a dream of dreams

This is a poem I wrote nearly a year ago, inspired by a charming and fascinating site called Osseous Design: The Blog .      I happened upon the site one day when surfing, and wrote the date 1-24-17, and name of the Blog at the top of my notebook page.   Tracing back, I was able to find the unique  site, with its creative and innovative “faces” and an original painting and poem with a dream theme.    https://osseousdesign.wordpress.com/2017/01/08/identities/

I was moved to write a poem of my own in my notebook.   Here it is:

dream of dreams

a dream is never “just a dream”
but a manifestation of reveries
ever real, everlasting, ever true
figments of memories—

a dream is never “just a dream”
for much of life’s experience exists
within a world of somedays and might-have-beens
through which hopes and wishes bravely persist

those who discount or ignore life’s dreams
lose and squander the joy of make-believe…
forfeits the pretense and right to achieve
truth never known remains to perceive.

©Sometimes, 2017

marching band music…sing loudly, don’t worry too much about lyrics

marching music please…. just try ignoring the band blaring out the Sousa beat, adoring crowds lining the streets… drummers drumming, flutes tweeting, symbols clashing… but I digress.       Back in the day I was a Girl Scout leader, and part of my duty as such was to lead the girls down the main street during the Memorial Day Parade (or other parade.)     In high heels no less….no, not stilettos…which were not worn by ordinary women for another thirty or forty years.

The Stars and Stripes Forever   must be sung very loudly… and if by chance ya don’t know the words (wink wink who does?)  just join the singers who use the alternate version….

“Be kind to your web footed friends,
for a duck may be somebody’s mother…”

John Philip Sousa – The Stars And Stripes Forever lyrics
Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom’s shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.
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Then there is the Battle Hymn of the Republic:     Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord… he has stampled out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored… deal with the bullets with his terrible swift sword…  the TRUTH goes marching on!!!  oops…

uh….  folks, I really am embarrassed that I don’t know all the words….when singing the Battle Hymn one is excused if they just mumble over the tricky lyrics.    always there is “boompa dee,” “dee dum,”

I’m not good with remembering lyrics…

Now I will never get that out of my head… “Be kind to your web-footed friends…”

Caribbean geography lesson…

Every now and then I like to get out a map and reassure myself that when not knowing the location of Yemen, or Utah, or Antiqua (for example) all I have to do is look it up on a map. A paper map, preferably, but sometimes even an online map will do.

So I wanted to see if Puerto Rico was really far out in the middle of the ocean someplace, or, as I suspected…in the Caribbean. So I did a search “Puerto Rico” and Bing zeroed in on a nice map of the island, in great detail of cities and even roads and topographical details like mountains. Zooming out to get the big picture…including the Pacific Ocean and all of Russia…the exact location of Puerto Rico became instantly remembered.

Looking Southward, from Florida, the island is sort of beyond Cuba, north of Venezuela, and in a line with other islands and chains of islands in the Caribbean, forming a line of defense reinforced by territories possessed by friendly allies: the French, Dutch, and British. This was perfect—especially back in the days of the conquest by Spain of the New World.

Actually the United States was interested in keeping the Spanish at bay as much as possible, while maintaining a strategic position of buffering between the British (our best friends forever) and “other” European or South American nations from getting any ideas. Or Japan…or anyone else.

The last good-size war the U.S. had with Spain was the Spanish-American War, which effectively booted the Spanish out of the area and declared US hegemony in the close-in islands, including Puerto Rico. It is true that the U.S. had a good line of defense in the Caribbean, and although U.S.-Cuban relations suffered during the Cold War…to the point where until the Cubans would acquiesce in being beaten by the U.S. Embargo, which effectively put Cuba and the Castro Dictatorship in its place as an oppressed and bullied island which “refused to straighten out” and endured sixty years or so of hardship and political hassles because of it.

