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Jul 30, 2011
Ancient dinosaurs soaring in the sky, 
Taking bread from my outstretched hand, 
Looking in their eyes is like looking 
deep into the past. 

It's good to have dinosaurs around today, 
A reminder of how things change, 
A reminder of the depth of evolution.

6/4/2011 -- Saturday 

Overcast, not so many people on the sand.  This one girl looks like she's 

ready to go into the frying pan.  Drenched in oil and laying there like a 

dead fish.  She moved an arm when the sun came out, it was the only way 

I knew she wasn't dead. 

It used to be so packed out here you could barely find a spot near the 

shore.  The sky is marvelous.  Different patches of white, puffy, all 

encompassing clouds, a white ceiling with some blue poking through.  


The trees, the bushes, the flowers, everything is popping.  Absolutely 

bursting with life.  The beach is about as packed as I've seen it in many 

years. The sky is full of clouds but the sun is beating down.  Thankfully 

there is a stiff breeze out of the west.  

Plenty of kites flying.  When I was a kid we used to have kite fights.  

crash them into each other; send stuff up on the line -- a message to 

Garcia my dad used to call it.  I'd send up keys and paper and stuff.  It 

was rare to take a kite down unless you got tangled and you'd both come 

down.  The kites are so colorful against the blue-white sky.  The guy 

next to me has fallen asleep on the bench.  
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Posted: Jul 30, 2011 4:18pm
Jul 25, 2011
Just Another Day -- David Kane, Copyright 2011

The train was finally arrivin' when this idiot jumps in front of it.  Now I'll be late for sure.  What a schmuck.  Aaaah, what are ya gonna do?  I  guess I'll call in and tell 'em I'll be late.  Shit!  I sure ain't shellin' out 40 bucks or more for car service.  Even if I had it.  I better get ta the pay phone.  Of course my cell is outta minutes, again.  Shit!  

Ok, good.  No line and one person usin' the phone.  Hurry up you asshole.  Blah, blah, blah.  Yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Come on, come on.  Shit!  "Excuse me bud, I need ta make a call right away, it's an emergency."  The guy turns, gives me a look, then goes back to his yakkin.'  What an asshole.  He gives me another look and then he says see you later into the phone and hangs up.  Finally!  I tell Frankie, the third shift guy that I'll be late, some asshole killed himself and my train ain't goin' nowhere anytime soon.  I'll go the other way and take another line, but that'll take an extra forty minutes probably.  Frankie says ok and hangs up.  

Back up ta the platform where everyone else has the same idea.  I'm thinkin' about the dead guy now.  He was only about twenty feet away from me and I got a good look at him.  Now that I think about it, he sorta fell forward, not really a jump at all.  About my age, dressed nice, his shoes looked new.  Geez, life sucks, but still.  What if it didn't kill ya?  What if it just, you know, sliced your legs off or somethin'?  Shit!  People are crowdin' around tryin' ta see . . .  see what?  If the guy is dead or just sliced up?  Crap.  

There's a cop tryin' ta keep the crowd back but he's losin' the battle.  There's another cop down on the tracks and the motorman is standin' around lookin' sick.  Man, I wouldn' wanna be him.  Not his fault, but still.  

I feel the platform rockin' a bit and I look towards the city and see the Coney Island bound train at the next station.  I find an empty spot on the other side and I wait.  The "F" train pulls in and now the platform is swayin' pretty good.  Almost empty, I get in and turn around.  It's only two stops ta the end 'a the line.  

Ok, I'll take the "D" (which used ta be the "B", but the MTA needed ta confuse us cattle I guess).  An hour later I get out at 34th street and start walkin' east.  I coulda changed at 14th street and been on Park, but I prefer the walk and I'm still thinkin' about that guy.  Anyway, I'm already late.  I'll pick up a coffee and donut or somethin' at Jack's wagon.  

Quarter to ten, just about what I told Frankie.  I been workin' here for almost twelve years and it's ok.  If ya don't mind the stiffs and the stink.  Not a lotta responsibility which is how I like it.  I'm like a utility player.  I'm really a janitor, but I do all sortsa things.  Whatever they ask, I'm good with it.  I'll make the coffee, bring 'em supplies, even help unload the stiffs when they come in.  Sometimes I even help the coroner undress and wash down the bodies.  

