Hook, Line and Thinkers
Along the shore of Islamorada, due north of No Name Key,
The jetty was home to 3 Stone Crabs, Silas, McDuff, and McGee,
The clawless brothers sat down at a bar and called for 3 rum punches,
To drown the pain of losing claws to pesky tourist lunches,
They drank their way through Happy Hour, the last call was approaching,
The 3 stoned crabs then staggered home as dawn was soon encroaching,
In slumber, they began to dream of Marlin, Sharks, and Mackerel,
And Swordfish throwing off their hooks and lures and lines and tackle,
The game fish know the program when once they bite the bait,
They jump and fly into the sky while the boatmen tug and wait,
No doubt for drunken crabs that night, no mystery at all,
That fish can fly when need be, to silence their last call.
C-O-D for G-O-D
Jim Baker wants your dough-ray-me
Creflo wants your dollars
Swaggart wants some swagger
He cries before he hollers
Write a check to Falwell
Old Jer will pray for you
He needs a brand new Caddy
An Escalade will do
Give your bucks to T.D. Jakes
While Osteen speaks in tongues
Robertson will praise the Lord
And sell you freeze-dried mungs
Is Tammy Faye in heaven?
She must have paid the toll
Paula White is Trump’s God babe
Joyce Meyer is a troll
There is profit from the prophet
These hucksters know it well
If he returns, I guarantee
He’ll send them all to Hell
You Can’t Find Love in the Whole Earth Catalog
If you like to farm and grow some greens
Tomato plants or pinto beans
Or want to mate a Tennessee hog
Head for the Whole Earth Catalog
Infinite lists of books to buy
Cycle parts, highs to try
Atomix Comix, hydroponics
Grateful Dead and Stereophonics
Candlewicks, incense sticks
Bongs and gongs and seed
Not much to soothe my mellow heart
That’s aching…..so I plead
Where’s the page for Mr. Right
Or even Mr. Maybe?
Too sad to bear
There’s nothing there
To let me be your baby.
A Michelin Star
As my world burned around me, I knew the fear of frying was not on the menu. The life of a celebrity chef meant taking chances. Stardom was only a filet away when I heard those familiar words-batter up.
1) I once lost 158 lbs. of useless fat in one afternoon. I hear he married a stripper in Lodi, New Jersey.
2) Try the Donald Trump diet—just get full of baloney.
3) Beer and Alpo. (You work like a dog, anyway)
4) For appetite suppression-paste a photo of Ted Cruz on your fridge. (If you can’t find one then use Mike Lindell)
Go to the newsstand
Buy your favorite mullet-wrapper
Read what Congress is up to
Vote ’em out
This would let the whole country lose a lot of dead weight
A Fossil, Fueled
Proser CfromFL: Carol, I’ve noticed you have been posting on Prose for two years. When did you begin to write?
Real Carol From Florida: Well, let’s just say it was after fire but before the wheel.
In 1952 my beloved 3rd-grade teacher, Mrs. Gordon, gave our class an assignment to write a poem. The process of delivering a thought from my 8-year-old mind to the tip of a stubby pencil and scrawling it on a pristine, double-ruled page of cheap newsprint paper was a new way of expressing myself. I felt important! I felt joyful! I called my poem People! People! It was about what we now call “diversity”. Back then I remember getting inspired by the different folks my father told me he met on his global travels as a Merchant Marine. Even though we looked physically different, I imagined the kids in all those countries doing kid things and being “kindly” to each other. I remember Mrs. Gordon liked my use of that word. This wonderful teacher fueled my interest in writing and showed me how to give wings to my words and let them fly into someone else’s heart.
Proser CfromFL: Before retiring as a Public Housing Administrator, you were fairly competent in business correspondence and communication. This helped you to earn a living but what has creative writing given back to you?
Real Carol From Florida: All writing is creative but writing poetry and prose gives me a chance to turn observations, emotional abstracts, and personal sentiments into a meaningful read. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Positive feedback for my work is unbelievably rewarding. The writing challenges, heart-shaped “Likes” and comments by the writers on Prose fuel my desire to make my next piece better than the last.
Proser CfromFL: At 76, I realize you may have reached many personal goals in your lifetime. Do you have an ultimate writing goal?
