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All posts for the month May, 2020

Sixteen

Published May 24, 2020 by Nan Mykel

So jolly! I’m reblogging

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

Sixteen

She met him at the harvest dance.
An act of fate, they met by chance.
The very first grown man she kissed,
he was a traveling journalist,
and she had barely got love’s gist
when he vanished in the mist.
For reference, she had not any.
She had not made love with many
and those she’d had were only boys,
as unacquainted with the joys
of mature love as she had been,
for they were only kids, not men.

She found it tedious at best
to spoon with any of the rest,
and yet she tried, and kept a list
in which she rated and she dissed
those teenage lovers that were left
once journalism left her bereft
of seasoned lover who had pleased her
whereas all the rest just squeezed her
wrong, somehow. They smacked and cuddled,
yet, somehow, they all just muddled
what she’d had occasion once…

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What’s the Name for..,.

Published May 24, 2020 by Nan Mykel

What do you call a reblog of a reblog?  There must be a name for it!  This post refers you to Diane Ravitch’s blog which reblogs (or reprints or refers you to) a highly interesting history of the “Spanish Flu” in The Smithsonian.

What I learned from this article, among other things, is that the “Spanish flu,” which caused 50 million deaths around the world in 1918, did not start in Spain. The author argues that it actually started in Kansas and was brought to Europe by American troops who had come to make the world “safe for democracy.” And one other thing: the author, John M. Barry of Tulane, believes that Woodrow Wilson did not die of a stroke while at the Paris Peace Conference, but of the influenza.

This was no ordinary flu. It was deadly and devastating. The first wave was bad. The second wave was even worse.

For a fascinating look at the 1918 pandemic, read this article. It was written in 1917.

Liked

Why No Demands for Resignation? Partial Reblog

Published May 24, 2020 by Nan Mykel

Words from Ralph Nader/Common Dreams via alternet.org

“Why no demands for resignation? Have too many Americans lost their proper sense of honest public service and accountability? From 1974 to now, the American Bar Association (ABA) – supposedly a first responder against the destruction of rule of law and constitutional observance – has done nothing to challenge above-the-law presidential abuses. (In 2005-2006 the ABA displayed some courage and charged the Bush/Cheney administration with three sets of unconstitutional behavior.)

“Many Trump voters seem to expect more of virtually every public figure who isn’t Trump! Ask Trump voters if they would support their local fire chief if he or she lied daily about the fire department’s readiness to fight fires? Would they support a fire chief who appoints firefighters with no experience? Would they support a police chief who accepts no responsibility for a street crime wave while disabling the force?

“Would they support a CEO of a major hospital who promotes, against the advice of his/her medical scientists, chemicals and drugs that can take the lives of patients? Would they support a super predator bank CEO who gives sweet-heart deals to the rich at the direct expense of customers of modest means? Would they support a CEO of a big construction company, spouting anti-immigrant hate, while hiring hundreds of poorly paid undocumented foreign laborers taking jobs away from American workers? The answer is pretty clear.

“These people in positions of power would have lost their jobs if they engaged in such reckless and unjust behavior. Corrupt Donald, on the other hand, has done all of these continually and remains an escapee from justice. In addition to these previously acknowledged failings, Trump has wrecked the federal health, safety, and economic protections including many life-saving controls on deadly pollution, dangerous business practices, and business theft of your earnings as consumers, workers, and savers.

“In addition, here is a top betrayal: Trump promised his voters a big infrastructure repair and upgrade program in all communities – with good-paying jobs. He betrayed them, giving instead about 2 trillion dollars in tax cuts to the rich and big corporations, like the drug and banking industries and even his own family!

“Trump voters need to ask themselves – what else does Trump have to do to our livelihood, health, safety, and dignity before you say – “no more!” If you want more details about Mr. Trump’s lying betrayals, read Fake President by Mark Green and me and judge Trump by his own contemptuous words and misdeeds….”

Nan guesses:  1) the vice-president  2)fear of being on the presidential hit list

My Dreams of the Blogosphere

Published May 24, 2020 by Nan Mykel

Duh…Why did it take me so long to realize it?

I continue to have dreams about what I now see is my blog.

Every Wednesday, whether I’m home or not, and without being notified, people come in my house and make themselves at home in my livingroom.  If I’m not home they know they can rummage around in my kitchen and find some wine.  When I come in and greet them I see many of them are strangers.  I’m glad to see them all, especially returnees who I’ve met. Purpose of the Wednesday meetings (to which they come now, uninvited) is to participate in a kind of group therapy, with me as leader (although last night another psychologist attended and spoke up).  I am pleased so many of them return, without being reminded or invited.  I think my goal is often sort of getting them to explore and verbalize their feelings in somewhat querulous exchanges.

I welcome other dreamers’ dreams in my comments.

The Lesson (A Fable)

Published May 23, 2020 by Nan Mykel

Mine is a tale of initiation. Were it otherwise I would invoke the muse. Please note, gentle reader, that I content myself with a statement of theme. Gods, as they appear herein, are but the mere acknowledgements of a symbolic convention older than my own breed, perchance. At any rate, to begin with an invocation to a muse would be an act paralleling selling one’s daughter to provide her with a dowry.

My tale and I begin, ab ova. For it is inescapably a fact that I am a chicken.

