Perspective and Praise

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I posted the following on Facebook:
“I can abhor Trump without demonizing his followers.”

This garnered 111 comments from friends, mostly rants demonizing the “other side.” (Le sigh!) In response to my friends’ rants I shared my poem “Base and Blind” to which my friend Tom replied, “I’ve read a lot of your writings. That may be the best.” Tom’s comment got me thinking about my writing from a different perspective, a perspective not of recording and sharing my thoughts, feelings and opinions but rather how my scribblings may be judged by others, a topic I only consider when dealing with extremely sensitive subjects. For the most part I write me with the unspoken invitation of, “Hey, y’all! Here’s what’s going through my head. Wanna see?”

Self-expression, rather than good, better, best (Or for that matter, bad, badder, worst!) is my priority, not the judgement of my readers. (Though I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that I like “Likes” and LOVE comments.) Tom’s comment got me thinking about how my writings are viewed by me versus readers.

I started writing poems for friends decades ago and quickly learned that most people find poems about themselves FABULOUS! Sending someone a poem about them is almost sure to garner glowing praise but the praise tends to be shallow. They’re not evaluating the poem’s content, structure or ability to hold interest they’re just thrilled somebody (ME!) wrote about them.

When receiving praise from the subjects of my poems I try to remember a language lesson my tenth grade teacher MS Lyons delivered back in 1976. She warned of vapid, subject based accolades that do not reflect the quality of the writing but rather the predispositions and prejudices of the reader. MS Lyons explained that sometimes people who love kittens find any and every thing kitten praise worthy. Bad paintings, bad poems, horrid prose, doesn’t matter, if it’s kittens then they’re smitten. I love being told that something I wrote is good but praise based on subject rather than content, while appreciated, is given very little credence.

I try to evaluate my writing based on whether it works or not. Does it get my point across, does it keep the reader’s attention, does it put images in readers’ heads, is the spelling and grammar correct and therefore not a distraction? Throw in some fun alliterations and a few rhymes to make the writing fun and I may have written something I find praise worthy.

Last in my goals is word length. In today’s society a 500 word essay is considered long, a circumstance of which I am aware but rarely act on.

Base And Blind

Oh, we the righteous do decree
that all shall see the world as we
and if you dare to disagree
we righteous shall mock and shun thee

If you support the evil side
with widest brush we will apply
the taint from which can’t run nor hide:
We know the truth as testified

Inquisition not just old Spain
for we righteous bring back its reign
our instruments your blood will drain
as condescend and spew disdain

There are two camps, one wrong one right,
and you the wrong we right shall smite
for paradise, bombast, cordite
we know sole path from dark to light

Don’t speak to us of your concerns
contemptibles we righteous spurn
just get on board, backward slatterns
or be cast in bubbling cauldron

We know your hearts, we know your minds
your very souls are hateful kind
repent your sins, you unrefined
for all you are is base and blind

Blind to the truth of your cancer
that we can rout, we are the cure!
You are disease, you base adders
we righteous know how to skewer

We’ll call you out, though haven’t met,
for there’s no room for your dissent
and if you dare to share mindset
our wrath shall be your epithet

Oh, we the righteous do decree
that all shall see the world as we
and if you dare to disagree
we righteous shall mock and shun thee

Love of Ours

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The moon appeared in splendor, big and bold and bright,
watched her with my darling and felt my heart take flight.
Sky above Atlantic moon shared with sky of stars,
to south circled Saturn, red hued gave hint of Mars.

Sweet lovely, languid hours twilighted into night,
final days of summer, watch Selene’s arc of flight.
Sky of brightest azure transformed to smoke, then black:
Contrail pierces Luna, bleeds not from the attack.

On a strip of island gentrified beachy homes
laid out in grid pattern, dominoes wait for storm.
To everything a season, slipping into fall,
bright moon keeps on shining, reflection for us all.

No light does she emit, yet symbolizes love?
Both barren and frigid, why look we to above?
There’s love all around us on Earth verdantly rich;
warm hearts, human grappling, let souls entwine in tryst.

