NORTHERN SNOWS AT RECORD LEVELS

The Rutgers graph, which goes back 56 years, shows a disconcerting amount of snow is building in the north, for this early in the season.

snow-extent-northern-hemisphere-highest-56-years-winter-cold-2023nh

Snow-cover enhances the amount of heat lost to outer space. Locally, after fresh snow, our temperatures can be a good ten degrees colder than just before the snow, when the ground was bare. Currently, where I live just south of 43 degrees north latitude, the ground is bare and we are being lulled by a somewhat easy-going and snow-free December. To our north, however, Hudson Bay is rapidly freezing over, and the vast snow-covered areas of Tundra and Taiga is creating the “Hounds of Winter”, which I expect to soon come howling south. WUWT reported parts of Siberia are already experiencing record cold.

So much of the Northern Hemisphere is land that an expanded, early snow-cover creates cold high pressure, while the North Atlantic and North Pacific are relatively warm. This clash creates amazing gales, bigger and more energetic than most hurricanes. In fact the deepest Aleutian and North Atlantic storms rival great typhoons, and the area covered by high winds is greater. It a good thing these monster storms stay away from inhabited areas (with the exception of Iceland, where the people have to be especially tough.)

The clash between cold land and warm oceans tends to perturb the jet stream. Rather than remaining zonal, (which I prefer because it traps the coldest air to the north), the jet is prone to loop south over land and north over the seas, and be “meridienal”, which creates the greatest arctic outbreaks, and snowstorms in the southern cities. This makes children happy and the adults, (who must face the heating bills and the snow shoveling), a bit grouchy.

The fact the snow cover is at record levels does not bode well for a foolish world which has adopted a “green” policy and now faces a shortage of fossil fuels. I have done my small bit, collecting and purchasing eight cords of firewood to keep those near and dear to me warm, even if there are no deliveries of oil and propane. However I do waste my brain-cells worrying about others, though worry does no good.

I found myself looking back over the years, and recalled that in 2019 my little town went from a brown, leafy, rustling December to 36 inches of snow, in the space of three days. When I looked back at my old posts from that time I rediscovered two sonnets I liked, because they defeated worry. The first was from before the snow fell, and the second was from just after.

With holidays I nearly missed the last,
Brown day. It wasn’t on my Christmas list:
“The last, brown day.” Snow will make it be the past;
The white comes fast; the landscape’s kissed
By wool on trees and roads, but if a drift
Must block my path I wish a pile of leaves
To rustle through. The way sounds shift
From crisp to sift, from leaves to snow, just grieves
My heart, for I know snow is here to stay,
And therefore isn’t like the last, brown day.
Seize the moment, before it slips away.
Seize upon the last, brown day; in a kicking way
Rustle through leaves. Make life be play.
Rejoice all through the last, brown day.

With night’s snow fell a silence. It was deep
As the snow was deep; grew deeper as snow
Grew deeper. The world did not go to sleep
But was wary, waiting. I do not know
What it awaited. Anticipation,
Like a small boy restless in a cold bed,
Impatient for Christmas, breathed steam that hung
In the dark stillness. No blue, green or red
Christmas lights blinked. The power was out.
No furnace rumbled and no fridge hummed.
No sledding-hill’s child freed a far-off shout.
What broke silence was me. My fingers drummed
As I awaited the soft light of dawn
And the Power we need to turn back on.

MEETING BLUSTER WITH BLUSTER

Today we had another taste of winter: Blasting winds that dropped the windchill temperatures ten degrees below what the thermometer actually said. A few lone snowflakes whipped sideways, basically lake-effect snows blown all the way from Buffalo.

I can’t confess to feeling all that fond of such weather any more. Once I associated the growing cold with snow, and with the chance school might be cancelled, but now I run a private school and don’t want it cancelled because taxpayers don’t pay for my sloth.

In fact, if you read back ten years through this blog, you will understand snow doesn’t get me off the hook; it makes me work harder to keep my place open. This does tend to diminish any romantic feelings I might have had towards cold and snow. White Christmas? Be damned.

Add to this the fact my body does not withstand the cold as well as it once did, and one might understand why I am becoming a curmudgeon, regarding the cold. Where I once threw snowballs without mittens, my hands bright crimson, now my hands turn a sorry shade of blue when temperatures are barely cool. I’d rather sit by the fire than go out in the cold, when I can get away with it.

Unfortunately I can’t get away with it. Staff shortages have nipped-in-the-bud all my attempts to delegate work to others, and a nasty attack of bursitis even slowed my active wife, so rather than receiving compassion I must be, at the very least, not a curmudgeon.

At 6:45 AM, when even the sun has the brains not to rise in December, I have to open my Childcare and greet people at 7:00 not with gruffness, but in a cheery manner. Call me a hypocrite if you will, but I do it.

Though I am dishonestly cheerful with others, God hears my true grumpiness as I head off into the twilight of dawn in a howling wind that just about dents your eyeballs, to work. I mutter stuff about how He is a God of miracles, and it would be sort of nice if a relative I never heard of died and left me a place in Florida.

Yet this morning all my griping got to me. God didn’t tell me to shut up. I just got a little tired of all my own whining. Rather than parking as close to the Childcare as possible, and ducking from the relatively warm and windless car into the chilled Childcare to turn up the heat full blast and stand beside the blower, I parked up the hill.

My excuse was that, when the sun got around to rising, it would hit up there first, and melt the frost from my windshield. I’d driven to work peeking through a little hole I’d scraped in my hurry. But something beyond that excuse was involved, for rather than hurry from the hill down to the Childcare, cowed by the blustering wind, I just stood by my car, in the orange twilight and blustering wind, and took the spectacle in, with my jaw thrust out.

If the wind was going to bluster, I could bluster right back.

No longer hot-blooded, I shake my head
Over what a great wuss I have become,
And decide to defy my sense of dread;
To quit my cringing as if long life's sum
Of added years amounts to a mere flinch, 
And instead to spring up from where I quail;
For even quail do not sit, not moving an inch
As the spaniel nears. They burst out and flail
The startled dawn and fearlessly face
The shotgun's blast. So too will I pause 
My flinch from cozy home to warmed workplace
And stand unbowed despite the north wind's claws.
In pumpkin predawn cold my puffing breath
Becomes dragon vapors, flaming at death.

