Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Day of Appreciation and Love
D. Bowden

Although I have no religious beliefs, I still am very thankful for the many good things in my life. Who am I thankful to? My thanks and appreciation goes to my dear husband for getting up at 4 a.m. every day to drive over an hour to a job where he works hard all day long to provide for his family. I am thankful to him for his love and committment for thirty years of marriage. I thank him for being a loving and helpful father to his three children. I am thankful to my children for their love and the joy they bring into my life. I am thankful to my parents for giving me life. I am thankful to them for raising me and loving me even when I was not very loveable. I am thankful to my doctors for taking care of my health and doing all they can to cure my illnesses, and keep me and my family healthy. I am thankful to the truck driver who hauls my food to the stores where I shop, I am thankful to the farmer who grows and harvests the food. I am thankful to the inventors of all of our modern technology that makes my life so comfortable and convenient. I am thankful to our police officers and soldiers for protecting us. I am thankful to NASA to take us to worlds we cannot see from where we are. I am thankful to the teachers, the explorers, researchers, scientists and others who provide us with information we need to enhance our lives. I am thankful for the entertainers, writers, film makers, artists, musicians, actors, etc. who bring some joy and imagination to our lives. These are the ones to who I owe my thanks.

Thanksgiving is a day to get together with those we appreciate and love and to celebrate that love and appreciation we have for each other. I wish everyone, no matter what your beliefs are, a very happy Thanksgiving Day with all of those who matter most to you, whether there in person or far away but close in heart.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I'm a Halloween Scrooge!
D. Bowden Oct 2005

It’s that time of year again for the little candy beggars to come knocking at the door. How I cringe when I hear their squeaky little voices scream “CHICK ER CHEET” as they hold up their bags greedily while Mom or Dad watch from the sidewalk hoping their little ones get chocolate or some other really good kind of candy that they can sneak out of their child’s bag later when they are fast asleep.

I admit I am a Halloween “scrooge.” This is one of the most disturbing holidays ever invented. My opinion is not based on any religious beliefs, since I have none of those. My opinions are based on how I hate having my dinner disrupted over and over again by the constant "ding-dong" of the doorbell and then demand to hand over my candy OR ELSE! When little ones, and nowadays big ones, knock at the door and demand a trick or a treat, do they realize what they are really asking? Trick...or a treat? When they do get little “tricks” instead of treats, someone gets arrested! When you stop to think about it, they are giving people a choice with that statement! Trick? Or Treat? Hmmmm, let me think about that . . .

The common belief is t
hat “trick or treat” means “gimme candy mister or you are going to be sorry!” It’s an evil threat that is sometimes carried out by the egging of property, soaping of windows, toilet-papering of trees and shrubs, paint-balling of cars, or dog-pooping the front stairs if an undeserved treat is not forked over on demand. Kids nowadays even have the nerve to be picky and you could even find yourself a victim of some sort of minor and irritating vandalism for not producing the RIGHT KIND of treat and some have the nerve to openly blast anyone who would give them a piece of taffy instead of a full-sized Hershey Bar.

When our kids were little, we reluctantly allowed them to join in this trick-or-treat stuff because all of their little friends went, but we set limits to a few streets in the neighborhood. In turn, we felt obliged to pass out candy to the little ghouls and goblins since our kids were out doing the same thing. I am not a total scrooge about Halloween. I know kids love to dress up and pretend, and they love parties. So, why don't parents and caretakers just have little costume parties with treats and games and then we can all be happy?

Now that my husband and I are older and our children are grown and moved out on their own, we refuse to participate in this hoodlum-encouraging activity of candy extortion. We leave the lights off and hide, or we go out for the evening and the greedy ones run past us in a furious sweat to make their piggy demands at the next house.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Nighttime Snack

In the misty light
Of a moonlit night
A spotted owl takes flight.
On a branch it lights,
Watches with eyes bright
A mouse he invites
To a midnight meal.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Excerpt from :
"A Week in Las Vegas"
D Bowden

After a leisurely dinner at a nearby buffet we went back to our hotel room to get ready for bed. We were still weary from our three-day drive to get to Vegas. Our second-floor room at the Tropicana was nice enough, done in a tropical motif of turquoise, green, orange-red and yellow. Prints of beach scenes and palm trees decorated the walls. I turned the air conditioning on high and crawled between the crisp white sheets. After hubby was tired of flipping through the television channels, we settled into bed for the night. It usually takes me a long time to fall asleep when on vacation, but I fell asleep right away. Suddenly, only an hour later shouts and noise of slamming around came from the next room. “Gimme my money Mutha fuckaaaaa!” someone screamed and there was the sound of thumping and crashing. More yelling: “I want my goddam money, Mutha fucka! Gimme my goddam money or I’m gonna kill you!” I thought to myself, ‘holy shit! This is what happens in movies like Scarface and Casino!’ We were afraid to get up from our bed. I reached over for the phone and it didn’t work! My imagination ran wild! Had someone cut the phone lines? We lay flat, not moving. Listening. My husband said not to get up. What if they started shooting? The cheap walls were paper-thin. I wanted to just leave and go home! Go camping, anything! After several minutes of the “war” going on next door, the Las Vegas police and hotel security showed up. “Open up, Vegas police, open the door!” Things suddenly stopped and got very, very quiet. Again, the policeman banged on the door next door and shouted “Police, open up!” Then there was the sound of a door opening and loud talking in the hallway. "What’s going on in there?” we heard another voice ask. “Nothing officer,” I heard a voice reply nervously. Then there was thumping around again and then the sound of feet traipsing in and out of the room. Then silence. We heard nothing more. I was too wound up to sleep the rest of the night.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Waves at Sunset

