“Whassohot ‘Bout Four-Twenty?”

(April 21, 2018)


Ain’t no one told me

Four-Twenty* a time and date

kids go burn some dope!


  • (Seems  some highschoolers way back in the undark ages of the last century used to go out behind the bleacher seats at the high school and spark up some doobies at 4:20 p.m. before they adjourned to someone’s home to raid the ‘fridge.  And the Date, April 20, because a double-entendre of sorts for the smokeout.  And no one ever told me.  And I was too unconcerned to ask.  Now I know.  Can I have yesterday back?)

“Just Before I Died” Tanka 1040

Just before I died

second time – too young The First –

I was nightmare wakened.


I just-escaped both those deaths

and I pray: no more warnings!


  • (Walked into a freak DelMarVa Penninsular wave at two years old as my parents were renting extra attention on my two siblings – brothers being busy can get a kid extra time alone if he plans it right – when this back-side-of Chesapeake Bay beach got a solitary two-foot wave which crashed right over my crouching – perriwinkles! – form.  According to Mom, I had blue lips and would not sputter until Dad gave me a big whack as he – against all advice rendered at least 20 years too late – held me upside down by the ankles – and whacked me in the small of the back.  I coughed, spit, spluttered and giggled: this upside-down view must have been a reward, no?  The Second time I got a call from Okinawa asking me to do a story-and-photos of Marines who walk point in the dangerous side of nowhere near any towns.  It was monsoon. I was miserable.  I was going to South Africa in a couple of weeks for a month -yeah, I know: not even a note to Mom or Dad, just do it – and the only helo out of Division Rear was going to stop just exactly where the nightmare the night before placed me just before a mortar attack.  The Chopper landed at the newly established 5th Marines Regimental Command Post, the only jeep they had leaving that afternoon was going to Hill 25 just outside Que Son City where The Dream was first staged for my benefit…twenty years later the story got a lot better – and scarier – but for the nonce suffice to say I woke when I heard the arming pin being removed from a B-40 Rocket Propelled Grenade and muttered: “Hey, that’s not a mortar it’s a…..(and the world goes away) as I lifted my head just past the shaped charge of the RPG took out the 12×12 beam that held up the roof of the above-ground bunker our mortar team used for a crib – and I used for a head-stop where my flak jacket was a hasty-pillow: first time in almost a year muchly in “The Bush” I dossed inside barbed wire in a bunker.  It wasn’t the Dream, J: it was the stupid sleeping inside during a rain.  But I was damned tired of being wet, miserable and scared. Dummy.  Never did that in T’Nam before – sleep in a bunker: the other three adjectives were constant companions, friends almost.  And never had I slept so close to four others in The Bush before either.  And, six months later I read it in Navy Times: we were the only five Americans wounded in Vietnam that fateful dreamy day. What I said, finally, over the MARS radio-telephone call to Mom back in Sanford was: Mom – no matter what you hear, I am all right…and some other stuff the censor said I wasn’t supposed to say, just as she and Dad were leaving for a couple of weeks to spend Christmas in Colorado with my cousins. That phrase: “No matter what you hear, I’m all right,” was what a friend of mom’s had said to her three days before I got wounded.  The same day/night/time as my dream and which later I got the call from Stars & Stripes Pacific’s newspaper asking me for the “Walking Point” photoJ assignment. Wonder who they got to play me in the real movie that filled those two or four pages.  I got reported first: MIA or KIA back to Division rear and the 1st Marine Division Public Affairs shop in Danang – thus the telegrams I found at the Richards’ family manse when I, head wrapped up like a mummy, dragged ass up the porch step to the locked? front door.  Of course I knew it was another bad dream:  the street had been paved in my absence.  I had entered The Well-Past-Twilight Time.  Still there sometimes.  Come visit.  But bring your own dreams.)


“More ‘Badges’ Gone”

(April 21, 2018)


Lowered Sanford Flag

weeps but halfway up its staff:

two Deputies gone!


“A tiny Florida town around Gainesville, became unwanted news yesterday.  Two Sheriff’s Deputies were murdered as they ate lunch – and their point-blank-range killer soon thereafter took his own life when he walked out of the restaurant onto the parking lot.  One deputy left a wife and family; another a girlfriend.  I am so sick of this.  To all my “Blue” friends: I share your grief. And outrage!)

“Weather Talker: ‘Believe Me’ Gets A Thin Benefit Of Doubt – Again”

(April 21, 2018)


‘Believe Me’ weather

radio-talker tells all:

Build Your Ark Today!*


  • (Not in those words, of course – I think they get paid – extra electricity? – by the word, even for pre-programmed computer-generate voices: there somewhere in Melbourne, Florida, is a person who tells “The Voice” to assure me Oh-Dark-Thirtyish this morning that I face (at least) four days of rain and isolated thunderstorms (how, pray, does one “isolate” a thunderstorm?) in the middle month of what allegedly is our Dry Season.  We in Sanford and Orlando as well but slightly less-so are up to a quarter-inch over our normal for the month – so far at least – but as much as four – or more – inches in arrears in annual wet-stuff still.  This well could strangle frogs, float cows without logs, and make flat rocks scared not to mention turn turvy-topsy the notion of seasonal responsibilities.  I know, I know: I watered Thursday just to encourage this Deluvianism.  I scamp you not!)