Richie above nest, cap. by SailMonkey, photo courtesy of GGAS osprey cam.
cap by Geonni Banner , photo courtesy of GGAS osprey nest cam
Winter Solstice in Point Richmond
Two osprey fly against the darkening sky, Fly down the setting Solstice sun. I sing of day and night and osprey flight: This shortest day of all is done.
Now comes the dark, the long, The longest night of all; But do not be afraid, I hear the osprey call.
Tomorrow will dawn bright, Early in rosy sky, And in the morning light, You’ll see the osprey fly.
Each day earlier still, Bird song will fill the air, Winter will have its fill And Spring be everywhere.
Osprey exist above, perched high Nest on tall poles, soar in the sky, Dive briefly into the Bay Just long enough to catch their prey. Their feet never touch the ground Where we mere humans abound, Their home is the infinite sky; We can only aspire to fly.
cap by Kat, photo courtesy of GGAS osprey cam
Above It All
The hills are green dabbed with mustard yellow And golden poppies washed by last night's rain; Large trucks roar by on the freeway below. And I would be the hawk with piercing call, In highest tree surveying its domain That soars on updraft, high above it all.
The Bay sparkles blue-green beneath the sun, Criss-crossed by white waves from the tugboat's wake; Below the people laugh, having their fun. And I would be the osprey that sits tall Above on its nest, watching the waves break, Then lifts off to fly high above it all.
I would fly as they do, with wilding call, No longer among, high above it all.
Wisdom is not inherited, Nor can it be bought, An accident it isn't, Nor can it be sought.
Wisdom is a distillate, A residue sublime, A godly rarity, That only comes with time.
But time alone is not the source, It's but the needed space, For human interaction, For broad and deep experience, For suffering, joy and grief, For anger, plaint, remorse, For hope, despair and faith, And for calm reflection.
Wisdom is the grade that follows This transformative sageness, A gift accorded to but a few!
So It Is
Nothing goes, Nothing goes, All just is.
Being is becoming, Becoming is being, That's how it is.
It's not absurd, Nor rational, It just is.
We may accept, We may reject, It changes nothing!
Think and Do
To ponder too much Is to do too little. To ponder too little Is to err too often. To balance the two Is the thing to do!
Thoughts to Ponder by JM
All goes as the water flows and the wind blows.
Happiness is a state of mind and not the state of one's purse.
Perspicacity and sagacity walk hand in hand.
Self-realization is life-fulfillment.
cap and editing by Geonni Banner, photo courtesy of GGAS osprey cam
I like to sit up high Where I can see the sky But I do not like to fly.
The Osprey (tune is The Ash Grove)
The osprey how graceful, magnificent and regal As he sits upon his nest, looking out over the Bay. His great talons outstretched, His keen golden eyes searching, He glides over the blue water, Searching for his fish prey.
And I would too be an osprey just like he, I would glide over the Bay to search for my own prey.
Alas, I have no wings to fly, no talons, no eagle eye, So I will just stay here, on Earth, with you dear.
Today is the birthday of Theodore Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss. He arguably did more for children's reading than any other author, teacher or researcher. Challenged by his editor to write a story using only 50 common words, he penned Green Eggs and Ham. Every year I taught Kindergarten, I issued my students a challenge. If they could read Green Eggs and Ham (Or Hop on Pop) by Dr. Seuss' birthday, they would get a copy of the book. And we would have a green eggs and ham meal. Every year, they met the challenge. And learned that they could now read real books. How exciting for a child! Today, I will read to students and I will donate children's books to my local café. I challenge you, dear readers, to do something similar, in the name of Dr. Seuss,to challenge our children to discover the joy of reading.
I can read Green Eggs and Ham!
I like to read it end to end; I like to read it with a friend.
A Poem for Parents to the beat of Green Eggs and Ham
Time for bed now, time to sleep, I do not want to hear a peep.
Brush your teeth and go to bed, Turn out the light, lay down your head.
You forgot to read to me! You have to read a good story.
Here’s your reader from your school, Ten minutes a day is the rule.
No, Daddy, you read to me! To read to me is your duty.
Well, okay, just one story, One little book, now let us see…
Here is How to Be a Good Sport: This book is easy and it’s short.
No, I want Green Eggs and Ham, The one about the boy named Sam.
I like that book so much, you see, It is my favorite story.
No, no, please, not that one! We’ve read it so much, now I’m done!
Yes, because I like it so, Now come on, try it, have a go.
