Water can be clear or murky, powerful as the ocean, or powerfully subtle as the formation of caverns. Water creates life, yet can be destructive. It covers our earth. It fills our bodies. Water evokes mystery, and moodiness. Unpredictable as water is, it is useful, and it cleans things up.

That pretty much describes what I want to say and how I want my posts to be.

Monday, May 31, 2010


I walked back through the little village to the gate. I turned and looked at it again. A sudden image came to view: some anonymous children and I playing here in the fairy tale village, imagining tiny fanciful creatures behind the flower pots, our imagination coming to life, a unicorn coming out of the willow tr…

“Pitou.” I could hear Aunt Chin shouting for me from somewhere. “Is that you behind that gate?”

I peeked around and saw her already out by the peach trees. “How did you know it was me?” I hollered back.

“Well cher, t’wern’t hard. You are the only one here today shorter than that gate who would be carrying a broom sticking up above it.”

I smiled walking over to her. Chin had a basket and was eyeing the peaches carefully picking the best ones. “You want me to help you now,” I began, “…or go put the broom away first?”

“Lay the broom down well get it later.” She beckoned. She showed me a peach from the basket. “You see the best ripe ones have a little more than half a side covered in red. But this one is too much red all around, and then you see that then the burds peck out a place down the side.” The very red peach had a trench cut right down the crease on the side. “We can still use this, and cut off the bad place there from the burds, but it’s really too ripe for pies, almost too ripe for eatin. Now you find me two more good ones. That’s what we need left.”

I looked up at her with her nose up in the tree. “Dis has been Chin’s big sadness in life.” Uncle Gus’ words came back to me and I felt my eyes well up. I blinked it away. “Aunt Chin…,” I addressed her. What I was going to ask I don’t know.

“What is it child?” she asked

“Umm…,” I searched and then found something to say looking down at the bird besmirched peach. “Uncle Gus wants you to pick some figs too before the birds get’em.” I decided to start concentrating on finding the two peaches left.

“Why thank you for the message Pitou. I will do just that.”

Just then I saw right in front of me on a low branch a great red peach. I turned it over and it was yellow on the other side. “I found one!” I broadcast. I was going to wait for her to inspect it before I picked it but the twisting I did had broken it off and it was in my hand. ‘Gosh,’ I thought. ‘I sure hope this is a good one since it seems I’ve already picked it.’

Chin reached down her hand and I gave it to her. She turned it around. “Excellent!” was her evaluation. I felt like big stuff indeed. “here.” she said giving it back to me. “put it in the basket. And look down by your shoulder there. Is that another good one.” I turned and saw another peach half red and half yellow on this side. Without touching it this time I bent and looked at the underside. It matched only with the a tad more red.

“I think this one’s perfect.” I announced to her still careful not to touch it.

“Then pick it t-man, I truss your judgment.” I reached over and barely twisted it in my hand and it came off. “When they are ripe, they come off easy you see” she explained. I was a little disappointed as I knew that the peach picking was done. “How ‘bout you carry that basket for Chin eh.” And off she walked to the fig trees.

She was slightly squeezing the darker ones mumbling yes… no… “Just a few here.” And before I knew it she had about five figs in her hand motioning for me to lift the basket up to her.

I was disappointed that she did it all without showing me. “The picking’s done?” I whined. Then I remembered the herbs and turned around to look at the green plot. “Should we pick some herbs?” I hoped she would see that I still wanted to do more.

She did,“I’m sorry cher,” she apologized, “But herbs is cut in the early morning while dew is on them, and I already got all I needed before yall come today.” There was a moment of silence while I was standing disappointed. “But come see” she said. And with no small labor she went over to the fresh green mounds and maneuvered into a position where she sat down on the lawn beside them.

I joined her on the ground, and secretly worried… ‘What if she can’t get up?’ but in the mean time we examined all the herbs.

“Brush your hand across this one,” she would demonstrate, “…now smell the fragrance.” We smelled sage, and oregano, lavender and savory, we crushed coriander leaves, and she broke off parsley for me to smell and taste, and did the same with mint. “We have a rosemary bush by the gate in the vegetable garden.” She pointed to a fenced in place on the opposite side of the yard from the peach trees. “Well smell that later…it’s the very best one. And while we are there later lets just pick some vegetables for supper.” I was excited over that prospect. “BUT…,” she added, “two more things. This that looks like grass is chives and I do need some for potatoes. Would you like to break me off a little handful.”

I did and the smell rose up instantly. “It’s onions.” I proclaimed.

“Pretty similar,” she agreed. “Now for the second thing.” I waited …and she said with a sigh “…how are we gonna get this big ole woman off the ground?”

She was half teasing but I jumped to her aid in suggestion. “Oh MY! do you want me to run and get Uncle Gus?!” I said like Lassie trying to save the day, to which Aunt Chin burst into laughter.

“No sweetie,” she giggled, “I really can do it but it will take a minute. Why don’t you take the fruit and your handful of chives and the broom back into the house, and I is coming.”

I gathered up everything and started tentatively toward the house, watching to see if she still needed help. She laid on her back then rolled over on her stomach with a grunt. Then she maneuvered slowly onto her hands and knees, and from there she began to pull her legs under herself sticking her very broad hips in the air. The back of her dress was way up above her slip line, and her posterior was facing my way. At that moment I realized that the point of me going ahead was to give her some privacy. I felt embarrassed and turned my eyes quickly away slipping into the screen door, and just in time as when I glanced back through the screen she was up and turning around, straightening her dress.

I went over to the counter away from the door so she didn’t know I saw. As I went to put the basket on the counter it was already crowded with various and sundry items. So I turned and put the basket on the table, the chives were still in my hand, and broom in the other, but I wanted to wait till she got to the door before I put up the broom away back by the door. As I waited for what seemed a while standing with these items in my hands. I really didn’t know where to put the chives. I was looking at the counter. There were two bowls, a very large blue one and less large pink glass bowl with flowers around the top. There was a dusty flour sifter so I stood on my toes and realized the bowls each contained just sifted flower. There was a glass bowl with five eggs in it, a whisk, a can of lard, a little bowl with lard in it plus what looked like cut up tiny bits of butter on top, some lemons, and a clear glass measuring cup with I guessed just water in it.

About this time Chin walked in. “Whew.” She exclaimed sitting down on a kitchen chair just inside the door. “It is already getting hot in here.” Pointing over to a sideboard across the kitchen she instructed, “See there baby, is one of aunties fans, by the dining room doors, can you fetch it for me.” I looked and on the end was a round paper fan, the kind you fold the handles and clasp them around to open it. It said “Acadia County Fair” on it. I grabbed it in the same hand as the chives, and brought it to her. As she fanned herself she told me to lay the chives by the sink. I did and then hung up the broom. “Now…” she said fanning herself, “go back to the bureau, and in the middle drawer is some hankies. Bring me one please.” I did as she instructed and sure enough there was some neat clean folded handkerchiefs of various lady like designs. I grabbed the one on top and brought it to her. She used it to wipe her face and forehead. Then she squinched her nose and giggled. I looked her way “It smells like chives from your hand.” she said. “here smell.” She held it out to me and I sniffed. It was the smell of clean, maybe perfumed fabric, and onions. I laughed too, and sat down at the table with her. “You want a glass of waughtta (water)?” she said suddenly, and started to get up.

“I can get it.” I wanted to be helpful.

“Sugar, I don’t think you can reach the glasses.” She pointed to one of the two glass door cabinets on either side of the sink. She was now on her feet.

Very quickly I pulled my chair over to the cabinet with the glasses “Now I can! I’ll get them.” I felt clever with my solution.

