Monday, June 26, 2006

So You Think There's A Right To Vote?

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In this way and that I tried to save the old pail
Since the bamboo strip was weakening, about to break
Until at last the bottom fell out.
No more water in the pail!
No more moon in the water!


I want to go soon and live away by the pond, where I shall hear only the wind whispering among the reeds. It will be a success if I shall have left myself behind.

---Henry David Thoreau

Since the house is on fire, let us warm ourselves.

---Italian proverb

When I read Greg Palast's column in the UK Guardian from Friday, and featured yesterday by TruthOut, I hesitated to get excited about it. Palast's stuff invariably is upsetting, but I sense a lot of resentment fueling him and also somehow his opinions just don't seem to catch fire. Maybe it's the "conspiracy" of the mainstream media that keeps other reporters and editorial writers from going near his theories. At any rate this time his article is titled "Democracy In Chains" and begins~~~

"Don't kid yourself: the Republican party's decision yesterday to 'delay' the renewal of the Voting Rights Act has not a darn thing to do with objections of the Republican's white sheets caucus.
Complaints by a couple of good ol' boys to legislation have never stopped the GOP leadership from rolling over dissenters.This is a strategic stall that is meant to decriminalise the Republican party's new game of challenging voters of colour by the hundreds of thousands."

The first comment in the massive thread that erupted from the essay is by someone known as MisterD~~~

"This article conflates about five different issues in order to make the false claim that the Republicans are trying to deny citizens the right to vote. They are not. They are just trying to stop the massive vote fraud and ballot box stuffing the Democrats attempt at every election.
This is a poorly researched and poorly reasoned efort to smear Republicans as bigots. Like all of Palast's writing, it is designed to enflame the already feverish minds of the ignorant."

Hmmm, I decided to think it over for a while before running with Greg's ball. My connection with the Civil Rights Movement goes back a long way. Somehow I became a jazz fan as soon as I crossed the threshold into adolescence. (My parents thought I'd grow out of it.) You don't spend much time in the history of that music before you hear stories involving racial discrimination. So by the time I was in college and heard about a few other young people protesting segregation at Woolworth's lunch counters, I joined up. In the summer of 1961, I went to Chicago to train for Freedom Rides whose goal was shipping busloads of people into the South to encourage and help folks register to vote. These were states where poll taxes and literacy tests turned away thousands. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was meant to remove these obstacles.

Lulled into a kind of complacency of victory and set rather at a distance by black backlash that was going on then, I didn't think about voting rights again until I heard about problems in Florida in 2000, and closer to home here in 2004 Ohio. Those of us who cried Foul around those elections generally have been ridiculed off the map for the same number of years it took to see progress in civil rights back in the '60s. Conspiracy theories just make you crazy, so why not give it up? Now comes Palast tying together election fraud and the Republican concerns about renewing the Voting Rights Act. Could he be right? Are Republicans testing the waters to see if anyone in America still is awake at all?

Pessimistically I typed "Voting Rights Act" in Google NewsSearch...and felt my jaw drop when pages of articles and editorials came up. It looks like every newspaper in the country has commented over the weekend on what Republicans are trying to do. More astonishing, most of them seem to see the same threat Palast sees. The most vocal of all are in the very states the legislation singles out as requiring special attention.

In Houston~~~

"The 1965 Voting Rights Act, much of which is permanent, choked off the Jim Crow laws that kept minorities from voting.e 1965 Voting Rights Act, much of which is permanent, choked off the Jim Crow laws that kept minorities from voting.
Section 5, which is up for renewal, made states with histories of voter discrimination get federal 'preclearance' for any changes in their voting law. Texas is one of those states.
There was good reason to subject Texas to federal review. Civil rights lawyers would wrestle down one assault on rights — a poll tax, or a literacy rule, or a morals test — only to see Dixiecrats dream up a new one.
Section 5 switched the burden of defending voter rights from civil rights workers to the federal government. Today, the rule is especially useful at the local level, where council members and others might not be sensitive to a law or procedure that would have an adverse impact on racial minorities.
When the Voting Rights Act was passed, it was easy to spot attempts to disenfranchise minority voters. Most took place in the South. In recent years, though, attacks on voter rights and access to polling places have erupted all over the map. In the last presidential election, some of the most egregious violations occurred in Florida and Ohio — states largely exempt from Section 5."


