Nov 28, 2008

It's Black Friday And All Through The House

Not a creature is stirring, not even an 80 pound Borzoi because she's napping on the couch.

Yeah, needs a little polishing.

My house is quiet. I've heard that said before from guests here. "Your house is so quiet!" I don't know if they mean quiet as in "there is no noise from outside" or quiet as in "I can't believe you have two dogs and six cats and your house isn't Bedlam under a full Moon" but regardless my house seems to be quiet. The way I like it. A reflection of the quiet I wish my spirit felt more often.

In the living room the heroine has just discovered for herself that the demonically smooth Vincent Price has used her friend's corpse to make a wax mannequin of Joan d'Arc. Behind her the shadows move, Price admits his evil plan and her own pure and unblemished body is about to be seized by Price's brutish assitant, at which she will start screaming for her pretty life. Outside the office windows a lovely scarlet-drenched cardinal is working his determined and hungry way through the pile of sunflower seeds I put out yesterday for them. Each black shell gives up it's tresure with a sharp 'crack,' unable to withstand the determined efforts of the little bird. On my one surviving computer speaker the Budapest Philharmonic is coasting easily through Respighi's Pines of Rome (thank you again, Stucco!) In the yard the rain that has been threatening all day arrives with a heavy grey sizzle.

I don't know how my house counts as quiet at times. Times like now, though, even with all the background noises it really is quiet. The wind is whispering through the windows, the clamour and calamity of Thanksgiving at my brother's house yesterday is a bygone thing already. Mrs. I is visiting her mother, having brought Penny to overnight while we travel to Fort Worth this weekend. My daughter is back at my brother's house, drinking deeply of her new cousins from Texas and Georgia; strange, heady new wine to her. Belle sleeps blissfully on the couch as Vincent Price plummets into his vat of boiling hot wax, and the Budapest Philharmonic segues easily into the second movement of the Resphigi.

We've had houseguests the last two nights. A cousin of mine from Austin and her fiancee, a genuinely nice guy; quiet and easy going. I'm surprised at how quickly I've come to accept him here, a stranger inside my castle gates. It doesn't happen often. It's good to see my cousin again, with whom my brother and I spent many long summer days playing and talking and growing up. In the school months we'd pen-pal back and forth, my brother and her, and her older sister and I. As the years went on the older sister took a different path and got lost and never came back.

Her daughter was there at the feast; a willow-thin girl with serious eyes, long blonde hair and her mother's features. She is an eerie phantasm sent to remind me of what has gone by the wayside, of the cousin with whom I was once so close that we wrote letters to each other almost daily. Now she is disappeared into nothingness along with the bundle of pencil-writ letters I saved for so many years. I hear whispered rumours that her father almost didn't let the child come, that her mother is going to make it to the dinner, that she isn't going to make it, that she is going to show up later. She never does, which might be for the best. I know I'd not recognise her, know that all the old paths we walked are long overgrown but her sister and I still connect easily, as though years didn't lie between this and our last meeting.

Hers is one of the few faces that stood out yesterday from the sea of people; strangers that are tied to me in many cases only by genetics. Names remembered and forgotten, little cousins suddenly weedy and tall, walking with girlfriends where only last year they stumbled with footballs and Frisbees. The sound of all those people talking, laughing, eating, washes back and forth across the yellowing grass of my brother's expanse of lawn and I sit back in the little wrought-iron patio chair with my camera on my lap, the cigar clenched in my teeth making a smoke screen to keep distance between me and the masses of faces.

She remarked the first morning how quiet the house was, how peaceful. I smiled softly and we chatted a little bit over the table. Part of me wanted to tell her that she could have this herself, all it took was a little determination to BE quiet, to let the stillness settle down upon her, but I didn't. She'll figure it out if she needs to. She'll find how to walk quietly through the rooms, how to move softly across the yard. How to sit very still in the huge brown leather chair, facing the big bay windows of the office to watch the cardinal crack seeds with his orange and skillful beak.

Nov 27, 2008

Happy Turkey!

Me, I'm about to dive into 50+ relatives with all that that much family entails. If I survive I'll see you on the other side.

Much love to you all

Nov 20, 2008

The World Keeps Moving

Mona seems to have left us swinging this week in the Poetry Friday Challenge, so I'm picking my own word. Since last week's word was Fight, this week's word (for me at least) is Win.

Belle won, you see. A lot.

Oklahoma. They're OK by me, because Belle went with Rita our breeder from Aria Borzoi and, under the gentle hand of a professional handler she SPANKED the competition!

It was a four day show, with varying numbers of competitors, but it went down like this--Thursday, under Michael Shepherd's professional handling she won Winner's Bitch (the best female non-champion,) Best of Winners (she was better than the best male,) and Best of Opposite Sex which is just a way of saying "Whatever Best Of Breed is, this is the best of the other sex." That was two of the four points she needed to complete her conformation.

Friday, under the same excellent handler she won Winner's Bitch, Best of Winners AND Best of Breed.

Best. Of. Breed.

The King Hell win. Purple and gold. She not only beat thirteen class (non-champion) dogs but four CHAMPION MALES, which is an astounding thing. You see, in the Borzoi breed males are always bigger, and always have a far more luxurious coat, and therefore are prettier. And while 'pretty' isn't supposed to matter jackshite in a dog show and isn't mentioned in the breed standard (the breed standard is concerned with muscles and skeletons and correct gaits) this is the Real World and therefore male Borzoi always win.

Except this time. *S*

That win was another four points, a Major (her THIRD major win!) and it finished her all in one go, as well as being her first (and probably last) Best of Breed! The judge, afterwards, told Rita "When she set foot in the ring I said 'That's Best of Breed unless the Specials (the champions) really step it up' and they didn't, so she went BoB."

To us, going Best of Breed and finishing her all in one go is equivalent to a sophomore quarterback winning the Big Game, getting his pick of cheerleaders afterward for an extended third base cuddle in the back of the bus AND getting a full scholarship to LSU where he'll get to major in Underwater Basket Weaving.

So now? Now we probably retire from the show ring. *s* It's tough to field a Bitch Special. Remember what I said about male Borzoi? Mrs. I handled her as a Special both weekend days, or as Rita called her, "a Baby Special," but she didn't win any further kudos. Always there's a man in the way, keeping the girls back. *lol* But that's okay. Now my sweet girl goes into Lure Coursing, which she enjoys MUCH more than being primped and preened and lead around in a circle. Me, I don't blame her. If she wins a Field Championship in Lure Coursing then excellent. If not? This is okay. She's got what she needs now to become a baby momma.

Yup. Next heat our little girl is gonna be a momma! We're still debating baby daddies but as soon as the lucky guy is picked we'll get some photos.

In other dog news (since I'm burying you guys in dog stuff) we're getting TWO new puppies! Not from Belle but, as previously mentioned, from other breeders. Driving to Fort Worth in two weeks to pick the pups up, and I promise LOTS of photos of the future champions.

For now? For now our Belle is back to being Belle. She lounges in the flower beds. She chases squirrels. She sleeps a lot, enjoying her couch. And in some little corner of her mind she thinks about getting out in a big open field and chasing three plastic bags on a zipline.

If only all of life were so easy.

Nov 18, 2008

Holy Diver

I like crickets.

One of my most highly regarded posts (I'm not making this up, the traffic on this post is out of sight) was about a cricket.

It's cricket time again around here, you see. Winter is closing in fast, and the little shiny guys and gals are looking for somewhere to hide for the season. Hey wait, there's a huge building right out here in the middle of the field, let's use IT! They climb up the walls, they sneak inside the gaping holes in the poorly constructed foundation and they live in the ceiling by the droves. But you know, as a very wise man once said, what goes up must come down.

In the men's room the vent is directly over the toilet. For some reason crickets like to end up inside whatever duct runs from that stinky poo-air vent to the outside world, and there's always a cricket or two that loses his or her grip and ends up in the not so briny deep.

