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Archive for April, 2008

The Color Of Flow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.       






SunWheel, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.






Eye To Eye, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. 






Mother, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




April draws to a close in a few hours. Though it snowed last Saturday, the light of April’s last day is clear and blue. The front yard is bursting with new life:  erratic shoots of thick, green grass, day lilies skyrocketing out of tender wet ground, red-stemmed dogwood buds, one purple bloom in the rock garden on the hill.

We began Coloring Mandalas as a practice in January, following the twelve passages of The Great Round. The initial circulation of The Great Round coincides with early childhood, and physical development. Thereafter, the passages focus on spiritual exploration and maturation, awareness of one’s center, and seeking balance and harmony through working with the archetypal circle.



   Seven, dome mandala of the Lake Harriet Community sanctuary, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Seven, dome mandala of the Lake Harriet Community sanctuary, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Seven, dome mandala of the Lake Harriet Community sanctuary, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Beginnings, the fourth cycle of The Great Round, opens prior to the age of two, when a mutual bond is formed between baby and mother. The child develops trust; the mother takes pleasure in nurturing. Later, as adults, we learn to trust and nurture our own creative energy through avenues such as writing, music, and art.

In Stage Four we explore ways to quell the self-doubt and insecurity (Monkey Mind) that bubble to the surface when we create. On a spiritual level, we learn to nurture ourselves, to feel compassion (for ourselves and others); we learn the importance of giving service from the heart.


The April mandalas are drawn with Crayola markers, colored pencils, and Uniball gel pens. Liz’s mandalas are all hand-drawn. But April was the first time in The Great Round that I drew one of my own (from a blank circle with a dot at the center). The simple design is found on the walls of a birthing chamber in an ancient palace on the island of Crete (archeologists suggest it may represent the cervix). The dot becomes the beginning point of our own design, reflecting something we may be ready to birth.



The Color Of Flow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.The Color Of Flow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.The Color Of Flow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



According to the book Coloring Mandalas by Susanne F. Fincher, the healing benefits of The Great Round: Stage 4 — Beginnings are:

  • learning to contain and focus energy
  • deepening and nurturing the relationship with the inner self
  • understanding the value of service to others
  • developing patience and a belief in the process
  • knowing something new will be created and produced even though its form can not yet be seen


ONE: The first mandala (top of the page) was drawn by hand, unplanned and fluid, beginning with a circle and a dot. It is based on an illustration by Marija Gimbutas in The Language of the Goddess, where she illustrates a circle and dot found in a birthing chamber on the island of Crete.

TWO: The second mandala represents a flower or the sun. The center of the template started as empty white space. Everything within the blue center was added in the process of drawing and coloring. Beginnings are a time to contain and focus, to hold our projects and creations close to center, so they can develop. Talking, explaining, discussing, can dissipate valuable energy. Silence holds the space.

THREE: The third mandala draws from the heart chakra. Holding focused energy deepens the relationship to the self, intensifying and expanding the heart. Sustained effort toward nurturing our insides, allows more room outside to see the way clear for unconditional love — a generous love dedicated to serving others.

FOUR: In Beginnings, we learn to cherish the new, to care for what is young and tender. After Winter’s heavy runoff, we wait a few weeks before we rake and scrape the earth, protecting tender shoots of Spring grass. Be gentle with the self. Make room for and nurture your creative ideas, so they have room to come to fruition.

 


  Trimotto, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. Signs Of Spring, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. Sliver, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Find The Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Trimotto, Signs Of Spring, Sliver, Find The Mandala, hand-drawn labyrinths created by Liz, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



The four mandalas above are hand-drawn by Liz, created for The Great Round – Stage 4. She agreed to let me photograph them from her sketchbook and post them with the April mandalas.

Mandalas have been used in Christian churches, in Eastern and Western traditions, by mystics and ancient peoples all over the world. Like labyrinths, mandalas cross all cultures, and represent Spirit coming into matter.

Spring teaches us about new beginnings. About trusting the process of movement — through Winter’s deadening hibernation, to the rebirth and new growth of Spring. We learn to trust ourselves. To know that what appear to be chaos and death, will be followed by renewal and prosperity.


    

Centering, dome mandala of the Lake Harriet Community sanctuary, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

-related to posts:  The Void – January Mandalas, Bliss — February MandalasLabyrinth — March Mandalas, and WRITING TOPIC – CIRCLES

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I was torn. Pink Moon, Frog Moon, Moon of the Greening Grass. I liked Flower Moon and Broken Snowshoe Moon. I imagined fumbling out of a leather strap on an antique snowshoe, ice jamming the buckle, stepping out just long enough to sink knee-deep into what’s left of Winter. But it is the Frog Moon that stuck with me.

In April, the frogs began to call from across the fields, lakes, and valleys. A throaty, mating call, unmistakable in pitch, guttural. Pink is for the wild ground phlox, first blooming flowers of Spring. Spreading like wildfire.

Pink Moon reminds me of Nick Drake, loner, folk singer of the early 70’s. He died in 1974 of an overdose of the antidepressant, amitriptyline. You might know his song, Pink Moon, from the VW commercial that aired in the year 2000. It skyrocketed his song to stardom in the long slow wake of his death. How does that work, that mournful brush with fame.

What do I want to say about the Pink Frog Moon? Early in the month, I could not see her. She was hidden by the gray, foggy end of Winter. In her first quarter around the 12th, I saw her high in a powder blue sky. It was morning; daylight reflected in deep craters with names like Sappho, Isis, and Isabel, washed her out.

At the Full Pink Moon, I was sleeping. The night was cold. Liz came into bed, said, “The deck is on fire with moonlight.” I wanted to drag my body up, to walk out into the cold and bathe in moonlight. But I was too tired. I slept right through the full moon.

This week, we are at the last quarter of the Pink Frog Moon. Liz’s family is in town for her graduation. When we got home from dinner, I grabbed a giant, double package of toilet paper and a 12 pack of Zero from the silver trunk, closed the door, stopped and looked up behind the oaks before ascending the steps. No moon. The sky is clear. She has yet to rise high enough for me to see her.

Last Saturday, it snowed, blizzard flakes and 18 degree winds. I stepped out of the church without my coat, walked around the stained glass windows with the Canon, took a few shots of snow resting on green leaves, snow kneeling at the feet of Jesus, falling indentations between layers of budding, yellow tulips. How do they survive in April snows? It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, another hidden moon.

I’m thinking about ybonesy in Colorado, her uncle hiding behind the moon. I miss her energy when she’s gone. It is quiet. The seasons change. We have to answer the call. Alicia Keys wears earrings in the shape of a quarter moon. They are big as as the moon, too, and fall low to her neck. David Letterman reaches over to give her a hug.

I sit in the background, chattering away on the keys. I don’t have anything profound to say. Only this practice. I am tired and need to go to bed. But first, the Pink Moon. And the croaking of ancient frogs.


