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Monday, April 30, 2012

Together

Republicans hesitate to endorse
the likely GOP nominee,
Mitt Romney.

The main goal for the Republican Party
is to defeat Barack Obama.
The Republicans will not win.

Democrats, stand together!
Democrats, band together!
Get Obama re-elected!


© Catherine Giordano


Today’s poem comes from the “Letters to the Editor section of the newspaper.  A letter to the editor made better. No longer pro GOP; now, it's pro PBO.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Doggie Derby


Molly ran a few feet, got distracted,
turned around, and headed back.
Higgins zoomed to the finish line.

Almost 200 hundred dogs
with owners in tow,
were out in Baldwin Park
for the fifth annual race.

Doggie Derby pits golden retrievers
against border collies,
French bulldogs against Boston terriers,
Pugs against dachshunds.

In a bracket style tournament;
dogs go head-to-head in a 25 yard race.
Winning dogs advance to the next round,
losing dogs watch from the sidelines.

Most races last only
a few seconds as dogs—
tongues hanging out—
sprint to the finish line.

In this year’s Doggie Derby,
a black Labrador retriever named Casey
was named grand champion.

© Catherine Giordano


Excuse the bad pun, but this project appears to be going to the dogs.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Bookish Corner

A spot,
devoted to curling up with a good book,
a luxury,
escaping to a quiet corner of your home,
losing yourself to a good book.

A bay window,
a white daybed with a fuchsia blanket,
a glass side table holding a snack;
an oasis of calm.
an invitation to slow down.

A hammock on the balcony,
a pile of pillows squeezed into a corner,
a recliner beside the fireplace;
creating an area devoted to reading
is a deeply personal endeavor.

A temple to reading
is more important than ever.
Cuddle with your Kindle,
be enveloped by hard-bound tomes,
cocoon for a reading session.     

 © 2012 Catherine Giordano


I have a reading nook—a floral overstuffed chaise, a pink throw, a fuchsia, a garden view—and I never use it.  I spend most of my time in my home office working on speeches, writing, and, increasingly, marketing.    This poem reminds me, as perhaps it does you, to make some time for relaxing and reading.

Friday, April 27, 2012

High-Tech TurtleTrek

Sea change at SeaWorld Orlando.
The new TurtleTrek attraction,
a virtual undersea environment.

A shark, a fishing boat with nets,
a threatening bird
swarm above
and around
theme park guests.

Cutting edge technology
at SeaWorld Orlando
does not mean a change in strategy.
SeaWorld Orlando
does “real” better than other attractions.

The technical aspects
of TurtleTrek
are creative;
34 projectors
all syncing together.

Turtles have a great story to tell.
Technology helps tell that story
making it as real as possible.


© 2012 Catherine Giordano


SeaWorld Orlando is my favorite theme park.  It’s less crowded, more peaceful—at least it was when I used to take my son there when he was young.  I hope SeaWorld is careful about adding rides and high-tech elements.  I like the “real”--like watching the manatees. And I could stay in the Penguin House for hours.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Fever

The end of the school year—
a rash of spring fever afflicting students.

You have to embrace spring fever;
understand that kids will be kids.

Spring is in the air—
this time of year students get antsy.

Spring is exciting;
the days are getting longer.

At the end of the school year,
kids want to be outside having fun.


© 2012 Catherine Giordano
 

I understand spring fever because I get it too.  In Florida, Spring starts in mid-February, and that’s when I get antsy wanting to start my garden.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rolling Toward The Fall

Mitt Romney, after sweeping five primaries
claimed the mantle of Republican nominee
though he has not officially clinched the race.

Romney still facing major challenges within his party—
winning over reluctant conservatives,
winning over the evangelical movement.

Romney’s favorability ratings slumping dramatically
over the course of a bruising primary;
Romney eking out victories only after pouring

millions into ads attacking his opponents.
Polls show he gets less popular with voters
the more voters get to know him.

As President Barack Obama
heads into a face-off with Mitt Romney,
the president revisits parts of his life story.

No silver spoons, lots of student loans—
“Michelle and I, we’ve been in your shoes.
We didn’t come from wealthy families.”

Obama using his personal narrative
to carry his message, in a campaign
in which contrasts are implicit, not explicit.


Today I took two stories—one above the fold, and one below the fold—and
combined them to compose the poem.

Rolling towards the fall: Rolling towards November or rolling towards a fall?  Whose fall?

