Water and Music

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It is five in the morning. I stand on a beach and gather light in my yes and my mind. It is not a normal beach but rather one with a bed of small round stones. They have no color yet, but promise to gather some as the sun rises.

There is a hint of pink on the horizon but no real light. The stars remain visible above the sea. Among them is the phenomenon of the Milky Way. It rises from the sea; upward and to the right, continuing towards the heavens until it disappears. There is not a clear demarcation of its trajectory. The lower parts of the Milky Way appear as stars – – although a bit muted. As my eyes follow its path the stars join together and lose their granularity; they become a giant cloud. This cloud has upper and lower limits which define it

There is a cliff to my left. It also, like the beach stones, has little color. A minute passes and some light tends to make the cliff a brownish hue. Yes, I can now clearly see its outline. It is not a normal flat cliff but rather one whose geological lineage have given it character. There are fault lines rising from left to right; almost following the path of the Milky Way. The fault lines are irregular, no two separated by the same distance although following the same path. There are a few outcroppings that cantilever out into the night sky.

Out, sitting in the ocean, with its toes on the beach and its heals buried in the water, is a tall rock island. Its birth mother appears to be the cliff. They have the same fault lines and color. Mother and child are separated by eroded rocks that appear to remain behind as the result of the natal event.

There are beach stones that lay beneath my feet, and extend to the area between the cliff and the island. These stones seem to also have been left behind as a result of the birth of the island. However, these have been smoothed by Father Ocean who has given them a personality due to a continuum of waves of advice.

In the distance and to my right a small island appears in the muted sun. The pink on the horizon has turned to white and a thin layer of blue exists between this and the dark sky. The stars within this blue band have disappeared; yet my heart can still feel the Milky Way and my mind contemplates it.

The sea becomes silver as the sun rises farther. The islands and cliff in front of me remain dark and foreboding. I wait for the remainder of the musical and am not disappointed. The small rounded stones appear to gain in color and harmony. I wonder and this wonderment leads me to the memory of a visit I once paid to a mountain stream.

I had a lot of leisure time then. My weekly income from industry gave me time to do the things I always wanted to. One of my desires was to own my own automobile so that I could visit the countryside.

And I did.

I drove for miles and enjoyed every month of it. Some of the roads were unique. One was along an old canal bed. Another went up and down like a roller-coaster (but, of course, not as steep). My favorite mountain road was helical shaped that went around and around as well as up. I enjoyed the feeling of “Déjà Vu” each time I made a left hand turn (which was continuously).

But none of my trips would be as memorable as the one I was on at that moment. It was a two lane macadam road that followed a beautiful mountain stream. I saw an interesting dirt road to my right. A rickety bridge allowed me to cross the stream. The steep mountains closed in on each side as I followed my hood ornament.

Suddenly the mountains parted and I found myself at the edge of a large flat area. It must have been five hundred acres in size and as flat as a postage stamp. The whole plain was covered in grass. It was not normal grass; it was blue. Not the blue of oceans, nor turquoise blue, or the blue color of melancholy. It was not the blue of azure, nor sapphire, nor peacock blue nor the blue of despair. It was the blue of amethyst.

It had the same quality of an amethyst gem; translucent. I departed my car and studied the grass. When I stood up it looked like a dark hue of blue. When I lay down and looked across the top of the grass it looked like the amethyst of an apothecary jar. In either case it was a mesmerizing experience.

I removed my shoes and socks to enjoy the softness of this blue grass. I walked around the amethyst plain for quite some time before I noticed a stream along one side. I ventured down the bank and into the water. The stones on the bottom were all the same size; about the size of an egg. Yet they were rather flat and pleasant to walk on. The stones appeared to have spent quite a bit of time in a giant lapidary tumbler; they were polished.

I reached down and picked one up. It was onyx black with ivory colored large spots here and there. The spots were not clearly demarcated as on a polka-dot dress. They were more like the penumbraic spots on a brook trout.

