Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Not Good Behavior

Not only does someone else have the bamboo and ivy situation I do, they have the gremlins I have too.

I have ivy living at the base of bamboo. Who the hell did that?? They both love to spread. Also in the ivy in two different places in my yard I have had to take out yellow jacket nests. They really like to live under ivy. I have one kind of ivy but two different kinds of bamboo.

This stuff came with the house when my mother bought it. She bought the house to get old in. She succeeded. When she died I bought my sister out and sold my old house because this one has a rental in the back yard, roofs tied together with a breezeway to keep the worst of the rain off the backyard tenant. I have the income, and also the doubled property tax of a duplex in a neighborhood zoned for duplex.

I am really itchy (grass allergy) in bamboo. The dust of ivy makes me sneeze when I work in it. Alot. But at least it doesn't make my immune system go haywire. So here's an old poem of mine I have posted before using the image of the ivy.

Not Good Behavior

Like ivy clinging
I will not let go of things.
When I'm pried away
I let loose this dust,
To make you sneeze your brains out.
Then I wilt, despair.

This is not good behavior.
I'm a little bit ashamed.

Written November 25, 2008
Last saved 10:20 AM
First posted February 24, 2009

Monday, July 30, 2012


Every autumn across the Northern Hemisphere, diminishing daylight hours and falling temperatures induce trees to prepare for winter. In these preparations, they shed billions of tons of leaves. In certain regions, the shedding of leaves is preceded by a spectacular color show. Formerly green leaves turn to brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red. These color changes are the result of transformations in leaf pigments.

The green pigment in leaves is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll absorbs red and blue light from the sunlight that falls on leaves. Therefore, the light reflected by the leaves is diminished in red and blue and appears green. The molecules of chlorophyll are large. They are not soluble in the aqueous solution that fills plant cells. Instead, they are attached to the membranes of disc-like structures, called chloroplasts, inside the cells. Chloroplasts are the site of photosynthesis, the process in which light energy is converted to chemical energy. In chloroplasts, the light absorbed by chlorophyll supplies the energy used by plants to transform carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and carbohydrates.

In this endothermic transformation, the energy of the light absorbed by chlorophyll is converted into chemical energy stored in carbohydrates (sugars and starches). This chemical energy drives the biochemical reactions that cause plants to grow, flower, and produce seed.

Chlorophyll is not a very stable compound; bright sunlight causes it to decompose. To maintain the amount of chlorophyll in their leaves, plants continuously synthesize it. The synthesis of chlorophyll in plants requires sunlight and warm temperatures. Therefore, during summer chlorophyll is continuously broken down and regenerated in the leaves of trees.

There is a part of me sure I am misplaced here on the planet. There's another part of me sure I am in a direct line of descent from the very first living thing that led to the current line of descent. It is one of the advantages of accepting evolution, to understand that fundamental connection, unbroken because it has to be, with every form of dna based life on the planet absolutely and unequivocally related one to the other. It cannot be otherwise...well. Perhaps there are five ancestors, five lines of descent, but the incredible sameness of dna coding suggests only one. All the others and they may have been myriad seem to have all died out. Of course the division of life into plants and animals is breathtakingly ancient. Among other things it marked the divergence of the usage of magnesium in chlorophyll (photosynthesis and self sufficiency but generic absence of all motion but simple tropisms) and the usage of iron in hemoglobin (efficient oxygen transport and varieties of motive strategies, but generic absence of true self sufficiency). Self sufficiency means taking sunlight and totally raw materials to form food. Its loss means relying on other living things such as plants and other animals as food sources.


Plants know more than me,
More than you too. They love green
More than anything.
First plants are tiny,
Still tiny after aeons
And birthing giants.
First plants know the way.

Low murmurings from first plants
Tell my ancestry.

Written November 24, 2008
Last saved 7:25 AM on that day
First published February 23, 2009

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I'm Begging You - A Magpie Tale

image courtesy of Tess at The Mag, "Black Dog", Zelko Nedic

I'm Begging You

What will solve this thing?
Bad ideas are scurrying
out of their dark lairs,
offering themselves
as weird next options and me,
I'm asking please please please
take me outside now.
I promise to be good.
I won't kill another cat
or chew on your shoe.

