Entries from blogs tagged with “Community news”

Saturday, April 14th, READ-OUT, SING-OUT, SPEAK-OUT, ACT-OUT, DANCE-OUT On EARTHCARE Schedule of Events

Well known local poet and educator, Beth Schultz has once again been instrumental in compiling an exciting list of presenters for the fifth annual Earthcare celebration. Presenters will have approximately ten minutes each in which to celebrate good old Mother Earth in about any means they care to.

The following is the list of performers and the times they will perform on the east side of South Park, Lawrence, Kansas, opening with Schultz at nine a.m.

9:00 am Opening: Beth Schultz

9:10 am Sarah Hill Nelson -- Presentation

9:20 am Jean Grant -- Reading

9:30 am Bob Fraga -- Reading

9:40 am John Poertner -- Reading

9:50 am Ronda Miller -Poetry Reading

10:00 am Rick Mitchell -- Reading Rudolf Steiner

10:10 am David Hann -- Reading Stories

10:20 am Roger Martin -- Reading

10:30 am Charles Gruber -- The Directions

10:40 am Ann Haehl -- Story Telling


11:40 am Jerry Jost-- Speaking on Kansas Land Trust

11:50 am Cleta La Brie

12:00 pm Mary McCoy -- Reading on Sandhill Cranes

12:10 pm Kelly Barth -- Reading

12:20 pm Laura Caldwell -- Presentation on Kansas Rivers

12:30 pm Group Poetry Reading includes: Iris Wilkinson, Dixie Lubin, Micki Carroll, Kimberli Eddins, Libby Tempero and Louie Gallaway followed by Iris Wilkinson in separate poems

12:40 pm Micki Carroll -- Reading Poetry

12:50 pm Kimberli Eddins -- Reading Poetry

1:00 pm Dixie Lubin -- Reading Poetry

1:10 pm Libby Tempero -- Reading Poetry

1:20 pm Louie Galloway -- Reading Poetry

1:30 pm Eileen Jones -- Compost Demonstration

1:40 pm Eileen Jones -- Compost Demonstration

1:50 pm Daryl Nickel -- Singing and Guitar

2:00 pm Juliet & Isaac Outka -- Dinosaurs & Other Creatures

2:10 pm Sarah & Sophia Walsh -- Lima Beans & Fossils

2:20 pm Lana Maree & The Prairie Moon Singers

2:30 pm Sandy Sanders -- Research on Nature and Children

2:40 pm Thad Holcombe -- Speaking and Reading

3:00 pm Rabbi Moti Rieber -- Speaking

3:10 pm Dan Bentley -- Speaking on Ecosapiens

3:20 pm Stephanie Barrows-- Reading Poetry

3:30 pm Loring Henderson--Reading

3:40 pm Dee Miller -- Kyoto Solar Cook Stove Demo

3:50 pm Stan Roth reading Paul Jantzen

4:00 pm Soka Gakkai International -- Dramatic Presentation

4:10 pm Elm Dance – Led by Joan Stone

(Reminder): Approximately thirty poets gather from across Kansas in Emporia at 7 p.m., Saturday evening, April 14th, at the Emporia State University Memorial Union (Room Lower 048), for a reading of BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas Poems, the ongoing renga project, singing of "Home On the Range" and a request that the Arts Funding in Kansas be restored.


Poetry Caravan Lands in Emporia at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, April 14th. A call for reinstatement of Arts Funding in Kansas

The Poetry Caravan -- poets published in the Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems edited by Poet Laureate of Kansas Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg -- is landing at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 14th in the Emporia State University Memorial Union (Room Lower 048) to give its 20th reading and call for restored state arts funding. Approximately 30 poets will be caravanning to Emporia State University for the reading from throughout Kansas, both to share their poetic vision of Kansas and their collective belief in state support for the literary arts.

"We have been touring the state since last November when Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems debuted, and the Emporia reading, our 20th statewide event, seemed the perfect moment to speak through our poetry about the importance of the arts," Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg explains. As poet laureate of Kansas, she has continued on in her post despite the loss of the largely dismantled Kansas Arts Commission, which previously housed the state poet laureate program. "We come together from many walks of life because arts matter. Through our poetry, and through how our lives are continually changed for the better by what we write and read, we know how essential the arts are in helping Kansans live lives of connection, meaning and joy.

