Monday, November 20, 2023

Review of The LAST CALL: RISE and FALL of PROHIBITION--1870 to 1933 by Daniel Okrent

A meticiulous, highly detailed accounting of how PROHIBITION came about along with other Reform movements in during that dramatic, controversial, and tragic period of time. What odd bedfellows though.

The huge effort to ban the importation, making, and using of acoholic beverages in the U.S. came about along with the Progressive era efforts at Moral Uplift by government force, for the restricing of immigration of eastern Europeans (Italians, Poles, Slavs, etc.), and Asians, Jews, and so on, many efforts to 'clean-up' corrupt government, attacks against other modern reform movements...

And, weirdly, a very strong support for the Ku Klux Klan (since it also was against alcoholic drinks, Roman Catholics, Jews, Blacks... The 1920's beginning in about 1914, there was an incredible 20thc century rise of that racist organization! The KKK was strongly
supported by Methodists, Baptists, even some Quakers (such as a large Quaker meeting in Indiana, where the lead pastor, a woman, invited about 30 white-robed KLANSMEN to the front of the meeting house!)

Of course, even President Woodrow Wilson supported Jim Crow laws! As a southener, when he came to power, he quickly SEGREGATED the Federal Government and soon violated 'freedom of speech' rights, etc.

Very strange. If you want to understand how all of this could happen, read this tragic very suspenseful 60-year history, The Last Call by Daniel Okrent.


Will You Back Me Or Booze?” Propaganda Poster; with a photo of New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach, right, watching agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of Prohibition
Women’s Holy War, published by Currier & Ives, 1874, via Library of Congress, Washington D.

Before settinly into weeks of intense reading, I had already known quite a bit about Prohibition.
But I very quickly learned how little I actully knew of the specifics--how it came about, of why it happened, and of why it so woefully failed--the only time an admendment to the Constitution was later repealed!

Another shocking

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Door of HOPE, Gaza Children's music video 8 years ago; Warring M.E. leaders need to stop and seek that hope Now!
Lyrics: "...With forgiveness and a big heart we eliminate darkness
no matter how long it lasts
Together we overcome hardships
and the hearts are comforted with love,
We light our ways with goodness,
it's within us and we are the torch."

"Inspired by the children at the Child Friendly Spaces in Gaza, the idea to compose a song and create a music video was put together in order to emphasize the importance of hope, peace and a better future for children in Palestine.

Forty children from the CFSs sponsored by the Government of Germany, with the help of seven staff members, worked together on writing the lyrics, composing the music and designing the choreography for the music video. This music video is a testament to the resilience of the children in Gaza and their love for life."

World Vision Gaza had to be paused because the right-wing government of Israel falsely accused the WV leader of Gaza of terrorism!

World Vision has been working in the Holy Land since 1975 serving the poor and marginalized and is committed to advocating for the improved well-being of children as well as empowering Palestinian and Israeli voices that advocate for peace and justice. World Vision is currently working in Jerusalem, West Bank."


Work in the Light of Peace, Justice, Equality, and Human Rights, Daniel Wilcox

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Concerning the Crisis in Gaza and Southern Palestine-Israel--TRAGIC!

This short meditation on GAZA and Palestine-Israel was written 15 years ago during another war:-(

But, here now, in the 21st century, both sides are even more extremist, more self-centered, prideful, intolerant, unjust, war-gung-ho, abusive, dismissive of civilians' lives--all in the name of orthodox Judaism and orthodox Islam or at least cultural religion...

Please stand up for the True and the Compassionate when it comes to Palestine/Israel,
where the slaughtering by both sides is punishing the innocent as well as the guilty.

Photo of Ramallah Friends School
Hold all people in the Light.

The whole situation of Palestine/Israel in the last 150 years is so very convoluted and complicated.

NO ONE has any quick answers or solutions for the extremely complex tragedy.


The ultimate irony is that both the Palestinians and the Israelis genetically come from the same ancient peoples of the region!
What divides these multi-millions of haters isn't biological but religious and political and cultural.

It was tragic when I lived in Palestine/Israel in 1974, worked on a Jewish kibbutz, stayed briefly with a Palestinian Muslim family who befriended me in Nablus. And for many years since, I've followed the daily news there and read many books from the perspective of both sides.

Please support some of the groups that seek to bring light and reconciliation there-- the Quaker/Friends School in Ramallah, Palestine for the last 100 years.

