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Retired technologist — eschewing cubicles; observer extraordinaire; perpetual student; philosopher; poet; essayist; advocate for nature and wilderness.

When people post in online forums or in comments on blogs or at Facebook or other social media, they often fail to realize that when their postings are replete with misspellings, errors in diction, and semantic inconsistencies, they are declaring a lack of respect for their readers.

This makes their viewpoint (regardless of how brilliant and compelling the author believes it to be) subject to being immediately disdained, discredited and dismissed as the ramblings of an uneducated Bubba. It is hard to give muddled and poorly articulated thoughts any credence.

Spontaneity should be relished, and I realize that people are…


Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Writing Challenge

Image by Garik Barseghyan from Pixabay

Challenge Rationale

I have written several pieces in which I offer my observations about poetry and opine on the characteristics of a compelling poem:

From my journal:

Good poetry is characterized by conjured mental images via compelling and engaging language.


These are my published comments on poetry. I have more thoughts percolating in my head, but before I attempt to capture them here, I would like to hear from all you Medium poets (at least the ones who are among my followers) your thoughts on the subject.

So I offer this challenge: What makes for good poetry? Your analysis can be captured…

Life, Death, and Love

In memory of my friend who tried to give herself an abortion — R.I.P.

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

You knew, long before reliable signs were there,
The ageless mystery, normally full of promise, could not entice your joy.
The interwoven threads of morality, necessity, instinct, and survival
Disguised the gift that the universe was generously bestowing

The seed had been planted, but you couldn’t bear it. Survival only,
For with poverty and without prospect, there really was no option.
The endowment you carried would grow — a parasite, suckling possibility
Until it ran as dry as the nanny’s teat.

So poor, so precarious, you…

My Medical Epiphany

Dr. C — Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash

At the hospital, Dr. C said, “Trust me. I’ve seen your EKG and your vital stats. I need to go in and see what’s going on.”

But he just seemed far too eager to wield his blade.

“Do you have a new 40-foot yacht you need to pay for?” I thought.

It sounded like he wanted to do exploratory surgery on my heart — a very irresponsible approach to medicine and a very risky proposition. My imagination conjured up an image befitting of this concept.

Sestina Foray

Image by Dieter_G from Pixabay

His favorite aspect of the morning
Was the pleasant surprise of a chorus
Sweet, joyous enchantment of birds
Which declares that today will be peaceful
Bathing every corner of nature
With compelling musical sounds

In the forest he could hear the pleasant sounds
Prospect gripped the morning
Contemplating a journey so peaceful
Reminded him that it was the chorus
That he anticipated in this nature
When every branch was alive and dancing with birds

Those wonderful creatures, the birds
With no effort they produce divine sounds
Because it is in their nature
To arise, bedeck and bejewel the morning
Coming alive, coming together in…

Rusty Alderson

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