If there is no fire…

If there is no fire…

burned child

If the fire alarm goes off for three days  the fire department doesn’t come; the people don’t run and the management ignores the phone calls to “turn it off” there is something wrong.

I happened to be on the property of a low rent apartment complex ((actually the rent is very high) but the people are very poor, few speak English  and there are lots of kids.

The alarm went off. The Fire Dept didn’t come till I called them.  When they did come the Captain said the fire alarms aren’t hooked up to a security monitoring system or the fire department.  I called the 1-800 phone number and the maintenance man called me back  34 hours later.

One woman said that it goes off sometimes and lasts for three days if it’s on the weekend.  The sound was so loud I can’t imagine having to live there.  The  people hide in their apartments.  They can’t sleep .

If there really was a fire would they sleep through that too.

This was in Nashville.  I wrote a letter to the Fire Marshall in a complaint form. I sent an email to the council person in that district.  I don’t want people to die in a fire. Fire in apartment



Faith is the Spirit of the Horse

Faith is the Spirit of the Horse


Born beside a river

Left to wander over the mountains

Homeless without a resting placeWild horse

Always a stranger in a foreign land

Born with the genes of survival

Untouched by the hand of a man

Untamed without the bit or the bridle

Created and birthed in the land of sun and rain

Beating the earth of horizons and sunsets

Surrounded by the wisdom of the four winds

Run as if your life depended on it-because it does

Savage beast they call you.

Rough, your mane is tangled

No name and no connections

Spirited, restless and strong

Your heart knows the way

Unharnessed  and wild

The tamed zoo corrals your fears

Barns can be traps

Fences can be walls

When caged and trapped you are enraged

No decisions to make

No choices

Only direction and correction

Love pounding through your heart

Standing at the peak, on the mountaintops

It is what is is.

The spirit is free from judgement, action or resistance

It perceives, believes, receives and it’s own energy it conceives

There is nothing to fear

Nothing to run from

Nothing to run to

It is all here

Inside the soul

Beside the wind

Within the spirit

Three choices

Fight to live

Flee to run

Breath  to be

The movement is the dance not the race

Allow the dreams and opinions

The flowers will grow around they feet and shed the mud

The fragrance is of life . It is in the blood.

Faith is the spirit of the horse.

Grandparents Rights

Grandparents Rights

Really?  Do we have to have this discussion.  When my children were small there was no such term, ” grandparents’ rights.”  Today it is very common either by divorce, attitudes and religious or political opposing opinions.  There are grandparents in every state that experience the most heartbreaking agony.

Families develop strained relationships.  Without mediation and empathetic intervention it continues. Children punish their parents by snap decisions to withhold connections.  Grandparents are saddened and confused. One young mother asked me, ” If my daughter’s grandmother doesn’t agree with my decisions as a parent should she be allowed to see her grandchild?”

Back in the day divorced parents were asked not to use the ex has a whipping post. ” The child has another parent besides you and that child will want the love of that parent, also.”   These same children now decide which grandparent ” deserves” to see their children.  Those who don’t are left without explanation as to why.

I even ask my own children, ” What do you tell them when you ask where YOUR mother is?”

Most states do not have ” Grandparents’ Rights” laws.  Some grandparents have even raised their grandchildren until their parents decide to take them away.  There is nothing the grandparent can do.  States legal message is ” What is best for the child?”  Some states make grandparents have to prove ” harm” if they are not allowed to see the children.  These makes for an attack on their own children when in reality grandparents  would like to be treated with love and respect.

There are many websites who address this issue. The AARP has a community online support group. ” Visitation with Grandchildren (http:refresh.aarp.org/online-community/groups/index.action?slGroupKey=Group1862.)

grandparents rights


Sad ,but some grandparents, ( like myself) have become ” Facebook Stalkers.”  We learn how to observe the growing up and the activities of the children and grandchildren that have been locked out of our lives.

Churches and community groups are deaf to the issue.  Courts and lawmakers don’t want to ” upset” any voter.

