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Archive for September, 2008

Bucky the Goat

Bucky was our pet goat. We kept the brown and white, slit-eyed, non-horned bovine chained like a dog to a large wooden box in the woods, near our woodpile. The goat box was large enough for Bucky to move about comfortably inside. He had a trough built under a window that my step-father cut-out with a round saw after twisting the last screw into perfectly measured two-by-fours and plywood sheets that formed the goat cottage. The stabled house had shingles on the roof too. My brothers wanted what our step-father, a professional carpenter had crafted in one weekend for a family goat, as a private play-house. Bob, our step-father, brought Bucky, a little kid, home in the back of a blue and white pick-up truck, soon after he finished crafting what was, on carpentry standards, a masterpiece. Bob was a master of woodworking; our family goat and dog boxes were more like doll houses than mere pins.

After the little goat house was built and we adopted Bucky as a pet, our family seemed complete. Bucky’s sad and guttural ‘bah’ reminded us of a baby crying in a crib at night.

Fresh oats were carried in a plastic ice cream bucket to Bucky’s trough at daybreak, an hour or so before a yellow school bus stopped to pick us up for school. The three oldest boys in the house took turns feeding Bucky and watering the dogs, Brandy and Dusty. The mutts slept outside next to Bucky and were fed in the evening, after we picked up a coffee can full of leftovers from Miller’s Diner, a small town restaurant, a Whistlestop Café of sorts, that still serves the little Appalachian village, across the street from my childhood home. The dogs ate like kings ib scaps from Miller’s diner.

We lived in the green and white trailer that was later sold to Denny and Janet Brown and their daughters, Sally and Claudia Benson. My parents, after having their fourth boy,decided that it was time to sell the mobile home, so at least they could still try for a girl.

Bucky arrived a year or so before we moved into the big gold house. We didn’t have a front yard then. Trees grew everywhere out front. That is why we got Bucky so that he could eat the shrubbery that covered the forest around our less than double-wide, mobile, yet stationary upon a big foundation, home. There was no pretty front yard then. Three Springs was still being settled. Bucky mowed the front forest.

Bucky lived a long time. He stayed in his comfortable little house day after day, season after season, receiving fresh straw on Saturdays during the winter.

Bucky lived a comfortable, pampered life in town. He must have thought that because there was a kitchen with a trough in his pin, that Bob built him an indoor toilet too. We scraped out Bucky’s black pellets every Saturday morning, if it stunk or not. We attempted to teach Bucky to go to the ‘bathroom’ outside his snug home, but ‘Naah’, he simply shook his head with bent ears and seemed to smile as we cleaned up after him.

There were several break-frees that occurred over the ten or so years that Buckly lived on a chain. After we built the big, gold house, Bob excavated the woods out front and planted a real yard. We had perfectly mowed grass that Bucky seemed not to care for. Bucky no longer had grazing privileges. He served his purpose, yet he continued to live as a part of the family in his own house. I didn’t even have my own bedroom.

Bucky licked our faces, just like Brandy and Dusty when we fed them. His goatonality was more like a dog than a goat. He seemed to turn into a dog and sometimes heeled when we brought him the weeds we cut down with a weed-whacker.

When Bucky managed to break a thick-steel chain and run free, he went directly for Bob’s blue and white Chevy pick-up truck and stood like an animal-god for hours, refusing to get down from the truck and often usied his hind hooved legs to deflect any little arms trying to pull him down.

“Keep that goat from down here,” Aunt Cathy screamed from under a bee hive, next door.

“Your Uncle Daryl just washed my car and Bucky looks like he is putting dents on Bob’s truck,” Aunt Cathy hollered.

Bucky leaped from the truck and charged directly for Aunt Cathy. She ran inside her back porch and slammed the screen-door shut hard and locked it. She bumped her hair on a wind chime and screamed at Uncle Daryl who was busy making shotgun shells in their kitchen.

As soon as Uncle Daryl came outside, Bucky ran at top speed towards their home. Aunt Cathy stood behind Uncle Daryl who shouted “shoo” but Bucky just ‘nahhed’ at them and went around the other side of their house.

Bill and Barron were laughing loudly. I chuckled inside.

Rather than jump on Aunt Cathy’s Plymouth, Bucky went directly to her flower bed and ate her expensive shrubs, roses and flowers.

“You kids are bad,” Uncle Daryl yelled. “Git that goat.”

