Saturday, April 24, 2010

Getting Out of Hock . . .

This past week can only be described as having been pure hell; and it is not over yet, will be working again Saturday and Sunday too. I was given a tiny little whisk broom and a dustpan, and asked to sweep up all of the ashes from that ash-hole of a volcano in Iceland. It is slow and tedious work. What I really need are snowplows and giant vacuum cleaners, but no, just me and my little broom against twenty trillion tons of cinders. It may take a while to get back to normal. And I'm missing you all. Well, we may be a little down, but we're not out for the count, hopefully soon things will return to normal, and then visits to your blogs will resume. Thanks for your patience and understanding . . .
It has been a little while since I last posted a poem; for some unfathomable reason this one surfaced from the cesspool, errrr, the archives this morning after a long and grueling night at the ash factory . . .
. . . . . .Pawned
Weary of financial woes
Scratched my head and wiggled my toes
Searching for an answer
Tired of the mounting bills
Wishing I could stop
A sudden notion hit me
Like a draft of magic potion
Why not simply cut out my heart
And take it to the pawn shop ?
It is surely worth a fortune
With its four chambers
That never miss a beat
Miraculous valves
Muscles that pump
Must be worth
At least a cool million
And if that is not enough
Then why not my brain
With all of the riches
The damn thing contains
The pawn shop should pay
Through the nose
To their very last dollar
This brain has seen
The David in Florence
The Sistine Chapel
The Liberty Bell and the Mona Lisa
The Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean
University trained and well maintained
There is no doubt
This is a top dollar brain
And living without it
Would be a life with less pain
What else could I pawn then ?
No matter how much you earn
It is never enough
Maybe my eyes
These miraculous eyes
Crystal balls
Presenting visions
Transforming reality
Maybe my lungs
Just reach down my throat
Pull them out like broccoli
With their magical ability
To extract oxygen from the air
Who needs to go on breathing
Anyway ?
Trade in my liver
Trade in my bones
The marrow you know
Is quite good boiled on toast
Cold cash for my kidneys
And all of their stones
I know I’ll sleep easy
In fact I’m starting to doze
Once I’m entirely pawned
That will put an end
To these financial woes
The only question remaining
It occurs to me with a shock
Is how the hell will I ever
Be able to get myself out of hock ?
And if I ever could get myself out of hock, I'd be off to go looking again for my dream house, a suitable place to spend the rest of my days . . . found this candidate a while back. You gotta love the cedar shake siding, sets my knees to shaking . . .







Owen said...

Quite a while back English Rider commented about one of my dream houses that it looked more like a "burner downer" than a "fixer upper"... I laughed and laughed, and think of that lovely option often. This place would probably burn down in about two minutes if it ever caught fire, which I hope it never will... I'll take it "as is", and keep it that way...

Lynne with an e said...

Great shakes! Textures that make me quake in my boots! And such a pleasing movement in the lines of the house. Excellent find. If you moved in there you wouldn't have to pawn your organs. It occurs to me that you did keep at least one body part for yourself, however. But I'm too well bred to mention which part.

See what's happened to my mind as a result of having had to live with your doggy-stylings on my sideboard for the past several days??!!

Ah well, you always leave us panting for more.

Jilly said...

Adore the house! And laughed so much at you sweeping up the volcano! Hope you get your dream house one day...and that it doesn't burn down.

Steve said...

I agree with louciao - what incredible textures. I actually want to stroke my monitor screen... usually only dodgy internet sites make me want to do that...

Hope you survive the weekend and get some R&R time soon!

The Pliers said...

I feel your pain, bro'.

The only solution I know of is to persist, not looking up, until the last cinder has been consigned to the consignee...

But as a prize upon which to keep your photographic eyes, the Cartier-Bresson Foundation is going to have an Irving Penn show (I saw it in October '09 at the Getty in LA) that is worth its weight in silver. Perhaps you can call in sick and we can call in some photographically-minded friends for an outing, n'est-ce pas?

French Fancy... said...

I loved your poem with the rhymes, half rhymes, slant rhymes etc. You have a real gift, Owen.

Karine A said...

les cendres de ce sacré volcan ne t'ont dont pas enseveli, mais tu ne sembles pas en grande forme...
Le comble quand même que les avions sont au sol, et tu as plus de boulot encore...
Sur tes épaules, tout le fret?
amitié; et .. tiens bon !

CiCi said...

You have plenty of firewood to keep you warm. Great pictures. Funny poem. You do have a great sense of humor.

Catherine said...

It is a Mermaid House - it has scales!! those cedar shingles are indeed something else...keep sweeping Cinders!!

