The Pen…by poet Charles Yonkings

The Pen

There is a bang
as the gavel
strikes the bench.
My mind unravels
from the sentence
that is imposed
Just another case closed
and life as I know it ends…
Ten years thrice to
serve in the pen.

But then
I pick up my pen
and start to live again.
With each stroke of  ink
I transcend
my transgressions,
release
my repressions.
And for the first time
I am truly free
because of the pen.

©Charles Yonkings,2016

The tyranny of fear, reblogged from “420 ways to reach the sun.”

(Here is a new-to-me site I found yesterday. I really like the site, theme and layout, and especially the content. This article on the inconsistencies and idiocracies of politics and the “will of people.”   I really relate to what the author says., and the way in which she writes. I have written elsewhere about my personal experience with fear and sanitation of war back in the 1940s when young children knew all about the chances of surviving a nuclear blast and could discuss it sensibly. ( I will re-post my Me and the War next.)  Thank you, ginsberg420!   🙂

420 ways to reach the sun

The face of fear has no expression.

Heaving dreams are hard to realize in a world where being a pacifist is akin to being a “radical idealist”. I remember when my father called me that. In this entire political rhetoric of normalization of war, it’s the opposition that is demonized. It’s a tragedy to be 20 and deprived of the privilege of being naïve. Never mind the fact that he owns more than the rest of the country put together. Never mind his disregard for the value of human life. Never mind the heaving dreams he stepped on with a smirk in his head. Never mind his rage, his tyranny, his plutocracy, his fast flying drones. Never mind.

Growing up to the politics of war hasn’t been easy, but watching a hateful, angry plutocrat get elected as one of the most influential men in the world has shaken me. Not…

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Extradition…by poet Charles Yonkings

Extradition

Click go the cuffs
clamped on wrists,
rubbed raw
from the irons’
cold embrace.
Legs shackled,
chained at the ankles,
Crammed
in a cargo van
Filled
with fellow fugitives
on a journey
across country
to fulfill fate’s wishes
and the desire of destiny.

©Charles Yonkings, 2016

Mad Woman (Still) Searching for Lost Things (2)

Previously I re-posted an article I wrote two years ago.    I haven’t learned much since, when it comes to finding lost things.

The issue with the lost books from my inventory continues.    Yesterday’s book was right where it was supposed to be.   However, I won’t get complacent, because many of my books are not where I expect to find them.   The thing about that is annoying, but usually ends up with the book being found without much delay.    Only once in the years I have been selling books online have I had to run to HalfPriceBooks and buy another copy.

The search now involves a rotary slide holder, filled with slides and stored in the original yellow Kodak box the tray came in originally.    These slides are part of a slide-show production I put together to entertain my university class in World Civilizations, specifically a   2-credit course required of all students.   The courses were specifically designed History classes in world areas such as Latin America, Africa, Middle East…and many others.   The classes were usually chosen by students based on the time-slot as it fit in with their other classes, rather than any particular interest in a world region.

My presentation dealt with Mexican archeological sites in Yucatan including  Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, and Tuluum.  Obviously the slides that I selected were the ones I considered to be the best quality.   Most had been photographed by my late husband, I might add.    There are about a hundred slides.    The search is on…and the good part of it is that I have so far cleaned out and rearranged two major room closets searching.    I have located thousands of slides…but not this particular collection.

Last winter I ordered a Digital Film/Slide Projector, and it is the best thing since sliced bread.    It is very simple in operation, you just put the slides in the contraption, transfer the images onto an SD card, which corresponds to a photo site on my computer.    Perfect…..not automatic, exactly, but it isn’t bad because I get to view all of my slides from a thirty year period.       An added bonus is seeing the family shots of 30-something grandchildren as babies.   The farm is well represented in photos going back to the 1970s, as well as multiple vacations during the subsequent years.

Back to the subject…searching for that slide tray.        The closing of two shops at a flea market and an antique mall about five years ago resulted in half of my book inventory and dollhouse miniatures and all-kinds-of-stuff  into my garage, and most rooms in my house.     About half of my book inventory of about 2000 books now (not counting my personal library of books which is more extensive,) is catalogued on online book sites such as Amazon, Alibris, Biblio, Barnes&Noble…etc.     I have culled the inventory excess to the extent that most of what is left is  saleable. … in theory.     Every one of these books is numbered sequentially and readily available….except, of course, those that insist on misplacing themselves.

