The Bluff on which My Cabin Stands

With waves cascading gently on the shore
when not the keen relentless arctic winds
have whipped them to a crashing noisesome train
of locomotive strength to scale their best
the frail and crumbling bluff without success;

For liquids to the shape of their container
must abide, and though its massive waves
from deep, and dark, and vast, and cold have come,
and though their forces multiply with bad intent,
when frozen to a crystal pickaxe thrown
by winter’s gales to etch and chisel out
the arching shore, our God entitled lease
upon this land is still enshrined, as long
as tree roots thrust into the rock and stave
off wind, and rain, and snow, and wave of lake;

As long as from those trunks our axe and saw can hew
the knotty pine, and iron nails from that
same rock do smelt, then cabins’ lanterns still
will hang, a shining beaded necklace worn
about the Great Lake’s tender nape, a string
of sentinels against the rising waves
to gather in the setting suns of days to come,
and gentle noon day summer breezes, too,
which follow fast spring’s growth of tree, and man,
and flower on the gently rolling hills.

Paul Guernsey Player © 2019/04/18

See Also…

Impatient as the Passing Waves

Decentralize or Die

In response to …

Ren Brabenec‘s facebook video post about the sunsets seen from his small cabin on the bluffs above the Lake Superior.


[blank verse] What We Do

From sunny Florida we process funds –
the payments for the flowing power billed
by gas and ‘lectric companies to our
fair friends throughout the Eastern States
and o’re the countryside Italiano.

The gas through pipes and tanks, unseen as well
the generated power through copper wires
flow, but at a lower rate than those
who made that power now would charge,
and so to us the users of that flow
do pay their bills, for we for less have sent
that self-same gas and light to businesses
and homes that thank us for their money saved.

Paul Guernsey Player, © 2019/03/26
Software Developer
American Power and Gas

buffalo chicken leg chili

Buffalo [1] chicken leg chili, with seaweed and mushrooms

While the tight supply of chicken wings [2] and breasts continue to drive prices of those cuts up, the lowly chicken drumstick (lower leg) becomes a bargain, $1.94/pound at my Neighborhood Wal-Mart. That is more expensive per pound than buying a whole chicken, but I did not want a whole chicken for this recipe, which already had plenty of protein.

one day ahead

Make chicken stock from chicken legs, cool and de-bone their little calf muscles; refrigerate both stock and the meat;

start soaking the beans [3][4]

serving day

slowly warm the chicken stock In a LARGE pot;

cook the soaked bean in a pressure cooker with seaweed [5]; add to pot when done;

brown the buffalo with your favorite chili spices; add to pot when done;
Today, my spices were:
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp each of:
whole mustard seed
whole cumin seed

sauté a head of garlic and one large onion until translucent; add to pot;

add fresh vegetables to pot:
1 large onion, radially sliced
3 stalks of celery, diagonally sliced
6 dandelion stalks, finely chopped
3 kale stalks, finely chopped
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced thick

Time to prepare 24-36 hours; enough soup for a week of lunches;

[1] Buffalo, as in Bison, not the city on Lake Erie where Buffalo chicken wings were invented, according to Calvin Trillin‘s August 25, 1980 New Yorker article, AN ATTEMPT TO COMPILE A SHORT HISTORY OF THE BUFFALO CHICKEN WING;

[2] “Chicken wings are the most popular Super Bowl dish across America.” –
The Most Popular Super Bowl Party Foods, Ranked, Carolyn Menyes ,January 25, 2018,,

[3] Leagumes contain the evil lectin protein, but we will be doing a number of things to help neutralize it:

soaking at least 24 hours, with several water changes [4];
pressure cooking [4];
cooking with kelp (yes, seaweed), which is an anti-lectin [5];

[4] “Soaking When you were a kid, did you ever see your grandparents rinse and soak beans – and even grains – before boiling or cooking them? They may not have even realized it, but they were doing this to reduce the lectins. Now, there are different traditions when it comes to soaking beans in various cultures, but here’s how I like to do it:
First, soak beans overnight in a baking soda bath. Start early enough to change the water a few times before you go to sleep – and leave them soaking overnight. Then, change the water again when you wake. Remember to add baking soda to each new soak. Drain the beans and rinse them really well before you start cooking in a pressure cooker.”

“Pressure Cooking If you have to cook with beans (beans wreak havoc on your gut if not cooked properly), tomatoes, or potatoes for whatever reason, your best bet for destroying the lectins is a pressure cooker. It won’t get every last lectin – and it won’t come close to knocking out the lectins in wheat, oats, rye, barley, or spelt – so avoid those entirely. That said, pressure cooking can do a pretty good job with certain veggies and legumes. So, get used to cooking with pressure.”

Dr. Steven Gundry, Gundry MD, Five Ways to Reduce or Remove Lectins From Your Favorite Foods,

[5] Three. Bladderwrack; [OK KELP is not the same as bladderwrack, as Tennant recommends, but I think kelp works, too. Trust me. I’m a writer, and now it is on the internet, so it is TRUE] “This simple seaweed has been shown to be a potent lectin blocker, and studies also suggest it has antifungal properties against Candida yeasts. The benefits of Bladderwrack go further: With high levels of mucilage, beta-carotene, iodine, potassium, zeaxanthin, and other organic compounds, this sea creature is potent! It’s been shown to help with digestive issues, weight loss, thyroid conditions, inflammation and more.”
Remy Tennant, Human Food Bar, 6 Natural Lectin Blockers (and How to Get More of Them)

Blackface: Historical Proof Shakespeare did NOT Write his own Plays

Did Shakespeare even write the plays he produced? Lacking a word processor, even one as simple as mine (Windows notepad), or even a mechanical typewriter, where did he find the time? His hands would also have been indelibly stained with iron gall [1]. He would have it all over is face, as well, and for this he would not have been allowed to perform in public. The Globe Theatre would have burned for this blatantly racist use of the blackface in his paleo-Vaudevillian so-called “plays”, and not from staged cannon fire during a performance of “Henry VIII”. No amount of genus could excuse such a hideous act. Therefore, since he WAS allowed to continue acting and producing, Shakespeare can not, NOT POSSIBLY have been the writer of his plays.

