And Miles to Go Before I Sleep

In Robert Frost’s poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, he says, “My little horse must think it queer”, which is odd, but the horse is domesticated and it likes to do things that are in its routine, so it feels strange when they stop at a place where they normally wouldn’t.  I became a fan of this poem after watching the 1977 Charles Bronson War/Spy movie Telefon.  Today Eugenia explained Golden Shovel Poetry which was created by Terrance Hayes and she wrote about the Robert Frost poem Acquainted with the NightI will give this a try with the line that makes up the title of my post, thus I will write a seven-line poem with line one ending with the word “And” and this will continue till the last line of my poem which will end with the word “Sleep”.  My apologies in advance for my poem not making much sense.

Can I end a sentence with the word and?
If I can will this help me to see for miles and miles.
In the English language, it is permissible to end a sentence with the preposition to.
They begged me not to go.
I heard these words before.
When I am talking about myself, I use the word I.
I had a nightmare when I went to sleep.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Written for Eugenia Hoffman’s Go Dog Go Café Prompt of Golden Shovel Poetry, where you take a line (or lines) from a poem you admire and use each word in the line (or lines) as an end word in your poem.  The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.

What’s Up Doc

Happy Birthday Bugs Bunny, and I want to say that you are looking really great for someone who turned 80 years old today.  I am so happy that I grew up with you and your fellow cartoon characters and that I was able to go on many an escapade together with you.  I never made it all the way down your rabbit hole, but beneath the surface of the night while I was laying in my bed, I did dream about you.  When I was young, I had trouble distinguishing between my R’s and W’s which had nothing to do with the locale that I was from, it was natural for a kid my age that watched Elmer Fudd, and I often said wabbit instead of rabbit.  My speech teacher had me say things like,Bitter bananas” and I had to repeat many things to satisfy her.  Elmer Fudd may have been the worst hunter ever and even though he could never get a break from that wascally wabbit, he would have never made any money at this, despite all of the labor that he put into his hunting.  I just ran out of shows to watch on Netflix and I am thinking about checking out Umbrella Academy.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompts – Locale, for the Daily Spur prompt – Natural, for FOWC with Fandango – Escapade, for Midwest Fantasy Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge – Beneath the surface of the night, for Jibber Jabber by Sue – Satisfy, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – Bitter bananas, for Ragtag Community – Umbrella, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Labor Money Break, for GC The Main Aisle and Sue W Nan’s Farm Weekly Prompt – Characters and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Dream.

More Than I Need

I had enough toilet paper to last me till Thanksgiving and I was not worried when all the shelves were empty at the store, but yesterday when I went out, I saw that they had toilet paper available on the shelves again, and I bought more.  It is taking up the whole bottom space in my pantry and I can barely close the door and I figure that now I will be good through Easter and my pantry could be called the cupboard of abundance.  I certainly don’t want to run out of toilet paper and it looks like we have a long way to go with this Covid-19 pandemic, as it doesn’t seem to be going quietly away.  I wonder if I was stocking up, or have I become a hoarder.

It seems simple enough, wash your hands, avoid touching your face and when you are out in public, wear a mask and practice social distancing.  Trump came up with a deeply flawed argument, dismissing the severity of the pandemic, downplaying the effect of the disease even as infections continue to spread across the US.  He falsely claimed that 99% of the virus cases are totally harmless and I heard on the news that 4% of the people who get Covid-19 in the US, end up dead.  Almost 130,000 people have already died here from this so-called “harmless” virus and at about 2.9 million people have tested positive for the infection, so a simple observation along with some easy math says that it is closer to 4.5% of the people that contract this virus will end up dead.  These statistics don’t even account for the thousands of people who have spent weeks in the hospital or weeks at home with mild to moderate symptoms that caused debilitating health problems.

In Florida where many people are aging, test results showed that by July 3, that there has been a total of 190,052 positive COVID-19 cases with 3,702 of these resulting in death from the virus.  Since July 3rd, 18 more Florida residents have died from this pandemic.  It is not just the older populations and those with underlying health conditions that are at risk, as Covid-19 is having a severe impact on young people now.  In Florida, the median age of positive Covid-19 cases in March was 65 years old, but within the last week, it has dropped to 35 years old.  Florida has reopened and maybe this was done by Governor Ron DeSantis to oblige the Republican president, but if that is the case, this was done in bad taste.

