The Past 2

Idyllic times were they?

Of caring for the rule of law,

Times of regard for one another?

Of a homogeneous society,

Times when people believed like you?


A lie, this past

When happy homemakers

Loved their Amanas,

Joined the PTA,

Happily ironed shirts;

Baked goodies for the neighbors.

A Madison Avenue mirage

Staring Betty Furness.

This post war boom

Paid for with the

Lives of countless millions

And a reckless belief

In our own superiority.


We have much to learn

You and I.



A great clanging

And clamorous

In no known key



Noise from Neanderthals


Yet unabashed.

Willing to perform

On any occasion

Thinking little

But gaining attention



As though


Of this

Their conflagration

Doth Boggle

Fright, hesitation of the mind,


There is so much

We know about what we

Don’t know.

There is little

Satisfaction for the mind.

Unless it is made up.

Science reveals

We congeal

Befog with silliness.

We would take from books

Thousands of years old

Written exclusively by men

Who knew a lot about goats.

And precious little else.

Who believed in witches

And golems

And stoning.

Let us lie to one another

For it is not a lie if believed.

Once lies are accepted

Or unchallenged


Or simply a way of life

We deserve

To be boggled







Connected they are

To the throbbings

The echoes

Of the earth

Secret knowledge

Of their souls



Men know of power

Of drubbings

Of romantic vistas

Men seek greatness

The chase

The hunt


While women

Deal with calamity

Men seek confrontation

Women want serenity


A parsing of their dreams.

Men want to build dreams

Kingdoms of ego


Men want to know how

Women, why


We need

More women

Building our future

The Donald

From shallow beginnings

He struts the stage

The rhetoric

That of the carnival barker.

An entourage of sycophants

And spin-meisters,

A family

From the murky depths

Of a muddy rut.

Clinging to anecdotal


Of the authors of dystopia.

Assured of their knowledge

Gained from wealth and privilege.


Here truth is as

Elusive as the memory

Of last weeks

TV show.

Who dare question

This paragon,

This man of self proclaimed



A bully and a coward

To boot.

A “frat boy” who

Never grew up.

He yet sees hazing

As a tool to build loyalty.


Reflective study,

Science are

Not to be trusted.

These tools

Of the truly knowledgeable

Too often defame

The self proclaimed.


A cavil collection this

Loyal to their creed of greed

And the dismantling of a government

Beyond their ken.


We sulk

Over hurts

Real and imagined

Is the pout

A plea for sympathy?

Gimme a hug


Make it all better.


Please love me

I’ve been violated

Trod upon


Loyalties abused.

No pats upon the head

Not enough

Veneration is needed

Show me

Really, truly care.


You may have

Anything you ask.



Whence cometh evil?

When good is

Out of practice

When we decry

The beliefs

Of others

When we cease

Empathy, compassion

It flourishes in their absence

When we see good

In only us

In our beliefs


The handmaiden of evil

O’erwhelms the mind.

Evil oozes


Mortifies the soul

Lepers are we

Innocent yet consumed

Conspiracy is everywhere

And we nowhere.





Teasing, as old as

Upright peoples perhaps

Before we knew

What it was

We were involved

In banter.


We call it free speech.

Often an excuse for

Exclusion or dehumanizing

Others who are

Somehow different.

Quickly it becomes

A cloak for venom, spite

A subterfuge

For the small minded

Whose egos

Need propping.

“Only kidding”


The shallowness

Of bullies

Rascals and ruffians



If done with love

There be no hurt.

“First, do no harm”

And if harm

We must

Let us do it with love

And all the knowledge

We can muster.


Bon Voyage

Each day we slough off

Our sleep

Our brush with Morpheus

To face the day.

We may well have a plan

A destination

A route.

Regardless we know

Not what fate

Will bring

Challenges we may face

Dire or delightful


Our pasts may

O’er take us

Our bright futures

Gone suddenly murky.


This is the parade

Take it for what

You will,

Think ticker tape

And balloons



See serenity in the storm

Calm in contention.

It is gloom

That brings doom.


May your journey

Get you

Wherever you might

Be going

Though there be only

One final destination.



Ah, to float

To drift

Atop the liquids

Of our dreams




And unaware.


It is always

There for us

A human virtue

This bobbing

Above the shoals,

The imminent reefs

Of care and woe.

Ever in our imaginings.


Always carry a raft

Even if ‘tis only

In your mind.

Who Are We?

More importantly perhaps,

Who would we like to be?

That discovery begins

With a formula for success.

Let us consider

The Golden Rule.


It requires civility

It requires an understanding

Of who we are as human beings


An appreciation of our weaknesses

As well as our strengths


Ourselves and our neighbors.

It means we are all culpable.


We must build

On what we know.

Knowledge gives us power

To perform at our best.

It means we see the sciences

As a cornerstone of our future.


It means that health care

And education are a right.

Else how are we to survive

As a society?


We must acknowledge the

Value of our curiosity,

Our determination

And our thirst for discovery.


“The pursuit of happiness.”


It requires us to share

In the fruits of our bounty

As well as our sorrows.


It requires empathy,

Tough love,


And above all



Déjà Vecu

Been there

Lived it


Tienamen Square

In the army of the

Great Kublai Kahn

The drums echo still.


In the fetid alleyways

Where I plied my trade

As an assassin

For the Borgias;

The aromas linger.

New Orleans

In the “Quarter”

I sold my

Ladies of the night

To the sound of Jazz.

Here I met Betty

A club singer

And wife in this life.

Or perhaps it’s just my

Fevered imagination.

Full Potential

Fighting all my life

To reach the fullness

Of myself.

In the end

An oxymoron.

Potential is pregnant

With possibilities

Never realized.

If it were it would

Be something else,

Perfection perhaps.

As am not

Anywhere near

An idealization.

This aim,

Full potential

Is ever in

The weeds

Of my existence.

A curse

In Never Never Land.



A bitterness

An indignation

Has us in its thrall

Us against them

Racial, social


Fear and loathing

Partisanship as a test

Of moral fiber.


We are at the

Bottom of the barrel

Of human emotion.

Perhaps only

Self destruction is next.


We are all one

One and the same.

Out of Africa

We’ve mated

With most everything

On two legs.




Our DNA is a mirror

Of our neighbors’.


Must now we

Settle for the cheap

The ugly?

The intransigence

Of smallness

This is fuel for

The demagogues

The fanatics.


There is hope

That we will become

Tired of being

Sick and Tired.


The wake up call

Will be ugly.





They are gone

All the yesterdays

Swept away

With the turning

Of the globe

Whisked into

The space of memory.


Some would ponder

The past

Rethink and retool

It to our own


Our tribal tout.

But that will not


We may add

To our knowledge

To learn more

About ourselves;

Our possible future.

To change it for other




To twist and turn

The perceived outcomes

Sullies all our thought.

As entertainment

It may be a lark

As serious thought

It carries viral


A process of small


For our own






O ye fates

Why do you treat me so?

The future

Seems right,


What signs of my fate

Do you give me?

Naught but

Slo, Road Under Repair


Detour Ahead
Is that what my

Life shall be?

Am I but a pinball

On this path?


It shall ever be thus;

Complaints are for

Those truly without.

Perhaps these detours

Shall be worthy of

Of my best effort

With blindness a virtue.


Capable of germinating

Or working – a good plan

I am neither

There is no financial

Independence here;

Little lucre of any sort.

I must toil

To survive.

No complaints

No recriminations

Just not viable

As a partner

For I do not bring

That to the relationship.


Were it not for

My life as a caregiver

I would be homeless.

There is naught

To be done.

I am poor,



There is wealth

Of other sorts here:

Lodes of creativity,



A deep regard

For my fellow man.


There is passion

And Poetry;

A willingness

To communicate.


Also, I am

Cleanly and Kind,


Just not viable.





Mine eye sees

Power and strength in me.

In confrontations both


And mental

A wizard of prowess.

Ever a victor;

At the very least

I prevail.


Alas, not true.

Though I adore

The minting

In my rosy pictured mind.

In most cases

I am a coward

Fleeing from confrontation.

The coinage of my

Presses is fool’s gold.


I swagger in peace

And cower in war.




From time to time

There is truth

In my bravery;

In my willingness

To confront.

Though I can not

Count on them

These few moments

So I dream instead

And mint my majesty.





The earth rotates

As it spins about the sun.

Rotation creates gravity.

