Wise Words with Bruce Wise


 

Miss Kitty
          by Bud “Weasel” Rice

At her life’s end, our tiny kitty lost her lively vim.
The things she liked to do, she still liked, but could not do them,
like eating grass and scarfing tuna, skittering about;
she used to sit upon our chests and stick her thin paw out.
She liked to run out to the bushes, seeking birds and voles,
and turn them in for tuna fish in shiny smooth, white bowls.
And she liked fruit and veg’tables, fresh cream and tasty things.
Our kitchen kitty really liked the sound of crockery.
So it’s been sad to see our kitty, under sunny skies,
our very beautiful Miss Kitty…fade before our eyes.

On her last day, Miss Kitty hid beneath the flowers in
a big, white, plastic planter box. She picked the middle bin.
So gaunt and thin, she lay within the hedges green and taut,
between the rosy, pink-white vinca, in the shade, but hot.
A visiting black swallowtail flit from bloom to bloom,
until firm Mr. Kitty gave it quite a swat—and zoom—
it left the lovely flowery display. It was not caught.
It flew away into the day, a flicker and a dot.
How beautiful Miss Kitty is, our soft gray calico.
How sad it is that she must go. I wish it wasn’t so.

Bud “Weasel” Rice is a poet of zoology, particularly animals. Even though he knows there was no correlation, a strange thing happened in front of his house the day Miss Kitty died. A city garbage truck picked up his garbage on July 9, 2018, and immediately afterwards braked, the truck sprang a leak, and it spilled hydraulic fluid on the street; and a gigantic tow truck had to come to take the truck away. Perhaps there was a disruption in the Force, as a suffering Miss Kitty was still alive at that moment.

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The Hobbyist
          by Des Werkebauli

I saw the hobbyist begin to work, become alert.
He loved to knapp and shape obsidian, or flint, or chert.
He loved the challenge of conchoidal fracturing with tools.
He loved to manufacture flintlock firearms for fools.
He loved producing flat-faced stones for buildings or for walls,
and flushwork decoration be it beautiful, or balls.
He loved the pressure flaking process, striking, stroking flint;
and he was happiest when he was well immersed in it.
He was a fabricator who loved making many things,
including, among other pieces, necklaces and rings.

Des Werkebauli is a poet of work and workaholic at poetry. One of his favourite poems is Hesiod’s Ἔργα καὶ Ἡμέραι, Works and Days.

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The Squeeze Theorem
          by Euclidrew Base

Squeeze Theorem can be handy finding limits, doing math,
especi’lly when one’s looking for a straight and narrow path.
It helps computing limits sought for in the calculus,
confirming by comparing change within analysis.
It’s known, too, as the pinching theorem or the sandwich rule,
and also two policemen and a drunkard spewing drool,
whose drunken prisoner may be out wob-bl-ing about
between policemen, he may also end up with some clout.
First utilized by ancient Greeks—Eudoxus comes to mind—
though not divine, it is a stroke of genius—quite a find.

Euclidrew Base is a poet of mathematics. One of his favourite mathematicians is the Greek mathematician Eudoxus of Cnidus (c. 390 BC – 337 BC)

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Hipparchus (c. 190 BC – c. 120 BC)
          by Esiad L. Werecub

Discoverer of the precession of the equinox,
Hipparchus of Nicaea was a wise and wily fox.
Astronomer, geographer, and mathematician,
he worked out models for the motions of the moon and sun.
He also founded and developed trigonometry
and made an astrolabe and spherical armillery.
He raised his eyes up to the starry-heaven realms of Zeus,
commenting, too, on the Phenomena of Aratus,
and may have been the first to calculate a system that
was heliocentrifical, but left it on the mat.

The Necker Cube
          by Ric “Bead” U. Elwes

The Necker cube can be interpreted in two known ways,
each one the mirror image of the person’s viewing gaze.
The perceived shift between the two can be thought of as a
rotation in the fourth dimension, gorgeous in display.
Dimension 4 disrupts the delicate and balanced force
that keeps our planet Earth revolving in a stable orb.

According to Dick Morris, once you enter 4-D space,
the planet will begin to spiral to the solar face.
A heat shield and some polarized sunglasses wouldn’t hurt,
while velcro shoes and earplugs might aid you in your pursuit.
To move through 4-D space-time, you may need to chip and row,
and be prepared for being aired out in to vertigo.

