At Twilight

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Location: Midwest, United States

Friday, April 30, 2010

Beautiful Guns

That’s a jarring pairing of words, no? Beautiful guns. I’ve no doubt I just scared more than a few of you.

Yet, it’s true. There are guns that are works of art. There are shotguns, barrels-blued, engraved to a fine degree with stocks well-oiled and beautifully grained. There are guns that are highly prized as art. Guns bid to astronomical price for their historical or aesthetic value.

There are beautiful guns.

And I own two.

As I write, I know I’m about to lose a few readers. It’s happened before (more than a few times). I lost a few “regulars” when I expressed my admiration for Barack Obama (I still admire the man...leave if you must).

But, now, there’s this...(and this’ll be a killer): I used to hunt.

Yes, it’s true. I used to hunt upland game birds and waterfowl. With a gun. I’ve killed. What’s most horrific, I wounded. I did.

I’ve no desire to explain myself. It’d be a mystic explication. It’d be a tale of amazing dogs. A recounting of fog at dawn. A story of footfalls in frigid corn stubble, the tragedy of predator and prey.

But I will tell you this: I plucked each and every feather with my own fingers. Not with pleasure. Not without remorse. I prayed for, and gloried in, each and every soul that gave me sustenance. My hands have been bloodied...unlike the hands that pluck boneless, skinless chicken thighs from styrofoamed and plastic-wrapped packages bought without fore- or afterthought at the grocery.

And I would tell you this: My guns were beautiful.

I had a Weatherby 12 gauge shotgun with an “English” walnut stock that I hand-rubbed with fine oil ‘til the grain revealed itself in all its complex beauty. I had the trigger-guard engraved with the same totem I have tattooed on my back.

I also owned a Beretta 20 gauge over-under replete with beautiful engravings (Italians know how to do filigree. They surely do). This was a “gentler” gun, though no less lethal.

They cost me thousands. I admired them. Tended to them. Cleaned them, oiled them, polished them. They were beautiful guns.

They reside, today, at the local police station. They may very well reside there forever. I don’t trust myself enough to bring them home.

Even though they are beautiful things. They truly are.

But theirs is a fearsome beauty.

Beauty with the power to kill.

* * *

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I THINK I Wrote This...

But I’m not sure.

It’s the oddest (and most disturbing) thing.

I keep a file of poems I’ve long loved, along with an assortment of my own that I love much less. Earlier today, I opened the file to retrieve a morsel to pass to a friend.

And found a poem I couldn’t recall.

I typically include the poet’s name below the title. This particular verse bore no name. I THINK I may have authored this, but I’m not sure.

I Googled and I Bing'd. I searched my blog. Couldn’t find either trace or tracks of poem or poet anywhere. I somehow think I may have penned this some time ago.

But I’m not sure.

I’m not sure of most things most days.

* * *

Baring Souls

This baring of souls
Is no trivial pursuit
The light released
Once turned to flame
Cannot be bottled
Or restrained again

This baring of souls
Is a risky business
The Cosmos quakes
As orbits former fixed
Transect and spin
Round Love’s revealed axis

This baring of souls
Be it song or scream...

Changes Everything

* * *

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Me n' Lucky ‘cross the street neighbor gets herself a dog. His name is “Lucky.” I’m not sure if he’s purebred. Prolly just a puppy mill dawg.

Anyways, my neighbor’s got a young pup and I gots me a “crush of a lifetime.” Oh, yeah, Lucky stole my heart from the gitgo (just after he whizzed all over my feet).

Yes. It’s true. Lucky tends to pee hisself when meeting new friends. My shoes can attest to that.

Anyways, my neighbor has a young pup and Lucky is his name.

My neighbor is OK by me. She’s a hard-working gal, a Nubian princess, a single-mom-survivor. She gets by. She does right. I help her with clogged drains and a few car repairs. But she ties Lucky to a porch post most days when she goes to work.

Now, Lucky, you see, has more energy than a nuclear reactor. Lucky wails, whimpers, cries, barks and...whizzes hisself.

And, me? Well, it’s spring, you see. My windows remain flung open. Lucky’s caterwauls reverberate throughout my humble domicile.

