Friday, February 20, 2004

Good morning! O World! I greet ye with a blessing and a prayer for a little relief for each one of you who are suffering, and for each one of you who think that you have "it" made, a little more wisdom, a little more insight.

Sun shining, fairly warm outside. I sighted a bluebird on a tree. The bluebird then flew to the fence, chain-link, that bounds our property on the Northeast. Then, not fearing my 16 month old son nor my daughter nearby, it flew to the ground, and back to the other side of the fence, to eat some seed or something on the ground.

Now there is pleasant violin music playing from our radio. I see a woman walking along the street, greeting a man on a bicycle who slows and approaches her, speaking to her as he rides.

Just opened some mail from Oxfam, which pleads for money to support any one of their many projects, to feed the hungry, or assist poor farmers... One cause which I had followed years ago, and about which I'd not heard nor read anything in some time, is that of the coffee farmers and the people dependent on coffee for their livelihood. By this, I refer more to the growers and folk on the production side of the network, rather than the "middle" men and women.

Nathaniel A. Raymond, press officer for Oxfam's involvement in the movement to assist poor coffee farmers and coffee pickers, can tell you how the large coffee companies still make huge profits while the former toil, get paid hardly enough to provide for basic needs. Well, read for yourself...

One project with which I had involved myself and some friends in Bethel, Alaska, is Fair Trade. Am glad to see that the struggle for justice has not been abandoned, for the poor farmers and other workers in the coffee trade.

I have just heard Garrison Keillor read a poem by Ted Kooser, titled "Beer Bottle," from Sure Signs: New and Selected
Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press). It is posted in the Writers' Almanac.

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