Selene with your magic you do naught but mock me;
ever cold and distant, yours is deadly beauty.
Beauty cold and distant? Without cal’rie of heat?
Never can compare to two hearts that as one beat.

Lover’s peaks and valleys, the heat of passion’s kiss,
these from Selene missing, let’s long remember this.
Give me flesh and sinew over a billion stars,
though reflection’s lovely rather have love of ours.

Solo Rider

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Colors of rainbow have all washed away
gone’s arco iris, all’s left’s black and grays.
Thought I had power and dreamt I had speed
left riding solo’s lonely place to be.

Longed for adventure, I needed to fly,
so I saddled up and went for bike ride.
Seems dark and dreary had entered my soul;
to cure winter blues knew I had to roll.

A lack of daylight and excess of mead
hitched my giddy-up so went out biking.
Goal was a roll with friendly peleton
alone at start line where have riders gone?

There’s strength in numbers, there’s value to herd,
camaraderie and to heights we’re spurred.
That’s all terrific but none of it counts
cuz on my group ride my solo-ness taunts.

Day was not tempting fact I must admit
cool temperatures and steady fine mist
but it’s been observed we don’t go to war
with army wanted as we roll forward.

Whether it’s warring or withering sky
weather’s the weather when time for bike ride.
The mail must go through in sleet, rain or snow
out in the drizzle this male man did go.

The wind was blowing to that must confess
a forty knot gale made my bike skittish
but I persevered and I fought the wind
as I cycled from home to ride begin.

Incredulous stares and a few horn honks
affronted my eyes as Klaxons did taunt
but I soldiered on despite wind and rain
I knew peleton would ease stress and strain.

Five miles I traveled by bike to get there
arrived wet and chilled at parking lot stared
expecting to find riders at the start
found I was alone it tore at my heart.

I shrugged my shoulders and inhaled deeply
made the decision to ride solo-ly.
Cursing the weather, resenting lost mates
I went for a ride turns out it was great.

Despite the weather, the wind and the rain
horrid conditions, fact I’m not quite sane,
ride on bicycle beats sitting around
but on next group ride hope lost mates are found.

Colors of rainbow have all washed away
gone’s arco iris, all’s left’s black and grays.
Thought I had power and dreamt I had speed
left riding solo’s lonely place to be.

Tony Kneel: “Daisy, Daisy,” part 2 of 3

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At the end of our ride I bid farewell to Jack, approached Nicolette and exchanged numbers. We agreed that I’d peruse the Potomac Pedalers rides and see which one fit best. I explained that I’d be riding the tandem solo to the ride start so we’d almost certainly do a ride that originated in Ashton or Olney. I didn’t explain that we’d have to start close by because I was carless, the reason wasn’t relevant, and Nicolette smiled while Geoff scowled as they drove away with their bikes atop their BMW 733i.

I cycled the five miles from Sherwood High to home, put the tandem away, (it was my most expensive possession) showered, grabbed some food and, since it was Saturday and I didn’t have to wait until after 11:00 for rates to go down, phoned Jean.

“Hey, baby,” I said into the phone, “how you doing?”

“Good,” she replied. “Just getting some last minute wedding details planned. You’re still planning to make lasagna for the rehearsal dinner at Marie’s, right?”

“Yep. Lasagna Florentine. Gotta Popeye it up.”

“Great. We can go shopping when you get here. You’re driving up with your folks?”

“Uhm, maybe?” I responded. “We’re all coming so I should have plenty of people I can catch a ride with. Maybe John and Brooke. Guess what I did today?”

“Heard from a school in Atlanta!?”

I exhaled heavily. “No. Sorry. Nothing yet. No. I went on a group ride with Jack on the tandem.”

“Oh. Yeah?” Jean responded non-committed. Jack was not one of her favorite people.

“Yeah. Potomac Pedalers? The bike club? We rode the tandem.”

“Cool. Have fun?”

