Momma Jean

Photo Prompt: © Jean L. Hays


“Don’t you go spendin’ no money!” Momma Jean announced.

In a whirlwind of industrious determination, she began rummaging through shoe boxes and ancient suitcases, closets, and plastic bags, flinging this or that onto the table.

I didn’t dare to offer help. Once Momma Jean got like this, it was best to keep out of the way.

“Now!” She finally straightened, hair askew and dust-bunnies clinging to the edge of her house-dress. My inveterate neighbor was out of breath and in her element. “You tell me what that costume look like, and I make it for you. You win first prize.”




For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers




New Passage

Photo: © Renee Heath


It had been a long night. It will be a long day and night still.

The old man sighed and watched the spirits paint the sky.

The youth had spent the night secluded in silent contemplation. The elders had kept vigil not far from the tent.

Some elders frowned at the arrangement. “Right of passage should require complete solitude,” they’d argued. “How else will there be quietude enough to hear the whispers of the land?”

“Times had changed,” he’d stressed. “The current world requires the tent’s protection as well as our watchful eye. Surely the spirits, in their wisdom, understand.”



For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers



Stop to Sip

A drink SmadarHalperinEpshtein (2)

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein


Walking along

Paths of life,

Stop to sip

Pause to laugh.

Make small moments

Of cool calm,

Find someone

To lean on.

Take a rest

Take the air,

Live well through

Time’s wear and tear.



For Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: drinks


Tempestuous Times

cmurrey clothesline Flickr

Photo: cmurrey, Flickr


“These are tempestuous times,” she said

And her strong hands wrung the laundered sheets

To squeeze out suds

As she would want

To push out infiltrated evil.

“I’ve seen hardship before,” she stirred

The linens

In the boiling vat,

Simmering the despair

Till it foamed and evaporated

Into bleached hope.

“Wrong does not last,” she rinsed

And wrung

And shook

And hung

The wash

Till it fluttered


To dry,

Only the barest of stains

Still visible

In the sun.


Merriam-Webster’s word for July 30, 2018:


This post continues the blogging challenge in which Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, serves as inspiration a-la the “Daily Prompt.”

Want to join me? Feel free to link to this post on your blog, and/or post a link to your blogpost in the comment section below so others can enjoy it, too. Poetry, photography, short stories, anecdotes: Go for it!

For more visibility, tag your post with #WordOfDayNY, so your post can be searchable.

“Follow” me if you want to receive future prompts, or just pop in when you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s to the fun of writing and our ever-evolving blogging community!


Mendel’s Messengers



She waited.

Three teens passed, faces glued to lit screens. One murmured “sorry” when he almost bumped into her. He didn’t look up.

A mother hurried in the direction of the car park, harried by a whining toddler.

Long minutes passed. She’d walked from the bus and her legs weren’t what they used to be. She leaned onto a lamppost and closed her eyes.


A bearded face leaned toward her. Another man behind.

“Will you help me cross the street?”

“At your service!” Both men offered their hands.

She smiled. “Mendel sent you. It’s what he used to say.”



For the Friday Fictioneers Challenge


What To Expect

life lived2


“I don’t know what to expect,” he said.

“Expect the unexpected,” the old woman smiled.

His smooth brow wrinkled,

Unconvinced but polite.

Her smile grew.

She patted his arm and sighed.

She, too, had been a greenhorn

To life

Intent on knowing

What cannot be known

Before experiences





For The Daily Post

Life Lived

life lived2

There’s immense beauty in life lived. In every wrinkle bought by time and much expression. It is evident, open, there to see. There is beauty in the well-lined faces of elders. In our own. They are pathways earned by living. Furrows sewn by memory and feeling. Intricate etchings of how one came–and still comes–into one’s own, how spirit’s grown.

A little boy of four told me the other day: “My granny is very pretty. She has lots of lines all over her face like spider webs because she’s old. She gets more lines every year for her birthday. I like her face. It is so soft and her eyes love me.”

There is history to tenderness and respect for the older. Many native traditions venerate their elders and hold their wisdom in high interest and regard. They know that life leaves marks, and most of them are well-earned knowledge. The lines upon a person’s face reflect not decline or oddly shameful claims of “one’s age showing” but rather are a mirror to a person’s wisdom, depth, growth.

Many of us have lost the Way, in modern times. In the rush to seek erasing life from our expressions, we’re urged to look away from those who forged before, who cleared the paths, who taught us all we know. We are expected to see wrinkled faces as what we should fear becoming. It is our own life we deny when we do not accept that we would none of us be had it not been for the elders’ lives, how it is now our history. The aged’s perspective is what holds our own horizon steady. They know of corners we do not yet see for we are in too low a vantage point, compared. Their faces show it. Maps of living. Losing sight of it is losing part our ourselves, of what we may have the blessing to become sometime later be.

The little boy who sees his granny’s life etched in the softness of her face and the love in her eyes–he gets it. His priorities are calibrated. He sees the beauty of life lived, not the images peddled by companies seeking fortunes by telling people lies: that life reverses, that years should not be seen, that age that shows is somehow shameful and wrinkles should be believed to depict a worn-out living, unworthy of respect. The opposite is real, and this child’s vision is clear, aligned with Truth: that the paths we walk become a part of us. That our beauty lies in our compassion, in what we learned of ourselves and others, in how we live. Beauty is not measured in complexion or in how well we do in life’s erasing.

If only more could see. The beauty of life lived. Reflected.

I am someplace in early middle years. Not nearly old enough to spider-web, but in the place where I receive a few new gifts of wrinkles for each birthday, and hopefully some of the wisdom they can depict of some experience. I see them, welcome into my visage: laugh lines, small remembering of oft expression, better understanding of the interplay of gravity on time and skin.

The same little boy looked at me the other day, his eyes full of inspection, his young forehead creased lightly in concentration. He searched my face. Lifted a hand to my cheek. “You have some wrinkles, too,” he noted. That’s pretty.” He sighed. Satisfied. 

life lived1

life lived