gateway guardian

i watch the guardian at the gate

who ushers trespassers to their fate

between the keep

and the ditch that’s deep

while I pass with foul export

he stops and gives a brief report

a messenger arrives too late

for the next transport he must wait

the guardian puts them to sleep

and cocoons them with thread to weep

i pass back into the fort

the guardian makes no retort

the guardian finishes their date

preserved until their time to sate

i wander past them with a heap

my own collection from which to reap

i hear the guardian’s tiny snort

laughing at my catch, and my sport

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ardent eagle

the eagle soars

his wings held high

immune to evening’s

mayhem nigh

regal eagle

commands the winds

to his hunt

attention pinned

the eagle soars

the auburn sky

with rapt attention

the night can’t pry

ardent upon his throne of air

eagle ignores the chittering

of the smaller birds

and their ceaseless twittering

lofted by private thermals

eagle glides over verdant woods

focused on the fruitful forest

savors secret sacred words

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om som somaya

as you wane

as i watch you fade

into the wild light of day

i miss you my dear

i listen beyond the calling birds

yearning, I listen beyond the hum

and i hear you there

within the well

within my heart

your voice

whispering to me

through the silence

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shattered sea

shattered sea

is it beyond belief

that beneath this shattered sea

our damage attacks the reef

that supports you and me

how can we not see

that our greedy reach

extends beneath the shattered sea

our sacred pact we breach

we attack the pact of love

intrude beyond the world above

into the shattered sea we shove

horrors of our rueful glove

how can we, once from the sea

who came to dwell upon the land

not hear or heed the urgent plea

how can we not take a stand

and to our aquatic cousins

we infect them with our sins

inject them with poisoned bodkins

turn away as their realm blackens

let us plunge in and find how can we

fathom what can we do, you and me

begin to make peace with the sea

join the plea to heal this shattered sea

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Transcript of Infographics

I transcribe infographics to text for accessibility. The transcript could be written by the original author, someone who redistributes it, a reader like your or me, or automatically transcribed by an artificially intelligent bot using techniques such as optical character recognition (OCR) and image and scene analysis and description software. The transcript could be in plaintext, rich text, Markdown, or other standardized formats. Information beyond the graphical content could also be included, including but not limited to citation information such as source, author, and date of publication. Data beyond the data is commonly called metadata. There are many advantages to having a textual transcript of all photographs, drawings, and infographics. Nearly all motivations are about increasing accessibility. Textual annotations or transcripts of graphics, video, or audio content allow screen readers to play audio or braille or other rendering of the text for people who are blind or visually impaired; text is indexable and searchable on web sites, blogs, and social media platforms; text is readable for people who cannot look at a visual display to read which can be useful if they are driving, flying, operating a forklift, and more; text is translatable to other languages by human or machine translation. It is my belief that all content should be accompanied by a plaintext transcript or at least annotations including description and author at a minimum.

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how to make a grotto

How to make a grotto

Perhaps you are lucky enough to have a natural stone formation that can be used as a grotto. If not, how would you go about constructing one? Here is a checklist on how to make a grotto. We hope that you find it helpful. But here we will share a few notes about grotto construction to consider.

Start with a pile of rocks

Grotto construction can be a simple matter of piling rocks into a structure, however this could be a safety risk because the rocks could collapse and cause damage, injury, or death. Bricks or landscaping pavers could also be used as part of the structure. Again, if you just stack these materials with or without rocks and soil, be careful of the safety of your construction.

Use mortar to keep the rocks together

A significant enhancement to the stability and safety of a grotto can be achieved through the use of mortar. This video describes the fundamental differences between cement, concrete, and mortar. You can apply mortar between the stones or bricks as you build your grotto. The mortar helps hold the structure together. If you plan to add significant strength to the structure, consider using concrete, as noted in the video earlier in this paragraph.

Use steel reinforcement bars (rebar) for strength

Although it is less simple and natural than a pile of rocks or a stack of bricks, you could build an artificial grotto structure using concrete. In order to shape the concrete into creative or natural looking structures, you could use steel reinforcement bars (rebar) to create the desired shape and add strength to the structure. Such strength is especially important if you will ever climb or walk on the grotto structure such as to tend to the plants you may have growing on it.

Skilled construction workers and landscape engineers may use burlap, plastic or metal screen, chicken wire, and other materials around the rebar to help shape the concrete that is used to build the structure. An example of this is shown in this video showing a preparation stage of an elaborate grotto construction.

Adding water

Before building the grotto structure, you may wish to add plumbing inside the grotto structure, or craft water channels in the surfaces of the structure. You can transform a simple stone or concrete grotto structure into a fountain or waterfall by using appropriate plumbing and water channels. This can also be useful for irrigation of plants that grow in and on the grotto.

Adding plants

Some people like to build grottos as a simple stone shrine. Transforming the grotto into a water feature should be planned ahead if at all possible, though water could be retrofitted into some existing grotto structures. Whether you build your main structure of stone, brick, reinforced concrete, or a combination of these, you can incorporate plants into your design. Be sure to accomodate enough space in the planting portions of your design for adequate soil, water supply, root structure, and drainage.

Ferns, grasses, reeds, bamboo, all varieties of tropical plants, and flowers are popular kinds of plants to include in a grotto. In some cases the same plants could survive through the life of the grotto. It is possible to replace old flowers with new ones on a regular basis. And you could change the types of plants in the grotto over time. Depending on your balance of the grotto elements—the fundamental structure, shrine, water, and plants—you could create a garden that features your grotto or even a garden within the grotto. Whether you build a garden grotto or a grotto garden, we hope you enjoy your creation.

Favorite grottos

Do you have any favorite grottos that you like to visit? A quick web search can reveal a wealth of photos of grotto gardens. Do you have a design that you would like to build some day, or perhaps photographs of a grotto you have built?


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in my travels i have found

some people truly care

if pi are square

or pi are round

some people like their pi

sometimes the fruity kind

but people are particular

about certain kinds of zza

whether you spin it or roll it

thick or thin, how do you slice it

do you prefer triangulish wedges

or squares with centers and edges

do you make your pizza cheesy

or topped a little scant and teasey

do you pile on the pepperoni

or spice it up with pepperoncini

is the red sauce mandatory

or something you eschew

are garlic and basil perfunctory

and is pineapple taboo

does cilantro taste like divinity

or does it taste soapy to you

do you crave this prince of parsley

and garnish your pizza with it too

it took a pair of kiwis

one from here, one from there

it took this pair beyond compare

to make the perfect pineapplezza

many a time i have seen

pizza with pineapple toppings

often in chunks, sometimes slices

placed on top, along with spices

but pineapplezza is a bold creation

to some it is a perturbation

yet many rejoice this recipe

hope to eat it and dance with glee

and so it was the prince of Yee

who laid a foundation pineappley

of pineapple wedges a crust was made

upon papered tray this bliss was laid

with cheeses and sauces it was dressed

by olives and cilantro this was blessed

baked in the oven until hurrah

ready to eat this pineapplezza

pineapplezza so pleased the Yees

the news swiftly spread beyond kiwis

after ‘twas eaten they still wanted more

when to expect pineapplezza’s encore

would you eat just any old zza

or start with a pineapple crust

and pile on the toppings you trust

would you try this pineapplezza

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