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Limericist Traveling at the Speed of Life

Limericist Traveling at the Speed of Life

Repent Harlequin! said the TicktockMan-Ellison

Millions of blogs, and mine is hidden in the anonymous fray of internet monotony. I think I like it that way. I am writing to air out. I have much to say, but maybe nothing to anyone but me. That is how it seems. Maybe someone will read my ramblings one day. “I just read some of Limericist’s blog and ‘whew’ he’s all over the place… Troubling, yes, quite troubling.” But being myself, as troubling to some (and myself), is why I write here.

How did I get the nickname Limericist? I took it when I was on MySpace. What a season that was! I never did so much writing in my life. I let it all hang out… And some of the junk I wrote, I want to dump into forgetful oblivion. Occasionally, I did seem to have a flare of creativity. I was discovering my voice.

What does the word limericist mean? For some reason, it’s not in many dictionaries. Of course, it is someone who writes limericks. A limerick is a bawdy rhyme. I have read and written some shocking limericks. I sometimes find my thinking gravitating to limericks. Do I need therapy? Okay, maybe I’m just another kooky person… I own me, I agree.

I remember a short story written by Harlan Ellison called The Harlequin. In the story, a big timekeeping machine slavishly regulates everyone. Humans became the machine that regulated them. The world leadership demanded uniformity. The hive-mind ruled.

The Harlequin is a story of civil disobedience by a person who pours colored jellybeans over everyone. He tries to encourage them to stop following the timekeeper like a bunch of brainless lemmings. He shouts at them with a bullhorn. Of course, the timekeeper foreman called The TicktockMan commands the Harlequin ‘repent‘ of his time-wasting ways. It is the story of resistance to galling authority. I use the meme of the Limericist similarly. I break with conformity because I’m deplorably irregular, even in my regularity.

At this time of social, cultural, and civil upheaval, consider this quote…

“The mass of men serves the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases, there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense, but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones, and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purposes as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the Devil, without intending it, as God. A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.“
–– Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience.

 

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2014 in About Me

 

The Lizard of Id

Ideas lit humans &
ideologies launched Scud missiles.

Explosive plastic words
constructed mouse enemies to roar.

They talk, but why listen?

The more they are spoken of,
their magic-bean giantism
swells grandiose.

Bespectacled visionaries are blind,
replacing their eyes with logs.

They have no ears to see, &
no eyes to hear.

Cloned thoughts birthed
a numbed-down race
of new-world, robotic, drones.

Their delivery was “necessary,”
collateral damage.

“For after all, isn’t it time
for an evolutionary leap?”

The announcement went:
“Send us your sons and daughters.”

Assumptions clanked along, having
sound-dampening spinners rigged
to make them somewhat subtle.

Questioning became a capital
offense.

Idealism crunched upturned smiling skulls
as it slithered by with claws and talons.

Lies sprayed like pit-venom,
shouting, “Saw off the offending limb.
Let’s be globally unchallenged.”

The idea wasn’t new but had re-released
the ancient beast from the id,
twisting heads all around.

,

Limericist, 2015

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2021 in Poetry

 

The Heart of a Tree

Eyes green, flecked with orange, reflect the cornfields we once walked. Hand in hand, on a September evening, we walked for miles. We stopped beneath a lonely tree, the only witness of our forbidden kiss.

Her skin and hair, the forest’s fresh fragrance,
& the stateliness of the oak, her rustic beauty.
Her weather-lined face was beautiful beyond words.

She was every season: Autumn’s moon, Winter’s snuggle, Spring’s dance, Summer’s sexy siestas.

A Cherokee maiden, we met between the White River forks by the Brown County forest. We took off our shoes, but I was a tenderfoot. She often went barefoot, so we giggled together about her “Fred Flintstone feet,” while frolicking in the golden fall leaves, lip-locked.

