2007-02-28

poems without words...

So, I'm thinking about putting a few of my songs out there, maybe applying to iTunes, etc... I've put together 4 of my songs and titled the collection "poems without words." The track listing is as follows:

  1. Daybreak
  2. Flow of Time
  3. My Heart When It Rains
  4. Tear
If you'd like, I have a zip file with all four songs in it which you can download here.

A couple of these songs are probably not in their finished state as posted here, but are near completion. Anyway, let me know what you think of them, and if you ran across them somewhere online if you would consider buying them :)

all songs ©2007 David Feucht

2007-02-21

how to be a poet (to remind myself) - wendell berry

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill - more of each
than you have - inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your work,
doubt their judgment.

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

some further words - wendell berry

Let me be plain with you, dear reader.
I am an old-fashioned man. I like
the world of nature despite its mortal
dangers. I like the domestic world
of humans, so long as it pays its debts
to the natural world, and keeps its bounds.
I like the promise of Heaven. My purpose
is a language that can pay just thanks
and honor for those gifts, a tongue
set free from fashionable lies.

Neither this world nor any of its places
is an "environment." And a house
for sale is not a "home." Economics
is not "science," nor "information" knowledge.
A knave with a degree is a knave. A fool
in a public office is not a "leader."
A rich thief is a thief. And the ghost
of Arthur Moore, who taught me Chaucer,
returns in the night to say again:
"Let me tell you something, boy.
An intellectual whore is a whore."

The world is babbled to pieces after
the divorce of things from their names.
Ceaseless preparation for war
is not peace. Health is not procured
by sale of medication, or purity
by the addition of poison. Science
at the bidding of corporations
is knowledge reduced to merchandise;
it is a whoredom of the mind,
and so is the art that calls this "progress."
So is the cowardice that calls it "inevitable."

I think the issues of "identity" mostly
are poppycock. We are what we have done,
which includes our promises, includes
our hopes, but promises first. I know
a "fetus" is a human child.
I loved my children from the time
they were conceived, having loved
their mother, who loved them
from the time they were conceived
and before. Who are we to say
the world did not begin in love?

I would like to die in love as I was born,
and as myself, of life impoverished, go
into the love all flesh begins
and ends in. I don't like machines,
which are neither mortal nor immortal,
though I am constrained to use them.
(Thus the age perfects its clench.)
Some day they will be gone, and that
will be a glad and a holy day.
I mean the dire machines that run
by burning the world's body and
its breath. When I see an airplane
fuming through the once-pure sky
or a vehicle of the outer space
imitating a star at night, I say,
"Get out of there!" as I would speak
to a fox or a thief in the henhouse.

When I hear the stock market has fallen,
I say, "Long live gravity! Long live
stupidity, error, and greed in the palaces
of fantasy capitalism!" I think
an economy should be based on thrift,
on taking care of things, not on theft,
usury, seduction, waste, and ruin.

My purpose is a language that can make us whole,
though mortal, ignorant, and small.
The world is whole beyond human knowing.
The body's life is its own, untouched
by the little clockwork of explanation.
I approve of death, when it comes in time
to the old. I don't want to live
on mortal terms forever, or survive
an hour as a cooling stew of pieces
of other people. I don't believe that life
or knowledge can be given by machines.
The machine economy has set afire
the household of the human soul,
and all the creatures are burning within it.

"Intellectual property" names
the deed by which the mind is bought
and sold, the world enslaved. We
who do not own ourselves, being free,
own by theft what belongs to God,
to the living world, and equally
to us all. Or how can we own a part
of what we only can possess entirely?
"The laborer is worthy of his hire,"
but he cannot own what he knows,
which must be freely told, or labor
dies with the laborer. The farmer
is worthy of the harvest made
in time, but he must leave the light
by which he planted, grew, and reaped,
the seed immortal in mortality,
freely to the time to come. The land
too he keeps by giving it up,
as the thinker receives and gives a thought,
as the singer sings in the common air.

I don't believe that "scientific genius"
in its naive assertions of power
is equal either to nature or
to human culture. Its thoughtless invasions
of the nuclei of atoms and cells
and this world's every habitation
have not brought us to the light
but sent us wandering farther through
the dark. Nor do I believe
"artistic genius" is the possession
of any artist. No one has made
the art by which one makes the works
of art. Each one who speaks speaks
as a convocation. We live as councils
of ghosts. It is not "human genius"
that makes us human, but an old love,
an old intelligence of the heart
we gather to us from the world,
from the creatures, from the angels
of inspiration, from the dead -
an intelligence merely nonexistent
to those who do not have it, but
to those who have it more dear than life.

