my books and me

Writing Prompt: Pride and Joy

What’s your most prized possession?


My books are one of my most prized possessions. Reading is my refuge and my many tomes provide me with the escape I need from the mundane. My library is about 5,000 books strong with an eclectic group of authors writing in both fiction and non-fiction.

It’s strange, but when I am surrounded by books I feel at ease, as though surrounded by friends. Authors I’m not fond of get placed in other rooms in the house. Authors I love live right in my bedroom on shelves or on the floor along the walls.

There are times when I want to significantly shrink my library. But then I get the shakes and quickly dismiss such an insane idea.

newspapers: the other reality entertainment

Writing Prompt: Newspaper

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


Bird cages lined with yesterday’s murders and celebrity gossip keep no secrets. The fear and triteness won’t swing open cage doors to set free the small bodied beings with wings who don’t care about our words. They remain caged, trapped with sounds humans write on paper about their unsavory behavior and dying world. But they rarely use those words—dying world.

Newspapers aren’t about real news, meaning, the diversity and compendium of human experience across all possible ways of seeing existence. They’re about telling up to the minute stories about localized collective tragedies, and our sanitized collective insanities. Printing in only black and white doesn’t ease the colored stains of the real world. We read now for the reality show effect on paper. Newspapers keep the masses entertained and anxious each morning for the next fix of pain and pettiness. Sometimes, the fix allows us to keep the illusions alive, they keep us believing that we are free. But the paper sits inside a cage or trapped at the bottom of a heap. Irony.

There is really nothing to read but the same old thing. Different name. Different place. Same story and denouement. Sometimes none. Just unraveled threads wrapped in mystery and phantom or real killers, or candidates running for something we can’t put our fingers on. We give it name, but in the end, it behaves nameless.

There is nothing to read. Let the birds have it—our makeshift history. That is how important it is, really, for some. For most. Just a thing meant for waste, then tossed into large black garbage bags that sit on a curb waiting to be taken to a place where history is destroyed, meaningless in the grand scheme of it all. All soon to be buried beneath thousands of years of lifetimes and names no one will ever remember or know.

orange peel waters (unedited)


Orange peel tea drinks me instead.
It tastes my waters, then
pours into me without bitterness.

Remember wasted life.

The water is unclear, it is orange oceans
flowing back to shore.
Orange peel waters hide lonely tears.

Remember wasted time.

This is not a sad poem.
It is orange tea meditating
over incongruent wants.

Remember wasted tea.

Orange lives,
living beyond the waters.
Tears search for the haunting voice.

Remember what was wasted.

green all over

Writing Prompt: Green

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


i am green on the inside where the grass, shrubs and trees live and grow. i am green leaves flowing through thick veins trying to find their way to calm green waters of life. i am green skies and dark green soil, seeking green seeds that reproduce outside of dark green fertile flesh. my thoughts are green and grow in green rain and sunshine, birthing strong green men and women who build nations. death is green and takes us all to that after-place where green persists, trying to introduce us to a new life.

a world upside out

I am revisiting this piece which I wrote a very long time ago. At the time I’d been reading quite a bit of Shel Silverstein’s children’s poems and shortly after discovered his story, The Giving Tree. I was most enthralled with his poetry and in a roundabout way was led to his children’s poems after reading Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky”.

I eventually began reading his children’s poetry book, Falling Up. It was a fun and interesting book which I would read to my daughters fairly regularly. Silverstein’s poetry and Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” birthed the poem below.


A World Upside Out

Underneath the top of the valley
Looking down at a sky so gray
Over the bottom of the hill
Looking up at a sea at play

Inside the outside of the world
Outside of inner peace
I see the vertical horizon peeking below
The moon setting in the east

Upside inside underneath
A world on top of the clouds
The sun shines darkly evermore
In a garden filled with stars

© zaji, circa 2009