Winter Garden


“Cursed be the social lies that warp us from living truth!’–Tennyson, “Locksley Hall”

The sleepers lie so deep,
their gardens go unplanted.
Their summer song unsung forever,
the spring-words half-remembered.
The rose and the smell
of running water here.
And then a voice
that tries to find itself,
to speak the saddest silence.

It is said the sleepers
never wake to rise,
only babble with their bedmates,
discuss the latest zygote
or virtual reality,
unplugged from the umbilical
cords of imagined souls.

The sleepers dance in masques
of nightmare shapes.
All-serious now, they
bury their affections
in cozy plots of work and reason,
complain of what they miss
on full-moon nights,
refuse the cracks of entry
to another life in stars.

It is said the sleepers put
themselves to sleep at last
with dreams of tv,
mortgages and murder.
They give up hope and try
to plant themselves in vain,
their only seedlings
dust of secret song.

In the great shared cemetery
of heart and mind,
the sleepers stretch their forevers
in separate pallets,
ache to recall a recurring dream:
the sprouting wings of distant love.


This poem about the `saddest silence` owes something to T.S. Eliot and works like Four Quartets and “The Hollow Men”. Death-in-life existences and buried lives are not hard to find; there are days when they seem all-too-common. I think the alternate choices are fairly clear here. They have a lot to do with living out dreams and love; sometimes these two are totally antithetical to the customary modes of work and reason. People often settle for less, in my opinion. As I have said before, too often `we do it to ourselves` in our choices. And so many gardens remain wintry and many “secret songs` go unsung.

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On Aging

Keep moving.
It is harder to hit a moving target.

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Re. Killer Parents

I am not kidding when I have previously said that parents should have to be tested before they start a baby to see if they are morally fit and sane enough to be responsible for this precious mission.

A case in point below, likewise, on how crazy this widespread, irrational resistance to vaccines has gotten. I will say, from the start here, that the crazy choices should be limited to oneself and not foisted on children who can’t choose for themselves.

In New Zealand, a baby needed a pronto emergency operation, but the selfish, dumb-ass parents would not allow it to go ahead with blood from a vaccinated donor. This craziness was foiled legally, however, by the health authorities who have taken charge of the child so it can receive available, necessary, likely safe blood in order to have a chance to live.

You can be certain that the parents will sue if the baby dies from the delays they created, but, regardless of the outcome, someone–the authorities–cared more for that baby than his/her own parents, ironically. In the end, common sense and respect for medical authority deserved the upper hand when it comes down to being genuinely concerned and caring about the health and welfare of helpless children. Crazy political agendas should not/never supercede life-saving health cae.

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Beautiful Christmas CD

Glen Campbell possessed one of the nicest singing voices ever. This collection of unique ballads showcases his marvellous range and delivery mastery. A wonderful off-the-beaten track collection by the late tenor legend.

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Behind These Fronts

We are all held together
by wires or Wi-Fi.
The props that hold us up
can only be glimpsed
in a certain slant of light.
We are really coming apart
all the time, even as we laugh
and profess a strength.

Lame the underpinnings
of our all-so gossamer texts.
We droop our fatigues
against a greater mystery,
our pains and plans mere habits
of exclusiveness.
We turn ourselves inside-out
for others to see how
we might glow in the dark:
blue shadows on evening snow.

When winter came that year,
we could almost imagine
another breathing,
some vague restoration.
There were, though, those among us
who reported seeing streaks of light
or perhaps a radiance
behind all these fronts.

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Christmas is especially

for kids.

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55 Years Ago: Just Before a Cold Winnipeg Xmas, 1967 AD

I remember buying this LP for myself in a doldrums period then and hunkering down to listen to great songs like “Changes”. And then Karen phoned me out of the blue, inviting me over to visit. It was the turning point in our relationship after not hearing from her for a month or so.

I always associate Phil Ochs’ “Changes” with her, that magic moment just before Christmas when we started up. (Later in January, we would go see Ian and Sylvia at University of MB.)

The lyrics of Ochs’ profound, spell-binding tune:

Sit by my side, come as close as the air,
Share in a mem’ry of grey,
And wander in my words, and dream about the
Pictures that I play of changes.

Green leaves of summer turn red in the fall,
To brown and to yellow they fade;
And then they have to die, trapped within the
Circle time parade of changes.

Scenes of my young years were warm in my mind,
Visions of shadows that shine;
Till one day I returned and they were the
Victims of the vines of changes.

The world’s spinning madly, it drifts in the dark
Swings through a hollow of haze;
A race around the stars, a journey through the
Universe ablaze with changes.

Moments of magic will glow in the night.
All fears of the forest are gone;
But when the morning breaks, they’re swept away by
Golden drops of dawn of changes.

Passions will part to a strange melody
As fires will sometimes burn cold;
Like petals in the wind, we’re puppets to the
Silver strings of souls of changes.

Your tears will be trembling, now we’re somewhere else
One last cup of wine we will pour;
And I’ll kiss you one more time and leave you on the
Rolling river shores of changes.

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A Father Figure for 5 Decades to Millions of Kids

Obit: Bob McGrath, beloved Sesame Street tv show host, 1969-2017.

In many ways, warm, friendly, and reassuring like Fred Rogers or Ernie Coombs (Mr. Dressup).

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’60s Trio Performers Who First Convinced Me

I could play in folk trios:

Bob Dylan (John Wesley Harding album)                                                                                      Johnny Rivers
Trini Lopez                                                                                                                                      Peter, Paul, and Mary                                                                                                                         The Kingston Trio                                                                                                                              

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“Goblin mode”: Oxford’s Word of the Year

“According to Oxford University Press (OUP), publishers behind the Oxford English Dictionary, the slang term refers to a type of behavior which is “unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations” – traits that may have become familiar to many during lockdown.”

As some slide back into the primordial, barbaric ooze….

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