Chin sat back down, “OK…” she said, “But be careful. Your momma didn’t leave you in my care to fall and bust your head.”

I got the glasses down and set them by the sink. Then I returned my chair to the table, and went back to the sink turning on the water.

“No, no cher,” came from Chin. “…there’s ice waughtta in the frigerater.”

I turned off the water and went to the frig. Just inside was a large glass round pitcher full of cool clear water. I carefully with both hands carried it to the table. It was cold and heavy and I didn’t think I could pour it, mush less it was immediately sweaty and would be slippery. I turned to get the glasses and bring them to the table and when I got back Aunt Chin already had the pitcher handle in her hand. “Thank you baby,” she intervened, “I’ll pour, it’s heavy.” I put the glasses by her and she poured us each a glassful and handed me the pitcher to return to the frig. It was considerably lighter.

I returned to the table “Water break!” she said in a silly way wiggling her hands in the air, and with a little giggle. And we sat down and each took a drink of water. I don’t know why but it felt so very refreshing and cold going down that I closed my eyes for a moment. “Good huh?” she added, and I nodded.

“So tell me something good.” Piped Chin

“What do you mean?”

“Tell me a good story, or tell me something that makes you happy.”

“You make me happy.” I answered

“Oh… you ARE a little doll aren’t you, you charmer.” Aunt Chin had the biggest grin on her face. Some of her top knot hairdo had fallen down into ringlets around her forehead, and with the light behind her from the door, her chubby pretty face looked like a smiling cherub.

It made me smile too. “Well you know what,” she continued. “you make me happy too.” And I knew I did. And that made an even bigger smile pop out on my face. I couldn’t have held it in for anything. We each took another sip and smiled more.

We sat in quiet for a moment. Chin was in thought, drumming her fingers nails on the table, click, click, click. They were well manicured and painted crimson, which matched her dress, that now had some flour dusted across the bosom. Her lipstick had been red too but it was traveling away on the cheeks of everyone she saw that morning. I still saw her as pretty. She had very long curling eyelashes that hovered over two golden brown Cleary glass marbles. Then she roused from her daydream rousing me from mine. She finished her water, took her glass, and she was up and going again.

“And now to move on, it won’t be getting any cooler today.” Aunt Chin walked over to a window by the stove. There was a box fan in it and she turned it around. Pretty soon the breeze was coming in that window. She explained, “We’ll have to turn it around again later when baking pies to push out the heat, but for now it blows right on us while we prepare, see?.” She walked over to the sink and started washing the chives. Then she bound them with a little rubber band that she took off of the pantry door knob. I thought that odd only because my mom did the same thing with spare rubber bands. if you ever needed one just check out the door knobs of our house. There would be one somewhere. And you know, decades later, yours truly still stores his rubber bands on the doorknobs. I came to find it’s practical. Where ever I am in my house, if I remove a rubber band off, say a newspaper or anything, there’s always a doorknob around. And there the band will stay until I need one.

Chin continued to wash the peaches and figs and set them in the drain board on top of a towel. After this she walked over and hugged my shoulders. “You finish your water, and enjoy the fan, Pitou, while Aunt Chin goes and puts on some work clothes. Then we will bake up some yumm, eh.”



It's been so hot and dry lately, but yesterday we had an unexpected little thunder shower. it was here and gone but left everything wet and cooled off. and it inspired me.


the boredom of the heat
Days go by
I become too aware of mortality
   My heart in need of life
my health is cracked and parched
and the grass browns in the sun.

A rumbling occurrence
the rolling forgotten sound
    quiet little thunder

Wake up!
dare my drying psyche hope
a drop …another
dripping, slapping

My head thrown back the rain
the rain washes my face and chest
filling the cracks
  the earth wetting

Pushing away the dull smells of heat

Clapping big thunder
Watering my heart that it might grow again
Immortality touches the water
  coolness is cleaned and wet
     and returned

Thirst no more today.

There is  choral piece Isaw performed some years ago called "La LLuvia"..which is spanish for "the rain". It is a certain treat for the ears.
 I was only able to find one clip of a performance of it on youtube, and it's not the entire piece but just an excerpt from the middle part..the rainstorm..never the less this is the highlight part. the clip is cut short and the audience cheers at the thunder which is distracting but listen anyway, and watch how they make it happen. listen to the sound of La LLuvia..


This is dedicated to all the men and women of the United States military who throughout our history have lost lives in a heroic sacrifice of battle, and to their families who lived on to recall their legacy.

We should remember also, anyone who has been a victim of war in anyway, through loss of life, limb or loved one.

Solemn reverence is also offered to any and all Americans who have died in this past year. May their spirits soar.

Lastly let us recognize American veterans from all branches of service, and recognize those who now serve in our military, here at home, and abroad.

He who has gone,
so we but cherish his memory,
abides with us,
more potent nay,
more present than any living man.

--Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Sunday, May 30, 2010


The All, the One, the Divine conceived and spoke “Light”

“Let there be Light”

And there was light.

And the light shone into the darkness.

And the darkness could not overcome the light.

And the light shone into all the shadowed places in the hearts of humanity.

And the light showed shame and guilt.

And the shame and the guilt were exposed to the light of the truth.

And the truth set them free.

And all were freed to love the light for its liberation.

And all were freed to love.

And the Divine saw.

And the Divine spoke that this was good.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


GLENN BECK- your recent disgusting behavior is unconscionable. All the apologies in the world will not change the fact that you are disrespectful of common decency, that to you there are no holes barred, no level to low for you to stoop in the relentless nonsensical ranting pursuit of some sort of control you want conservatives to have. You give conservative Americans an awful reputation. And that any reasonably decent person would support or be a fan of your carrying on, is beyond me, and would make me seriously doubt their judgement. That's really just it isnt it. Anyone who is your supporter lacks decency themselves. Your recent conduct was pathetic enough but what was worse is how you relished it, how much you were totally enjoying yourself when you did it. And this is why  no apology will ever suffice, especially one little half-ass statement thrown out to cover your ass. You are and will remain a racist PIG!


The back yard was stunning, and filled with flowers, vegetable gardens, and fruit trees all neatly laid out and growing prolifically. We started down a path into Eden leading strait from the back door to the rear of the property. We passed between two fig trees and he stopped. “Yall are gonna pick peaches later, right.” He pointed to the far right and I saw two peach trees.”

“That’s what aunt Chin said.” I reported

“Den, would you remyyne her to get deez figs her too. See deez are ripe and need to be gotten off da tree dis morning b’for some damn burds come peck at’em.”

“Sure’nuf.” I said, copying a phrase, used widely by my French relations. We continued down the path and one side of the path were two well tended rose bushes in bloom. The opposite side had some sort of garden of greenery neatly sectioned off, and enclosed in a scalloped red brick border. “What’s these plant?” I quizzed.

“Dat dere is Chin’s fresh herbs.” He responded pronouncing the “h” in herb.

“Is that the same as an herb?” I inquired, not pronouncing the “h”, and as I did I regretted it. I felt stupid at once. It was an honest question for a split second, as I really didn’t know for sure what he meant. But by the time the question had been posed I realized of course “H”erb and herb were the same. Plus now it sounded like I was correcting him.

“Is dat not what I said” he looked down at me and I avoided eye contact, not knowing if he was perturbed. “Anyways,… you and Chin no doubt, well be pickin some of deez for cookin too.” I wanted to make it better so I complimented him on the beautiful yard. “Tanks.” was his only minimal response as we walked slowly on.

