275

It is  cooler than normal on this May Southeast Florida morning. I’m on my knees, running my fingers thru the dirt. My hands are dirty and this makes me feel happy.  The earth provides and I’m grateful. The vegetable growing season is almost over and I will soon place a light coat of mulch on the dormant garden area. Nighttime is for sitting in my recliner, smoking my pipe, reading the seed catalogs, and dreaming of next gardening season.

273

Some folks do not like changes.

Break the entire organization apart.

Resetting emotional equilibrium is the hard part.

It is time to do some spring cleaning.

Everything is covered with cobwebs and dust.

Chip away crust

Testing

One

Two

Three

Four

Shake up the beans

Rip the seams

Experimentation galore

Grab a broom

Sweep out the store.

Innovation is never a bore.

271

Choices

Choices

Choices

What should I do?

Choppy sea

Tourists gone home

Beach all for me

Everyday

I sit under the sun

Drinking

Agua de coco

With Jamaican dark rum

Should I go back and keep marching in the parade?

Play the charade

Or take U-turn

Toss 

The instruction manual

On the fire

And

Watch it burn

268

Outdoor bar

Copacabana Beach

Rio de Janeirio

Two ladies

Sitting next to me

Discussing

My old torn flip flops

They say

“Very poor gringo

Not a good catch”

I interrupt and say

“I have come to Rio many times

I’m married

To a Carioca

Her advice

Is to dress down

So I do not get robbed

Always works”

One of the ladies then says

“Your wife is very smart

Dressed like a poor gringo

Also keeps Rio women away”

265

Sushi Bar

Ginza, Tokyo

Sitting next to me

The Japanese Gastroenterologist said

 “I could make much more money working in America, but cannot take the food.”

Thinking for a moment

Taking another sip of my sake

I said

“I fully understand

Japan’s outstanding cuisine

Has also ruined me”

The Gastro then said

“I’m doctor

Eat

Drink

I pay”

260

Garbage Piles up on the curb

Filthy

Filthy

Filthy

All that is heard

The beggar sleeps hidden in the alleyway

Feed people fear

So they obey

Crawling

Out of the sewer

 Politicians

Offer promises

But only give manure

Internet

Tracks every move

All thoughts known

Carry a smartphone

Constantly watched

Never completely alone

Dumb down population into mediocrity

Take away paper currency

Pay electronically

Total control is the elite’s philosophy

259

Lazy Saturday afternoon

Opening a bottle of pinot noir

Listening to opera

Chopping garlic

Fresh garden basil, oregano, and rosemary

Mushrooms, onions, and peppers

Vine ripe home-grown tomatoes

Ground sirloin

Sausage

Simmering

Hour after hour

Occasionally

I stir the pot

Contentment

Making homemade spaghetti sauce

253

My car broke down today

Received

A high interest

Payday loan

No catching the bus

The mechanic

Will get paid

I work

For a dollar more

Than minimum wage

Scared

Lose sleep

 About becoming homeless

Only a couple lost paychecks away

Eat no name can or box dinners everyday

I’m told

To put money aside

For my old age

Not in prison

But

Trapped

In a cage