Friday, August 25, 2017

Church & State

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The increased police presence in the downtown area, due to Project Rio Grande, has me thinking about the first amendment. One could consider the circle with a star inside it, an endorsement by the state, of paganism/Wicca.

While the symbol worn by police officers (which represents protection), does not bother me personally; I'm mystified that those who claim separation of church state are not all over this display of a known pagan symbol, being adorned by law enforcement at all levels of government.

If I were to take myself seriously and remove all symbols of paganism from public life, my task would be endless. What I am advocating is tolerance of all symbols and means of expression, rather than removal of any.

Addressing a rumor I heard, even if it's true, learning about Islam in public school classrooms (under the guise of cultural studies) does not bother me; as long as other beliefs (including those of the predominant religion), can be discussed in the same way- as part of our history and culture.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Offbeat July Celebrations

July is a time of celebration. In the US July 4th commemorates the adoption of our nation's Declaration of Independence. Independence Day is celebrated with pyrotechnics, parades, and barbecues. There are some offbeat July holidays you may not be aware of such as, Sidewalk Egg Frying Day, also on July 4. Oatman, AZ has an annual solar frying contest.

In Utah we celebrate Pioneer Day on the 24th of July with parades, fireworks and rodeos. This day commemorates the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into Utah’s Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Pioneer Day is also celebrated in many parts of Idaho, where it is commonly known as Celebration Day. Family reunions are popular on or around July 24.

In 1984 Ronald Reagan deemed July National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of this month National Ice Cream Day. Other offbeat holidays include July 1: National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day July 2: World UFO Day July 6: International Kissing Day July 8: International Town Criers Day July 10: Teddy Bear Picnic Day July 11: Slurpee Day & World Population Day July 13: National French Fries Day July 14: National Nude Day & Bastille Day July 17: Yellow Pig Day July 19: National Flitch Day July 22: Doonerism Spay July 26: National Talk in an Elevator Day July 27: Bagpipe Appreciation Day July 29: National Lasagna Day

Monday, June 26, 2017

Father's Day Tribute

I tried to write a poem about fathers this month. But I think nobody says it better than David Gates. Everything I Own is perceived as a love song, and it is, it's about the love of a son for his father. Give it a read with fresh eyes.

You sheltered me from harm
Kept me warm, kept me warm
You gave my life to me
Set me free, set me free
The finest years I ever knew
Were all the years I had with you

And I would give anything I own
Give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give everything I own
Just to have you back again

You taught me how to love
What it's of, what it's of
You never said too much
But still you showed the way
And I knew from watching you
Nobody else could ever know
The part of me that can't let go

And I would give anything I own
Give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give everything I own
Just to have you back again

Is there someone you know
You're loving them so
But taking them all for granted
You may lose them one day
Someone takes them away
And they don't hear the words you long to say

Well I would give anything I own
Give up my life, my heart, my home
Yes I would give anything I own
Just to have you back again
Just to touch you once again

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


I've been here many times to hear
the water roar as it falls down down
a cement wall along its way.

A place to rest a moment from pedaling
and snap a photo or two. Watch a gaggle
of geese become a skein.

We like the sound of water, some say
because long ago our ancestors emerged
from primordial soup.

We needn't go back that far
to understand why the splashing of water
makes us feel closer to something.

Were we not, all, in our beginning 98% fluid
and just 2% salt and cells? Water from our
mother's body protecting and cajoling us.

She hummed and talked to me.
Whilst I kicked and stomped away the hours.
A place to rest and hear the sound of water.

Saturday, April 1, 2017


(In honor of April being Parkinson's Awareness Month & National Poetry Month I am sharing this poem and remembering, my uncle, who lived and died with Parkinson's Disease)

Can you imagine, what it must be like

Can’t look over your shoulder

You’ll fall off your bike !

When things don’t match up straight

And nothing’s quite right

And this isn’t sometimes

It’s all day and all night.

Your cuff links fight back

It can take half an hour

And your muscles get locked, using up all their power

You’ve no concentration

So don’t get much done

And you tire out easily when you have fun

Some people will help you and that can be sweet

But it’s strange when a lady will offer her seat

Do I now look that bad, am I really that old?

But it’s kind, so I sit down and do as I’m told

Can you imagine

Just try if you will

Being worried that you might forget the next pill

And if you forget will it be all that bad

But if you take two, do you really go mad?

Next time you see someone

Out on the street

A little bit legless and shuffling feet

Before you say “drunk!” consider this please

You might just be looking at Parki’s disease

~Tim Vickers

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What is Poetry?

Is what I'm writing poetry,
Because I say, straight up
Coitus thee!

Or is my message understood
Only if it's shrouded in

Is it only poetry if I force
The rhyme or
Have degrees?

What makes you
Keep reading?
I want to know.

Everything I read
Makes me more
Critic than writer.

My internal editor
Refuses to take flight
When papyrus meets graphite.

Maybe we're not mean to
Erase and pretend mistakes
Weren't made.

They serve as proof
We're writing
Regardless of prizes or accolades.

Friday, March 17, 2017

When Erin First Rose

By William Drennan

When Erin first rose from the dark swelling flood,
God bless'd the green island and saw it was good;
The em'rald of Europe, it sparkled and shone,
In the ring of the world the most precious stone.
In her sun, in her soil, in her station thrice blest,
With her back towards Britain, her face to the West,
Erin stands proudly insular, on her steep shore,
And strikes her high harp 'mid the ocean's deep roar.

But when its soft tones seem to mourn and to weep,
The dark chain of silence is thrown o'er the deep;
At the thought of the past the tears gush from her eyes,
And the pulse of her heart makes her white bosom rise.
O! sons of green Erin, lament o'er the time
When religion was war, and our country a crime,
When man in God's image inverted his plan,
And moulded his God in the image of man.

When the int'rest of state wrought the general woe,
The stranger a friend, and the native a foe;
While the mother rejoic'd o'er her children oppressed,
And clasp'd the invader more close to her breast.
When with pale for the body and pale for the soul,
Church and state joined in compact to conquer the whole;
And as Shannon was stained with Milesian blood,
Ey'd each other askance and pronounced it was good.

By the groans that ascend from your forefathers' grave
For their country thus left to the brute and the slave,
Drive the demon of bigotry home to his den,
And where Britain made brutes now let Erin make men.
Let my sons like the leaves of the shamrock unite,
A partition of sects from one footstalk of right,
Give each his full share of the earth and the sky,
Nor fatten the slave where the serpent would die.

Alas! for poor Erin that some are still seen,
Who would dye the grass red from their hatred to green;
Yet, oh! when you're up, and they're down, let them live,
Then yield them that mercy which they would not give.
Arm of Erin, be strong! but be gentle as brave;
And uplifted to strike, be still ready to save;
Let no feeling of vengeance presume to defile
The cause of, or men of, the Emerald Isle.

The cause it is good, and the men they are true,
And the Green shall outlive both the Orange and Blue.
And the triumphs of Erin her daughters shall share
With the full swelling chest, and the fair flowing hair.
Their bosoms heave high for the worthy and brave,
But no coward shall rest in that soft-swelling wave;
Men of Erin! awake, and make haste to be blest!
Rise! arch of the ocean, and queen of the West!