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Pondering Winter Beside The Christmas Display

alders-after-storm
For a mid-November day, the storm was all rain and no snow. In addition, it was very cold, so I took shelter in a Mall. I settled into a bench near the ‘Santa Claus / North Pole / Toy Workshop’ display, because that is where the benches had been moved. I have the guess, they were moved so they could be filled by kids and parents when Saint Nick made his appearance.
 
Two other fellows were already there. After the younger man (whilst looking at his phone) made a brief comment about the weather, the other man, older, grizzled and full-bearded, spoke.
This conversation is edited, not verbatim.
 
“Makes me wonder how young folk today get by.”
I look confused – which I am.
“That’s the only jobs there are for them.” He points to the fast food court.
I indicate agreement.
“Hard to get jobs.”
“Yes, it is.”
“We’re stuck here until eight.”
I again look at him quizzically.
“Me and him. The shelter closes eight in the morning, opens again eight at night.”
“Three more hours.”
“I like the little animals.”
“Pardon?”
“Along the entrance.” He points to the Santa display. “They’ve got little animals in the snow.”
“They’re real looking.”
“Yes.” He laughs. “From the old days. I lived in the woods.”
“You did?”
“Cabin with eight brothers and sisters. Had a wood stove.”
“I had a wood stove a number of years.”
“Got real hot.”
“Yes.”
“I used Alders once.”
“In the stove?”
“Yeh – bad idea. They burn like hell. Hot as hell.”
“They can be.”
“I thought the cabin would catch fire.”
“Can be dangerous,” I agreed
“That’s where i started smoking.”
“Where?”
“In the cabin. Been smoking since I was ten.”
“That’s young.”
“My pappy was a bootlegger.”
“Yes?”
“Lots of men came by to get beer.”
“I suppose.”
“They’d smoke and toss their butts. I collected them.”
“To smoke?”
“Thought I was a big man with the other kids. Smoking in front of them.”
“That’s what being young is.”
“Cigarettes got tentacles. I still can’t get rid of them.”
[image] https: /brighttreecare.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/alders-after-storm.jpg

Trump and Jesus Walk Into A Bar

1_252016_b1-dela-trump-halo-8201

~ Was it in vain?

~ What?

~ That you took My name.

~ They crucify me like there’s no tomorrow.

~ There is no tomorrow.

~That’s OK for You to say.

~ I know.

~ But, down here, I don’t get a break.

~ Don’t you think there’s a reason for that?

~ You mean because they don’t understand me?

~ Perhaps more because they do.

~ Hey, I’m looking after Your country.

~ You have other sheep to tend to.

~ But I’m King of the World.

~ You have a big fall in front of you.

~ Oh, I’m protected. I have (haha) more money than God.

~ The eye of the needle is narrow indeed.

~ I’m no fool. I’ll get off and walk.

~ There is no one other to walk in your shoes.

~ You know, we even look alike.

 

[Image] media.washtimes.com.s3.amazonaws.com/media/image/2016/01/25/1_252016_b1-dela-trump-halo-8201.jpg

The Mad Man In The Bakery On Friday 13th

praktik-bakery-barcelona-hotel-13

“Out, out – out of my way!

Don’t touch me at all,

But do as I say.

A brush on the arm

Can cause me harm

When it’s the Brush of Death

I’m awaiting.

Don’t breathe.

Your air – from inside you

– coming out at me.

How very horrible.

It now has pieces of you,

And it will corrupt.

No, don’t listen to me.

Stop up your ears and turn away.

They’re my words

And my thought

Not to be sold

And not to be bought.

Out of my mouth

From between my teeth.

Don’t you know how personal that is?

Allow me.

Allow me!

I’ll open the door, and I’ll let you enter.

Demand what you want – don’t be afraid to ask.

Make them fill your request.

I come here for bread,

And I come here for cake.

You can trust me.

Would I lie?

They don’t mind me,

They’re used to my song.

It’s entertainment, you see,

And it’s free.

Chew them up.

Enjoy them!

Those muffins look so good.

I’m only a madman in a bakery,

But I know how to eat.”

