The Edge of the Vase

The brownish purple, white-edged flowers
Hung from the edge of the vase
Like mourners at a New Orleans funeral

Passing as a well-schooled scholar
He makes an earnest attempt to educate
The passer-byes in his wake

The flowers must be thrown out
The moldy water must be rinsed out
Killing the new flowers for beauty in the vase

Writer: A Block

Writer: A Block

The writer sits extending his wrists,
And feelings and thought do mix;
Or, the writer walks through wooded fair,
The wind whipping through hair:
The ideas tumble, reeking of trouble,
And furrows the brow from ear to ear;
Family and friends do hide from him,
To pass the writeless day.

The thoughts are there, yet in a fog,
The joyless task today,
Where others won’t tread, to me my home
All lost in mindless stare:
This place without work, it soothes my soul,
Comfort in a knowing loss;
The wordless pages my senses please,
This is where I’m at!

The antenna seems to miss the call
These words of mine fulfill,
The page, my liege, they must be best,
Because they flow from you!
Still all I want (please, oh Muse, grant
Just one complete poem, just one!)
And to write you just deny,
Assist me to desist.

[Based on Robert Burns’ Winter: A Dirge (1910)]

The Wild Teenager

The Wild Teenager

Wild teen and your mild growth spurt,
Hid in the tumultuous, busy school,
Untouched your honeyed blossoms grew,
Unseen your young fingers fool:
No roving bully will crush you here,
No busy body provokes a tear.

By Nature’s self in flesh arrayed,
She asks you to shun the wanting eye,
And sat here in the great oak’s shade,
And heard the bubbling brook go by;
Thus murmuring the summer goes,
Your days without rest fly.

Filled with the energy that must decay,
I grieve to see your future doom;
They fell asleep – neither were they more awake,
The children that from Eden bloom;
Unpitying time, and Age’s power
Shall leave no visage of this youth.

From early morning the sun rose
This is from where you came:
If from nothing, you’ve nothing to lose,
For at death you are the same;
The flash between is but an hour
Recapturing the light of a teen.

[Based on The Wild Honey Suckle by Philip Freneau (1786)]

Protest Video from Canada – Casseroles – Montréal, May 24, 2012 on Vimeo

There are many laws in the USA that are deteriorating our freedoms.  Through the National Defense Authorization Act (or NDAA), the U.S. government is incrementally making it illegal to protest.  For example, it is through this law that it is illegal to protest near government officials,  the very people who need to hear the protests regardless of what those protests might be.

In Quebec, Canada, the government passed an “emergency law.”  This law makes it illegal to protest without permission from the government.  People can be fined extraordinary amounts for protesting without government permission.  So,what did Canadians do?  They took to the streets.  It didn’t matter that the protests that caused the laws were perhaps not agreed upon by everyone.  Tens of thousands of people went into the streets to protest the infringement of their rights.  You can see it in the video below.

What do we do in the USA?  Go back to sleep…

Casseroles – Montréal, 24 Mai 2012 on Vimeo on Vimeo

via Casseroles – Montréal, 24 Mai 2012 on Vimeo.

Cry No More, Sad Trees

Cry No More, Sad Trees

Cry no more, sad trees;
For what do your leaves fall so fast?
See how the mountains stand ready
For snow to gently blanket.
But the sun’s energy encompassing
Sees not your falling leaves
That now lie sleeping
Quietly, now gently lies
Sleeping.

Renewing is the sleep,
A peaceful winter’s nap.
Does not the sun also rise
Every day as you sleep?
Rest you then, rest, sad trees,
Wither not with your tears
While the earth lies sleeping
Quietly, now gently lies
Sleeping.

[Based on an anonymous poem in John Dowland’s Third and Last Book of Songs or Airs (1603)]

Perfect Wheat Bread

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There are few things better than fresh baked bread.

Follow this recipe exactly, and you will have perfect bread every time.

Ingredients: (I use organic ingredients whenever possible.)

2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1.5 teaspoons salt

1.5 cups warm water (not too hot)
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 tablespoon maple syrup (pure 100% only!)
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Combine water, yeast, syrup, and coconut oil. I use a whisk to combine. After coconut oil melts, whisk some more. You are waiting for the yeast to activate. You know it has when foam forms on the top.

