The Ballad of Dog Dually

 

 

 

 

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

The Ballad of Dog Dually

From Wiley Timmons ‘Tales of the West’

Gunnison Gorge – An invocation to amuse-meant.

Gunnison Gorge, Gunnison Gorge                  Gunnison Gorge, Gunnison Gorge
Where canyons rise and eagles soar               Rafting waters, outfitters tour
The river drifts, the white waters roar            Fly fishing the Gunny without any lures
Past ancient cliffs of Gunnison Gorge             Ancient river where Time endures.

1st Riddle –  What’s the difference between a banjo and a harmonica?


Eb – D Harp Walking Scale                              Wiley on the River

On the Trail of the Tale

An ancient canyon, running river, wilderness adventure is a channel for music. Folkloric music.  Ringing thru the air, Walking Down the Line, Fishing Blues and Tom Dooley piping thru the wind organs of the wild.  Piping thru the wind organs of the wild.

From the trailhead the Chukar Trail[1] begins descending right from the  start. There are very few level spots the entire distance. The overall elevation change is 1000 feet and distance is a trekking mile.  Switchbacks are built in to make the steep grade more manageable.  The trail eventually enters the wash  where it passes through the cliffs and down to the river.  Wiley the pack mule lugs in 45 lbs in of gear in a dry bag slung with backpack shoulder straps.  [1] https://www.gjhikes.com/2014/04/chukar-trail.html

With no more than a blister to show (at first) he hears these refrains –Arlo Guthrie at Woodstock in ’69 singing Bob Dylan’s  Walking Down the Line to 400,000 freaks.  In typical Arlo fashion, he hesitates a bit.  As did Wiley at the bottom of the trail  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eV_0h_OBNiM

Walking Down the Line (Bob Dylan 1963)

G          C/g              G      C/g   G                                      I got my walkin’ shoes
Well, I’m walkin’ down the line,                                    I got my walkin’ shoes
C/g    G                                                                                I got my walkin’ shoes
I’m walkin’ down the line                                              An’ I ain’t a-gonna lose
C/g              G                                                                    I believe I got the walkin’ blues
An’ I’m walkin’ down the line.
C/g          G                                                                      Well, I’m walkin’ down the line,
My feet’ll be a-flyin’                                                      I’m walkin’ down the line
D7sus4        C/g      G                                                    An’ I’m walkin’ down the line.
To tell about my troubled mind.                               My feet’ll be a-flyin’
Tell you ‘bout my twisted spine, knee, leg.

At the base of the Chukar Trail, where the shore meets the river, Wiley unloads the dry bag and starts sorting gear when his trick knee kicks in.  SPROING!  The pack mule load unwinds on his leg like a coil spring and wilderness adventure Wiley is now the 1st crip on the trip.  His tightened IT-band, knee sprain injury is old news.  He’ll has to deal with it in the here and now.  On the river.

2nd Riddle-  What walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs in the afternoon and 3 legs in the evening?

Overboard Anglers

Some came for the day, some for overnight.  Some came to guide, some to ride, some to fish and some to float.  Three boats on the river.  Looking for rainbow trout and browns, fishermen rigged their gear from fancy fly boxes.  Elk-haired cadis, streamers, bright plastic moths glowing in the water.  Like Taj Mahal singing to the Gunny –

Fishing Blues (Henry Thomas)

I went down to my favorite fishin’ hole,
Baby, grabbed me a pole and line
Cast it to the left, cast it to the right
Land that fly where the fish will bite
Browns and rainbows swimming around
Smooth river flows without a sound

Many fish bites if you got good bait,
here’s a little tip I would like to relate.
Many fish bites if you got good bait,
I’m a-goin’ fishin’,yes,
I’m a-goin’ fishin’ in the Gunny Gorge river too!

Father and son, wading in the water
Landing everything in sight
Back in the boat, fishing the waters
Left back home the mothers and the daughters

Many fish bites if you got good bait,
But when you’re tossed overboard it’s a fast moving lake
Keep your head up, feet first downstream
Don’t panic in the water or try to scream
While you’re splashing in the cold Gunny Gorge!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNsQI-abvCo

Bite Me, I need the Money

After a day and a half on the river all wilderness rafters make it back to the
campground.  Alive. Tired and Dusty.  With a hitch in his get-away, Wiley
hobbles over to the bar / store / stool to hang out with the good ol’ boys from the
local outfitters shooting the breeze about the river and rafters.

‘What’ll you have’, asks the barkeep?’
‘PBR like everyone else I guess.’
‘What’s your name son?’
‘Look at the label – PBR.  That’s me – Peter Brown Robinson.  Get it?’
Guffaw, guffaw.

Bidding the bubbas goodbye, Wiley drags himself back to camp to pack up and go.That’s where Wiley meets Dually bringing back to mind the murder, musicballad – Tom Dooley.

  

 

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Front Row Seat at a Three Ring Circus

 

Front Row Seat at a Three Ring Circus

They’re selling posters of the surfers. Celebrities all around.
Developers and real estate, buying up the ground.
Here comes the fire commissioner, the hills are all ablaze.
Sheriffs and their deputies chasing the bums away.
While right-wingers and the lefties fighting in the headline news
Crowds push thru the turnstiles to the three-ring circus blues

Wonderland – the first arena

Miramar by the sea. Look at me. Look at me. Miramar by the sea. What is
beautiful needs no adorning. Blessed be the Gods of Real Estate and
show business, Miramar has been an enclave of the motion picture
industry since the late 1920s when groups of actors, actresses and movie
officials established the Colony, a Pacific Riviera on a mile-long strip
of beach just west of a natural estuary and lagoon. This tract of land, and
golden sands, developed from the massive Fringe estate, a property
spanning 26 miles of scenic beauty along the California Coast Rancho
Miramar built as a farm near the ocean, under the lee of themountains, with
brook trout, wild trees, good soil, and excellent climate. On 13,000 acres of
this SoCal estate the Fringe family built a private railroad, a dam,
commercial dairy, oil wells, a ceramic tile factory, horse ranches and a
family home adjoining one of the most desirable surfing beaches in the
world. From the late 1950s, your narrator’s family homes were built on
Miramar by the sea. Look at me. What is beautiful needs no adorning.

Fire on the Mountain – the second arena

Now ladies and gentlemen, let’s turn our attention to ringmaster Wiley
Timmons here in the center stage where you’ve never seen the frowns on
the jugglers and the clowns while they all do tricks for you. Watch as we
take you down, down, down through the burning rings of fire as the
story of Mira-mar is quickly retold through the history of fire on the
mountain. Over the past 100 years 30 fires have burned thru the hills,
homes and wild life of this beautiful coastal and mountain terrain. At one
time or another, almost 90% the land been has been scorched to the
ground. Over many years, the fires in these hills have seared thru the
Miramar three-ring circus lives of Wiley, his friends, and family.