DE

(image)www.suitcaseandheels.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Praktik-Bakery-Barcelona-Hotel-13.jpg

Taking A Vacation – But Not So Much

In a discussion about vacations today, I made the comment that I don’t consider I have had a vacation for forty years.  I doubt I was believed and, I’ll accept, it probably isn’t even true. But, when is a writer ever off? Ideas appear at will (not my will) and characters demand that attention must be paid. This can happen any day, and usually every day. This ain’t no complaint, as writer’s block is far worse.

Still, I think I’ll slip some blogs in that I have already done before. There may be no rhyme nor reason for my choices, but, this one came to mind because I think a character somewhat like The Gypsy Lady might have just appeared in my current manuscript. A totally different story and situation, but …

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

gypsyviolin-graphicsfairy11

08 June 1917

A Gypsy confronted me today, and I was in the mood for a bit of sport. Her age was difficult to tell – certainly a decade older than me. In her swirl of shawls and dangling jewellery, heavy make-up on her face, she could almost have been in disguise. She peered at me with an intense sigh, attempting – I am sure – to penetrate my own disguise.

“You are a Jew,” she said.

“And you a Gypsy,” I replied.

She seemed pleased with my response, for her professional smile became real.

“You state the obvious,” she said. “As becomes a Doktor of Laws,”

I replied. “But to your eyes, do you not state the obvious?”

“Are you going to banter with a poor old Gypsy woman, instead of barter? That would make you suspiciously like one of us.” She said this with a growl in her throat.

“The Gypsy and the Jew,” I said, feeling the challenge which I so miss. “Perhaps an opera – but I think it’s been done to death.”

“They will try to do us all unto death,” she said harshly, and turned away.

I had the fear she was going to leave me without another word, but what she did was to spit fulsomely onto the street.

“They can’t kill us all,” I said, but I knew she heard the doubt in my voice.

She slowly faced me again.

“So. Even a Doktor of Laws can have hope. That is refreshing – but foolish.” She took my hand and felt my palm roughly with her thumb, although all the while her eyes never left my face. “You are going to travel.”

“Travel is a vague word. One can go on many types of voyage.”

“And reach many destinations,” she added, still holding my hand. “If you take away my vagueness, you take away my trade.”

“Then let me pay you for your services right now.”

This transaction would make her loose my hand, which is what I wanted most of all. She had frightened me, for her eyes and face were full of truth. I know the truth. I know it when it presents itself, stark and unobscured. I search out truth endlessly, yet still can flee at its approach. As in her eyes. But she gripped me more fiercely, and pulled my hand up.

“The coin, Herr Doktor.” Her voice was now soft. “The coin can wait.”

She at last lowered her eyes and looked closely at my palm. She rubbed the lines and whorls of my skin. She touched her finger to her lips, and spread the moisture along my hand.

“Your lifeline, Herr Doktor,” she took a quick look in my eyes, “of Laws. You deceive with the youth upon your face. Is that not so?”

“If your eyes stop at the mask, then no, the years have not etched themselves deeply.”

“Not on your face, Herr Doktor of Laws.” Her grip was intense. “But on your palm…” She hissed. “You will soon embark upon that final voyage.”

She released my hand, rubbed her fingers across her sleeve.

“But you will not go in haste. There will be many stops along the way.”

Suddenly her face was full of the most beautiful smile, and her laughter was genuine.

“I see you do not complain of vagueness now.” She held out her hand. “The coin, Herr Doktor of Laws. This time I have truly earned it.”

I dug deeply into my pocket, and feared that I may have overpaid her. But, perhaps, that is not possible.

DE

(image)thegraphicsfairy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/GypsyViolin-GraphicsFairy1.jpg

Seasons, Storms And Mushrooms Enhance Life And Love

 

the-perfect-storm-in-digital-marketing-q1Dear Eustace:

Summer wings its indolent way past,

and the petal touch of fall floats the air.

If one refused to meld into the other,

would thoughts of mortality arise?

I have often wished

– no, not upon the distant stars (shooting stars are dying a hot death, did you ever think of that?) –

but upon the green/mauve bud and the chill of September morns.

The wishes and the dreams … oh, my.

Have you noticed the abundance of mushrooms this year,

ink caps thrusting to the sky?

Such treats

– such tasty, tasty, treats.

