Smith & Lady travels more or less Aug 2006 – Mar 2009

Smith & Lady travels more or less Aug 2006 – Mar 2009

We first left with 70 pounds of backpack each — returned with 35 pounds each . . . quickly learned you REALLY have to want something in order to carry it on your back.

>>>>> to chiplis (1 mile)
>>>>> to chicago — (312 miles)
>>>>> to london — (3,954 miles)
>>>>> to north england — (250)
>>>>> to london — (250)
>>>>> to amsterdam — (221)
>>>>> to london — (221)
>>>>> to lodz poland — (719)
>>>>> to krakow poland — (204)
>>>>> to lodz poland — (204)
>>>>> to london — (719)
>>>>> to pula croatia — (788)
>>>>> to zagreb (122)
>>>>> to pula (122)
>>>>> to trieste — (54)
>>>>> to venice — (71)
>>>>> to pula — (125)
>>>>> to beziers — (914)
>>>>> to barcelona — (156)
>>>>> to madrid — (314)
>>>>> to marrakech — (652)
>>>>> to essarouira (95 miles)
>>>>> to marrakech — (95)
>>>>> to london — (1,432)
>>>>> to braithwaite — (250)
>>>>> to london — (250)
>>>>> to marseille — (623)
>>>>> to albeilhan — (120)
>>>>> to paris — (393)
>>>>> to albeilhan (393)
>>>>> to barcelona — (156)
>>>>> to nyc usa — (4,083)
>>>>> to cleveland — (402)
>>>>> to mexico — (1,946)
>>>>> to cleveland — (1,946)
>>>>> to mexico — (1,946)
>>>>> to cleveland — (1,946) = 26,499

The Lady & the Train

the Lady

The Lady & the Train

An hour out of Lodz, Poland
pronounced Woodge
rhymes with ooze
long time iron curtain town
gray used chipped broke broken bombed
poorer version of Cleveland
and we’re an hour north of town
walking miles to train
to take us to train to Krakow
walking miles in sun
seventy pounds on each our backs in packs
sweat streaming down faces into hidden places
walking fast to make it
Lady stops, says “I can’t do this”
takes her Grandmother’s full length heavy heavy
1940’s leather and suede coat out of her pack
and lays it on the edge of the road.
“I can carry it until we can ship it home”
I offer, but no, we go
she ten pounds lighter happier
breathing belief again.

We make Lodz train
which stops ten minutes from the station
stops and stays, and stays, and stays
eating our connection
finally reach station
look at board out of time
run to gate
find it boarded with construction
knowing no Polish, not knowing gate
we run random when woman shouts “Krakow? Gate 1”
(angel know, I wonder?)
run fast backpacks flapping upstairs cross platform
see train pulling out
Lady runs and LEAPS onto the train
raised arms catching the side of the roof
body hanging down past open door feet dangling
pack pulling her toward track
me running behind trying to lift her up
help her through door
which we did somehow
though I do not know how
go find our compartment
sit in relief
when I wonder
are we on right train?
While I worry
she turns, shows me her hand
surprised says, “I broke two nails.”

I’m telling you
don’t ever get between Lady and the train
because in the story of the Lady and the Tiger
I’d bet on Lady.

– Smith, 4.5.2014

and the tiger

Inadvertent Angels

Krakow, Poland, 2006

Inadvertent Angels

She’s walking down the street
here to help our hinder
to see we dodge defeat
then slips away forever
says it’s chance we meet
beneath angelic flavor

He ambles down the lane
where I wrestle fixing flat
insists no time explain
must buy tube and that is that
by time I see he’s right as rain
wife has tube, store closed fast

– Smith, 2.23.2014

Can’t imagine how this reads without the back story.

Lady and I were helped often by strangers in our 31 months of living in ten countries on three continents 2006-2009.

In Krakow Poland, we checked out of our one-week loft for two months in the old Jewish Quarter, donned our too heavy backpacks and walked cross town to find our new place locked, no one answering the office buzzer. I stood there with the packs while Lady went looking for a fone since she had a few Polish phrases memorized. She came back, unfoned, which is when we decided to get cell fones.

We’re standing there wondering what to do when a young blonde woman bops along, says “Oh, are you trying to get in,” whips out her fone and calls someone, turns to us and explains “They thought it was to be tomorrow,” buzzes the custodians to let us in, carries Lady’s backpack up to our apartment, has the custodian loan us her key until tomorrow, explains she’d just been coming by to tell her boss she was taking a sick day when she saw us, wishes us well and leaves.