Stickup Artist said...

Oh Owen, those pix are absolutely beautiful and the poem is awesome. The last line is so funny. But you already had me at the "ash-hole" of a volcano! Your being armed with a whisk broom and dustbin against a mess that brought airlines to a complete halt over an entire continent made me think of Sisyphus.

Deborah said...

That is a terrific poem, Owen. Wonderful, really, with a fabulous ending.
Sorry to hear about your ash woes - but happy for a new metaphor. Hope things settle soon!

Clytie said...

Yeah you had me with the "ash-hole" of a volcano as well. Your poem is very well written, but scary. The parts of me are worth more than the sum?

As for your dream house ... You could put away the whisk broom and fix those shakes - with a chunk of cedar tree and a steak knife!!!

Amy said...

That is a perfect house. It just needs the tinest bit of structural support added.

Hope things free up for you soon, Owen. Hang in. Want me to ship you a bigger broom? :)

The Sagittarian said...

Yup, trust sister Lynne to be in fiorst with her comment about the 'bits' you had left....loved the old house, it looked rather like it has a shabby old coat on!

Owen said...

Dear Lynne, I guess you must be meaning my stomach... the road to a man's heart, and all that ? You are right, I do so love to eat that I couldn't live without my stomach ! If not that, then I'm sure I don't know...

At the point in time when I wrote this little ditty, the practice of people selling kidneys on the black market hadn't been publicized yet, but it is appalling to think that people actually do go and "pawn" some of their bodies... and once the kidney is sold, I guess it's hard to reverse the process...

So, I can see that posting those delightfully dubious doggy photos may have been an error if they have caused debauchery in anyone's previously pristine and principalled intellect... I will keep that in mind before posting any others of that ilk...

Owen said...

Hi Jilly, Actually I think if one day I do find the dream house of all dream houses, it will probably be in southern France somewhere, and made out of stone... far less chance that way of having it burn down...

Owen said...

Dear Steve, I can see that, as with Louciao, the previous post about certain canines' natural springtime inclinations has had an influence on your previously proper mind... be careful my friend or you may soon be needing one of those five week treatment sessions like the one Tiger Woods shelled out thousands of dollars for, where they sit in a circle and recite, "I will not stroke the computer screen, I will not stroke the computer screen"... and so forth...

Owen said...

Hiya Pliers !
Perserverance is the keyword these days... nose to the grindstone and press on, onwards through the fog !

Many thanks for the tip about the Irving Penn show, I shall surely keep an eye out for it, and should you happen to be in town, why, we could do another outing like the last one, which was too much fun... which reminds me, I am going to do a post about the other day... perhaps the next post in fact. Stay tuned... and hope all is falling into place in le White...

Bisoux and bonjour à Jean !

Owen said...

Dear FF, many many thanks indeed, alot of modern poetry doesn't rhyme much anymore, but I always loved pieces with a rhythm and a few rhymes, even slanted ones. My love affair with poems started around age ten or so when we had to memorize a poem for a school class, I chose The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes...

Owen said...

Bonjour Karine,
Et oui, les avions sont restés au sol pendant quatre jours, et du coup pendant ce temps rien ne bougé, et des accumulations restaient en attente pour venir, et puis mardi les vannes sont rouvertes, et l'inondation de ratrappage continue encore ce weekend... la folie ! Mais bon, j'espère la semaine prochaine qu'il y aura un retour au "normal"... merci en tout cas pour... pour ce gentil petit mot...

Owen said...

Hi TechnoB, That is an impressive pile of firewood they had there, no ? I hope they had a fireplace or woodstove big enough to handle those logs !

Owen said...

Catherine, still sweeping for all I'm worth, but the cinders contintue to rain down from the sky ! Such is life...

Owen said...

Hey Stickup... Sisyphus indeed, every day that boulder rolls back down the hill... and more cinders fall... Amazing how much from ancient Greek mythology still touches our lives today...

Nevine Sultan said...

Owen, I would take that house as is, too, and keep my fingers crossed it holds its own. Your words haunt, Owen. They come from truth, always from the gut. Simple and truthful... nothing to try and figure out. And your photos are lonesome... black and white and grey. But the final product is magnificent, as always. The final product is art! I would recognize one of your photos or poems anywhere, Owen.

Hey, try to take it easy at work. Look who's talking. I always feel like I'm dead by the time Friday evening comes around. I often consider just quitting. It's that bad... But, we all have to work. We just shouldn't kill ourselves doing it. I wish you as relaxing a Sunday as you can muster, Owen. Try to kick back, at some point, even for a few minutes, and enjoy a glass of wine. And, just from me, please don't stress while making your rounds. I mean, I love your every visit, but I don't want you to stress yourself out trying to make it. Really... Okay?


