Sunday, March 7, 2021

Guest Post: Teens Create Portable, Solar-Powered Tent for the Homeless

Teens Create Portable, Solar-Powered Tent for the Homeless February 23, 2021 by Cathy Stack San Fernando, CA - A team of 12 teenage girls have invented a portable, solar-powered tent.

Their inspiration for the ambitious and innovative project was the growing problem of homelessness in their community. Improving the lives of homeless individuals and addressing their daily struggles with a lack of shelter and privacy was their guiding goal. They set out to create a highly durable, water-resistant tent that offered more air, light, sanitation, privacy, and a cell phone charging station.

https://www.passiton.com/passiton-blog/31-teens-create-portable-solar-powered-tent-for The team consists of San Fernando high school students who have had no formal engineering training, only a compelling desire to help their community. The students teamed up with a nonprofit organization called DIY Girls which supports girls in science, technology and engineering. Team members learned new skills ranging from coding and 3-D printing to sewing and soldering. They also taught themselves how to plan, print and assemble a product to complete the tent’s prototype.

America Hernandez and Casandra Salazar, two team members, decided to participate in the design and engineering project to help make a difference. “We decided that homelessness was something that was growing in our community and it was something that not a lot of people focus on,” commented America. The long hours and dedication required did not deter the students. “Since this project was meant for other people, we did feel more motivated,” added Casandra.

There are many state-of-the art features and design elements that make the tent unique. It is made to be both portable and lightweight. It neatly folds into a rolling backpack to make it convenient to travel with. The tent’s interior is equipped with lights, a pair of USB ports, and one micro-USB port specially powered by solar energy. The solar power is used to charge electronic devices, provide light and sanitize the tent’s interior.

Now that the prototype is complete, the team aspires to get their invention patented and mass distributed to the homeless population. The team also hopes their invention can eventually aid many different displaced people around the world, such as refugees.

Pass It On and The Foundation for a Better Life is highly impressed with these young innovators who identified and worked to resolve a problem in their community using their own skills and intellect. They are a great example of the value of Teamwork. As a team, they experienced the empowering feeling of witnessing how their combined skills could be put to good use to improve the world. Please help us honor these young heroes by sharing their inspiring story.

Watch video here: https://youtu.be/wddoKEicmio

Please tell us about your everyday Hero. The Heroes among us are ordinary people whose actions leave a lasting and positive impact in their communities and demonstrate the potential in all of us. Their heroic acts uphold our shared values. Help honor these individuals by creating a billboard and sharing their story at: http://www.passiton.com/your-billboards/create

Sign Up to The Foundation for a Better Life PassItOn blog to be inspired: http://www.passiton.com/passiton-blog

PASS IT ON®

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Pebbled Poems of Spring

Flighting Surprise

In my morning mug
Cold milk, washed blue berries
Dark and delicious
Lay waiting for another swig

Wait; what’s that?
Adhering--a wispy white feather

Or more briefly:

flighting surprise

in my morning mug—
adhering to wet blue berries
a wispy white feather

--

humming attack

wearing my fiery red shirt
for Christmas, I open our
sliding glass door;
sudden jolt in front
of my startled face--
a flash of feathers hum-buzzes,
darts within inches of me;

but away it flits left
back to that flowering bush
along our fence--
me a reject

--







side of the road

gray shadowed mail box
overwhelmed green, red-purple
bloomed jungle wonder








--

Twilight: Crossing Shimmering Streams into Dusk and Stars


--

fall back to autumn

treetops blazing gold
with the last light of this day--
we lift our eyes

--Dan Wilcox

In the Light

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Part #2: Prayer and Fishhooks

Prayer and Fishhooks*

Our third daughter, Hope, learned-disabled early, Struggling with the squiggles and numeric symbols

Of unseen realities, of knowing, that set the stars In motion and our human minds in transition.

How dangerous those fish-hooked praying supplications

Her childish zest died while, as her father and provider, I practiced disabling late, raised to belief's unreason

In the rigid way of Huck's Miss Watson, so stubborn In righteous doctrine, ignoring our doctor's suggestion, Not giving Hope medication, but certain in literal petition.

How dangerous those fish-hooked praying supplications

So I prayed time-round-the-three for our daughter's minded healing, But just like gullible Finn and his never-gotten fishhooks,

Hope got none, and I— doubt, ill-gotten mishap, and bilge, Eventually lessening into cynicism, the wounded death Of an ash-filled, but empty-petitioning/requesting mouth.

