Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Antisocial Experiment

When two people converse
But always on the second’s turf,
How does the first know
Whether the second cares?

They conduct an experiment—
Be their own turf king,
Stop conversing until where
Changes, not when.

But what if all conversations
Between the first and the rest
Are because he initiates?
How can he know the problem wasn’t just him?

And so was born
An innocent experiment:
He shall begin no conversations
No not one.

The antisocial element
Is quite perverse,
But perhaps this verse
Will wipe away the tears

Should it prove that the problem is him.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

Afternoon Shiver

It is meeting time.
Distracted by passers by,
Listen and observe.

I observe this one
Coming and going again.
The meeting goes on;

This one goes again.
My body soon shivers hard;
No explanation:

I’m indoors, it’s warm;
Winter has yet to strike here.
But still I shiver.

She returns once more,
A sweater now adorns her.
Shivering explained?

The Sea

I am the sea:
You can count on me
To transfer gravitational energy
From the moon to your coastal property.

I am the ocean:
Strong currents flow
Beneath my surface, moving
Marine life faster along their route.

My currents
Influence the weather;
Sometimes to your delight,
Other times my influence is to your dismay.

I am the sea:
Bound only by the shore,
Each crashing wave wears rock away;
My rip currents pull your sand to me, day by day.

© 2014 H.K. Longmore

What of Columbus?

Of late there are many sources claiming Christopher Columbus was unworthy of a federal holiday a despicable rascal. See this “article” on the oatmeal  and this one on vox.com. I saw the oatmeal article last year. A friend who is a teacher shared it with me. The following is what I shared with her, and now with anyone open minded enough to not jump on the revisionist bandwagon without long contemplation and deep investigation.

Vicki Jo Anderson, while researching many historical figures over the course of several years, discovered that

“history written prior to 1920 was often written of great men and women who performed great deeds. After 1920, history has highlighted the miseries of men…. Dean Belnap once stated: ‘Young people of our generation have been deprived of their birthright, which is to be conscious that they are the children of a high destiny in the line of great men who performed great deeds.’ One cannot appreciate the future unless there is an understanding of the past. It is the intent of [the book she was doing the research for] to illustrate from the lives of these eminent men, that one individual can make a difference.”

Of Columbus, Anderson writes:

“Disheartened with the greed and lust that were wreaking havoc in the newly discovered land, in 1496 he wrote to the king and queen, begging that the same laws existing in Spain be applied to the islands, and that all people–including the Indians–have the same justice.
He wrote: ‘Procure for the Indians, that are coming under our rule, the same rules and protections as those we have been speaking of [here in Spain]. These rules are to apply to those in power and those not in power equally. I want them to have the same protection like I have as if they were my own flesh.’ In 1497, he pleaded again:
‘I worry immensely about the future. I do not know what will happen in years to come. But we will discover new lands and we will negotiate in some of them according to the law of Castile and if this is not ruled by a strong hand then we will lose and rip apart our future and we will lose everything. I am afraid we will be misunderstood. I tell you to do it this way because gold is not everything.’”

Her source for the Columbus quotes is:

Columbus, Christopher. Letters to King Ferdinand & Queen Isabel 1496 Raccolta Collection. Raccolta di Documenti e Studi Pubblicati dalla R. Commissione Colombiana, pel Quarto Centenario dalla Scoperta dell’ America, Appendix Roma 1894, p. 270.

I am not saying by this that he never did anything bad, just that he may not have been as bad as recent history writers make him out to be.

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Sand Castle

Two children meet on a beach;
For their sand shovels reach.
A castle they build,
With dreams it’s filled.

But the filling of the moat
They leave to the sea.
And the sea is pleased:
On the castle he dotes.

He reaches the moat with each high tide,
With each high tide, the moat is complete.
With each low, the heat competes
For the castle’s mastery.
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