My Dad never told me he was teaching me lessons. When he paid me six bits an hour to paint the fence; he didn’t tell me that it was an example of the value of money. But after sixty-four years of working for an hourly wage, it has finally sunk in as to what two bits is worth.
People who have never worked for an hourly wage in their life do not understand working for a living.
Lightning flashed across the sky
and blued the darkness from my spy.
Then a sudden, shuddered sound
and windows shake, and wind does pound.
This be storm, but you are safe,
four walls and roof have you encased.
In the suburbs’ garden of green squares and palace’s neatly controlled riots of sprawling verdant seas, beginning at one shore the wave of whirling blades and noise moves from border back and forth or round and round until the brightly lit tomb of silence is filled with the smell of cut lawn.
That is the smell of plant pain, danger, trauma: a scream that other plants hear. Kids from the suburbs learn to love it. Perhaps golfers love it also as they chase their dimpled balls across the green.
When they cut the winter wheat it is dry as dust. They just want the kernels, the grain. They have learned that the stalks have use to someone as well. Harvest of peas, lentils, and wheat smells of dirt, dry dirt. But the alfalfa baled on the tractor trailers heading out Highway 8 to the Columbia Basin to feed the livestock through the winter fills the cab with sweet pain and agony as I drive the garbage off campus. Truck after truck, sometimes as many as five loads in the space of five miles.
Mr. Spock once pointed out that we all feed on death, even vegetarians. As a body grows older, has more experience and awareness, tastes change and in some they grow stranger, mere habits, addictions. I have met some who have grown used to the scream of children as well as some who no longer have their stomachs turned at the smell of death: doctors, soldiers, morticians, people from abattoirs.
As a child from the suburbs, the smell of fresh cut grass no longer pleases me, but the addiction of cut alfalfa still is ripe, but I have grown used to the rot of garbage after twenty years of hauling.
When I became a man
I found gazing through
a thin slice of volcanic glass
lovely, the hues and inclusions!
By myself I can do nothing.
I will to do thy will.
Love is the law, love under will.
Do what thou wilt is the whole
of the law. Building the temple within
is easier with the wind at your back.
rebuild over and over
in new pleasing forms,
add new blocks.
from Some Notes on Twenty-first Century Sorcery.
(sung to the tune from an old dog food TV ad)
My God’s better than your God.
My God’s better than yours.
My God’s better ‘cause he
My God’s better than yours.
Madison Avenue taught us that.
Leni Riefenstahl taught us that
with Triumph of the Will.
Frank Capra taught us that
with Why We Fight?
What’s this we stuff?
Trust no one.
Did the Church of England
make Henry a saint?
Did Augustus become a god
because they sculpted a statue?
Or did it take a Senate resolution?
Beware the Emperor of Ice Cream,
because something wicked this way comes.
There is a sucker born every minute,
and you can’t cheat and honest man.
Freedom is free, but tyranny
is expensive, because it doesn’t
promote domestic tranquility.
It doesn’t want to.
It wants the uncommon good
and the common can work.
Remember, it is the common defense.
They use a special defense.
We are all equal in the oblong box
or the conquering urn.
When I reread the last paragraph of this article of the US Constitution this morning (I have read it before, but it is still not in my memory banks. Hell! It has taken almost two years to almost get the preamble down.) something perked my interest.
This paragraph reads:
“Judgment in cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”
The first time I read it the word “Party” leaped out at me enthusiastically.
‘Party, you mean the whole Republican party can be liable! No wonder the Senate is so afraid to impeach and remove a President.’
Let us face it, no single person made Donald J. Trump, even Donald J. Trump is only mostly responsible for this miserable excuse for a human being. “I blame society.”
After almost two years of this horror bringing out the darkest side of America’s nature, I want a shot at all of them, which I never will get. I know that.
Then I reread it and went, ‘Ah shucks!’ Party just means the individual Trump, or any sitting President.
The parts about “Indictment, Trial, Judgement and Punishment” and “disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States” made me realize just how much Nixon, Ford, and the US government got away with when Ford pardoned him.
Gods! I was so much younger once.
Fire burns both true and false,
indiscriminate of tree or man.
Death burns neither,
for nothing ever dies.
Things pass away, far away
to realms unknown, undreamed,
But death burns neither
Horses water at the stream,
Then they only pass away,
or perhaps nowhere at all.
so small, so small.
Do we go anywhere,
anywhere at all?
The only magic I know is perhaps the greatest in the universe. It does not belong to a select few but resides in us all to some degree or another. This power, this witchery is called imagination, a form of poetic faith that disavows all rules and simply believes, if only for a few short moments.
Black water running with circles,
gutters under street lamps,
pale flesh, florescent light.
The wet I feel is
the same one as in the woods.
But at night, without
campfire, I would not see.
Out there under clouds,
no moon, I would have
no eyes, only ears.
My senses would not be