In south France bicycling from one wine town to another, I hit a pothole and blew my tire. I was trying to fix the tube with my repair kit when a tall gaunt dude walks up and says I need to buy a new tube and I need to do it now because the store’s closing for mid-day snooze in 10 minutes. I thank him and explain I can fix it. He insists, takes Lady into the store. As they come out with the tube, the store closes, and I’ve realized the tube blew at the base of the air nipple and is indeed unfixable. I thank him gratefully and he leaves.

Two strangers, two saves.

Lot of less than nice stuff going on in the world right now, but folk forget how much kindness and good stuff constantly happens all the time. Pay it back by paying forward.

south France, 2007

slick wet red juice oozing down across thick yellow mango moistness

happiness spell – fotosmith

The first two weeks of Lady’s and my “taking-up” consisted of me appreciative of the sex but telling her we had no future due to the 27-yr age gap.

She ignored me, just as she’d ignored my GO AWAY unwelcome mat outside my door.

One day after she left, I discovered a plate with a circle of sliced mangoes with a scoop of pomegranate seeds in the middle, slick wet red juice oozing down across thick yellow mango moistness.

I thought “Aha, a love spell if I’ve ever seen one” and gingerly carried it into the bathroom and flushed it down the toilet.

Didn’t do no good. In two weeks she had a key. Two more she’d moved in. Five months later we married the day after her divorce and four months after that we left the country for 31 months of foreign lands.

It’s near time to start book two, write about all that.

One of my favorite memories is Lady jumping on the outside of a train in Poland that was leaving the station without us . . . she clung on the side hanging from the roof of the car, her feet dangling below the open door, her too-heavy backpack pulling her down, me running along the concrete platform behind her trying to lift her and her pack into the car. Finally got on and in our seats and I start wondering if we’re on the right train because everything is in an unknown language as she tells me she’d broken a fingernail and I’m amazed it wasn’t her neck.

Anyway I found a small folded note (see fotos) on the floor of the nook, opened it, and found this happiness spell in Lady’s handwriting.

So maybe I was right about the pomegranate seeds and mango.

A Simple Machine

No mango from the shadow
No ghostings from the closed
But kisses for your shoulder
I certainly do enclose

I dance about your shadow
Re-hang in velvet drape
Your renovated altar
Your greatness to relate

From former fog I scurry
To your two as one
What gestates in ambiguity
Becomes footnote to bronze

– Smith, 2005

happiness spell – fotosmith


Ponytails were killing us. My most excellent friend & I are solving the problems of the universe. The most excellent show maybe ever–“Red Dwarf…”

On Friday, the Red Dwarf ran into the Squid of Despair, a giant squid. The cast and crew discovered that everything is a giant, mass hallucination, that we’ve all been playing parts for four years in a GIANT VIRTUAL VIDEO GAME.

SO, now they find out who they REALLY are–and THAT’s the DESPAIR–the despair was that they found out who they really were…

AND, right when they were about to KILL themselves, all cast members lined up, four in a row with one bullet–the ship’s computer finally got to a high enough FREQUENCY where they could HEAR and save them.



Friends, we suggest that we buy each other’s organically grown sustainable smoothie very expensive cakes and artisanal food, get frequent behive hairdos, sans hair dye, at the beauty salons where the hairdressers are paid magnificently and enjoy their work. Exercise classes and spas. Sustainable capitalism–it’s a plan.

– –

I suggest free education for everyone, or paid education, whatever works. And a career of anyone’s choice. Some people have to go to school longer for their careers. Those people should be paid a wee bit more. OK, incentive. But not ridiculous incentive. I’m thinking: sliding scale speeding tickets, like the ones they have in Sweden. Getting rid of tax loopholes and offshore accounts. Staying local. Stopping all this weird international shipping except for cruise ships to one anothers continents. In the basements of the cruise ships, we could carry very expensive, fine cheese and the spices and coffee of the world. Gigantic, energy efficient cruise ships. Free energy? What was that thing Tesla was talking about? Hope it works. I would like to beam myself to the North and South pole if possible, and Japan. Coffee crops as well. I really like coffee from fair wage growers whose wages must grow more excellent.

Keeping the inheritance ‘stuff’ within reason, but making sure these rich people work doing art/music/artisanal food or whatever tickles their fancy and stimulates the economy in a sustainable way.

– –

Primed the pump last night and bought some local, organic food. Sharpened our old knives for only $12. Hope he charges more next time. Hope the family business has more business coming in–we are an overtly ethical business. Hope our book projects take off. I know all this will happen. I just, know… it.



Precedent kathy’s economic stimulus package – a prescription for today & possibly the future (albeit with tweaking and optimization):

1. If you happen to be near a flower shop, I hear the bees are expecting food next year and so buy a flower, think of a bee, and if you are wealthy, buy flowers for your entire house. I hear they are going to flower forever and ever.