And just as tenderly to be known
are the affections that make a woman and a man,
their household, and their homeland one.
These too, though known, cannot be told
to those who do not know them, and fewer
of us learn them, year by year,
loves that are leaving the world
like the colors of extinct birds,
like the songs of a dead language.

Think of the genius of the animals,
every one truly what it is:
gnat, fox, minnow, swallow, each made
of light and luminous within itself.
They know (better than we do) how
to live in the places where they live.
And so I would like to be a true
human being, dear reader - a choice
not altogether possible now.

But this is what I'm for, the side
I'm on. And this is what you should
expect of me, as I expect it of myself,
though for realization we may wait
a thousand or a million years.

2007-02-20

tulips - sylvia plath

The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.
Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in.
I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly
As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.
I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.
I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses
And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons.

They have propped my head between the pillow and the sheet-cuff
Like an eye between two white lids that will not shut.
Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in.
The nurses pass and pass, they are no trouble,
They pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps,
Doing things with their hands, one just the same as another,
So it is impossible to tell how many there are.

My body is a pebble to them, they tend it as water
Tends to the pebbles it must run over, smoothing them gently.
They bring me numbness in their bright needles, they bring me sleep.
Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage-----
My patent leather overnight case like a black pillbox,
My husband and child smiling out of the family photo;
Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks.

I have let things slip, a thirty-year-old cargo boat
Stubbornly hanging on to my name and address.
They have swabbed me clear of my loving associations.
Scared and bare on the green plastic-pillowed trolley
I watched my teaset, my bureaus of linen, my books
Sink out of sight, and the water went over my head.
I am a nun now, I have never been so pure.

I didn't want any flowers, I only wanted
To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free-----
The peacefulness is so big it dazes you,
And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets.
It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them
Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet.

The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me.
Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe
Lightly, through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby.
Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds.
They are subtle: they seem to float, though they weigh me down,
Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color,
A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck.

Nobody watched me before, now I am watched.
The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me
Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins,
And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow
Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips,
And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself.
The vivid tulips eat my oxygen.

Before they came the air was calm enough,
Coming and going, breath by breath, without any fuss.
Then the tulips filled it up like a loud noise.
Now the air snags and eddies round them the way a river
Snags and eddies round a sunken rust-red engine.
They concentrate my attention, that was happy
Playing and resting without committing itself.

The walls, also, seem to be warming themselves.
The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals;
They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat,
And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes
Its bowl of red blossoms out of sheer love of me.
The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea,
And comes from a country far away as health.

2007-02-19

The Debit Card Fiasco...

This is a letter Trina wrote to take to the bank explaining everything that went on in relation to our fraudulent charges on our account and what happened after that.



Sunday Feb 11th, 2007

My husband, Dave Feucht, and I, Patrina Feucht, stopped for gas on our way out of town. My bank card is declined. This seemed puzzling to us, as according to our records, we should have $300+ in our checking account. We stopped by an ATM to deposit a $200 check we had needed to deposit and the receipt tells us we have $500+ balance but our available balance is something like negative $480!

So we go home to look at our account online and cancel all our plans for the day. The online account shows the same as the deposit receipt, but doesn’t show any transactions that have posted yet, so Dave calls the customer service line. The woman confirms that we indeed have an available balance of -$480. So Dave tells her that seems very wrong and she let us know some of the charges that had not yet posted, but that were going to come out of our account soon. One was for $776.85, and was made using my card number. Dave told the customer service rep that we know we did not make this charge. She told him she couldn’t do anything until the charge posted. She did not offer any guidance or suggestions; she did not let us know what to do next or anything. She just said sorry and that she could not do anything until the charge actually posted. She asked if there was anything else. My husband said he guessed not and they hung up.

After getting off the phone he told me all that she had said, which was not much, and said to me maybe we should cancel our cards. (The service rep did not suggest this, mention it or suggest any course of action we should be taking to secure our account.) So he called back again, talked to a second person and asked that both of our cards be canceled as we highly suspect that we have fraud charges on our account. She did it and he was off the phone. We both immediately cut up our debit cards.

Monday Feb 12th, 2007

We check our account online and no charges have shown up. Our account is still positive on the website but we still have a negative available balance and so have no access to money from a bank or out of an ATM or use our debit cards, as we have cut them up and are waiting for the new ones.

Tuesday Feb 13th, 2007

The charge finally shows as posted in our account. We look over the recent charges and find one for $776.85 made at GAMESTOP #2866 VANCOUVER WA and one for $12.30 at TACO DEL MAR LYNNWOOD WA. We have never been to Lynnwood Washington, let alone eaten at a Taco del Mar there. And we DID NOT spend $776.85 at a video game store in Vancouver, Washington. So we called the customer service line again.