ROLLING WITH THE MOON

,

When we arise on voting day a “blood moon” will be setting in the west, which seems a sort of ominous start to things.

As I recall, a blood moon occurs at the start of “Hamlet”, (or perhaps it is in the scene where Hamlet sees his father’s ghost). I tend to consult Shakespeare more than I consult astrologers, but I thought it would be fun to see what astrologers were saying, so I included the above “chart”.

Not only is a multi-planet opposition occurring, but Saturn, (“discipline”) is “squaring” the opposition. Oppositions and squares tend to be “challenging” in the world of astrology, so there are all sorts of doom and gloom forecasts, floating about. Yawn. I am perfectly able to forecast doom and gloom without any help from experts. What I also notice is Jupiter (“optimism”) is “trining” and “sextling” (harmonious angles) the conflict, but no one is in the mood to be optimistic.

Fortunately, I was traveling through the dusk tonight in a car with a four-year-old and two-year-old grandchild, and they live in a world blissfully free of politics. They were talking about how the moon was traveling through the trees beside us.

Here is a poem they triggered, written (I hope) as Tom O, (who disapproves of many of my sonnets), likes them.

The moon looks strangely jaunty,
Tilting through the trees,
And I've run out of alibies
For why the branches weave.

I have no clue why shadows
Elude my headlight's eyes
Nor why the street is curving,
Nor why the asphalt sighs.

Moon shadows crisscross clapboards
Of churches none attend
And cobalt sky is starless
Without end.

I'm steering towards my pillow
Past the graveyard's willow
Dreary on a moonlit stone,
As rolling right beside me
Golden moon confides we
Go alone.

I find her words consoling
For what child feels alone
When holding the hand
Of a moon that's so big,
So gold, and so grand?

Don’t tell my friend Tom, but the above poem is secretly a sonnet. Can you see the hidden sonnet? (Before looking at the answer below?)

The moon looks strangely jaunty, tilting through
The trees, and I've run out of alibies
For why the branches weave. I have no clue
Why shadows elude my headlight's eyes
Nor why the street is curving, nor why
The asphalt sighs. Moon shadows crisscross clapboards
Of churches none attend, and cobalt sky
Is starless without end. I'm steering towards 
My pillow, past the graveyard's willow
Dreary on a moonlit stone, as rolling
Right beside me golden moon confides we go
Alone. I find her words consoling,
For what child feels alone when holding the hand
Of a moon that's so big, so gold and so grand?

Most sonnets have a certain rhythm hidden in them that casual readers miss. When young I used to become very upset when I heard others read a poem I’d written, and completely mangle it, but now I am more resigned, and even amused. The fact of the matter is that there is beauty all around us, but we tend to be blind. Sometimes I think a person has to be as deaf as Beethoven to hear it.

Either that, or two years old. Remember that, on election day.

BRAZEN IMPUNITY

The sheer dishonesty rampant in the media these days reminds me of a prophecy in the seventh chapter of Book of Daniel, where an evil power in the future is described as attempting “to change the set times and laws.” In other words, such an evil power would disregard Truth. It would have the audacity to believe it has come up with a “better idea” than Truth.

One “set time and law” I’ve enjoyed the ups-and-downs of is: An old-fashioned marriage. Call me a fuddy-duddy if you will; I am not an admirer of the “alternative lifestyle”, I state this even though, as a gullible young hippy, I did dabble in the apparent escape-from-responsibility called “free love.” I quickly saw it wasn’t free, nor was it love. How did I escape from the escapism?

I’m not sure. I think it in part had to do with the examples set by my elders, which struck me as potent symbols long before I was capable of intellectually digesting or describing what the symbols meant.

On one hand I had a set of grandparents who met in second grade and, at age eight, announced they would marry, which seemed cute but absurd to their elders, because they were from very socially different backgrounds, yet eighty years later they were still together and apparently still in love. On the other hand, I had my parents, who were like a god and goddess the first ten years of my life, but then who shocked me with a very antagonistic divorce.

It may sound a bit audacious, but in my boyish view my parents suddenly acted very immature. They were embarrassing, whereas my grandparents were not. I could not have justified my impressions, but they were what they were. Only now, as an old man, can I see what the differences were.

The difference between marriage and divorce transcends they being mere opposites. They exist on (or in) utterly different dimensions, in different worlds. The love involved in marriage is so different from the selfishness involved in divorce the two subjects are themselves divorced, as the heavens are from the ocean’s depths, and as oil is from water.

I have recently had to endure the breakup of one of my children’s marriages, and the difference between love and selfishness was made blatant by the lawyers involved. I could remember when the young couple, in love, overlooked differences. They even found differences “cute”. Now, abruptly, those same differences became, “evidence.” What love had forgiven abruptly became “grounds for divorce”, and every slightest error was used to “build the case.” (Thank you very much, you bleeping lawyers.)

In Truth there is no better idea than love, but divorce thinks it has come up with a “better idea”. Wrong. But in my time, I have been guilty of turning away from love, so it is not like I am up on a high horse and looking down a long nose. I have seen myself put my selfishness ahead of others, and selfishness is seldom a friend of Love.

How is it Love has the power to overlook differences which selfishness finds intolerable? It is because Love operates from a separate universe than our worldly desires. Love utilizes the so-called “heart” which the “head” tends to brush aside. Yet the heart solves problems the head calls utterly unsurmountable.

The most unsurmountable difference humanity is faced with, greater than racial differences, greater than all religious differences, (even the differences between Isaac and Ishmael), greater than differences between capitalists and communists, between winners and losers, between haves and have-nots, between old and young, is the difference between men and woman. Nothing is more different, yet nothing is more natural than men and women coming together in a thing called “marriage.” It happens worldwide, often against considerable odds, and makes mincemeat of divisive powers who say we can’t get along.

I think divisive powers strongly disapprove of marriage, for they dislike anything which mocks their divisiveness. Nazis are mocked when one of their children loves a Jew, and Jews are mocked when one of their children loves a Nazi. But Love, as a power, could care less for our silly hatreds. On the cross Jesus had every reason to say, “Father, screw these bastards for what they’ve done to me,” but instead his amazing Love had him say, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

I try to say the same thing about the mainstream media, but I think many of them do know what they do. They are like a spouse ‘midst divorce proceedings, urged by lawyers to never confess a mistake and never forgive an error.

