Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Compassion Found Dead In Senate

Reuters, AP

            Compassion was found dead on the floor of the Senate early this morning.  An employee of the Capitol’s maintenance staff, Dizzy Tilton, found the body as he was sweeping debris down the center aisle.
          “I seen it comin’ for a long time.  It wasn't no shock." said Mr. Tilton, who has worked in the Senate for thirty seven years.  
            The body of Compassion, best known for such hits as “Wake Up Before It’s Too Late,” and “I Seen the Devil And It’s You,” was sprawled across a large number of  seats in the Senate. An anonymous source in law enforcement told this reporter that as many as fifty knives were used in the killing.  The FBI and the Secret Service say they have no suspects at this time, but a thorough investigation will be mounted as soon as a committee is formed to decide who will lead the inquiry.
            “There’s plenty of evidence”, said Special Agent Dawn Zerle-Light, “There are fingerprints on top of fingerprints.  Seems like everybody wanted Compassion out of the way.  The timing is suspicious, I must say.  Only last week, Wisdom was blown to pieces in the House.  Officials in Congress are trying to pin the crime on lobbyists. Of course the investigation won’t start until the end of the current filibuster.”

Monday, October 25, 2010

Three Poems

Three  Poems


At the tip of my nose
there is something sweeter
than any earthly perfume,
yet I cannot smell it.
Every time my eyes blink
a vision appears
of splendor beyond imagining;
I see it not.
At the ends of my fingers
is a touch filled with love
deeper and truer than any devotion
I can conceive.
Yet my hands hang loose
connecting with nothing.
If I turn around,
it is behind me.
If I look over my right shoulder,
it hides at my left.
There is nothing for me to do.
You will show yourself
when you wish.
I know you are here,
hiding in music I can’t hear,
loving me
as the lover I have never found,
obscuring yourself
in the clarity I have sought
but not achieved.
Sometimes I am discouraged,
but not deterred.
You are here, you are here,
waiting for me to stop the drama.
I can’t find you by any effort,
though you embrace me like a coccoon.
I can’t smell you, see you, touch you,
catch you, hold you,
love you, discern you,
sense you in my breathing,
achieve you in my dying.
I can only exist as I find myself,
nothing more.
You would not have made me this way
unless it was your will to do so.
You would not hide yourself
so close to me,
unless you intended yourself to be found.

Hunted By The Hawk

Make joy from stones.
Make wit from mud,
make humor from blood.
The tiny finch flies crazily,
for the sheer fun of it,
though it knows, each morning,
that it’s hunted by the hawk.
We too, each morning,
are hunted by the hawk.

 No Title

I wish I was still young and beautiful.
I am glad, however, that I am not the person
I was, when I was young and beautiful.
For a while, I didn’t recognize myself
when I looked in the mirror.
Who is this man,
whose hair has fallen out,
who grunts when he gets out of bed,
who limps where he once danced?
Then, I began to
accommodate to what a life really is,
to what a person can become,
to what I have become.
I still look at the young and beautiful,
I still envy the wildness of their feelings,
but pity the wildness of their feelings.
I have been gored soundly and with
thudding impact by the untamed bull of life. 
When I was young and beautiful,
I was cruel. 
When I could dance,
I danced for attention,
not for love. 
Now, occasionally, some rhythm
takes me, and I still undulate,
a few steps, back and forth.
Those few steps are worth
more than every dance I danced
when I was young and beautiful. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Psychic Speaks


