in a night ice capade
cuts a luminescent figure
in a night ice capade
cuts a luminescent figure
1. As a writer, I’m like a crossword puzzle solver who can finish a People Magazine puzzle but never The New York Times.
2. I’m never going to own a gun or cut my hair short.
3. Last week my son Josh wrote from Laos: THIS bamboo bridge only exists for half the year. It is destroyed during the rainy season and rebuilt in the dry. It costs 60 cents to walk across.
4. The next day he posted pictures from Angkor Wat in Cambodia, a 500 acre site with more than 1,000 ancient temples built in the 9th to 13th century, including the one used in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie. You can follow his blog HERE and check out THESE fantastic photos of Angkor Wat.
5. My fabric artist sister Kathy (who recently died of cancer) hooked a rug up until the last few of days of her life. Native American poet John Trudell (who also recently died of cancer) wrote poetry, and David Bowie (who died of cancer on Sunday), released a new record, Blackstar, with songs about his own death. It was a carefully planned finale for his fans, his producer confirmed, saying, “His death was no different than his life – a work of art,” he said. Watch Bowie’s video Lazarus HERE.
6. The best eulogy I’ve ever read is THIS one by Mona Simpson, the namesake of Homer Simpson’s mother and the biological sister of Steve Jobs.
7. Lego is an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godi,” which means “play well.” Today the Danish company – founded in 1932 with wooden toys and expanded to making the colorful interlocking plastic bricks in 1947 – is considered the Apple of toys.
8. “I want to share this award with all the first nation’s people represented in this film and all the indigenous communities around the world. It is time that we recognize your history and that we protect your indigenous lands from corporate interests and people that are out there to exploit them. It is time that we heard your voice and protect this planet for future generations.” -Leonardo DiCaprio’s Golden Globe acceptance speech for Best Actor in the movie Revenant.
9. I clapped for the above while watching the Golden Globes and clapped for this line by Obama while watching his State of the Union address: “Food stamp recipients didn’t cause the financial crisis, Wall Street did.”
10. I’ve been leery of getting too excited about progressive presidential candidates after seeing so many of them be shot down and shut out in the past. Remember Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich? In 1992, I was a delegate for presidential candidate Jerry Brown (past and present popular Governor of California). I put a lot of energy into it and was sure people would see the good sense he could bring to our country. Brown, who was the Bernie Sanders of the day with a similar message and a low budget campaign supported by We the People, was an active candidate with lots of delegates till the end. In an unconventional move he gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention and did not endorse Clinton, the chosen nominee. His speech still fits today. Listen HERE.
11. I think Donald Trump is what happens when you let corporations become people and make college too expensive for people to get an education.
12. “He’s my old character with 10 billion dollars. He’s one of the reasons I can’t do my character anymore because he’s doing it better than I ever could because he’s willing to drink his own Kool-Aid and manufacture and distribute it. If money is speech, he’s got a $10 billion mouth and doesn’t have to spend any of it because everyone will point a camera at him.” – Steven Colbert on Donald Trump
13. Awesome is for narcissists / and fine is for china / Today I ordered a hat pin from Amazon / and googled “psychopaths that don’t murder” – Read In Answer to ‘How Are You?’ in its entirety HERE.
I’m starting to like sauerkraut
I’m worried that the water
in the chicken coop has frozen
I need a haircut
And ever since I saw that serrated spoon
in the silverware drawer this morning
I’ve been thinking about grapefruit
Awesome is for narcissists
and fine is for china
Today I ordered a hat pin from Amazon
and googled “psychopaths that don’t murder”
Good is for those absolved of sin
and well is for water
I watched the Golden Globes
and wrote a poem about slicing onions
that flew from my knife like origami doves
I’m afraid they’ll never agree on the cause of autism
I still want to see the Northern Lights
______Colleen Redman / Imaginary Garden with Real Toads
– The following first appeared in The Floyd Press newspaper on January 7, 2016
Springhouse Community School (SHCS) had its first of the year Presentation Night Thursday evening, December 17, 2015, at the Floyd EcoVillage, where the school is located. The event was open to the public and featured student exhibits, tri-fold table displays and multi-media project presentations. Attendees were encouraged to ask students questions about their presentations.
