The older I get, the earlier I get up, the less I worry about fashion, the fresher I feel when I observe kindness, the more I take time to pursue earthly and heavenly gazes and stand tall on one foot (providing it's not a day of wobble) to see it all better.

 

Each day we should listen to a little music, read a bit, admire artistic endeavor, appreciate nature, be reverent, and say a few kind words. 

TODAY'S GOSSIP!      

1.Old Dolly Hawk never did drop the 60’s style, and she went overboard with it, clear up to Cher. Of course, it was her youth she was trying to keep, and the color of her hair. Oh, she had straight bangs sometimes, sometimes a perm, but it was always black. And man, that girl could dance! At the local hall, down the grocery aisles, or with the sky in the deep of night. She wore her years as colorfully as her clothes, kept a tight hold on her youth, and died at 66. At her funeral the busybodies said, “Her urine was black from hair dye by the time she died,” but she left a warm and indelible wrong impression on the rest who chimed, “Ain’t it a shame she died so young!”  

2. Andy Luttie was always at the river, fishing, looking at the plump brown water, even when Spring floods swelled up under its skin They said he was a sad man. He had Gold Rush eyes, as yellow-brown as fall. His focus was always heading west. Maybe there was a lost family in that direction. And maybe not. Irregardless, fishing was his life for over fifty years, from morning until the tunnel-black of night, and maybe he died there on that bank, or maybe he fell in, or jumped. There was a lot of speculation, but the only true report was that he was gone.

3.Jenny Feit always wanted to take somebody away for the weekend, to an art exhibition or a display of sculpture, and would lock eyes on each piece for as long as it took to see a dozen. And many of those who went with her would shift to keep circulation going, drain the last from their Styrofoam cups, and many would feel faint during the wait while Jenny precisely described each display. She had great respect for the past, but no expressed future, and only her outings in the present. Talk was she had one dream in life -- to walk up to Michelangelo’s David with a stretched loin cloth in her hands---which gave life to reports that she must most certainly be frigid.

4. At the Nursing Home, Angelina Brown stripped mattresses for years, often with bodies still in them, and old age bones rattling beyond repair. It was a slack flesh life, or a Buddha bloat, serving ghost lives, lives filled with thorns of bad memories, and tears for the good ones, everybody in some degree of lost. Scruffy hair and undone eyes, and white bedclothes was the centerfold of each day, and sometimes, in the break room, there was laughable exaggeration of conditions, circumstances, events, because there is always tension in stale air, and people are always people, often, but not always at their best. This was the way of things, with Angelina swearing, “This place will not be my end.” But Mondays turned into Fridays, and weeks turned into months, to years, and all too soon, there Angelina was in a narrow bed while a young girl held out a spoon, and Angelina poked out her pale lips for ice cream, the sweet taste of her time coming to an end.

5. They were a strange family, the Hillsons, so the fodder for lots of rumors. They walked six big dogs, and ran hard from religion. They were loud and it is told they regularly knocked the piss out of each other. Bruises here, dents there, from violence and incest, names always changing, nicknames added, talking in quips and codes, all huddled up in the back bedroom playing their sex games. At least that’s what has been reported by those who sneaked beneath the haunting moon, braved the spongy gully and tall weeds to peek into their filmy windows, then run like hell to pass their observance and extended vision all around the town.

6. Tina Billards left town, moved away like many normal people do. She disappeared into some bright, geometric place of wild imaginings. She’s been reported to be on a cruise ship in Alaska, in a cabin in Colorado, in California sun. There were hazy pixel reports of her on the arm of a Frenchman on Bourbon Street. Report changed but there was always the vaguely familiar face scarfed to privacy, but with pale skin, a rash and sickly cough reported as HIV that always gave the girl away.

7. Rumor spread that Fred Tinker’s four year old boy was sitting on the front porch, eating mud off his tennis shoe. Fred stormed into the local café and corrected, “Can’t you blabbermouths get anything right? it was a boot.”          

/Well, that’s the end of it, and all of it is bullshit. Not one word is true, though it is possible somewhere it might be. But... it’s all just gossip, something that we people too often use for our own amusement, and sadly, at the expense of someone else./

To improve your Country, live kindly-- as one leaf on a great tree, one drop In a vast sea, one blossom in an endless field-- equal in responsibility, equal by effort, equally worthy of rights and rewards.

 

Only little people belittle.

