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On Angels and Messengers

Wednesday, June 30, 2010



May Wisdom find me.
May Enlightenment guide me.
May I be marinated in Serenity, day and night.
May my Confidence and Humility learn to get along.

May my weaknesses become my strengths.
May Anxiety be transformed into Enthusiasm,
Obsessiveness into Endurance, Sadness into Serenity
Restlessness into Motivation, and Distraction into Imagination.

May I love myself as I love my neighbor.
May I be aware and accepting of whatever Love is offered to me.
May my Expectations of others dissolve in Mindfulness that they, too,
      are learning how to give and accept Love; and they may be repeating a grade.

May I notice the absence of physical pain, as well its presence.
May my pain remind me of the agony Christ quietly accepted for me.
May it serve as my offering on behalf of one of the multitude of Innocents
      who are suffering today from Hunger, Disease, Injustice, Oppression and Abuse.*

May I never forget that I am a Child of God.
May I have Faith in Him to match his Faith in Me.
May I realize that I do not have to earn His Guidance, Protection and Love.
May I muster enough Courage, each day, to show up for the Life He has planned for me.

*Even as I write this, the pain in my feet subsides considerably, replaced by warmth and a gentle tingling. I hope this means my offering was accepted -- and I wonder who and where is the beneficiary.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

LIFE is Just Like BASEBALL ...

Life is just like Baseball ...
          except, in LIFE, you never know:
How many strikes or outs you're entitled to,
How many balls, how many innings there will be, or
How many pitches of unknown objects
          might come flying at you, all at the same time,
          from different directions.
You can't trust that umpires even try to be fair, or
          that the people who were your teammates yesterday
          are on your side again today.
There will be opportunities you swing at --
And some that you'll let go by, for better or worse.
Of course, if you screw up on 60% of your turns at bat,
You won't get a trophy like a hitter with a .400 batting average.

Let's hope this Game, the only one underway,
          won't be called due to inclement weather
          like Fire, Ice or another annoying Flood.
There might not be another game after this one.
If there is, it could be like curling or cage fighting.
Suit up, Rookie!
You're in the Big League now.
Pick up your bat.
Step up to the plate.
Just do your Best.
That's all that the Coach and the Fans expect of you.
You might bring some Joy to Mudville today --
Or maybe not.
Either way, if LIFE is truly like BASEBALL,
It's OK to spit.

Monday, June 28, 2010


The man who lives next door to me
Mows his lawn obsessively
And then he'll fertilize it, so
All the faster it will grow
And once again he'll have to mow.
This makes no sense at all to me.

But wait! There's more ...

He complains about the work, but still
He rakes the leaves so they won't won't kill
The grass he wishes would not grow,
The grass I know he loathes to mow!
I don't rake or mow and never will.
So, he calls me an imbecile.

Go figure.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A few Haiku pour vous

February 24, 1997
A gull with a limp
is still majestic in flight.
Be not quick to judge.

February 9, 2010

I wait in Silence
hoping that a Dream will come
and swallow me whole.

Reality dawns
to awaken me again,
so I close the shade.

Real Life rings loudly,
but I don't want to wake up.
Where's the snooze button?

June 18-ish, 2010
Hurts, to walk, it does
If, on comfort, you insist
For the hearse, here wait

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Define something that bothers you
and something else that brings you joy.
Write them down in two short phrases.
Now! Give them permission to exist in your kingdom.
Just for now. Not for ever.

Don't wrap your difficulty in despair,
nor get too comfortable with comfort.
Good fortune is a reason to be grateful,
rather than self-congratulatory or smug.
Acceptance precludes neither hope nor risk.

Wear or carry some little trinket, anything,
to remind you daily that "this, too, shall pass."
All that is painful or joyful, beauteous or hideous,
will inevitably fade like the morning fog.
So, give it permission to be in your kingdom ... for now.

Photo Credit: Dave Kemp -

Friday, June 18, 2010

Actually four, counting my picture.

© V. J. Lucid, 2010
Kayak on roof-rack.
A strap goes 'snap'
My craft is aft.

The ocean is vast, I'm but a speck
who's lost in fog near Rocky Neck.

My first solo kayak trek,
and I've misplaced the Kennebec!

Yet, I don't fear another wreck.
Plastic Jesus is on the deck.

