Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hunger and Hope: Ethiopia

Night Flight of Dread and Delight
Skunder Boghossian
Ethiopia, 1964
Oil on Canvas with Collage

Moon Like A Rolled-Out Bread
by Raj Nandy

In a country devastated by famine and pestilence,
And children dying of malnutrition everyday !
When an Ethiopian gazed up at the sky at night,
And beheld the full moon before his sight -
No romantic thoughts did cross his way !
In a land of hunger, only hard prose prevails !
When poetry and verse loses its sanity,
And only hard prose protrude like the ribs -
From half-naked and starved humanity !
He tried to sing to forget his hunger,
But words failed to flow from those parched lips any longer !
And his soul hung on to his body for dear life,
Perhaps death could only give respite !

The full moon looked like a rolled-out bread !
And if only a small crumb could break and fall,
Perhaps it would be enough tonight - to feed them all !
And if by some miracle of fate,
The hungry millions of this earth,
Could lay their hands on that entire bread,
Before the arrival of any relief vans,
They will surely gobble it up, as soon as they can;
Such are the torments of hunger pangs !

Yet the full moon did shine brightly tonight,
As the Ethiopian gently closed his eyes,
God willing, and if his luck holds,
He may survive this one more night !

copyright 2008


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday's Serenade: k.d. lang

From Canada, k.d. lang is a Grammy Award winning pop and country singer.  I hope you enjoy this week's selection, Constant Craving, it's one of my personal, all-time favorites.


Friday, April 24, 2009

For The Times They Are A Changin'

Stop  the presses!  The Internet has now become the main news source. A recent survey has found that 40% of its respondents prefer online sources to get their daily dose of news instead of the daily print. 


The end of print journalism will mean many things. For those of us old enough to still care about going out on a Sunday morning for our doorstop edition of The Times, it will mean the end of a certain kind of civilized ritual that has defined most of our lives.


More importantly, the use of those read rags and the roles they have played, how will we replace their function?  Recycling newspapers makes us feel good.  We become environmentally and economically righteous by doing so.  I can only assume we will have to make substitutions accordingly.


1. Lining the bottom of the bird cage – Instead of reciting the current headlines, Tweety will become well versed in computer applications.  No one ever reads those manuals. Right?


2. Cleaning windows – No, Bill Gates is not the go-to here.  A window cleaned with a newspaper gives a streak-free, lint-free shine.  I suppose we’ll just have to become use to that certain fog-type effect as we gaze out onto the garden only to realize the bright and sunny day when we walk out.


3. Gift wrap – Nothing quite says “Happy Birthday” like a gift cleverly wrapped from the Sunday comics.  It makes me shudder to even consider plastering Sponge Bob Square Pants or Dora the Explorer all over any gift.  Besides, who really recycles gift wrap?  It’s tacky. 


4. Packing material – You know your breakables are safe when they are wrapped in layers of newspaper. And, there are many uses for those papers after unpacking.  Sure it’s available in bright colors and, yes, it’s fun to pop, but have you actually ever lined kitty’s litter box with bubble wrap? 


5. Fly swatter – A folded newspaper has much more surface area, therefore, you have a much better shot at ridding your home of those annoying flying pests.  Later, roll that same newspaper into a fire log. No fuss, no muss compared to its plastic counterpart.


This is just a small sampling of how we will have to adjust our lives without newspapers.  But, I believe the absence of this source for news it is more about tradition and routine.  I, for one, have the memory of being taught to read and teaching my children to read from the daily comic strips.  Where will Nancy and Family Circus go? 

Leisurely perusing the newspaper over a cup of coffee for community news such as the high school scoreboards, the society page and upcoming events will become a thing of the past. Marriages, births and deaths may escape us.  However, the collapsing tradition of the daily newspaper is just one sign – for the times they are a-changin’.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009: Mother Earth

Seven Grandmothers
Jim Nelson
click painting for larger view

Mother Earth

by James Orvil Beady

With fire in her belly her head in the clouds 
Cloaked with robes of blue green waters 
Where is she from Who placed her here 
And how was her path determined 

She is mother to all 
Host to the living mourner of the departed 
She drinks the blood of the fallen 
And stores the dead in her belly 

Here from the beginning 
Her age and history remain her closely guarded secret 
Her sunrises cannot be counted 
Her twilights are without number 

Her hosts are countless yet she provides for them all 
Who is her counselor 
Who is her mentor and guardian 
Who is her provider 

She rejoices in happiness yet is witness to all evils 
Can anyone understand her workings 
Or predict her future 
Is she immortal 

Her virtues are patience and tolerance 
Her fury unmatched and unequaled 
In anger she knows no compassion 
Her beauty is boundless 

Her mountains crowned with frost 
Her glamour the sparkling oceans 
The stars her halo the clouds her veil 
And the green meadows are the pastures for her children 

 Copyright 2003


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday's Seranade: Michael Buble

I have always been a huge fan of these fabulous crooners: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Dean Martin. It's nice when a fresh new cat comes on the scene like Michael Buble to carry on the tradition. Please enjoy Michael as he sings Sway.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Inescapable Journey: The Life of a River Man

Below is a review of the most exciting book I have read in quite some time. I encourage all who have a true love for the great outdoors to take advantage of this opportunity to obtain your own copy of this book directly from the author to benefit Idaho Rivers United.

If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting IRU member Bob Finkbine, no matter how brief
your encounter, chances are that you’ll never forget him. A history teacher by trade and a river rat and wilderness explorer by choice, Bob is one of those guys with more stories to tell than there are campfires to tell them at.

So last fall — just in case anyone has managed to miss spending time around a fire with him — Bob wrote about his life of river running and other adventures in a self-published autobiography: Inescapable Journey: The Life of a River Man.

Filled with plenty of humor and reflections from many nights spent in the wild, Bob’s book has touched those who know him, and has entertained many who don’t. “…I choose to share my stories because they tell of my haphazard journey into old age and toward a bonding with the land,” says Bob, who at age 75 joined IRU for our 2006 fund raising river trip to Costa Rica.

Inspired by IRU’s efforts to protect Idaho’s rivers, Bob chose to donate all proceeds from his book (collected voluntarily from friends, family members and acquaintances — the book has no set price) to IRU. He’s not even recouping printing costs.

Bob’s friends have responded. Since the book rolled off the presses last fall, donations in-lieu of payment for books have come to IRU from Arizona to Connecticut, and from France to Alaska. So far, Bob’s book has raised more than $3,000 for IRU and has brought more than 60 new members into the fold.

Copies of Inescapable Journey are still available. If you want one, just send Bob a note at When you receive your book, just send IRU a check for whatever amount you’re inspired to give.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Turquoise Moon Gallery - Buffalo In The Snow

Buffalo In The Snow
John Nieto


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday's Serenade: Katie Melua

Katie Melua performs, Blues in the Night, an American classic written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer.  Enjoy your Sunday.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Turquoise Moon Gallery - West Wing Sunset

West Wing Sunset
Kevin Miller
49"x69" acrylic on canvas
click on painting for larger view


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