Fair Finn and Indian princess
From a long lost land of laughter
She smiled the whitest winter winds
Her eyes the bluest day

Her hair I touched in autumn
Now a chill remains upon me
Delusion makes a man a fool
A woman makes him pay


Dear Citizen Bentley,

It always makes my day to read your words in my inbox. I will indeed try to give you a call this weekend as you suggest.


Your title gives me license to take some subjective liberties.

One of the first things I noticed upon moving to Ohio some 12 years ago, was the difference in light. As I pen this, it is still dark here although it is past 7:00 AM. Where you are, it has been day for some time now. Still being in the same time zone my expectation was that the dawn and dusk transition here would not be unlike what I had known for my entire life in New England.

I was mistaken.

The light lingers longer in the evenings here and seems more reluctant to return in the morning. There are simple reasons to account for this. I have moved some 750 miles to the west and now find myself near the extreme western terminus of the eastern time zone. New England closely borders the Atlantic time zone just off shore to your east. So even though the clock on my wall and on yours says it’s 7:20, the sun is still well to my east in New England.

Of course the opposite process will occur during tonight’s transition affording me light nearly an hour later than what you have there.

Another phenomenon occurs here that also alters the sunrise and sunset. In rutty, rolling, heavily wooded New England, the terrain tends to scatter and shadow the light when the angle is low in the morning and evening. This results in a long period of light sky to begin and end the day when the sun is not actually in view. It is dusk in the evening. Is there a word for dusk in the morning? I digress.

In Ohio the land is flat with few trees or other obstacles to shade or scatter the earliest and latest sun rays. The sun emerges from the horizon in an unsettling burst of brilliance and at day’s end, retreats just as suddenly. Sunset is over in a few moments, to my mind, most uncivilized behavior.

But to return to your original question on The Donald. Let me first say that I am indebted to the writers of the constitution. In their wisdom, they seem to have anticipated the latest election such as it was. There are substantial safeguards written into our laws who’s purpose it is to sustain the union through the election of just such an incompetent nincompoop.

So my worst fears are pretty much unfounded. I can watch the unfolding comedy with a degree of smug detachment. Indeed it’s not impossible that some good things may come to pass as a result of his Donaldship. For example, I will not morn the demise of political correctness. And who can possibly argue that Melania isn’t a hottie? The jury has yet to be convened. It’ll be a hoot.

I’ll ring you up soon.

Please remember me to your lovely wife and daughters.

Kind Regards,


i came here today because i hoped i might be able to share something of value / put it in a bottle / launch it down the stream / hope it will be found one day / and read / and understood  / what it was like to be me back here / but it’s the value part that always gets in the way / what’s the point? / i have nothing to say that has not been said a thousand thousand times before / and said with greater skill //

i’m alone here inside //



Citizen Bentley


Dear Citizen Bentley,

Thank you for your recent letter. The idea you pose about the universe being in a sense haunted is thought provoking. And while I believe it is not possible to “know” anything with certainty, it seems to be the case more often than not that things are somehow connected. And it’s so much fun to speculate isn’t it?

So how does one think about such an idea? Einstein used the phrase “spooky action at a distance” to describe quantum entanglement. Cosmology is rife with all manor of speculative scenarios which could be candidates for an explanation for this phenomenon. I’m not usually a fan of these guys. Their answers are usually so esoteric as to be incomprehensible. Now that’s not to say that they are not “right”. But that would demand one to accept the notion that we have the ability to “know”.  Socrates would once again turn over. But more importantly it would demand us to say with complete certainty that what we perceive and how we come to interpret it is infallible. Furthermore, it would demand us to accept the notion that there is nothing we can’t comprehend, nothing which can not be “known” by us.  Does the fruit fly know about the world series? The pattern of the Fibonacci series? Or in whose hand it may have been written? Can he (she) “know”? Nope. Can’t buy it.

