Tag Archives: survival

Winter Night. (a poem)

This ought to have been published in the winter, but I didn’t get round to it, so I’m publishing it today. Anyway, it’s still technically winter! Hope you enjoy it.

full-moon-1337690_1280

Snow covers the ice-hard ground
And ponds and lakes are frozen.
All is muffled, every sound.
The birds are silent in the trees,
No moths or butterflies or bees
Just snowflakes by the dozen.

The moon is full and her pale light
Shines gently through the flakes.
But creatures shiver through the night.
The icy wind makes branches quiver
And every living thing to shiver
In trees and hills and lakes.

Across the field there trots a fox.
An owl flies by on silent wings.
On the frozen lake, some ducks.
As snow falls gently on them all,
And cattle low within their stall
We are waiting for the spring.

I welcome all your comments, so please add yours.

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Comment on pollution reduction

We are constantly being told about what we are doing to our world. We are told about all the carbon dioxide we are adding to the air and what it is doing to the climate.
We are also told about methane from grazing animals and how  that is also a greenhouse gas.
In this post, I want to bring some things to your attention that we aren’t told about in so many words.

 Hydrogen cars. A good thing aren’t they? They are not polluting are they? After all, the hydrogen just burns to water.

Let’s consider this. Water is a greenhouse gas. This we are not told, but why should we need to be? We all know that on a cloudy night the temperature stays higher, but if it’s clear, it’s likely to be cold.

 If the world is warming, as it seems to be, on average, there is more energy in the system. More energy, more air movements. I have noticed that there seem to be more windy days than there used to be. anyone else noticed? I’ve not got any statistics, just my own observations. Are hurricanes not stronger than they used to be?

 Fossil fuels are finite. They take millions of years to form, yet we are burning them as if they will last for ever. Every person who is old enough to hold a driving license now has to have their own car. Next door to me, until recently, there was a family of six. Six cars were parked outside every day. Their drive would only hold three. Parking in the rest of the street is not easy without blocking someone in. It was a problem.
Should we really be using it to burn? Here are a few things made from oil that we’ll probably have to do without when the oil has gone.
1. plastics (Think of all the things made of plastic you use every day.)
2. cosmetics
3. food colourings
4. paint
5. shoe polish
6. nylon
7. paint
8. ink
9. medicines
10. Vaseline
11. tyres
12. Asphalt
13. insect repellant
14. fertiliser
15. shampoo
There are thousands of products made from oil, yet we burn it willy-nilly.

 I could continue with many more, but I just want to finish with what I consider the most worrying thing, but one that is never mentioned. Oxygen levels.
When things burn they use oxygen. That is something everyone who has been to school knows. We are burning oil and releasing the carbon dioxide trapped in there. At the same time, we are using up oxygen.
This I did do some research about. It seems that at the time of the dinosaurs, the oxygen level was around 33%. When we learn about oxygen content of the atmosphere in school, we learn it’s around 21%. However, it is declining, and declining faster than it did before. There are 150 areas in the sea that are dead zones. So little oxygen that no life can survive, and in some cities the oxygen level is down to 17%
Why is this not a topic for discussion? Why are we only told to think about carbon dioxide and climate change? Is this not potentially more serious? maybe it won’t be a problem for us, or our children, but in the future, perhaps the very existence of humanity might be in danger.

Here’s a website you might like to visit to find out more.

http://disinfo.com/2013/01/atmospheric-oxygen-levels-are-dropping-faster-than-atmospheric-carbon-levels-are-rising/

Please leave a comment on this blog in the space below.

I would just like to tell you that the next installment of Asphodel’s back story will be on March 14th as Debbie Manber Kupfer is visiting my blog on the 7th, so rather than leave it for another month, I’ve substituted if for one of my grammar posts. 

Thanks for reading.

I Am Earth. A Poem

earth-1881932_1280

I am Earth.
I am your mother.
I gave you birth.

I gave you a nest.
A wonderful home
On which you can rest.

I gave you food .
Plenty to eat.
You waste all that’s good.

I gave you the seas
And forests and hills,
But you chop down the trees.

You think you’re so cool,
But you pollute the air
By the burning of fuel.

You heat up the air
And care not a jot
For the poor polar bear.

Animals die
Because of your greed.
You hear not their cry.

I teemed with life,
Both great and small.
Yet extinction is rife

Like a cancer you spread
Throughout the whole world.
It won’t end till you’re dead.

But I’ll make you pay
For all you have done.
You’ll be sorry one day.

I’ll shiver my skin.
Your buildings will fall
And bury your kin.

The land I will flood
By raising the seas
And drown all in mud.

My mountains so high
Will belch forth their flames
And you will all die.

I am Earth.
I am your mother.
I gave you birth.

BUT I WILL DESTROY YOU.

Aspholessaria.

