Author Archives: Bruce Goodman

About Bruce Goodman

My day is astronomically fantabulous, inordinately splendid, incredibly superb! Hope your day's not its usual crap.

2259. Dead

Hi. My name is Andreus. I regard myself as a realist. Some people just can’t face reality. I’ll give you an example or two.

When I read Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray I thought how morbid to be writing poetry sitting among all those dead people. Then I thought that those cows in the lowing herd that were winding slowly o’er the lea are now dead. Every one of them dead as a doornail. They’re not mooing anymore. They’re dead.

That got me thinking about other things. You know in “Oh what a beautiful morning” from Oklahoma? They sing “All the cattle are standin’ like statues; They don’t turn their heads as they see me ride by”. That’s because they’re all dead. For goodness sake! Nor would the corn be as high as an elephant’s eye because by now the elephant and the corn would be dead. There’s not a happy song left in the world because most things that inspired the songs are now dead.

The bluebird of happiness is dead.

When I went to the library a day or two ago I was fingering my way through a history picture book, and I thought that all those people in the pictures are dead. History is about dead people. There are dead people everywhere. Dead! Dead! Dead!

Some people are obsessed with dead people. Thank goodness I’m not. That’s one thing I’m dead sure about.

2283. Starlight romance

The night sky had no moon. It was pitch black which accentuated the stars. The evening was warm. Julie and I sat on the park bench in utter silence. We held hands and gazed in amazement at the stars. It was breath-taking. It was truly romantic. We kissed.

I don’t know who I kissed but it wasn’t Julie.

2258. Story Homework

Nina was stuck. Her teacher had set homework and it was to write a one-page story about anything. Nina couldn’t think of anything. It would have been a lot easier if the teacher had been more specific. If the teacher had said “Write a story about elephants” at least there would be a starting point.

Or the teacher could have said “Write a story about your favourite aunt” or “Write a story about a family picnic”. But no! The teacher had said to write about anything. Nina’s mind went blank. Did she have writer’s block?

The school day dawned. Nina hadn’t written a word. She was getting desperate. The school bus would leave in about half an hour. Nina sat at the kitchen table and began to write:

Once upon a time my favourite aunt, Matilda, gathered her family around and announced they were all going on a picnic. Such excitement! Off they went to the park. While they were there sitting on rugs and enjoying their lettuce and cucumber sandwiches three elephants escaped from a nearby circus…

On and on Nina’s story went. Such tragedy! Such passion! Such spectacle! Nina finished just in time to catch the bus.

“Dear me,” said the teacher. “I asked for a one-page story and you have written seven. You must learn to have fewer ideas.”

Poem 105: Awake the dawn

 Boasting rooster in quick morning light will awake the dawn.
 Blue moon rising in the dead of night will awake the dawn.

 Some children like to snuggle up in warmth and stay in bed,
 Yet they on Christmas day with delight will awake the dawn.

 The disenchanted lover wanders home alone to mope;
 Life has lost its spark, and moans of plight will awake the dawn.

 The forest sleeps, yet creatures roam its depths in well-worn paths;
 Myriads of birds defying quiet will awake the dawn.

 A rosebud waits unopened, well hid in corner garden;
 Its courageous opening petals bright will awake the dawn.

 And Bruce entrapped inside by winter’s callous frozen clutch,
 Spreading wings in spring and taking flight will awake the dawn.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

2257. The swing bridge

The canyon wasn’t wide but it was very deep. From the swing bridge that crossed the canyon the river at the bottom looked like a thread of cotton. In a wind, even a light breeze, the bridge would be closed. That meant a two-hour drive to get to the other side, rather than a five minute walk on the bridge. But safety came first.

Now Garrett had always been a bit of a dare-devil, so no one was particular surprised when he entered a local radio competition. The radio was going to string a hammock underneath the bridge and the contestant would have to spend a night sleeping there. All for a hundred dollars.

Don’t worry, said the radio, the hammock is quite safe and has been checked by expert engineers. It’s not going to fall.

