Lost In Black


     At the precise moment I realize my only chance for survival is to reach the cell phone 12’ from the bathroom shower (where moments before I had recreated the shower curtain scene from Psycho) I come to the realization that it will be impossible.

…..“NOOOOOOO!! DEAR LORD NOOOOO NOT AGAIN!” I scream at the realization.

     I’m stuck in one position, contorted, feeling like every ball and socket in my body is on the verge of suddenly wrenching apart, each bursting ball breaking through to the surface looking like a round egg emerging from the shell of skin ripped and torn to shreds, eggs dripping with blood.

     I’m suspended in space, frozen in pain, fearful of moving a micrometer the thought too excruciating to even contemplate.

Warm water cascades against my back wrenched sideways away  from the faucets. My hair slippery with hair conditioner.

     One end of the curtain pole rests on the lip of the toilet seat, the other points downward resting on the grills of the hot air register on the floor not far from my hand.

     The white cloth curtain and vinyl lining are wrapped like a very thick rope, half on and half off the pole. The metal clips are scattered from one end of the pole to the bunched clips held in place by the register at the other end.

     An inkling of a solution briefly overrides the pain. “I need tools. I can use the pole as a cane.”

With snarling teeth and awesome weight the pain takes away any further thought processes, replacing them with single minded agony.

     Panic, from a medical standpoint (in anticipation of what will happen at the hospital if I ever get there) along this journey to survive, doesn’t really exist. The challenge of not being able to reach my cell phone 12’ away on the breakfast bar, does.

     I’m feeling stupid, trapped, surrounded by an invisible force field three feet thick of glowing hot bricks then, freezing crystals of ice on the same bricks, back again to glowing hot and ice, on and off on and off and … so on. You get the message, right?

In a word, unrelenting.

continued …..

Nails In the Coffin Of Our Democracy

Complacency Is the Root Of All Evil

Methinks, let’s not get too complacent. 

Social unrest will be a major factor in the not too distant future. What is being done to  prepare ethnic communities for invasions of racially motivated terrorists from within our borders?

The Separationists will incite unrest in black and Hispanic communities as an excuse to go in and kill. 

This will be the match that sparks the flame for a REAL race war these terrorists have been training for for years.  Preparations must be made in those communities most vulnerable, to avoid their invasion.

I hope the equivalent of the CDC is out there looking beyond the horizon line for signs of armed insurgence. Working to anticipate the needs of at risk communities far enough in advance to avoid great social unrest that most likely will happen at a tremendous cost financially and in terms of lives and liberty lost not just in those communities but in every community throughout the United States.   

There WILL be social unrest. They WILL attack. We WILL all suffer the consequences of a race war within our borders.

Will the Separationist’s gunshots be the nails in the coffin of our democracy?  

One lesson learned from the pandemic? Without preparation more lives will be lost; a war between the races could be a worse epidemic with consequences beyond our power to control. Plans must be made.

What’s being done in the those “at risk” communities to stave off this even more lethal disease? What are we doing to strengthen the bulwarks against their invasion? 

The Next Great Epoch: The “New”

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I should be putting more work into what I’m attempting to do right now but, I can’t help but think existentially about what’s going on in the U.S. and the world,  trying to figure out how all the pieces fit together based on where it all came from and where it’s all going and blah blah blah.  What future scenarios are most likely to occur?  Just trying to figure things out.  How will things change?  Whatever.  

WILL life change significantly?  Change is inevitable.  Life will never be the same.  I think we need to face that fact.  Incremental circumstances create change that’s incremental.  Far flung circumstances bring great change.  Great change can be expected; the challenge is life threatening and we’ve never faced a similar threat before.

At this moment in time, life is an ‘Unknown Variable’.    

Life will never be the same.  The Modern Age we’ve lived in for all our lives is coming to a quiet end.  What’s interesting is that those of us Boomers who were born at the birth of the modern age who spent our youth growing up during the Golden Age of America 1950 – 1965 so too are WE slowly coming to OUR ends.  It’s as if our lives and the Modern Age have been inextricably linked from the beginning up until the present time.  

How beautiful that we lived from its birth through all the complex historical events beginning with the fifteen innocent years we lived in complete freedom.  We were privileged to have lived with the freedom to discover, to assuage a child’s lust for knowing the world and interacting with it, free to enjoy the pursuit with a level of comfort, unlike any generation of youth has ever known.  

I think it’s swell that the whole country is returning en masse to the only true place of refuge; the place where family lives.  What’s great is, we have no choice in the matter!  We can’t be for it or against it politically because it’s nature who has made the decision for us and I don’t think nature HAS a party affiliation. It’s more like a higher authority has declared, “Get your asses home and start all over again and this time, do it right!”  

My concern is, will the knowledge of that ‘golden age’ be passed on as a model for the future since, future generations will know little about America during its Golden Age and they will be called upon to make the creative changes that will lead us toward the next leap of faith.  

The next great epoch.  Or the late great planet earth?  

If they don’t know their history, how will they have any semblance of a ‘road map’ to lead them into the future?  

Wow!  Forced to face a new world built on family units, to pool resources and talents in order to get through the next couple months and move into the future.  A LOT can happen in two months and I expect a lot WILL since we’ve never been to this “place” before.  

Bottom line is, this could be the best thing that ever happened to family and country and maybe the world during during this so cared Modern Age, a fitting way to end the Modern and begin the New.  Maybe the whole span of the Modern Age was a run through so the same mistakes will not be made in the “New”.  

I look at it this way.  It was OUR actions that brought the virus into the world NOT through some cockamamy conspiracy rather, through deforestation; by invading the eco systems we are releasing countless pathogens into the world from where they’ve existed in stasis within their environment for tens of thousands if not millions of years, bringing them into contact with a world crowded with humans who have invaded the barriers between.  So it’s our job to deal with it and to deal with it right.  

We’ve forced these pathogens to interact with us by the decisions we’ve made.  But we’re not allowed to blame this on nature.  It’s human activities that have done the damage and humans who must pay the price or change our ways.  Either that or,  this virus will only be known as ‘The First”.  

We are at a crossroads of history.  We must evolve or go back to the old ways and invite more catastrophe to come our way.  Our eco systems can’t take much more.  They have already started to fight back.  It’s up to us to find creative solutions that enable us to live in partnership with nature and … with man.

Return to family means people will be forced to live life styles from a past age when all relationships were centered around the home; when this was the ‘norm’ in America as it was when we Boomers grew up during the Golden Age of America 1950 – 1965.  

The humble beginnings of the Modern Age streamed from the “small town ethos”, a kind of ‘mind sharing’ that can only happen in certain group settings but when it does, a kind of magic occurs that runs through lives much like the electrical currents of a social network except the mind sharing of the small town ethos exists in ‘real’ terms.

Maybe social networking needed to come into existence to fulfill the vacuum created when the small town ethos began disappearing. 

continuing …. maybe .,.. ks

The Day the Earth Stood Still

If you are visually or cognitively allergic to my more esoteric/abstract writing skip over this piece, take two aspirin but don’t call me in the morning. 

From the pristine air I’m finally breathing at the cottage the movie, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” emerged from the fog inside my mind I carried along on my 1,200 mile voyage away from the ‘real world’.  

Remember that movie? “The Day the Earth Stood Still”? In it, Michael Rennie portrays an “alien” being who emerges from a space ship that has landed in Washington, D.C. to give mankind one more chance to avoid annihilation .  

I see the character of Michael Rennie as a benign positive force trying to PERSUADE world leaders to work together so as to amend our ways or be destroyed if we make the wrong choices.  

On an abstract level I see the character of Michael Rennie giving world leaders the choice to live in harmony or be destroyed by a greater force … the force of division … if they don’t work together to amend their ways. 

Since for every positive there exists a negative I see D.T. as the negative force attempting to DISSUADE mankind from amending its ways by DIVIDING mankind into warring factions, thereby taking AWAY the choice to amend our self destructive ways.  

I’m NOT writing about an invasion of influenza. I’m writing about an invasion of thought. An attempt infect mankind’s thinking by the same sick drive for power that has infected the minds of mankind by tyrants skilled at manipulating the masses responsible for the deaths of millions upon millions of humans from the beginning of time.

Look around, as Michael Rennie encourages us to do. See the symptoms of the sickness already upon us, infecting us more each day; concentration camps within our national boundaries responsible for the deaths of hundreds including women and children, denial of hospitalization for people with terminal illness, arrest and imprisonment without due process after breaking and entering homes in the middle of the night, ripping families apart by forcibly removing fathers and mothers WITHIN SIGHT of their children justified by lies, always dividing; dividing parents from children, imprisonment of children, separation by social status sick people from the care they need to live, partnership with old friends and allies broken, murder, kidnapping, conspiracy, threats, hiding the truth, shouting out words of manipulation to further the cause of separation and the destruction it leaves in its path.  

This is the real virus that the alien Michael Rennie warned us about when he came to earth to give us a second chance; to amend our ways or suffer destruction.  

T’s sickness has transmitted itself into every person on the planet some to a greater extent than others but we ALL feel it within. His words and thoughts are the invasion of an ugly black virus that has spread to dangerous proportions. 

I revile this person who has sowed the seeds of our destruction; who has put this ugly, black, twisted virus inside of me. I wish I could puke the ugly black bile and the disgusting tape worm consuming who we are by words that have sown the seeds of our demise.  

But I don’t think it’s possible unless we all puke it out at the same time. 

I think It’s the choice Michael Rennie hoped the human race would make.

Love Is …

What Is Love?

All anyone wants is to feel loved … positive beautiful affirming of self/each other.  It doesn’t have to be anything.  It just is.  It’s a place that ‘rises above.’ 

Love touches in different ways than everyday “socialisms” between people.

You read love on paper sometimes on the screen words that kiss and caress they sooth and like and liken and hark and bring light and memory and shine with crashing wave on paper that tell stories of laugh and joy and lots of sensual pleasure.

Love remembers love hears love listens love takes fear away.  Love eats distress, chews it with gusto like swallowing cum to please even though it tastes like bleach.

Love releases dreams love creates a reality of its own shared delightful giggling it can’t contain itself sometimes it’s overwhelming in its magnetism

There are no choice words to describe it at times.  It’s not concerned with self it gives in for pleasure it shares pain gratefully it suspends time it creates visions it draws a body to a body in unique ways (for each person is unique in their own way) it matches up it magnetizes it finds and realizes it sleeps well with itself it looks beyond itself it seeks to know it revels in what it sees and hears it wraps warmth around the other it looks beyond reality it sees, it wonders, it mesmerizes at times lost in vision and fascination finding humor not because it’s funny but because it’s indescribably beautiful to see a personal representation of all you’ve ever wanted to love.

Love sees danger and looks ahead.  Loving is caring; it’s more than caring.  Love is loss of self for other self judged more important.  Love wants to give another life more life.  Love splendors itself when it sees sparkles and sunlight streaming from eyes; it reflects the same light. 

Love will do whatever it takes to make another happy.  Love wants to give and give .. Love looks for ways to give searching searching always looking for another way another reason.  Love wants love love wants to be loved love looks for other love, love loves love.

Love  strikes when you least expect it if you are lucky and it pulls you and it suspends you in time.

Love sees colors and shapes that exist for a moment and held forever.  Love wants to please.  Love wants warmth for another.  Love can touch and touch and touch and never grow tired  touch and touching.  Love gives pleasure vast amounts if possible.  Love seek beauty to see in another.

Love knows that if it knows it’s there it will find it and bring it to another embracing with eyes seeing the other, the world falls away.

Love hears and listens it celebrates the unique world that lies hidden but that it can see and only it sees

the uniqueness of the other.

Love celebrates another with its whole self it feels love gladly it wants to touch it wants to give.  Love is carried everywhere, it’s another presence in the world that’s always there even though a thousand miles away.

Love has hope galore:  hope for wellness, hope that it can heal just by thinking.  Love wants to celebrate the joy of living with another, magnificent as two can be.

Love yearns for another because it knows the secret that each one is only half so love makes people whole.  Love makes people whole with themselves.  Love feeds on the pain of another.  Love wants another’s pain .. Love thinks only of the other.  Love loves .. love loves loving .

It’s easy for love to be spellbound .. When spellbound it spellbinds with another: love binds without thinking.  This is when love just ‘’is” when it’s mutually spellbinding.  Love celebrates another life.  Love cries when its sad but it doesn’t matter, it knows another lover feels the pain ..

Love can be so surprising! It springs from unknown places for no reason.  Surprising with delight like magic from unknown places sudden treasures seen or brought to bear ..

Love loves surprises: sudden appearance face to face when least expected creating delight, that sudden intake of breath, the extra measure of others air received, a drop of unseen honey in the air that makes things funny without words or words without knowing where they spring from unknown delightfull and confounding.

Love has no beginning.  When you find it it was always there but unaware you waited unaware and when you find it glows with color.  Mine was the color blue ..

Yes, love glows with colors eyes and clothes and skin and toes and veins and birth marks in secret places no one else knows.

Love can draw a person inside another or make two people want to be another.  Love grows with time.  How could it not .. It induces knowing so the mind keeps growing and growing, you give me your light i’ll give you mine.

Love wants to give it’s light so the other shines.  Love loves to bask in loving shine.  Love is a jewell and it’s a treasure.  Love is freely given.  Love is all there is and all there is is, love that’s given.  


He’s A Bad Mother …… Well, I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout ….. !


He’s A Bad Mother …. Well I’m Talkin’ Bout’ ……

In a fit of not rarely happening ridiculously dumb, funny shit that I’ve done and do, that happen to me constantly and because I’ve been moaning in my sleep lately and because of my hip, I decide to sleep in the little tv room on the ‘day bed’ where I go to watch my classic movies and write, when I come awake around three a.m.

Hungry for all kinds of things in the middle of the night, last night it’s for a piece of cheese.

So I stumble into the kitchen, get myself a small chunk of sharp cheddar and a plastic cup of water so I can rinse my mouth after chomping down on the cheese.

I lay on my right side holding the water in my left hand close to where I know I’ll soon be drinking it.

For the heck of it, I flip on TCM just in time to see the opening credits for the movie Shaft.

Oooh yeah! I love that Shaft theme song by Isaac Hays, don’t you?!!

One of the coolest, bad ass songs ever!!  So I listen and watch but I’m already feeling drowsy.

I’m just finishing up with the cheese, still in a semi reclined position when I hear, ’He’s a bad mother ….. SHUT YOUR MOUTH … well, I’m talkin’ ‘bout ….. “

The last thing I remember is, ‘well, I’m talkin’ bout,’ when I briefly nod out, my muscles immediately drooping into sleep mode in compete relaxation for less than a split second when I drop an entire half filled plastic cup of water onto the left side of my face most of it going into my left ear, the remainder going into the day bed.

I don’t know what to do first!

The day bed is wet but I feel pressure in my ear so I jump up and start thumping the right side of my head with the palm of my hand!

Pretty sure all the water has leaked out, I turn off the t.v., I grab a bath towel from the bathroom trying to sponge up whatever water can still be reached at the higher levels of the substrata below.

Finally I fall asleep.

I sleep fitfully, waking at seven.

I THINK I had a dream about being on the Titanic but I’m not sure.

Just kidding!!

When I come awake at seven I wonder why it feels like I have ‘swimmers ear’?  Then I remember why.

For the longest time I can’t get the Shaft theme out of my head.  Finally, an idea comes to me that, the four of us;  Matthew, Jamie, Jodi and I, could make a video of the four of us lip synching the Shaft theme song as part of a video Christmas card to everyone!

(sad to say I’m pretty sure the chairman of the board has ‘tabled’ that suggestion at least for now.)

But, isn’t it strange how creative ideas just pop into your head at the weirdest times sometimes for the weirdest reasons?

For the longest time, I keep hearing that great song running over and over in my head, enjoying every moment of every part.

“I’m a complicated man but no one understands me but my woman …. “. Ummm,” I think, “Does that make me a, “bad mother ………. “?

“Oops, sorry,  I’ll shut my mouth.”

Every Step of the Way

Life is a drama every step of the way!
Intensely fought battles for                                                                    roles, ideals, conceptions, perceptions Aberrations and                          the like!
It comes in sin and love with                                                                  neglect and passion, disdain from                                                              hard fought battles to conquer
             baser instincts from                                                                                              the onslaughts of others with                                                               Similar instincts, roles, ideals Passions 
Excitation’s ordeals and                                                                    whatever other forces circulating about 
Are Happening at the time                                                                             That tell us
who we are 

The Web of Time


We are a travelers moving along

a web of time within a mist we call


We see with light given from somewhere,

outside, within, in-between, seldom seen

at best,


We make decisions;

where to go, how to get there,

what to think and feel;

assuming truths, affirming movement

we’re not sure of, through space most often


Life is like that;

crossroads, turnings here or there,

seconds late determines fate,

returns returned again and once again


to differing paths we navigate through

endless toil, obliteration, sensory pleasures,

death, fulfillment or broken hearts

(to learn or not to learn (that is the question … !?)),

wandering paths we roam through space

unknown, face to face with

those we think we


We want to love but, is it love we crave more than the ones we may or may not love?  For, don’t we give love to those we may not love at all?

We drag through murky spaces,                                                                     love’s truths obscured, half known half

not knowing, unknowable, self importance, interfering combat, crackling static,  white noise, huge space separating single spaces, seldom crystal


We take our chances.

We make our choices.

We fill our lives with dreams? Or are they fantasies?

 We self induce our misery.

We thrive on living pain.

And who’s to blame?

What’s In A

adorable baby baby feet beautiful

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What’s In A?

Spent the day just giving 

giving giving money money money 

Getting food food and coffee.  

Part of the day I spent 

spending, speaking speeding soaking 

walking wet in the rain 


endles endless rows of things.   

Things and things and things with 

different names 

every name a different thing every 

thing a different 


Never-ending names and names of things 

it seems names get made for 

every little thing a world of names that 

brings great things to my 


describing things and what they do that 

I can’t even 



Tell A Story: Tell It If You Can 

Tell the story if you can 

tell it tell it

Tell any story  

If you can 

tell the story 

tell me the story 

tell me If you 

Can …

I can tell it.

I can tell my story 

I can 

tell it when I can ‘cause 

I can tell it 

when I can! 

You bet I can! 

I can tell my story 

better than 

anyone can.  


It Could Be Anyone’s Life 

They found they liked their bodies they 

liked their bodies they 

LOVED their bodies 

They loved each others bodies 

given getting gotten touching screwing 

all they can.

