Bounteous Fruits by
(40 Stories)

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Thank you, Retrospect, for the bounteous fruits, vegetables, and other sustenance you have brought to my table, sweet and delicious, including your stories I have read and responded to with ardor, and my stories you have read and responded to with welcoming arms, and the general fertile gestalt of the enterprise.

"A farm family ambience, sifting compost piles of memory, tilling soils of a late lamented culture..."

A farm family ambience, sifting compost piles of memory, tilling soils of a late lamented culture, but also planting seeds for tomorrow’s turnip (or is it a rutabaga?), and harvesting what’s ripe each week to bring to market, time and inclination permitting, and ideally as I understand the mission, returning to the Garden before the time it lost its innocence, was corrupted by knowledge, but with countervailing joys were I to give begrudgingly to the snake his/her/their due.

I guess I am most appreciative of the opportunity to float through a prompt, with poetic license, as now.  And also how I have come to hear, recognize and appreciate you, and your presentations of yourselves.  In the winsome words of Audrey Hepburn serenading us from her rear balcony stoop, “…what a beautiful glow is cast by the moonbeam we share…”

Profile photo of jonathancanter jonathancanter
Here is what I said about myself on the back page of my 2020 humor/drama/politico novel "The Debutante (and the Bomb Factory)" (edited here, for clarity):

"Jonathan Canter Is a retIred attorney; widower; devoted father and grandfather (sounds like my obit); lifelong resident of Greater Boston; graduate of Harvard College (where he was an editor of The Harvard Lampoon); fan of waves and wolves; sporadic writer of dry and sometimes dark humor (see "Lucky Leonardo" (Sourcebooks, 2004), funny to the edge of tears); gamesman (see "A Crapshooter’s Companion"(2019), existential thriller and life manual); and part-time student of various ephemeral things."

The Deb and Lucky are available on Amazon. The Crapshooter is available by request to the author in exchange for a dinner invitation.

Characterizations: moving, well written


  1. John Shutkin says:

    Beautifully said, Jon, and beautiful photos as well. Thank you!

    That said, I’m curious about the Audrey Hepburn quote, lovely as it is, as I could not find it on Google. And I also wonder if she ever actually “sang” it, since I know her singing in “My Fair Lady” was dubbed by Marni Nixon (who did the same for Natalie Wood in “West Side Story”). Sorry — once a cynical lawyer, always a cynical lawyer.

    I much enjoyed getting to meet you and read your words thanks to Retro.

    • John, thank you for your gracious words. Audrey famously sang “Moon River” from her back stoop. The words I attributed to her are my invention and not part of the official lyrics, but may catch the spirit of the song, and the spirit of the Retrospect group.
      At least one Retrospect regular very highly regards Audrey’s singing and this scene in the movie. The song is one of my favorites.

      • John Shutkin says:

        I can’t believe I blew that one, Jon. Of course, that was “Moon River” and, so far as I know, Audrey Hepburn actually sang it in the movie. And I love your lyrics — especially since I could never figure out what a “huckleberry friend” was.

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    This is truly lovely and I’m sure that Suzy will appreciate your reference to Audrey Hepburn, since she named one of her daughters after her favorite character: Sabrina (I’m a huge fan also; something else Suzy and I share). I realized that you were alluding to “Moon River”, that huckleberry friend, though, since I’ve sung the song, knew the lyrics weren’t actually from the song, just a reference, like so many of your poetic musings. But I do appreciate them.

    • Betsy, it has been my pleasure throughout my membership on this team to receive your warm comments. It seems as though always with a smile on your face. I know I can’t improve on the lyrics of Moon River, which are smooth and magical, and I have sung my children and grandchildren to sleep with them, and now my children sing them to my grandchildren, but I felt they were not so sacrosanct as to be beyond scatting my fingers over their keyboard.

  3. Suzy says:

    Jon, I am so glad that the Dice prompt brought you to our site, and that you stayed and wrote many other memorable stories. You have taught me that a prompt is a mere jumping-off point, and poetic license is a wonderful thing! And thanks for the hat tip about Audrey serenading us from her rear balcony stoop. You and I can share our love for Moon River even without agreeing about who sang it better.

    • Suzy, thank you for bringing me aboard. It has been a fun cruise for me, with many memorable ports of call, not the least of which was visiting Audrey as she bathed in the glow of her moon river–her heartbreaker, her dream maker, her companion, “…wherever you’re going you’re going my way…” she sang.

  4. Thanx Jon for your usual unusual take on our Retro prompt! Retro as a garden of bounteous fruits is a lovely metaphor, it has been so for many of us, your fellow writers.

    So glad we met at that wonderful dinner in Cambridge. Wishing you good health and happiness in the new year!

  5. Khati Hendry says:

    I had to smile reading your poetic discourse, as you do have a special talent for leading us down a path that takes such interesting twists and turns. The extended garden metaphor (with rutabegas no less) was great. And pictures! Thanks for the journey.

  6. Laurie Levy says:

    What a beautiful metaphor, Jonathan. I love your creativity as you use a prompt as a launching pad for your imagination. Love Moon River, by the way.

  7. Dave Ventre says:

    This was sweet, Jon, much like the song it harks back to. I was late to the party in that respect, only seeing the film fairly recently. Now I know what all the fuss was about Audrey!

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