Lost Password


I’ve lost the password to what used to be my life.
The air is strange and I’m losing my sense of balance.
I search through remnants scattered in the home I sold,
Wondering what to keep, or sell, or trash.

In the coffeeshop, the chatter is of family discord:
Recent losses, expected deaths, and mangled hopes
Fall like tears from the balcony, splashing on me,
Where I sit, trying to create a new password.

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Dissing Education

I’ve just finished reading the Saturday comics, this fine early August morning, and I saw something upsetting, pervasive, and subliminally powerful. I saw the ongoing American cultural disdain for education. Three of the comics were about how upsetting it is, for their characters, to think of the pain of returning to school. In one, a pleasant-appearing, bohemian-looking teacher eating an ice-cream cone, asks two kids how they are enjoying their summer. Their discussion after is about how disturbing it was to think about returning to school.

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Man on Skype

Skype and Learning

How to learn how to use our devices: if at first you don’t succeed, ask for help and try again.

My 92 year old father and I Skype almost every night. We tell each other about our days, and keep up with each other between our face-to-face visits. The other night, he wanted some help. He’s teaching himself and learning how to use his smartphone for more than just calling. He’d taken a number of pictures and wanted to email these pictures to friends and family.

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Driveway with Painted white arrow Pointing Down

Smartphone Pics & Videos

I went to a workshop given by Wayne MacPhail – www.w8nc.com – yesterday and I know I learned a lot because my behavior has changed. On my morning walk, I took photos with my smartphone, as usual, but I took way more, and with a different conscious ‘eye’.

Wayne is both very knowledgable in a range of fields and excellent at explaining. Plus he’s very generous in sharing the material he created for his workshop, ‘Content in Hand’. I found what he showed us about taking shots with our smartphones very,

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When Obligations Collide


When obligations collide, my heart unfolds.
I try to read what is written for tomorrow
without my glasses. I must decide.

This slippery road leads me into strange spaces.
The centre collapses unexpectedly, but the periphery
may knit into a new street view. I search.

Steering blindly by what is yet hidden
I try to avoid the road rages of others
and drive cleanly into the mystery. I meditate.

 May 1, 2013 –… Read more When Obligations Collide

Best Books About Rhetoric

This fall, I am teaching a 3rd year university course, as I have for a few years. In “Oral Rhetoric”, I get the students to focus on their formal and informal speaking skills. I use two books as my most important resources:

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Getting Older

A poem I wrote about the experience of getting older –

Getting Older Poem

Like a spray of hot pebbles – little stings that you feel but shrug off.

Slowly blisters form: fragile skin over tears.


Nodding off during the news,

Getting no questions when I ask for a senior’s discount,

Noticing I think anyone under 50 is young,

Going to retirement parties,

Little stings.

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