The Thomas Fire
by Cal Wes Ubideer
By New Year’s 92% of SoCal’s Thomas fire
had been contained and was no longer thought to be so dire.
The largest fire, in modern California’s history,
burned some 280,000 acres rapidly.
100,000 people had to flee to save themselves;
1,000 structures were turned in to hollow burnt-out shells.
It started north of Santa Paula, near to Steckel Park,
south of Thomas Aquinas College on December 4th.
It hit Ventura through dark night, 500 structures down;
persistent Santa Ana winds dried out the air and ground.
At its most furious hot height, the fire was so warm,
the conflagration had become a raging firestorm.
by Bud “Weasel” Rice
Against the giant burning, bright-white, yellow, churning flames,
a man got down to nab a rabbit, wild and untamed,
and frightened at the holocaustic, blazing, razing fire,
confused, disoriented—to escape, its one desire.
Though wildlife experts criticized his interfering there,
not only for the danger and the baldfaced crazy dare.
They said just let the fleeing rabbit groups fend for themselves,
and get out of that hell, you’re risking fire-fighting cells.
Oscar Gonzalez still said he would do it one more time,
the rabbit came to him with its young following behind.
He took them cross the road; no raging flames were burning there;
and if the experts do not like it, then, damn, he doesn’t care.
A Deer Was Watching
by Bud “Weasel” Rice
“I could hear the wilderness listen.”
—William Stafford, “Traveling through the Dark”
A deer was watching people herding horses on a truck;
I could not tell if it was part-grown fawn or doe or buck.
Though many horses had already been burned up alive,
it looked as if this group of horses would somehow survive;
but what about the deer? There was nobody watching it,
except some person with a camera recording it.
Who knew what would occur concerning that observant deer,
or what the person did who had a camera so near?
Would it be fazed by raging blazing, or would it have luck?
A deer was watching people herding horses on a truck.
Cal Wes Ubideer is a poet of California.
The Death of Sina Ghanbari
by Delir Ecwabeus
According to authorities at Evin in Tehran,
Sina Ghanbari died for his protesting in Iran.
The story of the state-run media is that his death
was due to hanging of himself; that’s the official thread.
But messages on social media cast doubt on this,
suggesting torture, even murdering for such remiss.
“There will be consequences,” the authories have said;
so do not be surprised if some come out of prison dead.
The son of Ali Akbar had been placed in quarantine.
If true, what did they do to him, to cause this horrid scene?
“The news was like a stabbing knife,” Aghazedah explained;
his son was also taken to the Evin Port of Pain.
He hoped this would not turn into a second Karizak;
for if it did, he thought aloud, it would be very bad.
The Filtering of English
by Delir Ecwabeus
“…nor did anything terrify the people so much as those encomiums on his Majesty’s mercy…”
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
“To teach the English language is against the government,”
said Medhi Navid-Adham, head of state enlightenment.
The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced rage as well,
“It is a cultural invasion,” coming straight from Hell.
The Revolutionary Guard must be ubiquitous,
surveilling, filtering, and halting the iniquitous.
Supreme Great Leader of Iran knows what is for the best:
We must protect this nation from the power of the West.
Fazli, the Minister of the Interior, has said,
“Improper use of social media was causing dread.”
Though Internetting traffic plunged close to 50%,
the use of TOR proliferated during the protest.
So twenty-one who died last week, it seems we still must damn,
especi’lly if they were in English on app Telegram.
“The filtering of English” is a phrase used by the protestors, comparing blocking English to the blocking of Telegram, a popular app used by some 40,000,000 Iranians. Persian, that is, endonym Farsi, the main language of Iran, is an Indo-European language; hence it is actually historically related to English, along with other Iranic languages, like Ossetian and Kurdish.
