A Cat’s a Cat & That’s That.

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Sirius and Mister Jones watching TV with us.

Mister Mitchell is his name.
He would rather be in my lap
Than curled up beside the keyboard
Sneaking a paw out to help me,
Tapping out a random,
(Or, seemingly random),
// here and there.

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Jones checking out the new sound system.

But //? Who knows?
Perhaps he’s trying to find some website
Devoted to the feline.
After all,
They have a TV program now for cats.

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‘Mister Mitchell’ is not a name we chose;
Rather the name came with the cat.
He mostly seems a fur generating machine
Sidling up to the Thinkpad.

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Yet, he is not a machine
But a living breathing system
Turning fish and turkey into more Mister Mitchell
And every one of his trillions of cells:
A miracle of masterly mechanism,
Much like me,
Getting sick and getting well,
Much like me,
Sleeping, eating, wishing the endless rain would let up
And some sun would shine at last
Much like me.

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I’m not sure he has an opinion on the world situation,
Or of whether we’ll ever fire the Liar-In-Chief,
Or of what should be done with corporate crooks,
Or cares whether the Dow is up or down.

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Mister Mitchell never helps me take out the recycling
Or do the dishes or the shopping;
In reality, Mister Mitchell is not much use —
And maybe that’s the point:

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The miracle of life is point enough without a use.
People are so forgetful,
Of the miracles all around,
Large and small.

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Much like me.

 

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Author Page on Amazon

Other Poems on this Blog:

Race, Place, Space, Face

Piano

A Suddenly Springing Something

Hauntings Across the Time Zone

Is a Dream? 

The Most Serious Work 

The Joy of Juggling

Wristwatch

Continental Breakfast

Maybe it Needs a New Starter

The Truth Train

Sunless Sunday of Faith

Camelot

Peace

The Impossible

Ambition

America

Don’t They Realize How Much Better Off They Are Now? 

The Bubble People

 

 

The Lost Child Who Brings Light

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“Who goes there?!” Two well-armed guards stood on either side of a broad path. Several of the villagers were cautiously walking up the path toward the guards, curious about the strangers. 

Trunk of Tree cleared his throat, but he hadn’t thought about what to say. 

Fleet of Foot began to answer, “We are Veritas. From the Center Place of the Veritas. Near the once-forgotten Field of Flowers. I am called “Fleet of Foot” and this man is called “Trunk of Tree” — you can probably see why. This woman is named Cat Eyes. She was born here, but stolen at a young age. Now, she returns to see her family. 

The guards both frowned. It was a lot to take in. Behind the guards, the crowd began murmuring and passing along the information. 

One of the guards began, “We are Veritas. I am Throws Far and this is Tree Climber. Our ancestors lived near the once-forgotten Field of Flowers. We have tried many times to send a party back to the Center Place but no-one has ever gotten through. Come and meet our leader.  Follow me. Wait. Why do you have horses?” 

Trunk of Tree began to answer, “We — I don’t really like horses anyway. They are too big.” 

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Fleet of Foot added, “We have very little experience with horses. They just came into our possession recently. It is a long tale, but we will tell all your people. Cat Eyes wishes…”

Cat Eyes put her hand on her chest. “I am Cat Eyes. I smell spicebush tea.” Tears ran down her cheeks though she reined in her breathing so that she could continue speaking. “I thought I would never find my way back here. Do you know my parents, Gathers Acorns and Of the Night?”

The guards exchanged looks. Throws Far said, “Your parents? I know them. I knew them. They left to find you. We have not heard from them. We assume…we think…it’s likely that the fell into the hidden holes in the Ice Mountain. But how did you get here without going over Ice Mountain?”

A beautiful lanky youth with long ebony hair pushed her way through the growing crowd. “Cat Eyes? Is that really you?” She walked right up and looked into the teary eyes. “Oh! Cat Eyes! It is you! I am your cousin, Blackberry Patch!” Blackberry Patch gently took the hand of Cat Eyes into her own and led her along the path to the Fire Circle. Cat Eyes stared around. The Fire Circle looked familiar though vastly smaller than she remembered. There was a cliff of brown stone which she remembered but there were many … rooms … in the cliff which she did not remember at all. “It’s nice to meet you, Blackberry. I don’t. But I’m sorry I don’t remember you.” 

 “I remember you! You were quite a … you were always…do you remember playing ‘Hide and Find’ with me?” 

Cat Eyes kept casting her eyes about to try to find things that looked familiar. She looked back at Blackberry and then over to the brown cliff. She pointed, “I think we played there … in the …  tunnels. But it looks all different.” 

Blackberry Patch nodded. “Oh, yes! We have been excavating. We’ve found out —- there used to be — we’ve found many things of the ancients! But never mind that. Let me introduce you to the others. We never thought you would be found. After your parents … we’ve never made it out of these mountains. The mountain of ice is now very unsafe. Much of it is mud and where there is ice, there are hidden cliffs. We stopped trying. But some people think that there might be a tunnel in the ancient places in the cliff. Here.” 

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Although Blackberry Patch spoke directly to Cat Eyes, everyone who could get close enough was listening. The rumor had now spread throughout the village that strange visitors had come and that one of their own had returned. Nearly everyone in the village had heard the story of Cat Eyes and most of the adults in the village remembered her specifically because of her oddly shaped pupils. They all had to wriggle themselves close enough so that they could verify that this was indeed the one who had disappeared. The people stopped their normal activities and crowded around. Many questions were asked but confusion reigned until the man who was obviously their leader came solemnly among them. His voice boomed low and loud, cutting through the din. 

“WELCOME! WELCOME! Oh, long lost of the Veritas! And Welcome, Oh, Welcome to the daughter of Gathers Acorns and Of the Night, whom we all well regard and remember. Oh, daughter of our tribe, Welcome, She with the Eyes of the Cat! Please, take this seat of honor and introduce us to your friends!” Gentle Talons, their leader, gestured grandly toward a beautifully made blanket. Cat Eyes nodded and began to walk over to her place. 

Trunk of Tree, who had remained silent during their walk into the village now seemed to find his voice. “I am Trunk of Tree and the leader of our small group.” He began to walk toward the place where Cat Eyes was about to sit. Fleet of Foot, put a strong hand on the shoulder of Trunk of Tree and said, “Not now. It will be more powerful if she introduces you.” After noting the hesitation in Trunk of Tree, he added, “Just as their leader was not the first but the last to arrive. See?”

Trunk of Tree relented. Cat Eyes, sat down gracefully and gestured to her companions. How on earth should she — could she — tell this tale? Everyone was looking at her and I don’t know what to say. The image of Many Paths flashed into her mind and she decided she would pretend to be Many Paths — or her own version of Many Paths. “Come friends, and sit near me. We have many tales to tell each other. But I will begin with the basics. First, I am overwhelmed with happiness to be here and I am overwhelmed with grief to hear that Mom and Dad disappeared. I remember much about this place, but the brown cliffs have changed much, I see. Let me introduce my friends and traveling companions. I have not known any of them very long, but we have become good friends and I can vouch for them all. 