At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1899, part of the spoils agreed on by the two nations was the prize of Puerto Rico…ceded to the U.S. by Spain. One of the results was that the Spanish-speaking citizens were required to speak and use English-only.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, and thus Puerto Rican citizens are citizens of the United States, and are entitled to vote in U.S. elections…except for the office of President. They elect representatives to the U.S. Congress, who are on the same basis as reps and Senators from the 50 other states.

One difficult hang-over from the early 20th Century is THE JONES LAW, which forbids Puerto Rico to receive shipments of any materials or products from any sources except on officially sanctioned United States registered Ships. The result of this is that now that Hurricane Maria has devastated the Puerto Rican island, the Jones Law limits what foreign aid they can receive. The U.S. Congress has the power to rescind or modify the law…but has so far declined. It may be nteresting to note that the Jones Law has been suspended in other U.S. ports under emergencies created by Hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida, as well as other U.S. controlled islands in the Caribbean.

The U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Comfort has, as of this Wednesday morning, been sent to Puerto Rico. The reasons for the delay apparently have been worked out, especially the excuse of the ship being “too big to park in the harbor…” and the hospital ship will anchor off-shore and apparently transfer patients from the mainland of the island by helicopter.

https://www.bing.com/maps?&ty=18&q=Puerto%20Rico&vdpid=202&mb=19.029888040912922~-69.22080993652341~17.464867724672842~-64.03526306152341&ppois=18.2491397857666_-66.6280364990234_Puerto%20Rico_~&cp=18.2491397857666~-66.6280364990234&v=2&sV=1&style=r&trfc=&lvl=7

DISCOVERING GOD, reblogged from Godschool Blog. Thanks DeaconGil!

Those who know me very well may be taken aback when noting this post from blogger friend DeaconGil’s GODSCHOOL. I not only read today’s post, but also some of the earlier posts mentioned. This comes closer to my personal way of “thinking about Godstuff.” Dealing with Romania and Anglican church efforts to bring closer together world congregations in their vastly differential religious ideas…it has always seemed to me that some leaders work harder to separate their little groups from the flock, for reasons of their own. What I think doesn’t matter much, of course, but it is enlightening and heartening for me to consider articles dealing with ecumenical moves toward Oneness.

Godschool's Blog

Our son’s been to stay recently.  He has a PhD in physics, and I know absolutely nothing about physics, which means that he thinks in a very different way from me.  He’s also a committed Christian who loves theology.

We had a discussion one day about the place of logic, and how much it could help us discover truth about God.  We decided that we couldn’t jump straight from thinking logically to developing a theology, but it was a useful tool in the process.

The next day I noted to him that I’d started reading a book called ‘Mariner’, by Malcolm Guite, a priest-poet based at Girton College,  who had previously written a seminal book on the place of the imagination in discovering truth about God (Faith, Hope and Poetry).

Son said he knew nothing about thinking imaginatively.

What I find fascinating is that, although we are so different…

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Beware—more shots of my late great Spider web

DSC00151.JPG WEB YARD GOOD
NOW WE SEE IT
DSC00148.JPG INVISIBLE WEB
NOW WE DON’T

 

DSC00147
FROM THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF WEB

“Late Great” because this web was in a very precarious position…as is normal for spiders, apparently…as this splendid construction was demolished quickly when I ran right into it and ended up wearing the web like a hair-net…or veil…I forgot it was there.   (Please see yesterday’s post for more web photos if you are so inclined.)

The deck is eight-feet wide.

By the way— my spider web photos are more about photography than spiders or webs.    I have tried repeatedly to capture various topics, and consider it a learning experience.

OH!    The spider is not really as big as she appears, she has a very large bug in her grip, we call it a stink-bug, triangular in shape.

 

Of Statues and Soldiers…

Why are angry mobs allowed to destroy Civil War statues?      If they have to be taken down, properly and carefully by local government authorities—why not store them temporarily at a museum or some other place appropriate.     Smashing them to rubble is foolish…no, let me say stupid…and knee-jerk reactions to political correctness.   Gratuitous pandering, perhaps.