A significant portion of Covid-19 patients are asymptomatic, so that means that there are a lot of people who are walking around with the virus, but since they are unaware of having it, but they are passing this infection on to others, so the transmission is still spreading.  The Novel Covid-19 is a silent killer and you may not know that you are infected, until it is too late.  The world is different now, especially in the stillness that was created by social distancing, quarantine, and isolation.  Many people feel loneliness and this is apparent in those who wear their heart on their sleeve, but everyone copes differently and you can’t tell a book by its cover.  It is not like we can put on a pair of ruby slippers and tap our heels together like Dorothy did in The Wizard of Oz and have everything go back to normal again, as the genie is not getting back in the bottle.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompts – Oblige, for the Daily Spur prompt – Loneliness, for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Observation, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #Week 142 prompt – The genie is not getting back in the bottle, for FOWC with Fandango – Taste, for Midwest Fantasy Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge – to write a poem or piece of prose around the words “in the stillness”, for Jibber Jabber by Sue – Quietly, for July Monthly Writing Prompts – The cupboard of abundance, for Ragtag Community – Ruby, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Available Book Sleeve, for Linda G. Hill Life in progress What Day is it Anyway? July 7th, 2020 and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Aging.

Atlantis Sinks

52,000 years ago, Thoth left his city of Keor, on the island of Undal, in the lost continent of Atlantis to go on a three-hour cruise with his daughter Seshat the librarian who had just finished recording all of the sacred spells on a scroll.  Thoth christened his new boat the Mystic Moonlight and he opened a bottle of wine to celebrate Seshat finishing her project of recording the spells that would unlock the necessary knowledge which would allow them to exist on transcendental planes.  They finished the wine and Seshat started crying about her boyfriend leaving her for another woman.  Hell, hath no fury like a woman scorned and Seshat cast a wave curse upon the village where her boyfriend and his new lover were living.

Waves came rushing in, one after another and the village was completely destroyed.  Thoth tried to talk some sense into his daughter, telling her that she had done enough damage and it was time for her to end the curse.  Seshat said that she was not doing this, as she only called for three waves to hit the village, and this was only meant to scare them, not wipe the village off the map.  The weather started getting rough and the tiny ship was tossed.  A sea-floor earthquake erupted, as tremors shook the foundations of the continent and a battalion of fire descended from the sky, which was so intense that the Utopian kingdom of Atlantis was swallowed by the sea and it sank deep into the ocean, never to be found again.

They looked back at Atlantis in disbelief and Thoth told Seshat that if they sailed through the pillars of Hercules that they might end up in Greece or Egypt.  Thoth thought that Egypt might be better, as Atlantis had waged a war on Greece years ago, but they were repelled when the Athenians led a resistance against them and Thoth felt that they might still harbor ill feeling for them as a result of this conflict.  They sailed East for weeks catching fish to eat and saving rain water to satisfy their thirst.

One day an ibis landed on the deck of the ship and Thoth killed it and they ate the bird, happy that they didn’t have to eat fish that day.  Thoth said that the ibis was a sign of good luck and it would become their sacred bird, so he left what remained of its carcass tied to the bow.  Without dark, there were no stars to guide the Mystic Moonlight, but when the Sun went down celestial bodies guided them on their way.  Thoth and Seshat made it to Egypt and they sailed up the Nile where they were both worshipped as gods, because of their advanced knowledge.

Written for Devereaux Frazier Tuesday and Beth Amanda’s Go Dog Go Café Midwest Fantasy Tuesday Writing Prompt – where we are supposed to write something around the words “mystic moonlight”.