Delir Ecwabeus is a poet fond of Persia and Iran.
by Aedile Cwerbus
As often when resistence breaks out, like a fire fanned,
and savage animation and sedition sweep the land,
and stones and torches fly with frenzy, weaponry supplied,
and anti-family eruptions crash forth like a tide,
if one could find some virtuous, with pious gravity,
perhaps among the silent, listening attentively,
while passions thus are swayed with words and hearts are riled with thoughts,
and this grand oceanic uproar is tied up in knots,
then maybe here beneath the climate-changing, azure sky,
one could find hope amidst the wild coursers rushing by.
by Aedile Cwerbus
He touched upon the One, the Intellect, and last, the Soul,
this student of Ammonius Saccas, o, Plotinus.
His Neoplatonism, during late antiquity,
influenced Porphyry of Tyre, with his philosophy.
His Alexandrian decade brought new thought to achieve,
but Indian and Persian thinkers he could never reach.
And so he came to Rome, where he drew many to his life,
including Emperor Gallienus and his good wife.
He longed to build, in Campania, with good officers,
the place he passed away, a City of Philosophers.
His great bequest was that eudaimonia only is
attainable in consciousness—the truest happiness.
Aedile Cwerbus is a poet of ancient Rome.
by Wilbur Dee Case
There in the middle of Ohio, Kenyon College sits,
in Gambier, a village in Knox County, quiet, once
significant in poetry, now John Crowe Ransom gone,
a fugitive in his brown study, and agrarian.
His students too, Jarrell, Tate, Lowell, Weaver, and the rest
have left…their legasies…their ecstasies and acid tests.
Its middle path remains amidst the trees, like Kokosing
meandering its muddy way along to Walhonding.
America is huge; its poets span three centuries;
and Kenyon still continues on in cautious venturing.
Wilbur Dee Case is a literary critic of the Middle.
The 50th Mersenne Prime Number
by Euclidrew Base
It’s still not known if Mersenne primes are infinite or not,
and how they link to perfect numbers in the realms of thought.
Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search discovered recently
the largest known prime number anyone has ever seen.
It is the 50th Mersenne prime number that’s now known—
277,232,917 – 1.
Primality proof took six days of labour to compute
on an Intel i5-6600 CPU.
Jonathan Pace from Germantown, in southeast Tennessee,
is he who gets the credit for this late discovery.
Milnor on Manifolds
by Euclidrew Base
In low dimensions manifolds are easy to explain,
like curves in space, or surfaces of spheres and doughnuts ta’en.
But things get much more interesting up in higher D,
describing just an airplane needs coordinates of three.
Describe its orienting, one needs six-dimensioned space,
position and direction, angles of the wings and face.
And this is only the beginning, if you study gas,
the particles will bounce about and many moves amass.
Velocities of just one thousand particles will need
six thousand separate coordinates unbound (and freed…
Euclidrew Base is a poet of mathematics.
Did Anybody Notice
by Brad Lee Suciew
Did anybody notice that some 10% or so
of Amazon’s Ohio workforce gets food stamps to go.
In short, although Jeff Bezos makes a fortune for his store,
with brand new tax breaks coming in, will workers there get more?
Did anybody notice Amazon dropped Wikileaks?
It seems they are a company that won’t support free speech.
Unless it works for them, in which case they will sell your likes.
In short, Jeff Bezos will do anything for the right price.
Did anybody notice controversies on the Net
that Amazon.com is doing its best to forget:
it’s dodging taxes, shafting any publishers it can;
it’s censoring, exploiting, snooping, sabotaging, and…
Did anybody notice that?
Brad Lee Suciew is a poet of business.
On the US Presidency
by Brice U. Lawseed
“It takes a genius,”
—Rudolph Muller, as Pierre Luigi in The Pink Panther
“…to President of the United States (on my first try)…”
American Prez Donald Trump thinks he “would qualify
not smart, but genius…and a very stable genius…” too.
His tweet held by the Main Stream Media in ridicule.
And yet he has a point. By going up against them all—
Republicans and Democrats—with feisty folderol—
he managed to attain the ranks of US Presidents,
no military or political accoutrements.
We know that power can corrupt and absolutely so;
but now we know that wealthy entertainers make good show.
Brice U. Lawseed is a poet of Washington DC and its environs.