1928 – Las Flores fire (428 acres)
1930 – Portrero fire (20,000 acres)
1935 – Miramar fire (30,000 acres)
1938 — Pot-anga fire (30,000 acres)
1956 – Sherwood / Zuma (56,000 acres)
1970 – Wright Fire (28,000 acres)

  • There’s smoke on the water, fire in the sky as Wiley drives away to college with a boy’s bindlestiff of books, bags and guitar gazing at a young life gone by thru the haze of a rear-view mirror

1978 – Kanan fire (25,000 acres)
1982 – Dayton fire (43,000 acres)
1993 – Green Meadows (38,000 acres)
1993 – Pot-anga fire (36,000 acres)

  • The house of Wiley’s brother is toast.

1996 – Calabasas fire (12,000 acres)
2007 – Coral canyon (4,500 acres)
2018 – Last and largest, the Woolsey Fire burned in Miramar hills & homes.

The fire ignited, in November burned 96,949 acres
destroying 1,643 structures, killing three people, and
prompting the evacuation of more than 295,000 residents. ¾ of the mountain sanctuary acres were gone.

Home Town News – the third arena

The mega-fire of the devastating Woolsey blaze drew back the curtains
from the decades of Miramar growth and development. Smoke and
mirrors, smoke and mirrors. An awakening for this dyslexic atheist
insomniac who stayed awake all night wondering if there is a dog. A
memory too weird for words (but here we go anyways). Through the lifting
of the smoke, fire, haze and in the ashes of the burn scar emerged the
digital footprint of Miramar daily life. Week by week, year by year, here are
the stories of community life retold in the archives of the Miramar News,
these back pages appearing to a man-child with kaleidoscope eyes.
Naturally, we had to rearrange their pages and give them all another name.
Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear as we enter the
Miramar time machine tumbling, tumbling back thru the headlines
of the weekly home town journal. Picture yourself in a boat on a river…as
we move to the next arena of our three-ring circus.

Horsing Around in Miramar

REMUDA –

The Miramar Remuda, a two-day celebration of culture and heritage held September 27-28, 1947, took its name from the corral that vaqueros would use to select a horse for the day. The event featured this impressive display of horses (over 900 riders) on both days, in addition to a circus, a “western bathing beauty contest,” aquatic races, and an air show

Riders and Ropers Christen a Corral
Miramar Queen coronation at gymkhana horse show.
Miramar 4H Plays hosts to horses and celebrities

Nancy and Ron, popular TV and motion picture stars visit a horse show

Building Up the Ground

Brought to you by Propertese God of Real Estate
Ranch sells for 400 pesos (1848)
Beach homes once could be bought for $4500
Atomic Power Plant in Miramar proposed
Hollywood premier for local supermarket opening
Ocean causeway to divert 4-lane highway traffic

Celebritese – God of the Show-Biz Enclave

$1 blue plate special at the Miramar Inn (home of the Shrimp Boat) and
Celebrity gathering spot where photos adorn the walls
Warren Beauty Reports Theft From Parked Car
Stars Hang out at the Tiki Bar
Tiki Bar Drink Menu –

  • Singapore Sling, Planters Punch, Cobra’s Fang, Skull and Bones,      Fog Cutter, Navy Grog and my favorite – the Suffering Bastard

Charles Boyer rents a house
Group Formed for Those who are Really Serious About Being Funny
Ingrid Bergman Dresses up as Joan of Arc
Elizabeth Taylor sports an Easter hat (with Parisian smartness)
Hit Parade Beauty Queen – Peach on the Beach is Out of Reach
Cisco Kid elected Miramar mayor

The Battle for the Headline News

Sputnik Sails over Miramar (11-8-57)
Freedom Document Foundation –
‘A Bible and the Constitution in every American home’
Put the United States Back Together Again. Elect Richard Nixon
It’s Time to Wake Up Americans

  • Frenzied plea of the Communist Party is dedicated to overthrow the USA
    And ‘Bury Us’. The People’s World newspaper urges the defeat of Barry
    Goldwater. What is going on in this country?

RF Kennedy romps in Miramar surf before night of tragedy
Reagan Rally Set / 14 Arrested for Weed Possession
Home town rally for gubernatorial candidate
Local John Birch Members Hold Meeting
Democrats with funny hats
Negro War Hero Seeks Job in Miramar

GOP Women hold a teen essay contest – Why Be a Republican?
The following principles best describe the cornerstone of Republicanism

  1. The individual – a spiritual rational being is the most important element
    of our society.
  2.  Government exists to serve the individual, not the individual to serve
    the government
  3. The individual’s economic needs are best provided by a healthy system
    of free enterprise
  4. The United States must be strong and reliant as an individual nation
    In a world of unstable international relations.

Chasing the Bums Out of Town

Burglar Steals Shave Whisky and Cigarettes
Parsing the local newspaper from ’46 thru ’69 on the derelicts of the Mirarmar town. Here’s the tally – Hobo-2, Beatnik-10, Tramp-25, Hippy-20, Hippies-31, Bums-40.
Studio Group Holds ‘Hobo’ Party at Cove

Lifestyles and Culture Wars

Psychedelic Cult Colony Opens in the Miramar Mountain Canyon

  • Founders envision a community devoted to creative efforts and exchange of
    Ideas. A combination of Summerhill and Synanon. Direct personal
    Confrontation and self-actualized freedom are blended

Psychedelic Cult Colony Closes in the Canyons

  • The Strawberry Patch, a 40 acre tract leased by a small group of persons
    identified with the hippy Movement. 65 persons living in tents and frame
    structures

Beatniks Not Seen in Poland Reports Local Veterinarian  
– (president of the Optimists Club)
Woman Slugged by Hippie Type
Hippy Philosophy in 5 short words

  • ‘Some one had to plant and water that flower’
    ‘Oh. I thought they just grew’

Beach Cave Shelters Hippies
Drug-crazed youth goes berserk in Sherriff’s Station
Like Way Out – Is the American Beatnik an Imitation Negro?

Pink Lady in the Nudes (1966).

  • Pink Lady in the News (Nudes). –
    Little Men from Venus Take Credit for Nude Lady Painting
    Gray paint washes over Miramar Canyon painting.

Looking in on a “Happening ”; It’s Wild, Weird, But What is It”?

  • Not wanting to look like squares, but not having the rags to looks like hippies we wore blue jeans and sweat shirts and jazzed it up with big pendants hanging around our necks. I  wanted to wear my granny glasses but no one would go if I did

Marijuana Round-Up Nets 15 Musicians, Hangers on in Pot-anga

  • Buffalo Springfield and Cream
    Five young musicians busted
    10 women detained (16-31 occupations as singer, model, student, entertainer,
    Sculptress, photographer, housewife and public relations girl)

The Fierce Infinity, New Book of Poems, published by Miramar author

Without a Label (side show leaving the arena)


It’s Time for Fun When the Grunion Run – But Use Patience
Big Fish Caught in the Bay Snow blankets Miramar
Woman Falls Asleep; Hits Two Telephone Poles
School bus driver retires after 24 years and 800,00 miles

Miramar Surfers Win at Meet

  • Duke Hawaii Recalls First Surfing in Miramar at the Fringe estate
  • Problems with the wild ones – surfer tantrums and beer can throwing
  • Miramar Beach Association Throws a Hawaiian Luau

 

First class officers elected for Junior High – Wiley Timmons, Sergeant at Arms.

