It is a whirlwind in here



I Saw The Star To The West Of The East


And – yes, I know – it is not really a *star* , but a conjunction of the two planets, Jupiter and Saturn, and they are no where close together but actually 456 million miles (734 million km) apart, with Saturn nearly twice as far away as Jupiter. 

And – yes, I know – it is not really a *star*, but a conjunction of the two planets, Jupiter and Saturn, and they are no where close together but actually 456 million miles (734 million km) apart, with Saturn nearly twice as far away as Jupiter.

But why quibble?

And I know I am two nights late (blame the clouds), and that (by now) a billion or so folk have already seen it (them). And, in truth, I could barely distinguish two separate heavenly bodies with the naked eye, and did not really do all that much better with my small (and – most certainly – non military-grade) binoculars.

And yes, as I sought the best non-Earth polluting light place to stand (in the very cold), and the Bay ferry came in, and it was a far more spectacular light show, moving at a right old clip to get to its berth and (I’d guess) eventual supper for all passengers and crew, well … still.

We were right chipper to see it, with crisp snow underfoot, and a half moon at our back, and it was well-worth the stomping of chilled feet and jack Frost (that wily old bastard) nipping at our ears and the promise of our own supper (and a snootful or two of wine) waiting for us in an hour or so (actually, a half hour now).

So we will be of good cheer, and a participatory part of the Earth’s population, and have a shared memory with all, and with each other.

And, if this conjunction is actually what certain ancient astrologers saw those two thousand years ago – well, bully for them, too.

And the wee Babe they found.


Santa Claus In My Life And Me As Santa Claus


I am no fan of having the Santa Claus story take such a bite out of Christmas, but I’m not against Santa Claus. In fact, we’ve had quite the relationship.

As a child, I had two ‘encounters’ with Santa. I can’t place the years, but I remember them from the houses I lived in.

The first time I would have been no older than five. I was going to the outhouse on a dark Christmas Eve. The outhouse was a couple of minutes walk from the house. On my way, I heard the bells on Santa’s sleigh. Don’t try to dissuade me, I know what I heard. I even remember the direction I had to turn to see if I could see anything. I was right quick about doing my business.

The second time would have been a couple of years later. On Christmas morning I saw the marks from Santa’s sleigh runners on the snow beside the house.  Never mind your smiles, I know what I saw.

And, a few years after that, I was with some younger friends who questioned me about the reality of Santa Claus. Now, by then I did not believe that Santa existed. But, I didn’t want to tell the “children” that. Neither did I want to lie. I don’t know how long it took me to think of a way out, but long enough (obviously) for it to remain strong in my memory. My answer was: “Well, there must be a Santa Claus. How could your parents afford all those gifts?”

In the years when I did a fair amount of house-sitting, I did so for one couple where the husband had a perfect resemblance to Santa Claus. Thus, for many a Christmas, he was the hit of local gatherings. And he had a beautiful suit and hat and – of course – a real beard.

I also know a poet whose first book was about Mrs. Claus. She is also known to dress up the part (even with a Christmas bonnet) and read at Christmas gatherings.

As for myself, one day I entered my financial institution around Christmas and got into line. As we snaked forward, I came opposite a mother and father with a young child. He looked at me and screamed (literally) “Santa Claus!” Then he burst into tears. I don’t know what troubled him (maybe I was out of uniform – or maybe he was ‘bad’).

Finally, a few years ago, (and this was not around Christmas, though it was Fall) I was walking in a park. A family approached, two parents and three children. One of the boys (and he looked five or six) dashed ahead and stood in front of me. “Santa Claus,” he said. I thought it was some sort of joke, but he turned excitedly to his siblings. “It’s Santa Clause.” He was quite happy. The father said “Maybe not.” but did not really try to dissuade him.

And neither did I.


John le Carrée est mort


Alas! Alas! A great and profound author. I have read every book he wrote. An inspiration of story-telling. The loss of a giant talent.


Kafka Is Nudged Toward Love By His Sister


Kafka and his sister, Ottla

In my manuscript, Kafka In The Castle, I fill in his missing diary entries. In his real diaries, Kafka mentions this young lady a number of times. I make assumptions.

16 December 1917

I think it possible the women conspire unbeknownst to themselves.

It was Ottla’s suggestion that I walk Fraulein G home after dinner. She stayed well into the evening. She was good company and we all enjoyed ourselves. We even read to each other – I selected some work by Max. He will get double pleasure from that, as he likes to entertain the young ladies himself.