Me, I'm a swimming cricket rescuer. Since no-one in the office is of the save water mindset there's never yellow mellowing therein, so it's an easy matter to reach in, scoop out, wash the hands and do what I need to do. Today, however, was a little bit different.

I walked into the lieu, flipped on the light and heard the soft 'plop' of a little brown armoured body falling from a height of about eight feet into about six inches of water. I walked over, prepared to take a brief but very cold hand dive to rescue the little klutz and I had to stop and stare.

Most times I find the unfortunate butterclaw swimming around in circles or clinging grimly to the bowl wall, unable to leap straight up enough to get out, but unwilling to continue to swim laps. This little joker, however, had a different idea.

Cricket scuba.

When he hit the water I'm guessing he went in antennae-first in a half-gainer, because he made quite an entrance. I'm guessing he kicked off the bottom and dove back up toward the side because when I finally saw him he was about four inches deep, clinging right side up to the bowl wall. The most astounding part? Not that he was underwater. Not that he was staring at me from the clear depths with a sort of self-satisfied grin on his mandibles. No, it was that somehow, when he fell, a bubble had formed around his body. It wrapped all of his abdomen (where his spiracles are) and was clinging to parts of his head and thorax.

So. There I was, staring down into the bowl with my mouth hanging open and this cricket clinging to the bowl wall with his own air supply cleverly wrapped around his body. I honestly had to wonder how he'd gotten that lucky (or had he planned it?) and even tried to figure out just how long he could stay down there, exploring this underwater realm. Jacques Cricket, all he needed was a red knit cap and a tiny diver down flag.

After I came to my senses I reached in and carefully scooped him out and redelivered him back outside, where he no doubt began to regale his grandcrickets with Nemo-esque tales of his underwater explorations.

If only he'd been wearing a tiny canvas and brass diving suit.

Nov 17, 2008

Office Warfare

I made a promise today to the lady that helps me (I'm sometimes loathe to call it 'therapy' since I work in home health and the word 'therapy' calls to mind physical and occupational therapists working with people who have had strokes or knee replacements) anyway, I made a promise today that I'd write it out. What happened.

I've got a lot of much better posts in my head and in my heart, sort of tangled up between the two, but right now I need to see if I can get some more of this poison out before I tell you the good news and tell you about the second grand adventure.

I hate office politics. I hate drama, and I hate the people that propagate it. I've been doing my best here of late to keep the drama to a minimum by keeping my contact with the Drama Queen (also known as Sweaty Fat Rolls when I'm feeling nice) to an absolute professional level only. I don't talk to her unless my job requires it, plain and simple. Interestingly enough in an office of some twenty employees (only five of which actually spend the whole day in the office) she is the only one I cannot abide. Whose presence turns my stomach to acid and makes me want to spit at her.


Just over a week ago we started a new therapist who has as her specialty something called lymphedema wraps. I was asked to order the special and very expensive materials for her so she could perform this function, and I started the ball rolling. Special requests to Corporate Supply management for approval for spending $500 in supplies on one patient, physician's orders saying it was okay, the whole long, slow works. Naturally half the stuff was back ordered, some wasn't even available due to manufacturer's shortages, etc. So, I did what I had to do within the channels I had available to me. I did what I ALWAYS do. I took responsibility for the problem and started working on it. Alone. See, I'm not USED to having people around who are willing or able to help in my office. I'm used to relying on the people in Corporate whom I KNOW are willing and able to help me.

Now. In the meantime, no one told me it was vitally important that we do this thing ASAP. No one told me that a week was too long to wait (Wah. I can't making the wheels turn any faster.) The therapist told me that none of these supplies were available anywhere in town, as there's only TWO therapists in a 100 mile radius that are certified to even DO this sort of therapy, so that option was out. We weren't trying to find a damned roll of non-sterile gauze here. Today, though, I was called to the carpet for not telling the new boss that the materials were delayed. I was chewed for not getting her involved sooner. I was barked at for not

I can't do this. I'm sorry. It's just pissing me off more. It's making me want to scream until my throat ruptures.