“Yes. I’m looking forward to tandeming with you in Atlanta. Had a gal express interest in a tandem ride with me and so next week I’ll probably ride with her.”

“Oh, yeah? Somebody you know?”

“Not really,” I replied. “We’ve been on rides together, but we haven’t talked much. She usually hangs with her body-builder boyfriend.”

“Oh. Cool! Well, have fun! I got stuff to do. Talk to you later?”

“Absolutely. I should be home tonight. Call you around ten?”

“Perfect. Love you!”

“I love you, JPT. Later,” I said, waiting for her to hang-up before disconnecting.

I consulted my Potomac Pedalers newsletter and found a ride that started from the Olney Theatre and called Nicolette. Geoff answered. “Hi. Is Nicolette there?”

“Who’s calling?”

“Tony Kneel. I’m supposed to arrange a tandem-”

“Nikki!” I hear Geoff call out. “It’s the tandem guy.”

Nicolette gets on the phone, we agree to meet at the Theatre on Saturday the twenty-fourth and go about our days.

Saturday May 24th brings another beautiful not quite summer morning to central Montgomery County. I cycle to the Theatre and find Nicolette waiting with Geoff who scowls. “Hey!” I say, “how are you this morning? You have water bottles?”

We place her two bottles in the stoker’s waiting cages and we three sign the ride log. I explain the basics of being a tandem stoker and then we’re off, heading northwest toward Old Baltimore Road. It doesn’t takes long before the ride group splits into a slightly smaller faster portion, and a larger slower part. Nicolette and I leave Geoff behind in the slower part as we motor through the mostly rolling byways of rural northern M.C. With nearly twice the horsepower but almost no additional aerodynamic drag, tandems allow riders to go faster on flats and fly downhills, with the flip-side being a more precipitous slowing on ascents.

Peter’s Seventieth

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Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting and indoorWe all know of Peter and his fairy pal Tink,
and army of Lost Boys from fount of youth did drink.
Neverland far away, yet ever is it nigh,
ADA accessible, as we all can fly.

Fly away in spirit, God Father, Son, and Ghost!
My Cath’lic upbringing this play reflected most.
Not too far from Dubuque, in eastern Iowa,
is where I lived longest, tall corn and short soya!

I too am an orphan, I too am four of five,
play made me remember times long ago slipped by.
Sarah captures nicely Midwest mid-century,
Wendy, John and Michael, Jane and Hook all family.

First we lost our mother and then we lost our dad;
only one not present when our Royal Dame passed.
Ten years span of siblings, eldest turns sixty-two
all love one another; I’m liberal in the room.

Spread out cross the nation, triangle of vast size
from D.C. to Memphis hypotenuse inscribes.
Though great is the distance hearts are our winning suit
for love of family for all’s an absolute.

Known to act a fairy, flit merrily around,
though the years weigh heavy life still holds me spellbound.
Here’s to sister Peter, my John and brother Mike,
Jane’s our youngest sibling, I will Captain our flight.

We all know of Peter and his fairy pal Tink,
and army of Lost Boys from fount of youth did drink.
Fly away in spirit, God Father, Son, and Ghost!
My Cath’lic upbringing this play reflected most.

She Regales

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Backed into corner with nowhere to go she wishes to run, win first, place or show. Every man evil who clutches and grasps, sees her as object, just a piece of ass.

How did this happen, how did she get here? How’d she lose comfort of being revered? Revered and valued, lost to time and space; encouraged to wish and her dreams to chase. But encouragement is nowhere enough when was told, “Be sweet!” sugar and spice stuff.

Daddy had visions for his baby-girl, propped on pedestal and promised whole world. “Just do as you’re told and life’ll be fine!” Dad had no idea pearl cast before swine.

Just wanted the best for bundle of joy, but instead of strong he made her a toy. A toy, a plaything, whose sole sense of woke is pleasing others, Polonius’ joke. To own self be true, uttered by liar? Coalesce victim, hopeless enabler.