So I thought to elaborate. I was thinking, besides regretting my big mouth, and remembering my parent’s caution, of another yard soo lovely and well placed, where every plant seemed to be producing vivid lush flowers and fruit. My late grandfather, my dad’s, dad, had been famous for his green thumb. I had never seen his farm, one that the old folks used to talk about, as he had sold it before I was around, but their house and large yard had looked like garden Wonderland. I remember my dad telling me that grandpa planted by the moon. I would find out later in life what that meant. So I asked Uncle Gus. “Did you learn how grow things from Grandpa?”

At this he stopped at a gate in a back fence and turned back to survey his lovely yard, slowly perusing the view. “Indeed my litta’ man, my father surely had de gift for growin tings.” I could see my question pleased him. “But your Momma and Daddy, dey garden too, no?”

My parents did garden also and did well at it. And I enjoyed helping them and learning. But there was more to this place. There was the same magic to Gus and Chin’s yard as their sweet little house. I confirmed the inquiry. “Yes they do, we all do, but our yard doesn’t look as good as this, or like Grandpa’s was.”

Gus was still looking day-dreamily at his splendor, “Well in time it may. Chin an I been her tirdy (30) years.” With that we entered the next area with a swing of a gate, another magic kingdom awaited. Remember when Dorothy opens the door of her house to the colorful land of OZ? well that’s what I thought of. I delighted in what looked like a tiny quaint village. The path continued but curved some and branched in a few directions to some ordered diminutive huts and buildings, all dotted with well-shaped bushes, flower pots and flower beds, and a weeping willow tree. Some, accented with gingerbread design, were painted in the same color scheme as their house, and others in different pastel presentations. I honestly almost expected to see Hansel and Gretel come skipping up the path dropping bread crumbs from a basket.

“OH WOW!” I blurted out my wonder. To the left was what I recognized as a chicken coop only because it had a nice chain-link run attached to the end. I began to ask and he in turn answered about every other building. On my tour he showed me the mower shed to right a little house with two small windows and a wide door. And after that the garden shed with workbench inside and pots and dirt and such. Across the path, behind the chicken coop, two storage sheds faced the back of the chicken run. The larger of which looked like a little green barn. The smaller one he showed me was Chin’s canned stuff, and dry goods. I was momentarily distracted looking at the chickens in their little yard, wondering which ones were scheduled for execution.

Gus noticed me looking, “You do not have to help Chin kill dem hen’s you know.”

“I’m wondering though now, how she does it different.” which was an honest answer.

“Chin knows what she’s doin dere. Dat’s why I let her do it. Her daddy had an egg farm, so she’s growed up doin dis.” Gus’ statement just made me more curious. “C’mon we got some sweepin to do.” Gus returned me to the tour. Across the back of the property was a nice sized building. It was built up off the ground like their house and I thought someone must live here. “Dis is my workshop,” Gus announced ascending the steps and opening the door. I was looking way off to the right at the end of a little dirt path at a tiny white cute little hut off by itself. “Oh, dat is de toilet.” Gus explained. “It’s de outhouse.” I looked up at him with furrowed brow.

“Why?” I bid, “if you have a bathroom in the house…?”

“Cause sometyymes I’m out her workin and don’t feel like goin to de house, or maybe my feet is muddy or sometin, and cleaning them to go inside for jus a minute, is too much trouble.” That seemed pretty smart to me.

We entered the shop. Wow again I thought. Even at seven years old I knew this was any man’s epitome of the ultimate work space. The whole building was mostly one open room, with four large windows around the walls. And on top was a skylight. Next to the skylight was a long series of florescent lights. The center had a huge long work table which had a table saw built into the end, and a lathe on the side. My dad had smaller more portable versions of each of these, so I knew what they were. Various tools of all sorts hung around the walls and between those were shelves filled with all manner of stuff. Unlike everything else I had seen this morning THIS place was fairly messy, tools sitting out, saw dust everywhere, paint and stain cans and rags on the floor, and table. The messiness was welcome. I was beginning to feel a little unworthy of all the tidy beauty of their place, so this made me feel a little more at home. It was just enough of a flaw to make it all more human.

At one end of the work table opposite the saw were four curved unfinished table legs lying next to apparently the slightly oval ornate table top. “Dis is de littla’ coffee table I’m building.” Gus took me over to see. He had some wood clamped into a space and some carving tools laid next to it, it had a light drawing on it matching a pattern drawing on paper off to the side. “See her is finished corners.” And he showed me three carved pieces matching the drawing. He was about to carve the fourth. The table legs were to fit into joint spaces already built into the coffee table top. And these carved pieces would cover that. It would truly be a pretty little table as he had said. Then he pulled a sheet off of something set off to the side of the room. It was a beautiful pecan colored étagère with the same carved accents.

“Oh I see. It matches the coffee table” I proclaimed and was proud I noticed. I felt sort of manly out here talking over carpentry in the shop.

“Yes,” he continued, “And I will make an end table to match too.” He showed me some planks of good lumber not yet cut.

“Is this all for aunt Chin?” I assumed, “Is it a surprise?”

“Oh no son, we can’t fit anudder stick of furniture in dat house. THIS is all for a paying customer, an she’s gonna give me some good amount a’ money for it too.” I had to know so I asked how much, not knowing if it was a rude question or not. “Right ner a tousand bucks,” Gus answered with obvious pride, showing me it wasn’t a rude question but the expected one. I was visibly astonished with highly raised eyebrows. Gus itemized, “four for de shelf, tree for de coffee table, an two-seventy-five for de end table…nine hunnerd seventy five piastre!” Piastre (pronounced simply pee-AHS) is the word most everyone in southern Louisiana uses for dollar…and I’m not really sure why, just a slang I suppose. I think Uncle Gus wanted to show off his beautiful craftsmanship, and was pleased with his moment of glory in my eyes.

“Now,” he looked down bending over me just a bit with both hands up palms facing me. The gesture seemed to say “listen”. “If you want to,” he was offering me an out, “would you help me sweep up dis whole place?” I looked around. It was a BIG room, and a lot of saw dust, and I really didn’t want to. But I thought it would’ve been rude to say so.

“All of it,” I had to ask

“Well you do half and I do half.” He showed me another broom he had already out there, besides the one we brought. This seemed a better deal to me.

“Oh OK then” I conceded, not meaning to show my relief at not having to do the whole room.

Gus instructed me to sweep the right side and he’d do the left. “…and we meet in de middle. Anyting on de floor in your way,” he pointed at some paint cans, “jus move and den put back after you sweep by. Den…” he called my attention to a small oil drum looking can…, “we sweeps it all up and dumps it in her (here).”

The can had nothing but sawdust in it so I asked, “So this is the trash then?”

“No,” Gus corrected smiling, “I jus tole you. Dis is de sawduss.”

“Are you saving it?”

“Yessir we are.”

“What on earth for?” I had much to learn, and as the years went on tact was certainly one of them

Gus squatted down to where our eyes were level “Because, my litta’ man, sawduss is great to use all number of ways.” Later that day I’d see how useful it is to cover paths through a vegetable garden.

So we swept, and swept, and swept, and the room seemed to grow. As we got closer to each other in the middle I went to make conversation. I was thinking how much Chin and Gus’ kids must have learned from them. “Are your kids all growed up?” it was an innocent typical kid’s question.

Gus didn’t answer right away. “Chin and I, we did never have any chillren.”

Then I once again passed the boundary of my mother’s caution without thinking. “WHY NOT!” I exclaimed.

Gus stopped sweeping and leaned on the broom handle a moment facing me. “Well.” he said, “it’s jus somtin God decided-- dat we didn’t need to have chillren.”

“That’s dumb. Why would God decide that?” I was not understanding my own insensitivity.