See, I have been over this whole rotten scenario in my head SO many times. After I was chewed out in front of my stupid fat idiotic coworker for all my faults re: the order AND my failure to be a team player, my failures to communicate properly, my on and on and on, I broke down after I left the conference room. I couldn't stop crying. I was so furious, so upset, and every time I heard that braying laugh I wanted to strike her, wanted to do physical harm to her. I felt like two someones I thought I could trust had kicked me in the balls. I felt like all the work I've been trying to do up to this point in making the work relationship FUNCTIONAL between me and this mouth-breathing fucking COW was for naught, and in fact they seemed to be taking HER side. SHE was feeling threatened. SHE was feeling like I excluded her. SHE was upset because I don't greet her in the mornings. FUCK, lady, my job does not include making YOU feel like you're fucking welcome.

Talk about a slap in the face, after I felt like my stomach had been slit and my guts left to hit the floor.

I went home for lunch and gathered my wits and went back. It was the LAST thing I wanted to do. I wanted to call in sick, tell them I had an appointment to see my headshrinker, which I do now, but not until Thursday morning. Yeah, it was that bad. Bad enough to drive me back to the counselor whom I thought had done me a world of good. I feel like a mountain climber who has just slipped off the cliff face and has fetched up, spine-crackingly, at the end of his safety rope, dangling in open air with his spine snapped.

Know what I really think I need? I think I need a factory job. I need a job where I am responsible to no one but my quota. I need a job wherein I have to make x number of left-handed dongs in a day, and if I don't it's my ass, and if I do the boss leaves me the fuck alone and I get a paycheck at the end of the week that says I did my goddamned job. I don't want to have to communicate with some backward piece of shit coworker who cannot use the English language properly, much less form complete coherent sentences about getting the shit off her shoes except when they involve her drama. I don't want to have to worry if I've said 'good morning' to everyone in the proper fucking tone of voice. I don't want to have to worry if I've made a good impression, or if I'm rowing in the same direction as "the team players" around me.

What I most want is to do what I am being paid for--show up, do my job and go the hell home. The rest is bullshit; set dressing and politics, stroking the boss and giving the proper squeeze at the end of a goddamned hand job. I just want to work to the best of my ability and when I go home I want that to be that. I don't want to lie in bed with a belly-full of acid wondering why the hell people whom I thought were on my side at work, people who were at least being equitable suddenly turned on me.

I fucking hate office politics. You wonder why people show up at work with rifles and start slaughtering their co-workers? Well, come fucking ask ME. I'll point her out to you.

You guys and gals, if you've read the whole thing, please do me a favor and don't honour this with a comment? It's not worth it. This is therapy, not anything that needs to be discussed. I know I was raised to live in a world that passed away some 50 years ago, and I am having a hard time adjusting to this new, soft, pansy-ass world, where egos and making sure everyone is happy is more important than making sure everyone works. I'll be back to myself in a few days.

Nov 14, 2008

Poetry Friday Challenge: Fight

I'm not good at fighting. Just ask The Primordial Slacker. She was going to give me lessons on how to fight but we disagreed on the price and instead of fighting her over it I waited until she went to the fridge to get a bottle of beer and I crept away.

When I was a kid my brother and I fought, all the time. Like brothers do. Nyah-nyahing, if you were. We could fight over anything and everything, and we did. We railed, we screamed, we picked and punched and did everything that brothers who are diametrically unalike will do.

Well, my mother finally got tired of it one day. Now, before we get too much further, let me tell you about my mom.

My mom is pure Old South Woman. She's about five foot four, goes to the hairdresser regularly, makes most of her own clothes, and is as genteel and elegant a person as you could ever want to meet. She cooks, she cleans, and she does windows. She keeps her house neat as a pin and her pins as neat very neat indeed. She rarely raises her voice even when arguing, and I can't remember a time when I EVER saw her and my father argue. As far as I know, like sex, it simply never happened between them. Hearing her curse is as rare as hearing the Pope utter an explicative, and when you do manage to wring a foul word out of her mouth you know you've done something truly, exquisitely horrible. She didn't even curse the night she found my brother, myself, and three of our high-school friends stone cold drunk in the den on drug-store whiskey.