 

We can often learn through "opposites." We can learn silence from those who talk too much, patience from those lacking tolerance, and kindness from observing cruelty.

 

Even if fondness is missing, there is no excuse for being unkind.

 

When you realize that kindness is bigger than intelligence, your intelligence is already getting bigger.

 

I say, "Get even! Get even! Get even with everyone who has ever been kind to you!"

 

Do not mistake silence for ignorance, reserve for acceptance, kindness for weakness.

 

Kindness observed in unlikely places gives me hope for the world.

 

Kindness is often the result of suffering.

 

The kindest people are those who can give away what they need themselves.

 

Rather than being born with abilities, we are born with potential. When mixed with consistency, blended with virtue, the result is kindness.

 

Healing the world should begin with curing yourself.

 

Conform with expectation of others, take the same direction, and it is possible everyone will like you, but likely you will no longer like yourself.

 

If you offer someone else a hand up, you will also be lifted.

 

In a bad situation, I found myself reaching for a revenge of words, thought about it carefully, merged into indifference, then settled on the kindness of silence.

 

Although it is difficult, if not impossible to love everyone, kindness is a good route toward achieving that intent.

 

Short-Shorts dealing with kindness.

 

GHOST OF FIRST LOVE

Yesterday, the day before that, and today, Marvin stands across the street and pretends activity with cats.

Marvin is quiet and shy, but longing builds his confidence.  Perhaps today he'll knock, and not run away.

His pain is first love and great for Beth's daughter Amy.  His growth is rapid and lonely, and love is new, and useless. 

Amy's interest is occupied elsewhere, on a ten-speed. She shows his poetry and his heart around, and they giggle.

Just as Kent Bentley laughed over twenty-five years ago when Beth offered her heart like a gift of glass, and he crushed it. 

Beth recovered slowly, incompletely. She could not look at Kent Bentley again without embarrassment.

A part of Beth would spare Marvin, but she is just a mother, and not his.  She must not touch what she can not fix, nor hope to soothe.

There is a knock at the door, an apologetic tapping. 

Beth sighs.  She must leave Marvin the complications of normal growth and pretend she doesn't know the pain of it as she answers the door to his goofy grin, or again his back as he darts away.



THE OLD DOG

Abby watches.

The dog is crippled.  He can no longer jump onto the bed, and it cripples the child more and more often found in blankets on the floor.

Abby doesn't know what to do. She adds blankets, medicates the dog's pain of old age, a condition without cure. Nothing is left except... 

No, not yet. Destroying him is still out of the question.

And yet, the child doesn't want to go away to college, but it is arranged.

Abby stands at the window.  She rubs her eyes and watches the young woman her daughter already has become coax a black dog too tired for obedience, but not affection. They lay side by side in sunlight,

Abby wipes a tear. "Dammit," she says.  It is inevitable. A friendship that started when a child was five must end. There is no other recourse.  Still, day after day, Abby puts it off, knowing full well she must soon choose a place to dig  where her daughter will be the most comfortable sitting.

 

GOOD MORNING
Good Morning, Opie. Opossum, shed custodian.  I forgive your shocking morning appearance, just as you forgive me mine, and stall to give you right-of-way, as do you, in this lovely magic of harmony and mutual respect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Religion Wouldn't Hurt

(From the Cocklebur Chronicles on Smashwords.com)


A LITTLE RELIGION WOULDN’T HURT

Where sunrise ravels timberline into a metal sky

and puffs across the mouthpiece of horizon,

black woods ooze from darkness.

Feathered woodwinds perk and rustle sheet music.

Incisive voices in three octaves of announcement

set center stage for sun.

Water finds seeds or seeds find water, soil and sunshine,

however partnership begins to build an all-faiths chapel.

Something honest shakes a seed sack.

Something holy splashes water from a pan.

Woods from one seed unshackled, spinning,

bursting with good intention,

Then more;

From one cone, then two that hit the ground with inner promise,

a home, and woods begin.

Here lie the rudiments of life---

Opportunity for broadleaf, needle leaf, evergreen,

hardwood and soft,

For mosses, shrubs, herbs, and wildflowers.

Ground bids some come, and others go,

insects, birds, mice, turtles, snakes,

the raccoon, deer and man,

To where water places hope within the saplings,

Saplings hope with wood to make a stand,

And each new seed sets a new example

and falls, rises, drifts, falls rolling as it learns

to believe the dream of peace

And trust an aching heart to land.