They Come as Birds

Posted: April 16, 2014 in creative writing, poetry

They come as birds,
Descending from the heights,
landing but briefly,
Only tied to earth by hunger and thirst.
They come panting and spent
They hunt for the new seeds
and the quick drink.
We must remain still as they search
They fly for the safety of the thin air at the slightest sound.



April 12,2010

Years ago I made a deal with my work world, every year schedule me the day off on my birthday. It has worked for a number of years. On just two occasions in the last so many years, I was unable to have it off. Three years ago and today.

So here I sit in an airport, waiting for a plane to Houston, on my Birthday. On the hour of my birth, I will be at 40,000 feet, -40 degrees F and going 600 mph, with the only thing between me and death, a 12 inch square of Plexiglass 1/2 inch thick. It’s mind boggling that I would want to be anywhere else.

So, I get to spend the day traveling. I will be fed well this evening and probably will have a few free rounds provided by my boss. So I ain’t complainin’!

But at this moment, I would prefer to be home, sitting in my skivies, drinking coffee and watching my front yard grass turn green and waiting for the mail lady to bring a birthday card or two.

But at 12:00 noon today, think of me with my nose pressed tight against that 1/2″ thick window and watching a spectacular view. I guess I’m getting a hell of a plane ride for my birthday this year!


April 11, 2014

I wrote that 4 years ago. Guess what, today I’m sitting in my skivies, drinking coffee and watching the front yard grass turn green, waiting for the mail lady to bring a birthday card or two. Exactly where I want to be. My birthday fell on a Saturday this year so I get a three day weekend. I’m starting early!

I love my birthday. I really look forward to it each year. I am always glad that I’ve made it another 365 days.

This morning, at home, I received an Email on the Blackberry from the Work World Boss at 07:23 AM . It began “I hope you are not reading this today but if you are, Happy Birthday!!!” and then proceeded to ask me about communications tower lighting and marking.  Anyway I love my job and answered the email and the questions he needed answered.

As I sit here this morning in my skivvies, waiting for the mail lady to deliver all of my birthday cards, I wonder, ‘have I worked on my birthday’?

I don’t think I’ll count it. I think the labor laws are very clear. If you can answer an email for work on a handheld device while you are home, sitting in your underwear, drinking coffee, watching from your front window a freshly loaded spray plane smoothly take off and listening as the roar of the 600 horsepower radial engine and prop change pitch as it transitions from earth bound to flight, you are pretty much off work.

The rest of the day I will do exactly as I please, I will be selfish today, I am allowed. The one day of the year that you are allowed. I will try not to think about the addition of a year to my age or the length to my longevity.

My wife has dug out this photo on my birthday a couple of times. It was taken a few years ago. But I do feel the same age and that it may have just been taken only yesterday.




My Starry Night

Posted: April 7, 2014 in poetry


watch and wonder about the light
sweet sweet evening leading to night
calming winds are our day’s delight
cooling fresh air for all that’s right
clearing skies as the stars ignite

walking into the dimming light
velvet drapes upon starry night
no more warmth of our days delight
cold chilling air for all that’s right
sheltered moon as the stars ignite

leave me now with this faded light
shield your eyes from seeing the night
long dark shapes are now night’s delight
cold stale air soaking all that’s right
calm your heart as the stars ignite

lay me at rest in this pale light
no vigils asked this starry night
or dark shadows of deaths delight
silently watch what seems not right
ash to ash as my stars ignite



April 2nd, New Day!

Posted: April 2, 2014 in Everyday Life

Well I hope you all have remembered. This can go by without much notice. Such a big deal is made of April 1st, fool’s day, the second day of this month goes by silently. It shouldn’t.

Today is New Day. This is the day of the year that you throw away the old and start using the new. That disposable razor you’ve been using for over 8 days, today break out a new one. That toothbrush you have worn down to a nub and the bristles that are left are soft and worn, throw it away and break out that new one you’ve been saving in the drawer for the last 8 months, use it! It’s New Day! Those ripped boxers or faded pink bikini underpants with the small rip in the crotch, throw them out! Get those new underpants and tighty whities today! It’s New Day! It feels so good to use new anything!

Today take an inventory of the 1 and 2 dollar items you’ve used everyday for way too long. It’s spring, get new. Throw out that old stained sponge in the sink, that ratty old scrub brush you’ve been using since last Easter. Get a new box of dental floss, if you haven’t used all 200 feet in the last 5 years, get a new clean shiny box of it, for goodness sake! Change those flashlight batteries whether you think you need it or not. Throw caution to the wind! It’s New Day!

Just think of the cheap items you’ve been using way too long, celebrate! It’s New Day!


Such is the life of John

(this message brought to you by Dollar General)


Stepping back

Posted: March 31, 2014 in politics, Sixties

The older I become, the more I find that the subjects I’m interested in are changing. It used to be electronics, flying and computer programming. Now I lean more to music, movies and writing. It seems I’m changing my self-study major from the sciences to the liberal arts. I’m much more proficient at the natural sciences. But as I age, I find myself more and more interested in the more subjective things of life.

