Category: Words on Napkins

Goodbye, Old Friend

Season's end postGoodbye, Old Friend

Some of us own the world
Like a globe you can pick up at the mall—
And we can tuck it under our arm and carry it around
Until we tire of it

And we can be so nonchalant about the world
That we eventually give the globe to a friend to watch for us
while we meander
For a season, or two
Or we can set the globe in an old cedar chest
And forget where we put the key
Or we can put it on an attic shelf
And sell the house
Without a second thought
Such were our thoughts about the world

Young fools we were
Fools who never thought it would happen to us
Not again, at least,
Fools to think we could read the roadsigns
When now we see they’re in a language we don’t know

O Love!
We were drunk with your charm
In the summer of our youth
With all that green, the light dancing in the leaves,
The gentle touch of the breeze,
But these were never for us
We spun in a world for a time
That was always slipping away

And now that it’s gone, that old, dusty round globe,
We’ll never know how the lines have changed,
That the boundaries and divisions are ever shifting
Like the wrinkles in a beloved face
That you long to hold once more

Behind us is a memory that didn’t happen
The trees are now shrouded in mist
and we know their greens were not
as vivid as the final reds that will come

It’s not the same old, dusty world anymore
And acutely, we realize:
It was never ours in the first place
We reel from that and vow
Never to fall again
But we know,
that after a long, harsh winter,
the spring will lure us again
And the tricky globe
hiding in plain sight
will continue its spin


Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at

Life in Writing

Life in Writing postRolling along through life’s hills and valleys, dueling television sets blaring, jetlagged roommates giggling and losing all sense of time and space over too much ice in the iced tea, and a phone call about a daily sneeze that today turned into two sneezes–which prompted logging into the house chart and getting an appointment at the vet…

A life in writing means most everything gets written about and kept for later inspiration, from conversations, thoughts, feelings, descriptions, play-by-plays of events and family gatherings, the whole raw, green lot of it. And sometimes you can spend so much time putting yourself into someone else’s shoes that you forget what it’s like to be in your own.

But yours are the ones that fit. That impossible, possible fit. And it’s yours. So you come back to yourself, and recognize you by what fits, which changes daily with the new information thought through and recorded. You observe and wait, observe and wait for that one detail to arrive that warms the back of your mind and you know it needs to be written. You watch for the arrival of that one thing that ties everything together. And then–

You spend the time, getting it all down, rearranging the words to and fro, until it feels right. Until it makes sense. Until you can read it aloud and not stumble over it, and the hairs on your arms start to stand up because you’ve just created something that changes the very space around itself. You send it out there, into the world, to see what it can do. You wish it well.

And you start gathering again.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at

Old Scraps

photo-9Going though some old scraps of paper today, I found this piece of writing:

You return to your place of dreams, where everything is possible. That’s your home. That’s why you go home. 

Scraps get old, because they’re kept.

Upside Down Kingdom is my first book. It’s available on Amazon.


Out of Minerals

Here’s a little poetry for your Wednesday…

Out of Minerals
I floated among the Minerals of the World,
And for a few weeks I ate lunch in the Dinosaur Room
That mastodon and his teeth, I’m a fan
And then I discovered the La Brea Tar Pit exhibit

photo-2As I stared at that fiberglass horse
struggling to escape the black muck
that clung to his lower jaw and even up his cheeks
while the hyenas circled around the pit on the shore,
I’m sure he’s going to make it
I eat my sandwich and will him to make it

One luxury
of a life in fiction
is I have two of every memory
But I’m not in the Minerals of the World anymore
I’m not sitting among the gems
I’m at the tar pit–A different concoction of minerals

I’ve taken my base elements
and made them into something better
bone on bone, layer upon layer
until I can now sit here with my tuna on rye

and wonder who else sat here comparing their lives to the tar pit,
and I wonder what it would take for the horse to just give up
and sink, without resistance, to his end,
And I wonder, which is better: Taking my chances with the hyenas,
or attempting to swim the tar?

And if this is a metaphor, then which one are you?

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon.

Rental Place People

photo-4Standing in line at the rental place this morning, my sleepy eyes full of promise, alongside others glancing at packing tape, moving boxes, bubble wrap, none of us showered, excited for the day ahead…

Standing in line at the rental place this evening, ordering another giant crate, my eyes full of grit, ignoring the pricy boxes with inserts for dishes, thinking about how much remains to do, daydreaming about fitting a massage into that impossible plan because the coffee table nearly killed me but knowing there’s no massage for the weary, still not showered, my hair stands up on its own now…

Overall, it’s been a great day.

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon. I’ll sign it for you.

Respect is an interesting thing.

I just ran across a speech I jotted down when a friend of mine thought he was being fired years ago. He was working in a restaurant, and had been for 15 years when the owners suddenly began acting strangely to him. One owner would ask him to make a change, and then another owner would arrive and ask him to change it back. Then the first would show up again and yell at him. Then the second would send a nasty email demanding the original change. Then the first sent an email threatening to change my friend’s hours, and this went on and on to the point where he really began to fear for his job.

Now, fear does strange things to people. For some, it makes them cower. For others, it makes them hard. And to my friend? Well, he found his center line, and he walked it.

Here’s the speech I found, written on a napkin:

He stuck to his guns. “You want to change the soup, change the soup,” he said. “I don’t need a meeting for that. But if you want to change my hours, my life, I need more than three days’ notice and I need you to tell me in person.”

photoPeople are people, after all. My friend brought the bureaucracy to a halt by showing more respect for people than for position. We show and gain respect all the time—and we should. But respect and “kid gloves” are two very different things, indeed.

Cut to the chase today. And do it out of respect.

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon.

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