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I have a new poem in the Winter 2008 issue of Blue Fifth Review. To see my poem, “Opening the Floodgates,” click here and scroll down. Or better yet, read the entire issue.

Sam Rasnake, editor of Blue Fifth Review, said, “ You can explain a bad poem, or even a good one. But, you cannot begin to explain a great poem. It penetrates where reason and explication can’t go.in his editorial statement for this issue, “Winter Thoughts – of a Scattered Nature.” Considering Sam feels this strongly about what makes a poem “good” or “great,” I am honored to have “Opening the Floodgates” among the poems he has published in this issue.

Thanks you, Sam.

Sam Rasnake has poems on The Dead Mule and blogs at Sam of the Thousand Things.

Whosoever drinks this water
will be thirsty again;
but no one who drinks the water
that I shall give him
will ever be thirsty again:
the water that I shall give him
will become in him a spring of water
welling up for eternal life.

John 4:14

“In the midst of Lent I am made aware that Easter is coming again. . . . . Indeed, spring announces itself. And tonight, O Lord, I heard you speak to the Samaritan woman. . . . What words! . . . I will carry them with me in my preparation for Easter. . . . In the Eucharist God’s love is most concretely made present. Jesus has not only become human; but he has also become bread and wine in order that, through our eating and our drinking, God’s love might become our own, . . . as food for our daily life. . . . . Jesus himself makes that clear to us when he says:

. . . and my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me and I live in that person.
As the living Father set me
and I draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will also draw life from me.”

to read the rest of this devotional see Show Me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings by Henri Nouwen

Muhammad Ali Boxing

Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942) is a retired American boxer and former three-time World Heavyweight Champion and winner of an Olympic Light-heavyweight gold medal. In 1999, Ali was crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and the BBC. . . . Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Ali was named after his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr., who was named for the 19th century abolitionist and politician Cassius Clay.

Ali was best known for his fighting style which he described as “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” His movement is often described as a dance, beautiful even. Throughout his career Ali made a name for himself with great handspeed, as well as fast feet and taunting tactics.

After winning the championship from Sonny Liston in 1964, Clay revealed that he was a member of the Nation of Islam (often called Black Muslims at the time). Aligning himself with the Nation of Islam, he changed his name, discarding his surname as a symbol of his ancestors’ enslavement. The change made him a lightning rod for controversy, turning the outspoken but popular former champion into one of that era’s most recognizable and controversial figures. He became a target of outrage, as well as suspicion. Ali seemed at times to provoke such reactions, with viewpoints that wavered from support for civil rights to outright support of separatism. . . . Indeed, Ali’s religious beliefs at the time included the notion that the white man was “the devil” and that white people were not “righteous.” Ali claimed that white people hated black people. . . . Ali converted from the Nation of Islam sect to mainstream Sunni Islam in 1975. (see Branches of Islam)

In 1964, Ali failed the US Armed Forces qualifying test because his writing and spelling skills were sub par. However, in early 1966, the tests were revised and Ali was reclassified 1A. He refused to serve in the US Army during the Vietnam War as a conscientious objector. Ali also famously said in 1966: “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong … They never called me nigger.” (see more)

See more about Muhammad Ali at his Official site.

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