T   P   O
The Patient Ox (aka Hénock Gugsa)

G r e e t i n g s !

** TPO **
A personal blog with diverse topicality and multiple interests!

On the menu ... politics, music, poetry, and other good stuff.
There is humor, but there is blunt seriousness here as well!

Parfois, on parle français ici aussi. Je suis un francophile .... Bienvenue à tous!

* Your comments and evaluations are appreciated ! *

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Magical Tale (Part 3) - by Hénock Gugsa

Hénock in Minneapolis, August 2017
A Magical Tale *
by Hénock Gugsa
--- Part 3 of 3---
Like a magician, Eve dove into her big purse and brought out a checkered table cloth and studiously laid it down on the ground in front of Zach.  Then she opened up the lunch bags that she'd picked up at the corner deli.  The ground beneath her was firm and even.  This was indeed a nice park, and there were hardly any crawly critters in sight.  She handed Zach his favorite sub which consisted of fresh Italian bread, mortadella, big hunks of muenster cheese, cucumber slices, and a generous layering of mustard.  There was potato chips to munch on, and bottled water to wash everything down.  Eve's lunch was going to be a boring vegetarian's "salad delight" ... and that was that!  For dessert, they were going to have a banana each. 
As they sat eating, Zach began to hum the tune he'd heard in his dream.  It was all kind of eerie and unsettling.  No surprise then that Eve didn't much care for it, and her displeasure was quite visible.  So, Zach stopped and concentrated instead on his sandwich.  He wanted to get done with lunch and pick up where he left off on his little tale.  But sweet Eve was in no hurry, she always ate slowly.  She never hurried about anything in her life, ever!  But she made up for that oddity with her good manners, she always apologized and earnestly too.  Eventually they were both done eating ...  and while Zach disposed of the garbage, Eve put her tablecloth back into her magic purse. 
- "What do you think, Eve, are we going to live to a ripe old age, in good health and comfort?"
- "Maybe ... if you're good and sweet as you are right now.  If you change, get grumpy, or get greedy, and get angry like the generation before us ... why then I won't even stand to be near you let alone be your friend and lover."
- "Yeah, I know.  And I'd be miserable without you.  And I'm really afraid where we're headed right now.  It is beginning to look like there won't be much of a world left for us."
- "Why, babe?  What makes you say that?"
Zach sighed.  He was beginning to fall into a rueful and melancholic mood.  He had to be careful lest he wallow too deep in such dark waters of the mind.  Still and all, he was happy that his sweetheart was there to cheer him up and bring the sunshine in.
- "I'm worried and we both know the old timers are not leaving this world the way they found it.  They're leaving us a horrendous mess, and they don't even care," he said.
- "But we have magic on our side ... and it is a special, secret magic.  We have to be careful and keep it hidden from them. However, we among ourselves can spread it around ... kinda like by osmosis!  You know what I'm talking about, right?"
- "Of-course ... yeah, yeah, yeah!  We're not so hung-up on that "individualism" b.s. like they are.  They have nothing really to teach us except their mistakes.  More and more, and day by day, we are seeing how morally bankrupt they are. "
As Eve's hands softly caressed Zach's face, he could not help but smile warmly at her.  She loved his brown eyes, and he loved her dimples --- It thus seemed natural that Eve and Zach continue gazing at each other longingly ... even while they discussed the world's weighty issues!
- "What is the first thing to come out of our magic bag?" Eve asked.
- "A new language, a secret language that only we young people can understand and speak, right?"
- "Right! .... And magic number two is exclusive group-think between ourselves.  We have to shut the old people out of our lives."
- "We will be pioneers, establish our own island communities.  You and I, we're in our early twenties.  We'll be a unit and join or better yet start a commune.  Yeah, Eve, we can do that!  We should start our own EveZach pronto!" 
"Yeah!" She laughed. 
Zach was momentarily lost in thought again. He looked inquiringly at Eve, and she was gleefully smiling and nodding at him.
- "Yes, yes, I just now heard your thoughts inside my head," she said, "We are indeed telepathic already!"
- "S w e e t !  But this is new territory for us humans.  We have to tread lightly."
- "Yes, but don't you see the bigger picture?  With telepathy, you have to be careful with your thoughts ... 'cause your thoughts will control your actions and behavior as well as those of our group." 
Zach's face lit up.
- "This is fantastic.  This is magical.  With this power, we'll be able to build a new society unlike any that came before.  All the old problems of society like distrust, fear, lying, and cheating will die out.  Crimes, large or small, will be eliminated to a great extent. Utopia, here we come!"
================================ The End.
* Inspired by a dream I had on 11/15/17 

