Everything Else

Post all the odds and ends here.

»Posted by on Apr 20, 2019 in Everything Else | Comments Off on

                 DEPTH CHARGES 

By:  Sterling T. Hard 

Among the many diversions we had as kids, one could only happen once a year…..in the late spring.  Nature, specifically hot sun, played a vital role. 

During the summer and on through the winter, farmers filled up small ponds on the mountain side behind our house with the contents of outhouse pits hauled  “coolie style” in two, five gallon buckets suspended from each end of a pole balanced across the farmer’s shoulders.  

(Just an etymological aside: the Chinese word 苦 力 (pinyin: kǔlì) literally means “bitterly hard (use of) strength” …citation: wikipedia.org..) 

The farmers negotiated steep uphill rocky paths rarely more than a foot wide, carrying in excess of 70 pounds of “ripe” human excrement to be used as fertilizer to be ladled on the rows of crops to be grown next season. 

In the hot spring sun the smelly soup in the ponds developed a crust which looked pretty much what you would imagine it to look like…overdone bread pudding. 

Now Robert Wright had a strange fascination with depth charges…..and when you heaved a sizable rock high into the air and it came plummeting down to break the surface, the “sploosh” produced a geyser which would satisfy the most jaded naval “war gamers”. 

But kids tend to be competitive, and so the rocks got bigger to produce larger depth charge geysers.  There were a limited number of ponds, with a finite amount of serviceable crust, so the depth charge projectile size escalated rapidly. 

Robert had “lost” the war last spring and wasn’t about to lose again.  So this particular hot spring afternoon, he picked up the biggest possible rock he could, struggled to the edge of a pond and was only able to lean over to roll the small “boulder” off his shoulder. 

It was the biggest alright, but the putrid geyser caught him full in the face! 

With a crazed yelp he fell back clawing the crap off his face. He tried to open his eyes, but within seconds the toxic slurry had swollen his eyelids shut.  “I can’t see!!” he bellowed. 

Suddenly the immediate possibility of permanent blindness crashed through our shock. 

He started wailing desperately.  I slung him onto my back and started down the mountain at a dead run. 

Cold fear and racing adrenalin only slightly dulled the pain of my bleeding feet.  I had long since shredded and lost my thin rubber shoes when I stopped momentarily, gasping for air, to check on Robert.  His hands clapped against his face didn’t stifle the pitiable crying, I’m blind, I’m blind, I can’t see!! 

I boosted him onto my back again, stumbling and tripping, driven by the panic of the crisis, past dumbfounded onlookers as we approached the house.   

Exhausted, I dumped Robert on the ground and started hammering for all I was worth on the gate. 

Helpless laughter?…had Robert lost his mind?  I turned, astounded to see him clutching his stomach, bent over…..LAUGHING….hysterically! 

“Robert, you OK?….can you see?” 

Paroxysms of cackling laughter erupted from Robert.  “OH, OH, I could see again; by the time we were half way down the mountain…my tears had washed my eyes out.” 

His eyelids were red and swollen, but I could see that his eyes WERE clear. 

“Why didn’t you stop me?” 

“Oh, I was having too much fun riding you down, and besides, I’ve never seen you so scared.” 

Momentary relief turned to fury, as I flailed and pummeled him, intent on doing serious bodily harm.  But I was too spent from the harrowing charge down the mountain to do any real damage….besides; all it did was to make him laugh harder!

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»Posted by on Apr 19, 2019 in Everything Else | Comments Off on

                 DEPTH CHARGES 

By:  Sterling T. Hard 

Among the many diversions we had as kids, one could only happen once a year…..in the late spring.  Nature, specifically hot sun, played a vital role. 

During the summer and on through the winter, farmers filled up small ponds on the mountain side behind our house with the contents of outhouse pits hauled  “coolie style” in two, five gallon buckets suspended from each end of a pole balanced across the farmer’s shoulders.  

(Just an etymological aside: the Chinese word 苦 力 (pinyin: kǔlì) literally means “bitterly hard (use of) strength” …citation: wikipedia.org..) 

