Stop Arial Bold!

Has anyone else noticed that for such a grass roots movement, the Stop The Steal/Trump folks have somehow all managed to get their hands on professionally made, previously prepared, and ready-to-go signs, banners, flags, bumper stickers, and t-shirts, all of which somehow appear to have the same identical color schemes, font choices and design elements that indicate that they might have been created according to a specific branding style guide?

Does one actually exist?

Carrion or Carry-Out?

I have one of those giant useless tufts of grass in my front yard. It was there when I bought the place and it grows back every year, so that also explains why I still have it. It pretty much requires no maintenance, nor does it appeal to the local fauna for much of anything more than as a spot of protective cover between two more important places. So clearly you can see why I keep the thing. Nothing much happens with it. That is, until the other day…

As I am sort of waking (I’m extremely slow at it) up I hear my wife open the blinds next to me and then say, “What the hell is that?! Is that a groundhog? No, that’s a bird. Is that a bird?! What the hell is that?!” That last one was finally enough to get even me out of bed to look out the window.

As I looked straight down out of my window on my giant tuft of useless Suess-grass, I saw a big, brown feathered something sticking out from underneath it. It was just lying there with its front end into the base of the grass with it’s ass sticking out. The amount of body I could see indicated that it was easily larger than a duck. The only birds in this left in this area of New England large enough to still fit the bill were going to be either waterfowl, or raptors.

So I went downstairs to get a closer look, but in order to do so I had to open a door, and unfortunately that made enough noise for the bird to skedaddle. But not before I saw the tail and one giant wing open up as it took flight and headed off around a bunch of bushes and trees out of my line of sight. To the best of my limited knowledge, and based on the size of the talon marks it left behind in the bark mulch (below), there is only one bird in the area that it could have been.

But why the hell was it laying in my bush?! Contrary to what my kid’s think, I really do move enough to be considered a living thing by scavengers.

After reading a lot of stuff written by a bunch of smart people I have concluded that it was, well… sleeping I guess. And I am not even 100% sure I am right about that, but it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility after what I have read.

While not necessarily their go-to, according to All About Birds by TheCornellLab “Turkey Vultures nest in rock crevices, caves, ledges, thickets, mammal burrows and hollow logs, fallen trees, abandoned hawk or heron nests, and abandoned buildings.”

So, here is my question finally: Does this mean turkey vultures just occasionally fall down and pass out in the nearest bush like Otis The Town Drunk?

the brotherhood of men

brother hating brother
when exposed that they are men
acting with impunity
each is negligent again

lashing out in malice
harsh judgement from above
brother hating brother
like raven birthing dove

it’s not within their veins
that conflict seeds are sown
our simple human frailties are but
scared flowers bearing thorns

brother fighting brother
is an old hat on a child
the key to break the pattern
is with spirits reconciled

Squirrel!

I have been setting up an area in my back yard that is animal friendly. It’s their section. There is a little bird bath and I have been starting to put in plants that will attract and feed them. Unlike half of my neighborhood, I also don’t use pesticides and try to let everything around here live and eat the food they like. The birds and squirrels seem to love it the arrangement. Something is always back there poking around. And I love observing them. Their way.

I also have a dog that is at least part beagle and black lab. And she loves to chase all things critter, period. And admittedly, I sort of enjoy watching her do what makes her happy (this is all helped immensely by the fact that she never catches anything). So as a way to make her backyard pee-trips a little more fun for the both of us, I like to psych her up by repeatedly asking if there are any squirrels outside… Yes, in a taunting voice. Anyway, once she is good and wound up, I open the door to witness a glorious mass scurrying and flying for the next 10 seconds.

Coming face to face with my own duality is harsh, man, I feel like the United States in the Middle East, here.

Religion: A How Not To

I once set out to create a religion as a prank, in true Prankster tradition.

You know, just to see if I could… like everyone does, right?

Now this was back in the days before Photoshop existed. And at the time I had unique access to systems that could perform that kind of “image magic”. And as an added bonus I could also print stuff in color, which was practically unheard of at the time.

This religion itself centered around a friend of mine who had long hair and a beard of the requisite brown color usually found in your stereotypical Hollywood-style light-skinned Jewish carpenter.

