Step Inside

“Enter when you will, take what you need, leave something of yourself when you go”

I have a friend I met over a bottle of scotch in a Brandywine Valley bed & breakfast some odd years ago who travels constantly and widely, sending me bits and pieces of the world as he goes. Each picture contains a sense of mystery, or surprising humor, and/or most likely the bicycle he rode in on.

I forget where he said he shot this wide planked shack. It is intriguing, don’t you agree? The sun and scattered leaves promise it is a bright, brisk day, yet, I wonder what musty odor fills your nose when you poke your head through the door, what scurrying varmint lives in the corners, what fingers grab your ankle once you cross the threshold and the heavy door slowly shuts out the light, the long, strong boards slide through the door handle locking  you inside…

… you go first…I am right behind you…

7/30/2020

8:13 AM … Nice cool morning with a promise of rain. No bad news as yet, just the now regular drumming of politicians and bored souls shouting their aggravation.

Good Ol’ Dad

7/20/2020 was your 100th birthday,

or would have been had you lived beyond 50.

No matter.

We all celebrated you each in our own way.

You would have enjoyed it.

And had you been here, you would have likely picked your guitar

and shared a few toasts of wine,

crossed that weird one eye of yours

and had us laughing on the floor.

I guess it’s finally time to stop missing you.

From here on out, you will be simply celebrated!

Amen and fare thee well, Pop!

7/21/2020 rJo Herman for John O Herman, her Dad

FORBIDDEN FRUIT

I remember one night when Will was dying, Mom and I giggled out her front door, shushing each other as we moved through the muggy shadows of the grapefruit trees lining the sidewalks between her neighbors’ houses, pulling down only a few; ripe and ready; huge in our hands.

“How many can we take, Ma?” (whispered)

“As many as we like, as long as no one sees us! (whispered back)

“Shhhhh!” (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha – we could not stop laughing).

Will was up, sitting in the kitchen when we slunk back in, grapefruits curled into the bottoms of our t-shirts… heh heh heh heh

“What the hell are you going to do with those?” he asked, his voice still strong, only slightly annoyed.

“Uhh, eat ’em?”

And we howled with laughter…

rJo Herman 7/6/2020 nine years to the day that my mother died – she still gets me laughing…

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY, 2020

I went out walking just before the sun burned a hole in the horizon (gonna be a hot day). The wind was cool coming off the hills, no traffic to speak of. I was chuckling and counting the hi-flying baby swallows chirping and whirling in the air just as a BIG hawk lifted off the fence post not five feet from my face! Breathtaking!

The swallows swarmed him as he flew low across the road, and a fat rabbit dove into the brush, saved by my clumsy footfalls, no doubt, or scared off by my loud, “WOW!” at the sight of those talons.

Great Day in the Morning!

May God bless America forever and ever, Amen.

rJo Herman 7/4/2020

ESMEE in 53 words

There is only one way in or out.  You must go up or down the stairs right past Esmee’s grandmother’s and mother’s front door.  If you time it right she will be taking a nap, and you can escape.  However,  if she is awake… if she hears you… she comes for you.  

~selah~

6/25/2020  rJo Herman

I so late

Nothing to do

Nowhere to be

No one to talk to

No one to see

I stand on the balcony throwing pine cones at the squirrels stretched out on the branches within reach of my zucchini pots.

I have lousy aim.

They just look at me.

FIVE THIRTY A.M.

Six blooming lindens line the sidewalk near the church just beginning to emit that sweet linden fragrance. Can you smell it?

The fresh morning air is sharp and cool; my long sleeved T feels good. All will be blazing hot later, wilting the leaves on the new zucchini midday

The Beatles surge in my head, “Here comes the sun, deedle dee da…” and up it comes, and I turn home to shut the windows, turn on the fans, wait for the cool of the evening.

6/8/2020 rJo Herman

wild child strikes again

why am I surprised

to see her mom on crutches?

kicked by her wild girl

on the murder of George Floyd

I am white.

I cried to see the murder of this man on the internet.

My stomach still churns, days later.

When a child, I was taught to respect my elders,

to respect my peers and my superiors,

to respect my neighbors, ALL my neighbors,

to celebrate all our differences,

to acknowledge our similarities,

to live

and to let live.

I believed everyone was taught the same basic principals.

I believed everyone should live and let live always…and that everyone believed that.

Now I am old.

I have come to know that all the learning in the world

cannot, will not, does not ensure safety, respect for basic decency.

I understand that all the belief and trust in others can prove to be poorly placed. That the life I have lived and live is different than the life of others, that common sense as I know it exists in my vaccuum.

I have no idea what can be done, because I do not understand how evil is allowed to exist by God Almighty. I cannot grasp how one man can kill another so coldly, blindly…

Still I believe in God and in Good,

and still I pray for peace.

June 1, 2020 rJoHerman, Littleton, CO

Memorial Day 2020

The sun is out and very bright.

Flags are flying everywhere in sight.

Barbecues coals are starting to glow.

We’re all dressed up with nowhere to go.

The freedoms our heroes died for

Are currently quite out the door.

The government controls are in place

to keep “healthy” masks on our face.

We must keep ourselves distant

so we are all virus resistant.

It is getting to be too much

to hear we must live in fear and such.

My tolerance is at zero.

So I plan to honor a hero

today by taking a long walk,

then finding someone with whom I can talk

about how great life can be every day

because of the lives our heroes lost for the U.S.A.