Joined in holy matronly malformity  

In the church speaking while 

speaking then speaking 

In return they 

told their future lies unspoken 

future truth that’s broken 

breaking breaking breaking 

future lives 

marking nine months to the day 

 baby’s life is on the way 

that very day 

born into 

the morning dark.    

Eating fingers, fingers twisting 

Twisting twisting fingers rapping 

rap rap 

Rapping at the door//

thinking, wondering if you please 

as night moves forward on  

the breeze 

moving moving playing playing touching 

loving locking flocking heaven’s verses versing 

curses comely searching touching 

nine moons to the day giving 

birth, born and born 

and born and born again and again 

each and every single day 

touching touching touching 

born each day until 

the very 


They’ve Stolen My Serenity!

I told you yesterday
that spring had sprung

and i knew because
i saw a fly and a bull ant

on the floor by the fireplace,
a tickling on my arm as i wrote this piece

not fifteen minutes ago
a tiny spider had invaded my space!

There are gnats and mosquitos
and other tiny things

i can’t imagine
sharing air that a week ago

floated crystals of lace like wings
each a drifting masterpiece

floating down or streaming sidewise
with crystal clarity seen

within air that was
mine to breathe

while witnessing the beauty of
each and every living thing

stripped bare of
all distractions;

Air that I’ve shared
with no one


that I share with all
the little things

that come alive each spring.

My life more complicated now
no longer distraction free

avoiding their lines of intersection
between the search for

whatever it is they’re searching for
inside purest air I’ve been breathing,

air i’ve shared with no one.

The soil fecund now … i do not use that word lightly!

Stored snow or frost grown permanent
five or six ‘moon go ’rounds’ ago

where all these beings waited within
their clear winter amber

quick frozen in gathered humus
or crystalline within the muck,

the eggs of their existence
captured when sun’s light slowed

to dim orange

when trees released
their bed covers

to darker still intensity
captured by cold stillness

within their sleeping spaces
during gestation’s time

to lie in wait, for
warmer sun’s return

to free the life within
those amber spaces

not sleeping
having never been alive (as such)

waiting to emerge
from broken water,

released by whiter light!
These creatures that

surround me now
within my sight!

that feed upon my light!
that touch my flesh!

that share with me my breath!
my choice bereft!

the world no longer stripped bare
of all confusion and complexity

black and white and
clean and fresh!

They’ve STOLEN my

Serenity … ! !

The Agony and the Ecstasy V Ending


continued …. I guess you’re just supposed to put them on and pee but, I couldn’t help but wonder what was the standard volume limit?   

Volume of the Dam?

I looked all over for the table of contents or for some of those FAQ’s.  I found nothing about volume.  Would the damn burst after a second down pour? 

What do I do?  I didn’t want to “pee the car”! 

I felt those desperate feelings coming on but I said, “Screw it.  I’m living la vida loco!” and let ‘er rip.  

A Spot the Size of A Silver Dollar

Glancing down, I noticed a wet spot on my black jeans at the top of my right thigh about the size of a silver dollar..  

“Consarnit!”  I’m pissed.  This is not what I was hoping for.  Without thinking I curse my dilema.  I get so pissed I can’t stand it.  Soon after I regain my composure when chuckling to myself I remember my earlier thoughts of being pissed off and feeling pissed on.  And I thank my lucky stars that I have a good relationship with my inlaws instead of having to hang with my outlaws whoever they might be.  

Suddenly, my thoughts about being with my outlaws or being pissed off or even pissed ON become a moot point.  The diaper experience taught me just how strong I can be since nothing compares to being pissed ON AND pissed OFF at the same TIME!  

I’m being philosophical and open about the whole experience.  In fact I’ve already started pricing the ‘double wides’ but ONLY if Jodi tells me my ass looks basically the same.  

The Agony and the Ecstasy IV




continued; Boy howdy did that ring a bell with me!

I Got the Urge 

Next, I’ll tell you how all off these factors came together to form this super collision.  

The morning of my departure I ‘suited up’ for the trip.  The gray ones looked almost dressy in my estimation.  Nice and cushy up front with a little frilly gathering work around the leg slots.  Jodi reassured me my ass didn’t look any different than usual (which would have been a ‘deal breaker”).

We said our good byes and I hit the road.  An hour and a half or two hours after leaving Port Charlotte on I-75 north of Tampa I felt the first blush of an impending shower and the anxiety that usually comes with it.  

Then, with hardly realizing it I felt the warmth.  

Golly, my habitual frustration, anger and pain was no longer an issue.  I was in heaven.  I dropped the Mustang into 4th gear, dusted the slow poke in the left lane upped my speed to 85 punched in the cruise control and cruised, smiling.  

All That Time!

Whilst flowing, I thought about all the TIME I was saving by not having to stop to pee the old fashioned way.  

By the time it was time to get gas I was so relaxed, I didn’t even think about peeing.  When the Mustang was full,  I thanked my lucky stars, got in and was back on I-75 in slightly less time than it would have taken a pit crew from the Indy 500.  

Shortly after the gas up I felt the urge to go again while at the same time feeling a bit confused because of my lack of experience in certain matters. 

I wondered what the volume limit was on these things.  It didn’t say on the package in fact, there were no directions at all.  I guess you’re just supposed to put them on and pee but, I couldn’t help but wonder what was the standard volume limit?   

continued …

The Agony and the Ecstasy III


Wondering About the Glory 

One day during the golden hour at the end of the day mulling things over while feeding bread to the turtles I wondered, what will it be like to simply keep the gates open and let the water flow when the bladder wants it to flow all natural like?  

In other words, what will letting myself pee as soon as I feel the urge, without giving it a second thought,  be like?  Will it be liberating?  

The Third Leg

There’s a third element that fits into all these revelations I’ve been having.  

I can’t help but feel frustrated with everybody always being pissed off like you’re pissed off or I’m pissed off and she’s pissed off or he’s pissed at her and everybody’s pissed at somebody while some are pissed at everybody!  When this girl, the only intelligent person in the whole group, spoke out saying, “But don’t you realize?  It’s so much better to be pissed off than it is to be pissed on!”

 The room got quiet then everyone started clapping and agreed.  She really put everything into perspective for me.  In other words,  we should be thankful for what we have instead of lamenting what we DON’T have because often what you wish for is ten times worse than what we already HAVE.”  

A Similar Razzle 

That comment about being pissed off reminded me of a similar razzle that occurred one day when I had a fleeting conversation with this guy in new York way back in the mid seventies when I mentioned I dreaded having dinner with my in laws.  The guy got real serious, came a little closer and in the softest matter of fact tone looked around and said, ‘Let me give you some good advice.”  He looked around again, locked his eyes onto mine and said, ” It’s a lot better being with your in laws than it is being with your outlaws.” 

Boy howdy, did that ring a bell with me!    

continued …

The Agony and the Ecstasy II




continued …. “Gosh,” I realized.  “Despite the fact that she doesn’t have an enlarged prostate gland and I’ve never had the urge to commit murder we have a lot in common!”

Creative Genius

I compared and contrasted the motivations of the diaper clad, crazed astronaut with the agony I feel when I have to pee while speeding along the interstate at 85 mph trying to get from point A to point B without getting killed, put it all into a neat little package, mulled it over in my head for a couple weeks, discussed the situation with Jodi and made a decision.  

“Yes!” I thought.  Being an adventurous type I declared, “I’ll wear the damn Dependz and be a better person for it!  I’ll be a super hero .  I’ll be …  Dependz Man!”

Look, I don’t feel embarrassed about “coming out of the closet” as a diaper clad older dude because of the solid reasoning behind my decision.  And, like I’ve always said, “form follows function,” or to put another way if it’s not fixed don’t break it again.”  

I Have Choices! 

I mean, I DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS!  I’m not a doddering old incontinent fool Goshdarnit!  On the contrary I’m thinking about changing my name to Benjamin Button!  

Seriously, other than an abundance of titanium and ceramics at various ball and socket joint locations throughout my body I have no organ miscreants within me at all.

All systems are running smoothly.  Everything is a GO.  A-OK.  With the exception of …my bladder.  

continued …

The Agony and the Ecstasy



The Agony and the Ecstasy

The agony of suddenly having to pee with great intensity while cruising eighty five miles an hour on the interstate with no place to pee in sight, cannot be understated!

After a minute it hurts. Longer than a minute? It hurts bad.

The Eternal Battle

In case you’re wondering many of us men are victims of the eternal battle between the full bladder demanding to be emptied immediately if not sooner vs the sleepy bloated enlarged prostate gland supposedly no longer useful ignoring pleas from the bladder lazily refusing water’s passage.

It’s never easy having to suddenly pee when you’re on the road.   No matter where you are or what you’re doing, when it’s time to go you suddenly gotta go with every fibre in your body!

With meds you get relief once you find a place to go. Without meds, it doesn’t matter where you are since no matter how bad you have to go, a few golden drops may be all you’ll get.

Then, you know you’re screwed.

Homicidal Astronaut

Sometimes when you least expect them, brilliant solutions can pop into your head.

A couple weeks ago while working on the dock down there at Turtle Cove an idea popped into my head when for no reason I remembered the story about an astronaut woman a few years ago who figured, if she wore extra absorbent adult diapers she could drive non stop from point A to Point B, kill another woman and return so quickly that authorities would never suspect she could have been at the murder scene.

Her plan didn’t work. She didn’t kill the other woman. She made it back and forth in record time. But, she got arrested and lost her job as an astronaut.

Creativity At Work

Despite the absurdity, a creative force began stitching together the agony of having to pee during long distance journeys and the woman astronaut clad in super absorbent diapers intent on murdering the other woman.

“Gosh,” I realized. “Despite the fact that she doesn’t have an enlarged prostate gland and I’ve NEVER had the urge to commit murder we have a lot in common!”

continued …

Rooster Speaks/Sun Fan

Rooster Speaks



Ashes pure as light cast off                                                                                                                 at early morning’s flight

the day of my departure from                                                                                                                     the land of Midday sun where,

skies are rarely gray mostly every day where,                                                                             rest assured your health will be ok

you’ll find a Walgreen’s store every which way                                                                                                                           no matter where you look

where four corners can be found.    

If you love palm trees, slash pine, oak and                                                                                   saw palmetto you’ll

enjoy the scenery for                                                                                                                     mile upon mile upon high mileage (Double your pleasure)

on both sides of the street for such long distances!

If you love it’s unabashed sameness you’ll think you’ve died and gone

to heaven;  

“’But, not I,’” pipped up the cock eyed rooster with                                                                          strange reply

I had never heard him speak.  Still, I had to agree with what he had to say.  

Sun Fan

“I’m not a big sun fan anymore.                                                                                                             I prefer to walk on the shadowy

side of the street where I                                                                                                             belong since, basically

I’m just a shadow looking for some shade  

to lie down under and sleep

beneath a tree I know





Recycled Pap


It seems I’m more creative in 

many but not ALL ways …

Or always.. 

But at times more than ever 

maybe because i have 

more to draw from or 

it’s natures way of giving a little 

‘kick back’ for all the shit .. 

whoops … sorry …

whatever life is whether it’s 

made up or fate or random acts or 

we are beings manipulated by 

the forces around us with 

consciousness only an illusion; 

light reflected onto the back wall of 

some cave.

 “Cave light”

the world we live in

the world outside and

just below the surface;

light Spinning by

 for us to hold with

brief struggles to 

make the experiences into 

something we think is


And so we go stumbling down 

The hill of life trying to 

catch up with ourselves 

the light that’s spinning by 

too fast for eyes

to see.  

We mold our lives from 

stories stored inside


the ones we get from others.

We make life, story with 

beginning middle and end that won’t 

hurt us or hurt others but 

in the end


all the


Fragments Of A Dream Long Forgotten Revisited

Fragments Of A Dream Long Forgotten 

An old man remembers a dream he had as a boy.

One day he thought back through time and 

A dream about a fine and beautiful place.

fragments of a beautiful stained glass 

Upon contemplating the memory, the man realizes,

window of untold beauty began to

that for fifty years he has

slowly reassemble itself piece by  

searched for the place of his dream.

piece until the   

He was never sure the place existed.

window became   

Now he sees its golden glow on the

whole once again and the 

near horizon and he is

structure and the 

walking toward the glow and he yearns to

meaning captured within the 

be there.  But a forest with a beast lies between the man and the

reassembled window became 

golden place.  He wonders if he should

clear and its meaning formed a 

go through the forest or

magnificent and 

postpone finding the place he has dreamed of

great, intricate, light filled 

all his life.

complex thought. 

What Is A Gandydancer?


What Is A Gandydancer?

The piece below is a segment of a larger picture.

People I know with a railroad background have wondered what the railroad term Gandydancer pertains to?  There’s even a song about the gandydancers ball.

My grandfather’s name was Dietrich Sr.  This is a story about how I as a ten year old boy with his grandfather in ‘the box cars, learned what a gandydancer is.

Dietrich Sr. and the Grand Trunk

At the beginning of his career Dietrich Sr. had something to do with bridge building in some engineering capacity.

Later toward the end of his career, I went with him to the box cars where he investigated injuries or misconduct where the traveling gandydancers lived, 25 to 50 men sleeping in box cars, traveling place to place where their strength and manpower was needed. A rough bunch mostly immigrant workers finding their foothold in the new country and ‘no goods’.

I don’t know where the actual word “gandy’ came from I think it came from eastern Europe but I know what the term ‘gandydance’ means.

Dietrich Sr. told me the actual gandy ‘dance’ is the motion of 50 or more gandy’s each equipped with an iron bar with a dull point on the end, placed under the rails, pulling their bars on command, quick pulls in unison to re-align the rails after doing maintenance on the tracks replacing ties or rails, building crossings or working derailments.

From a distance their movements, seen through the shimmer of heat rising from the stone beds and fumes rising from the creosote in the ties and the the glare from the polished rails appear with a strange, shimmering snake like motion since there’s a split second delay from one man to the next pulling on their bars.  In other words, they don’t all pull at the same time.

This strange, shimmering, almost otherworldly motion is, according to Dietrich Sr. the gandy’s dance making them, the gandydancers!

Later that day I watched him interview some rough looking guy in the dining/kitchen box car about some fight the guy was in.. The rough looking guy kept looking at me like he resented my presence and wanted to kick my ass.

It was all very formal. Deac Sr. was straight forward with the questions at times pointed in his desire for the truth.

I had one big meal with them. Lots of meat and potatoes. Good food was one of the incentives for being a gandy in the first place. That and you could hide from the world.

It’s not a bad job if you’ve got no skills and are willing to work hard at different locations, if you don’t mind sleeping with a bunch of men who snore and fart in their sleep, immigrants who don’t speak English, making new lives for themselves and the ‘no goods’a bunch of foul mouthed drunks who talked about sex constantly like they were having a contest to see who could refer to it in the most vile terms possible.

More ..

Ghost Trees Wailing At the Wind


A picture couldn’t do justice to

Arctic wind’s ferocity

blowing across the

great lake thirty or forty m.p.h.

white caps rushing toward shore

water, trees, sand and leaves …


Shhsssshing relentlessly,

my hoody inflated into

a reverse parachute

pushing my head and

body backward.

Dots of rain prick

my face

the occasional

snow flake spirals by.

 I’m forced to retreat

to calmer climes

along the road where

not so long ago it seemed

cold before cresting

the hill at the shoreline

facing Arctic wind’s


I make my way up the hill to 23

turn left onto the bike path for

a mile or so, past

the alabaster pipeline then 


the way I came


the top of

the hill.

Descending the hill I hear

the SNAP CRACK! of dead fir trees

breaking like sticks

the bottom half still attached 

to the ground

The top looking like a snarling beast, suddenly 

Escaped from 

Inside the tree 

patches of bleached wood where bark had fallen 

with jagged, pointed, dagger teeth 

An angry beast released from its confinement within the tree 

Splintered teeth pointing skyward

still attached to

roots rotten and brittle below ground

(the only force keeping it 

from tipping over)

the broken trees are pointing skyward

with snarling fury

the soul of each tree’s pent up frustration

raging at nature’s forces

finally allowed to express

their furiosity at

the plague of beetles who caused their

demise, long gone now

off to greener pastures.

The fir tree’s plaintive wails,

their pent up frustration,

their solitary ghost sounds

their howls of pain


in their after lives!

The fir trees wail with silent fury now,  they’ve become

ghost trees wailing at

the wind!

Their pain punctuated by


the initial sound

of ultimate

rot …

Nature’s Life


She looked with cold indifference 

at His efforts to teach us 

the connection between

our lives and


Bridge parties, the daily routines of life and of course 

her afternoon naps,

were the essential

components of Her


He gave us the freedom to

explore the sandy beaches, 

the dunes, trout streams and 

The Great Lake where

I spent my days

submerged in glacial ice 

melted to

65 degree water for

hours at a time, running through

the woods exploring, or 

camped out alongside windbreaker trees  

stretched 3/4 of a mile along the shoreline 

in sleeping bags next to camp fire embers 

staring at the stars

through crystal clear skies blown clean by 

on shore winds  cold or

chili at times even during the summer.

fishing off the end of 

the Coast Guard dock 

stretched a hundred or so yards into 

the bay where

the “Amphibian” and smaller 

rescue boats hung inside the boat house at

the same place where

he learned to fish as a boy.

He taught us how to

fend for ourselves, to

catch food, to

make fire, cook outside, provide shelter 

if necessary.

He gave us opportunities for unique forms of thought patterns deeper sorts of problem solving more essential the world around shown wider in scope made more real; how to live impeccably in the natural world parallel to and inclusive of the confines of life in the everyday “real” world.  

One day,

temperatures in the ‘20s

the ground covered by

light wings drifting 

like feather’s down 


I followed his tracks


two feet of freshly fallen snow to 

a row of scrub pines bordering

the back side of sand

dunes running parallel to 

the lake where

left alone with

shelter, warmth and


in a world of 

muted silence 

wrapped inside a black and white shell

the ground rising

upward before me

I pondered without 

words or thought 

the timeless mystery surrounding me 

in a world of

liberation …


gray scale photo of trees on snow

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


We bought two cardboard containers packed with 15 or 20 corn bores covered in loose black muck, at a farm five miles from town before turning off the black top then, another three miles along a gravel road, snow plowed high on both sides, past farmers fields barely visible stretched white to the gray horizon, snow tornados rising and falling then rising and falling again and again.

We parked next to a mountain of snow plowed higher than the car.  Hidden from sight, a frozen desert of ice where we fished on an inland lake the shoreline a hundred yards from where we parked.