"What had happened was that a group of representatives from the South protested that, under the renewal, their states would still be required to have voting rule changes 'pre-cleared' by the Justice Department despite the improvements made since the act was originally passed.
They were joined by other Republicans who wanted to remove from the act the provision that requires ballots to be printed in languages other than English in states and counties where there are large numbers of non-English speakers.
Whatever the merits of the arguments for changes in the act, the bottom line is that a group of Red State Republicans, representing the heartland the GOP has captured and hopes to hold, have undermined their party’s hope to attract black and Hispanic voters in the upcoming election."


"For years, Southernors have insisted that the VRA is outdated, that the ills addressed by the act have been corrected. To a degree, this is a good argument. But it's not good enough. Real gains have been made, but there remain indications that, given the opportunity, political factions would pass laws that could present roadblocks to minority voting. Some cite Georgia's recently approved voter photo ID law, which could disenfranchise the poor and elderly, as the most blatant recent example.
One might also point out that just because the VRA has been successful, this is no reason to do away with it. Human nature being what it is, we can see no reason to let Section 5 expire because it works. In fact, that it works so well presents a solid argument for keeping it intact."

From Chicago yesterday, Clarence Page reviews voting rights violations taken to court in just the past few years~~~,1,7203155.column?coll=chi-news-col

From Atlanta, Julian Bond writes this powerful essay today~~~

"If murderers would promise not to murder again, we could eliminate all our laws against unlawful killing. No laws against murder — no murders.
That is analogous to the argument made by some Republicans against reauthorizing the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
We may have done wrong in the past, they say, but we won't in the future. So we can now eliminate the most effective civil rights law ever passed.
The act doesn't expire until September 2007, but a bipartisan coalition in Congress had pledged renewal this year. Now that effort has been derailed. Leading the train wreck has been U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.). He wants to radically alter Section 5 of the act, which requires federal permission to change voting rules in nine states.
The 1965 Voting Rights Act initially focused on six states where blacks had been systematically denied the right to vote — Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia. Three more states — Arizona, Texas and Alaska — were added 10 years later to protect language minorities.
'The pre-clearance portions of the Voting Rights Act should apply to all states, or no states,' Westmoreland argues. 'Singling out certain states for special scrutiny no longer makes sense.'
But 'all states' don't have the history of the six originally covered by the act, including Westmoreland's Georgia.
Westmoreland knows full well that applying Section 5 to all 50 states likely will make the act unconstitutional, no doubt the outcome he wants. Singling out certain states, including Georgia, makes perfect sense.
From the end of Reconstruction forward, Georgia's white supremacist governments and private white citizens devoted considerable energy to preventing black citizens from registering to vote or casting ballots. Their tactics included murder, ballot stuffing, poll taxes, literacy tests that whites passed but most blacks failed, and wholesale intimidation.
When former Urban League Director and Georgia native Vernon Jordan testified for renewing the act in 1970, he said Georgia and other Southern states 'were the most efficient, determined and malicious in their efforts to keep black people off the registration rolls.'
In Harris County in Westmoreland's 8th Congressional District, blacks were 57 percent of the population in 1955, but no blacks were on the grand jury list, and blacks were only 2.3 percent of the trial jury list. Westmoreland's Douglas County adopted a majority vote requirement in 1968 without asking for pre-clearance when a black candidate prepared to run for office. The county was sued over this discriminatory procedure in 1975.
Since the act was last renewed in 1982, the Department of Justice has objected 80 times to proposed changes in Georgia's voting plans, finding they were discriminatory. Recently, only the Department of Justice's political appointees saved a biased Georgia voter identification law over the objections of career Justice Department lawyers. A federal court eventually struck the law down, but Georgia passed a substitute which justice's political appointees pre-cleared.
Sadly, the Southern Poverty Law Center lists 40 hate groups in Georgia today, operating from Athens to Valdosta, and ranging from the Imperial Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations to the Council of Conservative Citizens and the League of the South.
Congress was justifiably proud of its bipartisan intention to renew the Voting Rights Act. The partisan objections of a few disgruntled defenders of a discredited system shouldn't be allowed to end agreement across the aisle on a law President Ronald Reagan said protected the 'crown jewel' of our democracy, the right to vote.
Westmoreland was quoted as saying about his and his colleagues' objections to the Voting Rights Act, 'A lot of it looks as if these are some old boys from the South who are trying to do away with it.'
Yup — it sure does.
We need renewal of the Voting Rights Act as is — just as we need to keep laws against murder on the books."

