Thursday, June 30, 2005
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
live8 live8 paris live8 philly
The leaders of the G8 countries have an opportunity to take a bold position that can go a long way towards eradicating poverty in African countries but they will not likely take bold steps without knowing the world is watching and expecting more than token efforts.
Africa needs more than money. For one thing, it needs debt forgiveness. Many nations are unable to move forward because they continue to struggle under the burden of simply repaying interest on money given them years ago from the world bank. Between 1970 and 2002 Africa received $540 billion in loans. Over that same period, African countries paid back $550 or $10 billion more than the original loans--today they still owe another $293 billion. Most African nations spend more repaying these debts then they spend on education and health care. Read more about the issues here
Food and water are in short supply. Much of Africa is in extreme poverty. People living on less than $1 a day.
- HIV/AIDS kills 6,300 people
- 8,500 people are infected with the HIV virus
- 1,400 newborn babies are infected during childbirth or by their mothers' milk.
Corruption in government is always harmful to those under its rule, but those in poverty suffer the most in such situations and are perhaps the least able to do anything about it directly. The issue of government accountability is critical to Africa.
All of these factors are critical to ending extreme poverty in Africa. They are what The One Campaign is about.
The One Campaign isn't asking you for money... it is asking you to stand up and say to our leaders that the time to act ins NOW. The G8 summit offers the perfect opportunity to address Africa's POVERTY and we are watching. We support action and We are watching. We are asking you to become part of the solution and We are watching.
WHAT YOU CAN DO....
Sign the ONE Declaration and encourage others to do so too! [sign here]
Wear the white band and learn more about world poverty [here]
Raise your voices... Encourage Congress and the president to make overcoming hunger, poverty and decease a priority. Urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Millennium Development Goals Resolution (H. Con. Res 172) for a sample letter click here .
Engage others in discussing these issues. Ideas and resources of sharing ONE with others here
I challenge everyone, but especially poets and writers to get involved. Sign the declaration & encourage others via your blogs your conversations, etc. Link the resources I have provided her or link this post if you wish. I have this belief that poets and writers tend to be more in tune with our world as a whole and those about us. I hope that is not a misconception on my part.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Good stuff in this case is Deborah Ager's link to Charles Jensen's Definitive List of Problems with American Poetry. Well, be warned. This is "to-bust-a-gut" material.
Gee, where would I start with the best of this piece. I do like the decoder rings... but you gotta love the Poetry created outside of academia fitting into one of two new genres of writing: greeting cards or word noise.
Follow the link and read the whole thing for yourself. (Did I just encourage people to leave my site?) OK, go read it, but come right back.
Moscow has been added to the LIVE8 concert list which kicks off Saturday the efforts to build support to put pressure on world leaders meeting the following week to do more to alleviate extreme poverty.
I read three poems of mine...
- Beautiful Music
- Freedom Summer Redux
- Doing Circles
Beyond poetry, (but maybe not) I have been enjoying a good deal of 60's music on my new satellite radio. It has really hit me how much I miss the music of the 60's and 70's for that matter. I am sure this says a lot about me besides age.
The 60's were such a turbulent age and it is quizzical how it seemed to amalgamate both social conscience and at the same time lead so many to sort of drop out of institutional society for a while. There are many differences between the 60's and the past five years, I do feel some of the same undercurrents developing around me. Just an observation.
Monday, June 27, 2005
Part of that "wonderful BUSH law called the NO CHILD LET BEHIND ACT requires schools to provide information on students be given to the military. This information includes names, phone numbers, address, gender, ethnicity, Social Security numbers, academic achievement data and age for students as young as 16 along with e-mail addresses and other personal information. Hey, and you thought No Child Left Behind was an education Act not a military recruiters Act.
But wait, this gets better.... the Pentagon has hired a private marketing firm to keep files on millions of young people. WOW this deserves the Earnie Grahan Award for innovation in trashing privacy rights.
