Archive for May, 2016
(Continued from my previous post)
A knock on the door and they look each other in vague uneasiness.
Sancho(sniffs): The grim reaper must be new to his trade. I smell violets
(Sancho cocks his ear): I hear his mincing steps. I betcha he is a cross dresser. Silk underskirts and tap tap of high heels!
(Yankee and Commissar Red cringe and lurch towards the headboard and hide).
Don Quixote with a spirited effort leaps out of the bed.
DQ: It is my inamorata Sancho! Can’t you see. At last my lady Love has taken pity on me.
(Knock is heard again)
Don Quixote takes over the situation and he directs Sancho as of old.
DQ: Sancho, draw the chair to the center.
Sancho: I would rather stand, master.
DQ: Your skull has gone soft. (aside) That is what living does to people.
(imperiously) Do as you are told!
(Sancho does as told.)
This is for my Lady Dulcinea del Toboso.
(Turning once again to Sancho he points to his bed)Get in there!
(Sancho crosses himself.)
SP: this is ill omen . This is death bed!
Don Quixote: You stay in bed and make yourself scarce!
SP: What will you do, master?
DQ: Do?( rhapsodic) This is sweet annunciation!
Love that makes sweet communion
Between heaven and earth
Has come in sweet treads that
Scarcely harm the green swards,-
And she is here! By all my saints
I shall genuflect and kiss
Her foot and cool this fervid brow
From dew of heaven!
(Knocks heard this time rather urgent)
DQ: Anon, anon
He opens the door with a flourish.
(Dulcinea dressed to the nines in a rather coquettish swing traipses into the room. Unheedful of Don Quixote who stands pole-axed she heads to the death bed. A pause. She says),
Dulcinea: How dare you, varlet!
You stain my lovers bed
With your sweat and dirt.
Sancho (weakly), “I am Don Quixote
Indeed I am. All my life I put my life
to uphold your honor lady-
My face is a stranger to thee
Why now you cavil
My last leave-taking
With hoity-toity manner?
I am that knight non-pareil
The Giant slayer and
Indefatigable in love,-
Of mournful countenance
I shall abjure forever
For a kiss.
Dulcinea: In my cask of souvenirs
Sweetened with tears and regrets
Of love that I held sublime
I have but one image
Of a knight, etched by his fame-
He is lean and lank,
In worldly sum not worth a bean
But his heart has seared
My soul and I can vouch,
He is farthest from the sweaty toad
That has stealthily crept under
The coverlet of my master
Don Quixote is his name!
(Don Quixote steps in.)
Thousands pardon I crave
My Lady Love, scales have
Fallen from my eyes. Life
Had dulled my wits to think
You lived in a castle. No my lady
What comparison holds heaven
With a castle crumbling with moss
I rather deceived me
that you moved
In enchanted circles
of hidalgos, in silk breeches
Smelling rather garlic
And small talk.
You belong indeed
In the stellar regions
With angels at your bidding.
(Dulcinea in wonder puts her hand out. DQ kneels and kisses it reverently)
I was indeed at my deathbed
But your visitation was
Preordained from above.
Dread of life
Hauled me by my own petard;
But Death cleared my head
To say the least.
(To Sancho) I am a realist
To say the least.
(Don Quixote sharply claps hands)
Out, out my dear sirs
Begone this instant!
(The Capitalist and the Commissar come out and file out of the room.)
Sancho, leave us alone. (Sancho exits)
(With a bow to his lady)
Within this death bed we shall talk,
My sweetest lady, of life and death
the lovers swoon as read in romances
Of old, I shall lead you.
Come, have no fear. (Blows the lights out)
Benny May 20, 2016
(A rather dark room with heavy draperies and our hero in bed with a rather ornate and heavy candelabrum on a side-board behind, guttering candles and a melancholy air supplied by courtesy of Sancho at bedside, waiting )
Quixote: All search must end in vain, my good squire
Blow the candle out: Let me not bear the glare
The indifferent has brought unasked, and it is fame
They have left, isn’t it a shame?
