Friday, July 26, 2013

The Assassination of the Bees

she never thought much of bees
now she thinks of them as though thinking will save them

sweet, little peacekeepers,
fuzzy, whirry in love with nectar
sticky stockings soaked with ordered thoughts
from God’s jeweled and spiraled fractals whirr, whirr, whirr
innocence diligence innocence
taken given taken given
dripping goo

dear peacekeepers,
you may choose violence only once
he who chooses violence chooses death

sweet little peacekeepers
all who love peace are assassinated

blindly led to slaughter
along enemy spirals
enemy poisons drunken sweetly as peaches
whirr, whirr, whirr your way, eat our AIDS
eat the crashing cacophony of
every virus known to man
every fungus unknown to bees
stuffed into your tiny body’s blackened goo

hungry predators pass over your sick jelly in the empty hive

Paris Opera House, beekeeper

dear, fuzzy peacekeepers
sing, sing on the safe and singing roof of the Paris Opera House
where no pesticides can eat your wings or stop your beating heart
where they understand the music of growing things

on the roof of the California bank,
a million strong you storm the castle keep
keeping far from poisoning your hive
and calmly tell the tellers, “Here, we will die now.”

oh, rue the day the bankers came to America!

sweet, noble peacekeepers
what will become of us?
of the harmonic rapture of every flowering fruit and vegetable sweetly singing with God’s great goo
oh, twisted blossoms of innocence! innocence!
sending fake nectar into choking bees
strangling our dear humming peacekeepers on their rose-scented mission
their tiny veins collapsing without
enough to eat

oh, if banks could decipher fractals!
too busy with counting chaos
oh, enter fractals into the brains of banks
pour into the mold of their vaults your hot rivers of scarlet molten gold
let them explode with your fire

fire is coming!
a million Chinese men feathering pollen with infinite patience
into a million starving, open-mouthed pear blossoms
cannot stave off the fire that is coming

oh, but think – can she remember
and where will her memories fly after the flames?
remember roses, once heavy with scent?
peaches? did the fuzz get up the nose and need to be corrected?
oh, remember delectable plums whose bloody flesh 
tingled the ears?
Wondrous watermelons of the desert, she wants to wade barefoot
in their sweet, syrupy water
Cherries, wine sweet bunches!
she is drunk on grapes!
and, where will the kitchen be without onions and garlic?

 Vatican Gardens, Rome

This is the loss of Paradise – not Adam and Eve!
why keep peace when profit glistens?
why! she closes her eyes to keep from seeing –
the tipping of the merchant’s ring -
the assassination of the bees.

 Note: Word on the e-street is that Monsanto has been killing queen bees. Gives new meaning to the word "assassination."                                                                   

©Patricia Goodwin, 2009

Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, the story of two women who died and became legends in an historic seacoast town. Watch for the sequel - coming soon!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Invasion of The Body Snatchers

            I recently saw the 1978 version of the film, The Invasion of The Body Snatchers, starring Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams, in which earth is invaded by cute little pink flowers that change into pods that devour real people and their emotions and passions and all the good people stuff and leave empty shells of people walking around like zombies.
            So? What’s new? That’s the point. I Netflixed the movie because I liked the actors. Brooke Adams is a fave, though she doesn’t work enough for my taste. And, Donald Sutherland, well, ‘nuff said. They were both brilliant, as usual, but I didn’t expect to hear what I did. It was the character of Nancy Bellicec, played by Veronica Cartwright, actress of the eyes too big for her face, giving her the most expression-filled demeanor of all, found to be awesome for horror films by many directors since.

            Nancy had all the best lines. She was the one who told her husband, played by Jeff Goldblum, “Don’t touch that! It could be toxic!” To which her hippy husband replied, “It’s a pink flower, honey.” Nancy – the sweet masseuse who insisted her plants have feelings - exploded with one amazing line after another, to which I responded with a gaping mouth. After Nancy was done, I realized I was watching something a lot deeper than a movie about an alien invasion. Not that an alien invasion isn’t deep or scary enough. The original book, The Body Snatchers was written in 1956! I know the accepted idea is that the author, Jack Finney, was referring to the McCarthy trials. But, as I listened to Nancy, I couldn’t help thinking and feeling (since I’m not a pod, yet) –  A lot has happened since this was written and it’s still happening now!

