In the beginning was the Plan;
And the Plan was without substance;
And there was much bitching and moaning;
And darkness came upon the face of the Workers;
And they spoke among themselves, saying,
"It is a crock of S___, and it stinketh"
And the Workers went to their Supervisors and said,
"It is a pail of dung, and none may abide the odor thereof."
And the Supervisors went unto their Managers, saying,
"It is a container of excrement and it is very strong,
such that none may abide the odor thereof."
And the Managers went unto their Directors, saying,
"It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength."
And the Directors spoke amongst themselves, saying to one another,
"It contains that which aids plant growth, and is very strong."
And the Directors went unto the Vice Presidents, saying unto them,
"It promotes growth, and it is very powerful."
And the Vice Presidents went unto the Presidents, saying unto them,
"This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigor of the Company,
with powerful effects."
And the President looked upon the Plan, and saw that it was good.
And the Plan became Policy.
And that is how S___ happens.
BREATH OF THE CITY
SEE THE CITY, CLEAN AND BRIGHT;
SHARP MOUNTAIN AIR, SEE THE LIGHTS;
SHOP THE SHOPS, WALK THE WALK;
FILLED WITH EXCITEMENT, TALK THE TALK;
LONGING FOR SHARP MOUNTAIN AIR;
LONGING FOR THE CLEAN LIGHTS SO FAIR;
MAYBE ONE DAY, I WILL EMBRACE YOU;
MAYBE ONE DAY, I WILL SHINE WITH YOU;
WITH THE WIND IN MY HAIR, I WILL MOVE.
THE CHEMICAL QUEEN
I AM THE QUEEN; THE CHEMICAL QUEEN;
SJORGREN’S SLAVE, A CRUCIBLE SO RARE;
WITHOUT THEM I DIE, MY MONKEY SO GREEN;
WITH THEM I FLOAT, A RAFT OF DESPAIR;
BEHOLD MY LIFE BALANCED ATOP A PILL;
A LONGING FOR CONTROL, I WAIL IN PAIN;
COUNT THE ANGELS DANCING ATOP A PILL;
SEE THE CHEMICAL QUEEN; IS SHE SANE?
I REIGN, I DOMINATE; I’VE LOST MY WILL;
My family lived in a huge, modern house in Wayne County, Mississippi, when we older children (Beth, Ellie and Cindy) were of a tender young age. In those mean days, us country folk took our garbage to a "garbage dump". I think most of you know what I am talking about - those huge landfills that contained everything from old washing machines to rubber tires, to unwanted cats and dogs. My mother could not bear to see these unwanted friends discarded in such a fashion; therefore, we had lots of rescued cats and dogs running about in our huge modern house. As did all country folk in those days (the early 60's), we gardened and filled the kitchen with all manner of God''s bounty. This bounty included potatoes. The potatoes were kept in a dry, large area where they would dry out and keep their nutritional value. However, one day, we kids found a small "present" in the potatoes. This "present" was a small dried brown turd. It is not quite known the species from which the turd issued, either canine or feline, but me and the sister closest age thought it was terribly funny. We decided to play a trick on the youngest of us three (CHILDREN, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME). We decided that this little "present" looked just like a Tootsie Roll. Unbeknownst to Cindy, only being a tender age of 4 or 5 years of age, we concocted a scheme wherein we tempted her sorely, I must confess. We pretended that our little "present" was indeed a Tootsie Roll. Each of us would make much excitement over our Tootsie Roll, therefore, leading our little sister to believe that the proffered turd was indeed a confection. "MMMM!! Its chocolate!!!" cried I. "Yeah, it''s chocolate!!!" echoed Ellie. I guess that was my first acting debut, because little Cindy fell for it. She tentatively picked up the morsel, held it up to her mouth, inhaled deeply, and shrieked "It''s dodo!!!!". She flung the offending object away from her in disgust. Of course, Ellie and I laughed and laughed. Did she really take a nip of the "chocolate"?? I am really not sure. We liked to pretend that she indeed took a nip. She, being a good sport, looks back on our little prank now and laughs. I still love cats and dogs and, even to this day, despise the people that discard their pets like refuse in an old fashioned garbage dump. I don''t, however, leave my potatoes exposed to the toilet habits of our unwanted friends!!!
