Friday, September 18, 2020

I am against abortion, but I will not vote for Donald Trump. Here's why:

 This ,for me, is the most cogent explanation:

Post by Frank Lesko on Catholic position on Abortion
This appeared in the group Catholic Social Thought, Politics, and the Public Square.
I am putting it here because it is too long to put into a reply on the timeline. He posted it on August 21, 2020:
One of the most frustrating aspects of current political discourse in America to me is that just about everyone seems to misunderstand the issue of abortion. Everyone.
Neither of the two major political parties has a comprehensive platform addressing abortion in any definitive way. Looking at the issue from the standpoint of supply and demand might help: The Republican Party seeks solely to address abortion from the standpoint of supply. Simply put, their platform hopes to make abortion illegal. The Democratic Party does something that might be considered the opposite: They leave the supply of abortion open and available but their other policies have the best chance of driving down rates of abortion by directly addressing the known drivers of abortion. They address abortion--intentionally or not--by reducing demand for it.
So the Repbulican Party claims to want to drive down supply of abortion (with little likelihood that any of that can be achieved) all the while driving up demand. They may indirectly reduce abortions by offering a “home” to the pro-life movement and thus giving it some legitimacy, but I wonder if that is offset by all the negative connotations associated with Republicans. The Democrats maintain supply of abortion but they are making real progress in reducing demand.
Which party’s abortion stance best matches Catholic teaching? I’d say it’s at best 50/50 but I think it’s more 60/40 favoring the Democratic Party. Neither can be said to fully satisfy the demands of Catholic teaching, but one side most likely reduces abortions more than the other. And that side is the Democratic Party. However, neither party should get Catholic blessing on their abortion stance. Both are woefully incomplete.
Far too many miss this point. Even Fr. James Martin and Bishop Stowe. When they argue about abortion, they bring in the consistent life framework. They argue that there are a multitude of "life" issues in play and we as Catholic voters have room to be discerning based on a multitude of factors in any given election. I absolutely agree with them. I am super thankful for their witness on this matter. I support and celebrate the consistent ethic of life. But what I take issue with is that neither of them challenges the Republican lockdown on abortion from the standpoint of Catholic morality. I get the impression they pretty much concede the issue of abortion to the Republicans while they raise other life issues alongside it. I do not concede that.
Republican policies only promise to drive UP the rate of abortion. And for what... some elusive, improbable goal of making abortion illegal? And how many years will pass before that's even possible? It's already been 50 years since Roe v Wade and nothing much has changed legally. Even if it COULD be made illegal, will that actually stop the rate of abortion much? Yes, proximity to a clinic does factor in but people can travel out of state or country very easily today... it's not 1910 anymore. Even if Rove V. Wade could be overturned, the issue would go to the states and virtually all would keep it legal for the foreseeable future. It would be a giant legislative mess with no end in sight.
But let’s pretend it could be made completely illegal: How long could those laws stay on the books before being overturned with even stronger restrictions on pro-life inroads than before? Will there be an underground illegal network? If so what other crimes will rise as a result? (i.e. look at prohibition of alcohol or the drug wars today). Will the attempt to control people legally foster the right environment to raise consciences or will it simply lead to a polarized environment where people don't listen to each other? People just aren't thinking this through. As a grassroots organizer, it’s basic knowledge that you simply cannot attempt to address an issue from a legislative standpoint until you have reached a certain critical mass of public opinion. We do not have that in the U.S.! Until then, you’ve got to build the base--and in this case that means building a culture of life. You’ve got to “make abortion unthinkable” as many activists say. There have to be so many supports and structures in place to encourage, celebrate and support motherhood and fatherhood that few would opt for abortion. That includes both the physical infrastructure of healthcare, higher wages and parental leave but also the social infrastructure of reducing shame and stigma associated with many of the circumstances around many pregnancies. And in that culture, not only would we reduce abortion but we’d calm so many traumas and triggers so that we can re-evaluate this issue collectively at some point in the future. I don’t think that’s possible today in the "culture wars" environment any more than it would be possible for all the nations of the world to put all their guns and military equipment into a big pile and melt them all down. We should constantly be pushing the world to imagine such things, and, like the Kingdom preached by Jesus, it probably is a lot closer than we think, but we’ve also got a long way to go and we’ve got to live in that space right now. So we can preach the end of all wars while advocating for whatever small, concrete changes we can make today.