Sure, it gave me the creeps a bit when I first started, but none 'a these stiffs ever got up and started walkin' around like zombies or nothin'.  Ya know, with their arms straight out and that slow, shuffling gait?  Ha!  Yeah, it's a good gig.  

First thing I always do (after changin' into my uniform and havin' my coffee and donut) is mop the floor in the morgue.  Gotta keep this place clean.  Plenty 'a disinfectant.  They got these stainless steel,  refrigerated slidin' drawers for keepin' the bodies in 'til they get picked up.  The whole room is kept pretty cool actually cause sometimes they just store some bodies here for a few hours on those rollin' tables 'til the coroner gets to 'em.  In fact, they got three of 'em here now.  I just roll 'em outta the way as I mop.  

Ya know, those shoes look familiar.  This one must be really fresh, still dressed.  Holy shit.  It's the guy from the "F" train.  I don't believe it!   What's he doin' here?  Ok, now I'm gettin' the creeps.  It's like he's followin' me.  Lemme finish up fast and get the hell outta here.  I'll mop the hallways now and then take a break.  Geez, I'd have a smoke if I didn't give 'em up six years ago.  I'm gonna ask the coroner what that stiff is doin' here anyway.  

Hey, Lenny, good to see you says George, the coroner today, as I come through the doorway.  I want you to help me with this new one.  Get him undressed for me, will you?  Geez, I hope it ain't who I know it is.  Shit!  It's him.  Mr. "F" train.  Ya know I saw this guy get it this morning while I was waitin' for my train.  Really, says George, that's pretty weird, huh?   Hey, what's he doin' here anyway George?  Well, some people don't think it was an accident and they want me to check him out.  Who was this guy anyway I ask.  Seems he was a Fed on some big case, but he's just another body now.  

I start with those new shoes -- shiny anyway -- then the socks, and I work my way up from there.  This guy looks pretty good considerin' he was under a train not long ago.  In fact, I don't know why he's dead.  I don't see any damage; no crushin' or nothin'.  Weird.  Hey George, you want me to wash him down?  Not yet Lenny, I need to check him first, just bag the clothes please.  Already done I tell him as I strip those damn gloves off.  George, you mind if I stick around, give ya a hand if ya need it?  That'd be fine Lenny, I could use the help flipping him when the time comes.  I should be getting to him in about ten minutes.  I'm gonna catch a little air if that's all right George, I'll be back in ten.  Fine, Lenny.  

I'm outside on first avenue, it's a beautiful day.  Sunny, cool, slight breeze.  So why is that guy dead I ask myself.  Maybe he had a heart attack.  Here comes a guy smokin' and I ask him for one.  Sure he says, and offers me a Marlboro.   Thanks man I say as he lights it for me.  Shit.  Used ta be my brand too.  Figgers.  All it takes is a fresh stiff that I seen get it ta get me smokin' again.  A little rough on the throat but I needed a smoke.  Why am I so bugged out anyway?  The guy's dead.  Sure, I saw it happen but so what?  All I really saw was the guy fallin' onto the tracks and the train rollin' over him.  

I flick the last of the butt into the gutter and head back inside thinking I'll get a closer look at what killed this guy.  As I walk into the coroner's room first thing I notice is that the table that had the stiff on it is empty.  Then I see George layin' face down on the floor.  I take three big steps, squat next ta George and turn him over.  He looks ok, no blood that I can see so I give him a few light slaps while callin' his name.  "George, hey George, ya ok?"  He starts ta stir and I get a lab coat, roll it up, and put it under his head.  Still talkin' ta him I get a wash cloth and let the cold water saturate it, then I wring out most of it and wipe his face and put it on his forehead.  He kinda groans and asks me what happened.  Like I know.  "I just walked in and you were layin' here.  And the new stiff is gone."  Another groan.  "Help me up Lenny, slowly."  I sit him up slow and after a bit I help him into a chair.  

"Did you say the new guy is gone, George asks incredulously.  His table is empty and I don't see him layin' around anywhere I tell him.  Damn, someone must've come in here, knocked me out and taken him.  Why would anyone do that?  Don't ask me man, body snatchers?  How are ya feelin', how's your head?  I'll live, I guess, but I should have my head examined.  Yeah, I say, agreein' with him.  Hey George, let me get doc Jones for ya, ok?  Good idea Lenny.  

