Woodhenge: Behind The Music 3 days of hunting, gathering, and celtic rock

woodhenge I

Woodhenge: Behind The Music
3 days of hunting, gathering, and celtic rock

For three days in the hot period of 3969BC nearly half a million young nomads attended the Woodhenge Music and Arts Festival. It was the most celebrated and peaceful gathering of the Mesolithic period which took place in an area of The Island Britannia which was known as Witheridge. It promised to be a weekend of nomadic tribes enjoying music, love, and peace. But it was not so peaceful for the three promoters, Artemis Field-of-corn, Joelius Rosenthorn, and Micah Langspear. Artemis: “I was as petrified as some of the fossils there. It was like..someone is getting burned at the stake for killing 20,000 people man, and that someone was gonna be me!” Joelius: “I had never seen so many hunters and gatherers in the same place man, it was like Bedrock bedlam. Sex, crazy smoke, weird tablets, and just people everywhere. There was no way someone wasn’t going to get jousted or have their eye poked out with a stone sling man, it was just a crazy scene.” Micah: “I wanted to have a nice small mass of a few thousand, you know, like to share some gathering strategies, new hunting techniques, and maybe exchange some cultural art, which was coming off the cave walls and onto rock trinkets. I never dreamed that so many people existed let alone would come to our festiva1”
It was a troubled era, the end of the 3960’s, the BC’s most turbulent decade. Protests over The Cola Wars pitted tribal leaders against the youth, Neolithic Counterculture protests and civil disobedience gatherings fighting for the rights of crossbow arrow hunters, Gatherer Libbers burning their breast straps, and the assassination of some young leaders of the Liberal Cave Party. It was the Stoned Age, and kids were puffing on crazy smoke and getting stoned all over the European countrysides. Lutes and pan flutes replaced the strings and reeds in music, the female gatherer sheepskin body covering got higher exposing more skin and hunters began braiding their hair. In the middle of the decade the Greek Olympics had become marred with inter species showering and the new event, javelin fondling. It was the beginning of the sexual revolution and attitudes were changing fast. There were female hunters, stay at cave Dads, and manskin arrow handling attitudes were being redefined. The ice age was still on the minds of the older generation but the youth just told them to chill out. The times they were a changing. As the cultures moved out of the caves and into tents a variety of artistic expressions evolved. Young tribal members found new and interesting uses for the blowpipes. Gatherers used them for self gratification and the hunters found they could entice more gatherer groupies by using blowpipes to make new more melodic sounds while others modified the pipes to use as a multiple user smoking tools. The strange new phenomenon of nasal powder sniffing through the tubular blowpipe increased as well as young nomads searched for new ways to get “that feeling”. Power powder, mood tablets, and crazy smoke were sweeping the meadows. A countryside turned on, tuned in, and dropping LCDVII tablets to hallucinate. The time seemed right for three young visionaries to create a gathering, build a monument, and change the flat world forever. But was the Pagan community ready for a Rock and Rumble monument? When we come back, some were building monuments, others jotting down notes …….. (long pause for effect)

It was Joelius Rosenthorn who first had the vision, peering across the huge land mass of grazing Harecleum, the oversized bovines that populated Witheridge. Joelius saw an abundance of milk the gatherers could use to make cheeses and yougurts, and bovine skins to make come do me shoes and negligee’s. The huge animals were prime for prime rib. Giant steak ladden bucks for the hunters to kill and butcher and a wide open area to share and exchange idea’s. Joe had the dream but not the backing. Artemis Field-of-corn, an old friend of Joes who played the cave bear femur flute in his band “The Rolling Boulders” had connections but they came with conditions as well. “I told Joey I could get him enough sheep wool and wolf pelts but we would need to make some monuments for a few Gods, Thoth, Musagette, Cernunnos, and Tzets. A few nice stone pillars all connected like a dais, a table of stone for the Gods, ya know. We could use it as a stage! I had connections for some Granite and Bluestone from Sarsen. That’s when we brought in Michah. Micah: “I had a sweet rock quarry in Sarsen with the perfect stones for making monuments. Only problem was they were huge, hard to move.” The three visionaries had come across their first challenge, moving these two ton slabs of stone some five hundred miles to Witheridge. They went to their old friend Axle Roads from the rock and rumble band Bows and Bouquets who had invented the original Goodyear. Axle: “Micah and I used to race in reverse, we go back a long way. For some back monument passes and a few bags of crazy smoke I promised him my newest invention I called the flatbed could get the boulders to the site. Man he has good weed, haha” Axle delivered but became part of the problem from drinking to much solution. As treacherous as that was it would end up becoming the least of their problems. When we come back, Shepherds State Thruway shut down as thousands leave their chariots to walk to the Woodhenge Festival…….. (Another long pause, even more effect)

