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    Sight; Sound; Scent; Touch

January 31, 2018 Leave a comment

(SESTINA) A form in which the last word of each verse must be the last word of the first line in the next verse.  Also, all the other lines must end in the same words as the ends of lines in all the verses, in a predetermined sequence.

 

Beauty can be found in a million forms

Throughout nature, in all things seen and heard.

A lazy lagoon, still water, sun’s warmth

On tan sand is inviting to the eye.

Forest surrounds the lagoon, deep and lush,

Filling the day with fragrance and bird songs.

 

Anchor the boat and be still.  Hear the songs

Of the forest dwellers, sung in all forms:

Call of cricket, twitter of finch add warmth

To the day.  Strip down – I’ll avert my eye –

Dive in, swim to shore.  Cool water feels lush

As you pass through it.  Another splash is heard.

 

I, too, dive from the deck.  My splash is heard

In the quiet cove, arresting the songs

For but a moment, ‘till they well up lush

Again in the fragrant air.  Supple forms

Glide through the clear water beneath us.  Warmth

Awaits us on the sandy beach we eye.

 

You slip into shallows and stand.  My eye

Feasts on your glistening flesh, wet and lush

As you dance, dripping, up the beach.  While songs

Of birds and bugs celebrate, they are heard

From every side as you lay down on sand’s warmth

To dry.  The beach displays our footprint forms.

 

While you lay on the soft sand, your shape forms

A fitted nest in the beach.  The sand’s warmth

Comforts you until you open an eye

To watch me approach, dripping, while the lush

Foliage emits bird and insect songs

To envelop us, the only sounds heard.

 

Alone here, now, our breathing can be heard

Rising and falling, while affection forms

Between us.  Oblivious to the songs

Now, we are lost together in the warmth

Of the place and time.  I don’t see the lush

Surroundings now.  Only you fill my eye.

 

Beauty is born in the beholder’s eye,

While in the ear, great beauty can be heard.

Share these moments and life becomes more lush.

                                       ~o~

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SUMMER DAYS

January 9, 2018 Leave a comment

Poetry form: (PROSE 1)

[1]

NOT A BEACH DAY

Round stones and dark, loose dirt forced several inches of backslide after each step upward. The struggle was an essential part of the adventure for the pubescent girl, and she laboured up the long abandoned trail almost every day of every summer at Sanctuary Bay. Her thin legs, seeming too long for her tiny torso, carried her upward in a staggering rhythm as she picked spots to place her feet.

[2]

SURRENDER IN THE FOREST

The higher up she struggled, the darker and cooler the forest became. The trees closed in close around the narrow trail, and the thrill began to permeate every cell and sentiment within the child. Her heart pounded in her narrow chest, the blood rushed in her ears, and she almost trembled with ecstasy as she gave herself up to the comforting security of aloneness. Minute sounds and scents were clear and rich to her in this aroused state. She let the familiar feelings fill her, thrill her in that peculiar way that she was certain no other person ever felt. She tingled somewhere down inside. She felt the heat flush in her pale cheeks; felt the burning of her ears.

[3]

SANCTUARY WITHIN

She lay down on the warm, dry carpet of golden brown leaves. It was thick and springy after centuries of accumulated autumns. The rich, pungent fragrance of ancient forest filled her little lungs, enriched her coursing blood. Thirty meters above, the leafy canopy swayed in the high lake breeze. Flashes of sunlight flickered over her slight, prone figure. She closed her eyes and felt the peace of sanctuary descend upon her.

Individual Liberty

November 29, 2017 2 comments

I have a lot of life behind me. Not only because I’ll turn eighty next year, but because most of those years have been lived “out of the box”. I’ve had wives, children, mortgages, businesses, family vacations and all that stuff. That was one part of my life that was the most wrong part. I should never have been a regular suburban husband and father. I did it pretty well, although it took great effort because I was not really suited to the role.

I now realize that I should have followed my bohemian instincts. Instead of living inside the box of affluence that I was in with my parents and brothers, I should have left the family home, acquired a job of some kind, and earned my way through Art College. It was my error, my weakness. My father provided me with sports cars, speed boats, tailors, charge accounts and all. Not many eighteen-year-olds could walk away from that. I think, in some ways, I’d have lived a richer life if my parents had been poor and mean, but they weren’t.

