Monday, November 25, 2013

Paris Cafe - a poem

"Cafe Terrace at Night"  by Vincent Van Gogh (1888)
Rijksmuseum Van Gogh, The Netherlands
Paris, at night

Starry filled sky

Empty tables, like my heart

Standing lonely on the cobblestones

From the outside, looking in

Wishing to sit, clinking wine glasses

Intimate talk, nuzzled kisses

Images so far away now

As I walk down the street

Away from the light

Alone, into the dark and

Away from the past.

Copyright (c)  2013  Suzannah Wolf Walker

Sunday, November 10, 2013

All Is Lost - Robert Redford's Tour de Force

All Is Lost, the latest film by Robert Redford, is certainly his "tour de force.  I have to agree with the critics, this is Redford's finest film performance.   Both the film and his performance are worthy of Oscars, and I hope he wins the Oscar for Best Actor as he is certainly deserving of one for his performance in this film.

I was totally captivated by the film and engaged in the story the entire time I watched.  I was fascinated by this man's ability to fight to survive this dreadful situation all alone. I am very visual, and this, of course is a very visual film, so I loved it.   There is barely any dialogue and we truly just watch his struggle at sea. 

Redford is such a refined and nuanced actor that he is able to capture our attention and keep it during the entire film.    He is older now, but in great shape.  His face is lined and wrinkled but he is still gorgeous after all these years, and his electric blue eyes still peer out of a strong-jawed face.  Men gain character with their facial lines and wrinkles, as we know, and Redford is a glowing example of this.

The film is a one-man show of 'our man', Robert Redford, sailing alone on the Indian Sea.  We don't know where he has left from and we don't know his final destination.  We don't know his name.  But, all that is unimportant, because what we see is an older man struggling to survive when his sailboat is smashed up against a steel cargo drum lost at sea. 

The film opens with Redford, stranded at sea, reading the last letter/message he wrote when his hope was waning of ever being rescued and surviving his ordeal.  Through this ordeal, he writes, he has learned some lessons in life and he apologizes for not having learned these important lessons at an earlier stage in his life.  We don't know to whom he is writing this message.  Is it to one person in particular or mankind in general?

 We then see him awakened on his sailboat when water is flushing into the cabin,  because his sailboat has rammed into the steel cargo drum that had fallen off of a cargo ship during the night.  He quickly assess the situation, determines the damage to the sailboat and goes about fixing the large, deep hole in the side of the boat.  

Of course, I was amazed at this character's prior depth of  knowledge of what to do and how to repair his boat in this kind of a situation.  Always, always have duct tap with you when sailing.  

 In fact, all through the ordeal, I was amazed at the knowledge and survival skills that this character had.   It was apparent he had a lifetime of sail boating knowledge behind him that certainly came in handy in his situation. 

Once the sail boat is patched, he continues navigating on his way.  Again, we don't know where that 'way' is, but we watch his confidence as he sails on.  We also learn the name of his sailboat is the 'Virginia Jean.'  We never learn who that is or the significance of the name for the boat, but interestingly it is a woman's name.  

Of course, Mother Nature has other plans for 'our man.'  There are two devastating storms, that I would say to be typhoons, that hit this man and his sailboat.   By the middle of the second storm, his sailboat is so battered, the mast and sails broken down and destroyed by the storms, that 'our man' has no choice but to inflate the rubber lifeboat in the choppy sea and then dive into it.  

The lifeboat is round and has a zippered tent to it which he zips up for protection from the storm.  It is like a little wigwam bouncing on the sea.  During this segment of the film, the underwater photography is stunning and my personal favorite part of the film.

I, again, was captivated by Redford's nuanced performance, the facial expressions, the frustration he experiences and excellently portrays as his situation becomes more dire and, as he tries to survive on this round lifeboat.  I was amazed at the survival equipment available on one of these lifeboats which 'our man' uses to fight the elements of nature and sea in his ordeal of survival.

