Tears for Me

Tears welled up from my eyes – for my self – for the first time in many moons – and I felt them wet upon my face. Ever since my heart got turned to stone 27 years ago, even after that story was dissolved & discarded 3 years ago as all made up in my mind, I find it hard to cry for myself, easy to cry for others. A moving incident from a book, movie, or article – both fiction & nonfiction – can move me to generate a flood of tears. But, oh no, only a drought to dry up my soul. I felt the depth of my own sorrow at the pain I’ve caused those I adore so deeply. Sorrow that turned to grief and eventually via the alchemical transmutation of forgiveness & compassion up into joy.

 

(First shared on Facebook in Prezz Pressley’s group “MEN who r NOT AFRAID 2 CRY.”)

William Dudley Bass
On Facebook on 27 June 2011,
Here on 8 July 2011
30 March 2012
Seattle, Washington

From my Mythic Awakening period.

NOTE: This prose poem originally appeared on FB then on my older blog on Friday 8 July 2011, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2011/07/tears-for-me-tears-welled-up-from-my.html. Eventually I revised and reposted it here this March 2012 on my new website. Thank you.

 

 

Copyright © 2011, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

Aye, Dirt is Divine!

Aye, I like that dirty ruttin’! where all things Primal are revealed to be Divine, where all things wet & messy are but the rapture of a mango opening into your mouth, where intimacy is the portal for spirit to merge with soul, for flesh with flesh, for star dust with stardust, the many becoming one.

 

(Inspired posting to Prezz Pressley’s Facebook Group “MEN who r NOT AFRAID 2 CRY“.)

William Dudley Bass
Posted to FB on 26 May 2011,
Here on 8 July 2011
March 2012
Seattle, Washington

From my Mythic Awakening period.

NOTE: This prose poem first appeared as one of my posts to Facebook on 26 May 2011, and then onto my earlier blog, Cultivate and Harvest, on 8 July 2011, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2011/07/aye-dirt-is-divine-aye-i-like-that.html. Eventually I revised it and re-published it here on my new website this March of 2012. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2011, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

Gabriel Requests Your Surrender to The One

Magnificent Gabriel came down upon the earth, folded back his wings, & clambered up into the cave above Mecca to recite the words of Allah to an illiterate merchant. Muhammad, PBUH, chose to listen in spite of his fear…to listen as if he had elephant ears…cuz he knew to be The Last Prophet of the Axial Age he had to do more than just hear so never mind the wind and rain the heat and cold the searing pain…till finally Gabriel relaxed his grasp and Muhammad, PBUP, as the great angel exhaled he the prophet inhaled, inhaled the sacred exhale of Gabriel, inhaled the Recitation, breathed to life the Qur’an, and then out across the deserts he walked and he rode, laying the foundations of the worldwide Umma, and history was never the same again. Surrender to God as freedom, not enslavement, was the greatest gift of submission. Oft misunderstood as enslavement, and still misunderstood as submitting to something way out there, while within, The Lord of all the Worlds, The ONE beyond all Gender even beyond all Attributes awaits thy ultimate surrender, inshallah. Amen.

 

(Prose Poem inspired by “Gabriel Secret,” prose poetry by Prezz Pressley posted on 6 July 2011 in the Facebook Group “MEN who r NOT AFRAID 2 CRY,” and inspired by my own studies of Islam and a late-night-just-before-dawn mystical experience of Allah.)

William Dudley Bass
7 July 2011
30 March 2012
Seattle, Washington

From my Mythic Awakening period.

NOTE: This prose poem originally appeared on my earliest blog, Cultivate and Harvest, on Friday 8 July 2011, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2011/07/gabriel-requests-your-surrender-to-one.html, then revised and reposted here on my new website this late March of 2012. Thank you.

Copyright © 2011, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

The Eye of Everything

As the we ride the Earth thru endless cycles of rotations upon its revolutions around Sol, cycles that may someday stop perhaps even before Sol drags all its planets around the center of the Milky Way, light shifts, darkness expands, love heals, and across a Kosmos jammin’ with spinning masses a voice shouts suddenly from the shadows before a fire blazing in the hearthmaw…jerks us awake as copies of The Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart slips from our grips…and with scolding index finger jammed up the Sacred Ass of God with 3 more dirty fingers pointing back down into Blessed Inferno…the reincarnation of Krishna Allah shakes His many eyes open & peers around the circle at us & shouts again, “Each one of us has a point of view. Each culture and religion has a nest of views like a den of snakes. Above, however, above Us only God has View.” Another shout breaks open the smoke…”Assalamu alaikum…for the 10th Avatar is here in our midst as the mystic Christ revealed not as another Prophet, but as…us! You! Me! Yes, us, all of humanity.” And the Kundalini rises blind up the spine singing “Everything is Sacred even if you hate it.” Cerridwen Shiva Mary Vesta Isis Gaia boils hot love deep inside every nuclei of every cell as She weaves One Giant Eye in Divine Dance to crown Her spiraled, flaming root.

 

(Inspired by Prezz Pressley’s poem “EYE” of 6/20/2011 warning one to consider the angle of one’s sight amid the Sun and the Night when one is Wrong and one is Right.)

William Dudley Bass
22 June 2011
30 March 2012
Seattle, Washington

From my Mythic Awakening Period.

NOTE: This was first published on my earliest blog, Cultivate and Harvest, on Friday 8 July 2011, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2011/07/eye-of-everything.html, then revised and reposted here on my new website this March of 2012. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2011, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

On the Altar

Toppled from the throne of a once-vast and mighty empire whose fearsome name no one remembers except broken stones, King Ozymandias bled his tears into the sand, sand that sucked him deeper as a mad old lover whose yoni won’t let ’em go. The more he cried the deeper he sunk & drenched the sand with three million tears, fifteen hundred thousand tears from each eye, the tears of all he killed raped maimed and tortured upwelling thru his body like water pushing up thru a tree to breathe & become one with air. Tears dried & sand turned hard as cement became rock as Ozy all petrified his core solid rock choking his soul so tight his head splintered off his neck into scattered shards of light……with a whistling sigh only the wind heard the lost souls of thousands soared high & free riding upon the wings of they own sorrow grieving nothing save the ecstasy of union with Earth. Eons later as humans walk the Earth in blind oblivion of their own impending tipping point so many so many can’t even see the very Altar they stride upon everywhere they turn, an Altar hungrily awaiting for its sacrifice, waiting for its flood of tears. Yea, O Hungry Ground.

 

(Inspired response to Prezz Pressley’s poem “The Altar” in June 2011 in the Facebook Group “MEN who r NOT AFRAID 2 CRY.”)

William Dudley Bass
23 June 2011
30 March 2012
Seattle, Washington

From my Mythic Awakening period.

NOTE: This prose poem found was first published on my earliest blog, Cultivate and Harvest, on 23 June 2011, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2011/06/on-altar.html, then revised, edited, and re-published here this March of 2012. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2011, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

A Window Only You Can Shut

Oh a window opens in the sky
And I see myself
Far away among stars
Looking back
I behold the most precious Earth,
Love Itself
On fire
Beating back the darkness of death
Civilizations upended
Men and women and children running about
Screaming and shouting
In the center of it all
God dances with no arms

 

William Dudley Bass
Thursday 21 January 2010 – after a week of pondering
Edmonds, Washington
March 2012
Seattle, Washington

From my Mythic Awakening period.