Star Child Stepping Out of the Time Tunnel

Exiting the Time Tunnel, we meet ourself (again) – The Star Child


Wiley – younger than that now

Bold Defiance (last animal standing)

A carbonized rattlesnake frozen in time in the wake of Miramar fires

A Mirror Marred by the Scene

Les Fleur d’Mal (et Blues)

Mal et Blues
Mal et Blues
Le mer c’est bleu
Le mer c’est bleu
Comment allez vous?
Le Miserlou? Les Miserables?
The fugitive can find no job.
Les Fleur d’Mal ecrit par Baudelaire
Speaks poetry to clear the air.
Miramar by the sea
Look at me. Look at me.

What is beautiful, needs no adorning.

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Harry Houdini’s Toast to Arthur Conan Doyle

      

The Case of the Disappearing Friendship                                                                          

INVOCATION TO AMUSE MEANT

HARRY HOUDINI’S TOAST TO ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

Abra-cadabra. Presto-Chango.
To my friend Conan Doyle, your writings grow strange-o                                                           Of elves and faeries this Hocus-Pocus
Perhaps Sherlock Holmes will soon lose his focus.
That keen eye for crime’s cruel seductions,
Your hero’s sharp mind, his skillful deductions
Unravelling the clues through the dark streets of London,
As each case twists and turns you bring before us
Nefarious characters soon brought to justice.

Let us sing your praises, our glasses, let’s raise them –
A toast to Sir Arthur, your writings and canon,
To Holmes and Watson from this crystal chalice
Hear, here we cheer at the hotel Brown Palace.

Alas, your Spiritism I’ve debunked and banished
Forever our friendship completely has vanished.

Presented by Tim Weil at the 2019 DWNP Sherlock Holmes Birthday Dinner
Copyright © 2018 Tim Weil – Security Feeds LLC

Reference – The End of a Beautiful Friendship (Jill Harness

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The Daily Grind

The Daily Grind

SusieQ woke up Saturday morning feeling ‘pressed’;  not depressed, repressed, oppressed or compressed.  Just ‘pressed’.  After Friday night’s wing-ding party, “Prince is Gone, so let’s Dance, Dance, Dance” she struggled to lift the downy bed coverlet off those sleepy blue eyes her willpower and effort focused on reading the oversized RED-LED clock facedial.  10am already.  “Shit, I’m late to work,” she wheezed and reaching to the headboard counter, fumbled for her pink I-Thing call machine to dial in to the daily grind.

“Hello, Queequeg, this is your busy barista,

SusieQ  letting you know I’ll be an hour latte.  Please tell my Coffee-Mates, Stubb and Flask, to cover for me at

Starstrucks.  I’ll be there as quick as I can.”  Click.

The struggle ahead to get past blankets, into working attire and off driving in her canary-yellow Fit was definitely an  uphill slog.  Damn.  She had “Purple Rain” on the brain and kept spinning last night’s DJ playlist into her jukebox mind.  “When Doves Cry, Let’s Go Crazy, Kiss (me) and let’s do the Bat Dance”.  Let’s face it – she always loved the artist formerly known as Alexander Nevermind / James Coco (not cocoa) and she did her best to brush the purple glitter from her hair as she prepped for the work ahead.  She laughed as she looked at the Starstrucks company dress code (green apron, slacks and appropriate jewelry) she had taped to the bathroom mirror.  With a flick of the wrist, she tossed the ‘uniform of the day’ into the laundry hamper.  No green apron for her today, that’s for sure.

With ‘purple passion’ pulsing in her veins, SusieQ went back to her clothes rack and emerged as Prince’s Princess,  dazzling in a polka dot pantsuit featuring a speckled black blouse and white pants offset with a dashing neck scarf.  Just to get things right, she topped off the getup with a Starstruck hat, adorned with her Prince-ness picture, looking regal and rockin’.  ‘Let’s  get going’ she mused and motored off to the mall to get it on with the coffee crowd.  As she made the scene at the Starstruck shoppe, SusieQ glided in the door just 45 minutes late to her shift.  She was singing and toe-tapping her way and the food droid staff smiled and quickly picked up the beat.  “Hey Queequeg, let’s get a double machiatto on the rush.   Stubb and Flask, harpoon me baby with some Mocoa, White Chocolate Mud”.

“One, two, three, let’s work.  C’mon let’s have some fun.  We’ll work till the morning comes.  Let me see you work”.

Do the daily grind.

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Appliance Time Again

Appliance Time Again                                    Ray Charles - Down Under by Tim Weil - Stories and Songs    

(with apologies to Buck Owens and Ray Charles)

CHORUS: It’s appliance time again, the fridge is broken
This old icebox it ain’t workin’ anymore
Yesterday she threw the mayonnaise in the garbage
A pool of water lies beneath the door.

The crisper holds the lettuce and the veggies
The temperature’s gettin’ mighty warm
Our box is livin’ way beyond it’s shelf life
We ain’t chillin’ out the way we did before.

CHORUS

The repair guy say the themostat  stopped workin’
The beer is warm, the food has started thawin’
Got to shop for a new refrigerator
After writin’ out the words to this sad song

CHORUS

Now they say AMANA’s gonna need a woman
My gal says that’s a brand I gotta try
But if she fills our icebox up with onions
I’ll bow my head and slowly start to cry.

CHORUS

Well it’s cryin’ time again look what she leaves me
A dead refrigerator and what’s more
This appliance and these cryin’ eyes are grievin’
My babe walked out the house and slammed the door.

CHORUS

The FRIGIDAIRE stopped coolin’ yesterday
And the WHIRLPOOL is headin’ down the drain
Our love’s defrosted baby, the ice just melts away
It’s appliance time again, you know I’m leavin’

CHORUS

Copyright © 2018 Tim Weil – Security Feeds LLC

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Walsenburg Waltz

Spanish Peaks, Huerfano County

Invocation

Beneath the snowy Spanish Peaks
The Huajatolla (Wahatoya) in native speak,
Our tale begins with Story Creek
The steady flow of words we speak

On 80 acres of grassy plains
Bluffs and hills and scrub emerge
We scratch the land, our lives converge
Outside the hamlet …

Walsenburg Waltz

one, two, three
one, two three
waltzing thru time
swing with the beat
kick up your feet
one, two, three
one, two, three
partners in crime
gliding in space
running the race

Back in the day, the world was headed for Hell and Marigold’s group household opted out of the chaos, buying 80 acres in southern Colorado, beyond the front-range growth surge we foresaw, even in 1978. Huerfano County had cheap land so, numerous hippie tribes settled there, in the footsteps of coal miners who came for the jobs and stayed to scratch out a living running cattle, selling real estate, motels and cafés catering to travelers.

Huerfano County road signHuerfano (meaning orphan) County’s Spanish Peaks, neither quite a fourteener but standing out from the Front Range (wa-ha-to-ya in the native tongue) were landmarks on the Santa Fe Trail. Population centers include county seat Walsenburg, sex-change capital Trinidad, Ludlow (as in Massacre), La Veta and a double handful of small dried-up towns scattered across the scrub oak and pinon of the hills and sagebrush of the high prairie.