Gus finally decided to help me understand. He put a board on the sawdust can and sat down a minute. “Comere cher,” he motioned for me to quit sweeping and join him. “Why God decides anyting is not for you or me to question. God has reasons. Now does dat still break mine an Chin’s hearts? Yes it does, cause we would have loved to have wonerfull chillren like you. And Chin, …t-boy, don’t mention dis to her. Dis has been her big sadness in life. But we are happy, and God has bless us in many udder ways”

By this time I had grasped the situation, and the tears were not going to stay in “I didn’t mean to upset you Uncle Gustan.” I blubbered out.

Gus took me into his arms and hugged me “Aww now man, you didn’t, and I didn’t mean to upset you eider.” He just hugged me for a bit. Then he released me and looked me right in the eyes. “Now it’s all good, eh?” he got up and found me a clean shop towel “here, blow you nose, or you will have sawduss all stuck to de snot on you face.” I laughed that nervous laugh of relief kids do when the crying’s over.

We went back to the sweeping for a bit in quiet. Gus broke the silence, “Tanks for helping me, I needed to get all dis shit off de groun, so I quit slippin, an slidin, an trackin it all over de place while I work.”

“Sur’nuf.” I affirmed. In a few moments more we were done.

“Good work we jus done!” Gus stated as he offered me a handshake. Then he added squatting down again. “Now…, why don’t you take dis broom back to Chin. I know if she gonna make pies she need to get on it, and get finish wit dat oven before de day gets any hotter.” I now understood why she wanted to get that done first. Gus continued, “And she want you to help pick peaches.” I hugged him excitedly, He tousled my head and sent me on my way.


Friday, May 28, 2010


“First things first,” said Aunt Chin putting me down. “the three of us need to sit back down for one more doughnut and coffee.” Her Gus and I went back to the kitchen. As we sat down enjoying the food she pointed to one slice of bacon left on the platter. “Now that’s just sad,” she said. I thought she was then going to give it to me, but she was full of surprises. Up she popped like a piece of toast and grabbed the broom. I wondered if I was going to sweep the floor to earn the bacon but that wasn’t her intention. In a wink she had three straws plucked and in her hand. “What we need is a contest” and she leaned over to me and said “pick, short straw wins” I picked, then Uncle Gus picked an obviously smaller one, I felt my face frown but tried to be polite. Then Chin showed us her straw and declared Gus the winner for which she offered the platter and he snatched up the bacon and it was gone…that quick.

My expression must have betrayed my surprise ‘cause he winked at me and said “Well… fair is fair, aye sugar bear?” and he gave me a poke. And all was right with the world.

Uncle Gus pushed his chair back a bit and savored another sip of coffee. “The way I sees it t-boy,” he addressed me…“you has two choices. You can stay and help Chin her (here) or you can help me in da workshop. I’m building a pretty litta’ table”

It took me a moment to realize that was a question not just a statement. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, though I wanted to stay with aunt Chin. And yet, I did want to see the table, but not necessarily help. “Can I do a little of both?” I asked.

“Indeed you can, bebe.” Aunt Chin confirmed. She was already up gathering dishes and things to the sink “we can share you.”

To which Uncle Gus stood up and announced he had morning business to attend to and I could stay there and help Chin until he was ready to go to the workshop. And he turned grabbed a little newspaper from the hall table and retreated with his coffee to the direction of the bathroom. “Don’t you leave that cup in there bring it back to be washed when you finish.” Chin admonished.

Somewhere down the hall already “Yes cher” echoed back.

So I turned to Aunt Chin and wanting to impress I went to the broom and offered to sweep the floor. “Sure ‘nuf,” was her reply, “but first wipe off the table. That way you can brush the crumbs off to the floor before you sweep” and a freshly wrung dishcloth was already being put in my hand, as she took the last of the dishes off the table in one final swoop. Something I was to learn of aunt Chin that day was she was swift efficient and thorough, usually having done something by the time you realized what she was about to do. I remember later, once overhearing my mom query to my dad as to how Chin could stay so large when the woman never quit moving and doing! But that was the bigger than life whirlwind of Chin’s charm. And all the “doing” she did, …she did with a kind of happiness as shiny as polished chrome.

By the time I wiped the table and swept the floor as diligently as I could, I wanted to do a good job for her, she already was handing me the dust pan, and took the broom from me, and instructed me, “You bend down and hold it for me, OK, while I sweep the mess into the pan. You are closer to the floor than ole Chin.” After she swept the debris into the dust pan she walked to the back door and opening the screen for me with her foot, was also hanging the broom on a nail by the door just next to a flyswatter. she told me to throw the dust out side. Sometimes I don’t know how she moved so fast but as I turned back up the steps after emtying the dust pan, and stepped back inside she traded me a dish towel for the dustpan, hung the dustpan up and motioned for me to go to the sink and start drying the dishes she was washing, the drain board was already almost full. “Stack ‘em on the table as you dry, cher. Then when we finish we’ll put ‘em away”

As we did the dishes I asked her what we were going to do today.

“You can help me straighten up.” She remarked. Straighten what? I thought. This place has nothing out of place. “Then I have some wash to do. We’re gonna make some pies... pick some peaches for those pies...”

“I REALLY looove peach pie.” I exaggerated a bit trying to get into the enthusiasm of the moment. She didn’t answer. I looked up from my dish drying

She hesitated a moment then looking down at me she said almost quietly, “Well,…one thing I have to do is kill two chickens so we can add chicken to the supper tonight.” My eyebrows raised, and my eyes got round before I could think to quell my expression. “But if that is too much for you, you can go help your uncle at that time.”

“No, I want to help kill chickens.” Even as I said it I thought it sounded awful, but I wanted to seem brave.

She saw through my façade. “That sounded a little over anxious.” And she paused eyeing me. I wasn’t sure what she was getting at. “Baby you really don’t want to kill chickens, do you?”

“Wellll…” I lingered. “I know we need to kill’em so we can eat’em. And I helped kill chickens before.” I half lied. I had watched other relations kill chickens before and watched part of butchering a hog, but the most I helped was to pull a few feathers.

“And how did that go for you, cher.”

“Well, it was kinda’ bloody and messy.” I answered, which was true

“Mon Dieu (My God!)” she exclaimed. “Some folk don’t know what they is doin’. Maybe you should see it done properly.”

About this time Uncle Gus returned with his cup, walked over and set it on the counter by us. He glanced down at me. “Killin’ chickens huh?”

Aunt Chin interrupted with her arms crossed looking perturbed at him. “Well we are done now! Maybe you should wash that cup y’self.” I saw that this was about the cup… not the chickens. Uncle Gus looked at her through his eyebrows pretending to be very ashamed. “Is a joke tit pette.” She continued and standing on her toes kissed his forehead. Then around she turned and with what seemed like one motion had the cup washed and handed to me, the water draining in the sink, and her cloth wrung out and hanging folded and over the sink edge.

As I dried the cup I returned the conversation to the chickens. “Aunt Chin’s gonna show me the right way to kill chickens for us to eat tonight.” I asserted as though I knew it all.

Chin corrected me a tad, “Well actually sweet, we won’t eat the chickens we kill tonight. I would never eat something the same day it was killed. I jus wanna replace the one’s we will eat.”

I did not understand and implored “Then why kill them?”

“One, they need to go before they get much older and tougher, and two, to keep up inventory.” Her answer didn’t really make sense to me and she could tell. “Let’s just put these dishes away and I will show you later. But we do have to do the pickin’, and the pies, and kill the chickens early in the day before it gets much hotter. Then we will get to the other stuff.”

Uncle Gus put his hands up in an expression of futility “Myyyy, myyy,” he looked at Chin. “I can see you done scheduled up the help, wit no plans of sharing’.” He shook his head. And aunt Chin was cutting her eyes at him.

