When you get sick, sometimes even you just can’t help yourself.

Tweet Pray Loaf; Living Within The Quarantine Staycation.

I'm done quarantining at home, living here in fear,
Today I've not got COVID, my snot runs near clear,
I'm done with home rest,
I've passed my RATS test,
All my systems are 'Go,'
I'm Negative when I blow,
No more sterile swizzle sticks, to get up the nose of;
No gross sticky issues, icky green tissues to dispose of.

For seven long days I've lived no better than a leper,
Avoided social interaction like a Doomsday prepper,
Now I can put aside high anxiety,
Welcome to rejoin our sick society,
Since I dodged the funeral shroud
I wanna stand out in the crowd,
Now I can't bear to be stuck a single day at home alone
In the company of the most miserable bastard I've known.

‘Hey, I’m outta isolation, don’t look at me like I’m some nasty infection.’

©Obbverse.

Sadly, Meatloaf is done. He’s off to another, who knows, better place?

Last At Bat.

The Bat out of Hell man bids us 'goodnight,'
It's time for that last final flight,
So set the Bat signal and the Radar transponder
And fly off into the wild black yonder.

(A slightly tongue in cheek obit. I'm sure Mr Marvin Aday wouldn't mind.)

'OK, now: Do I fly up- or down? The Hell if I know.'

©Obbverse.

Mike Nesmith leaves this world, and Saturday mornings will never quite be the same.

Last Hominoid Standing.

After the Beatles became a bona fide box office draw
Some savvy money men manufactured Mop-Tops, Mark 2,
Bob'n' Bert thought up the copycat Beatles, the Pre fab Four,
For Mr Rafelson and Mr Scneider, money see, Monkee do.

But their TV show band weren't expected to actually play,
Davey, Micky, Pete and Mike only had to lip-sync and mime,
They were supposed to act the part and pick up their pay,
But the play-actors playing improved out of sight, over time.

Fifty years of syndicated Monkeeing, on endless repeat
Ensures those four fabricated Sixties kids live on, in rerun,
But sadly, in reality, now Nesmith has rejoined Davey and Pete
It's either Micky as a solo act, or this Monkees troop is done. 

Farewell, Mike Nesmith, and RIP; it’s a life well-lived when you can make generations of surly sixteen year olds smile sillily for half an hour.

©Obbverse.

Let’s celebrate 100 years since the end of a Great War. Happy anniversary?

One Great War After Another.

That first Great War lasted four long years
But twenty years on and we were back for more,
After six endless years and countless tears
We found, again, no-one wins any bloody war.

Can we, at long last
Learn from the mistakes of the past?
Will our idiotic leaders call to arms
Lose its patriotic charms?

Will we ever see our way
To not see our soldiers fade away?
Can we have a lasting peace?
Will wonders never cease?

Will Einstein be proved right?* 
Will we turn toward the so-bright light?
Will we be bathed in momentary glory
Before the world becomes our Purgatory?

The Third Great War should be brutally short-
Then eons of peace on earth, awash with flash-fried bones,
Till when we evolve enough for war to be fought
The inhumanity can continue with sticks and stones.

* Albie said (sic) 'Dunno what weapons World War Three will use, but for World War Four, they'll have to turn their hands to sticks and stones.' Cheery thought, is it not?

‘Not a grey cloud in the sky here at Camp Combustable, Nevada.’

©Obbverse.

Picking up the Yamaha; A minor riff on how Jimmy got the Blues.

The Blue Streak. (Alternatively, Poetic Licence.)

May I tell my short tale, of a spotty schoolboy?
Of Master James Bart Taylor, henceforth, young Jim;
Jimmy looked down on his present day with infinite joy,
Blowing out of sixteen candles would make a man of him.*

Yep, of all his sixteen birthdays
This would be callow Jimmy's best,
Because the law unequivocally says
At sixteen you can take your driving test.