Friday, January 26, 2018

A Magical Tale (Part 2) - by Hénock Gugsa

Hénock in Minneapolis, 2014
A Magical Tale *
by Hénock Gugsa

 --- Part 2 of 3 ---
Zach looked at his left foot and willed it to take one step forward, then he looked at his right foot and gave the same order.  As he repeated these actions a few more times, he realized he was no longer stationary.  He continued to walk at a good pace and he was soon in pursuit of the pesky little girls.  He had to rescue them from their folly.  As he was hurrying along, an angry witch with the face of a fox appeared before him and started to taunt him with insults and curses.  She was trying to impede him from reaching the children.  Zach closed his eyes firmly and covered his ears with his hands, he kicked the dirt in front of him and spat.  When he opened his eyes, he saw that the witch with the fox head was now gone.  Zach smiled and resumed his furtive and determined pursuit of the children.
  ---  Just then, his shoulders were being shaken ... at first gently, and then more forcibly ....
"Zach, Zach ... wake up wake up! ... ZACH !"
 A pair of gentle hands were pressing and shaking his shoulders, he was being wakened from a deep slumber by Eve.  As his eyes gradually cracked open, he became aware that he was at the City Park.  Apparently, he had drifted off into a magical dream world while sitting with his back buttressed against a young oak tree. 
Eve apologized for being late and asked if he was okay.  She was concerned because he had a strange, far-away look on his face.  He was now visibly starting to get irritated ... he was feverishly trying to concentrate and remember every detail of the dream from which he just  got yanked.  Indelicately, he put an index finger to his lips to indicate that he needed a quiet moment.  As soon as he felt sure that the memory of the dream was not evaporating, he smiled and hugged Eve.  Then he told her his dream with every detail in tact.
- "What do you think it all meant?" Zach asked.
- "Why it is all so obvious, isn't it?" Eve replied.
She continued, "The whole thing is just one big metaphor for the current state of affairs.  Almost everything in your dream can be ascribed to things, to people, and to events in our life."
Zach looked mystified.  He wasn't sure what Eve was talking about.  It was clearly up to her to clear the cobwebs off his brain.  That seemed to be the norm these days ... men were getting doltier and doltier by the day!
 "Think about it ... you being stuck, having a lead foot.  That's where we are politically today, ... stuck, mired, so to speak, and in a hopeless situation.  And the three little girls wearing three different colored blouses ... blue is for fear, green for greed, and red is definitely for hate.  Fear, Greed, and Hate! .... And we know who the fat old man with yellow hair is, don't we?  And the witch is, of-course, snarky old FOX-News!"
 - "So, Eve, what do you think?  Do we stand any chance of extricating ourselves from this mess?"
- "Well sure, Zach darling.  All you need is smarts ... and we can provide you that too!"   She laughed.                                      

 [... to be continued! ...]

*Inspired by a dream I had on 11/15/17

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Magical Tale - by Hénock Gugsa

Hénock in Duluth in 2008
A Magical Tale *
by Hénock Gugsa

--- Part 1 of 3 ---
Zach was not sure if he was in some sort of reverie where, out of the blue, he found himself in the middle of a strange forest.  The surroundings were dark, ominous, and unfriendly.  Not too far away, and in a starkly gray panorama lay a sort of a gorge, almost a canyon --- barren, craggy, and totally devoid of life except for a tall, fat, old man.  He was waving his arms feverishly from the center of the canyon, and the tuft of yellow hair on his head was billowing wildly in rhythm to his arms.

Then came the sound of determined feet as they crushed and crumpled the fallen leaves on the forest's uneven ground.  The unsettling rustle seemed to be headed in Zach's direction.  At that moment, he was suddenly shaken loose from his frozen state.  He was now sharply alert and his ears could now make out a choir of small angelic voices singing arcane nursery songs.

Zach looked around him, but saw nothing.  He was at his usual spot in the park ... and he had not felt the need to walk around and explore the surrounding forest.  But now as the voices seemed to draw near him, his feet which moments before had seemed non-existent had miraculously materialized.  He could feel them pulsating although he wasn't yet sure he was their master.  His toes wriggled as if they had lives of their own, and his knees started to bend and then to flex .  Zach felt alive!

The singers appeared as if from empty air and floated in front of him ... a strange sight indeed!  Three little girls were dragging a little boy behind them. His hands were tied in front of him with a  coarse rope.  The children, including the boy, were all about the same age ... not older than six or seven.  Each girl had on a different color blouse, ... the leader wore blue, the second girl had on green, and the third girl wore red.  As for the little boy, he was nondescript as to clothing or general appearance, but he looked distressed and helpless.

Now face to face with Zach, the little girls began to sing a mocking song ...

     Zachary, Zachary ... where's your sanctuary?
     You're stuck, you can't move, you got feet o' lead
     What to do, what to do, poor boy without hope
     The year went by quickly, we're back to January!
     You can't jump, and you can't fall on your head
     'N to get over that rock, you gonna need some rope!

     Zachary, Zachary ... where's your sanctuary? ...

