slow rain on tired
tulips; waxing moon rising.
clouds make me sleepy.
for blog action today, october 15, 2010, i am posting 15 water poems in 15 hours.
in my long-suffering attempts to organize my internet life better, i’m going to see what it’s like if i post the occasional link article. so here’s a stroll through the links open on august 1, with the first paragraph of each post so that you can get an idea what it’s all about. you may even end up reading something!
for most of my life, finding friends and work that honored my intensity and intelligence wasn’t an issue for me.
make my psychotherapy plain, but with a twist
by tom ellis, PsyD, ABPP on july 23, 2010
jon allen‘s post “is psychotherapy going to POT?” is spot on in terms of describing the quandary faced by psychotherapists and their patients with respect to the double-edged sword of “prescriptive therapies.”
the moment i spotted MentalHealthCamp toronto i wanted to help make it happen here. years ago i was a volunteer MIND mental health advocate in the old hackney psychiatric hospital (a former workhouse) which was a schooling in one side of mental health services. now that i’m an accidental digital innovator i can see the huge potential in a mashup of mental health and digital, which i can’t really put better than the MentalHealthCamp toronto mission statement :
dr. khalid sohail, a psychiatrist by profession has been passionately writing for the last two decades. his collections of poems, stories, travelogues, novellas and essays have been published in english, urdu and punjabi. his writings are an attempt to share his humanistic philosophy of life. he summarized his views in his book “pages of my heart” in the following words:
edge: getting at the neuroanthropology of morality
edge has just posted a new seminar, the new science of morality. you get lots of access to interviews, links to papers, videos, exchange of views, reactions from the press, and more. quite stimulating.
a month from now, on saturday, august 14, i’ll be attending vancouver’s first NetSquared camp, a day-long event for people who work at the intersection of social change and technology. the goal of the event is to build skills and capacity through peer learning, and invites the participation of “nonprofits, activists and social entrepreneurs [along] with their friends and allies in the world of technology and communications.”
in a study of an experimental treatment for major depression, pretreatment testing to probe the function of a specific brain center predicted how patients would respond to ketamine, a medication that can lift depression rapidly in some people. the work suggests it may be possible to develop ways to use such assessments in the future, not only to better understand depression, but to guide treatment choices for individuals.
basic principles to remember:
the 30 second rule: the first 30 seconds in a confrontation, or your response to being confronted, will determine whether or not productive dialogue will even begin.
coaching at work magazine – mark on a difficult case
mark mckergow is featured in the current issue of coaching at work magazine (http://www.coaching-at-work.com). in the troubleshooter column, a difficult case is presented and expert responses are sought. here’s the problem:
international online training program on intractable conflict
conflict research consortium, university of colorado, USA
the problem with the use of violent confrontation strategies is that they quickly escalate to the point where the parties’ only concerns are victory, vengeance, and self-defense. in these cases, the moral arguments of people who are being unjustly treated become irrelevant. what matters is that they have used violent strategies and their opponent is, therefore, justified in a violent response. this problem is complicated by the fact that both sides are usually able to argue that the other side started the violence.
eight steps for workplace confrontations
one of the challenging things about working in a team environment is that there are times when people behave in ways that we find unproductive, offensive, or hurtful. when we ignore these feelings the relationship can suffer as our resentment festers. yet fear at confronting others can prevent us from taking positive action. today’s post contains a checklist you can use to determine if a confrontation is appropriate, and if so, how to move forward.
the missing ingredient in most social media strategies
what is the missing ingredient in most strategies i’ve seen? actual strategy.
according to research published in the journal of consulting and clinical psychology, writing about stressful or traumatic events related to one’s sexual identity may be an effective treatment for gay-related stress.
forms in english haiku
japanese haiku have been traditionally composed in 5-7-5 syllables. when poets started writing english haiku in the 1950’s, they adopted this 5-7-5 form, thinking it created a similar condition for english-language haiku. this style is what is generally considered “traditional” english haiku.
gogyÅka (äº”è¡ŒæŒ?, literally, “five line poem”) is a form of japanese poetry invented by enta kusakabe (è‰å£ã€€ç„”å¤ªï¼‰ in 1957, in an attempt to escape the constraints of haiku and tanka poetry. unlike traditional japanese poetry, gogyÅka has no mora or syllable requirement for the length of its lines, which is instead governed by the duration of a single breath. the only defining rule of gogyÅka is that the poem should be five lines long. in addition to japanese and english, gogyÅka have been written in french, chinese, arabic, tagalog, korean, and latin.