At first they passed through the forest Asphodel knew. she had not been far away from Quantissarillishon, but had played in the forest around as she grew up. She knew the little streams and the tall trees. She could tell Vass which ones were the best to climb and which were almost impossible. She laughed as she pointed out one where Liss had got stuck when he climbed up too high. He was there for several hours until his father came and helped him down.
They held hands as they walked, and did not stop even to eat. Asphodel took out some food she had pilfered from her mother’s pantry and they ate as they walked. Vass said they needed to get as far away as possible. Although Asphodel’s parents were away for a few days, Vass was unsure how long Liss’s parents would wait before becoming anxious. Certaily they would not worry until after nightfall, but would they be anxious then when he did not return for the night. He suspected they would. After all, he was their responsibility while staying with them.
The darkness began to creep in and Asphodel shivered.
‘Are you cold?’ asked Vass.
Asphodel shook her head. ‘No, not really,’ she told him. ‘It’s just that the forest seems different at night.’
‘Haven’t you been out in the forest at night before?’
‘My parents are very protective. I’m a girl, after all, and not expected to go adventuring in the forest.’
Vass stopped in a clearing through which a little stream ran.
‘We can stay here for the night,’ he said. ‘We’ll need a fire, though. You get water from the stream while I gather wood.’
When Asphodel got back from the stream, she found Vass cutting the turf in the little clearing to make a circle.
‘What are you doing?’ she asked him.
‘Preparing a hearth for our fire. We can’t risk setting fire to the forest.’
Asphodel sat down and watched with interest. After cutting the turf and setting it aside to replace after they had finished with the fire, Vass picked up a stone from a pile he had collected. They were fairly large and he built a ring around the hearth.
He picked up some dry leaves and placed them in the centre of the hearth before laying some small twigs over the top or them. Once he had everything prepared, he took a small metal box from his pack. When he opened it, he removed, a piece of steel. and a small sharpened piece of flint which he struck against the steel. Inside the box was some tinder and when the sparks from the steel fell onto it, it began to smoulder. Vass then blew gently and, taking a wooden splint, he lit it and applied it to the dry leaves.
‘Asphodel, can you blow gently on the leaves to get them burning while I put out the tinder in the tinderbox and pack it away?’
Asphodel was only too pleased to comply, and as the small twigs caught fire, she fed some slightly larger ones onto the fire. Vass took over then, gradually adding larger pieces of wood until he had a hearty blaze going.
‘There, that should keep us safe tonight,’ he said, sitting back on his heels. ‘Wild animals won’t come near fire.’
Asphodel looked around the clearing, fear showing in her eyes. She had not thought of wild animals, but of course, there would be bears, wolves and wild boar at the least. She realised how unprepared she was for this adventure.
Vass smiled at her. ‘They won’t come near the fire, I promise you,’ he repeated.
‘What if the fire goes out while we’re sleeping?’
‘We must take it in turns to watch it. It’s not like having a full night’s sleep, and we’ll be more tired tomorrow, but it’s necessary. I’d let you sleep, but I need some too.’
He reached over and pulled her to him, kissing her passionately. Asphodel pulled away.
‘What’s wrong? Don’t you want me?’
Asphodel looked at him.
‘I’m here, aren’t I? Would I be here if I didn’t want you?’
‘Well, why are you pulling away?’
‘Firstly, I’m a bit afraid. I’ve never…you know. Then, what if I become pregnant?’
Vass frowned. ‘Surely you knew what would happen if you came away with me? I want us to be married, but there’s no need to wait. We’re not in Quantisarillishon now.’
‘Oh, Vass, I’m worried about the pregnancy thing. I know elves expect youngsters to experiment, and it’s not really frowned on, but illegitimacy is. We’re expected to make sure we don’t get pregnant.’
Vass lay down on his blankets and turned over.
‘Take the first watch,’ he snapped. ‘I’ll relieve you in a bit, and don’t let the fire go out.’
Asphodel’s eyes filled with tears that she quickly brushed away. She was not going to let Vass’s anger upset her. This was their first quarrel, and undoubtedly they would have many more over their long lifetimes. She would get used to it, she determined, and not let it get to her.
After a while, she felt her eyes closing. She stood up and walked around the clearing, gathering some more wood to put on the fire as it seemed to her to be getting low. The walking cleared her head a little, and as she sat down again, Ullin, the silver moon, broke through the clouds above the clearing turning everything silvery. Asphodel smiled. Ullin was full, and seemed to be smiling.
He seems to approve of my running away with Vass, she thought.
Just then, Vass woke and told her to get some sleep. He would tend the fire now.
The next morning, when Asphodel woke, Vass was putting the fire out. He removed the stones by kicking them out of the way. They were still hot. Then Asphodel watched as he replaced the turf he had cut away. Soon it would be difficult to see anyone had lit a fire here.
Vass said little as they ate some stale bread and cheese, not as they walked hand in hand towards what they hoped was the Erian border.
‘Vass, what’s wrong?’ Asphodel asked him after an hour of silent walking.
‘I told you last night. I’m going mad being this near you all night and not being able to make love to you.’
Asphodel sighed. So he was still angry at that. She stopped walking and looked at him.
‘You can wait, Vass, surely. We’ll have all our lives to make love as much as we want once I can get herbs to stop pregnancy.’
Vass looked at her through narrowed eyes. ‘Are you regretting coming away with me?’
Was she? She could turn back now. Perhaps her parents had not come home from Daisy’s yet. and would not know of her escapade If they did know they would be angry, yes. Very angry. She would undoubtedly be punished severely, but they would forgive her. Frishillondor was not too bad. He was quite good looking for a man her father’s age, and he seemed kind. She might get to love him, eventually.
‘Well?’ Vass spoke sharply.
Asphodel looked at him and her stomach did a somersault. This was the man she loved. She had every right to be with him.
‘I left my home and family because I love you, Vass. I would go anywhere to be with you. I regret nothing.’
‘Then why wait for us to make love? You know elves have few babies. We’re not a very fertile species, unlike humans. It would be very unlikely you would become pregnant before we could get married.’
Her grey eyes took on a steely glint. ‘Unlikely isn’t impossible, Vass. My mother had two babies whereas most elves only have one. We are of House Royal, and you know there are twins in the Royal line. We are more fertile than most elves. I’m not risking it.’
Vass relapsed into silence and they continued walking. Then he suddenly turned to her and said, ‘You are a most stubborn girl, Aspholessaria.’ He softened his words with a smile and bent to kiss her gently.
Three days passed as they walked through the forest. There had been no sign of pursuit, nor any dangers from the denizens of the forest, either. Vass had been right about the fire keeping wild beasts away. After these three days, the trees thinned and then they met a track leading westwards. They followed it and soon saw smoke rising from chimneys in a small human village.
‘We must be in Erian,’ exclaimed Vass. ‘At last. Now you can go and seek out those herbs you were talking about.’
‘One track mind,’ laughed Asphodel and she ran ahead into the village.

