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Life is good. I relish every second of it.

...And please drive with care, here in the Hudson Valley, and Everywhere !

Hisses, Purrs, and IdSpills

by Richard and our guests. We welcome Willow Graves andWalter Hinton to our little page.

Do you have an opinion, essay or poem you would like to share with us? Please send it along, and we'll consider it. Please edit carefully, as all work will be published as submitted!

  In Memorium

my dear friends

Jane Prendergast 


Richard Prendergast

1925-2013 1928-2013

How long will I grieve?

How long will I grieve?

Until, for thirty seconds each year,

the waters of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers

are to wine transformed,

and the Catskill and Adirondack mountains

to our very favorite cheeses and chocolates.

So long, my dear friends. So long will I grieve.

Until the flakes of dead skin cells

I’ve shed throughout my life

somehow manage to find each other,

and join the circus; and people start saying:

“If I only knew now what I knew then.”

So long, my dear friends. So long will I grieve.

Until synagogues, cathedrals,

churches and mosques

open their doors to the homeless,

the laws of Moses are obeyed by the Jews,

the Christians finally practice the teaching of Jesus,

and the Muslims honor Muhammad.

So long, my dear friends. So long will I grieve.

Until the words “war”, “torture”,

“greed” and “hunger” are only words

no longer in usage;

words to tell the history of a time long past,

and only adults are told their meanings.

So long, my dear friends. So long will I grieve.

Until the leaves in autumn fallen

from every tree in all the world

counted and sorted by kind and by color

are brought to me upon the fuzzy backs

of smiling bumblebees humming your names.

So long, my dear friends. I will grieve so long.

We mourn our loss, as we celebrate the lives of:  

Sonia Prendergast

October 10, 1961-March 14, 2014

George Francis Lenz

July 24, 1951-March 25, 2014

Brahms Requiem excerpt:"You grieve now, but I will see you again, and you will rejoice..."

Suzanne Sonnenschein, soprano; members of Munich Philharmonic and Bavarian State Opera chorus.

00:00 / 02:53

However imperfect

May you find the little rhymes

In each and every thing

All the every little days of your life

May they fluff up your pillows

And sweeten your dreams

May they have and hold you dear

As would the truest of lovers

Each and every little night

May they challenge and delight you

Dancing questions upon your lips

Singing reasons from your eyes

Strumming peace with your heart

And kiss you in eternal friendship

Vowing never never ever to part

Before the fall

Again and again urging my rise

From life’s felling steps

Through foreboding shadows

Cast by inextricable manhood

Upon murkily-marked ways

Toward unearthly bedazzle about being

Where no gods of the mundane

Make covenants with petty prophets

Worshipping trivial idols

The apollonian boy I once was

With you my darling love at my side

Cheering the ascent of Icarus

Keeping holy the fragile things

Making sense of my madness

Upon the wax and feather wing

‘tis of thee

My eyes tear up

My heart pounds downbeat

I slow my breathing to counter anxiety

Threatening to disable me

Remembering that year it was 1970

I raged with pen and paper

Against brick walls about true patriotism

My poetic impotence

Unable to do anything to stop the pain

Of that day            That beautiful spring day in May

Guns answered tattered pleas of conscience

Sprayed with bullets a messiah come

Only to go alone yet again into final spasms

Shouldering antichrist in persuasive disguise

The remnants of humanity awakening in its children

Not dead enough to stop the leaden assault

By a paradigm of perpetual profiteering in war

Criers of pride in nationalism wearing the masks of patriots

I hammered my fists into the nothingness I represented

The everything was crucified in what had become due process

On the blood-sweet land of liberty at Kent State that day

That beautiful spring day in May

America butchered her young selfless lovers

And married out her faith

Ombra Mai Fu

With my dear friend

In a sanctuary for flora and fauna

We met a dear old tree standing solitary

Its huge limbs outstretched welcoming us

                   My friend put her arms around it

Well            Around one-quarter of it

                  Its great girth

And she hugged and she kissed it

           I stood back watching the affection

And waiting eagerly for my turn

           When my friend stepped away from the venerable oak

I approached respectfully

           I ran my hand slowly along the regal trunk

Letting my fingertips explore

Between the narrow furrows in the bark

And then I put my ear right up against the giant

Wondering if there might be something to hear

           I heard a pounding heart and was amazed

Before realizing it was the excited heart belonging to me

           But I thought there was a faint whisper as well

Coming from somewhere within the beautiful creature

           And in the background

I believe I could hear ocean waves

Breaking against something huge

           And while I cannot be absolutely certain

           After all

I was astonished by all of this

          Though I am fairly certain I heard the words

          You hear your heartbeat

Because I resound it

          It is my heart as well as your heart

          I am your blood

          I am your life

          I am your mother

          I am your father

          I am your brothers and your sisters

And what       I then apprehensively asked not expecting an answer

Is the sound much like ocean waves breaking against something enormous?