The poets will each read a poem from the anthology, which was based on 150 poems Mirriam-Goldberg curated on the website www.150KansasPoems.wordpress.com throughout 2011 to celebrate the state's 150th anniversary of statehood. The year, the website, partnered with the national organization America: Now + Here, is focused on a renga entitled "To the Stars Through Difficulty" -- a conversational poem in which 150 Kansas poets each write 10 lines as part of one large poem. Poets reading in Emporia will also read their renga portions, and the readings will conclude with all the poets singing a special version of "Home on the Range."

Poets reading include from Wichita: Roy J. Beckemeyer and Diane Wahto; from Pittsburg: Steve Meats and Olive Sullian; from Lawrence: Karen Ohnesorge, Ronda Miller, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Gary Lechliter, Brian Daldorph, Elizabeth Black, Iris Wilkinson, William Jo Harris, Peter Wright, Nancy Hubble and Ken Lassman; from Hutchinson: Bill Sheldon, Jo McDougall and Daniel Pohl; from the Kansas City area: Al Ortolani, Linda Rodriguez, Maril Crabtree, Donna Wolff, Wyatt Townley, Roderick Townley and Thomas Reynolds; from Emporia: Kevin Rabas; from Leavenworth: Rick Nichols; from Topeka: Carol (for Max) Yoho and Eric McHenry; from Salina: Hazel Hutchinson; from Cawker City: Lee Mick; and from Bridgeport: Jackie Magnuson Ash. ` The reading, organized by Kevin Rabas (one of the poets and a professor at ESU) is free and open to the public and will conclude with a reception.


Recess: Studies confirm common sense

This article from CNN, describes some elementary schools that reduced or eliminated recess--and parents efforts to rectify the situation.

I recall when my youngest son was in sixth grade here in Lawrence. Recess was eliminated or drastically curtailed because of the time it would take from academics.

Now, having read the article below and reconsidered, I deeply regret not taking action. I'm older, crankier, and more confident that I don't (always) need studies to make decisions. It shouldn't have taken something like this to wake me up. I, and all the other parents in that class, were persuaded that it was for the best.

Let me say now, what I should have said then. THEY'RE SIXTH GRADERS, PEOPLE! Or second graders, or ...

If you have elementary age kids, how much time do they get outside at school? Is this an issue in Lawrence? In my, or actually my son's, case, it was ten years ago. Is it still going on?

Does this have anything to do with the U.S. being the most obese country in the world?

One final, and somewhat satirical question. Is there anything our educational system does right?

(Hey, I know there are a lot of good teachers out there doing their best under difficult conditions).


Abdicating Responsibility


(I consider this to not be one of my usual rants, but an insightful analysis. Your opinions may vary)

Does anyone think that the suggestion in this poll has any merit whatsoever?

Using such a simple method for adjusting, or maybe even determining, teacher salaries is a symptom of the mentality that has come to dominate our dysfunctional culture. Although I suspect, or at least hope, that no one would consider making this the primary factor in determining a teacher's salary, it is just an extension of the common practice of trying to find measurable, and preferably "simple" metrics to free us from having to make difficult decisions.

We all know that decisions like this just aren't simple? Right? Just as in private industry, a supervisor or manager is usually responsibile for determining an employees performance and their worth to the business. This worth equates to the amount of money the company is willing to pay to retain them--at least in theory-- assuming competent management (not a safe assumption).

So why do we think that should be different in education? Because it might not always be fair? Because it could become political?

Guess what, that's life in the real world.

My contention is that our "leaders" most fervent desire is to find ways to avoid responsibility--to put everything they can on someone else. In essence, the goal seems to be to come up with a complex series of rules and policies so that the effort consists of evaluating the problem in the context of those rules and policies instead of looking at the actual facts and merits of the situation under consideration.

Why is it we have to make everything so hard...so complex?

We all know that there are many factors that affect how effective a teacher is, right?

Let's face it, some of our students come from backgrounds where they have tremendous disadvantages, and to expect a teacher to overcome those is criminally naive.

Let's not forget some of the some others. How many teachers have the support of their administration? How many times to they get the backing of their principal or district superintendent when their is a parent complaint? Some students just don't care, while others are motivated to learn on their own. It's a much larger and complex problem than I can do justice to here.

