GRASSHOPPER IN WINTER

In all the facets of his eyes, with Meadow of the Valley burning green,
The rolling colors up and down the hillside shined, petted by the wind.
Galahad the Grasshopper did thus not need to dream,
Offering to Aesop Ant, in passing, morsels of a leaf that he did love,
From high atop the towering weed, from where his heart did leap,
Called Galahad to him below, “Hey, can you stop, Aesop, my friend, and watch the spring in beauty burn?”

Aesop Ant replied, “Well, meadows do that sort of thing”, and tilting head from toil’s burn,
“You will find the Meadow is not always green,
And what is real is dreadful preparation.  Somehow does the worst upon us always leap.”
Appalled at Aesop’s rude philosophy, cried Galahad into the wind:
“What of Love?”
Aesop Ant just smiled and waved good-bye, “Good luck with Love, a Dream.”

A shadow fell on Galahad, and startled him from Aesop’s troubling Dream;
Above him saw a Butterfly alight upon the flower, wings a prism interceding for the sunlight’s burn.
“Sorry to disturb your dreaming.  I am Bethanie.”  She sipped the flower she did love.
“I am Galahad.  It is a lovely day.” His armor never shone before so green.
And Bethanie enjoined, “I hid when I was just a silly little caterpillar, dreaming of the wind.
But now I raise my wings to me and into beauty soon shall leap!”

Into every facet of his eyes did Bethanie’s true beauty leap.
Galahad did nod with every movement of her wings, to hear as if he did thus deeply dream:
“But now is time to drink the world and spill no drop into the wind.”
Then suddenly was Galahad no longer happy; something in his eyes did burn.
Added Bethanie, “But, you are welcome to accompany my journey high above the green.”
Galahad restrained himself from leaping then and there, while saying “That, I would be sure to love.”

“Can you stay apace with me?” asked Bethanie, “No matter what you love?”
Galahad without restraint said, “Yes, I can.  For I can glide the farthest of them all after I leap.”
“Then let us go while sun still shines and all the grass is green.”
Away from Galahad she fluttered like a dream.
Galahad leapt to the sky, and spread his wings to glide; to leap and glide until his legs did burn.
Down the valley to unseen horizon blew the wind.

Galahad did slowly fall apace, and finally descry not Bethanie in bygone wind.
Heart of his, a beating compass, blindly pointed love
Until the sun of that first day was no more seen to burn,
And from behind, a full moon crouched and into stars did leap.
Galahad now found himself beside a tiny creek that fell into a sandy pool, inviting him to dream.
Wearily he nibbled on a leaf, and heavy was his armor, fading green.

Far away, a Cricket choir chirping helped his spirit into slumber leap,
Rekindling desire, cherishing an unforgotten Dream.
Something cold did his way whisper, withering that Dream so green.

Waking up most suddenly from all he thought were memories still green
Galahad felt fiercely cold and bitten by the wind.
In all the facets of his eyes were tears that froze that former Dream
Of springtime months ago; Of Love.
Winter cold was gnawing now upon his heart, to death if he away could no more leap.
Beyond the gloaming garden, thence he knew not when he fell, he smelled a farmhouse fire burn.

Shivering, an ember in his heart did once more flare and burn,
Shining in all facets of his eyes, again so brightly green.
A leap
Into the wind,
Gliding for his unseen Love
With their waiting Dream,

Narrowly ajar, an open window, shining bright, perchance another dream,
Through which Galahad could see a lusty fire burn,
Embracing in the fireplace a sweet dry branch with love.
And near the windowsill in colored lights bestrewn, there stood a Christmas tree still green.
Galahad nudged through the open window, as it kept at bay the wind,
To the Christmas tree then did he leap.

Sailing to the crowning star where with that faithful leap,
Galahad, now warm beside a golden light that shined just like his Dream,
Without the wolfish winter wind,
Within him fever still did burn,
Glowing tarnished armor green.
Thus did he believe delirium brought Bethanie, in visions of his Love.

Galahad was sure that now he truly saw his Love;
All the facets of his eyes across the room did leap
Above the mantle, on the wall, inside a frame of green,
Where Bethanie, transfixed as mid-flight in a dream,
Held her wings outstretched, where interceding shadows race and burn,
Everlasting in a chambered replica of wind.

Then Galahad in flashing horror saw a pin was driven through her back, to hold her in imaginary wind.
He cried out as he leapt across the void to be beside his Love.
Tapping frantically on glass reflections in which shadows race and burn,
Slipped and fell he to the hearth.  In paralyzed despair he watched for an eternity the hellish fire leap
Until the flames revealed his fate inside a final Dream.
Into the glowing ashes dipped he tattered wings that once were green.

