The Cello

She stands alone in the corner of the sunlit room  
 silently awaiting the return of her master.

Only he, has the power to transform her
 from the awkward block of wood she is without him,
 into the instrument of astounding beauty and grace
 she becomes when wrapped in his arms.

There, neck to neck, consumed with the passion of young lovers 
 and the caring respect of old, they flow as one
 to the rhythm of their own private love song.

Only he, can fill her being with the fires of creativity
and allow her to fulfill her destiny.

She waits, lonely, but knowing, 
 anticipating his strong but gentle touch.
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The Story

This guy is fascinating to me . . . like one day I took a walk in Central Park and discovered a long lost brother from the sixties before everybody was pigeon holed into this huge social trap of sameness. A time when free thought and weirdness was the order of the day. . . . We need more bonobo’s like him to come out of hiding and not be afraid to do it.

Whats YOUR story? . . . . . . . . .

My Old Friends

myoldfriends

It seems I do more of it in the winter, but regardless, as I get older I spend a lot of time day dreaming. I usually wake up about 5 am, make coffee and, being retired and having no place to go, sit in my chair in the dark drinking my coffee and dreaming about the past. A rather pleasant time, I might add.

Now I have been to a lot of places and done a lot of things, but the things and places have become mere backdrops, places to hold the faces and memories of the many people I have known and the friends I have made over the last 72 years that I have lived on this planet.

As I begin to think on a place and time the faces are soon to follow. These faces pop into my mind like a worn out jack-in-the-box. Crank the handle and up pops Joey Sirgo or Gunner Thompson, or Tommy One Nut, Pissball Pete or just plain Joe . . . . . (It’s amazing how many of these guys have slang names and how often that’s the only one I can remember.)

Then the fun begins as I sit and reminisce with these guys over all the exciting times we had together . . . and a few of the sad ones. Seems the good and the funny always float to the top first though. I have to dig a bit to get to the bad, so as I hate shoveling I mostly leave that part alone.

To all the girls I’ve loved before. I remember your eyes, the lift of your breasts and the swing of your hips, but my Band of Brothers meant far more to me than trying to figure you out ever did. You ladies have a special room in my heart, but not this one. This room is filled with bar girls, one night stands, and short time hookers.

The “old boys club” door is locked to the finer female. You wouldn’t like it in here anyways cause the room stinks of old cigar smoke, cordite and bull shit, and the floor is littered with trampled peanut shells, dried blood and dog hair. A place only one of my old friends could love.

I always figured when I got old I would be sitting in the park with the rest of the old goats like they did when I was a kid. Maybe the old project crowd still do that, I don’t know because I lost contact with them at 15 when I had to move.

Today I live a life of seclusion. I spend my days reading, or goofing on my computer or driving my wife crazy, but rarely if ever do I spend time with friends, cause although spread out over half the world, they are not here.

Once I was in a Portland City jail cell with the walls covered in graffiti. I found an empty spot and wrote my own little tale of woe, “I’ve been alone since birth, I’ll remain alone till death, then I’ll have a friend”. Kind of a downer, but how else would you feel being stuck in a two man cell with a guy coming down off heroin?

I do hope that quickly thought verse will prove itself to be true though cause I’m getting closer to D day each time I go to sleep at night and it would be really cool to wake up on the other side and see a large table of my friends gathered around it to greet me. (and my many favorite dogs lying under it)

Jesus and God would have to wait for a while then because first thing I want to do is drink some good Old Crow and hang out with the guys again for a season . . . or two.

I think Robert Service said it all about guys like us. Guys our women just can’t quite understand:

The Men Who Don’t Fit In

There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
A race that can’t stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.

They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain’s crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don’t know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they’re always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.

They say: “Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!”
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It’s the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.

And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that’s dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life’s been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.

Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He’s a rolling stone, and it’s bred in the bone;
He’s a man who won’t fit in.

But . . . those of us who have walked this path would have it no other way. (end)

I wrote the above about 4 years ago and nothing has changed. Alone but never lonely I become more irrelevant daily, but, still, I miss my old friends and wonder what happened to all of them . . .  and am far too lazy to find out.

A Dog Story (repost)

Copy of raventhedog

Everybody loves a dog story . . . right? Well here’s my latest one. It happened yesterday.


I arose from my reading and looked out the front window. The sun was beginning to brighten the hilltop across the narrow country lane and Raven, who was watching my every move, knew it was walk time. I knew she was about to go into her, ‘super dance for a walk,’ routine so I calmed her with a nose bump (pitbulls like that) and got things together for the walk outside to Max’s pen.