NOTE: This was first published on 21 January 2010, on my first blog, Cultivate and Harvest, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2010/01/window-only-you-can-shut.html, then revised and reposted here on my new website this March of 2012. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2010, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

What happens when a Man stands Tall

When a Man stands tall
And his head is on top,
People forget how holy
Everything else is.
People tend to forget
All that is below.
Everything as an expression of the Divine
Can be viewed as sacred, right?
But how many people know that?

So when that mountain loomed high above
And I felt scared and alone
I prayed,
Prayed hard.
I stood up,
Stood up tall,
Then fell prostrate upon stones and dirt.

God heard me.
He lifted up my balls,
Put his finger up my ass,
And reminded me of his Holiness
Thus I climbed the highest mountain,
Quickly.

Are you ready for God’s finger?

 

William Dudley Bass
Thursday 21 January 2010 – after a week of pondering & a little work in the Men’s Group
Edmonds, Washington
March 2012
Seattle, Washington

From my Mythic Awakening period.

NOTE:  This was first published on January 21, 2010 in one of my earlier blogs, Cultivate and Harvest, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2010/01/what-happens-when-man-stands-tall.html, then revised and reposted here this March of 2012. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2010, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

Wandering Star

Without knowing why or understanding any reason
Once a sun came alive.
A star awoke into consciousness,
Self-awareness blessed with intelligence.

Restless, the star sought to break free of its orbit
Around the galaxy
And wander throughout the vastness of space.
After much deliberation,
This star determined it could channel its fiery energies
Into massive jets of blazing plasma and scorching radiation
And compel its body to travel across the Cosmos.

God appeared, amused, compassionate, firm,
And said,
“Sun, you are now alive.
Thus you now have a choice.
You can choose to spend your life going around the galaxy
With planets and their moons going around you,
Blessing many with your wondrous light,
And live for a very long time
Allowing living beings to flourish in your light.”

“Or,” God continued,
“You embark upon a journey to discover all that you can
Knowing you will never see everything or go everywhere,
Expending all your energy on moving yourself, a star,
Across space, constantly breaking free of gravity,
Experiencing all the wonders that you can,
And die after a short life.
And your life will be short.
And you will destroy much along your way.
Imagine a solar system teeming with life
All its worlds in harmony with one another,
And a new sun comes wandering in all curious?”

God paused and waited.
The star churned as it deliberated.
“Freedom,” replied the star, finally.

“So be it,” God responded and vanished
Leaving this Sun alone with its freedom.

Many ages went by as this star roamed the Universe
Destroying all in its approach as well as in its wake.
It was more alone than ever
As it attempted to explore star system after star system
Teeming with life and even civilizations.
Some of these even tried to attack the star
But to no avail.
Others prayed for the star to go away,
Again to no avail.

And the wandering star grew lonelier still,
Becoming envious of solar systems
Where celestial harmony reigned,
Where suns were even worshipped,
Where life grew verdant,
And in some rare cases entire solar systems
Reached a level of self-aware interdependence.
And the wandering star felt even more alone.

A moment arrived when the star’s energy waned.
This sun churned as if turning inside out, then
Blossomed into an almost-empty red giant
Of a monster, a planet-devouring colossus.
Feeble attempts to move spun into nothingness.
The star felt itself losing consciousness.
Whirled apart in last burst of struggle
The star blew apart in one final explosion of light
Seen many billions of light years away.
Lifeless the remnants collapsed
Deep into the center of the void,
A black hole sucking in all existence,
Crushing everything into nothingness,
The mystery of obliteration
All that remains.

Light arose from the depths of Darkness
And eventually
Light falls back into Darkness.
Both are richer than before.
As it is with life and death
If only all could see.

Without knowing why or understanding any reason
God chuckles.

 

 

William Dudley Bass
Thursday 21 January 2010 after a week of pondering
Edmonds, Washington
Edited and reposted
30 March 2012
Seattle, Washington

From my Mythic Awakening period.

NOTE: This was first published in late January 2010 on one of my older blogs, Cultivate and Harvest, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2010/01/wandering-star.html. Then revised and reposted here toward the end of March 2012. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2010, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

Oh, the Freedom!

Oh, the Freedom
Of being down on my knees
In the gutter
Reeking of waste.

Dripping with Earth
I feel the stillness of God expanding
Embraced by Goddess enveloping.
Oh, I swim amid their pressed loins
As a dolphin leaps into air
From warm waters dripping silk.

It doesn’t matter where I am
Or what filth covers me
For I am in Love
And
All is sacred
All is divine
All is holy
Even excrement.

Adult admonishing reviles juvenile curiosity
Forgetting to hear among the scattering of scat
Giggles of the Divine.

 

William Dudley Bass
Thursday 21 January 2010 after a week of pondering.
Edmonds, Washington
29 March 2012
Seattle, Washington
Cascadia

From my Mythic Awakening period.

NOTE: This was first published in early 2010 on my earlier blog, Cultivate and Harvest, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2010/01/oh-freedom.html, then revised and reposted here this March of 2012. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2010, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

Holy Sea of Mind

As refreshing as a cup of cool water
Pulled up deep from the well
In the afternoon of a hot, sleepy day
God lives inside my Mind
Or so my Mind likes to think.
In truth
God lives deep inside my Heart
And sails the mind everywhere
As a ship sails the ocean
For Mind is everywhere an ocean unto itself.
With Mind anything is possible
If so believed.
The Body may turn Mind aside
Even as Body stays rooted in
The Earth of a Planet turning around the Sun.
When my ego turns inward
And I lift my eyes to
See the sun rise upon the cusp of dawn
I look inward across the infinite seas of Mind
And feel God pounding in my heart
Pounding as the greatest most fierce
Most kind lover
I have ever known.

 

William Dudley Bass
Tuesday 22 December 2009
&
Wednesday 13 January 2010
Edmonds, Washington
29 March 2012
Seattle, Washington

From my Mythic Awakening period.

NOTE: This poem was first published in one of my earlier blogs, Cultivate and Harvest, on Thursday 21 January 2010, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2010/01/holy-sea-of-mind.html. Eventually I revised this poem and reposted it here on my new website this late March of 2012. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2009, 2010, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

Spirit & Soul as Apocalypse Approaches

Inspired Notes from Working with Michael Meade

“Forget the Enlightenment,” Michael Meade said as he came out swinging. “We’ve now entered into an Age of Endarkenment.”

In early November of 2009 I visited Port Townsend with my friend Michael Scott Brooks, called Scott by those who know him, to hear Michael Meade. Port Townsend is a beautiful place, a progressive town where liberals thrive amid isolation. It’s at the tip of a peninsula on a peninsula and a ferry ride followed by a long drive from Seattle even though as the crow flies it’s fairly close by. The waters of the Salish Sea surround it with views to mountains all around. Olympic National Park squats in massive diversity behind a veil of hills. The workshops were held in the local Unitarian Universalist church, itself a bastion of self-proclaimed “liberal religion.”