Is it just human nature to look for easy answers to difficult problems?

Has the time when we met challenges head on come to an end?

Are we unwilling to accept the possibility that it is possible for someone to make a decision with the best intentions, using all the information they have, and still have it turn out badly? I see enough decisions turn out badly (enough for hundreds of blog posts), that I'd be happy about a bad decisions, as long as it was acknowledged and the maker learned from it.

Heck, I have to admit I've made bad decisions. I know I leared from at least some of them. Maybe they should be the subject of another post.

Leaders are those people who make decisions and take responsibility. Maybe if we can find some, then everyone else won't really mind because it will just make it easier for the "shirkers" to avoid their responsibilities.


A New Convenience

I write this will sitting on the K-10 connector to Lenexa/Olathe. I started a new job in November of last year and since then have had the mind numbing drive each day from near Stull to College blvd near I-35.

When I first started, the "Jo" routes in Johnson County didn't make using the bus feasible. Recently, though, they have extended the routes and now I can go from 23rd and Crestline to JCCC, change busses and be dropped off a block from my office.

The travel time is longer, but since I just filled my tank at $3.65/gallon yesterday, and I hate burning 2 hours a day behind the wheel even more than paying for gas, this is a great alternative.

Who knows, I may finally fulfill that dream and write the great American novel in those two extra hours I now have each day.

And if not, at least I've left the ranks of the morning zombies who accompany me each morning (and evening) on K-10.


Alaska Roadtrip, Keeping It Basic

Today I was thinking about how much fun we had last summer on our roadtrip to Alaska and it dawned on me I was busy planning that trip last year at this time. Really, any trip involving many days and miles requires a planning timetable of several months instead of weeks. I read blogs, books set in the north, travel books, Alaska tourist information and maps. Definitely helpful and so exciting.

With the thought that starting early is important, I decided to post the last entry of my Alaska 2011 blog from our trip. Some of the information there might be of interest to those thinking of planning a similar trip this summer. Feel free to visit the link for additional information and pictures.

“We left on July 6th  driving a 2001 Ford ¾ ton diesel pickup with 182,099 miles on the speedometer. On the back of the pickup we carried a 2005 850SC NorthStar popup pickup camper. Obviously, we saw no need to have new equipment.

We returned on August 17th after 39 days. The ending mileage was 192,102. Here is the summary.  We drove 10,002 miles, used 666.725 gallons of fuel, averaging 15.001 miles per gallon and $4.522 per gallon for diesel, for a total of $3015.00. (I converted all of Canada's metric figures to keep it equal.) I guess the reason I found these figures interesting is because I saved $3,000 for the trip but with higher fuel prices, I figured that amount would probably only pay for the fuel. Right on there! 

We decided to convert $1,500 to Canadian money just to have the cash available. The rate was $1.06 American for each $1 Canadian. That amount of money paid for all fuel, camping fees and Canadian groceries except for two credit card charged fuel fills. At the border, coming home, we had enough change to buy a bottle of Crown Royal at the duty free shop. (It was a small bottle:) 

I did not keep accurate records on other expenditures. However, we roughly figured how many nights we paid for camp spots, restaurant meals and misc expenses and $1,000 would almost cover it. (I don't count groceries because we have to eat at home). 

So, bottom line, in this (last) summer's economy, it took close to $4,000 for the trip. 

Another expense I am not counting toward the total is the cost of shipping our salmon home. It cost about $10.50 per pound. It is our salmon, the fish we actually caught. So many companies put the fish in bulk processing. I appreciate knowing how they were handled. Frozen wild-caught sockeye salmon in stores cost $6 to $7 a pound so it isn't too bad”


“Art After Words” Premier - Abstract Artist Jennifer Rivera - SouthWind Gallery - Friday from 6 - 8

When forty-two year old abstract artist Jennifer Rivera put out a call for poetry last year, she wasn't disappointed. With over two hundred submissions, she had more inspiration than she needed.

Rivera, who was named in KC Magazine's Top 5 Best Visual Artists of KC for both 2010 and 2011, says, "....there is a freedom in abstract art that doesn't exist in many other art forms...a marriage between the artist's freedom of expression and the viewer's interpretations." That's a whole lot of marriages, Jennifer!

