Thursday, November 5, 2015

Patti Smith’s M Train – Book Review

She gives us a hint of the unwritable place she seeks to share in the opening pages

“It’s not so easy writing about nothing….”
“If only I had nothing to say…”

But soon enough, the words begin to circle round, pointing toward…something…
Even the simpler statements, the grass on the side of the track, make one slow down:

“…a rusting trough ornamented with a necklace of horseflies slung above the last dregs of its stagnant water”

One of the things I have known is that the approach to certain things, like grief, sometimes like redemption, is often on a spiral road. One travels so far and then is pulled back again; perhaps the next time one pierces a bit deeper; that spiral road allows us to proceed and stay alive, to remain who we are.
Patti Smith gives us a spiral, an approach that cannot be two dimensional or three dimensional or even four dimensional; so-called Time and space are still limiting the most poignant and truthful gifts one may give or receive.

Of her son, on the beach, and Fred (before his death), somewhere in the skies, flying:

“--do you think he can see us?”
“--He always sees us, my boy”

Many single lines, couplets, descriptions, will stay with you…

Pain yields to wisdom in an open heart

She writes; in the last 2 lines of a poem
“I saw my love return to God
I saw things as they are”

“Shard by shard we are released from the tyranny of so-called time…”

The book can be, at another reading, a winding compendium of references, a sometimes smooth, sometimes jaggedy 3d roadmap of a trail of writing, of poetry, iconoclastic and more. —one is constrained to go ahead and look up a quick “image of the forlorn poet Paul Verlaine in his overcoat, slumped before a glass of absinthe”…  one could get sidetracked by explorations of the decadent pits of jean genet to the astonished air of Rimbaud--  but before long, you will have 12 windows open in your notebook and you realize, there is no need to enjoy exploring the metaphors and micro and macro heads of pins—save that for another reading and
for now, go ahead and follow the track, float on down the river of nothing which is filled with something; you won’t realize til near the end that you have become like her house companions:

“Then I washed, put on clean versions of what I was already wearing, grabbed my notebook, and hurried downstairs, the cats trailing after me, finally recognizing my habits as their own.”

I have much more about this book.
But—I wanted to say, just get it and read it, instead of this review.

This is actually the Opening paragraph of this post:
(and by “review” I mean, here are some arrows to  your writer’s heart, and some portal nuggets to rouse you…
I don’t know what it would be like to read this book without having had patti smith, her poetry her music her band, as a muse in the late 70’s and onward.
Everything builds and adds like sandcastles? Or, everywhere and everywhen *, slowly passes through again…
Well, I simply say before leaving that, if you can, stand and read the introduction; find the book on a shelf while it is fresh and glowing and stand and read the introduction. Then you will read the first chapter. Then you will buy the book.

 you will find your corner and begin to read again.

When I saw the patti smith group in Kansas city at the west end, )small venue) a funny thing happened. Two funny things, and one was between patti and those of us in the audience in the front ten rows….
I will add it here after my farm chores.




and the feeling is of slink and of melting low
hears but has no sound
sees but can't be found

and catslide is oh yes
and the feeling is of vapor slowly turning inside out

shares a grain with every thing
wind and love, fire, rain

everywhere and everywhen  *
slowly passes through again

Country road in the flint hills mary todd

Konza in prayer mary todd


more patti smith here

willima blake poem:


"Where there were deserts 
I saw fountains 
like cream the waters rise 
and we strolled there together 
with none to laugh or criticize 
and the leopard 
and the lamb 
lay together truly bound ..."
--People have the power

Vultures and Light redux

Goodbye to all the summer birds who keep things clean...

Hello to the winter crows!

This job--
to keep things clean and pretty.
Full of death and decay.
Eating corruption.
The face
of a vulture is red and seems sad.
I see them near my home, working hard.
What grace must Fill them!
Doing the work that never ends.
 Doing the work no one speaks of
like my beautiful grandmothers.
Like your beautiful grandmothers.
No pretty Golden Beaks, no Snowy White headfeathers.
No eating food Alive.
The sad eyes are not really the eyes.
The humble face on the regal body
humbles me.

more vultures close ups HERE and HERE and HERE and also HERE

quit complaining oh you thought i'd be pretty if i had head feathers and a yellow beak and ate my food ALIVE? (that's actually kind of cruel, eh?doing the work i was created for. taking care of this task is humbling.

vultures by mary todd

by mary todd

More VulturesHERE
latest close-ups HERE
by mary todd

by mary todd

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Koko the Sign-Languaged Gorilla: Kittens and Paintings and Such... Happy Birthday Sweetest Gorillas (Stop the Slaughter, Congo!)

Koko was sad when told that Robin Williams, an acquaintance of hers, had died....What? was TOLD? Yes, Koko knows sign language.  (video below)...
Apparently, Koko had become despondent over the death of a life-long friend. Robin Williams managed to make her laugh for the first time in 6 months.