There will soon be

Eight billion of us

Upon this globe

Many of us clinging

To the self same spot.


Who deserves our concern?

Some, none?

What is the definition

Of deserving?

Should we endeavor to help

Curb the birth rates

So there is enough space

And food for the rest of us?


Despite the falling crime

And murder rates

Many of us see Malice

And Menace

All around.



There is fear of “the other”

Folks who are different.

Does that make them a threat?


Let us hearken back

50,000 years

When we relied

Entirely on our senses

And the lore of the tribe

For our knowledge.

Nature simply was

What we perceived

That day.

Any day.


Knowledge is a terrible


A responsibility;

It must be borne

If we are to survive.



Though it is

The third definition

In the dictionary

“Small mindedness”

Is something

To abhor

In others.

When it

Raises its

Bleakness in me

I am chagrined,


There it is

Just when

I thought

So highly of myself;

Placing my thoughts

On a pedestal.

Brought low

In the smallness

Of self.



An act of humility


Giving for the pleasure

Of giving

Beyond self

For the greater


Controlled passion

For the sake

Of the journey.


And discovery;


To potential,

Loss of me

For the sake of


Seeking the best

In one another

So that we may


In the beauty


The Journey

Our short existence

May be but a part

A momentary

Stop along the way

There is no

Real control;

The fates decree.


Though we have

The ability

To make this journey


To fashion

Rewards from


We have thought.

A powerful tool

At our disposal.

Embrace your journey




Is ever eminent



No one escapes.

We must not

Live for our fears,

Nor capitulate

Our future.


If we are anything

We are explorers

Of our own minds,

Of our space,

Of the greater

Space around us.

We have great


We can conjure;

We can cajole.

We belong

To ourselves and each other.


Live this life

As if there were

No other.



The Quiet

There is little quiet

21st century life

Is all

Hustle, bustle and speed

We are enveloped.


Why then do

So many seem alone?


As though

The quiet

Of the inside

A bane, an open wound.

We suffer

Travails faced

Exposed in our

Sanctum of self.


It is a jail

Where mind dithers;

Imaginings flout

The senses.




It is the fountains

Of our relationships

That succor self.

Rivulets of caring

One for another.


If we are to face

The din of destiny

We must hold hands.


Over the top

Under the sway

Attached to ism’s


My way

Or the highway

An unbearable


They are not bloodless

But engorged

With rectitude

That bleeds

Rivers of righteousness

On others

And themselves.

Practical solutions


Are lost

In the dialogue.

The battle of words

Is but a prelude

To their

Inevitable triumph.



Verbose, long and windy

Becomes a way to

Obfuscate, blur;

Then we

Forget the question

Or the premise.

Is concise dead?


Where was I?

Here before

Was I

On the verge

Of knowing

Then the flood began,

Avalanches of words.

Truth at bay

Facts on a stack;

An aroma of falseness,



In that pile

Is a pony.


Mess of Misanthropes

A dislike of humans

Human nature,


A characteristic of

Many who lead




In business

And government

Doesn’t seem to like

Or trust

So many of us.


They don’t even like

Or trust each other.


How do they

Deal with

Each other?


Not well

It seems.


The Waning

Grief never dies.

Losses of loved ones,

Scar tissue on the heart

The passage of time

Like the waning

Of the moon

May seem to quell

The pain


It is ever there

To be burnished by

The inevitable losses

Life brings

To us all

It must be embraced

For it is part of us


There are balms,


And Unguents

That may be applied

New loves;

A rebirth of happiness



Relations that flourish

And quench the thirst

For grief.


It is ever there

And may flood

Our souls

With remembrances

Thought dissipated.


Shed a tear

Gnash the teeth

Then move on

With a new caress.


The Lie

It is perhaps

A small thing

That first lie.

Those involved

Felt better;

Even if it only ourselves.

It made sense,

Or it brought peace

Or happiness.


In order to keep

The first lie

We must create

A second,

Then a third.

Soon there is a structure

Even a monument

Built entirely of falsehoods.

A temple of untruth.

It takes all our will

To tear it down

And begin again.


Once upon a time

There was a lot of


Folks were busy

Now, not so much

It takes so little

Toil to provide

The things we like.

Technology creates

Fewer jobs.

Not a bad thing

Consider leisure,

Opportunity to create,

Time to play.


Unless we strive

To beat the Joneses.

Then it takes all our days.

Is this fulfilling?


Let the Jones folks

Have all they want.

Maybe less is better.



The Crossing

We are built for crossing

Into the great unknown.

We’ve populated

The vast expanses

Of our blue orb.


Do we know how

To deal one with another?

Crossing into another’s life

Is a great responsibility.

It need not be done solemnly,

Nor to the sound of the dirge,

Nor a Souza march.

We must learn to play

Their tune.

In good faith we must cross

For together we

Are better than one.

And if needs be

Learn to play the tuba.

Though it may be


The rewards are there.

Crystal Gaze

The orb of the seer

Visioning the future

Snaring curiosity

In its sphere.

Or is it

The old Eight Ball

The one

Foretelling events?


The crystal is clear

The eight ball succinct

In which should we trust?

Ah, you say

They both offer

Half truths

Which we ply

To our own ends.


All future is fiction

Dear friends.



A full moon

Pulls on the Psyche

Grasping at weak links

Bending a reality

Here and there

Of the unaware.


It brings a mist

Distorting but slightly

Yet enough

To fog and flutter.


It troubles me

Though I know

Its sway will pass.

Let me know

A truth or two;

Give me respite

That I may

Rest in peace.



What shall I find?



The vindication for fear

Of loss

Of others not understood

Of the unknown

Of change –

Cultural, social and demographic.

It is practiced by people

Of all colors

Races and religions.

It is both knee jerk

And strategic.

It taints modern


An answer in itself.


It is a dead end


A temporary balm

Of the beguiled.

Like revenge

“Best served cold”.

History is never kind

To the malicious.




In the misty

Mystic past

There were dragons

Breathing fire

Flying o’er head

Beating their

Huge wings

With menace aforethought.

Taking what and whenever

They pleased.


E’en now

There are dragons


They fly not

Nor breathe fire

But have

Menace aplenty.

They want without


Or sharing




They preen

And prance

Collecting the loot

Of their daring.

They care not

For truth

Nor fact of any kind

Creating their

Own mystic space.

They can not

Be understood

Nor is there

A plan to deal

With them.

They are dragons

You see

With their

Own rules

And place

Among the gods.



The hillsides

Resplendent in

Pungent greens

Echo a Pollock Painting

Splattered with

The rich yellows and Gold

Of the poppies

The mustards grown tall

Amid dapples of

Wild lilac.

Even the sage is resplendent

Now seeming purple

In the mid day sun.

All is in bloom

Awakened by

The fervent rains.


Are we done yet?

All will wilt in the heat

Of summer


There will be winds of fire

That we may bloom again.





When did it happen?

The change.

One day it was

A mission to exist

Then a person



My time is short


No doubt

Many, Many

Moons ago

I was to live forever.

Time enough

For everything.

Mistakes and miss-steps

So what.


Then hiatus

Outside myself



A mission for another.



Now passions rediscovered

A value in my work

No longer healing

And marking time.

Things are happening

Through and to me.


Something is coming

Many new events

For which I am a cause

A carrier

A messenger

A participant


My time is short


Forgive the Rush

No time to waste

My moon is in

Its final phase



A Larry

My Howard Roark

In a time

Of the petty and the pious.

That is how

I see Larry.


I have always admired

His constancy to

To his guiding principles.

A man of the West,

Independent in action

And thought.

Yet a man of

Humor with

A generous nature.

No, not a conundrum

But a person of grand scale.

A relentless thinker

And doer.

Though we may

Disagree, we are

Never disagreeable.

The Pile

We think we know.

There is a common purpose

To most of our technology.

We assume


That we know it.

As in understand

How it works.

Few of us

Can explain

How anything

Actually works.


We are all ignorant

Of most everything

Relying rather

On the community brain;

Its the diverse specialists


Our hubris

Requires certainty

Of things we know not.




Sometimes groups

Don’t help

As they rely on the same

Assumptions that they

Truly know


Amassed is a

Pile of anecdotal knowledge

Claimed to be fact-based

While a myth.


We are all ignorant

Believe that first.


The Passage

She is gone

Dear, sweet Ruthie

Wife and mother

Of uncommonly

Sweet disposition

An innocent in a

Time of the garrulous.

A fighter for

Her children.

