Tip of The Tongue

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The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue
all are important for more than diction.
Melding together in loving embrace
our eyes are open and our kiss ain’t chaste.

Rapturous release found in your arms,
when my heart is cold, you it does warm.
Anger and angst and frustration mounting,
embrace from you and I am rebounding.

Whether daylight or cover of night
you are the passion that always delights.
Ever present ennui hasn’t a chance
in either axis with you love to dance.

High on a mountain, in deepest valley,
embracing you is when I am most free.
Your limbs aren’t clutching, they’re there for support;
you have the power of rapport transport.

Companion and champion wrapped up in one,
greatest respect and desire you’ve won.
Sine qua non, you’re my essential part,
though in two chests our lives beat with one heart.

Stars in the heavens or God on his throne?
Fortuitousness or fate we were thrown?
I don’t know the how, the when, where or why,
just know that you my life edifies.

Singing and dancing and walking on air,
you are the salve to my deepest cares.
I’ll love you today, tomorrow, for keeps;
you’re greatest harvest my life it could reap.

You are no angel, you’re earthy delight.
You are the vision my soul does ignite.
From crown of your head to soles of your feet
when I’m with you is when I feel complete.

Two into one for the rest of our lives,
I’ll be loving husband to you, sacred wife.
Blessed from the moment we declared, “I do!”
my heaven on Earth is wrapped up in you.

The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue
all are important for more than diction.
Melding together in loving embrace
our eyes are open and our kiss ain’t chaste.

 

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Seventy-Six Long Years

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Seventy-six long years you have trod the Earth,
twenty-eight-thousand days you’ve been the man.
You’re admired by rows and rows
of smartest people in the know
who swear you’re grandest in the land!

Seventy-six long years you’ve been flying high,
twenty-eight-thousand days you’ve grazed the sun.
Seems every mother’s son agrees
you’re the finest breed
to your voice all readily harken!

Good folks of Marshall town all turned out shouting, “Hurray!”
In respect, in respect gladly lined the streets.
Men and women full of kindest words to say
praised the man who lives without conceit.

Good folks from all across the vast globe sent words of praise.
In respect, in respect voices called to him.
And with tears he could not hide
as he viewed scene with heartfelt pride,
“Happy birthday!” whole world called to Jim.

Lobo y Oveja: a ten-minute play

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Scene:
A crowded, standing room only city bus.

Characters:
Engañador Ladrón: Very pregnant, extremely attractive young woman.
Driver: Bus driver.
Richard “Dick” Geleitet: Man sixty plus years old. Very thick glasses. Dressed in a nice business suit.
Francis “Forta” Viro: Strapping young man, dressed in workout clothes.
PASSENGERS: Various. At least four.

Lights up on a bus filled to capacity. Richard is sitting by the aisle four rows back. Francis stands in the aisle behind Richard. Passengers fill the seats in front of and behind Richard and Francis. 

(The bus stops and Engañador enters smiling, looks at the full seats and sighs deeply. She smiles at the driver and dabs her bus pass on the scanner.)

Engañador:
Good evening!

Driver:
Evening.

(Engañador walks to where Francis is standing, smiles, nods at him and then grabs a hand strap before leaning against a rail for support. Francis “checks her out” from behind.)

Francis:
How you doing?

Engañador:
Me? Fine, thanks. And you?

Francis:
Doing great, doing great. Looks like you’re expecting a delivery. When you due?

Engañador:
The twenty-second.

Francis:
Of next month? So, what? Like five weeks?

Engañador:
Five weeks and three days. Not that I’m counting. And assuming that my Little angel arrives on time. My obstetrician keeps reminding me that first babies are notorious for being late. I’m pretty sure she’ll be here right on time though.

Francis:
So, what? Then this is your first? Congratulations.

Engañador:
Thank you! We’re very much looking forward to her arrival.

Francis:
“We?” So, what? You got a mouse in your purse.

Engañador:
(Smiling.) No. My husband and me.

Francis:
Oh, that’s nice. Boy or girl?

Engañador:
My husaband? He’s a man.

Francis:
Funny! You’re a funny lady! How about the baby? Do you know what it is?

