May 25, 2001

Miscellaneous Subjects 85: 1. A comment + 2. VERMONTY HAUL & GIVING CLIMATE CHANGE THE BYRD + 3. Are we really considering our transportation options? + 4. Time to Remove the Bloodsuckers? + 5. Brazil: Torture and impunity under international spotlight + 6. The Killer in Your Yard + 7. Jaguar Habitat At Risk + 8. HECKLE AND JACKAL + WITH A KNICK-KNACK, SARAWACK & POP THE CORKS & THEY'VE GOT BALLS + 9. WILL EUROPE BAN ASPARTAME? + 10. George W. Bush Statue Committee + 11. Contemplation/Meditation

Hello everyone

This will be my only compilation for this week - aside from the next Meditation Focus to be emailed late Friday night. Of course the biggest news in America today is the official annoucement by U.S. Sen. James Jeffords that he jumps the Republican ship to sit as an independant, thus giving control of the U.S. Senate and all its committees to the Democrats. It remains to be seen if this will actually translate into an actual derailing of much of the ultra-conservative agenda of the corporate-controlled Bush "fossil" administration, but it sure looks like a step in the right direction - see VERMONTY HAUL below.

You may also be interested to review the Media Compilation #10 that I sent 4 days agoto my media lists which is now posted at - especially for a long introductory comment I wrote pertaining to the Middle East crisis which is still going on unabated despite the alleged order by Sharon to his militaries to fire on Palestinians only when they their believe their lives are at risk - according to the BBC tonight, the Israeli soldiers are still firing and killing people as much as before.

Hoping you'll have time to review the material below.

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator


"Stephen Kaplan" <> wrote in a forward about the ERN compilations I prepare:

This newsletter not only covers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict well, it has consistently had excellent material on global warming and the energy crisis. It is one of the best of the peace network newsletters out there.

Thanks Stephen ;-)


Explaining his motivation to leave the Republican Party and become an
Independent, U.S. Sen. James Jeffords (Vt.) this morning listed
"energy and the environment" as two of the "fundamental issues" where
he disagreed most strongly with President Bush. Jeffords is known as
an environmentalist and was one of six founders of the Congressional
Solar Energy Coalition. Reports are that Jeffords will be the next
chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee under an
agreement with the new Democratic leadership. If so, Jeffords, with
an 81 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters in the
last session of Congress (the second highest rating among all
Republicans), would replace Sen. Bob Smith (R-N.H.), who received a 6
percent rating., 24 May 2001

Washington Post, Eric Pianin and Helen Dewar, 24 May 2001

New York Times, Philip Shenon, 24 May 2001

League of Conservation Voters

No where do the words "climate change" or "greenhouse gases" appear
in President Bush's energy plan. A group of 250 scientists is
circulating a letter to the public arguing that it is wrong to shape
an energy policy around coal, oil, and nuclear energy and that
"conservation must be front and center in our energy future." Even
unexpected folks in Congress, like Sen. Robert Byrd, Democrat from
the coal stronghold of West Virginia, are getting fed up with the
Bush administration's head-in-the-sand approach to climate change.
Read more on the Grist Magazine website.

This Just In -- in our Heat Beat section


From: "Steve Horn" <>
Subject: Are we really considering our transportation options?
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001

Hello Jean

A friend of mine sent me a rather interesting quote relative to our
auto-addiction from Edward Tenner, author or "Why things bite back" ....

" By one estimate, the average American spends 1,600 hours a year either
driving or earning the money to support a car, and drives an average of
6,000 miles a year. That works out to about 4 miles traveled per hour
spent -- the equivalent of a normal walking pace."

Just thought it would be of interest to you, and, perhaps, others on the
mailing list.

Steve Horn


From: "Judith Iam" <>
Subject: Fw: Time to Remove the Bloodsuckers?
Date: Fri, 4 May 2001

From: Mike Ferner & Sue Carter <>

Thank goodness we have access to newspapers from abroad. Mike

Subject: [bank-boycott-students] Palast on Stiglitz: Time to Remove the Bloodsuckers?
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001
From: Neil Watkins <>


How crises, failures, and suffering finally drove a Presidential adviser to the wrong side of the barricades

Gregory Palast Sunday April 29, 2001 The Observer (UK)

It was like a scene out of Le Carré: the brilliant agent comes in from the cold and, in hours of debriefing, empties his memory of horrors committed in the name of an ideology gone rotten.

