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Bare Screen Solutions


I’ve had an excuse for the past few days.  Internet service in rural foothill regions is poor at best.   For the past two nights I couldn’t even get my notifications to load, let alone a picture.  So here it is 9:51 p.m. my notifications loaded.  My bare screen sits accusingly blank, like the bare spot that calls out to the landscaper to breathe new life into it.

So, to bring my bare screen to life I look at photographs and see if there might be a story.  Generally those weave themselves into something.


I have some articles that I want to do when I have time, but that is something I don’t have much of tonight.  Barenaked lady stories, how agri-farmers harvest corn, the next chapter of Impulsive Travelers, life in 18th century Colonial Williamsburg, but none of those are calling to fill my bare screen.

Many times I read your blogs, and you. inspire me.  I love your poems, your pictures, your favorite words, your concerns, your awards, your different points of view.  My bare screen fills with responses to your written thoughts.

Sometimes I look at things I’ve already written.  I went through a phase when I experimented with different forms of poems.  Those turned out rather stilted, but they were fun to write.  I wrote this poem when I was teaching fourth grade.  It is a pantoum, a fixed style of French poetry.  The second and fourth lines of each stanza become the first and third lines of the following stanza, until the end, then there is a slight twist.

They stare at their pencil leads.

They start chewing on their nail.

It seems nothing’s in their heads.

They heavily exhale.

They start chewing on their nail,

As they grasp at thought that float.

They heavily exhale.

They look at what they wrote.

As they grasp at thoughts that float,

Visions evade their reach.

They look at what they wrote.

Nothing to merit speech.

Visions evade their reach.

Too soon the poem’s due,

Nothing to merit speech.

They see only what they drew.

Too soon the poem’s due.

It seems nothing’s in their heads.

They see only what they drew.

They stare at their pencil leads.


Tonight I am those fourth grade students.  So I’ll sign off and come back to write to you tomorrow.  Have a nice night. (or early morning)


4 replies »

  1. That photo of basket weaving made me roar- ridiculous I know but I found it brilliant. Sometimes I wonder at myself.


    Can relate to this lass!! Loved that poem, captures the feeling perfectly. Also brought me back to elementary school days, especially in spring, just wanting to shoot through the window (though painful that may be) and go squealing through the fields of tangy sweet buttercups to harvest, and tell stories and romp after toads- free to cursitate with the butterflies, rather than stuck having to come up with something on paper when nothing comes to mind that would jive with the assignment. Just glaring into that pencil lead….listening to the quiet, and the envigorating wind calling to me from outside….

    I know those blank-screen moments all to well. Nonetheless, you have managed a very entertaining and lovely entry, as always. And I just loved the poem. Looking forward to future posts, but of course. Lovely!!

    -Autty Jade


    • Thanks always for reading, I remember that same day in fifth grade, staring out the window, daydreaming, not wanting to write, but having to write a poem. Then many years later doing the same to my own students. Interesting that NOW I love to write and play with words. Always fun to hear from you!!!


      • Ah, the ethereal nostalgia that must have produced.

        Aye that you do, and how delightful it is to delve into your play with words. It’s just fabulous. I always look forward to reading your entries. It is a pure joy, indeed.

        Fun to hear from an old brute of crystalized brine like meself? BAH!





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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