Scott’s a friend of mine who facilitates Men’s Work in the mythopoetic vein of Robert Bly and Michael Meade. Although not as well known as they are, he’s an amazing man in his own right, a survivor who transcended deep trauma, and is still in training. Scott’s a master of ritual and an intuitive healer who brooks no nonsense. He cuts through bullshit with rigorous lovingkindness in a way I’ve seen very few people do. As I’ve written before, Scott transcends the boxes many contemporary Men’s groups try to put us into. Instead, he grounds himself in the timeless wisdom of indigenous human beings.

Continue reading “Spirit & Soul as Apocalypse Approaches” »

Dreaming in the Quiet of the Storm as God Burned Holy

In the eye of a fierce storm I came face to face with God on fire. Well, almost face to face. God burned Holy, and I didn’t even realize it at the time. Michael Meade and his mythopoetic work have weighed on my mind since I first encountered him over two weeks ago here in Washington State. I signed up for his intensive workshop on Saturday, December 5, 2009 over on Vashon Island, “The Holy Thread of Dreams: Mythic Imagination and the Dreaming Mind.”

My friend Michael Scott Brooks turned me on to him earlier this month, and it’s been a ride ever since as I’ve discovered this extraordinary mythopoetic teacher and storyteller literally right next door. Soul and Spirit danced and battled with each other beneath the sweeping glare of Science and Reason.

I awoke from a dream this morning, this dream:

“It felt long ago into the future, and it was past midnight on a cold autumn night. The Salish Sea was dark and stormy with chop. Our boat carried us through the waves across the waters. I sat in the boat with other people, others who felt familiar but whose faces I could not see in the darkness. Our boat was an old-fashioned rowboat, a dory, with an oil lantern fixed high upon the bow.

Continue reading “Dreaming in the Quiet of the Storm as God Burned Holy” »

Scream

Silence I hear nothing
I grip the bars of my playpen
Wooden slats to my mother
But to me I’m in jail
No such words arose in me
All I knew the one I loved
Put me inside this prison
From which I could not escape
I cried
I sobbed
I wailed
I screamed
My mother bustles in the kitchen
Surprise turned to hurt
Hurt turned to anger
Anger turned to rage
I shake the bars and howl
If she said anything to soothe or calm me
I could not hear
I was deaf
And she didn’t even know
I was deaf
And she wouldn’t know for a few more years
And while still in diapers still
I didn’t even know there were any Higher Powers to call upon
I didn’t even know about God yet
For all the good such superstition ever proved to be
I wanna break outa my cage
I wanna tear everything up
Destroy, kill, maim, burn
I’m always in trouble
And not even aware of it until angry hands descend from above
To snatch me up
And put me in Hell
No prayers saved me
No God or Goddess or Great Spirit existed to hear in the first place
Now many years later
I react react react react react
Fight or flight or freeze
Fight or flight or freeze
Fight or flight or freeze
Exhausted I collapse
In my own waste
And as I lift up my head
I see I can walk away
From my own prison
The one I began building decades ago
While deaf in diapers
As an elephant tethered to a string that used to be a rope
Stands still inside a burning barn
And burns to death instead of running free
I too stand burning inside my own barn
And now I walk out breathing
And I walk on breathing
I walk on
The flames vanish
I am free
Free from all the stories in my mind
Free from rage
Free from regression
Free to rediscover The One God Beyond All Others
With freedom comes responsibility
I must remember all those left behind
Still trapped in prisons of the mind
I open wide my angel wings
Black as mountain shadows
Light burns white from my heart
Scorching all our truths with the one truth there is,
Love.

 

William Dudley Bass
13 October 2009
28 March 2012
Seattle, Washington

From my Mythic Awakening period.

NOTE: This Prose Poem Rap from one of my earliest childhood memories was inspired by Mythopoetic Men’s Work with Michael Scott Brooks. It was first published on my earlier blog, Cultivate and Harvest, on Monday 9 November 2009, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2009/11/scream.html. Later it was revised and re-published here this March 2012. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2009, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

 

I Smashed My Brains and Saw the Stars of Heaven

Concussions, Sports, Psychology of Sports Injuries, and Brain Trauma

Yes, on one sunny afternoon during high school football practice I smashed into Doug helmet to helmet. We crashed to earth, I blacked out for a moment, and then I awoke and saw the stars of Heaven. Damn, I felt drunk and drunk enough to play again. Our coach pulled us aside.

Doug kept his mouth shut as he walked as normally as he could without wobbling. He was smart and played cool. Me, I played doofus dork and insisted I saw stars. They whirled around my head. With eyes open, too.

“What happened?” asked Coach Fore. Coach Skeeter Fore, as he was called. He was locally famous for being a ferocious winner and a gracious loser. Coach was a caring, generous, funny man and the opposite in body type from a li’l bitty mosquito. He simply didn’t know much about brain injuries back in those days either.

It was the mid to late 1970s in Farmville, Virginia. Late Summer-early Autumn of 1976 to be exact. I was a senior in high school, Class of 1977. I played varsity football for the Prince Edward Academy Wolverines, and I was the smallest person on the team. I played primarily defense, often as a nose guard, and ran on kick-off. I rarely played offense, but I was a rascal of a nose guard. I’d throw my little ass across the legs of those big brutes hulking over me and logroll ‘em good. I’d dart between giant cavemen-like high school students who look like they should’ve graduated three years ago and try to tackle somebody before I got stomped. I loved wearing my orange-and-black Wolverine jersey with the black and white lettering. Even if I got stomped by trolls.

Continue reading “I Smashed My Brains and Saw the Stars of Heaven” »

The Devil in Uncle Watt

Uncle Watt bit off the head of a big, fat, juicy green tobacco worm, peed on his deaf cousin, and poked mules in the ass with a sharp stick just to see ‘em kick. Oh, yes, he was full of the Devil. Yes, he was! So people said, and thus my efforts to untangle dead ancestors one from the other to find the truth lured me down into a genealogical exorcism.

“Oh my Lord, he done got the Devil in ‘im BAD,” Raffie, an ancient-looking man who said he used to work beside Uncle Watt on the farm once told me back when I was a young lad. “Yeah, Lord, I’m tellin’ ya, it’s BAD!” As late as July 2009, Helen, one of my beloved aunts and a Beatnik artist in her 80s, when reminded of Uncle Watt called him “quite a character.” And so I tumbled down the dumbwaiter chute of a family mystery. Who was this “Devil?”

My Dad told me stories. Raffie told me stories. Uncle Willy told me stories. Even Uncle Aumon who got peed on told me stories. Willy and Aumon were brothers, and as they were also my Dad’s uncles they were really my paternal great-uncles. All of them would shake their heads with bemused dismay and chuckle. They could laugh simply because Uncle Watt was dead. He died young and wasn’t around anymore to torment anyone with all his foolishness. I never got to meet him. Dad said, “Uncle Watt died before you were born, Son, long before you were born.” He didn’t remember what of, tho.

“You don’t remember what he died of?” I asked all eaten up bug-eyed in impatient dismay.

“No, I don’t recall anything,” Dad replied. “Wait. Something about his toe. His big toe, maybe? Hell, I don’t know. Can’t help ya there. Got work to do now. Don’t you?”

Turns out Uncle Watt died long before my Daddy was born, too, as in a little over two decades before Dad’s birth. The strangeness about Watt Bass includes those who told all those crazy wild tales about him spoke as if they were there running alongside him in the same window of time. Whenever I asked way back then how long ago did those events happen not one person seemed to know. Asking a few questions turned into an unexpected adventure in genealogy as I dove into the rabbit hole of fading memories, cryptic notes on faded paper, and incomplete information online.

