Bio Note: I resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. There've been four hundred fifty stories and poems published so far, and six books. I work the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where I manage a posse of eight review editors. I'm also lead editor at The Scribes Micro Fiction magazine.
I do not dread the accidental deletion, for scraps of my being are eternal. Paper rots, burns, mulches or recycles, but photocopies and reprintings sprout. Inadvertently scrubbed emails survive for ages in the cluttered files of receivers. Self-posed audio and video lurk globally on websites and computers. But I do sometimes worry that if I were ever pastiched back together it would create a gargoyle caricature of vanity, self- adulation and inanity.
My interest and concentration at seven was more or less an hour and about once a summer week I’d use that hour combing beaches in Michigan for Petoskey stones They could always be found, for every winter the ice plowed the shore ground and let loose flattish stones and pebbles that once had been rugose coral. Easy to find when wetted, almost indistinguishable when dry, the stone skeletons of very old life were gathered into children’s piles or lacquered and sold to tourists I collected pounds of pailed stone, half hidden in the corner of a garage. Years later, once I’d tardily returned the rocks were gone, none admitting where. I want my Petoskey stones back.
A harsh disappointment I now have about myself is no longer being able to indulge the fantasies that preoccupied my life. I don’t drink or smoke or gamble; don’t much brag or gossip or lie; almost don’t cheat on taxes; can’t ramp up to any kind of excess without expedited suffering. I want the wanna-be wanton I always thought I could be to come back for a visit; a four-course Saturday night frolic without Sunday morning indigestion. *This ancient plant was once used in medieval Scotland as an appetite suppressant by boiling and eating the tubers during periods of famine.
©2023 Ed Ahern
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to say what it is about the poem you like. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL