The Biggest Threat

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On the longest day of the summer, it was their custom to stay awake around the central fire and dialogue. This particular year, they found themselves arguing about which animal was the most dangerous to the tribe. 

No, the most dangerous is NOT the seagull.

One spoke: “Crocodile has many teeth and strong jaws. Besides, he can creep silently along, looking much like a floating log until it is too late.”

Photo by Henning Roettger on Pexels.com

Another spoke: “True enough. Yet, what of Panther who lies still and unseen upon a tree branch in the night? Then, he pounces with teeth and claws?” 

Yet another spoke: “Terrible indeed. But what of Rattlesnake? He can lie unseen in deep grass and though he is small, he injects a poison that can kill? And, there are many more of them than there are Crocodiles or Panthers.”

Photo by Donald Tong on Pexels.com (not a rattlesnake, but you get the idea).

On through the night, one by one, they would bring up dangers to the tribe. At first, they spoke only of animals, but one pointed out the danger of lightening and another of flood. Another spoke of the year without summer and others pointed out the red pox had killed many. 

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At last, a short time before the sun began to re-emerge over the horizon, and the sky paused on the brink of deciding to stick with the mild pink color or paint a different scene, they began to speak no more, awed into silence by entire sky aflame in a sea of crimson. 

And, they all knew. 

They all saw it. 

They all realized it was more deadly than anything they had discussed before. 

And they all realized it was up to them to tame this monster. 

Love is life. Hate is death. It’s that simple.

————

Absolute is not just a vodka

Poker Chips

Dick-Taters

The Ailing King of Agitate 

The Orange Man

Stoned Soup

Three Blind Mice

Donnie’s Gift

Guernica

After All

Author page on Amazon

Castles Made of Sand

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So, I went down to Del Mar beach today.

I built a castle all of sand today. 

The tide came in and washed it all away. 

Perhaps, I’ll build another one some day.

“But what’s the point,” I hear you laugh and say. 

“The tide will come once more. Why build today?”

True enough, 

Life is tough.

Castles made of sand don’t last. 

They fall if they become too wet.

Indeed, if sun makes them too dry. 

They fall if they are kicked by bully

They fall if stumbled into fully.

And, yet —- 

Not so fast!

Is that a cause for tears to cry?





Does not each castle fall at last? 

Does not each tower stone or steel

Become a ruin grown o’er by vine? 

Into vinegar turns the wine?

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Our smartest plans to check and slay

Forgotten on some distant day. 

It’s not that turrets will forever stay. 

The point is that the play itself’s the Way.

Sunset on Del Mar beach

Dance of Billions

How the Nightingale Learned to Sing

Life is a Dance

Join the Dance

The Forest

Ah Wilderness

You must remember this

The Jewels of November

The First ring of Empathy

Author page on Amazon


   

Alito and the Egg

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Sonnet Sunday 

As a ploy to prod productivity, I often write with a different “theme” or “genre” for every day of the week. Today is “Sonnet Sunday.” The basic idea is to write a sonnet every Sunday. Lately, in light of the Extreme Court ruling that states cannot enact laws that abridge the rights of guns but they are free to enact laws to abridge the rights of women, I decided that instead of the traditional five feet in every line of the sonnet, I would put an extra foot everywhere it doesn’t belong — just like the Extreme Court. So, instead of writing in iambic pentameter, I’m going for iambic hexameter. 

————

Fertilized human egg above. Having trouble seeing it? Look more carefully! It’s a person, a person with more rights than you have. Unless, you’re a guy, of course.

You ever see Alito’s photograph with egg?

I speak of human egg of course: unscrambled dot.

Or, even posed with toddler twins who peed his leg? 

He does not shed a tear nor care a shriveled shot

Photo by Min Thein on Pexels.com

For fetus, females, Constitutionality. 

He cites authority of judges from the past.

The six-teen hundreds! Where is rationality?!

We need to balance idiocracy real fast!

You ever see Alito’s nine month pregnant pouch? 

He’s never even been a woman, right? Nor, fan.

Without an ounce of understanding, from his couch,

He beckons to the darkest beast in every man.

Don’t let a man who’s never felt a female’s heart

Dictate to you what’s straight enough, nor tear apart. 

—————————————

Clarence, but not Darrow

The Extreme Court

Dick-Taters

Absolute is not just a vodka

The Update Problem 

Essays on America: Wednesday

Stoned Soup

The Self-Made Man

Poker Chip

The Mammoth and the Mouse

The Three Blind Mice

The First Ring of Empathy

Donnie’s Last Gift

Beware of Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing

Cancer Always Loses in the End

Dance of Billions

Listen You can hear the echos of your actions

Donnie’s Last Gift

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Fred shook his head as he clicked off his cellphone and laid it down carefully on the bedside table charger. His reading light was still on. He glanced over and saw that Geri was awake. He wished for a moment that the phone call had never happened; that it had just been a bad dream. He could see from Geri’s expression that she knew he was upset.

“Well?” She began. “Was that who I think it was?” Her exasperated tone, Fred knew, wasn’t a reproach to him. He shrugged. “He wouldn’t take no for an answer. Of course. He’s coming over in the morning on his way to close a big important deal, so he says. Wants to share the fruits of his genius by showering the boys with gifts.” 

