Archive for January, 2017

Orie, Page 2

Posted: January 30, 2017 in Everyday Life, poet, writing
Tags: , , , ,

Of all the men Orie’s age that I knew, none spoke of World War II or what they had to do in it. Not one glorified their time in the service. I didn’t even know until his death in 1983 that my own uncle had served in a armored Calvary unit that ran reconnaissance behind enemy lines in Europe. His unit traveled in advance of the Allies by 20 miles. He had hand to hand combat with the enemy and was wounded in the thigh but turned down the opportunity to be sent home because he felt at the time that a leg wound was suspicious and used as a free ticket home. For 40 years he never spoke of any of it, I learned of his valor after his funeral while my brother and I went through his personal effects and found his bronze star with V and other ribbons and citations.

That’s how it was with Orie Penny, I knew he served in the War only because of a picture of him in his combat uniform that I spotted in an old photo album. The album was propping up one leg of his leaning end table. What happened to him during the war I never knew but I think he came home a changed man. So changed that after he got back to the States, wanderlust set in and he felt only the urge to travel. The only means were the trains that steamed so frantically coast to coast across the country at the time. And Orie wasn’t buying any tickets.

He spoke of Tin Cup Tim, Plug Nickels, Skeleton Jones, Kid Kicks and Jim Beam Jim. All hobos he had traveled with the four years he spent riding the rails. On a broken slate board with chalk that he kept near the kitchen table, he showed me the “marks”. The code of the hobos made of specialized X’s and O’s, boxes, triangles and hash marks. He spelled out “This woman will serve you pie”, “this man is mean”, “bad dog inside” and “soup around the corner”. As we sat and drank his strong black percolated coffee, he told of the time that Tin Cup Tim fell from a passenger train that they found themselves on and “greased the rails”. Bo speak for being run over by the train.

He spoke of Wild Cherry, Georgia, Paducah, Kentucky, Moscow Mills, Missouri and Ada, Oklahoma to name only a few. He spoke fondly of the cities as if he enjoyed feeling the sound of their names as they rolled off his tongue as he recalled the sway and the sounds of the rides. He said he was taught to always work for the little money he needed and always to take the worse jobs available in town. Like dippin honey, pickin blooms and pushing crumbs, meaning spreading manure, picking fruit and sweeping floors. He said he always took the worse jobs, that way he or a fellow bo would probably be hired again if they came back through town later. I have learned since that’s the hobo ethic.

We stayed up late into the morning hours talking of his travels as Plug Nickels. Remembering the rides and avoiding the railroad Bulls (train cops). But the smiling stopped and the smooth names of cities changed as he began to tell of 1949 and San Quintin.

DSS

“It seems our leaders need reminded, there are those that don’t seem to remember.”  John

Reposted from July 4th

SilentLips

We the People, we who remember.
We are the pushed, the shaken and the torn.
The good are taken from us,
some taken to lead,
some to do our bidding
some to succeed,
some to die.
We the People, we who remember.
We are the hard-working and the builders,
the unspoken, the wholehearted.
We the tolerant, the patient, the taken advantage of.
Quiet with ideals too hard to express,
We the People, we who remember
the good of every man, of every good cause, of every dream.
We, the Children of the Mother of Exiles *,
the mother who speaks with silent lips.

DSS  7/4/2011

*The words “Mother of Exiles” quoted from the famous poem “New Colossus”.

Tuesday October 12, 2010
Chapter 1

Orie Penny was retired, well let’s say not working for anyone, I never knew which occupation he claimed, horse trader, farm hand cowboy or dealer in Colorado fighting roosters. At the time he made his money breeding fighting roosters and illegal cock fights. He was an averaged sized man, with a 3 day beard, rolled his own and still wore Levis and toe worn boots with stirrup scars around the instep. He didn’t call himself a cowboy, farm hand was good enough for him. Walked with a left legged limp because he had a painful rebuilt hip, reconstructed years ago before modern methods were perfected. He never told me how he hurt his hip but his daughter Anita told me the story late one night.

