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Here is a new poem, posted on March 9, 2013

Other Memories
              02/25 & 03/04/13

It's funny
What memories stick
In the mind
Like solid cured concrete
And not necessarily
What others think
You absolutely must
Be able to exactly recall.
The first markers of my world:
Saint Augie's buff brick steeple,
Sentinal over dormered roofs;
The basilica's green dome,
Drawing the eye across the valley;
Saint Lucas's austere spire*
At the curve of Kinnickinnic;
Bay View High's red brick castle
Of learning enthroned on its hill.
Kettle Moraine mid April
Still a chill in the season
Caps, hats and sweaters
For a lookout tower climb
And a meal in the shade,
Lapham Peak lamb burgers,
Their middles butter nubbed,
Chargrilled by Dad
At year's first picnic.
A summer eve swim
Down Cudahy way
Despite massed clouds
Rising in the west.
No ride home for John and I.
No bus till we're all wet again
And my shoes are shot.
A six A.M. snowstorm,
Nine inches by nine thirty.
Yet on time to school
To find it shut tight
Plows stuck behind cars
And buses all stopped.
A long mile and a half home
Lugging books and French horn.
Open mouthed pike's head
Mounted above our head.
An undertone of wave slosh
From down by the dock,
Impatient for the ferry
To make Gill's Rock;
Though the sun always brings it
Death's Door Strait or not.
Walking to the Lake
Then southeast along the shore.
A kaleidescope of houses on
Bay View's jigsaw puzzle streets.
Old Smoky frozen in place
On its cutoff siding.
The Tautog in its slip,
Never to dive again.
And a riot of boats
Clustering in the yacht club basin.
Then a sand fronted,
Green lawned rolling bluff,
Morphing into a cliff.
Looking back across the breakwater,
The whole harbor shows itself off
Against the white capped blue.
Downtown, a knot of structures at left,
Lake Park's cliffs at distant center;
The rest is water,
Endless and forever.
Back from the Nam,
As soon as I could,
Down to the Lake
To reconnect and renew
A constant always there
While all else changes.
And on my odd returns
I go there still
And remember.
*[before the cream brick was cleaned of coal soot]

                     - Gerald A Ney


Echoes of Times Past
4:20 AM 10/30/08

Tonight I read
Deep into the night
Barely by the light
Of stars sent long ago.
A distant drawn out wail
On the still air calls
Out times past, returning
To childhood's days and dreams.
Then, it was steam sent
Through summer's weighted air,
A low whistle of who? who?
Echoes entering the closet
Of a modern mind's sleep;
Of the long gone Wild Hunt
Coursing down ironbound rails
To an end beyond sight.
Seeking lost souls
Along the moonlit steel rivers -
Last century's Rio de Las Animas
Huerfano de Purgatorio.
Now only an echo
Of an echo
In E Minor Diminished
Yet still insistent...
Across the crossroads
Hurrying to somewhere
It's already been, but
New in tomorrow's time.

-Gerald A. Ney

1. Most of the imagery came to me in fragments before
going to bed at St. Vincent's Guest House (formerly
St. Vincent's Catholic Orphanage) in New Orleans,
while on a 15 hour AMTRAK layover on 10/23/08.
Woke up with the opening verse in my head at 4:20
this morning with the urge to write it down NOW!

2. I grew up 3 blocks from the Milwaukee Road mainline
from Chicago to Milwaukee with Chicago Northwestern
freight tracks a block past that. The whistle of a steam
engine was a regular visitor through the window screen
on hot humid summer nights.

3. On encountering the unforgiving microclimate of
the currently named Purgatory Rive Canyon northeast
of Trinidad, Colorado, the Spanish explorers named it
Rio de Las Animas Huerfano de Purgatorio - River of
the Souls Lost (or Orphaned) in Purgatory. The original
name is now divided among 2 different streams, the
Purgatory and Huerfano Rivers, which descend from the
Sangre de Cristo Range to the Arkansas, the former at
Las Animas; 2 counties, Huerfano and Las Animas and
Purgatory Peak. 9 years ago, I was on an AMTRAK train
pounding across the moonlit plains paralleling the
Purgatory River.

III 9/15/99

A piece of my heart
You have;
Knowing or not,
Caring or not.
And I choosing not
With my mind,
But a part of me
That arises unbidden;
Though I thought
Was in coma;
Quakes my soul,
Impresses my memory
Of you I ask nothing;
For I've no right
To demand return
If I love at all,
Nor expect return
With no commitment
To me, and then
One has committed
To another. But
It matters not;
As I have you all,
And yet have none.
I can present this
To you, to her
Yet to one
Or another,
It must be later,
A time to come.
But how do I
Show this
To my mother?

Gerald Alan Ney

From: Ney, Gerald A CIV []
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 2:20 PM
Subject: Lullaby for a Winter Night After Snow - 01/25-28/00
Here's another one that will go to music.
Having trouble with the bridge and the refrain.
Too many distractions... Need a couple of days alone with a piano.

{for my grandson, for Tenchi - Joseph Alan Ney-Jun}

Far and away
The Moon is high,
Riding the starlit skies
Of time gone by.
Hush, in your crib.
It's just her light
Gleam on the wall glowing,
Slanting slash bright.
A dance of tag
With the Hunter
And his two trailing hounds;
Silent banter
Behind curtains,
Wispy and white
To pass the time, over each
Long winter night.
Shadows flutter,
Furtive and faint,
'Cross the fresh swales of flakes,
Pure as a saint. R...
So dream now,
And join the game;
Outrunning ruddy Mars,
Leo now tame.
On its whiskers
Sail, the star splashed river
With the West Wind;
Are you braver?
Steady she goes,
Moon away west;
As you pass toward Dawn;
Night speeding fast. R...
First a pale glow,
Then color's born
Anew, in time so present.
Sun in the morn... R...

