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Patrick Austin Sep 2018
Our Backgrounds before we met...

I'm an only child born in Montana in 1983, from a divided home. Parents divorced at seven, Mom was unstable and unfaithful. Dad obtained custody of me and we moved to Oregon Coast to live with my Grandma. I had unhealthy visits and relationship with Mom thereafter. My Grandma died at 12 and at 13 my Dad remarried an alcoholic woman, I had a strained relationship with them until adulthood when she stopped drinking. I had exposure to trauma; alcoholism, mental illness, verbal abuse and juvenile troubles. I rebelled by using drugs in my late teens and early twenties, I lived on my own for a few years after high school but had little direction.

My bride is the eldest with two little brothers, parents stayed in same area of Portland during childhood with lots of family support and her parents stayed married. They had Christian values but some anger and anxiety issues at home. She was sexually assaulted at 17 and never had good closure with this. She told me her parents didn't provide her enough help with things like this growing up. Status quo was the backbone of the family dynamic, challenging emotions were discouraged. She rebelled by being reckless with herself, financially and sexually. She decided to join the Navy at 19. She lived alone briefly, but mostly with Grandparents & Parents before our marriage.

I loved how we both grew up reading Archie comics. No other girl I had ever met had that in common with me. I think we wanted a surreal life like the one in Riverdale.

2002

She and I were 19 when we first met in my home town on the coast at an arcade. We became friends and secretly liked each other. I was too nervous to ever make a move on her. We traveled together, she stayed with me, we used drugs together and drank at times. One night she drank too much and had *** with a guy I knew at a party. I was devastated by this. She was Navy bound and I didn't see a real future for us. The next morning she left and I didn't talk to her again for two years. I figured she would be gone with the Navy soon and that she must not have been interested in a relationship with me despite the time we spent together.

2003

I was depressed about this rejection. I dated an older woman who was interested in me but was no substitute. I eventually moved to the Portland area to work and live. I still had few plans and was lonely, in or out of the few brief relationships I attempted. I never found someone that I felt safe with or had a true connection, let alone true love. She ended up not following through with the Navy and continued working her way up in her job at the call center. She attended community college and dated a few guys. She dated one guy for a couple of years who was not a good match for her but stayed with him off and on despite issues. His family was wealthy and treated her well. He slept around on her as did she. At one point he gave her an STD. She also had an ongoing affair with a married man in the military that she went to high school with. He had a child and a wife with mental health issues. She was still hurting a lot at times and not always doing well.

2004

She reached out to me via email after two years of no contact. We emailed back and forth a couple times over the next few months. We talked about meeting up. We spoke on the phone and eventually met up in Portland. We had an amazing night getting to know each other again and work past the confusion of our earlier days of friendship. I realized that she did in fact like me before but since I was timid and trying to be proper and take things slowly she didn't understand my motives. She apologized for her actions at the party as well. She claimed she was in a really messed up place and was making bad choices at that time. Getting our feelings out in the open was good and she appreciated my attitude towards being slow to make moves on her when we first met. I was worried about falling for her based on our history but eventually I was determined to give it a shot. We soon after starting dating and being intimate. Our love was extremely powerful and beyond all others we had both experienced. She broke ties with other suitors and shortly after we talked about marriage and started planning a wedding for the next year.

I remember when we first held hands. We were so shakey and she was quivering on my couch as I had my arm around her. We felt so safe with each other. We could finally be ourselves and do what our hearts desired. We knew we were on to something new and so amazing. We were so patient with each other as we navigated our new love and emotional thresholds.

I remember when we saw Matisyahu in concert together. That was a once in a lifetime experience and a life-changing moment for us. I feel it set the tone for things to come in our future.

I remember how creative my proposal to her was, in the Arcade where we first met. I hid the ring in a prize container from one of those claw machines. Pretending I got the ring from inside by reaching into the machine on one knee I was so nervous and wasn't sure if I could pull it off before she caught on. She looked so shocked and surprised. I was so excited she said yes! We took pictures in the photo machine and had burgers afterwards, I'd do all of it all over again just to see her face in that moment.

2005

We found an apartment for us in Portland. I moved in while she was still living back with her parents until the wedding. She had to change her number because the married man she was previously involved with kept calling her about changing her mind about marriage and continuing their relationship. She was offered a job in Denver and we decided to move away together after our sandy wedding in Cannon Beach. I still had a very hard time and was embarrassed with my past history with her. Many of my friends knew what had happened at 19 and how much it hurt me but I was so crazy about her I think I tried to pretend it didn't happen or that it was not a big deal because we were younger. We got married and moved to Colorado soon after. We made friends at a church, I became more active as a Christian and really loved being married. We were very involved in keeping spirituality in our marriage. I began to notice her poor financial decisions and practices more. This caused conflict but we always tried to communicate and work on things.

I remember when we went down to my folks for New Year's in 2005. We sipped tea in my Datsun as we drove to the coast over the snowy mountain pass. We told them of our engagement. We were all so blissful and excited. We never knew what was to come. We didn't even know about the opportunity in Denver yet. Our story is amazing!

I remember when I wanted to go see her in Portland and the roads were iced over. I left my car at a park and ride before I caused a wreck. I took the light rail across town then rode a bus to the Eastside shopping mall. The bus to her house was not running because it wasn't safe so I walked the rest of the 4 Miles sometimes having to crawl on my hands and knees to make it up hills in the ice and then I finally made it only to just spend a couple hours with her and fall asleep on her parents couch. Her Dad drove us back the next morning to my car so I could get to work. It was all worth it just to see her for that little extra time. I would have done anything for her.

I remember when she was interviewing for the new position in Denver? I drove all over Portland trying to find little toy cars to help with her illustration about how a team is like a car having all four wheels and how they work together to accomplish a goal. I was so proud of her for giving it her all and succeeding at earning that position. Now that I think of it, that car analogy applies to our family and us. We all need each other to be better and keep on track and be a team. I am so motivated by that and our boys. I lose my way without that and I want to be her reflection and motivation as she has been that for me. I truly thought we brought out the best in each other when we were together.

I remember when we were given tickets to see Fiona Apple. That was so spontaneous and a great way to kick off our time in Denver together. We always used to watch our same movies over and over again. Like the Friends DVDs and White Christmas every winter break and The Wedding Singer. We walked everywhere and lived simply. "I wanna be the guy, who grows old with you"

I remember in our first Denver apartment when we took baths together in our claw foot tub in the big bathroom. We put a board over the top and played cards. I liked playing Uno with her in bed too. She was so funny being slightly color blind and in the dark, mixing up the greens and blues. We played Uno in Breckenridge too at that cool bed and breakfast in the fall.

2006

We had continued fun and adventure in our new home of Denver. She was doing well as a trainer for the bank and I started working in health foods. We went camping in New Mexico a couple times with friends and we both took individual trips to Oregon as well as one together for her uncle's wedding. We had marital spats on occasion but always bounced back. The issues we had seemed like part of a normal marriage and were far better than what I had grown up around. I realized that marriage was a lot of work but I was up for the task. She occasionally became aggressive throwing things at me or breaking things during conflict.  I believed I was the problem and tried to change for her in many ways. With two incomes we still had trouble making our bills at times. She had debts that I never knew about that started to catch up with us but I took care of getting them settled and we paid off her car and traded it for an older Volvo Wagon that we both loved, I even had it repainted her favorite color for a birthday gift. Overall things seemed like they were progressing in a positive way.

I remember when we saw Midnight in concert in Boulder. That was the peak of our hippy days. We were alive with pleasure in our healthy vegetarian diets and practices living in a time and place like no other. I want to be like that again. Reggae was our music. We had much in common.

2007

We really fell into our roles in our marriage and the community; church and culture, friends etc. Things seemed very balanced and appropriate for us at that time and that age (24-25). We had separate bank accounts and jobs. I had money in savings. We started the process of buying a house so we could invest in something. She became pregnant shortly after. I embraced the challenge with positive energy but we were both in for a big change. We started having more fights. I didn't have many friends and would write to old friends via social media just so I could to catch up and tell them things were going great with being married to make myself feel better than I actually did. She hated the dawn of social media and also felt isolated I'm sure. She felt I should be doing more for her and I didn't know how to do what she needed but I failed to ask a lot of the time. After one argument, she left the house. My instinct told me to look at ******* and ******* as a retaliation. I had not done this much once we were married because she always met my needs but when things were difficult between us I felt more emotionally isolated. She walked in and realized what I had been doing. She was very upset, and because she was pregnant, thought I was not attracted to her. The truth is I found her even more beautiful and in fact when I looked at ******* I tried to look at women I found less attractive than her so that I feel good about what I have. I mostly fantasized about how these women were more submissive and loving than her. That is the part I needed to feel good about and feel better about myself with because I felt very dominated and controlled. She has never forgiven me for this and I will never stop feeling sorry to her for my brokenness. During one particular argument that year she was getting close to being violent towards me again and I pushed her away on the chest with my fingertips. She got very mad and said I hurt her. I immediately felt terrible and apologized. I never let something like that happen again. I have always avoided violence towards others especially women and of course her. I was defenseless against physical and emotional abuse.

2008

Our eldest son was born at the beginning of the year, it was a traumatic birth for everyone. We wanted a natural birth with a midwife but we were transferred to a hospital and she ended up having an emergency C-section, nothing went as planned. We had a really hard time coping with the emotions of this experience. A lot of buried feelings and trauma from both of us started coming out. We moved a month later into our new home outside of town. No more walking or biking to places, we had to drive everywhere. This house was next to our friends from church. We thought this would make us feel less isolated but we didn’t really have the community with them that we had hoped for. They were upset that they didn't have a child of their own yet and being around us might have been hard for them. My wife stopped working and stayed home with our son. All these changes made for a very difficult time. I did my best to support them but this was the first time we shared a bank account and needed to follow a budget more than ever before. We had no debt at the beginning of the year with money in savings but then the hospital bills put us down about $7,000 and rising with new home and moving expenses and baby needs. My job could barely keep up. She and I had a hard time adjusting. We could not afford to travel home to Oregon and visit family as much and we felt more and more isolated. She started showing me more signs of instability, locking herself in the bathroom with kitchen knives and scraping her legs which continued off and on for years to come. Talks of divorce and suicide threats seemed to happen more than before. I felt responsible and tried to fix her ever changing issues with me.

I remember when herr ******* were full and swollen with milk. It is so beautiful the way she could feed our babies. I wanted her in every way, our bodies belonged to each other. I was there for her and our shared pleasure. I loved it when she told me that she was mine in the heat of passion. This spark could only be a bandage for so long but I didn't know that yet.

2009

I tried to promote within my company but was not selected, they were cutting budgets and employment all around me. I felt worried about our future. I had always thought the military might be a good opportunity and could move us closer to family back home. My father-in-law encouraged me to look into the Coast Guard. I felt this would be a good way to get moved closer to Oregon.  I ended up joining the Navy because we found out we were pregnant again with our second son and that was the only way I could join a military branch. She worked off and on as a nanny and later in the year at a coffee house working nights. We barely spent time together and when we did it was a lot of hard conversations or arguments about finances with making up intimately in the middle of the night between times of caring for the baby. She once scratched my neck with her fingernails during an argument. People I worked with noticed. It was a hard time and we knew change was on the horizon with jobs and moving. We did visit Oregon that summer though and had a great vacation at the beach with a borrowed 4x4 and staying at a hotel and picnicking out of a cooler as well as going to her brothers wedding. I was 26 and about to join the Navy to provide better for my family at all costs sacrificing myself for their benefit because I would have rather died than look like I didn't try my best for them.

I remember when our babies would kick and move around inside her belly. I loved laying by her and feeling her tummy. I would hum to the baby and hear them move and squirm. I loved giving our boys baths when they were babies too. We had our little bundles of our love, wrapped in a towel in our hands, so tiny and vulnerable. I miss those days and want to remember them with her, aside from this state of melancholy.

2010

The Navy recruiters would only take me if we rented out our home and had her stay with family during boot camp and training. We moved to a furnished apartment in Denver and put our things in storage. She was 5 months pregnant and our eldest was two. I shortly after was let go from my job. Our second son was born in April. I got a contract with the Navy at the last minute but didn't leave until August. We sold our beloved vehicles and lived off retirement funds for six months and moved down to Florida where her parents had just moved out of the blue for work, to stay with them until I left for boot camp. I applied for temporary work in Florida at a dozen places but had no luck in my three months there. I took care of our eldest a lot while she took care of the new baby. Being in Florida was a culture shock for us but we had our moments of romance and made the best of it. Eventually I left for boot camp in August. It was really hard and sad to be gone. She stayed in Florida and came to visit me with the baby at boot camp graduation in October. I then went to Connecticut for five months of training. It was also hard but at least I could call home every day and be in the same time zone. I visited Florida during the winter break and saw my boys and her. We went to Disney world and had a great time on her parents. We also made a romantic home movie I could enjoy while away from her. I flew back to Connecticut and tried to make the best of things. My roommate was very abusive of substances and I resisted the temptation for a long time but the threat of being submarine service bound and missing my family pushed me to drinking every weekend and getting messed up to escape before I left.

I remember when we drove to Key Largo, Florida and stopped at a crazy bird wildlife center. I remember our oldest was so amazed hearing a bird say hello back to us. It was so foreign and fun there. I am glad we all shared that experience together.

I remember our trip to the citrus grove in Florida. That was such a great day for our family. I always look back on that with really fond sentiment. I felt like I was in a beautiful family music video with them.

2011

I finished Submarine Training and got orders back to the Northwest. The plan was all coming together. I arrived first and bought a car and got our items moved from storage in Denver to our townhouse rental in Washington. She and the boys joined me a month later. I didn't report to my Sub for another month as they were at sea. She became pregnant again with our third son right after arriving. We had just bought a small car and were not planning on another child. Towards the end of the year I was working a lot and having a really hard time, being bullied and treated poorly at work plus our financial situation was still very difficult. Adjusting to the military was hard among younger men being 28. I dreaded each day in that environment but I tried to endure it for my family. I went to sea for a couple months at the end of the year stopping in Hawaii and California. During this time She reached out to her ex married affair partner after six years of no contact. She didn't tell me until later. She said she needed closure with him, we were not in counseling yet but she decided this was appropriate. I flew home early from sea and wanted to surprise her. The stress and trauma of this quick transition home after being to sea for the first time (which was also traumatic) made me want to drink and get messed up before flying. I arrived home and surprised her but I seemed off to her which I was but didn’t explain why, I have never done that since. I got to be home for two months almost work free while we celebrated the holidays and prepared for the new baby to be born. She started getting more involved with a church and building a community for us which was great. Our financial struggles almost led us to foreclosure of our home back in Colorado but by the grace of God we got it sold with a short sale just in time.

I remember when I came back from Hawaii and brought her a beaded necklace and she wore it naked with her big beautiful pregnant goddess belly and we made passionate hippy love together. I want to grow out my beard again and spend my life making hippy love and feeling free again.

2012

Our third son was born in January. It was a very positive birth experience and much less stressful than the other two. Shortly after I flew out to finish the other half of the deployment I had missed. I really focused on being positive and spiritually connected by reading my Bible at sea which was helpful. I called her when I arrived in Japan halfway through being gone. She was upset because she tested positive for an STD while trying to get on birth control. I became suspicious of her yet she was suspicious of me. We both got tested again and I was clean, she told me she had a false positive after all. This put a big strain on our trust, especially being so far away. This forced us to be honest with each other about some things such as her contact with her ex lover and my drinking to cope. We were both very upset until I returned home and we could start some counseling to work through things. Forgiveness seemed to be difficult for us. It brought up hurts of the past when we were 19. She also had severe postpartum depression that became worse after each birth. I was still having a hard time with work and the submarine environment. Our church friends tried to counsel us but it was not the most helpful. My submarine was scheduled for extended repairs and not going to sea for three years, I would be transferred before the end of that period. I used this time to bond with her and my boys. I wanted to get better involved in our community and do volunteer work and side jobs to earn extra money. Our boys were all given diagnosis's for autism which begun to fill our lives with appointments and challenges for years to come but we were a good team in dealing with all of it. It gave us something to work together on but took our focus away from working on our own personal issues and relationship with each other as much as we should have.

2013

We had new years with both sides of our family in a snowy mountain setting in Oregon. It looked like it was going to be a great year until her Grandpa passed away suddenly. It ripped our entire family apart but especially her. He kept the family grounded and she was very close to him, he really loved all of us. She and I started going on dates again because we had Navy sponsored child care. It was the beginning of a really good thing for us. Tragically one night after a date we were dancing with the boys on the patio and I tried to pick her up and I lost my balance and fell on her, breaking her collar bone severely. She needed surgery and was very mad at me for years to come. She has a scar, a metal plate and numbness in her chest. We worked through it with our community from church but she still is very mad at me. I feel more terrible about this incident than she could ever know. I would lose a finger in place of that incident if I could. I continued having a really hard time in the Navy and I didn't want to stay in but She insisted our boys needed care only the Navy could offer. She also said she would divorce me if I ever left the Navy. I took this threat seriously even though she assured me later that she would never actually do that. Against my own convictions I reenlisted because I wanted to do the best thing for my family. We moved into base housing at the end of summer and didn’t go out to do things as much anymore. The house was nice but it ****** us in, we also had less community with people around our home. I started volunteering at church more and doing work with special needs people. I felt like I was doing good things and that I had purpose all around. I think she appreciated this about me.

2014

We started seeing a professional counselor together and individually. It became a regular event. I worked on myself and she worked on herself. I had a lot of issues with my Mom and eventually broke off communication with her for my own well-being and the betterment of my family. I got past a lot of the bad feelings I had. She worked on her traumatic experiences and our relationship dynamics. Just when things were going well I got a new boss who made things hard for me and others at work and I started messing up more. I got in trouble for messing up a job at work and was given strike one on my record. She lost respect for me as a provider but I tried to stay strong showing her that I would continue to do my best.

I remember when we had an appointment in Tacoma and we had a brunch date together afterwards. She looked so beautiful that day, I took her picture and was so proud to enjoy  huevos rancheros and momosas with her. I remember going to the Tacoma Art Museum seeing the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, we have a great time together doing new things and feeding each other's interests. I loved laughing with her too, sometimes we just bust up like nobody's around. I loved the sound of her laughter. I loved watching Portlandia with her, it is so funny to remember the funny place where we became close and be able to relate together.

2015

I kept working hard and being involved with family and appointments for my boys and her. I still maintained my volunteer work and part time side jobs. I got strike two with the Navy for messing up again... I had just gained orders to leave the sub for local shore duty. I could not get out of the extended repair situation soon enough. She was very disappointed in me and not so understanding. I worked through this situation with our counselor as did she. He always told her I am a good man and that I do a lot for her and the boys. It's true, I care more than anything about them, I made mistakes and I feel bad especially when I cause my family stress. I left for shore duty in April. It was a hard time adjusting to the new routine but eventually we seemed to make it work. That summer we took a trip to visit Texas where her parents had just moved from Florida. We spent a great night together for our 10th anniversary in a hotel in Texas and went dancing. We had a lot more time together as my work schedule was less. The more people we had in our home working with our kids on issues the less useful my input seemed. I was not included as much in making family decisions because they all seemed to happen while I was at work, despite my objections. We tried to get our budget under control but she still had anxiety discussing spending. She continued to struggle with depression and was put on medication because she had still been harming herself. She was put on Prozac daily and anti anxiety medication as needed. He family members were not very supportive of medication which upset her but I always tried to be supportive in seeking help and continued care for both of us.

