6.26.2022 – it over or just

it over or just
beginning fasten seatbelts
be a bumpy night

This is going to be a long hot summer.

So many threads in the tapestry that will be the history of the year 2022.

So many story lines to follow.

Hands covering my face but with my fingers spread over my eyes so I can see.

Right now, I can say it’s not over.

I can say it’s just beginning.

I can say, fasten your seatbelts.

I can say, it’s going to be a bumpy night.

Wake me when we get to over.

The text of the today’s haiku is adapted from the screenplay from the 1950 movie “All About Eve” by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

Thinking about movies and the current passing show and the time of year, the movie, Long Hot Summer comes to mind.

Based on William Faulkner’s writings, the movie has Orson Welles, as Will Varner deliver this line about an abandoned house:

The man that built this place, his name’s forgotten.

This was his dream and his pride.

Now it’s dust.

Must be a moral there somewhere.

6.24.2022 give the blues a chase

give the blues a chase
find a sunny place can cure
your ills with sunshine

From the song, Little Sunshine by Irving Berlin and sung here in the video below, in such a way that you cannot help but smile, by Tatiana Eva-Marie & Avalon Jazz Band.

A lot of cobwebs in your head
You’re getting rusty, so you said
You’re feeling badly and everything looks grey
You’re getting worried, yes indeed

Simple?

Yes!

Simplistic?

Maybe so.

Right now I am ready and willing to accept simplistic.

And the existence of songs like this from over 100 years ago, give me some hope, some piece of mind, some perspective.

Things have looked pretty bad before.

And growing up in West Michigan, the 2nd most overcast location in North America (after Seattle) I understand how much climate can play a role in my daily outlook.

My first year of living in the Atlanta area, I again and again commented how much just the presence of the sunshine, the quality of the light in the south, made me feel good.

Right now, sunshine seems to be about it in my cabinet of things that are good for what ails you.

All things considered, at least it is not the winter of our discontent, and while it is the summer of our discontent, there is sunshine.

The book of Matthew, Chapter 5, verse 45 reminds me that God ‘causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous‘.

So I will not begrudge anyone access to the sunshine or the rain.

I will embrace it as it I can.

Here are the lyrics, written sometime during the years 1927–1931.

A lot of cobwebs in your head
You’re getting rusty, so you said
You’re feeling badly and everything looks grey
You’re getting worried, yes indeed
I know exactly what you need
A little sunshine will make you feel OK

Give the blues a chase
Find a sunny place
Go and paint your face, with sunshine
Pay your doctor bills
Then throw away his pills
You can cure your ills, with sunshine

6.15.2023 – When out here no place

When out here no place
to go but in when indoors no
place to go but out

When I’m out here,” he said, “there’s no place to go but in. When I’m indoors, there’s no place to go but out in the yard.

That’s where you’re wrong, my friend,” said a voice.

You don’t have to stay in that dirty-little dirty-little dirty-little yard,” said the goose, who talked rather fast. “One of the boards is loose. Push on it, push-push-push on it, and come on out!”

So said the goose to Wilbur the pig in Charlotte’s Web.

Please excuse me, I am going to go and push on some boards in the fence around me and see if I can’t find a way out.

But be warned, after getting out, Wilbur says, “If this is what it’s like to be free,” he thought, “I believe I’d rather be penned up in my own yard.”

6.14.2022 – just another straw

just another straw
is always sunrise somewhere
still holds, reveals much

A graffiti-covered trail in Yosemite national park on Sunday. Photograph: AP

I have never been to Yosemite and most likely, I have to admit, I will never get there.

But I get pleasure knowing it is there.

I know its a manipulated moment in time, but after years of seeing it, I can still stare in wonder at Ansel Adams photograph, “Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park.”

Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park Ansel Adams (American, 1902–1984) about 1937 Photograph, gelatin silver print *The Lane Collection *© The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust *Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

It was dismay.

It was with grave misgivings.

It was with sadness that hit my core when I read that someone had visited Yosemite and had to leave a record of their visit with spray paint.

Stupid I know.

Misplaced and maybe over reacting.

But hear me out.

I can spit in any direction and hit more problems with this world than can be collected in an encyclopedia.

Climate, politics, human rights, civility, guns, housing, wages, food and almost any other story that appears on any front page, and it becomes quite the pile of straw on the camels’ back.

I saw a story on NBC news last night about abandoned disabled people in Ukraine that if it didn’t break your heart and drive you to your knees to beg forgiveness from God for being part of the population of a world that allows this to happen then I don’t know what to say to you.

There is enough, too much, we can agree I think.

And Yosemite National Park got tagged.

Why is this the straw that seems to break my back?

I would say it goes to state of mind.

Yosemite is not easy to get to.

I don’t think it is the type of place you say, “Hey lets go spend a day …” but more of the place where you might say, “Let’s plan …” and you make the trip.

According to the National Parks Website, reservations are needed during peak hours.