How dangerous those fish-hooked praying supplications

Yet unlike Huck, to this day I keep reeling out petitions, Focusing like the Widow (Huck's other guardian),

On heartened prayer, the learning of spiritual gifts; But not even the gentle fish lures of patience

And boundless joy ever ripple my faithless way; I, too, become the lost orphan in the dying of trust.

How dangerous those fish-hooked praying supplications

No longer a fisher of miracles in the doubtful churning, Of the endless surging views of oceans seven

The world round, I struggle between trust And reason, earnest but lost in cruel confusion

Fearing those extremes — nihilistic negation And fishy delusion — doubting all to a hellish end.

How dangerous those fish-hooked praying supplications

Still rises the good news of caring medicine: Briefly free of false hooks, we gave our dear Hope,

So dead to minded school, the late prescription And she was upward raised, yes, recovering soon A zest for learning — early for her, way late for me –

How wondrous thoughtful reason-decided invocations

Except to say the real hook of it all is that True knowing is not gulping barbs of pious deceit,

Nor being gilled or gulled into the dying of truth, But yearning and learning — like Descartes and Kant

Of old — finding in humble, reasoned trust The poetry and prose of spiritual growth, A Godly way of reasoned becoming,

How wondrous thoughtful reason-based deliberations

--Dan Wilcox

First published in The Centrifugal Eye then in the published poetry collection, Psalms, Yawps, and Howls

-- *From Huck Finn: “Well I got a good going-over in the morning from old Miss Watson on account of my clothes; but the widow she didn't scold, but only cleaned off the grease and clay, and looked so sorry that I thought I would behave awhile if I could. Then Miss Watson she took me in the closet and prayed, but nothing come of it."

"She told me to pray every day, and whatever I asked for I would get it. But it warn't so I tried it. Once I got a fish-line, but no hooks. It warn't any good to me without hooks."

"I tried for the hooks three or four times, but somehow I couldn't make it work. By and by, one day, I asked Miss Watson to try for me, but she said I was a fool. She never told me why, and I couldn't make it out no way."

"I set down one time back in the woods, and had a long think about it. I says to myself, if a body can get anything they pray for...why can't the widow get back her silver snuffbox that was stole? Why can't Miss Watson fat up?"

"No, says I to myself, there ain't nothing in it. I went and told the widow about it, and she said the thing a body could get by praying for it was "spiritual gifts." This was too many for me, but she told me what she meant -- I must help other people, and do everything I could for other people, and look out for them all the time, and never think about myself."

"This was including Miss Watson, as I took it. I went out in the woods and turned it over in my mind a long time, but I couldn't see no advantage about it -- except for the other people; so at last I reckoned I wouldn't worry about it any more, but just let it go."

"Sometimes the widow would take me one side and talk about Providence in a way to make a body's mouth water; but maybe next day Miss Watson would take hold and knock it all down again."

"I judged I could see that there was two Providences, and a poor chap would stand considerable show with the widow's Providence, but if Miss Watson's got him there warn't no help for him any more."

"I thought it all out, and reckoned I would belong to the widow's if he wanted me, though I couldn't make out how he was a-going to be any better off then than what he was before, seeing I was so ignorant, and so kind of low-down and ornery.”

Wise words of yearning and learning from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Samuel L. Clemens

-- In the Light of Hope and Reason,

Yearning and Learning, Trust and Skepticism,

Ideals and Science, Imagination and Fact...

Dan Wilcox

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Musing about Prayer, the Exacting Scientific Study, and Reality

Does prayer change things as the famous aphorism claims?

Does God literally answer petitionary prayer—everything from requests for a parking place to the healing of severe disease to defeating the enemy in war?
Fifteen years ago, an exhaustive scientific study was done on praying for heart surgery patients with a grant from the religious Templeton Foundation.

Sadly, from a religious point of view, unfavorable results of study occurred in 52 percent of those who received prayer, 51 percent of those who did not receive it, and the worst results for 59 percent of patients who knew they would receive prayers.

“There were no statistically significant differences in major complications or thirty-day mortality.” Wikipedia and Harvard Gazette, "Prayers don't help heart surgery patients; Some fare worse when prayed for"

But some raise the important question is prayer meant to be an action looking for literal results?

