WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: UNIQUE

get them herehttp://www.trendylegs.com/shop/love-text-print-tights-grey-black/

My librarian is chic unique.  And so are her ideas.  Like this one ~ a blind date with a book.

Blind Date with a Book

….

She says browse through the book personal ads and pick a potential reading match. Take it home, unwrap it and read.  If you don’t like the book, simply return it to the library, its feelings won’t be hurt. But who knows, maybe there’s a future for the two of you.  Singular Valentine fare, isn’t it?

At her poetry workshop, she asked us to marry a favorite poem with a photograph. The submissions were oddball, off beat and original.

Mine was none of the above.

There Are Those Who Love To Get Dirty by Gary Snyder.

Poem by Gary Snyder

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I love the uniqueness of an occasional poem, one written to comment on a particular event. Recently I, along with the rest of the nation, heard Richard Blanco honor America. He wrote a simple and direct poem about private lives and public hopes. I cannot imagine the weight of that challenge.

Blanco had to write three new poems for the inauguration committee. But it wasn’t his first occasional poem.  He wrote one other in 2008, not because he was asked, but because he was so moved by a photograph. It was a historical photo of the very place where he was working as an engineer on an improvement project.  At the groundbreaking ceremony, the citizens of South Miami listened to Blanco read just as raptly as we did on Inauguration Day. Only on Sunset Drive, the poet wore a hard hat.

Unique indeed.

Toni 2/1/13

Photo of a Man on Sunset Drive: 1914, 2008

BY RICHARD BLANCO

And so it began: the earth torn, split open
by a dirt road cutting through palmettos
and wild tamarind trees defending the land
against the sun. Beside the road, a shack
leaning into the wind, on the wooden porch,
crates of avocados and limes, white chickens
pecking at the floor boards, and a man
under the shadow of his straw hat, staring
into the camera in 1914. He doesn’t know
within a lifetime the unclaimed land behind
him will be cleared of scrub and sawgrass,
the soil will be turned, made to give back
what the farmers wish, their lonely houses
will stand acres apart from one another,
jailed behind the boughs of their orchards.
He’ll never buy sugar at the general store,
mail love letters at the post office, or take
a train at the depot of the town that will rise
out of hundred-million years of coral rock
on promises of paradise. He’ll never ride
a Model-T puttering down the dirt road
that will be paved over, stretch farther and
farther west into the horizon, reaching for
the setting sun after which it will be named.
He can’t even begin to imagine the shadows
of buildings rising taller than the palm trees,
the street lights glowing like counterfeit stars
dotting the sky above the road, the thousands
who will take the road everyday, who’ll also
call this place home less than a hundred years
after the photograph of him hanging today
in City Hall as testament. He’ll never meet
me, the engineer hired to transform the road
again, bring back tree shadows and birdsongs,
build another promise of another paradise
meant to last another forever. He’ll never see
me, the poet standing before him, trying
to read his mind across time, wondering if
he was thinking what I’m today, both of us
looking down the road that will stretch on
for years after I too disappear into a photo.
Richard Blanco, “Photo of a Man on Sunset Drive: 1914, 2008” from Place of Mind, published by Floating Wolf Quarterly. Copyright  © 2011 by Richard Blanco.  Source: Place of Mind (Floating Wolf Quarterly, 2011)

Finally. President Obama Will Address–Call It By Name, Even–Climate Change. He Put a Marker Down for It in His Inauguration Speech, Taking a Note from the House Wren, Mayhap?

(Photo by Bet Zimmerman;http://www.sialis.org/nestshowr.htm)

House Wren nest. Photo by Bet Zimmerman.

Markers: Pres.Obama put a Climate Change one in his speech,

pledged to respond to the threat.

But I hope it won’t be like what the House Wrens do.

HE places twigs into 12 prospective nest holes.

Then SHE checks out each and picks one.

The rest? Unused markers. Avoid this fate, Mr.President.

In addition to your Administrative action? Compromise:

Approve the pipeline in return for cap-and-trade.

Make your Marker count.

PATTY 1/22/13

Oregon’s Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller Says He Won’t Enforce Gun Laws. Well, Sheriffs Aren’t Asked to Enforce Federal Laws, Sir, So that’s Not At Issue, But, No, You Can’t Keep Fed Officers Out of Your State When They Come to Enforce Federal Laws. We’ve Already Fought This Fight: It’s the Same Old Tired Rhetoric those Segregationists Used to Bar James Meredith, Prompted a State-Federal Standoff, Sparked Deadly Mob Violence and Ended a Policy of Racial Segregation. Ask Ross Barnett How Well His Bravura Worked For Him. Remember the Civil Rights Movement? And How About Those Mississippi Sheriffs? (A 420 Character, 9-Liner with Footnotes.)

Oregon’s state bird–Western Meadowlark–

gapes open its bill with really strong muscles

to create a hole that gives it access to bugs.

Is this a metaphor for what that Sheriff is trying to do

by poking holes in the Constitution with his “I can keep feds out.”*

But,sir? This turf’s been turned back in 1962

when Gov. Barnett tried to refuse James Meredith entry into Ole Miss,

mocking like a Mockingbird,

his state bird.

PATTY 1/16/13

* “Any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the president offending the constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies. Nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Linn County, OR.” (note from Patty:  Sheriff Mueller can’t do the latter. This is where he needs to re-take his U.S. History class and reread those chapters on James Meredith, Ross Barnet, and President Kennedy.)

http://youtu.be/ygVf3FxKxJU

James Meredith Ole Miss

http://www.usmarshals.gov/history/miss/02.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/james-meredith-ole-miss-integration_n_1929306.html