My Pride of Barbados

Written by Arthur Zulu

(To my future wife)

Flowers. Only God knows howrepparttar world would have been without them. Perhaps colorless. Thereforerepparttar 118070 Great Artist seeing how unbeautifulrepparttar 118071 earth would have looked like inrepparttar 118072 absence of these plants, decided to add them as a finishing stroke in his canvas. So God said: “Let there be flowers.” And there were flowers. And God looked and saw that they were very good.

Very good? Very good! Because flowers are beautiful things, they have delighted all creation. Birds and insects won’t leave them alone. Some have died sucking their nectar. Wild animals gaze at these masterpieces of creation. And humans have put them to better uses as gifts and objects of decoration in selected places.

But God was not choosy when he decoratedrepparttar 118073 earth with these plants. Flowers can be found everywhere: on volcanic peaks (the Tower of jewels in Canary islands); inrepparttar 118074 Alps and Pyrenees (the Carline thistles); inrepparttar 118075 wild (the English iris); on mountain tops (the mountain houseleek orrepparttar 118076 better name, live-forever); in tropical forests (the Bromeliads); inrepparttar 118077 deserts (the primroses and lilacs of Death Valley, California); onrepparttar 118078 sea (the lotus). And in whatever clime you find them, they are a beauty to behold.

Because of this, women have enhanced their beauty by wearing a garland of flowers on their heads or around their necks—fromrepparttar 118079 ubiquitous Hibiscus flower torepparttar 118080 majestic Rose flower. But flowers have played ignominious roles too. Like what?

It is common to send a bouquet of flowers to loved ones. And women have been wooed and won by them. Flowers with names like Queen ofrepparttar 118081 night and Morning-glory work magic. Onrepparttar 118082 contrary, flowers have been used to send negative messages by estranged lovers to one another. In this infamous group are Touch-me-not and Forget-me-not. God didn’t think of such roles when he created them.

Neither did he consider them as national symbols. The beautiful daffodil orrepparttar 118083 musical long name, daffodowndilly, has becomerepparttar 118084 national symbol of Wales. Notrepparttar 118085 whales ofrepparttar 118086 sea but Walesrepparttar 118087 republic. Then clan ofrepparttar 118088 former is reputed for swallowing run-away prophets. Ask Jonah. But Wales,repparttar 118089 nation, is not alone in this respect. Which land comes next?

Barbados,repparttar 118090 tourists’ paradise, popular for her pristine surrounding and lovely beaches. Famous for her hospitality and rich culture. None of these, however, has popularized this island more than a simple flower—the Pride of Barbados.

What name, Pride of Barbados! If you are in temperate lands, you may not live to see this flower. Even if you waited for 76 years. You might only see Halley’s Comet—that is if you can cheat death. For none sees it twice. Mark Twain didn’t. Pride of Barbados is a tropical flower. So you have to travel torepparttar 118091 land of abundant sunshine to behold it. What if you live inrepparttar 118092 tropical climate but are yet to see this flower?

Then let me show yourepparttar 118093 flower as we walk in your garden. Sorry, it isn’t there. The 10 to 15 feet Dwarf Poinciana or Flower Fence, which blooms all year round, could be found in your fence. We see many flowers as we inspect your fence. But look atrepparttar 118094 fiery red or yellow one with five petals and yellow margins whose fifth petal is smaller thanrepparttar 118095 other four. As you examinerepparttar 118096 flower, be mindful of its prickly branches. You will notice that it has large leaves with many small leaflets. You will also find out that each flower is about 11/2 inches across with five sepals. You will equally discover thatrepparttar 118097 ten stamens—with colored filaments and anthers atrepparttar 118098 tips—are long and that pistils project fromrepparttar 118099 center ofrepparttar 118100 flower. You have seenrepparttar 118101 Pride of Barbados! The red variety appears onrepparttar 118102 Barbados Coat of Arms and isrepparttar 118103 National flower of Barbados. But which is your favorite flower?

