Wednesday, May 31, 2006

WORKING WHERE THE SUN DON'T SHINE (THE COLORECTAL SURGEON SONG)

Found this and love it bunches. Tis a good'un for "hump day."

We praise the colorectal surgeon
Misunderstood and much maligned
Slaving away in the heart of darkness
Working where the sun don't shine

Respect the colorectal surgeon
It's a calling few would crave
Lift up your hands and join us
Let's all do the finger wave

When it comes to spreading joy
There are many techniques
Some spread joy to the world
And others just spread cheeks
Some may think the cardiologist
Is their best friend
But the colorectal surgeon knows...
He'll get you in the end!

Why be a colorectal surgeon?
It's one of those mysterious things.
Is it because in that profession
There are always openings?

When I first met a colorectal surgeon
He did not quite understand;
I said, "Hey nice to meet you
But do you mind? We don't shake hands."

He sailed right through medical school
Because he was a whiz
Oh but he never thought of psychology
Though he read passages.
A doctor he wanted to be
For golf he loved to play,
But this is not quite what he meant...
By eighteen holes a day!

Praise the colorectal surgeon
Misunderstood and much maligned
Slaving away in the heart of darkness
Working where the sun don't shine!


--George Bowser and Ricky Blue

( to HEAR the song as an MP3, go HERE)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Ode to a bitchy customer...

I remember there being
and quite disagreeing
with a lonely and bitter old hag.

T’was a moment in my life
that cut like a sharp knife
as she stood clutching her grocery bag.

Never seen her before
while working at that store.
Said yesterday I kept an eye,

followed her ‘bout the aisles,
like she was on trial.
And making her just want to cry.

Like a good little boy
I let her enjoy
eating on my minimum wage ass.

What I’d like to have done
was take her by the bun,
And throw her through our store’s front plate glass!

Always!
Jas…

"PEOPLE BELIVE WHAT THEIR HEART TELLS THEIR EYES"

I thought this would be good for a Monday AM...

People believe what their heart tells their eyes
So when you can’t get it all together—improvise!!
When you can’t get it all together, improvise!

You can’t tell a rose is a rose
If you keep it away from your nose
It might be made out of papier-mâché
But it’s a rose if you want it to be that way!

People believe what their heart tells their eyes
So when you can’t get it all together—improvise!!
When you can’t get it all together, improvise!

So give Easter eggs on the Fourth of July
Put bananas in your apple pie!
On Halloween give your girl a valentine
Instead of going out, take her in! Any day is fine!

People believe what their heart tells their eyes
So when you can’t get it all together—improvise!!
When you can’t get it all together, improvise!


---Antoine the French Caterpillar
“Here Comes Peter Cottontail”

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Stormy Weather

Time to slip away, I thought, as I grabbed my keys
And made for the door, quietly, stealthily.
Just a quick errand to seize the missing piece
For the puzzle I spent the better part of the day on.

In the garage on the top step I turned
And pressed the button to clear the last obstacle
Between me and the Jeep
And began to walk towards the world.

I froze in my forward paces,
Gobsmacked by the drama happening
As the curtain made of aluminum and steel
Rose to reveal nature's passion and rage.

Rain pounded the ground
As only a May thunderstorm
In my hometown can,
Furious, unyeilding, relentless

Raindrops flew from the hood of the Jeep
Like sweat from a boxer's brow
As he takes an uppercut from the Champ
And begins to stagger.

All thoughts of flight flew from my mind
As I stood, amazed, humbled, and wary,
I marveled at the glimpse of Nature's power
So rarely seen in this temperate territory.

A knock at the door interrupted my reverie
And I turned to see another storm brewing
In my daughters face as she realized
I was going to the store without her.

Chagrined, I explained I would be back soon
I gave her a hug as my love put an arm around her
And led her away to other distractions
I braced myself for the soaking and departed.

IN PRAISE OF SLOW SUNDAY MORNINGS

The Eggman began tossing and turning
When the green light of the clock read 7:50

A dark, calm night free from nightmare or hacking cough
I could see the sunlight filtering through the blinds
Through my eyelids, turning the world a bickish red

Going down to the first floor
The Eggman beside me, holding my hand down the stairs
I smiled to myself knowing that it was Sunday


A long weekend
The first weekend of summer vacation
A day in which there was nothing to do
Except whatever we wanted

No car (wife has it)
No phone (died, can’t find charge cord)
No school (it’s over)
No worries.