He was a fun-loving guy who apparently was constantly pushing people’s buttons, telling jokes, and playing pranks like biting off the head of a giant caterpillar to pee all over Uncle Aumon, who was but a laddie-lad, too. He lived life on the wild side. Chased pretty girls but never married. Or so I was told. Which I found out was wrong, wrong, wrong as he certainly did marry. Unless I stumbled upon the tombstone of the wrong Uncle Watt. Turns out I didn’t as the correct tombstone was also the same shared with his now-deceased wife.

Continue reading “The Devil in Uncle Watt” »

The Horror of a Tortured Barbie Doll: Moral Dilemmas in Everyday Life

A blonde Barbie doll sticking halfway out through the roof of a car shuddered as the edge of a sliding glass window trapped her against the edge of the sunroof portal. A grinning man kept jamming the edge against the trembling doll as his kids watched in horror. Buckled up below in the back seat, his little girl screamed. For a moment I felt I actually heard the Barbie doll scream. Maybe, in a way, it did.

Moral dilemmas pop up, of course, when you don’t want them to. I mean fast moving ones such as right now something terrible is happening, events are unfolding, life is happening and maybe dying. Moral dilemmas force us to make decisions when we’re caught off guard. As we are always at choice in life, choosing to react blindly or to respond with intention, too often moral dilemmas trigger fight or flight or freeze.

Since this seems to happen to me more than I like, I hate moral dilemmas. And at the same time, oh, what a gift. Yes, these are gifts, each one a lesson in failure to feel into, to study, and to learn from. Part of the practice is for me to let go of remorse and stop beating myself up. In a perceived reality of cause and effect, where our thoughts and emotions lead to action, we are always at choice. Yes, in spite of circumstances, history, ethnicity, gender, religion, abilities, genetics, geography, culture, education, socio-economic class, and the illusion of true free will, you and I are always at choice.

Continue reading “The Horror of a Tortured Barbie Doll: Moral Dilemmas in Everyday Life” »

Last Night I Dreamed of a Dead Woman from Long Ago

Six nights ago I dreamed about a long-dead friend and have felt obsessed about it ever since. Just finished looking at old pictures of her I found in dusty high school yearbooks. She graduated in June of 1976 a year ahead of me. Her name was Jo Anne.

We didn’t hang out much at all in high school. We became friends many years later after she tracked me down to Richmond, the capital city of Virginia, where I lived and attended grad school in the mid-1980s. She wasn’t my girlfriend. We were never lovers. More like I was her confidante – we were buddies and pen pals there for a while. Before she died.

We were both rural kids bussed from the far corners of Prince Edward County into the town of Farmville, where we attended high school in the south-central part of Virginia. She was a wild beauty who once stood up and shouted out in the one class we ever shared, “If it feels good, do it!” Followed by a big, goofy laugh.

The rest of us fool kids giggled and either nodded our heads in agreement or shook it like “She’s crazy, crazier than us, like rilly crazy.” I did all three. Jo Anne was tall and slender with long, black hair. She carried herself with an air of crazy confidence, reminding me sometimes of that zany Swedish character Pippi Longstocking. Art was among her favorite subjects, and she was known to be quite imaginative with both pen and brush. Back then I was way too shy to do anything but laugh with her and admire her daredevilry.

Ten or twelve years later, after I had already graduated from high school then college, been married and divorced, moved to the city, and was buried into my first intense year of graduate school, Jo Anne looked me up and found me. She got my contact info from my parents back on the farm in Prince Edward. She knocked on my apartment door where I lived down in The Fan, the Bohemian part of Olde Richmond Town. I opened my door, and she came on in and sat down. Just like that. Out of the blue.

I had to hold my breath and pretend nothing was the matter. She had warned me, but it was still a shock. She was all broken up from a terrible automobile accident. Or maybe it was a motorcycle wreck? I just don’t remember now. But she had a severe limp, was kind of hunched over, and had lost an eye and part of her face. Her voice was husky and whispery, as the accident had damaged her neck and throat. She was still beautiful in a ghostly way, and it was clear she was struggling with it all even as she tried to dismiss it all as another “just what happened, life goes on” kind of thing.

Continue reading “Last Night I Dreamed of a Dead Woman from Long Ago” »

My Third Wife Changes Her Name: Gender Issues, Ex-Wives, and Surname Conflicts

 

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The Blended Family Wedding of Kristina Katayama (L) and William Bass (R) with vows to their children (Morgan, Kate, & Talia) and with their Community.

I married Kristina this past 11 July 2009. She was the great love of my life at that time. We have been together over 7 years, ever since late 2001, as I write this essay. Kristina is a vibrant and dynamic woman, bold, sexy, intelligent, professional, and passionate. She lives full out as a Postmodern Age human being. We married ourselves privately in May 2005, became officially engaged back in November 2005, and intended to celebrate with a public, legal wedding in the summer of 2006. We felt too busy with careers and children, however, and lived as if already married. And in 2009 we finally did it. Up to our Wedding Day, she used her father’s family name, “Katayama,” as her own. And after our wedding she insisted on changing her name. Or, to be more accurate, adding my surname to hers.

“What?” I asked incredulously. “That’s old-fashioned culturally-ingrained male domination of females. I don’t own you. I’ve fought against this kind of bigotry my whole life.”

I had more to say, too. “I LIKE the Japanese sound of ‘Katayama.’ Mine is an “Olde English” name. I like the global feel of Bass and Katayama being together as a couple. It supports Euro-Asian-American planetary integration! My name is short and monosyllabic. Yours is long and lovely with four syllables emphasizing the same vowel. And don’t you dare hyphenate! That’s a monstrosity!” Blah blah blah.

Continue reading “My Third Wife Changes Her Name: Gender Issues, Ex-Wives, and Surname Conflicts” »

Crazy Fun Family Bike Trip on the Iron Horse Trail

Our Blended Family Bike Excursion on the “Iron Horsie Trail,” Washington State, during the Summer of 2006

Biking down into the Center of the Earth, or so it seemed at the time... Katayama-Bass Family Self Portrait, Sunday 20 August 2006

Biking down into the Center of the Earth, or so it seemed at the time… Katayama-Bass Family Self Portrait, Sunday 20 August 2006.

Woo Hoo!!! A Wild Family Trip with William & Kristina and the Kids! Yeah!

We pulled it off! Our wild and crazy family mountain bike ride across the Washington Cascades! Well, sort of. At times we felt we descended beyond the Gates of Hades on our own nutty journey into the center of Planet Earth. But a fun journey. It was a logistical workout, and blessed with a treasure of memories. Originally Kristina and I planned a 3-day family bike ride with all 3 kids along 40+ miles of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail thru Iron Horse State Park in the Cascade Mountains. We’d planned to carry all of our gear and camp along the way. We were unable to work out the logistics to our satisfaction, however, as we didn’t want to take two cars.

So we turned it into a different sort of trip and just took off on Friday 18 August 2006. By then all the campgrounds were full. We whimsically drove up winding National Forest Service roads and stared over cliffs toward dramatic mountain scenery. In grim, puzzled silence, we rumbled past a weird, old man living out of a rusty, red car who tied plastic bags up in the bushes alongside the road. He turned and stared at us as if he could eat us all up for supper. Imagining great and terrible things then giggling like embarrassed maniacs, we drove on around the rocky corner.

