the one that got away

“Good Morning, my little fishy!”
“It looks like another wonderful day.”
I say as I give them some flakes of food
before I go off on my way

they swim around earnestly
and chase each other for fun
which makes me stop and wonder
if they are just looking for someone

maybe, they are all lovesick and lonely
forever searching the tank all day
filled with old longings and regret
thinking about the one that got away

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all night with blossom

I recently had a dream that the Earth was visited by a huge alien spaceship. One day with no warning, the object just appeared suddenly in orbit around the planet. All the peoples of the world were on edge, but for seven days we received no radio or signal communications of any kind from the object. So our scientists trained their telescopes and simply studied the uninvited guest. The ship looked strangely organic, like a huge log surrounded by outreaching leaf-like protrusions. There was no obvious signs of a cockpit or windows or propulsion and no movement other than the well controlled orbit.

After the first week, word quickly spread on TV news that alien envoys were appearing in random spots around the globe. But the reports were sketchy and inconclusive. The aliens weren’t showing up at Capitals or government facilities as one might expect which made the reports all that more mysterious. That afternoon there was a bright flash in my living room and a small foggy cloud formed out of thin air. The cloud swirled and then clumped and congealed into what looked like strands of a plant that was growing rapidly.

Within thirty minutes, as I stood mesmerized with my mouth open, the growth had multiple off-shoots and began to take the shape of two seemingly human-like bodies. After about an hour, there were two fully formed “people” standing in front of me. At least they looked totally human as far as I could tell. The couple appeared to be a male and a female and stood with eyes closed and holding hands. They both looked beautiful, almost too perfect to be real. The girl was stunning with shoulder length wavy hair the color of corn silk and the male looked like he could be her twin though his hair was much shorter. They were wearing simple, tight-fitting white clothes that, like their bodies, had grown in place.

So, far they had made no motion. I could not even tell if they were breathing or not. So, my room was silent because I had turned off the TV as soon as the commotion started. Now it was so quiet that my own breathing and the blood pumping in my body seemed to be loud. I didn’t know what to do, if I should call 911 or what. But something made me just stand there and wait. Then suddenly the girls eyes opened. I gasped and almost jumped. She looked around then focused her beautiful green eyes on me. I involuntarily looked behind me as if thinking she may be looking for someone else.

“Hello”, she said in perfect English. I was so stunned that I didn’t answer. After a moments silence, she turned her head to her companion and asked “Does this one have issues hearing vocal communications?”. The male looked back at her but didn’t say anything. My mouth was open again, I think. “Ah”, she said as she turned back to me. “I understand that this situation is likely far outside of your normal life experiences.”

“You think?” I finally responded, then immediately regretted that my first words to an alien visitor from the stars was so lame. Why couldn’t I have said something like Armstrong stepping on the moon? Except I had no idea what to say. My mind was still trying to adjust to the situation.

“Please relax and be yourself”. she said next. “We have studied your planet and your species and have come in this form to better understand and interact with you”.

“In this form?” I asked raising my eyebrows. She smiled and I immediately wondered how she knew to do that if she wasn’t really human, but it seemed natural. In fact is was a very nice smile. The kind of smile that makes you feel good inside.

“We are different from you. The most similar life form on your planet to us would be … called a plant”. She almost seemed hesitant to make that admission.

“You don’t seem much like our plants. Our plants aren’t sentient or even mobile.” I said and suddenly felt a little strange with the realization that I had potted plants sitting in my living room with us.

She smiled again. “Perhaps, plants on your planet have more intelligence than you are aware of. It’s just different. On our home world millions of years ago, we were once very similar to the plants on this world. Then a tragic gamma ray burst destroyed all of the animal life and much of the plant life. We were forced to evolve to survive and that is when the Mother became what you call sentient. Soon, we left our home world behind. Now Mother travels the stars and we seek out knowledge and other life forms.”

“Fascinating” was all I could think to say.

“We have seven days in this human form and then we will be moving on” she said.

“Just seven days? Why so little time?”

She laughed and I smiled because she had a very pleasing laugh. “The universe is large, very large, even for Mother, and there are so many places to go.”

The prospect of her leaving suddenly made me feel sad and she seemed to pick up on that right away. “We won’t leave you totally alone. Before we leave, Mother will leave a pod hidden somewhere out in your solar system. When your species has reached an appropriately advanced level, you will find the pod and be able to communicate with us again.”

