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Nature created the awesome quiet of the great blue yonder.

If I was pure coonass, I would like to know what that made Rabalais—Norris F. Rabalais, born and raised on a farm near Simmesport, in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. When Rabalais was a child, there was no navigation lock to lower ships from the Mississippi. The water just poured out—boats with it—and flowed on into a distributary waterscape known as Atchafalaya. In each decade since about 1860, the Atchafalaya River had drawn off more water from the Mississippi than it had in the decade before. By the late nineteen-forties, when Rabalais was in his teens, the volume approached one-third. As the Atchafalaya widened and deepened, eroding headward, offering the Mississippi an increasingly attractive alternative, it was preparing for nothing less than an absolute capture: before long, it would take all of the Mississippi, and itself become the master stream. Rabalais said, “They used to teach us in high school that one day there was going to be structures up here to control the flow of that water, but I never dreamed I was going to be on one. Somebody way back yonder—which is dead and gone now—visualized it. We had some pretty sharp teachers.”

And when I looked down I couldsee my mother and my father yonder, and I felt sorry to be leaving them.Then there was nothing but the air and the swiftness of the little cloud thatbore me and those two men still leading up to where white clouds were piledlike mountains on a wide blue plain, and in them thunder beings lived andleaped and flashed.

' And yonder soft phial, the exquisite blue'
Photo provided by Flickr

The Wild Blue Yonder - National Review Online

GPS/CDU Project for Wild Blue Yonder Technologies
Photo provided by Flickr

Congress appropriated three hundred million dollars to find out. This was more money in one bill—the hopefully titled Flood Control Act (1928)—than had been spent on Mississippi levees in all of Colonial and American history. These were the start-up funds for the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project, the coordinated defenses that would still be incomplete in the nineteen-eighties and would ultimately cost about seven billion dollars. The project would raise levees and build new ones, pave cutbanks, sever loops to align the current, and hold back large volumes of water with substantial dams in tributary streams. Dredges known as dustpans would take up sediment by the millions of tons. Stone dikes would appear in strategic places, forcing the water to go around them, preventing the channel from spreading out. Most significantly, though, the project would acknowledge the superiority of the force with which it was meant to deal. It would give back to the river some measure of the freedom lost as the delta’s distributaries one by one were sealed. It would go into the levees in certain places and build gates that could be opened in times of extraordinary flood. The water coming out of such spillways would enter new systems of levees guiding it down floodways to the Gulf. But how many spillways? How many floodways? How many tributary dams? Calculating maximum storms, frequency of storms, maximum snowmelts, sustained saturation of the upper valley, coincident storms in scattered parts of the watershed, the Corps reached for the figure that would float Noah. The round number was three million—that is, three million cubic feet per second coming past Old River. This was twenty-five per cent above the 1927 high. The expanded control system, with its variety of devices, would have to be designed to process that. Various names were given to this blue-moon superflow, this concatenation of recorded moments written in the future unknown. It was called the Design Flood. Alternatively, it was called the Project Flood.

The water was plenty high as it was, and continuously raged through the structure. Nowhere in the Mississippi Valley were velocities greater than in this one place, where the waters made their hydraulic jump, plunging over what Kazmann describes as “concrete falls” into the regime of the Atchafalaya. The structure and its stilling basin had been configured to dissipate energy—but not nearly so much energy. The excess force was attacking the environment of the structure. A large eddy had formed. Unbeknownst to anyone, its swirling power was excavating sediments by the inflow apron of the structure. Even larger holes had formed under the apron itself. Unfortunately, the main force of the Mississippi was crashing against the south side of the inflow channel, producing unplanned turbulence. The control structure had been set up near the outside of a bend of the river, and closer to the Mississippi than many engineers thought wise.

