an autumn story: must be prepaid

a Pedestrian
mining town sale
nothing is free son
all must be prepaid
a voice from behind the wooden wall warns.

mind your step son
on real snow must be prepared
as he trips his foot over a thorn

the glassy bottles rattle
as he glides across and prattles
leaving behind many feet long gutter

clash, crash, clatter, smash
gliding rolling sputtering
not to worry ma’am stop hollering

i got cash to pay
boy looks up into dad’s face bathed in bright sun ray

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I took this picture in a mining town which had stopped operation. It is now for tourists and perhaps movies shooting. The autumn had long gone or was never there due to high altitude. But I like to keep the title as autumn story. Why? Because autumn gives a sense of forlorn beauty, a time to let go, mellow down and rest with a good warm cup of _________(fill in your favorite drink) and listen to random poetry reading, good and bad. Poetry writing is a personal thing. But reading is even better because the sound is part of the fun and you do not have to commit anything except some minutes/seconds of your life.

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autumn story: a man and a giant pan

old frying panHumboldt is a humble man
he lives alone with a giant pan
minding his business tending his sheep
never lazing or sneaking a peep

one night he counts and finds one short
leaving 99 behind with kind farmer Shultz
he calmly cleans his pan and drinks his port

he searches yonder with a daylight lamp
until reaching the darkest lair
of one ferocious beast that could prey
on his foolish simple little lamb

the monster may roar and paw while spewing names
brave farmer Humboldt lifts his pan and aims
once and twice and thrice he whams
the poor beast has nothing to defend against
this lopsided knock out match launched by
one humble man and a giant pan

(o what a heart-warming dawn, the Peeking villagers all rise and proclaim: humble Humboldt safely home with simple lamb and a giant pan)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I took this picture in an old mining museum. Somehow it turns out that the frying pan becomes the centre piece! So i decide to write a poem for it.

autumn story: an old love hat song

Just a Peek at autumn’s end.
mining townnever will I leave you, he said, not again
faded eyes blurring with moist drops
like rare autumn squinting sudden plops

(not even when fall comes to stay and/or if our hair should fall?)

no I will never leave you old, not again for gold,
see, all tidal waves are churning into buttery yuletide

putting down his battered hat
the prospector comes home.

(frantically digging cob-web caked in false gold teeth with man-made ivory-handled pick,
the wife wakes
and hears long-forgotten song
“Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
By the look in your eye
I can tell you’re gonna cry
Is it over me?

If it is, save your tears
For I’m not worth it
You see

For I’m the type of boy who is always on the roam
Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home
I’m telling you that’s my home

You had romance
Did you break it by chance
Over me?

Young Paul – Wherever I Lay My Hat Thats My Home
(UK No. 1 single for three weeks in July 1983.)

autumn story: land’s end, lonesome cafe, something orange.

poem for autumnShe says, No one passes here anymore;
You know, less is more.

Continuing chattering,
her eyes not engaging, hands fluttering
like butterfly trapped
on fake glass map.

You shouldn’t be here, Peter.
Her fingers deftly whittle
away a wooden kettle.

Too late now
we are closing down,
Peter. (She throws a bone across the table)
No one passes by anymore;
Less is more.
(Something orange Peeks, stirs and darts away from behind the door label, “Do not disturb”)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I took this picture on a beautiful autumn day in November 2015. You may ask me, is there a real story behind the above attempt of a “poem”? My answer is, you are free to find your own story. I am OK with any interpretation.

Incidentally, I just watched a touching, hour-long interview with an award winning old poet who started writing poetry in her teen, I realize how far away from poetry I have strayed since teen. I prefer Haiku because it is short. But it is not as satisfying as writing a poem.

As the poet urges, there is something one just needs to express. She enjoys painting and music but she cannot be good enough to be a painter or a musician. So she writes poetry to present her painting and music. To her, every poem is a precious creation and needs to be birthed with the best she has inside, to become a positive encouragement to others who read it. If I were to use one word to describe her, I would use the word, “Genuine”. She is genuine about her limitation and her giftedness.

I only came across her poetry yesterday while doing a research on a writers’ festival in another city for someone. After reading some of her work, I mentioned that I would like to buy one of her volumes. Today I received the good news that someone who attended the festival today has bought an autographed print for me as a gift! (I am looking forward to read it when it arrives).

what we could have shared

Rounded
rounded window
One day I took note of a window scene in a black and white picture that accompanies a rather interesting story by a blogger I am following. It has the same style of another blogger who published a book of a collection of his blogs ten years ago. He wrote rather short sentences and someone from Japan did the photography. I dug out this book and just read “the people we could be”. So here I am, experimenting my own black and white attempt using Apple Photos. What I like about this picture is that almost everything in it has a round curve. There is a definite favor for roundness.
I originally took this picture in beautiful multi-colors in 2015 in an Italian Restaurant hidden in a small town in US. I was eating hot sausage sandwich alone after a rewarding hike. My best friend was on another mountain hike faraway. My friend would have liked to take a rest at this place and savor the food. Whilst I enjoy solitary travel and hiking, I sometimes like the silent company of someone familiar who enjoys the same ambience and taste. The silence is not broken and yet there is a veiled comfort of knowing that one is not alone in times of sudden need. I left this town shortly after.
P/s: Someone asks: why a sudden black and white? Well, after using many colors for too long I suddenly wake and notice that Black and White picture gives an expression of a mystery to ponder over. I quite like the short stories another travel blogger writes (in a different language) which I admit have influenced my change of taste.