Engañador:
A blessing? An angel in human form? Also a girl.
(Singing softly to the “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” she rubs her belly.)
In her mommy’s womb is where my baby grows, she is my darling angel with ten fingers and ten toes. Yo adoro the finest cherubim that heaven’s ever sent y amo a mi querida, porque makes mi corozon content.
(Looking down at her belly she continues in spoken word.)
Mommy loves her little angel, doesn’t she?

Francis:
Hey! I like that! You make that up?

Engañador:
Only the words, not the music.

Francis:
Yeah. I thought I recognized the tune. “Three Little Fishes,” right?

Engañador:
“Three Little Fishes?” No. “Itsy-Bitsy Spider.”

Francis:
Oh, yeah? Okay. If you say so.
(Extends his hand.)
My name’s Francis by the way. Francis “Forta” Viro.

Engañador:
(Shaking his hand.)
Engañador. Engañador Ladrón. Forta Viro. Is that Italian?

Francis:
(Laughing.)
Viro is. Forta is too, sort of. But it’s my nickname. My name’s Francis Viro but my friends call me Forta. It means gentleman. And what’s your name? Spanish?

Engañador:
Romanian, actually. Engañador means sooth sayer in Romanian.

Francis:
For real? I never met a Romanian before. And what’s soothsayer?

Engañador:
Someone who can predict the future? Speaking of which, better grab that hand strap.

(The bus jerks and Francis stumbles forward. Engañador reaches out a hand to keep him from falling.)

Francis:
Whoa! Thanks. And what the hell was that? How’d you know I was going to get thrown forward?

Engañador:
Spidey sense? That’s what sooth sayers do. We tell people what’s going to happen before it happens. Like, I know what you’re going to say next.

Francis:
Oh, yeah? And what would that be?

Engañador:
That you don’t believe me. There’s a name for that. It’s called the Cassandra syndrome.

Francis:
No. I believe you. I mean, you just proved it, right?

Engañador:
Well, no. Not technically. What I just did was give you a confirming data point that lends support to my proposition that I’m a soothsayer. Proof would be me saying that you plan to follow me home and try to ge in my pants.

Francis:
Say what? Don’t be crazy, girl! First of all it’s Friday night; I can get about any girl I want. Second, you’re pregnant and you’re not nearly as hot as you must think you are.

Engañador:
Hot or not, I know what I know. And I know that’s what you’re planning.  

(Richard sighs deeply, violently folds his newspaper and looks over his shoulder squinting toward Engañador and Francis.)

Richard:
Ma’am? Hey, lady? Why don’t you take my seat; okay?

Engañador:
Oh, no. I couldn’t; but thank you!

Richard:
Lady. Come on. Just, just take it. Please?

Engañador:
No, no. Really. I’m fine. You were there first.

Richard:
Yeah. I know I was here first. But just take my seat; would you?

Engañador:
Oh, no. Really. I don’t want to impose.

Francis:
I’ll take your seat if you don’t want it.

(Richard looks at Francis and scowls.)

Richard:
Now there’s a surprise. And I wasn’t talking to you.

Francis:
Touchy, touchy! No need to be a prick, Dick.

Richard:
Hey, Forta Viro? Why don’t you go do some more pushups? I’m offering my seat to the lady here. Ma’am? Would you please take it? I gather that one of us is pregnant and that’s neither Frankie nor me.

Engañador:
Well, if you’re sure. It is harder to balance with my big belly. And my feet are killing me.

(Richard stands and Engañador takes his seat.) 

Engañador:
Thank you. You are very sweet.So, you know Mr. Viro?

Richard:
Just from riding the bus. I gotta tell you that I’m not surprised to hear what you said about his intentions. Viro has never struck me as very virtuous, if you know what I mean. My name’s Richard but my Friends call me Dick. Dick Geleitet.

Engañador:
Engañador. Engañador Ladrón. So, you ride this bus often?

Richard:
Pretty much twice a day, five days a week. I’m not allowed to drive since my eyes got so bad. I haven’t seen you on here before, have I?

Engañador:
I don’t think so. I don’t usually come this way.

Richard:
So, you were just pulling Frankie’s leg about the soothsayer thing?

Engañador:
Oh, did you hear that? And, no! I really do see into the future. For instance I know that my baby’s not going to be late, she’s going to be early. I also know that things aren’t going to go so well. They’ll be complications and I’ll end up having to stay in the hospital for a few days.

Richard:
Really? I hope you’re mistaken. How long have you had this, what do we call it? Special power?