Through knee deep snow the Arctic wind gusting 25-30 mph against our backs we dragged our plywood ‘fish boxes’ to the shoreline then another quarter mile across the slippery surface to a place where Deac chopped five holes through the two foot thick ice,  using a heavy iron spud rounded at one end, a leather strap at the other wrapped around his wrist so as to keep it from slipping into the black water when punched through the the last few inches of ice.

We spent the rest of the day fishing for bluegills or pike watching for the slightest movement of our bobbers, scooping films of ice that formed over the exposed water every few minutes, moving from hole to hole, watching for the red flags of our ‘tip ups’, sitting on our ‘fish boxes’, staring downward, hunched aerodynamically against the icy cold wind flowing over our backs.

You could hear the ice thunder and moan menacingly like an angry bear, as it grew thicker; ripping sounds heard in the distance or nearby, crackling for seconds at a time; jagged points of iced lightening suddenly etching close to where we sat, sending shivers of fear through me that the ice would open its jaws swallowing us into the inky black depths below, where not even the slightest ray of light could escape.

Toward the end of day, the sun a vague halo of yellowish white against a dreary gray sky, we packed the poles and tip ups into our fish boxes, 20 or 30 bluegills frozen stiff at the bottom.

Faced downward, pushing against the north wind, my toes and the tips of my fingers frozen numb, my face burning, we trekked toward the shoreline, through thigh deep powdered snow, over the mountain, returning to the warmth of the car.

We drove through the dimming light of late afternoon into the dark sky of mid winter’s early evening night, arriving home just in time for dinner.

They Call It Turtle Cove


..  They Call It Turtle Cove ..

What I’ve been doing?

I’ve been

working on my dock 

terracing slopeland for

boxed steps made from

two by fours carved and set

into canal soil with

aloe plants showcased ’round 

boxed, steps, leading down to 

shoreline dock I built 

at water’s edge where

looking into 

canal water  

through water’s window from

where we stand see

tiny fish and 

many turtles, a baby gator one day!

The fishing line with 

rod and reel 

stands over there 

waiting for the time

when young hands learn

to use it. 

..  Sight Breaker Heart Breaker ..

I built a 

‘sight breaker’ to 

hide natures pile of debris 

I add to constantly at the 

back corner of the 


the fronds of palm and banana, slash pine 

needles, fair size limbs, nice looking pine cones from 

fifty feet pines , 

(squirrels who feed on 

pine nuts hardly ever seen), 

I either burn just for fun or use to 

fuel more s’mores for Becky.   

I mulch the needles with the mower and 

spread them fine 

among the aloes, ferocious foes appearing yet 

most beautiful healing plant in fearsome disguise  

a helpful friend 

that I adore.    

I put them around the pines  

along the paths aligned 

designed with rip rap in mind

the best way to hold the soil

you’ll find them where 

sandy soil needs support, holding it in place 

by various means from many sizes 

calcified shells of limestone each piece heavy with  

Its own density at work within 

whatever space it occupies, steady and

strong but

not very 


..  I Tried To Make Soil One Day ..

I tried to make soil one day at the 

corner of the yard that 

leads on down to the 

canal where there’s debris  I 

I call it my compost heap

which, is a lie.

One day I carved out an eight by eight plot,

threw down some black dirt and cow manure 

staked it out with four by fours and repurposed two by fours thinking I’ll 

make my own soil from scratch, with 

lots of organic materials, I’ll gather and choose from this 

jungle in disguise I live in and 

make it located exactly where  

 I discard all my 

yard debris.  (killing two birds with 

one stone?!)

I try to make it look nice and 

generally succeed.

(I don’t think you can even see it!)

So I don’t think anybody really 

gives a shit.   

Except those who are bothered by the 

Word and nothing more since 

no matter how you look at it 

it’s still called 

Yard waste!   

..  On the Dock/Arctic Winds ..

On the dock at times I find the 

peace I’m looking for the 

wind and trees joined as one 

a gift I feel from 

 Arctic winds blown in from

Arctic north

where I come from (and

would rather be)

up there in that north country

where those air filled Arctic winds come

nicely heated along the way

their freezing gusts tempered by their

rush to blow all the way down here.

How often I feel them?  Not nearly enough.

I wish I’d feel those air filled breezes  

down here more often.

… Summer …

In Summer air most often down here dockside

I see

canal water standing still,

reflecting white light from above

I see

heat air water rising steaming upward

reflecting white sun above,

canal water raining upward all day!


 coming down again and


day after day after

day …

We call it Turtle Cove … 


I realize there’s a better way to do something.

It feels good to figure something out, to solve a problem.  Comes the epiphany?! Bamm!  The light goes on!  You want to share the light of the discovery.  So you tell about your epiphany.

     The driving force behind an epiphany and the need to share is that you’ve made a connection that needed to be made or that created more awareness, more light, more memory, more connections.
     The spark is the ‘ah ha moment”.  It’s a brighter spark then the one that resulted when you remembered where you put the sugar.
     Realizations give extra light!
     When there’s EXTRA light there’s enough left over to share.  Sharing light is the best.  It’s the only requirement to love.  It can happen on the lowest level … a brief nod between two people at a four way stop … or the greatest display.
     Or, there can be light shared and darkness.  I feel like my innards are pulled out sometimes.  The light fails to sustain itself.  A candle in a corner of darkness sizzles to it’s extinguishment.
     Eager to share the light, I tell of the realization.  I see a look of perplexity.  The light from your eyes wanting to be received as a spectrum of light surrounding some beautiful thought that could be shared does NOT generate perplexity.  Light misses its mark falling into darkness.
     You WANT to share the light then see what form of light you’ll get in return.
     It’s the game two lovers play.  Badminton with lobs of thought conveyed by unusual spectrum.  If there’s laughter there’s socially accetable orgasm.
     The socially acceptable tool used to fend off the return of light was, in this case, a look of perplexity.  Light shared creating perplexity? Perplexity is the force field that won’t let the light get through.
     People have all kinds of reasons to keep the world external.  They may think they’re in love or loved, because they exhibit or display or accept the correct kind of behavior but won’t allow or don’t realize there’s no penetration on a personal level.
     People develop sophisticated ways to deny other  existence by exhibiting socially acceptable totally appropriate behavior that maintains distance.
     Words and gestures that don’t draw a person in by acknowledging who they are, what they’ve said.  Skirting around a response while maintaining ‘distance’ saying positive words banal but expected by the general populace since impersonality has risen in defense of a world that otherwise might be overwhelming?
     Or of course, if there’s pain below the surface that must be kept from being exposed to the world and we all have pain and we all keep the world at bay but some of us don’t realize we do this even though we don’t have pain because it’s the way we were taught but …..  what is life without real connection?  Two lights magnifying each other?
    These socially acceptable responses to a comment or thought are banal but required on a basic level but don’t contain statements that acknowledge the COMMENT, the thought behind the comment or the person who makes the comment.
     Has the word, ‘you’ been used?  Was there a follow up question after your statement which, would indicate the thoughts of the listener were captured by the thoughts of the speaker.
     This is one way to hide behind those words but, it’s another way to jab.  To hurt.  In fact, invariably
     After the attempt to share, when the light is not received by the ‘other’ and is in fact, denied … I feel deep sorrow that may last a brief second way down in the depths behind my sternum.  I feel alone.  I feel abused.  Like I’ve been slapped in the face.  Confused Disappointed.  Betrayed.
     This is just one example.  Conversations resemble broken fragments of thought and words, laundry lists, personal comments, transpiring necessary information all day day after day but, these exchanges can contain NOTHING of a personal nature.   … no recognition of who the person is they are anonymous beings saying the appropriate responses so that lines move on always lines even if they’re broken lines or lines yet to be constructed walking across the parking lot at walmart.
     To pay compliments is one of the most sincere sacred and easiest ways to acknowledge another person by finding their best thing then, commenting on it.  It’s saying, “I see you as a person who at this moment is special for this reason.”  It says, you are able to see that the other has done something well, that it has given pleasure and in return wants to give pleasure back.   recognizing that YOU have done it.
     Ironically, one can give compliments all day despite their disappearance into the well of bottomless words and thought where all unrecognized thought and feeling descends never to be seen again … Ironic?
     Frustrating to the ‘giver’, the one who yearns to see light taken in and returned it’s the sharing quality that means both people can experience a moment of illumination … smile and say … yeah … cool.
     Unfortunately, light given but not returned drains the life force.  It’s like,  if you’re prospecting for gold you’re investing a lot of energy NOT finding it but for a gram here or there that gives hope there will be more.  At what point does one stop prospecting and assume the character of ‘banality’ in return?  How awful, not to make connection!
Acknowledging people’s existence is what defines our essential ‘humanity’.  Giving light to another person and receiving it in return is the greatest gift as, it’s the only perpetual motion mechanism in the universe?!
     I give light all day in my personal life but, seldom get it back.  Under well defined situations there occasionally ARE exchanges.
     I try to create awareness by focusing on the aspects outside of myself worth paying attention to in the other person in my life that can be seen and returned at the moment then, as a memory can be returned to the ‘other’ later,  at the appropriate time.  A memory  recollected that MAGNIFIES, the power of the present if the light is allowed to be received without the banal, off-putting barriers that result in darkness.  How depressing.
     Memory is captured light that can be turned on at will to be used in the future.  It should be returned.  Is it returned?
     No.  Is it important?  Yes … but no.  Why?  Because, I don’t EXPECT to get something in return.  My only expectation is to keep throwing snowballs of light at the yaw of the hungry beast hoping some day to hit it’s mouth or eyes or deep into the recesses of its brain … if only for a moment …..

A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story 


cold and crisp, 

the air between each time  

crystal clear or full of light wings falling/

fat with fluff  

sailing where they please, drifting sideways in the breeze with crystal memories 

See them resting quietly in the trees? 

On the ground adding curve to rugged spaces giving shadow’s warm embraces?  

Hear them dampening sound with suspense and quiet anticipation? 

See the ground with sparkling memories of all the Christmas’ past?  

Each snowflake reflecting back the light from each, its very own star? 

Or so, we liked to think.  

The  Stage  Is  Set 

And so the stage is set for the most memorable Christmas of my lifetime when as a ten year old boy the entire family (aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents) gathered at our house for a rare celebration of gift giving on Christmas Eve when a surprise guest came into our midst adding even more magic to that magical time.  

Stranded At the Depot/A Stranger In the Night  


This was the year my grandfather Dusty Peck, who worked at the Grand Trunk Railroad Depot brought home a guest from Canada stranded at the station with no place to sleep on Christas Eve after blizzard conditions forced cancellation of passenger train service to Chicago.  

We welcomed her into our family as an honored.guest. 

Knowing rules would be more lax in her presence, we give little effort to restrain our laughter and sense of mirth reveling in the joy we create as our Christmas gift to her.

High Jinks and Hilarity

I can still see her sitting next to the fireplace in the blue Naugahyde chair her head thrown back, mouth wide open laughing along with everyone when Uncle Bill lost his balance while bouncing around the living room on a pogo stick, knocked over a lamp then rolled onto the shade while trying to stand up.  

Up In Flames

This is the same year that most of the frilly girly gifts my two girl cousins received went up in flames after being accidentally gathered together with all the Christmas wrappings and burned In the fireplace.

Everyone is sympathetic while my one cousin cries.  My brother and I think it’s hilarious!  


This is also the year that Deac decides we’ll have a traditional style roasted pig with an apple in its mouth for dinner on Christmas Day..

Our oven isn’t big enough for a whole pig so a baker named Mr. Gregory who lives in the apartment above the bakery downtown gives us permission to use his big gas fired oven with rotating shelves to slow roast the pig all day.


Shortly after sunrise Christmas morning with temperatures below freezing, we park in the alley behind the bakery.  The back door is unlocked.  Ten feet from the back door we see the wide stainless steel door of the big oven.   

Baker’s Hours

Mr. Gregory, who bakes bread starting at four a.m. every morning doesn’t mind lighting the gas oven for us before we arrive.  We don’t expect what happens next.  

When Deac pulls down on the stainless steel door handle warm dry, desert like heat washes over our faces and hands reminding us how cold it is a few feet behind us just outside the back door.  

A long chain moving over sprockets turned by an electric motor pulls the shelves around blue flames hissing through b.b sized holes along a metal tube the width of the oven.

Our pig rests on a square cast iron skillet with curled edges so that juice won’t leak inside Mr. Gregory’s oven AND to capture the juice that my grandmother, will use to make her delicious ham gravy.

After turning the motor off we tent the pig with an extra heavy strip of aluminum foil folded down the middle.  Deac uses a wooden bakers pole to slide the cast iron skillet into the center close, but not too close to the blue flames.

Before leaving we turn the motor on, pull the back door shut tightly and drive home. 

Every Two Or Three Hours 

Every two or three hours during the day, we drive downtown to the bakery, to check on the progress of our roasting pig.  The blue gas flames light the inside of the oven just enough for us to see it turning golden brown as it slowly rolls past our eyes …

Later That Afternoon/A Pig In A Blanket 

Later that afternoon around five o’clock the pig is cooked to a dark, rich, golden color.  It doesn’t need to be roasted any longer.

We use the bakers pole to pull the big skillet to the edge of the open door where we cover it with more aluminum foil.  

Wearing thick insulated gloves we lift the pig and iron skillet from the oven, carry it down the back steps to the car.

We place iron skillet covered with more foil into the trunk of the car with blankets over the top.  

While Deac starts the car I run back inside to close the oven door and make sure the back door is slammed tightly shut! 

On the way home we laugh about having a pig in a blanket in the trunk of the car!


We need two dining tables to comfortably seat ten people;  one aunt, one

uncle, two girl cousins, a grandmother, a grandfather, a brother, Deac and Donna and our guest from Canada. 

Deac carves the meat into chunks that are so tender they fall apart when served.  A combination of flavors; cloves and cinnamon and garlic and onion fill the air.  I finally understand what “melts in your mouth” means!

My grandmother’s ham gravy forms golden pools on top of Donna’s creamy smooth mashed potatoes.

The menu includes scalloped corn and scalloped oysters, fresh green beans quick fried in bacon fat with sautéed onions pieces of bacon tossed with apple cider vinegar and a touch of sugar.

My grandfather eats mint jelly with some venison Deac set aside as a special treat.  

My cousins, my brother and I drink tall glasses of milk, my grandparents drink black coffee with their meal while the adults drank red wine.

For desert there’s apple and pecan pie (my favorite). Each year Deac makes a creamy rich sauce in a double boiler from butter, sugar and an egg yolk that makes even fruitcake taste good!

After everyone raves about Grandma Peck’s apple pie we get a good laugh when she tells us it’s ‘mock apple pie’ made with Ritz Crackers! 

Telling Stories 

The adults keep us entertained with funny or interesting stories about growing up or daily life.

We relive Uncle Bill’s accident with the pogo stick.  Each of us tells what we saw from different points of view.  Each story is a different version but they’re all the same and we laugh a little harder with each re-telling.  

My brother said it looked like Uncle Bill was shot from a cannon when he flew into the table knocking over the lamp.

The lady from Canada tells us her sister lives in Chicago where she works as a bookkeeper at the Chicago stockyards and that she lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario where she books fishing expeditions into Canadian bush country on the Alcona Railroad.

They Met At the County Fair 

Grandma and Grandpa tell how they met at the Shiawassee County Fair during a band concert in 1918.  Grandma tells how hard they worked growing up on farm 10 or 15 miles outside of Owosso tending the big family garden, canning fruits and vegetables all summer long, stocking up for the long cold winters, caring for the farm animals seven days a week, gathering hay before hay “balers’’or harvesting corn with implements that seem ancient today.plus there was no electricity or indoor plumbing.. Despite the hardships Grandma Peck says she had a wonderful childhood growing up on a farm out in the country with lots of brothers and sisters. 

Tap Dancing On the Radio 

Donna and Aunt Jo talked about the beautiful costumes my grandmother made for them when  they tap danced at gatherings in different towns and 


cities all around the state.  They re-lived their experience riding the train to Chicago where, since television hadn’t been invented yet, they tap danced on a popular radio program!

The Episodic Past

I have many boyhood memories from Christmases past but, they are all episodic.  Scattered memories from different years.  

There was the Christmas Eve I rode around town with Deac leaving turkeys on the doorsteps of families not as fortunate as ours.

There’s a partial memory I have of a very young boy walking down the aisle at the Congregational Church cradling his favorite gift, a white football that he leaves at the alter for some less fortunate boy or girlThen there’s the year I got the second best gift ever (the first being a new bicycle) a new pair of black figure skates with runners that, as Deac pointed out, were made of Sheffield Steel.

Christmas Morning/Ice Skating In Winter Wonderland 

Very early one Christmas morning after the gifts are opened, the sun barely casting a gray shadow onto the world I grab my new skates, sneak out the side door, cross the road walking west a block and a half along the north side of the athletic field to the ice pond in the park where I skate in a magical world devoid of human movement or sound.  It feels like I’m dancing with an invisible partner carving out figure 8’s any size I want, free to skate as fast as I want then turn and use the sharp teeth at the front of my blades to cut curved grooves in the solid ice showering fractured ice crystals curling to the sides like broken waves while stopping on a dime.  

Other Stories

All the Christmas memories are special. But, the year we celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve while making the Canadian lady a part of our family made this Christmas celebration even more special since all the inns in town were closed that Christmas Eve.  It almost seemed like she was meant to be with us.  Her presence was a gift releasing a spark that added extra measures of laughter and joy.  By her presence we were elevated into becoming the best people we could be even more full of love, transcending the needs of the immediate family. 

It seems strange that THAT Christmas is the only Christmas I can still clearly remember from beginning to end.  By the time our guest departed next day she had become a special part of our lives.  She will ALWAYS be a part off me.  A vivid memory from beginning to end that after 50 years I can still share since otherwise how could I have written this story! 

My Christmas wish is that may we re-live Christmas each year with renewed appreciation while adding more wonderful memories each year better than the last.  

Merry 2018 Christmas 

Happy New Year  to all  and 

To all a 

Good Night!  

From Kurt and Jodi Struble and the Struble/Logan clan 

Or as Tiny Tim said, “God bless us all.  Every one.’”’ 

