Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Write a Book a Year - A Poem by Deborah Digges

Flowers in the High DesertImage by cleopatra69 via Flickr

Well the wild ride into the earth was thrilling,
really, scared as I was and torn and sore.
I say what other woman could have managed it?
My life before then
picking flowers against my destiny
what glance, what meeting,
who was watching, what we don't know we know,
the hour we chose and we are chosen.
And suddenly the dead my mission,
the dark my mission.
He'd find me pounding out the hours.
Spring is for women, spring clawing at our hearts.
We are pulled forward by our hair
to be anointed in the barren garden.
I want the dark back, the bloody well of it,
my face before the fire,
or lie alone on the cold stone and find a way
to sleep awhile, wake clear and wander.

Deborah Digges took her own life on April 10, 2009. This poem — a reminder that the call to poetry is powerful beyond measure — appears in her newly published posthumous collection, The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

I Am Sorry He Raped Me - by Patty Mooney

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...Image via Wikipedia

From time to time you come across completely amazing and ridiculous items in the news. This one forced me to take a very deep breath and feel glad that my own story had not headed in this direction. More on that later.

Reporter, Roxann MtJoy penned this piece, "Teenager Forced to Apologize to Her Church for Being Raped" on June 2nd at

Teenager Forced to Apologize to Her Church for Being Raped

Here's an excerpt that should intrigue you enough to check out the rest of the story:

In 1997, 15-year-old Tina Anderson became pregnant after being raped repeatedly by an older man she knew from church. Shockingly, when her pastor found out, he forced her to apologize in front of the entire congregation in Concord, New Hampshire, and then promptly helped whisk her away to live in Colorado.

I have often shaken my head upon learning of such stories coming from Muslim countries. A woman "gets herself raped" and then is either persecuted or honor-killed. But New Hampshire?

I've long thought that the current course we all find ourselves upon - of global environmental maladies, plummeting economies, and plain old far-flung unhappiness, could be turned around on a dime, if we all simply began honoring the source of all of us - the female, the womb, the Mother. If we could just take a deep breath and realize that we all emerged from the depths of Mother's vortex, and feel grateful about that, and acknowledge our gratitude to that source, we would be better for it.

As it is, the history of women has all been obliterated from past tomes in favor of male conquests. The result? The Yang heavily outweighs the Yin. The world is out of balance. I mean, come on, it took until 1920 when American women could finally cast a ballot in the voting box, and we have never had a female President here in the USA. The products of the most brilliant minds have been lost to all of time, simply because they were female. Look up Hypatia on Google, and see how this philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and inventor from Alexandria (born in late AD 300's) was torn limb from limb by a rabid Christian mob. Why? For no other reason than because she was a woman who "flaunted" her power. Religion has been the source of much discomfort for humanity. I think this could be because those involved in extreme religions fail to practice spirituality. Ironic, isn't it?

In my own case, I was raped at the age of 18 while on a first-time "date" with a guy who was a cook at the Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit where I'd gone to lunch while working as an 18-year-old temp in a law office . His name was Vasilios. After abusing me in his squalid apartment on the west side of Detroit, he dropped me off on the highway where I found my way to a bar that was just closing. The barkeep let me use the phone to telephone the police who took me to their station and commenced another type of rape with a line of questions like "Do you have anal sex" and "How many men have you had sex with?" After they absconded with my panties for evidence they processed me at a nearby hospital where a woman lay moaning on a guerney. I realized then that I was fortunate in that I was not at death's door like that woman, and I was not in the mood to continue to be raped by the police. So I walked out of the hospital, jumped on the first bus I could find, and made my way home as the early morning sun began obliterating the shadows of night.

This was an era where there was no such thing as a cell phone. And the police had not bothered to call my parents. I don't even remember if I asked them to. My mother was waiting for me at the door. She took me in her arms immediately, and I cried and cried as everyone else in the house slept.

My mom consulted with a lawyer, and I had to relate the whole damn story again. He didn't think I had a case, because I was not hurt or dead, and the rapist had no weapon (other than being a male twice my size). The case dead-ended there, and the pain began to relentlessly haunt me. This would continue for many years. I soon left Michigan for California.