And back to Palast~~~

"In the 2004 election, more than 3 million voters were challenged at the polls. No one had seen anything like it since the era of Jim Crow and burning crosses. In 2004, voters were told their registrations had been purged or that their addresses were 'suspect'.
Denied the right to the regular voting booths, these challenged voters were given 'provisional' ballots. More than 1m of these provisional ballots (1,090,729 of them) were tossed in the electoral dumpster uncounted.
A funny thing about those ballots: about 88% were cast by minority voters."

Robert Kennedy's article nearly 4 weeks ago and Steven Freeman's new book that I've referenced before attempt to chronicle a pattern to the election problems seen by many over the past half dozen years...particularly in Florida and Ohio. Accusations were made that particular voting blocs were disenfranchised, and the pattern described clearly favored the Republican Party. Now Republicans seem to be looking squarely into the spotlight at the scene of the crime. Is this possible? Or are we going to get a new spin that will send us back to our shrugging apathy?

Kennedy's article is here~~~
and The Boston Globe has a new statement by Freeman today~~~

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Woman Shall Lead Us

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is the first woman to lead the Episcopal Church.
Michael Houghton for The New York TimesPosted by Picasa

Friend, hope for the truth while you are alive.Jump into experience while you are alive!What you call "salvation" belongs to the time before death.If you don't break your ropes while you are alive, do you think ghosts will do it after?


Actually there is no real teaching at all for you to chew on. But not believing in yourself, you pick up your baggage and go around to other people's houses looking for Zen, looking for Tao, looking for mysteries, looking for awakenings, looking for Buddhas, looking for masters, looking for teachers. You think this a searching for the ultimate and you make this into your religion. But this is like running blindly. The more you run, the farther away you are. You just tire yourself, to what benefit in the end?


A human being is a part of the whole called by us "the universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest---a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection of a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its being.

---Albert Einstein

There are many peculiar terms in the Episcopal Church. "Episcopal" is one of them. The word in Latin means "bishop," which hardly differentiates this church from anything known as Anglican throughout the rest of the world. Its members want their own identity in the United States, so we use Episcopal instead of Anglican. Apparently that's only the first of many annoyances we cause.

The physical organization of the church resembles the Catholic, from which it broke so King Henry could keep trying out wives until he found one to suit him. (Not much spiritual inspiration there.) Other Protestant denominations have bishops and such, who are leaders elected in some way or other. In the Episcopal Church there are 2 houses, like Congress: the House of Bishops I suppose is like the Senate, smaller and with more clout; the House of Deputies is similar to the House of Representatives.

The "president" of the whole Anglican Community is known as the Archbishop, and as anybody can become a priest and a bishop anybody could get elected Archbishop too. Well...until now, any MAN could be Archbishop. And to be more specific, any clearly practicing heterosexual man. A priest needn't be married but it's better, if he's going to have some kind of sexual partner living with him, that it be a woman. You know, help with church auxiliaries and picnics, choir practice, Sunday school...that kind of "womanly" thing. I suppose our Catholic friends laugh up their sleeves at how complicated all this has become for us. We have nuns too.

