Greed

Only when the last tree has died, and the last river been poisoned, and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money. ~Cree Indian Proverb

Cell 2012 2013 202

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Save The Polar Bears

 

  • imageAfter a weekend spent with my grandsons on a trip to the St. Louis zoo my heart is breaking for all animals that will soon be extinct, and especially the polar bear. I have been to the zoo on many occasions in and of course I have enjoyed the levity and laughter while watching the antics of the apes, the entertaining sea lions, I and have been amazed and awed by the beauty of big cats. However, yesterday, sharing our greatest creatures ever to walk this exquisite earth with the three little boys dearest to my heart while knowing that there is a distinct probability that every animal cherished in their favorite books will be extinct in 50 years has saddened my spirit. I was obsessed with animals when I was a child. All animals, large and small, hoofed or padded, ferocious or domestic, I loved them all. I can remember decorating my bedroom with posters of polar bear babies, frolicking sea lions, puppies and kittens as a preteen. My goal my freshman year of high school was to become a veterinarian and I was a member of the veterinarian club. We had field trips to the zoo, where I wanted to work. I would have done any job there, even cleaning the manure, just so that I could be close to the animals. But my sophomore year I started running with a different group of friends and my personality changed. I guess you could say I lost myself somewhat, I stopped listening to my own voice, and instead attempted to become more instep with others. I have had many passions and ideas that I have not followed through on in my life, regretfully. However that is another story in itself.

Looking at a beautiful polar bear laying in the dirt, panting heavily while trying to stay cool, was heart wrenching. He was asleep up against the glass while we all stared at him. I could hear all the usual comments around me, all the usual exclamations about how big his paws were. Or how cute. Children would ask questions like why doesn’t he play. All I could angrily think about was how uncomfortable he seemed. Where was his glacier!? How can he survive in the St. Louis climate in the summertime? And what about the other polar bears in the Arctic who are suffering because of global warming. The only thing separating me from that incredible bear was a 2 inch thick pane of glass and decades of my ignorance. I have let the years of my life swallow up my desire to help animals. In the noisy daily trappings of my daily duties I have forgotten the silent ones. I have guiltily cast aside the Endangered Species list and replaced it with a To Do list. Ironically, that To Do list makes me feel like a caged animal. You know, that proverbial hamster on a wheel in a cage constantly running, doing, going…. nowhere.

Later that night when I tried to fall asleep all I could think of were my grandchildren and how the world is changing so fast, and I wondered how my grandchildren’s children would see their world. Will they grow up to have an appreciation for nature and for all things great and small? Would they have trees to climb in and fresh water to drink? Will there still be animals left on the earth roaming freely in their natural environment?

The next morning, my oldest grandson Dylan, 11, who has always been an insightful boy and is now becoming a deep thinker, shared some of his thoughts about planet earth and its relationship to the universe and solar system, and somehow that led to the conversation of Isis and terrorism. He even told me about ‘Anonymous’ that group of activists/hacktivists. While I have heard about that group, he knew more about it than I did! We shared our sadness about the near extinction of some of the animals that we saw at the zoo. His soulful brown eyes told me how upsetting it is for him. Dylan is my nature boy, my creative grandson who looks at the world and constantly reminds me about the importance of kindness, peace and understanding others He wanted me to watch some of his favorite YouTube videos with him. He immediately pulled up Prince Ea’s powerful political and important philosophies Regarding saving the earth and animals. I was in near tears while watching this incredible man espouse his opinions regarding these issues on which I used to have so much more passion about.  I need to rectify that.

 

Meramec River Boys – A Sequel to Black River Boys

Meramec River Boys – A Sequel to Black River Boys

D. J. Heatherly / July 27, 2014

 

Happy smiles from a proud grandma greet my grandsons upon their arrival.

I hug them hello feeling tight little arms wrap around my soul.

First things first.

They remove their shoes and run inside to assess the sleeping arrangements.

Well-taught and well-mannered.

They know the rules of the Raptor as instructed by Vernon.

Dylan climbs up the loft with his pillows and his thoughts.

Devin quickly follows.

Together, they stretch out for a total of 3 minutes, planning their next move.

Zip down the ladder, zoom out the door to explore.

An old cedar swingset sits 500 yards away.

We keep them in our sights giving them their space.

Two brothers swing and giggle uninhibited.

I join them.

Fearless, Devin swings willy-nilly in an attempt to hit the swing posts.

I grab a pair of ankles to suspend Dylan in mid swing.

A tangible memory floods my senses.

A palpable push that propels me back in time.

I recall how I swung them as toddlers.

I describe the feel of their tiny backs as I gently pushed, reminding them to hold on tight, and to swing their sweet, skinny legs.

I tell them how much they liked to be swung by Grandma.

