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Suicide of a Moderate Dictator
By Elizabeth Bishop

This is a day when truths will out, perhaps;
leak from the dangling telephone earphones
sapping the festooned switchboards' strength;
fall from the windows, blow from off the sills,
—the vague, slight unremarkable contents
of emptying ash-trays; rub off on our fingers
like ink from the un-proof-read newspapers,
crocking the way the unfocused photographs
of crooked faces do that soil our coats,
our tropical-wight coats, like slapped-at moths.

Today's a day when those who work
are idling. Those who played must work
and hurry, too, to get it downe,
with little dignity or none.
The newspapers are sold; the kiosk shutters
crash down. But anyway, in the night
the headlines wrote themselves, see, on the streets
and sidewalks everywhere; a sediment's splashed
even to the first floors of apartment houses.

This is a day that's beautiful as well,
warm and clear. At seven o'clock I saw
the dogs being walked along the famous beach
as usual, in a shiny gray-green dawn,
leaving their paw prints draining in the wet.
The line of breakers was steady and the pinkish,
segmented rainbow steadily hung above it.
At eight, two little boys were flying kites.


It was unexpectedly a double-dentist-trip day. Younger son had a long-scheduled orthodontist appointment, and since he had been camping along with older son and in-laws in Pennsylvania, they drove down bright and early and got to the house around 9 a.m. so we could all go off to get his retainer checked. When I went to make an appointment for both boys for their fall cleanings, dreading it because I figured they would have to miss either school or Hebrew school, I learned that there had been a cancellation that very afternoon and I could bring the boys at 5...so I did, since it meant not dealing with bigger hassles later. In between, we all went and picked up [livejournal.com profile] apaulled and went out for Indian buffet at Minerva, the fabulous place I now know has a restaurant in Gaithersburg. In-laws approved (and picked up the tab) and everyone was very happy! Plus we stopped in Borders, which is next door to the dentist, and they had The Da Vinci Enigma Tarot on the bargain rack for $3.99! (Amazon.com has it for $6.99.)

Things I can't deal with: 1) LiveJournal's latest idiocy -- sending terms of service demands to people who had already changed or deleted the "offensive" material in question. 2) Gonzales, one of the biggest crooks in the US, seeking the power to execute people without proper procedure or the opportunity for appeals. 3) The fact that Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, et al are still lying liars and no number of resignations is going to clean up their mess. 4) The fact that leading Democrats Obama and Clinton's campaigning at the moment is about how the other one sucks instead of actual policy. 5) Menstrual cramps. Any questions?

In the midst of the stump of the 450-year-old Wye oak that fell in a storm in 2002, a sapling cultivated from its roots is growing. The building behind it was a one-room schoolhouse for many years.

A dragonfly in the stream that provides the power for the Wye Mill.
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