Thursday, October 18, 2018

Not an Ugly Face































































































Open Link Night at the poets' bar @ dversepoets


Not an Ugly Face
















She welcomes the shadowing rain,
a wide brimmed hat, no less
the sun on her face to remain.
Since birth it's been her bane,
causing undue duress.

Though harmless and causing no pain,

it laughs unhappiness.
For his facial port wine stain,
Gorbachev drew no disdain,
nor lack of confidence.

Were it a beauty mark of fame,

or the color of cafe au lait,
she would not be so plainly vain,
uncomfortably undressed.
inclined to hide her face.

























































Saturday, October 13, 2018

Sonnet for Midterm Elections









































































dversepoets  Iambic Pentameter



       
 Sonnet for Midterm Elections






How I would like to see a normal face


instead of this political Frankenstein.


A false patriot disseminating hate,


he's loyal to only himself, his goldmine.


His conduct not based on love of country,


he mocks allies, castigates dissidents,


disturbs the peace unnecessarily.


Patriotism is oft misunderstood,


exploited to suspend people's happiness.


His charges of fake news beg for real truth.


So while he is basking in his power,


we are waiting for his ship to come in.


We will rescue ourselves come November,


and he'll slip into darkness in the end.




Thursday, October 11, 2018

What's in a name?












































The Poetics prompt at dversepoets this week is to write about our name.  From the Greek "Aikaterinë", to the French "Catherine", to the Gaelic "Caitlin", one can see how it was Anglicized again to Kathleen by the IrishEngish.  Yeats penned a legend - a young Countess Cathleen offered her soul during a famine, in exchange for food for the starving, proving her courage.






KATHLEEN



Borne of the Middle Ages -

Kathleen is an Irish lass,
idealistic, intuitive,
unpretentious,
and a bit feisty,
stubborn, alas,
quick-tempered...
Melancholy brown hair 
bears tints of auburn
in the sun..
...common freckles sprout
within fair rosey cheeks
where tears frequently run.
Sometimes clairvoyant,
she converses with 
leprechauns.
Her name translates to
unsullied purity and 
innocence...and yet, 
she can be pushed only so far.

She walks stone paths -

across green hills and valleys
by day...
through soft rainbows and
disappearing pots of gold 
She waits for arms to hold her
by the fire at night.
Her world is an Irish stew -
complicated...for 
she can be happy...
and sad at the same time...if
only she could recognize
... either she is successful
or, quite miserable.

A pioneer of sorts, 
she 
learned early a smooth sea 
never makes a skillful sailer...
Her heart is as slippery
as a bar of soap, 
her armour made of
sacrificial linen and lace.
With an inner desire to inspire
others in a higher cause, 
she likes to share views on 
spiritual matters.
Opera music 
is carried out her frosted,
snowflaked window...and 
from her garden magic light 
from daffodils shines 
back onto her welcoming 
hearth...where she dreams of 
white cliffs and castles 
by the sea.


Friday, September 21, 2018

Fellini parade..


































































































For Open Link Night, my response is to Tuesday's circus prompt. Instantly I thought of Fellini's movie, La Strada, with Anthony Quinn and Fellini's wife.  I wanted to express how fond I am of his work with a poem, not just a synopsis.   dversepoets


Fellini parade


Townspeople gather
to watch the strongman in chains,
and his waif partner,
perform under soft pink skies.
Traveling circus of two,
clown noses, drum beats,
she sounds the rousing
language of a trumpet, plays
meek foil to his brutish strength,
intuitively -
her purpose as wife.

Yet she he taunts and teases,
abandons at night.
Unknown to his foolish heart,
she's admired by another
walking a high wire.
He does not recognize
his desire till she is gone.
Dreams sustained by a face round
fade, the spirit gone
from her rag tag eyes.

Her childish loyalty is
no more,
the fantasy and magic,
gone.
Ultimately - he
crawls in agony
on the empty windswept beach.
Snow falls quietly
on the ocean where
there are no answers,
he weeps
and dies in the sand
alone...