Dylan says, “Show me.”

I grab his 9 year old ankles. Stronger now, and capable of hiking, running, tree climbing, pedaling.

I grab a hold and push him back, then, I run behind him, grab the swing to delay momentum, which always made him nervously giggle when he was a tot.  He roars with delight.

Love flourishes when laughter abounds.

Devin wants the same, of course, so I repeat the process.

“Again” they say in unison just as they did years ago.

Their legs are now too long for a swingset however who can resist reliving past moments?

Later, after dinner, it’s back to the old swingset again.

Perched in the swing, Dylan is stretched out, laid out parallel to the ground.

“Look at the sky!” he yells with wonderment.

I look up to see a jet black night glittering with silver stars.

At that moment my sweet mom is with me.

I tell the boys my belief that stars are the energy and spirit of good people who have left this earth.

“Yes. I know.” Dylan says. “My grandma Jean is up there. And dad’s dad, Chuck.”

I want to cry. Instead I smile and hug him and Devin tight.

Early morning awakens us. We eagerly prepare for a 6-mile float.

Skin slathered with SPF. Skulls protected with bandanas.

A school bus like none they have ever ridden awaits us.

Loaded with coolers full of beer. And adults full of excitement.

Cracked windows with a solitary spider hanging on for dear life on a web.

Blows into the bus as the bus driver picks up speed careening around a corner.

I scream as Bobby rescues us by closing the window.

Startled by a loud pop, we all jump in our seats!

Dylan’s window has been hit.

Realizing it was a water balloon thrown by a random camper, we all laugh.

Except Dylan is not laughing. He barely manages a smile.

I imagine the many scenarios running through his head. All the questions he has. All the reasons. Why was it his window? All the what-ifs. He is a deep thinker.

Scramble to the raft.

Attach tubes to the raft for the kids, to which Dylan and Devin’s faces say it all before they even speak it.

No Way!

Scared of snakes striking. Fear of fish biting.

“It’s an adventure” I encourage.

They bravely get in their tubes and we take off!

We move at a snail’s pace.

Dangling legs in the murky Meramec River.

Fear of unknowns’ unseen in the water.

Anxiety overwhelms Dylan.

“We are survivalists!” I tell the boys, as I get in his tube as he takes my place in the raft.

“Ahhh, this feels sooo good.” I smile. And it did, so happy to share this day with them!

In a valiant attempt later, Dylan gets back on a tube.

Trepidation of turtles. Worry about the white water.

“Lift your bottoms up.” His mom and I say together approaching faster moving “rapids” so river rocks would not bump them.

Dylan straightens his entire self out on top of the tube, elongated and nearly hyperventilating with worry.

We laughingly decide it is time to give up the tubes.

Eight people and 2 coolers in a 6-man raft.

The tubes glide empty behind us as we fill up the raft with gaity and contentment.

Boys on swingDylan Tube

Nomad

I am not a musician (beyond playing the violin several years in my very distant past), I have a huge appreciation for all music, and am a self-proclaimed wordsmith with a huge love of the written word. The lyrics on Nomad evoke strong emotions and I am now a huge fan of this young man, which is why I am sharing my review with my readers!

Logan Anderson has it all.

A freshly unique voice, polished and crisp, incredibly talented musically, and also obviously in technical ability.  No samples, loops, drum machines, keyboards or any other electronic instruments are used in his music, with the exception of an electronic bass guitar. All the sounds are created by the artist using the most unlikely of instruments.

It is rare that a CD comes out in which each track is melodically entertaining, however I feel the each one on Nomad’s are! I gotta tell you how pleased I am with how the vocals change on most every track, and how each song has a different emotion behind the sounds.

If I had to chose only two words to describe this CD I would use

~innocent sophistication~

Here are my favorites….

Free:  I relate to the poetic lyrics. I love listening to rain too! And enjoy listening to the melodic vocals in this. I like the message in this song, keep singing and dreaming on.

Impossitively. I am digging the rhythm. That timing/pause thing going on before it goes into the piano/crescendo is so cool! The layering of sounds/music is sophisticated indeed. Makes me dance each time I hear it.  And what is that noise, fading into, like a flight of insects or something?  So original and I Love It!!

Show and Tell: This puts a tear in my eye and a smile on my face at the SAME TIME!  That NEVER happens for me music these days. (Except for when I heard Mumford & Sons for the first time).  ‘…dusty village mother showed us around… compassion brightened her emotion sound…. with my brothers I would fight all the time, until we learned without pride life was just fine. Show me your happy. Where the smiles come easy. ‘ The sweet innocence in these lyrics makes me so misty and I can see evidence of the love and laughter you were raised with.  Hannah’s beautiful voice harmonizes with you so exceptionally, and I can hear the love in your voices. (Sweets and Honey too). When the guitar softly joins the piano I get goosebumps. Seriously. I will be sharing this song (and CD) with my friends and family.  That is what I get from you!