Geri sighed. She was, by now, quite familiar with Uncle Donnie’s “gifts” to the boys. The first such gift had come somewhere around their seventh birthday, he had “gifted them”  bee bee guns. That would have been bad enough, but Uncle Donnie didn’t stop there. He regaled them with stories about his “bravery” in the “big war” and how he had shot many more “Japs” (as he called them) than he had ever gotten proper credit for. Of course, like all of Donnie’s stories, he completely fabricated this one. He had never been drafted and he certainly never volunteered. He never served in armed services. So far as Geri could tell, he’d never served anywhere for anything. Nonetheless, when she looked at the glowing faces of her admiring twins, she didn’t have the heart to debunk his tall tales. Donnie had left soon after an enormous breakfast to close an ‘enormous’ deal, the details of which he couldn’t disclose for legal reasons, but he assured them all, they’d soon be reading about it in the paper. 

Donnie’s parting words had been: “Tell Daddy to take you to Dick’s soon! They have your rifles waiting for you! Who knows? Maybe some day, you’ll be a war hero too!.” 

That evening, Geri & Fred had had the worst fight of their marriage. She couldn’t understand why Fred had not told the boys they weren’t old enough to have bee bee guns and that their Uncle Donnie had told them a pack of lies. Fred had ended up yelling and saying things he didn’t mean. Geri had ended up yelling and saying things she didn’t mean. They had never really “resolved” that conflict. But they eventually moved on. Since Uncle Donnie’s visits were only occasional, they came to an uneasy cease-fire about the necessity of debunking his lies. Geri promised not to burst the bubble of Donnie’s lies, but Fred understood that if she were ever asked directly, she would tell the truth. Fred said he would do the same. As it turned out, the boys never asked either of their parents whether Uncle Donnie’s tales were true. 

Now, Fred regretted not havingmcalled Donnie out on his lies when he first told them. Well, Fred reasoned, now it was ‘water under the bridge.’ Hopefully, this visit wouldn’t last too long. Fred turned the light out. He knew he’d no longer be able concentrate on his book. Sleep would take awhile. He knew there was no point in worrying about Donnie’s visit or trying to guess what lies he would fill his sons’ heads with next. But that knowledge didn’t bring sleep.

Photo by Rodrigo Souza on Pexels.com



Geri for her part, also lay awake in the dark, struggling to find the argument that would convince Fred to permanently sever ties with his brother. How do you convince someone to forsake their demented and destructive brother? She worried about Donnie’s impact on her sons. What of them? They were bright boys, so their teachers all said. How could they keep falling for Uncle Donnie’s lies? Of course, when the four of them had arrived at the gun shop, Donnie had not paid for the rifles. What he had done was to have the stocks engraved with the boy’s names: “Teddy” and “Ronnie.” Uncle Donnie had assured the store owner that his brother Fred would come by and pay for the rifles and the engraving. Normally, the store owner insisted on cash up front for engraving, but after Donnie explained his status as a war hero and explained that he needed every cent right now to buy the old armory downtown where he was going to make a “first class” shelter for homeless veterans, the store owner agreed and even contributed twenty bucks of his own money. 

Fred had paid the two hundred bucks for the air rifles and engraving. Every time Uncle Donnie visited from then on, Donnie had reminded the boys how he had “bought them” engraved air rifles and asked how their target practice was coming. They complained that their Dad had insisted on strict rules about using the guns. For one thing, they had to wear safety goggles. For another, they could only aim and shoot at paper targets stapled to trees. Uncle Donnie had clicked his tongue and wondered aloud what was wrong with his brother. “When I was in basic training, you know what we did? We shot at each other with live ammo! That way, we learned to duck and aim quickly so when I finally took all those island back from the Japs, it was easy. You don’t get to be a soldier by being a coward! Tell you what, boys, I’ll talk to brother Fred & see whether I can talk some sense into him!”

Geri swung her feet over the edge of the bed. She could tell that Fred was awake and upset too. She said, “Fred, I’m going to make some chamomile tea for myself. You want me to make you some too?” 

Fred sighed. “Yeah, I suppose. Thanks, sweetheart. Actually, how about that Sleepy Time Tea instead? That has hibiscus too. I think it works better.” 

Photo by Mareefe on Pexels.com

The tea quickly sent Geri into dreamland, but Fred still couldn’t get to sleep until about 3 am. He kept going over the other disastrous “gifts” that Donnie had promised over the years. He couldn’t think of a single time that his brother had actually paid even a single dime for any of the gifts he had promised the twins. Nonetheless, the boys kept accepting the idea that Uncle Donnie was their generous and prosperous benefactor. On the few occasions when Fred had tried to set the record straight, the boys just looked at each other and shook their heads. Usually Teddy would pipe up first with a comment like: “It’s okay, Dad. We understand. Uncle Donnie explained it to us. You pay for our house, our clothes, Christmas and birthday presents. And, you’re not rich like Uncle Donnie. He says we shouldn’t expect you to buy extra gifts and that he’s happy to do it.”

Fred had not wanted to come right out and call his brother a liar. To the boys, Donnie was a war hero and a rich successful businessman. To Fred, it was more than a little maddening. After all, the boys had been there when he went to pick up their rifles. Apparently, they had been so focused on how “cool” the rifles looked and were so busy imagining getting a chance to shoot, that they had paid no attention to the fact that he, their father, had paid for the rifles and the engraving. 

Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

It seemed to Fred, only moments after he finally fell asleep that he heard the front doorbell ring.
“Crap,” he muttered aloud. He rolled over. Geri was sitting up in bed. Then, Fred heard the the twins sprint down the upstairs hallway and piston their feet down the stairs. He could hear the happy greetings though he couldn’t make out what was being said. Fred & Geri exchanged a look. Fred took a leak, did a cursory job of brushing his teeth and ambled over to the bedroom door. He turned to look at Geri. “Are you coming down soon?” 