“PUT ME DOWN” cried a voice from seemingly nowhere.
I looked around but there was no one there.
“Put me down before I die” cried out the voice again.
I scanned the blue grass but saw no one.
“Please, I beg you, put me back in the water or I will expire” came the voice for the third time.

I perceived that the voice might be coming from the stone. I carefully lowered my hand until the stone was under water. Nothing happened. No voice, no movement, no sign of life. After a minute or so I decided that I must have had a day dream in this strange place of amethyst grass and shiny stones with soft ivory spots. I lifted my hand out of the water so that I could once more inspect this strange stone.

“Thanks for putting me back under water” said the stone.
Without thinking I responded “Why sure! Sorry about not listening the first time.”
“Put me back in so I can take a breath” pleaded the stone.
I did as I was asked and then lifted the stone up again. “Are you a real stone or a turtle or a fish?” I asked.
“A stone” said the stone. “Now put me back.”

And so it went for the remainder of the next hour. I dipped the stone in and out of the water while trying to complete a conversation with it.

Finally the stone told me “Walk downstream and you will find a waterfall.”
I followed the stone’s instructions while holding him under water. When I reached the waterfall I lifted the stone up again to ask for farther instructions. The stone said “Hold me under the waterfall. That way I can get enough water to breath and enough air to talk.”
I followed instructions and soon realized why I had heard gurgling sounds at all the waterfalls I had ever visited. It was the sound of stones talking to each other. I wished that I had paid more attention to stones long before this.

“I can now complete what I wished I could have told someone years ago” said the stone. “It is a long story so feel free to ask questions; if you must.
The stone continued “This is the story of a blue grass festival and us who were once called caterwaulers.

“Eons ago in this flat amethyst plain,
Music existed whether in sun or rain,
It echoed on the mountains ag’ane and ag’ane,
While the red summer hawk was carnivorously preyin’.

People came from a’near and afar,
Some by bus, but mostly by car,
Two people brought elixir in a stone jar,
A wanna-be king and a Tennesee tzar.

So the blue-grass music played day and night,
While the clouds rolled by, dark or bright,
Eventually the moon played fiddle (out of sight),
And the night owl prowled in quiet stealthy flight.

The stream rolled by, oblivious of the noise,
Created by those grown-up country girls and boys,
With their banjos, harmonicas, and musical toys,
The audience had elixir and hookahs (their make believe joys).

Summer hawk and night owl with eyes e’spyin’,
Swooping talons exposed, in unison flyin’,
Picked up the singers and musicians (all cryin’),
Each and every one thought they were dyin’,

The winged ones deposited them in mountain stream,
And the caterwauling ebbed to a gurgling scream,
I was involved in that nightmarish dream,
For I was a caterwauler, or so it would seem.

Over the eons minerals invaded our bones,
And turned us into penumbrious stones,
Our caterwaulings are now gurgling moans,
The screeching songs melted into melodious tones.”

The stone then became quiet except for intermittent sobbing. Although I had previously intended to ask questions I avoided hearing any more of the sad story. I carefully placed the stone on the bottom of the stream and fled.

I never heard the voice of the caterwauler again.

©  2017        Copyright Waldo J. Tomosky

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Corporate Politics

What manner of men are these,
That keep their thoughts in parenthesis?
A man of thoughts and not of action,
Likely belongs to a brotherhood faction.
So free your SELF from binds that tie,
That keep you in limbo until you die.
Travel alone on your path of choice,
They’l follow your lead and also your voice.
Thus spoke Fred

(And so the author took Fred’s advice. The message is too somber for kartoons and krazy pictures. Allusion and metaphor were the only remaining tools. And so he proceeded.)

Fred spoke, as follows, to himself; “I presume that the clown-owl is a lackey sent in by the ringmaster. The message on the scroll appears to be a piece of misinformation to direct attention away from the absent ringmaster. But who will control the circus acts if the ringmaster is nowhere to be found?” Fred walked back to his seat amongst the audience. He was quite perplexed by the whole thing. His senses seemed to be picking up the odor of a rodent.

