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The Shapeshifter and the Haymaker

#1
In Autumn, that season of mellow fruitfulness, welcome the Shapeshifter.....but beware the Haymaker.

I was proceeding towards the end of a tunnel of trees when John’s poem came to mind.
I paused and watched golden leaves wafting down on a soft breeze, joining others already sprinkled on the path ahead.
Then, for just a moment, all was still.
Back came the breeze, delivering more little treasures, then stirring, lifting those previously fallen. They danced about on the path.

John personifies Autumn as a living being that meanders about his own personal playground, the countryside, pausing now and then to do autumn type things.
Here he was, on the Way, doing his thing.
He’s a mate of mine that John.
A bloke like him, or any his literary counterparts for that matter, who can deliver me such pleasure, is always I think, best regarded as a mate.

But we can’t stand about dreaming all day can we?
Ever onwards a pilgrim must plod.

I walked out of the tree tunnel. The path veered away. I looked ahead, then froze.
I turned, fled back into the obscuring tunnel.
In the near distance a tree-lined stream wound under the Way, a crossing provided by a stone bridge.
Standing in its centre were two colourfully dressed ladies. In voluminous, bouncy, multi-coloured, multi-petticoated skirts, topped by brilliant white blouses, they presented a visual delight.
Peering between the trees I noted the clipboard with its dangling string and pencil.
“Here we go,” I thought. “Surely you had to know this was going to happen. Now what are you going to do about it? Ripping off your pilgrim mates aren’t they? You can’t just walk by.”
My usually fast burning anger for some reason took a while to crank into gear this time, but it eventually joined me.
“Just bloody thieves aren’t they,” it reasoned. “Stealing from pilgrims. You’ve gotta at least try to put a stop to this malarkey.”
Inside my tunnel, as I formulated my plan of attack, I dismantled and stached the Pacer Poles on the side of my pack. Loose, they’d only get in the way.
I peered between the trees to see if, as is often the case, the ladies had any male support in a nearby vehicle.
None that I could see.
But I knew from past experience that these gals, even on their own, can get pretty stroppy if you cross them. Best be prepared.
I swung my pack on, fastened it firmly, did a couple of half squats to limber up.
“Okay then,” I thought. “Let’s do this.”

I proceeded out of the tree tunnel and along the path towards the bridge.
“Buenos dias! Good morning ladies!” I called as I approached.
They stood, to one side, in the middle of the bridge.
“Bueno's dias,” they replied somewhat disinterestedly as I arrived alongside.
Ok, so for today at least the mute can talk. I've been told that some days they can't.
The taller, larger of the two, held the clipboard out toward me. “We are collecting for charity,” she informed.
I reached out, took it.

It was indeed the old well-known scam. They were collecting for the deaf-mute society. Three columns. Sign here, address here, donation amount here.
After reading it I grasped the dangling pencil and turned to place the clipboard on the waist-high flat surface of the side of the bridge. I indicated that I would there complete it.
As I moved to do so I accidentally on purpose stumbled, fell into the side of the bridge. I made sure I dropped the clipboard with enough forward momentum to propel it clattering over the side.
I pulled myself upright and leaned over to look down into the stream. The clipboard was floating away downstream, with string and pencil trailing.
I turned to face two rather shocked ladies.
“Oh blimey,” I said. “I’m most terribly sorry.”

The taller, more solidly built of the two, now had a face like thunder.
She glared at me angrily.
“On purpose!” she spat at me.
She turned to her left and addressed her colleague. “He do this on purpose!”

Schadenfreude.
What a good word that is!
Taking delight in another's misfortune.
We do so enjoy that don’t we?
Well I do anyway.
But it was here that schadenfreude betrayed me.
I couldn’t stop the appearance of a small smile on my face.
It turned her into the devil incarnate.

It’s rare to see someone absolutely consumed with rage.
She stood still, absolutely motionless, absolutely focused, letting the hate-devil glare at me thru her eyes.
He sure is an evil looking dude.
But I can face him down. He doesn’t scare me none.
She turned away, to her right this time, her arms dangling at her sides.
Her knees dipped, her right hand closed into a fist.
“Here it comes,” I thought. “Steady now.”
Back towards me she spun at speed, the fist, on the end of its outstretched arm rose towards me.
Beware the Haymaker.
But she had telegraphed it, so I was ready.
Now it was me who dipped and swayed back over the side of the bridge.
The Haymaker whistled past the front of my chin.
I reckon if she had’ve connected she would’ve knocked my block off.