Sancho: Knight of mournful visage, you were
As far as I remember; Oh cease your murmur
The world loves a hero, yes sir they do
I am Squire Haystack for my girth and you, sir
Quixote (weakly): Knight Beanpole
Sancho in unison: For your lance, That was LOL!
(Knock on the death Chamber:)
Quixote: See if it is Good Ole Devil?
Sancho returns with a Yankee, who is all in a dither
The Capitalist: “Here is a blank check sir, your fame
Deserves due care: Take silver
But leave your fame oh dear sir
for me to exploit,- it is a cinch
(aside) How do I clinch
A deal with the dead, Fie!
Am I all that heartless,
But a dollar is a dollar
I will dangle an offer he can’t refuse
Quixote: Oh you drool at your mouth
In north it must suffice
if a man had bills to buy and sell
But with the dead one genuine emotion
will many sins conceal.
Sancho, give my good fellow a fine cambric
So he shall wipe an honest tear
To please me for the last leave taking.
Stranger: I am a good fellow if you say so.
I shall cry all the more
if you refuse my offer.
Sancho: Gringo! Do I throw you out
Or buy me with a better offer?
The Capitalist: Make your master
Sign on the dotted line and leave
all rights on his name a trademark
I shall show what Capitalism can do.
(A knock on the door)
Commissar Red is my name
I left all good manners with October
Revolution, Death to capitalist pigs
But Sancho, you and I are comrades.
Don Quixote cannot die till
He receives the Order of Lenin
from me in person.
Sancho: ‘What Order that be Red? Is it for my master?
Red: Don Quixote fought single handed,
The Capitalist Ogre Sir Windmill
Stood for oppression and under his tax the poor
Ate nothing but bread of tears.
Comrade Quixote took him on in single combat and won.
Sancho: With a little help from me.
Red: He is so heroic
He could not have a servant to wait on him….
Red: We shall rewrite the history!
So you are an imposter; Be gone this instant!
Sancho to his master: Oh master, Tell me
Shall I uncomrade him with a thrust
Of your trusty lance, or make your dying hour
A ceaseless struggle with two mis-beggotten scum of the earth?
There is so much common between plants and humans we might think we move about in parallel worlds. We exhale carbon dioxide and they return oxygen to us. How they manage the world in essentials has a parallel narrative in us. We draw our sustenance from the soil which the plant also does; we conserve so do plants an example of which are those autumnal livery they wear. We thrive in our ability create support in times of necessity and establish contacts with others in terms of what they can add to us in terms of security and exchange ideas; the plants also form such preferential association with animals as well as other plants.
We are biased towards visual and auditory signals than chemical imaging we fail to appreciate the plant life in its working. The plants communicate with one another. Take spotted knapweed for instance. Its roots secrete a chemical called catechin that can kill other plants. This triggers them to produce free radicals which sweeps from roots upwards causing cell death. In another case when lima bean pants are attacked by spider mites they call out with distress signals that bring on carnivorous mites to eat up the spider mites. The lima plants in the neighborhood also receive the signal to do the same thing.
Our preferences for persons do not fall within what we would call rational behavior. Love at first sight? (Even before a woman has spoken a word man gets chemical messages: phermeron compounds set off to create signals in the brain.) VNO is located in the lower part of your nose much lower than olfactory cells and are tuned to receive such signals. What does the message say?’ I feel excited!’ Naturally you fall in love. Whereas plants do not err in this they send messages which are lures so they can procreate. Along with blossom colors and shapes, scents attract the bees, wasps flies,butterflies, beetles,moths birds,bats-even mice and lizards if necessary, so 90% of the flowering plants to reproduce. Pollinators are welcome. For every dollar a Quebec apple farmer invests in honey bees to service an orchard crop value goes up by (by 2004 conversion rates) $185. North Dakota sunflower farmers get more and better seeds. From fruits to nuts a big chunk of our diet relies on the interactions between pollinators and flowers.
Don’t judge me by my size, I am Jack the giant slayer; treat me bad I can fell even a Hercules from within.