Woodhenge, Behind the Music, Three Days of Hunting, Gathering and Celtic Rock

woodhenge II

Part II
After months of planning and hard work the monuments were set, the invitations sent by marathon messenger service, and the weekend was set. The monument would be the stage for a huge array of rock and rumble bands, The Rolling Boulders to Crossbow, Stills, and Gnash. The problem now was finding enough pelts to pay the performers. The trio had gone over budget in the construction of the stage/monument. Rosenthorn: “Man I was like what the fornicate else could go wrong man? More pelts for the bands? I mean this was an opportunity, a chance to perform in front of a mass of hunters and gatheres that could pay off huge in their futures, but half the bands were greedy, expecting extra pelts. And the special requests were like off the branch man. Band members wanted crazy smoke, power powders, their own personal dressing caves, and one even requested a discreet affair with a Welsh sheep. I mean shit man, we couldn’t even get them to the stage let alone worry about finding a prostisheep. Hunters and gatheres came from everywhere man, like exotic places like Germanland and Pastaville. Fuggettaboutit! So many people showed up that they shut down The Shepherds State Thruway. People were abandoning their charriots right there in the paths. It was as if they knew instinctively this was the happening of a lifetime. Hell the happeneing of an entire epoch!” Rosenthorn was right, Pagans from as far away as Kazrockistan were there. Crowd control hadn’t even been conceived yet and the crowd was way out of control. Throwing off their animal skins and copulating right there on the fields. Something had to be done to calm the masses. That’s when Wavy Ravey, an entertainer and peace activist took the stage. “Holy shit man check it out man, there must be 200 thousand of you fornicaters out there man, The Shepherds State Thruway is closed man, hahaha. Lotta freaks, hahaha. We’re just about ready to get this show rumbling, are all you hunters and gatherers ready to rock?” The crowd stirred nervously not knowing what to expect until Wavy Ravey yelled really loud, “I said are you Mother Copulaters ready to rock and rumble?”
The crowd roared its approval as a dark skinned former hunter took to the stage with his horse hipbone and strings guitar and began playing music. It was Richmond Havenshire and he kicked off the show singing about freedom. It looked as if everything was finally going smooth, but back in the Mesolithic era, nothing ever stayed smooth for long. When we come back, Alexander the Great threatens to send in The Macedonia National Reserve jackbooted soldiers as the party crazed hunters and gatherers discover bronze, and the Kama Sutra….. (Insert pause here)

Woodhenge was in full flight, the bands were playing as the attendees let loose. Stoned out stone agers dancing naked, swimming in tiny waterholes, and making some noise. Too much noise according to neighbors of the sites owner, Maximus Yazgurian. “I’m a farmer, and I can barely speak to twenty other agriculturist at a time let alone half a million nomads, but they proved to the world that young people could get together for hunting gathering and music and have nothing but hunting, gathering, and music. I just wish my pain in the ether region neighbors saw it that way.” Here’s what the neighbors had to say, “Those hunters were disgusting, swinging their reproductive things all over the place, screaming and yelling. It was like watching a charriot wreck, disgusting yet I couldn’t take my eyes off of them!” ….. “I don’t know whats the matter with those kids, all hopped up on crazy smoke and Thor knows what else. I was scared, properly frightened for my life.” ….. “Someone should do something, come up with a multiple person explody thing or get word to the authorities. I went to feed my sheep and caught five young hunters engaging in a sexual act with them. I’ll tell you this, if my sheep end up giving birth to some kind of sheeperson or something I’m headed straight to the Enquirer. Somehow the news had gotten to an authority in the name of Alexander The great, who was well known for being jealous of anyone having more sex than he was. Alexander sent his fastest marathon messenger to Artemis who was proper frightened. Atremis: “Holy Isis I was shitting pottery squares, I mean Al the Great man, he don’t fucking play. One seriously mean mother humper. It wasn’t until I saw the falcon flying that I finally chilled. I knew that could only mean one thing, The Alchemist had traveled from the deserts of Egypt and if anyone could change Alexander’s wrath into fear it was The Alchemist.”
The Alchemist had indeed traveled to Woodhenge and not only had he brought relief to the festval co-ordinators, he had come to introduce the hunters to a new metal he had discovered in his search of gold. Bronze. Bronze would revolutionize not only hunting, but warring and and art as well. New protective gear could be made from this bronze, newer and more efficient killing utensils, and some tools for digging up earth. But what the Alchemist really intended the new metal for was for metal bands. He brought bronze sculpted musical instruments which would change the course of Rumble and Roll music forever. More versatile and more sounds from his bronze rams horn blower than the traditional ones, bronze saucers for the drumming rock kits, and a more durable and easily replaced bronze lute so band members could trash their instruments on stage. The first one to use these new bronze instruments was Ozzinald Ozzbourne, using the heavy metal instruments in his loud band, “Black Churchday” .. Ozzinald, “I was like I’m the fucking prince of darkness, that’s why the the the the the the alk, alchemist ghghghghh gfgdgdg the broze shit man. I’m the fucking prince of darkness.” Ozzinald’s mumbling was hard to understand and honestly we have no idea what he was saying but when he sang he sang beautifully and the crowd was mesmerized by Black Churdays new sound. In the very near future just about every rock and rumble band would be playing in bronze. But that wasn’t the most significant contributiuon The Alchemist made. When we return, Jefferson Airplane heads to Macedonia as the festival rumbles on. (Yup, another effective pause)