Gile Steele On Tape

The Gile Steele Tapes; 12:15, Thursday
… She walked away from that maternal relationship with deep resentment for the way she was treated, unfairly, she was punished because she withstood the attacks on her self confidence, her self possession her intelligence.
 They became rivals and it was the only way she could defend herself.  They were her tools of battle.  They played their games overt and covert the old lady never really ‘lost’ and She never won but, she was as adversarial as a child can be without full scale abuse the result and anyway, their’s was more covert …. warfare.
What results is, firm imprinting on the purpose of life lived every day a war of wits and the knack for closing the door on black feelings as the closet or bedroom door were locked with her inside the dark where fears were meant to grow.
Maybe when we are under assault from any power we have to identify with the power of the power that threatens us even if we don’t use the same THRUST,  or for the same purpose, it becomes part of a person physically by constant imprint when those moments came to pass and those critical, nasty, intentionally hurtful feelings are in the air …. Seldom if ever were there tender words of kindness from a mother figure more to show how it’s done and how it feels.
And yet, she parlayed her upbringing by being an fantastic mother despite the lack of leadership along those lines.
I’m beginning to believe that the strongest motivator is the desire/need impulse or whatever to ‘compensate’ for the opposite of the things that plagued us when we were growing up developing self awareness … seeing ourselves as people for the first time though fucking skewed as hell because we were seeing ourselves  through the broken lens of our parents eyes.
Perhaps this realization deep below the surface is the driving force … the little voice that is determined to win that battle, discovering by steps and increments that, the energy that drives that desire is the propelling force toward acquiring more knowledge to move forward.  Using that energy energizes.  It feels so good.
About sharing your laughter?  I shouldn’t feel alone when I tell a funny story even if it doesn’t do much more than cause another person to smile.
I tell her I have a new look it’s wearing a baseball cap with the Camel cigarette logo.
Why is that funny?  It’s the irony of wearing a hat that promotes smoking multiplied by the fact that Camel is perceived as the strongest cigarette.
I laugh while presenting the idea.  The laughter that’s generated brings energy to people rescuing them from the lonely doldrums.
LONELY DOLDRUMS … Who WAS that guy wearing the Camel hat?
She doesn’t see the irony.  I make an analogy to the Lone Ranger and “Who Was That Man Wearing the Camel Hat?”
It’s easy to deny the existence of another person when they tell you a story they think is funny.  We smile and listen and make remark to acknowledge the humor.
If you don’t laugh it’s as if the words didn’t exist.  She tells me to leave her alone before I’m finished telling the story.  There’s no laughter.  No sharing.  In essence, nothing you’ve said, or done has made a personal impact.
Two people laughing means, you’ve penetrated the personal barrier on a highly personal level even when it happens with a perfect stranger.  Sharing laughter is the highest form of ‘connection’.  Laughter is the bodies release of tension.  The relief of feeling safe.
It’s feeling safe with another person or a whole bunch of people.
I tell her I’m finally getting a haircut at ten thirty.  The reply, ‘’Aren’t you lucky.’’ I respond with humor, “No, I’m the lucky one, you’ve had at least two haircuts during the time I’ve had none.’’
She turns and with resentment attempts to disprove my claim.
I raise my hands!  It’s supposed to be funny!
She turns, without a word and walks away.  Not a word about me personally .  My long, unkempt hair doesn’t exist.
Gile Steele

Hideous Nature, Life


Hideous nature,

life …

Ghastly in its death bed/its beseiging compass

run its course.

Bewildering with its struggles/

writhing in its pain/

desire seeking fire/rifting

terrorism’s claim.

Severed thinking/

thoughts of creepy crawlies/

struggling through night


all reasoning.

There’ll be no full moon tonight to guide

the single masted ship

sailing saw tooth tiger’s biting cold/

forces wrought by ghastly winds

likely to prevail, tonight.

Tossed about by nigh time breezes blowing/

dark clouds racing toward

every horizon filling every void

every which way/all shades of gray/

lashing tempest breezes

blowing light’s deepest freezes into

nascent; sadness into dreamer’s hearts

with misery’s delight.

Hideous nature,


The Gile Steele Tapes

The Further Adventures of Gile Steele; The Man Wearing A Camel Hat


Who WAS that man in the Camel hat?


Interview: 12/18/18 TGI Fridays

So, I guess it was a couple hours ago.  I was waiting on that table in the corner and over to my left was this guy with all the looks of a typical older guy, white haired with one of those goatees every man over fifty seems to have to have like it’s some kind of requirement that if you are a cool older dude you have white chin hairs! .. ha ha ha .

He scared me at first because I couldn’t figure him out.  He was definitely different.

So I’m talking with the customer about the shrimp on the menu and she said something funny and I’m laughing when out of the corner of my eye I see this guy … this man … signaling to me like he’s lost at sea.

I glance up and my eyes meet his and they’re pleading eyes really big and he’s pounding the palm of his hand against an imaginary ketchup bottle like it’s a HUGE ketchup bottle, kind of ridiculous looking.  He does these ketchup bottle moves then gets carried away and it looks like he’s pumping ketchup through one of those plunger type squirt guns you use in the pool.  

He’s either got a grin on his face or he’s looking like he’s pleading with me for ketchup but he looks serious and deadpan at the same time.

I know right away he wants ketchup!  Before I even nod my head he’s giving me the thumbs up and I’m so surprised because originally I was kind of afraid of him but now I realize he’s just this non obtrusive guy who doesn’t look like he could hurt a flea. I forget all about the ketchup because Matt took them their ketchup but, later when I walk past their table he collars me and he wants to talk about ketchup so we’re talking real close like our faces are two or three feet away from each other having this mock serious discussion about ketchup and I don’t know what he wants from me so I just play along because it’s fun sooo … it’s obvious he’s “putting me on” about the whole ketchup thing. 

He tells me he’s a super hero whose name is Ketchupman.  He asks me if I want to know what his super power is and it’s that and he can tell when people need ketchup before they even KNOW they want ketchup so can be there in a heartbeat.  This is so ridiculous but it’s funny because, whoever heard of a super hero named Ketchupman?

I ask why he didn’t have any ketchup on him back a little while ago and he tells me it’s a long story that he’s not feeling well these days and I say maybe you’re sick and you should see a doctor and he just fires right back like he already knew twhat I was gonna say “Yeah, I think it’s time to start taking medication.”  Which seemed a funny ass thing to say at the moment because we both gave each other that ‘look’ … 

His eyes follow me as I have to walk away but, we are both laughing because of the …. insanity of the conversation, and I have to keep walking to my table but I can’t stop laughing.   For some reason it’s the funniest thing.

And it was so funny to be with somebody who’s funny like that and … maybe, unconventional I guess you’d say.  I just can’t remember ever just …. ‘bungling’ like that.  

“Wasn’t that the guy with the camel hat?” 

So I say, “I don’t know I didn’t see no camel hat.” 

We’re both heading out the door when we run into Sharon.  

“Hey you guys,” she says.  “Who was that man wearing the camel hat?” .  

Gile Steele; The Man Wearing the Camel Hat

Crane’s Obit

continued … At precisely the same moment the explosion rocks my world I witness the most amazing sight I’ve  ever seen.  



I need to look more closely at the bird to satisfy my curiosity about what I had seen or, not seen.

I walk toward the mound of gray feathers where the bird once stood. I search for the bird.  Strangely enough, I have a hard time distinguishing the bird from it’s surroundings.  

It’s as if the bird has simply disappeared.  Gravity simply took back what was its right to reclaim.  

Its head and beak in profile lie flat against the sand, the black iris I looked into less than an hour ago when sensing its awareness, covered with an opaque film now, its lifeless eye and head and beak and neck inanimate objects attached to a mound of gray feathers lying flat, a few of the shorter feathers lifting in the breeze, like they’re holding onto some memory.  The object of their lives, lies flat against the sand the absorption process having already begun returning what’s left of my friend the crane, to the earth.

I still ponder the event.  When Jake fired the shot that rocked my world I had no idea that the bird would simply disappear. 

That’s what I saw! And that’s what I take away from the experience.  Death.  It’s when life disappears!

WHERE LIFE GOES by kurt struble

Where it goes is 



I suppose  

I don’t know 

where life goes but, 

it’s got to go 

somewhere don’t you guess?

I’d hate to think it just 

comes and goes with nowhere else to go 

each life a tiny pebble and so it goes,

dropped into 

the vast infinite depths of 


within the 

infinite sea of 

Cosmos ! 

Seems like it’s oughta be something better than that!!!

To Kill/An Oath

We should participate to the least extent when it comes to stealing other beings lives away … human or beast.  It’s best to let nature take care of herself in that regard without our interference.  

That’s why I thought Jake and Donna’s decision to end the bird’s life was adult thinking at its worst.  

A little while later,  while Donna cooks hamburgers on the gas stove inside the cottage Jake naps in his big easy chair the afternoon Detroit News crumpled at the side of his chair.  I’m still looking down at my friend the crane.   Finally, I rouse myself from these complex new thoughts about life and death that have entered my mind.  Turning away from the crane I walk toward the cottage, then stop. 

I turn, and while looking back at the crane I make a solemn oath to myself that I will never grow up and and become an adult.  

And do you know what?  

I never do.                                   

The Crane Continues IV


The Verdict 

continued ….. I hate them for saying that.  Who are they to decide whether another living thing should live or die?  

They look at each other then back at me.  Without saying a word I know the verdict. 

I look at the crane, its head feathers tousled by an on shore breeze remembering the moment I saw its head above the cat tails such a short while ago.  So much had happened during that brief span of time.

Then I have an idea!  I open my mouth to tell them I could take the crane back to the swale where I found it so it can die in peace but, it’s too late.  Jake is already more than halfway to the curve.

Waiting for Death

I follow Jake to his house where I sit hunched over on an old wooden bench made from two tree stumps and a thick board facing eastward toward the lake, waiting for Jake to emerge from his house not knowing what to expect.

Halfway between where I sit and the the top of the rise at the far end of the lane, the crane stands motionless on one spindly leg, the left side of it’s body in profile it’s long neck and beak sharply defined.  

The lake appears as a grayish blue ribbon between the top of the dune at the end of the lane and the pale blue afternoon sky reflecting off the horizon line.“

I’m wondering if the crane was aware of my presence back when I stared into its unblinking eye thinking I had seen a flicker of awareness?  Had we really made a connection back in the swale where Gray had made her discovery?

The crane seems lifeless now almost like a statue. Maybe I was imagining things.

I hear Jake approach.

Jake’s Gun

The double barrels of Jake’s shotgun appear pointing skyward to my left.  Jake lowers the gun barrels so that they’re pointing at the ground while, with his thumb against the locking lever he jerks up sharply. The barrels, one on top of the other crack open.

Jake cradles the open shotgun against the left side of his body.  I see into the black holes of the ‘over and under’ shotgun barrels waiting to be loaded with the fat red shells Jake holds in his right hand.

With one continuous motion, Jake’s thumb press the two shells into their chambers then, pulls up while pushing down at the same time locking the double barrels into place. 

The barrels of the shotgun move upward disappearing from my field of vision as I continue to stare at the bird its head feathers ruffling in the breeze as I had seen them do back in the swale after Gray’s discovery brought us together.

Red Feathers 

I can’t take my eyes off of those dancing feathers it feels like I’m in two places at the same time.

In some strange way maybe those feathers are acknowledgement that, there HAD been a connection between us. Things can be funny like that sometimes can’t they?

The air is still.. I’m not breathing.  

Unable to move I feel frozen in place and time.  

The only sound? Deadly silence when, without warning an explosion lifts me off my seat!.  I’m falling over backward but manage to regain my balance.  

At precisely the same moment the explosion rocks my world I witness the most amazing sight I’ve ever seen.  

continued …. Inanimate 


The Crane Part III


Lowering the Crane 

I lower the big crane onto the sand in the open field across from the cottage.  The instant its feet touch the ground its head drops back into the S position.

Before running around to the back, I stop and look into its eye one more time.  I see no flicker of awareness.  Instead, the same blank stare I saw when I first looked into its eye when?  Was it less than an hour ago??

So many experiences crammed into such a short period of time!

I run to the back of the cottage where I tell Donna about the big bird. I tell her how beautiful it is.  “Maybe it’s sick,” I tell her, “But, we can feed it frogs, nurse it back to health like you did with the baby squirrels.”

I run around the side of the cottage, anxious to get back to the crane.  Halfway there, I turn and look behind.  Donna stands motionless, her mouth agape, staring at the crane.  .

She Strokes Its Neck

To reassure her I stand next to the crane, lightly touching its back. 

The crane opens its eyes unfurls its long neck, while slowly turning its head left to right before staring straight ahead, motionless.  

Unable to resist Donna caresses its long neck with the back of her hand, speaking to it in low tones, while asking me stupid questions like, did the bird act like it was sick? 

Jake Willis 

I sense her feelings are warming to the subject so, I say to her. “‘Well Jeez, I don’t know mom.  I’ve never met a sick bird before.” Her smile is soft … and caring.  

Jake Willis, the old guy living on the opposite side of the curve three houses west appears out of nowhere.  We become a group of three thinking indecision. 

Jake isn’t saying much.  He squints a little staring at the crane his thumb and index finger moving along his chin line, in deep thought.  

Donna repeats her concern that the bird could be sick only this time, she looks to Jake for confirmation.

Jake asks me if the bird tried to stab me in the eye.  I just stare at him.

They insist the bird could have blinded me.  They tell me the bird is too sick to live. 

The Verdict 

I hate them for saying that.  Who are they to decide whether another living thing should live or die?  

They look at each other then back at me.  Without saying a word I knew the verdict. 

I look at the crane, its head feathers tousled by an on shore breeze.remembering the moment I saw its head above the cat tails such a short while ago.  

Then I have an idea!  I open my mouth to tell them I could take the crane back to the swale where I found it so it can die in peace.  Alas!  It’s too late.  Jake is already more than halfway to the curve.

Next: Waiting For Death

The Crane

continued … his awareness of sights so different from its everyday world gliding high, looking down at ponds and streams, wading through water searching always searching to satisfy the hunger that gives life meaning.  The desire to live.

Suddenly I know its alive!   It has awareness.  I feel a link between our searching ever curious minds.

Suddenly I know its alive!   It has awareness.  I feel a link between our searching ever curious minds.Unknown


It’s Alive, It Has Awareness!  

I move closer, wrap both arms beneath the crane’s belly lift it out of the water carry it up the side of the swale to the lime rock road for a short distance then, turning right on the black top begin walking east toward the cottage and the lake, cradling the bird in my arms trying to see over the top of its back, feeling its wing feathers against my chin and the side of my face.

I try to stay focused on the road ahead, straining to keep the bird’s talons from scraping the black top, oblivious of the passing cars, their honks, stupid comments and questions.

Gray trots along beside me keeping a wary out for my safety while the bird, its neck fully extended gazes at the passing trees and empty spaces along the side of the road.

Walking along, I picture myself nursing the bird back to health; feeding it, loving it, giving it life once again, then watching it fly away free to ride the wind currents once again aware of its world with a renewed desire to live.

Baby Squirrels 

I had watched Donna raise 6 baby squirrels from the time they were hairless, no bigger than the end of her pinky finger, feeding them every 4 hours 24 hours a day for weeks until they grew and became such a nuisance, all six of them climbing over her body like she was a small tree, tangling her hair, knocking her glasses off, that she finally had to set them free outdoors.

Surely,  she will help me rescue the bird!  At least, I hope she will.   

I had high hopes for my friend the great Crane, who had allowed me to gaze into its eye and be part of its life.

Little did I know what was in store for both of us.

next … Lowering the Crane 

Constructing the Crane: It’s Alive, It Has Awareness!


continued ….. its wings, so large that they stretch the length of its entire body from its breastbone to the shorter thin feathers on the backside, it’s feathers lying next to each other, slightly overlapped when not in use, like a tightly louvered fan pointing downward while standing.

In Flight

I picture its wings in flight the shorter round feathers at the back edge vibrating or fluttering through the air like the sensitive fingers of a pianist each in tune with the incremental movements needed to stabilize and direct the strength it takes to create forward thrust, their giant wings beating downward, pulling themselves upward or in graceful flight gliding through the sky two different parts of its body telling it what to do the breastbone and the long tail feathers telling it to rise up and up effortlessly higher and higher flying free over clouds of air they see, that we can only imagine.  

 I creep forward cautiously until we stand next to each other.  I sense a strangeness about its lack of movement, as if it’s in a trance. 

Crane’s Eye/Seeking Awareness 

I look closely into its eye, the iris a thin orange/blood red ribbon surrounding the the pupil so large it nearly fills the entire eye socket, a dark black pool without a flicker of life.

While looking into its eye, I think how great it would be to see some sense of awareness.  Something that would tell me the crane isn’t dead or dying when, suddenly it breaks out of its trance.

It’s pupil flickers, a spark of sunlight reflects off of the surface of the black pool.  The iris contracts, the dark pool grows smaller until it finds a focal point.

I see its eye tracking from place to place over my face feeling bewildered perhaps by my curious movements, the soft shapes and colors of my face, the black pool of my awareness filling his awareness of sights so different from its everyday world gliding high, looking down at ponds and streams, wading through water searching always searching to satisfy the hunger that gives life meaning.  The desire to live.

It’s Alive, It Has Awareness

Suddenly I know its alive!   It has awareness.  I feel a link between our searching ever curious minds.

continued … 

Constructing the Crane

A Story About A Boy and His Pet Crane 

The Crane: Prologue 

They said the crane was too sick to live!  They insisted it would poke out my eye.  

This was adult thinking at its worst!  The kind of overly cautious bullshit thought that leads to really stupid decisions.  

I hated them for using untrue accusations as a justification to steal the life away from something alive and beautiful. 

The crane had become a friend I had made a connection with when our paths first crossed only an hour and a half earlier.  As … 



Gray (my Weimereiner dog and constant companion) and I were minding our own business, 100 yards south of Jerry’s Marina along the shoreline of Tawas Bay in northern Michigan where, fifteen minutes ago I had fallen off the dock into the oily marina water after riding too slow to keep my balance. 

Still damp, I take one last look over at Jerry’s remembering my humiliation shrug it off  and begin walking the lime rock road alongside a swale, toward the black top that will take me back to the cottage, while Gray sloshes around in a foot or so of water at the bottom of the swale trying to pick up the scent of some animal within the thick growth of cattails,  when I hear Gray barking non-stop.

Gray’s Discovery 

I walk a little further to where Gray is barking at a giant water crane standing in the shallow water at the bottom of the swale, its head above the cattails, where it was probably hunting for frogs when Gray made her discovery.

Gray continues to bark while circling the crane occasionally pausing to sniff or nip at its leg.

The crane looks unafraid,  strangely motionless seemingly unaware of the dog’s barking or my presence.  