Most theists would say so including famous philosopher and science writer Michael Gardner, a theistic skeptic, cofounder of the modern Skeptic Movement. When it comes to miracles, Gardner disdains belief in those supernatural events, what he calls the superstitious “finger of God,” but Gardner argues for the reality of prayer!

In his book The Why’s of a Philosophical Scrivener Gardner states that petitionary prayer is real and true. He agrees with fundamentalists, creedal Christians, Muslim, Orthodox Jews that humans can literally petition God for help.

Most Atheists emphasize the exact opposite, that all prayer is a severe delusion.

This is in contrast to a third view of prayer best expressed in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Huck Finn is told by the Fundamentalist Ms.Watson that prayer works, so he sets about praying for fish hooks.

But none come. He waits longer, still none come. Huck is keenly disappointed—down right angry--and tells the Widow Douglas so. She gently corrects his confusion, telling him he has misunderstood the true nature of prayer.

Widow Douglas emphasizes that prayer isn’t for getting what we want, even if we are asking for something good.

Then what in heck is the nature of prayer? According to the Widow Douglas, prayer is for moral and spiritual uplift!

But is that so?

Maybe the Widow Douglas was right—that the true nature of religion is spiritual, not literal at all. Consider even the simple prayer of grace, that form of prayer that many religious humans say before eating supper where they thank God for their food. Or goodnight prayers with little children.

If we look at the actual situation of prayer at the dinner table, we see that God has had literally nothing to do with the getting of the food on the family’s plates. The parents at the table have gone to Wal-Mart and purchased salmon, green beans, and wheat bread from money they earned working 50 or 60 hours a week as engineers, clerks, or mechanics; the store owners have bought the seafood from ocean boats and produce from farmers; the farmers have planted and harvested the crops, and the fishers have gone out into the wild Pacific and caught the salmon, etc.

So where does God fit into the equation?

The answer is a spiritual one as Widow Douglas said. For example, the famous German thinker Fredrich Schleiermacher wrote that religion is a transcendent experience, a total abandonment to, and reliance on the Infinite.

God is the ultimate, infinite source of the meal, even though he doesn’t literally do a single action to bring it to the evening table. No, God isn’t literally in the business of growing corn, finding parking places or supplying fish hooks, healing diseases, etc. unlike what most humans think.

Rather, prayer is transcendent communion with the Ultimate, a sense of union with the Source of all, the Ground of all Being.

How many times have we humans said grace at meals, prayed for loved ones, etc. and felt uplifted and united!

The number is probably almost endless; and there are the countless prayers for individuals living in tragic circumstances, world crises, and prayers for our own spiritual growth.

PRAYER CHANGES US, not bad situations or terrible circumstances.

We humans in prayer can become more humanistic beings given to loving others as ourselves, even our enemies as Jesus, Martin Luther King, and othe wise leaders have stated.

But Huck and most people aren’t impressed with such an view. What they want are fish hooks, healing from diseases, success in their careers, and so forth.
Becoming more loving, kind, generous, and patient is, granted, nice but a real let down.

Literalism has its hooks in most of us, either believers or disbelievers.

To be continued

Dan Wilcox

Friday, January 29, 2021

IF Not putting Our Selves FIRST...

If NOT putting itself First, What Is One of the Central Purposes of a Nation, our nation the U.S.A., every nation?

One of the central purposes of a nation is BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS, ESPECIALLY THOSE IMPOVERISHED, PERSECUTED, OPPRESSED, MISTREATED...

A nation exists NOT to put itself FIRST.

contrary to what former President Trump claims and multimillions of Americans including 81% of Evangelical Christians still believe.

A nation can protect its citizens NOT by building huge walls, NOT by demonizing refugees, NOT by being self-centered.

In the Light of compassion, generosity, hope, and help,

Dan Wilcox

Sunday, January 24, 2021

THE WAYS of a Philosophical Journeyer and Mariner...tacking into the Storm of Life

Many thousands of speeches have passed through my ears and countless millions of pages of writing into my eyes to be mentally swallowed, digested, and then later chewed like the proverbial cud of a skinny cow;-).

True some of all this ingestion, I couldn’t stomach, and spit out rapidly. Sometimes even metaphorically vomited. Other learning was so boring I forgot it before I heard it. But some writing/ideas/themes/worldviews/life-stances stuck inside me like the words of the speaker of Ecclesiastes spoke of over 2,500 years ago, that wisdom is like spikes hammered deep into one’s psyche, truths so powerful they keep inundating one’s mind.