“The chain is broken. What are we supposed to do,” I yelled.

We captured Bucky as soon as humanly possible, but much damage was done to Aunt Cathy’s plants. Aunt Cathy, as always, was cool with the drama. She didn’t seem to mind that her flowers had been eaten by Bucky. Her car was safe. Such is life in a country town when it comes to pet goats and having relatives as neighbors.

Bucky lived long enough to discover that the grass is always greener on the other side. Fine shrubs and trees that were planted in our front yard were never good enough for our pet goat. Bucky managed to break free several times over the years– always running to Bob’s pick-up truck first, even after Bob traded in his Chevy for a Ford.

We permitted Bucky to run free, long enough to visit Aunt Cathy. Eventually, our Aunt caught onto our game of setting Bucky loose. Aunt Cathy ignored our mischievousness and the goat that couldn’t seem to stay out of her front yard.

“Just let him eat,” Aunt Cathy yelled from her back porch on a swing. “It’s Fall now– less for me to tend to.”

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Kissing Cousins

Snow was in the process of changing over to rain. Pellets of sleet mixed with snowflakes larger than quarters as the pearly white ground slowly started to fade, revealing a slate stone surface of the driveway. The gravel roadway ran past the front trailer door all the way to my step-father’s race car garage. I was eight years old that day and was watching the storm from inside at the kitchen table, wishing it would snow more and hating the fact that I was born so close to Christmas. I wanted something nice for my birthday. Mom always kept back one of my Christmas gifts for my birthday and it always made me mad.

In June, on my brother Bill’s birthday, when the weather was warm, just after Spring had shed his light jacket of budding leaves, revealing a hairy chest of summer Appalachian foliage, the family barbequed and had picnics outside to celebrate birthdays. Bill got gifts like bicycles for his birthday. I typically received something simple like cash. Annual Richard Nixon birthdays were always cold and damp in Pennsylvania. They called me the January Thaw baby, the second boy in a line of four linebacker sons who, for some freakish twist of nature, had warmed-up emotionally like a January Thaw.

“He’s just mixed up and shoulda been a girl,” Bill remarked. “He’s the only boy I know who hates football! What are you getting him for his birthday this year, Mom? A doll?”

“Mom, tell him to stop! He knows what happened last time we got into a fight. I kicked his butt. You’re older than me, but I’m stronger,” I reminded my blonde brother with blue eyes.

He wanted to fight me then, but it was my birthday, and he knew that Mom would favor me that day.

Sleet was beating heavily upon the tin roof of our home. I hated the fact that we were not having a birthday party for my eighth birthday. Typically, in good years, my parents hosted a party for me in our basement and lit the fireplace in which we roasted hotdogs on shaved tips of hickory sticks. Aunts and uncles like Frank and Mildred, Kevin and Connie, Naomi and Eugene, Deb and Chip, and Cathy and Daryl filled my pocket at those parties where there was often beer passed in cans, of which I was entitled to drink, if so desired. My pregnant mother had just finished placing peanut butter icing on my favorite chocolate cake just as my gay cousin Steve knocked on the door.

He held a plastic bag under a soaked green, wool coat and shouted– “Happy Birthday” as I opened the door. Stephen was as queer as the two dollar bills that came out that year. Stephen was my new cousin ‘by marriage’. We held hands, as two little girls may do, in childish wonderlands. His father Eugene stopped us in the act one afternoon by scolding–

“No more holding hands. Little boys don’t hold hands.”

We were both shocked and didn’t understand the reasons why we couldn’t hold hands– but years later, as gay men, we learned why, on a first-hand basis.

We were in the woods behind their small white trailer, petting his dog, Samantha when his dad, Eugene, who looked nothing like my new step-father, approached us in a respectable manner and made his request– as if to warn us about secret things that make men, men. One of my hands was holding Stephen’s and the other, my right, was stroking Samantha’s smelly fur.

Steve looked terrified as if he may get spanked. I was not sure what Eugene was going to do, but the dark haired fellow with piercing blue eyes remained calm as he gave us life’s new order. I quickly placed both hands on Samantha’s sad-looking face, with red, blood-shot, good-hound, eyes.

Eugene commenced to petting the hound too and talked to us about hunting season, which was coming soon, and the fact that Steve and I were both old enough now to go hunting. We both passed the Hunter’s Safety Course which is a mandatory class requirement in public schools there. We would be given our first shotguns for grouse, squirrels, rabbits, turkey and eventually, deer that would be hunted with rifles and official Pennsylvania State Game Commission licenses. Steve wasn’t the least bit interested, nor was I. We rolled our eyes dreading walking around the woods in the cold with our Smith fathers.