But I've been attempting to brush up on Isaac Newton lately, and in the third of his three 'Laws of Motion’ he seems to reckon differently.
“When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.”
I can’t figure it out. Doesn’t that mean the two objects, in this case my head and her fist, would come to an immediate stand-still?
I'm missing something somewhere. That's not unusual.

Whatever. As it happened of course, they didn't meet.
After missing my head her fist continued on it’s merry way, circuitously, with disastrous results.
The violence inherent in her unrequited swing now caused her to lose her balance. She crashed into her friend and down they both tumbled onto the paved surface of the bridge.

Now I’m not usually the type of bloke who ignores damsels in distress. Consider myself more of your St George and the Dragon type bloke I do, like imbued with knightly chivalry.
But in this instance, for reasons of self-preservation, I figured the only sensible option now open to me, was flight. I mean valour's all very well in its place, but here, discretion did indeed appear to be it's better part.
Did I scarper quick smart up the Way?
You would've thought the hounds of hell were on my tail.

So, to you guys and gals who I saved from wasting your euros that day, and in doing so put my own personal safety at risk, I have only this to say.
“I reckon someone owes me a beer.
And I reckon that someone is you."
Next time we meet then, ok?
But I can't recall the date all this happened.
I think it’s going to be a dry argument.

Regards
Gerard.

PS
"Ok then John, here you go mate."

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

TO AUTUMN
John Keats
 
Last edited:
#3
In Autumn, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, beware the Haymaker.

It was always going to happen.
Should have expected it really.
But I can be a bit of a thicko sometimes.

I was proceeding towards the end of a tunnel of trees when John’s poem came to mind.
I paused and watched the golden leaves wafting down on a soft breeze, joining others already sprinkled on the path ahead.
Then, for just a moment, all was still.
Back came the breeze, delivering more little treasures, then stirring, lifting those previously fallen. They danced about on the path.

John personifies Autumn as a living being that flits across his own personal playground, the countryside, pausing now and then to do autumn type things.
Here he was, on my path, doing his thing.

He’s a mate of mine that John.
A bloke like him, or any contemporary, who can deliver me such pleasure, deserves to be treated as a mate.
I know most of those poets were only trying to make a living, but blimey, what a wonderful, if tough way, to make a living. Towards the top of my mates' list they are.

But we can’t stand about dreaming all day can we?
Ever onwards a pilgrim must plod.

I walked out of the tree tunnel. The path veered away. I looked ahead, then froze.
I turned, fled back into the obscuring tunnel.
In the near distance a tree-lined stream wound under the Way, a crossing provided by a stone bridge.
Standing in its centre were two colourfully dressed ladies. In voluminous, bouncy, multi-coloured, multi-petticoated skirts, topped by brilliant white blouses, they presented a visual delight.
Peering between the trees I noted the clipboard with its dangling string and pencil.
“Here we go,” I thought. “Surely you had to know this was going to happen. Now what are you going to do about it? Ripping off your pilgrim mates aren’t they? You can’t just walk by.”
My usually fast burning anger for some reason took a while to crank into gear this time, but it eventually joined me.
“Just bloody thieves aren’t they,” it reasoned. “Stealing from pilgrims. You’ve gotta at least try to put a stop to this malarkey.”
Inside my tunnel, as I formulated my plan of attack, I dismantled and stached the Pacer Poles on the side of my pack. Loose, they’d only get in the way.
I peered between the trees to see if, as is often the case, they had any male support in a nearby vehicle.
None that I could see.
But I knew from past experience that these gals, even on their own, can get pretty stroppy if you cross them. Best be prepared.
I swung my pack on, fastened it firmly, did a couple of half squats to limber up.
“Okay then,” I thought. “Let’s do this.”

I proceeded out of the tree tunnel and along the path towards the bridge.
“Buenos dias! Good morning ladies!” I called as I approached.
They stood, to one side, in the middle of the bridge.
“Bueno's dias,” they replied somewhat disinterestedly as I arrived alongside. The taller, larger of the two, held the clipboard out toward me. “We are collecting for charity,” she informed.
I reached out, took it.

