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Poems On / About CHICAGO  2/13/2016 11:03:02 AM
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Snow (Less) Monkeys - Lincoln Park Zoo

We snow monkeys are watching snow
Melt away with coming of spring
To Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago.
Daylight saving time - what's that thing!
Next door to our habitat,
Lionel train goes round and round,
And humans have to pay for that.
Where do the humans think they're bound?
The humans can watch us for free.
In April, humans will turn on
All the fancy props that there be,
Showing our phenomenon.

April opening will be cool.
So come - don't be an April fool.
Ima Ryma

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Time To Remember

One ring. Two, three. The phone rang and rang.

Donnie was indisposed.

'Just a minute' he muttered, as if the caller could hear. Hastily he drew up his pants, and belted his belt, wondering who was calling so early Sunday morning.

'Hello', he cried, reaching the phone by the sixth ring.

'Yo, bro'! Donnie!

He recognized his brother's voice on the line.

'Hi, Ronnie. It's been a while. What's up'?

A while, yes. Over six months, in which time he's become a year older. His brother was four years his junior.

'How've you been'?

'Ok. You'?

'Busy. Work's picked up. I'm always getting calls. Almost too busy, I'd say. The money's good, though. Guess the economy's on the mend.

His brother worked free-lance as an insurance claim's adjustor.

Donnie agreed it probably was, and tried to beat back the memory of their trip earlier that year- to Chicago. But the memory came on with avalanche force. On New Year's day, he recalled, Donnie took a train from Penn Station to Thirtieth Street, in Philly. With a sort of linkage of wills, they'd agreed to accompany each other to the Windy City on business. Family business. At Thirtieth Street he'd met Ronnie and together they boarded a train bound for Pittsburgh, where they had a three hour lay-over. There, they dined on Fritos and Diet-Coke. Waiting on the hard benches they.......
Morgan Michaels

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Time To Remember Iii

He had a list of architectural marvels, starting with the Sullivan buildings (and Adler, of course) that he little doubted he'd get to.

'Amazing', he thought, 'how so bright a light could wind up on skid row. That's life', he said.

Chicago was even colder than Pittsburg. Every breath shot reams of steam, into the space ahead. Somewhere, Donnie had lost a glove. He couldn't decide if he should wear the unlost one, suspecting it might make the bare hand colder. Waiting in the cab queue, the wind gnawed the gloveless hand. He thrust it into his pocket for protection. Then, their turn came. Baggage thrown into the trunk, they piled in, but kept their cloth-bound PC's in their laps. The cab doors slammed shut, one after the other.

'Best Western', directed Donnie, leaning forward then slumping tiredly against the backrest, 'Michigan Avenue'.

The grey, hung-over city was struggling awake, trying to re-interest itself in business put away before the New Year's revelry.On the whole, it was quiet.

'Where's the courthouse', Donnie asked the driver, politely, through the divider, appending 'Sir' to the question, finally. He wanted to be ready, and felt like Napoleon surveying Waterloo before the battle.

'You guys from out of town'?

'New York', replied Donnie, briskly. He expected the answer might subdue the driver's cheek and put him on guard, as it was no fool asking, clearly, no tourist. But, it did not.

'That way', replied the cabbie, nodding up a cross street, with hard-to-discern interest. But he straightaway guessed the relevance of the question. Donnie stared in the direction of the nod. Far away, through the thinly falling snow, he spotted a plaza he thought was the Municipal Center.

They sped along the Park.....
Morgan Michaels

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Muslims And Yoga

We celebrated the International Yoga Day on 21/6/2015. Unfortunately, it was interpreted by politically motivated groups in India as a BJP programme initiated by Mr.Narendra Modi, our Prime Minister. Muslim Personal Law Board is one among such groups. There are different types of Muslims like the North Indian Deyoband group, Berelwis, Quadiyanis, and the South Indian Ponnani sects. There are Sunnis and Shiaites in India. Among them one is opposed to the other though all carry Holy Qur’an with them. So, this institutionalized religions function in India as a closed religion accusing one another. They follow this negative approach in every issue in the society. Indian Vote Bank identity politics creates this gulf wider and creates a negative anti-integration mood. This is the cause of opposition to Yoga Day Celebrations.

