17 Listens and Counting

My favorite, every  year. Despite: cheesy, 1986, bad hair bleach, worse fashions.

Just, George. Then and always

I count every year how many times I hear it. No cheating, no inferior cover versions, no seeking it out. Just on the radio, in stores, etc. Usually works out to about once a day in the month of December .. last year I landed exactly on 25 on Christmas Day. A cheap thrill and tiny fun little game for a busy, sometimes stressful season.

Today I stand at 17 listens – three behind! Five days to go …


The Mirror


Silver and bright, reflecting light

A gift from her last Christmas

But she is here no more.

Every morning, I peer into

This makeup mirror on my desk

And think of the heart sister

We’ll never see again.

I pluck and primp, shadow and sigh

Say a hushed morning prayer and another goodbye

She knew just how to be

The sister I never knew I needed.

Not girly, but playful

So fearless, yet feminine

A companion both funny and fine

Of course – this adopted sister of mine.

So, now I have this mirror to remind me –

Both in real size and five times –

Of a face that needs to smile, despite

Missing the mirror’s giver

So far, so out of sight.


The Workweek

Oh what is happening to this city girl?

Inner monologue as I drive down my dirt road: “If I’m gonna live out here, gotta get a plow for my truck someday .. Plow all the neighbors out .. Hey that guy’s got one on that huge tractor, I’m jealous .. Oh those people made some snow furniture. Gotta build some too. All that snowy yard & feeling competitive ..”


Joy Burnett feeling perplexed.
3 hrs · Milan ·

Wow, I just walked in on a guy in an unlocked bathroom, and without looking up he actually said “I bite.”


“I have to work, grading papers”

“Well then, let’s turn the projector on so you can watch it while you work.”

All this, and a Southpaw IPA in my northpaw. 1.5 hours to go. Cheers

“How Can I Keep From Singing?”

My life goes on in endless song
Above earth’s lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear its music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

While though the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth.
And though the darkness ’round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.

No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that rock I’m clinging.
Since love is lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?
When tyrants tremble in their fear
And hear their death knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near
How can I keep from singing?

In prison cell and dungeon vile
Our thoughts to them are winging,
When friends by shame are undefiled
How can I keep from singing?




By Gilbert and Sullivan

Tiny, snow-covered audience
All cast, orchestra, & crew not yet here
For a 2 p.m. show
Winter storm 12-11-16
Rages outside
But in here, we’re bonus musicked
Safe, happy, and warm
Two young guys tuxedoed
Playing the upright keys
And singing ala carte
Standup comedy on the fly
And we wile away 40 minutes and many moments
In a bubble of musical delight
As outside, this snowy December Sunday
Quietly inches by.