Self taught artist and mother of three, Rivera is making a splash in the world of abstract art. When asked how a poem is chosen, Rivera states that although she can't pinpoint why one poem may inspire her more than another, she chooses poems that illicit emotions of sadness, anger or joy. She says a poem may even remind her of a specific time or place in her life.

"As an abstract artist, I tend to paint from an emotional place." Rivera says she tries not to visualize the end result as it hampers the process.

Rivera narrowed her selection to twenty-two individual poets, poems and paintings. How many words does it take to inspire Rivera? Poet Richard Twillman's untitled poem is the shortest at a mere thirty words, while Kevin Rabas', "For the Estranged" is the longest of the chosen poems with 214 words.

While many poets plan to attend this evening's premier (SouthWind Gallery, 3074 SW 29th, Topeka, Kansas, 6 - 8 p.m.) there is a VIP reading of the poems by the poets planned for Wednesday, March 14th, from 6:00 - 7:30.

Poets who had poems chosen include: Tom Averill, Dennis Etzel Jr., Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Mary Stone Dockery, Steve Brisendine, Aaron James McNally, Kevin Rabas, Richard Twillman, Nikki Allen, Tim Pettet, Isreal Wasserstein, Al Ortolani, Maria Vasquez, Donna Potts, Elizabeth Dodd, Holly Bonasera, Ronda Miller, Matthew Porubsky, Stephanie Barrows, DaMaris Hill, Danielle Smith, Catherine Malcolm Ellsworth, Maria Vasquez Boyd.

Rivera's art will remain at SouthWind Gallery through March. This is her second poetry inspired series. Last year, she did a similar project in the KC Crossroads Art District. To read more about the artist and view her art, check out her website: www.wix.com/artistjennifer/rivera

For additional information about tonight's premier showing and the SouthWind Gallery, contact Gary Blitsch at 785-273-5994.

Where does one hang such an inspirational piece of art work? I'm thinking the Governor's Mansion.......


Small Town Grocery Stores

The Kansas Sampler Foundation is a non profit organization with a mission to “preserve, sustain and grow rural culture by educating Kansans about Kansas and by networking and supporting rural communities.”

Each year they sponsor the Kansas Sampler Festival the first weekend in May. I’ve never attended this event but have heard so many good things about it. Maybe this year…

Anyway, I received an email recently requesting names of small towns who have recently lost their grocery store. I can’t help them with the request, but it got me thinking about our small grocery store when I was a kid.

We did our grocery shopping in Junction City at Sheridan's because Mom sold her eggs to the small store. I’m not sure on this, but I think the eggs bought most of our groceries. There was a meat counter in the back and a butcher that cut to order. Everyone knew us so it was fun to go into the store. For many years, Mrs. Sheridan was the checker. There were no bar codes, they remembered the prices of everything in the store.

I can’t remember where the candy was displayed in Sheridan’s. I do remember the candy at a tiny store near my grandpa. I think candy was all she had. That was the big deal when we visited Gramps—running to Shelton’s with a few coins for candy.

One of my husband's early, right out of high school jobs was delivering Royal Crown products to small town grocery stores. He said they were all similar. It would be interesting to trace his route and check on the stores. One store he visited was the Skiddy store—down the road from my cousins. The last time we were by Skiddy, it was only a ghost of a building.

Our contribution to a small town grocery store is,O'Bryhim's Thriftway a 4th generation grocery store in Overbrook. It has everything and the prices are competitive. And, they employ local young people who carry groceries to the car.


Kansas Authors Club, District Two Contest - submissions open 2-01-2012

I found out about Kansas Authors Club in 2010 - just in time to attend the conference hosted by our local district, District Two, just a couple of blocks from where I live. I was not only surprised that I had no clue it existed, but I continue to be surprised by how many other people don't know about it.

So then, this is a call not only for submissions for the yearly District Two contest, but for writers across the state of Kansas to become members of KAC (Kansas Authors Club). Reasons to join Kansas Authors Club? Comradeship, a shared knowledge base that ranges from contests, to grammar and writing styles, new poetry styles such as the Loku, how to become published, presentations about understanding, writing and submitting e-books, making your own chapbook, shared work and critique groups, travel to area districts, etc.