Owen said...

Hi Deborah, many thanks, and I hope so too ! If this goes on much longer, the boulder is going to roll right over me one of these days...

Owen said...

Hi Clytie, well, maybe it could be fixed, but holy cow, it would take a heck of a long time I fear, and would require a true labor of love... As for the parts worth more than the sum... interesting thought... Actually, I guess it's better to just give the parts away once one no longer needs them. If someone else could run for a few more miles with any cast-offs from my collection when I'm no longer needing them, I guess that would be a good thing...

Owen said...

Amy, you are too nice ! Yes indeed, I need one of those big huge street sweeper machine brooms that rotates in circles, one of the twenty ton size... can you ship me one ???

Oh, and you are right about the house, just needs a few toothpicks glued on here and there to shore it back up again...

Owen said...

Dearest sister Saj, I guess you mean "bits and pieces" ? Is that the english expression? Do they say that in NZ too ? Yeah, that Lynne, ain't she wonderful ? She can always be counted on to blurt out the first fabulous thing that crosses her previously-pristine-but-now-slightly-prurient-mind, which became that way because of some funny dog photos apparently... listen, maybe if you give her a good dose of a Tuesday tipple, she'll start to get back to normal... ?

And yes, a very threadbare coat that house has...

English Rider said...

I'd love to take credit for saying that. You may be right, but I don't remember and I don't want to steal the glory of another.
That said, I "feel" your poem. At least you have a plan- B :)

clo said...

coucou matinal dominical cher Owen...
alors c'est la maison ou tu passes tes weekends ou caches tu là une sorciere qui prepare pour toi des tisanes magiques...en tous cas elle est parfaite j'adore ces petites "tuiles" de bois qui recouvrent les murs...une belle rencontre Owen..
passes un bon reposes toi bien...
bises bises du sud ou il pleut ...mais oui encore...:o)

Plum' said...

Bonjour Owen,
Quelle maison magique !
La tuiles rongées par le temps me font penser à la texture de certains champignons des bois...
Je te souhaite une bonne semaine et espère que la folie ambiante au travail va peu à peu se calmer...

ladydi said...

I was wondering how the volcanic ash was affecting your line of work. Now I know. Sympathy from NE Ohio.
I hope things get better for you. Sometimes your poetry scares me.

Anonymous said...

Love the poem. Hope all goes well for you in the coming weeks.

Jess said...

I was a victim of that dratted Dust Cloud too. Flight cancelled by airline, couldn't get home, had to take many trains journeys over many days. One joyful thing: had an unplanned day in Paris! (Got to look on the bright side haven't you?) ;o)

jeff said...

Mon ami,
tes photos sont superbes !
Ce noir et blanc et ces cadrages sont réalisés de main de maître !
Ce toit est magnifique... mais tu persistes dans tes textes en anglais ! Aucun rapport... je sais !...(8[
Heureusement que tu es un sacré photographe ! Non mais c'est vrai Owen ! j'en ai plein le c.. de me taper les traducteurs pour essayer de te lire... et je sais que, en plus, tes textes sont toujours soit décapants, soit d'un humour irrésistible, soit d'une très belle couleur poétique !
Amis blogueurs, je vous invite à signer la pétition que je vais faire circuler pour que mon pixpot nous mettent quelques mots de frenchies...:)

Ciao amigo...:)
'Toute manière, ils sont presque tous british tous ceux qui viennent ici ! Je ne compte pas faire un tabac avec cette pétition ! ! !
A plous...

Owen said...

Hi English... well, I may be mis-remembering, you know, at my age, sometimes the neurons misconnect... I even went looking for the comment in question, but can't seem to lay my finger on it. But I did find another one you left about a year ago on a ruined chateau that had inside rooms in disrepair and graffiti, where you said something to the effect of, "Owen, you soooo don't get it, people love the distressed look these days, it's just a question of marketing...", and you had me laughing out loud again like the first time...

Owen said...

Salut Chère Clo !

Enfin je vais prendre une journée de repos lundi, après l'enfer... Et tu as certainement raison, voici l'endroit de refuge quand je souhaite me cacher du monde entier pour perfectionner les tisanes...
C'est joli le bois très ancien, travaillé par le vent, la pluie, le froid, le soleil... j'adore.

Une bonne semaine à toi Clo...

Owen said...

