Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Romney Rouses Outrage

Mitt Romney,
on a foreign tour:

His offhand comments
challenge the image
his campaign
    has tried
       so carefully
          to construct.

Controversy swirled around
Romney in Jerusalem.
A furor surrounded
Romney in the United Kingdom.

Romney repeatedly
f um b l e s
the foreign policy football
from country to country.

This man
   needs . . .
     a lot of education.
Mitt Romney, going abroad, and embarrassing himself, and embarrassing America.
© 2012 Catherine Giordano

Comic credit Steve Sack / Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Steve Sack / Minneapolis Star-Tribune.  I found it at http://romneycomics.com

Monday, July 30, 2012

Can We Talk

We can email.
We can text.
We can Facebook.
We can tweet.
But can we talk?

Not so much.
Not so well.
Not as we did
not so long ago.

Keyboards, not conversations.
Not learning how to use words.
Not learning how to use body language.
Not learning how to use tone of voice.
Not learning all the things
that make up personal interaction. 

Social media damaging
the ability to communicate.

Is conversation a lost art? I hope not.  I love to talk.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

I found this picture at www.litmagazine.com

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hot Lips

Pucker up.
Today is National Lipstick Day.
Givea big ol’ wet kiss
to this popular cosmetic.

a woman’s little luxury,
gives rise to desire,
attracts a mate.

adds color to life.

I feel pretty!  Oh so Pretty! I feel pretty when I put lipstick on.

I'm feeling an urge to buy a new lipstick.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This picture is from http://2.bp.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Summer Olympics: The Opening Ceremony

London—a city
that knows ceremony—
staged a whimsical
Olympic opening ceremony.

A celebration of creativity,
a celebration of exuberance,
a celebration of generosity,
with an overall air of frivolity.

An extravaganza of contrasts,
fireworks, tributes, music,
honoring tradition,
yet given to irreverence.

The parade of athletes,
the lighting of the caldron,
the Queen declaring open
the Olympic Summer Games.  

The opening ceremony of the Olympic Summer Games in London was a magnificent extravaganza celebrating all things British.  It began with a pastoral tableau that morphed before our eyes into the London of the Industrial Revolution ,and then morphed again into modernity. 
This poem does not do it justice.  The ceremonies were dramatic, beautiful, and used technology to the hilt to amaze the audience.  The reporter wrote a boring article, so I didn’t have much to work with. I hope you saw it On TV last night.  No, I hope you saw it in the actual stadium.  I wish that I could have been there.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ice Storm

Lime sorbet summer ices
Lime Sorbet--an icy treat

Sweltering summer heat.
Chill out.
Relief is an icy treat.

Shaved ice,
crushed ice,
churned ice,
firm, slushy, or icy,
drizzled with syrup,
or flavored with fruit.

Granita, Ice pops,
Italian ice, Water ice
Shaved ice, like fine snow,
Snow cone, Sorbet, and
Sorbetto, soft and sweet.

Summer’s scorching heat
tempered with a chilly treat.

I like to keep them in the freezer—either homemade or store-bought.  It is also a sweet little treat to stop at Jeremiahs Original Italian Ice and buy one of the sumptuous desserts made on the premises. 
CLICK HERE to make ice treats at home

© 2012 Catherine Giordano


The picture is from http://shop.charactercompany.com

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Next Mass Shooting

An intense young man,
unmoored, obsessed, unhinged,
divorced from reality,
assembling a high-powered arsenal
meant for the sport of killing.

The murderous rampage.
The stunned disbelief.
The white hot anger.
The unbearable sadness
of so many lives lost.

We’re shocked.
We’re stunned.
We search for a motive.
We comfort the survivors
and the families of the victims.

The fruitless debate begins.
Focus on the man?
Focus on the gun?
We will argue endlessly.
In the end,
we focus on neither.

The next crazed loner
 is out there.
The instrument of murder
 is out there.
And we will do nothing
 to keep them apart.

We will only wait for the inevitable.