Every morning without fail, as soon as they see each other, both dogs break the silence by yelping and barking at one another when Raven attempts to play ‘attack’ with Max. It’s no big deal though, because there are no closeby neighbors. Anyways, once lined up and moving in a straight line things get quiet again and we are on our way down the middle of the lane for our daily trip to the head of the valley and back.

I generally spend my time daydreaming and looking for herbs alongside the road while the dogs try and see how many of those herbs they can pee on before I get to them. The lane itself winds gently through heavy woods and is always scattered with various animal scents, so along with herb hunting I spend my time cajoling, pleading, and pulling at the the dog’s leashes, one in each hand like a guy driving a mule team trying to keep the whole thing going in a straight line. One more big, strong dog and I will be skating on the soles of my boots.

All is fine until I get about a half mile from the cabin when I begin to see a blood trail on the road. ‘Wow, someone must have hit a deer’, I thought at first. Then I glanced over at Max and saw that he was the guy bleeding . . . not just beeding . . .  HE WAS GUSHING BLOOD! . . . Bright red blood that was squirting from his front pad in a long thin stream.

I quickly went to my knees in the middle of the road and grabbed the foot in order to apply enough pressure to stop the bleed. As I did, Raven, probably thinking it was play time dove on Max and would not stop no matter how hard I tried or how hard I yelled. . . she went totally nuts when she smelled the blood that by this time was pooling around us. I had to stop her!  I HAD TO STOP THE BLEED! . . . I only had minutes until my beloved old Max would be dead. It was imperative that I react quickly and take charge of the situation, but how? I had absolutely nothing to work with. No phone (it’s on the table back home). No med kit ( in my room back home) No help (as there are few folks in this valley and only about ten cars a day go up this roadway).

First things first . . . I jerked Raven free, pulled her across the road and tied her leash to a tree. Went back to where Max by now was laying quietly in the road and grabbed his foot and applied pressure with one hand while taking off my boot with the other . . . I ripped out the string, tore off my sock and made up a tourniquet by wrapping the sock around the leg at the point where I thought the artery was and tied it tight with the shoe string. The arterial bleeding slowed to a trickle. In my favor, (and his) Max was very good during all this.

Back across the street, I went for Raven who was by now totally wrapped around the tree and choking on her special choke collar. Seeing the uselessness of trying to get the leash free I pulled my knife and cut it leaving just enough for me to grab hold of. Once free I began running back to the cabin with Raven in tow. My goal was to run the half mile back get Raven in the pen, get the pickup and drive back to Max and get him to the vet.

Now I’m 75 years old, and believe it or not that is a huge liability when it comes to doing stuff like this. Regardless, heart attack be damned . . . I’M SAVING THIS DOG’S LIFE! So off I go trotting up the road when I heard a vehicle slam on it’s brakes and slide in the gravel behind me. . . SHIT!! . . . Someone just hit my dog!

Looking back, I saw the red pickup of my neighbor who lives up the street coming towards me. Mike stopped, “What the hell’s going on? You need help?”

Yes! . . .Go back and get Max! . . . I need to get this damn dog (Raven ) into a pen and Max to the vet . . . she’s bleeding out if I don’t!

“OK . . . . take it easy man, your gonna have a heart attack, slow down! I’ll get Max and be right back.

Zoom . . . off he goes . . . Zoom . . . off I go. Just as I got to the house Mike pulled in with Max sitting in the bed of his truck. I gave him a hero’s welcome and a thousand thank you’s as I dove into the house, awaken my wife to call the vet, grabbed my med kit, fixed Max up proper by exchanging the sock for a pressure bandage, got him into my truck blood and all, (something good can be said about old pickups) and headed to the vet’s office.

The vet got squirted in the face and arm, but found and stitched the cut artery in time to save Max. Now he has a custom pen on my front porch where I feed him and doctor him until he gets better.

Moral of the story . . . you never know when a disaster will hit. Carry a med kit! I have enough first aid stuff for a whole platoon and yet when I needed it, it was tucked away in my bedroom and I had to rely on a dirty sock and a shoelace. You don’t need a large cumbersome pack, either. I’d suggest making your own and putting stuff in it that actually come in handy, a lot of junk you’ll never use is sold off in the pre-packaged kits. Maybe later on I will post a good small kit for a day hike or a chain sawing accident, etc. . . . . . . JW

 

The After Life . . .

the afterlife

After having a conversation on the internet with a couple of born again Christians about the afterlife I began to wonder how many people there are on this planet who believe the party line when it comes to Heaven and Hell and the afterlife. I figure there are probably zillions, but I’m not one of them. Even during my ‘balls to the wall’ Christian days I never believed a lot of the mainline Christian doctrine. So, what am I saying? Simply that from the very beginning of my search for reality, the Christian religion has led me down a steep and winding trail.  

