COLUMN: Rounding Third ...


The caller, an old friend familiar with my habits and work, laughingly asked, “Have you been hitting the Jack Fire bottle again?” Well, I do like a little drink of Fire and diet Coke on occasion, but not this time.

I don’t know how I screwed up last week’s article, but if you have been reading my column you will know I always start with a little explanation, then a corresponding poem, followed by a joke and some additional trivia.

What happened last week? Don’t know. But please note: The first two lines of the poem should have been part of the intro not the poem itself. Sorry if it confused you. Start with the third line—”In every life a man must choose…” Now, as to what happened to the rest — I’m blaming cyber space, or maybe I’m joining the ranks of writers like William Faulkner, Eugene O’Neill, Dylan Thomas and Ernest Hemingway. I could also add ladies like Sylvia Plath and Edna St. Vincent Millay.

All great writers and … alcoholics. I know I’m not the former and hope not the latter. It’s said they used alcohol to get rid of writer’s block. I don’t have that yet. My only “block” would be from age not alcohol. So, if you see an article that doesn’t follow my format, blame my age or those darn cyber ghosts. Sorry!

Anyway—this week’s article was just written to explain why I enjoy putting my thoughts in poetic form.

“Oh, My Poetry”

The mind must deal with such a lot in getting through each day. The challenges of life are never easy to defray. The choices we must face can bring anxiety and pain, And everyone must have a way to deal with stress and strain.

I found a way those years ago to free my mind a while; To put my thoughts in poem form can leave me with a smile. Those few, reflective moments are an opiate to me, I soar above the turmoil and sail a calming sea.

I am anachronistic in my search for peaceful clime, With all these modern pressures, I seek another time. *Shelley said it best — “it is the sweetest harmony — And framed within its order, it reflects our unity.”

We become another person when we search within our soul. That’s Eliot’s “escape from emotion,” he claims is our true goal. I did not get to share their time nor have their genius gift, But when my world’s unsettled, I can set my mind adrift.

Escape the bonds of tedium and throw my cares away. It’s, oh so sad, to realize that poetry’s passe’. But care I not what this world thinks, I’m caught out of my time. I find my peace and solitude in reason and my rhyme. JDF

*Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley

Joke: A woman went into her kitchen and saw her husband with a flyswatter. He said he’d been hunting flies. She asked if he had gotten any. He answered, “Yes! I’ve killed two females and three males.” She asked how he could tell the difference. He said, “Because two were on the phone and three were on a beer can.”

Historical tidbits: I know you’ve heard of Al Capone who ran one of the most ruthless crime organizations in America. Now, have you ever heard about his brother, Vincent? Probably not because Vincent was a law-enforcement officer in the state of Nebraska.

See ya!- JDF


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