Goddess Dead

In the end
The woman was a stranger to me.
She laid curled shuddering in blood and tears
At the bottom of her privacy so long
Hot water ran cold as if from faraway graves.
I chose her anyway.
All of her.
Every damn bit of her
I chose.
She couldn’t believe it.
Didn’t really want to, even.
Tho she said she was glad
Turns out she’d merely gone mad.

Continue reading “Goddess Dead” »

Too Far for Tears

She calls soon after dinner
Right in the middle of the presidential primary debate
I do not answer
I do not want to answer
Later I listen to her voice mail
She is distraught
Crying
Sobbing
One of her animals died in her arms
I can’t make out which one or what kind
Only this animal is dead
And it died in her arms
And she loved this animal
Now my friend felt buried alive
In her solitude
She needed someone to talk to
Someone to listen to her
I can’t deal with it just now
I’m listening at Bernie & Hillary
Getting into it over Trump
Three hours go by
And I call her back
I listen to her with my heart wide open
After we are complete
I put down my fone
And weep

 

 

William Dudley Bass
Wednesday 9 March,
Sunday 13 March, &
Monday 21 March 2016
Seattle, Washington
U.S.A.
Cascadia

 

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

 

 

BANALITY, or: Abandoned by Angels

I lay my head down
in the boneyard of relatives
to feed Aunt Bea’s chickens.
Over in the corner
in the shade of Grandpa’s old pear tree
my mother lays among buzzing yellow jackets
feasting upon apples scattered in decay.

Momma pushes away all of her children,
those of us still alive;
screams for us to grow up;
demands we stop listening to the news;
shouts we better hunt us up
some animals for breakfast.

Desperately she lifts tattered, dirty burlap,
shoves small bones ragged with chunks of meat
into her vagina as she mourns and grieves
the deaths of three babies
from dirty, unwashed hands.

I glance up and see Aunt Bea peeking down
thru broken shutter slats guarding old attic windows.
She won’t come down;
expects us to visit her instead.
We do not dare, of course.

Aunt Bea is hungry beyond pain,
yet she avoids the bone yard where
her sister screeches
in the shade of serpent grief.

She pushes notes at us
from under her door,
notes so raw her letters leave us
wet with terror.

Aunt Bea’s eye sees me as it always does,
quivers with relief as it watches my head twitch.
Her one enormous eye, wild, heavy, swivels “Yes!”
I stand up headless and walk away
as chickens cluck and peck at my face.

My old twin head Wilson, severed across the throat,
rolls in staggered jerks beneath
swarming hens, roosters, and slaps of Momma’s shoe.
I’d once saved Wilson’s life from drowning.
My twin washed up on Absinthe Beach north of Yurka
five years after vanishing off Nikumaroro.

I return to the shed to cook down
p-ephedrine with hydroiodic acid,
red phosphorous, iodine, and lye.
Daddy slouches naked in the shadows
among broken antique furniture once
slathered in now faded yellow, green,
red, purple Dutch Boy lead paint.

Continue reading “BANALITY, or: Abandoned by Angels” »

Death Ain’t Grim

Death is my Lover
Without gender or genitals
Neither soft nor hard
Death just cums
Into my Soul

 

 

Copyright © 2013, 2015, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you. Even if there are more words in this than in the poem up there. 🙂

 

Coffee at the Bus Stop

Zoroaster or Zarathustra above the two fish-human hybrid gods called Dagon (or Dagan).

Zoroaster (Zarathustra) above the two fish-human hybrid gods called Dagon (Dagan).

Nommo the Fish God from the Sirius Solar System; sacred to the Dogon tribe of the Hothburi Mountains of Mali's Sahara Desert, near the Ancient city of Timbuktu.

Nommo the Fish God from the Sirius Solar System; sacred to the Dogon tribe of the Hothburi Mountains of Mali’s Sahara Desert, near the Ancient city of Timbuktu.

I love making coffee in the morning. Every morning. Every morning here in Seattle. Oh, the gradual, sloppy slide of my naked skin over the edge of my bed after I ax my alarm, the
whump ass
WHUMP! WHUMP! WHUMP!
whump ass
pillow thumper dumper alarm
hearing folks sometimes think is a goddamn bomb.

