Intermission: When Not Speaking Up As a Vietnam Vet’s Daughter is Unacceptable

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KC Redding-Gonzalez has written an essential piece on speaking out and those who do not about President Trump’s criticism of John McCain. This essay is crucial reading!

Zombie Salmon (the Horror Continues)

I apologize right now to my followers for the temporary deviation from this blog’s theme. However I simply cannot remain silent on this one…

Recently, our President has taken it upon himself to repeatedly criticize the late Senator John McCain, a former Vietnam war POW, and respected Navy veteran.

I really do not care why.

But what I care about is the number of Americans who are standing by and saying NOTHING. And of those Americans, the number of American Military Service Members and Veterans who are saying NOTHING, or saying it quietly.

To those soldiers past and present I say I’ve already watched as you have stood silent and allowed noncitizens who served beside you be deported. And now you are staring at your shoes while a United States President denigrates a decorated war veteran – your brother.

I am not a service member. But I am the daughter…

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Quotations on Integrity

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Lillian-Hellman-1935

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.”

                                                                       Lillian Hellman

Roman_-_Portrait_of_the_Emperor_Marcus_Aurelius_-_Walters_23215

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”

                                                                       Marcus Aurelius

 

Czeslaw Milosz

(By Artur Pawłowski – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53409432)

“In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.”

                                                                       Czeslaw Milosz

A Witch’s Sign

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Here is “A Witch’s Sign” from K.D. Dowdall!

Once Upon a Time....

https://scvincent.com/writephoto-photo-prompt/thesign

A Witch’s Sign

Ye are welcome here,

All Ye Witches, Wizards, and Sorcerers,

Yet, leave ye magical spells at our door,

Here we serve only frogs, spiders, and toads,

On our table of incantations and spooks.

Once ye pass our door, beware,

For ye might be mistaken for lunch or dinner,

Should ye look too tasty to our clientele,

Of Ogres and Dragons abiding here,

Ye thus enter at ye own risk,

Yet ye shall find a plenty, fun to be had,

Though ye may stay forever.

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A Book Review: Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

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Here is K.D. Dowdall’s wonderful review of Sally Cronin’s Sam A Shaggy Dog Story

Once Upon a Time....

“Entertaining humans for cheese is a bit daft really, but cheese is cheese!” Wise words from Sam: a smart, talented, handsome, and very entertaining Collie, who, in my opinion, is the spitting image of Lassie.

Author, Sally Cronin writes, through the eyes of her beloved Collie, Sam. It is a poignant, funny, and oh so entertaining story about life with Sam.

Sam tells us about his life, and what it is like growing up dog. I couldn’t help but fall head over heels in love with Sam! And so will you! 

Sam is very literate, he did narrate this book, after all. Sam’s memoir: Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story, is a truly incredible life story of his life as a Collie. He narrates poignantly about his first memories of being a puppy, his incredible curiosity of the world around him, as well as his travels, mishaps, and friendships, and about…

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Who Are Your Favorite Latin American Poets?

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As I continue this series on favorite writers, I am going to try to continue to hone in more specifically on regions as well as eras, although not always in the same post! For today’s question, I would like to learn who are some of your favorite Latin American poets. Unfortunately for me, I do not speak Spanish, so I can only address the writings of the following artists as their work appeared in translation. I am hoping, however, that the translations are accurate.

Here are a few of my most admired Latin American poets:

Pablo_Neruda_1963

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

Pablo Neruda

Neruda’s work might be among the best known poetry of any time or place in the world. I find his work to be astounding in its depth and breadth of subject. He was a well known political activist as well as a writer of some of the most beautiful love poetry. Neruda, from Chile, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971.

 

Gabriela_Mistral_1945

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral, of Chile, also won the Nobel Prize for Literature (1945), and has produced an enormous body of poetic work. Her work often encompasses a wide range of themes: among them: love, sorrow, bitterness, hope for the world, family, motherhood and the issue of Latin American identity.

 

Octavio_Paz_-_1988_Malmö

(https://en.wikipedia.org–Photograph by Jonn Leffman)

Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz completes this triumvirate of winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature (1990). Paz is one of the most well known Mexican poets, and his work was widely varied and dealt with many themes. A few are love, death, passion, natural beauty, as well as the Modern world and surrealism.

 

So I ask all of you–who are some of your favorite Latin American poets?

The Wisdom of Walt Whitman–to Question Everything

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Walt_Whitman_-_NARA_-_525875

(commons.wikimedia.org)

I have taught Walt Whitman in several classes both at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and at the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, in traditional and adult classes.

This excerpt is from his introduction to the 1855 First Edition of Leaves of Grass.

leavesofgrass

(http://www.whitmanarchive.org)

Whitman was one of the greatest American poets and has been called the Bard of Democracy. He challenged the existing views of normalcy in the United States across a wide range of topics. We live in a time, perhaps even more than in the 1800s, when great pressure exists to conform to what society defines normalcy to be. I believe it is crucial for individuals to find out who they are, for what they have passions, and what they believe. With this thought in mind, I want to share this small excerpt:

“re-examine all you have been told at church or school or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem”

walt-whitman-391107__180

(https://pixabay.com)

Whitman shattered the conventions of his time, and his admonition to us to question everything is as important today as it was in the mid-1800s.

meadow-63987_640

(https://pixabay.com)

Please, keep Whitman’s idea in mind, and question everything.

Valparaiso Open Air Art~

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Here are more photographs by Cindy Knoke of beautiful open air art in Valparaiso!

There are hundreds of wall sized open air painted murals all over Valparaiso.

Click to enlarge this photo to see how the artist recycled plastic soda bottles to create living window planters for her imaginary town and writes about the need to creatively recycle plastics .

The talent and creativity of these artists blows me away.

In this hostel, I zoomed in on the art around the doorway in the photos below, so you can see the detail.

What strikes me is how talented these artists are,

and how many of them will remain unrecognized.

It is often luck that makes one famous, and another unknown.

In a fairer world, all these artists would be recognized for the true talent they have.

Valparaiso is full of gifted artists, but it also has so many poor people, and the largest slums in Chile.

The unfair fact this illustrates is that talent…

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