Geri frowned. “Geez. It’s only 6:30 am! Who visits someone that early on a Saturday morning?” 

Fred nodded. He said, “We know who. My brother. Donnie. Anyhow, I’m awake. You ready for coffee or breakfast?” 

Geri half-smiled. “Coffee sounds nice. I’m not ready for breakfast. Tell everyone I’ll be down in a little while. We should use up those eggs. Maybe an omelet for everyone? You can just leave a bit for me?” 

Fred smiled. After all, he did enjoy his life. Most days. They were a very lucky family, he reminded himself. His wife had barely survived having the twins. Lost a lot of blood. It had been touch and go. But all was well. And then, there was the accident. Randy could have easily lost his right eye. Probably would have if the bee bee would have struck a quarter inch over. After that little incident, Fred had put away their rifles for a month and made them promise to always wear their goggles no matter what his demented brother Donnie said.

Fred reached the top of the steps and heard the front door slam. Had the boys gone out for a walk? He took a quick detour into the boys’ room and peered out into the soft predawn. He saw the boys pile into the back seat of Fred’s “custom-made luxury car.” At least, that’s what Fred called it. Where the hell was he taking them? Not exactly cool not to discuss with us. Probably just driving around the block, Fred supposed.

Fred supposed wrong. 

The boys did not return for breakfast. Or lunch. Geri and Fred were both worried, though Fred was reluctant to call the cops on his own brother. Donnie didn’t answer his cellphone. Nor did the boys. Upon checking their room, he found both cellphones on the nightstands. The boys hadn’t known they were going to be away long. Even Uncle Donnie couldn’t have kept them from wanting to text their friends. Their friends! Fred tried calling some of the friends of the twins. None of them admitting to know of any plans. In fact, Judy & Jill had expected the twins after lunch to come study algebra together. 

Photo by olia danilevich on Pexels.com

Fred was fighting a feeling of dread. He felt the shadow of Geri in the doorway and looked over at her. She just stared at him. Fred nodded. “Okay. Okay. I’ll call.” 

Fred still felt bad about calling the cops on his brother. He explained the situation and, in turn, the cops explained that since the man was a close member of their family, there was nothing to be worried about and that, in any case, their hands were tied for 24 hours. Fred wanted to explain that Uncle Donnie wasn’t an “ordinary” Uncle. He wanted to make them see that his brother was a liar; unreliable; a cheat. But he didn’t know these police officers. To them, it was just an Uncle out for a joy ride and all would be well by dinner time. Fred reassured himself that the police were likely right. He supposed the twins would be back by dinner.

Fred supposed wrong. 

Geri didn’t exactly blame Fred. But when the weeks dragged on and no leads arose, Geri stopped crying audibly. Her cheeks bore the light little tracks of tears, silently shed, and she moved on past chamomile tea to heavy drinking and then to opioids. Fred became obsessed with finding the twins. Everyone at work understood. Nonetheless, he was eventually put on unpaid leave. On the few occasions when he tried to concentrate on some time-critical problem, he utterly failed. 

Fred combed the neighborhood for the third time, hoping to trigger the memory of someone who might have seen Donnie’s wreck of a car and noted which way it had turned. But only one jogger, Alice, had noticed the car. At that point, the car was still going the same direction Fred himself had seen although Alice noticed that the car had no plates. But questioning her for the third time turned up nothing new.

Photo by Denniz Futalan on Pexels.com



When Fred returned home from a day of canvasing, Geri was gone. Geri’s clothes were gone. On the kitchen table, she had left a short hand-written note:

“I can’t. Goodbye.” 

Fred supposed she would eventually return. 

Fred supposed wrong.


Dick-Taters

Absolute is not just a vodka

The Siren Song

Poker Chips

My Cousin Bobby

Where does your loyalty lie?

The Stopping Rule

The Ailing King of Agitate

Stoned Soup

The Three Blind Mice

The Orange Man

A Little is not a Lot

The Oxymorons of the Mango Mussolini

True Believer

The Triply Toxic Worm

The Mammoth and the Mouse

Teliot State

Con-Con’s Special Friend

Beware of Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing

Donnie Boy Watches a Veteran’s Parade

Donnie Gets a Hamster

Their Dead Shark Eyes

Imagine all the people

Dance of Billions



 

Make Pooping Illegal!

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Make Pooping Illegal!! 

Horrors!  People! No more pooping!! In a single day, a person may destroy 10**11 epithelial cells from the intestines! I’m talking about living human cells! This dwarfs the abortion epidemic by many many orders of magnitude! Just to understand the scope of this crime, remember that there are fewer than 10 billion people on earth. Ten billion is only 10**10th. So every day, you are murdering TEN TIMES the population of the entire earth! 

Now, some people will argue that these cells are not really human beings, or that such cells cannot viably exist on their own and that there is a medical benefit to shedding these cells. To which I reply: “So what!!?” Each has the *potential* to become a fully functioning human being!”

From now on, each of these cells must be rescued from your poop. Then, from each cell, the nucleus must be extracted. This nucleus shall then be put into a human egg cell and implanted in a baby incubator device (sometimes jokingly referred to as a “woman”). Wait nine months and *voila!* a new and precious human baby will be born. Best of all, during that time, most rich, old, white, males won’t be the least bit inconvenienced.

Photo by Victoria Art on Pexels.com

I realize that some people will argue that such a procedure would be absurdly expensive and inconvenient. So what?! We cannot allow abortions simply because having a baby might be beyond the economic capabilities of a family or that it would disrupt their lives or reduce their ability to care for their other children or endanger the life of the mother. It certainly doesn’t matter that saving these babies lives would hasten the destruction of the ecosystem all humanity needs in order to survive. Well, it’s the same thing with all those babies-that-could-be in your bowel. Who knows? One of them could be the next Einstein or Saint Teresa.

