Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Grazed

One inch, two inches, three and four...
This system should miss us, scratch
at our back door, maybe an inch or so;
Then Mother Nature upended everything.

Spinning tires, crunching metal, screaming curses.
Here we go again, this time without warning;
Plans disrupted, finances disrupted, commutes destroyed...
Acute sense of very real pains of winter, oh so unpleasant.

Thought we would skate through to April without
any or many more serious blizzards.  Fat chance of that.
Like the gridlock in Congress, or teenage manners,
Things delight in amazing us with their stabbing jabs --

A corner of my mind can visualize a beautiful spring day,
flowering crabtrees, crocuses and daffodils grace green grass.
Memory promises a lot of rain and flooding, oh yes we need it,
but please oh lord just give us a few nice days in the balance.



Friday, February 22, 2013

I remember in 2013

500 days


The pundits said it could not be done,
humans cannot survive such a journey;
Proving them wrong has been fun,
We finished the trip a few days early.

We’ve seen more radiation on an Earthside beach,
Feeling fine, better as the Red Planet grows;
Our bold dash has extended humanity’s reach,
Perhaps an expensive undertaking, heaven knows.

Now we can exult in the view, whether or not
we make it back alive - all that matters is we arrived;
We will relax and enjoy the trip, because we got
the ultimate prize for humanity, from a dream derived.

When determined individuals go after a prize,
Step aside, you may be in for a big surprise.

 
 
 
-end
 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Snowstorm a'Coming


Better go grab those groceries,
gas up the car, stuff it with supplies;
Make sure the snow-blower works, or
have a shovel handy when the snow flies.

Central Iowa is having another major snow event,
We’ve been warned about it since last Sunday;
There is nothing we can do to avoid or prevent
this catastrophe, except await the fateful day.

The commute will be slow and messy,
Something we all know from before;
No parking on streets, fines will be heavy,
Shovel your drive so plows can deposit more.

Winter agonies in February do persist,
Six inches is a holocaust, if you insist!


-end

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Here It Comes


Tax Time Once Again

 

Retirement planning was duly addressed,
checking statements pored over with care;
Financial gyrations can leave one depressed,
overwhelming numbers result in stupefied stare.

Daily manipulations are only a prelude,
The big event looms ominously ahead;
April 15th will be the big hullabaloo,
a date I try to prepare for, with dread.

Yet every year I somehow get through this
trial by tax code, whether or not any is left;
Afterwards am left with a feeling of bliss,
And personal belongings, not totally bereft.

Springtime comes, and mood and steps are light,
Taxes have been paid, so no need to take flight.

 - end

Monday, February 18, 2013

In Search of the Way

 
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn,
Progenitor of dozens of offshoots;
Devout followers were not docile pawns,
Their dynamic temples rapidly took root.

Alpha et Omega carried on the traditions,
With some changes in ceremony and ritual;
Sex-magic was practiced in an early edition,
Christianity became dominant, doctrines scriptural.

Builders of the Adytum is an American brand,
The HOTD threads still stretching onward;
Philosophical adepts argue and take a stand,
Pronaos groups propagate truths outward.

Society of the Inner Light another carry-forward,
Founded by Dion Fortune, ex-Christian scientist.
Her twenty-four books introduce straightforward
magic and pagan elements for aspiring  young tanists.

The Temple of Starlight brings in Western science,
Psychotherapy, hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming;
Ina Custers Van-Bergen leads this group presence,
To bring spiritual traditions back, via internetworking.

The Avalon and London groups continue strict tradition,
Only British citizens need apply, and they must be moral;
willing and prepared for rigors to be brought to fruition.
King Arthur’s quest for the Grail continues sans quarrel.

Chaos Magic brings together many disparate kinds,
From Ordo Templi Orentis, Druid and Wiccan traditions;
Yet CM escapes the hidebound to explore new lines,
Practitioners collaborate to understand contradictions.

Heathenry and the Northern Tradition add
The Norse pantheon to the eclectic mix;
Odin, Thor, Freya and even Loki make glad
many hearts, that long for Asgard’s kicks.

Freemasonry remains a secret society,
Rituals, methods and meetings concealed;
After you peel away all the obscuring piety,
An agency that promulgates charity is revealed.

Those are some of the secret religions,
Enlightening and inspiring us plebeians to go on;
Founders were not just about contrition,
Producing informative works , new spirit songs.

It is up to the reader to decide what is right,
Though it helps to know the choices out there;
Find your own path, follow it into the light,
You may find a way to relinquish all your cares.

 

- end
 

 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Confrontation - a short story


     The sun beat down on el Calle de Hernandez.  Little dust devils were the only thing that dared to venture out, kicked up by an intermittent breeze.    In Norte Americano the gringos would call it the Santa Anna.     In sheltered recesses on both sides of the street, watchers peered from windows.    Gun barrels probed the hot air just outside ancient crumbling windowsills.   But their wielders were at ease, trying to endure the heat.  No one would try anything funny at this time of day.  It was too damned hot.   Who wanted to get shot to death all sweaty like?  Might not look good at the funeral.

      And there would be funerals - many of them.  On this particular day, two opposing gangs were ostensibly on high alert.  They had been trading words at the stoplights, at markets.   Everyone knew a big battle was coming, just not when.

