3.5.2022 – watching ukraine war

watching ukraine war
watching and waiting for what …
for that shoe to drop

Me and my brother Pete were just over a year apart in age.

We were brothers.

We fought a lot.

And often.

There is a famous scene in our childhood when my future sister-in-law, Judy Beach was visiting us.

Judy had grown up in a nice, calm family with one brother.

She dated my brother Paul who was and is a nice, calm guy.

I suspect Judy was surprised if maybe not overwhelmed when she was at our house ‘to meet the family’ and me and Pete got into it, MMA style.

It wasn’t until we were a little older when we got into Junior High that we learned about wrestling and trying to use our weight (which neither had very much of) to hold the other down.

Nope.

This was brawling.

This was we-watched-them-do-this-on-tv cowboy in the saloon bar fights.

This was Three Stooges, sitting-on-you-while-trying to bash-your-head-through-the-floor slugfests.

We swung and kicked and bit as best we could.

Screaming all the time.

And no one paid much attention to us.

But it caught Judy’s attention and she was distraught and anxiety gnawed at her.

Was no one going to say anything?

Was no one going to stop this?

I was 9 and Pete was 8.

After a while, my Mom took notice.

“Stop it, stop it, stop it.” said Mom.

Judy later told how relived she was that finally this was over.

She felt she could breathe again.

Then my Mom said, “Give me your glasses.”

Pete and I both wore glasses that got broke often.

We took them off and gave them to Mom who put them on the kitchen counter.

“Okay, get it over with,” she said as she turned back to Judy and we got back to brawling.

It must have been something to see.

I remember another time one of these fights took place in front of my Grandfather.

He stood over saying, “Here here, here here.”

Which struck both me and Pete so funny that we stopped fighting just to laugh.

For a long time we could make the other laugh in church by leaning over and whispering, “Here here.”

SO we watch the war in Ukraine.

The world stands by and says, “Here here, here here.”

The world stands by and says, “Now stop that.”

The world stands by and says, “Now look out for that nuclear power plant.”

We know we aren’t going to do anything.

They know we aren’t going to do anything.

Well, we are going to cut off their allowance if they don’t stop.

What to do?

What can you do?

So we wait for this war to be over.

Though I am not sure what over means.

I think I want Mr. Putin to come to his senses and say, “My bad – So sorry – We are leaving.”

I also want a million dollars (tax free).

I know Mr. Putin is not going to come to his senses.

Mr. Putin wants to make Russia great again.

So what do I want?

Let’s go the movies.

Do I want to be Richard Blaine?

Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca and get back into the fight, a fight I know this time our side will win?

Do I want to be Sam Spade?

Humphrey Bogart in Maltese Falcon and say to Putin, “I won’t play the sap for you! I won’t play the sap for you because you’ve counted on it.”

I have to admit I think a lot of problems that people have could be avoided if they had said to themselves, “I won’t play the sap for you.”

On the other hand …

It just occurred to me.

In Maltese Falcon, Bogart wears black suits.

In Casablanca, Bogart wears the white dinner jacket.

How long will it take for the shoe to drop?

Cities bombed.

People killed.

Now here here.

March Madness is about to start and we would really like to just watch it okay?

Boy I wonder who Joe Biden has in his bracket?

I think, in the end, the movie will be the old John Wayne standard, Chisum.

You know the line.

Finally John Wayne has been pushed too far and he is asked what he is going to do and John Wayne says, “What I’d have done 25 years ago.”

3.4.2022 – make definitive

make definitive
future
declaration is
not dealing in facts

Once the war in Ukraine started, I often found it difficult to write a haiku on a daily basis.

To fill in those gaps, I turned to this entry, originally posted on March 6, 2022 and created several haiku to fill in gaps.

Please forgive this effort on my part to produce a daily haiku in retrograde fashion but as I like to say, my blog my rules.

Suffice it to say, this entry may not have been created on this date and this essay was not written for today but then the essay itself is somewhat timeless in its application.

Thanks

MJH

——–

Adapted from the article, The world is unpredictable and strange. Still, there is hope in the madness by Rebecca Solnit and the paragraph in particular that states:

Despair is a delusion of confidence that asserts it knows what’s coming, perhaps a tool of those who like to feel in control, even if just of the facts, when in reality, we can frame approximate parameters, but the surprises keep coming.