Photo by Shanice McKenzie on Pexels.com

Please save these unborn babies out of your poop! Don’t let them be wantonly destroyed!! Write your Senators and Representatives today! And whatever you do, stop pooping until the proper procedures and mechanisms can be set up to save all these potential babies! Until then, simply hold it. Of course, it isn’t merely your own poop that you must be concerned with. You must do your part to make sure your neighbors also hold it till we’re ready to save the babies. Needless to say, what applies to your right to control your neighbors bodily functions goes doubly for your own family. So make sure your kids don’t poop either. No-one’s ever too young to avoid becoming a parent.

Oh, and you’ll be happy to know that the Bible agrees with me 100%. Well, not really the Bible, per se, of course, but the Bible as interpreted by a small number of people. You’ll also be happy to know that the US Constitution also agrees with me. Well, not really the Constitution, per se, but what the founders meant by what’s in Constitution as magically divined by the Extreme Court.

By the way, you may want to lay off the grains & greens until everything’s set to make sure we save the babies!

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4441880/

Trumpism is a New Religion

Essays on America: The Game

My Cousin Bobby

Where does your loyalty lie? 

The Stopping Rule

The Update Problem 

The Extreme Court

Fourth of July Fire Works

Dick-Taters

Clarence

Myths of the Veritas: The Orange Man

Myths of the Veritas: The Forgotten Field

Stoned Soup

The Three Blind Mice

After All

The Ailing King of Agitate

The Sedition Sonnet

Fish have no word for water

The Crows and Me

The Dance of Billions

Life is a Dance

How the Nightingale Learned to Sing

The Self-Made Man

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Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com (A self-made ant)

The Self-Made Man

The Self-Made Man awoke. That is to say, his eyes snapped open, as they typically did, one minute before his alarm setting. He quickly turned the alarm off. After all, it was only a back-up system. His superior brain constituted alarm one. 

The Self-Made Man swung his legs (legs that evolved courtesy of the four-billion year old evolutionary struggles of his ancestors) over the edge of his memory foam bed. (Memory Foam had been invented in 1966 by NASA. NASA was America’s space agency. The tax dollars of US citizens paid for that, and for many other inventions). 

The Self-Made Cucumber

The Self-Made Man didn’t believe in paying taxes. Taxes, he thought, were for suckers. The Self-Made Man, according to his judgment, spent his money on things he found worthwhile such as making more people like himself. Why should he send his hard-earned money to Washington DC and let the government of the people decide where his money should be spent? That made no sense; after all, it was his money! (Money, by the by, was invented about 2000 BC, approximately 4000 years before the Self-Made Man was born.)

The Self-Made Man slipped his feet into his slippers. Slippers, of course, provide an easy way to add protection to your feet. Slippers are not unlike the moccasins that many Native Americans used for over ten thousand years before Europeans came to destroy most of them with germs and guns. The moccasins of The Self-Made Man were not made of deer skin or moose skin, but of synthetic fabrics which had been developed over the preceding century by thousands of scientists working for “rubber” companies and chemical companies. Some of this research was funded by US taxpayers but the money spent on tires for their cars paid for most of the research. 

As The Self-Made Man slid his feet into his slippers, he did not think about these things. He was thinking about a speech he would be giving later that day encouraging people to fight for lower taxes, especially for the wealthy. Somewhere in the back of his mind, The Self-Made Man, was vaguely aware that poor people tended to waste their money on such mundane things as clothing, shelter, food, healthcare, etc. How tedious! Rich people were far more imaginative and spent money on important things like golden toilet seats, yachts that were so large they couldn’t enter harbors, cryptocurrencies, and politicians. 

The Self-Made Poppy

The Self-Made Man didn’t waste much time thinking about poor people at all. They were fools anyway and actually worked for their money. How stupid is that, when you can be rich enough to own things and make more money from owning things that other people needed in order to make their money than anyone could possibly make from simply doing things that provided value to others. 

The Self-Made Man picked up his smart phone and “dialed” his head speech writer. The “smart phone” of The Self-Made Man had grown from technology that was largely, though not entirely paid for, by the taxes of US citizens. No matter. Of course, the very smart people who developed that technology had been able to do so largely because of their education. Most of that was paid for by taxes of US citizens. But that education itself depended upon thousands of years of development of language, mathematics, science, etc. 

The Self-Made Man showered in hot water and cleansed himself with soap. Having hot water at his fingertips grew from the magic of yet other inventions. Without thinking much about it, he not only cleansed himself of dirt and dead skin but also benefited from the action of soap to kill some of the germs that lived on him. Indoor plumbing itself had been invented about 6000 to 7000 years earlier in India. Sometimes, the Self-Made Made let the shower water trickle into his mouth. Luckily, government agencies had ensured that this was safe to do. Those agencies had been paid for by the tax dollars of ordinary US citizens who were too stupid not to pay taxes. 