Engañador:
Long as I can remember. And people haven’t believed me for just as long.

Richard:
Well, it is kind of hard to swallow. No offense.

Engañador:
None taken. Oop! Better grab the handrail, hard! Unless you want to make a Frankie mistake.

(The bus passengers lurch forward violently with the squeal of brakes. Francis is flung into Richard and steadies himself against the older man who pushes against him with his shoulder. Engañador reaches up to keep Richard from falling.)

Driver:
Sorry about that, folks! Some fool ran a red light right in front of me. Everybody okay?

Richard:
(To Francis.) Back off, guido! What are you, drunk already? 

(It takes Francis a few seconds to steady himself against Richard, the younger man’s hands brush up and down and inside Richard’s suit jacket.)

Francis:
Screw you, old man!

Richard:
(To Francis, but under his breath.) I thought you were Italian, not Greek.
(To Engañador.) Well I’ll be. You really can see when something’s going to happen before it does?

Engañador:
Are you okay?
Sometimes. Big stuff. Personal stuff. Things right around me. Like when I got pregnant. And when my baby’s due.

Richard:
Yes, I’m fine. It’s that drunken WOP that has a problem.
Prescience, huh? Never would have believed it.
Okay. Cool. That must come in… Handy?

Engañador:
Except that people don’t believe me. Just call me Cassandra.

Richard:
Sorry?

Engañador:
Don’t worry about it. Ancient reference. For real.

Richard:
Oh! Cassandra. Helen of Troy and all that?

Engañador:
Yes, and all that. You’d think that seeing into the future would be a blessing but I think it’s more of a curse.

Richard:
I wouldn’t know. How about your baby? Everything look Rosy?

Engañador:
So far as I can tell. Mostly I only get premonitions about bad things, so I guess no news is good news?

Richard:
That’s what they say.

Engañador:
I love your suit, by the way. It’s lovely.

Richard:
This old thing? Why thanks. Nice dress.

Engañador:
Maternity clothes! Another reason I’ll be happy when mi querida is born; I’ll be able to get back into my regular clothes.

Richard:
It may take a while. To get back into your regular clothes I mean.

Engañador:
(Smiling) Oh, I know. But at least that will be a new start back to the old me.

Richard:
Well, you look lovely. There’s something special about a woman who’s pregnant and happy. A real glow that just can’t be faked, you know?

Engañador:
I think I do. And thank you.
So, you have children?

Richard:
Three, but they’re all grown and moved away.

Engañador:
So, just you and your wife?

Richard:
No. No, no. Just me. I’m afraid Patty passed a few years back. About the only thing left to fill my days is my business.

Engañador:
I’m very sorry to hear that. It must be very difficult.

Richard:
It was but I’ve adjusted. Got to keep moving forward. And the good part is that without all those personal distractions I concentrate more on my business. It’s just keeps growing like gangbusters.
(Lowering his voice)
In fact, I’ve got the biggest deposit of my life with me today. I’ve never had this much cash on me at once before.

Engañador:
Really? Well keep it hidden. I would hate for anything to happen to it; or to you!
(Short pause)
“Gangbusters,” there’s a word you don’t hear everyday.

Richard:
(Laughs) No, I suppose not. I’m afraid my language is rather antiquated: Like me.

Engañador:
Oh, stop! You’re hardly antiquated. I can’t tell you how nice it was of you to give me your seat, Richard. Very gentlemanly. If chivalry is antiquated then that’s a shame.

Richard:
Yes, I agree. But it’s hard to know what to do these days. When I see a woman standing on the bus when I’m sitting I’m not sure how to act. I’m afraid some hairy-pitted feminist will shout at me if I offer her my seat so I tend to keep to myself. I wanted to offer you my seat when I first saw you but I just don’t know what proper manners are anymore.

Engañador:
Well, I’m no hairy-pitted feminist but I think equality is very important. Normally I wouldn’t dream of taking your seat it’s just that pregnancy makes everything so difficult. Thank you again.

Richard:
You’re very welcome. You’re a breath of fresh air compared to most of these lowlifes that ride the bus.

Engañador:
Oh, stop! You don’t mean that. And speaking of stops, mine’s coming up.
(Engañador pulls the cord that “dings” the driver.)