Except for one thing—there seems to be NO thought or reasoning to these actions, only public showing-off.       This kind of destruction of public property is against the law, for one thing, and morally wrong for a few hot-heads to decide for entire communities that historic statues need to be not only removed…but demolished.

Most villages and towns have a statue of a civil war soldier in its town park, or round-about in the highway, or city hall.     The statue stands proudly with his rifle, standing vigil of pride and gratitude to the soldiers who died fighting for their side in the Civil War.     North of the Mason-Dixon Line, approximate borders between states (Ohio and Pennsylvania in the North, Kentucky and West Virginia, etc. in the South.

It boggles the mind thinking about the problems involved in removing Southern statues…and by extension perhaps Northern statues as well?   That action would likely cause great unrest, being that the Union troops were on the winning side, therefore perceived to be the “right” side.     The fact is that the Civil War, was fought over state’s rights to maintain slavery….simplified, but that’s how it was…hyperbole and “regional history” aside.

The Generals and other high-ranking bigshots are usually the ones mortalized in statues:  the southern generals Robert E. Lee,  Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson,  James Longstreet…etc., etc., etc.     But the rank-n-file soldiers were young volunteers, then draftees, pressed into service by their respective sides, especially in the latter years of the war.  They had    little choice, and high-minded rhetoric about noble causes and patriotic duty hardly affected the lowest level Johnny Reb…who went to war because he had to.

 

 

Johnson’s Island, Confederate officers prison on Lake Erie, Ohio (Part Two)

(all photos on this page © Sometimes, 2017)   These photos were taken in May 1981 by Bob Dreger, my late husband.

The island prison housed Confederate military officers who were originally  captured during Civil War battles, and imprisoned  at Camp Chase, Columbus Ohio.   The object was to separate the officers from the rank-and-file soldiers and house them in the Northern prison where they remained until the end of the Civil War in 1865, or their death, which ever came first.    Over two hundred of them remain there, in their graves, to this day.

There is more to come from SOMETIMES, so please check back for more information about Johnson’s Island.     (I would continue now, but I have a lunch date with my best friend where we will fight the Civil War again.   We are on the same side…North, anti-Slavery, but present upheaval over Civil War statues opens up new debate across our nation—as if we don’t have plenty to debate! 🙂   For what it’s worth, this on-going perennial battle never dies.

 

 

Johnson’s Island confederate cemetery on Lake Erie, Ohio….photos of Southern soldier statue (Part One)

Here are two photos of the statue at Johnson’s Island, Ohio, taken by Bob Dreger in 1981.   The cemetery is a protected U.S. site, where more than two hundred Confederate military officers are buried.    I do need to clarify that Bob Dreger was the photographer, in 1981.  The copyright  is ©Sometimes, 2017.

This island is far North, half way to Canada.   It was important because all of the prisoners were Confederate military officers (Lieutenant and higher) who were separated from the rank-and-file soldiers incarcerated at Camp Chase, Ohio, and transferred to Johnson’s Island.

Later today I will try to post several more photos from this same batch.

This is the first part of this post on SOMETIMES, photos of the statue itself, including the pedestal, or base, which clearly explains the presence of a Southern monument this far North.   Johnson’s Island is located off of Sandusky, Ohio, in Lake Erie.   The island itself is privately owned, with controlled access.     Visitors to the federal cemetery do have access to the cemetery grounds, however.

