Photo by Nsey Benajah on Unsplash

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I just have a problem with authority figures — especially ones that came to their authority in what I see as an inappropriate or illegitimate way. The way I figure, if you aren’t in keeping with my own code of ethics then why the hell should I ascribe to yours? Because you represent something larger? Big whoop.

This causes problems, I assure you.

All I know is that I have a history of “getting my back up,” when confronted by rules or procedures that I disagree with. Compounding this is my certainty that how I…


This is what I want to say when you ask me.

Photo by Yasin Arıbuğa on Unsplash

and there he sits. the old man alone. late in inky

blackness, the light shrunken to a stale pool of

defiant solidity nightbirds mock. he cannot hear

the barrage of inanity; his internal temperature

is too high for that, the war raging behind his

weary skin too fraught with flames and shrapnel,

the screams of the dying thoughts he had no time

to capture. what does it do, you ask. what does it even do?

as if entering the world in this way was a process

mechanical in nature…


Photo by Andrew Amistad on Unsplash

I feel the need to say something, both as a parent and as a teacher. The latest personal news from DC involves the sharing of lived trauma. This sharing has drawn both support and ire, as is usual within the American political landscape.

I feel for what those people lived through, AOC in particular. She’s illustrated her bravery by coming forward. She has made a practice of speaking truth to power and it is serving her well. I wish that we all could do so with the expectation that we would be supported. In my experience, though, speaking out often…


Photo by Sergio Ibannez on Unsplash

the thing sat there. the raven outside on the wall watched it. not even the fine mist falling this morning made an impact. I too watched, albeit for different reasons.

I felt no threat from the object, the thing, the previously-not-there that had appeared some time over night, while it snowed. I was curious though.

what is it about animals? humans included. when left to our own devices, we might very well just observe. the moment there is competition for discovery, though — or the casual contemplative approaches a breaking point — then… then, the race is on.

from where…


We struggle with reading sometimes. It’s okay, really — even though I am an English teacher and an Anglophile of the highest order — I get it. My children are fully immersed in French-speaking classrooms, they are doing well and working very hard. I still want them to be kids, something that wasn’t necessarily happening with any success where they were last year.

It has fallen to me, the stay-at-home writerdadguy who can barely cook, to get a lot of the dailies done while the kids are in school and my wife is at work. I am not complaining. I…


I repaired a stuffed animal this morning

Well, it was a shirt on a stuffed animal. A green shirt on a little panda that my daughter calls Pandy. We picked the critter up in London in the long-gone and much lamented pre-COVID19 days… I don’t know why they make these things so fragile (read: I do, but it’s not acceptable), and I am not a seamster/sewer/machine needle man. …


It’s a matter of pride

My children have been students in a Belgian school this year, for the first time. And before the country imposed a two-week lockdown to flatten the curve on coronavirus numbers, the twins were given a small unit on World War 1 and Armistice Day. My wife and I are teachers, so of course we wanted to see the lesson design and our kids are good sports so they played along.

Apparently there were two weeks of context condensed into the week before lockdown. They read stories about the war, poems both historically anchored and reflective…


First of all, absolutes like this are seldom practical. It is easy to find yourself in an impossible situation, faced with choices that have negative outcomes. Life is endlessly complicated by things beyond our control — so much so that the meaning of life may very well be the living of it. Alan Watts certainly believed that to be the case, and so do I.

Regret is a funny thing because you aren’t the same person from moment to moment, let alone year to year. How will you know if what you do today, right now, will result in regret…


Right Fight, Wrong Guys

Beautiful summer day in the South. I’m twelve and my buddy is thirteen. We are invincible and alive in ways that only tweens can be, especially in the summer. So of course when he asks if I want to ride over to the gas station by his house, I say yes.

It must be 95 degrees, and the rhythm of my feet and the tires’ hum and the wind across my sweating body are hypnotic. By the time I really look around, really see where we are, we’re within sight of the station. The whole ride…


My grandmother’s curly hair above the foam, the tub walls trailing her rose scented soap and the giant black poodle in the corner staring

soft leather sunrise above the ocean where foghorns cadence unfriendly angels bearing torches to set the hills alight, here in this place, where fire is in the soil as much as blood

no one ever said it’s not haunted

this house fills my memory but I just keep redecorating, a lamp here; a crooked bookcase bearing remnant sawdust; posters of unknown organics labelled in a foreign script; plants, bears of light and air

I could trade…

C. Brannon Watts

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