It Don’t Come Easy…

Writing, well it don’t come easy when your not a writer and that would be me.  I’ve managed to skip a year and a half but I do have an excuse. A very valid one to boot.

After 37 years in Atlanta and 25 with the postal service I followed through in life by retiring, selling my home and moving to the mountains of North Georgia. You gotta figure those two endeavors have been quite the time consuming adventures. I’m loving every minute of life these days. My biggest fear in getting back to my blog was auto-fill remembering the password and it did. Guess I’ll dig out a picture or two and see if the morning brings a hint of inspiration.

Good shot of John and I. We’d not see one other or spoken in 35 years. My 2nd trip to Seattle (2015) and we finally connected.


John live over in Capital Hill – We be at “Singles Going Steady” record store. Photo: Brian.




November and a Post…….

“Repeat a lie regularly enough and it will soon become ranked with conventional truth…”

Francis Rupert Legge

 When the weather changes for real into Fall I’m reminded of living on the farm in the 90’s. The farmhouse and a couple of acres remained as the suburbs crept closer. In the back a acre of so of well tilled field, smokehouse/shed, two, three sided barns, one housed the grist mill. The mill was powered by rather large and rather loud tractor, sitting on cement blocks and a couple of flat tires. The belts she turned would be shifted to shell the dried corn from the cobs or turn the mill wheel. The leftover cornmeal dust on the floor always showed the tiniest mouse footprints, surprising considering the dozen feral cats living in the barns!

Around the middle of October, I’d be out digging up the rows of sweet potatoes below the terrace. Ripping out the vines by hand, rolling them into bundles tossed aside. I’d find myself excited as a kid on the way to a county fair. Digging out the tubers balances a fine line, ‘between the last rain and first frost’. Stacked they would lay in the field as I head back to the farmhouse in the evening twilight, putting away the hoes and shovel in the middle barn. Unfailingly my adopted cats would be sitting on the well-cover, together with out fail they would look at me, look at each other and at the same time hit the ground softly as one not three we’d go inside for the night. Winter, Spring, Summer an Fall this repeated itself hundreds of times and you know what? I simply never took one moment for granted. It was Heaven.

My soul was kick around a bit just last week from a vehicle accident bout a mile from where I’d lived on the farm. The road runs long and area is a refuge too deer and the coyotes, either of which I suspect as the ’cause’. Akshay, who did not survive the accident, received the Ferrari from his parents. I have lost some friends, brothers in a similar accident decades ago. The brothers are buried together behind the Augusta National golf course. It’s infrequent now that I stop in to pay my respects. Thirty years after I wonder what if it never happen and will always.

I cannot get enough of online literary magazine, The with the musings of editor in chief Stephen Elliott. Whenever you find a free moment support them and check out ‘Letters in the Mail’, and ‘Letters for Kids’. The has grown up quickly across the universal net of knowledge, literature, and the outlandish.

With that in mind I’ve been following Geoff Lemon from ‘down-under’ for several years. Similar to the above yet vastly different is “Going Down Swinging”.  I’ve been a follower of Geoff’s’ blog , “Heathen Scriptures” prior to the launch of GDS. Here is a link to a post from GDS that tugs me back often and I hope you also……The Blue Corner/Sometimes Poems…“Cold Was the Ground”.

Be well

I remain McTell…



Convene the Crimson Court…

Adventum “aurata Wren” signa iudicio Tx3 in Regnum RUFUS. Apparet quidem ut in curia est ad conveniri. Fiat scriptum. amen

Arrival of the “Gilded Wren” signals a verdict of Tx3 in the Kingdom of Crimson. Forthcoming indeed as the court is to be convened. Let it be written. Amen

Unfortunately, simplistic vindication seldom illuminates profound issues, hence the reliance of the weak upon myth.

Quote from “Sir Francis”



Is there nothing I can do . . . . . .

First 5 bars

 We are always meditating on something, but we get to choose what.

When the subject or the personal or professionally interaction occurs where there is myself and a woman involved is there nothing I can do to better or more thoroughly understand the female’s mindset?  Nearly six decades into this life and the ever changing ever evolving opposite sex still remains to this individual the enigma dwarfing the construction of the pyramids of Egypt much less the concept of the Pythagorean Theorem.  I not sure but the feeling is this blog is about women simply because you remain to this day the mysterious one of all to me it seems you the female are never alone no matter where you are and seemingly never lost or at a loss.