True to her


A creature of

Sunny days

And righteousness.

Terrible was her battle

With the evil of cancer.

She seldom waivered

In her resolve

To defeat the menace,

A farewell to

This lovely lady

A guide, a trooper

A lover



Da Funk

It comes upon me

A vicious surprise

Drear and darkness

A small torture

In a world of ease

And delights

Too many?

Yes, I am


A flabby mind

Gone soft in pleasure.

An Embarrassment of riches

Yet I am

Momentarily disabled.

Seized in a funk

A losing Streak

A nadir

A country western song

Of loss

With no end.

Poopi Loopi

In the canon of Gods

Little is known of

The great god

Poopi Loopi

His origins in lore

Are dim

Perhaps Hawaii

Was his home

Or New Hampshire

Just speculation,

Now he is about

Gaining Power

As he sews

His trademarks



Loathing of “others”


Poopi, or just plain


As some call him

Is a scamp

And thin skinned


Harboring ill will

Toward any who would

Question his god like

Power and panache


He often appears

Among the lower vertebrates

As a Man of great flash

But little depth

He knows little

Other than his

Own scampiness.

He seldom reads

Or learns

As if it would detract

From his powers

His many

Self confessed charms.


There is little doubt

Poopi Loopi

Loves himself above

All other Gods.


Placards and Posters


Marking roads,

Routes and points of view.


Come to holy folk


Hindus and Hopis

Believers of every stripe.


Powers that be

Why not me?

Let me see

Some divine wisdom


Clues perhaps

Smidgens to be read

Of coming events.

Why treat me thus?

Groping here in the dark

Among the knowing.



An Arid Mind

Turned the soil

Planted thoughts

Yet there is no growth.

No, not true

There are weeds aplenty

Where new growth

Should be,

Crops good for the body


Dandelions fostering

Remembrances of failures


A milk weed mind

Generating no good news.

A yearning to create

Other than the past

The mind bends not

To the will.

Fear and impotence


Doubt lingers.




Rain down upon my

Dust bowl

Give me rivulets of power

And prose

That I might promise

A brighter tomorrow.


Hugs beget hugs


They must start

With you.

One is the promise

Of more to come.

Hugs engender trust

A promise of friendship,

Kinship even.

They speed up the heart;

The blood flows

With the promise of


A grasping of bonds

This hug

Building hope

A melding of

Heart beats

Enriching me and you

As us is formed..

There is light now;

Just enough

To show the way.



Who, if not I, is the

Arbiter of our relationship?

Who, if not I, is the

One to dare an intimacy?

Who, if not I, is the

Willing partner?


Man, woman, child

May destruct the

Two or three of us,

Or more.

Willfullness begets

The same.

An unthinking

Maybe over thought act,


Damaging trust.


Building a friendship,

Any relationship of intimacy

Requires dedication

And a willingness

To trust.



It is the moments

Of clarity

Of out of self

Or more than self

We crave.

Insights of ourselves

Of togetherness

That brings the

“We” of us into

Sharp focus.


Small steps compounded.

Give me your hand

That I may enhance it

For us.




A Pagan’s Day

Nearly upon us

A day we now celebrate

As sons and lovers

Of all kinds, ilks and sorts


Special intimacies

Caring caresses

Cards and Candies

Flowers, stuffed animals

Doodads and hearts galore.


Give thanks for the

Many brave women

And lovers we’ve known.

They, in so many ways

Are the voice

Of the future

Saviors of “mankind”.

Powerful redeemers

Of truth and justice;

Leaders with a

Consistent moral compass.







Lovers with a touch

That cures

That enables


Soothing caresses

Fiber that withstands;

Instincts for the

Benefit of all.


Be my Valentine

All you lovely Ladies

I have known

You are,

Each and every one

Devoutly to be adored.







We see our brains

As highly developed

Digital masterpieces

Receptors keen

For ever more waves

Beamed from chosen

Universes of our desires.

But what if

Our gray matter

Is more the 30’s type,

A vacuum tubed beauty

(Burnished walnut no doubt)

Unable to maintain a

Constant Signal

Where minute changes

Of the dial

Deliver us to

Alternate realms

Universes divergent

In subtle ways

And more

Where evil lurks;

The lurid and the low



Are we to be trapped?

Are we able to gain control?

Stay tuned,

Or not.


It happened

Or nearly so;

We knew nothing

About it.

A hidden message

In the depths

Of our depths

A good excuse


“It must have been subliminal”

We are often zombies

Putty in the realm

Of the subliminal.

Small children

And even adults

Are unable to defy

These under the cover


Unaware of their effect

But receptive


A little narssicism helps

Feed the biases



Changed, re-shaped

O’er molded

A new paradigm.

A new lesson learned

Changing the course

Of a life.


Fate bender

That be it.

It requires activity

In the mind

That spurs us.

It is not mind over matter

But mind congealed

With matter

Creating new animated atoms

A Yogi on one

Foot all day

Is just a one footed yogi

Be a yogi

Concentrated on

Directing traffic.

Fate is now bent


A New Year Beckons

A time to live up to


Or become a better


Or develop muscles

Better Pecs

Or finally complete

My to-do list

(The one begun in 1979)


Accept imperfections

Beginning with self.

Go ahead

Admit your faults,

Or shortcomings

Or flaws

Stand up to you

For you.

Now forgive yourself

And move on.



The oft challenged Yeti

The ogre of the Himalayas

Was abominable.

Naughty in the extreme

Though at what


Maybe they were was just


Why all male Yetis?

Though who would


All that hair and


We just presume

Boys with a bad attitude.

Unfair to men?

Sexist in the extreme.


After all it’s the female


That is the true hunter;

Cruel beast.

You go Yeti girl.





A Girl Near Bloom

My name is Janice.  I am 12, nearly 13. It may not seem like much to you but I like to think I’m pretty grown up.  No more Mrs. “Ratchit” the baby sitter.  I’m in charge of my own self. At least till Dad comes home.

My dad is Edward.  We live on Maple St just off 63rd.  He delivers bread. He likes the smells.

It’s not a bad street.  Dad says a neighborhood is what you make it.  Don’t know if it’s true or not, but I like to pretend my dad’s sayings are like gold, or precious stones.  Rubies maybe.  He’s not always right, but he wants to be.  He’s nearly perfect.

I’m right now in my room which I share with my favorite doll, Essie.  She’s sorta frayed.  But I love her still.  She listens and agrees with everything I say.  Never talks back.  Essie is kinda dark, like me.  Her hair is a bit frizzed, like mine.  Though dad is white, I’m still a black person.  Mom was real dark, an Ethiopian princess, says dad.  Ethiopia, that’s in Africa near the top.

Dad just got me a big world map for my room.  He says it’s time I got some pers…pective It’s like now I have a world view. Germany is soo small.  Do they know?

I see Iran on the map.  That’s where my best friends’ family is from.  Her name is Naldi,  He skin is kinda like mine, but creamier.  Her eyes are big and brown.  They’re like ….those dials on old time radios. Yeah, the girl is always trying to tune in.

She just started wearing her head scarf, the hijab, she says it’s because she will soon be a woman.  So will I then.  She says in the old days girls were of marrying age when they were 13.  Yuch!  Can you imagine?





I was very young when mom died.  I don’t remember her much.  Though I can still smell her…..aroma?  It was……a scent all her own, with a bit of cinnamon.  I remember her lap so warm and soft.  The safest place in the world.  When things are bad… with the lying Mrs. Ratchit I think of myself there, safe and in a land of truth….that would be Mom’s arms cuddled on her lap and the smell of her.  Better than aspirin.  Better than warm milk with cocoa.  She had no family.  She was a refugee.  So I have no aunts and uncles or grandparents to spoil me.  Dad says I’m better for it.  What else is he gonna say?

Now Dad, he’s got a boat load of relatives.  I’ve met many.  Though to most I’m like a surprise.  They warm up after awhile.  But it’s too late. I know I’m odd.  Are they trying to pretend I’m white? A few of my cousins are not bad.  It’s just that they are on the other side of dumb.

Grandmother dotes (?) on me when we’re alone but not in public. I think she would feel more comfortable if I were on a leash. Grandpop says there was another black in the family way back when…….but why?  They are no good to me now. I wonder, would they feel better If I wore a sign, “Ed’s mistake”…questions answered. Watch out folks, here comes the error.