Now I realize I should have worked pumping gas, or in a convenience store, or as a waiter or parking lot attendant. I would have met a variety of characters, girls who shared my creative nature and guys from varied backgrounds. I wouldn’t have to spend so much time now, in retirement, teaching myself how to draw.

Don’t struggle to live the life your parents want you to live, if it’s not the life you’d choose for yourself. In the end, staying true to yourself is the only path to personal satisfaction and inner comfort. I followed my own path after I finally broke free of my heritage, and have had many satisfying decades of life, more varied than that of most people with a PhD. Still, I wish I’d claimed my individual liberty earlier in my life.

The Dealer’s Place

October 31, 2017 Leave a comment

The only interesting thing about the dealer’s place was the people who gathered there most evenings. The time I saw them, they had gathered to enjoy “Star Trek” together. I am uninterested in Star Trek, but I lingered to observe the group. I admit that in my case, I was there to buy some grass from the dealer. The dealer was a very nice, shy guy, about 6 feet tall, 30ish, and considerably overweight. His name was Gregory.

Greg also had a small travel agency, where he struggled to make a living. He didn’t like dealing grass, but the travel agency was barely getting by. I later learned that he’d been orphaned while in his teens, and had been making his way in life as well as he could. His disadvantage was that he was not cool… not smooth. Greg was awkward, and that was probably why his apartment was ground zero for a group of socially awkward people.

The most visible person was David. He was noticeable because he talked a lot, always  with unnecessary urgency. One could almost see him vibrating, so tense was he. I later learned that his mother was severely depressed, and drove him crazy. I’m thinking, he’s about 30, why is he with Mom? He expressed shame that he worked at selling ‘diamond futures’, knowing full well that it’s a worthless product and he’s bilking people. His weirdness kept him from getting a regular job, so telephone hustling is the best he could do.

There were two females, as different from each other as possible. They were not together in any way. Sitting on a black bean-bag chair was a very pretty girl in her 20s. She was dressed in Goth style, all black, some veils, thigh-high boots of black leather and a black shawl. She smoked a joint, did not pass it around, and shrunk back into an obscure corner at the back of the room.

Every person in the room was facing the television set. I sat on a straight chair to the side. On the sofa, Greg joined the two that were already there. Next to Greg was a young woman midget. She appeared to be tiny, seated by large Greg. On her other side was Nick, a rather good looking man in his twenties. He planned to be a rock star singer with a band. He was in the process of auditioning bands. Good luck with that.

Awkward people gathered together, perhaps for safety in numbers. The midget asked me to fetch her a coke. Why me, I thought? I rose and stepped toward the kitchen and turned at the apartment entrance hall and left the apartment.

2 Books, 2 Authors, 2 Plum Trees

October 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Two books that I consider to be among the best are: A Confederacy of Dunces and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Two more books that follow the life of Lisbeth Salander followed the latter. A Confederacy of Dunces stands alone. There will be no more books by Stieg Larsson, who wrote the Salander books, nor from John Kennedy Toole, who wrote the Dunces book.

Both books met with immediate acclaim when they were published posthumously. They are, in fact, fabulous stories brilliantly told. Anyone who enjoys reading strong, earthy, beautifully written books must read these four – the three by Larsson and one by Toole.

Films were made of the Larsson trilogy, I’ve not heard of a worthy one for Toole’s book. The American versions of the Salander story, to me, are not worth the time of day. The Swedish versions, with subtitles, are brilliant. The casting, the acting, the script, every scrap of them is great.

Ignatius Jacques Reilly is the morbidly obese and endlessly pompous star of A Confederacy of Dunces. He is unique in literature, and is purely wonderful. The lead character in the Larsson books and films is Lisbeth Slander, the most fascinating and exciting hero you’ll ever read.

You might well wonder where the plum trees come into this story. I used to own a hobby farm in the mountains where I kept horses and sometimes pigs and cows. There’s an ancient apple orchard behind the house. It’s very picturesque, with the old, gnarled trunks and untrimmed limbs.

At far corners of the orchard, diagonal from each other were two, old, sterile plum trees. For years, while the apple trees were bursting with huge, antique apples, the plum trees appeared to be little more than four inch wide sticks in the ground.

Suddenly, one spring, the plum trees came to life. To super life, I want to say. Both trees burst forth with volumes of perfect, beautiful, Damson plums. Bushels of them. Sweet, firm Damson plums from trees that we thought were long dead. They produced a vast amount of wonderful nourishment, and then they died dead. Forever.