“This strong man has been the leader of our expedition. You may easily guess why he has that name.” She smiled. She looked at the people. Everyone could see that she spoke the truth from her own heart. “This man on the other side is known as ‘Fleet of Foot’ and, as you might expect, he is a very fast runner. But he is also a fast thinker, and quite diplomatic. She smiled at him and then at the crowd. “That man Jaccim is our expert on horses. The Veritas have adopted him. He saved my life at least twice and possibly more. He is still learning our language. He knows of, and led us here via, a tunnel passage that does not require crossing the treacherous ice mountain. 

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“The man next to him is visiting the Veritas. They call him Lion Slayer because, indeed, he actually did slay a lion single-handedly. He, and his wife, Salah Hudah are from the Great Tribe of Southern Nomads. They aided us in a great war which, I have no doubt, you will be interested to learn more about at another time. Lastly, there is me. I was born here. And, I lived here for a time. I was stolen away and taken somewhere that I now know to be a village of the Z-Lotz. And, my name is Cat Eyes.” She paused, winked and added, “Though I have no idea why I bear that odd name.” 

The crowd chuckled appreciatively. When that died down, Cat Eyes continued. 

“There are many fine stories to share and we hope to do just that. We brought, Trunk of Tree, tell to our brothers beyond the twin peaks what we have brought. 

Trunk of Tree shook his head. He frowned for a moment and then remembered that they had brought gifts. “Yes. Yes! We have brought you some … gifts. They are … “ In a panic, he suddenly realized that he didn’t know, but Fleet of Foot had been carrying the bag of gifts and handed the cinnamon to Trunk of Tree. “Cinnamon. This smells very nice in cooking. And, we brought … “ Trunk of Tree took the next gift. He studied it for a moment and then stared at Fleet of Foot. “Fleet of Foot, can you tell what these pretty stones are?”

Fleet of Foot took one of the slices of mica and turned it this way and that so that people in the crowd could judge its shininess. “This is mica and we are still learning about it. But if you take a very thin slice you can see right through this rock and yet it is still rock. It keeps out the wind and the bugs from one side to the other. It is sharp but not much use for a weapon. Although…” Fleet of Foot paused for just a split second, unsure whether to let people in on the unique weapons they were preparing. “Who knows? It might be useful to make a bridge that looks strong but would break when stepped on, for instance.” 

Someone asked, “How did you discover mica?” 

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Trunk of Tree looked panicked for a moment. He had no idea. But Cat Eyes, spoke up instead. “That is an excellent question. And, when everyone tells our story, you will find that answered. We must hear the story from end to end. And there are more gifts, but I must tell you some critical things first. 

“The first one, and perhaps obvious is that there is another path. You are no longer confined to these mountainsides. It might be that a few of you would venture back to meet your cousins near the forgotten field of flowers.” She paused, waiting for the murmuring to subside. 

“Second, the Z-Lotz have things that we never dreamed of. They have devised a ‘Killing Stick’ which kills a person without touching them. They point the ‘Killing Stick” at their victim and there is a loud noise and a bright flash and the victim begins to bleed profusely.”

This time the murmuring did not die down until Gentle Talon’s booming voice echoed off the walls. “Let her finish!” 

Cat Eyes sighed. She took a deep breath. “And last, perhaps most importantly of all, the Z-Lotz have a way to … they think something and say it. But when they say it, or perhaps only think it, they make a mark on a piece of thin beech bark. Then, later, someone else can come and look at that mark and imagine what was said. They can hear it softly whispered even though no mouth is nearby.” 

This time, the crowd did not react with murmuring. There was dead silence. She reached into the bag of gifts and pulled out the small bit of bark with odd marks and thrust it in the air. “This is what it looks like. The marks are from sign language. But they are only the first sound of that word. I know it’s difficult to understand, but … “

Another voice rang out. “I told you! I told you!  

Now, the murmuring began and swelled as people who understood this concept of the written word and began to successfully explain it to their friends. 

The voice of Gentle Talons boomed out again. “As foretold! She is the one! She brings light to the tunnel of ignorance! Welcome home, O lost child!” 

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Cat Eyes shook her head. What are they talking about. There was a children’s story about a los child who came back to lead her … people … through a long tunnel into the light. Great Bear in the Sky!! That’s just a legend. Do they think I am a prophesy? A leader? A Goddess?

Cat Eyes tried to make her voice heard above the din. “Wait! Wait! I am not a leader or a prophesy. I am just me. I am just … one of you who got stolen but was lucky enough to return.” 

Gentle Talons bellowed, “Did you not come through a tunnel of darkness into the light to arrive here?” 

Cat Eyes said, “Yes. But so did they.” She gestured to remind people of her companions. 

Gentle Talons continued, “But you are the only one who left and then returned!”

Cat Eyes nodded. “True. But I have no idea what ignorance you are talking about.” 

Gentle Talons looked lovingly at Cat Eyes and said gently, yet loud enough for everyone to hear, “Is it not obvious, my child? You have brought us the light of knowledge! Once we began excavating the cliffs, we found many tunnels of darkness lined with row after row of strange boxes filled with such leaves. All are marked with these same strange markings. But until now, we have never had the light to enable us to understand a single mark. And now we do. You have brought us that light of understanding! Welcome, oh, child of light! Welcome home!” 

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Cat Eyes took a deep breath to try to calm herself. She felt so many conflicting emotions that she felt for a moment that she would be overwhelmed, not knowing which was her true feeling. And, suddenly, it occurred to her. Her feelings were all real. It was not a contest or a race. It was a rainbow to embrace. Her grief about her parents not being here in no way meant she couldn’t feel nervous about what was expected of her or her pride of having spoken well. Nor did the red of the rainbow mean that the green did not exist. In fact, each color made the other colors that much more beautiful. Sometimes I glance at the red and sometimes I glance at the blue or the green. Sometimes the earth sleeps beneath a blanket of snow. And, sometimes it bakes in the hot summer sun. My own feelings change, more slowly than my eyes can dart from color to color, but much more quickly than the seasons turn. And, that is just natural; that is just nature. 

Of course, Cat Eyes saw all this in a more visual way; images superimposing themselves upon each other until a balance was reached — an acceptance of a balance between being in control of and responsible for one’s actions — while at the same time feeling the ever-changing flow of one’s heart and just accepting that all of it is nature. All of it is just natural. It was okay for her to feel that she wanted nothing so much as to go back to the Veritas she knew and spend the rest of her days there and also to feel that she never wanted to leave this place again. It was even more beautiful than she had remembered it. And, she did know enough about decoding the marks that she could lead them to understand what those many boxes of marks meant. It is okay to feel these things. But in the end, my body can only be in one place at a time. It had better be where I want the heart of my hearts to be.

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Cat Eyes smiled and asked gently, “Do you suppose I could share some of your spicebush tea? You might like to try it with some cinnamon.”

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Author Page on Amazon

Start of the First Book of The Myths of the Veritas

Start of the Second Book of the Myths of the Veritas

Table of Contents for the Second Book of the Veritas

Table of Contents for Essays on America 

Index for a Pattern Language for Teamwork and Collaboration  

 

 

Donnie Plays Soldier Man

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“Take me! Take me! I wanna play soldier man too!”

