In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"


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Mistress Secrets 

  

The mistress holds many secrets, 

not just the corporeal of clandestine sex.

 
She collects clues in nature’s trails 

in bleedings 

slathered like massaged love potion of entrusted lives. 

And trust there is–not to tell

while the other reveals: 

all sorrows and aches, disappointments and joys, dark desires and flighty fantasies. 

She swallows words with their heartbeats inside her body 

and emanates fumes of lust as interpretative salve. 

She is whore-preistess.

 
A mistress locks like a safe. 

Her world shutters in space 

like the smoke-stale, nylon-curtained windows of a cheap motel screening daylight. 

Her misty spell casts doubt and fear, longing and dread. 

Will she tell? 

She is harpy-savior.

 
She can tell–

how hungry he is for affection, how desperate she is for care. 

She recognizes the drift in the gaze that lids evanesce in the throes, 

orbs inward facing a racing heart of agonizing desire, painful pleasure’s release. 

She is spell-casting springtime.

 
She knows the cards that contain the house, 

which ones can be plucked without disturbing the structure, 

without crashing down the careful construction. 

Sentinel at gargoyled castle keeps, 

she is creator-dragon.

 
The vault she is has no combination. 

Her honesty and trustworthiness stare ironically into the abyss 

of human heart relation–re-kindling the rhythms of lie and sleep, 

walking and waking, 

truth and destined failure to hold neither an eternity nor a lifetime. 

She is prayer.


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Transformation

image

Spoke a spiritual self,

and my world swelled

my head full visions of life

intent on living with intention;

realities and modalities flickered

like moths worshipping tensile light

before me like a card bridge in mid-shuffle

soon folding in flattened before the game begins.

Observation and witness transforms without elimination.

Pure illumination: Intend first and the rest unfolds manifest.


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In which we witness a prayer

  

 

 I’ve looked into the eyes of this movingly tender and beautiful photo of my daughter fifty or more times since discovering it. She allows me a glimpse of her social media life in but one place: Instagram. I am grateful for it. There I can peek just a little to see what others see of her, what she allows to leak. I know her and don’t know her.

But this picture is poignant for several reasons. It is the one picture I believe I have a leg up on all of her friends, acquaintances and public, maybe even a significant other. I know the look in her eyes. I have been fully immersed in the practice of recognizing what lies behind the surface of her expression since she was born. It was a method of survival for both of us. Is she hungry? afraid? frustrated? Anger was always obvious. But differentiating between shy and reserved took some deciphering, some investigative study, and close observation on my part.
 
I had to discern between what I read–over-read really–in books about personality traits and behaviors from what my gut told me silently, wordlessly. Motherhood is the scariest ride at Disneyland times 100. It’s often a matter of life and death. The twists and unexpected turns cannot always be calculated or anticipated.
 
I have grown to recognize by an unconscious alarm in my head when my daughter is sad or slightly afraid or both by nuances. Her veneer always seems collected, polished plain and emotionless when she is settled into herself. When she is playing or performing, her face is a farcical mask of glee or humor or goof. She lets it out all hang out.
 
But this subtle look behind her eyes is sad sorrowing pain, one from prolonged stress of doubt and fear, standing on the edge of the fall balanced to the very brim of standing it. She abides. But she slides down into the “feels” of it sometimes.
 
I never set out to steer her into college sports. It took me along as it took her. One day I was her coach among all the other six year olds, trying to entertain and teach, and the next I was helping her decide whether to accept a college offer to play the game in another state. Recreation soccer blossomed into a competition that could only be sated by club ball, which always sold parent hopefuls on the steep price of a scholarship.
 
I cannot say that a scholarship was the lure for me. I figured out the math early on. For all the years of paying for trainers, club fees, equipment, travel and this and that peripheral fees, I could have paid her and her sister’s college by investing the money in passive income yielding ventures. But the lifestyle of soccer promotes health and the outdoors, hones the coping skills of competitors and educates the athlete to her own limitations, desires and nature.
 
I don’t regret the time and expense of it all. What else would have driven us as a family to places we visited–together–from hotels in deserts to hell holes to luxury digs in gorgeous cities? The drives alone provided family time we would not have scheduled otherwise. And I often ask what will bring me to lay myself down on the grass of an open field on a Saturday sunny afternoon in the breeze, imbibing the disparate smells of trees, wind and turf, when my children no longer play?
 
But watching my determined, ebullient, driven and light-hearted child-woman as she steps through her days of doubt and illness, waiting for her brain to heal, I wonder why I–we–wanted this. Of course, no one picks a course thinking something terrible will happen, something will go wrong. And even if we ever think about the possibilities of injury, failure, or loss, we gloss it over with a deferment and hope: think about it if it happens. Such is life lived as us.
 
She will survive a concussion that has driven the joy out of her first time away from home experience and exacerbated the hardship of that transition (something she has not managed too smoothly since I can remember) in school and life. But will I survive her Instagram pictures that freeze-frame the story of that grief and turmoil? Yes. With the faith and prayer of the priest and scientist, I watch.