Huerfano County has been home to the oldest Jewish congregation west of the Mississippi (which recently folded, selling their beloved Torah to, coincidentally, the temple that Fred and Marigold joined in Denver); to Drop City, Libre, Red Rocks and other hippie settlements; to neo-con retirees who, in 2016, turned the county Republican for the first time in its existence. There’s a struggling ski resort on the west side of West Spanish Peak, an opiates problem and history that looks a lot like poverty.

one, two, three
one, two, three
play the song over
we’ve only begun
and still having fun

Construction with Manuel Labor

Story Creek aerial view15 miles up a county road, with no electricity or running water, our dreams become projects. Build a cabin, string a fence, lay in a cistern. Pour concrete walls. Pour lots of concrete walls. Stand up a windmill, dig a trench, pump water up a mesa to tanks for gravity-fed irrigation systems. Fix a broken tractor. The entropy of the land: we’re always building, and things are always breaking down.

Under the direction of Randall Vision, we pound posts and string barbed wire to keep out the neighbor’s cattle. The small-batch cement mixer labors as we pour foundations and raise greenhouse walls. The cute little Kubota backhoe groans digging through hard dirt and harder rock on the hilltop, preparing holes for a pair of water storage tanks.

On a 105-degree morning we arrive at the cement-works yard in Pueblo, where the office manager shakes her head, “In seven years I’ve never seen a day when everything went right.”

But we buy two 500-gallon cisterns anyway. They’ll deliver them Friday … sort of: they unload them fifteen miles down the road from Story Creek. How we’re supposed to transport two large, heavy, fragile tanks from there never occurs to them. Several conversations and days later, they send the truck to bring them the rest of the way in, to the holes awaiting them.

One, two, three
One, two, three
Build without ceasing,
Sweat, blood, and blisters,
Structures increasing.

The only way to get water from the pond to the tanks is to pump it but, we have no source of electricity. We acquire a windmill and Fred learns how to stand it up and mount the blades, balancing on the tiny platform twenty feet up, wrestling slabs of sharp tin into place then tightening the bolts so they’ll stay there. Once it’s up and running, the windmill’s a source of joy – lie in a hammock in the willows and watch it turn all afternoon. Gradually, the cisterns fill and water flows to the greenhouses.

Three Flat-Tire Day

Randall drives everyone hard, including the heavy equipment. Who’d have thought the skinny stumps of scrub oak would poke clear through tractor tires? Again and again? When the stubble punctures the first tractor tire, he puts on the spare. The rear tire is next to go, at which point, a 15-mile trip to town is in order. At Jolly Bonacelli’s tire repair store in Walsenburg, the heavy-set repairman does a belly flop onto the tire, tools in hand. Jolly Bonacelli and his very big belly. On the return trip to Story Creek, our pickup truck has a flat, just a tired tire. Three flats and you’re out for the day.

Gimme Shelter

Rammed earth dwellingThe only structure on the property when we acquire it is a low shed, used to store hay, protected from snow and wind. Raise the roof, add some walls, add more rooms – piece by piece it becomes a cabin. Fred and Marigold, dreaming of Rammed Earth, design the next addition, pouring a foundation then presenting plans to Frank Noga, the county engineer. He never heard of rammed earth – pipe clamps secure sturdy forms aligned 15″ apart, sprinkle in a moist blend of clay, sand and portland cement, then tamp it till it rings, hard packed. Keep adding earth-mix, keep tamping and the walls rise. With a “hat and shoes” – protective roof and foundation – a rammed-earth structure lasts centuries. Well, Frank Noga’s seen plenty of hippie shelters – our architectural drawings are a step above. He stamps his approval on the plans.

Pouring Concrete Walls

Friday afternoon work crew – Randall, Norm and Fred – watch the sun go down behind East Spanish Peak, no cement truck in sight. A race to the bottom of a Jack Daniels fifth is interrupted by the rumble of the mixer at 4pm, hours after everyone has given up on it. Oh shit! What are we going to do now? When the truck reaches our site, the tipsy crew goes to work. Fresh cement is delivered one wheelbarrow at a time. Try not to spill; this stuff is really heavy.

one, two, three
one, two, three
Maria del oro
Fred does his part
stay close to the heart

The Great Escape (almost)

Kawasaki 175 (Estrella model)The Kawasaki 175 (Estrella model) is a sporty, temperamental motorcycle for riding the Story Creek back roads and making quick trips to town. One day, Fred takes it out for a spin. Wearing sunglasses plus a helmet with a smoky visor, he keeps fiddling to kick this sucker into third gear. As luck would have it, he notches third as he comes over a rise, revving up to 30 mph about the time he sees, about 40 feet away, a three-strand barbed wire gate closing the road. Steve McQueen in The Great Escape would have leaped gracefully over this barrier. Instead, Fred goes for Plan B: dropping the bike, sliding wheels-first into the obstacle to save himself from painful lacerations. Almost. His right hand on the handlebar finds some nasty barbed wire that slices a two-inch gash in his middle-finger knuckle.

Resourceful to a fault, Fred wraps his wound in a bandana, opens the gate, picks up the Kawasaki and drives 10 more miles into town, seeking ER medical relief. The nurse checks him in and parks him on a cot to wait for the doc when two cops bring in his new roommate, a psychobilly traumatized with a PCP psychosis, restrained by the sheriffs and howling to beat the band. Fun is where you find it – that’s Fred’s for the day. The docs stitch him up, he rides back to Story Creek and, to this day, keeps his middle-finger scar as a reminder.

One, two, three
one, two, three
verse stands aside
here comes the chorus
written just for us
one, two, three
one, two, three
story creek farms
a Walsenburg waltz
with plenty of schmaltz

Hippie Days

Fast forward to the next century. Fred and Marigold, passing through Gardner, see a poster advertising Hippie Days – “Let’s go!”

They arrive armed with their copy of Shelter, a 1973 book about alternative structures, building materials and communities, a number of which grew up in Colorado in the 60s and 70s. The large-format, thoroughly illustrated book draws lots of interest. When Fred turns to the Red Rockers page, a woman stabs a finger at the group photo in front of the fifty-foot dome and exclaims, “That’s me! I was three. That girl next to me is a doctor with a degree from Harvard Medical School.”

Her friend looks over her shoulder as Fred identifies his cousin, David. “Didn’t he have a brother who was a junkie?”

Even in the 21st century, hippies are alive and well. Most communities are memories, evoking exasperation and fondness. “That dome was great for parties but it was a big noisy space – really hard to live in. In the summer, we lived in tents and tipis for privacy and sanity.”

Another onlooker remembers Archuleta, where some people lived in Zomes (domes made of aluminum sheeting). Libre is the only community still functioning. An artists’ colony, it sells work at a store in Walsenburg but mostly, the denizens keep to themselves.

Hippie Days shimmies in the sun to great music and belly dancers, with vendors selling vegetarian treats, books, handicrafts, original photos printed on greeting cards, rainbow tie-dyed t-shirts, wind chimes… All the people, even the sheriff’s deputies and the vaqueros, dance as the afternoon lengthens into evening, and No Bad Vibes rules the day.

One, two, three,
One, two, three
Dance and recall –
Hippie Days rock,
Laughter and talk.

Together or Bust!

