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Two feathers lay upon the new-mown lawn
Like aircraft wreckage after a combat pass
Remembrances of violence in the sky
Of death and blood – now only souvenirs

It was as always an unequal fight
The hawk falling upon a smaller bird
With superior stealth and strength and speed
And grappling-hook talons of screaming death

The little fellow made a good show of it
But he didn’t escape:
                                           hawks never lose
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Stump Junction...



              “How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm
                          (After They've Seen Paree)?”

                       -a song of the First World War

Speak not to us of Paris by moonlight -
How are they gonna keep us down on the Seine
When we have seen the gaiety of Stump Junction
By the romantic glow of sweet mary jane

The twinkle of gunfire from a .22
As Cousin Eloise potted beer bottles
While her new guy Kolby took a long ////
On her old guy Shane-Boy’s low-rider rims

The county mounties busted up the fight -
Speak not to us of Paris by moonlight
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
But Yevtushenko...

                      A tribute to Penguin paperbacks

When they
Someday
Take us away
For reading
For thinking
For writing

Those Penguin paperbacks all tattered and taped
Discovered when they empty our pockets
          Will
Be used against us in their courts of law

But Yevtushenko might corrupt our jailers
Today is Yevgeny Yevtushenko's birthday (1932).

Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Fog...

                  From an idea suggested by Pharaohnica

                              And with a tip of that cat to
                           Carl Sandburg and Robert Frost

Invisible to radar, mizzle falls
Itself making the distance invisible
Sandburg said that fog creeps in on little cat feet
But rain-fog is sometimes the entire cat

And if you walk outside into the cat
Beyond the cat, the paws, what will you find
Perhaps, like Schrodinger, the cat is not
But then again, like you, maybe it is

The mystery is lovely, dark, and deep
But we have chores to tend, and they won’t keep
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
The Farmer to Saint Swithin

O good Saint Swithin, please, to you we pray
On this your high-summer rain-making day

Of your blest kindness send us soft, sweet showers
The kind that gently fall for hours and hours

To heal the sunburnt land of thirst and drought
And nourish the corn that sees the winter out

And if you grant the boon we humbly ask
We’ll work the harder on each rural task:

We’ll ditch and fence and plough, and milk the cow
Share with the widder-folk, and feed the sow

Count out some plantful seeds for poor men’s needs
And tell God’s Mysteries daily on our beads
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Why should I do that? I can hear all right
And I can’t see behind my ears anyway
I never use my ears for work or play -
I’ll just give them a washrag-wash tonight

Why is that old woman talkin’ at me
I wasn’t botherin’ that bossy old cow
Ain’t none of her busy beeswax anyhow -
I wish all them women would let me be

Old women asked if I washed behind my ears -
So long ago –
                          I kinda miss the nosy old dears
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Four Psalms to be Sung



             “Vespers each day has four psalms to be sung”

                                    -Saint Benedict

Soft Vespers is the evening’s liturgical hour
In the natural rhythm of each life
A song of the ordered world now hymned into
The verses of that Song He sings through us

This hour is given to us when sunbeams slant
Across the floor and up onto the Cross
And there we leave the labors of our day
Our works of hand and heart and mind and soul

Eternal truths chanted by every tongue:
“Vespers each day has four psalms to be sung” 1


1 Saint Benedict’s Rule, Ampleforth Abbey
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Mashing Up Book Store Titles Again...


The Boys in the real Harry Potter Wand
The Girls Who Made America Hermione
I Wrote This for You and Only You (sure)
Pontius Pilate recycles the end of time

The Last Pope is hiding out on Oak Island
You are my identity group breaking ground
And it’s all the better if you like trains
For you alone are my identity group

Women writers breaking the mold trailblazing
Second feminist wave decolonizing
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jul 11
For us there is no Stray Dog Cabaret -
Our art burns at the end of a welding rod
And in the muscled turning of a wrench
In heat and sweat against a frozen bolt

Old work trucks parked in an oyster shell lot
Eaten with rust from the chemical air
And past the gates, cracking units, and tanks
A plywood paradise with ice-cold beer

Some of us work the night shift to pay our way
Through college, where we learn that we are

