Archive for the Poems Category

EARTH STARS

Posted in Nature Studies, Poems, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by Drogo

by Christine Maccabee

EARTH STARS

Right here on Earth there are probably as many ‘stars’

as there are in outer space. Not enough can be said as to

need for human-kind to focus more on these terrestrial stars,

preserving them and the wonder and goodness of their Earth

for generations to come.” C.M.

Ever since my early 20’s I have been fascinated by flowers of every variety and thus began seriously investigating them. At that time I was also reading literature about the ancient tradition of mandalas as a meditation tool in India. The mandala has a center which symbolizes the source of life be it Allah, God, the Great Spirit, or whatever one might call it. The center holds everything else together, like the spoke of a wheel and without it things would fall apart and there would be chaos. From that center radiates Creation, or life, in all its amazing diversity and beauty. Similarly, most flowers have this same feature with centers from which reproduction occurs in the form of seeds. That center of nectar, pollen and seeds serves the purpose of ongoing sustenance, thus enabling on-going life for myriad life forms, including of course, people.

Captivated by this reality, I created mandalas from various parts of flowers, using stamen, pistil, petals, leaves and bracts, basically dissecting the flowers carefully and pressing the various parts. Each design I made was unique, and many reminded people of snowflakes. If you look at a flower closely, especially those which radiate perfectly symmetrically from the center, then you will understand my fascination. In fact, there are people who seriously meditate on flowers, thus creating more of a sense of balance in their lives. For me, creating mandalas was a waking and a working meditation, keeping me centered and focused as I created each one ; I sold hundreds of framed pieces over a period of 20 years. Now I simply grow flowers…

This summer I had a newcomer to my gardens, the Morning Star Sedge, a native grass which I did not plant but which was brought here by a bird, no doubt. I discovered it quite by accident along a pathway down to my main garden and was astonished when I saw it. It is not a flower at all, but a type of native grass, used ornamentally by some people in their landscaping.. The seed head is beautiful, very star like (see photo) and perfectly symmetrical. You may be familiar with its graceful but sturdy grasses from which the stems of the seed heads emerge. The seed heads are a lovely green which turn chocolate brown by late summer. By early autumn I am sure the wild birds will be enjoying those seeds as well as the seeds of the chicory and woodland sunflowers which I also have here in my gardens as habitat.

As anyone who reads this column knows, I am passionate about preserving habitat for pollinators and birds. Here on my 11+ acreage I am purposely allowing close to 100 wild native plants to complete their entire life cycles, from flower to seed. Such diversity of plant life, no matter how tall and gangly, or small , sustains the health of a host of animals, insects and humans in this our rainforest. By August the final show will begin and I look forward to it. I look forward to witnessing thousands of tiny Aster flower stars and hearing the profound sound of untold number of wings whirring as the bees fuel up for the coming inevitable cold weather. The essential Golden Rod flowers will also begin blooming (Golden Rod is not a major pollen producer which creates allergies as some people mistakenly think) and I will watch as the Monarch butterflies feed on them before their long journeys south. Did you know there are, or were, 2,687 species of Aster and 16 species of Golden Rods in America. On my property I have about 5 species of each.

The beautiful earthly flower stars, besides providing food for a wide variety of pollinators and birds, are a source of inspiration to humans. Also, it is well known that some have important medicinal properties, such as the Cone flower. I will soon gather and dry the flowers and leaves of my Cone flowers which will be added to teas I make from other herbs I grow. Cone flowers provide Echinacea which is important as an immune system enhancing herb. The root is the most potent, so here and there I will pull some out for their roots.

Unfortunately there is an on-going war being conducted against Earth’s stars in the form of herbicides, pesticides and habitat loss. Next month I will continue speaking for the wildflowers and the health of our planet, our people, and all our relations. Meanwhile, I suggest you walk slowly and often in wild places where wild things grow ; and don’t forget to look to the stars !

