Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Quote of the Day


Friendship ... is born at the moment when one man says to another 

"What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”
                                                                                 - C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

- William Wordsworth

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so rough, hard, difficult.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Daffodils


 - William Wordsworth

I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretch’d in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: –
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company!
I gazed – and gazed – but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Quote of the Day


If you have read 6,000 books in your lifetime, or even 600, it's probably because at some level you find 'reality' a bit of a disappointment.
                                                                                                 - Joe Queenan.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so rough, hard, difficult.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Qoute of the Day (It's Worth the Read; there's a message here.)


-->
Almost overnight the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was in full flower, and Captain Black was enraptured to discover himself spearheading it. He had really hit on something. 

All the enlisted men and officers on combat duty had to sign a loyalty oath to get their map cases from the intelligence tent, a second loyalty oath to receive their flak suits and parachutes from the parachute tent, a third loyalty oath for Lieutenant Balkington, the motor vehicle officer, to be allowed to ride from the squadron to the airfield in one of the trucks. Every time they turned around there was another loyalty oath to be signed. They signed a loyalty oath to get their pay from the finance officer, to obtain their PX supplies, to have their hair cut by the Italian barbers. 

To Captain Black, every officer who supported his Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a competitor, and he planned and plotted twenty-four hours a day to keep one step ahead. He would stand second to none in his devotion to country. When other officers had followed his urging and introduced loyalty oaths of their own, he went them one better by making every son of a bitch who came to his intelligence tent sign two loyalty oaths, then three, then four; then he introduced the pledge of allegiance, and after that “The Star-Spangled Banner,” one chorus, two choruses, three choruses, four choruses.

- Catch 22 (loyalty oaths)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so rough, hard, difficult.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

A lingering Image From Grad School . . .

The Red Wheelbarrow
 - William Carlos Williams

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.


from: Spring and All, Copyright 1923.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

It's A Garden Party - Just Around the Corner!




This feature, originally known as Saturday Farmer's Market, was created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and then hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

Only eight more days!

These tiny Daffodils have always been the first flowers of Spring in my garden - until last year. Last year they were in the middle of the pack of early Spring bloomers, but this year . . .

It's not so much that they are late, but that everything else is early.

The Fruit trees have just lost their blossoms. My Roses have never stopped blooming all winter. Even though I pruned them in the Fall as recommended, they came back with a vengeance through the supposed dormant season, are nearly as tall as me, and loaded with buds.


These Daffodils don't usually show up until the end of Spring, but they were at the head of the pack this year.

On the bright side, the rain (which has been steady now for most of the week) is making the whole garden happy (including the weeds).



Song For The Rainy Season
 - Elizabeth Bishop 

Hidden, oh hidden
in the high fog
the house we live in,
beneath the magnetic rock,
rain-, rainbow-ridden,
where blood-black
bromelias, lichens,
owls, and the lint
of the waterfalls cling,
familiar, unbidden.

In a dim age
of water
the brook sings loud
from a rib cage
of giant fern; vapor
climbs up the thick growth
effortlessly, turns back,
holding them both,
house and rock,
in a private cloud.

At night, on the roof,
blind drops crawl
and the ordinary brown
owl gives us proof
he can count:
five times--always five--
he stamps and takes off
after the fat frogs that,
shrilling for love,
clamber and mount.

House, open house
to the white dew
and the milk-white sunrise
kind to the eyes,
to membership
of silver fish, mouse,
bookworms,
big moths; with a wall
for the mildew's
ignorant map;

darkened and tarnished
by the warm touch
of the warm breath,
maculate, cherished;
rejoice! For a later
era will differ.
(O difference that kills
or intimidates, much
of all our small shadowy
life!) Without water

the great rock will stare
unmagnetized, bare,
no longer wearing
rainbows or rain,
the forgiving air
and the high fog gone;
the owls will move on
and the several
waterfalls shrivel
in the steady sun.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sand

- Rolf Jacobsen


There is a precise total for all the grains of sand on earth,
as well as for the starry worlds above our heads
(supposedly the same for each), if only we knew it,
but it’s more important to know that the grains of sand
grow constantly in number and the deserts are getting bigger.
  A touch
of violet has mixed itself into the pink of sunset.

