Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

Pablo NerudaMy best friend Bradley Minnaar introduced me to the beautiful poetry of Pablo Neruda. He paid me one of the best compliments I’ve ever received by telling me that my poetry was similar to that of the great Neruda. You can read my poetry on the Allpoetry.com website. But here is one of the classics of love poetry ever written. Shakespeare eat dust!


Sonnet XVII (100 Love Sonnets, 1960)

I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;

So I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

=== the end ===

You may want to read Pablo Neruda’s Nobel Lecture, December 13, 1971

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Yahoo Upgrades Online Dating Service

[November 17, 2004] Dow Jones Market Monitor By Riva Richmond Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Yahoo Inc. wants to find someone to love the real you.

On Wednesday, the Internet giant plans to launch a new, pricier class of its popular online dating service that it says will help singles better understand who they are, how they love and who they should let into their hearts.

The new service for “relationship seekers,” dubbed Yahoo Personals Premier, lets people search for soul mates based on the results of online personality and relationship tests. Although the tests are available free to all comers, searching for compatible people requires Premier membership, which costs $34.95 a month, compared to $19.95 a month for a standard membership.

The interactive tests, which were designed by relationship experts, are designed to assess a dater’s personality type, “love style” and relationship skills. On top of giving people insight into themselves, test results advise daters about what sorts of people they would be happiest with – and which are more likely to bring strife and hurt.

“It’s like free therapy,” says Lorna Borenstein, a former eBay Inc. executive who is now vice president and general manager of Yahoo Personals, of the 10-minute personality test and 30-minute relationship test. “It tells you who’s more likely to be right for you, as opposed to your perception of who’s right for you.”

So a woman with an “idealist” personality and “romantic” love style, for instance, will learn that men who are “creators” and have a “passionate” love style are their best bet. Men who seek “spontaneous” or “careful” love are probably people to avoid. With a Premier membership, she can search for men whose tests revealed the right qualities, as well as meet standard search criteria like location, height, education level and religion.

Yahoo says the capability will more efficiently yield the higher-quality prospects that relationship seekers want from online dating services. “How do you find your needle in the haystack?” Borenstein asks. “Technology can make it easier.”

And these singles, which account for about 27% of online daters, are willing to pay more money than casual daters if given better tools for their search, she says.

The higher-priced offering comes at a time when growth in spending on online dating is slowing. Personals remain the largest paid online-content category in the U.S., excluding pornography and gambling, with U.S. consumers spending $227.9 million in the first half of 2004, according to the Online Publishers Association. Although spending in the period was up 6.4% from the first half of 2003, it has declined sequentially for three quarters in a marked reversal from two and a half years of rapid growth.

Yahoo won’t disclose how much of its revenue comes from personals, though it has said the service is one of four that together account for 70% of its paid-service revenue. The other three are Internet-access, e-mail and small-business services. Yahoo operates the No. 1 personals site with 6.2 million users in October, according to research firm comScore Networks Inc.

Borenstein said technology and product innovation at Yahoo Personals has boosted activity on the site in the past. Of course, the company won’t be the first to provide personality and relationship testing. EHarmony, for one, has built a sizable community by offering to connect more serious-minded daters based on compatibility testing. Match.com also offers personality testing. But Yahoo says it has taken the concept further.

Now that personals growth appears to be leveling off and companies are looking to spark a second wave of growth, “the name of the game changes a bit to things like innovation, differentiation, satisfaction and the like,” says analyst Dan Hess, a comScore senior vice president. “To the degree (Yahoo’s offering is) new and different, or more successful, it offers a way to differentiate.”

Yahoo says its tests are the most up-to-date in terms of scientific understanding of what makes good relationships and the most fun to take. The tests ask users to react to hypothetical situations, rather than a list of questions with multiple-choice answers.

Yahoo also says it applies the most advanced search technology to the task of matching compatibility information with real people.