Anyone who makes a definitive declaration about what the future will bring is not dealing in facts.

The world we live in today was utterly unforeseen and unimaginable on many counts, the world that is coming is something we can work toward but not something we can foresee.

We need to have confidence that surprise and uncertainty are unshakable principles, if we want to have confidence in something.

And recognize that in that uncertainty is room to act, to try to shape a future that will be determined by what we do in the present.

Recognize that in that uncertainty is room to act.

I have been told that the symbol of Ukraine is the sunflower.

I find it, well, comforting, or fitting, or entirely appropriate that Vincent Van Gogh let out so much of his expression through sunflowers.

While I agree and endorse that We need to have confidence that surprise and uncertainty are unshakable principles, if we want to have confidence in something.

I agree too with the statement that the world we live in today was utterly unforeseen and unimaginable on many counts.

But I also am comforted knowing that when the when Moses came down Mt. Sinai with the 10 commandments and he wrote the the first five books of the Bible, God knew that it wouldn’t be long until I was reading those books on something called an iPhone.

3.3.2022 – Kremlin said its war

Kremlin said its war
going according to plan
no Putin plan b

According to the today’s front page of the New York Times:

The Kremlin said its war in Ukraine was “going according to plan” and signaled no intention of backing down. The statement came in a description of President Vladimir Putin’s phone call with President Emmanuel Macron of France.

And …

It Is Very Clear Putin Has No Plan B.

3.1.2022 – frame approximate

frame approximate
parameters reality
surprise keep coming

Once the war in Ukraine started, I often found it difficult to write a haiku on a daily basis.

To fill in those gaps, I turned to this entry, originally posted on March 6, 2022 and created several haiku to fill in gaps.

Please forgive this effort on my part to produce a daily haiku in retrograde fashion but as I like to say, my blog my rules.

Suffice it to say, this entry may not have been created on this date and this essay was not written for today but then the essay itself is somewhat timeless in its application.

Thanks

MJH

——–

Adapted from the article, The world is unpredictable and strange. Still, there is hope in the madness by Rebecca Solnit and the paragraph in particular that states:

Despair is a delusion of confidence that asserts it knows what’s coming, perhaps a tool of those who like to feel in control, even if just of the facts, when in reality, we can frame approximate parameters, but the surprises keep coming.

Anyone who makes a definitive declaration about what the future will bring is not dealing in facts.

The world we live in today was utterly unforeseen and unimaginable on many counts, the world that is coming is something we can work toward but not something we can foresee.

We need to have confidence that surprise and uncertainty are unshakable principles, if we want to have confidence in something.

And recognize that in that uncertainty is room to act, to try to shape a future that will be determined by what we do in the present.

Recognize that in that uncertainty is room to act.

I have been told that the symbol of Ukraine is the sunflower.

I find it, well, comforting, or fitting, or entirely appropriate that Vincent Van Gogh let out so much of his expression through sunflowers.

While I agree and endorse that We need to have confidence that surprise and uncertainty are unshakable principles, if we want to have confidence in something.

I agree too with the statement that the world we live in today was utterly unforeseen and unimaginable on many counts.

But I also am comforted knowing that when the when Moses came down Mt. Sinai with the 10 commandments and he wrote the the first five books of the Bible, God knew that it wouldn’t be long until I was reading those books on something called an iPhone.

2.28.2022 – have confidence that

shape future that will
be determined by what we
do in the present

Once the war in Ukraine started, I often found it difficult to write a haiku on a daily basis.

To fill in those gaps, I turned to this entry, originally posted on March 6, 2022 and created several haiku to fill in gaps.

Please forgive this effort on my part to produce a daily haiku in retrograde fashion but as I like to say, my blog my rules.

Suffice it to say, this entry may not have been created on this date and this essay was not written for today but then the essay itself is somewhat timeless in its application.

Thanks

MJH

——–

Adapted from the article, The world is unpredictable and strange. Still, there is hope in the madness by Rebecca Solnit and the paragraph in particular that states:

Despair is a delusion of confidence that asserts it knows what’s coming, perhaps a tool of those who like to feel in control, even if just of the facts, when in reality, we can frame approximate parameters, but the surprises keep coming.

Anyone who makes a definitive declaration about what the future will bring is not dealing in facts.