Sand is white as milk and soft
as a bowing of violins.
Sand kisses your foot
and trickles over your palms like clean water.
At Bir el Daharrem hills and valleys are made of bronze.
At Thebes and Asmara dead cities lie under the sand.

Sand is crushed mountains and the ashes of everything that has
  existed.
The sand dunes cross hot countries like stripes of fire.
Sand covers the planets. Moonbeams are reflections in sand.
Sand is the last thing on earth.
Time sleeping.



from: North in the World: Selected Poems of Rolf Jacobsen, Translated by Roger Greenwald. Copyright 2002.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Quote of the Day



We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;
the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
- Plato

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

After the Gentle Poet Kobayashi Issa

 - Robert Hass
 
New Year’s morning—
everything is in blossom!   
   I feel about average.

   A huge frog and I   
staring at each other,   
   neither of us moves.

   This moth saw brightness   
in a woman’s chamber—
   burned to a crisp.

   Asked how old he was   
the boy in the new kimono   
   stretched out all five fingers.

   Blossoms at night,   
like people
   moved by music

   Napped half the day;   
no one
   punished me!

Fiftieth birthday:

   From now on,   
It’s all clear profit,   
   every sky.

   Don’t worry, spiders,   
I keep house   
   casually.

   These sea slugs,   
they just don’t seem   
   Japanese.

Hell:

   Bright autumn moon;   
pond snails crying   
   in the saucepan.

from: Field Guide. Copyright 1973.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Kilt Monday

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so rough, hard, difficult.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Sun

- Judah Al-Harizi

Look: the sun has spread its wings
over the earth to dispel the darkness.

Like a great tree, with iys roots in heaven,
and its branches reaching down to the earth.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

It's A Garden Party! - How About Some Lousy Iris Pictures . . .




This feature, originally known as Saturday Farmer's Market, was created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and then hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

It's the pictures that are lousy, not the Irises.

In fact, these Irises were in my neighbor's yard for many years, dating from before we moved into our house, and were a gift when she sold up and moved after her husband died.

They have multiplied happily and will need to be dug up and thinned here soon.



The Wild Iris
- Louise Gluck

At the end of my suffering
there was a door.

Hear me out: that which you call death
I remember.

Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting.
Then nothing. The weak sun
flickered over the dry surface.

It is terrible to survive
as consciousness
buried in the dark earth.

Then it was over: that which you fear, being
a soul and unable
to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth
bending a little. And what I took to be
birds darting in low shrubs.

You who do not remember
passage from the other world
I tell you I could speak again: whatever
returns from oblivion returns
to find a voice:

from the center of my life came
a great fountain, deep blue
shadows on azure seawater.



Friday, March 4, 2016

I am the poet of the Body

- Walt Whitman

I am the poet of the Body;
And I am the poet of the Soul.
The pleasures of heaven are with me, and the pains of hell are with me;
The first I graft and increase upon myself --
  the latter I translate into a new tongue.

I am the poet of the woman the same as the man;
And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man,
And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men.

I chant the chant of dilation or pride;
We have had ducking and deprecating about enough;
I show that size is only development.

Have you outstript the rest? Are you the President?
It is a trifle -- they will more than arrive there, every one,
  and still pass on.

I am he that walks with the tender and growing night;
I call to the earth and sea, half-held by the night.

Press close, bare-bosom'd night! Press close, magnetic, nourishing night!
Night of south winds! night of the large few stars!
Still, nodding night! mad, naked, summer night.

Smile, O voluptuous, cool-breath'd earth!
Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees;
Earth of departed sunset! earth of the mountains, misty-topt!
Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon, just tinged with blue!
Earth of shine and dark, mottling the tide of the river!
Earth of the limpid gray of clouds, brighter and clearer for my sake!
Far-swooping elbow'd earth! rich, apple-blossom'd earth!
Smile, for your lover comes!


from: Song of Myself.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Quote of the Day



Truth is treason in an empire of lies.

                                                                         - George Orwell

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Sea And The Man

- Anna Swir (Świrszczyńska)

You will not tame this sea
either by humility or rapture.
But you can laugh
in its face.

Laughter
was invented by those
who live briefly
as a burst of laughter.

The eternal sea
will never learn to laugh.


from: A Book of Luminous Things. Copyright 1996.