It was the old well-known scam. They were collecting for the deaf-mute society. Three columns. Sign here, address here, donation amount here.
After reading it I grasped the dangling pencil and turned to place the clipboard on the waist-high flat surface of the side of the bridge. I indicated that I would there complete it.
As I moved to do so I accidentally on purpose stumbled, fell into the side of the bridge. I made sure I dropped the clipboard with enough forward momentum to propel it clattering over the side.
I pulled myself upright and leaned over to look down into the stream. The clipboard was floating swiftly away down stream, with string and pencil trailing.
I turned to face two rather shocked ladies.
“Oh blimey,” I said. “I’m most terribly sorry.I do hope you have another clipboard.”

The taller, more solidly built of the two, now had a face like thunder.
She glared at me angrily.
“On purpose!” she spat at me.
She turned to her left and addressed her colleague. “He do this on purpose!”
“On purpose? Not me! Accident!” I replied indignantly.

Schadenfreude.
What a good word that is!
Taking delight in another's misfortune.
We do so enjoy that don’t we.
Well I do anyway.
But it was here that schadenfreude betrayed me. I couldn’t stop the appearance of a small smile on my face.

It turned her into the devil incarnate.
It’s rare to see someone absolutely consumed with rage.
She stood still, absolutely motionless, absolutely focused, letting the hate-devil glare at me thru her eyes. He sure is an evil looking dude.
But I can face him down. He doesn’t scare me none.
She turned away, to her right this time, her arms dangling at her sides.
Her knees dipped.
“Here it comes,” I thought. “Steady now.”
Back towards me she spun at speed, her right hand, on the end of its outstretched arm, now closed into a fist as it rose towards me.
Beware the haymaker.
But she had telegraphed it after all.
And I was ready.
Now it was me who dipped and swayed back over the side of the bridge.
The haymaker whistled past the front of my chin.
I reckon If she had’ve connected she would’ve knocked my block off.

Yet Isaac Newton’s ‘3rd Law of Motion’ seems to reckon differently.
“When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.”
I can’t figure it out. But I’m no Physicist. Doesn’t that mean the two objects, in this case my head and her fist, would come to an immediate stand-still?

Whatever. As it happened of course, they didn't meet.
After missing my head her fist continued on it’s circular journey, with disastrous results.
The violence inherent in her unrequited swing now caused her to lose her balance.
She crashed into her friend and down they both tumbled onto the paved surface of the bridge.

Now, as you may be aware, I’m not usually the type of bloke who ignores damsels in distress. Consider myself more of your St George and the Dragon type bloke I do, like imbued with knightly chivalry.
But in this instance, for reasons of self-preservation, I figured that perhaps the best, indeed the only option now open to me, was flight.
I scarpered quick smart up the Way and into the distance without a single backward glance.

So, to you guys and gals who I saved from wasting your euros that day, and in doing so put my own personal safety at risk, I have only this to say.
“I reckon you owe me a beer.”
Next time we meet then, ok?
But I can't remember the date.
I think it’s going to be a dry argument.

Regards
Gerard.

PS
Ok then John, here you go mate.


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

TO AUTUMN
John Keats
This is wonderful. Sitting here early morning reading and laughing. Oh the Keats is great, too!
 
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
#4
In Autumn, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, beware the Haymaker.

It was always going to happen.
Should have expected it really.
But I can be a bit of a thicko sometimes.

I was proceeding towards the end of a tunnel of trees when John’s poem came to mind.
I paused and watched the golden leaves wafting down on a soft breeze, joining others already sprinkled on the path ahead.
Then, for just a moment, all was still.
Back came the breeze, delivering more little treasures, then stirring, lifting those previously fallen. They danced about on the path.

John personifies Autumn as a living being that flits across his own personal playground, the countryside, pausing now and then to do autumn type things.
Here he was, on my path, doing his thing.

He’s a mate of mine that John.
A bloke like him, or any contemporary, who can deliver me such pleasure, deserves to be treated as a mate.
I know most of those poets were only trying to make a living, but blimey, what a wonderful, if tough way, to make a living. Towards the top of my mates' list they are.

But we can’t stand about dreaming all day can we?
Ever onwards a pilgrim must plod.

