What's For Dinner? Medicare

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Chrycka Harper, Poet & Literary CriticLast Modified: 00:44 a.m. DST, 16 January 2014

The following prose was inspired by the enactment of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act.

Dear Journal,Eden Writing in Her Diary, Photo by Eden, Janine, and Jim

Today, Jamesha, Wei, Spirit, and José came over to play. We played Hide & Seek, Tag, Red Rover, and a lot more other stuff. We played so much that we got really hungry. My dad was in the dining room, so we ran there to ask if we could get some pizza. My dad and 10 other adults were in the room.

Our walls were painted a light cremé color and the room was “decorated with the finest collectibles,” said my dad. But I don't like the walls and the “collectibles” are ugly. We ran around the really big and strong dining table. My dad said it was made out of African Blackwood. And the legs are so tall, I can stand under the table.

Anyway, the adults were busy talking. One man was standing next to an old woman and yelling at her. My dad's face was very red. One woman was talking on her cell phone. And two men were working on something important on their computers.

It was weird because when I make noise in that room, my dad tells me to be quiet. But he didn't say anything to us. The adults kept saying “drugs” and “money” and “government” and “good.”

Finally when my dad knocked on the table two times, everybody in the room got quiet. The adults looked down at us kids, smiled, and asked, “so... what's for dinner?”

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Toto

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Chrycka Harper, Poet & Literary CriticLast Modified: 02:10 a.m. DST, 17 December 2013

TotoToto, Toto Where am I? I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. My footsteps lead us here: But what is here? I heard we are at the Mecca But our leader is leaving and creativity has gone missing.

I heard we are in the Nation's capital, but the government is shut down, Obamacare is supposedly around, and everything seems upside down. It's all a rhythm that I am not familiar with.

Toto, Toto I don't know what to think. We never saw so many shades of brown adorned with different expressions of what it means to be brown. Yet verses of ghetto anecdotes flow from boys' mouths like scriptures.

Versace, Versace, Versace, they can click their heels three times and they still can't afford it or even spell it. But when I quote the Lord is my shepherd and everlasting collective love, they act like they can't even see the picture.

Women waddling around, bobbing heads arms tied behind their backs only to get so far. Multicolored lips, hair, and shoes yet their minds still live in black and white.

It's like they forgot about Lauryen Hill's doo wop doo wop That thing in which we cannot speak But their tongues are so familiar with. Children running in circles But missing out on the circle of life. One down then its on to the next one. I thought that we would give our soldiers the best weapons for war, But instead they get guns.

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Published: 17 December 2013 (Page 2 of 2)

No child left behind But they fly under radar All the time Success after success of missing land mines and traps until when? Until they reach enemy territory then what?

Battles exchange, victories are won Then our children come home But they still don't know how to wade in the water. Help can barely exit their mouths so they try to wade and do what society says.

We tell them to disregard their fantasy, but we continue to imagine our reality. The true reality is that these souls try to operate in the zone in which they are comfortable at dawn, but it still remains at twilight. To the point where event the doctors, lawyers, and police can't save lives But rather push the waves to their demise.

A demise that so happened to be at Columbine. Newton. The Navy Yard. Miles away from where my footsteps leave off...

Toto, Toto I know we're not in Kansas anymore. Kansas had yellow green grass and rolling flatlands going nowhere. We never fit in and never would.

But I know when my true home Have been removed from its village. Now the only thing I see is A sky without a sun. This is what happens when people Don't listen to history. Instead They play the same songs.

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How to Achieve Peace in a Storm

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There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures. But there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.

But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest - in perfect peace.

Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why?

"Because," explained the king, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez Battles Dementia

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 02:51 AM EDT, 7 July 2012

Gabriel Marcia Marquez, Photo by Ricardo LiteraturasCARTAGENA, Colombia - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian writer and winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature is reportedly suffering from senile dementia.

Born in 1928 in the small town of Aracataca, Colombia, he began his career as a journalist and throughout the 1950s he published numerous short stories.

In 1967 he wrote his first book in his native Spanish titled Cien años de soledad. It was later translated into English and published under the title One Hundred Years of Solitude. This book would become the cornerstone and seminal work for the movement that is known as magical realism.

