HOLDING A MIRROR TO THE SUN

SKULL

HOLDING A MIRROR TO THE SUN

(In memory of William Kenneth Finton)

Is it the ghost of him I see

in the restless dreamscapes of a hollow night?

The ghost of him … or my own flawed impressions?

Twenty years ago my world quaked violently

when he passed so suddenly

from our lives, so quickly there was barely time for tears.

A sudden shock … a stunning loss …

and life moved on without him.

With childhood’s end, the world could never be the same.

Twenty years … so long ago I barely recognize

that younger, wandering self.

Yet, in those silent dreamscapes of the night

he comes to visit still.

A near sighted old neighbor said

he saw him walking through the tall grasses

of the abandoned yard years after we left

the old Ohio homestead.

“Bunk,” I said, not prone to thoughts of spirits,

yet encounters of a kind have occurred

in the darkness of many a restless night since.

I remember those long evenings in the family home,

the easy chair whose arms

held up a crude wood shelf,

flowing over with papers and notes,

my father seated behind this rude table

in his oily green work suit,

lost from the present in the remote past of other peoples lives.

The black and white TV that connected us

with the world blared endlessly,

while mother ironed the clothes

and I shook my head in wonder.

How bored I liked to be on those

hot and muggy summer days when Dad’s idea

of a good time was to walk through silent graveyards,

writing the names from time-worn stones on yellow legal pads.

Yet, caught up in his enthusiasm,

I learned to hold a mirror to the sun,

reflecting shadows upon those faded letters.

Quite often we were rewarded

with a touch of heartfelt sentiment

inscribed upon the crumbling stone.

Often Saturday would find us in

some distant library, digging through

piles of dry old books of facts that smelled of yesteryear,

but all was not studious and dull escape.

All was not the dark, outmoded past,

as I feared in the leafy green and anxious days of youth…

the family trips brought new, inviting places we ran to once a year,

croquet with friends in the evening breezes of the green Ohio grass.

Is it the ghost of him I see

in the restless dreamscapes of a hollow night?

The ghost of him … or my own flawed impressions?

His choice in music bubbles through my mind.

His choice in pastime rumbles

through my mature years like the distant drone of a passing freight.

Through the years I’ve come to know him

more than yesterday, when I was but his child.

And most of all, I learned to hold a mirror to the sun.

© 1993 Kenneth Harper Finton

THE PINNACLED HIGHLIGHTS OF EACH LIVING DAY

 

Pinnacle+Peak+Ocotillo

 

OUR ANNIVERSARY (9/22/17)

 

Only a few in the history of love

stumble upon circumstances

that allows them to live happily ever after.

The prince and princess of fairy tales

lived happily ever after

while the masses were left to endure

hardship, disdain and marital discord.

So we are the fortunate ones, you and I.

Fortunate that we found one another,

fortunate that our paths not only crossed,

but in that we travel this road year after year.

Today, we celebrate an anniversary

that commemorates this epic journey

we have taken together.

Our ups and downs will never cease,

but that which binds us

is so much stronger

than the world outside us.

Let troubles hail down upon us.

Still, our bond will shelter us

from the tempest.

We have always had our share of

life’s problematic quandaries.

If, from time to time,

I fail to show the appreciation

that I feel in the depths of my inner being,

please continue to forgive me as before.

Know this: I love you like no other

and our days together continue to be

the pinnacled highlights of each living day.

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.”

NEW YEAR’S GREETINGS

 

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You made it through another year. You lionized another birthday and hoped for many more. You dressed your transgressions in purple robes, tolerated the tolerable, and dreamed another dream. That person that you were last year has passed on to become but a memory. The person you are to be this year is being contemplated as we speak.

I hope you made the proper number of mistakes and hope to make a similar number this coming year. Mistakes mean that we are doing something, perhaps something we have not done before. You are known by your blunders, admired for your accuracy and vilified for your honesty, as are we all.

Though time flew by, you persevered. Though you did not do it all. you chipped away at it. Say, “Happy new year.” Welcome to the land of beginning again. Keep those thoughts positive, those acts causative, the mind cognitive.

