what are you running from? by Klaus J. Gerken

Klaus J. Gerken lives as a poet, author and publisher in Ottawa, Canada. The retired employee of DND – Department National Defence Canada – rocks.

H. – J. John


Love is just a four letter word.

Bob Dylan

Let me remind everyone again – This is our Commander In Chief here in Canada: Julie Payette.

The City of Ottawa has released information about emergency financial assistance for those affected by the tornado.

The food banks are receiving so many donations they are overwhelmed. This is Canada folks.

Please donate to the Ottawa and Gatineau food banks … they have lost a lot of food.

I used to walk ten miles a day, now I have a hard time getting to my walker! At least my mind is still as crazy as ever.

The September 2018 issue of Ygdrasil has been archived by the Library and Archives Canada:


My father’s barber shop on Kilbourne Avenue in the 1970’s, Ottawa.

Apparently some restaurants are staying open all night to serve people free meals who need them.

CTV: New data has confirmed there were six tornadoes.

Wow! The worse storm in two decades comes along and I hardly even notice it!

I make more mistakes than anyone; but because of that I also learn more than anyone. All depends on how you use your mistakes.

Just a normal day at a top secret DND facility.

Street corner 1970’s. Klaus J. Gerken.

Shit is what the world is all about.

Dear Trump, if you don’t like Canada imposing tariffs on dairy products, then don’t try to flood Canada with cheap milk that will kill our dairy industry …

The honey I ordered from Pitcairn Island has finally arrived. Took 5 months to get here.

Today is the birthday of Vladimir Holan, probably the greatest poet of the 20th century, who was denied the Nobel Prize for literature because he was a member of the communist party.


The September issue of Ygdrasil is now available at


As a colonel I once worked for said: “Stop blaming each other and just fix the damn problem.

If you want to be on the best seller list write an empty book for empty minds.

A few books I wrote …


My official end to summer. We made the third hottest summer on record in Ottawa.

So why are Jews considered a “race”? I’m Jewish and I don’t consider myself a “race”.

Just an update: the honey I ordered from Pitcairn Island was confiscated by the Canadian Government, even though it was on the allowed import list. No explanation.

The difference between the USA and Canada?

USA: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Canada: “Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you.” (Because if your country takes care of you, you will take care of your country).

The Beatles – A Day In The Life

Klaus Voormann & Paul McCartney in Hog Hill Mill Studios circa 2008

Something for some reason reminds me of the story from the 90’s where a man in the UK decided to give his wife a present by cleaning the house…

So he rubbed it down with a strong kerosene solution and then sat down in his favourite chair and lit a cigar … When his wife got home she found him sitting in the middle of a field and the house was gone…

Managed to save two old heritage homes thanks to Kurt Johnson.

30 years ago I was offered $50,000 for this painting… The Blue Madonna … I refused…. because this is my Mona Lisa, and like Leonardo, I want to keep it with me for life.

Women rule the world. (They just don’t know it).

Why do they always refer to old men who date young women as “dirty old men” and never refer to young women who date old men as “dirty young women”?


The Wall Street Journal is read by people who run the country.

The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country but are too busy running for reelection to be certain.

The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country their way.

USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand the Washington Post. And, besides; they love their pie charts.

The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country, if they could spare the time, and if they didn’t have to leave Southern California to do it.

The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and they did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.

The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country, and don’t really care as long as they can get a seat on the #1 train.

The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who’s running the country, as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated and unclothed.

The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure there is a country or that anyone is running it; but whoever it is, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions. But it’s too complex a list to include here.

The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.

The Baltimore Sun is read by people who think radio and television do a lousy job of covering the Orioles and the Ravens but wish it was written in their native tongue. (Examples: Balmur, Merlin)

The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store. (And who elected Donald Trump — my comment).

The best years of my life were spent with cats. Humans… not so much.

Oh Jazzie …

Breakfast at Nate’s (Especially with Heather Joyce Ferguson) , and lunch at Cumberland Pizza. What could be more perfect?

The Conservative faction has clearly taken over: “Study reports even one glass of alcohol will shorten your life considerably.” What next? Tear up all the vineyards and plant turnips?

