November 28th, 2007

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My poem of the morning -



I open my blinds.

I need to see out into the day.

What is happening?

All seems still in this moment, still gray.


The only bird is in my imagination.

The robins have not yet found the ripe, red berries,

so I remember other years and see them tipsy

on juice.


When Mitchell died, I saw a shooting star.

He had said he would communicate that way.

His favorite color was yellow, and Elaine met a snake,

and wrapped a huge, yellow python around her neck.


My mother honked the car horn when she died,

broke a glass egg.

A female cardinal sat on the feeder, looked in

and watched me with telling eyes. 


Now the sun hits the top of the trees.

They straighten and rise.


Like that, death to life, contemplation to activity,

energy grasped like a tail, brought round


to the mouth

and sucked


like a breast.  Like that, we are lit like a candle,

allowed to glow, then, blown out, until one day,

the wax is a pool that holds us,

the candles of lifetimes of years, one.


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Jane's Poem of the Morning!!

I put the Pocket Book of Verse in the bathroom
where I can hear those voices that came before
shape the warm moist air, rebound around the tiled
walls, my aloneness with them guaranteed.
Now, like brushing teeth and showering and shitting
poetry is with me every morning its marbled tongues
currying the worn edges of my fears to smoothness
loosening my jaw, rounding out my breath
before I go to meet the next new day born of this old stone.  

    - Jane Flint

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equal under the law -

When one group is singled out as having less rights than other groups, then we all are in trouble.  Here is an editorial from the NY Times today on "an assault on the poor."

Editorial from the NY Times;

A Loss for Privacy Rights

Published: November 28, 2007

The Constitution protects individuals against unreasonable searches, but for this protection to have practical meaning, the courts must enforce it. This week, the Supreme Court let stand a disturbing ruling out of California that allows law enforcement to barge into people’s homes without a warrant. The case has not prompted much outrage, perhaps because the people whose privacy is being invaded are welfare recipients, but it is a serious setback for the privacy rights of all Americans.

The program does not meet the standards set out by the Fourth Amendment. For a search to be reasonable, there generally must be some kind of individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. These searches are done in the homes of people who have merely applied for welfare and have done nothing to arouse suspicion.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, rejected a challenge brought by welfare recipients. In ruling that the program does not violate the Constitution, the majority made the bizarre assertion that the home visits are not “searches.”

The Supreme Court has long held that when the government intrudes on a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy, it is a search for purposes of the Fourth Amendment. It is a fun-house mirrors version of constitutional analysis for a court to say that government agents are not conducting a search when they show up unannounced in a person’s home and rifle through her bedroom dresser.

Judge Harry Pregerson, writing for himself and six other Ninth Circuit judges who voted to reconsider the case, got it right. The majority decision upholding Project 100%, Judge Pregerson wrote, “strikes an unprecedented blow at the core of Fourth Amendment protections.” These dissenters rightly dismissed the majority’s assertion that the home visits were voluntary, noting that welfare applicants were not told they could withhold consent, and that they risked dire consequences if they resisted.

The dissenting judges called the case “an assault on the poor,” which it is. It would be a mistake, however, to take consolation in the fact that only poor people’s privacy rights were at stake. When the government is allowed to show up unannounced without a warrant and search people’s homes, it is bad news for all of us.

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Happiness -

I am wearing a necklace today that is engraved with the last stanza of this poem.   They are restful words to wear around my neck today.

                                                                    So Much Happiness

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
A wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
Something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn't need you to hold it down.
It doesn't need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
And disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
And now live over a quarry of noise and dust
Cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
It too could wake up filled with possibilities
Of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
And love even the floor which needs to be swept,
The soiled linens and scratched records….

Since there is no place large enough
To contain so much happiness,
You shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
Into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
For the moon, but continues to hold it, and to share it,
And in that way, be known.

~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~




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Each day -

"If we fail to nourish our souls, they wither, and without soul, life ceases to have meaning.... The creative process shrivels in the absence of continual dialogue with the soul. And creativity is what makes life worth living."

             - Marion Woodman