He is even able to continue navigating with a navagation instrument provided on the lifeboat and a book he took from the cabin on celestial navigating.  He is knowledgeable enough and has the skills to be able to pinpoint exactly on a map where he is in this vast Indian Ocean.  I found that part of the film amazing.

He is even able to survive a third storm, zipped up in his 'wigwam' lifeboat, as it is tossed and turned in a 360 degree circle several times.   By now, 'our man's' confidence is breaking down and we sometimes see real fear in his face.  He finally becomes depressed as he realizes his odds of surviving are becoming less and less.

The human spirit's will to survive, even in the face of such fear, depression and great odds, is the major theme of this film.    And, I thought it was wonderful that the character was an older, more mature man in this situation.  Youth certainly has its advantages, but because of his older age, he has a depth of knowledge and skills learned over a lifetime of sail boating that someone younger in this situation just would not have.  

And, no matter how old a person is, or what has happened in the past for this man to be sailing such a great distance alone, the will to live and not give up is tremendous in a human being.  I think he finally realizes the fatal flaw in himself is his ego and in having the audacity to take this voyage alone.   

I won't tell the ending of the film; I will just say, always keep swimming toward the light in life.  That, also, is a major theme in this film.

Copyright (c)  2013  Suzannah Wolf Walker   all rights reserved

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Affordable Care Act - a successful quest

Can we all calm down over the Affordable Care Act?  Can we all stop the vitriolic attacks against President Obama over the ACA?  The venom spewed at him over this is unprecedented in history.  Stop the hate!

Life is not perfect and it is not a perfect world we live in.  Stuff happens.  While I agree that those in charge of creating the ACA web-site should have been more diligent, responsible, and in the know, let's stop crucifying President Obama.  Let's just get the site fixed, for heaven's sake.

One thing that has really bothered me are those saying President Obama lied when he said that people with health insurance would be able to keep theirs with the ACA.  He was not lying.

I, for one, had heath insurance before the ACA went into effect, I like my health insurance, the ACA is not raising the price of my health insurance, nor is my health insurance dropping me; therefore, I am able to keep my health insurance despite the ACA and nothing dreadful is happening to me or my health insurance.  So, President Obama HAS NOT LIED.

I am sure there are millions just like me, but you do not hear about them.  There are people that I am sure are being dropped or the price of their health insurance is raised because of the ACA.  But, that is because their health insurance does not cover as it is legally mandated under the ACA stipulations.

The news media also is jumping on the bandwagon by only covering those that are loosing their health insurance or the price is raising because they are not fully covered.  

The news media needs to search out people like me to give a balanced view of what is really happening with health insurance in this country.  The media needs to find the people who are not experiencing any change in their health insurance and are able to keep it despite the ACA.

While I truly have empathy for those whose lives are being disrupted by the implementation of the ACA, there are those whose lives are not being disrupted and these stories need to come out too.

The ACA is not a perfect bit of legislation and law.  But, it is better than having nothing to cover the millions of people who have not had health insurance at all.   Health insurance must also cover those with pre-existing conditions now.  That is a wonderful change the ACA has brought.

On October 2, I got on the federal government web-site to have a look at it.  I successfully signed up for an account, even thought I don't need one, and was able to get access to the competitive shopping area and saw the different types of health insurance and the prices.  I originally started my quest at about 9 pm and got on the site at about 10 pm and by the time I was finished looking at what was offered it was about 11:15 pm.

Therefore, many people are able to get on the site, sign in for an account and view the information, but you just don't hear about the successful stories.   I wanted to compare the ACA insurance to mine and mine was similar in price and coverage to what is offered on the web-site.   And I was able to see my health insurance coverage is at the gold level according to the site.   Yes, it took about two hours and fifteen minutes to complete the whole quest.