I felt the need to make peace. “I can help you too uncle Gus.” I looked up at him, and from this close angle I realized just how big his stomach was too. He was quite the cubby guy as well but next to Chin it had escaped my notice.

“I’m playin’ witchu t-man,” he assured me, “actually ole Chin problee needs your help more dan I do.” He looked to Chin. “Can you put your dishes away witout his help, my der (dear)?” he waited, and she nodded “den I will take him from you for a bit, and return him shortly for his day a’ chores.” He looked around as though he had lost something “wer’s dat list she got for you to do, boy, I bet it’s five feet long.” He bantered her direction. “you see son, my lovely bride her(here), never lacks for somtin’ to do. I jus hope you still standin by the end of de day.”

“Awww,” Chin waved us off and we headed out the back door.

“Grab de broom boy.” He instructed me. Which I did and I followed him out to the yard.



Lately, as you can see by my posts nostalgia has been hanging around. So when I found out that Wednesday, May 26, 2010 our beloved Art Linkletter died at the age of 97, I was immediately transported to a time when I would get comfy in front of the TV anticipating one of my very favorite shows, Art Linkletter’s House Party. TV entertainment was different then with many variety shows which had guest singers, comedians, and more. I miss this form of entertainment.

But “House Party” was so much more. It was a variety show, and a talk show  interviewing guests, it was a quiz show with audience participation, there would be skits, comic and not so comic monologues by art and others, informative segmants, entertainment of all sorts, basically, it was a PARTY, and always it ended with the segment...,

“Kid’s Say The Darndest Things” where Linkletter would interview a few children sitting on stools about anything under the sun. If you have never seen a segment of these look them up on youtube. Frankly they are a must see in American classic TV.

Art Linkletter was a natural with people. His simple humor and hominess is what made many of us look forward to tuning in to each show. He was always unscripted and improvised. I remember him and his show with great fondness.

Arthur Gordon Linkletter was survived by his wife of almost 75 years, Lois Forester Linkletter. Lois was a  name you often heard mentioned on his show. He was also survived by two of his five children, Dawn Griffin, and Sharon Linkletter, by seven grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren, and he was preceded in death by his children Diane Linkletter, Robert Linkletter, and Arthur "Jack" Linkletter.

Born in Canada as Art Kelly, he was abandoned at 4 weeks and then adopted by evangelist Fulton John Linkletter, and wife Mary. They moved to California, where Art spent most of the rest of his life.

After finishing high school, Art toured the country working his way along on the railroads, doing odd jobs, and meeting people. He developed his interest in all sorts of people which became a big theme to his later career. Returning home to southern California, he earned a teaching degree, married, then ended up in the field of radio broadcasting. He had two main shows from the mid 40’s to the late 60’s on radio and television, People are Funny and House Party.

Later in life he became a speaker and crusader against drugs, and a voice for conservatives, often speaking eloquently on what he saw was a decline in parts of our society. He also was a leader for Goodwill Industries, and served the organizations of World Vision, and the Arthritis Foundation.

Art Linkletter was a sincere and humble man of fine integrity. Some of his conservative ideas I may not have totally agreed with, but it doesn’t change my admiration for him and the fact that he brought joy, humor and goodness to this world. I offer my condolences to his family.


Thursday, May 27, 2010


We gathered ourselves and got out of the car. The Ruby waiting expectantly, but properly at the top of the porch steps, clasped her hands against her plentiful bosom. One by one she hugged us as we came up the steps. Welcome she said many times, and I think she said to each one of us that we were pretty. When I reached her I was reminded of nuzzling into my grandma’s soft thick mattress, only her hug smelled like fragrant talcum and her dress was an ever so soft fabric. As she released me, from a hug I could have taken a nap in, she kissed my forehead and mumbled something in French, I heard “mon plus joli t choux” something like I was the prettiest little cabbage. It was only then that I noticed uncle Gus had been standing just behind her. He had been almost diminutive in her shadow. He was as welcoming as her but in a two handed handshake manly sort of way. I again realized as I had once before just what a happy couple they were.

My nose was snared just in the door by the wonderful aroma of coffee, bacon, and some enchanting pastry. It was a familiar scent. I knew it just on the tip of my memory…the smell of powdered sugar on a freshly fried beignet. Ahh… heaven awaited us. I rudely followed my nose on a mission. Flashes of the pleasant house passed as I found my way to the kitchen and the table. Then in splendor, the setting of coffee cups, saucers, bacon and sausage on a platter, cut up melons in a glass bowl, and…oh the beignets in the center were shining like the rising sun on a huge plate. I could think of nothing else at the moment but for all the folks to quit socializing and get in here and eat!

My memory deludes me next except for pleasure. We were all eating our doughnuts and coffee. In my bliss I recall the adults speaking in French, the taste of the powdered sugar, biting off each of the coffee dipped corners of my beignets, then I heard, “Well why don’t you stay with us for the day and for supper?”

“oh please, please can we stay.” I attempted through a mouthful of paradise.

“No” my dad said without ANY hesitation, which seemed so abrupt it truly shot me down…not even a chance to try and talk him into anything. But then he continued, gesturing towards my mom, “We have to get over to her brother’s place and get the papers signed. And then were going to go into Lake Charles to shop.” My uncle Cleo lived in some even tinier small town past here though his dealership was back in the even larger small town where we mostly stayed (with my maternal grandmother and cousins) in the summer.

I waited anticipating the next word… then aunt Chin did just as I was hoping, “Well then let the kid’s stay, and stop by for supper on your way back.” Immediately, “please, please, please, please” was interrupting from my mouth. My mother gave me the look and I hushed at once.

My parents looked at each other and seemed to be debating the idea, I felt like I could burst with impatience. Then my sibling saboteurs had to add that they wanted to go to Lake Charles. I couldn’t blame them. It was a sizable city compared to all the small towns where we usually stayed most of the summer. This was excepting the yearly trip to New Orleans for a few weeks to see family there. But as for me, something, and not just the beignets, but the whole soft welcome of this place and this couple, made me gladly forsake Lake Charles. I wanted to stay with aunt Chin, and so my mouth again expressed my feelings before my brain thought of restraint. “Shut up you stupids” I yelled, “I want to stay here.” My mother calmly took me by the arm without a word and escorted me to the hall where she abruptly put my nose in a corner. Then she walked back in the kitchen. This was not fair. I wouldn’t be there to fight my case!

My parents were debating the merits of taking the interstate back instead of ‘these old country roads’. “It would be quicker.” My dad said.

“And cooler, since we have no air-conditioning in THIS car.” my mom added with a tone that let me know then that even she did not like my dad’s new purchase. My dad sighed and for a split moment I kind of felt sorry for him. It seemed everyone was ragging on his new car.

Then uncle Gus interceded with, “Aww let de t-man stay, he can be our little helper. Den de rest of you can shop, and stop back by her for supper on de way back. He’ll jus be bored wit chu shoppin’ .” Great! He had just thrown me a floaty with a rope and was pulling me out of the deep end. I think he could see I was getting in hot water and figured to give my parents and me both a break. I wriggled in the corner waiting a response…would this work or would my floaty rope get cut?

“Ok.” My parents both agreed. I made a small leap.

“Noooo, It’ll be a HOT ride back,” my sister chimed in

“Do you want to join your brother in the hall,” my mother cautioned, “there’s another corner.”

So it seemed settled, I’d get to stay the whole day! “Can I come out of the corner now.” I yelled from my place. Being sure to keep my face buried deep in the corner, hoping the sound of my muffled voice would make my parents feel a little guilty in front of my aunt and uncle, and reprieve me.