She helped Ottla with the dishes, and some other clearing chores. Ottla then produced a bottle of schnapps – something I didn’t even know was in the house. I thought it possible Fraulein G had brought it (I’ve found she is capable of such a forward gesture) but I also noted it was the type which father prefers, so perhaps Ottla brought it from Prague. (And perhaps father will be recounting his stock with some confusion.)

Ottla encouraged the consumption of a couple of small glasses. I will not tell Max that the appreciation of his writings was enhanced accordingly.

As I walked Fraulein G home, I could not shake the feeling that something was expected of me. Something more than my company along the darkened road.

Was I to take her arm, or her hand, or even put my arm about her waist? I felt an element of encouragement for some such action, yet wondered where such a thing might lead.

Further, perhaps, than just the door of her house.

But, as the wind was lively, I chose to take her hand, and she then chose to walk closely by my side.

And the lips which murmured “Thank you” at her gate, and chose to brush my own, no longer called me “Herr Doktor”.


This Is A Test

This is a Test
But not “the” Test,
If it were a real
It would need an
Or two,
Or even
Multiple choice.
It isn’t.
It is a
To announce
To warn about
To warn
A warning.
A Test
Basically say,
This was
A Test.
Then get
Your shit together,
Bend over and
Kiss you ass good-bye.
That is all.
It is
Type of test.

W.C Fields, Moses, And The Chicken (Check Your Bible If You Must)

My little



My little Chick-a-dee

 So it has come to this.

 A mindless voice with mindless tune

 Singing softly in the dark.

 My friend, I promise 

 On such a night

  Even the sages are locked

  Babbling in their rooms.

  On such a night

   The pineapple juice

   Turns into

   Pineapple juice.

  You think me mad?

  Well, my boyze. 

   I had a hen who

   Could lay a Golden Calf.

    And this weird guy

   – Mozaz was his name –

     Yass, this Mozaz     

     Threw these stone tablets

    – Threw, I say –

      These stone tablets on my hen,

      And killed her.

      Feathers everywhere.

      And I asked him

      – I said to him – 

      “Mozaz, why did you flatten my hen

      And make the feathers


     And he said to me 

     (can you believe this)

     He said to me:

    “W. C.

    “I was damn hungry.”

     And then I knew,

     My little chick-a- dee,

     My little bottom-soft dumpling,

     I knew from that moment

     The man was not sincere.    

                                    ~ DE BA UE

Dance, Dance, Wherever You May Be, And I’ll Lead You All


In my novel, There Was A Time, Oh Pilgrim, When The Stones Were Not So Smooth, Alison Alexandra, and her friend Amanda, go on a cruise – a freighter cruise. And they see many things. This happens before they even leave their home port.

**** **** **** **** ****

On the far side of the ship is the body of the part. Amanda and Alison Alexandra again rest their elbows on a mahogany railing and watch the activity of a large swath of the harbour. In the centre channel a tug boat hauling a scow piled with crushed automobiles is making its way to the inner reaches of the port, toward the railway terminal.

The tug is a dented and patch-painted vessel with the rumbles of a tired engine. The scow looks as if it has been in service for decades It is painted in haphazard colours of green that barely keep the rust in check.

“That looks like the end of the line carried by the end of the line destined for the end of the line,” says Amanda. “Yet they come in the other end of the port all shiny and new.”

“Maybe you just described life,” says Alison Alexandra.

“Oh – ewwww,” says Amanda.

“I agree,” says Alison Alexandra.

“Then let’s wave at Charon,” days Amanda. “Let us be hearty.”

They both lean over the mahogany rail and raise their hands high. Amanda leads them in vigour as she seems to reach for the sky with her enthusiastic wave. Alison Alexandra is tempted to put both of her hands in the air, but she refrains. She does not want to appear as if she is attempting to outdo her friend. As it is, matching Amanda is spectacle enough. They get the attention of the two crew in the wheelhouse of the tugboat. One leans from the door and waves back, while the other man behind the wheel gives a long blow on his horn.

What is unexpected, and apparently not visible to either crew in the wheelhouse, is the appearance of a figure stepping between the piles of crushed autos on the scow. Not only is it difficult to tell if it is a male or female because it is dressed in a long outer coat, but it is also hard to say if it is an adult or a child, as it is quite short. However, there is no doubt about the enthusiasm of the waving hand.

“Would that be a worker or a stowaway?” asks Amanda as she keeps waving.

“I wouldn’t think they would need any crew on the scow,” says Alison Alexandra. “What is there to do? And – anyway – look how they’re dressed.”

“A stowaway on a scow?”

