Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Beagle Sonnet- A poem in Fourteen Ridiculous Lines,

Which give new meaning to the word "doggerel"!

A nose with four legs defines a beagle.

And though his lineage is regal,

(Elizabeth 1 kept a slew),

This might not be the dog for you.

For a beagle's hearing is selective.

He hears only what he wants to hear,

And drives his owner to curses and invective.

A beagle does only what he wants to do.

Caring nothing for what's convenient for you-

He wants only to sniff, and sleep, and snack.

Nirvana for him is a rabbit's track.

And pity the owner, trapped in a car,

Who drives by the verge where the rabbits are,

And has his ears blistered by yowl and roar.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Seen Today in Southwest Nashville

Confined in my auto wanderings by lack of money, I try to keep an eye on the unusual and the bizarre close to home.

Interesting things are everywhere , if one takes the time to look.

Message on a bumper sticker on a late model smallish white car I noticed in the Bellevue Kroger parking lot-


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

One Of These Old Politicians is a Dead Ringer For A Guess What!

I saw this picture, and while I have no interest in the man on the far left or the one on the right, I am struck by the one in the middle.

Now John McCain and whoever the other guy is may have evolved from ape like ancestors, but it is clear to me that Mitch O'Connell has descended from Box Turtles! What a striking resemblance!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Last of Their Kind?

 When I saw this Monarch butterfly at the garden in Green Hills, I took these photos, for the way the Sixth Great Extinction is progressing, there may be no monarchs next year. I have seen only three this year, whereas ten years ago as I drove over the causeway from the mainland to St. George Island ,Florida, I saw thousands drifting out over the bridge and the sea.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

"My Old Dexterities in Witchery Gone-"

"And nothing left for Love to look upon".

So wrote Thomas Hardy in his poem "She, To Him" Part 111.

Time has robbed the woman speaking in this poem. She has grown old and lost her claim to the attentions of men. The "witchery" that charmed is gone. Hers is the fate of women whose currency, whose capital, is their face and figure.

This, and several other poems came to mind when I saw the stories and photos of the actress Renee Zellweiger, who had such radical plastic surgery that she now looks like someone headed into Witness Protection. Trying to stay youthful  to stay employable, she has now achieved neither. Had she accepted the inevitable, she might have become a character actress. Instead she can join the dozens of actresses of indeterminate age who compete to play district attorneys and coroners on TV crime shows.

Growing old is a pain to any woman. Here is the poet Louise Bogan. The poem is "The Crows"., and these are the first two stanzas.

"The woman who has grown old

And knows desire must die

Yet turns to love again

Hears the crows' cry.

She is a stem long hardened

A weed that no scythe mows

The heart's laughter will be to her

The crying of the crows,"

Robert Frost is no more cheerful, and in his poem "Provide, Provide", describes the afflictions of aging for both men and women-

"The witch that came(the withered hag)

To wash the steps with pail and rag

Was once the beauty Abishag.

The picture pride of Hollywood.

Too many fall from great and good

For you to doubt the likelihood."

The fall may not be so steep for those of us more ordinary,who have been spared celebrity or flagrant romance in our youth. The best we can say about our looks is they never counted for much, yet we got by without them.

At 64, I care little for how my face and neck look or that I am a size 14 aiming for a 16. I am happy that I can still walk and see and work.

Youth was a mask, and I am glad to have it off.

Now if I could just get rid of the pain in my hip that comes when I sit down to write.
But having no illusions, I will just have to endure it, and count my blessings-

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Night Blooming Cereus

Though the cereus is sometimes ever blooming, mine blooms in autumn. The blossoms, that mimic the lotus, last only 12 hours over night, and I was lucky to get these photos.

When frost comes, it comes inside to sulk until spring. I bought mine from Logee's Greenhouses.

It is a big plant, and can throw out 6 foot canes, though it can be tamed with shears. I have seen pictures of it used in bedding schemes, but of course that was in the tropics.