            Fox’s cell phone tinkled its cascade of musical notes.  I was at the computer and Fox was behind me on the couch.
            She listened for a moment, and responded, “Yes, this is Fox D-----.  Yes, I do work with animals…..”.  More words were spoken on the other end, and Fox interrupted.  “Wait wait.  All I need is the dog’s name at this point. If I want other information, I’ll ask.  Sometimes knowing too many facts will taint my reading.   Just give me a few minutes.  Let me see if I can contact the dog.  His name is Mikki?  Okay.”
            Fox rested the phone on her knee, straightened her posture, and seemed to be staring at a spot about two feet in front of her eyes.  Her eyes were de-focused as she loosed her imagination into a receptive mode.  Her breathing grew deeper, and there was a tingle of energy in her nerves, as if she had been switched on to some current that now raced through her body.
            She picked up the phone.  “I see a male dog, very small.  A Yorkie, maybe. No, don’t answer me, just let me talk until I’m finished.  There’s a fire, and he’s running.  The area looks like San Diego, maybe the suburbs.   Forest fire, trees burning near this house.  His family’s house.  There are mom, dad, and two kids, the kids are about nine or ten. Mikki’s their baby, they love Mikki.  The fire comes and the parents bundle the kids into the car.  They can’t find Mikki.  The kids are screaming where’s Mikki, where’s Mikki?  But Mikki’s hiding behind a shelf in the garage, he’s so scared.  The sounds of the trees burning, the crackle is very painful to his ears. The car pulls out of the garage and Mikki chases after it, gets out before the garage door closes.  He runs and runs after the car, and the kids see him, they’re screaming at their parents stop for Mikki, stop for Mikki, but the parents are scared, they don’t stop.  The fire is really close. Mikki sees the kids faces, crying as they look out the car’s back window. Mikki runs until he can’t keep up with the car, but he keeps following their scent until he loses it.  His paws are bleeding he’s run so far, but the fire is now distant, it isn’t threatening any more.”
            I could hear the voice of the person through Fox’s little cell speaker.   “Oh my god,” I hear distinctly.
            A sheen of sweat coats Fox’s forehead.  She speaks with urgency, words come out fast, a torrent of words.  “Mikki can barely walk but he’s so thirsty and hungry that he keeps moving.  He’s in a place where all the signs are in Spanish.  There are a lot of people, crowds walking, and Mikki’s afraid.  He stops behind a restaurant or a fast food place and there’s dirty water in a bucket and he drinks it. There’s a dumpster with food garbage, and there are other animals, wild and scary…”
            I’ve seen this happen before, but rarely with such elaborate detail.  And what  a story!  It’s like some Hallmark or Disney movie, but Fox doesn't deal in fantasy, she doesn't make up stories.  I've learned to trust her, though it took a while.
            “A man comes outside and sees Mikki” Fox continued.  “He brings bowls with some hamburger and clean water and beckons Mikki to come inside a little fenced area where he can eat without being bothered.  He leaves Mikki there and goes back inside.  Mikki crawls under some wooden crates and goes to sleep.  He wakes when his paws hurt too much.  He can barely walk.  He stays in this place for a while, until his paws feel a little better. Then some men come and load the crates into a truck, and Mikki hobbles out through the open gate and goes down the road.  Some kids see him and one of them catches him before he can hide.  He tries to bite but he’s too weak to defend himself.”
            Fox stops here and begins to weep.  A sound comes from the phone.  I can hear the woman on the other end also weeping.
            “It’s okay,” Fox reassures.  “I just can’t believe how these kids treated Mikki.  I’m not going to tell you that.  You don’t need these images. They drove around in a car playing loud Spanish music and laughing. They treated Mikki like a toy. Mikki bit and fought, so they tossed him onto a busy street.  He just managed to get to safety.  He tried to hide behind some barrels, but a man found him and took him with a net on a pole, took him to a place with a lot of dogs barking, a lot of fear.   After that Mikki somehow got a lucky break..  He was moved once more to a small kennel. He was treated well and his injuries were looked after.”
            Fox slumped, exhausted.  Her color was grey.  She was breathing hard, as if she had been Mikki and had run all that distance, suffered all those trials.  Tears pooled at the point of her chin.
            The woman on the phone was speaking.  Fox responded.  “No wonder Mikki would go nuts when he hears Spanish.  Do you hire people who speak English?  Can you get them to speak only English?  Yes, that would help.  Mikki’s not going to like the sound of Spanish.”
            She listened for a moment.  “Don’t hold that against him.  No wonder he bit you when you tried to clean his paws.  His paws will always be sensitive.. Where did you find Mikki?”
            Fox listened.  “So the San Diego Yorkie Rescue got a call from United Hope in Tijuana?  Amazing.  I can tell how much you love Mikki.  Do you smoke?  I didn’t want to tell you this, but I guess it’s relevant.  Those kids burned him a couple times with cigarettes.”
            Fox listened to the answer. “It doesn’t matter.  Mikki can’t tell the difference. It’s still smoking.  You’ll have to smoke somewhere Mikki can’t see you. Anything to do with smoking will scare him, and he’ll get aggressive.  Was everything done to try and contact his original family?”
            Fox listened, nodded her head.  “You have to do that.  You have?  That’s good.  Maybe they lost their home, who knows?  You did your best.  Well  .now you have Mikki.”
            I could hear the effusions from the woman on the phone.  She was weeping. Fox was weeping.  Every part of the story she had gotten from Mikki could be corroborated.  He had been picked up by Tijuana Animal Control.  A group called United Hope For Animals was patrolling the kennels when they found Mikki.
            The new place was filled with people who cared for Mikki, soothed him and loved him. He had no tags, no collar.  His feet were lacerated, and he had cigarette burns on his body.  He was nursed back to health, and then a picture of him was posted on the internet.  Three months passed with no one to claim him, then he was put up for adoption.  That’s when Fox’s new client saw him online and drove to San Diego to bring him home to Northern California.
            I can’t explain how Fox achieves these readings, these transfers of information from an animal’s experience into her own.  Science scoffs; but I see it happen, I see her readings corroborated time and again.  Science is not adequate to encompass such mysteries, so science says, “Impossible.”
            Everything is possible. At first I thought Fox had a few loose screws.  I thought she was an elaborate fantasist.  But she got "hits" time and again, way beyond statistical average.  I learned to suspend my disbelief, to trust Fox's abilities.
            Sometimes, Fox can describe an animal’s experiences without having met the animal.  All she needs is a name or a photograph.  What is going on here? This isn’t a television show, this isn’t a gimmick.  It happens and it has real consequences.  Animals are re-united with their people, pets are healed of old trauma by having a witness.  All kinds of strange things happen in Fox’s universe.
        All kinds of strange things happen everywhere.  Why not here, in my own home? 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Campground Of Eccentrics