Richard:
Ah! It’s been very nice meeting you. Good luck with the baby. Maybe I’ll see you again sometime?

Engañador:
(Rising) Could be. I’ll be sure to be on the look out for you. Take care.

(Engañador walks to the front of the bus while Richard retakes his seat and checks his suit coat pocket for his deposit envelope. Engañador steps off the bus as Richard frantically pats all of his coat and then pants pockets searching for the envelope.)

Richard:
Driver! Driver! I’ve been robbed! This man (Richard motions ferociously at Francis) robbed me! Driver! Driver! Stop the bus!

Engañador exits stage right as lights fade and the bus “drives off” stage left.

Lights up on a room where Engañador, dressed in panties and a bra holds a telephone. A false pregnancy belly sits on a chair next to her.

Engañador:
Marco? How’d everything go? (Pause)
Yeah? Perfect! What’d the bus driver do? (Pause)
For real? Called the cops? And the whole bus was delayed? No shit. What happened with your buddy Francis? (Pause)
Perfect! Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy! (Pause)
Hell yeah I got the money! Almost five thousand in cash! It’s a shame we couldn’t cash the checks too. No, I just tossed ’em. (Pause)
Well, you know, thems the breaks. I’ll meet up with you in a week and then we can settle with Joey. He did a good job running the red light in front of the bus. Scared the crap out of me. Yeah, yeah, I’m the pussy. Who did all the work?
Alright. Yeah, good reconnaissance. Keep your eyes open for other opportunities, okay?
Yeah, it is fun playing a sheep. I’ll be in touch.

Lights out

Beaming

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With smile beaming you light up my day
Though dark November you bring me sweet May
Ice skims the pond but there’s none in my heart
Your giggle’s blessing that is day’s best start

Alpha, Omega, beginning and end
When we’re together know you are godsend
With bright, sunny face that dispels dark night
Butterfly kisses give me such delight

Both alert and eager to start your day
You’re up in a moment, ready for play
Ready to cast off and sail the round Earth
You are everything that gives life its worth

Moonbeams need sunshine to light up the night
With your sparkling eyes see world of delights
Stars shine even brighter when you are near
Your glory shines like the heavenly sphere

Sparkle and glimmer from your fingertips
Live for song of laughter from baby lips
Just tiny human who’s not yet year old
He’s my Geppetto who heart strings does hold

Just doting dotard who loves his grandson
Some say it’s not seemly, try to chasten
This boy owns my heart, there’s naught I can do
He’s one I’ll love until my time is through

With smile beaming you light up my day
Though dark November you bring me sweet May
Ice skims the pond but there’s none in my heart
Your giggle’s blessing that is day’s best start

 

OAF All Wet

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raining

     Living in the center of the country at forty-two degrees north latitude I once cycled year round and in all weather. In fact, before moving to Tampa Bay, way down south at 28 degrees north latitude, I cycled in all four seasons for transportation in all weather, inclement conditions or not, in six states in temperatures as low as minus thirty and well above one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. Ironically, when I moved to Florida I mostly stopped riding in the rain.

     And I am talking rain, not lightning. While I’ve done more than my share of cycling in thunderstorms in six states north of F-L-A  that I once called home there’s more lightning strikes in Tampa than any other US city. Lightning is a real hazard around here, the Tampa Bay area has seen as many as 50,000 air to ground lightning strikes in a single month. Fifty-thousand! Whew. That’s a lot of lightning.

     Lightning aside, it would be reasonable to think that riding in the rain in a city where the average high never drops below seventy degrees would be pleasant, especially in August where we average mid seventies for a low and hit the nineties for a high. August is hot, humid and down right wet and logic dictates that cycling in the rain might be refreshing. It would, except I trust Florida motorists less than any state that I’ve lived in and I’ve lived in nine!

     So, when rain is falling I don’t ride. Except today.

    Today, I set out with my darling intent on cracking the thirty mile barrier. Now, two years ago when I first moved to F-L-A I rode 30 miles regularly but my move south was accompanied by a sever depression that robbed me of motivation and vitality. Having removed the depression monkey from my back I’m working on returning to full function and part of my physical rehabilitation is a slow, moderate increase in cycling mileage. Today, I filled four water bottles, two for me, two for the misses, and we set out on what I figured would be a 110 minute ride. Hoping that I was ready, we pumped up tires, squared oblong helmets on our block heads, clicked into our fancy-schmancy lock in pedals and set out on our journey. Two miles into the ride we turned west and saw a wall of water approaching us as we approached it.

