Mamas and Babies

Having brown-skinned babies taken from their mamas breaks my heart.  There is, however, something to consider.  These parents broke the law.  Every day native-born Americans are jailed and imprisoned.  Their children become wards of the state.  It is inaccurate and unfair to brand all these folks “unfit parents.”  Many if not most are good-enough parents who, like the illegal immegrant parents, broke the law.

Balsa-wood Gliders

I love little balsa-wood gliders,
the kind we used to buy for a nickel
and now cost a quarter
or fifty cents.

It seems like magic when they
pause in the air
and dive
and swoop
and glide
and settle silently on the grass
like a leaf
or a feather.

Little balsa-wood gliders make me feel very good inside.

I am very glad God made
little balsa-wood gliders
and air
to glide in
and kids
to throw them.





Putin’s Man

For invading and annexing Crimea Russia was kicked out of the “Group of Eight” leaving the “G8” the “G7”: Canada, France, Germany,  Italy, Japan, The United Kingdom, and The United States, countries who account for two-thirds of net global financial worth.  In his latest instance of siding with Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump calls for Russia’s reinstatement into this body.

Intelligence agencies and Congress are convinced Putin worked to engineer Trump’s election.  Donald disagrees.  If Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is a “Witch Hunt” why waste time and energy obsessing and trying to kill it?  President Trump calls an American exercising his right peaceably to protest a “son of a bitch,” but says not a negative word, not a single negative word, against a leader who murders opponents, who rigs his own and meddles in American elections?

Amicable relations between individuals and nations are always good.  I wonder, however, at the motive behind President Trump’s repeatedly sucking-up to an off-again on-again adversary while sometimes rebuffing centuries-long allies?

Exotics of international finance and relations aside, could our President’s defense of Vladimir Putin have more prosaic roots?  Given Donald Trump’s financial wheeling-and-dealing, confessed and alleged sexual shenanigans, paying $130,000 to a porn star, visits to Russian, and given that Moscow bedrooms may have eyes, I wonder?  Does the Dictator in the Kremlin have the goods on Our Guy in the Whitehouse?

Of course Putin may have no leverage whatsoever with Trump.  Leverage or not, the fundamental questions is: In America’s 2016 Main Event why did Russia’s Heavyweight Champion choose to sit in Trump’s corner?  Simple.  Vladimir knows among seasoned punchers and counter-punchers in the International Arena Donald’s a Lightweight.  Photos of “Arab Spring” bouts taped to his locker room mirror, Vladimir Putin is acutely aware that matched toe-to-toe Hill and Bill’s tag team would take him down.

Fighting Gravity

Karen says write something interesting, something people might read.  I have an idea.  Don’t know if it’s what my Editor and Darlin’ has in mind.

At age 81 I’ve become aware how much energy it takes just standing up, moving.  As a boy on the farm I hauled hay, shoveled ditch, pitched manure, climbed trees, walked, and ran a lot!  I was the fastest kid in South Emery High School.  A land surveyor I hiked Nevada and Utah deserts, climbed Alaska mountains and slogged through swamps and tundra.  If you’ve not walked over tundra, imagine hiking miles on mattresses.  In middle age I took up running.  Over thirty years I jogged thirty thousand miles, ran over 160 races including 7 marathons.  Today just plodding for a mile takes grim determination.  I’ve been tired, even exhausted, but given virtually no thought to a major cause of my fatigue.

When I’m not lying down I’m fighting gravity.  It is odd that only recently I finally confronted the culprit, the ubiquitous force tugging at my heels.  Of course I knew about gravity, experienced it, but real appreciation was academic, theoretical.  Curiously, at last looking the beast in the eye raises significant issues heretofore ignored or overlooked.

Back to theory for a moment, Albert Einstein said gravity is matter bending space.  When I don’t tighten my belt and my britches fall to my knees, it’s matter bending space.  Sure Albert.  Right.

In the fight against gravity sitting ranks next best to lying–more on lying later.  We say “sit down.”  We sit.  “Down” is superfluous.  Same for “sit up.”  Don’t need the “up.”  Except for kids.  Kids sit on their knees, one leg, one cheek, they slouch.  Parents and teachers order kids to “sit up.”  Adults slouch.  I never heard an adult told to “sit up.”

“Stand up.”  Here again no need for “up.”  If we stand it’s up.  Except for the military.  When a military maneuver ends the troops “stand down.”  As opposed to “stand up” I suppose.  But they’re still standing, except those who lie down.  It’s a military thing.

When I lie down I don’t fight against gravity.  Which brings me again to the up and down business.  I lie.  No need for “down.”  After countless boring hours in high school and college English, friend Phil explained lie and lay.  When I “lie” I place my body in a supine position.  I “lay” an object on a table; a chicken “lays” an egg.  Phil pointed out, however, that when I place the soft material from between a goose’s feathers and skin on a table I in fact “lay down.”  Understanding even a small piece of this lie, lay business I feel kind of smug.

You can “lay over,” but it’s not about kids or the military.  If weather or terrorists close LaGuardia your flight may “lay over” in Gander, Newfoundland–Gander, I like that name; reminds me of laying down.–  But why “lay over”?  Why not “lay up” or “lie down” in Gander?  Maybe its “lay over” because the pilot lays the aircraft on the tarmac.  Passengers and crew may spend a night “lying”–not “laying”–in a Gander hotel bed.  I heard “lay up”; don’t recall where.

I get side-tracked, better yet bogged down, by what my Harbrace College Handbook calls “appropriate form of the verb.”  Seven pages devoted to that mind-numbing lay, lie, laid, lying laying, sit, set, sat, sitting, setting business.  I’d really like to understand, but just seeing it my eyes want to cross.  I pity the poor folks who have to think about and write it down.  After passing a fifth grade grammar test Grandson Logan said, “Now I want to get that out of my mind as fast as I can.”  From the mouths of babes!

Fighting against gravity raises the business of beds, and it is business, Big Business!  Any evening on TV I see up to three or four bed/mattress ads: Mattress World, Bed Warehouse, BedMart, Tempur-Pedic, Sleep Number, not to mention JC Penney, Sears, Walmart, Costco, and dozens of other retailers.

There are couches, futons, and floors but mostly we sleep on beds.  Most spend a third of our life asleep.  It’s curious that despite buying, sleeping, and making love in them we give little thought or appreciation to beds.  Habitat is defined by beds.  A house without bedrooms is not a home.  Apartments have one, two, three, or more, and every bedroom has at least one bed.  Hospitals, jails, prisons, and hotels are defined by their numbers of beds.  Over a dozen Las Vegas hotels have thousands of rooms, and every room has one or more beds.  In America beds probably outnumber automobiles, even guns!  Consider the number of beds in Paris, London, Singapore, Tokyo.  Developed countries may have more beds than people.

The variety of beds is easily overlooked: twin, double, queen-size, king-size, bunk, rollaway, trundle, Murphy, sofa-beds, hide-a-beds.  Hammocks?  Hammocks are too uncomfortable for sleep, maybe a nap.   A nap is not really sleep.

On average we sleep seven to nine hours.  If I don’t get eight I feel hung-over, like when I used to get drunk.  It’s said President Trump gets something like six hour sleep.  President Trump needs more sleep.

Folks who travel: politicians, salespersons, entertainers, flight crews must sleep in many different beds.  Do they get used to it?  Do they wake rested?  In six months how many different beds does President Trump sleep in?

I just spent five nights in motel and relatives’ beds.  They were okay, but not my bed.  I love my bed.  I couldn’t be a politician, salesperson, entertainer, or in a flight crew.  Fighting against gravity I need sleep.