Friday, April 13, 2007

Missouri, Nevada and a new book to look over

Kurt is dead and the world is a bit colder. I hope him and Douglas Adams are cracking jokes though neither one being unbelievers will be there.

So it goes.

Speaking of unbelievers. I just finished Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, which makes the case against God, gods, religion and religious faith. (See for publication details.)

Especially at the start, Dawkins is a bit full of himself; but once he gets into his main them which is centered around Darwinian principles and evolution, the book is very readable and he makes considerable sense. His examples are spot on and his take on Bob Newhart as part of a control group that doesn’t get prayed for is priceless.

Striking to me is the story of 500 year old mummy of a girl sacrificed to the Inca gods, and how Nova of PBS marveled at the spiritual commitment of the Inca priests and the girl’s pride and excitement. Can you imagine anyone marveling at the faith of a priest of Baal and the pride of the children sacrificed.

I wrote this bit about the Inca girl:


(meaning illumination)
celebrated the sacrifice
of Juanita, the Inca Ice Maiden,
a girl, post-puberty,
murdered to appease
a relative of distant Baal.

A faithful nation
applauded the celebration
of the Inca priests’ commitment
unable to see the terror
in the child’s eyes.

Esquire did not like the book. I did and recommend it.


This week a bombing in the Iraq parliament. We are winning? But what? At how to lose.


Don Imus fired which doesn’t bother me, but with all that is happening of import in the world, do we really need his story 24/7 anymore than we needed Anna Nichol’s?


Late this week due to allergies, care trouble and life. The week’s Poetic States are Missouri and Nevada.

Poetic States XLVI – Missouri

Show Me the Trails

They came from Spanish Territories
south in search of gold and empire;
they came from the Eastern coast
in search of a channel to sail west.

They started from St Louis outfitted
to empty mountain streams of beaver,
they started from Independence
in search of gold, a new Eden.

They left with their families
or found families among the tribes;
before they reached Oregon’s gardens,
they left half their truck trailside.

Many found a final rest along the trek;
some stayed, hope found at the terminus;
a few turned back, their dreams burst;
most continued despite the hardships

to build the nation
and assure its destiny.

The trails starting in Missouri included the Santa Fe, Lewis and Clark, California, Oregon, Pony Express, Butterfield Overland Mail, and several of the fur-trapping routes. St. Louis and Independence were the main terminus for most routes.

Poetic States XLVII – Nevada


We chased lady luck, 'til we finally struck
--Bonanza lyrics recorded by Lorne Greene

I rode into the World’s Biggest Little City
in my Bronco certain lady luck would touch me;
certain with pockets full of folded green,
I would strike veins of silver so rich
I could return to the homestead in a Mustang.

My mistake was to mistake salt
for an untapped Comstock shaft –
shafted I could barely afford the gas
to crest the top of Donner Pass

We got a hold of a pot full of gold

You rode across the Washoe in a Tahoe
certain you could beat the odds
where so many others have failed;
with a plastic passport, you’d discover
riches to construct your own Versailles.

Your mistake was to mistake
Tahoe Lake’s bottomless blue
for your ability to hang into the game
long enough to return as royality.

Here in the west we're living in the best

We ride into town in a used Rabbit,
cash enough to barely stock the fridge,
when we notice the paper’s welcome news:
Local tribe to build a new casino…


Until next week, keep the peace.


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