My background being autodidactic, I have no real training or qualification on these sorts of questions. But it has been my personal observation that the most complex and often perplexing concepts are often explained simply by dollying back. When observed from great enough distance, the pattern of the fabric becomes visible.

Often it’s not that an idea is too complicated. It’s often too simple to be believable. A yin yang of sorts? Perhaps.

Think of it this way. When there is everything. Everything is possible. Maybe we don’t “know” it. But it’s not important.

Go out and greet the sacred day and kiss your stunning wife and give thanks for friendship. The only things we can “know” are what we feel.

With Great Warmth,
Dr xxxx

PS: I have always harbored a great respect and admiration for those like yourself who can legitimately claim to have an education by virtue of the letters after their name afforded them by an institute of higher learning. I can make no such claim. My acceptance of the “Dr” moniker you place before my surname is made possible only by the honor you bestow.

Almonds and Cashews

Some things are hard to figure. Lately I’ve been wondering how it can be that we come into this world complete with decided preferences. That is to say that upon arrival we somehow know what we like, and we know how to make it known. We haven’t had time to try anything and form an opinion. So I just chalk it up to DNA. We used to call it instinct but that word seems to have gone out of favor. So let’s just say it’s something that has somehow been passed down to us from our ancestors in this great cosmic relay race.

Now what has this to do with almonds and cashews? Well I can only speak for myself on this. But I seemingly came into this world with a preference for lighter colored food. It’s chicken breast not thighs.Vanilla not chocolate. On Thanksgiving it would be the turkey white meat not the dark. Chardonnay not Cabernet Sauvignon. And with nuts, cashews. Or maybe Macadamia nuts. Not Almonds, or Pecans, or Walnuts.

Now as it also sometimes happens, we find ourselves in a relationship with another who shares our preferences. On the surface it would seem that this is a good thing which could tend to lead to a more tranquil marital life. Go to the supermarket. Buy the vanilla frozen yogurt. No chocolate invited.

But then there is the business of nuts. Have you priced a jar of whole salted roasted cashews lately. Sheesh. And if you do ultimately decide that you are worth it, it would be so easy to sit down and just gobble the whole jar down well before the movie credits roll. And that would mean that the next day when your dear spouse came looking for them he / she would be faced with bitter nut disappointment. And this could result over time with building resentment. Or even accusations of gluttony. Or worse.

Okay. Okay.

So instead you buy the whole big jar of the mixed nuts for a fraction of the price of the real deal. And look. Right there on the label it says jar contains cashews, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans and less than 50% peanuts. How bad can this be? And look at how much more you get. Plenty for several trailers and a double feature. No brainer here.

But here is where the story gets weird. I sit down on the sofa and open the ample jar of mixed nuts and the first thing I notice is the ratio of dark nuts to light ones. Many of the peanuts are still in their brown papery husks, and when added to the quantity of almonds and pecans and walnuts and Brazil nuts, the cashews barely make an appearance. And as unfair as it is, were my lovely wife to chance upon this now opened jar, I fear I may be wrongly accused of cashew skimming. So I set out to do the right thing. I’ll munch on some almonds and pecans and religiously avoid the cashews thereby making the ratio appear more in keeping with what my mate had expected also avoiding the appearance of skimming on my part.

So I did.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate almonds. The’re really great in slivers on green beans. Walnuts are excellent in salads. And the pecans are OK too. Especially baked in a gooey sweet pie. By themselves out of the jar? Best described as an acquired taste.

But if I were really, really honest about this, and since we are among friends here, I will confess a great fondness for this woman with whom I share my nuts. Perhaps I can convince myself of how cool I am for secretly, silently, selflessly, saving the best for her.


Not bad at all.

Perhaps I’ll try the chicken thighs next time and leave her more of the white meat. I may be on to something here. Maybe I’ve been missing some things all these years.

Some things are hard to figure.

Romance can be expressed in many ways.

Mixed nuts?

Who’d have believed it?