Yeah, pillow thumper alarm clock. My clock as a small, thick, flying saucer-shaped vibrator I slide inside my pillowcase. It bangs my brains awake. See, I’m beautifully deaf in both ears. I can’t hear. I can’t hear very well, so I therefore I feel. Feel into the world. Feel into it all. Oh, yeah, where’s my Adderall? Where did I put my pill bottle? Oh, goodness, this crazy feeling! So much to know! Just didn’t know I could do it, this feeling, feeling this way and that way, at the unexpected moment I watched someone die. She died horribly, too. Died right in front of me. Died drinking coffee. Or while I was drinking coffee. Bus stop coffee. It’s all a haze of red and brown mist now. As she passed on into the Afterlife, I felt life wrenched loose from dying flesh. Scary at first. Almost…intoxicating. As intoxicating as the smell of fresh roasted coffee in the morning as I prepare the drink of Gods.

Continue reading “Coffee at the Bus Stop” »

Headless Sally

Ghost Hunting amid the Echoes of Tragedy and Carnage at Saylor’s Creek

Midnight came and went across the woods and fields of a 118-year old Civil War battlefield. With a firm grip on powerful flashlights turned off, we crept along the edge of the bridge and peered downstream into the darkness for ghosts. Well, for a specific ghost in particular, a ghost named Headless Sally. The three of us stood there in the dark feeling stupid and scared all at once. It was cold, too, down there in the damp mini-valley of Saylor’s Creek. A full moon hung in the sky casting shadows through trees and thickets leafless in Winter.

Earlier during the day we had agreed to hunt for Headless Sally under a full moon in a relatively clear and calm night sky. Luna draws out the madness in people, draws out mindless ghosts questing about on soulless autopilot, the objects of long-faded desires lost to spiritual dementia. And here we were, three Witches of Silverwood, leaning over the bridge railing facing downstream looking for the ghost of a floating head or perhaps her headless torso. We were confident of our abilities to protect ourselves against harmful or mischievous spirit entities. Besides, we figured after midnight on a cold weeknight there would be far less traffic on a lonely country road to disturb our focus than earlier in the day or on a weekend.

We have visited with ghosts nearby at the Hillsman Farmhouse at the epicenter of the Battle of Saylor’s Creek. Fought on Thursday 6 April 1865, as heavy rains fell and the creek rose, the fields, woods, creeks, and farms were the scene of a ferocious and savage three-part battle between Confederates and Federals. American Civil War combat was often at close quarters with severe injuries from up-close discharges of firearms and artillery as well as hand-to-hand fighting.

The Hillsman home was occupied by the Federals and used as a battlefield hospital. The family and servants there were forced downstairs into the basement, but afterwards helped dig mass graves for the dead. I don’t know if the “servants” were Black slaves, lowly-paid Whites, or White indentured servants. Indentured servants as an institution, shockingly enough, endured in the U.S.A. until 1917, long after slavery itself was legally abolished. Few narratives from Civil War battles more than mentioned the presence of slaves as if they were a bothersome afterthought.

The medical staff operated on screaming Union and Confederate wounded without question. Stories were told of so many amputations deemed necessary as the gory battle unfolded, the pile of severed limbs and body parts tossed out the windows reached up to the windowsills. Soft lead Minié ball bullets tore large holes through soft tissue and shattered bones. Cannons firing loaded canisters bursting with lead and iron balls packed in sawdust mowed down troops on both sides.

Sanitation was unknown, and this lack of hygiene helped generate severe rates of infections such as gangrene. Doctors and nurses, including surgeons, may care for their patients and feel passionate for their professions, yes. Their knowledge and technologies, unfortunately, were surprisingly Medieval during what many historians consider the first Modern, Industrial Age war. No wonder so many ghosts haunted the area. Sally, however, didn’t die in the war.

Continue reading “Headless Sally” »

Sleeping with Ghosts on the Appalachian Trail

Ruminations, Romance, and the Lives of a Family Long Dead

Story and Photographs by William Dudley Bass

Ruins of the old Sarver Homestead along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, May 1991.

