By Francois Villion

I die of thirst beside the fountain
I’m hot as fire, I’m shaking tooth on tooth
In my own country I’m in a distant land
Beside the blaze I’m shivering in flames
Naked as a worm, dressed like a president
I laugh in tears and hope in despair
I cheer up in sad hopelessness
I’m joyful and no pleasure’s anywhere
I’m powerful and lack all force and strength
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

I’m sure of nothing but what is uncertain
Find nothing obscure but the obvious
Doubt nothing but the certainties
Knowledge to me is mere accident
I keep winning and remain the loser
At dawn I say “I bid you good night”
Lying down I’m afraid of falling
I’m so rich I haven’t a penny
I await an inheritance and am no one’s heir
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

I never work and yet I labor
To acquire goods I don’t even want
Kind words irritate me most
He who speaks true deceives me worst
A friend is someone who makes me think
A white swan is a black crow
The people who harm me think they help
Lies and truth today I see they’re one
I remember everything, my mind’s a blank
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.

Merciful Prince may it please you to know
I understand much and have no wit or learning
I’m biased against all laws impartially
What’s next to do? Redeem my pawned goods again!
Warmly welcomed, always turned away.


I’ve loved this poem since I discovered it in high school. However, I prefer the translation, “Loved by all and hated by everyone” rather than “warmly welcomed, always turned away.”

Cloud Chamber


I finally did it. I have unlocked all the nodes in the Cloud Chamber with a total of 28 hours of play since beginning June 23. Not bad when the stats say only 2.3 percent of the people who begin the game ever get that far. I am officially a happy camper.

A mysterious package

WeddingInvitation Upon returning home from work today, I found a mysterious package on my doorstep.

Literally. The mail carrier had slipped it between the screen and the door as is her habit when packets arrive.

Upon opening it, I discovered a newspaper and four odd artifacts. One was a government pamphlet on how to survive a nuclear holocaust, which I suppose is always a helpful thing. Sadly, the advice seems a bit outdated. There was also a note from her grace, Duchess Anna Sophia AbsinthSpoonMerguez, an invitation to the launch of some charity she was backing. The third was a wedding invitation which I have reproduced above. And, of course, the most charming of the four items, also shown here, an absinth spoon bearing the mark of Hill’s Absinth … a company which makes and markets absinth in the original Czech fashion. On the reverse side of the spoon, the symbol of a certain secret society is engraved.

They’ve already added one bit of information to an ongoing mystery, but I’m afraid they may have raised more questions than they’ve answered.



My daughter Emily and her best friend Whitney spending the weekend in my livingroom. The irony is that they are playing a board game about cleaning rooms, something I don’t believe my daughter has experienced in real life.

I love small towns

One of the things I love about small towns is the flexibility of your day.

squirrelThis morning, I spoke with a young lady about getting photos of 60 women who attended the Cotton Blossoms Cotillion into the paper at 8:55 a.m. and then left for my 9 a.m. appointment at the mayor’s office.

The meeting was with the head of economic development, the parish police jury president, the director of public works and the engineer who’s designing the 4,400 feet of road work between the main drag and the high school and hospital. They’re applying for a $1 million capital outlay grant. So, that’s kind of serious, grown-up stuff.

But as I left town hall to walk back across the street to my office, I ran into this fellow in the town hall parking lot. He was concerned that there was too much human foot traffic between town hall and the post office and it was disrupting the important work of being a squirrel.

You gotta love fall mornings in northeast Louisiana.