Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter Reflections

The stillness of this great egret poised for fishing in Big Cypress National Preserve about 70 miles south of our condo has proven good medicine for this snowbird...who happens to be a news junkie and rather overwhelmed lately from the reports and commentaries still being published about the horrific massacre in Tuscon over a week ago by a young man unhinged in mind and spirit.

Do egrets go mad? Wonder off course of their migration route into strange habitats? Forsake eggs in the nest to incubate a heron's brood instead? Not likely.

Do they hate their fellow birds, shunning the white ibis for having long bills and pink eyes? Or are wood storks with their "bald" black heads much like a vultures the targets of egret bigotry? Not likely.

Although the Arizona shooting has been on my mind often in days past,I think about all this again on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. And then I focus on the serenity of Aldea alba and think instead of Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo,,,Burmese opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi...Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina...her fellow Russian Nikolai Alekseev, prominent gay rights activist...Denis Mugwege, Congolese physician has treated hundreds of women subjected to gang rapes... Afghan women's rights activist Sima Samar...Aminatou Haidar and Ali Salem Tamek, leading activists for the independence of Western Sahara...Isabel Miranda de Wallace, Mexico's National Human Rights Award 2010 recipient...Viktoria Mohacsi, a Hungarian woman who has fought passionately to abolish discrimination and hate crimes against Roma "Gypsy" communities... and Julius Kaggwa, best known for his devotion to defeating the proposed Anti-Homosexual Bill in Uganda.

Those humanitarians -- and birds of all feathers -- give me hope.

I hope they will you too.




P.S. My new book, The Urn, will be arriving any day now from the publisher and those of you who ordered copies (THANK YOU!) should soon be receiving your copies. In the meantime, five of the poems therein have just appeared in the literary journal miller's pond. To read them, just click on