Magic Man


Photo: JK Monument, Brasilia; Maurilio Quadros on Unsplash


“Why is he up there?” Santiago shaded his eyes against the glare.

“To be close to the angels,” A-avó said.

“Isn’t he already dead?” the boy asked softly. He didn’t want to offend his grandmother, whose age seemed close enough to dying.

“Ah,” A-avó shook her head with sorrow. “He is with Jesus now some years. But he kept many from joining Heaven too early.”

The boy’s eyes lit with curiosity. “Did he do magic, A-avó?”

“In his way,” the old woman nodded. “Magic enough to me. Your O-avô would not have lived if it weren’t for President JK bringing medicine to us who lived in the country. The malaria and the tuberculosis would have taken your O-avô. As they had taken mine.”

Santiago thought of how it would be for him to grow up without the man he loved. “Obrigado,” he bowed to the statue.

“Good boy,” A-avó smiled.




For What Pegman Saw: Brasilia, Brazil


New York Marvel

NYPL IngeVandormael

Photo: Inge Vandormael


Marble walls in carved glory


A marvel,


For words

No longer



But shared

With all.



Note: This fantastic photo was taken by my talented friend Inge Vandormael, at the New York Public Library building on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue. Click here for some of history.

For Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: M or N



Photo Prompt: Dale Rogerson


“Your grandfather must be turning in his grave.”

She’d made bitterness her trademark, so finding meaning usually entailed having to decode gradients of dismay.

He figured this one was a 67 out of 100. Enough disgust to call attention to how the “good old days” were better than modern progress, while not completely dismissing the comforts of advanced technology.

“Clean power is good for the lungs,” he cajoled, half-hoping for an argument. It was his Grandma’s genes he carried, after all.

“Pah,” she wrinkled her nose. “Nothing wrong with a bit of soot to get people appreciating real power.”



For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers


Blessings and a Whisper

Photo: Sue Vincent


Lush grass now grew over the span of stones, though none had grown there in the many years when the passage of feet had mowed and flattened any seedling that had found a crack in which to nestle.

The water gurgled as it had, though, flowing like a ribbon of careless abandon underneath. Incoming. Through. Not one look back. Away.

She wondered if the fish silvering in the stream were the descendants of the ones who’d flapped among the rocks and dove out of the reach of all manner of two-legged hunters. Their instincts certainly remained the same.

Like hers.

Honed by years of flight, and generations of bare escape from calamity and disaster and all manner of two-legged hunters’ spread of misery.

For centuries the stones of the old bridge had been the thoroughfare of goods and news — both good and not — from isolated farms to the town’s market and from the town into the farms, and in that order. It had withstood war and fights and blight and playful dares and cruel shove-overs. It streamed with rain and baked with sun and creaked with ice and endured more than one direct hit of lightning. It had heard the laughter of small children and the cries of same, sometimes not much later after. Where rugged wheels and heavy hooves had carved ruts of rattling passage, now weeds took hold to cover any sign of man.

It stood deserted, and perhaps relieved, since the new and wider bridge was built a bit further downstream. The modern pathway accommodated simultaneous travel in both directions as it carried the weight of the machines that belched dark stains onto its tar.

She’d been warned against attempting to put any weight on the old bridge. They all were. “It’s held by no more than blessings and a whisper,” her grandmother had cautioned. “One step onto the wrong stone and it could collapse.”

And yet, it had outlasted both Grandmother’s life and Mother’s and seemed poised to outlast hers, as well. Perhaps blessings and a whisper were better mortar than the speeding up of time.

“And you don’t have much long to wait to outlast me,” she murmured as she walked to the water and bent to dip her palm. Cold.

As she would be, sans blessings or a whisper, before much more water churned indifferently along, passed under the bridge, and was gone.




For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto Challenge


Blessed Bus

modern bus SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein


Don’t be fooled,

It is in service

And it is blessed

By the Gods.

It will move

In a moment,

And carry all

In its hold.

In modern days

Muddy tires

Let legs be rested


No one here

Takes for granted


Since days of old.




For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Technology


Not Immovable

melted peak AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif


Even the mountains

Seeming well set in stone

Their uncompromising

Place so solidly headstrong

Can move


Pebble by pebble

Rainstorm by rainstorm

To places one had

Never thought

A mountain

May join.




For The Daily Post

Brassy Doesn’t Mean Strong


Strength doesn’t lie in the pushy. Cocky does not powerful say. The shameless and showy lead no one ashore, just astray.

True power is held in alliance. In humility, empathy, care. Strength is achieved through the weaving of strands, not their fraying. Accordance is what grows a real, lasting greatness. Obstinacy makes success decay.

When the few rue the day, may the sensible many hold light, lead the way.


For The Daily Post

Baby Steps

Goals drive us forward. They also hold us back.

Goals often seem too big to get to. The great idea you had the other night feels suddenly less sparkly in the morning: there are far too many steps, it will require more time than you realized, need more attention than you believe you have, more energy than you find within you.

You feel overwhelmed. Discouraged. You get stuck.

Goals are posts along a journey. It truly is not the destination that matters, but the path you take to get there, what you learn along the way about yourself, about your possibilities, abilities, the things that limit you from stretching up and over into the incredible, the fears that keep you from reaching out.

Parents ask me about their children’s therapy: “Will he ever not need help?” they want to know. “Will people ever understand her when she speaks?” They worry how long it will take, how much effort, whether they can make it; can the child.

Children, too, talk about their process. “I am not good at this,” they say. “I don’t know how to write this reading response/this essay”, “I don’t know how to understand the story or how to have the words ready in my mouth when I raise my hand.” “Will I still have to see you next year?” they ask. “Do kids sometimes see you even when they are in high-school?” they inquire, wondering in part-worry, part-hope that I will answer in the affirmative: they worry that they can still be ‘different’ by then, and hope that if so, they will not be left on their own.

“We’ll get there,” I say. “One step at a time.” It is something most of us hear plenty, and not always helpfully, and I know it is often not what parents and children want to hear from me. However, it is Truth still … even if it stirs the place inside each one of us that wants to ‘get to’ where we’re going faster, that does not want to have to do the work, that wants destinations to arrive without the journey.

“Baby steps,” I recommend, knowing that this, too, is often hard to listen to. Who wants to take even smaller steps when the target seems so far away already? BIG steps will get me there oh so much faster! But baby-steps, too, are Truth. Careful, one-foot-then-the-other passage gets us there more surely than a hop-skip-pray-you’re-still-on-the-path would.

Baby-steps aren’t slow, really. They aren’t less-than other ways of making progress. Think of it: Babies take brave steps when they begin to walk. They walk and wobble, toddle and fall and rise and try again … and when they get their footing they walk almost constantly. They put little feet on every surface, tackle stairs, grass, sand, uneven ground. They hold on to hands, grab onto what is available. They crawl when there’s no balance to be found in standing. They climb on all fours. They find a way around. They stop and look for a path behind an obstacle and then surge forward in delight when they find it. Their steps get longer, surer, less a-wobble. They accelerate. They run.

“Baby steps,” I say. Remind. Consider.

It does not mean to do go slowly. It does not mean to take too long. It means to be determined, brave, consistently in focus and yet open to an opportunity to rest and play. It means looking ahead. It means seeing the immediate requiring some climbing over and assessing whether there’s someone tall to carry you awhile if you need a break or wish for a moment of better view …

It means getting there, and finding much to do along the pathway. It makes the journey part of what it takes, and worthy in of itself.

You start with baby-steps, yes. But along the way, you learn to walk. You find your pace. You learn to hop and skip and turn and twirl and run.

You’ll get there.

All you need to do is take step one.

off i go