Junior sighed. “No, Donnie. It’s big boys and they — nobody likes it when I bring along my kid brother. It’s big boy play. Understand?”

Donnie screamed, “I am a big boy! I’m bigger than you!” In an attempt to illustrate the point, Donnie jumped as high as he could and managed to touch the shoulder of his older brother.

“Donnie, we’ll play another time. I’m just going to go play with the big boys for a while. We can play something when I get home.” 

Donnie screamed even louder, “I am a big boy! I’m bigger than you.” In an attempt to prove his point, he leapt onto the bed and bounced up and tapped his teeny fingers on the top of his brother’s head. 

“Look, Donnie, the answer’s no. Later.” Fred Junior began lacing his Keds. 

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“MOMMY! MOMMY!” Donnie screamed. 

Mom, who was downstairs doing dishes, sighed, dried her hands and yelled up the stairs, “What’s all the commotion about?”

“Fred says I cannot go out and play! He won’t let me! It’s a free country, Mommy!” 

Mom shook her head and trundled up the stairs. “OK, look, I’ve got work to do. Junior, Donnie’s allowed to play outside too. Why don’t you just watch him for a little while so I can get my work done, okay?” 

Junior closed his eyes and hung his head, “Ma, he just — he always causes trouble when he plays with my friends. He’s just — a pain.” 

“He’s also your little brother. Now take him with you. And make sure he doesn’t get hurt.” She could see that Junior was about to protest, “No, no. I don’t want another word. Come back in time for dinner.” She turned and left the room. 

As soon as she was out of sight, Donnie yelled after her, “Thanks Mommy!” Then, he turned to his bigger brother, stuck out his tongue and blew a raspberry. He snatched his sneakers out of his closet and began tying them. 

Junior sighed and shook his head. Maybe it would be safer to walk along the creek. The two of them could look for dragonflies. Junior liked dragonflies. But then, the memory of their last walk flooded his mind — Donnie had taken great delight in catching dragonflies in his butterfly net and then pulling the wings off. What the hell was wrong with that kid, he wondered.

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Fine, he thought, I’ll let him play soldiers. Maybe I can convince him to stay put and follow orders. 

When they reached the vacant lot where the boys often played baseball, there was already a good-sized crowd. With — Fred counted quickly — 15 boys, they could’ve had a decent baseball game, but they hadn’t brought equipment for that. Each boy had a “sword” instead — a kind of pointed stick — not so thick as a club, but thicker than a whip. If you got hit by someone’s sword, it stung and sometimes left a bruise. Parents had occasionally seen this kind of battle and had warned the boys that “someone will get their eye poked out.” 

When the parents uttered that dire warning, the boys always stopped — until the parents were out of sight — and then resumed their games. They chose up teams after deciding that today, they would be Robin Hood’s band versus The Sheriff of Nottingham’s men. Donnie, being the smallest, was naturally the last to be chosen. Donnie was on Junior’s team — one of the Sheriff’s men. 

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Mainly the boys enjoyed clacking their wooden “swords” against that of their opponent, making a nice “THWACK!” sound when two swords clashed. They didn’t really try to “hurt” each other but they occasionally stabbed someone (carefully) who would either fall down while groaning in agony or slash someone across the back or shoulder. Of course, the swords sometimes landed a little harder than intended. 

One of “Robin Hood’s Merry Men,” Joe, tended to be a bit rough. Almost none of the older boys liked Fred’s little brother. They considered him too much of a cry-baby. But, they all cut each other a break when it came to following parents’ orders. So, they tolerated Donnie once Junior had explained that his mom had ordered him to let Donnie play too. Joe kept faking to one side and then side-stepping Donnie’s thrust in order to whack him Donnie on his butt. 

“STOP IT!” yelled Donnie. “Let me hit you! It isn’t fair! Make him stop, Fred!” Donnie gritted his teeth and promised himself that Joe would pay for this humiliation. 

Fred put a little of his attention on blocking the blows that were aimed at Donnie as well as defending himself. This was pretty effective. Joe only managed to get one more good hit on Donnie before a “truce” was called.

The boys could see a summer storm coming. One half of the sky was blue and the other side was a foreboding blackish gray. The boys lay down on the nearby baseball diamond to watch the storm. The game now was to see which boy was brave enough to keep laying there even after the rain started. Who would be first to jump up and run home? Who would be last? The boys began to taunt each other and scream that the storm was about to hit. Everyone was fascinated by the wall of air that was moving toward them. 

No-one noticed that Donnie still held his “sword” in his teeny hands and that he had snuck up behind Joe. Just then, the storm front hit one side of the baseball field and began screaming across it. The boys could hardly stay still. Suddenly, far too close for comfort, a huge lightning streak hit the metal backstop. Everyone yelled, including Joe who felt an excruciating pain in his eye. 

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Donnie dropped his stick and began running home. He ran just as fast as his legs could carry him and ran up the front steps and flung open the door. He looked around wildly. Mommy was in the living room listening to the radio and ironing. He ran into the room screaming, “Mommy! Mommy! Freddie put somebody’s eye out! It was terrible! I told them not to play swords!” 

Mom turned and stared at Donnie. “What? What are you talking about?” 

Donnie pretended to sob uncontrollably, blurting out words senselessly. “I told them. I thought we were going to play baseball, but the boys were all poking sticks at each other. There were about fifty-jillion kids there. I’m not even sure Junior did it on purpose. Maybe it was accident. Oh, it was bloody! Will Joe see? Will he be blind? Don’t hurt Freddy, Mommy. He didn’t mean to do it. I’m sure he didn’t. I’m pretty sure. He was mad at Joe. But I don’t think he’d poke his eye out on purpose, do you?” 

“Slow down, Donnie. Who did what? Where’s your brother? He was supposed to watch you!” 

“I ran home to tell you. I think he must have run away from home. He must feel bad about poking out Joe’s eye, don’t you think, Mommy?” Donnie rocked his head in his teeny hands and snuck looks at his mom to make sure that she was swallowing this, hook, line, and sinker. She was! He mentally patted himself on his own back. God, I’m good! he thought to himself.

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“Mommy, Mommy, do you think Joe will be okay? Maybe his eye is just scratched, right Mommy?” 

Mom was sure Donnie was exaggerating but she could “see” that he was genuinely upset.

Joe wasn’t the only half-blind person in the neighborhood. “I’m sure Joe will be fine. Now, Donnie, I know you’re upset but sit down and tell me what happened. Slowly. Step by step.” 

Donnie almost began skipping happily to the nearby ottoman but caught himself in time. He made himself shudder and shuffle and he continued to hide his face so Mom wouldn’t see the huge grin. 

“I — I — I don’t know. It all happened so fast. They wanted to play soldier. With big sticks. Junior wanted me to play but I remembered that the grown-ups had said people could get their eyes poked out. So — I didn’t want to play. Fred told me I was chicken. So, I almost joined them, then it began to rain. Hard. I think that made the sticks slippery. And, then, Joe was bleeding and Fred said, ‘Serves you right!’ And I got scared and ran home and I wanted — maybe you should call and ambulance.”