For information about becoming a District Two member, please contact New Member Chair Susie Nightingale: swimmer10@sunflower.com

Membership dues are $25.00 annually and include a year book, newsletters, information about contests, monthly meetings with area writers, yearly District Writers Retreat (District Two welcomed state poet laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg as guest speaker in 2011), and a multitude of other benefits.

Co-chairs of the District Two Writing Contest, Sally Jadlow and Ronda Miller, are proud to announce that D2 is sponsoring a writing contest open to all Kansas Authors Club members and nonmembers. Submissions open February 1st, 2012 and must be postmarked no later than April 1, 2012.

Entry fees: members - $3.00 per entry for members, non members - $5.00 per entry. There is no limit on the number of entries you may submit, but no manuscript may be entered in more than one category. If you plan on attending the award ceremony on May 12th (location to be announced), no postage on SASE is necessary with submissions.

Categories for poetry: Rhymed verse, Free verse, Haiku, Narrative.

Categories for Prose: Short Fiction, Memoir, Feature article, Inspirational.

Prizes - $20 for first place, $10 for second place, $5 for third place. (In categories with fewer than five entries, there will be only a first place award.

For detailed rules for submission, please email me: coachinforliferonda@yahoo.com with the words, 'D2 writing contest' in the subject line.


Life Saving KCPT 4-Part Series On Suicide Prevention and Bereavement begins tonight: Bipolar Disorder And Suicide Risk

I had word Wednesday morning that my cousin Teresa and her family were heartbroken. A close friend of her son and daughter had died by suicide. Unfortunately, it seems barely a month or two go by without having word of someone I know experiencing the same loss and tragedy. This was the second such loss Teresa's family has experienced in the past year. Both individuals were male and in their early twenties.

The United States has thirty thousand suicides each year. Suicides per states are believed to be based on five main factors: mental health resources, barriers to treatment (yes, this includes health care), mental health treatment utilization, socioeconomic characteristics and mental health parity - this deals with generosity of the state mental health parity coverage so the population can receive mental health treatment.

Please watch the KCPT 4-Part series with your family and friends. Please help spread the word about the series. It could be a life saver.

KCPT 4-Part Series On Suicide Prevention and Bereavement

Part 1 Bipolar Disorder and Suicide Risk - Thursday, January 26th @ 7:30.

Part 2 Depression: How To Identify It in Yourself and Others: How To Help A Friend; How To Help Yourself - February 16th.

Part 3 Suicide, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, What to Say To Someone Who is Considering Suicide - February 23rd.

Part 4, Survivors of Suicide Loss - March 1st.

The series features people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and suicide loss. Dr. Linda Moore, a Kansas City based psychologist, Bonnie Swade, Suicide Awareness Survivor Support MO-KAN and Marcia Epstein, Director of Headquarters Counseling Center (211 E 8th St. #C, Lawrence, Kansas) will be presenters during the series.

Headquarters Counseling Center for free life support counseling: 785 - 841-2345 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline center for Kansas: 1-800- 784-2433, or 1-800 - 273-8255.
All discussions remain confidential.

Did you know Headquarters offers free bimonthly suicide survivor group meetings?


BEGIN AGAIN: 150 KANSAS POEMS book winners: Holiday Haiku, Loku, KUku, Politiku, Felisku, free verse or rhyme

Yeah, yeah! I know this is two weeks late, but I have the list of winning poets in hand!

First Place goes to:

rockchalker52: congratulations, rock! you win for amount of entrees, bantering within poems and sheer enthusiasm.

jay_lo: in particular for the poem beginning....cup them, the children's......, and for your good sportsmanship, ability to rhyme and humor.

cait48: "The Wild Hunt" is hauntingly beautiful and I will read it again and again.

autie: humor always works for me.

DustyAcres: this is Kansas after all!

riverdrifter: for his astute eye for beauty and his love of Kansas.

ShePrecedes: because I fear I'll be struck by lightning otherwise! (just kidding)

roe: for his support in all poetic endeavors, good nature and his blogs in general.

Ron Holzworth: for writing poetry when he's told me he does not and can not. You outdid yourself, Ron!

lonelane_1: so she won't be lonely through the upcoming snow and ice filled nights.

A special thanks to my friend and fellow poet, Lee Mick, for his help in deciding on the winning poet. Rock is our winner, but Jay_lo came in a very, very close second.

