Z is for a tale about a girl named Zoë, at the end of the A-Z Challenge

A Girl named Zoë

Zoë was a young lady
who believed that just maybe
somewhere…somebody
really existed for her,
so she set about searching.

She heard all the tales told
about princes and toads
that waited along the roads
for lovely maidens…
so they could offer them tea.

Then one fine day our Zoë
met the toad of her dreams…
(just a joke in a poem, ha ha)
not a toad at all……but a charming
young fisherman named Joe.

Joe  was neither a toad– nor a prince —
but he was handsome and single
“He will certainly do!”exclaimed Zoë
as she scampered off gaily, hand-in-hand
with the man of her dreams.

© Sometimes, 2016

U is for Ubiquitous, A-Z

One of the vowels,
Letter U is everywhere,
Spanish and English,
not uniquely paired with Q–
quite Ubiquitous.

The Aztecs used Q
but not them, exclusively,
although one wonders
who decided to pronounce
the sound of Q…like a K.

Ubiquitous too
is poison ivy, growing
in flower beds and on trees.
If there would be a contest
the champ would be Me!

I always wonder
why anything so pretty
can be such a noxious weed.
Don’t delay! It spreads
quickly without a good scrub.

© Sometimes, 2016.

 

S is for Schrödinger’s Cat

Today’s post was inspired by Mindlovemisery’s site.   Thanks https://mindlovemisery.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/six-for-wednesday-3-schrodingers-cat/

I’ve always wondered
about Schröedinger’s cat–
specifically the end state
of the experiment.

Imagination shows plainly
or is it hopefully?  that the cat
jumped out of the box while alive
and sauntered off in time for supper

It would be a shame if the poor feline–
what was her name?– was to meet
her demise in the negative state
and failed to emerge none-the-worse
for wear in another dimension.

Well –now I find out that
although there was a Schröedinger–
he may or may not have had a cat,
and if he did there was no box, either,
the dear fellow was simply making light
of some Quantum Theory ideas of
colleagues who believed in it all.

Impossible! said Schröedinger to his pals
because a cat was of matter too big
for such an experiment to work at all
and anyway, the whole process was silly
and way too complicated to contemplate…
and that is all supposing that the cat herself
was willing to even consider getting into a box
that was not of her personal choosing

© Sometimes, 2016

Here is a link to an amusing insight into the  whole incident of Schröedinger and the cat-in-the-box affair.

http://www.iflscience.com/physics/schr%C3%B6dinger%E2%80%99s-cat-explained

 

 

R is for RADIO shows in the A-Z

When we were kids, back in the 1940s, we spent inclement Sunday afternoons lying on the living room floor–coloring books and crayons at the ready for “something to do while listening to the radio.”   Then we would listen to a variety of shows which were aimed at no particular listening audience.  Cowboys, Cops, and Crooks of all kinds were the favorites that filled the airways.

TENNESSEE JED– A rifle shot followed by the sound of the ricochet as the bullet hit a rock…and a voice that called out “git ‘im, Tennessee!”  Then Jed, the hero, would go about on various adventures making the Tennessee woods safe from bad guys.

THE LONE RANGER– A horse would whinney, and hooves would clatter, and the sound of an orchestra playing The William Tell Overture would fill the room.  “HI HO, SILVER!” and “What’s up Kimosabe?” introduced the episode’s plot.   The Lone Ranger and his pal, Tonto, their respective horses–Silver, and um…Scout?…  then proceeded to fight bad guys and hostile Injuns.    At the end of each show a mysterious voice would ask plaintively… “WHO was that masked man?”

THE FBI IN PEACE AND WAR– I don’t recall the main characters, but the rousing orchestral music began Bum…bum..bum…bum…BUM de-Bum announcing the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) was on the guard against spies and other enemies of the nation.  This was reassuring to us kids, who were indoctrinated to the ways of evil in our very tender years.

Then there was CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT!– The Captain was a caped crusader, very brave and mysterious.  I remember him being shiny dark in the comic books by the same name.  He stood for all that was good.

THE SHADOW always was familiar with the “Evil that lurks in the hearts of men!”  Who knew?  The SHADOW KNOWS!    I believe the hero’s name was Lamontt Cranston…

DICK TRACY– always on guard against Badness.  A police detective who was well-known to Crooks and to the good people of the city, who recognized Dick Tracy as a savior and hero.    He had the “classic detective demeanor” recognizable by his chiseled-facial-features (sharp nose and angular chin…and trench-coat and fedora.)