Some folks can hang out for years, friendly but not too close. Not Marigold and Fred. Seven months into cohabitation, Huerfano County gives them a nudge. Four-day weekend: perfect for work and fun with the household crew. Last week’s snow has melted: perfect conditions for perfect mud, swallowing Fred’s car to its axles.

But Marigold has work the next morning, two hundred miles north. No way to tell her boss she can’t make it so, she grabs her pack, hikes up the road, hitchhikes into town then thumbs her way home, and gets to work on time.

JesterThe next day, Fred wrestles his car out of the mud, driving home by way of the long-gone Red Rocks commune, the dome his cousin shared with thirty other hippies. Fred’s cousin, David, morphed into a film critic for Newsweek. The Red Rocker, Larry Lazlo, hangs his hat in here in Denver, with Co-Media Photography. His celebrity portraits grace Denver’s SIE Film Center today. Everybody starts somewhere.

The Fred and Marigold reunion occasions a hard look: what are we doing? Hanging out, it appears, does not equal “your problem is mine” loyalty. When opposites are in motion, they’re either in mutual orbit or flying off in separate directions. The Weak Force of “kinda-sorta-maybe” doesn’t hold.

So, our Fools must reflect, in the light of the Cosmic Beam:

“You! You! What are you doing?!”
“Who, me? Us?”
“Do it t-t-together!”
“Well……….”
A party-pack of reasons not to… blows away like chaff.
So, laugh!

One, two, three
one, two, three
follow the dream
tapping our toes
wherever it goes
one, two, three
one, two, three
April, she comes
brings what she will
it’s always a thrill

A Foolish Day at the Court House

Huerfano County CourthouseApril 1st, 1981
Opposites drawn like magnetic poles
North and south at the county courthouse
Two fools collide and merge our souls
Writing a story, we find a spouse.

Meeting Judge Murr just before nine,
We say the words and swap the rings
Figuring it will turn out fine,
Like lots of other silly things.

Fred and MarigoldA dyad launched from the Alpha Motel,
Friends at our side who know us well;
A close-kept secret, intensely discussed

We tie the knot and the joke is on us.

one, two, three
one, two, three
you hear the tune
laughing out loud
away from the crowd

one, two, three
one, two three
waltzing thru time
swing with the beat
kick up your feet

Re-invocation

Spanish Peaks, Huerfano CountyBeneath the snowy Spanish Peaks –
The Wahatoya in native speak –
Our tale now ends with Story Creek.
The steady flow of words we speak
On 80 acres of grassy plains,
Bluffs and hills and scrub emerge,
We scratch the land, our lives converge.
Outside the hamlet

– Waltsenburg Waltz

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The Ultimatum – Get in Shape

get_in_shapte

The Ultimatum – Get in Shape

story by Ralph Underwood Fit

One, two, three, four.  Work it out.  Work it out.  One, two, three, four.  Get in SHAPE, Get in SHAPE.  One, two, three, four.  Are you fit?  Are you fit?  One, two, three, four.  Help yourself.  Get in SHAPE.  Work it out.  Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of health and fame.  Ralph Underwood Fit is my name.  My students know me as RU Fit, your personal trainer for the ‘Get in SHAPE’ program.  Try to see it my way and we can work it out.  Get it?  Here’s the deal – with my four-part system, I’m here to help you help yourself with the ‘Self Help Assessment Plan Evaluation’system.  That’s SHAPE, for short.   The shorthand for HELP is easy to understand.  H-E-L-P

H – Have a problem?

E-   Everyone does

L-   Let’s get together and

P –  Party

Now I know you’ve seen those TV bunko artists with the perfect hair and perfect teeth pacing the stage with a headset-microphone pitching all kinds of self-improvement programs – save your money, eat wholesome food, follow my exercise program, learn to bowl or save your soul.  With our SHAPE system you’ll have the tools to empower your life.  The cost to you, the dinner theater audience, is absolutely free and if you’re not  satisfied, we will provide a money back-guarantee.   As I like to tell my students, there’s something lost and something gained in living every day.   So let’s get on with the show.

Living here in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado country, we are at the center of the fitness universe.  Folks move here from around the world to find a self-improvement training program of choice.  It might be body-shaping, cross-fit training aerobics, pilates, weight training, or the extreme sports like ultrarunning, alpine climbing, high altitude trail running, mountain biking, parachuting, couloir skiing, free-soloing, mountaineering, cross-country skiing, downhill racing and the like.  To be clear, our program is about none of that stuff.  The X-Games are not Y-U-R-Here.  RU Fit’s ‘Get in SHAPE program starts with one basic assumption – ‘I still haven’t found, what I’m looking for’.  Here’s the deal.

We all remember the characters in the Wizard of Oz, right?  The Scarecrow who lacks a brain and desires above all else to have one; the Cowardly Lion, king of the jungle, who looks for courage and nerve to conquer his fear and finallythe Tin Woodman who states that he has neither heart nor brain, but cares nothing for the loss of his brain.  As the song goes …

I could while away the hours, conferrin’ with the flowers
Consultin’ with the rain.
And my head I’d be scratchin’ while
my thoughts were busy hatchin’
If I only had a brain.

When a man’s an empty kettle he should be on his mettle,
And yet I’m torn apart.
Just because I’m presumin’ that I could be kind-a-human,
If I only had heart.

Life is sad, believe me, Missy,
When you’re born to be a sissy
Without the vim and verve.
But I could change my habits, never more be scared of rabbits
If I only had the nerve.

The RU Fit SHAPE system begins with a similar set of problems.  Mine.  It was helplessness, and lots of it.  Hence the desire to be helpful.  To get the heart of the matter, I developed the SHAPE program out of a strong desire to help people help themselves.  Here’s a few examples.   In junior high iI was raising money for the Toys for Tots program providing the Marine Corps recruiters with gifts for the young victims of the Vietnam war.  In high school I was leading fund drive for the US AID program, providing protein powder food supplements to the starving Ibo population suffering malnutrition and genocide in the Nigerian Biafran war.  In the college years, I was helping a Mexican family reunite across the US border and later, I did combat duty as an inner city bilingual school teacher in South Center Los Angeles – a war zone in an urban barrio.  At some point during those teaching years, RU Fit got the message, ‘help yourself Mr. Teacher man. we’ve got to get out of this place if it’s the last thing we ever do”.

Fast forward a few decades and let’s take a close look at the SHAPE program in action.  The case study involves   the Rebuilding Together program, a national non-profit group that organizes home improvement projects  The raison d’etre behind Rebuilding Together is providing good will, volunteer effort to provide help to families or individuals in need of assistance.   Similar to the ‘Habitat for Humanity’, this program is the nation’s largest home/community repair program with thousands of projects across the country every year.  In one day, houses are made into homes, racial, social and religious barriers are broken and lives are transformed.  Back in the Washington DC area, our temple volunteered one year to the next either painting, scraping, hauling or hammering to put a new look on an old home.