2016

We had a busy routine of kids in school now and home school and preschool and appointments for all of us. She wanted to go to church less and less. I started drinking a couple beers at night almost every day. I tried to mask my stress from her mood swings. She decided not to go to church at all anymore and focused teaching the boys about Jewish traditions exclusively which was hard for me to adjust to and confusing for the boys. I loved her and wanted to be supportive. As usual I was submissive and removed myself from the Christian church and some friendships. I feel like we lost our community at that point. We searched for a good place to have a new community with Jewish people but it was like starting over. I felt like I converted to Christianity for her when we got together and now I had to convert again, either way I would have done it for her because I loved her that much. The kids were confused by this change. After trying and failing at many synagogues we finally found one that seemed right for us.

2017

We finally had some money in savings because I kept it a secret and ended up planning a trip to visit her parents in Texas but it fell through due to lack of military flights. Instead we spent three nights away in a nice hotel resort as a family in February. We had three days of pure family time. Playing Battleship and other games in our room as a family, watching movies and eating at all the different restaurants and getting room service. Going swimming everyday in the foggy pool. I love our family and how we can have a great time together doing nothing but at the same time so much. That was so peaceful and relaxing. I wanted to keep doing things like that together as a family before our boys got too old. Shortly after this vacation she wanted to go back to school, then we bought a third vehicle so she could. Shortly after this she changed her mind about school and wanted to buy another house instead. I went along with it to please her and we practically killed ourselves trying to get the move accomplished with not much help or money. We had a good year over all. We got away for a romantic anniversary together in the summer. Just before the boys were going to start public school in the fall, her parents moved back to the area. She had anxiety with this and cut off contact with her parents and brothers for a while. Her Dad called me very upset and I tried to keep the peace until they reconciled. I was doing better with work and made up for lost progress as well as making arrangements to change jobs in the Navy to something more fitting. Since the boys started public school, I planned on leaving for Navy training in my new position after the beginning of the new year when they would be at a more settled place in their routine.

I remember when we went to the Olympic Club for our anniversary and we stayed there for a night away. We drove the long way through the countryside talking about new music that she wanted to share with me and she made notes of it on my phone notepad. We brought our own cooler and picnic that included Session Lagers and chocolate. We checked in to our room and made noisy bohemian love on the edge of the creaky bed in our small European room inches from the door. Then we went to the theater downstairs and watched the late showing of a really interesting Sci-fi movie "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". We took showers and slept sweetly together. We made love again in the morning before we had a delicious brunch outside on the patio. We took the long way home and drove around on new roads and found our way out of cell phone reception. We figured out the road less traveled to get back to our home. We loved being alone and away together, just one night can make such a difference and mean so much.

I remember going to the Forest Theater to see Tarzan with our boys. That was such a great time. I would love to get our boys into theater and go see them someday. I wanted to keep our dreams and goals together alive and not lose opportunity and fall short by losing our partnership.

I loved going camping in Seabeck. Loading the truck with all our gear and getting away. Archer got sick from the cowboy caviar and I had to clean him and the tent up in the night. I was glad we had each other to be a team in our marriage in that situation as with all the other times. These sorts of things are what escape a person's mind when they are determined to get a divorce.

2018

We had a lot less money than the year before, again buying a house took its toll on finances as did the boys school and after school activities. I stayed very involved taking the boys to appointments and sporting practices. We stopped going to synagogue but tried to practice Judaism at home as much as possible, which I was very supportive of and involved with. She was still depressed and talking about suicide at times. I encouraged her to get help as I always had. Eventually she was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 and manic depressive by a new provider. She started taking new medicine for this and was worried I would want to leave her. I assured her I would never leave her and that I always wanted to work on things with her and help her. I left for training in Mississippi February 8th. It was going to be hard but I thought it might be good to have some time apart from each other to miss one another and reflect on things as well as prepare for times when I would be away at sea. I got in trouble in Mississippi for giving junior personnel a ride and being negligent of people who might be underage and possibly drinking, this became strike three. I never thought this could happen. I became recommend for separation from the Navy shortly after and was stuck in Mississippi for six months instead of six weeks. She was supportive through most of it but seemed to fall into hopelessness. Money was spent by her that we didn't have without discussion. She quietly leased appliances and tires and purchased a vehicle as well as having a secret bank account and email address. I discovered through our insurance company that she wanted to leave our policy for divorce. I didn't know this and she had even told the boys she wanted a divorce before I even knew. I was caught off guard and confused. I kept trying to communicate and reason with her but she didn't want to talk. I refused to give up and wrote emails and a letter but it only seemed to push her away further. By the time I left Mississippi she had filed for divorce and a restraining order against me saying I was unstable and a threat. I couldn't return to my home. My whole life fell apart in just a couple months. I found out she had been talking to other men in the Navy and keeping more secrets. I assumed this was her way of taking control during a difficult situation. I really needed her support during this hard time of transition out of the military. I became homeless, jobless and without my family in a month. I prayed to God that given time things might change between us but it was of no use. Bipolar had consumed whatever was left of my bride and there was no turning back.

I felt that our love was not one to be cast away. Other people might not understand or agree but what we had was truly special. We may have surely needed some time and space to get counseling as well as reconfigure and repair our marriage but I didn't feel like our relationship was irretrievably broken. She was so important to me and I thought she was the love of my life and would always have my heart. I wanted to be her partner in love and life, watching our boys grow up and being there to support each other. Being that she is Bipolar I knew she will need a lot of help and I was more than willing to assist her in making sure she was taking care of herself and not throwing herself into harm's way, ensuring she sticks with a plan we agree to for consistency. I cared about her deeply and had much compassion for her. I didn't believe she was thinking this through or thinking about the future. I really wanted to look at the long and short game with her, neither seemed appealing to me if we progressed but here we are. Things are not going to be easier. She will still have to face her problems and deal with me on a regular basis for the rest of our lives no matter what happens. She can believe her lawyer when they promise she'll get the moon and stars out of this in the end but they only see half of the story. Above all they want our money. It would have been good for her to face me in person and tell me she wanted to divorce and we could have started talking about it with a counselor to figure out how that could even work. Instead she chose to avoid as much responsibility for her actions as possible by doing everything in my absence as if I am not a real person. I had to find out about it from our insurance company and was last to know.

Immediately after I hear the word divorce I looked into her cell usage history and find she has a new military boyfriend that she talks to 20-30 times a day. She felt she owed me no explanation for this and it was none of my business. A mature person would have let me know about this months before and I would have seen it coming but there was no sign until it was seemingly too late. She strayed down a dark path and never turned back.

Her proposed parenting plan was cruel and had no thought put into it. Two hours a week with supervision, no holidays but father's day? She said she’s not trying to keep me from the kids but this is the exact opposite of what she’s saying with the paperwork she filed. She seems very mixed up and still you continues to make rash and sudden choices. Like a completely bogus restraining order against me that contradicts so many facts she has stated herself on record during my Navy retention process. She was so bold as to want to change her identity and even put it in ink on the divorce paperwork as well to a whole new name. That is not the actions of a stable person. She has since changed her mind again on that just as quickly as everything else in her recent life choices. I can't trust that any decisions she is making right now are for the right reasons or that she is of sound mind. I have never seen her so conflicted and confused, grasping at straws and running scared from herself.

Using the legal system so carelessly and going back and forth makes me feel like she is not ready to be making big choices and changes for her and our family. It is very unfair that she can’t consider my feelings on things and what I wish for the boys as well. Very reckless behavior. She can’t anticipate that the day would come where she has to face me and talk to me like an adult. She wants to hide behind the legal system which only leaves much to be unresolved. Ghosting me is not really an option in a marriage of 13 years with children.

Having relationship conversations is too difficult for her at this time and she would rather avoid it and skip to divorce because she thinks that will somehow be easier. I suspect she knows she is making poor choices, possibly out of fear and lust for something new and less painful than the reality of things right now. Our marriage was nowhere close to divorce when I left. She was sad to see me leave and woke with me at 3:30 am to say goodbye, making me coffee and cookies for me to take with.

Our community and accountability seems to be gone due to the continued trend of isolation that she is drawn to. The God fearing loving committed wife I thought I had is gone or trapped inside a terrified shell of herself. She cut me off from her family members and I can't discuss my concerns about her with them either. She only seems to have community with those who are not going to discourage her from these destructive choices.

I understand we have had issues and struggles but we are no worse off than other couples during challenging times. I think that because we loved each other so much it just hurt more when things got hard. I can't accept or believe this is justified or the right choice based on the positive trend we were on before I left. This was the longest break we have ever had from each other and I think she just needed someone to be there more for her, no matter who it was. Time can heal all wounds and I hope that is true for our relationship as co-parents.

She still refuses to tell me about why she wanted a divorce or talk about anything beyond caring for the kids. I have fought the restraining and I can see my boys again but I am still not allowed to my home without her permission.

I have risen from the ashes in just a couple months. I rent a room from a nice couple from our old church and obtained a good paying job while I continue paying the household bills.

This is a really hard time, this difficult spell could have been a tool to better our relationship. I wanted to experience more beautiful memories with her. We had so many more beautiful memories and dreams left to create. This is what marriage looks like to me now as I lower the casket.
This is a timeline of the major events during my 13 year marriage. Amidst the reality, I injected all the lovely memories that refuse to leave my mind.
Craig Harrison Jun 2014
Working for our future
putting our money away
ready and waiting for our retirement day

Businesses closing
banks shutting
The world in recession
Pensions cutting
Working all our life
Never living free
I'll end up working until the day I die
you wait and see

No more money
It's all gone
Giving up our futures one by one
putting our money away
ready and waiting for our retirement day
12/10/2012:
A very mellow day,
A day that makes one’s golden years actually golden.
Happy in retirement?
There’s a joke:
You slave like Spartacus in the Libyan salt mines for 30 or 40 or even 50
years, and now you’re supposed to re-calibrate the machine, re-gauge
one’s anatomy and metabolism for a habitat so far and away grindstone
gone.
The muckrakers Studs Terkel and Barbara Ehrenreich remind us:
Work is the only thing we can do for 8 hours, other than sleep.
Perchance even to dream out that Roman **** or Bacchanal.
No, alas, 4 hours is the legal limit for an ******* lasting that long,
During all our joy-juiced carnal desires,
Be they under the elms or elsewhere.
Cialis! ******!
Names already living it up in infamy.

A simple truth about Retirement:

Stop working and die.
A most intense public service announcement,
A vast digital image out of Yeats,
A very special Spiritus Mundi P-S-A.
Targeting Baby Boomers, especially:
“You better find yourself something,
Or someone to occupy your mind.”
Brought to you by the good people at
OCCUPY BRAIN STREET,
First a national, then a veritable global movement,
However so short-lived;
Like all the others.
Oh, Boomers, your attention span is down to 8 minutes.
Your mnemonic links are frayed and tattered,
Your hard drive noodle fragmented,

Yet still whirring white noise jazz.
A New Orleans Dixieland funeral,
And Al-Zheim trumpet blast to go out on.

Well, I don’t know about the rest of you,
But I am relatively well adjusted in retirement.
And today—previously mentioned as a mellow day--
Today is one reason why.
As is medical marijuana and the sultry voice of Chrissie Hynde,
With or without her band of Pretenders.
And let’s throw in a lovely bottle of Temecula red wine--
Doffo, if you’re going to get fussy on me,
Another blithe distraction cultivated and custom-made for old age.
Indeed, a very mellow day.
NELSON MANDELA, NUMBER 46664 IS DEAD; EULOGICALLY ELEGIZING DIRGE FOR SON OF AFRICA, HOPE OF HUMANITY AND PERMANENT FLAME OF DEMOCRACY


Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya; aopicho@yahoo.com)

Nelson Mandela, South Africa's anti-apartheid beacon, has died
One of the best-known political prisoners of his generation,
South Africa's first black president, He was 95.
His struggle against apartheid and racial segregation
Lead to the vision of South Africa as a rainbow nation
In which all folks were to be treated equally regardless of color
Speaking in 1990 on his release from Pollsmoor Prison
After 27 years behind bars, Mandela posited;
I have fought against white ******* and
I have fought against black *******
I have cherished the idea of a democratic
And a free society in which all persons live together
In harmony and with equal opportunity
It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve
But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die,

Fortunately, he was never called upon
To make such a sacrifice
And the anti-apartheid campaign did produce results
A ban on mixed marriages between whites and folks of color,
This was designed to enforce total racial segregation
Was lifted in 1985
Mandela was born on July 18, 1918
His father Gadla named him "Rolihlahla,"
Meaning “troublemaker” in the Xhosa language
Perhaps  parental premonitions of his ability to foment change.
Madiba, as he is affectionately known
By many South Africans,
Was born to Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa,
a chief, and his third wife Nosekeni *****
He grew up with two sisters
In the small rural village of Qunu
In South Africa's Eastern Cape Province.
Unlike other boys his age,
Madiba had the privilege of attending university
Where he studied law
He became a ringleader of student protest
And then moved to Johannesburg to escape an arranged marriage
It was there he became involved in politics.
In 1944 he joined the African National Congress (ANC),
Four years before the National Party,
Which institutionalized racial segregation, came to power
.
Racial segregation triggered mass protests
And civil disobedience campaigns,
In which Mandela played a central role
After the ANC was banned in 1961
Mandela founded its military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe
The Spear of the Nation
As its commander-in-chief,
He led underground guerrilla attacks
Against state institutions.
He secretly went abroad in 1962
To drum up financial support
And organize military training for ANC cadres
On his return, he was arrested
And sentenced to prison
Mandela served 17 years
On the notorious Roben Island, off Cape Town,
Mandela was elected as South Africa's first black president
On May 10, 1994
Cell number five, where he was incarcerated,
Is now a tourist attraction
From 1988 onwards, Mandela was slowly prepared
For his release from prison
Just three years earlier he had rejected a pardon
This was conditional
On the ANC renouncing violence
On 11 February 1990,
After nearly three decades in prison,
Mandela, the South African freedom beacon was released
He continued his struggle
For the abolition of racial segregation
In April 1994,
South Africa held its first free election.
On May 10,
Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first elected black president,
Mandela jointly won
The Nobel Peace Prize
With Frederik de Clerk in 1993
On taking office
Mandela focused on reconciliation
Between ethnic groups
And together with Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
He set up the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)
To help the country
Come to terms
With the crimes committed under apartheid
After his retirement
From active politics in 1999,
Madiba dedicated himself
To social causes,
Helping children and ***-AIDS patients,
His second son
Makgatho died of ***-AIDS
In 2005 at the age of 54,
South Africans have fought
a noble struggle against the apartheid
But today they face a far greater threat
Mandela he posited in a reference to the ***-AIDS pandemic,
His successor
Thabo Mbeki
The ANC slogan of 1994; A better life for all
Was fulfilled only
For a small portion of the black elite
Growing corruption,
Crime and lack of job prospects
Continue to threaten the Rainbow Nation,
On the international stage
Mandela acted as a mediator
In the Burundi civil war
And also joined criticism
Of the Iraq policy
Of the United States and Great Britain
He won the Nobel Prize in 1993
And played a decisive role
Into bringing the first FIFA World Cup to Africa,
His beloved great-granddaughter
Zenani Mandela died tragically
On the eve of the competition
And he withdrew from the public life
With the death of Nelson Mandela
The world loses a great freedom-struggleer
And heroic statesman
His native South Africa loses
At the very least a commanding presence
Even if the grandfather of nine grandchildren
Was scarcely seen in public in recent year

Media and politicians are vying
To outdo one another with their tributes
To Nelson Mandela, who himself disliked
The personality cult
That's one of the things
That made him unique,
Nelson Mandela was no saint,
Even though that is how the media
Are now portraying him
Every headline makes him appear more superhuman
And much of the admiration is close to idolatry
Some of the folks who met him
Say they felt a special Mandela karma
In his presence.
Madiba magic was invoked
Whenever South Africa needed a miracle,

Mandela himself was embarrassed
By the personality cult
Only reluctantly did he agree to have streets
Schools and institutes named after him
To allow bronze statues and Mandela museums
To be built
A trend that will continue to grow.

He repeatedly pointed
To the collective achievements
Of the resistance movement
To figures who preceded him
In the struggle against injustice
And to fellow campaigners
Such as Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Luthuli
Or his friend and companion in arms
Oliver Tambo who today stands in Mandela's shadow,
Tambo helped create the Mandela legend
Which conquered the world
A tale in which every upright man
And woman could see him
Or herself reflected,
When Prisoner Number 46664 was released
After 27 years behind bars
He had become a brand
A worldwide idol
The target of projected hopes
And wishes that no human being
Could fulfill alone,
Who would dare scratch?
The shining surface of such a man
List his youthful misdemeanors
His illegitimate children
Who would mention his weakness for women?
For models
Pop starlets
And female journalists
With whom he flirted
In a politically incorrect way
When already a respected elder statesman?
Who would speak out critically?
Against the attacks
He planned when he headed the ANC
Armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe
And who would criticize the way
He would often explode in anger
Or dismiss any opinions other than his own?
His record as head of government
Is also not above reproach
Those years were marked by pragmatism
And political reticence
Overdue decisions were not taken
Day to day matters were left to others
When choosing his political friends
His judgment was not always perfect
A Mandela grandchild is named
After Colonel Muammar Gaddaffi
Seen from today's perspective
Not everything fits
The generally accepted
Picture of visionary and genius,
But Mandela can be excused
These lapses
Because despite everything
He achieved more than ordinary human beings
His long period of imprisonment
Played a significant role here
It did not break him, it formed him
Robben Island
Had been a university of life for Mandela once posited
He learned discipline there
In dialogue with his guards
He learnt humility, patience and tolerance
His youthful anger dissolved
He mellowed and acquired
The wisdom of age
When he was at last released
Mandela was no longer
Burning with rage,
He was now a humanized revolutionary
Mandela wanted reconciliation
At almost any price
His own transformation
Was his greatest strength
The ability to break free
From ideological utopia
And to be able to see the greater whole
The realization
That those who think differently
Are not necessarily enemies
The ability to listen,
To spread the message of reconciliation
To the point of betraying what he believed in,
Only in this way could he
Serve as a role model
To both black and white humanity
, communists and entrepreneurs,
Catholics and Muslims.
He became a visional missionary,
An ecclesiast of brotherly love
And compassion
Wherever he was, each humanity was equal
He had respect for musicians and presidents
Monarchs and cleaning ladies
He remembered names
And would ask about relatives
He gave each humanity his full attention
With a smile, a joke, a well aimed remark,
He won over every audience
His aura enveloped each humanity,
Even his political enemies,
That did not qualify him
For the status of demi-god
But he was idolized and rightly so
He must be named in the same breath
As Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama
Or Martin Luther King
Mandela wrote a chapter of world history
Even Barack Obama posited
He would not have become
President of the United States
Without Mandela as a role model,

And so it is not so important
That Mandela is now portrayed
Larger than life
The fact that not everything
He did in politics succeeded is a minor matter
His achievement is to have lived
A life credibly characterized
By humanism, tolerance and non-violence,
When Mandela was released
From prison in 1990,
The old world order of the Cold War era
Was collapsing
Mandela stood at the crossroads and set off in the right direction
How easily he could have played with fire, sought revenge,
Or simply failed; He could have withdrawn from public life or,
Like other companions in arms, earned millions,
Two marriages failed because of the political circumstances
His sons died tragically long before him
It was only when he was 80 and met his third wife,
Graca Machel,
That he again found warmth,
Partnership and private happiness,
Setbacks did not leave him bitter
Because he regarded his own life
As being less important
Than the cause he believed in
He served the community humbly,
With a sense of responsibility
Of duty and willingness to make sacrifices
Qualities that are today only rarely encountered,

How small and pathetic his successors now seem
Their battles for power will probably now be fought
Even more unscrupulously than in the past
How embarrassing are his own relatives
Who argued over his legacy at his hospital bed
Mandela was no saint
But a man with strengths and weaknesses,
Shaped by his environment
It will be hard to find a greater person
Just a little bit more Mandela every day
Would achieve a great deal
Not only in Africa
But in the bestridden geographies
Epochs and diversities of man,

In my post dirge I will ever echo words of Mandella
He shone on the crepuscular darkness of the Swedish
Academy, where cometh the Nobel glory;
Development and peace are indivisible
Without peace and international security
Nations cannot focus
On the upliftment
Of the most underprivileged of their citizens.
Lawrence Hall Aug 2019
German refugee husband: “Liebchen – sweetness – what watch?”