-posted on red Ravine, Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

-related to posts: winter haiku trilogy, PRACTICE – Wolf Moon – 10min, PRACTICE – Snow Moon (Total Lunar Eclipse) — 20min, and PRACTICE – Wind Moon – 20min

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In Bloom, wisteria blooming in the mid-April spring before
the hard freeze, photos © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.




My Uncle Bear died yesterday. I was at my daughter’s horse show when I got the call from Mom. Dad was crying too much to tell me himself.

I wonder what it’s like to lose a younger sibling. I have no younger sisters or brothers myself, so I will never know that feeling. I imagine it to be different — very different — from losing parents or even an older sister. I imagine it’s like a giant swoosh of air, like a wind tunnel, where you experience everything that brother meant to you. Your childhood, your parents, your relationship to everyone else in the family.

My Uncle Onofre, which is Uncle Bear’s real name, was the reckless one — the one who acted on impulse, made friends easily, never took life too seriously. From Dad’s memoirs, he wrote this about his little brother:

He was a jolly kid who made friends with practically the entire adult population in the neighborhood. He was always helping some neighbor with his fields, or his animals, or with house chores. People all around were always talking about what a hard worker he was and they were always after him to come help them. He was always willing.

The strange thing about Onofre’s industriousness and generosity was that around our own home we had trouble getting him to do anything. My mother would say about him that he was “el candil de la calle, obscuridad de su casa,” which translated says, “the light of the street but darkness in his house.” But people loved him. He was always whistling. He loved to whistle “Cielito Lindo” so much that some of the boys nicknamed him “Cielito” and it stuck. Years later, people from Costilla who had known him would ask, “Whatever happened to your brother, Cielito?”


Cielito, Uncle Bear, Uncle Onofre. He went on to raise a large family. All his sons served in the military. Uncle Bear lived hard, smoked like mad, got Diabetes — the “silent killer” among Chicanos. Dad always says, given Uncle Onofre’s happy, carefree outlook on life, he should have outlived all the rest of them. But Onofre believed in living life to the fullest, and for him that meant not worrying about how long a life you lived, just that it was lived joyously.

Dad called his little brother about ten days before he died. Onofre could still talk on the phone.

“Hi, Cielito,” Dad said to Onofre.

“Hi, Conde,” Onofre said back.

“Cielito” means “little sky” or in a religious sense, “little heaven.” It captured in its wide blue umbrella all that was Dad’s little brother.

“Conde” stood for “Condemnado” — condemned one. Like the way you might call a beautiful sister “fea” (ugly) or a genius brother “tonto” (stupid), Uncle Onofre called my devout father, “condemned one.”

Tomorrow morning I’ll drive my mom and dad through Dad’s ancestral homelands of Taos and Costilla, to southern Colorado. We’ll attend rosary and services on Wednesday morning, visit all afternoon with cousins and other family we haven’t seen for years. We’ll laugh and cry. We might even sing. Just in his honor.

Until then, I’d like to share these three poems that remind me of my light-hearted, hugable Uncle Bear.



      


Bearhug
by Michael Ondaatje, from The Cinnamon Peeler

Griffin calls to come and kiss him goodnight
I yell ok. Finish something I’m doing,
then something else, walk slowly round
the corner to my son’s room.
He is standing arms outstretched
waiting for a bearhug. Grinning.

Why do I give my emotion an animal’s name,
give it that dark squeeze of death?
This is the hug which collects
all his small bones and his warm neck against me.
The thin tough body under the pyjamas
locks to me like a magnet of blood.

How long was he standing there
like that, before I came?








Bear
by Mary Oliver, from Why I Wake Early

It’s not my track,
I say, seeing
the ball of the foot and the wide heel
and the naily, untrimmed
toes. And I say again,
for emphasis,

to no one but myself, since no one is
with me. This is
not my track, and this is an extremely
large foot, I wonder
how large a body must be to make
such a track, I am beginning to make

bad jokes. I have read probably
a hundred narratives where someone saw
just what I am seeing. Various things
happened next. A fairly long list, I won’t

go into it. But not one of them told
what happened next–I mean, before whatever happens–

how the distances light up, how the clouds
are the most lovely shapes you have ever seen, how

the wild flowers at your feet begin distilling a fragrance
different, and sweeter than any you ever stood upon before–how

every leaf on the whole mountain is aflutter.







Clouds
by Mary Oliver, from Why I Wake Early

All afternoon, Sir,
your ambassadors have been turning
into lakes and rivers.
At first they were just clouds, like any other.
Then they swelled and swirled; then they hung very still;
then they broke open. This is, I suppose,
just one of the common miracles,
a transformation, not a vision,
not an answer, not a proof, but I put it
there, close against my heart, where the need is, and it serves

the purpose. I go on, soaked through, my hair
slicked back;
like corn, or wheat, shining and useful.





Yellow Bird, possibly a Kingbird that’s been hanging around the
past few days, photo © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.



-Related to post, Practice: Growing Older – 20min

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Birth order. Does it matter?

That was the headline, more or less, of a CNN article that came out last fall, which said that birth order may, in fact, matter a lot. That same month TIME ran its own take on recent hard evidence demonstrating “The Power of Birth Order.”

For example, firstborns are more likely to go to college than children in any other position in the family. Firstborn IQs tend to be higher — albeit by just a point or two — than those of younger siblings; second-born a point higher than third-born. These were the conclusions of a study conducted in Norway and the cause for last year’s flurry of articles about the topic.

Psychologist Frank Sulloway, a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and the U.S.’s leading authority on birth order, says that “in many families the firstborn is going to get into Harvard and the second-born isn’t.”

There are physical differences, too. According to the TIME article (which is worth the full read) earlier-born siblings weigh more and are taller than their later-born siblings. Older siblings are more likely to be vaccinated than younger ones. Firstborns are disproportionately represented in high-paying professions, while younger siblings are less educated but “statistically likelier to live the exhilarating life of an artist or a comedian, an adventurer, entrepreneur, GI or firefighter.” And researchers don’t know a whole lot about middle children, as they seem to have succumbed to the same not-very-visible spot that they tend to occupy in their families.

According to the book The Birth Order Connection: Finding and Keeping the Love of your Life, the order in which you are born determines a host of traits, positive and negative. These characteristics, which other birth-order resources and books also tout, are listed below.







