Long ago–more that FIFTY years ago, that’s how long–Bob Dylan wrote “Mr. Tambourine Man,” including these words: “Yes to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free/Silhouetted by the sea/Circled by the circus sands…”

The phrase “Yes to dance”is positive and powerful. Here in the Valley, there is an ageless, mischievous couple, the poets Neil Gearns and Heather Smith-Gearns, for whom Neil speaks every single Friday on Facebook with the delightful phrase “Its Friday and on Friday we dance.” They have been saying Yes to dance, and Yes to each other, for many years.

So it is my attempt to return to a state of positivity, in the wake of the perfect storm of negative things out in the world and in my recent life, with this page, and these acrostic lines:

you’re relishing, not suffering, your bouts of o.c.d

ephemeral impulsiveness is so your cup of tea

since this is so, your Ginger Rogers feet need no persuasion

so let them glide and smooth their soles with gentle dermabrasion

to live is complicated but to soar is a b c

one loving soul two nimble soles three partners come to be



Prefatory note: I’ve just been through a breakup. No fault is assigned. I posted about the breakup on Facebook, and dozens of friends offered support and kind words. “Make a clean break,” said felinophile and caring friend Sandra. “Turn your angst into art,” said superbly talented, recent-award-winning artist, and dear friend since high school, Beth. “Make art your key love,” said sweet-natured sculptress supreme Deborah. And so this blog post comes to be.

The poem below partakes of several relationships I’ve had but tries not to be specific about who did what to whom, but also tries to avoid being a jumble of ambiguous mush. The three epigrams are of songs that the inner jukebox in my head has been playing in Scramble mode off and on since the breakup, three days and an eternity ago.

To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before
Who traveled in and out my door
I’m glad they came along
I dedicate this song
To all the girls I’ve loved before…

From “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”
Lyrics and music by Hal David and Albert Hammond
Performed by Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias

YEEAAAHH…now I’m rolling down California 5
With your Laughter in my head…
To survive,
‘Cause those dreams are dead,
And I’m alive.

From “I’m Alive”
Music, lyrics and performance by Jackson Browne

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way I feel
When every Fairy Tale comes real
I’ve looked at Love that way…

But now it’s just another show
You leave ‘em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away…

I’ve looked at Love from both sides now
From Give and Take, and still somehow
It’s Love’s Illusions I recall
I really don’t know Love
At all.

From “Both Sides Now”
Music, lyrics and performance by Joni Mitchell

Collapse of a relationship! Clench fists hang head and sob
Concoct an explanation for the heart that lost its throb
Could be that there was too much scorn upon the daily cob

Lost hope and lost respect will lose the grip of what’s held dear
Loose talk and snarky attitudes make closeness disappear
Left unattended, intimacy withers, it is clear

Entanglements then trip the feet a home becomes a cage
Enlightenment occurs to one or both to disengage

And fancy explanations all add up to Just Don’t Wanna
And then the nearness stifles like an overheated sauna

Now come finalities and benedictions–one last look
New possibilities are on the next page of the book

In Facebook is a poetry group called Poets All Call. My friend Joe posts a weekly challenge for the group. This weekend, he said he was out of ideas and invited us to write about the weather. I responded with “weather tizz no blur,” posted the poem on the group’s page, and then decided to add it to this blog, with notes following.

weather tizz no blur

wither on the vine we do
whithersoever we travel
why the whereas makes it so
waysayers try to unravel
we the thereuponned may ponder
wangle and wheedle and wage
when the river becomes absconder
wuthering highs disengage

but soft
are sheets
and sunshine’s welcomer
zenith and trough notwithstanding
when there’s cessation of storms
we shed sloth


The title riffs on the “whether ’tis nobler…” phrase in Shakespeare’s famous Hamlet soliloquy. Hamlet is wondering whether or not he should fight against all his problems, or pack it in and end his life. I do have a penchant for punning–so did Shakespeare–but this pun served the additional purpose of relating Whether with Weather. Weather drives our Whethers. If it’s cold and rainy, we act differently than if it is warm and sunny. “weather tizz no blur” is a focused (no blur) look at the bottom vagaries (tizz as in Tizzy) of weather, both externally with atmospherics and internally with mood and decision.