The Church here is divided up into dioceses, which are like sections of states and territories. A bishop is elected to preside over the individual churches in each of them. Our bishop currently is named Price, and 2 hours ago he sent out an email message announcing an extraordinary meeting will be held this morning at 10:45. Last year the Episcopal Church in America elected a bishop in New Hampshire, who is openly gay, with a partner and all that. The Anglican Community objected in a document known as the Windsor Report. Pretty much, we were told to get in line...or else. We put a moratorium on electing any more bishops until our next General Convention of Bishops and Deputies, when we'll come up with an answer to the Windsor Report. That time is right now.

Last night the current Presiding Bishop, who is Frank Griswold, "proposed a rarely used prerogative of calling for a Joint Session of the two houses for today following the Eucharist. The purpose of the session is to craft a response that will truly represent the mind of both houses," according to Bishop Price's message. The representatives in each house had debated all day yesterday and into the night, without coming up with a definite resolution to present to each other for confirmation. Under discussion is not only the continuing freedom for gay and lesbian people to become bishops in this church, but the official blessing of gay union in our services.

On Sunday, as you probably know by now, we elected the first woman Presiding Bishop, or head of the Episcopal branch of the Anglican Union. The Convention may run out of time before we get to abortion and the invasion of Iraq.

This morning The New York Times ran a pretty nice profile of Katharine Jefferts Schori. Here it is...while we await further developments in Columbus~~~
The New York Times
June 21, 2006
For an Episcopal Pioneer, the Challenge Is to Unite

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 20 — As she talked about her past and her future, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on Tuesday described a life filled with so many unusual steps — including learning to fly and entering the Episcopal priesthood at age 40 — that it seemed to suggest an almost congenital appetite for challenge.

She now faces one of her greatest challenges, one that she has called "a grand adventure."

Bishop Jefferts Schori's election on Sunday as the first woman to lead the Episcopal Church has cast her deep into the maelstrom that has engulfed the American arm of the 77-million-member Anglican communion.

"We need to send a message that we fully intend to be part of the communion," she said on her way to the daily Eucharist service. "All of this calls for us to grow and stretch. I think we're willing to stretch very far indeed."

An angry debate about the election of a gay bishop and the blessing of same-sex unions in the United States has frayed the church at home and threatened to fracture the Anglican communion, the world's third-largest church body. Lay and clergy representatives at the Episcopal Church's triennial general convention here are trying to hammer out a response that would satisfy the Archbishop of Canterbury and those Anglican primates abroad who are profoundly offended by the Episcopal Church's actions.

Bishop Jefferts Schori, the 52-year-old bishop of Nevada, will have to sell whatever decision her church makes to the rest of the global communion, a task that may be made more difficult by her sex. Most of the 37 other provinces of the communion do not ordain women, and the willingness of those primates to accept a woman, particularly one who has endorsed gay bishops and same-sex unions, will only become clear over time.

A tall, slender woman who speaks in a soft alto, Bishop Jefferts Schori was born March 26, 1954, in Pensacola, Fla., the oldest of four children. She grew up around Seattle and in New Jersey. But Bishop Jefferts Schori returned to the West Coast to attend college at Stanford University and then to pursue a master's and doctorate in oceanography at Oregon State University. Her master's work dealt with "things that live in mud," on the Oregon coast, she said.

Bishop Jefferts Schori's family seems to be defined by staggering competence.

Her father was an atomic physicist who became an astrophysicist and then went on to help invent a system to tag and code salmon. Her mother had a degree in comparative literature but later became a microbiologist. Her husband of 27 years, Richard M. Schori, is a retired theoretical mathematician. Her 24-year-old daughter, Katharine, is a pilot in the Air Force.

Bishop Jefferts Schori has been flying airplanes since college and took up rock climbing with her husband, a skilled mountaineer. She is fluent in Spanish.

Bishop Jefferts Schori's parents were Catholics who left the church when she was about 9 to join an Episcopal parish, she said.

"We went from a liturgy in Latin to one in English," she said, "from a large and anonymous church to a small and intimate one."

Her turn toward the ministry began more than 15 years ago, when her opportunities for work in oceanography were narrowing. At the same time, several people in her congregation told her she should become a minister. She said she studied and prayed with her pastor in Corvallis, Ore., and the answer became clearer over a period of years.

