My Gentle Harp

Page One hundred one

Thursday 16 Sept 2010         Turners contorting

website ~~~~~~~~~~~~}


                                                My gentle harp,
                                             once more I waken
                             the sweetness of thy slumbering strains.
                                                     In tears
                                       our last farewell was taken.
                                               And now in tears
                                                we meet again.


                                                            ~~   thomas moore


So this is my harp. A small 12-string reproduction of a design from the Middle Ages. I’m supposed to be writing a piece of music for my stolen animals on this little instrument, a piece I started in July. But…  it is extremely difficult to make music of any kind since the events of 2008. The piece is maybe one-third finished, and I don’t know when, or if, I’ll go back to it.

I bought the harp in 2007, only months before everything was over. Had only months to fool around and play little songs for my animals to hear. Not that they cared one way or the other whether I played little songs on the harp for them or not. But I cared.

I said good-bye to it in March 2008, when things were being sent off to storage, and hello again in May the same year, when I moved into the rented bedroom and rescued Benazir (so I named the harp) from said storage. And then in August, fleeing Greenfield, I left it again, and didn’t get it back from someone’s barn for nearly two years, until May 2010.


(part of the book Being Toward Death)





Page One hundred

… come to the fair…     from an old song in an old musical

Wednesday 15 September 2010         Turners twisting

Franklin County, the epicenter in Massachusetts of ignorance, mean-spiritedness, and alchoholism, has just had its annual coounty fair. September 9-12. I was not in attendance. There are no more fairs for me.

But I did go to the fair in 2008, the year my life was surgically excised from me, while I was still waiting around for Matthew’s people to locate me somewhere. It was a big mistake.

The fair was lousy, and it becomes moreso every year. Less and less like a county fair, and more and more and more like a trade fair.

And some of Matthew’s people were there, dogging my every step.

And I was dogged also by memories of me and the fair in the days of my own life. Going there with my daughter, or both my mother and my daughter, or a friend. And always setting off from a real apartment with my animals and my belongings inside, saying goodbye, and saying hello to it all again when I returned. Not knowing a damned thing about what my dead grandfather had been and how he had really died. Absent of mobs, feds and other psychopathic clubs. A 55-year way of life that’s gone, robbed away by inexcusable, irredeemable people.

No more fairs for me. Stloen along with the animals, like many other parts of who I was.

This is my 100th post on the braonwandering blog. Imagine that…..  website

(marshmallow man at

september, she’ll remember

Page Ninety-six

Wednesday 1 September 2010     turners turns more acrid

1. Thursday 2 September 2010

Sally     gentle yellow girl, for charlie and all of us

                                      1989  —  Thursday 1 Sept 1994

2. Thursday 9 September 2010

                Bandit        bandy blandiens bendybones bum

                              3 Sept 1986  —  sun 19 Feb 1995

                Mindy        pitty dahling, lady romance arrives

                             5 Sept 1988  —  5 Nov 2004

                Beavis       methuselah of bunnies, high jumper arrives

                           5 Sept 1993  —  Monday 9 Sept 2002

                Judah        child of the sweet blue eyes arrives

                               6 Sept 1994  —  When?  nno one will tell

                 Andie       gentle lady; so patient with Jake

                               1990  —  6 Sept 1996

                  Tiki     wonderful child and sister and wife

                               25 December 1991  —  7 September 2000

                  Danny    the pipes, the pipes are calling

                                1990  —  Fri 8 Sept 1995

                  R.W. Shea      13 Sept 1960  —  Fri 5 Sept 2003

                             I only partially understand the thing

3. Friday 9 Sept 2010

                  Zoë-Jane      darkest day:   tá brón mor orm   

                                        April 1995  —  Wed 10 Sept 2003

4.              Baby Alex          so soon, the day is gone

                                      Nov  2001   —    12 Sept 2005

5.              Caibhan       big strong buckeroo, tá brón orm

                                     6 Oct 1996  —  Sun 16 Sept 2001

6. tardy, tardy

                                     Steve Irwin, September 2006

                                                 a brave man

7.  Wednesday 22 September 2010:  The Princess, the Tin-Pot dictator, my lady and    mistress, Shiloh-Chailín the guinea pig is ONE year old. Lang soll sie leben.

8. Wednesday 29 September 2010

All the animals were soulmates, but you were the mega-mate of my soul

                Mugsy       17 March 1990  —  Friday 29 Sept 2006







Page Eighty-nine

Wednesday 4 August 2010           Turners casualty

If you think that there’s only so much other people can take away from you… or that there’s only so much a below-the-poverty-line disability check can deprive you of… or that there’s only so much Asperger’s syndrome and a sick immune system can ruin for a person…   I’d ask you to think again, and think again more deeply…

Asperger’s symtoms have done a great deal over 57 years to prevent my being loved, or liked, or included, or accepted, or valued — in many different situations and with many different kinds of neurotypical people. This has kept me from having a support system, a set of humans on whom I can rely, whom I know for certain care today and will still care tomorrow. Not to mention the number of direct, vicious attacks my oddness has stimulated in many people who like to bully and control what they don’t like or understand. And my immune system has prevented me from birth from working or playing or pursuing my interests to the same level that a healthy person can. Even in my working years, I could never work 40 or 60 hours a week, or more (as other single mothers I knew could) in order to have a downpayment and get that house.