And in the past, Christian Peacemaker Teams and Brother Andrew's involvement in bringing Jew and Palestinian Muslim together, even going to HAMAS to share his perspective with its leaders (when the government of Israel had dumped them midwinter into Lebanon years ago.

Support Eli Chacour a Palestinian/Israeli Palestinian priest who shares the true, the good, the kind, the just with both warring sides. Chacour has worked with and started a school/university for all peoples of the area--Christian, Muslim, Druse, and Jew. He has also befriended seculaerists and non-theists.

That is a start.

Here are several books that might assist in helping everyone to better (and more historically accurate) understand the complexity, hatred, intolerance, of the area:

Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life by Sari Nusseibeh and Anthony David

Blessed are the Peacemakers
by the former assistant mayor
of Ramallah, Audeh Rantisi who co-wrote it along with Ralph Beebe of George Fox University and Northwest Yearly Meeting.

Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour
We Belong to the Land by Elias Chacour

Chacour's father, a Palestinian Christian said that they needed to love
the Jews (when the Jews were escaping lethal violence in Russia and Europe to the M.E.).

Yet later
the Israeli army kidnapped him and Chacour's brother
and dumped them in a foreign country.

Then the Israeli Army blew up
their Palestinian Catholic church and drove all of the Palestinians
out of their homes and town.

The Israeli government has never allowed Chacour and other Palestinians to come back to their home.

Yet Chacour still shows love to the Jewish people, and to Muslims, Druze, and all others.

Sounds like the "Lamb's War--a war of love, justice, and peace! --the only war worth having.

Peace in the LIGHT--the Caring, the Good, the True, the Just,

Dan Wilcox

Thursday, November 9, 2023

selah river: Poems of reflection, remembrance, transcendence

"I've known soul has grown deep like the rivers."* Langston Hughes

Yes, travel rivers of the world
and rivers of the soul
and rivers of the mind.


Presence transcends

Drowned in family tragedy, despairing, distraught--
that morning earlier;
thus down encumbered,
he came to Quaker meeting, but not speaking
of his family’s severe circumstance, kept hidden;

But in the midst
of open expectant communion, Transcendent Light
shown forth in a stranger’s sudden
a cappella spiritual chorus--
a deep songing deepening within;
intense meaning lifted us gathered in communion--
vivid encouraging Hope;

That sacred chorus didn’t take away our shattered glass
lives, nor end many distraught
circumstances and tragedies--
Oh, what Hope fulled within.

--Dan Wilcox

a beachcomber of Beauty

a why-ing kid
with go-vision eyes stretching and out,
meandering rocky-rubble farm roads
and roaming over creeks, through timber strands,
brief forest, and out across pasture lands--

I discovered beautiful bits and lumps that matter
--pebbles, stones, and rocks
(especially when wet)
and odd ugly ones, to boot
on fun nature hikes
wide-eyed adventures--
outside of our minor village
in 50’s southeast Nebraska;

Put those bright objects, small hunks, in my pockets
where they lay heavy
or in my overloaded baggish hands,
carrying them home,
my free treasures of early/pre-youth

enlarging my throng of wonder
in my pine-walled basement room--
Yes, I became a rock-mongrel mutt;

And later found others, mostly bits of minerals,
my boyhood keepers
in the Black Hills, Rockies, Sierras,
and a small chunk of copper ore
from an open pit mine in Bisbee, Arizona,

and a few parched white bones from
a long-ago bison jump
near Lame Dear, Montana.

I became a boarder of pebbles, quartzes, feldspars, agates,
granite bits, and mica, sea-glass, iron pirate,
and who-know unknowns,
and fascinating shells and other sea life from 3 coasts--

a life-long beachcomber of minor Beauty,
a voyager through this washed-up-n-down of life,
Adrift explorer, searcher, curious wanderer.

But now in receding elder age, mutated
by a stroke of bad luck,
I hesitently hobble about with a rolling walker alone
along Pismo sand dunes and Morro Rock shores
still searching, seeking for more special riff-raff,
to add to my ‘treasured things,’
our rooms’ shelves;

Here they still lay waiting
inert for another
I/It encounter...

Oh, the aesthetic depth of minor things,
bits that matter which sometime
into present

Yes, objects of beauty that exist in Deep Time...

In not too many years,
I will leave them behind;
and those long-enduring things will
exist others of the future.

