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Poem #19: Autumn

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:16 pm
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Autumn Song

Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
Laid on it for a covering,
And how sleep seems a goodly thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

And how the swift beat of the brain
Falters because it is in vain,
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf
Knowest thou not? and how the chief
Of joys seems—not to suffer pain?

Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the soul feels like a dried sheaf
Bound up at length for harvesting,
And how death seems a comely thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?


~~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Yeah. I'm not panicked at all.

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:54 am
wendelah1: Letter H is for Holy Crap (H is for Holy Crap)
[personal profile] wendelah1
From USA TODAY: UNITED NATIONS – In a bracing speech to the United Nations, President Trump threatened Tuesday to "destroy" North Korea if it does not give up its nuclear weapons program.

Is he trying to start a war? For real?

A "bracing speech"? WTF, USA TODAY.

We cannot let ourselves get derailed by the shitstorm the Trump administration calls their foreign policy. We still have to make those phone calls to stop Trumpcare.

Dragons

Sep. 19th, 2017 08:30 am

We Won't Betrumped Again

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:42 am
wendelah1: (Repeal and Replace)
[personal profile] wendelah1
INDIVISIBLE just unveiled a new calling tool for folks in Blue States who want to help stop Trumpcare: Calls to Kill TrumpCare. We can't call our Senators--well, we can but mine are both Democrats and they are not the problem here. But we can make calls to our counterparts in key Red States and ask them to call their Senators.

How California — yes, California — could make a Trump reelection more difficult. YES!

Atlas Obscura: Found: 30 Lost English Words That May Deserve a Comeback.

Well, well, well. I think "betrump" deserves a comeback. Betrump: To deceive, cheat; to elude, slip from. Examples: I think our entire country is getting betrumped on a daily basis. Don't let yourselves get betrumped! Curses! Betrumped again! See what I mean? So useful. So accurate.

During Irma’s Power Outages, Some Houses Kept The Lights On With Solar And Batteries. Of course, if the roof has blown off or the living room has been flooded, having solar power doesn't mean all that much. Also, we're paying to help folks rebuild in the same flood zones over and over again. Maybe that needs to change?

USA TODAY: Dear Texas, how many times do we have to rebuild the same house? (You're next Florida). It's a reasonable question, imho.

Two years before NFIP was created, the 1966 Presidential Task Force on Federal Flood Control Policy warned that a badly run program 'could exacerbate the whole problem of flood losses. For the federal government to subsidize low premium disaster insurance ... would be to invite economic waste of great magnitude.' That sage advice was ignored.

The Atlantic: Has Climate Change Intensified 2017’s Western Wildfires? Long story, short: Yes. It has.

VOX: The brilliant, infuriating, boring, hypnotic Ken Burns documentary on The Vietnam War. The documentarian’s latest miniseries for PBS is a staggering achievement — and maybe his best work. I watched the first episode. It was good. I learned new things about Vietnam and its history. We keep making the same mistakes, over and over again. This has to stop.

Poem #18: The Tyger

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:25 am
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Simply one of my all time favorites.

~~

The Tyger

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


~~ William Blake

Poem #17: All the World's a Stage

Sep. 17th, 2017 02:00 pm
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Can't beat the bard!

~~

All The World's A Stage

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.


~~ William Shakespeare
(As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII)
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
This one reminds me of my mother who stubbornly hung onto life long after her body had given up.

~~

Do not go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


~~Dylan Thomas
wendelah1: My team (Stargate SG-1)
[personal profile] wendelah1
This is a signal boost of a post on Livejournal. Read here about efforts to contact authors who posted fanfiction on the Alpha Gate, a wonderful and long-established archive for Stargate SG-1 which is moving to the Archive Of Our Own.

Please take a gander at the list of authors and see if you know how to contact any of them about the archive's move.

Thanks to [personal profile] princessofgeeks for the heads up. Please spread the word if you can.

The Zombie Bill

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:11 am
wendelah1: (OH NO NOT YOU AGAIN)
[personal profile] wendelah1
ARGH.

From Slate: Republicans Are Seriously Getting Optimistic About Passing Obamacare Repeal Again.

That's bad enough but that's not the worst part.

My colleague Jordan Weissmann has written about how the Graham-Cassidy bill is not the moderate compromise its backers make it out to be. The bill would essentially collapse Obamacare’s market subsidies and Medicaid expansion by replacing them with block grants allotted to each state to design their own health systems, with few strings attached. Those grants would be determined by a complex formula that, relative to current law, punishes large blue states or those that expanded Medicaid while rewarding red states that didn’t. Like previous GOP bills, Graham-Cassidy would also set slow-growing per-capita caps on traditional Medicaid, and allow states to waive out of core Obamacare insurance regulations. It would defund Planned Parenthood for one year.


That's right. This bill punishes states like California and New York for expanding Medicaid under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act while rewarding the states that didn't. It takes money away from my state because we provided healthcare benefits for our residents and gives it to the likes of TEXAS, which didn't. TEXAS!

Ending the Affordable Care Act while at the same time rewarding people in the states that did vote for Trump and punishing people who live in the states that didn't vote him. Wow. Now that's a WIN-WIN.