I processed my grief, my self-loathing, my clouded visions of my future. It took me a long time. But I realized my self-worth and uncovered the happy inner spirit that had once been mine, as a child, when my dad used to call me "Smiley." I regained it to achieve the dream I had always harbored, to be a writer living with my soulmate by the sea. Which is who I am.

I also have this streak of righteousness that probably comes from being a daughter of Illinois, a daughter of Lincoln, and a daughter of my righteous father, Joseph Edmund Mooney. From the day I defended my little brother against two bullies (much to my brother's embarrassment), I feel I was destined to defend the rights of those who are beleaguered by a segment of society for whatever reason: the gays, the homeless, homeless veterans, women, black people, brown people, peaceful people, and the latest flavor is Gulf people.

When will we all get that as my friend, "The Eggman" Sherrill, used to say, "The only thing separating me from you is our skin." We are one. When we help others, we are helping ourselves.

These reflections come upon the threshold of my 55th birthday. The numbers are pretty interesting. Born in 1955, and turn 55 in 2010. I'm sure it means something and whatever it is, I'm ready for the fun of it.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Black Black Blood

About two weeks ago, a musician who lives in St. Augustine, Florida, by the name of Katherine Archer, sent me a message after she discovered my blog. She had come across my blog post, "BP is Blocking Photos of Dead Wildlife." She sent me this message:

I somehow ran across ur blog while trying to find the REAL news, the pics etc. of dying wildlife. I live in Florida. I can tell you, I am not just upset and depressed over this, I'm scared. I'm a huge manatee and wildlife advocate. I am weary from lack of sleep, as many of my friends are--it's looming out there, heavy on our hearts and minds. To keep myself from completely losing it, I wrote a song about it and am pulling pics for a slideshow to go with it. It's getting wrapped up in the studio this week. I'd like to send you a copy when it's done. It's called Black Blood. I want to connect with anyone and everyone who can help get this song out there, who can use the song, who can help get the message out that our beloved gulf is dying. We need help. I want to connect with a non for profit, make the song downloadable on itunes, raise some money, consciousness, tempers--raise the roof. I want the real footage to get out there. There has to be a way. BP has no right. How dare they. How dare our government allow it.

How could I ignore her heartfelt plea? I immediately called her on the phone. She and I talked for a long time. Then she sent me her song, and I began editing a music video that very afternoon. This, my beloved blog pals, is version ten, after considerable back-and-forth critiquing and decision-making. Please take a look, tell us how you like it, and distribute widely.

BP does not want us to know the full extent of their "mistake." I've read several reports of reporters being told to stop taking photographs and/or video footage, or risk getting arrested. We all need to know what we're facing so that we can be prepared for what comes next, whatever that may be. I have a feeling this going to go global as the oil slick heads up our eastern seaboard and into European seas.

It's a great song, and very catchy. Check it out.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Death Portraits - Macabre or Loving Art? - by Patty Mooney

Irish HearseImage by cleopatra69 via Flickr

Why are people so fearful of death? I often wonder why this is so. I mean, death is just a part of life. My feeling is that death is merely the return of the spirit to infinite bliss. Heaven and Hell exist right here on Earth, and it's up to each person to journey in either direction. Once you're dead, you are gone. No 72 virgins (or raisins, which is apparently the actual translation) awaiting suicide bombers. No Big Guy sitting on a fluffy white cloud. No Flames of Hell to singe the derriere of Dick Cheney. I do not expect my predecessors to be waiting up in some grand ballroom to greet me when I die. Nice thought, but we leave our human casings behind for someone else to dispose of, and that's that.

I appreciate the way the Mexican culture embraces death in their Dia de los Muertos. They celebrate death with little sugary treats and community-wide rituals. I think that's a healthy way to deal with it. If you can't evade it - and we all know you can't - then just embrace it.

My father recently passed, which is another reason I have recently been thinking about the topic of death. It so happens that our family participated in the Midwestern Catholic tradition of laying my dad's body out at a wake for friends and family, and then the following morning, at church. Some will poo-poo this idea as "primitive," "macabre" " or "gruesome." But how does the body become less beautiful when the spirit has vacated it? I think that my father left a handsome corpse, and placed this photo of him on Facebook where a friend of my sister left this comment:

I had to let you know how much I love the pictures of your family from your Dad's wake. You probably know that my family is in the funeral business and the "ritratto di morte" or death portraits used to be a regular occurance at funeral homes; a tradition I personally liked very much; I was very happy to see the "ritratto di morte" among Patty's photos. For me it is a finally cherished moment with loved ones; an ART that is rarely practiced today and missed by those of us who see the loving art of these final portraits. - Joanna G.