Yours,

Margot.

 

*******

Dear Margot:

The seasons each have their place,

and since I get pleasure from them all,

their comings,

goings

(or, if you wish – passings)

seem not the least profound.

I certainly shan’t waste my time pondering over morality

– what, after all, is more immortal than the changing seasons?

And what might your wishes be, my friend?

I rarely do little more than reach out my hand,

and am fulfilled.

There is so much bounty to partake of

– and no better displayed then at this time of year

(your seasons; Bursting seasons).

Ah, the summer sun has warmed me,

but the crisp fall eve shall make me more appreciate

a warm lady snuggled by my side.

Watch out for mushrooms,

they make the body lament a single bed.

Yours,

Eustace

 

 

*******

Dear Eustace:

My wishes would leave you

– yes, even you –

dazzled.

There aren’t heights on the earth tall enough to reach them,

and the ocean depths would soon be full,

if ever I let my hopes accumulate.

Ask not after a person’s dreams, for you could easily violate a soul.

I put more trust in the unspoken word,

and the unseen deed,

for they are oft the strongest.

There is chill enough in the air this morning to make your warm ladies

work overtime to keep you in a happy state.

What a storm was loosed upon the world last night.

I fear the poor mushrooms

will be more mush than anything else.

I fill my bed quite happily, sir,

do not lament for me.

Yours,

Margot

 

 

*******

Dear Margot:

I shall trust unspoken words

when my ears hurt from the noise they make.

I hear too much as it is,

voices full-primed with choice advice and platitudes,

whether from the pulpit or a cozy bed companion.

You’d be surprised the little that I heed.

With so much new in life,

so much to taste and try,

the wonder lies in the drabness of most lives.

From where do so many fears spring,

and how do they exist?

We also had a grand storm across our lands,

but I had not ignored the signs, and thus picked

a bounty of the succulent fungi.

Whether they aided me or not I can’t say,

but my rest did seem more deserved than usual.

Yours,

Eustace

ps Moira sends again her thanks for your hospitality.

 

DE

(image)https://brand-quarterly-veseycreative.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/The-Perfect-Storm-In-Digital-Marketing-Q1.jpg

God And Death Kept Me From A Poetry Reading

emily-dickinson-because-i-could-not-stop-500x344

Admittedly I set out later than I should, but the poetry readings were to go from 7-9. Enough time for some of it. However, as I was a few blocks away from the harbour (yes, I was also going to stop by the harbour first) I heard Latin chanting.

I greatly enjoy Latin chanting, so imagine my surprise. It turned out there was a large tent set up in a parking lot beside the Roman Catholic cathedral. Six men were chanting a service for a small group. It seemed related (in some way) to the jazz festival happening in the city. They had mics and lights. I lingered by the  fence and listened. Evocative and effective.

However, I did feel I should go to the poetry readings, so off I went.

But I gave in to my temptation of visiting the harbour on the way. It was there, as I sat looking out to sea, that an elderly, white haired man struck up a conversation. A visitor who had arrived by train for a week of vacation.

The first vacation without his wife, dead these fourteen months.

She was eighty-four.

When he said this, he saw the look of surprise on my face.

“Bet you can’t guess my age,” said he.

I answered, with some truth, that I never answer that question.

“Eighty-one,” he said.

I granted I would have shaved a dozen years off his age.

“Married sixty years,” he said. Always had travelled with her. Always went by car. “But it wouldn’t be the same,” he said. So he took the train.

So – yes – I stayed to talk to him.

“Get up every morning to fill the day is my motto,” he said.

So I answered his questions about the islands, and if the helicopters flying overhead were military, and if all the ships needed the use of the tugboats we were standing beside, and was there somewhere close he could buy magazines, and how he got this real good travel deal through CAA, and how he talks to everyone.

“Is that really the ocean out there?” He pointed.

I nodded.

It was.

DE

(image)http://www.poetseers.org/wp-content/uploads/emily-dickinson-because-i-could-not-stop-500×344.jpg

Message From The Bottom of The Sea “Hello!”

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A number of years ago I was away for the weekend and returned late. There was a phone message. I would do nothing about it at that hour but . . . I listened to it anyway.