But this was a far bigger catch than some used-up Cold War spy. The former apparatchik was Joseph Stiglitz, ex-chief economist of the World Bank. The new world economic order was his theory come to life.

He was in Washington for the big confab of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. But instead of chairing meetings of ministers and central bankers, he was outside the police cordons. The World Bank fired Stiglitz two years ago. He was not allowed a quiet retirement: he was excommunicated purely for expressing mild dissent from globalisation World Bank-style.

Here in Washington we conducted exclusive interviews with Stiglitz, for The Observer and Newsnight, about the inside workings of the IMF, the World Bank, and the bank's 51% owner, the US Treasury.

And here, from sources unnamable (not Stiglitz), we obtained a cache of documents marked, 'confidential' and 'restricted'.

Stiglitz helped translate one, a 'country assistance strategy'. There's an assistance strategy for every poorer nation, designed, says the World Bank, after careful in-country investigation.

But according to insider Stiglitz, the Bank's 'investigation' involves little more than close inspection of five-star hotels. It concludes with a meeting with a begging finance minister, who is handed a 'restructuring agreement' pre-drafted for 'voluntary' signature.

Each nation's economy is analysed, says Stiglitz, then the Bank hands every minister the same four-step programme.

Step One is privatisation. Stiglitz said that rather than objecting to the sell-offs of state industries, some politicians - using the World Bank's demands to silence local critics - happily flogged their electricity and water companies. 'You could see their eyes widen' at the possibility of commissions for shaving a few billion off the sale price.

And the US government knew it, charges Stiglitz, at least in the case of the biggest privatisation of all, the 1995 Russian sell-off. 'The US Treasury view was: "This was great, as we wanted Yeltsin re-elected. We DON'T CARE if it's a corrupt election." '

Stiglitz cannot simply be dismissed as a conspiracy nutter. The man was inside the game - a member of Bill Clinton's cabinet, chairman of the President's council of economic advisers.

Most sick-making for Stiglitz is that the US-backed oligarchs stripped Russia's industrial assets, with the effect that national output was cut nearly in half.

After privatisation, Step Two is capital market liberalisation. In theory this allows investment capital to flow in and out. Unfortunately, as in Indonesia and Brazil, the money often simply flows out.

Stiglitz calls this the 'hot money' cycle. Cash comes in for speculation in real estate and currency, then flees at the first whiff of trouble. A nation's reserves can drain in days.

And when that happens, to seduce speculators into returning a nation's own capital funds, the IMF demands these nations raise interest rates to 30%, 50% and 80%.

'The result was predictable,' said Stiglitz. Higher interest rates demolish property values, savage industrial production and drain national treasuries.

At this point, according to Stiglitz, the IMF drags the gasping nation to Step Three: market-based pricing - a fancy term for raising prices on food, water and cooking gas. This leads, predictably, to Step-Three-and-a-Half: what Stiglitz calls 'the IMF riot'.

The IMF riot is painfully predictable. When a nation is, 'down and out, [the IMF] squeezes the last drop of blood out of them. They turn up the heat until, finally, the whole cauldron blows up,' - as when the IMF eliminated food and fuel subsidies for the poor in Indonesia in 1998. Indonesia exploded into riots.

There are other examples - the Bolivian riots over water prices last year and, this February, the riots in Ecuador over the rise in cooking gas prices imposed by the World Bank. You'd almost believe the riot was expected.

And it is. What Stiglitz did not know is that Newsnight obtained several documents from inside the World Bank. In one, last year's Interim Country Assistance Strategy for Ecuador, the Bank several times suggests - with cold accuracy - that the plans could be expected to spark 'social unrest'.

That's not surprising. The secret report notes that the plan to make the US dollar Ecuador's currency has pushed 51% of the population below the poverty line.

The IMF riots (and by riots I mean peaceful demonstrations dispersed by bullets, tanks and tear gas) cause new flights of capital and government bankruptcies This economic arson has its bright side - for foreigners, who can then pick off remaining assets at fire sale prices.

A pattern emerges. There are lots of losers but the clear winners seem to be the western banks and US Treasury.

