Sorry Isaac, I had a stray thought and now you must pay

HOW doth the little anarchist
Improve each shining hour,
And gather intel all the day
With all her might and power.

How skilfully she builds her cell; 5
How neat she pubs her works,
And labours hard to feed it well
and shelter it from jerks.

In works of labour or of skill,
I would be busy too; 10
For fascists find some mischief still
For idle hands to do.

In books, or work, or armed revolt,
Let my first years be passed;
That I may give for every day 15
Some good account at last.

So, you may ask, where in the entire body of Christ did this come from, and my abashed answer is that I was writing a hymn, which just came to me sudden-like.

Shall I improve
this shining hour
with some new good
oh my lord
I will take shelter
in your song
Though days be hard
and nights be long

And then of course I stopped, because I knew that ‘improve the shining hour’ was a quote, and apart from being certain it wasn’t shakespear I was kinda stuck.

So I looked it up, and it was Isaac Watts, “How doth the little busy bee” and I immediately took in the poem and decided within about five seconds to rewrite it as an anarchist children’s poem. So here it is. I leapt from one song to another in the space of a heartbeat, and that really does sum me up don’t it.

2020 Accomplishments


Went to not one but two parties on New Year’s Day

Had really nice restaurant meal at Hart House

Found out the name of a good mechanic in WA state on the highway towards Seattle

Wrote “Snow Poem” Jan 16

Called Stefan Molyneux an unregenerate Nazi sockwad

Wrote “how to write down music when you don’t know how to read it.”

Failed entertainingly as the Toasted Master of Conflikt XIII at the end of January.

In February, saw Hannah Gadsby, performing “Douglas” with my cousin Alexis.

Started making whole wheat flower rolls, pizza and cinnamon sticks as part of my diet issues.

Got myself diagnosed for ADD in October.

Wrote the song “I’m going to have to ask the smart people to leave”

Wrote the poem ‘membrane’

Found out about Stella the Talking Dog and my life got way better. Started thinking, in consequence, about training Buster….

Wrote a doggerel song called The Driving Instructor

Got a song on ‘filkcast’

Attended a simply fantastic Dunnett Spit at Sandbar in February.

Wrote “Thorfinn’s Song (The Standard of the Crow)

9 posted destiel fics totalling eighty thousand words

Wrote another six more but they aren’t completely edited and clean.

Wrote song “This is just a test”

Posted the overview of a script – Earthquake Tourists

As far as I can tell, caught and survived the first iteration of 2019 COVID between 17th and 23rd of March

Wrote the squib “I was born with Uranus in retrograde”

Wrote my obituary in doggerel – right before I caught the rona

Posted Sue Gillespie’s Impossible Pie recipe

Wrote poem ‘stop and start’

Wrote poem ‘phone call’

Wrote haiku ‘ratings system’

Wrote poem ‘ the open tap’

Wrote poem “Plea bargain”

Sometime in the spring began to train Buster

Wrote ‘Brief Poem”

Wrote poem “Ageless”

First kidney stone

Figured out that I also have Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria

Figured out I should wear orthotics every moment I’m conscious

Although I don’t

started watching Time Team

Wrote the poem ‘winners’

Got new orthotics

Wrote short fic ‘the old woman’

Did a complete ranting takedown on an Open Letter in Harpers Mag

Met new people in a trek to Bowen Island

Wrote ‘the anticolonial song’

Put Mexican Gothic on hold in August, read it in December, loved it


Started to play hammered guitar and also dulcimer

Wrote ‘the staple gun song’ squib

Posted my vegan lentil soup recipe

Safely removed a bird Buster brought alive into the house

Participated in a social distanced housefilk

Survived the terrible air quality during the California fires

Sewed myself a bolster for my back so I’m more comfy in my bunk bed

Finally gave Paul his seventieth birthday card on his 71st birthday

Got a flu shot

Performed a complete review of my personal habits and committed to meaningful self-improvement, and it worked.

Started work on the MOLOCH poem

Commenced writing letters to loved ones and family members to stay connected during the pandemic.

Lost my phone and cancelled my cell phone service.

Applied for a pension.

Practiced singing and instruments almost every day for a year.

Ratrunners and fireworks

Woke up around two with a ratrunner blasting down Kingsway at what sounded like a hunnert miles an hour. And there were bangers in there too.

I can’t find a recording of “Bob Dylan’s New Years’ Day” … so I guess I’ll have to make one.

Yesterday I made borscht and fresh whole wheat rolls and fed Paul lunch. Today I’m supposed to walk in Trout Lake Park for a New Year’s Day celebration but the rain is going to be rude, so I may wear rain gear and boots. If I can be arsed to move.

Happy New Year, Blog Fans! (Bob Dylan’s New Years Day)

Here’s the first song of the year!

Bob Dylan’s New Year’s Day. Wrote this mostly on the subway on the way home from Dowker’s place, having spent New Year’s Eve there. This will be many years ago now, before 1985 most likely.

The song. Which I recorded on New Years Day, even if I made the blog post a week ago.


The lyrics:

Oh I am a mote in a weary eye that only longs for sleep
I have asked my journeying questions and they don’t now seem that deep
At least I asked, I’m proud of that, and the memories I keep
Though they’ve lost the weight to wound me now, the power to make me weep

Bob Dylan is your bible and you’re ready with a quote
You do not listen for the echo of a sweet or sour note
Poet, sage or prophet, desert voice or vote
On this New Years Day he seems to me another wind driven mote

Peace is available upon demand but the price tag seems so high
Thought I’d something I could trade for it when the limit was the sky
Our grownup occupations have tripped us, you and I
And reality’s a leg hold trap, we’ll get free when we die

We’re all conscripts every one of us, but we act like we’re volunteers
Meant to be here somehow, and joking back our fears
We speak our lines with conviction that deepens with the years
As we take our cues and pay our dues, playacting with our peers

O my Muse is a jukebox, and she plays what I select
Background noise for the girls and boys who want to act and not direct
I look around, hoping someone nods, and the words had some effect
When you quote Bob Dylan one more time, the answers all connect.