Full disclosure: I took a few liberties with this poem, adding the word “after” and moving a phrase ahead of the phrase that actually preceded it.  I did it for the sake of the poem.


© 2012 Catherine Giordano

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

SUPERfruit

It’s expensive.
It’s exotic.
It’s SUPERfruit.

Acia berries, maqui berries
Yumberries, chokeberries,
Gogi berries, lingonberries
A lot of berries.

Also baobabs, mangosteens,
sea buckhorn, jujube fruit,
cupuacus, pitayas, pomegrantes,
the list keeps growing.

SUPERfruits have super powers
for making you healthy.
SUPERfruit superpowers
come from high anti-oxidant content.

SUPERfruits keep you young, make you smart,
cure just about anything that ails you,
or better yet, stop you
from getting sick in the first place.

The SUPERfruit designation
goes to fruits are unusual
and unusually pricey—
qualities that impart a certain cachet.
 
SUPERfruits are probably good for you,
though maybe not especially so.
Maybe the peach is the best thing out there.
We don’t know.


© 2012 Catherine Giordano


Are superfruits super good? Maybe. Maybe not. True believers make a lot of claims; skeptics say that there is not enough scientific research to say one way or the other.

P.S.  I decided to capitalize the “super” in superfruits to suit my poetic fancy.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Orlando Connects

Coming together.
Networking, connecting,
getting to know each other.

Orlando is a very young city,
at a pivotal point in history—
Florida Hospital’s Health Village,

The upcoming Creative Village,
SunRail, and other great projects.
People here want to be connected.

The community has the capability
to be one of the most significant
metropolitan areas in the Southeast.

Things that make sense
for Orlando
are finally happening.

Orlando has the tools,
the brain power,
and people willing

to take that leap.
It’s an exciting time,
to be in Orlando.

Orlando is a very exciting place to live.  I moved to Orlando in 1995 and I have watched the city grow. The Greater Orlando area has a population of around one million. From the beginning I have said Orlando is small enough to have that small-town feeling, but big enough to be cosmopolitan.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano 

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Painted Pianos Pop-Up


Lori usually paints portraits.

On Saturday, Lori painted a piano.
for an upcoming fund-raiser
called Pop-Up Pianos.

A dozen painted pianos
set up across Seminole County
to raise awareness for the arts.

Pop-Up pianos on public display
at the mall, at City Hall,
at the international airport.

Organizers encourage musicians,
and non-musicians,
to interact with the pianos.

The pianos on display,
will be auctioned off.
The money will benefit the arts.


© 2012 Catherine Giordano


The painted pianos are charming.  When I see one, it makes me smile.  Since non-musicians are invited to play them, and I am definitely a non-musician, maybe the next time I see one I’ll play the first bar of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What Smells?

The house smelled musty.
The bathrooms smelled dank.
I don’t fault the house.
Every house smells.

Houses can smell delicious, clean, and fresh. 
Houses can smell like pets, gym shoes,
fried fish, mildew, kitty litter,
or an aromatic blend of smells.

We don’t always know what our homes smell
like to others. When others come in,
what you no longer smell
will seem strong to them.

Home fragrance creates a mood
Try citrusy green scents in the kitchen,
a light floral in the powder room,
and something a little sexier in the bedroom.

What is popular? Scents are popular.
Upscale consumers are picking up scents.


© 2012 Catherine Giordano




Friday, April 20, 2012

A Global Peek

Kyle Ruddick had this gigantic idea—
Create a movie
in which the entire world was the star.

The result is “One Day on Earth”
a documentary screening globally
on Sunday, Earth Day.

Ruddick persuaded people
in every country
to video the world around them.

Births of babies,
weddings,
Soldiers marching,

Children playing,
Athletes competing,
Famers laboring,

And countless people simply going
about their lives in ways
both mundane and sublime.

There are things intrinsic
to being human—
the challenges we are facing.

We have to realize
that we are part of humanity
interconnected in this struggle.

A film about one day on earth.
When people see it
they feel a deeper connection.

A deeper connection to other people,
the other people
who share this planet.
 
© 2012 Catherine Giordano


The film took a year of editing to cull 110 minutes out of 3,000 hours of footage.  On Sunday, the film will be shown at the United Nations as well as in 160 countries around the world.  It will be shown at 6pm at AMC Downtown Disney.

 The way to peace is to put peace into the hearts of 7 billion people.  This film may help do that.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Making Deams Come True

“Give Kids the World Village”—
A non-profit resort for children—
Children with life-threatening illnesses
And their families.