Only Borns

  • Mega-movers of the world
  • Task oriented, well organized, dependable
  • Like facts, ideas, and details
  • Feel extremely comfortable with responsibility
  • Often unforgiving
  • Very demanding
  • Hate to admit when they’re wrong
  • Usually don’t accept criticism well
  • To others, they seem very sensitive, feelings easily hurt
     





Firstborns

  • Natural leaders and high achievers
  • Majority of politicians and CEOs are first-borns (President Bush is a first-born; Brad Pitt, too)
  • Come in two types: nurturing caregivers or aggressive movers and shakers
  • Pay attention to detail, tend to be organized, punctual, and competent
  • Want to see things done right the first time
  • Don’t like surprises
  • Often moody
  • Can push people too hard
  • Often poor at delegating tasks to others
  • Tend to be perfectionists, overly concientious






Middle-borns

  • Relational, people-pleasers, dislike confrontation
  • Basic need is to keep life smooth and peaceable
  • Usually calm, roll with the punches, down-to-earth, great listeners
  • Skilled at seeing both sides of a problem, make good mediators
  • Less driven than first-borns but more eager to be liked
  • Have difficult time setting boundaries
  • Can drift into becoming “co-dependent” in an effort to please all
  • Not good at making decisions that will offend others
  • Tend to blame themselves when others fail






Youngest

  • The world’s cheerleaders
  • Strong people skills, love to entertain and talk to others
  • Make friends easily and immediately make others feel at home
  • Extrovert, energized by the presence of others (Cameron Diaz is a last-born)
  • Not afraid to take risks
  • Tend to get bored quickly, short attention span
  • Strong fear of rejection
  • When they’ve had enough, they tend to check out
  • Self-centered to some extent
  • May harbor unrealistic expectations of finding a relationship that will always be fun
     






What do you think? Do these traits fit you?

If you’re skeptical, perhaps you should take the Birth Order Predictor Quiz. Although, be warned — that might make you more skeptical.

Maybe you think there is something to all of this. If so, you might want to forego astrological compatibility in your next relationship and plan your couplings using The Birth Order Book on Love by William Cane. (In case you’re wondering, the “perfect pair” is firstborn partnered with youngest.)

But before you do anything rash, check out PBS’s Celebrity Birth Order Quiz to make sure you want birth order to dictate who’s hot and who’s not.

Once you’re finished exploring the world of birth order and collecting your opinions about the matter, do a 15-minute writing practice. Think about your childhood. Think about your relationships to adults and to siblings (if any). Think about what your traits were then and what they are now. Seriously, does birth order matter?

Now write.




Big, Medium, Small, pen and ink on graph paper, doodles © 2008 by ybonesy.
All rights reserved.

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           Minerva, 1889 - 1890, Roman goddess of poetry, music, wisdom, and warriors (Greek, Athena), bronze sculpture by Norwegian American artist, Jakob H. F. Fjelde, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Minerva, 1889 – 1890, Roman goddess of poetry, music, wisdom, and warriors (Greek, Athena), bronze sculpture by Norwegian American artist, Jakob H. F. Fjelde, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 

 

The first black hole was discovered in the same decade that Star Wars was released (and not by Columbo, Charlie’s Angels, or Sonny and Cher). It was the 1970’s, and you were probably wearing Halston ultrasuede or cashmere, leisure suits, platform shoes, string bikinis, and hot pants. Or maybe you were more the Birkenstock type, sporting tie-dye jeans, crocheted vests (think orange and lime green), and bouncy, wide bell-bottoms.

In 1977, there was a world shortage of coffee and prices soared from 50¢ a pound to $3.20 (isn’t it around $12 a pound today?). You might have been playing a lightshow guitar (imitating Pink Floyd), or listening to the Stones, Roberta Flack, the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Joni Mitchell, Tony Orlando (knock 3 times), or Gladys Knight and the Pips, on your new Sony Walkman.

 

The Beatles broke up, Jack Nicholson flew over the cuckoo’s nest, Harold and Maud were the May/December romance of the big screen, playing next to The Deer Hunter, Deliverance, and Saturday Night Fever. Yes, John Travolta was hot (even before his Pulp Fiction days). So was Billie Jean King, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, and Jesus Christ Superstar (did you see Andrew Lloyd Webber on American Idol?).

If you are under 21 and voted during the 2008 Presidential Primary, you can thank the 1970’s — the voting age in the U.S. was lowered to 18. And Paper Mate introduced a new erasable ink pen, allowing you to wipe out those pesky voting mistakes in a single swipe.

But don’t jump too fast. It was before the age of the hanging chad. The Apple II computer had just hit the market, the first email took a lumbering ride across ARPANet (central backbone during the development of the Internet), and Intel’s first microprocessor 4004 (1971) contained 2,300 transistors (today’s will run 3,000 times faster).


            Study In Light, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Study In Light, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Study In Light, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


In the 1970’s Annie Hall was all the rage, along with Club Med, the VCR, streaking (yes, I tried it), and Pet Rocks (move over Sony the Pug!). Patty Hearst wielded her first machine gun, Son of Sam ran loose in the streets, Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, murdered 1-2 million people, and the Ohio National Guard shot and killed 4 college students at Kent State during an anti-war demonstration. Doesn’t that just blow your mind?

In the Me Decade, Elvis died of an overdose. So did Sid Vicious and Jim Morrison. Life and Look magazines were defunct by the end of the decade, along with cigarette advertising on TV, the draft, the VW bug (so they thought), and the Vietnam War. There was a recession in 1974 on top of an oil crisis in 1973 (what’s changed?). And TV would never be the same: Bonanza ended after 14 years; Gunsmoke after 20; and Ed Sullivan called it quits after 23 years.

You don’t see that kind of longevity in 21st Century media. Nor would you ever see televised daily proceedings of a national debacle like Richard Nixon and Watergate.

 

The world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in England, CAT-scans were introduced, the Heimlich maneuver perfected, and popular 70’s culture was buzzing with new words and phrases:  Murphy’s Law, Pro-choice, pumping iron, Punk rock, Rubik’s cube. Don’t rock the boat!

Money, money, money — 180,000 Americans were millionaires by the mid-70’s, an average hospital stay would set you back $81 a day, and a First Class postage stamp was 6¢ (Airmail, 10¢). The Metropolitan Museum paid $5.5 million for a Diego Velázquez portrait, while the Susan B. Anthony dollar took a political nosedive.

Rupert Murdoch bought the New York Post in the 70’s, and Cosmopolitan blossomed with Helen Gurley Brown at the helm. But literature (and a few oddball tomes thrown in for good measure) still boomed under the watchful eye of Minerva, Roman goddess of poetry and wisdom.

You can tell a lot about a person by the books they read. You can also tell a lot about a culture. In the 1970’s, here’s what America was reading.