Now we arrive at Step Four: free trade. This is free trade by the rules of the World Trade Organisation and the World Bank, which Stiglitz likens to the Opium Wars. 'That too was about "opening markets",' he said. As in the nineteenth century, Europeans and Americans today are kicking down barriers to sales in Asia, Latin American and Africa while barricading our own markets against the Third World 's agriculture.

In the Opium Wars, the West used military blockades. Today, the World Bank can order a financial blockade, which is just as effective and sometimes just as deadly.

Stiglitz has two concerns about the IMF/World Bank plans. First, he says, because the plans are devised in secrecy and driven by an absolutist ideology, never open for discourse or dissent, they 'undermine democracy'. Second, they don't work. Under the guiding hand of IMF structural 'assistance' Africa's income dropped by 23%.

Did any nation avoid this fate? Yes, said Stiglitz, Botswana. Their trick? 'They told the IMF to go packing.' Stiglitz proposes radical land reform: an attack on the 50% crop rents charged by the propertied oligarchies worldwide.

Why didn't the World Bank and IMF follow his advice?

'If you challenge [land ownership], that would be a change in the power of the elites. That's not high on their agenda.'

Ultimately, what drove him to put his job on the line was the failure of the banks and US Treasury to change course when confronted with the crises, failures, and suffering perpetrated by their four-step monetarist mambo.

'It's a little like the Middle Ages,' says the economist, 'When the patient died they would say well, we stopped the bloodletting too soon, he still had a little blood in him.'

Maybe it's time to remove the bloodsuckers.


Neil Watkins World Bank Bonds Boycott campaign Center for Economic Justice
1830 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 4th floor
Washington, DC 20009
Tel: (202) 299-0020 Fax: (202) 299-0021

World Bank Bonds Boycott Student Info Network
202-299-0020 - WBBB Campaign HQ

To subscribe, send blank e-mail to



Brazil: Torture and impunity under international spotlight (08/05/2001)

Eleven years after Brazil ratified the Convention against Torture, the widespread and systematic practice of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment continues unabated and largely unpunished Amnesty International said today. The statement came as the Brazilian government prepares for its first appearance before the UN Committee against Torture in Geneva.


"The consistent failure to punish acts of torture committed by police and prison guards is conducive to more violations being committed," Amnesty International said, asking for an end to the impunity widely enjoyed by state officials responsible for human rights violations.


Amnesty International continues to document the consistent use of brutal acts of torture by state officials at the point of arrest, in police stations and in prisons and juvenile detention centres. Torture is regularly used as a means to extract confessions, to dominate, humiliate and control those in detention, or increasingly to extort money or serve the criminal interests of corrupt police officials. For some members of the police, often under trained and under resourced, extracting confessions under torture has become a de facto replacement for professional and scientific methods of investigation.


More details on this and other human rights violations at
including their 2000 Annual Report at


Date: Sat, 19 May 2001
From: Chere Rae <>
Subject: The Killer in Your Yard

Greetings Jean, I thought this a good one from the Seattle piece about people pulling up their lawns, even though that was because of drought. In appreciation of you steadfast efforts for us all.

Chere Rae


The Killer in Your Yard

Each time you douse your lawn with pesticides, you could be poisoning birds, wildlife, even the neighbor's kids. Whenever the subject of pesticides comes up, it's easy to point a finger at farmers. But we homeowners, with our manicured lawns and exotic flower gardens, have nothing to be smug about. Each year we pour approximately 136 million pounds of pesticides on our homes, lawns, and gardens, which amounts to three times more per acre than the average farmer applies.

In fact, most of the wildlife pesticide poisonings reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency result from home use. According to the EPA's wildlife mortality incident database, just three of the chemicals commonly used in the garden and home--diazinon, chlorpyrifos, brodifacoum--kill thousands of birds each year. In the early 1990s two California metropolitan areas--the City of Davis and central Contra Costa County--discovered levels of diazinon and chlorpyrifos, high enough to harm aquatic organisms, in their storm-water systems. After testing, officials in both places determined that the greatest source of pesticides in local surface waters was single-family homes.


Date: Wed, 23 May 2001
From: Caroling <>
Subject: Fwd: Jaguar Habitat At Risk

These are the ancient forests of the "Celestine Prophesy". It's unusual to have an easy way to send email to a foreign government. WWF writes the email and sends them for you. All you have to do is say that you agree.