The night before, a pimpled boy bereft of sense,
By morning  a supposedly mature man of sixteen,
And permitted to retain his full motorcycle licence
(Till he'd lose it amateurishly emulating Barry Sheene.)*

By sixteen Jim found school had left him far behind,
His relieved tutors believed he'd gone as far as he could,
His Ma figured too many facts weighed down her boy's mind,
Preferring to put his failures down to him being 'misunderstood.'*

Free from the insurmountable shackles of book learning
Jim trundled off to his brand new job on his old push bike,
The hours between 8 till 4 he'd now spend profitably earning,
Now no more hidings from testy teachers, no more mutual dislike.

But Jim learnt some harsh lessons along with his trade-
His boss seemed hellbent on riding him into the ground,
Each instruction he imparted became an oath-laden tirade-
The bosses whipping boy, apprenticed, contractually bound.

On Friday arvo Jim was first in line by the factory door,
A week of 'prentice wages burning a hole in his ass pocket,
His boss, watching the time clock, ticking off slowly toward four,
Jim watched one certain face too,  fighting the temptation to clock it.

Jimmy had wheedled a loan from his sweet Mum,
His Pa was a hard 'un, Ma more soft headed hearted,
Jim swore he'd pay her back (that day has yet to come,)
Two Taylor-made fools and their money were soon parted.

At last, cometh the hour, goeth the man,
Jim Lad stepped out of the dark satanic mill,
Down the street his engineer booted feet lightly ran,
For tonight's the night young Jimmy would buy a thrill.*

Literally down a dark road was a two-wheel dealer
Renowned (for miles all round) as 'Mr Fair and Square,'
Though years ago the name synonymous with 'horse stealer,'
'Tis oft said 'a man of honour in the Bike Biz is something rare.'

Dim Jim strode into the brightly lit showroom;
At his desk sat Mr McLeery, fingers idly drumming,
On his smoothly malign face a Cheshire grin began to bloom,
Things were lookin' up when Tom looked up and saw Jim coming.
 
McLeery stood up and straightened his tie,
Slid oilily over to Jim, unctuously shook his hand,
Appraising poor Jim with a practiced avaricious eye...
Tommy knew the best he could extort was half a grand.

He took Jim's arm and gently led him away
From the chromed behemoths in the front row-
The big bad orange and black hog heaven display-
For could juvenile Jim kick over a Harley? No show.

McLeery steered Jim towards the smaller cheaper fare,
'May I suggest a new machine for the discerning learner?'
Said he, moving to a dark corner,  far from the spotlights glare
Where sat a tinny tiny two-stroke buzzy blue Yamaha rice-burner.

Trusty Tommy, so full of charm,
With sales patter that wouldn't quit,
Light on the facts, heavy on the smarm,
All mere empty words, yet all so full of it.

Tom reached for a hire purchase agreement
Then when Jim said he'd pay, 'cash on the nail,'
In a trice into Tommy's sweaty palm the cash went-
No need to pay income tax on this quick Friday sale.

With just the official bill of sale left to write up
Tom kindly offered James a celebratory cigarillo;
That's when casual smoker Jim began to really light up;
Henceforth from bike and bloke smoke constantly did billow.

So Jimmy emerged from Tommy's, clutching the keys
Of Yamaha's latest uprated state-of-the-art two stroke,
The glee in his naive eyes matched by those of McLeery's,
Both ecstatic to see Jimmy wreathed in clouds of blue smoke.

In denim jacket 'n' jeans 'n' brand-new blue crash helmet
Jimmy revved that engine sky high and dumped the clutch,
Tom patted his pocket, contents meaning Jim owed him no debt-
So Jim writing himself and his new bike off mattered not overmuch.

Soon Jim became a legend 'round our neighbourhood,
Some called the half-man half-machine 'The Blue Streak,'
Obviously our young ner'er-do-well would come to no good,
The betting was two to one on Jim just getting through the week.

... Just after four, faintly, if the  air was still,
Or louder if the breeze drew down from the North
Came the sound of a Yamaha wrung out, loud and shrill
As the Kamikaze Kid blazed down the alley and sallied forth.