  1. in my coat of many colours.

My pet squirrel in 1973/4.

Going to the store, this is almost what it feels like. Almost everyone is wired!

No fender benders there!

Goethe was born in 1749 and lived till 1832. I was born in 1949… and hopefully looking at the same years — 2032 sounds pretty good to me. Maybe I can write another version of Faust.

Jazzie will always be there.


He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
— Immanuel Kant

How I got into Poetry: My parents bought me a typewriter for my 14th birthday and I had to do something with it.

Paris #1, 1974 Klaus J. Gerken. One of two canvasses I did of Paris.

About two or three years ago there was a woman wearing a burka living on this street… I used to greet and smile at her, and she nodded back in recognition. Then one day she just disappeared. I asked the superintendent of the building she lived in what happened to her. The superintendent said, nothing, she still lives here, she just removed her burka. Then all of a sudden i realized it was the woman who kept greeting and smiling at me when we passed on the street. It never occurred to me: She removed her burka so she could return my greeting. But by then it was winter and I never saw her again. Just keep in mind, little things do matter.

Fractal painting 1990’s kjg


A true inspiration.

Chris Rea has had peritonitis and stomach complications since 1994, as well as several operations. In 2000 Rea was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and somewhere in between 2000–2001 Rea underwent a Whipple procedure, by which he lost the head of the pancreas and part of duodenum, bile duct, and gall bladder.

Since having his pancreas removed, Rea has had problems with diabetes and a generally weaker immune system and has to take thirty-four pills and seven injections a day.

He has since undergone several serious operations. Nevertheless, he found even greater appreciation for life, his family, and the things he loves.
In an interview, Rea revealed that

“it’s not until you become seriously ill and you nearly die and you’re at home for six months, that you suddenly stop, to realize that this isn’t the way I intended it to be in the beginning. Everything that you’ve done falls away and start wondering why you went through all that rock business stuff.”

In 2016, Rea suffered a stroke, which left him with slurred speech and reduced movement in his arms and fingers. Soon afterwards he quit smoking to deter further strokes, and gradually recovered well enough to record and tour.

In September 2017, Chris Rea released his twenty-fourth album, Road Songs for Lovers, and embarked on a new European tour starting in October until December.

On 9 December, Rea collapsed during a performance at the New Theatre Oxford, the 35th concert of the tour. He was taken to hospital, with his condition stabilised, and the last two concerts cancelled. (Source Wikipedia)


You can waste a whole lifetime
Trying to be
What you think is expected of you
But you’ll never be free

Chris Rea (Gone Fishing)

Col Campbell used to walk around and talk to his employees every day. He cared about them and their concerns. The director who succeeded him called a meeting, and the first words out of her mouth were,

“Just remember, you are nothing without good managers like us.”

Moral kind of dropped a bit … a lot. Hit rock bottom.

Sorry I post a lot of German music vids lately, but not my fault you don’t understand German.

Best compliment ever:

As long as Klaus is working for National Defence we’re in good hands.

Col Ian Campbell (1993)

As I have always maintained, alcohol is such a dangerous drug precisely because it makes you more of what you are: if passive, then more passive; if violent, then more violent.


One of the saddest most heart wrenching photos I have ever seen. He lost everything, but saved his kitten.

Painting 1970’s. In a private collection. (kjg)

“Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It.”

In that case my question is: Does a blind person then exist? My blind cat sure does, and so does the chair he sleeps on.

The August 2018 issue of Ygdrasil, featuring The Pulsar, by Jack R. Wesdorp, is now available at


22. July 2018
1962. Me and my stamp album.


Me, 1987.

Now for something you really didn’t want to know: the guillotine was discontinued as an instrument of execution because it was found the head could live up to two minutes after being severed.


all my friends are gone
and my hair is grey
i ache in the places
where i used to play
i’m crazy for love
but i’m not coming on
i’m just paying my rent every day
in the tower of song

L. Cohen

The USA will only become a democracy when they elect a homeless person living on the street as president.