At that moment a lone man appeared from behind a curtain. He had a leather apron and a trowel with which he motioned to something that remained behind the curtain. He whispered to the unnamed beings hiding behind the curtain. He then quickly turned to see if the audience had observed this secret message. Pleased that they had not, he continued his whispers and knowing winks. A single sheep’s head appeared from behind of the curtain. Then another. And another. And another.

The man in the apron found a small motorcycle at the side of the circus ring. He started it and rode around and around. He was adept at keeping his balance atop of the oak curbing that circumscribed the ring. The sheep followed him with their eyes and heads. They spun around and around attempting their best not to lose sight of his every move. They became dizzy and their legs became wobbly. One by one they toppled on top of each other.
Without a ringmaster to control the timing of the acts other eerie things occurred. A group of men walked out into the middle of the circus ring, careful not to fall over the stupefied sheep. Amazingly, these men all looked alike; nose for nose, height for height, hair color for hair color. All appeared to be from the same family or inbred by some fault of nature. All had blue suits, white shirts, ties and wing tip shoes. They moved with precision. All to the left. Then all to the right. Their arms were precise also. First up, then down, then in a motion that stated “NO!” They danced and danced until sweat ran from their collective brows. And the sweat ran until the grease paint on their faces started to run. It was only then that the audience could see the true features of the dancers. They were all donkeys! Some old. Some young. Some of the older ones appeared to lead the macabre dance which continued on and on. It was a monotonous dance without any creativity. Just back and forth and up and down. Every once in a while a small bray would escape the lungs of a younger donkey. This would break up the monotony of their actions but would change nothing.

The dogs and the clown-owls and the donkeys continued with their separate acts. The sheep just lay in the sawdust that covered the circus ring floor and trembled. The man in the leather apron appeared dejected and sat on the edge of the ring as his small motorcycle laid on its side sputtering and smoking; wheels still spinning in the air.

Just at that time four acrobats walked out into the dusty and smoke filled ring. There was hardly room for all of them. Their leotards were a bright yellow color with purple piping. The piping was so defined that it clearly could be seen by the most distant audience member. A rope ladder dropped down from somewhere near the top of the circus tent. One by one the acrobats climbed up the ladder to reach a dimly lit platform. The audience strained to follow their moves. A trapeze could be seen swinging back and forth.
The acrobats appeared to be arguing about something. This was not good for the pendulum like movement of the trapeze; the arc it traveled became smaller and smaller. It was apparent that one of the acrobats would be required to leap onto the slowing trapeze to give it momentum. Suddenly one acrobat ripped off his leotards only to expose a nun’s habit underneath. From beneath the skirt the nun deftly removed the white cap of a novice and donned it. With that she forcefully shoved a fellow acrobat off the platform and towards the trapeze. The unbalanced acrobat fell backward. His head hit the trapeze bar as his arms flailed wildly in the air. He fell straight downward and landed on top of the sheep. The nun leapt at the wildly swinging trapeze bar and successfully grasped it in both hands; habit swinging to and fro.
The two remaining acrobats discussed something in earnest and then climbed back down the rope ladder. One went to the left. The other went to the right. Both avoided the dogs. They whistled and warbled as they departed only to return a few seconds later. Then the one who departed to the left apparently changed his mind and departed once more; this time to the right. The remaining acrobat looked upward at the nun who was slowly losing her grip on the trapeze bar. This remaining acrobat walked over to the poor acrobat who had been pushed. He lifted him up and asked if he was all right. The response was a weak “yes.” With that remaining acrobat placed him directly beneath the nun who promptly fell from the trapeze. He/she landed on the recovering acrobat and broke his neck. He died immediately. The remaining acrobat and the nun bowed their heads in memoriam, pointed at each other, curtsied, and exited; stage left.