Just this past week I head up to Dockerys’ here in-town for the weekly treat of eating a meal out of the house and in a café. The lunch menu as well as the breakfast has always been simple and good. Omelets, eggs, grits, biscuits for breakfast or the meat and two with tea and cornbread for lunch and maybe a desert. In the past few months since receiving a free iPhone I’ve developed the habit of copying articles and book chapters to notepad and forwarding them to my hot-mail account. Wherever I am I can open up a e-mail and read too my hearts content with out surfing the net. Two different letters I’d sent to my hot-mail account have kept me busy for a while. The first is EXPOSED By Emily Gould 05/08 where a argument with Jimmy Kimmel on CNN produced something of a life changing publication and provocative insight for Emily. The other and most exciting e-mail read is with Cheryl Strayed the writer whose career is looking like a NASA mission to the ISS.

At age 22 Cheryl having lost her mother age 45 to cancer having a marriage in taters and unable to find the correct energy to keep her family together bailed out into California to hike the PCT all 1100 miles from the desert to the mountains. Having never camped in the out of doors much less backpacked she did it. She did it thru every season available and the trials and pain, mental and physical. Admittedly and rightfully Cheryl realized the journey was not the answer to her troubling life but a benchmark to follow thru to where she is today. The adventure entitled * “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” immediately was optioned by Reese Witherspoon and Director Lisa Cholodenko will be at the helm with Cheryl on as associate producer.

Having walked up to Dockerys seating myself as the custom without looking up I muttered ‘unsweet tea’ to the waitress while scrolling up a read on the iPhone.  Better yet below the pictures is what I wrote down when I got back to the house after lunch…..


Chicken Lady of Alpharetta

Chicken Lady of Alpharetta

Beets..Okra..Chicken dumplings..cornbread

Lunch today the waitress brought me a tall glass of tea and a very short straw. When I mentioned to the waitress the fact my straw was a full couple of inches beneath the lip of the tea glass the waitress instructed me thus..

‘On the wall in the men’s-room is a roll of paper on the wall, write your complaint on the roll and we will see to it”!! The mood in the dining area changed to much better when the waitress returned with a short glass of tea and …a long straw asking me if I am happy now.  Got around to asking her name something I find difficult to do unless the ‘timing is correct’. With orders and conversations abounding during the lunch hour I waited until the cube-rats had thinned a bit.

15 minutes later she sat down at a side table rolling flatware into paper napkins with the pause in the air I simply asked ‘what’s your name?’.  Replying she said ‘just call me the Chicken Lady of Alpharetta’. I laughed or more so the chuckle mentioning if indeed I could use the name in this blog. ‘Make me famous and put in there I’m from ‘Mobile, Alabama’. Scooting back it my plate while sitting two tables apart we discussed the differences of Birmingham, Alabama from middle of the state to differences of lower and gulf coast Alabama.

Chicken Lady of Alpharetta said her grandmother’s side of the family was mostly from Louisiana and it was there she had spent half of her life.  Interestingly enough I felt she had a closer affection  ofLouisiana than Mobile. In fact she told me her grandmothers’ home on Dauphin Island, Alabama had been lost to a hurricane in the 60’s. Blown clean off the low lying island the structure floated on the ocean for three days becoming a hazard to navigation until it sank to the bottom. Her grandmother’s home was rebuilt on the tiny island. The latest word from the island Chicken Lady of Alpharetta told me of State Farm insurance company celebrating the last remaining tree on Dauphin Island being lost to a hurricane. Apparently the regular weather devastation of the homes on the island cause by falling trees had dug a hole in the company’s profit margin!!!

Found a e-mail from a special interest group I’d signed up with a few months ago over internet usage, freedom of speech, intellectual property, bandwidth, twitter and well just about all things internet. The subject at hand was the ongoing problems with Pinterest over property rights. Locally a woman with a Boudoir Photography company and Portrait Studio of the highest caliber had second thoughts from blog input. Too make a long story short after gnashing of teeth and fretting Kirsten Kowalski in her blog ‘ ddk’s blog ‘  deleted her work in Pinterest and it hurt her to do so. The viral input landed on the desk of Ben Silbermann owner and founder of Pinterest. For business purposes his site is the godsend for companies like K’s photography but and the but is large as always attorneys has spelled out the most ambiguous terms of usage and Kirsten spent a lot of time reading the ‘terms’ in order to be a good steward in using the site and had to delete her works. In the end Ben Silbermann firstly e-mailed to arrange a ‘call’ to see what the two of them could brainstorm in order to get K’s business back and to expand the business while protecting the artist work and his ‘terms of usage’.  There are some links if you care to look a bit deeper and check out ddk’s studio and blog.

With one foot in the door and one foot out something I though I’d never see and something I’d never considered. Singer, songwriter and artist Gregg Allman’s biography debuted at #2 on the New York Times best seller list.