Ruins of the old Sarver Homestead along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, May 1991.

In late May 1991, almost three months into our odyssey along the Appalachian Trail, my wife and I planned to sleep among ghosts. Old-timey Virginia ghosts. It seemed like a fitting thing to do while walking across our home state, a journey as rich with rumination as it was with hardship and joy.

Gwen and I had embarked on the first day of spring from the top of Springer Mountain in northern Georgia to backpack the whole Appalachian Trail end to end. The AT, as we hikers called it, or simply “the Trail,” stretches more than 2,000 miles northwards across 14 states to the summit of mile-high Mt. Katahdin in north-central Maine. Almost a quarter of the Trail passes through the Old Dominion, making Virginia home to the longest section of the AT, more than any other state. Gwen and I took six-and-a-half months to backpack the whole Trail, climbing Katahdin in early October on the day after our third wedding anniversary.

Rich in both history and wildlife, the Appalachian Trail is an intersection of people and wilderness. Those who backpack end-to-end in one push are known as “thruhikers,” while those who attempt to complete the whole thing in stages are called “section hikers.” Most take on trail names. Gwen and I were thruhikers, as such a distinct minority among the day hikers, weekenders, and picnickers. We called ourselves the Pregnant Rhinos.

Our trail name arose from a backpacking trip out West the previous year, when we got teased about the huge new internal-frame expedition packs bulging from our backs. “Damn, y’all look like a coupla pregnant rhinoceroses,” exclaimed a teenage boy, his own rickety, external-frame pack jangling with pots and pans and sloppy blankets.

Continue reading “Sleeping with Ghosts on the Appalachian Trail” »

Valentine’s Lupercalia and the Death of Love at the End of the World

LOVE

LOVE IS.

LOVE IS LIFE.

LOVE IS POWER.

LOVE IS DIVINE.

is god love ? is love god ? and goddess ?

or is love merely a human attribute projected upon an imagined image of deity ?

 If indeed God is Love and Love is God, can Love love?

We humans make messes of Love.

Such as celebrating our lust as things fall apart.

Ancient Pagan Festival of Lupercalia

Saint Valentine’s Day

Blood and Life

Birth and Death

One Love

Many People

Valentine’s Day

Armageddon of the Heart

Bereft of a Lover, she reads alone in the chill of February. It is the only way she knows to escape from her pain without dulling her soul.

Bereft of a Lover, she reads alone in the chill of February. It is the only way she knows to escape from her pain without dulling her soul.

Ruins of Ancient, Postmodern Lupercalian Sex Machines too broken down to fuck this lovely Valentine's Day Night.

Ruins of Ancient, Postmodern Lupercalian Sex Machines too broken down to fuck this lovely Valentine’s Day Night.

The air changes all who breathe. Breathing changes love. It all changes you. Air is life. Air is death. Breathing fuels every cell to live. Gaia yearns for Cernunnos to merge and spawn. Goddess gives birth to more Gods who work with Prometheus to mold our flesh deep in the ovens of the Holy Sun. Soul cleaves with Spirit to penetrate matter. Life blossoms from energy and emerges across the Universe. Enchanted with life, Sophia birthed forth Demiurge. Ignorant, isolated, and bereft of LOVE, he grew increasingly malevolent. Demiurge thundered forth to create his universe of worlds and battled the Higher God of Love and Creation for domination of the Earth. Humans were terrified, confused, and forced into believing Demiurge was the only God to worship. Sophia was forgotten along with Gaia and every other Goddess. The entire Universe screamed in protest, a scream we still hear as we listen to the electromagnetic shrieking of Matter across time and space. A most wicked and capricious Demiurge tormented all his creations as he raged and cried out for and against a Mother he hasn't known since birth. Demiurge set himself up on a giant throne to toy with and destroy bit by bit his own creations and smeared all others Divine as of the Devil. As the true Shaitan, Demiurge hid the truth from men and from women of his hideous yet powerful Imposition. Only Love will transform this Devil God, and it must be Love wrapped in kindness and compassion backed by the strength of billions of strong, resilient spines.