Mom shook her head. “Boys!” she muttered under her breath. Crap. How could she keep this from Fred Senior who would likely beat his son half to death. The phone rang. I can’t answer that. I have to think. She didn’t know that a lot of research had gone into designing the ringing drone of a phone so annoying that people generally felt compelled to answer it. 

She strode over, patting Donnie on the shoulder as she did so. 

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“Hello?” she said tentatively. 

Donnie could hear a woman screaming on the other end. He smiled so broadly, he had to bury his face in his hands so Mommy wouldn’t see. 

And she didn’t see. Of course, she didn’t. Joe, it turned out, was only partially blinded in one eye. He never was able to play baseball very well after that. 

For many years, on a boring rainy afternoon, Donnie would entertain himself by watching two raindrops race down the window pane. He would call one of them, “Fred gets beaten up by Daddy” and the other one “Joe can’t play baseball” and he would try to decide which one he liked better. It was really a tough choice. 

But his favorite raindrop was probably the one he called, “No-one believes Junior when he tells the truth, but Mommy and Daddy believe me no matter what.” 

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Author Page on Amazon. 

Citizen Soldiers: Part one. 

Citizen Soldiers: Part two. 

Citizen Soldiers: Part three.

Imagine all the People…

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Beyond the cloud, 

The sun still shines, 

It isn’t loud. 

It never whines. 

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Beyond the cold, 

The summer comes. 

When spring is old, 

The drummer drums.

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The rhythm’s wrong. 

The tune is halt –

Ing, he says: “I’m strong. 

It’s not my fault!”

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When virus kills,

Says: “No-one knew.

All our illness; all our ills:

The blame belongs on all of you.”

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Putin’s plan for planet earth: 

“Kill it dead ‘cause I must die.

I don’t like a spring rebirth. 

It’s hard on lethal spies

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Like me — who don’t really care. 

Once I’m dead; no longer me,

It’s not really fair!

No-one should be allowed to be!”

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Trump is fully on board, 

He thinks you should be too! 

“A suicide pact’s the proper chord. 

If I have to die — so should you!

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Putin has plans for you and me. 

He still thinks like KBG.

But we don’t have to play his heartless game.

He doesn’t even know your own true name.

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Live and right your country’s wrong.

You can sing a different song.

Dance away to a different tune. 

Eschew the hate & picayune.

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Dance instead to the stars above!

Dance instead in honor of love!

Handless holding each to each, 

A nation strong’s within our reach. 

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Let nation’s rainbow colors show!

We will win and we will grow! 

A smile beneath a mask will show!

Vlad and ilk won’t ever know —

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That reaching down to raise another 

Makes us taller, Sister, Brother. 

This is how a forest stands! 

This, the key to freedom’s lands. 

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Our globe is round and for a reason, 

It’s love, it’s love that conquers treason. 

Take my touchless hand! Stand tall!

All for one. And one for all! 

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The wind is strong but we are stronger, 

COVID lives long, but we live longer. 

Take my touchless hand! And stand as one!

One for all. And all is won! 

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 Author Page on Amazon  

 

Donnie Learns Golf! 

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“I think I like baseball better, Daddy. I can’t hit such a tiny ball with such a weird bat.” 

Fred Senior snorted. “Just hit the ball. I told you before. The course is where deals are made and suckers are suckered. You can’t do that on the baseball diamond! Just watch me. And watch Junior. Do what we do.” Fred Senior took a few waggles and smacked the ball a few hundred yards down the fairway. 

Junior said, “Don’t worry, Donnie. You’ll get the hang of it.” He stooped down; he stabbed the tee into the soft ground and placed the ball atop in one smooth motion. “Besides, once you do get the hang of it, you’ll hit the ball farther than Babe Ruth ever did!” THWACK! 

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Donnie shook his head. Months of lessons and he still couldn’t do that. But he would. He would be better than either of them. He’d show them, he thought. I’ll hit it farther. I’ll hit it harder. He took the tee into his teeny hands and pushed it into the ground. He pulled a golf ball out of his pocket and placed it on the tee. He took a deep breath. He walked up; turned sideways. What did they say? Oh, yeah. Right. Tension on the inside, balance. Easy hands. Watch the ball.

Fred Senior snapped his fingers at the caddy and threw his driver to him. “Are you ever going to hit the ball, or what, Donnie?” 

Donnie’s teeny hands began to sweat. He had to push fear away. Push it away. He swung hard. “Scheiss! That doesn’t count!” His face reddened. The Freds were already sitting in the cart. Damn. He had to hurry. He couldn’t hurry. There was so much to remember. 

“Come on Donnie. Pick up your ball. You can drop it where Junior is.”  

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Junior had smacked the ball a good 250 yards into the middle of the fairway. Donnie’s face was red, but he grabbed onto the back of the cart. A few moments later, he walked out with Junior and dropped his ball a foot ahead of Junior’s. 

“Scheiss!” (This was lately one of Donnie’s favorite words. He wasn’t allowed to curse in front of Daddy. Not in English any way.) His ball had rolled into a divot. He walked over and kicked his ball ten yards father down the fairway. He ordered the caddy to hand him a five iron. He managed to whack the ball sideways into some deep brush underneath a gnarly oak tree about ten yards off the fairway. 

“Scheiss! Hey, Darkie — whatever your name is — come help me find my ball.” 

The caddy handed Fred Senior his seven iron and joined Donnie in the weeds. “Here you go.” He pointed down to a ball nestled in the weeds. Donnie walked over and took a look. “Scheiss! Put it somewhere I can hit it!” The caddy, whatever his name was — they all looked alike — tilted his head and then shook it ever so slightly. 

“Do you have a problem, Caddyman? Do we need a new caddy?” 

“No sir. I just thought you were still learning and … “

“We’re not paying you to think Caddyman. Step lively! Go fetch the ball and put it where I can hit it!” 

The large man nodded. “Strictly speaking, it’s your Dad who’s paying me. He wants you to … “

“Just do what I say, Caddyblack or I’ll get you fired!” 

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The caddy put down one of the bags and leaned over and picked up the ball. He frowned again at Donnie’s choice of marks — a large black swastika. “Where you want this? Are you saying this is unplayable? That’s a two stroke penalty, you know.” 

“Scheiss,” Donnie muttered under his breath. He glanced across the fairway to see his Dad and Junior heading for the cart. They would soon be heading to the green. He looked back at the caddy, his anger and frustration still growing. 

“Sir, I have to go give them their putters. How about if I leave your bag here for you. You decide where you want to hit from.” 

“That was not my ball. Let’s look on the other side of that tree.”

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“But, sir. Your brother and daddy need their putters.”

“Screw them! Come with me!” Donnie began to stomp through the weeds around to the far side of the tree. 

The caddy, actually named Adam, by the way, sighed. Fred Senior and his son had already parked on the edge of the green and were gesturing for their putters. Hopefully, this little adventure wouldn’t take long. He followed Donnie around the tree and saw him standing there expectantly. He didn’t seem to be looking for a ball. He frowned. 

