Poem about Twitter for National Poetry Month

So young and new and surprisingly scientific,
yet already considered old-fashioned, outdated,
and used only by the desperate to send
information and opinions nobody reads. Everyone
swivels their eyes to avoid seeing
how passé you’ve become. Some even giggle
nervously, then guffaw to cover their

-Vera S. Scott
28 June 2022
(meant to have been completed April 2022)

Song of the Blessed

Even the pensioned and salaried operative
who pays the mortgage promptly,
who keeps both cars cleaned and washed
and topped up with petrol,
who can afford a daughter’s six-figure bridal gown,
who teaches children on Sunday;
Even the officer, the jury, the judge;
Even the governor.
There is no sort-of sacred,
No mix-and-match option.
No pick and choose your own.
Sanctity is all or nothing. Even the Sanctioned One
with the needle, the bullet, the rope;
Even the Prefect of Judea with freshly cleansed hands,
the centurion ready with forged iron nails;
Even Longinus standing to one side with a spear.
even the executioner
commits murder.

© 2022 Vera S. Scott

A Rant about Algorithms

To date I have not recorded nor posted anything of my own on TikTok, and I don’t know that I will. However, I have found musicians, poets, and other folks whose videos I enjoy, and I like to spend time browsing through their posts to see what they’re up to.

I made the mistake, though, of stopping to read several posts deliberately written to convey an entire story in only two or three sentences. The problem is the posts I looked at were horror stories. I read them because of how tight and precise the use of language was; the writing was superb. Unfortunately, TikTok thinks I read them because they were horror stories about inflicting pain on other people. Now I am being inundated with posts about people hurting each other, or being hurt by someone else.


Christmas Has Rules, You Know

brief salvage

She lay there listening to her teen-aged sister’s slow breathing from the twin bed across the room and could tell her sister was asleep. No lights came from the hall. No voices from the television in the living room

She thought, I could sneak to the Christmas tree, look around quickly, and be back in bed before anyone notices.  She propped Teddy, her stuffed bear, up in the corner of her own bed by the wall.  Folded back the blankets, and slipped her feet onto the floor. She paused. She listened.  Her sister’s little snore hadn’t changed, so she knew she was still asleep.

She rose to her feet and tip toed across the linoleum floor, pushed aside the tattered curtain that served as a door to the bedroom, and peered into the hall.  No one was there.  She stretched her neck, ear to the right, toward the other bedrooms…

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holiday thoughts

About this time in 2000, maybe a bit later in the year, I sat at the kitchen table with the telephone in my left hand and a list of names in front of me. I phoned every person on that list and explained that although I didn’t know what their plans were for the holidays if they wanted to spend Christmas with my mother this would be their last opportunity.

I said, “If she is alive next year, she won’t know that we’re there.”

The response was great. Lots of people came by and that Christmas my mom saw all of her family. She died on November 28. 2001.

She is on the far right in this photo which shows her with two of her grandchildren and a daughter-in-law. I snapped this photo in the mid-1970s, when I was still young enough to confuse the term ‘now’ with the word ‘forever’. Since then not only my mother but also the daughter-in-law and one of the grandchildren have died. The youngest little girl, now a beautiful woman, is a cancer survivor despite her medical treatments having been sidetracked by the pandemic.

Don’t put it off.

Love the people you love.