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Showing posts from October, 2011

Happy Halloween, Harvest, and Newness

Even as I see flashing orange orbs in neighbors' yards, greet the tiny pirate walking down my street, and hear a little girl scream when greeted by a gory mask behind a trick-or-treat door--all fun--I am more inclined to lean toward the ancient tradition of Samhain. You can read a lot about it from many sources, but, put very simply, the Celtic festival celebrated the harvest and formed a kind of new year celebration for those who participated in it. 

What I like about this tradition (and like about the Jewish new year, as well) is the earth connection to harvest time. In the northern hemisphere, this is a time of fruition, of gathering, of light becoming gentler and temperatures becoming cooler--not yet bitter. Somehow, taking harvest time as a time to begin a new year's cycle has much more appeal for me than our dead-of-winter January 1st date. This time of year feels to me more natural,  celebratory, and sensibly organic. 

Soon, we move from this time into Thanksgiving, anoth…

Poll Dancing

You probably heard the same news I did:  46% of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, according to a recent Gallup Poll.
Hooey! Gallup interviewed 500 Americans.  
It's stated clearly on their Website:

Survey Methods
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 7-10, 2010, with a random sample of 1,025 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., selected using random-digit-dial sampling. Each question reported here was asked of a half-sample of approximately 500 national adults. How, why do both the media and Gallup's own publicity apparatus DARE to tell us that 46 percent of Americans think anything?  46 percent of the 500 people they talked to are in favor of legalizing marijuana. Yes, that is the highest percentage of people for pro-legalization ever. But the actual number of people is 230 Americans.  Yes, they choose those survey-ees from a random sample, and take into consideration age and other demographic information, but…

The Euro, Café, and Personal History

While living in Spain, I learned volumes about history by talking to individuals whose stories will never appear in a history book or program.

I'll never forget hearing a friend tell me what it was like to survive the poverty of the posguerra (the yearsimmediately after the civil war) in southeastern Spain. "A neighbor of ours slaughtered a hog," she told me, "and  shared it with my family. I hadn't eaten in a week, though, and after eating the meal we made from the hog, I threw it all up, and was soon hungry again." 

I happened to be in Spain during another transition, though not a violent one. It was an economic transition, the coming of the euro. I remember vividly the public service announcements on how to calculate the value of pesetas to euros. In fact, Doña Letizia herself presented many of those PSAs in her pre-princesa days.

I dreaded the change. A conversion formula of 1,68 pesetas per Euro was not something I could figure in my head. In spite of the…

Festival Both Meaningful and Fun

The Houston Poetry Festival was a great event. This festival is the brain-child of Robert Clark. He and the steering committee did a great job of organizing the event. The only organizational difficulty was presented by Mother Nature. Some areas of Houston received as much as 7 inches of rain last Sunday, the last day of the Festival. So, it took some very determined and hardy souls to make it downtown to the Willow Street Pump Station for the reading.

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the works of my fellow poets, although I had to leave early in order not to drive back in both a rainstorm and darkness.  These poets included: Adamarie Fuller, Lillian Susan Thomas, and Maria Illich. If they have Websites, I have not been able to find them to link to them, but I encourage you to dig around and try to find works by these women. Also reading that afternoon were: Bradley Earl Hoge, Christopher Carmona, Angélique Fuller, and Garrett Middaugh. 

The Festival produces an anthology each year with one…

Houston Poetry Festival This Weekend

The 26th Annual Houston Poetry Festival will take place this weekend.  Here's the scoop: Houston Poetry Fest Schedule, Oct 7-Oct 9. Place: The Historic Willow Street Pump Station on 811 North San Jacinto.

Lots of people work on this event sponsored by the University of Houston, and it promises to be a fun and fascinating time. I am the guest poet on Sunday, October 9, and I'll read at 2 p.m.

Back in the Saddle, Writing About Friends ....

Had to wander away from this here blog fer a bit.  :-) But I've returned .... First news item: You're invited to contribute to my blog Getting Along with Grief. Through November 15, the blog's theme will be Friends, and The Importance Of.
Honor a friend who has passed away by sending a poem, memory, or image of that person as a tribute to him or her. We will also include pieces about friends who have helped us journey through a time of loss. See blog for details.
Están invitados a contribuir memorias, ensayos, poemas, y/o imágenes en el blog Getting Along with Grief, sobre el tema de los amigos y la importancia que tienen en nuestras vidas. Destacaremos a aquellos amigos que ya han dejado esta vida y a aquellos que nos han acompañado en nuestro camino después de la pérdida de un ser querido. Vean el blog para más información.