Tai Chi with Seals

With skins of freshly picked
wild blueberries
lingering on my lips
and the oil
of freshly crushed
sassafras leaves
on my ankles
and wrisrs
to ward off
those pesky black flies
that interrupt
concentration,
I faced the sea.

With knees slightly bent,
wrists, elbows, and shoulders
relaxed,
I inhaled
and felt the energy
of the vast ocean and sky
gather
in my belly
and then down
through the soles of my feet
through the sand
and into the sea
where the seals
gently waited
and watched.

They watched
as I struck
the tiger pose,
unafraid.

They seemed more curious
about the deer pose
and they joined with the seabirds
who seemed amused
at the human
standing on one leg
flapping his arms
like an awkward crane.

Once more,
I sank my chi
thanked the birds
and seals
that joined me
and sent them
good fishing energy.

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Poor Man’s Food

I never realized
when I was young
on those Friday evenings
at the end of the month
when we had a special meal
of sardines and crackers
that we were eating
poor man’s food.

And when my mother said
she wasn’t really hungry
because of a lump in her throat
or a pain in her chest
I’d worry a little bit about her health
but be grateful
that there were more sardines
for the rest of us.

On Saturdays
when we had that gourmet meal
made from the left over eggs
and cheese
and the last of the dried out bread
and if we were lucky
some cut up cubes
of an old piece of ham,
I didn’t know
the recipe came
from necessity
and not
a culinary magazine.

On Sunday mornings
when the people were so kind to us
as we savored
our weekly pastry treat
and a Dixie cup
of lemonade
after sitting in church
eating
a small piece of bread
and taking
a sip of wine
I didn’t realize
that this too
was poor man’s food.

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Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Recap, Part 1

I am home where Falcon Ridge meets the confluence of other rivers in my life. My notebook and mind full of thoughts to organize and post in my blog. Snippets of songs play in my head. Patty Larkin sings, “I read the Bible everyday, Trying to keep the demons at bay”. Brother Sun sings “St. Christopher protect us from the cold and stormy sea”. All of this is followed by “St. Anthony Lost and Found” sung by Gina Forsyth.

Soon, I will post more; poems that I wrote, reflections on various performances, and whatever else comes to mind, but first, I need to get back to my day job. I need to fit all of this into the greater journey; poetry group on Tuesday, an important meeting on Wednesday.

As I prepare for my daily get ready for work shower, different from that wonderful first, home from Falcon Ridge shower, I think, twenty-four hours ago, I was sitting on a hill talking with my neighbors and best friends for the weekend, preparing to put out the tarp I would sit upon for the rest of the day. I think of the song we all stand on the hill together and sing, as we head back home, “never turning back”.

Ticket sales for next year’s Falcon Ridge go on sale in February.

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Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit, Raclette.

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit, Raclette. A new month starts. The last one didn’t see as much writing as I would have liked and this month doesn’t look that much more promising. It is Swiss National Day. I remember working for a Swiss bank where they would serve raclette every year on the first of August. The pungent smell of ripe melted cheese would fill the building. I like strong cheeses, but raclette was always a bit much for me.

It is also the Feast of Joseph of Arimathaea and I read lessons about tombs. I read the news, and try to focus. There are a lot of things going on for August and a lot on my mind. Again, I hope to find time to write more later.

(Categories: )

#WhatIMake Connections #CLMOOC Continuous Connected Learning

Normally, when asked what I make, I would say blog posts, in addition to other poems like poems, or hard cider. Yet this is only my fourth blog post of the week, behind my average of a post a day, and it does little to catch up with a full week with no blog posts while I was out on Cape Cod, and an expected dearth of blog posts while I am at Falcon Ridge.

On our way out to Cape Cod, we stopped at the 2nd BIG Tiny House Festival in Concord, MA, that my middle daughter helped organize with her friends from Miranda’s Hearth. At one of the tables there were #WhatIMake cards and colored pencils. Take a blank card, draw what you make. Leave it in the box of completed cards and take a different card. Connect with other makers.

This week has been #BreakWeek in the #CLMOOC I’m somewhat participating in. Being offline at the Cape left me less connected or involved that I would have liked to have been and I was hoping to use #BreakWeek to catch up. There’s been a lot of talk about postcards in #CLMOOC, very much like the #WhatIMake cards from Miranda’s Hearth. At some point, when I feel like things are better under control, I hope to join the postcard project. I hope some of my friends at Miranda’s Hearth will too.

Some of the stuff in #CLMOOC has been about ‘Animator’ and various other tools for creating animated GIFs. People have talked about Paper by Fiftythree. Unfortunately that is iPhone only. Someone else mentioned Sketch on Android. I looked briefly at Sketch and similar sketching and animation tools for Android and for laptops. Sketch has the ability to collaboratively sketch, and I think it may have timelines as well. Seems like a nice digital parallel to the postcard and #WhatIMake projects.

Another project that has caught my eye is #CLMOOC #DAILYCONNECT: THE CONNECTED POEM. I would love to spend some time in the connected poem, or perhaps set up a few connected poems myself. It uses Titanpad which appears to be based on Etherpad. Both are worth exploring.

I typically leave pages I’ve been browsing up to come back to them later and perhaps write about them a little. Often I try to connect them to different themes. I’ve been trying to avoid getting too drawn into the political fray, but I have been wondering if “You have sacrificed nothing and no one” will be the “Have you no sense of decency left” line from the 2016 election. Various people have been writing about it. Ezra Klein wrote, Donald Trump’s slander of Captain Humayun Khan’s family is horrifying, even for Trump. The Washington Post had Backlash for Trump after he lashes out at the Muslim parents of a dead U.S. soldier.

I’ve been getting into some discussions about Trump and religion. On Facebook I shared Opinion: Denying the Imago Dei: The triumph of Donald Trump. It was written by Ian Markham, Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary.

We should always recognize that when we talk about human lives we are talking about men and women who are made in the image of God. People are of infinite value. This debased and coarse language is totally inappropriate; in fact, it is wrong; it is sinful; indeed it is evil.

I often also point people to 7 conservative Christians who are not supporting Trump. There are lots of good comments there. Another window I had open was TRUMP ANNOUNCES HIS DEBATE ESCAPE PLAN. Not a lot of content there but it voices something people are talking about. Also, If Politicians Had Man Buns has some funny pictures.

It is getting late, and I won’t make it through all the open windows, but I thought I’d highlight two last articles I have up. I was talking with my eldest daughter whose classmates are now hearing “weird dad” stories. I pointed her to Impression Formation in Cyberspace: Online Expectations and Offline Experiences in Text-based Virtual Communities in which I am a case study. There is also an article which I believe I originally found from my middle daughter, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett And Oprah All Use The 5-Hour Rule :

Top business leaders often spend five hours per week doing deliberate learning.

While I’m not keen on the business focus, I think it has an interesting point which expands upon nicely.

More continuous connected learning later…

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