This is satire, applying today’s cultural standards to yesterday’s people, who had not yet achieved our level of twenty-first century enlightenment. Examples of todays’ shifting standards regarding blackface abound, such as those listed in this commentary from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Opinion: Va., nation now sharing consternation over blackface.

Was blackface evil? Yes, and no. A little history from Wikipedia: “Despite reinforcing racist stereotypes, blackface minstrelsy was a practical and often relatively lucrative livelihood when compared to the menial labor to which most black people were relegated. Owing to the discrimination of the day, “corking (or blacking) up” provided an often singular opportunity for African-American musicians, actors, and dancers to practice their crafts.[71] Some minstrel shows, particularly when performing outside the South, also managed subtly to poke fun at the racist attitudes and double standards of white society or champion the abolitionist cause. It was through blackface performers, white and black, that the richness and exuberance of African-American music, humor, and dance first reached mainstream, white audiences in the U.S. and abroad.[11] It was through blackface minstrelsy that African American performers first entered the mainstream of American show business.[72] Black performers used blackface performance to satirize white behavior. It was also a forum for the sexual double entendre gags that were frowned upon by white moralists.”

Blackface made good theatre for races of many hues, but my comment regarding Shakespeare is less about blackface than a criticism of the anachronistic historical revisioning afflicting today’s culture. We tend to judge the past in terms of the present, forgetting that the problems of the past were different than ours, and the evaluation of relative importances of different issues can only be made with full immersion in the conditions and situations present in the day.

We cannot, for example condemn the founders of the United States, and the Constitutional Republic they formed for their failure to solve the Slavery issue as well as the Independence issue all in one go. The Three-Fifths Compromise [2] is an evil act only if you fail to understand its purpose: to allow the northern and southern states to form a union and to enshrine the values of the Declaration of Independence, at least partially, into an actual government for the first time in the history of the world. It was an act of racism, but also an act of faith in the future, and of survival for the delicate and budding nation in a time of great danger. “The Three-Fifths Compromise was the solution to the most difficult challenge the framers faced: how to create a single country out of people so divided on a fundamental issue.” [3]

History is valuable for the lessons it provides but it requires a humble understanding, a willingness to shift viewpoints to those who were there. It seems that we might have something to learn from our own past, if we could just focus our eyes for a moment and look at it, and at ourselves.

Who deserves more our retroactive ire? The people of history, as viewed from the present, or the people of today, as viewed from the future? If only we could read what will be written of us! We do our best with what we have. So did Sir Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare, or whomever wrote his plays.

[1] IRON GALL – iron gall ink, made from a tannins found in oak tree galls – which are growths that looks like golf balls and are caused by secretions the gall wasp injects into the tree when she lays her eggs – combined with iron sulfate.

[2] THREE-FIFTHS COMPROMISE: Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

[3] – Why the 3/5ths Compromise Was Anti-Slavery – “It wasn’t the racists of the South who wanted to count slave populations less than white populations – it was the abolitionists of the North…You might say that the southern slave states wanted to have it both ways. They wanted to count their slaves for the purpose of representation, but they didn’t want to give any representation [i.e. the right to vote] to their slaves.” The compromise reduced the southern states’ representation in congress and prevented them from expanding slavery deeper into the fabric of the nation, and enshrining it into the 20th century. “The Three-Fifths Compromise didn’t deny the humanity of blacks, it affirmed it.” – Carol Swain, Prager University,

What is Prose Poetry? – It Isn’t.

In response to What is Prose Poetry? by Melissa Donovan

“Although most poetry is written in verse, structure alone does not define poetry. So we can take the other elements of poetry and then reshape the writing into sentences and paragraphs. That’s how you get prose poetry.” – Melissa Donovan


Good writing is good writing. Good prose can exist all on its own, artistic in its own right, without the need of stolen valor by claiming the moniker of Poem. Prose can be lyrical [1]. Prose can use “imagery, economics of language, fragmentation, compression, repetition, rhyme, metaphor, figures of speech, and wordplay.” The presence of these elements does not define a poem. Verse defines a poem. Poetry Lives in the Land of Verse. [2]

Without verse, there is no poem. Words arranged as sentences and paragraphs might be artistic, but without verse, they are still Prose. Prose writers, consider taking more pride in your medium and own it for what is and for all it can be. Why contort words into things they are not? What is wrong with strong, clear and precise definitions? Why not, if you seek to Break Rules, take up the mantle [3] of the genre that claims none, Prose?

[1] LYRICAL: (of literature, art, or music) expressing the writer’s emotions in an imaginative and beautiful way. ‘he gained a devoted following for his lyrical cricket writing’ – Oxford English Dictionary

[2] Poetry Lives in the Land of Verse, by Paul Guernsey Player

[3] MANTLE: An important role or responsibility that passes from one person to another. ‘the second son has now assumed his father’s mantle’ – Oxford English Dictionary