Archive for September, 2014

Flesh and Pain

September 17, 2014

fp

There may be trouble ahead
But while there’s moonlight
And music and love and romance
Let’s face the music and dance

Irving Berlin

Pain is never far away
Enjoy it when it’s not around
And when a new wave
Comes your way
Do not linger
In its wake
Dive right in
Or ride it out

Flesh and Pain are
Child and Mother
You don’t get one
Without the other

by Richard W. Bray

An Honest Day’s Toil

September 11, 2014

am  dream

I grew up in a country
Where an honest day’s toil
Could earn a man a castle
Where the working man was royal
He could send his kids to college
They could elevate their lot
Everybody pitched in
Everybody had a shot

Every day the working man
Is struggling to get by
On a smaller and smaller
Piece of the pie
Cuz sleazy politicians
And heartless corporations
Sold out the workers
And mortgaged off our nation

Every road that you drive
Every building that you see
Was made by working people
Like you and me
We need to stop trying
To build nations overseas
And start investing
In you and me

Every day the working man
Is struggling to get by
On a smaller and smaller
Piece of the pie
Cuz sleazy politicians
And heartless corporations
Sold out the workers
And mortgaged off our nation

by Richard W. Bray

Blinded by My Ears

September 6, 2014

I heard a politician
His tongue was made of gold
He whetted all my wishin
What a tale he told
But once he got elected
He didn’t change a thing
His words were all infected
But Lord that man could sing

A honey-drippin phrase
Just puts me in a daze
I’m blinded by my ears
Every time I hear
A phony-talking sneak
It always leaves me weak

A man came from the city
What a song he sung
He made me feel so pretty
He made me feel so young
Now my soul is scarred
From all the things he did
He maxed out all my cards
And left me with a kid

A honey-drippin phrase
Just puts me in a daze
I’m blinded by my ears
Every time I hear
A phony-talking sneak
It always leaves me weak

by Richard W. Bray

Don’t Send a Conjunctive Adverb To Do a FANBOYS’ Job

September 5, 2014

Conjunctive Adverbs

I am begging you, in the name of all that is good and beautiful in this world, don’t send a conjunctive adverb to do a FANBOYS’ job.

A clause is a group of words which contains a subject and a predicate. In other words, a clause can function as a simple sentence all by itself. A simple sentence, as I told you before, is a group of words that tells us what someone or something is or a group of words that tells us what someone or something does. Here are two simple sentences (clauses):

I would love to give you a ride to Phoenix.

My car just had a nervous breakdown.

You might choose to join these clauses together in one complex sentence using the subordinator although:

Although
I would love to give you a ride to Phoenix, my car just had a nervous breakdown.

You could also join them together using the word but, which is one of the FANBOYS:

I would love to give you a ride to Phoenix, but my car just had a nervous breakdown.

Another strategy for emphasizing the connection between these two clauses is to use a conjunctive adverb. The following words are conjunctive adverbs: accordingly, also, besides, consequently, conversely, finally, furthermore, hence, however, indeed, instead, likewise, meanwhile, moreover, nevertheless, next, nonetheless, otherwise, similarly, still, subsequently, then, therefore, and thus.

However, you must separate the two clauses utilizing a period or a semicolon. Then place the conjunctive adverb at the beginning of the second clause. Most conjunctive adverbs should be followed by a comma when they are placed at the beginning of a clause (but not then). (Don’t capitalize the conjunctive adverb if you choose to use a semicolon.) Here are some examples:

I would love to give you a ride to Phoenix; however, my car just had a nervous breakdown.

I would love to give you a ride to Phoenix. However, my car just had a nervous breakdown.

One reason this can be confusing is that many conjunctive adverbs can be placed at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence, punctuated like the following examples:

However, we did not see any more yellow-bellied sapsuckers.

We did not, however, see any more yellow-bellied sapsuckers.

We did not see any more yellow-bellied sapsuckers, however.

Indeed, Donatello is the most valiant of all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Donatello is, indeed, the most valiant of all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Donatello is the most valiant of all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, indeed.

What you must not do under any circumstances is connect two clauses together with a comma and a conjunctive adverb as though that conjunctive adverb were merely one of those common FANBOYS. (Conjunctive adverbs deserve more respect than that.)

If you are still confused, try this. First, memorize the above list of conjunctive adverbs. (Or, if that seems too daunting a task, simply have them tattooed to the underside of your left forearm.) If you want to know when you are abusing a conjunctive adverb by placing it between two clauses with nothing but a comma for protection, simply cross it out. If you discover clauses on both sides of the conjunctive adverb, do the right thing and provide it with a period or a semicolon.

Evaluation. Correctly punctuate the following sentences. (Warning: I sneaked in a few FANBOYS and/or subordinators.)

I need to comb my hair in front of my eyes then I will be as cool as Justin Bieber.

Sharon won’t mind that I borrowed her new dress without asking besides I’ll return it before she ever finds out.

I was a skaterboy therefore she said, “See you later, boy.”

It’s not my fault that your weeping willow died for I am merely a tree surgeon, not a miracle worker.

My homemade cinnamon buns moreover made me the most popular person in the William Hung Fan Club.

I want to be rich and famous so I am going to introduce myself to Rihanna.

I will show all my dance moves to Rihanna subsequently she will marry me.

Rihanna won’t respond to me on twitter even though I have downloaded all of her songs and memorized the lyrics.

Rihanna’s bodyguard told me to stay away then she got a restraining order.

by Richard W. Bray

False Cures

September 1, 2014

pain

People start dispersing
When I bitch and bray
But you can’t cure the anger
By sending folks away

Doctor gives me pills
To remedy the pain
But you can’t cure the body
By lying to the brain

Shutting down my feelings
Is my only goal
But you can’t cure the heart
My murdering the soul

by Richard W. Bray