  Minerva, Goddess Of Poetry, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Minerva, Goddess Of Poetry, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Minerva, Goddess Of Poetry, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Minerva, Goddess Of Poetry, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



1 9 7 0 ‘ s – B E S T S E L L E R S

FICTION

  1. Love Story; Oliver’s Story, Erich Segal
  2. The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowles
  3. Islands in the Stream, Ernest Hemingway
  4. Travels with My Aunt, Graham Greene
  5. Rich Man, Poor Man, Irwin Shaw
  6. Wheels; Overload, Arthur Hailey
  7. The Exorcist, William P. Blatty
  8. The Day of the Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
  9. Message from Malaga, Helen MacInnes
  10. Rabbit Redux, John Updike
  11. The Betsy, Harold Robbins
  12. The Winds of War, Herman Wouk
  13. Jonathan Livingston Seagull; Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, Richard Bach
  14. The Odessa File, Frederick Forsyth
  15. My Name Is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
  16. Captains and the Kings, Taylor Caldwell
  17. Once Is Not Enough; Delores, Jacqueline Susann
  18. Breakfast of Champions; Jailbird; Slapstick: or, Lonesome No More!, Kurt Vonnegut
  19. Burr; 1876, Gore Vidal
  20. The Hollow Hills, Mary Stewart
  21. Evening in Byzantium, Irwin Shaw
  22. The Drifters; Centennial; Chesapeake, James A. Michener
  23. The Matlock Paper, Robert Ludlum
  24. The Billion Dollar Sure Thing, Paul E. Erdman
  25. Watership Down, Richard Adams
  26. Jaws; The Deep, Peter Benchley
  27. The Dogs of War, Frederick Forsyth
  28. The Fan Club, Irving Wallace
  29. I Heard the Owl Call My Name, Margaret Craven
  30. Ragtime, E. L. Doctorow
  31. The Moneychangers, Arthur Hailey
  32. Curtain; Sleeping Murder, Agatha Christie
  33. Looking for Mister Goodbar, Judith Rossner
  34. The Choirboys, Joseph Wambaugh
  35. The Eagle Has Landed, Jack Higgins
  36. The Greek Treasure: A Biographical Novel of Henry and Sophia Schliemann, Irving Stone
  37. The Great Train Robbery, Michael Crichton
  38. Shogun, James Clavell
  39. Humboldt’s Gift, Saul Bellow
  40. Trinity, Leon Uris
  41. A Stranger in the Mirror, Bloodlines, Sidney Sheldon
  42. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien; Christopher Tolkien
  43. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough
  44. How To Save Your Own Life, Erica Jong
  45. Delta of Venus: Erotica, Anaïs Nin
  46. War and Remembrance, Herman Wouk
  47. Fools Die, Mario Puzo
  48. Scruples, Judith Krantz
  49. Sophie’s Choice, William Styron
  50. The Dead Zone, Stephen King
  51. The Third World War: August 1985, Gen. Sir John Hackett, et al.
  52. Smiley’s People, John Le Carré



 

 Goddess Of Wisdom, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Goddess Of Wisdom, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Goddess Of Wisdom, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Goddess Of Wisdom, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


 

1 9 7 0 ‘ s – B E S T S E L L E R S

NON-FICTION

  1. Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex but Were Afraid To Ask, David Reuben, M.D.
  2. The New English Bible
  3. The Sensuous Woman, “J”
  4. Better Homes and Gardens Fondue and Tabletop Cooking; Better Homes and Gardens Blender Cook Book; Better Homes and Gardens Home Canning Cookbook
  5. American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, William Morris
  6. Body Language, Julius Fast
  7. In Someone’s Shadow; Caught in the Quiet, Rod McKuen
  8. The Sensous Man, “M”
  9. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown
  10. I’m O.K., You’re O.K., Thomas Harris
  11. Any Woman Can!, David Reuben, M.D.
  12. Inside the Third Reich, Albert Speer
  13. Eleanor and Franklin, Joseph P. Lash
  14. Wunnerful, Wunnerful!, Lawrence Welk
  15. Honor Thy Father, Gay Talese
  16. Fields of Wonder, Rod McKuen
  17. The Living Bible, Kenneth Taylor
  18. Open Marriage, Nena and George O’Neill
  19. Harry S. Truman, Margaret Truman
  20. Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution, Robert C. Atkins
  21. The Peter Prescription, Laurence J. Peter
  22. A World Beyond, Ruth Montgomery
  23. Journey to Ixtlan; Tales of Power; The Second Ring of Power, Carlos Castaneda
  24. The Joy of Sex; More Joy: A Lovemaking Companion to The Joy of Sex, Alex Comfort
  25. Weight Watchers Program Cookbook, Jean Nidetch
  26. How To Be Your Own Best Friend, Mildred Newman, et al.
  27. The Art of Walt Disney, Christopher Finch
  28. Alistair Cooke’s America, Alistair Cooke
  29. Sybil, Flora R. Schreiber
  30. The Total Woman, Marabel Morgan
  31. All the President’s Men; The Final Days, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
  32. You Can Profit from a Monetary Crisis, Harry Browne
  33. All Things Bright and Beautiful; All Things Wise and Wonderful, James Herriot
  34. The Bermuda Triangle, Charles Berlitz with J. Manson Valentine
  35. Angels: God’s Secret Agents, Billy Graham
  36. Winning Through Intimidation; Looking Out for #1; Restoring the American Dream, Robert Ringer
  37. TM: Discovering Energy and Overcoming Stress, Harold H. Bloomfield
  38. Sylvia Porter’s Money Book, Sylvia Porter
  39. Total Fitness in 30 Minutes a Week, Laurence E. Morehouse and Leonard Gross
  40. Breach of Faith: The Fall of Richard Nixon, Theodore H. White
  41. Roots, Alex Haley
  42. Your Erroneous Zones; Pulling Your Own Strings, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
  43. Passages: The Predictable Crises of Adult Life, Gail Sheehy
  44. The Grass ls Always Greener over the Septic Tank; If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries–What Am I Doing in the Pits?; Aunt Erma’s Cope Book, Erma Bombeck
  45. Blind Ambition: The White House Years, John Dean
  46. The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality, Shere Hite
  47. The Right and the Power: The Prosecution of Watergate, Leon Jaworski
  48. The Book of Lists, David Wallechinsky, Irving Wallace, and Amy Wallace
  49. The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence, Carl Sagan
  50. The Amityville Horror, Jay Anson
  51. Gnomes, Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet
  52. The Complete Book of Running, James Fixx
  53. Mommie Dearest, Christina Crawford
  54. RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, Richard Nixon
  55. Faeries, Brian Froud and Alan Lee
  56. The Muppet Show Book, the Muppet People
  57. The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet, Herman Tarnower, M.D., and Samm Sinclair Baker
  58. The Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise, Nathan Pritikin and Patrick McGrady Jr.
  59. White House Years, Henry Kissinger
  60. Lauren Bacall By Myself, Lauren Bacall
  61. The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court, Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong


     Study In Light, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.         Study In Light, downtown Minneapolis Central Library,<br /> Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
Study In Light, downtown Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, April 24th, 2008

-Resources:  1970’s Bestsellers List from Cader Books, Writer’s Dream Tools, and The Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library

-related to posts: The 1950’s – What Was America Reading?, The 1960’s — What Was America Reading?, and Book Talk – Do You Let Yourself Read?

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Sony Pepperoni, pen and ink on graph paper, doodle © 2008
by ybonesy. All rights reserved.



 
Em, my youngest daughter, has been reading and writing poetry all this month with her third-grade class. She wrote two limericks and one haiku, and she carried in her Poetry Book a poem called “My hobby” by Shel Silverstein. She read all of these poems to everyone in our family.

I asked her if I could publish on red Ravine the poems she wrote. “Yes!” was her answer. She has been eagerly awaiting the post since then.

So, without further ado, here are three poems by Em.



