Poetic License

I applied for my poetic license today;
It was rejected due to a grammatical error.
The irony.

Be well,





Be well,


This Morning’s Song

Coffee. Bold.
Fragrantly steaming — the weather’s turned cold.

Expresso doubled again and again.
I opened my day’s calendar — it appears never ending.

Patience is short.
Went to sleep hungry — I just want to abort.

But I’ve got my rhyme on
My mind is igniting – I’m rediscovering song.

Some say this word play is outdated and old
Only prose poetry is true art – I’ve been told.

But listen to the underlying tune
Feel the rhythm and the mood – You and I’ll be dancing soon.

Coffee. Bold. No longer cold.
Doubled again and again, the beats never ending
Patience is overrated. I’ll never be sated.
Rhyme on! Oh! My minds got it ALL going on.
This never gets old, no matter what I’m told.
Listen to this tune and we’ll be dancing soon.

Come-on! Come-on! Put your dancing shoes on.
Let’s dance, dance, dance to this morning’s song!

Be well,



Naked. Clothed only by my sins. Jealousy wrapped around my neck. Sloth draped over my shoulders. Lust sagging around my ankles. Here I am. See me. Human. Unashamed.

Unmasked. Hiding no longer. The apple was juicy and I will not add to my lies to say I didn’t enjoy its sweetness. I’m not Adam. I will not blame Eve nor the serpent. I would have taken a bite on my own. Others can teach but I needed to learn.

Don’t mistake this shamelessness for pride. My sins are ugly and not to be celebrated. But I’m not denying or hiding the reality of my humanity anymore. I’m coming to terms and owning up. There is no self forgiveness, but if I ask I might be forgiven.

Be well,


Cold & Salty

I shivered through the night. We still have the summer cool bamboo mat on the bed and the light blanket wasn’t enough to hold in any body heat. But I’m pretty sure if we change everything over to fall/winter the weather will turn back to summer. And I’m enjoying the cooler weather so I don’t want to tempt fate.

I’m feeling a bit salty as today is the last day of the week long holiday and I have a seven-day work week ahead. Whoever came up with this practice of making us work on the weekends before and after a holiday are truly asses. We’ve missed so many holidays due to Covid lockdowns and quarantines these past years you would think they would be willing to gift us a day here and there and let us enjoy the weekend. I’m pretty sure productivity would be better if they did. But logic and compassion are not strong enough forces to combat the corporate machinery at work.

I’ve been on a medically advised diet these past six weeks or so. That may explain a little of my saltiness too. I’ve lost 10Kg (22 pounds) so I’m doing well with it, but “hangry” is a real emotion and I’m easily “annoyed” if not all out pissed off at times.

I took a “treat/cheat” day from my diet on Wednesday. I’d earned it. I captured photographic evidence so that I can indulge in the memories over the next few weeks when I’ll be keeping to good behavior. I’ve still got another 10Kg to go to get my BMI in “normal” range. It’s doable. I’ll do it. I’m looking forward to rediscovering my “lost wardrobe”. Just beware there may be some more salty days ahead.

The Cheat Burger
The Cheater
Cheat Day Intermission
The Cheat Fish Tacos

Be well,


Free Write

It’s been awhile since I just wrote freely. Free to say anything or nothing. No prompts or forms or intentions.

I’m sitting in the garden, but the weather has changed. It turned from high-summer to mid-autumn directly here overnight, but autumn is my favorite season so no complaints from me. I love the brisk air. There isn’t really a “leaf-season” here, but I can’t help recall the vibrant colors of falling leaves from my childhood home in Vermont. I didn’t always appreciate living in a rural environment. It felt lonely at times. But I always loved listening to the crunch of the colorful leafy mural underfoot while walking along the paths. Such beauty this world has to offer. And then there were those first freezing nights that would provide thinly frozen-over puddles to crackle beneath my soles. Ah. Comfort food for the ears.

In Shanghai, the sounds of the city are ever present. Even in the relative suburban area where I live, there is the cars passing by just on the other side of the garden wall. The train in the background. The planes overhead. They often fade beyond my direct awareness, but my phone reminds me that the ambient noise levels are “high”. And when I do get the chance to escape into nature…the quiet is absolutely delightful.

I first came to Shanghai in 1996 via Japan. I met my wife-to-be in Japan six months earlier and chased her home to Shanghai. I was a foolish 22-year old boy. Now I’m a foolish 49-year old. But even fools sometimes make good decisions. In 1996, Shanghai was a booming construction zone. If you left the windows open for any length of time you would have a centimeter of construction dust on the window sill. Having grown up in Vermont and gone to college in upstate NY it was quite a shock to my not-quite virgin lungs (I did experiment a bit during high-school so I can’t claim to have pristine lungs, but they certainly weren’t ready for such an onslaught). I remember landing in Shanghai and feeling like I’d travelled into a parallel universe where everything was more modern then anything I’d ever known but in a dystopian cloud of dust. Mostly I just felt foreign. And I wasn’t sure the air in on this part of the planet would sustain my type of life form. I’m grateful that the air quality has dramatically improved these last several years, but I can’t say I feel any less foreign here. It’s not a bad feeling, but its pervasive and always there in the background. Kinda like the sounds of the city.

