Saturday, April 11, 2015

Snake, Interrupted


Snake, Interruptedruptedruptedrupted - A Song of Spring

Our merry springtime is a glorious feast
Of joyful sights and scents and happy sounds,
Of breezes turning warmly from the east
Of bustling bees winging their flowery rounds
Above, around, and through a world of green
In dreams of life that move the seasons along
Where each day’s sunrise halos a Creation scene
And every blossom is its own soft song
But the sweetest sound echoing through the glades
Is a snake being shredded by the lawnmower’s blades

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The University as a Free-Fire Zone

Mack Hall, HSG
Mhall46184@aol.com

The University as a Free-Fire Zone

The Texas legislature has considered the problem of violence in universities, and proposes to make everything all better by allowing students to carry weapons on campus (http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2015/03/18/texas-senate-approves-concealed-campus-carry-gun-bill/).

One can see the therapeutic value. If drunken frat boys chanting racist slurs are allowed to open-carry .44 magnums on their hips they will sit down together in Christian fellowship, shoot merrily at the overhead lights, and open a conversation about their culture of puerile cloddishness.

Campus-carry could make maths more interesting: “If Tiffany fires her Glock at a sophomore on a northbound train going 70 miles per hour…”

Or languages: “Class, write an ode to a Kalashnikov in Russian. Keep asking yourself how Pushkin might have worded it.”

Or history: “I hope everyone has brought a black or blue pen and a Lee-Enfield to class today…”

Anatomy and physiology: “Class, we’re short on cadavers for our long-term dissection project. Would someone please go outside and bag a couple of sophomores? Do it for science. Do it for your school. And, hey, try not to mess up so many internal organs this time.”

“Professor Bogdown, me and my little friend here would like an ‘A.”

And that graduate student arguing with the clock in the hallway – yeah, she needs a gun.

Those late-night sessions helping each other cope with life’s challenges would become more efficient: “Biff, me ‘n’ the guys know you’ve been having a rough time, what with failing chemistry and your girlfriend leaving you, so we’ve all chipped in and bought you this revolver. We’re going to leave you alone now. Good luck, buddy.”

Dorm rules might require silencers between midnight and five a.m., except on weekends.

Residence hall supervisors would have to adapt: “Okay, people, I’m tired of stepping over all the corpses in the mornings. Let’s all develop a professional attitude in disposing of dead bodies, okay?”

Those friendly rivalries on the sports fields would change: “In the fourth quarter, the score here at Friendship Stadium stands at Redbrick State Teachers’ University 2,329 killed, 4,356 wounded; Our Mother of Mercy 1,242 killed, 3,054 wounded.”

Veterans coming home from the desert might not be happy to see the university campus as yet another outpost shared with unreliable friendlies.

If the Texas legislature permits the open-carry of firearms, would campuses still be tobacco-free zones?

Given that the death rate of university students during spring break alone is pretty much personified in the “Casualty lists! Casualty lists!” scene in Gone with the Wind, the possession of firearms on the job should be limited to trained law enforcement professionals - the Secret Service and the Drug Enforcement Agency come to mind.

Campus carry – no, it’s really not funny at all. Is there no one in the Texas legislature who has served in law enforcement, in the military, or in emergency medicine?

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Had Byron Lived a Few Years Longer

Had Byron Lived a Few Years Longer

V:

She stalks in Makeup, like a fright
Of Senior Specials and takeout fries;
And all that’s worst of snark and bite
Meet in her painted layers of guise:
Thus billowed in that fluorescent light
Which Heaven to youthful lads denies.

R:

He talks of Makeup, silly old wight
Of faded beauties – through his old eyes!
Tho’ his slim waist and muscled might
Have long departed – he is no prize!
Thus now of greater width than height
Which Heaven to happy girls denies.


Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Morning in March

Lawrence Hall
Mhall46184@aol.com

A Morning in March

This morning is a sonnet sweetly sung
First by the breeze sighing through apple leaves
Then by the sun laughing across the grass
And by murmuring doves and nattering sparrows
Fussing with squirrels under a happy oak
Dressing itself in the fashion of spring
Covering the barrenness of winter with
Young leaves only now learning how to flirt
In anticipation of summer days:
This morning is a sonnet sweetly sung

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Morning Paper and a Cigarette

Lawrence Hall
Mhall46184@aol.com

The Morning Paper and a Cigarette

The morning paper and a cigarette,
A cup of coffee to complete the theme
A booth with creaky, cracked leatherette seats
And a sticky-top table stained with stories
A joint called Al’s, just off the interstate
Dry desert cold lingering from the autumn night
Until the sun rises to light the way
To California, and The Hungry i
For now: the desert, a cup of coffee,
The morning paper, and a cigarette

The Morning Paper and a Cigarette

Lawrence Hall
Mhall46184@aol.com

The Morning Paper and a Cigarette

The morning paper and a cigarette,
A cup of coffee to complete the theme
A booth with creaky, cracked leatherette seats
And a sticky-top table stained with stories
A joint called Al’s, just off the interstate
Dry desert cold lingering from the autumn night
Until the sun rises to light the way
To California, and The Hungry i
For now: the desert, a cup of coffee,
The morning paper, and a cigarette

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Great Gatsby

The Tedious Gatsby, Old Sport

I took up Gatsby, and I read,
And now I’m glad that Gatsby’s dead.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Letter from France, 1919

Mack Hall, HSG
Mhall46184@aol.com

A Letter from France, 1919

At an estate sale I considered buying an old letter, and decided not to. Then I considered it again, and bought it after all. It is written from France on stationery printed “AMERICAN YMCA” and ON ACTIVE SERVICE WITH THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE.” The envelope is franked “SOLDIER’S MAIL” and features the “OK” and the illegible signature of the censorship officer.

A young man from Orange, Texas, probably a teenager, writes of occupation duty, erratic mail service, the marvels of electricity (few American homes had electricity in 1919), and of frustration because he and his regiment have been kept behind in France for months after their active service in combat.

Although the penmanship from this doughboy of a century ago is elegant, the paper and the ink have both deteriorated and so I may have erred in transcription. The letter is addressed to:

Mrs. M Akins
R. A. Box 69
Orange
Texas

Febuary 5, 1919

My Dear Mother & All:

Well I hope you have heard from me by this time as the last letter I got from you said that you had not heard from me in 3 months and I don’t know what the matter was as I write very often and I sure mail them. Well what kind of weather are you having at home we are having bum weather now it has quit snowing and going to raining but it is not so very cold but last week it was awful cold. Well we are still working on the French roads and I think we are doing fine as you know all of the boys are disgusted as we have been over hear almost 15 months and haven’t got to go home yet and there were some regiments over here that weren’t over here hardly no time and now have gone home and we are still in France and I sure do want to come home awful bad. I sure do want to come home but I guess I will just have to stick it out. Say the country here sure is wonderful you have heard of cave dwellers well there are miles and miles here along the river front some of the prettiest houses you ever seen just dug out in the solid rock and the farms here are all nice all the towns around here have eletcric lights and they sure look old I mean the cave dwellers. And there sure some crooked stretts here and they are about wide enough for a baby buggy.

Well I will ring off for this time and write more the next love to all

Ralph H Akins 17104
30th Company
20th Engineers
American E. F.

Almost a century later we are left wondering about young Ralph, about when he finally got to go home to Orange, what his mom cooked him for supper that first night back, and what he did afterward in life.

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