      It was I who hesitated, I who asked, “You wanna keep going or turn around?”

     My intrepid goddess said something along the lines of, “Onward! Onward! Into the fray!” Or maybe it was more like, “I don’t know. Let’s see how it goes.” You decide. Either way onward we proceeded.

     I have two routes that I routinely ride. One is the ever thrilling circling of my block, a .97 mile loop that I repeat a dozen or so times in the mornings on the four days per week that I work. The other route is in a neighborhood about three miles away that I have to travel a scant 1/4 mile on State Road 54, a six lane, fifty-five mph (As if!) major thoroughfare where people act as if we’re reenacting the chariot race from Ben Hur. Once I get to the neighborhood I wind my way back to a loop that traverses 3.75 miles and, again, repeat my loop as necessary.

     We, PTK and I, are riding, taking it easy because of the challenging to me thirty mile distance and the slippery when wet road conditions. Away we go while the sun and clouds play peek-a-boo and we get rained on from above and splashed on from below. I remind my wife that manholes and painted white lines are especially slippery when wet, while simultaneously serenading her with impromptu verses about the weather, the traffic, our love life and whatever else pops into my foolish, feeble mind. My serenade is sung loudly, enthusiastically and off-key to Johnny Cash’s “Fulsome Prison.” Yes, I am a very special husband!

     The rain with it’s commensurate low traction and poor visibility is holding us in check, easily persuading me not to push the pace. Patty T, my beloved, asks if I’d like to cut the ride short and I make like a horse and neigh. Turns out riding in the rain is fun!

   Fun today because today the course has very little traffic and I have a riding companion. Florida scares me and I can easily imagine getting clipped by an errant driver as I cycle carefully in the dedicated bike lane of a housing development and, watching as I fall unconscious to the ground, the driver simply goes about his way. (Not a very flattering picture concerning how I view Florida motorists, is it?)

    I like having a Goose for my Maverick, or am I Goose and she’s Maverick? Either way, a Top Gun wingman who DOESN’T fly below the canopy is good to have along and along we go, go, go, go, go. The rain lets up, the rain intensifies, cycling up and down, trough and crest, and onward we continue. Onward, until we hit 27 miles and it’s time to head home.

    Remember that quarter mile on State Road 54? It’s even worse going home because inevitably we have some yahoo decide that they don’t have to wait for us to clear the lane before they turn right on red. Right on red right into us is not a pleasant way to end our ride and I’m grateful when the driver of car number one sees us and stops. I’m even more grateful that car #2 didn’t slam into her tail end as I would have felt obligated to stop and help even though I’m getting kinda tired and we had right of way the whole dag-gum time. In any case, no hit, no run, no error and we arrive home having cycled 30.01 miles at an average pace of 16.5 mph, not too bad for an OAF and his goddess.

     Wet, tired and triumphant I stumble off my bike, grab a quick bite to eat and clean the 90 plus minutes of sloppy riding off of our two cycles. Maybe there really is a good reason not to ride in the rain.

In A Maze

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Pin wheel, pin head, pin drop,
the hands spin round the clo’ck,
where they stop nobody knows,
brings both joy and sorrow.
Pin wheel, pin head, pin drop.

They say that time’s a thief,
our time on Earth’s so brief,
four-score and seven years,
embrace life don’t live in fear!
They say that time’s a thief.

There’s twelve months in a year
and every season’s dear
after winter comes the spring,
promising new shoots it brings.
There’s twelve months in a year.

Don’t live life in a daze,
skinny rats in a maze,
shiny pellets we adore
is this all we’re living for?
Don’t live life in a daze.

The toys don’t make the man,
we’re all just grains of sand,
spreading love is mighty fine;
more to life than bottom line.
The toys don’t make the man.

Do we give a hand up?
Or do we just covet?
How much more till we’re content?
Want it all is sick lament.
Do we give a hand up?

To what do we aspire
to do ‘fore we expire?
Is it fame that we seek
to rule the world with our tweets?
To what do we aspire?

Need shift in paradigm,
can’t slow the march of time.
Happiness cannot be bought
all our toys come to naught.
Need shift in paradigm.