Once at the park and the decision is made to hike the Yosemite Falls Trail, visitors are advised that:

  • Start your hike early; this trail can become very hot mid-day in the summer. By starting as early as possible, you will be able to hike during the cooler part of the day. The upper portion of the trail is exposed, receiving no shade until late afternoon or early evening.
  • Avoid becoming dehydrated or experiencing heat exhaustion. Drink plenty and drink often; pace yourself; rest in the shade; eat salty snacks.
  • Sprained ankles and knee injuries are common on this trail. There are many areas of loose sand mixed with rocky terrain, which makes for slippery footing.
  • Stay on the trail; there are numerous steep drop-offs and ledges off-trail.
  • Know your limits. Pre-existing medical conditions can be easily exacerbated on the steep ascent.
  • Do not swim or wade in the creek above the waterfall.

The Parks Website states, If you make the one-mile, 1,000 foot climb (via dozens of switchbacks) to Columbia Rock, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Sentinel Rock. From there, it is worth the time and energy to hike another 0.5 miles (0.8 km) (some of which is actually downhill!) to get a stunning view of Upper Yosemite Fall. Depending on the season, you may even feel the mist from the fall, which may be welcome respite after the tough climb.

I am assuming that some one read all this, knew all this, packed up there gear, maybe a lunch, water, good shoes and then made sure they had at least two cans or colors of spray paint all ready for the hike.

Who thinks this?

Who plans this?

Why?

What does that say about us?

Can you hear them going over their supplies?

Granola Bars?

Check!

Water?

Check!

Spray Paint?

Check!

As I have already admitted, in today’s news about the climate, politics, human rights, civility, guns, housing, wages, food and almost any other story that appears on any front page, there is plenty to get me going.

As I said, I saw a story on NBC news last night about abandoned disabled people in Ukraine that if it didn’t break your heart and drive you to your news to beg forgiveness from God for being part of the population of a world that allows this to happen then I don’t know what to say to you.

But the story of man’s inhumanity to themselves is as old as Caine and Able.

To willfully damage Yosemite with malice aforethought?

John Muir was the man who set up some of the first boundaries of what became Yosemite National Park and camped their with Theodore Roosevelt that led to lots of parks and preservation of wild areas for the benefit of all of us (Though I have to point out it was Mr. Lincoln who signed a bill on June 30, 1864, granting Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias to the State of California “for public use, resort and recreation,” the two tracts “shall be inalienable for all time“).

Mr. Muir once said, “This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising.

It is always sunrise somewhere.

It is always a new day.

But this place, once the sun comes up, reveals a place I don’t recognize anymore.

Just one more straw.

6.11.2022 – misrepresented

her eurosceptic
disciples misunderstood
misrepresented

her opposition
centripetal tendencies
of the E Union

I love the way Brits can coil syllables together like a snake.

Consider this paragraph from a recent story on Brexit:

He said that at no stage, despite all her frustrations with the EU and her many battles (which she won!) did Thatcher ever want to leave the EU. Unfortunately, her soi-disant Eurosceptic disciples misunderstood or misrepresented her opposition to the centripetal tendencies of the EU.

From the article, “With Brexit, the UK has achieved the gold standard of self-harm” by William Keegan.

6.10.2022 – day age we live in

day age we live in
you’re entitled to hate them
you know what I mean?

“And I think that the day and age that we live in now, it’s just so negative that you see it in everything. Sport, politics, whatever it is, it’s like if you disagree with someone you just feel that you’re entitled to like hate them and talk bad about them and just bash their decision, when everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, you know what I mean?”

PGA Golfer Justin Thomas commenting on the pro golfers who opted to play in the new Saudi backed golf league … and about life in the United States in general.

Back in the day, I think there were just as many opinions and just as many thoughts but if you wanted to express them to the world at large you wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper or called AM talk radio.

Since few people read editorials and fewer people listened to AM talk radio, the opinions were muffled.

Today, all anyone has to do is voice their opinion on social media and their opinions are amplified beyond the wildest imaginations.

Of all the emotions available, it seems that giving into rage, giving into hate, are the most embraced by social media.

I don’t watch the Simpson’s often but I saw the one where Homer went on a work’s outing to the local minor league baseball team and was warned by his wife to not make a drunken fool of himself.

Homer replied that he ‘ … had a ticket! A ticket which gives me the right … no … the OBLIGATION to make a drunken fool of myself.’

As Mr. Thomas said, today we feel ‘entitled to hate.’

The only thing that is left is for when we are obligated to hate.

Sounds stupid until it is remembered that this was not beyond anyone’s wildest imagination and in the book, 1984, by George Orwell, every day all the employee’s gather in the lunch room for the required ’10 minute hate.’

It’s the day and age that we live in now.

You know what I mean?

6.9.2022 – with increased demand

with increased demand
please expect shipping delays
summer of firearms

With the number of shootings across America that have been reported again and again and again in the past weeks, I have to point out that a local gun shop has summoned up the gumption to apologize.

That’s right, apologize.