Phrased another way, in emotional language, a small white hen.  A chicken, whose brain disturbed itself, alas, not with ways and means of mounting the barnyard pecking order, but rather grasping that lightning often accompanies rain, and that from eggs come biddies. A beady-eyed chicken whose neck jerks when she walks, whose head will tilt and her little comb flap just like all the rest of the chickens in the barnyard, though she tries and tries to break the habit.

Had this chicken realized at a tenderer age– (here I can’t help shudder at what is implied by that phrase)–the inferior position relegated chickens in the intellectual world, she undoubtedly–yea, indubitably–would have chosen a model other than her mother, or her mother’s kind, to emulate. However, habits rooted in the very nest proved  difficult to overcome, and even now I find myself drawing my head back sharply, aghast at the thought of performing an act so gross and irritating to me, and even so completing the circle which has fenced me into my own particular type of hell.

It seems I have always known where little chickens come from, if not where they will go. But to this day I am not convinced that one out of ten of my sisters realizes the significance of the lovely white oval eggs in her nest daily. Perhaps that is why they part with them so peacefully. As you shall see, my reason for allowing my nest to be daily robbed was very different.

Things went well on our farm. When the rains came down we roosted–how I despise the word–in our hen house until the sun came out again, bringing the fragrance of dirt steaming upward in a heavenly earthy manner.

The humans who fed us did so generously.

Not being high on the pecking order, still I managed to keep strong and healthy. The humans protected us, also. Once a weasel had almost worked his way into the coop from the pasture side, when one of the humans, chancing by at that time and hearing our fearful cry (although mine was more of outrage than fear, I verily believe and maintain), the human disposed of the vile animal and mended the place in the coop which had left us exposed to the whims of passing animals, as it almost were.

As I grew older and laid my own eggs it seemed only natural that the humans should take my offspring and hatch them themselves. They seemed so much cleverer and capable than all the hens in the yard. I suspected that even our rooster was far inferior to the humans, our protectors.

It was rather a lonely life I led, in the chicken yard. I was the scorn of my instinct-ridden sisters as well as the scorn of my masters who saw me, rightly, as a feminine fowl.

With the dawn, the first beams of which coming through the slats in the chicken coop woke me, invariably came a feeling of exhilaration. Our rooster crowed grandly, and morning was to me a new chance. That is what I felt it–another chance. Another chance at what I couldn’t have told you, but it was welcomed.

Day began. Small particles danced in the sunbeam entering the slits in the slats. I saw the spider in his web in the corner, apparently still asleep. I saw my sisters, my poor dumb clucks of sisters, apparently still asleep. The arrival of food would stir them, however, and they, with slapping wings and squawks, would flock outside for the grain, leaving me sitting in the coop thinking of our frailties.

What an albatross it is to be a chicken. Or should I say more correctly that my albatross was my nature? Or perhaps it was my spirit which was not compatible with my nature. Nevertheless, I was a lonely but contented chicken. It seems my days were filled with observing. Thanks to the humans there were things, events to observe. Large machines lumbered by the chicken coop. Young humans danced nearby, even made musical sounds with instruments.

They could do infinitely more with their mouths, and as unnatural as it may sound, after listening to the screaming, singing and laughter of the young humans, the staccato muttering of my sisters irritated me.

It was to escape, momentarily at least, the senseless chatter of my sister hens that I wandered from them one day when it was getting warm again, and found myself farther from the coop than I had ever been before.

It was a glorious morning and I felt happiness swell under my inescapably white-feathered  bosom, (breast, I believe it’s called), as my feet took me to the rear of the human house, and I found some edible scraps around the screen door.  The steps led up, and being of a curious nature I hopped up to see if perhaps a mess of grain lay there. I was not so hungry as inquisitive.

Hating chicken noises as I did, and being unable to imitate any others, I was naturally speechless there on the steps of the human house. I reached the top of the steps and there was no pile of grain. I raised my head with a jerk and realized that I could see through the screen door on the back of the house. There the humans were, not very far from me. Each had an egg in front of him, and was scooping the insides out and devouring them….

Everything in front of my eyes went black, and when it got gray the light was spinning round and round. Half flying, half stumbling down the stairs, I departed.  They were eating my biddies…

Perhaps this is a humorous tale to you, reader. A ridiculous chicken who aspired to values more human and, as she felt, therefore higher than her calling.  “A chicken who thought she was a woman,” I can almost hear you say. But reader, dwell on this: I knew no better; I had been in the world less than two-year when I inadvertently came across a truth indigestible to me.

If the fact that the practice is not indigestible to humans, and this is taken as a pun and made light of,  then I can only believe it a morbid sense of humor on the reader’s part, and cry out in my small fated clucking voice against the injustice of a world that I do not understand.

Away from the back stairs I staggered with grief.  The stones in my gullet gritted alarmingly, and I nearly swooned with strange emotions rushing through my poor chicken head.

I did not head back to the coop, however. My path led away from the farm and over the furthest horizon.

 

Nan, Time Wrinkles, 2015

A Re-post from Bryan Ens from my Life Issues page

Published May 19, 2020 by Nan Mykel

Is my value as a human merely based
on the colour of my carcass?
Is there no intrinsic value
in what lies beneath my pelt?
Is my hide all that matters?
Will you say that a coat of black
is worse or better than a coat
of white or brown or red?
Peak beneath my skin
and see who I really am
Let me see you for more
than your colour
or let me be flayed
and tanned
for if I am no more than the
tone of my flesh,
I am merely an animal
to be hunted and
turned into leather.

 

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