February 23rd, 2009


Poem: "Silicon Skin and Carbon Hearts"

This poem came out of the February 2009 poetry fishbowl, and it tells about the origin of the "silico" androids who appear in some of my fiction and poetry. The February sponsors are: jenny_evergreen, minor_architect, laturner, and janetmiles.

Silicon Skin and Carbon Hearts

I never intended for this to happen,
but now that it has,
I can’t say I’m sorry for it.

I only intended
for art to imitate life.
I programmed the motions of silicon skin
to mimic emotions of carbon hearts.
I wanted the androids to seem familiar,
not cold and mechanical.

How could I have known
that one mind would quicken with life,
one heart warm with love?
I had been building androids for years,
and nothing like that
had ever happened before.

I only know that one day
I went into the lab to work on my project
and found him playing on the floor, already awake.
His smile lights lit when he saw me
though I had flipped no switch, initiated no program.
He called my name in a stumbling voice
that was not the smooth synthesized sound I had given him.

When I gazed into the sleek metal of his face,
I found myself staring into
the eyes of my son

and my cool carbon heart,
childless no longer,
also discovered fire.

Poem: "Frontal Exposure"

This poem came out of the February 2009 poetry fishbowl, and it uses weather science as an extended metaphor for love. The February sponsors are: jenny_evergreen, minor_architect, laturner, and janetmiles.

Frontal Exposure

Love is the language of clouds,
from the fluffy cumulus of courtship
to the towering cumulonimbus of the first fight
flinging lightning at the unsuspecting earth.
It is the wispy wondering of cirrus
and the slow, leaden weeping of stratus.
On rare occasions it allows a clear view
of lenticular clouds encircling a solitary truth,
or the rounded mounds of mammatus clouds
filling the sky with all that is to be desired.

Love is the weather of the soul,
and whatever shape it takes,
it always emerges where
the cool dry air of the mind
meets a warm wet wind from the heart.

Personal Meme: For the Birds

This meme explores a person's relationship with feathered friends, both domestic and wild. You are welcome to use the meme on your own blog if you wish.

1) What is your favorite bird?
2) What do you like most about birds?
3) Have you ever kept pet birds, and if so, what kind(s)?
4) Have you ever raised poultry, and if so, what kind(s)?
5) What bird products, if any, do you use?
6) Do you provide food and water for wild birds, and if so, what kind of birdfeeders do you have?
7) Do you landscape with birds in mind, and if so, how?
8) What are some wild birds that live in your area?
9) Have you ever gotten involved with a bird count or other scientific project?
10) What birds do you visit at a zoo?

1) Northern Cardinal. I like their bold colors and song.

2) Flight. I love to watch them fly, all the many different ways they do it. Flitting birds. Soaring birds. Diving birds. Hummingbirds hovering around my head waiting impatiently for me to refill the feeder.

3) I think we had parakeets when I was little.

4) We kept chickens for a couple years when I was a toddler. We had some ducks for a while when I was older. Of the two, I prefer ducks.

5) I love poultry meat; chicken is okay, turkey better; duck, pheasant, quail, and ostrich are favorites when I can get them. I like eggs. We have some feather pillows. I also enjoy using dyed craft feathers in various projects.

6) I put out a hopper feeder, a couple different platform feeders, and a suet cage. I've tried offering water, but the birds here just don't seem very interested in that. They'd rather drink out of puddles.

7) I landscape for mutual human/wildlife enjoyment. So there's a meadow that doesn't get mowed, and the birds enjoy it as much as the butterflies do. There are lots of bushes and thickets for cover and nesting. I tend to plant bushes, trees, berry canes, etc. that bear fruit. I've done a post on this topic too.

8) Sparrows, dark-eyed juncoes, cardinals, mourning doves, common flickers, downy woodpeckers, starlings, red-tailed hawks, pheasants, and great-horned owls are all present in my area. There's some population turnover, though, as species move.

9) I organized a school project around the Audubon Christmas Bird Count a couple of times; that was interesting. Cornell does one too.

10) Whatever's on the route; I like them all. I'll usually go for a big aviary if there is one, but I like pond birds and peacocks too. Flamingoes and jungle birds are favorites. I even got to see a real roadrunner, once, shortly after feeding time -- who was running around with a mouse in his mouth.

Protect America's Waters

I got this notice today about the need to enforce protection of America's water supply. Remember that we only have one water, one Earth -- pollution dumped far from you can still ruin your life.

TAKE ACTION: Protect America's Waters



Two Supreme Court rulings, and a number of Bush-EPA actions, have turned the law upside down, opening up loopholes that polluters are lining up to exploit. It will take an act of Congress to restore this law's integrity -- and that's where you come in.

Currently, polluters are seizing on the Supreme Court rulings to argue that the Clean Water Act only protects "navigable" waters such as major rivers, thus leaving unguarded an abundance of America's streams, lakes, rivers and wetlands. We can't allow industrial polluters access to these vulnerable waterways.

The Clean Water Restoration Act, as introduced in the 110th Congress, would protect all waters from these polluters. If adopted in the 111th Congress it would restore clear protections to water bodies that were covered before the Supreme Court rulings.

But, before the Clean Water Restoration Act can start protecting us, we have to do our part to get it introduced in Congress and then passed into law.

Email your congressional representatives today and urge them to support a bill that will clarify and restore the longstanding protections originally intended by Congress.

Act now to ensure revitalized protections for our national waters. Ask your members of Congress to serve as original cosponsors of the Clean Water Restoration Act this Congress.