With wings of fire, back up to the crucifixion chamber’s frame of green
Galahad did leap his last, to lie with Bethanie and immolate his Dream.
The mingled smoke did through the open window toward unseen horizon leap.
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ELEGY FOR OUR CAT RONCHO

PIC FOR RONCHO ELEGY

November 20, 1980

 

We love you.

That will never pass

Though all else seems to end.

Hey, fuzzy guy,

We love you.

You are still

Our little friend.

 

This morning was clear and bright

But it was not right.

The warm sun was out of place

Because you hid your sweet face

Beneath the garden

Where you would play

And capture butterflies

On their way,

Or touch the water

Against your fears.

We wish you were here now

To touch our tears.

 

Last night

With the moon so nearly full

We let you rest

Forever

On my shirt

While your sister played

Unafraid

In the open dirt.

 

We held a simple light

And stroked your pretty fur.

You were so peacefully with us

We wondered where you were.

You even had your sleepy smile

As we scratched your little cheek.

 

The sorrow fell

In shovelfuls

And buried us complete.

We love you.

That is never good-bye.

We love you,

We love you,

We love you,

She and I.

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THE REVEREND O.L. DUCK SONGBOOK, VOL. II

What is the Present but the Future Past?
– Reverend O.L. Duck

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NATIVE CHILD

Moon Stream, can I row my dream
Where a sea bird flies?
Captain Breeze showing all the trees
Where freedom lies.
Sailor Shell, I can hear so well
The song inside.

[CHORUS]
I’m as light as a lover’s sigh.
I’m as free as a native child.
There’s nothin’ gonna leave me dry.
I’m gonna sail away on your smile.

Stars rise like the fireflies
Who saw high noon,
Unplanned, while a Southern band
Strummed a lazy tune,
On deck in the driftin’ wreck
Of a Tear Tycoon.

 

 

LORDY, LORDY

Everything I own is attached
And hung right all the time.
Good for lovin’, that’s how I hatched.
Since when is that a crime?
Big girls fit in little tales.
I warn ‘em but it always fails.

[CHORUS]
Lordy, Lordy, I won’t be long.
Just keep your motor runnin’.
Don’t let it stall.
Get it on, hard to the floor!
If you keep pullin’ over
Love will be gone.

I thought about takin’ you back, but
My love is such a short ride.
Look both ways down the track.
Problems come from both sides.
Two sides can make a one-way street:
Two sides who know not to meet.

 

 

THE PEOPLE WE WRITE

Oh, the people we wrong
And write to while we’re falling asleep at night.
I got your letter the other day
And I had to laugh at your paragraph
The thought behind it wasn’t clear
Because the tear caught upon it made a smear.

We used to scheme and find
We lost an awful lot of loose and spare time.
Wherever we went, sparks drew tears.
Like victims allied we had to decide:
If we needed that then we’re destroyed,
And nothing is something to avoid.

But our love grew stronger and it evolved
And ate only the people who were involved.

 

 

© 1974 Zelmo Mutz Publishing
Katmancross Agency, WI
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ABORTING JESUS

  aborting 7ABORTING JESUS

1      In Dr. Anthony Santiago’s 27th year he was serving at the Presence Covenant Medical Center Free Clinic, Urbana, Illinois.  He was in the admittance lobby talking to Head Nurse Elspeth Crusan who was 40 years old and, not admittedly, more than admired by Dr. Santiago.  The lobby doors slid open and there entered Coby Smuthers, Head Field Social Worker, accompanying a young girl, followed by a sheriff.  Dr. Anthony Santiago and Head Nurse Elspeth Crusan saw first that the young girl was dressed like a vagrant and then recognized that the young girl bore Down’s syndrome.

2      Coby Smuthers knew both Dr. Anthony Santiago and Head Nurse Elspeth Crusan well from previous cases of social welfare.  Coby nodded, saying, “Tony, Elspeth, this is Sheriff Romeyn.  We found this girl living in the shanty town along the river.  She’s pregnant and we need your ‘help’ as soon as possible.”

3      Elspeth asked the young girl, sweetly, “What is your name, dear?”  The young girl answered with a bright smile, “I am Natalie.  I have baby Jesus in my stomach.”

