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ALIAS MAGAZINE #50
October/November 2001




ALIAS is published every second month, with special theme editions at times in between.

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More quotations from myself

by Nick Gur.



253. Anyone who believes he can persuade people to change their behaviour and to become different from what they are, namely better, should first recall the fate of those who had tried to do the same before.

Socrates tried to argue the Athenians into changing the way they lived. But, as it's well known, they hadn't been convinced at all that they should. The Athenians were having a jolly good time being what they were and found Socrates, who prided himself on being a gadfly, rather annoying. As a result, finally, he shared the same fate as his namesake.

Plato was more careful and limited his preaching to the converted, mainly his disciples - the students of the Academy. Both of his attempt to convince somebody outside this safe circle, like the tyrant of Syracuse, to alter their behaviour had almost ended in tragedy for Plato himself.

And if those two examples are not enough to convince anyone to forget about saving mankind and mind his own business, let him think about the fate of Jesus Christ.

254.Symbolically, Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. But instead of punishment this should be considered as an act of mercy on a part of God - the dreamer was spared the disappointment of discovery that the Promised Land was not what it had been promised to be, thus beginning the long tradition of the creators of utopias saved from disillusionment by their timely death.

255. The contradiction between Democracy and Nature is as irreconcilable as between the limitless and limited, for Democracy presupposes and inevitably leads to the ever increasing consumption of Nature's resources which are finite.

When the number of the rich was small and, especially, when they were the only ones who had the right and the privilege of the conspicuous consumption that goes

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above and beyond what is necessary to sustain man's existence, even the comfortable one, the Nature could cope with it.

But such a blatant inequality of consumption was never accepted as fair by the majority of population - the poor. Throughout history every revolution, be it of slaves, serfs or workers, was as much about their political as about their economic rights, namely, the more equitable redistribution of wealth and, as a consequence, higher level of consumption by the poor.

Until now this has been achieved (only partially, of course) not by taking away from the rich and giving it to the poor but by producing more goods. Technology, and the engendered by it increased productivity have always been the universal pacifiers. Such a solution, however imperfect it was, is no longer available due to the limitations imposed by the finite environment on the one hand, and by the seemingly limitless desire of ever increasing masses of population to consume on the other, the desire unleashed mainly by Democracy.

Democracy is the first political order in history that proclaims the absolute political equality of all the members of society. But having said this, it has to inevitably take the next logical step and proclaim the economical equality as well, for the political democracy is based on the economical one - the democracy of consumption. As long as a worker can, or thinks he can, at least potentially, have what his supervisor has, and supervisor - what the manager has, and manager - what the owner of the company has, and so on, everybody feels kinship as a consumer and a certain degree of consensus on the economic level, necessary for Democracy to function, exists.

The problem is that Nature cannot support the democracy of consumption. It cannot support five billions cars, five billions refrigerators, five billions yachts, villas, etc.

Finally, we as the human species have come to a point when we have to address the problem of the real redistribution of wealth. Otherwise, the World is going to face the most violent revolution of them all - everybody against everybody. So, we are either going to destroy each other or to agree and

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to learn to live an a world of planned and more or less equitable consumption. Our only salvation, after all, is some form of socialism, no matter what would be the name of it.

256. Every political system has been, from the times immemorial till now, nothing more than a glorified organization for the distribution of wealth. Or, in other words, different political systems are just the different means to achieve one and always the same end - the division between all members of society of what has been produced by the labouring segment of it, the division which is invariably not in favour of the latter.

257. In some general sense we, as the unique personalities, are all strangers to each other. But the degree of this universal estrangement varies and so do the difficulties to be overcome and the means and efforts needed to breach the dividing walls.

A stranger, as little as he has in common with the group to which he is a stranger (and that what being a stranger essentially means), can still be accepted by the individual members of this group, providing they are both willing and able to adjust and accommodate each other, as for example in the interracial or inter-cultural marriages and friendships.

But in doing so this individual member of the group has to act as an individual per se and not as a member of the group he belongs to, for by his action he separates himself from it, both psychologically and behaviourally. He even runs the risk to be separated socially and to become himself a stranger to his own group. It is not as painful, or unexpected if such an individual already feels he is somewhat different than the rest of his group (and he probably does, for most of us feel this way from time to time, if only to a lesser degree), and is looking, consciously or subconsciously, outside of his group for a more kindred spirit.