July 29, 2012 11:48 AM

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Good and Evil

Just as explained below, if you look for images of the good on Google it is always found embedded like this image of the Good Samaritan helping the wounded traveller.

And just as explained below, here is evil as a power that stands alone, virtually pure.

"It's true that someone will always say that good and evil don't exist: that is a person who has never had any dealings with real evil. Good is far less convincing than evil, but it's because their chemical structures are different.

"Like gold, good is never found in a pure state in nature: it therefore doesn't seem impressive. It has the unfortunate tendency not to act; it prefers, passively, to be seen." - Amélie Nothomb, Les Catilinaires

In the above quote there is an unfortunate translation from the French. The word "chemical" actually means something more like "basic" as we would say. Thus the statement is more like "Good is far less convincing than evil because their basic structures are different."

Thus it is not true that good and evil are opposites. They are not. They do not rely on one another to exist in that way. They are not linked. And yes, I agree. Real evil does exist though it is doubtful that it is a manifestation of a kingdom nor is it a rebellion. However evil is a "power" as it has been expressed and similar to "powers and principalities", though it is as I have already claimed, not a kingdom.

While the "dark side" exists, again it is not an opposite to the light. And yes, good is never found in a pure state in nature. Evil in contrast can be remarkably pure at times. However, evil relies on secrets and in that sense attempts to remain hidden.

The reason evil attempts to remain hidden is that unless it reaches epic proportions in its own locale it remains remarkably fragile when it is exposed. Ordinary men can squash evil rather easily when it is exposed under normal circumstances. Evil persists because it is so good at hiding and the lies it tells. Often evil can masquerade as the good as so many of our religions very well know from their own disastrous experience. It is religion's misfortune that it can be and has been branded for the evil done in religion's name.

M. Scott Peck wrote in People of the Lie that evil was the first identified insanity (mental illness) found in humans, that evil is a special manifestation of illness. Religion has tried to be the answer, to banish evil and to heal its after effects. I do not think religion has done so well.

Wiki says: Amélie Nothomb (born Fabienne on 13 August 1967) is a Belgian writer who writes in French. She was born in Kobe, Japan to Belgian diplomats. She lived there until she was five years old, and then subsequently lived in China, New York, Bangladesh, Burma, Coventry and Laos. She is from a distinguished Belgian political family; she is the grandniece of Charles-Ferdinand Nothomb, a Belgian foreign minister (1980–1981), and great granddaughter of writer and politician Pierre Nothomb.

I find it remarkable that I rejoice in the wisdom of the young. I rejoice in Amelie. I am very grateful for that, both that the wisdom is there to be found and that I am humble enough in my dotage to embrace it and be guided by it.

A final note: I am especially fearful that the latest sally of evil is to masquerade beneath the widespread outbreak of the varieties of so-called positive thinking, the idea that if I only think it well enough, evil will vanish and prosperity and the good will arrive. Tell that to the six million Jews and the other thirteen million undesirables all executed within the good orderly direction of freeing Aryans from pernicious bondage and creating Lebensraum. Thus was evil administered by the Nazis and their representatives during World War II. For most of the war this evil was hidden in plain sight.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Incense and Smoke

A guest poet - there is no title:

Let me make this perfectly clear.
I have never written anything because it is a Poem.
This is a mistake you always make about me,
A dangerous mistake. I promise you
I am not writing this because it is a Poem.

You suspect this is a posture or an act
I am sorry to tell you it is not an act.

You actually think I care if this
Poem gets off the ground or not. Well
I don't care if this poem gets off the ground or not
And neither should you.
All I have ever cared about
And all you should ever care about
Is what happens when you lift your eyes from this page.

Do not think for one minute it is the Poem that matters.
It is not the Poem that matters.
You can shove the Poem.
What matters is what is out there in the large dark
and in the long light,
- Gwendolyn MacEwen, Afterworlds

Now I wish I had written that!! Way to go!!!