Oh yes, the point is that I am in the process of publishing many of my slides on my blog, and some of my best are missing.     However, my slide converter gadget also does film strips, so all is not lost.   I just haven’t tried the film strips yet.

Mad Woman Searching for Lost Things

First published here in February 2015.    I do find this whole situation to be pertinent though…even now in May 2017….I guess I never learn!

I already looked there, Sister.

When I lose something…or more accurately have misplaced it…there is no rest for me or anyone near me, until the missing item has reappeared.  I do believe in the old prayer to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things, or is he the saint of the people who have LOST something?

Either way, I am not ashamed to say that the quickest way to recovery is to recite some version of the verse:   This one was told to me by a stranger at the flea market when I was out there selling books:

Tony, Tony, Tony…Something’s lost and can’t be found,

Please help me find it when I turn around.

Many things have been recovered soon after pleading with St. Anthony for help.  Finding lost keys are a specialty of the Saint’s, and various and sundry other missing things have been recovered….not only by me, but by various other believers.

Once I even found a silver bracelet that I had lost in the garage.  I had been sorting books and must have caught the edge of the cuff bracelet, causing it to slip off of my wrist.  That was a mad search, which included a grocery store, pharmacy, restaurant, and several other places.  My evil twin even suggested the possibility that some unscrupulous clerk had pocketed my bracelet.  (I didn’t really believe that myself, as I have a basic belief in the goodness of people.)  The bracelet turned up after several calls to St. Anthony…and an email friend who is a Tarot card reader of some note, and also has a reputation for finding lost things.

Hmm… maybe that’s why it took the Tony, Tony, Tony thing so long.   I found the bracelet under a chair, behind a stack of picture frames, under a few boxes of flea market stuff…and a plastic red tablecloth, which may or may not have been key.  Just sayin’….

THE CURRENT EMERGENCY SEARCH was one that I have entirely too often.  I mentioned in an earlier post,  about how I handle my book inventory.  Although I was bragging about how well my alphabetical inventory system works, I did include a caveat that IF a given book was not where it was supposed to be… in this case #1746–which should have been between 1745 and 1747, but was not.

No, Baby, it's not outside.

Now, this has to be a case of Murphy’s Law of Inventories, because this was the exact book that a customer ordered.  It was a book about making Art items from Buttons (the kind on shirts,) and I distinctly remembered  being in the book room holding the book and thinking “how mundane.”  Yes, that’s what I forget for being judgemental.   I also recall my son coming in with his current emergency, pinning his church “Usher” badge to his shirt, and I  had to leave the room–with the book in hand–and debating where to shelve it temporarily.

As luck would have it, the very next order that came in was for THAT VERY BOOK.  Thus the mad search was on.  I have books all over the house, some already inventoried, most not.  To cut to the chase, I found the Button book within two feet of my left arm, on a shelf where I keep books that for one reason or another are in a “waiting” status.

I had looked in the very spot several times.  It was much smaller than I had remembered it, and had slipped partially behind two neighboring books: one on Tai Chi, and one on Ribbon crafts.  The inventory numbers matched several books in the immediate space.

This whole situation where a given book is not readily located happens too often to be coincidental.  There are nearly three thousands books in my inventory, on shelves, in order.     WHY is the one on order frequently misplaced?

I guess I’ll have to ask St. Anthony that question.

Magic of WordPress support

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/reblogging/

 

I love the way WordPress support people just hang on my every word and serendipitously post the perfect article pertaining to questions on which I am obsessing at any given time.

OK, logic tells me that it isn’t really magic, more like internet triggers that connect information sites with people who want to know.     I admit that I have been searching the support pages for re-blogging information.

The question of re-blogging is one that bothers me a lot.   The rules of correct citation of articles, papers, and texts are not strictly enforced as they are in a language class at a high school or university.     No one whips out a theoretical red pencil and “corrects” what we write, and plagiarism is rampant…although it is mostly not intentional.

