This, too, shall (be) past

I had a great editor early in my lately comatose journalism career who loved grammar arguments. He played deaf half the time, but he could hear someone whisper “Oxford comma” from across the newsroom. The one that really stoked his ire, however, was “this past,” as in “this past weekend...” “What the hell does that... Continue Reading →


The dog who went up a hill and bombed down a mountain

The first hike of the year, I feared, would be Reese’s last. That early January outing was a hike in intent only. Reese did not listen before he leapt out of the car. His attention was focused on a young golden retriever at the trailhead, but in his haste to frolic with the pup he... Continue Reading →

Chicken screed

“Chicken in the backyard!” Anthony blurted as he blurred by. It was not the first time this alert has been sounded, but it still took me by surprise. After all, we live in the city and do not maintain poultry. I recalled a line from an E.B. White essay, which I believe appears as both... Continue Reading →

No book is an ‘Island’

How did Richard Wilson’s The Island Within elude me all these years? I feel like Sammy Potts, the righteously testy pubescent “author” of my favorite Onion column who has reached age 12 without having been informed of the “elegant awesomeness” and “incredible kick-assness” of Bruce Lee. But seriously, no one had my back on this?... Continue Reading →

Howl on wheels

“God bless you!” the young woman yelled from the minivan as it moved slowly through the intersection beside us. I looked up, startled; I had not sneezed. But I quickly picked up her wavelength. “For what you’re doing,” she clarified. She was being charitable about a perceived charity. The vehicle rolled on before I could... Continue Reading →

Spring: Music to our ears

We sped west against the wind, accompanied by something buoyant and Baroque beamed from the classical radio station in the city Wyatt the dog and I were leaving behind. The music faded to static in the Front Range foothills before I could learn the composer. It was a moonless Sunday morning, “bible black” to borrow... Continue Reading →

The tail of another year

For all the idiocy and death jammed into it, 2016 seemed an especially fleet year. Maybe it was the leap day. Per Thomas Mann in The Magic Mountain, I neither celebrate 2016’s demise nor 2017’s arrival: “Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce... Continue Reading →

Love and peace to everyone

I heard the howls on Christmas Day Their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet the words repeat Of treats on Earth, good will toward men. (Art and words by Anthony Groen. Apologies to The Beach Boys, Bing Crosby, Mariah Carey, The Jackson 5, The Chipmunks and David Seville, and Ray Charles.)

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