The audience, clowns, dogs and mini-cycle rider all remained silent and stunned.
Finally one of the clown-owls walked behind the curtain and returned with a large wire-mesh cage full of frogs. The cage sat on a table with three legs. He shoved aside a few of the sheep and the dead acrobat so that he could place the cage in the center of the circus ring. As he stood back the frogs awoke from their lethargic stupor. One by one they would look around to see who was watching. As each individual frog was sure that he had an audience (even one clown-owl would suffice as an audience) he would jump into the air. Typically the frog would only jump to a moderate height. He would look around to see if his audience pitied him for this very poor showing. A lamented croak would escape his bulging throat. The audience did not react.
One by one the cage full of frogs repeated this mournful act of pitiful jumps. And the audience continued its bored look because, of course, they could not determine what these poor beings were attempting to do. The croaking became sorrowful and everyone wished that it would stop. It did not. It almost sounded like a human phrase; “poor me, poor me, poor me.” One of the clowns walked around the circus ring with a large cardboard image of a crying moon. It added a nice touch of sadness.

The dejected leader of the sheep remained sitting on the oak curbing of the circus ring. His motorcycle continued sputtering and the wheels were still slowly spinning. Without warning he leapt up and shouted “Hallelujah brother” as if he had just remembered something.

Reaching into the small saddle bag on the tiny motorcycle he pulled out a piece of oil paper with something bundled inside. A white string was tied neatly around the package, crisscrossed in the shape of a cruciform, and then tied around the package in the other direction. At the top of the tied string was a fine example of a bow. The man carefully placed the package on the sawdust of the circus ring floor. He deftly pulled on the ends of the bow and the string fell to the ground. He then loosened the string and un-wrapped the remainder of the oil paper.

A ghastly sight was beheld by the audience. There, lying in the middle of the unwrapped oil paper was a dead fish. A fish that, by its odor, had been dead for at least two weeks. Covering the fish were hundreds of little white maggots. They wriggled and crawled on each other to no apparent ends except to escape the dead fish. The maggots knew that this was only a circus act in their own minds, so they had quit being maggots. They failed in their basic being. Realizing their failure before it had actually happened (or may not have happened had they not planned to fail) they decided to make a sacrifice. One by one, all following each other, they crawled up the wooden legs of the frog cage. It was there that they made their sacrifice without a word. For maggots, like predestined failures, are silent. Worms do not bray, do not croak, do not howl, and surely do not hoot. The frogs had a decent meal but decided not to jump any higher because someone may always expect them to jump higher ever after.

The ringmaster never appeared. The circus acts continued to become more ghastly and weirder with each passing minute. There was howling and braying, croaking and hooting. The acrobat-nun reappeared from time to time. She would take bows for the audience and then disappear just as quickly. The clown-owls ran faster and faster around the ring. Their big red flat shoes kept slapping the floor and raising a cloud of sawdust. The faster they ran the more smoke poured out of their briefcases. And then it happened! One of the briefcases flew open and the flames inside ignited the sawdust cloud. It exploded and caught the sheep on fire. The man leapt on his tiny motorcycle and exited the circus tent. The dead acrobat awoke due to all this commotion. He climbed back up the rope ladder, where upon, and once again, he purposefully fell to his death.

The bleachers finally caught on fire and several hundred members of the audience perished in the flames. Some members escaped and found respite in other venues of show business. They remained however, only audience members. Well, that is not quite true. A few found respite as puppeteers and one or two became resident ringmasters (that means that they showed up to direct the circus).

That particular circus found a new ringmaster and survived, albeit not quite the same show.

Frogs continue croaking in various ponds. Donkeys and asses still bray in various corrals. Fickle birds warble amongst the dark hemlocks. Dogs howl in the night. Other beings make their selves known in other ways, except for the worms. They are not to be seen or heard unless you dig in the dead leaves, muck, and dung piles.

Fred spoke no more.

THE RELUCTANT PENITENT

The Short Stories of Waldo

 (Rated = A bit twisted)

Jesus Rodriguez was abandoned at eight years of age. He ate well, though, on the dumps of Lagazpi, the Bicol, Philippines. Wiry and dark skinned with onyx eyes, he was the natural leader of the other abandoned ones who he ate with.

