Tale of Three Cities (and their aromas)


Official seal of City of Austin
Official seal of City of Austin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Tale of Three Cities (and their aromas)


Every city has magic which makes it different from other cities.  The more magic it has the more it will be remembered. Cities that have distinctive aromas will never be forgotten.




Every city has unique magic,


Which sets it distinctly apart,


It might be well-known landmarks,


Or a famous gallery of art,


It might have a nickname,


Such as the city that never sleeps,


Or it might be known between friends,


As the city that always weeps,


At sunset the town might come alive,


And on Broadway start to dance,


While lonely lovers fill the streets,


Searching for a little romance,


Apple strudel and bear claws,


Midwestern foods to try,


Everything smells so good,


It’s hard to know what to buy,


At the Water Tower in Chicago,


Tourists are already walking about,


From the space needle in Seattle,


A few people are looking out,


Delighted by the knowledge that soon,


The Fish Market will put on a display,


With fish flying through the air,


Employees working while they play,


In Austin flowers are blooming,


Maidens two stepping down the streets,


To a bookstore where pastries are sold,


To start the day with treats,


“Do you like how the city smells?”


A girl asked her sleepy mother,


“Oh, it doesn’t smell so bad,”


But ask your older brother,”


“Mom, you don’t understand,


Maybe I can explain a different way,


I think the aroma from the Italian bakery,


Is the best way to start the day,”


At dawn’s first light coffee is brewing,


Bread is rising in the pan,


Employees are preparing for weekend sales,


Supplies are unloaded from a delivery van,


Outside customers are waiting,


Scratching, scratching at the doors,


Driving managers crazy as the sounds,


Echo across the empty floors,


If prices are affordable or downright cheap,


Consumers will gather at branches of the chain,


And the sales will start to leap,


Stock brokers with knowledge,


Will observe the frenzied change,


They’ll guide their customers to buy or sell,


Depending on the range,


In Austin a bicycle race begins,


Past the aroma of Mexican pan,


They struggle to keep their eyeballs on the road,


Riders pedaling the best they can,


The tale of three cities at the beginning of a day,


Identified by aromas that drift along their city streets,


Unforgettable memories for all who venture there,


And share in those special sweets.








I’m Organic, Not Perfect


English: A sign warning about pesticide exposure.
English: A sign warning about pesticide exposure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


In the produce department,


A perfect apple caught my eye,


No blemishes, nothing amiss,


I thought, “Pesticides! Oh, my!”




Around the corner in another bin,


Organic apples awaited hugs,


They were far from perfect,


They’d been chewed on by bugs,




What a difference between the two,


The beautiful shiny outside shell,


Or one blemished just like me,


One that I understood, oh, too well,




My skin doesn’t have to please anyone,


I have become organic but not good,


I’m filled with unique qualities all my own,


My faults don’t have to be understood,




And the real me is worthy and valuable,


Not like the apple that learned to pretend,


Shiny and perfect, lying in the next bin,


Attracting those who didn’t look within,




No poisons were needed in my life,


I’m organic as anyone can see,


No artificial coatings protect me,


I’m just happy learning to be me.

















Welcome to the Valley


English: The eastern Tehachapis: Tehachapi Mou...
English: The eastern Tehachapis: Tehachapi Mountain, Double Mountain, Covington Mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


From the Tehachapi Mountains into the valley I drove at a steady but cautious pace because I was both excited and tired from the long journey.  I was determined to remain positive as I passed brown sun-baked grass and dried up orchards.  Town after town flew by, few of them thriving or prospering, and it shook my confidence.


What did I have to look forward to? I remembered the words of my brother.  “There will be no rent .  Just take care of the place.  Everything is in tip-top shape. You won’t need anything.”  Those promises were comforting as I prepared to collapse and relax when I finally stopped in the drive-way of my new home.


I had already inspected the house and grounds so when the moving van arrived, workers I had hired were ready to unload. Everything I had was unloaded with care in the hopes nothing was broken there.


While furniture was set up in designated locations I mused over discrepancies in what I expected and what was reality.  The house was not in good shape.  The exterior had recently been painted blue and looked nice but the interior needed some repair.  The bathrooms were my biggest concern because minerals in the water had corroded the copper lines and the shower heads were plugged.  The toilets were so rusted out they needed to be replaced.   Throughout the house major cleaning was necessary along with minor repairs.


Outside, the yard was enormous and green. Then I saw the fruit trees and stared openmouthed.  “This is a Garden of Eden!” I stated emphatically.  There were peaches, nectarines, pomegranates, persimmons, oranges, grapes, pears, figs, and more.  I thought, “This is where I can begin a new life.”


With over three acres of orchard and lawn the house had to have a name.   “Green Acres” was a fitting name because I was from the city learning country life over again.  It would be like the TV series and it would be fun.


During the first week I celebrated each time I emptied a box and put its contents away.  The pile of empty boxes grew taller until one day I flattened them out and took them to the recycling center.  I was trying to do my part in the recycling effort.


I planted a garden in my spare time.  Hot days, warm nights and water brought rapid growth. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, cantaloupe, pumpkin, and watermelon were soon thriving.  I eventually got a bumper crop of tomatoes but the rest of the produce? The rabbits and ground squirrels had their way.  But that’s another story or two.






Nuggets of Gold

Apple fruit
Image by @Doug88888 via Flickr

During the week while I’m writing stories and poems, ideas that I call nuggets of gold pop up. I write them down but rarely share them.  Sometimes they work their way into a poem but usually they are wasted.  Sometimes the ideas are related but often they’re not. This time I thought I’d share.



Nuggets of Gold

Look for beauty and find it

In your surroundings

It lies there waiting for you.


Solitude and shadows wait

Hidden in my soul

Ready for the right moment.


Sounds and other stimuli

Connect me always

I feel the life force flowing.


Even though I do enjoy life

It overwhelms me

I’m easily distracted.


I used nine lives long ago

Searching in moonlight

It’s good that I’m not a cat.


Continuously write down

Your innermost thoughts

Your heart will know what to do.


I’ve squandered many precious gifts

Giving them away

But they will return someday.


To know, understand, accept,

Creates confidence

When it’s applied to oneself.



Family trees can handle stress

Before the sap flows

If connected roots are deep.


Related by kinship lists

We encourage the

Successive generations.



Almond eyes and peachy skin

She’s ready for love

My heart is pounding within!


I’ll write my own love story

One line at a time

Breathing life into stale air.



Macintosh Apples

A Macintosh fell kerplunk!

That’s how I became

Acquainted with gravity.


Seeds from Macintosh apples

Can grow apple trees

But not Macintosh apples.


Macintosh’s heredity

Cannot be traced far

Crab apples are the parents.




How Many Seeds in an Apple?

Apples are an all-American success story-each ...
Image via Wikipedia

How many seeds are in an apple?

I can count them one by one,

If I start numbering at the beginning,

It shouldn’t be long before I’m done,

How many good deeds are in a person?

Much harder to tally, it’s true,

Since I can’t see inside your heart,

I’ll leave the reckoning up to you,

When the finite counting is over,

And it’s time for speculation instead,

I want you to go from what you know,

And extrapolate within your head,

How many apples are in a seed,

If that seed is allowed to grow?

Is there some way to predict the number,

Or is it ever possible to know?

What good things will spring forth,

If a good deed is allowed to grow?

Is there some way to predict the number,

Or is it ever possible to know?

What good you do for someone else,

Is more than just one deed,

That good will grow and multiply,

Just like an apple seed.

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