Volunteer angels—
The heart of the village.
Volunteer angels—
All ages, talents, and abilities.

Volunteer angels—
Filling roles including
gift givers, entertainers
Ice-cream scoopers, and characters.

Volunteer angels—
students, corporate professionals, retirees,
community groups, individuals, families—
Sharing time, talent, and hearts.
 
Volunteer angles—
bringing happiness and hope
into the lives of precious children
and their families.

The angels’ rewards—
A child’s smile, A hug,
A thank you,
And grateful families.

The angels change the lives of children,
Children with life-threatening illnesses
And their families.

 © 2012 Catherine Giordano

A week ago I wrote a poem about child abuse.  Today I am happy to show the flip side.  Today's poem is about people giving their time to bring happiness to children.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thrice as Nice

Blended scotch,
triple-malt scotch,
big blends,
popular for their consistency
not their exclusivity.

A triple malt scotch named
Monkey Shoulder,
named after a injury
among distillery
workers of yore.

After hours of hand-turning malt
with a wooden shovel,
it felt as if
there was a monkey
on their shoulder.

Monkey Shoulder,
now available nationally,
is a blend of some of the finest
single malts in Scotland’s
Speyside  region.

A region known for incredibly
soft, smooth, and sweet whiskey.
The key is definitely
the flavor—a malty character,
lots of vanilla,

and fruity floral aspects.
It’s about picking.
and choosing.
always trying,
to get the best bits.



© Catherine Giordano


To your health!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Putting the App in Happy

Your smartphone:

It’s not just for texting, tweeting,
and waging war against little green pigs,
and, oh right, calling people.

It’s also for making
yourself happier,
less-stressed out,
and more self-aware.

Really, there’s an app for that?
There’s a number of apps for that!

Here’s a sampling of the apps:
Mood Swing, Moody Me,
Mood Panda,
Mood Kit, Mood Scanner,
Live Happy.

Is there really
any evidence
that mood apps help?

There aren’t many
studies yet.

If an app sounds
positively wacky,
maybe it is.


© 2012 Catherine Giordano


I have an app for happiness.  It is called “chocolate.”

Monday, April 16, 2012

Titanic Victims Mourned

The shrill sound of a ship’s whistle in the North Atlantic.
Relatives of the people who died when the Titanic
sank after hitting an iceberg remembered
their ancestors. A poignant ceremony
a century later on a still starry
night. A cruise ship, floated
above the wreckage of
the famous luxury
liner. All was
quiet.

As quiet as it was one hundred years ago
when it went deathly quiet, deathly
quiet when the screaming
stopped. The whistle
pierced the air at
the time the
Titanic

hit the  iceberg. A two-minute silence
was observed. Three wreaths
were tossed into the calm
waters. Tears joined
the relatives of
the dead.


It was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on Sunday April 15.  They story is as powerful as it was 100 years ago.

I tried to make each stanza form the shape of a ship’s prow, not so easy to do when I can only use the words in the story in the order that they appear in the story.


© Catherine Giordano
This picture of the Titanic is from forbes.com

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Subterranean Bacteria

The resilience of life;
the inventiveness of life;
life deep in a cave.

In the cave’s most arid recesses,
deprived of sunlight,
deprived of water,
a garden of bacteria grows.

The bacteria thrive
on harsh mineral geological
formations, fending off
other life forms
that would prey on them,
attesting to bacteria’s
remarkable powers of survival.

Try as you might to kill them
bacteria are programmed to endure;
bacteria are programmed to outwit
anti-biotic medicines.

Anti-biotic resistance
emerged millions of years before
anti-biotic medicines
were used.

It’s clear that humans
will always have to contend
with anti-biotic resistance.


© 2012 Catherine Giordano


Just like the Martians in H.G. Wells story, The War of the Worlds, humans may one day be wiped out by bacteria.




Saturday, April 14, 2012

Not Yet Begun to Fight

In the wilds of Montana,
five traumatically wounded veterans
search for a balm from war.

One young man lost an eye.
One young man lost a leg.
One young man lost his voice.

All have lost something
more precious—combat taints
your soul in large measure.

In the war on Terror,
you are asked to do
very violent things to people.

War is never really over
for those who fight, or
for those who love them.

The poignant documentary,
“Not Yet Begun to Fight”,
puts a face to war.

The mix of wild beauty
and ugly reality
is no accident.

The film is ultimately
about the loss of identity,
about struggle, and about
the resilience of the human spirit.



