© 2014 Kenneth Harper Finton


Driving down the road I’ve got no secrets,
no one with me nothing to conceal.
I don’t know why I even stopped to call her.
I was feeling good behind the wheel.

My words, said in anger brought her tears
while words, said thoughtfully bring cheer.
Words can make a smile come to her face
or words can bring disgrace.

There’s something on my mind that makes my words come out that way.
I didn’t want to hurt that girl, she knew I’d like to stay.
Sometimes I need to talk about the trouble that I find
and there within the darkness I can then begin to shine!

Words, said in anger brought her tears,
while words said thoughtfully bring cheer.
Words can make a smile come to her face
or words can bring disgrace.

So I’ll go home and try again to make a better day.
Pleasant smiles require such little effort from my face.
I didn’t mean to let my troubles get me down inside.
My duty is to wisdom and my downfall is my pride.

Words, said in anger brought her tears,
while words said thoughtfully bring cheer.
Words can make a smile come to her face
or words can bring disgrace.

The night is black and only the streaming glow of his headlights light the road ahead. White dashes––dotted lines of lane dividers––rush by in a stream.
He drives by rote. Traffic is light and he is thinking of what he should do now.
The argument had not been that serious…  or was it? She had made what he thought was a snotty remark.
“What is the matter with you, girl,” he had said. “You are really beginning to piss me off. I was not flirting with that woman. We were just talking.”
“And that’s why you asked for her ‘Facebook’ address?”
“She’s a world traveler, woman. She goes places. She’s headed to the Himalayas in a month. It would be good to follow her trip.”
“Follow her butt,” you mean, she has said.
The road curves ahead and he slows down. “Follow her butt,” he thinks. “Maybe I do. I follow all the butts. My God, if you can’t appreciate the rounded hips of life, then what in the hell can you appreciate?”
He should have told her that. Instead, he just got mad.
Walking out the door mad.
It really didn’t occur to him to think about a destination––a place to head toward––until he started the engine. Then he realized he needed to pick a road.
He had headed to the mountains. The mountains always make him view himself from a height. The world he left below is becoming visible now, but viewed from afar in a rearview mirror.
He knows the problem. He makes her feel unwanted too much. He’s so damned busy with himself and his own concerns that he does not take enough time to express the appreciation she needs.
She begins to feel uncertain of his love.
It doesn’t take much to go from that thought to: “He is looking for a replacement for me.”
“As though there could be a replacement,” he thinks. They had made a decision a long time ago that there was to be no replacement. They were always there for one another. That was the pledge.
Still, he was a man. Men look at women with lust in their hearts and desire in their loins. They were made that way. Nature herself seems to think it should be so.
Who was he to question nature? Who was she to question nature as well?
“How would you like it if I looked down the trousers of every man I see in the street?” she had said,
The truth is, he would not like it. It would make him feel insecure.
The highway is quite dark now. A startled deer stands at the side of the road as his car swishes by.
“ So I want to possess her?” he asks himself. But it seems to him that she wants to possess him equally.
“Women do not think that way,” he tells himself. “They do not want sex with every man they meet. They have a certain criteria. A woman is the one that makes the choice to possess.”
He seriously doubts that she would lust after every man she meets. That was an important character trait that he looked for in women.
“She’s too snotty,” he thinks. “She is very opinionated. Most men cannot live up to her expectations.”
He suddenly realizes that he is not living up to her expectations either. Regret sits down upon him like the first clod of dirt thrown into his grave.
“Besides,” he thought, “I would not really pursue another woman. One is trouble enough.”
“So it was all about nothing. Much ado about nothing,” he thought. “Someday I’ll have to read that play. It’s a great title.”
To him, it seemed easy. He could do it. At least he could try. He could do better. “We all can,” he thought. He has to love her a little more. He has to give her a little more time and focus.
That being decided, he turns the car around on the deserted highway and heads back down to the valley.

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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.




DOG POO BLUES ©2017 Kenneth Harper Finton


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.




First you take your left foot and set it down.


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

D                               D7

It has landed in a pile of poo …


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


Then you wipe your left foot in the grass


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.



Dearie” is a popular song written by David Mann; lyrics, by Bob Hilliard. The song was published in 1950. The Jo Stafford/Gordon MacRae record was recorded on January 14, 1950 and released by Capitol Records as catalog number 858. It first reached the Billboard magazine charts on March 3, 1950 and lasted 11 weeks on the chart, peaking at #12.[1]

The various versions of the song (combined, as was normal for Cash Box magazine reached #4 on the Cash Box Best-Selling Records chart.


