mom” and Over the Pond-side they say “Mum.” I’ll keep mum on my opinion on that because Mom jokes (and Mum jokes) are not allowed on an upstanding website like this.
  • Am I the only one bewildered by all the streaming costs out there in TV-land? If only we could choose á la carte what channels we want, because most of these cable and streaming services are top-heavy with channels we never look at (or have reason to).
  • I’ve learned the hard way, too, that the channels you DO want are almost never ALL included under one umbrella. Instead, you’d have to pay for “plus” this and “plus” that. Interesting that anything with a “+” sign after it’s name will often lead to a “-” sign on your savings account’s activity log. (I think we’re back to “Ka-Ching Nation” now, further proof that we are indeed a Corporatocracy).
  • Why are you still reading this? You should be talking to your mother!
  • Walking the beach, I’m amazed at how many dogs are well-behaved and stay by their owner’s side instead of charging after people and other dogs like all of my dogs of the past used to. Wow, I say to myself. I wonder if this dog, at its home, actually stays off the furniture and out of its owner’s bed, too.
  • Dogs on the floor used to be “the way” in olden times, but now, in a world where dogs and cats have superseded humans in status, it’s rare indeed.
  • Your mother, if you were talking to her now, would warn you about all that pet hair in your sheets and on your pillow.
  • I like how POETRY the august (even in May) poetry journal has come under new leadership that does tributes to certain authors in each issue. They typically include a bunch of their poems as part of the tribute, too. Usually they’re under the radar poets that we should know better. In a world where a lot of us don’t know better, that’s a good thing.
  • If you write a poem and it falls in the wilderness, does it make a noise?
  • While you have her on the line, ask your mother. Guaranteed she’ll have an answer.

Call Your Mother. Tell Her About the Animal Crackers.


Waking to the sounds of rain on a Sunday morning is one of life’s gifts. The wrapping paper is the roof and walls of your house. Of course, in my case, I shed the coziness right away as I don rain gear to walk the dog. His thick black coat pearls up with drops. He’ll shed them inside, near a wall preferably.

I drink a cup of coffee, listen to Gregorian chant, write a new poem. A new poem is a gift, too, only with a smaller gift box inside, meaning the present is more mystery, mouth closed, secret intact.

Sudden first drafts are seeds. The farmer sews them knowing that some will sprout, others will grow heavy with rain and rot in the soil. Some will reach fruition, others will be cut down by wind, deer, disease. The creative process is organic. No amount of pesticide will help.

My poem “Self-Portrait” appeared on Poppy Road Review  this week. I call poems like this snapshots. There are countless snapshots when it comes to any self-portrait. This is just one part of me in few words: The good intentions part of me. The lost resolutions part of me. The concrete trophies of guilt part of me.

It is Mother’s Day. I will drive to the grocery store first, call my mother and tell her about the rain later. The crisp sound of paper bags filled with food, their symmetry in the back seat for the ride home, like well-behaved children, can send me back. And make me sad. But that is the essence of nostalgia, a heady drug indeed.

Rest assured, I won’t say to my mother when I call, “Remember our trips to the grocery store, when you sat me in front of the carriage and gave me the small, stringed carton of Animal Crackers? And the single piece of baloney from the man at the deli! I’d bite eyes, nose, and smile into it before finishing it off!”

Or maybe I will say it.

Happy Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day. Happy small, under-appreciated gifts.