I thought about that for a moment and was tempted to tell her that I was actually thinking more about her staying, not some pod, but then I thought better of it. “So,” I said, “what can I tell you that you don’t already know about us? You seem to have an amazing understanding of humans and certainly my language already.”

“It’s true, we have already accessed all the information that was available that your species has collected and stored in various simple digital forms all over the planet.”

“You mean, like the internet?”

“Yes and more, but we are puzzled by many things for which Mother in all her experience has no analog.”

“Things? Like what?”

“Love. Music. War. Things like that. We have no experience of such things. Despite having access to all of human knowledge, we still do not understand many human concepts. Mother has created us, and many others like us, in human form so that we can better understand.”

I grimaced. “Uh, I’m not sure I can help you. Are you sure I’m the right person to work with? I’m afraid I’d just end up repeating words that you already know to try and explain things like that. But Love? I mean, don’t your species have love? Mother created you? I don’t understand.”

“We don’t have or use any technology like humans. Whatever Mother thinks of, she can, well, just grow. Our ship which feeds on cosmic and solar radiation and can fold space-time, even us. She just wills us to exist and we do. We are a part of her and each other and everything we have is living and interconnected. I don’t think you have an analog for that, do you?”

“No, I guess not, but that does sound really neat.” She laughed again and I thought to myself that I was really going to miss that laugh after seven days.

The next seven days, we talked about everything. I played her some of my favorite selections of music and even pulled out my old guitar. She was a good listener. The male with her also appeared to listen very closely but never spoke a word to me. At night, as it got dark, they both would just seemingly shut down. I wasn’t totally sure if they were somehow drawing upon sunlight for energy in some form of photosynthesis or if they were simply processing the experiences of the day. Maybe, they were even sleeping and dreaming?

The rest of the details of the one week, of what was said and what was done and what was shared and what was not, are left out of this story and are private. And on the last day, after she said it was time for them to go, I told her that I loved her. She hugged me and kissed me goodbye. Then she smiled that smile and told me not to be sad as they both simply dissolved back into a misty cloud and were gone again.

Sigh. She didn’t even have a name, since the aliens didn’t have individual identities like we humans do. Still, after she was gone, I decided to call her Blossom. I’ve always talked to my plants, but now I think I’ll have something more interesting to say to them and I think that I won’t look at flowers quite the same way as I used to.

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you and me and alternative reality

just between you and me
I feel we’re caught
in an alternative reality

any day now, time will suddenly reset
and all the tears and hardship
we will immediately forget

so much that happened will just cease to exist
like a standard science fiction plot
that ends with a warp back in time twist

of course that’s just wishful thinking on my part
even if I had the power to change time
I wouldn’t have the heart

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all night battling within and without

I had a dream last night. I was somewhere in the far east with a group that was applying for some work contract. The day was uneventful, full of meetings. In the evening, I was with a small group that was invited by the owner of the business, that we had not met personally, to his home. Word was that he had a small daughter that had been born deformed and was near death. We all bought gifts to give to the little girl, but I wasn’t sure what to get for someone her age. The girl seemed to be surrounded by a lot of people that were watching over her. We found that we were not the only ones that had been invited and that it was her birthday. We talked quietly together as we each awaited our turn to give our gift to the girl.

It was very sad to sit there and think of the poor girl dying. When it came to my turn I forgot my gift and decided it was unimportant. I would just talk with the girl and try to comfort her. I was led by an aid that told me I would only have a moment with the girl because she was tired. I followed and had to climb up several ladders to reach the level where the girl was waiting. She was in a room surrounded by people that were just watching her. I walked to the center and knelt down and told her that I had forgotten my gift. She laughed and then seemed to become angry and came towards me. Her small body was misshapen and barely seemed human. I expected her to run into me, but she passed through my skin like a ghost and then I had the strange feeling that she was inside of me.

I was afraid at this turn of event when my mentor appeared hovering over us. His legs were crossed and he was calm. He urged me to face my fear and told me that I was not in any danger from the girl. This gave me courage I needed. Meanwhile, there was a battle of wills going on inside my body. Finally, the girl spoke to me. She told me that she was not a little girl, but was a grown woman and that she was trapped and being held hostage by all these people. She said that I had come to save her and that was my true gift. I didn’t know what to say to that. I had only come because I had been invited, after all. She went on telling me that she would separate back from within me soon and she wanted to give me something to take back with me into reality. She said there would be golden orbs in my pocket and that they were very important.

