FATHER TIME AND ME

clock

Born squawking with a curious furrow in my brow, I had no choice in the matter of my birth. Later, I was to learn I had been born into a large country and into an even larger universe that I am still learning to comprehend.

When I was eight I had an abdominal operation and was placed under either. I still remember the vision I had under the influence of the drug. I was running from Father Time who chased me with thunderbolts shooting from his fingertips as he yelled, “Stop, stop! You are ahead of time. Stop!”

It was a powerful vision that is vivid to this day.

How strange this world is to the young:  I was born to be myself and not someone else. This is odd enough but it was even odder to come to conception here in this time instead of somewhere else in another time. Everything was such a mystery. I truly wanted to solve the mystery. I felt this could well be my calling.

It did not take long to discover this fact: everyone is stuck in themselves, the same as I am. Everyone has their own little universe where they are the king or the queen.

Sometimes while I was in a playful mood, I asked myself, “If you could be somebody else, who would that be?”

When I ran through the history of people I have met or known, I could not choose to be any of them. There was no one I might want to be more  than myself, male or female. It’s inconceivable I could be someone other than myself unless I was play-acting the part. Since I have to be me, I might as well make the most of the situation, I decided.

I took a while to understand why I arrived to be a player in this era. I surmised that it had to do with time and consciousness, something science cannot yet explain. It is so easy to miss this vital connection: the now is ever present, just as awareness is always present.

Is this a mere coincidence? Is the now not a measure of time?

The now is not measurable at all, but a micro fraction of an instant where the past changes into the future. The only thing solely contained in the now is our awareness. Consciousness remembers the past and imagines the future, but always does so in the now.

I came to this realization at a young age and caused myself great confusion. Did this mean the world is a mental construction?

For a while, I considered possibility that the universe is actually a vision which comes alive in the intellect. This was a problematic idea. The mind itself is a mystery. How could the mind be only a product of flesh and blood, neural connections, when nature obviously had a mind which did not need a nervous system?

We are the centers of our worlds, yet nature has carried out its miracles for billions of years without the help of human consciousness through an unconscious process of evolutionary experiments. This has likely been the case since time began.

The colors we see are wavelengths of light. The mind learns to recognize these as different colors. About me, the people I knew had their own personal mindsets. They were different and separate from my own thoughts, though they used much of the same information I used to make their own world view. The primary difference between us is the type and quantity of the information we process both in the mind and the body.

Throughout our lives, the now remains stationary. It is not time that moves, but consciousness. Awareness is always being transformed through experiences, interactions, and observations. If time were to move, what would be the speed of time? If time flowed, what would be the volume of the flow?

No fixed universal clock can measure the flow or speed of time. Time is relative to dimensions, not to a fixed standard. With no way to measure the speed of time, no method can be devised to measure the speed of the now. The now has no speed at all, nor can it move.  The rational thing to conclude is that time does not flow and the now does not move. Instead, consciousness changes.

This was a huge revelation.

-Kenneth Harper Finton

June 8, 2017

THE OSPREY

 

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Osprey nest at Barr Lake Nature Preserve, Brighton, Colorado (6/4/2017)

 

This platform has been constructed for the pair to nest and reproduce in the safety of a world famous wildlife habitat at Barr Lake, Colorado. This year (2017), two chicks are in the nest.

Osprey nests are built of sticks and lined with bark, sod, grasses, vines, algae, or flotsam and jetsam. The male usually fetches most of the nesting material—sometimes breaking dead sticks off nearby trees as he flies past—and the female arranges it. Nests on artificial platforms, especially in a pair’s first season, are relatively small—less than 2.5 feet in diameter and 3–6 inches deep. After generations of adding to the nest year after year, Ospreys can end up with nests 10–13 feet deep and 3–6 feet in diameter—easily big enough for a human to sit in.

IMG_3709

Ospreys are superb fishers and eat little else. Fish make up 99 percent of their diet. These birds are nearly always near ponds, rivers, lakes, and coastal waterways around the entire world, except for Antarctica.

The osprey is one of the most widespread birds of prey and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Because of its raptor look and eagle-like appearance, they are also called sea eagles, river hawks, fish hawks, sea hawks.

osprey

Cool Facts from ALL ABOUT BIRDS

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Osprey/lifehistory

  • An Osprey may log more than 160,000 migration miles during its 15-to-20-year lifetime. Scientists track Ospreys by strapping lightweight satellite transmitters to the birds’ backs. The devices pinpoint an Osprey’s location to within a few hundred yards and last for 2-3 years. During 13 days in 2008, one Osprey flew 2,700 miles—from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, to French Guiana, South America.
  • Ospreys are unusual among hawks in possessing a reversible outer toe that allows them to grasp with two toes in front and two behind. Barbed pads on the soles of the birds’ feet help them grip slippery fish. When flying with prey, an Osprey lines up its catch head first for less wind resistance.
  • Ospreys are excellent anglers. Over several studies, Ospreys caught fish on at least 1 in every 4 dives, with success rates sometimes as high as 70 percent. The average time they spent hunting before making a catch was about 12 minutes—something to think about next time you throw your line in the water.
  • The Osprey readily builds its nest on manmade structures, such as telephone poles, channel markers, duck blinds, and nest platforms designed especially for it. Such platforms have become an important tool in reestablishing Ospreys in areas where they had disappeared. In some areas nests are placed almost exclusively on artificial structures.
  • Osprey eggs do not hatch all at once. Rather, the first chick emerges up to five days before the last one. The older hatchling dominates its younger siblings, and can monopolize the food brought by the parents. If food is abundant, chicks share meals in relative harmony; in times of scarcity, younger ones may starve to death.
  • The name “Osprey” made its first appearance around 1460, via the Medieval Latin phrase for “bird of prey” (avis prede). Some wordsmiths trace the name even further back, to the Latin for “bone-breaker”—ossifragus.
  • The oldest known Osprey was at least 25 years, 2 months old, and lived in Virginia. It was banded in 1973, and found in 1998.

CATAGORIES OF BIRD STATUS FOR CONSERVATION

bird status

Extinct (EX) – No known individuals remaining

Extinct in the wild (EW) – Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range

Critically endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild

Endangered (EN) – High risk of extinction in the wild

Vulnerable (VU) – High risk of endangerment in the wild

Near threatened (NT) – Likely to become endangered in the near future

Least concern (LC) – Lowest risk; does not qualify for a higher risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

Data deficient (DD) – Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction

Not evaluated (NE) – Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria.


SHAKESPEARE ON THE OSPREY

Shakespeare in Act 4 Scene 5 of Coriolanus:

“I think he’ll be to Rome
As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it
By sovereignty of nature.”

THE ROLE OF THE NON-DIMENSIONAL IN THE UNIVERSE


Exploration on the Dimensional Universe & Non-dimensional Realm

ABSTRACT

Assuming that negative dimensions are as real as positive dimensions, the non-dimensional would serve as the realm in which the positive dimensions are balanced by the negative dimensions. Both are parts of the whole universe and not two separate universes. They are commingled and entangled, while the non-dimensional knows no boundary and is infinite.

Keywords: Universe, positive dimension, negative dimension, non-dimensional, God.

EINSTEIN What-we-have-called

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty…We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” – Albert Einstein

The Concept of a Universal God

When contemplating infinity and the universe, there is no way to escape the concept of God. That which existed before anything and after anything, even though it be nothing at all, is still another concept of God. Nothing is not a thing. Traditionally, for most advanced religious dogmas, God is not a thing as well. An empty void has no existence without a universe in which to place it. Even a spirit in a world outside of time and space would need a materialized world for any material form of reality to exist. God and the world not only co-exist, but they ARE one another. How?

Both atheists and theists are correct. God does not exist because God is not a thing in space and time. Existence occurs within space and time. The theist is correct in so far that the dimensionless place that precedes the universe—what they call God—must be infinite and the finite exists within it.