Her dream was to have her own garden with one who would honor and share the fruit of her flowering heart.
Did you ever find your flower bed? I hoped, one day, to be your co-gardener,
but life happened
and then death.

There’s a tree atop Squaw Rock Hill. I climb to see the inscription on it
and sigh.

,

Limericist, 2009/2021

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2021 in Poetry

 

On The Loose

Just hang-in a little bit longer.
Enjoy personal freedom. Be
you. But is this allowed?

No, cutter outlawed.

Yeah, hear these creatures too?
Worship pain. Love to fillet. You
know the creeps. Love to cut down,
correct, and “critique,” one-up,
pontificate.

They shave away, paring off
quivering flesh, gloating,
noses turned up. Pretend
they’re your BFF.

When they’re done (and here’s the test) you
feel like a floater in the bowl.

But I’d fly away. No prone posturing
inviting their knife.
I’m not their sub. I won’t take it.
Instead, choose to cut
their noose’s taut knot, & be YOU
on the loose.

Limericist, 2021

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2021 in Poetry

 

Prismatic

Sparkle-prisms paint my room
the plus-sign of the Cross.
Crystal enthrones my window’s sill
minding of gain & loss.
Yes, the fussers fuss their fuss.
Lost, but I
trust.

.

Limericist, 2015/2021

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2021 in Poetry

 

Vice Grips

Regrets pierce, nerves scream their needles poke voodoo-like. The muscle pumps erratic, shattered, numbed. Defibrillate again to feel one excruciating wish.

Leakage from unhealed rips. Shock and awe overcome. Instant replay replays again. The prognosis? I don’t accept it. He-said, she-said guide the insane scalpel.

Drained, I sink. Mortal, I die. Futile efforts to pay for a murky past. Stuck in looping pain, being killed inches each day by this butcher. Sliced and diced by the what-ifs, wishing things remained as they once were. What if I could go back and fix them? Would I? Deceive me, please! Convince the impossible is plausible. I want… No, I don’t…

Closet-skeletons beg me to walk them back. Their carmine smeared door, a Pandora’s box, where the hacking continues in the slaughterhouse of my coddled self-pity. It’s a vicious cycle,
this vice of guilt.

Limericist, 2015/2021

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2021 in Poetry

 

To Baggie, or Not to Baggie

Okay,
down 7 or 8 steps to
the Murphy zone, she dips.
“Good Murphy-dog, I coo.”
Happen, a different outcome,
I say, “Good Murphy-dog, you
did your business. Good girl!”

Yes, I know I should be
a good human too. Do! When you
need to. If the outcome stinks,
oh well. The moral: the business
of living can be a nasty mess.
Murphy wiggle-waggles when
I praise her. But I still have to
bag it.

Okay, lemme see,
The Elements of Poetry – by me:
I tend to trample my tropes
and muddle my meter. I alliterate
illiterately. My iambic pentameters
tend to have 7 lame legs.
My rhyming is an untamed
1-dimensional shame.
I still don’t know what a meme is.
You can toss memes, It seems?

Okay. Truth be told. I don’t know
how to bag a poem.

Limericist, 2021

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2021 in Poetry

 

This Morning in Morgantown

Rails clack, the Indiana RR blows
midnight, or after.
History blares brazenly in this town–
Sleepless, sweating, we toss
on a 2-inch foam mat atop
years of green plastic Walmart totes filled
with your broken dreams.

You light up again from your window perch.
Serpentine smoke permeates 3AM
(and me, a non-smoker).
Staring down at dusky Church Street.
Rather plain, the door to Village Apt. 13.
You could’ve heard behind it
“Love is in the Air” and moans of
our lust’s shamelessness.

There, all alone by yourself,
you worked it all out;
wrote yourself down & watched
the traps, snares, and baits
you cunningly set.

You longed for an easy catch to witness
your angels & your ancient dolls
who occupied your apartment prison.
Just to the left of the building,
a Civil War cemetery haunts
directly below your window,
and the long country road flanked
by cornfields for miles walked by us
that autumn star-filled night.

