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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wishing everyone a safe and joyous Thanksgiving

The day is starting out here cold with an overcast sky, a clear reminder that it's fall.

This Thanksgiving morning I just wanted to take a brief inventory of some of the many blessings that I am thankful for:

  • Family - I have the best! A very loving & supportive wife. Four smart and tremendously funny children (each in their own way) and Harper, our granddaughter who is amazing, fun, frick'n brilliant and dances with the beat of the rhythm night (DeBarge)
  • Health - I remain in good health - minus the standard aches and pains. I have what I need to manage my diabetes,
  • My job, my home, - food, shelter, health insurance and clothing. Seriously, we often take these things for granted; so many around the world would trade places with us in a heart beat.
  • Friends- real and the voices in my head ;-)
  • Our pets that love unconditionally and sometimes annoy with equal measure.
  • Books - the window to other worlds, that inform, entertain, and stretch the mind.
  • Writing - the process by which I am able to express myself, dig deep withing my soul, discover, and create art.
  • Art - in all it's forms.
For all this and so much more - I give thanks.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Standing As One

Dear Reader:

I suppose I am no different than most of you right now, in that I have been inundated with thoughts about the terrorists attacks in Paris. What I don't want to do here is talk about blame, or specific actions by governments in dealing with these attacks or countering future attacks. These decisions that will be made be respective governments is short order, and I do hope they will be made with reasonable dialogue in the open so that citizens know full well what options are to be considered.

But today, I am happy that so many in the United States and around the world are standing in solidarity with France. Our two nations have a long and storied history that includes liberating them from occupation in WWII along with our allies and some more recent periods in which some in this country including  politicians tended to snub our noses at the French. I suspect many of those who engaged in such folly as boycotting french fires (hardly a French cuisine) have forgotten why they acted with such disdain. We are after all, citizens of a global community that largely have the same objective in life. To live full and rich lives with our families, and so so safely. We value our friends and love ones and each day life with the hope that these people will arrive home safely at the end of the day.

The picture above is from the Kansas City Skyline. Our Union Station in the foreground, The Marriott Hotel to the left in the distance and City Hall, Center back, all have been lit with the colors of the French Flag. So many other cities have done similar. Seattle and New York I am aware of, but I am sure there are many others.

My thoughts are with the refugees that have flooded into Europe in the past few months, many leaving behind everything but the clothing on their back and  traveling at great risk.While some see these refugees as a burden upon European countries it is important too that we realize they have the ultimate objective the rest of us share. The reason they risk so much is because the are running from war torn nations and the same barbaric violence delivered to innocent people in Paris.

I is heartening to see some many people around the world standing too in support of Muslim brothers and sisters. Their religion believes in a loving  God and so many have been quick to condemn this violence.

If we cannot embrace peace
we have nothing 
to show
in the alternative       

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Confession Tuesday - Respect the Book Edition

Dear Reader:

It's been so long since my last Confession Tuesday that I can't begin to give you a time period. Let's just say that it's been a long assed time and that a whole bunch of shit has gone down since then.

I suppose one benefit of waiting so long is that it's easier to find subject matter for the confession. I do have a number of things twirling around in the back of my mind.

Let me start by confessing that I feel pretty darn good physically. This after an extended period of feeling dragged out. A recent trip to my doctor resulted in an adjustment in the treatment of a chronic condition and it has made remarkable difference in how I feel.  Running and clicking my heels would not be out of the picture the way I feel.

Tonight is a debate of the Republican candidates for president. I confess that I will not be watching. I confess that  I've pretty much read enough and listened to enough of them that I'm convinced that only one is remotely qualified to serve as president and I have problems with many of that candidate's positions on critical issues. The others are all such a hot mess that in spite of what they believe, there presence in the oval office would be a disaster.  So, again I reiterate that I will not be watching. That would be time wasted that I would never get back.

Let's talk about dogs. We have three of them. Silas, Inky and Madison. They are all rescue dogs and they all have their own special problems. Silas came to us semi-feral and he still has anxiety issues. Inky also has anxiety issues. Madison is still a puppy and this past week he was a turd. Yes, a turd.
He's a long haired dachshund  and if you know anything about the breed, they are stubborn.  I am a real stickler bout my books. Every dog we have had till now has left my books alone. I confess I have not always been especially trusting of them to do so and I am pretty good about not leaving them where they can reach them for more than a few seconds. This past week I momentarily left my new signed copy of Elegy/Elk River by Michael Schmeltzer on the bed. I walked out of the bedroom for a few moments and then returned. Being a chapbook I suppose the thickness was just perfect for a certain puppy to apply his mouth to the corner and chew. Now the book remains readable, but it's pristine condition bit the dust, By the way, the book is remarkable and I will be writing a review of it soon. Suffice to say, Madison has already put his stamp of approval on it. I confess I was angry at him.  Madison must learn to respect the book if he is going to hang around with me when I'm writing.

But I confess this has not been the best week for Madison and I. Yesterday, he decided to chew at the corner of the wall next to my studio door. Sigh. Do you have any idea how hard it is to be angry at a dachshund puppy?

I love it when I discover new poets. I suppose it would be better to say, poets that are new to me. My most recent discovery is Cate Marvin. I confess that I think as I read more of her work, she may rank pretty high on my list

I don't know about others, but the last two to three months of the year I always seem to put a lot of pressure on myself to about my writing. I confess that I know this is not the most beneficial way to approach writing. Still, I'm always driven to go out of the year in overdrive. It's about ending the year strong and carrying over into the new one. I will be writing a lot this weekend. I am planning to block out time for reading and time specifically for writing. I'm doing a make shift Writing Residency.  I promise next Tuesday to let you know how it was.  

Until next Tuesday, be safe and live well...


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Pardon me while I begin my seasonal affective disorder

“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops."   ~A. Bartlett Giamatti

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Saturday Mail Bag

New  book arrived by mail yesterday. Sometime over the past  week or so I discovered poet whose work on initial read  I enjoyed. I honestly don't recall where I first learned of  Cate Marvin  but I did as I often do when I see a poet who looks interesting for the first time. I google them. I look for more of their works and try and establish a better grasp of their writing and if I think I might want to invest in one or more of their books.  I also look to see if there are any interviews of the author on line so I can learn something more about them Things that might inform the way they write.

Oracle is Cate Marvin's latest book to be released. I have added it to my stack of books to read and will soon tell you a little more about my thoughts on it.

I read a fascinating interview, albeit a bit old... dating back to 2008. It appeared in reDIVIDER a journal of new literature and art. 

Anyway, more Oracle after I've finished it.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Contemplative Division

is it normal
this mindset
the demonstrative fashion

I thought it punitive
I thought it course grade sandpaper

I thought the wind would whip us bare
I thought nothing-   then everything
and I though nothing of it

too many times my thoughts have proven

I can never stay with a thought long enough
to work it backwards the way you proof long division

math was never my best subject

Michael Allyn Wells (c) 2015