The farmers negotiated steep uphill rocky paths rarely more than a foot wide, carrying in excess of 70 pounds of “ripe” human excrement to be used as fertilizer to be ladled on the rows of crops to be grown next season. 

In the hot spring sun the smelly soup in the ponds developed a crust which looked pretty much what you would imagine it to look like…overdone bread pudding. 

Now Robert Wright had a strange fascination with depth charges…..and when you heaved a sizable rock high into the air and it came plummeting down to break the surface, the “sploosh” produced a geyser which would satisfy the most jaded naval “war gamers”. 

But kids tend to be competitive, and so the rocks got bigger to produce larger depth charge geysers.  There were a limited number of ponds, with a finite amount of serviceable crust, so the depth charge projectile size escalated rapidly. 

Robert had “lost” the war last spring and wasn’t about to lose again.  So this particular hot spring afternoon, he picked up the biggest possible rock he could, struggled to the edge of a pond and was only able to lean over to roll the small “boulder” off his shoulder. 

It was the biggest alright, but the putrid geyser caught him full in the face! 

With a crazed yelp he fell back clawing the crap off his face. He tried to open his eyes, but within seconds the toxic slurry had swollen his eyelids shut.  “I can’t see!!” he bellowed. 

Suddenly the immediate possibility of permanent blindness crashed through our shock. 

He started wailing desperately.  I slung him onto my back and started down the mountain at a dead run. 

Cold fear and racing adrenalin only slightly dulled the pain of my bleeding feet.  I had long since shredded and lost my thin rubber shoes when I stopped momentarily, gasping for air, to check on Robert.  His hands clapped against his face didn’t stifle the pitiable crying, I’m blind, I’m blind, I can’t see!! 

I boosted him onto my back again, stumbling and tripping, driven by the panic of the crisis, past dumbfounded onlookers as we approached the house.   

Exhausted, I dumped Robert on the ground and started hammering for all I was worth on the gate. 

Helpless laughter?…had Robert lost his mind?  I turned, astounded to see him clutching his stomach, bent over…..LAUGHING….hysterically! 

“Robert, you OK?….can you see?” 

Paroxysms of cackling laughter erupted from Robert.  “OH, OH, I could see again; by the time we were half way down the mountain…my tears had washed my eyes out.” 

His eyelids were red and swollen, but I could see that his eyes WERE clear. 

“Why didn’t you stop me?” 

“Oh, I was having too much fun riding you down, and besides, I’ve never seen you so scared.” 

Momentary relief turned to fury, as I flailed and pummeled him, intent on doing serious bodily harm.  But I was too spent from the harrowing charge down the mountain to do any real damage….besides; all it did was to make him laugh harder!

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Times Remembered

»Posted by on Jul 16, 2018 in Everything Else | Comments Off on Times Remembered

Times remembered
Now repeating
Now receding

Vacant mem’ries
Hollow entries
Long abandoned

Empty journeys
Once remembered
Twice forgotten

Open highways
Never travelled
Dreams forsaken

Faded glories
Full of promise
Now depleted

Long lost treasures
Stolen chances
Dissipating

Silent voices
Empty spaces
Past erases

Times remembered
Now repeating
Now receding

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Lydia

»Posted by on Jul 6, 2018 in Everything Else | Comments Off on Lydia

My Darling
I was so hopeful then
First it was
Home for Christmas
Then it was
Home for New Year’s
But you never came home
Except in my heart
Where you’ll live forever

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The 4th of July

»Posted by on Jul 4, 2018 in Everything Else | Comments Off on The 4th of July

The 4th of July

Bruce Levine

(To be read in a G & S cadence)

Here’s to the 4th of July
Tra la
The Founding Fathers rejoice
Tra la
Though their work is done
There’s much more to come
So
Here’s to the 4th of July
Tra la

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Dancing on the Windowsill

»Posted by on May 2, 2018 in Everything Else | 2 comments

Dancing on the Windowsill

Never done this but here goes…my haiku collection, “Dancing on the windowsill”, is available on Barnes and Noble electronic publication for $3.   Prolific Press has also published my chap book, “Souls Cleaner Than Ours”.

Go see it on Barnes & Noble!

 

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