Texas Liberal

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Four Books Of Asian Poetry

(Blogger’s note—This is a post I first made in March of 2011. It did not get much traffic at the time. I’m certain though in the past 15 months that interest in Asian poetry has grown a gret deal. Right? Sure. So I’m reposting this for today.)    

It has been sometime since the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts has been seen on the blog.

I’m sure you’ve been wondering what they’ve been up to in recent weeks.

They’ve been reading books of Asian poems written many years ago.

What else did you think they’d be doing?

Extinct has been readingJapanese Death Poems–Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death.

Being a Woolly Mammoth, Extinct is always interested in reading about death.

Here is a poem from Death Poems written by a man named Gasan in 1885–

Blow if you will,

Fall wind—the flowers

Have all faded.

Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat is reading Crossing The Yellow River–Three Hundred Poems From The Chinese.

As you can tell from the picture, Hamburger has studied Crossing many times.

Below is a poem from Crossing called View From Heron Tower. It was written by a Wang Chih-huan who lived 688-742.

The white sun is hidden by the mountains.

The Yellow River empties into the sea.

Climb up one floor:

You’ll see a hundred miles more.

Cactus is reading Written on Water—Five Hundred Poems from the Man’yoshu.

Cactus likes to read about water for a change of pace from the day-to-day life of a cactus.

Below is a poem from Written that was authored by a Kakinomoto-no-Hitomaro.  This poet lived in the late 7th and early 8th centuries.

Far above the roar

Of the rapids of the stream,

About the peak of graceful Mt. Yutsuki,

Hover heavy clouds.

Samuel Slater Bobblehead is readingSongs of the Kisaeng–Courtesan Poetry of the Last Korean Dynasty.

As always, Samuel Slater Bobblehead is quite industrious in his reading.

Below is a poem from Songs called Who Caught You? It was written by Kungnyo. Kungnyo lived in either the 16th or 17th century.

Who caught you, fish, then set you free

Within my garden pond?

Which clear northern sea did you leave

for these small waters?

Once here, with no way to flee,

you and I are the same.

The poems in these books waste no words. They convey both ideas and feelings from across many years.

No wonder the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts enjoys these books to such a degree.

(Below–The Yellow River in Qinghai Province. Picture by Andre Holdrinet. This is not as serene a place as  it may appear. There was a big earthquake in this province in 2010 that killed many people.  Here are facts about the the Yellow River.)

May 31, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

How It All Ends Up

Longtime New York Times reporter and columnist Tom Wicker died yesterday. Mr. Wicker was 85.

Mr. Wicker was at one point one of the best known journalists in America. I recall reading his columns.

Here is Mr. Wicker’s NYT obituary. 

An obituary is a summation of your life. Mr. Wicker has been summed up.

In the picture above are collections I have at home of the poems of Langston Hughes and Robert Frost.

While I’m certain there are exceptions, does anybody who reads the poems of either of these men read much beyond these compilations?

Here are facts about Langston Hughes.

Here are facts about Robert Frost.

After you die your life gets distilled to a kind of irreducible essence.

He or she was this type or that type of person. He or she enjoyed one thing or another.  He or she thought whatever about the issue of the moment.

There is really nothing sad about this. It just points me to the view that existence is vast and we each have a part.

I suppose some people may be seen as having played a larger role than others. Though it is good to be dubious of the perceptions of both the few and the many. You can never be certain of the impact a person has had in life.

All you can do is try to be the person you want to be when you are here, and the person you hope to be recalled as when you are gone.

November 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Liberal Panel Of Experts Reads Asian Poetry From Across The Ages Every Chance They Get—Not A Word Is Wasted

It has been sometime since the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts has been seen on the blog.

I’m sure you’ve been wondering what they’ve been up to in recent weeks.

They’ve been reading books of Asian poems written many years ago.

What else did you think they’d be doing?

Extinct has been reading Japanese Death Poems–Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death.

Being a Woolly Mammoth, Extinct is always interested in reading about death.

Here is a poem from Death Poems written by a man named Gasan in 1885–

Blow if you will,

Fall wind—the flowers

Have all faded.

Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat is reading Crossing The Yellow River–Three Hundred Poems From The Chinese.

As you can tell from the picture, Hamburger has studied Crossing many times.

Below is a poem from Crossing called View From Heron Tower. It was written by a Wang Chih-huan who lived 688-742.

The white sun is hidden by the mountains.

The Yellow River empties into the sea.