Orie agreed to marry an immigrant worker’s daughter because she was too old for the father to claim as a dependent and she was going to be deported. The father, being Orie’s best friend, asked him to marry her in name only with the understanding that the marriage could never be consummated and she was to be left alone and never live with him. After a few weeks, Orie, thinking consummation would be the honorable thing to do, made an advance at the young lady . The next morning he heard his friend Ramone yelling outside across the street. Orie went out to investigate the commotion  and Ramone jumped up out of the weeds in the bar-ditch and lowered a 30-06 on him. He shot him through the hip. After he fell, Orie got one round off into the weeds from his old Colt model 1901 .38 revolver that he had grabbed on his way out of the back porch. Of course, he didn’t hit anything but stopped Ramone from popping up his head and shooting anymore rounds. That pretty much disabled him and he couldn’t work riding long hours out on the ranch … err farm as he called it. He never did live with her and never did divorce the girl. She is still living in the States. Orie never pressed charges but Ramone and the rest of his family were deported because of the shooting.

I came to know Orie in the early 70’s. Needing work, I found myself in Western Colorado. I got a job on the construction crew building the cable TV  infrastructure through the area. At the time oil drilling was ramping up due to the oil shortages and embargoes and oil shale had just been discovered on the western slope of the Rockies. There was an minor oil boom going on in the area, which meant no housing available. Until I was able to find a home to rent, suitable for a wife and 2 kids, I was sleeping in a tent and showering at a KOA campgrounds. I met Orie through a friend I knew there. Orie and I hit it off well and he told me to move the tent to his backyard, he knew a lot of people in the area and would help me get a house to live in so I could send for my family. That really did help out.

Although his home had running water to his sink, he had no other indoor plumbing so I still needed a place to shower. He had about an acre of land with his old home. We worked together and fixed up a solar heated water tank and made an outdoor shower out near his rooster houses and horse shed. I can still hear the cackling of his chickens and the rustling sound of his adopted thick legged mustang pony as I slept out in the backyard on those starry nights.

I will tell more stories about Orie and the year I knew him. I might tell about his teaching me to handle fighting roosters in the ring. I would also like to tell about his time riding the rails during the 40’s and his five years in San Quintin prison literally pounding rocks into the roadbed building roads and why he was there. I’m telling this just to say that even men who people may think as the lowest of men may let you stand on their shoulders and give you a leg up. Orie did that for me and I really appreciated it.

DSS

There’s so much to talk about from the last few days! What can I say, do I need to repeat it all? I’d just as soon leave my mouth shut and thought a fool as open my mouth and remove all doubt. There may be other powerful men out there that probably should take that advice. But I’ve been told that I’m a powerful AND handsome man, so I can suggest that.

This is an era of self promotion. The implications are huge, HUGE.
Resumes will be written, diplomas and degrees proclaimed and accomplishments will be shamelessly exaggerated. You know, the typical corporate resume. The ones you read , shortly ponder and then realize they are as amplified and meaningless as the new slick suit and the red tie they are wearing.  Right to file 13. You guys…, I know you are only carrying your lunch in that briefcase.

I’m very soon getting out of this rat race, great phrase “rat race”, it’s really “Rat’s Ass”. We go to work 7:30 to 6:00, everyday (oh, you say E, you mean 9:00 to 5:00, heh, heh, 9 to 5, I’ll bet you liked “Madmen” , too. It hasn’t been an 8 hour day since, I’m thinking…., 1970-77. Yes, 1970’s, the last century, I think I remember that.

Of course, the computer age has really helped corporate America. Now your boss, subordinates (sorry, Reports), dispatchers, just about anybody in the company, can email, call and get a hold of you evenings, on Saturday and Sunday AND Holidays. We are very “handy” now. Just a message away. Wonderful, HUGE. Hey! , they can do that, they’re paying for the SmartPhone!

They say that I’m going to miss this when I retire. Ah.. just a minute, you mean, like the boil I once had on my butt. My ass never felt so good. I’ll miss work about in the same way.

I can do this. I only have a few more months in my sentence. Hell, I can do 2 or 3 months standing on my head. Just like the last Performance Review  I had to write about myself, I felt just like I was in the corner , standing on my head. I powered through it!

89 days 12 and a half hours to go. Now that will be HUGE!

E.

(Powerful AND handsome man ?? Where in the hell did that come from? OC)

 

 

 

 

 

Into the Wind

Posted: January 23, 2017 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry, writing
Tags: , , , , , ,

I once knew a man in blue jeans that rode wild horses,
sang loud songs and drank cheap sour whiskey.
He went to his grave in a suit that he had never worn
as we listened to music he had never heard
and we toasted his life with thin stemmed glasses he never drank from.

