Love Wins

blind soul heaven
where the stone wall
settles into dust and
love will win a swanlike end
cascading change.

© Ben Ditmars 2015

jackierocks

Photograph Courtesy of the One and Only Jacqueline Smith.

Read her awesomeness here.

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No Days Left to Sing

I’m not a social poet and I don’t make it a point to cover what’s going on in the world. However, I was stunned by the events in Baltimore and felt I needed to say something:

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Image Source: Flickr

No Days Left to Sing

no days left to sing
the earth will soon dissolve for Freddie Gray
lock arms and form a line; shout for calm
and gather in the streets:
no justice;
all lives matter.

spinal cords endure the sad,
uncertain rustling of each
burnt car; the broken bust of
Pallas; paper towels taken
as the fires rage.

we can’t rinse our eyes
of rioting: the bottles,
bricks thrown in protest
when this flesh and heart
shall fail.

© Ben Ditmars 2015

Rejected State Mottos for Ohio

10.) So, yeah. That’s a buckeye.

9.) Home of the Only State Pennant Flag.

8.) We Get Points for the Pennant Flag, Right?

7.) How Cool is a River on Fire!? Less Cool than the Pollution that Caused It?

6.) Birthplace of Aviation. You Can Run to Kitty Hawk But We Still Own Your Souls, Wright Brothers. Muahaha

5.) Did I Mention the Pennant Flag?

4.) Ohio Derives from the Word “good river” Because It Never Got Better.

3.) Seven Presidents You’ve Never Heard Of (They’re Kind of a Big Deal).

2.) Don’t Feed the Browns Fans. It Gives them False Hope.

1.) Feel Free to Say “What in Carnation” and Feel Clever. It’s Our State Flower.

Horcrux Math

Something has always bothered me about Voldemort’s horcruxes in Harry Potter, apart from the murder. The books seemed to allude that Voldemort split his soul into eight equal parts. Maybe souls don’t follow the same laws of nature as everything else, but it would seem to me that if you split your soul in half, you would only maintain one-half. And if you split that half again, you would retain one-fourth and so-on and so-forth. Thus, the potency of horcruxes created should be less, which seems to almost ring true if you look at the level of defenses they provided. The diary put up a far larger fight than the cup or diadem. It’s almost as if the ones he created earlier had greater ability to feel. Anyway, that’s my two sickles and a knut. I’ll leave you with some math as a caution against creating your own horcruxes.

Horcrux Fraction Left Percentage Left
1.     Diary ½ 50%
2.     Ring ¼ 25%
3.     Locket 1/8 12.5%
4.     Cup 1/16 6.25%
5.     Diadem 1/32 3.13%
6.     Harry Potter 1/64 1.56%
7.     Nagini 1/128 0.78%

5 Excellent Quotes by Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was no doubt a visionary. I wrote after his death in 2011 of “a man who had his hands in Pixar, Atari, Apple and every facet of innovation in pop culture, a college dropout who slept on floors and went on to change the world.” And it is no less true. Whether through personal computers or the life altering and beautiful motion pictures of Pixar, he has and continues to shape lives. These are five of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs:

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”

“the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

“What we’re doing here will send a giant ripple through the universe.”

“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.”

Harry Potter in Third World Translations

Harry Potter has been translated into 67 different languages. It isn’t a stretch to imagine that some of the people speaking these languages do not all like the West or America very much. It might be economic imperialism, regular imperialism, or the twice-a-day drone strikes that turn them off. I can’t be sure. Through my worldly connections however I have come across direct translations for the titles in: Urdu, Persian (Iranian), Russian, North Korean, Vietnamese, Ukranian, and Navajo Indian.

1.) Harry Potter and the Philosophers that Weep for America

2.) Harry Potter and the Chamber of the White Devil

3.) Harry Potter and the Highest Prison Population in the Western World:
How Sirius Black Escaped Guantanamo Bay!

4.) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Unfair Trade Agreements

5.) Harry Potter and the Order at McDonalds That Expands Your Waistline and the American Hegemon

6.) Harry Potter and the Half-blood Banking Institutions

7.) Harry Potter and the Deathly Drone Strikes

Robin Williams and Dolphins

I found an episode of In the Wild with Robin Williams about dolphins, where he swims and bonds with them. It is absolutely beautiful and I’d like to share the last part:

There’s Romeo, he’s a grandfather. And that’s Knuckles. But the dolphin I was to know best was Stubby: an older, darker male. He got his name from his chopped off dorsal fin….

Over the days we had several encounters but there was still one thing I wanted to do: find the wise old dolphin called stubby. I was really hoping he’d reappear. At the eleventh hour I got my wish….

