Monthly Archives: February 2019

Offering by Abigail George

(for the Dutch poet Joop Bersee)

I think of high school girls. Perfect days,

    and prefects, playing first team hockey,
    art and the debating team. Being on the
    Quiz team, appearing in the newspaper. Saying
    things before thinking about what you
were about to say. I think of how composed
sao01_400 the silent twig and the miracle of Hamlet
was. How stranded and ambushed I felt
sometimes. The useless loneliness of being
abandoned, swimming in the pool and galas.
Being let down by a beautiful mother and
a beautiful sister who followed in our mother’s
footsteps. I remember how nobody was
by my side. How I felt I was losing my
mind. That I was in hell. How I was cast out into
the abyss. How sometimes school felt like
hell and what the other girls’ said to me.
How I felt that I was losing the fight so I
began to eat less and less. I think of the
introspective branch. The sun drifting into
view. I sigh when I think of high school
girls. The vanity that they have. That they
think will carry them through all the days
of their lives. The day is beautiful, like youth.
I’m a totally novel woman now. The pills
make me forget. Yes, those sleeping pills
that leave a funny aftertaste in my mouth at
the back of my throat. Later it rains in the
evening. At first it spits, then it pours.

The fractured genius wind bangs the window

in the bathroom shut. My writing-life came
from teachers, and high school girls with pain
deep in their eyes. And the stars like our
bodies turn to dust. My sister just wants to
leave on a jet plane. She’s Prague. Found
the better exit out to India, Thailand, Bali, New
York. She wants the perfect life but she
doesn’t want to work, or pray for it. I’ve
noticed this. That history has nothing to say
about Sylvia Plath’s brother. I think of Nietzsche

and religion. I think of how much I love her, and
how we live under the same sun. How the
grand clouds rule us, perfect us when we

hear the voice of our mother, and I think of
the smell of wild rain in her hair, in her
show of tears. The winter scarf around her neck
like a hangman’s noose. I look at her face.

Happy lips. Red. Her words spelling-out an emergency service.
And I think to myself that if she had a
boyfriend he would bring her flowers.

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Abigail George has two books in the Ovi Bookshelves,
“All about my mother” & “Brother Wolf and Sister Wren”
Download them, NOW for FREE HERE!

life_06_400

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Smoking and pudding by Katerina Charisi

lola05_400I don’t believe she asked me to go out for smoke. She forgot when she used to smoke those horrible vanilla cigarillos and my kids where still toddlers in that underground apartment and she made us suffer from asphyxia. What more should I expect? She was always like that. She got lucky that her husband died and left all that money for her, she renovated the house and now “go out to smoke, you will make my tapestries yellow”. It’s not her fault, it’s my fault that I even bothered to come and see her. If I wasn’t looking for those puddings for my daughter in law, I wouldn’t even be in the neighborhood. I just wanna leave… But I left the puddings inside.

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The Next Phase by David Sparenberg

The process of individualization is the current phase of human evolution. This phase began to democratize at the European Renaissance. Now it wanes. The two World Wars increased the scale of human targeting—in state terrorism, suffering and annihilation. Auschwitz was the terminus of civilization; the atomic atrocities of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, warnings against omnicide. The largess of human personality vanishes. Environmental consequences of modern warfare are scarcely spoken of. We continue in systems of falsification and exploitation and a culture of excesses and violence.

What is wordless is unthinkable. When naming happens the named is open to endless communication.

eco01_400The next phase of human evolution is the transformation of ego-self into eco-self. In core dynamics this shift involves turning the long journey into the interior outward to geo-biotic relationships and in dialectic alternations between reaching deeply into the past of origins and moving conditionally into an Ecosophic Future.

In the ongoing century this, which is already an affinitive calling, will democratize further. The coming on of this spreading and taking root; more and more comprehensively reshaping contours and the content of existence; opens the greater possibilities of human survival, sanity and planetary stability.

Likely this will democratize only out of increasing and intensifying tragedies, reducing global human presence to sustainable levels. Challenges are unprecedented. The process into eco-self-identity and Earth-based affirmation is terrifying and sublime.

Persons dedicated to the next phase should willingly support one another, learning and mastering living between tragedy and necessity. Each should serve as an invitation to directional dialogue. Alert senses, emotional spontaneity, intuition and critical thinking—with the goal of mature response-ability—are vital powers in the shaping of the Practical Gestalten of an Ecozoic Era.

Only in the presence, or in an immanent expectation, of a life-altering event (or in response to a traumatic, life-altering anti-event) does integrity fully manifest and define human identity. As passion of anticipation declines, or is suspended, the evil urge reintroduces: confusion and lassitude existentially proliferate. From thence partiality in decisions increases, often leading to personal and social fragmentation or even, on occasion, a hollowing out of affirmative values, being replaced instead by apocalyptic betrayals popularized and politicized as our inevitable species destiny.

It is in the ascension of the next phase for pathfinders in quest of, if not engaged in blazing, new directions to apply the Native American attitude of doing what is done with a signature of identity for seven generations, each generation working for yet seven more to follow thereafter.

Even if it dreams over the rainbow, as practicum of the next phase, The Great Work plans both now and beyond the horizon for a condition of welcoming, in health and wellbeing, for those who are yet unborn.

Aggression, cruelty, arrogance, malignance and greed are among the worst human traits. Tenacity and tenderness, kindness, humility, courage and the openness to participate with creation in reverence and respect give countenance to the best of who and what can be. The greater benevolence of human beings is yet to become.

To harden is to become a mask. The mask is moribund and belongs to death. To be familied into the next phase of human evolution is to be porous and to become an Ecosopher of the Ecozoic. Why not call this transition salvation? Why not name this pursuit heroic? Why not mandate that the embracing of life (Human and Holy) is sacred?