I came impulsively into religion because I was seeking meaning and safety in a life that was quite frankly steam rolling out of control. I was an American therefore I chose Christianity. Had I been born and bred in Afghanistan I would have chosen the Muslim religion. Born elsewhere I may have become Hindu . . . Buddhist . . . etc.

Now, on the social level I have no doubt the church is an important charitable organization. It does many worthy things such as feeding the poor and homeless. It instills hope in depressed and dependent people. It is a beacon of light to the drunk, the druggy, the true believer . . . and so on. I honor her for that, but . . . and especially after seeing how the christian right is flocking to the  disjointed ramblings of Donald Trump and his war on immigration, she’s turned a lot of people off, especially the young, and us old folks who have enough experience under our belts to see the fallacies in that kind of belief system.

Continue reading “The After Life . . .”

Free Your Spirit . . .

free your spirit

The Tao of Coffee

Two scholars spent the better part of an afternoon in a local Portland Starbucks arguing the theories of Evolution versus Creationism. Getting nowhere, they took the advice of the Chinese guy working there and decided to drive to the beach near Astoria to visit a sage named Chung Lee who reputedly had the answers.

The following morning they took off for the beach. Upon arrival, they soon found his cottage hidden amongst the coastal dunes. Although the cottage was empty they spotted the old sage not far away sitting on a high dune facing out to sea.

After approaching him, the old man turned, directed his eyes upon them and asked, “Where’s the coffee?” Continue reading “Free Your Spirit . . .”

Open Your Heart . . .

OpenHeart

Everybody at some time in their life has a moment of truth, a life changing experience where they begin to see things differently than before it happened. Sometimes it is a huge catastrophic event, while others it may result from the simplest of things.

I have had a few monster awakenings in my rather chaotic life, but the following is way strange for a guy like me, at least for the guy that I perhaps pretended to be. . . .

***
Continue reading “Open Your Heart . . .”

Beauty In The Night . . .

 

ghost

This story is true . . . I swear.

It was late Friday evening and I’d just walked in the door after a hard afternoon shift at the local factory. I don’t remember exactly where she got the idea, but as soon as I sat down on the couch Patti pulled a game board out of a shopping bag. “Want to have some fun?” she said.

”What’s that?”

”A Ouija board.”

“Ouija board?”

“Yeah, you sit across from each other and ask it questions. You hold one side of this thing, (she held a small rectangular pointer with three legs in her hand) and I hold the other,” she explained. “Then you ask it a question and it will move around the board spelling out an answer from the spirit world.”

“Ok, let’s see if it works,” I said halfheartedly. Continue reading “Beauty In The Night . . .”

Get A Job . . .

job

The importance of this little story is not to tell you why I am a carpenter. It goes far deeper then that.

If you are young and rebellious and discouraged as I was when I left the military and joined the work force, fear not. There is a place for you. All you need to do is not be afraid to search and find it.

When I was a young man I quit every job I had within a very short time. I never had a deep love for money and I hated to go to work because it interfered with my partying. I said, “the hell with that, “I’ll be a bum,” . . . and I pretty much was.

But I was also too proud to take handouts . . . so I reluctantly became a working bum. I worked odd jobs, took care of myself, never asked anybody for anything, but in my heart I didn’t have what it took to be a bum. I didn’t know what I wanted actually, and for the few years before and after 1970 I just existed.

Then one day after taking an odd job I discovered how much I loved pounding nails and building things. From that time on I was a carpenter. . . and proud of it.

I enjoyed getting up early in the morning and driving to the job site. I enjoyed the ruggedness, the camaraderie, the long hours in freezing temperatures or baking in the hot sun. . . it was me, it was mine. I had found my path.

They told me that in order to be to be a journeyman carpenter I had to join the union and become an apprentice for four years. I said, “the hell with that.”

I went to the library and spent one whole Alaskan winter studying the craft of carpentry. The following Spring when building picked up, I bull shitted my way onto a framing crew building houses and never looked back.

I worked hard, continued my studies, and after a lot of on-the-job training, I learned all the various phases of carpentry and became a home builder in my own right. I started my own company and built houses for many years . . . then I moved to furniture, music instruments, and various other things.

Today as a retired gentleman of leisure, I still enjoy building stuff and I swear one day I’m gonna go back in the woods and build myself a tree house. . . . may next Spring.

That’s just me. That’s what I did because it fit my personality, but that was my bliss . . . and believe me, following the money trail is a dead end street regardless of your portfolio’s size. Life is only worth the effort if you, like Joseph Campbell said, follow your bliss.

