Category Archives: poetry

It’s Not Easy Being Green

It’s not easy being green…. the color of so many ordinary things…

Especially as you grow older.

Because green is the color of growth and youth and life. But those things seem beyond the grasp of your outstretched fingers on your spotty and wrinkled old hand.

I am definitely no longer green like Littlebit, the Oceanian ship’s boy from the seas of Talislanta and the pirate ship, Black Dragon.

And, yes, an Iowa boy living as far away from an ocean as you can get in the United States, in all directions, you are bound to dream of pirate ships and the high seas, especially when you’re twelve and your favorite book is Treasure Island.

But now that you are old, green is more often your color because you don’t feel well… again… every day….

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But there is still bright green in dreams.

You can still go there and be a child again in memories and your imagination.

It’s just that now the green is written down in sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and cantos.

And talking to your kids about movies, art and artists, stories and writers of stories…

Did you know the favorite color of all three of my children is green?

I have known it since they were small and I could sing to them songs by Kermit the Frog, like “Rainbow Connections” and “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”

And with paint, you make green by combining the blue of sadness with the yellow of sunshine and happiness.

And it’s not easy being green…

But it’s beautiful…

And it’s what I want to be.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, coloring, feeling sorry for myself, humor, Paffooney, poetry

From the Darkness Comes the Light

It is a rule, I think,

From the Start of Everything.

Darkness always must come first

Before the Stars can Sing.

No matter how Black

The bad thing really feels,

It cannot go from bad to Worse

Without Goodness on its heels.

And from our many foibles

And Monumental Blunders,

We must learn valid lessons

To discover Any Wonders.

But Dark the road ahead now seems,

And the Light We See is far away.

But steadily we trek towards the dawn,

And Bright Lights of another Day.

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***** I really had in mind another long and laborious complaining post today. But somehow it only morphed into doggerel verse. Sorry about that. Bad poets can’t help but inflict the stupid thoughts in their poet-guts on the unsuspecting sometimes. While I’m at it, I haven’t yet shared with you the FREE BOOK PROMOTION for March. This book, celebrating its first birthday, is free from this moment until midnight tomorrow night, 3/23/21.

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Filed under feeling sorry for myself, Paffooney, poem, poetry

The World is Gray Today

It is cloudy outside. The sky is a cool, damp gray. No rain. No snow. Just dreary and gray. The world is gray today.

We have now been in a lockdown and wearing masks for an entire year. I have lost a lot of ground. Color-blindness runs in my family on my mother’s side. Great Grandma Hinckley was completely color-blind by the time she was in her 70’s.

I myself have known I had the color-blindness problem since I was in high school and the school nurse gave me a vision test that proved it.

In the dotted circle, I could see the blue-green number 29, but I could also see the red number 5. I was told that I had a slight color-blindness on the red/green scale. Believe me, I had no idea what that meant. Still don’t. I just know I have never seen colors the way other people with normal vision do.

But now, after twelve months of lockdown, I can definitely detect the fact that I have lost some more of my color vision.

Great Grandma saw the world in black and white and gray since she was 70. That, for me, is now less than six years away.

As a cartoonist I use a lot of pen and ink. I also love black-and-white movies. Being partially colorblind, you might think that I would be okay living in a film-noire world. But I am not. It is simply not enough. I have always craved color. I particularly love to create with bright primaries, red, yellow, and blue.

I will sorely miss color when it is gone.

And I have always loved cardinals. Not only because they are bright red songbirds, like the one singing outside in our yard on this gray and slightly blustery day. But because they never fly away when the winter comes. They stay even in the snow and cold. Trouble doesn’t drive them away. I shall not give up when I lose all the colors.

I remember the world being gray when I was a boy back in the 1960’s too. TV was only black-and-white… and gray at our house. I watched the funeral parade for JFK on the black-and-white… and gray TV. And around that time the three astronauts Grissom, Chaffee, and White had a similar funeral parade… also black-and-white-and-mostly-gray.

The Viet Nam conflict on the TV news with Walter Cronkite. The riots at the Democratic Convention in 1968 with the Chicago Seven going on trial. The world was very, very gray.

But then, in the Summer of ’69, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. A giant leap for mankind! And I saw that also in black-and-white-and-mostly-gray.

There was a hope of color in my life after that. And we got a color TV in the later 70s after that. And even with my partially color-blind eyes, I saw color everywhere.

And now again is a good time to anticipate color coming back into my life. I am on the waiting list for vaccination. My eldest son has a steady girlfriend living with him now. And we have a better President who actually seems to care if we live or die. Good things are over the next hill.

But still… the world is, for now… gray today.