Sunrise arrives with burning, bleary eyes.
I glower at the boisterous tree
that bestirred me,
filled with seven bad blackbirds.

Rattling in the kitchen,
2 scoops of Maxwell House in Mr. Coffee
makes a mild, mellow aroma mingling
with our murky Marlboro meditations
this morning
in Morgantown.

Limericist, 2016

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2021 in Poetry

 

Tribute to Dad

“Be alert, they’re on the move,”
the squawk-box chirps, “Be warned!”
Through clack-clack bursting fiery flak,
his Supermarine droned on.
It’s October 27th, 1941
Above The Battle that must be won.
Hunted by a hound unknown,
on gusts of fate, he’s blown.

It’s said, the Spitfire won the war.
Nimble and sleek, this fighter was;
Winged Rolls-Royce of British lore,
a legend many still adore.

Suddenly, his plane’s out-flanked.
A Messerschmidt flew up, and banked,
the demon stabs his cabin’s hull,
jolting slams against his skull.
the panel instruments go insane,
dowsed with fuel, now he’s aflame
ejected, how? he can’t explain,
aloft, on fire, outside his plane.

On straps, he hangs, charred & seared,
the bird approaches as vision cleared.
It’s coming right at him, why? He knows.
He draws his last breath before he goes.
Managed to flash his signature smile;
He’d make his exit dressed in style,
He saluted the enemy, smiling, midair –
The pilot saluted back but only could stare.

a 6-foot-6 man, with clothing afire,
harnessed and torn, scorched & bleeding,
but for a miracle – his funeral pyre,
rain-clouds quenched him, interceding.
He fainted, covered with his own vomit,
passed through the sky, a smoldering comet.
Descended on Dunkirk, with Nazis awaiting;
four years a prisoner for their hating.

50 years later, dying, he lay
shrapnel scarred from that earlier day,
hemorrhaging inside, the doctors all went
his words as he crashed,
“… I’m in a hell of a predicament…”

Epilogue:

But as he descended
through the cloudy unknown,
was caught up with a smile
that resembled his own.
Loved ones were waiting
to welcome him home.

This is a tribute to my father, Brian G. Hodgkinson Sr. 1914-1999. He flew for the 401 Squadron of the RCAF over The Battle of Britain. He was shot down by the WW2 fighter ace of the Luftwaffe, Adolf Galland. He spent 4 years in German prison camps. After the war, he and my mother became American citizens. They adopted my brother and me in 1960, who were then 3 and 4.

Excerpt from Wikipedia about Adolf Galland:

On the German side, Luftwaffe commander-in-chief Hermann Göring asked Luftwaffe fighter ace Adolf Galland about what he thought about shooting enemy pilots while in their parachutes, even over their own territory. Galland replied that, “I should regard it as murder, Herr Reichsmarschall. I should do everything in my power to disobey such an order”.

Brian Hodgkinson Jr. 2016

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2021 in Poetry

 

The Philosopher’s Stone

The Philosopher’s Stone

The Philosopher Stone has been the quest of many seekers over an approximate span of a thousand years. The Stone has inspired discovery and helped to unlock the secrets of the universe. Reportedly, the Philosopher’s Stone has never been found. 

But I’ve found a map.

Isaac Newton, considered the greatest scientist who ever lived, believed the Philosopher’s Stone existed. Alchemy was his first love, and he wrote more about this than any other topic. Yet he never found the Stone. He even translated the mysterious Emerald Tablet. This tablet was believed to be the secret map leading to the Philosopher’s Stone. Newton also believed that the Hebrew scriptures held clues on how to find it. Being a believer in God, he wrote extensively about the scriptural clues he noticed.

