Monday, May 23, 2011

How can I lose while singing the Tweet Twittter Blues?

I believe you are now on Twitter said my illustrious home dinner guest
So please don’t think me inconsiderate or perish the thought, a mere pest
But I can’t understand why people would want to make comments so trite
Which most people would consider banal, trivial or even a harsh slight

On characters who have no recourse to respond in return or even explain
But must simply put up with the anguish of written abuse and often pain
And I believe that some of these Twitter pages are linked to extensive blogs
With content longer but no better, so I really think we are going to the dogs.

But of course I’m sure that your own contribution is not stuck in this rigid bind
So some day you must afford me a chance to read your blog if you would be so kind
But in the meantime could you shed some light on this Twitter Social Media forum
Without being too harsh a critic of my acute observations or loosing your decorum.

I sighed and said that this new Social Media can at times give us all cause for reflection
For example, does Twitter domain in any way enhance society’s harmonious perfection?
But there is really no need to get too serious and po faced about it, so just have a ball,
As its purpose is to provide a social outlet for written fun and frolics to one and all.

140 characters long Tweets can appear basic and even obtuse, and some are never pleased
But this is hardly a reason for philosophical rants or Twitter writers being so often teased.
Indeed many Tweets exemplify intelligent content with a thought balance which is super
Unlike some male pastimes which settle for football fantasies and drink induced stupor.

So lighten up friend, lest you get carried away in a self absorbed judgemental stance
As I suggest that Tweet humour is the missing chink in the armour of your sorry dance
For Twitter experience has leads me to assert one crucial thing going right to the core
Of tweeting successfully to others whether friend or foe and that is never to be a bore.

Tweets are like little ephemeral small bubbles blown fondly by children into the air
Which are sensed for a moment of magic and then burst and are gone from your stare
So if you think of them in this light way they will always be a source of simply pleasure
To be enjoyed happily on your I-phone or home computer as a form of innocent leisure

My own Twitter and blog addiction is I feel a mild vice and should cause little plight
Even if it can lead to midnight sojourns to check for new tweets downstairs at night.
Thus we should try to share our tweet enjoyments and blog discourses purely for fun
For it’s a harmless diversion from sadly singing our blues when all is said and done.

Note: This is a purely fictional verse written for amusement only but do not ask for my credits as refusal may offend!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Feather in my Cap with the Pecking Order Restored

I had occasion yesterday to recall one of the insightful maxims of that great philosopher of our times, Judy Judge, who is often inclined to stress that ‘no deed is too good to go unpunished’. The reason for this reflection was my noticing that one of my ‘free range’ hens was showing distinct signs of being bullied by her immediate neighbours. Those of you familiar with this blog will recall that I have two hen enclosures, one containing the original two Rhode Island reds and another larger one that was constructed later containing two more Rhode Island reds but also a French Maran Hen and Light Sussex breed. However, in the last few days I noticed that the French Maran hen had missing feathers around her neck and on part of her breast plate. I watched carefully and decided that it might be better to put all the Rhode island reds into the larger enclosure and put the Maran and Sussex hens into the smaller pen for the welfare of all. I surmised that peace might then reign supreme. However, on inspecting the hens at dusk I found that two Rhode Island reds were attempting a sort of ‘Coop’ d’etat on their new arrivals and that the latter were cowering in the corner afraid to go inside to the dry roistering area for the night. I thought that overnight that the French Maran would surely forge a ‘detente cordial’ in her new enclosure at least. Alas she also seems somewhat bewildered and now the French hen seems red, with white (light Sussex hen) and feeling blue. Thus, on inspecting the ‘flock’ this morning I found that all seems distressed and disoriented and hence I decided that it would be best to restore the pecking order as it were and put the hens back where they originally resided. Of course this took me a good hour to catch them and restore them to the original enclosures. Thus my concept of a good deed was misplaced and all hens are happily now producing eggs as before.

However, as I was consuming my daily egg for breakfast this morning after my hard boiled adventure I could not but recall the sucking stones discourse in ‘Molloy’ from Samuel Beckett’s wonderful book. He also has a somewhat similar if more complex dilemma in trying suck sixteen stones in order without sucking any one twice before the other. I recommend that you google this passage and it is wonderfully humourous. I felt an echo in my own vain attempts to distribute the hens safely in groups of two without causing them distress but of course like Molloy I had to abandon the principle. Hence a small quote from the book may seem apt here:

“ There was something more than a principle I abandoned when I abandoned the equal distribution, it was bodily need”.