4      Elspeth took Natalie by the hand and led her to the examination room.  There Elspeth had her nurses give Natalie a shower in the patient bathroom before her examination.  When Natalie sat on the examination table Elspeth as she prepared her instruments asked Natalie, “So who is the father of… your baby?”  Natalie leaned forward enthusiastically and said, “Michael told me my baby is Jesus.”  Elspeth asked wryly, “Is Michael your… boyfriend?”  Natalie then laughed and giggled so cutely and said, “No!  Michael is a Angel.”  Elspeth stared at Natalie and then she bowed her head to examine Natalie.  After a minute Elspeth raised her head and stared at Natalie again.  Elspeth told her assistant to prepare the ultrasound machine immediately.

5      While Elspeth absorbed her revelation and Coby filled-out paperwork, Tony saw the dozen vagrants marching toward the lobby door and, as the lobby door parted, pigeons flew into the lobby ahead of the legion.  As people waiting in the lobby yelled, screamed and shooed the pigeons the vagrants cried out, “Where is Natalie?”

6      Colby turned to the sheriff and hollered, “Get them away from me!” then he turned to the vagrants and said, “I told you this was none of your business!”  The vagrants hollered back, “We got rights!”

7      Elspeth returned unto the chaos of the lobby and cried, “What the Hades is going on?!” and everything became still except for a pigeon that flew down the hallway.  The vagrants said, “We want Natalie.”  Elspeth said firmly, “We are helping Natalie.  Now, sit down and everyone be quiet!  This is a Blessed hospital!”  One of the vagrants said, “Natalie don’t need your help!”  Elspeth withered their resistance with a glare.  Sheriff Romeyn grinned and shook his head.

8      Elspeth said to Tony, “You need to see this.  Come with me.”  Elspeth showed Tony the sonogram.  Where the embryo was positioned there was an inordinate sonic reflection that overexposed the image.  Elspeth said, “And Natalie still has her hymen.”  Tony said, “Something’s wrong with the ultrasound…” but Elspeth interrupted, “We used two of them.  Same images.”  Tony shook his head and said, “Finish the other tests.  We’ve scheduled her for tomorrow morning.”

9      The next morning Dr. Anthony Santiago studied the sonogram images and looked over the test results for Natalie.  When Head Nurse Elspeth Crusan entered his office, Dr. Santiago said, “It’s a girl.”  Elspeth said, “That’s what Natalie told me.  She said ‘Jesus is a girl this time’.  That’s what this ‘Michael’ told her.”  Tony sighed, “The ‘Angel’?”  Elspeth grinned wryly, “This is weird, isn’t it?”  Tony then said, “The fetus apparently does not suffer the trisomy 21 as Natalie does.  It seems like a healthy normal fetus.”  Then Tony remarked, as he saw a gleam in Elspeth’s eyes, “A 50/50 outcome in these cases.”  Elspeth was about to comment when a technician came into Tony’s office and breathlessly said, “Bad news.  The sterilizer shorted-out!  They found this white pigeon toasted behind it.”  Elspeth looked at Tony.  Tony said, “No, Elspeth, don’t start,” knowing that Elspeth was a devout member of her Dutch Christian Reformed Church.

10    When Tony explained the delay to Coby, Coby said evenly, “I heard about the sonogram and your tests.  Don’t ask.  I know how Elspeth is.  She runs a pet rescue charity when she isn’t here.  Tony, if you won’t do this I’ll move this kid to the other clinic.”  Tony suddenly had a feeling and he then asked Coby, “Why are you so urgent about all this?”  Coby replied, “What the hell, Tony?  It’s my job.  I care about this kid.  What kind of a mother…what kind of a life would her baby…?  Hell, what is wrong with you?  It’s Elspeth, isn’t it?”  Tony sighed, “Coby, I trust her.  She’s a block-head but she’s never wrong.  I trust her.”  Coby snorted, “Never wrong?  Wrong about what?!’ and Coby narrowed his eyes suspiciously at Tony and said, “It’s more than trust, isn’t it, Tony?  If you won’t do your job, I’m getting paperwork right now.”

11    But Elspeth had gone to a lawyer and the abortion was delayed.  Coby shouted at Tony and Elspeth, “On what grounds?”  Elspeth said, “You read it: ‘Harm to Natalie’.”  Coby shouted, “You will have to prove…ah, fuck, this is just a stupid stall.  You are out of your mind and out your money, Elspeth.  I don’t know why you’re doing this!  Natalie is not one of your stray dogs.  What is wrong with you?”  Elspeth said, “Natalie is my stray lamb.”  Coby cursed.

12    Elspeth finally had to adopt Natalie to stop the government from aborting the fetus and it was fortunate that she was a skilled nurse.  Tony helped in every way he could.  He even proposed to Elspeth but she did not take him seriously.  Natalie’s baby was born healthy and they, Natalie, Elspeth, and Tony, agreed on the name “Jesse” for her.  Jesse Crusan.

