Death: A Poem

Death

Painting by Author

Painting by Author

by
John Taylor Jones, Ph.D.
June 8, 2016

Death lies in wait
To unsuspecting prey.
Sometimes creeping, crawling,
Sometimes pouncing, brawling,
Tearing, slicing, eating away,
Life’s living will.

John

Korea 1951. I was a forward observer in the 17th Infantry at the time.

Korea 1951. I was a forward observer in the 17th Infantry at the time.

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Men’s Hearts Shall Fail Them: A Poem

Introduction:

The poem is kind of dreary so let’s watch a more cheerful video from the President of the Quorum of Apostles of the LDS Church. He is a prominent heart surgeon. Elder Russell M. Nelson shares a personal story to give encouragement for when we feel “weak in the heart.”

Men’s Hearts Shall Fail Them

Ring-necked Duck painting by author.

Ring-necked Duck painting by author.

by
John Taylor Jones
May 25, 2016

Desperation comes in many ways,
Death lies in wait all our days.

Why, it was only the other day
When death came our way—
The winds whirling, swirling out of the West,
Twisting, lifting, ripping, tearing,
Rending, splintering, shattering, ear splitting—
Sending brick and timbers into the air—
Sending men and beast a flying—
Separating the living from the dead.

Sometimes a lion—

My Painting of a Mute Swan

My Painting of a Mute Swan

Sometimes a snake—
But always near
Death lies in wait—
It strikes!
It pounces!
It bites deep and crushes.
It send you back from whence you came;
Down into the deep Earth—
It laughs while loved ones mourn—
It sneers at the cost of your death—
Death has a treacherous heart.

Korea 1951. I was a forward observer in the 17th Infantry at the time.

Korea 1951. I was a forward observer in the 17th Infantry at the time.

In Korea in 1951,
I walked across the vacant fields—
Stubble was the only sign of life.
I walked into the vacant home
Where once an extended Korean family
Cooked and ate and played with their kids.
In the inner court yard,
I could hear the children laughing—
I could see the young man hugging his bride.
I could see the old man with his black top hat,
Looking like Abraham Lincoln,
Smoking his pipe and laughing
At the antics of his grandchildren.
I knew what happened to such families—
The men were killed
Or captured and sent off to the north.
Some were able to flee to the South.
The family was together no more.
I could feel the cold breath of death.

Thousands had died in that valley,
Americans, Turks, British, French,
Algerians, Chinese.
Some of their remains were there.
Some of their equipment was there.
They were not there—
Some were shredded by machine-gun fire
As they tried to flee—
Chinese trying to escape death
From the air
As they tried to flee to the North.
And a brave machine gun sergeant
From our company
Had paid dearly on the hill to the west
Of which I care not to think.
War is always with us
Somewhere on this planet—
And we still have the audacity
To think about moving through space
To other worlds.
We would not be welcome,
Killers from Planet Earth.

There is more coming!
This planet will shed its outer skin
In the heat of an expanding sun.
That will be nothing new to us—
The earth has been through six (6) extinctions.

The One who said that in the last days
That men’s hearts would fail them,
Said, “These things I have spoken unto you,
that in me ye might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

That is our hope and prayer!

John

John T. Jones, Ph.D.

John T. Jones, Ph.D.

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Bacon: A Poem

Baconbacon
by
John T Jones, PhD
May 18, 2015

Bacon is everywhere
You go,
If you’re a hog,
Don’t be slow!

Bacon createsGrunt
Heart problem fears.
We have bacon coming
out of our ears.

I talked to a hog,hog
Just the other day.
He said, if I had wings,
I would fly away.

Yes, he would rather fly
Than fry.
I can certainly see
The reason why.

The End

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Sometimes The Story Is Better Than the History

In literature we sometimes can’t tell the truth from a myth. The truth is that the story is often better than the history.

The Deluge

Noah

Noah

A good example is the deluge that covered the earth in ancient times. Such a story is found in in the literature of many ancient countries. Notably is the story of the flood in Genesis of the New Testament where Noah is told to build an ark to save his family and all the animals of the world.

