Wednesday, September 25, 2019

THE POLITICIAN AND THE WHITE BUTTERFLY


The summer sun was shining brightly on the little boy, his blonde hair almost as white as the flitting white butterfly he was chasing. As he ran between the rows of beans, peas, carrots, lettuce and tomatoes, he almost tripped over his father’s legs as he was kneeling on the ground busily weeding the garden. Perhaps realizing that everything wasn’t about playing and having fun, the little boy suddenly stopped chasing the butterfly and asked, “Can I help daddy?”
About to say no but then noticing the sincerity glowing within his son’s eyes he said, “Thanks, I could use some help pulling these pesky weeds.” 
                As they worked side by side pulling weeds from the warm, damp earth, the father reached over and gently tousled the little boy’s hair saying, “You’re a hard worker son. I’m proud of you. You’ll go far in life.”
                Upon hearing his father’s words of praise, he smiled broadly and worked even harder, his little hands becoming dirtier and dirtier with every weed he pulled. However, before too long, he suddenly stopped and after wiping the sweat off his forehead with a dirty hand, leaving a scraggily brown smear across it, he yawned. 
                Thinking perhaps his son had grown bored pulling weeds, he watched the boy as he stood up, trundled over to the edge of the garden and then curled up on the grass beneath the cool shade of an apple tree. But the little boy was not bored, like many young children that always seem so full of bursting energy; he had simply run out of steam and needed a nap.
                As the years passed by, the little boy steadily grew. Working alongside his father on the small farm, he was often up at the break of day helping with the chores before catching the school bus. Not only did he work hard at home, he worked hard at school too – a straight A student. He’d considered joining a school football or baseball team but because of the workload at home and his mom and dad were growing older, he preferred helping them. Some of his fellow students may have thought he was a little nerdy but because of the way his blue jeans hugged his hips and shirts fit tightly across his broad shoulders, they knew his physical strength matched his intelligence.
                Besides having straight A’s, an amiable personality, hard-working and always willing to give a helping hand, when graduation arrived, he was chosen high school valedictorian, his words eloquent and encouraging, giving future hope to his fellow students. His mother and father beamed with pride when his name was called to receive his diploma and several scholarships he had won. Before the happy graduates ran off to continue with prom festivities a well-dressed man emerged from the audience and firmly shook the teenager’s hand saying, “Congratulations. One of the scholarships you won was donated by my firm. You’ll go far in life my boy and I expect great things from you.”
                Because the university he had chosen was located in a large city, many kilometers away, the budding young man was forced to leave the farm in order to further his education. Although his mother and father worried about their son being tempted and seduced by the city’s glitter they had nothing to fear. However, since money was short for his education and to help with expenses at home, he gladly accepted a part time job from the man who had attended his graduation ceremonies. 
Having grown into a ruggedly handsome young man, not only were the girls interested in him but so were the university sports’ coaches. They were constantly trying to entice him to join one of their teams by telling him there would be special advantages to help lighten his studies. However, since he wasn’t overly interested in becoming a professional athlete, he turned their efforts down, that is the coaches – not the girls – one very pretty young lady catching his eye. 
                When graduation day arrived and the young man took his turn at the podium to accept his diploma, his mother and father upon hearing the wonderful accolades being bestowed upon their son were bursting with pride. At the conclusion of the ceremony, like his high school graduation, the same well-dressed man stepped forward out of the crowd. Shaking the scholar’s hand firmly he said, “You’re living up to my expectations,” and putting an arm around his shoulders continued, “You’re well on your way to a successful life my boy and I’d like very much to continue giving you my support.”
                Soon after accepting the man’s offer, an important position within his prestigious corporation, he and his pretty university-miss were hitched, bought a modest but expensive home and began a family. Life was good as he climbed the ladder from one success to another success, his faithful employer forever shaking his hand and congratulating him on his achievements.
                Middle age began creeping over the horizon as the years passed by and although his curly blonde hair had a silvery tinge and his paunch had grown slightly larger, he was still a handsome man of distinction. His wife had become a little heavier too but mostly in the right places. Needless to say he was very pleased with his position in life, his attractive wife and their children, a boy and a girl.