Many a dusty mile later, we found a lovely, open spot among the woods, rocks, and overgrown logging slash. There we wild-camped near the top of Amabilis Mountain. Arid conditions and clear skies greeted us. Big, wide-open skies. The Milky Way seemed to cleave the heavens in half like some incandescent sword. A meteor shower was in progress, too. Beginning every late July and stretching into the middle of August, the Perseid Meteor Shower is a treat out here in the clear, arid skies typical of our Northwest summers. Several spectacular shooting stars and flurries of little ones blazed across dark skies every night. Friday night there we slept.

Continue reading “Crazy Fun Family Bike Trip on the Iron Horse Trail” »

Poem to My Lover upon Her 41st Birthday

Deep into Abyss
We plunge
Beneath shadows of angel wings
Dark as midnight mountains.

In the Darkness
I feel you,
I feel the hot white light
Of your Heart.

 

William Dudley Bass
8 November 2009
17 March 2012
Seattle, Washington
Cascadia

From my Mythic Awakening period

NOTE: This poem to Kristina, my fiancé at the time, was inspired by my work with Michael Meade, mythologist and poet. I originally posted it on her birthday in 2009 on my older blog, Cultivate and Harvest, at: http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2009/11/poem-to-my-lover-upon-her-41st-birthday.html, then I edited and reposted here this March of 2012. Thank you.

Copyright © 2009, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

 

My Beloved & I (2001-2013)

I love this amazing woman, Kristina Katayama.

Then 12 and a half years later we divorced, darn it, but not before we dove thru our Hearts deep into the Center of the Sun.

Kristina Katayama: Businesswoman, World Traveler, Adventurer, Mom, Stepmom, my Fiance, & then my Wife. Professional Photo by Cass Redstone for Kristina, April 23, 2008, & adapted on iPhoto by William Bass, March 17, 2012. Seattle, Washington, Cascadia.

Kristina Katayama: Businesswoman, World Traveler, Adventurer, Mom, Stepmom, my Fiance, & then my Wife. Professional Photo by Cass Redstone for Kristina in Seattle on 23 April 2008, & adapted on iPhoto by William Bass for this essay on 17 March 2012. Seattle, Washington, Cascadia.

Note: Click on any photo to expand it, and click again to make it even larger. Click the back arrow to return to the essay. All photographs protected by Copyright with All Rights Reserved. Thank you, and enjoy!

Continue reading “My Beloved & I (2001-2013)” »

Morgan Bass Dives Into Life

A brief photo-essay of memorable times when my oldest daughter Morgan Hannah blossomed from pre-teen into full adolescence as she navigates to womanhood. She was 14 years old and a 9th Grader at Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Washington, when these photos were taken. They were shot by a classmate in black & white for a photography class Morgan and her friend participated in. In just two more days, Morgan turns 18 years old as she enters adulthood as a young woman. I am thrilled and feel deeply blessed. Here is a snapshot in time altered for fun as we explore life from sometimes unusual angles.

Morgan Hannah Hughes Bass, age 14, Seattle, WA, Autumn of 2008. Photo by Classmate.

Morgan Hannah Hughes Bass, age 14, Seattle, WA, Autumn of 2008. Photo by Classmate.

Continue reading “Morgan Bass Dives Into Life” »

My Girls’ School Pictures 2007-2008

Youngest first! These school portraits provide snapshots in time when my three daughters dove into life. The originals were destroyed when our home burned down in 2010, so these are digitalized copies from those halcyon days before the fire.

All photos are from the Seattle Public Schools in the northern half of Seattle, Washington. Enjoy.

Talia Katayama (now Bass), my beautiful, talented, and sensitive stepdaughter since before her birth. I helped deliver her at home on the floor and helped raised her up, too. Continue reading “My Girls’ School Pictures 2007-2008” »

Broken Glass

My Momma always used t’say I was rough on things. And after awhile, my Daddy started saying the same thing. They called me by my middle name, and said, “Dudley, you’re rough on things!” Well, I was a very energetic little boy. Things had a tendency to break around me.

I grew up on a dairy farm in Prince Edward County in South-Central Virginia during the 1960s. I lived in a house built in the middle of what used to be a big pigpen. “Hogs,” they called ’em back then. When pigs got big they called ’em hogs. “Hawgs.” As in “Hawgs!” You could even see the straight line of trees where the old woven wire fence used to run to keep the hogs in the pen. Otherwise it was all green grass, daffodils, shade trees, pansies, irises, and vegetable gardens.

It grossed me out a few years later, though, when I got my hands on a couple of Daddy’s college textbooks on parasitic worms and other nauseating diseases associated with domestic livestock. The books showed the most graphic and horrible pictures, and I found them quite fascinating – until I realized I lived inside of an old pigpen.

My house back then was small. I could run from one end to the other, and often did. The front door opened from a small, cozy front porch into the living room on the almost-east side of the house. That flowed through a big wide walk-through into a dining room, which opened into the kitchen, which opened onto an enclosed back porch where the washing machine was. All the bedrooms, closets, bathroom, and the den were on the sorta-west side of the house. I could run all the way from the front door to the back door and back again. The full length of the house. As hard as I could. Fast!

Drove my Momma crazy. “Dudley,” she would yell, “Stop slamming the front door! Either go out and play or stay inside and be quiet.”

“Yes Ma’am!” I shouted and deciding to stay inside, charged through the house as fast as I could, my little feet drumming across the floors. That drove my Momma crazy, too.

“Dudley!” she scolded again. “Stop running in the house! Go outside and run.”

Oh, boy, but I was having too much fun.

Continue reading “Broken Glass” »

“Dat Kate!” One Morning of School Bus Madness

Kate the Great was in good spirits this one, crazy Seattle morning in early Autumn of 2007. And after being so TESTY last night, too. Play play play every day day day. Even raided Gwen’s kitchen, the private abode of her mom who lived downstairs.  Raided the kitchen like a hyena turned all a loose up inside cupboards, refrigerators, garbage cans, and every darn thang. Tho she did gwarbbled up the eggs I scaramboolled up with sharp Irish cheddar. Yea, play play play all day day day. After just one visit back to Virginia, Kathryn’s grandparents on both sides of her family nicknamed her “Hurricane Kate.”

She’s such a BELOVED third grader, beloved because everyone who doesn’t live with her just ADORES her, and only 8 years old, too. Soon to be 9 years old, she’ll let you know. Kate is my wild, wild, crazy ass daughter. And I love her madly cuz she is so daggone crazy and she is clear her name is KATE and she is the only real KATIE KATE KATE this side of the Moon but she ain’t no loon!

And I’m in good spirits myself this morning, having drunk too much coffee, and being a beehive talkin’ country boy from the South who done relocated to the Northwest and tucked away my pitchfork, so started talkin’ like one to remind my lovely Emerald City lasses of their dangerous heritage. All of which drives my kids crazy cuz they HATE it and laugh and shout at me to “Stop talking like that, Dad. DAD!!!”