Wiki says:
Gwendolyn Margaret MacEwen (1 September 1941 – 29 November 1987) was a Canadian poet and novelist. A "sophisticated, wide-ranging and thoughtful writer," she published more than 20 books in her brief life. "A sense of magic and mystery from her own interests in the Gnostics, Ancient Egypt and magic itself, and from her wonderment at life and death, makes her writing unique.... She's still regarded by most as one of the best Canadian poets." Though she was highly educated, she was also a high school dropout and self educated beyond that point. MacEwen died in 1987, at the age of 46, of health problems related to alcoholism.

Incense And Smoke

A scatter of views
All find their way to corners
Where they start new homes.

The trouble with letting go
Of them is how they part ways
Even though they come
From the same complex of light,
From still deeper sound.

I find I clasp them
As if I owned them
But they are incense and smoke.

Written November 22, 2008
First Published February 21, 2009
Blog post upgraded and MacEwan added, July 26, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Shouldn't Speak Of It - 3WW

Thom writes:
Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words.

Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words:

Cut; Endanger; Hazard

I Shouldn't Speak Of It

They say the unkind
cut will be the thing takes you
out of this fool's game,
will endanger us,
all of us, the deep hazard
lurking, a big cat
crouched at the thin edge
of the green forest thicket
of our last true hope.
It might be spoken
or barely whispered, tuneless
and fading in wan light
and yet I will know
that once you were really here
in all your beauty.

July 25, 2012 4:05 AM
Modified the last time 8:00 PM

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This House Of Slaughter - Reprise

Stairway into an abandoned slaughterhouse - image by Robin Starfish of Idaho, an old blog friend and a pro with a camera. *click here*

Life eats life. There is no getting past this. Not at our place in the food chain. There are critters on the planet, really small and hugely numerous that feed on raw materials that are not alive as we normally think of alive, or nearly so, but they are at a distant place in the web of life. I am radical about this. Where I see life I also see sentience. I suspect the whole universe of being alive in some sense that we haven't seen yet, that there is a within or center to things that lies very deep along a hidden line, that the difference between living matter and inert matter is a kind of emergence of sentience along this line. Just my opinion. But I am indeed committed to a spiritual life that includes that kind of thinking. In that case life even eats the deep life potential found deep within an inert material.

Notice please that I tried to avoid hierarchical words about the food chain, and I am serious about that too, ever since I read the ethologists like Loren Eisely and Lewis Thomas who have been careful to point out that the human viewpoint on things may contain delusion in it, what my dad was fond of calling the illusion of central position. In many living systems hierarchy and levels of control are strategies. This is far from actually calling the web of life itself hierarchical and better trained people than me question the assumption natural to us that we are at the top. Instead perhaps we are off to the side ;) Hmmmm. Arrogance. Who wears the crown of creation?

There are some biologists who think the single celled critters do, by far the most biomass on the planet.

This House Of Slaughter

It's in the middle
Of nowhere, reeking of death
After all these years.
Cruelty feeds us all, yes.
Make peace here, now if you can.
This house of slaughter
Made the best beef steaks nearby
Juicy, full flavored.

The herds remember.
I was driven to slaughter
In a former life,
So I remember.

Written and Saved November 19, 2008
First Posted February 15, 2009
Images added July 24, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Spell

"Your actions are your only true belongings."- Allan Lokos

The Spell

I cast a spell stone
for you to drop in water
or your tea. It's small,
a pebble really,
or you could suck on it if
you got too thirsty.
Within the stone find
a truth, itself limitless
though the stone is small,
put my heart there too.

April 26, 2010 8:28 PM

'We turn steeply towards Lake Garda, the Alps and heaven' Photo: Alamy

Sunday, July 22, 2012

You know this is true...

Louis Szekely, known professionally as Louis C.K., is a Mexican-American stand-up comedian, television and film writer, actor and director. He is the star of the FX comedy series Louie, which he also writes, directs, and edits.

Louis goes by the surname C.K. because those letters spoken aloud are a close phonetic pronunciation of his true surname Szekely.

Born: September 12, 1967 (age 44), Washington, D.C.