One morning, upon arriving at his office, upon opening the door, he discovered his employer sitting behind his desk. Somewhat startled by the observation, his smiling employer suddenly stood up, stepped forward and extended his hand saying, “You have no idea how proud I am of you my boy. You’ve come far and helped my business grow substantially. Although retirement with a comfortable pension is still a fair distance off, a man of your esteem, ethics, honesty, moral standards and hard-working abilities should perhaps think about branching out. You needn’t worry about money; I’ll always stand behind you to help with your endeavours.  Have you ever considered politics?”
        Since some of his friends and business colleagues had already mentioned that he should consider running for a political position, he put his name forward in the upcoming election. Soon, signs portraying his smiling face were popping up everywhere informing people to vote for him. He was elected by a huge majority and as the years went by, his achievements growing in leaps and bounds, becoming not just a pillar of his community but spreading province wide, he was approached to put his name forward and run for premier.
                Climbing higher and higher up the political ladder, each success seeming almost effortless, his perception may have been slightly clouded when his employer, now a friend, approached him and said, “Who’d of thought a mere farm boy from nowhere would be running for premier of this fine province?  However, becoming the leader will require a lot more work and to help lighten your load, besides increasing your wages, you’ll also be receiving shares in my firm, something I don’t take lightly.  But you’ve earned it my boy, you’ve earned every penny. I'm so proud of you my boy.”
                The speeches over, all the candidates having boasted about the things they would accomplish if they were elected, he waited with his family for the polls to end. As the voting results were posted across the province, he thought about all the people who had believed in him and had worked so hard to make his campaign a success. His name was in the front position as soon as the voting stations opened their doors. When it was announced that he’d won by a landslide victory, he stepped up to the podium and looked around at all the cheering supporters. His campaign slogan had been “The Man Who Can Get Things Done for You” and after the cheering had subsided he yelled, “Who’s the man?  Who’s the man?” and while motioning his thumbs towards his chest shouted even louder, “Who’s the man?”
                All of his followers, men and women of every age that had worked very hard to promote him, lifted their signs and roared in unison, “You’re the man!  You’re the man!  You’re the man!”
                Seated in his office as the new premier of the province, his benefactor and employer on the verge of old age limped into the room with the use of a cane and exclaimed, “Congratulations on becoming the premier of our fair province!  Right from the very beginning I knew you had what it took to get this far and perhaps even further,” he winked. “Yes, my boy, rumours are already beginning to circulate about you becoming the next prime minister. And now, now that you are here, sitting in the forefront, a great amount of power at your fingertips, since I have helped you achieve this goal, mainly on a monetary basis and putting you in touch with the right people, I’d like to ask for a favour.”
                After the old man had departed, the new premier sat down behind his desk and then spun the well-padded leather chair towards the window. Looking down, he observed someone of importance being interviewed and filmed on the front steps of the parliament building and as his gaze took in the green expanse of the well-manicured lawns and colourful flowerbeds, his eyes caught sight of a tiny white object. Upon closer observation, he realized it was a white butterfly flitting about. The words of the old man still resonating in his ears, he stood up; smiled, loosened his tie and then took it off. While undoing the top three buttons of his shirt he began chuckling and then, as if he didn’t have a care in the world, he suddenly dashed out of the office laughing outrageously and headed down the hall towards the stairway. His laughter echoed in the stairwell as he rushed down the steps and onto the main floor. Many of the people, upon hearing the premier’s loud laughter, gaped with amazement as they watched him run out of the front door. As he hurtled down the stairs past the person being interviewed, about a dozen security personnel, all dressed in dark suits, hot on his heels, the TV reporters and camera crews took up the chase as well.
                The premier was still laughing uproariously but panting heavily by the time he reached the little white butterfly but he wasn’t deterred.  As he continued chasing the butterfly, zig-zagging across the lawn and traipsing through the flower beds, a horde of security personnel, newsmen, camera crews right behind him every step of the way; he finally stopped and collapsed on the lawn.  Lying spread-eagle on his back, looking up at the blue sky, a few white puffy clouds scudding overhead, he continued laughing until tears began flowing down his cheeks. The realization who he had been so many years ago and the man he had now become, like the population of the province he represented, he had been duped, tricked, flimflammed and blind-sided by all the pats on the back and the monetary perks he had received over the years.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

FOREST FALLS - Going ONCE! Going TWICE! ... make your bid before it's SOLD!