What is the word?  Mystified!  That’s it.  They were all mystified by mom.  She was better looking. A goddess. I think they were afraid of her. Everyone looks kinda funny when they talk about her.  Grandmother and Grandpop are sorta ugly.  Not a nice thing to say?  Truth hurts.  The folks have got some serious warts and spots.   But I love them anyway, I guess.

Some day I will look like mom and I will be a queen from a far a- way land……..and get rid of the leash.  I will be superior, but nice.  And treat them as I do all my subjects.  Haha.



I have a few pictures of mom.  They are in a special place that only Naldi knows.  Well maybe Dad.  I take them out and study them, then I look at myself in the mirror.  I try to see the princess in me.  Not this gangly, skinny half-n-half.

I am all knees and elbows.  And feet, they are huuuge.  Skis more like.








“Doddi”, she would say, “that’s my name without the e”.  So she became “No E” to the folks under the Torrant Street Bridge, our home away from home, so to speak. It was not really a place to call ‘home’ but it was out of the weather and protected from the prevailing winds. It’s where we slept most nights.

Since we could not be seen by John Q Public (unless they really tried), we were safe from police harassment. Some cops, not Gestapo by nature, would even bring by food and clothing.

The winter months could be brutal.  Folks from the downtown mission would come by every Wednesday with hot food.  Wednesdays were the best.  Even these volunteers, though, learned to leave “No E” alone.  She tolerated few people.  She was always armed with a sharp knife and a sharper tongue which at a moments notice could be accompanied by the wail of all the banshees.  The woman had a war cry to put all the Scots to shame.

Her dog, “Fido”, she said, “was actually short for Federico de Medici.  That was fine until he urinated on your leg.  You might say he was overly protective, or that he believed in preventive action.  We dubbed him “Pisser”.  No E didn’t like it, but it fit and so it stayed.

One day No E and Pisser were with a few of us waiting for “the jug man” to open his Liquor emporium, Earl’s Jug Store.  He would often do “trades” for things we had found for a jug of his finest head banging swill.   Filing behind No E were James the Coot who seldom drew a sober breath……unless there was no other choice and Mabel Norman, no, not the old silent movie star, but a guy we called Mabel because he hated the name.  We were like that. I was also in the group but stayed well back.  I’m inured to most things but the stench was……well, horrific.  Pisser seemed to be in his element.

It seems Earl was a no show, but our door banging did bring the local beat cop, Lard Butt (our name for him and I’m guessing not his mother’s), running up behind us.  “Hey now, what’s this kerfuffle?”    “Get back, you!” Mabel, the Coot and I cowered in   his wake, but Doddi continued her whacking on Earl’s door.  And, Pisser, well, he turned on Lard Butt with a snarl.

Lard Butt was all tact as he kicked at the cur and yelled at Doddi, “Woman, if you are one, get back from that door before I run you in!”  Surely, this was the wrong approach, for Doddi had worked up quite lather in her noisome quest for swill.  She turned on Lard Butt in her highest dudgeon.  “You loathsome creature,” she wailed, “be gone you vile thrall.”  “I’m on an errand of mercy for me and these quavering relics of mankind.  We require our nectar of the gods.”

Lard Butt brandished his baton, Pisser went mad and Doddi, with a great squeal leapt at the officer.   The Coot was whining in fright, Mabel had scarpered down the alley and I pleaded with Doddi.  “No E, please stop, let it go!”

And she did, for at that moment the baton struck he skull and she collapsed in a heap at Lard Butt’s feet.  He then hit Pisser a mighty blow and the poor dog died then and there.  Lard Butt kicked the poor dog’s body out of the way and bent over Doddi.  He called for an ambulance on his body mike and told me to “Beat it, now!”

It was two days before we could find out what had happened to No E.  It turns out she had family in town who had been notified of her condition, a terrible concussion.  They kept her in the hospital for three days.  She recovered somewhat.  Then we heard the family took her to a sanitarium, probably to dry her out.

Months later (I think it was months for seasons had passed) I thought I saw her on Main Street with a dog that looked just like Pisser.    I followed her until she turned suddenly, looked me in my good eye and said, “Is it you? Am I No E? Then please, take me with you.” And I did.  A sweeter No E and Pisser II are with us to this day.




We have no choice

We must move on

To the next


Our world is in

Constant invention

All sciences affected

All related thoughts

In flux.

A tsunami that carries

Us all

Regardless of our understanding

Or a desire to stop

Go back

Slow down.

We must adapt

As we go,

Each day something new

Is required of us.

Listen, it says,

Else you will perish

Under the weight

Ofour accomplishments.




‘you bury me’

As opposed to

I should live long

Enough to

Bury you.

My dear friends

I’ve no wish to bury

Any of you.

Take it from

The Arab in me,

I wish to go first.

I insist.



You have long

(and prosperous)

Lives ahead of you.


I am not

Ready yet,

Nor wish to be.

Chase Begins



What a great word

Dated, of course,

Great nevertheless.


Like Egad, a ship

Long sailed

Into history.

Used by the Victorians

A mild expletive.

Spluttered by Gentlemen;

Never ladies.


I shall use both

As I am a gentleman,

A man of fortitude

A man of the past.

A man with a real crease

In his trousers

But not a monocle

Those are for fops

And Fakers.


These are the writings


These are the writings

Of Chase Nutley.

Had I been him

I’d have been

Brave and strong.


I don’t remember

Ever being


Or strong

For that matter.

Although my memories

Often morph into a more

Heroic figure of myself,

A blur of action

And fortitude.


Now writing as Chase

I can be the best of me

That never was.



Chill and Gloomy

In a word

Am I victimized

By the fates?

Does Mother Nature

Control my mood?



There is a sun lamp

In my mind.

Warm lights pervade

The abscesses

Of my frontal lobes.

Cold tile

Becomes a sandy beach

Chill wind

A warm surf foam

I shall swim

Naked in the sea.




The carousel of life

Plays the tune

Of our days

Each day we choose

Our ride.

Round and round

The same horse each day

The ride is the same

Round and round

The trip is the same.

Choose an alternate ride;

Oddly different this trip.

Round and round

To a different perspective.


Sameness lulls the mind.


Our carousel may be

A matter of fate

Our choices

Each day

Are not.


New Endeavor

There needs to be a first step

A hash mark

A starting place

This is it.

From here we shall

Begin our journey

It has no apparent


Simply this beginning

The trip is uphill

But not always

There may be some




There will be dangers

Lessons learned


And gentle breezes.

Strange new people

Friends in abundance;

So there will be drama

Some laughs



But no taunting

No calling of names

Though teasing is allowed.

We will seek passion


And even civility.


We will be kind

To the vulnerable

Generous with those

Who have less

There will be forgiveness

And a mea culpa

Or two.


As ever

We shall test our humanity.



So, Not Perfection

If it exists

Perfection, that is,

It is beyond our knowing.

My excuse,


For my manifold malapropos

Like drug addled decisions

They ooze up

To the fevered surface

Of my fevered surface

And lay eggs

Of enormous


They cannot be un-laid;

Covered with a tarp


No, the odor gives them away.

Why, oh why did I

Do or say that?

In the waste land

Of their aftermath

The destruction is horrific.

With silly putty and Gorilla tape

I rush to aid the victims

Hoping against hope

For repair and even resurrection.


Yet I know

This is a nuclear winter,

Mine own Chernobyl.


Swept Away

The rains pour down

Upon us



We are reborn

In its aftermath

The air sweet

Soil budding anew

For a brief moment

We are free

Of the past

As though we are

No longer chained

To history

Our fears and foibles

Swept away

Until the morrow

When they return.

Embrace the moment

The perfume

Of the possible.

Hold it close

That you remember.

Holding Title


The IED’s of the human


Yet we must

Attempt the journey

Even in the face

Of potential explosions

Else we be mulch



Danger breeds fear

Of loss

Hence we covet

Our embracing’s

We take title

Pink slips of the mind

Garnered for protection

From theft

Failure to communicate

Or even lack of judgment.





Are these “pinks”

Signs of debts

One to another?

Our expectations?


How often have

We signed over

Title without


Or even knowing


Did we not realize?


Let’s relinquish our titles

Or at least some of them.


Well, okay, one or two.






A Present For Bosco

Bosco, the name given about 15 years

Ago to my SUV.

For a time we called it

The Argo as we, Tasha and I

Were on a voyage of discovery.

Bosco it still is.

Like me it’s got

A few dings and a

Worn but unfrayed interior.

