Saturday, December 28, 2019

JRR Tolkien poetry

"J. R. R. Tolkien was not only the author of the best-selling novel ever written, but a fierce Catholic whose Faith was pervasive in his work. " 

 Besides the Sun there may be moonlight but if the Sun were removed there would be no Moon to see. ..... – Letter 250,
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

 Not a poet in the traditional sense, Tolkien published nearly 40 poems throughout his life. In 2016, two lost poems by the Anglo-Saxon scholar were discovered originally published in an obscure 1936 annual magazine for Our Lady’s Abingdon in Oxfordshire.
 Of the two, one is a Christmas poem entitled Noel dedicated to the Virgin Mary:

 “Noel is a beautiful and unusual take on the Christmas story, set in a wintry landscape. The focus is on Mary, which may be why Tolkien wrote the poem for the school magazine, given that we are dedicated to Our Lady.”
 Read the beautiful Christmas prayer to Virgin Mary, Noel, by J. R. R. Tolkien below:

 Grim was the world and grey last night: The moon and stars were fled,
 The hall was dark without song or light, The fires were fallen dead.
 The wind in the trees was like to the sea, And over the mountains’ teeth It whistled bitter-cold and free, As a sword leapt from its sheath.
 The lord of snows upreared his head; His mantle long and pale Upon the bitter blast was spread And hung o’er hill and dale. The world was blind, the boughs were bent, All ways and paths were wild: Then the veil of cloud apart was rent, And here was born a Child.
 The ancient dome of heaven sheer Was pricked with distant light; A star came shining white and clear Alone above the night. In the dale of dark in that hour of birth One voice on a sudden sang:
 Then all the bells in Heaven and Earth Together at midnight rang.
 Mary sang in this world below: They heard her song arise O’er mist and over mountain snow To the walls of Paradise, And the tongue of many bells was stirred in Heaven’s towers to ring
When the voice of mortal maid was heard,
That was mother of Heaven’s King. Glad is the world and fair this night With stars about its head, And the hall is filled with laughter and light, And fires are burning red.
The bells of Paradise now ring With bells of Christendom, And Gloria, Gloria we will sing That God on earth is come.

Here is a poignant poem circulating now...



Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Real Santa, sweetest Santa Claus...stories that make you cry

What makes Santa Claus Real?

The Real Santa

Christmas Approaches by mary todd
 Don't let anyone tell you
that love has no trials.
Love is what is left after the trauma; pain, suffering,
sacrifice; wounds which seem to be unbearable,
heartbreak which seems to wend its way deeper and
deeper into
one's heart.
I know that the Power of Love exceeds all things.
Love allows Hope to live and Faith to endure.
So when the dark comes, say hello; this trial will pass.
When it seems as if you will die of sorrow, allow reason to rest.
Peacefully Go to the Center of Sorrows.
Love will bring you back

The real santa by mary todd

Weakness or Strength?

Sometimes your biggest weakness can become your biggest strength. Take, for example, the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn't understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move. "Sensei," the boy finally asked, "Shouldn't I be learning more moves?" "This is the only move I know, but this is the only move you'll ever need to know," the sensei replied. Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training. Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals. This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. "No," the sensei insisted, "Let him continue." Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion. On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind. "Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?" "You won for two reasons," the sensei answered. "First, you've almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm." The boy's biggest weakness had become his biggest strength. Shalom u'vracha!

Snow Cats HERE

Love Endures All Things                

At a fundraising dinner
for a school that serves children with learning disabilities,
the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.
 After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection..Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.

Where is the natural order of things in my son?'
The audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:
Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play.. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'
Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field.. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.
Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.
The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.
Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game......
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.
Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!
Run to first!'
Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.
He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'
Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.
By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball .. the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.
He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.
Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third!
Shay, run to third!'

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.