I walked out of the tree tunnel. The path veered away. I looked ahead, then froze.
I turned, fled back into the obscuring tunnel.
In the near distance a tree-lined stream wound under the Way, a crossing provided by a stone bridge.
Standing in its centre were two colourfully dressed ladies. In voluminous, bouncy, multi-coloured, multi-petticoated skirts, topped by brilliant white blouses, they presented a visual delight.
Peering between the trees I noted the clipboard with its dangling string and pencil.
“Here we go,” I thought. “Surely you had to know this was going to happen. Now what are you going to do about it? Ripping off your pilgrim mates aren’t they? You can’t just walk by.”
My usually fast burning anger for some reason took a while to crank into gear this time, but it eventually joined me.
“Just bloody thieves aren’t they,” it reasoned. “Stealing from pilgrims. You’ve gotta at least try to put a stop to this malarkey.”
Inside my tunnel, as I formulated my plan of attack, I dismantled and stached the Pacer Poles on the side of my pack. Loose, they’d only get in the way.
I peered between the trees to see if, as is often the case, they had any male support in a nearby vehicle.
None that I could see.
But I knew from past experience that these gals, even on their own, can get pretty stroppy if you cross them. Best be prepared.
I swung my pack on, fastened it firmly, did a couple of half squats to limber up.
“Okay then,” I thought. “Let’s do this.”

I proceeded out of the tree tunnel and along the path towards the bridge.
“Buenos dias! Good morning ladies!” I called as I approached.
They stood, to one side, in the middle of the bridge.
“Bueno's dias,” they replied somewhat disinterestedly as I arrived alongside. The taller, larger of the two, held the clipboard out toward me. “We are collecting for charity,” she informed.
I reached out, took it.

It was the old well-known scam. They were collecting for the deaf-mute society. Three columns. Sign here, address here, donation amount here.
After reading it I grasped the dangling pencil and turned to place the clipboard on the waist-high flat surface of the side of the bridge. I indicated that I would there complete it.
As I moved to do so I accidentally on purpose stumbled, fell into the side of the bridge. I made sure I dropped the clipboard with enough forward momentum to propel it clattering over the side.
I pulled myself upright and leaned over to look down into the stream. The clipboard was floating swiftly away down stream, with string and pencil trailing.
I turned to face two rather shocked ladies.
“Oh blimey,” I said. “I’m most terribly sorry.I do hope you have another clipboard.”

The taller, more solidly built of the two, now had a face like thunder.
She glared at me angrily.
“On purpose!” she spat at me.
She turned to her left and addressed her colleague. “He do this on purpose!”
“On purpose? Not me! Accident!” I replied indignantly.

Schadenfreude.
What a good word that is!
Taking delight in another's misfortune.
We do so enjoy that don’t we.
Well I do anyway.
But it was here that schadenfreude betrayed me. I couldn’t stop the appearance of a small smile on my face.

It turned her into the devil incarnate.
It’s rare to see someone absolutely consumed with rage.
She stood still, absolutely motionless, absolutely focused, letting the hate-devil glare at me thru her eyes. He sure is an evil looking dude.
But I can face him down. He doesn’t scare me none.
She turned away, to her right this time, her arms dangling at her sides.
Her knees dipped.
“Here it comes,” I thought. “Steady now.”
Back towards me she spun at speed, her right hand, on the end of its outstretched arm, now closed into a fist as it rose towards me.
Beware the haymaker.
But she had telegraphed it after all.
And I was ready.
Now it was me who dipped and swayed back over the side of the bridge.
The haymaker whistled past the front of my chin.
I reckon If she had’ve connected she would’ve knocked my block off.

Yet Isaac Newton’s ‘3rd Law of Motion’ seems to reckon differently.
“When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.”
I can’t figure it out. But I’m no Physicist. Doesn’t that mean the two objects, in this case my head and her fist, would come to an immediate stand-still?

Whatever. As it happened of course, they didn't meet.
After missing my head her fist continued on it’s circular journey, with disastrous results.
The violence inherent in her unrequited swing now caused her to lose her balance.
She crashed into her friend and down they both tumbled onto the paved surface of the bridge.

Now, as you may be aware, I’m not usually the type of bloke who ignores damsels in distress. Consider myself more of your St George and the Dragon type bloke I do, like imbued with knightly chivalry.
But in this instance, for reasons of self-preservation, I figured that perhaps the best, indeed the only option now open to me, was flight.
I scarpered quick smart up the Way and into the distance without even a single backward glance.

So, to you guys and gals who I saved from wasting your euros that day, and in doing so put my own personal safety at risk, I have only this to say.
“I reckon you owe me a beer.”
Next time we meet then, ok?
But I can't remember the date.
I think it’s going to be a dry argument.

Regards
Gerard.

PS
Ok then John, here you go mate.


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

TO AUTUMN
John Keats
Thank you!!!!
Jane
 


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