"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Friday, April 22, 2011

THIS, NOT THAT, A Rant For The Earth

Today is Earth Day. Plant a tree. Challenge a climate crank (those who think the Earth is flat and the ice caps aren't melting). Reduce, Reuse, Recyle. I invite you to visit my friend, Tricia O'Brien at Talespinning who has a way with photographs and a special post for Earth Day.

There are so many small things we can each do that add up to a global hug for Mother Earth. For instance, drink tap water or filtered water. The next time you reach for a bottle of water, consider the economy of drinking water from a glass that won't go into a landfill or require energy to be recyled.

I especially encourage people to boycott Nestle since they're drawing water out of the Great Lakes Aquifer to fill their plastic bottles which they then sell outside the watershed in defiance of the law of the region. It's more profitable than candy bars, but I don't know how they keeping winning a stay in the courts. The idea that bottled water is safer than tap water is one of the biggest health hoaxes in this country. (Unless, of course, your ground water is polluted by a neighboring mining operation or industrial enterprise.) There are more safeguards on tap water than bottled water, plus it's more economical and Earth friendly.


Following Tricia's example, I'd like to give you this:

A field of organic beans on our farm.


NOT THAT
A diseased field of Round-Up Ready beans.


Round-Up is poisoning the Earth and changing the molecular structure of our soil and must be banned.

Rise up for Earth Day. Make a stink!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Daffodils and Poetry and the Roughriders of the House

April is poetry mouth.
I hurt, therefore I am.
My local library has signs posted for the high school poetry contest.
That made me feel good, that they're still open, still a haven for thought and knowledge,
still talking about poetry.

My thoughts are clouded this morning by my mother's for-profit hospital bed,
by the call button that isn't answered.
I think of the nurses who rush about, harried and anxious with impossible patient loads,
like the 30-student classroom my sister faces daily in her underfunded public school.
I pace the hall for an aide, for someone,
my mother needs to urinate
she needs her pain pill
she needs a hospital that isn't a for-profit
but most of our community hospitals are.

If you're a Republican Roughrider, you would put yourself
into a private hospital with a healthier ratio of patients to nurses.
With your House of Representatives health insurance,
you proudly state that America has the best health care system in the world.
Why would we want to change it?
You denigrate your president
and lead the charge against his efforts to change it.
You are a patriot and a roughrider.
You make disparaging remarks about
"Obama Care" as though it were an abscess on American's nose,
rather than an Affordable Health Care Plan for all Americans.
You will work to defund it and privatize Medicare and Medicaid.
You will cut EPA, NPR, PBS, DNR, public education and libraries
while keeping the Pentagon intact.
All this while cutting taxes for the elite.
A rich man will always care more about his money than his country.

Your children go to private schools and you have your own library.
You live in a gated enclave with trees to shield you from view.
You don't want to see and you don't want to be seen.
You call yourself a patriot.
You will work to rid the country of the health care plan
that forces insurance companies to pay for
preventive care without a co-pay or deductible,
lowering their margin of profit.
The smart Republican Roughriders coined a new name for it
to strike fear of rationing into the heart,
as though rationing weren’t already the law of the land.

My mother loves flowers.
The daffodils of spring have always been her favorite.
They have braved the cold on the south side of the house
and are about to open.
When they do, I will cut her a bouquet
and set them where she can see them.
She likes the Detroit Tigers but can’t watch them
because the hospital doesn’t carry that station.
Her television stays off. My mother is too smart for Judge Judy.
We took her in a transistor radio but it wouldn’t pick up the game.
We tell her about the games and we take in the sports section.
But her heart isn’t in it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

FOR WANT OF A TITLE

I have trouble with titles. If I can write a novel, why can't I compose a clever title? Sometimes I can't even think of a title for a post. But March is behind us, and I got through April Fool's Day without being made one, as far as I know.

Allow me one more toot of the horn. Author and fellow blogger, Judy Croome posted a lovely review of NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND on Amazon and Goodreads. Her review gives you a brief snapshot of what's under the cover. Speaking of, we were all enticed by the front cover, I, so much, it took me a week to notice the back. Make sure you check out the back cover. No, I don't have an image of that to share, but it's sheer genius from the folks at the Literary Lab.
From the flip side.....I don't know a damn thing about my illness. I am not even sure what it is that hurts....


Michelle from the L.L. recently wrote an interesting post titled Where Have All The Bloggers Gone? Maybe we're just all bogged down. I don't know how some of you find the time to be as prolific as you are. And of course, the more you comment on others, the more comments you will receive, but keep in mind for every comment you receive, ten or more have visited, read, absorbed and moved on. I myself read a lot more than I comment. Sorry. I just don't have the time. The writing comes first.

I write before the sun comes up, make coffee, feel guilty, and write some more. I move my laptop to the couch to escape the blinding rays coming through the kitchen window. I drink coffee and read what I've written and pencil edit and drink more coffee. I feel guilty. I look at my blog roll, dream of agents and editors and what it would be to have a deadline (which I would never fail to meet, I might add). Lord, give me deadlines and a contract and a book of my own. Give me give me give me give me. Selfish little writer. Self-centered, obsessed little writer.

Just don't ask me how that novel is coming. Don't ask me what the current one is about. Oh, the questions people ask us….. Are you still writing that novel????? But what do you really do? Elspeth Antonelli at The Blood-Red Pencil says, “the best answer I’ve ever given to this question is, I kill people."

OK. It's true. I kill them and I bury them in the compost pile, but you can't talk about a work in progress. It would jinx it. The work would dissipate like chaff on a breeze. Talking about it contaminates it, like plutonium in the jet stream from failed nuclear power plants. Radioactivity in the milk and in the vegetables? Oh Lord, save us from ourselves. Man is the beast, as Deon Meyer poignantly shows us in his novel (my current read), BLOOD SAFARI, an adventurous journey through South Africa.

Money controls everything. People are not truly capable of conservation though they make all the right noises. It's just not in our nature. Whether we're talking about pumping oil or chopping down trees for firewood, the environment will be the loser. Nothing can stand in the path of man.


We do what we can. We plant crops and grow vegetables without chemicals and raise happy chickens that can scratch in the dirt and cattle that are free to graze under the open sky, but we can't control what's in the air that we breathe and in the water that comes from the well. No farm is an island, no city dweller alone in their condo, no country in control of their borders. The Earth is a circle of one. What happened in Japan happened to you and it happened to me.

It'll bog you down, if you let it, and there is no title for that.