dear diary

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

moved into our new home today. our old home was a mess so it was time for a change. now that we can’t cut down trees anymore, we’ve gone underground like everyone else.

helps manage the heat if you go deep enough.

once settled we followed the law and demolished the old homestead and planted trees in its place and around the grounds.  a mixture as specified by latest studies, to assure biodiversity and create fire resistance. also planted bushes. as a plus for being good citizens, we got to include fruit and nut varieties.

so, more trees to take in carbon and breathe out oxygen. some future generation will live on a temperate earth.

we’re digging a tunnel to our next-door neighbors. carol is my best friend so that’s a good thing. good fences make good neighbors but we’ll settle for a little door in the tunnel that locks from both sides. our parents don’t want carol and me yakking all day long.

at night it’s almost cool. some local trees have ladder slats nailed to them so you can climb almost to the canopy. up there through gaps in the branches you can see the stars.

for Sunday Photo Fiction

tough relationship

Photo courtesy ofSue-Z

kicked out of the house again. i deserve it. i was mean. must learn to resolve differences with my partner in a more civil manner. must suppress my impulse to take everything personally and to “counter-punch” during arguments, and must stop using “air quotes,” as it makes my partner crazy.

so i’ve been expelled to the doghouse for the night, the doghouse actually being the “doghouse,” meaning the back yard, which is really the copse behind our home.

first time this happened, i brought out a sleeping bag. second time, a mister coffee on a long extension cord. i’ve got books and magazines out here, but what will i do when the rains come? added a lamp to the extension cord, and a smart tv and sound system, creating an outdoor “man cave.” which causes my partner to shout out the back window to “turn it off, it’s three in the morning for christ’s sake!”

do i build an actual super-size dog house? a tree house? a bomb shelter? extend the back porch? bring the car around from the front? somehow construct my own little “pied a terre”?

for Sunday Photo Fiction

how i met my partner

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

i do performance art. capturing the ephemeral, that’s my goal.

on a sunny day in june, i assumed the statue’s position, hand holding head, obscuring my face. settled in. switched my brain from eyes to ears and nose and skin, hearing the park sounds, mostly the cries of children playing, random aromas from the carts of the lunch vendors, the grass i knelt on, still damp with dew.

a photographer arrived. i recognized the sounds of a camera’s settings being adjusted. an elderly person arrived, shuffling. the sound of birdseed pattering on the path. the squeaky arrival of pigeons and the harsh squawks of seagulls.

and then the magic happened, the hope and dream of every artist. a bird landed on my head and its mate, i was to learn, landed on the statue. the photographer captured the tableau and we became acquainted later as I washed guano out of my hair at a nearby fountain.

for Sunday Photo Fiction


we’re hunter-gatherers but there is so much game around here we hardly need to hunt.

also plenty to gather.

no need to move on. we’ve settled down for a while.

the new-fangled farmers in these parts all died off along with their pigs. first the pigs got sick, then the farmers.

we do not plan to farm. too much work. why bother?

so i got bored. restless. nothing to do. tried making pots with the river clay. tried a little weaving. found myself edging into women’s work and my friends made fun of me.

the shaman gathered the young men into his deerskin tent. fed us a paste made from yellow roots. we met our ancestors.

mine told me to carve images of them in rock, a sign that they had walked the earth before going to the otherworld.

you cannot carve rock with a bone tool. i went to a farm and found tools harder than rock. used them to carve.

it took a long time but i finished the ones that my ancestors told me to make. The tribe moved on but my ancestors will remain forever, there where we camped.

editor’s note: this guy was way ahead of his time.

for Sunday Photo Prompt

learning about cigars

my partner is learning english. as a fun part of the enterprise, she has been studying idioms in the language. recently, she told me that what this country needs is a good five-cent cigar. she had been handed a cigar at work to which a tag was attached reading “Congratulations! It’s a boy!” and had responded “Close, but no cigar!” which got her a raised eyebrow from the new father.

She had stopped on the way home at our local smoke shop (which these days focuses on vaping and recreational weed) and picked up a couple of stogies. Each cost a lot more than a nickel. She was curious about the expression “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Hasn’t got back to me on her research on that one.

for Sunday Photo Fiction

thanksgiving proposal

Photo Courtesy of Barb Crews

Is the day before Thanksgiving the busiest travel day in the U.S.? I think so. Seemed like it the year I was to fly back to Toledo to meet my girlfriend’s family and propose to her after dinner. That was my plan, the proposal. I wasn’t firm on the timing.

