If only we were born with such wisdom!
This poem might, it might be short,
for but one point will it exhort.
The past holds much, wisdom for sure,
when one looks back—thus heretofore.
But few have learned, many forget,
and such is life, we’re human yet.
But he who rules the world, he could,
if he knew when to say “not good.”
*Many years ago, while in graduate school, I became fond of a co-ed with whom I shared some library time together, as I recall. We teased each other with hand-written notes, each trying to be the more impressive writer, with clever puns, metaphors, and symbolism. One of her written and spoken trademarks was the frequent use of the term, “not good.” This silly poem represented one of my efforts to impress her.
Cockroach Anxiety: A Two-Sentence Horror Story
As the midnight intrusion of cockroaches meandered across the kitchen floor, Tammy froze in fear and then screamed in horror as her bare feet refused to move on command, pinning her to the floor, neither arm able to reach the light switch that would have scared them all away.
When the insidious creatures crawled first across her feet, then her ankles and up her calves, she reluctantly accepted the irony that after the coroner autopsied her half-eaten corpse, he would know that because roaches prefer dead and decaying matter, it was fear that had killed her long before any of the disgusting insects had taken their first bite.
Author’s note: While it might seem that the word “intrusion” in the first sentence above was chosen simply as clever wordplay, the term is, in fact, the dictionary definition of a group of cockroaches.
Japanese American Historical Plaza (Portland, Oregon)
Photo courtesy of the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center
A couple of weeks ago Becky and I visited Portland, Oregon, to see friends. While there, we had the opportunity to visit the Japanese American Historical Plaza, which is part of the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The memorial was designed by landscape architect Robert Murase and dedicated in 1990.
The purpose of the memorial was to highlight and remember the injustices faced by Japanese Americans in Oregon, following the infamous Executive Order 9066, signed by President Roosevelt, on February 19, 1942. This order led to the forcible removal from their homes of some 120,000 West Coast Japanese Americans, nearly 2/3 of whom were American citizens.
The various stones that you see in the photo have inscriptions, including a listing of the ten internment camps where the internees were taken, and relevant poems written by Japanese American authors. The final stone has a bronze plaque with several selections from the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, a law that granted reparations to the internees. This law stated that our government’s actions were based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”
To read a 14-part series that I wrote about the internment, Start Here. Also, in an effort to shine a light on the injustice of the Japanese American internment of World War II, I wrote an historical novel entitled How Much Do You Love Me? Aside from my desire to create a page-turning mystery, my objective was to summarize the complete experience of the internees, throughout their wartime experience.
Hurricane Name Blame
Until ’79, naming hurricanes as women was SOP, with names such as Camille, Carol, Betsy, and Connie. Hell hath no fury, as each felt she’d been scorned, wreaking havoc on our planet, leaving all so forlorn. But since we’ve modernized, both sexes get their turn, to shine as the evil one, in history… View Article
Stories from My Life, #11: My extraordinary experience with the Selective Service System
By the time I started college at Penn State in the early 60’s, the Viet Nam war was looming. I had a student deferment. But when I graduated in 1968 with a Master’s in meteorology, I lost that deferment. At the time there was considerable DoD funding in weather modification and, since my specialty… View Article
Solar Eclipse of 2017: Some Thoughts
We take our sun for granted, the moon perhaps more so, forgetting that these heavenly bodies, so much to them we owe. Earth, the third of planets nine, is our home and universe— for there’s none other to compare, within a ten-light-year burst. The earth circles the sun, the moon goes around our planet,… View Article
Ode to the Paris Climate Accord
Oh how we miss you, you Paris Accord! By considering himself lord, as his confidence soared, our President struck a chord wielding his veto sword, courting his base, loyalty assured, science ignored While earth temps reach new highs, sea levels rise, a polar bear sighs, as she loses her icy franchise Humans and organisms… View Article
An Ode to President Trump and his Tweets
Our President has troubles, varied and timely, many from tweets, unfriendly and whiny Citizens and advisors both pray that he stop, the latter concerned they might soon get the chop Trump’s frictions are mostly from self-infliction, because of Twitter addiction, a personal affliction But also from a limited knowledge of diction, often causing contradiction,… View Article
Ode to my grandpa
Grandpa left his German home by nighttime dew, spiriting away his young bride and infant daughter, my Aunt Sue, sailing far across the ocean blue, to America new. As they departed the scene, the year was 1913, a year before the continent unleashed its war machine. Their ancestral home soon a memory, my grandparents chose… View Article
Stories from My Life, #10: A thank-you note on my wife’s birthday
I’m publishing this blog on the anniversary of my wife’s birth. I’ve been fortunate to have several loves in my life, but none more significant than the first and the last. I was no longer a young man when, at 37, I stumbled across the love of my life. I met Becky, and my… View Article