Much of the imagery comes from a high field amidst
the hills, mountains and valleys of Wilmot township,
Bradford Co., Pa. about 3/8 mi west of the Wilmot Grange.
Gerald Alan Ney


2 Poems: People....Problems....Passing.....Pain.....PTSD
1. The gentleman of the first poem was a vet and coworker that I've
known for years and worked with regularly. Jerry was a Vietnam
vet; though I don't believe the war played a role here. He was the
second person within 8 days who worked here to shoot himself.
2. Several things went into the second poem; including old memories
of myself and others, plus words heard during a visit to a group PTSD
session at a Vet Center.

Gone With the Grin - 4/1/-4/3/00
Sometimes you have to laugh
Or you'd cry.
{fondly remembering Jerry Capka}

It's still there, your face,
Hovering in my eye of mind;
The open Ernest grin
And guiless smile
Behind your desk.
And in the air, your voice,
Positive and certain
"Just go in and get it.
Should print right out.
Not a problem!"... that time.
Vivid intensity... so alive!
A pilgrim both sober and merry
Diligently pursuing his path
With a touch of naiveté'
And sleeve emblazoned with Heart.
How can you not walk the halls?
Your laugh float out of office,
Echoing softly down stairwell
And on out of doors to play
Amidst the blossoming crabapples.

The Unconsolable Child Within - 3/31-4/3/00
{those he never visits are blessed,
saints or both}

'Anything but the Silence!
Something may come out
And bite me.'
Talk, yell, scream and shout!
Dance, dance, jump around, dance
and then run.
"Second star to the left,
And straight until morning"?...
Maybe not.
Just go anyplace quick,
Or noplace fast, like
The Red Queen.
Am I at least where I was,
Or in the next county? CAN'T
Stand success.
Or so I think they say,
Or is it I say; because
I'm too scared...
So I built my own hell -
Carried it on my back,
And I hid,
Inside, like some terrified turtle,
To escape the freezing of
The winter...
A discontented forever
With never a Christmas,
In my life.
So I cry the forced wracked sob,
And will be consoled
By no one.
Till everyone is as miserable
As I feel in an eternal moment
In all time.
Call me irresponsible,
Call me dysfunctional too,
But you know...
If you fail to find my heart,
To help me heal forgiving;
Then I win...
The Russian Roulette grand prize,
For shattering us both and that's
Beyond sad.


Greg Kyle, who retired as an Inventory Management Specialist from NAVICP
03333 five years ago, passed away in the early morning hours on Friday,
November 3, 2000. He is survived by two first cousins, who live out of state.
Per his expressed wishes, there will be no services, and his remains will be
cremated, sent to his hometown, Durham, North Carolina, and buried beside
his mother there. He would appreciate just a drink in his memory, especially
when the Phillies win a game or a Democrat wins the Presidency or a US Senate

For my part, respectfully request a prayer for his soul and prayers for his cousins
who just lost their father the next day, November 4.



In addition to the above; which I sent to the NAVICP People Bulletin Board:

Greg's physical problems had been gradually multiplying over time. By the time
he entered Frankford Hospital on October 16 for atrial fibrillation and a low
hemoglobin count, he was chronically short of breath, troubled by his knees and
feet, in the early stages of diabetes, had a magnesium deficiency plus some other
problems. Two weeks at Frankford added substantially to his weight, and he
was in effect confined to his apartment after returning home Monday, October 30.
I was to go shopping for him on my AWS day, Friday, and called at 12:55 PM.
The line was busy, and also later at 3:00 PM and at 5 PM. It was very unlikely
he would be on the phone that much; so I went to his apartment; where I found
the phone off the hook on the floor and Greg lying crossways on the bed with
his feet on the floor.

Gerry Ney


For Greg 11/05/00

His middle name was Pride
From his Mamma's maiden name;
Not his mom or ma, but Mamma,
In the Southern manner.
And it fit; for
A fierce pride simmered
Often just below the surface.
It's hard to say
Which he loved more
Of his overriding passions;
Baseball, and his beloved,
Frustrating, Phillies, or
Politics, and his often fratricidal,
Frustrating, Democrats.
He was kind, gentle, shy
And very, very private.
By his own admission
Paranoid about crime.
Not a yellow dog Democrat,
But close. And underneath all
A generous man.
I miss him already,
Even the way
He would bug me sometimes,
About last night's game,
Next week's election,
Or whether I remembered
To buy him lottery tickets.
I won't be able to
Enter a smoke filled room,
Taste a sipping Bourbon,
Savor Clamato and Worcestershire,
Think of Babe Ruth
And dozens of others
Or any US Senator;
Without his image
In my mind;
And the last words
From an undeleted voicemail
That called me over
The day before he died,
"Gerry, I need you!"