I pull aside the broken blinds
And I see an old man by the pool

He sits in sunlight at a green plastic table
His coffee is in a silver travel mug
His Sunday paper is in front of him
His shirt hangs off the back of his chair
The water’s surface is smooth as glass in all directions

I come to see that he and I are brothers
We have nothing that needs to be done
(nothing that can’t wait a good hour or two while we enjoy the rising of the sun)
We are freed today from the tyranny of work
And we both know it

Friday, May 26, 2006

THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL: THE LOAD-OUT

With all due respect to Jackson Browne, I submit the following end-of-year variation on a theme:

Now the desks are all empty
Let the teachers take the stage
Pack the books and tear the posters down
We’re the first to come and the last to leave
Working for that state-minimum wage
We’ll set it up in another room

This year the students were so fine
They all stood so neatly in line
And when they got up to read their work it made the show

And that was sweet--
But I can hear the sound
of closing doors and moving desks
And that’s a sound they’ll never know

Now roll out them tables and lift them lamps
Haul the filing cabinets down the wheelchair ramps
cuz when it comes to moving classrooms
all the teachers are the champs
but when the last report card’s been packed away
You know I still want to stay
So I’ll just sit here for a moment, though
Before I go home for the summer, oh...

But the custodians need the keys
They’re waiting for us to go
They’ve got floors to strip and polish and make glow

Sometimes I just don’t know
I’ve taught for so many years in a row
And these classrooms all look the same
We’ll just pass the time in the teacher’s lounge
And wander ‘round our new rooms
Till those lights come up and we hear that crowd
And we remember why we came

Now we got math and science to teach our kids
Reading and writing skills and all the stuff they need to know
We’ll make rural scenes from cut up magazines
We’ve got the office ladies on the intercom-CB
We’ve got Bill Nye the Science Guy on the video

We got time to think of the ones we love
While we fill out the paperwork for speech
But the only time that seems too short
Is the time that we get to teach

Lawmakers you’ve got the power over what we do
You can sit there and wait Or you can pull us through
Come along, sing the song
You know most of what you’ve legislated is wrong
cause when that morning sun comes beating down
You're going to wake up in your town
But well be scheduled to appear
to teach our students both far and near...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

THE GREY SELCHIE

no one can tear the heart and wrench a tear from the eye like the Irish. If you think the words are sad, you should hear the song they come from...

THE GREY SELCHIE
In Norwa there sits a maid
"Byloo, my baby," she begins
"little know I my child's father
for if land or sea he's living in."

Then there arose at her bed feet
a grumbly guest, I'm sure it was he
saying "here am I, thy child's father
although I am not comely

"I am a man upon the land
I am a selchie in the sea
and when I am in my own country
my dwelling is in Suleskerry."

Then he had taken a purse of gold
and he hath put it upon her knee
saying, "Give to me my little wee son
and take thee up thy nurse's fee

"it shall come to pass on a summer's day
when sun shines hot on every stone
that I shall take my wee son
and teach him for to swim in the foam

"you will marry a gunner good
and a proud good gunner I'm sure he will be
but he'll go out on a May morning
and kill both my wee son and me."

Loath she did marry a gunner good
and a proud good gunner, I'm sure it was he
the very first shot that he did shoot
he killed the son and the gray selchie

In Norwa there sits a maid
"Byloo, my baby" she begins,
"Little know I my child's father
for if land or sea he's living in."

In Norwa there sits a maid...


---trad. Scottish, performed by Solas

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Wind Chimes...

When the wind chime tings.
I find I cannot recall every sound it makes.
For that is not its purpose.
The sound it just made is not my concern.
Every sound it makes is new.
And therein lies the beauty of all things.

Always,
Jas...

MUSIC OF TINY HAMMERS

WHEN I found my mother's old electric typewriter in our storage unit
I was transported back in time 20 or more years in a moment.