Yet, the Group as a whole can never accept a stranger unless, as rare as it is, its very survival depends on this (witness Moses and Hebrews) and even then it is far from certain that the Group would be able to maintain this

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acceptance without periodical revolts and reverses.

To begin with, it is seldom willing to do so, but most importantly, the Group - the complex social organism created and shaped by forces of history for self-preservation and perpetuation - becomes far too rigid and inflexible because of this and therefore is incapable of adjustment to and accommodation of something foreign to it.

On the contrary, the Group by its very nature as a social body is programmed to reject the stranger as the biological body rejects a transplanted organ.

For in order to accept the stranger it, as a group, has to change its habits, rules, traditions, etc. - precisely the set of things which holds a group together. For to accept something is to adjust to it, and to adjust - is to change, and to change is to cease to be what it was before. Moreover, each member of the group individually and the whole group collectively have to undergo such a radical transformation practically all at the same time, which is altogether next to impossible.

The solution to this problem is, of course, as old as the World itself - it is the stranger, and in a more general sense, the individual who has to accept and to adjust to the Group, not vice versa, no matter how politically unfashionable it is nowadays. And woe to those who can't or wouldn't.

You can find more writings by Nick Gurevich on the Internet by going to:

1) http://maxpages.com/nickgurevich

2)http://maxpages.com/nickgurevich2

3)http://maxpages.com/nickgurevich3

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A SIDEWALK TO CHAGALL

by M. Della Marina



It was not the yellow brick road

Nor a highway through the night sky,

It was a sidewalk covered with painted stars,

Crayon drawings of angels flying beneath her feet

As she walked by.



A slay ride in a cloudy heaven

Moon lit houses upside down

Inside a crystal ball,

Trapeze somersaults by circus clowns.

Lovers kissing inside a bouquet of flowers

A bridal couple under the Eiffel tower.

A cow entering Noah's ark

One dimensional drawings like cave art.

Picked a few ivy leaves,

Buttercups that glistened like 22carat gold

In the green grass,

Some weeds that had gone to seed

To lay between the pages of an antique Bible,

Pages stained with pollen,

Crowded with pressed flowers

And a sprig from a Jericho olive tree.



At the end of the illustrated path

A curious verse:

"Hey, Diddle, Diddle, the poet with the fiddle,

A Russian Village viewed from the moon,

Chagall's Cow in the Milking Way

Orpheus's song for the Bride and Groom."



It was a mid summer Sunday afternoon,

Though Monday's rain washed away the fragile art

between the pages of the Book of Books

Pressed flowers and spears of dried grass

Preserve the memory of a sidewalk in the past.

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Target Policing

by Bonnie Briggs



Well, here we are, another summer, another year of target policing. The City has decided to extend target policing for another summer and to make it permanent. Aren't we lucky? NOT! This draconian program is costing us $700,00.00/year to keep a squad of over 30 cops who are on call to any Division that wants help with sweeps, picking up homeless people or whatever. It seems as if a homeless person can't turn around in this city without some cop breathing down his neck and demanding to know where he's going.

The parks, the last refuge of many homeless people, are being taken away from them. The sweeps are happening every day. The cops are harassing and arresting people simply for the crime of having no home. The extreme heat this summer has forced the homeless to seek shade in these parks. Yet the cops are denying them that very necessary shade. Since when does possessing a key to a door give you any special privileges? Even housed people like to sit in the parks on a hot day. How do the cops know if you have a key or not? Do they ask you to produce it to show proof of housing?

The churches are not immune to Community Oriented Response (COR), (the new name of target policing), Earlier this summer at the All Saints' Church at Dundas and Sherbourne, cops invaded the parking lot twice with guns drawn, terrorizing homeless and worker alike. Why? Who knows? The cops don't need a reason to pounce on you they just do it. (Although I don't think that's what Nike had in mind when they came up with that slogan.)