Dave talked to a woman, but we don’t remember her name. He explained to her the entire story from when it began for us on Sunday, and that we now see the suspicious charges had posted and we would like to file a dispute for the fraudulent charges. She told him she would file it for the two charges and he asked how long it would be until we would see money in our account, as the fraud charges had caused our account to become overdrawn and we had no access to any money. She said the investigation took between 5-10 business days but that we could see funds back in our account within two days. They finished their call. She did not offer any more information, did not tell us she would flag the account or suggest that we should cancel our cards.

I was concerned and a little confused by when exactly we would have access to funds, so I called back. I talked to a man but didn’t catch his name. He told me that the entire process took 5-10 business days but that they would definitely have money back in our account within two business days. I asked him if I didn’t see money by Thursday morning if I should call back and he said yes. We ended our call.

Thursday Feb 15th, 2007

Thursday morning I got up and checked online and saw that we still had no available balance and that in addition to the fraud charges, we had now accrued $210 in overdraft charges, bringing the total money we needed refunded from the bank to $999.15. I called the customer service line. The person I talked to told me I would need to call a different number for the office handling the dispute. (I don’t remember exactly what she called it but it was the department that handled fraudulent charge disputes.) I got off the phone with her and called the number she had given me and talked to a man named Joe. I told Joe the entire story from Sunday through the present. He told me that normally a fraud charge dispute took 10-14 business days, and it looked like the soonest we could see any money refunded to our account would be Feb 20th.

At this point I was very frustrated by the lack of help, information, care taken with us and our money and all the conflicting information regarding how long things would take and if we would get any money refunded. I told him all this and told him about all the things the other customer service reps had told us. I told him we were very close to taking our business to another bank. I told him I was not ok with the date of the 20th as the first time we would have any money. He asked me to hold and told me he would check with the supervisor handling my dispute and see when he had scheduled for us to have funds again.

He came back after a min or two and told me that by 6pm that night we would have money refunded. I specifically asked him if that included the two fraud charges and the $210 in overdraft charges and he said yes it did. I also asked him if 6pm came around and I didn’t see the credit of 999.15 in our account, whether I could call back and get the money put in right way. He told me yes, that if by 6pm the money was not showing up in our account to call back and someone would get it in there immediately. We ended our call.

At 4:30-ish in the afternoon my husband and I noticed that our account was positive again, but only the $789.15 to cover the fraud charges. I immediately called the number to the fraud/dispute office. I talked to a woman named Jolita. She asked for my account number. I read it off to her. Then she asked what she could do for me. I began re-telling my entire story again. Already frustrated by the total lack of help, continuity in service, and apparent lack of any kind of connection in service rep notes or communication, I also realize that this woman NEVER VERIFIED WHO I WAS. Outside of having me read my number to her, she never asked for my name, my date of birth, the last 4 digits of my Social Security Number, my mother’s maiden name, NOTHING. So I finished telling her about my last call and the fact that Joe had told me that the $210 would also be deposited and that I needed that to be placed in my account right away. She told me she was not authorized to do that and that she would transfer me to her supervisor.

She transferred me to a man named George. He asked what he could do for me. I told him I was trying to get the $210 put back into my account. He was quiet and asked me to elaborate so I then had to COMPLETELY RE-TELL MY STORY ALL OVER AGAIN.

As I finished telling my now lengthy story of all the reps I had talked to, all the different things they had each told me and how frustrated I was, there was just silence. For at least 10-20 seconds there was no noise whatsoever. It was so quiet I thought we had been disconnected and had to say “hello?”. He responded with, “oh I’m still here.” I said that it had gone so quiet, I wasn’t sure if I had been disconnected, and he told me it just gets very quiet when no one talks. Then it was silent again, for a VERY LONG TIME. Finally I said, “oh, and by the way, as of now on this call, no one has verified who I am. The first woman I talked to only asked for my account number, never asked for my name or any other verification and neither have you so as of right now you don’t even know who you are talking to.” He was silent for a few seconds and then just said “oh”. Then there was more silence.

After the long silence he says to me that he sees on my account that there was a deposit of $789.15 made today. I told him, yes (I am now having to completely re-tell him things I JUST told him less than a few minutes ago in our “conversation”) and that I just told him that I saw that deposit, and that I had talked to Joe at this number earlier and specifically asked him if both the fraud charges and the $210 in overdraft charges would be refunded to my account. I told him again that Joe had told me yes and that if I did not see the money by 6pm to call back and someone would get it in there right away. Then there was more silence.