I saw her sitting at our kitchen table, 1/2 glasses in purple frames perched on her nose
hands dancing over keys
looking not at the platen nor at the keys
but off to the left at an organic chemistry test she was copying

A great feat, everyday magic, it was
to see her fingers fly and dance and make the keys hammer words onto the white page

Mom liked silence when she worked
no radio, no television
so the music of the tiny hammers building grand architecture
brick-by-brick
letter-by-letter
SNAP!-by-SNAP!
filled the house

When she would pause to think
leaning back and crossing her arms waiting for a word or concept or good test question to surface
the silence was palpable and loud

when she leaned forward to resume
the hammerpound of the keys would again fill the air
a unique melody not oft heard in the world anymore

"Stop by Office Depot, please" says I to mine goodwife
as we motor around town
"What do you need there?" she asks, knowing school is almost over
"I'm looking for typewriter ribbon," says I
"I need to play an old, familiar song."

Friday, May 19, 2006

IN THE DARK

When the power went out at 5 AM The Eggman crawled into bed with me.

The world was devoid of light in a way
Plunged into inky darkness

No nightlight
No soft filtering of the floods by the pool
Coming thru the slats of the blinds

What were we to do?
No light to crawl forth from bed
No TV to watch
No microwave, oven or toaster to make food with
Best not to open the freezer

We lay in the dark staring at the still ceiling fan
Listening to the dead silence
Watching shadows splay along the wall from a passing car
Like an alien floodlight passing through
Looking for someone to study

We lay there together
The Eggman Velcro’d to me against the dark
Thinking our twilight thoughts
Waiting for the coming of the light.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Standing My Ground

I am a stone wall
Silence my only weapon
You can't climb over

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

LET THE DAY BEGIN

while I work on my newest poem, here's something to tide you over. One of my all-time fav songs by The Call.
Here's to the babies in a brand new world
Here's to the beauty of the stars
Here's to the travelers on the open road
Here's to the dreamers in the bars

Here's to the teachers in the crowded rooms
Here's to the workers in the field
Here's to the preachers of the sacred words
Here's to the drivers at the wheel

Here's to you my little loves, with blessings from above
now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves, with blessings from above
now let the day begin, let the day begin

Here's to the winners of the human race
Here's to the losers in the game
Here's to the soldiers of the bitter war
Here's to the wall that bears their name

Here's to you my little loves, with blessings from above
now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves, with blessings from above
now let the day begin, let the day begin, let the day start

Here's to the doctors and their healing work
here's to the loved ones in their care
here's to the stangers on the streets tonight
here's to the lonely everywhere

here's to the wisdom from the mouths of babes
here's to the lions in their cage
here's to struggles of the silent war
here's to the closing of the age.

Here's to you my little loves, with blessings from above
now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves, with blessings from above
now let the day begin

Here's to you my little loves, with blessings from above
now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves, with blessings from above
now let the day begin, let the day start

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ode to Picking Flowers...

At the office building
where I profess to work,
I happen to fell witness
to quite an irksome quirk.

I noticed earlier on
when I walked to the door
that all the flower beds
were bare down to the core.

Where yesterday were flowers
and plants all strong and pert,
all that then there stood
were giant squares of dirt.

What happened? Weren’t they pretty?
Did they not look sublime?
They were just pulled too damn quickly
‘fore they reached their prime!

And then I saw this afternoon
a big white flatbed truck.
“We Care” was printed on the doors,
but they don’t give a schmuck!

Four men leapt out and with them came
Some pallets of fresh flowers.
Chrysanthemums, perennials…
But they’ll be gone in hours.

Why bother? And why take the time
to think about it much?
This is why I think big business
is so out of touch.

To scoop away those healthy plants
in all their flourish glory
without a thought of creating
a blossom’s worst sob story!

Always,
Jas…

Monday, May 15, 2006

NO DOUBLE JEOPARDY ON COFFEE MUGS

My mom did not believe in double-jeopardy for her coffee mugs.


If a favorite mug jumped from the shelf
Crashing to the floor
And survived with only chips or missing fragments
That could be glued back in
(What might be called ceramic surgery)
It was placed on the shelf with

That's your favorite mug, mom
I'd say.
It's repaired, why not use it again?

