Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best Wishes For A Safe and Happy New Year


large fireworks finale





Why do I still have the sneaking suspicion that they all landed here by mistake?


photo of misty ghosts in a green field

I've had visitors from 142 different countries land on my blog in it's nearly three years of existence. I average about a hundred hits a day by the stats counter, but have only received a handful of comments.

I guess since I don't have much in the way of commentary or original content that's to be expected. But still, a line now and then, just to say 'hi' would be nice.

Don't get me wrong. The traffic on the counter lets me know I'm not alone. But it's a bit like living in a house full of ghosts. You feel their presence without being able to touch them or carry on a conversation.

Anyone know where I can find a 'Blog medium'?


A Winter Without Snow

    by J. D. McClatchy
 
Even the sky here in Connecticut has it,
That wry look of accomplished conspiracy,
The look of those who've gotten away

With a petty but regular white collar crime.
When I pick up my shirts at the laundry,
A black woman, putting down her Daily News,

Wonders why and how much longer our luck
Will hold.  "Months now and no kiss of the witch."
The whole state overcast with such particulars.

For Emerson, a century ago and farther north,
Where the country has an ode's jagged edges,
It was "frolic architecture."  Frozen blue-

Print of extravagance, shapes of a shared life
Left knee-deep in transcendental drifts:
The isolate forms of snow are its hardest fact.

Down here, the plain tercets of provision do,
Their picket snow-fence peeling, gritty,
Holding nothing back, nothing in, nothing at all.

Down here, we've come to prefer the raw material
Of everyday and this year have kept an eye
On it, shriveling but still recognizable--

A sight that disappoints even as it adds
A clearing second guess to winter.  It's
As if, in the third year of a "relocation"

To a promising notch way out on the Sunbelt,
You've grown used to the prefab housing,
The quick turnover in neighbors, the constant

Smell of factory smoke--like Plato's cave,
You sometimes think--and the stumpy trees
That summer slighted and winter just ignores,

And all the snow that never falls is now
Back home and mixed up with other piercing
Memories of childhood days you were kept in

With a Negro schoolmate, of later storms
Through which you drove and drove for hours
Without ever seeing where you were going.

Or as if you've cheated on a cold sickly wife.
Not in some overheated turnpike motel room
With an old flame, herself the mother of two,

Who looks steamy in summer-weight slacks
And a parrot-green pullover.  Not her.
Not anyone.  But every day after lunch

You go off by yourself, deep in a brown study,
Not doing much of anything for an hour or two,
Just staring out the window, or at a patch

On the wall where a picture had hung for ages,
A woman with planets in her hair, the gravity
Of perfection in her features--oh! her hair

The lengthening shadow of the galaxy's sweep.
As a young man you used to stand outside
On warm nights and watch her through the trees.

You remember how she disappeared in winter,
Obscured by snow that fell blindly on the heart,
On the house, on a world of possibilities.
 
 
 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Spellbound

  by Emily Brontë 

The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.

The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow.
And the storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.

Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing dear can move me;
I will not, cannot go.

Do You Think the New Year Will Be Different?


I see priests raping children.

I see a publicity-seeking nun praising pain and suffering, poverty and sickness.

I see politicians pandering for votes by demanding the persecution of gays in the name of Jesus.

I see godly men declaring that the role of women is to be silent and subservient…and brood a quiverful of children.

I see fanatics strapping explosives to their bodies and killing randomly in the name of their god.

I see lobbyists hard at work, trying to dilute science education, and suggesting that we teach the Flintstones as fact in our biology classes.

I see a pope in fancy silks and gold-bedecked palace urging people to shun materialism and savor the simple life.

I see deluded people opposing work to alleviate climate change because they’re sure God wouldn’t let it happen.

I see ordinary people certain that these are the End Times, rejoicing in our imagined imminent apocalypse, and actively working to bring it about.

If you aren’t angry, there’s something wrong with you.





Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Moment

 




The crow has flown away:
swaying in the evening sun,
a leafless tree.




















Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quilts

quilt block with four multicolored butterflies made from floral scraps
by Nikki Giovanni 
— for Sally Sellers




Like a fading piece of cloth
I am a failure

No longer do I cover tables filled with food and laughter
My seams are frayed my hems falling my strength no longer able
To hold the hot and cold

I wish for those first days
When just woven I could keep water
From seeping through
Repelled stains with the tightness of my weave
Dazzled the sunlight with my
Reflection

I grow old though pleased with my memories
The tasks I can no longer complete
Are balanced by the love of the tasks gone past

I offer no apology only
this plea:

When I am frayed and strained and drizzle at the end
Please someone cut a square and put me in a quilt
That I might keep some child warm

And some old person with no one else to talk to
Will hear my whispers

And cuddle
near



Monday, December 26, 2011

Reflecting . . .


vintage painting of santa with bag of toys in front of decorated tree





Some After Thoughts



from: For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio
 - W.H. Auden
 
Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their carboard boxes--
Some have got broken--and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week--
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted--quite unsuccesfully--
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off. But, for the time being, here we all are,
Back in the moderate Aristotelian city
Of darning and the Eight-Fifteen, where Euclid's geometry
And Newton's mechanics would account for our experience,
And the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.
It seems to have shrunk during the holidays. The streets
Are much narrower than we remembered; we had forgotten
The office was as depressing as this. To those who have seen
The Child, however dimly, however incredulously,
The Time Being is, in a sense, the most trying time of all.
For the innocent children who whispered so excitedly
Outside the locked door where they knew the presents to be
Grew up when it opened. Now, recollecting that moment
We can repress the joy, but the guilt remains conscious,
Remembering the stable where for once in our lives
Everything became a You and nothing was an It.
And craving the sensation but ignoring the cause,
We look round for something, no matter what, to inhibit
Our self-reflection, and the obvious thing for that purpose
Would be some great suffering. So, once we have met the Son,
We are tempted ever after to pray to the Father:
”Lead us into temptation and evil for our sake”.
They will come, all right, don’t worry; probably in a form
That we do not expect, and certainly with a force
More dreadful than we can imagine. In the meantime
There are bills to be paid, machines to keep in repair,
Irregular verbs to learn, the Time Being to redeem
From insignificance. The happy morning is over,
The night of agony still to come; the time is noon:
When the Spirit must practice his scales of rejoicing
Without even a hostile audience, and the Soul endure
A silence that is neither for nor against her faith
That God’s Will will be done, that, in spite of her prayers,
God will cheat no one, not even the world of its triump.



from: Christmas Poems, Ed. John Hollander.



Saturday, December 24, 2011

Here's to the Possibilities this Christmas Eve!



During Christmas Eve and Christmas Day of 1914,
British and German troops stationed along the Western Front, held an unofficial "Christmas Truce". In "No Man's Land" they exchanged gifts and pleasantries, as they drank and sang carols together. A soccer match even broke out.

pencil drawing of armed British and German soldiers shaking hands in the snow

Although the Christmas of 1914,
  itself, is now a distant memory, and might seem an impossiblity in today's world where cultural differences seem insurmountable, it remains a symbol of hope to those who believe in our shared humanity, its resilience and ability for to unify and heal.


Read the whole story:
 here, here, here, or here.





Friday, December 23, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY


How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.

– Thomas Jefferson



Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Twas The Night Before Christmas (Legal Version)

  Author Unknown  
   
 Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain  
 improved piece of real property (hereinafter "the House") a general lack of  
 stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.  
   
 A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and  
 around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/  
 St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter "Claus") would arrive at sometime  
 thereafter.  
   
 The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House, were  
 located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations,  
 i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited  
 to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in  
 said dreams.  
   
 Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as  
 "I"), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the parts of the  
 second part (hereinafter "Mamma"), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained  
 period of sleep. (At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of  
 headgear, e.g. kerchief and cap.)  
   
 Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the  
 unimproved real property adjacent and appurtent to said House, i.e. the lawn, a  
 certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of  
 the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the  
 cause of such disturbance.  
   
 At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of  
 wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter the "Vehicle") being  
 pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8)  
 reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the  
 previously referenced Claus.  
   
 Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the  
 approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal  
 co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder  
 and Blitzen (hereinafter the "Deer"). (Upon information and belief, it is  
 further asserted that an additional co-conspirator named Rudolph may have been  
 involved.)  
   
 The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer  
 intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences  
 located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle  
 was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or  
 nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or  
 implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the  
 chimney.  
   
 Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue  
 from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the  
 aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. He was smoking what  
 appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances  
 and health regulations.  
   
 Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor  
 children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts.  
 (Said items did not, however, constitute "gifts" to said minor pursuant to the  
 applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.) Upon completion of such task, Claus  
 touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of  
 the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as  
 "lookouts." Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.  
   
 However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House,  
 the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: "Merry  
 Christmas to all and to all a good night!" Or words to that effect.  
   
vintage painting of Santa sleigh and reindeer


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Thought For Today


I'd rather have a life of oh wells than what ifs




QUOTE OF THE DAY


By forgetting the past and throwing myself into other interests, I forget to worry. 

– Jack Dempsey



On a Related Note . . .








Sunday, December 18, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY


I’ve chosen to treat my life more like a party than something to stress about.

– Martin Short.


And a very Happy Birthday to my youngest.

yellow cupcake with blue icing and one candle





Saturday, December 17, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY II


[O]wners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realise that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.

- Christopher Hitchens. RIP.




white mouse holding a brown teddy bear




QUOTE OF THE DAY



And like Virgil, we must be unafraid to disappear when we have reached the end of our path, no matter what we leave behind, no matter how quickly we will be forgotten.

The lost are those who have refused, who find themselves forever trapped in the shadowed forest. They have nowhere to turn but back to dust at an agonizing pace.

We are each of us, in the end, captive to that downward tug or the wayward flight of ash. But maybe that is not so bad after all.

- Vanishing Virgil, Granta.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"What does it mean when someone can see the self-discipline of the millionaire but not the double - and triple - shifts of the working poor?

road sign of Sisyphus pushing a boulder up a hill
 
I know they work. I’m a witness.

They catch the early bus.
They work every day.

They raise other people’s children.
They work every day.

They clean streets.
They work every day.

They drive vans with cabs.
They work every day.

They change the beds you slept in these hotels last night and can’t get a union contract. They work every day. No more.

They’re not lazy. Someone must defend them because it’s right, and they cannot speak for themselves.

They work in hospitals. I know they do. They wipe the bodies of those who are sick with fever and pain. They empty their bedpans. They clean out their commode.

No job is beneath them, and yet when they get sick, they cannot lie in the bed they made up every day.

America, that is not right. We are a better nation than that."

via Peter Dorman at econospeak.

Discipline, Hard Work and Obscene Wealth

 


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY



Why is it that so many of the chemicals we choose to use in pesticides and industrial chemicals cause birth defects and so few cause spontaneous development of super powers? This reflects poorly on the foresight of chemists.



This One's for My Daughter . . .



we can do it with zombie in headlock




Monday, December 12, 2011

Reaching Out to Folks in Need


There are many ways of reaching out to people who are in need.
You can tailor your giving to your abilities and resources and still make a positive difference in the lives of those less fortunate. A quick look on the internet will bring up tons of organizations ready to accept your donations.

~ of money, resources, or time ~
pencil studies of hands










YOU CAN: 

Give Money, Give Clothing,
Give A Bag Of Groceries, 
Give Toys,
Volunteer At A Shelter, 
Volunteer At A Soup Kitchen, 
Volunteer Your Professional Talents, 
Volunteer Your Hobbies, 
Volunteer For Follow-Up Programs, 
Volunteer At Battered Women's Shelters, 
Tutor Homeless Children, 
Take Homeless Children On Trips, 
Employ the Homeless, 
Help The Homeless Apply For Aid, 
Join Habitat For Humanity, 
Write To Corporations, 
Contact Your Government Representatives (Find your state representatives), 
Push For State Homelessness Prevention Programs, . . . 


