Look up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane! It's a circle: Its circumference divided by its diameter! Oh my! For lots of good ways to celebrate Go here! ... If this isn't nice, what is? ~ Kurt Vonnegut, of course:
I’m calling this guy El Ladrón. He’s a Heermann’s Gull But he doesn’t care. He’s hanging here at Manhattan Beach With Kate & David, who are Freshly back from Baja California Where they watched whales, Lazed on the beach and ate Vast quantities of scrumptious food. El Ladrón is returning from Baja BC And is on his way further south To some very private Mexican islands In search of some cute girl gulls. As he swoops and zooms, He’s always on the lookout for A Brown Pelican, watching as it Swoops and dives, then El Ladrón steals its bounty from its Very ample beak. El Ladrón, after all, means Thief. Of course, he’ll be happy to steal Human treats, too. He’s not so picky… Just incredibly fast and sneaky. And he has incredibly cute feet.
As El Ladrón wings his way south, Kate and David wing their own way Home to their sky pod on Manhattan Ave, On a tall NJ cliff that overlooks The Manhattan Island we all know.
Or do we?
All these Manhattans prompt me To wonder how that name came about In the first place. Seems though There’s no definitive “first place.”
In 1609 Henry Hudson plied the seas And mapped the coast around the mouth Of the river that now bears his name. Somebody labelled two places with two words That are each sort of like Manhattan, but not Manhattan, but not like in two different spellings. And the two places are On opposite sides of said river.
Walt Whitman was the first to use the name Manhattan in print. The name’s meaning, though, Is delightfully strewn with opinions Now deemed as spurious As old Henry’s first map labels. “Island of many hills” Gave way to “Place where We became intoxicated,” Put forth as evidence That the island’s vendors Became drunk on the Dutch buyers’ spirits.
Seems though, both are myths On all historical, geographical, And etymological fronts.
Enter our hero, Albert Anthony, Né Shiikwáhkwunund, “Lone Pine” In the Munsee (Delaware) language… The language of the original inhabitants Of the whole Hudson Valley region… Including Manhattan Island.
In 1884 Anthony was Part of a delegation from Six Nations Reserve… And along with three chiefs Gave an interview that said:
Our traditions affirm that at the period of the discovery of America, our Nation resided on the Island of New York. We call that island Man- -h -tonh, The place where timber is procured For bows and arrows… At the lower end of the island was a grove of hickory trees of peculiar strength and toughness. Our fathers held this timber in high esteem as material for constructing bows, war-clubs, etc.
So… From this prized stand of hickory To a lone buttonwood tree, Manhattan's greenery has defined How the known nations interact With themselves and each other. From tools for both hunting And warfare to the trading of shares, Often profiting from warfare, But always in dreams of filling the tables Of the poor as well as the rich. First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin. But, then, that's yet another story, eh?... If this isn't nice, what is? ~ Kurt Vonnegut, of course:
Born in Seattle... grew up and went to school in Texas... first graphic design jobs in Dallas... lived and worked for 4 years in Sydney, Australia...
moved to Vancouver then on to Toronto, where I've lived and worked since 1978.
All this moving about means I'm tri-lingual: all in English.
Production design for packaging is my speciality.
I began my study of astrology in Sydney and continue with great passion.
I'm the centre of clam and I believe in proofreaders.
All content in this blog (except where noted) is original art, poetry & photography by Bette Forester and each is copyright the year noted. The creations I share here are for personal entertainment only and may not be copied for publication or contest submission. Enjoy!