Make your auction bid on this piece "Forest Falls" 

I've been painting autumn scenes lately since it is the season and frankly, the colours are downright dazzling. One can almost hear the leaves and the trees chattering about how gorgeous they all look. I wonder if the leaves are saying goodbye to one another and wishing all a good winter before spring arrives? Just because we don't understand the language of the forest doesn't mean that it doesn't converse. I have always found forest life very interesting, right from a pine cone lying on a mottled path to the tip of tall tree reaching for the heavens above.

There's something spiritual and magical about trees, bushes and brambles and the creatures that inhabit this environment. Also, a tumbling waterfall, a babbling brook or a lapping wave can be an aphrodisiac for the soul.

I've been selling similar 12"x16" acrylic paintings for $25. online but thought for a change and like autumn, spice it up a little, have put this one up for bids via my own personal auction, the starting bid being $25., so on that note, "Who'll give me twenty, twenty-five dollars for this original Len Sherman painting...you do know that he's an old man and that art doubles it worth when the old codger pops off - man - it would be worth a whole 50 bucks then! How about you sir, yes you, the one scratching his ear in the back row or you mam...yes dear...are you making a bid or just powdering your nose?" 

It's tough working the crowd, time to take a break...cheers, eh!

NOTE: Please follow THIS link to the original post and make your bid! This auction will run until 9AM Atlantic time on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. Please post YOUR bid on THIS link to make your bid! Good luck! (Please note FINAL bid does not include shipping - $20 within Canada and locally Woodstock area, can be arranged for FREE!) 



Thursday, September 5, 2019

THE COAST ROCKS - Painting No.5

             This is the 5th painting in I don't know how long a series.  Could be a long time since I find Nature anything but boring and I like the idea of painting canvases that are affordable to most people.
       Hey man...what can I say for a title...east coast, west coast...The Coast Rocks. Like myself sometimes, feeling battered and defeated, the sea hits the rocks and then slides back, not defeated but to strike again, again and again. I don't know for everyone, but their is a lulling sound to the sea. When I was out in the middle of the Northern Pacific aboard a small sailboat, out of sight of land and the sea was rising and falling asleep, I almost felt like I was asleep on my mother's chest when I was a toddler. This 12"16" original painting is FOR SALE - Only 25 bucks, plus about 10 bucks for shipping.
SOLD
          Hope you enjoy the painting as much as I did splashing the paint around...cheers, eh! 

TRIP 'N DAISY MEET THE BEATLES

The Beatles Crossing Abbey Road
          From out of nowhere, we were once again flying Eagle-Express. Beneath us, Ireland became a green blur and as we flew across the Irish Sea towards England, my mind was drifting towards the past and one of the places I would really like to visit. And then, as if an enormous eagle wasn't out of place, it gently set our Hippie Hangout down on Abbey Road. And, as if this wasn't a groovy mind-blow in itself, as I looked through the truck's windshield, I could scarce believe my eyes, John, Ringo, Paul and George were crossing the street right in front of us. I looked at Daisy and she looked at me as I said, "Is it just my imagination or do you see what I see?"
         "If you're watching the Beatles crossing Abbey Road like on their album cover, then I guess we are both seeing the same thing."
         And then, as if the impossible were happening, in disbelief I watched as they gathered on the corner and then came over to the Hippie Hangout, Paul asking, "Man, is your caravan ever cool. Do you mind if we take a peek inside?"
          This can't be happening, this must be a magic mushroom experience and to be sure, I gave myself a pinch. "Ow!" Nope, it was a happening. Paul McCartney was actually talking to us.
          Daisy was beside herself as we all settled around our little table inside the trailer, George, the last to be seated. Their bigger than life presence was overwhelming and I was completely gob-smacked as was Daisy. The meeting of the then and now was really a mind-blow especially when John said, "I see by the license plates that you're from Canada, which is very cool. But what I don't understand is that the year is 2019 and this is 1969; 50 years difference."
              I was at a loss for words and so was Daisy, which was highly unusual for her because she always has something to say. Finally, to break the silence and not really wanting to say we were from the future, I mean, I didn't really want to tell him about his death or George's either so I uttered, "Hmm...what can I tell you. We're on a trip and boy are we ever trippin'!" To quickly change the subject or perhaps turn it in another direction I added, "Daisy, I bet the boys (because in real life, I'm actually an old man) would love some of your brownies."
           But John wouldn't let it go and said, "You guys look the part for 1969 but something just doesn't seem right." As he chewed his brownie and continued looking at us strangely he added, "Especially the truck."
          George, perhaps tuning into my apprehension suddenly spoke up and said, "Let it be."
          And then Ringo spoke up, "Yeah man. Let it be."
          To which Paul piped up, "Yeah. Hey man, hang loose. Let it be."
          (Now, I realize a lot of people who are reading this blog most likely think that it's all fake, just a figment of my imagination colliding with the reality of my realities but hey, would I kid you?")
           I'm not sure if the Beatles realized that Abbey Road was their last album together or not and I'm sure many chemical-assisted arguments have wondered that too. However, what I do know is that John Lennon's final remark is remarkable when he said, "Let it be, that's a great title for the next album", which was the last album they released.
          History was being made or should I say being performed in our little trailer as soon as Ringo started tapping a drum beat on the table followed by Paul singing, "Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be Whisper words of wisdom, let it be..." 
           I don't know if it was Daisy's brownies or the fat doobie we passed around the table but before I knew it, poof!...cheers, eh!  