To my amazement came the whispered answer I think may well have been

It is all the tears of loves possessed and lost

Or gone forever unexpressed

Colliding eternally with the titans that are grief and regret

It is endings you hear

It is beginnings you hear

It is perpetual endings and perpetual beginnings       

Black makes White possible, you African crackers

You look so white much too white for my liking You look so very white

If you get any whiter you might just disappear from my view So white

But you’re every bit as black in your weak bones and thin blood as I Black as I

Under all that pasty pale skin washed colorless by your ancient wanderings

Out of the scorching deserts of mother Africa Up and down the Arabian Peninsula

Way up north into densely canopied jungles of Asia Way up to the North Pole and back

Down All the way back down to the frigid Bering Sea And then you crossed it

Seventy millennia Yes I said seventy millennia Seventy thousand years

Before my great great grandfather a medicine man with immense hands 

With powerful kind loving immense hands and a face the color of Eve and Adam

The color keeping unto itself the entire spectrum of glorious colors man has come to know

The color of African soil The color of the first born to wonder at the moon and stars

Was chained to my great great great uncle A tribal chief in Africa with immense hands

Powerful kind loving immense hands dragged beaten bloodied to a stinking boat

That sailed them into this port of slavery while Thomas Jefferson passing for white

Was writing in 1775 with his kind in mind His wigged pasty white-skinned kind in mind

With the egocentric European Africans bleached white by time and tundra in mind

Was writing in 1775 “…all men are created equal…” Yeah “…all men are created equal…”

Mumbled the aging scholar of genetics to himself in the all-white Missouri town

                                                              Walter Hinton / 2016

Hear Ye, Israel

Look eastward from burning Gaza, beyond Israel,

Across steaming, ever-shifting Syrian Desert Sands,

To where it is the rivers Tigris and Euphrates meet—

And long ago great art and scholarship were conceived—

In Iraq, near the Persian Gulf by the city of Basra.

It is there, the place once known as Ur of Chaldees,

He who would father the Hebrew nation was born

Among descendants of the Shem family.

There, where two willful waterways unite—

As may rival Semite siblings too long estranged

Someday join hands at long last reconciled—

Still echo the haunting chuckles of baby Abraham.

Hear Ye, Israel, the sweet laughter of contentment.

Then, listen for bitter cries from Gaza’s disinherited child

Wanting modest share in the milk and honey of Palestine.

Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen!

Through its terrified heart pounds the blood of Talmudic scribes.

The children of Palestine now need your compassion and generosity more than ever!

Been to Dachau

It was 1965 In Dachau, Germany. Yeah, that Dachau!

They sure loved beer and Bach, Brahms, Beethoven and the Beatles.

We waited for Vietnam to call. We waited anxiously for the call

While we wondered for whom the bells would next toll.

Said to me one day an old Kraut, “It must terrible for you

To live in America with all the prejudice and inequality.”

I answered, “Yes, Sir, it can get awfully ugly for us,

But they haven’t yet built ovens and gas chambers

To employ in a final solution to exterminate us.”

It was many years later when I’d grown up

I realized Vietnam had done the job on us,

As Iraq and Afghanistan would do forty years in the future.

They don’t need gas chambers and ovens to kill us.

They got money-makin’ wars to send us brothers into,

And neighborhoods that might as well be concentration camps.

Go kill somebody colored in a country you never heard of,

If you want to get out the ghetto. If you want out of poverty.

Or stay in your own country, in your neighborhood

And kill somebody colored, or be killed by somebody colored.

We ain’t got much choice right now, but someday. Someday.

Someday, down the line. Someday. Someday down the line.

I have a dream. I have a dream. I have dream. I have a dream.

Dear Lord. I got nothin’ but a dream.