Grandchildren need love from their families.  When there is no history of neglect, violence or abuse then the grandchildren should at least be able to visit with their grandparents on holidays and birthdays.

I have four grandchildren.  They do not know my name or that I am alive.  I have two children who have chosen to withhold all communication.  I have been told it’s my fault but to this day I don’t know what ” my fault is.”

Cars, Planes and a Big Boat

Cars, Planes and a Big Boat

It is early, dark thirty, and I am.showered and dripping wet in anticipation on my latest cruise to the Caribbean. My bag is overweight as my bathing suits are larger and heavier than the thongs and bikinis of my younger years. I check and double check: passport, phone charger and of course a little cash for tips.

The fog on the soaked windshield is opague like a thick grayed cream. Through the blinking red lights and empty lanes I go.
At the airport it is confirmed- my bag is way too heavy. Ugh!. ” Empty ten pounds,”” the smiling Southwest lady says. Her co-worker confirms by trying to lift the bag from the scales. ” Seventy  five.dollars or you buy a wonderful brand new Southwest bag.  She looks at the other lady to confirm. ” Overweight.”
I take the heavy purple bag and unzip it right there in the floor. I remove rolled clothes, several.pairs of sandals  and my deck of cards.  Men behind me grunt. I pretend not to be frustrated. It is evident by my strewn contents of my purse in another pile I am.

I stand erect and like throwing a bale of hay the bags land on the cold metal scale.
” Perfect,” they agree. The men standing in line

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Only a Nymph

Only a Nymph

A recreation of a memory from a black and white photograph made in 1956
A recreation of a memory from a black and white photograph made in 1956

From the worm to the butterfly

Larvae of a child

An immature form of a woman

The sun of Taurus whose rising presages rain

An inflatable pool

Cerulean blue  in a driveway of concrete and stone

A garden hose and a shiny bucket in 1956

No one there but me being entrusted with the faucet

Yielding to the hose a stream of unconsciousness

Spraying, splashing on the surface of fear

Dreams and disturbances sprinkled by impatience and ignorance

Droplets of hope and happines

into a urine solution of fluoridated water

Steeped in the sun

Dipped into the heart

Drenched by loneliness and drunk with the future.

Write About Sickness nurse

Write About Sickness nurse

I graduated from Austin Peay State University in Clarkville, TN.
I graduated from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. in 1974

Anal orifices

Sticking out your tongue




Cold lunch


Bull bladder

Tired Legs

Patient requests

“Your patient is on his light!”




Bowel preps

Codes and cardiac arrest

Doctors  yelling

nurses  growling

housekeeping  mopping up the puke

Charts stacked

Breaks?  who gets one

A cigarette? A meal. I got to pee.

” Will you watch my patient?”

Will you watch my patient? Hey. you?

” Will you, pretty please?

I have just got to go Pee.

“Empty urinals-intake and output

Medications:wrong drug, wrong time, wrong wrong wrong.

X-rays, MRI Scans

Emergencies because I really have to pee now. ” Will you watch my patient please?”

Procedures: Bowel preps, and wound debreedment

Vital signs Shift change Go Home

I made it to bathroom before I made it home.



In fruit before it rots

In a performance, unrehearsed

In air before the storm

In youth before they are conformed

In meat while it is still bloody

In flowers before they are picked

In relationships before they are familiar

In milk before it sours

Like water without salt

In vegetables removed from the stem

Fresh is new, young and hasty Unexpected and surprised.

It is not preserved .It soon dies.

It is the opposite of everything we are trained to be

Skilled, poised and refined.



Mother ruled our world like a queen in the kitchen on linoleum floors. I remember so well.

I stood tall counting my age on two hands.

I wanted to be close to her.

My knees trembled. I stared at her hair tied up in a red sweat band around her black shiny hair.

She threw Martha White flour in a big ceramic bowl

Scooping up  gooey lard in her fists.

Pouring milk from a plastic milk jug.

Her thoughts were somewhere between her elbows and white glue.