Here’s what Nancy and Elizabeth, a health official (Brooke Adams), and Jack, Nancy’s husband (Jeff Goldblum) said:

Jack: This smells lovely.
Nancy:  I want you to listen to me.
Jack: I am listening to you, Nancy.
Elizabeth: That flower. Where did you get that?
Jack: In the vase with the others.
Nancy: Put it down, Jack.
Elizabeth: It's a pod with a flower on it. I could not find that flower in any book.
Nancy:  Jack, put it down.
Jack: It's a pink flower, honey.
Nancy: It could be toxic.
Elizabeth: I have seen these flowers all over. They grow like parasites on other plants. Where are they coming from?
Nancy:  Outer space.
Jack: They're not from outer space.
Nancy: Why not?
Jack: They're not. Why? What are you talking about? A space flower?
Nancy: Why not a space flower? Why do we always expect metal ships?
Jack: I've never expected metal ships.
Nancy: There must be other ways they get in our systems.
Elizabeth: Right. They could be getting into us through touch or fragrance.
Jack: We would never even notice it, not from the impurities we have. I mean, we eat junk and we breathe junk.
Elizabeth:  I don't know where they're coming from, but I feel as though I've been poisoned. We've gotta take those flowers in and have them analyzed. There's something here.
Nancy: They could get into us and screw up our genes like DNA, recombine us, change us.
 Jack: Oh, of course!
Nancy: This is the same way those rockets landed years ago, so those spacemen could mate with monkeys and create the human race. It's happening now!

            Let’s put the alien take-over thing aside. It’s a moot point.
WARNING LABEL: The sensitive ones should leave the room. Or, if you are the kind of person who says, “Who are you to tell me what I can or can’t put in my body?” then don’t read any further. Go to McDonalds or Taco Bell.

The Real Invasion of the Body Snatchers has been going on for about 70 years now, since the end of World War II, when two things took over – one, mass production of our food and two, mass transportation of our food. Our food used to be grown and prepared in small batches of whole, fresh ingredients. It was placed in cloth sacks or wooden crates. Liquids were in glass bottles, crocks, cans or kegs. Our food was still natural and close to homemade. Bread was brown. Cows were not given artificial hormones. However, when farms got larger and more specialized, our food needed to be transported longer distances. No longer could you make a product naturally. Mix together the ingredients and those ingredients usually separated or looked terrible in a jar. You couldn’t transport it like that anyway. You needed preservatives. You needed stabilizers like guar gum, which is not thickening enough on its own without adding borax occasionally, or stabilizers like dehydrogenated animal fat, which is akin to plastic and could be already lumped in different corners of your body. You would need artificial coloring.  Then, since you stripped the natural nutrients, perhaps to create the more attractive white bread, you would need to add artificial vitamins. You needed to add salt to keep food from spoiling. You needed to add sugar to make it taste better after you’d added salt. You needed flavor enhancers like monosodium glutamate in order to compete with companies using flavor enhancers in their products. You might have to heat the food to a carcinogenic-causing temperature. Packaging itself became artificial, a risky business that is just now becoming a suspected source of poisoning. Refrigeration became common. Food was transported from tropical areas to colder areas. People no longer ate seasonal food. They could get oranges in winter. Nice, right? Tropical fruit lowers the body temperature. Not as nice in the north as it is in the south. Tropical fruit, as a matter of fact, any locally grown food, has a purpose. Winter squashes, burdock, onions, all these grow naturally in colder climates and are good for circulation, i.e., keeping warm in winter.
Also, around the end of World War II came our love affair with science. We’re just now discovering that some of the wonders of science may be poisoning us – polyester (carpets, drapes, sofas, etc.), air-conditioning, plastic – toxins decomposing and entering our lungs - even as we sit in the evenings and watch our televisions - which poison our minds as well as our bodies. Microwaves were invented to rearrange the molecules of our food. Most of us, including this writer, sit at computer screens radiating God-knows what into our brains, all day long. We keep cell phones tucked in our pockets next to our gut or attached directly to our ears. We wash our hair with suspicious unctions, and blindly slather possible cancer-causing creams over ourselves to prevent possible cancer causing UV rays from reaching our skin. Scientists began creating GeneticallyModified Organisms by infiltrating plant DNA with pesticides and DNA from foreign plants and animals, such as bacteria into corn or soy. GMOs are now thought to cause ulcerations in the stomach and intestine. Bees are dying by the millions. Even our pets are getting sicker. Celiac disease, a troubling sensitivity to wheat, seemed to come out of nowhere and is increasing. Animals have been cloned and we are eating the meat of clones, deemed “safe” by our FDA. Milk is full of hormones and antibiotics. Also deemed to be safe.
Got milk? No need for an alien take-over. We are lining up.