I come back with the doc and then I get outta there.  On the way out I notice the empty bag under the empty table.  The bag that had the clothes in it.  Now why wouldn't they just take the whole damn bag?   It takes a good chunka time to dress a dead body, especially if ya never done it before.  This is gettin' weirder all the time.  I need another smoke.  I leave the building ta get a pack at the deli across the street.  Screw it.  Better a packa smokes than a bottle of booze I tell myself.  As I'm waiting for the light ta change on first avenue I glance uptown and I see this guy tryin' ta hail a cab.  He has shiny shoes and he's dressed sharp.  Looks about my age.  Looks an awful lot like the dead guy as a matter of fact.  He takes a long, hard look at me as a cab pulls up, and then he shoots me a little smile and gets in.  On second thought, I think I'll get that bottle.  And the packa smokes. 
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Posted: Jul 25, 2011 12:21am
Jul 25, 2011
The Wee Rabbit Series -- David Kane -- Copyright 2011

~~~~~ I ~~~~~

'Wee Rabbit Sits' 

Pear trees shed flowers; 
they fall like snow.

A wee rabbit sits. 

 ~~~~~ II ~~~~~

'On Display'

A wee rabbit that could fit in my pocket 
appears to take no notice of me 
straddling my bike less than ten feet away. 

Wee rabbit I say, 
you mustn't sit there in the open. 
There are hungry birds of prey 
that would eat you. 

Don't just sit there on display,   
or you will surely become lunch one day. 

~~~~~ III ~~~~~

'The Snowing Pear Tree'

Sniffing the air, 
Twiching her nose, 
wee rabbit turns 
and off she goes. 

Hopping, then stopping, 
turning to see, 
if I was still there, 
my bike and me. 

The orange Sun rose into the sky, 
as I pedaled my bike 
wondering what, where and why 
fuzzy wee rabbit wants me to ride.  
She turned again 
then, bounding away, 
took off on the path 
before I could say: 

"Hey, wee rabbit 
wait up for me. 
Don't run so fast 
that I can't see 

where you're going, 
where you want me to be." 
I kept on riding 
'til I could see 

wee rabbit stopped 
at a gnarly old tree 
with a raven on top,  
and many birds and bees 

flying about the grasses and pond, 
flitting around with barely a sound. 
Only some buzzing and whirring of wings, 
when I noticed some more wee living things. 

Around the pond 
were turtles and frogs, 
and more tiny rabbits, 
amidst flowers and fog. 

The trees and the water --  
every color was there, 
shining so brightly 
in cool morning air. 

Wee rabbit hopped off, slipped into the fog, 
I put my bike down, and I sat on a log, 
"Thanks for showing me this" I whispered aloud. 
Then I laughed, looked around, my head in a cloud. 

I'll keep this our secret; 
wee rabbit and me, 
and the place where we met 
by the snowing pear tree.

~~~~~ IV ~~~~~

'Wee Rabbit Wakes Me Up'

Wake up, wake up, wee rabbit said.  
Stretch and yawn the sleep from your head.  
I'll meet you outside, it's a beautiful day, 
The sun's almost up, come out and play.  

I stretched and I yawned, 
shook the sleep from my head.  
I looked around, 
then I got out of bed.  

I got dressed and ran down the stairs, 
wondering if wee rabbit was ever there.  
I made a PB&J to take with me, 
and left a note for my folks to read.   

Adding a juice box for the ride, 
I started to wheel my bike outside.  
Then I stopped, and went back to the kitchen, 
where I got a carrot for wee rabbit twitching.  

Twitching her whiskers as I came out the door 
as if she knew who the carrot was for. 
She gave me a blink, and started away, 
as I pedaled behind her on this fine day.  

Wee rabbit stopped at the top of the hill, 
turned to the right and hopped off until, 
she came to a clearing among all the trees, 
stopped, turned around, and looked right at me. 

I set my bike down and took off my pack, 
I rummaged around in my paper sack, 
removing the carrot for wee rabbit to see, 
and we had breakfast, wee rabbit and me.  

When we were finished I put the paper sack 
into my pack which I put on my back.  
Wee rabbit licked her whiskers, then blinked twice, 
staring intently at a small pair of mice.  

