Here is the last of my “Notes from Abroad” pages, on the underappreciated and tragically elsewhere Nick Drake. It is not the first I’ve done of him, and it won’t be the last. See (the official website of his estate) for more on this remarkable songwriter/musician.


The photo source for the hummingbird was provided by a resident of the retirement community where I work. She modestly declined to go photo-credited.

nectar in a spoon

wingbeats improbably rapid

the quick and the still


Here is another of my “Notes from Abroad,” done out of town and without access to a flatbed scanner. It is hard to read and to view.

At top right is the famous Einstein quote “God does not play dice.” Just below that Neils Bohr replies, “Einstein, stop telling God what to do,” as good a rejoinder as they come.

Under the quotes is the Halve Faith acrostic:

Heartache pulls to half staff

All the flags/and Melancholia

Leaks auburn. Stealth/& I

Vie quietly to mark with tags/What

Either/ordinaries yield frail health

Under and to the left is the Half Fate acrostic. I hope it is legible enough to read. If not, please let me know via comment and I’ll reply with a transcription.

Here’s a sonnet from 2008 based on a managerial nightmare I lived through in 1996. I had just gotten to the point when I could look back with amusement on those days when I’d wake up five days a week grinding my teeth and dreading the workday to come. It took 12 years, but it took well. [smile]

Meticulousness runs from stem to sternum
In certain Middle Magistrates. Such folk
Cry foul at Boo-Boos soon as they discern ‘em;
Reek of their daily egg whites–that’s no yolk.
Of course they trust their hardcase reputation’ll
Manipulate their workers to docility.
Alas, instead, Psychosis Motivational
Nit-Pickery makes flare into Hostility.
An agile Agitator’s often stepped in
Gainsaying claims of fairness by The Boss;
Emotions sizzle–nuance may have crept in–
Mud, slung in haste, wreaks Havoc, Fear & Loss.
ENsuring Workplace Harmony’s a chore–
The bossing style that wins is–Less Is More.



Here is a page that has been unfinished, hanging fire, for more than half a year. I would look at it over and over again and despair that it would forever be unfinished. It needed more pop–“Pop” Cornwall and POPcorn Wall were not enough. Finally today, October 20, 2014, rolled around. Today is what would have been my father’s 81st Birthday, were he still among us. At last–more Pop! (I never called him “Pop,” though. It was always “Dad” or “My Old Man.” And if you ever want a good cry, go to YouTube and find John Prine, or even better, the original songwriter Steve Goodman, singing “My Old Man.” I’m going to do it right after I post this.)

Today Laura, the human owned by Lena Furbena, gave me another picture of her. I used it to fiddle with an old nursery rhyme. Part of the fiddling was to remove the reference to a fiddle, replacing it, sort of, with a ukulele.


I’m delighted to report that Lena has accepted my Facebook friend request.

Here are the words to the retooled rhyme:

Hey dilly daily,
The moon’s ukulele
No-handedly played for the spoon.
The little dog’s distance
Due to nonexistence
Was deemed by the cat quite a boon.

What did the uke play to the spoon? Why, “Some Enchanted Evening,” of course. [smile]


I once loved a girl, her skin it was bronze.
With the innocence of a lamb, she was gentle like a fawn.
I courted her proudly but now she is gone,
Gone as the season she’s taken.
Bob Dylan, “Ballad in Plain D”

When you see through love’s illusions, there lies the danger
And your perfect lover just looks like a perfect fool
So you go running off in search of a perfect stranger
While this loneliness seems to spring from your life
Like a fountain from a pool…
Jackson Browne, “Fountain of Sorrow”

It was a time I won’t forget
For the sorrow and regret
And the shape of a heart
And the shape of a heart
Jackson Browne, “In The Shape of a Heart”

The dance was good. Now let it end.
Roger Zelazny, “A Rose for Ecclesiastes”

I did love a girl. Her skin it was bronze, especially when she sunned. On June 14, 1971, I fell for her hard. In January of 1979 I left her. In August of that year we went to Colorado together for a week, but things were not the same between us and would never be so again. In midsummer 1990 she called me and asked me to come see her, and I did, and it provided some closure for me, and I hope for her. In March of 1993 I did a marathon in the city where she lived (and lives), staying as a guest in her house while she stayed with her husband-to-be. I haven’t seen her since. We used to call each other on our birthdays, but we haven’t done so this century.

There’s a lot left out of the above paragraph, just as there’s a lot of detail lost in the page I scanned and selectively deresolutioned. Restored, it reveals a portrait of her very young self and a double acrostic poem based on her name. She deserves her privacy, and I need a shorter leash on my spilling-my-guts tendency. But this blog, which will be the chief trace of myself left over after my death, is intended to be holographic, and I could not leave her out of it.


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