Photo by Samira on Pexels.com (The Self-Made Pig)

The Self-Made Man dressed and went to his home office to take a last look at his speech. He quickly accessed all his needed information using protocols that had originally been developed by DARPA using the tax dollars of ordinary US citizens who had paid their taxes. He scanned through the speech. The Self-Made Man thought it merely adequate. He reckoned it did a nice enough job of arguing as to why The Self-Made Man was the most important kind of man in the world. But something was missing. The speech, in a way, was the heaven part. It explained why The Self-Made Man and others of his ilk were bringing about a veritable heaven on earth. That was fine. So far as it went. But where was the “Fire and Brimstone” part? Where was the part that aroused the hatred of unions and workers who supported them? Where was the part that would make the audience be willing to do anything to keep the rich and powerful in control? Missing. The Self-Made Made shook his head sadly. Using the Internet protocols and hardware inventions of generations of scientists and engineers, he fired his main speech writer and alerted his second violin speech writer to add the “Fire and Brimstone” part. “Demonize these people the way they deserve to be!” 

Firing people always gave a little thrill to The Self-Made Man. Firing was always a “Triple Play.” First, it made “The Self-Made Man” feel good immediately. Second, it taught the person fired a valuable lesson. Third, it rekindled the fear in his other employees that they too could be fired at a moment’s notice if their work wasn’t up to snuff. And, it worked. As it almost always did. The “Second string” speech writer added some nice demonizing text and even included a Bible verse about the value of hard work. 

Soon, The Self-Made Man’s chauffeur zoomed them along an Interstate highway system (paid for by US taxpayers) toward the airport (which had largely been paid for by tax dollars). The Self-Made Man’s limo was a marvelous example of pollution whose external costs were almost all borne by others. The land beneath which the oil lay had mainly been stolen without compensation from the Native Americans (and other indigenous people throughout the world) who had lived there for tens of thousands of years. The extraction of the oil and its refinement to gasoline polluted air and water and required the dangerous labor of many. The combustion of the gasoline poured still more pollution into the air including carbon dioxide which was warming the planet so quickly and so radically that every year, people died from various climate catastrophes. 

Photo by Chokniti Khongchum on Pexels.com. (The Self-Made Medicine)

The Self-Made Man soon arrived at the Conference Center (paid for largely by tax dollars, because, after all, conventions brought business to the downtown). His speech was well-received and several Self-Made Men walked up afterwards and congratulated him on his brilliant speech. Three from The Self-Made Man’s social media team tweeted and instagrammed excerpts from his brilliant words. These were soon echoed by several of the politicians he owned.

The Self-Made Man was too busy to stay and chat long. One of his assistants handed The Self-Made Man a cup of coffee as they rushed out to the waiting limo. As he began to take a sip of the beverage which had been invented far away and long ago, the top came off and burned the thumb and index finger of The Self-Made Man. He noisily fired his assistant on the spot. He shook his head sadly as he slid into the rear seat. The Self-Made Man began feeling the scaled in earnest and therefore began screaming at his chauffeur. “Where the hell is the damned ice! Can’t you see I burned myself?!” 

The limo was a marvel of sound isolation, and in fact, the chauffeur had not known anything about the spilled coffee. “There’s ice right beside you in the champaign bucket,” the driver said matter-of-factly. 

The Self-Made Man wasn’t about to reach all the way across the back of the limo to get his own damned ice! He screamed: “Pull over and get me the damned ice!” 

The limo driver sighed. “Sir, there’s no place safe to pull over right here. I can pull over … “

The Self-Made Man screamed even more loudly. “What the hell’s wrong with you?! Pull over NOW!” 

The chauffeur complied.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com (The Self-Made Tank)



Meanwhile, the bus driver behind them had his own issues. Of course, it wasn’t really the bus driver’s fault that the airline schedules were all bolloxed up. And, somewhere in the back of his mind, the disgruntled passenger must have known that too. But it didn’t keep him from screaming at the bus driver just long enough to prevent the bus driver from noticing the oddly parked limo.

Before the crash rendered everything in the limo burned beyond legibility, there had been a prominent sign in its passenger compartment which read:

“Please buckle up! It’s the law.” 

The Self-Made Man, of course, felt himself much too important to follow laws of any kind.

Although The Self-Made Man was rushed to a hospital (mainly paid for by tax dollars — but not his) and once there, received trauma treatments developed by thousands at a cost of billions of dollars and thousands of lives, his particular and largely insignificant leaf detached and fell from the Great Tree of Life and was no more.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com (The Self-Made Merry-go-round)

——————-

How the Nightingale Learned to Sing

Dick-Taters

Essays on America: The Game

As Gold as it Gets

Do Unto Others

I Can’t be Bothered

Plans for US; some GRUesome

Fascism Leads to Chaos

Poker Chips

When do we break the elder wand?

Sports Fans Only 

Author Page on Amazon

“There is always light, if we are brave enough to be it.” — Amanda Gorman

The 4th of July: Fire Works

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“A rose is a rose is a rose.” — Gertrude Stein “A fascist is a fascist is a fascist.” — Anonymous

I had a dream, American, (But now I can’t),

Iconic and ironic in its inner core.

The Founding Fathers, somewhat smug & ignorant 

Of Life and Love beyond the European  shore 

Unwittingly might see a noble people dark

As less, and bless twin evils: Slave & Masterhood. 

Yet dimly saw perhaps a democratic arc.

Provide for ways to grow a land of humanhood.

Remember to find the light — wherever you can. And then add to it. No matter how small, it helps.

 

Alas that dream seems dashed upon the rocks of creed

A manic sycophantic oliphant has come

To overturn both logic, love with crap & greed.

Pretending not to notice what we’ve learned; plays dumb.

It tramples rights of non-white, poor, and double X’s.  

Projects itself upon a pedestal, and hexes.

The real strength of the oliphant is less than you think; because it is fragile as anything based on a lie inevitably will be. Strength requires being tied to reality without being enslaved to it. We can imagine and strive toward something better.