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Filed under autobiography, battling depression, coloring, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, insight, Paffooney, poetry, self pity

The Sardonic Solliloquy

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The homeless man wandered onto center stage just as the spotlight went on.  He shaded his old eyes against the brightness and looked outward into the dark  theater.  It was probably some kind of mistake.

“Oh, so now it’s my turn to talk, eh?”

There was no response.

“Well, if you’re expecting something funny to come out of my mouth, good luck with that.  More than half of what I say that makes people laugh is the result of depression, ill health, and just plain ignorant stupidity.  And the other half of it is not meant to be funny, but is because I don’t always understand what I am saying.”

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There was an embarrassed chuckle somewhere in the darkness.

“I mean, you can’t expect too much from me. I’m a bum.  I have no money.  I have no job.  Not having any work to be bothered with is kinda good.  But the other thing kinda sucks.

And all the great comedians that used to stand on this stage and try to save the world through humor are dead now.  It’s true.  Robin Williams died recently.  George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor, and Bill Cosby are all long gone.”

There was some nervous laughter in the theater.

“Oh, I know, Cosby only thinks he’s dead.  But he kinda killed the character delivering the wisdom in the form of observational comedy, didn’t he.”

 

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“But most of them old boys tried to come up here and tell you the truth.  And the truth was so absolutely unexpectedly wacky and way out of bounds that you just had to laugh.  And the more wicked the humor, the more you just laughed.  You didn’t do anything about the problems they talked about.  But you sure did laugh.”

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“It seems like the more they told you the truth and the more you just laughed about it, the more old and bitter they got.  Sardonic?  You know that word?  Not sardines, fools, but sardonic.   Bitterly humorous and sadly funny.  Seems like a lot of them old boys got more and more bitter, more and more depressed up to the end.  More and more sardonic.”

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“I mean,  Carlin was calling you stupid right to your face at the end.  And you just laughed it off.”

The theater had grown eerily silent.

“But it ain’t all bad, is it?  I mean, at least you all can still laugh.  Only smart people get the jokes.  The ones Carlin moaned about were laughing because everybody else was laughing.  Those weren’t the ones we were talking to.  There’s still life out there somewhere.  Maybe intelligent life.  Maybe aliens ain’t located any intelligent life on Earth yet, but they’re still trying, ain’t they?”

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“You shoulda listened more carefully to what they were saying.  Life and love and laughter were bound up in their words.”

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“So I guess what I’m really saying is… just because I happened to get a rare chance to say it to you all… learn to listen better.  The voices are quiet now.  But the words are still there. And laughing at them is still a good thing.  But remember, you need to hear them too.”

The theater suddenly filled with the roar of a standing ovation.  The old man bowed.  And this was ironic because… the theater had always been empty.  No one at all was there now.

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Filed under comedians, humor, insight, poetry, quotes, strange and wonderful ideas about life, surrealism, Uncategorized, wisdom, word games

Magic Flowers

There are magical flowers in Mrs. Pennywhistle’s garden.

And what do I mean by that?

She grows snapdragons, pansies, and nasturtiums like any good granny-gardener would.

But amongst the children of our little town, the rumor is that she’s actually a witch.

A good witch.

Not a bad witch.

Her spells only fascinate, never glammer, never take over your little-boy or little-girl mind.

This is the magical blossom she got from old Dr. Mirabilis. He’s a wizard from Peru that she found in the nursing home in Belle City. He gave it to her as a gift when his arthritic hands could no longer keep it alive on the hospital window sill. She cares for it like it was her own baby.

It’s magical power is as an aid to contemplation. It’s gentle purplish-pink color is calming when you stare at it. Its odor is mesmerizing. She uses it to talk to the doctor now that he is gone, and she can no longer visit him to talk about her flower garden.

These pretty posies are planted all around the edges of the garden.

Especially around the carrots and cabbage.

Do not stick your little noses between the pink and white petals.

They have an awful smell.

But their magic is keeping the rabbits out.

Especially from the cabbages and carrots.

And the pansies are the clowns and punchinellos of the flower bed.

See their angry eyes under bushy-black eyebrows? And their too-serious little broomlike moustaches?

How can you do anything but laugh?

And the White Rose…

That’s the avatar of Mrs. Pennywhistle herself.

When she can no longer keep that one growing, it means the gardener has gone.

And the garden will soon be gone for good as well.

And then where will the children go?

For magic flowers?

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Short and Sweet

No, I am not talking about a midget girlfriend today.

I am talking about brevity.

Some of the best writing gets directly to the point.

You have to know how to say exactly what you want to say.

Then say it.

Like, “Tootie is a Cutie.”

And once said, the point made is…

Sheer poetry.

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Promises Unbroken

Life is a Merry-Go-Round…

Up and Down,

Round and Round,

A Merry-Go-Round.