It is very fragrant!

Monday, October 13, 2014


Anyone who watched the fine old western "Lonesome Dove" might remember the scene when Captain Gus, peeved by a slow and surly barkeep, smashes the barkeep's nose into the counter declaring that neither he, Captain Gus, nor his partner Captain Call,  would ever put up with "dawdling service".

It seems that Americans will not put up with it either, which is why American companies now throw their dollars at the unholy Studer Group and others of its ilk, who in the words of a member of Nurses United, want to turn even hospitals "into Disneyland".

These days, at least in this city, the hospitality script reigns, and a consumer who wants fawning service can find it everywhere that there are frightened employees who fear for their job and health insurance should they fail at reciting the scripts and be labelled  "Low Performers", whose next job will be unemployment.

I am fortunate indeed that I work at the Little Big House. The service mentality has yet to infect corrections, whose clientele are community despised ones that citizens would rather forget. I am proud to say that in Medical Services at the House, the inmates are treated respectfully and fairly. This may be good manners or compassion on the part of Medical, or it may be enlightened self-interest, for no one wants an inmate filing grievances or lawsuits against them, and no one wants  inmates with long memories (which means most of them) coming looking for that nurse or doctor after that prisoner gets parole, or has his sentence "flatten out" (as we say in the business).

I recently paid visits to two businesses I cannot avoid. One was my bank, the other was one of the better grocery stores. Both were Emporiums of Super Scripting.

I went to the bank to buy a cashier's check, which is the way I have to pay my rent when Social Security comes in two days after the rent is due.

The bank was having a slow morning, which gave its employees a desperate and hungry look. As I walked in they lined up as though Queen Elizabeth had just walked in. On every side I was greeted with lots of smiling and  and "Good Mornings". One teller told me she always enjoyed seeing me, and I believed this since the bank charges me 10 bucks for the check, and I, being in a perpetual state of financial uncertainty, buy them often. Another admired my hat. When the first teller's computer balked, she apologized  far too much as I went over to a second teller. As far as I was concerned, the teller need not have apologized. It is unseemly for any human to apologize for an unruly and malicious machine.

Check in hand, I walked out through the same phalanx of managers and greeters, all hoping my day would be stupendous, and all thanking me for choosing them for all my banking needs.

I needed some groceries next, and down the road I went to the Smiley Grocery, where I met the same smiley workforce. If anyone's cat had just died, if their husband had left them, or if the IRS was pursuing them to the very gates of Hell , it did not show. One dour look, one hint of indifference might mean no job and no 300 dollar asthma inhaler for their child.

At the Really Big Grocery, right in the heart of Bellevue, when one asks where the store has hidden the AA batteries, the stocker will tell you what aisle they are in. At the Smiley Grocery they will ask about your day as they lead you by the hand to the very place where the batteries live.  At every turn you will be greeted by relentless cheerfulness, even if you insist on pushing your cart to the truck yourself.

To give credit where it is due, I remember a day two summers ago,after I was injured in a fall and had two black eyes. I was at the Smiley Grocery, and could not see the pay swiper buttons with the sunglasses I had on. A most courteous and genuine store manager did the button punching for me.
I still think he was one of Nature's Nobleman.

Was all this graciousness faux?

Probably not, since this is Nashville. Since this is the South, a place where good manners still persist.
And I do appreciate someone taking me to find the batteries, even if the package lies and says they are Max and may last up to ten years.

So the next time you yearn for the bad old days of lousy customer service and unscripted employees with bad attitudes just  call the Big Monopoly Cable Company. They will treat you like dirt every time. I guarantee it!

A Disclaimer. My cable company is now U-verse, and I like them. If you have problems they will send over a Millennial whiz kid who will politely arrive on time, and fix what needs to be fixed.

Was the young male Millennial going by a script?

Who cares?At least I could blog again and watch "The Blacklist".