- Gerald Alan Ney
{Youghiogheny is pronounced "Yock'-ah-gain-ee"}

A Little Traveling Music, Sam 08/06-08/03
Coursing across
Ohio's southern salient
At day's ending;
An afterstorm glow
Pinking the level fields;
As the sun's searching rays
Seep through a widening rift
In the western sky, punctuated
By two baby thunderheads;
But barely brightening
The dull cloud shield overhead.
I've Robert Frost's miles to go.
A long roll out of P A...
Past Paradise, Kinzers and Gap
On the old Lincoln Highway.
Crossing Susquehanna,
Mile wide, island dotted,
All riffled rocky shallows.
Then on to the Turnpike,
Playing leap frog
With the trucks
On the long straightaway
To the tunnels: Tuscarora,
Kittatinny, Blue Mountain.
Below Burnt Cabins
A turn toward Potomac
Past "Rotz Meats",
An old pink Olds.
Scattered sunshowers
Nursing roadside streams.
At Sideling Hill cut
A short stop
For the memorial
Keeping watch, over
Highway and valley.
Cumberland's slalom
The threading four lane
Limited to forty.
Then up and over
Evermounting ridges,
Away from home,
No country road
To West Virginia
On the Youghiogheny
Cheat River divide.
No last train
To Clarksville,
But a Rav four
From Fairmont to Clarksburg
Then winding west
Through the "hollers"
And flying liquid buckshot
Dit-ditting the windshield,
Rapping its own take
On the trip.
From the O-hi-O
To the O-hi-O;
Belpre, Athens, then
The lonesome lanes
Of the Appalachian Highway,
Beyond drenched bottomland
Into broadleaf forest
Followed by darkening fields.
Not Cinncinnati tonight.
As the glow turns mauve
Twilight silhouettes
A line of small ragged hills
Move into view,
Marking the Scioto's course
And rest for the night
After the freights quit
Their call and rumble.
Melting morning mists
Drift over the road
From hollow and cove,
Half hiding the hills
Yet allowing view enough
To sight the path ahead.
A high pitched hum, and
Steady dot-dot-dot
As singing tires surge
Down fresh grooved,
Even-seemed roadbed.
Eased by the wide load
With not an ounce of strain.
Adjusted to the seat,
Wheel comfortably clearing
An ample paunch.
A road warrior I'm not,
But am in my groove
For a Jackie Gleason
Exit stage left
To Louisville and all
interstate to St. Louis.
To the Gateway Arch, stopping
Where Lewis and Clark start,
And from Oregon Country
My roommates to be
Parallel the long haul
Over mountains and plains
That maintain the memories
Of two centuries past
In the native names
Uintah, Ogallala, Cheyenne,
And haunts of trappers
Laramie, Kearny and Bridger.
Shake down a leg
Of the Great River Road,
Switchbacking my way
Via byways to home,
Cream puff clouds
To accompany me,
One forty two is my road
To Eldorado, Illinois.
Coyote books across,
Tawny fur and toothy mouth,
Near Carmi, rightly judging
My speed and his own.
Two states away
At Olive Green,
A roadside ferret,
A scamper, it's gone.
Through thundershower
And misting droplets on
The long Ohio slant,
Till sun around Erie.
But final zag we must
And through a wall of water
Leap into Leeper and beyond
To the double ribbon home.
Twilight lost at Lock Haven's gate,
And a midnight run
In the end.
Gerald Alan Ney


G Aney & Gerlad Neg 12/09/03

I wonder who these two guys are;
Whose names are so like mine.
Listed on tons of letters,
That pour through the mail slot;
Quite popular they seem,
Awaiting their attention now
Three final offers at zero A P R,
Choice of master card or visa,
Two others at five percent
For a home equity loan.
There's ads and scams
And education degrees,
The latest boy toys, plus
Something for her, and ham,
Jam and fruitcake for the family.
And they're sought after
For phone services galore,
Collectable plates and models,
Freshly minted first editions and
To choose their source for power.
But I'm content
And see no scandal.
For what's sent to me,
Name quite right, is more
Than I can handle.

- Gerald A Ney

"The Minnebraska state council awarded..."
- posted 01/15/04 by Jim Doyle on behalf of Dick Southern both of California

Jim & Dick,
Pray tell where is MINNEBRASKA? I've been a geographer for 36 years
and it's a new one on me. Is it possibly located like Oz at the end of a twister's
flight from somewhere between Duluth and Scottsbluff? Or down a country lane
a hundred miles after a wrong turn in Omaha? Also would be interested in the
identity of the state council president and other members thereof.
Or is it a figment of California Dreaming?
Methinks Napa and Sonoma must be spiking the water supply with excess vintage.


- 01/15/04

{Deadlimedicated to Jim Doyle & Dick Southern}
[with apologies to Walt Kelly, Louis Carroll, Stephen Foster, Theodore Geisel & Mel Blanc]

I came from Cucamonga
A chiming Chinese bell tree
And Zazu from Azusa,
A bearded bonze on my knee,
Via vivacious voracious Vegas.

'Twas time to tauntingly turn
Left at Albu quirky town
Off the Mother Road of renown
To roam the stork mad plains
With a groar, grin and gurn.

Across orphaned arroyos lost
And mud muckled mesas
Skirting Capulin cone's vistas,
I sluthered down the sluicing slope,
Flambéing the Purgatorish frost.

A taxing Tonto ride to town,
Washita, Wichita, Wahoo;
Shaggy sashay and Scoobie-Doo
Sandscaped Newbraska to Omaha's
Broken-browed bluffs on down.

The mighty Mizzery Minnebraska way
To a martial marshal at Le Mars;
Mankato by the Minnesota's bars
In next morn's milky mist and make
Minnetonka's lakes in a mini Tonka dray.
But slingshot overshot
As Minnehaha laughs to cry
Forward onward not to stop
Figment of flotsam flying by
Coursing like a spinning top
Half hidden paths yet to try
Mayhap outplace to outpop
Where lifted Lorax made to fly.

Kvetching down the Quechee
While quaking quahogs quarkle
Tumbling past timbrelled toves
Where twisting twinks do starkle.