on being chronically absent : “calling for my soul, at the corners of the world, i know she’s playing poker, with the rest of the stragglers”
i have always been an absentee. sometimes by choice, sometimes by chance. i still do all of my work, and put great effort into it. but i have never been keen on always attending class. sometimes i feel that the time is better spent working from home, getting much more done. some classes i never want to miss, and am sad when i do. i don’t play hooky, like i must admit – i did quite often in elementary school – but at times absenteeismt is necessary. sometimes i need “mental health” days off. actually, i find it ridiculous that this isn’t expected at the “workplace”, since it has been found that most “sick calls” are due to feeling mentally worn out, than due to being physically ill. if you get the flu, go home, best that you not spread it! i feel the same is true of mental exhaustion and the need to get away for a while – a short leave of absence is simply necessary for one to “perform to the best of their abilities” (what any employer assumedly wants – accuracy, efficiency, obedience…, but when you try to suppress the negative energy that fills your disposition, it spills out onto the people you are working with, and for (diners, students, etc.)
the rise of the psychopharmaceutical industry 1987-2010
written and submitted by mary ackerley ***md, mdh
mary beth ackerley md is a harvard and johns hopkins trained board certified psychiatrist. she now practices holistic psychiatry.
robert whitaker’s brilliant book anatomy of an epidemic asks a simple question.why , if psychiatric drug treatments are so efficacious, has the number of people on disability for mental illness more than tripled in the last 25 years? most doctors and researchers answered this question by stating that the numbers have increased simply because we are diagnosing more people with mental illness. in response to this stereotyped dismissal of his data, robert began to do more research on the efficacy of known psychiatric treatments. and then, while poring through the psychiatric scientific literature on treatment effectiveness for the last fifty years he found an even darker question beginning to emerge. “is it possible that psychiatric drugs are actually making people much worse?” could it be that far from “fixing broken brains” the drugs being offered actually are worsening, and even causing, the very illnesses they claim to heal?
google may be expanding into cell phones, operating systems, and tablet pcs, but it’s still known best for search. google’s engineers have tricked out the search engine with a number of tools, shortcuts, and features that can help you better access the information you’re after–whether it’s finding out how many euros to the dollar, when your favorite team is playing next, or whether to leave home with an umbrella.
sciencedaily (july 30, 2010) ” two powerful new tests developed by psychologists at harvard university show great promise in predicting patients’ risk of attempting suicide.
saving the lives of 15 eight week old puppies
a better life dog rescue has just agreed to save the lives of 15 eight week old puppies that were going to be euthanized by a california shelter on friday. a rescue organization in los angelos asked numerous rescue groups in the states and canada for help to save these puppies lives.
dog breed selector quiz
ibizan hound size: medium. coat: silky. straight. coat length: short. grooming: easy, low-maintenance. very unlikely to drool. little to no shedding. very high activity level. bred as a game hunting companion. low intelligence. somewhat easier than average to train. very wary of other pets. tolerates strangers well. good with kids four and up. very affectionate. quite dependent. quiet. somewhat shorter than average estimated lifespan. in america, a rare breed. not well suited for apartment living.
moving right along here with NaPoWriMo and a poem every day … today: 5 haiku.
fading, the noises
draw her ears out. she listens.
but the song is gone.
longer and longer.
it takes. for the sun to drown.
in… the.. pacific.
washing the dishes
under the old neon lamp.
clean cup. wrinkled hands.
alone on a chair
she sits. fifty-eight. shivering.
a car groans outside.
not yet. the blossoms
are still hard and tight. the thorns
soft yet. hold on. wait.
yesterday, we had a ladies day out. in celebration of visiting the little town of haiku on maui, we all wrote some haiku:
the clouds are parting
what a glorious sun-sight
welcome home ladies
lapping up the maui wind
clouds rush to the sea
their shouts of defiance
echo through ‘iao valley
damning the waters
royal winter sang
welcoming the warrior
offering her hand
haiku: little town hugs
the foot of the vulcano
where the poems grow
the interesting image from a trip through maui comes from jknee
today, i’d like to serve you up – arse dribble! that’s what stephen fry calls experimental poetry.
don’t worry, there’s more on the menu.
jim murdoch over at the truth about lies has a good post on poetry and meaning, where he lays out two styles of experimental poetry – ‘decoder ring’ and ‘the emperor’s new clothes’. i’ve picked a few words off his post, and will give you examples of my poetry – i have one from each category he discusses.
jim: ‘decoder ring’ poems are fine up to a point. my wife writes them all the time, usually about me and i never get them. of course, when she tells me what the poem is about it’s obvious but no one else would have a clue to the poem’s ‘true’ meaning. that does not mean the poem is necessarily meaningless to them. they will impose their own meaning on it.
