Shell Game

They call it a shell game
But my Uncle Jack told me it was called Thimblerig.

Take out three shells and a pea – an old soldier’s?trick.
It’s depicted?as a gamble, but really, when the wager’s for money, it’s a confidence trick
used to perpetrate fraud. CC2.0 CC2.0


Ode to My Grocer

Eddie Basha 1937 - 2013

Eddie Basha
1937 – 2013
A Good Man and a Very Bad Boy

Two years ago, my dear friend and mentor, Eddie Basha, died just before national poetry month. I couldn’t finish this at the time but wanted to honor him. He was an Arizona Icon and a brilliant business man with a heart bigger than his head. He had a generosity of spirit and a flare for practical jokes like no one I’ll ever know. He ran for Governor once but lost because although he was a great leader, he was a poor politician. His grocery chain, Bashas, is dispersed widely across our state and is a?hub in many of our rural communities. He spent many years on the Board of Regents, a warrior for education for all. I remain deeply saddened by his departure yet in his leaving, he has caused me and others to examine our words and deeds through the filter of fairness and kindness. I wrote this from my own observations and also from some of the lovely tributes paid to him in the days following his death.


It’s Pi Day π

“How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.”

Pie for Pi

Pie for Pi


The Vinegar Girl

A Poem about Ending Hunger and Creating Happiness

In the wee morning hours, I saw a peculiar site,
A sour frowning girl coming out of the night.
She pulled her belongings on a blue vinyl sled
while a vinegar scowl covered her face and her head.

IMG_0942 (more…)

A Terroir-ist’s Manifesto

Terroir?(French?pronunciation:??[t??wa?]?from?terre, “land”) is the set of special characteristics that the?geography,?geology?and?climate?of a certain place, interacting with the plant’s genetics, express in agricultural products such as?wine,?coffee,?chocolate, tomatoes,?heritage wheat, cannabis, and?tea.

I begin today’s post with this Wikipedia interpretation so that no speedy reader inadvertently assumes that I’m commenting on terrorism.

Occasionally the tapestry of life weaves in coincidental ways and when it does, it can spark delight. Such was the case on Saturday.

My Food Hero and Poet - Gary Nabhan

My Food Hero and Poet – Gary Nabhan



Haiku for Dinner

We all have to make choices and frankly, offering choices is a trademark of my parenting style. So, when I told my children that they had a choice of doing a family Harlem shake or writing dinnertime haiku, each sharpened their pencil.

What Goes Best with Haiku?

What Goes Best with Haiku?


Poetry at the Farmers’ Market

“A poem is the record of a discovery, either the discovery of something in the world, or within one’s self, or perhaps the discovery of something through the juxtaposition of sounds and sense within our language. Our job as poets is to set down the record of those discoveries in such a way that our readers will make the discoveries theirs and will delight in them.” –?Former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser

Farmers’ Market


Dinner and a Poem

Beans and Rice

Beans and Rice


Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Ways to Celebrate Poetry

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to a food and wine pairing meal. It was an exquisitely prepared 5 or 6 courses each with a special tasting of wine to accompany. As we head into April, I’d like to acknowledge another type of pairing – that of food and poetry.


Cortney Davis, the poetry editor of “Alimentum: The Literature of Food,” also acknowledges this pairing.

The best foods are layered–we notice the hint of rosemary behind the muscular taste of tomato or the suggestion of oak that appears moments after the swallow of a fine wine. . . . Some foods taste better left-over–the second-day helping of turkey and stuffing at Thanksgiving. Poems must be multi-layered too, and they must last not only through the second serving, but through many readings, offering us . . . another revelation, another way of looking at ourselves. . . .



The task of the poet is often to create the extraordinary from something household and mundane. Perhaps this is the reason the onion has been the focus of so many poems. Pablo Neruda wrote them as crystalline orbs holding magic within their layers. But today the final stanza?of a Margaret Clark?poem most appeals to me:

cannot help being metaphors; they would rather stay
mysteries in the moist soil. They would rather I unwrap
myself.?If I could,?I tell them through the blur,?I would.

Worthy of Poetry?