I'll sing some ska on Skye,
A swooning swing with Sy,
And all Slytherin slithy,
Sling six skis with Sly.

Gerald Alan Ney



"A Word Means What I Choose It to Mean." -
Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass
by Lewis Carroll

A poet writing "Nonsense" verse is like a hypnotist who gets people to do things they
ordinarily would not do. The poet gets letters to form "words" that don't really exist
in the language used or gets words to mean something not quite what they usually do
or apply their meaning in unusual, even strange ways.

This being my first effort, I don't pretend to be in Carroll's or even Kelly's class.

Some of the unfamiliar words above, including Proper nouns, really exist; though are
possibly indistinguishable from "nonsense" constructions. And one literary name "Slytherin"
from one of the Hogwarts Houses in the Harry Potter books is used here as an adjective.

Four fifths of the first verse is a play on "Oh, Susanna" by Stephen Foster.
The fifth line is a play on "Viva Los Vegas.

I drew on three of Mel Blanc's routines:
1. the LA commuter train conductor from the Jack Benny Show -
"All aboard for Pasadena, Riverside, Azusa and Cu-ca-mon-ga..."
2. Bugs Bunny's famous line, "I shouldn't have made that left turn at Albuquerque",
(the town is transmogrified here to "Albu quirky")
3. the Mexican Sy who's sister Sue sows. Si?... from the Jack Benny Show

The third verse refers to the country traversed by the Santa Fe Railroad and US 56,
both going northeast from New Mexico through southeastern Colorado or the
extreme western Oklahoma panhandle into southwestern Kansas. The Huerfano and
Purgatory Rivers with their dry side arroyos are named after the original Spanish for
the latter: Rio de las Huerfano Animas de la Purgatoire (the River of the Lost [literally
Orphan] Souls in Purgatory. And I remember a late February day on the rim of extinct
volcanic cinder cone Mt. Capulin (English - Mt Chokecherry), NM when there was
remnant snow and frost on the upper slopes, but none in the surrounding area.

Verse 4 - The Lone Ranger was always sending Tonto to town. See also Bill Cosby's
take on that.

The Lakota root "Minne" means water.

The reference to half hidden paths refers both to East of the Sun and West of the
Moon and to Tolkien's "House of Lost Play"; which refers to the former.

toves and slithy were taken from Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky in turn found in
Alice in Wonderland.

twinks and starkle were taken from the pixilated version of "Twinkle, Twinkle,
Little Star", as in: "Starkle, Starkle, Little Twink. How the heck you are I think..."
I owe that source to my youngest sister.

Glossary of real words including mangled ones (in order of appearance)

Chinese bell tree - a musical instrument consisting of small high pitched bells hanging
one above the other from arms attached to a vertical piece of wood or plastic,
usually played by a percussionist. A striker is usually drawn quickly down the side
of the series of bells, producing a type of "shiiinnngg" sound.

Zazu - name borrowed from female silent movie star and (later) "My Little Margie"
co-star, Zazu Pitts.

bonze - a Buddhist monk

Mother Road - John Steinbeck's name for US Route 66; which went through

stork - equals "stark"... from a Southern "dialect" dictionary.
(example given was "stork ravin' mad")

gurn [Brit] - to pull a face, possibly from Scottish girn which may have been a
contorted form of grin. The annual face-pulling or "Gurning" contest at
England's Lake District's Egremont Crabapple Fair; which the locals call the
World Championship of Gurning is said to date back to 1266.

Washita - northernmost tributary of the Red River, rising near Miami, Tx in the
panhandle and flowing east then south through Oklahoma to Lake Texoma.

Wahoo - college town in Nebraska, 30 miles west of Omaha.

Shaggy - dual meaning, and if you don't know the "who", there's no use explaining.

Mizzery - stylized spelling of the Missouri River, Mighty Mo,, or as 19th century
farmers put it after a flood, "Ol' Misery".

Le Mars - northwestern Iowa town at junction of US 75 and state route 60, the
two main routes between northeastern Nebraska and southern Minnesota.
Prime "Minnebraska" country I'd say.

Mankato - Minnesota town at the big southern bend of the Minnesota River,
where highway 60 out of Le Mars crosses US 169, the road to Twin Cities.

the Minnesota's bars - the river's SAND BARS, though the other kind are
probably in ample supply.

Minnetonka - western suburb of Minneapolis

Tonka - for those who never played with or bought one, a brand of toy truck.

dray - a vehicle used to haul goods.

Minnehaha - literally Lakotah for waterfall. The term laughing waters for
Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis was coined by Mary Eastman in her 1849
book Dahcotah.

lifted Lorax - what the Lorax of the Theodore Geisel (Dr Seuss) tale became
toward the end of the story.

kvetching [Yiddish] - annoying, complaining

Quechee - Vermont tributary of the Connecticut River which flows east from
the Green Mountains through Woodstock and the Quechee Gorge.

quahog - [Narraganset] - a thick shelled America clam.

timbrelled - drawn from timbrel - a small hand drum or tambourine

ska - originally a 1960s Jamaican dance music, also called "blue beat" that
went first to the UK with West Indian immigrants and later spread from
there. While it's a forerunner of reggae; it's appearance on the world
scene was later.

Skye - the isle of.

Sy - both the Sy of Blanc's routine and bandleader Sy Coleman.

Sly - both Sylvester Stallone and Sly of "Sly and the Family Stone".