Bernie Ebbers and The Tempations

Written by Roger Wright

Bernie Ebbers andrepparttar Temptations.

If you don’t give a heck aboutrepparttar 118069 man withrepparttar 118070 Bible in his hand. . . . --Mack Rice

No. Not those temptations.

I mean The Temptations. And I am not talking about whoever is touring underrepparttar 118071 name today. I am talking about Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendrick and David Ruffin. The real Temptations.

Having all, except for Otis Williams, moved on . . . .

I wonder if Bernie Ebbers, frowning and dour, white beard and cheap, stained raincoat, pushing his way pastrepparttar 118072 TV cameras onrepparttar 118073 Manhattan sidewalk; I wonder if Bernie maybe just for a split second heard a street radio, that great bass line holding uprepparttar 118074 introduction so well thatrepparttar 118075 tune immediately gets ingrained in your soul so deeply that you don’t even know how it got there; I wonder if Bernie heardrepparttar 118076 same song I did when I learned he’d been convicted and pronounced guilty on all counts; I wonder if Bernie heard:

“I got sunshine, on a cloudy day!”

And as we walked throughrepparttar 118077 throng, his lawyers clearing a path, I wonder if Bernie looked up intorepparttar 118078 narrow band of New York City Sky; and saw all five original smiling Temptations on a floating Motown stage that hovered just in front and above Bernie Ebbers head, an unseen orchestra playing asrepparttar 118079 Temptations came alive aboverepparttar 118080 packed and vibrating New York City street. Bernie watched them dance:

And when it’s cold outside. I gotrepparttar 118081 month of May. I guess you say What can make me feel this way?

As Bernie looked up, not really sure what he was seeing or why he was seeing it, he thought: “Nothing can surprise me now. I didn’t now it would all turn out this way. But nothing, nothing can surprise me now.

And who exactly are these five black men, all smiling, dressed in fine white silk suits?”

Bernie didn’t really even hearrepparttar 118082 shouts ofrepparttar 118083 reporters and they all bounced into some unseen and unknown compartment in his brain. A compartment he kept locked. Forgetting long ago where he had hidrepparttar 118084 golden key. But he could hearrepparttar 118085 Temptations sing and he marveled atrepparttar 118086 unity in their dancing moves.

I got so much honey The bees envy me I got a sweeter song Thenrepparttar 118087 birds inrepparttar 118088 trees I guess you say What can make me feel this way. . . .

He watchedrepparttar 118089 dancing spin like flowing silk. He was entranced that there was such unity. It was as ifrepparttar 118090 dance andrepparttar 118091 tune andrepparttar 118092 words were allrepparttar 118093 same. Coursing like blood through some sort of larger life force, some sort of life force inrepparttar 118094 way those five men smiled and moved on that floating stage that hovered just above Bernie’s line of sight. He heard and watched them sing:

My girl, My girl, My girl Talking bout my girl!

And as we was jarred into a back seat of a big black car,repparttar 118095 5 men who sang and danced with a unity of some sort of spirit Bernie had just never known before,repparttar 118096 5 men vanished---Bernie closed his eyes and heard onlyrepparttar 118097 sound ofrepparttar 118098 bass—the lines “My girl” fading and thenrepparttar 118099 bass rising again to a newer, even more powerful line.

The newer bass line rose into a groove that was even deeper, not loud---but deep. it was as if this single bass line packedrepparttar 118100 power of a locomotive, a brutal black metal, coal fueled fire box locomotive just likerepparttar 118101 one that ran between Winona Mississippi where Roebuck Staples was born in 1915; and Clinton Mississippi where inrepparttar 118102 late 1990’s most everyone worked for Bernie; a locomotive bass line, that just shookrepparttar 118103 earth---not from its noise---but from its simple power. And thenrepparttar 118104 voice of old Pops Staples asking Bernie:

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