Girl’s perfect makeup, hairdo and bright nails? Outward appearance with which she regales? Taught being gracious in life’s to concede other’s desires and tend to their needs. That appearances -those things just skin deep?- most monumental; now sows what Dad reaped.

Without a grounding, a firm sense of self? Created victim, rag-doll on a shelf.

The Day

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The day that lives in infamy
Emperor’s Banzai tsunami
The day two-hundred-dozen died
and trillion tears the world would cry
The day dreadnought Arizona
shared grave Hamlet’s Ophelia
The day on single ship did lose
hundred dozen to harbor blue
The day the Rising Sun did set
against US and her kismet
The day, the hour, surprise attack
crucible with no turning back
The day near four-score years gone by
atrocities on every side

Ninety-nine Years Gone Bye

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There’s ninety-nine balloons
there’s agent Ninety-nine
Dorothy’s dog Toto
sang love for Ninety-nine
Balloons bright were rojo
Nine-Nine hung with Eight-Six
Toto’s weather balloon
flew o’er Road Yellow Bricks

Today’s quite auspicious
it’s anniversary
day as tiny baby
born to your dear mommy
Child of Ruth and Philip
and mother to we five
multitude grandchildren
nineteen grand-kids derived

Mandala is spinning
‘cuz Wheel of Life don’t stop
add six great-grand-babies
to ever growing crop
Ninety-nine divided
by eleven makes nine
eleven years have passed
since saw you for last time

Count eleven eight times
brings us to eighty-eight
age when you passed from us
and crossed o’er Heaven’s Gate
One day before winter
and last day of the week
Jesus’ Beatitude
Earth inherit the meek

One month before Christmas
was born my dear grandson
no doubt would have loved him
as tried love everyone
Eleven Christmases
without you is this year
Think about you often
and in heart always near

Earth just like Mandala
keeps spinning, just won’t stop
Next year celebrating
your century birth mark
There have been big changes
in world last hundred years
but one thing’s a constant
a love for mother dear

There’s ninety-nine balloons
there’s agent Ninety-nine
Today’s quite auspicious
it’s anniversary
Mandala is spinning
‘cuz Wheel of Life don’t stop
Count eleven eight times
brings us to eighty-eight

One month before Christmas
was born my dear grandson
Think about you often
and in heart always near
Earth just like Mandala
keeps spinning, just won’t stop
Think about you often
and in heart always near

Weigh Two Deer

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When nothing makes cents
and nothing is write
when nothing I due
brings dawn dark of knight
win long shadows cast
daze without hope’s light
prey for a beacon
butt find none in sight.
Know ware there’s haven
and where theirs relief
thank God fore mooring
that’s ewe without cease.
I can dew battle
though weary two bone;
for deer continue
til find my weigh home.

Let’s HIIT It!

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I have a friend who seems to be constantly railing against the stumbling blocks that age throws at our feet. Her frequent grumbles over the slings and arrows of outrageous aging prompted a fellow product of the nineteen-fifties to comment, “I try to focus on what I can still do rather than what I can’t,” a rather cogent suggestion disguised as observation. Sure there are things age denies us, actions once performed with great ease that have transmogrified into Herculean tasks, but there are plenty of things we seniors can still do and it’s in our best interest to find the balance between saying, “Go!” and declaring, “Whoa!”

The steepness of my, “Go to whoa!” decline became more obvious soon after my fifty-fourth birthday and within a year that decline became precipitous. In decline ever since, I found the transition from age-group competitor in cycling, running, triathlon and obstacle races to back-of-the-pack finisher demoralizing. Who is this old man and where did I go? For the sake of my goddess I persevered and agreed to continue “racing” but my enthusiasm waned until any moonshine that I felt concerning strenuous physical activity was the thinnest sliver in a sky void of stars. A life sans joie de vivre is barely worth the title.

My decline continued but my acceptance of finishing for the sake of finishing grew from lip service to sincerity. If fate decreed that my remaining years were to be my declining years then it was my job to accept what fate threw at me and keep plodding forward, downtrodden but not defeated. And so it went until two months ago when I finally started to fight for my fitness; to fight and to creep forward.