We live here, in the New Grove
The  Old Grove

            The Campground is pretty quiet today.  The Cell Phone Lady hasn’t made an appearance.  She’s fiftyish, wears jeans, sandals and a long pony tail.  She zips around the campground on one of those skinny scooters, talking into her phone with one hand while she steers with the other.  She talks and talks, she babbles, really, and is quite demented.  She doesn’t acknowledge boundaries.  She zooms right up to a stranger and says, “That’s some hard hat you’re wearing”.  The person isn’t wearing a hat, but no matter.  Cell Phone Lady has scooted away.
She goes down the row of RV sites and sees an open door on a forty foot Fleetwood with Florida plates.  “Hi!” she says, “What’s the food like in there?”
            Cell Phone Lady doesn’t wait for an answer.  Her world is unique.  She doesn’t hurt anyone, she’s just a little annoying.  Her insanity has an Alice In Wonderland quality.  If things don’t make sense, they’re not supposed to make sense.
            We moved to this campground a year ago.  After five years at a famous chain campground, which we shall call Kountry Kampground, we got priced out of the place. Rental on monthly sites nearly doubled. 
            KK was doing an ethnic cleansing.  It was investing in resort equipment: a larger pool, a video game arcade, a petting zoo, rental bikes and vineyard tour buses.  A family in a Winnebago would pay eighty bucks a day and consider it cheap.
            Why waste forty sites on grizzled full-time RV people?  Price ‘em out!
            A search in the yellow pages turned up this place, called The Grove. 
            There’s history behind The Grove.  In the sixties it was an RV commune.  About eighty people with buses, trailers and campers bought the tree-lined acreage.  The owner was  selling the land to a developer who was going to put up an apartment building.  It was already hooked into the town’s plumbing and power grid.  Somehow this group of pranksters made the high bid and moved into this glade that's just  half a mile from Sonoma State College.
The Grove became a notorious hippie haven and dope magnet for the kids at the school.  All the suits and squares in the town tried to shut it down.  It took twenty five years of litigation to cut The Grove in half and turn the front half into a commercial campground.  In the back, behind a gate with a combination lock, is the original Grove, with the original trailers, trees and even the original hippies, now in their sixties and mostly on Disability.  The place is like a hobo jungle.  It’s shady and cool.  The old buses are rusting and covered by tarps against the winter rains.  Some of these vehicles have become two-story hobbit houses, odd domains with round windows and crazy skylights.
            We live in the front, in the commercial campground.  Most of the trees have been cut down.
Sites are small and arranged all higgledy piggledy.  What it lacks in beauty and amenities it compensates with a sense of laissez faire.  Management at the KK was heavy handed.  We always felt watched and evaluated, like kids at a scout camp.  At The Grove, if we pay our rent and stay out of trouble, all is cool.  We also need to tolerate the cuckoo leakage from the Old Grove in back.  Like The Cell Phone Lady.  And The Flintstones.  And Rubber Roger.  And Naked Marty Bell-Tone.  For me, this stuff is an asset, not a liability.  Hey, I’m a writer.  Man, there are stories here!
            Some day this place will be Volume Two of my book, AVOIDING THE POTHOLES.  Six years ago, when we started feeling the floorboards of the economy rotting under our feet, we decided to get out of the house.  The drain on our income was deadly.  We didn’t know how smart this move would be.  The RV has paid for itself twice over, and will continue to return our investment.  We own it free and clear.  It costs a few bucks to maintain, maybe a few grand a year if we work it hard.
            It’s home.  It’s ours.  If we don’t like our neighbors, we can fill up the tank and leave.  We have solar panels on the roof.  A generator for backup.  Wi-fi, cable TV, cell phones.  When we get the money, we’ll put a retractable satellite dish on the roof. 
            Living in the house, we didn't use a fraction of the space.  We lived in the bedroom and the kitchen.  We never sat on the living room couch.  We never used the extra room.  We stored stuff there, boxes of books and CDs.  Now we live on a more human scale.  Two indoor cats loll in the sun on the dashboard.  Two toy poodles manipulate us for more walkies and treats.
            Damn smartest thing we ever did, moving into an RV.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Trailer Park Woos A Tornado