School Advisor and Director of Family Engagement Jenny Finn explained the project based learning model to about 100 family and community members who attended. Along with project based learning classes – such as this semester’s civics, conscious consumerism, Spanish, language arts, math, and a green building design class – students “have the opportunity to study and deepen what they love through projects of their choosing,” Finn said.
She described the rigorous process the students undertake in developing a project proposal, meeting with advisors and mentors, researching and preparing to present what they have learned to the community. “We apply learning targets of Virginia Standards of Learning to their project work,” Finn said.
Two students acting as defense and prosecution lawyers replayed opening arguments from a mock trial they had recently engaged in during a civics class. The class, which also covered American Government, was taught by local lawyer Alan Grof with Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Ryan Hupp acting as judge in the mock trial.
Gabby Howard (above), who commutes from Blacksburg to attend the project-based high school, presented a film trailer to a documentary on abandoned buildings in the NRV that she is working on. Howard explained that her project is ongoing and involves filming, script writing, interviewing and editing. She said she became curious about the different laws around abandoned buildings and that in some countries the homeless can inhabit abandoned buildings and even eventually own them. Her research also covered organizations that are reclaiming abandoned buildings and developing them into useful spaces.
Four students presented their collective work on a green building design project, which concluded with the presentation of a 3D on-screen walking tour of their final design. Challenged by EcoVillage owners to design an off-grid, 500 square foot cottage with a $30,000 budget, the students designed scale model floor plans, learned to use google sketchup, researched materials and costs, explored the use of a solar electrical system and were introduced to Autocad. The students were mentored by local timber framers, solar electrical contractors, a soil scientist, students from Virginia Tech and spent time with the local building code inspector to learn about building code requirements.
Yeshe Cooley’s exhibit on Japan included Japanese food, some of which she made for the evening. Cooley (above), a ninth grader who is being mentored by a Japanese Outreach Coordinator from Ferrum College, has proposed a study abroad in Japan for her junior year. She is being supported to plan a fundraiser and has set up an internet Gofundme page for that purpose. Another student is working towards a student exchange in France.
Thirteen-year-old Ben Pierce (far right) presented some history and technical background on the harmonica. He was mentored to learn to play the instrument by Jake Retting (left), an intern from Radford University who assists with language arts at the school. As part of the presentation Pierce and Retting performed a song for the audience.
One student who presented a Graffiti art exhibit said he is pursuing creating a mural for a local business. Other exhibits focused on endangered sea turtles, computer programming, gardening, creating a youtube channel, exploring the standards of beauty in modern culture and more. – Colleen Redman
At the close of the evening of presentation Joy Gardner (GM) and Greg Sapp (CEO) from Citizens Telephone Cooperative presented a check and pledge of support for an upcoming hydrogen fuel cell car project that SHCS students will be working on next semester. Students will be designing and building a remote control car and traveling to Florida in April to compete with other high school teams in the Horizon Hydrogen Automotive Challenge. The total value of support from Citizens is worth $1,820 in technology and cash. Clark Gas and Oil has also contributed financial support for the project. Pictured are SHCS board member Beth Quinn, Joy Gardner, Greg Sapp and SHCS Board Chair Steve Weber. – Colleen Redman
1. You’d never know I got bit by a dog on the thigh/butt just a couple days before and that I was dancing (my ass off) on ibuprofen. – Read more from This is How Good the New Year Sounds HERE.
2. And when you’re bit in the ass / you have to ask ‘what is the metaphor / for this chewing out?’ / What immunity have I been inoculated against? / What symmetry of destiny? / What betrayal? – Read The Bite is Always Worse than the Bark in its entirety HERE.
3. That’s me in the picture above packing a suitcase for the afterlife.
4. Our Christmas Eve neighborhood cookies and Kaluah get-together this year was small. It was what I call a “quiet party,” which I think is an oxymoron.