In 1669, alchemist Hennig Brandt accidentally discovered phosphorus while searching for the secret of the Stone. Brandt reasoned that urine, which is gold in color, might hide the secret. He fermented hundreds of gallons of cow urine, then boiled it down to a putrid-smelling paste. What was left behind glowed! Brandt thought he’d found what he sought. Instead, he had discovered phosphorus, the 13th element. Brandt tried to keep his discovery a secret, but others soon replicated what he did. Phosphorus was not gold but helped matchstick makers make mounds of it.

I’m convinced The Philosopher’s Stone has been hidden right under our noses. It is hidden within all of us. The Philosopher’s stone is our capacity to become conscious of Consciousness. Descartes was close when he stated, “I think; therefore I am.” The focus of thought that awakens the inner Philosopher Stone is present-centered awareness. PCA (Present Centered Awareness) is my one-trick-pony. One-point focus reduces our thinking to the here and now. After all, I only ever exist here and now.

Archimedes said that if he had a fulcrum with a lever, he could move the world. Present centered awareness is my fulcrum. This is “the stone the builders rejected” that became the cornerstone. “Christ in me, the hope of glory.” Christ is the transforming Stone. Focusing on the Indwelling Presence is the fulcrum. The lever is trust. Presence is the true fixation of genuine mountain-moving faith. Our thinking must return here and remain.

Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence of God reminds me of how important the Presence is. Nicolas Herman (aka Brother Lawrence) was a Carmelite monk of the 1600s. He discovered the pearl of great price, the Stone. His present-centered awareness brought him to an intimate sense of the Presence. 

Remember, God, said to Moses, “Tell them, I AM that I AM has sent you.” Exod. 3:14 God’s Hebrew name is called the tetragrammaton, the 4-lettered unspeakable Name. It means the One who is present. Focusing on Presence is the Stone that transforms the common into the extraordinary.

We all seek the same things. Whether we are alchemists, scientists, philosophers, or theologians, we seek the Stone. We yearn for the Secret of Life. Scientists have called it The Theory of Everything. Alchemists called it the Philosopher Stone. It makes no difference what you call it. How can we transform our mundane life into a gold-standard one? We can’t, but the Stone can. We seek health, power, and abundance. Jesus said, “I came that you may have life and that to its fullest.” John 10:11 He is the genuine Philosopher Stone. Look at it. Focus. 

I discovered the power of PCA (Present-Centered Awareness) when I was about 7 or 8. We traveled to Canada regularly to see my grandmother and aunties. But it was an 8-hour haul, and I often got carsick. My father would get us a bunch of comic books to keep us occupied. My mom gave me Dramamine so I wouldn’t puke in the car. Sometimes I’d fall asleep. I’d count cars and see how many different license plate locations I could spot. I got bored. “Are we there yet?” would irritate my father into bellowing at me. I’d resume counting and pinching my fidgety brother. Growls and dire warnings were multiplied from the front seat.

I started holding my breath, timing it with my cheapo windup Timex. I could barely go for 30 seconds. But I kept trying and noticed I could extend my time by relaxing in a certain way. Time itself became interesting to me, and I wondered what it was. I began measuring my heartrate too. I noticed that if I took my focus off the secondhand and just relaxed, I could hold my breath longer. I would silently say to myself over and over, “All that matters is now.” I did this in the early 1960s. I didn’t read a book or have a teacher. After a while, I was able to hold my breath for 2 minutes and 45 seconds comfortably! (I don’t recommend anyone try this.) I was able to swim underwater for 3 full lengths of an Olympic sized pool.

I had stumbled across a kind of meditation practice. Present Centered Awareness opened the timeless present (and Presence) to me. To me, this was the map leading to my personal Philosopher’s Stone. 

Almost 50 years later, I enjoy a happy Stoned life (without any substances). We’re all adrift in an ocean of thoughts. Thoughts shape our environment. Thoughts expressed in words and actions transform the environment. By thought, humankind has taken iron ore and turned it into cars. By thought, crude from the earth’s primeval storehouse is changed to energy. By thought, humankind will devise a better energy source that doesn’t contribute to our own destruction. Everything originates with purposeful thinking. Look at a doorknob. Its conical calculated shape fits a hand. Why? Because a person’s thought combined with enough purposeful action to get it done.