The Piano . . .

slider-young-girl-playing

When I designed and built this cabin my wife and I now live in, I added onto it a 12×14 foot library. It has an arched entry from the main room, two walls of windows, and one wall full of books on shelves. Taking up most of the wall facing the interior of the cabin there sat a mahogany piano that we bought on a whim while shopping for furnishings.

The piano was old, but top of the line. It’s tone reminded one of Vaudeville and the glory days of a honky tonk saloon. It looked good, fit well into the informality of the room, but there was one thing wrong . . . it was a very sad piano.

Day after day she sat there along the back wall of the sunlit room, alone and forlorn, silently waiting for somebody to at least run their fingers across her keys . . . but nobody did. When I walked by on the way to a book I could feel her sadness, but as I was too busy doing other things, I ignored her anyway. Continue reading “The Piano . . .”

My Dream

dream

I had a dream last night and I want to share it because well, most of my dreams vacillate between violent and very violent . . .  and this one was ‘Sound Of Music’ wonderful for me. . . . almost like a vision quest. . . damn, if I was an Indian I would know it was time to leave the mountain . . .

I wrote it all down in a couple minutes and only edited enough so my daughter could understand it. . . . . anyways Continue reading “My Dream”

The Hippies

hippies

Attempting to write about the hippies is akin to a young soldier hunkered down on Omaha Beach attempting to write about the battle surrounding him. He hears it, but all he sees is the sky above his head.

To give the battle proper perspective, every man taking part, including the enemy, would have to have his story told also because every guy had a different story and every story was just as viable as the next if the truth was to be unadulterated by personal bias.

To tell the whole and honest story about the counter culture would be just as difficult . . . and quite honestly I don’t have the talent to do it. I was there. I experienced it first hand, but like the soldier on Omaha Beach I can only tell my part of a story that is so big, so diverse, that for the whole thing to be written the reader would have a hard time carrying the book it was written in. Continue reading “The Hippies”

The Hippies (part 2)

acid

My first acid trip

Many things have been written about the late sixties, some say if you were really there you wouldn’t remember them, but I was there and I remember.

The decade between 1965 and 1975 was a pivotal point in the history of our nation. The horror of Vietnam, and getting caught red handed in one monumental lie after another had placed our government center stage on everybody’s shit list. By the Fall of 1973 when ‘tricky Dick’ Nixon spouted his now famous one liner on TV concerning Watergate, “I am not a crook.” nobody believed him. He WAS a crook, as well as a liar when he promised to end the war and instead broadened it into Cambodia. He was a dick all right . . . a dickHEAD.

Many of us young folks, after realizing we were being ripped off, broke ties with the establishment and dedicated ourselves to the Utopian dream of peace and love instead of war and hate. For some of us, this was heavy, happy stuff, tantamount to be being born again. Continue reading “The Hippies (part 2)”

Ferguson

don't shoot

Why is it one group sees the cop at Ferguson a killer while the other group sees him as being justified? What causes black people across the country to think and act like they do? They don’t know whether the young man was shot charging the cop or whether he had his hands up any more than I do . . . and yet they are convinced beyond a doubt that the kid was murdered. How can two people look at the same thing and come up with an entirely different viewpoint from that same evidence?

Distrust and disrespect . . .

The black man has been raised on a foundation of distrust and disrespect ever since the days the white man stole him out of his homeland and brought him to these America’s in the hold of a ship. He has been beaten down ever since.

In today’s world various civil rights laws help him a bit, but I don’t see the foundation shifting or changing beneath his feet all that much. . . especially since the white corporate bosses packed up their factory jobs and left them, as well as the poor and middle class whites, holding an empty bag. Continue reading “Ferguson”

Old Tom

angry-wet-cat-6

Last night was the coldest ever in Ohio . . . -8 with a stiff wind . . . old Tom was scratching on the door, he wants in.

‘Oh no, poor cat is going to freeze’. Big hearted me goes out on the porch to rescue Tom and let him spend the night in the warm laundry room . . . “Here kitty, kitty.” He comes over, rubs on my leg, I bend, pet, snatch up cat and head back inside.

Now Tom has never been in a house. He totally freaks out and starts yowling and scratching his way up my chest towards my face . . . I drop him . . . next thing I know Tom leaps on the table beneath the window, then tries to climb the drapes . . . . “I WANT OUT OF HERE!”

Unable to make it out, he jumps back to the floor and heads into the library on a dead run. First he skids into and then leaps upon another table . . . bye, bye good lamp! He dives off yowling like a dying cow and flies back to the main room, across the couch top and back to the window. This time he succeeds in climbing the drapes like Sylvestor Stallone in the movie ‘Cliffhanger” . . . until he, as well as the drapes come crashing to the floor, that is.