Walter Hinton


Sunny and cheery

The weather it was

Though rainclouds

And tears were near

The day in late August

By the shore of Lake Erie

I sat on a rock with you my dear

Talking of love—

And thoughts of careening

Through the rest of life—

In our very separate ways

While ancient waves again and again

Came toward us singing







Before turning away from us

Then over and over again returning

To sing








Rachmaninoff Second

I served myself one half of the smallish watermelon

For the first time and most likely the last

Because the crop is bumper this year here in upstate New York

Better belly bust than good food go to waste

My Illinois grandma liked to say

I looked down into it

Deep down into it as I ate

Like I have never looked down into a watermelon

A dying classical music station drifted by my choosy old radio

That snatched it up and played it

Gave it a joyride ride through my rosy atmosphere

Before losing grip and letting Rachmaninoff drift away again

Clear water pooled in the relatively tiny red craters the moon will never see

Formed by my eager extraction one heaping tablespoon full after another

Of the glorious fruit no man alive can appear dignified devouring

To have the chance at being alive and to relish such a magical breakfast

In which I could see my face without age upon it reflected

To draw breaths among all manner flora and fauna

On such a wonderfully warm summer day

My old well-fed and pampered cat by my side

My only friend not too far away in the kitchen brewing tea

And the seeds

The seeds I scooped up

The seeds I chewed and then swallowed

Because I like them and they help lower blood pressure

While reminding me of a joke my granny chortling loved to tell

The seeds floating in those pools I began to imagine galaxies

Little semisweet containers of stars I like a god had set free

Having cut open their universe

Before looking down into it and devouring them

Dispatching the rind to the compost pile

I wondered how long it would be

Before unknown gods come to harvest us

Before gods we could never have imagined—

Let alone create— look down at us

Look deep down into us before greedily consuming us

Every sweet and bitter thing we are

I wondered if they would then compost Earth’s rind

Or if they would pickle it

And if they would have a belly ache to suffer

For their gluttony


The blood-orange sun splits open on night’s terrible edge,

Sending with the promise to wash me awhile away from darkness

A tsunami of light gushing into my gloomy little place on this earth.

I have accomplished much, readying for this windy winter-heralding day.

I will dare to leave the protection of my warm, caressing bed,

Having at long last braved a bath, combed my hair, and shaved.

I am dressed well, bad teeth brushed, all polished and pressed,

As an image of me in the mirror averting his familiar gaze,

And my happy, ever-approving dog may this morning attest.

This is the day I will make my way to the village, the day I will be brave!

I will be a man! I will pedal along the deserted bicycle path to the market.

Over the pastel mosaic of leaves fallen, I will pedal singing, unafraid,

Passing by the cemetery full of forgotten graves wildflowers remember,

To buy the finest treats available for my loyal tail-wagging friend.

Even if I become dizzy, my heartbeat now faint murmuring, then racing,

And everything I see, I begin to see doubled, or blurred, or in gray;

Even if breathing becomes the hardest labor I will ever have done,

I will be by nothing deterred. I am leaving my room to buy dog treats today!

The predictable man in the mirror looks furtively about my dimension,

Fearing bloody eye contact will shatter the fragile portal we share,

Through which pass no real festering sores of a body and soul in isolation,

But only empathic view of purpose we have in the moment agreed my life serves.

The round and rippling glass molds mutable truth in my reflections,

Indulging denial of the atrocity begun when my blameless mother gave birth.

Cataracts have made barely distinguishable my once extraordinary vision,

From that of myopic everyman seeing only with eyes everything as it is on Earth;

So while I cannot now see beyond my nose, infinite in scope remain my illusions.

It looks now as though I’ll not make my way to the village today

My chilly-nosed hound, as I, will have to wait for a better day.

There has begun an icy rain, and the chorus of the dead

To enchant with my song from the cemetery:

I envy the bones in the boxes underneath the clay,

The urns full of ashes in their final resting places,

Where hearts and vows will no more break;

I envy them the slumbering throughout eternity,

The sheltering from the storm raging about me;

I envy them the freedom from choice and regret,

From great expectations, faith and promises not kept;

I envy them the freedom from the want to be loved!

To a leaf in autumn

(For Saeb Erekat and all those striving to improve the human condition)

Now changed with age to a splendid gold

Hold fast the divine maple tree

You—in fanciful youth of spring

When costumers design with wild abandon—

Dressed a myriad of glorious greens;

To the sacred limb you have since birth adorned

Cling dearly for as long as you may.

Keep your grip until gentle autumn breeze

Promises a blissful fall besotted with wonder at life;

Then, and only then, let go,

Drop majestically, victoriously down upon grateful earth

Honored by you.

Enriched by you.

Given reason by you.

Given purpose by you.

Given beauty by you.

Given hope by you.

Questions and Answers

Look here for the answers to the questions you send us. We'll try our best to answer in a timely manner.


 In your career, thinkoutsideof the box:

Be innovative, aggressive, fast, and first; take risks, bend the rules, and compete fiercely with others in the

marketplace of skills, ideas, products and services.

 In your car, however, thinkinsideof the box:

Be predictable (always signal your intentions) and law abiding (don’t speed/text/talk/drug/drink)

and collaborative (don’t change directions, lanes or speeds abruptly). Above all, be courteous

to other drivers sharing roadways with you. Never permit yourself to be filled with road rage.


Holly with friend, 'Mia'.

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