Our lives as children were fairly typical for the south in the early 60's. Our mother stayed at home and our father drove a truck for Borden's Milk. Because we lived so far out in the country, the only playmates we had were ourselves. In those days, even though our parents were of humble means, we were blessed with bountiful presents at Christmas. The toys of choice for us little girls were dolls-preferably Barbie dolls.
Barbie was the inspiration for our imaginary adventures. She was wonderful. She had beautiful clothes and such wonderful accessories. How I loved the brightly colored high-heeled shoes. This was some really grown-up stuff! Remember when the bendable leg Barbie came out? But the very best thing about Barbie was her hair. The whole Barbie thing was a psychological phenomena for girls in the 60's. What was it about her that made you want to immediately take off her clothes and cut her hair?
We, as with other little girls, could not resist this phenomena. I tried to keep my Barbies nice; my little sisters, on the other hand, would get their hands on a pair of scissors and would "fix" Barbie's hair. The bendable legs would break, the pretty clothes and shoes would get lost, and ultimately, this Barbie would wind up tossed into a Barbie purgatory that we called The Nasties. Favorite dolls would become a Nasty when the supply of new dolls was replenished and, thus, the population of the Nasties was numerous.
The origin of the term "Nasties" is long forgotten. The Nasties were comprised of broken and discarded dolls and other toys that were no longer desirable. They lived in the "garbage dump", which was a broken down ugly box in the corner of the room or a closet. We had Nasty Ken, Nasty Skipper, Nasty Barbie, etc. Some of these wretches had no heads, missing arms, broken bendable legs and definitely had butchered hair cuts. They were also naked, which compounded their evil character.
The purpose of the Nasties were complicated. The character of these outcasts could be summed up in one word: evil. Their singular purpose was to ruin the machinations of the good Barbies.
We would play out scenarios wherein our dolls were involved in different plays (we called them plays), usually with Ken doing something stupid (the influence of the Honey-Mooners and the Flintstones). Ultimately, in the middle of Ken's stupidity, the Nasties would attack.. With great shrieks and yells, we would grab the Nasties and fling them at the good Barbies, who would supposedly screech and run helter skelter. Sometimes it was as punishment for Barbie and company, sometimes it was just because our little story line had become boring.
How did we come up with such warped play? We had very little T.V.; no Wal-mart to buy a new toy anytime we threw a fit. Our toys assumed many rolls; a rocking horse evolved into a roof for a doll mansion.
As you have probably figured, I am not a cat. However, for my purposes, he serves as an excellent ambassador.
WARM AND DREAMY STARS
CERULEAN MOON; SEE THE STARS;
WARM AND DREAMY, SIMPLE LIFE,
COMPLICATED DREAM, HUMBLE WIFE;
WARM AND DREAMY, TOUCH THE STARS..
WARM AND DREAMY, CERULEAN SKY;
GASP FOR BREATH; HIS BREATH IS MY LIFE;
SMELL OF CORDITE, FRAGRANCE OF ROSE;
WARM AND DREAMY, HOLD HIM CLOSE.
HERE WE ARE, NEUROTIC TRIO, SISTERS THREE
BOUND BY BIRTH, SOARING SPIRITS FOR ALL TO SEE;
MIDDLE-AGED MADNESS, FOREVER THREE;
LAUGH LIKE MANIACS, CRY WITH ME;
LIVE LIKE CRAZY, LOVE OF THREE
My love is my balance; my light to his dark, complete opposites. Opposites and perfect balance - how can it be? The Creator of perfection crafted our love with balance and seasoned it with shades of light and dark. I cannot live without your dark and you cannot live without my light.
I DESPAIR - I CANNOT GRASP THE MYSTERY OF THOSE EYES. CERULEAN BLUE IS A SECRET COLOR CREATED ONLY FOR HIM, A BEAUTIFUL AND MYSTERIOUS GIFT FROM GOD. HIS MIND IS A ENDLESS, MYSTERIOUS DEPTH, THE MYSTERY OF CERULEAN ETERNITY. I CANNOT FATHOM THOSE DEPTHS AND I DESPAIR.
