A brief respite

19 Apr



A brief respite

My two daughters and I will be driving down to Orlando, stopping first in St. Augustine, for their spring break.

I’ll not be uploading to my website during that time, although I will have my iPad with me in the event the muse strikes.

We’re going to catch the Blue Men show (or whomever is actually performing), and go on countless nauseating rides. No doubt my aversion to motion-simulation rides will rear its ugly head.

Also no doubt there will be ample grist for the mill upon my return.

Thank you for safe travel prayers.









What would you do?

17 Apr


Artist unknown.

Artist unknown.



What would you do?

by L. Stewart Marsden

What would you do,
if you would,
if you could?

Would you build a mighty galleon
and sail the seven seas?
And fight a giant sea dragon
until the monster sneezed?
Would you tip atop an ocean wave
and fly upon a breeze?

What would you do,
if you would,
if you could?

Would you conquer lands both near and far
and rule them as their king?
Would you benefit the weak and strong,
stamp edicts with your ring?
Making sure your people got along
in spite of everything?

What would you do,
if you would,
if you could?

Would you burrow deep into the earth
to find its red-hot core?
Where strange and wondrous animals
we’ve never seen before
are living just beneath us all
in nations, towns, and more?

What would you do,
if you would,
if you could?

Would you ride the back of Pegasus
to stars you’ve never seen?
And bring back diamonds, rubies, too
from where none have ever been?
Make treaties with the other worlds
filled with aliens?

What would you do,
if you would,
if you could.

Why I’d do all the things that you have said,
I’d do them, every one;
and when I’d finished off the list
I’d say, “I’ve just begun
to do the things that I would do,
and those I could do, too!”

Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 17 April, 2014


I know just where to stick the knife

17 Apr





I know just where to stick the knife

by L. Stewart Marsden


I know just where to stick the knife
and how to twist it so –
in vulnerable places of your life,
that set you to and fro.

I know how to chip and pick
and burrow deep beneath your skin
till you are miserable and sick
and plead for mercy in the end.

I know all that — and more, as well –
tho I can easily bring you down,
and cast you to a living hell,
you, too, can do the very same, and turn around this deadly game.


Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 17 April, 2014

Teeth Cleaning

16 Apr




Teeth Cleaning

or, an old man’s oral fixations

by L. Stewart Marsden

In my mature Mitty-like life
there are those moments that make it worthwhile
like going to the dentist to brighten my smile
and luxuriating in the presence of my hygienist.

She’s a raven-haired beauty of Asian descent
with round brown eyes that peek through her shields
as she wields both scraper and mirror
and says “Open wide” as she bends over nearer.

Rubbing, scraping, she picks tiny flecks of yellowing plaque,
inadvertently touching my sensitive neck,
and says “Turn to me” with a voice most erotic –
and I wonder if she, too, feels the thrill just beneath my bared open teeth
as she dips her drill in that tub of pink paste?

What a waste if she missed the beat of my heart
as she started to floss and rinse out my mouth!
Surely she knows, and would return my emotions
that are plumbed from the depths of my imagined oceans?

See? She stirred in her chair, and moved a bit closer
to ostensibly find a much better angle,
to clean a back molar, but this much I know, sir,
she’s thinking of ways she might possibly wrangle
a new date to see me — and supposedly clean me.

Perhaps in six months? Oh, days may they fly
till my hygienist and I return to each other
when perhaps she will smother me with words of her love
as I stare at her eyes and her hair just above
and she says once again, “Open wide!”


Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 16 April, 2014

Don’t tip the canoe

15 Apr



Don’t tip the canoe

by L. Stewart Marsden

“Don’t tip the canoe,” said Tyler to
a large kid who was rockin’ the boat,
“or we’ll all get wet, and you can bet
they’ve put man-eating fish into this moat.”

“Sit down, you clown, before we all drown,
or those archers up there loose a hundred barbs
into the air down on us hard and the boat is mussed with blood and gore,
OR the dragon rises from the depths
and roars his breath of flame and toasts all or most of us –
and you will be to blame!” said Tyler to the same lame kid.

Who flipped his lid, got really mad and bounced about
without any thought to stop rockin’ the boat
or tippin’ the canoe
he knew old Tyler would come unglued and stand straight up
and show his stuff and go into the drink
and everyone else would stop and think,
“Tip the canoe and Tyler, too!”



Another pun-ditty, copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 15 April, 2014. Tax day.