Similarly, both Stieg Larsson and John Kennedy Toole burst forth with brilliant books. They created stories and characters unparalleled in modern literature. They nourished readers’ minds with intrigue and excitement. Then they died.

Stieg Larsson died suddenly, of a heart attack at fifty. John Kennedy Toole took his own life at forty-four. I like to think that, like the plum trees, the effort to produce such a fine result was more than life could sustain. They gave their all, the plum trees and the authors. We have their books, and they are as much a blessing as were the plums.

John Kennedy Toole

Stieg Larsson

Toole (top) – Larsson (bottom)

The Destructive Drive for Wealth

October 19, 2017 Leave a comment

When ‘maximized profits’ is the goal, someone or something is going to suffer. How can a marketer maximize profits, while it’s already doing everything possible? One can make the product more cheaply and charge more for it. When a corporation’s goal is to get rich no matter what, its staff, suppliers, and customers all lose out.

Companies fight to keep employees’ wages and benefits low so the company can flourish. At the same time, the employees are the energy that manufacture, deliver, and perhaps sell the product. Why would an employer not appreciate the employees? Because employees cost a lot of money, and companies don’t like to part with any money at all.

We ‘normal’ people might be unable to understand how a company can deny living wages to its employees while awarding huge bonuses to senior executives. Well, perhaps those greedy people have a weakness in their spirit that enables them to be selfish at all times.

Personally, I would reject the life of the wealthy, because it doesn’t suit me. I was raised in a wealthy family, and felt out of place. The quiet life among simple people suits me better. At the same time, I enjoy a great deal of intellectual stimulation on social media. The Internet is also a great creative stimulus that helps me to live comfortably.

My Second Wife

October 14, 2017 Leave a comment

This one is really stupid. I don’t mean that Masha was stupid, I mean I was stupid. Well, she was maybe stupid, but certainly a sociopath. I was forty, and my first wife had grown cold and usually rejected me. I was out in the world, and was given reason to believe that some women found me attractive. It was confirmed at the annual Christmas party. One attractive female executive, one broadcast producer, and one very young receptionist all loosened up with drink and came to my office one at a time, and told me they wanted me.

It was shocking. I didn’t know that I was seen that way at the office. The broadcast producer said, “Do I have to beg? I will if I have to.” The lady executive just entered my office, closed the door behind her and leaned back on it. She just looked at me long and hard for about 20 seconds before she flung the door open and walked out. The 19 year old receptionist said, “Nobody has been able to give me a penetration orgasm, but I think you’re the one that can.”

I had never experienced such boldness, and I felt embarrassed. I loved the woman who rejected me, and other women wanted me. It was not right, and I was obviously at a life-altering crossroad. I have since come to regret I didn’t enjoy any of those three women, but at the time I was feeling insecure.

In the months following the office party, I noticed a shapely young woman in the stenographer pool. She had a face like a China doll, although she was not Asian. She had an irregular sway when she walked, and it attracted me. We chatted a few times, having met in the coffee room at the office. We were friendly.

I sensed that she was not a ‘normal’ office worker. I believed that she was probably promiscuous, although she was married. One day I saw her carrying a tray of coffee and donuts to a meeting room. I walked up behind her and circled her with my arms and cupped her breasts in my two hands. She giggled and feigned embarrassment, so I was assured my judgment was correct.

We eventually left our spouses and became a couple. We never officially married, but I consider her my second wife because we lived together as a married couple. My 12 year old son lived with us for part of the time.

She had told me that she was formerly a stripper, and now she said she’d like to quit the office work and return to stripping. I thought that was pretty exciting, so I went along with it. Eventually, I began to make tapes of her music for the strip joint that was called, “Le Strip”. I even designed and made a couple of costumes for her. It was fun.

Then she cheated. She was dancing in a bar when a popular television newsman came in to the place. She spent that night with him, and hurried to me in the morning to tell me about it. In that moment I decided I was done with her, and would disentangle myself after 4 years together. She then began to watch the guy on television. She had never watched news before, and she obviously didn’t care how it felt to me.  There were many other moments of that kind until I came to realize she was a sociopath and unable to feel. She even told me once, early in our relationship, that she didn’t know what love is.

I will have to write more about her in the future, because there’s too much to tell here and now. I split from her and enjoyed a really active social and sex life for a couple of years, while getting over the breakup. I acquired a good position in a distant city, and left my home town behind. The pleasures of bachelorhood continued in the new place.