Prospective dates who have also taken the tests will also be rated on their personality and relationship “fit” with the searcher and given a one-to-five heart rating on their “overall fit.” Yahoo’s “SmartFit” search technology also accepts feedback from users about whether recommended people are actually compatible and learns from it to provide better search results the next time.

source: SmartMoney.com

Stress Tension Loneliness Depression

A friend of mine Jess Miller wrote a book called “We’re all in this together“. In the book he spoke about Stress, Tension, Loneliness and Depression (STLD). I have been trough two serious bouts of depression first in at the end of 1999 and into 2000 and then to a lesser extend in 2001. These days the depression is mild but I feel it from time to time. My thoughts are like those thoughts I had back then. Life is to much, everything is so complicated, I wish I could start all over again. It is in such times turning to God is much better then any therapist. Talking to God, talking to yourself, healing yourself. For some people this can seem self-centres but Jess told me once if I didn’t look after myself, FIRST, I wouldn’t be able to look out for or after my loved ones i.e. my mother, my sister, my brother and my father. The world we live is interactive, it is also interdependant. We cannot isolate ourselves like the ancient masters. When Buddha left his kingdom and meditated for so many years under the Bodi Trea it was a enourmous act of self-sacrifice. Many people depended on him but he let go of everything. So I think to myself, Ramon, are you read to let go of everything yet? And the answer is always “not yet”. So when I discovered the real issue is not letting go but rather letting things happen without trying to control and with trying to stop them, or bypass them, I realised there is still hope. Hope of a better future, hope of new found love, hope of making a difference and contributing to humanity as a creative benefactor. But before there is hope you have to start with desire. The desire to change for the better.

Up, up and away…Superman

Superman Christopher Reeve Superman, the archetypal comic book superhero was born in the early 1930’s depression era America. The brainchild of writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster Superman was initially a villain but soon became the greats hero known to mankind. The myth of Superman is essentially that he was born on the planet Krypton with a red sun. Before the planet was destroyed his parents, Jor-El & Lara, sent him off to Earth. The only survivor from his home planet he became an American icon helping fight World War II, saving FDR and much more. In the early 1990s Superman was killed in by Doomsday. He was resurrected (sound familiar) and his powers temporarily changed but was soon reversed to the original set of powers.

Christopher Reeve became famous overnight when he starred in the first Superman (1978) movie. He reprised the role 3 more times although the last movie, Superman 4: The Quest for Peace (1987) was pretty lame compared to the sequels. The first two are rated as the best and the third starring Richard Pryor is a bit of a comic farce in the vain of Batman Forever (with Jim Carrey). My personal favourite is #2 with the 3 baddies from Krypton. After suffering severe injuries from a horse riding accident Christopher Reeve was paralyzed. He still continued to do work behind the camera. He also petitioned Hollywood to make more social conscious movies at the 1996 Oscars. Although he will best remembered as the Man of Steel, he has made an enormous contribution to the cause of the disabled, and was in particular outspoken about Stem Cell Research.

What is your favourite Christopher Reeve moment? Please comment on this post and share it with me.

Help get America out of Iraq

Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 The Iraq war is a farce and we all know it. The United States of America led by George (Dubya) Bush had invaded a sovereign country that was not a threat to America. For the last 18 months we’ve been bombarded with an assortment of lies. Even the once respectable Colin Powell, LIED in front of the United Nations when he called for a special resolution (READ permission to go to war). George W Bush is a liar, an idiot and viciously protecting the interest of American special interest groups in the defence and oil industries (READ Halliburton, Boeing, etc). A couple of weeks ago I watched Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.

How obvious it must be now to see that Dubya stole the election from Al Gore. Bush’s family was involved in all aspects from the Fox News reports which declared him the winner in Florida, to his brother Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida. The American media continuous not to show the reality of the Iraq and it’s consequences for there own soldiers who are dying every week. Moore interviews a very patriotic mother of a soldier in Iraq. Only when he dies and his body is sent home for burial does she start to question the reason why he went in the first place. Moore probes the relationship American relationship with Saudia Arabia, and I conclude that it is incestuous in nature. You have to wonder who the parasite is and who the prey between them is.