I was sitting outside the grocery store this evening when a woman I had never seen before came up to me and said, “Mr. Gerken are you still writing? The last book you published was 4 years ago.” i answered, “Not much. Just reissuing some old titles.” Yes, I read some of them. The Last Old Man. Word Symphonies, Bardo.  And I’ll buy some more.” I said, “Thank you.” Well, I have to go now. It was nice meeting you.” and that was it.

In 2010, after my hip operation, the hospital sent a nurse over to assess my living conditions, the first thing she said was “You have to get rid of the cats.” It took me less than a minute to kick her out.

Isidore is home! In the morning I will discuss the situation with his vet. Maybe we can leave him here for a few days so it isn’t so traumatic for him. The Dr. said he might not pass a stone for another week or more… or it could be next time he urinates. So I’ll let his vet decide. First thing he did was sniff the place out to make sure he was home. And then he broke my wine glass spilling wine all over my desk. Normal cat behaviour, Have no idea where he is now.

Just a fast note, a good friend, Heather Ferguson, took Isidore to the Alta Vista Animal Hospital Emergency. He’s not feeling well and seems to be in pain. I’m so worried.

And Jazzie and Isidore in Jan 2011.

04. July 2018
The July issue of Ygdrasil is done, and so am I. My eyes are blurry and watering – I can hardly read the screen – and I have a splitting migraine from the heat and humidity. To get it done I pulled an all nighter. I hope people appreciate this, because it is getting more and more difficult every month.


Americans seem to love these guys on the 4th of July… so here they are. The Beach Boys …

Researchers have discovered that one population of white-faced capuchin monkeys in Panama have entered the Stone Age. The monkeys have started using stone tools to break nuts and shellfish, making them the fourth type of primates to do so after us.


Cat Behaviors explained.

Canada Day 2018 fireworks. Ottawa, Ontario.

01. July 2018
Looks like there will be many more people for the evening show.

With Bob Dylan receiving the nobel for literature in 2016, just wondering what other living singer/songwriters you might want to have nominated?

A quick favourite list of mine is:

Buffy Saint Marie
Joni Mitchell
Gordon Lightfoot

When we visited New York City in 1962, I asked why all the houses in Flushing, where we stayed, had bars on their windows… the reply was “Don’t you?” I said “No, we left the door open so the neighbours can look after our cats.” …

They were totally taken aback … this was not part of their mindset. They couldn’t comprehend that kind of thinking. The siege mentality had completely taken over. Even though we were visiting German relatives who had immigrated 4 years before like we had. They were already brainwashed.

World Cup 2010: Jazzie and Isidore waited like clockwork for the matches to come on. They watched every one of them. And no, I don’t know how Isidore (blind) managed to respond to this. (Neither did the vet). After they turned one year old they lost interest.

And what can I say about papa Bruno, watching over his charges? 2010.

My basement studio in 1973.

CTV: The Saudi Crown Prince has decreed that women in Saudi Arabia can now drive and no longer have to wear a burka or cover their hair. They can also go to movies. He said other changes are coming.

Lest we forget.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter, in his first day in office, fulfilled a campaign promise by granting unconditional pardons to hundreds of thousands of men who had evaded the draft during the Vietnam War by fleeing the country or by failing to register.

The internment of children in detention camps started in 1996. But you had “nice” presidents then and didn’t say anything.

Good day Mr. Gerken,

The June 2018 issue of Ygdrasil has been archived.


Thank you,

Technicien aux acquisitions, Direction générale des Opérations numériques et de la Préservation
Bibliothèque et Archives Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Acquisitions Technician, Digital Operations and Preservation Branch
Library and Archives Canada / Government of Canada

The country that had the most decent president ever beats the country that has the most repressive government. Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0. YES!

Jazzie passed away 2 years ago today. Bruno passed away 3rd Jan this year. I miss them terribly.

Hate Trump? No. Try to understand him? Yes. Because hate is blind emotion… to understand is reasoning, With blind emotion you can’t change anything, with reasoning, everything. With hate you are as bad as the person you hate.

My father.

When a kitten stopped a war for one day. Both the Germans and Russians declared a cease fire until the kitten was safely out of the way.

Memories 6 years ago.
Brothers having a bit of a disagreement. No one got hurt. Just a few swats. Cats! Gotta love how they resolve issues! No litigation here!