Lee has a poem in BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas POEMS, "Having a Ball" as well as several poems in TallGrass Voices.

To receive your copy, please contact me through the ljworld.com site and we'll work out arrangements. Thank you for playing!


Common Sense Isn’t: What is a Session?

If the hottest topic in the news is whether or not one person going into the senate chamber every 3 days constitutes the aforementioned body being "in session", then this country is in deep trouble.

If a significant number of people think that such actions really mean that the body (Senate) is "in session", then this country is in deep trouble.

I can define the current behavior of the the House and Senate as bipartisan and productive. That does not make it true.

Even Rush Limbaugh had an appropriate phrase "Symbolism over Substance". That was back when I considered myself to be a Republican, now I must force myself to capitalize House, Senate, and Republican (Democrat, too for that matter). I'm sure Rush is taking the side of symbolism now, though.

Not that I have an opinion, one way or the other on "recess appointments". Is it just me, or are they just making up the rules as they go along?

Oh, and the punch line?

This country is in deep trouble.


Simplify (Wall Street?)

Don't know where that title came from, except maybe in a bolt of blinding inspiration???

I don't have any resolutions this year, but I've been conscious of reducing the stress and hassles in my life these last few years. So when I saw this article on CNN, it caught my attention.

8 ways to simplify your life in 2012

Although this article is aimed specifically at women, I think the stresses of "modern" life hit everyone.

My big prediction, not necessarily for this year, is that computers and technology will actually be used to simplify and improve our lives. In my opinion, that isn't happening yet... (I've probably said it before and I'll say it again)

What things in your life cause the most turmoil, aggravation, and stress? Or what things do you want (or hope) to change?


Your Favorite comment thread of 2011 was … ?

Hello--I did a blog like this last year, and people liked it so I thought I'd ask fellow posters again at the end of this year.

In 2011 we've lost some familiar posters, and others seem to be back with a new name or three.

Sven joined us, actually using his own name for a change, last spring. And ... he promptly got himself TOSsed off when he came in last place that April election day. (Sven Alstrom, city commission candidate and well known ljworld poster under a dozen or more names.)

Now we're under new management. Knology owns this space. We have lost Jonathan Kealing, and his sidekick Witney. As of now, Alex Parker is in control here (Alexander Haig ref).

Which thread was the funniest?

Which one was your favorite? Your funniest choice might be different from your favorite thread choice. Perhaps a thread moved you to tears or anger?

When you identify threads, please include links to them.

*and for those who have followed my postings for lo these nearly six years, I am soon posting a blog on 'how I spent my summer vacation' or, how I nearly died and some other stuff.' I'm especially looking forward to this 'best of 2011 threads,' because I missed many weeks online this year.

Enjoy ... oops, saying that, according to one very angry poster, means I'm an ITG (internet tough guy), though until she told me, I didn't know what ITG stood for, so I guess I'm thus disqualified from ITGship. lol


Merry Christmas, fellow poster

Merry Christmas, and may god bless us all, every one.

I hope this day is good for you and that you get what you wish for as one or more gifts.

If you care to answer, please post here just what was your best gift or experience for today, Christmas 2011.


Holiday Haiku, Loku, KUku, Politiku, Felisku, free verse or rhyme - just make it seasonal

Tis the season to embrace them all - people, cultures and religions that is.

Allow your loving, forgiving hearts and minds the ability to extend over space and time.

Stretch your belief system, drop tradition and wrap your mind around the endless possibilities of poetry.

Today's poetry blog will encompass whatever form your words and thoughts want to take.

So be it Haiku, Loku, KUku, Felisku, free verse or rhyme, all is fine - just make it seasonal. I will pick twelve winning entries (with a little help from my friends), to post in an online blog 12-26-2011.

Viewers may then cast a vote for whom they think should win. (I'm sorry, but there can only be one winner. You may post as many poems as you wish) The winner receives an autographed copy of BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas Poems (edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and published by Woodley Press).

Have fun! Safe travels this holiday season. Ku ku ka jube!


Haiku: (remember the first line is traditionally five syllables, the second line is seven syllables and the third line is five syllables)

Winter solstice bliss

Say goodbye - a final kiss

Stark lunar eclipse

Loku: a poetic form made up of three mono syllable words: the first two words are separated from the third word by a comma. Each line is complete, but additional lines can be used for a more complex story.