- from the Just Give Guide.
They have much more information there, check it out.
Photo Source.




Sunday, December 11, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY



Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

- Philip K. Dick,




Saturday, December 10, 2011

QUESTION of the DAY



How is 
"Tax and Spend" 
worse than 
"Don't Tax but Spend Anyway"
?

brown bear doing face palm while lying on a large rock




What Does it Rally Mean?


"There has always been a lot of misconception and disinformation about it."


The real power of the sign, its supporters say, is the reaction that it provokes - both from fans and from detractors.

Read the whole story

- from the BBC.





Friday, December 9, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY


Yes, there will be mall riots over flat-screen TVs. But maybe, just maybe, people are shopping on Black Friday because they can’t afford the prices that greedy corporations charge on a regular basis—saving up to buy things like shoes on deep discount.

And, of course, people who are suffering under the weight of economic inequality would like to have nice toys for their children and decent electronics (electronics are arguably a necessity to participate in 21st century western society) and the only time of the year they can afford such things is during the super-sales pushed on us by mega-business on Black Friday.

So, this year I do not want to hear the cultural elite decry people standing in line for discounts. The problem isn’t Black Friday super-sales.

The problem is that America is mired in deep inequalities, that the middle class is dying, and that many millions can’t afford to buy nice things for their families without waiting in long lines on Thanksgiving night for shoes.

We have become a coarser and less neighborly America, a culture where far too many—including those who will spend their Christmas wad at high-end stores rather than Black Friday sales—are not working for the common good wherein all of us share in the benefits of living in a wealthy society.







Thursday, December 8, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY



Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

- Source: House of Figs.




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"A Day That Will Live . . .


. . . in Infamy."

Those, of course, are the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Seventy years later they are still burned into a nation's consciousness.


memorial service for sailors killed in pearl harbor attack






Tuesday, December 6, 2011

SHOP LOCAL





Learn more about:




Toward the Winter Solstice

    by Timothy Steele
 
Although the roof is just a story high,
It dizzies me a little to look down.
I lariat-twirl the cord of Christmas lights
And cast it to the weeping birch’s crown;
A dowel into which I’ve screwed a hook
Enables me to reach, lift, drape, and twine
The cord among the boughs so that the bulbs
Will accent the tree’s elegant design.

Friends, passing home from work or shopping, pause
And call up commendations or critiques.
I make adjustments. Though a potpourri
Of Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and Sikhs,
We all are conscious of the time of year;
We all enjoy its colorful displays
And keep some festival that mitigates
The dwindling warmth and compass of the days.

Some say that L.A. doesn’t suit the Yule,
But UPS vans now like magi make
Their present-laden rounds, while fallen leaves
Are gaily resurrected in their wake;   
The desert lifts a full moon from the east
And issues a dry Santa Ana breeze,
And valets at chic restaurants will soon
Be tending flocks of cars and SUVs.

 
winter solstice night sky lit with stars


Some say that L.A. doesn’t suit the Yule,
But UPS vans now like magi make
Their present-laden rounds, while fallen leaves
Are gaily resurrected in their wake;   
The desert lifts a full moon from the east
And issues a dry Santa Ana breeze,
And valets at chic restaurants will soon
Be tending flocks of cars and SUVs.

And as the neighborhoods sink into dusk
The fan palms scattered all across town stand
More calmly prominent, and this place seems
A vast oasis in the Holy Land.
This house might be a caravansary,
The tree a kind of cordial fountainhead
Of welcome, looped and decked with necklaces
And ceintures of green, yellow, blue, and red.