Waves roll in
Waves roll out
In the golden glow
Of sunset on a summer's eve

Waves roll in
Waves roll out
Over rocky shores
And back out again to the deep

Waves roll in
Waves roll out
Lapping at my feet
Calming all my anxieties

Waves roll in
Waves roll out . . .

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Canton, North Carolina in the 50s - My Grandparents' Farm

My grandparents' (father's parents) farm in North Carolina was located in the same town as the Champion Paper Mills. When we visited when I was a child I thought the pungent odor of boiled wood pulp coming from the mills was the smell of the huge white blossoms of my grandmother's snowball bushes that grew in the front yard. I'd shove my face into the lacy balls and breathe deeply, taking in the scent. But the flowers smelled of paper mill pollution and it was impossible to differentiate one scent from another -- except for the barnyard which had its own distinct smell. My grandparents had lots of farm animals. They had milk cows, pigs, chickens and goats. My grandfather would find joy in pretending that he was going to throw me into the raunchy pig pen just to hear me scream my head off. All of Haywood County probably heard me yelling!

The cow barn was pretty smelly, too. Cow piles were everywhere and even right there where my grandmother did the milking! She would sit on a stool right there under the cow's belly and yank on those nasty udders, shooting hot milk into a semi-clean silver bucket. Then afterwards she would pour the milk through a strainer that caught most of the hair and she would serve the milk directly from udder to table. My mother found this to be quite disgusting, especially when the occasional fly had to be picked out before drinking.

My grandmother also churned her own butter. They grew their own vegetables and slaughtered a hog or chicken now and then. They had an outhouse at the back of their property and no indoor plumbing. My mom also hated that, though I don't remember the outhouse myself.

One day I wandered into the big old barn with its peeling red paint and found my grandmother milking a big rust and white-colored cow. As I watched, the cow turned its big head towards me and bellowed "MOOOOOOOOO!" at me and I turned and ran like the wind back to the house, yelling like a banshee the whole way!

At Grandma's Place

My grandma’s place on Chicago's East Side was my favorite place to be as a child. It was a place where I felt special. Fat pink and vanilla -colored Christmas tree lights at Christmastime. Space heater in the livingroom. Rough dark green upholstered sofa bed with a multi-colored crocheted afghan thrown over the back of it. Leaf-patterned carpet over brown linoleum floors. Big back porch with its peeling gray paint where we watched thunderstorms while eating ice cream slices from Walgreen’s pint-sized containers. Bright yellow kitchen walls with a chrome-trimmed kitchen table with its swirly-gray and white formica top. The refrigerator was called the “ice box” and there was a white and chrome convection oven that I never saw my grandma use, with it’s big red dial sticking out of the side of it like clown’s fake nose. It was a warm and friendly place, a place where I could relax and be free to do what I liked to do, which was to draw and make things with construction paper and sticky paste from a jar. I lay at night on what Grandma called "the davenport" and watched the lights from passing cars filter through the Venetian blinds and slide across the ceiling over and over until I fell sound asleep. I miss my Grandma so much.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Water is always moving. Air currents, wind, lunar effects, Earth’s motion, gravity and an

occasional undersea tremor all contribute to the movement that occurs constantly in large bodies
of water. Frozen water of blue-algae glaciers trickle down from the mountains and fall from
mighty waterfalls, and cascade through river rapids on their way to the great seas. Wind blows
across large bodies of water, forcing the water to move in one direction and then another.
Waves roll up onto the beaches of lake shores and seashores. Droplets evaporate to form clouds
which travel in fat clouds. Rain and mist fall across the thirsty land. The whole process is a
never ending cycle with no beginning and no end.

Pink cherry blossoms
fall like feathers upon me
as I rest beneath

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Work in Progress)
By D. Bowden Photo by: D. Bowden

As she walked up the wooden steps of the renovated Victorian mansion, she straightened the belt of her light blue jacket, smoothed her mousy-brown hair then hesitantly turned the brass doorknob. A wealthy family had once owned the house for several generations, but the last surviving heir hadn’t wanted the old place and sold the property to developers who transformed the three-story dwelling into an office building. It was now home to an insurance agent, a couple of attorneys-at-law, an accountant on the upper floors, and an M.D. and a psychiatrist on the first.