In September I was convinced that there was nothing I could do to hold back the slow death of decline but as we reach December’s cusp I have proven to myself that this “realism” is really just pessimism; that, to quote BHO, “Yes, we can!” is far more than a political slogan. At the end of September I started every-other-day HIIT in an attempt to up my fitness ante. Within a few classes hope appeared and soon thereafter results waved hello from a distance. Two months and four-dozen classes later my results have begun to manifest themselves in my cycling with improvement being small but obvious. On November twenty-third I decided to test myself with a mock forty kilometer (24.8 mile) time-trial race against the clock.

It was a mock race because it was just me riding 40-K on suburban streets as opposed to competing in a sanctioned event but my goal was to ride far and fast. (For me. Don’t laugh at my “far” and “fast,” if you’re lucky you’ll be old one day too.) Half a lifetime ago under ideal circumstances I would finish 40 kilometers before 61 minutes had elapsed, but today I just wanted to extend my “long” ride of 21 miles to ~25 and to do so at a spirited pace. My “goal time” was to finish in under 106 minutes, a pace of 14 mph/22.5 kph: A hard but doable benchmark.

All went well for the first 14 miles but fatigue and a lack of calories took their toll. My enthusiasm dropped with my glycogen and by mile 15 I knew things were not going well. Fatigued to the point of impairment I altered my course and arrived home after riding 20 miles, cutting my labor by nearly 20%. Elapsed time: 85:40 or a 14 mph pace. (I’ve covered 21 miles at a higher pace a couple times lately. Double failure.)

I didn’t make my goal but my enthusiasm and optimism remain. I have slipped off my death shroud and am reemerging into the land of the living, a locale where progress is possible. I’ll keep reaching for improvement and hope you do the same.

Keep moving!

“Tippy Stool” or “Ferrous Gluconate’s Day Off”

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In the Charitable Giving world a popular paradigm is the Three T’s. Time, Treasure and Talent are all valuable commodities and seldom are the three legs of the Gifting Stool equal. Some have more money than time, others lots of talent, etcetera. Gifting Stools have three legs and basic math skills tell us that three to the third equals twenty-seven which means we’re left with over two-dozen ways to make the Gift of Giving Stool flat or slanted, tippy or well planted. Whether we’re able to donate millions of dollars, hundreds of hours or essential organizational skills Charitable Giving is an essential service in which all can participate.

Both despite of and because of my parents, I am not a generous giver of Treasure as defined by moolah. As a youngster, my parents, both through example and insistence, encouraged we wee ones to contribute to our church. Concurrently, they  also emphasized frugality and stashing away for a rainy day to their five little tax deductions. Add Mom growing up dirt poor, which scarred her psyche pretty deeply, into the mix and it’s no wonder I pinch pennies.

Oh! And to ice the cake, my wife, our very young sons and I went through a four year stint in the early nineties where we teetered on the edge of financial annihilation. We only escaped homelessness because Mommy and Daddy loaned us money that brought us through the hard times. Talk about a wobbly stool! (And yes, they charged us interest.) 

I was, and am, far more likely to volunteer my time and talents than my money and do so in myriad ways. There is, however, one Treasure with which I am generous; blood donation. I was still in high school the first time I donated blood and continued to do so for a decade. I donated until the end of the nineteen-eighties when I received a phone call from the Red Cross. After some preamble I was told that after performing the standard HIV test my result showed, “indeterminate,” or a result that was not clearly positive or negative.

Flustered but not overly worried, I went to a clinic for a recheck. The result was negative. No HIV, which was a great relief. What wasn’t a great relief was that the Red Cross informed me that despite my clean bill of health I could never donate blood again. The need to not only have a safe blood supply, but also to have the appearance of a safe blood supply, precluded me giving. My ban for life saddened me greatly. (Days after Nine-Eleven I called the Red Cross and begged to give. Still a no, much to my anguish.)