German refugee wife: “Ten watch.”

Husband: “Such watch?”

Carl the Bartender: “You will get along beautifully in America.”

                                      -Casablanca

I­ check the time on my retirement watch
(A Seiko; they did not think much of me)
And consider that there is no time at all
Unless Creation is some sort of clock

Childhood is watchless, timeless, careless, free
But adults must be catalogued and timed:
Bulova, Timex, Rolex, and Longines
And even a railway Regulator

I check the time on my retirement watch -
And hustle off to my chapter two job
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.
JV Beaupre May 2016
Selected Memories Of Then and Now

Canto I. Long ago and far away...

Under the bridge across the Kankakee River, Grampa found me. I was busted for truancy. First grade. 1946.

Coming home from college for Christmas. Oops, my family moved a few streets over and forgot to tell me. Peoria, 1961.

The Pabst Brewery lunchroom in Peoria, a little after dawn, my first day. A guy came  in and said: "Who wants my horsecock sandwich? ****, this first beer tastes good." We never knew how many he drank. 1962.

At grad school, when we moved into the basement with the octopus furnace, Dave, my roommate contributed a case of Chef Boyardee spaghettios and I brought 3 cases of beer, PBRs.  Supper for a month. Ames. 1962.

Sharon and I were making out in the afternoon, clothes a jumble. Walter Cronkite said, " President Kennedy has been shot…” 1963.

I stood in line, in my shorts, waiting for the clap-check. The corporal shouted:  "All right, you *******, Uncle and the Republic of Viet Nam want your sorry *****. Drop 'em".  Deferred, 1964.

He electrified the room. Every woman in the room, regardless of age, wanted him, or seemed to. The atmosphere was primeval and dripping with desire. In the presence of greatness, 1968.

US science jobs dried up. From a mountain-top, beery conversation, I got a research job in Germany. Boulder, 1968. Aachen, 1969.

The first time I saw automatic weapons at an airport. Geneva, 1970.

I toasted Rembrandt with sparkling wine at the Rijksmuseum. He said nothing. 1972.

A little drunk, but sobering fast: the guard had Khrushchev teeth.
Midnight, alone, locked in a room at the border, why?
Hours later, release. East Berlin, 1973.

She said, "You know it's remarkable that we're not having an affair." No, it wasn't. George's wife.  Germany, 1973.

"May be there really are quarks, but if so, we'll never see them." Truer than I knew.  Exit to Huntsville, 1974.

Hard work, good times, difficult times. Not fully digested. 15 years in Huntsville and counting.

The golden Lord Buddha radiated peace with his smile. Shots in the distance. Bangkok. 1992.

Accomplishment at work, discord at home. Divorce. Huntsville. 1994. I got the dogs.

New beginnings, a fresh start, true love and life-partner. Huntsville. 1995.

Canto II. In the present century....

I started painting. Old barns and such. 2004.

I quietly admired a Rembrandt portrait at the Schiphol airport. Ever inscrutable, his painting had presence, even as the bomb dogs sniffed by. Beagles. 2006.

I’ve lost two close friends that I’ve known for 50-odd years. There aren’t many more. Huntsville. 2008 and 2011.

Here's some career advice: On your desk, keep a coffee cup marked, "No Whining", that side out. Final retirement. 2015.

I occasionally kick myself for not staying with physics—I’m jealous of friends that did. I moved on, but stayed interested. Continuing.

Honest distortions emerging from the distance of time. The thin comfort of fading memories. Thoughts on poor decisions and worse outcomes. Not often, but every now and then.
Giani LaDavia Jan 2013
Underneath the rainfalls,
between the quiet walls,
of the retirement home.
This is where my heart lies.
Retiring from the depths of passionate want.

At the retirement home,
there is the tranquilizing smell of hush and peace.
It is kept colder than my memories.
This is where my body dies.
Retiring from a recycled depression.

The walls show no emotion.
But it gives me time to think.
I remember the night when we sat in the bed of your truck,
conversing for hours.
I stared at your glassy eyes,
as we wondered how Sunday was given its name.
Since it rains every Sunday.

It rains everyday at the retirement home.
This alcohol feels as though,
it’s not working like it should.
But you are a melody.
A melody that is whispered and heard,
flowing through the halls of this prison
"If we are all fading into the void,
why not do it carelessly?"
There is no sunlight, to call us home.
Fading into void quote from my friend Clayton Damren
Patrick Austin Oct 2018
My backpack ready for anything, I left for a voyage across the pond. As fellow passengers climb aboard I met a 27 year old traveling musician named Russ carrying his cajòn. He told me of his travels from Massachusetts and pending divorce. We related on this and exchanged CD's. Behind us sitting on the Ferry were two young girls working on a puzzle. Russ imposed himself and tried to impress them with his musical endeavors. These girls were in America from Germany attending college. One was 17 and the other was 18 but I am sure they knew better than to play into his hand. After talk of language and culture we disembarked. Russ invited me to his show that night but I had plans to meet a girl at a board game pub. I walked to the bus stop while smoking my pipe and caught the number 40 from downtown to a trendy neighborhood up north.

After I stepped off I found myself amongst the overgrown players of games and drinkers of fine beer. Brittany arrived and we chatted over IPA's. I explained my recent challenges to get the topic of divorce out of the way before we left for Mexican food. She was very open in saying I should play the field and not have a serious relationship. I agreed with her take but could not read her as well as I had hoped. She said I need to get the rebounding out of the way and explained that she too is struggling with commitment. Being 34 with no marriage or children under her belt she feels that therapy is essential to figuring this out.

We walked to our happy hour destination and shared Nacho's while drinking "Colorado Kool-Aid". Both of us having spent a lot of time in Denver we could relate on much but I felt there was an elephant in the room. Afterwards we walked to a nearby record store and browsed while talking about music and interests. She needed to leave soon having obligations to housesit and watch pets. Dog walking is her profession since her departure from the world of corporate accounting. We walked to her unkempt sedan and she gave me a ride back downtown. We talked of hanging out again but our schedule may not permit for some time. I wonder if she will entertain my company without reservation, only time will tell.

I decided to phone my old friend from Denver who lives near and devise another plan for the evening. The sun was still shining and I had no reason to return home yet. I walked to a nearby brew pub while waiting for him to meet me. I sat at the bar with another traveler named Dave. He is an airline pilot close to retirement from the state of Texas. We talked about my time in the Navy and my pending legal woes. He's been proudly married for 30 years and counts his blessings that he is still in harmony with his wife. My friend decided to meet me at a concert in close proximity to my date with Brittany. Once again I would take the number 40 uptown. Dave bought my IPA and gave me words of encouragement and complimented my persona. It meant a lot and I thanked him as I said goodbye.

While waiting for the bus I asked for information from a woman in her early 50's. She works for a tech company nearby but was happy to help as I had a more pleasant vibe than most of her young, urban, unprofessional colleagues. While unsure of my way she directed my move to get off at the next stop. I walked up the hill another seven blocks to the show. While smoking my pipe along the way another bus rider was two steps ahead named Nate. He was curious about my pipe tobacco and we gave brief anecdotes about ourselves. He offered to buy me a quick beer before my concert. I took him up on this offer as we walked into a nearby market. He purchased several large cans of domestics and afterwards we headed back down the dark boulevard towards the Abbey drinking our brew. As I arrived at the former church venue we parted ways peacefully.

I ventured into the bustling scene concealing my open container while finding my friend. I sat just as the opening act started. We enjoyed three musical performances but the star of the show was the beautiful woman from Denver that we both enjoyed during our time there. Feeling that we should explore the venue where Russ was performing we made our way there. I was sad to discover the brewery was shutting down before 10pm and the band was long gone. We decided to walk to the nearby singles bar playing music so loudly it could be heard from a block away. This strange place was crawling with many folks of the beautiful sort but nothing seemed to be attractive about it. We had a glass of wine and a shot of bourbon. I spoke to the fellow DJ for a moment but there was no dancefloor to be found. We decided to venture on.

We walked up and down the avenue and discovered another Mexican food restaurant, beaming with the young and the foolish. Our community seating was met with overly affectionate couples to our left and valley girls to our right. Our Tequila mules hit the spot with our Nacho's and late night platter. The girls spoke of Denver people which I thought strange. Why so much co(lorado)-incidence in one evening? I injected myself into the discussion and was met with friendly conversation. Unable to finish my Nacho's I knew I had fulfilled my share of fun for the night. This was the fourth time I had eaten nachos this week. We proceeded back to the urban adventure wagon and made our way to the slums of the tech-boom. My 2am slumber was met with an air mattress of great quality and woolen blankets.

I awoke at 7am to the clouded sunlight peering through the sliding glass door. I laid awake with my stomach turning from the many Nachos not yet digested. My housemates called me about needing to move my car for restriping the parking lot. Fortunately I left my keys so they were able to do this for me. I smoked my pipe on the patio while my friend "hit the gym". When he returned we decided to walk through the arboretum by the university and enjoy the sunny autumn day. Afterwards he dropped me off by the ferry where I waited an hour drinking beer at the commuter dive.

During my ferry ride home I walked up and down the passenger compartment looking for a fellow rider to play cribbage. I had no such luck and headed for the observation deck. While the city vanished behind us I struck up a conversation with a young lady from Manchester who had just returned to living in the US. We talked about the nature of selfies and the conflict of living in the moment. As we spoke a man approached me who had overheard my request for a card game. We walked back inside and sat next to an abandoned puzzle with pieces scattered about the deck. Mark introduced himself and we shook hands. It was not until he shuffled and dealt the cards that I realized this 45 year old Asian man only had one arm. His ability to shuffle and deal was impressive. His skill with cribbage was more than rusty, after one game I had a victory so great I felt guilty. He too is going through divorce and seeking a new job. It was a great way to pass the time with a fellow passenger.

As I readied myself for the porting I noticed a familiar face, a young sailor I served with in Mississippi. Our time spent together was met with sorrow as we faced similar career challenges. I had not seen him for several months but he almost did not recognize me. I had lost 50 pounds, left the Navy and become single all in a matter of a few months. I assured him I was on the dawn of newfound joy and wished him luck on his upcoming deployment. I patted him on the head as he seems like such a lovable scamp to me at this point. I exited the terminal to saunter back home. I smoked my pipe while crossing the bridge enjoying the last hour of sunlight.

I settled my belongings at home while serving myself a can of chili and a cold IPA on draft from my housemates tap. I joined him for the end of a baseball game in the den and shared a few moments with my community. I slept for a couple hours and then made my way to work. So much can happen in a day.
Not poetry, but what is life, if not poetry in motion?
Julian Jul 2016
Fragile egg-shell mind on dawn’s highway bleeding the segue between times traversed only in momentary dreams or in enduring excursions

We drag our droll and quaint 60s baggage like the luggage of a safari made of concrete girding a cavernous expanse of unheralded ground

With our ears oriented to the floor, we leap out of body never to deplore….never to ignore….never to miss the blue bus of our drafted imaginations, so carefully culled from brash elitism

I trounce the intervening time between being friendless and an ironic end, and an irenic comrade becoming the dearest amazed but always aplomb friend

We simper in our glorious traversal, and though bedraggled through an ornamented cavern we linger just long enough to be celebrated

Then a blues riff emanates from a vapid bar, and finally someone heralds my exhumed memory still rusty with the pavement of encased concrete on an empty or full tomb

So I wander in my mind to that roughshod Paris glassy tincture a romanticized gild of proper sensibility crafted in the tongues of lizards emulating the tongues of serpentine Anglicans

As the power of love transcends the love of power, both are afforded serendipitously upon the stately occasion of a fitful revolt where heads literally rolled and deaths still unfurl from the slippage of a violent malevolent eternity, crafting a new creative way to expedite the smite of preventable scourge

So Jim, I see your picaresque side and your wide-eyed love for a listless ship anointed of a crystal blip just detectable long enough on RADAR to become the statistic to crack the slim WHIP

No wigs are needed at this formality, no figs grow from trees forty-five years buried and almost a full month unsung

Pitiable cretins of an invented insanity, they scoff at my ravenous and portentous heart for its excess and for aligning with an upstart verging on only a specious insanity

Why in all humanity could a month be mustered with every defense of history and yet for it to be so widely flouted as a risible exercise in futility

The irony that the artistic glamor of a past vogue becoming a revival that is often toked only to one song but never to the memorial of great cavernous and commodious imaginations, staggers with dismay where otherwise the mayday would be a disaster but still a great day

Then I look at a triggered-fingered omen of a death so ominous yet so brazenly confronted as the ambassadors of time provide plaudits to a fearless martyrdom

Why such a sad spate, why such a stringent but malevolent fate a malediction on a family whose crest is not crestfallen like rolling waves but ornamented with gravity impounding its own weight

A fugacious tomb, an eternal flame, a swan song announcing an independent authority on a prescient demise mashed and deprived

A single shot rippling through the broadened space between clasped eternity and a histrionic disgrace as a psychological confederate pays lip service to a reiterative applause

A cousin hardly American in a defected record of incendiary plumes of a hoarse hatred of waxen discs and flying discs alike,  climbs out of a bonfire mounted purely out of vindictive spite

Then upon a great white buffalo a wrapped package of Californian love before California ever alighted like something beyond an avaricious dove, saw a rocky park and a hearth of illuminated darkness the singular spark

Captain Morgan knows the jackknife applause of a botched deal morphing into a disbelieved spiel. A shibboleth of enormous mystical weight crashing down from an ethereal abode and heaven heavily saddened cannot hardly appeal

Then a loving spoonful of crystal blue persuasion led me to Ethel’s regimented keepsake and for once in my life nobility and I became a grateful waif. But temerity laughed, splintered spacecraft, and the wooden paws of a bearish applause led to resurgent clarity

Blinking stars shattered by knighted and raw applause punctured the liberated might of a sentient hortatory savior grasped by the internecine wrench of a waxen time

An indie track slides by unnoticed in an aleatory time, and the threadbare whine of centuries of lament becomes a dastardly barn set ablaze with the fury of ancients and the scurry of faineant patents

Perfidy slides in recess, and in gentle forbearance the winged angel lingers like a halo on conifer and spring above a remedial ring

I dial frisky celerity tingling the dangling claws of a raven’s screed and in plunder of all history’s pilfer secrets I eagerly weave a tapestry Indiana Jones himself would be proud to watch

Not the riotous ruin of a mystery tour of verdure crippled by genocide but overcome by the revived life of raised rain razing the moments of indelible pain

But the culmination of a proffered time taken at its word for its every careened bird, for its every brazen gird. The manger of proctored stars calls us home tonight and home forever. Life in quaked timorous stumbles suddenly no longer so fitfully absurd.

The quixotic plundered of pirates and emperors in direct emulation of some crooned pastiche of whittled integrity, surges above any encased blurb and any vain testament to a pyramid rigid in destiny and ragged in desultory and sturdy sincerity

Multiplying the ineffable by the division of arable divorced from edible is too creative to be eaten as pabulum when sparks curdle flickered moonlight crimson and that become golden only to the last laugh of ennobled ragamuffins

Frankly the desert of melliferous gorillas abetting the lark of a heavily vetted camarilla engaged in the sinecure of a rigged wall on a main street to block the tall from the lame bleat. Stocks grazed, costs engaged on a littoral beach at the end of a Bossy promenade

This prayer is a cutthroat collapse of a merry spare, a ribbed ****** waiting to plunge into the antithesis of female despair, but sincere in its restraint that vixens courted in love aren’t courted in litigation of a wagered dare

Ambulances chase Deloreans through the desolate moon-stricken skies of a time agape with fleets of phantasmagoria on a Cliffside too wise to ever mince words or excise cries

Skulking the red-teared caverns of entombed films and lampooned tinctures on a passion vetted only for certain and utter deracinated disguise, I wallop with winged men in a single soul armed to the teeth with inveterate tithes to eternal internments of poached and endangered gazettes

As growth older in wizened skin bets on epithets rather than epitaphs for rinsed peace and triumphant clefts we leap above in orbit of only the bellowing nether of blown tolls and untold souls aggregating the esoteric grasp of Alexandrian tomes

The denumeration of certainty is a carousel of wonder, a splurge of time ripped asunder with majesties of paparazzi scuttled impacts a throttled iniquity of regalia’s indicted blunder frenchified but still clean with inestimable sheens

With twenty-five dollars, a dime an assist and a nickeled reiteration of currency already so personable it is divine and sublime in crazed desist I watch the embroiled natives clash in denatured violence with the warriors of a crossed repast hearkening to an old land much of ire but too much of grandstand to ultimately last

Itching for a holy field husk of peerless ties listed as rumpus and beer, a two-packed smoked by bludgeoned blokes careless in irascible sputters of a muffled doom, a Vegan becomes the author of too many sacrosanct homilies becoming defiled witchcraft brooms dead on arrival too many lionized tombs

In plaudits and the scause of an amplified “what if?” of an olfactory nightmare of petrified fog of effluvium bogged in Wade and in heat it is always clogged, sinewy libations of toasted preemptive revenge become a powerballed hog

A castle in the sky founded on Franklin but scourged of wineskins brimming with a distilled time, a swift repartee becomes the whispered ladder of saints blather becoming not rather other than a Dan Rather spatter

A door breeched by a broached inconvenience of amphigory beyond common reach, I clamber excess and whisk the lingered love into destiny beyond any word other than a beseeched preach of nothing tired but everything inspired of noble love with abundance often to teach

Fireworks of turned tides of fallow tithes to aliens beyond any conceivable bribe the bushwhacker writhes but survives staying alive without even a hint of garbled jive a 27th floor glass elevator is quite a resplendent ride

Wellsprings knowing radical rolled tides of errant dice also themselves guilty of confessional tithes to the monolith of avarice at the nooked cranny of an evaporated time we whine as the police sting the album rained with songs too lugubrious to sing but in their elegy every lonely heart has a propinquity phone of souled resonance ring

Iterative mastery of a mathematics of love, loss decay and the dross of a dental Occidental floss, the sweep of screened queues become questions of inestimable importance to foreign dues on a horse with no name but so consumed with fumes

A fright occultist thriller prowls in a waylaying daylight, masquerading an innocent confection for a rescued triage of a dawn stabbed with knives in our last dying days of trembled plight

He resurrects only the wraiths of detest, squinted at by the putrefaction of summoned cardiac arrest and littered with bullets that somehow can penetrate even impregnable bullet proof vests the wrapped carcass of the mummified husk of ready despair offers itself a ghoulish and raspy prayer

Synchronized in a low roaring swathe of rollercoasters too immersive to ride, the terpsichorean obscurantism of deliberately shattered fragments becoming blurbs dismissed with hijacked deride the carnival of a summer sun becomes the ocean of limitless love becoming endless fun

We forget the drawl of the droll old tales that haunt like specters in the closet and beneath the bedridden valetudinarian of an effrontery of shackled fright, we sprawl the innumerable caverns of prophetic insight afforded by the pantheon of history enter stage left, depart stage right

And with their insight I write and write, I grasp the tusk of democracy and wage an insurrection against the doubt of plodding limitations in otherwise immaculate sight

*** and tyrannosaurus rex, of litigable offenses leading to pardonable arrests, the gated entryway of a poetic splurge leads to the demiurge of a demotic enlightenment and suddenly the frank becomes the frazzled retirement and that haunting hounding bunny transmogrified by a shattered eye averts the car crash that careens ponderous engines out of limitless twilight blue skies.