"My sense of call was like looking at a series of doors closing and others opening, not like there were words on fire on the wall," she said. "It was this dawning awareness that, 'Yes, it makes sense, that there is a coherence to the pieces I am experiencing.' "

Bishop Jefferts Schori was ordained in 1994. The church first ordained women in 1976.

When she walked down the hall toward the Eucharist, a woman in a wheelchair flashed her a smile and a pink button that read, "It's a girl!"

But to the Episcopal Church's critics, Bishop Jefferts Schori's election is another step in the wrong direction, given her liberal theology and her sex. Already, the diocese of Fort Worth, one of three that does not ordain women, has sent a letter to the archbishop of Canterbury asking to be placed under the oversight of a different primate. No decision on that is expected soon.

The archbishop himself sent rather wan greetings to Bishop Jefferts Schori, that in part cautioned that "her election will undoubtedly have an impact on the collegial life of the Anglican primates; and it also brings into focus some continuing issues in several of our ecumenical dialogues." That translates into concerns that other Anglican primates may not accept her, and the Vatican and Eastern Orthodox bishops might not, either.

If her fellow primates are not willing to sit at the table with her, Bishop Jefferts Schori said, she is willing to get up and follow them as they walk away.

"I think that building trust in other parts of the communion is crucial because there is anxiety about a woman in the boys club, as some have said, though I already know a number of the primates," she said. "There is anxiety about the place of the Episcopal Church in the communion. But we want to show that the main thing is that we aren't here to argue about matters of sexuality. We are here to build a holy community."

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Ilona: Back In The B-USA

Ilona newly arrived, like Spring, in Pau. Posted by Picasa

To get this chance is very difficult. To be born as a human being is very difficult. Among uncountable sperms and are here. Wonderful chance. Congratulations!

---Soen Nakagawa

You cannot stay on the summit forever. You have to come down again....One climbs and one sees; one descends and one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting the memory of what one saw higher up. When one no longer sees, one can at least still know.

---Rene Daumal

When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms...

---Mary Oliver

Ilona's been back in the Bush United States of America for 10 days. I don't mean to politicize this essay, but they were her first comments: all these flags everywhere, all these pushy, frightened people. Since March 20th she had been in France, away from all this: blaring news reports of optimism, military state of mind, body searches, and thoughts of terrorists at the front door. "They don't have that in France," she said...and it was impossible to imagine.

The first couple days she spoke in French all the time. I found I could understand what she said pretty well, and so I became interpreter for her mom and grandmother. I know I couldn't have translated exactly, and certainly not spoken back...but I did OK with my occasional replies. Amazing! So now it was possible to imagine how someone only 14 could go to another country, take the remainder of her 9th grade there in French, make new friends, and have an absolutely wonderful time.

These first days we have learned a lot. I knew that would be the case, but had no idea what it would be like. She is calmer, stronger, deeper. I don't want to suffer illusion here, but she seems to perceive herself with new and more maturity. Is it possible? As I think this, she says so herself. She tells us she feels she has learned true compassion for other people. I know that's pretty abstract and a far reach for 14, but indeed she has maintained an equilibrium.

And Dana and I certainly have inadvertently provided the challenge. The weekend before her flight touched down, we had been in Columbus at a highly-charged political intensive for 2 days. We still were chomping at the bit to get change happening at the grassroots! I think on the drive home from Cincinnati, Dana launched into a complaint about the Ohio legislation pending to ban all abortion in this state, no matter how the pregnancy was caused or what the result might be. Ilona wanted to plug her ears. How grand it had been to live free of a restrictive society for some months!

Then almost immediately, Dana and I were off to Columbus again, this time to volunteer during the first couple days of the Episcopal General Convention. Yeah, that's the one about whether a bishop can let anyone know he's gay or not. Ilona was back. Plus, there have been evening meetings to help organize congressional campaigns for the upcoming election. And I'm preparing for a 2-week theater run of Inherit The Wind, the monkey trial play. I mustn't forget being on the phone and computer all the time planning for the memorial for Tagliabue...which will mean a trip for us to Providence for a few days shortly.