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 43: the victorious Giving

Windows of giving.
1 John 3:16Today we open the Book to the word GIVE. This could mean life and death. Without someone giving the right provision at the right time to another person selflessly, the would-be recipient may have perished. For example, giving of direction to the right road, giving of the right type and quantity of food, giving of warm and safe board and lodging in the freezing cold, and even giving of precious blood to save someone in critical need. Human have physical bodies and often the giving we need is in the physical.

There are other forms of giving too. For example, the ancient poet said,
“Your righteous testimonies are everlasting and Your decrees are binding to eternity; give me understanding and I shall live [give me discernment and comprehension and I shall not die].” (Psalm 119:144) This apparently refers to a higher wisdom and counsel which go beyond the human mind. To continue to keep up with the increasingly self-loving, crafty (multiplied exponentially by scientific and technological development), deceptive and unscrupulous physical world, an average human needs far more than what we have been taught by today’s education system or whatever words of wisdom (which often fall on deaf ears of today’s children) our parents have tried to impart to us based on what they had acquired and received. We can never catch up with the fast and ever-changing physical world.

But human nature has not changed. Survival strategies in a normal community are often based on generic inbuilt concepts of good and bad. How to decide what is good or bad? Often decisions are based on a number of generic social economic factors: agreed definition and standard of morality, code of ethics for economic conduct, code of social/relationship interactions with one another in the same community. By mutual adherence to such agreed beliefs and practices the family/community members can continue their peaceful co-existence.

One key success factor is giving. The ability and willingness to give (often more than what is required by legal binding covenant) enhances the quality of living together. It requires a higher belief and value system to give unconditionally and selflessly. One cannot give what one does not have. If a person gives at the expense of another person then it is not giving. The ultimate value behind giving has to be love. A love higher than human love.

Where does such a love come from? This spirit-mind man looks at this from a Christian perspective. Our God has revealed to us that He is love. He has demonstrated love historically by giving to us His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and atone for us so that we can freely and boldly interact with God as children of the righteous God through Jesus (now the resurrected Christ). Our human mind cannot understand this completely but it does not stop us from receiving this love by faith. His kind of love is pure and without selfish agenda. How do we apply to others? We are human. Every born again Christian is also given the Holy Spirit who lives in us and gives us strength to apply God’s love for others. This means we are supernatural and not just human when it comes to applying God’s goodness.

Why do we not see this wonderful powerful supernatural love manifesting in all Christians? As we are human, we can be hindered by our flesh (hampered by un-renewed mind which in turn controls our body and emotion). Some may be subject to the influences of demons. The Bible clearly records instances of demons influencing people’s lives. Persistent seeking an intimate relationship with God through reading and applying His words, prayers and worship, and fellowship with other Christians who similarly seek God and love God are ways to establish a firm foundation in one’s relationship with God. Transformation of our character comes as a process as our minds are being renewed. God’s presence becomes real and clear in our mind. In times of uncertainty we walk by clarity in decisions and not confusion.

Why do we focus on talking about the kind of love Christians can give to others in this world? Christians remained the largest religious group in the world in 2015, making up nearly a third (31%) of Earth’s 7.3 billion people, according to a new Pew Research Center demographic analysis. Just imagine the supernatural power of love manifesting together by a third of the earth’s population!

Yes, giving is required of every Christian. The only force that compels us is the love of our God, who loves us so much and whom we are to love in return. Are lovers fools? Yes, in the eyes of those who have never encountered this love we are fools. We are fools for Christ’s sake. (1 Corinthians 4:10)

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 3:16 This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for each other as brothers and sisters.

Matthew 5:42-44 (Jesus says,)
Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,…”

Isaiah 11:2 English Standard Version (ESV)
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

alas, the waiting was too long: for all that jazz

Waiting at a period eating place which features songs from a past era. The light jazz music brings back the old time for those of a certain age. Interestingly the young millennial (a third generation of my extended family) who introduced me to this place is only in late twenties and happened to like the food and wine. We waited for at least half an hour for the six-nine pm crowd to leave to get to our reserved seats. It was certainly a popular place for private chill. There were not less than five rounds of “happy birthday” songs to five separate groups of diners during our rather hurried brief stay. I gobbled up my salad as I was in a hurry due to other engagements. The poor millennial had to gulp down the wine and pack home the pork rips. Well, I may return for the music if I happen to pass that place again. But the waiting was too long for this traveler. (Sigh)