THE SQUEAKING DOOR– was a hair-raising mystery show, which began with (what else–a squeaking door) and featured all manner of villains and victims, and tales of horror and hints of the supernatural.   Personally I did not listen to the Squeaking Door because I was such a little wimp.

THE INNER SANCTUM– was another of my mother’s favorites.   She would listen to these shows late at night, waiting for my Dad to get home from work around midnight.   She would get so absorbed in listening to these horror shows that she would jump at the slightest unexpected sound.    Mom used to crochet fancy edges onto handkerchiefs, which we would give as teachers’ gifts—which has nothing to do with anything, except that she would be listening intently to the scary stuff on the radio and  concentrating on her needlework.    Listening to radio presentations required great involvement of human imagination.

One time my husband and I were driving in a hilly area of Germany, and the radio station we were listening to (probably AFN, Armed Forces Network) broadcast The War of the Worlds, the original version narrated by actor Orson Welles, which actually scared the heck out of much of the listening audience in the U.S.     Remembering that broadcast even now gives me chills…the mastery of Orson Welles’ narration of the fictitious (but who knew?) but intensely realistic and convincing “breaking news report” of the Martian invasion of New Jersey.  Every time I see those huge power line towers constructed like huge erector-set metal monsters…I am reminded of that radio broadcast.  I have seen Jules Verne’s War of the Worlds numerous times on television or movies….but it is never as effective as when technical effects and details are supplied by my own mind.   The power of imagination!

 

Q is for…scrabble? in the A-Z challenge

Scrabble enthusiasts
(you know who you are)
know very well that
to be able to use that Q
there must be a U,
in English, anyway.
So quickly, as soon as
possible…grab that U,
and don’t use it frivolously
on words other than Q’s…

There is always QU for Quilt,
as Quilters will know,
and in Spanish there is QUE?
in English a Query.
On a Quest for a Q-word
we may know Quetzalcoatl
the Aztec super-god.
In Cleveland, Ohio there is THE Q,
which stands for Quicken (Loans)
a huge arena.

Quietly, with that collection of Queer Questions
I shall QUIT before falling behind…

© Sometimes, 2016

 

P stands for Photography in the A-Z Challenge

Here are a few examples of preservation of photos of relatives:  these photos are in their original frames, on the wall or (currently on dresser waiting to be put back up after we painted the wall.  These photos show several generations of my family from my great-grandmother to my youngest grand-daughter.

 

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Great-grandmother Ann (Rt) and her BFF, Mary. ~1859 they are 16.  Grandfather Arthur, Grandmother Lillian (about 18 yr) ~1900

 

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granddaughter Gina , husband Bob, me and brother, Dad, Gram, and Gt.Gram Ann.  (top row is baby daughter, sister-in-law)

 

Professional or amateur, photographs perform a valuable service by preserving pictures of personalities and princesses, politicians and plutocrats.  Photos—published by periodicals and newspapers, and in alumni yearbooks–the perfect way to remember classmates and professors.

Places and Panoramas preserved for posterity, on photographic film and/or paper by both professional photographers and people with cameras ranging from little point-and-shoots …and by Pros with elaborate camera systems…producing permanent portraits of places and people which will last indefinitely in publications, on electronic platforms, on walls, and in properly stored shoe-boxes.

Preconceived ideas aside, perhaps the preferential aspects of comparison of preservation possibilities would be a combination of the two systems: paper and virtual.  Online computerized storage is efficient and far less space-saving than accumulations of various paper forms.   However–they are also more vulnerable to a number of unspeakable catastrophes to the power grid.  Yes, I know, paper can burn and become ruined by floods…there is never a perfect system.

I am a great advocate of paper…printed out documents and manuscripts (especially manuscripts) properly stored in file folders in fire-proof cabinets.    Given a choice of an ordinary paper dictionary…or a hundred electronic forms of the dictionary…the paper will win my heart any time.

L is for Library (A-Z Challenge)

My favorite place has always been a library, any library.

As a young girl one of my very favorite things was the Library Bookmobile.    Our town was too small to have the resources for a full-scale public library, so for kids like me me the Bookmobile was a Godsend…especially in the summer months when the school libraries were closed.    Any kid who had the privilege of frequenting the library-on-wheels…within walking distance of their home…can surely summon up a pang of memory at being told “the Bookmobile is in town today!”    Especially thrilling was having the brightly-painted old vehicle decorated with images of books, parked in a parking lot near the center of their town.   Anyone could visit the Bookmobile, and borrow several books to take home and read.