Tales of Brave Ulysses

Women are impregnated by fallen angels and urged to keep their silence.
They are cursed, their daughters became sirens and their sons became giants.
Aglaophonus, Leukosia, Ligeia, Molpe, Parthenope, Raidne, Teles and Thelxiope
All of them lost a singing contest to the Muses, which took away their hope.
The Muses plucked out their feathers and wore them as a prize.
With their wings clipped, the Sirens needed a new disguise.
Eventually their wings grow back in, but they were no longer able to fly.
Stuck on an island they took out their revenge on all sailors that passed by.
You would not want to be a passenger on a ship that goes near this island paradise.
The inhabitants here are not very nice and they will make you pay the ultimate price.
These unhappy winged maidens dwelt on a small island in a flowery meadow,
They cleared their throats to warm up their voices, as the wind began to blow.
Half human and half bird, they watch their harbor for ships going by,
Many a traveler is reduced to skin and bones, without knowing why.
Eight sirens distract men with their sweet singing on a Summer day,
Their hypnotic voices fill the air, as they look over their new prey.
The flowery island of Antheomessa draws sailors near its shores.
Treacherous rocks line the coast, so sailors come in with their oars.
The sailors stare at the beautiful bird women, while they drink their wine.
They listen to the enchanting voices, and they become frozen there in time.
The naked ears of the sailors are tortured by the sirens sweetly singing.
Their voices make them follow and the sky brings them down stinging.
They marvel at their beauty, as the Sirens call out their names.
Sirens start out singing softly, it is how they play their games.
Sailors put their glasses down, unaware that they will never reach their home.
They are put into an endless trance, their ears hurt and they begin to moan.
Near the raging sea, soft sultry voices sing out a melancholy tune.
The sailors start to cry and scream, hoping it will all be over soon.
The sailors are in agony now, as they hear the voices of the drowned.
Horror and despair take over the sailors, and their brains begin to pound.
The captain cries, as he sees his men dying all around him.
He devises a plan, knowing that things are looking grim.
He sees the siren’s face in a mirror, and he stabs it with a dagger.
Dripping blood, the Siren screamed and then she began to stagger.
The captain prays to Vulturnus, the god of the East wind.
Vulturnus never liked the sirens, so he begins to grin.
He blows harder and harder till their irritating voices are no longer heard.
The captain thanks the wind god, sets sail and wonders what just occurred.
He says, “we have just touched the distant beaches like the brave Ulysses.
We lost some good men, we ran away, but no one can ever call us sissies”.

Written for Devereaux Frazier Tuesday and Beth Amanda’s Go Dog Go Café Midwest Fantasy Tuesday Writing Prompt – where we are supposed to write a piece of prose around the word “sirens”.

The Day Before Easter

‘Twas the day before Easter, she laid in her bed
Thoughts of bunnies swirled around in her head
No dreams of dragon scales, just eggs, candy and toys
She was listening to a tune by the Back Street Boys
The egg hunt was soon and eggs she would gather
She could go on for hours with all of her blather
The bunny ears were a subtle innuendo that she was ready
Her excitement kept building up till she felt unsteady
She got up from her bed and walked around her room
She looked out her window and the lilies started to bloom
She loved this holiday and she was known to hem and haw
She saved a carrot for the Easter Bunny and yes it was raw
Today she would watch the film Easter Parade
Help her mom color eggs and drink lemon aide
The whole day long, she felt fine
She coughed at bedtime, was this a sign
She got sick that night and never got her basket
Covid-19 entered her bosom and she is in a casket
I miss you

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Blather, for the Daily Spur prompt – Tune, for FOWC with Fandango – Innuendo, for Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda’s Go Dog Go Café Midwest Fantasy Tuesday Writing Prompt – I miss you, for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Nekneeraj’s Photo Challenge #317, for May Writing Prompts – Dragon scales, for Ragtag Community – Bloom, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Raw Film Sign and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Bosom.

Same Difference

Same as it always was
The same old used to be
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results
He doesn’t smoke the same cigarettes as me
Like opposite sides of the same coin
It is all the same to me
Lightning never strikes the same place twice
We are all in the same boat singing the same tune
She can’t walk and chew gum at the same time
She lost her sparkle you know she isn’t the same
I’ll have the same thing
When it starts to rain, everything’s the same

Written for Devereaux Frazier Tuesday and Beth Amanda’s Go Dog Go Café Midwest Fantasy Tuesday Writing Prompt – Write a poem that begins and ends with the same word.

