O Molly, I’ll Never Forget!

Hello Everyone,

It’s been awhile. For those of you who don’t follow my main blog, I had my first round of chemo-therapy April 11th & 12th. Each day involved about six hours hooked up to IV. You can read about it here. By now I think I’ve mostly recovered; this week I’m starting to feel more energy and tackle more household tasks.

I may not be doing a lot of fiction stories for awhile, but I still get the urge be-times. Yesterday morning I wrote this scrap of poetry just for fun:

Molly O’Haggerty O’Rourke
my colleen from county o’ Cork
Oh, I’ll soon be sailing
and she’ll soon be wailing
My fortune I seek in New York.

Says Molly O’Haggerty O’Rourke,
“Your colleen from county of Cork
sure, you’ll be forgettin’
as soon as you’re settin’
your eyes on the girls of New York”

I says to her, “Love, don’t be clowned—
a truer love never was found.
I’ll send for you, sweetheart;
sure, we’ll make a new start
and light up the streets of York town.

Over There, They Say

sea.sky
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Over there on that island you see the sun is always shining,
the old folks say. All kinds of exotic fruit trees grow, they tell us.
You just have to reach up as you pass and pluck the juiciest fruits dangling in front of you. And the birds, some say, are almost tame.
You can stand and watch as they flutter among the branches all day.
Perhaps even reach out and have one land on your hand if you stay still.

Over there, some declare, are magnificent caves one may explore,
secret spots where pirates in olden days may have stashed their loot.
A vein of silver may be uncovered with just a little digging, they say.
Or gold nuggets might gleam in the streams, just waiting to be picked up.
A man could soon get rich over there.

Ah, if we could only get there, they sigh.

But think of the dangers over there, others remind.
Fierce beasts with razor-sharp claws and teeth, ready to tear a body to bits.
Venomous snakes hanging from every tree and slithering through the tall grass. Moreover,
what if some hostile tribe has already discovered that paradise?

Perhaps, as we stand here gawking, they are busy
sharpening their spears, preparing to defend their island against all invaders.
They’d boil us in coconut oil and eat us for dinner.
And even if they’re peaceable, their customs would surely be bizarre.
Who knows what kind of clothes they wear over there?

So here we linger on the beach, speculating
and dreaming of that land. Imagining its beauties,
quaking over its terrors. For better or for worse,
how can we know, except we go?

Who’ll be the first to build a boat?

The Castle of Blood

Once Upon A Time…

Trembling with every step, I made my way down the dim corridor of the castle. I knew what was ahead and I dreaded it, but one of the noble princes of our land had commanded me to appear there and I could not escape my fate.

At the end of the hall a woman waited, grasping in her bony fingers a long rubber band. I shuddered as I advanced toward her. She wanted my blood.

Where, oh, where, can my fairy godmother be staying these days? Why does she not swoop down to rescue me from this ordeal?

For me there has been no reprieve from this long corridor and this constant bloodletting. Oh, so many times I had to present myself to this woman with the sinister smile. So many times she reached out and took hold of my arm, drawing me into her room. So many times — yet it was never enough. All too soon she wanted yet more.

I cringed as she punctured my vein, laughing all the while. She would take my blood and spin it, twirl it, torture it. Would she love to do the same with my body, I wonder? Thankfully, permission has not been granted her to torture my flesh — and she is not allowed to pierce my jugular vein. So I have escaped with my life.

She drained enough blood to fill three pots, relishing the bright red tone. Then she released me and I fled that terrible enclave. Outside the castle door my knight in shining armor waited to carry me off to his mansion, where I might recover until the next summons comes and they want yet more of my precious blood.

As we walked back to our carriage, we heard a sound like a bull frog and turned to see what odd creature was lurking nearby. At last our eyes located the source of this unearthly sound: up in a pine tree beside the castle a raven peered down at us. No doubt he was disappointed there was no flesh for him to feast on.

My reply to today’s WordPress prompt isn’t quite a fairy tale, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

Robbery, 1920’s Version

VICTIM
by Edgar Guest

“Hands up!” the stranger shouted, with a terrifying curse.
“Come on, be quick about it!” Then he calmly took my purse.
I saw his gleaming pistol, and ‘twas folly to complain;
I kept reaching for the ceiling as he took my watch and chain.
But I thought as he was leaving: Well, I know the worst right now.
Though I can’t approve his methods–they’re not doubtful anyhow.