She mixed madness with flour.

Baked in an oven as hot as hell. I remember the smell.

“Please, mother your biscuits with butter.”

“Do you have a recipe?” “Written in a book?” “Stacked in a cabinet?” “Hidden in a drawer?” “Do you remember it all by heart?”

With pointed fingers she said “Flour on the floor, your handprints on cabinet doors, No, not today!”

She refused to cook my daddy’s  favorite dish, spaghetti.

I stood in fear and silence when I  heard him yell, “Tomatoes, onions and butter…none of that Italian crap.”

She had no tomatoes in her cellar, no onions on the shelf. She forgot to buy the pasta.  I never saw him thank her for a meal she prepared.

“When will you learn how to cook a decent meal?” he said. Nothing she made was good enough for him… Not her food, not her children, not her love.

For sixty years on a white cloth towel that kept yesterday’s flour from spilling in a drawer she dusted flour on the sticky parts,  with a rolling pin  and anger she laid it flat.  With a jagged edge circle she cut vengeance into bite size pieces.

She kneaded his dough and didn’t expect to be loved. In a silent world she never said a word. Till death do us part she fed him on butter and bitterness made with tears.

Those little flat circles called homemade biscuits.

At My Daddy’s Table

At My Daddy’s Table

Growing up around a rectangular table mother sat at the head with her back to the kitchen , facing the backdoor. With her permission daddy  sat with his back against the wall and to her right.  A small window above him spred a dim light on his ivory plate from the shadow of the carport. Around the old oak table, a family heirloom, surrounded by dark pine paneling made in 1962 an encasement of torture and family blessing said over mashed potatoes and fried chicken.  Learning to navigate the world and hide our fears we swallowed guilt, shame and a the code of ” Father knows best.”

“Come to the table when your mother calls. Sit!” he said.

“Cover your chest with your sweaty shirt. Cover your shoulders with your blouse.” “Wash your hands. Remove the grease and the dirt. Make them smell like lye soap.” “ Keep your feet under the table.” ( boots, mud and manure) “No hats!” –(baseball or cowboy) “Off!” he yelled. Food is offered in times of death, divorce and disease, celebration of births, marriages and anniversaries. For special dinners let all the children first. Feed the men. Serve them and fill their glasses with ice, tea and sugar.  When they leave to the living room watch the women eat the remains. Girls wash dishes. Sweep the crumbs. Take small bites of humility. Keep your elbows off the table. Chewing with your opinions closed.

“Pass the secrets, please. ”

If you don’t like it and it burns your mouth eat it, swallow it, pretend it’s the best you’ve ever tasted. When you can’t swallow  you’ll be eating more of the same thing as everyone watches. Silent rules you’ll never know until someone disobeys.

“Don’t use the napkin to blow your nose.”

It’s okay to use it to sneeze. When you drop your fork pick it up. Wipe the mud from the carpet off your fork with the napkin. Mother will clean up your mess. Father’s words are “ The Rules.” Mother obeys and finds loopholes. No backtalk, defensive explanations. You are always wrong. Daddy’s  words are the last sound in the room. You are at his table and you are there to be offended. If you must leave the table excuse yourself “Ask your Daddy before you go.”

Ask mother if it’s ok to ask father. If you are about to choke and can’t keep it down leave the table before you are thrown out.

“Enough of those words and ideas in this house!” If you have a problem with a family rule blame yourself. Suffer and wallow in shame. Feel guilty because you don’t add up. If you want to cry go to your room. Nobody wants to hear you. If you aren’t crying they might find something for you to cry about. Yes ma’am and no’ sir. Please and thank- you’s in unison. Sing the praises to the Lord and the dead chickens. It is life around the table. A circular chain of events The Golden Child grows up to be worthless. The Scapegoat becomes a workaholic. The Mascot involves into a addicted comedian. The Lost Child is left alone, forever. It is a frozen concept. Family rules shape you.

It’s the reason for therapy in adulthood. Southern rules on sunny days made me who I am today.