Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Secret #Dumfries by Mary Smith and Photographer Keith Kirk — Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Delighted to feature another of Mary Smith’s local history books… Secret Dumfries in collaboration with photographer Keith Kirk. About Secret Dumfries Dumfries, in south-west Scotland, has a long history, much of it well recorded. However, as with most places there are more than a few secrets hidden away. First referred to as the Queen of […]

via Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Secret #Dumfries by Mary Smith and Photographer Keith Kirk — Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

The Owl, The Pussycat… Fabulous Felines in History #2

Our human, Léa, has this and one other blog on her own. Since she is merely the typist on our blog and rarely mentioned by name, we decided to let her reblog today’s post. Colette et Simone

Les deux divas: ma vie en rose

The Owl, the Pussycat and the feline behind the scenes…

Oh yes, there was also the fabulous man who wrote of my adventures. His name was Edward Lear. He was devoted to me and to other felines who came to know him. In addition to my long luxurious fur, I am world class at the art of cuddling and along with the other felines entrusted to his care, we are equally devoted to him.

Lear was born the twentieth child of a London stock broker and his wife. In his late teens he left the family home with his eldest sister and began providing for himself with his skills as an illustrator. He continued to draw and paint throughout his life.

This prolific writer and artist (animals and landscapes) was compared to the work of the great Jean-Jacques Audubon. In addition to his writing and drawing, he gave drawing lessons. It…

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The Soldiers’ Pocket Books That Legitimized Paperbacks

Nicholas C. Rossis

Even though pamphlets and softcover books have been available in Europe since the 16th century, US readers looked down on them until well into the 20th century. As a recent Atlas Obscura post by Cara Giaimo explains, without a mass-market distribution model in place, it was difficult to make money selling inexpensive books.

Although certain brands succeeded by partnering with department stores, individual booksellers preferred to stock their shops with sturdier, better-looking hardbacks, for which they could charge higher prices. Even those who were trying to change the public’s mind bought into this prejudice: one paperback series, Modern Age Books, disguised its offerings as hardcovers, adding dust jackets and protective cardboard sleeves. They, too, couldn’t hack it in the market, and the company folded in the 1940s.

Wartime Reading

Armed Services Editions | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Soldiers in Virginia wrangle with hardcover books donated through the VBC. Image via Atlas Obscura.

Then, war came. In September of…

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Democracy… no, sadly it is not.

Thank you Sally for your courage. There are very few words here that I haven’t said myself, not that anyone was listening. My only disagreement would be on the views of Western Europe regarding the American Image. I’ve been living the past decade in Western Europe and find that the image is faded, tattered and torn. For those sitting on the fence, drop what you are doing and do yourself a favor. Start by reading The People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

Why I have Always Hated Independence Day (July 4th) in the USA I am not the only one, either. Fireworks I could enjoy the fireworks from a great distance and up high, only. Sometimes I could get to my own or someone else’s rooftop or high window and watch from afar and admire the colors […]

via Why I have Always Hated Independence Day in the USA — Sally Ember, Ed.D.

Unreliable…?

Brennan DeFrisco Brennan DeFrisco is a poet, writer, spoken word artist & educator from the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s the author of A Heart With No Scars (Nomadic Press) and co-author of Exquisite Duet (Hermeneutic Chaos Press). He’s been a National Poetry Slam finalist, a runner-up for the Drake University Emerging Writer Award and is currently the Grand…

via A List of Unreliable Narrators — Drunk In A Midnight Choir

History, learn or repeat it

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana (1863-1952)

MARTIN NIEMOLLER (1892-1984)

 

A well known and respected Lutheran minister who made the choice to speak out against the foe, Adolf Hitler. He would spend the final seven years of Nazi dictatorship in a concentration camp for having the courage of his convictions. For finally speaking out

 

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –

Because I was not a Socialist .

 

And then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –

Because I was not a Trade Unionist

 

And then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –

Because I was not a Jew

 

Then they came for me – and there was no one

Left to speak for me.”

 

In the early days of the Nazi regime, this Lutheran minister supported Hitler. Later, he was to oppose the regime and imprisoned for seven years.

 

He frequently lectured in the Post War years extemporaneously and this how there came to be varying versions of the above poem.

 

Much controversy has surrounded the poem due to the long list of diverse groups in the many versions. His viewpoint was that Germans – in particular, he believed, the leaders of the Protestant churches, had been complicit through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution and murder of millions of people.

 

During a West German television interview in 1963 Niemoller finally spoke about himself. He acknowledged his own earlier antisemitism. He made a statement of regret for the burden he would carry for the rest of his life. Regardless, he was one of the earliest Germans to speak publicly about the broader complicity in the Holocaust and for what happened to the Jews.

