~ Was it in vain?
~ 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.
“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
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?
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.
Those muffins look so good.
I’m only a madman in a bakery,
But I know how to eat.”
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 …
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.
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 tasty, tasty, treats.
The seasons each have their place,
and since I get pleasure from them all,
(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.
My wishes would leave you
– yes, even you –
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.
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.
ps Moira sends again her thanks for your hospitality.
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.
~ A Moscow Mule.
~ Since when are you a vodka man?
~ Just trying to fit in with the 46th.
~ 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?
~ So, I’ve gone around the mansion.
~ And I’ve put red stickers on the art work.
~ Like they’re sold.
~ Are you messing with him again?
~ 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.
~ That’s politically correct, isn’t it?
~ Are you shittin’ me, Joe?
~ 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.
~ Hillary – bless her – might be pointing the gun.
~ 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.
~ Even the ones who follow you don’t believe you.
~They might not trust my little filly.
~ Should be in prison.
~But there is one thing the people don’t fear about her.
~ They don’t think she’s going to lead them over the cliff.