Do You Know What Your Rooster is Up To?

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As she lay in the hospice ,

cranked up by morphine,

she thought of Mr. Barnes

That little red rooster from her childhood days

In Battlelake, Minnesota.

That Barnes — he was something,

She said

Puffed out his chest and walked through life:

“I want the biggest and the best and the most of whatever

You’ve got”

He had attitude.

He had a harem.

One day when she was home from school with chickenpox

She watched Mr. Barnes

Fornicate with his hens forty six times and that was when

She was awake.

He was the sheik of Battlelake

Even strutting off to other farms.

That Mr. Barnes!

He thought the whole world belonged to him and beyond that —

The sun, the stars, the Milky Way — all of it

& as she lay dying

She hoped to meet him on the other side.

 

do you have a hero? what qualities do you admire in that person?

do you have an animal you admire, either in literature or real life?

Bed of Nails

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Does my comfort discomfort you?

What would you have me do?

Lie on a bed of nails?

Put tacks in my shoes?

 

Quite early in life I was labelled a hedonist. I craved comfort the way some people craved adventure. It was my natural state. I mostly landed on my feet, things fell into place. This would annoy some people. I could see why but should I create a prickly existence for myself so others feel more at ease? I was feline. We had a cat who liked nothing better after a meal than to curl up on the lid of the rubbish bin and soak up the sun. I am like that though I prefer a mattress to the lid of a bin. But it does come with a cautionary tale:

 

Hedonist

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Look at that little hedonist

Curled up on the bin

Better watch out the rubbish van

Doesn’t tip him in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trains of Thought

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Trains of thought have no timetables.

Nor, if they did, would they keep

To schedule.

 

Trains of thought always pull in when

you are busy doing something else.

 

They require no ticket, no payment

only that you get on board and leave

your luggage behind.

 

Trains of thought have their own itineraries

And take you places you may otherwise

Never visit. Bring a notebook with you.

 

Trains of thought run on the fuel of

pure Imagination

Of which there are endless reserves.

 

A New Path to Enlightenment

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Matt has been hired by a plumbing company to sell toilets.  His old man who works for the same company got him the job. What could Matt do but accept? He was good at nothing else.

Larry, a hotshot salesman goes out with him one day and lays it on the line: “I don’t tolerate laziness. It’s a form of treason,” he says.

Matt says it’s not his fault he’s not pulling in big figures. He has no sales experience and no one is willing to train him.

Larry shoots back, “Baptism by fire.”

But Matt whines and says it’s been over a year and he still has no idea what he’s doing.

Then Larry comes back with this: “Your job is to go out there every day and get your face kicked in. It’s the only path to Enlightenment.”

 

I don’t know if Larry and the Buddha were talking about the same kind of Enlightenment and if they were would the Buddha have agreed with Larry’s method?

Is Larry right? Or can’t you find Enlightenment through the toilet trade?

Are some trades/professions more inimical to Enlightenment than others? Can a politician find Enlightenment? would it help him in his job?

 

 

Which Came First?

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The trouble is I can’t let go.

I go in for a scan and am and told

they will contact me in due course.

Within days I hear nothing and think of phoning back.

How many days does it take to read a scan?

Persistence is a virtue but so too is Patience.

How to balance one against the other?

I phone back anyway.

I’m put on hold.

I’m always put on hold when I practice persistence.

Perhaps it’s a lesson.

Perhaps I should listen..

When does being persistent become pesky?

It’s tricky being human.

In Praise of Slowness

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It was World Turtle Day last week.

I was a little slow off the mark

But I’m onto it now penning these lines.

I’d write a little more; trouble is

things are whizzing by , my head is spinning.

I’ve got to slow down, take a pit stop,

Pace myself a little. Whew!

I should be done by next World Turtle Day

But I wouldn’t want to stick my neck out.

Looking for Dodos

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I was walking through the new state-of-the-art library

Looking for a book of poems, any book of poems.

It was like looking for dodos in the zoo

or passenger pigeons in the sky.

Do you still keep poetry books? I asked the librarian.

I’m not sure , she said.

She had to do a search

Then called the chief librarian who came with a swagger

Looking for that rarest thing— a poetry book.

Here, she said. Here they are.

They were squeezed Between ‘War’ and ‘Sports’,

The whole Western World’s canon reduced

to ten books on a tiny shelf.

And the ultimate irony?

There were more books on extinct animals than poetry.

I checked.

 

do you see evidence of the death of poetry?

when’s the last time you bought a poetry book? or borrowed one?