The Pentagon contract for this data is with BeNow - 500 Edgewater Drive Suite 525 Wakefield, MA 01880 781-246-0040.
It seems that there is an "opt-out" option - which few are told of. School districts have reportedly discussed providing such information to parents on cards - but have been pressure from federal education authorities who warned they'd pull funding from their districts. Which again begs to ask the question what exactly are we trying to prevent the "Child" from missing out on?
Two things are running through my head here...
1. Sixteen year olds do not need to be hounded by military recruiters.
2. Private vendors do NOT need involuntary access to social security numbers of anyone, much less minors.
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Tags: Privacy No Child Left Behind Pentagon
Sunday, June 26, 2005
From July 6th - 9th Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair hosting the meeting of leaders from these 8 nations. Last year a commission began exploring the problems Africa faces in today's world. The summit will have an opportunity to focus on the African continent's past and present and the international community's role in its development path. The issues facing this continent are not surprising... unpayable debts, uncontrolled spread of AIDS, and unfair trade rules which keep Africans poor. Still, the major obstacles to the people of Africa developing any real hope for the future is one in which the solution lies in part with the countries that comprise the G-8 summit membership.
On July 13, 1985 - the world took notice when rock stars from around the world held unique dual concerts in London and Philadelphia, which saw millions of people watching as Live Aid, called on people to take action to help the sufferers of the famine hitting Africa. Live Aid raised over $100 million. Still, 20 years later poverty, famine and disease remains major problems in Africa. The public has shown this is important is to them, but now it is time to get our governments involved. LIVE 8 is not a fund raiser... it is about justice not charity. It is about asking our governments to take a responsible look at our policies to African countries.
I hope you'll check this message [here] from Bob Geldof about Live 8. Find out what it is all about. Join in support of creating HOPE for the people of Africa.
I'll be blogging some on this daily throughout the duration of the summit along with the rest of my blog routine. I hope other poets, writers and artists will do likewise. Sometimes I believe the creative minds of the world are also those people with the great sensitivity to those cultural and political issues that divide us. I think it would be great to see others in the poetry community to be on the front lines supporting the effort along with the many musicians who have made the commitment.
Ney is a highly talented poet who I have met and had the pleasure to experience her great passion for the troubled lives of so many on both sides of the Middle East spectrum. It is good to see such work getting exposure from mainstream media outlets. Such attention in literature can only broaden our opportunities for better understanding.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Entering the week, there was lots in the international press and increasing references on the domestic front about the Downing Street Memo. The basic premise of course is that President Bush had his sights set on Iraq long ago and that the Administration manipulated intelligence information to build a case for attacking Iraq. None of this surprises me based on things we have historically already pieced together. What is significant is that it seems to point to the fact that British officials were aware of this as well ( as it was happening) and still Tony Blair became joined at the hip (or perhaps the brain) with Bush on this. It of course causes me to wonder why Blair fell into line so easily. Did Bush have pictures of Blair and sheep in compromising positions?
So here is a big surprise - Poll: Majority Says War in Iraq a Mistake 53 percent of Americans now say the war in Iraq was a mistake. 56 percent disapprove of how Bush has conducted the war. HOWEVER - good news for the President. If you are a suburban - male - Republican, there is a chance you may actually support the war. Well, that is the strongest base of support for it.
Now get this... Iraq-Like Regime not appropriate for Syria so says US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Wow... yeah, cause like where would we find the troops?
Speaking of troops... Poll Finds Most Oppose Return to Draft. A majority of Americans are opposed to reinstatement of the draft. Now, I don't think there was any ground swell of support growing for it anyway, but I'll bet a lot of people find the concept less palatable given how Bush has taken the United States into Iraq. Despite the recruiting problems, nearly 70% of Americans say they oppose reinstatement and almost half of those polled were strongly opposed. Notably, the poll also finds that a majority wouldn't encourage their own children to enlist - highlighting the problems faced by the military as recruiting is in a slump.
