Saturday, March 29, 2003

The Truth

You can hide it like a signature
or birthmark but it’s always there
in the greasy light of your dreams,
the knots your body makes at night,
the sad innuendos of your eyes,
whispering insidious asides in every
room you cannot remain inside. It’s
there in the unquiet ideas that drag
and plead one lonely argument at a time,
and those who own a little are contrite
and fearful of those who own too much,
but owning none takes up your life.
It cannot be replaced with a house or car,
a husband or wife, but can be ignored,
denied, and betrayed, until the last day,
when you pass yourself on the street
and recognize the agreeable life you
were afraid to lead, and turn away.

~~Philip Schultz ( The New Yorker 3/10/03)
>Kucinich: This War is Wrong And Must End

WASHINGTON - March 28 - Today, at a press conference on Capitol Hill, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), who leads opposition to the war in Iraq, issued the following statement:

“This Administration has never made its case for war against Iraq. It is an unjustified war, which the Administration continues to misrepresent and exaggerate. The most recent example is the Administration's characterization of international coalition support for this war.

“This morning, President Bush once again exaggerated the extent of support for the war stating that the coalition of countries supporting this war is larger than the 1991 Gulf War. What Bush failed to mention was that back in 1991, all of the 34 coalition members offered military force, by contributing troops on the ground, aircraft, ships or medics.

“This war involves the troops of only the U.S., Britain, Australia, Poland and Albania. Not even the three members of the Security Council that support the war, Spain, Italy, and Bulgaria are committing military support.

“This Bush Administration has been adding coalition member to their list based on statements of “moral” support. As the Washington Post reported last week, if this type of criteria was used back in 1991, the size of the coalition would likely have topped 100 countries.
More at link - Common Dreams

Are you following this?
from Reuters News Service:

Earlier, U.S. military sources in central Iraq said troops had been ordered to pause
in their northward push on Baghdad.

"I think that with respect to a pause, there is no pause on the battlefield.
Just because you see a particular formation pause on the battlefield it does not mean
there is a pause," Major General Victor Renuart told a news conference.

"I don't believe there is any intent to pause on the battlefield. We will continue to focus
our operations. Sometimes they will be focused in the west, sometimes in the north,
sometimes in the south, sometimes all together," he said.

Rubber Tomahawks!
WASHINGTON -- U.S. ships in the Red Sea and the eastern Mediterranean apparently
have been ordered to suspend firings of Tomahawk cruise missiles at targets in Iraq after
several of the $1 million weapons fell into Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
``There are some questions about what went wrong. So for right now, airspace over
Saudi Arabia is closed to us,'' Capt. Nevin Carr, skipper of the Norfolk-based cruiser
Cape St. George, said Friday.

``It's ordnance, and you have to make sure it's as safe as possible,'' Carr said.

Such strange clouds ! - artifice and chemistry, stirred by Nature -
refracting awesome light.

Chickenlil still says the sky is falling....
(I'm sorry, but it is.)
Look up!

Friday, March 28, 2003

I am in a somber mood, and the grey sky is reflective of my
inner space - turbulent, with a froth of snow showers, against
deep purple mountains.

Our Jody is to be deployed! An unexpected turn of events,
we are overcome! This is not a certainty, or IS it? I am afraid
it is...and we are surprised and not surprised - of course we have
hundreds of thousands of people and planes and all that stuff over
there, so it should not be shocking - but it IS! I am speechless.

The photo I posted Thursday - I see my daughter and my little
grandson, walking off alone in the forest...I'm so sad for Jody
that he will miss his little boy and his beautiful wife - and they
are left's heartbreaking.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

This is a poem which we read critically with Ariana for a college English class--
we talked about it at length, the 4 of us on our recent visit, taking Noah to the
beach at Tybee Island, in a driving rainstorm : I think it is a great poem
by a father that is so powerfully expressed - with the weight of the snow
on his heart.

It is not about war - but it is about life, paring it down to the barest bones of it-
Reality! What's the price?

Night Thoughts Over A Sick Child
Philip Levine

Numb, stiff, broken by no sleep,
I keep night watch. Looking for
signs to quiet fear, I creep
closer to his bed and hear
his breath come and go, holding
my own as if my own were
all I paid. Nothing I bring,
say, or do has meaning here.

Outside, ice crusts on river
and pond; wild hare come to my
door pacified by torture.
No less ignorant than they
of what grips and why, I am
moved to prayer, the quaint gestures
which ennoble beyond shame
only the mute listener.

No one hears. A dry wind shifts
dry snow, indifferently;
the roof, rotting beneath drifts,
sighs and holds. Terrified by
sleep, the child strives toward
consciousness and the known pain.
If it were mine by one word
I would not save any man,

myself or the universe
at such cost: reality.
Heir to an ancestral curse
though fallen from Judah's tree,
I take up into my arms my hopes,
my son, for what it's worth give
bodily warmth. When he escapes
his heritage, then what have

I left but false remembrance
and the name? Against that day
there is no armor or stance,
only the frail dignity
of surrender, which is all
that can separate me now
or then from the dumb beast's fall,
unseen in the frozen snow.

---from this website (Link)
which has 94 poems by Philip Levine.
This came from from Dale Harris
-who produces Central Avenue, a small poetry magazine in Albuquerque
---this event was the first day of Spring - the beginning of the war
---and the day Lolly chose to pass on from this world.