Spouse: Alix Bailey (m. 1995–2008)

Albums: Chewed Up, Hilarious, WORD: Live at Carnegie Hall, Live in Houston

Parents: Mary Louise Davis, Luis Szekely

His father is Hungarian/Mexican and Louis grew up part of the time in Mexico. Although C.K. was born in D.C., he lived in Mexico City until the age of seven. His first language is Spanish, and he still retains Mexican citizenship.

Exit Stategy, A Magpie Tale

Figure Eight, Franz Joseph Kline, 1952

This image comes from Tess Kincaid and is the image prompt for this week's "The Mag".

To see the work of the other participants, *click here*

Franz Joseph Kline

Born: 23-May-1910
Birthplace: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Died: 13-May-1962
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: rheumatic heart failure
Remains: Buried, Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Painter

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Abstract expressionist painter

University: Boston University (1931-35)
University: Heatherley School of Art, London (1937-38)

Exit Strategy

You died of a broken heart,
more anonymous
than abstract, nor alone.

You stood the painter using
cans of black and white
and you tore your page
from the metro phone listings
with utter practice
over and over.

Me too. Here with my loose lines,
I will shiver out,
shaking them all off.

July 22, 2012 11:18 AM

Thursday, July 19, 2012



She said it would be
hard hard hard but don't worry
you won't die of it.

I am not so sure.

Then she said what hurts is what
you keep a secret.

I asked, Who are you?

There was no answer, never
is. I've asked before.

I called I love you
and there was something moving,
some response to that.

April 25, 2010 7:58 PM

I am pagan in sensibility. This is just true, not a choosing of a path, and it has to do with the position of women, poetry and imagination in my life. I don't mean to imply I might worship at the feet of a lover though sometimes it comes close to that. I just think it is completely obvious that women personify creativity, perhaps so completely at times that they never get it about themselves the way men do. Women love men enough to allow patriarchy though they most often know better. In general women do not fear men as often as they should. Men love women but fear them too, more often than they should. As for me, I can't be comfortable with a god who is not feminine some of the time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In The Wheat Field - 3 Word Wednesday

Thom writes:
Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words.

Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words:

Feel; Shade; Tangle

By Vincent Van Gogh

In The Wheat Field

Where I stand the sound
Echoes a copper hollow
I feel in my bones
and the shade of things
is ill defined in the hum
this brier tangle
offers me as truth.
Where I kneel the keen reedy
whine of a tight wire
slices through silence
with a ruby laser blade,
no lie. Divided,
I fall at your feet
in halves of love, twinned and drained,
my boast before you.

July 18, 2012 8:49 AM

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Full Of Self

A Mithraeum where rituals of Mithraic worship and magic were enacted.

"...Some of you may know the song by the Grateful Dead in which the refrain is "I need a miracle every day." I think any reasonable person can conclude that the redemption of the world, if it's to be achieved, can only be achieved through magic. It's too late for science. It's too late for hortatory politics."

"We also are living in the twilight of a great empire, and I don't particularly mean the American empire, I mean the empire of European thinking created in the wake of the Protestant Reformation and the rise of modern industrialism, the empire, in short of science. Science has exhausted itself and become mere techni. It's still able to perform its magical tricks, but it has no claim on a metaphysic with any meaning because the program of rational understanding that was pursued by science has pushed so deeply into the phenomenon of nature that the internal contradictions of the method are now exposed for all to see." quotes by David Ulansey

Ulansey writes: "I am Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at U.C. Berkeley, and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. I am a scholar of the history of religions, comparative religion, and cultural history (Ph.D., Princeton Univ.), and before teaching at CIIS I was on the faculties of the University of California at Berkeley, Boston University, Barnard College (Columbia University), the University of Vermont, Princeton University, and Pacifica Graduate Institute.

"My specialty is the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, especially the ancient Mystery religions, Gnosticism, ancient cosmology, and early Christianity. I have also taught courses in a variety of more speculative areas such as the evolution of consciousness, archetypal psychology, alchemical symbolism, the metaphysics of cyberspace, and applied deep ecology, and I have been a frequent lecturer at the San Francisco C.G. Jung Institute."

For David Ulansey *click here*

Full Of Self

Some have happy hearts
without effort, fitting in
as if born to it.
I saw you take wing
last week and you haven't come
back to earth, not yet.