The door creaked as she pushed it open. Poking her head in first before going inside, she first noticed the large window with sliding glass panels on her right. She approached the counter where a silver name-plate displayed the name, Lukas Nussbaum, Ph.D.. “What am I doing here?” she muttered to herself. She wanted to turn around and run out the door. Carl would be furious with her. As far as he was concerned, people shouldn’t go around airing their problems to family and friends, much less total strangers. Just as she turned to make her escape, a spectacled woman behind the counter slid back the glass window and demanded: “Name?”
“Uh. . . Marney . . . I mean, Marilyn Ackerman. I have an eleven-thirty appointment with Dr. Nussbaum.” She glanced nervously over her shoulder as if someone might have overheard.
“Please have a seat. Doctor will see you shortly.” The gray-haired receptionist slid the window closed with a bang.

The waiting room was dreary. Sunshine forced itself between the slats of the wood Venetian blinds and left lines of light across the maroon leather chairs which were lined up in rows along the walls. On a mahogany coffee table in the center of the room lay old issues of Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, TIME and Field & Stream. Choosing a Good Housekeeping magazine with a picture of Julia Roberts on the front, Marney settled into a chair in the far corner even though no one else was in the room. Pshhhhhh . . . went the chair as she sank into it. She no sooner had opened the magazine when an over-cheery petite woman in blue holding a manill folder opened the door and shouted “Marilyn Ackermann?” Laying the magazine on the chair next to hers, Marney picked up her purse and walked toward the woman who was smiling sympathetically.

Monday, March 20, 2006

D. Bowden
Photo by D Bowden: "Pink Reflections"
Taken at Daytona Beach, Florida 2005

It’s the silence I like
while the world sleeps
no rude interruptions
no disruptions

Lobster Dinner in Maine
by D. Bowden Oct 2005
Ink Drawing by: D Bowden 1983
While vacationing in Maine many years ago in early summer when our children were small, one of the things my husband wanted was a lobster dinner fresh from the coastal waters. We knew from past travels that the small, privately-owned crabshacks serve the best seafood, even better than the fancy restaurants. The place where we chose to stop was right on the shores of the Atlantic. It was a place with peeling yellow paint with white trim on the windows. Inside we found large tanks that contained live lobsters with plastic clamps on their claws. The kids were fascinated, for this is the first time they had seen live lobsters. The man behind the counter took a few out and let them crawl around the slippery, metal countertop. This proved to delight the children even further, and they laughed and clapped their hands with glee. The man then asked my husband, "Which one?" My husband hesitated, for he was not used to choosing his food while it was still walking around. Randomly, he pointed at one of them, since he didn't know what constituted a "better" lobster. The man dropped all but one back into the holding tanks and then took the one my husband condemned to death and much to our children's dismay, plopped the wriggling creature into a waiting pot of boiling water. What sounded like squeals came from the bubbling water, (which is really the sound of air escaping the shell, but try explaining that to three children under age six) and sounded to the kids as if Mr. Lobster were in sheer agony. That's when we realized we had made a terrible mistake by allowing the kids to witness this execution no matter if it was a mere crustacean. To a child, life is life, killing is killing, and killing is BAD. My husband sat there alone eating his twelve dollar lobster while I consoled three sobbing children.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

You Make Your Own Luck
D. Bowden

When I was a little girl, I asked my father if he believed in good luck or bad luck. The answer he gave me at the time was confusing then, but later was a life changing memory. I have come to understand completely what my father meant when he said to me, “There is no such thing as good luck or bad luck, – you make your own luck.” As time went by and I grew older, I began to experience the hardships and struggles of a more complex life. I tried to find ways to cope with problems. However, when things did not go my way I resorted to whining, complaining and crying. Then when that didn’t work I would try praying to God, and that was about as useful as waiting for a genie to take my troubles away. It took awhile to realize that whining, complaining, crying, wishing and praying were not going to help me. Several years ago, I reached a point in my life when I was at wit’s end. Considering all of the things I had tried in the past to cope with the difficulties of living, which did not do any good, I was at a loss of what else to do. All I could do is sit there and brood about all the “unlucky” things that have happened to me. I was seriously afflicted with the “poor me” syndrome. Suddenly it was as if out of the blue the word I was focusing on– “unlucky”– stirred up memories from my childhood and the long ignored advice of my father. “You make your own luck.” I was at once enlightened! I realized after all the years that had gone by that I had the power all along to make things better. Instead of sitting around whining, complaining, crying and praying, I decided to pull myself up by the bootstraps and make my own luck! I had to do something positive instead of sitting around waiting for others to “rescue” me. I have passed on my father’s words of wisdom to my own children. When they complain when things are not going their way and how unlucky they are, I tell them, “There is no such thing as good luck or bad luck, -- you make your own luck.”

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Mechanical Beast
D. Bowden 2005

Looming, mechanical thunder,
Blaring horns screaming in the dark,
Disturbing those who slumber
Along its clickity-clack path.

From some far off destination
The metal dragon slithers in
With its long rattling tail
Swaying disjointedly behind.

The beast rolls closer towards the town,
Wailing, billowing steam,
As if in a jealous rage –
All are asleep, and it cannot!

Churning off into the darkness,
Its distant bleating can be heard
As it grumbles and complains,
Toward its own somnolent place.