How will Asphodel and Vass’s relationship progress now they are in human lands? Will their parents find them or will they get married and live happily ever after?

Come back on the first Tuesday of January to find out.

All comments about this story are welcomed. I’ll try to get back to you.

 

 

Comments on a disturbing blog post I read recently.

I’ve just read a disturbing post from soulfultroubadourdotcom. It deals with the case of two boys who were badly beaten for wanting to leave the church. So badly beaten, in fact, that one of them died. I think most people would consider this a dreadful crime. Unfortunately, the people whod did this must have felt they were fully justified.

This is what’s scary. These people thought, and I suppose continue to think, they were fully justified in what they did. This did not happen in Syria, or Iraq, or Libya or any of those countries that we think of as being barbaric, but in the USA. These people were not extremist Muslims, but Fundamental Christians.

By what right they think they have to call themselves Christian I really do not know. Nothing they did is what I understand to be following the teachings of Christ. These extremist ‘Christians’ are just as bad as the extremist ‘Muslims’, and yet we in the west seem to ignore them.

OK, they don’t go round bombing people (yet), thinking you can force people into believing as you do, but are they really much better? Beating young men because they don’t like the message you are preaching is just as bad in my eyes.

Extremism is dangerous, whether it’s religious or political, whether Muslim of Christian, Right or Left. People ignore these folk because they call themselves Christian, and that is the religion of the west. Of us, even if we are non-believers.

So we tar all Muslims with the same brush. They are all wicked people who chop of the heads of non-Muslims, but we ignore those Christians who think to force people to their religion by other acts of brutality.

Jesus said (Matthew 7:5) How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

I have written a poem about hypocrisy. I’ll post it later next month, possibly.

 

I would love to hear what you think about this. If you would like more details, go to https://soulfultroubadourdotcom.wordpress.com/2016/10/

My review of Winter’s Captive by June Bourgo

georgia

 Blurb

Recently separated from a cheating husband, a pregnant Georgia leaves her home to spend a month with a childhood friend in Yukon Territory. Her stay takes an abrupt turn when she is kidnapped by bank robbers. She escapes into a vast area of north western British Columbia, known as ‘the last frontier’. Against all odds, Georgia is forced to make decisions to endure the cold, harsh winter. Will she make the right choices to not only ensure her survival but that of her unborn child?

 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The character of Georgia captured me and I followed her every move with interest. I enjoyed watching her grow as she faced her ordeal in the wilderness.

Her husband left her pregnant and after a terrifying ordeal, Georgia finds herself faced with an even more terrifying experience—giving birth alone in the wilderness. She finds the strength to survive through a surprising means and grows both spiritually and emotionally.

This is not the kind of book I usually read, but I found that it is one of those books that you want to keep reading to know what happens next, but don’t want to finish. I am glad to se that June V. Bourgo is writing more books about Georgia. I am anxious to see how she continues her spiritual and emotional growth.

This book has a lot to teach its readers about spirituality, and I have learned a lot from reading it.

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