Judge Babe's decision on target policing was handed down on August 3/2001. He supported the Safe Streets Act, dashing any hopes that ant-poverty activists had of killing one of the most severe laws to come down the pipe in quite some time in this city. This decision gives the cops the right to target squeegee kids and panhandlers. These people will get more tickets that they can't afford to pay and/or get arrested. All these people want to do is survive, and the cops are taking away the only means they have to do that.

Confrontations with cops in the Somali Community are still continuing with the cops harassing men for chewing khat, which is a harmless intoxicant. Also, Somali youth have had several confrontations with the cops. They have been the targets of many aspects of target policing. They have been beat up simply for trying to stand up for themselves and their community. Hey wait a minute; I thought protests were allowed in Canada, what's up with that?

The cops won't do foot patrols through Regent Park, even though there have been many shootings in that area. Could it be because they are poor? Don't they deserve to be protected from shootings the same as the rich people? They both bleed the same colour. Protection from crime should not be tied to the dollar bill, but it so often is.

Police are not responding to domestic violence anymore the way they should. In fact, their response is getting worse. There are fewer officers dedicated to this issue, Cops at 51 and 52 Divisions are taking longer to respond to domestic violence calls, or not even responding at all. Both the woman and the man are being charged in the situation, even though the woman often bears the brunt of this violence. These women are even losing their children to the CAS. It seems there is no refuge anymore for battered women. I heard on the news that the Government wants to spend more money on beds for battered women. I wonder how much of that is old money and how much is new money? I'm not holding my breath. There doesn't seem to be a lot of resources for battered women out there.

One last issue, and it's a big one. It is the issue of private security guards who are harassing and arresting people in their own low-income apartments such as those in St. Jamestown, Jane-Finch and other parts of Toronto. These guards have even less accountability than the cops and some of them have arrest powers. I've dealt with the security guards at Queen's Park and other places. I can tell you, they don't need much of an excuse to hassle you.



Aren't you glad you started reading my column? Now, you'll have a fun summer of looking over your shoulder every time you sit down in a park or ask a friend for money. Why should the homeless have to live like this, fearful of being arrested for merely trying to survive? This city is becoming a hard, cold place for homeless people to live in. This cannot go on. We must stop Community Oriented Response any way we can. The lawyers are going to be appealing the judge's decision. Please, get out there and let them know that this decision is intolerable and must be overturned. Now, let's go sit in the park.






Temple Bells



Death is not a beginning.

After the temple bells subside,

The body is carted away.



Our prayers get lost in the incense.

The rice paddy, wheat field or market garden

Demand attention.



Life yawns and we shrug our shoulders.

The poor dead one is buried under the soil.



Molecules break down;

Atoms rearrange themselves and whoa -

The universe is completed.



Philip Amsel



HIGH N' DRY

by Andre Cahill and Dennis Morrison

(This writing cannot be used for any other purpose without written consent of the author)



It's comin' out in my dreams sweet darlin',

swirlin' round my mind

like a slow parade

mornin' into the night



That sweet train

sure done pass me by

takin' you away

leave me high and dry



In my time

girl ya know I'd just weep and moan

nowaday

I barely recognize my own pain



Sidewalks startin' to lean sweet momma,

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the buildings stacked too high

clouds have rolled away

leavin' me high n' dry



Weep an' moan

all day long I 'd just weep an' moan

carry on

like a honey less bee



Another hive , a new tree sweet moma

leave what's left behind

till it blows away

leave me high n-dry





FIELD AND FLOWERS

by Dennis Morrison



I'm a field

I'm a flower

I'm part of the Ancient sky



I'm walkin' walkin' walkin'

And time's on my side

Won't you .. come and join me

For a little while

Walkin' walkin' down that road

That road .. just one last mile



(chorus)



Won't you join me

In a song now

Won't you join me

In the Spirit now

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CONSTRUCTION SITE IN CHENGDU

by Allen Sutterfield



Sparks fly from the welding torches,

a saw whines through thick wood:

someone drops a long metal pole,

ringing loudly on the concrete floor.

There's a definite music in all this cutting and building.

Even now men are not far from nature, noisy as woodpeckers.

If some being from another world

looked on this scene, he would conclude

men are noisy birds building huge nests.



