Saturday, June 30, 2012

Colorado Wildfires

This picture comes from ABC news.
Neighborhoods charred to ruins.
Melted cars in driveways.
Rows of homes burned,
burned to their foundations.

Three monster blazes:
The High Park fire.
The Flagstaff fire.
The Waldo Canyon fire.
Enjoy the beauty of Colorado

Enormous devastation.
Mass evacuations. Frustrations.
Fires raging through neighborhoods
destroying homes.

Full containment
not expected until July.
The most destructive fires
in Colorado history.

Is global warming a factor in these fires? Some scientists think so. Scorching heat, high winds, and bone-dry conditions are fueling these catastrophic wildfires.  Consider this a preview of the kind of disasters that human-caused climate change could bring,

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Health Law Upheld

A chief justice branded a turncoat,
a constitutional clash,
a victory for Obama.

The democrats most ambitious
social legislation in a decade—

Constitutional experts praised the chief justice
for rising to the occasion
in such a momentous case.

An impressive feat of statesmanship.
Legal analysis, not politics,
controlled the decision.

The courts surprise ruling
could change voter attitudes
on a landmark piece of legislation.

Congress set out to remedy a problem—
the problem of health care being beyond
the reach of many Americans.

The Patient Protection
and Affordable Care Act
is the prescription.

Every now and then someone does the right thing.  Obama did the right thing when he reformed the health-care insurance system.  Judge John Roberts did the right thing when he found the legislation constitutional.

This act changes nothing between you and your doctor.  Except, if you didn’t have a doctor before, now maybe you can afford to see one.  This act is not about health-care reform; it is about health-care-insurance reform.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This picture is comes from

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Florida’s Innocence Commission
laid out ways to stop sending
innocent people to prison.

Bad eye-witnesses,
jailhouse snitches.
overzealous cops,

unprepared defense lawyers—
all responsible for sending,
innocent people to prison.

Innocent inmates exonerated by DNA testing.
Innocent inmates freed after spending
more than two decades in prison.

Their recommendations will cost money.
Maybe the price of justice is too high.
But, the consequence of inaction  is injustice.

 I learned a lot about the Innocence Project when I was research my talk advocating for the elimination of the death penalty.  False convictions are a big problem.
But this is Florida ... where Republicans rule.  My bet is that the commission was for show, and not a single recommendation will get implemented. Especially since it will cost money.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This picture comes from
It is labelled justice-stabbed.jpg.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

R.I. P. Lonesome George

This picture comes from

Ever dignified and purposeful.
Lonesome George, the last of his kind.

A tortoise knows his place in the world.
His life has meaning, a meaning
which has existed since pre-history.
The tortoise endures; he beats the hare.

Centenarian Lonesome George,
the last of the La Pinta Galapagos species,
a giant tortoise from a tiny island off Ecuador,
an ambassador against extinction.

George proves that extinction
isn’t just an abstraction;
it’s a real peril for many biota
within a few generations.

 In “The Way to Rainy Mountain”, author N. Scott Momaday writes, “Tortoises crawl about on red earth, going nowhere in the plenty of time.”  Tortoises stir a sense of wonder in me.

(Click the link to the book to learn more.)

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Students rallying
against  rising
student-loan interest rates.

Students speaking out
in support of freezing
interest rates on student loans.

Students asking
for help, pressing
Congress to act.

Students struggling.
Tuition increasing.
Interest rates doubling.

Students can’t afford it.

President Obama is urging people to use the hash tag #DontDoubleMyRate to urge Republicans in congress to support his bill to keep interest rates on student loans low.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This picture was taken from

Monday, June 25, 2012

Debby Sends Rain Our Way

Tropical storm Debby
churned in Central Florida.
The states weather worsening.

Central Florida hit with
high winds, heavy rain,
tornados, and flooding.

Rainbands  moved across the area.
There were some lulls in the rain,
but not for long.

The storm caused a soggy day.

A soggy day, to say the least. I like rainy days, but this has been the third day of heavy rain.  I’ve had enough.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This picture is taken from

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Black Bears Wrestle

Two black bears fighting
on the front lawn
in the Sweetwater Oaks
neighborhood in Longwood.

We have bears in our front yard.
We have bears in our garages.
They don’t seem mean,
but they are not pets either.

Bears are just a part of the scenery.
We have no intention
of trying to get rid of them.
It’s really like living in a zoo.

We really like living in a zoo.

I’m glad the folks out in Longwood like their black bears.  If I ever see one in my yard, I’ll freak.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This picture was taken from

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Someone on the Move

“I feel like a misplaced person.”
Mom repeats herself, like a myna bird.
“I feel like a misplaced person."
She wants to go home.
She is home.

“This is just temporary,”
Mom says for the tenth time.
“This is just temporary.”
She’s slipping away.
She repeats herself.

“We’re going home tomorrow.”
Ninety years old, in assisted living.
“I know, I know,” I say.
It is heart breaking.
A lifetime is missing.