Sure, it could be argued that commenters in an online chat room don’t know and don’t care if facts are really true or if they are “fake facts.”

So what do we expect from blogs?    At times all I expect is a nice poem, or a page of pretty flowers, an outrageous point-of-view or page of insults.     Jokes, comics.    How to raise children; How to raise chickens; How to bake an apple pie…all interesting.     But I also turn to certain bloggers that are knowledgeable and educated to some degree on topics of world upheaval or historical background on new or on-going crisis spots across the globe.     No one can know everything about everything.

This is where the subject of re-blogging comes in.   I often re-blog posts from other bloggers.     Criteria for a reblog is that my readers know exactly where the piece comes from: who wrote it, the reason for re-blogging it, and where to find it.      Sometimes it is difficult to trace back to an original source…then decide if it should be para-phrased or quoted directly.

The new re-blogging system of WordPress is good, it takes care of notifications to the original blogger…although there should always be that information in the very top of an article.   Admittedly I’m lax about this, and although try to specify the original source in the headline of the post, and include an introduction as to the author.    A link is easily copied from the address bar.

The thing that worries me is that someone will think that a post is mine, where in fact it is written by someone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change in the Neighborhood…Photo Op

 

My new camera is wonderful.   I love it…the way it feels, the reassuring heft, the quality of the photos.    The colors are glorious, landscapes good and clear, and focus…well, focus is not my strong suite.   I used to blame it on my eyesight, on the camera itself, pesky f-stops and shutter speeds, and my own tendency to shake.     But now the brutal truth of photography is shining brightly in my face in four large words:  read the manual stupid!

Actually I’m not stupid, just impatient.  The simpler the camera the less there is to know of techniques and tricks of the trade.   Point-n-shoot….way to go.   Except that I want to learn how to be a real photographer, not just a picture-taker.      Fully recognizant of the need to study the basics and memorize a few simple tips such as keeping the camera battery charged…and checking to see that there is an SD card in place.

Even as I write there is an imminent barn-collapse in the works across the road, where they are tearing down a big old greenhouse operation and are in the end-time of demolishing a big 100-year old barn and some assorted out buildings.    The greenhouse structures are already gone.     I do have photos of the destruction and clean-up.

Both of my camera batteries are charging.  Really.    My new Sony DSC-HX80 needed to be charged, and so did my little blue Sony which I like to keep fired up for back-up…and besides, it doesn’t require much thinking.

So hopefully the little orange charging lights will turn to green before the barn becomes a pile of rubble.

The latter may be a really big deal, as the front edge of the barn is maybe 20 feet from the edge of the road pavement.   It has been there for a century, before there was much of a road.    The operation will probably need a police car, maybe a fire truck…and a flag-person-crew to direct traffic.

… stay tuned.

 

SIDE SHOT BARN HOUSE TOYT
See house to the SouthWest of the barn.

B

SYMBOL'S BIG BARN
All these buildings will come down. 
BIG BARN GOOD CLOSE
The big dumpsters are rented, and when full are taken away to the dump.

 

 

 

….a surprise in my Tree Garden

My gardening is about as haphazard as my housekeeping.   Plants and trees just sort of fend for themselves, and left to their own devices they never cease to amaze me.    Years ago, when I first built this house, planted assorted trees and other plants….not counting the volunteers in my notorious “tree garden.”      One of the prettiest of my flowering varieties, with marvelous pink flowers, kept pace with another ornamental tree nearby…until we had an especially cold winter about five years ago which froze out and killed quite a lot of specimen in this area.   Although it has been apparent that this tree was indeed defunct, what with its growth covering of lichen.   The branches literally disintegrated to the point where many were removed by the wind itself.

Ever the optimist, last year I determined that among the miscellaneous plant life growing in the vicinity, several shoots were thought to be trees, but their species was quite unknown to me, and could be one of numerous trees in the near neighborhood.      So I let the people that wield weed-wappers and chainsaws, and such, in the area…that these weed-appearing growths are to be left alone.    The tree itself kept developing lichen, and chunks of it kept falling off…I could push the whole thing over if so inclined.