Diamond lightning in pristine skies escorts the telegraphic totems of riddled modems from 1967 to 2016 and suddenly all venerable personages converge on a teeming scene of a union unified by a universal dream. To become everything and yet nothing and out of light and darkness to become a beatific beam
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2018
and

you think you are done with it.
but the notion potion returns with your stolen free will
taunting and tearing, sealing and then dissolving
the seals

no retirement in this world from where human means pliable
and pliable means capable of being twisted; nay, retwisted...

last we left you,
we were weeping on the concrete sidewalk of
Third Avenue, the police, giving you a move on command,
as Jean Valjean earworms one into the incapacity of movement  because of the audacity to request to bring him home

such is the sorrow of the lost child; it comes with irregularity
yet, never failing to return, the child lost, the residual, resides
within like a violin adagio reaching the punishing silence
after a crescendo that  pretense promised momentary relief

we struggle to keep any and all keepsakes,
polished and fed; rust and time, no polish in the five & time dime
that does a good enough job,
but you buy it anyway

well aware that fate will inevitably rob you, it’s so purposed

twist you, retest you and re-will you, to never forget until
you have no need for forgetting but the peace of
constant remembering when all on that day
molecules and nucleotides
collide in the atmosphere,
dog licking, cat weeping purrs, meaning hallelujah home

the endless sadness of the lost lad-ness, dimly grow the recollections of the first word, the first delight, the confidence complete
that your babe is non pareil; the violin sweeps you along and the genteel tide still too string strong to resist

the woman comes into the room;
the reddened eyes no hide
the weeping outside and in the centerpiece of a soul;
why she asks, not surprised for she’s seen it
too many **** poem-times:
my Adam, I answer;
suffices and wisely
leaves me to
compose and decompose simultaneously
weeping weeping forever weeping even when not

furious eddies rock smashing,
curious they splash me with taunts
"you want for naught!"

but naught is the only possess
that owing it makes one impoverished

perhaps he will email me, ewail me,
does he know I am at the
Wailing Wall, Jerusalem,
insert parchment prayers for his safety

oh my Absalom, oh my Adam, my favorite first born,
come sit next to me on the sidewalk so close to where you live,
comfort me as in the days of your youth,
now that we are both
so very much older

sleep well all you lads and children,
never mind these unstoppable tearings,
never mind the heaviness,
for it has passed
as the tears shed
enlighten my embodiment

7/16/18 prone and alone
for my kinship
John F McCullagh Nov 2013
John O’Sullivan was an electrical engineer for Consolidated Edison for Forty years. He drove himself and his staff hard, and took pride in the smooth operation of his substation on the lower East side of Manhattan.  When a man like John, who proudly self-identified as a type “A” personality, decides to take a break it so often proves to be a serious if not fatal mistake.

In the summer of 2007, my cousin John took his wife, Margaret, on a rare vacation out of the country to the sun swept beaches of Aruba.  While a beach vacation was perfect for Margaret, who loved nothing better than to lounge in the sun reading her book, it was a form of physical and mental torture for her husband.  He grew restless lying beside her in the hot midwinter sun as his pasty white skin turned a robust red despite his constant application of sunscreen.

I will never be sure what precipitated John’s near fatal stroke on that vacation trip. It may have been a combination of too much alcohol and too much sun. It is even possible that he had mixed up his daily medications.  All I know is that when my cousin was air lifted to a State side hospital, he was suffering the consequences of a severe brain damaging event.

When I saw John in the hospital, I could see that he had lost most of the use of the right side of his body and that he was going to be wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. While he certainly recognized me and tried to smile and communicate as best he could with gestures and a wave of his hand he had lost nearly all his power of speech.

My college educated, urbane sophisticated cousin’s vocabulary was very much diminished by the cerebral accident and now consisted of one word: “Bang”. He made the most of his one word personal dictionary. He could, by variation in tone and inflection, make his one word sound like a greeting, a farewell, a warning, a curse or a need for intention.

The word “bang” could express a terrible wellspring of frustration.  John had spent most of his life in a position of command, first as a Marine noncom,, then as the chief Engineer who ran the substation that powered the lower part of Manhattan. Words, to him, were as vital as eyes were to an artist, ears to an artist or taste buds to a gourmoo.

Locked inside my cousin was the person we had formerly known. He was not like an Alzheimer’s victim whose mind had staged a gradual retreat from his body. Rather, I am convinced, he was being held prisoner within the folds of his damaged Parietal lobe.

From the first, there has been no question that he would never set foot in his old offices on E 14th Street again.  There could be no grand retirement party, just a quiet filing of his papers and the first payments from his retirement plan.  These were sufficient, along with his other investments, to provide him and his wife with a modest, comfortable retirement.  If not for the crash that swept the stock market in 2008, his stocks would have been sufficient to permit a healthy cousin John and his wife to tour the world. Now, in the shadow of the great recession, his remaining capital paid for the home health aides and medications that maintained his precarious existence.

Margaret passed on late in 2011, a problem with her heart, the attending physician said. I saw Cousin John at her wake, the chief mourner unable to express his grief.  I took his good hand and expressed my fellow feeling for his loss. My poor words of condolence were inadequate but he gave my hand a gentle squeeze and whispered “bang” which told me he understood. It was a gentle voice from somewhere out on the edge of sadness.

With Margaret gone, the primary responsibility for John’s care was taken over by his daughter Megan and her husband.  The family sold off the big old house in Yorkville and John moved in with Megan’s family in Pelham.  There his pension and savings paid for 24/7 nursing care and a physical therapist. It must have been a source of humiliation for this proud man, a Marine veteran of  the 26th Marine Battalion  who had  fought at Khe Sanh, to be laid upon a table and have his limbs moved by others to maintain their muscle tone in vain attempts  to retrain his surviving brain.

I last saw my cousin at the Fourth of July family picnic.  He had good color and displayed a healthy appetite. He really enjoyed the fireworks display on the East River. He said “Bang” repeatedly, with all the enthusiasm of a young child.

I got the sad news about John the day after Hurricane Sandy struck the New York area.  My cousin Megan was understandably upset and was blaming herself for allowing her father to watch the news on T.V.  He had become visibly agitated when Eyewitness news showed the Con Edison plant of E14th Street exploding and the lower half of Manhattan plunging into darkness. Megan said that Dad screamed “BANG” in a tortured voice, then slumped back into his chair and was gone.

I never did get to the services for Cousin John.  My own house was without power and heat and the gas in my tank was too dangerously low to risk the trip in those days immediately following the storm. I still think of my late cousin often, and when I do I toss a bootless prayer for him into the winds of Eternity. The substation on E. 14th has been repaired; The damaged homes ripped down or rebuilt and the reminders of the storm grow fewer and fewer like the surface of the sea grown calm in the wake of the storm.
a fictionalized memoir of the aftermath of my Cousins stroke, disability and death.
Mary Gay Kearns Jun 2018
I took the left path where hydrangeas grew and sleepy primroses under woods, edged shady trees.
The empty stream ran quietly dry
With grass cuttings piling high.
If one peeped, one would find tiny creatures
To cast a sparkle here and there, a delight.
So on tip-toe, with sandels bent
Up high I reached to take
The plastic fairy as she twirled a pirouette
In a theatre made by chance.
Reflected in a silver mirror intwinned with ivy branch
A mottled foal tends his dreams and Chrismas robin chirps.

My brother took the right hand path where the trees grew fruit
Ripe berries from the gooseberry bush bulged their prickles.
Dangling from hawthorn now a cowboy with a hat
Looking for his fellow Indian with the yellow back sack.
Sheep gather in a hollow, dark, protected from the sun
And Mr toad, now lost of paint, has turned a bit glum.

And so we leave our woodland friends and travel up the *****
Winding round the rose bed and goldfish where they float.
Then up we climb, the middle route, to jump the pruned clipped
Hedge.
The lawn divided in two halves, a contemporary taste.

Now we're nearly at that place where if one was to turn
Could see down across the land
To the sea and sand.
Of all the beauties that I've known
Nothing beats this Island home.

Love Mary x




My grandfather’s retirement bungalow was in Totland Isle of Wight.
It was named Innisfail meaning ‘Isle of Ireland’.
Behind, the garden led down to magical and delightful to children who came as visitors. My grandfather would prepare this woodland with some suitable surprises.
The garden and woodland deserved its own name and in retrospect
Is now named ‘Innislandia’ to suggest a separate, mysterious land.
Beyond the real world.
In the poem A Country Lane on page 8 the latched gate is the back gate to my grandparent’s garden and bungalow in Totland as above.
John Garbutt wrote the following piece on the meaning of the name 'Innisfail'.

My belief that the place-name came from Scotland was abandoned
on finding the gaelic origins of the name.
‘Inis’ or ‘Innis' mean ‘island’, while ‘fail’ is the word for
Ireland itself. ‘Innisfail’ means Ireland. But not just
geographically: the Ireland of tradition, customs, legends
and folk music, the Ireland of belonging.
So the explanation why the Irish ‘Innisfail’ was adopted as the name
of a town in Alberta, Canada, and a town in Australia,
can only be that migrants took the name, well  over a century ago
to their new homelands, though present-day Canadians
and Australians won’t have that same feeling about it.

------------------------------------------------------------­---------
The bungalow was designed by John Westbrook, who was an architect, as a wedding present for his father and Gwen Westbrook.
I do believe he also designed the very large and beautiful gardens.
It is there still on the Alan Bay Road. Love Mary xxxx
Philipp K J Apr 2019
April is retirement time
Triple hot memory stream
Of months that March close behind
Febru and Janu very kind
Not far still to remember
The days of cool December
The long talks in your chamber
The sweet eves of November
Not to mention the embers
Of love that warm up members
May be rain or hay day noon
July finds an all wet June
But days come like August guests
And busy with just inquests

Time turns September Rians
forget-me not, you asters
Full of morning glory stares
You Octogenarians
All contain within a span
Of sweet memory expanse
You too collecting pension
After superannuation.

Its nice to see you colleagues
Always glad without fatigue
Chatting and pat the other
Cracking jokes on your attire
The young baby look you wear
And the nursery kid's fire.

Its all fare and just affair
One more phase to maneuver
In the course of your orbit
On face of earth to be fit
To gain and do maximal
Service  to its proximal

April too is time to thank
For the net balance in bank
And set your mind on the crank
And care for fitness and fun
To re-register and run
The vehicle with new paint
Not to shuttle and to taint
Nor to settle in confine
But to scuttle along nature
To look and learn and nurture
And listen to the pristine
Wisdom from the Lord divine.
Thanks to you all who retire
And wish you keep up the fire!
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
i couldn't never write a book, sorry, a novel, i'd hate to become a puppeteer, someone who attempts to play chess, a fiddling and bothersome shadow-baron (schattenbaron)... imaginary "friends" is not my thing, plus... i don't have an exact elastic approach to heidegger's compliments concerning poets: i only like heidegger because he likes poets, **** me, he elevates poets to the stature of philosophers when language "things" are made necessary... i.e. (and verbatim) - language - only if speech has acquired the highest univocity of the word does it become strong for the hidden play of its essential multivocity (as withdrawn from all "logic"), of which poets and thinkers alone are capable... welcome! welcome! to plato's republic! Brennus & Alaric welcome you, quiet fondly depicted by Joseph-Noël Sylvestre... and when the Huns pushed the leaders Fritigern and Alavivus into the eastern empire to settle... and emperor Valens... that's history for you: a cascade of: and and and and and and... sometimes a p.s., but mostly the and and and of causality... facts come barging in, you forage... but thanks to heidegger: the poets have earned their graces... and can return to the republic... as wordsmiths... i mean, was i ever to think of myself as a french dada dandy? frivolous and superfulous raconteur / racketeer? poet or philosopher, that's beside the point, the point being: i'm not a novelist... i don't like dealing with language that chokes that i rely on mostly and that mostly being: i like the idea of a raw vocabulary... i'm more of a butcher than an artist... i like the rawness of an inverted crossword puzzle... in my "trade"... there are no clues, whether synonymous or antonymous, in this spaghetti of: ex nihil factum sermo (out of nothing came the word)... poetry, of all places, allows this form of unadulterated nibbling at raw vocabulary... bypassing the standard g.c.s.e.: overt-scrutiny of poetics... i never like that... a 5/ 7/ 5 syllable haiku poem should never be preserved for its essay-worthiness to extend into 2000 words in a school exam... poetry strapped to pedagogy is... less heavily censored, more... over-scrutinized... you're not supposed to think in terms of poetry: you're supposed to, feel... and since when has feeling become so overrated, so despsised? oh... when people "learned" to feel, prior to learning to think... you really have to learn to think, prior to learning how to feel... if you ask someone from the orient, they'd counter the western perception of placing thinking / "reason" on the top of the pyramid with horus' eye as emblem... to learn to feel: is to learn to how to not think, while to think? it's to learn how to not feel... pretty simple, no? not really... neither approaches should be underrated, they should be understood better... who the hell needs, or wants, to be an apathetic brain-in-a-pickle-jar zombie: constantly engaging with a dialectic? then again... who wants to be a heart in an electric chair constantly bamboozled into pointless reactions? so i'm more of a butcher than a "poet", i simply appreciate the raw realism of cutting pieces of the tongue that extends into the brain's fathomability - and that overrated visual ******* of dreaming most people associate themselves with... but that's beside the point... i really appreciate days akin to this one, humid as in the concrete basin of Beijing while europe is frying in the African plume... no thanks, no, me go to Greenland or the Faroes Islands... do i look like a ******* ******* / camel jockey? why do i have limited respect for islam? i once watched a video of a saudi with an european bride... sitting on oil was both a blessing... and a curse... muhammad would whip some of these saudi brats silly... but of all days... when i get to work my magic in the kitchen, and make the most superior food in the whole wide world? blue indian cuisine: i call them blue indians and not red soxs because: come on... the raj... and that polytheism that doesn't want to disappear... h'americans can boast all they want: the steak, the hamburger, the hot dog, the pizza... n'ah... n'ah mate... it's either curry or you're chewing chicken bones, ******* out the marrow... indian cuisine is superior... i love the days when i cook up two curries... it feels like being back in edinburgh, walking into the joseph black building, the perfumes of sulphur and wood, the 12 hour experiments it would take us to conjure up an ester... esters? bases for the perfume industry... that' the grand thing about cooking a curry... you start to feel like a chemist once more... the two curries? a tikka masala: sure, an easy adventure... marinating the chicken what not... the real fun came with the malvani... blitzing the masala up: a bay leaf, half a nutmeg, 4 / 5 cloves, 7 dried chillies, 10 peppercorns, a cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, chilly powder, turmeric powder... and that's just the malvani masala... the cocunut masala... ****... only two green chillies... how to get the right colour? ah... blitz up some coriander stalks... garlic and ginger... milk to get the whizz-kid on the job... it's superior cuisine, indian cuisine... it reminds me of a being in a chemistry lab at edinburgh... doing organic experiments... mind you: it's more fun, the environment is less sterile... even my mother said: you're stinking up the place, you're worse than the sikhs two doors down... so... why would i visit an indian restaurant, or indulge myself in an indian take-away, if i can mimic? i see no point... there is no other cuisine on the planet as good as what could come from either Goa or New Delhi... the colours, the perfume of the spices... by now a hamburger, pizza or hot-dog are staples or both humble beginnings and even more humbled ends... i've found my 1st to none passion... and with a afghani naan bread... and with rice infused with turmeric... tiresome ponce schemes of duck a l'orange... spaghetti this that and the other... one bias... though... scandinavian treatment of raw herrings... in cream sauce... i'm a sucker for those herrings like i'm a sucker for pop music... the added zing of the herrings' rawness out-competes the bland sushi manifesto... eating one of these herrings in a cream sauce... has the complimentary sensation, very much akin to performing oral *** on a woman... oysters are beyond the marker of metaphor / literal association... well: hello today!

I.

i'm starting to suspect, that one of the...
"supposed" stars...
   is actually a planet - due to its colour -
      it's unlike all the other -
todkompf, metallic white
glitter...
      it's hued in a more orange
spectacle - more fire...
less distance...
                and on the canvas
of the night?
   sits lower than all the other stars,
which are more up -
   rather than on a horizon
to speak off...
   question is... is that *mars
,
or is that venus?

**** it: 'ere i go...
'n' buy me a *******
telescope to investigate further...

II.

did the ancient romans really
distinguish the arithmetic
quantity of I - or IX -
   or XII or...
                with a dot?
       not unless it was inscribed
in stone -
   where even upsilon had
to vacate the more easily chiseled
in:              YOVR POINT?
just wondering
   how only two diacritical marks
were applied to the encryption -
and both... not for orthographic
reasons, but for aesthetics -
    what's the actual difference
when the guillotine digestion
machine (like me) comes in and
says...
    
     ȷokιng around...
        what with the iPod...
   why shouldn't ι,
                    come ιn -
   and give a ȷester's ιnquιsιtιon?
out of... mere... curιosιty?
ιt's not lιke those two-heads
even make a dιfference...
come on! ιt's ιneffectιve,
there are no orthographιc reasons
for ιt!
        why, even, bother?
    and no fancy name eιther,
ιn the dιacrιtιcal famιly...
  dot... when compared to?
cιrcumflex, caron, macron,
      cedιlla,  ͅ (ιota subscrιpt)
...
you name ιt!
can someone, please,
ȷust gιve me, an approprιate reason?