Of course in the end Molloy gives up and states that he doesn’t give a ‘tinkers curse’ which way the stones are sucked. But it is the overriding desire to organise, plan and distribute the stones in groups between his pockets while sucking them in turn which wonderfully captures the human need to give order and purpose to the world despite the irrational point of this exercise from a limited philosophical perspective. So I’m glad that Molloy did not have to solve the problem of redistributing my hens but I’m sure that he would understand the ‘bodily need’ to do it.

Note: Poultry (some in chocolate) photos from home and Damme, Belgium.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Celthick Tiger and the 3 Little Pigs

I have always wanted to try my hand at writing a short story for children which adults could also appreciate so as a trial run as it were, this blog discourse is my first attempt:

There once was a little tiger called Celthick who lives in a far off place on the edge of Europe. Although he had in fact broad strips on his back and could roar like other Tiger Cubs, he was in fact very different because he was really an electronic toy model who needed constant recharging to keep going. Celthick lives in Jedland where everything was done twice, when elsewhere one would normally suffice. It appeared to him that everyone had two houses, two cars and two children and so Celthick felt very alone at times as he had no other tiger cub to play with. Over time he became more and more distressed and his batteries became flat. One day he saw a little bird perched on a tree whom he knew as Ollie Wren, who although a very small bird had a reputation for wisdom, and he asked him what he should do. After studying his figure(s) for some time Ollie concluded that his problem arose because he was really a transformer toy and because no one had thought to change his profile, he was stuck in tiger mode. He suggested that he ask someone to change him. At first Celthick could not find anyone to help him and he sat alone wishing for a Merkel (German miracle). He also came across a Little Red and Blue Riding Hood who offered to help but he soon realised that this was just a sarky loup (French wolf) in a child’s clothing. He was totally despondent until he happened upon a boy called Chopra who was a Toymaster and was adept at transforming toys into many fantastic and unusual figures. Chopra set to work on Celthick and he was soon ‘bailed out’ of his tiger fix. To his great surprise he was now magically transformed into a Pig.

At first Celthick was not entirely overjoyed to be cast as a pig but he was assured by Chopra that there were at least two other prominent Portuguese and Greek pigs in Europe. He also told him that the famous historical flight of the wild geese from Ireland was in fact a flight of the pigs and that many fine Jedland people had made pigs of themselves while abroad. Celthick was still a bit apprehensive but he then remembered other famous pigs like Peppa and George and he further consoled himself that he could have been turned into a dinosaur or worse. So he happily accepted that Chopra’s transformation could have been rasher although he was warned not to tell too many porkies about the contents of his little piggybank. For a while he contended himself by reading the many Bacon reports in Jedland but he was still unhappy about his Celthick name.

One day Celthick was watching ‘STY’ tv when he heard that President Obuma was coming to Jedland. Of course this was not the president’s real name. He was sometimes referred to as plain Hank from Hawaii but he was also called Obuma for short after his affectionate tendency to say ‘Oh bummer’ after every request he received to totally change the world for the better in a few months. President Obuma was pleased to meet Celthick because he remembered his nations own problems with their Bay of Pigs event. Celthick asked him how he could change his name. The president thought hard for a long time and offered to introduce a few navy seals to distract attention from the pigs. However, he finally suggested a more radical and simple solution. He suggested that the little pig drop his ‘thick’ name appendix status and concentrate more on being a true Celt from now on. The little pig was elated and is now a happy and contented pig that will live happily if in penury for years to come. And in honour of his sage presidential advice he is now called Barack Celt in Jedland but still Hank Celt in Hawaii.

So the moral of this little tale is that you may think that your troubles may last until ‘pigs will fly’ but in reality if at first you don’t succeed just Sty, Sty, Sty again.