The June 2018 issue of Ygdrasil is now available at


The biggest thing, and cheat, about TV food shows is… YOU CAN’T TASTE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

How you use what you learned in school is your real education. Schools can only give you the facts, not the smarts.

Same intersection 1958 and 2001. Rideau Street, Ottawa, Ontario.

In the light of Trump’s tirade against Canada this is all the more worth re-posting:
This is class. Thank you Dwane Casey.

“Thank you for teaching our all-American family the Canadian way. That being polite and considerate to one another is always the best way. That diversity is something to be embraced and celebrated. That taking the time to learn about each other’s cultures is the surest way to find common ground and understanding. Thank you for making our children feel safe, valued, and comfortable in their own skin. We cannot express how important it has been to build the foundations of who our children are as human beings in a country that shows through its words, actions and laws that all people deserve basic human rights, and a chance to reach their goals through education and hard work.
Thank you to the many players and coaches that have proudly represented the Toronto Raptors during my tenure. Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence.
Thank you for enduring my southern sayings, awkwardly placed hats and most importantly for always having your shoes tied and shirttails tucked in before the shootaround film starts.
Thank you to the front office, support staff, ACC staff and security for your dedication to strive to be the best, and for the kindness that you showed us for every day of our time here.
Coaches know that this is an industry built on change, and we willingly accept that reality. They say that “Home is not a place … it’s a feeling;” so thank you Toronto for making us feel at home here. Thank you for supporting our family, for offering us your friendship and for teaching us the Canadian way.
Dwane, Brenda, Justine & Zachary Casey”

Found this photo a friend of mine took of me back in 2001:
With the woman who made women a “person” and gave women the right to vote. Genuine love here.

I’m sure someone still has one of these. (I do).

One of my best photographs…

Let me get this right, Roseanne gets cancelled because she tweets one “racist” remark, and Trump gets to stay the president for a thousand? Interesting.

The Beatles at their best

What I publish is life… not perfection.

Two insane games of chess played between John Poppe and me at the Plaza Hotel in Ottawa October 1972. Each move was worth a shot of Steinhager. It’s a miracle we could even see the board. Not pretty, but fun to resurrect. BTW, I won both … almost passed out under the table … but I won.

RIP Philip Roth.
Philip Roth, Towering Novelist Who Explored Lust, Jewish Life and America, Dies at 85


Me 7 years ago.

7 years ago already. There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t miss Jazzie and Bruno.

what are you running from?

is it right or is it wrong
is it weak or is it strong
there’s a moment
when the omen
is the thunder
of a blunder
no one’s perfect
call the prefect
oh my god
what a rot
they’ll condemn it
speaks a lot
burn the city
it ain’t pretty
no one cares
different aires
take the stairs
with a flair
no one knows it
but it’s there

so what’s the deal what did you steal
where’s the hideout in the backwoods
hard to fathom
what are you running from?

so what happens hard to say
even a black hole leaves a trace
but forever’s
no endeavour
the hunt goes on
without a gun
no one’s safe
till in the grave
no one knows it
no one owns it
run for shelter
in the woods
what comes later
isn’t prayer
meet the devil
cough up goods
there’s an alley
in the valley
gives good shelter
helter skelter

so what’s the deal what did you steal
where’s the hideout in the backwoods
hard to fathom
what are you running from?

so the dice hit the flies
there’s a harbour where rot lies
you don’t get it
so why sweat it
life’s a purpose
no one worships
hollow meaning
empty cleaning
gimme shelter
how’s the weather
no solution
dream of monsters
in the office
life’s a broadway
show for sale
on the boardwalk
so much small talk
heaven help us
no ablution
for the awkward

so what’s the deal what did you steal
where’s the hideout in the backwoods
hard to fathom
what are you running from?

holy moly what’s the story
if you answer you’ll be sorry
where’s the raincoat
why do you gloat
the river’swelling
the pawn shop’s selling
there’ no telling
who is yelling
streets are empty
there’s no sentry
where god’s willing
the devil smiles
wheels on fire
hell’s a toaster
what’s deleted
can’t be tweeted
don’t be perfect
cough up respect
for a good bed

so what’s the deal what did you steal
where’s the hideout in the backwoods
hard to fathom
what are you running from?

kjg 153pm 25 nov 2014

Poor print of a photo of me in my room when we lived on St. Laurent Blvd across from Elmvale Shopping Centre in 1963/64.