“I’m sorry you are not having a birthday party this year, but I got you something…”

Stephen carefully removed his wet wool coat and was careful not to get mud on Mom’s floor by taking off his shoes. He placed his coat on a metal kitchen chair and while sitting down, removed a shoe box from the plastic bag and handed it to me.

“It’s nothing big. Just David Cassidy magazine articles that I put on construction paper.”

“Who is David Cassidy,” I asked.

“You don’t know who David Cassidy is? Well, there is a record in the box too.”

“That’s weird,” I replied.

“What?”

“Mom got me a record this year too–“Blondes Have More Fun or Do They”, it’s called.”

“Do you know anything, Charlie? The name of the album is ‘Blondes Have More Fun’. That’s just the back cover,” Steve explained while pointing to a sassy brunette on the back of the large LP.

“I don’t even have my own bedroom or record player,” I reminded my cousin.

“Did you get this for yourself or Charlie?” Stephen asked my mom as she placed the plastic cover over her rectangle cake pan.

“For myself, I guess,” Mom explained. “Charlie hasn’t even listened to it yet. He’s been at that window all morning, watching the snow.”

Stephen and I both wondered why his father wasn’t as cool as my mom as she took time to admire the gift that my cousin made for me.

Stephen’s birthday present never made much sense to me. Years later, at 40, when I reminded him of that rainy day, he forgets.

“How can you forget the David Cassidy cut-out articles?” I asked.

“I remember you getting that Rod Stewart album, but I was never a David Cassidy fan. You’re full of it,” Stephen barked. “That album didn’t come out until the Eighties.”

“Then what year was David Cassidy the media’s heart-throb?” I ask.

When it rains, I always remember my eighth January Thaw birthday and still believe ‘Blondes Have More Fun or Do They came out in 1976.

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Suddenly my psychosis seems warranted and the world less crazy. Perhaps what happened to my mind seven years ago was not simply ‘schizophrenia’, but rather an actual vision of the future. I saw the evil behind banking institutions.

‘Religious Delusions’ are diagnostic criteria used to distinguish the schizophrenic from bi-polar or manic-depressive, Axis I, classifications. Many, like me, with true Schizophrenia believe we are specially chosen by God or some higher power to lead the lost home. I’m as proud of my schizophrenia as I am of my homosexuality.

I feel like $700 Billion Bucks!

A manic person is simply crazy, while a schizophrenic follows patterns that those before on paths of righteousness have traversed upon while here on this Earth. We are the leaders of the universe, the souls who see through the mind’s eye– spirts, demons, angels, tin foil hats, encoded markings in sidewalks, an inter- connectivity of all things that is realized only by the ‘sufferer’ while everyone else seems lost– left walking the earth as mere suckers for the concept of contentment and a nice home.

My visions were true– my ‘religious delusions’ seem not so delusional today. The beliefs that caused my incarceration were on the mark.

Like John, I was placed in prison for causing turmoil and rebelling against wealth and the ways of man and for speaking my mind– just yelling at the top of my lungs at them. They chopped off my thought process. There is no torture more cruel to the soul of a prolific writer than to be injected with dopamine medications. They tempted to silence me, but here I am, the ‘I am’!

I was crucified.

Psychiatrists didn’t consider me bi-polar. My diagnosis was schizophrenia– the same personality trait that prophets like Daniel likely encountered during his tenth incarnation.

I was relieved to go to the hospital. I tried to go numerous times on my own– to check myself in; but always there were lines at the emergency room, and insurance information needed and forms to fill out. There was so much that I needed to say to the masses before finally going back to sleep, so I kept running around, walking everywhere– telling them of what was to come.

My trip to the desert.

“Do you want to harm yourself?” the physician asked, after eventually, CIA agents caught up with me.

“No.”

“Are you trying to harm others?”

“No.”

“Then what is harming you?”

“I want nothing. I want everyone to know what I saw. It is so beautiful at the end, but one must realize, that in order to enter eternal life, one must have served selfishly, otherwise, it ends with just this and it starts all over again.”

“Then why are you here?” She asked.

I wanted to tell her about the cell phones that were hurting my head– but I knew that sounded silly and crazy, so went on to say:

“For my health, I suppose. I just wish I could sleep.”