Finally he spoke again and told me that the soonest he could possibly get that $210 in to my account was sometime tomorrow as the department that handles those requests closes/stops taking requests at 3pm and as it is now after 4pm there was nothing he could do for me. I then told him that since Joe had told me that all the money would be in my account by 6pm, and Joe had also said that if by 6pm it was not there I should call back to this number and that someone would get all the funds put into my account tonight, that I wanted to see those funds deposited right away. He interrupted me and said, “what you don’t understand ma'am …” at which point I interrupted him and said, “what you don’t understand is that I was told that money would be refunded to me tonight and It needs to be. Oh, and also YOU STILL HAVE NOT VERIFIED WHO I AM. SO YOU STILL HAVE NO IDEA WHO YOU ARE TALKING TO.”
At this point he asked if I could hold for a moment and he would go talk to his supervisor and see what he could do. I was on hold for maybe 20 seconds, when he came back and told me his supervisor was walking the request down to the department right now and that I should see a credit for $210 show up momentarily. I told him if I did not see it within 5 minutes I would call back and ask for him. We ended our call. He never verified my identity. I refreshed the page and the credit was there immediately, in less than a minute.

Friday Feb 16th 2007

Dave received his debit card in the mail but mine did not arrive. We decide that if mine does not show up in the next day’s mail we will call again and make sure that mine was in fact canceled as Dave had requested on Sunday Feb 11th 2007.

Sunday Feb 18th 2007

My card had not shown up in the mail so I call in to the regular customer service line to verify that my card has been canceled. The woman I talk to verifies who I am. I tell her and explain that my husband called on the 11th and requested that both our cards be canceled and new ones sent as we had fraudulent charges made on our account and since we only received his in the mail, we were concerned that mine did not get canceled as we specifically requested, especially since it was my card number that the fraud charges were made on. She told me it didn’t look as though mine got canceled and then asked for my card number. I told her that since we thought they were canceled the first time we requested it we had cut them up. So she asked for some other identifying info and proceeded to cancel and re-order a new card for me. She told me it would be to me in 5-10 business days.

She asked if there was anything else she could do for me. I asked her if there were any notes on my account from all of the other 7 calls and reps I had talked to through the fraud process. At this point I have expressed how frustrated I am that this whole process is going so badly and that we are getting no help, and she apologizes quite a few times.

She looks on our account and tells me that she sees that I made a call on the 15th. I ask her if there are any notes about the call(s) on the 15th. She looks and tells me there are no notes. After that we end our call.

We have never made a purchase of such a high amount on a debit card. We have a monthly charge of $775 exactly made for our rent, but it is always by check, never by a card. We live in Portland and may have been to Vancouver, Washington, where the charge was made, maybe 5 times in our lives. When this charge happened, no one called to verify that this was our charge. We have had our credit card company call us to verify on smaller amounts when it looked out of pattern for us – for instance in a city we don’t usually make charges in, high dollar amounts, etc. But you are the bank where our actual physical money is kept, and no one bats an eye or lifts a finger to offer any help.

I AM LIVID! ABSOUTELY LIVID. Through the whole process we have had no help offered AT ALL. Not one rep has volunteered any information about your procedures or our options or things we should be doing unless we ask and pull out answers. Not one person has explained the process to us unless we ask what will be happening next. Not one rep has made any notes on what is going on with our account. Not one rep flagged our account. Not one rep relayed any info to the next person I would talk to when transferring me around. AND on one call, to the department that handles fraudulent charge claims/disputes, no one verified my identity AT ALL! EVEN AFTER I REPEATEDLY TOLD THE SERVICE REP THAT NO ONE HAD! For all he knew I could have been the thief, calling, getting money put back into the account, and then going out to use the card yet again, as at this point no one had canceled my card, even though we had requested that my card be canceled. Through the entire process not one rep suggested that our cards be canceled.

After this entire experience we have found out from 2 other friends of ours that they have had similar experiences, one when dealing with fraudulent charges the other when moving from one state to another. We are closing our account with you. Our two friends are also considering closing their accounts because of this. We are also reporting the entire story to the Better Business Bureau.

the last couple weeks...

to understate it, they have been really difficult and stressful. however, through it I have seen the faithfulness of God, the humbling nature of grace, the extreme value of certain people in my life, the worth of facing a problem rather than pushing it under the rug, the value of having other people whom you put trust in and can lean on...

now I just hope the next couple of weeks will allow me to recuperate a bit from the last two weeks...

