July 8th, 2003

Dancing Thru

Smelling roses and petting kitties

Quiet here at work, this week. Everyone is still out on vacation, seems like. I'm feeling like I can cope, again, too. Amazing what a week off will do for you.

And of course, it's been a different world, lately. I've been conciously trying to leave work at work. I go home on my lunch hour and take quality time with the kitten. I've been trying to actually *interact* with my garden, as well. The once-blooming roses still have a few blooms on Felicity Parmentier and May Queen---very late. There is a very confused iris, Rustler--one of my favorites, a smokey mahogany/chestnut, currently blooming. The white lilies have just about finished blooming, and now the GIANT yellow (over 6 feet tall!) has taken over, and has TWO stalks, this year. And wow, it's fragrant! The pink asian lilies are still blooming, too.

I was out watering this morning, and heard an odd scrabble noise in the gazebo---there was a squirrel running around upside down on the lower surface of the roof, looking like he wasn't sure what to do next. I just about fell over laughing! I hope he eventually got down!

Circe woke me up in the middle of the night purring and being very snuggly. I can live like this. It's one thing to be woken up by pouncing, and quite another to be woken up by loveyness. She makes quite a little snuggle-cat. It's nice to have one again. Sasha was the snuggler, while Ming and Hobbes think it's okay, but like a lot of boys, only for a minute or so. Circe is definitely going to be much more affectionate. I need snuggle cats right now.
  • Current Music
    Robin Bullock: Midnight Howl
Dancing Thru

A poem that bears republishing

Okay, I admit I re-found it when I was ego-surfing (like I found I'm listed in the ISFDB database for a story I wrote for Amazing, years ago).

This poem was originally published in Mess Age, a counterculture magazine, but was reprinted in Modern Militiaman later. (My works tend to get republished a bit.) I'd been wanting to dig out a copy, because it's doubly relevant, now. Well, lookee, lookee...

A Sense of History

by Jane G. Beckman,

It is not conspiracy, but only realization---
History swinging its pendulum,
Replaying old fears and ancient ways.

Whither our world? Down routes we have gone
A thousand times before,
Even in the land of the Free.

I have been there, when Cary Chapman Catt sounded the call,
Or the agents of Pinkerton beat the strikers senseless,
Gone to jail with Woodhull and Sanger.
I remember COINTELPRO, and wars created for the sake of News.
They have lynched me in the South, and beaten me on marches.
I have shared a podium with Anthony and Fanny Wright,
Made impassioned pleas with the Sisters Grimke.

There is a black list, and a man named McCarthy,
And a man named J. Edgar who keeps a list of his enemies.
Houses have burned, and offices of newspapers,
Men jailed for speaking forbidden Truth.

This is America, but it has never been the Land of the Free,
But rather the Land of Opportunity, where the scrabblings of a few
Can raise them to rule over us.
To some, liberty or justice has ever been but a word.

Tell of Freedom to the railbaron, the magnates in patent-leather,
The oilmen and the ursurers, the politicians and the police.
And of "protection" and payoffs, of people of no consequence,
Of crushing taxes, of oppressive factories, of company stores.
This, too, is the history of Our Land.

There is no more child labor, but it could come again.
Women are equals? Tell another story of utopias!
The soldier and the policeman are your friends?
It depends on where one stands in the scheme of things.
The lawyer and the politician, are they friend or foe?
Do they fight for ideals, or for personal gain?
Mr. Jefferson, how right you were, speaking of raided coffers,
And the way history might swing and sway, right and left.
Radicals and revolutionaries have ever given blood and bone,
Dear-bought the rights, the lives we lead,
That we might cast them to the winds, uncaring.

Such is the way of things, when man grows sleepy, sated,
When he forgets the terror of a knocking at the door.
And yet he wakes, and wakes to fight again,
Against an ancient spectre of injustice.

Perhaps it was Spartacus, or O'Connell, or Thomas Payne.
Perhaps it was a Martin Luther King, or Lech Walesa,
Or the shoutings of mobs in St. Petersburg or Paris,
Those crushed by tanks in Tienamin Square.

We look to heros of legend, name William Tell and Robin Hood,
Add our own names to Magna Carta or beneath John Hancocks,
Thinking we, too, might bear such company, never thinking price.
For there are expenses to be borne in bold acts,
And life and fortune are such little things to pay.

These are the currents of history,
Lifting frail banners of Freedom aloft.
They ebb and flow like tides,
And when the tide flows out,
There are bodies in the rockweed.