As for me, alas,
things take a darker lurking
hue more like that storm
that approaches from
the greater northern cyclone,
like that pelican
with a fat full beak
holding smelly rotten chum
just about to dump
right on me, on me!

July 17, 2012 4:21 PM

Monday, July 16, 2012

Change In Status

I know this is a poem about being in love. That's not what I can't explain. It's the thing inside all that I can't explain. It doesn't happen in every relationship. At least it doesn't for me. Certain ones are powerful in a magical way and that power comes not from her or me or you and me or even from us both, whatever that means, and whoever we are. Still it comes from somewhere. That somewhere makes no demands either. It's not like some God Who demands sacrifice or worship or commitment even - but let me tell you, I usually find myself in much better spiritual shape when I have a relationship like the one in the poem.

Change In Status

I can't explain it,
what that felt like, your surprise
confidence. You took
me in your arms, as
if we were lovers beyond
the borderline, then
told me a story
as if I was wise, or brave,
charged a defending
knight. Now the world's changed,
smells cleaner, and I stand here
a little straighter.

April 26, 2010 8:28 AM

"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes. After that I liked jazz music.

Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.

I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened."

- Donald Miller

Donald Miller is a Christian minister and author based in Portland, Oregon who also serves as the Founding Director of The Burnside Writers Collective, a group of primarily Christian spiritual writers who contribute to an online magazine. You can Google both "Donald Miller" and "The Burnside Writers Collective" and learn more.

I will add my own observation: True love doesn't resolve any more than jazz music or God does. When and if it does resolve, then the power I write of here fades away. Sometime later one is forced to admit the love has somehow died as well.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Love On The Wing - A Summer's Magpie Tale

Jack Vettriano's Yesterday's Dreams, found on Tess Kincaid's The Mag 126

Love On The Wing

Through the summer air
I fly all scales quivering
in the golden light
with dust halos left
behind me sparkling, spelling
remnants of your name
as I remember
how you stood at the window
oh so easily.

July 15, 2012 9:00 AM

Among the most successful artists on the planet, Jack Vettriano has been dubbed with the Order of the British Empire. He is also nearly universally panned by art critics. As appears in Wiki:
According to The Daily Telegraph he has been described as the Jeffrey Archer of the art world, a purveyor of "badly conceived soft porn", and a painter of "dim erotica", Sandy Moffat, head of drawing and painting at Glasgow School of Art, said: "He can’t paint, he just colours in." Richard Calvocoressi, when director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, said: "I’d be more than happy to say that we think him an indifferent painter and that he is very low down our list of priorities (whether or not we can afford his work, which at the moment we obviously can’t). His ‘popularity’ rests on cheap commercial reproductions of his paintings." In The Scotsman George Kerevan wrote "He suffers all the same criticisms of the early French Impressionists: mere wallpaper, too simplistic in execution and subject, too obviously erotic." Alice Jones wrote in The Independent that Vettriano has been labelled a chauvinist whose "women are sexual objects, frequently half naked and vulnerable, always in stockings and stilettoes." Regarding the criticism, sculptor David Mach has said: "If he was a fashion designer Jack would be right up there. It’s all just art world snobbery. Anyway, who cares, he probably makes more money than Damien Hirst anyway."
He lives the life some of us dream was our own. It appears Vettriano tried to join up with the main stream of the art world and was turned away. It was only then that he appealed so successfully to the wider public.

Wiki: His original paintings now regularly fetch six figure prices, but he is thought to make more money from the sale of reproductions. According to The Guardian, he earns £500,000 a year in print royalties. Each year a new set of limited edition prints are published, and his most popular work, The Singing Butler (which does not actually show a butler singing), sells more posters and postcards than any other artist in the UK. On 21 April 2004 the original canvas of The Singing Butler sold at auction for £744,500 — in 1992 when Vettriano painted the picture and submitted it for inclusion in the Royal Academy summer show, it was rejected.

Vettriano, born Jack Hoggan is a Scotsman raised in poverty, a man who remade himself along the way to his remarkable success.