Change mess we did create,
I swear it’s no too late,
to change the path of destiny
need to start with you and me;
Change mess we did create.

Pin wheel, pin head, pin drop,
the hands spin round the clo’ck,
where they stop nobody knows,
brings both joy and sorrow.
Pin wheel, pin head, pin drop.

OAF LSD

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roadwolvesjersey

     While the ongoing conversation concerning the efficacy, safety and value of performance enhancers in athletics is both heated and controversial the value of LSD to endurance athletes is nearly universally recognized. Now, before you get your panties in a wad, rest assured that I ain’t been tripping. The acid test for this LSD isn’t lysergic acid diethylamide but rather Long Steady Distance.

      I got to thinking about LSD because I was B-E-A-T, beat. Beat, tired, worn-out, I had spent the last four days doing what was, at least for an OAF, a lot of work and I was unenthusiastic about doing another hard workout. The problem is that one of the reasons I’m working hard is to whittle down the F in Old and Fat and today was supposed to be a major Calorie burn. Faced with the dilemma of wimping out or working-out I decided to use my noodle and train easy not brutal.

     I first had my IQ tested before the age of five and it’s been tested repeatedly since. I consistently score in the ninety-ninth percentile of intelligence but as Forrest Gump so eloquently pointed out, “Stupid is as stupid does.” If I had a dollar for every time I headed out for a workout determined to take it easy but wound up riding harder than I intended I’d have a boat load of doubloons. I think I would have been successful but, like Tom Dillinger, I was done in by the laddie in red. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Anna Ivanova Akalieva aka Anna Sage died seventy years ago. Work with me.)

     I was doing fine. I had completed a third of my multi-lap ride, using perceived effort and respiration to keep myself in check, when I spied a red jersey in my rear-view mirror.  (Yeah, I ride with a mirror. I never claimed to be one of the kool kids.) I saw the red jersey, I told myself to not speed up and then had a quarter-century flashback.

     Back in the day, I lived in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta and worked in Chuck Ritz’s Roswell, Georgia bike shop, North Fulton Cyclesports. We had a Saturday morning shop ride out into what was then  the relatively undeveloped environs north of Roswell that would regularly attract a couple dozen riders. There was one ride in particular that stands out when my then coworker, Rob Peters, declared that he’d ride with us but that he definitely was not going to ride hard as he had a criterium race the next day. Being young, considerate men and women we of course valued Rob’s desire and did all we could to further his goal. In a pig’s eye.

     Rob, who displays both book and real world smarts far in excess of my own, did, as I recall and in spite of our taunts, an admirable job of working his LSD. I did too. Sort of. I did not speed up when the red jersey appeared in my mirror. Much. I paid attention to my respiration and if I started feeling like I was working it I shifted down a gear and increased my pedal rpm/cadence. Today’s goal was to burn calories and arrive home refreshed rather than exhausted. I kept red jersey behind me for three miles as he slowly, incrementally got closer to me.

     When red jersey passed me we greeted one another and I refrained from falling into his draft. Red jersey rode another half mile before red jersey slowed. I find that it’s much easier being the hound than the hare. I debated about going around him. I went around him.

     Red Jersey and I traded places a few times in the three 4 mile laps that we shared with one another. I’ve seen red jersey out on this course before and I have a feeling he was proud of himself for keeping up with a dude on a road bike while he rode his squeaky fitness hybrid. I did not stand up and pass his sorry ass on the single small hill that the course affords. I did not sprint by him before turning off and heading home. I let red jersey have his victory. Today.

     But next time I see him I’m looking forward to being rested and raring to go.

     Keep riding and keep smiling!

 

And Affection

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Respect and affection should go hand in hand
like without respect makes for a twisted man.
Lusting for bootylicious just ’cause baby’s hot
is the realm of a man-child, healthy it is not.

Is she a complete package or barely skin deep?
Is her only asset that she’s a super freak?
She a midnight darling in sunshine long to fly?
Is she just a cum and go after thrilling ride?

It’s a sorry adolescent who cannot give
respect to self and others and more fully live.
Live a life that’s worthy of bearing the name
rather than tom-catting in way that’s full of shame.

I certainly ain’t saying to live like a monk,
all I am suggesting is look beyond her trunk.
We all need to man up and go for so much more
than sketchy encounters and playing part of whore.

