Pablo Neruda poem on birding


Becacina, Lago Deseado, Isla Grande Tierra del Fuego from Daniel González Amat on Vimeo.

This is a video of a South American snipe, filmed in the far south of Chile.

To the Pablo Neruda poem on birds, I have added videos, and hyperlinks to the bird species which the poet probably or certainly meant while writing.

From New Zealand Birds:

Pablo Neruda poem

The Poet Says Goodbye to the Birds

A provincial poet and birder, I come and go about the world,
unarmed,
just whistle my way along,
submit
to the sun and its certainty,
to the rain’s violin voice,
to the wind’s cold syllable.

In the course
of past lives
and preterit disinterments, I’ve been a creature of the elements
and keep on being a corpse in the city:
I cannot abide the niche,
prefer woodlands with startled
pigeons, mud, a branch of
chattering parakeets,
the citadel of the condor, captive
of its implacable heights,
the primordial ooze of the ravines adorned with slipperworts.

Yes yes yes yes yes yes,
I’m an incorrigible birder,
cannot reform my ways -
though the birds
do not invite me
to the treetops,
to the ocean
or the sky,
to their conversation, their banquet,
I invite myself,
watch them
without missing a thing:
yellow-rumped siskins,
dark fishing cormorants
or metallic cowbirds,
nightingales,
vibrant hummingbirds,
quail,
eagles native
to the mountains of Chile,
meadowlarks with pure
and bloody breasts,

This is a long-tailed meadowlark video.

wrathful condors
and thrushes,
hovering hawks, hanging from the sky,
finches that taught me their trill
nectar birds and foragers,
blue velvet and white birds,
birds crowned by foam
or simply dressed in sand,
pensive birds that question
the earth
and peck at its secret
or attack the giant’s bark
and lay open the wood’s heart
or build with straw, clay, and rain
the fragrant love nest
or join thousands of their kind
forming body to body, wing to wing,
a river of unity and movement,
solitary
severe birds among the rocky crags,
ardent, fleeting,
lusty, erotic birds,
inaccessible in the solitude
of snow and mist,
in the hirsute hostility
of windswept wastes,
or gentle gardeners
or robbers
or blue inventors of music
or tacit witnesses of dawn.

A people’s poet,
provincial and birder,
I’ve wandered the world in search of life:
bird by bird I’ve come to know the earth:

discovered where fire flames aloft:
the expenditure of energy
and my disinterestedness were rewarded,
even though no one paid me for it,
because I received those wings in my soul
and immobility never held me down.

— Pablo Neruda

translated by Jack Schmitt,
University of Texas Press, 1989

Britain: The RSPB is warning that although birds will start visiting your tables and feeders in flocks for winter food any time soon, it masks a serious decline in numbers of many common species: here.

The California quail’s acclimatisation in New Zealand has been most successful and is common in open country especially hilly regions cleared of forest and in fern and tutu country: here.

Green Parakeets in unusual courtship behaviour, Mexico: here.

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Italian women protest miniskirt ban


26 October 2010.

Women of Castellammare di Stabia demonstrate against miniskirt ban. Photo Franco Castano/AP

The Associated Press caption to this photo is:

Demonstrators hold banners reading “Miniskirt with burka and suspenders”, top left, and “Stop feminicide“, bottom right, as they protest in front of Catellammare di Stabia’s town hall, Italy, on Oct. 25. The mayor of the southern seaside town of Castellamare di Stabia wants to ban football games in public parks and squares, blasphemy out loud, and institute a miniskirt ban.

The banner at the bottom is of the Unione Donne Italiane (UDI), a Left feminist organization.

Italian women demonstrate against miniskirt ban


From Dutch NOS TV today [25 October 2010]:

Miniskirt ban in Italy creates stir

In the seaside town of Castellammare di Stabia, dozens of women have demonstrated in front of the town hall against a proposal to ban miniskirts.

For readers who think that “dozens” is not much: this is a small conservative town, with few traditions of demonstrating for or against anything.

That’s a plan of the mayor, who wants to teach residents decency. During the demonstration many policemen were deployed.

The mayor also wants a ban on sunbathing in public, on swearing and on playing football in parks.

Premier Berlusconi gave mayors the power to impose such bans to combat anti-social behavior.