Endless support of nature means endless support of beauty. The value of natural beauty on this earth far exceeds even all the wonderful works of artists and artisans in every land. That’s not to say such things aren’t wonderful and up-lifting. They are. But if we destroy the natural world, even if we could somehow live, we would be immensely poorer no matter how “rich” we were.

They practice witchcraft of a very shifty sort

And thus, with evil devils, they themselves consort. 

The logic they pretend to worship, they contort. 

They gorge on earth and every shred of life they can.

They cite the lies with which our history once began

Ignoring all the truths since learned so they can ban —

All life is not black and white. In fact, very little of it is.

The lives and loves of what they do not understand.

They stuff their ears to drown the sound of those they’ve banned.

They cover eyes to blind their brains to flames they’ve fanned. 

The air and sea are fouled: – by blood-soaked, unlearned hand.

They point their blame toward each direction in the land.

If everyone caves, they’ll expand their demand. We’ll all be damned.

Even at sunset, find the light. Even after sunset, find the light. The light will lead to truth and the truth will set you free.

It cannot stand. Fallacious fascism falls and fails. 

It won’t be folx, but traitorous cheats who’ll fill our jails. 

The Fire of Love is Fire that Works: The Fire of Life.

Fulfill America’s Dream. The Dream beneath the Dream. 

Help everyone see and feel the Theme beyond the Theme. 

The Fire of Love is Fire that Works. The Fire of Life.

We need a land that works for everyone who’s here. 

For rich, and poor; for men and women, straight or queer. 

For blue, for yellow, red and white. Behold the Light!

For each heart knows that “Cheat and Lie” cannot be right. 

Divide’s a trap for fools. It’s history that schools:

Don’t follow those who promise jewels then break all rules.

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Instead, we’ll stand, hand in hand, across the land. 

We’ll sing a song still better than the one we planned. 

We’ll sing clear air; we’ll sing our forests back to green.

We’ll sing of love; we’ll face the truth; grow strong and clean. 

We need not join dictatorships of scum and hate. 

That’s not the arc of America’s fate. That’s not our gate. 

It’s over on that hill of green. That place of sun? 

That place of light and love? There’s room for everyone!

The Fire of Love is Fire that Works. The Fire of Life. 

The future is ahead of us. A thousand wars of strife 

Will not turn back the seasons nor the sun. The Light 

Will grow the Tree of Life beyond the Fear and Fight.  

Come climb the hill and in the valley far below 

You’ll see the hands around the campfire and its glow. 

You’ll hear the singing. Join and you’ll help quench the strife.

The Fire of Love is Fire that Works: The Fire of Life.

The Fire of Love is Fire that Works: The Fire of Life.


Author page on Amazon

The Myths of the Veritas: The First Ring of Empathy

Dick-Taters

The Broken Times

Sonnet Supreme Sedition

American Dream

American Dream 2

Dance of Billions

The Three Blind Mice

Stoned Soup

Absolute is not just a vodka

We’re all in this together

After All

Plans for US; some GRUesome

Story about a child sociopath

The Extreme Court

Clarence

Fish Have no Word for Water

Guernica

The Crows and Me

After All

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“There is always light…” Amanda Gorman

Silver buttons, golden boughs, ornately jeweled fingers.  

Adorning ditches alongside random tires and used syringes. 

So much depends upon a little red gully 

Filled with muddy, bloody, rain-water. 

“There is always light if … ” – Amanda Gorman

The demagogue was not a demigod after all.

Dictatorship turned out not to be so much fun after all. 

And after all, after all the joy of wanton cruelty faded

Survivors just got jaded and all the joy faded.

After all the promises unkept and all the lies exposed, 

After all the hypocrisy grew like hairy poison vines

And after all the trees were felled, life itself rebelled.  

After all the hate replaced each and every seed and every need.

It wasn’t so much fun after all. Not to die nor even to bleed.

“There is always light if we are brave enough…” Amanda Gorman

They shoot horses don’t they? 

Yes —
Buttheyshootdogsandcats and anythingtheycan.
Food is scarce, for sure.
But it isn’t just for food.
It used to be for fun.

But now it’s just another humdrum way to fight boredom

Laced with randomness and ruin and rum. 

“There is always light if we are brave enough to see it.” Amanda Gorman

Even the scab-faced Bannonites.
And the golden calves of sanctimonium,
Radioactive to the core, 

As is the mango pit they still adore,
Even they who wanted check and slay,

All are nothing more than shadows on the dead and empty warscape.

Killing off the ecosphere had all the “inconvenience” of a rape. 

“There is always light if we are brave enough to see it. There is always light…” Amanda Gorman

This was the summer of our discontent. 

Too hot to live, the grid had nothing more to give. 

Lack of AC proved a prize for everyone!

Not just those too poor. Surprise!

The greed, after all, charged its own lightning fast steed 

Of the apocalypse. 

After all the trials and after all the errors, 
After all the pilgrims and their progress.
After all the pillage and the patriots
No-one was saved, after all.  

There was only the infinite regress —

Not to the mythical fifties,

Not to flags Confederate, 

Not to ages medieval

Nor even to Empires Latinate

After all, after all the shattered dreams of millions, 

Just aching to be free, 

We let it all slip away; 

Pretending not to know our history,

Pretending that there is no devil to pay

When we cheat each other day after day after day after day. 

“There is always light if we are brave enough to see it. There is always light if we are brave enough…” Amanda Gorman

It doesn’t make anything great, after all.

It doesn’t make anything better, after all.

Being a baby that fusses and musses

Isn’t so wise after all

When there are no adults left to clean up the messes.