They offer daily deals that, “… aim to provide our customers with new products and best sellers at amazing prices. Daily Deal product offerings include American Made firearms, AR-15 parts and accessories, 9mm pistols, bulk ammo, magazines, optics, and so much more.”

They also sell flame throwers with the pledge, “Flamethrower ownership is generally legal in the United States without requiring any sort of background check. This is America, and freedom is something we stand for.”

But they include the disclaimer, “As the product name states, it is simply a long range torch. However, Maryland and California do have restrictions regarding such devices. The city of Warren, Michigan also prohibits possession via local ordinance.”

As I said, of late, on their webage is an apology.

They are sorry but to increased demand, shipments may be taking more time than usual.

It should also be mentioned that their products have a lifetime guarantee.

They don’t say whose lifetime.

6.7.2022 – Belle Riviere –

Belle Riviere –
the french named it – a woman
easy to look at

We crossed the Ohio River again recently.

I was reminded of the poem, Whiffs of the Ohio River at Cincinnati, by Carl Sandburg from the collection, Good Morning, America.

The part in particular that goes:

When I asked for fish in the restaurant facing the Ohio river, with fish signs and fish pictures all over the wooden, crooked frame of the fish shack, the young man said, ‘Come around next Friday — the fish is all gone today’

So, I took eggs, fried, straight up, one side, and he murmured, humming, looking out at the shining breast of the Ohio river, ‘And the next IS something else, and the next is something else’

The customer next was a hoarse roustabout, handling nail kegs on a steamboat all day, asking for three eggs, sunny side up, three, nothing less, shake us a mean pan of eggs

And while we sat eating eggs, looking at the shining breast of the Ohio river in the evening lights, he had his thoughts and I had mine thinking how the French who found the Ohio river named it La Belle Riviere meaning a woman easy to look at.

5.31.2022 – as mysterious

as mysterious
as great the perpetual
rhythm of the tides

In “Notes for a Preface“, an essay written by Carl Sandburg for the the book “Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg“, Mr. Sandburg wrote, “The Spanish poet Lorca saw one plain apple infinite as the sea. “The life of an apple when it is a delicate flower to the moment when, golden russet, it drops from the tree into the grass is as mysterious and as great as the perpetual rhythm of the tides . . .

According to Wikipedia: Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca (5 June 1898 – 19 August 1936), known as Federico García Lorca was a Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director.

García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of ’27, a group consisting of mostly poets who introduced the tenets of European movements (such as symbolism, futurism, and surrealism) into Spanish literature. He was murdered by Nationalist forces at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. His remains have never been found.

In the poem, Ballad of the Water of the Sea, Lorca writes:

The sea
smiles from far off.
Teeth of foam,
lips of sky.

Folly Field Beach at high tide – Hilton Head Island May 30, 2022

Murdered by the nationalistic or Franco’s forces during the Spanish Civil War, those types of fellers have always had it for the poets and artists and such.

The smart people I guess.

I am reminded of the story of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.

When they took over Cambodia they knew they had to cut off opposition and the best way to do that was get rid of the smart people, the people who could think, the people who would ask questions and start other people asking questions.

And so they did.

They soldiers of Pol Pot went from town to town and executed all the smart people.

They knew who to get.

They started with anyone wearing glasses.

5.30.2022 – piece of cloth, a sound

piece of cloth, a sound
make something not cloth nor sound
totems of love, hate

Adapted from the passage:

A flag is a piece of cloth and a word is a sound,
But we make them something neither cloth nor a sound,
Totems of love and hate

From the poem, John Brown’s Body by Stephen Vincent Benét.

According to Wikipedia

, John Brown’s Body (1928) is an epic American poem written by Stephen Vincent Benét. Its title references the radical abolitionist John Brown, who raided the federal armory at Harpers Ferry in Virginia in October 1859. He was captured and hanged later that year. Benét’s poem covers the history of the American Civil War. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1929.

The photo is of my Great Great Grand Fathers grave.

When he was 18, he joined the 16th Michigan Volunteer Infantry and later fought in Virginia and wounded in action at the Battle of Gaines Mill on June 27, 1862.

Here is a larger extract from the poem.

One cannot balance tragedy in the scales
Unless one weighs it with the tragic heart.
The other man’s tragedy was the greater one
Since the blind fury tore the huger heart,
But this man’s tragedy is the more pitiful.
Thus the Eastern board and the two defended kings.
But why is the game so ordered, what crowns the kings?
They are cities of streets and houses like other cities.
Baltimore might be taken, and war go on,
Atlanta will be taken and war go on,
Why should these two near cities be otherwise?
We do not fight for the real but for shadows we make.
A flag is a piece of cloth and a word is a sound,
But we make them something neither cloth nor a sound,
Totems of love and hate, black sorcery-stones,
So with these cities.

Even today, We do not fight for the real but for shadows we make.

A flag is a piece of cloth and a word is a sound.

But we make them something neither cloth nor a sound, Totems of love and hate.