Poets Against the War wrote:
Report on March 21, World Poetry Day

Scores of Readings Held Around the World
Poets Vow to Continue Working for Peace
March 22, 2003

Dear Dale,

Even as bombs destroy Baghdad and other Iraqi towns, lovers of poetry have continued to gather to read poems and cry out for peace over the past 72 hours. In Karachi, Pakistan, poets, writers and intellectuals of the Arts Council gathered at the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture in a reading titled "SPEAK OUT! Poetry for Peace," sponsored by Tehrik Khidmatunnas Secretariate, a charity organization. In Temuco, Chile, poets gathered in a Wednesday reading called "Words Against War." In Tucson, Arizona, poets held a reading and non-violent public protest against the attack on Iraq, called "Poets' Brains Chained to the Ground," at the Federal Courthouse. And in Seattle, poets gathered at the Richard Hugo House for a 4-hour poetry vigil Friday, declared World Poetry Day by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

Poets Against the War converged, read poetry, and lifted their voices in protest at Acqui Terme, Italy; Austin, Texas; and London, Ontario, Canada. In the remote little town of Gustavus-Glacier Bay, Alaska, the Gustavus Peace Poets met at their local library to read their own poems and selections from, and to deliver a copy of the anthology of 13,000 poems to the Superintendent of the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

The beat goes on. From Paris to Pisa to Philadelphia, poets are speaking out for a world in which compassion and non-violence will ultimately prevail over the Bush administration's philosophy that horrendous crimes are justifiable in the service of its unilateralist agenda. Our call for peace is more critical than ever before. Please join us. Organize a reading. Join a protest. Lift your voice.

Create a reading of Poetry Against the War.

Create a presentation to a government or organization of 13,000 antiwar poems, a roster of 12,000 poets and a showcase of 35 chapbook poems.

While it is important to record and acknowledge the deep sadness and sense of devastation so many of us feel, we must continue to channel and broaden our efforts for peace and justice. Remember that history is made by millions. Together we have created a presence on the world stage that can serve as a limit and counterweight to future wars, and the seed of a healthier world created by the conscience of the true majority.

We encourage you to read a thoughtful, eloquent article at Common Dreams by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ian Urbina titled Antiwar Thinking: Acknowledge Despair, Highlight Progress on Moral Preemption.

-- Your friends at

A Peaceful Place

Jody took this photo of Ariana and Noah, walking under
cherry blossoms in Macon, Georgia this week.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Real Clouds

This photo was taken along the ditch in Corrales in October 2002.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

So, I found the book Lolly gave me, under my bed, covered with dust.

I had attempted to read it, but it is a heavy book, considering the
slimness of the volume. It is called Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth
and Death: Buddhism in the Contemporary World
by Daisaku Ikeda.

I picked it up, amazed at the title, and fanned through the pages.
Here is what caught my attention:

...Most people involved in medical care today are well versed in the
physiological processes of death but they seem to have very little
knowledge of its emotional and psychological aspects -- that is, the
internal experiences of the dying person. It is perfectly understandable,
therefore, that some people reject the idea of being taken into hospital,
preferring instead to die at home in a serene, loving environment.
The only trouble is that, almost always, family members too do not
know how to care compassionately for the dying person.

Clinical death is thought to occur at the moment when death becomes
irrevocable, a moment signalled by physiological symptoms such as the
death of the brain stem and the cessation of breathing and the heartbeat.
It is at this moment that the individual is believed to be experiencing death.

If relatives and friends continue to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo after this,
the dying person is helped to pass peacefully through the process of death.
At this moment the individual's mental and physical energies, such as the
five components of life -- form, perception, conception, volition and
consciousness -- all become dormant and are subsumed into the sphere
of alaya-consciousness. Hearing the chant, the life of the deceased in the
intermediate existence, if not already on its way, begins the journey
towards the pure land of Eagle Peak - which represents the life of
Buddhahood in the Universe.

....So - this tells me that Lolly courageously chose to die at home, consciously -
and that Harley in his great love and strength, allowed her to do that, and respected that choice,
even if he didn't know it was really happening at that moment.

...And that she was chanting her way across, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo
to the Pure Land of Eagle Peak -- of this I am certain.

She soars, of this there is no doubt. She took the plunge
into the Lake of the Heart.

I was so stunned when I heard the news about Lolly,
I went to look for a book she had given me during her
last visit. I looked on the shelf, and found a pile of
Druid Animal Oracle cards, which I had not seen in

Thinking...What insight might I receive from this?--
I drew a card.
It was EAGLE.

Here are the words I read:

If you will allow the Eagle to work for you, it will bring
you a sense of purpose and the courage to see this
through, enabling you to venture into fresh territory
with confidence. It will allow you to detach yourself from
everyday worries and cares, and will enable you to grasp
subtle concepts. The eagle, when accepted, will also
show you the way to renew and rejuvenate yourself,
by demonstrating the art of plunging--at just the right
moment--into the lake of the heart.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

It's all blowing to bits.
This photo is a mirror of the one below -
my garden glowing in the setting sun on a Spring afternoon
the setting sun of the other side of the world.
The whole world's on fire.

This is the reality of war. We bomb. They suffer.
(Impressions by independent observers on the scene in Baghdad)