Friday, November 30, 2007

It's Haymarket Day!

Dead Avocadoes
By Edward S. Gault

It didn’t feel like May
It was more like March or April
With the rain and the chill.
The vendor, bundled
In his wool jacket
Made it clear to anyone
Who could hear him
(for several blocks around)
That they could get
A carton of strawberries
For a dollar, fresh kiwi,
For a dollar fifty.
The bananas were guarding the pears and apples
As in a traditional still life.
The avocadoes though,
Were dead.

Copyright 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

While You're On the Roads This Winter...a thought.

Close Call
by Edward S. Gault

He had to have been listening to the radio
Or he may have been nuts
But he certainly didn’t see me
Crossing the street.
I only just made it-
Even feeling the breeze from his van
At my back as he sped away
Not giving me any thought at all.
Every muscle stiff, I stood there,
Like a wooden statue.

Copyright 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Coffee Bean #4

Coffee " Where books are burned, human beings will be burned too."

-Heinrich Heine

There is currently a movement afoot to boycott The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman led by The Catholic League and other Rightwing religious groups. Forest River Journal stands opposed to any act of censorship, and recommends reading any book that is banned for general principles.


Christnmas Blitz

I'm back folks! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Here is a "Haiku" for the Christmas Shopping Blitz-it's my own corallary to Percy Shelly's Ozymandias:

In a vast desert
was a stone slab that read thus:
Me, Me, Me, Gimme!

Copyright 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007


Turkey Wave I am going to be out of town all this week, Nov. 20-26. In the meantime, here is something for you and your family this holiday season.

Father, We Thank Thee
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
For flowers that bloom about our feet
Father, we thank Thee,
For tender grass so fresh and sweet,
Father, we thank Thee,
For the song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.
For blue of stream and blue of sky,
Father, we thank Thee,
For pleasant shade and branches high,
Father, we thank Thee,
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty of the the blooming trees,
Father, in heaven we thank Thee.
For this new morning with its light,
Father, we thank thee,
For rest and shelter of the night
Father, we thank thee,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends
Father in heaven, we thank thee.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Haiku To End The The War In Iraq

Tyrants talk
As troops march across a border
Children cry many tears

Copyright 2007

Gallows Humor

By Edward S. Gault

I sometimes imagine
What my funeral
Will be like.
People will stand
Around my coffin.
Of course it will be raining.
It always is
In these scenes.
O dreary day!
People will be standing
Around drinking Scotch
And reaching for potato salad.
They will be talking about
What a spectacular career
I could have had,
If only I had
Not been a poet.
And the corpse
Looks terribly old.
Even so –
I know it’s me-
There’s a huge coffee stain
On my shirt.

Copyright 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Again Another Day!

Burnt Toast
By Edward S. Gault

It would be the first time in a decade
Boston City officials said
That the Charles River flooded.
As rain first came down softly,
And then came down in massive torrents,
A bridge in one town collapsed.
People were evacuated
From their homes,
The man on the radio said.
And that morning
I burnt the toast.

Copyright 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Coffee Bean #3

"Materialists and madmen never have doubts"
-G.K. Chesterton

We had no doubts about going to Iraq then,
And we seem to have no doubts about going to war with Iran now.

Copyright 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Buyer Beware!

Brown Bananas
By Edward S. Gault

There are some things
Everybody knows but me-
One of those things
Is that you don’t put bananas
In the refrigerator!
This I had to learn the hard way.
Last Saturday, for once
I was able to get
To get to the haymarket extra early.
My wife wanted:
black and blueberries
and strawberries
(And thousands of other things).
Of course when I got to work
I put them in the staff fridge
(Not the thousand other things, just the fruit).
There they stayed
Throughout the the day.
When I got home I found,
The bananas had turned brown.

Copyright 2007By Edward S. Gault

Monday, November 12, 2007


For all the service that you have given to our country

To those of you in Iraq now, Our Prayers are with you,
For a safe return home.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

10 Great Things About America

10) The Boston Red Sox
9) The Rockies
8) Our National Parks
7) The Immigrants
6) The Native Americans
5) Labor Day
4) Martin Luther King Day
3) The Statue Of Liberty Smiley Of Liberty
2) The Flag United States
1) The American State Papers
a- Declaration of Independence
b- the Constitution
c- The Bill Of Rights

Copyright 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Why Couldn't School Be This Much Fun More Often?

This really happenned. You simply can't make stuff like this up!