Snow comes, white

House full, friends

Sit round, eat

Join hands, pray

Tree bright, lights

Red nose, deer

Stops roof, gifts

Man suit, fat

Friends leave, belch

Shows on, snooze

Night cap, booze

Next day, cruise!


Gill is gone,

Weis now further west

I hear he's best anyway

What else do I hear

From up on the hill?

Raises for staff - nil

More work, less pay

Makes those who stay

Swallow pride, a bitter pill

Those who can, retire

Others left to inquire

Why? It's just not fair

With increased cost of living

All the knowledge and sweat

They give and share.

Have fun! I'll stop by to insert my own poems from time to time as well as read and enjoy yours. The contest ends Christmas Eve at midnight!


BEGIN AGAIN:150 KANSAS POEMS reading scheduled Tuesday, December 13th, The Jewish Community Center, 7 p.m.

Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg will present approximately twenty four poets from around Kansas to launch the anthology BEGIN AGAIN: 150 KANSAS POEMS at 7 p.m. this coming Tuesday at the Lawrence Jewish Community Center located at 917 Highland.

The anthology, edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and published by Woodley Press, features the work of over 90 writers, including the poems published on www.150KansasPoems.wordpress.com, a website Mirriam-Goldberg developed to celebrate Kansas' 150th anniversary of statehood.

Readings are being held throughout the state from Garden City and Ulysses to Leavenworth (Saturday, December 10th, at The Book Barn, 410 Delaware St., 1 - 3 p.m.), to Topeka (Sunday, December 11th, Topeka Library, 1515 SW 10th Ave., 3 - 5 p.m.), to Lecompton (Saturday, December 17th, at the Territorial Capital and Lane University, 1 - 3 p.m.).

The Lawrence reading promises to be one of the largest and will conclude with a signing party and reception. The anthology of 150 Kansas poems can be purchased at The Raven Bookstore, 6 E 7th St., Lawrence, KS 66044.

The readings will conclude for 2011 on December 30th, The Percolator, 913 Rd. Island, Lawrence, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

The anthology, which sells for fifteen dollars, makes a terrific gift for anyone who lives in Kansas, has lived in Kansas, has a Kansas connection, appreciates nature and the diversity of the human experience, or any connoisseur of poetry.


The 1% strikes again?

From the title for this post, you can see that I am obviously a staunch supporter of the OWS movement. Although I wish different people were doing the talking and I'm a little dismayed at what I think are some misdirected priorities, I'm thankful that a such a movement has started and that it has endured long enough to give me confidence that it is more than a fad.

Of course there are many "activists" who protest because that is what the do. And yes, many of them are naive and some are downright silly.

However I gain a little more hope each time there is some inane attack on the protesters. Whether they come from comments here on LJW, FOX news, CEO's I know, or wherever.... It is the people that I see and hear being disparaged, but not the ideas.

I guess we take it for granted that you can buy anything with money: influence, fame, and politicians to name a few.

Chad Lawhorn's article on rising farmland prices today caught my attention. If, as he reports, farmland is being bought for investment purposes and that is the cause of the increasing prices, then we should call this activity just what it is.

Speculation. Brought to you by the same guys who lent money to anyone with a heartbeat, then refused to restructure loans even though it would have reduced their losses, then foreclosed, then negligently neglected many houses causing them to be trashed (frozen/broken pipes....).

There are those who claim that speculation is a sign of a free market and therefore a good thing. It definitely is, at least for the speculators. For those of us who pay for the products grown on this land, or the vanishing family farms, and those of us who don't have the money, or the leverage to invest in any commodity and drive the price up, well, I don't think that it is such a good thing.

We can chose to look at some of the antics of the OWS movement and find fault. Or we can listen to the message and make a decision based on our experience and common sense.

Perhaps you can watch the coverage of people having their belongings piled on the sidewalk and not feel shamed and anger at the greed and stupidity that caused it. Maybe you can make yourself believe that it could never happen to you.

The truth is the truth, no matter what we think of the speaker. The way things are now is not the way is they must remain.

These people may not have done things the way I wish they had, but they have more gumption and determination than I do...than we do.