The air changes all who breathe. Breathing changes love. It all changes you. Air is life. Air is death. Breathing fuels every cell to live. Gaia yearns for Cernunnos to merge and spawn. Goddess gives birth to more Gods who work with Prometheus to mold our flesh deep in the ovens of the Holy Sun. Soul cleaves with Spirit to penetrate matter. Life blossoms from energy and emerges across the Universe. Enchanted with life, Sophia birthed forth Demiurge. Ignorant, isolated, and bereft of LOVE, he grew increasingly malevolent. Demiurge thundered forth to create his universe of worlds and battled the Higher God of Love and Creation for domination of the Earth. Humans were terrified, confused, and forced into believing Demiurge was the only God to worship. Sophia was forgotten along with Gaia and every other Goddess. The entire Universe screamed in protest, a scream we still hear as we listen to the electromagnetic shrieking of Matter across time and space. A most wicked and capricious Demiurge tormented all his creations as he raged and cried out for and against a Mother he hasn’t known since birth. Demiurge set himself up on a giant throne to toy with and destroy bit by bit his own creations and smeared all others Divine as of the Devil. As the true Shaitan, Demiurge hid the truth from men and from women of his hideous yet powerful Imposition. Only Love will transform this Devil God, and it must be Love wrapped in kindness and compassion backed by the strength of billions of strong, resilient spines.

Continue reading “Valentine’s Lupercalia and the Death of Love at the End of the World” »

Ghosts and Hauntings at the Old Bass Family Farmhouse

 

Old Bass Family Farmhouse on a visit to Virginia from Seattle, December 2005. Foto by William Bass.

Old Bass Family Farmhouse on a visit to Virginia from Seattle, December 2005. Foto by William Bass.

A ghost, yes, an invisible ghost, scared me nearly all to pieces once upon a time back when I was a little kid. I was young, so you can laugh if you wanna, but I was well read and smart, too for being such a squirt. The way that ol’ ghost stomped down the hallway of an old farmhouse in my direction freaked me out. Made my big Frankenstein hearing aid SCREAM. I could hear this ghost, too. I could feel it, feel both the vibrations of the stomps and the cold blob of air moving along with it.

I was a young boy back in the mid-to-late1960s sometime. I don’t remember how many years old I was or what grade I attended in school. What I do recall, however, was the weather. It was Summertime. Lush, green Summertime! It must’ve been between grades. I reckon I was in late elementary school or maybe even early middle. Not sure. But it was Summer that I know. And a ghost scared the bedoobus outa my insides. This true story began late one afternoon.

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Blood is Messy

Some kids dress up as superheroes and monsters from Outer Space. I dreamed of being a serial killer. And as Richmond sat surrounded by Civil War battlefields, there were many grownups that dressed up in butternut and gray to play war among trashy shopping malls and picnic tables. Ever notice they’d rather shoulder rifle-muskets and fire cannons than play at being saw-wielding surgeons surrounded by piles of amputated mannequin limbs?

Me? Well, I was different. I am a serial killer. But, I ask, who killed and maimed more people? Soldiers, of course. I was far more selective. Yes, indeed, I am a serial killer. Yea, I imagined I lived in a comic book and was born for death.

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Violence: After Newtown

There are days and there are nights when the best way to face horror and tragedy is to go right into it, into the pain, and not turn away.

The recent gun massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, touches us all on some level as our lives are so intertwined. A young man, Adam Lanza, sick with perhaps more than one illness, shot dead 20 young boys and girls, seven adults, and then took his own life. His illnesses are termed “psychological” or “mental” even though all such disorders stem from the body as mind arises from brain activity. Reports claim he shot many of these people numerous times. He was so accurate with his gun that there were no survivors among those he shot.

Police reports claim he used a Bushmaster .223 caliber Remington AR-15, a semiautomatic rifle. It’s a demilitarized version of the Army’s Vietnam-era M16 and is categorized as an assault rifle. Our national ban on assault rifles expired in 2004. Adam Lanza also allegedly carried two handguns and several hundred rounds of ammunition including high-capacity magazines for the Bushmaster. He stole these weapons from his mother, a registered gun owner, whom he killed first.