So there my brother and I were, ages 6 and 8 or so, fighting. Probably spent all of that long summer day at it, slowly driving my genteel, quiet, Old Southern mother right up an oak tree. Mad as a wet hen? Far worse. We dickered and snarked and fought and finally she had enough. That's the day I saw my mother genuinely, supremely furious. She dragged both of us out to the driveway and, spit flying from her mouth, shouted "You want to fight? Well then, fight damnit!"

She crossed her arms and waited.

My brother and I deflated like a pair of burst balloons, unsure of what to do. Fight? She WANTED us to fight? Wanted us to hit each other? I couldn't hit him, he's my brother, I'm much bigger than him and I'd never heard the end of the time as a toddler I tried to pull him head-first through the bars of his crib, what would THIS produce? I'd go to my grave being reminded that I struck my defenseless brother in anger that summer day.

So we stood there, sheepish expressions on our faces until Mom finally screamed at us to get back inside and go to our rooms.

I don't know that I've ever been so relieved to be punished in my life.

Nov 11, 2008


You guys remember that word, right? From high school English.

Petrichor. That enticing smell you get when rain first starts to fall on asphalt. It's been raining here all day, so I missed that first burst of scent this morning but I've watched it rain all day from my office window. It's been nice, and it's been aggravating (try running to the Bone Stretcher's office in pouring rain) and it's been making me wish I had my camera.

Oh wait, I carry my camera EVERYWHERE.

Okay, so I took this last week and not today, but it's hard to pass up sun rays like this.

The closest I'll ever get to driving my Clinical Manager's BMW 7-series. Okay, I lie. I backed it up about a foot to get it out of the roof's run-off so the rain would bead evenly. I felt so elegant.

Probably the closest I'll ever come to those cool high-speed photographs you see in high-end science magazines. Granted THOSE photographers are not squatting on the front porch shooting into the parking lot in driving wind and rain either.

Nov 9, 2008

The Odd Birds Club

It's been a strange week, kids. Wanna hear about it? Good. Thought you might.

I've been off two wheels since the wreck*, and it's withering my soul. Dragging feet between the towing company and the shop where Betty is going to get her estimate, wrangling with insurance companies and the lawyer and the damned Mustang, which loses third gear and reverse when warm. Sounds trivial enough until you pull into a driveway to back out and reverse direction and you realise you have to get out and PUSH the bastard backwards into the street to go back the way you came. Trust me, boys and girls, a 1965 Ford Mustang is ALL STEEL, and therefore about as light at the Thanksgiving dinner we're all going to be gorging ourselves on in a few weeks.

Fought for and successfully won the right to keep my old office at work, which the former DOO forced me out of, and I find my productivity increasing. You know, working in an office shuffling paperwork and making medical records isn't the sort of fulfilling work a person like me needs, though. I'm an odd bird, if you didn't know already. Somewhere along the line I inherited one of those Work Ethic things and I can't seem to shake it. So now, unless I'm raising a barn or tilling a coupla hundred acres on the weekends it shows in my bearing, my mental health and my overall well being. Two-wheeled therapy helps immensely, but lacking wheels that avenue of release is sadly absent. The best weekends seem to occur for me when I can get out and DO something, something physical, something to drain off that energy. Ballooning. Trainspotting. Farming. When I can work I feel marvelous; I never feel so good as when when I feel like I've accomplished something, when I can point at something and say "I did that."

Yesterday was a grey day for me, emotionally. I woke up with back pains (probably from pushing Henry Ford's steel contraption Friday afternoon) and that set the tone--pain pills, a slightly blurry outlook on life and an intense desire to get out and operate heavy machinery, which was foiled by a stiff and insistent north wind. All that plus the morphine worked to destroy my motivation so I was less than fulfilled as a worker bee. Today seems to have made up for that lack, thank my lucky stars and garters.

