The Watering Hole; Friday July 1 2016; Songs From the Younger World; a Soliloquy of Sorts

I occasionally get fed up with the day’s news, the day’s politics, and the idiocy layered there within that all too often bubbles to the  surface and causes one to wish that another (preferably uninhabited) planet was available for immediate transport. Today is a good example of all of the above coming together at the same time, as in (1) the recent mass shooting in Orlando and the terrorist attack on Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, (2) Donald Trump, and (3) Donald Trump. Unfortunately, no other planet is available; that sad reality both forces the few of us with functioning minds to remain here, even though the consequences usually are terribly painful, to say the least.

There is, however, a potential remedy, one that simply requires a look back to another time, another situation where idiocy seemed to be totally in charge. A good one for me is 2004, back when the daily turmoil consisted of (1) the Iraq war, (2) George W. Bush, and (3) George W. Bush. During that entire span of political trash, I found that the greatest comfort available was to dismiss the moment in its entirety and wander, instead, to and through those other worlds that are dominated not by idiots, but instead by poets, by nature itself, and by the merge of both verbal and visual ideas — “Songs” — from both sources. I hope the following Soliloquy — a single brief narrative, a traverse through that other world — might serve to relieve the pain of today’s political silliness. Maybe it will also inspire readers to seek — and find — their own refuge from stupidity.

Below a photo-poetic essay, a reiteration of calming moments garnered in days past; 2004, to be exact. Photos are, each and all, my own — from Arizona’s majestic Sonoran Desert, a place of solace, a corner of that Younger World which, once discovered, forever beckons.


◆Songs From the Younger World◆

Ides of March - 4

The poetry of earth is never dead.
(John Keats; 1817)

In his famous environmental treatise A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold proposed that “Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf.” Jack London, in The Call of the Wild referred to that same howl as “A song of the younger world.” Today, amidst the din and clang of modern life in the modern city, many seem to have lost – or perhaps have never found at all – that sense of melody, that voice which is the song of the untrammeled world.

And, too, how to describe the bugling elk, or the creak of the crow’s wings as they pound through the silent forest air? And the rustle of the wildflower in a soft breeze – is that in itself the flower’s song, or is there more? John Muir spoke of the Ponderosa when he wrote, “Of all the pines, this one gives forth the finest music to the winds.” Few who have listened closely enough to genuinely hear that melody will dare to argue.


William Blake began his Auguries of Innocence with a scant twenty-nine words which reveal both his vision and insight:

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.

Desert Cicada

One might surmise that Blake understood, that he had heard the song even as he watched the orchestra perform. In that regard he was, indeed, a most uniquely fortunate man.

In his Ode on Intimations of Immortality William Wordsworth noted his abiding concern for the natural world and man’s impact thereupon when he wrote:

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;–
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

Baboquivari Peak

Wordsworth also noted that

Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.

Or perhaps those things are still there to see, for those who care to look? Emily Dickinson once described death as that moment when “I could not see to see”; perchance this ‘glory’ which has ‘past away’ is not of the earth itself but is, rather, more a failure of the observer ? a manifest of a myopic inability or unwillingness to look, to listen, to See?

Praying Saguaro

While it’s probably true that nothing we know to do can capture the entire of even the briefest spot of time, perhaps even the effort can offer an encouragement for others to leave behind, for the moment, the commonality of the human foible which pretends to fuel life’s engine and substitute, instead, a reason to look and listen for the Song of that world far younger than ours, to hear those erstwhile Voices in the Wind. They are, after all and to the attentive mind and heart, part and parcel to the Sum of Life.

Wordsworth asks,

Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

And almost as if in answer, William Cullen Bryant proclaims:

To him who, in the love of Nature, holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language . . .

Listen. Hear. See. Enjoy. And remember, always, these words by John Keats in 1817 . . .

Sentry reflections mod

◆The poetry of earth is ceasing never.◆


And now, brace yourself. Today’s world awaits. Breathlessly.

See below: proof that . . .

Trump Dumb

◆The poetry of earth is ceasing.◆




21 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Friday July 1 2016; Songs From the Younger World; a Soliloquy of Sorts

  1. Chechen Leader Gets Apprentice-style Reality Show

    Contestants on the programme, called The Team, will compete for a place in Mr Kadyrov’s government by performing tasks that will take them to the “most beautiful corners of Chechnya”, according to Russian state TV channel Rossiya 1, which will broadcast the series. It says they’ll be climbing mountains and walking forest trails, with applications open to men and women of “any age or social status”.