This had taken several minutes, but outside my body it was as if no time had passed and the girl was still coming at me when suddenly she turned away. The people all surrounding us were not fooled however, and i suddenly realized that they were not watching the girl to care for her or protect her. They were watching her to keep her trapped. The woman that had led me to the room turned and grabbed my wrist. She looked at me angrily. “She gave you something”, she said, “what was it?”. I denied it, saying “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know what is going on here.”

I turned to leave and reached down to touch my pocket and was surprised that there was something there. The people in the room were all watching my reaction and immediately came after me. I had to fight my way back downstairs as wave after wave of evil watchers came after me. Each time I reached into my pocket a golden sphere would come out in my hand and when I would throw it the person attacking me and they would disappear into thin air with a pop. I couldn’t believe what was happening. It was like I was caught in one of those silly oriental fight movies with people all jumping and flying around. Finally, they all vanished and the household seemed to melt and changed into a commercial building with people waiting to get into the restaurant on the bottom floor. I asked the first person i saw, “where did they all go? Where is the little girl?” but they didn’t seem to understand me. My mentor appeared again and told me that I must follow my heart and face my destiny.

So, I went out into the street and could somehow feel which way I had to go. I ran down the empty streets until I came to a tall dark building that outwardly seemed totally without any life. However, I could see through the walls and there was something that was glowing deep within the building on the top floor. I entered and followed the light. On the top floor was a room full of cob webs and an old man wearing just a robe. At the center of the room was a beautiful woman that seemed to be in a coma and was surrounded by a golden circle. Somehow, I knew that this was the real the body of the one that I had met earlier. I touched her hand and found that i could talk to her again, but the old man coughed and said that she was dead and was far, far past help.

I asked her if the old man was the one holding her and she said yes. However, something told me that he wasn’t real but was only a diversion. I threw another golden orb from my pocket and he vanished. Then, I turned to find a tall man with a dark beard and dressed in fine colored robes coming at me. “You are too late”, he said as he attacked me. We fought until I had all but exhausted my strength. “You cannot defeat me” he laughed. I managed to push him away and I lifted the woman out of the circle and laid down in her place myself. She then awoke just as I went into the same coma. I realized it must have been some kind of spell or black magic that had been holding her there.

Freed, she continued the fight with the evil magician. I was aware of the battle and my surroundings but I was content to slip away into nothingness. I was falling. Falling down and spinning into a deep vortex but I wasn’t afraid. Then the beautiful woman defeated the evil man with a golden flash she and came to me and grabbed my hand pulling me back into her arms as I woke up.

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to say on father’s day

last night, I was eating corn
at our local Golden Corral buffet
although father’s lips would puff up
I remember he loved to eat it anyway

whenever I would call him on the phone
he was always there with good advice
and willing to go out of his way
to help me which was so very nice

as a young child in his household
it’s true that he seemed pretty strict
but later I became a father too and knew
all was done with love for my own benefit

today, like many days, I’m thinking of my father
and missing him because he has passed away
leaving me filled with so many thoughts
so much, that I would want to say

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the wonder of words

as I read and ponder between the poetry lines
the words like hands impress and caress me
a gentle voice spoken aloud in my heart
echoing across a chamber once so empty and lonely

words that reach across this vast expanse
and entangle with me through space and time
overlapping the holograms at the edges of existence
as if imprinted through me in starlight line by line

until the moment when the words linger like a rainbow
appearing with wonder in the azure skies in my mind
and I question if they will soon fade in the sun
or forever exist within me until the end of time

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all night trapped in-between

I had a dream last night where I got sucked into a twilight zone world down in-between and under the floor boards. It turned out there were a lot of people there that were wondering around emotionless and having been converted into a tiny cartoon-like replicas of their original selves. Each had an assigned role to do. They took me around and had me try my hand at various jobs. My first job was to sit in front of a large fish tank and to try to communicate with the fish in the tank. After awhile someone would come, shake their heads and then tell me to follow them to my next assignment. Apparently, I was not working out at anything in this strange place. I wondered how I was ever going to get free and return to the real world.

Eventually, I ended up as a failure back in front of the fish tank. I would try to talk with them but the fish only opened their mouths and blew bubbles at me, seemingly amused that I was back. After some time, I accidentally discovered that I could sing to the fish and they would respond by saying “oh my”. Someone showed up to investigate the noise and said that obviously I should be assigned to sing in the empty opera hall. I didn’t want to do that, so I sang out to them that I wanted to stay and talk to the fish. When the sound waves of my voice hit the person, they disappeared with a pop and returned back to the real world, freed from the strange cartoon-like existence.

