My Travels. #13

My Travels #13

June 1994. Katowice, Poland. I get a lot of grief for this picture and a lot of teasing. No, I was not in the CIA.

My company was expanding in Europe. I was part of a 4 person start up team. We were tasked with bringing four, new distribution centers online and enabling selling, distribution and financial processes before summer’s end.

Therefore, the start-up team decided to survey all four Poland locations (Kielce, Rzeszow, Lublin & Opole) in one day. This would require us to travel all over the country from southern Poland to central Poland, to eastern Poland, to western Poland and back to southern Poland. We could not do this in one day by train, hence

the need for a helicopter.

Just so you know, I dissented to that mode of travel. I hated riding a chopper when I was in the military and my attitude about riding in a chopper had not changed.

Nonetheless, I was out-voted and there you see me standing in front of it about to board. The word reluctance did not begin to describe how I felt about that journey.

We left from Katowice, Poland, visited all four cities, mapped out our strategy and flew back to Katowice. The pilot was very talented. He did buzz jobs over the rolling hills. Many people on the ground cheered us on. My team had fun looking at my face turn beet red as we sped up and down over each hill. They asked if I would need a stretcher when we landed. I told them I was okay. I was, after all, okay.

We finished our project that summer in record time largely due to the assessment we made on that day.

great weather for MEDIA’s Spoken Word Sunday’s Presents:

great weather for MEDIA’s Spoken Word Sunday’s Presents: Mark Saba & A.i. Firefly

great weather for Media is bringing you another great poetry event with 2 amazing features:

Mike Saba, Poet, Author, Painter – New Haven, CT
Ai. Firefly, Poet – Staten Island, NY

Sunday, January 17th, 2021 – 4pm-6pm EDT



Plus open mic. (3 minutes) – The host will be taking open mic signups during the event.

Hosted by Jerry T. Johnson



Mark Saba

Mark Saba’s book publications include four works of fiction and three of poetry, most recently Two Novellas: A Luke of All Ages / Fire and Ice (fiction), Calling the Names (poetry), and Ghost Tracks (stories about Pittsburgh, where he grew up). His work has appeared widely in literary magazines around the U.S. and abroad. He is also a painter, and works as a medical illustrator at Yale University. Please see

A.i. Firefly

A.i. Firefly was born at the tail end of the 1970s in the suburbs of NYC. She is the author of Cast Iron Poetry #2 : A Moon Magnetized This Screeching Bird, a poetry collection published by Time Is An Ocean Publications. Her previous work on the web & in print appears in publications by Having A Whiskey Coke With You, NYSAI Press, Blood Moon Poetry & Great Weather For Media.


Notes From My Writing Experience. Post No. 4

Notes From My Writing Experience. Post #4

On December 25th, Christmas Day, I took a train from New York City to Charlotte North Carolina.

Since we are in the middle of a pandemic, I decided to purchase a ticket for a private room. I could go mask-less in a private room as long as I kept my door shut. I kept my door shut.

I like riding trains. A lot of my poetry writing and blogging takes place on some type of train. For my day-job I took Metro North commuter train from Brewster, New York to White Plains, New York on weekdays. I wrote during the morning ride. I usually slept during the afternoon ride. On weekends I would take a train from Brewster to Manhattan in New York City. I wrote a lot on the way down to the city. I usually slept on my return.

Often, I take a a train from New York to Washington, D.C. I also take many trains from New York to Charlotte. I write during these journeys as well. The trip to DC is 4 1/2 hours long. Writing makes the trip feel like 15 minutes. The trip from New York to Charlotte is 12 hours long. Writing makes that trip feel like an hour. Along with my writing there’s also reading that takes place. I’ll usually read for a half hour to an hour and then I’ll pick up my phone and start writing.

I used to write in a tablet with a pen. For a long time that was how I wrote all of my material. One weekend when I was in Washington D.C., a friend asked if I could give him a ride to Reagan National. I picked him up from his hotel and I noticed that he was very busy writing something on his smartphone. He was typing away with his thumbs. I thought to myself, “man, there ain’t no way I would write on a smartphone.” A few weeks later I read a wonderful piece written by about his favorite guitarist in an online magazine. I wondered if that was what he was working on during the ride to the airport.

About a month later, I was on a flight from Chicago to New York. Yes. I write while traveling by plane too. It is a little harder to write while seated in a plane. You don’t have a lot of wriggle room on a plane. Now if you are seated in First Class or Business Class that is a different story. All of my day-job travel is in coach.

I digressed. Let’s go back to the flight to New York from Chicago. I boarded. I put away my jacket in the overhead. I pulled my writing tablet from my carry-on, placed it in my lap and stowed the carry-on underneath the seat in front of me. After a long time on the taxiway the plane took off. We reached cruising altitude and I was ready to start writing. I opened my tablet and to my surprise and consternation I had no more blank pages.

My jaw dropped. I asked myself, “How did I miss this?” I was in the mood for writing. I thought about my smartphone. I pulled it
out of my pocket. My plane was just very Indiana at that point. I navigated to the Notes app and with my thumbs I started typing. I typed all the way to final approach to the runway at LaGuardia in New York.

I still write in tablets but most of my writing is done on my smartphone. I’m using a smartphone now to type this piece, I am on a train, I’m in private quarters and I have plenty wiggle room.

(c) 2020, Jerry T Johnson

You may follow Jerry’s work on the following social media networks:

My Travels. #12

My Travels. #12

May 1993, Manhattan Beach Pier

I was on assignment in Torrance California, a suburb of Los Angeles. After several days of work, I finally got some me time.

Here I stand at Manhattan Beach Pier wearing my Mickey Mouse jeans. Yes, you guessed correctly. There is a story behind the jeans.

Prior to my Torrance trip, I was working in Orlando. I arrived at Orlando on a Sunday and was scheduled to meet coworkers at Disney’s Pleasure Island for dinner. After dropping off my bags and heading to Downtown Disney, I was burning up. Orlando was hot and I was still dressed for the Northeast where winter was not quite finished.

I walked into a Disney shop, purchased a T-Shirt and the jeans you see me wearing in this picture. I actually changed clothes right there in the dressing room of the store. When I walked back outside in the burning sun, Wow did I feel better.

I kept those jeans for many years.