And Pilate said, “What Is Truth?”

Image: Gerd Altmann — Pixabay

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is LICHEN and I’ll warn you that my response is rather rant-ish. All because I saw a headline this morning…

Another notable noble
bites the dust, exposed,
a dark villain delightfully
defrocked. Righteous media
revealing all the secret sins.
Alleged accusations hurled
cling like lichen to a rock;
scandalmongers savor
all the delicious details.
Opponents of order grin.
You’re next!
What’s not hidden
deep in your closet
can easily be fabricated.

Re: this headline: I’ve no clue as to guilt or innocence. Furthermore, I’m all in favor of truth; I believe those who misuse their powers should be exposed and called to account. But I’ve read of so many good people being “exposed.” Perhaps a mysterious photo, letter, or recording anonymously delivered to the media torpedoes someone’s career. Even the most righteous causes can become a bandwagon everyone wants to jump on. If the word “Christian” is tossed into the mix, the media’s all over it. I’m aware of several news stories and/or documentaries where facts were seriously twisted and/or ignored.

One Sad Example

A Saskatoon teacher came upon a young teen couple making out in the school hallway and threatened to tell their parents. A few days later he was arrested. The girl and her BFF had gone to the principal and reported that this teacher had touched them sexually and the police were called in.

The girls couldn’t be identified, being minors, but his name was blazed across the front page. He was branded a pervert, a pedophile. End of teaching career. Friends avoided him. Although the girls later admitted in court that they’d lied, his life was ruined.

A month or so later that same newspaper printed, way back on one of the last pages, a one-paragraph report that he’d been found not guilty. How many people even read it? He talked to a reporter later, hoping to clear his name in a bigger way, but there’s no way he’d ever get another teaching job. School Boards will usually go with, “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

I believe those who love Truth and want to know it will be guided by its light. Others are usually at the mercy of hidden agendas. Or, as Sir Winston says…

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”

Winston Churchill

Haiku Moments

Posted to CG2 – Nov 28, 2022

Since my mind is on haiku today, I’ll revisit and polish some of my verses posted a few years back. Hope you enjoy them.

moments of my days
trickle past — raindrops
slipping down the pane

time tunnel
take my body back
about thirty years

spindly poplars
beside an old grain bin
the dream and the drought

Star Trek travels
aliens all spoke English
incredibly

tall pines bent
almost double in the wind
since time began

the old moon
a ball of blue cheese
over-nibbled again

Hope is a Thing With Mice

Monday Morning Musing

Good morning everyone. Time for a brief update and maybe a few haiku. Last night I was reading a book about the early masters of haiku. According to an old legend one of them, Ihara Saikaku (1642-1693) wrote 23,500 verses in a day. Can you imagine writing almost a thousand verses in an hour – using Japanese characters? Legend is a wonderful thing.

Would any of those be of sterling quality? (STERLING being the Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning.) I was inspired to do a few myself, but for sure mine aren’t very sterling. It’s not hard to dash off words, but it takes me time to write something that will even make sense.

winter nipping
a mouse squeezes into the warmth
heaven or hell
?

When the winds blow cold and there’s a nip in the air, hopeful mice are wont to creep into houses, hoping to find a cozy home for the winter months, hopefully with a food source not too far away–like a bowl of cat food on the floor. Last Friday I was sitting in my recliner reading, while my black cat dozed contentedly on my lap. Glancing up, I spotted one such hopeful mouse creep out from under our wood stove sitting in the corner of our living room. We have poison set out, but this must be a clever mouse.

brave mouse scurries
under my wood stove
wee Napoleon.

“Mouse, Angus! Mouse,” I screeched, and the mouse quickly disappeared. Angus opened his eyes and gave me a “What are you on about?” look. It didn’t take long, though, before both of our cats caught on about those little mouse feet scrabbling on the stones. I’ve moved the cat food elsewhere and our cats spend time by the wood stove these days, hoping for a Waterloo.

Fresh Snow

Winds are definitely whipping and winter is nipping today. After a mild spell most of last week, the temp dropped yesterday evening and a north wind picked up. Snowflakes were falling by the time we left church, just before 9 pm, and before long we had the makings of a storm. Fine flakes blew through the air all night; we’ve a nice amount this morning and more is falling as I write this.

“Hope is a thing with feathers…” In this case sparrows hoping for a few grains have found a bare spot on our driveway somewhat out of the wind. Our sidewalk is blown in ankle-deep, I learned as I waded out a bit ago to scatter seed for them.

lame magpie
bullied by his own finds peace

among the sparrows

Poetry Reading

“Hope is a Thing With Feathers,” the famous poem by Angie Dickinson, was one of the verses read at our Poetry night Saturday evening. I was hoping for a bit larger crowd but, apart from the readers and their partners, only five others attended. Hopefully next time… Renaming it “Literary Night” might draw more interest. I read a mixture of my own poems and short stories myself.

