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Talking And Reading About The Elephant And God

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Tracked down to my own apartment, I give a sample reading from my book of short stories, “The Elephant Talks To God”. And I explain the genesis of the book. Gotta say, it might have been more entertaining to emote some of the Elephant’s poetry.

http://www.authorsaloud.com/prose/estey.html

The book:

From The Elephant Talks To God:

The elephant was a curious pachyderm, and followed his persistent quest with a guileless intensity.

“More lucky than smart,” said some of the other elephants, as he blundered his way toward another piece of knowledge. They nodded their heads in his direction with the heavy weight of caution, and warned their small ones that too much thought would make them strange.

“An elephant wades in water,” they would sagely say, “only if the mud hole is wide enough.”

And the little ones would watch him, as they stood between the legs of their parents, and wish that they could follow.

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Ogma Meets A Unicorn (for National Unicorn Day)

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Twitter and many other parts of the world are awash in comments and observations about National Unicorn Day. Since so much of it seems frivolous, here is an excerpt from my novel, A Lost Gospel, where unicorns are as real as the fingers on your hand.

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“You want us to think like the unicorn?” Ogma was irritated, and spoke with deliberation. “The ways of the beasts are even beyond the girl. At her best, I believe she just follows.”

“There are times, Ogma, when the worth is not in the accomplishment, but in the attempt.”

“I’ll be a better man by trying to think like the beast?”

“You can’t help but be a better man, Ogma.”

“Well. That’s spoken like a Head Druid.” Although Cowin could not see his actions – perhaps because Cowin was unable to see him – Ogma held out his hand and rubbed his fingers together. “Here, beastie, beastie. Uncle Ogma has a wee treat for you.”

“Is that what you think a unicorn thinks?”

“But if you come up to Uncle Cowin,” Ogma’s voice now had a sing-song tone. “Just jab him in the arse with that big horn, for he doesn’t have anything for you at all.”

“A least I promise nothing.” The Head Druid had finally deduced what Ogma was doing. “But what will be the reaction of those very sharp teeth when your hand is found to be empty?”

“What?” Ogma hesitated.

“Does the unicorn possess your sense of humour?” Cowin did not try to suppress a chuckle. “Or will your empty hand be empty even of fingers?”

Ogma momentarily considered the question, then quickly raised his hand. He was about to make an obscene gesture, but instead turned in the direction of a distant noise. He could feel by the brush of Cowin’s cloak that the Head Druid did the same.

“We’re being approached without hesitation.” Ogma whispered the words.”By more than one, if the sounds don’t play tricks.”

“That isn’t possible in this fog.” As the oncoming noise shifted, Cowin turned slightly. “I don’t suppose you have a knife under your cloak?”

“No, Head Druid.” Ogma stared into the dark. “Like most, I rarely carry arms while on the Island.”

“The times are changing.” Cowin looked at the vague shape of his companion. “Keep no more than a few strides distant.”

“We’re not prepared for a fucking invasion.” Ogma got into a crouch and flanked the Head Druid.

“Maybe they won’t see us.” Cowin leaned toward the approaching noise.

“I think that’s a false hope.” Ogma moved into his fighting position, bracing for an attack. “They’re aiming right in our direction.”

“The fog will give some protection.” The Head Druid also crouched into a combat stance. “Let as many as possible go past, then jump the ones at the rear. If they’re armed, we might wrestle a weapon from them.”

“Or a body to use as a shield.” Ogma wrapped his cloak around his arm to help deflect a thrusting sword.

“Nothing fancy.” Cowin dug his heels into the earth. “We have to go on this voyage – nothing is more important. If we’re overwhelmed, we must try to escape.”

The fog seemed to muffle noises which were close, yet make distant sounds crack like a whip beside their ears. This aided to the druids’ confusion, and they couldn’t tell who was approaching, or from where. It was Ogma who spoke first, using an oath which held traces of fear around the words.

“Something’s brushing against me.”

“What do you – ”

“Curse Manannan’s damn fog – it’s at my legs.” There were sounds of commotion, and then of a body rolling on the earth. “Fucking sword of death.” Ogma’s voice was high.

“Where are you?” Cowin stared uselessly through the fog.

“By the gods of hell. Get it away from me.”

“Ogma.” Cowin moved toward his voice. “I can’t even – ”

“It’s the beast.” Ogma shouted. “The damned beast.”

“Beast?”

“The unicorn.” Ogma was sputtering in anger. “It’s pulling my clothes with its teeth, and that horn has come inches from – ” Ogma’s voice moved. “Oh, for fuck’s sake.”

“Ogma.” The Head Druid was both concerned and relieved. “Don’t struggle – it’s not going to hurt you.”

“You don’t think being frightened can’t hurt you?” Ogma’s voice was sharp, but the rage was ebbing from it. “I’m stopping, you bag of shit. I’m sitting on my arse and not lifting a hand, so get your head away from me.” There was a pause, filled only by the heavy breathing of the unicorn. “This damn thing is bigger than you’d think, Head Druid.”

