Tolerance

Norman Rockwell
February 3, 1894 – November 8, 1978
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New Kids in the Neighborhood, 1967

Norman Rockwell, American artist whose paintings depict segregation, patriotism, freedom of speech and religion. Rockwell  was described as sickly, skinny, underweight, bad at math, probably dyslexic, and wore corrective shoes. He painted more than 4,000 paintings in his lifetime, more than 300 of them appearing on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

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Alternate Reality

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622 Days to Mid-term Elections
November 6, 2018

*

Alternate Reality

They are said to have jumped to their death

at the illusion of Orwell’s oratory in ’38,

 

and in thick white-rim glasses they grasped

for a creature in the Black Lagoon in ’54

 

the way Duran swung at air trying

to bust Sugar Ray’s pretty face.

 

Folly you say, until you open

dubious eyes to a world where

 

losing by 3 million votes

is a landslide victory

 

an Oscar winner with a lifetime

achievement is overrated

 

the Congressman who marched with MLK

is “all talk, talk, talk… and no action”

 

the Senator held POW for five years

is no hero

 

intel operatives who risk their lives

are compared to Nazis

 

the sacrifice constructing buildings with gilded faucets

is equivalent to the death of a child

 

crowds multiply tenfold

with a wag of a tongue

 

massacres are fabricated and

consumer rights revoked

 

Pulitzer awarded newspapers

publish fake news

 

and the platform for hate groups

is awarded a front row seat

 

the handlers recite alternate facts as

he emerges from the golden elevator

and says, Trust me.

 

        jim brennan

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622 Days to Mid-term Elections
November 6, 2018

 

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Spoken Word Poet Shane Koyczan

Long before I wrote a serious line of poetry I was mesmerized by a young lumberjack-looking poet: red shirt, black vest, beard, scarf and jeff, standing alone on an elevated circular platform in the center of a stadium with 61,600 spectators. Not your typical poetry crowd. Accompanied with only the spoken word, Shane Koyczan captivated the audience at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

I didn’t catch then poet’s name at the time, but he left such an impression on me that seven years later I was reading a blog I follow at Writings By Ender and recognized him immediately.

Canadian Shane Koyczan is a spoken word poet who writes about heady subjects: bullying, cancer, death, hope and seeing the sun through the clouds, and he does it with passion, precision and grace.

Below Koyczan delivers his powerful poem To This Day about bullying to a prestigious TED audience.

Thanks to Austin Wiggins, creator of Writings By Ender, author of the short story collection Bonds that Bind, and co-founder of the magazine Beautiful Losers.

If you can’t get enough of Koyczan’s spoken word, listen to him recite Instructions For A Bad Day and Move Pen Move at at Writings By Ender.

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Trinity House

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Narrow tree-lined street in the Society Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia where many Trinity Houses are located. (Photo: Joe Strupek)


Trinity House: three floors, one room per floor—Father, Son and Holy Ghost. That’s how the design unique to Philadelphia got its name in the 1700s. Today Trinity Houses are in demand by investors and homeowners who rehab and update them with modern materials, appliances and luxuries.

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Alfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia, where homes date back to the 1720s. (Photo: Norman Maddeaux)

In my short story “Trinity House,” Manny is a young construction worker with ambition and a strong work ethic. His respect for the craftsmanship of a bygone era puts him at odds with a young investor who hires him. The story begins with Manny pedaling his bike through a drug-infested neighborhood to work rehabbing a Trinity House. A late model BMW nearly runs him off the road and he rams the bottom of his work boot into the door. To find out what happens next read Trinity House.

Trinity House appears in the latest edition of Prime Number Magazine published by Press 53.

 

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Home for the Holidays

The line accordions: it wheezes and jerks

wheezes and jerks,

funnels into a glass cylinder;

radioactivity slices through my organs.

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I’m watching 100 geese

flying south for the Holidays

barking,

or are they laughing?

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Merriest Christmas

Thanks go out to Thom Hickey creator of The Immortal Jukebox for sharing this incredible and singular reciting of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by the iconic Bob Dylan.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Follow The Immortal Jukebox for thorough and interesting music history ranging from Rock & Roll to blues to Motown and many roads in between. You can also follow Thom on Twitter @thomhickey55

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Where Have All The Hikers Gone?

Thru-hikers give way to hunters
naked trees replace fall colors

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the narrow trails widen
December on the AT
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trunks fill the forrest

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then open to
crisp panorama

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icy toes & oatmeal
on a 27 degree sunrise
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which way shall I go?

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down the mountain
into the gap

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and across the Lehigh

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to Kittatinny Ridge

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back up the trail

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face south
from the ridge

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face north

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and back into the woods

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past Smith Gap

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with a Golden trooper

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following the White Blaze.

Done for the season

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