Most people turn on their Christmas lights relatively late,

when they get home from work, after supper, or in the evening.

During the darkest months of the year, I turn them on about 3:30-4 p.m. when twilight comes early, remembering the schoolboy I once was coming home in the encroaching dark, cold from school or frozen after delivering newspapers after school. (Yes, that’s when newspapers were delivered once upon a time. And few people also had/could afford outdoor lights in the 1950s.)

A matter of timing and audience actually. I know that young people and others are made glad by the least sign of color in the great white wilderness that is Canadian winter; that it warms them up to think that people care enough to pleasure them in this simple way; that there are kindred spirits/neighbors who share beauty with and for them. 

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If you’re an advertiser, you want to be sure to include

at least one dog in the first 10 seconds of your tv commercial to establish that the company advertised loves and supports dogs.

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Stonewall Jackson finally

met his Waterloo. Obit, 89.

Waterloo Waterloo
Where will you meet your Waterloo?
Every puppy has his day
Everybody has to pay
Everybody has to meet his Waterloo

Now old Adam
Was the first in history
With an apple
He was tempted and deceived
Just for spite
The devil made him take a bite
And that’s where old Adam
Met his Waterloo

Waterloo Waterloo
Where will you meet your Waterloo?
Every puppy has his day
Everybody has to pay
Everybody has to meet his Waterloo

Little General Napoleon of France
Tried to conquer the world
But lost his pants
Met defeat
Known as Bonaparte’s Retreat
And that’s when Napoleon
Met his Waterloo

Waterloo Waterloo
Where will you meet your Waterloo?
Every puppy has his day
Everybody has to pay
Everybody has to meet his Waterloo

Now a feller
Whose darling proved untrue
Took her life
But he lost his too
Now he swings where the little birdie sings
And that’s where Tom Dooley
Met his Waterloo

Waterloo Waterloo
Where will you meet your Waterloo?
Every puppy has his day
Everybody has to pay
Everybody has to meet his Waterloo

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“Good riddance to bad rubbish”

as we used to say in the ’50s.
Chris Cuomo being fired by CNN today.
Long overdue for a thoroughly unlikable, nasty, egotistical, aggressive, crazy, domineering, phony, lying, manipulative, full-of-himself S.O.B.

Candidate for The Ultimate Ugly American Award (along with Trump).

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For a selection of some of my poems illustrated,

Search on this blog for “Richard Davies/Poems”.

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Of Helping Hands and On Having Greatness Thrust upon One (Again)

Throughout life, I never cease to wonder at all the invisible hands working on one’s behalf. In this instance, Prairie Journal editor Anne Burke kindly recommended one of my poems for publication in the esteemed annual 2022 American Pushcart Prize book, released this coming week.
(Indeed, honestly, I’ve long had more-than-my-fair-share of having “greatness” thrust upon me.)

The Pushcart Prize (2022) XLVI PA

Deux cataracts

Vivid, I said.                                                                                                                                      More widescreen                                                                                                                                      and maybe more colour.                                                                                                                        But then I remembered                                                                                                                        being under her knife twice                                                                                                                and seeing the same blue sky                                                                                                          peeking thru the white clouds                                                                                                      above me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was a possibility, no less                                                                                                                 I’d often dreamed                                                                                                                                    but never realized                                                                                                                                  till that surgery table                                                                                                                          and the strong steady beam                                                                                                                of God’s light overhead.

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Human Duality: Baked-in, Constant

Even just in the last 2 days, I’ve seen a hugely entertaining fantastic realization on video of a toy train rushing past glorious scenes and glasses of water perfectly tuned to many famous classical music melodies (Google: “Official World Record! Classical Music Medley played by a train-YouTube) and watched Rachel Maddow reporting on unspeakably dumb anti-vaxxers bathing in bleach and eating imported-from-Canada ‘Magic Dirt’ filled with arsenic and lead, feeding it themselves and even children.

[Shakespeare was (along with Homer, Dante and Chaucer) one of the first Western individuals who long understood the duality of human nature (seen in all his tragedies). A line of thought returned to in many works including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dickens’ novels, Lord of the Flies, The Grapes of Wrath, Brave New World, Nineteen Eighty-four to name but several, still-instructive key ones.]

Human capacity for good and evil ranging from the medical advancements and the examples of King, Mandela, and Teresa to the Holocaust and recurring penchants for hate, violence, corruption, and exploitation.

Both sides, now. You see examples every day. Our best and worst, constantly and recurringly.

On one side, selflessness, reason, common sense, knowledge, kindness, generosity, charity, sacrifice, healing, On the other, the human catalogue of mindless horror/s.

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Sat. A.M. Musings: Memory

Coming to and thinking of my friend Hugh’s standard comment on fellow alumni passing: “Remember the good times.” To which, I would add: “Remember their/our best. Remember our special, fortunate closeness and connection.”
All reactions to the death of someone we know/knew, relying on human/personal memory.
As, indeed, any recall of the past, what’s happened, what’s been done, what’s been created and connected, accomplishments and projects of note.
That’s a lot of consciousness and awareness–and what largely, makes up the inner life of any human individual.

And we turn to those memories when people die, when we are ‘down’, when we are in the presence of whatever changed physical reality, chaos, and confusion.
We automatically seem to remember better, happier times, special connections with others–all filtered through bits and fragments of memory moments.
Revivifying and reliving memories such as those experienced by Dr. Oliver Sacks’ patients in Awakenings. Those things and times that recall the olde days, the childhood and youth memories, in particular. Often, as in that case, conjured up by music. And I would add, sounds, colors, images, familiar smells (as in Stegner’s Wolf Willow), and tastes (as in comfort foods). We are sensuous animals, after all, deriving our most basic experiences first and foremost via the senses.)

And, hence, not surprisingly, the angst and dread of fading or disappearing memories in personal experience as we again, such as in those with Alzheimer’s disease. In Orwell’s 1984, after O’Brien and his technological pals have had their way with Smith’s head, he automatically stands up and raises a glass to Big Brother without flinching or with an iota of memory of how much he hated BB. Likewise, in Kesey’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, McMurphy is better off mercifully dead after his lobotomy, when he has lost his mind, memory, and his essential personality and nature.

Memory–a saving grace, an oft, pleasant compensation in hard or changed times, reminding us of who and what we were and still essentially are many years later. The child, teen, or young adult we once were; the glorious, spontaneous feelings we once had; and all we once actually lived in the ever-passing here-and-now. Memory–a fundamental, and totally natural and necessary personal scrapbook and mental chronicle of our best and our favorite lived moments and shared connections.

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No wonder Albertans were needlessly dying in the summer

with totally useless, feckless La Grange in charge.

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Nothing like a pretty poinsettia @ Xmas

to brighten a house at this time of year.

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