My Cross to Bear #2

My hats off Mr. Allman and good health to you too. From the excerpts I seen of the book the cloak is removed allowing the life and times of him, his family and music to be laid out and available for viewing. I’ve not a clue as to the highs and lows but in the life of mine the highs will never equal the lows just maybe that’s what makes my life  so very real.

give a listen……..McTell




A Georgia Song, A Georgia Poet

SONG OF SENLIN (from “Senlin, A Biography“)

by: Conrad Aiken (1889-1973) Poet Laureate of/from Georgia


IT is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning

When the light drips through the shutters like the dew,

I arise, I face the sunrise,

And do the things my fathers learned to do.

Stars in the purple dusk above the rooftops

Pale in a saffron mist and seem to die,

And I myself on a swiftly tilting planet

Stand before a glass and tie my tie.


Vine leaves tap my window,

Dew-drops sing to the garden stones,

The robin chirps in the chinaberry tree

Repeating three clear tones.


It is morning. I stand by the mirror

And tie my tie once more.

While waves far off in a pale rose twilight

Crash on a white sand shore.

I stand by a mirror and comb my hair:

How small and white my face!–

The green earth tilts through a sphere of air

And bathes in a flame of space.

There are houses hanging above the stars

And stars hung under a sea. . .

And a sun far off in a shell of silence

Dapples my walls for me. . .


It is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning

Should I not pause in the light to remember God?

Upright and firm I stand on a star unstable,

He is immense and lonely as a cloud.

I will dedicate this moment before my mirror

To him alone, and for him I will comb my hair.

Accept these humble offerings, cloud of silence!

I will think of you as I descend the stair.


Vine leaves tap my window,

The snail-track shines on the stones,

Dew-drops flash from the chinaberry tree

Repeating two clear tones.


It is morning, I awake from a bed of silence,

Shining I rise from the starless waters of sleep.

The walls are about me still as in the evening,

I am the same, and the same name still I keep.

The earth revolves with me, yet makes no motion,

The stars pale silently in a coral sky.

In a whistling void I stand before my mirror,

Unconcerned, I tie my tie.


There are horses neighing on far-off hills

Tossing their long white manes,

And mountains flash in the rose-white dusk,

Their shoulders black with rains. . .


It is morning. I stand by the mirror

And surprise my soul once more;

The blue air rushes above my ceiling,

There are suns beneath my floor. . .


. . . It is morning, Senlin says, I ascend from darkness

And depart on the winds of space for I know not where,

My watch is wound, a key is in my pocket,

And the sky is darkened as I descend the stair.

There are shadows across the windows, clouds in heaven,

And a god among the stars; and I will go

Thinking of him as I might think of daybreak

And humming a tune I know. . .


Vine-leaves tap at the window,

Dew-drops sing to the garden stones,

The robin chirps in the chinaberry tree

Repeating three clear tones.

*   *   *

Short Walk on the long Beach….

A most impressive acoustic song. Written by John D. Loudermilk and performed with soul by Chet Atkins. Released in 1969 .

by Christina G. Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann’d;
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should forget and smile

Couple of regular guys……

Daryle Hall host a show of music and friends…Besides the ‘Blue Eyed Soul and Todds Way’, these guys are having some fun. Needless to say, sometimes you just gotta wait till the end.

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. — W. Somerset Maugham

Pretty Little Adrianna……….

Posting this for myself and a friend I knew. Here is the video, chords and lyrics follow.  Vince made music indeed with Duane s Les Paul. Simply beautiful in all regards……

Verse 1
You sure have a pretty smile
It sure has been a while
A            E
Since I’ve felt your touch
You’ve got the sweetest way
I think about you every day
A        E
I miss you so much

A        E
Oh my pretty little Adriana
A        E
Are you lonesome tonight
A        E
Oh my pretty little Adriana
C#m        B    E
I’ll find you when it all feels right

You’re so soft and innocent
The sweetest night I ever spent
A            E
Was being held in your embrace
You’re such a gentle soul
It’s killing me to know
A        E
When will I see your face

A        E
Oh my pretty little Adriana
A        E
Are you lonesome tonight
A        E
Oh my pretty little Adriana
C#m        B    E
I’ll find you when it all feels right

Oh my pretty little Adriana
Are you lonesome tonight
Oh my pretty little Adriana
I’ll find you when it all feels right

Oh my pretty little Adriana
Are you lonesome tonight
Oh my pretty little Adriana
I’ll find you when it all feels right


‘Nichts zu machen’ Teil zwei

Vladimir speaks with speech………”They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more.”