Climb up one floor:

You’ll see a hundred miles more.

Cactus is reading Written on Water—Five Hundred Poems from the Man’yoshu.

Cactus likes to read about water for a change of pace from the day-to-day life of a cactus.

Below is a poem from Written that was authored by a Kakinomoto-no-Hitomaro.  This poet lived in the late 7th and early 8th centuries.

Far above the roar

Of the rapids of the stream,

About the peak of graceful Mt. Yutsuki,

Hover heavy clouds.

Samuel Slater Bobblehead is reading Songs of the Kisaeng–Courtesan Poetry of the Last Korean Dynasty.

As always, Samuel Slater Bobblehead is quite industrious in his reading.

Below is a poem from Songs called Who Caught You? It was written by Kungnyo. Kungnyo lived in either the 16th or 17th century.

Who caught you, fish, then set you free

Within my garden pond?

Which clear northern sea did you leave

for these small waters?

Once here, with no way to flee,

you and I are the same.

The poems in these books waste no words. They convey both ideas and feelings from across many years.

No wonder the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts enjoys these books to such a degree.

(Below–The Yellow River in Qinghai Province. Picture by Andre Holdrinet. This is not as serene a place as  it may appear. There was a big earthquake in this province in 2010 that killed many people.  Here are facts about the the Yellow River.)

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Houseplant Reads Poetry

Blogger’s Note–Because I have some other projects I want to take on, I’ll be offering up shorter and more formulaic posts for the remainder of August. These posts will still be quite good and will merit your visiting the blog each day. Yet at the same time, shorter posts will allow me time to accomplish other objectives. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal.

Texas Liberal Book Of The Day-William Carlos Williams-Selected Poems. As you see above, Houseplant is reading this book. Mr. Williams does not waste a word in his poems. I wish that we all could combine discipline with meaning to such a degree.

Link Of The Day—The Nation Magazine offers up a series of viewpoints this week debating the Obama administration from the liberal perspective. I feel the Health Care Reform law was a significant accomplishment that will help millions of people get care. (Click the link to see what the bill really does instead of just hearing all the lies.) Overall, I give Mr. Obama a grade of B to this point.

Texas Link Of The Day–-The Texas Observer writes that Texas Democrats have lagged behind Republicans and the campaigns of Governor Rick Perry in the door-to-door solicitation of votes. What I’d add to this observation is that here in Harris County. Texas, Democrats have been very slow to register historically low-turnout groups.

You’d almost think that many elected Democrats in Harris County are content with winning election in safe low turnout districts. You might also feel that some of these folks have no real interest in representing the concerns of the poor and of the large Hispanic population of Houston and Harris County.

Yet I’m certain that such a thing could not be true. Of course not.

August 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Poem Called Planning

Here is a poem I wrote called Planning—

The town was marketed

Before streets and homes were built.

Homes were finished

Before roads and sewers were built.

People moved in with kids

Before schools were built.

And people wonder why what they have

Is not what they want.

April 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

Poem About My Wife—If You Want To Write A Poem For Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day coming up, you might want to write a poem about your significant other.

Below is a poem I wrote a few years ago about my wife. I think it works well.

You don’t need to be all flowery and mushy—Simply write about the person you know.

My Wife.

1.

With reasonable allowance

For awkward situations

My wife is quite straightforward.

2.

If not always at first

People in time come to realize

The quality of my wife’s advice and skills.

3.

My wife reflects on her personal relationships

And tries to get them right.

My wife reflects on her responsibilities

And tries to be a good person.

4.

A left-handed Jewish woman

My wife has no illusions about what people are

And what they are capable of.

February 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Ancient Poem For Valentine’s Day—Helpful If You Are In A Love Triangle

Here is a 2000 year old poem, by an unknown author from India, called “You Love Her.

It is a Valentine’s Day poem for those of you in a love triangle of some sort.

You love her, while I love you,

and she hates you, and says so.

Love ties us in knots,

keeps us in hell.

February 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Poem Called Climate

Here is a poem I wrote called Climate.

Rain?

Rain coat.

Dark?

Turn on a light.

Snow?

Shovel.

Moral climate

Accepted,

As if

No response is possible.

January 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

Poem Called Consent

Here is a poem I wrote called Consent

How Pompeii consented to Vesuvius,

How Johnstown consented to the flood,

How dinosaurs consented to asteroids,

Is often how we consent,

To the actions and judgements of the majority.