And this long rumination of my life-long collections
Reminds me of a pebbled thought of beauty for present living--

We humans get washed up
on this shore of existence,
surrounded and crowded

by things and circumstances
we didn’t choose--

We all get roughed down and polished by adversity…

But the wonder of our human brain’s neural plasticity--
is we all get to choose
how we respond to life’s circumstances,
harsh trials, and horrific tragedies--

Yes, until our death, we get to create anew
Each moment,
If only briefly
What has washed up on your shore today?
What beautiful pebbled moment of wonder?
Or what irritant, ache, troubling circumstance, or tragedy
has gotten lodged in your
oyster mind and heart?

What can you do to turn this troubled moment into a precious

-Dan Wilcox

Awake at dawn

upending my camping mug
for a drink,
at dawn,
but no water slurp;
almost empty--

except for a gray web’s net
rim to rim;
below, a dark spider
silent dwelling

Retreaded, not yet board and carded

I’m retreaded but road-tired,
Rolling across cantankerous land
Though, thank heavens—knock around
On pavement
And redwood,
Not yet sent off to a ‘board and card’ mansion,

You know where decks and bingo
“Was a dog…” chips or
Define the tokened measures of your/our life--

Or where, too
Reclining and breathing entertain you/us.

Or tipped-wobbly with 4-wheels and unfeeling-ed feet
I walker along the wet sand at Morro Strand beach
Staggering in wonder at this breathtaking coast...
Until my brief spark of awed experience embers out


Reality Ultimately

Meditation on Shimmering Palms

On more days and nights, an invalid,
In pain and loss, I often just want to go...
But then, again, I stare out
To the wind and sun
From our upstairs

There tower above, 2 lone palms
In sight from my weak haven,
Swaying in that blue expanse
In a lively coastal wind,
Their mop-tops of slender fronds
Like flashing magnesium flares
From brilliant reflecting

Those two undulating sentinels dance
over/above my fading consciousness,
Ailing awareness--
A duo/two unconscious guards,
While I lay here filled with sacred
Remembrance, mindful
Of my former festive living,
Becoming, and doing….

Yes, the wonder of being a human primate
Living, but finite, so brief, and this
Gift, this Present
Then we’re gone.

-Dan Wilcox,

FLOATERS--a poetic reflection on autumn and life

I’m spent to despair,
For lost hope yearning,
Tried for years to rescue others
Caught in tangled news hours
Of hellish hate, intolerance, despair,

Wrong right-leftist spinners,
Those creedalists and secularists
Both deniers of the morally real--
Their abyss of modern sheol winter
Abandon this somber cellared lament!

My sweetheart suggests, Let’s visit
A coastal winery,
Say, I do,
We do.

Driving along a winding river valley,
We arrive, expectant,
Hoping for respite;
Then, listening to soft music,
Sipping small glasses of moscato and merlot

Enjoying a glad lackadaisical day,
Mellow and casual,
Light of heart,
Carefree, contented
In California’s autumn’s wonder
Below tall sycamores and elms;

After Thanksgiving before winter;
We bask in 86-degree warmth,
When unexpectedly a slightly curled
Leaf floats down before
My eyes,
And lands gently on my lap,
A died wonder for us to behold;

Then another drifter
Lets go from a large limb above,
A deep rust-brown leaf spattered
With light tan highlights and vein-lines,
Descends in front of us,

Swaying back and forth,
Floating down
Inches away from us,
Landing nearby
On the lawn;

I lay with my head way back,
Gazing up to the sky's azure blue,
As other gifts let go every few moments
From high above,
Swinging wide and gentle,

Falling beauty in slow motion,
Floating, swaying;
I realize—here, now--
With this Present--
I could die free, released.

-Dan Wilcox

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

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 instead--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

A Psalm of Late Life

Pessimist of my oldering years
Preyed upon by lamentable loss
I find no balmy psalms to lyre
But after discovered liars
Only this harp
of yawps and howls,
I pray for transcendence,
​This my modern yelled holler
My psalm of life end's exit
Dance in this sorrowing starred night


bite my teeth on famous lines
a hole lot of fragmented shells;
hunger hollows within--
deepening abyss
of lost longing
lone-ranging, reigning the distance
of a round heartless night

of a round heart-last light
lane-ranging, raining the day-stance
of last longing
steepening a-bless
fulness hallows within--
a whole lot of fragranced shalls;
bide my heart on famous lines

a time for…

in the fall a time for springing
festivals of Monet-splashed leaves
that my sister and I raked and piled high
in the deep ditch in front
and jumped down into,

and our large garden behind the parsonage
with pumpkins, melons, and withered corn rows...
and lightning bugs on the wane,
flashing on and off

full of fall...

bolder utah

utah boulders,
eye widening rock
pastels bold in harvest's sun--
basalt garden wonder

at the park's bat box

my grandson scooping up handfuls
of dust
and swinging it loose--
fogged clouds
lighted by sunshine
that disperse
back to cleated ground


gull wings

gull wings
lightly spraying over gray clod fields
6-year drought--
so 'irrigating'!