Some wonder if the star of Bethlehem
Occurred when Jupiter and Saturn crossed;
It’s comforting to look up from this roof
And feel that, while all changes, nothing’s lost,
To recollect that in antiquity
The winter solstice fell in Capricorn
And that, in the Orion Nebula,
From swirling gas, new stars are being born.

from: Toward the Winter Solstice



Monday, December 5, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY



No honorable person is afraid from a Pen or a Camera.

- Yosri Fouda,
well-respected journalist for
BBC, AlJazeera, & now ONTV.




The Wisdom of Poets . . .


from: It's Not the Same
- by Fukunaka Tomoko

And
the enemy in the world today
is not the United States,
is not the Soviet Union
but, bridged between you and me
unidentifiable
words of silence.


from: Women Poets of Japan. Copyright 1977.






clip art of quill pen in inkwell




Sunday, December 4, 2011

. . . A Matter of Love






 The Trevor Project:






Here's what Bishop Desmond Tutu said about sexual orientation:

"This is a matter of ordinary justice. 

We struggled against apartheid in South Africa, supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about - our very skin. 

It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given. I could not have fought against the discrimination of apartheid and not also fight against the discrimination that homosexuals endure, even in our churches and faith groups.

I am proud that in South Africa, when we won the chance to build our own new constitution, the human rights of all have been explicitly enshrined in our laws. 

My hope is that one day this will be the case all over the world, and that all will have equal rights. For me this struggle is a seamless robe. 

Opposing apartheid was a matter of justice. Opposing discrimination against women is a matter of justice. Opposing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a matter of justice.

It is also a matter of love. 

Every human being is precious. We are all - all of us - part of God's family. We all must be allowed to love each other with honour. Yet all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are persecuted. 

We treat them as pariahs and push them outside our communities. We make them doubt that they too are children of God. This must be nearly the ultimate blasphemy."

- quoted by David Popcock,



The Mahogany Tree

    by William Makepeace Thackeray
 
trunk and canopy of a mahogany tree 
 Christmas is here;  
Winds whistle shrill,  
Icy and chill,  
Little care we;  
Little we fear 
Weather without,  
Shelter’d about  
The Mahogany Tree.  
  
Once on the boughs  
Birds of rare plume
Sang, in its bloom;  
Night birds are we;  
Here we carouse,  
Singing, like them,  
Perch’d round the stem    
Of the jolly old tree.  . . .

  
Find the rest of the poem here.
 
 
 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY



Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time;
serenity, that nothing is.


  – Thomas Szasz

Friday, December 2, 2011

An Event Which Makes No News

- Shinkawa Kazue

tree trunk that looks like a woman with outstretched arms
Did you see in the shadowy woods
a branch grew, leaves came out
of a girl's pliant extended arms
and quickly became a tree?
Did you see?
A youth stood by the tree,
took off his deep blue coat,
and in a moment became a dove?

(The telephone keeps ringing, ringing.
   Nobody answers, nobody is there, today is
   Sunday)

When the lights go on on the suburban trains,
People come back to their office buildings
wearing the face of human beings.

Haven't you heard the story?
In the nearby meadow,
one or two unknown horses have lingered on
these days after a holiday.

(The telephone keeps ringing, ringing.
   Nobody answers.
   Nobody is there. Eventually, it's Monday)


from: Women Poets of Japan. Copyright 1977.
Photo Source.



Thursday, December 1, 2011

Yes, You Did

white owlet peeking through the grass



A bather whose clothing was strewed,
By winds that left her quite nude,
Saw a man come along,
And unless we are wrong,
You expected this line to be lewd.




QUOTE OF THE DAY




Zugzwang is a term used in chess to refer to a position where every move you have is a bad one.

Once you’re in zugzwang, things like having more pieces than your opponent doesn’t matter anymore. If you can’t use them to attack you may as well not have them at all. Often players who find themselves in zugzwang simply resign.

A growing number of people in America know what it feels like to be in zugzwang. For some of them their whole life has been one long zugzwang, they can’t remember ever having any good options.