Thursday, September 6, 2018

A Gift That Keeps Giving














 

































































My house sat empty the 
day of the sale,
except for the baby grand.
She stood alone
 in the dining room,
   holding countenance.
I lowered the price again,
   but to no avail.
Unable to move it to the new place,
a desperate post to Craig’s List,
“You pay to take piano away,
    give good home."
Later that day, the door bell,
a handsome young man did say,
   “May I play.”

He laid his hands on the keys,
and they became part of
his anatomy, 
fingertips penetrating 
my soul.
Surrounded by soft, rich tones, 
acoustics I did not know 
existed in the room.
warmth came over me,
I admired his expertise and style,
he smiled, swaying side to side.
From the time he sat down,
the piano, clearly, 
was his own.

Occasionally, 
I  played Christmas carols,
 Kumbaya...I paused  and  thought.
I could take lessons again,
    take a few bows...
reap  praises for 
my brilliant talent and poise. 

But a deal was to be made.
He embraced me briefly.
 I watched the truck 
pull the piano away 
as he smiled and waved goodbye.
It was my pleasure
to hear him play,
 more than enough for him to pay.
Water filled my eyes,
tears of gratefulness,
 after all.

It's Open Link night at dversepoets, any subject or theme. 


















Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Crickets’ Song


































































































After a long break, I am moved to write in response to Frank's prompt today of writing about disappointment, heartache, and frustration.

                     Crickets’ Song



Laundry hangs drowsily from the line.
Sun sneaks through summer skies' smoky haze.
In an awkward snare of time,
an unexpected lesson.
There's agony I had not foreseen
in loneliness of aging.
In deers' dark eyes, I see my tears;
crickets try, but cannot drown out my
sorrow.
No longer being needed feels strange and wrong
No one waits here for me,
nowhere do I seem to belong.
Feeling set apart, taken for granted,
is a deeply unsettling, drinking song.

Cut flowers from the garden drink
their last drops of water.
I taste the last of the strawberry lemonade.
From the first nostalgic pitch of baseball season
to whiffs of autum's vinegar air,
suddenly, unimagined events torment my mind.
I've been a part of life's big picture unfolding,
shared narratives begun from birth.
My squeaky feelers search in vain for
familiar patterns of living.
The wind that has sustained me
and shook my soul with meaning
blows in another direction.
I find I'm not built to be broken yet  again,
too much is expected at this late date.
I've started over again and again.

The remaining chapters of my life's book,
suspended...
before me, pages of unfinished stories,
blank canvases devoid of my joy,
unwritten poems for lack of a muse.
Alas, no one wants to hear it.
For releasing pent up and unresolved pain,
there is no coronation
at the end of the parade.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Every Day



































We are writing septets today at dversepoets 


Every Day


Bouncing bird notes of Robin's song


wipe sleep from sunflower eyes.


Awakening yarrow and cabbage rows yawn.



Sand through the hourglass pours our hellos and goodbyes.


Sun's fingertips read the Braille of the valley of sighs,

and trace the outline of clouds in rose gold.


In my arms, for better or worse, your image I hold.


Monday, July 16, 2018

Quadrille #60 Summer's Prize





































Summer's Prize

Ewes laze in shadows 
of elms.
July's butterflies 
ride a sweet lavender wind.
Satchel totes bread, cheese,  
and wine,
paper and pen.
I lust for berries from the vine,

By the lake I find my niche, 
sit on a blanket,
absorb the view, and write 
to satisfy the creative itch.


dversepoets  Using the word 'itch'..



Monday, June 25, 2018

Our Season of Discontent




































Our Season of Discontent 

Do you, like me, feel their pain, empathize with the anguish felt by families fleeing tyranny, seeking  better futures, whose lives have been suddenly altered, upended, their destinies violently and undeservedly rearranged?
An intolerant administration willfully ignores traditional rules of law, robbing souls of their  hopes for fulfillment, interrupting their children's universe, toying with their innocent, already precarious lives. Our democracy has flailed over and over again, perhaps reached a peak in a growth spurt with the election of a black man as president in 2008. Now, it appears all gained is spiraling down the drain. Surely, when so many suffer, tis the season of our deepest discontent.

