Anniversary and More


The Biography

The Biography

Today, February 8 completes three years on this blog.  It has had its busy and its slack times, but I’ve enjoyed it all.

I began this blog to publicize my biography of John Emerson Roberts. This was one piece of an effort which involved a variety of Linked In Groups and even Linked In Ads, as well as connecting with other bloggers.

I named this blog “Freethought and Metaphor” in part because I hoped that I would in

My new poetry collection

My new poetry collection

future have poetry books to advertise – and now I have one.  I realized as soon as I came up with the title that these are indeed two sides of my mind, as my subhead says.  My left brain thinks about ideas and my right brain creates poetic material.  Sometimes these two sides cooperate, sometimes they wander down different trails.  And there are times when my left brain pretends to cooperate but really wants to run the show.  Those times do no produce successful poems.

Humans are bilateral, but who really had only two sides?  A third place where I put my energy is work on hunger and justice issues.  There are disputes about what constitutes justice, but most people agree on what hunger is, even when it is hidden under fancy names like “food insecurity.”

I was delighted to discover Word Soup, an organization which uses poetry to support hungry people by asking for a small donation to their local food bank to accompany submissions.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to combine these two usually separate parts of my mind.  They accepted two of my poems, which can be found at: http://wordsoup.weebly.com/issue-five-february-2015.html

My father-in-law used to count his age not by years completed, but by the year he was in.  He was well into his 99th year when he died.  Today is not the end of three years for this blog.  It is the beginning of the fourth year.  And I plan to keep going, though I have no plan laid out for it.

Please check back to see what I come up with.  And check out my books on the Books page.


Who Eats What?


I have been working this week on hunger conditions around the world to use for publicity for a Hunger Sunday at church. There are huge quantities of data out there, but somehow they rarely answer the questions I ask.

Along the way I found some interesting facts about food crops. Do you know what the fourth largest – and number one non-grain product – is?  Potatoes.  Do you know which country is the largest potato producer in the world?  China.

I was interested in the basic grains, because I was trying to figure out who, where, eats how much of what. The top three crops are 3. rice, 2. wheat, 1. corn.

One can grow more rice than wheat per acre, but it takes a lot of water. Rice is the source of 20% (1/5th) of all calories consumed by humans. We can guess that a lot of this is in Asia, but don’t forget the popularity of rice and beans in Latin America!

Another stray fact from another source: Cambodians eat a lot of wheat bread along with their rice. It’s the influence of the French who once controlled the country.

Wheat in the Field

Wheat in the Field

Wheat is the leading source of vegetable protein for humans worldwide. It also takes up a lot of space – more than corn – partly because it can be grown in colder, drier places.

Corn is a staple food for the majority of sub-Saharan Africa. It is also, as we know, feeding cars as well as humans.  My source, being about the business side of crops, not the hunger issues, did not consider this a problem.

Even with the cars taking a share of the corn, there is enough food in the world to feed everyone; the problem is distribution. Finding out the end result – who gets how much of what to eat – has proven difficult.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/10-crops-that-feed-the-world-2011-9?op=1#ixzz3G5Lbl1wx