Heed not Steve

These Are Not Flowers

If I’m honest, and I’m not honest, I don’t know a thing.

Or I do.


I don’t know.

A thing.

Those clever words, desperate, tricking us, our fancy words, arrogant, they paint us.

And what’s the word for the hold-your-breath instant of overload as memories surge then are gone?

And what’s the word for the pang and pain of noticing strangers, self-conscious and small, as they watch their their own footsteps?

“Oh, well,  you know, I mostly only feel this way or that way because…”

I don’t know.

A thing.

With my words.

But the dogs perk up when I say food.

And the cat narrows its eyes.


sorry, bee –
my red motorcycle
is red


© Steve Mitchell 2016

One Word Oh One Word






© Steve Mitchell 2016


she posts him a clip
a hummingbird snoring
digital wilds


© Steve Mitchell 2016

Life Online

in the ether
with bubbles


© Steve Mitchell 2016

Just Ask Them

trees in the breeze –
everyone online
so smart


© Steve Mitchell 2016


Speaking of Time Machines, I’ve Made One


Time Machine

Time Machine Instructions:

  1. Approach Time Machine (or imagine you’ve approached Time Machine)
  2. Press Center Red Button (or imagine you’ve pressed Center Red Button)
  3. Close Your Eyes (or imagine you’ve closed your eyes)
  4. Say ‘Beep Beep Boop’
  6. Open Your Eyes
  7. Gaze Upon The Future!


(Time Machine is intended only for trips into the future.  The makers of Time Machine cannot guarantee any travel greater than five seconds.  Instructions must be followed precisely.  Length of time jump into future may vary.  The makers of Time Machine are not responsible for what the traveler may find in the future.  Time Machine cannot return you to the present.)


All Things and The Sun Under the Sun

I apologize in advance; this post is a little link-heavy.


About six years ago I posted a story I’d written titled Robo Monk 

You can go read it or not.  Everything will be right here where you left it.  It’s about detachment and suffering and enlightenment and robots vs. humans.


I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about robots and about Zen Buddhism and the combination thereof.

I wrote this poem four years ago: Unflinching

I doodled this silliness a year ago:  For I = 1 to 10

It’s all just whimsy.  It’s all just day dreaming.

But, then, well, I saw on the news, there’s now an actual, for reals, Buddhist robot.  (link goes to youTube)

A Buddhist temple in China has built a cute, robot monk to attract people and to help educate them on Buddhism.

I don’t know how I feel about that.

My whimsy thunder is stolen.

Do I feel possessive?  Jealous?

I don’t know.

I’m surely not the first and only person to combine the concepts.  I don’t own the idea.  I can’t and don’t take any credit for the notion.

And it’s not like the robot at Longquan is sentient or self-aware.


It’s a bit unsettling to see what I assumed were my own, personal, flights of fancy made nearly real.

I’ve lost control of the concept.   It’s left the imagination and entered the world.

It was personal.  It was my own.  And now I’ve lost it and I suffer, just a teeny bit.


I’m no zen master.

I’m really going to struggle when someone invents time travel…

I Guess That’s Enough Science For Now

A couple of weeks ago I wrote, here, about my new Parker Jotter pens.  Well, one was new and one was gently used.

I very much dig those pens but I couldn’t shake the feeling they were slimmer than I remembered.

It surely seemed to me the pens I used in high school had thicker barrels.

What to do?


All I needed was a pen from back in the day.

I’ve never liked the phrase ‘back in the day.’

No one ever said that, ahh, you know…back then.


I sailed the eBays and looked high and low and, lo, I found and bought myself another Parker Jotter.


I do like the red…

This time I made sure to get a pen from roughly the same years as the pens I used in high school.

It’s a new-old-stock Jotter made for Parker’s 25th anniversary.  Arrow Park is the name of the factory where they used to make their pens.  You can’t see it but the pen has the years 1953-1978 printed on the barrel as well.


This pen was made around 1978.  I started high school in 1982, four years after said pen’s date of manufacture.  Ergo, if the pens I remembered from my high school days were larger than the current pens, this pen would also be larger.


Let’s take a look:


memory and reality clash


They look pretty close to me.

Is the red maybe a teeny bit bigger?


equally handsome…


Alas.  It’s optical trickery.

They are, basically, as nearly as I can tell, exactly the same size.

The older pen, however, with its brass threads, is heavier.


what heavier looks like

It has the heft and feel I remember.  And, weirdly, it feels larger in my fingers. It’s the psychology of the extra weight at work, no doubt.

But I’ve checked and double checked.

If Parker Jotters used to be thicker, it was before my time.

I’m a little baffled.

I’m a little disappointed.

But, hey!

Now I’ve got three Parker pens.

Another win for science!

To My Sister Who I Am Older Than and Taller Than but Not Nicer Than or Smarter Than

Today my sister, Shannon, turns one year older.  It’s her birthday!

Today she’s mumblyyears old.

I got her a little something to mark the occasion:


don’t worry, Shannon, Lucie got you a real gift…

Hey!  Hey, Shannon!

Remember how yesterday I was totally three years older than you?  I thought I was all cool and I lorded it over you.

And then, remember, how today, somehow, I don’t understand the math, I’m only two years older?  And what’s up with that?  I can’t hardly boss you around at all.  Only two years older?  In a hundred years we’ll be practically the same age!

Remember that?  Huh?  Remember?


Do you know why you don’t remember?

Because you’re old.

And, umm, I guess that makes me two years older than old.

So.  Heh.  Joke’s on you?

Anyhow, I love you, Shannon, and here’s wishing you a very, very, happy and merry,




Alas, there are so many ways to die, so many things which can kill, too many things which kill, innumerable ways to die.

But, it’s always just that one thing.  Isn’t it?

Everyone has just the one thing, that one generally unknown death, waiting for them, fantastic and mundane.

Everyone, that is, except for Manny Mannerson.

He fell to a perfect storm of death.  He witnessed a staggering array of simultaneous, fatal events.

Manny Mannerson fell to a multi-death.

Nobody agrees on which death ultimately killed Manny, aged 104, as he lay in a hospital bed one balmy, horrific night, receiving treatment for double Ebola and radiation fever.

Some experts think natural causes or sickness killed him.

Some say it was the air bubble in his IV, or the e-coli in his sweet potatoes. Others think it was the ceiling fixture which fell on his head or the lightning which struck his dentures.

Still others theorize it was the Mercy Nurse and his poison Jell-o, or the swarm of bees, or the flash curtain fire, or that stray bullet, or the vampire bite, or the gypsy curse, or the three pipe bombs in Manny’s tote bag.

Nobody knows.

It could’ve been any of those things.

It could’ve been all of those things.

The debate rages on.

But, since Manny Mannerson was all alone that night, and every night, with no visitors but a frightened king cobra and an angry grizzly bear, I believe he most assuredly, almost certainly, beyond-a-doubtedly, must’ve died from…

a broken heart.


© Steve Mitchell 2016


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,207 other followers