Rumsfeld claims US not losing Iraq war. American troops killed since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 rose to 1,731 with six new casualties today. Other casualties of Iraq.
My contribution to water cooler talk this morning was "only in America..." in reference to this headline: Justices Rule Cities Can Take Property for Private Development. Of course I quickly recanted that statement. There are plenty of totalitarian governments that will do this.
And after a group of neo-conservative Republicans try to do a hatchet job on funding for public radio and television broadcasting - the House beat back the cuts with a 284-140 vote to restore $100 million in funds.
Thursday, former Republican National Committee co-chair, Patricia Harrison, is named president and chief executive of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.... gee, it gets pretty clear where all this was coming from. By the way- there was still a loss of some funding the budget even with $100 million restored.
And don't you just love it. We have a economic issues - a war - a national deficit out the wazoo and some in Congress want to spend time on votes to ban flag burning. A vote that is nothing more than GOP members trying to get record votes on something so that can point fingers at others later and question their patriotism.
What a week... I need a shot or two of 80 proof poetry.
So glad it is Friday... This has not been a good week for writing. Not that I haven't tried. Just the results have been disappointing. Monday, June 27th - 8pm is Open Mic at Writers Place. Need to decide what to read.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
I had a shot of it over steamed milk with a shot of espresso. It is rich and smooth. Frankly I think I'd enjoy it over rocks. Well, we'll know about that tonight after I get home from work. I'm thinking a shot of it and Irish Cream - over rocks would be good too!
It is funny, because while I like coffee, there are not a lot of coffee flavored products that I do like. Coffee flavored candy is like gag-city. Some of the Starbucks Ice Cream flavors I like - but some I'm not fond of. In general, I do NOT buy coffee flavored desserts. I think this is a throw back to the fact that for years I could not stand coffee and sweets together. The marriage of cream and coffee was a Starbucks thing for me. I normally would only drink black coffee. I think the successful union of the two works only because most of Starbucks coffees that I like are city-roast (dark roast) and have a deep flavor that bleeds through dairy products to keep the rich flavor of the coffee alive.
Starbucks Coffee Liqueur
In the biography submitted to the newspaper, Rincon described herself as a poet and actress. Well, I guess she thought she could play Marianne Moore.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
The Letters of Robert Lowell I suspect is worthy of a read. The William H. Pritchard review in The Boston Globe certainly wet my thirst for such. Though I'm not likely to shell out the $40 retail price, I will be hoping it comes to a library near me soon.
Monday, June 20, 2005
First I was fortunate enough to spent the day with my wife and three of my four children. We went to the ballgame- which was sunny and quite hot. The experience was overall an enjoyable one but the game was really secondary to the family time. I know they would have preferred being in the a/c but it was nice being with them. My oldest daughter is in the God-forsaken state of Arizona, but with the modern marvel of telecommunications (minus the multiple times her phone dropped the call) we talked last night. I think that only made me miss her more though.
I was surprised by the gift 0f a satellite-radio which will allow me to get the San Francisco Giants ball games... among other things. The real gift however, was my family.
I thought I'd take a moment to post a few quotes about fathers I have rounded up from various people. They present an interesting perspective.
"A king, realizing his incompetence, can either delegate or abdicate his duties. A father can do neither. If only sons could see the paradox, they would understand the dilemma." ~ Marlene Dietrich
"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." ~Mark Twain, in "Bringing Up Father," Reader's Digest, September 1937
"If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right." ~ Bill Cosby
"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." ~ Sigmund Freud
"It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was." ~ Anne Sexton
My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys." ~ Harmon Killebrew
"A father carries pictures where his money used to be." ~ Author Unknown
"Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later... that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life. " ~Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
and last but not least....
"Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher's mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again." ~Jimmy Piersal, on how to diaper a baby, 1968
Friday, June 17, 2005
Without a doubt I can attest to such awakenings. I've had a number of then, so I can certainly identify with the overall feeling. I would not categorize them as rare, but infrequent. I'd like to say I have them daily... weekly even. While they may well occur perhaps two in a week, there can be lots of open green space between them. Sometimes weeks pass without one at all.
I don't think that one even has to have a great poem for such awakening to occur. But the foundation for a great poem has to be there. I have one for example that I had such a feeling about some time back. I was preparing it to submit recently and decided that it that to change. I have tinkered with it for days now, but I still believe in the concept that was a part of that initial awakening. I just know that something, some tiny portion of it can be fine tuned for betterment of the overall work.
I have another poem that is new and I believe attests to that awakening feeling. It is a short three stanza piece but nearly twenty-four hours later I am looking at one line of the poem and listening to others and- well, I am stalled. I have sent it out to a number of other writers that I often workshop material with and I am awaiting their comments. The best thing that can come out of such action is that I will get a better feel for how the original text is working or not working. Of course the hazard of seeking the advise and council of twenty people is getting twenty different answers.
You can't believe how grateful I am that it is Friday. Being the end if the work week is almost like a salvation of sorts. Like a cell phone or something I really need to be recharged and I am hoping this weekend can be that.
My quote for the day is on Critics....
A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
BWT - Stickpoet passed 14,000 hits! Yeah! Thanks to all the peeps!
Thursday, June 16, 2005
You can find out more about the implications of this portion of the Patriots act here at the Campaign for Reader Privacy or sign an online petition here.
Want to know how your Representatives voted? This link will give you an opportunity to see the votes.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
The Writers Place will host a 4-part workshop for beginning poets that will be facilitated by SHIRLEY RICKETT. The group will discuss what they read, favorite poet(s), look at sources of inspiration, and complete writing exercises. The workshop will take a close look at first lines and consider the audience for the poem and the poet. Participants will write poems during the workshop and have their own poetry reading. Shirley is a retired teacher and one of Kansas City's gifted poets.
Session 1 -- Friday, June 10, 6pm to 7:30pm
Session 2 -- Saturday, June 11, 10am to Noon
Session 3 -- Saturday, June 18, 10am to Noon
Session 4 -- Saturday, June 25, 10am to Noon
$40 for members and $50 for non-members.
Read This - Full House action anticipated as early as tomorrow.
Sign an electronic petition from Move On dot Org
Can you help us reach 400,000 signers by the end of the day?
Sign petition here
Once you've signed the petition, please pass it along to friends, family and neighbors who count on NPR and PBS.
For Solnit it is easy to see how a lot of the antiwar movement has done that in the wake of our second Iraq war. All the energy that was successfully generated in opposition, yet there was still war. It is only natural to look at it as a contest that ended with a winner and a loser. But that view ignores the larger or global picture. It is like weather... tomorrow the issue is still there... maybe not even in Iraq. Maybe someplace else.
Still, Solnit has looked for and found a silver lining in many of the events of the past couple of years. I found this particular assessment interesting food for thought:
We achieved a global movement without leaders. There were many brilliant
spokespeople, theorists and organizers, but when your fate rests on your leader,
you are only as strong, as incorruptible, and as creative as he -- or,
occasionally, she -- is. What could be more democratic than millions of people
who, via the grapevine, the Internet, and various groups from churches to unions
to direct-action affinity groups, can organize themselves? Of course leaderless
actions and movements have been organized for the past couple of decades, but
never on such a grand scale. The African writer Laurens Van Der Post once said
that no great new leaders were emerging because it was time for us to cease to
be followers. Perhaps we have.
If groping around in the dark is scary for some, Rebecca Solnit thinks it is a bonus for the cause of peace activism. I can see her point. After all, the Bush administration has already pushed the envelope in many areas, including a first-strike military action and questionable mis-statement of intelligence information. Knowing the level to which this administration is willing to operate, and the precedence it has established, give rise to more uncertainty and that should strengthen the resolve of millions to demand more accountability.