The world we live in today was utterly unforeseen and unimaginable on many counts, the world that is coming is something we can work toward but not something we can foresee.

We need to have confidence that surprise and uncertainty are unshakable principles, if we want to have confidence in something.

And recognize that in that uncertainty is room to act, to try to shape a future that will be determined by what we do in the present.

Recognize that in that uncertainty is room to act.

I have been told that the symbol of Ukraine is the sunflower.

I find it, well, comforting, or fitting, or entirely appropriate that Vincent Van Gogh let out so much of his expression through sunflowers.

While I agree and endorse that We need to have confidence that surprise and uncertainty are unshakable principles, if we want to have confidence in something.

I agree too with the statement that the world we live in today was utterly unforeseen and unimaginable on many counts.

But I also am comforted knowing that when the when Moses came down Mt. Sinai with the 10 commandments and he wrote the the first five books of the Bible, God knew that it wouldn’t be long until I was reading those books on something called an iPhone.

2.24.2022 – at four a m Kyiv

at four a m Kyiv
was bombed, in the spring, the time
when kings go to war

There was a time when school kids learned the verses,

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

In Russia, I am told, school kids learned the verses,

Dvadtstat’ vtorogo iyunya, rovno v chetyre utra,
Kiev bombili, nam govorili, chto nachalas’ vojna

Which is translated,

On June 22, exactly at four in the morning,
Kiev was bombed, we were told that the war had begun

It is from a Russian song about the start of World War 2, when the Germans attacked Russia on June 22, 1941.

This morning, I picked up my Bible to start my day and my reading took up at the book of 1 Chronicles, Chapter 20.

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, Joab led out the armed forces. He laid waste the land of the Ammonites and went to Rabbah and besieged it, but David remained in Jerusalem. Joab attacked Rabbah and left it in ruins.”

I guess the world grows older, but the world never grows up.

I am reminded of the lines of Robert Conway, played by Ronald Colman in the movie, ‘Lost Horizons’ when Conway talks about how he would run Foreign affairs:

You see, the trick is to see who can out-talk the other. Everybody wants something for nothing, and if you can’t get it with smooth talk, you send an army in. I’m going to fool them. I’m not going to have an army. I’m going to disband mine. I’m going to sink my battleships – I’m going to destroy every piece of warcraft.

Then when the enemy approaches we’ll say, “Come in, gentlemen – what can we do for you?” So then the poor enemy soldiers will stop and think. And what will they think? They’ll think to themselves – Something’s wrong here. We’ve been duped. This is not according to form. These people seem to be quite friendly, and why should we shoot them?” Then they’ll lay down their arms. You see how simple the whole thing is?

Centuries of tradition kicked right in the pants — and I’ll be slapped straight into the nearest insane asylum.

Is it any wonder that Frank Capra movies were labeled, Capra Corn?

I grew up enamored of war and the study of battles and the romance of it all.

I am reminded of the scene in the book, Gone with the Wind.

A scene not in the movie.

It takes place at the opening barbecue at the Wilkes Mansion, Twelve Oaks.

Talk of war breaks out and in the movie the only one who speaks out against the war is Rhett Butler.

But in the book, Margaret Mitchell wrote this:

Under the arbor, the deaf old gentleman from Fayetteville punched India.

What’s it all about? What are they saying?”

“War!” shouted India, cupping her hand to his ear. “They want to fight the Yankees!”

“War, is it?” he cried, fumbling about him for his cane and heaving himself out of his chair with more energy than he had shown in years. “I’ll tell ‘um about war. I’ve been there.” It was not often that Mr. McRae had the opportunity to talk about war, the way his women folks shushed him.

He stumped rapidly to the group, waving his cane and shouting and, because he could not hear the voices about him, he soon had undisputed possession of the field.

You fire-eating young bucks, listen to me. You don’t want to fight. I fought and I know. Went out in the Seminole War and was a big enough fool to go to the Mexican War, too. You all don’t know what war is. You think it’s riding a pretty horse and having the girls throw flowers at you and coming home a hero. Well, it ain’t. No, sir! It’s going hungry, and getting the measles and pneumonia from sleeping in the wet. And if it ain’t measles and pneumonia, it’s your bowels. Yes sir, what war does to a man’s bowels–dysentery and things like that–“

The ladies were pink with blushes. Mr. McRae was a reminder of a cruder era, like Grandma Fontaine and her embarrassingly loud belches, an era everyone would like to forget.