Drafting Theology
by Edward S. Gault

Mr. Horowitz, my drafting teacher
Would actually talk about drafting
From time to time.
But he had found Jesus one day,
Or as he liked to say,
Jesus found him.
So our classes were like
A theological seminary where we would,
From time to time,
Draw maybe a thing or two.
So Horowitz was talking one day
About how Jesus would come into our hearts
And change us from the inside out
if we would simply ask him to.
At this point Tim,
(who had just seen the movie Alien)
Asked Horowitz if it were similar
To the way in which the creature's egg
Grew inside this guy
Then hatched itself
By eating its' way out
Through his chest.
Tim went on and on,
Describing it all in micro detail.

Copyright 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

Coffee Bean #2

"Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty"
-Ronald Reagan

Yes, true. Multi-national corporations, televangelical organisations,
the military-industrial complex, all have concentrated power.

Copyright 2007

Thursday, November 8, 2007

In Re Tobacco #1: Teen Smoking

Recently Massachusetts police have been having a hard time controlling
the sale of tobacco to minors over the counter. According to statistics our
state has the worst problem with this than any other state in the union. So naturally anti-smoking activists want to throw more money at new legislation to toughen up laws and really "get serious" about teen smoking.
That's fine.
But nobody wants to see youngsters smoke, and we already have laws to prevent retailers from selling to them. We simply need to enforce the laws we already have on the books instead of throwing more money at new legislation. Any available money should be put toward health education, public service ads, and commercials. About the scariest of these was one in which a woman discusses how she started smoking at age 13, got addicted, and years later developed cancer. The final scene shows her putting a cigarette up to a hole in her throat.
Our focus should be to get kids to give up on smoking on their own or not start in the first place. There is an old saying that you can't legislate morality. You can however inform the public morality of young people by giving them the facts about smoking and letting them decide for themselves what to do. This what the anti-smoking activists do best, and it works better than indoctrination and bans in bars and taverns which can only serve to make the habit more attractive to young people by creating a sort of outlaw mystique around it. The message instead should be "This isn't cool, it is harmful to you, here are the facts." If the facts don't work, then we've got a bigger problem than just a law enforcement problem where retailers are concerned. No Smoking bans won't be the solution either, just look at how ineffective, and even counter productive Prohibition was. Attitudes have to change first, it will take time.

This essay was published in BostonNow October 18, 2007
Copyright 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Coffee Bean #1

In a letter to William James, Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote "The great act of faith is when a man decides that he is not God."

Wouldn't it be great if Pat Robertson et al took the act of faith and made that decision?

Copyright 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Here's Monday's poem belated

Since we had to deal with a serious subject yesterday, here is Monday's poem today.

Carpe Diem
by Edward S. Gault

On the day of my graduation
I wanted to go out
And transfigure the world,
Even if I hadn’t considered
How this would be done
Or what foundations
Would be needed to do it.
And I still consider it,
Even as I am now
A ghostly figure
Riding the daily transit
To work.