Dearie, do you remember when we

Waltzed to the Sousa band

My wasn’t the music grand

Chowder parties down by the seashore

Every Fourth of July, test your memory

My Dearie

Do you recall when Henry Ford couldn’t even fix

The running board under a Chandler six

Dearie, life was cheery

In the good old days gone by

Do you remember?

Uh huh!

Well if you remember


Well Dearie, you’re much older than I

What? Hey, wait a minute, Honey, I just got a long memory that’s all.

Dearie, do you remember when we

Stayed up all night to get

Pittsburgh on a crystal set

Keystone movies, Coogan and Chaplin

Made you laugh and then cry

Test your memory, my Dearie

Do you recall when Orville Wright flew at Kittyhawk

But take it from me I would rather walk

Dearie, life was cheery

In the good old days gone by

Do you remember

Uh huh!

Well if you remember


Well, Dearie, you’re much older than I

Ha Ha! I’ll kill you

Dearie, do you remember how they

Loved Harry Lauder’s act

My wasn’t the Palace packed

Jenny Lind presented by Barnum

Sang her sweet lullaby

Test your memory my Dearie,

Chicago all in flames

Sure caused a terrific row

They blamed it on Mrs. O’Leary’s cow

Dearie, life was cheery

In the good old days gone by

Do you remember? Well if you remember,

Well, Dearie, you’re much older than,

Quite a bit older than,

You’re older than I.

“You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” by Bob Dylan

  • The likely influence on this song was Dylan’s 1967 motorcycle accident, which severely limited his mobility. The song was recorded in the basement of a house where members of The Band lived, and played with Dylan while he experimented with new sounds. The Basement Tapes album was not officially released until 1975, but the songs were circulated and this one drew the attention of The Byrds, who released it on their 1968 album Sweetheart of the Rodeo. (thanks, Tom – Marble Falls, AR)
  • The Byrds released “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” as the first single off the album peaking at #45 in the US and #74 in the UK.


“You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”

-Bob Dylan

Clouds so swift
Rain won’t lift
Gate won’t close
Railings froze
Get your mind of wintertime
You ain’t goin’ nowhere
Whoo-ee ride me high
Tomorrow’s the day
My bride’s gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair !I don’t care
How many letters they sent
Morning came and morning went
Pick up your money
And pack up your tent
You ain’t goin’ nowhere
Whoo-ee ride me high
Tomorrow’s the day
My bride’s gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair !

Buy me a flute
And a gun that shoots
Tailgates some substitutes
Strap yourself
To the tree with roots
You ain’t goin’ nowhere
Whoo-ee ride me high
Tomorrow’s the day
My bride’s gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair !Genghis Khan
He could not keep
All his kings
Supplied with sleep
We’ll climb that hill no matter how steep
When we come up to it
Whoo-ee ride me high
Tomorrow’s the day
My bride’s gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair !


by Kenneth Harper Finton ©2015

songs1Cassie’s seventeen-year-old son, Rob, left home with his dog Ozzie more than three weeks ago. The dog was picked up by the dog catcher and taken to the pound. Rob had not said a word about it. When Rob finally called the pound, he found that the dog had been terminated.

Cassie was very upset, blaming Mark at first for letting Rob take the dog away. Mark was not happy either. It made him very sad, especially as Cassie said, “That should not have happened. That situation should not have been allowed to exist.”

In principle, Mark agreed with her sentiments. Life was at stake, yet something more as well. Rob made no effort to talk with his parents about the dog. He had failed to make arrangements for a possible home for the dog. Rob had quit several jobs and had not worked more than a day since he’d been back. He spent his time dreaming of making it quickly in the world without preliminaries, hanging out with his friends and drinking.

It was his dog and it was his decision. It was not a decision his parents could control. In fact, they had very little, if any, influence on Rob since he had been back. The past few months had been filled with stress and worry about whether or not they were doing all they could to help straighten out Rob’s life. They truly wanted things to work out for the best, but the stress told heavily on both of them–showing up as bowel trouble in Mark, a lack of ability to sleep in Cassie, and trouble keeping their minds on their tasks. There was an unaccustomed tiredness in their steps and an inability to enjoy their time and work.

Mark felt very bad about the dog. He wished there had been another alternative. He wished he had interfered and found another home for the dog. Yet, wishing changes little, and he doubted that much would have changed had he been able to live the past month over again.

They arose that morning with Cassie feeling quite ill. She threw up before noon. They were to have left for the mountains by four o’clock yesterday but were delayed with the news Ozzie the dog’s death. Instead, they talked to Rob for a while and went to check the pound in case an error was made, but the pound was closed.

While getting supplies for the trip, Cassie picked up a pregnancy test. When they returned home, the results were positive. Both of them were flabbergasted. They had not used birth control for more than ten years. They talked about having a baby four or five years ago, but since they thought it was not possible, they never took it further. Suddenly, a new, life-changing reality knocked on the door.