    He’s getting ahead of Trump in a big way. Have them do it naked, and they can sell it here, with subtitles.

  2. The “song” of the modern human world:

    CA Vape Shop Owner Giving Away AR-15 Because Liberty

    One Santa Clarita vape shop owner is very, very angry about California’s new regulations on vaping, which increase the age for access from 18 to 21. Vaping is a rapid-growth industry nearly everywhere, but still is under scrutiny, particularly in the way many products are marketed to children. . . .

    “We don’t find it any small coincidence that both the AR-15 and the vapor device I carry in my pocket are both, for a lack of a better term, coming under fire,” he said.

    What’s weird is that the words “stupid” and “idiot” have become such terribly inadequate descriptors these days. Maybe it’s because their use is in such high demand, a demand mandated by today’s dominant right wing nutcasearrhea.

  3. I stopped following nearly everything on facebook recently. It was too disheartening to see those with whom I would generally agree sign on to the Oligarchy’s meme and blindly support Ms. Clinton. The Oligarchy’s done a good job at dividing the masses against each other, I’ll give them that. Even Bill Maher already calls Ms. Clinton the first woman president. Like the conventions, and the November vote, don’t matter. It’s a foregone conclusion.

    • Even though I’ve long had a strong dislike for both Clintons, at this point in time I truly hope she prevails in November (if she gets the nomination, of course, a virtually guaranteed proposition). The reason I hope that is simple: the Supreme Court. If the right wing gets the next 3-4 appointments, the country’s descent into the fascist quagmire will spell out our collective doom. We need a ‘liberal’ (i.e. something other than brain dead) functional majority for however many decades still lay ahead of us.

      I voted for Bubba in ’96 solely on the presumption that a SCOTUS appointment might be on the horizon; sadly, it wasn’t until Bush’s idiocracy that vacancies popped up, and we’re still feeling the pain of their nonsensical decisions.

      I’ll vote for Hillary come November, and hope the Democrats can come up with something far better in 2020.

    • This election as about the supreme court and the course of our society and country over the next 30 years….and that’s about all. The Oligarchs aren’t going to allow much else to change. Prime example is Obama’s caving to the TTP. I expected much more out of him, but like everyone else I’ve been delusional.

      Trump is a media anomaly, his polling is dropping faster than Bristol Palin’s panties in spite of the media’s attempt to keep the golden goose laying eggs for them.

      • Clinton will approve the TPP, which will give multinational corporations the power to dictate to our government what it can or cannot do.

        Why are we so worried about Supreme Court nominees? Because Democrats won’t do what Republicans will do and are doing – refuse to vote on them. Why?Because Democrats, too, are owned by The Oligarchy.

        So, assume we get a conservative Christian majority on the Supreme Court. What happens? Worse case: Women lose the right to choose. Women and minorities lose equal protection under the law. Environmental protections are rolled back. Workplace protections are rolled back, including wage and hour protections. The government’s power to search and seize is expanded. Unions are restricted. In short, the country takes a 100 year step backwards.

        Then what? A massive civil uprising all across the country.

        Giving The Oligarchy everything it wants is the surest, shortest path to motivating enough of the masses into action to demand change.

  4. House Republicans Have Agreed To Hold A Vote On Gun Control

    Exactly which bill the House would take up was unclear from the conference call, The Hill reported. Because it’s unclear which bill will be brought to the floor, The New York Daily News noted that Ryan could “select a bill considered too weak by most Democrats.”

    If the bill is too weak, there is a possibility that House Democrats will continue to protest in one way or another until a better bill is brought to a vote.

    • Now might be a good time to buy stocks in gun manufacturers. A gun control bill is sure to increase sales.

      • If we had a congress worth a shit, it would pass a law requiring the gun manufacturers to each pay a million dollar fine every time a person anywhere in the country died from a bullet — ANY bullet, private or police. A liberal SCOTUS would, of course rule the law to be constitutional and by morning of the second month, no one would be able to come up with the cash to either buy a gun or a bullet. Eventually, the gun-death would shrink.

        Or, we can ignore the problem, also refuse to send all Republicans to Guantanamo, and deal with the consequences implicit in rapid national demise. Also, we can elect Drumpf and speed up the national demise process by several decades, prolly.

        That’s the sole reason I’m voting for Hillary. Not because she’s the favorable candidate, but because she’s the only hope that national demise might be delayed enough to occur after my own demise.