THE BLUE OF MY LOVE
THE BLUE OF MY LOVE. HIS EYES ARE CERULEAN, THE FANTASY OF MY LIFE. MY LIFE IS DROWNING IN BLUE LOVE; MY DREAMS ARE BLUE. HIS LIFE IS MY LIFE. HIS DEATH WILL BE MY DEATH. OUR LIVES ARE WRAPPED IN CERULEAN. I WOULD BE NOTHING WITHOUT THOSE EYES.
A TENDER WAYNE COUNTY CHRISTMAS
Christmas at my Grandmother Wood’s house was always the most anticipated event of the season. Her family was dominated by men-handsome rapscallion brothers and her sons, also handsome rakes. The event was typically southern. The women worked in the kitchen and the menfolk stayed in the living room drinking a southern Christmas delicacy called whiskey. We kids begged fireworks from our inebriated fathers and blew up everything we could find.
One year in particular, the events were unusually spectacular. For the first time, my father, his brothers and the handsome rapscallion uncles were all together for Christmas. They retreated to an empty room in the back of the house, well away from the disapproving and angry eyes of the women. We kids, out of fireworks and waiting for the perfect moment to beg for money, watched from the windows as our male role models began to dance a drunken World War II jig. The middle-aged (probably my present age) men were a funny sight to us sheltered kids.
Somewhere between the wheedling for money and the dancing, my tiny 4' 11" grandmother suddenly began to act strange. She was tottering precariously around the kitchen on her high-heel shoes and talking to herself. Investigation proved that someone, who has never confessed to this day, had spiked her egg nog with peach brandy.
The evening was only beginning. Uncle Cecil, unaccustomed to strong drink, began a crying jag. My grandfather, equally unaccustomed to the side effects of drink, began to cry also. My father and Uncle Marty, who were more acclimated to these side effects, were having a great time. Uncle Marty fell down the front steps and acquired an invisible injury. My father, with inebriated brotherly concern, picked up the telephone to call an ambulance. Quick work on the part of my mother prevented my father from humiliation.
Meanwhile, after successfully wheedling money for fireworks, we kids proceeded to the front yard to blast at all and sundry. My cousins and younger sister were daring young beasts. They decided that shooting bottle rockets at a late night bicyclist was funny. Needless, the bicyclist did not find our antics funny. He promptly fell off his bike. We shot on with great abandon until the fun was interrupted by an unexpected visitor. Mr. Policeman pulled up into our yard with blaring siren and great fanfare. My grandmother and grandfather’s good name in the community was the only thing that prevented the party from winding up in jail and suffering further humiliation.
Did all of the events take place in one night? I can’t remember, but they actually happened. My mother dreaded these events and usually, the drive home was loud and acrimonious. To the children, the antics of the menfolk were entertaining. My grandmother’s handsome and rakish brothers are gone and so are both grandparents. Only my Uncle Marty is left of the handsome boys. Alcoholism is not funny and my father, who stopped drinking in later years, was always embarrassed with our recitation of these long ago events. The years have frosted these memories with the fondness that only little sheltered country children who have grown into adults can sustain. We, these little country children, through these colorful occasions, inherited the richness of our family’s sense of humor and the ability to find humor in the absurdity of life.
This is a bit of prose that I wrote for a friend. I have used it for several friends during times of grief.
I hope these words will give you a measure of comfort during this time, just as your words gave me comfort when my parents died:
Grieve, Sandy, grieve for the child that you were. That child has lost her mother and needs the cleansing comfort of tears. Let that child cry until she has cleansed her soul.
Grieve as an adult child who has watched her beloved mother suffer. Let that adult cry because when we lose our mothers, we have lost our youth and can see our own mortality.
Pray, for you are a mother yourself and as a mother you are the rock of your family and they need your strength for comfort, just as you needed your mother's strength.
But in the morning:
REJOICE as a child of Go0d for the beauty of your mother's life.
REJOICE for she is with our Heavenly Father and knows joy and rest beyond understanding.
REJOICE as only the born again can because your earthly mother is in the hands of our Heavenly Father and she will be there to greet you, just as my mother will be there to greet me.
SMILE when you think of her, for she is with my mother and my father and, together, they shine like the purest diamonds in our Father' kingdom.
Your faith shall sustain you, for I know that your faith is strong. I felt the presence of the Comforter during the funeral and I know that your mother's faith was strong. Always remember that when we cry together, the Comforter blankets us in love. When we rejoice together, our combined father and strength through Christ reflects His Glory for all to see.