However, the “marriage” they are part of “breaking up” is the United States, which long was a two-party system where the two sides were married by Love. Yes. Love.

One of the aspects of a marriage is the humor both sides bring to their non-stop disagreements. For example, I recently heard a husband pretend to pompously announce, in a barrister voice, “A marriage cannot possibly succeed unless the wife, in ALL arguments, grants the husband the final word; in fact, grants the last TWO words; and they should be, (pause), ‘Yes, dear.'” Such humor walks hand in hand with love.

The unlikely survival of the United States through over two hundred years of tumultuous history has been largely due to the fact we are led by a marriage, not a despot. The debates in congress have involved the sharpest minds, able to split hairs, with plenty of humor. We are led by Love, not selfishness. I could drag you through example after example, but some find history boring. So, I’ll just shove the Truth in your face.

The mainstream media is controlled by an invisible despot who does not believe in a two-party system. Whoever this arrogant idiot is, he does not believe in marriage. He does not believe in Love. What this means is that, because God is Love, this despot is picking a fight with almighty Truth. (The despot is not as smart as he thinks.)

The election we are about to experience shows many signs of being a repudiation of this invisible idiot, this one-party-system which feels it is superior to the marriage called the United States. The one-party-system will likely be unable to accept such a repudiation. It will likely resort to altering the election’s results through voter fraud. Why not? It worked once, so why not again? However, the American people are far more on guard, concerning fraud, and there is likely to be greater push-back.

The brazen impunity with which “fake news” has been doled out is reaching a crisis point, where it may self-destruct, crumbling because it is rotten to begin with, and rot cannot replace the wholesome structures it usurps with anything wholesome, but only with further rot.

Into my mind’s eye comes this analogy: A thief steals a ladder, and uses it to climb to great heights, but removes rungs of the ladder to discourage pursuit, (and also to discourage copy-cats), and eventually reaches a point where the ladder has so few rungs left the two sides of the ladder start to wobble and shift, and the remaining rungs start to creak and crack, and then suddenly the thief is not standing on a ladder, but two very tall stilts. Because the thief has no idea how to walk on stilts, he goes wobbling out of control, and exits stage left, followed by a long descending howl and a crash.

In “Hamlet” Shakespeare used the phrase, “hoist with his own petard”, to create the ironic image of a bombmaker “lifted” by his own bomb’s explosive charge. (In the sly world of London slang which Shakespeare was so adept at using, the phrase could also mean being “lifted” by one’s own especially-loud fart.) It was not a fate one desired.

In like manner, the “better idea” which proponents of divorce always dangle as lures never result in the “freedom” they originally promised. I got to study my parents, who both got to live over thirty-five years “free” of each other after their separation, and they never were really free. Not that they didn’t live productive lives, and not that they didn’t meet new people who loved them and nursed them towards maturity. However, they never achieved complete amnesia, and never forgot the loops and nooses of their initial entanglement. If marriage is a battle, then those who think they escape the battle find they are haunted by ghosts and experience “flash backs” and “traumatic stress disorder.” The undealt-with must be dealt with. Often a second marriage sees the exact same problems that appeared in the first marriage reappear, and the second marriage becomes a second chance to “deal with it”.

In like manner, in the world of governance, any attempt to replace the marriage of a two-party-system with the divorce of a one-party dictatorship always seems like a “better idea” in a time of confusion, but over and over history shows us that society suffers when it resorts to such tyranny. The confusion and terror of the French Revolution turned to Napoleon, who seemed like a hero at first, but eventually led to the death of a million Frenchmen, and a France with fewer than nine men left alive for each ten women.

The lesson is there in history for those with eyes that see. The problem is that when you try to teach Truth to a tyrant, they censor it. Love is a dimension they refuse to allow to govern their lives. They are all head without heart, or, if they have a heart, they only allow it in places utterly removed from their workplace. In the dark of a movie theatre they may weep, but not at their bank as they foreclose on a widow.

The world of governance is currently seeing the idea of “globalism” arise as a sort of vast, one-party dictatorship, with only a single view allowed and all other views censored. The sanity of Truth is affronted by all sorts of attempts to “change the set times and laws”, with even the-sex-one-was-born-as called into question. This creates chaos and confusion, and also the tendency for people to long for a powerful leader to “make things right.” A globalist dictator likely will soon step forward and say, “I am your Napoleon.”

The world does not need a Napoleon. What the world needs now is Love, sweet Love. That’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.

In terms bankers understand, power involves control of material items, and this winter we may even see power asserted through materially forcing people to choose between heating and eating, and perhaps even see unnecessary starvation, and people unnecessarily freezing to death. However, the rescue will come. The bankers will not see it coming, for they do not accept the dimension the Rescuer exists on. It is not a material reality.

I can’t predict the way the cards will play out, or how and when Love will manifest. My guess is that “heart” will not likely come from centers of power, but from heartlands. Also, I guess the three nations most likely to resist the globalist Napoleon are the United States, India, and the tiny state of Israel. Lastly, in my own small way I hope to make a last stand and go down fighting for the magic of Love and of marriage, in this invisible war against brazen impunity.

\

POLITICALLY PUNCH DRUNK

I have been trying to steer clear of politics, as it seems little good comes of my interest. The negative results are not quite as clear as a certain lack of good that comes from admiring the curvature of the female body, when it begins as “art”, but tends to degenerate into the dark shadowy figures of lust lurking about the periphery of Dejas’ paintings, turning “art” into “pornography”.

Politics has different dark temptations, yet the results do seem to be negative, at least in my case. Rather than lust the temptation seemingly is hatred.

Not that I don’t like to sit around with other old geezers and solve all the world’s problems. That is not a problem. The problem only arises when I assume others might be interested, and I post the results of geezer forums.

Not that I expect people to respect their elders. My generation did not respect our elders, and indeed robotically repeated the mantra, “Don’t trust anyone over thirty”, (back when we were so green that thirty seemed old). Now we are lots older than thirty and are seeing “turnabout is fair play” and “you reap what you sow” and “Karma sucks.”