But what is the infinite? Who can possibly comprehend that which is not there—not within the plane of existence that begins with a two-dimensional universe? The one-dimensional point, being a singularity, is also infinite, being everywhere at once. Modern physicists envision a singular point of infinitely dense particles with indescribable temperatures as the beginning of the universe. It was a place where all particles at once congregated in an unfathomable density before exploding in the Big Bang. What caused these particles to come together is unknown. What packed them so closely is unknown. The singularity, they say, was a micro-momentary event that was unstable and had to expand explosively with the Big Bang.

Where did the Big Bang happen? It happened everywhere because it was and is the entire universe. Having no medium over which to travel, the newly-birthed universe had to carve space, time, and motion as it expanded, moving at incredible speeds. It is said that the result of this constant expansion—that still exists to this day—will reach likely reach a point of no return where all movement will cease to exist universally. Whether the bang really occurred in this manner is beyond the scope of this inquiry. I am addressing the unthinkable realm of the non-dimensional.

As the positive numbers in the visible world continue endlessly, the negative numbers continue endlessly as well. The sum of all these numbers negative and positive, adds up to zero. That it the total mathematical value of the universe—zero. It has no numerical value, as it is not a thing and needs no value. [Example: the sum of 1+2+3+4 subtracted from the sum of -1-2-3-4 equals zero.] It has no value because it comes from its source in zero dimension. All the universe must add up to zero as well. In order for that to occur physically—to add up to zero—negative values must be paired with positive values.

I think it is logical to suspect that beyond our visible dimensions there is a corresponding system of non-dimensions. Negative dimensions balance the visible dimensions. [Negative dimensions do not suggest a darker value, but a negative mathematical solution to the balancing of the universe.] Everything in the living universe and most primary atomic particles have both positive and negative aspects. Dimensions are measurements from observation points. We can perform both negative and positive measurements. Non-dimensional attributes of existence could also include that which has not yet existed or that which has already existed but has been torn away or removed from dimensional time and space.

The Non-Dimensional Aspect

250px-mobius_strip   A  negative dimension could be like the other side of a Möbius Strip. If, for example, the physical universe is formed like a Möbius Strip—and the current thinking of physicists accept that the universe is actually a two-dimensional plane—then a thin membrane of a spacial boundary with a simple twist could produce a situation where  the observation point on one side of the boundary would be duplicated as an observation point on the other side of the boundary, yet neither point would be aware of the other because of the forward movement of time. In a Möbius Strip, the inside and outside are merged and co-mingled. Viewpoints from the outside see only the exterior, while those on the inside see only the interior.

Assuming that negative dimensions are as real as positive dimensions, the non-dimensional would serve as the realm in which the positive dimensions are balanced by the negative dimensions. Both are parts of the whole universe and not two separate universes—they are commingled and entangled, while the non-dimensional knows no boundary and is infinite. We can assume that there is only one infinity or assume that there are as many localized infinities as there are positive and negative numbers. Infinity takes up no space nor has duration. An infinite number of local infinities could fit in the one infinity as their numeric value is zero.

Infinity and Information Storage

When change occurs in the dimensional universe, that change is recorded physically by changes in the physical matter of the universe. The non-dimensional is both opposed and complementary to the physical universe. It is the realm of mathematics and ideas. Data from the physical world may be simultaneously coded and stored as data in the non-dimensional realm.

Matter behaves like both a particle and a wave. Matter is the temporal recording media of physical experience. In our physical dimension, events are coded chemically and stored to form our mental experience. The non-dimensional process of thought and electrical stimulus constantly creates our consciousness in the present moment. This is one example as to how the non-dimensional entangles with the dimensional. It has done so throughout the process of evolution. Non-dimensional data is present in instincts and the workings of the unconscious mind.  This activity is unfurled into finite chemical and electrical activities that evolve further and, in turn, record their changes back into the non-dimensional.

It seems likely that in the non-dimensional realm, records of events are coded into wave frequencies that hold mathematical descriptions of their counterparts in the dimensional universe. The equations and formulas in the non-dimensional realm come to being in the physical world and guide the unfolding of the physical universe. Our physical changes may be coded in mathematical forms and also simultaneously recorded in the non-dimensional realm from which the physical universe is projected since the Big Bang. The dimensional universe created a boundary that limited the infinity to localized viewpoints.

Awareness and Essence

The other essential aspect of the non-dimensional is mental awareness. Even if this awareness had nothing of which to be aware for what we consider an era in time, it is still primal awareness. Awareness is a mental state. It is not only the in the physical world, but the non-dimensional world as well. Awareness must of necessity precede observation and interaction or no events would occur at all. Something needs to be aware of any interaction, and that awareness happens by necessity in the non-dimensional realm. It was there before any interactions took place in order to record and perceive them.

Our perception of the dimensional universe is limited and our lives have beginnings and endings. The question is: Are we preserved in the infinite non-dimensional realm?

Three-dimensional objects can be mapped out mathematically on a piece of two-Three-dimensional objects can be mapped out on a piece of two-dimensional paper and the paper can be folded to create that object in three dimensions. This is the case with origami techniques known for generations. The diagram of the object on the two-dimensional plane is folded again and again until it becomes a three-dimensional object. Nature constantly uses origami techniques to unfold—from the unfolding of a bird’s wings, an insect’s metamorphosis, and even the DNA of genetic codes. Because the final product is inherent in the coded structures—similar to the entire image being in every part of a hologram, the spider knows the geometry of its web, the cell knows the sequence of division. The universe itself is in the process of unfolding.

That which is physical and temporal in the dimensional universe is mathematical and infinite in the non-dimensional. I suspect that information is never lost, but—like matter and energy—changes forms and states. There would be no loss of important information if a duplicate eternal copy of all mathematical realities is encoded beyond time and space in a non-dimensional plane. It would be as though the universe has a backup copy.

We can surmise that awareness—through unconsciousness, consciousness, and thought turned into action—creates the world and all the experience held within that world. Awareness is within us—as well as outside us—because it is the foundation of being and the source of all things present, past and future.

We can describe the world as not only a work-in-progress, but a record of historical events and experiences where unconscious thoughts were made manifest and tangible by actions, recorded by the bricks and mortar of matter, and re-interpreted by the mind to formulate experience from contiguous and entangled events.

Primal awareness could be called God, but the danger in doing so is mixing up the mythology with the reality. This God is not the God-king or God-the-Father who in his divinity imposes his will and plans upon the world. This God is not a noun, but a verb. God is not a thing, but the process of creating and experiencing a completely free and random universe of conceptions and experiences of unlimited potentiality.

If it is correct to say that the world is awareness, then it is correct to say that awareness is the world. If it is correct to say that awareness is God, then it is correct to say that God is awareness. If it is correct to say that the world is God, then it is correct to say that God is the world. If it is correct to say that we are the world, then it is correct to say that the world is us. If it is correct to say God is in us, then it is correct to say that we are in God.

There is only ‘One-thing’ where there is only one dimension. This ‘One-thing’ is an infinite point—a singularity. It is everywhere at once because that is all that there is.

Beyond that point is zero dimension.

“I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.” – Albert Einstein

Einstein also said: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

ANNE BOLEYN’S LETTER TO HENRY VIII

TRIBES

Anne Boleyn Letters

This is the letter that Anne Boleyn wrote to Henry VIII from the Tower of London, after her arrest. It is said to have been found in Thomas Cromwell’s belongings which probably means that it never made it into the hands of the King:-

Anne Boleyn in the Tower” Sir, your Grace’s displeasure, and my Imprisonment are Things so strange unto me, as what to Write, or what to Excuse, I am altogether ignorant; whereas you sent unto me (willing me to confess a Truth, and so obtain your Favour) by such a one, whom you know to be my ancient and professed Enemy; I no sooner received the Message by him, than I rightly conceived your Meaning; and if, as you say, confessing Truth indeed may procure my safety, I shall with all Willingness and Duty perform your Command.

But let not your Grace ever imagine that your poor Wife will ever be brought to acknowledge a Fault, where not so much as Thought thereof proceeded. And to speak a truth, never Prince had Wife more Loyal in all Duty, and in all true Affection, than you have found in Anne Boleyn, with which Name and Place could willingly have contented my self, as if God, and your Grace’s Pleasure had been so pleased. Neither did I at any time so far force my self in my Exaltation, or received Queenship, but that I always looked for such an Alteration as now I find; for the ground of my preferment being on no surer Foundation than your Grace’s Fancy, the least Alteration, I knew, was fit and sufficient to draw that Fancy to some other subject.

