20. July 2023
Poetry , Humor
If, like me, you were ever forced to read Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," here is my 21st-century homage to his most-famous work:
Cursing by Keyboard in the Early Morning
It's half past two, I'm still awake,
Typing madly, cursing mistakes.
Myriad tasks my ire rouse,
No end in sight, and my head aches.
Emphatic din of keys and mouse,
Resound throughout the tiny house.
Word just crashed with hard drive errors.
I scream in silence. (Can't wake my spouse.)
Word's "auto-save" denies my prayers;
Four thousand words beyond repair.
No cloud drive clone, I could just weep.
I start again, fraught with despair.
I long for blankets warm and deep,
But I have my deadlines to keep,
And hours to work before I sleep,
And hours to work before I sleep.
While I admire Frost's usage of iambic tetrameter throughout this poem, I thoroughly dislike the rhyming scheme that he employed. Nevertheless, my trifle of a poetic offering is more or less a form of parody, so I tried my best to stay true to Frost's pattern.
30. April 2020
Military , Humor , Food , Poetry
I belong to a few different Veteran's forums, and recently someone mentioned that they had completed their tour of service without ever having tried the military's infamous SOS, which is an "affectionate" name for creamed ground beef over biscuits. The name is an acronym for (ahem) "Stuff on a Shingle," (although in Army parlance it's a different four-letter word instead of "stuff.")
Nevertheless, I thought that it might be fun to write a few words as an homage to one of the most-hated and yet most-loved dishes in the military cookbook. SOS may have tasted awful, but it was better than starving, and it taught me to be truly thankful for what I had.
I do not mean to sound so rude
By poking fun at Army food
But I have had their SOS
And can attest it's not the best
I've also had green eggs and ham
And a dozen types of mangled spam
I did not think those things existed
Until such time as I enlisted
My stomach now is ironclad
And can withstand when food is bad
If I sit back and reminisce
Those tasteless morsels I dismiss
Time, it seems, has helped to heal
My memories of horrid meals
Of MREs and old C-RATs
Which tasted more like stale, dried cat
The Army cooks, they tried their best
To create something we could digest
Suffice to say, we still survived
The food was bad, but we're alive
To bring my story to a close
I'd like to say before I go
That SOS may taste like crap
But it's better than a long, dirt nap
1. December 2019
Ponderings , Poetry , Health
I tend to work late. A lot. Most of the time, in fact. I have done so my whole life - even during my years in the Army; despite being required to show up for formation around 6am every morning, (and therefore rolling out of bed at 5am), I still stayed up until 2am almost every night. It's simply the way that my brain is wired, I guess. To be honest - it often feels as though I'm living two lives at once, although I know of no other way to live.
That being said, it's not healthy. And I know that. I have written blogs about my experiences with Essential Tremors, and a lack of sleep makes my struggles with that disorder so much worse. And yet, night after night I find myself back at my computer slogging through another list of issues that I feel I should have resolved a few days earlier. I just cannot seem to turn my brain on and off according to some other schedule - even if that schedule is being dictated by the rotation of the planet.
Out of frustration with my personal dilemma, I penned the following:
If you burn a candle at both ends
To slave throughout the night
It illuminates your toils
To your struggles brief respite
But its glow is a deception
And does not dilute your plight
Its candescence will soon wither
As shadows reclaim their right
Two flames convey no solace
For despite their pretty sight
Candles last for half as long
When they burn with twice the light
(H/T Edna St. Vincent Millay)