This morning my daughter (who lives next door) and I went for a walk around the place and I pointed out the tree, and its new growth.   The bark of the tree has reminded me of cherry tree bark, and the shoots were developing thickness enough to see that the bark was the same.   As my eye traveled up the tree…there were three pink flowers…which I recognized as being related to the tree in question, and a closer look found two more blossoms further down the branches.

I of course ran in the house to grab my camera.   My first shots were badly over exposed, with the sun high up behind the blossoms, so that the sky was bright and drowned out the delicate pink color.   Each blossom is about an inch in diameter.

 

 

 

NEW N OLD 2
New Growth in front, next to the original tree.  

 

TREE NEW N OLD
Tree covered with lichen and moss.  New growth behind.

 

 

PINK CLOSE GOOD TREE GARDEN
A long shot toward the North, the barn and Tree Garden on the left rear,  the subject tree with the blossoms hanging from a new growth branch…the original tree to the right.
DSC00630 (2)
Welcome blossoms!   

 

 

[Why Nuts?] A look into the unique creative art of blogger I-Shan Lin…

Here is a delightful and different blog by I-Shan LIn. Her drawings and writing are fresh and creative. Thanks for the permission to re-blog.

“I’ve got all I need. Me, a paper boat and lots of nuts. So there’s nothing to be afraid of.” 

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pack a lunch and let’s go!

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2017/04/14/world-s-most-dangerous-path-is-reopening-to-hikers.html

NO Folks…..I did not get this from watching FOXNEWS!!!!   Yahoo.   Anyway….it is a real mind-boggler, especially for someone like me who freaks out at an atrium in a Mall.   I just don’t do heights…even a ladder will weaken the knees.

The Google-Street-Map is spectacular, 3-D view of the gorge and the walkway.       I see there’s a Restaurant-Bar located along the trail.

Oh, and helmets are required of all participants because of the 300-foot drop.

Anybody want to go?

Death is late…Re-blogged from writer George Agak’s site, Sliver of Darkness.

I am very touched by this excellent poem by George Agak.      His work is very graphic, and grabs ahold of the reader and doesn’t let go.       It is an accomplishment to achieve such a deeply emotional work of writing, and as you folks know, I am not subject to being moved by hyperbole….so I appreciate what I may call beauty-in-horror.      It is a sad fact that this kind of terrible scenario exists in our modern world.       Thanks for letting me re-blog, George!

 

Sliver of Darkness

hqdefault

I will write a letter and toss it in the wind
Or strip your hammock and toss in the river
I might be dead when they reach you
Nothing has changed
Yet nothing has remained the same
The gods have been vexed
All this time they’ve held rain

Grass still grows
Watered by endless flow of blood
The valley has changed its appeal
The shades we once rested under
Now home rotting humans
And vultures feast
The freedom fighters have fought the system
Then rebelled against their prior motives
They kill anything in human gait

But still….
The government lives
Not counting the ones lost
They fly outside to drink and dine
Because this nation is rotten
Their appetite might wane

When they took you, bro,
I couldn’t fight them
That’s cowardice I know
But death isn’t for the brave either

Bro, this nation is rich
You could have seen…

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Where have all the bloggers gone? Gone to silence, every one…my take on Opinionated Man’s observations.

Today my friend Jason over at OPINIONATED MAN  posted a question about the recent slow-down in blogging.          https://aopinionatedman.com/2017/03/29/where-did-they-all-go/#respond    I started to make a comment, which of course went all hay-wild, and I am moved to make a post of my own.    Thanks, Jason

huh….good question!

I’ve been thinking about this a lot.   I think it is because I am overwhelmed.   I LOVE blogging…love my blog, my fellow bloggers.   Since the beginning of this year…. January 20, 1917 to be exact we wake up every morning to a new disaster of Government Gone Mad, and are filled with rage that everything we hold dear is going down the tubes.

Now….having written that statement above, my zapping finger wants to delete it.   WHY?   Because someone will pick on me for being partisan or a conspiracy theorist or a Democrat or Liberal or biased….and make me feel like a terrible person because I am critical and speak out about it.

What I really want to do is write about Daisies…and Little Bunnies…Sweetness…Light.     I want to write poetry that curls the toes and reaches out to my lost- love- with- the- blue- eyes .