La Nuit 02/10/04

Night comes,
Comforting and scary.
A sudden rush of evening storm;
A long slow fade to black of twilight;
While the wind is lost in the silence.
Hues mute,
Edges unfocus blurred,
Detail shadow swallowed whole;
All endlessly alike, yet no two are twins;
Ol' Sol gone home till tomorrow times.
Rain falls,
Not tears of the sky,
A distant red curtain raking the earth;
The war giant's brrrps distantly echo;
And day's heat refuses to leave.
Cold clears,
Sweeping moisture and mist,
Searchlight moon on snow shining;
Orion and Canis, hunting stride on high
From frost limned steeple scale the sky.
Night breathes,
Unnerving and friendly,
A wakeup crash clangs too close;
Wispy whispers skirt ears' hearing; while
Somewhere the world wanders lost in fog.

- Gerald Alan Ney

Tunnel Rat Done Gone Home 03/19/04
{In Memory of Tyrone Green d. 03/14/04}

Just a whisper,
The slightest blush
Of his namesake hue
Fuzzes the form
Of twig and branch;
A quiet alert
To a Spring
He'll never see.
Over mute eyes,
Ceiling fixed,
Out of my heart
I pray,
And hear in my mind
That infectious laugh,
"Hey, Ger!
"Whatchu so down about?"
The Tunnel Rat's home,
His last jump made
Trade that chute
For eagle's wings,
And "O Freedom"
Is in the air.
Mourn his missing, but
In his life rejoice.

- Gerald A. Ney

Right Field's a Lonely Place 04/21/04
{Bay View Baseball Blues}

[Verse Order revised 05/31/04]

Bat on the shoulder,
An early walk home,
Down Humboldt's sled hill
And 'cross the grassy flat
to Howell and home.
Couldn't catch, couldn't hit,
Nor throw much at all;
Like Stinky Stanky.
'Cept unlike him,
Couldn't beat you either.
Always last picked,
Parked in right field,
Provided I made
The sides even up.
Else to exile sent.
Fresh cut grass and dusty
Not quite white bases,
And the swelling feeling
After one solid thwack,
My lone home run.
Had yet to hear
Of Charlie Brown.
Another world though;
As he always managed,
Pitched and played.
Only in common,
Love of the game;
His Schlobotnik,
My Aaron and Spahn
On a summer night.
Come back to attend
The new owners said.
And we did.
And they left...
TV rights, high trump.
Now in later years,
Two strikes down,
Salaries and tickets
On upward ratchet;
Gable's line is mine.

- Gerry Ney

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 23:09
Subject: Re: Right Field's A Lonely Place {Bay View Baseball Blues} 04/21/04

Funny! I usually got parked at second or RF, myself. In my family I always felt terribly inadequate.
Two of my cousins played pro ball, both made AAA as pitchers. When I tried to play with them,
it was humiliating, I couldn't even see their pop flies! But one got bursitis, the other married a model.

However, the one that married the model has a son John, who has just been promoted to AA
in the Baltimore system. Hopefully I'll get to watch him sometime this summer.
And it's One, Two, Three Strikes....

RE2: Right Field's A Lonely Place

My worst moment was when as a 12 yr old I missed a running catch on a line drive
and the ball hit a very tender spot. Everybody else almost collapsed with laughter
as I hopped around right field in pain.

The Braves' move to Atlanta was fueled by a TV broadcast contract for the whole Southeast
paid for by Coca Cola. My Dad didn't allow Coke products in the house for several years.


Had to get this out of my system...
Do feel better for writing it.

Falling Short 03/30 & 07/01/04

My dreams are as ashes
Upon the wind
A fluttered scattering
To points unknown.
Like Galadriel's leaves
The years have fled
The mortar of choice
Has set in firm.
Some paths blocked,
And others too long.
Just hope I take
The best that's left.
Yet I think of all
The time gone by;
How might have beens
Never minds at fade,
And wonder whether
It's not so much
That God's answer
was no...
Or did I ask
The wrong request.

Gerald A. Ney

-----Original Message-----
From: Yung Krall []
Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2004 23:12
To: Ney, Gerald A CIV
Subject: Re: Falling Short 03/30 & 07/01/04 - If you don't like heavy, don't open

Gerry, I think about it and maybe will think of it when I toss and turn tonight.
Today is a poet day, just received one from an old friend in the Delta,
it's raining in Nam this month.

He wrote:
"The warm beer under a hut
Bitter beer of bitter taste in life
Five thousands three hundred corners the cyclo passed
Sun faded my identity
The soldier don't die in battle but dead to survive"

Gee, it's no rules but touching, do you understand him?
I do, I know what he had to do under the liberation government.
Thanks for sharing

I believe I do understand him. The difference is that he had much of his path
forced upon him; where mine has been all due to the consequences of my own
choices. No matter whether my dreams come to pass or not, I've really very
little to complain about, comparing my life with that of most of the people on
this planet. In America, you have not only the chance to succeed, but also to
just get by or just plain fail. Freedom of opportunity doesn't mean certainty of
the best outcome.

His verse reminds me of some Japanese poetry; especially Haiku,
with it's succinctness. Nice vivid imagery. And the last line calls to mind
all those with PTSD and the nickname of a Marine Company, "The Walking Dead".