5. Yesterday I googled “does Donald Trump have a personality disorder?” and BINGO, I found THIS: “Therapists Confirm Trump’s narcissistic Personality Disorder.” The article describes a narcissist personality disorder as being characterized by grandiosity; an expectation that others will recognize one’s superiority; a lack of empathy, lack of truthfulness, and the tendency to degrade others. HERE’S another take on that.
6. I also googled “how America helped create Isis” to brush up on that fact that some of the roots of the Islamic extremist movement can be traced back to when the CIA under the Reagan administration trained, armed and funded Bin Laden and others to fight Russians in Afghanistan, and that the American invasion and occupation in Iraq created the pre-conditions for radical Sunni groups like al Qaeda, which has grown into ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).
7. After my grandson Bryce woke up from a long nap when he was at our house on Sunday, his 5-year-old brother Liam asked, “Did you even know you were sleeping?”
9. Speaking of things that blow my mind, what will they think of next? THIS is an art installation of a ladder climbing high into space, made with fireworks!
10. A friend who is struggling with health issues wrote on Facebook how hard it is to answer the question, ‘how are you?’ I’ve always had trouble with that question too. As a reporter/poet, I want to be truthful. I believe in the accuracy of language but also in the non-rote creative use of it.
11. My answers for ‘how are you?’ this morning were: I’m starting to like sauerkraut, I’m worried that the water in the chicken’s water bowl has frozen, I need a haircut and ever since I saw that serrated spoon in the silverware drawer this morning I’ve been thinking about grapefruit.
12. For me, writing poetry is like knitting and writing prose is like using a sewing machine.
13. Yesterday’s oracle is today’s google.
Worse than being bit
when I was eight years old
was the shame I felt
having to pull up my skirt
and pull down my pants
to show the doctor
Almost as bad as that
were the jokes that followed
and never having a dignified way
to say bum, butt, rear-end or fanny
For years I dreamt of growling dogs
German Shepherds that wouldn’t let me pass
at the school bus stop corner
of Spring Street and Nantasket Ave
I faced them down
Somewhere in my ‘30s
when my dreams changed from barking dogs
to being lost in strange cities
Worse than being bit
when I was eight years old
was being bit again at 65
being targeted and marked
with a vampire-like imprint
in the same place twice
for no reason
It seems that dog bites can be recurring
like bronchitis or ear infections
and that childhood bogeymen come back and bite
like dreams can bleed into your real life
And when you’re bit in the ass
you have to ask ‘what is the metaphor
for this chewing out?’
What immunity have I been inoculated against?
What symmetry of destiny?
_______________Colleen Redman / Imaginary Garden with Real Toads
You’d never know I got bit by a dog on the thigh/butt just a couple days before and that I was dancing (my ass off) on ibuprofen.
I’m always surprised that I get any video clips taken when I’m so busy dancing or that any photos come out because the nightlife light is so low.
I had trouble finding my off button in between bands and bounced around the packed Dogtown Roadhouse venue wearing a little New Year’s glitter and flash.
The beer was so good and friends were in abundance. I feel blessed to live in Floyd.
Have a listen to Floyd’s own Deer Run Drifters and meet some of my friends on the dance floor.
Spoon Fight and their Allstar onstage friends (also Floyd local) rang in the New Year with a toast and some audience participation. Have a happy one!
______Our World Tuesday
1. While talking to my Asheville Potter son Josh in China via Facebook audio on Christmas, he said people keep asking him if he’s eating a lot of Chinese food. “Yeah, but here, they just call it food.”
2. It was the first time Josh hasn’t been home for Christmas, the first Christmas full moon since 1977 and the warmest Christmas of my life.
3. I’ve missed Josh for many reasons, but one in particular is that I know he would have talked us into seeing the new Star Wars movie instead of the one we saw, Joy, which would have been a good video watch, but fell short for a theater movie. The acting and filming were good, but the story was too melodramatic and milked to the point that I thought Bradley Cooper’s role was a waste of time.
4. Everyone in our family looks forward to the traditional Christmas stockings that Joe fills every year with buffalo jerky, chocolate, gingerbread, clementines and lottery tickets.