I'm forwarding you this message from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF):


Jaguar Habitat At Risk

Dear WWF Conservation Action Network Activist:

We urgently need your help to convince the president of Peru to reject a bill that would gut a vital nationwide forest management law. The bill would put at risk millions of hectares of the richest and largest tracts of intact tropical rain forest in the world. These forestsharbor threatened tree species of high-commercial value such as mahogany and cedar, and also provide habitat for wildlife such as the highly threatened jaguar, the harpy eagle, and the giant river otter.

Please go to to urge the president to reject the new bill. He only has until Friday, May 25 to do so; please act now.

World Wildlife Fund, working in collaboration with local partners in Peru, helped develop the current forestry law. This law will help end the unsustainable logging that has resulted in an alarming deforestation rate of 260,000 hectares per year in Peru.

The new law undermines the current provisions for encouraging sustainable forest management, overcoming illegal logging, combating extensive corruption, and stopping degradation and unsustainable harvesting, particularly of mahogany. Please act now to protect one of the world's most precious remaining tropical rain forests.


22 and 23 May 2001

President Bush encountered widespread protests yesterday when he
received an honorary degree and spoke at the commencement of his alma
mater, Yale University. Graduating students heckled Bush, held up
signs that read "Conservation, Not Consumption" and "Don't Turn Your
Back on the Environment," and handed out "Got Arsenic?" stickers.
Some students from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental
Studies wore miniature power plants on their mortarboards and burned
incense through the smokestacks. More than 170 Yale professors
boycotted the ceremony, claiming Bush was not worthy of the degree.
Bush lost the presidential race on the campus last fall, 49
percentage points behind Al Gore and 2 points behind Ralph Nader.

Washington Post, Dana Milbank, 22 May 2001

New Haven Register, Christa Lee Rock, 22 May 2001

Elsewhere in Malaysia, the $5 billion, 2,400-megawatt Bakun Dam
project is slated to flood a rainforest area the size of Singapore.
The government says the dam is needed to help spur economic
development and bring new industry to the 2 million residents of
Sarawak, the country's largest state. But opponents say the dam will
displace thousands of tribal minorities and destroy the habitat of
100 endangered species. Some 10,000 of Borneo's 200,000 indigenous
peoples have already been forced off their ancestral lands to make
way for the dam. Sarawak originally contained 21 million acres of
rainforest; less than 1.2 million acres now remain and some observers
expect those acres to be logged within five years.

San Francisco Chronicle, Reese Erlich, 22 May 2001

Delegates from 127 countries yesterday formally moved to adopt a
treaty to ban or reduce the use of 12 persistent organic pollutants
(POPs), chemicals such as PCBs and pesticides that have been linked
to cancer, birth defects, and genetic abnormalities in humans and
wildlife. The treaty will be signed by delegates in Stockholm,
Sweden, today, but it still must be ratified by at least 50
governments to take effect, a process that could take several years.
Canada became the first country to ratify the treaty today. The
gathering in Stockholm hasn't been as cheery as one might expect, as
European Union officials have continued to criticize the U.S. for
backing out of the Kyoto treaty on climate change and for pursuing an
energy plan that promotes increased use of coal and oil.

USA Today, Associated Press, 22 May 2001

Planet Ark, Reuters, Eva Sohlman and Alister Doyle, 23 May 2001

Take action to ask for an even tougher chemical policy in Europe

Vice President Dick Cheney was greeted by two standing ovations from
the crowd yesterday at the annual conference sponsored by the Nuclear
Energy Institute. Cheney is the architect of the Bush administration
energy plan, which calls for increased use of nuclear power in the
U.S. In celebration of the change of heart in Washington, D.C.,
where the nuclear industry had been on the outs for years, conference
organizers gave out super balls that glow in the dark (no joke).
Christian Poindexter, a nuclear power executive, said, "In my wildest
dreams, when I was over at the White House in March, I couldn't
imagine them getting so behind us."

Watch a silly video and tell Bush to stop monkeying around with the country's energy policies


Some excellent news! Here is first the introductory comment I wrote in my last Media Compilation about Betty Martini's MAYDAY letter which you already received last week...

