Bears Ears—Listening in Pain
Sacred are the lands once protected
by more honorable men…
betrayal stings by smiling lies
Navaho gods are weeping,
for the fork-tongued leader
has betrayed their hearts
Let thunder crash as the deed
becomes known in shameful terms—
greed and deceit are the law of the land
Drums echo in the desert valleys,
vibrating the monuments of the ages
now damp with tears of the betrayed.
As the horrors and heartbreak meet
where arrows once flew…perhaps again?
Fate twists the work of Evil… to wreak revenge.
Who are all these people who object to the NOT saying the “Merry Christmas” greeting out loud? Why are these innocent words a matter of top importance for the President of the United States? Oh, right…I do understand that they are various Christian and so-called Christian groups who echo what they hear from their pulpits and take offense simply because others say they are offensive.
I never stopped saying “Merry Christmas” to people that I knew to be Christian. But why make such a big deal about it? Actually I approve of general phrases tossed about willy-nilly. Happy Holidays is an all purpose phrase that is (or not) meaningful to other religious groups. To be really politically correct… Jewish people can be wished Happy Hanukka if we want to be specific about the particular “holiday” we greet others. Or of course their is Ramadon, the Muslim holiday. The African American holiday is Kwanzaa.
However…I always try to be careful in assuming any ethnic or religious affiliations. With any luck the check out cashiers and service people will assume the lead and insert their greeting of choice before me. Whatever they say, I follow suit. If they say “Happy Holidays” I say the same thing back… or just “you too.”
ah well… checking back over this small post, I grimace slightly as all the potentially rude or wrong greetings remind me that I may forget someone, mis-label them, or just be ignorant of their orientation. It isn’t that I don’t care, because in most cases politeness or common courtesy dictates what to say. Also, there is always the fall-back phrase “Have a Nice Day.” Or we could all adopt a special greeting such as “Happy Tuesday,” or “Merry Friday.”
Peace be with you…as the Star Wars troops might say.
It’s been awhile since I published one of my Wordle attempts. MindLoveMiseryMenagerie regularly presents these Word-puzzles, in which a list of words is provided, to be crafted into a poem or other form of writing. This Wordle is #157. (*see word list below.)
The Art of Flirting
We have reached a stalemate…you and I
in our playhouse of make-believe,
avoiding muse-thieves in cahoots vis-à-vis
in competition for cleverness … a turn of a phrase.
I bite my tongue in affected semaphorism
… a flicker of eyelashes with a knowing smile,
a hint of a shared secret, imaginary interlude
“remember the willows…?” a tentative glance…
To know or not to know becomes the quest
we wonder: are we on the same page?
Do we deserve to solve the paradox
of saying nothing…while expressing it all?
*Word list: bite, smooth, open, deserve, paradox, semaphorism, stalemate, tension, playhouse, Neptune, thieves. (I was unable to work in two of the words: Neptune and tension, but did manage to incorporate the prerequisite ten words—including Semaphorism — a conversational hint of something personal to say; a half-told anecdote; one of those comments we slip into an otherwise unconnected conversation, such as an aside which has no apparent meaning other than between two specific people; a private joke.
hark! hear the rumble
across the desert;
my soul remembers
the great movement of stones
and great boulders
and simmering sand
mighty Saguaros loom
above tiny desert creatures,
gifting water and sun shade
a death rattle threatens
beware! … fangs at the ready
— find another way
my soul remembers
from layers deep within
the baking sun at mid-day.
foot-prints soon cover
with impressionable sand…
but the desert remembers me
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.
Bless the blue and the red
those who tirelessly stump for votes
among the hopeful and hopeless
grabbing at sticks and straws
as they burn bridges behind them
and always conceal how they ran the race
the votes they cast—win or lose—
behind the locked curtain.
Wordle #273, November 11, 2016 … by MindLoveMisery
the words: blue, burn, lose, race, red, lock, grab, bless, stump, vote, conceal, stick.