Copyright 2007

Monday, November 5, 2007

Remembering Pope's Day

Today is the day that colonial Bostonians celebrated as Pope's day. A lot of People don't remember what Pope's Day was, partially because it is not the sort of history that is generally taught in high school, it is a mere footnote in the story of our republic. It was "celebrated" every November 5 to commemorate the arrest of Guy Fawkes in the act of blowing up the British Parliament in 1605. Eventually Fawkes and the conspirators were convicted and hanged for treason. For Protestant England November 5 became a day of Thanksgiving for being saved from Catholic Rule. Ironically the Puritans who did not ordinarily celebrate anniversaries or holidays like Christmas( no evidence that Jesus was born on the 25th of December) unless they were biblical, made an exception for Nov.5th, or what they called Guy Fawkes Day. At first the day was celebrated by huge bonfires-I have a tendency to picture these being in the town square, but more realistically the authorities probably would have insisted instead that the event take place just outside the town. Eventually the celebrations grew more elaborate.
By the 1760's Bostonians were constructing "Popes Day Carts". These looked a bit like our parade floats today.Each cart had the figure of the pope, and beside him the devil, and trailing behind them on a donkey was Joyce Jr (Fawke's executioner was George Joyce). Boston had two factions, the north end and south end gangs, that would each construct their own Cart. They would parade them toward the center of town, then try to capture the other side's Pope's Day cart. This involved fist fighting, supplemented with cudgels, knives, and broken bottles. In the 1950's
they called these kinds of fights "Rumbles", today we would call it gang warfare. When one side had finally won by capturing the other side's
cart, both sides would bring the carts down to the neck of Boston and have the traditional bonfire.
When I first read of this ghastly holiday in Hiller B. Zobel's The Boston Massacre, I was reminded of the Two Minute's Hate depicted in George Orwell's 1984.When the image of Immannuel Goldstein, the official state enemy, came on the telescreen, people would scream over his voice and even throw chairs and other nearby items about until the reassuring figure of Big Brother came on. As "far out" as this scene is, it did happen,
not only in Nazi Germany, Communist bloc countries, fascist Italy and Spain, but also much earlier in 18th Century Boston with Guy Fawkes/The Pope as the Immanuel Goldstein figure (Pope's Day was also called Guy Fawkes Day).
In 2003 when the Bush Administration was trying to get support for the present Iraq, France refused to send troops there, and encouraged us to solve the problem another way, through diplomacy. Of course the French could have been of great help to us in this capacity as they had more influence with Baghdad than we did, and could have maybe got Saddam to cooperate with U.N. inspection teams. But no, as usual, we didn't listen to the French-we didn't heed their advice about Indochina (Vietnam) either and consequently became "embedded" there for quite a long time.
Never mind that other countries also refused to send their troops to Iraq,
France for some reason was singled out for venom that went beyond just
criticism from Washington, boycotts were called for of everything French from wine to cheese-even going so far as to pour the wine into the streets.
Absurdly enough we had to go changing the names of things like french fries to "Freedom Fries." Then of course came the real hate, a shirt which read France Sucks and to top it off, there is a little beret
draped over the F. This shirt seems to have become enormously popular.
In 2005 I photographed a local store window which had not only the french shirt but others which vilified the New York Yankees. I guess when the bigots figure that they're no longer allowed to hate the Jews ,Blacks, Hispanics, and Catholics, there is always the French and the Yankees.

The above Photograph entitled Shirts in a Window is currently displayed at the J.P. Licks Coffee shop in Brigham Circle in Boston.

Copyright 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Little Something Non-Political

By Edward S. Gault

On the Muddy River
A stone gazebo sits
Guarded by trees
The Moon is seen
Through the branches.
And in the water ,
Through the ripples,
A reflection of the moon
Through the branches

Copyright 2007

Saturday, November 3, 2007

And Here's One for Pat Robertson!

Embarrassed by Jesus
by Edward S. Gault

The People in the Church
Told me that if I were embarrassed by Jesus,
Then Jesus would be embarrassed by me
On the final Day of Judgement;
And send me to the eternal Lake of Fire,
Where I would burn forever.
But While they pretended
(even to themselves)
To have great knowledge,
I didn’t give to them the power
Over my mind
That so many others had.
And I wasn’t embarrassed by Jesus,
I was embarrassed by them.

Copyright 2007

Friday, November 2, 2007

Here's One for the Republicans!

MGT Philosophy
By Edward S. Gault

As we drove down I-93
To Boston from Salem
My friend’s father told me
About how he retired
For a year
And just played golf.
About halfway through the year,
It was routine.
When he woke up, he thought
“gee now I have to go play golf”
So he went back to work.
He said he was the manager
of a chain of stores.
When he hired a new manager
He would delegate to them
Responsibility for the whole department
-Let them handle it their own way.
He even gave them a few days off
Before they started
So they would be refreshed
And invigorated
To get to work
And to do the numbers.
Then he said that in the 60’s
He went to this place called The Shark’s Cage
Where people threw beer bottles
At this guy singing in a chicken wire cage.
I wondered if the guy
Ever got a couple of days off,
So he could come back
Refreshed and invigorated
To throw bottles back at the audience.

Copyright 2007

Thursday, November 1, 2007

In Re: Useless Sanctions

According to the Boston Globe, the Bush Administration is pushing for unilateral sanctions against Iran for attempting to start a nuclear Program. The Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov who met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has stated that he has doubts that such sanctions will be effective . While I'm glad that the administration is looking at non-military options, I believe we should heed Lavrov's advice and not pursue sanctions. They never affect the people we are aiming to influence anyway, they only hurt the average person who is struggling to make ends meet just as we are. The elite can always obtain what they want from some "friendly" country abroad. The sanctions in fact strengthen the resolve of people like Ahmadinejad. I wonder if we couldn't loosen his grip on power a little by trading more with Iran.The people themselves like us and our products (and don't want world War III any more than we do), and we might have an opportunity here to influence their culture through trade.We as citizens
should be trying to learn more about the Islamic Culture anyway. We could then bring back the citizen diplomacy that we practiced with the Russians during the Cold War.
Eventually that worked.