Regardless of deep emotions and strong beliefs inflamed by such murders, this massacre of schoolchildren as young as six and seven years old aroused a nation. Indeed, it aroused the world. We are once again reminded that even though we divide ourselves over politics, religion, and ethnicity, we are still one species sharing one planet.

Many issues are at stake here. What is most striking is even though so many people have staked out rigid positions on the various issues; many more are willing to engage in dialogue about them for solutions. That is good news and feels long overdue.

Let me name the dragons we finally have the courage to face as a nation. Keep in mind that to name something is to identify it and to some degree rob it of its power. To name something is to respond without reacting and thus we take on being responsible. By taking on responsibility, especially after first accepting what has happened even if we don’t like it, we become cause in the matter, not victims of circumstance.

Below I name our dragons:

This is an issue of emotionally laden language between groups of people who label each other “gun nuts” versus “gun grabbers.” The issue is the capacity and the willingness to set such divisive blame and shame language aside, or the incapacity and unwillingness for people to do so. Can we stop calling each other names?

Continue reading “Violence: After Newtown” »

Overflow! Reflections on Kayaking Class 5 Overflow Creek

Jeff going "singless" running Singley's Falls.

Jeff going “singless” running Singley’s Falls.

We expected extreme whitewater. We knew we were all skilled paddlers, climbers, and hikers and could handle ourselves in the wilderness. We were trained in river rescue. We just had no idea our party of four kayakers would get stuck in a confrontation with the Grim Reaper deep in a remote Appalachian gorge as the Sun slid down behind the tallest trees.

In the pages of North Carolina Canoeing, Bob Sehlinger and Don Otey write of the notoriously wild Chattooga River, “If Section IV bores you, try Overflow Creek.” They declared it was for  “boaters with…a little insanity.”

Such crazy madness was the predicament the four of us found ourselves in one sunny, warm afternoon: were we really all that bored with Section IV? Heck, after all, the Chattooga was at a romping 2.8 feet on the gauge. In the end we figured we were indeed bored with Section IV and probably not quite all there in the head, either. Though we were much more of a humble and calm team. We were just more on the spiritually cool side of gonzo.

Truth be told, we mainly wanted relief from rowdy crowds congregating along Section III that day for the recent International Peace Rally hosted by the Nantahala Outdoor Center. As much as we enjoyed partying with the Soviets and Costa Ricans, when it came down to the water, we were seekers of solitude. So off into the wilderness of North Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest we went.

Continue reading “Overflow! Reflections on Kayaking Class 5 Overflow Creek” »

It’s Time to Rethink Swimming

With more and more people becoming involved in whitewater, it’s time to rethink swimming. Many steepcreekers have been swimming differently for years, and their experiences can improve the swimming techniques for both those who take a once-a-year commercial raft trip and the average weekend paddler of Class II, III, and IV rivers.

During recent years there has been an increase in drownings and injuries among even experienced boaters as well as casual rafters, which could have been avoided, had they swum differently. Of course we all go out there thinking and hoping we’re not going to fall out of our rafts or come out of our boats. But let’s face it: sooner or later we will all swim, and swim again. Swimming is an integral part of whitewater, and just like combat rolls and eddy turns, it should be done properly and safely. It should even be practiced.

Swimming aggressively instead of floating passively is the key. A number of paddlers have been killed or injured in a variety of river conditions from long, continuous rapids to fairly small rapids. There are numerous cases of flush-through drownings where boaters were swept for extended periods while maintaining the old float-with-toes up position.

Earlier this year in a different type of incident a tandem open boater drowned in Nantahala Falls, a Class III rapid in North Carolina. He and his partner had quickly gotten into the traditional swimming position: toes up, head upstream, floating on one’s back with the arms out to slow one down. His partner shot along the tongue of the falls to safety, but he dropped over a ledge in the steeper section and pinned. His feet and lower legs became entrapped in a crevice, and he drowned. In the same incident, a would-be rescuer also trapped his foot in the same spot and nearly drowned as well. It is likely the victim would be alive today if he had swum aggressively.