Does taking Iraq’s oil riches make America less dependant on Saudi oil, or are really a cover up for something deeper? And why did other Arab nations not stand up for Iraq?!After watching another documentary, The World According to Bush on SABC3, rebroadcast this past Sunday I’m even more convinced that we are all ignorant and have allowed this farce to continue long enough. The difference with these two excellent documentaries is that The World According to Bush was produced in France, and it starts out with a linking Bush to the neo conservative Christian right wing in America. This is a very powerful lobby group that is Israel’s staunches supporters. It’s like there’s an implicit agreement between them on America’s foreign policy. You have to ask yourself why the hell America keep interferes in other countries. Doesn’t if have enough problems internally to keep it busy? The world is not a better place because America tries to police it. Case in point it creates its own enemies like Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Ladan but wants to get rid of them when they are no longer needed as is currently the case. Some of the obvious facts that was omitted and ignored by most people are as follows:

  • Dubya’s grand father Prescott Bush was the secret banker for Adolph Hitler in World War 2
  • In the 1980s Donald Rumsfeld visited Iraq and recommended that the USA support them against Iran
  • Osama Bin Laden was a CIA trained spy in Afghanistan fighting the Russians
  • The Carlyle Group had Shafik Bin Laden, Osama’s half-brother as a major shareholder
  • Prince Bandar, Saudi Arabia ambassador to the USA organised that all Bin Laden’s relatives in the USA and other Saudi’s be flown back to Saudi Arabia on September 12, 2001 when no other plains were allowed to fly in the USA

There’s an endless stream of evidence that Bush & Co. planned to get rid of Saddam Hussein before 9/11. Both documentaries prove this beyond a doubt. So what can we do about this? We can encourage President Thabo Mbeki to more outspoken about the USA & Britain withdrawing from Iraq. Innocent women and children are being killed in the crossfire. Saddam cannot be tried by any courts that has anything to do with the USA because the have an inherent bias against him. Send emails to Thabo Mbeki president@gov.za and tell him to tell the USA to get the hell out of Iraq (and Afghanistan). While you at it email George W Bush president@whitehouse.gov and tell him as well where to shove it. Never before has there been a more arrogant and stupid president in the USA. I implore everyone to go and watch the funny yet poignant documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.

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The Apprentice on SABC3

The Apprentice is a new reality show on SABC3 on Wednesdays from 19h30 to 20h30. It replaced the long running 2nd season of the Weakest Link, in which I starred on 12 August 2004. This show is great fun, entertainment and can teach you business savvy from one of the most succesful real estate entrepreurs in the world. Donald Trump is the executive producer of the show and the star. He appeared on the cover of the 10 May edition of Fortune magazine with the success of his new reality show. The 2004 Forbest magazine ranks him as the 74th richest American with nett worth of approximately $2.6 billion from real estate and casino’s. Also checkout NBC’s The Apprentice website if you want a sneak preview of the winner.

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An Ode to Tania Hoffman

I have beautiful memories about YOU. Thanks you for all you have taught me about Life. We had it all for a moment in time: friendship, love, pain, joy, happiness, anger, wisdom, pleasure, blessings. This is the last goodbye to my beautiful ex-girlfriend, Tania Hoffman. Loosing my Faith in Fate was the last poem I wrote in November 2004 after we broke up. You really inspired me more then anyone had done in many years.