January 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

An Ancient Poem For A Modern Device

This is the first post to the blog that I’m making with my iPhone. I’ll be on vacation soon and I’m seeing if this WordPress for iPhone application works as advertised.

For my first remote post with this new gizmo,I’d like to offer up a very old poem.

The poem is from a collection of ancient Chinese poetry called Crossing The Yellow River.

The poem is called Zazen on Ching-t’ing Mountain. It was written by Li Po in the 8th century.

The poem—

The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.

We sit together, the mountain and me,
Until only the mountain remains.

August 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Top Texas Political Blogger Now Member Of The Academy Of Political Science

PolyCert

I’m most pleased to announce that I have been accepted as a member of the Academy of Political Science. Above you see my certificate of membership.

I’ve gained this honor because I bought a one year subscription to Political Science Quarterly. 

Here is the link to this magazine.

Already I am a member of the National Geographic Society.

I’ll take any distiction that I can buy and that is selling for cheap.

The honors keep rolling on in.

Regular readers will know I view myself as the top political blogger in Texas.

If I don’t see myself that way—Who will?

And giving myself that title does not cost a dollar.

I’m a published author.  

I’m a prize-winning poet. I was a Juried Poet at the 1999 University of Houston-Downtown Poetry Fest.

And, as I’ll never weary of saying, in 1997 I was endorsed as a candidate for the Cincinnati Board of Education by Stonewall Cincinnati, the local AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union and the United Auto Workers. 

All this is paying off huge. I’m making big money with this blog.  Big money!

May 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Seven Swine Flu Poems

Here are seven Swine Flu poems–

1.

Does your child cover her mouth when she coughs/Or is she a reflection of you/Because of the poor example you’ve set/Your kids are spreading the Swine Flu

2.

You’ve enjoyed those pork chops/And that pork rib B-B-Q/But now the table has been turned/And pigs are killing you

3.

Some are mad at Mexico/Because that is where the Swine Flu began/But when disease our ancestors brought killed Native Americans/We happily took their land

4.

Here is a problem/For all you creationists to solve/ If evolution is not true/How is it that viruses evolve

5.

Texas Governor Perry said/ Maybe Texas should secede/Then he called up Washington/And said send the flu medicine we need  

6.

People die in poverty and disease/All around the world each day/But we never hear the end of it/When people in wealthy nations get sick in some novel way  

7.

Between the global flu outbreak /And the global economic disaster/ Who can make a prediction/Of what will do us in faster  

April 30, 2009 Posted by | Poetry | , , | 13 Comments

Swine Flu—Don’t Ask For Whom The Bell Tolls

File:Catedral de León Nicaragua.JPG

Please click here for the City of Houston Swine Flu information home page.  It is very helpful.

Another reason I’m linking to it is what it says at the bottom of the page. It says this—

Other sources of information:

The needed facts to deal with Swine Flu, and the tools needed for a proper response to this threat, come from city government, state government, the federal government and from world health authorities. People are going to have to work together.

The 17th-century poet John Donne wrote the following—

Therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee”.  

Everything is connected. This is not a hurricane where you can evacuate.  While it may well be that this threat does turn out as bad as feared, once again we are reminded that our fates in life are tied together.

The bell in the picture above is from the Cathedral de León in Nicaragua.

April 28, 2009 Posted by | Houston | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

April Is National Poetry Month/Two Poems I’ve Written

April is Nati0nal Poetry Month. Please click here for a great poetry month link.

The first poem that I ever learned goes like this—

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Toilet paper is white

But not when you are through.

I’ve been reciting that poem to folks for over 30 years now.

I’ve written some poetry myself.

Here is one example.  It does not have a title at the moment because I changed a couple of words in it and the old title no longer makes sense. 

The mob on the one side.

The few on the other side.

I’ll take my chances

With the Niagara below. 

( Photo of Niagara River.) 

Here is another poem I wrote called Self-Reliance.

He did not cast the characters.

He did not write the script.

When told that he was the author,

He immediately saw the trick.

A lot people feel that poetry is not accessible to them, but this is not the case.

People have the ability to grasp, enjoy and make use of much more than they realize. 

I have a great faith in the ability of the average person to understand much more than they realize.

Here is some poetry for kids. 

Here is a link to a number of very old Chinese poems. I enjoy this kind of poetry very much.

Here is some information about Walt Whitman with links also to many of his poems. You can poke around the Poets.org site and look up lots of poems.