A Magpie Tale researched and written this day for Tess Kincaid's The Mag. Click on this link to see how others have approached the prompt of Vettriano's Yesterday's Dreams.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Running Away

Just how true is this?

Running Away

I can't live like this,
like my dreams demand of me.
I duck down alleys
damp with who knows what
but shiny slick with it all
and watch my footing
lest I fall and smear
myself with effluvia,
just to get away.

April 25, 2010 11:41 AM

"Breathe in, breathe out. Oxygen is carcinogenic and likely puts a limit on our life span. It would be unwise though, to try to extend life by not breathing at all.
Which of us doesn't do it? Either we loll in anaerobic stupor, too afraid to fill our lungs with risky beauty, or we roll out fire like dragons, destroying the world we love.

I try not to burn up my world with rage. It is so hard."
- Jeanette Winterson

Friday, July 13, 2012


Even with so many things resolved as they are, I am still looking, still willing that God use me as He can if only what I get in return is the use of His Eyes for just a little while once again. Even with so many things resolved I still bargain though I know that we cannot. I still argue though I lose. I still wrestle, even with this broken down obese mass of flesh I have become. I, still beautiful in the sight of God, am no longer the beautiful youth I once was. I notice that I turn very few heads any more. I never was the popular man in any way. There used to be some who called to me. Now no one does, though many are kinder than I deserve.

To save my life God raised me up and placed me on His lap. That was so long ago now, forty-six years. I gained that much life beyond my coming certain death, all in my opinion a bonus, a second life.

What I do now, I record my passage in the facets that rise up in my imagination, my poems and thoughts. As I write, I don't really know what is important. I have been wrong about that so many times that I assume anything I know is subject to major revision tomorrow. I am a scientist in that spirit, but prayer works, you know, and I need a myth, many myths, many gods and goddesses. And if my life is any proof, standing toe to toe with God and holding a stare down also works. Like Jacob with his wound, I am wounded and carry sacred scars. Like Job, I live a naked life and carry the buffets of an indifferent and crazy world. I too have been told that I should keep to my place, and yet I do not.

There is the sin of pride and there is the grace of integrity. They both reside in me. I am, I believe, mostly the right size, though I am on track only by faith. By any other measure I am lost, a total fool. I stopped housing the terror of this position decades ago. I hold many phases of passion regarding my place but terror is no longer among them. There are many moments now that I stop spontaneously and rest so still that I have to push to rise back up into my life. This is suspiciously like a meditation state, though I have always felt I had little capacity for meditation. I have chanted for years in hopes chanting would be an acceptable form of entraining my spirit since I could not meditate.

Sometimes I feel the presence of the others on the path. I know they are there. I read the work they leave as traces as I leave my own.


You invited me,
offered your life and I knew
the bargain I was
making, a secret
kept in a copper box, latched
and locked tight on pain
of death, never told
until you passed that way, when
it no longer mattered.

April 24, 2010 3:42 PM

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

In Mean Streets - Three Word Wednesday

Thom writes:
Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words.

Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words:

Differ; Halt; Imagine

In Mean Streets

Are you screwing me?
You know we differ over
all the recent play
but I thought we were
beyond all the crappy stuff.
Halt! Don't make me pull.
I mean it, you turd.
I got a fucking big gun.
Imagine that, son.

July 11, 2012 5:45 AM

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Word Verification

I am going to do this:

Dear Readers.

I do not keep word verification to irritate you or stop your comments. I keep word verification because once the bots locate your blog they don't let go. I posted one post in particular years ago. It referred to the WWE, a professional wrestling organization. That apparently was a keyword in a sweep performed by a particular bot and I started getting back post comments from it all over my blog that offered sites to readers that I did not approve. I know it was this post because that stuff stopped when I removed it. Then I got more bots hitting the blog and noticed some others hitting people I visited. I felt that it all might be sourced in my blog. So I got word verification and even the stuff on other blogs stopped.

I've been getting over ten thousand site accesses a month for a year, peaked at over thirteen thousand recently. I have no idea who touches my site but I guess that some of them at least aren't human. You have to ask yourselves why Blogger would do this word verification if it wasn't needed. To maintain the system requires at least occasional attention. That costs money where we don't pay for Blogger at all.