The little girls sang and cackled as they dragged the little boy along.  Soon they tired of him, dumped him in front of Zach, and scampered off ... away toward the bleak canyon and the old, fat man still waving his arms.

Zach looked at the disheveled little boy closely, and as he did so, the little boy started to dissolve into thin air right there in front of him.  But as the child started to vanish, he became recognizable to Zach.  That was Zach himself some fifteen years back!

[... to be continued ....]

  "So, then, what next?!"
*Inspired by a dream I had on 11/15/17

Monday, January 22, 2018

Thoughts on Traveling - by Hénock Gugsa

Thoughts on Traveling
[and My Status as a U.S. Citizen]
by Hénock Gugsa
~~~~~~~ **** ~~~~~~~
In less than a month, I'll be traveling to Ethiopia for the second time in the last 37 years.  And if you should know, I've been a U.S. citizen for a quarter century.  However, that has not exempted me from receiving the special "treatment" coming-and-going ...  and you can safely infer that there's absolutely no way I'll turn into a Patrick Henry in front of ICE.  I have to grin and bear it all ... and say to myself, "The terrorists have indeed won!"

Indeed!  The last time when I arrived at MSP's International gate, a surly-looking ICE man (?!) made a bee-line toward me and another brown-skinned person while we were still standing in line to go to the Arrivals' processing window.  This agent asked to see our passports and inquired where we were coming from.  Meanwhile, he never even glanced at the young couple behind me who were white.  The questions this man asked were asked of me two more times on the way to retrieving my luggage.  I have to take these indignities in stride as I would many things.  What was that thing I read somewhere that said: If you shout at the devil, do you think he will shout back at you!
Happy trails! 

The ever-wonderful Lee Marvin !

Thursday, January 18, 2018

America, "the Perilous Fight" - by Hénock Gugsa

America, "the Perilous Fight"
by Hénock Gugsa
====== ~~~ ======
      A Facebook friend who lives in a tiny border community in Arizona recently sent me the following message ... with an accompanying video which I have included here ...
           <<  We see the deaths every week here, finding old remains and average about one new death per week, not to mention finding immigrants continually begging for succor sometimes a week or more without food, days without water .... [Unfortunately, they're considered] just mojados, wets.  They aren't going to elicit sympathy or interest.  Trump's outrages and that sensationalism captures the attention ....>>
      I have no words to descibe the disgust, the pain, and the total frustration I feel about America's current condition and its bleak future if things continue the way they are or grow worse.
      This beloved country has had its ups and downs, and its resiliency has of-course been exceptional.  Adversities and challenges have been met with courage, grit, and optimism.  Enemies from within and from without have continually failed to bring America to its knees.  This nation has been down as often as it's been up ... and always, there have been real heroes that have arrived just in time before the fall into a dark abyss.  To name the the three greatest ones, America was blessed with Washington, Lincoln, and FDR.  Often, America's heroes were just the people needed to mop up the disasters of previous, incompetent and unfit leaders and the parties they headed.  Recently, we had Obama pulling us out of the calamitous eight years of George W Bush's presidency.
      But alas, now, we are in the clutches of what Philip Roth describes as "[an] ominously ridiculous commedia dell’arte figure of the boastful buffoon ... a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies, devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac."
     True, in the Fifties, reference and blame for the world's problems was cast on "The Ugly American" as described in the excellent 1958 political novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer.  America got tangled up in the Korean War in the Early Fifties.  Then in the Sixties thru the mid-Seventies, Vietnam was the quagmire of choice.  Fast-forward to 2003 and up-to the current day, the "war against terrorism" is being waged full blast in the Middle East. 
     These wars and foreign adventures naturally affected the domestic political policies and direction of where the nation has been headed.
     Presently, or more specifically since late January of 2017, our country has been steered wrong on all aspects of Government.  The three-headed monster of
Greed-Fear-Hate is in charge.  A con-man extraordinaire with no plans but those of lining his pockets as well as those of his family, and his wealthy friends is shamelessly gutting our lives, our sense of security, and our hopes.
      We are in a period not too unlike that of Germany under Hitler.  Corporate plutocrats were buttressing the regime then, and they are doing the same thing now in Trump's America.  Truth is being dismantled, and everywhere corruption and injustice grow roots and thrive.  America needs to shirk off the current inertia and stand up to tyranny and evil everywhere.  In this respect, the Women's Resistance Movement has been a godsend and it should be replicated in every walk of life.  We should all rise up as one and cast off this yoke of misery and doom, and we can do it because we are optimists!

Monday, January 15, 2018

J & K Heinz's Wedding and the mock Divorce! - by TPO

This is it! .... From 2009... the actual wedding of

Jill Peterson & Kevin Heinz

and the satirical mock divorce video
by indigoprod actors   ...

Monday, January 1, 2018