This pair of mice had popped out of the grass, 
when a shadow came by, moving fast.  
It was a falcon, flying silent and high, 
a beautiful bird, but then I thought, why 

this bird is looking for something to eat,  
small furry critters with small furry feet 
would no doubt be perfect for an early snack, 
as the mice took off, wee rabbit at their back.  

I jumped on my bike and pedaled real hard, 
looking up, and around, both near and far.  
I saw that falcon turning around 
and making a dive straight for the ground.  

Wee rabbit and mice all leaped into the grass, 
vanishing quickly, as the big bird dove past 
climbing high in tight circles big bird couldn't see 
where wee rabbit and the small mice might be.  

After a while falcon flew off,  
still searching the land for some easier stuff 
to find and to eat, and take home to her nest,   
some food for her brood, she'll do her best.  

Wee rabbit and the mice came out of the grass, 
we all were so happy that big bird had passed 
that we all spoke at once, and then we all laughed, 
relieved that we were all safe at last.   

The day had just started, and already it was 
an adventure to remember, special because 
we never knew what would happen for sure, 
but everyone's ok, and no one is bored.  

Wee rabbit and I bid our new friends goodbye, 
and we all looked up at the now gray sky.  
The rains are coming, the little mice said, 
so we split up, heading home, (perhaps back to bed).

 ~~~~~ V ~~~~~

'School for Wee Rabbit and Me'

Another school day has come to an end. 
So I say so long to some of my friends 
and unlock my bike from the bicycle rack 
then I ride to the corner and down the block 

'til I get to the house painted blue and white,  
near the top of the hill, and off to my right, 
I get off my bike and step up the stairs  
and notice Wee rabbit asleep in my chair.   

Wee rabbit is making a wee snoring sound, 
I look at her and then look around. 
There's no one else that I can see, 
just Wee rabbit, my bike, and me.  

I'm thinking of waking this sleeping rabbit 
but she looks so peaceful, and now she's quiet,  
so I'll let her continue her sleeping,  
as I put my bike away I'm thinking:  

Why is Wee rabbit sleeping here 
dozing in my little chair? 
I'll put my knapsack on my bed 
and then I'll wake that sleepyhead. 

She can come upstairs with me, 
we'll have cookies and some tea,  
and Wee rabbit can tell me why 
she's sleeping on my chair outside.  

She was awake when I opened the door, 
blinking her eyes and licking her paw, 
hello, my friend, Wee rabbit said,  
can I have some water, maybe some bread? 

Oh, come inside and upstairs with me
we'll share some cookies and some tea 
and you can tell me why you're here, 
in the middle of the day, asleep in my chair. 

First, Wee rabbit said to me, 
let's have those cookies and some tea, 
then I will tell you everything, 
including why I'm here, sleeping.  

Ahhh, Wee rabbit exhaled and smiled, 
it's the best tea and cookies I've had for a while, 
and I want to thank you so very much 
for accepting my friendship without any fuss.  

Some people might think it strange 
to have a wee rabbit for a friend, 
but there is nothing wrong with that, 
the world is a ball, it's not flat,  

and everything is joined together, 
you and me, even the weather, 
and as to why I was sleeping here, 
dreaming away in your wee chair, 

it's because I was up all night. 
The land where I stay was filled with light 
and noisy machines that ripped up trees 
making all of us take our leave.  

Oh, I'm afraid all the land will be gone, 
there'll be nothing left for my friends to live on, 
and pretty soon all the green, living things, 
and all of Earth's creatures (except human beings), 

will be naught but a memory, if even that, 
good shall be buried and the world will be flat.  
I'm sorry to tell you such a sad tale, 
I hope I'm wrong and that good shall prevail, 

but after a night like the one we all had, 
it's hard to feel good, I can only feel sad.  
Sad for my friends, sad for me and you.  
Sad because I don't know what to do.  

Don't be sad Wee rabbit, Melissa said, 
We'll figure out what to do instead . . . 
instead of letting them wreck all your homes, 
leaving your friends afraid and alone.  

First we must find a place you can stay.  
Not only you but any that may 
need somewhere to live, somewhere to stay, 
until we can keep those destroyers away.  

I was pacing my room as I spoke and thought, 
speaking to both of us, hoping for hope, 
hoping Wee rabbit and friends could keep 
their places to live, their places to sleep.

I turned to Wee rabbit, to see what she'd say, 
but Wee rabbit was sleeping, she'd had a long day. 

