Drafts and Thoughts

Mary Oliver writes in her poem “Angels”,

“The whole business of what’s reality and what isn’t has never been solved and probably never will be. So I don’t care to be too definite about anything. I have a lot of edges called Perhaps and almost nothing you can call Certainty.”

Blue Horses: Poems, by Mary Oliver, Penguin Books, 2016.

With that being said, perhaps…

when gods make love, they create nebulas

that’s a lot of LOVE! Photo credit: https://www.skyimagelab.com/

Below are two poem drafts to share today. I’d love some feedback if you’re up for it.
I was in Village Books the other day and saw my book “Fallen” on the shelf. It came out in 2017, four years ago. Hmmmmm… If I were to guess, I think I have one more poetry book in me, possibly by 2022. I hope it is picked up and published traditionally, and I return to the open mic circuit to launch the book properly. My first two books were self-published, “Fallen” was my first traditionally published. Thank you Independent Writers Studio, of Bellingham, WA.
Self-publishing has its rewards, but I cannot emphasize enough the power of traveling the area with your book in hand, meeting your readers/followers, in person. I wonder, and am hesitant to declare, that a self-published book not advertised, given away to your family and friends only, is, generally speaking, a waste of paper. The written word has power. Why hide that potential under your bed? Share your work. Try it. You’ll like it.

It is a new year. I write the number and it feels the same as 2020
The new-yearness will not appear until the end of February
after a late Northwest snow
The old year, the previous skin, will hang on a bit and fog my eyes
My hand refused to write a “1”
pun intended to tell me
it is time
The styles do not change, technology crawls
very few items in my home could tell me what decade I’m in
if I had the gift to slip about time

If you take a person from 1880 and place them in 1980
The 1980s would appear to be a different world entirely
But take a person from 1998 to 2021…not too many changes
All the advancements and we simply have smaller, thinner phones
Did anyone ask for a smaller phone?
We die of cancer, disease, starvation, and war
To answer the call, our technicians and scientists
developed a Fitbit and placed TV in our pockets
to track our racing heartbeats while watching the news

The leaves scratch the air
as the frozen drops of winter tap my window
in the middle of the night
they want in
to take over my home
return it back to soil
I am sure of it
The potted plants by the glass
seduce the storm
arms beg it to set them free
while a drizzle of rooftop runoff
piddles down a leaking drain pipe
Even a worm comes out to comment
on the weather war
High and humble
worn and cold
the snow shovel
stands at attention
in a dark corner
ready to fight


Memes of my feels today. Thank you for your visit.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Keep writing. -Shannon


Cell Hell

Is it just me or has the whole freakin’ world been duped?  
First let’s define the word duped.  
Duped: A person who functions as the tool of another person or power.
Oh well, in that case the answer is a big YES!
Which one was your first?

Throughout the 1900’s, appliances in the home, particularly the television, radio and phone have seen the greatest increase in new users and technological advancements.  (This I mention with a negative-nod to the U.S. auto manufacturers who, just lately, have the electrical car in production, after 100 years of gas engines.  Chumps.  Innovation and forward thinking are not their strong suits.  Also, um, adding seat-belts is not inventive, it is reactionary.  Double chump!)

Time travel with me for a bit…  

Phone bills  
During the corporate downsizing and the increase cost of goods in the 90’s, I started to look at ways to save money on my monthly budget.  

My power, water, garbage, cable, gas, and phone bills were in the spotlight. Somehow I needed to find ways to cut back.  So I started to recycle my garbage, drop down to basic cable, changed the spouts in showers and sinks to use less water, used a cold/cold cycle to wash clothes, attempted to car pool a few times a week, or bus.  

Hi-Tech home entertainment center includes: video (3 flat screens) , 
music, internet and phone interface, even a record player
Don’t lie-  you  know you WANT this!

For the phone I was able to bring my phone bill down to $15 a month, by turning in my cell phone, getting a long distance pre-paid calling card and an answering machine.  Fifteen dollars a month!  

2013:  I just purchased my first smart phone. 

Cell Phone usage in the US has increased from 34 million to 203 million in the last ten years.  There is an estimated two billion cell phones world-wide, which means about 4.5 billion people go without.*

Apple Iphone

Up until the 90’s, most homes had only ONE phone line.  I can imagine 10-20 years ago the phone companies, billions spent on laying down land lines, were in a panic!  I can hear them screaming, “No one wants our extra features, our Phone Line Insurance, or our Call Waiting!  We’re loosing money. What shall we do?”  

