Concerto for blunt instrument

An irregular heartbeat from d.o. to you. Not like a daily kos, more like a sometime sloth. Fast relief from the symptoms of blogarrhea and predicated on the understanding that the world is not a stage for our actions, rather it is a living organism upon which we depend for our existence.

Friday, September 21, 2018


“This is a tough hurricane, one of the wettest we’ve ever seen from the standpoint of water,”
                                                                                              - The Mad King

I know Water, I've worked with Water,
Water was a friend of mine, Sir, you are
no Water, and you have no standpoint as
you are sinking, sinking under waves of
your own making, sinking into the septic
of your wasted words and deeds, your
liquidation of life preserving policy and
that rising tide lifting all boats, there are
no floats for you to grasp in your descent,
no mammals coming to the rescue only
hungry sharks smelling blood in the
flood you made worse with your sorry-ass
reactions, your paper towels and self
promotion. Sir, you are no Water and
you have no standing in this court of
public opinion nor do your minions who
are deserting your sinking ship of state,
it's too late, the dye is cast, you will
soon be in the past.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Long and Winding Road

Day One begins without sleep from the long haul east across the mighty Atlantic into the rainy Midlands and onto unfamiliar roads going in unfamiliar directions. We are challenged, not too tired to be somewhat frightened by the strangeness of these English roads. Yet the Sun finally shines on the hills and dales of Wales where the English Language is partnered by the Gaelic and the strangely familiar is seasoned with a kind of pleasant antiquity.

We settle in, exhausted, out in the friendly town and farmlands of Denbigh, rolling hills and the calls of the Welch ponies in their paddocks. The Sun, the gentile breeze, and finally some rest.

Day Seven closes with a blue/gray blanket of cloud spread out above the verdant hills and dales of the Lake District, from Armathwaite in the Eden Valley, a well-named vast landscape of farm fields portioned off by ancient hand-laid stone walls (a product of the wealthy landowners Enclosure Acts). Those walled off pastures scattered across the landscape are inhabited by cows and sheep, but most are open to the sky like deep green skin bordered by old oaks and their relations and an occasional copse of woods spared from the saw. Though far too much of this land has been deforested over the centuries some reforestation is taking place, probably not enough.

We are beginning to lose count of how many castles or castle ruins we have visited but all of them remind us not only of that certain haunting romance of bygone days but also of the centuries of warfare, conflict and oppression this land was made to witness; more than two thousand years of bloodshed, turf wars actually. And yet now it feels so peaceful. Surely my people and others from past times had such peace.

We visited standing stones above Keswick and I had hoped to feel some sort of awe or connectedness but all among the stones there stood more tourists like ourselves and I felt nothing really. The surrounding hills and mountains however exerted their power of place inherent in the Earth; this was no doubt what brought these stones here and those that bore them. If one was to enter this stone circle alone I'm certan the experience would be far more eventful.

The people here a more friendly than those in the States, more open to strangers such as ourselves. Perhaps they have had more practice with civility given they've been at it much longer than us Yanks. I wonder if they are as friendly to each other as they are to us?

Day Unknown begins with blue skies and wisps of clouds above the hills and dales of Northern England. A slight breeze ruffles the sedge and plantings by the glass sunporch while off in the distance all seems tranquil among the grazing cows and sheep, even passing flocks of birds appear to luxuriate in their flight. Perhaps I have been visited by the spirit of William Wordsworth whose home we passed by in Grasmere a few days back. I seem to be writing in a similar vein and, of course, are we not effected by our natural surroundings? At least some of us. “Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her.”