III.

it's not like i can confuse,
i with I - since i have 1, and 2 instead
of II, and 3 instead of III,
and 4, instead of IV,
       and 6 instead of VI...
ah... L(l) -
              and the exodus of handwriting
in the digital age...
any schmuck can write
now... but... i'd love to see
them write with a pen, on paper...

personally - i couldn't write an intact
word with a pen...
   calligraphy: a bit like monkish
Gregorian chants... coming near
to extinction...
          i could sometimes write
out a intra-connectivity of syllables -
but... entire words?
    no chance... the digit system
came in... and i had to learn how
to position my arms before
the keyboard, to write, and not look
down...
   unlike my old G.P.,
who, bless him... nearing his retirement,
pecked, like a crow,
on the keyboard...
   looking down on it...

the ENTER key? right arm pinky finger...
SPACE BAR key? primarily
left hand thumb...
   unlike a piano, you don't actually
use all the fingers on both arms...
e.g.? ring ringer on the left hand?
rarely used... unless doing some
mental hand gymnastics...
  
stream of "consciousness" - no words,
just observations -

(0,0,) LH ******* A
    RH index finger N -
     that's - ah! ring finger of
the right arm is used, quiet a lot,
  notably?  SHIFT + (?/) key -
      *******...
   but for the apostrophe?
    the (@ ') key...
  which, on my machine translates
as the (" ') key...

IV.

     - interlude -
--- -- - - - -  - - - logic  -- - - -  -- - bomb -- - - --  -
- - -- computers -- -- - - & - -- microprocessors -
- - - --- -- - --- -- -(parasense ----- - - remix) -- -- -

V.

it is chiromancy in reverse,
only that i'm reading my hands...
facing down,
rather than staring on the reverse
side of the... where the girdle of venus
is situated,
   or the index finger skin folds
of the chokhmah, chesed,
    netzach
- respectively -
akin to reading mandarin:
   from the the head - to the base
               of a knuckle.
i read my hands - looking at a screen,
how else can you write anything,
distracted by looking down
onto the keyboard -
  no aware of the spacing?
        question: how fast is your typing?
don't know:
what sort of ******* am i to note
down, and how many amendment
will i have to make to the text,
as we plow along to your diatribe
monologue?
                  
VI.

why would anyone sit up all night,
drinking?
     ****** question, esp. given
yesterday's 5 / 6 am carnival of rain...
out of nowhere,
there i was, ready to call it a night
well spent (not working in a Stratford
casino) - dreading the heat of
the sunrise...
  boom!
   thunder, lightning...
    the air turned white from
the ferocity of the rain...
   literally...
                the ground was wriggling
with a meteor shower -
excited gnat fly like puddles
appearing and disappearing -
soon becoming lakes
  within the confines of a supposed
**** of worm parasites...
      probably your typical day
      on the Faroe Islands...
you know... on such occasions...
you really can't help, but stick
your head out of the window,
far enough to drench your head
and hair in regenwasser...
            i should have walked
into the garden and
cleansed my whole body...
   but...
guess all ι needed, was the head...
       god...
  there's nothing more **** than
listening to horror movie soundtracks
while it pours a mini-monsoon
outside your window,
  and there's thunder, and there's
lightning...
   and you're just about to fall asleep...
like a baby might...

VII.

oh god... the one time i don't take
a beer for a walk, coming back
from the supermarket...
and i pick up... this genius:
genius... tortilla wrap...
    falafel + hummus + a hint
of mango chutney (with a tease
of arugula leaves)?
            **** me... who needs
beer... if not a bottle of mineral
water... to accompany
taking a walk?
Matt Mar 2015
I hope to begin
My retirement soon

I talked to a teacher
Who had just retired
"I'm finally free"
She said
Lol!

Free from what?
You were suppose to enjoy it after all

Freedom is doing what I love
Freedom is being a teacher
When I begin teaching
I will be entering into
A permanent retirement

Non striving
Let the times pass through
Cessation
Extinction

Gone beyond
All topsey turvey absolutes
This phrase I remember
From Allen Ginsberg's rendition
Of The Heart Sutra
Grace Echols Jun 2014
Retirement
sad
relaxing
lonely
nice
fun
if it was your last year teaching
at a school you will get a retirement book from your
class that you taught
emotional
and when you get into like your 50tys
or 60tys
you will be sitting in you rocking chair reading all the nice things
your class said about you
and if you just worked at like a normal job then i don't
exactly know what they would do for you
this poem was for my teacher mrs. Amidon
and this year she is retiring
and we made her a book with all the nice things she reminds
us about and one of my friends his name is michele he said to our teacher
helper her name is mrs.Ruth michele said good bye see you next yearend she was just laughing for the of the day
Big Virge Nov 2014
Ya know .....

This Violence thing ....    
just isn't in me ... !!!  
I'm just wondering when ...    
you masses will see ,,, ?  
    
That wars are like ****** ....  
"Without" ... A ***** ... !!!!!!  
    
See ... it really is ... "Futile"  
to be messin' with me ...  
    
I've got logic like Spock  
and ... Big Ears ...  
Don't you see ... !?!  
    
Yes ...    
The name is ... " Big V "  
and this style I believe ... ?  
is called ... "Slam poetry !?!"  
and I hear that ... to win ...  
it helps if ... you're ...    
    
........... FUNNY ........ !!!!!  
    
Well .....  
I hate to ... Disappoint ...  
    
But ...    
That's just ... missing ... the point !  
    
I try to write things  
that are built to ... " Anoint " ...  
An ... "Elixir of Pictures"  
in terms of ... My ... Scripture ...  
    
That Affect ... your mind ...  
Like ... Smoking ... "A Joint" ... !!!!!  
    
See ...    
One day it was Yoda ...  
who said to me ....  
    
'Virgil my son  
this poetry thing  
is your DESTINY !!!"  
    
Like Luke I said ....  
    
"Maaaannnn,    
that just isn't me  
performing this thing  
they call, Slam Poetry !?!"  
    
So ......  
Now that this veil ...  
is .... Covering me ...  
    
I feel like Darth Vader ...  
with forces ... So DARK ... !!!!!  
    
I keep checkin' my head ...  
for that ... 666 ... Mark ... !!!!!!!  
    
But .......    
God's force ... I ... " Believe " ...    
just keeps ... "Loving Me" ...  
So ... "My Soul" ... like my mind  
will always be .... " FREE " ....  
    
"Violence" ... surrounds me ...  
yet ... "Angels in my Heart" ...  
but it's ...... "Lucipher" ........  
Don't you .... see .... !?!?!?!  
    
who sits back with a ... "***" ...  
looking on .... " Patiently " ....  
Awaiting .... Those .... "Fools"  
    
.............. Wanting ................  
    
"Destruction' ...... of ...... " WE " .....  
    
"We" .... as in .... " PEOPLE "    
    
So .... What's Your ... " Destiny ? "    
    
It's ... "Lost Souls" ...  
who'll be ... ****** ...  
for ....... ETERNITY ........................  
    
So .......  
What DO they ... Achieve ... !???!  
    
See ......  
I've found ... NO Relief ...  
and now ... "TRULY" ... Believe ...  
A ... "Great Many" ... in this world  
just keep being ....  " Deceived " ....  
by ... BULL** ... and ... Lies  
that the ..... Media ..... "FEEDS"    
    
While these ... "Draculas" ... " **** ! "  
It's my heart that just .... "BLEEDS"    
    
Thus My Words ...    
search for ... "TRUTH"  
with .... " INTENSITY " .... !!!!!  
    
while Violence ... now ... " Reigns "  
in each ... " Big City " ... !!!!!  
    
EVEN ........  
Young Girls will ... "****" ... !!?!!  
Stab a gay ... in his chest ...    
or .... could it be .... This .... ???  
    
Is she just ... "Re-enacting" ...  
what she saw in ... **** Bill ... !???!  
    
"We told you before,  
Quentin's films are TOO VIOLENT !!!!!"  
    
The censors ... Complain ...  
but ... who is the ... Tyrant ... ?!?  
    
A man using film ... to ...  
"Reflect" ... our ... Environment  
    
Or .... "Overpaid MP's" ....  
who NEED ... Early Retirement !!!!!  
    
So ... Who do you ... TRUST ... !?!  
    
"Ashes to Ashes"    
    
........ or .........  
    
"Dust to Dust"  
    
An Icepick ... in your chest ... !!!  
in a ... FIT ... of ... " LUST " ... !?!  
    
Well .......  
It's my ... Basic Instinct ...  
That allows me to ... "Drink" ...  
    
I've got ... "A Shield of Steel" ...  
But ... My name ain't ... "BATFINK" ... !!!!!!  
    
See ...    
In these few words ...  
"My Truth" ... is ...  
    
.... REVEALED .... !!!!!  
    
and like ... Bruce ...  
I survive .....  
    
On my ... "Boy Scout" ... Appeal ... !!!  
but now it seems ..........  
Like Lambs ........  
    
You're all ... "quiet and silent" ...  
as I draw .... analogies ....  
from movies ... with ... VIOLENCE ...  
    
So ... when this .... Inscription ....  
is ... "FINALLY" ... "DONE" ...  
    
Will I be ... " The ONE " ... ?  
who's ... INJECTED ... your mind  
with thoughts of ... " Freedom " ... ?!?  
    
Well .....  
Be careful what you wish for ... !!!  
cos' i'm the ... "Wishmasters' Son" ... !!!    
and will take your ... Last Breath ...  
if you wish to ... Retain ...  
Your ... " Youthful Reflection " ...  
    
So .....  
What ... Reflects ... WHAT ... !?!?!?  
    
Is it ... Life ... "Within Movies" ... ?  
    
................. or ....................... ?????  
    
Movies that .... " Reflect " ....  
what goes on in ... OUR LIVES ... ?    
    
I'm not Arnie .... !!!  
BELIEVE ME ......... !!!!!!!!  
What's TRUE ... in a ... LIE ... ?!?  
    
I'm a ... "Lyrical" ... Prince ...  
but ... My Doves ... "DO NOT CRY" ... !!!!!!  
    
It's ... " PEACE " ... That I LIVE FOR ... !!!  
    
So this VIOLENCE ...    
    
........ “ MUST DIE ” ....... !!!!!!!
I'm pretty much, Anti ... Poetry slams, having done a few back when I wrote this, but, have to at least be thankful, for these words they inspired ! How many movies and shows do you know that I have mentioned ... ???
CHAPTER ONE

My geographic movements during the past year could be called “A Tale of Two Couches.” So as June draws to a close, I assume the position here again on Couch California. I am back in Hemet, the place the smug among us call Hemetucky--as if there was nothing a couple of Mint Juleps and a **** of Blue Grass wouldn’t cure. It is the year of our Lord, 2014: so far an interesting year for women. There was a woman who wore socks to bed. There was always my long-time, here today-gone tomorrow, long time companion, currently teaching somewhere remote on the Big Rez, a southwestern Navajo concentration camp near the 4 Corners.  Next, there’s my current object of affection, that fine and frisky lady from The Bronx by way of Bernalillo--currently at home in Laguna Beach, Orange County. Trixie: my main squeeze at the moment.

And now, completely out of the ******* blue this afternoon, my cell phone rings and it’s ******* Juanita--my all-time favorite woman, Juanita Mi Favorita de La Quinta--a Coachella Valley town and desert wadi, extending its lucrative winter tourist season to become a significant, year-round retirement venue and a robust service economy feeding off it.  Juanita arrived there in the late 80s, in middle of her early forties.  She was unemployed, homeless, just a suitcase to her name and a two-year old toddler in tow. Her parents were there, as was her Aunt Peggy.  Juanita was always Peggy’s favorite niece, her favorite child, actually, Peggy herself being childless, never married.  Aunt Peggy put her maternal instincts to work on Juanita Rodriguez, her Sister Rosalia’s second favorite twin daughter.

Maria, Rosalia’s first favorite daughter, Juanita’s twin sister—MARIA: lives in Newport Beach and acts as an extra in many commercial ads shot in southern California and elsewhere, an irony never without sting for Juanita. “Que lastima!” Poor Juanita: as her would-be Hollywood Movie star aspirations disintegrated over the years, along with her unrealized lower expectations to be TV star, and even those semi-glamorous modeling gigs at trade shows and fairs—the elephant’s graveyard of the acting profession—failed to materialize, and now her celebrity habitat shrunken even further, to that sporadic but consistent mockery of stardom, I refer to any would-be thespian’s ignominious one-celled visual protozoan: The Extra Call List.  And—*******-- what happens next? Juanita’s sister Maria starts getting these parts, starts getting hired by filling out a ******* postcard, starts getting paid to look good in the background. *******: no professional education or instruction, no agent, and no need to **** off both the producer, the producer’s cousin Morey, the director and the director’s wife’s huge Golden retriever, Genghis--actually a mighty handsome animal--or needing to spill $4K on that Derma-brasion, Juanita inflicted on herself last year.

Juanita, as you already know, was the second favorite daughter and the second favorite twin of the family. She became the third favorite child in her three-child family upon the arrival of her slick baby brother Nico-- the Golden Child, who grew up to be a glib Merrill-Lynch stockbroker, office and residence, Beverly Hills 90112.  (Enter forcefully into the narrative, His Nibs himself, Sir Nicodemus of Hollywood, Juanita and Maria’s baby brother Nico. He speaks: “Excuse me, stockbroker my ***, as it says in a 11 point Rockwell Boldfont, right here on my gold-leaf embossed business card: Senior Large Capital Investment Counselor.”)

No, Juanita had a hard time just treading water in that Cleveland shark tank. And though she lacked nothing in the cuteness department, she had this one fatal flaw, namely, the gift of ***** and sass and a reflex to speak truth to power. Juanita: rejected by Rosalia as a threat to her hegemony as Boss of the Girl’s Club, was cast adrift on a tempestuous childhood cruel Montserrat sea, out there on the briny deep . . .  
                

                                      



High Seas: where many a tuna has a Sorry Charlie moment: “Star-Kist don’t want no tuna with good taste; Star-Kist wants a tuna that tastes good.”

Finally, Juanita is rescued, taken aboard the Good/Soul Aunt Peggy—that wayward bark Elisabeta Rodriguez, home-ported in Southside, Chicago, Illinois—the rescue at sea performed in classy, rather low-key manner; no Andrea Doria drama, but understated:

{Camera One, Helicopter above, zooms over turbulent ocean surface. Peggy, an oasis of calm, aboard the raft Kon Tiki with Thor Heyerdahl and his crew, floats by, whispering, “Going my way, Honey? Climb aboard. Have a homemade oatmeal cookie and a small glass tumbler of Jack Daniels.” Okay, no, that’s not fair. Sure Aunt Peggy drank, but never got round to offering you a drink until you were well into your 30s. Let’s just say she offered you a warm glass of milk, the mother’s milk deprived you by your mother, her sister Rosalia. Dear Aunt Peggy: a seasoned survivor herself, flawed by early childhood deafness and grotesque speech.  Yet, she had refused to settle for life in an asylum. She made a go at life.  She learned; she prospered; she flourished. And when the time came, she was there for you in the Coachella Desert, there for her feisty niece Juanita Ann.  Aunt Peggy: a loving spirit personified, became Juanita’s special confidant and counselor, her personal cheer squad of one. Juanita, of course, a former cheerleader herself--an early hint of greatness to be sure, a highlight, perhaps the highlight of her life, shown off every Halloween, still celebrated at American high schools each Fall. She is the Principal’s secretary at a huge suburban high school in Indio. Each Halloween, if the date falls on a school day, Juanita arrives for work wearing that scrupulously preserved, vintage 1966 cheerleader uniform, looking real foxy still, snug now in all the right places. Eternal Truth: Juanita has always and will always be good looking. Life with Juanita is perpetual “ooh la-la.”

So, I am on the couch that afternoon, reading more of Gramsci’s prison notebooks, specifically the philosophy he calls “Praxis.”  Completely out of the ******* blue, Juanita calls me on a RESTRICTED phone, as I said, Juanita, a torch I’ve kept burning for years, flaring up like a refinery flame--oil still very much in the present energy mix--hope springing eternal as they say, and instantly my mission in life is rekindling our lost love. Juanita’s conceived her mission prior to her phone call:  using me to keep her son from being whacked by the local Eme--the Mexican Mafia—that ethnic-pride social club that the RICO-squad-- using family tree socio-grams and other expensively-printed graphics, the one RICO keeps trying to convince us is some sort of organized crime conspiracy. The Mexican Mafia: like everything else practical and utilitarian in this world: THAT’S ITALIAN! And, if you are starting to sense a bit of ethnic chauvinism on, between & below the lines, you are barking up the right tree.
                                                           ­     
      
                                                            
(AUTHOR’S POST-SCRIPT EDIT: And, an ad for dog food right here? Not the best choice of sponsors, perhaps, at the moment. Juanita was far off from the ****** ***** that start looking not half-bad at 2:30 in the glazy morning, not anywhere near those beasts you find lingering in the airport bars you usually frequent near closing time on Saturday nights. No, I remind you that Juanita was all “ooh la-la.” In my next printing—and my Lord, there have been so many, haven’t there, Paulie “Eat-a-Bag-of-****” Muldoon? I will change out the Alpo ad, plugging in a spot for Aunt Jemima pancake syrup or Betty Crocker whipped cream, you know, something more apropos.)

Juanita, I really must hand it to you. You showed the greatest staying power, year after year as I moved further and further away from La Quinta, California. Juanita: you embraced what was good in me, ignored my flaws and strengthened me with your love for so many years. As far as you and Peggy, I guess it was a case of the “apple not falling far from the tree” one of many endearing Midwestern metaphors you taught me.  Peggy taught you, taught you to be kind and then you taught me. No matter what bizarre venue I pulled out of my ***, you showed above-average staying power, continued to visit me wherever I went, Casa Grande & Buckeye, Arizona, Appalachia, West Virginia, and even Italy, when I thought I’d try Europe again after so many years.  With each move, each time, Juanita renewed her commitment to the relationship. Meanwhile, I continued to test her, quantifying her dedication, undermining her sense of mission to disprove my worldview on the expendability of women. Surely, you know that one: the unreliability of women, women who disappear without saying goodbye. That old deeply etched conviction to never get attached to a woman, any woman, based on the empirical fact that women have been known to suddenly die, a fact seared into my still tender metal by the surprise death of my mother on 11 January 1962.

1962. It was already an insecure world, to wit:  The Cuban Missile Crisis. Nikita Khrushchev, in his time both Dr. No and Dr. Evil, namely the Premier whom we Baby Boomers saw as Boogey Man of All Time (Although Putin is showing potential, lately)—the Kennedy ****** (what else could you call it?). All these events scary, whether or not I got the chronology right . . . I remained on high alert for any threat to my delicate adolescent psyche.  My mother-Rosa Teresa Sekaquaptewa-died at 2 o’clock in the morning, screaming in agony while apologizing to my father for not having his dinner on the table when he walked in from work that prior afternoon. She’d already been in bed since noon, attended by two of my aunts--both my father’s sisters--who loved their Hopi sister-in-law, Rosa.  Also present was Lafcadio Smirnoff, M.D.--last of the house call medicine men--a dapper, mustachioed, swarthy gentleman, misdiagnosing her abdominal pain as a 24-hour virus, while she bled out internally for at least eight more hours, her whimpers alternated with screams, well into the wee hours of the morning.