I think, therefore I am. Then what I think, I am. Thought, acted upon by words, and purpose, is creative. Though, what precedes thinking is more important. I suggest we could reverse Descartes’ statement. Consider, “I am; therefore, I think.” The key to using the Philosopher’s Stone in our personal experience is being consciously and attentively present with Presence. Awareness of Presence and Being recondition our thinking from harmful to healthful.

When I act, a specific thought is my motive. Things are changed by how we use thoughts. As one said, “Thoughts are things.” Individual thoughts are filled with unseen energetic potential. So are words. When thought births word and action, creation takes place. We end up creating what we focus upon.

Our thought lives are often wasted energy. Our thinking needs to be directed, focused, and acted upon. We generally think too much and do too little. Let us, rather, think less and be more effective. The Stone, the awareness of Presence, stabilizes. Action should stem from a serene sense of being. Production becomes powerful. Action for busy-work sake is energetically wasteful. First, let yourself be aware of your existence here and now. Let thinking flow from a calm sense of being. Feel your “being” here now, while allowing your thinking (label your thoughts as to their nature. “Worry thoughts. Hunger thoughts.” etc.) Reverence yourself because of the very present Being it springs from. Allow thinking because of being present, but focus on being rather than thinking.

Meditation does not focus on doing anything but on awareness of being here, now. The Stone of Presence is for all to personally discover. 

We are told, “stop, and think.” Better to stop and let yourself be. Thinking is always going on, and we don’t need to whip it up. Even when we think we’re thoughtless, we’re not. Some thought is there. Being overly thoughtful can be dangerous. Rather, just label the thought “worry thought” and return to enjoying the moment. If I use my mind to run away with me like a train off its track, I can wreck. If I’m obsessed with thoughts, I burn myself out with manic thinking. Instead, be here now. (I sound like Baba Ram Dass) 

Unquestioned thoughts can easily deceive and destroy. Slowing down my thought process with one-pointed PCA lets me hold my thoughts gently. I also choose to be skeptical of every unquestioned thought. Many of them, may not be my own but programmed into me from other sources. I was very opinionated. I still can be. The difference is that now I hold my ideas with a question mark. No opinion, no matter how right it seems, is worth losing my sense of the Stone of Presence.

I am wrong more than I like to admit. Hardened thoughts, ideas, and opinions end up as embedded judgments in my spirit. These poison us at our core. Prejudices can lodge deep within us undetected. These can be only be dismantled and disarmed by observing the unquestioned ideas that cling to them. Once I admit that I am unsure of an opinion, I can deflate it of its negative energy. Unquestioned thoughts become bars that limit. They become self-made prisons. But I can drain them of power. The toxicity of hateful ideas needs to be neutralized. Otherwise, these ideas poison me from within and poison others through me. This is why I need to jettison judgment. It always turns on its owner. Jesus said, “Judge not, lest you be judged.” 

Forgiving myself sets me free to forgive others. I choose to forgive others for their hateful judgments and opinions. Instead, I pity them because I understand the damage they inflict on themselves as well. They need to find their personal Stone too.

I see this working out in my daily reactions to people and situations. I regularly help a friend to the toilet, and he coughs on my back during the transfer on to the pot. This infuriates me because I assume (judge) that he did it on purpose. My knee-jerk unquestioned thinking seems right at the time. But if I look again, questioning my thoughts, I realize that my judgment is based on a faulty premise. He has a chronic cough. It is unintentional. He didn’t do it on purpose. Mucous running down my back is a mere inconvenience. The damage I do by thinking unquestioningly is harmful. My thoughts happen so fast that most escape my notice. He coughs, I fume. But rather than blame him, I now take preemptive action by putting a towel on my back first.

