All posts for the month September, 2022

Crying and Frightened Mother Earth

Published September 30, 2022 by Nan Mykel



Along with political lies and stone-deafness to her tears. our Mother Earth has become frantic.  We speak of the oceans being our mother, but they’re our step-mother.  Nature, personified by the Mother Earth metaphor, is our real mother.  She’s so sad and frightened  (like the fecund women in abortion-prohibited states) that she doesn’t know what to do (like the old woman who lived in a shoe with so many children…).

Her first responders are brave, but so far unable to rouse the Emergency Rescue Squads needed to keep her alive. (The head of the World Bank,  recently asked whether the burning of oil, gas and coal was driving climate change, refused to answer.)

Current heartaches:  At this very minute, extremely destructive hurricane Ian is roaring north across the United States.  “Hurricane Ian is going to be a storm that we talk about for decades,” administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Deanne Criswell said yesterday.  [If Mother Earth is still alive in decades.]

Earlier in the month Pakistan’s climate minister called the flooding in his country “Biblical.”   Greenpeace  shared videos in which a central Pakistani hotel crumbled in the duration of a  “TikTok.”  

U.N. Secretary-General, António Guterres visited Pakistan and called the climate crisis a “code red for humanity,”  He said that he hadn’t seen this scale of climate change  in his life (he is 76.)  The areas underwater in Pakistan are larger than Britain

Keep your eyes open on the current destruction by hurricane Ian.

The nine planetary boundaries:  In addition to the causes of climate change, a planetary boundary framework originated in 2009 to define required limits on human activities to prevent collapse of vital Earth operating systems. They include biodiversity loss, freshwater, air pollution, climate change, high phosphorus and nitrogen levels, ocean acidity, land use changes, ozone layer decay, and contamination by human-made chemicals.



Published September 30, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Keith Wilson

As a former Republican and now independent voter, it saddens me that to be a legitimate Republican, one has to endorse untruthful pronouncements by the losing former president and his sycophants. I don’t mind people espousing conservative ideas, but I do expect them to be truthful. Governing is hard enough when using facts, but nigh impossible when making decisions off lies.

Truth be told, I expected this behavior from the former president as that has long been his modus operandi, but what I am frustrated by is his sycophants who perpetuate untruths, even when they know they are lies. The former president lost the election and cannot prove otherwise even after spending a lot of other people’s money to do so. He also instigated an insurrection against Congress putting people in danger. And, that does not include his mishandling of classified information and alleged financial fraud at his company.We deserve better than those who are purposefully lying to us, regardless of party. Full stop.

WHY? A self analysis

Published September 28, 2022 by Nan Mykel



I read all of The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Stories of Personal Triumph From the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge earlier, and I have a hypothesis about my own recent brain dysfunction:

My dysfunction is age related and involves current–and I mean current things.  It appears I’ve almost totally lost any understanding of how to work cell phones and adapt to apple and Word Press updates and can’t find things,  but appear to still have access to many of the things I learned in life, including my education and curiosity.  I do remember my mother finding it impossible to work her tv, but then she was on her way to Alzheimer’s.  At 87 I figure I’ve avoided Alzheimers, but surprise myself at my unequal limitations.

Yes, I guess I’ve always known that the brain tends to recede to earlier memories, but this seems extreme.  This is what I’m wondering:  (I do still claim ownership` of an  unconscious)…

MAYBE my unconscious (let’s call her Ethel) refuses to let go of my “what if”  tendencies out of loyalty to myself, and since they are more valued by “the real me,”  I’ve traded cognitive space with everyday low-level functioning.  Sounds like an excuse for brain slippage, doesn’t it?  But it’s a real question, a real puzzler and a possible answer.

I’m still not willing to relinquish the real me for how to work a cell phone.  Or maybe I’m just whistling in the wind….or the dark….




Published September 28, 2022 by Nan Mykel



I’m looking for a poem-

Anything that qualifies.

As they pop up I reject them.

But who am I to be so picky?

Only the poet, not the Muse.