Last remnants of hate
Bleed from our democracy
Redemption awaits.

Monday, June 18, 2018

What I Know to be True

















V







Monday's Quadrille #59 


The word, cycle. The 


dversepoets.










What I Know to be True



Chartreuse willows softly sway

    in my memories...
Summertime June's
    sunlit tapestries.
 
Shadows therein, hide
 life's harshest realities
 of inflicted pain.

Yet, straightforward oak's

   heart...
like a good Cabernet,
   offers comfort,
      absorbs sorrow via
   recycled rain.

Then it's true...when end 

   meets beginning...
      I'm with you.





Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Candyland Street















































Use the name of a street for inspiration.
dversepoets



The taste of bitter chocolate brings back memories of unrequited love.
It happened that day, a matter of fact,
on Candyland Street where he was taken aback.
And if by some chance they again do meet,
will his heart soften and fall to his feet?
Will her sweet face melt his suit of armor,
on Candyland Street, where he once charmed her.
Will he rise above the urge to kiss her peppermint lips, fight off all elements  resembling anything like love?
Would he find safety on the corner of 5th Avenue and Milky Way,
or meet another at the intersection of Hershey Street and Licorice  Lane?
   













Monday, May 28, 2018

Sounds of Silence











































































































Frank offers today's Haibun theme -  "silent sounds".  We are to comment on the  internal chatter going on, which we hear, qbut has no sound.



As suspected, after cutting the cable tv cord, I feel differently.  No more background noise leads me to live vicariously othes' lives via various favorite channels. Also, I am without wifi for a time.  An introvert, I'm used to keeping myself company and entertain myself quite nicely. However, I am more acutely aware of nature alone interrupted by noises I make. Intangibly, sounds of silence are amplified in matters of the heart, the substance of every day living.

Untrained ears and eyes are struck by beating waves and sparkling reflections of sun on water.  Profound changes are wrought by having fresh conversations with the wind, letting ideas drive through clogged highways of the brain, and sifting memories time and again.
More pours in so more may be given out. The world didn't collapse.

Melting lava flows

I quiver as plum skies fall -
worth a thousand words

Monday, May 7, 2018

My Life is a Muddle





























































Today's Quadrille 




My Life is a Muddle


My life is a spectacular muddle, in complete disarray. My thoughts jumbled, inspiration creates chaos sprung at light of day.  I'm accustomed to confusion, disorder, immense imblogio.  Most disturbing,  I've elevated the tangled mess of my state of affairs to an art, but it's me.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Of Meadows




   

















tha








































































Variations  on the Rubaiyat was Thursday's prompt over @ dversepoets
 

Of Meadows





Reaching  the  flat upper grassy  hillside,
tiny  voices speak  their stories and minds....
brightest  pink,  yellow,  blue,  white wildflowers,
language  for  waywards,  sweet  refuge oblige.








Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ebbing tides


































































































At dversepoets today we are writing about family body traits, focusing on a couple of compound adjectives.


Ebbing Tides

The ebbing of the tide and
silken, dark, wet sand
left no trace of him,
or his footprints.
He did not know back then
it wasn't the end
of the line.

They walk just like him,
short legged, yet of fettle form,
sharing his casual gait.
They mimic him,
hand in one pocket,
letting the other
postulate.

Like he did,
his son wears
astute specs on his nose.
There is a tilt, blink,
a nod, salty eyebrows
squint in the sun like his,
a striking familiar pose.

Grandsons have similar
jawlines, smiles, hands
and sophic eyes.             
In certain blue angles
of light, his great-grandson
resembles him,
though taller in size.

I wonder if my father knows
his granddaughters,
a new great-granddaughter,
have such fair bonny faces.
Surely he guides them with
a full, happy heart
on journeys to faraway places.

                 



Monday, April 16, 2018

Seeds of Spring

















































































dversepoets
Monday Haibun

Victoria has kindly asked us to write a Chijitsu or kego, a Japanese poetic form  which refers to the transitional time of dawn or dusk, spring  and fall, a lingering. It is a paragraph or so, finalized with haiku.


