new start

the dust has settled
earth sets out on a new path
we are not included

the earth, inventing new life in its random way while whiling away the days, years, eras, and eons, continents drifting, occasionally starts over from scratch, following, say, the arrival of that meteor the size of a city, or a plant/animal imbalance leading to an excess of oxygen or carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. following, that is, a major extinction event.

fred realized that such a new start was in the offing. a sort of impending adventure. who could guess, who could predict, what new life forms would emerge? that’s the thing about events termed “emergent”: they’re unpredictable.

however, fred did understand that there was an element of the adventure that was perfectly predictable. neither he nor anyone else was going to be around to see it.

for Tale Weaver


I’ve been worried about my nephew. He’s a bright young man, but restless. Cooped up, he’s seemed depressed. I tried playing games with him but he’s not especially social. I made paints and other craft materials available to him, without luck.

We’re off the grid, so no internet, which rules out video games and shows. He doesn’t have a smartphone.

We have limited access to nature but he has been able to take walks in the sparse woods nearby. That’s something.

Last weekend, I found a trunk of old books in the attic. On top of the pile inside was my old copy of Anthony Adverse. I hadn’t seen it or thought of it in years. It was a favorite of mine when I was a freshman in high school. Without expectations, I offered it to my nephew. With it he finally found escape, with more books to come.

for Tale Weaver


my buddy fred caught a rat and he’s keeping it in a cage, which i think is mean. i told him to let the rat go but he wouldn’t so to teach him a lesson, i locked him in our clubhouse.

my mom found out i was out of our house when i wasn’t supposed to be and she locked me in my room. she says she’s confined to the house with me by the mayor’s and governor’s orders and she can’t go out or she’ll violate her parole and be sent back to jail.

i want to tell her about fred but i don’t want her to go out to free him and then get sent back to jail.

i shouldn’t have locked him up but i wanted to teach him a lesson, which i am definitely learning meself at this point: don’t lock anybody up! unless it’s for their own good, i mean. for the rat, it wasn’t for his own good.

for Tale Weaver


i’m surrounded by affluent neighborhoods. i used to do my shopping there. you know, at garage sales.

now, however, everybody is so well off they don’t bother with garage sales anymore. or estate or lawn or whatever sales.

they just stick the stuff out by the curb with a free sign on it.

free furniture, appliances, clothing, books and other media, games and toys, glassware,… you name it.

i only shop on weekdays. i call it shopping although there is never any haggling over price. it’s free! weekends are for the grocery store and pharmacy, where you actually have to pay money.

on the street, you’ve got to be ready to load whatever into your car or trundle it away on a handcart or just pick it up and carry if off. that’s the deal. first come, first served, but if you can’t handle it, you’ve got to give it up to the next in line. it’s the new ethos.

once you get to know the other shoppers, you can keep you eye out for items they need. barter happens. you learn their clothing sizes. the whole thing gets more efficient.

another aid to efficiency is the recent profusion of neighborhood web sites, where you can browse the posts before going shopping, to see what’s available out there.

a certain amount of the merchandise is to be found in its original amazon shipping container.

for Tale Weaver


last of species left
lot of that going around
eight billion humans

for Tale Weaver


marsh ducks cattails mist
memories of my lost youth
land for sale, drained

for Tale Weaver


ante us, no “sorry”
the carnivores eat their fill
mostly we do too

for Tale Weaver


snowy egret wades
careful picky with quick beak
i inspect my plate

for Tale Weaver


pests will outlive us?
environmental changes
decrease their numbers.

For Tale Weaver

magic object

I was scuba diving off Saint Kitts when I saw an old man with a green beard down on the bottom. He was in the grip of an octopus, if tentacles grip. In the grips of the octopus, as at lease six tentacles were involved.

I freed the man by sorting out the tentacles in much the same way you untie a granny knot.

Thank you, he said, for he could talk clearly underwater. As a reward, I give you that magic anchor over there.

He pointed to a sunken ship with its anchor half out of the sand and mud of the ocean floor.

Make wishes while touching it and they will come true.

Thanks, I said, finding that I could take out my mouthpiece and also talk clearly, for the purposes of this narrative. Thanks, but I have to come down to this spot every time I want to make a wish?

Yes, or you could use your damned head.

So I swam over and touched the thing and thought, I wish you were in my backyard.

For this I caught holy hell from my wife when I got home. The thing landed on the kids’ swing set. Fortunately it was unoccupied at the time.

This monster must weigh tons, I said. I won’t be carrying it around like a charm on a bracelet.

I’ve told you already to stay away from my jewelry, my wife said. And my clothes as well. Particularly the dainties.

I rubbed the anchor like a seaweedy lamp.

I just wish it were a lot smaller, I said, and it vanished.

I didn’t mean that as a literal wish,  I said.

It’s like how you’re always accidentily turning on Google by talking around it, said my wife.

I got down on my knees.

It must be really, really small, I said. Like the size of an atom or something. I’ll never find it.

Your son lost the magnifying glass in the woods, my wife said.

Now suddenly he’s my son, I said.


For Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: Tale Weaver