USA

15th December – On This Day In History

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Born:

1949 Don Johnson (actor – Miami Vice)

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Died:

1890 Sitting Bull (Sioux Chief – led his people to victory in the Battle of Little Big Horn)

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On This Day:

1917 Moldavian Republic declares independence (from Russia)

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Have a good Friday, 15th December

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14th December – On This Day In History

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Born:

1503 Nostradamus (astronomer and prophet)

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Died:

1476 Vlad The Impaler (Wallachian Prince)

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On This Day:

1819 Alabama admitted as the 22nd State of the USA

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Have a good Thursday, 14th December

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The Search For Lost Lives

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I was chasing this blue butterfly down
the road when a car came by and clipped me.
It was nothing serious, but it angered me and
I turned around and cursed the driver who didn’t
even slow down to see if I was hurt. Then I
returned my attention to the butterfly which
was nowhere to be seen. One of the Doubleday
girls came running up the street with her toy
poodle toward me. I stopped her and asked,
‘Have you seen a blue butterfly around here? ‘
‘It’s down near that birch tree near Grandpa’s,’
she said. ‘Thanks,’ I said, and walked briskly
toward the tree. It was fluttering from flower
to flower in Mr. Doubleday’s extensive garden,
a celestial blueness to soothe the weary heart.
I didn’t know what I was doing there. I certain-
ly didn’t want to capture it. It was like
something I had known in another life, even if
it was only in a dream, I wanted to confirm it.
I was a blind beggar on the streets of Cordoba
when I first saw it, and now, again it was here.

 

– James Tate

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13th December – On This Day In History

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Born:

1967 Jamie Foxx (actor)

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Died:

1990 Alice Marble (tennis star)

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On This Day:

1920 International Court of Justice established (in The Hague)

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Have a good Wednesday, 13th December

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Happy As The Day In Long

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I take the long walk up the staircase to my secret room.
Today’s big news: they found Amelia Earhart’s shoe, size 9.
1992: Charlie Christian is bebopping at Minton’s in 1941.
Today, the Presidential primaries have failed us once again.
We’ll look for our excitement elsewhere, in the last snow
that is falling, in tomorrow’s Gospel Concert in Springfield.
It’s a good day to be a cat and just sleep.
Or to read the Confessions of Saint Augustine.
Jesus called the sons of Zebedee the Sons of Thunder.
In my secret room, plans are hatched: we’ll explore the Smoky Mountains.
Then we’ll walk along a beach: Hallelujah!
(A letter was just delivered by Overnight Express–
it contained nothing of importance, I slept through it.)
(I guess I’m trying to be “above the fray.”)
The Russians, I know, have developed a language called “Lincos”
designed for communicating with the inhabitants of other worlds.
That’s been a waste of time, not even a postcard.
But then again, there are tree-climbing fish, called anabases.
They climb the trees out of stupidity, or so it is said.
Who am I to judge? I want to break out of here.
A bee is not strong in geometry: it cannot tell
a square from a triangle or a circle.
The locker room of my skull is full of panting egrets.
I’m saying that strictly for effect.
In time I will heal, I know this, or I believe this.
The contents and furnishings of my secret room will be labeled
and organized so thoroughly it will be a little frightening.
What I thought was infinite will turn out to be just a couple
of odds and ends, a tiny miscellany, miniature stuff, fragments
of novelties, of no great moment. But it will also be enough,
maybe even more than enough, to suggest an immense ritual and tradition.
And this makes me very happy.

 

– James Tate

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12th December – On This Day In History

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Born:

1915 Frank Sinatra (singer)

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Died:

1889 Robert Browning (poet)

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On This Day:

1953 Chuck Yeager flies at Mach 2.43 in the Bell X-1A

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Have a good Tuesday, 12th December

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The Wrong Way Home

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All night a door floated down the river.
It tried to remember little incidents of pleasure
from its former life, like the time the lovers
leaned against it kissing for hours
and whispering those famous words.
Later, there were harsh words and a shoe
was thrown and the door was slammed.
Comings and goings by the thousands,
the early mornings and late nights, years, years.
O they’ve got big plans, they’ll make a bundle.
The door was an island that swayed in its sleep.
The moon turned the doorknob just slightly,
burned its fingers and ran,
and still the door said nothing and slept.
At least that’s what they like to say,
the little fishes and so on.
Far away, a bell rang, and then a shot was fired.

 

– James Tate

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