Ric “Bead” U. Elwes is a bead-counting poet who enjoys mathematical puzzles. Although the Necker Cube was named for Swiss crystallographer Louis Albert Necker (1786-1861), it was used as a tiling pattern in ancient times, in architectural sites across Greece and Italy, as at Pompeii.

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Montale (1898-1985)
          by Alberdi Ucwese

The sea casts up its drift and wreckage, always out of reach,
the words there like white cuttlefish bones, stranded on the beach,
bleached, dry bones there among the sandy particles and weeds;
which now and then a wave moved them, as if that were a deed.
But it is not. It is but desolation at the edge,
and bony, pearl-coloured fingers dragging through the sedge.
No help. The slimy kelp that wraps around the skeleton,
the many bones composed of calcium and collagen.
He came much closer to the turquoise water at the shore,
Montale living, giving in to silica no more.

Alberdi Ucwese is a poet of Italia.

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I Caught a Cuttlefish
          by W. S. “Eel” Bericuda

I caught a cuttlefish the other day,
but cleaning it was messy—an affair—
the ink went everywhere, o, in my way;
but bravely I pressed on, and still got there.
I washed it in a tepid water run,
and then I kept up rubbing, step by step.
It tasted very good—light sepia—
delicious, sweet, and truly worth the prep.
The backbone, as Montale knew as well,
was larger than in squid, and calcified,
as if it had endured the depths of hell,
but managed them and still was satisfied,
as I am now enduring inky spills,
because I’ve taken calamari pills.

W. S. “Eel” Beericuda is a poet of fish and their environs. He was washed ashore by the fishing of Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” and Dino Buzzati’s “Il colombre”.

Croatia is one of two nations in the final game of World Cup 2018. Medieval Croatia reached its greatest extent in the 11th century. A certain level of freedom was regained after the defeat of the Turks. One of the greatest poets of Croatia, Ivan Gundulič (1589-1638), the author of the epic poem “Osman”, in his pastoral “Dubravka”, penned the following lines on the priceless value of God-given, fair, sweet, beloved liberty.

O liepa, o draga, o slatka slobodo,
dar u kom sva blaga višnji nam Bog je do,
uzroče istini od naše sve slave,
uresu jedini od ove Dubrave,
sva srebra, sva zlata, svi ljudcki životi
ne mogu bit plata tvoj čistoj lipoti.

Once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1538-1918), after World War I, it became part of Yugoslavia (1918-1991); and it only became its own state in 1991. After the Homeland War with Serbia, in which over 10,000 Croatians died, hundreds of thousands refugees had been displaced. In 2013, Croatia became a member of the EU. Its largest cities are Zagreb and Split.

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After Jánka Kupála (1882-1942)
          by Edewic Belarus

O, say, who goes there now amidst that mighty throng. Declare
what loads those feet, bast-sandaled, and those strong, lean shoulders bear.
And tell me, Byelorussia, all the troubles you’ve endured,
what bloody stains are on those hands, and in what walls immured.
Articulate where their hard grievances are now unhurled.
Do they vent their injustices to the edge of the World?
Announce who has those millions schooled in pain and suffering.
Express that cruelty that has roused them from slumbering.
Proclaim as well just what it is that they’ve so long pined for:
the deaf, the blind, scorned through the years, to be called human, o!

Edewic Belarus is a poet of Belarus. Jánka Kupála is one of his favourite Modernist Belarusian poets.

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Within the Horn of Africa
          by Sir Beca Ewulde

Within the Horn of Africa sits Ethiopia
and at its north is Eritrea’s Red Sea area;
100,000,000 people live within within the land-locked land,
while but 5,000,000 dwell along the coastal Red Sea strand.
At war a score of years ago, till now without a peace,
till Abiy Ahmed has embraced Isaias Afwerki.
And now normalization can begin its healing ways,
although there will be many hurdles in the coming days.
The airlines will start flights; the ports will be accessible;
and joy, it seems, in Asmara is irrepressible.

Sir Beca Ewulde is a poet of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In the Eritrean-Ethiopian War, tens of thousands of people were killed and tens of thousands were displaced. Ethiopia and Eritrea use the ancient Ge’ez script, one of the oldest alphabets still in use. One of his favourite Amharic poets is Kebele Michael (1912-1998), who spoke Amharic, Ge’ez, English, French, and Italian. He wrote poems, plays, history, and esoteric qəne (wax and gold) poetry, used in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Along with Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Tigrinya, and Maltese, Amharic is a Semitic language.