Further, I have great doubts as to whether the Republican Party intends to actually make any substantial changes to abortion law. The “pro-life voting bloc” is clearly central to GOP strategy. I believe they only use these folks for money and votes and have little intention of delivering any results. If they did, they’d lose their votes and their money, so they’d never do that! They just keep them dangling on the end of their proverbial fishing line--always blaming the other side for lack of progress while delivering only scraps and morsels to occasionally whet their appetites.
A vote for Democrats yes does keep abortion legal, and you may not like that... but in a culture with stronger parental leave, universal health care, reduction in mass incarceration (including immigrant detention), higher wages, we know we can reduce many of the drivers that lead to abortion. No, that wouldn’t address every abortion choice. Some people just use abortion as birth control. But here at least you have the chance of reducing some abortions and building a life-affirming culture that might even melt away some of the hardness of hearts from those who use it as birth control. A vote for Republicans arguably does not reduce abortion at all and may in fact even drive rates up.
The primary thing the Republican platform does is establish a shame paradigm--it draws a line in the sand establishing who is morally “right” and who is morally “wrong” so we can all judge each other more vigorously. Many critics of the culture wars approach have keenly pointed this out in so many words. What this means is that I am not convinced many so called “pro-life voters” care if people have abortions or not, just so long as “those people” can be labeled as “wrong” or “sinful” for doing so. At least, that’s what their policy decisions suggest about their motivations. Is it really about reducing abortions or just establishing the label?
So voting for Republicans most likely only drives UP the rate of abortion while waiting decades for some legal action that will probably never happen... or you can vote Democratic which does keep it legal and you may not like that, but there is a lot of hope to REDUCE the rate of abortion right now. In theory, if you build a strong enough culture of life it won't matter what the laws are.
There are lots of things I wish were illegal. I wish war was illegal. In many cases, it probably is. But few hope to prevent war and establish peace by making wars illegal--treaties don't amount to much when people really want to fight. You can't solve every problem by making it illegal. Look at the drug wars for evidence of that.
To sum up: The calculations that say a Democratic vote CAN'T be "Catholic" "because of abortion" is wildly mistaken and poorly evaluated.
I am pro-life on abortion AND I think the most responsible pro-life vote on ABORTION today is a vote for the left. I’m not just a left-leaning voter because of all the other life issues.. I’m a left-leaning voter because of ABORTION. And I would go further left than the Democratic Party--The Green New Deal and policies of Bernie Sanders and other progressives by far promise to build the “infrastructure of life” necessary to drive down rates of abortion. And maybe at some point in the future, after having this established and continuing to build a culture of life, we can revisit the legality of abortion.
You may not like that, but the current strategy of the Republican Party is simply not going to work no matter how much you want it to. And I say this as someone very, very cold to the Democratic Party. I don’t like the way their extreme stance on abortion has little in common with the majority of their own Democratic voters. The same can be said of their extreme views on many other issues. 87% of Democratic voters want Medicare for All, but it’s still not even a part of the party platform! Insanity.
I suppose I could provide data to back this up if folks want that. Drivers of abortion, the legislative map and likelihood (or lack thereof) of pro-life victories, rates of abortion in other countries relative to their social and physical infrastructure, etc. There has been a lot of debate as to whether Democratic or Republican administrations can really be correlated to drops in abortion. The rate of abortion is going down regardless of who is in power. But how can we actually determine the responsible party? Both parties are always making legislative progress at all times, and a Republican administration may be carrying out the laws that the Democratic Congress enacted years prior. So how do you establish causation? Well, we do know what the drivers to abortion are and we do know that Democratic policies directly address those. Is that enough? To me it is.
Far too much of the Catholic discussion around abortion has to do with how legalized abortion relates to the concept of an “intrinsic evil.” But that point gets pushed to its logical--or illogical--or hypothetical--extremes at the exclusion of all other considerations. At this point, it has pushed the pro-life movement into a corner rife with absurdities--where I would argue that Republican voters actually support a CULTURE OF ABORTION--not to mention a culture of death on so many other issues--but through some moral technicalities believe they maintain what they believe is moral purity all the while! As we know, every Catholic teaching exists within a framework, and all rights exist in a hierarchy of rights and considerations.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