It's a mug, son, not a soldier
She'd say
Once it's seen combat it's not fair to send it back in
For then it may not be just chipped or broken
It may be destroyed completely
And then I shan't have it at all.
Touchstones should not be allowed to be destroyed.

Tho' young, I understood instinctively her
Attachments to objects.

When my youngest picked up my favorite coffee mug
Made 5 years ago by my oldest
Pretended to drink and with a flourish
Threw it back over her head
I calmed my anger
And picked up the pieces.

It went back together like a puzzle
And then went on the shelf.

What's Sunflower's mug doing up there?
Asked mine goodwife...

Friday, May 12, 2006

ANOTHER THOUGHT ABOUT POETRY

"[he was] not famous to Henry Perowne, who read no poetry in adult life, even after he aquired a poet father-in-law. Of course he began as soon as he discovered he'd fathered a poet himself. But it cost him an effort on unaccustomed sort. Even a first line can produce a tightness behind his eyes. Novels and movies, being restlessly modern, propel you forward or backwards through time, through days, years or even generations. But to do it notice and judging, poetry balances itself on the pinprick of the moment. Slowing down, stopping yourself completely to read and understand a poem is like trying to aquire an old fashioned skill, like dry-stone walling or trout tickling."

---Ian McEwan
"Saturday"

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Taken by Surprise

I had to share this because I was taken by surprise on this one. My son and daughter were drawing pictures for me. My husband thought it was cute and started chanting:

Two, four, six, eight
Who do we love to aggrivate

I laughed so hard because it seems so true. I think that's going to be my Mother's Day poem this year.

Karmic Retribution, in C Minor...

It cracks me up
when I doth drive
on past the police station.

And by the way,
I mean no harm
of sex discrimination!

But half the city’s
pretty girls
are there, just sitting stale.

For pretty girls
seem to fancy bad boys,
and bad boys fancy jail!

Always!
Jas…

(Written whilst the author was driving through downtown on the way home from work, who then, being of sound mind and physique, took his usual convenient shortcut to the freeway past the police station where he continues to this day to bear witness to ten, sometimes twenty different women who stir his blood, sitting on the railing and benches, bored, and most likely awaiting their bad boy-boyfriend’s or bad boy-husbands’ release from the clinker… and he wonders why they aren’t modeling for some glossy magazine and making thirty times the money they probably were making as it was instead of sitting there, bored, waiting to take their bad boy-men home, the same men who probably abuse them physically because they’re bad boys. Written also from the context that the author is and always has been a nerd of sorts who has always been a jealous second to the bad boys when growing up in school and looking for girls to date, yet finding none, but who also knows that Karma is doing its job.)

DOWN THE PRIMROSE PATH

When I was 10
I fell in love with a girl that didn't exist
I was in Waldenbooks and I discovered
Faeries by Brian Froud
I loved the world he had painted and drawn
creatures dangerous and mischevious
ugly and sublime
all living amongst us but just beyond the range of human perception
it was 1978, long before the US Army accepted Wicca as a religion
and before people spoke in the common tongue of such things
as faerie and the fay folk,
of Mother Earth and Father Sky and the magic around and between
(it was also before the time of the Internet and the search for old, dirty men
seeking out the affections of young children
which explains why you may feel a bit odd when you borrow the book
and see who I soon fell in love with
[remember I was ten
and this was before the world moved on])
I fell first in love with the art
the charcoal line and transparent swath of watercolor
that made my own drawings look absurd, childish and embarassing
(indeed, I stopped drawing altogether for nearly 10 years
not realizing that Froud was a trained artist
with much, MUCH time to create)
Then, under Faerie Fauna, under Primrose, I found HER

even at ten it was her eyes that got me

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Payday!

So there I was last evening
my checkbook in my hand.
My favorite pen a’weaving
big numbers as I’d planned.

First the rent and then the gas,
then ‘lectricity.
Credit cards have left me scarred
but they’re so cute and pretty!

Next comes cable, hardly stable,
phone and internet,
cell phones, daycare, laundry, loans!
My brow begins to sweat.