Without catching a lucky break, a lifetime of hard work for most people results in just that—a lifetime of hard work.

For others they maybe once thought they had it all—a good job with a pension, a nice house with a payment they could afford, set for life. Then in an instant it all disappeared. House is underwater, ARM is popping on the loan, pension fund bought a bunch of mortgage-backed securities.

All that’s left is utter, hopeless zugzwang.

Sadly this, if nothing else, is what unites us. This dreadful unease. This feeling that every option we have is a bad one. And this resentment we feel from being told that it has to be this way, that there are no other options, because these are the rules of the game.

But like Poe said, “there’s games and then there’s life. They ain’t the same thing.” It doesn’t have to be this way.

In chess, you don’t have to resign in zugzwang. You can always sacrifice. . . .

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Haiku for Today


a full moon shining through clouds in the night sky


On the road through the clouds
Is there a short cut
To the summer moon?





from: Women Poets of Japan. Copyright 1977.



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ariel


Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue   
Pour of tor and distances.

God’s lioness,   
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees!—The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to   
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,

Nigger-eye   
Berries cast dark   
Hooks—

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,   
Shadows.
Something else

Hauls me through air—
Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.

White
Godiva, I unpeel—
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.   
The child’s cry

Melts in the wall.   
And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive   
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.
from: Collected Poems. Copyright 1960.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Graffiti as Social Commentary








Stressed? Looking for solace in an increasingly turbulent world?




And
Let
Go
!


In the Military Mobile Hospital

 by - Elisha Porat

Who was born like me, in 1938,
Who looked for partners in his trip through life;
What other baby was conveyed home on the floor
Of an armored bus, while his young mother
Knelt over him, sheltering;
Or who else became a tourist 
crossing over alien lands
his whole life but leaving 
behind his shuddering 
heart, flapping back there, 
still in the military mobile hospital?
 
Always I remind myself:
We were only one year old when
The fate of our world was moulded and altered
by a bloodbath, and our first words --
Compressed words, bad words -- became
Precisely the ancient amulet.
translated from the Hebrew by
the
author and Ward Kelley

Copyright 2006.




Sunday, November 27, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY



"There’s a fucking art to the first term because you’re always running for a second term the whole time. It’s like Clinton’s first term. You can’t really do your gangsta shit until your second term. … 

Even Bush couldn’t really fuck up the world until his second term. That’s when he put the hammer down. 

I’m like everybody, I want more action. But I understand that he’s trying not to piss off a lot of people. 

But I believe wholeheartedly if he’s back in, he’s going to do some gangsta shit,"




Saturday, November 26, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY



Thanks to “Anonymous,” undergraduates will be confidently asserting that Shakespeare wasn’t Shakespeare for the next 10 years at least, and profs will have to waste countless hours explaining the obvious. 

“Anonymous” subscribes to the Oxfordian theory of authorship, the contention that Edward de Vere, the 17th earl of Oxford, wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Among Shakespeare scholars, the idea has roughly the same currency as the faked moon landing does among astronauts.





Friday, November 25, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Am Thankful.



My motto has always been, "It could always be worse."

In spite of everything that has happened in the past few years, I still have much for which to be truly grateful. And I am.

For me, a part of being grateful is reaching out to others in need. And I hope not only to remember those for whom life has not been as kind, but to 'pay it forward.' It doesn't take much.

In this Holiday season, so mired in uncertainty, turmoil, and fear, I wish for you, my dear readers, security and love.







Happy Thanksgiving







HAPPY HOLIDAYS, If Even for a Little While


Occupy Cleveland Saves Woman’s Home From Imminent Foreclosure.



After her husband left her and refused to provide any real support, Beth Sommerer was due to be evicted from her home today, along with her children.

But at the last moment, she made a desperate plea to the protesters of Occupy Cleveland. Soon afterward, Occupy Cleveland pitched its tents in Sommerer’s yard, vowing not to move unless she was allowed to stay in her home.

