C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Poets' Corner: Wild Nights

Montage from wallpaperflare.com

Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)

Wild Nights

Wild nights - Wild nights!

Were I with thee

Wild nights should be

Our luxury!

Futile - the winds -

To a Heart in port -

Done with the Compass -

Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden -

Ah - the Sea!

Might I but moor - tonight -

In thee!



Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sunday Drive: Come September

From the 1961 romantic comedy starring Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida, as performed by Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra:


Friday, January 27, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend


Thursday, January 26, 2023

R. I. P.: Gina Lollobrigida

I've not had a chance until now to mention that famed Italian actress and photojournalist Gina Lollobrigida passed away on January 16th, aged 95.  Although she was one of the most beautiful women in the world and a Big Name when I was a kid, I don't remember seeing any of her movies. 

But a few years ago, M.P. and I discovered the delightful romcom Come September (1961), which features Gina and Rock Hudson at the peak of their gorgeousness.  Lovely Sandra Dee and Bobby Darrin are the junior leads, and the scenery on the Italian Riviera is superb.  If you haven't seen it, fellas, you certainly should - it's thoroughly entertaining from start to finish, and the ending is hilarious! 

Here's a couple of peeks for you:


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Poets' Corner: Trees

Cypress Gardens, Florida, U.S.A

A new feature for Tuesdays on the Blue Truck:  random poems I like.  Not necessarily biographical or sociopolitical, just good stuff.

Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)


I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.


N. B. -- Joyce Kilmer was a man.  He died fighting in France during World War I.


Sunday, January 22, 2023

Sunday Drive: Turn, Turn, Turn

From the Byrds' eponymous second album, released in December 1965; lyrics from Ecclesiastes.



Friday, January 20, 2023

Waitin' for the Weekend


Thursday, January 19, 2023

David Archuleta: All Grown Up and Out

Only recently has it come to your Head Trucker's attention that angel-voiced David Archuleta, age 32, came out sometime last year.  (Why was I not informed?)  Welcome, David.  We all knew it would happen one day, even if you didn't.  

And not only is David out, he's also a MAN now, and no longer a cherub-faced boy.  Not my type exactly, but . . . I wouldn't kick him out of bed, either.  I'm sure he's breaking all the hearts in his new hometown of Nashville.

In case you, like me, are out of the loop, here's an interview he did a couple months ago with fellow singer Jennifer Hudson, speaking very movingly about his coming-out experience - which of course is very similar to what all of us went through who grew up in ultra-conservative churches.


And here's his exuberant new single, "Faith in Me":


Good luck, David.  I hope you find that blessed marriage you seek.  Just take your time, enjoy your youth and freedom -- don't rush it.


Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Poets' Corner: What lips my lips have kissed

Two Men Kiss, Hongtao Huang at Fine Art America

A new feature for Tuesdays on the Blue Truck:  random poems I like.  Not necessarily biographical or sociopolitical, just good stuff.


Edna St. Vincent Millay 

Sonnet XLIII

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,

I have forgotten, and what arms have lain

Under my head till morning; but the rain

Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh

Upon the glass and listen for reply,

And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain

For unremembered lads that not again

Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.

Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,

Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,

Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:

I cannot say what loves have come and gone,

I only know that summer sang in me

A little while, that in me sings no more.

Italian sonnet form                                                  1920


Sunday, January 15, 2023

Sunday Drive: My Heaven

Written and performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter, an American treasure and one of your Head Trucker's favorites, on her 2004 album, Between Here and Gone:


Thursday, January 12, 2023

Today's Quote: Faith and Love

DebbieReynoldsApr2013 (cropped)
Life is both faith and love. Without faith, love is only one dimensional and incomplete. Faith helps you to overlook other people's shortcomings, and love them as they are. If you ask too much of any relationship, you can't help but be disappointed. But if you ask nothing, you can't be hurt or disappointed.

What I Say:  There is much wisdom in what Debbie says here.  She ought to know:  she was married three times, and all of her marriages ended disastrously.  When asked about her husbands in later years, she would smile charmingly and say, "I have no taste in men."  Pretty much the same thing happened to Doris Day.  You'd think these two women, both beautiful, talented, and vivacious, admired by millions, would have easily found adoring husbands to love, honor, and cherish them.  But no -- Love can make fools of us all, whether pretty and popular, or not.

It's only the last sentence in Debbie's statement that I take issue with.  In the broadest sense, she is right, I have come to find out:  real love is about what you give to the other, not what you get.  But of course romantic love is only worth having if it is a two-way street.  There has to be a fundamental compatibility of wants and wishes, and a congruence of values, of how you live your lives together.  There must be give and take on both sides, so both parties get their needs met most of the time and both are happy with the relationship.  Get it all figured out before you commit yourselves, not after.

If  you can't work it out, compromise, adjust -- then let it go and just move on.  I learned this lesson at great cost.  Holding on will only make you crazy, and maybe kill you.  It's not worth it, no matter how great the romance.  Something better will come along in time, but first you have to get out of the hole of despair and pull yourself back together.  Trust me, brother -- when the ship of love sinks, save yourself.  There's a time to love, and a time to just let go

Real love doesn't hurt you, it helps you.