 There are a few common sense changes to gun laws that will save lives.  Criminals and crazy people will still be able to get guns, but we can at least try to limit the damage they can do.  No assault rifles, no 100-round clips, etc.  No one needs these for sport or self-defense.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This photo came from http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7mwrygnRg1r64c9po1_500.jpg

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Simple Food

Roast Beef Dinner
Simple food? Roast beef dinner
Family dinners
at my grandmother’s house.
She was a great cook.
Sunday roasts,
piled-high plates,
steaming hot potatoes—
mashed and roasted—
lots of peas, carrots, and parsley,
onion gravy.

My mom can cook,
but my grandmother’s cooking
makes me happy.
Family dinners at grandmas may be a dying tradition.  Many children today will have nothing but take-out meals to remember, but if eaten around a table surrounded by family, conversation, and love, those memories will still be precious.
© 2012 Catherine Giordano


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Seniors Go to Pot

I found this picture at http://livemotra.com
The senior stoner.
sporting smiles,
discreetly puffing,
easing aches and pains,
smoking pot daily.
Show your support for medical marijuana

One toke—
feeling wonderful.
One hit—
feeling awesome.
A little reefer—
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah day.

Seniors smoking happy grass,
illicit weed in a hookah.
It’s very therapeutic.

Legalize pot.

Medical marijuana needs to be legal in all 50 states.  It should also be legal for recreational purposes, but compassion for people in pain makes medical use essential.
©  2012 Catherine Giordano     

6/16/14: Medical marijuana is on the ballot in November 2014. I'll be voting "Yes," not because I want to get high (not that there is anything wrong with that), but because I want my doctor to be able to prescribe it if I need it in the future.  Everyone who is a pot newbie, be sure to check out Bill Maher's tips before you use it for the first time.  Read about it here. Brownie High
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Alligator Mega-Star

This picture is from www.ryanphotographic.com
Florida’s biggest celebrity,
the American alligator,
famous in Florida,
a man-eating mega-star.

See that “Florida-smile”—
that wide open mouth
filled with pointy teeth—
a gator’s come-hither grin.

You may not see them,
but they can see you.
They are out there;
they are always out there.

When alligators appear
CLICK HERE for info on books
 about alligators
grinning an underwater grin
and looking hungry,
in a blink, it’s over.

 Alligators really do look sinister--their menacing eyes, their demented grin.  The only time I’ve seen one up close is at Gatorland, and that is as close as I want to get.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Troubled Springs

pumping out liquid enchantment,
clear-as-air water,
Florida water.

Our springs,
vital to our economy,
vital to our self-identity,
vital to our shared heritage.

Our freshwater springs
grip the human imagination,
with a  sense of wonder,
with a sense of awe.

Our state
is underlain
with soluble limestone
that brings these springs to life.

But, there’s a growing
human threat to our springs.
The flow is diminishing;
it may be dry in twelve years.

Once a spring dies
its solace,
its heritage,
its light dies with it.

Nothing in the world can revive it.

Even with the future of Silver Springs in peril, the district is considering a new request to pump 13 million gallons a day from the aquifer for Adena Springs Ranch, a proposed cattle ranch.  They would take as much water as the entire city of Ocala uses.  Unbelievable!

© 2012 Catherine Giordano
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This picture comes from www.floridadiveconnection.com 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Terror Unfolds in Colorado

All hell breaks loose
at a midnight screening
of the latest Batman movie.
“The Dark Knight Rises.”

A young man slips into a packed theater,
dressed in dark head-to-toe body armor,
helmet, gas mask, vest, and throat guard,
armed with a combat arsenal.
He sprays the theater with gunfire,
calmly shooting people,
seemingly at random,
men, women, and children.
The movie continues to run,
the gunman in front of the screen.
A smoky, surrealistic scene.
Seventy people shot.
The largest mass shooting,
the largest number of people hit by gunfire
in American criminal history,
victims bloodied, victims killed.