Business attire required minimum clothing, a protective cloth for cold evenings, and a short machete that was well worn due to its daily sharpening (over a period of sixty years) by the previous owner. It was a lucky find on the garbage heap. Adding to its mystique was the stamped legend on its base; “U. S. Army, Occupied Philippines.”

Food was never horded; it was consumed on the spot. Carrying extra baggage (such as food) limited one’s ability to scour deeper into the leavings of others. Things that did become baggage were items that were temporary until sold; copper wire was always in…

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OF ALL THE DIRTY ROTTEN UNDERHANDED UNFORGIVABLE SELF PROMOTIONS

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Hello!

Once again, it is time for a self promotion; yes, I am the dirty rotten underhanded unforgivable self promotor — oops almost forgot “Bare Faced.”

So, this is my new book; all 618 pages of E-reader glory. If I remember correctly (and I do have a difficult time at remembering, no matter what I told the police detective — and the priest) there are something like twenty-two different stories. Some are long and some short. However, they are all my favorites (not that they all will be yours, even though I am depending on it ). Here they are; listed with the genre (I always wanted to use that word — and now I have).

The Man Who Lost a Thought               Philosophical Fiction
The Waring Tragedy                              Historical Drama
The Pilgrimage                                       Historical Fiction
Jean Guilliame Bessac                           Biography
The Rubaiyat’s Cadaver                 Interpolation of Omar Kaiyam’s Poem
A Triptych of Words                               Philosophical Fiction
Going Down                                            Fictional Drama
Epinetus and the Lachrymose               Historical Fiction
The Circular Mountain                           Fictional Horror
Forty Days and Forty Nights                  Fictional Drama
A One Dog Night                                     Fiction
Thomas’ Magnificent Perception            Fiction
Ludwig and Louie                                    Historical Fiction
Life on a Carousel                                    Literary Fiction
The Annex                                                Fictional Horror
An Archipelago of Murders                      Historical Drama
Proper Names                                          Philosophical
Off                                                             Documented Memories
Monk Eastman and Tammany Hall          Documented Drama
Night Lights and Sounds                          Streams of Thought
The Purveyor of Sins                                A Play
Joe and the Vinegar Pissers                    Auto-Biography

AND HERE IS THE BOOK cover TO CLICK ON

(THIS LINKS YOU TO A PREVIEW OF THE BOOK)

You may have to wait a minute or two

before you see the “Look Inside” invitation

 

Thank you for any and all of your considerations!

Waldo  

(PS: Most E-readers, PC’s and other electronic devices have an app that will allow you to read E-books)

THE BLUE LINE: “LAND TRUST?” or “Bull Manure!”

THE BLUE LINE WHICH IDENTIFIES THE PERIMETERS OF THE ADIRONDACK PARK HAS CODEFINING RULES AS TO WHAT MAY OR MAY NOT OCCUR THERE.

THESE RULES MAY HAVE LOOPHOLES. IS THIS ONE OF THEM? 

 

From: Adirondack Land Trust

PO Box 130, 2861 NYS Route 73 Keene, NY 12942

The following is a quote directly from the Adirondack Land Trust;

“The Adirondack Land Trust and a private landowner have partnered to protect an intact forest and a unique strain of brook trout on 2,122 acres in the town of Long Lake.”

Note the euphemism we “have partnered” and not put another way “we have sold to a private entity.” The article goes on to say:

“The Little Charley Pond tract contains Snell, Bear and Little Charley ponds and five miles of undeveloped shoreline. A new owner, Charley Pond Preserve, has donated to the Adirondack Land Trust a perpetual conservation easement that keeps the forest whole and safeguards a rare fish community.”

Note that they have not stated how much the new private owner has paid the land trust but that he has “donated” a conservation easement which I assume that the land trust already owned before they sold it. So what has been gained here? NOTHING; other than the land trust now has a ton of money in their pocketbook that they did not have prior to the transaction and the new owner can now fish for that “unique strain of brook trout.”