Buying Time

14 Apr




Buying Time

by L. Stewart Marsden

Not sure what the exchange rate is these days for time. It varies — but only on a personal one-to-one basis. In a crowd, for example, there is probably a mix of people who need time to speed up or slow down. There are a few who are oblivious to it and frankly, don’t care one way or other.

Inevitably, all are conscious of it, and do have a real need for things to slow down or to speed up.

Not sure where you go to purchase it. Maybe the plastic surgeon. Maybe a health food store. Maybe to the bank for a loan extension, or filing an extension for your tax return. Perhaps the teacher delays the deadline for your term paper, or reschedules that big test to next week.

However it is you manage to buy it, the result is pretty much the same: a great big sigh of relief!

Whew! That Botox and tummy tuck pulled a few years off my stretchy skin! Ah, those multivitimins will boost my resilience to all sorts of aging factoids! Yes! I have 90 more days to get paid up on my mortgage or my car payment! Thank god I can wait a couple of months before filing! No need to start my research! I’ll cram next week, after this weekend at the lake!

I do this all the time. Buy time. Or just plain ignore it and hope it will go away.

But, time has a way of catching up.

The sags, bags, and other body lags just won’t snap back. Plus, additional creaks and leaks beset the body as well.

Health food becomes like cardboard. And how many daily dosage containers can one person keep track of?

Taxes. They just come back year after year. Never stop. Like the tide.

Debt piles up and accrues interest, which is not very. Interesting, that is.

The term paper comes due, the teacher says “Get out a piece of paper,” and the theme to Dragnet (click here) plays in your head.

Like I said, time has a way of catching up, of slipping through your fingers, of sneaking up on you and catching you off your guard.

Pretty clever/nasty little booger, time is.

Would love to stick around, but don’t have the  time.

The Taxman Cometh

14 Apr




The Taxman Cometh

by L. Stewart Marsden

Like a Stokerian villain
the taxman slides, glides about,
yet fully in the light of day
this monster wields his way
where all can see,
and all do know the slow anemic pallor
that is left when this blood sucker
has completed leeching all he can
in his dire plan to take and leave discarded carcassi –
you and I, with deadened stares,
stripped of our where-with-alls,
fall quite strapped and reeling from the shock.
Till, once again, a year from now
the taxman shall return and knock.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
The taxman.
The taxman who?
You knew the taxman cometh.


Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 14 April, 2014

In The Servants’ Quarters, by Thomas Hardy

13 Apr




This poem, in its dialogue and poignancy, is one of my favorites — especially during this coming Easter/Passover week:


In The Servants’ Quarters

How gravely patient is the grave

13 Apr




How gravely patient is the grave

by L. Stewart Marsden

How gravely patient is the grave.
With nought but time it bides and waits
and none are saved its ultimate doom,
its yawing jaws shall be sated.
None can hesitate its gloom –
or e’en be late to stand afore that portal gate –
the passage to beyond
upon which all do speculate.

Think you not so?
So you think some miracle
will bypass you your deep dug grave?
That you will cheat its final due?
An ex machina will save you?
Do you so think?


Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 13 April, 2014



Cassandra – the story of Casey and Alexandra – Preface

12 Apr


A new public service commercial has begun airing on television, as well as receiving media attention on the dangers of texting while driving. Click here to view the video, but be sure to return.

It’s impactful (no pun intended).

At the same time, there was a report of a medical breakthrough in creating synthetic skull pieces using 3-dimensional printers that have been used successfully in surgery.

Cassandra is a story about a horrible accident, and the even more horrible decision to combine the healthy parts of two seriously injured teens to make a new person.

Perhaps it’s fiction that will remain so.

Besides the concept of that combination, I also ventured into using a variety of different conventions for each chapter. I also risked (if fiction can be called a risk) of writing in the voice of a teenager (I’m 64) and in the voice of a girl (I’m not a girl).

Hope you will read, enjoy, and give me your impressions on this story by commenting. LSM.

Originally posted on Writing Odds n Ends:

The story of Casey and Alexandra

by L. Stewart Marsden


I have never felt in control of my life — and that’s from the very beginning. I mean, think about it (which I have): you don’t chose when or where or into what family you are born. You have no control over how smart, or innately talented you are. Life presents you with a host of events over which you are helpless to determine — or the consequences that follow your reactions to those happenings.

Robert Frost wrote about the road not taken, and the difference that choice made.

See? Even when you do have choices, you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t!

The what-ifs pile up over time and stalk you like a giant ogre for the rest of your life!

They say that if you could go back and change things, everything from…

View original 324 more words

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