Like me it’s got a lot

Of miles on the odometer

But is still very reliable.

Like me it is kept

Relatively cleaned

And well oiled.

And like me its

Get up and go

Has gone up and went.

To me it is still a beauty.

So I got her a very colorful

Steering wheel cover.


Merry Christmas Bosco.



Popular effrontery

A game anyone can play.

Must you be heard?

Do you have

Secret knowledge


except to you?

Must you swagger;

Is this your minute of fame?

Is your voice raised

In your particular truth?

Must your wisdom

Be shared

At the risk of

Squashing mine?

Does fake news

Brighten your day?

Is your tribe

So very special?

Does democracy

Belong to you?

Are we simply objects

For your display?


It is happening

A metamorphosis

A new becoming

What was

Still is

Yet transformed.

What will I be?

An ordinary moth

A Monarch butterfly

Or a totally new creature

As yet unknown?


The stirrings

The yearnings

Darkness of the pupae

Light, a purple dawn,

Just beyond.


Is this my second sleep?

Am I fooled by slumber?

If real, this imagining

Do I have it in me?

Am I too old to fly?




Splinters & Paper Cuts

Life’s little scars

Piled up in my brain

Forgotten, yet not

Everything is remembered

It is all in there.


Inanimate objects strike back

In a

Revenge of the mindless

Ekeing bits of pain;

Carelessness punished.


We’ve all had them

These memorials

To sloth of one kind or another.

Are they deserved?

What god’s choice?

Are they random

Reminders to pay attention?


Watch it!





We are adding up

Defining our judgments

Pushing our luck

Expressing our will

Making our points

Ever jostling

Ever wrestling

With ourselves

And our fellows.

Life for some

Is to maximize

To outdo, outduel

Others may seek to


If only themselves.

Regardless the calculations

Are ceaseless

Gluttons are we

For more of what we crave.

There is no real respite

In what we call serenity

Even the most

Oxygen bereft Tibetan

Can not cease

The calliope of calculation.


Only in our end

The ceaseless






Planned in secret

Hushed rooms

Internet servers in Kosovo

Yet, it seems

We all know

Or someone knows.

Countries and corporations

With grotesquely large ears

Awash in the noise.

Then why

Are we surprised

By events?


It is the sheer volume

That o’rwhelms us.

Could we but connect the dots

In the maze.

Then too

The chain of command

Leads to dark,

Bottomless holes

Where all is



This is not fake news

Gremlins are all about us

Nearly seen them

Teeny Tiny foot prints

In the pile carpet

And their chatter



Put your ear to the floor

Hold your breath

“Yammer, yammer, yammer.”

Could I but speak Gremlin

I would know their plans.

Things are missing

My keys from

Their allotted spot

One sock

Of each pair.

Finger nail clippers

Never where I put them.

Gremlins, give me peace!

People you are warned.


An ugly word

Stigmas attached

Sometimes failure to heal

Lasting maybe a lifetime

Even forever.


Yet history often reveals

It’s a team sport

Plenty to go around

More causes than we knew

Failures to forgive

Fingers  pointing

So often ignorant of the facts

Maybe any facts

We can always round up

The usual suspects

Or the others,

The different ones

An obvious choice.


Yet, wariness is all

For blame is a

Two edged sword

Wielding, ugly, unknown wounds.

The proverbial petard.

The African Queen

A favorite movie

In which

The crippled and capsized

African Queen

Torpedoes the Louisa,

Queen of Lake Tanganyika

Metaphor perhaps?

Does this means our

Good deeds will come back

To save us

Or haunt us?


Perhaps, in the end

All we have

Are the clothes on our back

Like Rosie and Charlie Allnut?

Perhaps cataclysm

Of one sort or another

Is ever in our future.


Might as well

Be of good cheer

And learn to swim.

Three New Poems


All of us carry

Dead weight,

Our past

Is chained to us

Now, in the present.

And but for brief moments

Are the shackles released.

Euphoric times

Of great buoyancy

As we freely

Swim our allotted course.


My bonds are rusty now

Leaving their marks upon me.

I am gouged

But not defeated

They will drag upon me

Yet I shall soar,

It is my delight;

I shall be Houdini

Ever escaping

Till I am claimed

And am no more.



Is it tears that make them so?

They shine those eyes

With a sparkle

That catches my breath.

They see into

And through me.

I am laid bare.


They promise a

Duvet of delight

A comfort forgotten

A stillness of spirit;



No tears shed

Could it be joy

They promise?

The languor of fearlessness

A lilting of the heart.



A life well lived

Involves risk

Often risk without reward

We must challenge ourselves

Else why be human?


Chances are inevitable

Waiting is often prudent


Then there we sit

Eating ourselves up

Wishing for naught

Hoping to be saved

From our vigil

Of self.


Only the Zen master

Finds enlightenment

In the long wait

Seeking inward answers

That serve few, if any.


Ride the Ferris wheel

Hop a train

Knock on doors

Ride the waves

Write a story

Share it with others

Go naked for a day

You find out about self

By doing, stretching


Criticism is inevitable

There is no escaping it

Seek it out.

Fear is a great crippler

Sapping our strength.


Look before you leap

Then leap anyway.


Though you might consider a net.

The Projectile

Wham, slam

Away she goes!

As shot from a cannon

Gaining speed

Down the long hall

Will she break Mach 1?


Three steps of

Three rushed rumbles

To the kitchen and coffee


Sit on the veranda;

Plan her day


Week day morning

Divesting of

The cocoon of Morpheus

To become

A beauteous butterfly of business

Constant, in control

The paragon of administration

And my landlady.

Poetic Posts from the Summer


Women get blithe.

Men just get confused.

Women can be indifferent,

Happily so.

A man gets aggravated.

“These are the facts,”

Says he.

“That’s nice,” says she.

Ignoring the contentions

And carefully reasoned outcomes


She doesn’t require them.

As if to say,

“So what”?


She’s got blithe.

How can she be so

Cheerful about it?



Life is baffling

A trip to somewhere

And nowhere

Always familiar territory

Yet unknown

No Map Quest

No guide to the treasure.

You got here

For good reasons or not.

Now what?


We want satisfaction

A measure of serenity

And peace

We want to be wanted

By someone, anyone.

Is there an unraveling?

A way to our happy selves?


Perhaps the first step is to

Cede the me.

Give it up.

Get out of your bad self.


Help others,

Wash a few feet.

Be of use.

No strings attached.


No lucre changing hands.

Climb out of your own skull

Life is still baffling

But you might care less.


Would you like a foot massage too?


Dancing in the Dusk     

It has been years

Music died in me

There was no rhythm I could stand

Quiet was the sound of the day

There is no good music for dying

Maybe for the dead

But not for those clinging to existence.

Now when my roommate comes home

Music fills the dusk

Otis Redding, Amy Winehouse and

My beloved Ray Charles mingle with

The evening breezes

My spirit thrums with the notes

The unique sounds of each.

I dance in the dusk

“Georgia” fills my soul

I am transported to beds of my first loves.

Their sighs are real now.

The slow motion of their stirrings

Run through me.  Part of me.

I love myself again

No longer a stranger in my own skin.

The rhythms gather me


My parts newly assembled

It is joy I feel

It is to be alive

Blood beating to the tempos.

Soon I will have someone

To kiss and stroke

Adele  and  Frank will guide me.

Roy Orbison knows my way.

The Righteous Brothers sing a paean

To my growth;

Ray will rejoice in my birth.


On the Friendship of Women

Women see in color;

Men in black and white

Women nurture,

They seek the positives

On which to build.

Women will lay aside politics

To percolate a relationship.

Women will make exceptions

Women return a smile.

They presume everyone

Has hidden agendas

They care not.

They generally see


They seek to encourage

Not abet.

They more readily

Embrace our humanness.

They more readily forgive.

They more readily touch.

We need them, desperately.


So Close

Treading the sands

Of time

Seeking an oasis

Knowing there is a future

Or a past I will understand,

Worth the effort

Hands and knees

Rubbed raw

In the dunes of the desert

That marks our journey,

Not quitting.


I shall not be diminished

By the fates

Nor be made small

Or weak

Every day I begin again.

Every night I Pledge

Myself to the fight.

My Captain, My Captain

First Mate’s Log, June 11, 2016


As the First Mate of the good ship Argo

One of my many duties is the health

And welfare of my Captain.

As a human he has little ability

To live in the now.

Not so with me.

As a dog living in the now is all.