Joanna's mention of "ritratto di morte" led me to explore death portraits on Google. I came across this fascinating exhibition of death portraits by German photographer, Walter Schels, and his partner Beate Lakotta, on the Guardian. What's interesting about this exhibition is that there are "before" and "after" shots of each individual, who had been bed-bound at a nursing home where the German couple came to interview and photograph willing "subjects."

Study them for yourself, and see what kinds of changes you see in the "before" and "after" shots, and whether or not you find them beautiful.

Life Before Death - Photographs by Walter Schels and Beate Lakotta

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Steady There, Pardner! - by Michael O'Malley

no samples pleaseImage by lupinehorror via Flickr

I was taking care of a child at the local hospital who was in for poisoning related to ingestion of paint chips. Because of his condition he had to urinate directly into a container on ice. Out of dead sleep he started jumping up and down, "I have to pee now! I have to pee now!" I rushed into the room and lifted the container up, at the same time the little boy pulled down his pants. He was unable to control the flow and before he made it into the container he urinated all over my shirt...

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Friday, June 18, 2010

I Knew I Was Going to Live When I Saw You - by Lira

"I Knew I Was Going to Live When I Saw You" - by Lira the Amazing Pet Therapy Dog

The most amazing thing happened when Mom and I went to the hospital yesterday. When we entered one of the patients rooms a lady in her late sixties or early seventies was lying in her bed. Out her window you could see the Cascade mountain range even though it was a cloudy day. She said, Thank you for coming back. I hopped up into the chair beside her bed. I remembered her from last week but this time she was awake. I sat there patiently listening while she told my Mom her story.

She said last week she was unconscious while we visited with her husband for a bit. She said she didn’t really know how to explain it. She was emotional and tearing up. She could barely talk she was so choked up. We waited patiently. She said she was unconscious during the visit but that she saw Lira (that’s me) and that she knew she was going to live when she saw me. Mom said she got goose bumps. Mom asked her if she would like me to lie beside her. She said oh yes! I lay beside her and laid my head on her lap while she and Mom talked. She kept saying while she was gently petting my head that I knew I was going to live when I saw Lira. She kept saying thank you thank you thank you for coming back. It was a very spiritual experience.

When we left, her husband hurried down the hall to ask us if there was a way he could donate to pet therapy. Mom told him I was certified through Delta Society and gave him their card. Mom said we should share these stories so that people know the benefits of pet therapy, encourage other people to participate in pet therapy with their special pets and that hospitals all over the country might want to bring pet partners into their facilities.

I was so tired last night. For some reason I was especially tired but happy. Have a grrrrreat week everybody. Love Lira

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

America Sleeps Through Largest Ecological Disaster in History - by Patty K Mooney

Pelicans Covered In Oil, Grand IslandImage by MindfulWalker via Flickr

I have been thinking, dreaming and yes, even praying, about the Gulf oil spill. It weighs heavily on my mind, although there are things I do to offset the gloom-and-doom aspect of it. I ride my mountain bike. I eat good food. I socialize with friends. I love and am loved by my husband.

But underlying all that, is the thought that this may well be the end of life as we know it. Mother Earth will certainly survive it, but will we humans?

Remember 9/11, and how we were all glued to our television sets the day it happened, and for days afterward? Some of us for weeks and months, even. But there has comparatively been very little shared by our "trusty" news people about this event. BP, while sadly lacking in the ability to clean up their mess, is VERY good at preventing coverage of this horrendous debacle. So you have to be a stealthy radical activist to document what is going on over at America's "shining sea." And you have to be a sleuth to uncover stills and footage that show the mess in all its ugliness.

To call it a "spill" infers that someone knocked over a glass of wine with their elbow. This is far more than a spill. This is a volcanic eruption of incomprehensibly gigantic plumes of toxic black blood from the inner core of our Mother. How do we think this is okay? Or that anything is ever going to be okay again?

