Mainstream Media Circus …

Carol A. Hand

Come one, come all!

Microsoft Word Clip Art

***

Step right up,
ladies and gentlemen
Welcome to the circus
Our main attraction
may appear to be
the orange clown
He will perform
astounding feats
of buffoonery

Microsoft WORD Clip Art

***

His act is intended
to distract your attention
Perhaps he will also be able
to divide you, the audience,
into illusory opponents
and maybe even provoke you
to fight with each other
But don’t be fooled

Microsoft WORD Clip Art

***
His main objective is
to keep you from noticing
the machinations of the puppeteers
who, behind the scenes,
are building structures that will
imprison you in joyless lives
of endless servitude to
feed their insatiable appetites
for yet more power.

***

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In The Moment

Carol A. Hand

Being in the moment for a moment
Simply observing
as a busy ladybug climbs a blade of grass

I smile as the grass bends to the ground
Undeterred, she climbs another
When it remains upright she flies off
finding another blade that bends to her will

A father and son come into view
talking excitedly as they pass by
on their way to the playground
enjoying the moment
on this rare sunny afternoon

The ladybug, undisturbed
continues to explore and experiment
but it’s time for me to leave her
and return to a different reality

***

Microsoft WORD Clip Art

***

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A Daytime Visitor

Carol A. Hand

Imagine, for a moment,
what it’s like to be born
to a life where one is prejudged
and regarded with fear or with scorn

Mid-morning visitor – September 1, 2017

I don’t smell like a flower
but I do have a scent
to protect me, a gentle creature
if healthy, with no malicious intent

I’m usually nocturnal
and not quite like any other
grazing now in the daytime
to feed my young, I’m a mother

A morning visitor getting closer

It’s true I’m an omnivore
I do eat eggs, berries and bees
but I eat beetles, grubs, grass hoppers
and your untended garbage if I please

I mean you no harm
but if you give me a wide berth
I’ll contribute my skills
working with you to care for our earth

Closer still – both thankful for the window between us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

Some facts about skunks:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skunk
http://www.wildskunkrescue.com/skunkbehaviors.htm
http://www.havahart.com/skunk-facts
http://www.wildskunkrescue.com/rabies.htm

***

Microsoft WORD Clip Art

***

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Reflections about Then and Now

Carol A. Hand

Let me take just a moment
to put aside the chaos of the world
seeping into my soul

Remembering
a recurring childhood dream
soaring above the earth
simply watching
with compassionate detachment
as people went about their busy lives

Remembering
my safe wooded place
sitting beneath a large maple
on a soft mossy knoll
by a little brook
sunlight and shadows shifting
joining my voice in song
with rustling leaves and birds
in harmony with the water
brushing over and around stones
in the small singing stream
wondering how many years
it would take for the rocks
to dissolve into rich soil

Breathing in
feeling the presence of peace and light
and sending out gratitude
for the beauty and wonder of life
then and now
even during days that seem darker

***

Lake Superior Shore – 2017

***

 

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Connecting the Dots

Carol A. Hand

Does it matter whether or not
we view changing global weather
as natural or human caused?
Perhaps.

While some cheer on Armageddon
others live with the illusion
that perhaps our homes
will soon be safe if human behaviors
change.

Whether or not changing our behavior helps
stabilize weather in the future,
don’t we owe it to the earth and our children
to act wisely and responsibly
anyway?

Global floods and worldwide wildfires rage
while more oil and gas pipelines are being built

Who’s to blame?
All of us who take it for granted
that the ease of having
gas, water, and electricity simply
delivered to our homes is our right
without considering the real costs
and environmentally safe, sustainable, viable, non-exploitive
alternatives.

We need to see how connected our well-being is
to the way we care for our earth
and the way we care for all those who also live here
because our earth’s health and continuing bounty
depend on wise and loving stewardship as well as
worldwide peace.

Lake Superior Sunset, photographer Jnana Hand

 

Sending love and blessings to all those who are on the frontlines of floods and fire.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/01/world/deadly-world-floods/index.html
https://www.theguardian.com/world/wildfires
https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/nasa-sees-intense-fires-around-the-world
http://www.hydrocarbons-technology.com/features/featureworlds-longest-oil-gas-pipelines-imports/
https://theodora.com/pipelines/

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August Reflections 2017

Carol A. Hand

August has been busy. Preparing to teach a research class, tending gardens, spending time with grandchildren and family, and taking time to simply live and reflect have kept me away from the blogosphere. Although my life will continue to be busy until the first freeze and beyond, I will try to stop by periodically to visit your blogs and share when I can. Your art and thoughts are thought-provoking and inspiring. Today, I’m sharing a few simple reflections recently penned as I send my best wishes to all.