*

~ from ON THE WILD SIDE for July 2017

Christine is a Master Naturalist in Maryland and has developed a a Wildlife Habitat Sanctuary and Native Plant Preserve on her property , just 10 minutes north of Thurmont. You are welcome to visit by appointment. She can be reached at songbirdschant@gmail.com

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SCOD Moral Philosophy

Posted in Military, Psychology, Rhymes & Riddles, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2017 by Drogo

The ball or the sword, a tale of two opposites

when I was a boy, I had a very important moral decision to make, and I knew by the time I was an adult, I needed to make up my mind which political polarity side I was on (Left or Right). I remember trying to be either extreme Right or extreme Left. I first tried being as Right-wing as I could be as a teen, wearing military uniforms, school uniforms, business suits, racing fast cars, and glorifying violence and military might; and to this day I have very militant or strict law-abiding attitudes towards things, and severe punishments for the slightest offense. After trying to follow the best corporate pioneer and team role-models I had observed over the years, I decided that competition at all costs was not for me; but it took becoming abusive to others to understand that for me, that way of thinking was poison for which there was no immunity to. I chose the side that wanted to control through Peace and Love, over the side that was for an Abuse and Violence or Predator and Victim system. Happy lives use less poisons, and for some there may be psychological disorders that result from capitalism. The choice of the ball or the sword (Lone Wolf & Cub) falls to all of us, at various phases of life, and as different metaphors as obstacles to our intention to lead a good or happy life.

Open Letter to the National Security Agency

Posted in Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, Jokes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 4, 2017 by Drogo

“Dear NSA, I hope you are listening because I heard a really cool plan to kidnap a gaggle of corporate politicians. Someone said that the CIA had a plan to put bags over the heads of the all most ignorant trumpsters, throw them in a van, and take them to a secure secret location… you know the one. Then those idiots will be forced to watch nature documentaries for many days while being told they are loved by a Pagan Goddess. Finally after they are starving and broken, they will be released naked into the wild. I can’t tell you who I heard this conspiracy from, because then I would have to spank you (plus I cannot recall as Reagan and every politician says that is ever put on trial for war crimes). The FBI already threatened to blackmail and torture me, but they are just jealous of the CIA. Please try your hardest to monitor any communications about this plot, as I am very worried that someone’s feelings might be hurt. I suggest spending millions of dollars of taxes from the poor and middle-class, like you normally do. Love, Bright Bard”

– from a new fiction book, Trumpster Gate: A Conspiracy Theory

Einstein on Imagination

Posted in Jokes, Uncategorized with tags , , on December 8, 2016 by Drogo

“When you imagine too hard little Fermy;

the world goes boom.” – Einstein

albert-einstein-30

Comic commentary regarding Albert Einstein’s famous quote on imagination,

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

except as a hind-sight reverse warning to the scientists that created the A-Bomb.

– brought to you by Tewsley and Empedocles comedy duo

Poe’s Source of the Raven?

Posted in Poems, Poems, Rhymes, Riddles, Rhymes & Riddles, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 3, 2016 by Drogo

“Col. John A. Joyce,
Sturtevant House.”

New York, July 4th, 1878.
My Dear Colonel: As you requested I send a literal translation of ‘The Parrot,’ a poem written by my grandfather in 1809, for the Art Journal, Milan, Italy. He was an etcher and writer for the paper.
‘The Raven,’ by Poe, was taken almost bodily
from ‘The Parrot.’

Who is the plagiarist?

Your Friend,
Leo Penzoni.”

The Parrot

by Penzoni

I sit and pine so weary
in midnight sad and dreary.
Over long forgotten volumes
of historic love-lit lore;
And while winking, lonely blinking
I thought I heard while thinking
A rush of wings revolving above
my oaken door,
“What’s that,” said I, disturbing my
melancholy sore —
‘Tis my lost one, sweet “Belmore”

The frosts of wild December invoke
me to dismember
My tired and tortured body on this dreary,
dastard shore,
And I trust no waking morrow
Shall rise upon my sorrow.
With all its hideous horror that now
thrills my inmost core —
For my brilliant beaming beauty,
beatic, dear Belmore —
Lost, gone forevermore!