2. I hear the bees have been heard of as ‘unhealthy’ in an outdated narrative, but I’ve recently heard an update on this information: there are some 15 or so new species of bees. I hope they are very good, sturdy, happy little pollinators and that they somehow magically know how to find their ways back to the hives. I anticipate that we shall eat fruit, good fruit, from now until the foreseeable future. I COMMAND IT SO. And the fruit will be wildly and widely available for maws of mass consumption, and will be very healthy and beneficial for the maws of mass consumption.

So, I command you to start eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (if you have the money for it and if it is available in your region. I hear most regions do have enough food. I would like to assume so. If not, I COMMAND IT SO.)

Of the grocery stores, et cetera: I really don’t understand how a couple of red peppers can really equal the life of a chicken. How can this situation be changed so that healthy food is subsidized? GOVERNMENT: I COMMAND YOU TO START SUBSIDIZING HEALTHY FOOD FOR PEOPLE.

3. Cellphones used to have a ‘bad’ reputation. I hear that they are now in collaboration with our needs, and nature’s needs. Thank you, cellphones! We love you!

4. I hear more and more Republicans are finding that they really were right, after all, that they are decent human beings who put their mouths where their money is in terms of helping the poor with churches, in stimulating the economy ethically so that people can buy more locally-made, hand-made goods – this is my vision for the near future. This is my economic stimulus plan.

5. The rich people will dine on the most succulent, juicy, well-marbled grass-fed beef, served to them by wonderfully paid and happy craftspeople who work with food.

6. McDonald’s and its ilk will start serving healthy, inexpensive, wonderfully-tasting food, and will pay its workers very well, a living wage that will meet and exceed its collaborators expectations, 32 hours per week with full benefits and pension plans in reparation for the history of the business’s exploitation of its workers and environment. In turn, the workers will become very faithful advocates of McDonald’s (and its ilk). And their high wages and high health will help stimulate the local economies.

So, on some days, a person of moderate wealth might find that he/she would like to eat at McDonald’s or its ilk, and other days, at an expensive smoothie bar or expensive restaurant or vegetarian restaurant (I hear they are becoming quite popular.)

7. Artists: Did you know that anyone can become an artist? Sure, some of us are misunderstood, but–get this–in a civilized society with lots of cash flow, the rich people buy lots of art. They buy personalized items for lots of money, and so do we. We are rich people! Did you know that? All of us are rich.

We might not have the actual cash money in our bank accounts right this second–but I hear it’s coming! Has to do with that hand-crafted, ethically-produced stimulation thing. Yowzers.

8. Poets: Why are you giving away God’s words for free? You are so good. Buy each others books. I command thee. I command more people to start appreciating poetry–people who might not necessarily write poetry, but suddenly find that, wow, what a goldmine of nuance and love and reverence for life there is in those darned poets! BORDERS BOOK STORE: I command you to buy books from local poets in consultation with the people who know best–like Suzanne from Macs.

INDEPENDENT BOOK STORES: You are lovers of hand-crafted zines, recycled and reowned books, fine coffee environments, tee, pastries, plants, atmosphere, music, fine wine, et cetera. IN MY ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLAN FOR YOU, YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT LOSING BUSINESS, ONLY GAINING IT!

9. Back to the bees. I hear monoculture crops weren’t such a good idea. I’m glad they’re realizing now that they need to employ beekeepers for the local areas, and that most of the year (maybe?) the bees need to eat organic, varied, wonderful, varieties of food. Perhaps a patch of this food with a local beekeeper could be employed in every area that needs one? And that the use of pesticides is suddenly found to not be necessary, or that somehow, it is in coordination with the health needs of pollinating insects? Seems like local beekeepers would be a good jobs program to me.
– – –
I imagine that this plan will require some tweaking, but it sounds like a good start and good vision to me. What do you all think?

Maybe Heaven is Supposed to be this Planet

Maybe Heaven is supposed to be this Planet. This is the butterfly that’s going to carry me home, and this is the trash I’m going to pick up later, I hope.


Original post down below. I am strongly feeling that the staples on my roof seem to think I was wrong & I tend to agree with them.

– – –
As a person with a BSEE,a background in neural nets and search engine optimization, I belive (believe) I am receiving scientific messages which could be interpreted as holy messages (for me they are one and the same.)

I am not entirely certain, but I think I heard on the radio that J (Lebron James) is Jesus. (I do believe, I think.) Hard to tell. Will try to be truthful in what I’m picking up.

Now, off to good faith work. Seems like a harsh think (thing) for a prophet, but I must do my work for my loved ones.

More later, if I can.

Peace out,



Christmas Eve

time lies

My tee-shirt, Krakow September 2006 – foto by Smith

What 32 months hath wrought.

My tee-shirt, Cleveland May 2009 – foto by Smith

Once more, with feeling

My inner tee-shirt – foto by Smith