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Saturday Satire: A Bird in the Hand and Other True Stories

6 Jul

We have a couple of hanging flower baskets in the backyard. Every time I would water one of the plants, a bird would fly out and the dogs would bark and go nuts. Then, one morning, after the bird flew off, I heard little chirping noises. When I tilted the basket, I saw two tiny beaks chirping for their momma. I didn’t want to scare the occupants of the nest, so I just took my camera and aimed randomly inside for the video. What a smart mamma bird. A hanging haven filled with beautiful flowers to safely shelter her young. Unfortunately, the flowers are now dying because this momma is afraid of drowning or harming the babies, but that’s OK. We mothers have to stick together.

The safety of the baby birds made me think of one of my watercolors that I painted a while back. The satire or irony of the painting, in my artistic depiction is, the dove is clutched in a hand. The hand is making a peace sign. Is the bird safe, or going to be crushed all in the name of peace? Or is the dove, a symbol of peace safe and protected? It’s all in the eye of the beholder. Thought I’d share, you decide. Let me know what YOU think.


Don’t let it be said
When shove comes to push
That a bird in the hand
Is worth two in the bush.
A bird is not free
If he cannot fly
There clutched in your palm
A free bird will die.
Toni Andrukaitis


Friday Friends: Sharing and Pairing

6 Jul

Another collaboration with the talented photographer Seth Johnson. His photos have launched a thousand ships…well, at least a thousand words, and always inspire a poem from yours truly. We have never met, yet I feel like we are friends. Sometimes life, art and the world amazes me. Ain’t it grand!!!



Pausing in the morning mist
A silhouette is seen
Nibbling grass the dew has kissed
Guarded glances in between.
With silent dawn, a gentle breeze
A cloak of fog’s embrace
The sun protruding through the trees
She leaves without a trace.

Toni Andrukaitis

Friday Friends: Sharing and Pairing

15 Jun

Sharing Seth’s beautiful photo and my original poem. His photos are most inspirational.

Sunlight peeks through emerald trees
Twinkling golden with each breeze
Shadows play along the walk
And echo smiles as people talk
Spring reveals her timeless veil
Upon the earth with colors pale
Rustling leaves dance in the sky
While songbirds chant their sweet reply.

Saturday: Cityof Broad Shoulders

9 Jun

My brudder wuz gonna go ta da store, so he axed if I wanded ta come with. He goes, “Wanna go grab some brewskis and some pop bafore da game?” We cut true the gangway an seen a couple two tree guys from da old neighbahood at da Jewels, over by dere. Now, day don’t know we seen ’em, so don’t go sayin’ nothin’ if’n youse see ’em on da street. We don’t want no trouble. We ain’t got no extra brahts er Polish. Jeeze, da Sox er playin’ da Cubs in da Crosstown. So, shud up already, willya?

My last day in Chicago. (Sigh!) If you can’t read the paragraph above, den you ain’t from Chicago. The Windy City, Chi-Town, Second City, or the City of Broad Shoulders, any way you look at it or any name you give it, it’s “My Kind of Town.”

photo: smart

Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse, and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.
Source: Poetry (March 1914).

Sidecar Saturday: Sharing and Pairing

27 Apr

Photo: Seth Johnson

Morning Sun

The morning sun ignites the sky
With hues of reds and golds
To pierce the dark in dawn’s reply
A mystery unfolds.

Toni Andrukaitis

Just one of the amazing photos shared by Seth Johnson on his blog. He invites everyone to share their thoughts or just enjoy his fabulous photography. I’m always inspired by his photos and thought you’d enjoy them too. I keep saying I’m going to try my hand at a few watercolor paintings inspired by the beautiful glimpses of nature, but so far, just short poems have been written. Someday!

Theme Song Thursday: Growing Pains

26 Apr

We all have faced our own growing pains, as children where everything was new and difficult, and as adults, just trying to get through each day. Today’s theme song is from the old TV sitcom that aired from 1985-1992. I liked the lyrics, especially the part that says, “The luckiest dreamers who never quit dreamin’.” As long as we have each other, anything is possible. I like that.

Growing Pains theme song

Show me that smile again. (Show me that smile)
Don’t waste another minute on your cryin’.
We’re nowhere near the end (nowhere near)
The best is ready to begin.
Oooohhh. As long as we got each other
We got the world spinnin right in our hands.
Baby you and me, we gotta be
The luckiest dreamers who never quit dreamin’.
As long as we keep on givin’
we can take anything that comes our way
Baby, rain or shine, all the time
We got each other Sharin’ the laughter and love.