Sunday, January 8, 2023

Sunday Drive: Over the Rainbow

 -- where bluebirds fly,

dreams come true, and

what was lost is found.



The pictures show us as we were nearly twenty years after we were young lovers.  By that time, we both had been through great suffering of mind or body, and we both had loved and buried other husbands.

Our love was joyful; our parting was painful in the extreme.  But he had to be true to his nature, and I to mine.  He loved to be on the road, I loved to be at home; it just couldn't work.  So we lived the lives we needed to live, and took the consequences.  We both were right, we both were wrong.  Passionate love is a sweet and bitter cup.

But perhaps it simply had to be that way, to teach us both the lessons we needed to learn.  (And the lesson is repeated until it is learned.)

Yet somehow, by different long and winding orbits, we have come face to face again, across the worlds.  Loved.  Understood.  Forgiven.  At peace with each other, and more besides.  A knowing:  don't ask me to explain.

I've learned a great deal in just the last two weeks, which I couldn't begin to describe here on the Blue Truck - about myself, about Karl, about love and life and other people too.  Believe me when I tell you, it's been a completely unexpected, unsought epiphany - a strange and wonderful gift.  

In the only grammar and vocabulary I know, grace has happened, and made a change in me:  I once was blind, but now I see.  Probably nothing you would notice on the outside, but within, an ineffable healing that words can hardly express.  Some kind of enlightenment.  And quiet happiness.

So I'm just going to sit with it now and ponder these things, rejoicing.  Alleluia.  
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Friday, January 6, 2023

Epiphany 2023: Planet and Comet

Planet and Comet

   for Karl, 1966-2020

I was at the noon of life, you were in midmorning

That June in February when we kissed and fell

In love, too soon for sense, too strong for caution.

But oh, how lovely did the moon smile down on us!

We seemed to dance among the stars, they seemed to reel 

About our heads, and in your eyes I saw reflected

All my own forever dreams; felt your heartbeat thrum

In tune with mine, a summer song – too soon to end.

I watched for your return a long and lonely while.

In time, forsaken passion mellows into quietude

As green leaves turn to gold and rust

And flames die down to embers,

Souvenirs of light and heat and joy

When graybeards huddle by the hearth,

Remembering summer's caressing kiss,

The south wind’s warm embrace.

Comparisons are odious, of course.

We each must walk an unmarked path

Through barren wastes or fields of gold

To gather thorns and roses where we may

And water them with memories.

Who knows but that our found and lost

Are lessons learned to pave the way

For other joys to come: salt water into wine.

The stars swing on, thirty years have gone:

Time out of mind.  I can hardly comprehend, 

Cannot count that high.  It seems absurd,

So many steady rounds about the sun.

Never thought that I would end up here

At this cold, far place, an old man now,

So long removed from dancing days,

Leaning on a cane, shuffling through snow.

And still the music of the spheres plays faintly on

I hear it now and then behind the winter wind . . .

But suddenly you’re here, O my beloved wanderer—

Why this epiphany so late?  Why did we have to wait?

Never mind.  Oh, what a strange, unlooked-for joy!

For one sweet moment to dance the dance again,

To feel again – and know – your summer warmth,

The gravity of your embrace:  a love that knows no end.

Copyright 2023 by Russ Manley.  All rights reserved.

With special thanks to my truckbuddy Frank, who unwittingly gave me the springboard for this poem.

Published on the day of the Full Wolf Moon.
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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Answer Desk: What We Had

Question:  So like, what was the BFD about all that?  Seems like nothing much happened.  Can't you even post a pic of the two of you together?

Answer:  This is what we had and lost:

Christian and Olli were characters in a German soap opera.  
We looked nothing like them, but the passion was the same.

That kind of love is the divine flame at its brightest and hottest.

It burns deep.  It cuts to the quick.  It penetrates and glorifies.

It melds and molds and fuses two hearts into one.  

It's more than physical, more than thought

More than words and bodies

More than touching 

More than feeling

It's knowing

It's home

To lose your other half is mortal agony.

If you survive, if blood and breath remain, then

You can live again, love again, laugh again.

But you will sometimes cry again.

Love will not let you go.

Fighting, yelling, kissing, crying, fucking, facing off:

"Why'd it have to be you?" I said through my tears.
"Why'd it have to be you?" he replied through his.

But I'm okay today. I've reflected and processed a lot in the past week. Realized how far I've come, and how much stronger I am now.  

And we've - how can I say this without sounding sappy? - well, I'll just say I know now that he's finally okay, and it's okay between us. I don't have to keep him locked out of my heart anymore, no longer have to bar the doors against his approach.  The barb wire's down.

What's past is done, gone, forgiven on both sides.  The war's over: peace has come.  The hurt is gone.  What was lost is found.

We're good again.  Here again.

And that's a good way to start the new year: with a clear head, quiet heart, and gratitude for this happy life M.P. and I share.  It's all good.

New Year's blessings and best wishes to all my truckbuddies.

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