Real Carol From Florida: It took a long time for me to become self-confident enough to share my prose and poetry with others. At first, it was only with friends and family. Twenty years ago I bought a spiral binding machine, a good supply of 20# bond, index cover-stock, and an assortment of binding combs. I started a mini self-publishing scheme that continues to this day. When I became a Grandmother I wrote the first of perhaps 50 children’s books for my grandkids. Their highest praise came when my daughter would go to her mailbox and pull out the familiar brown envelope. It would never make it into the house. The kids would tear it open and sit in the middle of the driveway to read the latest saga by Granny C. When they got older, I began writing a monthly 3-page newsletter called Granny’s Gazette. It was a great way to keep the lines of communication open for my “Grands” in Maryland and also friends in Australia, England, California, and Canada.
Several years ago my courage grew bolder when I answered a request on the Public Radio program Rick Steve’s Travel. They wanted listeners to write about their hometowns. They chose my piece called Morning Symphony. I read it on-air and had fun doing it. I think I even won a backpack!
Prose has become the perfect niche for me to share my work. However, I can’t stop remembering that day 57 years ago when I sat in my 12th grade English class and listened to a fellow student named Laura announce to the class that she had just gotten a short story published in the New Yorker. Wow― she was published in such a well-esteemed magazine at 17! Now that would qualify as an ultimate goal if ever there was one. Hopefully, if I keep at it I can fuel up my confidence level and try writing something worthy of submitting to the New Yorker. It’s better than running on empty.
On July 16, 1945, at 5:30 in the morning, something horrific happened in the desert of Alamogordo, New Mexico. The Manhattan Project was the U.S. Army’s code for the undertaking that launched our civilization into the nuclear age. Oddly enough, the detonation of the first atomic bomb by the United States on that Monday morning was given the theological name of the Trinity test.
Twelve hours later and 2057 miles east on the isle of Manhattan in New York, another project was launched. Me! But, leave it to the Catholics to cast a shadow of gloom on even the happiest of occasions. All newborns come into the arms of their devout Catholic mothers with the burden of sin—Original Sin. This is, of course, cleansed away with the baptismal basin ritual. The Catholics are big on rituals and are the consummate experts on sin.
I have often thought that the truest sin that day was in Alamogordo. It was far worse than that of a newborn in Manhattan. The bomb set in motion the bonafide terror of a global war machine capable of destroying the Earth. Perhaps that is why Catholics are so hell-bent on making sure we do all the rituals that rid us of sin and clear our path to Heaven. It is sort of an eternal do-over after we screwed it up down here.
Suwannee River Meltdown
I knew I would find my place before I even looked for it.
I did not find my place in a tiled roof tract house near the Atlantic in the hoo-rah in the south of the South.
I did not find my place in a pine-framed homestead in the Glades or the breathless, inland prairies north of it.
I did not find my place in a weathered beach house where the endless hurricanes churn through the Gulf and turn the Panhandle sand into talcum.
I did not find my place in a concrete palace among the coastal cities that have not aged gracefully.
The Suwannee is a soulful, gentle, mannerly river.
It frees me from the feeling of being land-locked in my forever place.
Here I found my sanctuary,
Cloistered and quiet in the pines and oaks along the waterway,
While I wait for the buzzards to circle.
The fronds fall,
Eventually nearly tan,
It’s 4 AM. Our venue is a country porch in a small southern town. The stars are spotlights at the ready. Our maestro─the fullest of moons─ begins to nudge the musicians to attention. From high in the pines, the owl’s opening overture begins. The notes dance on the breeze enticing the listener to the magic in store. Wild turkeys enter with the sonata, the second part of the orchestration. Each one with a unique variation of the theme. The turkeys and owls, committed to their symphonic poem, create a harmonious melody that prepares us for the roosters. The third component of our symphony, the andante, belongs to them. A chorus of verse and responses lend an amusing air to the composition. Their capricious crowing alerts us to the impending scherzo, the fourth movement of our masterpiece. Seldom in unison, the pups begin their rhapsody with solos. Each is performed with the tonality unique to their breed and training. The deep basso of the woof-woof’s contrasts nicely to the tenor yap-yaps of the smaller, more delicate instrumentalists. At last, when the listener cannot imagine being more enraptured, the howls of the hunter-hounds are a fitting finale and bring a triumphant close to the magnum opus. Amid cries of “Bravo” and pleas for an “Encore,” a cow and donkey companion delight us with a ballade that has its roots in barnyards the world over. Our applause continues even as the sun raises the houselights. We take comfort in knowing there will soon be a repeat performance with an open invitation for all who care to listen.