GRANDMA’S HEALTH

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Grandma had a headache, but she treated her brain well by drinking Coca-Cola, and then, as she would tell, she gave some to my father … and he …in turn … to me.  She had her own traditions and she kept them to a tee.

Coke elixir with her liquor. She drank it straight or mixed, ’cause she was the kind of person that liked to see things fixed. She did not total all her tees, she did not shirk her pleasures. She also felt that earthly pain should not become a treasure.

1453664534570-c11When great-grandma had a toothache, Grandma knew just what to do. She bought those cocaine toothache drops and placed them on her tooth. She liked those folky remedies, she liked her living fables that let live her life as clean and right as she was able.

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A LUCKY STRIKE

 

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For me, it was a Lucky Strike. I found Old Gold in Chester’s Field and fell Pall Mall down the stairs in Phillips Morris’ Place in the hills of Marlboro County. That Old Gold got me elected to Parliament where I Scored Mildly with the Duke of Winston.  I was not in Vogue, though, until the Viceroy and the Duke of Kent, Lord Tareyton, became Players in my club in Newport. That did the trick. This Maverick finally got Max exposure in Hollywood under the LA Lights. It is  Basic fact, life begins at Eve. Let the Camel carry you to the Crossroads. Be Smart and forget Salem. Be Kool.

– L&M

BIRD LIMERICKS

by Kenneth Harper Finton

 

COMMORANT

What great black wings has the cormorant.
They even have some out in Oregon.
They used to be rare,
Now they're most everywhere.
They even have some in Cheboygan.


 

 

Consider the hooded merganser
The best-looking bird in the land, sir.
You can tell by his stance
From the very first glance
That he is quite ripe for romance, dear.

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RED WING

 

 

 

A garrulous bird is the redwing.
He sings to you about most everything.
He will send you a tweet
From his sharp pointed beak
No Twitter, no rightwing, no leftwing.

 

 

HERON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consider the black-crowned night heron.
She seems to be so all-aware and
Her glaring red eye,
Has the look of a spy.
At whom is her majesty starin'?

MALLARD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that the ducks in the barnyard
Most always derive from mallard?
They've a ring 'round the neck,
a bill made to peck
And purple-green heads,
that's what I heard.

 


 

[These verses were inspired by a limerick from 1912 by Dixon Lanier Merritt seen below.]

peliecan

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I'm damned if I see how the helican.

LABORS OF LOVE -AMAZON

https://www.amazon.com/Labors-Love-Kenneth-Harper-Finton-ebook/dp/B01B3C4414/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1466197864&sr=1-1&keywords=labors+of+love%2C+finton

FUN FACTS ABOUT NURSERY RHYMES

TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE STAR

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The joint authors of Twinkle twinkle little star were two sisters called Ann Taylor (1782-1866) and Jane Taylor (1783-1824). The first publication date was 1806. How many of us know all the words?

Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are?
Up above the world so high , like a diamond in the sky
When the blazing sun is gone, when he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light, twinkle, twinkle all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark, thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go, if you did not twinkle so.
In the dark blue sky you keep, and often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye, ’till the sun is in the sky.
As your bright and tiny spark lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are — twinkle, twinkle little star.

 


WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN?

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The origin of the “Who killed cock robin” poem: ‘Who killed cock robin?’ Not really a nursery rhyme, this is best described as an English folk song or poem. The words of “Who killed cock robin” are said to refer to the death of the legendary figure of Robin Hood and not that of a bird.

The legend of Robin Hood encompasses the theme that he stole from the rich to give to the poor. The words of “Who killed cock robin” describe how help was offered from all quarters following the death of cock robin thus reflecting the high esteem in which Robin was held by the common folk.

