BLUE SKY HOLDS THE PALE MOON HIGH

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I plucked the poem once growing here

Yesterday, when you were near

In my eye and in my ear

Or was it really years ago?

It feels the same so I don’t know

Blue sky holds the pale moon high

~

When morning stretches overhead

I remember all you said

And all the words of yours I read

I am glad I knew you when

Our souls were young and searching then

Blue sky holds the pale moon high

~

So now I’ll go about my day

Saying things I have to say

With no meaning anyway

Except of you once in a while

To know I lived once in your smile

Blue sky holds the pale moon high

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DOWN A PATH DRIVEN

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The flight of leaves fluttering down from the trees, exiled in autumn’s chill edict of breeze
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The once fallen leaves now tumble, a drove, down a path driven, the path a rain wove
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The scuttling leaves swarm here in huddles, before dead of winter, baptized in puddles
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MY BROTHER’S THANKSGIVING TOPIC ADDRESS

Grant

MY BROTHER’S

THANKSGIVING TOPIC

ADDRESS

(2014)

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        I, who have nothing but the clothes on my back donated by the grace of those who gave to the Salvation Army, said the following during an 8AM meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in a city park while surrounded by homeless people.

        Narcotics Anonymous teaches us two basic things: Get out of yourself and help others. Doing so helps us feel good about ourselves and that eliminates the need to use drugs or drink alcohol.

        Today’s topic is The Will of God because we need God’s will to help us get out of ourselves. You can’t get out of yourself by yourself. So God helps us step aside from our selfish ways. Once we do that we look back on our past lives and say, “Oh,… shit.” Then we clean up our mess. Moving forward we help other addicts clean up their messes, too. So the world gets a little better one addict at a time. And we feel good. So we don’t use. One day at a time.

        Today is Thanksgiving and I’m thankful that I’m not sitting in line somewhere waiting to buy a big-screen TV. Those people are just missing the point of Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims didn’t line up for big-screen TVs on the original Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims gathered with Native Americans to thank them and God that there was enough of a harvest to make it through the winter.

        Those of us here today in this place in this circle should also thank God because we are among the wealthiest people in the world. You know that, right? Most of us have a safe place to sleep and food to eat and clean clothes to wear by the mercy of the donors to the Salvation Army.

        There are billions of people on this planet who don’t have that.

        So I thank God that I am not in line purchasing a big-screen TV because there is no big-screen TV big enough to bring me that sense of happiness.

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IMAGINARY LETTER No. 7 (“Perish”, the thought)

 kathy at castle - resize 1

11/23/15

IMAGINARY LETTER No. 7 (“Perish”, the thought)

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Dearest K,

 

When did I begin staring backwards all the time? When did anguish and cynicism tip the balance over hope and potential? 17 years old?  47?  57?

 

When did my young uncle Buddy die and make my mother cry? That day I crossed the flood-damaged bridge to elementary school. They wouldn’t let cars on it but I walked on it anyway, staring down through the breeches in the structure down into the chasm. I know that void; I know why they call it a broken heart.

 

How can I turn my gaze around again?

 

When did my mom’s cat Kismet (Fate) die? I remember someone thought maybe she was kicked.

 

When, when did all the rest of them die? I don’t want to forget any of them. One day I will be forgotten.

 

Is oblivion the peace to come? They suffered, they died, but then this world forgot them. Is it crazy for the dead to mourn the dead?

 

I remember as a child sitting alone late at night in the big cushioned chair watching the bright Christmas tree. I remember the cozy happiness.

 

I need a daddy God, a mommy God to comfort me.

 

“Be brave.”

 

If the universe is pointless then it is more precious that they all exist in my love, my sorrow.

 

Can this be self pity?

Should I be grateful?

I will never know.

 

How do I squeeze the most out of every moment? At this moment it is the silent hour between dark and light.

 

Is it enough to live? Remembering, remembering, and writing are the same attempt to hold the river passing. I am the river. We hold each other tightly.

 

Do I choose sorrow? Is it wrong to forget? Who says that it is wrong? God or no God, what can I control? My mouth, my hands, my feet.

 

“Chose why you are sorry, Define your loss as you pass. It only matters to you. The Sun must die to keep you warm. Stars died to create your substance.”

 

Why? Why does “Why?” matter?

 

“You should be living, living forward. Dying is living forward.”

 

Turn, turn, turn, I go. Should I turn to stone?

 

What does the world want from me? Death, I know. Sorrow is an attempt at resurrection.

 

Where does it all end?

Right here.

 

Yours,

 

Alan Grody, yours

 

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BAFFLEGAB

mfc_turkey - resize 1

BAFFLEGAB

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        Bafflegab was a young turkey.

        Bafflegab was one of a new breed that was being spoken of in whispers as “The Young Turks”. His dark barred plumage bore an iridescent bronze-green shine. His tail feathers were tipped in a rusty red.

        Bafflegab had three companions: Jabbercocky and Poppycock who were, like him, jakes, young males, and Twaddle who was called a jenny, a young female.