“Oh, I am going to give you something to make you sleep,” she said.

And I did. I slept. But it wasn’t a dream. It was like an economic crisis of the soul that I was dreaming, yet somehow, I woke up in the dream and made the world as my own and lived to write about the experience as if I were Daniel.

 

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The Walls of Rottenburg

It was during a field training exercise near the fortified Bavarian village of Rottenburg when I was first exposed to Jungle Fever.

“Hey Taylor, Do you want to get out of these woods and take a shower? I can make it happen,” my leader, a black man offered.

“Of course, Sgt. Smith. We’ve been out here for three weeks. I have never been this long without a bath. I feel like dirt. How do you manage to look so clean while the rest of us look like rags?”

“I take pride in myself as a soldier, that’s all,” Sgt. Smith explained.

“Sterek spilled diesel fuel on me last night in the tent. I can’t wait to get this smell off me. My skin’s been burning. A shower sure sounds good, Sgt. Smith. How long until this training exercise is over?”

“Nobody knows. We are simulating war with Russia, Taylor. In war, it may be months between baths. That is why during peacetime, I am like a soldier during war,” Sgt. Smith explained while smiling, revealing large white teeth, some capped in gold.

“I can’t wait to get back to the barracks. I haven’t heard any music in three weeks. Nothing but the Army radios and encoded messages. It’s enough to drive anyone mad,” I protested.

We slept in tents inside Army issued, down-filled sleeping bags. Snow blanketed our communications equipment and the camouflage netting over our heads blended the very appearance of our existence into the rolling hillsides of Bavaria like a soap lather in a bubble bath.

I was so tired of the woods and the dirt. Bavaria at Christmas is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Once our antennas were in the air, transmitting encoded messages along far distances and the rest of the brigade was busy playing war games throughout southern Germany, those stationed with 141 Signal Battalion had nothing to do but to keep the lines of communications open and stay warm inside of tents and commo trucks. We had no running water, yet still I shaved in a canteen cup every morning while using the mirror on the door of my green jeep. Army regulations required that soldiers like me could not have facial hair while in uniform, even while on maneuvers. No hot water. Dirty face. Stinky butt. All I wanted was a shower. Sgt. Smith always had a surprise up his sleeve which often involved breaking some sort of military regulation, but his intentions were often good, as he strived to be a ‘good leader and take-charge, non-commissioned officer’.

“Will the whole section be taking showers tonight?” I asked Sgt. Smith. His huge white eyes flashed from side to side, in Fred Flinstone manner. He searched the dark woods all round us to be sure nobody could hear what he was about to reveal to me. He started to tell me his plan for getting me a bath from under his heavy, Gazzo-like, Army helmet.

“I’m married. You understand that, right, Taylor?” He asked.

“Yes. Sgt. Smith. You live off post with your wife and kids, otherwise you would live in the barracks with Sterek and me. I’ve even met your wife. Why would you ask me that,” I questioned while reaching into the cargo pocket of my BDU pants to pull out a fresh, dry pair of wool and leather gloves.

“I’m taking you to meet the German woman who I have been banging for the last three weeks. While you were sleeping in the tent with the rest of them, I’ve been sleeping warm, next to a white, German woman. No offense Taylor, but I never thought of white people like this before. I’m sorry I’ve been so hard on you and Sterek.”

“You haven’t been hard on us, in my opinion. You are a good section leader, no matter what the color of your skin is. Sterek and I both think you’re cool.”

“What did you just say, Taylor?”

“You’re a good chief. I like working in your squad, sir.”

“Don’t call me sir. How many times must I tell you that? I’m not a commissioned officer. I was talking about what you said about the color of my skin. Just look at it, Taylor. Did you ever see skin like this? So smooth and dark like chocolate, wouldn’t you say? Frau Hersher told me that she never felt skin as soft is mine!”

“How did you meet her?”

“Was rolling wire about two miles from here and she drove by in a Audi and I waved at her.”

“She stopped, just like that?”

“You don’t know how we Black man have it here in Germany, Taylor. I sure wish I could share the wealth with you, but the women of Europe love us Black men. Just look at my skin; beautiful, ain’t it?”