A couple other important subjects are also included below:

1) The ever-present stealth threat to the health of millions of people conjured up by the sweetening powder aspartame that was first discovered as part of military research to create a new chemical weapon and which has now find its way into thousands of food products and diet beverages. This
powerful carcinogenic and neurotoxic chemical agent has been causing life-threatening and debilitating diseases worldwide for far too long and is finally coming under closer scrutiny, particularly in the UK as revealed in a Sunday Time article published yesterday (see below). Betty Martini, the courageous 65+ year old crusader from Georgia, USA, who has been campagning non-stop for years to alert the world to this invisible plague and willfully ignored epidemic, is asking for the assistance of insider informants and whistleblowers who may help her organization put the last
nails in the coffin of this deadly aspartame hydra that has been unleashed onto the planet for the sheer sake of mega profits for people such as Donald Rumsfeld, the new U.S Defense Secretary, who was president of Searle inc., the company that designed and agressively lobbied the FDA - with the
direct arm-twisting assistance of former President Reagan, to get this chemical sweetener approved over the very strong objections of the very panel of experts of the FDA.

CLIP - The following was also included:

From: Betty Martini <>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001

Comments by Betty Martini, Mission Possible International, (770) 242-2599, at end of article and email address of Sunday Express

Aspartame: UK national press article May 20, 2001
The Sunday Express, May 20, 2001 page 7
Sweetener probed

By Lucy Johnston, Health Editor

Action at last over additive Aspartame as fears grow of health risk in food and drink

The Government has ordered a top-level investigation into the safety of Britain's best-selling sweetener amid fears that the low calorie chemical is a health risk.

Aspartame, used in thousands of diet food and drinks has been linked to more than 90 adverse reactions including brain tumours and blindness. The Sunday Express has seen a leaked letter which reveals the Government's food watchdog - the Food Standards Agency - has sent more than 500 research papers on the chemical to the Brussels-based Scientific Committee on Food.

If it finds it is a health risk, the sweetener widely used in fizzy drinks, squashes, yoghurts, spring water, chewing gum and pharmaceutical products, and often sold under the names NutraSweet and Canderel, could be banned. Last night, Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, who is campaigning for NutraSweet to be taken off the shelves added: "This is a very positive step. Doubts have been raised about this product and they need to be cleared." Last September, the Sunday Express led calls for an inquiry after our investigations discovered large numbers of people were claiming their health had been damaged by the sweetener.

They included Lyn Hunter, 49, of Liverpool, who regularly drank diet drinks with Aspartame and had pain in her limbs, headaches, lack of concentration and insomnia.

Her constant pain became so great she even considered suicide. Her doctor treated her for arthritis even though tests for this condition were negative. When she eliminated Aspartame her symptoms disappeared. The leaked letter from food scientist Dr Sandy Lawrie expresses concern that Aspartame has not been reviewed by the Scientific Committee on Food for 13 years.

It states: "We have discovered more than 500 papers on Aspartame published between 1988 and 2000. There is clearly sufficient new data on Aspartame to justify a review."

Sources at the agency say that if scientists find strong evidence about dangers of a product, they will advise an EU-wide ban. A spokeswoman for European manufacturers of Aspartame, Ajinomoto, said: "All of the good scientific data shows it is safe. No data raises any concerns about Aspartame either new or old."

However, many studies which have not been sponsored by the food industry highlight potential dangers. Professor Ralph Walton of Northwestern Ohio Universities said: "I dispute the assertion that there are no health risks. "I believe Aspartame increases risk of cancer. Virtually all the studies attesting to its safety have been funded by the industry."

One independent study on animals shows how digestion breaks Aspartame down into formaldehyde, which accumulates in the animals' cells, damaging DNA and poisoning the liver, kidneys, eye and brain. However, the manufacturers argue that all the constituents of Aspartame are found in much greater quantities in natural drinks such as milk and tomato juice, and are not considered a health risk.

In the US, there are now five Aspartame detox centres. Symptoms reported to America's Food and Drug Administration include headaches, skin problems, stomach disorders, poor vision, depression, carbohydrate cravings, panic attacks, irregular heart rhythms and seizures.