A following sea
bigger than me.
I'll surf a bit ...
a breach -- oh, shit!
Foam in my face,
forgot to brace.
Turning turtle ...
kersplash, glub,


Complete Script with Stage Directions

The Attention Deficit Production Compan
A 'Long-Running' (12 minutes) Musical by Dr Speedbump
With apologies to D. Wasserman, J. Darien, M. Lee and Cervantes

LAS VEGAS, sometime in the 1970s

  • Don Coyote (Peter's Brother) -- our narrator, as explained vaguely below.
  • Donaldo Bonano, aka Don Banana -- a devote pacifist born into a Crime Family.
  • Pancho Sanza -- Don Banana’s “special friend”.
  • Annette Funicello -- a Las Vegas showgirl, formerly a perky Mouseketeer and beach-party bikini babe who danced like a surfboard.
  • (just) Donovan -- a prisoner, formerly a singer (more or less), whose only remaining name was all but forgotten by the 1970s. Aging hippies have reported recent sightings, probably flashback hallucinations.
  • Peter and Gordon -- petty thieves, formerly nerdy recording artists like Chad and Jeremy, but that was yesterday, and ... well, you know.
  • The entire Bonano and Gamblino Families -- hard-working, highly motivated refugees from New Jersey; neighbors who now run competitive family businesses in Las Vegas.
[Note from the Playwright: This is a play within a play: a theatrical gimmick that must be as old as Euripedes. Just you wait! 'Death of a Cellphone', a work in progress by The Attention Deficit Production Compan, will have 9 or 10 levels. It's a story about a play within a play within a play within a play within a play within a play within a play within a play within a play. Don't miss it; or I'll have to write a sequel that recaps the story.]

The stage is bare. The narrator, thankfully, is not.
[This is a soliloquy by some guy who we think is Peter Coyote's brother, Don. He looks inexplicably like our hero, Don Bonano, and sounds just like Peter Coyote impersonating Rod Serling.]


May I set the stage? I shall impersonate a man. Come into my website and see him! His name, Rod Serling ... er, I mean Donaldo Bonano … a meek and gentle man who by some cruel quirk of fate was born into the Mafia (which doesn’t really exist, you know). As he comes of age, the impossible mission of this devote pacifist and certified Conscientious Objector is to sally forth into the world of organized crime and avoid conflict at all costs. Sadly, everyone in both Families, including Don Bonano himself, mistakes his peace-loving demeanor for cowardice.
[Orchestra now plays something heroic and Italian, like 'Fratelli d'Italia' (the wrong name for the Italian National Anthem, 'Inno di Mameli') -- or 'The Theme From Rocky' (the wrong name for 'Gonna Fly Now').]
No one recognizes the true courage needed for Don to deny his birthright and live a life of non-violence within the Bonano Crime Family. Uniamoci, amiamoci. Siam pronti alla morte. (Look it up; or ask your grandmother.) He has been dubbed ‘Don Yellow a la Banana’. We shall call him simply ‘Don Banana'. Observe what happens as he drives his black 1961 Cadillac 'station wagon' down the Strip in Las Vegas -- as he enters ... the ‘Nightlife Zone’.
[doo do doo do, doo do doo do.]


SCENE 1 -- THE STRIP IN LAS VEGAS [Weren't you paying attention?]
[Note to Set Designer: a stupid, neon, animated 30-foot cowboy is mandatory -- or the audience might think we’re still in Atlantic City.]

DON BANANA: (singing to the tune of ‘I, Don Quixote’)
Hear me now, oh thou bleak
and most criminal world,
Thou art dark and as scary can be.
One young man,
with his blonde hair all prettily curled,
now hurls down his luncheon on thee.
[Cymbal crash and music suddenly gets louder and faster]
I’m no Don Corleone, though spawned by a mobster,
if danger should call I will hide.
[Unnecessary Note: Orchestra crescendo to fortissimo, which really goes without saying because they can’t help themselves anyway.]
The woodwinds and trombones
will blow me right over.
My liver is lilied inside.
Liver is lilied inside.
All through this story, I hide!
PANCHO (joining in song):
I’m Pancho.
No, I’m not macho.
My life’s a disaster, end to end.
I’m scared of … my own shadow.
I’m a coward! So's my friend!
[Don and Pancho get into the black Cadillac station wagon and speed away as if being chased.]
[Note to Prop Department: This is an opportunity to go overboard with a totally superfluous full-size vehicle appearing on stage for all of 3 seconds, like in
Grease and Miss Saigon.]