She–for she’s a she,

I know it–doesn’t

discriminate  but spits them

out one, two, three. She’ll

be the death of me, I know it.


Tripping lightly through the words

Stilted language for the birds

Stomping heavy through the verbs

Hidey ho and Camelot.

You name it she’ll write it.


Three whole verses, is that enough?

Critics can be kinda tough.

Pillow’s waiting, I must go

Tomorrow’s another day

They say,

and I hope.

Deaf to Suffering

Published September 28, 2022 by Nan Mykel

There’s so much suffering in the world–it outweighs joy by a longshot.  It seems everywhere we look there is anguish.  It is difficult to admit that the horizon has turned so dark.  I cannot find a hint of a solution.  Are we forced to pretend a return to the oldest fairytale of religion?  I wonder how the Buddhists are faring.  Don’t read the following if you’re not ready to suck it in, from the New Yorker, by Zoha Tunio in Undark:

We have tried, in various ways, to convey to the world the scale of destruction caused by recent floods in Pakistan, because, apparently, a third of the country underwater and thirty-three million lives upended doesn’t cut it. Pakistan’s climate minister has called it Biblical. We have shot and shared videos in which the landmark New Honeymoon Hotel crumbles in the duration of a TikTok. The U.N. Secretary-General, António Guterres, who is seventy-three and has called the climate crisis a “code red for humanity,” visited Pakistan and said that he hadn’t seen this scale of climate carnage in his life. Some of us have created maps showing that the areas underwater are larger than Britain. We have shown pictures of dead and starving cattle to appeal to animal-lovers. We have posted videos of puppies being heroically rescued from rushing waters.

Maybe when the world seems to be ending, it needs poets. A poet in Khairpur, in southern Pakistan, one of the worst-affected areas, was asked by a journalist if he had received a tent to shelter his family. He found the idea so improbable that he asked, “Why are you making fun of me? Why would anyone give me a tent?”

More here.

This and That, Not These and Those

Published September 27, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Just had to fool around a little…Had to mention this and that:

A group of top state judges has made a rare plea to the Supreme Court, urging it to reject a legal theory pressed by Republicans that would give state legislatures extraordinary power, Adam Liptak writes in nytimes.


I find myself eagerly awaiting the unauthorized biography of Anthony Bourdain, although I usually hate books with sad endings.  (I usually read the last page first in order to avoid sad endings, but I liked what I knew of him and was already saddened by his demise.)


I hope none of DeSantis’ spending of $1.3 billion towards vouchers diverted from Public Schools taps into the money already spent on the forced immigrant plane trips north!


The library poetry writing group I have been in since its inception much more than ten years ago has resumed going out to lunch together.  We happen to be liberals (I still don’t think MAGA folks can hear their muse),  and after sharing some experiences in life earlier, our black waitress who had overheard our conversation joined us in the  conversation.  (I still don’t know the proper way to say that.  Black individual? Woman? Person of color?)  Anyway, it was a great experience.  I won’t say what restaurant so she won’t get in trouble for taking the time “away from her duties”).   We’re all non-racists, of course, and all of us lunching together are over seventy.


A reminder:  It’s my opinion that the main problem America is facing is a direct result of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission (FEC) decision in 2010 that political spending is a form of free speech that’s protected under the First Amendment. The controversial 5-4 decision effectively opened the door for corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money to support their chosen political candidates, provided they were technically independent of the campaigns themselves.   The corporations, being more monetarily influential than unions, of course, had the advantage over unions and the majority of our population.  Thus, corporations gained the rights of individual citizens, but with more power to influence elections  A poem at that time by fellow writing member Patricia Black is re-printed courtesy of Patricia L.H. Black, :



I met some corporations and

because I had a hunch they had

all been adjudged “persons,”

I invited one to lunch.

Oh, that naughty corporation!

As far as I could see,

it had not been taught its manners—

I got no R, S, V nor P.

But since I was the hostess

I had duties to perform,

though this corporation person

was so outside the norm

that making up the place cards

put my thinking to the test—

could I just write General

and forget about the rest?