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

COASTAL ODYSSEY

          My paint brushes are certainly getting a work out lately - finished another painting. Having sailed and lived on a sailboat for about 25 years, the sea still holds a fascination for my soul. There's nothing like a setting sun, the lap of waves and the cries of gulls to tug at my heart strings. This painting could be anywhere on the island infested coast of BC where I used to live; brings joy to my eyes. COASTAL ODYSSEY - only 25 bucks plus shipping (about 10 bucks) depending on the location for this one of a kind, original 12"x16" painting by yours truly...cheers, eh! 

Monday, September 2, 2019

THE SENTINEL


          I've started a series of Nature paintings. This 12"x16" original acrylic painting on canvas is titled The Sentinel and is painting No. 3. Rather than spend so much time on painting larger paintings with loads of detail, which I have to sell for a lot more money, I thought I'd try painting in a loser style. The painting of The Sentinel has been continued onto the edge of the canvas so no frame is needed, just hang it on the wall. The cost of this painting is $25. plus shipping (about $10.) unless you live nearby or in Woodstock, NB.

RENEWING OUR WEDDING VOWS

          One of the reasons my wife and I went to Nanaimo recently was to renew our wedding vows as Trip 'n Daisy. We sort of did it hippie-style - love and peace and all that sort of stuff. The vows were to take place before everyone chowed down. Unfortunately, while I was talking to a woman, my energy level dropped dramatically and we had to postpone the ceremony - I most likely would have collapsed otherwise. A couple of hours later, after stretching out, I was able to carry on. I noticed as I was down on one knee with a silver daisy ring in my hand asking her to remarry me, promising my continuation of undying love, a nearby group were in tears. Although, still feeling somewhat weak, I was able to stand and listen to Daisy's wonderful words and I have to say, I really love this woman - am not sure that I would still be above ground if it were not for her. 
          Our exchange of vows was held at the German Hall and on the walls were several paintings that I had painted for a German restaurant years ago in Ladysmith. Each 4'x6' painting was situated at a booth and took about a week to paint. I really enjoyed painting there because besides getting paid for the work, the owner was a wonderful cook. She fed me wiener-schnitzel and other tasty dishes, accompanied by mugs of beer - talk about great perks! I heard that when she later sold the restaurant to an Italian, he began painting over some of the pictures and I can understand that. However, when the waitress told him they just popped out of the moldings, he sold them all to her and she in turn sold them to the German Hall. So besides holding our hippie ceremony at the hall, it was great to see the paintings again.
          It's highly unlikely I will ever renew our wedding vows again or ever paint about dozen paintings for a restaurant, but one thing I know - I'll still keep on painting and will love my Daisy till I take my last breath...cheers, eh!