Thursday, June 17, 2010

Corn Day!

CORN DAY! My wife Linda talked to her sister Sheila early this morning, and Sheila told her she had been putting up corn in the freezer this week. As soon as Linda got off the phone, she decided we needed to put up corn TODAY. So, we hopped in the Jeep and headed to Lester's Produce 45 miles south of Shreveport in Coushatta. We bought 200+ ears (4 bushel baskets full) of sweet corn. From 10:30 this morning to about 3:30 this afternoon, we shucked the ears. The corn is quite good -- only about 5 worms in all the ears total and very well filled out ears. Now Linda is blanching, cutting kernels off the cobs, and bagging all that corn. It was miserable out on the back porch while shucking -- 97 F this afternoon on the porch. I am...sweaty and sticky...but we will be eating good all the next year.



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Where I Get Ideas for New Poems

Whenever people ask me, since I am rather prolific in the poetry I write, where do I get all my ideas for new poems, I usually answer with, "From the world all around me -- what I observe, conversations I hear, what I read/see in the newspaper, TV, magazines, Internet, or movies, and from my imagination after thinking about some issue or question. Many of my storoems/poems reflect my core values and thoughts regarding current events."

My latest poem is entitled "The Roar of the Lion". It may be read here:

Where did the idea for the poem originate? From several sources actually. I saw a movie on cable TV the other night about a lion preserve in Africa in which the owner had raised lion cubs and released them into the wild for over thirty years. Richard Harris played that character's role. The man would walk with his lions out to sit on a rock overlooking the plains below and encourage them to roar. He'd 'roar' the words "I am!", meaning "I am king of the beasts; I am a lion." The lions would then roar in response.

This reminded me of a TV documentary I had watched several years back that followed a pride of lions in Africa for a year. The male who was master of this pride successfully drove off various attempts from nomadic single males to displace him. Finally, a pair of nomadic siblings challenged him and together defeated him, breaking one of his front legs and blooding him gravely. He wander off to die, while the brothers immediately killed all of the old lion's offspring so that the pride's females would become receptive in a few months to producing their offspring. The dominant males usually rule a pride for only 1 or 2 years, sometimes up to three years, before being displaced. This gives them time to produce offspring to carry on their genes, but then introduces new genes into the pride when the new male lion(s) take over.

I then went to Internet and Googled "lions roaring" and read several articles about their roar(s) and what they are believed by scientists to mean.

Taking all these sources, I thought for several days about what I wanted my poem to accomplish and then wrote the first draft, followed by several edits. I am pretty pleased with the result. Please let me know what you think after you read my poem.



Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Gulf Oil Spill -- 2010

I wrote an opinionated prose poem about the current BP oil spill currently befouling the Gulf. If interested, you may read it here:

Feel free to offer any comments. :-)



Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

In honor of the upcoming anniversary of D-day on June 6, 1944, I wrote a storoem (see below) about the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France where the American soldiers who were killed or missing in action on the beaches at Normandy and shortly thereafter in the push inland are buried or memorialized. If you are unfamiliar with this cemetery, check out this link and be sure to look at the pictures there, especially the aerial overview:

We owe these gallant soldiers homage forever for their actions back then.

Now, my new storoem:

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

The son has brought his ninety-three-year-old
father to Colleville-Sur-Mer in France.
Overlooking Omaha Beach is told
the terrible price of freedom. Winds dance

through a field of cold, white marble crosses
marking graves of Americans who died
freeing France from her cruel Nazi bosses.
As they traverse the colonnade, his pride

causes the father to stand taller, straighter
than normal. “Here, my generation saved
the world from tyranny. There’s no greater
sacrifice for country then these men paid.”

They pass “Spirit of American Youth”,
a bronze statue near the center, before
reaching rows of white crosses, where the truth
is shown recounting death on this French shore.

More than nine thousand American graves
hold the unfulfilled dreams of the young men
who died upon Normandy Beach, its waves
red with their blood. They did their duty then!

Names inscribed on the memorial’s walls
pay silent tribute to another fifteen-
hundred missing soldiers, their country’s calls
to battle answered with a fate so mean.

Father and son join other tourists’ search
among the rows of crosses to find friends’
or family’s graves. There’s a feel of church,
since many pray, as tribute each extends.

The father is himself a veteran
of the D-day invasion, wounded twice.
He, who never spoke of war, has begun
to recall details, brutal and precise.

As they stand before graves, he says, “This man
once saved my life…I watched this soldier die.
He was just a teenager; still I can
see his face as he died, the look of ‘Why?'.”

On and on they walk pass graves, so many
holding his past fallen comrades in arms.
“I saved this friend’s life more than once; plenty
of times he cheated death. He died in my arms.”

On this day the son learns for the first time
details of what his father once endured.
He hears of war’s horror; nothing’s sublime
or glorious in combat, Dad assured.

Father and son sit for hours as the dad
tells of anguish he saw as a man dies.
As he relates what he did, he grows sad.
The son tries to comfort him as he cries.

As his body shakes with sobs, the dad says,
“Each soldier buried here in French soil has earned
the everlasting gratitude of his
country. Honor those who never returned.”

NOTE: The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
is near the site for the American St. Laurent Cemetery, which
was established on June 8, 1944, as the first American cemetery
on European soil in World War II. The current cemetery is located
on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel.
It is 170 miles west of Paris. The 172.5-acre site has the graves
of 9,387 Americans who died coming ashore on D-day on June 6,
1944, or shortly thereafter in the push inland. Another 1,557 missing
soldiers have their names inscribed on the memorial’s walls.
Millions of visitors have come to visit this cemetery.