I see him time and again looking at


He studies his hands at length,

Me, I lick my paws but do not seek

Answers there.

Is he looking for something in them?

Do they hold a key?


I think he is lost

Somewhere inside.

At times he seems but a shell to me

Hiding a wandering only he knows.

If he is troubled perhaps, like me,

He should take up licking.

I know some interesting places


Providing some very decent solace.

Worrisome he.


Submitted June 11, 2016 by Tasha II

Voyage of the Argo

We’re off.

Well, not entirely, for first we stopped at Mikki’s Cafe where the Captain indulges in breakfasts.  I am in favor of these stops because I get the meat!

I get the ham steak of the breakfast which includes a nice round bone.  Yummm.  He enjoys his portion – I know this for he often wears his breakfast on his shirt front.

I think this makes him handsome.  He’s always dabbing himself with cold water.

Now, we’re off!  We ply the high seas of route 215 north to Palm Springs with its large stick men waving their arms in the gusts of wind that bedevil this place.

We try for a short cut through the desert seas but it is closed so we must retrace our course for another crossing to I40.  Ugly seas, no zephyrs of sweet smells but gusts of dry winds.

We reach Kingman in short order and berth at familiar lodgings. The next morning we find Annie,s berth and help her aboard.  She is sweet; kisses me.  I deserve this kind of attention.

The day is hot and the Captain engages the air conditioning.  Thank you very much.  Dogs get hot.  We retrace our steps and find ourselves dodging the “blue darters” of the desert seas, the small nearly keel-less craft dodging in and out of the sea lanes.  They are foolish and careless. The Captain swears and I nap.

All in all it was a fine trip getting back to our home berth where Annie was welcomed by the port mistress, Donna.  I am welcomed as a heroine.  And why not?

May 27, 1016

First Mate

Tasha II.

Further Adventures of the Argo

This is First Mate, Tasha II reporting that the Argo will be setting sail – with the tide I suppose – early Thursday the 26th of May.

The Captain will be making certain we have the stores necessary to get us to the windy (and very sandy) port of Kingman, Az.

where we will be picking up a very important passenger, Annie, would be her name.  She is a close friend of our Harbor Master

who misses her very much. The plan is to bring her back here to our home port Friday and then return her to Kingman on the 3rd of June.

We do not intend to stay.

The Captain assures me there will be air conditioning and treats, two things this Mate insists on for trips of any length.  I have recently

been to the groomer and am at least as adorable as ever.  Shi-Tsus insist on pruned perfection.

More to follow as we weigh anchor for inaptly named oasis of the Arizona desert, that would be Kingman.

Your Servant,

First Mate Tasha.

At Anchor; Log of the Argo 4/24/16

There is a breeze

But we do not sail

We are at rest

Bobbing here at our moorage.

For me there is little to do.

Well, I worry about the Captain

But he seems at rest

Mulling the horizon

As if there were to be

A message soon.

He worries from time to time.

Perhaps he fears his future.

Not me, I am well cared for.

Do not think me lazy or idle

And of little purpose.

I lick my captain regularly

Cleaning, dressing his unseen scars.

As First Mate I must anticipate

So I am ever ready with my toy.

He throws; I fetch.

It is a good game.



I get fleas;

He rubs stinky stuff on me

I am free of them now.

Where do fleas come from?

Like the tides,

Life is a mystery.


Tasha, First Mate

Log of the Argo: April 7, 2016

Collecting all our gear we left Oakland in the late AM planning to miss the going to work boaters.  And we did.

We got to the port of Bakersfield after of day of playing “tag” with the many scows that ply these water ways.  They hatch like insects in swarms rumbling down the canals with belching engines and a penchant for bravado.  They like to race one another to where-ever.  The Captain bobs and weaves skirting their advances.

We took the Tahachapi Pass over the mountains to the desert of Mohave.

Then it rained.  I became sea sick.  The first time ever!  Horrid….I left nothing for the future. 

The Captain, a man of good graces, made no complaint of my seamanship, dabbed my chin and said I was a “good dog”.

We traversed more mountains and deserts with more rain and Friday afternoon traffic as we channeled through the throngs of boaters all dripping in gunnel’ to gunnel’ mayhem.

We made it soaked and sappy as ever.  The Harbor Master, the sweet Donna, was there to greet us.  Treats for me!

It was good to be here.  I like a place with treats.


Your Servant,

Tasha II, First Mate.

Tasha’s Log, Saturday, April 2, 2016

The trip to Indio to see Ginny was rather uneventful except that I was given a bath.  I’m such a good girl and very sweet smelling I might add.

Ginny’s in Indio:  After a harrowing face off with her neighbors who cornered me under the Argo.   They thought me a run-away.  I had escaped Ginny’s back yard to seek out the Captain.  He and Ginny had left me with some strange animal, also called a dog.  I preferred the company of the Captain, thank you.  When Ginny and the Captain returned they saved me from the savages living just next door.   I was embarrassed and HOT.  We left on good graces for northern climes, while I panting all the while from the heat.

Los Angeles:  The channel the Captain chose was Route 10.  A choppy ride at best. Whatever you’ve learned about sailing, boater safety and water decorum has nothing to do with your Los Angeles sailors. They travel a great speeds while stylin’ behind the helm, hurrying from one snarl to the next.  Not a Mae West among ’em.

Our mad dash was just that, a mad dash through a vortex of villany (not bad for a dog, eh?). Every sailor for himself; indeed, the human race.  Then it was up and

cajon pass

over Cajon Pass.  The Captain hates passes.  His knuckles turn white and he grinds his teeth.

What an awful place – rising and rising, then falling and falling.  If I had eaten it would have come up.

After a good night’s rest in a channel inn we made it to Oakland and our friends there and a place called Dan and Jeanne’s.  Ah! the aromas! Especially down the stairs to a place Dan called his “man cave”. This is a lovely, quiet port with a great garden for doing ones’ business.


Your Servant,

Tasha II

First and Only Mate of the Argo.


We are explorers and daredevils.  We go places few have gone before.  At  least I think so.

The sea lanes were whipped up with grit and froth.  The Argo was buffeted about.  Mother Nature has no respect.  The Captain was glued to the wheel.  I was mostly napping in my mate’s quarters aft of the wheel house.  We went through the Indian oceans of the Hopi, Navajo and Apache.painted-desert-desert-5-arizona

We were rained  and snowed on.  Yet the Captain persisted – I think he was lost.  We were through the mesas and Monument Valley.  The Captain said he was looking for John Ford and the 7th Calvary.  Me, I wanted Rin Tin Tin, or maybe Lassie.

Then  on to the Painted Desert, which isn’t really  painted.  We saw the Petrified Forest.  Dead trees, really old, especially in dog’s years it gazillions. The Captain said it looked like Yellowstone Park without any water….anywhere.  An odd looking wasteland where the sands of time are endeavoring to recapture man’s by-ways.

Up we went into the forests of Show Low and the rim rocks of Globe.  We traded with fearsome Apache warriors. It was a day of dangerous sea lanes over great abysses.  Surely this was the end of the world as foretold by ancient mariners.   We traveled many canyon rims with darkness below,  fallen rocks craggedy pines.  We survived, though I think the Captain will require additional oxygen for a few days. WA66AZTeePeeTP

I reside safely in my aft cabin.  Here are my treats and my water…….but no oranges!


Yours Faithfully,

First Mate

Tasha II

Log of the Argo, March 25

Log Information:

The Argo is a 2002 Mitsubishi Montero Sport, SUV, silver in color.

I am a Shih-tsu, black and white in color.

I have had some recent bowel issues much to the chagrin of the Captain who is called “Ben” and is a codger of about 70 years of age.  When not my Captain he is my master – or so he thinks.  We are both adorable.

Log entry:Traditional-village-of-Walpi

We arrived in Wilcox, Az., a very sad port, on Tuesday evening after jostling about on Rte 40, a poorly kept waterway.  I continue to have bowel issues (Was it the oranges?).  At any rate, the Captain says we can never go back to Wilcox.

Quickly, we left for the Hopi Reservation Wednesday morning where we visited their ancient village, Second Mesa.  An aerie high upon a lone mesa in the vast flat lands of the “res” it is rife with spirits of the past and a shanty town of the present.  There is much sadness here.  I do not leave the Argo.  We then proceeded to the Navajo Reservation where we dined at a grocery store. There are many people here but few teeth.  Many strange aromas in these places, but obviously no dentists.

