Thrashers.....

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Softly......

..... good lord, this brings back memories........ the eve before I joined The Corps!.......

..... pay no attention to the naked drummer........ I hear that drummers are kinda like that by nature........

..... I am off........

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Dragonfly....

Spring

We humans see Spring as renewal
Life abounding in flowers and fledglings
New Life, green fields, birth, and daffodils
A welcome colorization from the bleak, deadness of Winter
But Our Position in this World is unique

I've happily watched my grapevine's leaves
Steadily unfold from buds - growing larger each day
The sleeping, woody vine awakening from the sunshine in the east
And my peach tree's flowers expanding, glowing
As the pink petals fell away in the warm April wind
To reveal the pregnant promise of Summerfruit to come

Yet I have watched the Death of Spring today
And it quite caught me out of sorts
Shocked, actually, to see The Survivors
Breathe their last
It was something that I had never noticed in the past
And it drove home to me just how lucky
We human beings truly are

I witnessed a dragonfly - fully grown
Swoop drunkenly from blooming azalea to grass
And I wondered why such a majestic, nimble, gossamer-winged creature
Could barely maintain pitch and yaw on such a beautiful evening
And then I realized that it was dying
A Survivor - an insect - tiny & fragile
Had found safe haven during the long months of Winter
Emerged, planted her young, and sputteringly fought for the last minutes of life

Spring is birth, just as The Poets say
But we are the lucky ones to be able to enjoy it
Bulbs and blooms and pollen are only the beginning
And some beginnings begin with an ending
I'd never thought of that until today
Now? I doubt that I will ever truly look at Spring
The Same Way Again


Eric

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Originals....

.... a friend of mine called me up the other day, and during the course of conversation he asked me a question, chiefly, "What the hell is up with your Tom Waits addiction?".....

... and really, it is a fair question...... after all, like Beefheart, Zevon, Zappa, etc., Mr. Waits can be a bit hard to swallow sometimes.... but really, it comes down to the poetry of his words - and not his voice - that causes my OCD mind to enjoy his art to the degree that I do.....

... anyway, my ole pal Bitterman recently posted a true treat as well.... and that, combined with the conversation I had with my friend, made me start thinking about Originals.... I touched on the subject a few years ago, actually, when waxing on about 'Pancho and Lefty'...... but now?..... well, after watching Darrel Scott's soulful performance of a song that HE WROTE and comparing it with the soulless Travis Tritt version that became famous, I just have to give the man some credit.... Darrel Scott sings that song as it was meant to be sung... he wrote it, he felt it, and he LIVED it......

.... and that kind of emotion cannot be faked..... and that is why - regardless of the clarity of voice, the expense of the back-up groups, and the light show - artists singing THEIR own songs are always the best...... because, in the end, they are the most honest rendition of the song in its purity...... and as a case in point, here are a few examples of what I mean.......

... here is Waits singing a song that he wrote.....



... and here is Sara McLachlan covering the same song....

... and here's Townes Van Zandt singing one of my favorites..... the "interview" beforehand is absolutely amazing.....

... and then here is a more commercial version.......

.... and just because I'm in the mood, here's another Townes original........ and, quite frankly, my favorite version.....

... and of course, Willie singing the same song.......

..... Originals, folks...... there really aren't that many around anymore........

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Inhalage....

... you know, I spent the better half of the evening eating exotic food prepared by people from far away, watching television programs about the horrific angst of high school proms, and drinking various adult beverages brought to my household from across many continents....... and it was good......

..... just five minutes ago I ventured out to my garage to imbibe in some Turkish tobacco inhalage, and I noticed my ceiling fan whirring about me courtesy of the local nuclear power plant at Watts Bar........

..... there must have been 50 bugs - beetles mostly - circling the fan as I gazed upwards....... and every five seconds one of them would get batted down towards Earth with a wild thump of a fan-blade........ and they'd pick themselves up, double-check their wings, and set off towards "the Sun" once again...... only to be crunched asunder by the spinning blades in less than thirty seconds.......

.... I swear, it was an almighty sight just watching those idiot bugs get battered......

...... and here's the rub, folks....... THEY evolved long before we supposedly did, right?...... why is it that I can sip scotch and smoke oriental tobacco after having watched actors get murdered in a B-slasher flick, and those bugs are still dumb enough to think that the light bulbs in my garage are somehow representing the Sun at 9pm at night?.......

... Jesus Christ, you'd think that after all these years of evolution I would at least be able to walk outside and ask one of them casually for a light...... or directions to the local mini-mart?.... or perhaps which political party is going to do the least damage in the next election?.......

..... good god.... after 300,000,000 years of evolution, you'd think that an insect would at least have an opinion......

.... but, no..... they don't....... they just keep whirring, whirring, and whirring........ and making me want another gin and tonic.......

.... perhaps evolution isn't all it's cracked up to be.....

... and yes, you just witnessed the creation of a new word.... "inhalage" is all mine....... how's that for evolution?....

.... watching those bugs reminds me of watching the bloody news lately...... how come we keep electing insects?........

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Casserole.....

.... dinner is in the oven, and since I am in a charitable mood (and feel like typing), I shall share.....

... you'll need some potatoes, garlic powder, black pepper, sour cream, Italian shredded 3-cheese, three slices of Swiss cheese, milk, and a can of Campbell's condensed chicken soup....

... peel, wash, and slice your potatoes between 1/8th and 1/4 inch thick... add one layer of the slices in the bottom of a greased casserole dish and top with 2 tablespoons of Italian shredded cheese and a slice of Swiss.... repeat this process three times..... in a large bowl, combine a cup of milk, the can of soup, a teaspoon of black pepper, a teaspoon of garlic powder, and a small container of sour cream..... whip it until well blended and then pour over your potato & cheese lattice.....

... bake the whole mess at 350 until potatoes are done and a bit of a crust begins to form on top..... probably about an hour...... I cook mine a bit longer, but that is because I have an extremely uncooperative oven....

.... there you have it, folks..... easy-peasy scalloped potatoes that'll curl your hair..... and spike your cholesterol in a way that few potato dishes can even dream of.....

... and with that, I'm off!..... y'all be careful out there.......

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