I’ll know how much is missing just the moment he is gone.
There will be no disappointment and no heartache later on.
He didn’t cite me figures on the fortunes men have made,
or say for every dollar ten would some day be repaid.
Oh, I’ve suffered many losses!  Though unarmed the others came,
and with gentler, suaver manner, the result was just the same.

As he walked away and carried off my money in his coat
it pleased me to remember that I didn’t sign a note.
And it pleased me to remember once the man had gone away
I was done with the transaction – there’d be nothing more to pay.
And I made this observation when I’d rallied from the shock:
“Well, some rob me with a pistol –and some sell me worthless stock.”

From The Friendly Way
by Edgar A Guest
© 1931 by The Reilly & Lee Co.

Additional Thoughts:

If a person takes the time to study just how things went in the 20s and what economic practices led up to the 1929 Wall Street Crash, then compare it with what happened in the 1990s , you discover that people don’t learn many lessons from history. ☹

In the 20s the stock market was so strong the banks started making collateral-free loans to people buying stocks, which pushed stock prices up and up, which led more people to get into buying and taking bigger risks.  Con men got in on this, selling stocks in companies that had little hopes of return.  Profits were easy until someone got nervous…

In the 1990s banks were encouraged to make more money available to home buyers, so they made sub-prime loans, which made for smaller monthly payments during the first few years.  This practice led to a strong real estate market.  Loans officers competed to write the most mortgages.  Until the real interest rate came due…

One Canadian bank, hearing about how easy it was to get a mortgage in the US, had someone phone and check it out.  Posing as home buyer, using an alias and an address that didn’t exist, he applied and was approved for a $200,000 mortgage in ten minutes.  No home appraisal, no credit check.

In the States if a person can’t make his mortgage payments he can walk into the bank, hand over the keys, and be free of further obligation.  Here in Canada we can give back the keys, but we’re still legally responsible for the balance of the mortgage.  If the bank forecloses and sells a $200,000 home for half that, the mortgage holder is obligated to pay the remainder.  This gives people serious second thoughts about walking away.

Making a Man of Himself

…………Two of a Kind………….

Perhaps you have heard this story before
but I’m sure you won’t mind if I tell it once more:
of a farmer who lived in a cottage so fine,
whose one major fault was his love of strong wine.

He’d leave all his work for the slightest excuse
and drive off to town with his team and caboose;
he’d drink till the close of the day was at hand,
then bring home a jug of his favourite brand.

The little brown jug was hidden away
on a shelf in the pen where the hogs used to lay.
One night while imbibing too freely of wine,
he dozed off to sleep in the pen with the swine.

The jug was upset; the pig drank the brew
and soon such a feeling no hog ever knew;
he ran ‘round the pen and he tried to jump out,
then playfully rooted the man with his snout.

The pig became dizzy and soon he got sick;
he laid on the floor and started to kick.
He hit the old farmer right square on the nose;
from the pain of the blow Farmer quickly arose.

“You miserable brute,” the old farmer said,
“If I had a gun I’d blow off your head.”
The hog said: “You see, ‘twas that jug on the shelf,
but I’ll never again make a MAN of myself.”

I thought you might find this poem worth reading.
It was written by Saskatchewan poet Roy Lobb, born circa 1892.

Forgotten Again

Old man, alone now,
buys his own gift,
pays for his own
dinner on Friday–
with a glass of cheer–
at an obliging restaurant.
He can’t wait for Father’s Day
to discover he has been
forgotten again.

C. Goodnough

I’ve reblogged and slightly changed this. I’ve written it as fiction — yet I’m thinking it’s sadly true.

Wise Words for Moms on Father’s Day

“Wait Till Your Pa Comes Home”

by Edgar A Guest

“Wait till your Pa comes home!” Oh, dear.
What a dreadful threat for a boy to hear.
Yet never a boy of three of four
but has heard it a thousand times or more.
“Wait till your Pa comes home, my lad,
and see what you’ll get for being bad.”

“Wait till your Pa comes home, you scamp!
You’ve soiled the walls with your fingers damp,
you’ve tracked the floor with your muddy feet
and fought with the boy across the street;
you’ve torn your clothes and you look a sight!
But wait till your Pa comes home tonight.”

Now since I’m the Pa of that daily threat
which paints me as black as a thing of jet
I rise in protest right here to say
I won’t be used in so fierce a way;
no child of mine in the evening gloam
shall be afraid of my coming home.