How I long for Trump to be defeated in the National Election!


It can't come soon enough.  Gerald Ford said, of Nixon's resignation, "Our long national nightmare is over."   That was NOTHING to this long national nightmare.

Here are some words and images by others about this nightmare:

“This is an awful man, waving a book he hasn’t read, in front of a church he doesn’t attend, invoking laws he doesn’t understand, against fellow Americans he sees as enemies, wielding a military he dodged serving, to protect power he gained via accepting foreign interference, exploiting fear and anger he loves to stoke, after failing to address a pandemic he was warned about, and building it all on a bed of constant lies and childish inanity.”
-- Robert Hendrickson, Rector at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Tucson, Arizona.

from one anonymous poster on Facebook:

“There is no art in this White House. There is no literature or poetry in this White House. No music. No Kennedy Center Award celebrations.
There are no pets in this White House. No loyal man’s best friend. No Socks the family cat. No kids’ science fairs.
No times when this president takes off his blue suit-red tie uniform and becomes human, except when he puts on his white shirt- khaki pants uniform and hides from Americans to play golf.
There are no images of the first family enjoying themselves together in a moment of relaxation. No Obamas on the beach in Hawaii moments, or Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport, no Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape.
I was thinking the other day of the summer when George H couldn’t catch a fish and all the grandkids made signs and counted the fish-less days. And somehow, even if you didn’t even like GHB, you got caught up in the joy of a family that loved each other and had fun.
Where did that country go? Where did all of the fun and joy and expressions of love and happiness go? We used to be a country that did the ice bucket challenge and raised millions for charity.
We used to have a president that calmed and soothed the nation instead dividing it. And a First Lady that planted a garden instead of ripping one out. We are rudderless and joyless. We have lost the cultural aspects of society that make America great. We have lost our mojo, our fun, our happiness. The cheering on of others. The shared experiences of humanity that makes it all worth it."

Tuesday, September 15, 2020



"But now in September the garden has cooled, 

and with it my possessiveness.  

The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head ... The harvest has dwindled, 

and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship 

that brought it on."

-  Robert Finch 

Monday, September 14, 2020

I can't find the source of this poem or its author, but it sticks with me:

Pages full of idle words

Penned with hot and bitter tears:

All men call the author fool;

None his secret message hears. (Story 51)

Saturday, September 12, 2020

On the name of Mary

 I just came across this poem today, and I love it:

For the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, a poem by Dom Pedro Casaldaliga:

By Saying Your Name, Mary

-Pedro Casaldaliga
By saying your name, Mary,
We say that Poverty
Has drawn the attention of God’s eyes.
By saying your name, Mary,
We say that the Promise
Knows what a mother’s milk tastes like.
By saying your name, Mary,
We say that our flesh
Clothes the silence of the Word.
By saying your name, Mary,
We say that the Kingdom comes
Walking alongside History.
By saying your name, Mary
We say that we are with the Cross
And with the flames of the Spirit.
By saying your name, Mary,
We say that every name
Can be full of Grace.
By saying your name, Mary,
We say that every death
Can also be His Passion.
By saying your name, Mary,
We say that His All
Is the cause of Our Joy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

September Songs, part One: I listen, going on,


Already nine days into September.