Sunspot and Nomad: Logan’s musical genius is evident with using Sunspot as a prelude to Nomad, both of which are completely different on an emotional level from the other tracks. Oh my gosh, the thunder and that eeriness about it, is full of mystery. Reminiscent of the music of Enigma. Blows my mind!  First time I listened I was a little creeped out, but now I envision being greeted to eternity. I hear door knocking, mysteriously angelic-like male voices, a heart beating, then an uplifting rhythm. The mystery behind the uncertainty of eternal life.

A Better Life. ‘My eyes are on the loose. Running around and looking for stories to tell. And they look for you. A circuit board of city lights.’  I love the well crafted metaphors.  To the top and to the stars I have no doubt this new artist is heading now.  Way up… Way up… way up!

Donna J Heatherly

 

http://www.logananderson.fourfour.com/bio

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Dead Wood

Under stagnant murky water
Lies an entire unidentifiable tree
Fallen at water’s granite edge.
Absence of motion
Bone-gray and dead.
Ugliness amid teeming algae
Deepens the cruelty.
I ponder this tomb.
My skin crawls.
An organic phenomenon leeches life
From the lifeless
Life is gone while life carries on.

The Huntsman

Static from the Motorola alerts me.

His whispered voice asks if I can hear him.

Urgently I pick up the walkie/talkie.

“Yes”, I whisper back.

Quietly, he tells me the bait has not been hit.

Anything can happen.

It might return tonight.

I whisper into the black device “Tonight it will happen. I feel it”.

His randy response, “I know something will happen tonight. With or without that bear”.

 

>Black River Boys

Black River Boys (2006)

D.J. Heatherly Hall

Prepare, pack, plan, provide

Sun, hugs, mud, bugs

Filthy fingers. Happy feelings

Finding tree stars and tree nuts

Four-wheeling to a fishing spot

Our little bit of paradise

Where the River runs shallow and secluded.

Floating in clear coolness with eyes full of brightness

Dylan’s curiosity along with Devin’s sweet smiles.

Brings contentment to the family.

 

Small voice questioning all around us

What are those lines?

As Dylan points to the ripples in the water

Bordering us silently, moving as we slowly glide.

What is that sound?

Listening to concealed birds screech over head.

What are those things?

Looking intently at the polished pebbles under foot.

Tiny fishes scatter in all directions

Yet, the plastic red one is continually caught

Proudly on the end of Dylan’s reel.

 

Canoeist’s float towards us

Small talk begins. They comment

about our boys in the River.

Devin coyly smiles at them

Dylan shyly looks away, grinning.

Canoeist’s drift lazily past us

And Dylan quietly says to me,“I did not talk”.

 

Heather and Bobby take a walk, take a break

Alone together to float downstream.

Dylan tells me, “I can’t see.”

“See what?” I ask.

“My best friends” he says in his small voice.

He misses his mom and dad.

They are his world.

Minutes later he sees them floating towards us

he points at them excitedly with his whole self smiling.

 

Back at our camp site quick showers

Washing away sunscreen and sweat

Primed for evenings’ bug spray and smoke

Blued-eyed dimpled Devin bounces happily in his walker

As we work our magic on the grill.

 

Snuggled in their tent, our boys doze off before dark.

Time for adults. Starry nights and wine lead to talk

About life, the future, and The Universe.

 

Rise and shine to a dewy day.

Dylan chases his early morning shadows.

While running from hand monsters.

“It’s getting me, it’s getting me.”

Giggling all the while.

 

Early a.m. energy and excitement.

Stooping, exploring, digging, collecting

Acorns, rocks, leaves, memories.

Arms wide with joy, high stepping and spinning.

“Whats happening to me?” Dylan laughs.

His feet, in constant motion.

 

Coffee savored over warmth of the fire.

Simple moments make the grandest of occasions.

Dylan’s sweet comments and Devin’s carefree smiles.

Our Black River Boys.

 

 

Valle’s Rock

Valle’s Rock

 

I am told of a sacred place of hunting ground

Of which he will take me

Sooner than the sun sets in the west

We trail a creek up a steep incline

A beehive appearing boulder

Rises in solitude near the bluffs

Among the pines, ash and oaks

Of the Shawnee National Forest

This mammoth of magnificence reaches 25 feet tall

 

As he shows me this tribute to Valle

A natural granite ladder leads to elation

Hands, without hesitation, pull me skyward bound

Feet sturdy on unyielding rungs of purity

I tread steps of topography seldom trekked

Reaching the pinnacle

I am solidly secure in the moment

Of our love atop an immovable existence.