Note: This nonsense for amusement purposes only and does not purport to refer to any real pigs either living or imagined.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Picture of a Poet Peddling and Market Meddling off Pat

On a recent visit abroad, some friends of ours gave us a cutting from the International Herald Tribune with a photo of what the paper described as a ‘poet peddling’ his work on the street and set this in the context of the Irish Government concerning itself with the easing of the country’s debt crisis. However, the two subjects are entirely unlinked as the poet in the photo is one Pat Ingoldsby who in fact has been selling his poetry on Westmoreland Street in Dublin for many years seemingly more concerned with the welfare of his own cat ‘Willow’ than any economic Celtic Tiger. In fact Pat has self published some twenty volumes of poetry, prose and even children’s books and is a well known feature of the Dublin Urban landscape. The Irish Times recently had a feature article dedicated to the launch of his latest book called “I thought you died years ago”. It would appear that some people knowing that Pat is now in his late sixties sometimes pose this question to him with typical Dublin sensitivity and reticence. Pat is quoted as stating that he felt ‘almost as if I let them down by not doing so (dying). I always apologise and promise to try harder’. The poems of Pat Ingoldsby are acutely perceptive and full of pathos and humour. In fact, they often remind me of the work of the American writer Richard Brautigan in the early seventies such is there lovely gentle humour linked to a highly imaginative take on the human condition. I would like to quote as an example part of his poem called ‘The Last Supper’ from his book “If you don’t tell anybody, I won’t” published in 1996:

“The man with nowhere to go
Stood under
The cold petrified
Night-time tree
In the middle of
O’Connell Street.
Because he had nothing
else to do
he joined up
all the white dots
which the birds had dropped
onto the pavement
and he created
a perfect picture
of the Last Supper.”

Pat Ingoldsby says that he continues to wander the world with a trolley full of books and dreams. At this stage I probably know some of his older poems ‘off Pat’, i.e. by heart, so I am particularly looking forward to reading his new book. Finally, the newspaper photo of him has a poster saying ‘ Dublin Poet I’d be a God anywhere else’. Well, to some of us who are acutely appreciative of his personal charisma and wonderful work, he indeed manifests the touch of the Almighty.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Coseying up to Clint, Clones and Cliches in the Wild West

It would appear that people respond in many different ways to the pressures on the current economic recession. However, I have noticed in my own personal domain a tendency to find solace by revisiting the simple story lines and basic rhetoric of the western dramas which characterised my formative youth. As a boy my heroes were taken from the TV western series such as Cheyenne, Bronco Lane, Laramie and Wells Fargo which we viewed on TV and later from John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies. You may indeed consider this an example of simply nostalgia and harmless escapism. However, of late I have noticed an alarming tendency for such basic western homespun philosophy to manifest itself in simple observations and perceptions. I fact like a strange manifestation of an American Republican Party philosophical conversion, this process has become a sort of ‘elephant’ in the room.

For example, while my wife and I were watching a western on TV the other night, I could not but notice that she had a blanket drawn up around her neck like a Clint Eastwood clone and that in her remarks she was certainly ‘shooting from the hip’ when she suggested that I make supper for her. She added that I had done this ‘Once upon a time in the West’. So to please the ‘love interest’ in my home movie scenario I rustled up some beef jerky and baked beans! It would seem however that she would have preferred an ‘Indian’ so when I suggested that we mosey down to our local saloon and get a Sarsapilla for her and couple of shots of Bourbon for me, she told me to hitch my horse to another rail of the OK Corral. Shucks, life ain’t easy getting her to ride the High Country to the Last Chance Saloon. Of course, I could have got plum riled up by my little Calamity Jane but fortunately we have been through the Good, the Bad and Ugly together for more years than I care to remember so I figured I’d stick around and simply Play Misty for Me. She then proffered the observation that I was becoming a High Plains Drifter since my work had dried up like a water hole in the Sonoma Desert. I responded that I had in fact big plans to cut me a few steers from our neighbour’s cattle and take them on a cattle drive down to Clifden. But she sneezed at this idea and said she would not put it ‘El Paso’ me to act dumb in this way. She then added that I would soon run out of rope in my search for a fast buck as I was a just another City Slicker trying to follow my own ‘Legend of Curly’s Gold’. I must admit that I quit chewing the cud with her at that stage as I remembered my western saying ‘When in doubt, let your horse do the thinking’. So even though I may be Unforgiven at home, I have decided to saddle up at High Noon and ride out with the Sons of Katie Elder. For after all, as John Wayne himself would have it: ‘A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do’.

Shucks the hell I will.

“Cheyenne, Cheyenne, where will you be travelling tonight,
Lonely man, Cheyenne, will your heart stay free and bright”

Theme from WB Cheyenne Bodie Western tune on YOUTUBE

Note: This nonsense is just for idle amusement purposes and my very own Calamity Jane actually remains the love of my life in our little House on the Prairie!