gypsy not a Romani
Moving place to place
the last time I saw my oldest sister was in 2000. She came to visit me from the U.K. She brought me a gift, which some people thought was rather odd but, something that has not only been very useful to me and has allowed me to remain connected to my roots in the city of Bristol where I was born. That gift was a book of street maps of Bristol.
It’s quite old and probably out of date however, I like to see and read posts each day about the Bristol street art scene (you can see them at Natural Adventures on WordPress). I have forgotten where a lot of the places that are posted are. So I use my old street maps guide. My sister passed away last year. What some considered an odd gift turned out to be a very thoughtful one. So much so, that I felt compelled to return the thoughtful favour by sharing it here today.
On October 5th of 2018, a friend of 43 years passed away. He died of a heart attack. He was 81 years old and as I like to say, he had a good “at bat”. Harland “Lanny” Ross was in his retirement years an artist. He referred to himself as a swab and glob abstract painter. His work, quite extraordinary.
As a former executive with Norwest Orient Airlines, he travelled millions of miles around the world. However, most of his travel was in Asia and the South Pacific. During the Vietnam War, he managed the military contract flights moving troops in to and out of Ton Sun Hut air force base in Saigon, (now Ho Chi Minh City). At the end of the war he established a tour wholesale company offering tours to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.
The theme for his abstract art was portraying pictures of Asia on canvas. These images in his mind’s eyes covered the gambit from Fijian beaches, Tahitian moonsets to the Malaysian jungle, Indonesian volcanoes, Rainy days in Tokyo, vineyards in Australia and his passion, China.
Lanny was a talented person. You can see some of his work here at his former website. He billed himself as The Man of Colours http://www.themanofcolours.com
In spite of his talent as an artist he bemoaned his lack of financial success, eking out a living on his somewhat meagre Social Security income and occasional sale of a painting. Which brings me to the real point of this post.
This is my first post in almost a month and a departure from my usual stuff: Haikus, stories in rhyme and Don the Con satire. Lanny was an ardent anti-Trumpian. He realized what a con job Trump had pulled on the American people. He was so anti-Trump that he wrote daily to a large list of email followers with updates on the latest lie, dirty deed, illegal, abuse of power, insult, manifestation of misogynistic narcissistic behavior that Trump had displayed. When all was said and done, I think the stress Lanny endured because of Trump is what led to his heart attack.
I have refrained from writing for a while because I too have been stressed by the disgraceful excuse for a president of the United States that we have.
Yesterday marked the beginning of his end. Madam Speaker of the House of Representatives stood up and showed us and the world how to dispose of a tyrannical toddler prone to temper tantrums in order to get his way.. Thank you Nancy Pelosi.
STORIES IN RHYME No. 32
Humpty Trumpty where have you been
Off to London to visit the Queen
Humpty Trumpty what did you do there
I hope that they were things that you can share
I know you’ll say her Highness was fab
But I hope you refrained from trying to grab
At one part of royalty you’ll never see
Swampking Donald’s the best you’ll ever be.
And if we look at more of your trips
We learned that in Melbourne you made a terrible slip
You talked about Sweden and their event seen on FOX
Events that were history you got from the box
Is it true you watch TV six hours a day?
That’s more than kids with their parents away!
The DEMs and now some of the GOP
Are beginning to ask “When will we see”?
A glimmer of truth come from you and your gang
Something that doesn’t land with a clang
The nation is weary of alternative facts
Your fabric of truth has too many cracks.
You’re making it up as you go along
Your fine-tuned machine is singing your song
The chorus however is allowing some leaks
Stuff you try to cover with tweets.
A month has gone by and your house is a mess
Even your guests feel under stress
At a recent luncheon with a New Jersey oaf
You ordered for him your tasty meat-loaf
You reveal yourself as one who controls
Not good in the long run for you in the polls
It’s a trait shown by demagogues of yore
It’ll see you dismissed to your Florida shore
The nation doesn’t need a pandering goof
Not someone who’s a few tiles short of a roof
We need a leader both honest and true
Who comes from a state which is both strong and blue
Note: This was written before Trump made his on again/off again visit to the UK. Then I mislaid the USB drive I saved it on. Today – found!
Stories in Rhyme No. 31 – Wanderlust
I had a nagging urge that told me I must write
And so, sitting at my keyboard I began to type.
At first the words came slowly Then gradually not at all
My mind it would not function, nothing to recall.
A thought then came to me, it was an awful shock
I had been stricken with this thing, they call it writer’s block.
This was not the first time, it had happened oft before
And so, I searched my memory for a quick and simply cure.
I began to think of old times, the days of distant past.
Days upon the high seas spent before the mast.
From Angola round the cape to a place called Zanzibar
With rum culls and Lascars and one, one-legged Tar
But now those days are done, no more do I quest
To view a new horizon from a place they call the nest
A garden plot is my place now, it’s where I ply my sport
Planting seeds I gathered up from many foreign ports
I have not seen every seed, there are many still unknown
But those taken and to my plot consigned were well and truly sown.
Did they grow to manhood or plant maturity?
Not always, but it was a wonder just to see
God’s miracle emerging from the soil
Green shoots searching sunshine, with just a modicum of toil.
Ampalaya, a bitter gourd has a taste to be acquired
A vegetable so good to eat, of which I’ve never tired.
And then Kamote, comes purple and it’s sweet
The original potato another tasty treat
With a glass of wine at hand, it’s good to reminisce
]and write down pleasant memories so the grand kids will not miss
Reading of adventure and so learn firsthand the truth
What grandpa was up to in the days of his youth.
And therein lies the use (perhaps) of stories told in rhyme
Many years from now will they stand the test of time
And become the stuff of legend or forgotten and then lost.
Or worse, consigned to boxes, (as I have done) to be buried in a loft.
What fun it is to find them, to blow off gathered dust
And relive forgotten moments and days of wanderlust.