The Encounter

20 02 2017

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The garage door yawned, to let the van go

Where it crawled through the crisp morning

To the near-vacant lot to let him out

So he could glide down the stream of concrete

Bounded by hardened topographical snow mounds

To the wooden door of the busy character café

He saw her, made eye contact, instantly interested

Got his mug of pungent coffee from the cocky boy

Went and sat down and was enthralled

By a woman who had so much to share

Who had him engaged so that time went away

Everything went away, except the moments and her

When the roar of caffeinated patrons began to gallop

They subtly escaped to the nearby cozy deli

To share a simple bowl of tangy soup

For more delicious conversation and warm sharing

He had not felt like this since the previous century

While they talked he knew that his prayers had been heard

Someone he felt so natural with, who was so very for real

On the way out they hugged each other goodbye

He ventured home feeling like the van was floating

His mind remaining in the café and friendly deli

With the fantastic, magical time he had encountered

For the rest of the day and all the next

He could not bring himself to stop thinking about her





Surreal Roiling Clouds

10 11 2015

SurrealisticCircle

In divine warm autumn skies, as the pale sun began to rest, all manner of magical clouds slowly roiled in a surreal sky. The father questioned, “What are those ones, up high, and what do they predict?”

“Cirrus clouds. A change in the weather,” the sky-gazing boy observed.

“What about the puffy one, closer to us?”

“Cumulus, Dad.”

“And, the ones which are longer and further up?”

The boy pondered, and slowly exhaled, “Stratus?”

“Yes! Also, what are the ones to the west which are darker?”

“Cumulus?”

“That’s partly right, but when clouds are darker what are they called, and what happens with them?”

“They’re nimbus! Look, Dad! You can see it’s snowing in the mountains!”

A valuable experience to share, for a father and son.





Pathetic Narrow-Minded Sheep

5 10 2015

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I left junior high in the ’70s. Some people just can’t seem to move forward from that point. Instead, they are sullenly passive-aggressive, holding onto their pain, staying in cliques and rejecting any things which do not originate from mundane popular culture. These pouting sorts are akin to the chanting sheep in George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, and they seek masochistic pleasure in seeking to be offended. If this post bothered you, perhaps you need to objectively look at your level of consciousness.





The Bottle Depot

4 10 2015

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The thick, sour-rotting reek of stale beer and rancid juice permeates the relentless tinkling of dead bottles and slamming coffin boxes so full of forgetfulness.





Obvious for the Mindful

21 07 2015

whatgoesarounddog For some years, I dealt with an individual who never ‘got’ this simple lesson and I sincerely doubt there is an epiphany coming soon. So, this person has just continued to mindlessly perpetuate pain for self and others. People who do have consciences, who show true empathy, who do not wear millstones of entitlement, who are real (not protecting and enhancing false senses of self) are the ones who usually have great karma. Indulging in insidious maliciousness really does come back at one and the best people I have met in my life could not go near that.





Depression

26 04 2015

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Pulling into the gritty and dry-salt parking lot at the faded strip mall, Bill turns off the ignition in the Buick. His ears ringing in the sudden quiet, he cannot help but notice the dry wind soughing through the tortuous gap from the misaligned passenger window. Through the smeared windscreen, he sees a filthy fellow in a long beige jacket pawing through the bins, seeking empty drink containers. Clearly, it’s time for Bill to get his Ativan refill.

Garry Puckett and Union Gap’s, ‘Young Girl’, blares from worn-out speakers in the generic drug store so conveniently located beside the medical clinic with an inside access between the two establishments. The fancy façade at the entrance, water flowing down over colourful rock, has been left for dead for years. It’s dry and dusty, right across from the germ-infested play area for toddlers. After checking in with the frumpy receptionist, who makes no effort at eye contact, he carefully selects a seat. The upholstery of the banged-up chairs is shiningly worn, the faded and shapeless brocade filthy from legions of fevered masses awaiting the doctors who are given 10 minutes, one issue, by the craven and vulpine deva manager lurking in her one-way glass room, delving out prescriptions for a plethora of pills in their windowless offices.

