Random Acts of Kindness

Boy & Girl Sculpture

© 2013 Anne Campagnet-Reed

Yesterday my two daughters were at Starbuck’s. They saw a bicycle parked outside. In front of the bike was a sign:


My younger daughter asked her sister for some money to buy a croissant. Then she asked the barista to borrow a Sharpie. She wrote “For you” on the fancy little bag that the croissant came in. Then she went outside and tucked the bag behind the sign. They sat and watched through the store window. When the man returned, he found the bag. They watched as he found the bag and its contents. He seemed amazed and really appreciative. Then he came into the Starbuck’s and looked around. Finally he sat down and ate his croissant. When she told me about it later, my daughter felt really happy.

It was a small act of kindness, but the kind that really makes someone’s day. We need more of these every day!


Tacit expectancies

(A Sonnet)

Broken glass1

Beauty is ethereal;
riches disappear,
the glory of the moment
all forgotten by next year

Promise in expectation,
dissolved when need assuaged;
ingratitude in children
careful kindness turn to rage

The fortress of a secret soul
deters the love it craves;
The labor of a frugal man
despoiled, his mind depraves.

Reciprocation sought and seeming lost:
Tacit expectancies breed heinous cost.

Have you taken your mom for a walk today

Blurry Flowers

Have you taken your mom for a walk today

to the park to watch the children play?


to feel the sun on her wrinkled cheek

and watch frolicking birds

at the edge of the bay?


Have you had a long talk with your dad today

about things he imagines

that won’t go away?

Or gone to the shed to see his display

of rusty old saws that he won’t throw away?


Do you listen to kids who push you away

and call you names, but want you to stay?

Can you hear their words or feel their dreams

in the music that raves

and the games they play?


Do you listen to birds who speak without words;

Can you imagine dragons?

Would you sit by the fire to hear the tales

of the pilgrims who circle their wagons?


Does the song of the river turn you around,

Does poetry give you pleasure?

Do you believe that the soul of the earth

is something you never can measure?


Death of a Spider


There, silhouetted between the gossamer curtain
and the window, i saw it:
the perfect silhouette of a fat, healthy spider.

the shape looked like
a black widow (sort of)—
stocky and fat enough. Well fed.

I moved the curtain up a bit
(though it was held top and bottom by rods attached to the windowsill
of my back porch door)
and he moved a bit in a jerky sort of way, the way spiders do.
Just imperceptibly up.

At the same time, I was removing my slipper
(sheepskin, with the fleece starting to wear)
ever so smoothly but with conviction…

He was now clearly outlined between
the pane and the curtain; nowhere to go.
“Whap!” he didn’t seem hit.
“Whap!” again, and this time,
the light shone through
the browns and blacks
of his corrupted body;
a stain on the white curtain.

I carefully removed the top rod, then the bottom,
freeing the curtain
without letting the liquefied mass
touch my clothing

and put the two pieces of the curtain in a bucket
with detergent and water
to soak.

The stain will come out; the fabric is nylon.

Why am i such a murderer?

Quiet Desperation

Wind-blown tree & Blue Sky

Quiet desperation …


it’s that sensation


that reveals itself


about this time every year,


the last bell rung;


a time of liberation and retreat,




knowing that tomorrow

and tomorrow

and tomorrow


will no longer creep in the same petty pace

from day to day


and the days ahead


must seek other means

of fulfillment,


breaking free from the tyranny of routine


is also breaking away

from the secure and dependable,

however mundane,


into the yet uninvented —


the lonely indecision




the pregnancy


of possibility

The heart’s geography

© 2013 Anne Campagnet-Reed

How well can you claim to know

the geography of the heart?

You’ve explored it many times

on casual wanderings,

study tours

and even planned vacations—

and each time you add features

to your map, based on

discoveries made that trip.

You think you know

the lay of the land

well enough to lead tours.

But every visitor

makes clear to you

that there are regions

you have never seen:

treacherous rocks

or serene pools;

underground caverns

that the locals

tell no one