      So when Fernando’s little brother got ahold of one of the new Bushmasters, and decided to take a stroll down the steamy Calle de Hernandez, without his brothers permission   (and the rest of the gang always had to ask Fernando for permission), all hell broke loose.

      Juan had admired his tall, muscular brother ever since he could remember.  He who always knew the answers, he who took care of Juan and their mother so well.   He who provided them a good-sized hacienda, when so many others lived in tiny hovels.  

      Juan knew his brother handled weaponry, and other, more mysterious substances.     There was almost a daily litany in the house:

      “Dear Fernando, por favor.  I know I cannot keep you from dealing in these weapons of death, and the killing white powders.  But Por dios, please keep these things from the sight of your little Hermano, Juan.  At least let one of you be free from this scourge,” she would say.

      “Madre, you know how much money I provide.  You are really not in a position to cast blame, since you enjoy the fruits of my work.  But don’t worry, I will try and keep things from Juan’s eyes.”

      It would go on a while, then eventually cease.   Juan could only see glimpses, since Fernando mostly honored his promises.  But he wanted to handle one of the weapons so very badly.   They seemed to hold such power!   

      On this particular day, Fernando was in their garage, tinkering with his new SUV.   Mother was in the kitchen.   And Juan was able to sneak into the room adjoining Fernando’s bedroom - a room normally locked, but not on this day.  He went in, and gazed in wonder at the rifles lined up or stacked on the floor.  He handled one, and then another.  He finally grabbed a futuristic-looking American weapon, and hefted it.  It was so light, almost like one of the toy guns his mother forbade him to play with.  He managed to sneak it outside, around the back of the house.  Then he took a stroll down the Calle, aiming his new toy at imaginary foes.

      He made it about halfway up the Calle, when a challenge was called out.  Little Juan just shrugged, and smirked.  After all, he had the American wonder gun.  No one would dare mess with him.  He just said,

      “Awww.    Que Paso, Cavrones?   Mira!”  And he held up the rifle.  Then, he cradled it in his arm, and pretended to aim it, waving it back and forth. 

      The rival gang members were all looking.     Fernando, remembering that he had left his room open, had come out looking for Juan.  He saw him, halfway up the street, and began screaming.  

      “Juan!  Juan, come back here now!    Please do not shoot him, he is just playing!”   

      Juan turned, and waved at his brother, as if to say, don’t worry.   There were voices on both sides of the street calling out, in short order.  Threats began to be issued back and forth. 

      “Do not shoot; he is merely  a boy playing!”  said Fernando’s soldiers.

      “Who is this?  We should kill him, yes?”  yelled the opposing gang.

      Juan slowed to a stop.  He looked back and forth.  The voices stilled.   And then he slowly began walking again.   He raised the rifle, and pointed it, straight ahead.  And then he turned slightly left, aiming it at a house.  The house was full of opposing gang members.   The minute one of them, a Carlos, saw the sun glinting off of a deadly barrel that had just swiveled his way, he could delay no longer.  He took aim with his AK-47 and let loose a full burst.

      Several slugs tore into Juan’s body.  His finger involuntarily pulled, and his own rifle let off a burst, spraying the side of the house ineffectually.   His body spun around, the rifle flew out of his hands, and he fell to the dirty street.  His body landed with a thud that resounded off of the homes on both sides of the Calle.  He was dead by the time he came to a rest in the blood-spattered dirt and gravel.  

      The shouting died out.  No one else fired.  And then Fernando began wailing, and crying,  “No!  No!  No!”

      It only took a few moments before he grabbed a couple of rifles, and told his lieutenants,

     “Come one, it’s payback time.”  

     They said “wait, wait.”

       But Fernando would not be deterred.  And it was their duty to follow him, no matter what.   So they trailed him out into the dusty Calle de Hernandez, their own weapons trained.  The other side also emerged.

      Their leader, Victor Ivich, stood in the middle of the Calle, cradling an M-16.   Fernando stopped about ten yards away, cradling his own AK-47 set on full automatic. 

       Victor met Fernando’s gaze, and yelled,

      “This was your little brother, Fernando?  This was an accident.   I regret this deeply.”

      “Not nearly as much as you will, Victor.   You killed my only brother, and you know what this means.”

      “Many will die, and not just on our side, Fernando.  Do not do this, I warn you.”

      “Adios, Victor.”

      In one sweeping motion Fernando raised his AK and fired;  his lieutenants followed suit.  Soon, slugs were flying in all directions, as Victor’s gang returned fire.   Pistols barked, shotguns blasted, automatic rifles and machine guns rattled.  Smoke hung thick, and screams rang out.   The smell of cordite and burned human flesh soon permeated the area.   Both Fernando and Victor perished out on that bloody, dusty Calle de Hernandez.     Many others also fell, cut down in a bloody fusillade.

      By the time it was over,  there were fifteen dead, and at least twenty more wounded.   The Calle was more red than brown, more blood than dust.  Just another summer day, in a suburb of Mexico City. 

      Meanwhile, weapons manufacturers had a very profitable quarter that year.
 
                                                      - The End