Ten Steps: Bike Path

This is the third in a series of short videos I am calling Ten Steps. My aim is to wander different terrain and capture it in ten photographs, woven together.

Here are the first two:

Peace (wandering it),

Slice of Life: A Year of Papers, Gone

(This is for the Slice of Life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective and then all through March — every single day  …  You write, too.)


My son, a rising high school senior, took a huge stack of papers and burned them, as a sort of cleansing ritual to end another school year. One year’s worth of effort, gone in a matter of minutes. I tried to suggest he save a few things but he would not hear of it, and so I just watched it all burn as he fed the fire.

Peace (and transitions),

Poetry: Escape

Escape flickr photo by arbyreed shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

I am trying out a relatively new audio site for me, called Sodaphonic, and I want to see how the embed looks. I used my morning poem, which is prompted by the single word “escape” over at Mastodon. (direct link to audio here)

into whatever
world that takes,
whether it’s a glimmer
of hope that leads you
forward to lean against
the break, or maybe
you make a path
forged out of the ashes
of forgotten faith

Peace (finding the path),

Ten Steps: Wood Trail

This is the second in a video project I am working on entitled “Ten Steps.” It is what it says: I take pictures for ten steps on different walking terrain and make a video that cross-fades as a stitching action. I started with my side yard and this one is from a hike in the woods. My dog, Rayna, makes an appearance at the end.

Peace (sharing it),

Visual Poem Remix: Miles (by Mike Sheffield Brown)

In the Open Write space yesterday, another writer/poet shared a poem of a colleague about Miles Davis, since I was writing mine about Dave Brubeck, and I really enjoyed the prose poem from Mike Sheffield Brown in a journal called Still Life 2020.

I took the liberty of a visual remix — a sort of listening riff to his poem —  by first turning his poem into the bell of a trumpet with some odd apps I have that break apart an image (I had a screenshot of his poem), and then layering in some animated musical notes into the image. I wish I could have added as little Miles music underneath but use your imagination.

Here is the song that Mike references in his piece, the first Miles Davis he heard as a teenager that blew him away as he listened to the vinyl album he borrowed from the city library in his empty house and was transported into something completely different.

I found Mike’s email and wrote him about what I had, sharing my appreciation for his words. I’ll see if he writes back.

Peace (listening in),

Video Project: Ten Steps (Side Yard)

I am going to try a short video project series this summer, taking ten images of ten steps on different terrain, and using SoundSlides to make a one-minute video.


Part of it is to pay attention to the world where we walk. Part of it is to explore different paths. Part of it just curiosity – how many different videos can I make over the summer month? And part of it is just to be creative with digital media, although this is a project of simplicity, for sure: ten images pulled into a video cross-fade mix with music underneath.

Why ten? For attention span purposes, a one-minute video works best, and six seconds per image seemed to be just about right, so that’s where the ten came from and I think it works, particularly if you have a slow cross-fade from image to image.

Join me, if you want. (I pay for a premium account with SoundSlides, but I think there is a trial version for a limited number of videos for a limited amount of time. It’s a great digital storytelling with image site, hosted by a single person whose goal is put digital storytelling into the hands of people, and I highly recommend it.)

For my first video, I just stepped out my door to the side yard.

Peace (and landscape),

Slice of Life: Appreciative But …

Cash BonusThe public sector, at least where I work as a teacher, never gets a bonus. We negotiate a contract and that’s that. So I was surprised to see our small town using some of its federal Pandemic money to give out cash bonuses to those of us who worked in municipal buildings (like schools) during the height of the Covid surges. A check arrived recently with my regular pay.

I wrestled with this comic, though, because I fear it comes across as ungrateful (which I truly am not) and that it appears I don’t fully appreciate others who worked just like I did, and are getting nothing from their bosses. I am thinking of all those people who worked in grocery stores and restaurants and hospitals, and of those other teachers in different towns who may not get this kind of benefit.

For some reason, it was the hourly breakdown of bonus that got my attention, as if my time in the building during Covid was codified into a dollar amount of about a dollar. (To be honest, it would have been more helpful if, during the Covid year, the town had done more to listen to teachers’ concerns and valued our input more, and made us feel like we were partners. I guess unused federal cash is easier to give out afterwards than cooperation in the moment.)

Peace (and comics),

Poem: Things To Do ….

A Single Match

The prompt over at Open Write was a “things to do with ….(object)” poem and since there was a single word prompt over at Mastodon with the word “scorched,” I combined the two into a poem about a match.

Peace (and poems),