“The Good Earth”

“The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck, published in 1931, is a story of hardship, love, riches and death set in China in the early Twentieth Century. Buck grew up in China, the daughter of US missionaries and then moved back there after college. She knew the culture of that era and after reading this book you will too. I found some parts hard to read because of the lack of worth and respect ascribed to female children and women, but it was enlightening.

Being a well known classic I thought that I had read this long ago. Recently, I picked the book up off my shelf and upon review saw nothing familiar. I always write the date I purchase a cook inside the cover and I saw that I had owned this book for sixteen years. It is dogeared and had a boarding pass inside which I often used as a book mark while traveling. It remains a mystery as to whether I had read it before and forgotten the whole story! Regardless, I am very glad that I have read it now and if you have not, I recommend that you do.

Pearl S. Buck has won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature. By the time of her death in 1973 she had published more than seventy books. It is available in audio and also graphic adaptation editions.

What is your opinion of “The Good Earth?” I am sure that most of you have read this story of a family that depended upon the earth for sustaining their life and lifestyle.

Thief of Lives

thief of lives

crossing oceans,

an invisible enemy washes up

and rises to walk

the flourishing earth

it rises

and wanders among the living…

preying upon human weaknesses…

exploiting the need for closeness

and contact

it moves between people

from host to host,

wreaking havoc

on health and emotions

thief of lives, but never of souls

it thrives in the elderly and the compromised,

yet also in the young and healthy…

leaving no stone unturned,

no one invulnerable

nature watches with a knowing eye

as she wakens from her slumber…

but remains unbiased

in the unfurling of leaves

and the opening of blossoms…

she is impartial

to the plight of humankind…

oblivious to the chaos…

the loss of life and livelihood… knowing

that eventually this too shall pass

it will run its course

this abomination…

this thief…

thief of lives

but never of souls…

Sylvia L. Mattingly, April 18, 2020

EDCC41E1-B6E4-4736-8E0A-C20832CD6266

Earth Day

Earth Day 2020

Earth Day began as a response to oil spills, smog, and polluted rivers. On April 22, 1970, over 20 million Americans protested the crisis and demanded changes to protect the environment. This first Earth Day launched The Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts as well as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Other countries followed suit and eventually, the United Nations signed the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The theme for this 50th anniversary of Earth Day is climate action. Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of life on planet Earth. We all can and must be involved to make a difference. Our children’s and grandchildren’s lives depend on us.

4F9CA823-2735-460D-872B-86C2664A1B3B

“Earth Day 1970 was irrefutable evidence that the American people understood the environmental threat and wanted action to resolve it.” Barry Commoner

 

Photo by Pixabay

The Year of Perfect Vision

the year of perfect vision

fall colors have begun to seep in…
staining the landscape
and in places, leaving the trees to bleed…

summer has lost its tenacious grip…
ebbing now against the winds
of change…
receding into the depths of its own
dusty shadows…

the earth is releasing a bounty…
sighing with the fall of every acorn, every walnut, every persimmon…
every parcel of nourishment
that nature has sent to sustain itself

the colors of autumn are growing
in brilliant hues and intensity…
that the eyes of humankind
might be opened…
peeled back in order to truly see
the value in the world around us…

nature tugs at our sleeves…
urging us to see…
to develop perfect vision…
to be guardians of the earth
on which we live…

and at its urging
we are swept away…
swept away
by a sea of  color and transformation

here…
in the last passing days of October…
just a few months shy
of the year of perfect vision

Sylvia L. Mattingly
October 21, 2019
In the company of cats.

AUTUMN-2800880_1280

Photo by Pixabay

Earth Day

earth

with bare hands 
i sink my fingers into the earth
and lift it from the ground

i need to feel it…

damp and crumbly
as it sucks the moisture
from my skin

i want to smell it…

thick and organic
as its rich aroma
streams into my nostrils 

i touch it to my tongue…

coarse and gritty
as the taste of minerals
washes over my taste buds

i need to see the earth
with my eyes closed 
and know through my other senses
that what i am holding in my hands
is something precious

earth
ancient and elemental
the mother of us all
reminds me
of our close kinship

for in essence
I am nothing more 
than a carbon creature

nothing more 
than the ashes and earth
from which we all rose

and in death
will be

nothing less
than the ashes and earth
to which we all return
written by: Sylvia L. Mattingly
April 8, 2019

earth-661447_1280

Ode to Time Change

Guest Poet 

“Ode to Time Change” by Pat Bush, November 4, 2018

My body says, “Wake up! You’re late”!
The lids get heavy, the clock says wait!
It’s not 9:30 but half past eight!
Am I early or am I late?
Sleep deprived or do I feel great?
Oh, how I hate this dance we do,
Is it one or is it two?
Twice a year, I adjust the time.
My body says, “This is a crime”.
Let me be, leave me alone.
Am I eastern or central time zone?
Early to bed, early to rise?
I’m not healthy, wealthy, or wise.
Just trying to adjust my eyes,
To whatever they are supposed to do.
Is it one or is it two?

The paper’s read, the puzzles done.
Hey, I even see the sun!
Full of energy until six or seven, but the body  feels, it’s really eleven.
Then darkness whispers, “Goodnight, friend.
“The day is finished, it is the end”.
The clock reveals a different truth.
It’s still quite early. I cry,” Forsooth”!
The head bows down, then, snaps to attention.
I think I’m in another dimension.
Good night earth, goodnight moon.
What the hell, it’s only noon!

IMG_6269