Sooooo...I gather up bits o’ chicken. Buy a box o’ doggie treats. And I go outside to sit cross-legged with Lucky (avoiding puddles and piles as best I can). And Lucky? Well, Lucky pees hisself and does what puppies do: rolls on his back for belly rubs. Licks whatever comes near tongue-range. Lucky is nothing if not exuberant in his affections.

And so it begins: belly rubs, chin scratches, rib ticklin’s and snoot kissin’s. Then comes a bit o’ larnin.’ “Sit, Lucky.” Complete befuddlement. “Sit, Lucky.” A bit o’ chicken held high enough above, high and far enough above so that Lucky must settle on haunches to reach the treat.

Lucky’s a smart pooch. He caught the game right on. “Sit, Lucky.” Lucky sits. Then come belly rubs and snoot scratches aplenty.

Lucky now knows how to “sit.” Mebbe next week I’ll larn him not to wee on me.

Me n’ Lucky got a thing goin’ on.

* * *

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Physical Reality

I’ve been sharing thoughts with a dear friend 'bout our youthful idols.

They’ve all grown long in tooth (as have we).

Time exacts a toll. A toll we can’t evade, no matter how hard we try.

“Liver spots” proliferate. Hair silvers and thins. Paunches grow. Knees creak.

Our cells replicate as feverishly as possible...but they’re not immortal.

They are destined to fail, as am I, and you and everyone.

This aging “thing” sucks. Big time. The aged lion knows the truth of that.



There’s music to be played. There’s laughter and graceful resignation.

There's peace.

The feeble hand can still create great art.

* * *

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Hands

I’m rather fond of them. I am.

(No, the illustration above is not mine...I’m far too lazy for that)

I rather like my hands. My fingers are long (mighty useful), though gloves never fit. Their vascularity intrigues. My thumbs are identical to my Father’s (gawd, I can’t even begin to explain what THAT means to me!).

I like my hands. More than I like pretty much anything else ‘bout myself. Oh, sure, I kinda like my hair. It’s silver bright at the temples (the silver proliferating throughout). My hair is fine-spun, just like my Mother’s. It’s soft to the touch...but, what can I say? It’s a vanishing resource.

The rest of me? Well...I’m a wreck.

‘Nuff said.

But I do likes me hands.

Oh, these hands o’ mine surely do cherish their memories! They’ve traipsed across the sweetest flesh. They’ve pulled countless images from too many acid baths to count (a reference to my photographic past). They’ve grasped bits o’ charcoal and brushes galore to fashion beauty as best they could. They’ve grasped sticks of wood to beat out rhythms. They’ve plumbed the most magnificent mysteries (and pleased more than me alone). These hands made art. Made music. Gave pleasure. Worked and bled. They’ve been calloused and rough, soft and sensuous. Yeah, sure, the knuckles are scarred. But not without cause.

These hands have held a lot, grasped for even more. They’ve been left empty. But...I’m rather fond of them, still.

Despite all.

Because of all.

* * *

Friday, April 16, 2010

I'll Know

I’ll know

I’ll simply know

I’ll wake to music and I’ll know

I’ll taste it on chapped lips

Feel it on calloused fingertips

Hear the faith

Sense devotion

And I’ll know

Heart will Twitter

Mind will submit its thesis

(it’ll be tabbed, annotated and bound)

Loins will...well...

Be dolts as always

But I’ll know

I’ll simply know

* * *

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Listenin' to Carlos

It’s been quite the night.

Mind drifts from feral dogs to pert nipples and glistening thighs.

I can’t help myself. The sun waxed hot. Temperature well into the 80’s under languid sky. Windows thrown open, inviting, long after midnight. I hear wild dogs howlin’. I hear Rob and Carlos. Pelvis responds to stimulus.

My mind drifts to tattooed flesh, that Greek goddess who made me lose my breath and choke, so juvenile, on garbled words.

A night like this demands hip-on-hip. Fingers thrumming on taut skin (congas or otherwise). Bone pulverizing bone. Rivulets of salt on scratched and bloodied fevered back.

Oh, to move smooth! To be a brute. To lose oneself in music, soul and sweat!


It’s just that kinda night.

* * *

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Feral Dogs

I share my world with feral dogs. I wish that weren’t so, but Life is what it is.

