Sunday, April 30, 2017

Print is Still Breathing

Jack Mahoney
—Photo by Brian Mahoney

Jack, age 6, loves the iPad he uses in kindergarten. He already navigates the net to some degree. But when he accompanied his father to the Post Office, he sat quietly on a bench and read something in print while he waited, no electronics available to distract him. Not even Medusa’s Kitchen daily posting.

Jack was caught in the act by his father, Brian, armed with a cell phone, who sent the photo immediately to his grandfather many miles away. The grandfather, as usual, was sitting at his computer, typing away, no print publication nearby to distract him.

The grandfather once sent children’s magazines to Jack but in kindergarten the boy has become electronically mesmerized. Magazines don’t have the same appeal.

His iPad offers action, moving parts, and that understandably appeals to a child who would rather see a giraffe eat from the top of a tree than read about the giraffe doing it in print.

No poetry or fiction at the Post Office, so who knows what caught Jack’s attention, but there are words among the graphics he’s looking at on paper rather than on a screen.

The grandfather from infancy on was suckled on print but now in his dotage he takes nourishment at a computer.

So who is he to worry about Jack not reading newspapers and magazines. The boy's only 6.

Times change, the grandfather must remember, and generations must adjust.

He once read four newspapers a day in Chicago. Now he reads the one newspaper published in St. Louis.

Print publications may be terminal.

At the Post Office, however, as young Jack discovered, print is still breathing.

—Donal Mahoney, Belleville, IL


Today’s LittleNip:

Those tender words we said to one another

Are stored in the secret heart of heaven.

One day, like the rain, they will fall and spread

And their mystery will grow green over the world.

—Rumi, 11th Century


Thanks to Donal Mahoney (and his son and grandson) for today’s photo and poem-story, and to Loch Henson of Diamond Springs, CA for the beautiful Rumi quote. Donal lives in Belleville, Illinois, but still reads the St. Louis newspaper. He says the sports scores and obituaries are invariably accurate.

As for her on-going health issues (see last Monday’s post), Loch sends this “to LM”:

"THE Reality" is
I know I am not well. Which
means you need care, too.

And our thoughts go to Sacramento Poet Theresa McCourt, who is in the hospital due to an accident which happened to her while she was running. For details, see


 Celebrate poetry and The Air We Breathe (this week's 
Seed of the Week)! And note that today is the deadline for 
Sac. Poetry Center’s annual issue of their journal, Tule Review

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