Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dusk, Dark, Cold

By David Roth
© 29th November, 2011

It’s dusk
in a bleak November sky
and December’s standing by
but I swear I don’t know why
the darkness comes
to a tiny room
where a single soul
waits the coming gloom
with a heart that’s empty
as a tomb
alone at dusk.

It’s dark
on a moonless autumn eve
winter’s chill begins to weave
what the faithful still believe
and the snow flies fast
on a wind-swept field
over shadows cast
never giving way
ever forced to yield
to the frozen breath
that Decembers wield
in the dark.

near frozen
near froze
still becomes
as stealth has chose
bleak the sullen
dark falls close
when the ‘ber of Novem
stirs to Decem
at dusk
t’ward night
where it’s cold.

Monday, November 28, 2011


I suppose it is as perfect a day as I could want. I was going to say ‘ask for’ but that would mean ending a sentence on a preposition (or perhaps a proposition) and me being a writer and all, well, there you have it. Such things simply aren’t done in polite society.
On the other hand, no one has ever actually successfully convicted me of following the rules, and let’s be honest. You’re not exactly polite society!  Well, Perhaps Miss Sarah, but that’s all. That one is even open to reasonable doubt because most of you who will eventually read this are also writers. We are not only born to if not outright break the rules, at least fracture them here and there.
So perhaps, after all I could just say ‘it’s as perfect a day as I could ask for’ and let it go.
I suppose you want a clarification. Or possibly a qualification. Perhaps even some other –tion of which I am unaware. Whatever.
It is presently 15:37:30 on 28 November, 2011. It is 62.8°f (17.1°c if you are so inclined. Generally speaking I am not) and there is still the steady fall of light rain that has persisted since before my rude awakening this morning at the hands (paws?) of my wife’s BAC (work it out on your own, won’t you?) who had selected that precise moment to go from the floor on my wife’s side of the bed to the bathroom on my side of the bed, in which are located both the kitty potty and food and water bowls. For whatever reason, the wee beastie believes that the direct overland route is preferable to simply walking around the bed, and is in no way deposed to being concerned that in so choosing, she is trampling the sleeping form of the other human who occupies that space during darkness.
But now you ask, what in all of that make the day perfect, for surely being nearly bludgeoned first awake and then into self-righteous agony and irritation by an only marginally domesticated feline of disreputable origin does not qualify, and I would reply that it is indeed both a wise observation as well as a brilliantly conceived question.
(Bright soul that you are, you will have no doubt already perceived that I am fluent in sarcasm).
It is, of course, the rain. The cool, refreshing, devilishly delicious, darkly delightful tap dance of rain steadily thrumming the aluminum awnings covering each window of our humble west central Florida domicile. It is most divinely delicious in the sun room where there are enough well placed frighteningly efficient open windows to create a cross breeze. They normally dampen the sonorous dance of rain pixies when closed, so this is a genuine delight. It is a little cooler in the house because of this, but I suppose that’s why God invented cotton fleece, after all.
A good book, a steaming mug of Earl Grey, the pitter-patter of music on the awning, and all is very much right with the world. All that’s missing is Michael Flatley telling Barbra Walters that he’s the best dancer in the world after each sweeping brush of sea scented downpour. Oh wait – I don’t really miss that part!
I have always maintained that I prefer a cool day that requires a long sleeve shirt and perhaps fleece leggings to a hot day in which no matter what you remove, you still sweat. This is one such day. Cool temperature, light steady even rain, good book, Earl Gray and a hot bowl of homemade soup for dinner. And the company of a good friend – my best friend – and her BAC.

Friday, November 11, 2011


 I’ve written on this subject a number of times in the past so it would seem negligent of me to not do it today. As I type these words it is close enough to midnight to just call it November 11, 2011. Numerologists are having lots of fun with that number. 11.11.11. Veteran’s Day, 2011.  First, it will be a hundred years – November 11, 2111 – before the abbreviated date of all one’s will occur again. So is this a good thing, numerologically speaking, or maybe not so much?
In the words of the 16th century scholar Petrus Bungus, 11 "has no connection with divine things, no ladder reaching up to things above, nor any merit." Stuck between the divine numbers 10 and 12, 11 was pure evil, and represented sinners.
According to Alan Lenzi, professor of religious studies at University of the Pacific who studies biblical numerology, "Numbers that are already significant to us, such as calendar dates that also coincidentally fall into an obvious pattern, become doubly significant," Lenzi said. "11/11/11 is another example of people doing what people are cognitively prone to do: find significance."
So what does that have to do with anything?
In the Unites States we commemorate those men and women who have served our nation in one of the five branches of the armed services: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.  We raise our flags, hold parades, sometimes have fireworks, other times hold special celebrations and make award presentations, and politicians makes speeches which in most cases come after the annual elections have been held. In 2011 that was Tuesday, November 8, 2011.
Today I am writing to remind anyone who reads this that the freedom we have as a nation has come at great expense – generally the lives of men and women who, had they lived, would be being celebrated as veterans today.
Many in my family have served, from uncles, cousins, brothers, nephews, and those who are in-laws who have served.  You’ll note I didn’t mention aunts, nieces, or sisters.  None of my aunts, nieces or sisters served.  However, my wife is a Navy vet.  My sister-in-law is an Army vet. So at least by marriage, females from my family have served.
I started school late because of a fluke in the law.  I was born the day after the cutoff to register, so consequently when I turned eighteen and registered for the Nam,  I still had six months of high school.  I elected to finish school. Just days before my lottery number would have come up, Mr. Nixon signed the papers ending the Viet Nam draft. It’s the only time in my life I’ve had a good draw with the lottery.
Two of my brothers enlisted as had my father and step father before them.  My step son enlisted in the Navy, two of my nephews enlisted (Marine Corps and Air Force) and sons of both my brother-in-la and sister-in-law either have or will serve.
My best friend from high school died of a brain tumor from agent orange exposure in the Nam, but it took ten years to kill him.
Other friends went to the Nam.  Most came home, but some made the trip in plain flag draped pine boxes, while a few more, well I guess no one will ever know.
Here is my point.  Take time to seek out a vet today and thank him, or her.  Thank their spouses, their siblings, their parents and their children.  Thank them for their sacrifices, because whether they served, or left loved ones behind, sacrifices were made by all of them.
And when you’re done with that, fall down on your knees and thank God Almighty for allowing you to be born in a nation where you are free enough to give thanks.