A scent of Wisteria
if real or fake
borne by warm breezes
over rippling tidewaters.
A ship’s sharp whistle
from deep in the gut,
as sweet music echoes
through silent halls
… a faceless, mute bibliotaph,
who treasures… within his soul…
sounds he cannot experience
except in his penetralia.
© Sometimes, 2017
This WORDLE #129, has languished in my notebook for months. I do love these exercises offered frequently by MINDLOVEMISERY, and enjoy the challenge of making a poem or other form of writing, using at least ten specific words from a list of 12. This Wordle words are: Wisteria, faceless, penetralia*, sharp, tidewater, fake, breeze, occur, mute, bibliotaph*, step, and guts.
penetralia: held in interior, core, deep, innards, etc… as in deep sometimes private thoughts or memories
bibliotaph: someone who hoards books, a book collector
This article is excellent on the subject of Christopher Columbus and the “discovery of America.” It is well worth the read, and deserves an A+ for research and attribution, factual information based partially on bona fide original sources including Columbus’s own writing.
Bartolomé de Las Casas, Dominican Friar and later Bishop, is the author of The Destruction of the Indies, which details the systematic horror brought to the Americas by Christopher Columbus. De Las Casas is known as the Protector of the Indians, and was the Bishop of Chiapas, Mexico in the early sixteenth century.
My interest in this topic is the subject of the unpublished doctoral dissertation, which I spent ten years writing. Unfortunately I did not complete the final draft, so it was never published. However, before I die I hope to publish at least some of my work on my blog, at least.
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.
Re the sticks-and-stones contest, following the old adage that “sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Remember when some kid would spew off a string of bad words and mean but innocuous insults, and Mom or Grandma would sooth hurt feelings with the little rhyme…which in effect meant “if some kid hits you let me know, but if he calls you a bad name just laugh it off.” Now like as not she might look around for someone to sue.
The North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has resurrected a good old English word to toss at Donald Trump in insult: “dotard,” an Old-English word from the 14th Century. This cool new word, according to the excited media, spurred linguists and English teachers all over the world to research the word—dotard.
Not that the word “dotard” is especially archaic, not to disappoint media writers that want to insinuate that Kim Jong-Il may be more knowledgeable than Donald Trump. Within arms reach I find a variety of dictionaries, including a nifty little volume called New Oxford Spelling Dictionary: The Writers’ and Editors’ Guide to Spelling and Word Division. Edited by Maurice Waite, published by Oxford University Press, 2014.*
There, right in alphabetical order between the words “dotage” and “dot-com” is— “dotard,” pronounced to rhyme with soldered, watered. The etymology is from the same as: doting, one-who-dotes…as in a doting-grandfather.
It was a fun image to imagine the North Korean leader poring over his archaic English dictionaries searching for insults.
One of my favorite poets, Paul F. Lenzi, of poesypluspolemics blog, included the Reblog button with his fascinating and most inspiring works of sheer genius of words…no need to ask me twice. 🙂 The Hubble Telescope shot is also breathtaking. Thanks Paul.
“Pillars of Creation” – Photo by Hubble Telescope
Secrets of creation hide deep in conflation
Of science with faith, of corpus with wraith,
Discrete bits of essence, immune from senescence,
That mark each warm creature, or cold lifeless feature,
Of all the known world, plus those unknown, thus hurled
Through vastness of space, push-pulled in their chase
By grave forces, unseen, save by eyes utmost keen
As detectors of naught, who find nothingness caught
By the physics of sleight, in mathematical light,
Racing outward, away from a focal array,
From a radiant heart that outburst apart
With the first stroke of time, Divine in its prime.
Before that release, all was soundless still peace,
When all matter, all dust, was consigned to the trust
Of that heart, then mere speck, the one salient check
Against stark eternity, charged with modernity,
Then, slowly it swelled, its inertia unquelled,
Now a tumescent…
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This stand of Goldenrod has sort of evolved within a mowed field. Another frowned-upon weed that brightens the approach of Fall in Ohio.
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.
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…
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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