 ~~~~~ VI ~~~~~

'The Stand to Save the Land'

(Wherein Wee rabbit, Mellisa and friends save the day.) 

Mellisa and Wee decided that they 
should enlist their friends to save the day. 
What is the best way to do this Wee? 
Let's have them over for cake and tea.  

So they invited one and all 
and set the time for the ball, 
ok, not really a ball at all, 
more like something very small.  

Small but important nonetheless, 
to help and solve this messy mess.  
All the bushes, animals, and trees 
would disappear (along with the bees). 

Animals and people had tea and cake 
and tried to decide what plans they should make. 
They agreed that they should all 
do what they could to save the ball 

that is our planet, mother Earth, 
that we live on since our birth. 
We have no other place to go, 
so maybe we should take it slow  

and think about what we'll leave 
for the children to believe 
what is wrong and what is right, 
whether things are dark or bright.  

It was a bit chilly as the red Sun rose, 
Wee rabbit stood up and wrinkled her nose,  
looking around and sniffing the air 
she saw lots of people everywhere. 

Some talking and drinking coffee or tea 
that a man in a small truck gives out for free. 
Some holding signs, some tossing a ball, 
it seems this morning is enjoyed by all. 

Melissa came back from talking to some, 
she said more people were going to come 
to help us save this beautiful land 
before it's too late, while we still can. 

More people arrived, some carrying signs 
"This land's for everyone, for all time," 
and just then the workers arrived 
ready to bulldoze all things alive, 

but when they saw everyone there 
they decided to take some care, 
and so instead of making a fuss 
they had some coffee and cake with us,  

and when their boss came on the scene 
he also had some cake and tea. 
He made some calls, paced up and down, 
he called the sheriff of the town,  

and the whole thing went to court. 
There'd be no more work of that sort. 
The people had made so much noise 
they chased them out with all their toys. 

Their big machines with all their lights, 
their big plans, their greed and might. 
It was close, this fight for right. 
Wee and her friends slept well that night.

-- dk

"We abuse the land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to  us. When we see land as a community 
to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

-- Aldo Leopold, American conservationist. 
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Posted: Jul 25, 2011 12:12am
Jul 25, 2011

'On The Boardwalk'

A soft haze sits on the water today, 
out on the horizon, far, far away.  
The water is calm, there's just a slight breeze, 
and the seagulls are napping, ignoring me. 

I sit on the boardwalk, in the bright sun, 
thinking that Spring is soon to come.  
It's the 18th of February, but it might as well be 
a Spring afternoon here by the sea. 

Pigeons search through the pigeon-tracked sand, 
stopping, then looking, then searching again, 
using their beaks, throwing sand side to side, 
as a few of the seagulls jump up and fly. 

The pale blue sea meets the pale blue sky 
out in the distance where they collide.  
I put my little notepad away, 
walking off westward this bright, sunny day.  

-- dk 


'On The Boardwalk II'

The water glints like a million diamonds, 
From Brighton Beach to the Atlantic Highlands. 
Jutting six miles out from the Jersey side, 
Sandy Hook, barely a mile wide.  

Not far away Navesink Twin Lights, 
Where the wireless telegraph first came to life.
Guglielmo Marconi sent the first dots and dashes 
To report on the America's Cup yacht races.  

To this day you can still see 
Artillery pointing out towards the sea. 
And Nike missles standing and waiting,  
but never to be used, they sit there rusting. 

-- dk


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Posted: Jul 25, 2011 12:03am
Jul 19, 2011

One Pound minced turkey -- you know -- the ground kind. Two cans / six to eight ounces each maybe more, Red kidney beans.  Chopped onoins.   Tomato sauce.  Add as you pleeas.  Season as you please.  Some jalepeno peppers don't hurt.  Or tabasco. 

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Posted: Jul 19, 2011 12:42pm
Jun 9, 2011
Ocean Parkway Malls
This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

Ocean Parkway

In 1866, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux conceived of a network of wide, tree-lined avenues that would cut across the grid of Brooklyn and link its open spaces. Modeled after the Avenue de L’Impératrice (now the Avenue Foch) in Paris, Olmsted and Vaux’s new roads differed from their French predecessors in that they stretched for several miles. They were intended to provide sumptuous green corridors along which citizens could live and take pleasure drives. Two of them were built along Olmsted and Vaux’s newly designed Prospect Park: Eastern Parkway, running from Prospect Park to Crown Heights, and Ocean Parkway, connecting Prospect Park to Coney Island.