One such speech* I heard online several years ago concerned how we humans hold to what we think is true, what levels describe our way of living. In the brilliant talk the speaker described the various levels of perception from the superficial to those inner bone deep commitments and convictions, to the deepest heart of convincement.

Here’s my own very different adaption of this:

Notions: I am very “low-church” when it comes to traditions. I get next to nothing out of ritual, liturgy, repetition, tradition, hierarchies, etc. IF it had been my choice, I would have gotten married on the beach or in the mountains with a few brief words of romantic love and a few attenders and would have skipped months of planning and a formal service. I was one of the early “Jesus people.” I find nothing meaningful in formal church services, following liturgies, religious holy days, orders of service, etc. Instead, I like creative Christian rock music, lots of unexpected action, change, dramatic sermons with visual illustrations, churches that meet in shopping malls, not in old traditional buildings, etc.

But all of these preferences are just notions, personal likes, enjoyments. I could easily leave them behind if need be. And I realize that multi-millions of other humans find great meaning in traditions, liturgies, and rituals.

Opinions: The liberal Friends-Quakers and some liberal Anabaptists seem the closest to what is true morally and spiritually. But if a moral leader could show me there was another human group or organization that was closer to the Truth, I would change immediately.

Speculations: Based on many years of studying philosophy, theology, religous and secular history, geology, anthropology, biology, cosmology, etc., I agree with some famous scientists and scholars who think that God is Ultimate PROCESS, not Ultimate Substance.

That makes the most sense to my understanding. But it’s all educated speculation. How can any human possibly know or understand the ONE who spangled the Cosmos into becoming before Time?

Beliefs: I believe theism is true, and atheism completely false, that democracy is the best form of government and that democratic capitalism (with restraints) is the best form of economy.

However, I am not a creedal person, am not a Republican or a Democrat, never believed in the Christian Creeds, even though I was a devout Christian for 55 years, serving at times as a Baptist youth minister, elder, Bible teacher, mission worker, etc.

I grew up in a non-creedal denomination: American Baptist. We were concerned primarily with accepting Jesus as our Leader and Deliverer, and then living for him daily, following his moral truths.

However, these are only beliefs, meaning that I hold them moderately.

Beliefs come and they go. As far as I can see, all of them or the vast majority of them have only moderate impact on day to day living.

Convictions: Those values one holds/trusts in/lives by/views so deep one would die for them.

For instance, I think and trust that Moral Realism is true—

that meticulous honesty in medicine, science, criminal justice, journalism, etc. is very important, that slavery, abuse, slaughter, prejudice, racism, etc. are always wrong.

That all humans have the capability to create and to choose among alternatives, to make (LFW) real choices by using their conscious awareness, their reason, their creativeness. That all humans are morally responsible and capable of seeking what is true, good, just, and beautiful.

If these convictions were proven wrong, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I wouldn’t know how to live at all. I suppose I would then say, “Even if Altruism, Mercy, Kindness, Cherishing, Generosity, Patience, Meekness, Humbleness, Honesty, Equality, aren't true, they SHOULD BE, OUGHT TO BE.

That’s how deep this conviction is within me.

SEEKING WHAT IS TRUE, GOOD, JUST, AND BEAUTIFUL is Life’s blood.

In the Light,

Dan Wilcox

*Allusion to the philosophical autobiography of the theist and skeptic Martin Gardner

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Color Me Fiery Intense Red

Color Me Fiery Intense Red

As a kid, expressive, creative, rambunctious, something of a wild card long into adulthood I loved vibrant Green-- for abundant life, for exuberant energy, vividly alive for beauty like in colors, emerald or jade,

for the natural world from creek to patch of woods behind our house on the edge of Adams village, to verdant forest green glens of the Sierras, Sequoia and Yosemite

But-- then, suddenly, unexpectedly, without conscious why; spontaneous, impulsively one day in middle life, I awoke not liking green anymore… viewing green instead as dull, insipid, sickening, repetitious, odd, over-done, humdrum...

