Fall’s Farewell


December 20, 2019-

The days of harvest, of thankfulness,

give way to the time when half the Earth gains rest,

when many feel a time of festivity,

and others abide their glee,

whilst wishing for joyfulness

of their own.

The season of my birth comes to an end.

The season of my growth will start,

in a few short hours.

We will likely enjoy winter’s coating.

whilst those in the antipodes,

bake, sweat and fear the flames.

Those who will begin the New Year,

the new decade,

without work,

have received the ill tidings,

at the time favoured

by the Scrooges in our midst.

Christmas, it’s said,

falls too close

to the end of the

last quarter of the Business Year.

The Big Boys quip:

“There’s no way around it,


Goodbye and good luck,

and thank you for your hard work.”

I think:

“May each one of those

cast-aside workers

find a livelihood,

in the year ahead,

that makes their bygone toil,

the stuff of well-discarded memories.

They are among the true heroes

of this nation.”

May we begin to find our path, an

and walk out of the darkness,

as the Earth alternately

rests and fumes.



December 19, 2016, Prescott- 

It was a calmer day, today.

We are now down to three-and-a-half days,

until time comes for a change of pace.

The look of surprise,

on the face of one of my supervisors,

when I said I had plans

other than working, gratis,

in the classroom,

over the Holidays,

was priceless.

There is more to life,

than one’s chosen daily routine.

There will be other things

on my plate,

from this coming Saturday,

until the second Sunday

of the new year.

Service is always front and center,

and it takes many forms.


The Road to 65, Mile 31: Wild, Tame and Just Plain Ornery


December 29, 2014, Prescott-   This post will be short and to the point:  I don’t like meanness in human beings.  A rural community in the South, where good folks have made sport with animals for centuries, has decided it’s time to grow up, as a community, and put an end to live animals being dropped pell mell, in a cage, into the public square, as a New Year celebration.

That this is done to an animal that can be pretty ornery itself, and which is overpopulated in much of the country, doesn’t make the case for lowering ourselves to the animal’s level.  Humans are just better than that, or ought to strive to be better.  The same goes for bullfighting, slicing fins off sharks, dogfighting, cockfighting, and knocking the crap out of turkeys in a factory slaughterhouse.  The above, except for most dogs, are all pretty nasty creatures. That doesn’t justify our being atrocious.

I had a dream once, where I was given the opportunity to torture a tyrannical man, who was chained up.  I looked in his eyes and saw a totally fear-ridden soul.  I couldn’t do it, especially as he was disempowered and would not likely be a threat to anyone.  My recollection of the film, Gandhi, which I saw about ten years after I had that dream, was of Mahatma saying, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

Back to animals:  They are, big and small, each given a means to defend themselves.  Those with teeth or beaks, bite.  Those with stingers, sting.  Claws and hooves can kill a perceived attacker.  A few months ago, a commenter on another social media site wrote that wild animals are unnecessary, and he wouldn’t mind seeing them all wiped out.  What havoc that would wreak on the balance of nature is not something with which I’d like to take a chance.  It may seem naive, but I’d rather encourage natural predators to do their work, and if they need help in controlling an overpopulated species, then Man ought to go in and cull the excess, but in a humane manner.  As I see it now, only some species of insects, rodents in cities and some kinds of deer are overpopulated, and we can humanely deal with this problem.  There is no need to be ornery in the process.