Here's a poem by Richard Wilbur:

The Sirens, by Richard Wilbur
I never knew the road
From which the whole earth didn't call away,
With wild birds rounding the hill crowns,
Haling out of the heart an old dismay,
Or the shore somewhere pounding its slow code,
Or low-lighted towns
Seeming to tell me, stay.
Lands I have never seen
And shall not see, loves I will not forget
All I have missed, or slighted, or foregone
Call to me now. And weaken me. And yet
I would not walk a road without a scene.
I listen going on,

e richer for regret.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

 Can't believe it's been more than a month since I wrote.

Occupied with the garden... at last, the butterflies arrived with the beginning of August!

Terrible heat and humidity for most of July, but better now.

Also occupied with finishing up the Syllabus to publish.  

School has started; this is the end of the first week.   

After some weeks of worrying, I decided to apply to teach the course completely remotely, from Zoom.

Since I am in the "most vulnerable" population regarding COVID 19, I was granted permission.  My university is primarily operating classes on a "hybrid"  of half in the classroom, half online.  If the students behave themselves and comply with the many rules about social distancing,  it will work. So far so good.

In my Modernity in Literature class, I have 25 students:  13 women and 12 men.  Juniors and Seniors.

A variety of majors, primarily Science majors.  My students are wonderfully reliable, so far. And I think they will remain so.

I like Zoom, now that I know how to use it.  I like the fact that we don't need to wear masks, and can see each others' faces.

So far, we've read  Nietzsche's "Parable of the Madman", and four poems,  and , for Tuesday, "The Communist Manifesto."   

Those poems about the future which were written at the beginning of the 20th century are stunning in their appropriateness for today.  Here's one from Rilke:

The Future                               by  Rainer Maria Rilke



  The future: time's excuse

to frighten us; too vast

a project, too large a morsel

for the heart's mouth.


Future, who won't wait for you?

Everyone is going there.

It suffices you to deepen

the absence that we are.



Translated by A. Poulin

One hot summer    art by Katherine Lee Buxton

Sunday, July 12, 2020

My Terminal Illness 2014

I am remembering this because now we are again having our Provincial Assembly.  But everything is different!

Here we are in 2014, in Saint Louis.

and here are 20 of the almost 200 of us on Zoom in 2020.

It was at the conclusion of our Provincial Assembly, an event which occurs ever six years.  Our assembly was held in a hotel in Saint Louis.  I am embarrassed to confess that I remembered the food more than the meetings. The food was superb. Not much detail remembered. Just not the rubber chicken food one usually gets st such meetings. Our sisters who were on the food committee did a superb job.  I ate like a horse. I remember feeling rather stuffed at night and having trouble getting to sleep, but I continued to eat up a storm. 
It was at the end of the meeting, when we were boarding busses to take us to the airport, that my stomach began to hurt.  To make a long story shorter, I began to throw up in the airport restroom. This is so awful: I was throwing up whole, totally undigested raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, salad, and kalamata olives.  I kept throwing up until we boarded the plane, and by then I was throwing up gallons of coffee. I filled three “barf bags” on the plane tie from St. Louis to Baltimore. The Sister who sat next to me kept providing me with bags. 
We disembarked in Baltimore and I continued to throw up.  I even threw up on the grass outside our convent in Baltimore, where everyone agreed that I should spend the night. It was a rough night, as everything continued to empty out.
I rode back to Emmitsburg in a van the next morning with some other sisters who were returning there.
By then I was convinced that I had contracted some kind of Norovirus .  
Two days later, still very ill, I drove myself to the ER At Gettysburg Hospital (not wanting to make a big deal ). I told them my ordeal in the ER and that I thought I had a Norovirus. I was extremely dehydrated. And they admitted me and put me in a single room and wore protective gear because of the fear of Norovirus. 
The CAT scans and X-rays and all came back and the surgeon came in to tell me I didn’t have  Norovirus; I had a partial bowel Obstruction.  So they kept me on IV. And nothing by mouth for four days and the Obstruction reversed itself and I went home.
It took me almost five years of misery and repeated episodes of bowel Obstructions ( though none so bad as the first). Got me to agree to repair surgery- a small bowel resection. ( this was all due to radiation damage from cancer treatment back in 2009).  Successful surgery!  I’ve been free from that problem ever since.

