Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Buds haiku

Desiree nurtures
Blooming buds, three and seven
Roses need their rain

for Desiree and her Buds, Valentines Day '17

Friday, December 30, 2016

La Sonate à Kreutzer

La Sonate à Kreutzer
by René-Xavier Prinet (1901)
oil on canvas

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Front

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

a true thousand points of light

He waved his hand like a magic wand, and said, let there remain a thousand jobs, and let us be Great Again, and it was. And it was good.

Friday, November 11, 2016

the unknown sky

I've never seen a sky like this until this afternoon.

A photo posted by Phil Lawrence (@phillawrence1) on

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

everybody's talkin'

Favorite version of Everybody's Talkin', by the songwriter, Fred Neil...

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

10 years

a vagabond's sketchbook is 10 years old today. It's been a savior to me. A place to come to dissipate despair. And loneliness. A faithful sketchbook to grab up in my hands, scribble a vignette or two, then clutch to my chest for comfort, so to speak.

Thank you, Dear Reader, for visiting.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


Photo by Flip Schulke for Life Magazine

Sunday, April 24, 2016


"Pass the bread, Dear".
"Here you are, Dear".
"Thankyou, Dear".
There were thirteen for dinner at eight. By seven after eight, eleven of the party could form a vision of targeted host backhands without looking up from the main course, forks on the way to their mouths, or with muffled orchestral triangle sound of knives clinking forks. A delicate sawing motion.
"Butter, Dear"?
"By all means. Graciously, my Dear". There was the first flash of gritted teeth.
"My pleasure, Dear".
Eleven folks had to swallow hard now it seemed. Three of the party actually read something in the Sunday Times about how to deal with a domestic dispute just last week, and panicked as they couldn't now remember the five step program. In four of the party, gentle lamb was reluctant and suspicious passing the esophagus. One esteemed member, an actual doctor in a tight bow tie, grew rather queasy as he imagined the lamb portion fight its way towards the inlet to the diaphragm. He would quit his practice the following day, a Monday I believe.
"Dear, try the bean casserole. It's simply marvelous".
"I will, you old cow".
There was no clinking. People stopped chewing. It was like a deer in the headlights.

photo by Tom Chambers

Saturday, April 23, 2016


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

all the rage

Milky white complexion
cast by the uncorked carafe
of the cresent moon.
Assiniboine headdress
stitched of flighted feathers
plumed with rusty barbed-wire
twisted, defiant and uncompromising.
Every American girl will want The Look.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

next please

"What's so hard to understand? What don't you get"?
"But this isn't what I want", gesturing to the slight offering. "I'll say it again - I want hot biscuits with gravy and cold orange juice. Simple".
The man pointed. "What. Do. You. See. All.I.Have.Is. Bread. And...."
"Look. I traveled a long long distance to be here. In this spot. Now give me what I want, please, my good man!"
The proprietor was thougtful. "You came a long way?"
He peered around. "I see no cart, no vessel." He swallowed hard and was barely audible versus the gentle wave upon the shore. "No footprints in the sand", he said to himself.
The visitor pointed to the horizon beyond. "From yonder".
"I see no boat".
"I need none".
He looked at the bearded man, mouth shakily opening, no words. Dropping to the mans feet, he clasped his hands into the sand and began to weep.

painting by David Ligare

Saturday, March 26, 2016

ny 1962

Don't much care for being stared at. Especially playing chess. Children are the worse culprits. Two ways to deal with it. Stare back is the easiest, man. Or - "Here kid, 75 cents. Go across the street and git me a package of Newports".
"I'm not allowed to cross the street, mister".
"Take the dollar. Go on. Bring me back twenty cents. You can have rest for candy. I can't leave this game. Git".
Her eyes widened. Candy whats did it. Reverse psychology of ease of giving candy to a child.
"Here. Git".
She went. Crossed the street. Didn't look both ways. When the ambulance arrived he was at the corner, hands in pocket, watching the scene, trembling man. The mother was wailing louder than Times Square. Damn.

photo by Damien Derouene

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable. -- L. Frank Baum

Wind chimes scaling on the porch in the air of the open cafe reminded the mezzo-soprano of those tough to reach notes of the woodwinds in the last night of the opera. She preferred the violins, or upright cello, or even a shiny shrill cornet, versus the hunched over oboe gal sweating in the third chair, madly in unrequited forbidden love with the woman in the first chair down in the dim lit orchestra pit. They were separated by a large man in chair number two, yet he was winded most of the time, sweat seeping through his tux at the shoulder blades. Those double-reed low tones rattled the mezzo's bosom. She always felt the oboe should only accompany a goose. And that reminded her of the autograph man at the stage door steps in the alley commenting how he'd never witnessed a mezzo with such a small bosom.

She smiled as she wrote about it all in the letter to her true love, so many miles away, across the ocean in some time warp where it was night and music came from ear buds and not deep dark pits. A pale sleepy waiter in magpie black pants and pristine white shirt with tight collar set down tea and cakes, and stood for moment as though he was about to speak. He recognized the green-eyed singer, was in love with her as many male Britishers would admit if you stopped and asked them to speak directly into the microphone, but hopelessly looked down at his shoes and walked away, heart racing. His throat was too dry to quote Shakespeare.

The wind chimes were silent. The singer reread her note as she sipped the last of the hot tea, straight, no cream. Her throat felt rejuvenated, able to sing the phone book if challenged to. She'd much preferred to make it a love letter, but alas, it was only a fragmented note. She folded it twice, sealed the envelope and tea-kissed the triangle flap with her eyes closed. She hesitated at the postal box, not in love after all, brushed her bosom searching for a pulse, and began to weep.

photo: Keira Knightley,Atonement

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