“There is always light if we are brave enough to see it. There is always light if we are brave enough to be it.” — Amanda Gorman

After all the pain.

After all the suffering.

After all the self-imposed blindness. 

All we really thirst for 

Is a little human kindness. 

So we search inside the bombed out marts.

We search beside the broken body parts. 

We search beneath the fallen walls.

We search abandoned shopping malls. 

What we find, after all, 

Is what we should have seen before it all. 

We have nothing but each other.

So why would we kill a brother after all? 

After all, 

A Civil War 

Is not so civil…

After all.


Author Page on Amazon

Guernica

Dance of Billions

How the Nightingale Learned to Sing

Absolute is not just a vodka

The Crows and Me

The US Extreme Court

Clarence, but not Darrow

The only them that counts is all of us

We’re all in this together

Supreme Sedition



 

Sonnet: Supreme Sedition

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The Handmaiden by POWSTER Creative Studio, Florian Pollet, Sylvain Kellaway is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

The Monsters of the Magic Modern Monolith:

With Zero Thought and Zero Care; our Freedom they Entomb.

Their Claws are Bloody, Dripping Gore, from Sure to Shore.

Sans Logic, Love, sans Sanity, Forthwith.

Our Rights are Ripped Untimely from the Unripe Womb.

And Every Woman Now is Redefined as Whore. 

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No Family Now can Claim it’s Built on Love’s Respect.

Each Family Now is Based on Power’s Sharpened Sword.

Society is Based at Last on Baseless Lies.

Each Act of Love is Now an Object to Inspect.

If Judged by Strangers Strange, they’ll Slice the Living Cord.

Foundation’s Crumbled. Every Certainty is Now Surprise.

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The Tears are Bitter. Tide will Flow. Hypocrisy

They’ll Find, will Sink not Float on Angry Boundless Sea. 

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Photo by Min Thein on Pexels.com

—————-

Dick-Taters

The Broken Times

Poker Chips

The Mammoth and the Mouse

Absolute is not just a Vodka

The Extreme Court

Clarence, but not Darrow

Stoned Soup

Three Blind Mice

The Orange Man

Plans for US; Some GRUesome

What Could be Better A Horror Story

Dance of Billions

The Broken Times

Corn on the Cob

The Crows and Me

American Dream

American Dream 2

Fish Have No Word for Water

We’re All in this Together

Author’s Page on Amazon

“There is always light, if we are brave enough to be it.” — Amanda Gorman

OLIE & the Z-Lotz

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With Shadow Walker looking on with his sword at the ready, Many Paths searched the Z-Lotz stranger for concealed weapons. They tied a length of rope around both his ankles so that he could shuffle along, but not run or kick. They also tied OLIE’s hands behind him. While performing these tasks, Shadow Walker & Many Paths carried on a rapid conversation in Veritas and watched for signs of comprehension but saw none. 

Shadow Walker spoke to the fettered man using a combination of signs and the broken Z-Lotz that he knew. “We do not plan to harm you. As we said, some might try. Their anger might burn out of control before they think. We will prepare people first to help ensure your safety. We have bound you, but you would be foolish to try to escape. The last time Z-Lotz came under a flag of truce, they left deadly poisonous “gifts” and many among the Veritas consider this … unworthy … a most unworthy action for a human being.” 

Many Paths led the trio back toward the Center Place of the Veritas, while Shadow Walker walked behind their prisoner. He forced himself to stay ever-alert to the possibility that the man might bolt into the underbrush or use some hidden weapon or signal some nearby warriors to attack. Though he didn’t consider this likely, the consequences of being too complacent could be catastrophic. It occurred to Shadow Path that having a “prisoner” was actually a burden. It slowed down their progress considerably. It made conversation between himself and Many Paths stiffer and more circuitous. Though he was reasonably sure that OLIE really knew very little or no Veritas, he couldn’t be completely sure. Maybe everything was play-acting. Maybe they were walking into — or even already in — a trap of some kind that he could not foresee. How could a people become like the Z-Lotz — full of deception and deceit? Couldn’t they perceive how much more difficult it made life for the Z-Lotz themselves? 

Many Paths engaged in silent reflection of her own. She had been astounded at how little the Z-Lotz seemed to have known about the Veritas. And yet — the thought that haunted her was that the Veritas themselves has known so little about their neighbors. All their neighbors. Knowing more about the other tribes would make war less likely, but if war came, she reasoned, it would also make for a less costly victory. She frowned. She realized that it wasn’t just knowing about the other tribes. It was also understanding them. It wasn’t enough simply to know that the Z-Lotz and the Cupiditas had chosen their leaders by mortal combat. Now she knew that. In fact, bynow, all the Veritas knew that. But none had any idea why they did that. Yet, if OLIE were to be believed, even the priests of the Z-Lotz could see that it was now leading to too much bloodshed. Again, if OLIE could be believed, having Shadow Walker step down as king — or, to put it more accurately — flee the Z-Lotz City — Read-It OLIE had called it — Shadow Walker had fled the Read-It and that caused more chaos. 

Though the mind of Many Paths never strayed far from the puzzle of how to have the various tribes work together to ensure peace, her senses stayed tune to the world around her. The path back to the village was extremely well known to her and she stayed on the lookout for the slightest evidence of the presence of additional Z-Lotz. Her next thought made her suddenly chuckle to herself. She said to Shadow Walker, “Ask OLIE why their custom is to choose their leader as the one most lethal or … perhaps that is not the way they think of … just ask how they pick their leaders and why they do it that way. 