I just smiled and reassured Sgt. Smith’s ego by telling him that he had good skin, unleashing a fib of sorts, because I noticed nothing particularly suave about the skin he was in– just a pepper- black exterior flesh embedded with huge white eyes that revealed a severe hated for being stuck outside in the cold when there were other options. Sgt. Smith loved the military, but hated playing soldier. He found ways of finding alternate shelters when our unit was on training exercises in the woods– through the gift of his ‘rich dark’ skin that German women ‘couldn’t get enough of’.

“Look, I appreciate you sneaking me out of camp, but if we get caught, you must promise to say that you ordered me to come with you. This is a violation of the Commander’s policy. We could both get into big trouble, so if we get caught…”

“Taylor. You know me better than that. I always take good care of my soldiers. I’m a good section chief, no?”

“Yes. Very good as a matter of fact. Alright, Sgt. Smith, as long as you say so,” I responded. I was happy to have the chance of feeling water on my chilled, almost frost-bitten body. I was prepared to face an Article 15 just for a warm bath.

“You must promise not to say a word of this to anyone. I’m married, remember. If you tell, this could ruin my life.You can get a shower and a good meal. We will be done there in no time. We only got three hours though. I’ll meet you at Sgt. Downing’s truck at twenty-one hundred. We’re taking his truck. I gave him a twenty and told him to hide out in the RATT rig until we return. They’ll assume Downing ran back to post for supplies.”

“I promise. I will not say a word. I owe you one. You are such a good leader, Sgt. Smith.”

The German woman who Sgt. Smith had been sneaking off to see was an old woman, at least in her forties. She spoke good English and made me coffee and offered me her shower.

“Ain’t she pretty?” Sgt. Smith asked.

“Yes, very pretty,” I replied as steam rolled from under the bathroom door as I headed that way.

“We’ll be in the other room.”

“Alright,” I said from behind a closed door while peeling smelly clothing that had seemed freeze-dried to my white, freckled skin.

After I got out of the tub, I sat and drank three cups of bitter German coffee before Sgt. Smith returned to the kitchen to offer new orders–

“You can come join us. Did you ever do a train?” He asked.

“How peculiar the black are with their dialects, I thought before responding– “No thanks.”  I was simply happy to be clean again.

It was too embarrassing to come out that very moment to Sgt. Smith, and the German girlfriend who seemed infatuated with me sitting at her table, drinking her coffee. It was more than just my emotions involved when I rejected the sexual advance of the NCO. What about the old woman, I thought, wanting to protect her feelings from my ‘choices’. I really was not that interested, despite a sinister curiosity that offered me a slight erection.  I reached for a sweet piece of bread that the German woman had served on a platter with apple butter when we first arrived at her house, life Army vampires.

The half- naked, wrinkled German woman clung to Sgt. Smith’s married black arm as he invited me into their massive ball of black and white flesh. My skin was red from the hot shower. I felt exotic and perhaps the pasty-white German woman had just as much fever for me as she did Sgt. Smith. I wasn’t sure.

She was old enough to have been my grandmother. My stomach churned. I longed for the coldness of the woods again. I missed my mom.  It seemed at any moment they would both come after me as I sat motionless, wrapped only in a towel, water still dripping down my tender face and over my pink lips that were even larger than Sgt. Smiths.

I only wanted a shower. Not to come out of the water closet.

“Are you sure,” Sgt. Smith asked. He was much fatter naked than I had originally thought.

“Yes. I’m saving it for marriage,” I explained.

“It’s alright,” the German woman replied, as if not to offend me for what happened to homosexuals during the Holocaust.

“It’s not that,” I said before either my section chief or his German girl on the side could assume things about me– “It’s just that I have never been with anyone yet.” It was true. I was nineteen and still a virgin and didn’t want to swing on the vines of the jungle with two grown adults, one black and smooth, the other white and wrinkled. It had nothing to do with my sexuality! I was clean and didn’t want to get dirty again. It was as simple as that.

Who was I to judge them for adultery? Would my participation have made it less of a sin?

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There is no greater pain than the loss of one’s soul. Psychosis. Schizophrenia. Whatever. What I experienced seven years ago was more than mere mental illness. Mine was a spiritual baptism of fire that great prophets throughout time prophesied of. My dark night was not mental illness.

As the Holy Spirit washed the ignorance of my psyche clean and burned the chaff from how I was viewing life, I walked in misery, just wanting to die, from 125th Street in Harlem all the way downtown to the Upper East side, where I screamed ‘the end is near’ towards the windows of the rich above me. I tossed torn flip flops into a mesh-metal city garbage pail and walked barefoot until blood covered my feet .Eventually I made it to the Rambles; the gay cruise section of Central Park, where homosexuals go at night to release themselves, like gods who shed their pain upon humanity.

