How Frozen Was My Lake

Back in the late 1960’s when I was little we lived just up the street from Greenlake in Seattle, Washington.

My Dad’s family used to love to tell stories about Greenlake- and at the age of 5 even I knew most of them were tall tales, but they were fun so I never said- ” No, really?”

Like there was a train at the bottom of the lake and it was down there so deep that they couldn’t get the bodies out and sometimes a hand or a foot or a part of the train would float up and if you saw anything like that on the shore don’t touch it because the story says everyone on the train died from some disease and NOBODY KNEW WHAT IT WAS but it was the reason the train crashed into the lake.

Oh and there was one about boat but nobody died on it.

What happened was everyone saw it appear during this wild thunder and lightening storm and it sat out there all night and in the morning it was gone but lo and behold there barrels full of whiskey were on the shore.

I may have missed chunks of that story because it sounds more like wishful thinking on the part of my family more then anything else. Besides at the time I didn’t know what whiskey was.

And then there was the one about the time Greenlake froze over and you could actually walk out onto it.

I actually called baloney on that story.

Barrels of whiskey dumped on shore by a ghost ship, I could understand. A train full of rabid or plague infested passengers who forced the train off the tracks into the lake- sure, I could see it

But I could not imagine Greenlake frozen over and that was that- until that is years later I saw pictures of it on the internet.

You know what this means, right?

I have to rethink those other stories too.

Greenlake Washington January 30, 1916


The Gates on Basin Street

At Saint Louis Cemetery


On Basin Street

some of the houses have gates

out front

but none of them are locked

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

And some of the houses made of marble and stone

don’t have gates that lock

in fact

some of them don’t have gates out front at all

Photo A.M. Moscoso

But everyone sleeps safe and sound

up off the swampy ground

at Saint Louis Cemetery #1


Basin Street


Grandma’s Kitchen


Photo A.M. Moscoso

Some people have stories

about watching their Grandmothers or Great Grandmothers

baking fresh bread in their kitchens.


The sun was always streaming through the windows on those bread baking days

as  Grandma told her stories  about her Mother baking bread

once upon a time and long ago

and magically you could still smell Spring flowers in her warm Fall kitchen

as she melodically told her story

and you clung to each word.


Sweet memories

always warm and tasty as we share them

exactly like the  bread Grandma used to bake.


My Grandma

didn’t bake bread and she didn’t tell sweet kitchen stories

from long ago.


My Grandmother

used to tell me ghost stories

that she kept warm on her baker’s rack

we shared them

hungrily, ravenously

between us when the world was  dead asleep.


Her stories still  come alive for me


they magically fill  the air

falling around me like crispy autumn leaves

when I am in my kitchen

and the world is dead asleep

and winter is setting in.

Thinking Out Loud

Photo by Matthis Volquardsen on


Is that my face

in the mirror

are those my eyes looking at me

with cool, cruel indifference?


I reach out my hand, draw it back, extend  a finger

tap, tap, tap

Is anybody home?

Are those my teeth,

is that my hair

when did those lines around my mouth appear?


That can’t be me

that  tired listless, expressionless face

has it ever dreamed, schemed or plotted

an escape, a murder or revenge?


Tap tap tap

against the mirror

clouding it with the cold that escapes from my lungs

and clings to it like poison gas

on a battlefield

from Once Upon A Time.


That can’t be my face.

It’s just to-




Horace Says

According to my clock, it’s time to wake up

according to my calendar there are places I should be

according to the note I left myself, there are books I’m supposed to read

according to Universe and all of the planet therein

if I drop one or the other

the Heavens will continue to spin.


Remember Me


A few weeks ago I saw the remains

of a person who had been hit by a train.


They were scattered along the tracks-

and it was hard to imagine that these parts

had once been together

and that

they had been an entire single body

and that body

had a name and a place in the world.


Strewn along the tracks

is not a place in the world anyone should occupy

and nobody should be called by that name.


Daily Addictions Prompt: IDENTITY