                                                             privileged
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jul 10
The Grand Duke says “f//k”
The Czar says “s//t”
Rasputin is a schmuck
There’s not much more to it
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Some seals are applied to signatures and such
Ratifying the documents of abbots and kings
Applied with dignity, a royal touch
From carven images or profiled rings

And then there are seals as toilet bowl rings
Beneath the throne, a regal crown of wax
One of the kingdom’s many needful things
Restraining with dignity certain personal acts

The throne upon which His Majesty, um, sits
Unsealed it came, and gave the plumber royal fits
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
You’d better think but holy thoughts, old man
Attend to your Bible and your daily prayers
Ignore those bare feet prancing in the sand
This summer day is soft and warm - and theirs

Sweet leggy girls in shorts or flippy skirts
They pause and chat before muscled young lads
It’s not with you that any of them flirts
For you remind them only of their dads!

You’d better think but holy thoughts, old man
And ignore the pretty girls all lithe and tan

(If you can…)
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
You have mislaid your keys, but that’s okay
I can help you find them, as you found me
Among the wreckage of my scheduled days
Unscheduled nights and, yes, unscheduled dreams

I like the way you lose your keys, the way
You stir your coffee counter-clockwise
And fiddle with the sweetener ‘til it’s right
And take a sip, and love me with your eyes

You have mislaid your keys, but that’s okay -
Before there was you, I had mislaid my life
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Jul 6 · 304
We Are Always Alone
Perhaps we are always alone, you know
Even when we breathe each other
And touch each other
We’re not each other

And life is probably better this way
For if you find fault with yourself
The blame is one
And not two

It’s much better waking up in the morning
Alone, and not being wrong about anything
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
At dawn
               thunder rises and lightning falls
A black spot in middle of a road
Closer and closer – a wobbling black spot
A bicyclist unaware of the gods

Slow-pedaling through a nowhere of despair
A corpse, fragments of skin still on its bones
It turns and grins, a crewman on that ship
And in its veins that rotting albatross

At dawn
              grimacing through rotting-teeth breath
A wereling wobbling in existential death
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel
.
Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Metallic blue, a star among the weeds
Along the road, pulling against its string
With the little helium left in it
But weak, unable to launch itself again

Some say the downed balloon has had its moment
That its brief joy in a birthday escape
Should be enough for any bright balloon
And now, like wise balloons, must settle down

Oh, no; just give the string a tug!
                                                   More room!
                                                        More air!
There must be another party somewhere!
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
We are against the death penalty, and so
Of thoughtful caritas one recommends
Life sentences with no chance for parole
(And endless-loop re-runs of Lost in Space)

For

1. The manufacturers of this new computer
2. The famous software company who couldn’t
         Program their ///es out of a pay toilet
3. And the electronics chain who replies
        To emails with “Dear Valued Customer”

And vaporous words which say nothing at all

And now may Olivetti Underwood
Have mercy upon their polluted souls
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Cold showers did not work; they only made
Me want to cuddle up with someone warm
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
God bless Canada

                   Come Laughing Home at Twilight

                           Beaumont-Hamel, 1916

And, O!  Wasn’t he just the Jack the Lad,
A’swellin’ down the Water Street as if –
As if he owned the very paving stones!
He was my beautiful boy, and, sure,
The girls they thought so too: his eyes, his walk;
A man of Newfoundland, my small big man,
Just seventeen, but strong and bold and sure.

Where is he now?  Can you tell me?  Can you?

Don’t tell me he was England’s finest, no –
He was my finest, him and his Da,
His Da, who breathed in sorrow, and was lost,
They say, lost in the fog, among the ice.
But no, he too was killed on the first of July
Only it took him months to cast away,
And drift away, far away, into the mist.

Where is he now?  Can you tell me?  Can you?