The rustling purple curtain waves
in and out uncertain.
As weird wizard voices croaking
sardonic laughter o’er and o’er;
And with startled heart still heating
my lips kept on repeating —
“Some spirit seeks an entrance through
“the window or the door,
“Some ghostlike, lonely stranger
knocking at my chamber door” —
“Simply this, and nothing more.”

Startled “by this ghostly vision, with
desperate decision
My soul exclaimed, “sweet madam,
pardon I implore.
Yet your face it shone so brightly
and your footfalls tripped so lightly.
And you came so slighly stealing to my
rustic, artist door —
‘Tis a wonder that I heard you; wide,
open flung the door —
Horror, blackness, nothing more!

Loud into the blackness calling with
heart beats slowly falling.
With haunted dreams of doubting no
Artist felt before;
But the vision quickly vanished and
all but silence banished.
And I only heard that heaven-lit, love-lit
word “Belmore” —
This I murmured when sweet echo
answered back the word — “Belmore” —
Barely this and nothing more!

Startled hack so lone and sadly, my
soul revolving madly.
Once again I heard a rapping more
impulsive than before;
“Come in,” I kept repeating, and from
the door retreating
To the window, that I might the
curious nooks explore.
While my troubled brain endeavored to
reveal the noise, explore —
“Gusts of wind and nothing more!”

Open wide I flung the shutter when
a Parrot with a mutter
Flew into my lonely chamber as it
did in days of yore.
And it seemed to be quiescent, somber,
and evanescent.
As it sat in lonely grandeur above
my chamber door.
Perching on the bust, Minerva, above
my oaken door.
Perched and blinked and nothing more!

And this croaking bird is leering,
demonaic appearing.
With feathers ruffled ragged round the
countenance it wore;
Though thy beak he like a carrot, you
surely are a Parrot —
Croaking, grumbling, screeching Parrot
from some sandy tropic shore;
Tell me now thy devilish purpose
on this red, volcanic shore —
Cried the Parrot, “Nevermore!”

How I sat depressed, divining to see
some silver lining
Through clouds that hung around me on
this vile, detested shore.
And my soul with grief was haunted
while there I peered undaunted
To hear a bird with crest, and word
above my oaken door.
Bird or brute upon the marble bust
above my chamber door —
Utter name of “Nevermore”!

But the Parrot perching sadly on the
marble bust spoke madly
As if this dark, weird word was his
only stock in store;
And he merely croaked and muttered
While he preened and snapped and fluttered,
As I grumbled, growled and uttered —
“trusted friends have gonie before,”
“Soon, oh soon this bird will leave me,
“as sweet hopes have gone before” —
And this bird shrieked “Evermore”!

Shocked and stunned hy such replying,
can it be the bird is lying.
Or is it willfully determined to he a
babbling bore;
Yet, perhaps it knew a master whose
life was all disaster.
And sorrows followed faster than was
ever felt before,
‘Till the echoes of his sorrows, sad re-
frains forevermore —
Fearful echo — “Nevermore”!

Yet the Parrot still is screeching, to
my seared heart sadly preaching;
Defiantly I faced the bird and bust and
gloom, and door.
Till on the carpet figures, wrought
up into cold rigors,
I frantically demanded what the bird
meant by its roar.
This horrid, raving, somber, ruffled
bird of the days that are no more
Meant in screeching — “Nevermore”!

There I sat in mortal terror, de-
nounced by many an error.
With the Parrots flashing eyeballs
piercing to my inmost core.
And I mused there, deeply pining, weep-
ing, crushed reclining.
by the curtain’s silken lining and the
lamplight glinting o’er,
Beneath its mystic radiance shining
o’er and o’er —
Roared the Parrot — “Nevermore”!

