Muddy Hands


A boy so young

His head as small

As the moon through a window

Holds the earth in his unsure fingers

Spinning it carelessly

Tossing it high in the air

Higher and higher still

Until it can no longer be caught


It slips away

A skipped rock

Past the clouds

Over the sun

And into the darkness with no end

And it’s gone


But he is a boy

After all

So he reaches into the darkness

And pulls it out just like that

Rubs the muck off on his wrinkled shirt

And rolls it

Rolls it

Back under his feet


Now he plucks the moon

From its dark curtain

With his muddy hands

And spins it carelessly




In my first guest post, the one and only Ed Valfre shares one of his incredible image stories from Ed Valfre’s Dreamland. If you haven’t already liked this site on Facebook, do so now. It’s like ice cream.

In the middle of Montana is a retired nun. Every morning she goes to Nell’s Cafe, sits in the same seat and orders extra crispy bacon, dry toast, a soft boiled egg and a coffee. She is considered to be about as exciting as a cabbage sandwich. Not one of them know about the alligator that took her leg in the jungles of South America or how she scammed the gun runners in Sierra Leone and saved those children. She has seen things none of them can even imagine. Her life isn’t a secret. It’s just none of them ever asked.



Jamie is playing around in the bathroom again. He’s trying to remember…how much time does it actually take to brush teeth?

Hmmm…don’t remember because haven’t actually brushed in weeks. Maybe months. Put in lots of time at the bathroom sink though. Mostly stare at self and judge decay. Can’t really see it, only the yellow stuff on top.

He takes out the toothpaste, puts some on his finger, smells, and smells again.

Smells like…cherry suckers. The kind you get at Halloween. Aren’t suckers bad for teeth?

He takes out a fluoride tablet sent home at the time of the visit with the evil, horrible dentist and wets it with his forefinger and thumb. Smashing and grinding it into a paste on the bathroom counter, he mixes it with toothpaste to make it smooth.

Open mouth to look at cavities. One, two, three, four, five. Are there any teeth left without fillings? Evil, horrible dentist will find more, always finds more. Drill, drill, drill with mouth cranked opened as far as it can go without breaking jaw.

He moves his jaw from side to side to make a clicking noise only he can hear.

Jaw already broken.

Will Mother miss him if he stays in bathroom all night? Too busy working, talking on phone, reading newspaper, petting dog with dog breath. Does he have dog breath? Jamie exhales into his palm in front of his nose. Smells like hot dog dinner. His specialty, hot dog. Can make all by himself in microwave.

Jamie takes out his toothbrush and brushes the tablet/toothpaste on the counter until the bristles are coated with the thick fuchsia cement. He starts to brush his teeth. Back and forth the brush moves, harder and harder, until it kind of hurts but he keeps going. Blood from his gums leaks out of the corner of his mouth but it looks pretty much the same as the cherry toothpaste and the pink fluoride tablet.

Will mother notice fresh breath? Didn’t notice bad breath but maybe now she’ll notice. She’ll see gleaming white/red teeth and say, “My doesn’t your breath smell nice.” Then kiss you goodnight. Maybe.

Winter Waka


The writing of Waka, traditional Japanese poetry consisting of the following syllables per line, 5 7 5 7 7, is an occasional New Year’s tradition in our house.


Grey flurries falling

It’s of no concern to me

Michigan winter

Scraped away with a shovel

The past is the past is the