A Trailer Park Woos A Tornado
Art Rosch Oct 10, 2010

Do I see a swirling black cloud
off to the southeast, with big manly
thunderheads towering into the deep blue sky?

Oh yeah, it’s me baby, I’m comin’ to GIT you!

Please, o heart of hearts, sweep me off my cinderblocks,
tear off my tin roofs and toss them everywhere!

Just gimme some time, honey bun,
I haven’t got my wind yet.

You?  Short on wind?  Who else you been destroyin’?
I hear Dreamin’ Acres got a good tossin' just a little while ago.

Now, baby, don’t be that way.  A dinky lil’ F2 was showin’ off
near the county line.

Don’t you go using the “F” word on me, big boy.
For all I know, that F2 was YOU, befo' you got your growth.

Awwww, baby?  Can’t you see how I’m swellin’ for you?

Me and a hundred other trailer parks ‘tween here and Kansas City.

And what if it’s true?  I’m a tornado!  I just can’t help myself.
Look!  I’m goin’ F-5 to prove my love.

(Sighs).  Allright, sugar.  Just give these folks a chance to run to their cellars, a’fore you, uh huh (coughs coyly)  blow me apart!

What?  I CAN’T HEAR YOU!  I’m comin’.  I’m comin’ fast!

Just don’t be wearing no soybean skirts, mister!

WHAT?  RRRRrrrrrrrr!

Whoops!  There went my picnic tables.  You devil, you!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

So Far As We Know....

So Far As We Know
 October 9, 2010

So Far As We Know….
God made at least one universe containing half a trillion galaxies,
each of which averages a hundred billion stars, many of which
have planets, rocky or otherwise, moons by the boatload,
stars that explode in a dazzle of colors to make hourglass-shapes
way out in deep deep space.
God made creatures innumerable, in detail unimaginable,with gills, lungs,
and membranes osmotic, living under water, on land, in methane clouds,
alone and in crowds.
God made the curve of a woman’s legs, stretching in sunset light,
god made the bulge of man’s shoulders, flexing in the hot summer night,
god made photons and quarks, black holes with sparks, god made such majesty!
It stuns the senses, knocks us to our knees with awe, prostrates us with ecstatic grief,
oh god, oh god!  oh God!
So far as we know…
God does not talk to pasty faced self righteous white boys
with radio shows, or personally instruct politicians in cowboy hats,
or reveal divine plans to fag-hating old men from Kansas.
So far as we know…

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