2007-02-14

unsure, but sure

I find more and more as life goes on, that I don't understand why things happen at the time they happen. I believe firmly that there is a reason for everything that happens, but I very seldom am let in on that at the time, only realizing what the reason was way down the road, if ever. Our perspectives are so small... so limited... we know so little of what is actually going on around us... this is one of those weeks where just about nothing makes sense and I'm feeling that very strongly, and I long for a day when I won't have to believe contrary to what I see around me, but will be affirmed in my belief.

Thank you God for those few people and moments that make life seem not quite so absurd.

2007-02-06

Fear and Trembling - Søren Kierkegaard

No, not one shall be forgotten who was great in the world. But each was great in his own way, and each in proportion to the greatness of that which he loved. For he who loved himself became great by himself, and he who loved other men became great by his selfless devotion, but he who loved God became greater than all. Everyone shall be remembered, but each became great in proportion to his expectation. One became great by expecting the possible, another by expecting the eternal, but he who expected the impossible became greater than all. Everyone shall be remembered, but each was great in proportion to the greatness of that with which he strove. For he who strove with the world became great by overcoming the world, and he who strove with himself became great by overcoming himself, but he who strove with God became greater than all. So there was strife in the world, man against man, one against a thousand, but he who strove with God was greater than all. So there was strife upon earth: there was one who overcame all by his power, and there was one who overcame God by his impotence. There was one who relied upon himself and gained all, there was one who secure in his strength sacrificed all, but he who believed God was greater than all. There was one who was great by reason of his power, and one who was great by reason of his wisdom, and one who was great by reason of his hope, and one who was great by reason of his love; but Abraham was greater than all, great by reason of his power whose strength is impotence, great by reason of his wisdom whose secret is foolishness, great by reason of his hope whose form is madness, great by reason of the love which is hatred of oneself.

2007-02-01

the brothers karamazov - fyodor dostoyevsky

"That life is heaven," he said to me suddenly, "that I have long been thinking about;" and all at once he added, "I think of nothing else indeed." He looked at me and smiled. "I am more convinced of it than you are, I will tell you later why."

I listened to him and thought that he evidently wanted to tell me something.

"Heaven," he went on, "lies hidden within all of us - here it lies hidden in me now, and if I will it, it will be revealed to me to-morrow and for all time."

I looked at him; he was speaking with great emotion and gazing mysteriously at me, as if he were questioning me.

"And that we are all responsible to all for all, apart from our own sins, you were quite right in thinking that, and it is wonderful how you could comprehend it in all its significance at once. And in very truth, so soon as men understand that, the Kingdom of Heaven will be for them not a dream, but a living reality."

"And when," I cried out to him bitterly, "when will that come to pass? and will it ever come to pass? Is not it simply a dream of ours?"

"What then, you don't believe it," he said. "You preach it and don't believe it yourself. Believe me, this dream, as you call it, will come to pass without doubt; it will come, but not now, for every process has its law. It's a spiritual, psychological process. To transform the world, to recreate it afresh, men must turn into another path psychologically. Until you have become really, in actual fact, a brother to every one, brotherhood will not come to pass. No sort of scientific teaching, no kind of common interest, will ever teach men to share property and privileges with equal consideration for all. Every one will think his share too small and they will always be envying, complaining and attacking one another. You ask when it will come to pass; it will come to pass, but first we have to go through the period of isolation."

"What do you mean by isolation?" I asked him.

"Why, the isolation that prevails everywhere, above all in our age - it has not fully developed, it has not reached its limit yet. For every one strives to keep his individuality as apart as possible, wishes to secure the greatest possible fullness of life for himself; but meantime all his efforts result not in attaining fullness of life but self-destruction, for instead of self-realisation he ends by arriving at complete solitude. All mankind in our age have split up into units, they all keep apart, each in his own groove; each one holds aloof, hides himself and hides what he has, from the rest, and he ends by being repelled by others and repelling them. He heaps up riches by himself and thinks, 'how strong I am now and how secure,' and in his madness he does not understand that the more he heaps up, the more he sinks into self-destructive impotence. For he is accustomed to rely upon himself alone and to cut himself off from the whole; he has trained himself not to believe in the help of others, in men and in humanity, and only trembles for fear he should lose his money and the privileges that he has won for himself. Everywhere in these days men have, in their mockery, ceased to understand that the true security is to be found in social solidarity rather than in isolated individual effort. But this terrible individualism must inevitably have an end, and all will suddenly understand how unnaturally they are separated from one another. It will be the spirit of the time, and people will marvel that they have sat so long in darkness without seeing the light. And then the sign of the Son of Man will be seen in the heavens.... But, until then, we must keep the banner flying. Sometimes even if he has to do it alone, and his conduct seems to be crazy, a man must set an example, and so draw men's souls out of their solitude, and spur them to some act of brotherly love, that the great idea may not die."