Even so, I’d expect people might check out the results of geezer forums, even if it was only to have a good laugh. Yet to my surprise geezers get “shadow banned”. Apparently, somebody somewhere feels doddering old men represent a dire threat.

Who knew? I had no idea solving all the world’s problems was so dangerous.

In any case, it sure doesn’t encourage me to dabble in politics.

However, just as a person addicted to pornography will be tempted to admire curvature, even though he knows he tempts trouble, I find myself addicted to the watching of the lunacy currently dementing our leadership, even though I doubt good will come of it.

Mostly my attention has begat agonizing depression. Policy bound to bring about ruin is dressed as pink flamingos, and when ruin results people get mad and accuse you of racist hate towards pink flamingos. It is beyond nuts, beyond even blind squirrels. So, for the most part, attention to politics has been a test of my ability to stay sane.

Recently, however, there has been a change in the weather. The ruin certain policy must bring about has started to come about. And it is very hard to dress up things like freezing to death and starving to death as a pink flamingo. Therefore, politicians have started to scramble to CYA.

This is not due to any input on my part. After all, I am shadow banned. But it is as if some Higher Power’s input snuck into the calculations of the hopelessly corrupt. The input seems, at this point, a sneaking suspicion, stimulating the anxiety of a cat on a hot tin roof. They were hypocrites to begin with, but now they are attempting to be hypocritical to their own hypocrisy, which is so ridiculous it is downright funny.

I believe humor is highly regarded by God. I think He only regards pure Love more highly. Therefore, to have humor clobber “serious politics” seems an act of God. Yet the political morass, which the “Swamp” called “normal”, and which had seemed an ever darkening and dismal swamp, has been riven by the sunbeam of humor.

As an onlooker I was made dismal by the dismal swamp, but the unexpected sunbeam restores my failing, dwindling faith. It feels so wonderful to just laugh, rather than to be despairing.

There can be no denying that the pompous actions of authority, (who liked to strut around his flamingoes wearing the peacock plumes of respect), now looks like the strutting of a bantam rooster among chickens twice his size. It is a joke. How is it a joke? Three examples:

First: The FBI invades the former president’s house seeking some sort of criminal stuff, yet can’t say what they are looking for, or what they found, which could be nothing, and yet they absurdly looked through the former president’s wife’s underwear and the bedroom of his adolescent son, and (perhaps worst of all), didn’t clean up the mess they made when they departed.

This was a big mistake, in terms of public relations, because few of us would want anyone rummaging through our house looking for evidence of our moral failures. Who can claim perfection? Who hasn’t driven at 36 mph when the speed limit was 35? Even if we don’t admit such shortcomings publicly, at home we can relax and confess to our wife, “Yes, I drove at 36.” But now some FBI agents can barge into our wife’s bedroom (even if it’s also ours) seeking “evidence?” For what crime? They cannot say. But they hope to find it.

This did not make people laugh as much as it made them roll their eyes, but when the FBI swooped to interrogate Mike Lindell, the absurdity got too giant. First, of all the vicious criminals they could stalk, they attack a fellow who makes and sells pillows. That is a laugh in and of itself. But then they treat him as if he is hiding something, when Mike Lindall has confessed all his crimes publicly, even writing a book about the stupidity of his sins. Few people are more open, with so little to hide, as Mike Lindell, and it took nerve for those with so much to hide to question him, and hilarity resulted. Even while freely answering FBI’s questions (with answers the press zealously shadow bans), Lindell began to interrogate the interrogators. The question he asked that buckled my knees was, “Do you fellows know Jesus?”

I’m not sure why that struck me as being so funny. Perhaps it just seems an unlikely question for a criminal to ask.

The third joke was Florida’s governor sending fifty illegal aliens to the posh resort of Martha’s Vinyard. The hypocrisy was rich, as an island with well over 50,000 and perhaps 100,000 empty beds (it being the off season) claimed it could not help due to a “housing crisis.” The fact 120 National Guard troops were activated to whisk a mere 50 people off the island and to a military base on Cape Cod, while nothing was (or is) done when thousands cross our southern border every single day, overwhelming small towns in the American Southwest, could not be a better example of the mind-boggling double standards of the elite.

I like the new word “optics”. Optics was formerly the scientific study of light, light’s properties, and vision, but politicians highjacked the word and now it means how a situation “looks”, and the art of changing how things “look”.

There seemingly is a belief that “optics” can make a black cat look white, if the cat is viewed with the proper “spin”, and that the public is so gullible that it will accept the untruth as truth. However, this apparently is not true. People quietly murmur among themselves, “That cat is black.”

There is a magic which performer utilize when on stage, wherein the audience willingly undergoes a suspension of critical thinking and willingly enters a world of make believe, but there are also occasions where the magic fails. The performer pushes things too far, asks too much of the audience, and the magic bursts like a bubble. It is a terrible experience for performers to undergo, known as “bombing out”.

It seems to me politicians are currently “bombing out.” Many are baffled by the experience. Having no close relationship with Truth, they don’t know which way to turn. Rather than facts all they have is “optics”, and they shuffle through their selection of “optics” like a gambler through his cards, seeking an ace when even an ace won’t help. Why not? Because the public is sick of cards, sick of being played, sick of being treated as if they are a game when life is dire.

People can only be told that what is dire is not dire (and that what is not dire is dire) for so long before the tedium of it all sets in. Heartstrings can only be tugged so many times. The men on the stage become strangely emotional, manipulating like Scarlett Ohara saying, “Where shall I go? What shall I do?” and the audience, En masse, says, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

I’m not sure why this strikes me as being so funny. I’m not sure it is funny at all and do my best to adopt a severe expression. But I fail. Something is laughing in me.

Do you know what I think it is? I think it is joy. After being made dismal so long the sight of a sunbeam makes me laugh. It seems such a delightful blow, such an uncanny counterattack, in the weird war we are midst.