              




There was a girl named Pearl.
She had a big curl.
She saw a pig,
gave him a wig.
The pig met a pretty girl.




         




There was a pug called Sony.
She smelled like a piece of baloney.
So we took her to see the Soapy Dog,
people there said, “She looks like a hog.”
Because she ate so much pepperoni.




   




Spring has sprung

Flowers are blooming
Bees are buzzing all around
Sun shining brightly







-related to posts Got Poetry? (National Poem In Your Pocket Day), haiku (one-a-day), and Ten Things About Sony The Pug.

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All day long I put off writing about sin. I wonder, would I think more about sin if I were sinning? I’m not kidding. I believe that if I were plotting to murder, sin and sin’s consequences would be on my mind.

I wonder if murderers really do confess to priests. And if they do, if they sit in those musty boxes and tell the priests that they’ve just shot a man or poisoned a woman, what does the priest do? Does he have a moral obligation to contact the police?

I’d like to be a priest, just for one Saturday afternoon. I’d like to sit on the priest’s side of the confessional and listen in. Like a substitute teacher, except, a substitute priest. I wonder if I’d hear boring sins — “I yelled at my brother,” “I stole a quarter off my dad’s dresser,” “I used a curse word at my kid.” I’d want to hear the juicy stuff — adultery and robbery. I wouldn’t want any of the crazies — pedophiles or people who plot horrid crimes.

It’s part of my family’s legend, our story, that Mom got the confessional window slammed in her face. It was after I was born, kid #5, and she went into the confessional to say that she was going on birth control. The priest told her she couldn’t do that, and Mom told him she was going to do it anyway.

I sometimes wonder why she bothered confessing. I wonder if she was looking for absolution. Did she expect the priest to say, “I understand, you’ve just had your fifth, you’re tired, you want to make sure, absolutely sure, you don’t have more, and while it’s a sin to use birth control, I absolve you of that sin.”

I think Mom was looking for a good excuse to not go to church. I picture her putting on her lipstick in the bathroom as Dad waits for her — he went to confession on Saturday around 4 in the afternoon. Mom probably planned it out, a way to get out of Sunday mass. An hour a week alone, no husband, no kids. Like getting kicked out of church. “It’s not that I didn’t want to go to mass, just that the priest disowned me.”

I need to ask her about this. I realize I’m missing a critical part of her story.

Now I look at the clock. Time is up. I didn’t write about the 7 Deadly Sins.

 

-related to Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – THE 7 DEADLY SINS

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Of the 7 Deadly Sins, I find Lust and Wrath to be the most harmful to humanity. That may say more about me, than it does humanity. Lust to excess leads to unseemly, crass actions. I am stunned by news programs where a bait is placed on the Internet and some guy shows up at the home of a 13, 14, 15-year-old, ready to have sex. It is a sickness, a disease. These men need help. Is it desperation? When it comes to children, sex should not be in the picture. Not even a thought.

Wrath – anger. In the extreme, anger is rage. I have seen internal rage tear up friendships, destroy a person’s spiritual life. Anger to the extreme eats a person’s soul from the inside out, creates bitterness, leads to wife beating, domestic abuse, heartbreak, bruised and battered bones. Families are torn up, destroyed. Verbal abuse. Relationships, toast.

I am trying to write about the negatives, the Deadly Sins. But I am tired of the negative. It wears on me. I find myself wanting to focus more on the positive, the Virtues. I make daily choices not to stay at the negative. It seems so much more fruitful to see the glass half full.

I once read a study on happiness and the bottom line was that people who focus more on the positive, live longer, happier, more productive lives. That doesn’t mean being naïve. You can live in reality, make change, give back to humanity, rise above your own adversity, and still spin each day to the positive side. Some may find that lacks edge. But I’m not at a place where I want to live on the edge. I am looking for peace.

Of the 7 Virtues, I would say Temperance is the one that has given me the most trouble. Not in terms of modesty. But discipline. There are areas where I lack discipline. I find the more structure I place around the problem areas, the more successful I am. Procrastination – I place that under Temperance. I don’t procrastinate around my writing anymore. That is something that has changed from doing daily writing practices over years. When I drop off, or stop the practice for a while, it is still hard to get back into it. Better to keep it going in small increments every day.

Food is another area that I have struggled with most of my life. I don’t have the thin, will-o’-the-wisp body, metabolism and frame that can eat anything. I have the peasant body, the apple shape. It takes work for me to remain at a good weight for me. When it comes to exercise, I am a slug. I guess that would fall into the area of Sloth. The opposite of Sloth is Diligence. Diligence comes back to structure, careful use of time and energy, discipline.

There seems to be a fine line between some of the Virtues and Sins. Shades of purple gray. I am not Catholic and don’t know what it means to go to confession, though it is depicted in movies and television as being a sacrament where anything is forgiven, even murder. I don’t understand how that works. You are spiritually forgiven by virtue of a few words, yet you still have to pay the Piper, the worldly price for your sins?

I quickly glance at the two lists again. I see the Virtues and Sins as human traits. As long as we have brains and bodies, we’re going to make wrong choices. And we’re going to look for ways to absolve ourselves. When it comes down to it, isn’t it the severity of the sin? And the faithfulness or sincerity of the virtue? Sadly, sometimes it is who you know that determines your punishment. Or how much money you have. Is the world a just or unjust place? Justice should be a Virtue.


-posted on red Ravine, Monday, April 21, 2008

-related to Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – THE 7 DEADLY SINS

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Pink Shoe, pen and ink and marker paint on graph paper,
doodle © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

 

It’s not the first pink shoe I’ve loved.

The first would be a pair I bought for $3 at a garage sale. Nineteen-forties, pointy toe, with a bow. Still in the original shoe box.





“Love” is too strong of a word. That’s what I’ve been ruminating on now for days. It’s embarrassing to admit to love a thing when people are sick, the war rages, buying power drops, gas prices rise, the Pope blesses, spring blows in.

Isn’t this what’s wrong with the world? We love our things too much.

Last night my daughter was searching in her chest of drawers for a shirt and pair of pants to wear to Spirit Day today at school. She was to dress all in white. I half anticipated that she’d come to me in a panic — I don’t have white pants!! — insisting we run to Target to get some.

I rehearsed in my head the talk I’d deliver. You want to spend money on a pair of white pants that you can wear one day while people are dying, families don’t have enough food…and on and on. 

She appeared a few minutes later with a white tee and a pair of brown pants from last summer. Turns out she has more depth than I gave her credit for. I’m the one wedded to my things.





I bought this pair of shoes two years ago in a San Francisco boutique, the kind of store where it’s not unusual for the salespeople to talk to eachother, as if you’re not there, during the entire course of a fitting. The shoes were regularly $200, on sale half-off. They were tight, but I knew the leather would stretch eventually.

I don’t buy shoes lightly. The last pair I bought is a European brand, normally expensive, that I found at TJ Maxx for less than $30. That was an exception. My spine doesn’t love poorly-shod feet.