It’s pretty obvious that such floods occurred, at least locally, or perhaps in the limited world of the individual. Such stories are great to read, and from what I understand of ancient literature, the story was much more important than the actual history. If God was not there in the original story, the ancient writers would certainly put him there, perhaps several gods as needed.

The Story Is the Thing

Folks love fiction because they love a story. They know that the story probably is not based on fact, although occasionally it is, but they don’t care. They want to be entertained, feel love, feel terror, feel adventure and to feel the world of the unknown such as in science fiction.

Research

When I was writing novels, I did research. I read the history and the stories of the past. This was the background for my novel. The reason I don’t write novels anymore is that I’m 83 years old and my brain tends to get history’s confused and I might place events of the 19th century in the 18th century and such. Most readers pick up such blunders and they might tell me about it.

What Makes a Good Story

Cowpoke on BullA good story has great characters, characters that are bigger than life. Stereotype characters are not desired. The story wants a character who is different even if derived from the stereotype.

A good story has a great events. Living these events makes the characters in the story more exciting. Folks like action in most cases, so action is important.

A good story has a great plot, not the ho-hum stuff. There are only so many story plots. It’s the details in fiction that brighten up the plots and makes you think that it is new.

And it is the details in your story that keep people reading. They want to know your characters from inside and out, especially the protagonist and the antagonist. (The protagonist is the hero of your story and they antagonist is the bad guy.)

Each scene in your story builds the plot and advances the story. So you want your scenes to be vibrant and memorable. In my mind, I still see many of the scenes from my past novels. In a way, they are my history. Scenes which include Place, need to be authentic if real. (I read on of Zane Gray’s novel and I read his description of a view from the Mogollon Rim in Arizona. I told my wife it was not right but we drove upon the Rim and took a look to make sure. His description was right on.)

Mogollon Rim

Mogollon Rim

Also when I write a novel, the characters in the novel come forth and try to take over the novel. That means that lots of extraneous stuff can get into your story, stuff that distracts from rather than build your story. One character in one of my stories (Bull, A Western Saga) was so blasted persistent, that I had to write him a novel of his own (Revenge on the Mogollon Rim, A Peter Ott Western). The characters in my novels are part of my history and I know them well.

Bill Cosby

What did Bill Cosby do with the Noah Story? Went something like this:

God: Noah! Build an Ark!

Noah: Great, Lord! What’s an ark?

God: Make it of Gopher Wood and 180 cubits long!

Noah: Great, Lord! What’s a cubit?

This almost makes me want to write another novel. However, I must resist. In my old age, I’m sticking to the short stuff.

John

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What Is Your Weight Control Program and Life Style?

(Note: The FTC requires me to tell you that some links in this site may result in me receiving a commission from a vendor. That hardly ever happens but I am grateful for any commissions that I may receive. John)

whaleThose Damned Diet Plans

There are so many ways to lose weight—temporarily.

There are ways to quickly lose weight but it comes back.

Some diet plans that claim to help you lose weight quickly deprive you of required daily nutrients.

Losing Weight over a Short Period of Time

Yet it is possible to lose weight over a short time period so you can fit into those jeans you bought last year, or under extreme conditions, allow you to get to the door of the bus.

Sometimes there is a wedding coming up and you are to be a bridesmaid. You don’t want to look like a blimp. You want to be slim like the other girls in the party. So you need a way to reduce weight over a short period of time.

The fact of the matter is that you can lose weight quickly and that you can do it safely. One solution is that you simply eat less each day. If you write down each day each item of food that you eat including a slice of bread, can be bar, and ice cream cone, a celery stick, a bowl of soup, a peanut butter sandwich, a glass of milk, a glass of orange juice— well you get the idea— you will see how much food you are actually eating, often without even thinking about it.

I’ve told you that if you take a little lined notepad, one that you can carry in your pocket, and you write down one item on each line of the page, and you allow only one page per day, you will restrict your intake and you will lose weight. I call that the Big Fat John Diet.

Watch This Video

Here is a video I will tell you why the diet industry wants you to gain weight. They want to make money on you, giving you a diet plan that you can’t maintain for drugs that nauseate you or make you dizzy, and then watch you regain the weight so that you will buy something else. Click Here!