You have chosen me, from a low Estate, to be your Queen and Companion, far beyond my Desert or Desire. If then you found me worthy of such Honour, Good your Grace, let not any light Fancy, or bad Counsel of mine Enemies, withdraw your Princely Favour from me; neither let that Stain, that unworthy Stain of a Disloyal Heart towards your good Grace, ever cast so foul a Blot on your most Dutiful Wife, and the Infant Princess your Daughter:

Try me, good King, but let me have a Lawful Trial, and let not my sworn Enemies sit as my Accusers and Judges; yes, let me receive an open Trial, for my Truth shall fear no open shame; then shall you see, either mine Innocency cleared, your Suspicion and Conscience satisfied, the Ignominy and Slander of the World stopped, or my Guilt openly declared. So that whatsoever God or you may determine of me, your Grace may be freed from an open Censure; and mine Offence being so lawfully proved, your Grace is at liberty, both before God and Man, not only to execute worthy Punishment on me as an unlawful Wife, but to follow your Affection already settled on that party, for whose sake I am now as I am, whose Name I could some good while since have pointed unto: Your Grace being not ignorant of my Suspicion therein.

But if you have already determined of me, and that not only my Death, but an Infamous Slander must bring you the enjoying of your desired Happiness; then I desire of God, that he will pardon your great Sin therein, and likewise mine Enemies, the Instruments thereof; that he will not call you to a strict Account for your unprincely and cruel usage of me, at his General Judgement-Seat, where both you and my self must shortly appear, and in whose Judgement, I doubt not, (whatsover the World may think of me) mine Innocence shall be openly known, and sufficiently cleared.

My last and only Request shall be, That my self may only bear the Burthen of your Grace’s Displeasure, and that it may not touch the Innocent Souls of those poor Gentlemen, who (as I understand) are likewise in strait Imprisonment for my sake. If ever I have found favour in your Sight; if ever the Name of Anne Boleyn hath been pleasing to your Ears, then let me obtain this Request; and I will so leave to trouble your Grace any further, with mine earnest Prayers to the Trinity to have your Grace in his good keeping, and to direct you in all your Actions.

Your most Loyal and ever Faithful Wife, Anne Boleyn
From my doleful Prison the Tower, this 6th of May.

 


 

John West is one of my ancestors. John’s brother, Lord Thomas West, 3rd Lord De La Warr [Delaware], was the first Colonial Governor of Virginia from 1610 to 1611. John and brother Thomas were grandsons of William West, 1st Baron Delaware. Their grandmother, Catherine Carey, was a niece of Queen Ann Boleyn and first cousin to Queen Elizabeth.

On this May 2, 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England’s King Henry VIII, was arrested for high treason, adultery, and incest. She was intelligent and outspoken, and had educated opinions about politics and religious reform and came to the court of Henry VIII when she was 20 years old, to serve as lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon. She soon caught the eye of the king. For seven years he wooed her, and for seven years she put him off. He managed to get his first marriage annulled by breaking with the pope and declaring himself head of the Church of England and then Anne Boleyn consented to marry him.

Their early months of marriage were happy ones, and their first child, Elizabeth, was born in 1533. Anne had several miscarriages after that, and she never gave Henry the son he so desperately wanted, so he accused her of every capital offense he could think of: numerous affairs, incest with her brother, plotting his murder, and witchcraft. She was convicted and sentenced to death. The only mercy he showed her was in ordering that she be beheaded by a sword, rather than a common axe.

 

John West

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Lord Thomas West m 19 Nov 1571 Ann Knollys

b 9 Jul 1557 Wherewell, Hampshire, England d 1601/02

[See addendum Lord Thomas West, Chapter 15, page 99]

Ann Knollys

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Sir Francis Knollys Catherine Carey

b 1514

d 1601 d 1569

[See addendum Sir Francis Knollys, Chapter 16, page 101]

Catherine Carey

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Sir William Carey 1 m 4 Feb 1520 Mary Boleyn

Mary was sister to Anne Boleyn and cousin to Queen Elizabeth. Before her marriage to Sir William Carey, Mary was briefly mistress to King Henry VIII. After William Carey’s death, his sister-in-law, Anne Boleyn was appointed administrator of his estate by Henry VIII. She was given charge of his children as well, despite the fact that Mary was still alive and a grandfather and an uncle still lived who were quite capable of the task.2

Mary Boleyn Henry VIII

1 The descendants of Mary Boleyn, the sister of Queen Anne Boleyn, are now regarded as most likely the descendants of Henry VIII, not of William Cary, Mary’s husband. It was considered very bad form for a man to have sexual relations with his wife while he was being cuckolded by the King, so Catherine was likely the daughter of Henry VIII.

2   Encyclopedia Britannica

Mary Boleyn

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Sir Thomas Boleyn Elizabeth Howard

Thomas Boleyn, through his mother, Margaret Butler, had some claim to the Butler titles, one English and one Irish, but because of the Civil War between the Lancasters and the Yorks, these were the subject of dispute.

Mary’s sister Anne Boleyn was not a beautiful woman, but her charms led her to Henry. Her intention was to be Queen of England, but Henry’s marriage to Catherine stood in the way. Henry finally divorced his first wife and married Anne in January of 1533. The exact date is not known. Anne was a weak, petty woman with little in the way of stable character. In September of 1533 she gave birth to Elizabeth, later to become queen.

Anne fell into disfavor and was accused of having many court lovers. Her reputed lovers were executed one by one, and Anne was finally confined to the tower. On her way to the chopping block she protested her innocence. The case against her has never been proved. She regarded the prospect of her own death with levity, laughing heartily as she put her hands about her own neck and praised the skills of the executioner. The day after Anne was beheaded, Henry married Jane Seymour.

 

 

 

THE MOTHS HAVE ALREADY BEEN HERE

THE Moth-Infestation-2010-A

THE MOTHS HAVE ALREADY BEEN HERE
©2017 Ken Finton

It is January 1962. Outside, winter’s icy breath heaves while little fingers of cold air find their way through the loose clapboards of the two-roomed hut. Inside, a man, a girl, and a young boy sit around a pot-bellied stove soaking up the warmth.

