T Is for Time: #atozchallenge

One play. Twenty years.  *** When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than was there before.  ~ Clifton Fadiman   The first few years I studied Romeo and Juliet with my high school freshmen, when I was in my early … Continue reading T Is for Time: #atozchallenge

J Is for Juliet & Ophelia & Paying for Groceries: #atozchallenge

When students asked, "Why do we have to read all this literature?" I told them it would help them to play Jeopardy. You never know when Alex Trebek will ask you a question. Since leaving the classroom, I've come up with other reasons. Here's one I wrote about back in 2012. * At HEB this … Continue reading J Is for Juliet & Ophelia & Paying for Groceries: #atozchallenge

A Is for Anne Tyler: #atozchallenge

Anne Tyler has done it again. The last time I wrote about her, I was in a snit. She'd killed off my favorite character halfway through the novel I was reading, and I was not happy. I'm writing this time because she's made me laugh. The book is Vinegar Girl, a retelling of Shakespeare's The … Continue reading A Is for Anne Tyler: #atozchallenge

My 3.14 Day Poem*

  With thanks to Abbie Taylor, who told me about Pi Day Poems, and to Shakespeare, whose sonnet provided the form.  Anti-Ode on Pi   Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou‘rt such a strange shape, legs much like a chair, A top so curved there’s just no stinkin’ way It’d seat a … Continue reading My 3.14 Day Poem*

Political Poetic Parody: Sonnet #1

Last month, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff announced a contest for Trump poems. Guidelines called for verses written from any political stance. I wrote two sonnets but forgot the October 8 deadline for submission. It seemed a shame to let them languish on the hard drive, so I share them here. The first appears … Continue reading Political Poetic Parody: Sonnet #1

Young and Brave and Naive and Amazingly Stupid… but Successful

A long time ago, when I was young and brave,* I herded about forty ninth-grade students onto a school bus and took them to San Antonio, thirty miles away, to a matinée performance of Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet.  The day before the event, I learned that two girls planned to skip the trip. They … Continue reading Young and Brave and Naive and Amazingly Stupid… but Successful

Eye of Tot and Toe of Tad…

Two witches stand over a boiling cauldron, one stirring, the other sampling the brew from a spoon. And the stirrer says to the sipper, "I only use local children." If Shakespeare had been a locavore, he might have written this. Or not.   Eye of tot, and toe of tad, Lambkin's hair, and lip of lad, Nipper's nose, … Continue reading Eye of Tot and Toe of Tad…

Select Tender Type or, Another Reason Literature Is Useful (Repost)

Below is a piece I originally posted, under a slightly different title, several years ago. I don't know why the text looks as it does, but it will stay that way until tech support and I find a remedy. I hope you will read and enjoy anyway. At HEB this afternoon, having verified that I … Continue reading Select Tender Type or, Another Reason Literature Is Useful (Repost)


Tybalt is gone, and Romeo banished; Romeo that kill'd him, he is banished. ~ Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, III.ii They are free men, but I am banished. And say'st thou yet that exile is not death? Hadst thou no poison mix'd, no sharp-ground knife, No sudden mean of death, though ne'er so mean, But "banished" … Continue reading Bani-shed!

Marshmallow Cats

Several readers have commented about Ernest's eyes in the Halloween post, so I will clarify: their evil glow was merely the reflection of late-night lamplight. Similar to the eyes of a wild animal caught in the headlights on a dark, deserted highway. But there's nothing wild about Ernest. He generally looks like this: Or this: … Continue reading Marshmallow Cats