I need no Kings nor no Kaisers, no,
Nor no statues with fine words writ on’em,
Nor no flags nor no Last Post today:
I only want to see my men come home,
Come laughing home at twilight, boots all mucky,
An’ me fussin’ at ‘em for bein’ late,
Come laughing home at twilight.
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 30
My father painted his dairy barn yellow
Maybe because he found some bargain paint
Then came along the inspector fellow
With his clipboard, and he said that yellow ain’t

Legal, that dairy barn paint had to be white
My father had The Book, and from it he read
That a dairy barn’s color only had to be light
“Well, I’ll find something else,” the inspector said

He found a fly speck on an old cow bell -
May Texas milk inspectors just go to (Newark)
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 29
“No doubt they’ll sing in tune after the revolution.”

                         -Kamarovsky in Doctor Zhivago (film)

Kerenskys marshaled in two ordered lines
Unsure exactly how to stand, to pose
Merry banter, backpats, handshakes, and smiles
A show, a glow of Party unity

And then – a hiss, a strike, a spit, a spat
In sixty-second bursts atop the tomb
Comrade against comrade, a free for none
The audience applauds the ****** fun

Who is the Trotsky, and who the Stalin, then;
Who will die in exile, and who will win?
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 28
I ate my lunch on a tectonic plate
It drifted away - my dessert is late!
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 27
You send the pups outside to play
This so-soft, sunny summer day

The yard is big and safely fenced
A paradise nicely condensed

And there the dogs have cats to chase
Bugs to eat, each other to race

Soft rubber toys to squeak and chew
Bowls of water and dog-food stew

And naps to take beneath oak trees
Tummies up in the soft, soft breeze

And yet –

As soon as you have let them out
Then all they seem to do is pout

Unhappy with their vast estate
They glare at you and seem to hate

They hate the cats, they hate their toys
You have denied them all their joys

They bark and scratch at all the doors
They’re kinda cute – like sophomores
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Jun 26 · 135
Breaking the Dress Code
Lawrence Hall Jun 26
We broke at last the secretive dress code
With an Enigma machine from Singer
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Jun 25 · 63
A Scientific Afterlife
Lawrence Hall Jun 25
What scientific wreckage is buried now
Beneath a chiseled granite sentiment?
Our clapped-out bones and flesh are not enough
To satisfy The Way That Things Work Now

Maybe our eyeglasses will hit the dirt
Along with dental fillings and dyed hair
Pacemakers with their batteries in place
Still firing dutifully after the peace

That now surpasses all understanding
With God (complete with medical branding)
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Jun 24 · 74
What is Poetry?
Lawrence Hall Jun 24
Poetry is a language that
Is not prose. Nor is it a hat
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 23
If the Faith is a Lie (pretend this is centered)

               For if a preest be be foul, on whom we truste,
                   No wonder is a lewed man to ruste

                    -Chaucer, General Prologue, 501-502

If the Faith is a lie, then let it lie
Let’s not make it up as we go along
Waving a fashionably duct-taped book about
And chanting “This is all you need!”

Because some millionaire has told us to
Nor yet the famous ‘blogging priest who boasts
And posts photographs of his gourmet meals
While begging money for his many trips

If the Faith is a lie, then let it be
But it isn’t – and neither, please God, are we
(No armpit-drying during Mass, please.)


Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 22
Hello, you have reached your longtime downhome hometown Saint Swithin’s Family Medical Clinic now an outreach ministry of Consolidated #Jesus Industries Inc. where nobody knows you anymore and wouldn’t care if they did your health care is very important to us you are a valued customer our office hours are from 8 to 12 and 2 to 5 on alternate Mondays and 9-12 and 2 to 5 on Tuesdays and Thursday after Woodchuck Endangerment Awareness Day but before Greenpeace Day except when the latter falls on a Wednesday in which case our office hours are 2 to 5 only and on Saturday 8 to 12 if this is an outside pharmacy please dial X and follow the menu if this is a prescription refill please dial Y and follow the menu if this is to schedule an appointment please dial Z and remain on the line if this to reschedule an appointment dial A cubed and speak slowly when prompted to do so I’m sorry I didn’t quite get that would you like to try again I’m sorry I still didn’t get that if you would like to speak to an operator dial oh, I am sorry your time is expired please hang up and redial if you would like to speak with Dr. Name’s secretary please dial 3 if you would like to speak with Dr. Other Name’s secretary please dial 4 if you would like to talk with Nurse Practitioner Yet Another Name’s secretary please dial 5 if this is an emergency then please hang up and dial 911…
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 22
The almanac says that the Solstice came
Shortly after the receptionist called my name
At 1056 – and how do they know
Of stars and planets in their dances slow?