PICT0021.JPG close good statue
U.S.Civil War. Statue of Confederate Soldier, at Johnson’s Island, Ohio. Photo by Bob Dreger, ©Sometimes, 2017
PICT0011.JPG base good
Base of Confederate Soldier statue on Johnson’s Island, Ohio, Civil War Prison. ©photo by Bob Dreger, Sometimes 2017)

Rescued Trees

DSC00018.JPG WIDE YARD VIEW
Here are two trees I trimmed to create a base for a trellis; will train the clematis (behind the plastic trellis) to move over.   The obligatory cats are Peggy and Dottie.
DSC00023.JPG TRIMMED SPRUCE TREE
Here’s the huge, homely evergreen tree that I had originally planned to remove entirely, but decided to trim it as shown.   (I admit that it did manage to mask the unattractiveness behind.)
DSC00019.JPG TRIMMED NUT TREE
This new haircut for the nut tree was unplanned; originally the top was slated to be cut off. I like the “umbrella” effect. The purpose here was to control the excessive shade that was affecting my hibiscus.       The big maple in the middle of the photo is on the other side of the yard, had its beginning as a volunteer in a pot.  
DSC00028.JPG TRIMMED MAPLE TOP SKY
This is the maple tree, showing the branch that was not easily reachable with the ladder. I like it this way. This originally started as a volunteer, so persistent that I finally braided it, and now I’ll just see where it wants to go.
DSC00047.JPG HELICOPTER
A helicopter, I think maybe the Sheriff, looking around or coming into the airport.

Anne Finds Her Career (originally posted February 2016 )

— I first published this poem here on SOMETIMES in February of 2016.    The plan is to re-post some of my favorites among my 400+ posts since the blog began back in 2011.—

Anne finds her career …

When Anne was a girl, she always wanted to be
a dancer.  To wear flowing gowns and satiny slippers
and be guided as a sylph, lifting in twirls and leaping high,
up in the air with skirts twirling and shoes barely touching the floor,
and feeling the thrill of the collective sigh from the audience.
But as fate would have it, her two left feet, and her lack of graceful
moves — more like those of a duck than a lovely swan, or
even a goose–combined with her brother’s snickers
she stepped on her skirt instead of her shoes
and tripped over her partner’s feet.

So then, when she saw that a new goal was needed
Anne decided that she wanted to be, when she grew older,
a doctor.  To have a white coat, a stethoscope  and thermometer
and peer into ears and down throats of her patients…to quickly discover
what ailed them…and find a cure, and all of the people would just be
astounded when Little Anne became a Doctor!
A wonderful plan!
It would be  a good position, pay plenty of money, and mean
great prestige…and besides, the town needed a Doctor.
It might have been the perfect profession, except…
she fainted dead away at the first drop of blood.

Not to be derailed on her track to gainful employment
Anne thought long and hard to find just the right profession
that would serve both her ambitions and her need for recognition.
“One thing that I can do well,” said Anne, “without  tripping over any feet
while dancing…or to lose my wits and panic when anyone bleeds…

The perfect job for me (why didn’t I think of it sooner?) is to get
pen and paper, and a computer — and spend my life Writing!”
So she wrote and she wrote, books and poems, and tales
about dancers and doctors, and all kinds of things.

©Sometimes,2016

A new leaf shows its color

Some lightening up is in order… despite my penchant for gloom and doom, conspiracy and politics of all descriptions… it is time for me to turn back to my more eclectic blogging themes:    Flowers, poems, camera work, and tales and ideas from the past, rather than disasters and looming political doom.

 

DSC08430.jpg

 

pondering pastimes

So what should I do this afternoon?

study my Russian lesson?
expand my online  book inventory?
repot a thirsty “Wandering Jew?”

walk in the garden,
read a novel
–write a poem?

I could get lost on google…
visit friends abroad…who probably are sleeping now,
giving their blogs a rest.

sit here and daydream?
fix something for dinner…
clean the garage?

get out my zillions of beads
and all of their appurtenances thereto
to borrow a legal phrase

ah, the latter may be the winner
of my afternoon busywork lottery
with granddaughter birthdays approaching

a tiny bit of skill, strong thread and needles
my treasure trove of baubles and beads…
crystals shining of light of their own

so here I sit, writing a poem
about shiny trinkets and glistening orbs
…inviting a nudge from the beading-muse.

©Sometimes, 2017