Still going through my papers. Still finding things which I find interesting.
This poem was written by a very young daughter Susan and dated 2/14/80. I like it, although I’m sure Susan would write it very differently today.
AFTER THE RAIN
A singular droplet of crystalline water fell upon my brow, Drawing my face upwards to see if the sky would begin to Cry in earnest.
The heavenly shower began to pour around me; Washing away the sins of the world in a sporadic burst of Innumerable silver amulets. The horizon was clothed in dismal grey as the relentless Storm sent the nectar of the clouds crashing to earth in Wind-blown fury.
My consciousness soon became as drenched and distraught as The sparrow in the treetop, being thrashed about By his maker’s own discontentment. After the clouds had scoured the earth with efficient grace, They retreated to their mountaintop mansion, Allowing the sun to once again bathe the earth in brilliant, Warming rays.
A spectrum of colours danced across the heavens As the mist evaporated into clear, blue skies, Reflecting the light of life in it’s entirety, Radiance and joy were to be found everywhere: For even in the frail web of the spider, Translucent, shimmering specks of water gleamed like Diamonds on a string.
Beauty was granted a chance to show full face As the world responded to the precious gift the clouds Had bestowed upon the earth.
*P.S. Don’t be concerned if I don’t post for awhile. I’ll be busy with other things.
Life isn’t fair: It isn’t fair that my children are funnier than I am. It isn’t fair that they’re cleverer than I am and it sure isn’t fair that they write so much better than I do — and they started doing so early.
Rafi wrote one at about the same age, but if Susan’s was a saga, his called ‘How did she die?’ was a tome, much too long for this post. If you want to read it you will have to wait until it is published. (Chuckle.)
Instead I’ve chosen to share the following poem written during his early university years — in about 1991.
A MAN AND HIS TEAR
By Rafi Kauffmann
Looking into a sullen eye A moment of realism slips through A moment of evil and self-destruction Yet of kindness and redemption, A tear
Sold is the innocence of youth For a rough tempered style, Tattered is the skin Worn beyond its years But still, a tear
Glistening with emotion It swells but won’t fall The impression on others holds it back
A positive sign this tear A breakthrough well needed An escape well deserved
Honestly it sings of experience A living history contained within its walls What it knows he knows What it is, he is
Am busy destroying files and files of papers — a kindness I owe my children after a lifetime of writing, stirring up trouble and fighting city hall (and at times even winning). I found the following and decided to share it with you.
This grown man…
This grown man was my baby He giggled and smiled and brought me joy He clung to me when he was ill (Which happened all too often) His feverish little body cuddled close Against my breast while my heart Beat rapidly with a mother’s fear
This grown man was my toddler His pudgy little fingers explored everything He loved to stand on my feet and hang onto my knees While I clumsily transported him Laughing away from room to room He wanted to marry our dog And buy me a big, big house
This grown man was my boy He took apart every new toy to see What was inside and put together Model airplane kits and cars But never read the instructions He discovered sports and uniforms That life was not always fair And his mother wasn’t perfect Yet continued to love me
This grown man was no typical teenager He laughed down at me from a height I’d have to stand on a chair to reach Why he was never difficult I don’t know He worked out, ran and played basketball And would study — if he had to He thought about girls and I must Never, ever kiss him in public He would call me at work Just to say hello
Note: I also wrote a poem about Susan. See it under: My Susan… April 27, 2020. After all, I do love them both.
I’m a delicate flower. I’ve got allergies to lots of chemicals, so I’ve never dyed my hair. Tired of lock-downs and not seeing friends, I wanted to do something new. My bright idea was to colour my hair purple.
Do I look good in purple? No! I NEVER wear purple. And did I do a good job? Are you kidding? I did a better job spraying water on my kitchen floor than I did my hair and I’m still trying to get the colour out of my white counter. Still, if you look really hard you can see a little purple. You may laugh. I did.
Someone who loves me enough to tell the truth (and shall remain nameless) emailed: ‘Yes! I see it! But people may just think it is the “blue hair” of old ladies who try to brighten their grey and leave the stuff on too long!’
I loved the following poem, ‘Warning’, long before I became old. You may too. Since this is National Poetry Month, this is a good time to revisit it. Enjoy!
‘Warning’ by Jenny Joseph (1932-2018)
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beer-mats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
Note: Thanks Andrew for helping me find a gentle and safe dye to use.
My late friend Hans was a really funny guy. He enjoyed marzipan, which I don’t. Thus marzipan was a safe thing for me to get for him whenever he visited.
I drove to the candy store in Kerrisdale for it until Purdy’s opened a shop in my own neighbourhood on 4th Avenue.
Since I was working, Hans was on his own during the day. I suggested he walk the few blocks for the chocolates on his own.
You couldn’t insult Hans. I recall telling him that he was arrogant. His response? ‘Well, I don’t know anyone who has more reason to be.’ It was impossible to get angry at him.