I want him waiting for me at night
with eyes that glisten with real delight;
when it’s right that punished my boy should be
I don’t want the job postponed for me.
I want to come home to a round of joy
and not to frighten a little boy.

“Wait till your Pa comes home!” Oh, dear.
What a dreadful threat for a boy to hear.
Yet that is ever his Mother’s way
of saving herself from a bitter day;
and well she knows in the evening gloam
he won’t be hurt when his Pa comes home.

From Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co


One day in a store I overheard a frustrated mother say to her misbehaving boy, “Your father’s going to kill you when we get home.”

Really?

What a HORRIBLE thing to say to a child. As Mr. Guest points out in this poem, that father wouldn’t have appreciated the role of murderer one bit.

If she’d say, “Your dad’s going to punish you,” it might have been fitting. But kill him? Thank God she was lying! You may say it’s just an expression, but it is a lie.

Someday, about ten years down the line, I can hear her telling her son, “Don’t do drugs. Drugs will ruin your life. They will kill you.”

Will he believe her?

(P.S.: This isn’t fiction; got my Chrisses crossed today.)

 

Who Do You Work For?

Who Is Your Boss?

By Edgar A Guest

“I work for someone else,” he said,
“I have no chance to get ahead.
At night I leave the job behind;
at morn I face the same old grind
and everything I do by day
just brings to me the same old pay.
While I am here I cannot see
the semblance of a chance for me.”

I asked another how he viewed
the occupation he pursued.
“It’s dull and dreary toil,” said he,
“and brings but small reward to me.
My boss gets all the profits fine
that I believe are rightly mine.
My life’s monotonously grim
because I’m forced to work for him.”

I stopped a third young man to ask
his attitude towards his task.
A cheerful smile lit up his face;
“I shan’t be always in this place,”
he said, “because some distant day
a better job will come my way.”
“Your boss?” I asked, and answered he:
“I’m going to make him notice me.

“He pays me wages and in turn
that money I am here to earn,
but I don’t work for him alone;
allegiance to myself I own.
I do not do my best because
it gets me favors or applause—
I work for him but I can see
that actually I work for me.

“It looks like business good to me
the best clerk on the staff to be.
If customers approve my style
and like my manner and my smile
I help the firm to get the pelf
but what is more, I help myself.
From one big thought I’m never free:
That every day I work for me.”

Oh, youth, thought I, you’re bound to climb
the ladder of success in time.
Too many self-impose the cross
of daily working for a boss,
forgetting that in failing him
it is their own stars that they dim.
And when real service they refuse
they are the ones who really lose.

From his book Just Folks
©1917 by the Reilly & Britton Co.

Winter Whimper!

It was c-c-c-cold here this morning. When I checked the weather at 8am it was -37 C in Saskatoon with a wind speed at 16 kmph, which gives a wind chill factor of -50 C.
Translation for our Yankee friends:
A temp of -34F with a 10 mph wind makes it feel like -58 F.

Of course the weather was one subject we discussed over dinner at the Villa. (I’m cooking there today.) Wilbert Esau is living at the Villa again for a few weeks as he recovers from his broken hip. At the dinner table he talked of one morning up in the Peace River country when it was extremely cold.

He and his dad had taken the team of horses to town and the temp was -73 that day. Thankfully there wasn’t even a puff of wind! He said the horses’ puffed along and their breath just hung in the air like little white clouds, much like the jet streaks you see in the sky. All the way home again they saw these little clouds just hanging motionless in the air.

A Winter Night
by Sarah Teasdale

My window-pane is starred with frost,
The world is bitter cold to-night,
The moon is cruel, and the wind
Is like a two-edged sword to smite.

God pity all the homeless ones,
The beggars pacing to and fro,
God pity all the poor to-night
Who walk the lamp-lit streets of snow.

My room is like a bit of June,
Warm and close-curtained fold on fold,
But somewhere, like a homeless child,
My heart is crying in the cold.

Colours of the Morning

TIME TO THINK SPRING

I’m getting weary of winter, anxious to move on to better things. Do you like my new look?

Colours of the Morning

Blue falls from heaven,
blushes the morning glory buds;
Rose awakens drowsy roosters,
coaxes them to announce the day.
Amber fire falls on the river,
dazzles the drinking deer.

Christine Goodnough

Psalm 19:1-6

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.