Continue reading “It’s Time to Rethink Swimming” »

Running from Mad Yellow Jackets

Two Days Later... (Click on all images to enlarge.)

Two Days Later… (Click on all images to ENLARGE.)

There it is ... Pandora's Garbage Can.

There it is … Pandora’s Garbage Can.

I pissed off a blizzard of yellow jackets the other day. They were the Mask of Death rising up without any forewarning or expectation. The Grim Reaper swung out his scythe in warning as I jumped high, and we both whirled away in opposite directions. Death by surprise with the horror of a thousand toxic stings. Except it wasn’t my time to pass on through to the other side…yet.

On a sunny Tuesday afternoon in early October 2012, on the 2nd of October to be exact. I stepped outside into the backyard to help clean up some trash and debris. I’ve been staying with my friends Gabriel and Joy in Shoreline, just north of Seattle, as they settle into their “new” home. The backyard was a glorious overgrown wood with tall, beautiful trees and thick bushes bunched around an urban meadow of shaggy grass and dandelions gone to see. In the corner set an old, abandoned metal garbage can. The lid sat somewhat ajar. Bits of trash hung out over the rim. One long, blue length of twine spooled down and out and lay snarled in weeds and sticks.

Behind me on the upstairs balcony Gabriel and his little boy, the one I call “Young Master,” were cleaning up, too. They watched from above. And they just as easily could’ve been out in the yard, too. Young Master could’ve been walking right there with me to peek inside the old garbage can with the same curiosity that possessed me. After all, he was out there messin’ around a couple days earlier over the weekend.

I carried two bags of trash and one of compost. Without much thought I strode up to the ugly old can squatting among the bushes on the edge of the woods. My hand reached out, grabbed the lid, and lifted.

My eyes caught a quick view of what looked like gray paper. Immediately, a monster swarm of bigass yellow jackets rolled out in a thick curling cloud. These were plump, end-of-summer demons all fattened up to die in another month or so. They came together in the air like a biological chainsaw, like a living robot from the Transformer movies, and they were enraged. When I lifted up the lid, apparently I’d ripped their nest apart.

For a moment so brief yet so long I stood there on hyperalert seeing the massed swarm of buzzing yellow jackets pouring out of the can into the air around me. Everything seemed to move in slow motion, way slooooww mooooshunnn. I felt as if I was inside The Matrix movie.

Continue reading “Running from Mad Yellow Jackets” »

When Machines marry Humans for Love

If some folks can’t handle the vast variety of marriages expressed around the world, wait till humans start marrying sentient machines.

(Saturday 12 May 2012 via Twitter to Facebook)

—-
Response to Facebook Friend Liz T.: Liz, I’m honored. My comments were inspired by a convergence of 4 thoughts: Romney’s recent address at Liberty University where he collapsed his opinion & wants with a definition of marriage, and I sought to respond by not being one of many autokneejerk reactions, and of studies of marriages taking many forms including but not limited to polyandry, polygamy, polyamory, group marriage, open marriage, gay marriage, intersexed, etc., without extolling nor condemning any one choice. Ethics, not morals.

(13 May at 8:46am via mobile to Facebook)
__________________________________________________

Yellow jacket punches thru a spider web as a humming bird dips into petite, purple flowers. Green stalks quiver above the grass as I brush my teeth this side of windows.

(Mother’s Day Sunday Morning 13 May)
__________________________________________________

Sol slips behind the Olympics across the Salish. Sometimes those mountains rise above the water. Tonight they cut open the sky as it bleeds down into the sea.

(Monday night 14 May just after sunset.)
__________________________________________________

Once upon a time a long, long time ago in some faraway place much like home, an epidemic of broken hearts raged thru a land afflicted with romance and delusion. The realm’s healers were quite perplexed to discover a broken heart does not bleed but turns to stone. And when they chipped away and cracked these broken hearts open out spilled the most sparkling diamonds. From every one.

