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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Haiku on About/ Much/ Put/ Justice


That is about right
Perhaps a bit lower down
Can you scratch harder

Steer the boat about
Think we need to head for home
Before the tide turns

A cloud white happy
Not thinking about raining
On someone's parade


Low tide, still water
Reflections on life and love
Don't need much prompting

Not so much to say
More in the touch of your smile
And light in your eyes

I don't ask for much
But then I need all of you
Its just our secret


Put T on the end
And chase the little white ball
To the final green

Life in the fast lane
Put your foot on the pedal
And never let up

Put foot in your mouth
Keep on saying stupid things
Poor politician


Too late to be scared
Justice finally caught up
You can relax now

The scales of Justice
A sword in her other hand
Wearing a blindfold

Paying a late fine
Scared of other penalties
Where is the justice?

Use time carefully
Do justice to your life goals
Don't 'waste' or 'fill in'

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Haiku on Break/ Always/ Outrage/ Original


Then it dawned on me
The light playing with my eyes
Was the break of day

Break with tradition
Rushing to work no longer
I am retiring

Snap, crackle and pop
The satisfying mouth sounds
As a biscuit breaks


Always remember
Even in a weak moment
You are simply you

Weathered, perhaps scarred
Even at the end of time
Mountains always stand

Even when time's up
Always look on the bright side
You made a difference


Powers feed outrage
Supplying rockets and bombs
Frontline pawns dying

I want it all now
You promised I could have it
Three year old's outrage

Recent solar flare
Sun's outrage at father's world
And tribal disputes


Make original
Got the details together
Novel arrangement

Very small detail.
To make an original
Got to make it up

She's original
Need to make out the detail
Got to get real close

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Haiku on Wonder/ Journey/ List/ Teach


Climbing life's mountains
New vistas fill with wonder
And mountains to climb

Small cloud evolving
In an otherwise blue sky
Wonder about rain

You are a wonder
I can never tire of you
Daily surprises


Worked here for a while
Then moved to another life
A good journey man

Each emotion counts
Enjoy the inner journey
Minute by minute

Interesting times
World driven by violence
Journey to darkness


A list to starboard
Definitely right leaning
Finally drops off

Finally got it
I don't need all these pressures
Drop the bucket list

Begin with a list
Drop each one by the wayside
Finally at peace


Its not what you teach
But what others think they hear
That gets remembered

The school of hard knocks
Said to teach life's real lessons
Maybe just leaves scars

Every time I teach
I find I learn something new
The student challenge

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Humble Back Scratch - Therapeutic Implications

My wife and I have noted an odd phenomenon as we age. We both, perhaps for different reasons, are prone to getting twitchy legs. In Jan’s case this invariably happens as she is settling to sleep, and it becomes more and more irritating. Getting up and walking around does not seem to help, nor does shifting the position laying in bed. A change in air conditioning (ie cooling things down) makes no difference. No medication seems to make any difference. The twitch is not related to the type of clothing being worn, nor to the presence of sheets, blankets or a doona. It does not appear to be related to what was eaten during the day or for dinner, although we admit the discussion may have been a little superficial. It does not appear to relate to the amount of fluid taken in, or the amount of alcohol consumed (though neither of us drink more than a glass on the couple of times a week we do celebrate something). It just happens. It keeps you awake. It is very irritating.

But we have found a ‘cure’. The humble back scratch. With Jan laying on her tummy, and using gentle scratching, I begin on the shoulder with small circles. I gradually move the circles across the back, and then gradually work down the back to the waist. One of my objectives is to redden to skin right across the back, but not to the level of soreness. Another objective is to get to the point where Jan’s breathing becomes regular and deeper. At that point (maybe 8-10 minutes in), I usually change to a gentle back rub using a flat hand smoothing skin down the back. Jan is usually asleep by this time. Her sleep seems to be deeper, and she often goes through to morning. The leg twitching does not return.

How might this work? At the local level, the skin becomes red, and clearly some chemical reaction is occurring. Antihistaminic, serotenergic?? I don’t know. At a deeper level there may well be a release of serotonin in the brain – but I have to look into this further. A cursory search today produced very little to help.
At a psychological level, Jan may be reminded of being soothed as a child. She does have memories of seeking a back scratch from her father through clothing while watching TV in the evening, and remembers the joy it brought in a physical sense, but also the sense of closeness with a parent. Perhaps all I am doing is recreating those memories, which retain the power to soothe many years later.

Does it work for me? You bet. There is so much truth in the old saying: “You scratch my back, and I will scratch yours.” It is not immediate, given Jan is asleep. However, in the next day or so some reciprocal soothing may occur, leading to a marked reduction in jumping in my Transverse Myelitis legs.

So, I wonder? Would it be of use in soothing partners with Transverse Myelitis, or other spinal conditions that provoke such involuntary movements?

It demands trust. You must have an existing relationship, and be comfortable having an exposed back. It probably is best with a lover, or a best friend or family member.

Give it a go. Tell me how you react. If anyone knows anything about the science behind this, please write and tell me.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Haiku on Unity/ Blood/ Mad/ Save


Single minded miss
Always wanted her own way
Unity alone

This sad world fragments
Nation fights nation, hope dies
Unity a dream

Snow on mountain melts
Water drops coalesce, flow
Seeking unity


Silly little prick
Momentary withdrawal
Single drop of blood

With blood on his hands
High street butcher carved away
Meating others needs

Iron in the blood
The oxygen carrier
Provides us with strength


Frustrated writer
Have ideas but no time
I'm left feeling mad

The truly mad mad
Not those left in asylums
They're ones selling guns

They thought he was mad
Years after he left this world
They knew genius


Guess its up to me
And how I live in this world
So I save my soul

Save all the pennies
And you will be so wealthy
Till we use bit coins

Spend your love freely
On those to whom you are close
And they will save it

Monday, November 3, 2014

Haiku on Look/ Carry/ Float


Look at this my way
Upside down trapeze artist
Swung from side to side

Look into my eyes
Now say these words after me
All I own is yours

Let's do something bad
Could both strip and swim naked
Might need a look out


Old Irish Wolfhound
Since childhood he was her horse
She called him Carry

Carry her to term
Whispering, playing music
She'll be born attached

Carry on baggage
Backpack bottle and nappies
With infant in arms

I carry your love
And wear it as protection
Against all life's pains

Carry your burden
Cheerfully to the last day
Retirement beckons

An old carry bag
Stuffed with all her life treasures
A snail paced grandma


All those fat people
Have genetic advantage
They'll float when seas rise

A meditation
Mind floats through yesterday's dross
Releasing the angst

Float through dreams again
Composite house of all homes
Archetypal muse