Shadow Walker tried to think how best to phrase the question. “OLIE, you said my leaving suddenly made things worse for you. For that, I am sorry. One thing we Veritas cannot understand is the whole — I don’t really understand exactly how you choose leaders and I have no idea why you choose them that way. If I understand it, someone always dies and … never mind. Please explain it as you do to your own children. We truly wish to understand.”

OLIE continued to shuffle along for a time then said, “How do you choose a new leader?” 

Shadow Walker frowned. He translated the question for his Partner. She chuckled but made no attempt to answer the question. Shadow Walker said, “Our leader stays in power only so long as she — or he — is seen by the people as doing a good job of leading. Initially, the old leader devises a series of trials for those who would be leader. Most recently, our old leader devised a series of seven tests. Many Paths was the only one to succeed at all the trials. So, she became the leader.”

OLIE nodded. “Why do you choose leaders in the way you do?”

Shadow Walker pursed his lips. He translated the question for Many Paths. Then he sighed and answered this way. “It is custom, I suppose. It seems to work. I have heard many reasons and thought of a few myself. First, the current leader knows what it takes to be the leader. She, or more rarely, he, has spent much time trying to honestly understand her mistakes and how she could have avoided them or how her successor might avoid similar mistakes in the future. She learns from everyone in the entire Tribe and from the place we live — the birds, the lizards, the bees, the flowers, the trees, the river, the mountains. They all inform her of what the people need to learn and especially what the leader must be able to do. 

“Second, the tests or trials are themselves a learning experience, especially for those who wish to be the leader, but also for the Tribe as a whole and also for the current leader. 

“Third, the trials are not secret as to outcome, and everyone who wanted to be a leader can see who did the various tasks well and who did not. All of those who tried to be leader could see for themselves how well Many Paths did on these tasks. If they are honest with themselves, they all realize that she performed the best.  

“Fourth, the tribe itself sings of these trials. Not only the recent ones, but all of them. The stories in our songs also speak of how the various leaders actually were — how they behaved — what their successes and failures were. So, we not only learn from the trials and from the past leaders but also look for mistakes in how the leaders were chosen. One of our tales is about a would-be leader we call ‘The Orange Man’ — our tale tells of how his lying and his greed resulted in the death of an entire village as well as his own death. He was never actually a leader but he wanted to be in charge of everything and everyone. Such a one would never be chosen by a real leader, but if he had been chosen, the people would soon have called for a new leader. As it was, he was rightfully just an outcast. But if he had been a leader of the Veritas, and if he had actually passed some tests, we would incorporate the failure of those tests to discover this dishonesty and greed.

“There may be more reasons, but tell me why you choose your leaders the way you do.” 

OLIE began what seemed to be a well-rehearsed recitation. “The Book that tells us All says leaders choose themselves. Only the strongest and the smartest will survive. Only the strongest and the smartest will be leaders. Thus, it has been from the beginning of time. Thus it is now. Thus, it shall always be.” 

OLIE shuffled forward adding nothing to this quotation. 

After a time, Shadow Walker said, “That says nothing about mortal combat determining the outcome. Is there more?” 

OLIE stopped in his tracks. He turned awkwardly to look at Shadow Walker. “What do you mean? It says that only the strongest and smartest will survive. What else could it mean?” 

Many Paths had turned around as well. “Is everything all right?” 

Shadow Walker recapped his little discussion with OLIE.

Many Paths beamed! “Wonderful! Keep going! This is excellent. Fill me in when you can.” The tiniest hint of a smile curled her lip and she looked at Shadow Walker and raised one eyebrow. 

Shadow Walker felt himself blush slightly, but plunged back into his halting conversation in Z-Lotz {Translator’s Note: here reproduced without the haltingness}. “There are many contests of strength! Felling trees, swimming rivers, lifting stones, wrestling. A contest of strength doesn’t have to be a fight to the death.” 

OLIE frowned. “But fight to the death is the natural way. All animals do this.”

Shadow Walker stifled a laugh. “No they don’t! A few fight for top position, but such fights are rarely lethal. I have never witnessed one, but our tales say it is possible. Even in such a position, the top wolf or elk will consider input from all. They are not all-powerful. That makes them blind to what is really happening. It has to. They are under constant fear that someone will kill them at any time, with or without but probably with the help of traitors. But that means, no-one really trusts anyone. If everyone must hide the truth…? Did the Z-Lotz build Read-It?”

OLIE shook his head. “No, they were built by the ancients. Then, they left because god told them to and left the City for the homeless and nomadic Z-Lotz.”

Could you build such a City as Read-It again?”

OLIE shook his head. “You ask strange questions. I have never heard anyone speak of such a thing. But it is obvious the answer is ‘no.’ Much of what the Ancients left us, we do not understand. If we do not understand, it is safest not to touch it. Some died touching things that they did not understand. But we have no knowing of how-to such buildings nor the magic stems that bring us water. Nor the vines that bring us light. What does this have to do with how our leaders are chosen?” 

Shadow Walker nodded gravely. “You came to something you did not understand. When you tried to learn from it, people died. You as a people decided that you didn’t want to challenge knowledge and explore because that would be dangerous. You liked having an absolute King so that all disputes could be settled at once though arbitrarily and almost always in favor of the King’s own interests. Such a King would rarely be motivated to do great good for a great number of people. That would simply enable more challenges to his rule. He would instill fear in the people by brutality. And that brutality would be aimed precisely at the strongest and the smartest! He would want to eliminate this most likely challengers. What he would prefer are the most pliable and, frankly…But let me hear what you think about this. You lived there. I only — let us say — visited.” 

yths

————————

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The First Ring of Empathy

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Happy Raven Angry Golfer

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