Past the railway station, gas works dead(?) ahead,
Down Moorhouse Ave, engine wound up to the max,
Change gear, full throttle, mill wailing deep into the red,
Up over the rail-bridge, back to the wrong side o' the tracks.

Flying under the radar,  green traffic light fixed in his gaze-
Though an amber change gave no cause for pause nor braking,
Even seeing red rarely stopped our fly boy in his blue smoked haze-
Rare was the brave pillion rider who'd share Jim's grave undertaking.

My one and only pillion ride came as a nasty shock,
Jim had dropped by to show off it off, proud as punch
With an invitation to take a 'quick spin 'round the block,'
Blithely I leapt aboard, dumbly ignored my growing hunch.

Hey, I was just a silly schoolboy, a gauche and simple fool,
In baggy short pants, grey saggy socks, frayed taggy sweater,
The bike smoking away, Jim puffing too, the epitome of 'not Kool,'
Even then, though a bumbling student, I should have known better.*

It was the ride you pray only happens once in a lifetime,
Perched behind Jim, above the Yamaha's tortured whine,
Still the revs and my blood pressure continued their climb,
Even on the red line the Yammy's scream couldn't top mine.*

The little Polaris Blue Yamaha flew like a missile
Jimmy's hand holding the throttle in a death grip, 
Between my wails I could hear Jim's serene whistle-
Yes, the dope was smokin' more than the Kool filter tip.

When he slid to a skidding halt I tearily dismounted,
That he was one hell of a rider, proved beyond dispute,
As his travelling companion I could no longer be counted,
His rides down the highway to hell would be a solo pursuit.*

I know I'm no great scholar but even I can learn,
Ain't no question this folly was one I'd ever repeat,
The shameful drips on my cheeks a cause for concern-
Another mile behind Jim and I'd slip and slide off the seat.

Jim's other pursuit gave his abused bike brief respite,
Most nights, outside some cinema the Yam sat steaming
While Jim was sat in the dark flea-pit, far away eyes alight,
Indulging his galactically far far away-from-reality dreaming.*

Incessantly Jim kept yammering on about it;
He truly believed he'd make a great movie star,
Casting an eye over him I truthfully said 'I doubt it;'
Let's face it, audiences can only suspend belief so far.

Yet Jim held his unprepossessing self in high regard!
His oil-slick of greasy hair, sideburns thin and patchy,
His knobbly noble nosed and pimply visage only marred
By a cartoonish bumfluff beard, obviously itchy and scratchy.

Jimmy was convinced he would be the next Tom Cruise,
But one look in the mirror and even he had to see the trouble,
Though he had the slight talents height to fill Tiny Tom's shoes
His ugly mug works best as his stand-in or beat-up stunt double.

Anyway, moving on from Fantasyland
It's time to get Jim's story back on track;
Showbiz sure hadn't turned out as he'd planned;
So many extra casting calls, not a single call back...

But on 'maturing' two other things were fancied by Jim,
Getting ahold of a fast and loose woman and a fancy car!
Jim's chances getting his mitts on the first were mighty slim,
His heavy grip got nothing hot but the clutch of his Yamaha.*

So Jim hired a car, asked a girl out, and she accepted!
This encounter left he and she both bitterly disappointed,
She, being a good time girl, Jim went further than expected,
But back seat Beetle bonking needs both to be double-jointed. 

Jim wanted to go faster but lacked the horsepower,
The high handlebars made his frenzied Fifty go slower,
For Speed Freak Jim they slowed him by five miles an hour,
Jim had to get his skinny ass low and his handlebars lower.

So he adjusted his bars in his own idiot-synchratic manner,
Since James was not only tight fisted he was also ham-fisted
He lowered his 'bars with a whacking great adjustable spanner,
His method guaranteeing him shot bolts and precious nuts twisted.