Those FUCKERS.

More angry ranting )

The INDIVISIBLE website has everything you need to know to help stop this travesty. AGAIN.

You won this before. Now it's time to win it again. Let's #KillTheBill.

Yuletide nominations are ending soon

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:19 pm
wendelah1: (I signed up to write what?!?)
[personal profile] wendelah1
VERY soon. My Yuletide nominations are as follows:

1. Deviations: The X-Files
Dana Scully (Deviations)
Samantha Mulder (Deviations)
Fox Mulder (Deviations)
Cigarette Smoking Man (Deviations)

2. The Expanse (TV)
Jim Holden (The Expanse TV) - I had to add The Expanse TV to get the nomination accepted because someone else had nominated the same character for the book series. Ditto for Joe Miller.
Joe Miller (The Expanse TV)
Julie Mao
Octavia Muss

3. Interstellar (2013)
Amelia Brand
Joseph Cooper
Murphy Cooper
Tom Cooper

Here's a fantastic one-minute fandom: Has anyone heard of Dixit? I suggested to the nominator that someone should create a Dixit Bingo community. These pictures are more surreal than the average fic Bingo card but I like that about them. I will offer it for sure. Heck, I might even ask for the game for my birthday.

(no subject)

Sep. 15th, 2017 08:47 am
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
In this time of anti-immigrant fever and just plain un-American stupidity from the White House and the far right, I wanted to post a reminder of the way it should be...




~~

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


~~Emma Lazarus
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
When I was a girl, I loved the Scholastic book clubs at school. Every month we got a flyer with wonderful books that we could order for almost nothing. The best books of an entire decade came through that book club... I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Go Ask Alice, Slaughterhouse Five and this poem was the name of a collection of modern poems. It was wonderful. I think maybe this is what made me love poetry so much.

~~


Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle Received from a Friend Called Felicity

During that summer
When unicorns were still possible;
When the purpose of knees
Was to be skinned;
When shiny horse chestnuts
(Hollowed out
Fitted with straws
Crammed with tobacco
Stolen from butts
In family ashtrays)
Were puffed in green lizard silence
While straddling thick branches
Far above and away
From the softening effects
Of civilization;

During that summer--
Which may never have been at all;
But which has become more real
Than the one that was--
Watermelons ruled.

Thick imperial slices
Melting frigidly on sun-parched tongues
Dribbling from chins;
Leaving the best part,
The black bullet seeds,
To be spit out in rapid fire
Against the wall
Against the wind
Against each other;

And when the ammunition was spent,
There was always another bite:
It was a summer of limitless bites,
Of hungers quickly felt
And quickly forgotten
With the next careless gorging.

The bites are fewer now.
Each one is savored lingeringly,
Swallowed reluctantly.

But in a jar put up by Felicity,
The summer which maybe never was
Has been captured and preserved.
And when we unscrew the lid
And slice off a piece
And let it linger on our tongue:
Unicorns become possible again.

~~John Tobias
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
I love both of these so I decided to share them together. The ultimate love poem and the snarky reply.
~~

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields
Woods or steepy mountain yields

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flower, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherds' swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

~~ Christopher Marlowe


The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd

If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy love.

Time drives the flocks from field to fold,
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold;
And Philomel becometh dumb;
The rest complain of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields;
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy bed of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,
Thy coral clasps and amber studs,
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee and be thy love.

But could youth last and love still breed,
Had joys no date nor age no need,
Then these delights my mind might move
To live with thee and be thy love.

~~ Sir Walter Raleigh

Poem #12" Epitaph on a Tyrant

Sep. 12th, 2017 08:37 am
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Auden wrte this one in 1940 after he'd lived in Berlin for a while. The tyrant was Hitler, but most tyrants still fit the mold.

~~

Epitaph on a Tyrant

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.


~~W. H. Auden


See him read it here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xqq1r8

Poem #11: God

Sep. 11th, 2017 06:00 pm
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Not exactly poetry but very poetic. I love the musings of Kahlil Gibran.

~~

God

In the ancient days, when the first quiver of speech came to my lips,
I ascended the holy mountain and spoke unto God, saying, “Master,
I am thy slave. Thy hidden will is my law and I shall obey thee
for ever more.”

But God made no answer, and like a mighty tempest passed away.

And after a thousand years I ascended the holy mountain and again
spoke unto God, saying, “Creator, I am thy creation. Out of clay
hast thou fashioned me and to thee I owe mine all.”

And God made no answer, but like a thousand swift wings passed
away.

And after a thousand years I climbed the holy mountain and spoke
unto God again, saying, “Father, I am thy son. In pity and love
thou hast given me birth, and through love and worship I shall
inherit thy kingdom.”

And God made no answer, and like the mist that veils the distant
hills he passed away.

And after a thousand years I climbed the sacred mountain and again
spoke unto God, saying, “My God, my aim and my fulfillment; I am
thy yesterday and thou are my tomorrow. I am thy root in the earth
and thou art my flower in the sky, and together we grow before the
face of the sun.”

