Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Hurricane Irma

I don’t understand the point of weather forecasters doing their report from outside so you can imagine my complete bafflement when they do so when the wind is so strong that unless they hold onto an object or to each other they’ll be blown off. Downright irresponsible I’d say.

Hope all of you in Florida have found safety.

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Friday’s Choice

Friday’s Choice

Sinking

Sinking
A sinking feeling
you can’t quite place
that rises to take control
of a single thought
you can’t shake loose
that holds you captive in its powers.

Empty Threats

From what I can gather from his fire and fury comments, unlikely to have originated from him considering his lack of any interest in anything besides his inflated ego and their eerie resemblance to Harry Truman’s after dropping the bomb on Hiroshima, Trump finds it necessary to show the North Korean how strong he is.

Maybe it’s only a matter of time before pictures of him like this appear:

His supposedly great negotiation skills all seem to consist of making threats, many if not all of which seem to be empty.

Ninotchka

For those who haven’t yet seen it, please do. You’ll not be disappointed:

Of Weathermen and Parking Meters

I saw one of those online quizzes recently that are supposedly able to tell one whether you’re a leader or a follower.  Although I didn’t take it, I suppose it’s an Either/Or.  Maybe that’s what I hate so much about application forms or fast food restaurants (don’t even get me started about standing in line as a boy because I wanted a quarter pounder and cheese only with the hamburger and cheese), lack of nuance.

On the subject, the following always comes to mind:

“Suppose it were the life-view of a religiously existing subject that one must not have a disciple, that this is treason to both God and men; suppose he were also a little foolish (for if it takes a little more than mere honesty to make one’s way in the world, then stupidity is always necessary for real success and to have many properly understand you) and said this directly, with unction and pathos, what then? Well, yes, he would indeed be understood. Soon ten would apply, asking to be engaged just for a free shave once a week to preach this doctrine; i.e., and as further confirmation of the doctrine’s truth, he would have had the extraordinary good luck to acquire disciples who accepted and spread this teaching about having no disciples.”
Soren Kierkegaard – Concluding Unscientific Postscript

A Seal

A Seal
Church bells toll
like a Roman soldier’s hammering.

The ring you kissed
swirls forever
in the sea.

Joined forever
on the anvil
a seal as strong as death.

Silence

Silence
After an eternity
of silence,
the seagull
perched on the cross,
squawks to the blue breeze
in the searing sun
its sorrow.

Love

Love
Light that slips through
the curtains at night
that appears
vibrating
beneath the sea’s shallow depths
as a series
of intersecting frames.

God Save the Queen

God Save the Queen
The first time you met
at the bus stop,
he acted as if he knew you
and when you asked,
“Have we met?”
he responded,
“I just introduced myself.”

As he began to expound
on his admiration for all things English,
you understood he’d mistaken your language
for your country,
and you let it slide,
not dispelling the illusions he held
with a reference to Cromwell.

Throughout the years
you’d run into him on occasion,
but definitely not one
you’d expect to engage
in a conversation that played by rules
you’d understand.

Now after years,
you saw him,
and reflected how age
seems to take its toll on some
and not so much on others.
He was sitting at a café,
gray stubble covering his face,
and as you passed,
you swore you heard him mutter,
“God Save the Queen.”

Wednesday’s Choice

Our Enquiring Minds

The following taken from The Daily Beast:

“There are no humans on Mars. There are active rovers on Mars. There was a rumor going around last week that there weren’t. There are,” Guy Webster, a spokesperson for Mars exploration at NASA, told The Daily Beast. “But there are no humans.”

Probably the only thing you need to know about Alex Jones is that Donald Trump said to him, “Your reputation’s amazing.” If you haven’t heard of him, thank your lucky stars. His is the way to the bottom of an abyss. The voice of bombast without any redeeming quality. Say it loud enough and with enough force and it’s just got to be true!

It’s probably only a matter of time before some official United States agency is forced to deny that alien lizards rule the world.

The Devil’s Light

Sunday’s Choice

58 Tweets

Sunday’s Choice

Golf

I like playing golf. However, I will admit not having for quite a while. This is largely due to the fact that where I was living there were only private courses for the rich. I’d love to start up again. It’s reasonably inexpensive, good exercise, and relaxing.

Some of my fondest memories of childhood are waking up on the weekend and going out to the Par 3 golf course with my dad. We’d get up at the break of dawn, and I can still see the glistening dew come up from the green as I putted. In one of my few times at a private club an employee came up to inquire what I was doing there. I must have seemed out of place to him.

I also enjoy watching golf on TV. That is not to say there isn’t a lot that has to be ignored. There’s a lot of sanctimoniousness (is any announcer as bad as Jim Nantz?) and way too much analysis. Commercials, which should always be ignored*, advertise BMW, Wells Fargo, and Rolex (not Folex).

*There are exceptions:

Saturday’s Choice

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico
The sound of the sea surf
could be heard
as the Caribbean sun
beat down
and you walked along
the fairway with your boss,
whose golf ball
always seemed to disappear
before being found
in the best place possible,
aided by a hole in his pants.

