About the Book

IMG_4616_2Dr. Williams’ book, “Kissing the Hand of the Dead” creates a new environmental ethic describing the world around us from the point of view of international development challenges and adventures in a holistic view of human emotions and needs. The book integrates environmental protection with stopping wars, the ultimate environmental insult, within the context of sustainability of different cultures and appreciation for Nature.

The book is a collection of short stories, essays and poetry about Nature, the human condition, observations and impressions of world travel in Latin America, the ex-soviet countries of Ukraine and Tajikistan, and California.  Dr. Williams demonstrates commonalities among people in foreign places regarding cultural foundations, humor, pathos and the endless search for peace regarding our ancestors as a pillar of experience to glean the truth about us all.

The theme of the book paints impressions of the cultures of Ukraine, Tajikistan, Latin America and California regarding survival on the long scale, approaches toward reverence for our ancestors and the biosphere, descriptions of the causes and solutions of war, appreciation of Nature and new approaches toward environmental protection and personal values.

The collection is divided between four locations, two in the ex-soviet countries of Ukraine and Tajikistan, a large chapter on Latin America emphasizing the Mayans of Guatemala and a final chapter on California. These are countries and regions where Dr. Williams lived and worked for sixteen years on many international development problems.

Снимок экрана 2013-01-29 в 09.43.39The book is a summation of the author’s impressions of life, emphasizing an indictment against nuclear power based on personal experience, and the tragedy of war and indifference to Nature.  It is a description of what it takes to be a real human being.  Individual stories characters include American Priests martyred in Guatemala, the story of a last California grizzly bear, and the personification of various natural entities and ecosystems.

The work is a new dramatic approach of appreciation for our human condition and finding a peaceful place in Nature.  The prose and poetry cover topics of immediate interest, including sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Thoroughly relevant to present environmental dilemmas and cognizance of our natural environment, the book calls for an intelligent and sympathetic action to solve human problems and challenges. It is entertaining and funny, sad, mysterious and challenging.  It emphasizes that we should glean the best from our ancestors and take heed from their mistakes to build a finer society for all.

Image 3 mecapalThe book is a unique mixture of world experiences of the author, linked with poetry, essays and short stories of a broad nature, especially natural history and deep political problems and attitudes that have led us down a wrong path, but which are salvable.  It integrates the environmental movement with anti-war action.

The book “Kissing the Hand of the Dead” is a call to action to improve ourselves and the world through an appreciation of Nature and the will toward action in solving our most basic problems and challenges in life without fear of stepping forward as thinking and emotional people.

Personal experiences travelling, working and living for sixteen years in many foreign lands, living on a wilderness ranch in California, being involved as a scientist and citizen in many environmental battles to protect nature and learning especially from the three universities Dr. Williams attended helped forge this new approach.

KISSING THE HAND OF THE DEAD

Table of Contents

BOOK ONE.  ADVENTURES IN UKRAINE

PREFACE

FOURTH FLOOR AT THE DNIPRO

AGLOW WITH DR. GLOW

THE CHERNOBYL MUSEUM

DINNER AT KOROSTEVICH

MAGIC ON THE DANCE FLOOR

KISSING THE HAND OF THE DEAD

IN DEFENSE OF CENTRAL PLANNING

EATING PEACHES IN THE PARK

THE KING OF THE GYPSIES

AN ARGUMENT AGAINST PRIVATE PROPERTY

CHERNOBYL AND AGRICULTURE

ATOMIC MURAL

BOOK TWO. SOUTH OF THE BORDER

1. MECAPAL DE GUATEMALA

PREFACE

VIVA GUATEMALA

MECAPAL DE GUATEMALA

FROM A GARDEN IN EDEN

MAMA’S MELONS

MILAGRO EN GUADALAJARA

THE TOAST FROM MONTERREY, MEXICO

MONTERREY, MEXICO BLUES

MEXICAN FIREFLY

BUYING A SOMBRERO IN TAXCO

SOME NOTES ON MODERN MAYANS

THE INTERAMERICAN HIGHWAY

SOME DRY TIMES

A PRAYER TO ISIS TO STOP THE DROUGHT

BEFORE THE MONSOON IN GUATEMALA

GOING ON ELEVEN

SOME IMPLICATIONS OF HUMAN RESETTLEMENT IN THE PETEN

CHICLERO’S DISEASE AND THE CHEWING GUM SYNDROME

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THE LOWLANDS

ECOSYSTEM INTERCONNECTEDNESS (CATS AND RATS)

LUNCH AT RIO BLANCO

SUNDOWN IN GUATEMALA CITY, 1973

SOCIETY IN HARMONY

2. GUERRILLA STORIES

PADRE BILL WOODS

ANOTHER AMERICAN PRIEST

MORE GUERRILLA STORIES

CONTROLLING PEACH MILDEW IN SAN MIGUEL IXTAHUACAN

DRY LANDS

WHAT ME WITH ADVENTURES IN THE AMAZON?