That might be true but unfortunately Garrett got up to go to the bathroom.

2256. Over the teacups

Pricilla was an expert at tasseography, and she made a pretty penny at the trade. Of course, she did it for fun although some people took it seriously. To read tea leaves in cups brightened everyone’s day. Occasionally a group of friends would come along together and after drinking their tea would insist on a communal reading. It was good for a laugh!

Sometimes however Priscilla took things more seriously. Reading teacups could be more of an opportunity to listen and help people who were at a loss. They had come to the tasseographer because they were reaching out for help. Pricilla was an expert at divining those who were distraught and bringing out the best in people. Telling fortunes by reading tea leaves was simply a vehicle. In fact, once in a very long while, a friendship would form “over the teacups”.

Once a woman had come along to have her tea leaves read (although it should be noted that Pricilla also read coffee dregs if that was the client’s preference). Pricilla could tell she was distressed. It turned out that the woman had murdered her husband. It had been all over the papers and the police had been at a loss as to who had done the dastardly deed. And here was Mavis A. Clenovavitch of 29 Hartford Lane (sorry, I shouldn’t have used her name) telling Pricilla what the police had spent weeks trying to find out.

Now things had reached a pretty pass for Pricilla. Should she, or should she not, tell the police? I mean, was she under any obligation to report such things or should she regard confidentiality as sacred?

In the end Pricilla decided not to tell a soul. That is why to this day Mavis A. Clenovavitch of 29 Hartford Lane walks scot free, and both she and Pricilla enjoy the substantial fortune Mavis’ late husband left in his will.

Music 409-13: Serenade for String Orchestra

Here is a Serenade for String Orchestra. It is in five movements.

I: The audio can he heard HERE, and the sheet music can be downloaded HERE.
II: The audio can he heard HERE, and the sheet music can be downloaded HERE.
III: The audio can he heard HERE, and the sheet music can be downloaded HERE.
IV: The audio can he heard HERE, and the sheet music can be downloaded HERE.
V: The audio can he heard HERE, and the sheet music can be downloaded HERE

2255. Goldilocks breaks in again

Goldilocks saw the Three Bears shopping in town so she headed for their house.  There were three plates of grits on the table. She tried each dish. The first dish was too hot, the second was too cold, but the third was just right so she gobbled it up.

Next she sat in a chair. Clearly she had eaten the grits while standing up. The first chair was too big, the second was too small, but the third was just right but it soon collapsed because she had eaten too much.

Next she went into the bedroom to have a rest. The first bed was too lumpy, the second was too bumpy, and the third was too grumpy. Oh goodness me! Oh hell’s bells! Oh shock and horror! She had gone to the wrong house. The Three Giraffes were still in bed.

2254. Time of birth

Heather was 84 when she discovered she had possibly been adopted. Her adopted parents were long dead, as indeed would have been her biological parents.

Her day had started as quite ordinary. She still had all her marbles and was active for her age. It was late morning when she went to check the mailbox. Her life was about to be turned upside down. Kitty, a dear friend and neighbour, had rather nonchalantly asked a few weeks back at what time was Heather born. Heather said she didn’t have a clue but it might be on the birth certificate. So she wrote away for a copy and on this day the birth certificate arrived.

There was no time of birth, but the couple named as her parents were not the parents she had known. In fact there were other little titbits of misinformation. The date was wrong by several days. In fact, the date was possibly correct. Heather had spent a life time wrongfully thinking her birthday was on the 12th whereas in fact it had been two days earlier on the 10th.

The place of birth was news to her as well. She had always presumed she was born in Thrushport, but the certificate clearly stated Sunnytown. And splashed across the information in another hand-writing was the word – ADOPTED.

But the biggest news of all was her name. She had always been called Heather; plain Heather and nothing else. The birth certificate clearly stated her name was Philomena Heather. Philomena! Clear as a bell – Philomena Heather Brighton.

“But Heather,” exclaimed Kitty the dear friend and neighbour. “Brighton is your married name!”

“This,” declared Heather, “almost certainly calls for a celebratory wine.”