Three poems by Francis Duvall



TO WHOMEVER



Where you are

or when you arrive

does not matter.

Like you I have an end that waits.

So I enter it with a sense that

this has already been read

and that we are already blindly lost.



YELLOW LEAVES



Of the hour a simple leaf, silken,

lifting the wind. Falling through

the sun gold, indifferent world

passes as it pauses at my feet

then stills on the yellow lawn.

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I watch them scatter, they hover

to aloft, then fall to delicately

dream. The entire lull unracked,

the world a soft rustle.

Leaves lighten my heart

at a simple glance.



FOR FRANCI



I thought of you

reading this

in your barefeet

one quiet morning

on a Sunday balcony.

I thought of you

as I always have;

then looked out

into the city.





Consumers

by Josh Corber



years ago we pledged

our wills to fight the

establishment with words

and rallies.



so many young faces

were the alliance.

we spoke of what we could do,

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organize, organize, organize.



most of it fell through,

we watched videos,

talked to one another,

we ate at McDonald's

we drank Coca-cola.



I, passing

the Goddess of Democracy,

fell to my knees and kept.

"Forgive us! We didn't

try hard enough. We didn't

put up enough posters.



I heard the hungry kitten

mew in the corner

and I felt her pain

but I didn't feed her,

I didn't even turn to look at her.



Kids are flooding American streets

to say what I mean.



European farmers are blocking

highways demanding tractor fuel.



David Bowie is strumming

a guitar for hippies

at a Free-Festival.



while I ponder Plato after centuries of idealism corrupted

and bathed in the blood of farmers and Jews.

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here I am,

philosopher prince,

another cherry twat

among a myriad of

cherry twats that

is North America,

watching television,

shoveling cocoa products

into our mouths by the pound.



I, idle, watch consumers consume

the planet, and, weeping, join them.

The Man, the Woman, their Treasures

And the Bully

By, Marionettea Strung-Out



There was a man and a woman at the beginning of their lives whose paths crossed and they joined each other for their journey. They were over-joyed at their good fortune of finding each other and knew they had become richer in each other's wealth of love for life and love for each other.

They both found their life's labour and they created a sheltered paradise and soon their joy grew and they had their first Treasure. Oh, the ecstasy of their bliss as they relished in the love of their Treasure. They added to their labours and made their sheltered paradise stronger and soon there was another Treasure on the way.

Their paradise shelter, though, had a high hill to climb inside and the woman with one treasure in her arms and the coming Treasure in her belly asked for another shelter. The man, in his love for the woman and their Treasure and their Treasure on-the-way, readily granted the woman's wish. They moved to a new shelter and made yet another wonderful home for them and their Treasures and again happiness settled on them like sunshine.

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Their second Treasure came and their rhapsody was complete, and it was sunshine, all sunshine, all for the love of sunshine. Their two suns, shinning through their love, shinning because of their love.

In the spring when the rains and warm weather came, the waters rose in the creek by their sheltered paradise and then the rats came out, and the woman was horrified. The beautiful yard for her Treasures to play in was part of the creek's yard also, where the rats raised their treasures and the woman again asked the man to move them to a safe shelter, and willingly he did.



Their labours increased yet again but they were happy. They had love for each other and their Treasures. They had respect for each other and trust in each other. They admired each other's character and judgement they had it all.

Then came the Bully into their safe, sheltered paradise and the man was afraid of the Bully, but he would not show it. The man suddenly cared more for himself than he did for the woman and he was angry inside.

First he saw his own riches dwindle away, as he, time after time made excuses. He lost the woman's respect. They could have moved their shelter and gotten away from the Bully but that would have robbed the man of his masculinity as he would have had to admit that there was a problem and he could not confront it.

Next he lost the woman's trust. He denied that the Bully was a problem to the woman and to their elders and instead blamed the woman, saying she just wanted to move again. With this he robbed the woman of her foundations and she lost all of her support.

Then he lost the woman's love. The woman thought back to when she had met her Knight in shinning armour, and the tears began to flow. She mourned for the comfort that her lover had given her in those early days of their love and her heart swelled to bursting.

Then the man lost his integrity. He decided to punish the woman, force her out and deny her their life, her life. But

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worse, the man stole away their Treasures and placed them in a walled shelter with him.