Hans loved Shakespeare. He even wrote an award-winning musical set in Shakespeare’s England. (It was the sole production not actually written by Shakespeare ever performed in ‘The Globe Theatre’ in Los Angeles.)
Tongue in cheek, he complained about the terrible treatment he was receiving at my hands. Tongue in cheek, I wrote this for him. We both had a good laugh. I hope you enjoy reading it too.
My Love, Alone He Walketh
My love, upon the Avenue he walketh Gallantly, bravely, forth he setteth Alone, uncivilized hordes he faceth On Fourth, between Arbutus and Yew.
Not rain, nor sleet, nor snow delayeth Nor fear of highwaymen who lurketh Along the dangerous route he walketh Onward, onward to Purdy’s door.
These foreign climes, my love, he braveth Distanced far from the land he loveth For his fair damsel alone he cometh Her beauteous face to see once more.
And when my love, indeed he leaveth And alone, I must myself then beith Shall I, on mornings cold and cleareth Walk in his steps to Purdy’s store.
The door handle, I shall then caresseth For dear hands upon it once had layeth My love’s devotion I shall recalleth And surely remember evermore.
He walk-ed this path so unafraideth For marzipan, the world he’d braveth Upon my knees I thank the Lordeth That above all else, he does not snore.
I’ve been housebound during this stressful time of COVID: 19 and Judy is one of those special friends who have stayed in touch. She has been checking in by email every single day. What would I do without friends like her? Thank you Judy and also to the many others who have not forgotten me.
Judy Parker is a brilliant, published author and an avid reader who contributes much to our book club. I am fortunate to have her in my life.
Thank you too, Judy, for allowing me to share your work with my readers and to love your cat Bear.
P.S. Please note the spaces between Judy’s poem’s lines are because of my lack of expertise with technology. Please disregard them. Thank you, Muriel
Haven’t I Seen This Movie?
By Judy Parker
Small town or big city. Lonely cabin or
Michigan Lake beach. I was there
dark lane. South Pacific Island.
Sandy beach on a sunny day.
Cue ominous music. Where is the
cheerleader? The old geezer? The jock?
Somebody gives warning but the
warnings are mocked. “Run away! Hide!
Stay in your homes!”
The monster creeps closer,
slithers or slides, stomps on the cities
or eats the new bride. And everyone parties,
Where is the cheerleader?
unaware of the screams, until they’re
the victims, and it’s their blood that streams
over the cobbles or down the morgue drain.
Finally it’s over, the movie is done,
and no one’s too worried about who is gone.
It’s only a movie. It’s all in fun. Monsters
In movies will leave us alone. But the monsters
we face now will follow us home. This isn’t
a movie. It just feels like it’s one.
Hans Muller was a talented, classically-trained musician who studied at the Conservatory of Music in Vienna. Brilliant and playful, his most wonderful trait was his irreverent sense of humor. To him, even the great Beethoven was fair game.
Going through stuff to throw out, I found these words he wrote to the master’s ‘Fer Elise’. You can sing it to the music….
Beethoven: Certainly gifted but I wouldn’t have wanted to marry him either
Ludwig named this ditty for Elise
but no one seems to know who she’s
Was she from Bonn or was she Viennese?
What was her amorous expertise?
Was Elise his lover or his maid
And, either way, was she well paid?
Did she become his broad, his concubine
When he asked her ‘Your place or mine?’
Was she his chick, his moll, his fox
Or did she only darn his socks?
Therese Malfalli Could she have been Ludwig’s Elise? He may have asked her to marry him, but she refused.
Did she spend nights of passion with Beethoven?
Limbs entwined and interwoven?
Was Elise a flirt, was she a tease?
Did she undress, smile and say cheese?
Did Ludwig kiss Elise beneath a tree
And touch her way above the knee?
Or did he give her one strategic squeeze
And hand her his apartment keys?
What did he do when he met her
Did he right away embrace and pet her
Or did he sit down at the keyboard
And compose one of his immortal tunes?
Perhaps the most romantic though a bit pedantic
Opus twenty-seven, number two, in C sharp minor
Known as moonlight, a sonata soon quite popular
All over Vienna and in Bonn
The biggest hit by Ludwig Van.
Hans Muller: All this from a man for whom English was only one of six languages he spoke and read with ease…
One stormy night in bed he said to her
As winter gales howled from the North,
I have decided that I’ll do my Fifth
As soon as I have done the Fourth,
A Fourth, a Fifth, said she, but Lou
You cannot even manage two.
Did she listen to what he composed?
Sometimes she did, sometimes she dozed.
One day he wrote a Missa called Solemnis,
She said: Ludwig, I condemn this
Must it go thus
To and fro — it bores me so!
Was she a connoisseur, was she well-read
Or was she only good in bed?
Of all of music history’s mysteries
The greatest puzzle is E l i s e.