They hear a car door slam, then a pounding on the door, rhythmical like a carpenter’s hammer.
A large, graying man with three days growth of beard and hair growing far beyond his ears gets up to answer the door. “No,” the girl says. “It’s him again. Please, Daddy, don’t go to the door!”
A well-groomed man with a white shirt and dark tie steps inside the hut bringing the chill of winter with him. He leans against the wall, a soiled paper sack in his hands.
“Good morning, Mr. Taylor,” he says, his rat-like eyes darting around the room from comer to corner.
The girl stands up. Her face becomes taught, like a coil of rope suddenly spilled to tension. The man glances the room, his eyes roaming the squalid corners, smelling the slithering stale air. The window’s one solitary shaft of light is flashing on him, soon to be dimmed by the flow of darkness.
“I have a few more things,” the man starts to say.
“I hate you,” the girl screams. She runs into the other room and is swallowed by the darkness.
The man’s face drops. His falsified smile falls to the floor and he does not bother to pick it up. His hands tighten around the soiled paper sack as his eyes follow her running. It takes a while for him to regain presence of mind, but when it comes he is angry. “If this Is a token of your appreciation, Mr. Taylor…”
“She’s got her own feelings,” Holden Taylor says. “I can’t do anything about it.”
The man lays the sack beside the gap in the front door and steps outside.
Shivers of cold run through Holden Taylor’s back. His voice cracks with emotion. With anger? With humiliation? With gratitude? “Thank you, Mr. Adams.”
Adams shakes his well-groomed head and walks out into the fresh coldness of the outside air.
The girl is lying on the bed, her clothes soiled upon her youthful body. She looks unkempt but pretty––older than her sixteen years. Holden Taylor sits down beside his daughter and puts a gentle, work-knotted hand upon her bony shoulder. The smell of the damp mattress fumes in his nostrils. “Rose,” he says softly, “it won’t be like this much longer.”
“Won’t it,” she says, so softly that it shrieks.
“No, we’ll make out,” he says. “Just you wait and see. We just got to get back on our feet, that’s all.”
“They’re just rags,” she says, her eyes wide, the whiteness bulging. “They’re just filthy old rags that the Salvation Army wouldn’t even take.”
“Now, Rose,” her father says, “don’t take it that way, honey. Try and be grateful. It’s hard sometimes, but we’ve got to be grateful.”
“Grateful,” she mocks, lying down on the bed. Holden Taylor shuffles away. Rose closes her eyes. With sight blocked out, her father’s motions sound like the creaky, unsteady movements of a weak-kneed old man.
With her eyes shut, the light filtered through in violet shades. She tries to imagine how her father looked last July just before the layoff at the plant, but her father’s image was blotted away by the image of the drab factory brick with the barred windows, the large trucks backed against the loading platform, the sounds of clanking metals whipping through the windows. In her mind, she sees an image of the foreman stepping up behind her father, his white shirt blazing with the insolent brightness of authority. Around them, machines are grinding out the same song, the same refrain sung day after day without letup––tiresome, nerve-wracking, steel shattering machines that never stop. “Taylor,” the foreman says, his words swooping visibly from his mouth, “we won’t be needing you after Monday. I thought you ought to know.” The foreman smiles in Rose’s imagination, his teeth cutting in her head like tiger fangs.
Stamped upon the image of the foreman came an image of her mother and the house on Windsor Street, a fleeting glimpse at that December night just before Christmas…
“My God, it’s cold,” Holden Taylor said to his wife, flicking off the kitchen light. “Fifteen below.”
“And it is supposed to drop ten more degrees before morning,” his wife said.
The Taylor’s two-story frame house stood against the icy blasts––a shield of protection, their haven.
“Let’s go to bed, Honey,” Taylor said. “Hey, Rose,” he called up the steps, “is it warm enough up there?”
“It’s pretty cold, Daddy.”
“I’ll bring the heater up,” Taylor said. “Let Jimmy sleep with you. We’ll close the door to his room and shut off the heat.”
Holden Taylor plugged the heater in at the foot of Rose’s bed and little Jimmy climbed in beside her. Outside the mercury edged downward, like a snake worming deeper in its nest. They fell asleep to the rhythmic whirr of the heater fan. The coal furnace roared against the bitter cold.
And then it was warm. Rose dreamed that she was sitting on a stove when suddenly the stove began to warm up over the entire surface like a sheet of heated metal. For a while. it was pleasingly warm. Then the metal became hot and turned red. Rose could smell the burning and awakened screaming for the family against a wall of smoke. Awake, she threw back the covers and pulled Jimmy out of the bed. She stumbled toward the window, screaming for the family, but she could not hear her own voice over the roar of the burning wood. Her lungs began to burn and she tugged frantically at Jimmy’s arm, pulling hard toward the window. Her head began to swim and she was dreaming again, lying on a beach with the hotness of the sun pouring down upon her and Tommy’s loving fingers playing on her back. She was laughing and dizzy and all the world was a beach of sand and the ring of laughter. She could feel herself being dragged toward the water and said, “No, Tommy, not now,” but she was thrown into the icy water. It was fresh and cold and breathtaking. It felt good to be away from the sun, tucked away in the icy chill of cooling waters.

She awoke is a hospital. Her back felt very sore and hot. Her father stood in front of her. She could see his face and hear his words, but they sounded as though they had come from the stars, low and faint, from far away, like the voice of God might be.
“It’s all right now, Rose,” her father was saying.
“My back, Daddy. It hurts.”
“You’ll be all right,” he said. “Rest now and everything will be fine.”
“Everything will be Rosy,” she said. He smiled and whispered back, “Yes, Rose. Everything will be Rosy.”
Her memories of the earlier days in the hospital were sketchy as a badly exposed roll of film. Some parts were dim and unclear while others flamed forth with caustic brilliance. Her father stood by her bed with a glistening stream running from each eye.
“How badly is my back burned, Daddy?” she asked, “Will it leave scars?”
Tears were trickling down his cheek and running around his lip. She imagined that they tasted of salt.
“It’s nothing, Daddy,” she said. “What’s a few scars anyway? We’re lucky that we have only a few scars, aren’t we Daddy?”
“Oh, my God, Rose,” he said.
“Daddy,” she whispered. “Where is Mother?” She had known before she asked, though she was very calm as if she were talking about the weather.
Holden Taylor shook his graying head.
“And what about Jimmy and Richie?”
“Jimmy’s fine,” her father said.
“And Richie?”
Holden Taylor shook his head.
“Please, Daddy, I’d like to be alone,” she said. She held back the choking tightness that tore at her throat until he had stepped outside the ward.

* * *

Dismissal day finally came. It was a cold, gray sky day without color.
“We’re going home now,” Holden Taylor announced. He helped her into the battered 1947 Kaiser that looked as though it had fought the Korean war single-handed. Taylor had swapped his freezer for the Kaiser last November after the finance company took the other car.
“It’s not much,” her father continued, “but some of the folks around town got together and fixed us up with a place to stay until we get on our feet again.”
Holden Taylor closed the door and turned the key. “I just hope this thing starts,” he said.
The thick oil churned against the pan. The starter hummed a bit, then died out completely.
They walked back into the hospital from the parking lot. The phone booth in the hallway was open and Rose could hear every word.
“Hello, this is Holden Taylor. I’m out at the hospital, you know, and my car just won’t turn over. How much is a service charge? … Oh, it is?… Well, I just can’t spare that much cash right now… I wonder if I could charge it until… Oh, I see… No, I know you can’t… yes… All right then… Thanks anyway.”
They walked back out to the lot. Holden Taylor lifted the hood and took the breather from the carburetor. A man with a plaid cap pulled his car up behind them and gave them a shove. The engine sputtered twice, then started, and they were on their way.
“How long will it take to fix our house, Daddy, Rose asked as they rolled down the narrow streets towards the outskirts of the town.
Holden Taylor let his breath run out and pulled it back slowly. “I didn’t pay on the insurance, honey,” he said.
“Oh, Daddy, Rose cried, “why didn’t you tell me?”
“No use worrying you about things like that,” he said. “You’lI have enough anyhow with your mother gone.”
Rose sat in silence until they pulled up in front of a two-room hut that looked worse than anything had a right to look.
Her father pulled on her arm, but she screamed and stamped her feet on the torn rubber of the floorboard. “I won’t,” she said. “It’s a filthy hole. I won’t go in. I won’t!”
“But, Rose, Jimmy’s in there. It’s all we have right now.”
“Oh, Daddy, I just can’t.”
“Goddamn it, Rose, get out of the car,” her father said, softly.
One week later, a man came to the hut. Rose heard the pounding on the door, opened it half a crack and peeked through with one eye, keeping her face concealed in the dimness. The man stood outside, his hair shining like a film of oil spread to kill mosquito larvae. He forced the door open and stepped inside. Holden Taylor jumped up from his chair.
“It’s quite all right, Mr.Taylor, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Richard Adams. Quite a number of the good folks in our community have heard about your… misfortunes… and they’ve gotten together a few things that you’ll he able to use. I know you need clothing, food, pots and pans, and we’ve provided you with shelter. You need all sorts of everyday things, and I’ve taken the liberty of bringing some things out to you.”
“You’ve got something for us?”
“Of course,” Adams said. It’s the least I can do. After all, what are good neighbors but the one’s that help those in need.” Rose shied away to a corner and turned her face so that she would not be recognized.
“Would you help me bring these things in, Mr. Taylor?” Adams said. The way he pronounced Mr. Taylor turned Rose’s stomach.
The snow had drifted across the path that led to the driveway, seeping into Holden Taylor’s shoes, sticking to his pants leg, filling his cuffs. Adam’s new Chevrolet station wagon was loaded with sacks of clothes, cans, shoes and pans.
The door stood open and the hut cooled off with the gusts of cold air. Rose covered her shoulders with a blanket and put a tender hand on Jimmy’s head as the men piled the boxes in the center of the room.
“That’s it for now, Mr. Taylor,” Adams said, rubbing his hands together, wringing out imaginary germs. Lice? “I’ll bring some more in a day or so.”