Why am I recalling this now?  Because it’s six years and we are having our Provincial Assembly. But this time we’re all at home, and on Zoom.  If anyone would have told us in 2014 that we would be in this situation, we would never have believed them.  COVID19 and Donald Trump! What will happen to our country?

Monday, June 29, 2020

Mourning the loss of Kim Bridgford

Kim Bridgford died yesterday at the age of 60, of stage 4 cancer.  She was diagnosed in March, and so this cancer killed her quickly... as a cancer survivor of invasive cervical cancer, I would like to know what kind of cancer this was. Not that it would do anyone any good.  Cancer continues to be a cruel illness,  mysterious even as we know so much more about it than we know of COVID19.

She was a wonderful , gracious person, and this is a big loss to poetry world.

Here is a poem she wrote about Emily Dickinson.  Thanks to David Katz, who posted it on his blog:

In the sixteenth week of the Quarantine

Art    "Backyard Quiet"  by Katheryn Stott Buxton

I share these wise observations from novelist and friend Josephine Humphreys:

How we move ahead.This plan is not for everyone. 

It's just the way we two old people see the future unrolling before us.

Things are not going to get better for a long long time. Years. Things will be getting much much worse. We will not see a return to that condition we used to call "normal." 

So we will each seriously guard against depression, anger, fear, disappointment, etc., and we will even more seriously guard each other against those things. We'll help family and friends guard themselves as well. We'll look for new ways to connect with people, nature, music, literature, dogs, ideas, justice, history, art, vegetables, memories, wit and humor. And we'll have fun along the way.

Art by Daria Petrilli

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Just some captivating images

Great Spangled Fritillary     -   I have seen two in my garden!

Art -  Pool with two figures  - David Hockney      Wish I was in it

Art - Tim Storrier -  The Passenger, into the Evening

And a poem by Richard Wilbur:

June Light
Richard Wilbur - 1921-2017

Your voice, with clear location of June days,
Called me outside the window.  You were there,
Light yet composed, as in the just soft stare
Of uncontested summer all things raise
Plainly their seeming into seamless air.

Then your love looked as simple and entire
As that picked pear you tossed me, and your face
As legible as pearskin's fleck and trace,
Which promise always wine, by mottled fire
More fatal fleshed than ever human grace.

And your gay gift—Oh when I saw it fall
Into my hands, through all that naïve light,
It seemed as blessed with truth and new delight
As must have been the first great gift of all.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

There is a road

In the midst of the continuing virus and now the murder of  George Floyd and subsequent protests and then the riots, and the continuing chaos caused by Trump,  here's a song from the Grateful Dead that captures me today:

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music
Would you hold it near as it were your own?
It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they're better left unsung
I don't know, don't really care
Let there be songs to fill the air
Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow
Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men
There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone
Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow
You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall you fall alone
If you should stand then who's to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jerome J. Garcia / Robert C. Hunter
Ripple lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

In the Eleventh Week of the Quarantine

Something so unreal about these weeks for me.  I am wondering if this is how it feels to be a cloistered nun.

I seem to be living for my garden.  Each day the plants grow and new ones begin to bloom. We've had unseasonably cold months of April and most of May, but now the mists have lifted.