This was a news story primarily about moving to a new house.  The reporter compared her move to her mother’s move to assisted living.  I selected words that transformed this into a poem about a different kind of move, a “remove” if you will, as a lifetime of memories is removed from the brain.

The last line was not in the story.  I pulled words from different paragraphs to create it because I thought “A lifetime is missing.” Was a great metaphor.”

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This picture was taken from

Friday, June 22, 2012

DREAM Come True

President Obama announced the DREAM Act.
Welcome news for Florida and the nation.

Young people
Who were brought to America as children
Who grew up as Americans,
Who think of themselves as Americans,
Who are Americans in all but paperwork.

Young people
Who learned English,
Who excelled at school,
Who hope to serve this country,
Who pledged allegiance to the flag.

Young people
Who will now have a chance
Who will now be able to live freely,
Who will now be able to work legally,
Who now will be able to contribute fully.

Young people
Who remind us,
In this nation,
It’s not what you look like,
It’s not where you were born.

What makes you an American,
What makes you a member
Of our national family?
It’s what you do with your opportunities,
It’s how you live your life.

The House of Representatives, when it was in Democratic hands, passed the Dream Act.  The Republicans in the Senate blocked it’s passage with a filibuster that requires 60 votes in order to proceed.  A total of 55 senators voted “Yes.”  All Republican’s voted “No.”

Republicans have been determined to block every initiative of the President, and they have the numbers to do it.  President Obama is forced to use his executive powers in order to get anything done.

Reelect President Obama and give him large Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate.  Give Obama a chance to actually implement his policies and this country will soar to new heights.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This picture comes from

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Who wants to go for a walk?

It’s a beautiful day.

Enjoy it.

You work hard all your life.

Find a way to a great day.

Life is now.

Yesterday was the summer solstice.  In Florida we have nine months of summer, but when I lived in New York, summer was a big deal.  It was really important to me to enjoy summer.

I took today’s poem from the comic section.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This image came from

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chill Out

It’s summertime.
And the drinking is easy.

Here’s to the reds of summer.
Soft, smooth, juicy reds,
Reds to gulp rather than sip,
Reds that can take a chill.

Sumer red wine—
Moderate of tannin and alcohol,
Buoyant of fruit aromas and flavors,
Edged with a bit of tangy acidity.

Fruity, delicious, aromatic reds.
Finessing the palate.
Summer reds from cooler climes.
Summer reds with a chill on.

In the summer time, enjoy refreshing, fruity, red wines chilled to the temperature of well or spring water.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This image comes from credited to Getty Images.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Night TV

I Love Lucy


The Real Housewives of New York City
The Real Housewives of Orange County
The Little House on the Prairie

Law and Order
Anderson Cooper

The Ed Show
Rachel Maddow
Jay Leno

What Not to Wear
Cape Fear
Yes, Dear

OK, all you couch potatoes.  Here’s the line-up for tonight—I based the poem on the TV listings today.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This image comes from

Monday, June 18, 2012

Love of Bacon

Bacon is a tasty
on cheeseburgers,
alongside eggs,
or as the best part of a BLT.

Rich sweet,
meat so good,
it must be divine.

Who doesn’t like bacon?
Everything is better with bacon.

 I love bacon, thick-cut maple-cured bacon.  I gave it up because the nitrates/nitrates used in the curing process are carcinogenic. Nitrite-free bacon, is hard to find and expensive.  

Occasionally, I but the nitrite-free bacon, keep it in the freezer, and have one or two slices a month.  I eat bacon sparingly because of the other problem with bacon—it’s high in fat and calories.

Yet, there is no denying it—bacon is delicious.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This image comes from

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Give Dads More Credit

Mothers are extraordinary, selfless, mythic.
Dads are a bunch of deadbeats.

A case of mommy envy?
Or a reflection of how our culture values dads.

Mothers hog all the child-rearing glory.
Dads are all but forgotten.

There’s a mommy bias in popular culture.
Dads go uncelebrated.

Mr. Mom is no longer just a funny movie.
Mr. Mom is real life for millions of dads.

Mr. Mom gets a holiday.  Happy Father’s Day.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

Do Fathers Matter book cover
a book about fatherhood

First Dads: Parenting and Politics from George Washington to Barack Obama
CLICK HERE for a book about
and how parenting influences policy

Saturday, June 16, 2012


High wire artist Nik Wallenda
walked across Niagara Falls,
through thick spray, strong
winds, and close encounters
with birds.

on the U. S. side,
through a cloud of mist
on the Canadian side.

Near the end,
on one knee,
a kiss to the crowd.

His next feat—
a walk over the Grand Canyon.

Nik Walenda transverse Niagara Falls on two inch wire cable covering a distance of 1,800 feet at a height of about 180 feet. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Stop the Voter Purge

It is wrong.

Rick Scott
purging the voter list,
using a faulty list,
targeting certain groups.
spending thousands of dollars
throwing off thousands of legitimate voters,
breaking a federal law.