Nutrition

Lot of folks nowadays are making green drinks or smoothies to supply needed nutrients while allowing them to lose weight. My granddaughter has my refrigerator full of spinach and other healthy things. We blend these quickly in a blender that I just bought from Amazon and down the hatch. Sometimes I feel like a cow.

My Painting of a Mute Swan

My Painting of a Mute Swan

However, a nutritious drink that replaces a meal can help you lose weight. I represent a company called Revv Energy. My wife has Alzheimer’s disease. When I give her medications in the evening, I give her a protein called Revvlean. My caregiver suggested that I do this instead of giving it to her in the morning.

Revvlean is a protein that you blend into a drink and you can substitute it for a meal. But what it does for my wife is to help her sleep so she is not awake all night talking to the ceiling.

We give her another Revv product called Immune to help her stay awake during the day and more alert. It is supposed to be helping her immune system too.

My caregiver’s family has lost lots of weight with Revvlean and have replaced fat with muscle. This is particularly noticeable with my wife caregiver and her youngest two sons.

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

Anyway getting back to the point, watch the video: Click Here!

You certainly will learn a few things.

Denali: Painting by author.

Denali: Painting by author.

Subcutaneous Fat

I told you that some time back, I went on a low-protein diet, mainly vegetarian. This was to control my type II diabetes. I was in contact with the University of Newcastle in England asking them how I could approach their starvation diet that eliminates tied to diabetes to get my diabetes under control. Their test diet had only about 800 calories. I would die on such a horrible diet.

Their diet got their patients under control in one week and in six weeks they were cured if they kept their eating under control. With my moderate diet, it took me six weeks before my blood sugar levels dropped to normal. This occurred in a few days, six weeks of proper eating before any effect was seen. My A1c dropped and I’ve been pretty much under control for over a year.

The problem is that subcutaneous fat, fat that you don’t see, gathers around vital organs, the kidneys, liver, pancreas and the heart etc. it stops these organs from functioning properly.

Diabetes is a major problem in the United States. It’s because of our diet. We just eat too much garbage and we eat too much of everything.

When you eat a steak, you are eating what would be used by a Chinese family for a meal. But the Chinese would not be gorging on meat, they would be using it as a garnish for rice and vegetable dishes. That is a better way to eat meat.

I’ve had four heart procedures and I have diabetes so I have been with many dietitians telling me to restrict the size of a piece of meat to that of a deck of cards. No, not a double canasta deck.

Table TennisChange Your Lifestyle

I love chocolate. I can live on it. Actually, some chocolate is good for you they say, good for your heart. But you can overdo it. I prefer to eat fruit what I need a sweet.

Right now, my granddaughter and my wife’s caregiver know that I want more vegetables in my diet. My granddaughter drove me to Winco the other day and we filled our baskets to the top.

Because we had only healthy food in our baskets, my bill that day was only $150. I thought it would be three or $400. But there were no meat products accept a package of burritos for my grandkids when they drop in to my house for lunch.

We went to Cosco too, where it usually cost me about $400 to get past the cash register, but I resisted buying meat there also.

My wife’s caregiver makes a pretty good squash soup (if you can stand squash soup).

Yesterday, she makes wonderful Chinese.

I had to study her eyes to make sure they were not slanted a bit.

I told her we should open a restaurant because our chinese restaurant in this little cow town is Chinese Hell! I didn’t think you could make Chinese food that inedible. The country bumpkins in this area don’t realize that they are eating somewhat healthy crap.

My wife’s caregiver is a beef and potato girl. I have one heck of a time getting her to cook chicken or fish. My refrigerator is stuffed full of chicken. I’ve got to stop buying her so much beef.

Ringbill Duck paining by author.

Ringbill Duck paining by author.

We Are Impulsive

The other day I noticed that my butcher had pork roast for less than a dollar a pound. Not thinking about pork is much as I was thinking about the low price, I bought three roast.

What an idiot!

I got my granddaughter to cook one roast last Sunday. She put in her huge crockpot and went off to church, I having gone to church earlier. That was about 10:30 in the morning. I noticed at 12:30 that the crockpot was on the warm setting.

Nothing was happening.

I turned it to high.