Donnie put his teeny hands beside his mouth and screamed, “DADDY! DADDY! Help me! Caddyblack is showing me his thingie!” 

The caddy stood there dumbfounded. “What are you doing! Why you say that?”

Donnie hissed under his breath: “Because I hate you. You made me do it.” Then, he screamed again, “DADDY! Help!” 

The Freds were running toward the gnarly old oak. 

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Donnie was so pleased with himself that he had to work very hard to wipe the smile off his face before his Dad arrived. He replaced it with what he hoped was a very scared look. He need not have bothered. His Dad barely glanced at him and went instead up to the caddy. 

“Get your filthy hands off my son! You should be ashamed of yourself! What the hell’s wrong with you? I’ll make sure you never work anywhere as a caddy again!”  

“But sir — I never —”

“SHUT UP! I don’t want to stand here and listen to your lies! Get your filthy hands off our bags. God-damned round of golf ruined on the first God-damned hole. You are going to see some of my buddies soon. You won’t recognize us, but we’ll sure as hell recognize you! Now GIT! GIT!!” 

Donnie put his face down in his hands to hide his laughter. It was difficult, but he managed to make it sound as though he was sobbing rather than laughing. He dug his fingers into the sides of his face till it hurt. Then he pressed even harder. He had to press really hard in order to make real tears flow, but it was worth it. Caddyblack wouldn’t be making him miss any more golf shots. 

Not today. 

Not ever! 

Fred Senior barked out to the boys that they were going back to the clubhouse and get this guy fired right now. As he hitched a ride on the back of the cart, Donnie thought to himself, this was the best round of golf — ever!  

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Donny Plays Doctor Man!

Donny Plays Bull-Dazzle Man! 

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Donnie Plays Doctor Man!

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{Since this is written from a “God’s eye view” it might be obvious to you that it’s fiction. But in case it isn’t, this is fiction and any resemblance to actual characters is purely coincidental. Anyway, these stories take place on the third planet around a small, ordinary star at the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy}.

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Donnie was bored, and had been ever since school let out and there were no little kids to bully. Junior refused to play Monopoly with him any more. What a cruddy older brother, thought Donnie. Just because I was smart enough to hide lots of $500 bills in my pants before the game started. He’s just jealous because he didn’t think of it first! 

Donnie liked pouting. Not so much as bullying though! Bullying was fun! 

Except that time when little Billy had punched him in the nose. He hadn’t been expecting — NO NO NO! Donnie screamed in his head: IT NEVER HAPPENED! IT NEVER HAPPENED!. 

But still Donnie wanted to get back at Billy. He would probably have to wait for school to re-open though. What do do now? What to do? Maryanne and Junior were playing with their own friends. Mommy was re-organizing the attic. Hmmm, thought Donnie. 

He very carefully tip-toed into his sister’s room. He looked around. What to do? If I had some ants, I could put them in the drawer to scare her, but spiders would be better. What about a snake? Too much trouble. Wait! I know! I know! A grasshopper! I’ll go get a grasshopper! 

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Donnie grew excited when he thought about his sister opening a drawer and peeing her pants when a grasshopper jumped out at her. Speaking of peeing her pants, Donnie could see her sister’s clothes hamper in her closet. The door squeaked, he knew, but he slid it open a bit further. He found some used underwear. This gave him another great idea. I am such a genius thought Donnie. I might — no, I am the smartest person ever. 

Luckily, there was a box of Kleenex on Maryanne’s desk. She won’t notice one missing tissue. He carefully took out a tissue and turned back toward the closet. Better use two, he thought. Don’t want to get her cooties! Maybe three is even better. 

He used the tissues to carefully pick up his sister’s white panties, hand-stitched with a little heart. Next, he stuck his head out in the hall. No sign of his siblings. He could hear mom puttering around upstairs. Good. He snuck into his brother’s room and put the panties in his brother’s desk in the upper right side drawer. He closed the drawer and thought. Hmm. How can I get mommy to look in there? I know! 

He rushed into his own room and took out the Silver Dollar he had kept there. It was the first dollar he had ever earned. He earned it by beating up one of the little kids who was showing it off to his friends. Of course, the story he had told his family was that he had “won it” by being really smart at playing cards. They had all seen it. They all knew it was one of his prized possessions because it was so shiny. He put it in the drawer right on top of his sister’s panties. He chuckled to himself a little as he closed the drawer. He snuck a look outside and listened carefully. No-one coming. 

He went back to his own room and took out a book on American History. Somebody somebody something some time something. Somebody else. It was a long book and it said nothing about him. But for some reason, his parents thought he should do extra reading in the summer. 

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How stupid! Why did books have so many words anyways? He carefully put the book on he bedside table so he could easily grab it if he needed it. Then, he went back to daydreaming. Sure enough, a few minutes later, he heard mommy descending from the attic. He grabbed the book and opened it to a random page. 

As his mom walked by, Donnie pretended not to notice she was there. Her voice rang out from the hall, “Oh, good, Donnie, I see you’re reading that history book. Who are you reading about now?” 

“What? Oh, hi, mom.” He glanced at the page, looking for something with capital letters. “Oh, I’m reading about Purchase!” 

“Purchase? Who’s Purchase? I don’t remember him. What did he do?”

“He — uh — he did lots of amazing stuff. Just wonderful things. So many things! You can’t believe all the things he did. It’s a shame — you know, nobody gives him enough credit. A lot of people don’t even know his name. Or, they forgot. Or, maybe certain people want to forget.”

“Well, Donnie, I’m glad to see you reading, but it’s supposed to rain later so you should get some sunshine now. The doctor says it helps protect against polio.” 

Donnie was annoyed. He could still get a grasshopper to annoy sis, he supposed. It seemed like a very lame prank compared with the panties. “Okay, Mommy. Great idea.” 

Once downstairs, he sauntered over to the weedy edge of the lawn. Almost immediately he saw a grasshopper. “This day is meant for me!” And as he said “me”, he slapped his cupped hands together trapping the grasshopper. He looked at it. Ugly, he thought. Look at those skinny legs. Stupid sideways mouth. It was different from him so he hated it. He hated almost everyone who wasn’t just like him. 

Anyway, it would terrify his sister and that was the point. But it was so ugly! I’ll bet it could still hop even if I took away its front leg. Or legs. I wonder if it will scream. Checking to ensure that he was still alone, he muttered, “Hey, little stupid ugly bug. I’m your doctor! Don’t worry. I’ll take care of everything. You just need a little operation.” He chuckled.

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He listened carefully every time he twisted off a leg to see whether the grasshopper would scream. He couldn’t hear anything, but it seemed clear that the grasshopper hated it, so at least there was that. Every time he twisted a leg off, the grasshopper tried more vigorously to wriggle or fly away. When he got done with the forelegs, he began to wonder whether it could hop with only one rear leg. So he twisted that off as well. But then, he thought. Now, it’s ruined. It won’t hop any more and it won’t scare her and how is that fun? It’s useless. He glanced around. No-one was near so he muttered allowed, “Hey, ugly little useless bug. How’s it feel to be so tiny and weak? Look at me, you bug. I’m going to twist your ugly little head off now and there’s nothing you can do about it. How does that make you feel? I’m your doctor, and believe me, it’s for your own good. You’re too ugly to survive.”