The weekend was spent getting used to the shock that they were to have a new family member. They were invited to a hot springs resort by Roy Frank and his wife Nancy when they stopped over at their home in Coal Creek Canyon to give them some copies of the wedding videos that Adam had made early last month. Roy is a chiropractor, Nancy a nurse. Roy plays bass, harp, guitar, and drums. Mark had been getting together with Roy to play music for the parties that he has been throwing.

They finally rolled out of town about four P.M. and drove down to the mineral hot springs just north of Alamosa in the San Luis Valley.

The hot springs are only open to the general public during the week. They sell memberships, limited to around five hundred yearly. Members can have guests on the weekends. Roy had been a member for a number of years and was often raving about the place, so Mark and Cassie decided to check it out. Though their minds were not entirely on relaxing that weekend, they managed to do so anyway.

It was cold and snowing Friday when they left. A bit of the chill had filtered far south, but the temperature was moderate and quite a few people were at the resort despite the chill. Mark and Cassie soaked in the main pool that first night for several hours. It was the closest of the two hot pools, the other being a twenty-minute walk up a steep mountain trail to the spring headwaters. The upper pool is generally warmer than the lower pools. The resort had accommodations, some of them free with admittance fees, others available at a small charge of $10 per night. There were also camping facilities spread in secluded spots about the mountainside. There was a hostel with a common gathering room, an Olympic-size pool with hot spring water and a fine sauna that had a cool brook running through it pool for dipping when the heat got too hot to bear. Bathing suits are optional, as there were no changing rooms at the hillside pools. Most of the members opted for that privilege, though it was not a nudist colony. Most of the members were old hippies who had become successful or affluent enough to afford the dues. They gathered often and partied like the old days.

Mark and Cassie stayed Friday through Monday. Perhaps they were not quite the enjoyable company they might have been, but they still had a good time. Much of the time their thoughts centered on the pregnancy and what they should do differently. They were unprepared. They had no insurance, little savings, and a lot of doubts about their ability to begin another round of child raising after all this time.

By Christmas, Cassie was four months pregnant. Right after Christmas, they went to the hospital for an ultrasound. The baby could be seen swimming around, moving quite a bit. It looked rather alien in the video monitor, skeletal features, strange colors, and a visible heart. “We’ll call her Demi if she is a girl and Frank if he is a boy,” Cassie said, her eyes a-twinkle. “We’ll name it after your grandparents.”

Two weeks later, on a clear, cool day with Colorado blue hanging in the heavens, they felt productive and well. Cassie had a routine appointment for a prenatal exam. Mark was writing as Cassie came in the door. The sun was seating itself behind the mountains. Outside, the air grew chill.

“Well, how’d it go?” Mark asked.

“Not well,” she spoke. She had a cry in her voice. Her mascara was smeared around her eyes. “They can’t hear the baby’s heartbeat.”

“What!”  Mark lunged forward. “Oh, nooooooo.”

Quickly, they dashed to the emergency room. Suddenly, the day turned cold, the night descended and hideous terrors lurked in the shadows. A nurse ran another heartbeat test, amplified for all to hear. Cassie lay awkwardly on the table, the stethoscope grinding out noises like an amateur disc jockey trying to find the groove. Between the grinds, Mark listened carefully for the pump-pump-pump thump of a living heart. He wanted to hear the sounds of life, but his ears were rewarded only with the cold sounds of silence.

Mark felt like a soldier in a foxhole. Part of him wanted to say, “Prime Mover, if you’ve got anything on the ball at all, you’ll let me hear something but this silence.” Like the soldier in the foxhole, he heard only the sounds of battle as the microphone head scraped against cloth.

A portable ultrasound was wheeled in the room. It soon confirmed the silence of the heartbeat. The only movement was Cassie’s. The baby was dead. It had been dead for a week. Mark could see it in the monitor. It was so strange––this moving, big-headed life form he had seen in negative just two weeks ago lay motionless. The heart that had pulsed so strong was stilled.

Suddenly, new ghouls appeared on the horizon. The baby had to come out. Cassie was carrying death within her. That bastard was much to close. Could more be lost to this hopeless battle? Could it be that Mark alone could return from this quick journey, return to a life changed, a self in pain and transition?

Shudder that thought and chill the moment.

But the moment recurs.

The mind–left to itself–thinks of itself, fantasizes the worst while hoping for the best, searches for expert opinion, and, in finding it, mistrusts it once again to hoe those fields of sorrow and despair. Like a bad dream, a nightmare waking, you need to shake it from you like dust from the rug. Rise up you blackened thoughts. Come quickly and rise to a positive acceptance, even while knowing the inevitable is always nigh.