All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
T. E. Lawrence

Sharing and Singing Saturday

6 Apr

Photo by Seth Johnson at Always great photos. Check out his site. I love sharing his photos with a quick inspired poem.

Weathered shingles, slanted roof
Resisting time with ageless proof
A sky of blue in endless space
Where trees surround a secret place.
Toni Andrukaitis

A very fun and busy Saturday on the Square again. Yes, I talked to some more strangers and made new friends. Mandy and I went and sat outside of Snug on the Square for a quick drink, (tea…not alcohol),catch a few rays, and people watch after our writing group. While I was eavesdropping, one lady was discussing her latest book with her friend, so of course, I had to ask, “Are you a writer?” Well, about 30 minutes later, we exchanged cards and our life histories. I related how I met and wrote a little story about Tommy, the wandering troubadour, who was singing and playing guitar on the bench right in front of us. They said they liked to sing. So, we all three went over and sang with Tommy.


After they left, I stopped inside to refill my iced tea when a young lady said, ” Hey, are you from Illinois?” I had my pink Illinois t-shirt on. I grabbed a chair and sat and talked to two more strangers. But now, Kristina, who lived in Illinois a dozen years ago and her friend Sandy, spent another half hour sharing stories with me. We exchanged cards. (Hope you’re reading this, ladies.) Luckily, I carry a lot of business cards.



Just when I thought it couldn’t get better than my fun Friday with friends, I experienced a super Saturday of sharing and meeting new people. Woo hoo!

Wednesday: Words of Wisdom and Poetic Ponderings

27 Mar

Animals are creatures of habit. Our two dogs seem to magically know when it’s time to eat, even though they can’t tell time. Or can they? I understand that they wake up with the morning sun, but how do they know when it’s dinner time? Maybe they run over to the microwave and see when the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3, and then they know it’s time for dinner. Perhaps with their super-sensitive dog ears and extreme canine intelligence, they can hear the tick-tick-ticking of the clock, and they have counted the 28,800 seconds since their 7am breakfast. This too may be possible. I know this because, it never fails, somewhere between 2:59 and 3:01pm, two big pointy noses get up-close and personal and start whining until they get their dinner.

So, the old saying, “Let sleeping dogs lie,” doesn’t really apply at my house. My dogs don’t lie around. One’s busy checking the time on microwave, and the other is counting the seconds till dinner.


What The Dog Perhaps Hears by Lisel Mueller

If an inaudible whistle
blown between our lips
can send him home to us,
then silence is perhaps
the sound of spiders breathing
and roots mining the earth;
it may be asparagus heaving,
headfirst, into the light
and the long brown sound
of cracked cups, when it happens.
We would like to ask the dog
if there is a continuous whir
because the child in the house
keeps growing, if the snake
really stretches full length
without a click and the sun
breaks through clouds without
a decibel of effort,
whether in autumn, when the trees
dry up their wells, there isn’t a shudder
too high for us to hear.

What is it like up there
above the shut-off level
of our simple ears?
For us there was no birth cry,
the newborn bird is suddenly here,
the egg broken, the nest alive,
and we heard nothing when the world changed.

Saturday: Sharing the Shadows

23 Mar

A short and sweet post. Sharing my Saturday, my poem and my photos. Have a great weekend.

Standing in the darkness
The sun begins to set
The shadows paint a picture
A timeless silhouette.



Sidecar Sunday: Sharing and Pairing

17 Mar




We’re standing here up on the hill
Watching cars and trucks drive by.
The hunters shoot and try to kill
We cannot fathom why.
How would you like it if we came
And broke into your house?
It sure would be a crying shame
If we killed your kids and spouse!

Toni Andrukaitis

I always enjoy Seth Johnson’s wonderful photography, and I always find his photos a source of inspiration for a poem. I love the way artists can inspire each other. If you get a chance to visit his site, you’ll be inspired too.

Here’s the pairing. A couple of wild and crazy dogs, taking a little nap…thank goodness. They’re driving me nuts! So far today, Buck jumped up on me, spilling my hot tea all over me, grabbed my notecards that I painted yesterday from the middle of the dining room table and ate 2 of them, stole a cut lime from the kitchen, chewed up the back door welcome mat, and has scratched at the door to be let out at least 50 times. What’s he up to now? It’s not even 2 pm. Help!!!