I realize millions of Americans have not been as fortunate as I was to get on the web-site.  I did have to wait, about an hour, before I could actually get on the site.  I agree that signing up for an account took some time and energy on my part, but no more than the time I spend on any other site opening accounts.   Yes, it worked slowly and I had to wait, but again, not more than any other site out there.  

Let's focus on the positive aspects of this new law and work to make the web-site more user friendly.  Let's not only see the negative aspects and tear down the law and President Obama.  And, guess what?  There is choice in this ACA - this is what everyone wanted rather than a single payer health insurance plan for this country, and we have it.  

The majority in this nation want the ACA or Obamacare, whichever you choose to call it.  That's why Obama was re-elected as president.  Let's move our country forward and stop spinning our wheels in the mud and moaning and fighting over change.

I believe the ACA is going to be successful, the web-site will become user-friendly, and life will go on here in the 'ol USA, with our nation finally having health insurance coverage for everyone.  

And, please, stop picking on the President.

Copyright (c)  2013   Suzannah Wolf Walker   all rights reserved

Tropical Florida Rain - a poem

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Source: suzettenaples
Source: suzettenaples
Source: dreamstimefree

A Florida Drenching

Raindrops drenching straight down
upon the brimming swail.

Palm trees stagger as plants flatten
in the downpour.

The golf course fills as a river
flowing downstream.

Nature is lost and vacant
as the streams of rain
drum down on the ground.

Puddles become ponds of water - no
other place to go.

The sand's parched lips gulp down the rain;
Large swallows that evaporate and then regurgle.

A gray haze spreads across the sky
as far as the eye can see.

The breeze turns cold as the stream
slackens back to raindrops that patter
on the ground.

Softly, the rain eases and the cold breeze
whispers "ahhhh" across the gray haze
as limp palm trees perk up and sway again.

Life returns as haze and clouds slowly depart;
blue sky peeks through and all is well again.

by Suzannah Wolf Walker Copyright 2011 All rights reserved

A wet interlude

There is something about Florida rains that fascinate me. In the winter months they come on slowly, become hard, straight rains, but are not threatening. Absent are the booms and crashes as in a summer thunderstorm. Nature vanishes during these hard rains, then reappears when the rain ceases. For no more than half an hour, the sky is gray and dark, but not frightening, and the rains come fast and strong. The earth slurps up the badly needed water gratefully. The rains slacken and the gray haze and clouds slowly dissipate as the blue sky begins to break through followed by the glorious sun. Birds return chirping and golf balls again whiff down the fairway as the day returns to normal after the wet interlude.

Seagulls - haiku

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Seaguls take flight.
Seaguls take flight.
Source: suzettenaples


Seagulls take flight.
Sea air under long white wings;
Leaving soft waves behind.

Seagulls soaring in the air leave the expansive Gulf behind to the rest of us.
Copyright 2012 Suzannah Wolf Walker all rights reserved
Source: suzettenaples


Handpainted Seagull Bird Figurine 4" (Set Of 4)
Handpainted Seagull Bird Figurine 4" (Set Of 4)
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Spansh Moss - haiku

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Spanish Moss growing in an old oak tree.
Source: wikipedia

Spanish Moss

Dripping down, down, down
Ages of leaves and flowers
Telling an old tale.

Frogyfish, this one is for you. I found out that Spanish Moss is really a flower that grows mostly in oak trees. It is both a leaf and a flower that is very difficult to see from far away. You have to be on top of the moss to actually see the spindly flower that grows among the leaves. The leaves and flowers hang on tree branches and it literally "jumps" from tree to tree to bloom in it. It is like voluptuous hair growing among the branches of the oak tree. It grows in hot, humid climates and is very popular in the south, especially in Florida.
Copyright 2012 Suzannah Wolf Walker all rights reserved.
Spanish Moss up close.
Spanish Moss up close.
Source: wikipedia

Secrets - a poem



So many secrets ---
for only you
to know,
because I love you.