When i was young,
 i learned about Koko. It was a fabulous thing. (Thank you, wise teachers...)
This Gorilla painted pictures of things she liked!
This is a picture of a dog who ran and played with her:

She picked out out prospective mating partners from videos, like a dating site...
She ran and played with kittens and dogs, forming interspecies relationships -- other than her relationships with us humans.
Her own pet kitten --tailless--
she named All Ball.


 Here she is playing with her own little kitten pet.
 there is deep emotional moment here.

Robin Williams and Koko

Koko made the news tonight.

Here is the story and video of Koko adopting two kittens.

many pics here

Now. If you can bear it-- watch this very short video of what gorillas do to us, and what we do to gorillas.

 long version here

Baby Mountain Gorilla

Endangered Silverback Gorillas

One of the most heartbreaking and horrifying acts committed by humans
 is the torture or killing of 
sentient beings. 
Animals such as elephants, horses, all the higher mammals--, who have memories, emotions, families---
that we can treat them so despicably is beyond bearing at times. That we treat even the lower animals poorly reflects on us as well. We all walk about manifesting ourselves. ( The one minute at the end of The Urban Gorilla above--especially in light of the first minute--shows very clearly that the human being, capable of the highest good, is also capable of the most deplorable evil. )

However, to treat such tender and loving animals as, say, elephants, who exhibit deep family ties, who mourn their dead, who are traumatized by loss-- as if we are monsters, and they are nothing--or really, as if they are our hated enemies!
 --surely will be one of our greatest shames we will bear before God the Creator Almighty, when all things are bathed in Light.

This is merely a prelude to ask you to look at the destruction of Gorillas in the Congo. Yes, The Congo is surely in the crosshairs of Satan:

Nonetheless, if you will spend two minutes researching what happens to gorillas there you will drop to your knees and pray for ....something.  Peace?  Destruction?
That all things be made new...

You can start here:

Destruction of the Giants

 If you google:, Congo Gorilla Slaughter  and hit Images, you will weep for a long time.

The situation with elephants HERE:

Here is a large collection of respect for animal life quotes, with some wonderful pictures.

We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form. ~William Ralph Inge, Outspoken Essays, 1922 

Mahatma Gandhi: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated"

From beasts we scorn as soulless, In forest, field and den, The cry goes up to witness The soullessness of men. ~M. Frida Hartley

more respect for life

puppy: Here       Whales: HERE


Humans HERE


Nature and Prayer

Remedy for sadness...

geese in nightclouds mary todd

prairie country road mary todd

eagle tree at sunrise mary todd

sunset in the flinthills mary todd

clouds and Kansa river click HERE 


e.e.cummings love poems

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

somewhere i have never travelled by e.e. cummings

speaking of love(of
which Who knows the
meaning;or how dreaming

if your heart's mind)i
guess a grassblade
Thinks beyond or
around(as poems are

made)Our picking it. this
caress that laugh
both quickly signify
life's only half(through

deep weather then
or none let's feel
all)mind in mind flesh
In flesh succeeding disappear
; e. e. cummings

Monday, October 26, 2015

Planned Parenthood Video: Doctor wants to harvest intact heads of human babies

--In order to harvest human brain.

How insane, how ghoulish does this have to be before people wake up?????

"My aim is usually to get the specimens out pretty intact," says Dermish, who said she sometimes uses ultrasound guidance to convert a 2nd-trimester fetus to a feet-first breech presentation: "Especially the 20-weekers are a lot harder versus the 18-weekers, so at that point I'll switch to breech."
Links, summary and all video summaries HERE 

watch just the first 20 seconds, the matter of factness....

they laugh at 5 minutes--
it is in regard to her having "something to shoot for"-- trying to get a 22 week old out intact enough to have the whole body.

in this current video, they laugh at trying to get the fetus out intact by turning it breech. watch from 4:55 for one minute and you will see evidence of another felony. Three other crimes being systematically committed are outlined here: 

Why defund?  

all videos

Animals in costume: Halloween funnies redux

Animals are beautiful when not dressed up, and crack us up when they are.

(right before they kill us.)

More halloween click HERE and also click HERE

Mama and baby polar bear

thanksgiving buds

furious halloween bloodhound

alligator eats dog for first prize no doubt

Eastern Boston Terrier

you will die for this. i did not need more cowbell

Willeigh Limekittay, always fun.

The U.S.Senate: Most distinguished gathering in the-

 oh never mind.

Canz u tel who am I?

Click on Pics to EnlargE

An email recieved:
"The evolution of teaching Mathematics....

Math 1950-2005
Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The counter girl took my $2 and I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried. Why do I tell you this?
Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:
1. Teaching Math In 1950
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

2. Teaching Math In 1960
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?
3. Teaching Math In 1970
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Math In 1980
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Math In 1990
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers.)


Enjoy the day...