5. When I scratch a lottery ticket all I can think about is the mess it’s making and that it sounds too much like fingernails going down a blackboard.
6. I thought I was getting nothing done on Monday, but by the end of the day I had discovered a new way of taking Jackson Pollack-like photos with my camera and put a new collection of poetry together, called “Packing a Suitcase for the Afterlife.”
7. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions I’m a “bah humbug.” Although when the New Year comes around, I do like to review the previous year. I like to brainstorm, set intentions for life directions and weigh what’s been meaningful and what has not.
8. But I have been known to sometimes make some untraditional resolutions, like my 2012 resolution to stand up straight and not lean into the sink when I’m brushing my teeth. In 2009 I resolved to write more legibly. In 2008, I simply posted, “2008 rhymes with great” and in 2007 I said that my only goal was to sit back and be present for whatever life brings my way.
9. I often feel somewhat depressed after the holidays, as this 2011 New Year’s poem attests to: A soggy lament / weeps in drips / melting ghosts / and sugarcoats / exposing every / telltale line / and wasted time / that pools like soured / Christmas cream / and drowns me / in clichés / and sorrow. – Read the poem, which was published in Floyd County Moonshine, in its entirety HERE.
10. Speaking of Christmas stockings, THIS cheers me up.
11. I haven’t been able to bring myself to delete all the emails I’ve gotten from Sandy Hook Promise – a group trying to raise money to prevent gun violence – because it feels like to do so would be like not valuing the lives of those children who were murdered all over again.
12. Some of the questions my 5-year-old grandson Liam asked his Uncle Josh in China: Do they have Santa there? Do they have candy, the regular kind with the red and white stripes? Josh told him that they don’t have candy canes in China, but they have candy and that he’ll bring some home, to which Liam replied, “I hope I like it.”
13. We haven’t seen any of THIS in a long while, maybe because the North Pole is about to rise above freezing in the middle of winter for only the second time on record. That’s 50 degrees hotter than average: It’s usually 20 degrees Fahrenheit below zero there at this time of year. More HERE.
~ The following 2015 review was done by excerpting the first line or few in one post from each month last year. You can click on the name of the month for a full accounting.
January – In my world, the only thing better than going out dancing for a case of the winter doldrums is to do it with a light show. Throw in a hula hoop and a really good draught beer and you have a full scale therapy.
February – We spent Valentine’s Day celebrating my son Dylan’s birthday and shooting arrows from his new birthday bows. I know. It’s a boy thing. And I was the only one not wearing camo.
March – A Crocus Sun Salutation: They raise their purple petals like holy grails of spring / expose their hearts of gold / for giving and receiving.
April – Eating beignets – New Orleans’ take on Native American’s fried dough – is a French Quarter rite of passage. I wanted to eat a beignet on Tuesday so I could take a picture and caption it: Getting Fat Tuesday, but I didn’t get to try one till Thursday.
May – The apple blossom weather for the 16 Hands Studio Tour and little girls in pink lifted my spirits this weekend. Floyd blogger Fred First coined the phrase Earth Day on Floyd Time. I covered the Floyd Earth Day Eco Expo for the local paper, not on April 22 (which is actually Earth Day) but on May 2, which is where I snapped the picture of my friend Valhalla that I call “Valhalla is My New Earth Day Poster Girl!”
June – At Folly Beach we eat seafood off Frisbees and dig to China on the beach. Our four year old grandson Liam has learned to wear flip flops, take outdoor showers and love plums.
July – You don’t need to rub two sticks together to start a fire at Floydfest: Grace Potter fired up the crowd singing Fire on the Mountain and Burning Down the House late Saturday night. While she was doing that, the giant wooden Phoenix in the main field was getting ready to be lit-up in a ritual performance of letting go of what is no longer needed.
August – It’s that time of year again. We’ll not really. There are fires and droughts in California, record breaking heat in the Southwest and other severe weather events consistently being reported. Here in Virginia, the seasonal wildflowers and fruits are almost a month early. There was a time when we picked apples in October.