When she came back to the house after church, the element went out on the crockpot. We had to stick it in the oven. She wanted to know if the crock pot itself could take the oven temperature. I assured her that the crockpot was made in a factory in Pennsylvania where I once worked and that it was fired to about 2300°F so it should take 350°F in the oven.

At The Market

If we think about what were doing when we go to the market, we can save money, and we can have better nutrition. I do all the shopping in our house. That’s the first time I’ve been with my granddaughter. My wife’s caregiver, Georgia, always gives me a list. I always buy everything on the list butI buy 50 other things.

That exasperates her. She says, “We don’t need five more boxes of graham crackers. Just buy what is on my list!”

That’s a problem with being old and senile, you can’t remember that you bought a bottle of catchup yesterday, in fact you bought two bottles of catchup so that you would not run out. When I get home with extra catchup or salad dressing or cans of pork and beans and such, I’m always in trouble.

Bald Eagle photo by author. Wendall, Idaho where they eat fish scraps during the winter.

Bald Eagle photo by author. Wendall, Idaho where they eat fish scraps during the winter.

Striving For Good Nutrition

If we accomplish anything in this life, it has to originate with a dream. When my wife was an instructor for Weight Watchers years ago, after losing 130 pounds, she always kept the picture on the refrigerator of a slim lady in a beautiful dress. It didn’t take her all that long to become that lady again. She went over to Iowa State University where I worked as a professor of engineering and ran around the track every day. She overstressed her knees in the long run but she knew that diet and exercise work well together.

I one diet that she had was where she would eat only vegetables one day and only fruit the next on a continuous cycle. She could have meat only on Friday and I think that Sunday was an open day so she could have dinner with our family.

She had vegetable soup that she concocted that she could eat whenever she felt hungry. That was one of several ways that she learned that would allow her to lose weight.

On our 20th wedding anniversary, she took her wedding dress out of the hope chest I bought her before we were married and put it on. We have a photograph of that event.

When she learned how to lose weight, she never did gain it back. We have been married over 60 years and I think that if she were able to try the dress on, she could probably get into it.

Oh, did you watch the informative video: Click Here Now!

John

P.S. Sometimes the hardest thing to do in achieving something, is to get started. Where there is no start, there is no progress, you will never reach the finish line. The time to start your weight control program is right now. Why not go for it?

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The Not Mad Nomad

camel 3The Not Mad Nomad
by
John Taylor Jones

A nomad rode out
On the desert one day,
Across the scorching sand.
With no compass,
Map or GPS,
He already knew the land.

No one knew
Why he rode out that day
In the stifling desert heat.
But if he had
A spat with his wife:
What would simply be a repeat.

Her words could easily
Tear the hair
Off a camel’s back.
They could easily
Send him on his way
Across the desert tract.

Then the desert winds
Whispered to me,
“Her words are
Like a whipping lash.
Talk about a women’s ire,
She is very full of sass.”

The man said to his camel,
“She’s not all
That bad, you know.”
Camel, Melwah, said back to him,
“Afzal, The Better One,
She’s worse than a hammer throw!”

Afzal said to Melway,
“I’m not angry with Abal,
She is my desert rose.”
Melway said to Afzal,
“Abal has thorns and spikes
That she jabs you with
Day and night!
She has hatred in her toes.”

“I’m not mad,”
Said the nomad.
No, I’m not mad at all.”
“It’s a bad storm coming,”
Said Melway.
“Let’s take cover, Afzal!”

The winds were strong
And endless.
Sand blew here and there.
They buried Melway and Afzal.
Nobody knew quite where.

Abal sent out her family
To find her lost Afzal.
They searched for several days,
But they found nothing at all.

She cried for days
Saying that she was wrong.
Her awful words
Had sent him out,
And now Afzal was gone.

The desert winds
Again whispered to me,
“Afzal has no anger still.
However the camel,
Melway thinks Abal
Will always be a Shrill.”

Then the wind came back
Another day to say,
“Abal has changed her ways.
She is humbled
Into Quietness,
She never speaks a word.
She said that she
Will not speak again
Lest out comes evil words.”

The winds blew on and
Uncovered Afzal’s grave.
His body was taken to Abal
Where he rests this day.