Devil's Lake Memories 08/27, 11/17-18/ 04

The irresistible force
Of bulldozing mass,
Cubic miles upon miles
Of ice and embedded debris
Run aground to grinding halt
Against the ancient Baraboo
Range's half buried wings.
The ancient crystalline wedge,
A twenty five mile long
Immoveable quartzite doorstop,
Shielding ridge and coulee land
Farther west from scouring ice bite.
Just push enough to plug -
By moraine both ends -
The ancestral Wisconsin's
Gorge through the higher,
Wider Southern wing, leaving
A small, deep basin
Bordered by bouldered cliffs.
Millennia later
A turquoise cabochon
With sandy strands
Capping the long ends
In a textured green setting
Flecked with pinks and reds.
Blunt headed barbed bullheads
Lurk in rocky shallows
Along the eastern shore.
Watch it taking the tracks
Back to camp with your catch...
The Chicago Northwestern's
"400" thunders round
The bend, clacking past fast
From the Windy City
To Twin Cities
Driving by British rules
With a last blast of horn.
Among the cliff sheddings
Upslope, prairie rattlers take
Their afternoon sun.
And rippling over the water,
Rising and falling in waves,
Laughter and shouts
Of families at play.

* Gerald A. Ney

-----Original Message-----
From: hans pawlisch
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 7:11
Subject: RE: Devil's Lake Memories

Baraboo was my home town.

My first trip (and only multi-day one) to Devil's lake was as a Boy
Scout at age 12 in 1957. That trip also saw my first two trips on the
Merrimac free ferry over Lake Wisconsin. 14 years later, I made that
part of my wife's into to Wisconsin; as we crossed the state from
Prairie du Chien to Gill's Rock in Door County for our honeymoon.

Anyway, back to the trip... had to jump out of the way of a "400" on
the way back to camp on the south shore after fishing for bullheads on
the east shore; because I forgot that the C&NW ran on the "wrong"
side of the 2 track line. Of course, the trains are now long gone.

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian J. Mulcrone
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 17:44
Subject: Re: Devil's Lake Memories

possessed you to pen it?

It reminded me of the first time I climbed the rocks at Devil's Lake
as a kid. I went back there in my 20s after attending a prom in Madison.
WI, at Edgewood College... one of those really great(!) "MY COUSIN
FIXED ME UP" dates with a strawberry blonde gal from Chicago's west
suburbs. Together with three other couples (including my female cousin)
we rode the FREE ferry at Merrimac, WI on the Wisconsin River and
spent a long and languorous day at Devil's Lake.

These days when I have been there it has been to transport Boy Scouts
TO/FROM the park where they learn to practice climbing skills.
I plan to share your verse with the camp director.

The last one's for Bay Staters.
Syntax of the Sin Tax
11/25 & 12/01-02/04

{"You are only upset about a castor oil plant which cost you no labor,
which you did not make grow, which sprouted in a night and has
perished in a night. And am I not to feel sorry for Nineveh, the great city,
in which there are more than a 120,000 people who cannot tell their right
hand from their left, to say nothing of all the animals?" - Jonah 4: 10-11}

How fierce we are
When our ox gets gored
Or our nails get chipped;
Someone raids our hoard
Of treasured nothings.
Off with the heads,
In queen of hearts style.
Gotta get back at
With maximum bile;
Just vent that wrath.
What's that we say?
Don't bother us now?
But "Sorry!" he said,
With head in a bow,
Recompense in hand.
Yet stubbor-rurn we be,
A lock jammed with rust,
A gate nailed tight shut;
Sledgehammer to bust
A heart of stone.
And in the end
What have we gained
Ourselves at our worst
Many lives more pained
For straw and ashes.

French Azylum 11/25 & 12/08/04

Unseen even on top
Wyalusing's weathered
Redrock cliff overlook,
A spreading eagle view
Above the cursive valley;
Hidden the asylum waits
Within the river's coil;
Over mountains endless,
For refugees return
To a postcard perfect
Placid pocket idyll
On the only road in;
It's sign marked now
For curious tourists
And student summer help
To fix a hayfield fence.
A half life existence.
From fractious France
Two centuries past
They came, caught breath and
Wandered to a world
Wider and wilder;
Long gone and scattered,
Way station's welcome
Memory no more,
In families now.
Just in the guidebook
Paragraph per page.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ney, Gerald A CIV
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2005 16:56
To: 'Enrique V. Pujals'
Subject: RE4: The Looie quote

There's a place called the French Azylum tucked into
a bend of the East Branch Susquehanna among the hills
of Bradford County, Pa almost up into New York,
where royalist refugees settled for awhile. After 1814,
some Bonapartists also stopped by for a few years.
You might remember the poem I wrote on it some months
back. Beautiful isolated piece of bottomland. The site's
maintained by the state now. You have to know where
you're going to find it. Though it's visible from a spot
or to on US 6 on the other side of the river; it's a minimum
of 8+ miles "over the river and through the woods" and
nowhere near grandma's house to get there.


The Hills Are Alive... Walk This Way
11/25, 11/29 & 12/02/04

From Feeding Hills forage far;
Gone away Agawam's shore,
Westfield and Woronoco,
Before winter's wild winds roar,
To hear a Hovhaness hymn
On October Mountain heights,
And dwell in Lenox Dale
Counting stars through autumn nights.
No tangle trees in Tanglewood
Weary commuters to waylay
Just a jazzy jam in Ellington mode
To set the glens in play.
And beyond the bent backed
Berkshires, Bish Bash bounces
On boulders a brawling beat,
Dances, billows and pounces.
In the hills hidden
Moistured kisses planting
On York State's east flank
Silvered mists shimmering.

- Gerald A. Ney

*NOTE: Noremember is the 11th month in Piers Anthony's
Xanth Ogre calendar, as in Octogre, Noremember and Dismember.
1. I owe "stubbor-rurn" to one of Sid Caesar's writers on the
"Show of Shows". St. Thomas Aquinas supposedly said on his
deathbed that all his writings were so much straw.
2. This is the Wyalusing, Pa cliff above the Susquehanna,
not the Wyalusing, Wi cliff above the confluence of the
Wisconsin & Mississippi.
3. Apologies to Hammerstein & Cleese for a mad melding.
See also the Xanth series for tangle trees.