In a bit of self-serving pat on the back, I like that she acknowledged the contribution poets have made to the cause:
"American poets became an antiwar movement themselves when Sam Hamill declined an invitation to Laura Bush's "Poetry and the American Voice" symposium shortly after her husband's administration announced their "Shock and Awe" plan, and he circulated his letter of outrage. His e-mail box filled up, he started http://www.poetsagainstthewar.org/, to which about 11,000 poets have submitted poems to date. Hamill became a major spokesperson against the war and his website has become an organizing tool for the peace movement."
Even in these dark times... here's to reason, hope and peace.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Monday, June 13, 2005
Evidently when President George W. Bush spoke on Wednesday with Neil Cavuto on Fox News Channel, about the fate of the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, he failed to check with his boss first.
In the Wednesday interview with Cavuto, Bush left open the possibility that the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Closed down. The question was asked amid growing criticism of the way in which the facility has been used and the treatment prisoners have receive. Former President Jimmy Carter, being among many calling for closure of the facility.
Vice President Dick Cheney, however, says no... Gitmo prison isn't closing - ''The important thing here to understand is that the people that are at Guantanamo are bad people,'' he said in an interview for Fox News channels "Hannuity & Columns." adding, '"I mean, these are terrorists for the most part. These are people that were captured in the battlefield of Afghanistan or rounded up as part of the al-Qaida network."
MEANWHILE... Richard Everhart, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet died at his Hanover, NH home on Thursday. The 101 year old poet was admired for mentoring generations of aspiring writers. He was responsible for a dozen books of poetry and verse during a sixty-plus year career. He will be remembered for referring to poetry as, "...A natural energy resource of our country," in his 1977 acceptance speech for a National Book Award. "It has no energy crisis, possessing a potential that will last as long as the country. Its power is equal to that of any country in the world."
CHANGING OF THE GUARD occurred this weekend at the Northland / Maple Woods Writing Group where Scot Icom stepped down after moderating the group for the past two years and Chris Madonna accepted the torch - careful Chris, don't get burnt! :) Big thanks to Scot, and best wishes to Chris.
MY DAUGHTER MEGHAN, rode in a bike event this Saturday morning - going extra distance( missing the poorly marked turn-point) and still finished second overall and was the first female to complete. This is I believe only her second sanctioned event. I wish I could post a copy of her crossing the the finish, however I was not present, having taken the car to the dealership for service. When she came home she proclaimed herself the "beast" with arms triumphantly in the air... I was quite proud of her and wished I had seen her cross the finish line. I'm sure it had to be poetry in motion....
Friday, June 10, 2005
The handwritten piece is said to have been written to accompany one of the poems in a book given to the Duke of Weimer by Bach in 1713. The book was thought to be simply poetry written by a local poet. Evidently, the Library all along has had this intriguing piece and was unaware of it. Strange how things work sometimes. They almost lost something they didn't know they had.
So this got me to thinking about the interesting things I sometimes tuck into book.
At random, I have pulled out four books and found the following:
1. A sheet of self adhesive commemorative Ogden Nash stamps. Ok, there are only 5 stamps left - the others have been used.
2. An officemax receipt from 2-13-95 with notes scribbled on the back relating to diabetic food exchange points.
3. A "real bookmark" - as opposed to one of those other items we insert to keep place in a book.
This on is a Shakespeare - from a Literary Luminaries series.
4. A business card sized cardstock that says "I carry a pager" and has a place for a number. ( What the "F" is a pager? Is that something like an 8-track?)
Well, none of those rises to the level of the Anna Amalia Library find. I suppose 292 years from now, five 37 cent postage stamps may be worth more. Likely at least a good laugh that we could even sent mail across the country for 37 cents... or maybe people will just bust a gut laughing at the thought of snail main period.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Anyone have a stranger place they have read?