Cell phone companies swooped in with what people didn’t know they wanted: storage on their phones, texting, a camera, video recording, on-line access, all in the palm of their hand …AND people were willing to pay for this!  I AM willing to pay for this.  I have been duped.  

Families across America have cut back on food, clothes and entertainment to make room for ever-higher phone bills. Now, carriers are betting that they can push that bill even higher, The Wall Street Journal reports: But as more people paid up for $200 smartphones and bills that run around $100 a month, the average household’s annual spending on telephone services rose to $1,226 in 2011 from $1,110 in 2007, when Apple Inc.’s iPhone first appeared.

I am a proper “dupee”.  The perfect sheep.  It took my phone carrier a over a year to present me with an upgrade package that I could afford.  I took the bait. I waited impatiently during the two days it took my phone to arrive. When it did I push people aside to get at it! The rest of the world can “suck it” as I thoughtfully enter my settings.  “Oh you are even sexier in person”, I thought to myself, “Your features, your storage capacity… this is the beginning of something wonderful!”

In the morning, stepping out to catch a bus for work, I noticed a copy of the Yellow Pages, dropped off by a carrier a month ago, curled up and unwanted in the door-stoop of a neighbor.  

Why?  Again I ask, “Why?”

The past is painted yellow

WSJ Article Cellphones Are Eating the Family Budget

Got Time?

2012 $4000 Baume and Mercier 

The other day while at a lunch with two friends, one of them asked me the time. She saw I was wearing a wrist watch and asked. Does this seem strange to you? Neither of my friends were wearing watches ,and both had their cell phones politely put away while we ate. The moment came and went and our conversation didn’t even touch on her query. However, later that evening I thought about wristwatches. 

Back before the invention of clocks people would just meet up in the “early afternoon” or “after sunset” there was no 10 o’clock in the morning, nor was there the need to be at work on time because you worked most the day. Time was just a general concept. Today as your walk around your house you see a clock on every electrical appliance.

In 2010 NPR reported that despite meager sales previous years, wrist watches were making a comeback.
“The overall watch business and the watch industry have been experiencing an unusual growth this year … it’s explosive, and people who’ve been in the industry for 20, 30 years have never seen numbers like this, the watch has become the “it” accessory of the year.”

 The article goes on to say the buyers of watches were teenagers and 20 somethings wearing them most likely as a fashion statement not for its obvious practical application.

Analog Motorola DynaTAC 8000X
Advanced Mobile Phone System 1980

Are cell phones the new watches?
In addition to telling time, watches helped girls, and the occasional car salesman, figure out who they were dealing with. Remember the advice girlfriends would give about how to tell if a man had money- simply look at his shoes and his watch. Possibly good advice up until about 1985. Later, mobile phones started to make their mark. Just having a phone that was not connected to a wall was high tech. Who cared if it was the size of your arm! A phone in your car was also a big statement, sparking the sale of FAKE car phone antennas.  Then in the early 00’s hot phone designs could give you a clue about a persons wealth such as the flip phones or the Razor; the smaller and thinner the phone, the more expensive.  The bluetooth headset fad came and went, but its practical “hands-free” feature will keep it around for a while to aid all multi-taskers at large.

Rubber Band turns your iPod nano
into a colorful watch that is
animal friendly and recession friendly

Now it’s 2012- what’s a girl to do? Most phones look the same and most guys do not wear watches. Asking a guy “What kind of phone package ya got?” just doesn’t work.  Perhaps it’s time that techno-toys and other high cost accessories stop being used as social status indicators.  Can Americans move pass the superficial?

Regardless, the future of watches is bleak, much like, newspapers on paper, television over the air, radios and radio stations, keyboards with buttons and well… the snuggie. The snuggie does not save me any time, free up my hands or help me to enjoy a snack.  It’s a blanket not a miracle made of  fleece.  If folks in the future wear bands around their wrist it will most likely be to hold something like their iPod Nano.

Back in March I moved into a new place.  I’m starting over from scratch and own very little.  While furniture shopping I saw an attractive wall clock.  For a second, possibly two, not sure… because I left my watch at home, I considered buying it.  I kept walking turning my attention elsewhere; I wasn’t in a nostalgic mood.  Perhaps there was a sale on floor globes- the kind with sea monsters on them!  Now THAT would be cool in the den!