{"It's an easy route, an old railroad bed.
It'll take us right to Breckinridge."
- famous last words of Gerry Ney 05/06/71}

In the spring of Seventy One
With just a month to go
Before our awaited wedding
An expedition we planned
My fiancé and I...
To Breckinridge to buy a
Dress at the après ski sale,
The season over and done
'cept for the corn snow bunnies;
And on the Front Range's verge
The leaves flashed verdant in force;
While valley rain chased winter
Ever the higher upslope.
A mild May morning, No Problem!
For good old George Tank, we thought.
So the Lincoln ate the miles
Up Ute Pass's slanting slash
Past Pike's Peak, over and down
Skirting Florissant's fossils.
A dirt road to Tarryall
Where we waited not a bit.
Spring showers came and went
Maybe flurries on the heights,
But so what, been there, done that.
A left jog to cut the tip
Of South Park's pale tilted bowl
Surging up Boreas Pass Road
And run the old railroad grade's
Rise to summit the Divide
And not quite home free into
The land of promised shopping.
There it is, look at that view.
Then Crunch and all stop. Uh-oh!
Old crust didn't hold our weight
And now we're stuck bottomed out
Three hundred feet from the crest;
And suddenly I wonder
Where are any other cars?
So she stays with heater on;
Off I go to Breckinridge
With Como to far back south
It's ahead nine miles or more
Under Quandary Peak's gaze
At least the snow warms to rain
About halfway down to the town;
As I cut across loops and
Around the rocky landslide
Blocking all west slope traffic.
Hardly past the offending slide
Comes a car creeping uphill.
Since he must retrace anyways;
I get a lift into town.
Forty miles around via
Fairplay and the Hoosier Pass
At a dollar a mile plus
Thirty Five for extraction,
And then the tow truck gets stuck;
A second needed for the first,
And finally all are free
Of winter's last leftovers.
Discretionary cash for tow,
Forget the dress, head for home.
Though on many trips to come
Great chunks of Colorado
Covered, explored together;
Never to Blue River Valley
And Breckinridge clothing shops
Has Gloria ever come.


If We Only Knew - 01/31/05
{a thank you to Yung Krall for helping trigger this}

If we only knew
How a word here,
An action there,
An omission
Or a dither;
The ripples spreading
Through countless lives
Over years unnumbered
Unforeseen, fraught
with heavy freight;
For those we know,
And others never so
Much as flitted 'cross
Our tangled path
Through time and space.
Dad is with me still;
Though thirty three times
The Earth looped along
A lightly dusted track
In its orbital dance.
All the things said,
Over and over,
Plus the once in
A lifetime moments,
Getting in a word
More than edgewise.
I warily wonder
What of those rarely
Or often downstream
Of me.
- Gerald Alan Ney

Dad was born June 6, 1922 and died at 49 on February 22, 1972,
the day after we had called and told him that Gloria was pregnant
with our first child, and 4 days after my 27th birthday. When I
reach 60 in 17 days, Alanna, my youngest will turn 27 the same day.


Quehanna Land - 02/15/05

Softly fall the raindrops
On farmsteads and fields.
Furrows ripped open
Straight 'cross the ground;
A smattering of straw,
Last year's stubble, and
Frost heaved erratics
Scattered at random.
The skies crying for joy
At what is, life's renewal
And some sadness also
For what is no more.
The brown earth is ready
For this season's seed,
Alfalfa, corn or hay,
"By local deer approved",
Nestled in northern hills
Between swerving swaths
Of forest and scrub,
Or soybeans, multi grains
Also melded in the mix
Many daymiles downstream
In covered bridge country;
Plus a little wrapper leaf
For fine flavored smokes;
While Fall's future chips,
Russet eyes run in ranks
And in Pequea pockets,
Protected patches of
Various varieties,
Plain and fancy veggies.
Once our longfathers
The wild wheat and rye,
Millet, spelt and barley,
Sun burnished berries,
gathered, and hunted
Fleet footed game
For meat, pelt and bone
In a time long lost, now
The traceries of trees
Frame the fertile fields,
Half revealing faroff hills
Till leaf and flower fill
Forward lookout's limit..
Wild winter bridled tame
For civilized Spring
has business aborning
Measured, bordered, fenced .

- Gerald Alan Ney

from memories of Wilmot Township, Bradford Co., Pa.,
and Lancaster County, Pa.

Uneeda What When ? 03/30/05

Mah Fray-ends?
Lemme tell you
A story true
And maybe more
Lemme tell you
Of Uncle Sugar
A story true
With widgets
And sprockets
And maybe more
From the magical mystical
Fully fractionally funded
Dispensing dee-poh'.

Jest a leetle beetle
Of a spring,
Ten cents cheap;
The switch to load;
Typewriter type
Same - same
Good enough - NOT! -
For the humungous
dollar swallower...
A miracle alloy,
Chrome vanadium
To tap dance
The reset
At twenty a pop.
What'll ya trade?
What'll ya trade?
For souvenirs for sure...
For two A Ks
Spit shine clean
And nary a nick,
Well maybe one
Or three, how 'bout
That spare air
Conditioner there?
Nice lumber lying
Lazily in the yard.
Put it to use, yes?
The boss's boat
Peeling paint not permitted
Complete cozy cover
In allowance list lacking.
Fret not. Nevah notice
Floated on the flood
Of Hot Ships docs
This carrier requests
Airplane tarp, one each
C-118 supersize;
But caught it was
When none on hand
It went to review.
The stuff that walks
Ten dollar precise sized pens
For recording records
Of sonabuoy pulses.
Numbah Two shot,
Two thousand per
Twenty dollar bag
Gone in Indiana
Duck season shotguns.
Fancy latched hardshells
For aircraft engines
Large and small,
Great for chilling
Alaska junket salmon.