Actually, the Christian community favours Yoga and they teach it in their Seminaries and Convents where the priests and nuns are respectively trained. Muslims do yoga every day during their five times Prayer(Namaz) .But they do not realize it. Their priests do not recognize it and explain the benefits of Yoga steps proper to the common man. The Muslim clergy is averse to tell the truth to the people as they want to be the only True Spiritualists and denying the truth so clear. They make Muslims ignorant and exploit ordinary devotees.

For the Muslims and the other interested people, I shall explain the above points. The steps of prayer in Islam irrespective of times are the same. Step -1: Stand erect keeping feet one feet apart. Hold the hands across in between chest and the abdomen. Using the right hand thumb and the right hand little finger, the left hand wrist is held and the left fore-arm is covered by the other three right hand fingers. Head is held high and eyes are set on the Sujood Point-in a fixed gaze. Or eyes can be in a closed position. This posture is equal to the first step of Surya Naskar. In Surya Namaskar palms will be in a folded together style. This in effect helps the lungs to expand better and full breathing possible so that more oxygen will be inhailed. Step -II. Body is slowly bend down and both palms are set on the unbend knee. This is a variety of or in effect the same as the Pada Hasthasana in Yoga. In step –III, body is brought back to the Step -1st position. Step -IV It is the Sujood position where the forehead touches the ground. It is actually the Sashtanga Namaskar in Yoga. As the Step –V there is sitting posture equal to Vajrasana in Yoga Step-VI repeats the IVth position and in the Step-VII one is coming back to the Step -! position. This is done twice in Suabh; four times in Luhr, four times in Azar, three times in Magarib and four times in Issha. Really prayers are done five times in Christian Churches and in the Hindu temples following the time schedule of the Muslims. Hindus generally do not participate en-block in such prayers as a ritual but Muslims are as the five times Prayers are compulsory for them. During this physical activities, Muslims recite separate Dikrs(Mantras) or verses of the holy Qur’an as dictated to them. Dikrs or Mantras are nothing but sentences praising God- the Almighty. Muslims call it Allah; Hindus Brahma(not Bramman in Brahmman– Vishnu- and Siv trinity. These three are from Brahma-having neither birth or death): that is all. The concept is the same leading to monism.

Not only these steps but one has to prepare well in advance before performing Namaz or Yogas. One must be mentally alert, physically clean. The area of Prayers or Yoga must be serene and the air pure or else, concentration will lose. In Yoga these preparatory items are called Yama and Niyam. Practice non-violence in thought, words and deed.Faith in the Almighty Creator will create the mood of obedience casting off ego. According to Pathanjali Yoga sutra Yoga is to block thought waves and help us to do our acts successfully. Link spirit with the Spirit- soul with the Soul. Link creatures with the Creator. Only humble people can make humble society and the world Peaceful. All these are all thoughts preached by Muslims. They say Cleanliness is the part of Faith and Patience is the half of Faith.

Both Namaz of the Muslims and the Indian Yoga enhances the Spiritual and the Physical purity and growth. It unifies the mental alertness with the muscular action. All religions proscribe evil deeds and prescribe virtuous rituals/acts. This is to refine our culture and maintain peace and progress in the world. Prophet Mohammad (pbh) has told to begin interaction/discussion on the points where we can come to agreement first. Instead of blind opposition Muslims and Hindus must come on a table of discussion to understand both sides better during this Ramdan. As Swami Vivekananda in his Chicago address pointed out, we need assimilation not assassination. We have to integrate India by enhancing our culture.

Nasarudheen.P. Parameswaran

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