*******

PS: One sunbeam was, oddly enough, rain. There is nothing quite like rain after a brutal drought. Here is a sonnet-sequence written during the transition:

Life has me on the ropes and I sure wish
I could run home to Mom's and lick my wounds,
But she's been dead for decades. I can't fish
For compliments midst losses. Time consumes
My strength like fire does straw. All are needy
And nobody gives. So, it seems the time's ripe
To rear up and thunder at the greedy 
Who ask and ask and ask, and never wipe
Their own butts. 
.                          Once I was young, needing
A Mom to run to when hurt, but outgrew
That tenderness, and I quit the feeding
Of hopes for help. That's life. Where I once knew 
Help ceased, when young, I'll get none now I'm old.
My pension is God, whose goodness is gold.
Lord, all my life I've longed to sit with You
In a little cottage sipping coffee
With all bills paid, and no draining debts due, 
And a maid to make my bed and meals. Free
To write my sonnets. Free to talk of rhymes
And rhythm. And free to sit and admire
The poems you create. Yet I've lived hard times
And even the old get no help. My desire
Is too much to ask. Not my meek wishes
But Thy great will be done: Work. Work 'til I drop.
Have no desire. Irony's delicious
For You're more with me as my wishes stop.
I'll dance to the words Your music has sung
As rather than helped, I help the hurt young.
Striding through the bright windy morning
After the rain, with the sky widened blue,
My heart's busted free of worry and warning
And a freshness uplifts all the things that I do.

My wallet's the same: No less and no more.
The facts haven't changed. Why's all different?
I was in prison. You've opened the door.
Now there is perfume. Before, not a whiff of scent
Wakened the drab. How is it all's changed?
Where leaves just hung, now foliage billows
And sparkles. The whole world's rearranged.
The sky is still sky. The willows still willows,
Yet You alter all with Your glances of love.
My mind cannot grasp what my heart's singing of.
I love those rare mornings when I awake
Secure in the bosum of God. A child
Does not build his home, nor do I make
This lifting day. The blooming east has smiled
On all of us. The blending knows no hate.
The stars do not hiss like hot coals in cold
Water as they dim, but, like men who wait
Aside as women enter, the stars hold 
The door open and let the Biggest Star
Make them dim. The King of kings is coming.
We have no idea how lucky we are
Even if stooped. Without fanfare or drumming
We are already saved, secure in the arms
Of He who makes woes dissolve into charms.

SUPPRESSION VESUS CONFESSION

As I am a poor, pathetic victim of “shadow banning” I know that by now some brainless “search engine analog” no longer needs to even read my posts before suppressing them. Sad. In the old days I could get a bit of satisfaction from the thought some geek, perhaps in China, was reading my sonnets and being uplifted. Even as I got cancelled, I might be uplifting the cancellers. Sigh. Now the cancelling is done by a robot.

This is the bizarre war we are midst. Little old me, a minor voice with rather odd views, is deemed some sort of threat by somebody somewhere. The powers of suppression rear their might to supress my self-expression.

Not going to happen. I will express my love of Truth and of the creation that Truth created even from a jail cell. So, what the suppressers actually want to suppress is the chance I might convert anyone to my rather odd views. They are not doing it for me they are doing it for you.

However, while there is indeed some selfishness involved in my self-expression, it is not entirely selfish. To be marginalized and cancelled is in some ways helpful, for solitude can be helpful. At times I do my best singing in the solitude of the shower. However even in the shower I do not sing to myself. I am unabashingly belting out my heartfelt rhapsody to an imaginary audience. But who? Maybe God. But maybe I’m doing it for you.

Poor you. On one hand you have the oppressors oppressing me for your sake, and on the other you’ve got my howling my odd songs for your sake. In other words, you have a two-party system, and you are in the shoes of the voter.

It has occurred to me that my microcosm resembles the macrocosm of the current war between Biden and Trump. However, Trump is much smarter than me, and plays his cards better. He is basically driving Biden nuts.

Oppressors, by their very nature, want to oppress some view or another. And Biden did want to suppress the ghastly views made available by his son’s laptop. The media was informed by the FBI the laptop was “Russian disinformation” although the FBI knew it was genuine, and the weak-willed mainstream media then compliantly reported it was “Russian disinformation.” Now it is years later, and, in the most watered-down way, the media wants to sneak an ironic admission that the media itself was the mis-informer, but only onto page 22 of Sunday editions, where no one will see.

Instead, a crowdsourced movie, “My Son Biden”, is to be released today, blaringly publicizing all the suppressed stuff in the laptop, in a manner which makes the corruption so ludicrous it is a comedy.

This surely makes Biden furious, and he apparently decided to send Trump a message, “You’re messing with the big boys, now.” So, he raided the sanctuary of Trump’s home, trashing even Trump’s wife’s and son’s bedrooms (and not tidying up afterwards), seeking some shred of evidence that it was Trump who oppressed Truth, by disobeying some unspecified law.

Unfortunately for Biden, this action was so oppressive it broke several laws, which resulted in Biden needing to oppress the fact he broke laws, which resulted in heavily redacted documents. So, Biden actually winds up oppressing himself. In like manner, the FBI is reduced from being a big bully, enforcing the oppression, to backtracking and attempting to oppress evidence it went forward illegally.

What a joke. The oppressor oppresses himself. In the words of Robert Lewis Stevenson, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.”

As the date of the movie’s release approached, Biden then tried a prime-time speech, trying to speak as a wise and kindly king against an unruly rebel, but the posing and posturing and lurid red background went over like a lead balloon. Rather than wise and kindly he came across as even more oppressive.

Nor did Trump appear the slightest bit intimidated. At a rally less than twenty-four hours later he delivered the ultimate insult: He never even mentioned Biden’s prime time speech. Instead, he focused in on all the issues Biden didn’t touch, in Biden’s prime-time speech.

I likely could go on about what Trump talked about that Biden didn’t mention, but why bother? When Biden doesn’t mention things, it is just another example of how he wants to oppress Truth.

It will be interesting to see what happens when the film exposing what was in the oppressed laptop is shown this week. “My Son Biden” can’t be cancelled as slander, first because Biden is a “public figure”, and second because such a lawsuit would have the laptop brought forward as evidence, and all it holds would become public knowledge, which is the last thing Biden wants.

Poor Biden. He is between a rock and a hard place.

Congratulations to Trump. He is proving an ancient spiritual truth is still true. Oppression loses to Confession, regarding the Truth.

And Me? I think this is one of the strangest wars History has ever seen.

Boston’s Drought Defeats a Rainstorm.

We had hopes of a summer rainstorm, as a coastal low did not head out to sea, but instead curved northwest off the tip of Cape Cod and into the Gulf of Maine.