I live in a place where, just outside my door, roam packs of dogs that claim no place called “home”. They do what they do simply to survive another day.

I was reminded of this when I heard a train whistle in the distance. There’s something ‘bout a whistle and a wail that gets the feral heart a thumpin’. Minutes later, I could hear the barks, the snarls, growls and howls of instinct and survival.

I heard it all through an open window and the safety of my garret.

And I remembered the day I ran for my life, literally, when I was trying to draw water from a monitor well at a landfill in just another godforsaken unincorporated area where hegemons screw the inhabitants. I was hauling a bailer from a well drilled deep when a pack of feral dogs came on the scene. I spied them. They saw me.

The chase was on.

I ran for my life. I did. I sprinted as fast as my two feet could propel me to my truck parked (all too) far away. The hounds were faster, but they started from farther away. I caroomed into the truck, threw myself in and slammed the door. The pack circled and howled, jowls drooling.

I admired them, one soul to another. It was a primal "thing". These were not anyone’s "pets". These were rugged, singular souls that fought for every scrap.

They were the survivors. They deserved their due.

Me? I was relieved that I dodged the fate of having my throat ripped open by a toy poodle gone bad.

* * *

Friday, April 09, 2010

Bare Knucklin'

Ms. Wine n’ Words got me to musing. Powerful words kinda do that to me. Powerful sentiments, powerful emotions, powerful memories.


There come times in every life, whether we like it or not (as if we’d ever welcome them), when we gotta simply stand and fight. These ain’t no times for cushioned gloves. No. No! There are times that demand bare knucklin’.

And, whatever the outcome, it’s gonna hurt. Pain beyond imaginable.

I look at my own hands. I’ve got scars criss-crossing my knuckles.
I remember how I suffered each and every one. It wasn’t by choice. No. I’d NEVER choose to hurt or be hurt.


There are times, events, circumstances when one must stand or die. Sometimes we just gotta stand and take the blows. Feel the ribs crack. And then fight back. Any way we can. Death may come in many ways: emotional, spiritual...physical. It's up to us to throw the gloves down and bare knuckle it out...for our very salvation.

There are times when we MUST fight for our very lives.

* * *

The Bodhi Tree

I've been getting a whole lotta "hits" lately from people looking for images and words regarding the "Bodhi Tree."

Me likes.

On the other hand, the number of people searching for the definition of the term "Watershed Moment" continues to dwarf all other search terms.

These factoids leave me pondering.

* * *

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I Cup My Hands

I cup my hands to catch the clear stream water.

It is frigid on the tongue.

I’m a biologist (of sorts). I know full well that one should never drink water that has not been processed, filtered, ozonated, disinfected, treated, flavored, carbonated, purified or otherwise certified by experts as water “safe” to drink.

I cup my hands and dip the tongue.

How could I not?

This is glacier melt. Desperado water that escaped from Heaven to fall to Earth. Millennia ago. This was the rain that soaked the woolly mammoth, liquor that slaked the saber-toothed tiger’s thirst.
I’m not that fearsome...just that thirsty.

This was rain that froze on barren mountaintops. Rested there awhile. Then ambled off to new adventures. Free-range ice mass roaming. Glacier creeping to reclaim its essence:

Water in cupped hands.

* * *

In Memoriam

Two More Glaciers Gone From Glacier National Park

* * *

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Chirping Birds

It's at least a full hour before the dawn

I hear birds chirping outside my shuttered window

If only I could share in their enthusiasm

God bless these fragile, feathered dinosaurs!

And God bless me

It's Easter

I can use me a right good Resurrection.

* * *

Got No Time

Got no time for false hopes
Got no time for fake dreams
Got no time for bullshit

Got no time

Got no time for promises
Got no time for phantoms
Got no time to dally

Got no time

Got no time
Got to get goin’
Succeed or fail?
Don’t think so

* * *

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Everything's Fine

You say you’re kind? Fine. I’ll rejoice as you succor the beggar.

You say you’re my friend? Fine. That will be your hand pressing mine.

You say I’m your future? Fine. I’ll wake to you in the morning.

You say you care? Fine. I’ll cry when I find the flowers.

You say you’ll love me through sickness and health? Fine.

You’ll smooth the sheets on my deathbed.

* * *

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