Each day when you think it can't get any worse, it does. I've heard that despite "nays" from the EPA, BP dropped a dispersant called Corexit(TM) onto the sludged waters of the gulf. Now, allow me to share a letter from Shane "The People's Chemist" Ellison...

We're in serious trouble.

The greatest environmental catastrophe in the history of the world has just gotten worse. More than 870,000 gallons of a chemical "dispersant" have been sprayed on the Gulf of Mexico. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned against using the man-made toxin. But, it went ignored. And the EPA is looking away. While oil is toxic at 11 parts per million (ppm), the dispersant Corexit(TM) is assuredly more toxic at around 2.6 ppm!

In a public statement on the oil spill, BP CEO Tony Hayward had no comment on the dispersant. Instead, he insisted that, "I just want my life back." It would appear that he is willing to go to any lengths to get it, even if others die. But, hopefully I am wrong. I know tens of thousands of BP workers are sacrificing their life to remedy the situation as fast and as safe as possible.

Rather than acknowledge the severity of the situation, many Americans are still asleep, or have stuffed their heads even further up their ass and changed the channel to The Kardashians. After all, this is the mentality that allowed us to get here: letting Corporate America run amuck, put us to sleep, make decisions for us, and then pillage our wallets, lifestyle and now our oceans. And with the use of toxic dispersants, we're now locked into generations of damage. I'll explain...

Corexit(TM) is the trade name for a chemical soup that is severely hazardous to all life. It was banned in the U.K. when scientists learned it robbed snails of their ability to climb on rocks, then later found it to be hazardous to our genetic map, DNA. But apparently, it's still O.K. in the US to spray the entire gulf with the powdery mess...Complaints of dizziness and nausea among coastal workers are piling in. Think anyone's listening? Not BP. They buy the mix by the truckload from a company run by one of their former executives.

Corexit makers imply it's as harmless as baby powder:

"Corexit is a simple blend of six well-established, safe ingredients that biodegrade, do not bioaccumulate and are commonly found in popular household products."

Feel safe? Then go back to watching Oprah and Dr. Oz suck media face.

The long term risks of Corexit are staggering. And where time is of the essence, today's limp health leaders do nothing to sound the alarm. Instead, we get more cheap sales copy about Vitamin D, fish oils, acai, and resveratrol...The last thing we need is more pills. To raise health, we need to know about the toxic onslaught that has buried us courtesy of modernization.

Facts be told, Corexit is carcinogenic, teratogenic and mutagenic. Let me translate: It's nasty shit, and it doesn't belong in our oceans.

As a carcinogen, it causes cancer. As a teratogen, it harms unborn children. As a mutagen, it scrambles DNA, thus causing the unborn children of today to pass on the damage via their DNA to their children for generations to come. Ponder that for just a minute or two...The Kardashians can wait, trust me here.

I have no doubt that the people of BP are caring, hard working people. And I have no doubt that unlike most of America, there is a core group of opinion leaders who are striving for resolve against insurmountable odds in the gulf. But these aren't the people making the decisions. It's the corporate Mad Men who have an undying "bromance" with their profit loving co-horts who are shielded from the public and the media.

To overcome the tyranny, let your voice be heard. forward this to your entire email list...Contact your local news expressing your concern. Call your state government. Votes matter here, and you can demand to know their position and what actions they are taking. Write a letter to the editor (2 simple paragraphs will suffice, copy whatever you need from this article). FaceBook it. Victory comes from demanding more. And as awareness of the toxic onslaught grows, so will your power.

Shane is an award winning organic chemist and author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures. He teaches people about natural medicine, but is not a shill. He is a perfect candidate for being "medicated to death" - according to psychiatry, but chooses living young instead. He has been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman's World, as well as Women's Health and appeared on Fox and NBC as a natural medicine advocate.
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Monday, June 14, 2010

A Van Like Any Other - by Dawn Diana Singleton

U.S. service station (1950s)Image via Wikipedia

So...last Friday I went to the local gas station to pump some gas. It was about 7:00am on my way to work. I went into the station to pay, told them the pump I was on, came outside and started pumping my gas. A man (boy) that looked to be about 20 years old was walking toward me and then stopped in and said..."Mam...that's my car you're pumping gas into"!!!!