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life_30_400

Check David Sparenberg’s NEW BOOK
THE GREEN TROUBADOUR A Source Book of Performance Ecosophy
is online now and you can download for FREE HERE!

life_03_400

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David Sparenberg has also 2 more Books in the Ovi Bookshelves,
“Life in the Age of Extinctions volume 2 – Threshold”
Download for FREE HERE!

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A mutant by Bohdan Yuri

My son,
you are a teenager,
a mutant.

a mindless generic alteration
trapped in metamorphic,
hormonal rages.

but fear not,
this will pass,
as all things do.

I know because
I was once
a teenaged mutant,
until I evolved.
into what I am now,
your father

now
I am a mutant
of a different sort.

mut01

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How to learn a foreign language by Jay Gutman

I want to learn French! I want to learn Spanish! I want to learn Japanese! Currently, the trend is to buy textbooks or tapes, or to watch language courses on YouTube and perhaps think that you will somehow pick up the language. But textbooks don’t teach you conversation, nor do they teach you how to use languages at the professional level or use a language at the academic level. So if anyone claims he or she learned a language by listening to tapes, you can detect fraud.

  1. Learning conversation

forein0001_400The problem with learning a language is that language and culture are intertwined. You basically have three types of culture: free cultures where the individual represents himself, tribal culture where the individual feels that he is representing his tribe and militarized cultures where the individual is representing his rank.

So if you’re learning the language of a free culture, you’re going to have to adjust to being an individual who does not represent his tribe or his rank. Why? Because if you constantly represent your tribe or your rank, you are not going to make a lot of friends and you will have no one to use the language with. Same goes if you learn the language or a tribal culture. If you’re constantly talking about yourself as an individual, you are not going to make many friends. If you learn the language of a militarized culture, you will lose a lot of friends if you don’t behave the way your rank tells you to behave.

Once you understand how the culture works, you can practice conversation slowly but surely with native speakers of the language. Now in a lot of foreign language schools abroad, you have foreign learners of the language practicing the language among themselves, but never really practicing with native speakers. That is at a Japanese language school in Japan for example, you will have non-Japanese people speaking Japanese amongst each other, but never really conversing with Japanese people.

The art of conversation varies greatly from culture to culture. In militarized cultures, there’s a great deal of gossip in conversations and honest conversations are only meant for friends. In tribal cultures, there’s a great deal of showing off in conversation and most of what is said will be exaggerated. In free cultures there’s a great deal of “report talk” meaning that conversations tend to center around reports of daily activities or information that was picked up here and there. In sum, you need to spend time observing groups having conversations before you engage in conversation yourself. That’s how you’ll find out, for example, that when the Chinese, Japanese or Koreans cough repeatedly, they are really hinting that you are being politically incorrect and need to change the direction of your thoughts.

  1. Learning professional language use

The more conversation you have the better. While everyone is familiar with the art of conversation, not every native speaker will be familiar with professional language use. Some native speakers can read and write fluently, give presentations, discuss and negotiate, while others are completely incapable of doing so.

So for professional language use, you will need to practice reading, writing, discussion, negotiation and presentation. Now most native speakers don’t read a lot, but reading comes naturally to them. So you will need to reach that point where reading is painless and effortless. That means you will have to be familiar with the local culture, and read a lot to get used to reading. Same goes for writing, as you will need to practice a lot of writing before you become familiar with it. Most languages differ in writing style, so you will have to get used to writing styles before you can read and write.

Discussion, negotiation and presentation also have a great deal of cultural elements to it. Furthermore, as a non-native speaker, expectations will differ depending on who you work for. Some will expect you to come up with your own negotiation style, while others will expect you to conform to local negotiation tactics.

  1. Learning academic language use

Taking a class on physics or history in a language that is not your native language will be complicated, as you would struggle with such a course in your own native language. Lecturing styles and testing styles differ a great deal from language to language, and you might struggle with those as well.

In Japan, absolute silence in the classroom is mandatory, and you are not allowed to squeak your chair, let alone ask the teacher a question. In Korea most teachers tend to be very assertive, almost to the point of being confrontational with students. In France, teachers tend to beat around the bush, and rarely give maximum points for anything. You could give a perfect answer, and yet only get 70% as your grade. Grades are negotiable in China and Korea, but non-negotiable in France. A lot of context is provided in the United States, while Asians will stick exclusively to what is in the textbook. American teachers give personal examples from their private life; most French teachers never discuss their private life or give personal examples.

In sum, for academic language use, you will have to learn how to write essays and read “boring” information on history or biology, but you will also have to get used to the academic system. Arab teachers yell a lot, Japanese teachers’ voices are barely audible.

So next time, think twice before you say “I want to learn French!” or “I speak French!”

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AntySaurus Prick 907 by Thanos Kalamidas

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For more Ovi Cartoons, HERE!

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Black Lines by David Barger

White mountainous clouds reflect
Orange magma colored sky
As the sun dips below fading tree lines.
clouds_400Miracle like rays of light
Shine through the tree arranged branches –
Pinpoint upon swing rocking by slight breeze.
Beyond wooden swing set

Hovering above empty field
A swarm of gnats bounce about
Like a nervous juggler hyped up on caffeine.
Their zigzag movement highlighted by sun
Reflects the excitement
Of a child opening their first birthday gift,
Or a tattered flag being molested by the wind.
Just then I realize the bountiful measure in size
Where they reach from across my yard
To the declining ground forming creek bank.

Darkness begins to mingle with air,
And they disappear and shadow’s grasp
Like fingers stretching out to cover the land.
The sky impersonates a chameleon
Changing from blue to orange to pink,
And settles into dark violet ensemble
As black lines trace the formation
Of a hand accepting the night’s embrace.

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