“Run get your grandpa,” hissed one of the old gentleman’s daughters to a young girl standing near by. “I declare,” she whispered to the fluttering matrons about her, “he gets worse every day.

Maybe I’ll just go back to bed and crawl under the blankets.

2.23.2022 – things I never thought

things I never thought
would see see where this is
going, not pretty

‘I see,’ said the blind carpenter as he picked up his hammer and saw.

This ‘Wellerism” or pun goes back to 1845 when a version first appeared in print.

I heard it a lot growing up.

Most of the time it was when I finally understood something that for most people was accepted common knowledge.

I have been thinking about those things that I accepted as common knowledge in the field of politics this morning.

Maybe I should say ‘accepted as fact’ rather than common knowledge.

When I was in college, it was accepted as fact and so I was taught, that with their 104 seat majority in the House of Representatives, the Democratic Party would never lose control of the house.

Then came 1994 and 54 seats changed hands and a lot of fingers were pointed at feelings created by then President Bill Clinton.

Except for two non consecutive sessions, the Democratic Party held control of the house for 58 of the previous 62 years.

I never that I would see a Republican, conservative led house, but I did.

But things change and a lot has changed in the last 5 years.

I never thought I would see Republican Conservative Evangelicals support a foul mouthed, womanizing, lying creep, but I did.

I never thought I would see Republican Conservatives risk their health over politics, but I did.

I never thoughts I would see an American President come out against NATO and the USAs allies in Europe, but I did.

Then last night, watching the coverage of Ukraine, the coverage turned to the former President and his take on what was going on.

Not surprisingly, the former President is coming out on the side of Mr. Vladimir Putin and the Russians and against Mr. Biden, Europe and NATO.

He has hailed Mr. Putin as a genius.

I said to myself, what is going on here? Just WHAT is going on here.

Then, as the blind man, I picked up my hammer hammer and saw.

I never thought I would see Republican Conservatives backing Russia, but I bet I will.

You can go back to Rome and Carthage where Romans led by Cato the Censor ended every speech with Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam or Carthage must be destroyed

Didn’t matter what Cato was talking about, trash removal, the next public games or fire insurance, he would end with Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.

He did this long enough that Rome finally got around to attacking and destroying Carthage and scattering salt on the ruins to make sure nothing ever grew there again.

I mention this to describe this is how Republican Conservatives used to feel about Russia and the old USSR and communism.

For most Republicans the watchword was that Russia must be destroyed.

I for one, don’t think this new Russia is much different from the old USSR.

If nothing else, this was evident in the just concluded Winter Olympics.

New Russia but old story.

New Republican leader and new Republican story.

I can see it clearly.

All the angst, all the conflict, all the turmoil of the last couple of years will all back as again the former President has found another way to divide us.

It was General Patton who said, “Compared to war, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance.”

Well folks, compared to a depth of feelings over a foreign war, over sending men and women into danger, over situations where people, sons and daughters, get killed, all other forms of expression of feelings, feelings about masks, vaccines, convoys and elections, will shrink to insignificance.

What I am saying is we haven’t seen anything like what is coming.

Take all the scenes that have played out on TV the last couple of years.

Then turn the volume up.

Way up.

I can see it coming.

And it is not pretty.

Maybe Mr. Trump is right.

That Mr. Putin is a genius.

Also those other Russians, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, all wanted to beat the United States and spent fortunes in money, treasure and lives in the attempt.

Mr. Putin might just pull it off by letting the US destroy itself.

2.17.2022 – Love is a deep and

love is a deep and
dark like a book read over
and over again

Love is a Deep and a Dark and a Lonely
Carl Sandburg

love is a deep and a dark and a lonely
and you take it deep take it dark
and take it with a lonely winding
and when the winding gets too lonely
then may come the windflowers
and the breath of wind over many flowers
winding its way out of many lonely flowers
waiting in rainleaf whispers
waiting in dry stalks of noon
wanting in a music of windbreaths
so you can take love as it comes keening
as it comes with a voice and a face
and you make a talk of it
talking to yourself a talk worth keeping
and you put it away for a keen keeping
and you find it to be a hoarding
and you give it away and yet it stays hoarded

like a book read over and over again
like one book being a long row of books
like leaves of windflowers bending low
and bending to be never broken