In the early ‘90s, we met a man who had certainly helped himself in Life.  Warner was an 80-year old black man living alone in a 3-story townhouse off Florida Ave in Northeast DC.  As a proud army veteran, Warner had marched into Berlin at the end of WWII as part of the liberation forces.  His distinguished military career lasted another 30 years and in the early ‘70s he was discharged with honors from the service.  His home was decorated with medals and commendations and yet he had been living alone for many years, a ward of his church, with no immediate family to care for him.   Although blind in one eye, Warner could take care of himself, and he liked to cook.  To improve his home, a project was planned to remodel his kitchen and the Rebuilding Together team began work on a Saturday with a tear-out of the old cabinet and countertop fixtures.   In the corner of his kitchen, our crew piled the cabinet contents onto a few tables so everything was ready for the remodeling job the next day.

On Sunday morning our crew chief Larry and I parked in the alley behind Warner’s home.  It was early in the day, an hour or so before the remodeling volunteers were scheduled to arrive.  “You know Larry, I’d be relieved if you go to meet Warner.  Chaos is about to descend on his home.  You might want to see if he’s still expecting us to invade his townhouse to pound nails, scrape paint and make noise on this early Sunday morning. Let’s make sure that Warner is in good SHAPE before the worker bees arrive”.   So Larry left the van in the alley and walked around to the front door while I waited for the ‘all clear’ sign to come on in.  It was one of those moments in life when everything comes to a complete stop, like the scene in that sci-fi classic, ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ when Klaatu the alien freezes time to give humans a last chance to save themselves from mutually assured destruction, self- annihilation, nuclear war and the like.  After twenty minutes or so, Larry came out the back door of Warner’s home, looking white as a ghost.

“What happened Larry?”

“Something bad,” he said.

“Did Warner have a heart attack?”

“No, worse”.

“Did he die?”

“No, worse”.

“OK, he didn’t die or have a heart attack, what could be worse than that?”

“Around 7am, Warner got out of bed and went downstairs to fix breakfast.  He went over to the kitchen stuff we had left in the corner and poured himself a glass of apple juice.  The four ounces of fluid he drank was PineSol, not apple juice.  He did manage to call 911 before he collapsed and the medics were wheeling him out the front door when I arrived”.

“Holy crap.   What should we do with all the volunteers coming over to fix his kitchen?” “I’ll take care of the crew”, he said.  “Let’s have you call the Rebuilding Together office and get some advice”. I rang up the local HQ and explained in a panic that ‘we’d fixed his wagon, not the kitchen’.  They told me to stay put while they sent their attorney over to take a deposition.   While awaiting the legal-eagle to arrive I started thinking once again about the desire to be helpful and the design of the SHAPE program we are presenting tonight.  A few basic ideas came to mind.

  1. The road to hell is paved with good intentions
  2. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong
  3. Murphy was an optimist
  4. No good deed goes unpunished

To this very day,   still hear Warner, mumbling something about, ‘go help yourself’ as they rolled him out the door In the end, the whole mess sorted itself out.  They pumped his stomach in the hospital, the crew built out the kitchen, the attorney got his statement and the Rebuilding Together program learned a thing or two about dealing with adversity in the mission of helping other people’s lives.

OK?  Got the picture?  The SHAPE system (a  Self-Help Assessment Evaluation Program) is designed to make helpful people more successful with their mission.  Unfortunately, things don’t always work out as planned.   Remember that example,  Klaatu the alien, in ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’.  He lands his spaceship on the DC mall and emerges with his sidekick, Gort to bring peace and harmony to our ragtag planet Earth.  And what happens?  He presents a harmless device as “a gift for the American President… to study life on other planets. The army guys shoot him, right?  Nevermind, he’s a determined fellow (Klaatu Barada Nikto).  At the end of the film he stops all electric power on Earth for 30 minutes to show what would happen if we humans threaten peace in space,  Damn if the soldiers shoot him again.  You just can’t win.

One, two, three, four.  Work it out.  Work it out.  One, two, three, four.  Get in SHAPE, Get in SHAPE.  One, two, three, four.  Are you fit?  Are you fit?  One, two, three, four.  Help yourself.  Get in SHAPE.  Work it out.  Try to see it my way and we can work it out.  Get it?  Here’s the deal – about that four-part SHAPE system, it turns out that the HELP we are assessing is really another acronym, word scramble and when properly sorted out leads us to the conclusion (almost) – Help stands for – ‘HUMANIZE EVERY LIVING PERSON’ (so Help me finish) –

If I wanted your assistance / I’d offer no resistance / Trying never to escape

I would take your HELP on Sunday / To my office on the Monday /And work to get in SHAPE.

I may not be the wizard / To fix or tame a blizzard / To keep us safe and warm

But with the HELP we are providing / We’ll take your shadow out of hiding / Give you shelter from the storm

If this story has a moral / To keep with you tomorrow /It’s a straight and simple song

Just SHAPE up your demeanor / To keep from getting meaner / Can’t we all just get along?

And that’s the SHAPE we’re in

ultimatum

 

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Tribute to Yevgeny Yevtushenko

NY Times obit-tribute  4/1/17 –http://securityfeeds.net/tweil/city_of_yes_no/yevtushenko_obit.pdf

The City of Yes and the City of No – a surging outcry against repression

Performance Poet (1966) – LIFE photo

Book signing at Washington Festival of Books (2006)

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Fool Courting Dance

Fool Courting Dance

A ROADSIDE DISTRACTION

The FoolFirst eve of their journey, SF to Boulder, T-Bone asks Mobility B (MoB for short) to stop in Carson City, so he can gamble. But he sleeps thru town, and wakes up in Reno.

“Here we are,” MoB announces. He goes into a casino and the baker loses his dough. Night in some fleabag. Next day, Palm Sunday, down US 50 – the road less travelled and, 20 miles past Fallon, the Squid has its second flat tire.

“You know MoB,” says T-Bone, “I worked as a tow truck driver with a Holmes-440 rig on the LA Freeways. Changed many a spare tire for a lady in distress.”

“No problem,” says T-Bone, “here’s what we’ll do: I’ll jack up this jacked-up car and you, with the jack (I’m broke flat) will take of business back in town. How’s that sound?”

T-Bone is cashless, MoB has travelers checks. She hitchhikes back to Fallon, a flat tire on its rim under each arm, and calls up 24-Hour Repair.

Guy says, “I hope you don’t think I’m gonna give you a ride clear out there.”

“Oh no, not at all. I’ll just hitchhike.”

He mounts and balances two new tires. “Well, you still got still half an hour on the clock – I’ll drive you out to your car.”

“Thanks!”

“But I hope you don’t think I’m gonna put ’em on the car for you.”

“Oh no, not at all. I’ll do that.”

Back at the roadside broke-down Squid, T-Bone gets flashed with a ‘Ben Franklin’ impulse and, unpacking his Indian Tiger Kite, he walks sagebrush over tumbleweed, over cactus, out in the desert landscape to ‘go fly a kite’. There, he spends an hour or two dancing the Tiger Kite in the freedom of the Nevada wind.

About this time, MoB and Repair Guy arrive at the Squid to find T-Bone flying a kite. Repair guy puts both tires on the car – nice guy! No longer stranded, MoB and T-Bone take comfort in the 1969 Falcon Station Wagon with a black fender, a grey one, the rest of the body gold. A cracked windshield and all their stuff sitting there on the US-50 shoulder. This Squid, a veritable ‘bucket of bolts’, holds these two fools together at this dead-stop intersection of their young itinerant lives.