Indeed, the forecast all day was for rain, yet in an uncanny manner it never fell. As the weak low came north some fairly robust rain showers came across Massachusetts Bay from the east, but the moment they hit the shore they vanished from the radar map. We saw purple clouds pass over, but they were flirts, and didn’t give us a kiss. Only when they hit the Berkshires of Massachusetts and the Green Mountains of Vermont did uplift cause them to unleash rains. This was insult to injury for we not only got rains to our east but also to our west.

As the weak storm moved up into the Gulf of Maine our winds shifted to the northeast, and all those showers you can see up in Maine in the above map started to be pushed down towards us. Yet again they dried up as they approached. Only the showers that hugged the coast retained enough moisture to give the south shore of Boston a few sprinkles.

It almost seems that the very dryness of our landscape discourages the uplift that brings about rain. Or perhaps the uplift does occur but is full of bone-dry air that squelches rain. In any case, that is my final attempt to be scientific. For when drought gets this extreme you tend to drift towards superstition, and the desire to burn witches.

Who do I blame? I blame the voters of Boston. They are the ones who brought this punishment from God upon us. Me? I’m an innocent bystander. I just happen to live too close to Boston. Maybe I’m just across an imaginary line, in New Hampshire, but imaginary lines don’t make good walls, when it comes to stopping a drought.

Whew! I’m in a rough situation! The only way to stop this drought, and get some rain for my garden, is to go into Massachusetts and convince those voters to choose differently. I’m not looking forward to such a task, for it is said (not in any scripture I know about) that, “If Democrats listened to reason there would be no Democrats”.

Likely I’m not up to such a task. Likely I should just pray.

Even the weeds are shriveling, and grass
On the lawns is brown, and when walked upon
It crunches. The sun's starting to harass
With its too-friendliness. I look to dawn
Hoping for gloom, but all I get is cheer.
Some lesson's being taught, and I've a hunch
It's to do with when I prayed skies would clear
When sick of rain. Now that the grass goes "crunch"
Dare I complain my prayer saw answer?

I know the danger of drought, how one butt
Dropped careless can release that orange dancer
Who makes her own wind, how both mansion and hut
Become mere ash. Did I pray for this doom?
I only know I'm now praying for gloom.

LOCAL VIEW –AN ALARMING BOSTON DROUGHT–

It has been a very dry summer, and an alarming drought is growing in New England.

When I was young, normalcy bored me, and any weather outside the norm seemed better than Camelot weather. I had a yearning for thunderstorms, and even tornadoes, and was very annoyed hurricanes never seemed to clobber New England anymore. But, if we couldn’t get storms toppling trees, maybe the sunshine could become a hazard, and drought could cause forest fires. Anything seemed better to me, as a young man, than the stultifying oppression of a Boston suburb. (Parents may have intended to create heaven on earth, but emerald suburbs were boring, boring, Bore-Ing.)

But now I am not a young man anymore. I am an old man, and a bit of a wet blanket on such youthful thirst-for-disaster. For one thing, where disaster once meant extra work, which I could profit from, now disaster means extra work I can’t afford paying others for, and must hobble about doing for myself. For another thing, thirsting for disaster nowadays always seems to involve Global Warming, and the politics of taking away people’s liberty and replacing it with a Globalist Big Brother. Heck with that. When I was young, I could thirst for disaster, and it didn’t cost the taxpayers a trillion dollars.

For example, if I wanted to thirst for a hurricane I had only to research the 1938 hurricane. If it happened before, might it not happen again? I had no need to involve men in white coats blaming CO2. In the same way, if I wanted thirst for drought and terrible fires, I had only to research the 1947 drought and the fires that burned nine towns from the map of Maine.

In the above picture the distant pines are likely at least fifty feet tall, so the sheet of flame arising is likely approaching 200 feet tall. Such fires might be ordinary among people in California, but it is completely outside the experience of modern New Englanders.

Oh, how I yearned for such excitement to return! The suburbs of Boston were so dull, dull, Duh-hell! And the trees grew so close together in the richer neighborhoods. A good fire with a southwest breeze of 25 mph would sure liven things up! But Alas! God had mercy and my wicked wishes never occurred, until….maybe….this year. If you look at the above drought map you will see the most tinder-dry forests are those fat-cat suburbs of Boston, where the suburbanites allow trees to grow right beside their houses, which the old Yankee never would allow.

Why not? Because every fifty years or so there might be a forest fire, and you sure didn’t want your house in such a forest as it blazed.

In fact, if you look back up to the picture of 1947 above, you will notice the people are standing by a house which is a heck of a long way from the fire. The house is far from the trees for a reason. People had common sense back then. People in the suburbs of Boston have no such common sense now, and the most expensive homes are midst the thickest trees.

Should the current drought result in a forest fire in the suburbs of Boston, many expensive homes will be involved. Yet will the wisdom of the builders and maintainers be so much as questioned?

No, Global Warming will be the culprit. Global Warming will get the blame. Why? Because of a political agenda which wants to do….. whatever…. but it has nothing to do with common sense.

Common sense just looks to the past to see what can be expected. This shouldn’t be any big deal. However, the past is politically incorrect, when the past does not affirm that the current situation is the “worst ever” and caused by “Global Warming”.

Now that I myself am an old-timer I inherently carry a certain political incorrectness. Why? Because I remember. I know the current drought is not the worst, for I lived through the worst.

The worst drought in New England history was not a single, extended period without rain, but season following season with below-normal rainfall. Slowly but surely it all added up. In some areas it began as early as 1960, but by 1964 it was becoming extreme. The water supply for the city of Boston was threatened. The chief reservoir for this water was the Quabbin, and in 1965 it hit an all-time low.

The above graph shows the severity of the drought, and also that, even when rains returned, the reservoir was slow to recover. Back in those days they could not blame Global Warming to raise taxes, but some politicians were deeply concerned Boston would lack water, and as I recall there were even suggestions that major rivers, such as the Connecticutt and Merrimac, should be diverted to the Quabbin Reservoir, so people in the suburbs of Boston could water their lawns.

Back then it turned out we did not need to divert major rivers. In like manner it may turn out we do not need to destroy our economy with a Green New Deal, when the current drought affects the plush suburbs of Boston.

