Adventures in the Science of Imagipology – The third Dotty story

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russellrosandershortstories

Adventures in the Science of Imagipology
The third Dotty story by Russell Rosander

Gol-dang it! That yellow, pink headed, son-of-a-bitch pencil hides from me every time I wanna use the damned thing!”

Dotty, my imaginary wife, was watchin’ me with a look of pure, unadulterated bemusement on her face. I was riflin’ through the pile of clutter on the table like a dog lookin’ for a bone he buried when he was six months old. Books, papers, notebooks, bottles of bug spray, rolls of tape you can’t get unstuck to start, old grocery receipts and empty asprin packets were flying in the air. I’d been accumulatin’ this stuff for nearly a month and I wasn’t ready to clear it off and start over yet. I know most people would look at it with the same look of disgust they would use on a pile of pig manure, but I consider it…

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The Arc of Life

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The Arc of Life

Each morning

We take our places

On the arc of life.

We stand in the line

Of the brigade,

Passing fuel and water

To the center of the flame.

 

To keep the furnace burning,

We stoke the fire

With the cord-wood of grain

And the coal of flesh,

Breathing the draft

Which fans the flame,

Drinking the water

Which makes the steam

That turns the wheel.

 

That magical place

Where the miracle

Of transformation occurs,

Where darkness becomes light

And death becomes life,

The twilight zone

Through which all things

Come and go.

 

This morning

I walk to the store

To purchase another day.

Such is the way

For modern beings

Like ourselves.

We sell a portion

Of our bodies, our labors

And our energies

To buy a loaf of bread.

 

And thus,

We are all consumed

In the course of our lives

By the storekeeper, the baker

And the farmer

Who nurtured the wheat,

Paying homage

To the interdependence

Of all.

I share my flesh with you

As you do with me.

 

I carry the bread home

And feed it to the constant flame,

Blazing at the center

Of my frame,

Laid from top to bottom,

From end to end,

In perfect balance

At the center of my gut.

 

The fire within burns

And replenishes me,

Releasing the energies

Of life from death

Emitting light

To the extremities

Of my body

And my mind.

For all it´s varied uses,

For work and for play,

To feed our needs and desires

And all our love.

 

So then tomorrow

We will get up

And do it all over again,

For as long

As we are given,

Willingly.

Walking the Symmetrical Path to the Sea

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Walking the Symmetrical Path to the Sea

 

In the preference of nature for symmetry,

Down the crooked line of the spine,

Hands and feet alternating,

Propelling me forwards

Between left and right,

Traveling between my two eyes

Along the dividing line between opposites

Through which all water and blood flows

Down to the sea.

 

I walk the old road

From El Aguacate to Barra de Navidad

Between cattle, people and egrets.

“!Chido! ¡Mi hermanos, hermanas y amigos!”

Between trees and hills and the wings of eagles,

And through the town,

The clatter, chatter and clutter

Of gossip and people debating points of view,

Heartfelt endearments between pairs of lovers,

Music and the raucous proclamations of children

Playing in the streets.

 

I pass dogs barking their warnings,

Vendors selling tomatoes, tacos,

Furniture and colorful adornments,

The roar of motorbikes and buses,

Traveling down radiant avenues

Through the buzz and hum,

All starting from the centers of their rider´s beings

Towards predetermined destinations,

So complex, they seem disorderly,

Continuing and presiding over the dust

Of all that´s passed before,

Past old people sitting in chairs

On sidewalks before the edifices

Of their labors, reminiscing.

 

Until I can go no further

And the waves of the sea

Wash upon my feet,

And I stand in the center of the beast of myself,

On two legs, from head to toe,

And look out into the vast beyond,

With two eyes watching the sun go down

On another day,

To which I can never return

The Power of Words

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The Power of Words

 

The health warnings on cigarette packages,

Blaring with the vehemence of air-raid sirens,

Screaming from the printed surface

Of the pack, nearly empty,

Laying next to my lighter and an ashtray.

“Muerte prematura!”

“Detendra tú corazón!”

“Infarto cardiaco!”

Words heard a million times,

Meant to be potent incentives,

Along with lurid photographs

Depicting the horrific possibilities

Of my inevitable demise.

Whether in denial or rebellion,

Disbelief or in acquiescence

To the power of my addiction,

I light another cigarette,

Watching the smoke curl before my eyes,

Filling my lungs with the comfort of defeat,

As the vociferous warnings lie mute

Beneath the cellophane of a wrapper.

Warnings imbued with the divisive taint of blame,

Disapproval and confrontation

With an implied bias against smokers,

The threat overwhelms the message,

Awakening defiance,

Not compliance,

Closing my ears

To any whisper of caring or helpfulness.

How often have my own good intentions

Been nullified by the vehemence

Of my indignation and anger.

When perhaps more gentle,

Kind or supportive words

Could have been so much more effective.

How often we eschew the gentle approach

In favor of more powerful means,

In the mistaken belief

That he who has the biggest gun

Always wins.

 

The health warnings on cigarette packages,

Blaring with the vehemence of air-raid sirens,

Screaming from the printed surface

Of the pack, nearly empty,

Laying next to my lighter and an ashtray.

“Muerte prematura!”

“Detendra tú corazón!”

“Infarto cardiaco!”

Words heard a million times,

Meant to be potent incentives,

Along with lurid photographs

Depicting the horrific possibilities

Of my inevitable demise.