He came regularly for the next two weeks bringing more of the–discarded sweaters, dresses too big, shoes with holes in the bottom and scuffed toes, old suits with cigarette burns and lapels six-feet wide, jars of homemade preserves with mold on top, month old eggs that smelled like the fumes from a chemical plant, cans of food without labels. This poured in regularly.

Yesterday, Rose met Tommy at Chive’s Drug Store. They sat back in a corner away from the others. It was very cold and the walk uptown had chilled her, even to the one filling in a molar on an otherwise perfect set of teeth. She saw Tommy gazing at her clothes when her eyes were turned, but he looked at the straw in his coke when she turned her eyes his way.
“What’s the matter?” she asked. “Is something wrong with me?”
“No, of course not,” he said. “What makes you think that?”
“You’re staring at my clothes.”
“I’m not either.”
“You don’t like my coat? Do you want to me to take it off? Do you want to my dress? Maybe that will look a little better to you. Or maybe it’s my back you want to see? That’s it, you want to see my scars.”
“Oh, stop it,” he said, “What’s the matter with you anyway?”
“It’s all changed, hasn’t it, Tommy.
“No,” he said, slowly, as though he weren’t sure himself.
“You don’t want anything to do with me.”
“Not if you keep on acting like some spoiled brat,” Tommy said in a burst of pent up anger. There are worse things than what you’ve been through, you know.”
“I know,” she said.
“What’s eating you, Rose?”
“I don’t want to talk about it. Not here.”
“Want to take a drive?”
“Yes, I’d like that,” she said.
He climbed out of the booth and walked out. She followed him obediently. She thought that all eyes trailed after her and I-knew-it-all-the-time smiles were hidden behind the dozens of youthful pouts.

It was their spot, their palace of memories, a pull-off to the side of a graveled road. She had seen it only in the night. It felt different in the glare of day, but everything looks different in the light. Tommy used to take her there frequently before the fire, back in the days when they had a date every Saturday night and Tommy wasn’t ashamed of being seen with her. She felt as though her respect had been burned away in the fire.
“Tommy, why isn’t it the same? Why does it have to to be different,” she wanted to say. Some things are communicated without words, with furtive glances sideways. “Keep the motor running,” she said as he reached toward the ignition switch. “It’s cold out here.”
They sat in silence.
“Remember the first time we came out here?” she asked.
“Sure,” he said. “It was the beginning.”
“And this is the ending,” she said. “Some little play without a plot. It all begins and ends in the same place.”
“Tell me about it, Rose,” he said. “Do I have to beg you?”
“There’s nothing to tell,” she said.
“There’s everything to tell. What is it? The way you have to live now? No money? What?”
“It makes a difference, Tommy.”
“The hell it does,” he said. I love you, Rose. I wish I could take you away, but we’re too young.”
“Let’s go back,” she said.
“Not until you tell me what’s eating you up inside.”
“Nothing but ashes,” she said. “Just ashes, that’s all. Everything is ashes.”
He said nothing.
“Do you know about ashes, Tommy? Ashes aren’t even remains. They’re just an alkaline powder that blows away with time. When you have ashes, you have nothing. I know an old woman who had her husband cremated and keeps his ashes in an old vase sitting on her piano. She thinks she has his remains, but she’s wrong. She has nothing but ashes and ashes are like space… nothing.”
Still, he said nothing.
“Look at my clothes,” she said. “They’re ashes. Things that are ready for the incinerator. Shoes with holes, maternity dresses, just like they expect I’ll be wearing one real soon. All we poor girls do, you know. The food they give us? Rotten eggs. What do they do with their trash? They give it to us, that’s what. I’m surprised that I don’t find cigarette butts and trash from somebody’s waste basket. The poor old Taylor family. ‘Hey, Mabel, let’s give them those cans of jelly that’s down in the cellar. The kids won’t touch them. All they have to do is scrape the mold off the top and it’s perfectly fine underneath.’”
She began to cry and he slipped his arm around her. She buried her face in the looseness of his open coat.
“And that’s not the worst of it, Tommy,” she sobbed. “Daddy has been taking all that stuff with smiles and a thank-you just as though they gave us a million dollars! I think he’s beginning to like it.”
She sobbed against his shoulder. His armpits smelled like deodorant.
Now the winds are howling like some ghost searching for his soul at midnight. The light cuts though into the hut where some semblance of order has been restored. Rose is mending a sweater and Jimmy is stoking the pot-bellied stove. Holden Taylor sits reading the newspaper.
The rap comes again to the door, the carpenter’s hammer, Mr. Adams of the smiling regiment and the putrified hair.
“Daddy,” Rose whispers, “don’t.”
Holden Taylor shuffles to the door, his weight creaking the floorboards, stirring up the smell of must and rot.
“Hello, Mr. Taylor,” Adams says. “I trust that everyone is in tip-top shape. You’ll never guess what I’ve got for you today. He turns and yells to someone outside. “Bring it in, boys.”
The door stands open, the wind freshening their senses with cold. Two men appear carrying a large chunk of yellowed enamel, a refrigerator.
“That’s it, boys,” Adams says. “Take it easy now. Sit it right there. That’s it, boys. That’s fine.”
He shuts the door. Holden Taylor runs his hand over the cold white metal. He feels the nicks in the enamel, then the chips where brown and gray primer shows through. Hc opens the door and looks inside. The box is stained from a hundred leftovers, he notices, but it will clean, he thinks.
“How’s that, Mr. Taylor,” Adams says. “You’ll really he able to use this, I know. It makes a man feel rather small when he thinks about how the community opens up its heart to the needy ones.”
Holden Taylor squats down on his knees and runs his hand under the refrigerator until he finds the cord. He tries to plug it in, but the prongs are bent the wrong way. He straightens them out and slips them easily into the socket, waiting for the purr of the motor.
Nothing happens.
He opens the door. The light is not on. He smells something burning in the motor. “Mr. Adams,” he says, “this refrigerator does not work.”
“Oh,” Adams says, “I hadn’t noticed.” The smile is still on his face––a chalky, plastered smile.
Rose speaks, her voice carrying above the wail of the wind. “If you really want to help us, Mr. Adams, help my father get a job.”
“I didn’t know you wanted to work, Mr. Taylor,” Adams says.
Holden Taylor stands with his head drooping, not answering.
“And you, young lady,” Adams says, turning to Rose. “You have no sense of respect. After all the things I’ve done…”
“Oh, yes, Mr. Adams,” Rose says. “All the things you’ve done. Take a look at me, Mr. Adams. I look like some lost refuge with all the clothes you’ve so generously provided.”
She walks over to the make-shift kitchen. “This pan,” she says, “has a hole in the bottom. It’s most useful. Of course, I must remember that you and the community have generously provided us with food.”
She picks up a jar of molded jelly from the food box and throws it at Adams’ feet. The glass breaks and splatters jelly on his shoe. “Molded jelly. Great for the digestive system. And now you bring us a refrigerator that doesn’t work. What are we supposed to do with it, Mr. Adams? Store our clothes in it? Keep the moths away? Oh, no, Mr. Adams, that wouldn’t help. The moths have already been here.”
She is speaking calmly, her voice a mere whisper that echoes far and deep.
Adams’ face is red, his eyes white with anger. “You piggish little hussie,” he says. “You ingrate…”
“Mr. Adams, says Holden Taylor, his voice unexpectedly piercing to the marrow of the bones. “That’s enough. There will be no more talk like that in my house. I think it’s better if you would leave now.”
Adams leaves with a wave of cold air. Holden Taylor steps over to his daughter puts his arm around her shoulder. “Now what good did that do us, honey?”
“I couldn’t stand it anymore, Daddy,” she sobs. “I just couldn’t stand it.”
“It’s all right,” Holden Taylor says.
“Oh, Daddy, I hate it all, Rose says, crying into his shoulder.
“I know you do, honey,” Holden Taylor says, rocking her back and forth. “All of us do.”