Jimmy liked the look of the low Cafe Racers crouch
But it's sure a physically uncomfortable position to adopt,
Panic braking resulted in petrol tank meeting tender pouch,
Then Jim felt real regret on stopping with balls 'bars dropped. 

Ouch.

Flogging every Japanese horse into the ground,
Flat out on the tank to stay sleek and streamlined,
Tucked down in a racing crouch, homeward bound
leaving poor lil' old ladies he flashed past far behind.*

It's a wonder Jimmy didn't cause some lady to faint,
Bring on a hot flush at least, at worst a heart attack,
Many an old biddy he passed saw cause for complaint,
Giving 'em the bums rush, disappearing at a fair crack.

Our so-special speed racer, so young and fearless,
Blithely cutting blind corners, dumbly tempting fate,
James was all alone in thinking his riding was peerless,
His friends lived in hope he'd learn before 'twas too late.

Young Jim was living way too fast,
Not a lick o' sense, no restraint at all,
We knew Jim's tomfoolery couldn't last,
But he kept ridin' high, till come the Fall...

One's luck runs out when pushed too far,
One Sunday that fateful day came to pass,
In the form of a dowager driving a dodgy car,
Your typical little old lady off to morning Mass.

Clocking along at twenty-five miles an hour
With bashed ol' Bible and the Lord by her side,
So far past youth's foolish first flush and flower-
The kind of Sunday driver even Christ can't abide.

Atop the parcel shelf peered a plastic Virgin Mary,
A discreet bumper sticker proclaimed 'Jesus Is Lord,'
And, looking as ill-placed as a stripper in a monastery
A wobbly bobble-headed Jesus desecrated the dashboard.

From the rear view mirror a crucifix swung,
From the stereo came a swelling celestial choir,
Off in the distance the basilica bell dolorously rung
As up over the overpass Jimmy came blazing, eyes afire.

Our Lady peered myopically through the windscreen,
Her radio turned up to eleven, pre-set on Songs of Praise,
Not seeing or hearing a fast approaching wanna-be James Dean,
But then, the ol' Dodge and her eyesight had both seen better days.*

Jim wondered on which side to overtake
Just as our matron reached her destination-
Jim taking the outside line proved a big mistake-
God knows why she turned in without indication?

I was sat astride my 3-speed by the corner shop
So I'd heard Jim's Yamaha approach at full steam,
I saw the cars slow turn, saw the Yamaha's sudden stop,
I saw Jimmy fly overhead, heard his high falsetto scream.*

With car and motorcycle in Mutual collision
Immutable forces continue, as one must expect,
Before the old dear unfolded an unearthly vision;
A soon-to-be earthbound Unidentified Flying Object.

Helpless to help I could but painfully watch;
He missed the lamp post- not the six-foot fence,
Right hand flailed at a paling, left flew to his crotch,
In just one fluid motion our gymnast went to the Gents.

His  lil' blue Yamaha bounced down the road
The foot-pegs and handlebars showering sparks,
Eyes two sorrowful pools from which tears flowed,
Poor Jim surveyed the carnage amidst the skid marks.

From out of the Dodge a pale old lady emerged,
Baby blue eyes wide as saucers, hands all a'flutter,
She gazed up on High hoping her sins might be purged,
Saw Jim laid out on the ground and chucked up in the gutter.*

His flying visit had left a hell of an impression,
A helmet shaped hole dimpled the Dodge's roof,
On his face his usual dazed and confused expression-
I guess God simply makes young numbskulls bulletproof.*

He watched the flames consume the love of his life,
Winced as the gas tanks cherry glow looked set to blow,
The climactic Bang! was the last turn of the oriental knife,
For our Last Samurai, nothing left but the fading afterglow.*

Poor Romeo is bleeding, all cuts, gravel rash and grazes,
Both blue eyes black, toothsome smile gone, a bloodied nose,
Dodgy driver wondered if she, like the bike, might be going to blazes 
While Jim mushily moaned for his Yamaha or his Mama, Gawd knows.*

I held tight his right hand till the ambulance came,
Left the sorry sobbing matron to wetly hold his other,
They talked of Insurance, she agreed to share the blame
After much hand-wringing and prayers to the Virgin Mother.