Shamelessly I have been reposting many stories and poems I wrote 3 or 4 years ago from a different blog. All of them have been work that I think is good and I enjoy reading them, too. It saves time to just go back to the vault every few days and just pick out something to post. Sort of like going to the closet and picking out a shirt or different pair of shoes to wear. I know it is lazy. But none of them have been posted here on WP before and I do have all new readers so it’s not like I am becoming a total retread. I just think of them, the poems and stories, as being re-mastered. Sometimes it is good to go back and review what was done years ago sometimes it’s not.

You may have noticed I have left out politics from my interests. I used to love politics, I am still interested, but I just don’t love it anymore. I do know this, in the next 2 or 3 years of elections we are in danger of drastically changing the landscape of this country. I feel if the conservatives gain control of all three branches, we will be set back 50 years of civil rights progress and un-reigned capitalism may abound. Just look at what’s happening in the individual States that are conservative controlled. You may agree with those changes, you may not, but at the national level if those kinds of changes are made we will be cast back to pre-1964, which I remember clearly. Voting and civil rights, poverty legislation, Medicare, Roe vs Wade and even teaching of evolution will all be put on the table. Issues we thought were addressed properly years ago will all be challenged again. I do not want to go back to that era. Keep your eyes and ears open. We can’t let stepping back happen.

I was in junior high and high school during those turbulent times of the 60′s. I was president of the young Democrats all through high school. Involved in local politics, but a little too young to participate in the protests and demonstrations of that time. I’m afraid I may get my chance again but at a more advanced age.



Beaded Curtains

Posted: March 27, 2014 in Sixties, war


(This is a combined account of two men I worked with in 1970. This may be disturbing to read. I know it was when they told their stories to me so many years ago. Not flash fiction but flash reality.) 

He felt tired but entirely fulfilled. Not since the last time in Saigon had he let his desires surface to that extent. The small framed women wore almost child like bodies but carried old in their eyes that revealed years of experience. Their confidence was always disturbing. Their callused hands and poor teeth told nothing of their age. Any type of sex act was available and for 3 French francs all could be performed on a man at the same time by as many women. He thought nothing of following these whores through bead draped doorways into any seedy room that they choose to work. The steaming heat, smell of cooking soy and Yan Woa perfume filled his lungs. Afterwards, a shower, Brazo soap and change of clothes was the only thing that peeled the reminder of the erotic encounter from his body and hands but not his mind.

What a hole to find himself in. How in the hell did, Gerald Watswigger, a 23-year-old Air Force Airman First find himself in such a place? No one at home would even know where or what continent he was on let alone city, even if he could tell them where he was or what he was doing.

Advisors, in the occasional 1962 U.S. newspaper that they would find, the papers called them advisors. But Wag’s crew wore civilian clothes only, no U.S currency and no I.D. could be carried. They would move from hotel to hotel one step ahead of each rumor that they heard of an impending bombing. As they moved out through the outskirts of Saigon, they could see things were heating up. Barbed wire, machine gun nests and unmarked American jeeps were becoming more common. Cratered holes and dirt clods of yellow clay gave evidence of the previous nights clash with the black pajama clad insurgents.

Then a tremendous percussion, a blast that blew him and the jeep into the air. He crashed face first into the mud, ears ringing, his eyes mostly blinded by seeping blood. Right arm twisted behind his back, he was unable to rise. Then the pain and dizzying sensation to puke. The pain, the fucking pain and realization that he had lost his boot and sock. The boot sat upright in the middle of the road and beside it, his leg. Jesus Christ! His leg!

He awoke yelling! Sweat pouring, t-shirt soaked and the sensation that his left foot was being squeezed by the tight tucked sheets. Staring down he remembered there was no foot or leg there. There had been none for almost 10 years. When would those goddamn cold sweat nightmares end? How many times would he relive this?

The sons of bitches!



Wipers Slapping Time

Posted: March 23, 2014 in Music, Sixties

wiperimagesWindshield wipers slapping time. In the sixties, when I grew up, windshield wipers sometimes did that. Most models of cars and trucks  of the age the average teenager drove was built in the ’50′s. Certainly no one had a new car. But about all of the 50′s models had what they called vacuum driven wipers. The electric wipers may have been only an option.

Wipers driven by the engine’s manifold pressure would vary in speed depending on how fast you were driving, whether you were climbing a steep grade or if you were decelerating. It depended on the load you were putting on the engine. Much of the time in city traffic the wipers didn’t move at all. A real pain in the ass but we didn’t think about it much, we just learned to use the accelerator pedal real gentle like to keep the damn things moving.

So an experienced driver with a little finesse could make the wipers do about anything he wanted.  Even the big rigs had them, the big diesels. We could even hitchhike then. Sometimes we’d thumb down one of those semis.

I think Kris Kristofferson may have done it a few times, maybe even Janis…….