Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On Dutch Trains

I don't care where we go
but please let's go
two hours by train
north or south or east
to some pretty little town
on the map but off the charts
to walkabout
and grab a coffee or a
borrel to fight the chill.
Let the wind whip up
the cold North Sea,
let the frost dig deep
into the dark rich earth,
let the early sundown
bring forth the winter lights
and smells of warm
gezellig homes
that wait for our return
and we walk back
from the train station
like well fed Vikings
laden with booty
and our boots soon dried.

borrel - liquor drink
gezellig - cozy

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just Keeping My Hand In


You remind me of the things
I do not have.
You remind me
of roads that I have traveled
and left behind me
hungry to return.
Of friends made and lost
and brought back in from the cold,
the brisk.
You remind me of the things
I do not need
and the people
that I do.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Diane's brother James, Diane and I were poking around in THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY by misanthrope Ambrose Bierce and a copy of WEBSTER'S UNABRIDGED (a nice book to keep handy as long as you have a table strong enough to support it) when we came upon the word "thanatopsis." I found my picture there.

I have an irrational fear of Death. Maybe if I live to be a hundred I will be more open to meeting it, but I don't think so. Death scares the living bejeesus out of me.

At 60, I have buried both my parents, both Diane's, and seen many other family members and friends pass away. I have lost countless pets. Yet I consider myself to be extremely lucky -- knock on wood -- because Death has come into the neighborhood, even peered in at me, but left me alone. My brother, who is 75, agrees that we both have missed great dangers in our lives, me more than him. I commented that, had I been drafted in 1969 and sent to Vietnam, I would not have lasted a day over there. Instead I drew 365 in the first selective service lottery. Then I wrecked my knee.

Still, I fear Death's coming. I fear the dying, the after. So I live my life as fully as I can, day to day. I treasure my old friends and new, the music, films and books, the things I can still do and see. I love life and find it utterly amazing, and I have learned not to let my fears diminish the living.

I do have one stronger fear -- of letting people down. Especially my beautiful wife. I don;t know the word for that.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tempis Fugit

My my but time do fly! Busy, busy, but I haven't forgotten my blog -- just not quite ready to settle down to a daily commitment yet. I do have a few political things to say (or restate):

It's time our President got some cahones.

As long as Americans seek to make a profit from health care, no reform will work.

Postal workers do not make lavish salaries -- except for ones at the top. Yet the Post Office wants to buy GSI units in every postal vehicle in America so Big Brother can watch and make sure we are where we say we are at all times -- at what cost at a time we're in the red?

The Yankees will reoeat as World Champions!!! Sorry, Steve and Richard . . .

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Brief Hello

Hello from Salinas. I haven't blogged in a while, not since I actually turned 60. And no one will read me if I don't write. Just saw a House about a woman who blogged about every aspect of her life to a major gollowing, and recently saw the film Julie and Julia about another woman who blogged about 365 days of cooking. I guess that btells me I should be blogging daily but have not worked up the discipline yet. I think I have a subject -- travel stories. Di and I haven't traveled much but we have been to some fascinating and exotic places like Amsterdam's flower market, the pubs of Dublin, the wilds of Montana and the middle of the Red Zone, Terre Haute, Indiana. With eyes open. I wonder if I should write about all that?

Imput, my chosen ones! More imput!

After all, there are enough political pundits and character assassins in the world, and as much fun as it is to gripe -- and with many good excuses to boot -- I think I would rather entertain.