CORRESPONDENCE COURSE

Roll back the clock 4 months, to November in Boulder: MoB gets the Cosmic Kick in the Ass and abruptly obtains an old cheap car, and away she goes like a balloon with a hole in it, launched spinning, Alaska-bound, while friend, T-Bone, stays in Boulder to study computers, baking French bread to make bread.

Before parting waves, parting ways, T-Bone lays down some terms and conditions so that MoB and guy can communicate through space time – as retold by the poet, Jaime De Angelo:

Fox was the only living man. There was no earth. The water was everywhere.
“What shall I do,” Fox asked himself.
He began to sing, in order to find out. “I would like to meet somebody,” Fox said. Then he met Coyote.
“I thought I was going to meet someone,” Fox said.
“Where are you going?” Coyote asked.
“I’ve been wandering all over, trying to find someone. I was worried there for a while.”
“Well, it’s better for two people to go together … that’s what they always say.”
“OK. But what will we do?”
“I don’t know.”
“I got it! Let’s try to make the world.”
“And how are we going to do that?” Coyote asked.
“Sing!” said Fox.

The deal is sealed. MoB and her Squidmobile are launched on her maiden, epic voyage …

Dear T-Bone – thoughts from Montrose:
strange town
cold night
full moon
trains
Play me that harmonica again.

typing
stopping
why should it distract me
that you are baking bread?

If I had a job
a van
needed a cup of coffee
I might be there.

Instead I have a boat
and miles
and piles of words
to tell the world
& hope they want to know
& so I go
on the great black river
in my rubber-keeled fish
with a beer
& the AM bands
& these 2 hands
to guide it all along.

It can’t be wrong
– feels like paradise
under this sky
a place to be,
& places going by …
Harmonica

I tried that harmonica
– where’d you find those notes,
that train-whistle-moan
that mournful tune?

Asphalt busy with campers
jeeps, trailers, trios in orange.
Kill those elk, fill that freezer,
maybe something
for the mantelpiece.
We swim concurrent on the highway
in our different streams
– Could they really be nearer
than you?

Play that train again,
I’ll let you know.

A Cool November Night

Monday

Well, well, well

There you are. Cool blueberry country. Home of the Stamper family. “Never give an inch.” Milessssss down the road. How ya doin’?, Miss Mobility?

Here I sits. Little House on the Prairie, North Boulder style, me, Augusto, Justin & Julie stashed in their rooms watching Jane and Papa Henry Fonda in a movie. Time winds down to the holiday season and sometimes, a lot of things happen when you’re standing still.

In Bend
They don’t extend
that helpin’ hand
tho’ friendly as can be.
“No Boy Scouts we &
owe you nuthin’
oh you nuthin'”
don’t y’ see
ain’t nobody poor
‘cept fools like me
footloose & free
But they don’t give
a time of day
to anyone who lives my way
– “You have no phone?
Scram you can’t
wash dishes here
Why they’re standin’ in line
Bribin’ each other to get lost
they want this $20 a day
job so much.”
So, “You know where your
job fits the best
– put it there –
I don’t wanna take yer test
Think I pack m’ bags &
head north, north & west

Into land of fog & rain
I am the Fish’s nose again

Skeezo
Frenic news

“I’m here to welcome you to wherever you think it is you think you’re at.” – X Swami X

“Poetry’s trash, mere cloud of words, comfort to the hopeless. But this is no cloud, no syllabled phantom that stands shaking its sword at you.” – Unferth to Grendel

“Sounds like you got a Tennessee to be Seattled in Washington for a Weil. Well good for you. With a little luck, we may vectorize at some future date. But vector rays are hopelessly divergent lines. Think about Heisenberg’s Law – “If you can see her, she doesn’t exist.” Ergo ~~~ if she’s far away she’s probably doing O.K.”

I have a room that’s pretty bare:
there’s one low table, still no chair.
Not a dresser for my clothes –
Boxes stacked are holding those.
The closet’s large, with many hooks
and hanger space and shelves and nooks.
There is a lamp, and ceiling light
but neither of them’s very bright.
The wooden floor could use some wax
to cover many cuts & cracks,
but then, the ceiling’s fairly high,
there’s lots of space, it’s warm & dry.
Alaska’s hanging by the door
the bed is adequate & more.
The kitchen’s nice – the stove is gas
(they’re hard to find up here – alas!).
The Iron Squid down on the street
is parked beneath where sparrows meet.
Poor Squid! I’d like to keep him clean
But then, where park the old machine?
Athlete’s foot creeps between toes
– I have those Coastal Climate woes!

Well, guess I’ll send this off to you;
if you get the urge to rhyme back, do!

MoB:
Slip-sliding away, the closer to your destination the more you go {drawing of slope written slip sliding away.

I realize that Boulder ain’t happening for y’all but I thoughts your direction was headed towards the LAND (no mention of Spanish Peaks homestead in correspondence). My prejudice is to get something concrete out of this place before I splits elsewhere. & I have unilateral Arian drive to get computer job security under the belt (or at least to give it the ol’ college try).

Journey to Folk Arts Music. (Sing song to strangers on the street). Present song to local folk artists (& croissants for a good review) Man on phone bluegrass artist, with an air of silence that conquers all. He speaks quietly, “That was an agent for Nashville Studio they want me to go cut a record, $50,000 guaranteed.” (Yesterday he played Molly’s for nickels & dimes). Played my pitch to his pitch –

Battle for a New Oil Lease

Iran in the cameras
Iran in the papers
Iran in the White House
Where the oil money flows
Iran so bad
Our Army couldn’t touch ’em
They took our radar bases
In the Gulf of Texaco
French bakery
Later lying at home, wishing I had someone to go to Molly’s with bluegrass Ned was going to sing my song tonight. DARN.
Midnite
Back to the ovens.
No more Cinderfella stories.

Briefing for a descent into a boiler… Tomorrow I get to put in a ~ 24-hour shift taking measurements of wall-thickness in aforementioned place. Scaffolding, heights, bad smell, long hours, numbers.

Do you sing? Do you dance?
Do you laugh without a joke?
Ever swing, take a chance, share illegal smoke?
Do you jive while you drive, let your spirit free?
Do you miss that fishy kiss, do you think of me?

Anyway
should I say
what you are to me?
Someone kind (scale & fin) to ( ) unbindingly
(You won’t like it if I write it so I leave ( ) blank –
Friendship’s fresh air without pressure, nothing if not frank).
Send me a letter, I’ll write a poem better –
I never know what I’ll say.
Just take a blank sheet, the ink & the words meet,
follow it all of the way!

CALL & RESPONSE:

So, I went down to the Crossroads, just to spend some time.
In these still moments, lettuce take time to look ahead at our divergent vector rays and consider these possible scripts, well —

  1. MoB goes to Canada marries an Eskimo.
    Naa!
  2. T-Bone goes to IBM, marries a Computer.
    Hope naa!
  3. MoB goes to North Pole, polar bears hate alfalfa sprouts, comes back to Boulder … huff buff.
    Nope. [I wanna go forward! No Boulder Buff!]
  4. T-Bone scatters in April.
    Yep!
  5. MoB comes back to Boulder CO, MoB & T-Bone link up.
    Y Not?
  6. T-Bone: I’ve a mind to give up living and go shopping instead.
    Don’t buy it’s all inferior goods
    high prices & who needs it?