Like most others of his ilk The Alchemist had trained his falcon well. Quickly replacing the marathon messengers falcons all around the Nile were a much faster and more efficient means of communication. The Alchemists falcon, called Jeffersonm Airplane was one of the fastest, and fiercest. With a message and bag of gold nuggets Jefferson Airplane flew to Macedonia to pay a visit to Alex the Great. Artemis was relieved and gave The Alchemist some extra special crazy smoke to enjoy. “Man it was awesome, The Alchemist was so stoned he just sat there with a huge smile on his face. The bands were finally getting to and from the Woodhenge stage without effort and the crowd was under control. Then the mighty Thor made his prescence known with a loud crack of thunder followed by heavy rain. Neil Young Dude and the Kings Krazy Horses were on stage chanting no rain no rain which caught on quickly with the crowd. That was the first known sample of a rain dance and instead of ruining the ruins the crowd embraced it. They invented new games, mud wrestling, naked mud wrestling, and mud sliding.
The new game naked mud wrestling didn’t go unnoticed and was ripe for being exploited A stange Hindu reveler was amonst the Celtic Nomads by the Vatsyayana. He had recently published a codex of sexual acts he called The Kama Sutra, and he saw this as a golden showered opportunity for great publicity. His codex was a set of pictures and descriptions of many unusual positions that would bring smiles to both the hunters and the gatherers, with special tips on arousing the arrow tips of the hunters. “Holy Cow it was a dream come true. The young kids were so stoned it was easy to make them get in my strange poses like the downward spiraling anaconda thruster and my upward facing reverse holy cowgirl. And my god Vishnu they were more than willing to try every position in my codex. My sales would be through the Himalaya tops.” The sexual revolution ready to explode and before the end of the decade gatherers would be stripping, dancing around maypoles, and giving lap ceremonial maneuvers. Spider webcams would be popping up hidden in caves and hunters would be popping up underneath their loincloths. The Mesolithic era was becoming the Meso lick it era.
In the end history would forget Woodhenge and be replaced by the mysteries of the monuments ruins. But at the time revelers surprised the world by leaving peacefully, contented and educated, and they even cleaned up as they left. Three days after the fesival there was little evidence that a half million nomads had gathered, listened to Rumble and Roll music, experimented with sexual positions in the fields, partied their asses of and left. All that remained was the monument. Artemis: “When the three of us saw how weird it looked, no longer looking like a stage at all with just the monument stones standing in a circle Micah had an idea.” Micah: “Maybe I was still high from all the drugs sex and rumble and roll but a thought occurred to me and I laughed. What if we just never tell anyone else about this and in time everyone forgets. People will come here and wonder what the intercourse is this? We laughed for hours wondering what strange explantions they may come up with. Imagine what a goof that would be, hehehe.” Strange explanations indeed, the “goof” as they called it was prophetic as history would scratch its chronologic head for centuries to come wondering how and why these giant monoliths appereared out of no where. They still stand today but the Legend Of Woodhenge will be forever lost. Except by us hipsters anyway! I’m Marksamus Goodman and this has been an eMp Tee V music channel exclusive.