This looks really good — the land trust sells its conservation easement to a private owner and then the private owner give the easement back to the land trust; “I’ll wash your hands and then you will wash mine.”

“Private owners play an important role in protecting the character and integrity of the Adirondack Park’s forests and waters,” said Adirondack Land Trust executive director Mike Carr. “The Little Charley tract is an example of how private initiative can provide conservation leadership.”

Must I make a comment on this quote for you to get the picture? I think not.

The article goes on to say;

“The conservation easement does not allow public access. The easement also restricts subdivision, allows one additional camp, and allows forest management under Forest Stewardship Council guidelines. ”

It did not share the purchase price or say who the private individual is that purchased it while hiding behind the newly formed “Little Charley Preserve” façade.

Gee Whiz, folks. I wonder who the new owner is and if he is going to build a “camp” on his newly purchased land that does not allow the hoi-polloi public access.

Does this smell like a “not for profit real estate business?”

MORE AND MORE TROUT FISHING LAND IS GOING INTO PRIVATE HANDS DUE TO THIS TYPE OF “WINKING” AND BY NY STATE GIVING CONTROL TO THOUSANDS OF ACRES TO ‘SPECIAL INTEREST’ GROUPS HIDING BENEATH THE HOODS OF THE UNIVERSITIES. THIS MUST STOP!

 

UPDATE

 

From:   Adirondack Explorer

 

OCTOBER 23RD, 2018

“The big transaction was at the Little Charley Pond tract, west of Little Tupper Lake. The Adirondack Land Trust purchased the 2,122-acre tract with three ponds for $2 million in 2007, executive director Mike Carr said. Now a buyer wishing to remain anonymous has purchased the trust’s property for $1.9 million and granted a conservation easement ensuring that no more than one new camp will be built there.”

$1.9 Million, mmmm.   I wonder how much the executive director gets paid?

FIFTEEN

After fifteen years of not knowing why I was here,

followed by fifteen years of not caring why I was here,

and then fifteen years of allowing others to tell me why I was here,

I eventually spent fifteen more years determining where I had been.

 

Once that was done I spent the next fifteen years,

figuring out why I had gone there.

Of my latter years, which have only been four,

I am now wondering where, in the end, Someone will be sending me.

The only saving grace I have,

is to spend the remaining eleven years of this final epoch,

by – well – saving grace.

 

It is too late for saving face.

Our System of Government is Broken

This week, we are (hopefully) at the end of the process of selecting a Supreme Court Justice of the United States.

There have been many arguments for and against the current nominee, and it has been painful for everyone involved in the process.

I hasten to add that I am not in either the Democrat or Republican camp. Also, I am not in either the male gender camp or the female gender camp.

What I do have to say is this. Our system of accepting a Supreme Court Justice nominee is fragile – if not broken. There have been many suggestions made to correct this. One has been to put term limits on Supreme Court Justices. That suggestion is a band-aid and not a solution. The solution is to put term limits on Senators, if not also on Representatives.

Some scholars have suggested that term limits do not work. WHY? Because each new congressperson would take his or her seat with little knowledge of how the system works. Our system is broken! Possibly it would be a good thing if congress had to find a new way to do things. The old system requires our congresspeople to spend much time gathering dollars for their next election.

However, the scholars add that new congress people, because of their inexperience, will be dependent upon lobbyists to inform them of the “correct” decisions to make. Is this any different than what our experienced congress people are doing today? I think not.

Congress can set their own term limits but only with a constitutional change. This would require a 2/3 majority from both houses. Our states were once able to set term limits on their own congress people. However, someone sued the states (years ago) and the supreme court decided that the states did not have that right. So much for states rights; which is a completely separate subject.

So what can we, as the people who are supposed to be served by our legislators, do about this? I am not sure; possibly we have to find another way to sue and get the Supreme Court to reverse the decision that kept the states from setting limits on their own Congress People. This would be a second step to fix the system; our first being to get out and vote the inept from holding the seat for too long.

That’s it from me.

My constitutional knowledge is limited but my anger at congress is not!