The man wailed on the streets and in the house of worship and in the shelters of their foundations in their community how the woman had left them and all the doors of the woman's life closed. The man covered his body in ice and this frightened the woman and the woman's path moved farther and farther away from him and their Treasures.



And as the woman walked away to find shelter of her own, her heart broke into a million pieces. She could hear the calls of her Treasures and those calls remained in her breaking heart forever.

The Bully won. The man, of course, had to move because of the Bully, but the man retained his secret that he had not confronted the bully, or moved away from the bully in time to protect his wife. But instead lived a lifetime ignoring the truth, that could have mended the woman's broken heart and allowed her to embrace and love her Treasures.

So the Treasures grew up without ever knowing the woman, without ever knowing that the words of the man tortured the woman all of her life and kept them apart. Without ever knowing that the woman's tears, which started flowing that day so long ago, never stopped. Without ever knowing that everyday, every night was spent grieving for their love, grieving to love them.

Yes, the woman made other lives for herself and lost them, and remade them again, she was, after all, still alive. But, her heart remained broken for there was no treasure on earth worth anything to her without 'her Treasures'.



By the number, Cherie-Lynn



#1. The Bonds of minds are mile away

the speech of words never uttered

yet they are heard so clearly

through the heart.



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Have You Heard A Lullaby

Contributed by Jo An Hall



Have you heard a lullaby

somehow some where

someone just had to try.



Tried more than words, voices,

and song,

People everywhere were fine

all because of music

they're about to get

along.



The Birds: Revisited

by Homeless Harris



Most people, have either seen or heard of the movie called, The Birds' by Alfred Hitchcock. It's eerie to realize that Hitchcock envisioned an incident, that may very well happen in the next few years.

For some unknown reason, some people just have to feed the birds. Pigeons, Sea Gulls, Sparrows, etc. And as you would expect, they're increasing in number. Really increasing. So what does have to do with Alfred Hitchcocks' The Birds. Well, a friend of mine was telling me about a situation that happened to him, not to long ago.

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He was sitting in a park in downtown Toronto, enjoying the nice summer weather, eating a sandwich, which he had brought from home for his lunch. A fellow nearby, decided that he was going to feed some of the birds that were around him. As you would expect, more birds came over to be feed, and the area turned into a 3-ring circus.

While he was eating some of his sandwich, the remainder was on the small wall, beside where he was sitting. A Sea Gull, decided that it wanted his sandwich, and attempted to fly over and land on the small concrete wall, beside my friend. He, of course, decide otherwise, and attempted to stop the Sea Gull from taking his lunch. The Sea Gull actually 'bit' him. And, no, I not kidding. I saw the wound after my friend was forced to go to the local Emergency Room.

They, of course, thought it was funny. He heard several of the staff, making fun of his predicament. This, obviously, annoyed him.

As a safety precaution, they gave him antibiotics (actually, 2 different ones), and told him, if he had anymore trouble with the wound that he should return, to the hospital.

The antibiotics worked, but he went back to the hospital, to complain about the behavior of the Emergency Room Staff. He, also told the Toronto City Health Department, who showed more concern about the problem.

So, if you assume that this is only the tip of the iceberg, then in about 5 years, we could be experiencing Hitchcocks' Horror, for Real. Of course, it will take an event like that, to get the City of Toronto, off its' butt, and do something.

Since researching the information for this story, another friend told me of similar incidents, in Vancouver, B.C. He had lived there, until a year ago. So, how far are we, from 'The Birds: Revisited'.



Of course, this is only the opinion of a homeless person.

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* * *

Because there is so more garbage in the streets, I hope the government pay homeless people with mental disabilities to do the job, so that they have extra money and may improve their lives

Joane



Manien Laska

Poems from BOSNIA,





"LOVE LETTERS from an INTERMENT CAMP



MARCH 9 1991



Dear Moura it is also easier

for the enemy to erase a number.

That is why I am

no longer called Sashenka.



Yes I am now a number.

They have bound my wrists

I stand tied as a dog.

What torments me most.



and gnaws at my empty gut,

is I should like to have

a couple of fingers free

to wipe away my tears.



