A Country Sampler

nonukes1

 

For such a born and bred Bronx kid to wind up out in the sticks in South Carolina is one thing.  But to write poetry about the country life?  I guess you just never know! Below find some of my works that I am considering for an upcoming chap book. Also please, if you have been enjoying my work please consider helping with any amount at my GoFundMe. This really is all I have until we can figure out exactly what can be done to fix my back. As you can see it has just been a meager amount over the whole life of the campaign but all our savings and anything that could be sold have been exhausted with several months left until my disability hearing is scheduled. Enough said. Enjoy the writes.

 

Carnival Craze

ahead dots color hill tops afar dark
yellow, red, blue. and white bulbs
a slow drive rounding easy curves
chants of glee sounding the escape
voices expecting exciting an evening

sour the sweetness knocking gently
as windows rolled down feel a sniff
ahead now neon lights circle the sky
parked the station wagon in a field
smiles falling out the old rear door
pink fluffy sugar whipped on a stick

corn scented popping grandly new
sticky sounds of sneakers skipping
mirrors and teacups join a sway too
the hot dough shaped ears powdered
join parade in turn at ticket booths cut

prizes of royalty reach up drooling eye
wheels spinning higher recall butterflies
bops and pops abound in wild carousel
loose change dribbles clanging on down
gum, hats, glasses and feathers scatter
back to the old Buick we return, smiles

Carrot Seeds

growing up in the city
carrots came in a can
you peel back the tin
and out they came clean

concrete gardens sprout
hard the seedlings rise
a transplant now am I
turning soil mixing poop

tiny the seed of a carrot
rolling off my dirty hands
after sun and water shines
a little green pop appears

when the green grew tall
I had to check have a peek
so poke around did my hand
just a skinny root now ruined

another day another check
months end the crop is gone
let the seeds grow undisturbed
the fruit will show when ready

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A Picture In Grayed Boards

Mothers words grip within emotions
in the way dads old pickup drives
the treasured rides dirt swirling
behind us faster than the rabbits
fleeing through the peanut fields
startled does bound the fences
wire sagging and barbed gives way
her apron blowing softly seen
from the porch she waves smiling
it’s peach pie this evening sister
hanging out the washed sheets
giggling cute as the chipmunk
watching her from under the barn
grayed boards perfect the scene

perpetual the change that remains sweet

muffled giggles in blooming flowers
spark light the butterflies cool rise
yellows, oranges, and blacks scattered
in a blinking musical whirlwind ballet
lilies and crocuses spinning a melody
delicate antenna mimic a child’s wave
May shadows at noon disguise liquid
puddles skated smooth froze as ice
floral scents carried along spring winds
perpetual the change that remains sweet

Turnips Beside The Road

bunches of turnips spread out
an old country table of boards
dents and gaps showing age
soil dry now crumbles off as
each pile is shook before packing
the old vegetable boxes stacked
hurriedly in the bed of that old
white pickup that sat years in the
field back of the old slave cabins
it’s another hot day out there for
selling turnips beside the road

 

 

 

The Oldies Station

old the filling station half stands, a rusting show place lost
once bustling in brightness, weeds poke up asphalts cracks
peering around, periscopes riding in the crumbling black wakes
entertainment in a desolate place, silent country Bowery reruns
pumps hand driven, virgins they were to plastic cash sliders
in reflections shadowed, chrome glared of manner’s suited
oil checks, pop in glass bottles, coin driven phone call booths
change rides in, wearing glamour mostly, leaves some dusted
streetlights bent in prayer, touching the abandoned lot distressed
their wiring hangs limp, cut to fraying the darkness answers not

Southern Shine

Blue skies reflecting off southern eyes
Sight that is sweet as fresh pecan pie
Georgia peaches and Muscadine wine
Honey suckle and the sweet bye and bye
Carolina moonlight drinking down the shine

 

 

Papered With The Funnies

listening as the drops sound off one by one
coming storm raining down on the old tin roof
the falling porch leans toward the hill above
nothing fades as nicely as paint on metal does
wildflowers peak from between boards and stone
foundation sliding daily towards the eastern edge
sights and sounds returning inside this house
fools call it a shack but to me it’s ever true home
papered twice in the finest newspapers of the era
an architectural designer tribute to snuffy smith
running water is found in the creek pure and cool
the most of it found clear in mason jars shelved
among the years tomatoes and pickled okra
nostalgia grows in this holler when the rain falls
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Monday Morning Poetry

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The World From His Window /or/ the Wheels In the Wheels Go Round and Round

