50 Years Ago Today, Lyndon Johnson Gave an Important Speech

March 31, 2018

I recommend listening to the whole thing, but the most memorable part begins at the 34-minute mark. This was a watershed moment. The man had his flaws, and his decisions on Vietnam were disastrous. The effects are still with us. But you can feel the depth of his pain. It looked like we were going, truly, to overcome, but five days later, everything would come crashing down.



For Poetry Day, One of My Favorites

March 21, 2018

I Knew a Woman

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I’d have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek).

How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin,
She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and Stand;
She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin;
I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand;
She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake,
Coming behind her for her pretty sake
(But what prodigious mowing we did make).

Love likes a gander, and adores a goose:
Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize;
She played it quick, she played it light and loose;
My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees;
Her several parts could keep a pure repose,
Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose
(She moved in circles, and those circles moved).

Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:
I’m martyr to a motion not my own;
What’s freedom for? To know eternity.
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.
But who would count eternity in days?
These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:
(I measure time by how a body sways).


St. Patrick’s Day, 1967

March 17, 2018

Grateful Dead release their first album.

“Well everybody’s dancin’ in a ring around the sun
Nobody’s finished, we ain’t even begun . . .”


March 15, 1965

March 15, 2018

Yes, there is a lot to dislike about Lyndon Baines Johnson, but on this day in 1965, as the Selma-Montgomery March was under way, he delivered this speech, on voting rights.


March 7, 1965: the Selma-to-Montgomery March Begins

March 7, 2018

If you don’t already recognize him, that’s John Lewis, now Congressman from Georgia, on the ground, about to get brutally beaten by Alabama state troopers.

A brief history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selma_to_Montgomery_marches


Look at this little girl’s face . . . .

March 3, 2018