Seeds of Spring

Summer left me..my heart slumped to the ground. Pummeling rain has been my companion since, keeping my heart safe with books and other such indoor friends. Now, lilac and cherry blossoms take their turn to fall.  I'm keenly mindful of roses under terra firma, as they harness their reserve to flourish again, Spring is late.  I wish it would stay all year - for it's resplendent parade of color, blended scents, baby insects fleeing on their journeys, however short.
Does and their fawns arrive to feed on grass. Birds return, eyeing me warily, yet with familiarity. They still keep their distance, except for the chicadees.
By their sharper chirps or alighting on my sleeve for a split second, they remind me their seed is almost gone...my heart again ascends.

Spring rallies my heart
All life's possibilities
tremble with the earth



Thursday, March 15, 2018

Stars Tremble














































Our Thursday prompt comes from Lillian at dversepoets.com and the form is a Shadorma,  a phantom poem, origin unknown. Lines are 3-5-3-3-7-5, one or more verses, a fun challenge. The pretty ethereal watercolor below is by Whidbey Island artist, Judi Nyerges Art, and was my inspiration.




 
Stars Tremble 

Stars tremble
in concert with choirs
of angels,
welcoming
the arrival of his soul
into high heavens,
cobalt blue.
From vast libraries
with stained glass
ceilings, halls,
and ivy covered brick walls,
sits for highest tea.

He explored
all laid before him
through Earth’s fog
and time log,
life’s beguiling mysteries,
relativity.

His mind free,
ailing body gone,
there awaits
a kingdom,
only imagined before,
a physicist's dream

Ascending
unnumbered gold stairs,
may he gleen
answers to
all his eternal queries,
new heights to explore.

Let him find
in his so doing,
keys for us
to unlock
secrets to the Universe,
holes for space travel

Privileged,
we are honored by
his presence,
we thank him
for shimmering equations,
light years of beauty.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Transparency of a Phantom Thread
































































It is Open Link Night (OLN) at dVerse poets as we write without a prompt.  This prose poem may not appeal to many but it is what came from my muse because it needed to be written perhaps.   


Transparency of a Phantom Thread


With nothing of  
himself to hang onto,
it’s a wonder he stays in one piece.
He stares at a lava lamp
for hours.
In his loneliness,
his mind threads every needle with
hope he finds in the light of day.
He scales and walks that narrow brick wall
as others fear his balance.
He weaves himself through textures
of green new leaf growth
and forlorn winter berries,
For in his lapses of memory,
in and out of his reality,
there is always  nature's clarity.
The spirit, not to be dissected
into shallow holdings
or remain in a cage with rage,
leaps forward in darkened corridors,
a panther pacing.

Unable to concentrate,
he dwells in  a mixed state with bawdy dreams
of secrecy.
Moments of brilliancy submerge, only to re-emerge
amid indistinguishable mumbles.
He goes from  taciturn to talking wildly,
to being laid bare in excruciating emotional pain.
Dressed  in garb of the ages,  
drawing attention from passers by,
he is a curious oddity.
Lacking  the wherewithal to be productive,
he walks aimlessly,  yet desperately
wishes to be constructive.

In truth there is genius and kindliness.
When stars wished upon are everything,
worries are set free, like a bevy of butterflies.
When it comes to a healthy mind,
what cuts through everything
is the common thread memory of
the tender touch of a mother’s hand
caressing our faces.
If it were not for his wit,
word searching,  for poetry’s sake,
would leave me bereft.
None of this is something a glass
of wine can cure.






































.






Tuesday, February 13, 2018


































































































Monday's Quadrille #50 over at dversepoets and the word is "murmur"...using exactly 44 words.


Helicopter Seeds

Delayed by turbulent morning breeze,
whirled onto my front porch,
helicopter seeds.
I pondered what all falls from the folds of God
onto a mountain slope,
colors its face in radiant hope.
What voices murmur in forests' cradle,
but tender footsteps in soft ambiance.









Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Slaughterhouse Road





































It's Haibun Monday and we are to write something about our hometown.  Check out the responses to the prompt over at dversepoets.