Shoes aren’t the only objects I admire. I love lamps. I own more tables than anyone I know — I just gave away two. Furniture is like art to me. I have an enamel chair that sits unused against a wall. It reminds me of easel and painting rolled into one.

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, with his “Ode to things,” gave me permission to embrace my own love of things. As I read of “shapely shoes” and “the softness of a woman’s hip,” I knew my appreciation for things was different from greed or desire. It is love for beauty.

Inspired by Neruda, I wrote my own ode.







ode to a pink shoe

graceful as a ballerina
slipper
big toe caress
supple cowhide
made in italy
narrow long
aristocratic limbs

it holds me
moves me
carries me
across asphalt ocean
and gravel dreams
stained by travel
to carnival skies

a flamenco
dancer
cotton candy chamois
toe nail polish
fine foot fetish
fine latin lover
cha-cha-cha possibility

swim with me
in lucid night
say it slow
zapa-tera
know not
what i mean
walk slowly now

dream soft scent
and roses
underground
long stride
stretch limosine
mary kay superstar
pink shoe cadillac



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Oda a las cosas
by Pablo Neruda

Amo las cosas loca,
locamente.
Me gustan las tenazas,
las tijeras,
adoro las tazas,
las argollas,
las soperas,
sin hablar, por supuesto,
del sombrero.
Amo todas las cosas,
no sólo
las supremas,
sino
las
infinita-
mente
chicas,
el dedal,
las espuelas,
los platos,
los floreros.

Ay, alma mía,
hermoso
es el planeta,
lleno
de pipas
por la mano
conducidas
en el humo,
de llaves,
de saleros,
en fin,
todo
lo que se hizo
por la mano del hombre, toda cosa:
las curvas del zapato,
el tejido,
el nuevo nacimiento
del oro
sin la sangre,
los anteojos,
los clavos,
las escobas,
los relojes, las brújulas,
las monedas, la suave
suavidad de las sillas.

Ay cuántas
cosas
puras
ha construido
el hombre:
de lana,
de madera,
de cristal,
de cordeles,
mesas
maravillosas,
navíos, escaleras.

Amo
todas las cosas,
no porque sean
ardientes
o fragantes,
sino porque
no sé,
porque
este océano es el tuyo,
es el mío:
los botones,
las ruedas,
los pequeños
tesoros
olvidados,
los abanicos en
cuyos plumajes
desvaneció el amor
sus azahares,
las copas, los cuchillos,
las tijeras,
todo tiene
en el mango, en el contorno,
la huella
de unos dedos,
de una remota mano
perdida
en lo más olvidado del olvido.

Yo voy por casas,
calles,
ascensores,
tocando cosas,
divisando objetos
que en secreto ambiciono:
uno porque repica,
otro porque
es tan suave
como la suavidad de una cadera,
otro por su color de gua profunda.
otro por su espesor de terciopelo.

Oh río
irrevocable
de las cosas,
no se dirá
que sólo
amé
lo que salta, sube, sobrevive, suspira.
No es verdad:
muchas cosas
me lo dijeron todo.
No sólo me tocaron
o las tocó mi mano,
sino que acompañaron
de tal modo
mi existencia
que conmigo existieron
y fueron para mí tan existentes
que vivieron conmigo media vida
y morirán conmigo media muerte.







Ode to things
by Pablo Neruda

I have a crazy,
crazy love of things.
I like pliers,
and scissors.
I love
cups,
rings,
and bowls –
not to speak, of course,
of hats.
I love all things,
not just the grandest,
also the infinite-
ly
small –
thimbles,
spurs,
plates,
and flower vases.

Oh yes,
the planet
is sublime!
It’s full of
pipes
weaving
hand-held
through tobacco smoke,
and keys
and salt shakers –
everything,
I mean,
that is made
by the hand of man, every little thing:
shapely shoes,
and fabric,
and each new
bloodless birth
of gold,
eyeglasses,
carpenter’s nails,
brushes,
clocks, compasses,
coins, and the so-soft
softness of chairs.

Mankind has
built
oh so many
perfect
things!
Built them of wool
and of wood,
of glass and
of rope:
remarkable
tables,
ships, and stairways.

I love
all
things,
not because they are
passionate
or sweet-smelling
but because,
I don’t know,
because
this ocean is yours,
and mine:
these buttons
and wheels
and little
forgotten
treasures,
fans upon
whose feathers
love has scattered
its blossoms,
glasses, knives and
scissors –
all bear
the trace
of someone’s fingers
on their handle or surface,
the trace of a distant hand
lost
in the depths of forgetfulness.

I pause in houses,
streets and
elevators,
touching things,
identifying objects
that I secretly covet:
this one because it rings,
that one because
it’s as soft
as the softness of a woman’s hip,
that one there for its deep-sea color,
and that one for its velvet feel.

O irrevocable
river
of things:
no one can say
that I loved
only
fish,
or the plants of the jungle and the field,
that I loved
only
those things that leap and climb, desire, and survive.
It’s not true:
many things conspired
to tell me the whole story.
Not only did they touch me,
or my hand touched them:
they were
so close
that they were a part
of my being,
they were so alive with me
that they lived half my life
and will die half my death.


 




Pablo Neruda wrote three books of odes during his lifetime. “Oda a las cosas” appeared in the book Odas Elementales in 1954. Neruda wrote and published a vast number of poems, which spoke of love, existentialism, and political travesty. His odes — poems of praise to laziness, a tuna, things — celebrated the day-to-day — the simple ordinariness of life itself.

 

-Abstract Charcoal Series and Color Links, details of charcoal on paper and details of link necklace, drawings and photos © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

-Related to posts Got Poetry (National Poem In Your Pocket Day), Getting To Know Pablo Neruda, and Neruda – Solo La Muerte.

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American Life in Poetry: Column 160

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006


I’ve mentioned how important close observation is in composing a vivid poem. In this scene by Arizona poet, Steve Orlen, the details not only help us to see the girls clearly, but the last detail is loaded with suggestion. The poem closes with the car door shutting, and we readers are shut out of what will happen, though we can guess.



Three Teenage Girls: 1956

by Steve Orlen


Three teenage girls in tight red sleeveless blouses and black Capri pants
And colorful headscarves secured in a knot to their chins
Are walking down the hill, chatting, laughing,
Cupping their cigarettes against the light rain,
The closest to the road with her left thumb stuck out
Not looking at the cars going past.

Every Friday night to the dance, and wet or dry
They get where they’re going, walk two miles or get a ride,
And now the two-door 1950 Dodge, dark green
Darkening as evening falls, stops, they nudge
Each other, peer in, shrug, two scramble into the back seat,
And the third, the boldest, famous
For twice running away from home, slides in front with the man
Who reaches across her body and pulls the door shut.



_______________________________________________

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Poem copyright (c) 2006 by Steve Orlen. Reprinted from “The Elephant’s Child: New & Selected Poems 1978-2005″ by Steve Orlen, Ausable Press, 2006, by permission of the author and publisher.