We were wind swept all day with gusts up to 50 mph.  I don’t know what that means but it is no place for a small dog (that would be me).  We passed the “Four Corners” area without much note.  There were codgers there taking a leak on the sign.  I presume they were of the Spaniel clan… uncouth bunch.

Eastern Utah is scenic once Blandings is reached.  Prior to that it is all taupe and chalk.  Ugly.

We proceeded through the winds to Moab, a community in a narrow valley with red cliffs on either side.  There were many humans here all seeming to stand in the same space.  Could it be pack mentality?  Is everyone here a hiker?dsc_0152-1

I continued to be ill (@#%$# oranges) until the Captain reached my old vet in Loma, Colorado…..just before closing.  I received some foul tasting elixir.  Later the Captain partied with old friends at a favorite eating and watering hole.  As usual, I got leftovers which I quickly expelled from my system.

It snowed the next morning.  I do not like snow.  It is quaint, I’ll grant you.  It quickly melted and my attitude improved.

We are now traveling about the “Grand Mesa”  this high valley wherein lies Grand Junction. It is Colorado.  The Captain is glad handing and hitting up old compatriots for free meals.  As usual, I receive the left overs.  Not bad.

Daniel and Juan put us up for a few days.  They are sweet.  Their three dogs are not.  O.K., so two aren’t too bad but the third,

A little black devil, is just that, a little black devil.  We visit with the Capps and Margie of the book store.  The Captain gets misty eyed.  I do not.  It is cold and I have little fur.

The Captain informs me we have a few more days here until we return to warm weather.  All is well.


The Argo Log, 3/18

We cast off with the early morning tide.  Today we filled the water casks and loaded the oranges to protect against the sailor’s bane, scurvy.12725113_195571917465571_1707237433_n

Also we got some bananas because, well, I like bananas and some bacon treats because they are the best.  Any Shih-tsu will tell you there is no better treat than those bacon things.

The captain will have to finish cleaning the quarters here…..ship shape and Bristol fashion.

The log will be kept up to date…..unless we run out of those bacon bits; then there will be talk of mutiny.

Your devoted log keeper,

First Mate, Tasha II

Log of the Argo, a Prequel

As the cast off date, Sunday the 20th, draws near the Captain begins to dither.

Planning is a large part of the voyage so he is making his list and checking it twice.

How did we assemble so much stuff?  Already time to reshuffle.

It is imperative that my quarters with their attendant bowls and blankets be in good order.

Also, we must lade on my treats and water.  He can be so forgetful, though he means well.

Then, too, there are the prerequisite goodbyes and fond farewells.  You would think they would think of me with an extra treat or two. Too often the First Mate is forgotten in all the hubbub.

Our planned course is through the back by-ways of the desert and then through Indian country….home of the Navajo, Utes and Piutes.

We will traverse the “four corners” then up through Moab in Ute-land and thence to Grand Junction where we will pow-wow with many friends who will give me treats.

We will then visit a Ginny person (she has a Corgi….are they friendly?) and hopefully follow with a sail into Oakland.

This is the Captain’s plan.  Mine would include more time in places where they cook chicken and bacon, essential First Mate food elements.

Until We Cast Off,

First Mate, Tasha II

Adventures in Dry Dock

People are a mystery.  If I could spell conundrum I would call them that too. Why do they so enjoy flopping about in a pool of water?  I can see drinking it, but no.  They flail about and then declare they’ve had a good time … the Captain is one of the worst.

Now that the Argo has had her gunnels painted and her keel scraped she sails much better.  Yesterday we took out for a trial spin to a distant land called Jamul where we berthed for a very short time at a place called Steve and Dianne’s. There we met a grizzled, old sailor who wanted to tell of of his many adventures. So we left.  I’m glad as the rambunctious Pugs were there. I’m so not into Pugs.  They mean well, but they just aren’t my cup of tea … one of them called himself a male … odd, that.

Before we go on our next voyage, this one to the northern climes and the Colorado sea, we shall visit many other local berths.  I will keep you posted.

Submitted with All Due Respect,

First Mate, Tasha II

Dry Dock

The Argo has been in repairs.  Not a bad thing.  Soon she will look like she was loved.

As the First Mate my duties are light.  I look after the Captain who requires little attention; he acts like he knows what he is doing – nothing at the moment.  We’ve visited Amy, Rhysa, Donna and Victoria; he says the boys can wait.  Although I’m eager to sniff Steve and his henchmen…..great odors.  We hope to see Gordon and Dr. Paul – do we still owe him money?  Of course there is David, the wise one of Escondido.

We are planning our next exploration in which we will follow the Colorado River through Parker and other ports busy in the winter and vacated in the summer.  We will then wander eastern Utah through Moab and on to our old stomping grounds in western Colorado, Fruita and Grand Junction.  There live many loved ones and aromas I will fondly remember.  March 25 is our target date.  What’s the big deal about calendars?

On our way back the Captain wishes to visit Indio, a place the Captain says is filled with mystery and dance.  Makes no sense to me for I’m not much of dancer and if I were it would be all for show.

Tomorrow I will get pruned and washed and ready for the next big adventure.

Your Willing Servant,

First Mate, Tasha II

Log of the Argo, February 19

We left before the sun arose.  This is the no wind time.  The Captain is slow to gain speed.

We are to meet Niece Lisa today.  We sail grandly through Albuquerque and arrive at RangeCafe, a 400 year old Spanish village north of the city.  Some of it looks the same.  We find a berth near The Range Cafe which treats the Captain as a special guest while he awaits the arrival of Lisa from Aztec where she berths.

What a grand time they had.  Some of the local crew of the Cafe participated in the kissing and hugging with Lisa’s arrival.  What the hell, the Captain seems harmless enough.  He promised all a poem.

We’ve sadly left Lisa, who is very tall and sweet to me and returned South to Socorro….a charming farming community off I25.  The librarian is German and I am a thumb-less Shih Tsu.

We are to be away early before the gales begin and intend to go to the Colorado River communities, e.g. Lake Havasu then on to adventures in Indio, home of many active retirees.

Until we berth again,

First Mate and Psychic to the Stars.

Tasha II

Log of the Argo, February 18

We weighed anchor early….hoping to beat the winds that blow across West Texas.  We’ll the captain nearly grounded us on a reef so we waited for sunrise.  The captain explained that he’s not afraid of the dark, rather his imaginings in the dark.  The mind makes up what the eyes can not see, he said.  Personally, I see in the dark just fine, but because I have no thumbs I cannot steer the boat.

There were some sad towns along the way. Bare bones sticking up in the prairie (desert more like) winds.  We made El Paso.  Like San Antonio the freeway system was made after the city flourished.  So you got spirals of concrete in the air o’erpassing the streets and by ways.  And always under construction.  What a mess.  We could not have moored our poor vessel even had we wanted to.

Then at Las Cruces (wonderful little city with some charm – unlike the above) we turned north – nice at first – then we ran into a sand storm.

Does Mother Nature have it in for this crew.

We’ve reaching Truth or Consequences (sounded apt) where we will moor for the night.  The motel clerk seemed to be dressed for another kind of business. Then head north to meet with the fair Lisa (niece by any other name).  I’ve got to tend to the Captain…..his hands are still quivering.

Tasha, First Mate

Log of the Argo, February 16

We pulled away from the dock on the East side of Mobile Bay and headed through Mobile into Mississippi.Vicksburg_(2988350978)

Which is another world entirely.  Here we encountered head winds of great ferocity and then near the port of Hattiesburg (ugly) it began to rain.  Not satisfied with a drizzle or a drop or two it began to pour, as in buckets.  Then we were in the clutches of a squall that nearly turned us around as it stopped us in our tracks.  Yet, we sailed on.  The white knuckled captain at the tiller squinting through the mist and rain.  It let up until we came to the large port known as Jackson.  Here we experienced another squall bringing much of the traffic to a complete stop.  Yet, we sailed on for our destination was Vicksburg.

Once in this battlefield of a city we anchored so that we could view that National Military Cemetery there.  We saw it first in the morning mist coming off the Mississippi.  We traveled through both Union and Confederate lines.  Many plaques, many deaths.  We came upon the Union Cemetery as the mist began to lift.  A pungent odor from a local mill filled the air.  We walked among the single, small white steles marking the graves of the unknown thousands.  The siege here lasted nearly two years claiming 5,000 Confederates and 17,000 Union soldiers and sailors.  As the mist rose we expected to see a spirit or two released from their plots and become the “un-fallen”.  No such luck.  There was a “private” cemetery not far away near one of the Confederate redoubts.  Here the fallen were much better remembered with plaques and even busts and full figure statues.   But it did not resonate as did the thousands of unmarked (unnamed) plots with the odor from across the river.