She Called

she called

She called you
Wanted you to romance her
Thought that would enhance her
Never got an answer
Now she’s blue
I saw her
You suck
You’re a shmuck
Wish it was me
If she called me I would adore her
I wish I could call her
Tell what I saw you do
If she only knew
How often you’re untrue
Something I would never do
Maybe then she’d adore me too
But she waits
Waits for you to notice
The blossoming of her lotus
She’s ready for submission
A little recognition
Is all she’s hoping for
Me too
You give her body lots of attention
Her thoughts you never even mention
Yet she called you
And you didn’t answer
I’d answer if she called me
Treat her so respectfully
Treat her with some dignity
But she wants you
No matter what you do
She deserves so much better
If she asked me I would let her
Just be herself
Not a trophy on my shelf
I adore her for who she is
Not because she’s a prize
Or her beautiful eyes
But the thoughts she thinks, the sound of her voice
Whatever she wants to do I’d let that be her choice
And I’d be true
That’s what I would do
If she called me
I would show her love
Maybe if she knew
Or if she felt it too
We could become the two
No more I’d be alone
So I wait here with my phone
And dream of her ringtone
OMG that’s her
That’s her number
What a stunner
She’s calling me
What should I do
Answer her fool
Maybe now’s your chance
She’s ready for romance
She’ll leave that cheating jerk
We could make love work
Answer her now
Quick don’t wait
Oh my god
Don’t wait don’t wait
…………..Too late
Maybe she’ll leave a message
She’ll ask me if I’ll choose her
Fuck it she probably won’t, I’m a loser
Next time

Words Of War


Words dissolve into rage
Bathed in ironic anger
When irony fills with blood

Beliefs emerge from faith
Faith flows into egos
When egos are expressed in words

Power is in the money
Money translates to power
When greed overtakes the power

Earth is for territory for all to live on
Territory gets claimed as possessions
When possessions are build into borders

Survival lasts for only the fittest
Fittest translates to physical dominance
When oppression goes to the highest bidder

When Money Religion Oppression Power Ego Greed Possessiveness Strength Anger all over-flex their muscles in words

When the earth belongs to no one and everyone
When humane doctrines can be followed without prejudice
When Words can be filled with reason and not blindness
When misguided ignorance can be taught to understand
When we can use words to help one another

Turn On The Light


Maybe it the way it should be or maybe something’s just not right
But you need to feel around the darkness before basking in the light

We crawl before we walk, walk before we run
Run before falling when we fall we come undone
When it all comes undone it really sucks to be me
Being me sucks so much cause I can never be free

Its just not fair
Why should it be
Before frolicking in your love
I need to drink your misery
If love always has to hurt
Then what exactly is the reason
Broken hearts and charred remains
Lovers guilty of passion treason
Why not just have love always work out right
Must I burn you in the daytime
So you will sleep with me at night

If we want to seek out heaven
Why must we travel all through hell
When will we stop spinning
On this bullshit carousel
It never rains when we are thirsty
Wind only blows when we are cold
Adults wish that they were younger
Toddlers can’t wait till they grow old


It’s a mixed up world of kalediscope hopes
Been boxing with Jesus his ass is on the ropes
One hard punch will make him kneal upon my feet
Singing me a hymn while he praises his defeat

My eyes stay open wide yet I never see the sights
Paid my dues inside of shadows now I’m turning on the light