Donnie was so excited that he almost forgot to squash everything into the dirt. Hide the evidence and lie about it. It had become something of a mantra — so much so that he was not even aware he was saying it to himself. He considered getting another grasshopper but he saw himself doing pretty much the same thing to it. He decided he’d have to wait on the grasshopper prank till after he was bored pulling them apart. But there was still plenty of fun in store for the rest of the day, he reassured himself.

Mom called all the kids in for lunch, and they sat down to a delicious meal of baloney with mayo on Wonder Bread. Like many, all that baloney made them thirsty and so they drank lots of Kool-Aid. 

After the first pangs of hunger were gone, Donnie said, “Hey Junior! How about a game Monopoly? 

Junior said, “No! You cheat! You steal money —“ 

Mom said, “Play with your little brother, Junior.” 

Donny said, “ME steal! Where’s my Silver Dollar? Huh? Where’s my Silver Dollar?” 

Mom said, “Did you lose your Silver Dollar, Donnie?”

Donny began, “I didn’t lose it — well, I don’t know. Maybe. But I think Junior has it. He was threatening to steal it yesterday — and the day before — and the day before that. So. My guess is he did it.” 

Junior protested, “I never threatened to take your stupid silver dollar!”

Donny yelled, “Well, I say you did! You stole it and you hid it … where did you say you’d hide it? I forget. No, no. I know, you said, I’ll lock it in my desk! That’s what you said.”

Mommy looked quizzically at Junior. “Is that true?” 

Junior ground his teeth, “No! Why would I steal his stupid silver dollar? And why would I tell him where I was going to hide it? Is that hiding anything? And, by the way, I don’t lock my desk. There isn’t even a key. I don’t think there is, anyway.” 

Donny began to pretend to cry, “Mommy, I really like the Silver Dollar. You know. It’s the first one I ever earned. Can’t you please get it back from him?” Here, Donny pointed one of his teeny fingers toward his brother. 

Mommy stood up and sighed. “All right. Let’s get this straightened out right now. Come with me.” She looked back for a moment to make sure they were following. All of them followed her to Junior’s room. 

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Mom walked over to Junior’s desk and frowned. If it were her desk, she would put important things in the upper right drawer. She opened it up and her head jerked back. She had been simply humoring Donnie. She never expected that Junior had really stolen the Silver Dollar. She turned back to her kids. “It’s here. I can’t believe you did this, Junior. Stay in your room till your dad gets home.”

Junior’s mouth hung open. “WHAT!? No. I didn’t steal it. I don’t even — “

“ENOUGH! You’re just making it worse on yourself! Not another word!” She turned, and began walking to the door, her fist clenched beside her. 

Donny said, in a carefully modulated gentle voice, “Mommy? Can I have my Silver Dollar?” 

“Oh, sorry. Sure honey. I got so upset I forgot.” She walked back to the still open drawer and put her fingers down around the plastic that encased the shiny Silver Dollar. She picked up that shiny Silver Dollar … along with a pair of her daughter’s panties.

Mom had no idea that she screamed aloud. She slowly sunk to her knees and began to sob. She barely heard the screaming of Maryanne and Junior behind her. She barely felt the soft, tiny hand. Donnie was patting her gently. 

He seemed to her wise beyond his years; she felt sure that he was consoling her for the bad luck of having mothered a truly evil child. 

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—————————————-

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Start of the First Book of The Myths of the Veritas

Start of the Second Book of the Myths of the Veritas

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Table of Contents for Essays on America 

Index for a Pattern Language for Teamwork and Collaboration  

Donnie Plays Bull-dazzle Man!

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Donnie looked outside and saw a bulldozer moving a large pile of dirt. 

“Mommy! Mommy! I want one! Get me one!” 

Donnie’s mommy sighed. The noon radio programs weren’t even on yet and this was the fourth impossible request Donnie had already made today. 

“I told you yesterday, Donnie, you can’t play in the dirt. You’ll get your hands dirty.” 

“But I want a big orange thingy! What is that thingy?” He pointed his teeny fingers at the bulldozer.

“That’s called a bulldozer, Donnie. And only big people can have one.”

“Daddy said I could have one! He said I could have a bull-dazzle! He said I could have two bull-dazzles!” 

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“I’ve no time for your nonsense, Donnie. You can’t have a — they’re called “bulldozers” — and you can’t have one till you’re a lot older. Look at that man. See? He’s much older than you. And, I still have laundry to fold.” 

Donnie said, “Yes, mommy.” But secretly, he was thinking about various ways to get revenge on stupid mommy. 

It was a sunny spring day, but not really warm. Snow still sprinkled the yard, so Donnie grabbed one of his sister’s jackets. That will annoy her, he thought and smiled. Outside, he couldn’t see much to do. Junior and Maryanne were up in the treehouse playing cards. They had tried teaching him a couple times, but they kept making up rules that didn’t make him win every time which was stupid. So, he threw all the cards on the ground. They hadn’t invited him a third time. 

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He walked over to where the clothes were hanging. A gentle breeze billowed the shirts and sheets. Junior and Maryanne didn’t even notice him. It seemed they never did. 

He tugged at one of the sheets. Nothing happened. He grabbed with both hands and yanked down on one corner. He threw his legs out just like he did when he had a temper tantrum. His teeny hands slipped off and he fell on his butt. 

He ground his teeth, and walked over to a nightshirt he could reach. This time, when he pulled one of the clothespins snapped off. He got the other one off too! Success! He looked up at the treehouse, but his siblings were still ignoring him. Good, he thought. He tried several more items of laundry and managed to get another nightshirt and even one of the sheets off. Time to tattle. 

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He walked back into the living room where mommy was already relaxing and listening to Abbot and Costello with her eyes closed. He wondered whether she had noticed him go out. He went to the dining room window and stared out. From there, he could see the treehouse, but his siblings were hidden by the plywood paneling. Perfect, he thought. When a commercial came on, Donnie said casually, “Mommy. Is Junior supposed to be showing his thingy to Maryanne?” 

“WHAT!?” She sprang up from her chair and came to the window. She could see the treehouse but no children. “Where are they?”

“They’re right up in the treehouse, mommy. I think they are hiding so Freddy can show his thingie.” 

Mommy went to the back door and flung it open hard enough to loosen one of the screws that held the hinge. The door flapped against the siding and sprang back violently, scratching her hand. She screamed, “JUNIOR! MARYANNE! Get in here this instant!” 

She walked out onto the back stoop and began skipping down the stairs. That’s when she noticed some of her laundry dragging on the dirty ground. 

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“WHAT THE HELL DID YOU KIDS DO TO MY LAUNDRY! GET DOWN HERE!! NOW!!” 

The puzzled faces of two kids peeked out of the shadowed treehouse. 

Maryanne spoke first, “How come, mom? We’re playing…”

“I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU’RE PLAYING! Get down here! Now” 

She went over and snatched up one of the nightshirts and tried to brush the dirt from it. Her brushing only ground the dirt in more deeply. Crap, she thought, I’ll have to wash this again. 

