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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Is it the flu or a cold?

That's what I've been pondering for the last few days. I think I've decided it's a cold.

Here's a comparative list of symptoms:

Whatever it is, I'm keeping my distance from M. One sick person at a time per household:  that's the rule!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Mystery Man

I wrote a version of this villanelle in 1999, and revised it in 2009.

It seems right to repost it, in anticipation of July 20, 2019, the 50th anniversary.

Mystery Man
One small step can seem like almost nothing,
a quarter million miles for three to fly,
as we held our breaths to watch that first landing.
Four billion hopes--a planet's wondering
reflected in the mirror in the sky--
is one small step away from almost nothing.
Buzz followed you, while Mike was orbiting.
How could your tiny step not make us cry
as we breathlessly watched that first landing?
The media frenzy you found stifling,
a leap to fame that you would soon decry.
One small step can seem like almost nothing.
Who is this man? The press is suffocating.
Cocooned within your silence you just sigh,
and hope news will eclipse the first landing.
Mystery Man, no moon songs do you sing.
Can astronauts be brave, but also shy?
One small step that changes everything
at once. We exhale, hope for safe landing.
Copyright  2014 by Barbara Etlin, all rights reserved.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Fog, a new haiku


steady white smoke puffs
now you see it, now you don't--
Golden Gate magic

Copyright 2019, Barbara Etlin, all rights reserved

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Hang in there!

This is something I've needed to remind myself of lately. I think it's good advice for most of us.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Fortune Cookie Romance

M and I had known each other for four months when my parents and brother met him for the second time. We went out to our favourite Chinese restaurant.

M received this fortune, which he showed to me and hid from my family:

"You will marry your present lover and be very happy."

We both giggled. I blushed. He refused to show it to the others.

Years later, M and I were engaged. The wedding was a month away. We went out to another Chinese restaurant for dinner. M received the same fortune:

"You will marry your present lover and be very happy."

A week before the wedding we were back at the second restaurant. We both received the same fortune, which read:

"Music, flowers, gifts, and invitations will soon be yours."

I swear I didn't bribe the waiters to bring special cookies!

Well, M, you did marry me, exactly 26 years ago today!

As for your happiness? So far, so good...

Happy 26th Anniversary!

Friday, May 17, 2019

My Best Review

My mother left this message on my telephone answering machine.

I listened to it frequently for three and half years before it was accidentally erased. By then I had memorized it. I'm sure it's the best review I'll ever receive.

"It's just past 8 o'clock and you're probably out for dinner, but I just wanted to let you know I've been reading your book that you wrote and I'm just thrilled!

"I'm only up to page [pause while she checks] 68, but your description and imagination are amazing!

"I'll talk to you later, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm reading it and enjoying it so much."

Monday, May 13, 2019

Happy Birthday To Ya, Stevie!

Stevie Wonder
is 69 today!

"Apple of My Eye" is an original digital painting by Kevin Slattery.
It has a place of honour on my office wall beside
Kevin's painting of Bob Dylan.