Saturday, June 26, 2010

All Those Trees

(Here's one of the places where I paused in the shade on the way back to the car ... decided I might as well record this one for posterity)

Friday was such a beautiful day where I was ... and, I hope, where you were, too.

But, as I was about to say, it was such a beautiful day that I decided to give myself a day off. No more of endless hours at the keyboard (too much of a reminder of another life I led way back there in ancient times). No more chores. No more anything except leisure activity.

Well, now, that can turn out to be work, too, but we struggled on.

Phyllis (the navigator) and I (the perpetrator) got a reasonably early start ... hopped into the Little Red Car (our favorite conveyance for many, many years) ... and headed off into the sunrise.

Though we were a little late for the actual sunrise, we did get an early start. The dew was still on the grass and the butterflies were just starting to yawn and stretch and flutter about when we arrived at the park.

Aha! The park! And what was going on there?

A group of plein air painters was gathering to record, each in his or her own way, surroundings which caught their eye.

I remembered a pond that I had liked in this particular park, so Phyllis and I headed for that.

It seemed much farther from the parking lot than I remembered ... I commented that they must’ve moved it farther back from the road ... but Phyllis (the navigator, remember?) assured me that it was likely something else which made it seem so distant.

Could it be that I have grown older in all those years since my last visit?

Don’t answer that.

We finally arrived, set up our folding stools, and I began painting while Phyllis interrupted her reading occasionally to take a look at what I was working on.

A couple of watercolors later, it was time to head back.

I suggested that Phyllis bring the car around so I wouldn’t have all that long walk back. I was kidding, of course, but I still earned one of those looks ... you probably know the kind.

We headed back together ... hardly got lost at all ... didn’t see any bears ... did see a couple of rabbits (shy rascals) ... some beautiful flowers (nothing shy about them) ... and, in the distance, trees offering shade ... wonderful, life-saving shade.

We must’ve made it all the way back, for here I am, late Friday, watching the clock and pounding the keyboard like mad in order to beat the deadline for “Squiggles.”


All of which brings us to:

TODAY’S POEM - Which came to mind as we were trudging through the woods ... and which owes much to the memories associated with a day trip taken several years ago with a group of "senior citizens."

Phyllis and I had sort of wandered off from the group ... intentionally, mind you ... I like to do that sometimes ... simply to enjoy a bit of quiet, to stretch my legs, to view the scene from a different angle.

But let's let the poem tell the story:


We'd grown tired of winding

along with the other tourists

through the aromatic rows

upon rows of captive plants,

felt our own tendrils tugging

gently toward a nearby hill.

We had paused half-way up

when there was a sudden

flutter of excited footsteps,

the clatter of young laughter,

and we were swiftly engulfed

by a surging flood of children

racing tree-to-tree, so intent

on their game they didn't see

us standing there, recalling

a game we had played so like

theirs, savoring the memories,

and now, loving all those trees.

(originally published in St. Anthony Messenger)


That’s right, “loving all those trees” ... and I’ve loved a lot of them in my time ... the box elder which I climbed at an early age, and many times after ... the tree where Grandpa put up a swing for me ... the plum trees we had ... the peach tree (we had a small place) ... and then there were the hickories ... the walnuts ... oaks and maples on up the hill from our place.

I don’t recall ever actually hugging any of them, but I loved ‘em all, still do.


COMMENT? Feel free ... below, if you like. 

Or if you prefer e-mail, that's fine, too ... especially for more detailed observations, to

... and it helps if you put "Squiggles" or "S&G" ... something like that ... in the subject line (just remember, no religion or politics ... please!)


If you’d like to see what’s up with my other, DAILY blog,  here’s a link to it:

Thanks for paying a visit.


UNTIL NEXT TIME ... take care ... see ya!