Cathedral of Saint-Nazaire Languedoc-Roussillon

The lands of Godot

“to hold the terrible silence at bay”

Waiting for Godot

Samuel Beckett


Vladimir speaks with speech………”They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more.” In the play, Vladimir is simply implying how short the time we have, from birth to grave and in-between we are, or we exist in knowledge.


“Waiting for Godot”, has been so completely analyzed from historical point of view, to Freud, to political views it would be absurd for myself to attempt any sort of structured diagramming. The plot centers entirely on two men.  Beckett was defensive the play had to be cast of men only. Waiting for someone, “Godot”. Having  never met Godot and for a reason neither Vladimir and Estragon can recall. In three acts the tragicomedy contains on revolving and repetitive themes and action. The most obvious is referenced……..Vladimir and Estragon alone with themselves, the two friends are visited by a master with a slave and the two friends find themselves alone and Godot is a no show.


Set in what is now a southern part of France, the countryside was originally named Roussillon. The arid climate today produces wine grapes, peaches, apricots and such. Until the 1930’s the region of Luberon was mined for ocher quarries to provide coloration for cloth. The area of Russillon Luberon is also know for its vast cedars and pines. Their greenery contrasting the red, orange and yellow ocher mines and crystal  skies. It was here in 1942 the playwright Beckett fled from the invading and occupying Nazis, joining the French Resistance along with his girlfriend Suzanne. His identity as a Resistance fighter  compromised, Samuel hid in a friend’s attic along with his friends’ father for nearly a year. The year prior Beckett had evaded capture by the Nazis, traveling the countryside of Luberon, wandering its fields, sleeping in barns accompanied by Suzanne, his companion in the Resistance. Both returned to Paris together when the Nazis were driven from France near the war’s end. Beckett’s’ writing career was soon to follow.


“Waiting for Godot” tends to follow a pattern most  stark. Actor-to-actor, actor to audience (be spare here), lighting, which is mostly although shaded of sunlight or moonlight. The pattern is and I’ve tried to find a singular word to no avail is of ‘engage and disengage’ repetitively. The best instance is of two friends Vladimir and Estragon eating. A radish is produced, eaten. Nothing more. The beauty of the writing is not the characters in my opinion, nor the plot and  stage movements, it is simply the beauty of its demand on actors to ‘act’. Critics and audience have rushed the aisles to leave a production of Godot, only to return  ‘the next nights production’, heaving praise on the actors and Beckett, yet bewildering as it was the same performance, the same cast, the same production from the nights before.


Beckett once directed a production of Godot, lamenting he was a writer with no stage experience. He would imagine a scene for blocking in his mind, repeatedly tossing each one. By 1975 when he did direct Godot, his directing credits had provided him with hard earned experience. In his directing of Godot the major change or changes to the production mostly  the elimination of lines, something of a ‘conservation of character’, a more austere production. Yet again and again, no matter the director or actors, the focus for me is the craft of acting. Frankly Godot as indicated by Beckett himself, I think not, but from his notes such as this……..’tragicomedy contains twenty-one requests for help: ’14 ignored, 4 answered, 1 attempted, 1 not known, 1 on condition et j’en passé’. It is the play taken in its entirety as a ‘cloud of acting’, where the production in whole is the end. Akin to musical notes progressing not as a scale, rather into melody. Reasoning for me the love of one nights performance and the battering of a next nights’ production.


And in the end, we wait and nothing happens, and we wait. Beckett was asked many a time who Godot was, obviously we need some insight as he is why we are here. Was Godot represented on stage?  Colin Duckworth asked Beckett point-blank whether Pozzo was Godot, the author replied: ‘No. It is just implied in the text, but it’s not true’. Pozzo is the owner of Lucky the slave. Lucky as a character has a most difficult challenge, a six-minute monologue and here in the play it is either a rousing success or fop. Elements of rhythm rule the play, the characters and apparently the audiences’ approval or not!

My introduction to “Waiting for Godot began when I took a English course in college. Simply read and write something in a couple of hundred words about the play.  I did read it, hit the libary to inquire about it, wrote something about it and forgot about it. And then one day it happened. A student trying to enter the fraternity Alpha Psi Omega, a theatre fraternity was performing on a school cafeteria table during the lunch hour. Bold and brave the newbie actor, playing two parts from a scene in Godot while juggling three balls. All I could remember thinking is ‘damn interesting’. But take the thought and expand by a factor of a hundred. No, not an epiphany, but the spark that remains. And too the young actor I am thankful, in hindsight he was pretty good on his deliverance. The years have passed and my appreciation of the play remains as strong now as then.

 And in the end, we just wait. Quiet and then sound, the stage is light then dark. Hunger replaced by food as thoughts become speech…. Nothing happens. We wait………

Waiting on Godot