Slaughterhouse Road


Walking home from school over  the "Old Slaughterhouse Road" had its pros and cons. The mile long trek across a small mountain built strong legs and heartened our souls. Alongside the road were meadows with wildflowers, tall grass full of grasshoppers and some horses, an occasional house or small farm. Halfway up on the other side were the dark, eery oak woods. Obviously,  the gruesome fact of the then working cattle barn nestled therein was not lost on any of us. Often, frightened by our own imaginations, we ran past it as fast as we could. Walking downhill was easy, through the cherry orchards where we loved to run, climb and play, wading, lingering in falling pink and white blosssoms. There was a picture book view of the Columbia River gorge in the distance. We even hiked the road in the dead of winter instead of riding the school bus, throwing snowballs and sliding on the way.

Those moments of our youth are imprinted deep in our souls. When I close my eyes, I can almost put myself right back there in space and time, on Strawberry Mountain, almost like one lifts and moves the arm of a 45rpm record player to a previous groove.

Veiled footsteps in snow,
Echo screams of laughter, fear
Summer's blossoms buzz



Friday, February 2, 2018

Looking Glass Eyes




















 The ghazal form of poetry originated in Persia.  dversepoets

Looking-glass Eyes



She appears from the past forever young,
her reflection in his looking-glass eyes.

Images within images repeat,
tiny flecks of blue in looking-glass eyes.

His portrait passes through  portals of time,
infinitely through her looking-glass eyes.

Like ribbons of twinkling Christmas lights mirrored
rows of memories displayed in windows' eyes.

Their smiling eyes drink in each other's love,
sipping summer orchard tea with adoring eyes.

Together soulmates easily surrender
to their bliss deep within smoldering eyes.

Irises project a dream within dreams,
ferry on the tears of green Irish eyes.

Swimming upstream in golden sunlight,
to only float back in looking-glass eyes.









Tuesday, January 2, 2018

January Still Life





















At dversepoets.com today it's the Monday Quadrille - #47. We are to use the word "leap" in a 44 word prose or poetry paragraph. Stunning photos to be taken locally in the crisp clear weather.





January Still Life

Under crusty frost,
ivy leans into sun,
defying senescent ferns...
A day shy of full,
a gray moon stares through naked branches
into the window,
...onto
rumpled bed,
leaping low across
inky sky...
as rabbit shadows dash below through snow  -
January's otherwise still life canvas.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Yesterday
























I cannot NOT be inspired to write of this life, share my work and the miracles therein. We have been
instructed by Frank at dversepoets.comto write a Haibun today of  something “pleasantly surprising”.


Yesterday





Yesterday was a surprisingly pleasant day. After the fog, sunlight filtered through feathered pink-yellow-grey clouds, spreading a soft bluish blanket of hush across the bluff at Ebey’s Landing. The sea resonated with the sound of string instruments being played in the lighthouse drawing room and Olde English Christmas carols being sung by young people.

She and I spoke of her friend who had lost her husband suddenly that morning. Then, she told me the exciting news of her daughter expecting a baby girl in May.  From a thin frown, her facial expression turned to the most full, radiant smile.  Christmas greetings and hugs were exchanged among the  intimate small crowd of docents gathered for the afternoon holiday event. As we warmed hands over a small brambling fire, a family of deer gathered to feed in the meadow nearby.

I had no idea that morning what the day held.  I could not have imagined such distinctly meaningful moments happening simultaneously and in the particular sequence they unfolded into the evening.  The contrast some days is not as evident, but the enigma is always there for us to reflect on and imbibe.

Pain and joy exist
Everyday bittersweet
Tears part of happiness


Friday, December 8, 2017

Life is a Marx Bros.film....
















Symbolism is the prompt for today at dversepoets.
I took a stab at it but have struggled with the difference between it and metaphors, similes, and personification over the years, but it is late now.:-)


As I muster the nerve each day to face
life's realities,
I continue to be taken aback.
No conductor at the wheel,
train out of control,
I am losing track
My mind conflated,
time is suspended,
the pendulum has stopped
Are we free falling,
why is there no feeling inside?