(Tuesday 15 May 2012)
__________________________________________________

Overcome with emotion, the first healer scooped up handfuls of diamonds from the cavity of a broken heart turned to stone, the one he cracked open eight minutes ago, to discern any clues to the current epidemic. For a moment, for one, infinite moment they sparkled with the Eye of God. Blinded into madness by such health, he danced with the Joy of Oneness as he knew nothing else no longer mattered.

Jealous and dismayed, his associate broke open another broken heart turned to stone, snatched up 6 diamonds only to feel them dissolve into liquid and penetrate his skin. His glee turned to surprise then fear then horror.

Continue reading “When Machines marry Humans for Love” »

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.

*

 

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!

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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” »

Swimming in Avalanches

Click on any photo to ENLARGE it.

Lightning Storms are common in the Mountains. Photo from a free wallpaper/stock photo set.

Lightning Storms are common in the Mountains. Foto of multiple plasma strikes in the Rockies from a free wallpaper/stock photo set.

Lightning struck the mountain as the heavens cracked with thunder. Snow and ice burst loose like boiling water, and I was swept down the couloir, a steep gulley plunging down the flank of the mountain. Runaway snow felt like galloping wet sand and hissed like snakes. It was a hell of a way to spend a summer vacation.

It was mid-July 1986, and I was in the Wyoming Wind River Range toward the end of a 30-day Wind River Mountaineering Course with NOLS, the world-famous National Outdoor Leadership School. Headquartered on the edge of the range in the cowboy town of Lander, Wyoming, NOLS was the premier outdoor adventure school of my time. Once I was on purpose to become a NOLS Instructor. At least I was until love, romance, and a broken down car got in the way. Nevertheless this 30-day NOLS mountaineering course proved to be one of the most pivotal points in my life.

Back then I planned a career in outdoor adventure and sought concentrated training in hard skills such as alpine rock climbing and glacier travel and in soft skills such as teamwork and leadership under pressure. Along with those skills NOLS also taught natural history, science in the field, environmental responsibility, wilderness navigation, and backcountry first aid, all knowledge I desired. I had one semester left in grad school, too, back east in Richmond, Virginia. And, to be sure, what I most wanted as an ol’ farmboy from Virginia was an immersion adventure in the Wild American West. And I got it.

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Six Words Make A Story Short

Here Are Six Very Short Stories:

It’s all true, and a lie.

Got fat. Lost weight. Drank beer.

Climbed mountain, lost pants, took nap.

Clouds ripple in moonlight. She screams.

“Hey, you! What time will it…?”

Pink escalators spun candy to heaven.

 

More Tall Tales for Tight Whales

Corpses wash up in surf. Crabs!

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Dancing at the Gates of the Underworld

“Celebrating the 13th Mortiversary of the best man I’ve ever known,” leapt from the glowing blue and white screen a few days before Halloween. The author was a gorgeous and stunning enigma who turned heads whenever she strode into a room, or in my case, a tipi during an all-night Native American prayer meeting. “Mortiversary?” I wondered in awe. “Oh, he’s dead!”

Then I felt the glow of shame for not getting it right away at my friend’s expense. Here was a woman honoring the life of a man who once moved her deeply by celebrating his death. From beyond the veils between worlds he continued to move and inspire her. In allowing her self to feel so moved she inspired me and my heart opened to the pain and the sadness and even the magnificence of death.

As storyteller and mythologist Michael Meade said about two years ago on a blustery November night in Port Townsend, “Welcome to the Endarkenment.” He felt the world has energetically moved away from a period of awakening, enlightenment, even bliss into a period of darkness and turmoil and chaos. It wasn’t all bad, either. Such dark times are often the cauldron of creativity and transformation. Our spirits fly away leaving our souls burrowing into dirt and filth, transforming both into rich soil.

It was Samhain, the Celtic New Year, All Hallows Eve 2011. This year it fell across a three-day weekend with October 31st falling upon a Monday with two more dark holy days following. Samhain (usually pronounced as ‘sow-win’), Feralia, Pomona, Halloween, Hallowmas and All Soul’s, Dia de los Muertas … it’s that time of the year to really celebrate Summer’s End and herald in the Endarkenment. I love how they mix and blend together like the blood and genes in our Postmodern flesh.

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