The entire town seemed like a giant whore house, to one, like me, with a lost mind. I had the balls to go cruising the rambles when I was ‘manic’. The days of pure lust and mania had ended though. No longer did sex matter.

I was having a vision and it was that of the end of time; yet city dwellers all around me, even in the bushes of the Rambles could not ‘see’ what it was that I saw that night with bloody feet, from walking the hard pavement more than fifty blocks, out of my mind, just trying to get it all to stop.

The racing thoughts.

So much worry. Endless dread.

Worry all the time.

No way to stop it.

It had a mind of its own, the worry.

It sounds mentally unhealthy to claim that “one was one with God,” but I do, no matter what was written in my chart from the psychiatric ward where I was held prisoner for well over a month.What happened to my mind when Shawn died was a fasting of sorts. I was transformed by my basic belief in God during such a trying time.

That is the only reason I am here to write about it. What I experienced would have been considered ‘demon possessed’ in New Testament Standards. Just look what I did– shoved a cell phone out of the hand of an innocent white woman who was in my way and getting on my nerves that day. Walking too slow. God was calling. New York is so cool. No arrest. The woman just screamed at me and called me a “Fucking Jerk”– still was time to save them before the demons got to them through those phones. What was it about those phones? I was convinced that they were transmitting intrusive thoughts into my heads with all their cell phones. I didn’t have one– was just crazy, walking barefoot on hot New York City pavement.

What was I doing anyway? Going out to a dance club two days after my lover died, looking for sex with total strangers? I thought it would take away my pain, but it was then that the demons came with the Holy Spirit sheltering me from the wrath being inflicted upon the body of a sexually tortured savior.

Is is no wonder to me now why Shawn haunted me from beyond– casuing me to lose my mind. The black stranger from the club who brought me to his house was my disciple. He had a roommate and wanted to share and I was cool with that.

They made me so hot inside. Couldn’t get enough of them. All night they took turns making love to me, just as Shawn once had. There were moments when I was most certain that he was back there with them– surely there were three. They all feel different. I kept thinking the men might be raping me, but I loved them too much for that, and they too were into me. They couldn’t make me bleed back there though. Couldn’t. Took too many in my day. That turned them on. Kept taking turns, fucking me.

Kept telling them to keep them up and take turns when one started getting tired. Guiding them like the lost sheep they were, into me. That drug? The salvation. God. The bloody feet. When I left that apartment I walked around for days, afraid to go home, ashamed of how I had dishonored my dead lover. They had a business card with a tiny wite baby printed next to a web site, for fans to particpate in future escapes if necessary. I wanted to go back to them and carried that card around for days, barefoot, wondering if indeed they got me pregnant. It felt like it. I didn’t want to eat. Just keep feeling their warm seeds inside of me.

Shoved it in his face.

He was dead but I wasn’t.

Still needed more dick.

Wasn’t going to spend eternity like this– a widow.

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Stem Cell Research

Seed engineering, like stem-cell research, may alter the very nature of nature. Despite good intentions, there is always an equal and opposite reaction in nature. Science is altering the seed of man. Let us hope that tomorrow, man is not born with multiple heads.

Last summer, a pack of hybrid sunflower seeds was placed in the warm soil of Brooklyn. Black and white shells encrusted with edible pods were scattered within graffiti rows, next to pieces of glass from shattered beer bottles and other artifacts from generations that passed through the ghetto and spent time in back lots and yards.

The seeds were genetically engineered as – hybrids– and produced sunflowers eight feet tall with giant heads, like that of man.

Not all harvested seeds were eaten during the winter of last year. Some were planted again in the warm, dark soils of Kings County; no longer hybrid seeds, but containing the genetic map of a man- made stem.

 

The plants grew taller– almost nine feet the second year– but multiple heads, tiny flowers, bloom at ten-feet heights, rather than one big head.

Perfect for squirrels, the deformed hybrid plants serve a new purpose. They bow their heads and are eaten as if by bushy-tailed bumble bees in the garden that never sleeps.

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Tongue Tied Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin was a member of the Wasilla Assembly of God Holy Trinity Church for twenty-years.