We note the transcendent reality
Of our pale transient mortality
And guard our health with good ol’ common sense
I later noted this coincidence:

The transition to summer came to pass
While the doctor had his finger up my ///


(There might be some mystical symbolism in that, but I don’t know what.)
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 21
He asked me to review his book (I must be nuts)
I did just as he asked:
                                       and now he hates my guts
(No good deed goes unpunished.)

Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 20
A book of poetry is a prayer book
Your Daily Office of verses and lines
Attended prayerfully if possible
But, yes, attended in any event

Wavell’s Flowers for your next deployment
Young Yevtushenko for the bus commute
Or a little volume of Pushkin pushed
Into a pocket past your pocketknife

Beginning with Matins, and all through your day
Make the blessings of poetry part of your Way
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Jun 19 · 121
A Hank Williams Night
Lawrence Hall Jun 19
You're lonely in an apartment at night
But lonesome way off in a pickup truck

Lonely sitting in an IKEA chair
Lonesome on the tail-gate of an old Ford

Lonely over a glass of single-malt
Lonesome over a Marlboro and a beer

Lonely surfing the channels of emptiness
Lonesome listening to the silence of stars

And either way you hurt; she isn’t there
No, she sure ain’t
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 18
A cookery show with noshes and gnaws -
People giving a ‘burger rounds of applause
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Jun 17 · 70
Hospice Care
Lawrence Hall Jun 17
Whispered voices adrift about the house
The little cousins all sent out to play
Adults ingathered at the kitchen table
Taking communion from the coffee ***

The hospice nurse is in and out and back
A subtle shake of her head – he’s still alive
In the back bedroom, gurgling to an end
Frail fingers twitching on the coverlet

An evening of grieving, darkening fast
Whispered voices adrift about the past
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 16
No father
Could have been a better father
Than you
When duty called
You were there
And will be forever

You're the best
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 15
Oh, yes, you should dabble amateurishly
With sketchbook, pen, guitar, and crescent wrench
With telescope and hiking boots and love
With verse that scans and prose that strongly speaks

For a dabbler, all the world is his adventure:
A coffee cup is as Old Santa Fe
A stroll in the garden a pilgrimage
To Canterbury or Santiago

And you should draw and write and sing these things
Oh, yes, you should dabble amateurishly
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 14
If you were still a child, I would give you
A Kleenex or two, as I used to do
(Now blow your nose…) and maybe a cookie too
But now…this much is true…time flew…you grew

And yet

There is no expiration date on tears
No sign that reads “You Are Too Old for Fears”
No simple answers after the smoke all clears
No moon, no music high among the spheres

Where lovers’ dreams ascended in the night…
But, here, have another Kleenex, all right?
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 13
To be chanted whenever the O Machine 1 fails:

Rumor has it that the Enigma
Was to Churchill a foul stigma

And that the ancient, creaking Babbage
It was to him but so much cabbage

Colossus One and Colossus Two
Those gadgets too he began to rue

They say he let them rust and rot -
The pity is that he did not


(I checked with the Lizard People on this – Churchill’s secret Second World War computers, powered by a primordial Lemurian source of energy so dangerous that even speaking its name in the ancient language of the Atlanteans is said to be fatal, are secured in a locked vault on Oak Island and guarded around the clock (set to Martian time) by the Trilateral Masonic-Vatican Continuum of deadly albino flying fish.)

1 E.M. Forster, “The Machine Stops,” 1909, Much-anthologized
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 12
Once upon a time each morning began
With a ventilation shaft and the night’s
Foul fall of dreams, drama, and downed debris
Dammed and maybe ****** against the window screen

And then an apartment window so high
I could see only the San Diego sky
Train windows, the Mojave through the glass
Then only for a little while
                                                       there was you

The scenery keeps shifting, and that’s okay
Life is a John Ford movie every day
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 11
Please consider the seeming illogic
The seeming illogic of paying a man
A good and wise and educated man
To poke his finger upwards in your ///

After a visit to a wizard’s lab
Where a pleasant, professional young woman
Attaches a vampire butterfly to your wrist
And ***** your blood into a little phial

“Now you might feel a little pressure, okay?”
And then consider the happy logic
                                                           ­        of staying alive
I will never again in my life attempt to spell "milliliter."

Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Lawrence Hall Jun 10
With its four-beat
Putt-putt, putt-putt
Continental rhythm
Putt-putt, putt-putt
It plows and putts
Putt-putt, putt-putt
It pulls and putts
Putt-putt, putt-putt
It plants and putts
Putt-putt, putt-putt
It digs and putts
Putt-putt, putt-putt
It mows and putts
Putt-putt, putt-putt
It rakes and putts
Putt-putt, putt-putt
It bales and putts
Putt-putt, putt-putt
A little oil, a little gas
Putt-putt, putt-putt
A sweet machine
Putt-putt, putt-putt
Upon the grass
Putt-putt, putt-putt
When all is done
Putt-putt, putt-putt
And all is said
Putt-putt, putt-putt
There’s nothing like
Putt-putt, putt-putt
Massey-Ferguson red
Putt-putt, putt-putt!
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
No high school sophomore ever grew up without
A naked lady plastic ballpoint pen -
Those furtive giggles in geometry class
Are not about theorems all risqué

After the FFA trip to the rodeo
Or the band trip to sunny Galveston
A pretty lady with a 1940s do
Loses her swimsuit over and over again

Upend the pen, and she's nekkid in the sun -
Whoever thought writing could be such fun!
(They all  end up in ol' Miz Grunch's desk drawer.)
No writer ever seems to exhaust the ink
That oozes from extruded plastic tubes
Made by machines and chemicals that stink
The crowded banks of the fetid Huangpu

Cheap plastic pens are given, shared, and sold,
Tapped and gnawed, pocketed, stolen, lent, and lost
Drying and dying after they grow old
Misplaced, mislaid, decayed, but seldom tossed

A ballpoint helps us with our thoughts to think
But no one ever seems to exhaust the ink
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:

Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.

It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Like the little children that once we were
The midnight thunder has us burrowing
Down further into the primordial covers
For fear of the rain and cold outside

Our wool and cotton caves cocoon us from
The timbers creaking through the pounding wind
The raindrops at the window wanting in
But after dawn the morning the news reports

A homeless man dying a dumpster-death
Lost his last hope with his last lonely breath
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Hey, TeleCheck:

                                              T
     ­                                         H
                      ­                         I
                                         te  S  le
TeleCheck is a Houston company that doesn't know a perfect credit score from Shinola.

TeleCheck says that for a discussion of the matter I should send them my bank account number and my driving license number, the sort of information we are constantly reminded not to give out to strangers (like TeleCheck).
We read that all functionaries in the Moscow Kremlin use typewriters and messengers for in-house communications.

Typewriters cannot be hacked.  The cleverest listening devices aboard lurking submarines and in space spy craft can pick up the tap-tap-tap of a typewriter, but cannot interpret an e-tap from a g-tap.

Better still, typewriters break down only every twenty years or so.  No typewriter sends you a message that the Microsoft Word lifetime package you bought has no existence, and that you must buy it again, nor does it give you a blue screen because it has no screen at all. A typewriter tells you nothing; you tell the typewriter with the nimbleness of your mind and fingers, and it obeys.

Beyond that, one does not imagine Vladimir Putin passing idle evenings playing Candy Crush. Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia crush, maybe.

A computer, any computer, unlike the manly typewriter, often suffers the Aunt Pittypat vapors and falls into a faint, calling weakly for smelling salts.

Thus the brevity of this column.

Y'r 'umble scrivener has spent much of a beautiful spring day attempting to coax Aunt Pittypat into waking up and doing a little work:

But all Microsoft's horses (I was thinking of another quadruped, but the name is not appropriate for a family newspaper)

And all Microsoft's persons

Could not make Aunt Pittypat anything but worsens. (That's not a real word)

A personal computer is outdated before you get it home from the Godzilla Box Store, and this moribund machine is some four years old. In dog years that is...something; I forget what.

