Myopic and Astigmatic Observations: political & social commentary

Time Capsule Journey

I just returned from a time capsule journey to visit my brother at Forest Grove, in the Cariboo District of BC. Nothing has changed at his place over the past umpteen years. Not the wood stove and heater; nor the water buckets; nor the tilted outdoor toilet. Jack and I reviewed tales and experiences almost constantly over 4 full days of conversation. Strangely as we chatted, memories flowed and I actually recalled many names and faces from the distant past.

This is a guy who’s had 2 major heart attacks – has a defibrillator/pacemaker in his chest. Has bouts of angina and breathlessness. He cuts trees and splits wood, hauls water, drives rickety vehicles which he has to repair along with other rickety machinery. One doctor told him all that work’s what’s keeping him alive. (He’s made it to 74 from first heart attack at age 57)

As for me, the one thing I definitely DO NOT miss is having to use an outdoor toilet!  (Although environmentalists insist that’s the best way to go.)  I wrote the following poem when we moved to a cabin on the north shore of Fraser Lake in about 1972.



Behind the old house ‘cross the road,

Reminding me of dreams of old,

Father built it in the fall,

Of ’49 if I recall,

To replace the one before,

This one was new except the door.


A high seat with a great big hole,

A small one for the children’s goal,

A thoroughfare throughout the years,

Upon the path no grass appeared,

As bare feet, shoes and winter boots,

Pounded on the grasses’ roots.


Tall grass now obscures the way,

To the outhouse in the hay,

Weather-beaten in the breeze,

Tilting eastward ‘neath the trees.

Nostalgia grips me close to tears,

As I think back to childhood years.


The Eaton’s wish-book on the wall,

Alternating Spring and Fall,

Dog-eared from the season past,

Still good reading while it lasts,

A good place on a summer’s eve,

To dream, rejoice or sometimes grieve.


Modern plumbing,  ‘lectric lights,

No more flashlights in the night,

Hurrying, weaving, stumbling child,

His urgency long since reviled:

“Must you wait on Winter’s night,

‘Til bowels are screaming in their plight!”



A horn is honking, I must go,

My reverie is gone I know,

The past is gone as we drive forth,

Our home and family are up North.

As we drive back throughout the night,

I think upon our present plight.


We bought some land, a cabin too,

It’s near the lake, a gorgeous view,

There’s room to breathe, the air is clear,

But one thing’s wrong – no plumbing here.

Our outhouse now is new and strong,

But we, I hope, won’t need it long.


The Art of Humour

I believe humor which results in the state of mind referred to as “happiness” can be a coping tool for those who suffer from mental health instability. I’ve often wondered how people with huge challenges in life – such as cerebral palsy – can smile so often? Smiling and humorous remarks can be reciprocal in that they warm the hearts of others… It’s doggone therapeutic to receive a positive response from an audience!

The other day I listened to a very articulate member of the Sikh Religious Faith make the statement on TV that “religion should not enter the bedroom” – in reference to the attitude a number of religious faiths have toward homosexuality. As a Sikh he explained that he had no problem with the concept of a civil gay marriage.

Therein lies the conundrum: if a marriage ceremony is performed legally by a representative of  the government, is it in any way an attack on anyone else’s religious belief  system?  My religious faith does not support the concept of homosexuality. But I’ve never been attracted to another woman so that’s not an issue for me. But if one of my gay friends or relatives announced that they wished to tie the knot, I would  have no problem with that at all. The ceremony is legal in Canada- and the rest is none of my business.

Another biggie which has recently landed Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in trouble is his statement that Liberal caucus members must vote “Pro Choice” when it comes to the legalization of  abortion. For many people “pro-choice” means “pro-abortion”. I don’t think Mr. Trudeau meant exactly that when he blurted out his unpopular decree.

Killing an unborn child is a concept that I hope no  Canadian political party ever adheres to. But until the baby is born he or she is firmly attached to the mother. And the mother is the only person who can and should decide on what happens to her embryo.

If the mother is intent on ending her pregnancy and no doctor is authorized to help her do that, she will likely seek help from a non-professional  to end her pregnancy. And possibly end her own life during the  unskilled and perhaps unsanitary process.

I honestly don’t believe any woman really wants to have an abortion. Not the first time anyway. But if she is desperate,  I think it can become a way of life for some during future unwanted pregnancies.

There needs to be help for mothers-to-be  who are in desperate situations- not nonchalance and too often scorn.






Lately I’ve been hearing remarks such as: we  as human beings are the ugliest species on the planet. By “ugly” I think they mean selfish and uncaring for others.

I believe all human beings were given a huge helping of the “selfish” gene in order to survive.  My father-in-law used to philosophize that “Survival” followed by “The procreation of species” were dominant traits in the human psyche. These traits are embedded in our nature and are sometimes referred to as our Lower Self.

Our Higher Self is also embedded in our psyche  – revealing itself earlier in the lives of some, than in others. (I’ve seen babies express concern about the comfort of other babies.)  The potential for becoming a greater human being lies within the Higher Self.  If  the Higher Self isn’t warped in some way,shape, or form, it will grow straight and tall and  become a thing of beauty.

Someone once posted a picture on Facebook with a First Nation’s Chief speaking about  “The Two Wolves” fighting  inside each and every one of us. When asked which wolf wins, the chief  replied: “The one that you feed”

I’ve always liked that story!

Today (May 24th) is Schizophrenia Awareness Day and to commemorate it
some of us are going to wear purple- LOOK FOR THE PURPLE SHIRTS.
Why doesn’t  schizophrenia hale
Higher on the compassion scale?
Their pain is not that obvious
Their symptoms do not lobby us.
Psychotic symptoms don’t include
Blood that’s oozing from a wound
Fever, cramps or severed limbs,
Diseases with prognoses grim…
We cannot see a mind reacting
To sights and sounds that are distracting
Voices shouting in their ears
Demanding, bullying, creating fears
Delusions distort reality
Too many suffer anonymously
Like ·  · 

Prompt: today, as befits the final poem of NaPoWriMo, I challenge you to write a poem of farewell.

What will I feel

After you have gone

When the show is over

And I am alone

With my reflections

I’ve  enjoyed our


My soul has been


Filled  to overflowing

By your presence

Even as you

Go out the door.

I hear the

lingering echoes

Of your laughter

I visualize

The warmth in your eyes

Your splendid beauty

I  have experienced

Bursts of  joy

So happy I wanted

To sing and dance

Around my kitchen

Farewell my darling

Hasta la vista!

April 29th Poem by Doris

Following the 20 separate directions in today’s prompt:

All the world’s a stage
And we are all undertakers
Looking at flowers
Listening to music
Smelling apple pie.
Tasting apple pie.
Kissing loved one’s goodbye

“The flowers smell like apple pie,”
Said Mary Brown from St Laurent
“We’re not undertakers
But we are world makers,
Or maybe just apple tasters…”

Apples that are tart make me fart
If you fart upon a flower it will die
We carry space and time around
“Like turtles with shells.”
The greening of the grass is pleasurable.
The apple I ate brought the doctor to my door.
The doctor did a cartwheel on my living room carpet
Dorie was a dingbat
But as she aged she became
less of a dingbat.
a half-assed intelligent dingbat
Therefore there is hope for the half-assed of the world
déjà vu all over again
Winnie the Pooh said, “ there’s hope for me too!”
When grass is green and flowers bloom,
The birds will sing a medley of sweet music

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