The Day I Died

day died

So this is it!? Not how I thought I would die that’s for sure, I was certain I would be killed in a car crash or something equally spectacular or at least condusive to how I lived. Like back in the day I thought I would either OD on drugs, or in a bar fight too drunk to defend myself but drunk enough to say something stupid to put me in a dangerous situation. One thing I was sure of is it wouldn’t be suicide, I always play the hand dealt no matter how shitty the cards. I will admit though like a lot of people I have over the years contemplated if suicide was an answer. You know, during any one of the countless worst moments ever! So now I’m laying here feeling the life slowly seep out of my body. At this point I’m oddly serene, maybe even ready. Finally after all the years of meditating and practicing out of the box strange arts rituals I’m having a true out of body experience.
Its not like I obsess about death. Okay maybe a little now that I think about how much of my writings revolve around death, but everyone obsesses about death a little. Or at least have often pondered about their own best if used by date or at the very least how and when they’ll expire. With the exception of a few sick bastards we all hope our death will be quick and painless when our time comes. Mostly I think because we work ourselves up in a tizzy from viewing or reading about so many horrible deaths. Ghost stories, zombie apocalypse, serial killer stories and that’s just the nightly news. I personally watch an assortment of television shows delving into the minds and actions of evil, laced with just enough violence to make me wonder why I suffer from insomnia. Movies and shows with people being buried alive, (OMFG, not that one please), murdered for money, shot during the commission of a crime, revenge killings, chainsaw hacking (far worse than computer hacking), military explosions, viral infections, even tortured to a slow death by someone with the sadistic tendencies of the old Marquis De Sade and the pain bringing skill of Jack Bauer. One of my own worst case scenario’s is suffocation. I grew up near a beach where we used to play chicken diving down in deep water to come up with a handful of sand to prove you made it, and on a few occasions I was worried I wouldn’t make it back up in time only to spring out of the water panting like an Eskimo Sled Dog that took a wrong turn on the Iditarod then ran all the way to the equator. Television and movies have given me a plethora of horrible and unwanted deaths so all in all I guess dying from a gunshot wound ain’t so bad in the scheme of things. I mean either I’ll go into shock soon or I’ll get pumped up with morphine so an ending like this is almost welcome.
Anyway, I don’t think I have much time left so I won’t waste it philosophizing over which manner of death is or isn’t cool. How did I end up with a bullet in my chest? Damned if I know, I was just going about my normal day when I heard a few loud bangs. At first I thought some asshole kids were shooting off cherry bombs or M80’s or something, until I saw people with an unmistakable look of terror on their faces scattering around, diving to the ground behind cars or whatever. Not me! Oh no, I was doing my usual head in the cloud meandering taking care of errands when I felt someone punch me in the chest. I say punch, but it felt more like my chest was catching for a Cy Young pitcher’s fastball. Before I knew it I was on my back looking up at telephone wires and tree tops. Within seconds I felt the warm syrupy blood spreading across my tee shirt. I tried to look down at it but my head wouldn’t move. I grabbed my chest with both hands and felt the blood oozing between my fingers. My first thought was who the hell hit me. Then I thought oh shit almighty I need to do a finger in the dyke maneuver or something. Finally it sunk in and I thought, holy shit, I think I’ve been shot.
I laid there with my chest throbbing and pulsing at the same time. I tried to cry but nothing came out, not even a gasp. It was hard just breathing. WTF? Did it hit a lung or something. Seconds passed by or minutes maybe, IDK, I’d lost all sense of time and reason. That’s it man, I’m freaking dying. Hope I have clean underwear on or my Mom will pissed, that is if I go to wherever she is. I soon, or maybe not so soon realized the pulsing and pounding pain were fading. Taking a breath on the other hand was harder than ever. Next I’m laying here and the pain subsided completely so either I’m getting close to the end or shock has set in. I guess this is the point where my life is supposed to flash before my eyes but honestly I am a bit too tired to watch my own rerun. All I want to do is sleep. Wait, what’s this? Someone is putting their hands on my chest and there’s a lot of commotion, people and noises all around me and people touching me. Appropriately. That’s weird, the noise is oddly soft and fading in and out, not loud and chaotic. Oh oh, the sound seems to be fading out completely along with my eyesight. I know words are being said but they don’t sound like words, more like muffled reverberating sounds. I think I hear sirens but I’m not sure if they’re far off or just more of an illusion. I think I feel some people picking up my body and putting it on some stretcher or something but it doesn’t matter, too little too late. I feel my essence, my very being slipping out through the hole in my chest along with the flow of blood. Weakness took over and silence is filling in my ears now. My last breath, my last whimper. Time to pronounce, wanna make the call doctor? (I watched a few medical shows too) No more anything, done, over, ipso facto, adios ghost, see ya later terminator. Nothing more to do, no more fun and laughs, no more tears and pain, only darkness. My final game of Clue. Colonel Deranged Stranger , on the street, with a handgun!
My Epilogue