beyond this and that,
not higher not lower –
here i am.
let the winds blow …
here’s the decoder ring (i’ve written a whole book of decoder rings here, by the way)
these are words of aspiration. i aspire for them to be words of description, i aspire for this to be the truth: that i am indeed humble, equal, in no need for clothes that hide who i am, meeting the winds of what-is as they come.
i don’t know if i’ll ever get there – but i can reach for it. as i am reaching, i leave a trace, i leave crumbs like hansel and gretel, and together, these crumbs are a poem.
or: the poem is part of the path that leads to
footnote: ha’aha’a is hawaiian for humility. when the spirit of aloha is explained, ha’aha’a has a place: A – akahi (tenderness); L – lokahi (unity, harmony, oneness); O – olu’olu (kindness, being pleasant and agreeable); H – ha’aha’a (humility); A – ahonui (patience and perseverance)
back to jim.
now, an ’emperor’s new clothes’ poem is another thing entirely. it is where you are presented with an arrangement of words on a page and are told, “this is a poem – make of it what you will,” whereupon you are left to your own devices. now, you can look stupid and say, “i don’t get this,” or you can hold you hands up and go, “this is simply wonderful!” to cover your embarrassment. i think too many of us are unwilling to play the role of the wee boy who shouts out, “hey, the emperor’s got no clothes on,” for fear of ridicule. we assume that the poem has a solution.
here’s one i dug up from sometime in 2005, and i have to tell you i don’t really know whether there even is an emperor
it’s all still better when
the crap stops
or the crab stops
roller coaster baton
crab rouge stop
when all the crabs
stop over in baton
rouge when it’s over
it’ll better be over
which brings me to the term ‘experimental poetry’ a one-size-fits-all expression which can be used to excuse the author no matter what, if i might quote stephen fry here, “arse dribble” is served up to us in the name of poetry. i have no problem with poets experimenting. i encourage it. i do it myself. i think it is essential. in the best scientific tradition that is how we learn; we have a crack at it and see what happens.
so here’s an example of arse dribble. i had completely forgotten about it. i rather like it:
i have a candle on my left of hand.
i have a candle on my left of amber-on-black that
beshadows itself from light –
candle not reach it for angle will not allow.
candlefire tip so light and bright and white on also-white
waxcandle. transluces many things. though
a-many questions beg: reaches it me, my inner
my inner brainlight as it lies these latter days
under a clog cloud of furry, heavy fog
drogged by itselves and other shrumpy co-oms and panions.
no-ony-bod will ever stand under the tree of this beminion.
no tressy croog will sot beneath or over shullden hexmons.
berwong sut yoot.
i have a candle on my hand that’s left of me.
that screen that sits bestaring me in yellow-black
can see not candle while it angles wrong.
bright fire stares at me, my eyes, my cheeks, my brows and lips
bright candle cuddle fire.
in midnight. while that brain of mine unsure is whether
it long have wait until it drinketh light.
(okay, i have to decode one thing for those of you who haven’t used computers before the internet: first monitor screens came only in green-on-black; the next great evolution was amber-on-black!)
jim: as far as i can tell, there are two kinds of poets: those who want to tell stories and sing songs, and those who want to work out the chemical equation for language and pass on their experiments as poetry.
here’s a poem that’s a song
take the braces off your legs
come sister, take the braces off your legs
tear the rags off your skin, sister, tear the rags off your skin
take them off and dance
take the shackles off your hands
come sister, take the shackles off your hands
tear the black glasses off your eyes, sister, tear the black glasses off your eyes
take them off and sing
take the irons off your feet
come sister, take the irons off your feet
tear the noose off from your neck, sister, tear the noose off from your neck
take them off and dance and sing
dance, sister, dance, be the wind
sing, sister, sing, be the moon and sun
let those chains and shackles be the instruments
that celebrate your freedom
dance, sister, dance, sing, dance
let me stand by and see you
dance, sister, dance, sing, dance
let me see you celebrate your freedom
and one final word from jim:
why can’t you just say what you mean?” is another good question. sometimes i do, sometimes however it’s easier to write about one thing when you’re really talking about something else. that’s nothing unique to poetry. i had a girlfriend once who used to let me know she was menstruating by using the colourful euphemism: “the painter’s arrived.” we use picturesque language all the time. we very rarely call a spade a spade.
here i call a spade a spade. or a tomcat a tomcat. it’s all pretty straightforward. or is it?
wet camelia leaves
glitter under the street lamps.
a tomcat runs home.