Inquiry:

Everytime I find myself empty-handed & things are dull I Fold Paper.
Tonight, I make Kangaroos.
The paper is Creased
Pinched
Curled
Pointed
then isn’t Just Paper
Making birds
What sort of financial future
might an Origami Artist
carve out
(fold out?)
of a 1980s (!!) society?
Into what circles
of that society
might I Fold
Curl
Point
my way
to manipulating some
material
clay
paper
sometime
metal
stone
wood
food
words
Making
birds
turtles
Stirring up
the cup of wonder
Cutting adult webs asunder
to free the child
living under —
An elder child
a Fool
must be
But I would rather
Fool and Free
Than smarter be in
Misery.
If someone laughs
& lights those eyes
I feel I have done
something Wise
so why not awake
by an image, I make
some slumbering corner of mind
where a person is kind
can have joy
a free heart
in this world
not apart
Is there such a
market
today?
Intelligence is
What You Use
& Luck of the Muse
Not just Logic
& Pedagogic concluse.
Bend a thought or 2 my way
& le’me know what you have to say.

Cobbler

MoB
Good Friend of Mine
Thanks for the Note
Thought I’d drop you a line
The trouble, it seems
If I follow your rime
Would be Making cents
While unfolding time
The solution we find
Is not much of a problem
We’ll put you to work
In a big Kindergarten!
Alas & Alack
She moans with a scorn
“I’ve really no use
for the not-quite-yet born.”
“If I’m to return
To my land as a native
I must strike out new
With a task that’s creative.”
Want ads are wanting
Who needs a position
When with words and with paper
You’re a folding magician.
Now girl, here’s some lip
From a new age visionary
I’ve looked into the future
And sister, it’s scary.
Scarcity, hunger & famine it seems
May be riding the crest of an American dream.
Without any roots, we’re just tumbleweeds
Blowing around in the Dustbowl of need.
(In the world of the doomsayers
Life’s never too rosy
T needs MoB or
He’ll never be cozy)
MoB needs busy
Or she’ll never be happy
T [bone] it seems
Is going quite daffy.
(On cold days at home
We used to make taffy).
Stop.
Breathe.
Maybe these ramblings aren’t crazy
If we can stretch the mind’s vision
Like that old home made candy
And pat it around in the palms
There’s a chance we’ll
Create a Confection
That’s Grand!
(Watch out now, it’s HOT)
Luv,
T Bone

[FADE BACK TO THE ROADSIDE SQUID]

Fools Courting drive off into the great Salt Lake desert, alternator light blinking red and dark while semi truck mudflaps slap road grit and sleet snow into Squid’s cracked windshield. MoB lies prone on the seat, unable to watch, while T-Bone guides the sliding wheels, driving half blind into the night.

So, after those rhyme-times, they take a chance –
in Boulder, he finds he can hold her,
she finds it’s no colder –
Just what he told her –
They stoke the fire so it won’t smolder,
Each offers a supporting shoulder –
living by whatever rules
pop out of their molecules
Silliness and wit their tools.
There we leave our courting fools.

[SEGUE WITH HARMONICA]

Hohner harmonicaI tried that harmonica
– where’d you find those notes,
that train-whistle-moan
that mournful tune?

Play me that harmonica again.

ILLUSTRATIONS

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Who Wants to be a Homeless Person?

Who Wants to be a Homeless Person?

To compete for prizes in front of our live studio audience, you potential contestants have been invited here to the universal ‘Hobo Jungle’ sound stage for a dry run and a simulation of that popular game show – “Who Wants to be a Homeless Person?”  A few tips before we get started – please refrain from pandering during our rehearsal. No shenanigans, smoking, drinking or swearing are allowed.  And for God’s sake – don’t just stand there – do nothing.  Finally, all questions put to you must be answered in the time allowed.  The clock’s already ticking so let’s get started.

When introduced by our host, master of ceremonies, Rocky Feller, state your name clearly, give a brief personal statement and if you know it, the GPS coordinates of the city blocks or territory you inhabit.  For example, “Dempster Dumpster, scavenger and gleaner, Petticoat Junction” would be a good reply.  “Boxcar Bertha, railroad denizen, Grand Central Station” is OK but “Darrell Licht, vagrant and freeloader, any street corner USA” is a bit too vague.  Try “Wazee and 15th St. if you can’t remember your territory”.  39.753049 latitude,-105.0019142 longitude will get you extra points.

After our 1st commercial break (‘Mr. Clean gets rid of dirt and grime and grease in just a minute.  Mr. Clean will clean your own house and everyone that’s in it.  Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean), it’s time to play “Who Wants to be a Homeless Person?” so wait for the Applause sign to dim and give Rocky Feller your full attention as he reviews our game board.  Categories for your questions might look like these –   Cheap Wine, Midnight Choir, Outdoor Plumbing, Signage, Railroads, Campaign Slogans and ‘The Law’.  You will each have a wheelbarrow of blank cardboard signs and a collection of multi-colored markers to write down your answers.   Remember to keep your answers brief and directed to the questions at hand.  Answers like ‘God Loves You’, ‘Homeless Vet’ and ‘I’ve Got a Family to Feed’ will win you no points.  Let’s try a practice round –

Category – Cheap Wine.  Music Plays – “Down in New Orleans where everything’s fine, all them people are socking that wine.  Drinking wine is their delight and when they get drunk they’re goin’ to fight all night.  Give me wine, wine wine spodiodie”.   What’s a spodiodie? – Answer – A wine spodiodie is a shot that has a layer of Port Wine on the bottom, then a layer of (cheap) bourbon, finished on the top by another layer of Port.

Category – Midnight Choir – ‘That saved a bum like me’ comes from what gospel hymn? – Answer Amazing Grace.

Category – Campaign Slogans – What is the slogan of the Homeless Party? – Answer “Will be President for Food”.

Great.  Now about those prizes you’re playing for.  Finalists in the round of champions will compete for rewards like

  • A monogrammed, freshly painted park bench with guaranteed newspaper delivery for a full year.
  • Personalized street corner signage and a direct deposit box for your daily tips and donations
  • The company of your friends at the Big Rock Candy Mountain resort (and rest home).

Good luck contestants.  Play hard, play fair and play to win.

Music outro plays in the ‘Hobo Jungle’ sound stage – homeless

Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain’t got no cigarettes

Ah, but two hours of pushin’ broom
Buys an eight by twelve four bit room
I’m a man of means by no means
King of the road

Third boxcar, midnight train
Destination, Bangor, Maine
Old worn out clothes and shoes
I don’t pay no union dues

I smoke old stogies I have found
Short, but not too big around
I’m a man of means by no means
King of the road

I know every engineer on every train
All of their children and all of their names
And every handout in every town
And every lock that ain’t locked
When no one’s around

I sing, trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain’t got no cigarettes

King of the Road – Roger Miller

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