Ilona said, "Oh let's keep going and get out of the country for the Fourth of July." Rebellious talk, but she really means she misses that French countryside so much already. And her new friends, who sound so delightful. Do you know what they did? They gathered together and greeted her and her friend at their school on the final day. They had made a card, with all their pictures on it and each signed a special greeting. It is so beautiful, and certainly her most prized keepsake of the trip.

Well, there were some problems over there. We had tried to prepare the family chaperoning Ilona she might have homesickness and physical upsets along the way. The homesick part passed quickly but there were some maladies here and there that probably were stressful. And there's always cabin fever, even just among a family of 5, never mind adding an outsider. Her new digital camera was picked out of the pocket of her friend at the Louvre. There were too many American tourists in Paris, and the shopkeepers were impatient. Alas, Paris was the biggest disappointment. (Papa confesses a little relief she didn't meet some boulevardier there for whom she wants to pack her bags and go back to a Moulin Rouge life.)

She hiked the Pyrenees with her friend, and his mother and stepdad. They were up there for days, spending nights in little lodges, bed & breakfast kinds of homes, and Easter in tiny Lascun. She has a couple hundred photographs of the experience, and it truly looks to have been idyllic. She loves the Basque traditions. She brought us goat cheese, and made sure we had some while we still were in the airport parking lot. It was heaven!

Dana has whisked her off again this weekend for family business in Western Pennsylvania. They should be back tonight though...and I so look forward to see her. (And yes, Dana too.) Her brother Jeroch was over here yesterday and he reflected too how she has grown in every way. He and I hiked through the woods before taking off for a baseball game with a community team he's on. I had such a great time, and his lady Karen was there to keep me company. Hey, troubled as this Old Glory may be these days, we still have hot dogs at the ballpark. And jazz. I'll try to remember that when the French girl gets back.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

John Tagliabue: Last Words

John and Grace Tagliabue were photographed in the Muskie Garden at Bates College in 1998 by Phyllis Graber Jensen, shortly before their move to Providence, R.I. John died on May 31. Posted by Picasa

The important thing is to do, and nothing else; be what it may.

---Pablo Picasso

You yourself are time---your body, your mind, the objects around you. Plunge into the river of time and swim, instead of standing on the banks and noting the course of the currents.

---Philip Kapleau

Who whispered, souls have shapes
So has the wind, I say.
But I don't know.
I only feel things blow.

---Stanley Kunitz

You can, you do...prepare---sometimes for years---for the last word, the final departure...of a friend, a loved one. But we're never really ready when it comes. Still the shock. The welling up, unexpected sobbing. Breaking down...alone or with a comforting hand upon one's shoulder. It cannot be contained. The grief.

And so it came...yesterday afternoon, while I was down at the garden, the phone call's recorded message telling me John Tagliabue is gone.

Exactly a month ago his last letter arrived announcing the "big operation" would be "tomorrow morning, might take 4 - 7 hours!!" Nearly 83, John had agreed to extreme measures to remove part of a pancreas gone bad. There were complications...and another surgery...and then the final morphine drip. With wife and 2 daughters in the room reading him his poems, John gave us the slip and danced lightly further into the fantastic. May I share with you just a few of the last things he wrote?


Dear sensitive thoughtful shaken one, Shakespeare student, praised actor, stirring one, Dick Carlson,

I wanted to cheer myself up a bit
so I remembered what Amy Clampitt wrote about me:
"John Tagliabue writes out of a deeply sacramental sense of nature and history. He is, moreover, that rare person to whom poetry appears to come as naturally as breathing. It comes to this reader, poem by poem, as a Franciscan act of courtesy and praise."

The Collected Poem

I didn't want to be
an entertainment commodity
a seminar commodity
an attitude to be approved of
by this fashion or that ideology
I had no plans or programs or theories for it
but it was from my heart
of no importance
of all importance
it was not to be named or foretold
it alone gave me freedom.


