Yes, You Can Judge a Town by Its Public Library

Most people judge a town by its school system. I judge it by its library. How big is it? How versatile is its stock of books? How convenient are its hours, seven days a week? Some towns I visit have beautiful fields for baseball, football, soccer. Some even have hockey arenas and sprawling golf courses. …

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My Kingdom for an Audience!

In this age and day, it is good to read a poem that starts with the line "How kind people are!" Not just read it, but with-an-exclamation-point read it, as if the idea needs to shout in these times where boorishness, shamelessness, and lies are king. Connie Wanek's poem, "Audience," brings to mind poetry readings, …

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A Dog, Samsara, and the Sea

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. A good mantra for samsara, seems. But the Buddhist view of samsara is negative---i.e. an endless cycle of pain, sickness, and death---while the Western view skews positive. You know. Reincarnation as better-than-nothing form of immortality. Too bad you can't remember your former lives. Unless you're Shirley MacLaine, that is. Today's poem is …

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Random Thoughts for March (i.e. Madness!)

Every once in a while, I write a Random Thoughts post (copyright, patent pending). As advertised, it is random. The equivalent of blathering, often with the intent of being humorous. Think funny raft floating on a stream of serious, then don't take it too seriously. Streams of Consciousness are on the protected conservation lands list, …

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The Endless Reservoir of Self-Doubt

When it comes to inspiration, we think of the usual suspects: love, nature, emotions both positive and negative. What we seldom think of, but have ample reserves of, is self-doubt. Unless we are megalomaniacs who think we're the greatest, we tend to question ourselves frequently. We are our own greatest critics. Why? Because we know …

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Thanks, I Needed That!

Once upon a time on a television far, far away, there was a strange series of commercials for Mennen Skin Bracer that featured the catchy byline "Thanks, I needed that!" Those words quickly entered the lexicon of everyday America, with people, for various reasons, offering sincere or tongue-in-cheek gratitude under the precedence of Mennen's advertising wisdom. …

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Famous Quote, Humble Catalyst

Galway Kinnell once said, "The secret title of every good poem might be 'Tenderness.'" David Kirby must have been listening. Check out where his poem "Taking It Home to Jerome" starts and ends:   Taking It Home to Jerome by David Kirby In Baton Rouge, there was a DJ on the soul station who was …

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