An unbearably savage event.
The Columbine killings in a high school, the Virginia Tech killings in a college, the Gabriel Giffords killings in a supermarket parking lot, and now these killings in a movie theater.   How many more killing sprees before we institute more restrictive gun control laws?
© 2012 Catherine Giordano 

This picture came from  http://images5.fanpop.com

Friday, July 20, 2012

a new New Orleans

after Hurricane Katrina,
the levees failed, the city
in tatters, a beloved,
but wrecked city.

seven years later, a city
transformed. neighborhoods,
once bleak and crime-ridden,
now have coffee shops,

art galleries, bookstores,
restaurants, tech start-ups
new businesses, entrepreneurs.
starting over,

demanded ingenuity
and risk-taking.
New Orleans,
a start-up city,

more accessible,
but still a place
like nowhere else, a city
that celebrates misfits.

New Orleans is a national treasure with a unique culture.  I thought it was lost forever; how wonderful that it is coming back stronger than ever, but with its culture intact.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

I found this picture at  http://allabouttravelokc.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/f2-2new-orleans-jazz-posters.jpg

I wanted to find one picture that encompassed all of New Orleans. It was impossible because there is just too much—in no particular order, the architecture, Mardi Gras, the food, the streetcars, the music, the steamboats, the Old City, Bourbon Street, The Saints, and more.

Finally, I choose this picture because I think it captures the spirit of New Orleans.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"It Was All God's Plan," Says Zimmerman

This picture is from www.rippdemup.com
George Zimmerman
doesn’t regret anything
about that night.

George Zimmerman
doesn’t regret shooting and killing
seventeen-year old Trayvon Martin.

“I feel like it was all God’s plan,” Zimmerman said.

George Zimmerman,
calm, unemotional,
accepting no responsibility.

“I am not a murderer,” Zimmerman said.

George Zimmerman
is free on bail; living
in hiding, awaiting trial.

Memo to George:  When you get sentenced to spend the rest of your life in prison, I hope you remember that “it is all part of God’s plan."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Civility in Discourse

Balance, fairness,
and, most of all,

Clear cogent explanation
of viewpoints,
opinions, and values.

Do not simply rant.
Reject the cheap shot
and the hard zinger.

Political open warfare
exacerbating political division
in America.

Talking about issues
might make a positive difference,
might move us to common ground.

The desire to savage,
rather than convince,
stems from the suspicion

that maybe, just maybe,
we are on the wrong side
of the position.

 This poem was taken from a column written in 2005 by Washington Post columnist William Raspberry.  It was in today’s paper because the Pulitzer Prize winner died yesterday at the age of 76.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This picture comes from www.fiction4change.org

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dramatic Colors

Click here to own this poster
The magic hour,
the golden hour,
those last minutes of daylight.

The warm hues,
the spectacular skies,
the long shadows,
as the sun drops below the horizon.

The intense skies,
the dramatic silhouettes,
the shades of blue,
the colorful transition to night.

A dramatic range
of orange, pinks, and purples
in the waning moments of twilight.

Twilight--a truly magical time of day, especially if you can spend it on the beach.

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

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Monday, July 16, 2012

True Education

There’s a test frenzy,
Creating stress,

Passing third grade,
Graduating high-school,
Evaluating teachers,
Grading schools—

All dependent on
This monster,
The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
Sadly, the F-CAT does not work.

The students are frustrated.
The teachers feel under restraint,
Imposed by those in power.

Professional teachers
Know their students,
Know their needs,
Know their strengths,
Know their weaknesses.

Professional teachers
Know the methods,
Know the practices,
Know what works best for their students.

The only true measure of education—
The success,
The happiness,
of the graduates.

Judge teachers on
How well they teach,
How well they prepare students for the real world,
Not on
      How well they follow the lesson plan.

There are two problems—
The test itself,
The teacher’s freedom to teach.
     Can be corrected.

This test, the F-CAT is totally misued.  The only reason to use this test is to help teachers assess a student’s learning and enable them to help the student do better.  Instead it is used as a political tool. 

The Republicans in government want to convince parents that public schools are failures.  The more people pull their children out of public schools, the less the state of Florida has to pay for education. 

Former Governor Jeb Bush—the education governor?  Pul-leeze!  It is a farce!  He instituted testing (and vouchers and charter schools) to destroy the public school system.

©  2012 Catherine Giordano

Thank You Being Such A Wonderful Teacher

This picture comes from www.pictures16.com