In the name of research, please,
question me twenty years from now.
Tell me then the
ridiculousness has been a bad dream, the news spinning ad nauseam cannot be happening;
say life resembles
banana boats in milky ways, or chickens are falling from the sky.
Truly, it's more like
A Night at the Opera,
than anything real
to you or I.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Thanksgiving Visitor






















At dversepoets.com today, we are writing of the word ‘visit’. I recall many memorable visits as well     as having been the visitor on many interesting occasions, but the following story takes the cake and I   was merely the reader/observer.


 



The Thanksgiving Visitor


“Buddy, you’ll catch your death,”
Aunt Sook chided.
Sixty, yet still childlike,
she’s his distant aunt.
She delivers a warm blanket to him,
an 8 year old, hiding,
seeking comfort in her wood shed.

Others do not understand
their friendship for it transcends
the ordinary realm.
Visiting her country home
for the holiday, Buddy
shares with her the harvesting
of pecans to make fruitcake,
flying kites, laughter
and inside jokes.

Running a risk of being read
much like a book report,
let me say, Truman Capote's
simple trilogy
speaks volumes of the living
Christmas spirit in
heartwarming antidotes
of holiday joy and mirth.
The pair are two peas in a pod,
a mutual admiration
society; the story,
a true treasure trove
of memories.



The Thanksgiving Visitor, One Christmas, and A Christmas Memory, were all made into TV movies.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ode to flannel pajamas


















dVerse poets.com


Ode to Flannel Pajamas

For as long as I can  remember,
they comforted me,
kept me safe, more than toasty warm at night,
reminding me it was fall -
always ready for an early bedtime.
As birthdays passed, I outgrew them quickly.
Mine had cuffs, pockets,
and presented themselves in all colors plaid.

Made from hand picked cotton
grown under a scorching sun,
washed hundreds of times,
flannel summer sheets also kept my body cool.
Napped on one side,the soft fabric,
associated with good horse-sense,
comfortableness, applesauce,
and bologna sandwiches for lunch,
swaddled me.
Snuggling in them with a teddy bear,
I dreamed of sailing boats, pussycats,
and stars in relation to Mars.
When wearing them,
it seemed all was right
in the wide, wide world,
as if it were made of sweet buttery
saltwater taffy.

All that, and I still wondered
about kids who wore nothing to bed
but skivies, walked all day on bare feet,
gunfire and bombs overhead
all through the night,
little food to eat.
I must have led a protected life,
growing up in middle America...
but I think I always knew
it was a perilous world,
not to be taken for granted;
I learned early each Christmas was precious -
and not just because  
there was, under the tree,
another set of flannel pajamas,
or a long red plaid flannel nightie!



Monday, November 6, 2017

Friday night football





















Quadrille #44


The visiting football team stayed overnight.
Portland radio news announced 100 mph winds to hurl through the river gorge with an icy bite

Unforgettable, the Columbus Day storm, Oct. 1963,
roofs of homes randomly torn away.
Kick-off time moved to Saturday afternoon
...touchdowns and friendships fade.

dversepoets.com
We are to use a form of the word "kick" in a 44 word Quadrille....

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"The Good Old Days" - 1000 word story


























    The Good Old Days



He is well known among islanders living along Whidbey's East Harbor Road in Freeland as Santa Claus. With his snowy white beard and hair, twinkling eyes, and build, he is a classic Santa.  One wonders if he were to put his finger aside his nose, it would  follow, "...and up the chimney, he rose"?!

Terry, a Teamster beer truck driver for 33 years,   worked for the original Olympia Brewery and quickly earned the nick-name Terry Tumwater. Judy, his wife,  retired as cook from the Clover Patch Cafe in Bayview.  More often than not, he can be seen riding his lawnmower across his expansive front yard or selling firewood he worked hard to chop from trees fallen on his ten acres. One may catch sight of him listening to a Mariners' game outside or with friends who drop by to discuss the news of the day or simply BS. Many a passer-by waves or honks as they cruise by their home.  It's not unusual to find a gathering around a bonfire where they listen to him and his friend, Caveman, play toe-tapping Bluegrass music, Terry on his old guitar and Caveman plucking his banjo.  His audience, of course, guffaws at his off-colored jokes with his contagious, deep, raucous laugh; they exchange fishing and drinking stories. This pastime is shared while consuming beer or whatever one might bring in a flask from home.