Maybe I can remind you of how amazing things were not so long ago when I wrote my first poem for you in May 2004: Goodnight Kisses. This was my first poem in more then a year and it is one of my best I believe. When I posted this poem on Allpoetry.com one of the people commented as follows, “Whatever inspired you to write a poem as good as this one, keep it. Don’t let whatever or whomever inspired you to write get away. They did a really good job.” Within 2 weeks I wrote another poem, When You Opened the Door. I really felt inspired. Things were very good for a while and I though since we were good friends our love would only grow in leaps and bounds. Well you know how difficult it became. By August 2004 when I wrote There She Stands the writing was probably on the wall but I choose to ignore it.

Thank you for sharing this and many other gems with me…“The greatness comes not when things always go good for you. But the greatness comes when you’re really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments when sadness comes. Because only if you’ve been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.” Richard Nixon

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Goodnight, Seattle

This is the famous words spoken by Dr Frasier Crane played to perfection by Kelsey Grammer for the last 11 years. Besides the X-Files, Frasier was the only TV show over the last couple years I’ve always made an effort to watch. The X-Files also ended it’s run on SABC2 in 2004. I regularly record this show on my VCR. Tonight a 1-hour long show was broadcast. Frasier’s brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and his wife Daphne (Jane Leeves) had their first baby. Frasier’s dad, Martin got married to his fiancé Ronny (Wendy Malick) just after the birth of his 2nd grandson. Frasier and Niles were very competive from their younger days and become a great duo in the show. My best friend Rehelda once commented that I needed a “Niles” in my life. I’ve often felt a close affinity for the character of Frasier.

Most of my life I’ve felt slightly misunderstood like Frasier. I have idiosyncrasies like enjoying classical music as well as good R&B or Hip-Hop. I’ve always had an undying thirst for knowledge like Frasier. And perhaps the area I’ve felt mostly drawn to Frasier is in his continued search for love. Being a perfectionist Frasier always found fault with his dates or girlfriends. The few who came close to perfection always left him for some obscure reason. But the happiness with which he enjoyed every new adventure in love or life is what I’ll miss most. Just by the way one of my favourite coffee shops is Seattle Coffee Shop. Frasier lived in Seattle for the last 11 years and his favourite coffee shop is Cafe Nervosa!

You can watch a re-cap of the last 11 years on SABC3 on Monday, 30 August 21h30.

I Want To Believe

X-Files Poster - I Want To BelieveThis was a quote on a poster always present in the office of Fox Mulder from the X-Files. The last X-Files season ended about a month or two ago in South Africa.

Wanting to believe in something seems to be inherent in most of humanity. If you want to believe there is a God, whatever you want to call him, or if you want to believe there is NOT a God, it is your choice. However, we all strive to believe in something. There has been a proliferation of people calling themselves “spiritual but not religious”. How wonderful it is that we can claim to believe in a higher power without really committing ourselves to the cause.

Today I was surfing the Web and stumbled across and article by one of my favourite religious commentators: DM Murdock’s views on The Passion of the Christ. Reading through this reminded me of a confirmation of her views I found in the writing of Thomas Paine back in 1795. Paine wrote his most controversial piece The Age of Reason while in a French Prison. One of the founding father’s of America and his views are expressed so crisply and clearly if only people are willing to be more open minded.

Vista University – I salute you

They say there is a time to reap, a time to sow. There’s a time to be happy and a time to be sad. Today as I’m preparing for exams on Tuesday, 8 June, I’m thinking back to my initial tertiary education at Vista University. In 1992 they visited my high school, Uitenhage High, and gave a presentation on the benefits on joining Vista. Thinking about it as logically as possible I concluded it was in the best interest of the family for me to go an do my BSc at Vista instead of University of Port Elizabeth, or even PE Technikon. These institutions are all being merged as from 1 Jan 2005. Vista itself will cease to exist from the end of June 2004. So it was with a heavy heart I can say goodbye to this institution that blessed me with so much. I wish there could have been closer co-operation with alumni, and that may yet happen. The changes in the South African tertiary landscape is for the better. I am convinced of this and it is in the best interest of the entire population we support these changes, embrace them and start to use the facilities and opportunities more. Viva Vista Viva!

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