For more information send an SAE to Geoff Brewer, Additives Survivors Network, 63 Downlands Road, Devizes, SN10 5EF or visit the online support group at


Comments from Betty Martini, Mission Possible International As many know I lectured in the UK the end of August and Sept, 2001 and provided many records the UK had not seen. Aspartame was approved in the UK through a business deal between Searle and Professor Paul Turner. When Parliament found out there was a big blowout but the order was not rescinded. (Article in Guardian) Therefore, the UK did not know that in the beginning the FDA had asked for the indictment of Searle but two U.S. Prosecutors hired on with the defense team and the statute of limitations expired. For 16 years the FDA refused to approve aspartame because of the brain tumors but Searle hired Don Rumsfeld (now Secretary of Defense) who said he would call in his markers and get it approved anyway. See UPI 8 month investigation of aspartame on

The day after Reagan took office he appointed Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes. A Board of Inquiry was setup who told Dr. Hayes it had not been proven safe, and because of the brain tumor issue he could not approve it. (See Board of Inquiry summation on Dr. Hayes over-ruled the Board of Inquiry and approved aspartame anyway, and then went to work for the PR Agency of the manufacturer and refused to talk to the press ever since. Over a year ago Fox News in Washington, D.C. went to Dr. Hayes house and asked "were the public ever at risk?" Again, Dr. Hayes refused to answer and shut the door. With audio hear the Fox News newsclip on DORway.

We thank James Turner, Attorney, Washington, D.C. for those records and Jon Baum, Mission Possible National Capital Area for sending them to us. Aspartame which was never proven safe and in original studies triggered brain, mammory, uterine, ovarian, testicular, thyroid and pancreatic tumors, as well as grand mal seizures, should never have been approved. Three congressional hearings because of the outrage of consumers being poisoned never banned aspartame because senators like Orrin Hatch were paid by Monsanto who bought Searle in l985, and since sold it.

On June 20, l999, The Independent in the UK exposed "World's top sweetener is made with GM bacteria." As more and more evidence is brought forward we hope that aspartame will now be banned having created one of the greatest plagues in world history. H. J. Roberts, M.D. is about to release a 1000 page medical text on this global plague titled ASPARTAME DISEASE; THE IGNORED EPIDEMIC. Consumers and physicians will be able to get it by accessing or in the US by calling 1-800 814-9800. We wish to thank all those in the UK working to expose this deadly chemical poison, Felicity Mawson, Geoff Brewer, Carl Sims, Marjorie Schofield, Joanna Clarke, John Smith, and many others.

The Sunday Express is not on web and for those reading it on the Internet who would like to send them their case history on aspartame poisoning you may write

Betty Martini, Founder,
Mission Possible International
(770) 242-2599
http://www.dorway.comBR> Aspartame Toxicity Center,
Aspartame Support Groups may be accessed from

Jon Baum, Mission Possible National Capital Area


Date: Wed, 9 May 2001
Subject: George W. Bush Statue Committee

Dear Friend: We have the distinguished honor of being on the committee for raising five million dollars for placing George W. Bush in the hall of fame in Washington, D.C... This committee was in a quandary as to where to place the statue. It was not wise to place it beside the statue of George Washington who neved told a lie, nor beside Jesse Jackson who never told the truth, since George W. Bush could never tell the difference.

We finally decided to place it next to Christopher Columbus, the greatest Republican of all. He left not knowing where he was going, did not know where he was, returned not knowing where he had been, and did it all on borrowed money.

Over 5000 years ago Moses said to the children of Israel "Pick up your shovels, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead you to the promised land."

Nearly 5000 years later Roosevelt said "Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses and light up a camel, this is the promised land."

Now George W. Bush is going to steal your shovels, kick your asses, raise the price on camels, and mortgage the promised land. If you are one of the fortunate people that has anything left after paying taxes, we expect a generous contribution to this worthwile project.

Thank You in advance,



From: "Gerda Wout" <>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001


Have you ever noticed
That nature reserves
The times of sunrise and sunset
For contemplation?

On these occasions
The winds are stilled -
The lake's surface
Is quieted to a glassy smoothness -
Even the leaves relax
Into heightened sensitivity
As the glory of dawn unfolds.

And have you observed
That the stillness of the water
Magnifies the beauty of sunset -
Making of that half
Above the horizon
A completed whole?
There is a reflective surface
In the depths of your being
Which is more cunningly contrived
Than the simple liquid place of the lake.

And if you learn
To still the winds of action
In your mind,
This mirror will reflect
Such beauty and peace and understanding
As the lake never sees
And words cannot tell.

Bradford Shank