Friday, August 21, 2015

Tipping Point

We enter the rapid
off balance.
The current
more than my paddle
sets our course,
and chooses our fate.

A fallen tree
reaching up like a beggar
nudges the side of our canoe.
An observing raven
flies from its branches
loudly calling out its displeasure,
as the river’s icy water envelopes us
quickly and completely.

Rising to the surface
my wife and myself,
our canoe and our gear,
scatter like raindrops
on a freshly waxed car hood,
gripped only by gravity.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

As Alexander Graham Bell Intended

Remember when you could end a phone call by putting the receiver… The receiver… You know, the talky part on the curly cord. Anyway, remember when you could end a phone call by putting the receiver back on main part of the telephone, in the cradle thingy, by the number dial? You could set it, you could slam it; with a little practice you could even toss it. As long as you got it on there halfway straight the call was over, fineto, finished! Geeze I miss those days. Now half the time I can’t figure out how to hang up my telephone... Er, excuse me, my “smart phone”.

Oh I know how to press the END CALL button. The problem is that it’s never there when I need it. Something always happens when I remove the phone from my ear to look at it. The screen has changed! The END CALL button that was just there a second ago has frickin’ gone AWOL! I don’t know where it goes, and I don’t know why my phone needs so many different phone screens. All I know is that this is why the telephone and the phone receiver should be separate like Alexander Graham Bell intended… So you can slam the two together when you’re done talking, and get on with your life.

But nooooo, we couldn’t leave well enough alone. If I ever leave you a phone message… oops, excuse me, I mean a voice mail. If I ever leave you a voice mail there’s a good chance it will end with, “How the hell do I hang this… Where the #%@* did that button go?!” followed by several seconds of silence before the smart phone figures I’m done. “Why do you even leave voice messages?” you may ask… If I coulda hung up before the beep, don’t you think I woulda?

Thankfully live conversations generally go better because while I’m flipping through phone screens searching for the magic button, the person on the other end hangs up and we’re done. If anyone as inept at this as I am ever dials my number we’re screwed. We’ll be stuck together all day. I’ll probably have to run into a public bathroom and throw my phone in a toilet to end the call.
Well, That’s all I’ve got to say for now. Good bye… Click!

Racism at the Highest Level

Rolling Stone recently named President Obama “One of the Most Successful Presidents in American History”, but imagine what could have happened if, like white pitchers throwing at Jackie Robinson’s head, a group of white lawmakers hadn’t since day-one been trying to take our President out of the game. Of course I’m talking about the Eric Cantor led group who vowed on January 20, 2009 to oppose every bill that President Obama supported regardless of the fallout solely to destroy his presidency. History will clearly show these men to be backwards immoral frauds who risked a nation in an attempt to take down one man of color for having had the audacity, like Jackie and others, to break down another one of their sacred racial barriers. Their back-slapping self-congratulating conversations will blow away in the wind, but their shame, just like Barack and Jackie’s success will be written in stone for the ages. Thank you Barack, for enduring and succeeding in a rigged white man's game for all of us who cheered, as well as for those who booed.