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The Brown-headed Cowbird is a stocky blackbird with a fascinating approach to raising its young. Females forgo building nests and instead put all their energy into producing eggs, sometimes more than three dozen a summer. These they lay in the nests of other birds, abandoning their young to foster parents, usually at the expense of at least some of the host’s own chicks.
by Patricia Fargnoli
“The Undeniable Pressure of Existence” by Patricia Fargnoli, from Duties of the Spirit. © Tupelo Press, 2005. (from The Writer’s Almanac, April 15, 2013)
by E. E. Cummings
“it may not always be so…” by E.E. Cummings, from 100 Selected Poems. © Grove Press, 1954.
The first city-to-city television broadcast took place on this date in 1927. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover was in a studio in Washington, D.C., and an audience sat in an auditorium in New York City. The broadcast began with a close-up of Hoover’s forehead, because he was sitting too close to the camera. He backed up and said, “All we can say today is that there has been created a marvelous agency for whatever use the future may find with the full realization that every great and fundamental discovery of the past has been followed by use far beyond the vision of its creator.” He was followed by a comedian performing jokes in blackface.
do not stand at my grave and weep i am not there. i do not sleep. i am a thousand winds that blow. i am the diamond glints on snow. i am the sunlight on ripened grain. i am the gentle autumn rain. when you awaken in the morning's hush i am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. i am the soft stars that shine at night. do not stand at my grave and cry; i am not there. i did not die.
compare to March 11 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
“Courage,” by Anne Sexton, from The Awful Rowing Toward God (Houghton Mifflin)
Spring Cleaning: Now that it’s time to put those wool sweaters away, first wash them by hand, then rinse them in the sink with a quarter cup of white vinegar and water to remove any remaining odors. Finish the job with a final rinse in clean water.
Are you semi-curious? Some of us have been flirting with semicolons for some time, but are perhaps not entirely sure if we’ve been utilizing them to their fullest. They somehow make for separating that which is still connected a voluptuous pursuit.
We shall be breaking semicolons into 5 parts over the coming week; you can expect to find follow-up installments here, at the big buffalo. They are excerpts from diva grammarian, Karen Elizabeth Gordon’s book, The New Well-Tempered Sentence. (Mariner Books. 2003.)
This book had torn open my ribcage a few years ago. Liv is a devoted single mum, a hard-pressed bread winner, and an alluring thinker and writer. Today, I pulled her off the shelf, blew away the dust, (sneezed), and opened to a torn, paper bookmark. This is what I saw:
by Gavin Ewart
Wordsworth really loved daffodils. He said they were flashers.
Certainly they must be the most exhibitionistic flowers
trumpeting their presence in yellow—by far the most
I grant that after a long hard winter
it’s warming to see snow-drops and crocuses in that iron earth
and the very first daffodils (what a cliché) seem a
something it even seems appropriate to make a fuss about.
They look so perfect, though a bit self-conscious.
After a week or two, however, when Spring is established,
and everywhere you look there are oceans of daffodils
as arrogant as pop stars, they begin to seem ordinary.
You take them for granted. Like a love affair fading
they shrivel and go crinkly, papery and tired.
The Spring too (teenagers witness) has its own kind of
“Sonnet: Daffodils” by Gavin Ewart, from Or Where a Young Penguin Lies Screaming. © Little Hampton books, 1978.
A heavy snow, and men my age
all over the city
are having heart attacks in their driveways,
dropping their nice new shovels
with the ergonomic handles
that finally did them no good.
Gray-headed men who meant no harm,
who abided by the rules and worked hard
for modest rewards, are slipping
softly from their mortgages,
falling out of their marriages.
How gracefully they swoon—
that lovely, old-fashioned word—
from dinner parties, grandkids,
vacations in Florida.
They should have known better
than to shovel snow at their age.
If only they’d heeded
the sensible advice of their wives
and hired a snow-removal service.
But there’s more to life
than merely being sensible. Sometimes
a man must take up his shovel
and head out alone into the snow.
“Snow” by George Bilgere