Hi K'line, merci merci merci, et oui, j'espère que tout va se calmer un peu, car ça commence à bien faire... au lieu de boulot metro dodo cette semaine c'était : boulot boulot boulot boulot dodo boulot boulot boulot boulot boulot do (moitié dodo) boulot boulot boulot boulot boulot boulot do boulot boulot boulot boulot boulot etc...
Que le volcan fasse un gros dodo pendant 200 ans au moins...

Owen said...

Hi Di !
Hope all is well in Ohio... Only now are we starting to get back to anything like normal, it's been sheer and utter madness all week long...

Ummm, the poems should be read with a pinch of salt, place tongue in cheek, and smile broadly at your cousin's strange sense of humor... what do expect from the son of an anatomy professor ??? Nothing to be frightened of... What frightens me is reading the newspaper !

Owen said...

Hi Dedene, many many thanks, things can only get better... we've seen the worst (I hope!)

Owen said...

Hi Jessie, What an incredible mess one little volcano caused ! I sure hope the bigger one next door to Eyjaffjallajokull doesn't wake up ! The United Kingdom could get ashed under... But at least you made it back in time for your daughters birthday... the ten day trip must have been a bit stressful !

Owen said...

Ah sacré Jeff,
La vie est dure n'est-ce pas? C'est vrai, l'idéal serait que je traduis toujours, comme certains blogs que j'admire bcp, mais c'est toujours le temps qui presse, et parfois la crainte que surtout des vers pourraient perdre bcp en traduction... mon français, comme tu sais, n'est pas parfait non plus, je marche comme un mec sur béquilles parfois... en sautillant, avec le bon mot qui m'échappe...

Mais bon, comme tu as fais circuler une pétition, je vais essayer... alors...

En gros, la semaine dernière c'était chaudissime grace à ce bordel de volcan qui nous à couvert de cendres, et on m'a donné qu'un tout petit balai et une minuscule pelle pour nettoyer tout cela, quand en fait il me fallait des déblayeuses et des aspirateurs géants...

Vendus au Preteur sur Gage

Fatigué des soucis d'argent
J'ai gratté la tête et bougé les orteils
Cherchant une solution
Fatigué des factures qui s'empilent
Désirant que tout cela pourrait s'arrêter
Tout d'un coup une notion m'a pris
Comme une gorgée de tisane magique
Pourquoi pas simplement me découper le coeur
Et l'amener au mont de piété
Ca vaut surement une fortune
Ce coeur avec ses quatres chambres
Qui ne loupe jamais un battement
Ses soupapes miraculeuses
Ces muscles qui pompent
Cela doit valoir
Au moins un million facile

Et si ça c'est pas assez
Pourquoi pas mon cerveau
Avec toutes ses richesses
Le merdier contient
Un preteur sur gages devrait payer
Très cher, par le nez,
Jusqu'à son dernier dollar
Ce cerveau a vu
Le David à Florence
La Chapelle Sixtine
La Cloche Liberté, la Joconde
L'Atlantique, Pacifique, Méditerranée
Formé en université et bien maintenu
Il n'y a pas de doute
Ce cerveau vaut le prix fort
Et vivre sans
Serait une vie moins douloureuse

Que pourrais-je déposer d'autre alors?
Peu importe combien on gagne
Ce n'est jamais assez
Peut-être mes yeux ?
Ces yeux miraculeux
Des boules en cristalle
Qui présentent des visions
Qui transforment la réalité
Peut-être mes poumons
Simplement descendre ma main
Dans la gorge
Les arracher comme des broccolis
Avec leur habilité magique
D'extraire l'oxygene de l'air
Qui a besoin de continuer à respirer
En tout cas ?

Echanger mon foie
Echanger mes os
Le moelle tu sais
C'est délicieux bouilli
Est servi sur des toasts
Cash froid pour mes reins
Et toutes leurs pierres
Je vais dormir tranquillement
En fait je m'endors déjà
Une fois que j'ai tout vendu
Cela va mettre fin
A ces soucis d'argent

La seule question qui reste
Cela me revient avec un choc
C'est mais bon dieu
Comment je pourrais un jour
Repayer le preteur
Pour me racheter ?


Et puis voila, je disais si jamais je suis arrivé un jour à me racheter et me remettre debout, bah, je partirais à la recherche de ma maison de reve, que je cherche depuis belle lurette... et avec ce candidat, dans les photos, les murs de cette maison me fait trembler de plaisir...

Voilà mon ami, est-ce que c'est plus clair maintenant ??? Je ne promets pas que je pourrais toujours traduire, mais tu sais, je serais triste si tu ne revenais plus à cause d'un simple manque de traduction... Alors, après tout ce travail, et moi dans un état de fatigue bien avancé... tu m'offres une tise ???
Ah, le mont de piété... quelle idée...

