A British Chicken in New York - Part 2"And so we began to eat the pemmican, which we were taught to make by the Eskimo's you know." Andrew paused to sip his tea. "Dreadfully cold though. I was assisting Sir Edmund Hillary and, to bolster the morale of our men, I began to do scrimshaw on whale bones we had lying about."
"Did you reach the Pole, then?"
"Oh, heh heh, yes, yes we did. As a matter of fact, Nelson took my picture standing next to Hillary beneath the Union Jack at the Pole itself."
"Nelson?" These biscuits were great, especially with orange marmalade.
"Lord Nelson MacKenzie, the duck I mentioned earlier."
"Oh yes, you were watching butterflies for him."
"Observing, my good man, scrupulously observing. I was seeking the Thymelicus lineola and the Apatura iris to be precise."
Andrew spread some calf's-foot jelly on his biscuit, taking a large bite once he had done so.
"Did I mention that Her Majesty requested an audience with Lord Nelson and myself, upon our return to Great Britain?"
A broad smi
The Lady's ChoiceLong, long ago in a forgotten kingdom
On the Barbary Coast,
Two chieftains came together, upon the field of honor.
Theirs was a great debate, for they both desired the hand,
Of the fiercely beautiful princess; sole daughter of the king.
"Let us make dessert, not war. For why should I slay my comrade?" exclaimed Aranac. "Instead one shall win her hand Via her truest desires: cake or pie."
"Fair enough." agreed Bocephus. "Let us begin at once. We shall present our creations
At the same time. And whichsoever she shall choose, to him shall she be betrothed."
And so they labored day and night. But to the scullery maid's great fright
Neither one could get it right.
Bocephus thought a pie was simply a matter
Of squashing together whatever he could find.
Birds and mud and bits of twine
Field corn and radishes and turpentine.
"What in gracious sakes is this?" demanded the cook.
"I'm glad you approve; here take a look." said the Chief with glee.
One small taste and the cook turned gree
Untitled...Sometimes the words come hard...
Drawing swords from the fire...
I poke at the dead embers with a crooked stick.
Cold ashes turning black in a sudden rain.
Bank-vault clouds sit in the heavens, blind to my moaning thoughts.
Rain falls, running off the brim of my black Stetson
Staring into muddy puddles
Reflecting back to me
A long ago misery
A frog sits on a mossy stone across from me
He licks at passing mosquitoes and flies
He croaks about green dreams
That bubble up from the swamp bottoms
The rain is clean
Unlike my bloody hands
Strong lines that were cut off
In their youth
Now there are no ladders to climb
I burned them one night when
I was cold
Once I knew the words to speak
But in the end
Would it do any good
To resurrect old conversations
Pull them out of the air
To play on an old radio
Listening for the changes
So I could step in and win
In a cast iron sink
Lies a dead man's heart
Full of whisky kisses
Angels mourn the pass
Our Golden Hour1840 to 1915.
A mere 74 years.
The span of one's hand-breadth
And nothing more.
What toils, cares, hopes and dreams,
Came to fruition or died in obscurity,
In that soliloquy ?
Alone, he speaks to the ocean:
"Do you hear my voice? Do you regard
The trifling events of my life?"
So short a time to live and breathe
To admire the flowers or a sunset
In it's golden hour.
It is for a brief moment
That we sow.
Yet we shall reap forever...
I Dreamt of Christmas MorningTo what lengths have I traveled in search of renown and honor
Not nearly as far as I have fallen
In trying to escape the punishment of my broken thinking
It is in these hours that I wander
No music is soft enough
No whisper is soothing enough
The cotton sheets cover me like a steel tomb
I want to sleep
I want to curl up and be warm
I want it to be Christmas again
Right now, right here
With snow falling
Curtains of white filling the air
You can get lost in the winter
You can wander...your soul can fly away
Drifting off into those twilight fields
I want to hide beneath the groaning pines
Boughs heavy-laden with snow
Burrowed in where it's warm
Smelling the clean air
That clean scent of winter
In the merry lights of Christmas Eve
'Neath the tinsel and fruitcake
I will rest.
I watch as the ornaments gleam...
O what antique land are they from?
Where can my heart go to be without pain and suffering?
Somehow everyone left
While I was engaged with the wrapping paper
The noise of it crinkling a
A British Chicken in New YorkWalking down the street one day
I saw a chicken in a tree
Wearing a black-felt bowler
"I say, chicken, what are you doing?"
To which he calmly replied, "Hello sir! Fine day, fiiinneee day! I am watching butterflies for the duck."
"Oh, I see. Of course, of course." Then, "Ahm, pardon me, chicken-"
"Please, call me Andrew."
"Right! Andrew. Umm...do you happen to have the sports page?"
With some fluttering of feathers, Andrew tossed the sports section down to me.
He said, "I see that Manchester lost their rugby match last evening. Bloody rout by the opposing team."
"Hm, yes. Ah, chic-"
"Quite right, old chap. Andrew...would you care for some tea? I'm famished."
"A spot of tea does sound good about now. Some Earl Grey would be fine. I'll tell you about my time working with the British Antarctic Expedition."
"Oh good, good."
And we left.
Deus Ex MachinaI. Power corrupting the soul
Hungry for the snap!
To wield the whip
And hear that crack!
Is it clad in Balmoral tartan
Or the sandals of a refugee?
Is it in refinement or desperation
And is the difference a scalpel's edge
That kind that flows like water
Shining in the sun
Rippling energy flexing
Restrained brute force
Not merely dominating but
Crushing the competition
II. The mind seeking to fly
That is how we escape our chains
How does one know
What vertical flight feels like
To cavort in the heavens
Wheeling above the mighty summits
As an eagle
Soaring above the sleepy terrain
He exults in his freedom
Feeling the pleasure of his
Who inhabits those spaces
Save the mountain goat
And the peregrine?
Does not the feet of the LORD
Tread upon the lofty places of earth
In barren reaches of rock and snow
Ice fields stretching from horizon to horizon
Alone in those freezing wastes
To contemplate mankind.
Do You Hear What I Hear?As I idly browsed the various weather stats this morning on Google, typing in such far-flung locales as Butte, Montana; Reykjavik, Iceland; London, UK; and Kabul, Afghanistan, it struck me that indeed, there are United States military personnel who are stationed in that country...right now as I sit here.
And how true is that thought!
Here I am, by God's grace, sitting in the relative safety of a free country while under the same sky...breathing the same air, are my countrymen and women...hearing perhaps the whistle of incoming shells instead of robins chirping, smelling smoke from burning vehicles instead of lilacs in the morning breeze, seeing dismembered comrades instead of their friends and family back home...
It really struck me.
Scenes like that are occuring as I type this...and I randomly thought of sound waves, of how we are unable to hear the sounds of death and war, the buzzsaw of automatic weapons firing or the heavy percussion of rotor blades beating the air from so f