Little Girl Blue

The Daily Texan ran a profile of her in the issue dated July 27, 1962,  headlined “She Dares To Be Different.” The article began, “She goes barefooted when she feels like it, wears Levi’s to class because they’re more comfortable, and carries her autoharp with her everywhere she goes so that in case she gets the urge to break into song it will be handy. Her name is Janis Joplin.”

Long curls tangled in abandon,
she raced barefoot through the fields
picking wildflowers for the table,
berries for cobblers, or just gathering
sun rays to feed the freckles
sprinkled over her nose.

She wove chains of daisies
and wore them in her hair,
but that was in the summer. Months
of sun slip by; innocence is lost
in little things. The beautiful
blue sky

and there a hawk and there
a sparrow. Her face tilted, worshiping
the sun. She saw the feathers falling,
and something like a chill wind
said this is living
and this is dying.

She wove her daisy chains
until winter spent the wildflowers
with its will. She was too young
to know that spring would come
and they would bloom again,
so she caught the stars

at midnight and wore them in her hair
though no one saw them…just her,
and the moon streaming in the window.
Alone there with songs to sing
and dreams to dream and maybe thoughts
about the sparrow and the hawk.

Considering Collateral Damage

We can never take it back,
that chaotic day
of silenced song, that day
they saw their friends forever gone.

That moment when it didn’t matter
that homework wasn’t done
or that they spent their evening
volunteering at the shelter

or taunting
the neighbor’s son, the one
who moved slower than the others.
They all became

as one,
small rabbits in short grass
when days in the sun
ceded to a darker season.

 

Free from Gravity

for  Stephen Hawking
January 08, 1942 – March 14, 2018

~       ~      ~     ~     ~     ~    ~     ~      ~
You could not speak
nor move your limbs,
Imperfect as we saw you,
you were a child of God.

You were no accident
of some inept potter’s wheel,
you were a vessel
designed to house a brain,

and a heart, and
a soul, no doubt about it. You
were gifted with childlike wonder and
an ironclad will … and humor.

For all the relativity
of your quantum quarks,
(Oh what a universe, your mind!)
you struggled to know the mind of God.

A Brief History of Time, you said
was most bought, least read book
of all time. I bought it
and read it again and again,

Stretching my understanding
with each read, and even then
I felt my limitations, and amazement
at each new equation.

Through all the pages, understood and not,
it was clear you were looking for God.
At last you have found him;
at last you’re free from gravity.

.

.

” Hawking’s run of radical discoveries led to his election in 1974 to the Royal Society at the young age of 32. Five years later, he became the Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge, arguably Britain’s most distinguished chair, and one formerly held by Isaac Newton, Charles Babbage and Paul Dirac, the latter one of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics.

Hawking’s seminal contributions continued through the 1980s. The theory of cosmic inflation holds that the fledgling universe went through a period of terrific expansion. In 1982, Hawking was among the first to show how quantum fluctuations – tiny variations in the distribution of matter – might give rise through inflation to the spread of galaxies in the universe. In these tiny ripples lay the seeds of stars, planets and life as we know it.

But it was A Brief History of Time that rocketed Hawking to stardom. Published for the first time in 1988, the title made the Guinness Book of Records after it stayed on the Sunday Times bestsellers list for an unprecedented 237 weeks. It sold 10m copies and was translated into 40 different languages. Nevertheless, wags called it the greatest unread book in history. ”

Excerpted from an article in The Guardian

The Foe No Longer Silent Sleeps

O! Emerson, how could you know
when you wrote the Concord Hymn
that shots would echo ’round the world,
shots fired by lesser men?

No bridge can arch the flood
that sweeps across our land,
No sea can hold the mothers’ tears
nor calm the fathers’ hands.

The bullet’s echo ricochets
through once thought hallowed halls.
O! God pray hear our plea
before even one more falls.

Please come into our hearts,
and come into our homes,
and teach us now to understand
the problem is our own.

The bullying, the hatred;
the shots ring out again.
Teach us Lord to teach respect
to bring this killing to an end.

Willowdown Memorial on Wordflair

I was amazed at the kindness shown by so many when I posted the request for help in finding the family of Willowdown.  It is a joy to share with you that his family has been found.  His friends in England, Wales, and in the online writing communities all worked hand in hand to accomplish that.

We have put together a memorial that I wanted to share with you. You will find it at
http://www.wordflair.net/willowdownmemorial.html

My thanks again to all.