'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.
Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

Love and Mrs. Leonard

I grew up knowing I was different, and I hated it. I was born with a cleft palate, and when I started to go to school, my classmates - who were constantly teasing - made it clear to me how I must look to others: a little girl with a misshapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth, and hollow and somewhat garbled speech. I couldn't even blow up a balloon without holding my nose, and when I bent to drink from a fountain, the water spilled out of my nose. When my schoolmates asked, "What happened to your lip?" I'd tell them that I'd fallen as a baby and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an accident than to have been born different. By the age of seven I was convinced that no one outside my own family could ever love me. Or even like me. And then I entered the second grade, and Mrs. Leonard's class. I never knew what her first name was - just Mrs. Leonard. She was round and pretty and fragrant, with chubby arms and shining brown hair and warm dark eyes that smiled even on rare occasions when her mouth did not. Everyone adored her. But no one came to love her more than I did. And for a special reason. The time came for t;he annual "hearing tests" give at our school. I was barely able to hear anything out of one ear, and was not about to reveal yet another problem that would single me out as different. And so I cheated. I had learned to watch other children and raised my hand when they did during group testing. The "whisper test" however, required a different kind of deception: Each child would go to the door of the classroom, turn sideways, close one ear with a finger, and the teacher would whisper something from her desk, which the child would repeat. Then the same thing was done for the other ear. I had discovered in kindergarten that nobody checked to see how tightly the untested ear was being covered, so I merely pretended to block mine. As usual, I was last, but all through the testing I wondered what Mrs. Leonard might say to me. I knew from previous years that she whispered things like "The sky is blue" or "Do you have new shoes?" My turn came up. I turned my bad ear to her, plugging up the other solidly with my finger, then gently backed my finger out enough to be able to hear. I waited and then the words that God had surely put into her mouth, seven words that changed my life forever. Mrs. Leonard, the pretty , fragrant teacher I adored, said softly, "I wish you were my little girl"

Some people understand life better, And they call some of these people "retarded"...

At the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.

At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win.
All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry.
The other eight heard the boy cry.
They slowed down and looked back.

Then they all turned around and went back......
every one of them.
One girl with Down's Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, "This will make it better." Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line.
Everyone in the stadium stood, the cheering went on for several minutes.

People who were there are still telling the story........

Why? Because deep down we know this one thing:
What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.
"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle"

The Sweetest Santa by mary todd

Burning Hut
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and in which to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried. Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him.

The weary man asked his rescuers: "How did you know I was here?"
They replied: "We saw your smoke signal."
It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, the next time your little hut is burning to the ground -- it just may be the smoke signal that summons the grace of God.

Now that my house has been burned down,
I have an unobstructed view of the rising moon.

Traditional Buddhist wisdom.

A Beautiful Santa Claus (the real santa by mary todd)
not the real santa

The Real Santa by Mary Todd

 The Power of Love Exceeds All Things.
Sweetest Santa by Mary Todd

found this HERE

DO NOT JUDGE (Writer Unknown)
Pray don't find fault with the man who limps
Or stumbles along the road,
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears
Or struggled beneath his load.

There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt,
Though hidden away from view,
Or the burden he bears, placed on your back

Might cause you to stumble, too.
Don't sneer at the man who's down today,
Unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall, or felt the same
That only the fallen know.
You may be strong, but still the blows
That were his, if dealt to you,
In the self-same way at the self-same time
Might cause you to stagger, too.
Don't be too harsh with the man who sins,
Or pelt him with words or stones,
Unless you are sure, yea, doubly sure,
That you have no sins of your own.
For you know, perhaps if the tempter's voice
Should whisper
as soft to you
As it did to him
when he went astray,
'Twould cause you to falter, too.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Day National Dog Show. Be there.

Redux. I'm reprinting this post for in honor of dogs today.... Moar on dog loyalty here:
 Click here if you LOVE dogs! Loyalty. I love a country that loves dogs. ....They just said that a bloodhound can smell a human based on one skin cell .  1 Skin cell!!!
 one skin cell...