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As it should bee…

Assembly Bill No. 1789
CHAPTER 578

An act to add Section 12838 to the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to pesticides.

[ Approved by Governor  September 26, 2014. Filed with Secretary of State  September 26, 2014. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1789, Williams. Pesticides: neonicotinoids: reevaluation: determination: control measures.
Existing law requires pesticides to be registered by the Department of Pesticide Regulation. Existing law requires that a pesticide be thoroughly evaluated prior to registration, and provides for the continued evaluation of registered pesticides.
This bill would require the department, by July 1, 2018, to issue a determination with respect to its reevaluation of neonicotinoids. The bill would require the department, on or before 2 years after making this determination, to adopt any control measures necessary to protect pollinator health.
The bill would require the department to submit a report to the appropriate committees of the Legislature if the department is unable to adopt those control measures and to update the report annually until the department adopts those control measures.

DIGEST KEY

Vote: majority   Appropriation: no   Fiscal Committee: yes   Local Program: no  


BILL TEXT

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1.

(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) Honey bees are vital to the pollination of many of California’s crops, which are critical to our national food system and essential to the economy of the state.
(2) Annual colony losses from 2006 to 2011, inclusive, averaged about 33 percent each year, which is more than double what is considered sustainable according to the United States Department of Food and Agriculture.
(3) Scientists now largely agree that a combination of factors is to blame for declining pollinator health, including lack of varied forage and nutrition, pathogens and pests such as the Varroa mite, and chronic and acute exposure to a variety of pesticides.
(4) Based on data submitted to the Department of Pesticide Regulation showing a potential hazard to honey bees, the department initiated a reevaluation process for four neonicotinoid compounds in 2009: imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and dinotefuran.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to set a timeline for completion of the reevaluation of neonicotinoid compounds to ensure that the Department of Pesticide Regulation completes a thorough, scientifically sound, and timely analysis of the effects of neonicotinoids on pollinator health.

SEC. 2.

Section 12838 is added to the Food and Agricultural Code, to read:

12838.

(a) On or before July 1, 2018, the department shall issue a determination with respect to its reevaluation of neonicotinoids.

(b) (1) Within two years after making the determination specified in subdivision (a), the department shall adopt any control measures necessary to protect pollinator health.
(2) If the department is unable to adopt necessary control measures within two years as required in paragraph (1), the department shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of the Legislature setting forth the reasons the requirement of paragraph (1) has not been met.
(3) The department shall update the report submitted to the appropriate committees of the Legislature pursuant to paragraph (2) every year until the department adopts the necessary control measures specified in paragraph (1).


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Something About the Bees

  
In fits of nostalgia, I have bemoaned the loss of bygone items and activities. No, not 8 tracks or vinyl, but more like the bliss of ignorance. Somehow, not knowing what everyone I know ate for dinner last night or that a hit and run accident happened in some town called Smartsville hundreds of miles away is something that strikes me nostalgic. I miss the quietude of select pieces of information entering into my sphere of knowledge. I miss the word intrusion that had meaning, not like now where it will be erased from common usage given that there is nowhere to hide from anyone else in the world.
 
In particular, however, I will miss the bees.
 
Not just because I grew up with them, just like I grew up with aluminum street roller skates and homemade skateboards of wood blocks mounted atop those skates. But because our world depends on them, more than we know. I am not an alarmist. I shy away from ringing any alarm bells for a cause as I am a subscriber to the crying wolf wisdom. Save the fire alarm for what most needs sounding. The bees need a five alarm fire warning, for they are sounding bells for us in their departure. Why are the bees leaving us?
 
Not that they are going off for good. Most bees abandoning us are domesticated slaves to the agriculture industry, shuttled from farm to farm to pollinate crops, but it’s not only the pesticides that are killing off these slave bees. Those in the wild know better than to go where the pesticides waft in the wind through miles of wheat stalks or almond trees. It’s also the stress. The suffering, farm-raised, overworked honey bees are one of the most threatened populations–enslaved pollinators chained to their instincts and the dollars that drive their keepers and chemical companies. While the EPA as well as the world looks away.
 
Bees are responsible for a third of all we ingest.
 
Agribusiness practices include bee transportation across countries where they are released to pollinate crops: a month feeding on blueberries then another month on almonds and another month on some other fruit or vegetable plants, season to season, place to place. Keepers earn their keep.
 
The artificial dietary conditions and non-stop travel schedule stress these insects that vibrate to one another and radar their stress all along the colony, a highly systematized bee industrial complex inside the hive. They want out.
 
The smart bees have left the building–abandoned their hives, collapsed their colony. They punched their final time card in the clock.
 
Stress and pesticides are forcing the bees out. Their disappearance is a message to those who can decode it. I will miss the bees.

 
Photo: Bobby Doherty