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© 2012 Catherine Giordano


Last year on Memorial Day, I wrote a poem called “In Remembrance. I wasn’t satisfied with it and I wrote it last Sunday.  I was struck by the similarities in my poem and the news story about the documentary film, “Not Yet Begun to Fight.”  My second stanza is: “ All wars take a terrible toll/All wars poison the earth/All wars poison the human soul./Broken minds,  broken bodies, broken lives,/ Soldier or civilian,/No one survives whole."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Farewell to Discovery

The Kennedy Space Center
launching four days
of farewell festivities.
 
The space shuttle Discovery
heading for its next destination—
the Smithsonian.

Discovery—
The dream is over.


© 2012 Catherine Giordano



The first launch and landing of the Discovery was in 1984. Discovery flew 39 successful missions, surpassing the number of flights made by any other orbiter.s

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Trayvon Martin Case: Relief After Arrest

Click Here Order  a Trayvon Martin Not Forgotton T-Shirt
A second degree murder charge after weeks of demands
for justice in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

All the protesting; all the marching.
all the tears--all for this victorious day.

Many questions still remain. We will
continue to seek the truth in this case.

We don’t want high-fiving tonight;
there was no winner tonight.

This isn’t about gloating;
this is about pursuing justice.

This is nothing more, nothing less
than an arrest.  This is just the beginning.

We have a long way to go
until the legal process plays out.

It began as a shooting
in a Sanford gated community,

overshadowed by the All-Star Game
taking place nearby in Orlando. 

Zimmerman, in his SUV, spotted Trayvon.
Trayvon, walking home, spotted Zimmerman.

Zimmerman called police
to report Trayvon as suspicious.

Neighbors describe an altercation
between the two; screams, then a gunshot.

Trayvon’s death ignited racial tensions
and sent protestors to the streets.

The outcry prompted an investigation.
Zimmerman was arrested.  Let the process work.

The law defines second degree murder as “an act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life.” If Zimmerman is convicted on the charges of second degree murder, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

Zimmerman is a 28 year-old "white Hispanic" (white father, Peruvian mother). Zimmerman admits to killing Trayvon Martin, a 17 year-old black high school junior, but he claims it was self-defense.  Zimmerman got out of his SUV, taking his gun with him, and followed Trayvon despite being told by the police during the 911 call not to do this.  Trayvon was unarmed.

© Catherine Giordano
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fountain Turns Blue

Orlando’s Lake Eola,
The fountain is changing hue.
The fountain is turning blue

April is National
Child Abuse Prevention Month,
A time to raise awareness

Raising funds,
Raising awareness,
Turning the fountain blue.

Red ribbons with AIDS,
Pink ribbons with breast cancer,
Blue the color of protecting children.

Wear blue ribbons,
Plant a blue pinwheel,
Donate to support child–abuse prevention.

 
©2012 Catherine Giordano
It breaks my heart every time I open the newspaper and see another child-abuse story. 

You can text 20222 to automatically donate $10 to the Howard Phillips Center child-abuse prevention and treatment services.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tax Fairness

With Tax Day a week away,
President Barack Obama
turns up the volume on his call
for tax fairness.

Obama is slated to restate
a principle dubbed
the ”Buffet rule”

The White House is painting a portrait
of inequities in the tax code.
The very rich pay a lower rate
than less affluent Americans.
 
The “Buffet rule”
is a principle,
an issue of fairness.

 © 2012 Catherine Giordano
 
The “Buffet rule” is based on a statement made by billionaire investor, Warren Buffet, who said that he pays a lower percentage of his income in taxes than his secretary.  The “Buffet rule,” if enacted into law, would ensure that millionaires and billionaires pay at least a 30% tax rate.  Mitt Romney, the wealthiest man to ever run for president, paid a 14% rate in 2010.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Magic

On Easter Sunday,
Amway Center
was a house of worship.

“Easter at Amway”—
was a mega multi-racial
blending of congregations.

We are gathered together
black, white, Asian and Hispanic
to worship as one.

We are one here today.

Worshiping together,
a diversity of people,
all ages, sizes and colors.


© 2012 Catherine Giordano

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If you attend worship services, choose one where all ages, sizes, and colors worship together every Sunday (or Friday or Saturday, as the case may be.)

P.S. If you don't live in Central Florida, you may not know that the "Amway Center" is whee the backetball team known as the Magic play their games.  The word Magic in the title is a reference to that.