It feels unnatural being dead. I see my body in a sort of file cabinet awaiting confirmation of who I am. I’ve seen a lot of morgues on TV and movies but its way less spooky and far too clinical and dare I say cold. I am at this very moment preparing to move on to my next phase and frankly I’m a little excited. Aside from my obsession with dying and death I’ve always had a deeper obsession with the afterlife and now I’m about to find out for real. Am I going before a judge with angel wings, on a hot escalator to Hell, into some weird meeting place for everyone who died, preparing for reincarnation, or just going to sleep? If I can tell you when I get there I will, but I’m afraid they may have rules about “spoilers” in the afterlife. But before I embark on my new journey I’m just curious about something. We….oops, sorry not used to this yet, I mean you live in a society that actually has sub-genres of killings. Random shootings, (like mine), School shootings, Mall shootings, workplace shootings. You have witnessed hundreds of families go through hell after their child’s school was shot up, or someone’s father and mother were murdered for shopping in the wrong place, yet you continue to bicker and fight over personal rights for gun ownership without thinking twice about having to jump through hoops to get a drivers license and registering your car. I mean people get arrested for not keeping their license current, or cars are removed for violations of non registration and non insurance. One could argue cars don’t kill people, people do, and on some level maybe that’s true, but that’s why we have global wide regulations for moving vehicles. Are peoples lives so insignificant that you can’t come to a reasonable compromise that will allow responsible people who want to own guns get them in a reasonable and safe manner, like I don’t know, a handling, care, and using of firearm mandatory class? Kinda like the driving thing ya know what I mean? Is arguing and posturing and allowing corporations sway the voting the best you can do as a society? If that’s so then I guess I really am in a better place as has been suggested.(overheard actually) I have no idea what’s next for my dead ass, but take some advice from a dead guy with nothing to lose. Do something more than just cry about amendments on paper and protect the actual living breathing lives of the innocent. If you all don’t start to take this gun thing real serious and do more than just talk about it after every shooting, wherever I’m going now is gonna get a lot more crowded far too soon. Peace



Today is the day
Felt oddly alive
The moment it arrived
Its not here to stay
And it feels so contrived
Am I really gonna die?
I could wait until the morrow
Postpone the sorrow
Live on time borrowed
But its today
The day that makes all the difference
Going the distance
This day here
And now
It could be gone in an instant
With a grimace
Good riddance
Quit grinning
It’s the ninth inning
And today’s the day
To make scarlet ribbons
No more misgivin’s
The edge of the blade
Options weighed
Charades played
Then I fade
Into the darkness
No light
No sight
Am I taking flight
Quite right
It’s ending
No mending
Or comprehending
Why must I die?
Die from this strife
At the point of a knife
What’s the point of life
Struggling away
Day after day
Shit piling so high
A fecal buffet
A scentless bouquet
Stinking of decay
Waltzing to death
In a blood ballet
Danced to the tune
Of everyday ruin
From my womb to my tomb
The perfume of doom
Is rising today
No more delay
Today is the day
Alone in the dark
Making my mark
Lines on my wrist
I won’t be missed
I won’t exist
Can you hear when I say
My life’s an ashtray
So today is the day
The day on the run
My final one
My day

Eight Days With Megan


Time passes and life goes on but we all have certain events in our timelines that choose to linger, sometimes even haunt us, reminding us of sad days embedded with grief and memorialized annually through dates on our calendars. Time passes, with age comes wisdom and I’m told time heals all wounds. Bullshit, time flat out refuses to heal the deep wounds of the heart and soul. Those wounds never fully heal and the scars open up because of certain triggers, such as anniversaries. Such is the case for Maureen and I today, the anniversary of the day cruely etched deep into souls of our memories and our hearts. October 23rd was the day we had to let our 19 month old daughter go.

Every year this dreaded day slowly creeps up on our hearts to pierce them with painful memories. A few months back while sorting through some photographs I came across a piece of paper I had written a poem on. It turns out this paper was something I wrote many years ago to counter the pain of our loss by replacing it with the memory of Megan being home, giggling and smiling, walking despite doctors prognosis’s, and squeeling with happiness for the eight days she was home with us after a successful heart transplant. Those eight days mean everything to us, and its that memory we try our hardest to hold onto. I had planned to post it today but realized I’m not yet ready to reveal that particular poem, that part of myself, but I still want to put some focus on the need for organ donation awareness. So I chose to share the story of eight days.

Eight Days With Megan

From birth our tiny little baby girl had to fight the odds. By three weeks we were already in a hospital with her and before she could even crawl we had been with Megan through blood tests, prods and pokes, and even a spinal tap. I still remember how tightly she squeezed my finger as she cried from pain and confusion, leaving Maureen and I without the luxury of breaking down. Megan needed us to be strong for her. But in the end it was Megan who had shown us strength, taught us about life.

