A Toy Saw Lies In The Gravel

A Toy Saw Lies In The Gravel

A toy saw lies in the gravel

Its handle is orange

Every cinder block in the wall is scored with colored chalk

One of those kids must be tall


I never see or hear them

Maybe it’s a weekend thing

But that doesn’t make sense

I never hear or see them


Visitation is during the Mon-to-Fri I guess

Unless one of those adults

Who clank and bump around all night below me

Is the one with the chalk and toys.


I am an old person. But we all think young don’t we?

I think of Sedona, quarantined from a world – a dream world? – she feels she lived in. A lost love, a lost child. 

She doesn’t have to stand back. She can’t get there from here.

 Confined With All Of You

I am confined to the home in the national/global quarantine, with all of you.

My N99 organic cotton mask is still out in the sun, sanitizing after its foray to the grocery store pick up yesterday evening.

No one else was wearing a mask nor gloves. Thanks guys.

“It’s your funeral” – and 3x – 3x – 3x = the peeps to whom you might be passing This Thing. 

Some people are just stubborn and play follow the leader too well.

There is a lot to learn. The avalanche of conflicting information makes a lot of homework.

That’s fine if you’re confined looking for something to do.

Well at least I have the weekend. 

I guess this will be the shortest post on this blog. 

But, it is my day off.

We’re all dancing around something, right? In the mystery, in the evolution, and the mystery of our lives.




London 1982 – Should I Have Been There?

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

London 1982

Well, to begin with I wasn’t there.

But I probably should have been.

I was still dancing, choreographing, and producing theater.

I had an agent to help me get commercial work, to support my free lance career. I was studying acting with the Sara Baker Actors Workshop classes.

I was still teaching ballet at influential post secondary institutions.

I didn’t get much commercial work. I was hopeless at Nivea cream and beer advertisements.

Oh  – and here’s a true story!

I did an audition for a commercial in Toronto, didn’t get the job, moved to Los Angeles, and there, saw that commercial on television.

In the American version, the actress was not my competitor. I would have done a different shoot if I had won the job.

And a few days later this actress walked into a business I was working in!

Her name was Amanda Banks. The funny thing was, she looked down the rows of desks, to where I sat at the back. And she smiled and waved at me. Funny, huh?

And we talked and I told her how I knew her. She was friendly and said keep in touch.

All of this came to mind today while I was watching a British drama. Noticing a supporting actress. She has a small chin, and large teeth. I have seen her in a few series.

This lady would never get a job in North America, specifically, Hollywood.


When I was 32 years old and got an agent for film or television, she told me I should go to Paris. I just didn’t look like The Girl Next Door, which is how you won a role in US movies being produced in Canada. Yeah, I should go to Paris.

Not on the agenda. Work permits, etc., not easy to do. Unless you’re famous already.

I didn’t have a receding chin and big teeth, and I should have gone to London.

Now I’m a writer (so I say!) co-writing a series of novels about a young dancer who doesn’t have the perfect body, or the perfect connections, even though she is so close to Los Angeles.

And whose family has the money to send her to NYC, NBS, or other amazing ballet summer intensives, to excel, and make connections.

But Sedona doesn’t. Life is what happens when you’re making plans, right?

Her shocking detour is almost a year long. And after the “life is what happens when you’re making plans” ends, she resumes a time line that, at first, barely makes sense.

Going to London in 1982 is something that never happened for me. Yet, some days it seems like I am still trying to pick up from the that-didn’t-happen-timeline and make sense of things as they are now.

Have you ever had a moment when you thought or felt something akin to that?

How has your writer timeline gone? Going?


Unplugged Yet Plugged In More


Isolation alone at home – but it could be just any Sunday when I don’t have a social event.

The question is, and it has gone through all our minds, I’m sure, is “but for how long?”

No answer to that!

Tomorrow, if I go out, I will see a total of three other people.