Only Ocean Parkway was built quite the way Olmsted and Vaux envisioned. (Eastern Parkway stopped short of its intended terminus.) Five and a half miles long, it stretches from Prospect Park to Brooklyn’s beaches at Coney Island. The parkway is divided according to function. The center lane is only for private vehicles, and was intended for pleasure driving, originally for horse-drawn carriages. It is flanked by two greenswards, planted with trees and grass, which lend the road a park-like atmosphere and provide a place for pedestrians to stroll. Outside the greenswards are service roads for local and commercial traffic.

The City of Brooklyn acquired the land for Ocean Parkway in 1868. When the Parkway was built, between 1874 and 1876, it started at Park Circle, which is now known as Police Officer Robert Machate Circle, at the southern entrance of Prospect Park. The Parkway’s central drive quickly became a popular place for impromptu horse and carriage races; jockeys referred to it as the Ocean Parkway Speedway.

On June 15, 1894, thanks to the efforts of Albert H. Angel, of the Good Roads Association, and other sports enthusiasts, Ocean Parkway became the home of the country’s first bike path. More than 60 “wheelman clubs” from the New York and New Jersey area, as well as bicycle police, were on hand for the opening ceremony. Since racing was still a concern, cyclists were limited to speeds of 12 miles per hour on the bike path and 10 miles per hour on the parkway. Until 1908, there were several tracks for horse racing along the parkway, but these disappeared once open betting was banned. Equestrian culture on Ocean Parkway came to an end when the bridle path on the eastern roadway was removed during restoration in the 1970s.

In the 1950s, Ocean Parkway’s northernmost section was replaced with the Prospect Expressway. To prevent any further compromise of the historic design, in 1975 the city designated Ocean Parkway as a scenic landmark. A major federally funded restoration, as well as new noncommercial zoning restrictions, followed. Today, Ocean Parkway remains the magnificent thoroughfare that Olmsted and Vaux envisioned.

140 acres

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Posted: Jun 9, 2011 6:27am
Jun 7, 2011

Clouds rule the sky.   Totally.  There is no one cloud.  Just a blanket across the sky.  The water looks white, a reflection of the sky.  Never realized that before today.  Duh. 

Next day . . .  

The wierd thing is -- besides me and the cat -- the thin line at the horizon.  A still line of aquamarine.  And the deep blue of the Atlantic Highlands.  Don't know why they look so blue.  Plenty of things I don't know.  

Such a white sky reflected by the water. 

The water rushes up against the shore.  Turning white as it breaks and churns.  

Next day.

All blue.  The sky, the sea, all but the sky.  A breeze out of the north and two ski jets on the water.  

The tide is high.  The jetties are almost covered.  Never seen the water this high.  

There are red flags at every bay.   They serve to show the wind, and no going into the water.  Usaully offshore wind.  but it changes by the hour.  

Clouds are torn to the edges.  

Puttytat sits just outside my bedroom door, making puttytat sounds.  

Birds black against the blue sky (this is a rambling tale  as you can tell).  A peice of the moon roams the sky.  A small piece.  Naked and small against the sky.  But marvelous still.  

To change the scene . . . I love the yellow dandelions against the green, green, grass. 

The sky was as dreary as yesterday but wetter.  Fog all over,  could see the  water but nothing else.   Dizzle all over.  Condensing fog I guess.  

Just a merry wet mess..

 And a bit chilly and winky.   Ok -- windy. 


Mid to late May . . . 

Three women with little toddlers sit on the sand, strollers parked on the sand covered ramp.  

A Parks worker just came over, I have no clue, she says something I don't quite get and I asked her if she was ok.  She sais yeah and left.   mystery.  

It looks like two of the the moms and their kids are leaving.  Yep.  they're gone.  Almost.  Shaking the sand out of their shoes.  The little girls are a joy to watch.  I love the little ones.  They are so pure.  If only we could remain like that.  We become as polluted as the environment.  

It's a warm day, the sun is unbridled by clouds.  Every now and then a breeze picks up.  A welcome companion.  The two mother's (I assume they are the mothers)  have taken off with their charges.  One remains with her toddler, talking on her cell phone, while the little one plays in the sand.  