MARCH 12 1991



Though much more muffled today,

it has become a familiar echo,

those footsteps down the corridor

always stopping, only stopping



at my blood stain cell.

Again I tell them the truth

knowing it is not the truth

that they are concerned with



No it is my death they wish. As

the death of my dear brother. Decapitated

and discarded as an empty bottle by the

roadside. My crime is my disbelieve

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in the babble of the madman.

My demise is being calculated,

but I write to you dear Moura

not in total hopelessness.



Within this tortured state

I have grown stronger .

The involuntary release of my

urine has long dried from



my clothing .The blood has crusted

over my wounds and they have not

been able to damn the flow

of my dreams. Yes I have become



much stronger and tonight

I will dream good memories

of you. Nestle my mind gently

upon your caring bosom.



MARCH 14 1991



My eyes still dance a smile

thinking of you dear Moura,

under the moonlight

by the pond of frog songs



My thought burst open

as a quick summer rain. Washing

warm in a full rainbow shower

against my lonely thirst.



Draining all too quick

into a forever darkness.

But we did touch and we did

share the kiss.

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Been there...

By Giovanni Malito



It was time, time to enter the room hoping for a quick exit. The room was full of people spread out over anything that would accommodate a bum. Some had drinks in their hands, others were smoking. Each one of them would want a goodnight kiss. Some would demand it. Others would ask, in a baby voice, or just with a slow-motion raising of eyebrows over extended hands and arms. The latter usually also expected a hug. It was to be a running of the gauntlet. Dad, and then Mom, were to be the last.



Of course it would be alright to go up to bed alone. Why all the same questions again and again? And the prattle that bounces your name on standing waves you can hear, as you leave the room? The laughter and the buzz that seems to get more frequent and louder because you have left, or because it is late?



Escape little one. Go up to your own room. Snuggle in under your blanket, but you don't really have to go to sleep right away. None of us will know. Oh, we will be up to you eventually. I'll come last, after your Mom. I always want to stand looking down at you for a minute or two. I miss the days when you used to sleep on your elbows and knees, your bum fanning the night air. And I miss singing you into sleep.



Before I go, I will kiss you as gently as I can on your forehead, wondering if you dream the same things I used to dream. Sweet dreams, of your own Never Never Land...dreams can come true you know.

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Three poems by Suzanne Dennison



Awesome Grace



Rain and wind roll in again

As weather reflects corruption:

Constructions collapsing,

Nature's pressure overwhelming,

All our comforts puffs of wind.



The atmosphere thinning,

Light waves disintegrating

In the absolute blackness of space:

The fragile weakness of the ego

Falling into the vacuum;

Life brief, and death eternal

Astounds the single brain.



Gives a life by no choice

By no choice taken away

Tho the time between all open options

Mixing joy with pain

As we spin in endless cycles,

Forces pulling us thru space.



The only gift, awareness

Gives a value to each moment:

A welcome grace.



In Your Orbit



The last days of winter

Only known thru sun's angle

As snow still grips the earth



This spot still caught

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In cold winds' draught

Across eyes and skin

Yearning for warmth

Pressed closely upon us

When in your orbit

And we as comets blend.



Tho it may be explosion

'Twound bve fusion

A union the stars would sing

Echoing thru everything.



A fragment of the mind

(That belongs on love's swing

Blowing in the wind)

Pulls us together briefly

Before sending us apart again.



Astral Beauty



Was it a thousand years, or more

The time that kept us far from here?

Tho on opposite directions, we merge;

Thru the curve of waves, love's urge

Made articulate, sparking crest

Carrying us back to the nest.



Where truth be told thru gestures,

Actual merging caught in raptures

Of total surrender to those needs

That won't dissolve, but stay as seeds

Waiting the nourishment of love

To burst forth in a hidden grove,

Show all feelings long thought lost,

Fears holding us so far apart.



Now all the patterns of the days

Stretch out so far, can't see the way

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To trace a love still dormant.

Nested on the ocean floor, the fathoms

Almost impossible to reach

But worth the search

The urge to merge

Fulfilled, would fill the beach

With sparkling astral beauty.