Oddly enough, chickens helped.

I've not written about them much, but we're in process of raising two more batches of day-old pullets to adulthood, two batches growing up about three weeks apart. That means the back porch has been full of fowlness; poo, wet pine shavings and the unmistakable scent of chickens. I got smart the weekend before last and made a sort of outside room for the first batch of eight, a three foot by four foot enclosure with an open bottom and a hinged top, about a foot and a half tall, wrapped in chicken wire. It got the "high school" birds off the back patio and let us put the kindergardeners into the middle school cage and out of the dog kennel they were in.

The high schoolers loved their new digs--fresh grass to gnaw down to nubs, the feel of terrain under their little claws and the occasional unlucky bug made them happy campers, and the new middle-schoolers were happy to have more room to stretch their little green legs. Since the college kids outgrew their outside dorm about a week ago THEY were ready for a change today, and I was ready for some physical activity, and there being no real grass to cut...

Enter my good friend Manuel Labour, and therapy, and happiness. A feeling of exertion, of having DONE something with my weekend rather than spend it eating and sitting on the couch.

Less than a hour of work with saw and screwdriver and an assortment of scrap wood produced a serviceable A-frame lean-to with a solid back, two narrow strips of 3/4" plywood for perches and with a heat-lamp clipped to the outside shining in and an old towel draped across the front opening about halfway down, suddenly they have a nice eastward facing dormitory. Mrs. I and I rodeoed the adults into one half of the hen yard, closed the gate to the other, set up the new dorm therein and let the young adults have at it. Plenty of fresh mulch to rake around, a variety of interesting seeds and grass and insect life to gnaw at, and within a few hours of adjusting to this huge new world they were roaming and scratching and dust-bathing and learning that they could, in fact, try out their new wings without crashing into the roof.

An odd bird--one of the four Barred Rocks (this is one of the two cockrels) resting a foot.

Hanging out around the dorm.

One of the four Gold Laced Wyandottes

Good fences make for easier transition to the cruel adult world right over there, with it's pecking order.

Watching them learn about the world made me smile, as it usually does. The new nest box condo I built two weekends ago fit nicely into the coop, and now the laying area is three boxes high and between four and six across, giving the ladies fourteen nest boxes to go about their business in, room and more for almost thirty hens. Plus when the two 'mistake' Barred Rock roosters grow old enough there will be enough hens to go around as well, with some left over.

From there the middle schoolers graduated off the patio to the big outside world, to learn about grass and bugs and scratching, and how cold it really CAN get at night. I'd have some shots for you, but my camera has trouble differentiating between chicken wire and chicken. Perhaps soon I can post a few--they have "willow" legs, which is to say the most wonderful shade of willow bark green, very unexpected, a nice lagniappe.

Having the fowl off the back porch meant it could be given a good sweeping and cleaning, and then the cats had their outside sun and fresh air back, a fact which has not been wasted--there's been more pussy on my patio in the last six hours than in the Playboy mansion all week.

Yeah, that was sad.

After that there was time to carry metal T-posts out to the chicken yard to lay out the new expansion area, assembly of which will occur perhaps next weekend. Room to grow, room to expand. Room enough for scads of chickens to roam safely and mostly freely, protected from predation. Come spring when the days grow longer and the hens return to a full laying schedule I'm going to have to put up a honking great sign in the front yard-- "Eggs For $ale!" I don't think I'll be able to bring myself to put "Cheep!" under that, but you never know. Plus the Egg Monies jar will fill even faster, and with Easter coming and the middle school kids being Americaunas we'll have a nice passel of pastel blue- and green-shelled eggs to amaze and astound the marks.