“Looks like it.” Alison Alexandra wishes her military grade binoculars were not still packed away in her cabin. “Maybe they’re using the scow as a ferry from one part of the harbour to the other.”

“They’re not asking for help?”

“No.” Alison Alexandra has stopped waving. “They’re dancing.”

“Should we tell Ellerton?”

“Do you think we should?”

“No,” says Amanda. “Let them dance.”

The figure on the scow – man, woman or child – does a pirouette as the tugboat pulls away across the calm water of the harbour. The two crew members in the wheelhouse have returned to their duties.

“We can dance,” says Alison Alexandra.

“Together?” asks Amanda.

“Oh, yes – I think so.”

“Who leads?”

“Paper/scissors/rock.” Says Alison Alexandra.

Amanda flashes out two fingers as Alison Alexandra flashes out five.

“C’mon – hurry.”

“What will we do?” asks Alison Alexandra.

“Argentina Tango.”

Amanda takes Alison Alexandra’s right hand and extends it, while she places her right hand in the centre of Alison Alexandra’s back. Alison Alexandra rests her left hand on Alison Alexandra’s right shoulder.

“Do you think Ellerton has a guitar?” asks Alison Alexandra.

“Or a Supper Club Combo?” Amanda adjusts the distance between them.

“Oh, I would love a saxophone,” says Alison Alexandra.

As they take their first steps, the man/woman/child in its long coat stops their own dance. They approach the edge of the scow, but halt just behind the tier of squashed automobiles to keep out of the sight of the two crew in the wheelhouse. The tug is making its slow but steady workhorse course across the harbour, putting more and more distance between it and the ships tied to the dock.

Amanda prompts Alison Alexandra back beside the mahogany railing, but is unable to dance the growing gap between them and the scow. They come to a stop and lean over the railing when they realize the man/woman/child is cupping their hands around their mouth.

“Ole!” they hear, across the expanse of water. “Ole!”


Four Years Ago, Trump And Kafka Walked Into A Bar … Now We Know What Happened

{I wrote this after Donald Trump was elected President of The United States of America. This morning, I read the following from a post on Forex Factory: ” … it all has bypassed Rod Serling and now is in realm of Franz Kafka surrealism.”  Really – who can argue?} 

~ Frank. Welcome to your world.

~ DT, I’ve been living it all my life.

~ I’ve taken some pages out of your books, Frank.

~ I did try to get them burned.

~ You didn’t try too hard.

~ Well – no.

~ You know – neither did I.

~ I know. They all ran to your tune.

~ They did.

~ You were the Pied Piper of Havoc.

~  Worked like a charm, Frank.

~ Yes, DT – yes, it did.

~ They thought I was a bug.

~ Yes.

~ But I turned them into bugs.

~That you did, DT. And turned them against each other.

~ Yes.

~ And stood back, and watched.

~ Pretty well.

~ To the victor goes the spoils.

~ I was astounded – believe me.

~ And they keep making the same mistakes.

~ I know, Frank.  I’d laugh if it wasn’t so funny.

~ The one-eyed man is King in the land of the Blind.

~ Yes, Frank – yes. But you know what?

~  What?

~ I’ve got great vision in both eyes.

A Reminder Of When I Think God Laughed With Me


This incident happened over a year ago, when I was hand-writing (as I do) my current manuscript. Now, I am putting it (too slowly) into the computer, so the world can welcome it with open arms. It still gives me a chuckle, and perhaps God is also laughing up His sleeve.


So, it’s like this.
Alison Alexandra is going to meet her mentor for the first time in ten years. Her mentor, Bellissima Isabella, is the couturier who started, and managed, Alison Alexandra’s modelling career when she was a teen.   They are going to meet in front of the Gucci Museum in Florence.

Alison Alexandra assumes they are going to go in and look around but, oh no. Belissima Isabella has nothing but disdain for any other couturier.
I knew that when entering the Gucci Museum was going to be suggested, Belissima Isabella was going to decline, saying it was full of “Gorgeous Gucci Garbage”.

But, what was missing, was an oath of derision, which she might say a few more times as she struts across my stage in There Was A Time, Oh Pilgrim, When the Stones Were Not So Smooth.  

So, I am right at the moment of writing the oath, not a thing in mind, and she comes out with “Emanuel God Cunt”. A philosophic twist. I can live with it.

I finish my writing, come down to the computer, look at odds and ends, one of which is Linkedin. There is a request from a chap for me to add him to my Linkedin Network.  His first name is Emanuel.  

Might I suppose God is chuckling along with me?


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