Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ave Maria

Frank O’Hara was a prolific and daring American poet and his birthday comes up on June 27th. Many of his poems make me laugh, especially this one. Enjoy.

Ave Maria

Mothers of America
let your kids go to the movies
get them out of the house so they won't
know what you're up to
it's true that fresh air is good for the body
but what about the soul
that grows in darkness, embossed by
silvery images
and when you grow old as grow old you
they won't hate you
they won't criticize you they won't know
they'll be in some glamorous
they first saw on a Saturday afternoon or
playing hookey
they may even be grateful to you
for their first sexual experience
which only cost you a quarter
and didn't upset the peaceful
they will know where candy bars come
and gratuitous bags of popcorn
as gratuitous as leaving the movie before
it's over
with a pleasant stranger whose apartment
is in the Heaven on
Earth Bldg
near the Williamsburg Bridge
oh mothers you will have made
the little
so happy because if nobody does pick
them up in the movies
they won't know the difference
and if somebody does it'll be
sheer gravy
and they'll have been truly entertained
either way
instead of hanging around the yard
or up in their room hating you
prematurely since you won't have done
anything horribly mean
except keeping them from life's darker joys
it's unforgivable the latter
so don't blame me if you won't take this
and the family breaks up
and your children grow old and blind in
front of a TV set
movies you wouldn't let them see when
they were young

Frank O'Hara

Monday, May 29, 2006

Here is the news

Our world leaders might need to work a lot harder at reaching some sort of middle ground with the issue of nuclear proliferation. Or maybe it's the journalists who need help. Or maybe this newspaper headline is actually starkly and scarily on the mark.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Mount Nyiragongo

In January 2003 I visited Rwanda and then drove across the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo, crossing at the once-beautiful lakeside city of Goma. Goma lies on the water's edge of Lake Kivu, near Mount Nyiragongo, an active volcano. I didn't get close to the volcano, at least, I was about twenty miles from its summit. Still, I got to see the results of the 2002 eruption. It is one of the most active volcanos in the world and has unusually runny lava, which means a lava flow can reach a speed of 60 miles per hour when it runs downhill from the volcano to Goma. It is best to get out of the way of such lava flows, if you can at all.

Just today I found some incredible close-up photographs of Nyiragongo and its recent activities...