3.  SOME COMPARISONS WITH THE NORTHERN LATITUDES

THE LEADER SHOWS THE WAY

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA, 1969-1970

WAR MORATORIUM SPEECH, OCTOBER 12, 1971

THE WHY OF PEASANT UPRISINGS

A TALE OF TWO SARGEANTS

MR. SKYLARK

THE SCIENTIST

LOOKING FOR WORK

EARTH FIRST

THE REAL WAR

IN RETROSPECT

BOOK THREE. MEMORIES OF TAJIKISTAN

PREFACE

OFFERINGS FROM KHUJAND

TAJIKISTAN DIARY OF 2006

BUYING HALF-KILOS OF PISTACHIOS IN THE KHUJAND BAZAAR

SOME SONGS AND ESSAYS FROM TAJIKISTAN 2010

EATING ICE CREAM AT THE PLAZA

LAZY TAJIKISTAN AFTERNOON

SUNDAY MORNING ON THE TEA PLATFORM

SUNDAY PICNIC

MONDAY

SMALL VILLAGES

WEDNESDAY MORNING BREAKFAST

IN THE BOTANICAL GARDEN IN DUSHANBE

IN RETROSPECT, 2010

ON TO TAJIKISTAN

IMPRESSIONS OF SAMARKAND

THE TRAINRIDE

LONESOME BLUES IN KANIBODOM

THIS DESERT WIND

SEARCHING FOR MAKNYNA

NOW I’M HOME

UZBEK APRICOTS

ADVANCING THE FARMERS APRICOT COOPERATIVE IN ISFARA

PROGRESS IN TAJIKISTAN APRICOT INDUSTRY

BOOK FOUR.   TRAVELS THROUGH CALIFORNIA

PREFACE

1. EL DIABLO, THE STORY OF A LAST CALIFORNIA GRIZZLY BEAR

DOWN IN THE PIT

JOAQUIN

THE OAKS

CHACO

THE CAVES OF TUI

THE MEETING

SEQUELS TO EL DIABLO AND VERIFICATION

A CIRCLE OF SKULLS

THE MAN IN THE GREEN HAT

AN AVALANCHE OF FIRE

2. SONOMA MOUNTAIN BLUES

THE QUEST FOR THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT ORGASM

A TREATISE ON RAINBOWS

BLUE COLLAR WORKERS

FALL EQUINOX

THE CROWS

MAELSTROM ANUNCIADO

DECEMBER WIND ON SONOMA MOUNTAIN

AN OCEAN

TEN – NINETEEN OCTOBER 1978

WINTERS SOLSTICE

SHORT NIGHT

NIGHT WATCH

THE EMERALD

FOR A SPRING EQUINOX

A NATURAL HISTORY OF HOUNDS TONGUE AND THE LONG NOSED FLIES

ODE TO SUMMER SOLSTICE

CONDOR

THE BLOOD OF THE OAKS

STRAIGHT AHEAD TO BABYLON

THE WRONG INDIA

PLAYING THE WRONG CIRCUS

THE CREEPING BIGOT

ON EGO

MEMORANDA

WORK A DAY WORLD

SONOMA MOUNTAIN ONE MILE FROM JACK LONDON’S GRAVE

CHRISTMAS TRAFFIC JAM

AESTHETIQUE

THE MINERAL KING

FRIENDS

A GRAVE ON SONOMA MOUNTAIN

ANOTHER FRIEND

JOEY

THE RED ROSE

THE YELLOW DRESS

WOODCUTTERS TRIBUNAL

‘LIL BOBBY GARDNER

NOTES ON TREES

ON HARMONY

TUNES OF THE WESTERN CHAPARRAL

THE TROUT

THE WOLF

THE ELK

Image 4 Tajik

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