The Boomer Room, a nostalgic nightclub at Mickey's Palace, one of the Gamblino's casinos (or is it 'casini' ?).

The room is full of mobsters with their girlfriends (while their wives are filming a reality-TV show, which later flops like Grandma's what's-its -- oh yeah, 'pancakes' -- because this is the '70s and the TV audience isn't yet sophisticated enough to appreciate reality shows.)

The entertainers in the Boomer Room are dressed as Mouseketeers.
[Yes, 'Mouseketeers', not 'Musketeers'. You're thinking of a suspiciously similar Broadway musical that appears to be a rip-off of this one. Those producers have an impossible dream, alright. Their show will surely fold in a week. Then I'll promptly sue the proverbial pantaloons off that pathetic, penny-pinching pair of pompous, pea-brained, purloining poachers to pilfer whatever paltry pecuniary proceeds their pitifully plagiarized play has perchance produced. Probably a pile of pennies! Please pray for this perennial pauper -- I'm a perpetually, painfully poor playwright and I'm profoundly peeved! Pfooee! ... ... ... But I digress.]

[enters the room and spots one showgirl who looks oddly familiar]

Sweet Lady ... fair virgin ... [He averts his eyes worshipfully]
I dare not gaze full on your freckled countenance, lest I be blinded by beauty ... so I'll stare at your boobs instead. But I implore you -- say your name, just once. I know it's not 'Doreen', although she had heaps of talent, too.

[with a bouncy voice and a snappy salute]

My Lady! I will sing about you to the tune of 'Dulcinea', from a musical that's suspiciously similar to the one we're performing now. Maestro, please ...
I have seen you on TV
You are Annette Funicello
and for you I have lust in my heart.
As you out-grew your tee-
shirt, the breath of Don Yellow
would stop and this gasping would start.
Gulping air! Gulping Air!
I've got asthma and I'm always gulping air!
[He points at her tee-shirt.]
At your name I always stare
through fogged-up glasses.
Gulping air! Gulping air!
ANNETTE [sings slowly in response to Don B's poignant love song.]
Now it's time to say goodbye to all our company ...[She turns her back on Don and exits poco a poco, still singing the Rickey Rat ... er, I mean, the Mickey Mouse Club Farewell Theme.]

Everybody wants to get out of here as soon as possible.
Sorry, Ladies ... no time to stand in line.
(see "At The Theatre" for some sympathy)


A 5-star federal prison resort in Scottsdale, AZ, where the guests ... &nbspI mean, inmates ... are trying to impress one another with their crime stories.

DON COYOTE impersonating ROD SERLING portraying DON BANANA

I'm not guilty, you know. I'm no criminal -- I don't even rip the tags off new pillows. I won a free cheeseburger at Burger Whop, and I reported it on my income tax! I was framed by an imposter. No, not the narrator -- although he is a phony. Wait! I'm the narrator, impersonating ... oh, you know. Gordon framed me ... I feel like a knight in rusty armor in a world without love. I don't want to see him again. He then begins this song, which is suspiciously reminiscent of 'Golden Helmet of Mambrino'.
Gordon held up a casino
Up in Reno, not LV.
For his crime now,
I'm doing time, now,
in this penitentiary
DONOVAN [who was convicted of drug charges -- Surprise! -- back in the '60s. Now singing, more or less, to the tune of 'I can hear the cuckoo singing in the cuckooberry tree'.]
Oh, they call this fellow yellow
and they do so quite rightly
Quite rightly!


[No, not Don Coyote's brother. Rather, Gordon's former partner.]
If that's really what got held up,
it pissed off The Family.
DON BANANA [woefully, in the original tune]
Gordon held up that casino
but Gamblino's after me...

-- Back at Mickey's Palace

[Now wearing not much more than her sequined mouse-ears and holding a peacock feather.]
[Note to Costume Dept: For the matinee, a bikini is recommended, preferably with two monograms: 'Ann' and 'ette' -- or, if necessary, 'A' and 'F', depending on how much talent the actress has.]
Why do you do these stupid things?
What things?
These cowardly ... the things you do.
I hope to add some measure of grace to the world of organized crime.
You're going to take such a beating.
Whether I'm respected or not doesn't matter.
[awkward silence]
You're hot, Annette, but no one ever accused you of being bright.
You're supposed to say "What does?" so that I can respond,
"Only that I follow the quest
and avoid conflicts at all costs."
[spits loudly, into her microphone, or over the orchestra pit into the audience]
That for your quest!
[turns, marches away, stops, turns back -- while the music plays:
BUMP! Bump, Bump, Bump!]