Would-Be Dreamcatchers
August 9 2017

My heart is heavy as I think about my Native friends in Montana
Their incredible gifts and future visions palpable
They voiced so many hopeful possibilities
for the community health organization they guided
Valiantly, we faced daunting challenges
each carrying a compelling blueprint of what could be
We worked and laughed and cried together
as we overcame one obstacle after another
to help reweave an inclusive healthy community

***

Dreamcatchers – allowing only good dreams to survive and pass through to sleeping children

***

In the end, I had to leave for my own survival
before our task was completed
Vultures descended and shredded our dreams
Over the years I have learned of my friends’ struggles
against political adversaries and serious health issues
I wonder if I helped make their lives more difficult
by inspiring hope, by believing their strengths
and visions would be enough to overcome resistance…

And what of the people I refer to as vultures?
Perhaps they’re unaware that their actions
as agents in status quo structures of oppression
appear to motivated by protecting their positions
at any cost, destroying lives and what could be
Their actions limiting healthier possibilities for all in the process
Perhaps I will never understand why
this was the path they chose
and where it will finally lead them

Yet, I still mourn possibilities lost

It makes me wonder if it’s wiser and more compassionate
to simply find and live my own truths
though the suffering in the world remains unabated
weighing heavy on my heart…

Sufi Poet, Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi, offers an insight I continue to ponder:

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Today, I also send prayers for the safety of my friends and all others in Montana as the Lolo Peak fire rages so close to their homes.

************

Reflections about Shifting Light and Shadow
August 12, 2017

gazing close at hand
watching light and shadow
move across the land

August morning

revealing a constant in my life
one moment knowing peace and joy
the next difficulty and strife

often shadows bring gifts despite our sorrow
sometimes unanticipated miracles appear if we’re patient
to reignite our gratitude upon the morrow

A Hollyhock Surprise – I’m not sure how it grew here

************

Just Here Now
August 19, 2017

so grateful for the peace and love in this “now”
a brief quiet moment as the day begins
sunlight filtered by leaves of rain-nourished trees
and muted by unopened window blinds
a little dog resting, curled beneath the bird’s cage
a parakeet silent and still beneath his protective night cover
dog and bird both patiently waiting for music to begin
so they can join their voices in song
greeting the peaceful morning
illuminating our shared place in the world

Queenie and Pinto

***

peace – a privilege so many are denied
sending blessings to all who are suffering

***

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Sometimes

Carol A. Hand

Sometimes
I feel like a sprite
Invisible
And it’s really okay
especially among so many strangers
riding the city bus today

There are times I prefer
to be quiet
when surrounded by so much loud rambling chatter

There are times I prefer
to fade out of sight
when so many need attention to feel that they matter

There are times I prefer
to take up less space
when others need to take more than their share

There are times I simply prefer
to be a peaceful presence
unremarkable, unnoticed but acutely aware
of others who just need someone to listen,
to see them,
to care

***

Downtown Duluth looking out towards north shore and Lake Superior, taken in 2012 by Joey1niner. (Wikipedia)

***

Encircled by beauty
on a lovely August day
So many too busy to notice
as we each go our own way

***

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Reflections Inspired by Geese

Carol A. Hand

Feeling physically fragile as I gently greet the morning
gazing up at the southwestern sky

a
silent
V of geese

soon
followed
by another, larger V
trumpeting encouragement
for the one temporarily leading
breaking through wind resistance
creating uplift for all those that follow
so others can save their strength for their turn
to carry the difficult responsibility of guiding others

working
together in harmony
because sharing responsibility
lightens burdens in the journey of life unfolding

***

Geese at home even in the city

***

Sending my best wishes to all.

***

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Signals of Changing Seasons

Carol A. Hand

The waxing crescent at sunset
signals upcoming changes in seasons
alerting me about the need to refocus
for so many important reasons –

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Crescent Moon at Sunset –
July 30, 2017

***

Thank you all for sharing your visionary art,
for enriching my life, and becoming a friend
I didn’t want to leave blogging for awhile
With my deep gratitude to you unpenned

***

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Stewardship Anyway

Carol A. Hand

Ageist messages that I’m too old
at 70 to do simple chores
sometimes makes me hesitant to try
But my courageous daughter inspires me
and a funny thing happens when I do try
anyway

 

A Mini-maple gutter garden – July 2017

 

I realize with the right tools
like my “new” $20 8-foot ladder
from Habitat for Humanity’s “Restore”
I can clear the gutters of
sprouting baby maple trees
anyway

 

 

With my little green garden wagon,
work boots and heavy-duty gloves
I’m not too frail to haul and carry
landscaping blocks to upgrade gardens
and prevent continuing erosion
anyway

 

July 30, 2017

 

I’m not ashamed to sweat buckets
in my raggedy work clothes
doing honest manual labor
It’s a gift and a privilege
to take care of what I can
anyway

 

July 30, 2017

 

Privilege requires responsible stewardship
regardless of what others do and think
with simple tools to extend our reach
and help us carry heavy loads
‘though the efforts are always a work in progress
it’s important to keep shouldering what we can
anyway

 

July 30, 2017

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