I knew what I should do next, so I ran everywhere, singing to everyone that I could find to free them too. People were popping out right and left and lots of people were chasing me. They shouted that I should stop because I had not been assigned to do that. Finally, the place was empty and I popped back myself. I remember thinking to myself with satisfaction as I walked away that I should now say something appropriate, like “there’s no place like home”, but I just said, “oh, I miss the fish.”


the tiger barb mob

2016-03-26 15.53.07in my aquarium tank
the tiger barb mob
chase each other around
like it is their only job

and my dwarf neon rainbow fish
seem a little confused
acting just like my tiger barbs
which has me all amused

after eating time is over
they all search for places to hide
under every nook and cranny
they just chill out and glide

at times the mob can be a little ornery
like a group of school age boys
looking for girls with pigtails to pull
but that’s why they have each other to annoy

still they give me a lot of relaxing pleasure
as I sit and watch them play
and it is as good a way as I can imagine
to bring an end to my stressful day

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he’s dead, Jim

my old MSI laptop recently began acting a little weird
which I attributed to the free upgrade to Windows 10
so, I wiped everything away and installed a Linux OS
which was working great until the very end
when the old machine just refused to boot anymore
and the hard disk wouldn’t even spin
I tried but couldn’t coax out even a little beep
and so I realized it was time to buy a new laptop again

oh how I’ll miss my old keyboard, I feared
because they don’t make them like that much anymore
now the keys are mostly chiclet island buttons
a style that I kinda really abhor
until I bought my new Dell XPS 13 ultrabook
and found a new laptop that I really adore
it’s well built and has a really beautiful screen
and so, I really couldn’t ask for anything more


all night and forever in a moment

Last night, I had a dream that our planet was visited by an alien device. People sort of went crazy. There were nations trying to destroy it, other nations trying to destroy each other, while others waited to see what happened. After circumnavigating the planet and seemingly mapping the entire surface, the device began to emit a multicolored beam that turned whole cities into crystalline objects with many facets. The objects then folded onto themselves until whole cities were the size of book which was then absorbed into the alien device.

After the first city was gone, the battle intensified but to no avail. No human weapons had any impact on the alien device. It was like it wasn’t really here. Perhaps, it was safely hidden in some unseen and undiscovered dimension and we were only seeing a mere reflection of the reality of it. It’s hard to say. The device went from city to city and began to empty the planet of all evidence of human life. These were desperate and depressing sights. Humans scattered like cockroaches when the light is turned on at night.

In the end there were a small group of people that believed that they would be chosen to survive. They were wrong, as it turned out. And the alien device swept them away with the rest of humanity. Then it came to be my turn. I had done everything I could think of to save the one that I loved and her children, but there was no defense against the alien device. When the multicolored lights swept over me I felt for a moment that I was like a bug trapped in amber. The lights folded around me in strange angles and then there was complete darkness and I thought it was the end.

Next, I opened my eyes and I was at a beach house with her and I could hear the surf and the children playing. Somehow, I knew I was trapped in a moment of a memory and that I was now nothing more than a hologram stored in the alien device. I looked at her in that moment and smiled thinking that there could be worse places to spend forever. And then I woke up.

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plunder to pay for it all

once, when the Roman Emperor and Senators
wanted to buy off the people with bread and circuses
they just sent out their legions to conquer and plunder
to take the money needed to build a coliseum or provide services

now, our leaders just tax and spend and print more money
and when that still isn’t enough money to pay for it all
they borrow and plunder from our own children’s future
which I fear can only lead to our society’s ultimate downfall


2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,800 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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searching without looking
hunting without any prey
knocking with no answer
speaking with nothing to say

dancing with no partner
hoping without any hope
yearning without learning
laughing without understanding the joke

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a cold dark nothing

it sounds like it’s raining hard outside
or maybe that’s all in my head
my room somehow seems smaller today
so, I think I’ll go back to bed

then I dream that I’m back at our family cabin
surrounded by the green trees of Tennessee
my father is trying to stop the flooding
the source of which is just a mystery

next, I hear someone crying in the distance
but I don’t have my glasses, so I can’t see
and I hear the sound of tears falling
that plop and echo eerily

I have the weird feeling that I’m missing something
something that should be important to me
but my searching mind comes up with nothing
only a cold dark nothing that is silent and empty

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