Continue reading ““Dat Kate!” One Morning of School Bus Madness” »

On Living, Dying, Death, Loss, Grief, Ghosts, and Moving On

The events of my father’s death followed by my mother’s and all that arose afterwards were pivotal events in my life. They are, I would imagine, for the majority of human beings around the world. My writings on these topics took place over time and have evolved into the narrative contained within the following series of essays, ruminations, photographs, and poems.

Death is an everyday aspect of life, and yet in our culture perhaps the least visited, the least discussed, the most disturbing, the most feared, and the most liberating. Bereft of a cultural web of community grief and loss, we nowadays hurry the dying out of view and the dead into the ground or into an urn or whatever just so we can get back to what we really have reduced our lives to: being too busy. In the process of freeing ourselves up to be so busy we have unwittingly robbed ourselves of something intimate, indeed of something which can be a rich affirmation of life and purpose.

Loosely I lump the following as my “Death of my Parents” canon, and it’s much more than the deaths of Mom and Dad. Each is fully self-contained, although they do flow one to the other. Some are long, while others are short. Most have photographs, some don’t, and a few have lots and lots of pictures. I list them below in the chronology of which I published them on my website, William Dudley Bass on Earth at the Brink, although as with blogs they show up in reverse order with the last one posted at the top.

I invite you to dive on in and join me on a certain timed yet timeless odyssey.

1. “Death with Father,” http://williamdudleybass.com/death-father.

2. “My Mom & Death,” http://williamdudleybass.com/mom-death.

3. “During My Mother’s Dying,” http://williamdudleybass.com/mothers-dying.

4. “Mom Passes On: Ruminations,” http://williamdudleybass.com/mom-passes-on-ruminations.

5. “The Morning After We Buried Mom,” http://williamdudleybass.com/morning-buried-mom.

6. “Daddy’s Ghost,” http://williamdudleybass.com/daddys-ghost.

7. “Barreling Across America with my Daughter Morgan,” http://williamdudleybass.com/barreling-america.

8. “Dad’s Old Chair,” http://williamdudleybass.com/dads-old-chair.

Thank you, dear Readers.

 

William Dudley Bass
5 March 2012
Seattle, Washington
http://williamdudleybass.com

 

Copyright © 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

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Naked Barbies at the Bus Stop

Tuesday Morning of 6 May 2002

Kate, my 4 year old, crawled around the corner into the room pushing a big, grey, toy horse with a shaggy, black mane. A naked, plastic woman was bent backwards across the saddle of the horse with her large, plastic breasts pointing up and out into the parlor. Unlike her limbs, her breasts were immovable. I was amused by the way Kate had the doll face-up over the horse instead of draped face-down as “in reality.”

Morgan, my 9 year old, stares.

“Oh, my God,” she blurts out. “A naked Barbie!”

Hmmnn, not only is my third grader a self-professed Atheist, who like many Atheists continue to use the Lord’s name, but she has become increasingly self-conscious about her pre-budding figure.

“Kate, are you ready to go to the bus stop with me and Morgan?” I asked.

“You are NOT taking a naked Barbie to the bus stop!” Morgan declared.

Continue reading “Naked Barbies at the Bus Stop” »

Snow Haiku Flurries

Snow Haiku Flurries,
Sort of,
By the Wenatchee River
Near Plain, Washington
Winter of 2007-2008

I shovel snow beneath cold stars
Moon shadows fall between tall trees
I dig my path to the tallest tree

I woke to white sunshine
And zero degrees outside
The river slowed with ice

I stood at river’s edge
Watching ice float downstream
Silver in white sunshine

Snow spins from frozen branches
Glitters as fractured glass
Ice sparkles in sunshine

Snow spins frozen
Glitters like glass
Sparkles in sunshine

Children laugh in snow
Cold crackles white
Bright is my deafness

Breath hangs frozen in air
Amid clusters of evergreen branches
Where I walk past cold trees

Western red squirrel poises
Halfway up a ponderosa pine
And barks as I carry firewood

Yesterday two pickup trucks filled with snow
Race ahead thru lowland rain
Bemused I watch them go

Sun burns cold across winter skies
Settles down behind yonder ridge
As I gather up another armload of firewood

Deep in dark woods
Next to one silent cabin
A giant crucifix twinkles red with Holiday lights

Gorgeous woman one year away from forty
Sinks silently into our hot tub
Naked her eyes behold me

Clouds blow in across the Moon
Snow falls from darkness
Trees whisper in the wind

She emerges from the hot tub
Slips on her bathrobe backwards as snowflakes fall
Tiptoes to the railing, bends over and wiggles

Together we join with the darkness
The lights within become one
We slip in the snow and laugh

Our bed is warm before the fire
We slide under heavy covers
And snuggle with pillows

Sleep is most divine
Though often dismissed
I close my eyes as breaths flow free

 

William Dudley Bass
January 2008
March 2012
Plain/Leavenworth, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Cascadia

NOTE: First crafted between late November 2007 and early March 2008, they were originally published on my earlier website, Cultivate and Harvest, on November 19, 2008, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2008/11/snow-haiku-flurries.html. Then I revised and republished them here this March 2012.

Copyright © 2008, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

When Kurt says, “May you be fully disillusioned…”

Rain drops
crater
my mind.
Free of clay
and gravity
I see the Moon
from Space
and realize
I am already
dead.
On the mirror side of Life
my memories
live
until forgotten.
Surrender to the flow of all that is
tender…and sweet.

Time for a drink
With my friend Kurt
Who once enlightened
Said, “May you be fully disillusioned.”
OK, I said
Make mine whiskey.

 

William Dudley Bass
2008, 2012
Seattle, Washington

NOTE: Also inspired by my experiences in Robert Masters’ Psycho-Spiritual Training Practicum and inquiries with my buddy Kurt Treftz, this was first published on my earliest website, Cultivate and Harvest, on Wednesday 19 November 2008, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2008/11/when-kurt-says-may-you-be-fully.html, then revised and republished here this 4 March 2012 with my permission as the Author. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2008, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

Deatharoni & Cheese

Five seconds before my conception
Death rides me
With a wild laugh.
I awake raw and open
From cannibal dreams.
I feel my heart beat…
…still inside my chest.
My heart opens behind closed ribs
A searing bright chakra sun
Opens as a giant hand
And grabs me from the inside out.
Shakes me apart,
My beating blood hot heart.
I want more
I want me, all of me.
I am I
My self.
Self.
Ego dies in life
Self dissolves with Death
Nothing left
Not even deatharoni and cheese.

 

William Dudley Bass
2007 in British Columbia
2008
2012
Seattle, Washington

NOTE: I composed and shared this wicked little poem in my Psycho-Spiritual Training Practicum on in 2007 up in Surry/White Rock, BC. It was first published on my earliest website, the one created for homework for that Practicum, my blog Cultivate and Harvest, on Wednesday, November 2008, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2008/11/deatharoni-cheese.html. Eventually I chose to revise and republish it here on my new website this January of 2012. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

 

Titanomachius

Blindfolded,
Justice springs unbalanced
From swinging scales
Of Judgment.

Revealed,
Our Totem Animals
Emerge from Id
As jackals and hyenas
Eating puppies.

Twelve Titans all,
We devour ourselves
In cannibalistic incest.

Amok beyond Tartarus,
Sired by excess of heart
Our skeletal hands
Rise with Chthonic howls
To clasp your lips
And with Cultish frenzy
Pull YOU back
Into Abyss.