With all my paycheck spent now
I might start mowing lawns.
Unless we get more money
I’ll be clippin’ coupons!

Always!
Jas…

Monday, May 08, 2006

WHEN THE SURF CAME TO PLAY WITH THE THREE LITTLE MERMAIDS

WHEN the surf came to play with the three little mermaids
it tickled first their toes
and attempted, in it's zeal, to take them back
The three little mermaids merely laughed
and let the sea splash over them
for they would decide for themselves when to return
and how long they would feel cool sand beneath them


Saturday, May 06, 2006

FOOD FIGHT!! A SCHOOL POEM

This is a poem about when things get out of hand.

Our principal is Mrs, Kite
(we all think she’s quite alright!)

One beautiful April day
She walked into our café
And her eyes opened in dismay!

There was food everywhere!
Pizza was flying through the air!
A blob of mustard landed in her hair!
She was ready to curse and swear!

She yelled, “what on Earth is going on in here?!”
As mashed potatoes landed in her ear
and her jacket turned brown from thrown root beer
and someone who was sitting very near
splashed her water (it didn’t stain, it was clear)

No one heard a word she said!
They kept throwing the food on which they fed!
Someone poured brown gravy on a first grader’s head
And someone tossed a big yellow glob of Cheez Whiz spread!
Mrs. Kite was hit by flying garlic bread
And her shoes were now stained cherry red!!

Food was stuck to the ceiling and the walls and floor
Mrs. Kite yelled but everyone did ignore
Everything she said and they grabbed for more
Food to throw and drinks to pour
Until Mrs. Kite let out a mighty roar

“THIS WILL ABSOLUTELY STOP RIGHT NOW!”
(she wiped chocolate pudding off her right eyebrow)
“THIS IS NOT HOW YOU EAT YOUR CHOW!
AND NO MORE MESSES WILL I ALLOW!”

Everyone stopped and looked at the mess they made.
The horrible disaster from this joke they played
It looked like someone let loose a food hand grenade.

“have fun cleaning this mess up”, she said, “you may need to use a hose”
And she went back home to change her clothes.

(she spent the rest of the day calling parents!)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Why I’m a redneck, and I don’t hunt.

Quail hunting in my days of youth
the higher grasses my boot doth tramps.
Coveys take flight so loud it spooks,
would always make me piss my pants.

See, quail don’t disperse alone.
They always burst forth from the brush
in greater numbers. They doth hone
their shotgun takeoff. What a rush!

There was a time when I was seven
hunting rabbits with my dad.
I sent a hare to Bunny Heaven,
but not too soon. My aim was bad.

Armed with just a pellet rifle,
ammo bag across my hide,
the bunny got a lead filled eyeful.
Squealing while I stood and cried.

From that day on, I gave up short,
no longer dressed in camouflage.
I see no cause to hunt for sport,
no bed for me at the ol’ lodge!

So here I am, an odd cliché,
a warrior less a hunting vest.
But I can think of other ways
to have a manly piss contest!

Always!
Jas…

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

THE OYSTER ABORTION, REDEUX: ANOTHER TAKE ON THE MATTER

This concludes my musings about disgusting, phlegm-like animals people put into their mouths.

"He turns the corner into Paddington Street and stoops in front of an open air display of fish on a steeply raked slab of marble. He sees at a glance that everything he needs is here; such abundance from the emptying seas. On the floor by the doorway piled in two wooden crates like rusting industrial rejects are the crabs and lobsters, and in the tangle of warlike body parts, there is discernable movement. On their pincers they’re wearing funerarial black bands. It’s fortunate for the fishmonger and his customers that sea creatures are not adapted to make use of sound waves and have no voice, otherwise there’d be howling from those crates. Even the silence among the softly stirring crowd is troubling. He turns his gaze away towards the bloodless white flesh and eviscerated silver forms with their unaccusing stare, and the deep sea fish arranged in handy, overlapping steaks of innocent pink like cardboard pages of a baby’s first book.