(originally written in 1963, revised 2017)
March 2, 1963
Ken H. Finton

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

The Hoosier Poet

 

 

 

 

VIDEO AUDIO
FALSE COVER OF POEMS OF CHILDHOOD  COVER OF POEMS OF CHILDHOOD
FALSE Pictures of Riley
FALSE TOMB STATUE
FALSE ILLUSTRATION OF STORY TELLING. An’  the Gobble-uns ‘ill git you. ef you don’t watch out.
FALSE These words from his famous poem about LIttle Orpant Annie framed the entire career of this famous Hoosier poet)
FALSE Pictures of Riley NARRATOR
FALSE
FALSE Log cabin and Greenfield footage James Whitcomb Riley, like Abe Lincoln,  was born in a log cabin. He was born in the heartland of the Indiana farmland near the town of Greenfield eleven years before the American Civil War began.
FALSE James was born on Oct 7, 1849, which was, by coincidence, the same day that Edgar Allan Poe died.
FALSE Video of Main Street today
FALSE
FALSE old Main street Main Street  in Greenfield was the National Road that wound through farms and forested lands on its way to California and points West
FALSE Reuben pix Riley’s father, Reuben, was a lawyer and politician.
FALSE RILEY PHOTOS
FALSE CAPITOL Greenfield was but a day’s ride from the capital city in Indianapolis.
FALSE
FALSE national road In 1848, the year before James was born, his father Reuben was elected as a Democrat to the Indiana House of Representatives. Reuben became good friends with James Whitcomb, the 8th governor of Indiana, so he named his second son after him.
FALSE
FALSE Pic of  Liz or gravestone and kitchen footage from house. His mother, Elizabeth, was a story teller who wrote poetry as well. She baked in a hearth oven and sometimes wrote her poetry at the kitchen table while and raising her growing bevy of children.
FALSE HOUSE IN GREENFIELD
FALSE When Riley was still quite young, his father began building another home for the family in Greenfield. This is the home where James grew up.
FALSE
FALSE GWEN BETOR SHOWING LIVING AREA It is now open as a museum and manned by historical society volunteers who take thousands of visitors on tours every year.
FALSE
FALSE James schooling was sporadic. He did not graduate the eighth grade  until he was twenty-one in 1869.

His mother taught him to read and write at home, but he eventually went to a local schoolhouse.

Riley was the first to admit that his schooling had suffered. He did not know much about mathematics, or science, as he was not interested in these things.

FALSE
FALSE His parents began to worry that James would never amount to much. He   simply would not learn history, science or mathematics.
FALSE
FALSE A teacher once asked him where Columbus sailed on his second voyage and Riley replied that he did not even know where he sailed on his first voyage,

Riley was fond of saying, “I don’t take no credit fer my ignorance – jest born that-a-way,.”

FALSE
FALSE LITTLE ORPHANT ANNIE WAS ONE OF RILEY’S FAMOUS CHILDREN POEMS. IT WAS WRITTEN ABOUT A HIRED GIRL NAMED MARY ALICE SMITH THAT CAME TO WORK FOR HIS PARENTS WHEN HE WAS YOUNG. WE HAVE AN OLD RECORDING OF RILEY READING THIS POEM:
FALSE CLIP OF FURNISHINGS … NO CHILDREN ALLOWED TO MESS IT UP
FALSE JAMES WAS FEARFUL OF THE SPACE IN THE ATTIC WHERE TWO EYES OF LIGHT SHOWED THROUGH FROM HOLES IN THE ROOFING.
FALSE
FALSE CLIP OF TOUR GUIDE TALKING ABOUT RILEY’S SCHOOLING GUIDE: James tried to please his father and study the law books but his mind just kept wandering.   Those poems just kept jumping in this head, and when he grew up Reuben couldn’t understand why he did not grow out of this phase. Poetry was a thing back then. Both His Mother and Dad did it, but then they grew up and they stopped.  James  didn’t like to work, he was a daydreamer, he liked to go outside and wander around. When James became big, what did those people see he him?  He’s a lazy guy.
FALSE
FALSE RILEY PHOTO AND PICTURES OF BOOKS FOR A LAZY GUY, JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY SURELY KEPT HIMSELF BUSY WRITING BOOKS AND COLLECTIONS OF POETRY.
TRUE  
TRUE When Riley was ten the first library was opened in Greenfield. He developed a real love for literature.
TRUE James and his friends  became friends with the librarian who told them stories and read them poems. One of James’ favorite authors was Charles Dickens . Some of his poems were inspired by Dickens, such as “CHRISTMAS SEASON’  and GOD BLESS US EVERY ONE.
TRUE MISC STILLS Poetry was not just an exotic taste in literature in Riley’s day.  It was read by the common men and women of the nation. Poetry offered the reader a form of self-reflection, an expression of  their personal hopes and aspirations. It was printed in of newspapers and read by public speakers.  Poetry served as entertainment for the masses. In Riley’s time, reading poetry was as common as watching television or clicking on Internet websites.
FALSE Fairbanks Tea Party photo Riley was known as a humorist and a prankster. One of his pranks may have had the effect of electing William Howard Taft to be President of the United States. President Roosevelt was a friend of Riley’s. A t a famous tea party in Indianapolis, Riley reportedly spiked the punch. The Hoosier Vice President, Charles Warren Fairbanks got tipsy at the party and gained the reputation of being a ‘lush’ during a time of prohibition sentiment. As a result, Fairbanks was passed over as Teddy Roosevelt’s pick for vice president and Taft was picked instead. Taft later succeeded Roosevelt to the Presidency.
FALSE Mark Twain ) said James Whitcomb Riley’s “Old Soldier’s Story”  was the funniest story he ever listened to and considered Riley America’s number one humorist.
FALSE “I heerd an awful funny thing the other day – Ha! Ha! I don’t know whether I kin git it off or not, but, anyhow, I’ll tell it to you. Well! – let’s see now how the fool thing goes.
FALSE Oh, yes! Why, there was a feller one time – it was during the army and this feller that I started in to tell you about was in the war and – Ha! Ha! – there was a big fight agoin’ one, and this feller was in the fight, and it was a big battle and bullets aflyin’ ever’ which way, and bombshells abustin’ and cannon balls aflyin’ ‘round promiscuous; and this feller right in the midst of it, you know, and all excited and heated up, and chargin’’ away; and the first thing you know along comes a cannon-ball and shot his head off – Ha! Ha! Ha!
FALSE Hold on here a minute! No, sir! I’m agettin’ ahead of my story.
FALSE No No! It didn’t shoot his head off. I’m gettin’ ahead of my story.
FALSE Shot his leg off. That was the way. Shot his leg off.
FALSE And down the poor feller dropped and of course in that condition was perfectly helpless, you know. But he did have the presence of mind enough to know that he was in a dangerous condition if something wasn’t done for him right away.

So he seen a comrade achargin’ by that he knowed, and he hollers to him and called him by name – I don’t remember now what the feller’s name was… Well, that’s got nothin’ to do with the story anyway.

FALSE He hollers at him, he did, and says, “Hello, there,” he says to him; “Here! I want you to come here and give me a lift. I got my leg shot off and I want you to pack me back to the rear of the battle.” That’s where the doctors is during a fight you know.
FALSE And he says, “I need attention or I’m a dead man for I got my leg shot off,” he says, “and I want you to pack me back there so’s the surgeons can take care of me.”

Well – the feller, as luck would have it, recognized him and run to him and throwed down his own musket so’s he could pick him up.