Anger stems from surface unquestioned thoughts. I focus on what I want and don’t want, then unconsciously attach my happiness to it. When control-thoughts are interrupted or crossed, I’m tempted to explode. Mindless thought is possible and more common than most of us would like to admit. It is living in virtual un-reality created by the mind. It is mindless because I lose the immediate consciousness of PCA. Foolishly, I want my virtual un-reality to be uninterrupted. When something from outside rattles the cage of my mindless un-reality, I react with harm to myself and others. 

When I get locked in the cage of my conditioned mind, I am only content if nothing rattles me. Of course, this is a vain dream. There is always some irritation, some annoyance that breaks in. But when I “come back to now,” my inner poise is again realized. The Philosopher’s Stone is there at the core of my being and never left. I did. Herein lies the Secret. Col.1:27

  • Here is a portion of The Emerald Tablet — Translated by Isaac Newton

“This is true without lying, certain & most true. That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing. And as all things have been & arose from one by the mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.”

Yes, PCA (present-centered attention) fits.

Limericist, 2021

 
 

Occam’s Razor

Occam’s Razor

Occam’s razor is the philosophy that the simplest explanation and solution is best. I am a minimalist. I consider myself a solipsist (a person who believes self-perception is the scope of one’s reality). Some think solipsism is extreme disinterestedness in others. Not so. Actually, it gives me greater attention toward others. I see them as extensions of my own present-moment experience. This view of reality becomes the lowest common denominator. Existence for me is summed up in the idea that I am here now. Everything I need, or ever will need, is here now. There is always only now. This is home base.

Why do I choose this viewpoint as my personal Occam’s razor? Growing up, my mind became more complicated and confused. My inner child got buried beneath a mountain of junk. Pain repeated over and over. My parents taught me to submit by the fear of pain. In their view, compliance was the most important lesson I had to learn. They used emotional, psychological, and physical pain to teach. They would say, This is for your own good! I understand why they believed this way. But I vehemently disagree with their method.

Scarred memories last a lifetime. But I do not blame them. They were flawed humans just like me. Their philosophy of life was inherited too. Acting from this philosophy is why they utilized harmfulness as a teaching tool. It’s how they were taught too. They followed their unconscious erroneous programming.

This type of training depends on negativity more than positivity. It contributed to stunting and hindering me. But my parents were only acting within their conditioned cultural parameters. Later, I made many of the same blind mistakes. We often see clearly after the fact.

Painful experiences could never be my prime teacher. I started life staring up at a serene mobile twirling above my crib. It was moons and stars. I watched and watched. That mobile was the only world I needed when I watched it. My intellect could not understand what I was doing, but I knew beyond knowing. I was discovering my own consciousness.

Staring at what is before me was my meditation practice, and still is. Now I watch the twirling moment. It has texture, flavor, attended by a myriad of sensory stimuli. Focusing on this moment is my razor. Present centered awareness is the fulcrum for the lever of perception. I move the universe with this fulcrum because it is immutable.

Jesus said, Unless you become like a little child, you cannot enter the kingdom of God. I agree because a child is always available to the present moment. This is the genius of it. When a child is playing, their play is all there is. To the child, the moment is everything. They do not live in the past or future virtual mind-screens. They experience everything as if for the first time. Living is always new and interesting with this kind of mindset.

Occam’s razor simplifies life by living from one thing. The one thing is attention to what is here now in front of me. Present-centered attention is what one teacher referred to as the beginners-mind. We no longer need to be experts.

We have necessary memories to navigate our present. Yet, I see through the lens of a child. I choose to view the now-moment as if I’ve never seen such the like before. When I begin to obsess about memories, I can let go of their emotional energy by simply observing them non-judgmentally. I find fresh eyes to let them go. The past may be useful but can get in the way of present-moment perception. My sharp Occam’s razor cuts through the confusing cloud of the past. I see as a child again. There is no greater fountain of youth.

Limericist, 2021

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2021 in Essays