I recall sitting on the step of the bookmobile, reading books like the Bobbsey Twins, which was my favorite series.  In fact recently, in the last four or five years maybe, I collected Bobbsey Twins volumes by buying them online.  I have a least 20 now, although I have not read any of them recently.    Back inside the Bookmobile, I decided that I would read all of the books on the built-in shelves.   The librarian (and driver of the vehicle) seemed impressed by my ambitious reading agenda, although she explained about appropriate materials for 10-year-olds, and how the collection she had with her was limited in size.

Later, as a young secretary working in the city in the early 1950s, and living downtown in a residence for “working women,” I spent a lot of time in the Cleveland Public Library, which was a vast canyon of a structure.   The library contained many books on many subjects, but the one I was most into was…. poetry and Shakespeare, and of course fiction.    I wrote poems myself, penned into a brown notebook in my best starry-eyed girl handwriting.   I would check out books, and haul as many of them as I could carry back to my room.

As a college student (decades later,) I memorized the libraries of the universities that I attended–huge, many storied-and nearly deserted much of the time in summer months.   The feeling of being alone in these huge rooms on upper floors was one that I treasured…just me and basically all of the books in the world.    Anyway, I spent many hours in many university libraries during the twenty years working on my History degrees.

Then there is my personal library, books that belong to me.  There are books of many topics…mostly History: U.S. Civil War History, Latin American History (I have books on every country in Latin America,) our Government American Indians, South American Indians…lots of books on Mexico.    Science, Mathematics, college textbooks.  A small collection of children’s books; craft books; art books; needlework books; books on beads and making jewelry.   There is a whole section on Words, including dictionaries of many languages…including Papago, and Maya.

hen there is a whole other thing–my book inventory for my online book business, thousands of books from my bookshops (a flea market shop, and an antique mall shop.)    This endeavor doesn’t make much income, but it does satisfy my book-need.  Handling, cataloguing, selling, shipping…packaging, deals with postal services and customs forms… no–not a Library, per se–although you’d never know it by looking at it.

Well, enough of that…it’s making me yearn to visit HalfPriceBooks, or a book-sale somewhere!     Why the Letter L = Library to me.    It also explains my mother’s lament that I always had my nose in a book.  (So did She–so she ‘got it.’ )

 

 

 

K is for Karma in the A-Z

Karma can claim revenge,
without us even knowing why
so live carefully, always planning
and thinking before leaping.
Don’t forget to feed the dog–
he may be your master some day.

You may realize, without knowing why,
that your Sister was once your fierce
fifteen-times-great- grandfather.
Don’t try to explain that her bright yellow hair
came from the red-blooded  genes
of a half-savage Norseman.

If she values her gentile manners,
with impeccable credentials, who fancies
herself a fine lady with icy blue blood…
she will find disturbing your gossip
of her rude and uncivilized past,
back through the veins of time.

Thievery back in the days of a knave
who stole things for sport, and refused
to share them with paupers and orphans,
except for ill-conjured and undeserved payment…
Karma may return many generations hence
and even the score by stealing your fortune.

Ignorance is no excuse when it comes to Karma.
Only a vague notion, perhaps a reminder
that once upon a time you were a tiger
eating young rabbits out of the nest.
Don’t be too smug…for it may be the rabbit’s
turn to return as the tiger…and vice versa.

Doubting the validity of Karma
will be no advantage–Karma depends
neither on belief nor consent.
So we best pay attention, and follow
the principle of exemplary good living,
and hope for the best from Karma!

© Sometimes, 2016
 

J is for JUST WAR

I read an article yesterday that prompted me to blog about it…and how coincidental  and appropriate that the  subject is   — the LETTER J in the A-Z Challenge !
But don’t worry, I’ll try to wrap it up in a little poem, and leave the details to the original sources via links to the sites.   Please NOTE: These references are suggested reading only–there won’t be a quiz.

JUST WAR
is an old concept
an archaic idea
which would justify
ignoring good or evil
in decisions made
in considering bomb use.

Killing innocents
is allowed if their rulers
are evil people–
as determined by “The Good.”
Hope they can stay safe…
Sad if they die in cross-fire.

The way of peace and
talks of negotiation,
sharing the bounty
in brotherhood, and kindness
is often too slow…
eats into profit margin

Every so often
a new conference is called
to discuss possible
methods to curb the killing.
A Utopian answer
may be found this time around.