Belle should be home next weekend too, which will be nice. She's been staying with Rita at Aria Kennels, lounging with her mother and Sean and the new puppies and some of the other champions in the warm Fort Worth sunshine. In a few weeks WE'LL be expanding our kennel from one to three! Sherry, a good friend of ours at Brassgate Kennels, a close sister kennel to Aria has a puppy they're willing to let us have, as they've grown too big so we're going to be the happy new home for either Bathsheba or Guinevere (follow the link and scroll down, they're both photoed there,) and Rita is arranging to have another puppy from a new litter of HERS stay over with us for a few months, as two Borzoi puppies have enough energy for each other to learn to grow strong and tough, whereas a single three-year old Belle hasn't nearly the energy requirements nor the patience.

Happy day, this means more construction here at Irrelephant Farms! A new run is being planned even as I write, place for the three to run long and hard without hitting a fence or an azalea bush or a poorly-placed crepe myrtle tree. Room to bounce and roam and learn to be big strong champions, which they're destined to be. Belle is very close now to her own championship, and will be in Oklahoma next weekend at a four-day show, hopefully to return with the rest of her needed points. What does that mean for me? Dog houses to build! Fences to put up! Work. Glorious, sweaty work in the cooling days of winter. Therapy.

Now if I can only get my two wheeler back.
* If you're curious, the Bone Stretcher finished my evals last week and after peering at the (frightening) x-rays he's decided that to fix my wildly out-of-whack spinal cord and neck will require two to three times weekly visits for...wait for it...six to eight months. My head rests about an inch too far forward, adding extra pressure to my shoulders and neck, my neck vertebrae are all out of alignment left to right, exacerbated badly by my landing on them, and my L3 and L4 vertebrae juuuust about touch on their dorsal edges. Yay. Ain't old age wonderful?

I hope they have a massage therapist.

Nov 5, 2008

Vulgar Wizard

Couldn't have said it any better, nor could she have gotten a better photo to go with it. Get to healing, Jim. We can't do this ballooning thing without you. We're still both n00bs and David is gonna snap one day and kill us both if you don't get out of that damned hospital ASAP.

Nov 3, 2008

Indescribably Cool, But I'll Try

Some wise man once said, describing something extraordinarily surreal in a poem of his, that it was "as beautiful as the chance meeting of an umbrella and a sewing machine on a disection table."*

This is what Art is, to me. Incredible things, designed only to take your breath away, to make you gape in astonishment, to fill your heart with child-like glee. To wring tears from your eyes and laughter from your soul. Art solely for the sake of art.

This could have been what that long-ago poet saw, if it hadn't happened some 80 years later.

If you'll forgive me taking liberties, it's as beautiful as the chance meeting of a giant little girl marionette and a steam-powered 40 ton elephant in a London street.

* That would be Andre' Breton, in 1924.

Nov 1, 2008

Poetry Friday Challenge: Halloween

Though I'm writing it on All Saint's Day, and I probably ought to be feeling the weight of my ancestors and their practices and hieing my arse out to the cemetery to clean and straighten and neaten up around the quiet stones I'm not and have been wandering the back yard with my camera trying to photograph the wrens that were about.


One day, in winter or in spring
the sun is going to rise
but I'm not.

Everyone else is going to get up,
start their morning. The birds
are going to sing and the people
will stir themselves to their jobs.
I won't be stirring with you.

It's not a horrible thought
at least not all the time.
I know there's nowhere but here,
nowhere to take me in when
at last I shuffle off this mortal
(and tattooed) coil.
That's okay. This is my Heaven.
This is my Hell.

It's gonna happen.
There's no getting around it.
I can't dodge the metaphorical (?) bullet.
Not sure I want to, honestly.
I'm not ready, mind you.
Not by a long shot.
Just...accepting, a little bit.

So come Hallo'een,
when you're out with the kids
or the grandkids
Or if you're sitting at home
watching the little ghouls and
the goblins
and the Disney princesses
roam up and down the streets
Pause a moment, look up at the
cold black bare limbs holding
the Moon in the sky and smile.

And while you're at it, haul your ass
out to the cemetery and brush
the bird crap off my tombstone, what's
wrong with kids today?
I swear.

Here, how about a few Carolina Wrens from my yard?