13    Jesse Crusan grew into a fine bright child and Elspeth “raised” both Natalie and Jesse in her Dutch Christian Reformed Church.  In Sunday school and Catechism Classes Jesse was always questioning the poor teachers and helpers.  Jesse declared to her “Oma (Grandma)” Elspeth one day that she was going to be a lawyer.  “Oom (Uncle)” Tony said, “God help us.”

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The Book of Michael, Chapter 1

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Follow This Link To My AMAZON.com SITE

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THE REVEREND O.L. DUCK SONGBOOK, VOL. I

If you are not going anywhere, you might as well do it some other place.

– Reverend O.L. Duck

 

 

WE’D ALWAYS BE THAT WAY

We never thought about tomorrow.
We couldn’t care if it got lost along the way.
We never heard about those headlines.
We were young and thought we’d always be that way.

Flying kites or playing soldier
We always had a different game for every day.
We never died we just go older.
We found, my friends, that is very hard to play.

CHORUS
I don’t know why we ever let them take it
When we could have had it all.
I don’t know if we’re even going to make it.
And we could have had it all

I had a dream about tomorrow.
I thought I saw the friends I’d left along the way.
They asked me why we all seemed strangers
And I tried but there was nothing I could say.

It seems to me we’ve all been taken.
I wouldn’t tell you what I traded for my soul.
We only hear about the headlines
Now that growing older is our goal.

 

 

IMAGE IN MY WINDOW

Image in my window.
I still see you leaving.
What could I have said, though,
If I had been here?
Oh, I didn’t know
You needed me.

Looking through my mirror
I wish I could die.
Could it be any clearer
Than the tear in my eye?
Oh, I didn’t know
You needed me.

Silhouettes in hallways.
Your voice at the door.
I always had you my way
But I can’t anymore.
Oh, I didn’t know
That I needed you.

 

 

JULY MORNING

July morning on the town
Cat-curled people sleeping.
Children in another room
Hiding what they’re seeking.

Stars rolled wearily down the hill.
Promises they carried.
The year after high-school went so fast,
And now I hear you’re married.

CHORUS:
What’s the use in hangin’ on
When its all been done?
Dreams are made for starting new days
This one’s just begun.

Sunshine cavalry from the East
You saved my cornered smile.
There’s a feeling that I get:
Life is still worthwhile.

Love comes easily like a breeze
It finds you anyway.
There’s no vacancy for the past.
It’s a brand new day.

 

 

© 1974 Zelmo Mutz Publishing
Katmancross Agency, WI
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UNDER THE STOVE

Under the Stove
463-B Piney Way
Morro Bay, CA
93442

Hello,

                You don’t know me, but I am the resident mouse here.  The two humans, with which you are acquainted, know me now and the female has named me “Algernon” after some silly story she read that made her cry at the very last line.  Someone apparently gave flowers to a dead mouse, I think.  Yes, “Please, if you get a chance put some flowers on Algernon’s grave in the back yard” is how it went.

                Fortunately for me also is that the male thinks he is very enlightened and so does not intend to kill me.

                This is an improvement over the last two humans that lived here.  They read their Bible, but did not hesitate to have the head of the mouse before me crushed into a piece of processed cheese that he knew well-enough not to taste, I am sure.  The last humans did not even remove his body right away.  That trap was forgotten until the day they moved out and saw it under the storeroom water heater.

                Now, of course, the ghost of that very mouse runs back and forth, forever, in the wall behind the head of the bed.  The new humans think it is me and pound the walls.  But I wouldn’t be caught dead in that haunted storeroom.

                Anyway, the new humans now lay a napkin covered in food scraps in front of the stove every night.  Can you believe it?  It is rather insulting.  They can’t afford a cat so I am expected to be the sponge for their strange affections.

                I must admit though, I do have my fun.  Leave me clean-picked nut shells for dinner, eh?  I’ll chew and crunch on them all night to drive them crazy.  Now I’ll run across the stove and the counter top.   That really gets the female human upset.

                They now think I can reach the cupboards.  I have even considered leaving foot-prints on the very next mountain of drying dishes, but I’ll have to think it some more.  You can’t be too sure about human reactions in this day and age.  You’d hope these two would remember that the church across the street owns this place and rent is low only through charity.

                My only fear now is that I will soon become so fat that I will be stuck under this stove and slowly roasted some night.  You never know what might become a trap, they tell me, and I can see what they mean.

 

Cautiously yours,

 “Algernon”

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