September – I drag my royal blue beach recliner around the yard like a cartoon caveman drags a woman. It’s like a clock that circles the yard, follows the orbit of the sun and tells of my recent whereabouts. It’s a heavy chair, but I have to find just the right spot, open but protected and private, behind the trees or the garden fence, somewhere I can sunbathe without clothes and not be seen by my neighbor on his lawnmower, where I can soak up the sun like a voltaic cell, expose my eyes that are prone to tear duct infections, make some Vitamin D.
October – It’s a fairy tale of carousels, spells and confetti, Impressionistic valleys and Van Gogh gold. It’s a Seurat painted scene of once upon a time with a hip hop drop from a mountain climb where the red trees flame to light the traveler’s view. All the better to see you with my dears.
November – When I heard from my sister Kathy’s oldest daughter Chrissie that Kathy might not make it through November and would probably not be there for her daughter Beth’s wedding on November 7, I went out and bought her a birthday card. Kathy’s birthday is in January. Maybe we could hope for that long. The card was gold and said something like ‘the best way to give to the world is to be loved.’ I bought it as a wish that Kathy would make it for her birthday, but I also knew her timing for leaving the world would be uniquely her own and that her end would have its own wisdom.
December – You know that scene from A Christmas Carol when Scrooge wakes up with a change of heart after having been visited by the ghosts throughout the night? It’s Christmas morning and he goes to the window to shout down to a little boy and ask what day it is and whether the prize turkey is still hanging in the butcher’s window. Well, that’s how I feel when I hear Joe’s truck pull up and I fling open my bedroom window, look down and see that he brought us home a deer.
1. You know that scene from A Christmas Carol when Scrooge wakes up with a change of heart after having been visited by the ghosts throughout the night? It’s Christmas morning and he goes to the window to shout down to a little boy and ask what day it is and whether the prize turkey is still hanging in the butcher’s window. Well, that’s how I feel when I hear my husband Joe’s truck pull up and I fling open my bedroom window, look down and see that he brought us home a deer.
2. A mixed message? Joe has a camouflage hunting cap with the word “Swag” spelled out on the front.
3. Driving home from Roanoke Friday night, I was hoping to stop to buy some Kahlua. I passed a Packaging Store and was about to pull in when I remembered that the Package Store (aka as the packy) is what we call liquor stores in Massachusetts and in Virginia a Packaging Store is where they sell actual packaging material.
4. Do you know your ABCs? In Virginia those letters stand for Alcohol Beverage Control and we have the first ever ABC store in Floyd now.
5. Speaking of windows, I call the photo above of Jeanie O’Neill’s downtown Floyd boutique that was in the Floyd Press this week, “You don’t need to go to the city to see great Christmas window displays.”
6. Whenever it’s Christmas I try to wear red but usually end up changing back to colors I’m more comfortable in. I guess I like seeing red more than wearing it and I have enough red in my last name.
7. The photo to the right is one of me from 1970 that I recently came across while in my mother’s house in Massachusetts. It was taken on the last Christmas that I ever spent in my childhood home. I moved into my own apartment soon after and just before the town took our house through eminent domain (see HERE) to build a sewage plant on our land. I was working at a hip boutique in Boston at the time where I sometimes posed as a live mannequin in the window. A woman I met then who only wore purple inspired me to try the same. I even wallpapered my room with purple tissue paper from the boutique.
8. “How can we be Irish with a name like Redman?” I remember asking when I was a girl. Our name almost sounded Jewish to me, like the Goldmans and Shumans at school. Redman is not our true name–and the oral history of it goes like this: My father’s mother was born in Ireland and so was his father’s mother. But his father’s father, Oscar Lundquist/a.k.a. Charles Redman, was born in Sweden. Oscar was the black sheep of the family and at the age of 17 he stowed away on ship to America. When a ship’s yachtsman named Charles Redman died, he took over Charles’s job, as well as his name and was able to enter the country without trouble. Our Irish names, Bergin, Dineen, and Murray, were all carried by the women.” – From A.K.A Redman/ The Jim an Dan Stories
9. We have a song about a White Christmas, a Blue Christmas and a Red-nosed Reindeer.
10. I took the picture to the left in the fall of 2007 and titled it “Red on Red Collison.”
11. Red is important in feng shu, the Chinese art of placement. It’s the Chinese color for luck and happiness, the marriage color in India, and the symbolic color of love and romance, courage and passion in the West. In the system of feng shu, it’s believed that every room needs a touch of clear, pure red. It’s suggested that you tie a red ribbon over items to activate good luck and that you put red flowers in a vase in the living room or dining room to draw positive attention.