Introduction copyright (c) 2008 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

_______________________________________________

American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: American Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture.

There are no costs for reprinting the columns; we do require that you register your publication at http://www.americanlifeinpoetry.org and that the text of the column be reproduced without alteration. For information on permissions and usage, or to download a PDF version of the column, visit www.americanlifeinpoetry.org.


-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, April 17th, 2007, in honor of National Poetry Month and National Poem In Your Pocket Day

-related to posts: Celebrate Poetry (Let Me Count The Ways), and Got Poetry? (National Poem In Your Pocket Day)

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“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight…” Lines made famous by poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861).

It’s National Poetry Month. We’re celebrating poetry this week on red Ravine. Are you carrying your pocket poetry? Read all the details at Got Poetry? (National Poem In Your Pocket Day). Revel in the reactions of family, coworkers, and friends when you read your pocket poem. Share lines of poetry by business card, email, or voicemail.

Looking for more ways to celebrate poetry? Check out ybonesy’s poem and doodle, Sunday. Write a haiku and drop it into our haiku (one-a-day) post. Or read about Ted Kooser’s American Life In Poetry Project

In honor of National Poetry Month and National Poem In Your Pocket Day, red Ravine is posting two columns (over the course of the day) that we received by email as part of the American Life In Poetry Project.

And please, don’t stop the poetry train after National Poetry Month. The best way to celebrate poetry is to read the work of poets and writers every day.



_______________________________________________



American Life in Poetry: Column 159

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006


Bad news all too often arrives with a ringing telephone, all too early in the morning. But sometimes it comes with less emphasis, by regular mail. Here Allan Peterson of Florida gets at the feelings of receiving bad news by letter, not by directly stating how he feels but by suddenly noticing the world that surrounds the moment when that news arrives.




The Inevitable

by Allan Peterson


To have that letter arrive
was like the mist that took a meadow
and revealed hundreds
of small webs once invisible
The inevitable often
stands by plainly but unnoticed
till it hands you a letter
that says death and you notice
the weed field had been
readying its many damp handkerchiefs
all along




_______________________________________________

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Poem copyright (c) 2007 by Allan Peterson, whose most recent book of poetry is “All the Lavish in Common,” U. of Mass. Pr., 2005, winner of the Juniper Prize. Reprinted from “The Chattahoochee Review,” Winter 2007, V. 27, no. 2, by permission of the author.

Introduction copyright (c) 2008 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

_______________________________________________

American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: American Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture.

There are no costs for reprinting the columns; we do require that you register your publication at http://www.americanlifeinpoetry.org and that the text of the column be reproduced without alteration. For information on permissions and usage, or to download a PDF version of the column, visit www.americanlifeinpoetry.org.


-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, April 17th, 2007, in honor of National Poetry Month and National Poem In Your Pocket Day

 

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Morada Walk, Taos Mountain in the background, white cross Georgia O'Keeffe painted, Taos, New  Mexico, January 2003, Tri-X black & white film print, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Morada Walk, Taos Mountain in the background, white
cross Georgia O’Keeffe painted, Taos, New Mexico,
January 2003, Tri-X black & white film print, photo ©
2003-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.





gusty April winds
ruffle brambled shoots of green
Spring bounds from behind



anniversaries
separate fiction from fact
squeeze light from the dark



photosynthesis
through veins of a single leaf
gives life to the world




-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

-related to posts: haiku (one-a-day) and Nikki Giovanni – Hope at V-Tech

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7

7, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Can you list the 7 Deadly Sins? I usually get to number 6 and fade out. I can never remember all 7. The 7 Deadly Sins began with Evagrius Ponticus as a list of 8 capital vices. A condensed version of the list was given to Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th Century. He chose to go with 7 (in this order):



1 – Lust
Lust began as extravagance, and later became lust. (Is it okay to be extravagant but not lustful?) Lust includes
obsessive or excessive sexual thoughts or desires, and adultery. Unfulfilled lusts sometimes lead to sexual or sociological compulsions including sexual addiction, adultery, rape, and incest.

2 – Gluttony
Gluttony derives from the Latin, gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow. Gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of material objects, food – anything, to the point of waste.

3 – Greed
Greed includes acquisition of wealth, avarice, disloyalty, deliberate betrayal, or treason, especially for personal gain. Bribery, scavenging, hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery.

4 – Sloth
Sloth is laziness or indifference, an unwillingness to act. Sloth replaced sadness in the 17th century. (Who knew it was a sin to be sad?)

5 – Wrath
Wrath is a harboring of uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. These feelings can manifest as vehement denial of the truth (both to others, and in the form of self-denial), impatience with the procedure of law, and the desire to seek revenge outside of the justice system.

6 – Envy
Envy is insatiable desire. Those who envy, desire something someone else has which they perceive themselves as lacking (scarcity mentality).

7 – Pride
Pride is the original, and most serious of the 7 deadly sins; it is the ultimate source from which the others arise. Pride is the desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to give compliments to others, excessive love of self.



The 7 Deadly Sins have been made famous by artists, writers, and filmmakers. Purgatorio, Part II of Dante’s Divine Comedy, is one of the best known sources since the Renaissance. The most graphic depiction I’ve ever seen hit me square in the face in the film, Se7en. If you haven’t seen the movie, prepare yourself for some of the most twisted psychological murders in film history. Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Morgan Freeman know how to pull it off.

Luckily, each cardinal sin has a 6th-century, equivalent punishment in Hell. For the sin Pride, one is to be broken on the wheel. For Envy, dropped into freezing water. Anger is rewarded by being dismembered alive (not unlike a scene in Se7en.). For Sloth, you are thrown in the snake pits; Greed, immersed into pots of boiling oil; Gluttony, forced to eat rats, toads, and snakes; and Lust, smothered in brimstone and fire.

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things, Hieronymus Bosch, 1485, Public domain image, copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years.In 1485, a few years before Columbus sailed, Hieronymus Bosch painted The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things in oil on wood panels. The painting has 5 circles or mandalas. The 4 small circles depict Death, Judgment, Hell, and Glory.

The 5th, and largest circle, contains the 7 Sins:  wrath at the bottom, then proceeding clockwise, envy, greed, gluttony, sloth, lust, and pride.

The center of the large circle is said to represent the eye of God, and Christ can be seen emerging from his tomb. At the bottom of the image is the Latin inscription, Cave Cave Deus Videt (“Beware, Beware, God is Watching”).



How deadly are your sins? Are you quick to judge others for theirs? Are 7 sins enough?

Not for everyone. After 1,500 years the Vatican has brought the seven deadly sins up to date by adding seven new ones for the age of globalization. The list, published in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “secularized world” and the falling numbers of Roman Catholics going to confession.

The new deadly sins include polluting, genetic engineering, being obscenely rich, drug dealing, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice.