Good morning from Ottawa, Ontario. 630 am. Bank Street. Still snowing lightly. Maybe I can get to the store for the first time in eight days. Going to give it a try.

Both the March and April 2018 issues of Ygdrasil are now available at the Library and Archives Canada: Ygdrasil… a journal of the poetic arts!

The earliest photo of me editing Ygdrasil that I have (January 1998 — 20 years ago)


i used to think the day too bright
i loved the darkest darkest night
but now the darkness is too overwhelming
i know the truth is always free
but only for a certain fee
you still can’t sell what you are claiming
i said it once i said it twice
there is no way to throw the dice
love is too commanding
discipline is all we need
to combat further holy greed
but somehow it just keeps returning

i doubt i can pontificate
i’m too devoid of any hate
when the future comes it’s the past we’re yearning
i don’t know what to say to you
this fragment it is coded blue
for pretty much recycling…

kjg 01. 03. 2018

i killed

when i was 15
i had a friend
who lived on an
apple farm
near the urban development
where we moved

he invited me
there and showed me
his pellet rifle
he said he used it
for shooting
apples out of a tree

he said
who don’t you try it
i said ok
and did
i missed the apple
but hit a sparrow instead
he fell to the ground
still alive
being one who
can’t stand anyone in pain
i put him
out of his misery

i never touched a gun

i would rather be killed
than defend myself
with a gun

i still have nightmares
about that

kjg 01.03.2018

With the April 2018 issue (300) we conclude 25 years of publication.
The April 2018 issue of Ygdrasil, featuring, The Sampo by Jack R. Wesdorp, is now available at:

22.02.2018 – Jazzie and Isidore used to sleep together all the time…. (2010).

Me 1962 …

Everybody learns.
I like to learn.
Everybody makes mistakes.
And I make a lot of mistakes.
That’s the only way to do it.
Can’t learn by being perfect.

Please people … Karma is NOT revenge or retribution. Why does everyone get it wrong. Karma is taking responsibility for your own actions … good or bad.

According to Buddhism, this inequality is due not only to heredity, environment, “nature and nurture”, but also to Karma. In other words, it is the result of our own past actions and our own present doings. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own Heaven. We create our own Hell.

I hate advertising myself … but if you haven’t read this, don’t argue religion with me.

Pastel on canvas on the back of one of my paintings … 1970’s …

History is interpretation, not reality.

If the Palestinians have no claim to Israel, why was the land called Palestine for 6000 years?

You know, I’m not a great artist, or poet, or even a good editor… but everything considered, I did make something of my life — At least I helped care for the cats on Parliament Hill for almost 10 years.

Blind beggar 1973. By Klaus J. Gerken.

OK… big confession … I NEVER learned how to ride a bicycle.
But I did drive a Studebaker when I was 10 years old …

Both the December 2017 issue featuring Vox Temenos by Jack R. Wesdorp and the January 2018 issue featuring Vox Veritas by Jack R. Wesdorp are now available at


CTV: “54% of Canadians have a college degree… that’s the highest in the world.”

BTW, I finally managed to upload the January 2018 issue of Ygdrasil. But I had to do it by deleting the December 2013 issue – which will be restored as soon as I fix this problem with my internet provider.

I just unfriended someone from West Virginia who said Prince Harry’s fiance was a “divorced mixed race gal” … I will not tolerate racist comments … even from someone who has been a long time friend.

2 of my paintings in the great Italian poet Rita Stilli’s study in Pistoia, Italy.

“Never before in history has the disparity between the rich and the poor, the comfortable and the starving, been so extreme; never before have mass communications so vividly informed the sufferers of the extent of their misery; never before have the privileged societies possessed weapons so powerful that their employment in the defence of privilege would destroy the haves and the have-nots indiscriminately.” – speech, University of Alberta, Edmonton, May 13, 1968 – Pierre Trudeau

Da Vinci painting goes for $450 million at auction … wonder if that includes the frame?