The pace of change and modern conveniences of Shanghai are intoxicating. Forgot garlic for the dish your cooking? There is an app for that – fresh garlic will be at your door within half an hour. They are building metros faster then the US builds roads. Shanghai already has the longest metro system in the world. They just announced a new line extension with a stop not more then 15-minutes walk from my house which will completely transform the area. It will be done in a couple of years. Adding to the background sounds of my garden, I guess.

Ever been to Shanghai? Never? Share your experiences. Share your questions. Let’s chat.

Be well,


More Thoughts from My Journal

Saturday has arrived. It’s Mid-Autumn Festival or “moon-cake” holiday here. I slept through the moon’s rise and fall last night, but I’ve seen some beautiful pictures on my WeChat feed. Tonight I’ll be sure to take a look.

We might be locked down but that hasn’t kept us from having access to the outside world…which means lot’s and lot’s of deliveries of moon cakes from family and friends. Both sweet and savory of all variations. I’m personally a fan of the “meat pie” versions, which are savory pork mix inside a flakey pastry. I limited myself to only one though as I’m trying to look less and less like a full moon myself these days.

I’m sitting in the garden. I’ve shown this view before, but it doesn’t get tiring to me. I’m blessed to have such a beautiful spot to write in. My wife and I just received our Chinese “Green Cards” meaning that we can stay and retire here. It’s a big financial and emotional relief to have that option although still aways on the horizon.

A Rare Selfie

I don’t know why I’m showing my face today. I’ve shared a photo of me and my dog Jack once before, but my face was mostly obscured behind a ball of fur. Maybe I’m coming to terms with myself in some way? Maybe I’m just coming clean with all of you about not being a cartoon pig. Haha.

In response to my less than ideal medical news, I’ve been losing weight. I’ve lost 10 pounds in the past three weeks — about 5% of my starting weight. I’ve still got aways to go, and I’m sure the progress will slow down, but I’m proud of myself for getting this far.

I feel like I’ve lost most of my weight from my neck and face though so I’m turning into a reverse bobble head. Haha. My daughter said I’m looking more and more like our dog Jack since he has a small head compared to his body. Isn’t it common for loved ones to start taking on each other’s looks?

Well, I’m about to join a fellowship session. Part of my recent spiritual exploration. I missed last week due to an overnight hospital stay. I’m not sure what you will make of my random thoughts but thanks for coming along with me.

Be well,


Thoughts from My Journal

I’m feeling a bit low today. I want to write but I’m uninspired. So I sit with my fingers on the keyboard and type the obvious. It’s a beginning at least.

I’ve recently received some disappointing news health-wise. Nothing critically dangerous, but significant. It’s a wake-up call for sure.

I want to be left alone, yet I don’t want to feel lonely. I just want to sit across from someone I love and not have to say anything. To feel whatever I’m feeling without explanation or reason.

There are two guards dressed in blue medical gear outside my house. I’m locked down due to a covid case at my office. They cast a wide net and I was caught. Today is day two of what is likely to be seven. Unless there is another positive case…then its hard to know.

I’m tired and a bit hungry. An effect of the diet that I’m on to address the aforementioned health issues. It’s a good thing that I’m doing and I’ve already lost about a quarter of the weight I need to. It’s progress. But its not easy and its taking its toll on me.

My dog, Jack, has been nosy lately. As in he comes over and aggressively uses his nose to push me. I wonder if he can sense something is wrong? Or perhaps he is feeling a bit needy himself?

It’s Friday morning and I’ve got some meetings ahead of me. I don’t feel like pretending to care today. That’s a dangerous feeling at the beginning of a work day. It’s when I get myself into trouble being too honest. Perhaps writing this down will be enough of a reminder to bite my tongue a bit.

The battery is winding down. 18% and falling. I guess I will have to wrap this up soon. Or not. I could always recharge. Just like myself. I could do a bit of yoga or get on the bike or meditate or just breath. I know it works from experience. I also know I often choose not to. What a strange creature I am.

I don’t usually journal. I like to write shareable content. This is not really shareable or interesting, but I’m still going to post. A writer is not always interesting. This is an honest peek into my mind. Un-curated. Un-edited.

Well, that’s not quite true. There is always a bit of a filter on. It keeps you and I both safer. Trust me on this.

Be well,


What’s in a Name?

Today marks a new month and if not factually, at least emotionally, the start of Autumn for me. On this morning’s eve, I was happy to discover that @murisopsis from A Different Perspective is offering up a new poetry challenge. I participated in her ‘poetic scavenger hunt’ last spring and found it super inspiring. Lots of new forms to learn and experiment with. This time the theme is Names, as in poetic forms that feature a name (e.g. one of the prompts is to write a poem in the form of “Amandas Pinch” — a form I’ve personally never heard of before). There are thirteen prompts in total so this is more manageable then a daily commitment challenge. Check out all the prompts and the way it works here and join in if your up for some poetic puzzling.

Be well,


A Perfect Morning

A cool breeze under mostly clear skies. 

Home brewed iced coffee. Black and bold.

Sitting in the garden watching commuters go by…

But I’ve still got time.

Be well,