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The following is a portion of an e-mail message I received today.

“We just got back from Paris. A terrible mess with the dollar’s decline! We were not able to afford some of the things that we wanted to do. The French are terribly angry with the U.S. because of the higher Euro. They are having difficulty putting food on the table. They blame this on ‘Bush’s war.’ We got cursed out in French by an old man because we came out of a Nike store (we were there asking for directions to a certain street). He was ranting about capitalistic American companies! Wow!

France has always had a socialistic bent. But what we saw and heard put our country’s politics under a new light. There were many French people who, when asked if they spoke English, indicated no. It is my belief that they did, but since the U.S. called for a boycott of France and renamed the French fry, there has been an animus among the rank and file of the French population. We were told that this hardship was not confined to France, but to those countries who converted to Euros.”

NOTE: This is reprinted here with the permission of my friend.

The featherless has no teeth, no backbone,
no joints and no tail.

The featherless is boneless and toothless,
or so it appears.

The featherless lives in mud,
searches for honeycomb,

cavorts in chickweed, burns incense,
drinks wine. Yes, he drinks wine.

Why not?
Well, perhaps not, when he writes.

The featherless of which I speak,
who’s my creation, as opposed to God’s,

enters a flowering meadow,
where he drops to his knees.

The featherless feels the way
any writer or poet may feel,

knocked in bellowing rejection
by a story-telling editor,

who’s probably shoeless at the time
of his most negative decision-making.

We’re not one and the same—
the featherless and I. No,

the featherless did not see the snow fall
during the silent night nor the mist

that covered what proved to be
only a dusting that I myself saw.


first published in Left Facing Bird

April 2008