Whether in denial or rebellion,

Disbelief or in acquiescence

To the power of my addiction,

I light another cigarette,

Watching the smoke curl before my eyes,

Filling my lungs with the comfort of defeat,

As the vociferous warnings lie mute

Beneath the cellophane of a wrapper.

Warnings imbued with the divisive taint of blame,

Disapproval and confrontation

With an implied bias against smokers,

The threat overwhelms the message,

Awakening defiance,

Not compliance,

Closing my ears

To any whisper of caring or helpfulness.

How often have my own good intentions

Been nullified by the vehemence

Of my indignation and anger.

When perhaps more gentle,

Kind or supportive words

Could have been so much more effective.

How often we eschew the gentle approach

In favor of more powerful means,

In the mistaken belief

That he who has the biggest gun

Always wins.

The Frivolity of Leaves Falling in Springtime

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In a climate where

Rain comes in summer,

I see leaves falling diagonally

In a slight breeze from the east,

In springtime.

The significance of this

Escapes me at the moment,

Just as the significance

Of a lot of things

Escapes me.

 

Could it be

That this particular angle

Is somehow more advantageous

To the leave´s decent?

Or is it that

The intentions of the breeze

Is that more leaves should fall

On the other side of the tree?

 

Or is it that

The mind of the universe

Seemingly so serious much of the time

Occasionally needs

To engage in random

And frivolous play,

Laughing gleefully

As the leaves flutter,

This way and that,

In wild abandon.

The Misconception About Wealth

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The Misconception About Wealth

 

The idea that

“Wealth brings happiness,”

So alluring and believable

To those who have neither

And those who want more.

So seemingly innocuous,

The simple desire for comfort and joy,

The hope for a better life,

An answer so deceptively plain.

 

It is an idea that captivates

The hearts of many,

Singing in the dreams of the needy,

Sliding from the slippery tongues

Of con-men and hucksters,

A lie dangling

In the empty promises of tyrants.

 

A noxious weed

That when allowed to grow

Becomes a monstrous preoccupation,

Addictive as any drug,

An acquisitive desire beyond reason,

A ravenous thirst

That cannot be quenched.

 

“It is the engine,” they tell us,

“The beneficial obsession

That drives all commerce and industry.

The ambition by which

All great things are accomplished,

Through which one gains

The respect and love of others,

By which any man

Can become a king.”

 

And yet,

It is this very seedy thought

Which causes so much

Pain and suffering and despair.

The idea that leads so many

Down a crooked path

Giving over to cheating, trickery,

Thievery and conquest,

Yes, even murder

And the blind disregard

Of those knocked aside or used

In the rush of their onslaught.

 

In the madness of blind desire,

The terrible lies blossom,

That I, and not you

Should have it all,

The mistaken belief

That love and kindness

Are attributes of the weak,

Losers all, for which there is no hope,

Lazy, un-ambitious, ineffective,

Worthless and unrealistic wimps,

Annihilating once and for all,

The virtue of empathy,

Thinking it

Just a useless and foolish emotion.

 

But at the end of the game,

Wealth does not bring happiness.

The desire for wealth, in fact,

Displaces happiness altogether.

It becomes a selfish and self-destructive want

Leading only to isolation from others,

Breeding waste, mistrust,

Disrespect and fear.

Self-satisfaction, pride, possessions

And self aggrandizement

Are just lonely consolation prizes,

Hollow and empty vessels

That hold no joy or happiness

In themselves.

 

The true nature of our universe

Is that all things depend on one another,

Each supporting the other

In a chain of life,

Each act affecting all others.

It is only through love,

Friendship, kindness and sharing

That true happiness

Can be nurtured.

 

To learn when is enough,

Co-operating and working together

And helping others

To achieve the impossible dream

Of a better world.

A hope in which all

Can become happy and prosper,

And in which

All can be wealthy.

 

For love and happiness

Are the true wealth.

 

Ask anyone who has neither.

Iguana Bliss

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Iguana Bliss

The iguana sits

In the entrance of his lair,

Raising his head repeatedly

As if to look over something

That wasn´t there,

Or if someone was about

To throw a rock at him,

Or perhaps

He didn´t want to be noticed

Looking to see

If he might have any

New admirers out there.

 

Yesterday, I saw him

Through the peep-hole of my window

Engaged with a female iguana

In a slow pretentious act

Of iguana sexual intercourse,

Fully exposed

In the doorway of his cave

For all to see.

 

The rest of the time,

I have noticed,

He virtually ignores her,

Which is probably

Her preference as well,

As she certainly didn´t seem

To have enjoyed the act

Nearly as much as he did.

 

These are not shy creatures.

In fact, they are often seen

Being quite vain and prideful,

Even boastful of their exploits.

Although they sometimes

Do aver to due caution,

When necessary.

 

“Ah,” he said,

Opening his particularly foul mouth

In what was apparently

An iguana smile,

Probably brought on

By iguana post-coital bliss,

“As you have seen, I am

A very successful iguana,

Having done my part

To ensure that there will be

Many more iguanas around here

Than the likes of you.”

 

He then promptly fell,

Tumbling down the cut-bank

From his hole

Down to the ground below

In a cloud of dust.

He shook him self off

And proceeded to climb back up,

Muttering to himself,

“I meant to do that.”