Pear Blossoms


The pear tree is blossoming.

Gift of a friend, the stone Buddha sits zazen,
prayer beads clutched in his chubby fingers.
Through snow, icy rain, the riot of spring flowers,
he gazes forward to the city in the distance—always

the same bountiful smile upon his portly face.
Why don’t I share his one-minded happiness?
The pear blossom, the crimson-petaled magnolia,
filling me instead with a mixture of nostalgia

and yearning. He’s laughing at me, isn’t he?
The seasons wheeling despite my photographs
and notes, my desire to make them pause.
Is that the lesson? That stasis, this holding on,

is not life? Now I’m smiling, too—the late cherry,
its soft pink blossoms already beginning to scatter;
the trillium, its three-petaled white flowers
exquisitely tinged with purple as they fall.

Ted Kooser – Poet Laureate (2004-2006)

Alaska State Representative Outs Anonymous Blogger

AKMuckraker, the anonymous blogger who was one of the first to discuss Sarah Palin’s weaknesses as both a governor and a vice-presidential candidate, has been outed by an Alaskan Representative (D), Mike Doogan, in what appears to be an act of revenge.  AKM is a progressive and registered as a Democrat.

You’ll note in the contact information below that Doogan is also a Democrat. AKM calls things as AKM sees them without respect to party. What may have initially wedged Doogan’s britches was criticism about email etiquette. (No. I’m not kidding – as AKM might say – you can’t make this stuff up.)  AKM’s post about email etiquette is here.  AKM has posted initial thoughts on the outing.  There are some difficulties accessing the site due to the high volume of traffic.

As an active participant in The Mudflats community, as a person with strong feelings about the right to express a personal opinion, and as a semi-anonymous blogger, I’m outraged.

Here’s what AKM had to say about posting anonymously in her response to the outing:

It said in my “About” page that I choose to remain anonymous.  I didn’t tell anyone why.  I might be a state employee.  I might not want my children to get grief at school.  I might be fleeing from an ex-partner who was abusive and would rather he not know where I am.  My family might not want to talk to me anymore.  I might alienate my best friend.  Maybe I don’t feel like having a brick thrown through my window.  My spouse might work for the Palin administration.  Maybe I’d just rather people not know where I live or where I work.  Or none of those things may be true.  None of my readers, nor Mike Doogan had any idea what my personal circumstances might be.  But that didn’t seem to matter.

Shannyn Moore, another Alaskan blogger, has expressed her thoughts on the matter .

Please feel free to contact Representative Doogan:

Mike Doogan: CONTACT ME
Ph: (907) 465-4998
Or (800) 689-4998
Fax: (907) 465-4419

Be forewarned, he doesn’t believe there is any such thing as email etiquette. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I should state that I’m one of the volunteer moderators/administrators of The Mudflats Forum which is the community associated with the blog.  I didn’t know who AKM was even though we chat now and again. 

I have lots of reasons for maintaining my anonymity on the ‘net and ain’t nary a one of them anyone’s business, but my own.  This whole thing stinks to high heaven and even more so in consideration of the abuse of power.

W. Va. Fur and Root: edited for clarity and to clean up links.