OMG I could not believe it, however, it really was NOT my van, it was his van (the only thing in common with my van was that it was a van...not the same make/model, color...etc).

So pretty mortifying, it was kind of like falling and getting up and looking around to make sure no one saw what just happened!!!

Thank God he was getting regular gas and that he wanted at least $10 worth because that is where I was at when he came and stopped me!

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tag A Wolf. Get a Free Pizza and a Pitcher of Beer - by Patty Mooney

Gray wolf (Canis lupus).Image via Wikipedia

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read in the Natural Resources Defense Council's latest newsletter that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the guy who is supposed to be PROTECTING our natural resources, "carried out a Bush-era plan to strip wolves of their endangered species protections in two critical states: Idaho and Montana."

According to the article, "those states declared open season on wolves last fall, and despite attempts by NRDC, Earthjustice and other advocates to block the hunts in court, a gruesome killing season got underway. Predator hunters in Idaho organized a "derby," where shooters were allowed to use distress calls that mimicked the cries of an injured animal to lure wolves and other predators into firing range."

It gets more heartbreaking. 2009 "was a year of devastation unparalled in modern history: nearly one-third of the entire population in the region killed, more than 200 of them gunned down by hunters. Entire packs were wiped out, such as the Sage Creek pack that inhabited the Idaho/Montana border. Others were decimated, including Idaho's long-standing Basin Butte pack, once a favorite of wolf watchers, which lost seven members to aerial gunners. In all, more than 500 wolves died in 2009, a spree fueled by the sort of wanton cruelty that was expressed on a sign outside a restaurant in Idaho: "Tag a Wolf. Get a Free Pizza and a Pitcher of Beer."

Tag a Wolf. Get a Free Pizza and a Pitcher of Beer. Wow. What kind of a person shoots wolves from out of the sky, like somebody tagging goldfish in a fishbowl. Uh huh, that's real sportsmanship. When Senor Salazar looks at himself in the mirror, what sort of monster gazes back at him?

I know that people fear what they do not understand. But that urge to obliterate an endangered species for the fun of it? For a free pizza and a pitcher of beer? Incomprehensible.

Oblio was the family pet of my husband, his brother and mother. Oblio was half dog and half wolf. He was a loving, gentle pet whose spirit still roams around Mom's house. It's Oblio I thought about when I learned about the slaughter of American wolves. For shame, Idaho and Wyoming. May you choke on your free pizza and beer.


Join NRDC and other advocates in their petition to Secretary Salazar to reverse his decision before the next wolf hunt can begin.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

BP is Blocking Photos of Dead Wildlife - by Patty Mooney

Every thinking person has been horrified by the goings-on at the Gulf of Mexico - the impaling of Mother Earth with BP's oil rig has created the largest environmental disaster in history. We really have no idea what the long-term effects of this will be. When you tamper with a finely balanced ecosystem in a manner such as this, all bets are off.

Much as the Bush administration did not permit photographs of returning coffins from Iraq, so BP now is trying to keep photographs of affected wildlife hidden from the eyes of America. Out of sight, out of mind, correct? Laura Goldman writes the following in her June 5th article, "BP Tries to Block Photos of Dead Wildlife:"

For animal lovers, one of the most heartbreaking aspects of the Gulf spill is the oil-drenched wildlife washing up on shore. If you're too horrified to look at any photos, you're in luck — BP doesn't want you to see them.

As of Friday morning, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s tally of dead animals collected in the Gulf area was 527 birds, 235 sea turtles (six to nine times the average rate), and 30 mammals, including dolphins. Yesterday morning, the spill washed over Queen Bess Island (called “Bird Island” by locals), which is a habitat for Louisiana brown pelicans, the state bird that was once an endangered species. Forty-one of the birds were coated with oil, and that number is expected to rise.

Have you seen the terrible pictures of all this carnage? Neither have I. And neither has anyone else.

Read the rest of the story at

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Talking To My Father Whose Ashes Sit In A Closet And Listen - A Poem by Lisa Zaran

No Iraq WarImage by cleopatra69 via Flickr

I found this wonderful little poem while compiling quotes by female poets. It is always a lovely thing to find a new poet or writer whose work resonates with you. Because I am now custodian of about an ounce of my father's ashes which I keep in a decorated gourd/box, this poem gave me comfort.