He sits day by day
gazing beyond the silicon created illusion
searching for something that’s left his mind
a verse, a melody, a memory
like a broken shell beyond repair
in his world of fantasy  laced reality
the old man counts the days
by the hairs caught in his comb
while multi-colored children play games
on little black boxes in the dark
a world, distinct in-distinctions groans
false perceptions push and pull
everything within the senses once vivid
now cheating for a place among
what is seen, heard, felt, and received, rather than perceived
evening and morning greet each other loudly sometimes, quietly others
rather than that burned out marionette
on frayed strings, jerking wildly,
whose dance is without grace
always out of place
being a being, lost in space
if you hear him crying in the night
reliving the battles
the ceremonious washing’s
do not look to close
do not stare to long
his handlers have left scars of great depth
the old man is splintered and cracked
with a stench of wood burned in the fire
and soaked in water, you know
the odor I speak of, a perfume not
sold in the likes of ancient department stores
not to be found for any price these days
but this (that) old man
he stays right there, oblivious to his own care
though quite mindful of a stare
despite the new world disorder
thrust full force upon that one or sum
full of brows, silvery and thin
your thoughts of him
might be dim
he is just there in that chair
filthy, stinky, useless, unknown creature
whose presence only serves,
among men and women,
in this age and ages past
befitting a scare
but every now and again,
unseen until that shell has been split open
and broken
a single ray of light will give a glimmer,
a shimmer
and beyond the shell, beyond the smell
those who, still can be still, find a pearl
In the Makers hands
what to us is beyond repair
is made new, clean, and a treasure rare.

A Saturday Evening Post / Poem

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The Morning Call

with cowlick stood straight and tall
white robed acolyte
look down young man at first altar call

rush of incense and the cool stone below
sing the rung bells
city raised Bronx being the borough

 

A Wednesday poetry reading /or/ The Artful Blogger

santabarbara2
Guess they gotta good grip on me

Answer to my critics

This popular idea today of writing is something of a distraction. It is hard to escape it’s trappings. Form, style, punctuation, bow down to them and we will love you, publish you, sing your praises. But to write as art is different than all that. Telling you just where to stop and start, which words or syllables to emphasize would be like telling you what to see in a painting. Words have notes, and colors, and scents. They can be drum beats, or paintings, or melodies when put in a certain order. You can taste them, or smell them, even breath them. Sometimes they are sharp and loud and unsettling, other times smooth and flowing. Editors are looking for something that sells, the same ole same ole. I am looking for something that moves, that lives, or dies. Warhol didn’t need a canvas the size of the Sistine Chapel to reach into peoples soul, Jean-Michel Basquiat could intrigue an entire generation with a few letters on a wall, Patti Smith could move a whole city with just one set.  But what my writing means to me is of little importance, what it means to the reader is what counts. All I hope, is that when I am done with one of my works it hits you like the opening riffs to Sweet Jane, or Honky Tonk Women. Or like Kevin Blanch saying “they’ll be calling you a radical”. Now that moves me!.
Love is the answer!

1 Corinthians 13New International Version (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

US FESTIVAL 1983

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Here we go again, another true adventure from years ago. As always the main thing to remember is that this is a true story.
The year was 1983, and this time I am sure about it. The radio station in New York that I listened to at the time announced this spectacular concert that was to take place in California. Something called the US Festival. It was being put on by some Apple computer guy, which to be honest I had no clue who he was back then. But who cared, a three day concert in California that had all the great bands of the day and David Bowie was gonna do a set. They told me it had been years since he had toured so I was in. Of course I also had about the same amount of knowledge of California as I did of Apple Computers so you can imagine how well this is going to come together.

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Now I would go anywhere for a concert, but California was quite a distance from The Bronx. This was going to require some skillful planning. First up was securing tickets at the closest Ticketron outlet which just happened to be in the Travel Agency located on the ground floor of the building I was living in at that time. Dale, a bud of mine said he would go, and I figured we would be able to get another victim also so I went in and arranged for the tickets to the show along with the required round trip plane tickets. When to my surprise the agent asked if I would be needing a rental car at our destination. I had not even considered that since we just took the subway or busies around the city anywhere we need to go. Turns out it would have been impossible to get around where we needed to in California without a car. In fact it turned out even with the car we almost didn’t make the show, more on that later. But when asked of course I said ‘sure’, mind you now I barely ever drove, just the work van for deliveries, and also I didn’t even have a credit card. After asking all the questions and filling out some forms the kind lady asked for my credit card at which point I replied, I’ll just pay in cash if that is alright?”. Sure, she explained “we will put it on our card, but we will need to get a deposit in cash now also”. Fine, how much, three hundred no problem, but make sure I have the full insurance coverage with that, good another hundred no problem. And with that the deal was done notching to do but wait the two months until the concert took place.

So that’s the lead in, I will try to get the rest written tomorrow if there is some interest. But this one is a real killer adventure, airplane rides on acid, cops holding shotguns to our heads, bloods crips, magic mushrooms, Van Halen, David Bowie,and a rental car disaster. I mean mud and blood and beer, sunburn, lost in the desert, aliens, it’s like Prego…it’s all in there.

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crowd shot from across the lake
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Talking Heads dust storm

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http://ultimateclassicrock.com/the-us-festival-remembered-30-years-later/

http://www.setlist.fm/festival/1983/us-festival-1983-3bd6b840.html

 

 

Oroville Dam UPDATE !!!

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2017/02/is-failure-of-the-oroville-dam-possible/

Is Failure of the Oroville Dam Possible?

