Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Poetic Interlude

Macaw in winter


Too cold for an old
red macaw perched

outside the door of a
Kushiro pet shop this

December day. But
there he is

hunkered down,
grooming his feathers

in the cold winter wind
as snowflakes begin to fall.


Today the old red macaw
is on his perch munching seeds
as the arctic wind whips past.

Does he dream
of steaming tropical

--Kushiro, December 2007

Friday, January 22, 2010

Government of the people, by the people, for the people

The phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, so dear to the hearts of Americans comes from Lincoln's Gettysburg address: “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government: of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

In their majority ruling, the U. S. Supreme Court has today turned government of the people, by the people and for the people on its head, reengineering it to say "government of business, by business and for business", the people be damned.

What we now are guaranteed, unless Congress can overturn this ruling, is government by business interests, the best government that money can buy, that does what business interests wants it to do, with an utter disregard for the interests and needs people like you and me.

How did the Supreme Court do this? In a 5-4 majority, they said that businesses and business organizations could make unlimited political donations, including sponsoring TV ads for candidates they support, and against candidates they want to see defeated. What this does is hand the power of the purse over to the power elite, because they are the ones who have the money. Where does that put the average US citizen and citizen's organization? In Pauper's Row, begging for money.

This totally upsets the way politics are supposed to work in America, and hands it to people who do not have your interests, or mine, in mind.

If this doesn't make you mad, it should.

It is high time we flood the email Inboxes and mail boxes with demands that Congress reverse this ruling with strong protections that spell out in crystal clear terms just what government of the people, by the people and for the people is, so that business and the U.S. Supreme Court justices who wrote the majority opinion in this ruling understand exactly what it means, and spells out in clear terms its guarantees.

And we need to do this now.

All for this post,


Saturday, January 9, 2010

“The day I see a leaf is a marvel of a day.” — Kenneth Patton

Sitting here in my study looking out at the snow, I think what marvelous things our senses are. To sit quietly and see, touch, hear, smell and taste the world we live in. To take the smallest, the tiniest particle or being and take it in and savor it. To watch the wind in the trees, the approaching rain, the sound of voices or a voice. To hear music, laughter, grief. To look into our loved one’s eyes and see into the depths. To hold a loved one’s hand, to feel the warmth and texture of skin on skin, to cherish memories.

What a privilege just to to be without expectation or agenda.

Spring Poem

This morning walking

to work

I saw


backing out of


branches of a hedge.

Scottish Country Fair, St. Paul

On the green

dancers leap & twirl

bodies light as mist

They catch moons with their arms

throw out suns

make the earth under their feet

groan with pleasure

& with their eyes

give out a solemn joy & pride

that moves across the green

like a soft wind

blown up from a valley

or a shaft of light

cast down through trees.


The ocean

is magnificent

sun sparkling

on its calm surface.


In this quiet room

only the TV and my pen

show any motion

~ ~ ~

I wrote the first poems back in the 1970s. They are in my poetry collection, Seeing: Collected Poems, 1973 – 1999, published by Tortoise & Hare Publications in 2000, and now out of print. The last two poems I wrote while visiting my wife’s family in Kushiro, Japan in December 2007. On sunny days, the old red macaw sat on his perch outside in the winter wind.

Happy New Year to each of you. I am now back from my “writing sabbatical”. For more about that, go to, go to “Writer’s Blog” and read “When the Well Runs Dry”.

Warmest regards,