Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's Always Something - Reprise

So, long before I ever dreamed up this blog the wee folk were part of my poetry. I have Celtic roots and instincts. I prefer a whole ecology of the divine and semi-divine, complete with angels, demons, devas, faerie, dwarves and elves, gods and goddesses, familiars, witches and mages and as I write of them here, gremlins.

The original impulse to house gremlins comes from a science fiction story of the fifties. I believe it was by Robert Sheckley, but only because Sheckley wrote wonderful off beat often humorous stories. This story was about a guy who got gremlins in a cloaked birdcage, gremlins who lived in a lovely house and garden and gave him lovely luck when he took the birdcage into his house. He could not resist peeking in on them even as he was warned that they wanted complete privacy. Finally there was a "for rent" sign put up and then the vacancy. His luck departed too. After awhile he noticed there were tenants again in the birdhouse but everything was run down and sloppy, a slum as it were. Also though his luck was still mostly good, it was also sort of sloppy and never a pure blessing again. So much for looking at your luck.

My mother and I agreed we must have slum gremlins for we had what we called sloppy good luck. Things turned out for the better most often, but there was also this rather ugly price, sometimes before the luck, or with it, even after. That's the story of my life pretty much, sloppy good luck. Slum gremlins.

Oh by the way, the crack in the windshield was a real outcome of a journey on a day when I did find my keys after a brief moment when I thought I wouldn't.

It's Always Something**

The small folk are in charge of where things are
In my house. I don't understand the rules.
Where my keys rest, on what surface they should be
Goes according to them, not according to me.

I really try to get along. I really mean this. No, really.

Today I rejoice with wide eyes. Today I found my keys
Right where my best thinking said they would be.

(Now I hope the small folk haven't moved away
In protest of some willful violation of mine-
Perhaps instead I find my keys seemingly unmoved
Where they are through some act of mine they approve.)

The simple blessing of found keys, you would think
Enough, but I was still late for work. Road gremlins.

My windshield is newly cracked in the lower right corner.

**Earliest save September 24, 2006
Probably written around that time.
First posted on this blog, part of my second post ever, November 8, 2008


  1. 'Slum gremlins' I love it! It reminds me of when my youngest was little. He was prone to a bit of sleep walking. He would get up at various times throughout the night and use the restroom then lay down wherever he chose. Then would wake in the morning and wonder how on earth he had gotten there. We would tell him that the brownies moved him, as they like to play tricks. Ahh so much fun!:)

  2. Thanks for your memory, my friend.

  3. I loved this story. Sloppy luck the price of having looked too hard at something we shouldn't have.

    I opened my filing cabinet the other day to find a San Jose State sweatshirt crammed in there. WTH? None of us went to San Jose State, and why the heck would it be in the file cabinet? Slum Gremlin turned out to be my son hiding it from a friend. I have found my keys in the refrigerator before. I'll not wonder who done it again. Wasn't me!

  4. I love it!
    I think i have sloppy gremlins :)
    ain't they lovely?

  5. "Housing Problem" by Henry Kuttner

    I read this years ago and have been looking for it again recently.

    I found it here!!,%20Henry%20-%20Housing%20Problem.html


  6. "Housing Problem" by Henry Kuttner

    I read this years ago and have been looking for the story again recently.

    I found it here!!,%20Henry%20-%20Housing%20Problem.html


  7. Yes indeed, that's it! Thank you very much. Sloppy good luck = slum gremlins. That's who I have in my life... I've had consistently good luck my whole life but sloppy... some of the sloppiness very much self inflicted but as much or more coming from life itself... or of course from the gremlins.

  8. And by the way, the writing in Kuttner's story is first class.


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