The Quote:

Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire. ~Gustav Mahler

How do you preserve the fire? What tradition (if any) do you hold dear?


Alternatively, find a quote that inspires you and write to that!


BURN THIS TRADITION, by Walter J Wojtanik

It is every parent’s honored mission
to hold close to this one tradition,
all for this annual condition
we call Christmas. It’s your decision,
but I give to you my permission
to call it yours too! Listen,
Christmas is one time of year,
where people fill with Christmas cheer,
it is the reason we come back here
to hearth and hearts we hold so dear.
And little ones perplexed with fear,
think, “were they really good this year?”
I’ve honored Christmas each December
as far back as I can remember,
traditions are a glowing ember
that catches on fire in shades of amber.
Filling lives in greater numbers
with so much love, a special caliber
of which you’ve never known.
For it is Christmas love that’s shown,
a love that truly is home grown.
It’s this “tradition” that we hone,
one we cannot leave alone.
I’ve seen it everywhere I’ve flown.
So while I’m flying for this cause,
from high up here I’m filled with awes,
despite our very human flaws
I’m happy I can take this pause
to celebrate with you because
tradition says I am Santa Claus.


  1. Wrong Wheels are Turning

    I wish I had ambition
    to start a new tradition:
    Each night I’d like
    to ride my bike
    in tip-top, fit condition.

    © Marie Elena Good, 2019

    Hoping for time to write another one later. Thinking of you and praying for you, Santa! I mean, Pard!

  2. .
    “Damn, and just when I was starting to get it!”

    (Edgar Degas, on his deathbed)

    The Day Of the Medicare Card

    The mail had been lighter,
    junk mail withdrawal.
    It’s the economy, some say,
    IPO schemes caused it all.
    Most of my business
    I did on the ‘Net,
    no stash of stamps,
    no envelopes, yet,
    there are some things
    requiring a physical touch,
    a few magazines,
    but really not much.

    One item required physical form,
    no e-mail, fax, or twitter would do.
    My Medicare card came in the mail
    a benefit surely, a loud comment too.
    I became officially old,
    well past my youth,
    more than half-lived,
    no denying that truth.
    I still found my do-list
    getting longer each day,
    but this card in the mail
    said there’d be less time to play.

    No use in denial, too many
    mirrors in my home, you see.
    I think friends look older, but
    they’re the same age as me.
    I laugh when I think of
    how young we could be
    if we didn’t have tokens
    of aging like this,
    this benefits card,
    half-misery, half-bliss.

  3. .
    Sunday Laundry Day

    with acknowlegement to Dharma & Greg

    Hurray, hurray, it’s Clean Sheets Day.
    No time to read, no time to play.
    Tasks abound, they always do,
    grocery shopping, ironing too.
    I promised, after all those miles,
    to be of service, wearing smiles.
    I cook the meals, sometimes well.
    I love it when they cast a spell
    of happiness, unfettered glee,
    it really means so much to me
    to see the pleasure it gives you,
    it’s truly selfish, what I do.
    but the cleaning is, at best, not bad,
    but we need those visits from the maid.
    I know it agrees with my honey,
    I need help, the maid needs money.
    The dishes are an easy chore,
    it cleans my fingernails, what’s more.
    But nothing seems so much like play
    as Sunday, known as Clean Sheets Day.
    It used to be a mid-week chore,
    but honey took over, does it better, what’s more,
    The undies, pants, towels, a shirt
    don’t mix in with their nasty dirt,
    as I always saved the sheets for last,
    for honey, they’re the only item cast
    upon the bed before we sleep,
    their clean fresh fragrance ours to keep
    in memory as we drift off,
    our daily aches so soon to doff,
    remembering at last to pray
    we’ll make it to next Clean Sheets Day.


    When Michael and Mildred McDamon
    went shopping, this was his gravamen:
    “She shops till she’s blue;
    by the time she gets through,
    my poor wallet looks like a foramen.”

  5. Shannon Sisters

    Despite both having serious health issues,
    Mom and Dad reached their golden anniversary.
    Mom, looking lovely, graciously greeted her guests.
    Dad didn’t know what the occasion was,
    but he was happy to have cake and ice cream.
    Mom died six months later and Dad died
    a little over two months after that.

    We five girls, scattered from California
    to Ohio, made the trek twice to Pennsylvania
    for the funerals. Through that experience,
    we realized we might never get together again,
    unless it was intentional. So we established
    our every-other-year Shannon family reunion,
    which we’d take turns making arrangements.

    We’ve toured Mesa Verde in Colorado,
    explored Canyon Lands in Utah,
    had an extended family reunion in Pennsylvania,
    swam and picnicked at the beach in Lake Erie,
    rode pedal cars in Santa Barbara, California,
    hiked in South Dakota, and this year, we plan
    to watch whales in Friday Harbor, Washington.

    As we do the usual touristy stuff and barbeques,
    the traditional bean auction, sister’s night out
    hand-crafted gift exchange and games of Canasta,
    Scrabble, and Splendor, we keep the bond
    tight which Mom and Dad encouraged.
    When the twenty-some of us gather,
    I think they’re smiling down on us.

  6. .
    Live On

    Tradition speaks loudly in some circles but
    Is not so important in many others
    Not that they are bad or old or worn out.
    The best traditions should never end.
    Worship not the traditions of the evil intent
    Of false gods or bygone days or the
    Ashes of those burnt in desperation.
    But honor those that bring us together;
    The ones that promote love we must ensure the
    Preservation of those for the eternal benefit
    Of all of the ages to come. We must keep the
    Fire burning for all to see and enjoy.

    © 2018 Earl Parsons

  7. It took me a while to find a direction on this one.


    I still love Campbell’s Tomato Soup
    and a grilled cheese sandwich
    with white bread that dissolves
    into compressed paste against your
    front teeth, and mayonnaise that
    deconstructs into its basic elements
    of oil and egg yolk and sharp lemon,
    and seeps like the Mississippi Delta
    across your plate, and I still love
    the way Dad used to make me
    that sandwich to cheer me up
    when I fell down, and God knows
    I sure fell down a lot as a kid, and
    I’d be a bloodied mess, me, all
    long legs and dangling arms and
    no balance whatsoever, and I
    could always depend on my dad
    to make me feel balanced again.

    Turns out my boys love grilled
    cheese and tomato soup also.

  8. This is my attempt at a Lento inspired by Tolkien’s quote: Courage is found in unlikely places

    Look for courage where it may be found
    Books tell old tales of heroic deeds
    Cooking up impossible new dreams
    Hooking us in with promises of steeds

    Rather look for courage all around
    Shacks may hold more heroes than a town
    Tackling daily doldrums, head held high
    Masking fear with confidence, not frowns

  9. Find Your Magic

    “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ~ Roald Dahl

    No belief
    in magic?
    How tragic. What
    about Wonderland?
    Grand to use make believe–
    a rabbit hole, Cheshire cat
    got your tongue? Don’t explain all things
    away. Leave some moments to magic.

  10. As the Phoenix

    With each generation traditions
    change. Some grow, some die.
    Year after year the new becomes the old
    From the ashes of the old
    traditions, new ones are born.
    There within each new tradition you
    find ashes of the old.

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