Copyright (c) 2013 Suzannah Wolf Walker
The Secret of Poetry
The Secret of Poetry
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Springtime Butterfly Haiku

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Albino monarch butterfly
Source: wikipedia

Albino monarch butterfly

Odd bit of nature

White instead of color

Full of loveliness
Female monarch butterfly
Female monarch butterfly
Source: wikipedia

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

Spreading colorful wings

Flutters to flowers

Copyright (c) 2013 Suzannah Wolf Walker all rights reserved
Monarch viceroy butterflies in mimicry
Monarch viceroy butterflies in mimicry
Source: wikipedia
Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly
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Fields of sunflowers - a poem

Yellow Sunflowers painted by Vincent Van GoghPin It
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Yellow Sunflowers painted by Vincent Van Gogh
Source: wikipedia
Naples Botanical Gardens, Naples, Florida
Naples Botanical Gardens, Naples, Florida
Source: suzettenaples

Fields of Sunflowers

Fields of Sunflowers
Stretching across the plains of Spain
Sunny, happy, flowers
Never shall meet the rain

Perky faces turned up to the sun
Reaching far and wide
Each flower standing happy
Producing seeds so sweet

Like the sun itself
Spreading shine and beauty
Feeling the warmth as
A yellow blanket envelopes the earth

Smiling sunflowers
A testament of happiness
Brings joy and elation
To each one who glances

Standing straight and tall
At attention for us to see
Single sunflower out of the many
Sways in the gentle, warm breeze

Copyright 2013 Suzannah Wolf Walker all rights reserved

Windmills of Our Minds - a poem

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Windmills of La Mancha in Spain
Windmills of La Mancha in Spain
Don Quijote and windmill in Spain
Don Quijote and windmill in Spain
Don Quijote and Sancho Panza in La Mancha, Spain
Don Quijote and Sancho Panza in La Mancha, Spain

Windmills of our Minds

Like the song
the windmills turn
as memories swirl
remembering lost memories

How swiftly they turn
at last remembering
jumbling in the mind
each laid out on a vane

Round and round
they turn
as each memory
swirls around in the mind

The impossible dream
lost to the memories
on the windmills of our mind; on thelandscape of Spain
hot, dry, they blow away

Copyright 2013 Suzannah Wolf Walker all rights reserved

Teardrops falling softly - a poem

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Source: dreamstimefree
Photo by Claudia Adams
Photo by Claudia Adams

Teardrops falling softly

I am beginning to question
Have I ever been loved?
I thought I was at the time
But, was it really? Was it turtle doves?

Was I just a convenience
At the time?
Lovely, but just present
For the moment to bind?

Something to ease the pain
Of relationships gone past?
Presently, a sweet diversion
Just to ease the mind so fast?

Tell me, did you love me?
Or was it all for naught?
In between the pressures
Of a love forgot?

Teardrops falling softly
From the rose's edge. . . .

Copyright 2013 Suzannah Wolf Walker all rights reserved
Love Poem Collection: The Greatest Love Poems of All Time
Love Poem Collection: The Greatest Love Poems of All Time
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When things go wrong - a poem


When things go wrong

When things go wrong
what to do?

Wrapped in a cloud
of sadness and despair

Fog so thick
to see is nil

Hunkered down and
waiting for that beam of light

Deep, dark shadows
run across the mind

Jettisoned by sad thoughts
too tough to share

Look to the mirrors of consciousness;
the fun house of reflections

Distorted by pain
so real, yet so ephemeral

Think through the halls of the psyche
a labyrinth

How long does time pass
before peace seeps in?

When Angels Weep - a poem

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When angels weep

single tear
slips down the cheek

The feathered wing
hangs limp

The heart is full
of sad despair

The soul
just wants to free

The never ending
pain it feels.

So where on high
do angels fly

To find the peace
they seek?

To balm the soul
and mend the heart

Of one so young
and sweet?

Oh angels fly
once in the sky

To bring the sad

The angel there
on shoulder lay

A teardrop
slowly sink.
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