by Stephen Jay Schwartz

Sometimes I have no room for blog-thought.

Sometimes I just let the words spill…



In this little beach town

on any given morning

and especially in the morning

the world is good


The sun shines

and enough people are unemployed or retired

to enjoy the day


Even the bums

on their benches

in their madness

seem content


In the morning

before the bars and restaurants open

(their owners sweeping sand off the steps)

the cafes sell their coffee and

croissants and wi-fi

and the rare business man walks by

in a suit

drawing stares

from the rest of us

in jeans and shorts and wetsuits

driving bicycles and rollerblades and surf boards


The old and young

sporting tattoos

walking their dogs and



It’s a different sound

in the morning

No drunken brawls over


Just the parrots


and the Coast Guard helicopter


in the morning

women dancing in the


with babies in their arms.




I have to remind myself


that I want to write


that I do it because it’s what I want

to do


that it’s not a means to an end


that it’s not the



the deadline


the career


In those times I’ll pick up a pen

and a notebook

and write

what might be mistaken for



Because I know it won’t be sold or,




it’s just for me.


Because sometimes

I just want to write




I’m never so happy as when I’m

petting a dog


The child in me erupts


I roll, laughing,

an idiot on the


wrestling the dog that only has eyes for me


“I’ve never seen him play like that”


“He usually doesn’t like men”


“Okay, I think it’s time we say goodbye”


The dog usually tires before I do


I’m never so happy as when I’m watching

the pelicans


like Olympic divers

into the waves

their silly shapes and dangling legs


I’m never so happy as when children

catch my eye


And wave

and peek

and hide

and laugh


The laughter is the best


And when parents say


“She’s usually so shy”


“He’s really taken with you”


The kids

usually tire

before I do


I’m never so happy as when I watch

my own children



In quiet warm dreams

Eyes moving under the lids

Feet twitching

The dog curled between them


On occasion

I’ll have a day

like today

and know happiness


21 thoughts on “WORD SPILL

  1. Lisa Alber

    Oh Stephen. This was lovely. I've had such a horrible week–the ramifications of my mom's dementia hit a critical mass this week–I'm so exhausted and stressed. This poem brought tears to my eyes. It's good to remember the happiness. The little moments are what count.

    I, too, have to remember that I want to write…Haven't written much lately. I'm not the better for it, for sure…

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  2. David Corbett

    Stephano: I'm walking into a meeting in NY with your California sunshine filling my mind. Thanks, wee brother. smiles should not be squandered.

  3. Alexandra Sokoloff

    II made me cry., too. Wish I could be free form about poetry – mine always turn into epic satires.

    Lisa, I'm sorry to hear about your mother. That's rough. I know.

  4. Schwartz, Stephen Jay

    Lisa – I'm so sorry about your mother. I have nightmares about what you're going through. I hope you can take a break from the troubles and get some time for yourself.

  5. lil Gluckstern

    For just a moment, I was transported to the beach in Santa Monica and smiled. You can be a magician with words. And other beings apparently. Don't stop.

  6. Karen, NZ

    Thank you. Such a wonderful start to my day, what your words evoke is beautiful.

  7. Allison Davis

    I see a kid skipping, it's summer, no clouds in the sky. Sweet.

    Need to do more of this.

    Heart out to Lisa…

  8. Diana Raab

    Very wonderful and embodied writing. I am right there with you.
    May this mood move your forward and through life's next hurdle.

    Oh and one more thing, there's definitely a poet in you! Keep going with this genre!


  9. JohnM

    Awwww… So touching. You captured the beauty of life's most simple moments. You can never go wrong over-loving!

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