Click here to read one of them.

So Tomorrow Will Be Twitter Tuesday?

Now that Black Friday sales are basically done, I received half a dozen ads this morning telling me that today is Cyber Monday. Can anyone explain that? No, never mind…

I’m hoping this will be a better week for me. I was pretty wiped out last week, not sick but very weary. Energy level 2/10 kind of thing. I suspect my white cell count is on the rise, but we’ll see how this week goes. Hope is a thing with energy… 🙂 I’ve another phone visit with my oncologist Dec 12, which should give me a better idea how things stand.

Speaking of energy, it’s our youngest grandson’s 12th birthday today.

Image: Dessie Designs — Pixabay

Lost & Found: Poem

When dark clouds start piling up across our sky, when the wind picks up and the trees start shaking, when the clouds overhead start to boil in a peculiar way and we start getting warnings about possible tornadoes, I start to think about my computer — with all its precious files — being fried. Or worse, being tossed, along with the rest of our home’s contents, across the next five miles of grain fields. So I open up my files, and my DropBox, and start transferring files to that safer cyber-place. Off they go: multiple files with half-polished verses, thoughts I hope to someday clarify and post.

Alas, for me it’s truly “Out of sight, out of mind.” Several years later, (like this week) searching for poems — I’ve been invited to read some of mine at a local coffee shop tomorrow evening — I come across verses I’ve written, hastily filed in cloud storage as the clouds churned overhead, then forgotten about. Here’s one I came across in my search for verses to read. I wrote this as a children’s poem; it may not be brilliant, but I hope it’s passable. I debated leaving the last stanza off, but will rather ask for your opinions.

Image: Alain Audet — Pixabay
Caterpillar Caution

The caterpillar reached the road
checked triple, left to right,
fearing rumbling man-machines
that made his life a fright.

He hurried across the pavement;
his dozen feet all speeded
to get him across in rapid time
by danger unimpeded.

One thing that he never saw
the foe he never heard,
above him, hovering hungrily,
a caterpillar-eating bird.

So when you lock your back door
and double-lock your front,
do check out the upstairs, too,
or you might end up lunch.

One Quality of a Leader

I hope you can bear to hear a few more scintillating words from the pen of Dr Watson?

Sherlock Holmes describes his nemesis, Professor Moriarty, as:
“A man …so immune from criticism…so admirable in his management and self-effacement, that for those very words that you have uttered he could hale you to a court and emerge with your year’s pension as a solatium for his wounded character.

A solatium being, according to Lexico:
–something given in compensation for inconvenience, loss, injury, or the like; recompense
–damages awarded to a plaintiff as compensation for personal suffering or grief arising from an injury
Today we’d call this a settlement. Holmes was reminding Watson that, though Moriarty was secretly involved in shady deals, he had very cleverly erased himself from the scenes. He’d kept his hands so clean that to call him a criminal would be considered slander.

Self-Effacement:
This is an antique concept, something almost anathema to our modern world. In our day self-promotion is the only way to go. From young on, children are encouraged to be the BEST, to be the STAR. When they get into later teens and discover they are AVERAGE, this can be hard to take.

Children should be encouraged to do their best and to pursue their dreams, but there are only so many super-stars you can have in a scene before they start shoving each other off-stage. One man watched a teen take dozens of selfies in an hour, probably to send to friends who’ve got dozens of selfies of themselves to send back. And yet teens may question if they have any real friends.

A friend told me about taking her daughter to visit her mom one evening. In the course of the visit Grandma pulled out her photos.
Here’s a picture of me shopping.
Here’s a picture of me in the coat I tried on.
Here’s a picture of me going here.
Here’s a picture of me on my birthday.
Here’s a picture of me with my friend Jane.
Here’s a picture of me…”

After they left, the granddaughter said to her mom, “Grandma’s really into herself.”
Sadly, this is true. Predictably, Grandma’s puzzled because her children and grands aren’t all into her, too. “I’m their mother. They should be calling me!”
But they don’t feel the heart-strings pulling. What goes around comes around.

A few days ago my husband and I were discussing leadership qualities. There are bold, self-confident, self-promoting types, but we agreed that leaders who get the most respect and help are the ones willing to ask for help, to give credit where credit is due, to squash the “I” and let their group get the praise. To say, “Everybody pitched in and our team accomplished this.”

Professor Moriarty may have sinister reasons for stepping back and letting others get the credit–or blame?–but self-effacement can be one of the tools of a good leader, don’t you think?