Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday

All the sainted are in church but I 

I have gone again 
to a holier place
they speak not,
or laugh,
or cry

Let me enter these hallowed grounds
this Easter Sunday
the wind stirs the solemn stillness
and only birds are heard 
to chirp and sing
while grass and trees 
now grow about the headstone
for days on end no one has come
to gaze upon the cracked and fallen stones
and say a prayer for the dead
and read a name or two of those
whose brief lives now come and gone
too quickly, once loved, now forgotten
by all but me

And thee,
if thee, should reads these lines
and feeling curiosity
should seek a Sunday morn
to find a cemetery
down a dusty country road
where a buried child lies
long gone are this child’s kindred souls
will thee, like me wonder
did the mother cry?
and father too?
to lose one so young
in the innocence of youth

Proud parents once brought to tears
parents who were farmers
and sowed their seed in the earth
knowing that bird and drought
would take some,
but not these
not their own
before they were grown

Yet, their faith forbade
a somber thought
‘tis Easter Sunday
the Lord commanded
that one day
their child would rise
to once again laugh and cry

Thursday, April 3, 2014

It's Spring again

Spring has returned to Kansas and Bradford Pears are in full bloom. This tree, indigenous to China and Vietnam, is now common in Kansas as an ornamental tree. Because of its hardiness, it grows well in the extremes of Kansas weather.

The old man came across this Bradford Pear in Pawnee Prairie Park in Wichita. The bees are already out, doing their thing. The weather is warm and the old man has forgotten the cold and bitter winter.

But beware, after the bloom, the flower smells like rotting fish.

bee in Bradford Pear

Bradford Pear before the leaves

Bradford Pear open blossum

Bradford Pear, old stem, new flower

Blossums, Bradford Pear

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Eat dandelions

Godey’s Lady’s Book was a magazine published in Philadelphia from the 1830's until 1898. It covered a wide range of topics, including recipes of foods. This one, about the humble dandelion, appeared early in the Civil War; it serves as a reminder to soldiers in the field to eat vegetables. The leaves are best (least bitter) before the flower appears.Avoid the milky sap which is extremely bitter and may produce an allergic reaction.

Dandelion flower

Uses of the Dandelion from Godey's Lady's Book, 1862

It's uses are endless: the young leaves blanched make an agreeable and wholesome early salad; and they may be boiled, like cabbages, with salt meat.
Dandelion, Wichita, Kansas, March 2014

The French ... slice the roots ..., as well as the leaves with bread and butter, and tradition says that he inhabitants of Minorca once subsisted for weeks on this plant, when their harvest had been entirely destroyed by insects. The leaves are ever a favorite and useful article of food in the Vale of Kashmir, where, in spite of the preconceived prejudices we all have ..., dandelions, and other humbler examples of our northern "weds," do venture to associate themselves with the rose or the jasmine of it's eastern soil. On the banks of the Rhine the plant is cultivated as a substitute for coffee, and Dr. Harrison contends that it possesses the fine flavor and substance of the best Mocha coffee, without it's injurious principle; and that it promotes sleep when taken at night, instead of banishing it, as coffee does.

Mrs. Modie gives us her experiences with dandelion roots, which seem of a most satisfactory nature. She first cuts the roots into small pieces, and dries them in the oven until ... brown and crisp as coffee, ....

In some parts of Canada they make an excellent beer of the leaves, in which the saccharine matter they afford forms a substitute for malt, and the bitter flavor serves instead of hops.

In medicine, too, it is invaluable.


1. Dandelion is high in sodium, potassium, iron, B vitamins, and protein. A little bit goes a long way. In a highly seasoned stew add root slices. Caution, the white milky sap is most bitter and may cause allergic reactions.

2. Project Gutenberg has reproduced an 1851 edition of the book online.

3. The medicinal properties include increase urinary flow and anti-inflammatory agents.