FALSE And he stooped down and picked him up and kind of half-way shouldered him and half-way held him between his arms like, and then he turned and started back with him – Ha! Ha!
FALSE Now, mind, the fight was still agoin’ on – and right at the hot of the fight, and the feller all excited you know like he was, and the soldier that had his leg shot off getting kinda fainty like, and his head kinda stuck back over the feller’s shoulder that was carryin’ him.
FALSE  
FALSE And the most curious thing about it was – Ha! Ha! – that the feller was apackin’ him didn’t know that he had been hit again at all, and back he went – still carryin’ the deceased back – Ha! Ha! Ha! – to where the doctors could take care of him – as he thought.
FALSE Well, his captain happened to see him, and he thought it was a rather curious proceedings – a solder carryin’ a dead body out of the fight – don’t you see?
And so the captain hollers at him, and he says to the soldier the captain did. He says, “Hello there. Where you goin’ with that thing?” That is what the captain said to the solder who was acarryin’ away the feller that had his leg shot off. Well, his head too, by that time.
FALSE “So he says, “Where you going with that thing?”
FALSE Well the soldier he stopped – kinda halted – you know like a private soldier will when his presidin’ officer speaks to him – and he says to him, “Why,” he says, “Cap. It’s a comrade of mine and the poor feller has got his leg shot off, and I’m a packin’ him back to where the doctors is . And there was nobody to help him, and the feller would have died in his tracks – or track rather – if it hadn’t been for me. I’m packin’ him back where the surgeons can take care of him, where he can get medical attendance or else his wife’s a widow for sure,” he says.
FALSE Then captain says, “You blame fool you. He’s got his head shot off.”

So then the feller slacked his grip on the body and let it slide down to the ground, and looked at it a minute, all puzzled, you know, and says, “Why he told me it was his leg!””

FALSE
FALSE One of the poems attributed to James Whitcomb Riley was never included in his published works.  It was called “The Passing of the Outhouse.”
FALSE      The older generations know what an outhouse is but perhaps the younger do not.  It is an outdoor toilet.  Every country home had an outhouse.
FALSE THE PASSING OF THE OUTHOUSE
FALSE James Whitcomb Riley
FALSE  
FALSE out house We had our posey garden
FALSE That the women loved so well.
FALSE I loved it too but better still
FALSE I loved the stronger smell
FALSE That filled the evening breezes
FALSE So full of homely cheer
FALSE And told the night-o’ertaken tramp
FALSE That human life was near.
FALSE On lazy August afternoons:
FALSE It made a little bower
FALSE passing 2 Delightful, where my grandsire sat
FALSE And whiled away an hour.
FALSE For there the summer morning
FALSE Its very cares entwined.
And berry bushes reddened
FALSE In the teeming soil behind.
FALSE All day fat spiders spun their webs
FALSE To catch the buzzing flies.
FALSE That flitted to and from the house
FALSE Where Ma was baking pies.
FALSE And once a swarm of hornets bold
FALSE Had built a palace there.
FALSE And stung my unsuspecting aunt –
FALSE I must not tell you where.
FALSE Then father took a flaming pole
FALSE That was a happy day –
FALSE He nearly burned the building up
FALSE But the hornets left to stay.
FALSE When summer bloom began to fade
FALSE And winter to carouse,
FALSE We banked the little building
FALSE With a heap of hemlock boughs.
FALSE But when the crust was on the snow
FALSE And the sullen skies were gray,
FALSE In sooth the building was no place
FALSE Where one could wish to stay.
FALSE We did our duties promptly;
FALSE There one purpose swayed the mind.
FALSE outhouse We tarried not nor lingered long
FALSE On what we left behind.
FALSE The torture of that icy seat
FALSE Would made a Spartan sob,
FALSE For needs must scrape the gooseflesh
FALSE With a lacerating cob.
FALSE That from a frost-encrusted nail
FALSE Was suspended by a string –
FALSE My father was a frugal man
FALSE And wasted not a thing.
FALSE When grandpa had to “go out back”
FALSE And make his morning call,
FALSE We’d bundled up the dear old man
FALSE With a muffler and a shawl.
FALSE I knew the hole on which he sat
FALSE Twas padded all around,
FALSE And once I dared to sit there;
FALSE Twas all too wide, I found.
FALSE passing 3 My loins were all too little
FALSE And I jack-knifed there to stay;
FALSE They had to come and get me out
FALSE Or I’d have passed away.
FALSE Then father said ambition
FALSE Was a thing small boys should shun,
FALSE And I must use the children’s hole
FALSE Till childhood days were done.
FALSE But still I marvel at the craft
FALSE That cut those holes so true;
FALSE The baby hole and the slender hole
FALSE That fitted Sister Sue.
FALSE That dear old country landmark!
FALSE I’ve tramped around a not
FALSE And in the lap of luxury
FALSE My lot has been to sit,
FALSE But ere I die I‘ll eat the fruit
FALSE Of trees I robbed of yore,
FALSE Then seek the shanty where my name
FALSE Is carved upon the door.
FALSE I ween the old familiar smell
FALSE Will soothe my jaded soul;
FALSE I’m now a man, but none the less
FALSE I’ll try the children’s hole.
FALSE The Old Swimmin’ Hole was a poem written by James Whitcomb Riley. H wrote it under the pen name “Benjamin F. Johnson of Boone County“. The poem was first published in 1883 as part of a book entitled The Old Swimmin’ Hole and ‘Leven More Poems. The poem is one of Riley’s most famous and perhaps the most  memorable. Riley reminisces about the Brandywine Creek where played with his friends during his boyhood. The poem has sold millions of copies.
FALSE Oh! the old swimmin’-hole! When I last saw the place,
FALSE The scenes was all changed, like the change in my face;
FALSE The bridge of the railroad now crosses the spot
FALSE Whare the old divin’-log lays sunk and fergot.
FALSE And I stray down the banks whare the trees ust to be—
FALSE But never again will theyr shade shelter me!
FALSE And I wish in my sorrow I could strip to the soul,
FALSE And dive off in my grave like the old swimmin’-hole.
FALSE James Whitcomb Riley loved children. Every year on Riley Day, the children from the Greenfield area have a parade and bring fresh cut flowers to the Riley statue, where they hand them to adults who decorate the statue with these cut flowers. So far as I know, this is a unique event.  What poet anywhere is revered and celebrated  with such enthusiasm and appreciation?

THE DOG POO BLUES

img_1721

Only about 60% of dog owners pick up after their pets, The 83 million dogs in the US generate more than 11 million tons of waste each year.

The real problem is that we view at the poop as waste rather that a resource that can be used and recycled for both compost and energy. Dog waste can be anaerobically digested to produce useful products.

The same biological process that makes compost of dog poo in used in Toronto, Ontario to produce a biogas that can be burned for energy. The residue can be used for compost for gardens, plants, and greenhouses. Toronto actually collects dog poop through a curbside bin program and makes a profit.

The dogs in the Denali National Park kennels produce around 50 pounds of poo each day. Alaska has had to deal with the problem for hundreds of years, as the natives have always had dog teams and the attendant problem of dog waste. Denali established a four-bin composting system where the nitrogen-rich waste is mixed with sawdust and/or leaves to provide the necessary carbon. This method—mixed with water, and rotated when it naturally heats up to 145 degrees—transforms the waste into a sweet smelling, earthy soil that is packed with nutrients. They use the soil to compost gardens and flowerbeds in the park.

When the microorganisms have broken down all the organic material, the compost pile is done “cooking”. This process can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. The nutrient-rich material that is produced is called humus. It increases the nutrient content of soils and helps retain moisture.

San Francisco, with its 120,000 dogs produces 32 million pounds of poop per year. They began a program t divert dog waste into compost with biodegradable poop bags. The leader in that market is BioBags, who not only partnered with San Francisco but sells more than 19 million bags a year.

New York boasts the only dog park in the nation in which dog waste is processed right on the site. “This is the only one in the state and the city and possibly North America which has dog waste composting onsite completely handled by the people here at the park,” said Leslie Wright, the New York City regional director for the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The park provides poop scoops and paper bags for people to pick up the waste and deposit into designated compost bins. Park staff takes it from there, mixing the waste with sawdust and transferring it to larger composting bins.

“The recipe for composting is to have a carbon source, a nitrogen source and mix them together,” Wright said. “The waste is then cooked and cured to kill microbes and pathogens. Eventually, it will be used as fertilizer for nearby gardens on Kent Avenue. But more importantly, it will keep waste and those ubiquitous plastic bags out of landfills.”

In Boulder, Colorado, Rose Seeman started up EnviroWagg and now process more than three tons of poop a year to make her product called “Doggone Good Compost”. They are planning to expand even further and partner with collectors such as Pet Scoop and Duty Calls.

