Cutting the Cord

I’m taking this opportunity to write a blog on my phone. Fat fingers, and all. I’ve always enjoyed wrestling with auto-correct. NOT! 😜

Mediacom is our internet provider. Internet only. We cut the cable, so to speak, for “television” a while ago, switched to DISH, and ditched that a year ago, switching to YouTube TV to save money. YT TV has its quirks, but there’s unlimited storage with the cloud acting as our DVR. That can be pretty handy. Say, for instance, there’s a film noir on Turner Classic Movies. Once I’ve saved it, it’s available to watch any number of times.

The downside is that it’s the Evil Google, but I just bought a Google phone, so what can I say? I’m a slave.

But back to the internet…

As you drive through our neighborhood, you’ll see green boxes near the curb, spaced every few houses. These are access points to deliver cable to customers at each of the nearby houses. There’s one at my curb, which is in the circle of a cul de sac, and another one halfway to the corner of our street. Since our street is a cul de sac, it’s a “T-intersection.” Another green box sits at the curb across the street at the intersection. There must have been a cable break underground sometime in the past year, because there has been a cable lying in the street since last summer, connecting that box to the one half-way down my street – a span of about 200 feet. It has a small black cover over it to create a mini-bump in the street section so cars can drive over it, and it has not been an issue. Until winter arrived.

Now, snowfall here is not frequent. But snow does fall. Three weeks ago, we lost our internet. In a phone call to tech support we were told we could expect a repair in 3 to 10 days! While driving down the street a little later, I saw that the cable crossing the street was broken. We’d had our first snowfall that required a snow plow. I called Mediacom right away, dealt with the frustration of their voice menu and talked to an actual person. I explained the situation, expecting that a crew could fix it in no time. Of course I didn’t expect them to tunnel under the street and bury the cable during the winter, but it should have been a simple connection.

Two days later, I received a text telling me my internet service was reconnected and that I would be scheduled to have the new cable buried. What?! Glancing out the window, I saw that an orange cable was stretched from the green box at my curb to the side of my house – done without a visit to my door. And, of course, I had no internet. I went down the street to see that the broken cable was still lying in the street. It wasn’t repaired until the next day – after I called Mediacom once again. I also asked them to send someone out to remove the cable on my lawn and reconnect my original buried cable.

A week later, my lawn had paint marks and flags marking underground utilities, and a crew showed up to bury the cable two days later. I asked them to just reconnect my old cable on the side of the house. They pointed out that it was cut two inches below the box, and that it could not be spliced due to weather exposure and possible signal loss. So, they buried the new cable.


Snowfall the past two days, and – you guessed it – last night the snow plow took out that cable down the street. A phone call to tech support put us on the calendar for repair. A technician will come to our house, sometime today – procedure. So, I have to keep an eye out to make sure he doesn’t cut our cable, since COVID policy keeps them from coming to the door. Hopefully, I can then send him down the street to correct the real problem.

Oh! I also received a text from Mediacom saying my repair will be completed in 10 days. It’s time to shop for a new internet provider.

Socially Distant ~ quadrille

Socially Distant

No embrace will cure these ills.
A distance prescribed by those who know,
scorned by those who cry for freedom
when the freedom they deliver
for some is from this earthly plane,
is the place to start when the end
is masked in uncertainties.

This is my response to Quadrille 121: Let’s Embrace,
the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use
a form of the word embrace in a 44-word poem, with no required meter or rhyme.

Image source: Chicago Tribune

Final Destination ~ abhanga

Final Destination

after years of searching
finding jubilation
final destination
eternal love

I have been introduced to a new form of poetry by Colleen Chesebro at Word Craft Prose & Poetry, with #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 211, #abhanga, or #poetschoice. Abhanga (or abhang), per Wikipedia, is a form of devotional poetry sung in praise of the Hindu god Vitthal, also known as Vithoba. As a love poem, mine is a form of devotional.  The elements of abhanga are as follows:

• stanzaic, written in any number of 4 line stanzas.
• syllabic, 6-6-6-4 syllables each
• rhyme pattern … x-a-a-x, where x does not rhyme
• often internal rhyme is employed

We Lie Close

We Lie Close

Close to the truth,
we lie together,
deceiving ourselves,
grasping at the straws
that make up our bed,
knowing the end is near,
neither of us willing to face it.

This poem is my response to Twiglet #212 from Misky, the twiglet of inspiration being “we lie close.” There isn’t any reason for my two most recent poems to have taken a dark turn, but that’s how they came out.

It Was Never You, nor I ~ with audio

It Was Never You, nor I

But we both know it was the children, sad as that is to say,
for the gift they have been. Your direction and mine,
different as night and day, had one exception,
their well-being and success. Discord
may have been evident, but not forefront,
as we gave to them what we could not give
to each other, a love that is true and unending.
There was no sacrifice on our part in fulfilling
the only desire we truly had and the reward it returned.