As I say such things I confess I feel sorry for modern youth, who likely want disaster to liven up their lives, just as I once did. To such youth I say, you do not need Global Warming, to foster hopes of exciting ruination. You can do what I once did, and be a troublemaker.

A drought actually can be fun. I can prove it to you, for I lived through that 1960’s drought. I can show you my old diaries and tell you of the mischief I enacted, involving reservoirs it was illegal to fish and swim in. I managed to experience some exciting stuff at those shrunken reservoirs, despite the fact I lived in a boring suburb. People who know me have heard my tales too many times: The quicksand tale; the run-in-with-the-State-Police tale; the nearly-burn-down-the-neighborhood tale. But you’ve never heard them. Would you like to hear them?

What’s that? Do they conflict with the narrative about Global Warming? Well…maybe…just a bit. They do supply evidence the current drought isn’t the worst ever, and that the current drought may be caused by natural climate cycles, such as a 60-year AMO cycle. After all, the last drought was roughly sixty years ago, which suggests…. what’s that? I need to be censored? My blog should be shadow-banned? I’m a racist? Does that mean you don’t want to hear my three stories?

Oh, all right then. Have it your way. I’d hate to see you lose your nice, taxpayer-funded job, or be unable to afford your nice house midst the crowding trees in the emerald-green suburbs of Boston. But…what’s that I smell? Smoke?

—ILLEGAL SEARCH — THE FOURTH AMMEDNMENT—

Just a reminder to Americans:

Amendment 4
– Protection from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

Note the word “particularly”, and then compare that with the amazingly general and vauge description of what is to be seized in part “C” of the warrant.

Basically, the warrant allows the FBI to seize anything Trump wrote or received while president.

I’ll leave it to others to state whether this is a “fishing expedition” or not, and whether or not the possibility exists that evidence could have been “planted”, (especially as people were banned from serving as witnesses and onlookers), and whether or not the FBI has a shred of reliability left after it has been exposed as culpable to the processes that led to prior unfounded attacks on Trump.

Instead, I would like to address the question, “Why should Trump want to hide even a single paper?”

The simple fact of the matter is that we mortals are not perfect, and often need to go through a process of “feeling things out” before we arrive at a decision. During the “process” we may say things we would never say “in public”. We may stamp around and be wall-bangers. Those who love us wait until we are done ventilating, and then say something along the lines of, “You don’t really mean that.” And, speaking for myself, I tend to respond, “No, but it’s how I feel.”

Such emotional honesty is only possible with those who love you. It is a thing called “intimacy.” Such emotional honesty is not wise among those who hate you, and who want to harm you, for they will use such honesty as a proof you are a sinner.

The word “sin” has become politically incorrect, but the sad fact of the matter is that it is human to err. Saint John stated, “If we say we have no sin then the Truth is not in us.” It follows that our ability to confess our sin, in some safe space, is vital to our ability to grow, and even to exist, as humans.

This is not to say we accept sin as behavior we want to follow. After saving the adulterous woman from being stoned by telling the angry mob, “Let you who is without sin throw the first stone” Jesus told the woman who he had saved, “Go, and sin no more.”

There needs to be the recognition that sin is undesirable. If one attempts to justify sin and perpetuate sin, one faces a danger Saint Paul described as being “given to your sin.”

In fact, the good are as prone to sin as the bad, but the good fight what the bad promote.

To return to the subject of private papers, I have kept a diary since I was nine, and if the FBI wants to dig up evidence that I am not always sweet and saintly, or even sane, all they need to do is seize my private papers. In fact, just to tantalize them, here’s a page from 1965:

(The FBI might like to know why my older brother, who was 18 at the time, was coming home at two AM and entering the house through a third story window.)

I think it might do the FBI some good if they were forced to read my writing. All 60 years’ worth. If my poetry didn’t make them more sensitive, it might gag them, and either would be better than their current state.

But as far as your private papers are concerned, they are nobody’s business but your own. The U S Constitution defends your right to work things out in your own time and in your own way, and anyone who wants to limit or infringe upon that liberty can go take a flying leap.

FLEDGLINGS

Some of the most constructive time I spend with small children at my Childcare is time that is not “organized”. It has no specific “curriculum” other than “hanging out”. Basically, the kids just tag along as I potter about doing chores in my usual disorganized manner. Sometimes they help me, but usually not.

I tend to be hit by a non-stop stream of questions, and sometimes I answer them seriously, and sometimes with an absurd answer, and sometimes with an answer that becomes so long and elaborate that the children start drifting away.

As I potter about I often stop to pull a few random weeds, and each time a child will ask “What are you doing?” After answering, “pulling a few random weeds” the first hundred times, during the early days of the Childcare over a decade ago, I got a bit fed up, and began answering in a spurious manner, just to entertain myself by watching how the children responded. For example, I might answer, “making a fudge cookie.” Some children would look at me with owlish innocence, while others would think a bit and then a slow smile would spread across their faces and they’d exclaim, “You’re fooling us!”

Rather than slowing the onslaught of dumb questions, giving facetious answers increased the questions, because the kids liked some of the absurd answers I’d come up with. And I confess I rather liked it myself. It could make dull weeding a time of jocular hilarity, if I stated that I pulled a certain weed because it had magic powers and could turn my dog into an elephant. Sometimes we’d even sidetrack over to the dog to see if the herb worked. When it didn’t, I’d scratch my head and say, “That’s odd. Elephants look just like dogs, today.”

Of course, I had to take care to judge the nature of the child. Some children were totally trusting, and I’d need to make sure they knew I was joking, or they’d be misinformed. One time I misinformed a gullible child without intending to, and he came in one morning and folded his arms and greeted me with the challenging statement, “My Dad says there’s no such thing as walking trees.” Other children were simply serious by nature and didn’t like jokes. However, I was usually surprised by the adroit ability children had (and have) to enter into nonsense. The world of make-believe is second nature for many children.

My wife didn’t always approve of my ability to get children “stirred up”, because she felt I was not so good at getting them to be serious again. I disagreed, but she said my way of getting things back under control involved too much growling.