I am a three pound wonder, a gland tucked under the right side of your body. Remember the twelve labors of Hercules? I was right there while each task he performed, -and how did I do it, I fired up his muscles. It is far more wondrous than any of his physical feats. I have at my disposal 24 hour supply of glycogen or animal starch, from which I convert a part into glucose, the fuel for muscles and feeds it into the blood stream.
Each second some 10 million of his blood cells die and these need to be disposed of; the spleen breaks them down as easily as an used car sent to the landfill: I help salvage the component parts such as iron for re-use in building new blood cells. While chopping the many headed Hydra, had Hercules cut himself he would have bled to death but I produce fibrinogen and prothrombin that help clot blood; what’s more If it were not for antibodies he would have died while cleaning up the Augean stables from the bite of a horse-fly. Anti-bodies fight invading viruses and bacteria. Each second what I perform is astounding that I can vouch for the Titan was preserved despite the eagle that Zeus sent to peck at me.
I am all fired up when Hercules flexes his muscles, for instance when he was faced with the Cretan bull. Of course I had to see that lactic acid which was accumulating as a result of burning the glucose, did not poison the hero. What do I do? Presto, I simply converted the lactic acid back into glycogen! I am a miracle worker. I shall not waste time bending a spoon like Uri Geller. He is a mountebank while I, a 24- carat miracle-worker.
When my hero sits down to tuck in a hearty meal I cannot sit simply still: I shoot bile towards his intestine in order to break down the fat. Intestinal enzymes break fat into fatty acids, which is brought to me, ugh! it is like the man who sits on his thunder-stool and is given back all that he vacated in its glorious colors. I am not the one to cringe even in the face of such provocation. A stoic that I am I convert into body fat. When one is called obese think of what I have done for him. Out of the depths I cry, De Profundis what have I done to merit this?( Next time cut out the fat from your meat, won’t you?) Lean meat puts a smile in me, figuratively of course, for I make do protein from it into amino acids. I reconstruct them into plasma proteins, and these help build body’s tissue-building needs. Like lactic acid that I mentioned earlier Protein digestion bring us another problem: ammonia. I convert into urea and it is flushed out through kidneys.
Had Hercules quaffed dodgy wine It was my task to detox him and oh he would have no idea that I did him further service in keeping his hormone balance. If he did not suffer from thyroid imbalance he owes thanks to me for clearing off the excess of hormone.
I store for him like a banker the essential vitamins, A,D, the B complex.Also when excess blood is around we hold this like a vault for storing excess cash, lest it should tax the Herculean heart.
With regards to the energy we supply to the heart of Hercules we provide 25% of the total. Only the lungs have a richer supply but like Hertz we try harder. We keep moving what we receive through arteries, freshly oxygenated blood which from the intestine comes to us for filtering before sent to the heart.
I mentioned Hercules for one special reason: He helped Prometheus who was plagued by the winged tormentor for 30 years by killing it. Then of course little did he know that I can always regenerate though pecked at by the eagle. As much as 90 % of liver has been removed in some cancer cases but I have always grown back which is quite a feat. If Hercules had been elevated to the Pantheon of gods, the credit of which he owes no little to me.
(ack: JD Ratcliff-RD Feb’64 originally pub.AMA)
If a child lives with criticism he learns to condemn….
If a child lives with hostility he learns to fight…
If a child lives with fear he learns to be apprehensive..
If a child lives with pity he learns to feel sorry for himself
If a child lives with ridicule he learns to be shy…
If a child lives with jealousy he learns what envy is…
If a child lives with shame he learns to feel guilty….
If a child lives with encouragement he learns to be confident…
If a child lives with tolerance he learns to be patient…
If a child lives with praise he learns to be appreciative…
If a child lives with acceptance he learns to love…
If a child lives with approval he learns to like himself…
If a child lives with recognition he learns to set a goal for himself…
If a child lives with sharing he learns about generosity…
If a child lives with honesty and fairness he learns what truth and justice are…
If a child lives with security he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him…
If a child lives with friendliness he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live…
If you learn to live with serenity your child will live with peace of mind…
(Ack:Dorothy Law Nolte/Reader’s Digest)
Harlequin Ducks- in watercolor
Oh Lonesome Me! Polar bear watercolor wet on wet technique