The income, currently less than $1000 a month in today’s economy, with today’s prices, isn’t even high enough for me to have qualified for Habitat for Humanity, and other low-income home-buying programs. I checked into these things in 2003, when we had a lying, alcoholic landlord with an even sneakier woman-pal. I wanted my animals and me to be safe from the whims and underhandedness and plain meanness of anymore psychologically screwed up landlords in Turners Falls. I wanted the personal freedom to live my own way on my own property. Forget it.

And what other people will take? They have taken everything. Everything that mattered. Another mentally ill landlady took my apartment in an illegal eviction. The DMH allowed me to be put on the streets, and made arrangements behind my back to have my animals scattered to various places, and later euthanized. No rental unit of my own for over two years. No animals, the center of my existence. No love, no companionship, no sharing, no joy. 

And without the animals… no more radio shows that I enjoyed, or reading print books, or drawing, or the huge variety of music that we listened to, because I’m no longer able to do these things without the family I had around me. No more walking in nature with my cats and dogs, something that was one of the biggest pleasures in my deliberately quiet, reclusive life.

 Share ~~~~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


august, die she must

Page Eighty-eight

1. Tuesday 3 August 2010

          Stovie            all the ways you were cheated

                                March 1997 – Tues 1 Aug 2000

           Chani, China, Sammy, Elliot     Tues 7 Aug 1991  lá an-sóna

2. Friday 6 August 2010

                           Zoë, Bruce, Spot, Blaise, Chloë and Shiloh

                                            Thursday 7 August 1992

                                                      lá an-sóna: aris

              W. Philip S.        12 March 1956 — Friday 7 Aug 2009

3. Wednesday 11 August 2010

                    Jay-Jay     her bluebird of happiness, once

                                     1980  —  11 august 1997

                    Mó Bhríd            lighter of bulbs and chimeringer

                        sat  11 aug 2001  —  the theft on 9 july 2003

                   Cinnamon         the unusual voice of spice

                        1991  —  friday 11 aug 1997

4. Wednesday 18 August 2010

                           Louise B.  —————   1950 — 18 Aug 2007

5. Friday 21 Aug 2010

        Toblerone Macaroni Baloney     best dad, best hubby

                              Dec 1990  —  Thurs 21 Aug 2003

6. Tuesday 24 Aug 2010

                           Cíaran       6 Oct 1996  —  24 Aug 1998

                                             gentle brother

             25 August 1985  —  We move from Amherst to Turners Falls. The

             most colossal mistake I ever made, bar none.  A descent into malignant

             ignorance and meanness unmatched by any other I’d ever seen.  A mistake

             that cost me, though it took many years, everything that I lived for.


~~~~~~~~ website  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


june, she’ll change her tune

Page Seventy-seven

1. Wednesday 2 June 2010

    Smart Birdie              I wish I were a tiny sparrow

                                 Spring 1989 – Wed 2 June 1999

2. Friday 18 June 2010

    Aram, Abel, Chani   ~~    Stolen, murdered was hardly the future I wanted for you on the happy day of your birth — at the bottom of a farcical pile of laundry. I don’t forget what vicious people did.

          20 June 2000 – when? in 2008. No one will tell.

Twelfth fatherless father’s day; can it be that many so soon. Oh, once you gave me a Greek sailor’s hat, but you never gave me your father, not the truth.

3. 24 June 2010

                  Zoë-Jane comes to us on June 4, 1995, from Erving, having been born in April. Run over by my landlord in the driveway on Wed 10 Sept 2003.

               Mandy, born in 1994 somewhere, comes on June 29 in 1995, from the canal. Stolen on 12 March 2008, taken to a “foster” home (where?), not allowed to have visits by me, probably euthanised by now, but what was the date of his death? No one will tell. In Turners Falls, as horrible gossips and diarrhea-mouths as they are, they keep their traps well shut when they want to.

~~~~~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~~~~

all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2011 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.





oh very young…

Page Seventy-five

Monday 17 May 2010                          Turners

what will you leave us this time?  —  cat stevens, before he was a muslim

I had an email today from someone I grew up with, someone I haven’t heard from since 1977. It was a nice email, not nasty or insulting in any way. I wasn’t called a delusional (this person found my website yesterday and thence my email).

She says I opened the door to literature for her way back when I was a teenager, and I’m frozen like the deer in the headlights to think that I had a positive effect on this girlhood friend when I was a know-it-all, depressed, Asperger’s weirdo teenager. That she even remembers my name and my existence is a great surprise, because I thought she’d forgotten all those things years ago. She even heard in the late 80’s that I was teaching at UMass. Heard it all that long time ago, and how?

