Goodbye 2020


Goodbye 2020

seventeen hours: goodbye 2020!

not hello 2021. goodbye 2020. 

goodbye covid

goodbye strange phenomena

no 2021 red carpet – just a 2020 eviction notice 

pack all your crap and leave!

goodbye 2020 and all your baggage

leave nothing on the curbside 

take everything – we’re moving on

you were a dumpster fire

leave nothing of your monstrous DNA

baby new year isn’t yours

and don’t play phoenix, either

pack covid and go!

2021 bears no relation to you 

goodbye forever 2020! 

1838: Lingering


1838: Lingering


                    Pictures tell the stories

Paris: earliest known photograph of a recognizable human form taken by Louis Daguerre

                    Appearance is important 

The fellow was having his boots shined 


London in February: pedestrian walks backward 20 miles, then forward, in 8 hours

                    Save a penny for a rainy day

New Orleans: mint opens, making dimes

                    Notice the beauty in the everyday world

London: National Gallery opens

                    Appreciate freedom

Frederick Douglass, disguised as sailor, escapes slavery

                    Think things through 

England: Silkstone Mining Disaster – floods drown 26 children

                    Pray for others 

1838 / Follow the Star




London: fire sweeps Lloyds Coffee House and Royal Exchange

     medium roast coffee

Samuel Morse invents telegraph 

     thoughtfully brewed for me 

First recorded lowest temperature: -60° in Yakutsk

     warms my heart 

South Africa: Weenen massacre 

     and revives my spirit

Maryland: Kentucky and Maine US Representatives have rifle duel (lobster loses)

     in a world gone crazy mad

Trail of Tears: forcible relocation of the Cherokee Nation

     in a cruel, unjust world 

London: Coronation of Queen Victoria at Westminster Abbey

     where I’m treated like royalty: 

Frederick vessel first to accurately measure star distances

     Chick Fil A nuggets in the cab of a 

     pickup truck, watching the 

     Christmas Star – the Star of a King

1841 El Camino?


1841 El Camino?


James Morris’ diary: Groundhog Day

    Fog City Golden Glue?

U.S. vs. The Amistad: Illegal slavery

     The Farmer and the Felon?

Tower of London: fire destroys Grand Armoury

     King’s Garden?

James Braid sees animal magnetism~hypnotism

    Tangerine Turtle and White Rabbit?

London: Punch! first published

     Tropical Haze?

President first dies in Office: Harrison (pneumonia)

     Emerald Sky Drops?

James Clark Ross finds Ross Ice Shelf

     Pacific Stone Blue Dream? 

1845, Humming Tunes


1845, Humming Tunes


Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (The Four Aces)

     Barrett sends Browning the first love letter

Come Together (The Beatles)

     Uniform federal election day established 

Freebird (Lynyrd Skynyrd) 

     “The Raven” published in New York Evening 


Rubber Band Man (The Spinners)

     UK: rubber band patented by Stephen Perry 

Because He Lives (The Gaithers)

     Finland: only country to have Easter Sunday 

Fire (The Pointer Sisters) 

     Fire destroys Pittsburgh 

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Wallace Willis) 

     Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an 

     American Slave published 

Mashed Potato Time (Dee Dee Sharp)

     Potato blight begins famine in Ireland 

America the Beautiful (Katherine Bates and Samuel Ward)

     Concept of Manifest Destiny coined by John 


1851 – Whale Tragedy

1851: Whale Tragedy 


Portland Penny coin flip: Boston loses Oregon 


     Losers can be winners 

Australia: Black Thursday brushfires 

     Temptations smolder and smoke

Western Union founded 

     Lifelines are essential 

Charles Darwin’s daughter dies: depression 

     Even the fittest fall 

Adolf and Lionel play Immortal Game of chess 

     Practice strategic forethought 

America wins first ever America’s Cup

     A victory lane awaits 

New York Times founded

     Progress is newsworthy 

Moby Dick published 

     Don’t mess with whales 

Boston: First US YMCA opens

      Support others 

Christmas Eve, Washington DC: Library of Congress burns

     Resist the eggnog

Pen sills


Pen sills for skewell! 

“Pen sills for skewell!”

Her voice held fake excitement.

Santa got it wrong. 

1865: already there




New York Stock Exchange opens on Wall Street

     will they cancel student loan debt?

Thirteenth Amendment passes

     break these chains! 

Civil War ends

     freedom is a relative concept 

Abraham Lincoln assassinated 

     a shot in the dark: squeeze a turnip

Sultana sinks in the Mississippi

     neck deep in the muck: IBD

young Jumbo arrives at London Zoo

     neck wide in the glands: 


Alice in Wonderland published 

     is there even a key within reach?

Wild Bill Hickok starts first western showdown 

     the world is going straight to hell

Brother Jonathan sinks off CA coast

     yes, plummeting down the rabbit hole like Alice 

SS Republic sinks off GA coast

     or are we already there?

and now, 1866


And now, 1866


     I was 100 years away

no full moon in February

     promises made, promises broken

Civil Rights Act passed and vetoed 

     Covid numbers rise: a dark world 

total lunar eclipse 

     Fitz and Boo oblivious 

ASPCA founded, NYC

     Christmas shopping mostly done 

Nickel replaces the half-dime

     one count rises, another falls

Metric Act standardizes measurement

     even Christmas spirit wears a mask

dynamite invented in Germany 

Before and Now


Chris Baron, professor of English at San Diego City College and author of All of Me and The Magical Imperfect, hosted my writing group today and inspired us to write A Before Picture verse. My mother left us in December 29, 2015, and today my verse is about her. 

before and now


we silently sucked our teeth
when she
told us to buckle up

we secretly rolled our eyes
when she
told us to lock our doors

we soundlessly steamed at the ears
when she
told us to slow down
(“they sit right up here, you know”)

and covertly clenched our fists
when she
told us to turn it down


we hear her voice
echoing through the years
transcending dimensions

and through our blurry tears

we buckle up
we lock up
we slow it down
we turn it down

and wish
she were here
to right our world again