I am watching it, and I'm looking at the Irish wolfhound. Here's a past post:

Large Irish Wolfhound
Poster Below

Sweetest Irish WolfHounds. I heard a story, maybe you have already heard it.
So Perfect.


"Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?''
The Six-year-old continued,''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''


Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

More like that here

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
Take naps.
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day,
be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Irish Wolfhound
click: from the calendar

Irish wolfhound

"I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time?"
(Sir Walter Scott)

Irish Wolfhound Poster
More Dogs HERE and HERE

Sweetest Irish Wolfhounds:

Irish Wolfhound painting for sale HERE
along with Irish wolfhound and westie art:
White Irish Wolfhounds and Puppies

The new calendar: here
look at the cover:!

Loyal dog stories here


Dog rescue here

Poignancy Warning...sadness

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Choose Love. Choose Life. There is evil strong.

I will post many more, but this one....
This one must be pondered for hours, days.

This one explains the miracle of dogs.
Don't look away, rather, look long.

Click to enlarge.

After not being loved, they love. The miracle of dogs.
 They return to hope, faith love, after a life of sorrow and pain.
Oh, that humans could be as good as dogs....

Those faces ....were not choices. 
Those pups cannot choose to put on a face, they are manifestations of what is truly within

The stories are here...

Not for the faint hearted.

Men will have much to explain when standing before before the almighty Creator of Good.

From the site:

Wandering around new York city

After a whole lot of love and care from Second Chance Rescue, Kimmy's smiling again.

Chowda rocks the head-tilt while he poses for the camera in his new, loving home.


Videos here

This is a repost from many years ago. . . .

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A Morning in May...

Pieces of April... Three Dog Night

Turn it up.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Christ's entry into Jerusalem

I love the art of Brian Jekel. Here is Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Wonder how that cute donkey was feeling?


more of this cute donkey HERE

more here

Viático de Vagamundo: Entry of Christ into Jerusalem

   Jerusalem HERE

A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the LORD, (my refuge, Even the Most High,) your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. 

For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down. "Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. "He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. "With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation."   

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty… For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Wolves Howling...Awesome

Arctic wolves. This is magical . . .

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Pi Day...have a big slice of beautiful math

The number pi may be hard to calculate but is super effective when you use it to calculate other things. For instance, if you round the number pi to just 9 digits after the decimal and use it to calculate earth’s circumference, the results would be amazingly accurate. For every 25,000 miles, the number pi will only err to 1/4th of an inch. If you love math, you will realize how amazing this actually is.
34. Pi is so amazing and “mysterious” 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Death of the Roo

The Death of the Rooster
copyright mary todd
     Boy, that was one beautiful Roo. 
     He had it in all the right places: an enormous bouquet of long, iridescent tail feathers, shimmering deep pine green in sun or shade; powerful reptilian feet, silky like a snake to touch but as agile and hard-hitting as any featherweight boxer; the brightest ruby red eyes, fierce eyes that could see your thoughts, eyes that dared you not to get out of his way. His deep red wattles[1], swinging heavily under his powerful granite beak, matched his erect cockscomb above and must have certainly attracted the attention of the hens.

