1834 farm house


Simcoe County Museum near Barrie, Ontario, part of a collection of old buildings on the site

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a poem – GLAD


GLAD

you asked me how I was
I don’t recall the colour of desire
it was a pill
a staple of your diet
every day was a picnic
you brought the rain
I was the ants

I was raking leaves and there was no wind
a long way down the bay
the hunters’ shot guns coughed a few times

I was rooting for the ducks
I always do
too much time with Daffy and Donald
they can take Scrooge McDuck though

I hear that Underdog is in rehab
Lassie is really a boy
And Flipper was a transvestite
who found God and lives now in the desert

TV murders are entertainment
we pop cop shows like breath mints
some NFL men weigh over three hundred pounds
a few of the fashionista nymphets less than a hundred

the Shopping Network is my cathedral
and Bob Dylan has a job on the radio
I am glad
I am glad
I am maximum glad

a poem – Timing


Timing

when the snow comes
and I get in the car
and drive slowly into
town past the cemetery
where he is
up on the hill

I slow down even more
I say
Love you, Pops
and think of him
swearing at a hammer or
a screwdriver
finally starting his poor excuse
for a handy man impression
on some small job around the place
beginning his enterprise around
a quarter after eleven
soon to be punctuated by an acid
blast from my mother

we have them separated at the moment
still not having figured out what to do
with her ashes
maybe we will wait until a quarter after eleven
some night and drop by his grave with her
I guess there is really no reason to rush

a most ununusal dream


Had a a most ununusual dream. A small envelope appeared and when I opened it. I found a small sheet of odd black paper. When exposed to the lgiht it turned from black to show handwriting. The writing appeared to be the rough notes of someone doing some kind of research into family background. It said Kathleen NcClure and some dates 1677 – 1707 and the notation “captured by pirates”, and one other note, “took in students.” It seemed to me that this was not the first time that I had received a black note of this type but I dont recall any precise details. It just seemed familiar. I had the feeling that someone who meant me well had sent me the note but once again I have no clear impression of precisely who or why. The name McClure does not figure in my family history – at least not to my knowledge. The handwriting looked a little like an old photostat not a photocopy and the handwriting looked to be old, perhaps 19th century or earlier. Intriguing but not alarming.

Herbert Sulzbach, With the German Guns – 1914-18


I just finished reading a memoir of World War One written by German Lieutenant Herbert Sulzbach, who fought mainly on the Western Front from 1914-18 and was awarded the Iron Cross First Class. A German Jew who fled Nazi Germany in 1937 and moved to England. During World War Two he served in the British Army. eventually in the very worthwhile task of interviewing German prisoners of war. He was successful in persuading many rabid Nazis to consider the possibilities of liberal democracy as a substitute for the Nazi Party’s principles. After World War II, he worked to promote a rekindling of friendship between Germany and the UK. His first world war memoirs are a clear window to the feeling of the time.

this translation was printed in 1973.  the copy I read from my local library has an interesting handwritten inscitption on the flyleaf : By all means Read this book, Lest we do forget, LT D. C. Reese, DSC, DSO

Newman


I have been sampling the various remembrances of Paul Newman on the web media over the past few days. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard Redford ask him if he used enough dynamite.  Mr. Newman was a model artist and philanthropist. I admired his movies. I will miss him a great deal. From Harper and Hud, John Russell to Harry Frigg, Judge Roy Bean to Butch Cassidy and all the rest especially Fast Eddie.