During this mad dash to destroy, Tom is being chased by two other cats, a Jack Russell terrier and a really excited pit bull puppy.

Finally we all trap poor Tom and I throw his crazy ass back outside.

Thanking God that my wife is in NC visiting her brother I pour myself a double shot of Old Crow and sit in the Lazy Boy staring at the chaotic mess before me. . . . while in the back ground Tom begins to piss and moan about how cold it is on the porch . . .

I Saw A UFO!

Ocean Isle Beach North Carolina, July 2016:

ufo

During our summer vacation my daughter and I were star gazing on the beach one evening when close to the right side of the moon there popped into view three large bright orange orbs. They sat there side by side for a few moments, then one blinked out . . . then another . . . then the last one disappeared, only to reappear a few moments later to begin discharging (maybe 20) much smaller, bright starry like objects from it’s base.  These guys were dancing around, up and down, until as if on que they gathered in a loose formation and headed south traveling along the coastline.

The following night I took my camera with me and stared into the star studded sky until once again, in a flash two of the larger craft appeared and slowly drifted for a moment before zipping south. When I say zipping, I mean they took off faster than a rocket.

A few minutes later, high above my head and coming from the north a group of (what I considered to be) military jets were heading strong in the same direction as the orbs. The following night I saw a couple more of the smaller ones appear and blink away quite fast, later on that night a friend saw another one.

Upon telling my experiences to the rest of the family, I received such a ho hum attitude that I just quit talking about it. Even though, (to all you brain dead people out there) these sightings that so many of us are witnessing have to be a complete game changer that reaches into the highest levels of known religion, politics, philosophy, and consciousness.

Maybe it’s just too scary for many folks to think about. Maybe they are content in the status quo and don’t want to rock their boat. I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s so scary as it is interesting, and maybe, just maybe these people, whoever they are, may be willing to teach us something that will save us from destroying ourselves. . . . these star people may be our last hope.

 

Dreamland

dreamland

There are a few things that all men, rich or poor, black or white, aborigine or modern, have in common. They all have the mental capacity to dream . to imagine . to perceive . to project . and to promote all that dreaming as reality. That’s why we have problems with each other, we all think OUR version of reality is the one true reality. The others? . . . well they are dreamers.

Another thing we all have in common is the fact the we are locked into a universal system that demands movement. Nothing stands still, everything is either growing or decaying. Dreams without action will not work. We can imagine and hope and project and perceive all we want, but without action the fruits of idleness will only create decay and criminality.

We want something free? . . . nothing is free! Anything freely given without the need for hard work is probably going to either be a false religion or a diseased seed, if not immediately, then soon. High flying words are just that . . . in order to land they must be coaxed to the ground and watered and fed daily. That means in order to bear the fruit of your dreams YOU must work for your reality to become anything more than a shell of empty promises emanated from a Pied Piper leader looking to walk you over the cliff. (I could go on a huge rant here about American politics and religion but I will save you the agony) Continue reading “Dreamland”

Mountaintop Removal

mountain removal

During the late sixties when my wife and I decided to take a vacation we always went to West Virginia. Patti was born in Elkins and most of her family still lived there, so going “down home” was inexpensive, as well as a  guaranteed, joyful holiday for the both of us.

Once we left NE Ohio and headed south the scenery slowly morphed from industrial ugliness to lovely farms, pastures, and tree covered hills.  A few miles south of the state line the landscape changed yet again, this time it became hilly and far more interesting than the flatland we’d left behind.

The deeper we drove into ‘Mountains Momma’ the more beautiful she became. Her roads got windier, her hills higher and her valleys deeper, her forests thicker and her waterways faster and cleaner. The 480 million years old Appalachian mountains are a wonderland of awesomeness that is easily available for anybody who loves nature . . . Continue reading “Mountaintop Removal”

Trumps Reality

eagle

I believe in peace . . . I believe in harmony . . . I believe in rights for all people . . . I believe in love, and honor, sharing and empathy,  . . . I believe in kindness . . . I believe in the constitution of this ‘land of the free and home of the brave’ country . . . but alas, I also believe in karma.

We have killed too many people, invaded and disrupted too many countries, looted their natural resources and used them to heap power and wealth upon ourselves, to even think we can now, after all these years, stand down, apologize, and it will all go away. It won’t. We have created the pathway to our own destruction just like every other empire that has risen, reigned, retired and collapsed on this planet.

Our future is set. We either stay badass of the world or we will be eaten by one or more of our current enemies. Continue reading “Trumps Reality”