One at closer quarters than six feet because his home is so small one can’t get six feet away from anyone else, in any given room.

He needs help with most daily activities.

Today, and yesterday, after food shopping for him and myself, I got glued to the screens.

Plugged In, Immersed

Alternating from news, to entertainment, exercises, and back to the news.

I don’t get breaking news. I do not have television, but I do get live streaming with recent news.

The radio is only a few moments behind, but it goes off intermittently.

As far as I know I’m safe and have everything I need.

This ongoing, spreading infection results in me feeling uncomfortably self-centered.

Yet if I’m O.K., I can help you be O.K..

I can stay isolated to a higher degree, take less trips to the shops, use up less of my gloves and alcohol, so you can buy yours.

Sedona, the surfer girl in pointe shoes, gets shockingly, completely unplugged after her date rape, by what happens next.

For almost a year.

We hope her adventure will be engaging for the YA readers. Perhaps become a hit, followed by a couple more books.

Yet, after what the YA readership is going through now in real life, will Sedona’s adventure pale? Will her story come across as “been there, done that”?

Or, will this challenging, surreal time pass and quickly fade into distant memories as life resumes in a new normal?

A very different normal, I’m sure.

Will the novels we’re writing now quickly become Historical Fiction?

Because life as we know it will never return?

No answers, yet.

There’s more to come in endurance for us all in sickness and health.

What do you think?

What is the most difficult aspect of the situation for you right now?

We’re all in limbo, right?

And there is a huge storm coming, weather wise.

Be well.

The first poem I got accepted for publication (in recent years) is How Much Must She Storm, about the world itself pushing back at human avarice and greed. Here it is:


I grind another two scoops of coffee beans

Organic, fair trade. I will change the world.

And I will write all day. I am green, no paper for me


Electronic, per the day, per the century.

But then…there are…those little boys…

In the Congolese mines, kidnapped, scratching for tantalum

Their sisters little girl sex slaves – just useless eaters – each


Strip mined by rogue militias; our gadgets buy their guns.

Disposable, like we throw tissues, our landfills swell

But those mass graves will degrade neatly, no one’s watching

(And where were their mothers when…)? Give me a break – Shot!


Put out of the way of progress, they’ve served their purpose.

Wounded, these mothers rage, screaming to the Earth and sky

Pounding on Her, they grind their faces in Her mud

Smeared with traces of Her precious metals, this is their death mask


Has She heard them? Has She rolled under their hidden graves,

On their behalf tilted an island or two? Rocked a nation awake?

Exhaled poison particles – clocking the plutonium footprint?

Carbon takes the back seat and the twisted guts of clouds

Whirlpool Her garbage disposal of our stuff.


What have we generated – ivy degree’d pillars of our society

Don’t ask our stolen mall-rat girls their ages, in the sexting.

No walking the streets or risking a private club raid;

New world markets are facilitated by electronic auctions.


Instant and encrypted connections made, money transferred

Milk carton children upgraded and risk-managed,

The viewer sites virus protected. Circuits sealed with tantalum.

But – busted! Mother Inc. cracked our code.


Do their mothers know they buy or steal humans?

She’s been listening, watching. She’s willing to tilt,

Quake, tide, ice, meltdown, over-clock, super-size…

How much must She storm?

First published in the Sanskrit Literary Arts Magazine V.43 UNC Charlotte 2012


Demands For Resilience

Image by Michael Piesbergen from Pixabay

I have been thinking about the topic of resilience all week.  Every day requires a new plan, while a pandemic forges forward, felling the human family in alarming numbers.

If I were still performing or teaching dance, I would have less choices in my response. Just stay home.

In Sedona’s world, this surfer girl in pointe shoes, her dance world, her high school,  would be closed. There would be few, and only local, surfers on the beach near her home.

She could still do her evening run with her black lab, but without her neighbor Laurence. At least not within six feet of her.

