As Day 31 Came To A Close, Puff The Magic Dragon

I wrote this at the end of Thursday, August 31, 2017

so…as this day begins to wind down… I know it is not over YET…but it IS winding down…. we know it is completely wound down when I start to fall asleep doing whatever it is I am doing…that could be at the computer….it could be playing the guitar…LOL… has happened (this one is rare…lol), just saying….I am not THERE yet…..

As this day is winding down… tao… the tao… wise sayings of the buddha…No… I don’t know what they all are… I just know they are…lol… wise sayings…. that was a typo…as the day is winding tao…. I thought that was particularly appropriate…

sorry, lol…. sometimes my brain is soooooo distractible…it doesn’t matter how i spell distractible …it still comes up red lined… i checked it….i am goood……lol…. okay, okay already…to the point..

I went to the place in New Haven on Temple Street…23 Temple St., Musical lntervention….just down the block from the Omni Hotel… and I went to a song writing workshop, and then listened to the house band (got pulled up…literally… to play my harmonica and sing some back up vocals on one song), and for some reason I feel very comfortable there…

I am going to teach a workshop there, on Tibetan overtone chanting…. and also get some practice performing, and working with a band…all very good things

I also ran into my mentor from Smilow….if I was 30 seconds later, I would not have seen him nor gotten to talk to him today…and it was very good to talk to him…about mindfullness meditation and about the meditation center in New Haven… so it was a nice “coincidence” (not)…I also noticed two of the people there had Hebrew symbols tatooed on their arm…one had a star of david and the other had the hebrew letter for “life”…. has me thinking for the first time ever… whether I would consider something like that…

Jews in the concentration camp at Auschwitz had numbers tatooed on their left forearm (over 400,000 prisoners at Auschwitz received these markings …keep in mind that the prisoners (various nationalities, not just Jews) who were murdered in the gas chambers upon arrival, were not issued numbers…just the workers…male and female…so countless others died without any identification…I just looked up this this information…the sheer enormity of numbers is yet again bringing tears to my eyes…

so on the one hand the thought of a tatoo makes me uncomfortable..because of this association…by the same token…or…on the other hand…to mark myself as a jew…. is something I would think could be dangerous in a world that could go sicko crazy…if you are counting hands we are about to use a third one…but for some reason there is this pull to not hide, to be known, to mark my skin with some meaningful symbol… to be proud to show a sign of my heritage….maybe also as a reminder that soooooo many people died horrible deaths at the hands of other human beings…well…not sure they were human beings…some kind of twisted abberations..I will have to let this one incubate, to bubble bubble toil and trouble…..bubble in the cauldron a little before I do anything….

where the hell am I in this post…It wasn’t the tatoos that made me feel comfortable there…it was just a feeling I get when I am there…like I belong…there is a mix of all nationalites there … I have not spent that much time there, but the time so far has just felt like I have found something that speaks to me… we shall see

So…how does this fit into my day, the last day of August, the last day of your Birthday month. It is a piece of the JOY part. It is music which is food for the soul. It is being around performers, which is a way I used to identify myself a thousand years ago. It is an opportunity to both give something and get something. And in the words of that song…Michael Buble does it but Nina Simone’s version I like better….I’m feeling good…I will post it…

I want to rewrite the end of puff the magic dragon…it is too sad… here are the two stanzas that still make me tooo sad and i want to rewrite……….

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane
Without his life-long friend, Puff could not be brave
So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave, oh!

I guess Jackie Paper grew up? and so he did not come any more? Written by a 19 year old Cornell University engineering student from Brooklyn, NY, Leonard Lipton is now 74. The myth that this song is about marijuana is just that, a myth, started by a New York newspaper columnist and perpetuated by Newsweek who interviewed Lipton about it.

His lyrics or rather his poem, was inspired by a poem call “A Tale of Custard the Dragon”, published by Ogden Nash in 1936. The puff story is a lot like Peter Pan. So I was sort of correct.

Anyway, it is toooo sad. Needs a more uplifting end. And on that note…. I will find Nina Simone and post her song.

Goodnight Em…..reminds me of Goodnight Mrs. Kalabash, wherever you are, a line of Jimmy Durante’s. Google him if you have not heard of him. Goodnight Em, I think I touched a few hearts today, and some touched mine. Isn’t that what it is all about anyway???? And just so you know, my facebook picture with Max, still evokes such a strong feeling of connection.


Revised: an adult not ashamed to show love and a happier end to the story…. this song needs fantasy, not reality, for children and adults…(still kids at heart)

A dragon lives forever, But little children grow to be big boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for big boy toys

One fine night it happened Jackie Paper was grown up tall
But he loved Puff even more so now/ winter, spring, summer and fall
OR /As he ducked under the dragon cave wall

Puff sailed now proudly his head the clouds above
Puff had an adult on board not ashamed to show his love
His life long friend made Puff brave as brave could be
And Puff that mighty dragon roared and lived each day happily


There…now I don’t cry that Puff died of loneliness because his friend grew up, sorry, that is just toooo brutal for me…I like mine so much better…and it makes me cry that an adult can be affectionate and they can still be friends…but they are tears of joy not pain, sorrow, suffering, loneliness… whewwwww…I guess I am just a softy romantic… I do not know what I am… no labels…but I know what I like and don’t like…and I like mine better….so there…maybe I will start a reprise of the song with revised lyrics…. so there….lol…. Neal Harvey…… good day! (I am going to have a pen name….Neal Harvey….. Harvey was my dad…so it fits, and he liked Paul Harvey’s stories)

Neal Klein
Life After Emilee, on the loss of my wife to pancreatic cancer. I’m not accepting comments right now but please feel free to get in touch via my Contact page.