I Had a Dream

The other day I told Li over at Tao Talk about my dream and she felt that I had a moral obligation to tell somebody else about it, just in case it could save some lives.  In my dream I saw a ward of sick Covid-19 patients all hooked up to ventilators, which was seen as the final measure of care for these patients.  Then I thought that maybe all of these people could be saved if they were given O3 ozone to kill the coronavirus that they were infected with.

My CPAP cleaner uses activated oxygen O3 (ozone) a naturally occurring gas, that is supposed to be extremely safe and it kills 99.9% of bacteria, germs, and other pathogens and it has been used to purify water since the 1800s.  In my dream it was added to the ventilators of the people that were being treated for Covid-19 and they all recovered after a few treatments.  Ozone generators are able to make ozone from normal air and they are normally used as room disinfectants.  Ozone is at least ten times stronger than chlorine as a disinfectant.

I am not a medical professional and I would never suggest that anyone should inhale ozone, or drink Clorox, or inject Lysol, especially since ozone is dangerous to humans.  It can destroy your cells lining in your mouth, nasal pathways and be harmful to your lungs.  It has the ability to cause cell mutations and cause cancer.  When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs.  Relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and throat irritation.  Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections.

However, ozone gas is a remarkably versatile molecule.  The medical and disinfecting uses of ozone are vast and still being studied today.  Ozone has been particularly helpful in treating Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).  These bacteria can cause infections across the body, and it is referred to as a “superbug”, because it is highly resistant to most antibiotics.  Ozone breaks down the cell walls of the bacteria, destroying it when other treatments fail.  Ozone not only destroys the bacterial cell, but it does it without leaving a residual effect after its oxidative reaction.  Ozone gas has been proven to kill the SARS coronavirus and since the structure of the new Covid-19 coronavirus is almost identical to that of the SARS coronavirus, it is relatively safe to think that it will also work on this new coronavirus.

The antipathogenic effects of ozone have been substantiated for several decades.  Its killing action upon bacteria, viruses, fungi, and in many species of protozoa, serve as the basis for its increasing use in disinfecting municipal water supplies in cities worldwide.  Typically, viruses are small, independent particles, built of crystals and macromolecules.  Unlike bacteria, they multiply only within the host cell.  Ozone destroys viruses by diffusing through the protein coat into the nucleic acid core, resulting in damage of the viral RNA.  At higher concentrations, ozone destroys the capsid or exterior protein shell by oxidation.

The chemical formula of ozone is O3.  It consists of 3 oxygen atoms and is very reactive.  Two atoms of oxygen form the basic oxygen molecule, becoming the oxygen that we breathe which is essential to life.  The third oxygen atom can detach from the ozone molecule, and re-attach to molecules of other substances, thereby altering their chemical composition.  It is this ability to react with other substances undergoing chemical reactions, which makes it an effective cleaning agent.  When it comes to disinfecting, the oxidation reaction targets microorganisms and destroys them on contact.

We typically think of ozone as a molecule in the ozone layer called the stratosphere.  The formation of ozone occurs when sunlight breaks apart an oxygen molecule (O2).  These two oxygen atoms then collide with another oxygen atom to form ozone.   It actually forms only 0.000004% of the earth’s atmosphere but it protects the planet from harmful sunlight, by filtering out harmful UVB radiation.  This radiation directly harms skin and causes skin cancer and cataracts.  Ozone at ground levels acts as an air pollutant.  It forms smog and causes breathing issues and other respiratory ailments.

Ozone can also be artificially created by using a high voltage electric current which acts as sunlight to convert oxygen gas to ozone.  Ozone generators are just a few of the machines that generate ozone.  These machines can be used as an air and water purifier by destroying bacteria and other toxins.  Ozone generators that are sold as air cleaners intentionally produce the gas ozone.  Often the vendors of ozone generators make statements and distribute material that lead the public to believe that these devices are always safe and effective in controlling indoor air pollution.  For almost a century, health professionals have refuted these claims.

