New Zealand’s Flag Debate

December 14, 2015

I am guessing that New Zealand is one of those “distant” countries that one either follows or one doesn’t.  Probably because of rugby and cricket (and a favourite uncle who disappeared there decades ago), I choose to follow events over there. Thus it is that I have been intrigued by New Zealand’s debate over a new flag.

Many people like the current Kiwi flag:

NZ flag


But a million and a half New Zealanders voted in a contest to select an alternative. The winner:

New NZ flag


There will be a binding referendum in March to choose between the two. I have no dog in the fight (though I definitely prefer the fern to the Union Jack) but I love the fact the people will make the decision.  Back in the 1960s during Canada’s “Great Flag Debate”, the decision was entirely in the hands of the elite.

Night Music: Paint It Black

December 14, 2015

Poem: From Here To There

December 14, 2015


the wind wound round my legs,

changed direction, wiping my face

with a salty slap as it whistled away.

I veered with it, swinging south

along the strand, grinding my heels

into the beach to stand my ground

against the tempest’s growing bloom.

And though I’ve felt the lash

of fortune’s back of hand before,

never before did I assume the depths

of despair I felt that day.   No,

not even close. I looked ahead

as best I could through the spray

that stuccoed  my view.

The future spread before me,

flat as prairie, expressionless, gray

and drab, devoid of interest, latent or

exposed.  I sighed the sigh of the

homeless man;  then,

like an unseasoned sapling,

I bent with the rain and trudged

on to Desolation Sound.



On The Moon

December 14, 2015

Harrison_SchmittHarrison Schmitt was the last of only twelve humans ever to walk on the moon. Forty-three years ago today — yes, way back in 1972 — his ship took off from the moon and we have not been back since.

Manned space flight was the dream of my father’s generation.  We boomers pushed us into the unmanned and more machine-driven discovery of space at the same time as we were inventing programmed stock trading, robotic automation, and plugged-in entertainment.  We love machines apparently.

I wonder where the millennials will take us?