I was upstairs in that dormer bedroom listening to her die. An hour later, Father Numb-nuts of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish teleported in, beaming directly into my bedroom from the parish rectory.  Father Seamus Numb-nuts, an illuminated Burning Bush . . . not quite the bush I ‘d conjured at other times, so many times alone with Gwen Wong, ******* Playmate of the Year, 1961, one of Hefner’s hot centerfolds. No, give me a ******* break, you momo! Whacking off is the last thing on a libidinous, adolescent guinea’s brain when his mama is being tortured and killed by God. Even Alexander Portnoy, Philip Roth’s early avatar would have drawn the wanking line at that unforgettable moment.

No, perhaps what I’d had in mind was The Burning Bush Golf Course where so much of Fletcher Kneble’s political mischief and government shenanigans got cooked up. You remember his books, some of the Cold War’s finest: Seven Days in May, Vanished, etc.

Or better yet, perhaps the greatest political slogan of the 20th century: “STAY OUT THE BUSHES!” Thank you, Jesse. “Thank you, Reverend Jackson,” I slip into my Excellence in Broadcasting mode, my very own private Limbaugh. Announcing my on- air arrival is El Rushbo’s unmistakable, totally recognizable bass line bumper, courtesy of Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders band mate, guitarist Tony Butler: Dum, dum, dum-dum, Da-dum, dum-dum-dum-dum-da-dum-dum. Single, “My City Was Gone” by The Pretenders
Rush Limbaugh Song– YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=SScW9r0y3c4

I become Reverend Jackson. I emerge from the vapors, an obscure abyss of deep family pangs and disappointments, ever-diminishing public relevance and fade to black (no pun intended) and media oblivion. The only thing left is that line:  “STAY OUT THE BUSHES!” You will always own that line, Jesse--true political genius (to wit: Rainbow Coalition) Jackson that you are, despite El Rush-Bo’s virulent anti-Black animus, his predilection to mock you, Al Sharpton, Corey Booker, Barack “Hussein” Obama, and any other professional ***** in America. Isn’t it time someone came right out and tagged Mr. Limbaugh as the Father Coughlin of our time.

Meanwhile back in The Bronx, enter another man of the cloth:  It’s Seamus Numb-nuts, making one of his many well-documented spectral visitations, his splendiferous miracles and wonders. How much longer will the Vatican ignore this humble Bronx priest, this epitome of Sainthood; this reverent man, lacking only the stigmata for a unanimous consent vote? Quote the Numb-nuts: “God Works in Mysterious Ways.” An old standard to be sure, but a lovely, all-purpose bromide for explaining why evil exists in our world. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed; I lost God at that moment, consequently shooting myself in the foot--metaphorically-speaking-condemning myself to an unshielded life, life OUT THE BUSHES!  I went forth into the world without God, without that handy divine crutch, that Andy Devine metaphor for when one’s legs grow weary: a puff of smoke, a reverb twang and a nasty frog croaking “Hi-ya, Kids. Hi-ya, Hi-ya. Hi-ya.”

   Andy's Gang - Pasta Fazooli vs. Froggy the Gremlin - YouTube
► 3:55► 3:55
www.youtube.com/watch?v=H35odPm7b3w Aug 8, 2012 - Uploaded by jmgilsinger
Froggy the Gremlin -Tuba ... Andy Devine (Aug 24, 1952)

Life for me became lonely and purposeless. And probably explains my susceptibility to military discipline and a subsequent career in clandestine government service. In 1968--the very day I turned nineteen, September 25th of that year—that fateful day when I should have shot myself in the foot—literally not metaphorically--earning that coveted 4-F physical rejection, a draft deferment to be desired, that 4-F classification of unfitness for duty, a necessary loophole in U.S. conscript service law.  The Draft: last used during that great commonwealth Cold War purge, that culling out of the unwashed, uneducated children of immigrants, that cut-rate, discount, lower socio-economic ***** bank—the only bank where after you make a deposit, you lose interest, to wit: most Black, Hispanic and Poor White Trash parents.  We were cannon fodder, many of us got to be planted at Arlington and other holy American shrines, still wrapped in black or olive drab leak-proof body bags, doing our generational bit to strengthen the gene pool left behind. A debt, some would say, we owed the country and, given the sorry state of the global wicket, increasingly an obligation to the species. And if I had to predict an outcome, Fascism in America will arrive riding the white horse of the environmental, anti-nuclear Bolsheviks. One could argue that Communism has moved so far left on the political spectrum that it’s now the far right.  Concoct a legislative policy goal, accomplish it legally as the bill becomes Law, signed by the President, endorsed and blessed by The U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land.

To wit: “Three generations of imbeciles is enough?” declared Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., an Associate Supreme Court Justice at the time, buttressing a majority argument harnessing the power of U.S. law as a legal means of purifying the race.  When euthanasia failed to win over American hearts and mind, the Federal Government played the war card again and again. Vietnam: undeclared and therefore unconstitutional--except for that Gulf of Tonkin ******* resolution. Vietnam: a cost-plus eugenics project, if ever there was one, although responsive, of course, to the needs of the Military-Industrial Complex.  ******* Ike: he warned us against Fascism in America. As usual, we ignored the man in charge.

Eugenics? Why didn’t the government just put all the retards on the stand, as John Frankenheimer did in Judgment at Nuremberg, a crafty Maximilian Schell humiliating a feeble-minded Montgomery Clift?  Why not, make everyone face a public tribunal, forcing all of us to testify in court, exposing our many substandard and borderline substandard cerebral deficits?  Why not force everyone to demonstrate just how ******* dumb we are, using some clever intelligence test, something l
Moriah Harrod Aug 2012
Hello there. You seem a bit uneasy. Look around, and let me explain.

This is your funeral. I am your funeral. This is your casket. I am your casket, the black balloons, the flowers placed strategically around the room. One flowerpot per five square feet, like your brother ordered. This is the scientifically proven amount of flowers to keep grieving people at a calm level. These flowers are the happy facade behind which grief lies. These flowers are pretty deceit. I am the crying faces, begging to talk to you one last time. I am every tissue that will be picked up and disposed of by the janitors after the grievers return to their lives.

I am your death. I am your last breath, your last sentence, the cancer you battled with for the last three years of your life. I am every doctor's appointment, every shot that left you bedridden for the next two days. I am every particle of hair you watched go down the drain in the shower. I am every strange look, uncomfortable glance you received. I am all the tears shed after your diagnosis, and every benefit held in your honor. I am every sacrifice your family made to attempt a wall of happiness around your sickness.

I am the birth of your only grandson, the beautiful boy of your only beautiful girl. I am the scary morning spent in the waiting room of the hospital. I am every doubt you and your wife had about your grandson's condition. I am the condition that made him two months premature. I am his three weeks spent in an incubator, and the formula he was fed to stay alive. I am the relief your family felt when your daughter and grandson were released, both completely healthy. I am your grandson's first, second, third, fourth birthdays.

I am your retirement. I am the completion of your life's most well-known activity and purpose. I am the years you now plan on traveling and raising your future grandchildren. I am the mornings you will now spend waking up next to your wife, the woman you've been married to for thirty years now, your best friend. I am the breakfast you will make her in bed and the organizations you plan to join in all your free time. I am your old cat you will sit on your porch and pet. I am the party and the gifts you were given, and the flat, insincere Happy Retirement cards that were obligatorily sent to you by your co-workers. I am this last milestone of your life.

I am your daughter's high school graduation. I am the lip-biting your wife partook in as she walked up and shook hands with the principal. I am her boyfriend, who sat beside you two and joined in the clapping, eyes watering for the girl he loved. I am the marriage they would agree to and abide by for the rest of their lives. I am every late night she was out, every test she was nervous about. I am the teacher who called you complaining about her unorganization. I am the cat she brought home one year, promising to take care of. This cat outlived even you.

I am the loss of your virginity. I am the party you mistakenly went to, and the alcohol you mistakenly drank. I am the girl who mistakenly came into the bathroom and held your hand while you puked. I am the drug she took prior to walking in, and the bed she led you to. I am the feeling you were given in the morning, the feeling of the realization of loss versus gain.

I am the day you met your wife. I am the book section of the retail store you both were perusing. I am your heart beating quickly as she smiled, and your hand sweating in your pocket. I am the beauty you saw in her. I am the money you saved up at your after-school job and the Italian restaurant you took her to for your first date, and I am the city in Italy you took her to for your honeymoon. I am the mistakes you both made and all the hours spent awaiting forgiveness.

I am your childhood. I am your first few friends. I am the bone in your foot, broken by a nasty fall. I am the bridge you were playing on and the cast you wore for a month. I am the day you learned how to whistle and the day you learned how to read. I am every birthday party you have ever been given, and every candle you blew out. I am your first word, your first step.

I am your first breath. I am the decision your mother made to keep you. My how easily all of this could have never been.

I am all the sadness you have ever felt, and I am all the joy. And it has all led up to this day. This funeral, this event catered by a food company and paid for by the government and a savings account made for this day. I am that government you lived under, and that savings account you worked so hard for.

And as of today, I am just a memory. I am simply the memory of your life. I am simply the collection of days and days and years, and times. And now, I am gone.
Rainbow village Episode 17



Fred, Lyle and Georgina decided to walk down to the shopping mall about 15 minutes away from Rainbow village, and as they were walking some of the young hooligans were skidding down, burning rubber, and some bikies did wheelies, which made Lyle jitter and he ended up saying, that you guys ate a pack of losers and should be f..n locked up, and one hooligan threw a rock right in his face, and Lyle collapsed straight away, while Fred stayed with Lyle, while Georgina went for some help.
Fred told Lyle not to panic, even if he was in pain, and then 2 hours later. The culprit came over, and told Fred, when I was a little boy, I was taken from my home, by a weird man who fits his description and his age, and I know his name, because I don't forget much from those days, and when he said that Gia name was Lyle Hoffman, Fred couldn't understand,
And Lyle told him, that he didn't **** him, so why do you want revenge, and he said because no one ever gets his hand on Peter Buchanan, and now, Lyle, you are going to be ******* in the public toilets, but I think I want you not to be as lucky as I was, so Fred, you go back to your retirement village, (which he said moving his fingers up over his head) and let me deal with Lyle Hoffman and Fred pulled out his mobile to call the police and Peter knocked it out of Fred's hand and then he said, that he doesn't trust him, so Peter took Lyle and Fred hostage and brought them to a rundown factory, and when he got them into the machinery room, Peter set the bomb to go off, in 3 hours, Peter wasn't wanting to **** Fred, so he made his rope escapable, but Lyle's ropes were on tight, and when Fred got free, he went over to rescue Lyle, but his rope was too tight, and he couldn't get the rope loose.
Lyle told Fred, his version of events, which didn't sound good for Lyle's defence, because it sounds like Lyle made his bed, and wanted Peter to lie in it,
What Lyle said, he got sick of Peter and his mates teasing him and to get revenge Lyle grabbed Peter and pulled him into the car and drove him off to the country, and then when he got him there, Lyle decided to get his gun and stick it at Peter, to make him too scared to say anything, but Lyle said in his defence, he let Peter go before the police arrived and shot through, and then he told Peter, tell a soul and your dead, and Peter was scared shitless, and apparently Peter hasn't worked since, but Lyle called him a gutless trouble maker.
Peter came back in and Fred told him, I see why you are doing this, Lyle told us the whole story, but you are making you just as bad as him, and Peter said, he is the reason why I am walking around psych wards all my life, and if you don't let me **** Lyle, I will go to Rainbow village and tell the manager that Lyle should be locked up, and not given the lap of f..n luxury, and Fred told Peter, please spare him, I have the name of a good lawyer, and he can help you get justice against Lyle, and Lyle went. 'hey'.  And then began to be super scared of Peter, because what happened was a long time ago, but Peter didn't give a hoot, but Fred's advice made sense, though, if he loses Fred will cop it, big time.
So Peter let Fred and Lyle go, but that wasn't it, no Peter rang up this bloke and, yes, Lyle went to court, and in court Lyle was getting fried, a he can't seem to defend himself properly, Lyle said one word and the prosecutor kept throwing stuff at him, and despite Lyle having Rainbow village giving him character references and all thar, Lyle's defence wasn't looking too good, and after 1 week of 3 sessions, the magistrate brought the matter in front of a higher court, which could mean jail time for Lyle, and the date was exactly 3 months time, Lyle was scared as he said to Fred. It's all your fault, he was a blushing trouble-maker and Fred said, yes but it still ain't right.
The end
Sermoni propriora.—Hor.

Low was our pretty Cot; our tallest Rose
Peep’d at the chamber-window. We could hear
At silent noon, and eve, and early morn,
The Sea’s faint murmur. In the open air
Our Myrtles blossom’d; and across the porch
Thick Jasmins twined: the little landscape round
Was green and woody, and refresh’d the eye.
It was a spot which you might aptly call
The Valley of Seclusion! Once I saw
(Hallowing his Sabbath-day by quietness)
A wealthy son of commerce saunter by,
Bristowa’s citizen: methought it calm’d
His thirst of idle gold, and made him muse
With wiser feelings: for he paus’d, and look’d
With a pleas’d sadness, and gaz’d all around,
Then eyed our Cottage, and gaz’d round again,
And sigh’d, and said, it was a Blessed Place.
And we were bless’d. Oft with patient ear
Long-listening to the viewless sky-lark’s note
(Viewless, or haply for a moment seen
Gleaming on sunny wings) in whisper’d tones
I’ve said to my Beloved, ‘Such, sweet Girl!
The inobtrusive song of Happiness,
Unearthly minstrelsy! then only heard
When the Soul seeks to hear; when all is hush’d,
And the Heart listens!’
                                   But the time, when first
From that low Dell, steep up the stony Mount
I climb’d with perilous toil and reach’d the top.
Oh! what a goodly scene! the bleak mount,
The bare bleak mountain speckled thin with sheep;
Grey clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields;
And river, now with bushy rocks o’erbrow’d,
Now winding bright and full, with naked banks;
And seats, and lawns, the Abbey and the wood,
And cots, and hamlets, and faint city-spire;
The Channel, the Islands and white sails,
Dim coasts, and cloud-like hills, and shoreless Ocean—
It seem’d like Omnipresence! God, methought,
Had built him there a Temple: the whole World
Seem’d in its vast circumference:
No profan’d my overwhelmed heart.
Blest hour! It was a luxury ,—to be!

  Ah! quiet Dell! dear Cot, and Mount sublime!
I was constrain’d to quit you. Was it right,
While my unnumber’d brethren toil’d and bled,
That I should dream away the entrusted hours
On rose-leaf beds, pampering the coward heart
With feelings all too delicate for use?
Sweet is the tear that from some Howard’s eye
Drops on the cheek of one he lifts from earth:
And he that works me good with unmov’d face,
Does it but half: he chills me while he aids,
My benefactor, not my brother man!
Yet even this, this cold beneficence
Praise, praise it, O my Soul! oft as thou scann’st
The sluggard Pity’s vision-weaving tribe!
Who sigh for Wretchedness, yet shun the Wretched,
Nursing in some delicious solitude
Their slothful loves and dainty sympathies!
I therefore go, and join head, heart, and hand,
Active and firm, to fight the bloodless fight
Of Science, Freedom, and the Truth in Christ.

Yet oft when after honourable toil
Rests the tir’d mind, and waking loves to dream,
My spirit shall revisit thee, dear Cot!
Thy Jasmin and thy window-peeping Rose,
And Myrtles fearless of the mild sea-air.
And I shall sigh fond wishes—sweet Abode!
Ah!—had none greater! And that all had such!
It might be so—but the time is not yet.
Speed it, O Father! Let thy Kingdom come!
How can this be allowed for our people
worked all their lives.
Trying to save for their own retirement
and reap the rewards.
They labour hard and toil over the years
finding they can't as it nears!

Eroded away the money they thought was safe
wrongly by employers.
Government changes depleting their nest eggs
then having to work longer.
Pensions worth far less than they'd expected
many retirements affected!

Placed on the stock market by speculators
too much squandered.
As it's not their own money to fritter away
to get it will take longer.
Not able to retire on the original date
some may not last the wait!

Unaffected are the wealthy usual story
they never lose out.
Richer by the day without any idea
from their high perch.
Viewing the masses in total disarray
gloating it makes their day!

The Foureyed Poet.
As the average person has to face lower pensions and work longer to get them. The usual suspects are not affected! The Foureyed Poet.
Julie Grenness Nov 2015
Retirement and the remote control,
This sounds like a whinge in an ode,
Retired men and remote controls,
Includes, "Who gave old men phones?"
Is this what 'golden years' meant?
Defensible violence to retired men?
You'll be getting good manners for tea,
And not much more from me!
Don't you go T-Rex on me!
I want a  turn on that remote control, please,
You've turned into  a sook and a toad,
My 'golden years' whinge in an ode.
Feedback welcome.
Terry Jordan Oct 2015
On my first day of retirement
Beginning a long vacation
I read my book out in the yard
Savoring each sound and sensation

Dozing and dreaming on Monday
Avoiding my work close at hand
A dove makes a call from the roof
While Buddy digs holes in the sand

The sound of cars in the distance
The drone of a drill, then a truck
Is to me, soothing and peaceful
Thinking thoughts of only good luck

The trill of the birds' serenade
As Buddy stalks lizards that hide
Uninspired to go anywhere else
I'm happiest being outside

But then, intruding like thunder
A thought forces me to back up
Those books and plates, a string of beads
My life's toys-I must go pack up
Ken Pepiton Oct 2018
Axt would I, I sed yah soyam

Signing a song played in the white noise that surrounds me

nights like these past 7043,

Who chounted en chant em, enchantemgood

So no we are at what is a befinning place.
beginning (90's too ****, U2 too Northern Euro,
Green Day, Coolio,
Noise to a message dying to be heard
welcome to another
imaginary garden in an ever expanding mind

field of unthinkable things,
back then

we have whiteout but it doesn't work here

My culture had near simultaneous eruptions of supermarkets

and Fords.

This guy, his culture had near simultaneus disruptions of progress and
interruptions of information
some os were lost in the middle synchrony
instance if I cationic plus or minus
simaltan

Oh, I get it. You, dear reader, have been
out of it.
We went public with the entire plan for public
key distribution,
through six palanced stacks of energy stores

Chakra, chi, science make ya think eh. Polarize, see

everything groovy --no
[contemprayery idle intense ify AI keep us current]

lie, good, no lie is always safe. Don't wanna stumble any souls.

I was mentioned, my being a speaker in a story, I was said
to have said something, upon a time,
on the cover of the Rolling Stone,

I witnessed a lie being told and said my ears weren't garbage cans,
like a brainwashed cult

no, **** I was a cultivated follower of a confessed
follower cultivator.