“What the hell is wrong with you two!? I worked all morning on this laundry!” 

In the corner of his eye, Fred Junior could see the smiling grinning face of his younger brother staring out at the scene from the dining room window. 

“LOOK AT ME when I’m talking to you! Why did you pull my laundry down! Never mind! Get inside! Both of you. I need to talk with you privately, Mister. No. Go to your rooms. I’ll have Fred talk to you when he gets home. That new belt of his will talk to you!” 

When she had redone the laundry and stopped cursing under her breath, Donnie thought she had cooled down enough. His enemies were still confined to their rooms, Donny said, “You know what, Mommy. You’re right. I’m too young to have a real bull-dazzler. But maybe Santa will bring me a pretend one for Christmas?” 

“What? Oh, sure. Sure. Maybe.” Her mind was swirling. Should she tell her husband about the … well, she hadn’t actually seen it. But the laundry was for sure. Junior would get a beating for that. Would he really have shown … surely, he’s too young for that. Fred would go crazy though. Maybe best not to say anything. She’d just watch Junior a lot more carefully from now on, watching for signs. 

Donny stared out the window. He felt pretty proud of himself. Someday, he thought to himself, I will have a whole bunch of bull-dazzlers working for me. What fun! I like bull-dazzlers!

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Author Page on Amazon

Start of the First Book of The Myths of the Veritas

Start of the Second Book of the Myths of the Veritas

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Table of Contents for Essays on America 

Index for a Pattern Language for Teamwork and Collaboration  

Keys that Open; Keys that Close

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His whispers seemed so warm and seductive, breathing into her ear: “Come on, it will be nice.  I can protect you.  Give me the keys.”

Lady Liberty, scared, but determined, shook her mighty head, “No.”

The warm breath of the seducer blew on the ear of Lady Justice.  “I need more power.  Then we’ll all be safe.”

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Lady Justice might be blind, but she knew this voice well.  She had heard similar voices in ancient Egypt, in Imperial Rome, in all ages and places.  The languages changed but the message was the same.  “Hand me your freedom.  Just a little.  And I can make you safe.”  Inevitably, of course, there were invasions, plagues, earthquakes and hurricanes and people were not safe.  The voice said, “Yes, that was too bad.  But, you see, you didn’t give me quite enough of your freedom.  Give me just a little more and I can keep you safe.” Lady Justice and Lady Liberty had learned to see these lies for what they were.

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The Bill of Rights, the Separation of Powers — these are some of the master keys to America (though many citizens think the master keys are baseball and fireworks and grilled hamburgers so that giving up freedom wouldn’t mean all that much).  The Ladies though; they have been around the block a few times.  Thank God. 

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Listen to the Ladies. Listen to them well.


 

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Start of the Second Book of the Myths of the Veritas

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Table of Contents for Essays on America 

Index for a Pattern Language for Teamwork and Collaboration  

Open Door Policy

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At the grinding growling noise, the entire group jumped back from the door. Jaccim flinched — not at the slow movement of the door, but at the reaction of everyone else. He then reminded himself that they had never seen such a tunnel before. 

He stepped in front of Cat Eyes and said earnestly, “Such noise is normal. Louder than I remember but all right.” 

Cat Eyes nodded and translated the reassurance. 

The group squinted as the shaft of yellow sunlight began to trace across their faces. 

Cat Eyes turned back to Jaccim with a frown and a flash of anger in her eyes, “How did you open it though? How?!” 

Jaccim tilted his head and looked at her puzzled. “It — I just asked it to be opened. Surely, this magic is not new to you. Didn’t you see such things in the Z-Lotz village?” 

Trunk of Tree was jumping up and down and waving his hands. “What is he saying?! It could be a trap! I did it! I opened it!” 

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Cat Eyes glanced over at Salah Hudah and caught her eye. They smiled knowingly at each other while they shook their heads about Trunk of Tree. But to his credit, he was peering around the corner of the ever-widening entryway, looking for the trap that didn’t come. Once his eyes had adjusted a bit to the sunlight he scanned the nearby surroundings. As he did so, he looked up to orient to the twin peaks, but they were nowhere to be seen. 

“All clear!” he shouted back at the cave door. Soon, they were all outside. Trunk of Tree looked at Jaccim. “How did you open that?!” 

Jaccim looked at Cat Eyes and awaited her translation for a moment and then realized, he understood what Trunk of Tree must have said so answered her again in ROI. “I just asked it to open. It’s always worked that way.” 

Cat Eyes sighed. She realized that no-one in the group would accept her translation, but she went ahead anyway, “He says that he just asked it to open — in ROI — and it did. That it always works like that.” 

Salah Hudah frowned and said, “Why did we work so hard to open the first door then?” 

Cat Eyes nodded and replied, “Good question.” She translated for Jaccim, who shrugged “I don’t know why they make it such. Buttons to go in. Commands to leave. Wasn’t it this way among the Z-Lotz, Cat Eyes?” 

Cat Eyes reacted to him first with a simple “NO!” and then translated his answer to the group. Jaccim could see that his answer just caused more confusion. Cat Eyes began to suspect that maybe this was a trap after all. Jaccim’s face seemed stoical but honest. Still… 

Trunk of Tree looked around. “All right. Well, I got us out. That’s the main thing, but where are the twin peaks?” 

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Fleet of foot had walked back some ways from the entrance. He pointed up behind them. “Come over here. The peaks are back that way.” Lion Slayer went to join him and soon saw what appeared to be the twin peaks just visible over the edge of the cliff behind them. “There they are.” 

Cat Eyes walked over as well and soon everyone was pointing to them. Trunk of Tree was the last to join the group. He nodded. “Now,” he began, “we need to determine which way to go next.” The voice of Trunk of Tree was strong and echoed off the cliff. Halfway through his pronouncement, however, Jaccim began speaking in broken Veritas. “Close Door one first. Second two, visit Veritas. Three third, this way,” and he gestured toward a broad path that led up a steep, but walkable grade to the right. Then, he himself walked a bit off to the left, following a much more overgrown path. 

“Wait!” yelled Trunk of Tree. “Where are you going?!” 

Cat Eyes began, “He asks —- “

Jaccim, put up a hand, “Yes. I know. To close first one door one. To walk path second two To find Veritas third three.” 

Cat Eyes watched Jaccim as he walked over to a rock wall, and jab his hand downward several times. Then, the door began to close. 

“Wait! What are you doing! Keep it open! We want to come back this way.”

Cat Eyes saw Jaccim shrug and quickly translated. 

Jaccim tilted his head at Trunk of Tree, looking at him with curiosity. “Do you always leave the door to your house open to the rats?” he queried in ROI for Cat Eyes to translate. 

Cat Eyes decided to add a bit on her own: “Besides, since you are always concerned with traps, do you see how each it would be to have a large force inside ready to pounce on a small party?” 

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As she guessed, that seemed to hit home and Trunk of Tree grunted his assent. “Come on!” he said and began to stride up the hill. 

Fleet of Foot put out a hand as Trunk of Tree strode past, “Trunk! Hey! Do you know where you’re going?” 