JUSTICE VS. VENGEANCE

By Ronald C. Tobin



As I am certain that you are all very much aware, the United States was attacked by terrorists on an epic scale on Tuesday, 11 September, 2001. Both of the World Trade Centers were destroyed, and a large section of the Pentagon will have to be rebuilt. Worse still, well over 5000 lives were lost, and those can never be made whole again.

After such a tragedy, it is certainly understandable that the vast majority of folks here in the States want to fight back, exact vengeance for this despicable assault done not with missiles, but with hijacked airplanes filled with people. It is presumed that this attack was masterminded by folks associated with Osama Bin Laden, who is presently (at least as I write this on the 16th of September) enjoying the protection of the Taliban in Afghanistan. They insist that Bin Laden is innocent, but this does not appear likely.

I have long been a critic of nearly all present-day governments, not just that of the United States. Patriotism is running so rampant right now it is crossing the line into jingoism, and that is not good at all. The US government is determined to make those responsible for these acts pay, and I must admit that, so long as they target the right people and do justice, I will find little to fault them for.

I want to see justice done. The blood of the victims cry out for it, and we can demand nothing less. Vengeance is

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not justice, and if such does take place then those who engage in it become no better than the terrorists themselves. I do not think that the new security measures at US airports will help that much, it is a knee jerk reaction and will make flying that much less pleasant. And, tightening border controls is certainly counterproductive. It will not stop the bad guys from getting in. There are plenty of folks already here in the US that could commit terrorist acts.

People in Canada and the US should value their open societies and not be willing to throw away freedom after tragic events such as this. Those who would give up freedom for security deserve neither.

So yes, let us demand justice, and make sure that vengeance is not the order of the day. Our future as a species may well depend on it.



Crime Against Humanity

by Bonnie Briggs



September 11/2001,

A day when great evil would be done.

For most in New York, a business day,

But it was not fated to end that way.

In New York, at the World Centre of Trade,

Where this huge disaster would be played.

A hijacked plane with terrorists aboard,

Slammed into the first tower at the 80th floor.

It tore a massive hole in the tower's side,

Inside, workers screamed and cried.

At the 50th floor, in about half an hour,

Another plane hit the second tower.

Everyone watched in disbelief,

They all cried in shock and grief.

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While we were trying to comprehend all this,

We got news of yet another hit.

Another hijacked plane hit the Pentagon,

One whole section was completely gone.

Reporters were mobilized, cameras whirred,

As they broadcast the pictures all over the world.

President Bush was incensed, "It's an act of war,

Get those planes into the air.

Stop those terrorists, stop them now,

By any means you know how."

Commercial airliners were kept on the ground,

Those in the air were sent to our town.

We thought another plane had been shot down,

Then we found out we were wrong.

Terrorists tried to take over a jet,

But that was as far as they would get.

Heroic passengers tried to end the strife,

They saved America with their lives.

This plane was thought to be headed for the House painted White,

They were clearly looking for a fight.

Back in New York, a scene of fears,

As the city was bathed in tears.

From the high windows, desperate people waved,

There was no hope that they would be saved.

They jumped to their deaths in the streets below,

What a horrible way to go.

In New York, as the Trade Centre burned,

Shock and disbelief had turned.

To horror as the towers fell,

The street resembled a scene from Hell.

Smoke, dust and fire spread throughout the city,

Destroying the Big Apple once thought pretty.

Air travel stopped, the border closed,

We've never seen measures such as those.

America under attack, not in this life,

Have we seen this kind of strife.

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In Canada too, the effect was felt,

A very high level of security was held.

The stock exchange was closed, sports events stopped,

Time for North America suddenly stopped.

We were glued to our TV's for the whole day,

We hung on every word that the reporters would say.

Our memories are seared with these scenes,

Terrorists tried to bring America to its knees.





New York looks like a zone of war,

Rarely have we seen damage like that before.

This is being called the worst attack in history,

Who did it is a mystery.

But they have an idea of who it could be,

They think it could be an old enemy.

The States are so close, could it happen here?

The answer is one that we all fear.

So, let's keep up our watch and not let down our guard,

Let's stop the enemy from afar.

Canada is free this day,

Let's make sure it stays that way.

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