“Ten minutes.” was my mother’s only response. But that was fine I didn’t care. I spent the next ten minutes daydreaming about my day ahead, while everyone else it seemed were readying to go. Next thing I knew they were all in the hallway. “Now?” I asked. My mom answered with an affirmative, and I turned around to my aunt Chin picking me up and smiling.

“You can be with me today, cher.” And she kissed my cheek as she propped me on her ample hip and carried me to the porch. We all said by. My mom kissed me and cautioned in my ear to behave. My dad tussled my head. My siblings were already getting in the car. Then they all pulled out of the driveway and were off. And my adventure I knew was about to start.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010


If you look, or have looked,  in my profile under, favorite books, the first entry marked “hands down” is To Kill A Mockingbird a novel by Harper Lee. Anyone who knows me for any length of time knows my affinity for this book.. ten years ago for Father’s Day, one of my sons presented me with the very special gift of the 40th anniversary special printing edition of my beloved book.. My how time flies. It’s been ten more years already, and I didn’t realize until a friend pointed out to me that yesterday, May 25, 2010, was the 50th anniversary of it’s printing.

I was I believe in fourth grade and looking for a subject of a book report when my mother, and avid reader, gave me her copy of the book. She mentioned she had just had a second read and still enjoyed it very much. “It might be a little old (adult) for your grade but if you need help understanding anything ask me, or look up words you don’t know in the dictionary.” was her only preface. I think she enjoyed seeing me fall into the book and love it. I think I read and re-read it for book reports each time I had a new teacher for a few years. Then I did a paper on it in high school. This classic novel has been more to me than just entertainment. Being from the south I related to the children in the book and the world from their perspective. But even more than that, I came, through this book, to understand literature. I don’t remember reading just for pleasure much before this.

The book’s theme “..it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird, because all they do is sing beautiful music for everyone to hear.” And how that symbolism is used in the book to represent the struggle and crisis of the characters, opened me up to seeing how good writing uses analogy and symbol to enhance our understanding of a story on a conscious and, even better, on a subconscious level. It also showed me how the effective use of such is a true art.

This was Harper Lee's one and only novel. It won her a pulitzer prize and has been a best seller all these years. I used to wish she had writen other books but then when you create your masterpiece...

Aside from the literary lessons, the story itself showed me a glimpse of what kind of man I wanted to see myself as, when I grew up, in the character of Atticus Finch, who is a gentleman southern lawyer in the 1930’s.

There are two stories woven together to become one great tale here. There is the adult story of conflict as Atticus, who is a widower father of two children, ends up court appointed to defend a black man of raping a white woman in a small bigoted southern town of Maycomb, Alabama. As he deals graciously with anything thrown his way, there is a bigger and more intimate story of the children’s adventures real and make believe, and how they intertwine into the adult’s world. And the story is told from their perspective, especially that of the young Scout (Jean Louise) Atticus’ daughter. As the story progresses the children, Scout, her older brother Jem, and their precocious summer neighbor Dill, are intrigued with a very reclusive mentally ill neighbor, and the rumors that have floated around town for some years about him. In the mean time they at first see their father Atticus as a boring, old, unremarkable man. But the events of the story open their eyes, and they, by the end, see him as a hero against ignorance and racism, and for the causes of justice and tolerance. As well they learn a parallel lesson of acceptance in their private fascination with the mentally ill neighbor Boo Radley. The story has a climatic ending with some surprise heroes.

If you have never read this book then take the 50th anniversary as your motivation to pick up a copy. If you have, then maybe do another read of the classic. You will not be sorry. I do believe I’m going to have another journey to Maycomb, Alabama in my special edition. Plus I think I will queue the motion picture on my video service. Gregory Peck does an outstanding performance, but the movie does leave out a few things, and a few characters. It’s, none the less, an excellent film.

Enjoy! M.Pierre

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MY DAY WITH AUNT CHIN..a short story.

One might wonder as did I, one sunny Louisiana morning, with my head leaning out of the back window of my Dad’s new blue Ford Galaxy,.. what kind of a name is Chin? As I was looking at the moss hanging from the old trees we passed and feeling the already humid thick air on my face, I asked my mother, “why is aunt Chin named that?”

“its only a nick name.” She responded. “ her real name is Lougenia.”

Aunt Chin was married to my father’s older brother, Gustan, (Augustine). And they lived in southern Louisiana, as did all our relatives. We were indeed Cajuns way back before Cajun culture, and food, were cool! Though my immediate family lived in the west Texas desert during the school year, holidays and summers were spent home in Louisiana.

I had met uncle Gus and aunt Chin many times before at family gatherings, but this is the first time I can remember us going to their house. I suspect now, Chin was just another of the many odd sounding nick names folks down there seem to have, odd sounding at least to those not from the area or culture. Names such as Couyou, meaning stupid,-- Papou, meaning just Cajun,-- Catin, meaning doll, and Pitou, nickname for Pierre or Peter, were all names I heard used for family members. Then of course there’s always Cher…pronounced more like Sha, which means “dear” and which everybody calls everybody.

The situation was that my parents were traveling near their house on some business, some papers needed to be signed or something, I believe to do with the new family car my Dad had bought from my mom’s brother Cleophus. We (us kiddos) didn’t really like the new car, “at all” my sister said. It had no air conditioning. And even though it was the early 60’s, my dad had traded in a Chrysler New Yorker, with big turquoise spaceship fins on the back, and air conditioning!!, which even though a luxury at the time, we had grown accustomed to on our summer trips. And now in the Louisiana heat without the AC we had to wonder just what Dad was thinking.

So here we were stopping by for a morning coffee visit, with Gus and Chin. They lived over in Jefferson Davis parish, in a small town near a lake about as far south and a little west as you can go and still have mostly solid land. Past there was marshes.

As we drove I was slightly enthralled in the green of it all. The El Paso desert had neither grass nor trees. And though in late august I loved to return to the mountains of El Paso each school year, I loved, in June, to return to the green lushness of south Louisiana. Yet my mind was still on aunt Chin. She had always intrigued me. She was the sweetest, most joyful soul….and this was matched by the opulence of her body. Aunt Chin weighed somewhere around 400 pounds, I figure, more or less. I remember once looking at her calves as she sat down and comparing them to a large fish bowl full of change on the bureau. The bowl was smaller. I suppose at that young age, I was now about seven, ..she was the first obese person I had ever known. Her weight was more intrigue to me than in any way distaste. I thought she was grand.

Again I queried my mom.. just couldn’t let it go, “is aunt Chin called that cause she’s so fat” I guess in my young thoughts heavier people have double or even triple “chins”, but exactly why the question made since to me I’m not truly sure. Regardless it was a “un grande erreur” (a huge mistake). My mother spun around in her seat, eyes blazing at me. My brother and sister were laughing.

“she is not FAT, she is large, and I had better not hear you say that again.”

My mother had no real Cajun accent, having lived many places in the world as my dad had been career military, and stationed all over.

My dad however never lost his Cajun brogue, and I’m guessing the fear of my candidness causing embarrassment precipitated his threat.. “you had butter shut dat mouth up t-man, or I’ll slap it off your face.” T-man is another Cajun thing. Placing T-, or Tit (pronounced teet) before any male title is a term of endearment. It simply means little, and is short for Petite. So we had boys being called t-man, t-boy, tit-Paul, t-Bud, tit-Mond, nick-name for Edmond, and then there was tit-pette, which meant favorite, and the widely used pauvre-tit (pronounced pauv-teet) which meant for either gender “poor little thing” and was used regularly by the French and English people too as a term of empathy. I still say it without thinking.