     I say “the hens”, but should correct myself and say his hens; for they were his—he knew it, they knew it, and I learned it—the hard way. It was, apparently, not my job to manage the hens. Whenever I tried—e.g., attempting to give all the girls an equal chance at tasty tidbits of ham or cheese (or oddly, anything that in hindsight would have been delicious in an omelet)—the Roo would let me know I had overstepped. His head would jerk; his eyes glittered wildly as he rushed me before I even had time to raise up from setting out my seven equally proportioned saucers of treats. Fact is, his Best Girl was to first have all she wanted of the goodies I laid out—and only then were all the others to step up for a taste.
The Mighty Roo mtodd click to view large 
“There is a pecking order here! What the hell do you think you’re doing? Get out of my foreplay room!” Well, that’s anthropomorphizing. What he actually said was more like, “Bam! Sock! Pow!” His commanding wings would raise him a foot or two into the air as he boxed me with his giant dinosaur feet, faster than any gym partner, more accurate than Ali, if I dare say so. On days when I was wearing my sturdy field boots, I could hold my leg out and let him go for it. His amazing hind legs seemed to move with the speed of a propeller, and the air would ring as if a premium kangaroo leather speed punching bag was being schooled by Manny Pacquiao.
     So I learned to let the Mighty Roo do his job in managing the small lovely flock of egg layers, and keep to my part, which seemed less fun than his and frequently involved paying for things and cleaning up caca.
     And, truth be told, he was amazing at his job. He roused everyone at daybreak. He showed the girls the best spots for free ranging: the sweet green henbit in the spring sun   
 and the soft Kentucky bluegrass in the summer shade. He scared away the crows and rabbits and squirrels from the ground around the birdfeeders, saving those tasties for his Best Girl. He out-crowed a rooster living a mile away, whom he would never get to box, their boasts echoing back and forth across the river on windless days. He sat next to his humans on the bench, permitting himself to be stroked, then insisting that he be stroked, his beak to be tapped, his chest to be ruffled. Each evening the Perfect Roo nudged the sweet hens back into the cozy coop to watch the lengthening orange shadows from the safety of the little barn, away from the bald eagles flying overhead, returning to their river nests.
     There are many similarities between a man who lives on a small farm in the country and a rooster. Being Master of One’s Domain can mean many things—crowing when one feels good, strutting about on a good day (knowing the Top Hen is content), looking so very fine as the early eastern glow steadily turns into the psychedelia of sunrise on a farm.     
The Social Rooster marytodd
  A man and a rooster look for food and share it with their girls. A man and a roo single out among the admiring flock the one with the fluffiest feathers, the roundest rump, the silkiest cluckings, and let her know she is his Best Girl. The simple coming and going of light and dark sets the day’s routine of work and play.  A man who manages a little piece of land has been given, and is giving, a gift. He rotates with the Earth in its slow, diurnal spinning; his feet are planted firmly in the seemingly slower revolution through space; the steady cycles of living and dying bring tears and laughter and are measured in seconds, in seasons, in years, in lifetimes.
A Nice Sky MTODD fine art in the flint hills

     Yet, the movements which gift us with seasons—the gentle rotations and revolutions—are in fact not gentle at all. The spinning speed of the Earth—1000 miles per hour! and the orbital movement through space, at almost 70 X that—are shattering speeds—but they stay exactly the same. The physicists tell us that since we do not feel any acceleration or deceleration, we feel—nothing. One only feels motion if one’s speed changes...