Tomorrow morning I am off to buy the cheapest machine I can find, for personal computers are as disposable as toilet paper.

I will pass another beautiful spring day re-installing programs and apps (because I am good about backing up all my files) and addresses and all the tiny little dragons that speed along its circuits, and by next week should have a brilliant and well-crafted story to tell you.

May your electrons never fail.

-30-
Old chairs just anyhow across the lawn
This morning mown by a grass-proud old man
Who with his book and chair and pipe and dog
Rules his demesne with glasses of iced tea

In this an afternoon of indolence
And as the shadows shift to mark the hours
Even Poirot relaxes his little grey cells
And merely strolls to apprehend the thief

Oh, happy summer, tea or lemonade,
And lazy hours just dreaming in the shade
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
A brave little man with a shopping bag
Defiantly stood before an army tank
A foul machine designed to grind free men
Into ****** scraps to be hosed away

Two unknown men - it was not the tank that stopped
It was the tank commander who stopped the tank
All that is left is old videotape:
Two bullets made all problems disappear

A brave little man with a shopping bag
Another brave man with a battle tank:

They stopped -
                              And, yes, someday China will be free
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
My dad was on Omaha Beach but he
didn’t talk much about it so now
I’m going to take the rest of the day
to tell you all that he didn’t much talk about
we broke the Enigma code yeah we did
you can always tell a real veteran by
his thousand-yard stare, yessir, I know stuff
we kicked the Germans’ butts but he didn’t talk
much about it if not for us the French
would be speaking German yeah man yeah
when I was in graduate school but he
didn’t talk much about it we saved the world
when I was in graduate school when I
saw Patton those liberals in academia
he had this thousand-yard stare them snowflakes
wouldn’t hit Omaha Beach now they’d be browning
their pants when I was in graduate school
but he didn’t talk much about it yeah
that M-1 was the best battle implement
ever devised I got me one and boy
it’s got some serious stopping power yessir
I just love to go out to the range and pop some caps
with that bad boy the French are cheese-eating
surrender monkeys we can’t depend on the Italians
but he didn’t talk much about it when I
was in graduate school thousand-yard stare
my dad was there he didn’t talk much about it
here is a youtube about it if only
those snowflakes would watch Patton they’d learn something
left-wing academia he didn’t talk much about it
when I was in graduate school yeah man
I seen it on Band of Brothers liberal elites
Macron Macron Macron first front second front
‘cause I know stuff I got a whole liberry
but he didn’t talk much about it if not
for us yeah you’d all be speaking German
we saved France’s **** when DeGaulle told us
he wanted all American soldiers out of France
we asked him if that included the thousands
of American soldiers in French cemeteries
and that sure shut him up ha ha ha
bet you never heard that before and then
there was these old veterans at the airport
and this Frenchy asked them for their passports
and this old man had to look for his
and this Frenchy asked this veteran if he
had been in France before and this veteran
said he had and then this Frenchy he said
then you know you need to have your passport
ready and this here old veteran said that he
was at Normandy and there wasn’t no Frenchies
to give it to and you could hear a pin drop
ha ha I bet you never heard that one before
When I was in graduate school when I
was on my gap year but he didn’t talk much about it
snowflake liberal elites in academia
I love me my AK-47 that son
spits out some serious lead but he didn’t
talk much about it…


Me? Like, I had this deferment, my feet,
but I know all about it ‘cause I watch John Wayne
and my dad was in it so I guess he ought to know
and he was in a real war; you were only in
like you know them A-rabs and stuff…
No picturesque ruins will remain for us
To wander through with our sketchbooks and pens
For drawing pictures or writing blank verse
About bare ruin’d 2 air-conditioning ducts

The baptismal font will be repurposed
As a bird-bath (with a plastic Saint Elvis)
And the stained-glass windows will be sold off
As fashionable bathroom accessories

The crucifix of deplorable design 3
Will be stored in the back of someone’s garage
Until the girls carry it off to the woods
And laughingly use it for target practice

A rubbly field will serve as a soccer pitch
Until seventy years 4 have passed away


1  Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey”
2  Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73
3  Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited
4  Daniel 9:1-2
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
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