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The Mountain

I am on a journey as a writer.

I am at the bottom of the mountain. I am wandering around at the nadir of writing. I should be lost (I probably should am), and I should be depressed (rejection — books not selling)  -BUT I AM NOT.

The only way is up, and I know that.

(Remember when you are whale shit — there is no lower you can go.)

I cannot see the top of the mountain, and I cannot see the path upward, but that does not matter because there is only one way that I can go — and that is upward. I might wander around here in the bottom, but there is no place lower to go.

So I just start out and try and climb.

I write.

I think.

I write.

I dream.

I write

I rewrite.

I am climbing up the mountain.

Writing

I do not write to be understood. I write to understand.

For in that struggle of formation, evaluation, and rewriting comes — mysteriously and graciously from an unknown source –a small kernel of understanding.

Located deep in my consciousness (?), my sub-consciousness (?), my soul (?) lies an understanding of the world. Like a miner deep in the bowels of the earth, I wrestle this “treasure” and drag it to the service.

There is a price to pay for this labor and many times when drug to the service, the “treasure” seems of little value.

Nevertheless, it is MY “treasure” and MY labor.

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A writer looks at 70

The Rio Grande Band

             In the Trade Winds bar in St. Augustine, I discovered the Rio Grande Band. It is an outlaw country band that specializes in old time country songs.

It plays on Sunday afternoon which is convenient for the senior citizens who arrive to listen to them. This allows the seniors to get “their buzz” before the early hour dinner specials, and to be able to drive home in the daylight, although Florida senior citizens DO NOT need any alcohol to drive crazy.

One Sunday I was taking some pictures of the band. A band member approached me and asked if I would take a few shots and email them to him. He was interested some publicity shots. (The secret is to possess an expensive looking camera – not to have any knowledge of how to use it.)

A new career as band photographer is emerging. Rolling Stone will be calling.

Look out, Annie Leibovitz.

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Train to Chicago

A writer looks at 70

On a train ride to Chicago, some random thoughts.

Amtrak runs through the backyards of our country. Arriving into cities, it travels along junk yards, drainage ditches, and places to deposit rubbish. It is not really “unbeatiful,” it is just odd. The front yards and store fronts are for the automobile, the back yards is for the trains.

 Niksen — Dutch word for doing nothing. There is value and merit in just sitting and thinking and dreaming — no meditating — no sleeping — no resting.  Just thinking, perhaps creative day dreaming, maybe just remembering past people and accomplishments. Put the fucking phone aside and take time to just sit.

We have become so enwrapped with Trump mania, that we are forgetting there is more to the world than that idiot and his minions. There are six or seven billion people who has a life and country divergent from ours. More importantly, no matter the foolishness, the lying, the bragging, and/or the hatred that springs from DC, there are still flowers, sunshine, wind, lakes, streams, water falls, puppies, kittens, bees, butterflys, wild animals, trees — the list continues onward.

Excluding the political clowns, there still exists young girls and women with long hair hanging down, pony tail, or pleated braids. Shorts or skirts that show female legs that are sculptured to beauty — ankles, calves, and knees/ don’t let my eyes fail me as higher I go please. Tops that stretch tight across breasts — perky sweet breasts that say — HERE IS A WOMAN.

Have we really progressed? Maybe, we were better off and in our “correct position” when we were primitive creatures living in tribes as hunters gathers in the plains of Africa. There is much to be said for the tribal life.

I have always wanted to explore the world — to Europe — to the Rockies — to the East and West Coast — to the Middle East — to Vietnam — to India — to China — to the Caribbean — to Alaska — to every rural road and small town cafe in the lower 48 states.

But maybe, it is time to explore within myself. I am in the last stage of my life. At 72 the plug could be pulled suddenly or slowly. At this point I do have my faculties and memory, and desire to learn and explore. Perhaps, it is the time of life to sit quietly and look inward, instead of looking and searching outward.

It is definitely the time to WRITE.

I may not possess the skill to select the correct words and put them in the precise order that other people will follow or enjoy. BUT I do posses a knowledge and wisdom arrived at from 72 years of living. AND living is something that I have done and been successful at. My life has been and hopefully will continue onward for some time as “a life worth living.”

The End of April

As we end April — some random pictures

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Have — Don’t Have

A writer looks at 70

 

Things I do NOT Have

  1. Cancer
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Heart pace maker
  4. Oxygen tank
  5. Cane
  6. Walker
  7. Hospital bed

 

Things I do Have

  1. Plenty to eat
  2. A good computer
  3. Lots of pens and paper
  4. Sunshine (not today, but it WILL reappear)
  5. A comfortable bed
  6. A mind that wants to learn
  7. A mind that still dreams
  8. A mind that wants to work (writing now — not teaching)
  9. A mind that is VERY offended by cruelty, insensitivity, and bragging
  10. A soul that worries about the environment and feels a need to protect it for future generations
  11. A soul that is amazed the constant stream of wonder and kindness I see and experience each day.
  12. An excellent family

Draw Swords

DRAW SWORDS

by L. W. Neitzert

 

Soldiers arm yourself

Draw swords!

Mathew five fourteen.

 

Scrubbed and starched,

swords at our side.

We wait for the

Rural Bible Mission bus.

Vacation Bible School

–an oxymoron.

School in July,

Vacation with shoes,

long pants, and washing.

This is Sunday school

every day – and it’s Monday.

 

Brakes screech as

Reverend Linder stops

a public school reject.

We climb aboard for

a week of soul saving.

 

Put on the full armor!

Draw Swords!

Galatians six seven.

 

My soul doesn’t

want to be saved.

It wants to wander

fields and steams,

check bird nests,

catch rabbits and

hit baseballs. Besides,

there are Japs, Nazis

and Indians to kill. Somewhere

Jeb Stuart is riding.

 

My soul doesn’t

need saving. It needs

A Michigan desert sun

where I stand eye to eye

with a despicable villain.

He folds under my glare

And moves.

Too Late!

I slap leather,

another one for Boot Hill.

Does John Wayne or Gene Autry

Have their soul saved?

 

Gird you loins!

Draw swords!

Ecclesiastes twelve thirteen.

 

We sit in a classroom

decorating stick crosses

watching flannel-board lessons,

and singing ”Jesus loves me.”

At home a new box sits

alone and needing comfort.

There is my sword.

There is my salvation.

Can Jonah and Joseph compare

with Mickey and Howdy Doody?

Scriptures lessons are issued from

a morning Movie Matinee,

while the Marx Brothers

and Laurel and Hardy

teach values and wisdom.

I memorize the Golden Rule,

but the Three Stooges

know how to apply it.

My soul is saved

by television.

 

An infinity of three hours pass.

Now cookies and Kool-Aid.

We go home to bare feet

and short pants where

we are young and easy

about the lilting house,

happy as the grass is green.

 

 

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