 

In his book, Of Guilt and Hope (English Translation) published in 1946, He wrote: “Thus, whenever I chance to meet a Jew known to me before, then, as a Christian, I cannot but tell him: ‘Dear Friend, I stand in front of you, but we can not get together, for there is guilt between us. I have sinned and my people has sinned against thy people and against thyself.”

Life, we are all in this together. If we choose to remain silent, yes, it is a choice, we are complicit. 

Acceptance, Love and Peace,

Léa

TBR: A poem of book titles waiting to be read

“A home without books is a body without a soul.”  –   Marcus Tullius Cicero

” If you can only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”        –  Haruki Murakami

“Books are the plane, the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey. They are home.”                                   –   Anna Quindlen

 

Over the years of blogging, I have seen a few poems built from book titles. Perhaps it is time to try one of my own. To be honest, these represent a tiny tip off the old iceberg and are one of several much larger TBR piles. Please understand, these are only emergency piles that have places of honour about the house and have nothing to do with my library… but one should always have something to read nearby!

 

TBR
TBR

TBR

THE ESSENTIAL KAFKA

A trial by fire leads us to

RUMINATIONS

ON CATS

LE PETIT NICOLAS écrit

LETTRES DE MON MOULIN

ANGELA’S ASHES lie

UNDER MY SKIN

CONFESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH OPIUM EATER

 A prelude to THE DARWIN AWARDS

SAILING ALONE AROUND THE ROOM

Before READING IN THE DARK

THE PARASITES, I won’t mention names

But SOMEBODY LIKE YOU

*

Bisous,

Léa

At what age is privacy a right? a voice silenced

Write, write, write. It can save your life. You don’t need lessons, just pour out your thoughts and your pain. But only when it is safe to do so. 

*

What man art thou that, thus bescreened in night, so stumblest on my counsel?” – William Shakespeare

Privacy is not something that I’m merely entitled to, it’s an absolute prerequisite. – Marlon Brando

*

At what age is privacy a right? a voice silenced

Years ago

I saw a painting

the rolling stone

of damnation 

the agony

of the wicked

said to be

eternal

I heard the story

but knew

I had been there

before

*

like childhood

the pain – eternal

escape beyond reach

attempts to record –

purged, destroyed 

that was before

marriage

from the frying pan

to the inferno

from there it

became worse

he too a victim

his choices were

different

i remained silent

*

there is nothing

that can prepare you

for the death of a child

they say the loss of a spouse

comes close

but I was the one to run

from him – yet I

rendered silent

no one – no where

to confide

*

decades of pain lodged deep

its daggers

surfacing briefly

clawing at the heart

tearing the eyes

haunting dreams

exorcism futile

until all dreams vanish

*

reclamation

can be found even

when we think we

are not looking

with hope discarded

mine came from

pen and paper

slowly, guardedly

at first a cautious

re-introduction

cached from critical eyes

*

floodgates ruptured

denial of the past

no longer buried

writing the crucial key

long ago abandoned

 confession at ones peril

without the sanctity of

confidentiality

the words are mine

words – sacrosanct

freedom – unconditional

now – with conviction

my words flow free

*

bisous,

léa 

Mind’s eye

Originally posted on 31 December 2011

“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”  – Martin Luther King Jr.

“The first casualty when war comes is truth.”  –  Hiram Johnson

 

Mind’s eye

My father fought

A war

Years before

My birth

As I grew up

I watched him

Fight it

Again and again

His sinewy hands

Trembled

As he pried apart

Venetian blinds

Scouting the enemy invasion

Of our suburban neighborhood

Armed with a bottle of juice

A newspaper

Or any other munitions

At hand

He held his ground

Paralyzed

By his reality

Bisous,

Léa

I can’t breathe – T.B.P.I.K.

“Parents and schools should place great emphasis on the idea that it is all right to be different. Racism and all the other ‘isms’ grow from primitive tribalism, the instinctive hostility against those of another tribe, race, religion, nationality, class or whatever. You are a lucky child if your parents taught you to accept diversity.”     – Roger Ebert

“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”  –  Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird (Character – Scout)

 

“The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction.” – Tim Holden

*

 

T.B.P.I.K.

 

Yes, that is how

They do it

All of them

The black people I know

 

They put on their pants

First one leg and then

The other

They hold down jobs – frequently

More than one – to survive

Blacks often are paid less

 

They eat, sleep, and shop

Cooking meals for family

Inviting friends in

Taking a hot dish

To someone whose been ill

 

They work in hospitals, search and

Rescue, give to charity,

Donate blood – you may have

It in you now

In crisis – do you refuse?

 

They are expected to remain calm

As one more is profiled

Gunned down, targeted

Until the scapegoat paradigm

Chooses to target someone else

Momentarily

 

They read books, write poems

Dream dreams, large and small

They reach out their hands

In pain and in friendship

THE BLACK PEOPLE I KNOW

 

Bisous et solidarité,

Léa