Then did I see her jumpy Jesus shake its head?
Knowing He has to forgive us all, even those inept?
The fools who simply go where angels fear to tread?
And, I swear, for one miraculous moment, Jesus wept.

                      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Later, as he hopped out of hospital, his foot in a cast
Jimmy told me of the bright light he'd momentarily seen,
Jim swore he had seen his whole unholy life go flashing past;
The agnostic in me believes in heavy concussion and morphine.


*If you got this far and wondered WTF the * is for, there's at least a dozen well known song titles thrown in. If you are so moved, dig 'em out. Plus two or three that are not well known, but hey, it's my post, so... answers, if you can be bothered, beneath Mr Jesus, below.  
Dashboard Jesus
'Straight outta the King James version.'





Song in order; Sixteen Candles; The Crests / The Night Before; The Beatles / Misunderstood- (Sorry, this one you'll only get that if you're a fan of Wilco)/ Tonights the Night; Rod Stewart / I Should Have Known Better; The Beatles / Once In A Lifetime; Talking Heads / Highway To Hell; AC/DC / Faraway Eyes; Rolling Stones  / Fast And Loose; Motorhead / Homeward Bound; Simon and Garfunkel / James Dean; Daniel Bedingfield / 3 Speed; Eels (as a fan I must slip in an Eels number)/ Baby Blue; Badfinger / Bulletproof; La Roux/  Afterglow, Ed Sheeran; (or the Small Faces) / Romeo is Bleeding; Tom Waits. 

©Obbverse

Alabama had more deaths than births of late; Why, we wonder?

And Todays Darwin Awards...

See, down South we don't need no damned inoculation
Even if its approved by the Food 'n' Drug Administration,
There's Lord knows what in that mixed-up Devils brew
And our Pastor sez th' Covid's just some jumped-up 'flu.

Our quiet Southern backwa- backwoods 'burg ain't the place
For out-of-towners to drop in masked and not show their face,
Folks don't need to wear no mask in our free and open streets,
(Only time we hide our face here is 'neath the holey white sheets.)

Here we don't need or heed no Snowflake driven mandate
Tellin' us where, when 'n' with who we can freely congregate,
To Fauci's foolish talk of catching Covid we remain immune,
And, like Don, we truly do believe 'twill all blow over soon.

We won't be putting no contaminants in our red-blooded veins,
Least not while a drop of pure pig-headed Rebel blood remains,
If the good Lawd wants to take me to Glory, to sit by His hand
I'll go unvaccinated, knowing my demise is what God planned.

                        - - -  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Well, two weeks have gone since I wrote the note above...
I fear I might've been premature 'bout Gods eternal love...
It was at choir practice I remember I started to feel poorly,
But under Gods roof nothing ill could touch me, surely?

I drove home, the Pastors blessings ringing in my ears
With his sincere hopes my snotty head cold quickly clears...
I took a shot of Mucinex, a slug of bourbon and hit the sack,
Took to my bed, began to hack, closed my eyes and lay back. 

I recall waking up once to see all my kin gathered 'round,
Din't need no no-show Pastor to tell me I wuz Glory bound.  
Looks like I up and died, and now I'm stood on Cloud Nine
Waiting to see Saint Pete, I'm at the end of a long long line.

Seems there's many in this queue who shared my view,
Like me they din't really expect to get called-yet- by You,
It seems a lot up ahead who see Saint Pete get short shrift,
Seems if ya ain't had a jab that Saint gets almighty miffed.

Seems Gods place for us is in some lockdown quarantine!
Seems God expected us to accept and inject that vaccine!
Seems God Hisself sez simply denyin' pure scientific evidence
Is a Hell of a way of not using plain God given common sense. 

 
'Dang, seems they was right to keep harping on and on.'