I decide to take a closer look.

I slide down the embankment then creep through the cattails careful not to make sudden movements or splash water.

The crane slowly curls its long neck into a flattened S shape the back half resting along its spine its head and beak in profile.

Suddenly it occurs to me that if I take one more step the bird might fly away. I never thought I’d get a chance to be so close to such a beautiful bird.  I want to soak in all the details of its beauty before it’s too late.  

Feathers, Neck, Beak,

I admire the curve of its head, the tiny nostril holes on each side of its beak perhaps ten or twelve inches long.  Red mini feathers dance in the wind on the crown of its head.  .

I see tiny scales covering its stick-like legs each smaller than a dime overlapping themselves like tiny shingles, smooth aerodynamic in design.

I look at the variations of gray coloring along the short hairs of its neck that gradually lengthen into 6 to 12 inch feathers covering its wings, so large that they stretch the length of its entire body from its breastbone to the end of its tail feathers.  It’s feathers lie next to each other, slightly overlapped like a tightly louvered fan pointing downward while standing.

more ….

I Guess It’s Just What You Believe …..

Don’t blame me, I can’t get this post to show double spaces between the paragraphs.  I think it looks terrible but … whaddya gonna do?  
Of course I have friends on Facebook!  We share the past like, we’re brothers and sisters.
So, one of my Facebook sisters wrote this piece as a comment to someone about some sheets that were advertised to help people sleep better.
Since I’m from a small town I’m aware that topics like these can become the focus of some pretty interesting conversations and points of view.
When I first read her comment I didn’t know what she was referring to with these sheets.  But I thought what she wrote was hilarious.  I tried to make up a conversation whereby I’d make a statement to fit what she had written … but I couldn’t do it.
So I decided to let it alone and post it as I first discovered it like … a little jewell.
The whole piece is so insanely funny and sweet and innocent and honest that I couldn’t help but want to share it. Maybe I’m the only person who feels this way in the whole world!  Still, I didn’t care.  I hope there are a few who enjoy it for what it is.
I told Karen I’d give her credit for writing it but in my haste to just get it posted yesterday I didn’t include her name.  I thought maybe there was a married name to go with her maiden name.
So, may I present from a “sister” of mine from the little town of Durand, Michigan the railroad center of the state this piece I titled:
I Guess It’s Just What You Believe In To Help You Sleep
By Karen VanKuren
…  I think this is just a ploy to buy their sheets.  There are tons of reasons why people don’t sleep good at night.  It all depends on the person.  
I have finally found that if I turn off the tv at night,,, I don’t have something in the background to wake me while sleeping.. I now sleep all night (except for having to pee 3 times during the night,, haha),,, but the pitch black does cause your body to produce more melatonin…
I also like my bedroom cool and I’ve been sleeping all night for about a year now since I changed my ways…. Come daylight,, I put a fuzzy thick sock over my eyes also.. The darker it is,, the deeper sleep I get..
I was wearing an eye mask,, but the thing that goes around my head over my hair was breaking my hair off after a while and I had a whole new hairdo for a while till it all grew out again,,, so now I just put the thick, soft, furry sock over my yes..
Now as far as what they said about Alzheimer’s and sleep,, I believe,, but (I’m) not so sure about those sheets…. :) Just like the pillow guy.. I have friends that bought them and love them,, and friends that hate them….
Just my opinion but, I guess it’s just what you believe in to help you sleep.
Right on, Karen! Right on ….. !

Red Sun Rising


The S & P down 3.09%, lower than beginning of the year. 

Dow down 2.4% less than beginning of the year. 

Nasdaq down 4.3%

S & P down 9.68%.  

Government debt highest in history borrowing based on consistent three percent growth Growth rate is 2.5% and will either remain or drop further.  

New home sales, always the ‘driver’ of economic growth,  down 5.5%.  

Inventory of unsold homes 7.7%, highest level since 2011.  Higher interest rates expected.  

Stock analysts:  “A wall of worry trying to climb over a mountain of doubt, ” because of T’s policy decisions; trade tensions with China, political tensions, rising interest rates, weakening technicals, insufficient labor pool (companies all over the U.S. can’t get enough workers.  They’ve been deported.)  

T pulled us out of Syria ceding Syria to Russia.

Since T broke treaty with Iran they can go back to enriching uranium if they please.  Without U.S. backing Europe doesn’t have the power to keep Iran from making nuclear weapons.  

T has devastated the economy of Iran by his decision.  They hate us more than ever and that goes for Israel aS well.   

By T’s policy decisions we’ve given up control of the middle east.  Only the bad guys are in control of the Middle East now.   I’d say Israel’s in big trouble.  

T backed out of the Strategic Arms treaty with Russia.  So, we’re back in an arms race with its increasing the possibility of nuclear war either by accident or from a ‘staged’ event.  

T’s trade policy has forced China and Russia … two huge powerful countries have forced them to become allies already doing joint naval training.  Unable to defeat us individually they could do so as allies.

Putin made statement, he’ll be “targeting” countries with U.S. missiles.  

Several generals have made the statement, “We are on the verge of war.”

Russia is deep into our internet could bring down the grid whenever they choose to do so.  

FINALLY: T finally mentioned for first time, the words, “National Emergency” if the migrants get close to the U.S. border.  When a national emergency is declared, a president assumes dictatorial power while being commander in chief of armed forces outside of the rule of law and the checks and balances outlined in the constitution.     

His coup d’gras will be when he declares a national emergency which he has already said he would do.  At that point the U.S. government will have been overthrown. 

Repeat:  When the president .. any president … declares a national emergency they are outside of the control of all checks and balances.  Congress will be powerless to take his power away.  It will be his to keep as long as he deems it necessary.

Of course he will rely on his cronies in congress who will be complicit in his treason to make it SEEM we are still the United States of America.

None of this is speculation.  It’s all true as we speak.  The trend is not going to stop.  There’s too much inertia.  Psycopaths don’t stop their quest for power until they have all power.  Power is the air they breathe.  They’re never satisfied as long as there’s more power they can steal away.  

Mueller needs to release his findings NOW to show the people we have a traitor in the White House in league with Putin bent on destroying the U.S.  

It won’t be enough.  Impeachment isn’t an option.  If Mexico stops the caravan, there’s always the grid.  


Naked As A Jailbird

black and white cartoon donald duck spotlight

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

I can’t believe that one single person has not stood up to T and told him he’s naked.  

But I CAN understand why no one wants to tell him he’s naked.  It’s his mouth!  

He “shouts people away” from telling him the truth because he’s ALWAYS been naked and he hates it but he can’t help it.  Poor guy doesn’t want to ADMIT he’s naked.  He has to keep trying to prove he’s NOT.  Which is ridiculous.  Just take a look.

Beneath the swagger and the downturned mouth and that stupid fucking hair that history will find as iconic as that stupid fucking ‘stash’ that H wore,  is a fat laden paunch of a belly creased where it hangs at his waist, an ugly little penis, spindly legs holding up his frame and a flat ass.  

We’ve all seen it!  Detailed descriptions abound.  T’s nakedness is a shared vision.  My grandson Max is fascinated by it and talks about it all the time.

T’s nakedness is the best kept secret that only WE know about.

T’s nakedness is an unpleasant truth we all share.  He’s the only one who doesn’t know.

But I CAN understand why no one wants to tell him he’s naked.  It’s his mouth!

So, I just keep wondering, who’s going to have the balls to tell him he looks so fucking stupid walking around naked as a jail bird?.


Hey you …..

He ceded Syria to Russia thus, enabling Assad and Putin to join forces against the U.S.  One less vantage point for the U.S. to stave off all out war.

China … was a useful ally between Russia and the U.S. since Kissinger.  Never a trade war or otherwise.  We supported each other’s market ambitions favorably.  Our political views?  We didn’t discuss.

There was balance of power.  Not so now.

T started the trade war forcing China to lose face.  Putin appealed to China to form an alliance.   The two largest communist countries both rich and powerful in their own right unable to win a war against the U.S. by themselves, now united against a common foe.

China’s closest friend Russia has ambitions for the U.S.  China, a valuable ally in his quest.  Beneath China’s thriving economy old school feelings of animosity.  The communist party hates the U.S. for standing in the way of them spreading their brand of governance, since the 1950s.

They’ll work in league with each other perhaps splitting the spoils in an equable way.

The scorecard?  Russia and China those two huge communist countries partnering  against us.  Russia is a strong player now in the Middle East the balance of power there, turned upside down.  Russia united with all the bad guys against Israel and the U.S.

Assad will be P’s oligarch off choice to rule that region.

Iran’s economy has suffered since Trump broke the treaty.  There’s a bitter taste.  They hated us then.  They hate us now.  Another vantage point the U.S. has lost.

Saudi Arabia the biggest arms dealer, could be a winner or suffer much with defeat.

Not an ally of the U.S. he’s part of the supply chain.  T’s the one who’s taking in the big money with the latest sale of armaments.  Lining his pockets with blood stained hands.

He made that deal within months of taking office, remember those pictures of T on his knees sucking up to the crown prince not long after taking office.

Back then, T knew we’d be where we are now.  After all, his job has been to facilitate our demise from the beginning.

Watch the economy as, eventually it becomes superheated, lacking the necessary labor pool to keep it growing, it implodes.

Where do we stand now Trumpies?  Are we great again?  If you say yes, you ought to be committed.

Can you deny,  that the greatest powers in the world are united against the U.S. by his decisions?  Can you deny we have no treaties to give us leverage, by his decisions?  You cannot deny that everything he has done,  has made us weaker.

We stand alone now.  Without the U.S. as allies, NATO forces will not be up to the task. That beacon of light on the hill, may be on the verge of being blown out.

We are outgunned 360 degrees.  We are on the brink of war all made possible by decisions from the one who will be seen as the greatest traitor in history.

Keep your money liquid.  Watch for the signs.  Have a plan.  Decide where to meet.


How I Fell From First Chair Drummer to Band Outcast


I watched them hit that old pine floor with perfect syncopation; touch and bounce, touchwood bounce from tip to tip/ bouncing tip to end tapping ratatapping their own rhythm as if guided by unseen puppet strings.

How I Descended From First Chair Drummer To Band Outcast

The drum section in the back left corner of our tiny band room was cordoned off from the rest of the band by a bass drum, three snare drums, three kettle drums, a set of chimes, a full sized gong and a silver glockenspiel on a stand.  

Most days Mr. Green (the band director) worked with different instrumental sections while we in the percussion section sat around waiting to play usually not until the end of the period when to appease us, we played couple of marches.

Out of boredom, my ADD aversion to sitting still and plenty of free time, I visited various vantage points where I could peek through all the cracks between the different percussive instruments at different band members, flirt with a couple of girls or, watch Green his angry face bright red, his pock marked chipmunk cheeks puffed out more than usual, his words cutting and sharp, humiliate various band members who weren’t able to play their parts perfectly, haranguing them to practice more, questioning their commitment.  

”If you’re not committed to practicing at least a half hour each night then get out of here right now!”

I could move around back there as long as I didn’t interfere with his teaching which eventually was why I began the slow descent from first chair drummer to band outcast.

Anger Multiplied

My descent to outcast status wasn’t only because I had the freedom to move around.  It was what I carried in my hands when I moved around; a pair of 2B drum sticks in constant motion against the side of my leg, banging out the rhythms to Motown or rock songs that constantly flowed through my brain.

Inevitably the tip of one of my flailing sticks would click against another.  If I was real careless I might tap a music stand or send a cymbal zzzzing …… or worse of all,  one or both of my sticks would slip out of my hand.  I’d watch it fall helplessly as my life passed before my eyes, before hitting that old pine floor with perfect syncopation to touch and bounce, touchwood bounce from tip to tip/ratatapping their own rhythm,  bouncing tip to end tapping out their own improvisation as if guided by unseen puppet strings. 

Which infuriated Green!

More … Much More … 

The Tragedy/Darkness/Death/the End

“I can only describe what I saw without saying HOW or WHY I was seeing what I saw!”


 continued … I creaked up the stairs to the landing, turned right eight more steps where I found myself  stranding in the middle of the upstairs hallway.

On my left the bathroom door opened to black and white tiles, green walls, a pedestal sink and an old cast iron tub with curled feet.

At the opposite end of the hall in near total darkness the door to the front bedroom was barely visible, so tightly sealed as it seemed, along its edges and corners, that not a single ray of light could escape from that front bedroom behind those three dormer windows that looked down onto the front sidewalk.

A pale white light moved across the wood grain floor outside the third bedroom half way down the hall on the left.  I crept softly toward the open door.

I peered inside. A nice big bedroom brightly lit with a high ceiling, two six over six windows looking down onto the sidewalk along the east side of the house, the same sidewalk Janey and Deac walked the night my world began to come unraveled.


The first time I attempted to open the front bedroom door, the knob seemed to pull itself out of my hand.

I braced myself, pulled hard again when suddenly with a low wobbling sound, the door flew open.

I stepped into the room. But a sense of foreboding stopped me in my tracks.

A vaguely repulsive force, like a hand lightly placed against my chest kept me from further advancement.

What was it about that room? Was it a smell?

The air smelled stale with darkness as if I were looking through a sheer gray curtain like the light inside that room had been captured, trapped with no new light allowed to replace what had come before.

The corners of the room possessed the same creepy empty void of darkness I had seen below the steps downstairs but, more well defined with tapering points of blackness almost like sooty tentacles spreading outward, tapering to points where the wall and ceiling surfaces met.

The room seemed to get imperceptibly darker the longer I waited just inside the door.

To my amazement it seemed the existing light was slowly being sucked from the room as it seemed to be getting minutely darker the longer I stood there speechless, unable to take my eyes away from what I was seeing in the corners of the ceiling.

When my eyes adjusted I saw more deeply into the empty gloom, a dime sized empty void where the wall and ceiling surfaces came together.

Mesmerized by these unnatural visions I focused my attention more deeply on the black tentacles reaching out from the dime sized void. I saw what looked like a thin gray line of movement, almost like cigarette smoke, emanating from the black tentacles.

I can only describe what I saw without saying how or why I was seeing what I saw!

Pale gray particles of darkness finer than any dust I had ever seen had covered the walls and every object in the room erasing any vestiges of light from any surface capable of reflection giving the room a sickening pall.

It seemed the corners of the room were slowly sucking the captured light from the room leaving an otherworldly gray in its place.

It seemed the room was slowly dying from lack of light.

Feeling an odd sense of fear and loathing a prickling feeling on the back of my neck, I backed out of the room, pushed the door shut as silently as possible.

I quickly flew down the stairs, out the front door to the grassy area where I joined the others playing, in denial and rationalization, minimizing the nightmare of all I had seen.

Some time later while riding alone with Donna, she stopped the car in front of Jim and Janey’s house.

Turning off the key, we sat, in dead silence while it seemed Donna was collecting her thoughts to speak.

With a sense of resignation she pointed at the three dormer windows on the second floor of the house.  Then, she told me that it was in that room behind those three dormer windows that Jim had blown his head off with a shotgun.

The End

The Tragedy: The Last Time I Saw Janey

The last time I saw Janey was at a birthday party she threw for her nephew one Saturday in late fall.
Here’s what happened that day and how it figures into the tragedy.
Picture yourself walking across that wide front porch to the front door.  The door opens so, you cross the threshold and step inside.
Immediately to the left, stairs rise up to a landing then right, ten or so steps to the second floor hall.
At the end of the hall downstairs, the kitchen looks like an modern, abstract rectangular picture with yellow walls, a red melmac table with curved chrome legs, a black and white wall clock of a cat, its tail slowly moving side to side and the shadows and sounds of moving mothers.
Halfway to the kitchen on the right would originally have been called the parlor or in today’s parlance we call the living room, where June threw the best birthday party I ever attended; one continuous strand of low level activity moving forward, always moving forward, never boring, exactly like their summer yard parties except instead of drinking booze and playing poker we were eating cake, drinking Coke while playing kids games like pin the tail on the donkey or dropping clothes pins into a milk bottle,
Janey wandered about engendering herself to every boy making the games fun by teasing us, laughing at our mistakes, encouraging us when we did something well then drawing everyone’s attention to the lucky boy receiving a prize.
By the end of the day I think every boy had fallen in love with Janey.
With candles blazing at just the right moment, Janey brought the birthday cake into our midst. We gathered around staring down at the cake, our mouths watering, the room quiet for the first time all day.
Holding the knife over the cake Janey whetted our appetites, teasing each of us one by one about the hungry looks on our faces even accusing some of us of drooling.
Skilled tease that she was, she knew how to increase our appetites poking and prodding until I could hardly wait for my first piece. I knew I could go back as many times as I wanted.
Within seconds, I was back asking for more and more and more until I was completely satisfied.
After cake, we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted. We could stay inside and play games or go outside and run around getting grass stains on our pants.
I stayed inside to explore the house starting in the kitchen with its yellow walls the square green asbestos tiles on the floor, the old fashioned faucets, above a deep galvanized sink, a window above the sink that looked down on the grassy area where they had their parties and the back door to the right where steps leading down to and up from the grassy area carried either food and drink or full bladders.
Just outside the kitchen in the hallway to the right, a short door opened into a space beneath the stairs. I opened the door and peered inside, a creepy dark place, the air stale, hard to breathe, so dark even with the door open, it seemed the entire space was devoid of light.  I couldn’t even see the wall opposite the open door.
That place gave me the creeps.  I quickly shut the door afraid to look inside any longer.
I had to pee so I asked Janey if I could use the bathroom. The one downstairs was busy so she told me to use the bathroom upstairs.  continued ….
Next:  The Air Stale With Darkness … Death

The Tragedy: After Midnight

The Tragedy

continued … 50sTown

Continued … 

That night after midnight, I heard a commotion outside.

Curious, I crept downstairs, tiptoed across the kitchen, slowly opened the sliding glass door, stepped into the screened in porch and stood in the shadows.

Fifeen feet from the porch they were fighting next to a big elm tree in the back yard while I stood motionless listening to their heated exchanges.

Donna was growling louder and louder, getting more hysterical by the moment sounding like she’d lose control, break through the sound barrier any second and start screaming.

With a forceful guttural sound Deac hissed at her to shut up.

She continued as if she hadn’t heard a word, in greater frenzy, closer still, to completely losing control, when I heard a piercing crack similar to the sound a whip crack or a snapped branch would make.

Things briefly quieted down. Then I heard her whimper. I slowly backed into the kitchen, closed the sliding door and crept back upstairs too afraid to listen further.

