Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Missionary Kid: Rule Number One

Get in the house before dark

By Vic Midyett

Anita and I were too young for watches, so Dad told us the following:
No matter what you are doing, come home and get in the house before your shadow becomes as long as you are tall. The reason for this is that the animals of all kinds would be needing water.

Monday, May 30, 2016

A prayer for Memorial Day

Created by altering a certain political cartoon*
Apologies to Honest Abe

By Bob Boldt

I composed the following prayer because I have had it up to here with all of the militaristic jingoism rampant this holiday.

Boystown: The Return (a novel)

Chapter 3. El Rojo

By Ed Rogers

[Chapter 2 of Ed Rogers’s new novel appeared here last month. It is available in its entirety as a Kindle book.]

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mom’s last good-bye

By Vic Midyett

In about 1971, less than two years after my parents and Anita and I arrived in Perth from our missionary days in India, my mother found out that she had cancer in her lymph nodes and one breast. She had that breast removed and made jokes about not playing with her fake one when she wasn’t wearing it.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Loneliest Liberal: Anyone but Trump

By James Knudsen

Despite my efforts to avoid this moment, I must weigh in on the story of 2016, Donald Trump. His baffling rise to become the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party has left many scratching their heads or, alternatively, gouging their eyeballs out. My explanation follows that of many who trace it back to the elevation of Sarah Palin to be John McCain’s running mate. To those in the establishment, the GOP is no longer recognizable.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Sleeping and waking

“Iris,” by Auguste Rodin (detail)
photo by the author, April 27

By Morris Dean

[Editor’s Note: The following account was dreamt early this morning, and we are pleased to assume that Bob Boldt’s post of yesterday (“Tony”) deserves some credit for it – at least for the fact that the dreamer wrote the account.]

It’s early morning as I start to write. Coming to my chair, I had the thought that I was dreaming even then, that “dreaming”as ordinarily understood – something we do in our sleep – extends, really, to our waking life as well. That is, our very life is a dream.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


“Peter,” a dream invention by the author

By Bob Boldt

[Editor’s Note: This post renews the author’s January 31 “Invitation to recount our dreams here,” which provoked a fair amount of commentary but has so far prompted no one else to recount a dream. The invitation still stands, and we hope that other dreamers will take us up on it soon.]

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Missionary Kid: Tiger cub

By Vic Midyett

[Editor’s Mea Culpa: The author submitted today’s Missionary Kid story last year sometime, along with another story that together had lain forgotten until they came to our attention recently as a direct result of Bob Boldt’s “Happy Mother’s Day” post of May 9, which prompted Vic Midyett to submit a piece about his mother. In the course of looking for a photograph of Vic’s mother, which we thought could be found among his Missionary Kid stories, we came across the two forgotten stories. Vic’s tribute to his mother, “Mom’s last good-bye,” will be published on Sunday, and his other Missionary Kid story a week from today.]

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Movie Review: Nelson Algren: The End is Nothing, the Road is All

My lost Chicago: Reflections on the film

By Bob Boldt

Nelson Algren is regarded by some respected critics and authorities as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, certainly the greatest American writer. In spite of that, his career was dogged by censorship, slander, and worse of all, neglect. He was the quintessential modern, existential man, a mixture of light and dark. A devoted womanizer who seemed to be unable to sustain long-term relationships and an inveterate gambler, he wore his vices like badges of honor.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Chapter 11 of The Unmaking of the President (a novel)

Portrait of the author
by Susan C. Price
Hush Money

By W.M. Dean

[The novel is set in the 1970s of Watergate. Links to earlier chapters are provided at the bottom.]

Friday, May 20, 2016

Life on Earth

From recent correspondence

Edited by Morris Dean

Today four Canada geese flew close overhead going northward honking to one another. My heart leapt up with joy to be a part of life on Earth that includes such creatures. I winced to remember that I am also a part of the race of creatures some of whom have spent thousands of hours interpreting something they call Scriptures in order to “prove” that the son of a god died to ensure that they could have everlasting life in some fantasyland beyond their fondest hopes. I had the feeling-thought that such animals as Canada geese are at least as noble as us humans, whose great intellects we use for foolishness as often as not.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Some passing curiosities from Down Under

By Vic Midyett

Sunday, just before lunch time, the largest plane in the world landed at the Perth International airport, delivering a small generator weighing 117 metric tonnes for a coal mine South of here. It was the first time this plane has ever landed on Australian soil. The news reported that 25,000 people took up vantage points near the airport to watch it land. Ukrainian built, the airplane has a payload capacity of 240 metric tonnes, or 92 full-grown Asian elephants. Total take-off weight is 640 tonnes. [Read more about it: “Antonov An-225 Mriya: World’s largest plane touches down in Perth,” Rebecca Trigger, ABC News.]

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Wash (a sonnet)

By Eric Meub


Big downpour up the canyon fills these halls
in no time, flooding ten feet high in zones
like this, or more, then spilling waterfalls
from basin into basin as it hones
the red-rock, widening the canyon walls,
and carving picture windows in the stones.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Shakespeare & Co.

Photo by the editor, April 23
From recent correspondence

Edited by Morris Dean

[“Recent” is relative; some of these items arrived while my wife and I were in Paris celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary.]

Thursday, May 12, 2016

“Tea Cup Roses,” painted & sketched by Shirley Deane/Midyett

“Tea Cup Roses” (detail)
By Vic Midyett

We have a couple of rose bushes that produce delicate little roses. As buds they begin with a fresh, pastel pink, and as they mature and age they turn snow white, and don’t hold their shape real well. Reminds one of something else, huh?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

“Dead Calm Ocean,” painted by Shirley Deane/Midyett

“Dead Calm Ocean” (detail)
By Vic Midyett

We met a young couple (Mitch and Grace) in Southern Queensland a few years back, not long after we started our gray nomad journey around Australia. They showed up again in Northern Queensland, in Walkamin, where we spent a few months. These kids were insistent that we visit them in their little town on the Southern tip of Toora, Victoria, which we did, and met their whole family and had a wonderful, loving time.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mothers Day!

My mom as a teenager
By Bob Boldt

In honor of mothers, I thought I’d comment on the mothers in my life. The picture below is of me and my grandma – my dad’s mom. There was such an affinity we shared together, a bond. I recalled a line from a poem I had been writing, “I remember kissing my grandma when she was ten.”

Saturday, May 7, 2016


By Morris Dean

[Published originally on April 17, 2009.]

Funny thing. I don’t believe in god or heaven, but [on the morning of April 17, 2009] I was feeling so extraordinarily buoyant that, quite spontaneously, I exclaimed to my friend Jeff, “I feel so good—as though I’ve been apotheosized!” [The painting shown to the right is “The Apotheosis of St. Ignatius” by Giovanni Battista Baciccio (1639-1709). Ignatius is still, I suppose, believed by some to have been literally apotheosized after being killed by one or more lions for the entertainment of the citizens of Rome.]