Come along and sing a song and join The Family ...


What does that mean ... 'quest'?

[Note: If you don't know the tune of this one, I'm surprised you made it this far. Don't you have something better to do?]
It is the mission of each true Conscientious Objector... No, his privilege! ...
To scream, the awesomest scream,
To hide, from the smallest of foes,
To leave, with the ten grand I 'borrowed',
To run, like the other C-Os.

I might - have the most awful song
to sing, as I'm chased long and far.
And my friend has his head out the window,
to retch on my beautiful car.

This is my quest,

to flee like Johnny Guitar,
no matter how hopeless --
We'll be feathered and tarred.

Too frightened to fight,
I bet there are laws
for protecting the timid and meek,
who keep shitting their drawers.

And I know, if I'll only be true
To this glorious Quest,
That my heart, will be spotless and pure,
[slower, pulsed]
when it's torn from my chest.
[He reaches in his shirt and pretends to throw his heart to the floor]
[Note to Prop Dept: Save the turkey giblets for the Epilogue -- to hold off the PETA-people until the end of the play. They are already complaining about Annette's peacock feather and phony mouse ears. If they rush the stage, lure them away with bananas.]

[Pancho is still retching -- and now Annette and some of the musicians are, too. God help what's left of the audience. When the retching subsides, Don Banana finishes his song with this anti-climactic verse.]
The mob world -- will not ever forgive
that I ran, and then jumped in my car
And drove, not as fast as the others,
who I stuck with the tab at the bar.

Yada yada yada ...
[ I forgot to write a Coda. Make something up, as long as it ends with:]
To scream, the awesomest scream!
[Don nervously looks over his shoulder and runs off the stage, screaming.] Aiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...


[Don Banana is lying motionless on the bare stage. It is assumed that he has been caught and killed, but we don't yet know by whom. Annette is kneeling over our fallen, heart-wrenched hero like Maria in West Side Story, except that we won't let her sing. In the unlikely event that Casting found a hottie who actually can act, Annette will show mixed emotions.
She'll be in tears, as phony as those mouse-ears and who-know-what-else, while she calmly places her bloody peacock feather over Don's gentle, peaceful, courageous, non-violent, dead face. In her other hand, Annette clutches some really messy turkey giblets, assuming that none of the stage hands had them for lunch, again -- and she reveals a sly grin to the audience.]

AUDIENCE [ideally, a collective gasp; but a collective gag will do.]

PANCHO [Silhouetted against the curtain to magnify the shadow of his mouse ears]
Una bella ragazza italiana con le lentiggini?

I never did trust that bitch!
An Italian girl with freckles!


[as orchestra with several concertinas (or is it concertine) play 'Funiculì, funiculà' like a funeral dirge, largo con fuego (a slow burn).]
Note to Director:
It's doubtful that there will be any applause during the curtain 'calls'.
You can expect the remnants of the audience will likely sit silently aghast,
mouths ajar -- unless they're still retching, of course.

Order of Curtain Calls:
  • Mobsters & Mouseketeers/Showgirls
  • Donovan & Peter (They motion as if Gordon is coming out, but he didn't actually appear in the play, you know. The three of them romp together hand-in-hand-in-hand around the stage . No, sorry, that was yesterday ... with those nerdy understudies.)
  • Annette (misshaping one of her monogrammed souvenir tee-shirts, which will be available in the lobby for $39.95. Size small, only. Prostheses sold separately.)
  • Pancho (who stole the show, of course), carrying an armful of souvenir mouse-ears (also $39.95, $59.95 for the ones with sequins).
  • Don Bonano (with a bunch of autographed bananas, also for sale.)
  • Last, exuberantly running to center stage, crying with joy, arms spread wide and phony bouquet in hand, Don Coyote, the narrator who inexplicably looks like Don Banana (who, to the surprise of the other cast members, is still on stage) and sounds like Peter Coyote impersonating Rod Serling for no apparent reason.

