Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Which Spells?

I have all sorts of spells:
spells of vertigo
spells of being really tired of sexist BS
even spells of not being able to spell:
But I've never created heresy out of hearsay
Sincerely, a which

A.J. Ponder's response to the Witch Hunt cartoon

When someone draws a caption of witches with hats and broomsticks and calls it a witch hunt - they are bullying. We've seen it from Trump supporters, and from others including this obnoxious idiot who is determined to reveal his racism and sexism to the world in various cartoons.

The #metoo movement has revealed monsters lurking in power, and enabled victims to have a voice. Some of the people coming out to tell their stories are not women they're men, and many do not even name their perpetrators, often it's not even about them, it's about solidarity and re-establishing acceptable boundaries, it's a groundbreaking effort to empower the vulnerable and confront toxic power balances that have allowed systemic abuse to occur. 

Anyway, I've been sick - and have so much to do - so I better run, 
I hope you have a great week, and whatever you do, don't catch this bug. Ugh!


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Let the Children Cry Mashup poem from The Cry of The Children by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Do ye hear the children, O my brothers,
      Ere the sorrow comes with years?
They are leaning their young heads against their mothers —
      And that cannot stop their tears.
The young lambs are bleating in the meadows;
   The young birds are chirping in the nest;
The young cats are meming in the internet;
   The young flowers are blowing toward the west—
But the children, O my brothers,
      They are crying bitterly!
They are crying in the playtime of the others,
      In the country of the free.

Do not tell the poor young children, O my brothers,
      To look up to Him and pray —
So the blessed One, who blesseth all the others,
      Will bless them another day.
They answer, "Who is God that He should hear us,
   While the bullets singe the air 
While you take this bitter fear and trap us
    In concrete prisons without cheer?
Would you have us never see the sunshine,
   Or enjoy the light of day?"
Yes, they are worn with tragedy, unrelentingly maligned
But they're not bowing to the greed of the NRA.

They look up with their pale and sunken faces,
      And their looks are terrible to see,
For their grief abhorrent, draws and presses
      Down the cheeks of infancy—
"Your guns," they say, "took the life of our dear friends
   How can you justify these means  or defy our ends
We need gun control," their voices ring out clear
   They need to know  this time, will you hear?" 
And for all the little children whose blood is on your hands
   Will you stand up and do the right thing
Words are so very cheap. Now, in this time of tragedy
   We should let the children weep.

      Let them weep! let them weep!

"How long," they say, "how long, O cruel nation,
   Will you stand, to move the world, on a child's heart, 
Stifle down with a mailed heel its palpitation,
   And tread onward to your throne amid the mart?
Our blood splashes upward, O our tyrants,
      And your purple shews your path;
But the child's sob curseth deeper in the silence
      Than the strong man in his wrath!"

A.J. Ponder with many apologies to  Elizabeth Barrett Browning  (The Original Poem "The Cry of the Children is here. It was written to protest horrific child labour laws, but it's protesting the same people - people who profit off suffering, or use God's will to justify the unjustifiable)

I've been absolutely blown away by how well the young adults of Parkland Florida have bravely stood up to tell their stories and call for sensible gun control. And I've been absolutely horrified by the abuse they've received online. These young adults should have had time to weep, but knowingly or not, we've been preparing them all their lives for this time.

Let me be very clear, I have family who love their guns - I am not advocating taking their guns away. Nor are those teens. They are calling for sensible gun measures. There's no point blaming the FBI or local law enforcement for these events when their hands have effectively been tied by poor legislation. Gun control is a part of being civilized, just like wearing seat-belts. It's a little something that is regulated, not to undermine freedom, but to recognize the sanctity of life.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” MLK 


Have a great week everybody. Go out and do great things, the world needs you. :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Voices of the Future

If the kids can see the future
Can you see the future too?
If the kids can be the future
Then what are we to do -
But stand up with our voices
And do all we can today,
To remember their tomorrows,
And not let their lives be swept away.

A.J. Ponder

There are so many issues that affect the children of today, and the world tomorrow. We need to be doing something about them now. And that's not necessarily big things. Every little thing will help, from not using a plastic bag, to having sensible gun control legislation, sensible legislation of drugs,  improving voting rights... The list is endless. Individually we can't do everything. But if we can remember one thing, I'd say it should be love and compassion for our fellow human beings, and holding out an open hand in times of trouble.

But whatever we do, we must not let the next generations' voices be silenced -

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." MLK

Best wishes to you all

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Do we need all this plastic?

I said some time back that I was working on an "If" poem.
That's not working so well, too many ideas. It's going in too many different directions.
So in the meantime, he's a little plastic ditty

Do we need all this plastic?

There’s plastic in the water
and there’s plastic in your tea.
There’s plastic in your fish
and in your BLT.

There’s plastic in Antarctica,
and on the ocean floor.
High up in the mountains
and right outside your door.

So now it’s time to do something 
(how about it changing the law).
Because I think we all know by now:
We don’t need waste plastic any more.

A.J. Ponder

Well, that wasn't great, but it was fun. Obviously, we're not all going to be perfect all the time, I'm certainly not. (Thought I'd better get that out there.) Which is why it's important to call for structural change, to make it easier for everyone to do the right thing. :)

Have a great week, people.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Are all our baskets broken
that we cannot fill them with our eggs?
Are all our chickens coming home to roost
among the snake-filled nests?

Do we have an intrinsic worth?
Are we free to keep our heads?
Or are we nothing more than feathers
to fill a suffocating bed?

Can we see into the future
when our present is so caged?
Can you take the shit they give us
or have you found your rage?

We can tear down those cages
And we can find our worth
And together build a future
The like we've never seen

Or we can crawl back in our cage
And dream of what might have been

A.J. Ponder

Have a great week everybody. Here's hoping we can all rise to the challenges life is throwing us.

“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Friday, January 26, 2018

"To light a candle is to cast a shadow..." Ursula K. Le Guin October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018

To light a candle is to cast a shadow. Ursula K. Le Guin
Read more at:
To light a candle is to cast a shadow. Ursula K. Le Guin
Read more at:
Ursula K. Le Guin was a giant of science fiction and fantasy, daring to stand up and be counted when it came to social issues

In many ways her writing apeared prescient, speaking truths to power. In her 1986 Bryn Mawr Commencement Address she said,
"...when women speak truly they speak subversively--they can't help it: if you're underneath, if you're kept down, you break out, you subvert. We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains. That's what I want--to hear you erupting. You young Mount St. Helenses who don't know the power in you--I want to hear you." -Ursula Le Guin
I love her  National Book Foundation's speech, there's so much about her to admire...
"We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.-Ursula Le Guin accepts the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 65th National Book Awards on November 19, 2014 - it's well worth listening to: 
The day seems a little darker, now that her light, her speaking truth to power has been silenced.

Goodbye Ursula K. Le Guin - one day the word for world will be forest and ocean - until then we shall talk about the day a giant strode the earth, planted seeds of subversion, and called upon mountains to rise up like volcanoes.


We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains. Ursula K. Le Guin
Read more at:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

If by Rudyard Kipling

As a little background, "If" was written in 1895 - two years before the birth of the Kipling's son, John, in 1897. It appears not so much to be a code designed for a son as much as a tribute to Leander Starr Jameson - who at least according to Wikipedia had a rigid code of honour and was much loved by his contemporaries. Anyway, if by radical and reformist, people mean Jameson was seriously anti-slavery then I will forgive Rudyard his all to apparent sexism (he is,after all, a product of his time), and also celebrate the good doctor/politician.

If, by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!