Archive for November, 2012

Video daughter eclipses text-dinosaur dad

November 30, 2012

Imagine this:

shoes backpack soldier with trumpet long wall with man and shadow head in leaves trumpet soldier thoughtful girl bride and groom dance wavy man saves drowning child traveling light runner on road art in progress mobile pix silly girls silly people man with tent man on porch tent on porch? man in suit pleasant lady man with smoke implements peeping pop child’s play with dad, neighbor drop-in embarrassment true princess king of pink old-school type, times three, cafe makes four foundations of childhood dancing with child happy kid happy child yellow beret man with world in mind film crew exuberant leap mule wagon at sunrise or donkey cart at sunset bride gets ready clown guy tie tie dancer print job old style type hands tied block print coffee roastin’ music sawman of seattle bride y groom goodbye girl

That’s a lot of free-style poetic imagery for your Friday-evening imagination to comprehend. Maybe this would be easier, and it only takes a minute fifty-seven:

Glass half-Full

In the Moment

November 27, 2012

In the moment of inspiration,

in that potent encounter with

the creating inclination of the universe,

in that moment, say,

as Beethoven listened at his piano

while stark moonlight shone through

the frosty window,

and struck upon his keys–

his dark tones and light strokes


sonata of exquisite beauty and

tender moonlit passion;

Or in that vibration

when the musician touches his bow

to strings;

Or when the artist brushes paint on blank


Or when the writer flings his words

on electrons of exquisite power–

in that moment,

do you

attribute it to the withering I, me, my?

or to the source of all creation

as Handel did

or Bach.

As for me and mine,

in that precious moment

we are so small

and trembling, that we draw back the curtain

to peek

beyond data-folding neo-cortex,

beyond eternity’s veil.

A type of Beast

November 25, 2012

The setting for my new novel, Smoke, now being written, is London. The year is 1937. The main guy in the story,  a young American named Philip Marlowe, has met a tailor, Itmar Greeneglass, who has provided Philip with some disturbing information about what is happening across the Channel, in Nazi Germany.

Research for this writing project has directed me to William L. Shirer’s classic research opus, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

On page 213 of the Simon & Schuster edition, Mr. Shirer wrote:

“On January 26, 1934, four days before Hitler was to meet the Reichstag on the first anniversary of his accession to power, announcement was made of the signing of a ten-year nonaggression pact between Germany and Poland.”

But on September 1, 1939, Hitler’s armies invaded Poland.  So much for peace treaties with a liar.

Four days after the announcement of that peace-pact, which the furious Feuhrer  later disregarded, he addressed the German Reichstag on January 30, 1934. William Shirer writes, concerning that speech, that  Adolf Hitler:

“…could look back on a year of achievement without parallel in German history. Within twelve months he had overthrown the Weimar Republic, substituted his personal dictatorship for its democracy, destroyed all the political parties but his own, smashed the state governments and their parliaments and unified and defederalized the Reich, wiped out the labor unions, stamped out democratic associations of any kind, driven the Jews out of public and professional life, abolished freedom of speech and the press, stifled the independence of the courts and ‘co-ordinated’ under Nazi rule the political, economic, cultural and social life of an ancient and cultivated people.”

That little dictator was quite a demon to have done all that in his first year. And the fact that the political leaders of the free world failed to realize what the beast was up to– is no testimony to the validity of diplomatic processes.

As you probably know, the whole dam world would be suffering for decades to come, because of Hitler’s bloody absconding of the German government, and the world war which resulted from it.

I hope this never happens again, which is why I write about it, so that others may recognize the historical signs of such iniquity ever rising again from the muck of human depravity.

Remain vigilant, all ye lovers of freedom and decency. Be alert, like the deer that panteth for water at the brook. Never again!

Glass half-Full

Listening to Rodrigo’s masterpiece

November 19, 2012

You may enjoy listening to this:

Many years ago, while I was taking guitar lessons at the tender age of 14, my teacher recommended I attend a concert by the renown flamenco artist, Carlos Montoya. Hearing his music that night changed my life.

I spent many years obsessed with the guitar. But these days, the instrument is on a back burner, as I work on writing a novel, my third. The book’s tale begins on May 12, 1937 in London, on the day that George VI was crowned King of the United Kingdom.

But the story, as it has developed through my study of the volatile historical events of that time, gravitates to a place of passion, a land of expressive music, art and precious human blood–a nation on the other side of  the English Channel–Spain. During the late 1930’s, that nation was torn in a terrible civil war.