I bloom when I imagine being treated as a mushroom,
I never paid much attention,
I never felt
insane
but
I can imagine
wee whatifs crept in… aha

The Olde Deluder, Satan, Act

that, a tiny gleam, a single ATP gone ADP

but there was light. A story I lived is now being told
without me,
oy vey Jah knowaddamean.

There was a wiseman, who,
by his wis-dom saved a city, and no one knew
that same wiseman's name,

proverbs are intentional games, the rules,
hiding a thing, done by God, glory ifies him
seeking out a matter, done by a being translated king,
transmutes that seeking into honor

Honor is hard to compare to the war flavored twists,
knots and tangles where woof and warp held

long long long before war was imagined, honor was.

A medal of honor for valor, what does it mean?

Leonard Wood got one. For his part in solving
the Apache problem.
He also,

Flash I had my wires crossed, in a way, it may
enlighten.
You see, I had thought that I had read Leonard Wood,
be cause I had imagined he was in New Jersey, but that
was Lord Amherst, Jeff

He tweerted ( wrote in a letter on paper we've a fact simile):
"to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race."

From <https://www.umass.edu/legal/derrico/amherst/lord_jeff.html>

Could be the source of the whole shores of triple ease retirement lure/trap/moneymoneymoney makeit fakit

I asked once, who's to blame and whose to blame,
samesame came an answer, I sware, quick as

next, twixt being and being possible,

realize

we do change things, in time, which,

if we can agree, is limited for us,
to now, no thens behind

mere, mere, mere ifs and whens ahead

be

--so there's been music all along
life's the song

skip a decade, like skippin' a grade

grad Harvard at a prepubescent 12

If I had a Hammer time, one message

one valiant try to be will smith,

Live and Learn, old man, say the dude on the radio
in he's hammaheadphones, cain't touch

Bomb. Jesus lent me Jael's hammer,
radioman nailed it.

If I had a hammer was the prayer,

MC, he was the Godsmacked nail in the coffin

Dark inside gothish messages hurgle and gurgle
guts twisted in freak pride love hate list lust

dichotomies of choice in ever learning
good citizenship worth honor and glory

of the sort men dare to die for, facing darkness,
the NULL set ***** and ***** and *****

This ain't gravity tuggin me,
this is that monster who lives forever in top forty radio

When/then Radioman emerges, Like the Mighty Quinn from

deep beneath Gibson's darkest ever imagined ICE wall…

What's on? (ellipses, do those mean POV shift or selah?)

I forget, s still all alchemistry t'me, if allyagots ahammass,

realize, if it matters, t'me, bubble bustin' need no nail.

I gotti'd a hamma, gonna hamma in the moan

O.G., mighty man of valor, where'dyew arise from?

We, the integrated us, non autonomous, inarrogant
We were dancin' to that I'm a Loser, Baby

so why don't cha killme, knowwad i'msayin

This old man been wandern in the desert far far far
side the madding crowd
making minced
meet
broken spirit. we goin together to a re-pair place

at the center of you'n'all you know, yo bubble but

--- everlearning everclear outlawed, good lawed
--- moon shine spiritment lauded out loud
--- the world all ways works when a garden is

beyond the pale,
Irish
rye whiskey, wheat bread liqui
if I were an
old gay ninties guy drinking ***** laudnum
singin'

on the corner with the hourus girl's c

Making the Con Next Ion, watchathank,
is it The Nineties A to Z , ending wit, it’s a hard
knawks life, or

a Bohr-TED talk or
a video of Schrödinger's  
verdamte dead cat?

Or am I surrounded by so great acloud of witnesses that some times I spend

simply hummin' along, life's beat me to the ground,

which gladly,
I'm so glad, I'm glad, I'm glad which

loses its meaning if you never experienced such a fall
ending in absorption of it all.
Ginger Baker, slam that cymbal, CRASH1

Life, in every key, there's a clue. Some where,
there's a lock on a true thing we need

to, eventually, know all things.

Keywords lost givitawaygivitawaygit it back tenfo'

Black spirit-filled tongue talkin' grandpa friend of
Johnny Walker, Red not Black,

He challenged me ye see. I recall what was on TV.
Nixon sayin' he,
honest he,
anti-****** he,
bombin invadin he was Notacrook, the super hero
he imagined

Bio is building energy, all the time does is
test the effort.

Is life lived this way worth the effort?
if/then/else

Who chose, integrated me, all the masks and voices I have accepted as ideas that can have apiece of me.

BTW, kids, even if an angel of light asks you to take a little piece of my heart, don't

yer killin me and I know where the next story started,

you are lost without me, fretnot, I'm the way

I heard that, that's no claim I mist'tok as my response.

Deeper, are we absobbing any thing, deeper tincture
of time, t'me see

POV
SameYesTodayForever (SYTF) protocols have been in place, as far as we know,

since words made sense naturally, eons ago, at least.

If you want my future then forget my past
musing medium messages sayin

what the hell? A game, you sayin' life's a game?

Ja, was oder vice nicks versus universal soldier godlet

Jump when I jump, remember… don't cry

I woulda danced with wolves to have changed
one mind that followed me

beyond that point,
no return, is such a mortal POV, you see
as far as you cansee

Deep. the gem. all the meaning ever was was
in that gem.

Dare me for no reason? Is that reasonable,
ration my tears to test my mettle

I went mad in 1995, have I made that plain?
Things crumbled around me for ten years,

I was helped by hoping I knew a truth about those
manifested imaginary gems
given kings and potentates
said to possess great powers and the meaning og every mystery unknown to man

eh, say again
gems
given kings and potentates
said to possess great powers and the meaning OhGEE every mystery unknown to man

lies lies lies they all were lies lies lies lies

I told you so, and it is still sweet to say
you know

You heard it all before, greatest test story ever told.
That was no test.
this is.

Jump when I jump, remember… don't cry

Epic stories deserve more than mere words,
but, you know, click,

words are what we make things from.

Tell me your stories,
she woulda seemed to whisper, woulda drained me drownd me
in just if I'd love linked

to the money machine of your dreams

had I not rode the grey dog outa Nashville,
back in '82,

I'da missed seein' flyover country that feels like mine,
when I take this POV.
I wandered into a sattelite radio 90's A-Z, kinda like those histories of philosophies old people listen to when they're ******. Oh, the moonshine experiment worked, FYI
Far from the world, O Lord, I flee,
From strife and tumult far;
From scenes where Satan wages still
His most successful war.

The calm retreat, the silent shade,
With prayer and praise agree;
And seem, by Thy sweet bounty made,
For those who follow Thee.

There if Thy Spirit touch the soul,
And grace her mean abode,
Oh, with what peace, and joy, and love,
She communes with her God!

There like the nightingale she pours
Her solitary lays;
Nor asks a witness of her song,
Nor thirsts for human praise.

Author and Guardian of my life,
Sweet source of light Divine,
And, -- all harmonious names in one, --
My Saviour! Thou art mine.

What thanks I owe Thee, and what love,
A boundless, endless store,
Shall echo through the realms above,
When time shall be no more.
Elihu Barachel Jan 2015
Fifty Thousand dee-grees hot  
Burn your *** right on the spot  
-
Great big flash of light and heat  
Fry your *** from head to feet  
-
Mushroom clouds rise to the sky  
No time to kiss your *** good by  
-
‘Tomic bombs are coming soon  
Blow your *** right to the moon  
-
If by chance the blast you miss  
Fall-out's gunna end your bliss
-
In the dark your *** glow
Retirement you can forgo
-
Two weeks it takes for you to croak
You'll puke and **** and wretch and choak  
-
Are you ready ready for your death?  
Go and snort more crystal ****
-
So Hail! Hail! WW3
Very shortly it will be
No more of talk where God or Angel guest
With Man, as with his friend, familiar us’d,
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast; permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblam’d. I now must change
Those notes to tragick; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt,
And disobedience: on the part of Heaven
Now alienated, distance and distaste,
Anger and just rebuke, and judgement given,
That brought into this world a world of woe,
Sin and her shadow Death, and Misery
Death’s harbinger: Sad talk!yet argument
Not less but more heroick than the wrath
Of stern Achilles on his foe pursued
Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous’d;
Or Neptune’s ire, or Juno’s, that so long
Perplexed the Greek, and Cytherea’s son:                        

If answerable style I can obtain
Of my celestial patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation unimplor’d,
And dictates to me slumbering; or inspires
Easy my unpremeditated verse:
Since first this subject for heroick song
Pleas’d me long choosing, and beginning late;
Not sedulous by nature to indite
Wars, hitherto the only argument
Heroick deem’d chief mastery to dissect
With long and tedious havock fabled knights
In battles feign’d; the better fortitude
Of patience and heroick martyrdom
Unsung; or to describe races and games,
Or tilting furniture, imblazon’d shields,
Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds,
Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
At joust and tournament; then marshall’d feast
Serv’d up in hall with sewers and seneshals;
The skill of artifice or office mean,
Not that which justly gives heroick name
To person, or to poem.  Me, of these
Nor skill’d nor studious, higher argument
Remains; sufficient of itself to raise
That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climate, or years, damp my intended wing
Depress’d; and much they may, if all be mine,
Not hers, who brings it nightly to my ear.
The sun was sunk, and after him the star
Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring
Twilight upon the earth, short arbiter
“twixt day and night, and now from end to end
Night’s hemisphere had veil’d the horizon round:
When satan, who late fled before the threats
Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv’d
In meditated fraud and malice, bent
On Man’s destruction, maugre what might hap
Of heavier on himself, fearless returned
From compassing the earth; cautious of day,
Since Uriel, regent of the sun, descried
His entrance, and foreworned the Cherubim
That kept their watch; thence full of anguish driven,
The space of seven continued nights he rode
With darkness; thrice the equinoctial line
He circled; four times crossed the car of night
From pole to pole, traversing each colure;
On the eighth returned; and, on the coast averse
From entrance or Cherubick watch, by stealth
Found unsuspected way.  There was a place,
Now not, though sin, not time, first wrought the change,
Where Tigris, at the foot of Paradise,
Into a gulf shot under ground, till part
Rose up a fountain by the tree of life:
In with the river sunk, and with it rose
Satan, involved in rising mist; then sought
Where to lie hid; sea he had searched, and land,
From Eden over Pontus and the pool
Maeotis, up beyond the river Ob;
Downward as far antarctick; and in length,
West from Orontes to the ocean barred
At Darien ; thence to the land where flows
Ganges and Indus: Thus the orb he roamed
With narrow search; and with inspection deep
Considered every creature, which of all
Most opportune might serve his wiles; and found
The Serpent subtlest beast of all the field.
Him after long debate, irresolute
Of thoughts revolved, his final sentence chose
Fit vessel, fittest imp of fraud, in whom
To enter, and his dark suggestions hide
From sharpest sight: for, in the wily snake
Whatever sleights, none would suspicious mark,
As from his wit and native subtlety
Proceeding; which, in other beasts observed,
Doubt might beget of diabolick power
Active within, beyond the sense of brute.
Thus he resolved, but first from inward grief
His bursting passion into plaints thus poured.
More justly, seat worthier of Gods, as built
With second thoughts, reforming what was old!
O Earth, how like to Heaven, if not preferred
For what God, after better, worse would build?
Terrestrial Heaven, danced round by other Heavens
That shine, yet bear their bright officious lamps,
Light above light, for thee alone, as seems,
In thee concentring all their precious beams
Of sacred influence!  As God in Heaven
Is center, yet extends to all; so thou,
Centring, receivest from all those orbs: in thee,
Not in themselves, all their known virtue appears
Productive in herb, plant, and nobler birth
Of creatures animate with gradual life
Of growth, sense, reason, all summed up in Man.
With what delight could I have walked thee round,
If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange
Of hill, and valley, rivers, woods, and plains,
Now land, now sea and shores with forest crowned,
Rocks, dens, and caves!  But I in none of these
Find place or refuge; and the more I see
Pleasures about me, so much more I feel
Torment within me, as from the hateful siege
Of contraries: all good to me becomes
Bane, and in Heaven much worse would be my state.
But neither here seek I, no nor in Heaven
To dwell, unless by mastering Heaven’s Supreme;
Nor hope to be myself less miserable
By what I seek, but others to make such
As I, though thereby worse to me redound:
For only in destroying I find ease
To my relentless thoughts; and, him destroyed,
Or won to what may work his utter loss,
For whom all this was made, all this will soon
Follow, as to him linked in weal or woe;
In woe then; that destruction wide may range:
To me shall be the glory sole among
The infernal Powers, in one day to have marred
What he, Almighty styled, six nights and days
Continued making; and who knows how long
Before had been contriving? though perhaps
Not longer than since I, in one night, freed
From servitude inglorious well nigh half
The angelick name, and thinner left the throng
Of his adorers: He, to be avenged,
And to repair his numbers thus impaired,
Whether such virtue spent of old now failed
More Angels to create, if they at least
Are his created, or, to spite us more,
Determined to advance into our room
A creature formed of earth, and him endow,
Exalted from so base original,
With heavenly spoils, our spoils: What he decreed,
He effected; Man he made, and for him built
Magnificent this world, and earth his seat,
Him lord pronounced; and, O indignity!
Subjected to his service angel-wings,
And flaming ministers to watch and tend
Their earthly charge: Of these the vigilance
I dread; and, to elude, thus wrapt in mist
Of midnight vapour glide obscure, and pry
In every bush and brake, where hap may find
The serpent sleeping; in whose mazy folds
To hide me, and the dark intent I bring.
O foul descent! that I, who erst contended
With Gods to sit the highest, am now constrained
Into a beast; and, mixed with ******* slime,
This essence to incarnate and imbrute,
That to the highth of Deity aspired!
But what will not ambition and revenge
Descend to?  Who aspires, must down as low
As high he soared; obnoxious, first or last,
To basest things.  Revenge, at first though sweet,
Bitter ere long, back on itself recoils:
Let it; I reck not, so it light well aimed,
Since higher I fall short, on him who next
Provokes my envy, this new favourite
Of Heaven, this man of clay, son of despite,
Whom, us the more to spite, his Maker raised
From dust: Spite then with spite is best repaid.
So saying, through each thicket dank or dry,
Like a black mist low-creeping, he held on
His midnight-search, where soonest he might find
The serpent; him fast-sleeping soon he found
In labyrinth of many a round self-rolled,
His head the midst, well stored with subtile wiles:
Not yet in horrid shade or dismal den,
Nor nocent yet; but, on the grassy herb,
Fearless unfeared he slept: in at his mouth
The Devil entered; and his brutal sense,
In heart or head, possessing, soon inspired
With act intelligential; but his sleep
Disturbed not, waiting close the approach of morn.
Now, when as sacred light began to dawn
In Eden on the humid flowers, that breathed
Their morning incense, when all things, that breathe,
From the Earth’s great altar send up silent praise
To the Creator, and his nostrils fill
With grateful smell, forth came the human pair,
And joined their vocal worship to the quire
Of creatures wanting voice; that done, partake
The season prime for sweetest scents and airs:
Then commune, how that day they best may ply
Their growing work: for much their work out-grew
The hands’ dispatch of two gardening so wide,
And Eve first to her husband thus began.
Adam, well may we labour still to dress
This garden, still to tend plant, herb, and flower,
Our pleasant task enjoined; but, till more hands
Aid us, the work under our labour grows,
Luxurious by restraint; what we by day
Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind,
One night or two with wanton growth derides
Tending to wild.  Thou therefore now advise,
Or bear what to my mind first thoughts present:
Let us divide our labours; thou, where choice
Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind
The woodbine round this arbour, or direct
The clasping ivy where to climb; while I,
In yonder spring of roses intermixed
With myrtle, find what to redress till noon:
For, while so near each other thus all day
Our task we choose, what wonder if so near
Looks intervene and smiles, or object new
Casual discourse draw on; which intermits
Our day’s work, brought to little, though begun
Early, and the hour of supper comes unearned?
To whom mild answer Adam thus returned.
Sole Eve, associate sole, to me beyond
Compare above all living creatures dear!
Well hast thou motioned, well thy thoughts employed,
How we might best fulfil the work which here
God hath assigned us; nor of me shalt pass
Unpraised: for nothing lovelier can be found
In woman, than to study houshold good,
And good works in her husband to promote.
Yet not so strictly hath our Lord imposed
Labour, as to debar us when we need
Refreshment, whether food, or talk between,
Food of the mind, or this sweet *******
Of looks and smiles; for smiles from reason flow,
To brute denied, and are of love the food;
Love, not the lowest end of human life.
For not to irksome toil, but to delight,
He made us, and delight to reason joined.
These paths and bowers doubt not but our joint hands
Will keep from wilderness with ease, as wide
As we need walk, till younger hands ere long
Assist us; But, if much converse perhaps
Thee satiate, to short absence I could yield:
For solitude sometimes is best society,
And short retirement urges sweet return.
But other doubt possesses me, lest harm
Befall thee severed from me; for thou knowest
What hath been warned us, what malicious foe
Envying our happiness, and of his own
Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame
By sly assault; and somewhere nigh at hand
Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find
His wish and best advantage, us asunder;
Hopeless to circumvent us joined, where each
To other speedy aid might lend at need:
Whether his first design be to withdraw
Our fealty from God, or to disturb
Conjugal love, than which perhaps no bliss
Enjoyed by us excites his envy more;
Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful side
That gave thee being, still shades thee, and protects.
The wife, where danger or dishonour lurks,
Safest and seemliest by her husband stays,
Who guards her, or with her the worst endures.
To whom the ****** majesty of Eve,
As one who loves, and some unkindness meets,
With sweet austere composure thus replied.
Offspring of Heaven and Earth, and all Earth’s Lord!
That such an enemy we have, who seeks
Our ruin, both by thee informed I learn,
And from the parting Angel over-heard,
As in a shady nook I stood behind,
Just then returned at shut of evening flowers.
But, that thou shouldst my firmness therefore doubt
To God or thee, because we have a foe
May tempt it, I expected not to hear.
His violence thou fearest not, being such
As we, not capable of death or pain,
Can either not receive, or can repel.
His fraud is then thy fear; which plain infers
Thy equal fear, that my firm faith and love
Can by his fraud be shaken or seduced;
Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy breast,
Adam, mis-thought of her to thee so dear?
To whom with healing words Adam replied.
Daughter of God and Man, immortal Eve!
For such thou art; from sin and blame entire:
Not diffident of thee do I dissuade
Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid
The attempt itself, intended by our foe.
For he who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses
The tempted with dishonour foul; supposed
Not incorruptible of faith, not proof
Against temptation: Thou thyself with scorn
And anger wouldst resent the offered wrong,
Though ineffectual found: misdeem not then,
If such affront I labour to avert
From thee alone, which on us both at once
The enemy, though bold, will hardly dare;
Or daring, first on me the assault shall light.
Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn;
Subtle he needs must be, who could ******
Angels; nor think superfluous other’s aid.
I, from the influence of thy looks, receive
Access in every virtue; in thy sight
More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were
Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking on,
Shame to be overcome or over-reached,
Would utmost vigour raise, and raised unite.
Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel
When I am present, and thy trial choose
With me, best witness of thy virtue tried?
So spake domestick Adam in his care
And matrimonial love; but Eve, who thought
Less attributed to her faith sincere,
Thus her reply with accent sweet renewed.
If this be our condition, thus to dwell
In narrow circuit straitened by a foe,
Subtle or violent, we not endued
Single with like defence, wherever met;
How are we happy, still in fear of harm?
But harm precedes not sin: only our foe,
Tempting, affronts us with his foul esteem
Of our integrity: his foul esteem
Sticks no dishonour on our front, but turns
Foul on himself; then wherefore shunned or feared
By us? who rather double honour gain
From his surmise proved false; find peace within,
Favour from Heaven, our witness, from the event.
And what is faith, love, virtue, unassayed
Alone, without exteriour help sustained?
Let us not then suspect our happy state
Left so imperfect by the Maker wise,
As not secure to single or combined.
Frail is our happiness, if this be so,
And Eden were no Eden, thus exposed.
To whom thus Adam fervently replied.
O Woman, best are all things as the will
Of God ordained them: His creating hand
Nothing imperfect or deficient left
Of all that he created, much less Man,
Or aught that might his happy state secure,
Secure from outward force; within himself
The danger lies, yet lies within his power:
Against his will he can receive no harm.
But God left free the will; for what obeys
Reason, is free; and Reason he made right,
But bid her well be ware, and still *****;
Lest, by some fair-appearing good surprised,
She dictate false; and mis-inform the will
To do what God expressly hath forbid.
Not then mistrust, but tender love, enjoins,
That I should mind thee oft; and mind thou me.
Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve;
Since Reason not impossibly may meet
Some specious object by the foe suborned,
And fall into deception unaware,
Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warned.
Seek not temptation then, which to avoid
Were better, and most likely if from me
Thou sever not: Trial will come unsought.
Wouldst thou approve thy constancy, approve
First thy obedience; the other who can know,
Not seeing thee attempted, who attest?
But, if thou think, trial unsought may find
Us both securer than thus warned thou seemest,
Go; for thy stay, not fre
Marshal Gebbie Oct 2013
A young man with his pants hanging half off his backside, two gold front teeth,
and a half inch thick gold chain around his neck; walked into the local
welfare office to pick up his check.

