The Neighborhood Dance, or Taming the Wild Assonants

Writing 201, Poetry–Day 7: Neighborhood, Ballad, Assonance

(This rhythym sort of works to the tune of “Sweet Betsy from Pike.”
or even “Beverly Hillbilly song.”)

Neighborhood Dance

A natty Anteater’s Aunt wanted a chance to meet an
Easy-going Eel sufficient in charms, the
Idea she had was to learn how to dance, but
Only one catch–the Eel had no arms.  So
Unity of moves was hard to enhance
until the Risqué Raccoon suggested:
“Why not freelance?”

©Sometimes,2015

There’s Work to be Done…but Poetry is SUCH Fun!

Writing 201: Poetry, Day Six — Faces, Found Poetry, Chiasmus
(what the heck is Chiasmus?)

just a few books
just a few books

            Booksellers Lament

Books in order means order in books
to find them is the key
with thousands of books the ONE that is wanted
is the one nowhere to be found.

Well, it MUST be somewhere unless it was sold!

If order is everything and if everything is in order
the book business thrives, sporadically
(at least theoretically)
but only if you’re listing, they keep insisting
books on the shelves can’t sell themselves

an order’s an order but books MUST be in order
to fill the order–when there’s an order to fill.

©Sometimes, 2016

 

The perfect gift for a child (renamed)

[Writing201, Poetry.   Today’s assignment involves the word GIFT, and Crostic, and Alliteration.]    (Originally published on Sometimes in 2015 under title A Perfect Past Present for Poetry Class)

        A Perfect Past Present

Better a book, than a boat or a bear

Or my childhood dream would be dashed

Only such a gift would

Keep me a happy child.

I would never have wanted clothing

Neither undies nor socks…in a box

A doll or a hat or even a unicorn of bisque would have been taking a terrible risk

of dashing my special specific dream of a gift

But–alas!  There was only one lonely gift left…and that in a box!

OXYDOL SOAP said the  boisterous box, causing my young heart to sink

X-actly!   I  cheered as I peered inside, and shouted — “MY BOOK IN A BOX!”

©Sometimes, 2015

Flying Fools

There is something about airplane travel that brings out the worst in some people. The worst seats in many airliners have to be in the last row, next to the lavatories. These seats do not recline, and are scooted back against the lavatory wall as far as they will go. Unfortunately, the seats ahead of these fixed streets DO recline, effectively forcing occupants to put up with having the back of the forward seat in their laps.

If alone, once I am settled in my seat I fall asleep almost instantly and remain asleep until the plaae has landed and is taxi-ing toward the terminal.  (I can sleep anywhere.)   I am content to remain in my seat until everyone has left the plane.

The last time my son was with me on the flight, and I was sandwiched between him and a mild-mannered sixty-something man who had the aisle seat.  The man and I had exchanged the polite airplane seat-mate smile-and-nod, and we were all minding our own business.  I was almost asleep, son content to look out the window, and the pleasant man next to me had opened his lap-top.

Everything was fine until the seat-belt sign went dark.

Then the back of the seat, in front of my neighbor, crashed backward, forcing the computer screen almost-closed and pushed  against its owner. He asked the man in the seat ahead to move the seat forward part-way. He was ignored. The flight attendant, by request, also asked that the seat be put into upright,but she also was ignored.

Undaunted, the man with the computer kept turning in the seat, trying to hold the laptop in a comfortable position.  To his credit, he did manage to poke the seat-back a few times.

The guy in front never did adjust the seat, except when the inevitable drinks and peanuts arrived, and once when the guy got up to push his way to the lavatory.

I have thought about that incident now and then, especially when the news outlets run their periodic horror stories about air travel.

What is proper protocol in a situation like this?  Does one push  and bump the seat-back until the offender gets the message?   Try making loud and rude comments?   Fake a coughing fit?   Gag?

None of the above would have been likely to move the flying fool ahead of us.  A good smack upside the head would be effective, but then either a brawl would ensue–and delay the flight, or someone would sue.  Chances are the wrong passenger would have been kicked off the plane.

Far be it from me to advocate common sense on the part of the airline management–but wouldn’t it make sense to fix the seats that encroach upon the passengers seated in the seats that do not recline?   And is it really going to keep the airlines from bankruptcy if they remove that extra row of seats that they crammed in there?

If this has offended any of these Flying Fools–good!