It’s a political move.

county election supervisors
are ignoring
what the state is telling
them to do.

Republicans know they can’t win a fair election. So they are doing everything they can, in Florida and in other Republican dominated states, to suppress the vote.  They got away with it in 2000; they see no reason to stop now.

The members of the 99% who have not been hoodwinked by words that sound virtuous but are meant to cover up nefarious acts, need to occupy the voting booth, but just long enough to cast our votes.

The Occupy movement should head for the streets with voter registration forms.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This picture comes from

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dad's Got A Date

A single dad wading back into the dating pool.
A single dad dating with kids in tow.
A single dad has to date with care.

Kids dislike the new girlfriend.
Kids love the new girlfriend.

CLICK HERE to look inside
Different challenges.

A single dad’s dating life is a balancing act.
The new girlfriend.
The children.

A single dad has dating complications.

The last line of this poem was going to be “Don’t date a dad.”   But I thought that was too harsh, so I removed it.  “Be prepared for complications“  might be better, but the news story didn’t give me those words.

A single dad has to date with care, and the same goes for the single gal he's dating.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Republicans Don't Especially Love Mitt Romney

Republicans don’t especially love Mitt Romney.

Not conservative enough.
He flip-flopped.
He can’t connect with everyday Americans.
He can’t beat Barack Obama.

Republicans are falling in line.
What choice do they have?
He is not the best.
But, he’s the best they got.

Even Republicans don’t like their candidate very much.

If the Republicans win in November, they will bring back the policies that nearly destroyed our economy.  It will be like another eight years of George W. Bush.

Give Obama big majorities, filibuster-proof majorities, before you judge him  If only he could get a few of his many proposed bills through Congress, this country would be greater than ever.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This picture comes from
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Push Girls

Reality TV,
“Push Girls,”
Women living with paralysis.

A reality show,
Shattering stereotypes,
Changing perceptions.

The ladies of “Push Girls,”
Very open,
Very willing to share.

Four best friends,
Living life,
Doing what girlfriends do

Only living with paralysis.

The show is on the Sundance Channel. In some ways, the lives of the “push girls” are different from the lives of other young women their age, but in so many ways, they are just like other young women their age.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

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This picture comes from credited to Christopher Voelker.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Soap Guide

This picture comes from
Bold and Beautiful
Liam makes the decision to marry Hope.
Steffi asks to be part of the wedding.
Bill reveals his true feelings to Hope.

Days of Our Lives
Stephano was shot and killed in his house.
Will is charged with Stephano’s murder.
Gabi becomes the victim of her own scheme.

General Hospital
Sam wakes up to a horrible reality.
Maxie discovers Matt is missing.
Johnny is tormented by his secrets.

Young and Restless
Cane doesn’t have to testify.
Ricky is writing an expose.
Phyllis must keep her past hidden.

If you don’t watch soap operas, this is what you missed last week.  I chose this picture because there's a subtle joke here. The soaps, like paper dolls, are not anything like real life. For instance, how many evil twins have you ever met?

 © 2012 Catherine Giordano
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

War Casulaties

Army Staff Sergeant Alexander G. Povilaitis,
died in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
of wounds suffered after the enemy attacked
with an improvised explosive device.

Army Specialist Geraldo Campos
died in Malward, Afghanistan
after enemy forces attacked
his unit with small arms fire.

Army Private First Class Vincent J. Ellis
died in Salerno, Afghanistan
when enemy forces attacked
his unit with improvised explosive devices
and small arms fire.

We forget that United States soldiers are still fighting and dying in Afghanistan.  These are just three of the eight names released by the military in the past week. They ranged in age from 21 to 49, but six of the eight were under 25.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Enjoy it Sunday night
“True Blood” kicks off a fifth season.
Vampires, werewolves,
werepanthers, shape-shifters,
witches, mediums,
demons, fairies,
and even
the occasional boring human
in fictional Bon Temps

Plenty of soapy
supernatural drama.
Vampires—the shadowy threat.
Vampires—in our midst.
Vampires—the fangs are out.

I’m a big fan of HBO’s “True Blood.”  What new monsters await us this season?

A bonus poem today.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

Basic Gone Boring: A Shiny Fix

Your black dress.
The cut is right.
The fit, spot-on.
The style classic.

Until the night you feel
lost in a sea of black.
Until the night you feel
a little bored.

One word solution: jewelry.
Jewelry transforms the dress,
turning it into a backdrop
for a shiny object.

Kick it from basic to stylish.
Find something in the jewelry box.
Silver, brass, copper, gold.
Get the look.

I’m a big fan of jewelry that makes a statement.  Change the jewelry and other accessories and no one will even realize it’s the same dress.

© 2012  Catherine Giordano

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Rainy Day

Heavy downpours
leaving puddles everywhere

We step over

these temporary lakes,

these mini-ponds,

along the brick streets.

I love rainy days.  The rain is outside and I’m safe and warm inside.  I even like walking in the rain as long as it is not too cold and the rain is not too heavy.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

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