Anyway, after more than a decade just hanging out with the kids, (and getting paid for it), I am very certain children absorb like sponges, when they hang out with pottering old men. They are not merely learning a slew of factoids but are learning social skills such as how to tell a joke, and how to challenge a person who may be pulling their leg. Maybe they learn how to spot a liar, which is unfortunately an important skill to have in this fallen, modern world. Perhaps most important of all, they, by being outside so much with a person who loves the outdoors, learn how complex and amazing nature is. The green things are more than “plants” and the wiggly things are more than “bugs.” “Plants” and “bugs” turn from two nouns to a hundred interacting species, and the kids get to increase their vocabulary by a hundred in a single summer.

Some might say all this could be done by watching videos indoors, but there is no substitute for hands-on experience. Also, there is no predicting how the children will react to the so-called curriculum of a setting, both individually and as a group. Two years ago, I could not keep the kids away from the garden’s patch of edible podded peas; this year the children were relatively indifferent, only occasionally munching a few. In like manner, most kids don’t mind watching me pick the potato bugs from the potatoes, but dislike actually touching the bugs, especially the slimy larvae, and they are in no hurry to help me. Yet there was one particular boy who just loved waging war on potato bugs. He would plead with me to be allowed to do the job. I’d set him to it, and he’d easily spend an happy hour in the sunshine, moving down the long row meticulously removing the bugs.

Some tasks, such as digging the potatoes, are always a hit, and I have to ration the plants to make sure everyone gets a turn experiencing the delight of digging up a treasure:

So, I suppose “digging potatoes” could count as an official “curriculum”, and as something you could put down on paper in the manner bureaucrats prefer, as a scheduled “activity” of the Childcare, but to me that seems more like an exception than a rule.

For example, in the process of seeing the noun “bird” divide into numerous species the kids tend to scrutinize various birds and see things that simply can’t be matched by videos. This is not to say that I might not turn to a YouTube video to let the kids hear a particular birdsong when that particular bird is refusing to sing, but there is nothing like the real thing.

The other day it was very hot and humid, and I sought out the deepest shade I could find with a cluster of grouchy small girls. I had only a short time before they could rush to the pool, and then their petulance would be cured, but sometimes twenty minutes can seem an eternity. It was while we were in the deep shade that I pointed out a catbird. Catbirds are very curious, investigative birds, and, though they always try to always keep a bough or cluster of leaves between you and them, they can come quite close as they investigate what we humans are up to. This bird came close enough to distract the girls from their crabbiness. They exclaimed it was “practically tame”, and then, because I said it was called a catbird because it had a squeaky, scratchy caw something like a cat’s meow, all the girls started meowing to the bird. I said, “Not like that; more like this,” and did my best rendition of a catbird’s meow. All the girls began copying me and then, with perfect timing, the catbird hopped onto a nearby twig and showed us how to meow properly. All the girls looked utterly amazed, looking at each other with eyes round as owls, and then burst into gleeful laughter.

That can’t be matched by a video, though I’ll try:

An even better example involved an eastern phoebe.

Photo Credit: Jill Staake Birds&Blooms

We have several families of phoebes nesting in outbuildings around the farm, and I likely have bored the older boys pointing them out as they hop about in my garden, praising phoebes for eating so many bugs. Phoebe have a very distinctive way of twitching their tails up and down as they sit on a fencepost, and also an interesting way of sometimes fluffing the feathers on top of their heads into a small crest, and I’ve likely bored the boys pointing that out as well.

I had a group of particularly jaded five-, six- and seven-year-old boys around me one hot morning last week. I wasn’t actually “on the schedule”, but I could see that they were giving a member of my staff trouble as she tried to organize the smaller children for a hike. All the children must be swabbed with repellant and sunscreen, and mischievous boys can complicate the process, so I asked them if they’d like to come in the garden and see the first ripe broccoli and cauliflower. They always seem eager to hang out with me (if not to help), so they came over, and a few accepted samples of broccoli, while some announced they hated broccoli. I rambled away in my gravelly voice, saying some people have tastebuds that that taste the bitterness in broccoli, while others don’t, and then telling the old joke about the difference between green broccoli and green boogers being that small children won’t eat broccoli, and then pointed out a phoebe hopping in the dirt down at the end of the row. I was moving on to saying broccoli was in the cabbage family, and I was likely boring the boys by pointing how the nearby cabbage and cauliflower and Brussel sprouts all looked the same, when suddenly the phoebe began flying towards us.

The bird flew clumsily and erratically, bumping into plants on either side. My first thought was that it must be sick, perhaps with the dreaded avian ‘flu, but I had no time to talk, for the bird swooped up and came to an awkward landing directly on top of one of the boy’s baseball cap. Only then did I say, “It is a fledgling. Just learning to fly.”

Meanwhile the fledgling was looking about with a rather alarmed expression. You could almost hear it thinking, “Holy crap! Look where I landed.” Then it bolted, flying straight into the side of an above-ground-pool and crashing to the ground. The boys rushed over and formed a circle around the bird as I said, “Don’t touch it! Let’s see what it will do!”

The bird seemed to be shaking off the effects of a concussion (do birds hear birdies?) and then it looked up at all the faces looking down, and again you could imagine it thinking “Holy Crap!” It panicked and shot straight up around fifteen feet, before it wobbled away to the peak of the roof of a nearby shed. The boys were all laughing and commenting when another phoebe came gracefully flitting over and landed by the first phoebe’s side. Without any prompting from me one of the boys exclaimed, “It’s his mother!” whereupon all the other boys began cheering, “It’s the mother! It’s the mother!” almost like they were spectators at a horse race. Then a staff member called them off to hike, and they rushed away to tell her what they had seen.

I knew I could claim no credit for “showing” the boys anything, and just looked up to the sky and was thankful. It’s amazing what you can see by doing nothing.

Off the beaten path long trampled by those
Thirsting for fortune and hungry for fame
I sit by myself and twirl summer's rose
And wonder if being unknown is a shame.
I don't make fame queen, nor the dollar king,
But am like a boy who has escaped school,
And classmate's shaming, and teacher's hollering.
I forget how it feels to feel like a fool.
I just bask in sunshine like it is a bath
Washing away aches of schooling's cruel wrath.
Though I'm just sitting I progress a path
Which adds up to healing. You do the math.
Soon bells will toll, and they'll resume classes
But I'll not be schooled by roomfuls of asses.