The political diva turned her back to the Holy Spirit just to run for office and changed worship venues. Obama did the same. We all have backslidden, but very few have committed the sin that cannot be forgiven– blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Tongue- tied in spirit, those in Palin’s denomination spoke in tongues. Media has attempted to associate her religious associations to that of Obama’s, but Pentecostal’s are nothing like other Protestants. I have been blessed to know many Pentecostalist in life and can attest that there is nothing about their spirits that should prevent them from becoming great leaders. I trust them with all my heart. They were my best friends in life–my friends of childhood.

 
In Three Springs, everyone was religious; even the kids. In high school, members of the Rocket chorus banded together to form a traveling Sunday school choir–an Amy Grant song- singing, musical rock band that went from church to church in rural Pennsylvania. The group was in no way sponsored by the Board of Education, but we Jesus- freaked adolescents did it from our hearts, and we all loved the stage and the highschool musicals that we performed in– Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel and the Music Man. I joined the Christian rock group because my best friend, Dana Scott, who I happened to have a terrible crush on at the time, was in “Sonshine”.

Pentecostal churches were my favorite to perform in. Although I was never offered solos, I was invited to sing as back- up, in the larger choir. The Baptist church I attended in Three Springs was fortunate to have thirty members in attendance, including seven from my own family on any given Sunday morning, but in Palin-Scott like Pentecostal worship halls, the Holy Spirit set me on fire. It was in one of those churches where I was first ‘opened’ to what I at the time, determined to be the possession of the spirit of God into my very soul. It’s not seen in the open, that’s what I realized. It was internal– the tiny fire of God– the spark that lights us all if we only stop to believe. I saw the truth in that huge Pentecostal church when I was singing with Dana Scott and Sonshine.

I took Dana to the prom in the tenth grade. She was a member of that church. I had to listen to promises of purity at wedlock. She had a solo that day in church. I never believed in speaking in tongues until I heard her sing– her voice was like that of God.

Although my sexual attraction to her was not intense at all, if ever there was a woman who I wanted to marry, it was Dana– the brown hair and brown eyed girl who could sing and move my very soul. I poked fun of her at musical practice when I learned she “spoke in tongues” from other members of Sonshine who just so happen not to have lead roles as big as mine.

“Once saved, always saved, Dana,” I joked as we stood backstage, waiting our cue to go back on stage. I was playing the part of Cornelious Hackle and she was Millie, the hat lady. “You don’t really believe people speak in tongues do you? Salvation is not that hard. Once saved always saved,” I reminded her.

“Sometimes you make me so mad,” She snipped.

I didn’t mean to say the wrong thing.

“Never mind, Charles. Your soul is growing, still. I must love you for what it’s worth. That I must do.”

It was difficult singing “Sunday Clothes” during the rehearsal.

Like Dana Scott, Pentecostal’s claim to take possession of the Holy Spirit, using their bodies as mediums, sending forth messages from the holy one. Leaders of many Christian denominations believe that in order to certify the holy act of tongue-speaking was true and not from Satan, a church body must put forth a member to the congregation, one who is able to interpret what is being ‘channeled’. I thought for sure Dana Scott would speak in tongues the Sunday I sang at her church as a member of ‘Sonshine’, but she didn’t. There were no strange languages and interpreter pastors nearby to reiterate to an audience what is being “channeled” to them. My snide back stage remark during practice for ‘Hello, Dolly” caused trouble in God’s eyes, I assumed. “Why ain’t Dana talking in tongues after that incredible solo,” I asked myself, not giving her credit for hitting a high A flat without even blinking.

It is no wonder why Dana didn’t want to prove anything spiritual to me. She must have known I was gay like many other members of Sonshine. I wanted to see the tongue twisting for myself though. I hoped that the lord would show me a miracle, but my unbelief was my loss. Dana wouldn’t give me the time of day after my remarks, so I turned officially gay.

I wanted to believe. But as any good pastor will tell a seeker in regards to tongue speaking and being a homosexual; the miracle is not performed before non-believers. Perhaps that’s why the spirit of speaking in tongues did not enter Dana that Sunday, nor will it enter Obama this November. I was a non-believer.

Palin looks so much like my highschool friend that I’m almost tempted to post Dana’s photograph from the yearbook here in this forum next to Palin’s. I just may vote Republican this year.

Like CNN, I have poked fun at Christians who claim to have powers to cast out demons and heal by the laying of hands, but I have been forgiven. Trust me, Larry King, I learned the hard way that what I report in mockery in regards to the Holy Spirit is never forgiven.

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