where the writers are
Poetry with Pancakes

We had lovely weather this Douglasville autumn, the trees turning brilliant colors! Except on a few early mornings when blustery winter reminded us it will visit soon. On one of these precursor days, I bundled up, walked across Highway 5 to mail a package at Office Deppot and onward toward Home Depot  to buy boxes for my upcoming move.

The housing market has been kind and gentle to me. Although moving away from Wesley Pond Apartments, where I spent the past six years, will be a bittersweet event, my friend Wanda Hollis of Keller Williams Realty has found a special space in what has proved to be a very special place for me–Douglasville.

Writing for Douglasville Patch is the perfect job for me. Not a terribly good cook, one of my favorite things to do is eat out. It is a perfect atmosphere to write: people chatting, wait staff moving deftly in and out of kitchens, delicious aromas wafting through the air.

So, feeling gratitude for my recent good fortune, I decided to stop at IHOP on my way to Home Depot, an enticing detour where I hoped to express this positive emotion in written form.

Inside, I told the greeter that I had failed to withdraw cash from the bank but could offer her some imitation gold dollar coins to pay my bill. After a short tete-a-tete with the manager, the coins were accepted as credible currency, and I was soon seated at a coveted booth.

I was feeling a hearty breakfast of three buttermilk pancakes with fresh strawberries (senior menu), but the huge order of pancakes arrived smothered in hot pink strawberry sauce and a big dollop of whipped cream. Berating myself for failing to request "no syrup," as I am after all a "healthy food connoisseur," I managed a somewhat forced smile for Ashley, my sweet server. 

Resigned to my gastronomical fate, I dug in with knife and fork, expecting an overly sugared taste. But it was good! "You only live once," I heard myself think, and approached my "strawberry shortcake plate" with gusto. Ashley laughed at the metaphor.

So, on this crisp morning walk, and stuffed with box in hand (two meals for the price of one), I look toward the future in my new home, planning a poetry TV show at Foxhall Sporting Club and head for Home Depot … but not before scratching out this ditty:


Flushed and short-breathed
anticipation speeds me
out of the apartment
towards fame
to see my name splashed
on someone's country billboard
iPod, iPad, brain.

Is it wish fulfillment,
years of effort,
restful detours scoffing golden pancakes
down an empty gullet?
Or, simply God's plan?

Pain erased
cellular darkness drowned
in spiritual fluidity--
gain, gain, gain.

The meat I eat sustains
the heart, the beat
of creativity.

Ashley's favorite book is The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.