Talking To My Father Whose Ashes Sit In A Closet And Listen
by Lisa Zaran

Death is not the final word.
Without ears, my father still listens,
still shrugs his shoulders
whenever I ask a question he doesn't want to answer.

I stand at the closet door, my hand on the knob,
my hip leaning against the frame and ask him
what does he think about the war in Iraq
and how does he feel about his oldest daughter
getting married to a man she met on the Internet.

Without eyes, my father still looks around.
He sees what I am trying to do, sees that I
have grown less passive with his passing,
understands my need for answers only he can provide.

I imagine him drawing a breath, sensing
his lungs once again filling with air, his thoughts ballooning.

Originally published in The Rose & Thorn, Summer 2004.
Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2004

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pitching the Perfect Game - by Patty Mooney

Cracker JacksImage by cleopatra69 via Flickr

Already, since the June 2nd baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians - a game that most Americans deem "perfect" for pitcher Armando Galarraga, thousands of people all over the Internet have registered their disgust with the umpire's call and the end status of the game. The umpire, Jim Joyce, admitted his call had been incorrect. But it's Baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig,who really stands in the way of Galarraga's perfect game, as Selig has stated he would not reverse the call. There's now a Facebook site called "Petition for MLB to score Armando Galarraga's game as a Perfect Game" which as I pen this has 30,608 members. I cannot help but think "Wow! Wouldn't it be nice to get those kinds of numbers for such things as our environmental disaster du jour, the Gulf oil spill, or raising awareness about homeless veterans, or pick any issue out of a very large hat. But I will resist going there now.

Instead, I will point out a few pieces of this story which contain some very interesting lessons for all of us.

First, if the game had been called "perfect" at the get-go, would Armando Galarraga have as many fans as he now has?

Secondly, one of Maya Angelou's quotes that I love is this: "I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights." To that list, I would add "a perfect game snatched away" and I would set an Armando Galarrago action figure on the mantle right next to one of Roberto Clemente, who I feel is one of baseball's finest players, a humanitarian who died helping others. How refreshing is it to see a man so graciously accept an umpire's bad call, especially when the sting was at its freshest.

Third, we can see how people's passion for baseball, and their intolerance for unfairness in this case, can rally large numbers to make their feelings known. Surely this will show us that we are not all just helpless victims in the grand theater of our lives.

Maybe if we keep on pushing, this perfect game will achieve its rightful place in history. In the meantime, kudos to Armando, and even to Mr. Joyce who did not shirk away from the truth and admitted his mistake. It's Mr. Selig who now needs to take a bullet train into the 21st century. The evidence is there for everyone to see. Gitterdone!

If we can reverse the ruling of a Baseball Commissioner, we can do anything.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Quotes by Women Poets - Compiled by Patty K Mooney

Louisa May AlcottImage via Wikipedia

"Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success." - Louisa May Alcott

"All my life I have lived and behaved very much like the sandpiper - just running down the edges of different countries and continents, 'looking for something'." - Elizabeth Bishop

"Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs." - Charlotte Bronte

"People wish to be poets more than they wish to write poetry, and that's a mistake. One should wish to celebrate more than one wishes to be celebrated." - Lucille Clifton

"Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough." - Emily Dickinson

"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms." - George Eliot

"I'm glad I'll look when I'm old
Like a gypsy dusha hauling milk" - Carolyn Forche

"Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk everything, you risk even more." - Erica Jong

"There are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt." - Audre Lorde

"Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads." - Marianne Moore

"It's not true that life is one damn thing after another; it's one damn thing over and over." - Edna St. Vincent Millay

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin

"This creature of the poem may assemble itself into a being with its own centrifugal force." - Sharon Olds

"Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call." - Sylvia Plath

"It's a man's world, and you men can have it." - Katherine Anne Porter

"Better by far you should forget and smile than you should remember and be sad." - Christina Rossetti

"It's exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful." - Adrienne Rich

"It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was." - Anne Sexton

"I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes." - Sara Teasdale

"In masks outrageous and austere, The years go by in single file; But none has merited my fear, And none has quite escaped my smile." - Elinor Wylie

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