“Do you still have all your fingers?” Laughter surrounded Cowin’s words. “Or does the unicorn look upon you with a smile?”

“This was its game?”

“Be thankful.” Cowin walked toward the other man’s voice. “You found out the unicorn has a sense of humour.” He reached his hand to help Ogma to his feet.

“The beast does not go after your fingers,” complained Ogma.

“I don’t tease him.” Cowin rubbed the animal’s neck. “Nor do I speak of him in such a rough manner.”

“You think it understands me?”

“Not the words – but the intent.” Cowin felt the unicorn become tense under his hand. “The girl approaches.”

Amazing Self-Help Reading Material Not Easily Found

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(image) http://www.artquest.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/pamphlets-shot_560_373_s_c1.jpg

 

Poetry From The Light Fixture is an illuminating book of verse from an electrifying author. The poet in question is a questioning poet, quarrying for answers in the rich loam of Earth’s mysteries. The instinct of a pollen-laden honeybee, coupled with the dynamic curiosity of a fluffy kitten, allow this poet to plumb the depths of inarticulate sensitivity, and give to us, grateful readers everywhere, proof positive that, yes, indeed, here is a mind that actually thinks.

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Security Through Fat
is yours for the asking. Never again allow people to to ridicule you because you’re a slob – you’re only a slob in their eyes. Security Through Fat will teach you that obesity is natural, layers of fat keep you happy and keep you pure. Fat means prosperity, means that you are successful in life. Eating keeps your mind off your problems. Fat people are jolly and fun to be with. Fat people are good for industry. Fat people keep our society going. Security Through Fat will open up a whole new world of pleasure and prestige for you.

And, while you’re at it, pick up Sex Really Is Dirty – free for a limited time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There Is No Death, you do not have to worry any longer. All these years – yes, even centuries – men have been afraid to die, and it has just been wasted time, because no one ever dies. Yes, There Is No Death, it has all been a gigantic hoax formed by various religions to make money. Death be not proud because death does not exist. You, too, can now do whatever you want: play with fire, race your car, make love to a rattlesnake – there is nothing to stop you because There Is No Death. Take that money you were saving for a casket, and join our club today.

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DE

Beavers And Lord Beaverbrook And a Coat of Arms

Yesterday I wandered the campus of my alma mater, The University Of New Brunswick. A beautiful autumn day of sunshine and warmth, encouraging much walking and sitting. I also went into some of the buildings, one of which was the Harriet Irving Library, where I studied and also worked. The library is greatly changed, but one room remains much the same. It is the Lord Beaverbrook Room, so named because the personal library of that Lord and benefactor is housed there. Winged leather chairs and wood panelling. Foot stools.

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I sat in one of those red leather chairs and picked a book solely because it was shelved upside down. It happened to describe the trial and execution of Charles I. I read a good half hour. It was only as I was going to put the book back that I noticed Lord Beaverbrook’s Coat of Arms on a sticker on the inside. And then I was taken by the fact that there were two anemic and mink-like beavers depicted, each holding a fish in its mouth. Beavers are vegetarian.

I can find no illustration of this coat of arms, but have found this description:

Arms: Argent two barrulets wavy Azure between in chief two maple leaves slipped and in base thistle eradicated Gules a bordure Sable charged with eight bezants.
Crest: Upon a drum Proper a cock [cockerel] Gules wattled armed and legged Or.
Supporters: Or either side a beaver reguardant holding in the mouth a fish Proper.

All this put me in mind of an encounter with real beavers that I had a few years ago. Perhaps the creator of Lord Beaverbrook’s Arms should have been walking with me.

I was walking along the river and heard the strangest noise. It was one of those noises which, when I found out what It was, sounded exactly as it should. A beaver was chewing at a branch on the bank of the river. First there were small rolling noises as the branch went through its hands, and then the ‘gnaw gnaw gnaw’, and then the turning noise and the cycles were repeated.

This went on fifteen minutes or so, then the beaver and I both heard noises in the water. We both saw another beaver approaching. The beaver-at-gnaw quickly went in her direction (though I can only guess which sex was which). They swam toward each other, then rubbed faces. The approaching beaver made small bawling noises like a young calf. They rubbed bodies and seemed to sniff each other, then they swam in different directions. This performance – the swimming away, the languid circling, the approaches – went on for twenty minutes. A couple of times the ‘gnawing’ beaver clambered over the over beaver’s back, but this lasted just a few seconds. The beaver which approached rubbed noses once again, and made the bawling sounds one more time.

I never appreciated how large beavers are until one of them came up on the bank. The water was clear enough to see their feet and tail move underwater (I wonder if the portion out of the water might have the 1/10 proportion of an iceberg). The sun was setting and they became difficult to see. However they decided to part anyway. One began to go down river toward the harbour and one headed to the other shore. For me an experience of a lifetime.

DE

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