Instead of complaining, it might be better to be grateful that the system in place works so well and offers a kind of training of the eye to us that apparently most of us can accomplish. I initially had trouble and now I don't reading the word verification challenges. I will be sixty-seven in November. If I did not keep the word verification then all this would start up again. I feel that keeping myself off the bot grid helps us all.

That I had to remove the offending post hurt me because my uncle was a professional wrestler and the post was about him. Having a bot chase you away from personal history is not fun. My posts are varied and bring material in from all around the internet because I use so many images I find through Google. Recently I lost a computer, an all in one by Lenovo, to internet damage. It wasn't robust enough to survive the malware without getting scrambled while this HP running right beside it is. I had Norton and Malwarebytes running on the Lenovo but that didn't matter.

I only write about my computer death to point out how toxic the internet really is. Be grateful your computer is robust. You get crap passing through every day. If that freaks you out, then consider some kind of Linux internet driver or even better, get a Mac. I have to stay IBM PC because I am an AutoCAD user.

Rant over.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

In The Fields - A Magpie Tale

Chilmark Hay, 1951 by Thomas Hart Benton
by way of Tess Kincaid

In The Fields

Your leather straps sit
on my withers and beneath
them is where my sweat
darkens my long lines.

Beneath my cracked hooves the chaff
coughs up golden dust.
I wheeze, snort and sneeze.

Weaving left and right, my head
gives me this wide field
but I can't see you,
just feel the bite of your whip
always a surprise
on my flinching flesh
as I strain against the leads.
It's time for my lunch.

Written as a Magpie Tale
July 8, 2012 9:52 AM

Wiki says: "Thomas Hart Benton (April 15, 1889 – January 19, 1975) was an American painter and muralist. Along with Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry, he was at the forefront of the Regionalist art movement. His fluid, almost sculpted paintings showed everyday scenes of life in the United States. Though his work is strongly associated with the Midwest, he painted scores of works of New York City, where he lived for more than 20 years; Martha’s Vineyard, where he summered for much of his adult life; the American South; and the American West."

Benton was outspoken and held unpopular opinions throughout his life. He irritated political people by not being political enough and he irked others by failing to sugar coat regional history. His murals are often reminiscent of socialist art. In a series of murals depicting the history of Indiana, he included a scene of the Ku Klux Klan in full dress, a group in fact which was at its peak in Indiana at the time.

He was anti-gay enough, anti-the mainstream art world enough to get fired from a teaching position. He called the typical art museum, "a graveyard run by a pretty boy with delicate wrists and a swing in his gait."

Jackson Pollock, perhaps his most famous student, said of Benton that Benton's traditional teachings gave him something to rebel against.

Chilmark is located on Martha's Vineyard, where Benton spent many of his summers.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Thom writes:
Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words.

Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday.

To link up with this week's Three Word Wednesday *click here*

This week's words:

Buffer; Transition; Unity


I woke up today.
I mean I really woke up,
no buffer between
me and the abyss -
no transition there either.
I'm hung out to dry
as if the truth will
set me floating off into
some grand unity.
That's when I noticed
last night's dishes still need washing
and TV's still bad.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Departure To The Oort Cloud

Artist: Michael Jaecks Concept: The Hahnork
"The Hahnork scour the Oort Cloud well past Pluto's orbit for micro-comets, icy chunks of comet nuclei that have made too many trips around the sun and have almost completely evaporated. The Hahnork then push these tiny comets back toward the sun and surf their inertia for fun. As they approach the solar winds, the small chunks of ice and rock begin to evaporate again, forming a bright tail of ionized gas on the approach. The Hahnork enjoy playing their interstellar game of 'chicken' and choose the smallest comet nuclei they can as a matter of pride. The last Hahnork left standing on his comet wins."

The Oort Cloud fits theory really well, but by definition cannot be shown to exist using current technology. This is one concept that is a favorite of the critics of science crowd because they claim that scientific claims for the Oort Cloud are on a par with claims for God and intelligent design. This is not far wrong.