The sea and the Highlands are as blue as can be.They match perfectly.  There's a nice breeze out of the north.  The sand has crept onto the boardwalk and the parachute jump looms over all.  It feels like the heart of summer.  The water is amazingly consistent in color.  

The sun is beating down, thankfully that breeze from the north continues.  

Everything is blue.  Even the sand.  The sky a lighter blue than the water.  The water looks delicous.  Off towards the pier the water looks agitated.  The blue, blue skies and the birds that fly by, the deep blue water and the dry, dry sand are such a questionable match.  

Blue, blue water, blue, blue sky, if I live long enough I won't die.  

The water is washing up on the shore just like near the pier.  I just can't see it from here.  But I hear it.  Why am I even writing this?  Still, it looks beautiful.  Open water, the  Rockaways and the Atlantic Highlands.  The water is the best.  It never ends and it never cares.  
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Posted: Jun 7, 2011 10:58am
Apr 28, 2011
April, 22

A bunch (a flock?) of what I assume 
to be seagulls are flying so high
 they are mere dark specks 
against the cloud laden sky.  
I wonder how high they can fly.  

The clouds are low and stretch from horizon to horizon.  
Jersey -- the Atlantic highlands -- have reappeared.  
The water out where it meets the sky is a beautiful aquamarine.  Fitting. 

Change.  Rain is on the way.  
All the clouds have turned steel gray.  There remains a coral pink line 
-- thin line -- out on the distant horizon. 


Jersey, Rockaway, all is lost in the fog.  Gone.  
Totally gone.  
Sky meets the water, but I can't separate the two.  

Monday, 25th

Sitting on the boardwalk.  
The Jersey highlands were gone when I got here.  
Fog off in the distance.  
The fog has continued to roll in 
and now I can't even see the water.  
I hear the waves breaking on the shore, 
but it's all a blanket of white.  
I like it.  

Can probably see 100 yards, no more.  
The length of a football field.  
Everything is kinda ghostly.  
A bit spooky.  
I like it.  

The seagulls soaring overhead 
vanish into the covering fog 
like phantoms that were never really there.  

The fog has gotten so thick 
that it is literally dropping out of the air.  
Condensing and falling like rain.  
A very slow and inconsistent rain.  


 Tuesday, 26th

An amazingly, warm, sunny day.   Onshore breeze and whitecaps all across the water.  Puffy clouds to the south and west, clear bright blue sky to the north and east.  Weather is moving in from the west . . . probably rain tomorrow or the next day.  

Rockaway is clear and sharp, the Highlands are half lost in haze, a darker blue than the sky.  The Highlands are where Marconi first used  his wireless telegraph, working with the Herald newspaper.   He wanted to prove his invention.   

"The Herald provided stations for Marconi’s apparatus: in the Navesink Highlands on the New Jersey coast overlooking the New York harbor; the top of a tall building on 34th Street, New York (where a 100ft antenna was erected); and on the cable ship, Mackay Bennett, moored over (and connected to) the New York transatlantic cable which it used to provide immediate communications to London and Paris. The Herald also chartered two other steamships, the Ponce and the Grand Duchess, to cover all the events with Marconi’s system. Marconi was on board the Ponce, along with other US Naval officials who acted as observers of the new wireless technology. On September 30, 1899, as Commodore Dewey's fleet was approaching New York Harbor, news of it's arrival was relayed by radio from Marconi's boat to the Highlands station, and thence to New York and the newspapers. The experiments proved to be very successful. The Herald printed a most enthusiastic two column report to the world that "Marconi had passed the stage of uncertainty, that wireless was adopted for use at sea, and that its value could not be too highly estimated".

There is also a mile long pier that belongs to the US navy.  It connects to a rail line that links up with Earle Naval Weapons Station to the south.  Can't quite see it from here, but easy on Google Earth.  You can follow the rails all the way to the station.   Quite a trip.  

And then there are the Twin Lights.  And there is the new Coney Island.  Like the new Times Square -- Disneyland is everywhere.  Change is the only constant. 