12. A red carpet or a magic one?
13. (Below) A Floyd “Guess Who?”
Glass ball ornament
string of lights sky
for auld lang syne
__________Imaginary Garden with Real Toads
Every ornament on my tree holds a memory and has a history.
This card defines the theme of what I call ‘my 5-minute tree,’ which is small, decorated in red and gold and actually takes about 15 minutes to put up and decorate. I got the card many years ago from my first mother-in-law, the grandmother of my sons, and my dear friend, Pat. I put it out every year because it’s one of the prettiest cards I’ve ever gotten, and now it’s displayed in her memory. She died in 2011. The smaller ornaments are from a wood and paint ornament kit that were a gift many years ago from my childhood friend Laura.
This is the first year this button heart that was made by my very creative sister Kathy hangs on my tree, and I’m sure it will hang in her memory every year from now on. It came with the last mail I received from her, a Hull Times copy of the five generations (her, her daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter) picture I took and submitted to the paper in the town where we grew up. We lost her to cancer last month. I do like the homemade ornaments the best. The Santa next to Kathy’s button heart is one I bought in the ‘90s at our town’s annual Winterfest. Someone creative made it.
Sometimes I get creative. This felt bird is almost 40 years old. It comes from a series that I made when I was in my early ’20s and is infused with lots of memories.
This ornament is even older. A classic if there ever was one. It’s one of the few I have from my childhood and dates back to the ‘50s. The red one next to it was handmade with pins and sequins by one of my grandsons. That ornament tradition was passed on to me by a woman whose son went to the day care I worked at in the ‘70s. I’ve made many of them over the years and taught others to.
Every ornament has a history and story. This angel was made by talented folk artist Annie Moon, who makes dolls from found and recycled fabrics. She used to live in Floyd but I think lives in Norfolk now.
This clothespin soldier represents my time living in Texas (1978 to 1985). I don’t remember who I got it from, but I loved the craft idea. My son Josh was a baby when I got it, along with some others that have been misplaced over the years. Every year I like to add at least one new one. I’m still waiting to see what this year will bring.
________Our World Tuesday
-The following first appeared in a November issue of The Floyd Press
The June Bug Center’s debut performance was an original production that involved a carpetbagger, an apple stack cake, a blue flower and a ghost. Billed as “Live Storytelling,” under the name Appalachian S.T.E.A.M. (Story Telling Evokes Appalachian Magic), the production was performed on Halloween afternoon as part of the center’s Fall Festival Family Fun Fundraiser, which featured a bounce castle, face painting, pumpkin painting, a costume contest and more.
Titled Aunt June and the Carpetbagger, the story was written by Karen Adams. It was directed by Emily Gruver and performed by Stacy Dowd, who was last seen in the Locust Grove Player’s production of Birth. Dowd was joined on stage by two other actors, Grace Martin and Fox Slife. Martin and Slife, who each played more than one role, are both Floyd County High School students and acting members of the Floyd Community Theatre Guild. Santosha Chantal, who is a trained actor and set designer, built the standout production set, which was like a fourth character in the story.
The June Bug Center is a non-profit community and performing arts center that offers gymnastics, theatre classes, Zumba, Aikido, Yoga and Taekwondo. It is home to Floyd Jams, the Floyd Music Lab and the Floyd Community Theater Guild. Although the Live Storytelling event was free and open to the public, tickets were sold for festival games, refreshments and face painting, as part of the center’s fundraising efforts. Look for more original June Bug productions and events in the future, the center’s director Stacy Hairfield said.