Then God leaned over me, and in my ears whispered words of sweetness,
and even as the sea that enfoldeth a brook that runneth down to
her, he enfolded me.

And when I descended to the valleys and the plains God was there
also.


~Kahlil Gibran

Poem #10: Sonnet XVII

Sep. 10th, 2017 05:58 pm
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
I just love Pablo Neruda's poems. The translations are beautiful.

~~

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.


~~ Pablo Neruda
Translated by Mark Eisner
wendelah1: (raindrops keep fallin' on their heads)
[personal profile] wendelah1
VOX: Photos: what Hurricane Irma’s destruction looks like on the ground

NPR: The Rubble And Recovery Of U.S. Virgin Islands: 'Will We Survive The Aftermath?'

Huffington Post: After Irma, Tim Duncan Pens Emotional Plea: Don’t Forget The U.S. Virgin Islands

NYT: Desperation Mounts in Caribbean Islands: 'All the Food Is Gone'

The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC: U.S.Virgin Islands facing dire circumstances after Hurricane Irma

You can donate to help the U.S. Virgin Islands. Retired San Antonio Spurs' superstar Tim Duncan has donated $250,000 and will match up to one million dollars.

Conde Naste Traveler has international donation suggestions: How to Help Victims of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.

Rollcall: Opinion: A Big-Spending Liberal Is a Conservative Who Has Been Flooded.

Popular Mechanics: How to Rebuild Our Infrastructure in This Age of Superstorms | These are not once-in-a-lifetime events.

NPR:
Air Pollution From Industry Plagues Houston In Harvey's Wake

Montanans Pitch In To Bring Clean Air To Smoky Classrooms. We're having a really bad fire season season here in the West and Northwest.

The Guardian: How climate change triggers earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes | Global warming may not only be causing more destructive hurricanes, it could also be shaking the ground beneath our feet.

In the wake of the recent hurricanes, monsoon flooding, wildfires, and earthquakes, I hope everyone is taking the time to review their own disaster preparations: check and replenish supplies, go over evacuation plans, update insurance. The time to stock up on water, food, gasoline and batteries is not after the shit hits the fan.

REPOSTED FROM FEMA: September is National Preparedness Month.

Everything South City: Are YOU Prepared for a Disaster? September is Disaster Preparedness Month!

The National Weather Service: Don't Wait. Communicate

The Sweethome: The Best Emergency Preparedness Supplies. I don't know about "the best." It's a decent review site, especially if you have no money worries and infinite storage space. I do appreciate that one of the editors lives in California so earthquake preparedness is addressed along with the usual extreme weather emergencies.

To spread out the pain, for the past few years, I've been trying to buy one or two items a month. I disagree with some of their picks; for example, I can see no reason that anyone's emergency kit needs a $30 water bottle, especially since the site claims the recommendations are for people sheltering at home. What's wrong with using a glass or a cup that you already own? Of course, that wouldn't generate any income for the site, now would it? Unless you lift weights, I wouldn't go for the seven gallon storage jug that weighs close to sixty pounds when full. Where would you keep it in between disasters? Plus you have to remember to dump it and replace the water every year. If money is no object, and you have storage space to spare, why not get Blue Can Water, which has a shelf life of 50 years? I'll never have to buy emergency water again! I can leave it to my son in my will!

One urgent problem that I never see addressed in articles on emergency preparedness is waste management. What are you supposed to do you do when the sewer system no longer functions, for days, weeks, or even, in the case of a catastrophic earthquake, a year or longer? No worries- PHLUSH (Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human) has you covered. Under "Emergency Toilet Systems" there is a menu of Nine Actions You Can Take, including instructions on how to Make a Twin Bucket Toilet. You can buy the cheapest bucket/seat combo at REI for about twenty bucks. They're also available at Amazon but only to Prime Members. Yes, those assholes have no shame. Walmart is currently sold out, which isn't surprising given that the USA is coping with two major weather disasters.

The problem is not confined to natural disasters. The way we routinely deal with our pee and poop is in itself a disaster in the making.

Slate: Minds in the Toilet: There's a sewage crisis, so hold your nose and think hard. This review of Rose George's The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters (2008) is enlightening enough that I'm adding it to my to-read list. To summarize, Western-style sewage disposal is polluting our water and destroying our oceans; meanwhile, "Four in ten people have no access to any latrine, toilet, bucket or box. Nothing." The bottom line: The way we deal with human waste is unsustainable. Think about it. In a warming world in which drinking water is fast becoming a scarce commodity, it makes no sense to pollute our precious water supply with waste products while simultaneously spending billions of dollars trying to clean it up.

Finally, Behold The Fatberg: London's 130-Ton, 'Rock-Solid' Sewer Blockage. This is a recurring human-caused disaster, one that results from people who dispose of those so-called flushable wipes down the toilet, plus other individuals who dump their cooking grease down the kitchen sink. I can almost understand the wipes because of the way the packaging falsely claims they can be safely flushed (there should be a law against that, dammit), but there is no excuse for dumping grease into a sewer line. EVER.

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