In the terminal, waiting to board, elbow-to-elbow with my fellow travelers bound for Ohio, I had a premonition. Our plane was going to crash. No argument.

This was my second premonition. As a teenager, while driving down the road, I had an idea that I was going to lose control of the car and hit a tree. The thought was so clear to me that I panicked and hit a tree.

I left the line waiting to board. I left the security area. Before ordering a ride back to my place, I called my girlfriend.

“You had a premonition?” she said.

“I did. I think the plane is going to crash.”

“Is the weather bad?”


“Please go back inside and get back in line. We’ll see you when you get here.”

for Sunday Photo Fiction

Birding Aid

Photo courtesy of P. Allman

“What is that thing?” I said.

“It’s a flamingo,” my husband said.

“I mean, what is it…?”

“I don’t know what you’d call it,” he said. “A floating… thing.”

“Why is it here? It’s garish. What will the neighbors say? Plus, there aren’t any flamingos within a thousand miles of Massachusetts.”

“The guy who sold it to me said it attracts birds. We need something like that around here besides our feeders. He said the bird count in Massachusetts has dropped twenty percent since the ’70s. I think I’ve noticed that.”

“He made it up,” I said, “to sell you that thing. How much did it cost?”

Hubby didn’t answer. We were standing on our deck. The flamingo bobbed its head as a solitary ripple reached the shore, caused by an errant tern diving into the pond.

Hubby paddled out in the silly thing. It moved slowly. He kept it near to shore as if to show it off to birds in the woods near the water, as well as to the season’s waterfowl.

In the next week, we spotted common gallinules, an American coot, and an Eastern wood-peewee, all rare in these parts.

for Sunday Photo Fiction


Photo from Morguefile

For thousands of years, the Mglingu of Nili in the Partha archipelago have offered prayers invoking the seasonal rains (and snows in the mountains) that have allowed their island to flourish. As part of their prayer cycles and attendant rituals, the tribe constructs totemic blooms of straw mounted on fibrous stems to mimic the desired floral fertility they are praying for. These are shown above.

This year, due to rising sea levels that threaten the island, as well as continued droughts, the tribal shamen have advised substituting pieces of giant barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta) growing on the offshore corals for the straw, thus “killing two birds with one stone,” an expression that the Mglingu dislike intensely.

for Sunday Photo Fiction

My Birthday

Photo from Pixabay

Dear Diary, today was my 40th birthday. Woo hoo!

Of course I threw a big shindig. No surprise party for me. I wanted to hand-pick the guests – all the folks I wanted to impress. Me, the loser in high school and college. Mr. Unlikely To Succeed. Come to my party and see where I am now!

I had everybody up to my new ultra-luxury penthouse. Fifty-fourth floor! A view over the city and the river beyond. And the foothills and mountains beyond that.

From the photo, you can see where I’m going with this. Everybody crowded out onto the balcony. In spite of the cost of the place, shoddy construction. Way too many people in one place, all drunk.

The building owners can replace the balcony but they can’t replace the friends.

Silver lining: The friends all got to see how well I’m doing and feel jealous. Yay!

for Sunday Photo Fiction

The Selfie Museum

Welcome. The museum is free. Donations gratefully accepted.

Here you will see about a million selfies. I have spent years building this collection. It features selfies of the great, the near-great, and just plain folks from around the world.

Some say that the collection is not 100% legit. They say that some of the selfies are photos clipped out of magazines. They complain especially about me using National Geographic, old issues of Life, and People Magazine. Not true.

Some pics might look like the subject is shying away or avoiding the camera but they’re just goofing around.

The ones where the people are so far away? Trick photography.

There are no mug shots in my collection, no matter what you hear.

Those real old-looking shots? You could take a selfie before the turn of the century if somebody else ignited the gunpowder for you.

My neighbor is telling visitors that my mom’s selfie is a drawing of her I made when I was 5. Stupid.

If no one is present when you exit, please leave your donation in the cigar box by the door. Thank you.

Photo courtesy of LL Jones
for Sunday Photo Fiction and Weekend Writing Prompt