With a sense of heightened anxiety, I climbed into bed and hid under the covers where I convinced myself that what I’d heard and seen was ‘normal’ in some adult way.

Of course, I didn’t know at the time I had entered into the world of denial.  But then, what does a 10-year-old kid know about denial?

Next: The Last Time I Saw Janey


The Tragedy; the Incident


More boisterous than usual, they partied into the night at their last gathering of the summer.  At one point they stood in a circle looking like a bunch of school kids on the playground rocking back and forth on the balls of their feet, teasing each other,  giggling and guffawing.

A couple of the guys told off color jokes while the girls twittered.   The guys were getting frisky touching (or close to it) girls who weren’t their wives while everyone laughed.  The girls slapped at their hands as if it bothered them but you could tell they enjoyed the attention.  Donna’s body language said, “Stay away!”

At one point the group dispersed leaving Donna to sit by herself in the gloaming smoking Kents or Trues or whatever brand she smoked at the time,  perfectly happy to sit and wait for everyone’s return while nursing her umpteenth Manhattan.

Within fifteen or twenty minutes they began drifting back. Two of the guys had their arms around each other calling each other vile names then laughing loudly.  The girls made fun of them with high pitched laughter.

Deac moseyed in a good 15 or 20 minutes after everyone else looking happy as a clam. Five minutes later June showed up by herself looking downhearted.

“Where were you Janey? “ the girls asked with that “sing songey” sound to their voices.

Janey stood next to Jim her arm wrapped around his waist her head against his rib cage, a forlorn, lost look on her face.  She said they had walked around the block to get some fresh air.  When she looked up at Jim for the kiss of reassurance, Jim gazed down at her the corners of his mouth turned up but a sad broken-hearted look in his eyes.

Deac stood behind Donna his hands on her shoulders kneading the space between her shoulder and neck smiling like a kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

The air went silent for a few heartbeats, so tense you could hear a croquet ball drop onto the grass.

Then, one of the guys belched loud and long.  Everyone laughed, dropped back into their well-oiled selves, said good bye for the summer,  good night for the night and went home.

I rode my bike home in the dark.


That night after midnight, I heard a commotion outside.   Curious, I crept downstairs, across the kitchen, slowly opened the sliding glass door stepped into the screened in porch and stood in the shadows.  Fifteen feet from the porch they were fighting next to a big elm tree in the back yard while I stood motionless listening to their heated exchanges.  Continued.

The Tragedy: Lost Tapes

The Tragedy III

The Lost Tapes

Seems obvious but important to note that, looking back I can say with great surety, kids don’t want change.  They want to stay as far away from change as possible.  They want to do what they are doing and they think they can do it forever because they don’t realize that change is inevitable.   

When real physical change creeps into the body the world becomes full of bright new ‘pursuasions’.  With new awarness we turn away from ‘kids world’ to embark along the pathways of our search for love; the missing ingredient that we think will calm the quiet despertion that grows with each disappointment faced throughout life.  

I saw the desperation in their eyes that summer long before I understood or became aware that the tragedy had occured.  It wasn’t until decades later that I understood.

Their parties were a desperate need to fill the empty spaces of their lives after those first disappointing years of marriage when shadows of the void begin showing up around the edges, when it became clear that marriage wasn’t the answer to the question or a destination the where the search for happiness would end. 

Maybe kid’s fear grows as they become more aware of the strange behavior of adults; their need to get drunk, the clinging man or woman too cowardly to resist temptation, the growling resentful wives consumed by rage, needy women lured into illicit affairs by lecherous men or … the choice to die, one more choice along the road of choices another choice along the many pathways, driven by a single aspect of life; the never ending search for love. 

Now I understand the sad, desperate looks I can still see on their faces all those years ago.  A yearning for the missing ingredient.  The spark that would ignite the engines of their lonesome souls.


He sold insurance.  He was successful.

A respected businessman and community leader. He taught me how to handle a shotgun and we often hunted and fished together.

His philosophy of life was that anything of value can only be achieved by hard work and pain.  Suffering builds character!

He had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh.  People had a hard time saying no to him. While most people liked him, he was a shyster and wouldn’t hesitate to screw any person out of five bucks if he thought he could get away with it.

Those few enemies he had hated his guts.

A U.S. Marine, radioman and sharpshooter during World War II, you could say he was a lucky man.  Not because the bus he was riding on that night was broadsided by a train trapping him in the wreckage, with a crushed foot, rather the accident prevented him from being shipped out the next day to Iwo Jima.

He spent the rest of the war recuperating in hospital near Seattle in Washington State.


He was an adventurous soul unafraid to take chances.

One Sunday morning out of nowhere, he proclaimed, “I can ski behind the car.”

A preposterous thing to do!  But he did it and despite the fact that he told me he had never made a mistake in his life, I’m sure that by the end of that day, his arm in a sling, wracked with pain from gravel imbedded road rash and debilitating contusions, you might think he’d at least consider that he made a mistake.  But, he wouldn’t admit or even consider that he had.  Only that he had no regrets.


Did Deac consider his role in the tragedy a mistake?  Did he feel guilt because of the tragedy?  Did he regret his dalliance with Janey and the tragedy that resulted?  Or, in HIS world of denial did he tell himself he had no regrets?  Did he even realize he played a role in the tragedy?  If so he never confided in me.


I was mystified by behavior that I had no reference for before that summer.  After all, I was only ten years old at the time.

I didn’t know that Deac and Janey had been seeing each other off the radar for weeks.  If I did, I wouldn’t have known what they were doing.

What I DID see were the ugly looks Donna gave him and his feigned attempts to act nonchalant.  Even I could tell he was acting strangely talking incessantly about events that happened during the day as if he were enlightening us.


Donna’s volatile temper, her insane jealousy, the bitterness she felt toward Deac roiled like an angry sea just below the surface. During tempests of fury her ocean of madness, spilled over, drawing everyone within reach into her storms of fury even those she loved the most.

We lived in troubling times never sure when her volatility would spark the flames of jealous insanity when we least expected.


Then one day I walked into the kitchen while Donna was breaking dishes on the kitchen floor, calling Deac a son of a bitch.  While he calmly stirred the spaghetti sauce,I passed by unnoticed.

By the time dinner was served the floor had been swept.  They regained their composure and were civilized toward each other while we ate.  For a while things seemed ok.

They weren’t.




The Tragedy II


It all started the summer Deac and Donna partied almost every weekend with three other couples on the grass along the west side of Jim and Janey’s house one of those big ‘mission style’ houses with three dormer windows looking down onto the front sidewalk, a wide front porch six or seven steps up from the sidewalk, a slender Roman column at porch level supporting the front left corner of the second floor probably built during the 1930s it filled an entire corner lot front to back and played a major role in the tragedy from beginning to end.

During their get togethers I roamed around on my bicycle playing with kids who lived in that neighborhood. I always brought my glove and usually found someone to play catch with in the street or throw the football around with or maybe even have a game of “two against two” football on the grass as long as we were careful not to throw any forward passes into their booze bucket.

We spent the rest of the time laughing at the adults and their antics.

Their Parties

Their parties followed a routine that never varied. The men played poker gathered around or hunched over a card table at the back half of the lot next to the house, red white and blue poker chips scattered about the middle of the table, piles of chips stacked according to their value in front of each player while drinking Strohs, Blatz of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer from metal cans, two holes punched at the top of each can with a ‘church key’ hung from the handle of a galvanized tub full of beer and ice beneath a card table holding every type of booze and mix you could think of.

The women gathered in the kitchen or sat on aluminum chairs in a circle on the grass smoking, drinking and laughing not far from the men who guffawed, teased each other or were serious depending on how much money was in the pot.

Janey drank ‘seven and sevens’;  Seagram’s 7 Crown whiskey with 7-Up while Donna drank Manhattans, whiskey with sweet vermouth with a maraschino cherry,  Straight booze like a martini only ebony in color.

Donna wasn’t a sloppy drunk. You’d hardly know she’d been drinking until her temper flared then things could get pretty ugly.

When she wasn’t drinking you could say she was sweet or even funny. But I never knew which of her ‘selves’ I’d be sitting next to at the dinner table each night.

She was an alcoholic but I didn’t know that drinking was a the heart of her crazy flares of temper.  Like the time I came home while she was breaking the dinner dishes on the kitchen floor.

Her temper flared one Saturday afternoon.

She Raided the Stash

I heard a verbal commotion, looked over at the adults, watched Donna suddenly rise, speak forcefully to Deac then turn and make a bee line toward the car across the street from where I was playing catch on the sidewalk.

When Donna got angry she growled and hissed and swore under her breath. Passing by me on the sidewalk she growled, “Get in the car,” pissed off because Deac told her to go home and get more money so he could recoup his poker losses.

I still don’t know why she made me ride along. Maybe in her drunken state she thought she’d stay home to embarrass him. Maybe she thought if both of us deserted him it would cause him further embarrassment.

She growled and swore all the way home as if I wasn’t even there. I stared straight ahead afraid too open mymouth.

They must have had a pretty good sized stash. When she got back in the car she carried a wad of dough big enough to choke a baker. She had an ugly look on her face.  I got the feeling she grabbed a lot more money than needed just to spite Deac.

Jim and Janey

Janey was petite like Donna, less than five feet tall with dark auburn hair, the perfectly proportioned body of a budding school girl, soft round and hips that conformed perfectly with her small frame, the same age as Donna which would have put them both in their mid twenties, not beautiful, maybe not even pretty but, ‘cute as a button’ with a constant smile on her face and an engaging laugh.

She knew how to make people laugh. She brought her highly focused energy into the empty spaces surrounding people’s lives. She wasn’t a giggler. She had infectious laughter that came from some place deep in her throat.

She was engaging. A good listener. She asked questions while we talked. She showed an interest in my thoughts and made comments. She teased me good naturedly. She shared her warm laughter with mine.

She taught me how to laugh at myself.


Janey’s husband Jim, six foot two, broad shoulders, a good looking guy on the order of Rock Hudson or even George Clooney with an extra layer of muscle looking like he could kick the shit out of anyone who gave him a hard time.

But he didn’t impose his size on people.  For example,  it wasn’t until after you spoke with Jim while seated in the shadow of the sun at his back, that you realized after he walked away that it seemed like you had been sitting in the shadow of a small tree.

Jim was the perfect foil for Janey. Opposite in most ways. Soft and gentle he tempered her sometimes over the top behavior with quiet acceptance content to watch the group’s antics, constantly smiling, chuckling, amused at the sight of everyone’s drunken revelry.

It tickled Jim that Janey always seemed to be in the middle of things when the action became either kinetic and fun or frenetic and crazy.

Jim had a great sense of humor too!  Different than the bellicose antics of the others, his low key sarcastic or understated comments took a moment to sink in but once they did, everyone howled with laughter practically rolling on the ground.

At the height of the group’s craziness Janey often turned to Jim for solace. With her arm around his waist she’d tilt her head back for the kiss of acceptance he always gave her when things got out of control.

When Janey was on the scene,  Jim’s eyes never left her.  The low key smile never left Jim’s face.  Janey’s laughter was all that mattered to Jim.

To anyone who knew them it was obvious that Jim was madly in love with Janey.








The Tragedy

The Tragedy

Dragged along on their journey of repentance after the tragedy not kicking and screaming but depressed about losing life long friends to a new world, we ricocheted through time and space to the four corners then home again to where it all began before, hoping to put pieces back together that would never fit together again. 

It all started the summer Deac and Donna partied almost every weekend with three other couples on the grass along the west side of Jim and Janey’s house, one of those big two story mission style houses with three dormer windows looking down on the front sidewalk, a wide front porch five or six steps up from the sidewalk, a slender Roman column at porch level supporting the front left corner of the second floor, probably build during the 1930s it filled an entire corner lot front to back and played an important role in the tragedy from beginning to end. 

During their get togethers I roamed around on my bicycle playing with kids who lived in that neighborhood playing catch in the street or football on the grass as long as we were careful not to throw any passes into their booze bucket.     


Their parties followed a routine that never varied.  The men played poker, gathered around or hunched over a card table at the back half of the lot next to the house, red, white and blue poker chips scattered about the middle of the table, neat piles of chips stacked according to their value in front of each player while drinking Strohs or Blatz or Pabst Blue Ribbon beer from metal cans, two holes punched at the top of each can with a ‘church key’ hung from the handle of a galvanized tub full of beer and ice beneath a card table holding every type of booze and mix you could think of. 

The women gathered in the kitchen or sat on aluminum chairs in a circle on the grass smoking, drinking and laughing not far from the men who guffawed, teased each other or were serious depending on how much money was in the pot. 

Next:  Some Janey and Donna. 

The Further Adventures of Gile Steele

Further Adventures of Gile Steele

So, there he was at the hospital exactly a year later at the same time, same place having the same procedure performed, by the same doctor, in the same room, next to the nurse’s station where a year earlier several factors came together in the middle of the night causing  an unexpected event to occur after his nurse gave him a tiny pain pill to alleviate the fiercest, most relentless pain of his life … then told him the next little pill would NOT be due for another four hours … (four fucking hours?)!  What was he to do?

After the nurse left his room he thought about what had just happened then, in a drug and pain induced brain fog pulled the tubes from his left arm and, using the food cart as a walker made a half assed attempt to escape the hospital for some unknown reason.

From that point forward the “real” world fell away was rearranged, reconstructed and put back together again when  the strange figure of a man appeared moving down a darkened hallway away from the nurses station, at two a.m. looking very determined, pushing a food cart, wearing black shorts,  t-shirt and a pair of white TED hose, where he stopped and was seen telling two nurses, a CNA, a security guy (with arms crossed over golfing shirt … NOT proving that he was a bad ass),  that he had every right to leave the hospital if he wanted to.

Soon after the exchange he returned to his room and fell asleep on a lounger that gave great comfort even though it didn’t take the pain away, after the charge nurse downstairs (an Air Force Academy graduate) convinced him it would be better if he DID return to his room.

And so, he did.

As to the significance of the occasion? He told me, “When an unexpected event occurs, you get startled out of your senses and if you’re lucky when this happens, unusual forces from all over the place join together, making all kinds of sparks and new connections and shit that gyrates, that sends light out crossing other paths, pinging, making, striking all colors never seen, crossing, drawn from people normally grazing grass turned brown, bored, lonely jolted awake by something worth seeing having never seen before!”

I loved the way he described it.

“Most of the time we steer ourselves along on rigidly separate flight paths,” he said.

“We are all far flung variables of differing spectrum with varying degrees of heat that would NEVER have crossed paths, becoming heat/light broken/arcing/tapping new rhythms, twisting smoke like colors never seen before, sparks and brief waves of light thrown into the void of all their dark spaces, the light of “being” allowed to exist if but for a moment, during the event that ends with people usually returning to their grazing.”

“They go back to their separate flight paths but with fundamental change.  Maybe startlingly singular unexpected conflagrations of attraction coming together such as these, reach into our genome level based on intensity,  the genome makes a recording of the event using stripes and numbers, the recordings are a measure of intensity.  They’re probably color coded constantly building, writing their own individual formulas, reflections of time and light twisting, building, building intent to reach some point in time to ‘build out’, anxious to accomplish the task or just doing what’s necessary to move about?”

“A recording of events totaling itself within the endless array of neural connections it has been branching off and growing,  we see evolution as a result.”

I must have looked perplexed so he explained, “Everybody every day has experiences that impact and startle them awake, that affect them on a fundamental level.  A split second after surprise comes the relief of being safe.  We laugh in relief that we are still alive.  People love to be scared at least momentarily.  It’s what we call ”funny” hahaha” … it’s a part of the primal instinct not to get eaten called, self preservation.”

“War is the most powerful experience bringing about change. Self preservation reduced to it’s fundamental opposition, boiled down to black hole level.  But war is no laughing matter.”

He loved the absurd humor of these startling, suddenly wide awake situations producing laughter in relief, the sight of people’s faces,  the startled first time behavior, the wide eyed, surprised looks, a brief return to childhood face, a re-creation of the 16 year old smile, faces dripping smooth then frozen in time with white teeth and sparkling eyes, adding color, filling in a few of the voids within,  awareness boiled down,  distilled and rendered into pure unadulterated laughter.”

He joked, “The opposite of war?   Haha ha ha ha …!”

Even the Crazies


I’ve been to the monument 

I’ve seen the inland sea ..  

I’ve walked between

the rising sun  

among the trees 

of blackest night

beneath the moon and 

star filled sky 

and midnight sun’s 


I’ve heard the diesel’s mournful wail 

along the rails of time 

the trail of tears I walk alone

now, sadfully reflecting, mine.  

Through tears of lace 

and wicked armor 

I see tears of endless treasures  

wrung from faultless lies.

Shameless tales of sacrilege and greed 

told with hapless glory

‘midst tales of cold belief;

The lost objects of our affection

seen rushing hrough abandoned buildings 

interiors with scorched walls 

through rooms and spaces, hearts and reason,

through mirrored ceilings hanging

scars of pain, lost inner light.

reflections wander aimlessly in

sightless worlds of virtual 


 With love no longer 

the object of affection even 

the crazies 

can get 



Two F’er

– Two –

I was flying sideways in my car

along streets full of passers by

looking for tomorrow

and a day that will never come.

Past fields of wheat and flax I drove

past lines and furrows

along roads well traveled

where spiral masses lie in wait

for early spring

past the mystery of silence

so near, but yet

so far …

– F’er –

Within the rural sun

mornings arrive

and day is nearly done.

Sun and moon and in between

miles along the roads of time.

Too much distance

too little time to make

the world my own.

Too much time to never see

everything between

growing in the sun of



Ultimate Rot

A picture couldn’t do justice to  

Arctic wind’s ferocity 

blowing across the 

great lake thirty or forty m.p.h. 

white caps rushing toward shore 

water, trees, sand and leaves … 


Shhsssshing relentlessly,

my hoody inflated into 

a reverse parachute 

pushing my head and 

body backward.

Dots of rain prick

my face 

the occasional 

snow flake spirals by.

 I’m forced to retreat 

to calmer climes 

along the road where 

not so long ago it seemed

cold before cresting 

the hill at the shoreline 

to face Arctic wind’s 


I made my way up the hill to 23 

turned left onto the bike path for 

a mile or so, past

the alabaster pipeline.

I turned around, for no reason

walked back

the way I came to the end of 

the bike path at the top of

the hill. 

