xv the devil

a poem from “her book of dreams tarot”

grey lady poems

collage & text © polly macdavid 202`

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Sunday Sonnet

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a Sunday Sonnet … I apologize. Today’s poem is by Hartley Coleridge, the son of the much more famous poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

I admit that I found this poem simply by opening The Penguin Book of the Sonnet & there was the poem. Somewhat like bibliomancy. I had never read this poem before; indeed, I had never heard of Hartley Coleridge, although I am a great fan of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Here is the poem:


Coleridge, Hartley. “To A Friend”. The Penguin Book of the Sonnet: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English. Edited by Phillis Levin. NY: Penguin Books, 2001. poem found on page 114.

Relationships, and Recovery from Trauma

Wow, I can so identify with all of this.

Don't Lose Hope

1. World wide studies of disaster response have confirmed that social support provides the greatest protection against being severely impacted by a trauma.

2. Social support doesn’t simply mean having people around you – even highly responsive and compassionate people.

To feel supported, we need to feel we have truly been seen, heard and understood by somebody who genuinely cares.

We also need to feel completely safe with that person. This is absolutely crucial for healing to occur.

3. Feeling safe is not a cognitive decision. It’s not something we can convince ourselves of, or can talk ourselves into believing. We don’t feel safe because we’re told someone is safe.

Instead, safety is something we experience intuitively, and at a gut level.

We need to feel – deep down inside – that we matter to this person, and the fact that we are suffering truly matters to them, too.

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Saturday Caturday

Since I let Radar roam the yard the other day, he’s been relentless in wanting to go outside. At this very moment, he’s at the side door, crying to be let out. Because the yard is fenced in, I have to pick him up & carry him to the back yard. If I have things to do out there, like pick tomatoes or do some other kind of yard work, it’s OK but I don’t really like it when he’s out there on his own. This neighborhood is sick with rabbits (there’s rabbit shit everywhere) & if the rabbits can get through the spaces between the fences, you know a determined kitty can figure out how to do it. I would absolutely hate to lose Radar. He’s such a friendly lovable cat, some other family would invite him into their home in a heartbeat.

Here he is, crying.

After about fifteen minutes of this, I yelled, “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” & he did. But now he’s biting my laptop & circling my work area & being a general pain in the ass.

& now this:

Purring as loudly he can, of course!

photographs © polly macdavid 2021

Poetry Form: Zéjel

This sounds like an interesting & fun form of poetry.


Zéjel is a Spanish form with Arabic influence related to the Qasida and adopted by the Spanish troubadours of 15th century.   It may have appeared even earlier,  around the tenth century in Moorish Spain as part of a movement looking for freedom from the classical forms of the day. The zéjel tended to be a lighter form, like the English limerick.

The Zéjel is distinguished by linking rhyme established in the opening mudanza (strophe in which the theme is established in a mono-rhymed triplet). There have been many variations of the form, in Arabic a variation of the form is called the Zahal.

The elements of the simplest and most common form of the Zéjel are:

  1. syllabic, most often written in 8 syllable lines.
  2. stanzaic, opening with a mono-rhymed triplet followed by any number of quatrains.  
  3. rhymed, the rhyme of the opening mudanza establishes a linking rhyme with the end line of the succeeding quatrains. Rhyme scheme, aaa bbba…

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Excerpt from Gender Transition by Ellyn Kaschak, Ph.D

Do not miss: “Proponents of the transgender movement actually hijacked this diagnosis, along with the 50 years of feminist theory, practice and discoveries about the social construction and contextual nature of gender and spun them into a human rights movement, but not one for women. In fact, this movement actually infringes on many of the hard-won rights of women, including not only the right to assemble as a sex-based group but the right to call ourselves women, mothers and daughters. It even attempts to destroy the very concept of sex by conflating sex and gender, but make no mistake, lifetimes of research support unequivocally the difference between sex and gender. They may influence each other, but they are not the same thing. And sex can not be changed. It is a biological reality.”

Dead Wild Roses

Ellyn Kaschak, Ph.D. is Professor Emerita of Psychology, San Jose State University

Watch out for Dr.Kaschak as she’s violated the first rule of Trans Club – You don’t talk about Trans Club…

“The diagnostic of “gender dysphoria” actually came into existence as “gender identity disorder” and replaced the pathologizing of homosexuality (eliminated in 1973) in the DSM, the psychiatric bible. These diagnoses are adopted by popular vote of the American Psychiatric Association members, democratic rather than scientific. They have the strongest investment in construing psychology in terms of health and pathology. The association members had been convinced by lobbying groups and research, to vote to “normalize” homosexuality. In doing so, they wanted to leave a diagnostic possibility for those who remained conflicted about their sexual orientation. Diagnosis permits treatment via the official approval of the insurance companies, who today control the professions to a frightening extent. Thus was born “gender…

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The Wrong Kind of Unity

Some common sense here.

Benjamin Studebaker

On the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the American media reflected on the war on terror. It was just a month after our withdrawal from Afghanistan, and you might think that the American press would be introspective about its own role in promoting our expensive blunders in the Middle East. But instead, the press expressed nostalgia for the “unity” the country experienced in the years immediately following the attacks.

Post-9/11 “unity” enabled our government to start a series of expensive, destructive wars. More than 200,000 people died in Afghanistan. More than 200,000 people died in Iraq. All told, the war on terror cost $8 trillion and killed an estimated 900,000 people. Both parties were culpable. Democrats voted to authorize these wars, and President Obama’s disastrous intervention in Libya cut that country’s per capita GDP in half:

Libya GDP per capita PPP

Unity has value, but this is not the right kind of…

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