Leadership, Andrew Cuomo – style

Some recent quotes from New York governor Andrew Cuomo on combatting the coronavirus outbreak (among other things):

[In response to federal government statements and action]:

 No one is held harmless from reality.

 Being angry is a luxury.  We don’t have that luxury.  Let’s deal with the facts.

There’s a strength in the fact of “all of us”.

This is going to change us.  This is going to form a new generation, and it will transform who we are and how we think.

We have to do both public health and economic development.

Leadership is helping us see where we need to go, why we need to get there, and how we are going to make that happen.  Leadership calls upon the strengths of the community, as individuals and as a nation, as a member of the world family, to build something new together.  Something essential to our humanity.  Something requiring a bedrock vision of who we are and what we can be.  Something founded on heart, decency, compassion, energy, and unwavering commitment.  Leadership asks for our help and makes us want to give it freely.

Let’s start getting there!

Posted in politics, uncharted territory | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nostalgic for Neanderthals

And speaking of evolution, I wax evermore nostalgic for Neanderthals.  Anthropologists confirm that Neanderthals buried their dead with tender care and were probably not the brutes we thought they were.  (Is it a human survival trait to think anyone different is a brute?)  Neanderthals also did not plague the planet with concrete or pollute beyond health our air and water.  Small-community interaction seems steadily more appealing, as well.

Hoping for good health for our world community!

Posted in earth, family | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What’s Our IQ?


           Decades ago I read a definition of intelligence that surprised and befuddled me.  “Intelligence is the ability to adapt.”*  I couldn’t accept this definition.  Wasn’t intelligence the ability to acquire and use information?  As I aged and grew (possibly) wiser, I began to appreciate the definition’s Darwinian underpinnings.  Intelligence is, among other things, the willingness and ability to observe and learn; to think for oneself; to study the past and prepare for the future.  It’s about confronting and responding appropriately to the reality around us.

           We humans may be scoring low on the intelligence quotient. (SeeAre We Un-Evolving?”)

           The universe’s essential element is change.  All life encounters trials which threaten survival.  Do we embrace these as a species and thrive, or ignore them and stumble?  Addressing challenges — through biological transformation and/or behavioral modification —is what we call evolution.  Those species who don’t adapt (or don’t have the time to adapt) to meet the shifting characteristics of their surroundings will fail.  Adaptive intelligence increases the likelihood a species will endure for millennia.

           Humans face many challenges.  Let’s get on with the important business of evolving into a viable species.

*This quote, with the addition of to change after adapt, is sometimes attributed to Stephen Hawking.  But I read it many years before Hawking was famous or even old enough to be quoted.  Perhaps many others have written about intelligence this way.
Posted in earth, ecology, Nature, politics, science | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Wolf Sighting

Wolf Sighting

I cannot look away to find my camera
to fiddle with the focus
to frame the vision —

your face might disappear into the willow
whence it came
your markings beyond the skill
of human art or imagining

your stillness unexpected
not one’s idea of wolf
your serene stance speaks
of unfamiliarity — yet almost knowing

I cannot look away to save my life —
yet thankfully my life is safe
the myth mere fairy tale

The creature who studies me
sees straight into my heart.
The peace of wholeness floods me
the strength of connection frees me.

I stand before the gift
of unknowable mystery.


These and other wolf photographs — as well as stories and poems —
can be found in Wild Wolf Encounters, True Stories of Wolves in the Wild.
(My husband took the pictures.  I cannot look away.)
Posted in books, Poems, wilderness, wolves | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Raw Power and the Rule of Law

Untempered Steel

Raw power
untempered by the steely underpinning
of decency’s structural support
destroys all before collapsing.

That is not who we are.

Fresh Breeze

Long may our
flag wave
in the peace,
the delicious fresh breeze
flowing from the rule of law

photo courtesy of Petr Kratochvil
under CCO public domain license
Posted in Poems, politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Wolf Scat

Wolf Scat

When I see coyote scat,
I wonder —
Could it be wolf?

I answer myself:
not big enough
not black enough
not enough volume
not enough attitude.

Although coyotes have plenty of attitude.

If I have to debate the question,
the answer must be no, not wolf.

Because wolf scat is unmistakable.

Black, long, sinuous, shiny
voluminous, attitudinous

You were here,
and I can see you are healthy.

It’s a good day.

Posted in ecology, Poems, politics, wolves | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Wolf Track

Wolf Track

The record of your passing,
your presence,
canine imprint, enormous, spreading, clearly
written in wet earth
my eyes take it in —
scouring the ground like the nose
of a bloodhound as I inspect the evidence.

My brain is occupied —
analyzing —
not coyote — too big — too heavy
not dog — not even large dog —
the angles and spaces are different,
the toes, pads, curves contain
more breadth and depth
and — don’t waste your time — definitely not the demure and delicate fox.

Well before the busy brain settles
on its conclusion,
and in fact from first sight
the body knows instantly:


The effect is immediate —
I lose the power of speech
can only point and gurgle.
What’s left of me is transformed:
I am become wonder
powered by hope.

Wolf re-introduction may be on the Colorado ballot in 2020.
Posted in Colorado, ecology, Poems, politics, wolves | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Fall in the High Country

Summer in the Colorado mountains lasted precisely until the fall equinox.  Then a cool wind began to blow, heralding the new season’s arrival.  These pictures were taken that weekend.

Seasons change quickly at 9,000 feet.  Three weeks later, the leaves are mostly gone, the wind is more chill, and winter’s darker tones predominate.  Far be it from me to complain about winter.  I celebrate it now.  It’s our lifeline to planetary health.  Long and hard and moist may it reign.

Posted in Colorado, earth, Nature | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Secret Code of Wildlife Managers

Crack the Code

In wildlife management’s secret code
camouflage words disguise the deed
mask the act
seek to fool with false cover:

kill becomes “cull”;
“harvest” hides the slaughter;
“remove” cloaks the crushing destruction;
“service” conceals an utter annihilation.Bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars
and foxes by the millions
pay the price on public land
pay with their lives for human
intolerance, fear, and greed
and a nightmare vision of mission

Posted in Colorado, Department of the Interior, ecology, Nature, Poems, politics, wolves | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

You Will Meet Again

You Will Meet Again

You will meet again —

perhaps in a whale pod,
where a companion reminds you
of someone dear you cannot recall

perhaps as a wolf cub
with a wrestling sister
who triggers a faintly familiar cellular response

perhaps as a dust mote,
when sunlight strikes you
into blaze

perhaps in an exploding star
whose remnants collide in
near-empty space

You will meet again —

perhaps a sound’s hint
perhaps an eye’s mild gaze
will point the way to the buried brain place

part of you will wonder
part of you will know
part of you will drift by
in blindly fierce bliss.

Posted in Poems | Tagged , | 2 Comments