Powerful drugs were administered to induce labor. Cassie began to shake like the leaves of an aspen, every muscle trembling without ceasing.

It went on.

The vomiting began. The pain in the stomach was not really tolerable, but tolerate she must. Her body heaved a sheet of pain––an electric, hurting spasm.

Adam’s throat hurt. His senses numbed.

In a close room, a woman screamed and moaned awfully. The remoteness of her pain, her unseen face, made tolerable the noise. Then the screaming ceased, she cried, “My God, he’s born.”  And moments later, a baby’s wailing cry.

Somehow it seemed right–in this specter of death, new life announcing itself … and, yet, for Mark and Cassie, how strange and how sad.

An attendant shot Cassie with a painkiller. Her trembling slowly stopped as she fell into a restless sleep to fight the demons within her.

By three o’clock in the morning, her water broke.

Mark had slipped off into the night, lit the furnace in the camper and plopped fully clothed on the icy blankets, pulling a comfort over and succumbing to the exhaustion felt inside. Gwen, a close friend of Cassie’s, stood on bedside watch.

At 5:30 Mark was awakened by Gwen, out of breath, running, “Come quick! It’s over. The baby came out.”

It was quick. Feeling the need to urinate, Cassie had the nurse bring the bedpan and began the final contraction as Gwen ran for the truck.

A young, lithe woman doctor with long brown trusses who attended the delivery stated the facts:

1. It was a girl. 500 grams. Two pounds.

2. Said infant was well formed and pretty.

3. Said fetus had been dead a week.

4. Death occurred from the separation of the placenta from the uterus wall. (The umbilical cord, the lifeline to the mother’s womb, was loosed and scarred. Smooth on the end as a leather shoe).

5. That which caused this to happen is now and forever unknown.

Pictures were to be taken. Footprints were made. Certificates had to be filled. Arrangements were made.

And did they want to see her?


They brought her to Mark and Cassie in a pink blanket. She was very small, perhaps seven inches long. Her skin was brownish blue and dark from the moist entombment in the black and bloody fluids.

Her face seemed covered partially by a veil, a beautiful woman’s face, well shaped and delicate, closed eyes that never saw the light of day.

“Oh, my,” Cassie said, “Oh, my.”

Visions of that face in negative, alive and kicking on the monitor of the ultrasound haunted Mark, came back to him in vivid color. This was the shape he had seen before, the colors reversed and not as brilliant.

Mark’s thoughts ran back to his grandmother, Demores, who was born smothered in a veil and went on to live a life of eighty years and bring much joy and creativity into this world. This Demi, her own namesake, was born only to the waters of the womb.

Be that as it is … was … perhaps will be again.

No pain upon this infant, no troubled thoughts nor learning. A mass of flesh and bone, sinew and nerve without experience?


And yet a woman’s face was there, unfamiliar … strange, enchanted.

Mark and Cassie spoke of wasting a name on one that had no life. But there was little choice. This was little Demi.

She only had her name.

They could not take it from her.

After a few hours rest, Cassie responded as well as possible. She was up and walking soon. They moved her out of maternity to a private room with a lovely view of the city and the mountains. They had time then to rest their jangled nerves. Later they could make new plans.

The plan was to bury her homestead style in a crude pine box that Mark would make himself. They wanted to take her to a high mountain valley and place her down beneath the western sky.

Red tape got in the way. The hospital would only release the body to a funeral home. The funeral home had to provide the state with a certificate of burial. Instead, they chose cremation and the burial of the ashes at a sight of their choosing at some later date. Above the grave, a carved board would read:

Demores Walker, born 1992, died 1992.

Never had a fucking chance.


FOR MORE IN THIS SERIES SEE: https://kennethharperfinton.me/2014/10/10/from-whence-cometh-the-song-1/



by Kenneth Harper Finton







Maybe I am jaded now

or just too old to cry.

All the tears I’ve shed before

Have left my eyes quite dry.

Friends have come and friends have gone, 

how bittersweet is nature.

Work is really never done,

wars are really never won, 

lives are always left undone,

success is never measured.

Blisters used to pain my hands

’til callouses replaced them.

Caring always filled my days,

’til lack of it displaced it.

Friends have come and friends have gone, 

how bittersweet is nature.

Work is really never done,

wars are really never won, 

lives are always left undone,

success is never measured.

Living always pleasured me

and sorrow seldom ailed me,

but Father Time has dried me out

and left no room for wailing.

Friends have come and friends have gone, 

how bittersweet is nature.

Work is really never done,

wars are really never won, 

lives are always left undone,

success is never measured.