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Rabindranath’s Path
          by Sri Wele Cebuda

Word of a plot attempting to assassinate Tagore,
reported by the San Francisco News Examiner,
had reached police, who then protected him throughout the day,
from members of the Ghadar party in the USA.
His anti-National remarks did not go over well,
but the men sent to kill him at the luxury hotel,
began to argue whether he should be shot dead or not,
was he, or not, an agent of the British government.
Meanwhile, the Hindu poet cancelled no engagements made,
and went on with his journey from the Palace where he’d strayed.

Sri Wele Cebuda is a poet of India. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), was the “Bard of Bengal”. The above was reported on October 6, 1916, on one of Tagore’s many trips to America. With so many languages in India, it has some two dozen literatures, including that of ancient Sanskrit, and even English.

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The Growth of India
          by Sri Wele Cebuda

And now it seems that India has recently attained
the Earth’s 6th largest GDP—updated World Bank.
With 1.34 billion people it may soon become,
of all the populated World nations—number 1.
The World’s top economies include the USA,
next China and Japan, then Germany and the UK.
Though France’s GDP is smaller than is India’s,
with 67 million its per capital exceeds.
Behind all the statistics, there are people living lives
in this amazing, most magnificent, mad humming hive.

Sri Wele Cebuda is a poet of India. Though France has moved to the 7th top World GDP, they are competing against Croatia for the final World Cup Soccer in Moscow, Russia. Sri Wele Cebuda recently saw his demure, next-door neighbour from France turn into a wild, passionate football fanatic, waving madly in his truck, honking loudly, and flying the flapping tricolour with ardent patriotism.

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Manila Snapshot From the Walkway
          by Wari Ebes Dulce

Manila’s spirits fill ten thousand acres, the
most densely populated city in the world,
and part of Kalakhang Maynila—Metro M,
encased in bays, Caloocan, Quezon City, hurled
together with Taguig, Las Piñas, Malabon,
Navotas, Makati, and Marikina, swirled
around, one brilliant cocktail, with Mandayulong,
Pasig, Pasay, Pateros and Parañaque,
Valenzuela, Muntinlupa, and San Juan.
Ermita, salty Malate, and Rizal Park,
draw tasteful sweets and sour bitters through to them,
and Intramuros too, by taxi, bus and car
beneath clear aqua skies, high crystal walls, mint crème.

 

Upgrades in the Spratlys
          by Wari Ebes Dulce

The Philippines is now upgrading Thutu Island’s land;
grab dredger, crane with clamshell bucket, on its runway’s strand.
This shouldn’t even matter, but that China claims it all.
South China Sea is theirs they say. They want it—all—all—all.
The airstrip built within the 1970s, the first
built in the Spratly Islands—long before the Chinese thirst
to conquer everything in sight—they push, they shove, they yell;
if you’re a neighbour to the Communist Chinese, it’s hell.
So on Pag-asa even some new buildings have been built,
though China claims them theirs without the slightest bit of guilt.

Wari Ebes Dulce is a poet of the Philippines. One of his Philippine acquaintances, who makes the most delicious Filipino Chicken Adobo, spoke of childhood experiences on her farm, where she rode a water buffalo in the rice fields as a young girl.

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Chinese Island Building
          by Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei
          “You’re kidding me—they also claim the Spratly Isles?”
              —DuBuis Lawrece

Concern is mounting due to Chinese reclamation of
the Spratly Archipelago. They long to shove
dredged sand and coral to build islands on some seven reefs;
because they want to claim South China Sea their apertif.
The images from satellites suggest the damage is
much greater than was first thought of by leading scientists.
Though Chinese claim they are committed to th’ environment,
what they’ve done constitutes the fastest rate of permanent
annihilation of pristine marine ecology,
perhaps the worst to coral reefs in human history.

 

The Chinese CFCs
          by Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei

In 1987, th’ Montreal-signed Protocol
had banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons for us all.
The ozone layer started healing, but there’s now a hitch;
there’s been an increase in CFCs, EIA has snitched.
There are at least some 18 Chinese companies that use
illegal CFC-11 foams they still produce.
But profit margins are so high that China doesn’t care.
It may sign treaties, but it lies. Environment, beware.
The hope had been they would be gone, at last there’d be a dearth;
but worse, these CFC emissions also heat the Earth.

Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei is a poet of China. His hao derives from, lu wei 蘆葦, which means “reed” in English.

 

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