There is also a booming market in biodegradable poop bags. BioBags sell more than 19 million bars each year. Regardless of the type of bag used, when dog poop degrades in a landfill, it produces the potent greenhouse gas methane that rises into the atmosphere and contributed to the problem of global warming.

Dog parks, doggie daycares, veterinarians, and shelters can recycle their dog waste for beneficial purposes. Doing the right thing always has its own reward.


 

ADDED BONUS:  AN UNRECORDED SONG LYRICS ABOUT THE SUBJECT. I WROTE IT LAST YEAR.  MAYBE I WILL TRY TO RECORD IT. -KHF


 

DOG POO BLUES ©2017 Kenneth Harper Finton

(TO THE MELODY OF “OLD SOFT SHOE”

G                                       A

Stepped in that old dog poo and got it on my shoe

C         D           C                               D

A one, a two, a dogetty-doodlely dew.

G                                         E          E7

Stepped in that old dog poo and got it on my shoe

C                                           D                          G

A  a dogetty-doodlely dew-dew-dew.

 

( LOOSELY BASED ON ‘DARKTOWN STRUTTER’S BALL” TUNE]

G

First you take your left foot and set it down.

A

Then you find your foot’s not touching the ground.

D                               D7

It has landed in a pile of poo …

G

Do-wha , do wha, do do de do.

G

Then you wipe your left foot in the grass

A

Twist it to the right, then to the left.

D D7

Shuffle all around and wipe it clean

G                   C               D

It’s so easy, see what I mean.

G                                      A

Stepped in that old dog poo and got it on my shoe

C         D           C                           D

A one, a two, a dogetty-doodlelly do.

G                                  E                       E7

Stepped in that old dog poo and got it on my shoe

C                       D                                 G

A  a dogetty-doodlely dew-dew-dew.

GOOD MORNING

©2017 KENNETH HARPER FINTON

GOOD MORNING ….. GOOD MORNING

2   Some be like the sun – some be like the moon.

Some they got the shine – some they got the gloom.

“Good morning.”

3    Some be like the day – some be like the night.

Some they like to  stay – some they cannot light.

“Take warning.”

4    I don’t need much from no one,

I don’t need much at all.

I like to spend my time with people I love,

and wake in the morning to say with love:

“Good morning.”   “Good morning.”

5    Some be like the grape, some be like the vine.

Some they hold you close, some they like to twine.

Good morning.   Good morning

6    Some be like the bee – some be like the hive

Some they come to sting – some they come to light.

“Take warning.”      “Good morning.”

7    “Night time love, never seems to be enough

Daytime cares,  see it ’round me everywhere.

“Good morning.”      “Good morning.”

8     I don’t need much from no one,

I don’t need much at all.

9   Some they like it hot – some they like it cold.

Some they can be bought  – some they can’t be sold.

“Take warning.”    “Good morning.”

10      I don’t need much from no one,

I don’t need much at all.

“Good morning.”   “Good morning.    “Good morning.”   “Good morning.”

WHAT TRUMP DOES NOT KNOW

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When Trump led the birther movement, he quickly learned how easy it was to gain a following from some of the most anti-intellectual and ignorant folks in the America. Unless he was truly fathered by an orangutan, as Bill Maher suggested, he also knew that what he was advocating was quite removed from the truth. More likely, he wanted to destroy Obama because of his race, as he had learned from his father about discrimination and prejudice and keeping the uppity Africans in their place.

Armed with the knowledge that Americans could be led and misled with the flimsiest of facts, he sailed that pirate ship to the presidency. Bully tactics, common to both authoritarian and insecure personalities, became his staple for knowing our his competition—”Little Marco”, “Lying Ted”, “Low Energy” George, “Crazy” Ben—all were impaled and fell before Trump’s vitriolic utterances.

He addressed ‘hot button’ issues like immigration, the danger of foreign terrorists, a woman’s right to choose her own life and destiny, gun control, black violence, and Mexican culpability for what he liked to call a disastrous American economy. Blacks lived in an inner city graveyard. Towns decimated from the loss of manufacturing jobs were living without hope and only he could add dignity to their undignified lives. He knew all this and, in his tiny heart, he thrived on it.

Not many educated people took Trump seriously. He was the clownish buffoon, the Lenny Bruce of the political world who mouthed his disjointed thoughts into something that occasionally resembled coherency. His orangish skin with white eye sockets was a strange new figure reminiscent of Batman’s Joker. His head, topped by a cultured comb-over of straw-like hair, begged us to question the nature of its reality.

He began his line of campaign promises with a pledge to build a wall between Mexico and the United States that would be paid for by Mexico. He would deport any Mexican illegally resident in the US. Some Mexicans, he mused, might be good people, but Mexico sent the criminals and the rapists to the United States to work the fields, drive the nails, mow the grass, plow the snow, build the pipelines, and make the beds.

He announced that he would ban Muslims from entering the United States. He would not accept immigrants from war-torn Mideast countries. He would be the Law and Order candidate and, most telling of all, he was the only one that would fix an America that was on a fast downward spiral into poverty and oblivion.

How could anyone take these policies seriously? Not even the opposing candidates questioned the legitimacy or possibility of these false promises. That most of his solutions were unconstitutional was not even considered. Hilary Clinton was, after all, ready to break the glass ceiling once and for all—until competition showed up in the urban scarecrow figure of Bernie Sanders. Bernie has a twenty-minute memorized speech that he delivered over and over, speaking about how the one-percent ruled the world, how Wall Street and the banks have ruined the economy while enriching themselves. He wanted health care for everyone as an American right, free college for the masses and called his program a political revolution.

The free college and Revolution grabbed the younger generation by the seat of the pant. All young people want a revolution. The older generation had lived through the revolution of the 70’s and had learned that revolutionaries are either destroyed of assimilated into the system. They never had a better answer that the imperfect system that we have now. By working inside, they found, they could profoundly change some things. The distribution of wealth was closely held by the well established rich. It seemed that nature itself had no qualms about severe inequality and chaos. One kid would eventually have most of the marbles.

Hillary Clinton, Trump realized, was not necessarily fated to be the ordained leader of the free world. If Bernie and a few minor party candidates could divide the vote, Trump could sail upstream with the wind at his back. All he needed was a string of bologna, some white bread with enough Russian dressing to make a palatable sandwich and he could force feed it down the throats of this who still refused to believe in him.

November 8, 2016, in the early hours of the evening, the world gasped as they learned that the United States had elected Clara Belle the Clown leader of the free world.

Trump’s bold-faced lies work for him now as much as they worked for him as a candidate. He consistently misleads the people. He will rationalize most anything.

No matter that there is no proof of voter fraud, millions of people voted illegally according to the new American Führer.

There are so many lies from his mouth, it is hard to remember them all. Instead of making America great, America is frightened that the country they have loved is about to become an alt-right wasteland. Trump’s cloddish footprints will soon be found all over the social landscape that we have worked so hard to create and protect all of our lives.

There is little doubt that Trump is the most unethical conman ever elected to the presidency. There is no doubt that his election was a huge error in judgment by some of the American people. They will learn to regret it as time progresses.

Americans have been politically divided for years, but the divide that separates us now are far more serious than any time since the Civil War. We live in dog time. Every day seems to be a month and every week a year. Liberties are being breached because no one had addressed the long term effects of such radically racist policies.

Courts are disrespected as the Executive Branch seeks to control all the government. Millions protest and march in the streets worldwide. The world is much less secure with Trump in power. This insecurity will surely erupt into violence in the future. Pent up emotions, like temperatures, can only be controlled so long before they come to a boil.

So far, demonstrations have been peaceful. People have listened to the words of John Lennon, who told us, “When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you—pull your beard, flick your face—to make you fight! Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.”

Trump has failed to consider is the indomitable spirit of the majority or Americans. He has also underestimated the power if the courts to protect our democracy. If he thought could stack the deck with his power players and ride his whirlwind to world domination, he thought wrong.

Much is wrong with society, but it is our society, not his. We reserve the right to build is as we see fit. We will iron out the wrinkles in our social fabric. We will make technology work for all of us, not the wealthy few.

The golden age of civilization is still ahead of us, not behind us.

We will persist.

We will resist.

We will win.