Experience the awe-widened beauty of the Columbia Gorge:


Want to be conundrummed? Live in the starbacked night?
Visit Clockwise Cat Poetry Magazine: Klox and Katz Ink Issue, for my two new poems:

Check out a brief poem on summer gloom, a haiku at vox poetica:

Then leave sorrow and war and memory behind. Journey love and romance in "Moon River" at Poetry Pacific.

Need a little bit of humor in the midst of so much human tragedy and political chaos?
Try "The Pullout Coyote" at the fine poetry magazine, vox poetica.
A true but funny poetic story of our encounter with a wild critter in Yosemite last year.

For Daniel's previously published writing visit
Also, check out his new speculative novel, The Feeling of the Earth.

Get caught up in the joys, trials, and tribulations of 3 alienologists who warp into our solar system in 1842.
They become deeply involved and a mutation occurs in the human species. Journey through the years with them to 2074!
Available now at Barnes Noble, local bookstores, libraries, and Amazon.

Deal with the moving film over your eyes in "Film Over Our Eyes."
Is it easier for a camel to go through the eye of a poem....?

Experience Hollywood's wild ire, the roller-coaster excess of youth,
growing up fundamentalist Baptist, all that rollicking rock crazy Oz of the 60's, and Life itself.

There are 3 collections of Daniel's published poems,
Psalms, Yawps, and Howls,
Dark Energy
and selah river.
All 3 areavailable at Amazon, Barnes Noble, local bookstores, and coffee shops.
For Daniel's speculative writing, futuristic poems and stories warp over to

Other websites include

Do a Google sleuth and find washed up pieces of his poetic driftwood on the vast shores of the Internet.

His wild lines have fallen to print in many magazines including vox poetica, Fish Food Magazine, Contemporary American Voices, The Camel Saloon, Ascent Aspirations, Poetry Pacific, Dead Snakes, Paradise Review, The Mindful Word, Enhance Literary and Art Magazine, Knot Middle Eastern Literary Journal, Mouse Tales Press, Mad Swirl, Ancient Paths Literary Magazine,, Front Porch Review, The Greensilk Journal, Bigger Stones, Lyrical Passion Poetry, Eunoia Review, The New Verse News, Decades Review, Quill and Parchment, Poydras Review, Counterexample Poetics, The Copperfield Review, Rubber Lemon,, Poetry Super Highway, Three Line Poetry, The Clockwise Cat, Liturgical Credo, Willows Wept Review, vox poetica, Structo Magazine #4, Four and Twenty, Gloom Cupboard, Clutching at Straws, The Centrifugal Eye, Wild Violet Literary Magazine, Lyrical Passion Poetry, A Handful of Stones, Haiku Journal, Right Hand Pointing, The Bicycle Review, Leaf Garden, The Recusant, Calliope Nerve, Static Movement, Unfettered Verse,,, Word Riot,
Moria Poetry, MediaVirus Magazine, Lunarosity, Hanging Moss Journal, The New Verse News, ocean diamond, The Writer's Eye, Mad Swirl, Abandoned Towers, Writer's Ink, The Scruffy Dog Review, Oak Bend Review, Crossing Rivers Into Twilight, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Cherry Blossom Review, Word Catalyst, The Houston Literary Review, Lucid Rhythms, Identity Theory, Halfway Down the Stairs, Frame Lines, Full of Crow, The Externalist, The Driftwood Review, Western Friend Magazine, Flutter Poetry Journal, Frostwriting, Words-Myth, Ink Sweat Tears, Erbacce Print Journal, Sentinel Poetry Online, The November 3rd Club, the poetry warrior, The Shine Journal, Mississippi Crow Magazine, The Cerebral Catalyst, Anthrozine, Ink, Sweat, & Tears, Stylus Poetry Journal, Idlewheel Literary Friction, The Indite Circle, The Rogue Poetry Journal, The WriteSideUp, La Fenetre International Literary Magazine,The Other Side Magazine, Gambit, etc.

Photographs by Dan and Betsy Wilcox