She planted roses
To remember him
As one who had no guile.
Her man that she had
Sent away because
She had such bile.

Now her tears
Water her roses.
Ad she dreads the day
That anger conquered
Pleasantness
And sent her man away.

The End

camel not mad 2

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Death Is Highly Overrated

36x camera july 2013 108Death Is Highly Overrated

tjb logoby
John Taylor Jones

Death is highly overrated.
I’ll tell you that right now.
Especially now in the wintertime
With ice and snow and all.

I know this is not poetic stuff.
I know it’s much too blunt.
No true poet would do it,
Perform such a silly stunt.

When I pass the cemetery
Down the road from here,
I put my ear against the frozen earth
And rattling bones I hear.

I heard a voice just yesterday,
“What happened to the sun?
Buried in this frozen earth
Is certainly is not much fun.”

Another voice said something else,
Something I didn’t want to hear.
“Freezing my arse is one bad thing,
But the skin worm died in my ears.”

I had enough of those voices,
Squealing from the grave.
Rattling, rattling those freezing bones,
Why can’t the dead behave?

When old Bill Jinks called up to me,
“John, send down a kerosene heater!
But if you have a whiskey flask
That would be even neater.”

So I poured whiskey on his grave,
That cold spot in the earth.
I listen carefully for a while.
I’m sure I heard him burp.

I climbed back into my old truck,truck
My heart was filled with fear.
I turned the key, stepped on the gas.
“I’m getting out of here!”

The End

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On a Freezing Winter Morning

Robert Lewis Stevenson

Robert Lewis Stevenson

On a Freezing Winter Morning
by
John Taylor Jones
December 31, 2014

This freezing winter morning
I wanted not to get out of bed.
There was no reason to do any work this day,
That was only in my head.

After all, I have not worked at all
For over 20 years.
Not true work, not needed work
To chase away my my fears
Of Demon Debt snatching me
And putting me in arrears.

No, there was no needed work
To be done.
I could surely wait
For a friendlier Mr. Sun.

Then I thought,
What kind of example would that be
If I simply stayed in my stead?
Wouldn’t that break
Ben Franklin rule
To wake up and get out of bed?

Robert Louis Stevenson said,
Not a day went by
That he felt well enough to work,
But he chose to work every day
And not be a shirking jerk.

I keep his picture on the wall
To remind me of his will.
He wrote away on stories great
That thrill our children still.

Where would Jim Hawkins be
Without a treasure to find?
No, “Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest-
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!”
No dangerous pirates
To worry about,
No Billy Bones,
No Ben Gunn.

Was I really going to lay in bed
And waste away my day?
Was I not going to write
One single word,
No poem, story or play?

I said, Why should I work
On such a terrible day?
Then I got a swift kick
In the rear.
My wife sent me swiftly
On my way.

The End

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Writing Tip of the Week: The Writer’s Market

Painting by Author

Painting by Author

The Writer’s Market

Where does a writer sell her or his stuff? That is what I’m referring to when I say, “the market,” in this article. I am not specifically aiming at the target of a particular article, however that does play a role.

Most writers use a book called Writer’s Market. The addition you want now is Writer’s Market 2015. You’ll find many publishers listed there along with literary agents. Be careful when you selected literary agent. This sum are just organizations set up to scam you.

Denali: Painting by author.

Denali: Painting by author.

When you are starting out as an article writer, you might look at smaller publications that can not pay you as much as the larger ones but who can give you a reputation as a writer. In fact a good editor will show you how to improve your writing. Your chances of getting published will increase in smaller markets, especially if you have some special expertise for which editors are looking.

Painting by author.

Painting by author.

There are some pretty good books on how to find a literary agent. If the agent asked for pavements from you, it is usually a good idea to run.

John

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Writing Tip of the Week: Novel Writing Software

Novel WriterNovel Writing Software

Over the years I have used novel writing software. Here is what it can do for you:

1. Find names to use in your novel.

2. Help you define characters for your novel.

3. Help you to develop places and things and time frame.

4. Help you define your plot.

5. Help you setup chapters.

Some programs are more expensive than others. All are of some value.

John

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