The Cummington Fair’s 145th year


With eyes lined,


And mighty haunches fed, bred for dragging ten thousand pounds,


In regal repose, the beast of burden between appointments with the public and the pull.


Steve and I strolled the garish fairway of sugar and screams,


And abdominal organ rearrangements, two for the price of one.


We ambled to the stage for a pretty good Johnny Cash impersonation.


And to another to sing the national anthem in the dark.


We witnessed drivers loading into their reinforced weapons, soldiers going to war for the Demolition Derby.


 The deafening derby’s aftermath in silent wreckage.  All in the name of destruction.

Some things never change.

It’s a comfort to know that there will always be the best bouquet, the perfect green bean , the finest pair of knitted gloves, the strongest oxen team, the most fortified jalopy, singers who imitate the great, and Steve and I, like other spectators, gathering for an evening where screaming your head off is not only the norm, but the expectation.  It’s like being young.

First photo by Steve Kramer, the rest by yours truly.

Scenes From a Car Window


Coming back from Sullivan County, rushing by a river,


Skimming the earth like wind,


In a moment of parked repose, the trees reach to the Sistine Chapel.


As night falls, bridging our way from burbs to urban, dread narrowing my thoughts.


We fly down the west side through lurid beauty: cramped trees growing in concrete.  I prepare to meet what it means to be the daughter of Sol.

Stef & Dad Fl 07

                  Faces alike, countered spirits, from the other side, his reign remains.

All kidding Aside

“In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds”

Robert Green Ingersoll


No kidding.  Last week one of my friends wrote to say she was sorry my father was gone from this world.  She said eight years later, she still wants to talk to her dad.  I wrote back that my dad wasn’t much of a talker with me, although we really tried the last ten years after he was forced to slow down.  And I told her how sad it will be that I can’t call him anymore.  Then I wrote,  “It’s like he was a mountain that was always there, and now there is a big hole in the landscape of our family.”


Only a shadow where a life was lived.


But one that’s so close, I only need to take a few illusive steps to find the path to wholeness.


Years ago, a friend went to visit her mother in India because there wasn’t much time left and they’d been on different continents for years.  The first night they stayed up and talked; they remembered; they brought their past to life through language and stories.  She said when she left her family home three weeks later for the last time, she backed out the door to fill her eyes with as much of her mother as she could.  And when she walked away, my friend told me, she knew she was that much closer to the mountain of mortality.

No kidding again.  Soon, dear readers, I promise to stop writing about mortality.  But right now, I wouldn’t be paying attention if I wasn’t.