Wise Women: Asking Why?




“Every single day we sit down to eat, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and at our table we have food that was planted, picked, or harvested by a farm worker. Why is it that the people who do the most sacred work in our nation are the most oppressed, the most exploited?” – Dolores Huerta

Wise Women: Quote of the day 4/18/18

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter Malia meet with Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban a year ago, in the Oval Office, Oct. 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai


Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/malala_yousafzai_569368


Wise Men: Quote of the Day 4/16/18


We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Elie Wiesel
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/elie_wiesel_163854


Wise Women: Quote of the day 4/16/18


I can’t talk fellowship to you who are gathered here. Too much blood has been spilled. I know from my experience it is up to the working people to save themselves. The only way they can save themselves is by a strong working-class movement. –  Rose Schneiderman


Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/rose_schneiderman_371750

Dedicated to the Kentucky teachers and state workers fighting for a just educational system.


Emma on Bats



I’m an optimist. Emma prefers pessimism. When I’m wrong reality is rough; when she’s wrong the news is not so bad.

I was planning to write about beneficial bats. Emma said, “Bats? Oh yeah, spring’s here. The bats will be coming out to harass people and cows.”

I was certain she was wrong. I consulted National Geographic.

“During the darkest part of the night, common vampire bats emerge to hunt. Sleeping cattle and horses are their usual victims, but they have been known to feed on people as well.”

Next, I’m writing optimistically about politics.

I’m not consulting Emma.



April 12: Flash Fiction Challenge



Yes, we are going to get batty this week.

April 12, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a bat. You can use an association to the winged, cave-dwelling critter, or you can explore the word for other meanings. Bonus points for including a bat cave. Go where the prompt leads.


Good News from Squirrel Country

Let the squirrels open your heart

Haven’t we all been waiting for a sign that things are going to take a turn for the better?  Well, according to my squirrel friends, it is finally time to celebrate an end to winter in Kentucky.  During the winter they come to our deck to selectively and rather quietly eat peanuts and steal seed from their bird neighbors.  They eye each other warily, and sometimes give a quick warning to others to keep away.  But this morning seven squirrels came for a rowdy visit.  They ran after each other in circles, they ‘flew’ from deck railing to tree branch and back again. They ran up and down the trees, across branches, flying back onto the deck to chase each other some more, occasionally stopping for a seed or peanut, only to start the crazy chase again.  One of them decided to get our attention by rattling the chain on the can I keep their food stored in, apparently trying to let me know he wanted a more extensive feast to celebrate the turning of the weather – or perhaps he was just making a bit of music as background for their party!  This revelry is a sure sign that winter is leaving, the sun is coming back, and we are all about to feel a little better.  I promise.

Accidental Self Destruction


Daredevil Bruce/

Sheriff Heil’s oldest son/

danced a boxer’s circle/


sissy girl, sissy girl/

charming his posse/

of pubescent boys/

he stole a kiss on their dare/

A fog of years/

dims the details/

flush of his freckled face/

brush of his cold chapped lips/

tug of his determined fingers/

wound tight in my ponytail/

I squint at the blue-lit screen/

military records online/

Bruce Huppert Heil/

non-hostile casualty/


accidental self destruction

pistol point blank to his brain/

finger determined on trigger/

circle of bedeviled boys/

a war weary double-dog-dare/


No News Is Good News

Today is not as new/

as it may seem/

ask the mother enslaved/

torn from her children/

Lost Bird suckling/

her massacred mother’s body/

the women of Salem/

or the Japanese interred/

ask insurgent coal miners/

coughing up pieces of lung/

or James Byrd chained/

dragged apart in Jasper/

Matthew Sheppard dying/

alone on a Laramie fence/

ask Nagasaki or Hiroshima/

Sand Creek or My Lai/

ask four year old workers/

dead in rich men’s factories/

for an inchoate explanation/

of how we ended here.


Spring Follies

One sunny spring day and people get silly headed. Shorts, tees and flip-flops abound, snow and lingering frosty mornings be damned.

Cardinals too, graze solitary on our deck all winter, guarding their private culinary cache, aggressively chasing all competition.

Spring sun arrives and they share their precious seeds, feeding each other beak to beak, a love fest.

I rise above, not easily seduced silly by fickle sunshine.

I unpack the new tent and pitch it in our living room. “Time to get ready for summer camping” I tell my love. “Come in and check out our pretty vacation home.”

Carrot Ranch April 5 fast fiction challenge using 99 words: Sun Silly

April 5: Flash Fiction

The Little Liar

Miss Jess was already her enemy, so perhaps she should have known better. The fact is, she did write a few lies into her story, but she would never admit that to the second grade teacher who despised her.

Her assignment had been to write about her recent Thanksgiving vacation. It was that simple. She could have stopped with the turkey, the cranberry sauce and the apple and pumpkin pies. She could have said she went to her grandmother’s house for the weekend and all her cousins were there. That was all true, but truth alone did not inspire her. She threw herself into the assignment with gusto.

Her grandmother’s house, an old farm house indeed, needed a farm to make it interesting. So she gave it fields of corn and beans. The old dilapidated barn was real, but she thought it would be better bright red, so she gave it a brilliant coat of paint. A nice red barn like that needed some animals to house. So she invented sheep and cows and goats and horses and a big pink squealing pig that needed to be fed by her and her cousins, one of whom had to fall into the pig pen for dramatic effect. She wrote in a tractor and a plow and parked them next to the barn borrowing those with no one’s permission from the real Corson farm down the road.

She handed in her story and waited for the accolades that were sure to follow.

Miss Jess peered at her over her giant coffee mug. She wiped her nasty wet lips with the back of her hand and began the interrogation.

“So you spent Thanksgiving with your grandparents?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Your grandparents on Route 9 in Seaville?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“You, Missy, are a liar!”

She noticed that Miss Jess had a face redder than the barn she had imagined into her story. She decided it would be best not to say anything more.

“Shame on you! Your grandparents do not have a farm. They do not have animals. They sell vegetables in a wooden stand outside their old house. I HAVE BEEN THERE!”

Miss Mess roared that last line so loud it probably scared all the animals on the farm. They were probably running for the barn right now so they could hide. The Little Liar stifled a giggle as she imagined her animals cowering in their stables.

The teacher was standing now, moving toward the Little Liar’s desk. To the delight of sundry class bullies the old ogre ripped to pieces the embellished story and tossed it at the little criminal who was now cringing at her desk, afraid she was about to be hit. She was sorry. She would not lie again.

Made to stay after school for detention that day the Little Liar wrote her assigned penance 500 times: “I will not tell a lie.” “I will not tell a lie….”

But – some offenders cannot be rehabilitated, no matter how humiliating the public excoriation, and how much pain her disgraced writing fingers suffered from all those remorseful scribbles. The Little Liar simply could not be saved.

Miss Jess left the school the next year. Rumors circulated that she gave up teaching to become a prison guard.

The Little Liar became a poet and a story weaver whose relationship to meticulous truth-telling remained tenuous for at least one hundred and eighty more years.