I once knew a man who taught me to climb mountains,
to talk to strangers and to use my hands to fix broken things.
He died not from a high fall or from a miss-tied rope
but silently in his bed alone with swollen joints and sore stiff knuckles.
and a failing broken heart that could not be fixed.

I know a man who writes words and sweet poems,
loves his home and strong family
and lives to fly high into the light evening winds.
When he dies, we will surround him with his sweet family
We will read his tender words and verses,
We will cast his ashes into the light evening winds.

DSS

What’s that I’m hearin’
I hear people cheerin’
while old folks are die’in
young kids are starvin’
while woman are hurtin’
they act so for certain
the dogs are collectin’
the good to be changin’
to crap they are sayin’
get rid of these fuckas
they think that we’re suckas
these financial magicians
are takin’ positions
Takin’ over and destroyin’

to hell with protectin’
the dogs are all barkin’
all good is forgotten
Think only of wallets
it must all be for profits
What ever they’re doin’
We must get rid of this ruin.

E.

Boomer’s Rage

Posted: January 19, 2017 in poem, poet, poetry, politics, Sixties
Tags: , , , , , ,

(I wrote and posted this a year ago, I felt it coming, now we are going to see it coming!)

As I go stumping through the day
full filling dreams of other’s say
I count the months and the day
That I’ll be free on my own highway

I’m not young I have reached the age
that I can crawl from this cage
Take some time to disengage
Be free of toil and daily wage

Write a word, build a craft
Drink my whiskey, have a laugh
Get up late then take a nap
Put on my head a liberal’s hat

Scream the words, that I’ve suppressed
Of oil and air and climate’s mess
Opinions kept, so close to chest
Like a caged bird sings, I will confess

Protest and rage, make a change
March the streets, rearrange
For I sold out for profit’s gains
All along we were all shortchanged

It’s not too late, songs will be sung
Painted signs and banners hung
On granite steps, speeches flung
Our 60’s youth not wasted, on the 60’s young.

E.

 

Boys, you better mind your fishin’ poles
there’s no fish, only turtles in this here tank
Here let me help ya roll that cigarette
I don’t come here to fish
don’t like eatin’ them anyway
Spend half the time pickin’ out bones
Came here first 40 years ago
I brought her with me just 20 years back
we swam all naked together then
She bet me a silver dollar she could get to the other side first
I’ll bet she still has that silver dollar.
It’s never wrong to love a woman like that.

“Probably playin’ with it in her blue jean pocket.”

OC

“That’s the scene I remember in “The Last Picture Show”, as best as I can remember it.  I need to watch it again.  OC ”

 

 

Because I’m lazy, I was going to re-post our Bi-annual standard Friday the 13th story. You know the one,  the WW2 ship yards story of building the HMS Friday. Bla bla bla , bla bla bla. How it was lost at sea on its first shake down cruise. Bla bla bla , bla bla bla. And shortly after the loss, no one could find any record, either military or ship builder records or engineering blue prints of her ever having been built or find anyone that remembers working on its construction. Ya da ya da ya da … well……., I went to our archives to retrieve  John’s last post of the story from a couple of years ago, so I could easily re-post it and the post and all drafts of the story were gone, lost, bleato, vanished.

I’m a little spooked. I don’t think I will ever tell that Friday the 13th disappearing story again.

I know, you are laughing, but until a Friday the 13th event happens to you, you can laugh all you want. But I’m spooked!!

John says he doesn’t remember ever posting it!!!

Vanished, bam!!

OC

(Heh, OC is a little confused. It was posted last in Sept. 2013. But I’m not telling him. Be careful out there!.  John)

The Art

Posted: January 9, 2017 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry, writing
Tags: , , , ,

Among the slush of a muddled mind
the thoughts of love of hate of crime
the cries the tears of scrambled speech
I must rise and walk the crooked streets
My clothes of wool and empty heart
bring bright the light of my gentle art
of scenes of paint and of words of lust
and carved stone of a woman’s breasts
my calloused hands and carving knife
gently molds and returns to life
the soft smooth and stone veiled face
of a long-lost soul of forgotten grace
of one once lived now froze in time
to be looked upon and claimed as mine.

DSS

( To the sculptures of Raffaelle Monti )