There is always new stuff to learn and new ways of looking at life. Everybody is able to do this in their life.

April 4, 2009 Posted by | Poetry | , , , | Leave a comment

What Google Searches Miss

I was looking up something on Google and typed the letter A. I saw that the word Amazon came up. Because my mind is weak, I then typed in each letter of the alphabet to see what word came up with each letter. Below is the list of what came up and in my view, of what should have come up.

Based on what comes up in these Google searches, it seems that many of us like to shop. It also seems that people like services that are free. 

A—Amazon

What should come up is Arthur Ashe. 

B—Best Buy

What should come up is Book. As in–Get off the computer and go read a book.

C—Craigslist

What should come up is Copley. As in, my favorite painting is John Singleton Copley’s Paul Revere. (Below)

D—Dictionary 

I can’t improve on that. Good to see people looking up the right word to use.

E—ebay

What should come up is Elusive. As in, the true origin of many products sold on ebay can be Elusive.  

F—Facebook

Well–I use Facebook enough so I guess I can’t begrudge folks. Feel free to look me up on Facebook—Neil Aquino—and send me a friend request. My current profile picture is myself wearing a suit and standing in front of a big ice sculpture.  If I had to pick a word for F, it would be Friend in any case. It is good to have Friends.  

G—Google

What should come up is Galveston, Texas. As in visit Galveston, Texas for a nice day at the beach or a nice weekend.

H–Hotmail 

What should come up is History. As in, it is fun and useful to learn History. Or, Alan Taylor’s American Colonies is a great History book.

I—Imdb ( I had to look up what this was. It is a database of movies and movie stars.)

What should come up is Island. As in, I wish I lived on a distant Island.  Or, I wish you lived on a distant Island. 

J—JC Penney

What should come up is Joy Division. Love Will Tear Us Apart is my favorite song.

K—Kohls

What should come up is King. As in Martin Luther King.  (Click here to see the best Martin Luther King Reading & Reference list on the web.)

L—Lowes

What should come up is Liberal. It’s okay that it did not come up though since liberals did so well in the most recent election.

M—-Myspace

What should come up is Martin Van Buren. A founder of the American system of political parties, Martin Van Buren (below) is worth more study and thought than folks realize. (Please consider starting your studies on Van Buren by clicking here.)

Martin Van Buren 

N—Netflix

What should come up is Night Out. As in, forget the Netflix and have a Night Out at a restaurant and movie.  

O—Orkut (This is a social networking site run by Google. I had never heard of it. )

What should have come up is Optimistic. As in, I hope all people are able to remain Optimistic even in these hard times.

P—Photobucket

What should come up is Poetry. Here is a bit of  Chinese Poetry from the 8th century. 

Late autumn strips the distant hills

beyond the city gate.

A huge white cloud interrupts my dreams

and returns me to this world.

And you, old friend?

Flown silent as a crane.

Will you ever return

to your old home again?

Q—Quotes

Okay. I can go with that.  A great quote is  “A trifle consoles us because a trifle distresses us.”  This was by Blaise Pascal. 

R—Runescape  (This is some kind of online game. When I clicked on it, it said that 117,123 people currently playing. I guess no matter how in-touch you think you are, there is big stuff you are missing.)

What should come up is Roses. As in Roses are my wife’s favorite  flower and my wife is the best person in the world.

S—Sears

What should come up is Socialism. With the right in such a lather over the word, why not explore its meanings and see what it can offer in this time of free market failure.

T—Target

What should come up is Texas Liberal. Thanks for reading my blog!  

U—utube

What should come up is Universal. As in, before long we must have government funded Universal health care in America.   

V—Verizon Wireless

What should come up is Vanuatu. Vanuatu is a small Pacific Ocean island nation.

Below is a picture of the parliament building in Vanuatu….

 

…That was modeled upon the old Howard Johnson’s chain.

W—Walmart

What should come up is Wages. As in, raise Wages at Wal-Mart.

 X—Xbox 360

What should come up is Xenial.  Xenial means ” …the friendly relations between a guest and a host, or between a person and a foreign country.”  Xenial is a very good word to know. 

Y—Youtube

What should come up is You. As in, You are not the center of the world no matter how many products and services emphasize the word You.  

Z—Zappos (This is a an online seller of purses and shoes.) 

What should come up is Zebra. As in it is excellent to be able to run a picture of  Zebras on this blog. (Please click here to learn about Zebras.)

March 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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