German art critic Franz Roh is credited with first using the term magical realism in 1925, although the Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier in 1949 coined the term "lo real maravilloso." Like surrealism in art, magical realism is a literary device in which the line of demarcation that separates the real from the magical is blurred.

Marquez is the iconic patriarch of a literary tradition which yielded celebrated authors like Isabel Allende who wrote The House of the Spirits, Laura Esquivel who penned Like Water for Chocolate, Toni Morrison and her haunting tale Beloved, and Salman Rushdie’s daring novel The Satanic Verses.

What makes Marquez body of work magnificent is that his literary landscape is not limited to “the Latin American experiences, but to larger questions about human nature. In the end, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a novel as much about specific social and historical circumstances—disguised by fiction and fantasy—as about the possibility of love and the sadness of alienation and solitude.” (Source: Spark Notes)

The decline of a brilliant man with a mind capable of weaving intricate worlds serves as a stark reminder of the transience of life. Marquez, now in the twilight of his years remains inextricably trapped in the landscape of dementia as if he were a character in one of his novels.

Jaime Garcia Marquez reported to media that his brother, who is 85 and lives in Mexico, has increasingly lost touch with reality. It was a slow decline which is why the author hasn’t made any public appearances in recent years.

"It is a disease that runs in the family," said Jaime Garcia Marquez. "He is doing well physically, but he has been suffering from dementia for a long time but he still has the humor, joy and enthusiasm that he has always had."

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Enlightenment and The Forgiven

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There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."

The little boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said "I hope you can forgive me father for the holes I put in you."

"Of course I can," said the father.

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Ray Bradbury | Iconic Fantasy Writer | Dead at 91

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 17:27 PM EDT, 6 June 2012

Ray Bradbury, by MP, 3.18.2011 (Photo by Poditty 444)

LOS ANGELES, California – Ray Bradbury, the prolific writer who is considered one of the prophets of science fiction, lived his life doing the thing he loved. According to published reports, Bradbury died at age 91 and up until the end he was an inhabitant of all the universes found in literature. Today, his daughter informed the Associated press of he died during the night of Tuesday, 5 June 2012.

In the video at the end of this post, “A Conversation with Ray Bradbury,“ viewers are given the pleasure of watching a man in his 80’s who is sharp, vibrant, and as exuberant as any man half his age. He starts the interview with a quote that should be a mantra for each one of us.

“Love is at the center of your life. The things that you do should be the things that you love. The things that you love should be the things that you do. So that’s what you learn from book.”

First and foremost, Bradbury did not classify his writing as science fiction, because his initial exposure to writing at age 3, when he learned to read, was in the realm of fantasy. According to interviews the wonderful aspect of fantasy was that in enabled the reader to totally inhabit the world that a writer creates.

“I'm not a science fiction writer,” he was frequently quoted as saying. “I've written only one book of science fiction [“Fahrenheit 451”]. All the others are fantasy. Fantasies are things that can't happen, and science fiction is about things that can happen.”

Though the stories in his books often occurred in far corners of the universe or in dystopian societies, ultimately, it was as much about the construct of the environment as the reactions of the characters which inhabited those worlds. More along the lines of a sociologist, Bradbury explored the character of man when placed in untenable situations.

Author of more than 27 novels and story collections and more than 600 short stories, he was a prolific writer until the end. A humanist and optimists, it was a strange juxtaposition that most of the characters in his stories descended to their baser natures when given a choice.

As seen in his collection of short stories titled “The Martian Chronicles,” and most famously, his classic novel "Fahrenheit 451,” one might get the sense by reading his books that Bradbury was a cynical misanthrope, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Through his beautifully rendered universes, he provided his characters and readers with a choice, a fork in the proverbial road, whereby we could choose to elevate our thinking and thus our actions to benefit the whole, or descend into the tyranny that accompanies selfishness.

That is why so many of his stories though set in alien locations are ultimately fantastic extrapolations of post-war towns and cities everywhere in  America. In a 2000, New York Times Magazine article, Bradbury said, “When I was born in 1920, the auto was only 20 years old. Radio didn't exist. TV didn't exist. I was born at just the right time to write about all of these things.”

And write he did. Bradbury is a titan in the American literary landscape and though he has passed, he shall live on though the words he loved so much.

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