On Monday, a local court gave in and gave a 30-day stay on the eviction order.







sunrise in oranges and yellows




QUOTE OF THE DAY

 
Certainly this is no time for any of us to stop thinking about the social and economic problems which are the root cause of the social revolution which is today a supreme factor in the world. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy.

The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.

Jobs for those who can work.

Security for those who need it.

The ending of special privilege for the few.

The preservation of civil liberties for all.

The enjoyment -- The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.




Wednesday, November 23, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY




 "Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend."







I Found This On BEN'S TEN, And It Needs To Be Shared Far And Wide . . .


picture of Congress in session



Let's shout it from the rooftops!



THIS SANE IDEA
by Hafiz

Let your
Intelligence begin to rule
Whenever you sit with others
Using this sane idea:
Leave all your cocked guns in a field
Far from us,
One of those damn things
Might go
Off.


THE SAD GAME
by Hafiz

Blame
Keeps the sad game going.
It keeps stealing all your wealth–
Giving it to an imbecile with
No financial skills.
Dear one,
Wise
Up.


SOURCE: ben's ten.
Hafiz, and Daniel James. Ladinsky. The Gift: Poems by the Great Sufi Master. New York: Penguin Compass, 1999.




To Recent Arrivals

by Anonymous


Is our land still the same
As we dimly recall
With plenty of room
For the great and the small?
Has there been any change
From the old, well-loved scenes
In the Bronx, or in Brooklyn,
Long Island or Queens?

Does the water still sing
‘Mid the rocks and the rills
Of the tiny trout streams in the clean Berkshire hills?
Does the draftee’s step drag
With a touch of the blues
As each juke box in Natchez
Blares forth “Born to Lose”?

Do the geese flying south
Rend the dawn with their call?
Did they crown a new “Ice King”
Up there in St. Paul?
Do the trains whistle yet,
Clear and sweet as a flute
As they speed thru the darkness
Towards Billings and Butte?

Do the stockmen still stroll
In a tight little clan
With their boots striking sparks
In the streets of Cheyenne?
Do the gay lights of Frisco
Make sport of the dark
As you gaze over town
From the “top of the Mark”?

Is our land just the same
As it was long ago?
Please tell us, compadres,
We’re wanting to know.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Haiku for Today


snow on delicate branches silhouetted against a blue sky
 
Silently
time passes.
The only life I have
submits to its power.

- Hatsui Shizue



from: Women Poets of Japan. Copyright 1977.




Scholastic Offers Teachers


Step-by-Step
with
some favorite authors.

spot lit hand writing in journal


Learn with: 
Jack Prelutsky (1-4), 
Karla Kuskin (4-8), 
Jean Marzollo (2-5) . . .

Check out the Teacher's Guide here.


QUOTE OF THE DAY



Please believe me when I say that this is not a story about Penn State or some other corrupt organization. Characterizing what happened in State College, particularly the failures of so many adults to report the abuse, as the product of some morally bankrupt institution is a way of convincing ourselves that we are outsiders to these sinister forces.

It is no different from calling Sandusky a "monster." That is soothing, I realize.

But it also lets us off the hook too easily, allowing us to avoid asking hard questions about what happens, or can happen, in our own backyards.

The Penn State cover-up could have, and undoubtedly has, happened at many other institutions, including those you most care about.


Don’t content yourself with demanding something of Penn State, or big-time college sports.


While that might make you feel better, it won’t prevent the next tragedy.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Poppies in October

red poppies against a blue sky

by Sylvia Plath  


Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts.   
Nor the woman in the ambulance
Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly——

A gift, a love gift
Utterly unasked for   
By a sky

Palely and flamily
Igniting its carbon monoxides, by eyes   
Dulled to a halt under bowlers.

O my God, what am I
That these late mouths should cry open
In a forest of frost, in a dawn of cornflowers.

from: Collected Poems. Copyright © 1960.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

 
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms.

Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!"
-Samuel Adams