But that time has passed. It is now time
for us to follow our own directions.

This poem is in response to Reena’s Exploration Challenge #171, which is to use the provided image/dialogue, “take it forward from the perspective of the opposite gender, not yours.” I initially wrote this as a short prose poem, but I feel it works better with stanzas.

Regarding the prompt – without trying to sound sexist – I’m not sure if this works, as I once was told that I don’t do well in capturing “the female voice.” And I don’t mean the audio recording.

It Was Never You, Nor I

But we both know it was the children, sad as that is to say, for the gift they have been.
Your direction and mine, different as night and day, had one exception, their well-being
and success. Discord may have been evident, but not forefront, as we gave to them what
we could not give to each other, a love that is true and unending. There was no sacrifice
on our part in fulfilling the only desire we truly had and the reward it returned.

But that time has passed. It is now time for us to follow our own directions. Yours. Mine.

Also shared with Did you know you’re in my circle? — the OpenLinkNight at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.






Close, that line that none can see
beneath the river,
from one great lake to another.

Years of watching the toll of war
play out on the television.
Hundreds of thousands lost – ours.
Theirs – more than a million.

Protests on campus and city streets
over lives lost to capitalist hunger.
Children lost when guns are placed
in the hands of children.

Years of watching, waiting
for my number to be drawn,
gazing across the river to Canada,
neighbor and refuge in time of war.

Relief when my number is drawn.
Thankful for a border
that would have provided safe haven.

This poem is my response to Poetics – War Poetry, the prompt from Björn at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem referencing war.

Through all of my teenage years, reports from war correspondents during the Viet Nam War ran nightly on television, as did reports of protests in the streets and on college campuses across the country by peace activists and others protesting the loss of lives on both sides of the war. My number was drawn in 1972, the last year of the draft lottery in the US. Living near Buffalo, NY, on the border with Canada, I always considered going to Canada as an alternative to reporting for induction into the service. At the time, troop deployments were decreasing, and my draft number was high – 266 – and I breathed a sigh of relief.

The Peace Bridge, between Buffalo, New York & Fort Erie, Ontario
built in 1927 to celebrate the long-standing peace between two nations


enteroscopy ~ senryū (with audio)

As it happens, I recorded two haiku on my phone when I was waking from anesthesia, yesterday. The one I posted yesterday was garbled and truncated, so I had to try to remember just what I had said. This morning, I found the first recording. Although not that much less garbled, it is more audible. That haiku (or senryū, to be more accurate) appears below, with the original recording. Note that I say “enterology” instead of enteroscopy, and there is a false start with the third line, in which I say “sore throat.”  I’m feeling much better today, but the sore throat still lingers.

complete with intubation
and recovery


As to why haiku came to mind as I was waking up? While waiting to be admitted for my procedure I was thinking about Freya’s most recent prompt for Pure Haiku, and I wrote down a haiku to submit later.

Close Encounter ~ haibun

Close Encounter

As I paddle down the narrow river, the banks nearly hugging me, I spy a large bird on a tree branch over the water. Its markings indistinct at this distance, I wonder if it could be a juvenile Bald Eagle. Drifting downstream, I decide it is an eagle when it drops from the branch into the water, just a hundred feet ahead of me.

Landing in shallow water, it thrashes and hops to the shore, a fifteen-inch fish firmly in its grasp. It finally drops the fish and settles upon the it as I drift closer, just fifteen feet from shore. Debating between feasting on its catch and seeking safer haven, the eagle flies to a low branch of the next tree downstream. Spreading its wings and shaking the water off of its feathers, it settles in to watch me drift by, just twenty feet directly directly below, the perfect conclusion to this close encounter.

on a riverbank
summer breeze

This haibun is my response to Haibun Monday 2-1-21: Eagle, the prompt form Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a haibun that references to the Eagle.  I first recounted this incident with my poem Rapt, in September 2016.

Haiku Reaction ~ haibun

Haiku Reaction

Severe iron deficiency seems to be the reason for my shortness of breath during the past few months. An iron supplement only serves to help me maintain those low levels, so I’ve had several “scopes” in the past eight weeks to determine if there is any internal bleeding from my colon or small intestine. One of them was a capsule endoscopy. I swallowed a capsule/camera that took thousands of photos of my small intestine. That provided enough evidence to suggest both an upper and a lower double-balloon enteroscopy. The lower enteroscopy is scheduled for next week. I had the upper this afternoon, which showed no irregularities. The worst part of recovery is the severe sore throat from being intubated for the procedure. It looks like it’s soup for me for the next day or so.

Meanwhile, it’s official.  I’m a poet.  While coming out of anesthesia and still groggy, my first thought was to write a haiku.

in recovery
after enteroscopy
haiku reaction

I’ve found a recording of another poem I wrote
as I woke from anesthesia, so I’ve posted it here.