Trunk of Tree stopped and turned. “There’s only one path. This is the one to take.” 

Fleet of Foot smiled, “True enough. But there may be choice points ahead, or hidden dangers that Jaccim knows about because he’s been here before. And, if we are really getting close, Cat Eyes may begin to recognize something as well. Besides, it’s easier if they’re together in case she needs to translate. 

Trunk of Tree added, “All right. I still don’t see why he doesn’t learn Veritas though. ‘To find Veritas third three.’ What is that? Gibberish! And I don’t like to be behind the horses.”

“Nor I,” replied Fleet of Foot. “You and I should lead the animals at the back. That way we can apply the most force where it is needed most in case of battle, rather than being ambushed and rendered useless.” 

“What?!” yelled Trunk of Tree, “I hate those things! Those beasts are powerful! Let Jaccim risk his life!”

horse near trees

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Fleet of Foot clapped his friend on the shoulder. “Come on! Dah-Nah isn’t as scared of them as you are. They’re not dangerous if you know what you’re doing. I’ll show you. l would have sooner. I just learned myself though. Here. Let’s go back now.” 

Once the order of the group was settled, Cat Eyes began to converse with Jaccim in ROI. “I still do not understand how these doors work.”

“Nor I,” Cat Eyes. “I have no idea really. I was just told exactly what to do.” 

They walked on in silence for a time. The anger rose in Cat Eyes, but she breathed steadily and calmed herself. 

“You just do what you are told without even understanding it? How can you live like that?” 

Jaccim looked at her. “Do you know how your legs work? Or how we see?” 

Cat Eyes clicked her tongue. “Of course. I use things all the time because I know how to use them. I don’t know everything about how they work. But if someone says put these ten large rocks in this tiny basket, I wouldn’t just try to do it, because it would ruin the basket and nothing would be accomplished.” 

Jaccim nodded. “I am beginning to understand that about the Veritas.” After a pause, he added, “I never thought much about any other tribes, really. Just us and the Z-Lotz. The Z-Lotz are the ones that usually told us what to do. And, we, the ROI; we’re good at finding the clearest shortest path to doing those things.” 

Cat Eyes walked on a few more miles. At last she turned her head to Jaccim and said, “I told you I never saw such things but now I am not so sure. When I was very young, I learned how things were. Then, later, when I was a slave to the Z-Lotz, I … I saw things in those terms. But maybe I sometimes assumed that they opened doors the way I had always seen them being opened because….”

Jaccim put up his hand as they came to a fork in the road. He looked up to the right and down to the left and chose the gently descending path. 

Cat Eyes rolled her foot on a round stone and nearly lost her footing. Instinctively, Jaccim shot out his hand and she took it. She regained her balance and began speaking again, “Speaking of knowing how to do things, can you please tell me how to open those doors from the inside and the outside.” 

“Why? I’ll be there.”

“Jaccim,” began Cat Eyes, “has it never occurred to you that these people might realize from your speech and your manner that you are one of the people who steals children?” 

“No, no,” said Jaccim. “I’m Veritas now. I’m not ROI. I am friends with Dah-Nah. I am Veritas.” After a moment, he added, “but I can easily tell you how to make the doors work.”

“What is that smell? I recognize it! Spicebush! Someone is brewing spicebush tea. Just as my mother used to do!” 

Jaccim nodded and smiled. “Yes, I smell it too. I was just going to tell you — we are nearly there! Do you recognize …?” His voice trailed off. He could see that Cat Eyes no longer listened. She walked over to what seemed to be a cleft in the rock wall and began to go through. Jaccim said in a loud voice, “She here is! We here is!” 

“Wait.” said Fleet of Foot. “What is our strategy here? No-one there knows us and we know no-one there. I thought we agreed to let Cat Eyes in and that I, along with both Trunk of Tree, would accompany her. We will be more likely recognized as Veritas. We will be safer.”

Fleet of Foot didn’t wait for a response. He sprinted up to Cat Eyes, and put a gentle hand on her shoulder. “Wait a moment. Let’s go in together with Trunk of Tree. He’ll catch up in just a moment. Are you feeling all right? Why are you crying?” 

brown deer

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————————————————————

Author Page on Amazon

Start of the First Book of The Myths of the Veritas

Start of the Second Book of the Myths of the Veritas

Table of Contents for the Second Book of the Veritas

Table of Contents for Essays on America 

Index for a Pattern Language for Teamwork and Collaboration   

IS A DREAM?

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Is a dream
Is a dream
More than merely the sweet but senseless scream
Of the heat-oppresséd brain
Soundless
Groundless
From the drip drop drain
Of chemical overflow — I don’t know —
Random neurons on the go go go?

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Is a dream
Is a dream
Maybe something more —
Something from the core’s core
The inner inner being’s being’s store
That is the outer out of all of it and all
Closing the circle
From the very very small
To the universe’s universe and all?

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Original drawing by Pierce Morgan

Is a dream
Is a dream
Progress Reports from worlds we somewhere create
Building those great green meadows
Those roiling purple oceans and the wild fangéd beasts
Orgies and ogres and fencing and feasts
Shadow worlds where we fly and die and love and hate?
Somewhere across the galaxy a house stands
High on a rocky crest above the blue-green sands
And all the twists and turns of that strange place
Are but reflections of the flickers on our lids and face.

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Original drawing by Pierce Morgan

Is a dream
Is a dream
A searching striving blindly groping for the One Great Light
The true Truth that will astound us; lay us flat
Knockout punch us with the crystal clear of its utter it-ness
So we lay paralyzed, helpless, beached in awe
Our whole life strange, deranged, and rearranged
Making sudden sense so simply put
Like a wild child’s smile
But only flashing for awhile…
On waking, the lamp extinguishes the Light
As artificial praise will do the wild child.

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Is a dream
Is a dream
Just the dumping of the shredder basket by the night crew
Our mighty triumphs of the day and defeats
Little more than last month’s memos
No-one any longer cares; yet no-one dares deny
The overwhelming importance of tomorrow’s report
Destined to be edited and commented upon and committeed
Re-issued, dated, filed, archived, and then all copies shredded.
So too, so too, the very paper fabric of our lives?

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Is a dream
Is a dream
Maybe — Perhaps — could it be a trifle more
A beacon lighthouse glowing guide to misty shore
Where you and I and all of us could be;
Put right our jade and sapphire spaceship earth at last
Scoff the troubles of a silly selfish past
Our eyes wink open and awake we’d finally see:
Shimmering, vibrant, the radiant rainbow of reality.

sky earth galaxy universe

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Author Page on Amazon 

Fit in Bits suggests many ways to work more fun and exercise into daily activities — even if you are at home and have no special equipment.

Free videos illustrating some of the exercises.

Turing’s Nightmares describes possible futures of human-computer interaction in a world of Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Ubiquitous Computing, Big Data Analytics, and explores the social and ethical implications.

The Winning Weekend Warrior focuses on the mental game for all sports: strategy, tactics, and self-talk.

Tales from an American Childhood recounts early experiences and then relates them to contemporary issues and events.