After my father’s scolding I decided quickly to shut up. Even an apology would seem risky at this point. They both knew I had a knack for piping up with the “all too honest” observances. And I’m sure they wanted to safe guard my big mouth. So on we drove with no more from me. My siblings snickered for a bit and my parents spoke for a bit in French. We didn’t understand much French, us kids, but I would bet they were discussing aunt Chin’s “largeness”.

So returning my face to the open window, and the terrain I watched farmland turn to oaks then become marsh, back to farm then water, and swamp and back again. The road ahead began to curve and I saw we were coming to some sort of village. The barely descending drive sported a view of a sizable lake just past this little township. It was flat and open and with wonderful cypress trees growing up out of it in places. As I was examining the lake, we were passing the town, but then we turned right and went up a street away from the water. We passed a few homes and then I saw the tidiest sweet house ahead. The yard was beautiful, and the house looked as though it had been painted yesterday. Very pale yellow with red, white, and pale green trim, a little gingerbread work here and there, it was the most pleasing of invitations. It had a homey sweet purity like a picture in a periodical. We turned into the drive. And my spirits lifted with the site of the place. It was like getting the readers digest each month and seeing the new picture on the back for the first time.

I was going to ask a silly question, “is this their house?”…but I didn’t get to it. For almost immediately the “larger” than life figure of aunt Chin appeared out the door and on the porch between two huge rocking chairs. She wore a bright but simple red print dress, a top knot in her hair, and a smile that let you know just how completely happy she was to see us. Framed at the porch center between the rockers she looked like a grand ruby setting in the middle of a fancy dinner ring.


to be continued...

Sunday, May 23, 2010


The angelic ones before time, were like concepts in the heavens, like stars in the mind of God but with no real physical self. They were ethereal spirits. they found they could not relate to one another. They could not embrace for they were not separate and had no touch. They asked their maker to create them further so they were able to differentiate and show love to one another. God said there will be limits for only with limit can you come to know separation and thus know embrace. But God felt the yearning in them to know love and show love, so the mind of God conceived time and space and the universe came into being. The holy ones became part of the physical world and found themselves as souls and then bodies, bodies of all myriads of creatures. As creatures they had limits and varied in self awareness. But as they began to evolve they came to know a new yearning, a yearning to be connected. What was once joined was now separate and longed for the primal memory of oneness again. This became real love, and the ability to embrace was formed. The creatures new not of what they once were, only felt this yearning to be that again, to be connected, unified, one. And God felt this yearning in them called love. And the mind of God decided not to change things this time. For what they knew as Love was nothing less than God’s own self within them. And it was touchable and tangible and real. And God knew that these creatures, because of this, would come to find in their own longings, in this thing called love, their own true Divinity, and come to know that they were still one after all.
Blessings to your Sunday, good fortune to your week ahead..M.Pierre

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Taj Mahal,
the worlds most Beautiful Tomb.
Take a moment of silence please, in
reverence for 158 brothers and sisters
of humanity, who lost lives in 
yesterday's disaster in India,
and in consideration of
the families.

NAMASTE: God within you
and God within me
are one.

Harvey Milk Day

California celebrates it's first Harvey Milk Day on the 80th anniversary of his birth. Well good for you California, I wish I could be in the bay area right now. ( I think I left part of my heart there.) Here's to an honorable man, and an honorable memory. 


Hey folks, lets have a tea party! and "take our government back." Back to the good old days. the Golden age of America, when no one could concieve of a "colored" president. Let's de-evolve to a time when Gay was criminal, and good old vigilanty justice prevailed. Back to a wonderful time when good old family values were so formost that everyone repressed their disfunctional issues and appeared to be like the Cleavers. when a GOOD family would pre-destine their children to a life of theraputic issues, so the family looked good! Dishonesty was king..Yeah, wave a flag! A time forgotten when all things were black and white (separated of course) but never grey. A time when control prevailed... ahh yes..let's..
 ....Know What! .....let's not ...and don't even say we did!

Ebbless Progeny

Salty tears trickle down my cheek,
  seven pounds of a wet freshly born son in my hands.
  only but a year ago
his brother could lay upon my chest and fit.
        moments become time
 and flow to the sea.
     Some year forward
his pride is shown reaching the light switch.
Another son now, tri-joy
     moments become water gone by.
Oh smaller one yet,
     who’s large aqueous eyes shine at her christening.

        One seawater tear
running down my face,
     many inside deluge my heart ..restrain.
      I hold my soaked, injured child
 and distract him with tales.

                                               A crash thunderstorm of pride,
                                       his school applauds his departure,
                                         a fine writing achievement.
                        And his little brother is growing so tall.

                  time has become a fast flowing creek.
            Her lovely art work displayed with magnets.
         His fingers on the sonata  fly through recital.
He delights me, tin-man performance.
             His portrait of me, of me,  wins!

           Welling  emotion
   strives to flood through a river of time,
         river of many tears  dropped.

        I cry for his broken heart.
       I silently weep, a most beautiful young woman
                 reaches for a diploma.
A bearded young man who calls me pops,
        we stay up too late
          discussing philosophy.

My son and his bride, walk the beach,
            that ocean is our lives
  for saline tears and moments flowed to become
    cascading recollections passed.
And  little brother stands so tall,
        when pronounced husband and wife.
Seawater falling from all our eyes,
   eyes that witness an age of joy.

my salty tear trickling,
     I type a heart-sea of blessings, memories,
                  and moments that became, and will become. time,
                     and continue to flow by,
                                to flow by,


Warning this is a very long post but I hope interesting, and I hope you read on to the end to see my point.

I have a, what if, purely fictional idea, a little story. It is most probably going to offend some people but I’m going to pose the thought anyway. It needs a little preface first.

As you may or may not know our Christian new testament that we know today is not by any means the whole body of writings that exist about Jesus and his life and teachings. It is a group of books, letters, writings,.. that the church fathers felt best conveyed the story, and the message of Christianity. These were chosen and grouped as “canonized” books over a long period of time within the early church, from about 180ad to 450ad. Among these writings are the first four books, the gospels. The gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but by their respective churches. And they were written probably after the apostles died. The church of Matthew’s followers would have had their best writers write the Gospel according to (the teachings of) Matthew, (about his teacher Jesus). The same for the other three. Actually Mark was probably written first then Matthew, Luke and lastly John. There are other gospels.. the gospel of Thomas, the gospel of Peter are just a few that were not accepted into the canonized Bible.

These early writers borrowed much of their stories from each others writings, and from other non-gospel references. The letters of St. Paul were the first writings recording information about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. So consequently much was taken from Paul’s writings. One little problem here, Paul never knew Jesus. After Jesus’ death and the very early Christian churches were forming, Saul was trying to bring the Christians down, when he had a conversion experience and felt the presence of Christ. A short time later the scales fell from his eyes he changed his name to Paul and began preaching Jesus’ teachings as he understood them. And as adamant as he was before against them he was just as adamant for them. He was a charismatic, educated, leader, and many followed his “interpretation” of what he thought Jesus had taught. Paul was well versed in many Greek philosophies and even Egyptian and other ancient teachings. Paul was also a man with his own issues. I personally think, and am not alone here, that he had a low opinion of women. He also had much to say about homosexuality, and the Greeks practices of such. He seemed to be quite the perfectionist. One today might say, and here is where I will offend, that he was a woman hating, closeted gay, anal retentive, homophobe… by the way, what he had to say about homosexuality was never even addressed by Jesus.

