Ekphrastic poem written for Colleens weekly poetry challenge, based on photo by Annette Rochelle Aban.

I have decided that I need to get back to my poetry writing, which I dearly love but for some reason I have veered away from it, and it seems as though I am looking at enter these challenges as a stranger timidly seeking acceptance into the group. Really? Back to the drawing board, or more specifically: back to the blank page awaiting a poem.

I never heard of Ekphrastic poetry, but I like it. It just means describing a photo or art work in words, aside from the image. Often a picture has deep meaning which may have little or nothing to do with the actual visual picture. This is true of the photo by Annette Rochelle Aban, which features a collection of starfish and sea shells. The first notion that came to my mind was of a collection accented or contained within a border that is simply a string of beads. The meaning (for me) was one of a collection of personal treasures which remains private to me and unknown to anyone else. Those treasures of course may be actual things acquired sometime in life, or memories that have nothing to do with the sea or any things of the sea.

Here is my contribution, in the form of a Haiku. Although I am especially fond of free verse, Haiku is my go-to form when I want to poetize (is that a word?) a thought or a vision in a succinct and intuitive form.


my treasures abound
safely forever obscure
secured in my heart

(Sometimes, 2021)

Delicate Structures, a reblog from jansenphotos “Dutch Goes the Photo.”

I was delighted to see the Reblog button on this post by jansenphotos, on the excellent blog “Dutch Goes the Photo!” which features excellent photographs on a weekly theme. A visit (via link) to the Netherlands design studio collection called “Fragile Future” leads to a fascinating photo display of remarkable light structures. Thanks for the reblog.

Dutch goes the Photo!

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has the theme of Structure, which has made me very happy, as there is lots of structure in Nature and the world around us.

Sunday’s post focused on the structure of a fan structured leaf, with the angulation of each fold providing additional strength to the leaf over a rather large area.  Today’s post goes more toward the delicate, as we look at the placement of the seeds of that dreaded lawn denizen, the dandelion.  Each seed is constructed to be carried by the slightest of breezes to find a bit of disturbed soil, where it can take hold and germinate.

This is a closer look at the lovely dandelion…

Dandelions_MG_5244 Dandelions

This most delicate of structures has found its way across the ages to float forth and multiply.  As an aside, a design studio in the Netherlands makes light sculptures that use the…

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Fading Eyes… a Haiku for Rodovan’s challenge

Here is a Haiku I wrote for the Rodovan Writes weekly Haiku poetry prompt challenge.   The prompt for the week is the words– Fade, and Eye.

Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge Image 2016

 when eyesight fades, like memories

when my eye sight fades
memory banks are ready
to enter mind’s eye

(Sometimes, 2017)


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.

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…




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.]


Dreams, the GRE, and Shirley Temple

(I will re-post this next April 4, 2016… back to the future, so to speak. It’s new title (will be) Dreams of a Drama Queen: A-Z Challenge The Letter D.)   Sorry about any confusion…please just enjoy the post! 🙂

In my dream I was taking the GRE, the examination for applying to graduate school.  There was an endless list of multiple choice questions, in a booklet that had many pages.   I kept looking to the back pages, trying to determine how many questions there were, and how long before I could expect to be finished.  There was a time limit, but it apparently was far more time than needed.

The GRE dream was part of a more comprehensive  dream in which I was, on another level, preparing a WordPress post with the creative opening phrase: “The thing I like about blogging…”   played over and over in my dream, but never got to the point–or if it did I don’t remember it.

I dream every night, and those that I recall in detail after I wake up, tend to remain with me indefinitely.     In fact I still remember dreams I had as a child.   One such dream was actually a nightmare, when I was coming down sick with flu symptoms.   The dream consisted solely of a giant, twirling bullseye…and the theme was Dick Tracy.   Remember him?  He was a comic strip character back in the 1940s, a police detective with a dark fedora hat and a face with sharp-chiseled features.

Another disturbing dream was when I was quite young, and I was in grandfather’s garage and God was chasing me around a wicker doll buggy.  I was terrified, and when I close my eyes I can picture the scene.   I had the impression that it was God, but he looked more like an old Father Time persona, complete with white robe and long, flowing white beard.

In that same era my little Self also experienced a beautiful dream, which presented like a suddenly-technicolor scene in a Disney movie–with a colorful panorama of flowers and little animals cavorting in a pastoral setting.     This impression of the movie screen changing from sepia to brilliant Technicolor, was used effectively in the movies produced at the transition period when the use of color was new.

These dreams of seventy-some years ago, and the fact that I remember them so vividly, may have had something to do with my general fear of the movies.   I was petrified, scared to death.   Maybe because the theater was dark, and the screen was enormous–the size of a wall, creating images of real actors who were literally gigantic.

My well-meaning grandparents were hell-bent on introducing me to the delightful and adorable child actress, Shirley Temple, who was the cutest child in the world at the time, (according to her legion of fans,) and would have been nowhere near as terrifying had she not been presented in giant proportions on screen.

Just the thought of that dark cavern with the giant people and booming sound makes my heart freeze.

It was years later, when I was about twelve, that I could finally attend movies in a theater.   And yes, that was back in the day when television was finally getting to the masses, but my parents didn’t get TV until about 1950, and by then those movies were not near as intimidating on a 12-inch screen.    Matt Dillon (Gunsmoke) was my parents favorite, and they really wanted me to share the excitement and charm of Gunsmoke and other “shoot-’em-ups.”

Just think about how scary some of these modern horror movies would have been on the giant screen….I’d still be hiding!




A-Z Challenge — Using the B-Word


Using the B-Word

There are a lot of words that begin with B
and some of them are not appropriate
for a family Blog.

I try to use proper language whenever possible
depending on the Blog-Business at Hand.
But Bad words are not always Bad.

But “Bad Boys” can get in trouble
if Mom hears them whisper Bad Words
to Brides or Beautifully Ball-gowned sisters in processions.

The Brilliant and Best of Bad B-Words
are really not Bad at all…depending
on the context and application.

Bragging is another Blog No-No,
even when Blogging about Bomb-Shell
topics like Boasting about VIP Buddies.

Once I met Walter Mondale in the Bathroom
of a Holiday Inn.  The occasion was a
Press conference in which I was in charge.

Bragging can be Buried in By-the-ways,
with skillful use of words.    But Becoming astute
at Blowing-one’s-horn can be Bewildering…

By-standers Bombarded with Bookish information
Become Bored …and sometimes Bitter
when unable to Banter without Belligerence.

Who cares if one has an MBA or Bachelor’s
even when Being Bullied By Braggarts…
Because in the long run–it’s all Bologna!

Besides…writing Ballads or other forms in Blogs
is difficult when Better Judgement precludes
the use of the B-Words considered to Be Bad…
or worse yet–classified as Balderdash!

© Sometimes, 2016