I wanted to make the poem analogous to weather, so I made the first stanza a bit like a steady rain, with the starting sounds of each line bearing a similarity that toward the end of the stanza breaks up a bit. The challenge became the buildup of a meaningful passage, and my intuition led me to some legalese, what with “whithersoever” and “whereas” and “thereupon,” language found in contracts and proclamations, serving the dual purpose of being as droning as steady rain, and enabling specificity.

The second stanza differs from the first in the way that good weather follows bad, and the analogy disappears and becomes content, reviewing what we do when weather clears.

Friends, I hope your own inside-weather is pleasant and gently energetic, right as rain. 🙂


I’ve just today begun working with an Amaco product called WireForm. It will take hours and hours of try-and-fail-and-try to attain non-clumsiness with this stuff, but I like it already. The image above is of an attempted cat–but it partakes of a mouse–but there are the beginnings of a cloak or a man. When I continue this particular effort I as a thwarted world traveler but an accomplished Awful Punster will stop playing Cat and Mouse, and do my best to make Cat/Man do. 🙂


Yesterday and today I watched a documentary about the making of Man on the Moon, Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Andy Kaufman/Tony Clifton. While watching I made a couple of sketches of him. After that I watched something my girlfriend Melony sent me, a YouTube video of Carrey with “ILLUMINATI” in the clickbait headline. (Carrey was schticking on ”llluminutty,’ forming a hand-triangle in front of his “Mocking Tongue.”) Then I did this page, deliberately as a preliminary sketch and not as a finished work, on torn, ink-stained paper.

Here are the words:

Juxtapose a rubber face with schtick on NBC

Just suppose FIRE MARSHAL BILL and you are lost at sea

Juggle poses Andy Kaufman style–the crowd will ROAR

Introduce some paint to canvas–then your soul will soar

Iterative and immersive rising up to be

Multimegauniversal personality


Late last century Bob Dylan wrote “Jokerman,” a song laden with religious and mythic reference about a character groomed to be a savior, who chooses not to step up to Evil–or so is my interpretation. It seems to be a distant cousin to Jackson Browne’s “The Pretender.”

My drawing attempts to match the ambiguity of the song. It is best viewed while the song is playing.


I am happily involved with a former Glendale High School Class of ’72 classmate. Today I realized her name would suit a double acrostic if I stretched out the Y of Terry. Then I asked for three words that were important to her life. Melony’s words were Wife, Children, Family.

Melony was married for more than 40 years to Rich Terry, a wonderful man who with her raised two wonderful sons, Jeremy and Sean. Rich died tragically young, of complications related to COPD, about a year and a half ago. Jeremy married the wonderful Jolene, and they have a son, the wonderful, mischievous and dynamic Andrew, who will be 5 years old quite soon. Sean has wonderful talent both as artist and musician. If that seems like a lot of Wonderfuls, and a lack of descriptive imagination, yes, but I stand by my words.

My challenge was to create a page, and in it a poem, that would well represent Melony and that which she holds dear. To help, Melony provided a family photo album, and so I drew Melony’s grandson Andrew with his beloved Guitar Hero guitar, and I surrounded him with Melony as a baby, Melony and baby Sean, baby Sean and Jeremy, and Melony and Rich on their wedding day.

In the lower right-hand corner is Melony Terry, The Acrostic, with these words:

My life as Wife was Rich & Right

Ensured safe passage site to site

Life with my children full of cheer

Outlasted poverty & fear

Now children’s children capably

Yearn onward. All is Family

Melony has seen my page and expressed approval; and when I asked her if I could make a blog post of it, her most gracious response was, “You should–you worked your butt off on it.”

Melony Terry, The Person, is aces in my book, Friends. I love you, Mel!!