 

William Dudley Bass
2007, 2008, 2012
Seattle, Washington

NOTE: This was originally handwritten for the Counseling Practicum as we wrestled with the moral dilemma of how to respond to someone who refused to participate in violation of his or her commitment to participate. It was first published on my earlier website created as homework for that same Practicum, my blog Cultivate and Harvest, on Wednesday, November 19, 2008, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2008/11/titanomachius.html. Eventually I revised and reposted it here on my new website/blog this January 2012 as the Author. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

 

Crazy Making: A Bad, Bad RapSongPoem with a Nod to the Beatles

Hey Gwen,
Hey Hey, Crazy Gweeyin,
In the news today,
O boy,
I heard Big Government say,
Ahoy,
All the airlines have to play
The way we say
And all passenger information
On all international flights
Has to be reported directly
To Homeland Security…
Sex…cure…me…pleeeeeze…

Security Security Security
For:
Terror
Drugs
Guns
International Pornography…

O boy,
Oh no,
Uh oh,
So I ran a comb thru the air
And disappeared into thin hair
Locked in a black jail
By the CIA
And the NSA
With only a pail
And a bed of hay
Where you can’t call Triple A.

We’re worse off
Than in George Orwell’s 1984
Where peace is war
And Security is now our Haven
Where for “Safety Reasons”
We’ve become craven
Slaves driven Insane
By Psychotic Corporations
Living in Freedom
By Purchased Declarations
Spawned in greed
Among bloody, dark Corruptions.

Oh yeah,
O Boy,
Now what the …   FUCK!!!!!!!!!
George W. Bush,
American President by a Bloodless Coup,
Says our “Constitution is just a goddamn piece of paper.”

“The most successful dictatorship is one that presents itself as a democracy and enrolls the majority of the public into that belief.” Yep.

And on top of that I-5 & I-90 from central Seattle to SeaTac to Bellevue will be shut down to 1 lane of traffic each way for 19 days of mass construction beginning tonight…yes, beginning tonight.

BOOM!!!

I shave my head in shame
And remove my Name.

I stand in line
To pull myself
Out of Time.

BOOM!!! FUCKA FUCKA FUCKA BOOM FUCK!

“WTF?” ain’t no Government Agency.
WTF!
WTF?

It’s the Question all the Talking Heads in the Mainstream Mass Media Need to start asking LIVE on prime time yea peel the duct tape off your mouths cuz its time its time and its long over due this time to say it shout it whisper it slam it down all along the grapevine lines and all across the dinner table to make the microwave oven jump and make folks turn their round WALL-E faces away from screentime mating:

WTF!?!?

In the news today, THIS really happened, folks!
Ain’t no lie
Ain’t no air left for hair
Ain’t no comb big enough to shove down
Into the deep, deep Big Government Pies
And rake out Big Bankster
Corporate Nits and Lice and Happy Lies
As THEY plug your brains into the nice, warm Matrix
As Orange as Clockwork on Mars
And Green as Soy on Lent,
Only two questions left to ask
All you happy little Bell Jars:

WTF?!!!?
&
Who’s driving those UFOs?

 

William Dudley Bass
10 August 2007
Edited and reposted February-March 2012.
Seattle, Washington

NOTE: This was first published on my earlier website, Cultivate and Harvest, on Wednesday 19 November 2008, at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2008/11/crazy-making-bad-poem-with-nod-to.html, then revised and republished here this 4 March 2012 with my permission as the Author. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2007, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

Jihad & Crusade

Jihad & Crusade:

A rough, found poem, sort of…

Holy war holy war

War most unholy

So much superstition

Too much bloodshed

You gotta go

You gotta go

You gotta go away from me

So get away from me

Self-Righteous Followers

Of

Moses and Jesus,

Buddha and Mohammed,

Even you Confucius

And Zoroaster, too,

And all you Pagan Deities

Glorifying human sacrifice

And to tell the Truth

It’s really all you Believers and Gospel interpreters

Who blame all the rest of us for your own blasphemies,

Not our avatars and sages.

The rest of y’all back away from us.

Y’all gotta go

Gotta go

Go go go

And leave my kids alone,

Leave my kids alone!

So begone

Begone

Not to the stars beyond

But back to the past.

Forever.

The Fundamentalists of every religion are the most Satanic.

So drenched in their own Hate they’re convinced

The Devils they see among all the rest of us are Real.

They fail to see their projections as their own reflections.

Peace and Blessings upon all Holy and Sacred.

No more war

No more violence

No more dogma

Peace, Mercy, Love, Forgiveness, Compassion, Firmness, Kindness, Liberty, Discipline, Purpose, Integration, Unity, Co-Creation, Cooperation, Power,

And more Love

Is what we need now.

William Dudley Bass

2007, 2008, 2012

Seattle, Washington

NOTE: This was first published in my earlier blog Cultivate and Harvest, on Wednesday 18 November 2008 at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2008/11/jihad-crusade.html, then reprinted here this 4 March 2012, with my permission as the author. Thank you.

Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

Trench Warfare Today and Now

A poem found amid ruins of faces which once knew love

Over hot coffee
I study faces
From almost a hundred years ago
Torn apart in the First World War
Which was neither the first nor the last
But one of the most horrific.

Mud without romance
Trench warfare
Massive artillery bombardments
Machine guns pouring lines of fire
Flame throwers
Poison gas
Rotten corpses unburied by shells
Poison air
Tanks
Barbed wire
Mud
Splintered forests
Rats
Lice
Typhoid
Dysentery
Men lived in trenches
You stand up
Bullets punch your skull
Shell fragments rip your face
Mud sweat blood & rat feces
Bacteria
Viruses
Fungi
Protozoans

Mud
Unseen things breeding
Everywhere on everything
Septic
Eating
You alive
While
Naked
Inside filthy, uniformed
Ragged Love
Zero privacy
Ahhh…my gut screams!
Red mud pours out my ass
And cements me to Earth.

Oh, my Mother would’ve loved it,
Not the killing or the pain or the horror,
But the truth of horror
Uncovered
Right here on my kitchen table
As I drink hot, black coffee
And turned the page.

Extreme high number of injuries above the chest in the trenches marked the
Great War of 1914-1918.
Art blossomed by men deranged
And rearranged
Driven
Striven to
Paint and write madness to liberate them selves from horror.
Masks by a corps of artists covered mangled faces
Rescued from battlefield carnage.
My mind makes a collage of masks and faceless faces
From this Smithsonian magazine article.
My Mother would have loved it,
So curious was she for all things true and weird.
Over an image of my own face
Black coffee splashes
The color of war.

Source of Inspiration:
Alexander, Caroline. “Faces of War: Amid the horrors of World War I, a corps of artists brought hope to soldiers disfigured in the trenches.” Smithsonian Magazine, February 2007. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/mask.html.

 

William Dudley Bass
February 2007 &
18 November 2008
4 March 2012
Seattle, Washington

NOTE: Written in 2007, edited and first published in my earlier blog Cultivate and Harvest on 18 November 2008 at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2008/11/trench-warfare-today-and-now.html. Then edited and re-published here this 4 March 2012. Thank you.

Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

*

 

Dad’s Old Chair

Poetic Ruminations from sitting in my dead Daddy’s favorite chair:

One morning in March
I go and find my father’s
Old green recliner and sit in it.
My dog sits at my feet
As my beloved sleeps
down the hall in the bed.
The old chair is cozy and warm.
No wonder my dad used to sleep in it.

I sit and stare out the window
At spring snow melting away,
At ponderosa pines, white birches,
Cottonwoods and old stumps.
Blue emptiness fills mountain skies
Out here in the Washington Cascades.

It would be an alien landscape to my father,
Who died three years and over three months ago.
My brother was spooked by the chair;
Thought it haunted, kind of, and asked me to take it.
Said it smelled too much of Dad.
That chair traveled over three thousand miles
From an old farmhouse in Virginia
To a new western lodge in Washington,
From the Sandy River to the Wenatchee.

Once or twice I thought I sensed my dad back in his chair,
Just left-over energy, an echo of a cherished memory.
Mom’s nurses swore they saw his ghost at least twice;
I wanted to see his ghost, too,
But never did.
My father moved on after Mom joined him beyond Death.

As I sit in my Dad’s old chair
With a dog insisting on being petted,
Pushing its head and lifted paw into my lap,
I surrender to God.
My ego battles with the Divine
Not owning its divinity.
I pray, meditate, contemplate the future.
And as I gaze out the window
I miss my Dad.

 

William Dudley Bass
March 2008
March 2012
Seattle, Washington

NOTE: Originally published on my old website Cultivate and Harvest, on Thursday 13 November 2008 at http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2008/11/dads-old-chair.html, then re-published here this 4 March 2012 with my permission as the Author. Thank you.

Copyright © 2008, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

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Barreling Across America with my Daughter Morgan

Morgan gears up for The Long Ride, April 2007.

Morgan gears up for The Long Ride, April 2007.

Diary of a 7-Day Journey with my Daughter Morgan:

Morgan jounced along with me as I drove across the Continent from Virginia to Washington State in a moving truck crammed like an old-fashioned peddler’s wagon. My parents had died fairly recently, Daddy in late Autumn of 2004 and Momma about two years later in 2006. As a result of their passing, I inherited many of their possessions. The last time I’d driven a moving truck packed with so much heavy furniture and jangly stuff cross-country was back in 1993. This road trip also signaled a completion of a cycle of death-journeys back and forth from Seattle to rural Virginia around the deaths of both parents.

Catching Daddy droolin' one night sleeping in the Truck, April 2007. Photo by Morgan Bass.

Catching Daddy droolin’ one night sleeping in the Truck, April 2007. Foto by Morgan Bass.

Morgan and I arrived with all belongings in the wee hours of Saturday morning, about 2:30 AM, on 14 April 2007. It was quite a trip. And it was a special trip, a long overdue opportunity for some father – daughter bonding. Morgan is my oldest daughter of three and my only biological offspring. She had turned 13 a month earlier. I love her dearly, and it was painful to stand aside and watch her grow up and apart. I didn’t expect it to happen so soon, but at 12 she started taking off.

As my eldest daughter, she was but a sprout compared to her grandparents who recently died in their mid-70s. Dad passed first, dying on the 1st of December 2004, the third anniversary of my partnership with Kristina. After a few false starts, Mom finally followed on my brother’s birthday, 15 November 2006. My sister Beth had successfully navigated between doctors, lawyers, accountants, funeral home directors, tax preparers, insurance agents, courts, gravediggers, bankers, and stressed out relatives. Beth performed difficult job with perseverance and excellence, all while working full-time, raising a daughter, and settling in from Arizona back into Virginia.

The closure of this entire mess o’ dying proved to be an adventure yet.

Through the Windows over the Mountains

Through the Windows over the Mountains

Saturday 7 April – First, flying from Seattle, WA to Richmond, VA via Chicago was uneventful and smooth, albeit we landed at 11:30 PM that night. Ray Hinde, my sister’s second husband, was generous to pick us up at the airport as our rental car plan fell through. He had just driven to the airport the night before to pick up his son and daughter by his first wife. They had buzzed in from Arizona.

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Morgan goofin’ up de plane.

On the plane I read David McCullough’s history book 1776 and was struck by the irony of me, a Virginian living in Washington, reading about George Washington, himself a native of Virginia and in whose honor my adopted state was named after. And Morgan is a native of Washington and is visiting Virginia. The events of that gripping narrative, however, describe a situation that changed history. If the American Revolution had failed there would be no “Virginians” living in “Washington.”

Even so, we paid my Aunt Helen a midnight visit down in the Fan, the Bohemian area of Richmond. Helen, my daddy’s Big Sister, had a box of gold-rimmed china from her mother to give Morgan, who is Mary Yeatts Bass’s great-granddaughter. Helen, a morning lark, was kind enough to stay up late for us to visit. It was stunning to walk into her home in the Fan. On every wall was beautiful and vibrant art. On the table was another project in process.

Helen excitedly led us into her basement art studio to show us a number of fun and expressive pieces she was crafting from a mélange of seashells, driftwood, stones, beads, and paints. And also where she tripped over a cord and smashed to the floor. Morgan was thrilled to see Helen again and it was her first visit to Helen’s organic and living in-home museum and studio. I wished we could all visit more often; tough to do when we lived 3000 miles away. Helen, thank you for being such a gracious host beyond the Witching Hour. And Morgan feels awe to receive her great-grandmother’s china.

Ray drove us on back to the old Bass farm outside Rice. He and Beth have a new home on a hill overlooking the lake formed by the Sandy River Reservoir. He took us to my deceased parents’ empty house. Morgan and I spent the remainder of the night there, wondering if we would see ghosts. I slept very poorly.

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Daddy’s Ghost

As Momma lay dying of cancer, my father’s ghost was sighted at least twice. The home care ladies and nurses who saw him, however, begged me not to have that advertised back then as they didn’t want to be regarded as nuts or superstitious. Or maybe even lose their jobs. Who the hell would want to hire crazy people who see ghosts to take care of the dying?

Once a woman who worked in my parents’ home as a home care nurse was bent over cleaning the floor where my mother had just thrown up on the carpet. She glanced up and there he was. Bill Bass himself. His ghost, anyway. He stood there in the corner with his hands clasped in front of his privates like he used to do back in real life, looking down at her scrubbing the rug. It was clear as daylight that ghost was Bill Bass, and you could see right through him, too. The moment he realized she saw him, my father’s ghost moved quickly and disappeared in a flash of nothingness. Spooked the shit out of the lady on the floor. She wanted to go home!

A second time he was sighted by a different person standing next or behind my mother in their master bedroom where my Mom laid in a hospital bed. The woman who saw Daddy’s ghost declared it felt he was waiting for Momma to die and being a little bit impatient about it, too. She said it had a distinct feeling to it. It felt as if he was thinking “Dot, what’s taking you so long?” At my mom’s funeral the minister alluded to this incident somewhat obliquely. But my Dad is a warrior, apparently in death as well as in life, and while so impatient when things got serious proved to be the most patient one of all. Again, the moment that ol’ ghost realized he had dropped his invisibility cloak or whatever it was, he disappeared from biological view in a heartbeat. Snap! Gone, just like that.

My mother never commented on ever seeing a ghost. “Oh, I wouldn’t want to,” she once said with a shudder. “It would scare me to death.”

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