©  2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Running the Hurdles

(This photo was taken some time ago. I had a new camera ... a new "toy," if you will ... and I understood, from a quick reading of the instructions, that it had a built-in timer which allowed the photographer to be in the picture. Aha! A self-portrait! I thought I'd try a profile shot ... and I did. Trouble was, I was concerned that nothing seemed to be happening. Then, just as I turned to see what had gone wrong, something did happen ... and you see the result. It wasn't what I expected, but I never ... almost never ... throw anything away without finding a use for it ... so here it is.)

I'll be brief.

Let's have a show of hands: How many have heard me say that before?

Um-HMMM! Hey, no fair holding up both hands. 

Anyway ...

Today's poem, I think, cries out for more poetic detail ... and more detail would call for more than its eight short lines could deliver.

The poem may, in fact, have been considerably longer when it was first written ... but I was under the mistaken impression that 
Capper's only published eight-line poems.

See? I can be brief.

The poem:


Have you
ever noticed
how many more
things go wrong
when you're trying
to get away
early, or make up
for lost time?


If you'd like to see what's up with my other, DAILY blog, here's a link to it:

Thanks for paying a visit.


UNTIL NEXT TIME ... take care ... see ya!


© 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

And the Winner Is ...

(Just a casual look at a lazy brook on a sultry afternoon ... each of us just passing by ... headed no place in particular, it would seem. Still, that stream does seem to be serious about getting someplace)


Well, the votes are in.

What votes? 

Why the votes on two most important questions: 

Should “Squiggles” continue as a weekly posting, as it has for some time now, or should it consist of daily dribs and drabs, itsy-bitsy bits and pieces, as it has been for the past week or so?

And I must say that the outcome was most interesting. That’s right, interesting.

The result? A tie vote.

The final count:

Daily - zero.
Weekly - zero.

I look at Professor Squigglee.

Professor Squigglee looks at me.

I look at Professor Squigglee.

He shrugs.

So I guess it’s up to me to break the tie. 

In keeping with my long-standing custom, I cast my vote via secret ballot, and not even wild dogs ... or meowing cats ... can drag that secret from me.

(To be continued ... maybe)


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Frozen Flight

The photo, taken on one of our day trips, has nothing to do with "flight," but I liked the colors, the composition ... the tranquility ... and thought I'd share it today.


SOME OF YOU may recall that I’ve mentioned having been a sprinter ... way back in the previous century, in my high school days.

I had prepared by walking to town many times ... and back, of course (we didn’t have a car ... or even a horse and buggy) ... climbing bluffs, jumping creeks and smaller streams ... running in the dark because I was ... well, scared.

Put me on a cinder track, and it was a breeze ... for short distances, that is. I ran the 100 and 220. I also participated in the broad jump, high jump, low hurdles, relay team, and I did a little distance running, too. 

But the sprint. The short, fast race was my thing.

It was only natural, I suppose, that I carry this concept over into the computer age. I spent a number of working years at a computer ... long hours, tedious tasks. Not my thing.

I tried it for a while after I retired and had my own computer-like machine (the real thing was to come later - I was always on the trailing edge of technology). Not my thing.

The “sprint” was more like it, I remembered. So I got in the habit of setting the timer, perching myself in front of the keyboard and, at the imaginary sound of the imaginary starter’s pistol, I was OFF!

For 15 minutes I could type like mad ... and sometimes it even made sense. That was my thing.

Trouble was, sometimes the timer went off in mid-


sentence. And what was I to do? There was no point in continuing to sprint after the race was over, right? So I’d stop right there, walk about to relax a bit, take a nap, prepare for the next “race.”

Then I’d be OFF again, typing like mad. Oh, I was fast! This was real sprinting.

And the best part was that ... a bit of ancient history here ... there were no dinosaurs on the track. And, if I chose to do the low hurdles, no turtles, either.

Oh, I liked it 


... a lot. Sorry ... false alarm there. I thought MY timer had gone off, but it appears that the sound came from the kitchen ... which happens to be one of my favorite gathering places, but that’s another story, too.  
Now where was I? Oh, yes, I was sprinting ... hurrying to beat the clock and get this installment of “Squiggles” ready for public consumption. 