Megan had Cardiomyopathy, a viral disease which causes myocarditis, an enlargement of the heart. As she grew so did her troubles until one ugly Sunday morning her heart seized and she stopped breathing. We heard Megan’s gasps on our baby monitor and ran to her. Because I had learned mouth to mouth as a young boy I covered her mouth and nose with my mouth and began breathing into her lungs while Maureen called 911. The EMT’s arrived in minutes and whisked her away to the ER. We got our selves together and went to meet her but when we got there she wasn’t there yet. We had no idea at the time but the EMT’s had stopped the ambulance to use a pediatric defibrillator on Meg. Meg was admitted to the ICU and later that evening we were told she would need a heart transplant to survive. A jack hammer to our hearts. Subsequently Megan seized again in the hospital causing a mild stroke which left her weakened, unable to hold her head up for any significant length of time. Maureen dedicated every second of her life to Megan’s physical rehabilitation as I meandered mindlessly through my job relieving Maureen when I got home by entertaining our baby girl. Together we traveled to Philadelphia, only to have doctors there say she would never be able to walk and most likely unable to talk, so Megan was removed from the transplant list.

This only increased Maureen’s determination and the hard work paid off when Columbia Presbyterian Children’s Hospital placed Megan back on the transplant list. Organ donation awareness was tragically negligent at the time and Megan’s chances were even further hampered because of the size of the heart needed. As a parent it is the most difficult position to ever find yourself in, knowing the only hope for your child is dependant on another parent losing theirs, and willing under horrendous circumstances to make the choice to donate their child’s organ. So we understood that we got fortunate because of another parents nightmare when the call came to bring Megan into the hospital for a heart transplant. The true definition of bittersweet.

After an agonizing night with our family members the doctors told us Megan’s transplant was successful. We were able to breath again but not for long as it was another four weeks of rehabilitation in the hospital with our tiny baby daughter having blood drawn a few times a day, temperature and blood pressure taken almost hourly, and the seemingly endless wait to make sure the anti-rejection medicine kept her little heart beating. Maureen lived in the room with Megan sleeping on a chair everyday and I took an SRO room a few blocks from the hospital, worked in the day and stayed with Maureen and Megan until eleven PM. We literally had residence there, our neighbors were children and their families in the cardiac ward with us, and the outstanding nursing staff who all treated us as family. They laughed with us, they cried with us, some even brought in homemade meals for us. The day we were told it was time for us to bring Megan home was the first time we cried from joy in over a month of tears brought on by the pains of Megan’s ordeal.

Going home was a huge relief shared by all of our friends and neighbors who had set up a welcome home celebration for Meg. Banners and balloons, Meg took it all in as if she knew it was for her. Unfortunately because there was so many people and potential germs we couldn’t allow her to stay long, but I truly got the sense she felt important, maybe for the first time. We took her inside and she immediately wanted to get in her walker and run around the kitchen. She was stronger than ever before and she was motoring around in her walker like a NASCAR driver, squealing and laughing. She would watch Sesame Street and applaud, her favorite character was Grover. Mine was too. Every night when I came home from work Megan and I played with her toys, an array of stuffed animals Maureen had been using in her physical therapy. I named them and made up stories with Jolly The Clown, Candy Camel, Chocolate Moose, and Lucinda Lamb. Life Had never been sweeter and our home was filled with joy and love, with Megan sharing in the joy with just as much vigor as us. Megan’s anti rejection medicine was working, she was beginning to develop normal child activity, many months behind but plenty of time to catch up. Or so it seemed.

After eight days there was a set back, and Meg returned to the hospital. It would be her final visit there, she was placed in ICU because she had contracted a serious infection, and with her immune system compromised she was unable to fight any longer. But the night before she re-entered the hospital, Maureen called out to me ecstatically, Oh my God Keith look, she’s walking. It wasn’t a long walk but it was a victorious walk, and she was so proud of herself. She knew she had accomplished something special. Those were the eight best days of Megan’s short life. We spend time with our children and invest in them by teaching, showing our kids right from wrong, weak from strong, basically how to cope in an uncertain and unpredictable world. But it was Megan that taught us about life. In return for all the sacrifices and heartaches we endured, we were rewarded with eight days.

Eight days. Eight days we remember so well and try so hard to focus on to replace the agonies we suffered getting to those days. Eight days when our little girl showed the world how much her strength and perseverance paid off. Eight days of bliss with Megan. Eight days we would never have had if not for the extremely courageous decision one mother made when her son had been killed in an accident. I tell you this today not because I am seeking sympathy, but because I am looking for help in getting the word out that we need more organ donors. In the years after our ordeal we have continued to try and get the word out, because in the end Megan’s surgery was successful, if only for those eight days. Maureen has gone on to become an altruistic kidney donor and was involved in a chain of eight people who received transplants because of her link. Eight days, eight people in the chain. Is that number just a coincidence? It would take a far more clever person than myself to know for sure if its coincidence or if there are more profound forces at work. We can debate about fate, destiny, divinity, Gods of all shapes and sizes, Pros vrs. Cons, collective consciousness, or random theory. Maybe its just the universe conspiring but for me the answer is a bit more simple. Its all about love. Make your love eternal by donating your organs.