Even a nonconformist, leftist, atheist Asperger’s misfit like Anne Nakis has sewn a few good seeds among humans along the way. But it’s always a tremendous shock to learn of one of those seeds. Because while I knew all my life that I gave good things to animals, good things that did them good, I have always felt myself on tremendously quaking ground with humans.

Hello to you again, my friend from the days of poker, piano and the power of the naive young. Thank you.


And now it’s September, and the communication between me and my girlhood friend continues.  I’m very grateful for this on many levels. First, because I’m more alone than ever in my life, now that the animals were taken and killed. Second, because she’s the smartest person I currently have in my life. The tremendous relief in talking to someone who is your intellectual equal is like ice water to a desert-trekker. And third, because, misfit as I am, she doesn’t try to change me, to re-make me into someone she could find more acceptable. Warts and all, I am accepted by her. Warts and all, I am valued by her. An extremely rare event in my existence, I can tell you. And she’s as atheistic as I am. I never have to hear “I’ll pray for you,” or “Maybe it’s god’s will,” or any other such simplistic and evasive drivel.


And she is equally valued by me. The heartbreak in this sweet picture is that we live so far apart, and cannot spend time together face-to-face. But I want to thank this friend who first appeared in my life when she was two years old, and to thank her in blogworld: In the absolute darkest time of my 57 years, you came back again, holding a small but nonetheless very beautiful candle. It shines for me every single time we write, or talk. Ten thousand tweet-thanks.

website   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


gale on a glen

Page Seventy-four

Friday 14 May 2010                   Turners and turpitude

A couple of weeks ago I ate in one of the local restaurants, one in which I have eaten many, many times in earlier years of the Turners Falls crucible. I ate alone, of course, but I sat in a place where my daughter and I often sat in those years.

Many things are not the same as they were in those other years. Daughter doesn’t live here anymore. Restaurant has a new owner, new prices, somewhat different menu. I no longer have  my own life, and my animals.

But as I sat there, remembering back to when I ate in that restaurant with my parents, with my daughter, with various friends, and alone — all back in the days of my own life — there was the usual pain in the chest, the usual tears, the usual wish that I could die right where I sat. I didn’t. And this never ceases to baffle me: how can a human heart and soul be permeated with such an enormous volume of pain and rage and despair without causing the body to just cease? Don’t understand it. The cells ought to just collapse. But they didn’t, and I continued being alive.


So I got up to go to the register and pay, and suddenly something else came over my heart. A gale of cold, icy anger. At myself. If  I had never moved to this horrible place in 1985, then my daughter and my father and my mother would never, ever have sat in this restaurant. They would  never even have heard of it. It was my doing that my kid and I came here. We were the reason my parents ever got into their car and drove to this cesspool.  All my fault, that my family members ever walked the streets of this poisonous town.

As an outsider from the east, I couldn’t have known what the people here were like before I moved here: I realize that. Nonetheless, I feel tremendous self-reproach that it was I who caused Turners Falls to ever be a factor in my human family’s life, and in the lives of my animals.

~~~~~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Share  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 


may it be that i join you

 Page Seventy-three

1. Tuesday 4 May 2010

     Zachary….   funny toes, zachariah

            spring 1995 – tuesday 1 may 2001

     Sugar….   come to the canal with me this once

             april 1991 to friday 2 may 1997

    Zoë….   twisted pinto sister

              thursday 7 august 1992 to wednesday 3 may 1995

3. Monday 10 May 2010

      Peter II….   so soon, so soon the day is gone

               fall 1982 to mother’s day 1983

     Juliana….   juliane kar dansk?

              2001 – 9 may 2003

      Sadie Andrews Field….       I just know…

              1890  –  8 may 1988

4. Tuesday 18 May 2010

        Silky…  why not a guinea pig for a pal

                fall 1987  –  15 may 1989

      A brand-new robin….    Sunday 16 May 2010     

                  mea maxima culpa, tá brón orm

      Groucho….   ‘you’ll never know he’s around, dad’

                  Dec 1974 to 18 May 1990

      Here’s the future on a lucky plate, the day you say you graduate

                          Sunday 18 May 1975, Boston University

5. Monday 24 May 2010

     Monday 28 May 2007 ~~   The last Memorial Day of my own life

                                       the last with my animals

6. Wednesday 26 May 2010

      Wednesday 28 May 1997 — the hell years begin

      Matthäus….   if a picture paints 1000 words

                fall 1974 – 31 May 1978     

      Smoky….   start of the western mass family

                1984 – 31 May 1988

      ~~~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


friday 30 april 2010

Page Seventy-one

Turners sprouting snowflake trees…

for my fourteen stolen friends:                                                                                                    

~~~  Hello… in the last day of April, crabapple snow. We should be together  in these petals. Thank the frigging humans that we’re not. Remember what I so often told you; remember it even in death if that’s do-able: human beings ruin everything.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


« Older entries