Me and Blanchette – February 2003

Guess who at 3 years old? 1952.

When we visited relatives in Flushing NYC in 1962 I couldn’t understand why everyone had bars on their windows and several locks on their doors and we were told never to go out at night, when here in Ottawa we left the door open to our house so the neigbours could feed the cats and make sure everything was OK.

When life was still fun…

I used to be an artist; then I became a poet … now I’m just me, whoever that is…

Life wouldn’t be worth a damn without cats stoned on catnip.

Spent 30 years working for DND -Canada. DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE.
Spent ten of those years helping care for the Cats on Parliament Hill.
And spent 17 years of that time doing Ygdrasil at night …
Don’t think that’s a wasted life.
O yes… not to be forgotten spent ten years having breakfast with the great Ottawa poet Heather Furguson at Nate’s.

November 2007.


Winter in Ottawa is sometimes pretty… here about 15 year ago… on my way to feed the cats …

Me, 1974…

Patsy 1970 … wonder where she is these days …

All my friends are gone
and my hair is grey
i ache in the places
where i used to play
and i’m crazy for love
but i’m not coming on
i’m just paying my rent
every day in the tower of song.
–leonard cohen

Leonard Cohen died a year ago today.

I just want to say, I don’t condone violence of any kind (unless it is truly for self defence). But here is a story about someone who used to bully me relentlessly when I grew up in Germany. One day he beat me up so badly I ran home and cried. My father told me to be a man and fight back, so I went out and (not recommended under any circumstance) took a 2 by 4 plank and hit the kid on the ass. He broke down and howled like he was sinking in quicksand. I helped him up. After that we became best friends. And you know why he was such a bully? His parents used to dress him in girl’s clothes and he played with dolls. So he was always on the defensive, and beat up other kids before they found out. Bullies are usually the most insecure kids, and adults, around. Once you know that, you can deal with them, not ever with violence, but with understanding.

5 more issues of Ygdrasil (not counting the special issues) and we will reach number 300. Even boggles my mind that I lasted this long!


i sleep in the day
and wake up at night
for some stupid reason
the rest of the world
can’t get it right
they want me to be like them
you know work in the day
and sleep at night
oh well i’m retired
and still love life.

kjg 144pm 3 nov 2017


sometimes you see darkess
sometimes you see light
sometimes there is nothing
when everything is bright

you tought me how to worship
you tought me how to fight
now i am disabled
and you kill me in the night

i have never known the purpose
of passion for the truth
the truth will always illude us
like the decadence of youth

i hope the day goes right for you
mine has gone and wont return
they say we learn from our mistakes
but mistakes are twice interned

so it doesn’t matter how
you ultimately disappear
whatever is the present
has always been a tear

kjg 601am 3 nov 2017

The November 2017 issue of Ygdrasil, featuring work by Julian O’Dea, Joe Farley, Jack R. Wesdorp, Patricia Walsh, Christopher DeGroot and Michael Ceraolo is now available at

Going to be a very rainy two days in Ottawa, Ontario. Bank Street at the intersection of Lisgar Street where I live.

We are at the second coldest period in earth’s history and we are complaining about the heat! Still emerging from the last ice age … it will get a lot hotter before it settles down. And of course we are helping it along substantially. Bye bye human species. I wonder what the next species will be like that replaces us…

I am only what I think I am;
When I die, I will become
only what others think I was.

“A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D., or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don’t have a J.O.B.” – Fats Domino

My first Scientific American. I was 13 years old. After that I read every issue until the 80’s. I was such a nerd even the Big Bang Theory guys couldn’t compare to me.

Still the best book on Tibetan Buddhism ever written.

This is how Americans saluted the American Flag before 1943. When Hitler copied it, the USA eventually (1942) changed it to placing the hand over their hearts. It was called the Bellamy salute.

46 years ago. Hillcrest High School 1965 Class 9A. See if you can find me.