 

Each of the original Seven Deadly Sins has an opposite, corresponding Holy Virtue. In Writing Practice lingo, the Holy Virtues are the underbelly of the 7 Deadly Sins. In parallel order and opposition, the Seven Holy Virtues are:

  • Chastity (opposite lust)  – Purity. Embracing moral wholesomeness, achieving purity of body and thought through education and betterment.
  • Temperance (opposite Gluttony)  – Self-control, abstention, and moderation.
  • Charity (opposite Greed)  – Generosity. Willingness to give. Nobility of thought or action.
  • Diligence (opposite Sloth) – Zealous and careful nature in one’s actions and work. Decisive work ethic. Budgeting one’s time; monitoring one’s own activities to guard against laziness.
  • Patience (opposite Wrath) – Forbearance and endurance through moderation. Resolving conflicts peacefully, as opposed to resorting to violence. The ability to forgive; to show mercy.
  • Kindness (opposite Envy) – Charity, compassion, friendship, and sympathy without prejudice, for its own sake.
  • Humility (opposite Pride) – Modest behavior, selflessness, and the giving of respect. Giving credit where credit is due; not unfairly glorifying the self.

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things. Hieronymus Bosch, 1485, Public domain image, copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years  The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things. Hieronymus Bosch, 1485, Public domain image, copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years  The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things. Hieronymus Bosch, 1485, Public domain image, copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years  The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things. Hieronymus Bosch, 1485, Public domain image, copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years


How has the nature of sinning changed since the 6th Century? Do you even believe in sin? What about modern Holy Virtues? What are they?

  • Choose a Deadly Sin and do a 15 minute Writing Practice on how it applies (or doesn’t apply) to you
  • Do another Writing Practice on the underbelly, a Holy Virtue (the Sin’s opposite)
  • Which Deadly Sin do you have the strongest reaction to? Is it a moral issue? Connected to past associations? Something you learned?
  • For National Poetry Month, compose a poem or haiku from lines of your Writing Practice



If none of the Sins or Virtues appeal to you, there is always Gandhi’s list of Seven Deadly Sins. Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi, one of the most influential figures in modern social and political activism, considered these traits to be the most spiritually perilous to humanity.

Choose a line from Gandhi, and 15 minutes, Go!


Gandhi’s Seven Deadly Sins

  • Wealth without Work
  • Pleasure without Conscience
  • Science without Humanity
  • Knowledge without Character
  • Politics without Principle
  • Commerce without Morality
  • Worship without Sacrifice

 

 

-posted on red Ravine, Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

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Industrial Strength Clean, pen and ink on graph paper,
doodle © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.




I went to a laundromat today
14 quarters per load
white towel with colors
it was my only white

Like the mom
and the boy
who likes to put the quarters
into the machine

They’re the only
whites in the place
Two women speaking
Spanish
sound like they’re
cussing out
the spin cycle

A black man
with white hair
A black woman
looks to be his daughter
select the washer next to mine

Mostly there are
Indians
eating French fries
between
folding sweat pants and Wrangler jeans

I like it here
like church on a Sunday
morning
the machines hum
a white noise

Like parishoners singing
a low hymn
cleansing our
lives
washing the sand out
of our pants
and the stains
from our panties
and my heart

Industrial strength clean
is like mass
or the world as I see it
bigger than I am
no bleach required
whites and colors

spinning round
together
faithful
forever faithful



-Related to post Got Poetry (National Poem In Your Pocket Day)

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Pocket Poetry, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Pocket Poetry, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 

April 17th is the first national Poem In Your Pocket Day. It’s part of the wider celebration of National Poetry Month. I went to my monthly poetry group last Friday. We talked about the life of Maya Angelou, read her poetry, sat in silence between poems. We listened to her voice. This is the 3rd month we have met.

The first month was Ted Kooser. After the group ended that night, Teri passed around a thank-you card (gratitude to those who came before us). We all signed it; the next day she mailed it off to Ted. A generous man, the former Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner wrote back within the month (look for an upcoming post).

The second month was Mary Oliver. In March, three members of the poetry group went to see Mary Oliver at the State Theater in Minneapolis (here’s Mary with her famous dog, Percy, in Jim Walsh’s MinnPost article, The poet as rock star: Mary Oliver returns for a reading). They shared stories about the funny and engaging Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, who read to a packed house; Mary Oliver is one of the humblest and highest paid poets in America.

April is the month we honor poetry as an art form. “Poetry” comes from the ancient Greek: ποιεω (poieo) meaning I create. It is an art in which human language becomes a palette for its aesthetic qualities. Poetry creates a visual feast from the simplest ingredients — it pares language down to the bare essentials.

 

Poem In Your Pocket (National Poetry Month), Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. Poem In Your Pocket (National Poetry Month), Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. Poem In Your Pocket (National Poetry Month), Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. Poem In Your Pocket (National Poetry Month), Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 

New York City is hosting its 6th annual Poem in Your Pocket Day (PIYP) on Thursday, April 17, 2008, with a series of events scheduled to celebrate the versatility and inspiration of poetry. The day was created to encourage New Yorkers of all ages to carry a poem in their pocket to share with family and friends. Now it’s going national.

How can you participate? There is a list of ways to celebrate national Poem In Your Pocket Day at poets.org, which includes:

  • Post pocket-sized verses in public places
  • Handwrite some lines on the back of your business cards
  • Start a street team to pass out poems in your community
  • Distribute bookmarks with your favorite immortal lines
  • Add a poem to your email footer
  • Post a poem on your blog or social networking page
  • Text a poem to friends



       Poem In Your Pocket (National Poetry Month), Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.      Poem In Your Pocket (National Poetry Month), Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

     Poem In Your Pocket (National Poetry Month), Minneapolis, Minnesota,
      April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 

My friend Teri, who started our poetry group, created and handed out Poem In Your Pocket sheets (above) after last Friday’s poetry group. We each copied a poem from over 20 poetry books sprawled over the living room floor. Copying a poet’s work, in my own hand on to a blank page, made it come more alive for me.

Leave your Pocket Poem in our comments if you wish. If you are stuck for ideas of where to find poems, there are tons of websites dedicated to poetry. Check out one of these:


Feeling brave? Write down a poem or haiku you have written, slip it into your pocket (the things we carry), and read it to some friends this Thursday, April 17th. For inspiration, listen to the great Queen Latifah’s version of Poetry Man (she got into rapping from writing poetry). Or maybe you prefer the original from Phoebe Snow (I wore a deep wax groove into Phoebe’s 1974 debut album, Phoebe Snow).

 

            Poetry Man by Phoebe Snow, posted by jassblue on YouTube

 

 

Thanks to Teri, for starting a poetry group and inviting all of us to come along. And to all the poets who have been inspiring us since the beginning of time — thank you.

 

-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, April 13th, 2008

-related to post, Desire And A Library Card — The Only Tools Necessary To Start A Poetry Group

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In The Red, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

In The Red, original floor sign, Casket Arts Building, Minneapolis,
Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights
reserved.







keep clear, walk the red
rectangular mandala
standing dead center






-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, April 12th, 2008

-related to post, haiku (one-a-day) 

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