Our history is filled with people who'd had enough. Each time, I imagine it took a while before we recognized them. They're the ones who were at the Boston Tea Party, campaigned for civil rights, and protested against the Vietnam War.


This Is Better Than That

"Whatever gets you through your life 'salright, 'salright, Do it wrong or do it right 'salright, 'salright, "

John Lennon's lyrics to "Whatever Gets You Through the Night.", have played through my head numerous times over the years, too numerous to mention.

Most of you reading this blog have at one time or another been in extreme pain, and whether that pain was physical, mental, or spiritual, more than likely you have had many opportunities to feel the effects of how life changing and challenging pain can be.

Pain over the sudden loss of a loved one, news that someone you know and love has a terminal illness, or receiving a negative diagnose of a personal nature is indeed life changing.

Whether it is depression that is getting you down, temporary blues over the loss of a job, a physical ailment, or something more permanent, I hope you'll give the technique I"m talking about a chance to change your attitude by focusing in a more positive manner.

I didn't invent, "This is Better Than That", I don't even remember what it was called when I first heard about it, but the idea is that you begin each day with a mental list that you keep track of to compare what you have done as to being better than anything else that you experienced in the day.

Example: I wake up in excruciating pain, I turn over and the pain is slightly less. I say to myself, "This is better than that".

Next I get out of bed and I feel the cool, smooth floor underneath my feet and I ask, "Is this better than the decreased pain of my earlier movement?"

If it is then it goes to the top of my list. Next item may be something as simple (and endearing) as seeing my child's smile and noticing he/she is missing a front tooth - this immediately goes to the top of my list.

The idea is that if we concentrate on always looking for the next best thing to put on the top of our list. we tend not to focus on the negative things; they are ignored or not as noticeable since they are not what we are paying attention to for our list

.At the end of the day, as your head touches the pillow and just seconds before you drift off to sleep, spend a minute or two thinking about your list and remember as you go through all of the positive things that occurred in your day which one of them was better than all the rest.

If you have been used to thinking in a negative manner, are seriously depressed over a diagnosis, it might take awhile to retrain your thinking pattern.

You DO have control over how you LOOK at things that are happening, or have happened, in your life even though you may not have control over what actually happens or happened. Take back some of the control by how you choose to look at things and don't forget to ask, "Is this better than that"?

What techniques or tools have you utilized to help you transition through a difficult time period or loss?

We have had numerous losses within our community over the past couple of months - what advice would you give to those people who have lost a loved one to help them make it through their life?


The poets are coming to Lawrence! ‘Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems’ - Sunday, November 6th, Lawrence Public Library

Bowlegged, gray haired women run after tobacco spitting squirts. Some of the children are their own, but form and features are unrecognizable in the blaze of squealing chickens and piglets as all embrace in glee, then quickly pull away, each vying for the best possible view of the poets.

They came! They are coming! Only one child will be chosen to return with them, to be taught how to tap into subconscious and allow memories stored through osmosis to distort, entangle, engulf, and finally, to create!

Millilng peasants and townspeople listen, enraptured, into twilight. Eyes slightly closed, parched beak agape, a scuffled, freshly poisoned magpie flies to the north, so frightful and uncommon this scene.

By sunrise, the poetesses gather their dust laden skirts around their shoulders, a few elderly poets taking off dress jackets to assist in providing warmth to a favorite.

No sooner has it begun, and it has ended. Adults come awake in the reality of everyday survival. With renewed energy and appreciation of words to grasp onto until the next visit, mother and child once again recognize each other and make their way home.

All except one. It is days before anyone realizes I'm a chosen one. I'm carried away among the shuffling, sandaled feet of the poets and into a way of life I have no means of comprehending. One day I too shall return, and I will bring words.

This, unfortunately, was not my childhood reality, but for many children, teens and adults over the next several months, it will be.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, poet laureate of Kansas, has chosen 150 poems representing Kansas in Woodley Press release, 'Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems'.

Caryn, and a variety of poets, kick off a twenty city reading tour Thursday, November 3rd, in Wichita - Eight Day Books, 2838 E. Douglas.

Twenty-six poets who made the cut will be reading (The Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., large auditorium), Sunday, November 6th, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

All readings are free and open to the public. Additional information about readings may be found at: 150kansaspoem.wordpress.com/readings/

The poets ARE coming. Allow them to carry you away........