Put the Good People
in charge…bad ones in prison.
Just War is inherently
UN-JUST — as they decided
following The Cross.
A lesson ignored again?

© Sometimes, 2016

JUST A couple of paragraphs of editorial comment here, as I don’t want to impose upon the author’s excellent article.  In this article the author does not capitalize the words “just war” as I would have because the term is a term describing a concept (or theory) of JUST WAR, which is discussed often and in great length in the field of Latin American History, which is my thing.  Basic to the concept is the underlying facts of the “colonization” of the New World, in which serious soldiers with guns and swords…and huge dogs…brought the Goodness of Civilization to the native peoples. The atrocities of the conquistadores are well documented, although not widely included in basic education about the Conquest of the Americas.

In a nutshell–the conversion was based largely on the premise of “if we can’t protect them from the Devil we’ll just kill them….”  which is basically the concept of Just War.

The reason I am fascinated by the Just War concept, and the current interest of the subject, is my own deep interest in the concept of Liberation Theology…which, despite the implied images of priests-with-machine-guns in the Central and South American revolutions of the 1980s-2000 … actually promoted a movement quite different.  I spent more than a decade researching and investigating Liberation Theology, and I am happy to have a platform for presenting my interrupted doctoral dissertation –unfinished because I ran out of time.

Thanks for reading along…

—-

http://ncronline.org/news/global/why-catholic-church-moving-away-just-war-theory

 [EXCERPT]

Modern wars

“For centuries, the Catholic church made the just war theory its standard teaching on war. In recent decades, however, church leadership has realized that the just war theory is truncated and minimalist. It does not go far enough. Its focus is war, not peace. Even what it sets out to do — discriminate justified from unjustified wars — has been rendered null and void by the massive, indiscriminate violence of modern wars.

Key criteria of the theory, namely, proportionality and protection of noncombatants, are never met by modern wars. Civilian deaths in World War I were 10 percent of the deaths. In modern wars, such as the internal conflict in Syria or the U.S. invasion of Iraq, civilian deaths now range from 80 percent to 90 percent of all war casualties. By the very criteria of the just war theory, in our era there is no such thing as a justified war.”

“The Catholic church’s ongoing move away from the just war theory as “settled teaching” to a more expansive call to proactive peacemaking has been made clear in a global conference scheduled for April 11-13 in Rome.

“Sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International, the conference, “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence,” is gathering educators and activists from all over the world, particularly from the global South. The precise purpose of the conference is to more fully develop a vision of nonviolence and just peace for the Catholic church.

“Five reasons underlie this pivot to a positive vision of peace and a point of view that goes well beyond the just war theory:   Modern wars have made the just war theory obsolete;  The rise of a Christology “from below”; A clearer understanding of how the New Testament relates to contemporary problems;  A renewed appreciation of the way the early church practiced Jesus’ teachings on peace;The compelling, thrilling saga of nonviolent action over the 60 years since Gandhi.”

“[Terrence J. Rynne teaches peace studies at Marquette University. He and his wife, Sally, are founders of the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking. He is the author of Gandhi and Jesus: The Saving Power of Nonviolence and Jesus Christ, Peacemaker: A New Theology of Peace.]
This story appeared in the April 8-21, 2016 print issue under the headline: A vision of peace .”

The excerpts are directly from the National Catholic Register online site. http://ncronline.org/news/global/why-catholic-church-moving-away-just-war-theory

[EXCERPT]    A Christology from below opens for Christian disciples the full meaning of peacemaking and our call to be peacemakers. It is a positive vision of peace, not just the absence of war. It is a call to do as Jesus did — work to relieve peoples’ suffering, change the economic and political structures that bring so much pain, and remove underlying causes of violence and war. And, most importantly, introduce the power of nonviolent action to the world.

Church leadership has benefited from this Christology that focuses squarely on the arc of Jesus’ life and his historical struggles. It prompts them to turn to the New Testament when they are thinking about issues of war and peace.

The just war theory, on the other hand, ignores the New Testament. It is an ethical discipline that came to us from the “pagan” Cicero by way of St. Augustine. It approaches the problem of war and violence using natural law thinking and does not measure up to the call to positive peacemaking that we find in the New Testament.”

————
[Here are two further references, the  second is similar to the one I have excerpted above; and the Oregon State site involves a Philosophy post on St. Augustine, who wrote extensively about the concept of Just War.]

http://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/francis-encourages-vatican-just-war-conference-revitalize-tools-non-violence