Adrift in the Blue Yonder: Peter Gizzi's Selected Poems

tell me a story
I'll empty out this clip
i'll blow ya brains out
i'm a warrior i'll remove ya sin
sorrow grows within me
and cover you in kitties
fuck this
Little, nice and witty
the name I took only has four letters
What a silly little titty
thus to break free from society's fetters
on the walls thu write some letters
suck my cock u mother fucker
The space pirates danced
Dooming is my life.
There oncewas a blue iguana named bart
A lecherous linchipin of grave discontent
fender bender
where he was going i would soon find out
Here we go this is are time
Blue, Sparking Astral Mist
Wonder why I feel this way
drift and sway across the endless seam lightly for death comes swiftly
i wasn't expecting to see you here
It happens nightly
When no shining ray is offered
well so does sex
He walks at night like a ghost
some idiot then fell over the flex
and muses on how he'd like crumpets and toast
moon park
Aint no thang but a chicken wang
my moon sized arse
the popcorn dances
a clever farse!
upon the the cheap carpeted floor
my drama
the dog took a poo
You think it’s funny that your life was just given to you
the sky is blue
insult me
insult me
insult me
life is a codpiece
don't be shy, wether tour live or die
I wanna die with a flower in my hair
life's just a bitch
And wilt away to nothing as if I were never there...
i stole it from the Buddha
old wise and deadly
i dont know
I shall hurl flaming broccoli at your pitiful head
You suck
I love spoons
i take them to the sand dunes
would that they could feel my sincerity

Adrift in the Blue Yonder: Peter Gizzi’s Selected Poems
Photo provided by Flickr

Once everyone figured out that (parts of) the New World hid untold mounds of gold, however, they weren't too shy about sending more and more ships out into the wild blue yonder. Greed is a powerful motivating force, you know?

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Tales From The Wild Blue Yonder Living ..

> Bruce Weber All-American XVI Wild Blue Yonder

Nature created the awesome quiet of the great blue yonder. Man added the roar of pounding pistons and the machine gun staccato created by changing the pitch of the prop. An used to train warriors looks peaceful in the sky.

So buckle up and head out into the wild blue yonder.

Only to be left for someone with desert-dry wit.
green waves wash over shattered stones
I hear the mermaid's pleasured moans
Everyone likes a little tail
without holes, tasting of perfection
In this act we all prevail
Summer is strong
O' sweet rank turtle, your baked loins envelope me
O' sweet rank turtle, your baked loins envelope me
and take me to a better time where i dindt mind
and take me to a better time where i dindt mind
I miss wisconsin
And my last name is Thomspon
And trumpet the coop to bleed an immaculate chorus
Someone tell him to quit sexing the horse
cause we is all gonna die
For the Queen of Scots, Mary was her name, did come back from beyond to share her warning
as heart and time fly
Kittys are funny.
my name is annie
is so poopy
Your direction of politics is so poopy
You have no life, you're just a band groupie
I can't stand it, it makes me loopy!
perch fishing
perch fishing
equals my love of wash dishing
now exempted from the task of cleaning out the ceiling
for you i am wishing
I tickle myself but there's no feeling
for jewels I'll be fishing
I fall on the floor in seizure, reeling!
where are you?

fourteen miles on the other side of yonder blue ridge

The towboat Mississippi is more than halfway down the Atchafalaya now—beyond the leveed farmland of the upper basin and into the storied swamp. The willows on the two sides of the river, however, continue to be so dense that they block from sight what lies behind them, and all we can see is the unobstructed waterway running on and on, half a mile wide, in filtered sunlight and the shadows of clouds. A breeze has put waves on the water. Coming over the starboard quarter, it more than quells the humidity and the heat. Nevertheless, as one might expect, most of the people remain indoors, in the chilled atmosphere of the pilothouse, the coat-and-tie comfort of the lounge. A deck of cards appears, and a game of bouré develops, in showboat motif, among various civilian millionaires—Ed Kyle, of the Morgan City Harbor & Terminal District, dealing off the top to the Pontchartrain Levee Board, the Lafourche Basin Levee Board, the Teche-Vermilion Fresh Water District. Oliver Houck—the law professor, former general counsel of the National Wildlife Federation, whose lone presence signals the continuing existence of the environmental movement—naturally stays outdoors. He has established an eyrie on an upper deck, to windward. Tall and loosely structured, Houck could be a middle-aged high jumper, still in shape to clear six feet. His face in repose is melancholy—made so, perhaps, by the world as his mind would have it in comparison with the world as he sees it. What he is seeing at the moment—in the center of the greatest river swamp in North America, which he and his battalions worked fifteen years to “save”—is a walled-off monotony of sky and water.

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