Flying the friendly skies, back in the day

I LOVED flying. I even liked airports, whether the reason was actually going somewhere myself, a trip with a husband, or even just providing transportation for someone else. The atmosphere of the terminal was always exciting, with people walking fast or almost running down the concourse to make a flight. Dragging or pushing carry-on bags and packages, some carrying sleeping children.
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My very first flight was when I was 19 or 20, destination Valdosta, Georgia, to visit a boyfriend stationed there with his Air Force squadron, on active reserve manuevers. The flight only took a couple of hours. I forget what kind of aircraft it was, but my seat mate was a Catholic priest, a fact from which I took great comfort. I was scared silly by the time the plane landed, and very happy to find my fighter-pilot friend waiting at the edge of the tarmac.

Having survived my maiden flight, so to speak, it would be a few years before my next flight…back to the states via a Military Air Transportation Service (MATS) plane. My trip over to Germany two years earlier was SO much fun that I was looking forward to the return voyage across the Atlantic Ocean by ship. It was a converted troop ship, partially transformed into a military version of a luxury liner.

On the nine-day cruise bound for German port of Bremerhaven, from New York, I shared a small cabin with two other army wives and their two-year-olds. The babies were in little steel cribs, and I had one of the top bunks. I spent every possible minute on deck, watching the ocean…except when it was my meal setting. I sat at a big round table with seven other passengers, mostly army officers and wives traveling alone, as I was.

I was keenly disappointed when we flew back to New York on the MATS flight…on the plane, which did not have windows at each row of seats, so my only glimpse of the ocean was through a small window I passed on the way to the lavatory. It was a very uncomfortable flight for me, as I was seven months pregnant.

[Next post will discuss some of the people encountered on airplanes…entitled “Fools in Flight.” The featured characters include ME in the title role once or twice.]

Killing the Messenger…or, What Would Jack Bauer Do? (reposted commentary)

[Fast-forward three years— its 2018, and we in the blogger world and general news-junky fellowship are on the brink of yet another Trump-Era scandal of true Alice-in-Wonderland proportions.       The new CIA Director, who was appointed just a few hours ago— Gina Haspel, was promoted in the wake of new firings by the President.    She faces grueling confirmation examination before assuming the Director’s chair.      Ms. Haspel, a thirty year veteran of the CIA, has some baggage left over from the Bush-era torture scandals hearings, conducted during the Obama-administration.

Here is a post I wrote at the time, and in view of the tempest that is about to surface over Ms. Haspel’s significant role in the supervision of the torture hearings by congress, featuring the water-boarding and other techniques used against U.S. prisoners.

Jack Bauer, for those of us who were on Mars during the years that the excellent and suspenseful TV series called “24” was aired.   The Jack Bauer character was played by Keifer Sutherland, who now plays the role of the U.S. President on the TV series “Designated Survivor.”]

……………..

KILLING THE MESSENGER…OR, WHAT WOULD JACK BAUER DO?
(Re-posted from Sometimes, 2015.)

Sometimes, 2015.

Often the” tattle-tale” gets in more trouble than the actual culprit.  The kid that breaks the vase while showing off baseball prowess  in the living room gets less flack than the sibling who tells on him.    The gang-banger who reports a robbery to police will be permanently ostracized by peers, while the robber gets off with a slap on the wrist.  This is one of the truisms of childhood, and  honor-among-thieves is often admired, at least secretly.

So in the current news circus–particularly the round-the-clock “spinning of yarns” news channel CNN–the cry of “kill the messenger” screeched onto the television screens immediately upon the bomb-shell reading of the Senate report on the use of torture by the CIA following the attack on the World Trade Center on 9-11.

We may have been softened up or prepared for the report by the fictitious Jack Bauer. of 24 fame…who was on the television series the primary “interrogator” of enemies, and when he was forced to resort to torture techniques he “reluctantly” rose to the occasion and performed his talents for the good of the agency.   Unfortunately, sometimes the people Jack Bauer was forced to torture were not always guilty of anything.  Darn!  Jack always felt appropriately bad when that happened.

So now there are the inevitable cries of “political propaganda,”  and a scramble to soft-peddle or excuse terrible occurrences that we, as a nation under God, are not supposed to do.  Shock and awe!

Hopefully the fall-out of this revelation of disaster will reach back into the time of the Central American wars…Nicaragua and El Salvador, and throughout South America.   Iran-Contra is a good place to start.  As a historian of Latin American History, the familiarities of our government involvement “down there” are understood.  Of course then it was the Soviet Union that was the big enemy and any illicit activity was excused by Washington as “anti-Communism.”

The same loud voices against the “tattle-tales” who are revealing the information about torture in the new Senate report are from those who would be in the front lines denouncing such atrocities committed by leaders in other countries.

Killing the messenger is not productive.  Sometimes telling the public what is really going on in our name is not anti-American or political propaganda–it’s just the right thing to do.