        • I propose gun manufacturers pay a tax for each gun they manufacture. Part of the problem of gun proliferation is the over-manufacture of guns, which get dumped into certain states and sold on the black market. If they had to pay for each gun they made, not sold,they would not over manufacture so much. Obviously this not insignificant tax ($1000?) would get passed onto the end consumer. Too bad. Having a constitutional right to own something doesn’t mean it has to be affordable. You have a constitutional right (Amendment 9, I guess. Why not?) to own a luxurious mansion. It doesn’t mean you have a right to be able to afford one.

          It’s by no means a cure all, but it can mitigate the problem and save some lives. Isn’t it worth it?

          • I’d have no problem with a tax on gun production. I also like my idea of a yuuugge penalty on each manufacturer every time a gun made by any one of them is used to kill someone (actually, I’d also support a million dollar per incident penalty any time a gun is used to kill any living critter, period).

            Also, if each and every bullet or shotgun shell cost, say, $100,000, that, too, would be really nice.

            Yes, I know, I’m a weird idealist when it comes to guns, and overall I’ll support any movement anywhere by anyone to get rid of the damn things — the sooner the better.

  5. Trumpy is becoming more chilling by the hour. Cenk and Jon make some good points but they, like almost everyone else, miss the biggest one.

    ISIS is a terrorist group. Terrorists are often called “men without countries”. They are, by definition, “lawless”. They do not represent any sovereign nation or government thereof and are not bound by international law, national laws, or even their own internal laws. When someone within a terrorist organization wants a promotion? They simply kill the next guy up the ladder if someone else doesn’t do it for them.

    The good ol’ U.S.A. is a lawful (Despite the glaring exceptions when dealing with countries we can push around without repercussions.), sovereign, nation that is bound by our own laws as well as international law. Our military and intelligence operatives represent us! ISis represents no one but themselves!

    When a representative of the good ol’ U.S.A. breaks the law? We all share the guilt whether we condone the action or not and, when one is talking about the kinds of thing that Bushco did and Trumpy wants to do, (Only Yuuuuuuger!!!) then generations of Americans yet unborn will be paying that debt in blood.

    Civil wars are a slightly different thing but wars are, by definition, fought between countries and ISIS isn’t a fucking country!!!!

    • Trump apparently has no idea that international treaties, ratified and signed by the US, carry the full weight of Constitutional law, and that if the US willingly breaks a ratified treaty, those behind the breakage are criminals by definition.

      Personally, I think it would be wise to arrest him now and send him to Gitmo rather than wait for him to actually do what he says he’ll do. That’d save a lot of money and hassle. Plus, I’d have something to cheer about, for once.

      • If the worst happens and Trumpy becomes POTUS then I fear the best possible outcome would be some generals telling him; “No, Sir. We aren’t going to nuke Estonia because they won’t build more golf courses. You are very sick and need to go away for treatment. VP (OMG! The VP might be even worse!!! Insert name of nut job.) will assume your duties.”

      • As some of you are aware, I am a member of a fairly exclusive 15% group, those survivors of adenocarcinoma lung cancer.
        I can now also claim to be a member of another exclusive 13% group, those who would rather see a giant meteor hit the earth rather than have either Clinton or DrumpTruck become POTUS.
        Sure glad I am NOT in the 1% oligarcists…

    • “The good ol’ U.S.A. is a lawful, sovereign, nation that is bound by our own laws as well as international law.’

      Having studied international law I must respectfully disagree with your conclusion that he U.S. of A. is a lawful nation that is bound by our own laws as well as international laws.

      In my opinion, the U.S. of A. is a terrorist nation that gives safe harbor to people who have committed unlawful wars of aggression and crimes against humanity, as those terms are defined in international law.

      • E.g. Bush, Cheney et al.? I agree. A whole pile of war criminals, each of whom remains protected by the nation they raped from the international tribunal they so richly deserve to face.

        We are what we pretend to hate; the Constitution is ignored by every political body save for those who see ‘religious freedom’ as their right to impose their nonsensical hatreds on everyone else.

      • You are absolutely correct but I was not using “lawful” in the sense that we are above reproach but rather in the sense that a “lawfully wedded spouse” is still lawful even if said spouse is promiscuous and breaks his/her wedding vows at every opportunity. Our country is lawful in the sense that the UN officially recognizes us as an established, sovereign, entity whereas terrorist movements and organizations are not. I probably should have made that point by saying that the U.S.A. is “a legally recognized sovereign nation…”.

        And, just because our government breaks laws doesn’t mean we are not still bound by said laws. If we had prosecuted the principals of Buschco, most especially, to the full extent of the law it is quite possible that we would not be seeing the extralegal responses from those we have wronged.

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