It was a garble of words just out of reach, and sounds as if bubbling through water. The backdrop to a horror movie. Or an opaque dream. It kept on and on.  I hung up before the end.

 

Next day I had many things to do, so I did not listen to the message until late afternoon. My interpretation of it was no different. It consisted of sounds heard behind a door in a dream.

I probably would have just ignored and deleted, but it went on and on. The phone number of the caller meant nothing to me (other than it was localized to the two immediate provinces). So, from curiosity and a touch of concern, I phoned back.

A woman answered. She was as confused as I would be if I was hearing the message I was now delivering. She even said that she did not understand. I repeated my predicament. Then she checked the phone number I was calling from.

“That number is from Chelsea, a friend of my daughter,” said she.

Although this added to the confusion, it also started to make some sense. I had been getting phone calls for “Chelsea” for the last couple of months.

“But Chelsea has moved.”  The woman also started to make a connection. “But I still have her on my speed dial. You must now have her number. I must have hit it somehow when it was in my pocket or my purse. I’ll erase it.”

Two mysteries solved.

I listened to the message a bit longer before I deleted it.

There was a portion where I could make out the CBC National News on television. Probably from a pocket but, it still sounded as if it was more from a fish tank.

DE

(image)http://89ae1371188c06e33c4f-a9c5f4636cd29e079cd054da699fe471.r73.cf2.rackcdn.com/product-hugerect-599901-223355-1449483644-f0b852e0d3be489500e96bdcddd9fdc4.png

Obama And Joe Walk Into A Bar To Ponder

bar-e1455884974812

~ What’s your poison, Joe?

~ A Moscow Mule.

~ Since when are you a vodka man?

~ Just trying to fit in with the 46th.

~ Joe!

~ Make him feel at home.

~ That is so not-politically correct in so many ways.

~ Neither is he.

~ Point taken, Joe.

~ Did you just say Putin, Boss?

~ Joe!

~ So, I’ve gone around the mansion.

~ Joe.

~ And I’ve put red stickers on the art work.

~ What?

~ Like they’re sold.

~ Are you messing with him again?

~ Yeh.

~ Joe.

~ But I’m being subliminal as hell.

~ What do you mean?

~ The stickers are really little red squares.

~ What the –

~ He’s going to be on the hot line faster than a goose to the bathroom.

~ Joe.

~ That’s politically correct, isn’t it?

~ Are you shittin’ me, Joe?

~ Boss!

DE

(image)http://i0.wp.com/b-live.in/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/bar-e1455884974812.jpg?resize=350%2C200

Trump And Bill Clinton Walk Into A Bar

i033-open-sexy-sex-font-b-girls-b-font-pub-font-b-bar-b-font-club

~ What’s to be your poison, Donald?

~Something to help  with the pussy, Bill. You tell me.

~Well, you’re going to start having trouble there. The ladies aren’t liking you much.

~ They got you into a lot of trouble, too.

~ Yes, that they did.

~ Impeached your ass.

~Gotta admit that, Donald – yes. Though I was declared innocent.

~ Innocent as shit.

~ Eye of the beholder, Donald. Something you don’t understand.

~ What do you mean?

~ You’re a mess, my friend. You are one hoot-and-holler train wreck.

~ I’m clearing the track, Slick Willy – straight to the White House. Believe me.

~ No – that isn’t the station where you’re getting off.

~ You think Hillz is going to stop me?

~ And that’s one more of the many things you don’t understand.

~ Wrong.

~ Hillary – bless her – might be pointing the gun.

~ Wrong

~ But guess who’s pulling the trigger.

~ I’ve got the best security.

~ It’s the people, Donald.

~ I’ve even got the Secret Service.

~ You can’t fool all the people.

~ Wrong.

~ Even the ones who follow you don’t believe you.

~ Wrong.

~They might not trust my little filly.

~ Should be in prison.

~But there is one thing the people don’t fear about her.

~ What?

~ They don’t think she’s going to lead them over the cliff.

DE

(image)https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1p10pLVXXXXXVXVXXq6xXFXXXp/i033-OPEN-Sexy-Sex-font-b-Girls-b-font-Pub-font-b-Bar-b-font-Club.jpg

 

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