Then around me whirled a vision
from the land of the Elysian,
And the air within my chamber fairly
shimmered on the floor,
Wretched Devil! who hath sent thee
to a land where no nepenthe.
Or solace can be given for my lost
and, loved Belmore
Sure I never can forget her, ever
present, bright Belmore —
Growled the Parrot — “Nevermore”!

Parrot, prophet, thing of sorrow, is there
yet for me a morrow
To linger any longer on this sin-
cursed, stormy shore;
Shall I never know a pleasure en-
clasp again a treasure
On this damned, detested, dastard and
this lurid, shocking shore;
Is there any peace or pleasure, oh, tell
me I implore —
Croaked the Parrot — “Nevermore”!

Croaker, Dastard, Word of Evil, Prophet,
Bird or Screeching Devil!
By the stars that shine above us
by the God that all adore.
Tell this soul, whose hope is riven,
if in some celestial heaven
It shall clasp an angel Beauty, who
is known as rare “Bellmore,”
And entwine his arms around
her, my ethereal “Belmore” —
Pipped the Parrot — “Nevermore”!.

Horrid bird! I shrieked emphatic,
and wildly, loud, lunatic,
I flung the pratting Parrot through
the night’s dark, shoreless shore.
While its gilded feathers fluttered, in
the darkness still and muttered —
“I’ll not leave thee, doubting Devil, but
“remain above thy door —
“Sink my beak into thy trembling
“heart, and torture more and more” —
Shrieked the Parrot — “Evermore”!

And the Parrot still is posing,
winking, blinking, dozing
On that marble bust, Minerva, Just
above my oaken door.
And his hellish eyes are beaming
Like a Devil who is dreaming.
While the sputtering, fluttering
lamplight paints his shadow on the floor.
And my soul-lit spirit writhing in
that shadow on the floor —
Dead and damned — “Forevermore”!

(Signed) Penzoni.

THE END.

*

Note: This source was ‘debunked’ as the artist and publication cannot be verified; and the ‘translation’ has rhyming words which would not have rhymed in Italian. It would have taken a talented poet to find words in English that rhyme as well as the original words in Italian, and also mean about the same…. which is not impossible, but certainly doubtful upon meditation.

Swallows Are Back!

Posted in Nature Studies, Poems, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 29, 2016 by Drogo

ON THE WILD SIDE for June, 2016 by Christine Schoene Maccabee

The Swallows Are Back !

“Birds, the free tenants of land, air, and ocean,

their forms all symmetry, their motions grace…”

James Montgomery, British Poet

I often wonder how many other people feel a thrill when the swallows return to our area in early May. In late April this year I began to watch for them with high expectation. Every year the swallows are drawn back to my home like a magnet, much to my amazement and joy. Their nest of mud and grasses, lined with soft feathers, is perched in a corner of the eaves of my A-frame house. Due to the strength of this nest, and how well it is “glued” to the wood, it has lasted through many a fierce storm. It is the second nest the swallows created there in more than 20 years, the first one falling down just a few years ago. That particular spring, upon their return, they built another strong nest in the very same place, and I expect it to last just as long as the other one.

The first sign of the return of my feathered tenants is their excited chirping, and my day is immediately happier upon hearing them. They sound like they are having a lively conversation, which I guess they are, and my loneliness is displaced by their cheerful company. Since arriving here several days ago, the mated pair has been zooming all day through the skies eating whatever they can find. Every spring and summer they keep my atmosphere completely free of mosquitoes, so no Zika Virus here ! However, due to all the rain and cool weather this spring, the flying bug population is not so great yet. Hopefully the birds had plenty of food while traveling north after wintering somewhere in Mexico or some country in South America. Some swallows winter as far away as Argentina !

I wish I knew my swallows’ entire story, but at least I do know part of their story here in northern Frederick county. I have seen mothers, and fathers, sitting on their nest until the babies hatch. Thereafter the wonderful partnership of the parents continues, taking turns feeding the nestlings, and themselves. It takes a lot of energy zooming around all day. It is a true joy to watch them fly far out over the fields, gathering what they can at lightening speed, and then bringing the food back to their eager nestlings. Usually there are four young ones, and once these fledgelings leave the nest the mother and father occasionally settle down to raising 4 more.