Friday’s Choice

Vive la France! Vive la République!

Saturday`s Choice

Saturday’s Choice

Friday’s Choice

Thursday’s Choice

Friday’s Choice

A Calm

A Calm
The sand flies
and the lake water laps
against the rickety dock.

Standing in the water
your head
a somersault
of stars.

You awake
in a long white bed
with a calm
you would never again
know.

Osip Mandelstam

“But your spine has been
smashed,
My beautiful, pitiful era,
And with an inane smile
You look back, cruel and
weak,
Like an animal past its
prime,
At the prints of your own
paws.”
– Osip Mandelstam, “Vek”

From “Evening” 2

“There are spiderwebs among the berries,
The stems of the supple vines are still thin,
Like little ice floes, little ice floes,
In the gleaming water of the sky-blue river, clouds swim.”

Anna Akhmatova

Sunday’s Choice

From “Evening”

“Cut out for this black wound
A shroud of evening gloom
And command the blue mist
To read psalms over me.”

Anna Akhmatova

O Canada!

Worth a listen.

“You have no idea how baffled we are by what you have elected.”

“Well, Good Lord, if he can’t get along with Canada, he can’t get along with anyone.”

“You are Not Privileged”

This was the announcement I was given by my computer when I tried to open a browser yesterday morning. First time it ever happened but it seems reminiscent of the times in which I’m told I can’t do something unless I’m the administrator. Anyway, I restarted the computer and have not yet been told again of my lowly status.

It seems to be a suitable mantra for the new administration.

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

Wednesday’s Choice

Saturday’s Choice

Anna Akhmatova

Alastair wrote a great review of the book, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era. I’m about halfway through – it’s excellent. At any rate, I came across a quote from Anna Akhamatova, whose poetry I recall reading a little of in my 20s. Reading some it now has left me speechless:

“Terror fingers all things in the dark,
Leads moonlight to the axe.
There’s an ominous knock behind the
wall:
A ghost, a thief or a rat…”

“You are no longer among the living,
You cannot rise from the snow.
Twenty-eight bayonets,
Five bullets.
A bitter new shirt
For my beloved I sewed.
The Russian earth loves, loves
Droplets of blood.”

It is time to pick up a copy of this book.

Saturday’s Choice

Mother and Son

Mother and Son
After the arrest,
not a word is said of her,
and he is sent away
to an orphanage
from which
he eventually escapes,
a stowaway on a steamer
that brings him back,
lice-infested in tattered clothes
with a rash that makes the skin crawl.

After his return,
he’s told she’s away on business,
and he is sent back
until another escape
finds him living in the ventilation shaft
of a railroad station
outside of which he begs and steals.

After being caught,
the orphanage where he returns
has lost all patience
and sends him to a military school
where they discover
a problem with his heart,
and he is forced instead to work
in a factory breathing in toxic fumes
and eating wallpaper paste to stave off hunger
until he flees at night
across the Gulf of Finland.

Sunday’s Choice

Friday’s Choice

“MILTON! thou shouldst be living at this hour”

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..”

John Milton

Amused

Amused
In the middle of the night
you sit together
and though they stand
and shout,
you are calm in each other’s presence
and amused
as they try to make sense of the world
like that inhabitant of the isle
where are you soon to dock.

Our Imperfections

“Everything is perfect in the universe – even your desire to improve it.”
Wayne Dyer

I saw this quote today and took objection. Perhaps, I do take things too literally. If the universe was perfect, why would we have to improve it? And perhaps more importantly, why would our desire to improve it be perfect? Are we superheroes? Chances are our desire might be less than perfect – even I daresay imperfect.

Of course, the whole point is to connect your desire to perfection.  It buys  into the whole self-help (a misnomer if there ever was one) industry worth an estimated $11 billion.  Yes, people are even getting rich off our desire to feel better about ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for feeling better about ourselves, provided we’re attempting to be decent human beings.

Does Donald Trump buy self-help books? Nah, but he’ll peddle them in a second if he thought he’d make a buck.  Should Donald Trump feel good about himself?

The Miraculous

The Miraculous
His appearance must have put the
hiring committee off
as did his accent
and place of origin.

All the questions put to him
were answered
most unsatisfactory.

No, not suitable at all.

A Shadowy Realm

A Shadowy Realm
I am brought down.
A slow descent
into the bowels of the earth,
a shadowy realm
where I dwell
strangulated,
far from the Cedars of God.

Fallen

Fallen
The claws of a screeching cat pierce
a soul whose blood slowly drips
on the newly fallen snow that drifts.

Our Inner Soul

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
H.L. Mencken

A Life

A Life
Days you never knew.
The farm they grew up on.
The dust and hazy summer afternoons.
The bridge you crossed
and on a New Year’s Eve
slid across.
The planes that now land and take off.
There is so much you didn’t know.
You think about this all
as you read about
a life you hardly knew.

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