“You are what you eat,” is guidance that’s cliched
fast food vagitarian’s path to self decay.
Rise up and find a lover that fills you with pride
Eschew the hoochie mamas that you long to hide.

When you gonna be a man rather than play boy?
Decide now to up your game, stop dabbling with toys.
Go get yourself a woman you love and respect
stop this foolish playing with life that’s a car wreck.

Respect and affection should go hand in hand
like without respect makes for a twisted man.
Lusting for bootylicious just ’cause baby’s hot
is the realm of a man-child, healthy it is not.

OAF: Wednesday’s Child Is Full Of Go!

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     Long ago when I was young running used to be such fun. Now that I’ve grown old and fat body screams, “No more of that!” Tortured knees ache while tired feet beseech, “Throw in the towel, you’re no longer fast nor sleek.” And though all I can muster is short and slow somehow just can’t seem to let it go.

     I’ve cut way down on my running mileage. I refuse to run longer than a 10K and for the most part I keep my distance down to half of that. Or less! The joy of running departed with the onset of joint paint and diminished capacity. After all, how much fun is it to work hard, endure pain and wind up in the bottom third of one’s age group? Answer: Not much at all.

     I limit myself to a maximum of two runs per week and those runs, unless I’m racing, are usually two or three miles. Badda-bing, badda-bang, badda-boom, six mile weekly maximum. (And a TWO mile weekly minimum!) I cycle and swim an appreciable amount but I barely run at all.

     Theoretically, Wednesdays are triple days. The plan is to get in a run, do a short swim, go for a bike ride and maybe swim again. (Swimming is pretty easy on the old joints and I usually only do it for around eleven minutes at a time.)

     Sometimes plans work out, sometimes they don’t. Take my August ninth run for example. My plan was to circle my .97 mile block block three times and to call that 2.91 miles three. (Cheetahs never prosper but I’m a tortoise so it doesn’t matter anyway.) Each lap was supposed to take ten minutes or less and as I finished lap #1 I checked my stopwatch. I had traversed my first lap in 9:50 which had me feeling optimistic. I picked up the pace, circled the block and again checked my time. At lap #2 the stopwatch taunted me with a 20:10 reading.

     An elapsed time of twenty minutes and ten seconds meant that not only had I not, “picked up the pace,” but that lap #2 was twenty seconds slower than lap #1. Gadzooks! Talk about disheartening. Determined to do better I dug deep and increased my cadence microscopically. I was rewarded with a total time of 30:21 which at least showed some results for my extra effort.

     Old and Fat, I stretched a bit, hit the pool for a quarter mile/11:24 swim and then, after eating breakfast, did some basic household chores.

     But I wasn’t finished. I ran, I swam, so what’s left? An after work bicycle ride with my darling. I worked hard but I was pooped so our 14.25 mile ride took nearly 51 minutes. If nothing else I burned a lot of Calories today.

     It ain’t easy being old and fat.

Heavens Have Conspired

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Stars up in the heavens have aligned for me
from my petty worries seems that I’ve been freed.
Unknowns that were keeping me awake at night
have evaporated; demons have flown from sight.

Just as common sparrow knows to build a nest
heavens have conspired to provide place of rest.
I have found protection from frigid rain and storm
thankful for the blessing that is my new home.

Solitaire existence without loving mate
Joyfully foreshortened, together we’ll face fate.
Dark, sad, lonely nights feared I’d have to endure
instead shall be blessed as I spend them with her.

Sheltered from the storm, embraced by loving arms
provides the foundation for a life that’s charmed.
Together we’ll conquer obstacles in our path
as we two construct a paradise to last.

We are starting over, our slate has been cleaned,
with tabula rosa new life we shall glean.
Gathering a harvest that exceeds sustenance
now’s time to rise and thrive with love in abundance.

Heartbreak we’ve endured is coming to an end
time for a new chapter starting with upward trend.
Toil’s just beginning, but working hand in hand
we’ll make life together, so proud to be her man.

I was counting blessings but ran out of toes
blessings without number seems how this story goes.
Thank you, thank you, thank you’s all I’ve got to say
overwhelming feeling’s one of thankful praise.

Stars up in the heavens have aligned for me
from my petty worries seems that I’ve been freed.
Unknowns that were keeping me awake at night
have evaporated; demons have flown from sight.