Birds, as we all know, are amazing creatures. We humans are fascinated with both their flight, and their songs, not to forget their amazingly artistic colorations. Many a poet has written eloquently about them and artists such as Audubon have painted detailed representations of them (more than 1,000 to be nearly exact!). Songs like “The Little Red Lark”, an Irish ballad, portray their amazing flights and songs, and airplanes were invented as we grounded humans decided we too had to fly. This idea may or may not have been a good one. After all, birds are following their natural inclinations, whereas humans do not, and we are definitely polluting our planet with all our unnatural contraptions, are we not ?

So, perhaps that is why I am so mesmerized by birds, particularly the swallows. They are so small, seemingly so vulnerable, and yet they can fly such long distances with the greatest of ease. In fact, once here, it is estimated they can fly the equivalent of 600 miles a day in quest of food for their young, according to the Audubon Field Guide to North American Birds. So how is that possible ? you ask.

In my research I have learned, as many of you likely already know, that birds are very light (as light as a feather in fact) due to the fact that their bones are hollow and filled with air. Also, according to a book on Natural History by Bertha Parker, connected with a bird’s lungs are tiny air sacs scattered throughout its body. These air sacs act like tiny hot-air balloons ! Therefore a typical swallow weighs far less than a mouse, lizard or frog of the same size. A birds streamlined body is another help in flying. Humans have tried to mimic these qualities, the closest coming to gliders of various types, and hot-air balloons. I will not say anything about all the other larger, costly, heavy planes, especially of war, which have completely digressed from Nature’s perfect plan.

So, back to feathers. Feathers also serve the purpose of protecting birds from rain and cold. They shed rain because they are a little oily and the intricate parts of the feathers are cleverly put together in lovely, serviceable patterns. Feathers also keep the birds body warm, trapping the heat ; think of your down sleeping bag. This winter I remember telling my chickens to huddle close and keep warm, as I closed them up for the night in their unheated coup. I even worried a bit, but they weathered the cold winter beautifully as they are fully and thickly feathered.

I am in total admiration of birds in general, and sometimes I wish I were as free as they are, unfettered by coats and boots and layers of clothing, and independent of automobile expenses. I envy them for their ability to fly and feed themselves without growing their own food or going into a grocery store.

However, as Popeye so wisely said, “I yam what I yam, and tha’s all what I yam”, and there is no escaping that fact ! I do rather like having two strong legs, and arms I can reach to the sky with, giving praise for all the wonders of life. I am also thrilled to have my swallows back here for another season. I will miss them when they gather to go south in August, and I can usually tell when the time is coming by all their excitement as they zoom around my house with their happy, chirping fledgelings, full grown by then, and fully independent. Sigh.

I wish I could fly free as a bird, and be light as a feather !

Christine is a Master Wildlife Habitat Naturalist and can be reached at songbirdschant@gmail.com with any questions or stories of your own.

I Worship at the Altar of Creation

Posted in Poems, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 1, 2015 by Drogo

I worship at the altar of Creation.

Call me pantheist if you will

but labels cannot describe

the mystical connection I feel

while gazing upon the faces

of myriad aster flowers

or hearing the songs of birds

which live in my Sanctuary

where its altar is strewn

with diversity of flora and fauna,

on this Earth filled with infinite species

numbers still not counted

and wiser than any human

fabrication of religion

or material contraption.

I worship at the altar of Creation

not just at the all too human

cloistered inside chapel

where hymns of praise are sung

but air is filled with stagnant odors,

windows closed to the great Outdoors.

Give me more ! the outer air,

the sweet perfume of springs mimosa

the healing aroma of every flower

entwined together as if by plan

all singing in harmony

with profound profusion

in this Sanctuary where I dwell,

my Mystic Meadows.

 

  • Christine S. Maccabee