Photos: 1. Stacy Dowd on the set designed by Santosha Chantal. 2. Grace Martin and Fox Slife. 3 Some audience members wore costumes. 4. June Bug Center director Stacy Hairfield (right), pictured in front of the center’s new logo, is wearing face paint by Susan Saunders. 5. The Fork Mountain Ramblers (below) provided entertainment for the Fall Festival and were featured in Aunt June and the Carpetbagger.
1. Leave it to a poet to have his last words upon leaving this world be: “My ride showed up.” John Trudell February 15, 1946 – December 8, 2-15
2. I spent a lot of time listening to the spoken word poetry of Santee Sioux Poet and activist, John Trudell while working in my friend’s bead shop through the ‘90s. HERE is a performance of his still very relevant poem “Rich Man’s War” from his early ‘90s album AKA Graffitti Man and HERE is his Crazy Horse.
3. I used to have a button pin of the fierce looking Apache “last native warrior” Geronimo that I pinned on myself or somewhere nearby when I felt like I needed protection.
4. I was very inspired by the poetry that Trudell was posting on Facebook that chronicled his dying process. One of my favorites is this one: coyote logics: some now and thens / are spent / facing the consequences / of his luck running out / and then there’s the way / today stares at tomorrow / as though its / looking for a way through / but it seems like tomorrow / is tired / of dealing with yesterdays.
5. Sometimes, writing a poem is to enter into a magical place from a specific point in time. It’s like taking a subway ride from Quincy into Boston. It has a route, a speed, and a destination. You can go back the next day and take the same ride, but it won’t be the same. The things you saw out the window one day probably won’t be there either. – From What’s Up With 13 Thursday, January 5th, 2006
6. Good News headlines this week included “Every No Child Left Behind gets left behind” and “Student Succeeds Act vs. No Child Left Behind” in which it was reported that President Obama signed away the 2002 law that gave the government a larger role in classrooms, launching a national system that created unrealistic Standards of Learning (SOLs) and over-testing, and has since proven not to work.
7. And HERE is the lowdown on the results of the Paris Climate Change Conference and what some are calling “One Huge Step for Mankind” and “the greatest single victory since the emergence of the modern environmental movement.”
8. Since attending a day long talk by Michael Meade in 2011, I’ve been waiting to hear what he has to say about Donald Trump running for president, because even back then he was making Trump jokes. Here’s part of what the Shaman/poet/storyteller, Irish wise guy, mentor to the troubled, author, mythologist, drummer, and scholar of psychology and language had to say in a recent Huffington Post commentary. “The Donald embodies the old French word tromper which means “to mock and demean;” but also “to fabricate, deceive and cheat … Right now, he may seem to hold the trump card; eventually, most of the Donald’s claims will turn out to be arrogant, short-sighted and simply trumped up.” – Michael Meade from Donald Trump, the Myth and the Man
9. “I’m in a tornado. Creation!” That’s the words to a song my 5-year-old grandson made up and sang over and over while jumping on the trampoline because he said it made him keep his balance and not fall, and it worked.
10. There are places of comfort / at the tops of trees / where the tulips turn like bells / but never ring / Where the lost and found mingle / but don’t tell their secrets / They hang like our childhood / just out of reach – Read, I Look Up, the poem I wrote for my sister who passed away this November in its entirety HERE.
11. Seems I can only poke but never penetrate the mystery of death and my heart’s response to it.
12. Spirit rises. Soul descends. There is an excess of focus on spirit over soul in our culture. Churches are all about going up there, one God, light, male and transcendence. The soul resides in the realm of shadow, water and emotions. It’s authentic, encompasses many ways and is related to what we love. When the soul is engaged there is vitality and what was uncomfortable becomes a non-issue because the soul is dealing with meaningful things. Comfort doesn’t help the soul grow and can actually get in the way. True wisdom is the unity of spirit and soul, darkness and light. – from Meeting Michael Meade HERE.
13. Seeing is believing but feeling is the truth. –Thomas Fuller