Particularity and
some also call it freedom and Democracy

Something in
my biological nature
(it must be cosmic ? ) wants me to get up and
yawn and
then pee and then have my 1st meal of the day,
coffee, breakfast,
and later more, day by day, mile by mile,
to imbibe,
to chew, to make faces and acts, to act up,
to have
more or less yearnings, how habitual ! to write
phrases, millions
of them, moods, billions of them, to listen to
the more and more
hideous world news, politics, economics, murders
and murders,
indeed one has to be strong, very strong, to get
through the
so called ordinary day year after year after year,
and now it's
almost 82 years that the biological and cosmic functions
have been particular
in me.


Drizzle and repeating Success

The delicate new leaves are certainly being visited
by thousands of
delicate rain drops day after day after day and
the young bridegroom
is visiting night after night and often in the daytime
too the new
young bride she of the delicate skin, hands sliding
on the body,
warmth in the ease, the curve of the young breast,
the penetration
of the mesmerized devout husband, he who plays
like a light
magician and musican on the instrument of bliss
with the
happy instrument of bliss and all around for
miles and
miles and forever are the necessary new blossoms
the drizzle and the continuous dizziness night after
day after day in the delicate celebration of
marriage perfection.


Master T.S. Eliot finely pronounced it the Waste Land

From my lofty 4th floor window
I see it,
there goes off the 1st black car of the day,
a man
in a tin can gliding like a coffin, drizzle
business day, from computer to computer, from sigh
to sigh,
poor trapped man industrious and trapped in his bureaucracy
while more
nuclear bombs are being prepared, more nuclear waste
is being
piled up, while more fresh young soldiers are being
sent off
to be slaughtered - for Democracy for Freedom for
Wall Street
for Corporation and Madness and More Corporations and
some more coffins will glide by in Edgar Allen Poe's
of Quote the Raven and Advertisements, Dental Ads
and Viagra
and Constipation Cures, More Advertisements for Cars and
in Routine Despair.


and from the last letter...these 4~~~

And faith ? Certainly Charity

They don't care about that - the frivolity,
the foolishness,
the insane ambitions of politics, illusions
ridiculous of "power" -
the Springtime daffodils, magnolia, blossoms
of all kinds, they
simply Appear, miraculously Appear; I ask you
song of myself and
friends not to disappear but be enlightened as
the daffodils, as
April thoughts of resurrection, baffle elate,
not late,
the future centuries with hope.

All kinds at the bib, bibles, 1st and last suppers

What are you going to do to make it,
lo Spirito Santo ?
the mosquito, the weed, the clown, the tormented
philosopher, what ?
Hamlet at the crossroads mumbling to the gravediggers,
Christ on the
Cross Exhausted, He who gave away His sermon on the Mount,
He who
said with Him we can move all mountains. Someone with a
in his eyes and humored looked up from the spaghetti he was
and said - good, you like to philosophize, you help us pass
the time.

Being is its own reward for being.
Beauty is its own reward for being.

Weeping is its own wet reward,
I hear the pitter patter of the rain,
it is twice blessed, it blesses him or her
that gives
and those who hear and see and sometimes sing; weep,
O skies,
you skies that Turner in his glory, that Tiepolo
in his
glory also and others, tried to paint; we faint
from weeping,
we fortunate to have loved and loved and loved.
Skies could not
be higher than we weeping. Sleep awhile, keep
the secrets
of what we call infinity. "The more I give, the
more I have,
for both are

Sensitive Observer, be a night in armor

the man on the Cross or
the person at the dark or shattering light
in pain or perplexity is great pain for the
mother or
lover, receiving the news of the agony or death,
the amputation
or blindness of the son or soldier perplexes
as pain can do unto death; dear weeping
tortured relative, if you must weep weep - not
then sleep,
awake and lifetime recollect all my thoughts
and acts
of love.

John Tagliabue's last words to me were these~~~

What I know as I Approach 83 is that much is unknown & that I've had a most helpful wonderful wife & loved family & good friends (you are one of them - ); and I want to say thanks - & Best Wishes to us all