I am not yet eighty, but I do love this quote by Henry Mitchell:

"By the time one is eighty, it is said, there is no longer a tug of war in the garden with the May flowers hauling like mad against the claims of the other months.  All is at last in balance and all is serene.  The gardener is usually dead, of course."
-  Henry Mitchell, The Essential Earthman 

and this poem by Philip Larkin:

"The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh."
-  Philip Larkin, The Trees

always something pagan about May as well:

"There is some speculation that Beltane and May Day is related to the ancient Roman festival of Floralia. According to the article, this was "a six-day party in honor of Flora, the goddess of Spring and Flowers, the Floralia was a time of singing, dancing and feasting in the ancient capital." Dressed in bright colors in imitation of spring flowers, citizens would decorate the entire city with fresh blooms. "Hares and goats, symbols of fertility, would be let loose in gardens as protectors of Flora, and great singing and stomping would be heard in order to wake up Spring." Of course, dancing is a large part of May Day celebrations as well. Apparently, Flora was also the patron of prostitutes, and during this festival the Roman "working girls" participated enthusiastically, performing naked in theatres and taking part in gladiatorial events. The themes of fertility and sexuality are obviously still very much associated with Beltane and May Day amongst modern pagans... but let's look more closely at the ancient history of Beltane in the British Isles.  First of all, the origin of the name "Beltane" is disputed. The holiday was also known as "Roodmass" in England and "Walpurgisnacht" in Germany. Alternately spelled Bealtaine, Beltaine, and any number of Gaelic derived-spellings, it is also the Irish word for the month of May, and is said to mean anything from "Bel-fire" Feast of the god Bel" to "bright fire." Janet and Stewart Farrar, in Eight Sabbats for Witches offer an excellent tracing of the holiday's Irish roots, and particularly the European fire-god Belenus whom they believe this festival is named for (a name possible traced back to Baal, the bible's only pagan god, whose name simply means "Lord"). Ronald Hutton states that since the Celtic word "bel" means bright or fortunate, this is adequate to explain the translation as being "lucky fire" or "bright fire."
-  Peg Aloi, 
You Call It May Day, We Call It Beltane 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

May, in the 8th week of Quarantine

Still, I rejoice in the Spring. Photos of the emerging garden, and garden quotes today:

 foxglove emerging

 creeping phlox

"The world's favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May."
-  Edwin Way Teale

"May and June.  Soft syllables, gentle names for the two best months in the garden year: cool, misty mornings gently burned away with a warming spring sun, followed by breezy afternoons and chilly nights.  The discussion of philosophy is over; it's time for work to begin." 
-  Peter Loewer  

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The garden keeps me looking forward

and a poem or two, or a quote or two:

It's like this today in Emmitsburg.  48 degrees and sunny but blustery. Normal temp is 65.

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."
-  Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926 

and this, from Robert Louis Stevenson:

"Flower god, god of the spring, beautiful, bountiful,
Cold-dyed shield in the sky, lover of versicles,
Here I wander in April
Cold, grey-headed; and still to my
Heart, Spring comes with a bound, Spring the deliverer,
Spring, song-leader in woods, chorally resonant;
Spring, flower-planter in meadows,
Child-conductor in willowy
Fields deep dotted with bloom, daisies and crocuses:
Here that child from his heart drinks of eternity:
O child, happy are children!
She still smiles on their innocence,
She, dear mother in God, fostering violets,
Fills earth full of her scents, voices and violins:
Thus one cunning in music
Wakes old chords in the memory:
Thus fair earth in the Spring leads her performances.
One more touch of the bow, smell of the virginal
Green - one more, and my bosom
Feels new life with an ecstasy."

-  Robert Louis Stevenson, Flower God, God of the Spring

It is waking up before you

I'm not even sure when I wrote this draft, but am publishing it today.

This poem speaks to me today, even though this illness has nothing to do with Covid19:

“Myxomatosis” by Philip Larkin

Caught in the center of a soundless field
While hot inexplicable hours go by
What trap is this? Where were its teeth concealed?
You seem to ask.
I make a sharp reply,
Then clean my stick. I’m glad I can’t explain
Just in what jaws you were to suppurate:
You may have thought things would come right again
If you could only keep quite still and wait.

(a highly infectious and usually fatal viral disease of rabbits, causing swelling of the mucous membranes and inflammation and discharge around the eyes.)

and this song:

With his back against the San Francisco traffic,
On the bridges side that faces towards the jail,
Setting out to join a demographic,
He hoists his first leg up over the rail.
And a phone call is made,
Police cars show up quickly.
The sergeant slams his passenger door.
He says, "Hey son why don't you talk through this with me,
Just tell me what you're doing it for."