©Obbverse.

September, early spring, a time of hope and renewal? Not on the nineteenth it ain’t.

Date Stamped.

Born before me,
Gone way before,
I won't ever see 
His like no more.

That remains crystal clear.

Born this day
Many moons ago,
It hurt to say
Goodbye too soon, bro.

Dry up, stupid tear.

So this September 
We're here again,
To stand and remember.
'Time Heals All Pain?' 

Nope; not this year.

  Learn it fast, son- life ain't fair.

(No attempts to force humour today. Tomorrow’s another bright new day, and I’m sure the sun will rise as per usual and cheer us all up. Soon enough.)

©Obbverse.

Unclassified notes from an Oval Office; The Ford, Dearborn office, not the Pennsylvania Avenue one.

(Dark humour, a mild warning.)

The Flawed Concept.

Mr Ford viewed the tiny cars flooding in with fear,
Gutting sales of the gas-guzzlers Henry held so dear,
So into the new geeko-friendly no-smoking atmosphere
Henry trotted out his Pinto, with its pertly kicked-up rear,
So cheeky, chic and cheerful- and so cheap to engineer.

His Pinto putting dents in imports sales elicited a grin,
But making a profit on compacts means making 'em thin,
So, skinnier welds here, there, replace heavy steel with tin;
Ford's salesmen lightly told customers 'take 'er out for a spin,'
Is emphasising gas mileage over driver safety such a sin?
In harness with rising gas prices, sales of the sippy Pinto rose,
In his boardroom see, along with his profits, how his smile grows?
Until a rash of memos brought about a wrinkling of Henry's nose;
It's safe to say a Pinto's economy is great, as far as gas milage goes
But in a tail-ender one is not safe, as any crash dummy knows.

Was it a question of saving lives or saving on the cash?
Placing a gas tank waaay back was more dumb than rash,
The Pinto was a pain in the ass when in a nose-to-tail smash;
Percolating Pintos were hotly looked at by Police, Fire and Crash-
Hank's cheap-ass petty penny ante profits tanked, and in a flash.

(Mockery aside, a case of money over humanity. Apparently, for the sake of a few nickels and dimes per vehicle in producing these bombs cars Ford could have redesigned and alleviated the problem. Corporate cost-cutting at its best/worst. Ford lost a court case and paid through the nose.)

‘For Sale, Ford Pinto, cool retro classic, original Fire Engine Red paint.’

©Obbverse


	

The picture of Dorian Gray. Now, more than ever, not a pretty sight.

Yesterday's Man.

When folk reacquaint themselves with Mr. Gray
They look, stunned to see he ain't aged a day,
They ask if Dorian has found the elixir of youth?
But behind Gray's merry eyes lies an ugly truth.

Back in the old days when he was young, in fact
Dorian drew up quite the Mephistophelian pact,
He could live a libertine life where age took no toll
And all it would take was a worthless eternal soul!

This Faustian deal only a short-sighted fool would sign,
For a moment Gray's hand hovered on the bottom line,
It looked quite the bargain- to a damn fool lad of his age-
So he struck the devil's bargain, signed on the last page.

In exchange for his signature Dorian gets the picture,
Faust gets a hell of a deal, ironclad as Holy Scripture,
Faust lingering over every letter should've been a hint
That Dorian should've better reviewed the small print.

Then Dorian lived the high life, and life rolled along,
All wine, women and song, doing everything wrong,
Years passed, as in the looking glass he aged not at all,
But before too long he turned his portrait to face the wall.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so it's said,
Now Dorian looks at his rendering with daily dread,
A portrait ageing in Dorian's place sounds far fetched
But it troubles him to see a fine face so deeply etched.

At days end, when Dorian looks back on his debauchery
Then what ghastly mistakes will the old roué and rake see?
A savagely ravaged face, facing an eternity of damnation;
And who signed off on fucking himself? self-fornication?


‘The devil with all that old technology. I’ve updated!’

©Obbverse