"Naturally Perowne the fly fisher has seen the recent literature. Scores of polymodal nosesceptor sites just like ours in the head and neck of rainbow trout. It was once convenient to think Biblically, to believe that we’re surrounded for our benefit by edible automata on land and sea. Now it turns out that even fish feel pain. This is the growing complication of the modern condition, the expanding circle of moral sympathy. Not only distant peoples are our brothers and sisters but foxes too, and laboratory mice, and now the fish. Perowne goes on catching and eating them and though he’d never drop a lobster into boiling water he’s prepared to order one in a restaurant. The trick, as always, the key to human domination, is to be selective in your mercies."


---Ian McEwan
“Saturday”

Monday, May 01, 2006

People watchin', dishes washin'...

As I tucked my kid in bed
I thought about the chore ahead.
The dirty mound of porcelain
on countertop and in sink spread.

I sighed and soaped the water started,
stacked the plates and bowls aparted.
Looked out the window ‘cross the pool,
mouth dropped low and tongue departed.

There in sight a woman lay
bikini clad and on display.
And with my scrub brush I degreased
allowing my bored mind to stray.

An older couple holding hands
doth walked along the flower strands.
Side by side, their gait relaxed.
No care in this or other lands.

Late afternoon near dusky light,
the sun just barely over ripe.
The birds did seem to disappear
as bats prepared to soar the night.

The plates all scrubbed I rinsed them off
and placed them on the counter top.
The woman turned to sun her back.
The couple for a kiss did stop.

A car with spinners and loud sound
did slice the silence as it wound
through the ‘partments’ woven streets
and to its carport on around.

I finished with the bowls and glasses,
found a pot lined with molasses.
Baked beans from last night’s good meal,
I scrubbed and gazed at sunbathed as... um, buttocks.

No longer bored, this view I had
I nearly dropped the scrubby pad!
The dishes done, as dusk doth hid
the sun that now has dimmed a tad.

And now all dried, the dishes clean.
My girl asleep in bed serene.
Next time I hope when I do chores
that just like this, they’re not routine!

Always!
Jas…

THE STILLNESS OF OBJECTS

I drove out on Sunday night to the library
Books to return.

The night was warm and dark and unusually still
Few cars, fewer people
Like an apocalypse had happened
And only the lucky and the damned were left
Or perhaps like Mars had been colonized
And everyone was there, instead

The radio was off
I wanted to listen to the silence of the night
And the unusual silence in my mind
Quietude after a long day of mental work to prepare for the coming of the morrow

I pulled into the parking lot
And parked outside the 5 steps leading to the main doors
Was a wheelchair

The brakes were off and there was no occupant
It was no more than 5 inches from the first step
And it was perfectly still

I got out cautiously
Examined the chair from all sides
Taking it all in, not touching it
Like a proto-human examining the black obelisk
In Clarke’s “2001”

It was incongruous sitting there
It didn’t make sense
It had no context
Because it had no occupant

It was like finding the empty throne of a divine king
At the bottom of a swimming pool
It made no visual sense
And was harder to look at than you might think
It was mysterious and somehow spooky

I was tempted to search the skies
Perhaps some giant bird or black winged creature swooped down
And snatched the occupant from this chair
Just a few moments before I arrived.

I could lay my hand upon the seat…
Sense for body heat…

But that would mean touching something
That had no business being here

I looked around
No one.
Nothing.
Not even any cars passing by.
Certainly no one lying down who was obviously in need of a wheelchair

I looked into the library through the large windows
Rows and rows and rows of books
Standing neatly at attention
Like unearthed clay Chinese soldiers

Everything was so still that it almost hurt to look
I expected my eyes to play tricks on me
To glimpse something quick and shadowy
Flit from one shelf to another
And disappear when I turned my head to see

Had I seen something
Even something imaginary
Move in there, I’d have felt better
But nothing moved
Like I could come back in ten thousand years
And everything would be exactly the same

I could almost feel the residue of human energy left in this place
From people milling about quietly
Handling books
Taking down, putting back
Opening, examining, closing
And their sudden, complete and infinite stillness
Felt like a blanket wrapped around my chest

Like the wheelchair
It seemed that these books were waiting for something
Like they were waiting for me to take my leave
So they could continue on with their business
Some deepnight magic not meant for the vision of human eyes

They seemed to say
Go ahead, boy, stare as long as you like
We’re not moving…

…not until you go away.