During the last few weeks, my novel’s historical focus has landed the characters, Philip, Itmar, and Mark, in a dockside diner in London, where they are talking about Spain, and the terrible, bloody events that were happening there in May of 1937.

A week or so ago, while my mind and the keyboard were hovering around this scene written on page 100 or so, I happened to be listening to my favorite radio station, WDAV. As chance or Providence would have it, Joaquin Rodrigo‘s musical masterpiece, Concerto de Aranjuez went out across the airwaves and landed upon my brain.

This evocative, tender music, written by Señor Rodrigo in 1939 at the end of the Spanish civil war, expresses passionately the essence of that unique place. You may enjoy the eleven minutes that listening to it occupies in time.

CR, with the novel, Smoke, in progress

The Cliff, oh the cliff!

November 17, 2012

This winter situation is covered with frost,

and summer’s plenty is all but lost.

Our nation’s budget’s been tempest-tossed,

with funds and revenues far beneath our cost.


Just how we got here, my mind is miffed,

while our budget-crunchers stretch and sift.

Many years now, our spenders squander; our deficits drift

with a fiscal load too heavy to lift.


Whether we plunge or lunge, Congress has a tiff,

because revenues are lethargic and taxes are stiff.

If we cut out this or don’t collect that, and now, what’s more–what if?;

You see our fiscal sense, long ago, hath plunged over this cliff.


Just how far we fall

is impossible to call.

Winter and spring will squall, and summer will stall;

we’ll find ourselves at another cliff next fall.


What else is new? You question me. I’ll ask you.

You say it’s false and I say it’s true:

our debts are too many; our funds are too few.

Who knew?   But I’m not to blame. Surely it’s you!

Glass Chimera 

The inconvenient truth

November 9, 2012

If scientists throughout the world have developed a consensus that excessive carbon emissions in our atmosphere have had, are having, and will continue to have significant effects on human development, then I am inclined to accept their reports.

Ever since my college days in the early 1970s, I have been generally concerned with the cumulative effects of human waste products. Back then, the issue in my mind was more about sulfur dioxide, particulates, and radioactive emissions.

Since, however, excessive carbon has been exposed as the major bogeyman substance to be minimized and strategically restricted, then we shall have to make the necessary adjustments, won’t we?

It does seem ironic to me that carbon, being the worst ubiquitous molecular culprit, also happens to be the elemental building block of life itself. This little twist of chemical paradox is almost Shakespearean in its dramatic heaviness, Oedipal in its implications, and Calvinistic in its deterministic entropy.

For many long years, I have been thinking about this. In this layman’s analysis, I notice from my study of basic earth sciences that our planet’s geologic development has taken many twists and turns, with numerous changes, over a long time. We know there was an Ice Age somewhere back in time. Thank God we’re not stuck in that slushy era.

Climate change is nothing new under the sun, and its significant effects can be readily inferred through paleological investigation. It is commonly known, for instance, that the dinosaurs became extinct as a result of climate change that took place during and after the Cretacious Era of earth’s development. The prominent theory seems to be that a large object from space–an asteroid or meteor or whatever you call it–struck the earth in the Yucatan area of Mexico, the impact of which threw tons of dusty earth elements into the air that radically changed our atmosphere and environment. The dinosaurs couldn’t go with the flow or make the necessary adjustments and so they were phased out in the cruel logic of earthly meteorological fatalism. Survival of the fittest, as the ne0-Darwinians might say, though they are so terribly misunderstood.

So we understand that climate change is built into the planetary system. Nothing earth-shaking there. Well maybe an earthquake or two, but that’s nobody’s fault.

Climate change is happening, and probably, as is generally understood, warming the planet, and yes Virginia, our despicable human race is probably playing a role in these negatory effects. But our responsibility in this is not total, and our thoughtless warming practices may be but a drop in the cosmological bucket.

I feel it is probably too late now to make any significant legislative and/or judicial restrictions that would amount to hill of carboniferous beans on a planetary level. Let’s face it, flatulence happens.

Nevertheless we, as a human race, can collectively try to do something to minimize the effects of this problem. But here’s the deal:

Changes in human thinking and habits need to be voluntary, implemented through the consent of the governed.

Education is, and will continue to be, the primary and most effective strategy for working toward fair strategies to neutralize human-generated climate change–Not totalitarian restriction of human rights, and not draconian cessation of private property rights.

This human rights-based strategy would require that the educators and inventors of the world get busy–not the bossy bureaucrats. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Glass Chimera