Uh-OH ... that WAS my timer (did you hear it, too?). See ya later.


(I’m back now, after a suitable interlude of meditation in my recliner ... I find, more and more, that it is the perfect thing for producing deep, deep thought)


What I started out to say, before all those random thoughts started tugging at my sleeve ... is that it seems like only yesterday that I made a posting in which I asked for a show of hands as to whether you’d prefer that I make daily postings here ... dribs and drabs, if you will ... or do it in one big blob, like today.

Well, the responses have been pouring in. The elves have been so busy sorting them ... that they’re way behind on their dancing and partying. But that’s another story, too.

Too late, I realized that ... in my “sprinting” to get that little item posted, I had neglected one tiny detail: How best to cast your vote.

So here it is:

You can post your vote right on the blog, if you wish ... and I ... or the elves ... will find it.

Or if you prefer e-mail, that's fine, too. Just send it to:


TODAY’S POEM: Today, class ... sorry, that sounds like Professor Squigglee, doesn’t it? Today I have a summer poem.

No, sorry, I don't have a picture of a sweat bee to go along with the poem. Those rascals are too tiny, too unpredictable, too fast for me and my camera.

The poem itself is almost a haiku moment, a tiny flicker of activity broken off before I became fully focused on what was happening.

But it became a little more than that ... and it carries so many memories of all those places this kind of "stare down" has happened to me over the years.

Originally published in Capper's:


A sweat bee
hovers in my face,
wings invisible
in the heavy air,
then, satisfied
at having won
this stare down,
darts away.


And if you’d like to see what’s up with my other, DAILY blog,  here’s a link to it:

Thanks for paying a visit.


UNTIL NEXT TIME ... take care ... see ya!


©  2010

Friday, June 11, 2010


(Foggy morning at Cox Arboretum)

TODAY’S QUOTE: “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” - Robert Brault (courtesy of WALT, Ohio)


AND NOW that it’s Friday ... it IS Friday, isn’t it? ... I do hope at least some of you noticed that this week has brought a series of  bits and pieces posted day-to-day here, as opposed to the usual single weekly posting on Saturday. 

I still hope to come up with something for tomorrow, of course ... but for today Professor Squigglee and I would like a show of hands: 

How many would (1) prefer that we continue our efforts to share something daily or (2) revert to just a once-a-week posting? (No fair trying to stuff the virtual ballot box ... one vote per viewer, please)

Thanks in advance for your thoughtful responses.  

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday haiku ...

                  summer breeze -
                  the smell of fresh hay
                  from an unseen field
(originally published in Modern Haiku, later included in Bottom Dog Press anthology)
                                                                                             © 1999           

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday Wanderings

BOOK NOOK: I've just finished reading Northwest Passages, by John Muir ... and now I’m taking up Earth Poems - Poems from Around the World to Honor the Earth, edited by Ivo Mosley ... so far it’s like being turned loose in a candy store.

And what’s on your reading table ... at your bedside ... or on your electronic “book” gizmo?


Hey, thanks for pausing to take a look. Hope you have a great day! Take care. See ya. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday Tattlings ...

TODAY’S QUOTE: “So truly blind is lord man; so pathetically employed in his little jobs of town-building, church-building, bread-getting, the study of the spirits and the heavens, that he can see nothing of the heaven he is in.” - John Muir, Northwest Passages


Hey, thanks for stopping by again ... take care ... see ya.  

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday Musings ...

LOOKING BACK ... all the way back to November 24, 2003, when “Squiggles” existed as an e-mailed dispatch ... with fifty-one readers in fifteen states, according to a note at the top of the printout. 

Ah, those were the days! As an incentive for those readers to keep the “conversation” going, there as a standing offer of a magical, mystical, mythical GOLD STAR which could be claimed by first responders.