Day Eighteen leaves so much unsaid (except for messages sent to sons and daughter, some of whom, sadly, failed to recognize our 50th anniversary). As we are now 40,000 feet over the Atlantic traveling at 530 miles per hour headed toward home, all the castles, towns (mostly built centuries ago) and teashops are now just pleasant memories. The visual and perspective difference from England and New England is markedly present for it is Old England, not a conglomeration of lifeless utilitarian structures without permanence of much beauty as in much of New England. Having said that, Old England's old roads are unsettling, besides their attractiveness they are a real challenge to one's peace of mind. Most are impossibly narrow and winding (something that appears appealing to the eye) with few places to pull over and slow one's heart rate. Many British drivers speed along these narrow roads, some in giant trucks, and pass within inches of us; that and the unfamiliarity of driving on the left side of the road from a driver's seat on the right side of the car make for a good deal of discomfort. Add to that GPS droids (called "sats" in the UK) that seem to lose all sense of direction in cities or decide to take us on tours of highlands history seems to have forgotten. The sights on most of those seemingly unpopulated roads are awe inspiring in spite of the disturbing feeling of being lost to most of the world......but isn't that what a vacation is meant to be?

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Mourning in America

It's mourning in America in
the surreal farce we dare to
call America where television
clowns with diabolic smiles
and, of course, all those frowns
ascend to high places in the
lowest ways and the days
full of outrage and sadness
slowly pass in the odorous
morass filled in by slaves in
good old days it's mourning
in the USA, what do you say
we stop mourning and organize
a massive response, run the
clowns out of town and rebuild
this shambled disgrace of
a place.

Thursday, February 15, 2018


With every school or mass shooting on the commons we tend to seek cover here in the U.S. at the usual places. One party runs toward lack of gun control, another to mental health excuses. There they remain sheltered in place, feeling somehow safe and protected from the Other's ideological assaults. With all the endless talk in the media over gun control issues; the NRA's outsized influence; mental health screening; or bipartisan hand wringing why is no one talking about our pervasive Culture of Violence?

One of the great shames of our nation is its deplorable record of the near celebration of mindless violence, be it domestic or public, physical or psychological, compared with most other nations. There are any number of reasons for this, but how shall we ever address them if few are willing to approach the subject itself?

In my lifetime, so-called entertainment has gone from the good guys shooting the gun out of the bad guys hand to blowing his or her head off in as bloody a way as possible. We have gone from wise-cracking detectives to killer cops; from pinball to Resident Evil.  We have degraded ourselves from uncomfortable silence over bad or unusual behavior in public to outright bullying and virulent internet shaming. In the past, U.S. Presidents projected a courteous demeanor in public rather than crass insults and disrespect from the podium; from the friendly cop on the corner to the hostile trooper with hand on holster.

In today's vengeful atmosphere it seems more important to get even than to get over it or seek a just equitable solution. Endless cycles of retribution have become the norm while suggestions of peaceful solutions are usually scorned or scoffed at. Worse, this atmosphere is highly contagious; when vengeance and disrespect become entertaining or a mark of.....well, respect (!) among ones' peers the possibility of resolution or redemption is vastly reduced or eliminated altogether. In a sense, we seem to be devolving rather than evolving as a species. Shall we merely accept this as a given or address it as a critical cultural defect in need of correction?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Not one more poem about yourself

Dear poets in a dream
why don't you speak to me
as you copy words into what
some may call po-ems, your
ideas of reference assuredly
penetrated eyes and ears
massaged the ego lovingly
into the automatic reflex
expelling yet another piece
all about your self
as you believe, it to be.
The media doesn't talk to thee
assigned to perception management
disregarding your humanity
it rambles on you endlessly
walking hand-in-hand distantly
in the dusk upon the commons.
Another idea is to strip off
all the garments and throw
ourselves at the feet of a muse
to be instruments of a higher
purpose seeking common good
were it not for reflex reference
this might be understood.

                   - d.o.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Waiting for the fire

Is it burning yet
have they seared the
rights, closed the
borders, the web gone
dark but for .gov fiction
and questionable diction
outlawing friction?
Have you checked the
resistors, called in
coordinates or is your
cell dead, a gun to your
head, palpable dread, is
there anybody out there?

                       - d.o.

[Still waiting in 2018!]

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Little Rebellion Now & Then

The worst of men tells us
when to call upon the best
to stand up/fight back and
put up with all the rest
Let's be clear and say it
here so none of us forget:
"The ruling class can
kiss my ass", we say
with no regret.

- d.o. for Daniel Shays
Memorial Day 2017