 The Dog loosed from a neighboring farm came into the Roo’s yard stealthily, while the air was warm and all the living creatures were busy not feeling any movement but the gently pulsing solar rays. The Dog did not have a good reputation, as did the Roo; he did not have in his heart loyalty and protection, as did the Roo; he was not motivated by hunger or family or safety or gifting, as was the Roo.
     The Dog was probably surprised to find that his enormous size and (no doubt, oft-rewarded) ferocity did not give him the easy theft in his sights. No, the evidence left behind exposed the repeated attempts and the persistence needed to accomplish his wicked deed; clearly showed the merciless nature of the kidnapping and murder of the widely beloved and most excellent Roo.
dandelions at sundown mtodd
Three scattered piles of feathers. One here, near the house; mostly the smaller, exquisitely striped brown and tan and cream feathers from the generous, proud chest. One there, in the back yard—a dozen long, delicately curved tail feathers, precious like silk, like satin, exquisite beyond words. Two dozen unbearably soft downy feathers, like posies in palest green and white, like colossal snowflakes made of frothy diaphanous featherdust. Gently collecting them from the ground—some covered in saliva—just the memory now triggering hot tears streaming and actual ripping to the human heart muscle. Finally, the porch, the sanctuary. Broken vase. Spilled water bowls. Tattered screen. Stiff dark feathers. What good can come from imagining? A menace appears, shoves into one’s dwelling, clambers onto chairs and tables in lustful, blind pursuit of … Blood? Sport? The Death Moment?
     In the end, the Roo was the same as he always was. He lived as he lived into the final seconds of breath.
     In those final moments, he no longer wore his lush bouquet of iridescent pinegreen tail feathers. He no longer felt the beautiful creamy breast of ruffled softness that gave him warmth and us, love. In the end, he was brazenly, heartlessly stripped of all that made him a thing of nature’s beauty. He stood bitten and beaten and ripped and naked. But, in the end, he was also defiant and brave and cared not—for his girls were safely away. The Rooster would not have been aware of his nakedness, perhaps, or of the blood he wore, nor even of his likely end.  The Beast had been enticed, and tricked. The dishonorable beast—his thick, single-minded sin having left him forever an object of disgrace—was no match for the Roo, doing the job, living the life he was born to. The selfish beast was no match for the perfect Rooster’s strength of character and sacrificial giving. The Roo had won. The Roo never changed. He stayed exactly who he was. A Rooster with Heart.

Man, that was one beautiful Roo. He had it in all the right places.
     And in the end, the man and the rooster differ; for Man is a mystic, and sees beyond time and the present moment. The Rooster is buddhist and has only the now.
     And whereas the Roo may have experienced the events of his mortal wounding and death as nothing but an instant in time--an instant majestic and astonishing in fulfillment of his nature, to be sure, but no different than the marvelous killing of a mouse in the henhouse or raising the sun with a spectacular crowing—to the Man and his Best Girl, the events slowed time and stopped movement. Love—even a drop of love—can stop the movement of the Earth. Pondering the events in time, and weaving them through the past—the earlier love of a wobbly chick and a tiny but earnest first crowing—and into the promised future—a grainy picture of a grand, crotchety bird with low-swinging wattles and grandchicks galore and orange sunsetting shadows finding them on the bench, together—the man and his woman felt the spinning, the acceleration and deceleration of time, the shattering speed of grief.
     The wounds of love, like all grief, are a part of the spiral, the slow spiraling approach to that which seems unapproachable… a whispering into that other, unbearable grief…we pull back, to return later, to risk going further into the deep. The passing seasons are the walls that the wounded bounce against, buttressed, corralled in the mask of sanity, kept alive and standing until the searing part of the pain is gone. Until the heart stitches itself up a bit. Until one might stand again by oneself. Like our bodies need gravity, our souls need seasons: a strange nourishing organic blanket teaching us the Grace of Time.

sunset in the flint hills mary todd

[1]From the delightful, generous Wikipedia:
 “A wattle is a fleshy caruncle hanging from various parts of the head or neck in several groups of birds and mammals. A caruncle is defined as 'A small, fleshy excrescence that is a normal part of an animal's anatomy'.[1] Caruncles in birds include wattles, dewlaps, snoods and earlobes. Wattles are generally paired structures but may occur as a single structure when it is sometimes known as a dewlap. Wattles are frequently organs of sexual dimorphism. In some birds, caruncles are erectile tissue and may or may not have a feather covering.”


beast vs life, killer vs prey; 
grasshopper eats "my" plants;
 chicken eats "the" grasshoppers;  
 (why are not the grasshoppers "mine"? Oh, because i didn't intend them to come?
 So intention changes things--in our minds. And in natures?)   
chicken eats grasshopper; 
eagle eats chicken. 
But vicious dog kills chicken, not eat chicken.
 Sorry, lust for blood killing is not an intention i will ignore. 
guess i'm more christian than buddhist? 






the mighty roo mary todd