Friday, March 22, 2019

Earthen Mother

Their dreams renewed

colored crocuses peep out

crying and shouting

Friday, February 15, 2019

Reeling From Climates’ Change

Is it the whole world, or just me? I don’t know, but I certainly feel that there has been a sea change in people’s attitude towards each other; they’ve taken a huge step back from their once undeniable allegiance to authority; they’ve relinquished many of their long-held beliefs; and, they’ve abandoned some standards of behavior that were always perceived to be immutable, if not inviolable.

What, exactly, has caused such revolutionary trends? Is there anything dire happening here that should deeply concern us? After all, isn’t change, for better or worse, an inevitable part of our existence? These are important questions, but what with everyone busy Tweeting, Blogging, Posing, and Posting who really has the time to ask, never mind provide some feasible answers? Won't somebody out there take a stab at it? Anyone?

To deny the dangerous possibility that, as a civilization, we are spiraling into the great abyss appears to be as short-sighted and as self-defeating as refusing to accept the facts of the rapidly shrinking ice-caps and the rising tides and temperatures of our planetary home—but hasn’t mankind always had a penchant for flirting with disaster?

I suppose that as long as we see ourselves merely as observers of “others”—those multitudes who have been adversely affected by war, stupidity, cupidity, pestilence, and other “natural causes,”—rather than willing participants and forgers of our destiny, dire straits won’t be taken, much less dealt with, seriously. At least, not until they’re really felt in our pockebooks. If by then, of course, it’s not too late to reverse our engines, or at least alter our course.

Only a fool can doubt that both climate changes that we are currently undergoing are the result of human misbehavior; a misbehavior that if examined with even a cursory glance at history would indicate mankind’s culpability; unfortunately, however, in that slight glance one also must recognize the earth-shattering realization that nothing that can be done, will be done to correct our heading.

It’s ironic that the founder of our Marine Corps and the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, was also the pundit who remarked that he’d sooner trust a newspaper editor than a government administrator, and who noted that the price of freedom was eternal vigilance. Ironic, I think, because we’ve become too damn independent for our own good, too eager to trust uncorroborated reports, gossip, and innuendo; while discounting provable facts, and finally—at the cost of our very lives—we've become all but enslaved by a compulsion to make a fast buck.

E Unum Pluribus and no longer In Nobodaddy Do We Trust.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Building Great Sentences

With another stubborn cycle now ended, with the susurration of unfurling calendars now completed, with another year of restive upset now predictable, another revolution (this one around our one true star, our Sun) now proceeds tremulously.

If the above periodic sentence sounds at all like an artifact recently unearthed from a cultural time-capsule, perhaps it's because, I confess, that I have listened this month to 23 of the 24 lectures in a series entitled, "Building Great Sentences," prepared and given by Prof. Brooks Landon, and is offered for sale by The Great Courses, a company from which I have acquired many lecture programs.

I was motivated to increase my ability to construct more effective correspondence and communication after having been subjected, for the past several years, to the often incoherent babbling of Donald J. Trump.

I have always attempted to keep myself informed of the pressing events transpiring in the United States and around the globe; such being the case, my having to listen to the ill-conceived, unstudied, and nonsensical ungrammatical remarks of Mr. Trump on an almost daily basis has been, well-- "so sad."

Ironically, we could have no better example of the results emanating from a lack of attention paid to communication skills than our current corrupter-of-language-in-chief. It is my hope that all parents and teachers will see the urgent necessity of redoubling their efforts to impress upon their charges the importance of effective language usage.

All those reading and understanding this message can and ought to contribute to influencing the education of all those people amongst whom we live; those very people upon whom we shall certainly rely upon in order to generate and share the benefits, hopefully, of a brighter, and more just society for everyone.

And now, I depart: I am going to listen to that final lecture.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Of Fence

A Fence Post

That chain-linked fence that fronts my (God’s?) part acre—roughly a quarter if you really want to know—is on the eastern border of the plot. When I stand behind it looking out I can imagine seeing past the majestic Hudson, over the rolling hills of Westchester County, on past the calm waters of the Sound and then flat, crowded Long Island, and across the mighty Atlantic itself, and seeing, over there, finally, my “Roots”: a mass of land we once were taught to call “The Old World.”

These days, I suppose, those roots seem to have spread clear across the divide and started to choke off growth in my own backyard. The old, once beautiful Rose of Sharon is bent over, all but dead, it's being strangled by the poison ivy and admittedly, utterly regrettable lack of care; and the huge old maple behind it stands in imminent danger of further collapse (large parts of it have fallen, in these recent climatically changing years) and, not surprisingly, even the turkey vultures have abandoned their highly fortified nests. As well, my very scrubby waves of crabgrass seem less green than just a couple of years ago.

Oddly though, a cluster (a cluck?) of hens and a constantly crowing cock have taken to foraging on my and my neighbor's surrounding properties. I’ve yet to see how they manage to breach our fences. Clever birds, hungry birds. Nobody around here tries to discourage their daily invasions. Everyone knows that they’ve come from across the road where decades ago a working farm once stood; its barns and buildings now wink steadily at us, their various stages of decrepitude seeming to foreshadow further ruin. The year when I first moved here, I recall Nixon resigning in disgrace, and many copperheads crossed from the old farm across the road to scout out their new neighbor and its property. They weren’t impressed, apparently, for they’ve not yet returned.

Naturally, I’ve always had the usual suspects digging in and making themselves a home here: woodchucks, rabbits, squirrels, skunks, possums, as well as does and bucks when there are tulips to be had, but—chickens—well, that’s new. I hadn’t had chickens under my feet since that wonderful summer I spent on a Hurleyville farm back in 1950—wait—actually, no—I’d since stepped off a cruise ship onto a small British Virgin Island and scattered some surprised chickens. A large bear once tried to get into my yard, but all it managed to do was break the base of a fencepost. The gate’s been hanging crooked for years since; it merely looks as though it can keep out the uninvited.

On the south, west, and north of this small plot are the linked fences of my neighbors. All of them were either German or Scotch-Irish when I first came here, but to the west, now I have a young Dominican family homesteading. There have been deaths, of course, on all four of our properties over the years and we all now, except for the Dominicans, walk a bit slower, and are a little more bent each year, but we wave politely at each other when we can’t avoid it, and will even cast the slightest of smiles in each other’s direction when we must.

When I lean on the broken fence and stare out eastward toward my “Old World Roots,” I sometimes wonder what life would have been like if there were no fences up for us all these years.



Monday, November 19, 2018

Rounding Third?

Whose base shall
march off galumphant
into an odious
winter of discontent?

Shall the spoil
of an edgy victory
stay the vanquished or
cheer the oppressor?

If there shall be doubt
allay that now or
all shall rueful be
who held their peace.

Time it is to use the force--
Luke 11:6

Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Reconnoitering

The lost can be found again
when narrow steps are taken--
lest space each-to-each grow wider.

The hurried, not the plodding
shall have his purpose overturned--
and space each-to-each grow wider.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Triple Thread

It wasn't your mother's blossomy trail
LGBQT then just tiles you'd dread
Not squaring smartly on the pink, the red--
The blues worth less than a get out of jail.

It wasn't as grand then the wet bloody strip
For winners, for losers, for living, for dead
The raisers, the folders, those to be wed--
They're parked forever a memory's blip.

It wasn't your UT Longhorns of today
Charlie clocked there with a roll of the die
Killing born and unborn while perched on high--
Amen! Amen! Amen! "Carry!" you say.

Three jaunts taken to three hardscrabble roads--
Summering still in simmering abodes.