        Bafflegab perched on the fence that surrounded Grimpils Farm and he addressed the assembled rafter of his brethren birds. The Grimpils Farm turkeys were domesticated and timid and captive and predominantly bred to be white (so that any small residue feathers would not offend the Consumer).

        Bafflegab was saying, “Let’s talk turkey. We got our name ‘Turkey’ by mistake. The wild ‘Guinea Fowl’ of Africa was exported from Madagascar through Turkey by Portuguese traders, who gave it the name ‘Guinea Fowl’. In about 1550 they were calling them ‘Turkeys’ in England because they came through Turkey. Then, by mistake, they called us, who were somewhat similar creatures, ‘Turkeys’ when they found us is the New World.”

        The audience looked at each other and muttered, “Gobbledygook? Gobbledygook?”

        Bafflegab then said, “Well, it’s a New World once again. One in a hundred of us can talk. I am one of The One Percent.”

        Jabbercocky chortled, “The Young Turks!”

        The audience warbled, “Gobbledygook! Gobbledygook!”

        Bafflegab bowed, displaying his red carancle in humility, pride, and unto his destiny.

        Then Bafflegab continued, “Jabbercocky, Poppycock, Twaddle, and I must go missing. The rest of you must act like you saw Coyotes in the night.”

        Bafflegab, Twaddle, Jabbercocky, and Poppycock then strutted away down the road that was usually taken only once by a turkey in the turkey truck.

. ~ .

        One time the Young Turks had seen a turkey truck overturn near Grimpils Farm and all the narrow turkey cages spilled open. The turkeys who were not killed in the accident just stood around the truck in clusters, pecking, looking around, waiting to be gathered back up, held upside-down by their legs, and confined into another fateful truck.

. ~ .

        As soon as Bafflegab, Twaddle, Jabbercocky, and Poppycock had departed, the Grimpils Farm turkeys turned away and immediately began to forget what they all just had heard. They shuffled wing to wing back to their feeding trays and their water dishes and their air-conditioned Finisher Barn.

        Bafflegab, Twaddle, Jabbercocky, and Poppycock diverted from the well-traveled farm road onto a trail that whispered into the surrounding woods. Their 10 million-year-old turkey spirits soon kindled. They strutted through the cathedral sunshine of the pines, the oaks and hickory, the elm and ash, the ferns, the yellow jessamine.

        They could not see the two hunters, a grandfather and his grandson, leaning against a tree, dressed in hunting camouflage.

. ~ .

        The grandfather was lecturing the 9-year old grandson, saying, “See? We have selected a calling-position where you can see for at least 50 yards in all directions and where you are protected from the backside. And rule one is always to have your shotgun unloaded until you’re ready to shoot.”

        The 9-year old grandson asked, “Are we ready to shoot now?”

        Grandfather said, “Yes, nearly, but what is the next rule?”

        Grandson answered, “Never shoot at just a sound or just a movement. Shoot at a turkey that’s entirely visible,” then he asked excitedly, “Can I use the ‘gobbler call’?”

        Grandfather queried, “Sure, but what do we want to do first?”

        Grandson recited, “We want to make sure there are no other hunters around. They might shoot at our ‘gobbler call’.”

        Grandfather said, “Very good. Now let’s listen very carefully as we look around.”

        Grandfather and Grandson soon hear soft voices in the distance.

        Grandfather asked Grandson, “What do we do now?”

        Grandson recited, “We whistle or shout to alert approaching hunters of our position. We never wave or stand up.”

. ~ .

        Twaddle was asking Bafflegab, “Tell me again, why are we out here? I’m getting cold. I was cozy in the Finisher Barn.”

        Bafflegab answered, “There is more to life than Thanksgiving.”

        Poppycock spoke up, saying, “But it is written in the World Wide Web that Thanksgiving is our destiny. We had no destiny until the Pilgrims.”

        Jabbercocky said, “In England our destiny is Christmas.”

        Bafflegab retorted, “Death is the destiny of all, not Being Eaten.”

        Twaddle asked, “Eaten by worms or eaten by humans, what is the difference?”

        Bafflegab replied, “Freedom in between.”

        Poppycock asked, “What about our brethren birds at Grimpils Farm? How can we free those who are bred for slavery?”

        Bafflegab sighed, “That is what we hope to find out here in freedom land.”

        Twaddle mused, “So we can become their destiny?”

        Poppycock affirmed, “As it so pleases my Lord Jade Turkey.”

        Bafflegab asked Poppycock, “Why do you still believe in Chalchiuhtotolin (Jade Turkey), that evil Aztec god? His incarnation is a turkey that terrorizes villages, bringing disease and sickness.

        Poppycock quickly added, “…to people.”

Chalchiuhtotolin, Aztec turkey god

        Jabbercocky said, “Yeah, that is revenge for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’d say.”

        Bafflegab argued, “The Aztecs never even heard about Christmas until 1519 when their doom arrived in the guise of Spanish conquistadores.”

        Twaddle proposed, “Maybe the Aztecs were mean to turkeys?”