February 11th, 2017 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

“The last couple of days have not made me very confident in the predictions of engineers associated with the Oroville Dam.

While I am a climate researcher, and not hydrologist, it took me less than an hour midday yesterday (see comments here) to estimate that the emergency spillway would be breached around 9 a.m. PST this morning. I was off by an hour…it was breached at 8 a.m.

But engineers were leaning toward the lake level never getting that high (901 ft.)

This kind of calculation isn’t rocket science. As long as inflow into the lake exceeds outflow (both of which are monitored hourly), the lake level will rise.

Why were engineers reluctant to predict the (admittedly historic) event?”

 

http://www.kcra.com/article/oroville-spillway-outflows-increase-as-damage-continues/8701837

The latest releases have caused even more damage widening the hole and cutting away at the side of the hill. The lake is at about 95% so they have to keep releasing I would suspect. This is an earthen dam and if this thing goes it will be a major catastrophe. If you live in California stay alert you do not want to have all that water and earth coming at you.

here is a short video:

A video posted on YouTube shows big trouble at the dam, as the spillway has developed an almost 200 ft. hole. For the earthen filled dam this may turn out to serious, though officials are saying there is no danger at this point. .

According to Wikipedia this is the most important water source for the California Department of Water Resources’ State Water Project.

“The Oroville-Thermalito Complex is a group of reservoirs, structures, and facilities located in and around the city of Oroville in Butte County, California. The complex serves not only as a regional water conveyance and storage system, but is the headwaters for, and therefore perhaps is the most vital part of, the California Department of Water Resources’ State Water Project, the world’s largest publicly built and operated water and power development and conveyance system.”

Courtesy: Richard Winterrowd

Richard Winterrowd

CBS13 reports,

“Operators increased their water releases at the dam on Tuesday as a significant storm rolled through Northern California. However, as peak water releases started happening around noon, people started noticing some concerning signs”

In terms of a catastrophic failure besides the residents below who could lose everything and the immediate lose of life, there also could be major impacts throughout California in terms of water and power.

This is something to definitely keep an eye on.

CASH OR CLASH NO ONE RIDES FREE

 1981 was the year I believe. WNEW the NY rock station I listened to most of the time had just made the big announcement. They always pumped it up a bit….”stay tuned we have a big concert announcement coming up at so and so a time”… So tuned in I was, when it was announced that THE Clash would be playing several shows at Bonds International Casino in Times Square. Now you have to understand that rock concerts were really my thing back then. It was not that unusual for me to go to Madison Square Garden to see a show even if it was by myself, I could have a blast anyhow. So with the few dollars I had I headed to catch the 6 train downtown and get me the 2 tickets I could afford. When on my way I ran into Joe Mac. from Archer St. I always liked Joe, we went to HS together at Christopher Columbus HS, a block or so off Pelham Parkway. We both liked the same sorta stuff back then…if ya know what I mean?….
 Any way Joe decides to go downtown with me cause I guess he figured he didn’t have anything better to do that day. Well we hop off the train a 42 St. and climb the stairs to the street. Hmmmm? nobody around, maybe we are gonna be the only ones get here this early, so we go around the corner toward where the ticket booth would be and can’t believe what we see, hundreds, no a thousand at least, people on the street, cops putting up barricades, I mean pandemonium!
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 So over the course of the next several hours me and Joe, through some slick maneuvering had managed to get pretty close to the front when they began selling tickets. Now the police had the barricades set up like a funnel so as you got closer to the ticket window you worked down from about 20 people wide to 1 or 2 wide.
Several minutes before we got to the window the scalpers were asking how many tickets each person was getting, as they were in line also. I can’t remember what the limit was for sure, but it may have been around 8. When we got asked and said we were only getting one each, dude peels off a bunch of bills to each of us and tells us get the limit and he will give us a little something for it when he gets through the line also. Slowly as things tightened up this dude is further and further back from us jammed in 20 deep and way back there when I hit the window. I get my limit and see that he is stuck in the crowd so being the sinner I was and having my little bit of money left I take off toward the train hit the corner and book it. About 2 blocks later I ditch into a bar grab a beer and sit by the window.
 Low and behold here comes Joe with the same trot, I put my beer on the bar, ok I downed it first, and catch up to him just as we hit the station, jump the turnstile and catch the train heading back to the Bronx as, the doors are shutting. Not one of my proudest moments now but then, sticking to a scalper seemed the right and noble thing to do. One more thing I forgot, while in line I opened the case that had the big poster in it, like a movie poster at the Theater, pulled out that bright yellow and red Clash poster rolled it up and had it on my wall for years.
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 If you remember anything about those shows, you know that the first night the Fire Marshall shut them down because they had sold like 7 times the amount of tickets for each night, instead of just that total for all the nights they were scheduled for. So in the end we wound up having like 7X as many tickets, because the Clash said they wound honor all sales and wound up playing shows for a lot longer than expected……true Rockers that they were….loyal to the fans.True story!  Sometimes I miss those days, but at least I can still give a shout out to Joe on Facebook wherever the thought arises and Joe..he’s always ready to say hey man , Love ya Joe!