Paul’s teachings seem very close to the philosophy of Plato. Plato thought that the body and soul were at enmity. The soul sought a perfect place of transcendence and the physical world distracted from it. Only when a soul reached, in it’s physical life and body, a state of true perfection would it transcend to an afterlife of eternal perfection. Sound a little like, ..If you are very good you go to heaven when you die? So much Christian teachings (of Paul’s ideas) tells us we must repent our wrong doings and strive for perfection to be worthy of God’s love. That this world is just a place of misery, of sin and strife, for our soul to be perfected for the eternal reward in Heaven when we die……Funny thing…that’s not what Jesus said. Jesus went to the dredges of society, prostitutes, tax collectors…etc. and he told them that God was like a loving parent and loved them just as they were at that moment. And that by realizing the love of God they could move past cycles of guilt and shame and become happier more whole people, who in turn usually become better people to their fellow humanity. "You are forgiven, go and sin no more."

And now for my final point, the fiction…what if…Paul had been discovered to be a fraud who made up the whole road to Damascus conversion story, (sort of like those today who die and came back, and write a book telling us everything that God is all about, because now that they’ve been there (to heaven) they know). What if the discovery of Paul's fraud came about in say 200ad.

What if Paul and his teachings were reexamined and the un-canonized and canonized books were re-looked at all removing Paul’s influence and just reflecting the teachings of the man Christians are supposed to follow. Jesus Christ. What if.? . How different would Christianity look? How different would our lives be here in a predominately Christian nation? How different would…WWJD actually be?

There is a Bible called a Red Letter Bible. In the new testament written in red letters are all the things that most scholars deduce could have been said by Jesus himself, looking at his body of teachings, the culture at the time, and more. Written in black letters is the rest attributed to him but probably not said by him. They even have one with pink and grey lettering. Red most probably Jesus’ words, pink maybe, grey probably not, and black absolutely not. Buy one or go to the library and see if they have one…read through it,.. it’s enlightening. Thanx for reading my article.

Blessings, M. Pierre

Friday, May 21, 2010

Less in the news, but still a threat.

This is by the way of a reminder..oil and water don't mix..neither does oil and any creature who lives in the gulf of mexico or the wet lands ashore there. Please remember in prayer, or in meditation, or invocation, or what ever your belief, send positive thoughts to those who live in this area, of any and all species, even Human. I have a lot of family in this area. The oil was creeping around the barrier Chandeleur island only days ago (first photo). The seafood industry is struggling with this. (shrimp boat in second pic) not to mention the effects on hospitality and tourism industry, and the economy of the region.  (the third pic shows a NASA view of the spill headed straight for the Mississippi River Delta) Think, have you ever been to New Orleans? Did you enjoy the city and the food? And what of the pleasent west Florida beaches? Also

these wetlands have no real shoreline, (see first photo) so the oil can seep deep into bayous and marshes where lives a myriad of plant and animal life. Already numerous dead dolphins and sea turtles have washed ashore. And the sea turtle nesting season is this time of year. Then there are many protected species of water birds, who feed on sealife. Pelicans have to dive through the surface of the water catch food to eat. Endangered sperm whales who frequent this area have to break the water surface to breathe. The sealife especially  crustaceans that breed this time of year have offspring with extremely thin membranes which toxins easily penetrate. The dispersants used in the deep part of the spill have never been used this way before, so we must hope they work and do not impact the environment. I'm not for wasting time debating blame. Heck I also drive a car and use petroleum products. What has happened has happened. Have hearings later, concentrate on cleanup now.What can be done about it to minimize the harm, and what can be learned from it, is what's important at this time. So again send loving positive thoughts to this area. 
Thanx, M.Pierre

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dr. Paul Rand

   Rachel Maddow, gotta love her, I do anyway. Watch a clip, if you haven't already, of her interviewing the new Tea Party Republican senatorial candidate of Kentucky, Dr. Rand Paul. It's lengthy and I don't have a link here but you can find it on her show website at msnbc.com, or go to my friend's blog:  Blue Truck Red State..link to the left, and read what he has to say too. He's done a nice presentation. (p.s. while you are there scroll down to Lewis Black's clip about Glenn Beck's N. Tourettes ..priceless). Now back to my post, Dr. Paul's comment when he won the Republican primary was..."a message from the 'tea party' ...we have come to take our government back!"  Back from what? It sounds a bit mob mentality to me, more like ..we have come to take our government over, but I digress from the subject of the clip and my post.
   Rand Paul has said that he takes exception with big government dictating what private businesses do with regard to discriminating against minority groups, and people with handicaps. That they should be able to "reserve the RIGHT(?) to refuse service to anyone." Interesting thing is this means restaurants could refuse to serve blacks, hispanics, or other minorities,.. or small private businesses could refuse to hire people on the basis of their race, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation...you get the point. My first question is why? Why would you want to protect private business ability to discriminate?  
   When pressed by Rachel with the question of weather he supported such things as segregated lunch counters...etc, he never answered it. Each time he answered starting with the phrase "Interesting thing is." .and he'd prattle off in another direction. She even asked him "just a yes or no answer Dr. Paul" he answered "interesting thing is"..and yet more evasive nonsense.
    One thing I noticed when questioned about "the people with disabilities act" he was misinformed, if informed at all. I taught a training class on this act at work some years ago. But I don't want to digress again.  My point is what is PRIVATE and what is not. To me, looking at this issue, private can only be difined as behind my front door. You cannot have a business that provides services, goods or employment to the PUBLIC. and allow them to discriminate in anyway.
    Philosophically a government has to protect it's minority groups from majority rule, or you have a society that does not provide Liberty and Justice for ALL. Our government has these safeguards built in. You cannot restrict the rights of one group my a majority vote. This is part of the checks and balances with Legislation and Supreme Court system. California skirted this safeguard by voting on how to "define marriage" which is different than voting to remove a right given Gay Americans in California by it's supreme court. Different supposedly, but it acomplishes the same task, just in an underhanded way. Still, to wrap up, I have to ask again, Why would anyone want to protect a private companies ability to discriminate? Which is absolutely the main issue here. And what does that say about the man and his party?

Gently Flowing Waters

on a lighter note..speaking of WATERS..
 I learned today that in Feng Shui, gently flowing water brings good energy to the wealth part of your house. That is the left back corner of your house. Placing a fountain there brings prosperous energy. To boost this add a dragon statue to the fountain facing into the house. To add to this have a light over the fountain to charge good chi for a few hours each day...note..At night turn off the fountain and  light, and turn the dragon around to rest.
   Hoping your day is a wash with blessings flowing.     
    M. Pierre



dark hearts

I see your nefarious hearts.
  Your guise doesn't hide the scrawny crows
            pecking at the viscerals of Goodness.
   dark hearts wear halos made of foil and cardboard,
 they who drink tea and bake up casseroles of bigotry and lies.
          dark hearts..the rightgeous angelic facade
                  for the hyenas
                      who stalk the truth to warp it into their own power..
                               ..need for control.
  Oh dark hearts wear splendid holy white robes...
   with fascist white hoods...
                                ..need to control
               all who are different,
                      who are not of their number.
    Beware the seraphic show.
         It doesn't really hide dark hearts of stone
            mortared with malevolence.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

welcome to my blog

    M. Pierre here. I always find there are things I want to say, be it political, spiritual, philosophical or more... so I needed an avenue to do this in. And here I am.
    Like water, I may have something stormy to say, or something sweet as morning dew. I may make a political commentary, or post a recipe. This is simply a place for me to be me, opinion and all. If you like something i've written great, if not, great, hope I make you think.
   I'm more liberal than conservative, so that should give you some idea of this blog. In time you will see what I am about. Basically I have opinions and ideas, and I want to have a place to put them down. If they get read, they get read, but regardless they are out there...
 ciao, M.