"Oh, it's a little bit of everything,
It's the mountains,
It's the fog,
It's the news at six o'clock,
It's the death of my first dog,
It's the angels up above me,
It's the song that they don't sing,
It's a little bit of everything."

An older man stands in a buffet line,
He is smiling and holding out his plate,
And the further he looks back into his timeline,
That hard road always had led him to today,
And making up for when his bright future had left him,
Making up for the fact that his only son is gone,
And letting everything out once, His server asks him,
Have you figured out yet, what it is you want?
I want a little bit of everything,
The biscuits and the beans,
Whatever helps me to forget about
The things that brought me to my knees,
So pile on those mashed potatoes,
And an extra chicken wing,
I'm having a little bit of everything.

Somewhere a pretty girl is writing invitations,
To a wedding she has scheduled for the fall,
Her man says, "Baby, can I make an observation?
You don't seem to be having any fun at all."
She said, "You just worry about your groomsmen and your shirt-size,
And rest assured that this is making me feel good,
I think that love is so much easier than you realize,
If you can give yourself to someone,
Then you should.
Cause it's a little bit of everything,

The way you choke, the way you ache,
It is waking up before you,
So I can watch you as you wake.
So in the day in late September,
It's not some stupid little ring,
I'm giving a little bit of everything.”

Oh, it's a little bit of everything,
It's the matador and the bull,
It's the suggested daily dosage,
It is the red moon when it's full.
All these psychics and these doctors,
They're all right and they're all wrong,
It's like trying to make out every word,
When they should simply hum along,
It's not some message written in the dark,
Or some truth that no one's seen,
It's a little bit of everything.

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Taylor Goldsmith

Monday, April 20, 2020

In the Sixth Week of Quarantine

Lizzie Riches,  The Gardener's Assistant

"When the April wind wakes the call for the soil, I hold the plough as my only hold upon the earth, and, as I follow through the fresh and fragrant furrow, I am planted with every foot-step, growing, budding, blooming into a spirit of spring."
-  Dallas Lore Sharp, 1870-1929 

Haven't written for a while; I've been sinking into depression.  Napping, eating out of boredom,
watching "Midsomer Murders"  and yearning to get out into the garden.

Finally the temperatures reached 60 degrees and the sun emerged yesterday, so I planted the 10 Dahlia tubers and the 6 Tuberose bulbs and the 1 Blue Hill Meadow Sage plant that I had ordered months ago. 

I don't know what will happen to our country.  Cannot stand the sight of Donald Trump.

It's National Poetry Month, and I haven't even attempted to write a poem.  I don't seem to have anything to say.

Here's a poem, though, from Edna St. Vincent Millay:

"To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?"

-  Edna St. Vincent Millay, Spring

Felix Casorati,    The Dream

Saturday, April 11, 2020

I specify you with joy

Holy Saturday      April 11,2020

Art by Daniel Bonnell

To Him that was Crucified
My spirit to yours, dear brother;
Do not mind because many, sounding your name, do not understand you;
I do not sound your name, but I understand you, (there are others also;)
I specify you with joy, O my comrade, to salute you, and to salute those who are with you, before and since—and those to come also,
That we all labor together, transmitting the same charge and succession; 
We few, equals, indifferent of lands, indifferent of times;
We, enclosers of all continents, all castes—allowers of all theologies,
Compassionaters, perceivers, rapport of men,
We walk silent among disputes and assertions, but reject not the disputers, nor any thing that is asserted;
We hear the bawling and din—we are reach’d at by divisions, jealousies, recriminations on every side, 
They close peremptorily upon us, to surround us, my comrade,
Yet we walk unheld, free, the whole earth over, journeying up and down, till we make our ineffaceable mark upon time and the diverse eras,
Till we saturate time and eras, that the men and women of races, ages to come, may prove brethren and lovers, as we are.

—Walt Whitman