I accepted my Red Cross ban as a total prohibition until 2015 when a move to Florida took me out of Red Cross land and brought me to One Blood territory. There was no doubt that my blood was safe and without a ban from the collecting agency I stepped onto a One Blood bus, answered the question, “Have you ever been found positive for HIV?” with a resounding no and donated. Again, and again, and again. I donated through One Blood while I lived in Florida but when I moved to North Carolina I was back in Red Cross territory where my lifelong ban was still in effect.

Via phone and email I lobbied the Red Cross hard, explaining that I’d been donating with One Blood for two years, and I kept asking what could be done to allow me to continue to donate my O positive juice. The Red Cross, after having me jump through some hoops, relented, retested and finally acquiesced, allowing me to once again donate with them, something I’ve done regularly for a bit over a year.

Until early this month. This month I failed my iron test. I joked with the phlebotomist that I was not menstruating (Which I pronounced correctly.) and said I’d try again soon. I did. Twice more in three weeks. Low iron all three times. Low iron means no donating and soon thereafter I went to my doctor for my annual physical, telling her of my iron poor blood concern. She wasn’t, (Concerned that is.) but we added an iron count to my blood work. Yep. I’m anemic. Which brings us back to stools. The other kind of stool.

Since this low iron is new and sudden it seems that prudence dictates that we test for blood in my stool as part of the diagnosis process. We need to make sure I don’t have internal bleeding that would lower my iron count. Joy.

In my life I have peed in a cup many times, (Only once for a drug test and that was a pre-employment requirement. I passed. My crazy is not dependent on popping pills, shooting syringes or smoking weed.) ejaculated in a cup once, (That led to surgery but that’s a whole different story. I’m hip deep writing my novella, “Joe Kleen- Southern Hospitality,” that examines both the gymnastics required for me to reproduce and how my beloved and I teetered on insolvency. I hope to start posting the story one chapter at a time come New Years or so.) and provided vial after vial and pint after pint of my red life force. I just can’t donate until we get my anemia sorted out and treated.

Gifting Stool or poopy stool, I hope we get things nice and even again soon ’cause I can tell you collecting stool samples over the course of three days is not my idea of charitable giving and the world is in need of the treasure that flows through my veins.

Donate if you’re eligible!

Darkness All Day Long

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Statue like attention,
right hand held over heart,
eyes that do not waver,
as old guard does depart.
Jaw it aches from clenching,
stoic facade prevails,
his pain’s never ending
as son hides his travail.

Departed dear father
now Mother too has gone:
Though the sun shines brightly
there’s darkness all day long.
Early gone is rosebud,
dear blossom too soon picked,
sad son now an orphan,
wherefore this death edict?

Tears have flowed like rivers,
sad lad he grieves at home
with his wife and daughter,
thanks the Lord not alone.
Today she is buried,
interred in the cold ground,
but she’ll live forever
as in his heart abounds.

Statue like attention,
salutes to hide travails,
jaw it aches from clenching,
stoic facade prevails,
Departed dear father
Mother so dearly missed,
early gone is rosebud,
dear blossom too soon picked.

Tears they flow like rivers,
sad lad with unseen wounds.
Today she is buried,
interred in the cold ground.
Departed dear father
now Mother too has gone:
Though the sun shines brightly
there’s darkness all day long.

Taste of Crow

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For thirty-six-plus years I have told the tale of Durga ignoring the pearls of wisdom that dripped from my tongue like honey until she was presented the same information by an expert whose presentation made her change her disbelief to wholehearted acceptance. Alas, I now find said shoe squeezing my toes in a most unpleasant manner.

I met Pat, the woman who later became my wife, in June of 1980. Her arrival was heralded while my reputation preceded me. At time of meeting we were both nineteen-years-old, I had successfully completed my freshman year at UMCP while Pat, who had not yet won any of her nomes de plume, had just graduated with an associate degree in restaurant management from SUNY Cobleskill in New York.