And if you can’t handle

The horse you are riding

Tame and gentle as he is,

Then take a quick shift

To the horse right behind you

As the circle continues to whiz.

I promised I wasn’t going to talk about him anymore. He befouls my dreams and makes my life harder, but noticing him, even with a heart full of scorn, is what he wants me to do. Even negative attention gives his little black Grinch-heart joy.

Kurt Vonnegut is dead. His life and his works are complete. But he is still with me, the creator’s eyes and ears are still here.

Salvador Dali is dead. His life and his works are complete. But he is still with me. Clocks still melt to his timetable.

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Judy Garland is dead. Her life and her works are complete. But she is definitely still with me as I sing her signature song to myself, wishing to be beyond the rainbow.

Michael Beyer is not dead. His life and his works not yet complete. But he is still working, and writing, and more, And the sugar in his heart is still sweet.

Yes, I am quite unhappy with the world the way it is. He has done terrible things, and yet they let him stay where he is. There is no excuse for it. The evidence is there for anyone not looking with their eyes closed.

But even though his promises are lies, I shall keep mine. Notice, I have not mentioned his name. But you still know who I mean and what he has done.

And I have never spoken of him as the “P-word” of the United States. So, my promises are unbroken, even though I can’t ignore him. I will vote against him, if God allows me to live that much longer.

He no longer makes me upset.

Now he just makes me poetic.

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Because I Should Be…

I should be writing more, because 15 books is not enough to contain all of me to leave behind when I die.

I should be exercising more, because I am diabetic and arthritic, and the more I lounge and laze, the more I am not fighting back against implacable enemies.

I should be laughing more, because laughter heals the soul of the many horrendous wounds of every day.

I should be loving more, because people all around me are hurting as much as I am, and they need more of it in their lives, as do I.

I should be caring and doing more,

because the world is sick with Covid and burning from racially motivated injustices and murder. And I feel helpless in the wake of it.

I should be doing many things,

That I am not doing because my power is gone. But I try anyway. And I write bad poetry about it…

…Because I should be.

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Stepping Out of My Skin

Who exactly am I?

I know who I wish to be.

And I have a pretty clear idea

Of who I have actually been.

Bur do I have a notion of who I am now?

Have I finally awakened after watching…

The bowling of little green men?

I live inside the heads of characters,

And walk around in their imaginary lives.

I pretend to be someone I don’t want to be.

And then I try to break out again.

But the problems I have

Are not quite my own,

Though once they were

In the long-ago way back when.

I look into mirrors that are shattered,

And see myself twisted and grim.

And I complain about just what I see there,

And the poetry just does not rhyme.

Who am I?

Where am I?

What am I?

How?

Mostly I think

I’m that thing from the circus.

You know the one.

That thing that rhymes with brown.

But mostly also I think,

I am something entirely else.

A writer.

Yes, that’s the one.

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Go and Catch a Falling Star…

You may have looked at the name of my website here on WordPress and wondered, “Why in the heck has that fool Mickey called this thing he writes Catch a Falling Star?”

The answer is, he named it after the first good published novel he wrote at the insistence of the I-Universe Publishing’s marketing adviser. Very poor reason for doing anything, that.

But, the secondary reason is because of where that title came from. Look at the first stanza of this poem by John Donne.

So, now, you are justified in asking, “What nonsense is this? That doesn’t have any coherent meaning, does it?”

And you would be right. These are impossible things that I am being ordered to do by a very religious cleric in the Anglican Church who was originally a Catholic, but, in the time of Henry VIII Catholicism was made illegal, and he wrote this poem about not being able to find an honest woman in his drunken, wasted youth anyway. He is ordering me here to not only “catch a falling star” (and catching a meteorite with your bare hands has rather hot consequences), but also to have sex with a semi-poisonous plant, explain why we can’t go backwards in time, determine whether and why God might’ve given Satan goat feet, listen to probably-nonexistent humanoid creatures singing, find a way to avoid anybody ever looking at me with envy and then doing something to me because of it, and, most importantly, find a place where the wind blows in a way that fills your head with facts that actually makes you smarter.

Challenge accepted!

It is exactly what I wanted to write about. Impossible things actually being accomplished. Finding the meaning behind alien beings from outer space developing an intense love of I Love Lucy television broadcasts and Mickey Mouse Club music. Discovering why intensely shy people need to embrace social nudity. Defining who is actually a werewolf and who is not, uncovering who and what real monsters are. Singing songs so sad that it magically makes people fall in love with you. Talking to clowns in your dreams and getting real answers to the meaning of life, love, and laughter.

Catching falling stars is the stupid idea that this wacky, idiotic little blog is about. It is what I write about constantly. You have to kill me to get me to stop. So, there is your fair warning. Read on at your own peril.

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