And the winners back then? Well, let’s see ... “First to respond to last week’s installment, no doubt about it, was Mia (OH), who was interested in getting my autograph on her copy of “Chance of Rain” (Oh! Remember that? My first collection!) ... then Doris L. (OH), who had visions of Andy Rooney as she read “If Elected” (about the practice of curmudgeonry, you may recall) ... and then there was lilting, lyrical Loree (KS), who identifies with being mistaken for someone else, Carol Burnett, for example ... not quite in the league with Marilyn Monroe, she says, but better than being mistaken for Archie Bunker’s wife.”


TODAY’S QUOTE: “Oh, I do my share of looking back. Problem is, you bump into so many things while doing it.” - Professor Squigglee


Hey, thanks for stopping by ... take care ... see ya.  

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday ...

BOOK NOOK - I just started reading Northwest Passages, by John Muir. And what’s on your reading table?


GOTTA RUN ... er, walk. Take care. See ya. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Q and A

The following exchange is believed to have taken place between Bob and Professor Squigglee (due to recent stormy conditions and current high humidity, of course, we can’t be positive that it did ... take place, that is):

PROFESSOR SQUIGGLEE: Where have you been?

BOB: What do you mean?


BOB: Why, I’ve been right here ... mostly.

PROF: Well, people ... including me ... have been wondering why there’s been no “Squiggles and Giggles” recently.

BOB: Oh, THAT ...

PROF: Yes, that. Why haven’t you posted anything? Did you forget?

BOB: No ... 

PROF: Well, I’d certainly say you didn’t REMEMBER ...

BOB: Oh, but I did. I remembered, alright ... almost every day ... 

PROF: Well, then ... why no “Squiggles”?

BOB: Oh, I don’t know ... I guess I thought nobody would notice if I took a little “spring break.”

PROF: And?

BOB: I don’t think anybody did notice.

PROF: No phone calls ... no e-mails ... no twerps and twitters ... or whatever it is those things are called these days?

BOB: Nope. Not even a single twitch. 

PROF: Still, don’t you think you’ve set up some level of expectation ... ?

BOB: Oh, I suppose. But ... you know ... when you’re in the midst of these lazy-hazy-crazy days of whatever, there’s just not much incentive to put on the running shoes and go sprinting down the lanes of random thoughts and poetry. 


AS I SAID, this conversation may have taken place ... maybe not. Guess we’ll just have to take a look at the tapes. Now where do you suppose those things ARE?


TODAY’S POEM: I can usually recall the starting point ... the impetus ... of something I've written. Not so in this case.

It might be because I've written so many. It becomes a bit difficult to recall precisely what triggered each one.

I have a feeling, though, that this one promised to be a longer piece ... perhaps a short story. I was letting my imagination run free on this scene from the close of the day. I'm not sure where it was headed ... its ultimate destination.

Writing is like that sometimes. I always like to get the words on paper ... those bits and pieces of thought which come to me of their own accord ... for, on later reflection ... and a bit of tweaking ... they may turn into something worth keeping and sharing.

This one didn't go on to bigger things. But I liked the descriptive phrases, and it appears that the editor liked them, too.

With that, here's the poem:


Dying embers of day
arc slowly on drapes
drawn tightly
like an old man's mouth
sealed against saying
that which must
not be said. His room,
steeped in darkness,
recalls a steely pool
of tension, burdened
dome of sky,
dark leaves stirring
now, a gathering
of thoughts seeking
shelter for the night.
© 1999
(originally published in Potpourri)


COMMENT? Feel free ... below, if you like. 

Or if you prefer e-mail, that's fine, too ... especially for more detailed observations, to

... and it helps if you put "Squiggles" or "S&G" ... something like that ... in the subject line (just remember, no religion or politics ... please!)


And if you’d like to see what’s up with my other, DAILY blog,  here’s a link to it:

Thanks for paying a visit.


UNTIL NEXT TIME ... take care ... see ya!


©  2010