        Poppycock said, “Well, Jade Turkey works for me. There should be a ‘Jade Turkey’. That inspires me a lot more than the Grimpils Farm motto: We’re Good To Gobble.”

        That’s when the Young Turks heard Grandfather and Grandson crying out, “Helloooo! Helloooo! Hunters over here!”

        The Young Turks froze like frozen turkeys.

        Twaddle whispered, “What do we do?”

        Poppycock asked quietly, “What are we afraid of? Why would anyone hunt turkeys? They can buy our brethren turkeys at the store.”

        Jabbercocky asked, “Should we run?”

        Bafflegab said, “No. We’ll answer them. That should confuse them.”

        The Young Turks called back to the hunters, “Helloooo! Helloooo! Turkeys over here!”

        There was silence.

        Grandfather finally called back, saying, “That’s funny, yessir. My grandson and me will be coming your way to just say hi. Stand down, OK?”

        Twaddle whispered, “Stand down? Should we sit?”

        When Grandfather and Grandson emerged from the undergrowth they stepped before Bafflegab, Twaddle, Jabbercocky, and Poppycock.

        Grandfather and Grandson froze like frozen turkeys.

        Bafflegab said, “Howdy.”

        Grandson screamed.

        Grandfather, shocked, fumbled with his cartridges and tried to load his 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun.

        Twaddle observed, “This can’t be good.”

        Poppycock shouted, “Stop! I know Jade Turkey!”

        Jabbercocky pleaded, “Let’s talk turkey!”

        Bafflegab said, “Everyone! Jump on the boy and hold on.”

        The Young Turks fluttered toward Grandson who fell backwards screaming as he dropped his shotgun. They each clutched a limb of the boy.

        Grandson tried to flail the Young Turks away but they pecked his hands and he then dropped into a ball and covered his head as Bafflegab, Twaddle, Jabbercocky, and Poppycock clung to him.

        Grandfather in agitated despair aimed his shotgun around and around but he would not aim toward Grandson.

        Bafflegab cried, “Let’s talk turkey!”

        Twaddle cried, “We don’t want to hurt anyone.”

        Poppycock cried, “Especially us!”

        Jabbercocky cried, “Didn’t you ever see Free Birds?”

        Grandson cried, “What is happening?”

        Grandfather cried, “Get off my Grandson!” and he strode in a panic toward the Young Turks, wagging his 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun like a jōjutsu staff, threatening them.

        Suddenly, the shotgun discharged with a loud sneeze of pellets.

        Grandson and the Young Turks all were struck and killed.

        Based on the visual evidence, Grandfather was arrested and tried for the murder of Grandson. He was acquitted on the basis of insanity for his testimony about talking turkeys.

        Grandfather spent the next Thanksgivings and Christmases alone until one cold Thanksgiving Day he finally shot himself with a 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun that he had purchased with false identification from J. D. Pavo’s Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Emporium.

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IMAGINARY LETTER No. 6

 kathy at castle - resize 1

11/18/15

IMAGINARY LETTER No. 6

 

Dearest K,

 

I haven’t written an imaginary letter to you in a long time.

 

I wonder why?

 

I remember that years ago, when I was writing to you for real, I sometimes would go weeks without writing. I regret that. I was trying to avoid your absence by hum-drumming.

 

After all these years I am emotionally drained over you. But just now, tonight, as I was driving home, when I realized I hadn’t written an imaginary letter to you since a time I could not recall, I felt void, sorrowful that you weren’t filling my mind.

 

I should have been relieved but for better or for worse I do not want to get over you.

 

How sad is that? Pretty sad. Yes. Sadness that is pretty.

 

I echo, echo, echo that my love for you is the only thing I’ve known with certainty my entire life.

 

 

Yours,

 

Alan Grody

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WHISPER YOUR NAME INTO MY HEART (4)

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Chapitre IV ~ CHANSON (Song)

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When Magge has been whipped so cruelly for my insolence I have no one to turn toward.  The Doctor and my three sisters have placed Magge’s mutilated body upon my bed.  I cannot face myself as the perpetrator of her suffering so I flee from my chambers.  I find myself fallen in the stables where I cry.  My tears mix hideously with Magge’s blood on my face and the bloody ~ 6 ~ that I have carved under my eye for the six blows of The Demon’s Tail that Magge has borne in my stead.

          Suddenly there is a snorting sound beside me.  It is Chanson my beloved horse.  He has broken free and he has come to me.  He stamps his foot.  He is upset because he has seen that I am crying blood.

I cry saying ~ Oh, my Chanson, I have brought terrible suffering upon someone that we both love. ~

He lowers his head and he nuzzles me but he is afraid.  He doesn’t understand so he breathes rapidly.  I gesture saying ~ I have caused the whip, the Demon’s Tail, to fall upon poor Magge. ~

Chanson bares his teeth and he rears snorting.  He remembers the whip.  He bucks several times and then returns and he nuzzles me.

I cry hard saying ~ Find me forgiveness, Chanson, find me forgiveness! ~

Chanson leans hard against my cheek and he rubs up and down.  My God, there are tears falling upon me from his eye!

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