In other countries is medical grade oxygen ozone therapy is being used to treat the coronavirus.  This is something very unique whereby a certain amount of blood is removed from the patient’s arm, then oxygen is introduced to the blood in an IV bag and then the blood is re-infused into the patient’s arm.  Sometimes they add ultraviolet light to the treatment plan as well.  This can help kill viruses and bacteria.  Studies being done now on these treatments.  In the US, a federal judge barred a Texas company from making claims that this treatment could be used as a cure for the coronavirus.

As far as my dream goes from what I learned today, ozone added to ventilators will most likely kill the people that are attached to them, but as Li said I had a moral obligation to do some research on this, just in case it turned out to be the cure that we are all looking for.  It is not my duty to save the world, but it never hurts to discuss your dreams with others.  Life goes on and today is like any other day and as I look at the sinking moon, I realize that even a rose has thorns.

Written for Go Dog Go Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda’s Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge – Even a rose has thorns, for May Writing Prompts – Sinking moon and for Linda G. Hill Life in progress What Day is it Anyway? Sunday, May 10th, 2020.

Alice Wondering

Alice had run out of toilet paper, so she went down to the gully to take care of her business, as here she could leave a stink and the jasmine would cover it up.  Alice blamed China for the toilet paper shortage, as this was their plan from the start, to destroy the American way of life.  China mishandled the outbreak, they delayed their initial response and they withheld information from the rest of the world.  Alice saw her president as a man who she would always worship, and since he was pointing his fingers at China, they must be guilty.  Eight weeks ago, Alice had 10 rolls of toilet paper and she figured that was fine, but times got bad and it started flying off store shelves and now all she can do is wonder when the store shelves will be restocked again.

Alice understood that demand was outpacing supply, but nobody seemed to know when it would be available again.  Toilet paper doesn’t kill the coronavirus, as the COVID-19 disease is a respiratory infection, not a stomach bug that necessitates frequent trips to the bathroom.  Alice was in a rage after being in lockdown and now having to take a dump without any toilet paper to wipe with was becoming the final indignity.  She never thought this shortage would still be going on and she wondered why her president had not solved this yet.  Was this cypher so complex, that nobody would ever unmask what is behind it, or would this all disappear like a miracle as her president promised that it would?

Alice frequently experienced bowel control problems, so she stretched out in the gully with her legs spread apart to slowly tighten and pull up her sphincter muscles to take some of the pressure off the area around her anus.  She was ready to squat now and she brought an old sock to wipe herself off with.  The days of Alice having feelings like life would return to normal were becoming far and few between and she wondered if she could ever be able to buy toilet paper again, and if she could, would that would be enough for her to feel normal again.  Alice could still remember when she had a normal life, but that memory was slowly fading.  She continued with her business as she thought silently to herself reflecting, “What does a return to “normal” look like for you?”

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Cypher, for the Daily Spur prompt – Sock, for FOWC with Fandango – Rage, for the Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda’s Go Dog Go Café Tuesday Writing Prompt – What does a return to “normal” look like for you?, for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Nekneeraj’s Photo Challenge #314, for May Writing Prompts – The days of Alice, for Ragtag Community – Unmask, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Worship Remember Bad and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Jasmine.

Flattened Coins

We were throwing pennies down onto the railroad tracks because we liked to watch them get flattened when trains ran them over.  Susan saw us and she said, “Can you give me some pennies, so I can join in on the fun?”  I told Susan that I could hear a train coming along and that she would have to wait till the next time as it was too dangerous now.  I said, “After the train passes and when the dust clears, it will be your turn to place the pennies on the tracks.”  The train zoomed by and we heard our pennies flying all over the place and when it was safe again, we collected the flattened pennies.  I told Susan that I would give her the rest of my pennies if she kissed me and she said that she would, but that would not mean that she was in love with me.  He kissed Susan and gave her the rest of his pennies, and she wiped off her mouth and said, “watch me go.”  Just as she was about to put them on the tracks, a police officer came by and chased everyone away.  Susan was furious as he shredded her dreams in dignified air of victory.

Written for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Love, Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge – to write a story or poem that ends with the phrase “he shredded her dreams in dignified air of victory” and for Writer’s Guild prompts – throwing pennies, when the dust clears and watch me go.