Wiki says:
"The Oort cloud or the Öpik–Oort cloud, is a hypothesized spherical cloud of comets which may lie roughly 50,000 AU, or nearly a light-year, from the Sun. This places the cloud at nearly a quarter of the distance to Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun. The Kuiper belt and the scattered disc, the other two reservoirs of trans-Neptunian objects, are less than one thousandth of the Oort cloud's distance. The outer limit of the Oort cloud defines the cosmographical boundary of the Solar System and the region of the Sun's gravitational dominance.

"The Oort cloud is thought to comprise two separate regions: a spherical outer Oort cloud and a disc-shaped inner Oort cloud, or Hills cloud. Objects in the Oort cloud are largely composed of ices, such as water, ammonia, and methane. Astronomers believe that the matter composing the Oort cloud formed closer to the Sun and was scattered far out into space by the gravitational effects of the giant planets early in the Solar System's evolution.

"Although no confirmed direct observations of the Oort cloud have been made, astronomers believe that it is the source of all long-period and Halley-type comets entering the inner Solar System and many of the centaurs and Jupiter-family comets as well. The outer Oort cloud is only loosely bound to the Solar System, and thus is easily affected by the gravitational pull both of passing stars and of the Milky Way Galaxy itself. These forces occasionally dislodge comets from their orbits within the cloud and send them towards the inner Solar System."
The problem is energy and storage space. If we solve those, then there is the velocity problem and the braking problem, meaning to get there in anything like a reasonable time frame forces travel at a significant percentage of the speed of light. There is the raw space high energy cosmic ray and related radiation exposure problem. Finally there are the psychology problems connected to long term isolation either solo or as is equally difficult, in small groups. We already know all we need concerning navigation and communication. I have a strong opinion that human nature will continue to offer the biggest obstacles, and that the same solutions to them will more or less work just the same. The very best chance we have of surviving ourselves is to find a compelling challenge that overrides our tendency to selfish and self centered attitudes and behavior.

Already in the global warming issue we see how difficult it is to get consensus even in the face of the possibility of an extinction level event. We need certainty and we may never get certainty until far too late. Otherwise it is still reasonable to doubt global warming even if it is insane to take the risk of doing nothing.

Why would we ever go to the Oort Cloud? To mine the raw materials found there. We would have to revolutionize current science to make this pay. We might need the water though by then. And the clean Oxygen. And the usable hydrocarbons. By earth's inventory standards the Oort Cloud is basically limitless.

Oh by the way, we may be well on the way to building a ring world by the time we mine the Oort Cloud - in this way capturing a great deal more of the sun's energy and rising above the planetary model of civilization, entering citizen of the galaxy status.

One reason we don't find civilizations out there may be that successful civilizations have succeeded in capturing 100% of their sun's output and have thus rendered themselves basically invisible because they no longer leak to the outside in any way.

Departure To The Oort Cloud

I look from my post,
from orders to head far out
to the birthing cloud
beyond this solar
neighborhood, I, departing
bid you this farewell,
knowing I have left
you ragged, undone, hoping
you will find your way
to forgive me this.

April 19, 2010 08:42 PM

Sunday, July 1, 2012

It Must Be Indigestion - A Magpie Tale

Ophelia by Odilion Redon courtesy Tess Kincaid

Redon wrote:
"My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined."
Redon's work represent an exploration of his internal feelings and psyche. He himself wanted to "place the visible at the service of the invisible"; thus, although his work seems filled with strange beings and grotesque dichotomies, his aim was to represent pictorially the ghosts of his own mind. A telling source of Redon's inspiration and the forces behind his works can be found in his journal A Soi-même (To Myself). His process was explained best by himself when he said:
"I have often, as an exercise and as a sustenance, painted before an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an unsatiated thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased."

It Must Be Indigestion

Spike Lee's done his best.
The shitty committee speaks
the truth, I'll admit.

It rolls all the way
back a hundred years and more
to the symbolists,
the surrealists and
their paints, their pastels,
charcoal suggestions
hidden in the wash.
It all lets the new guys do
what they do of late.

I do not get it,
all the piercings and the tats.
Something wrong with kids
these days, I harrumph.

July 1, 2012 6:32 AM
Written for Mag 124... *click here*

Get Your Own Visitor Map!