You can read it fast or slow, I’ll like it either way, you know.
Read it with a funny voice, Or read it loud, it is your choice.
Read it to me now, I plead, Get out Green Eggs and start to read.
Listen to me now, my child, I’ll read about the things so wild,
Goodnight Moon, I’ll even read, That is a sacrifice, indeed.
Knufflebunny, Little Bear, Perhaps The Tortoise and the Hare.
No, Green Eggs and Ham is all I want, so do not stall.
No, I will not read that book, Now you must let me off the hook.
I will read it by myself, Just go and get if off the shelf.
Yes, now you can read, it’s true, I do not have to read to you.
Every night I’ll let you sit And read your own story a bit.
While I sit and watch TV And sip upon a nice iced tea.
No, you must sill read to me, I like to listen too, you see.
If Green Eggs is not your choice, Then I will find another voice.
To the library I’ll go To find a book you’ll love, I know.
Do you like to read by chance About the Captain Underpants?
We could read a Goosebumps book; They’re full of terror, gore and gook!
No, I don’t like any of those That you have just proposed.
I will tell you, child of mind, I’ll go to the attic to find
My box of books I loved back when I was a child of six to ten.
Full of books I liked the best, Of dragons and brave knights on a quest.
Of the spider who did spin A web so her pig friend could win.
Stone Fox who gave up the race So Will and his dog could win first place,
Children who lived all alone In a caboose they called home,
Robin Hood, who was so brave But also somewhat of a knave.
Now that’s a good idea, Dad. Find a book that makes us glad.
Choose one that we both enjoy, Maybe about a dog and a boy?
But now please turn out the light, I think I’ll forego the book tonight.
A Poem for Teachers in Empathy (though I think, I hope,that things have gotten better)
Twas the week before vacation The children thought with glee Of the coming week of fun, Of music, art, and poetry. The spelling test was done, the sight words learned, The theme for the week was done. So the children to the teacher turned And said, “Please, may we have some fun?”
“We’ve studied hard, we’ve paid attention, We’ve behaved and all done our best, No one has served detention. Isn’t it time we’ve earned a rest?”
Their teacher turned to them to say I know a way to work and play, To learn while you have fun, And still get all our work done.
This week we’ll read and sing about Spring And study animals on wing. We’ll make our own egg dyes And then observe our butterflies.
“The standards we will meet As we enjoy this little treat And you will learn every day Even as you play.”
But when the Hootin’ Nifflin of this got word He couldn’t believe what he had heard. “It isn’t right,” he said with a smirk, “To enjoy themselves while they work.”
“Why, tisn’t the American way to do thus; All work and no play is good for us. School should be tests and drill, I’ll stop this nonsense, I will!”
He sent an email to his minions true To tell them what to do. “Send the principals a decree That teachers must with fidelity
Follow the text line by line Every day starting at nine. And no matter what their students need, The manual they must heed.”
“And to make sure that they do,” he said, “I’ll send my minions ahead To observe in every classroom there That they all fun do forswear.”
The principals quaked in their shoes and grew cold And the teachers did as they were told. So the next week, instead of fun The students were told each and every one
To study some more and read once again The story of the short e hen. The teachers put away their holiday books (picture books) While their students gave them sad looks.
They had no time to sing, to paint, to bake Nor presents for their family to make. (or crazy contraptions to make) And the children did as they were told But inside their hearts grew cold,
And the last day they hung their head As they came to school with dread They didn’t even want to eat Their late afternoon holiday treat.
And when school was out, they said “Hurray!” “Now begins our holiday. “For a week we don’t have to read or write; Those things belong to school all right.”
Home is for play, school is for work, And reading and writing we will shirk For they are no fun for us anymore; School is such a bore!”
Far away in textbook land, The Hootin’ Nifflin said, “My plan “Has worked so well, you see.” And he smirked with glee.
“No more shall children want to learn, And so we now can turn Their heads wherever we will Just by giving them more drill.”
“And each and every day They will learn what we send their way And will do whatever we say. For that is the American way.”
Now is this, sad though it be The end of our Niflin story? Need it be so, must it be thus Or is it maybe up to us?
Will a teacher one day Stand up to say “I am the one who knows How a child learns and grows.”
“I am the one who knows best How to teach and what to test. How a child learns through play And how to vary each day.”
“How to make children want to learn So to books and learning they will turn Not only when we say But forever more as they go on their way?”
Will we teachers ever stand up and say It is we who will lead the way?