Color me fiery Red--riveting, intense, striking sparks of light cardinal, crimson, scarlet burst into my eyes and consciousness —passionate, dazzling, blazing, heated, different...

as in exploding firework sky rockets, as pulsing red coals in a bonfire,

as an amazing psychedelic quilt by my sweetheart, like an Impressionistic painting, luminous in our house to ruby red lava in Hawaii’s volcano, intense sunsets, and Utah’s red rock

Red forever

--Dan Wilcox

Friday, January 15, 2021

The Great Barrier Reef of Human Moral Realism

At about 7 or 8, I awoke to moral consciousness and responsibility, alive and mentally kicking; then sometimes affirmed, sometimes regretting, sometimes guilty, crying and thinking, atop a huge barrier reef that first began hundreds of thousands of years in humankind’s/our human species’ past history, back to the dawn of consciousness and moral awareness!

In many ways waking to moral consciousness for every human kid is like new coral life at the top of the great physical barrier reef off the coast of Australia. The tiny new coral lives atop all the accomplishments of millions of coral who lived before it.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest structure made by living organisms. It can even be seen from outer space.

In a similar sense, our present ethics/morality including human rights, fairness, equality, justice, compassion exist atop previous growths in ethics dating back through the many centuries and many millennia, back to the dawn of human time.

To temporarily change analogies, as kids growing up in southeastern Nebraska, we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to play with our movable toys. We came to consciousness of wheels as a given, that ability/method having been discovered/invented over 7,000 years before.

In a similar sense, each generation of young humans don’t have to create basic moral rules such as be fair, don’t harm, don’t lie, don’t steal, and show kindness, tell the truth, be generous...

That doesn’t mean that every child will live by or up to those rules, just like humankind’s universal ability of language doesn’t mean that every child will do exceptionally well at speaking a particular language. Other factors can weigh in—physical problems, abuse, dysfunction, and so forth.

Sometime way back in the past, when human consciousness reached a certain state of being/becoming, such basic moral rules came into conscience, became an ought for everyone. (Exactly how humans came to moral consciousness doesn’t concern us here—that’s a whole other article. Nor do the many aberrations in human history--when immoral individuals, dysfunctional families, and twisted societies distort, even try and reverse the basic moral code).

When we reach an age of moral awareness, the new sense of “ought” comes to us based upon many thousands of years of human history. Most thinkers posit this happens to children about the age of 7, give or take a year or 2.

Very small children, of course, respond to admonishments when it comes to sharing, not harming, etc., but they probably don’t have a strong enough sense of personal “I” within a social group to consciously sense the “ought” as a universal moral code. Instead, they are mainly seeking to please their parents who care for and protect them.

And, at times, they spontaneously share, care, hug, etc., but they can also spontaneously do the opposite, too.

By the time I was 11, my deep sense of the ethical rules, the oughts, not only led me to ask forgiveness and to consciously change wrong behavior, it also led to an acute awareness of how the “moral reef” I found myself on, a part of, was, too, strangely and incoherently, at times inconsistent, and contradictory. Huge gaps existed, dangerous abysses, immoral quagmires put forth as oughts.

For instance, at that young age, I was shocked and morally repulsed when our Sunday School teacher said God had sent bears to attack some kids who had teased the prophet Elisha for having a bald head!

WHAT?! How grievously immoral and unjust! Why would the Bible, the book we were supposed to believe claim that God would do such an unfair, harmful act?

Then 2 or 3 years later I struggled with the Bible's promotion of slavery. How could the Bible—one source from which we got our moral views--condone and insist on slavery as a worthy institution!? How could Scripture in many places, (and Christians later in history and now), justify lying, stealing, killing, and claiming to own humans like tools such as their rake or hammer?

Why did nearly all Christians, Jews, and Muslims agree with this biblical view for hundreds of years?

Later I came across other horrific texts in the Bible. Such as this in the Psalms: "How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock." (Psalm 137:9).

From then on, my sensitive conscience--sitting atop that great moral reef of millions of humans who came before my brief time--struggled to understand these contradictions I saw in Scripture and in Christians and others.

Aren’t these clear contradictions chasmic ‘defaults’ at least in my particular area of the deep time moral reef?

Not so argue Christian/Islamic/Jewish/Hindu-New Age/Nontheistic thinkers.

Most Atheists claim that all ethics are "subjective," "relative," "personal/cultural preferences" which change from time to time, and culture to culture. They are only a human construct, not real.

So sometimes acts considered immoral, or even evil are necessary to protect the moral code and civilization itself. For example, they agree with the British leader Winston Churchill who stated, "In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies."