Summoned, Bill gets up on cracking knees to follow the nurse down the tunnel-like hallway. For 20 minutes all there is to do is look up at the discoloured ceiling tiles, a caution poster about obesity, a dog-eared add from a sleep specialist who has an unpronounceable Slavic name and a free calendar from a giant chain store. The doctor comes in sighing, takes his blood pressure, weights him, resigned to scrawl out the prescriptions for anxiety, depression, insomnia  and blood pressure. Up he gets, purpose set. The doctor does not reply to his polite goodbyes and thanks. Leaving the buzzing florescent lights of the clinic’s labyrinth, he stumbles next door into the discount drug store with its dour staff members dumping heaps of past-Easter treats, all 50% off, into the massive clearance bins. Now, ‘Needles and Pins’ by The Searchers is droning through the fuzzy speakers. It’s all a set, mundane routine. Drop off the prescription for the pharmacist who works for the store, after leaving the beast-of-burden doctor who works for a rapacious chain of clinics hell bent on profits. While waiting for the drugs, he locates discount cat treats, some tinned food, three boxes of cheap crackers and generic headache tablets. He nearly forgot to get the largest container of anti-acid chewables. At the till, he checks his lotto tickets. No luck, just two free plays from a $60 10-draw investment. “Yahoo!” the machine chirps out, as if there had been a real jackpot. Damn, is there no hope? The automatic door shudders open to the dry, brown wastelands and traffic mayhem roar from Blackfoot Trail. Squinting in the cold sun, coughing into a chilling wind, he makes for the car holding the key in front like a thrusting dagger.

Swearing at greasy jerks in sports cars, who zip into the smallest gaps, he furtively pulls into a familiar seedy liquor store where screw-top bottles of wine go for under $7. Pulling out two triple-folded folded bills, he flattens them on the counter and the clerk mumbles thanks before handing back a nickel. “Have a nice day.” Oh, the irony. Heart racing, he heads home and drinks one of the bottles within a half hour, along with five anti-acid tablets. This emboldens him to go for a walk in a nearby thistle-filled field, formerly occupied by an oil refinery. Staring at some docile mallards floating aimlessly in a bit of meltwater, he pulls out a pill bottle with a few anti-depressants left, the remnants he had before getting the new stash. While opening the child-proof container, some pills slip from his boney grasp and plop into an oil-slicked puddle. “JESUSSSSSS. . . !” He rasps, backing off to rescue some which have survived between his claw and old anorak. Totally rattled, he dumps two of the pills in his mouth and then has trouble swallowing. The bitterness bites his tongue. Returning to his basement suite his tabby cat is mewling at the door and waits. Bill sits down on the couch and waits for the meds to dull the boredom. ‘How did I end up back here, where it all started?’ he inwardly muses. Bill had had it all – wife, two children and a steady job in seismic oil exploration, preceded by a short booze-hazed stint as a news writer. Now, he had none of that. His three-bedroom bungalow in Forest Lawn was no longer his, his wife having a live-in boyfriend there. She slyly did not remarry, so she could keep taking Bill for all she could get.

He contemplated his big gut, while a sonorous ad for a local undertaker’s chain played on the television. Bill thought, ‘We’re all going from here to the catalog caskets, brought to you by rapacious funeral home owners employing strange-smelling morticians whose handclasps send the squeamish to double-wash their hands. Fire the crematorium, cram in his ashes, and hope the next grease fire from the next corpulent corpse doesn’t create another inferno needing pale attendants to run for the dry chemical extinguishers.’ He snarled and guffawed a bit, before tearing open the cat treats and tossing some onto the old linoleum in the kitchen.





It’s ‘Only’ a Paper Cup?

30 01 2015

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An everyday paper coffee cup

Started with a crispy spruce cone

On a moss-laden quiet forest floor

Where sunbeams sent loving arms

Through bracing misty air

And soft breezes sent the seeds

To peacefully tumble into loamy nests

 

Refreshing rain and the dawn’s dew

Led the eternal seed to ease into life

Silently connected to everything everywhere

Reaching up in all weather and seasons

To become a towering parent and provider

Rooted firmly in a cyclical community

Until ironic maturity led to a rapacious saw

 

Made into boards for creaky homes

Pounded into nebulous bleached pulp

Chemically modified and recycled

To become mass-produced cups

Transformed into uniform stacks of vessels

To be mindlessly used and thrown away

It’s ‘only’ a paper cup?