Virtue’s duty


With regal petals to prove its faithfulness

Violet grants a light scent so one can taste its sweetness

The virtue of the violet can be matched by your own

You greet me on your doorstep and perceive me reappearing

You close the door but I never step away

I am waiting amongst the violets

Remaining ’til you open again to offer me your mute support, which is your virtue’s duty

Fold it up, tuck it away, close your door

I will wait, poised among the violets

Suffering what cannot be

Realizing virtue has forsaken me because there is no other path

I breathe in the sweetness with purpose to suppress my bitter breath

For next time may be new

As I wait amidst the violets



This was Magpie 57, a writers prompt provided by Tess.  Stop over at Magpie Tales to see what others have written about violets.

I’ll take a love letter over a love text any day.

I have written and received hundreds of letters in my life.  As with the jotters, these letters create a history and time line that help me remember who I was, what I did and who I loved.   I keep these letters in a trunk and have not looked at most of them since they were first received.

About 15 years ago I separated them into groups putting each bunch in a manila envelope with the name of the person who wrote them or what part of the world they were from on the outer top left corner.  Of all the envelopes, only one has a girl’s name.  That envelope belongs to my sister.  There are also envelopes marked family and misc.  Other than those there are probably more than a dozen other envelopes containing letters from boys when I was younger and men when I became older.

If I loved you, then you most likely have an envelope.

If I loved you, then you received just as many letters as you sent.

I would love to have back the letters I wrote to complete the circle.  I doubt very much that any of the recipients ever bothered to save them.  It’s not what men do.

I have taken a break from love for the last few years in order to concentrate on other things that are more important to me right now.  Today I was thinking about when I am ready to look for love again and what it will be like.  It saddens me a bit that my collection of letters has probably ended due to the ease of email and texting.  The beautiful crinkly sound of an airmail envelope is now lost.  The fancy postage will now be replaced by a beep from my phone.  You cannot tie a red ribbon around a bunch of emails like you would a dozen love letters.

If I loved you, then you most likely have an envelope.

We may not be in love anymore but I will always love your letters and the you that wrote them.

The Jotter Pages….Beware on the sleeper train

The Jotter Pages posts are a glimpse into one of my many notebooks.  The italics are the actual writings from my jotter.  The roman type  are my comments today.  This entry takes place on a sleeper train from Paris, France to Florence, Italy on October 5, 1984.


Rain.  The train arrived today almost 1/2 hour late to FlorenceI am so tired due to having the worst night’s sleep.  I was in a compartment with 3 men on this trip.  Two Frenchmen and  an American.   The cabin had two bench seats facing one another with the window at one end and the doorway to the hall at the other.   At bedtime, people got into their pajamas and waited in line to brush their teeth at the end of the corridor.  I would never think of putting on my pajamas for an overnight train ride.  After last night, I am glad.

Our seats were converted into bunks and I slept in the top.    At some point in the night, the man who slept across the aisle from me reached over and put his hand in my bed.    At first I thought I was dreaming, then I moved and felt warm flesh.  I turned on the cabin light and there he was leering at meI could only stare back.  With my heart pounding, I turned the light out and it was not long before he tried again. I quickly jumped out of my bunk while cursing him and trying to turn on the light.  I panicked when the light would not go on so I burst into the hallway and was relieved to find a border policeman approaching.  I told him what was happening and he shook his head not wanting to get involved.   I stepped back into the cabin and woke up the American  in the bunk below me.  I told him what was happening and asked for his help.  He very casually spoke in French to the man in the bunk and then told me that this is just something that happens when a Frenchman sees something beautiful, he wants to touch it. Angry and afraid, I got back into my bunk but didn’t sleep for the rest of the night. I lay as close to the cabin wall as possible to keep the distance between us.  I was scared but thankful I was dressed, as my clothes felt like the only thing on the train protecting me. The next morning the Frenchman didn’t look at me but once and I gave him a death stare.


I think back to those days of travel and I am amazed.  Back then, there were no cell phones, I didn’t have a credit card or debit card just Travelers Checks.  There was not such thing as cash machines, internet or faxes as far as I knew.  I would be gone for weeks at a time and every now and then I would call or send a Telex to New York and let my family know I was okay.  Rarely was I afraid while traveling by myself.  It was all a wonderful adventure.

Today I have a wallet full of credit cards and a smart phone but sometimes just driving to the gas station scares me.