And as an added bonus, the guy’s name it got based on just happened to be a linguistic variation of yet another significant religious figure’s name.

And neither of these religions are known for their sense of humor in some areas. But I’ve always had an irreverent side. In hindsight, I am probably lucky I didn’t end up with some curse on my head, or much worse.

It lasted for a couple years. Myself and a few friends spread ‘The Word’ by sending out unsolicited prank mailers to our friends in far away cities.. We would include poster-sized color images of the (what I always thought was) buffoonery. And we would include some textual reading I wrote up that were probably about 2 steps above fortune cookie.

The whole thing ended because we met some people one day whom we didn’t know, and they way they acted made us wonder if they really believed this crap or they were just never breaking character in their own prank! Either way, it was time to put away the pulpit and hide for a while.

It’s a complex world, and some people are really susceptible to these kinds of ideas. But what is worse is that there are too many who would have looked for any opportunity to take advantage of these people.

So yeah, it’s true. I did that.

spectral

most of those
that listen best
are dead and gone
but in your chest

their wisdom stays
a tone is still clear
as perfect as when
their sound was here

spirit of death
O’ breath on the wind
port of eternal
entwined our sins

remember in love
reminiscing like porn
enlarging that spot
their kernel to form

enslaving our heart
attachment the curse
just for that ear
that once sang immersed

Just For Today

slow morning crawl
coffee and stare
far away look
minutes become
breath at a time
metronome sets
to forward go
the way of you
hurt begets pain
pain begets scars
scars become hard
yield not to wrath
a goal for now

.

Migraines: An Inconvenient Blot On Reality

A migraine isn’t just a bad headache. A migraine is a big chunk of time where I can’t do life. I can’t cook, drive, shop, eat, or even talk well. And if I am not careful, I can cause much bigger problems for myself just by the way I act when I have one.

I don’t build up any sort of tolerance or immunity when I have a migraine. When I recover from one, that doesn’t influence whether I will have another at all, as far as I know. Yes, I have tried everything: plenty of water, OTC meds, meditation, acupuncture, dry needling, vitamins, adding and removing different foods, etc. And no, those essential oils won’t cleanse my salty chakra.

I don’t even look at migraines the same way as I used to. Even with all of the neurological and physical symptoms I have, and everything I have learned about how they work. A migraine has just become nothing more to me than a multi-day long period where I am a useless lump.

A migraine is that time period where I don’t get to do any of my daily life, that extends through to being a partner, a parent, an employee, or a even a reliable friend. And there’s a whole bunch of other side-crap I let pile up as well. I also don’t make lots of long-range plans, because everyone gets kind of sick of me breaking them.

Each time I have a migraine, I also get less healthy because I don’t move around as much. I certainly don’t exercise. I don’t eat right. I give in to cravings a lot more, and reach for easy stuff. And of course I end up taking lots of medicines. Eventually, those take their own toll on your internal organs, surreptitiously damaging my health in other ways. And, so many of the medicines that are designed to abort a migraine have such horrid side-effects for me that I realized I suffered almost as much with them, as I did without. Hey! How’s about a little dose of serotonin syndrome for your entertainment pleasure? Good stuff man!

Opiates have helped in the past, but they have a problem built into them. One, the body’s tolerance to them can climb like a caffeinated squirrel up a tree if you don’t use them exactly the right way. And even you do, you can still very quickly find yourself with a very persistent monkey on your back. Since the death of my own brother from an opiate overdose, I quickly realized that regardless of their effectiveness they must remain a “For Emergency Use Only” medicine.

Then there is medical marijuana. I mean, pot! No, wait… cannabis, right?!

How cannabis has been working for me on chronic migraines is a post all it’s own, since it’s deserves detail. And whether I personally think it can continue to be successfully prescribed as a medicine, I think, depends a great deal on what we call it (something I have already talked about before. It is a more important topic than most people give attention to, I believe).

Anyway, as I was saying: Migraines suck.

forward of mind

the inevitable question
is there a pattern or not?
when applied to parts
life develops from I

celestial circle ‘round
field dance in sun
finger-tip touch tops
jettisoning pain

from moments once spent
in blind abandon
nurtures the light
surrounding the spark

keeping it snug
and forward of mind
to never give up
the soul in your eye