BUT that said, the Downing Street memo may finally be finding a home within the American dialogue about per-Iraq War intentions by the Bush Administration.
The story made USA Today - and Tuesday's Washington Post - though not for the first time.
The MEMO information can be seen here as it appeared in the Sunday Times online - May 1, 2005.
While the story is BIG new in London... and has been since it was disclosed, it may now be finding its way into the mainstream media here in the US and hunkering down till it is addressed by the Bush administration. No, I mean really addressed. Not dismissed.
The information really should be no surprise because there has been so much evidence to support the contention for some time. It however may actually represent the smoking gun so to speak that forces the Bush administration out of a pack of lies that it has circled around itself.
Meanwhile, Tony Blair has his hands full defending Cherie's profits from her lucrative speaking engagement while visiting the US.
Blair may have survived the most recent election in Britain, but his political baggage seems only to be getting heavier. Bush of course is a lame duck, but by many accounts his political "capital" as he likes to call it may be well overspent and his political health condition far worse than lame.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
More on official Chinese response to requests to account for prisoners still detained after the violent 1989 crackdown on the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement.
Haskins, credited for bringing the Kwanzaa holiday celebration to Queens, New York over 25 years ago, has been heralded by legions of cult fans as the 'Nikki Giovanni' of the New Millennium.
The significance of Haskins' presence at the recent American Booksellers' convention in New York City was evidenced by the overwhelming demand for signed copies of her current book by distributors and competing authors, alike.
Let A New Woman Rise is featured in the concurrent edition of the New York Amsterdam News. Writer L. Nzinga Strickland has devoted upwards of an entire page of the prestigious African-American newspaper to discuss and revere this unique body of literary work; as well as expound upon the newsworthy achievements of Ms. Haskins.
In addition to being a poetess, Barbara Haskins (also known as Barbara Scott) is a public speaker and educator. Her commitment to preserve African-American self esteem is apparent through her countless array of cumulative, civic and political citations.
citation: the above is entirely from the prweb press release
Monday, June 06, 2005
This seems fair enough to me as I fail to see how a person, writer or reader, can implicitly divorce themselves from life experiences, long held views and gender influences when it comes to poetry. You simply are going to bring these things with you to some degree and impact poetry with it both on the creation side and the consumer side, even if it is unintentional.
The review presents Vicki Bertram's work as a responsible look at gender studies and an attempt to put the issue on the map of mainstream criticisms. Of course, I would like to read this work first hand in order to adequately form my own assessment of her contribution to such.
In the grand scheme of things, I believe this is an element of poetics worthy of debate. What happens beyond that discourse becomes a whole different animal. I am always fearful that the outcome of such dialogue can lead to categorizations within poetry that can detract from the art itself. That may well have been what Elizabeth Bishop had in mind.
Still, there seems to be some benefit to the acknowledgment - (if only a personal one for each of us) that we bring a part of ourselves to each poem that no one else carries with them. This is true of both the poem's author and reader.
Saturday, June 04, 2005
While the past 16 years have seen many cultural changes in China, one thing remains unchanged. The present Chinese government is still entrenched in a belief that what happened on June 4, 1989 at Tiananmen was necessary and not only maintains an unapologetic stance, continues a paranoia about the flow if information that might open up any dissenting view.
The rest of the world has enough information about the actions in Tiananmen that history will not allow it to be defined in such narrow terms as the Chinese governments presently clings to. While the government remains hopelessly committed to a policy of information containment as a way to deal with this sad piece of Chinese history, the truth and an internet age make shielding from such information from society almost an impossible task. Still, the fear that dictated such actions 16 years ago continues to fuel government actions. The most recent evidence of this is the detention of a journalist named Ching Cheong.
On April 22 of this year, Ching Cheong, a Chinese nationalist, left his residence in Hong Kong to travel across the boarder to the mainland to meet with a man named Zong Fengmin only 45 minutes way. He hoped to return with an unpublished manuscript titled "Conversations with Zhao Ziyang Under House Arrest" The work was that of Zong Fengmin, a retired Chinese official.