The October 2017 issue of Ygdrasil featuring poems by Maria JACKETTI, JÓZSEF BÍRÓ, Steve Stone, Gary Beck, Mark Young, Phillip O’Neil, Julian O’Dea and John Marks, is now available at http://users.synapse.net/kgerken/

I find it so hilarious that no one seems to get the fact that if you give your DNA to a company, they can sell it to others.
What you are really giving away is your most personal possession.
Does it really matter what your ancestry is? Will it make a difference in the way you live? Just think about it, the police is not allowed to collect your DNA sample without a court order, so why are you paying to give it away to a private company?

New Years Eve party 1952 – Cuxhaven – Germany

New Years Eve 1956 Cuxhaven, Germany

Today is the birthday of Nephthys, the sister of Isis and Osiris, and the sister/wife of Set. This is the final birthday celebrated in the five days ending the ancient Egyptian year.

10 July 2016. The last time all three of them were together. Ten days later Jazzie was dead.

Today is the birthday of Isis, sister and wife of Osiris, first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, goddess of the Sky.

And the snow just keeps coming down. University of Ottawa.

Today is the birthday of Horus, son of Osiris and Isis.

Isidore and Bruno in their nightly stand off. 3 AM.

Everyone’s favourite galaxy.
M31: The Andromeda Galaxy
Image Credit & Copyright: Farmakopoulos Antonis
Explanation: What is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy? Andromeda. In fact, our Galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda. Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround Andromeda’s image are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background object. Andromeda is frequently referred to as M31 since it is the 31st object on Messier’s list of diffuse sky objects. M31 is so distant it takes about two million years for light to reach us from there. Although visible without aid, the featured image of M31 is a digital mosaic of several frames taken with a small telescope. Much about M31 remains unknown, including exactly how many billions of years it will before it collides with our home galaxy.

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
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A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.

Today is the birthday of Osiris.

Today used to be New Year’s Eve under the ancient Roman Republic, until Julius Caesar changed the calendar to bring it in line with the Egyptian calendar and added five more days to make the year 365 days. The ancient Egyptians regarded the final five days of the year as sacred, celebrating the birth of their gods and goddesses.

NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland
Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/PSU/L. Townsley et al; Optical: UKIRT; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Explanation: For reasons unknown, NGC 6357 is forming some of the most massive stars ever discovered. This complex wonderland of star formation consists of numerous filaments of dust and gas surrounding huge cavities of massive star clusters. The intricate patterns are caused by complex interactions between interstellar winds, radiation pressures, magnetic fields, and gravity. The featured image includes not only visible light taken by the UKIRT Telescope in Hawaii (blue) as part of the SuperCosmos Sky Surveys, but infrared light from NASA’s orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope (orange) and X-ray light from NASA’s orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink). NGC 6357 spans about 100 light years and lies about 5,500 light years away toward the constellation of the Scorpion. Within 10 million years, the most massive stars currently seen in NGC 6357 will have exploded.

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices

A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC & Michigan Tech. U.

Poem without a title

From Poem Without A Title

Canto XXVI

4 billion years ago
we weren’t here
it was only 2 million years ago
we crawled out of the trees
and first walked the savannah
followed the nile north
and cultivated the fertile valleys
of Europe and Asia
then crossed the bearing land bridge
and spread through
the americas
just over 200 years ago
did we discover the power of steam
just over a hundred years ago flight
then two world wars
and the mass media age was born
we seem to think our species
will live forever
(some god keeps telling us that)
yet i can’t help wondering
where we will be
4 billion years from now
when the sun goes nova
or should i really care
Continue reading “Poem without a title”

October 2015 Issue of Ygdrasil

October 2015 Issue of Ygdrasil

The October 2015 Issue of Ygdrasil,  featuring work by David Flynn, Donal Mahoney, Bill Yarrow, Averil Bones, Lana Bella, and Simon Seamount is now available at http://users.synapse.net/kgerken …


new song:

fukijama clean

dont try to crawl through my window
its covered with anti-radiation lead
i wouldnt want my food to get contaminated
because i might somehow in the future end up dead

i have plastic seat covers
in my car and in my home
dont want to get a virus
dont want to get that stoned

there’s fourty miles of garbage
between the sea and me
lord let some others have it
and drink that cup of tea

i have my own organic garden
the dirts so very pristine
my carots cant be purer
than fukijama clean

dont try to crawl through my window
its covered with anti-radiation lead
i wouldnt want my food to get contaminated
because i might somehow in the future end up dead

kjg 310am 1 oct 2015



There is no truth,
never was,
and never will be:

I haven’t got a clue
what reality is,
and neither do you.

kjg 1125pm 30 sep 2015


drunkard’s song

i need a bottle get me sobre
and a bottle to get me drunk
the window to the sidewalk
is my empty traveling trunk

but i have no place i’m going
and I don’t remember where i’ve been
so bring another bottle
and send me one more dream…

kjg 30 sep 2015



i am who i am
i cant be any other
otherwise id be a lie
i am who i am – i

and who are you
are you you too
or are you just a definition
by another

seems strange to me
that we rely
so much on the great lie
that isn’t ‘i’ at all

so be it
theres you out there
and me in here
simple case of logic

nowhere there
nowhere here
i am i
you are you

i guess
you tell me

simple really
either this
or either that
unless its not my hat

kjg 1011am 10 sep 2015


September 1988 (Just after we moved to Constitution), Admiral Martin presenting me with an award for implementing the Report Management Distribution System (RMDS) for the DND Central Computation Pay System (CCPS).

Photo of Jazzie watching TV …

Photo of Klaus J. Gerken in 1979

  1. September 2015

As of today Ygdrasil has 48,017 readers in 1997 cities/towns in 123 countries on this planet.


One of the few awards that DND gave me I feel pretty good about. Only 16 people in Canada have one. Still don’t quite know what I got it for thought…


Some photos from a long time ago…5…found it in a box….


September 2015 Issue of Ygdrasil

The September 2015 Issue of Ygdrasil is now available at The Library and Archives Canada or directly at http://users.synapse.net/kgerken … featuring work by Matthew Duggan, Eric Hoffman, John Grochalski, Gary Beck, Darren C. Demaree, Steve Slavin, Robert Martin, Ajise Vincent and Cailean Jack.

August Issue Of Ygdrasil

After an insane night of work (I lost the formatting of the index files), the August 2015 issue of Ygdrasil, featuring work by Michael Ceraolo, Prerna Bakshi, Scott Thomas Outlar, Paul Tristram, Robert L. Martin, Paula Lietz, Barbara Phillips, CL Bledsoe & Michael Gushue, and Donal Mahoney, is now available at http://users.synapse.net/kgerken .

July 2015 issue of Ygdrasil

The July 2015 issue of Ygdrasil, A Journal of the Poetic Arts, featuring work by Lisa Zou, D.R. Wagner, Rony Nair, Joseph Farley, Strider Marcus Jones, Cassandra Dallett, Jonathan Beale, Michael Ceraolo, Steve Klepetar, and Mark Blickley, is now available at http://users.synapse.net/kgerken .

June 2015 issue of Ygdrasil

The June 2015 issue of Ygdrasil, A Journal of the Poetic Arts, featuring work by A.J. Huffman, Jovan Vuksanovich, Maria Jacketti, Robin Dunn, Marcus Bales, and Craig Kurtz, is now available at http://users.synapse.net/kgerken/

April 2015 Issue Of Ygdrasil

The April issue of Ygdrasil, containing work by Carolyn Gregory, Allison Grayhurst, Scott Thomas Outlar, Donal Mahoney, Michael Ceraolo, Danielle Hope, Taylor Bond, John Grey and a translation by Khaloud Al-Muttalibi, is now available at http://users.synapse.net/kgerken/

Klaus J. Gerken is on Facebook. Contact him on kgerken@rogers.com and read latest poems in Ygdrasil – a Journal of the poetic Arts.

March 2015 Issue of Ygdrasil

The March 2015 issue (263) of Ygdrasil, featuring The Blackbird Trilogy (3 plays) by Jack R. Wesdorp is now available at http://users.synapse.net/kgerken

Klaus J. Gerken is on Facebook. Contact him on kgerken@rogers.com and read latest poems in Ygdrasil – a Journal of the poetic Arts.