20 Lines A Day

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The Last Walk

DSCN1835Walking on the island shore at night always held a fascination for me, especially with my young teen. We would walk along, watching as the lights on shore glimmered off the amazing expanse of water all around is. It was one of those moments that needed no words, the feelings, the magic, spoke for itself.

He reached down and picked up something, turned to me, held it up and smiled. It was a whole conch con, shimmering in the starlight. Wow! I said, as we walked on. I will never forget that night. It is burnt into my soul. A tear runs down my cheek even now. It was the last night we ever spent on the beach together.



Three years ago, I lost my mom.

She had been fading for years, but we still talked,

we laughed and loved.


It seems like since then loss and loneliness

have been so much of my life.

I feel like I am drowning.


After loosing my child, hope, faith,

and that special closeness with my family,

I feel I will never capture the joy in life again.


I can only beg you, young people,

to take that joy, when you find it,

and treat it as thought it was glass, because it is.

Agate Beach, Lopez Island, Washington

We climbed down shaky steps with utmost care
to beach that partied with all kinds of stones
and driftwood, pebbles, beach glass, old fish bones,
began collecting agates we would share.

To stand there felt much like a bouncy bog,
so crowded were the rocks and stones. I looked
straight down, left, right. All over, nothing brooked
enthusiasm for this place where fog

that morning burned off, leaving riches — just
for me? My pockets billowed with the green,
pink, clear white agates that I found. This scene
of nature’s treasures? Visit it. You must.

The Treasure Box








I saw it there upon their master bedroom table,
a box containing memories, as it was able,
of its creator’s ancestors’ activities.
Rich wood, glass-fronted, opened with two tiny keys,

it held a great-grandfather’s silver spectacles,
a delicate lace handkerchief, a thimble, wools
extracted from the sheep on old farm hills. A coin
with foreign markings,  plain gold wedding band here join

in sweet remembrance. Who, I wonder, held that fan
with painted Asian decoration? And what man
owned carved old pocket watch upon its fob? A piece
of catgut overlaid it all. Did someone’s niece

play violin? A silhouette, a cameo,
an infant’s little spoon, slim needles used to sew,
a yellowed photograph diminutive in size–
all sentimental keepsakes, each somebody’s prize.


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