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Posted: Apr 28, 2011 3:00pm
Apr 8, 2011

This is one of the BEST radio shows ever!  Check out a few episodes.  You won't be disappointed.  Promise -- Dave


To get all the latest Radiolab episodes and shorts delievered as soon as they're released, subscribe to our podcast. To listen to Radiolab on the old wireless, check with your local public radio station to see when Radiolab is scheduled. If we're not on the schedule yet, tell them that you'd like them to carry us.  

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Posted: Apr 8, 2011 6:17pm
Feb 16, 2011

On The Way           



     Dream Conversations

     On Buddhism and Zen

        Muso Kokushi


 Practical Application

According to Buddhist scripture, even if people are learned, as long as they do not put their learning into practice, they are no different from the ignorant.  This is also true of mundane activities; to understand the principles and talk about them may be quite easy, but actual performance is not so easy.


Many learned people only profess and do not actually refine their minds.  This is why they do not reach the attainments of the sages whose books they study.


When Confucius was alive he taught his students the principles of humaneness, justice, courtesy, intelligence, and truthfulness and had them  practice these principles.  When Confucius testified that so-and-so had learned humaneness, or so-in-son had learned justice, he was referring to people whose hearts were humane or just, not to people who had merely learned how to talk about humaneness and justice but had no humaneness or justice in their hearts.


Later students of Confucianism however, claimed to be masters of Confucian teaching as soon as they had learned definitions of humaneness and justice, without having cultivated humaneness or justice in their hearts.


The same was also true of Buddhism.  When Buddha was in the world, not all of his followers were geniuses who attained liberation promptly and became free, but even those of mediocre and lesser faculties who heeded Buddha’s instructions and put them into practice attained benefits according to their abilities.  Even after Buddha’s death, all those who practiced the teaching appropriately gained some benefit.  This was because they followed Buddhism only for liberation and for the salvation of all living beings, not for social status and material profit. 


In later times, many people, both laity and clergy, followed and studied Buddhism for the sake of reputation and material profit.  Therefore they did not advance in actual self-cultivation and refinement.  They thought it was enough to learn the doctrines of the various schools.  As a result, the more learned they were, the more conceited they became.

In consequence of all this, whereas ordinary people have just the usual personal ego, students of Buddhism added to that a religious ego.  Therefore even scholars of outstanding erudition might be no different from the most wretched miscreants in terms of their actual way of living and manner of being.


Zen teaching says that it is better to practice a little than to talk a lot.  Zen masters have therefore recommended that learned understanding be subordinated to study through personal experience.


The time nevertheless came when even Zen students were given to literary pursuits and became so proud of their erudition that they were not ashamed of having no real experience of enlightenment.

 No Set Track


Zen teaching has no set track or fixed pattern.  Sometimes it explains mundane principles, sometimes it expounds transmundane doctrines.  In any case, the purpose is to dissolve people’s sticking points and relieve them of their bondage.  Therefore there is no dogma or doctrinal orthodoxy; the only issue is what will effectively liberate and enlighten people.


According to an ancient Zen saying, “If you understand, you can use it on the road; if you do not understand, it becomes a mundane convention.”  Even if people are given mystic teachings for transcendence, if they do not understand them, the teachings become conventional doctrines.


On the other hand, if hearing explanation of worldly principles frees people from clinging and bondage, with the result that they unite directly with the fundamental, then these worldly principles are in that sense profound teachings.


Muso Kokushi (1275-1351)


Excerpted from Dream Conversations On Buddhism and Zen translated by Thomas Cleary 1994





Muso is touching on points we have covered many times over the years.  It is so easy to fool ourselves with our understandings.  Too often there is confusion in thinking that knowing the meaning of a word equals the experience and manifestation of that principle.  Muso aptly draws on Confucius and his style of teaching, where his students had to really incorporate the principles into their actions to master the teaching. 


To whatever degree we live the principles we aspire to, we become the real manifestation of Buddhism, Zen, or even Confucian ideals.  Otherwise the teachings become like superficial encounters, very inspiring during a lecture or retreat, but just another experience that ultimately fades without any deep impact. 


What an open mind to recognize also that liberation can come from many places…, “the only issue is what will effectively liberate and enlighten people.”  


Whether we have a teacher or not, it is still up to us to take the teaching into ourselves, stay with it long enough to see what to do with it, and then remember it each day….our life koan we refine over a lifetime.


Humbly offered,



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Posted: Feb 16, 2011 2:34pm


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