I thought Excelsior! was something that you shout! Onwards! Upwards! Apparently Henry Wadsworth Longfellow thought so too. Perhaps the youth in the poem really needed packing material. And then the State of New York adopted it as a motto, meaning higher rather than packing material. Though the wood shavings to pack things were named Excelsior after the poem was written.

Now that I have confused myself and you, I will just say Excelsior when I see all the goldfinches at the feeder. Higher! Wood shavings! Birds!

I took this at my feeder in June 2022.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: excelsior!

Brain thoughts

The attendees of the conference are all excited and hopeful at the fleshment of our understanding of Covid-19’s effects on the brain.

I am still absorbing the information, getting ready to write about it.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: fleshment.


Untie my heart and go find
I am not looking anymore
I am playing for the summer
Back to work in the fall
but my heart is untied
and has escaped control.
It might be wild or quiet
or silly or angry. It might
like this today and that tomorrow.
It might wail with sorrow
and then laugh and laugh.

Heart untied and


The white furry object is not a tie. It is a Barbie stole made of rabbit fur and lined with pink fabric. Both cats are enjoying carrying it around the house and shaking it and pretending that it is a live rabbit. That stole has to be nearly 50 years old, so I am letting the cats choose it as a toy. Good that I have great ancient cat toys.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: ties.


If control is the goal
this is not love.
If I listen to others
yet don’t share myself,
this is not love.
If you hoard information about others,
this is not love.
If I reject people I can’t control,
this is not love.

If you have to be the smartest,
this is not love.
If I have to know the most,
this is not love.
If you keep everything secret,
this is not love.
If I share nothing with others,
this is not love.

Is it fear that keeps me from loving?
Is it anger that keeps you from loving?
Is it hate that keeps me from loving?
What keeps us from loving?

Toothsome Devil

I am Elwha.

I am a toothsome devil, young, muscular, handsome. I am sixteen pounds of muscle, a tiger cat, ISO of wonderful lady. DON’T get confused by my sister in the photograph. She likes to lean on me sometimes, especially when Mother is gone. Mother has been home, thank goodness. She goes out in the nasty car, but comes back by nighttime. It has been hot this week. She slept in the basement bed one night. My sister and I were a bit worried, it was different and confusing, but she apparently doesn’t have our heat tolerance. We loll in the upstairs when we want the heat.

Contact me, babes. I am in my prime and want to meet the lady cats.


For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: toothsome.


Always, perfect, us, and forever
A part of me stands back wondering why
I want to believe but cannot almost ever
He tells these formidable obvious lies
Like my sister you build a story
You are the star and say you never lie
I blink in wonder at your false silly glory
You build a castle of lies while I wonder why
I’d like to believe we’ll always be friends
A part of me wants security, foolish hope
I give it 50/50, unsurprised when it ends
I think you should wash your mouth out with soap
The best liars adore and believe their own words
And it takes years for the real truth to be heard


For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: words.

The color of fame

I never thought I would be famous. I never thought I’d be a zombie either, but a famous zombie? In demand for murals?

When the zombie illness first hit, hundreds of years ago, we were hunted nearly to extinction. The discrimination was terrible and we were killed in heartless horrific ways. We hid and never ever spoke to humans. We often starved. And the movies that depicted us! We were never saying “Brains!” We were saying “Pains!” And get over the idea that we want to bite you! We don’t. It just hurts so much when we are hidden in the deserts and can’t get food, that we bite in despair. After all, our neurological fine motor skills only work when we are fed. Not with brains but with color! Color, crayons, paints, pencils, glorious and exquisite color.

Doesn’t this pain you too?

Browns and greys and tans and muds. The blue sky helps a little and the yellow of the sign, but any zombie suffers horrifically in this sort of environment. Parts of us start falling off! You think we are rotting, but you humans are wrong so often. You think you know everything.

But we finally managed to communicate! Someone threw their paint cans at us, a graffiti artist, and we were off. He was a mere amateur with color. No one can color like a zombie! The humans are jealous and beg us to teach them. A few have even begged to become zombies, so that they can see color the way we do. No way. We aren’t stupid enough to do that. You’ll just have to keep paying us to paint the beauty that feeds us and that you long for now too!

I am so proud of my art and proud that we zombies have been freed and at last are welcomed by humans.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: colorful.

The previous zombie story is here.