Descending the hill I heard

the SNAP CRACK! of dead firs

breaking like sticks 

the broken half still attached to the ground 

looking like a beast, patches of bleached wood where bark had fallen with jagged, pointed, dagger teeth an angry beast thrust up from the earth

pointed skyward

still attached to   

roots rotten and brittle below ground

the only force keeping  

the trees pointing skyward

with snarling fury 

the soul of each tree’s pent up frustration 

raging at nature’s forces  

finally allowed to express 

their furiosity at

the plague of beetles who caused their

demise, long gone now

off to greener pastures. 

The fir tree’s plaintive wails,

their pent up frustration,

their solitary ghost sounds 

their howls of pain


in their after lives they had become

ghost trees wailing 

at the wind!

their pain punctuated by 


the initial sound 

of ultimate 

rot … 

Second Life

See the angry acts of many rich
too proud to bond

with mother earth
their caskets bulge

with stolen goods,

no thought to share their riches
with generosity, given freely

their greedy souls ever searching
their habits deadened, never knowing

thoughts worth thinking.

Some people care within their own demise
their envy keeps them living,

their thoughts so easily lead astray
their longing never ending.

It’s how falsehood gets passed down
from generations onto

those seeking
sustenance over fear,

plentitude over awareness,
bitter after the war to win all wars is lost,

roles played again and again
they sing their lonely anthems.

Their search for meaning never stays
the price too high

the road too steep and winding
the streets unpaved,

muddy ruts along the way
too deeply formed

too costly to repair with academic kindness

too easy to surrender with utter blindness.

The end result?

Blindness, winds its way along/its pathway leading nowhere/
no hope of rescue from their dying,

too lost to find/the road that’s never there/their narrow thoughts an outside force/that seeks to win the day/despite their loss of living.

Their fear? Death before living life.
Their regret? Unknown dreams and fantasies never lived/locked up crying within/never seeing the light of day/never real love finding,

a game they play with no winners.
except those few who find themselves

home at last
at journey’s end

at the place where life is

living …

Endless Possibilities


Driving out endless possibilities/pictures skating over thin ice/holes chopped through frozen reality/broken dreams in hospital/waiting for repair.

Unknown encounters passing by/sparks of visions wondering why/lives joined in sequence/the river meandering by/sweet and terrible waters.

Birth spring summer fall reliving/gifts supreme/singularly seen with double meaning/sun’s heavenly face moving/fresh air beyond belief/old worlds torn asunder.

Rising swells /moving sands/deadheads floating by/imagination captured by wandering seas/renewing themselves …

endlessly  … 

It’s Ironic

Something funny transpired today 

between my nurse practitioner Matt 

and Me after our 


He ended our visit saying,

“These are things you have to do when 

you start getting 

older,” and so

we had touched on 

the subject of


“Men don’t live as long as women you know. “ 

“I know,” one of us said,

“It’s the payback they get for 

bringing babies into 

the world.”

(and then)

“Oh man, you mean they get to live in this shitty world a little longer?”

To wit, it was said,

“The high point of their lives is when the men in their lives are gone.  Way before then, men can be more than just a nuisance. “  

The “other” said, “Much more than a nuisance man!!

Many if not all of us will be blabbering fools by that stage! “


“Idiots even!!……no wait……….. “What was I saying??

“It’s ironic ..”

Hideous Nature, Life

Hideous nature,

life …

Ghastly in its death bed/its beseiging compass

run its course.

Bewildering with its struggles/

writhing in its pain/

desire seeking fire/rifting 

terrorism’s claim.  

Severed thinking/

thoughts of creepy crawlies/

struggling through fright’s night  


all reasoning.

There’ll be no full moon tonight to guide

the single masted ship 

sailing saw tooth tiger’s biting cold/

forces wrought by ghastly winds

likely to prevail.

Tossed about by night time breezes blowing/

dark clouds racing toward

every horizon filling every void

every which way/all shades of gray/

lashing tempest breezes 

blowing light’s deepest freezes into

nascent; sadness into dreamer’s hearts

with misery’s delight …………

Hideous nature,


He Gave Us the Freedom

She looked with cold indifference at 

his efforts to teach 

the connection between

our lives and


Bridge parties, 

the daily routines of life and 

an afternoon nap, were 

the essential components of 

her life. 

He gave us freedom to

explore the sandy beaches, dunes, trout

streams and 

the Great Lake where

he had fished and camped as a


We spent our days


for hours at a time,

we ran thorough 

the woods like wild 


We fished in the bay 

off the end of 

the old Coast Guard dock 

at the end of 

the limerock road 

where he fished at 

the same 


He gave opportunity for

unique forms of

thought patterns taken from

the world around;

deeper sorts of problem solving

made more essential

more real

  in a world parallel to but 

inclusive of 

the confines of

our ‘’everyday’’ lives. 

One day,

temperatures in the ‘20s

walking in his tracks through

three feet of snow

 the ground white 

light as feathers rising while passing by

quarter sized light wings 


slowly downward

 soft and mesmerizing.

We traveled past

the scrub oaks

a century or more


gnarly and twisted from

Arctic winds 

their rise and fall,

deadly cold fronts, biting winds,

great lake storms 

blown onshore,

adapted to biting cold


We walked to

a line of scrub pines

behind dunes running parallel to 

the lake where .,..

with food and shelter and warmth 

he left us for 

some indeterminable 

length of time

in a world of silence

to contemplate a world 

stripped of all conveniences 

wrapped in black or white

the ground softly falling through 




Grand Canyon Phil

 Lynn started having severe headaches a year and a half after marrying Phil who considered himself a libertarian pledged to be a pain in the ass to every person he met.

One summer they were on vacation at the Grand Canyon riding donkeys down a trail along the canyon wall around 200 feet above the Rio Grande.

The trail widened just as Phil called the guy in front of him a fucking jack ass.

Lynn pulled up next to Phil.

‘’The nerve of him,’’ she thought to herself. ‘’I’ve about had it with this asshole.’’  Without realizing, the word ‘asshole’ had escaped from Lynn’s lips.  

Phil’s head spun sideways to look at Lynn, a look of astonishment on his face just as Lynn, with a vice like grip, dug her fingernails into the skin around the top of Phil’s shoulder.

The last thing Phil saw before a tumbling blend of spectacular Grand Canyon colors enhanced by an immense orange setting sun was, Lynn’s smiling face mouthing the words, ‘’Good by asshole.’’

When they returned topside the entire group reaffirmed Lynn’s version of the story.  Phil had leaned over too far while yelling, “Fuck off!’’ to the group leader and had fallen over the edge of the gorge.

That night Lynn drove eastward toward Las Vegas.

Phil’s body was never found.

G-Note Decrescendo, Finale, Bump Note

Continued.  I finally realized I didn’t know WHY the telephone was invented.  I stared straight ahead at nothing.  With a pleading look on my face I said,  ‘’Beats the shit out of me.”  
When I uttered those words, all my senses shut down except my hearing.  All I remember is a wall of sound washing over me.  You know that high pitched cackling sound women make when they all start laughing at the same time?   Don’t they call that the G Note, or something like that?  
When that wall of vibrations hit me I thought my head might fly back so hard I’d re-injure an old neck injury I got when I played football.   Continued.  

What’s funny is, I wasn’t even trying to be funny.  This was one of those moments when you find yourself being honest in an unconscious way.  The experience of total honesty on an unconscious level is so far from the real world it catches people totally unaware in the real world.  

People laugh in relief after being surprised by the unexpected.   

What’s even funnier is looking back, I can still see myself continuing to ponder the question while the chorus of G Notes washed over me; maybe Alexander Graham Bell was just trying to figure out a way to let his servants know it was time to bring the soup into the dining room, when he invented the phone.  Or, maybe he didn’t know what the damn thing would be used for. he just knew someone else was trying to invent one and he wanted to be first.  

So, how could anyone really know why the phone was invented? 

I was sure those three women didn’t know that the question had taken on such large philosophical dimensions to me and no way was I going to give them even an inkling of my thoughts. 

Just before the cackling started to die down I knew the room was going to get quiet and  further comment would be expected from me.  I got nervous and tried to think what I’d say but a soft voice inside my head kept whispering, ‘’Quiet, quiet, quiet.”

So, I decided to refrain myself and shut up for a change.  

A lot of the tension in the room had been released so I figured, if I played my cards right I could slip out of there unscathed by further attacks about my other infraction, the tardiness of my paperwork but, only IF I could refrain from saying something dumb which would start the talk cycle all over again.  I needed to move straight ahead with little or no verbiage.    

I was in the cusp, so to speak. I could have disappeared to the far side of the moon at that point or laid flat on the surface of a full moon, fully exposed for all three of them to take pot shots at me, whatever in God’s name all of that means.   

I know you’re probably waiting with ‘baited breath’ to know what happened next which, I don’t even know what ‘baited breath’ means.  Baited?  Baited breath to catch what?  How could your breath be baited?  Or, maybe ‘baited breath’ has to do with being aware that someone might be telling you a fish story?

Of course I know this is all ridiculous.  But, if you really care, here’s what finally happened.  

After the laughter died down, I played it real cool.  I stretched, like I had just finished putting the finishing touches on my Ph.D. thesis and was satisfied with the results.  Then, I very nonchalantly (I had to be very careful not get too close to the waste paper basket since, within 12 inches or less it’s a ‘given’ I’ll knock it over.) moved past Carol’s desk, past all three of them, toward the same door I’d been looking at earlier while I was in LaLa Land thinking about Alexander Graham Bell and dropped my paper work into the Inbox.  

Then, I turned and before anyone could say anything I said, ‘Hey, I gotta go.  I left my car running.  Have a great day.  Call me if you’ve got something for me Carol.  I promise I’ll check my messages more often, ok?  I promise!’’   

I pushed the door open and stepped outside.  Before the door closed I snatched a quick look back into the office.  The three of them were looking at me with smiles on their faces.  Jennifer looked like the girl from the Exorcist the way her head was twisted around.  

I was trying really hard to continue being nonchalant.  I kept a pleasant smile oj my face.  Finally I heard the door click behind me and I was free! I pictured myself walking away, limping of course because of that stupid hip of mine.  I wondered if they were looking at me through the window thinking what a ‘’Clyde’’ I was?

Most of the time life is a never ending stream of ridiculously funny, unpredictable events that stream along side the river of consciousness that’s part of my real world.  I never know what’s going to happen next or, what I’ll do in response.  It’s as much of a surprise to me as it is for anyone else involved so, I get to laugh along in “third person” which, for all intents and purposes, I think I am.  

The end of this episode was pleasing, enough.  I was happy to get the hell out of there unscathed.  Therefore, I didn’t have to go back to my car and beat up on myself for saying something really dumb like I usually do AND it was reaffirming that I finally had the balls to use the car as an excuse to get out of the office thereby NOT wasting a shit load of gas. 

Truth of the matter is, I’m not even sure what happened wasn’t really stupid.  All I know is, all three of them were smiling when I left so I guess everything is just fine.  

Ergo Again


i’m torn 

in many 

wonder ways 

captive held

by scalding seas 

narrow channels  



surfeit ever

changing seasons 

finding mark/steady 

back against

chest walls

contact surface

shot to shit 

with sweet 



one single look of 

‘wonder why’ 


was it that or 

or simply 




spark !!!

breath alive ?





grains of sand 

fresh water 



new Light changing sight

no longer held 

captive … 

How the G Note Gave Me A Neck Ache

continued … maybe I muttered something like, ‘’well, you know how it goes,” blah, blah blah,  when suddenly the woman named Linda (who’s pretty aggressive) says rather forcefully, “Why do you think phones were invented?!’’  
continued …

The first thing I thought was, what the hell kind of bullshit attitude is this? 

Was she trying to put me on the spot to test my mettle or something like that? 

To tell you the truth I didn’t really care what she said while at the same time  some little voice inside my head kept saying, “Fuck you bitch,” AND “Uh-oh, this could be trouble,” at the same time!

And yet, on top of all of this intrigue the question intrigued me!  On the deepest level, why was the telephone invented?

It gave me ‘’pause’’ for thought during that brief interlude.  

I must have said something pretty stupid after mulling over the question since, when I replied a wall of sound swept over me.  

Here’s how it happened …  continued ,…

When Carol, (the aggressive one) said, ‘’Why do you think phones were invented?’’ looked up and stared over at Suzanne’s office, on the other side of Carol’s desk, into the tiny space between the edge of the open door and the window on the far wall.

I don’t know why I fixated on that particular spot. I stared at it wondering what the REAL reason telephones were invented?

I knew damn well they weren’t invented so people could be called for work assignments! I mean, did Alexander Graham Bell even consider that some day there’d be answering machines?   

I was being totally over analytic as usual mulling this stupid question over and over in my mind coming up with all kinds of thoughts on the subject.  

For a split second I even saw Alexander Graham Bell calling his assistant  (what was his name Watson? ) to come upstairs because he had spilled acid on his hand.

All of this thinking and wondering happened within a split second but I guess the timing was perfect  you know, one beat, two beat … . 

 The room got real quiet.  Suddenly it dawned on me.  I didn’t know why the fucking telephone was invented!

I went from being confused to concerned.  I know it showed on my face.  Maybe it looked like I had been deep in thought and was about to speak a pearl of wisdom.

So I said, ‘’Well.  I don’t know why the telephone was invented.’’ 

Suddenly it seemed like all my senses shut down completely, when wall of sound suddenly washed over me!  You know, that high pitched cackling noise groups of women make when they all start laughing at then same time!?

Don’t they call that the G-NOTE  or something like that?

That explosion of sound practically knocked my head backward!

(continued … 

For tribalmysticstories: A Tribal Mystic Story; Poem For My Father

  • – Poem For My Father –

One day he took me to a copse of trees 

where we sat under a canopy of 

newly formed leaves  

above us a clear blue sky 

where he gave perspectives to me

different from anything I had 


Thoughts from the other side of

what we think we know.

How wind and leaves 

are not separate forces rather 

part of one single entity

connected to an infinity 

of larger and larger wholeness

stretching outward from 

the air we breathe,

beyond heat and light 

from the sun then, 

further into space and time until  

I saw myself in a world 

quite different than my own,

a world I’d never seen before, 

of single limitless form.  

He drew my attention to 

the random movements of 

the leaves

rising and falling, relentlessly 

shooting ‘round and ‘round,

limbs branches leaves and needles 

the grasses and saplings below 

touching one another 

sharing unique thought patterns 

not unlike the synapses 

of our brains though 

infinitely more complex,

not confined by 

the craniums of our skulls,

gathering awareness,

from earth and sky,

the mysteries of the world 

above and below spoken to them

content to accept all that is true

without conscious reflection.  

“Trees are the supreme creation of life along the continuum of awareness, free from all bonds, able to gather all knowledge from earth and sky and share with one another.”

I listened and within 

the silence of my mind 

heard leaves and limbs 

whispering to one another,

their voices rising and falling 

in concert with 

the wind, 

it seemed I was watching  

a playground of laughing children. 

He told me all root bound life 

the trees and even the grasses reach 

the tendrils of their minds, their 


into the planet where they feel 

the living vibrations of the earth and glimpse 

the secrets of life

“They know the stuff we struggle to understand.” he said.  “From the smallest particles outward, one long strip of awareness from where they are rooted, to the edge of the horizon and beyond, while we scurry about like ants grabbing pieces of sticks or crumbs of knowledge thinking how clever we are.’’

Without Love

Without Love

… we make our way across
the frozen tundra of
our hopeful desires

unaware that beauty rests
just below the surface of
our painful hearts;

a streak of light unseen
nestled within each throb of hurt
the light of hope

the knowledge that Love exists
only were it not for
the pain that comes with it,

verification of Love’s existence
its very presence the other half needed
to complete the whole,

darkness and light
giving form to our illusions
the clarity to continue unfettered

the price we pay for knowledge of truth?
the dark pain we feel
the price we pay to find life’s meaning.

We walk into the fuel can
of our hearts unknowing
the air stifling and flammable

pock marked faces
the scars of infidelity
the permanance of death

the knowledge of wasted time
the loss of hope
the bitter taste of lost love,

the random scars of life and love
all beauty and all pain

giving meaning to all consuming desire
beautiful with lust or anger
the call of bliss and freedom

the prisons of our minds
the sight of everything good given meaning

yet steeped in painful search along the way

the choices that we make
the human condition;

Are they real or an illusion?

Without love/life has no meaning.
Without pain/there can be no love.


FaKakda fakakda

Heard today downtown: “Fakakda this fakakda folker spoiling far a pongha fakakda, the fakakda fun a Yiddisha fakakda? that’s me!  I’m the number one fakakda fakakda best fakakda there is by far! Fakakda Me! Wooh woohwhoospuke spoof woof …. Oye veigh …. so

If you don’t think this is funny then I probably need to see a psychiatrist.  This definitely proves that stupid is funny which figures since, I’m the stupidest guy I know! oy .

Living most of my life within the Jewish culture taught me a very funny word and it popped into my head today … fakakda!  and I laughed.  So I scrambled around for something to write on when I realized the computer was on.  I had a V8 moment without the can!

So, I let my fingers do the walking through the sound within my brain.  Wanting to put just a LITTLE humanity into this ridiculous tirade of words I threw in the “Me” aspect … so fucking dumb …then, I had to immerse myself within the word world of “Me” (wherever that is ) and it needed to be in lock step with rest of this … I won’t say ..

See it’s all about rhythm to me.  Make the words skip across the page like flat skipped stones thrown across the water.  I may or may not know how to do this. But I have respect for what it is and how it feels to me!

To immerse yourself in the words is like crawling inside another world, stupid and asinine as often they are and I can be.   Really!  You didn’t know?   ok . bye .k

Where’s My Passport? Look Under the Underwear You Idiot!

I was conflicted.  Should I return the money or go on a spending spree?

I thought about going to Brazil or Paraguay or even Chechnia but, I couldn’t find my freeking passport!

I looked all over the place!

I got so tired of looking I said, “Screw it!  I’ll stay home and watch the Ali Foreman fight on T.V.!”

The fight was cancelled which really pissed me off.  But, I found a Looney Tunes cartoon festival which was even better.

I wasn’t two minutes into the first Woody Woodpecker cartoon when the door bell rang.

Two guys told me they were from the IRS.  They asked me if i knew a certain woman on the 5th floor.

I told them I did then, “Whew! I thought you were looking for me!”

They started asking me questions.  They said they liked me and everything but they had to take me to headquarters for processing!

The younger guy on the left smiled, “It won’t take long.”  The older guy on the right stared hard at me his eyes slightly squinted, a left to right movement of his head barely visible.