Photos…I want to take photos and put them online.
Blogs…I want to visit every one of my blogger pals every day….AND comment on stuff.
Writing Poetry…I want to write great poems that I love.  (I may be my own favorite poet.)
History…I want to write about History….the pyramids, archeology, slavery, British Abolishment of Slavery,
Rachel Jackson, the Real Purpose of Foreign Aid.

So why don’t I write about these things?     Because someone/somewhere will resent it, or think that I am opinionated.   Someone told me once when I was complaining about the bombing of Baghdad…that he “always knew what I was going to say…always negative…always unpatriotic.”

Or worse, the “WHO do you think you are?” remarks from alien commenters…both from Mars and from Maryland.   These are the folks who demand their right to say and write anything they please—while sneering at what I write and telling me that I don’t know what I’m talking about.      Do I ever say that to anyone?   No—

Yes….I am overwhelmed.   Chastised by people who laugh at me for being “afraid of the Russians.”    Reluctant to say anything that will piss somebody off.

I check my notebooks, and too often to stuff I find scribbled there is pinched and stiff…topics like bombs and war and why I hate the news people.

From now on I’m going back to writing something in my blog every day….no matter how mundane, how ridiculous, how unpopular…and if anyone doesn’t like it they can go read something else.    AND I’ll just write about my theories, and is anyone wants to snicker or make fun of me for being a silly…well, I’m not even going there…fine.   Just keep one thing in mind: just because I’m a conspiracy theorist doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me.

Snow Drifts, and The Night of the Tomato, revisited

Well, Spring is on the way, I heard!    We here in Northern Ohio escaped most of the big snow storm this past week, which is fine with me, but the news weather people were quite disappointed.     It is always so heartening the way they put on parkas and mittens and various snow gear and wade out to the nearest snow drift to pose for the 11 o’clock news segment.      There used to be an old joke about shoveling “partly cloudy” off the front walk on the morning after the prediction of sunshine and warming temperatures.

We never know what to expect here in Ohio in March, when the daffodils are raring to go, and indeed when ready the blooms just open, even there is snow up to their eyebrows.   We have photos someplace of snowdrifts with daffodil flowers laying right on top of the snow.

Back in the 1940s there was a great snow fall in Cleveland.   My Dad and the other men in the neighborhood waded through the waist-high snow (maybe it was thigh-high…but hey, I was a kid) to trudge along the middle of the road to the grocery store, which valiantly opened its doors to the brave men who made it through the deep snow to buy supplies for their families.

Kids all over town were ecstatic, since the school was closed.   Except me…who was sick.   I have written about this traumatic event in my young life before…ten years old and unable to go outside to play in what (as far as I can recall) was the most exciting event ever.      I still remember standing looking out the front window as my brother proceeded to demolish the pristine white snow drifts.    Even at this late date the disappointment is  palpable.     (I have  always been a dramatic kid.)

The television news crew was stranded at the TV studio for a long time, and the exhausted and dedicated News Men were so worn out after being on camera for days (well, many hours anyway) they removed their coats and ties, which was nearly unheard of on the TV in those days.    These selfless and loyal personalities stayed with their fans and watchers throughout the siege…helping the police department care for the needs of the citizens…who were desperate for milk and other life-sustaining items.

Several years later two of my girlfriends, and our boyfriends, were caught in another huge snow storm.   We came out of a movie theater, to find the storm raging…and nearby was a man and woman whose car had become stuck in a snow drift.    We—the boys anyway—helped the couple out of the drift, and they invited us to their house for sandwiches and a hot drink.      That was nice of them, as by this time we were all frozen and starving.

To my horror, the lady served us bacon-lettuce-tomatoes (BLTs), which was something of a remarkable gesture in the middle of winter to have fresh tomatoes and lettuce.    Now, lest anyone fails to understand why the BLTs would be such a bad thing to the point of being a Big Deal to Me.      To that point in time I had never eaten a tomato…I hated tomatoes, and avoided them at all costs.   But now…faced with a tomato sandwich…I HAD to eat it.    Refusing to partake of the couple’s generosity was not possible.

So that’s how I happened to eat a tomato for the first time in my life.    I think of that incident every time I see a BLT….but yes, I do eat tomatoes now, at least in sandwiches with bacon and lettuce.