And since Incorporated is so very long,

tell me what you think—

would it be uncouth of me

if all I wrote was Inc.?

Then, again, there’s gender

to complicate my tale.

Is corporation female

or is corporation male?

Somehow it seems that neither

is appropriate or will fit.

But it goes against my training

to call a person “It.”

Well, I had invited it

so I assigned it to a seat.

Now I had a problem—

What do corporations eat?

Was it carnivorous or vegan?

Lactose intolerant?

Some persons can eat seafood

while other persons can’t.

There were peanuts to consider

and corn syrup issues, too.

If I fed this so-called person eggs

would it suddenly turn blue?

What a jolt at lunch time

when the corporation knocked!

When the door was opened

I was shocked, I tell you, shocked!

I’m used to thinking “person”

as my neighbor or my dad

but I was sorely disabused

of all such thoughts I might have had.

There were janitors, clerks and typists,

lawyers up to you know where,

receptionists and file clerks

and scientists to spare;

there were bricks-and-mortar buildings

from here to Timbuktu;

fleets of trucks and warehouses,

the list just grew and grew!

Shareholders by the gazillions,

ships, public and private planes,

mortgage-holding entities

and miles and miles of trains.

There were CEO’s and CFO’s

and all sorts of other O’s.

How this “person” would fit

my dining room

the Supreme Court only knows.

Although jolly, the impetous behind the poem is a tragic matter, in my opinion.




Published September 26, 2022 by Nan Mykel


I know these guys don’t believe me, but it’s got to be true, because I’m going to

bed soon:

I just need to ask someone if the following from Daily Kos is true.

 Fifth Circuit today published an opinion today which ignores many long years of traditional interpretations of the First Amendment. The decision essentially says that large social media platforms (of 50 million monthly active users or more) do not have the right to enforce terms of service, such as prohibitions against advocating violence, and promoting hate speech. From <

Today we reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First
Amendment right to censor what people say. Because the district court held
otherwise, we reverse its injunction and remand for further proceedings.

Glad I looked further for update:  It was true, but since has been stayed (or over-ruled?),  but the law’s status escapes me now.  (Unsurre where save button is on “N”   Can you help?  Pretty important, re Trump’s being barred as well as the platform’s keeping threats and hate at bay.




Rosh Hoshana

Published September 26, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Warm and lovely and inspiring. Thank you.

Rosamond Press

Today is the Jewish New Year. My mother and daughter were born on the 26th.


One more for the trail. Today is Roh Hashanah. The Day of Atonement will fall on October 4th. Seven years ago I talked to a woman rabbi, the first to be appointed in Oregon. My ex-fiancé’s family – made France. They owned the Louisiana Territory that Thomas Jefferson regretted buying. He never meant for our Democracy to expand beyond the thirteen States. I don’t think he was happy about slaves not being freed, and women not getting the vote. My fiancés family were members of the Vichy Government. I asked the rabbi about the guilt this family carries. She asked me if Virginia was personally responsible for the death of Jews? She wasn’t born. “Then she is without sin and guilt.”. After Virginnia got down on one knee and proposed marriage, I took her…

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Monday Notes: Resisting Social Norms

Published September 26, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Yes, yes, yes…

K E Garland

The other day, I went for my biannual haircut. The difference is I’ve been growing my gray hair out since 2021. It’s blossomed a lot faster than I’d anticipated, adding about four inches of snowy white strands on either side of my head, and a salt-and-pepper effect from my crown to the nape of my neck. 

“I saw your pictures on Instagram,” my stylist said. “And I was like, ‘oh, she must done decided to let it all go.’”

I laughed and assured her that was exactly what I’d decided.

“It’s been harder than I thought,” I told her. “One time my husband looked over and asked, ‘are you just gonna have a big gray afro?’ But you know…I haven’t decided what I’m gonna do with it just yet.” Then, I confided, “I almost re-dyed it.”

“Hmmmph,” she replied.

Usually, my stylist finishes my cut and dramatically swirls me around…

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