While the contents of the this conversation with Zhao (who died this January) are unknown, a central point of a recently published memoir of Zhao by Zong stresses that the demands by the students for greater openness and democracy was also shared by a great many mid-level and higher ranking party members in Beijing as well.
Ching Cheong however, has not returned from his 45 minute journey, but is being held on the mainland and this week was charged with espionage. There has been no evidence offered by officials to substantiate these charges. He has not been allowed contact with family, visitors, legal council or the Straits Times of Singapore, for whom he writes. This has prompted nearly every newspaper and press freedom group in Asia to call for his release.
Reporters without boarders
NY Times - Thousands at Hong Kong Vigil for Tiananmen Anniversary
Singapore journalists petition Chinese embassy on detained correspondent
for Zhao Ziyang
The Beijing breeze whispers
Tears like the mountain rains
to tributaries until they become one
with the rippling waters of the Yangtze.
I am a Tiananmen mother.
My eyes have swelled
with this sadness before.
The wetness follows a path
My nights are immense.
I am but a lone bare branch
in a cold, dark world.
that June night
etched in my soul
over and over.
My son stood
in the Square
with a vision
and they came-
The People's Army.
My son stood
in Tiananmen Square,
amid a sea of other
sons an daughters
and they came-
clanking along the streets into Tiananmen
driven by fear, ordered by paranoia.
Our sons and daughters
toppled to the earth
at their hands.
Crimson crawling into every crevice
Of these ancient Chinese streets
A stain still upon us today.
I cannot count the nights
I've wept for my son since.
Today, I weep for another.
There is no official news
but the Beijing breeze whispers again.
This time for the death of the old man.
There are guards of fear
stationed outside my door.
The lump in my throat is big,
I cannot begin to swallow,
that is how I know the truth.
Guilt always gnawing at my heart.
I could not help my son that June night.
Again as I am helpless.
I want to pay my respects
to the old man who stood up
for my son and others
massacred in Tiananmen,
but the thugs watch
my every move.
I am a Tiananmen mother.
It is my duty to weep
for the lost ones.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Thursday, June 02, 2005
You're John Keats! You were born poor, trained to
be a doctor, and then decided you wanted to be
a poet. You threw yourself into poetry with
great dedication. You're very nice and
extremely dedicated to your art. You write
great letters and sexy poetry. It's amazing
how much you got done in your short lifetime.
Which Major Romantic Poet Would You Be (if You Were a Major Romantic Poet)?
brought to you by Quizilla
The surprise to me was James Taylor. I recall the story of his song "Fire and Rain" being written about a young woman he fell in love with at a Psych facility.... I never knew if the story was true or folk lore, but it seemed plausible. Learning that McLean was indeed the site of a hospital stay for him certainly makes the story that much more interesting.
I suppose I will need to add Gracefully Insane by Alex Beam to my growing read list.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Minnesota has a state muffin - the blueberry muffin. It has a state photograph, titled "Grace" and, Oh my God!!! a state mushroom! Yep, it has an official toadstool!
Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty, however, said no to the poet laureate idea. If signed into law, the bill would have allowed him to appoint a poet laureate after receiving recommendations from the nonprofit Minnesota Humanities Commission. Many thought the timing was perfect to start such a endeavor, as the state will be celebrating it's sesquicentennial in 2008 and a laureate would have been called on to provide verse for ceremonies and celebrations thoughout the state. Additionally, no state funds would have gone with the job.
Pawlenty suggested that the measure could lead to "requests for a state mime, interpretive dancer or potter." In this case a mime for a Governor wouldn't be such a bad idea.
According to the Library of Congress, some 34 states have such a position. Several are presently vacant however.
Unrelated - but worth thinking about:
The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. ~James Bryce