After a while they peeled elegantly off the bow like blue angels and they just waited for us. And all the sudden there was Stubby inviting me to swim with him. I tried some tricks: sometimes he swam with me and sometimes I swam with him. Sometimes we just swam eye to eye, mutually curious. Being in the company of Stubby is a lot different than being in the company of the young teenage dolphins who seemed to be kind of laughing at me. It was like being the in the presence of someone wise; someone who’s seen years of life in the ocean: a lot of hard times and good times and survived it all. Another intelligence. I felt very peaceful: maybe he could detect my mood, ‘cause he seemed to be too. It’s getting late: you know that peaceful time just before twilight: the water was calm and it seemed like we were too. Maybe he was picking up my emotion, you know dolphins can see right through you with their sonar: maybe he was picking up my heartbeat. Maybe it was something else: I really would love to know. I’d love to figure out his language, understand what his clicking and whistling meant: make contact. But this is pretty nice: very close, very, very nice: the mutual observation.

– Robin Williams, 1994

30 Things Before I’m 30

I’ve given some thought to the things I’d like to do before I’m 30 years old. These are limited to personal and not professional pursuits. I cannot possibly list the amount of books I would like to read either. Lastly, I have not placed them in order of importance.

1.) Ride a horse.

2.) Travel through Europe.

3.) Fly an airplane.

4.) Fly a helicopter.

5.) Ride inside a submarine.

6.) Go scuba diving and/or snorkeling.

7.) Hug a penguin.

8.) Hug a puffin.

9.) See the Grand Canyon.

10.) Visit Mount Rushmore.

11.) See the American Southwest.

12.) See the Alamo and San Antonio.

13.) Visit San Francisco.

14.) See the Statue of Liberty.

15.) See Niagra Falls.

16.) Visit Boston, MA.

17.) Visit Harry Potter World.

18.) See Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

19.) See New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

20.) Visit Antarctica.

21.) Ride in an airship.

22.) Ride a hot air balloon.

23.) Meet J.K. Rowling.

24.) Climb a tree.

25.) Learn another language.

26.) Kiss in an elevator.

27.) Kiss on the beach.

28.) Kiss in the ocean.

29.) Kiss in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

30.) Write something that everyone remembers.

New Format and a Poem

I’ve considered ways to change the format of my blog. I don’t believe it’s broken or unsuccessful, but I’d like to write more about myself. So, let me fill you in: I’m newly 27, I’m currently a substitute teacher looking for a full-time teaching job, I’m a Sagittarius (though I’ve never actually learned to spell it correctly), and I enjoy poetry. Of course, that’s the short version: I also like Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and most nerdy things.

Currently, I am single, but I don’t let it define me. There is a girl I like, but all good things in time. I’ve learned you have to enjoy the journey itself and not worry. I’ve been in relationships where I agonized over every word or detail and it wasn’t worthwhile. And it should be. If you don’t find comfort in each other, or feel amazing, then there’s no need to keep going (unless there are kids involved).

Apart from this, I enjoyed Christmas and only wish the adults had done more together: like board games or Mario Kart. Christmas should be about making children happy, but adults can have fun too. I think my niece and nephew would have understood watching Star Wars instead of Thomas the Tank Engine. Let’s face it, he’s a creepy train with a human face of undetermined origin. And I’m fairly certain at least one horseman in the apocalypse will resemble him.

So, rejoice. Another year has passed and I must dedicate more time to Goodreads. I’m planning a giveaway next month for my collection of poetry, Inhale the Night. But I also want to be a bigger part of the network and post in more groups. Also, I need to get advertising and tweets finalized. There’s a lot to do, but don’t worry, I leave the poem (and fun).

dreaming solid
rocklike highs
never climbed
or sung before

© Ben Ditmars 2014

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Bill Cosby and Rape Culture

I mostly post poetry and the occasional gnome on The Midnight Writer. However, I feel some things cannot be adequately expressed in verse. If you do not wish continue reading social commentary or opinion, I will be back shortly with creative writing.

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There is a long list of people who inspire me and a growing list of people who inspired me. As much as I would like to deny it, I looked up to people like Woody Allen and Bill Cosby. They were creative geniuses to me, and I thought I wanted to be like them. The Cosby Show and films like Manhattan resonated: I felt like there was progress toward something, an underlying sense of beauty and direction in dark places. I never imagined either man responsible for creating such enigmatic and strong women like Annie Hall or Clair Huxtable would be responsible for abusing them. But they are. Perhaps I should wait for a trial and verdict, but I realize that will not happen. Sexual assault and rape victims have enough trouble getting their cases heard, or taken serious. These men: Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, etc. are vastly influential and wealthy. They have resources their victims do not. And it has kept them quiet for years. But still, I cannot help thinking something could be set in motion if one person who was rich or powerful actually received the justice they deserved. Maybe I would not feel as if the inspiration I received was somehow tainted…