“Who killed Cock Robin?” “I,” said the Sparrow,
“With my bow and arrow, I killed Cock Robin.”
“Who saw him die?” “I,” said the Fly,
“With my little eye, I saw him die.”
“Who caught his blood?” “I,” said the Fish,
“With my little dish, I caught his blood.”
“Who’ll make the shroud?” “I,” said the Beetle,
“With my thread and needle, I’ll make the shroud.”
“Who’ll dig his grave?” “I,” said the Owl,
“With my pick and shovel, I’ll dig his grave.”
“Who’ll be the parson?” “I,” said the Rook,
“With my little book, I’ll be the parson.”
“Who’ll be the clerk?” “I,” said the Lark,
“If it’s not in the dark, I’ll be the clerk.”
“Who’ll carry the link?” “I,” said the Linnet,
“I’ll fetch it in a minute, I’ll carry the link.”
“Who’ll be chief mourner?” “I,” said the Dove,
“I mourn for my love, I’ll be chief mourner.”
“Who’ll carry the coffin?” “I,” said the Kite,
“If it’s not through the night, I’ll carry the coffin.”
“Who’ll bear the pall? “We,” said the Wren,
“Both the cock and the hen, we’ll bear the pall.”
“Who’ll sing a psalm?” “I,” said the Thrush,
“As she sat on a bush, I’ll sing a psalm.”
“Who’ll toll the bell?” “I,” said the bull,
“Because I can pull, I’ll toll the bell.”
All the birds of the air fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
When they heard the bell toll for poor Cock Robin.

 


 

RAIN. RAIN, GO AWAY

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The origin of the lyrics to “Rain rain go away” dates back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603). During this period in English history there was constant rivalry between Spain and England eventually leading to the launch of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

Once again, most of us know only part of the older poem. When rhe Spanish Armada was sent to invade England.  The attempt failed, not only because of the swifter nature of the smaller English ships but also by the stormy weather which scattered the Armada fleet. Hence the origin of the “Rain rain go away” Nursery rhyme!

Rain rain go away,
Come again another day.
Little Johnny wants to play;
Rain, rain, go to Spain,
Never show your face again!


BANBURY CROSS (RIDE A COCK HORSE)

 

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Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross
To see a fine lady upon a white horse
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
She shall have music wherever she goes.

 

Stallions were called ‘cock’ horses in old England. The reason is obvious to horse people. They say this rhyme is about Elizabeth I who went to Banbury to see the newly erected stone cross. The rings on her fingers anb bells on her toes refer to the Plantagenet dynasty custom of attaching bells to their pointed shoes. Banbury Cross was located at the top of a steep hill. The Queen’s carriage broke a wheel. so Elizabeth chose to get on the white cock horse to make the trip. The people celebrated her arrival with ribbons and hired minstrels to accompany her on her visit, so she had music wherever she went.

 

THE HOMEWRECKERS

 

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“They are tearing down my childhood home today,” he said, wishing instead he were already dead. “I should not watch. It is a sad thing to see,” he said, thinking softly of the past, wishing it could forever last.

images-1“I wish I could have done more to save it,” he mused, feeling the blues as it oozed from the news.

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“I ate watermelon at the kitchen table, sweet as summer’s breath,” he said, tasting the juice that his mind reproduced.

Family-At-Table-1954-001

“We had many a memory in that house,” he understated,

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watching as his reality was castrated.

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“I wonder it I was happier back then than now,” he exclaimed, unashamed that he had no fame. “Probably not,” he said to himself, knowing he had not mastered laughter in the face of disaster.

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“Some folk’s homes become museums,” he pondered as his thoughts wandered. “I was never that important,” he concluded, as he brooded.

 

 

 

PHONE LIGHT

©2016 Kenneth Harper Finton

meditation-sleep-deprivation-gadgets-techniques-tips

Her elegant face was lit

by the soft light of her smartphone.

She sat alone on the bar stool on Valentine’s Day

searching for someone or something

she felt she lacked.

Rock music pulsed around her,

but she was not aware of it.

Romance had eluded her.

Why this pretty girl sat alone

in the dim, noisy bar,

her face illuminated by

the white scream of technology,

is unknown.

Perhaps she expected a companion.

Perhaps she was calling check on them.

Perhaps she was catching up on distant friends

she has never met who lived hundreds of miles away.

Like two fish in a dark sea,

she sat on her stool and he passed her by,

not confident enough to disturb her isolation,

too shy to generate an inquisitive introduction.