NOTES per Stanza:
1. Repairing the Cal-comp plotter reset switch at Ft. Holabird - 04/68
2. Two Army supplied AK-47s = 1 Air Force air conditioner -
in South Vietnam, late 1968 through early 1969
3. A carrier ordered the tarpaulin [for a 4 engine plane with a wingspan
to large for the ship] to cover the captain's boat circa 1973
4. Special miniature pens, #2 shot for lead seal on Oxygen bottle repairs
and reusable engine containers - all migrated to other uses - for years

- Gerald Alan Ney

A Late Afternoon in Door County #1 04/01/05
Gills Rock to Wisconsin Bay

Standing on the shelving shore
Slinging skipping stones skimming
'Cross sun streaked wavelet trains;
Perpendicular patterned dissonance
To the glistening glittering glimmer
Shimmering along the Silurian strand.
Just an underlying restless swish
To denote Port des Morts Straits.
Threading through twisting cedars
Over storm toughened roots exposed
by battering winter Great Lakes gales
And 'round a single stranded erratic,
Orphan from Canada's ancient shield;
A corkscrew trail on the cuesta cliffs
Lost years' pine needles, cedar fronds
Cover rock punctuated precarious path.
Sailing high, distant hard edged cusps
On the steady westerly flow off the U P,
A spreading anvil shadows a darkening
Base, white to orange to pink to purple;
A faroff forty miles across now calm water,
A forward detachment of fury to come.
Of thunder, wave and wind tonight
When the Strait rouses to claim its name.

A Late Afternoon in Door County #2 04/01/05
Bluffs, Harbors, Islands and Open Water

Little lances of light dancing on the waters,
Adventure and the trailing Strawberries
In relief against a sun spackled sea,
The slim green bar of Chambers at mid bay
Marking the horizon's margin, and closer
Inside Horseshoe's sheltering wings
Two crews brave its careless curves
To survive a poison ivy paradise;
To Ephraim's face of New England scene
Later returning under Eagle Bluff's abrupt
Stern stone face and the we-told-you-so
Nodding masts in clustered crowds
Anchored in the mini fjord of a harbor.

A Late Afternoon in Door County #3 04/04/05
from Bailey's Harbor to Northern views -
Sister and Ellison Bluffs & Bays

The Lake's rows of runty ridges,
It's unscrolled ancestral succession,
Sand and slab beach shading
Into seldom found bushy shrubs;
Then second growth thickets of
Conifer with hardwoods hidden
amidst like gold nuggets in quartz;
Lay back behind ordered orchard
Ranks and rows dotted bright red;
Sour pie cherries ready to pick
While the yellow lined asphalt
That turned left at the range light
Continues its eight mile climb
A slow steady rise not straight
On till morning, but true north
Teasing the sunset's tardy pace
Till the sign of the slanted black truck ...
And of a sudden, there's the bay
White sails above white hulls
And white caps on the chop
In the bluff crowned curve
fish hooked to the left;
Another headland height beyond;
A headlong downhill ahead,
Crowded with people, cars and
Pickups, for work and play
And maybe a fish boil with new
Potatoes, pearl onions and cherry pie
Or Swedish pancakes at Al Johnson's,
With Lingonberries on the side.
Again a long slow climb away
From the water, up the Thumb's
Solid Dolomite backbone
To a windswept crest above
A quieter town and emptier bay
With a wilder look to the next
North facing cedar lined headland.
Five miles still to land's end
lodgings and sleep. Who will win,
Sun or I, the homestretch run?

* Gerald A. Ney
[Note: The quieter town and emptier bay is Ellison Bay]


The Unwritten Book 04/21-25/05

["Impression minus Expression equals Depression." - a Benedictine monk]

Pages I have seen
In my mind's eye
From fruitful foraging
And careful observing
Over long years during
Sentrylike watch
Of the body politic;
The shapes visible
In his speech if
You knew him enough
To look.
But the fire wasn't there,
To give cohesive form,
Just packs and stacks
Of three by five cards
Amid condiments and
medicines, bourbon and
Beer and cigarette butts
Staking out limited turf
On a single card table.
And so he passed, sinking
Beneath his burdens
Long gone home before
My belated arrival
The phantom images
Of unwritten pages
On the table scattered
Never to be shared.

- Gerald A. Ney

Exorcising an old ghost...

Door County Daydreaming 05/20/05
(or No Date for the Fish Boil)

In my awkward youth,
All callow and clueless
It was easier to stare
At sand, shore or sky,
Skip a few stones,
Clamber 'cross the cliffs,
Than speak to a girl
Who attracted me;
Especially since she
Was hardly ever trying.
So I spent summers
Standing pigeon toed
On the sandy strand
Sequestered inside
My own little world,
Lost to the discomfort
Of having to figure
How to say "Hi!"
And build on from there.
The guys always know,
But its exit time down
The ol' ACME black hole
When even your Dad

-----Original Message-----
From: Newark, William Z CIV
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2005 10:15
Subject: RE: Door County Daydreaming 05/20/05

But in our imaginings:

Bounded by demons,
but brave in his unknowing,
our hero strides forth.