The worst perpetrator of anti-social behaviour in Italy is Mr Berlusconi himself. Not women choosing themselves, as opposed to on Mr Berlusconi‘s orders, to wear miniskirts.

If the council agrees, violations of the bans may lead to fines of 25 to 500 euro fines being imposed.

Italian comments on this: here.

A Region Fouled by Trash Loses Faith in Berlusconi: here.

How much longer can Berlusconi cling to power? Here.

Miniskirt ban in Italy


Beyonce in mini skirt

Low cut dressFrom ANSA news agency in Italy:

Southern town plans to ban miniskirts, too much cleavage

In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi became a super-rich media boss, as a springboard for Prime Minister later, by endlessly parading women with “miniskirts, too much cleavage” on his TV networks.

This video from Italy is called Berlusconi’s party of EU candidates.

As Prime Minister, Berlusconi endlessly violates every rule in the sexual rulebook of the conservative wing of the Roman Catholic church, and Berlusconi’s own political Right wing linked to it.

However, when Italian women themselves, on their own initiative, not on Berlusconi’s orders, wear “miniskirts, too much cleavage”, then Berlusconi’s Right wingers want to set the police on them; like fellow Right wingers in Poland, in the USA, Chile, and elsewhere. It reminds one of Berlusconi‘s suddenly prudish censorship of eighteenth century art. Double standards, anyone?

Low jeans, blasphemy also targeted at Castellammare di Stabia

Rome, October 21 2010 – The southern Italian seaside town of Castellammare di Stabia is planning to ban women from wearing miniskirts and outfits showing too much cleavage and make low-rise jeans a no-no for everyone.

The restrictions are part of a list of measures Luigi Bobbio, the centre-right mayor of the town near Naples, will put to the local council for approval on Monday in a bid to ”restore urban decorum and facilitate better civil co-existence”.

Other measures include a ban on blasphemy and on playing football in the town’s public parks, according to leaks of the list published in local newspapers.

Offenders will face fines of between 25 and 500 euros, according to the reports. The local parish priest backs the initiative.

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Curaçao clerical sexual abuse


This video says about itself:

John is 57-years-old. As a small child, he was abused by several friars at a boarding school in Curaçao. For the first time, he speaks publicly about the abuse he endured for years on end.

Translated from Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

Roman Catholic school in Curaçao no safe haven

Friday, October 15, 2010 10:46

Report by Robert Chesal

PHILIPSBURG – Sexual abuse also took place in the Roman Catholic Church in Curaçao, according to research by Radio Netherlands Worldwide. However, it took place in the context of a broader problem: the cruelty traditionally thought of as a common thread running through Curaçao society.

Ralph Raveneau (61) walks to his bookcase. He takes a dictionary, looks up ‘sadism’ and reads the definition. When he is finished, he looks again. “He terrorized us. Abused us. Humiliated us. Spit at us. I think he liked to do that. “

It’s about “Brother P “, a teacher at St. Paul’s College in Groot Kwartier, Curacao. “Brother P. was very well known. If today in Groot Kwartier you mention that name to a man in his sixties, then that man will either begin to cry or he will beat you up. Nobody wants to hear that name anymore.”

Fear of reprisals

“There were some good teachers as well,” Raveneau says in his family house in the north of North Holland. In the living room some things remind one of the maritime world. Later he became an offshore engineer. Like many Antilles people who emigrated, he did not want to be far from his beloved sea.

But fear colors his memories. Brother P. had “systems,” says Raveneau. “He put a blind map of the Netherlands on the school blackboard. You, come here. Point out Groningen, he said. If you then accidentally pointed out Hoogezand, he would beat the hell out of you. And he would grin while doing that. There were forty witnesses. “

Also, he remembers a boy who had been beaten by Brother P. and who then had to wash his face under the fountain. “But when he did that, P. beat him up from behind. His entire eyebrow was destroyed. What should a boy like that say when he comes home? We were afraid of reprisals.”

See also here.

She was brought up to trust the Roman Catholic priests, but became the victim of sexual abuse by two Dutch priests in Curaçao – one of the former Netherlands Antilles – as a child: here.

Vatican canonizes Australia’s first saint: Nun who exposed sexual abuse by a priest: here.