While other nations--our enemies--ought to be condemned for acts of torture and the slaughter of civilians, if we choose to torture or kill civilians that isn't wrong but is good. What counts is our survival.

Millions of Christians argue from a nominalist philosophical view--the Divine Command view of ethics and Ultimate Reality. Not lying, not stealing, not harming—such demanding ethical rules aren’t eternally true.

Rather, whatever God wills/decides is what is true for humans. God is free to change the moral code anytime he sees fit to do so. If anyone doubts this, who does the individual think God is?!

In other words, for most creedal Christians (Augustinians, Reformed, etc.), God doesn't have an innate eternal ethical center/essence, but is totally sovereign, totally eternal "will" who only acts when it is for his glory and “good pleasure.”

Many Jews state that G-d created evil in the beginning! They base their view on Bible verses such as "I form the light, and create the darkness. I make peace, and create evil. I the LORD do all these things." (Isaiah 45:7)

Muslims believe Allah wills/ordains every good and every evil action and causes all horrific natural disasters. IF it happens, then Allah wills it.

For Hindus and modern New Age thinkers, Brahma causes both good and evil to exist. "God created both because both are needed. God is in the evil as much as in the good." How to Know God by Deepak Chopra

One instance of this denial of objective, universal ethics came from our Christian youth leader at a Bible study when I was 17 in 1963. He claimed and tried to convince us, based on stories in the Old Testament, that sometimes God will order us to commit immoral acts.

When, shocked and morally horrified, I spoke up and strongly disagreed, he told me personally that God was calling me to do what appears to be immoral!

According to such Christian leaders, God does as he pleases and does what will bring him the most glory. They then proceed to give examples of how God led "his people" to lie, steal, enslave, and kill in Scripture, despite the fact that these were prohibited in the 10 Commandments.

How can we human make sense of this reef madness;-)?

Is the great barrier reef of the moral code unreliable, relative, temporary, changeable?

Do the reverses which occurred during the immoral actions of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st show that ethics are subjective preferences no different than whether or not a person/society likes or dislikes the color red?

Was the Chinese practice of binding little girls' feet for a thousand years only a cultural/social preference? Neither right nor wrong?

Is the ritual of female mutilation of little girls in Islamic countries a valid religious practice? Over 85% of Egyptian parents until recently supported female mutilation as good!

What’s your thoughts on this difficult issue?

Is the moral code reef of homo sapiens a subjective construct or as real as the Great Barrier Reef?

In the Light,

Dan Wilcox

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Tails of the New Cat and the Old Mouse

Another homeless cat has adopted us the last few weeks:-) We're calling him Cinder. He's all black on top and sides, with white paws and underbelly. In honor of this new owner of us...here's a poem I wrote for another black cat that owned us a few years back, Zorro:-)

The Tails of the Cat and the Mouse

Beneath my hand the smooth mouse moves, gray and black, Its long, fibered tail swishing this and that way While I, its master, move it around. Sometimes Its corded tail catches on the keyboard tray; Perhaps I ought to buy a tailless fastback.

So goes the tail of the cat and the mouse.

My feline master, Zorro, is at the door; The living tux, white-fronted and black-masked Slinks in to claim my lap, his throne. Having just Fed himself, the cat yowls and demands a task From me. I had been working—but no more.

So swishes the tail of the cat and the mouse.

One hand's fingers peck at the disarranged Glyphs of black and white upon the keyboard; The other strokes his black crown and white jaw, And the mouse again to add more to the hoard Of text that slowly scrolls down the white page.

So curls the tail of the cat and the mouse.

Zorro, in command, sees all; the furry sphinx Adjusts his paws as I move his seat (my knees), And tracks the pad-bound motion of my mouse. Sometimes he lays a white paw on the keys; Then jumbled text appears -- a real screen jinx.

So twists the tail of the cat and the mouse.

The mouse and I, we know who holds the power; My feline Lord meows imperiously Demanding my attention, all at once. What else have I to do but serve? So he Leaps down with tailed pride from his catnap hour.

So waves the tail of the cat and the mouse.

Impatient and commanding, Zorro stands Begrudging time I spend to clear the screen. I open the door; the king of cats takes leave While my obedient mouse sits, quite serene. The jungle tale, not tech, surely rules my hands.

So ends the tail of the cat and the mouse.

--Daniel Wilcox

First published at Anthrozine