Pat’s arrival was heralded because my Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurant was the training center for our district’s new management hires and we were told our next trainee would be a woman. PJT, she was a Tierney a’fore she became a Kenel/ Kleen/ Kneel, left her Brewster domicile in the Empire State and made her way south-by-southwest 300 miles to her new abode near Wheaton Plaza. It was her first day of work when she was asked, “Did you hear that Keith got hit by a car?!”

I had just begun cycling weeks earlier and being  struck from behind at a red light was not an occasion to which I aspired. As fate had it, MS Tierney was elbow deep in work at  her first Farrell’s shift as I went tumbling end over end on a wayward Beetle of the Volkswagen genus. Pat had no idea who I was but if you want to be indelibly inscribed in someone’s memory a great way to do so is to make a big splatter- er, splash!

********

My injuries were relatively minor and completely non life threatening. Below is a link to a more detailed examination of that fateful June night:

https://keithakenel.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/the-road-to-car-free-commuting-a-fictional-autobiography-chapter-i/

********

I had grown from tot to teen with zero interest in playing field or court while Pat had been reared a life-long devotee of all things sport. Despite this disparity it was I who embraced cycling and bicycles. I went from couch spud to commuting stud and along the interviewing years I studied bikes in a passionate pursuit of how they work, how they should be maintained and how we engines can be best utilized. I even bought first one and then multi pairs of weasel-squeezer bike-shorts, the kind that are worn in the same manner as swim suits, i.e. next to the skin or sans skivvies. Pat was having none of that.

Pat was having none of that until one day circa 1984 I tossed her a copy of Bicycling Magazine that featured an interview with cycling great Connie Carpenter-Phinney concerning does and don’ts for neophyte bikers in which MS Phinney reiterated what I’d been iterating. Boom! Flash-bulb! All of a sudden Pat’s taking Brooke Shields’ advice and allowing nothing to get between her and her Calvin’s, er, bike shorts.

For three decades I have ripped her royal nibs about this but today I feast on crow. Why? Because during my annual checkup I asked my doctor about joint pain and the first thing Doc Cziraky suggests to me is that I try turmeric, a supplement Durga, Misty, Jean, Pat has been urging me to try for nearly ten years.

I put some in my oatmeal. Tastes better than crow.

(Some old dogs can learn new tricks, it just might take a while.)

Decreed By Divine

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Here on our island surrounded by sea thought we’d found safety and sanctuary. With three thousand miles of treacherous brine Nation’s destiny decreed by divine. Three legs of support for great edifice, Life and Liberty, pursue Happiness. And three vital legs to let us stand tall, to prevent despots from holding us thralled.

But lo and behold, Nation’s governance lucre desecrates, now’s sham and pretense. Parliamentary and Judicial Branch made farce by despot who nation enchants. Despot who declares can murder, may rape, nation assuages with Antoinette’s cake.

Employed Pied-Piper, on drum rat-a-tats, like Jesus’ Peter has flipped truth’s doormat. In time of trouble while New Rome does burn we’ve a new Nero who truth gladly spurns. Made declaration, holds nation enthralled swears what we need is MAGA Border Wall.

Linked arms together as stitched our own pall, dreamed of a rampart that’s long, wide and tall. Three-thirty-million arms reach sea to sea, repel the devils, oh, say can you see? Swore hordes of Mongols like China’s great steppes make mongrel nation; need wall to protect. Nation’s protector is vector disease; promised us lucre and a life of ease.

Bedrock foundation of our parapet stands on the shoulders of sacrificed dead. Both men and women, long with boys and girls, collat’ral carnage for wall that is faux. No man’s an island, each part of the whole, needful observance, essential Donne’s soul.

Fear and hate mong’ring, divide and conquer, these are the bedrock MAGA wall builder. The hour is here, the hour is now, fear never our hour have justice resound. So many shackles round red wrists do clink, enemy’s within, from him we can’t shrink.

Here on our island surrounded by sea dreamed we’d found safety and sanctuary, but three thousand miles of treacherous brine does not exempt from our noblesse oblige.