Nathalie H.D. said...

Même pas solidaire, j'ai pas signé la pétition de Jeff, j'ai lu en anglais. Découpe pas ton petit coeur en quatre Owen, garde-le entier pour ta grenouille, tes grenouillettes et les gens que tu aimes. Pour te racheter, tu as tout traduit, bel effort personnel, bravo ! J'espère que Jeff appréciera :-)

Ton cabanon est génial.
Le bois et ses ondulations ont pris une vie à eux, vagues du temps qui ont passé sur la maison.

Quant au nuage de cendres, bon courage... how about sweeping it all under the carpet with your little broom, you'd be finished faster ! LOL

Owen said...

Ah Nathalie, you are so funny... yes, excellent idea, we'll just sweep it all under a magic carpet ! The problem with sweeping things under the carpet is that sooner or later they come back to haunt you...

And perhaps you recognized yourself in the blogs that I admire who translate into both French and English... actually you and Catherine are about the only two I know of who do so...

But for Jeff, of course I'd go to great lengths...

Et bien content si cette petite maison en bois t'a plu, c'était lors d'un voyage vers le grand nord des US, l'état de Maine, puis traversé la frontière Canadienne, c'était par là...

Je dirais bon weekend, mais le weekend est presque fini, donc bonne semaine... Et d'ailleurs, que fais-tu debout à cette heure là ?!? Tu n'es pas un peu hibou ?

James said...

Very nice shots Owen. I love places like that. When ever I see one my heart starts beating faster and my shutter finger starts to twitch.

:: Karine :: said...

hello hello owen adoré !

j'ose à peine me montrer ici tellement j'ai honte :-) mais tant pis, j'y vais !

je constate que tout cela t'a bien chamboulé owen mais le calme est revenu et tu dois te sentir soulagé maintenant.

tes photos sont empreintes de poésie et d'harmonie malgré la porte déstabilisée, les fenêtres clouées et le bardage qui se fait la malle !
était-ce la maison des trois ours où boucle d'or aimait à boire la soupe ?

tu sais owen ne cherche pas trop ta maison de rêve, elle existe certainement mais surtout dans ton coeur. Partout où tu seras heureux, tu seras dans ta maison de rêve.

merci mille fois pour tes messages, ton amitié et tout le reste.

je t'embrasse tendrement et t'envoie un nuage de bisous

Owen said...

I fear we must both have the same neuro-physiological anatomical anomaly then... for I too, when I see a place like this, I get a constricted feeling in my chest and begin to hyperventilate while the pulse rate soars and the heartbeat palpitates, sweat breaks out, visual acuity sharpens dramatically, the brain empties of all but images received and processed, muscle spasms occur in shutter finger as one fumbles for the camera and drops the lens cap and begins composing and calculating f-stops and shutter speed combinations geared to offer the desired effects of clarity or lack of such... while panting heavily and experiencing a sort of euphoria rarely equalled by any other activity... Ah yes, that is the passion of photography, I can see you know it well...

Owen said...

Bonjour Karine !

Effectivement, enfin une journée de repos aujourd'hui, et les choses vont mille fois mieux, et encore mieux en lisant ton message plein de gentilles et tendres attentions... Mais pourquoi tu aurais honte ??? Mais non mais non, il y'a pas de raison :-)

Et oui, bien sûr la maison de reve est ici, là où j'habite avec la grenouille et les grenouillettes, j'ai une chance folle, d'avoir pu trouvé dans un pays loin du pays de naissance, un tel havre de paix et d'amour... et quelle chance aussi d'avoir la compagnie de quelques compagnons et compagnonnes de route tellement sympas dans cet autre pays de blogs...

Et je vois que ce nuage de bisoux est arrivé, car il y en avait tellement que le ciel s'est couvert en cette fin d'après midi ici... merci Karine ! On ne peut que sourire et sourire et sourire quand tu passes...

Owen said...

Hey Nevine, ah, and I just figured out that you slipped in there while I was answering comments the other night and I missed it... silly me... I don't know what to say, you have the gift of leaving me tongue-tied like a teenager. But I do appreciate profoundly...

And of course you are right about not letting work get out of control, but the situation this past week really was quite extraordinary, the worst crisis in the air transport business since 9-11, and bigger by far here in Europe. But we are almost out of the woods now, things should be back to normal this coming week. Hope to never see anything like it again. And funny, someone was on my page today and their location came up as "Paris, Texas" on my traffic feed gadget... that wasn't you by any chance, was it ??? Guess Paris is a ways from San Antone... In any case, take care, bisoux...