Lately, he has a new story to tell, a tale the 76-year-old man loves to repeat to anyone who cares to listen. His suspenders stretched to the max by his puffed out chest, he recalls with pride the unlikely event that took place last August when he was touched by a moment of fame.

First, to be clear, Terry had few toys as a child. He was one of five brothers, their father a big  Norwegian logger. He grew up fighting dirty with the local boys for fun.  Over the years, he has accumulated time-worn junk, miscellaneous tools of yesteryear, tractors, lawnmower parts, rusty trucks, beer signs, a few antiques.  He built several outbuildings from scratch...a lean-too, tool shed, an outhouse, a shack chock full of collections of old axes, more tools, a locally-carved bear, cast iron frying pans, oil lamps, calendars, an old percolator, and memorabilia from the "Good Old Days". That corner of his backyard is affectionally named "Terry Town".

The tool shed functions as a hideaway for solitude or conversation around a small, wood stove on chilly or rainy evenings. A light above the door guides the way.  In the darker months, I carry a lantern when walking to the secluded shack to light my way to and from my car.  Always, I am guided by the smell of smoke breathing out from the off-kilter chimney, and the radio I hear inside, tuned to the Oldies station, KIXI.

Terry never imagined in his wildest dreams what was about to unfold one weekend this last summer when he heard rap star Macklemore, who hails from Seattle, asked his videographer to tape a music video at just such a location on Whidbey Island. The videographer happens to be Terry's grandson, who recommended the place. For three days, Macklemore's crew of 60 set up camp in his backyard. Multiple vans and cars arrived full of equipment; a makeshift set resembling a festive campsite was erected against the 70's background designed for the rapper by his producer.  An old green upright piano was hauled in, an improvised stage, furniture, pillows, rugs, a dented, bohemian Airstream trailer, lights. Various action scenes were taped of Macklemore rapping.  One afternoon,  female rock star, Kesha, appeared. She and Macklemore created the four-minute video which later would be dubbed in with the music in a studio.  His new album of 16 songs, Gemini, to be released Sept. 22, 2017, includes the one filmed at Terry's called "Good Old Days".



Terry stayed out of the production, mainly watching, but helped moving pieces on the set in his unique backyard.  After work each day, food was brought in; extras and crew visited with Terry, became acquainted with Bluegrass as he entertained the crowd. He engaged them by teasing them, as a grandfather might his grandchildren.  As host to a very polite and gracious Macklemore, Terry became the center of attention, bathed in the spotlight of a different genre of music for a time.

The secret that Macklemore was shooting a video on the island did not get out until they had wrapped everything up and shipped out the equipment brought in. Otherwise, imagine the onslaught of young people who might have tried to get a glimpse of the star.

For the couple, Judy and Terry's lives are back to normal.  They always had a love-hate marriage, losing patience with one another at times. But two years ago, Judy had a very serious health scare. He nursed her back to health. Now that she is recovered, Terry says everything is back to normal. He knows she is well because, when he is a bit cantankerous,  she again calls him an asshole at least three times a day!!


For both of them, it was an experience they will never forget, a time when strangers came and left their mark in the form of gentle friendships and shared good times. Macklemore promised to visit when he has a break from working and returns to the island where his mother lives in Langley.  After the video was released, the producer returned, deluged the couple with gifts.  Among them were beer, chocolates, Macklemore socks and scarves, lawn chairs and CD's. But the grand prize was a brand new guitar, signed by Macklemore himself.  Now that it has been tuned just right, according to his ear, you can find Terry still picking bluegrass on his new guitar. Now, however, there is the fond memory of his treasured brush with fame when they, generations apart, came together and made music. You might say these are the new "The Good Old Days".