Today monumental strides have been made, and perhaps if it had happened today this would be a far different story. Either way it’s a story of love, hope, dedication, and courage. Donating your organs is easy, get on your computer and got to http://donatelife.net/organ-donation/…That’s Donate Life. Or go to UNOS and educate yourself. Tell your friends, your family, anyone who will listen, help get the word out. Make your own personal wishes clear to your family so no one else is left with the tough decision of what you would have wanted.

One time someone who was unintentionally insensitive asked me “Was it worth it all, for just eight days?” The short answer is yes, it was worth seeing my baby girl stand, to make normal baby noises, to just be happy. Yes at times it’s difficult, every year we wonder what Megan would be doing as a ten year old, an eighteen year old, a twenty one year old. Each year we reflect and wonder how her and Kellie would have been as sisters. And yes every year as October begins rolling around we become sadly contemplative, but the memory of those eight days helps ease the anxiety. When you have a child with a catastrophic illness or a disability you hang on and treasure every tiny thread of hope available because sometimes that’s all you have. We treasure every second we had with Megan.

I used a number of clichés here on time and love, but I want to leave you with one last cliché. Life is short. Aside from sharing this story I would like to also share my perspective on time, life, and love. Don’t waste time, live your best life, spend quality time with your children, (By far the best investment you could make in their future), and spread love. The more love you give away the more you end up getting back. Life is indeed short, and it can be lost in a heartbeat.

Give love, take love
Share love, make love

I would like to thank the TRIO (Transplant Recipient International Organization) and the great friends we encountered there, the staff at Columbia Presbeterian Children’s Hospital for all the caring love and support they gave not only to Megan, but to Maureen and myself as well, most especially the nursing staff who had to help us to understand much of the gibberish doctors threw at us, and the good folks at UNOS and Donate Life who continue to work hard at brining awareness to the need of organ transplants. If you aren’t a donor, please become one. Thank You

Driving Prophets

profit drive

We work hard to keep expenses down
It makes no difference as long as it works
There was an accidental death you say?
When in business profit from every loss

Someone sends memo’s to keep us in check
We’re plagued by whistle blowers as well
In the end we will destroy every last one
Because yearly Quarterly reports are due

The business must show off a lot of profit
So some of the small people may need to burn
You tell me there are hungry people starving
Without money its not a corporate concern

Them peasants they never have cash and carry
They can live and dine on leftover crumbs
We’re not losing one single night sleep
Worrying about some unproductive bums

The lazy lot of beggars they’re on welfare
And they drive our property values down
If it was up to the big corporations
We’d toss all their assets straight out of town

Because the only people we really need
Are the folks with dollar sign eye sockets
Like foolish Eskimos who purchase upscale ice
We have the naïve buyer in our hip pockets

The one thing we will sell for the indigent
Is We’ll sell their asses all down the rivers
But don’t go calling us greedy bastards
Call us generous minimum wage job givers

For a healthy tax break we create entry jobs
Employment in which you break your backs
Politicians speaking in fuzzy economics say
Donate to us we’ll give you shelter from the tax

And if anyone attempts to topple our profits
You’ll find your heads inside a hanging noose
We will eradicate any who try challenging us
No one will ruin our branded golden goose

Everyone knows money talks and bullshit walks
You consumers can stop all of your squawking
If your credit rating isn’t up to our standards
Don’t let the door hit you and keep on walking

Walk your maxed out credit cards outta town
No one rides if you don’t have enough bucks
Money is the reigning king of everything
Without it your all plain shit out of luck

So let the bleeding heart socialists whine
Prophesizing an economy thats falling down
Long as we keep driving our high end profits
We’ll drive those prophets deep into the ground

Brain Muscles

brain muscles

Its not enough just to tone up your abs
That only builds a physical foundation
If you really want muscles that impress
Get out and exercise your imagination

Wipe away cobwebs that give you stress
A cranial work out complete with reps
That’ll get creative energy pumped up
A strong imagination in a few short steps

The cluttered mind stays closed up too tight
And cause ingenuity to get too flabby
Get a fresh perspective with creative thought
Plus bulging brain muscles that ain’t too shabby

Because having open eyes is not enough
There needs to be hippocampus contrast
An open mind envisions positive growth
A closed one doomed to repeat its past