He marched up to the counter and said, "Hi. You know, I just HATE drawing
welfare. I'd really rather have a job.. I don't like taking advantage of
the system, getting something for nothing."

The social worker behind the counter said "Your timing is excellent. We
Just got a job opening from a very wealthy old man who wants a chauffeur
and bodyguard for his beautiful daughter. You'll have to drive around in
his 2012 Mercedes-Benz CL, and he will supply all of your clothes."

"Because of the long hours, meals will be provided. You'll also be expected
to escort the daughter on her overseas holiday trips. This is rather
awkward to say but you will also have, as part of your job, the assignment
to satisfy her ****** urges as the daughter is in her mid-20's and has a
rather strong *** drive."

The guy, just plain wide-eyed, said, "You're bullshittin' me!"

The social worker said, "Yeah, well... You started it." .

And then........
RETIREMENT BONUS

If this doesn't make you laugh, you are truly humour impaired!

The Navy found they had too many officers and decided to offer an early retirement bonus. They promised any officer who volunteered for Retirement a bonus of $1,000 for every inch measured in a straight line between any Two points in his body.. The officer got to choose what those two points would be.

The first officer who accepted asked that he be measured from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. He was measured at six feet and walked out with a bonus of $72,000.

The second officer who accepted was a little smarter and asked to be measured from the tip of his outstretched hands to his toes. He walked Out with $96,000.

The third one was a non-commissioned officer, a grizzly old Chief who, when asked where he would like to be measured replied,
'From the tip of my ****** to my testicles.'

It was suggested by the pension man that he might want to reconsider, explaining about the nice big checks the previous two Officers had received.
But the old Chief insisted and they decided to go along with him providing the measurement was taken by a Medical Officer.

The Medical Officer arrived and instructed the Chief to 'drop 'em,' which he did. The medical officer placed the tape measure on the tip of the Chief's ****** and began to work back. "Dear Lord!", he suddenly exclaimed,
''Where are your testicles?''
The old Chief calmly replied, '' Vietnam ''.

Happy days everybody.
M.

I Love This Country!
It's The Government That
Scares The Hell Outta Me!

Cheers all M.
Hunter Shields Jan 2013
Let me be honest
I am so freaking tired
I need rest like a Snorlax
And if you don’t get that reference
You were never a 90s kid
Skidding to a stop on route 16 or 12
Wondering what the hell
Was blocking your path
And slipping into “yo momma” jokes
The world over
So I pull my bike to the shoulder
Trying to find the melody
That will remedy my malady
Because it’s the opposite of what you used

See I don’t just need rest
From walking town to town
I need it from you, myself,
And from everyone around
Giving their two cents
Calling it common sense and
Of course I should listen since
My wallet is empty of that currency
While yours is apparently so abundant
That you feel a necessity
To force it upon me as charity

I’m tired of clichés and
Bits of wisdom from authors anonymous
Because I’m telling you I’m not a mess
That can be fixed with your
Two penny potion
Made from your split second emotion
Based upon empathy or sympathy
I can’t quite tell when it comes
To your simply pity
I’m sorry I don’t sound grateful
I know you’re just being helpful
I’m just so freaking tired

Tired of stopping myself
Before even getting started
Because I know
The battles everyday are hard and
I don’t know
That I can make it out
As the champion I need to be
This has been my reality
Stutter stepping from 1 to 2 to 23
So maybe now you see
Why I’m so freaking tired
Jamie G Dec 2015
"Dear Basketball,

From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
Game-winning shots
In the Great Western Forum
I knew one thing was real:

I fell in love with you.

A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.

As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one.

And so I ran.
I ran up and down every court
After every loose ball for you.
You asked for my hustle
I gave you my heart
Because it came with so much more.

I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.

You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have.

And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that kid
With the rolled up socks
Garbage can in the corner
:05 seconds on the clock
Ball in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1

Love you always,
Kobe"
The one and only....Kobe Bean Bryant
Phyllis T Halle Dec 2012
Caint Complain
                       By Phyllis T.  Halle  February 26, 2006
Growing up in a tiny coal mining town in the hills of Eastern Kentucky,
I frequently heard a response out of the lips of stooped, arthritic miners, toothless women, old before their time,
wretchedly poor widows with six children to feed.
It was just a common reply to the courteous, "How are you?" -
"Caint complain."
The high pitched voices of those descendents of English, Scottish, German, Irish pioneers still echo in my ears and I wonder always at the tenacity, strength and wisdom which resounded firmly in those two words,
                                          "Caint Complain."
Very few people had indoor plumbing, telephones, cars or two pair of shoes. Health insurance, retirement plans, paid sick days, furnaces, pizzas, air conditioners, jet planes, paid vacations, job security, career planning were all unheard of unknowns.
When someone became ill, the ‘‘kindly old general practitioner would come to the house and dispense his little pills and words of encouragement and instruction, knowing the limitations of his skill and ability to heal.
Mothers and fathers still buried their little children who died from diphtheria, pneumonia, whooping cough, measles, diarrhea, croup ( a disorder known in later years as asthma).
Husbands buried wives who died in childbirth, at an alarming rate. "Caint Complain," they'd say gently, with a soft 'almost' smile and deeply troubled eyes.
Sanitation was fought for, vigorously, by hard muscled women, who scrubbed and washed, and swept and mopped.
They'd boiled the family’s clothes which had been worn for a week, in pots in the back yard, "to get ‘em clean."  
Killing germs was not in their vocabulary, but that is what they'd were doing. Ask that little old gal who was out in the yard, stirring the clothes around in boiling water, over an open fire, "How are you doin’?"  
                            "Caint Complain, " she would invariably say.
WHY couldn't they'd complain? Where did their tenacity come from?
Where did that philosophy of not complaining come from?
Where did they find the resolve to place dire, critical deprivation, hard labor and malnourishment behind them and place a smile on their faces and say
                                Caint Complain?

I knew some of those people when they had grown very old and faced birthdays in their late nineties. Without exception, they had the sweetest dispositions, most grateful hearts, kindest words and calmest old ages of any among the many I have known who reached that age!
When the pressures of their life had faded and they had nothing remaining that had to be done except to live out the final part of their life, they did not have a habit of complaint.
Some recent phone calls I have received were what prompted me to think about this. One right after another, friends called and for the first ten minutes of each call, I listened to a long list of complaints about the trials and travails my dear friend was suffering.
Each friend has: no financial worries, a wonderful primary care doctor, prescriptions to keep their heart pumping, eyes seeing, brain focusing, stomach digesting and body sleeping, each night.
They are protected from financial ruin, by medicare and/or HMO, social security checks, pensions, savings and inherited wealth. They have loving, devoted sons, daughters, nieces and nephews who keep in touch and are there for them.
They each one have lovely heated and cooled homes, apartments or condos with every convenience known to Americans; cars or taxi/bus services to get them out and around. More than that, each has beautiful memories which they can call upon to bring a smile to their face at any moment of the day or night. But somehow we find plenty to complain about.
Why haven't we formed the habit of Caint Complain?
Maybe the philosophy of always seeking more comfort, more possessions, more money, more- more- more- of everything, has driven us to achieve, accumulate and accomplish but it required us to never know what the word contentment means.
Contentment doesn't mean having everything at one’s fingertips. It doesn't mean lacking nothing. It certainly doesn't mean every dream and desire fulfilled.

Yet there are many who have enough of everything except the common sense to know when they really "Caint Complain."
Happiness is a fleeting moment of joy. Contentment is finding peace in what you have, what you are and what you have accomplished.
Having the serenity to know which one brings lasting goodness into your life is wisdom.
A SMILE IS THE KNIFE GOD GAVE US TO CUT THE SIZE OF OUR TROUBLES DOWN TO A BEARABLE LOAD.    
Lots of love and hugs, Phyllis
Joey Zimmerman Dec 2010
Sitting by this creek
It’s 10 p.m. on a Wednesday
School night
Our 6-pack of Bud Lit being
twisted within the twigs
dying grass rustled beneath the feet of us
Two young eager friends

This is what we do with our memories
Take photos from mind drips
Paint it on paper
Made from the years
“Good Times” carved in my walls
Our walls

Now this ain’t some,
“I’m gonna miss you so much!”
“Please call when you can!”,
*******.
Man you’ll be in my head
In my dreams
We’ll go outside
Pick up my old ball glove
Dust off the smoke
Although I was never that good
Man this is what we did

Childhood friends
Roommates in college
You’ll be my neighbor when I’m 45
And my roommate again at Timber Ridge Retirement Home
I’m looking forward to
Harassing the nurses with you

You’re my friend dude
I do have lots of friends
But you’re only one I ask advice from
I swear if I ever murdered someone
I’d ask you to help me hide the body

Now let’s enjoy this
Count stars like high school gossip
There’s only one thing left to do
“Let’s destroy this beer”
I can't wait to take retirement from my job
the day in day out grind makes me sob
after forty odd years of laboring real hard
I'll be a proud carrier of  pensioner's card

to put the feet up and relax will be so grand
no longer will I be at a job's constant demand
twill be a fantastic celebratory day
the day I give all my labor's away
Tommy Randell May 2017
Today I Zagged
When I should have Zigged
I settled for safe
When I should have bigged.

An old man's fancy
I'm glad it's still there
That I will always want to
Leap up from my chair.

But time to be grateful
For the way out when it's offered
Now the Spring is Sprung
And my knees have turned awkward.

I'll settle I think
For the Brandy & Port
And not dwell on what I didn't
But that I did what I ought.

Better not to take risks
A week from retirement
In Work, at Play
As the Flirt-er or the Flirt-ant.

Age has as it's envoi
A phrase or two worth while
Leave the Zig-Zag to the young
Make them smile, if you can,
Make them smile.

Tommy Randell 2017 05 16 00:34 BST
The great and glorious game
has many twists and turns
and Age should not blame Youth
for the lessons it must learn
C Freemantle Oct 2013
It leaves you, no active power, no direction,
Listless, unable to program, build,- a mockery.
Worst, the low depairing. embarassing shrouds.
Without that centre; a discrete despair - please don't mention.
Hopelessness remains - just so much broken crockery.
Contempt rises from old mates. Passed fluffed up clouds!
Terry Jordan Jul 2018
Happy Retirement, Bill
The countdown now is done
After 35 years working for Milner
Your new life has begun...

That’s cause for celebration
Despite what you have said
We’ll sing “He’s a jolly good fellow!”
Raise a glass-break some bread!

I know how hard you’ve worked while
Those copy machines kept breaking
Those customers kept on *******’
Despite the best effort you’re making

So punctual!  Dependable!
So clever at fixing things, too
You’ve worked hard all your adult life
“Hardly working” is new for you

Thousands of machines you fixed
Often while crawling on the floor
Looking for that wayward *****
On your 6th call-and then 2 more!

Now’s your time to put those feet up
With our cat upon your lap
Dreaming of surfing and traveling…
You’ll have time to take a nap

Instead you took your surf board down
Since you’re feeling quite inspired
To be a dedicated beach ***
Surfing ev’ry day you’re retired
Bill had quite a send-off at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville, NC last week, and is now taking a nap, dreaming of those waves to ride...
Nigel Morgan Nov 2013
Think of an imagined orchestra. But there is no resonance hereabouts, so the imagination gives next to nothing for your efforts, and even in surround-sound there’s so little to reflect the dimensions of the space your walking inhabits. Sea hardly counts, having its constant companionship with wind, and sand hills absorb the footfall. A shout dies here before the breath has left the lungs.

Listen, there is a vague twittering of wading birds flocked far out on the sand. The sea rolls and breaks a rhythmic swell into surf. There’s a little wind to rustle the ammophila and only the slight undefined noise of our bodies moving in this strip between land and sea. Nowhere here can sound be enclosed except within the self. There’s a kind of breathing going on, and much like our own, it has to be listened for with a keen attention.

There is such a confusion of shapes making detail difficult to gather in, even to focus upon, and to attempt an imagined orchestration – impossible. We’ll have to wait for the camera’s catch, its cargo to be brought to the back-lit screen. Once there it seems hardly a glimmer of what we thought we saw, what we ‘snapped’ in an instant. It’s too detached, too flat. So thankfully you sketch, and I feel the pen draw shapes into your fingers and their moving, willing hand. On your sketchbook’s page the image breathes and lives.

You can’t sketch music this way because the mark made buries itself in a network that seems to defy with its complexity any image set before you. Time’s like that. You end up with a long low pitch, pulsating; a grumbling sound rich in sliding harmonics. You see, landscape does not beget melody or even structure and form, only tiny, pebbled pockets of random sound. Here, there is no belonging of music. Only the built space can adequately house music’s home. We might ****** a few seconds of the sea’s turn and wash, a bird’s cry, the rub and clatter of boot on stone, and later bring it back to a timeline of digital audio and be ‘musical’ with it, or not.

Where we hold music to landscape is something we are told just happens to be so; it is the interpretation’s (and the interpreter’s) will and whim. It is an illusion. The Lark Ascends in a Norfolk field. We hear, but rarely see, this almost stationary bird high in the morning air. We can only imagine the lark’s eye view, but we know the story, the poem, the context, so our imagination learns to supply the rest.

What is taken then to be taken back? On this November beach, on this mild, windless afternoon,. Am I collecting, preparing, and easing the mind, un-complicating mental space, or unravelling past thoughts and former plans? I can then imagine sitting at a table, a table before a window, a window before a garden, and beyond the garden (through the window) there’s a distant vista of the sea where the sun glistens (it is early morning), and there too in the bright sky remains a vestige of a night’s drama of clouds. But today we shall not put music to picture from a camera’s contents, from any flat and lifeless image.

Instead there seem to be present thoughts alive in this ancient coastline, abandoned here the necessary industry of living, the once ceaseless business of daily life. Instead of the hand to mouth existence governed by the herring, the course strip farming below the castle, the herds of dark cattle, the possible pigs, some wandering sheep, seabirds and their eggs for the ***, the gathering of seaweed, the foraging for fuel: there is a closing down for winter because the visitors are few. We need the rest they say, to regroup, paint the ceilings, freshen up the shop, strengthen the fences, have time away from the relentlessness of accommodating and being accommodating. Only the smell of smoking the herring remains from the distant past – but now such kippering is for Fortnums.

We step out across and down and up the coastal strip: an afternoon and its following morning;  a few miles walking, nothing serious, but moving here and there, taking it in, as much as we can. We fill ourselves to the brim with what’s here and now. The past is never far away: in just living memory there was a subsistence life of the herring fishers and the itinerant fisher folk who followed the herring from Aberdeen to Plymouth. Now there are empty holiday lets, retirement properties and most who live here service the visitors. Prime cattle graze, birds are reserved, caravans park next to a floodlit hotel and its gourmet restaurant. There’s even a poet here somewhere - sitting on a rock like a siren with a lovely smile.

Colours: dull greens now, wind-washed-out browns, out and above the sea confusions of grey and black stone, floating skeins of orange sands and the haunting, restless skies. Far distant into the west hills are sculpted by low-flying clouds resting in the mild air. Wind turbines step out across the middle distance, but today their sails are stationary. As the bay curves a settlement of wooden huts, painted chalets then the grey steep roofed houses of stone, grey and hard against the sea.

Does music come out of all this? What appears? What sounds? What is sounding in me? There is nothing stationary here to hang on to because even on this mild day there is constant change. Look up, around, adjust the viewpoint. There’s another highlight from the sky’s palette reflecting in the estuary water, always too various and complex to remember.

Music comes out of nothing but what you build it upon. It holds the potential for going beyond arrangements of notes. Pieces become buildings, layers in thought. My only landscape music to date begins with a formal processional, a march, and a gradually broadening out of tonality the close-knit chromatic to the open-eared pentatonic. There’s a steady stream of pitches that do not repeat or recur or return on themselves, as so much music needs to do to appease our memory.

In this landscape there seem only sharp points of dissonance. I hear lonely, disembodied pitches, uncomfortable sounds that are pinned to the past. The land, its topography as a score grasping the exterior, lies in multi-dimensional space, sound in being, a joining of points where there is no correlation. There’s a map and directions and a flow of time: it starts here and ends there, and so little remains for the memory.

Yet, this location remains. We walked it and saw it fortunately for a brief time in an uninhabited state. We were alone with it. We looked at this land as it meets the sea, and I saw it as a map on which to place complexes of sound, intensities even,. But how to meet the musical utterance that claims connection? It is a layering of complexes between silences, between the steady step, the stop and view. There is perhaps a hierarchy of landscape objects: the curve of the bay, the sandhills’ sweep, the layerings of sand, and in the pools and channels of this slight river that divides this beach flocks of birds.

Music is such an intense structure, so bound together, invested with proportions so exact and yet weighed down by tone, the sounding, vibrating string, the column of air broken by the valve and key, the attack and release of the hammered string. But there is also the voice, and voices are able to sound and carry their own resonance . . .

. . . and he realised that was where these long drawn out thoughts, this short diary of reflection, had been leading. He would sit quietly in contemplation of it all and work towards a web of words. He would let their rhythms and sounds come together in a map, as a map of their precious, shared time moving between the land and the sea, the sea and the land.

— The End —