We later visited the downtown area which looks much like it did in 1863, except for the fast food joints.

We will sail on, but two much sadder souls.

With all due respect,

First Mate, Tasha the wonder dog.

The End

There under the spreading oakscivil war

Midst the pine needles

Of the forest nearby

Lay the fallen

The victims of the Confederacy

Many markers unnamed


Men who had given their all

Men who had not survived

The hospital nearby

Serving the Mississippi

And Alabama militias

Overwhelmed by the odds

Of battle

Without recourse

At the end

And now o’er seen

By these mighty old oaks

My coming is too late

My knowing is not

Please, please

Never again.

Voyage of the Argo

Dallas is a very major port. But first we had to go through Fort Worth, home of “the” bible belt.

We found the Gales who have succored and fed us. We are sublime.

Captain Roly-poly was so proud of himself. He did the laundry in Hillsboro, not far from this port. He is such a clutz.  Put too much in the dryer….took forever. You wonder why he did not consult with me? Pride goeth before the fall.

All is well.

Below are some new poems.

First Mate,

Tasha the Wonder Dog.


The Sentinels


The Saguaro cacto

Seemingly frozen in time

Each lonely

Though there be thousands

Strewn about the desert hills

Distant but near one another.


Naked Triffids

Stripped to the core-self


So very still


The wind howls about them

Complaining of their impediments

“No shelter for thee



They endure

Time measured in thousands

Of days, years

Impervious to stress and strain.


Growth comes in

Patient increments

So unlike us.




Short forests of

Scrub oak, manzanita

Cypres and Pinon Pine

Gnarled, a jumble

Back to back and

Belly to belly.


The few taller trees

Are dead and dying

Drowning in a sea of short.

Bare limbs rising to the skies

Pleading for deliverance from

The bush, brush and stunted.


They are not wanted

The large and tall…

In the land of the

Short and small.


A height limitation here.

“You don’t belong.”

And so never were.




The Texas metropolis

grows without concern.

Higgledy-piggledy around

And on top of itself.

All directions at once.


Then the dawning comes.

No highways and byways.

We must push and pull,

Stretch and strain,

Chop and crop

To make them fit.

All, after thoughts of transportation.


Now they swallow you up

Jostling the drivers hither and thither.

Anything to make ends meet.

Soaring ramps, cramped corners

And windy, winnowing connectors.


The maze in the maw

A wretched and dark place.

No freedom for the drivers here.

Doomed until finally spewed out

Ejected and seemingly unwanted

Used up.

Grist for the mill and maze

Of the maw.




Clinging to existence

Any fresh blood and oxygen

Delivered on the Interstate.


They hold on though

There is no new

Just the worn and dated.

“God, give me paint!”


Generations flee

The frail of mind,

The fearful remain.


To wish and hope.

Yet, all they perceive

Is the long good bye.


It is disintegration

All about

Slow, inevitable


Even the birds

Have flown.

The Log of the Good Ship Argo

Lourdsburg, N.M.

The old west lives, if these roads are any example.  Yet we wallow along.  The Captain, Mr. Roly-Poly, has decided to drop anchor here because we just got to redo our packing.  Nothing is where it should be.  This is important at 5 AM when seeking the pee place in the dark.

This motel is just the respite his holiness needs.  And, Sunday night television, God forbid we miss the Good Wife or Downton Abbey.

These deserts of Southern Arizona and New Mexico are where the Rocky Mountains come to die.  Way off to the North we can see some snow capped peaks, yet here, we have a rock strewn desert with signs that warn of impending dust storms.

Tomorrow we may reach El Paso, where we will stop at their KOA and do the laundry.

Yours in cleanliness,

Tasha II

A dog of many Mates.

Ongoing Voyage of the Argo

Today we sailed valiantly into Texas, a land of high winds and cacti.

We reached Osona one of the many needy little towns along I10.  Sad, really.

Now Demming and Las Cruces of New Mexico at least had tiny, snow covered Tetons on one side of the town. Kind of dramatic even if the towns weren’t.

At noon we reached that great maw of a port called San Antonio.  The highways and were more or less after thoughts to a city that has grown like topsy.  We, like so many of our fellow vessels were swallowed whole and whirled round and round in its’ great gullet…hours were spent dodging and darting among the craft.  Then we seemed to approach the bowel of the beast and we were finally spewed out upon Hwy 35.  Hi winds every day make the captain a nervous nelly. Me? I sleep.

Well, we have cast anchor here in Temple just south of Waco.

Until the next posting.

Tasha II

First, Second and Third Mate.

The Voyage of the Argo; Tasha’s Diary

The Argo set sail Thursday AM after a hardy breakfast with Steve and Dianne.

As ever, there was wind going over the mountains….the Argo wallows.

It is hard to believe the number of dairy cows in SW Arizona….tens of thousands…black and white devils producing mile after mile of pungent aroma, believe me, I would know.

There was a solar farm of many acres with an attendant power plant.  No aroma.

Nearer to Phoenix there was a forest of Saguaro cacti.  Eerie, like naked Triffids all come to a halt, evenly spaced 10 yards from each other.  All perished or frozen in place at the same time. Many were marching up the rocky, lava flows that pass for mountains here.  Few made it to the top.

We stopped ….finally…at a KOA.  Glad to see us. They had a nice little steak house attached.  Great meal for $13.00.

Unfortunately, the evening was a bust.  Mr. Roly-Poly could never seem to get comfortable. I believe he did not plan very well.  He was looking for drugs at midnight.  I’m certain tonight will be better.

Mostly older folks here, bitching about the grief they get from “the gommint” which invariably provides them with social security, medicare and the like.  So very put upon, these folks.  I don’t doubt many of them are also retirees from some state, county or city “gommint”.  They enjoy their checks but the responsibilities are just killing them.

Me, I’m a dog so its no skin off my ….whatever.

Mr. Roly-Poly is now in the local library where he’s found a connection that works.  The wi-fi at the KOA “sucks” as I am told.

We’ve been lost a few times but his highness sees that as progress. I understand this place is one big bedroom community.  People are nice.

Costs are low and I gotta pee.


Submitted 1/29/2016

Tasha II

The Travels of Tasha and Her Teutonic Twit, Vol. 2

We are ever closer to the jump off date. That’s the news from Mr. Roly Poly who insists he is to be the captain of the ship. The slightly daft man insists we call our venture the Voyage of the Argo. He is to be the captain and I, of course, will be the crew.

During the coming week we will be mooring said ship at the home of Stephen and Dianne….who curry the favor of two all too curious Pugs. No noses, so they’ve got to get real close. We will be refitting the “Argo” there……making a list and checking it twice sort of thing. I will insist on plenty of water, a warm bed…and beaucoup snack treats. Nothing is too good for this crew member.

Our first destination will be Tucson, that wild, half tamed land in Arizona. Then it will be on to New Mexico and Texas, which I understand is very close to the edge of the world.

Between you and me I think the captain is quite mad, though at his age it is hard to tell the difference between the onset of “you know what” and sanity.

Yours Faithfully,

Tasha the Shih-Tzu

Tasha’s Diary

My roly poly guy has made a decision to hit the road in the near future. Even though I don’t have the two legs roly poly has I do know this will take planning and forethought … big words for a Shih-Tsu. Really, I’m willing to follow him anywhere (tells you something about my intellect). I just hope he doesn’t forget things we’ll need, like water and water and Milk-Bone goodies and water.   Then there’s my leash so I don’t get lost. Geez I hate the great out of doors. Give me a pair of roly poly’s old socks – preferably properly soiled and I’m a delighted four legged critter.


A beautiful, explicit word

Describing unscrupulous folks

Who sell lies

For fame, fortune or power.


To special knowledge

These con types.

They are among us


On the tubes, in print

These media mavens

Snare the gullible,

Resentful and naïve.


Ah, such boastful claims.

They require no real knowledge

Just anecdotal lore, myth

And half truths

To ply their trade.


And then they will

Write a book,


For even if they

Are caught out, this

Reveals their true knowledge

… of punctuation.


Theirs will no doubt be

The first book most of them have read

All the way through.