Archive for April, 2014

Baby the Wind Must Blow

Posted: April 25, 2014 in Everyday Life

What I’m usually most concerned with is the wind. It always blows here, everyday.

The wind, the local gentry here are used to it and don’t even notice it. I’m not. I’ve lived in this state on and off for the last 25 years and have never gotten used to it. I’m not talking about tornados, we have a lot of those too. I’m just talking about the straight everyday winds. They have winds here, in other states that I have lived they have breezes, cool pleasant breezes. We have none of those here.

The natives don’t notice it. They’ve lived with it all their lives and they think it’s normal, the constant unrelenting blow. I know better, I’ve lived elsewhere. Places where you can have a conversation while outdoors without speaking directly into another’s ear. Places where you can go outdoors on the patio and actually read a newspaper without folding it into a small multilayered square. Where you can play Frisbee with the kids. There are places in the world where the wind is calm, at least a few hours each day. Calm is the exception here, not the rule.

Hat on roof

Now the picture. That black dot on the roof is my Budweiser cap. I have had it for years. I don’t drink Budweiser and normally I don’t keep my hat on the roof. I wear it on my head at least part of the time when I work in the yard. Here you really need a hat. Otherwise your hair hurts at the end of the days you must work outdoors. Yes, your roots hurt after your hair has been blown constantly in the wind all day. A hat is a necessity here if you work outdoors. I hate hats as much as I hate the wind. But I have to wear one. I’m growing older, my hair is thinning and I can’t afford to senselessly lose it to the sun and wind.

Because I don’t wear a hat always, I don’t have hat finesse. The natives wear them always, outdoors, indoors, at the dinner table, they may even sleep in them. I have known men for many years here in Kansas and I’ve never seen them with their hat off. They may screw the damn things on, I don’t know. I think maybe that they have worn their hat so much, ever since childhood, that they have a permanent groove around their head that the cap or hat sits comfortably into, secured, unmovable. This is possible, there are native tribes in Africa that form their heads into all sorts of shapes. I think Kansans unknowingly have done this too. Their hats don’t blow off their heads. I’ve never seen it!

Being a native Iowan for my formative years, I didn’t have this advantage of head shape forming. I was cursed to simply grow my skull sort of rounded like, with no grooves. Not conducive to cap or hat wearing. My hat blows off regardless of how I screw it on. The only hat I can wear without it blowing off is a stocking cap, and then only if I pull the attached ski mask over my face. They are very uncomfortable for me to wear.

Well to finish my point here, my hat blew off yesterday and ended up on my roof. It evidently landed on the roof in the only place in Kansas where the wind doesn’t blow. It has been up there for almost 24 hours now. I could get out my longer ladder and retrieve it but now I’m curious. How long can it possibly stay up there? The wind is blowing 29 mph already this morning. Surely it will blow down soon.

Such is the life of John.

Thinking of Days Off

Posted: April 21, 2014 in Everyday Life


When you don’t sleep well, you have plenty of time to think. Thinking is good. I probably don’t get enough of it. Just like I don’t get enough sleep. It’s a wonderful thing, thinking. Have you ever thought about it? I’m doing it now. I probably should be sleeping.

It is a cloudy, hazy morning. I don’t mind days like this. Things seem to slow down on cloudy, hazy, rainy days. Even if I work in the office, sheltered from the elements, I slow down on days like these. I think it goes back to when I was a kid working through high school. I really didn’t have any time of my own. School all day, worked every afternoon and evening and Saturdays. Summer days were filled , too. I only had my short Sundays. But in a small town nothing much is going on Sundays. But on work days if it rained or was nasty outdoors, I got to work inside or I was given the day off. I still feel that freedom I felt as a 14-year-old boy with a day off. It is the most glorious feeling you can have.

The only thing that compares with a rainy day is waking up on a Sunday and forgetting what day it is. I wake up, roll out of bed ready to start another day of work and then realize it is Sunday, my day off! One of the best feelings in the world! I slam back in bed and then think “Hell no, I’m not going to spend the day sleepin'”. A great feeling, one of the few great feelings you can have by yourself.

Well, today is a Monday. It is cloudy, looks like rain but sadly no one will be telling me to take the day off. So it will be book work day. Not too bad, I’ll be indoors, close to a coffee pot and in a reasonably comfortable chair. I will be watching out the window. If it starts raining, I may find an excuse to leave early.

Yes, I like cloudy, rainy days.



Watching the rain, I recede from the day
And I have paused…
Outdoor plans will wait
Other things will be done today
Simple tasks that have waited for this morning
Human things thought unimportant while skies are clear.
A day that words may be read and written
A time for pacing and patience
Listening for the wind
Watching round ripples on shallow pools.



Posted: April 20, 2014 in poetry

Just before dawn
before the deep of dark thins
just as the birds awake and night vermin returns to dens
Shhhhhh…listen…look into the morn
all creatures are still as Ladyhawkes transform.

You will see neither bird, neither blond dame,
may hear the weak growl
a wolf’s mournful howl
for the Bishop’s evil green bane.



Posted: April 17, 2014 in Everyday Life, poetry

Among the jumbling mumbling mode
the Racker Thatcher crumbs his creel.

his back’s crunched bent
– his chrome’s thrust spent,
fingers palms thick tough as heel.

upon the humbling rumbling ride
the Racker Thatcher moves his way.

his voice’s grunt gone
– now electron’s song,
teared eyes movewink what to say.

within the mightling thinkling mind
the Racker Thatcher spins his rhyme.

smiles gum and tooth
– speaks Universal truth,
of our, A Brief History of Time.


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)