She would ruminate about how rich her family is, and how useless the guilt she feels about that is. Her family could barely get through a day without their long time housekeeper and skillful chef.

She is still a child, and would yearn for the fantastical world she experienced where such an illness would be swiftly overcome.

Below are some quotes from an article I read today, that sums up what I’ve been thinking all week. I don’t usually quote so much from others’ material, but it is perfectly expressed, so I will.

The full article is here in DANCE Magazine..

“During COVID-19, Dancers Must Reframe What It Means to Be Resilient

...”Broadway went dark, opera houses across the country were forced to shutter and dance studios started closing down.”…

…”Dance artists are resilient. We show up for work sick. We dance through pain. We rehearse when cities shut down for holidays and weather. We survive on meager wages. When one job falls through, we use creative immediacy to develop new opportunities. I have always been extremely proud of the resilient attributes of those who work in the dance field, until last Friday.”…

…”Dancers are taught from a young age to push through physical challenges. And we also develop a thick skin to help us deal with the emotional hurdles presented to us throughout our careers. But the challenge with the resilient dancer mindset is that we don’t always think through our expression of toughness beyond the world of dance. We urgently push through situations that others wouldn’t even consider, perhaps due to the urgency of our shorter careers.”…

I remember when I and another dancer Cindy Fisher, many years ago, performed with pneumonia and bronchitis, over a two week period.

Backstage, we placed cough drops in designated spots, so we could pop them in our mouths as soon as we ran off stage. We bought different colors so we wouldn’t get them mixed up. 

Because, no coughing like that backstage, right?

This week I go into the grocery store with a cough drop in my mouth. I have seasonal allergies and the pollen count is high.

I can just imagine the few folks in there scattering, if I were to break into a fit of coughing. I might be asked to leave!

We must shop, and some of us shop for others. We try to limit our outings. 

I wear gloves. I wipe down everything I take off the shelves. I have sprayed the shopping cart with rubbing alcohol. I tell the bag girl “don’t touch my stuff!” and bag the produce myself.

She looks offended. Sorry. 

I’m taking this food to someone who is always confined at home. We live in a town that doesn’t have a hospital – just a glorified ER unit. 

My health insurance company emailed me to stay home, with no offer of a test for this Covid 19 virus. They have mailed me other lab tests, unsolicited, which I view as great marketing, and ignore them. 

So where is my Covid 19 self-test? The lag in testing in the US, which I read described recently as “the first rich failed state”, is incomprehensible. The “we can do it better” attitude deplorably misplaced.

But that’s another topic. I wanted to share my thoughts about the resilience of dancers, and shared Barry Kerollis’ instead.

Thank you Barry.  



Maybe She’ll Be On Our Team

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

For the Writers of Kern BMBC 10/26

Today I must go to the Post Office before it closes – not scheduled yet, but could happen!

Or I’ll be filing my tax return in October.

All that green beer going to waste in the pubs?


Happy St. patrick's Day sign

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Researchers in Queensland Australia say they have a cure for Covid 19. That will take a while to go global.

Canada asked to stay home, (back to the grocery store before orders come here.)

Yikes – busy day!

Here is a poem I wrote years ago. I pulled it out of the box and smoothed the wrinkled page.

Sneezed  – it’s just dust! I’m not sick.


Maybe She’ll Be On Our Team

Jeannie lived and worked
Before subsidized day care
Before women were paid the 100 cent dollar
(we’re still at 69 cents)
Before we knew about pesticides and childhood leukemia
She seemed a little stiff, a disciplined one
She couldn’t wait to clean up

She made it WORK.

She ran for office in her own way.


She made a not-lived- in model home

She spot-checked and ironed

Her daughter died -even tho’ she learned


why wouldn’t
She want a perfect world –
No fuss no muss.
The thing is SHE DID IT.
So whatever world we want
Maybe she’ll be on our team.

Jeannie Deporter Deceased 04-16-2009

Do you have material in a box somewhere too?


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