We are now four generations of degeneration. The last generation grew up entirely on artificial foods. I call them “the Froot Loops (notice the word froot is not the word fruit) for breakfast, microwaved pizza for lunch, microwaved mac and cheese for dinner” generation. What happens to a generation that never ate any real food?
Here’s the bottom line:
Cancer was rare before World War II. You had to be seriously out of balance to get cancer. Now, everyone expects to get cancer or some other serious degenerative disease, like diabetes or heart disease. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. Diabetes is increasing worldwide.
In the ‘50s, only the “bad” kid had ADD or ADHD. Allergies were rare. Autism, also rare. Asthma, rare. Now, asthma, allergies, autism, behavioral problems, all seem to be epidemic. In her book Louder Than Words, actress Jenny McCarthy tells how she relieved many of her son’s autism symptoms, including not speaking, by eliminating dairy and sugar from his diet. In the book Crime & Diet by Michio Kushi, you can read about the experiment at the Tidewater Virginia Detention Home for Boys, which under the direction of Frank Kern and Stephen J. Schoenthaler, in 1981, took sugar out of the diet of the boys in the home for three months. The boys, ages 12-18, were in detention for crimes including alcohol and narcotic violations, disorderly conduct, larceny and burglary. During the time sugar was not in their diets, the boys’ incidents of violence decreased by 45%.
Right now, drugs are being used to treat allergies, asthma, autism, ADD and ADHD and other physical and behavioral conditions. Plus, drugs for the side effects caused by those drugs - many of which are now being suspected of causing cancer.
You can try to get cancer rates from the American Cancer Society. But, you have to dig through individual types of cancer, regions, sex, etc. and a whole spectrum of specifics designed to discourage you. Here’s some plain talk from
What then is driving the modern cancer epidemic? Study after study points to the role of runaway industrial technologies, particularly those based on petrochemicals. The explosive growth of the petrochemical industry since the 1940s has far outpaced legislative and regulatory controls, producing a dizzying array of synthetic chemicals that have never been screened for human health effects: of the roughly 75,000 chemicals in use today, only some 3 percent have been tested for safety. For over fifty years, in other words, the American public has been unknowingly exposed to avoidable carcinogens from the moment of conception until death.
If you think you can handle the truth, I recommend liking Dr. Helen Caldicott on Facebook. Dr. Caldicott has been an anti-nuclear champion for decades. She’ll keep you informed of the daily radioactive seepage in the world - it’s not just from nuclear accidents any more.
One of the most compelling reasons I am writing this particular post is the recent death of one of my macrobiotic teachers from liver cancer. How does a macro create cancer? I have asked myself, over and over. The answer is simple. We are all susceptible. We are all vulnerable. I could be riddled with cancer even as I write. Usually, it’s your favorite binge food that gets you in the end. Yet, each day, as a macro, I observe changes in myself and when those changes are undesirable, I think, what have I done to cause this? And I change that. For instance, I have gotten rid of horns growing on my head and sometimes my arms, since my genetic code doesn’t know what to do with the information it’s receiving, i.e., I am not a baby goat, by giving up goat cheese. With goat cheese went a horrible, persistent pain in my right knee that was keeping me from walking without a limp. I still have an occasional twinge in that knee from arthritis I inherited from my beautiful Italian grandmother and mother, and I’m working on that too with exercise and other dietary adjustments, but the arthritis is nothing like the stabbing agony of the arterial blockage caused by excess dairy. I also got rid of a horrible, nagging ache in my neck that was causing me to lose sleep and wrap my neck with a scarf indoors– by stopping the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee I drank occasionally when I went out with a certain friend. I noticed the pain always came after drinking the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Gone, and gone! Also, by stopping Maxwell House coffee at home, I got rid of intestinal bleeding. Gone. I wouldn’t be surprised if I had been ingesting something other than coffee with both those brands. (Note: Every one of us is different and different products may be affecting you in different ways. Be honest with yourself when self-reflecting.)
That’s what macrobiotics can do for you.
However, macrobiotics is no match for the invisible toxins we consume every day. If I had to say how my teacher got liver cancer, I would say from self-sacrificing overwork, eating too strictly and toxins.
Some of those toxins are in the food we sometimes eat, maybe out of convenience or downright desperation when we are outside the home, starving and have to eat something fast and get back to work. Other toxins are ingested from the cars that pass by, cigarette smoke, the strong perfume of the woman next to us on the train or when we sink down into the sofa at night exhausted, little spores drift up on the air and enter our nostrils.
The reason I said that alien invasion was moot is because we are the aliens and we are invading ourselves. Aliens have already been here and gone. That ship, if you will, has flown. If they want to return and take over, we will be powerless. However, we are not powerless against ourselves.
We can change. One of the things we learned when we began macrobiotics in the ‘70s was to get rid of all artificial products in our lives, for instance, to wear loose cotton clothing that breathed and kept human energy flow even and natural. It’s not always easy to do so, but the closer you can get to clean air, clean home, clean food, the better off you will be. You might have to put in the extra time and work of making your own lunch at home, making a pot of beans on the weekend - lentils or chick peas - great convenience foods that can be stored in the refrigerator – or a pot of brown rice to always have ready. You might have to avoid fast foods. Or, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.
The problem, as it was in the film The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, is going to sleep. That’s when the pods started to take over our human bodies, our passions and our caring.
Don’t go to sleep. Stay vigilant. Keep watch over yourself and your loved ones. Take good care. Body Snatchers are everywhere.

©PatriciaGoodwin, 2013

Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about Marblehead legends and true crime and its sequel, Dreamwater, about the Salem witch trials and the vicious 11-year-old pirate Ned Low. Holy Days is her third novel, about the sexual, psychological seduction of Gloria Wisher and her subsequent transformation. Her newest poetry books are Telling Time By Apples, And Other Poems About Life On The Remnants of Olde Humphrey Farme, illustrated by the author, and Java Love: Poems of a Coffeehouse.