PHOTO CREDITS: " The Strip", by V. J. Lucid 1991; all others on loan, courtesy of somebody or other.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

and RAMBLING ON about it, too.


Will there be Life after Death?
Will we find God or Nothing?
We need not fear -- it doesn't matter.
A difference without a distinction.

If there is no afterlife, we won't know it.
If there is, it is beyond knowing,
at least until we get there.
What's the difference between unknown and unknowable?

Two questions,
but just one answer.
One Truth.


We've heard it again and again,
this same answer to many other questions:

"I am the Alpha and the Omega"
"In the end, there can be only One."
"E Pluribus Unum."
"One, singular sensation ..."
"We get to carry each other.
      One. One."

"What's so hard about that?

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Knowing the answers

is not as important as
knowing who to ask.

This Haiku is the first of Dr Speedbump's
serious, satirical and silly Smarty-Pants Slogans
to be available on Tee-shirts, mens' or ladies',
in your choice of size and color

On an austerity budget? Get the same Haiku slogan
on a pin-back button and put it on any old Tee shirt or cap.

Make your own custom gifts at Zazzle


Attention Deficit University

presents another lecture
by Dr Speedbump
(This one is about something he does quite well)
How to Write a Really Bad Poem

If you want to write verse,
you can't do much worse
than to do what I'm doing today.
I sure hope that you
won't write like I do.
It's OK, though, to do what I say.

Lesson 1 - RHYME
If you choose to write verse in rhyme
Coming close will sometimes squeak by 'em
Emily Dickenson
got an exemption,
But we seek perfection each time.
Lesson 2 - RHYTHM
Some would-be poets beat a drum:
ta-TUM ta-TUM ta-TUM ta-TUM.
Others care only about rhyming
and don't mind if a line (due to too many words or not enough)

lacks timing.

In sum,
ta-TUM ta-TUM ad infinitum
eventually becomes as bothersome
as no rhythm.
Alliteration is a little like chili sauce.
Since the same starting sound sure sounds spiffy in spots,
It's a dandy device
that does add some spice.
But dinner's destroyed if you use lots and lots.

Metaphors are the heart of good verse
Metaphorically speaking, of course.
Similes ought to be as
fresh as a summer 'bree-az'.
So please do not beat a dead horse.

You won't make an impression with obvious rhymes
and hackneyed expressions that are older than Time.
Like making 'Love' rhyme with 'Dove',
or 'Under Heaven Above'
So sing a new song, instead of poems like mine. 


          A poem might be bad due to sloppy technique.
          Yet proper technique is not all that you seek.
          For a poem that's good, you need something to say:
          A feeling or image that you wish to convey.
          You must make it your own -- you must make it unique.

           Ask yourself why you want to write poetry
           If you hope to achieve notoriety,
           here are some tricks you might try.
           Try being an addict or a bona fide lunatic
           Then wait for a century after you die.
           If it simply brings you joy to compose
           and you find it boring to write in prose.
                                Don't stop!
Class Dismissed


Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Note: I reclined on the couch with my laptop and tried to finish a play.
Shamus, our only live cat, made it impossible to type.
So I composed this verse instead.

Why, Lord, when our cat wants to rest,
must he rest right on top of my chest?
And why must he circle
and claw ‘til I’m purple?
Am I really too firm for a nest?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Thank you for the Dawning
of one more newborn Day.
For the Innocence of Morning
and Fog that burns away.

Thank you for the Sunshine,
the Warmth of Afternoon.
The Stillness of the Evening,
the Brilliance of the Moon.

Sometime after Midnight,
I’ll choose one distant Star,
And ponder in the shivering light
what Miracles we are.

Note: I plan to write a refrain and set this to music.

Monday, June 7, 2010


This is just an advance promo
for yet another new collection of poems,
destined never to be completed.
The theme this time is “prayers”.
May God have mercy on my soul.

I seldom pray with words.
God already knows the situation here ~
and the odds are (7 to 5)
that He’s going to give us what we need
rather than what we want, anyway.

Thus, most of my praying,
even the majority of my music,
regardless of what the lyrics say,
is more like a Vulcan Mind-Meld
than a Vatican Message with a Nihil Obstat.

Nonetheless, language-based prayer is poetry.
So, I do write some LBP on occasion;
but I really don’t expect that the Vatican
will be adding new beads to rosaries,
at least not any time soon.