I asked if I could take a few things with me.

The guy on the right said, “No way!‘’

The younger guy smiled and said, ‘’Why not?”

The older guy said,”Well, OK.  But make it snappy!  We haven’t got all day!’’

I grabbed my Detroit Tigers souvenir program (the year they beat St. Louis for the world series), my favorite t-shirt and an extra pair of jeans.

That’s when i discovered my passport!

“Oh shit!” I thought.  “There’s my frickin’ passport!! Under my underwear where I put it for safe keeping!”

After locking the apartment door (as we were leaving)  I said, “What about the woman on the fifth floor?’’

They looked at each other then back at me.

The older agent who stared hard at me smiled and said,  “She’s an IRS agent.  We were meeting her for lunch!’’

The younger guy who earlier had smiled barely shook his head from side to side his eyes piercing into mine.

A Time For Sleeping

A Time For Sleeping

Saturday was a cold, gray day.

I lit the fireplace for a quick warm up.

Before leaving the warmth of
the cottage

I wrote a little more,
donned my hoody and coat

turned off the gas
grabbed my camera and

entered the cold but
beautifully pure, refreshing

northern air.

I walked up the hill,
along 23 to

the alabaster pipeline then
backtracked toward where

my journey began.

At the bottom of the hill
frozen water looked like a small stream

or a miniature river system or
what a large river basin would look like

from high above.

Two sets of raccoon tracks lead to
a fork along

the frozen highway dusted white with snow
where they parted ways.

My frozen world had become
suspended in time,

fully sleep within
the ground of shadows,

all things living
framed in shades of gray

naked, dead or
alive and


But, for what?

For summer’s light to return
life’s burning ember,

for warmth to come again,
a time to grow

from liquid water sugar fed
the leaves and buds of trees absorbed

from sunlight stored
a hundred differing shades of green

their roots reaching deeper
seeking … seeking …

seeking to remember …

But for now?…

a time for

sleeping .,..

Zumba My Ass Once Again?

Zumba My Ass

Once again he was saddened by the thought that, “She never thinks i’m funny!“

Most of the things HE thought were funny, SHE thought were either stupid or sexually degenerate.

She hated the word ‘’shit’’ which he thought was the funniest word in the English language!

And she didn’t think sex was funny which he thought was even funnier than the word shit!

She used to say, “I don’t appreciate your barnyard humor.’’

He remembered the time she stormed out of the room after he said,  “I’d love to be able to fly like a bird but, I wouldn’t want to BE a bird because when they have sex it’s over after a couple of quick thrusts!”

She said something over her shoulder as she stormed out of the room. All he heard was, “Compared to you.” He didn’t catch the rest.

Strange as it seems, he chuckled at the craziness of the situation.

“IT’S OK she doesn’t get it most of the time!’’ he thought.  “’Fer crying out loud you can’t connect on everything!”

Still, he hoped that occasionally she’d laugh at what he DID or SAID to BE funny instead of the unintentional things that happened which she thought were  hilarious!

Like the time he was carrying the groceries in from the car, tripped over that stupid exercise ball she never used, fell and separated his shoulder!

She laughed so hard she didn’t even hear his pleas to call 911!

“I can’t,” she replied laughing hysterically, “I just peed my pants!”

Through the haze of pain he thought, “Well, at least she’s laughing!”

But then she got pissed because the exercise ball hit a nail and went flat.

As she walked out of the room the last thing he heard was, ‘’Call 911 yourself you clumsy ass hole. It’s your own damn fault! “

He had to fish the phone out of his back pocket. Which isn’t an easy task when you’re lying on the floor with a separated shoulder.

But the battery was dead!

A moment  later she came back into the kitchen.

She began picking up the groceries but she ignored him.

“But you’ve never used that thing!”,  he said through clenched teeth, in pain on the floor.

Pleadingly he pleaded, “It’s bleached out from lying outside in the sun for TWO YEARS! I made a landscape ornament out of that damn thing after the first year!”

She stared at him like she was in deep thought.  Then, glaring at him through narrowed eyes she replied, “Well, I WAS thinking of joining that zumba class starting next week!”

Then she got huffy again. “Ohhh … Why don’t you just put the damned groceries away  yourself?!”

She stormed out of the kitchen a second time.

Despite the pain he managed to say rather loudly, ‘’But honey, zumba doesn’t USE exercise balls!’’

Just before the front door closed behind him he heard her yell, ’’Good! I didn’t want to take that stupid class anyway!”

He opened the driver side door of the Mustang, sat sideways butt first, slowly rotated his body while holding his right arm tightly with his left hand until he faced the front of the car.

His right arm was useless and it was impossible to reach across the steering wheel to the shift knob and steer at the same time, so he had to drive the Mustang in first gear all the way to the hospital five miles away!

While it seemed strange to him at the time and despite the pain, he laughed all the way to the hospital.

London Broil: the End Again

continued …  “she’ll just have to eat her goddamned popcorn with butter tonight  … !  he wondered if she’d know the difference … but, he knew better … )

Two hours later when he got home she was fast asleep in bed.

“Hmmmmm”, he thought.

He figured that, since the next day was Saturday (and she’d be sleeping in) he’d leave early for his appointment at Peter’s Quickie Loan Place (across the street from the Piggly Wiggly), pick up a couple tubs of margarine for the popcorn AND a couple pounds of butter, just in case!

He knew he’d have hell to pay if there wasn’t any butter in the house since she preferred only butter on her toast.

The End ..

London Broil: Butter or Parquay?

continued … when he doubled over she called him a doofey unemployed jake ass.  He laughed to himself.  ”What the hell is a ‘jake ass?”  he wondered.  continued …

Most nights after cleaning the kitchen he joined her in the t.v. room even though he hated that goddamned western channel …

He usually curled up with a book by his favorite author Louis L’Amor.

That one night she told him she wanted popcorn.

He took great pride in his popcorn making skills but that night they ran out of margarine!

(It was a mystery to him why she didn’t like butter on her popcorn.  He loved buttered popcorn!)

Maybe that’s why.   

“Wull,” he told her, ”There isn’t any margarine.”

But she insisted,

”The car’s got plenty of gas,” she said, “And i could use some quiet time.  So why don’t you just leave?” 

So, he drove 8 miles to the Piggly Wiggly in town but it was closed for the annual inventory.

So he drove around the corner to Charly’s Convenience Store but it must have burned down; the walls were charred black and the roof was missing.  

‘’I’ll be damed if I’ll drive another three miles over to Plank City for a tub of frickin’ Parkay,” he said to himself, out loud..

“She’ll just have to eat her goddamned popcorn with butter tonight!”

(He wondered if she’d know the difference but, he knew better.)

continued … 

London Broil

 They had meat for dinner almost every night.

But for months he had been eating tomatoes and feta cheese each night even though he hated feta cheese!

He couldn’t stand the taste and it made him sick!

She insisted all along he become a vegetarian and she insisted he eat feta cheese even though he loved meat and potatoes.

“Honey,” she said, “As long as you bring home the bacon you can have whatever you want!”

Which, this was the problem!

He hadn’t worked for months and tomatoes with feta cheese is a LOT cheaper than two people eating London broil!

(Even though they had plenty of money!)

He just shook his head.

But, why feta cheese he wondered ??

(She said it had something to do with goats milk and the symbiotic relationship goats have with tomatoes???)

She gloated it over him.  The meat thing, I mean.

And the fact that he wasn’t working.

Naturally, he didn’t want to make waves so he ate the damned feta cheese. (After all he WAS unemployed) But he would NOT give in when she asked if he liked the feta cheese!

She always laughed, “I can tell by the look on your face it sickens you!!!”

One night he had to leave the table after eating a piece with green mold!

(He hated bleu cheese even more!)

She followed him to the bathroom chortling the whole way!

’’I know why you’re sick you jake ass!’’ she said. “It’s that cheese you liar! You hate it!’’

He told her he thought it was something he ate at the unemployment office.

She laughed again!

“Probably one of those meaty hot dogs you like so much you meat eating, in denial, vegetarian!” she yelled. A shit eating grin on her face.

She put her arms around him which, he though was kind of nice (for a change), but she faked one of those knee jabs to his crotch!

When doubled over she called him a doofey unemployed flack ass!

“You doofey eyed unemployed flack ass!” She yelled laughing.

He smiled.

What’s a ‘flack ass’, he wondered?

continued …

Maple Sap


Maple Sap

Something Discovered I Thought I Had Forgotten

We took turns gathering sap
from the big maple trees

along the street
perpendicular to my house

before sunrise/during late winter and
early spring.

What’s the world like at 4 a.m.?

Not a sound
in the world

but for my felt lined boots,
scrunching over school kids foot prints

quick frozen in slush during
a brief span

winter allowed spring to
show itself before

pulling us back into
the deep freeze

one more time.

Three street lamps
at each end and middle of

the block threw yellow halos
onto the snow; sparking

frozen crystals flashing
bright from cold moon’s

night time light echoing

points of light shimmering
bright against

the clear blue-black

Between each light
shadows momentarily

snuffed me into darkness,then
back into the halo three times

in succession to
the end of the block where

turning, with brief visit

with each tree began the

one block journey home but for

brief visits
at the trunk of each tree

collecting drops of sap
slowly collected in

little tin pails from copper tubing


into each tree.

It’s early Spring/the trees still half asleep/these early spring time nights with winter’s lingering cold,
some beating heart within/in tune with spring time light pumping upward /sap from fingers reaching deep.

Synthesized energy!

stored in caskets of root below ground
aged five months the finest wine.

The taste?

Clean and cold,

faintly sweet, maple wood flavored,
the perfect essence of each tree,

as refreshingly cool to drink
on coldest mornings

as cold water is
on a hot summer





I told you yesterday
that spring had sprung

and i knew because
i saw a fly and a bull ant

on the floor by the fireplace,
a tickling on my arm as i wrote this piece

not fifteen minutes ago
a tiny spider had invaded my space!

There are gnats and mosquitos
and other tiny things

i can’t imagine
sharing air that a week ago

floated crystals of lace like wings
each a drifting masterpiece

floating down or streaming sidewise
with crystal clarity seen

within air that was
mine to breathe

while witnessing the beauty of
each and every living thing

stripped bare of
all distractions;

Air that I’ve shared
with no one


that I share with all
the little things

that come alive each spring.

My life more complicated now
no longer distraction free

avoiding their lines of intersection
between the search for

whatever it is they’re searching for
inside purest air I’ve been breathing,

air i’ve shared with no one.

The soil fecund now … i do not use that word lightly!

Stored snow or frost grown permanent
five or six ‘moon go ’rounds’ ago

where all these beings waited within
their clear winter amber

quick frozen in gathered humus
or crystalline within the muck,

the eggs of their existence
captured when sun’s light slowed

to dim orange

when trees released
their bed covers

to darker still intensity
captured by cold stillness

within their sleeping spaces
during gestation’s time

to lie in wait, for
warmer sun’s return

to free the life within
those amber spaces

not sleeping
having never been alive (as such)

waiting to emerge
from broken water,

released by whiter light!
These creatures that

surround me now
within my sight!

that feed upon my light!
that touch my flesh!

that share with me my breath!
my choice bereft!

the world no longer stripped bare
of all confusion and complexity

black and white and
clean and fresh!

They’ve STOLEN my


I told you yesterday
that spring had sprung

and i knew because
i saw a fly and a bull ant

on the floor by the fireplace,
a tickling on my arm as i wrote this piece

not fifteen minutes ago
a tiny spider had invaded my space!

There are gnats and mosquitos
and other tiny things

i can’t imagine
sharing air that a week ago

floated crystals of lace like wings
each a drifting masterpiece

floating down or streaming sidewise
with crystal clarity seen

within air that was
mine to breathe

while witnessing the beauty of
each and every living thing

stripped bare of
all distractions;

Air that I’ve shared
with no one


that I share with all
the little things

that come alive each spring.

My life more complicated now
no longer distraction free

avoiding their lines of intersection
between the search for

whatever it is they’re searching for
inside purest air I’ve been breathing,

air i’ve shared with no one.

The soil fecund now … i do not use that word lightly!

Stored snow or frost grown permanent
five or six ‘moon go ’rounds’ ago

where all these beings waited within
their clear winter amber

quick frozen in gathered humus
or crystalline within the muck,

the eggs of their existence
captured when sun’s light slowed

to dim orange

when trees released
their bed covers

to darker still intensity
captured by cold stillness

within their sleeping spaces
during gestation’s time

to lie in wait, for
warmer sun’s return

to free the life within
those amber spaces

not sleeping
having never been alive (as such)

waiting to emerge
from broken water,

released by whiter light!
These creatures that

surround me now
within my sight!

that feed upon my light!
that touch my flesh!

that share with me my breath!
my choice bereft!

the world no longer stripped bare
of all confusion and complexity

black and white and
clean and fresh!

They’ve STOLEN my


I told you yesterday
that spring had sprung

and i knew because
i saw a fly and a bull ant

on the floor by the fireplace,
a tickling on my arm as i wrote this piece

not fifteen minutes ago
a tiny spider had invaded my space!

There are gnats and mosquitos
and other tiny things

i can’t imagine
sharing air that a week ago

floated crystals of lace like wings
each a drifting masterpiece

floating down or streaming sidewise
with crystal clarity seen

within air that was
mine to breathe

while witnessing the beauty of
each and every living thing

stripped bare of
all distractions;

Air that I’ve shared
with no one


that I share with all
the little things

that come alive each spring.

My life more complicated now
no longer distraction free

avoiding their lines of intersection
between the search for

whatever it is they’re searching for
inside purest air I’ve been breathing,

air i’ve shared with no one.

The soil fecund now … i do not use that word lightly!

Stored snow or frost grown permanent
five or six ‘moon go ’rounds’ ago

where all these beings waited within
their clear winter amber

quick frozen in gathered humus
or crystalline within the muck,

the eggs of their existence
captured when sun’s light slowed

to dim orange

when trees released
their bed covers

to darker still intensity
captured by cold stillness

within their sleeping spaces
during gestation’s time

to lie in wait, for
warmer sun’s return

to free the life within
those amber spaces

not sleeping
having never been alive (as such)

waiting to emerge
from broken water,

released by whiter light!
These creatures that

surround me now
within my sight!

that feed upon my light!
that touch my flesh!

that share with me my breath!
my choice bereft!

the world no longer stripped bare
of all confusion and complexity

black and white and
clean and fresh!

They’ve STOLEN my


It All Started At the Lodge That Sunday Night: The End

continued: I saw the glint she gets in her eyes when she thinks there’s a bar within reach.

– II –

“What are you looking at?”   I asked.

“Why don’t we go to the lodge so I can warm up by the fire and have a brandy?”

I shrugged my shoulders. “Why not? Maybe we could have a steak afterward.” But, she said the food at the lodge was lousy.

Then I thought, won’t she be surprised when she discovers they don’t have a fire place at that lodge?  It’s one of the worst lodges in town!  And it’s not that big of a town!

Then I thought, “Oh, oh.” when I remembered it was Sunday!

I was pretty sure they weren’t serving liquor on Sunday!

Boy was she mad!

That was about the funniest thing that happened all day!  You should have seen the look on her face!  It was pure irony!

Later, that evening around nine thirty ..

We got home around nine thirty.

She was angry and wouldn’t speak to me.

“You knew all along didn’t you!” she said.

“Well kind of.  But i was hoping.”


Finally I said, “Well,  you know how it is!”

But she still didn’t believe me!

She walked away in a huff to take her evening bath but, the pilot light for the hot water heater had blown out and we didn’t have any God forsaken matches!  The ones we had were wet!!

Then she got sick!

I thought at first she might be pregnant!

I asked her but as soon as the words spilled out of my mouth I realized we hadn’t had sex in over a year!

She cried after that.

“I wasn’t going to tell you,” she said in between sobs and retching, “But, I’m pregnant with Dick’s baby!”

“Dick’s baby!”

“What a relief,” I thought! “I’d been wanting to break up with her for almost five years!”

“That son of a bitch Dick had actuality done me a favor!”

That Night At the Lodge II

Part II
A Night At the Lodge

It was a cold night!

I mean, it was cold as hell!

It felt like there was ice between my jacket and my shirt!

She had that mink thing on but it only covered her neck!

We stood outside waiting for about a half hour!  Finally I said, ‘’Where in the hell are Dick and Jeannie?“

She got that quizzical look on her face!

“UH-OH,”I thought.  “Here comes another one of her zingers!”

“I’m freezing my tukkus off!”  she exclaimed. “You told me it wouldn’t be that cold!”

I knew I had done no such thing.  So i said, “I did no such thing!’’

So she says, “Well, that’s what I’m talking about!!”

She was so angry she spit the words right out out of her mouth!

I told her I wasn’t really trying to be rude which didn’t seem to satisfy her at all so i said it again, hoping she’d understand!

But she didn’t.

She got mad as hell!

Then she became contrite.  She said she was sorry she was so mean. “You weren’t really being rude!” she said.   “But i still think it’s your fault!”

Then she said, “Truth of the matter is, I wasn’t paying attention to a word you said!”

Pause …

“I had other things on my mind!”

I didn’t want to be rude.  So I took the blame.

“I’m sorry,” I said.   “If I would have known.” Pause.  “I thought Dick and Jeannie were going to meet us here anyway!”

“Dick and Jeannie!  Fer christ’s sake they’re the last people I want to see on a night like this!”  Pause.  “I hate that Dick … !!” she said.  “He’s so goddamn irresponsible!”

I noticed she was looking over my shoulder at the bright lights of the lodge.

I saw the glint she gets in her eyes when she thinks there’s a bar within reach.

“What are you looking at?”  i asked.  continued.

A Night At the Lodge

It all started that night when I wasn’t sure what she was asking me!

At first I thought it had something to do with skiing!

Truth of the matter is I didn’t know WHAT she was thinking but I didn’t want to make waves.

I thought that maybe we were supposed to be meeting Dick and Jeannie for a night out at the lodge!

Or maybe it had something to do with that scheduled court date?

When you get right down to it, I didn’t really give a shit.  As far as I was concerned, it was six of one and one of those bakers dozen of the other … (haha heard someone say that once … it put a smile on my face.)

So i said “OK!”

You know! I had to be positive!!

I KNOW how she is about that ‘being positive’ stuff. She’s always stressing it so much!

Well, I think I AM positive but, does a little more than 50% of the time qualify as most of the time?

I’m not sure.

So I kept my mouth shut!

I didn’t want to hurt her feelings!!

Later that evening we drove out to the lodge. continued …