Using a food processor with paddles, combine flours and salt. Blend for 1-2 minutes.

When yeast has activated, turn food processor on low. Add yeast mixture, BUT DO NOT ADD ALL OF IT. You may have 1/4 cup left over when all is said and done; I have 1/4 cup left over every time.

Blend with paddles for 2-3 minutes. Let “rest” for 2 minutes. Blend again for 1-2 minutes.

Remove from food processor and form a ball (may be sticky). Place ball in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until twice in size. Time varies. A warm place will speed this up.

Uncover and save plastic wrap. Punch dough down. Remove and knead by hand to remove big air bubbles. Place in a buttered bread loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until bread is peeping above the pan about 1 inch.

Oven: 415°F
Bake: 40 minutes

Tip: Throw 2 ice cubes onto the bottom of the oven. This will make the crust nice.

You know the bread is done when it sounds hollow on the bottom. Allow to cool loosely covered with tin foil for 10 minutes before cutting (if you can!!). ENJOY!!

—- VARIATIONS —-

Sesame Oat Wheat Bread

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The Manner of Kids Nowadays

The Manner of the Kids Nowadays

So many droopy pants
Towns with transplants
And breasts with implants,
I never saw:
So many good songs
The crowds in throngs
The showing of thongs,
I never saw.

So many hats worn
Twisted and shorn
And so many forlorn,
I never saw:
Way too many laws
The kids drawing straws
And getting beaten for their flaws,
I never saw.

So many good books
So few good nooks
So few that reading hooks,
I never saw:
Spelling by phonetics
Faces covered in cosmetics
Downright dastardly apathetic,
I never saw.

. . .

It is a pity that every day
So many gamblers go that way
Buy with their winnings our democracy
I never saw,
To the Universe I make my plea
That all the kids come out and see
Different than I hold them to be
Never was it worse!

Amendment
Indeed a rant
Though it may not be;
We have exiled empathy.
God is either dead or sick;
The kids all know this bit
They will use their wit,
And you must believe it.
For better I hope ever,
And worse was it never.

[Based on The Manner of the World Nowadayes by John Skelton (?)(1500)]

Lactose Free Pie Crust

Pie

Pie

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 6 ounces) Earth Balance, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 ounces very cold Crisco cut into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 to 8 Tbsp ice water

Using a food processor with blades, mix by pulsing the flour, salt, and sugar. Put the Earth Balance and Crisco in and pulse 6-8 times until crumbly. Now add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough starts to clump together. I usually use 3-5 tablespoons, your mileage may vary.

Clump together into two equal discs. You may squash the dough with the palm of your hand to make the crust flaky. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and place in ridge for at least one hour (up to 24).

Roll out dough. Place in pie tin or pie dish. Fill with yummy goodness. Roll out second disc. Cover. Do your thing with the edge of the pie crust. Bake at 400°F for 40-50 minutes. Enjoy!

Depending on the pie, I often blend one egg white with some cold water (1tbsp) and brush the top crust with it. Then, I sprinkle sugar on top. Yum!

Of Food and Television

Of Food and Television

Macaroni, cheese, and soda is most their fare
America’s diet fine;
Thy cup runs over with supermarkets’ galore
Isles of chips and cheap wine.

Sometimes God gives them steak or fish,
Yet they are content without
And what they get, they divvy with friends
Yet strangers go without.

Reality TV is rich to see,
Let none think it’s fake:
In wilderness, on the Jersey Shore,
These craven scoundrels shake.

[Based on Roger Williams’ Of Eating and Entertainment]

The American character – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com

The United States of America is under the impression that its two major parties are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum.  That could not be further from the truth, as we in the Green Party have been saying for quite some time now.  Since I am just some dude on the internet without any real authoritative value, please take the time to read this article.  It shows how “different” our two parties are from one another on anything that matters.

There are so many articles like this one that show this “vast difference” that it is amazing that we don’t, as a people, rise up and ask for a change.  Those in power have us so evenly divided on “hugely important” issues that we are virtually powerless as a people.

The American character – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com.


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