Song Lyric Sunday

Using the military theme I have chosen a favorite of my childhood.  We marched from our school to the cemetery, each waving a small United States flag.  We sang this song and other military themes as we went to place the flags on the grave sites.  This yearly tradition gave us, even as children, respect for the fallen.

This song was composed in 1863 by Patrick Gilmore.  This version by Mitch Miller.

First Line of the Week – Hey, I’m Ashes!

I always was claustrophobic. That is why I chose this way of leaving the world. The thought of being buried deep under the earth in a locked box didn’t appeal to me, so I chose cremation. I’m not a big funeral lover either, and chose not to have one. I wanted to be remembered as my healthy self, cracking a joke, which I did not do well, by the way, or laughing. Comedians say that another comedian’s funeral hears the best jokes ever. I’m sure the deceased would enjoy that.

I chose this end. Straight from the morgue in a cardboard box to the crematorium. We had one locally when I was young. It was a joke for all of us, with a very creepy underbelly. It had a tower, not what you’re thinking, no smoke rising out of it, but a glass enclosed window structure at the peak. When the sun shone on the glass it turned the colors of flames. Naturally everyone assumed they were seeing actual fire. It would be curious to know exactly what they were trying to depict with that tinted glass.  

Of course I’ll never know. I’ll never know exactly what caused me to be here in this urn either. It’s against the rules. Who knew there would be rules after you’re dead?

Sunday Photo Fiction – A Star is Born

The crowd had gathered, all anxious to see the newly acquired star of Paramountain-Disning Studios, Glorko. As the head of the studio appeared, the crowd quieted. “I take this opportunity to introduce our latest new talent, fresh from the Trapezoid Galaxy: Glorko.” Applause filled the room as the sci-fi fans cheered.

“Hello there! Am I not the creepiest thing you’ve ever seen? On my planet I’m considered to be the elite. Oh yes, thank you for asking, I do have impenetrable armor. Like the sheen? It allows me to become invisible, well almost, you should see an outline, with a slightly glowing effect, truly amazing. I am proud of my heritage, yes. I’ve been in the business about ten years and am happy to join the prestigious studio of Mr. Paradink. Everyone here has been delightful. I am looking forward to an illustrious career as the indomitable creature from another galaxy. I love being in a film industry where I do not have to play the love interest or family man any longer. Those roles are boring. I’m ready to branch out and do some serious acting for a change. Thank you!” 
Applause as the creature leaves the stage.

Memorial Day – Time for Reflection

Every year we visited this cemetery.  High on a hill surrounded by cedar scrub brush, it was always amazing to see how green the graves’ surroundings were kept.  We usually arrived early.  We brought anything flowering at home with us to decorate the grave sites.  This year the wild yellow rose bush crowding the driveway was full at just the right time.  We also had some peonies, roses, and a few remaining lilacs.  Flags had already been placed by the American Legion and various bunches from available others’ gardens filled vases here and ther on their own familiy’s sites.

Before the ceremony and gun salute on the hill, there were ceremonies on two bridges that covered the North Fork Gunnison River on the edge of town. Every few feet of the railings, flags were posted and it was a beautiful sight seeing Old Glory waving in the breeze.  The same American Legion volunteers placed them and also performed the ritual of reading lost military personnel from that year.  Guns blared and a wreath was thrown into the river.  My kids and I enjoyed watching it float its way down through the shallow areas, hoping it would travel on.  To us it was a symbol of lost lives and the hope of them continuing on some way.

Looking around for pinecones to fill in spaces around the flowers.

Taking a moment at her great grandmother’s marker.
This hill overlooked the valley of Paonia, Colorado.  It was one of two cemeteries in the area but most of our relatives were buried here.  The particular year pictured first finds my granddaughter adjusting the yellow roses just so around her grandfather’s headstone.The children were taught to respect the sites, carefully stepping only where they should.  Each visit, stories were told of who the residents were and how they related to the living.  Some of the oldest markers told of infant deaths, truly remarkable to the young children.

After placing our flowers, it was time for the local American Legion Post members to recite the list of military personnel from the year past, usually including young soldiers in foreign lands.  Then a salute of gunfire and sometimes an actual trumpeted version of “Taps”.  In some years it was a recording, but just as powerful, sparking tears in the attendees.  When our children were very small and not able to grasp the complete meaning, they would scramble with other children present, to gather the empty rifle shells and they each still have some today.

The Mission

I never thought I would actually make the trip. Traveling was always difficult. I was skeptical at first, if I would have the strength to complete my “mission”. The line was long and tiring for the planes, the ride itself was almost overwhelming, but I needed to do it. I had waited too long to see him.

I was prepared to surprise him; I was unprepared for his surprise. The taxi was waiting at the curb for any weary traveler, and as the driver helped me in the car, I realized how tired I really was. He put my small bag near me and drove me to the hotel.  

The accommodations were modest. I was not a tourist in the sense I needed everything perfect for my stay. I was not planning on staying long, or interested in the scenery. I had one goal in mind, that was all.

I slept a little. I was anxious to see him. I dressed carefully, because it would be the first time we would see each other, in the flesh. I smiled to myself thinking it would be wonderful and finally fulfilling to feel his skin, have him close. I felt butterflies inside, almost giddy. I looked in the mirror one more time. Age had taken its toll, but he knew that and seemed fine with it.

The taxi left me about a block away per my instructions, and I slowly took in what were his every day surroundings. The higher bushes concealed my presence and I paused to see his home and garden. As I stepped nearer, I heard laughter, mumbling, then giggles. Apparently the residents were having a secretive conversation.  

I pushed some vines to the side and observed two apparent lovers, sitting together in their garden. Openly smiling, laughing, and touching. I felt sick. I thought I might faint. I steadied myself on the near small tree, keeping myself hidden as I tried to regain my composure. Tears of disappointment pushed through my anger. My face felt hot and it was hard to see. My heart was completely broken in a second of truth.

I turned and walked as quickly as I could manage, retracing my steps to where the driver let me out of his cab. I contacted him again and it was only a few moments until he arrived. Inside the hotel room I thought I would never be able to stop crying. It was all foolishness after all.  The sudden realization of my age, and the ridiculous dreams I weaved in my mind kept flashing like a neon sign.  I let my love for him trick my brain into thinking this was real. I packed my bag. I was going home sooner than I expected. Before I left the room, I took the small device I thought held dreams to be fulfilled, and threw it in the trash. My mission was over.

Picture – 151 – The glass

I see you in there

I reach

Is it possible for you to feel my presence

My hand on a glass?

Can  you feel my hand 

I want you near me

I want to feel your hand touch mine

I can’t come in, you can’t come out

Will we always be like this?

Together, but separate, only a touch away

There is no partition

We see it only in our mind.

Daily Prompt:  Reprieve

“O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive” Walter Scott

If your lover you deceive

This person you will peeve

The web that’s mentioned you will weave

Traps you and you’ll later grieve.

The secret new love you received

Should not have worn it on your sleeve

And if to new love you cleave

Too late, regrets, there’s no reprieve.