Birthdays....

.... found out today that I share my birthday with men of note..... e.e. cummings and Dwight D. Eisenhower....... hey, who knew?...... we Libras are such even-keeled fellows......

.... anyway, I will share a bit of Mr. Cummings' work with you.....

maggie and milly and molly and may
by E. E. Cummings


maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

Read the Bullshit »

Ubiquitous.....

...... I heard this today on the radio and loved it......... some voices are just made to read poetry....... check this out.... I have always loved the word "ubiquitous"......


The Ubiquitous Day Lily of July

by David Budbill

There is an orange day lily that blooms in July and is
everywhere around these parts right now. Common.
Ordinary. It grows in everybody's dooryardabandoned
or lived inalong the side of the road, in front of stone walls,
at gas stations and garages, at the entrance to driveways,
anywhere it takes a mind to sprout. You always see them
in clusters, bunches, never by themselves. They propagate
by rhizomes, which is why they are so resilient, and why
you see them in bunches.

There is an orange day lily that blooms in July and is
ubiquitous right now. The roadside mowers mow a lot
of them, but they don't get them all.

These are not the rare and delicate lemon yellow day lilies
or the other kinds people have around their places. This one
is coarse and ordinary, almost harsh in its weathered beauty,
like an older woman with a tough, worldly-wise and wrinkled
face. There is nothing nubile, smooth or perky about this flower.
It's not fresh. It's been around awhile and everybody knows it.

As I said, it's coarse and ordinary and it's beautiful because
it's ordinary. A plant gone wild and therefore become
rugged, indestructible, indomitable, in short: tough, resilient,
like anyone or thing has to be in order to survive.

..... it always amazes me how words can be structured to move people so.........

.... and it sparks me to think that the blogmeet will be upon us all in just over a month!....... anyone fancy a visit?....

Read the Bullshit »

Romantics....

.... and for today's reading enjoyment, I give you a beauty that made me smile today.....

Romantics By Lisel Mueller b. 1924

Johannes Brahms and
Clara Schumann 

The modern biographers worry
how far it went, their tender friendship.
They wonder just what it means
when he writes he thinks of her constantly,
his guardian angel, beloved friend.
The modern biographers ask
the rude, irrelevant question
of our age, as if the event
of two bodies meshing together
establishes the degree of love,
forgetting how softly Eros walked
in the nineteenth-century, how a hand
held overlong or a gaze anchored
in someones eyes could unseat a heart,
and nuances of address not known
in our egalitarian language
could make the redolent air
tremble and shimmer with the heat
of possibility. Each time I hear
the Intermezzi, sad
and lavish in their tenderness,
I imagine the two of them
sitting in a garden
among late-blooming roses
and dark cascades of leaves,
letting the landscape speak for them,
leaving us nothing to overhear.


Read the Bullshit »

Sounds....

.... in the immortal memory of Vachel Lindsay, saints preserve us....

The Winter Fly

by Eric SWG

Fly in the window, buzz, buzz, buzz
Why does he do it? cuz, cuz, cuz
He wants out to the breeze, breeze, breeze
But since it's December he'd freeze, freeze, freeze

..... it is a very slow day here, ahem..... you're welcome....

Read the Bullshit »

Junkies....

...anyone care to interpret the lyrics of this one?........ we're writing about poetic interpretations in English Comp II just now, and this song just popped into my mind........

.... thoughts?..... the well, the pulley, the poisoning?......... I find it quite interesting..... after all, I always considered their music much like a poem.......

Read the Bullshit »

July....

Mid-July and the mimosa trees have
shed their blooms and replaced them
with seed pods for next years promise.
The clouds of nightly fireflies
that filled the evening sky only weeks ago
have waned as well and only
a few lonely ones flicker mate-less.
June's brutal assault left us all
afraid of the arrival of July
But July has been more gentle
than anyone could have imagined
and we enjoy the coolness of the evenings
while the desperate fireflies long
for the sweltering heat and hope of June.

Read the Bullshit »

Class.....

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen
8 October 1917 - March, 1918

.... goodnight......

Read the Bullshit »

Burns....

.... my Father in Law and Brother in Law were both off to town in their finest this evening to celebrate at The Montrose Burns Club Supper and booze-up...... and I am one jealous, jealous fellow.....

.... once upon a time, I wrote about my very first Burns Supper......

... damnation, folks..... I do so miss those late January parties.......

....and so, if you should enjoy it, here is his "The Rigs O' Barley".... it was always one of my favorites......

It was upon a Lammas night
When corn rigs are bonie
Beneath the moon's unclouded light
I held awa to Annie;
The time flew by, wi' tentless heed
Till, 'tween the late and early
Wi' sma' persuasion she agreed
To see me thro' the barley.

Corn rigs, an' barley rigs,
An' corn rigs are bonie:
I'll ne'er forget that happy night,
Amang the rigs wi' Annie.

The sky was blue, the wind was still,
The moon was shining clearly;
I set her down, wi' right good will,
Amang the rigs o' barley:
I ken't her heart was a' my ain;
I lov'd her most sincerely;

I kiss'd her owre and owre again,
Amang the rigs o' barley.
Corn rigs, an' barley rigs, &c.

I lock'd her in my fond embrace;
Her heart was beating rarely:
My blessings on that happy place,
Amang the rigs o' barley!
But by the moon and stars so bright,
That shone that hour so clearly!
She aye shall bless that happy night
Amang the rigs o' barley.
Corn rigs, an' barley rigs, &c.

I hae been blythe wi' comrades dear;
I hae been merry drinking;
I hae been joyfu' gath'rin gear;
I hae been happy thinking:
But a' the pleasures e'er I saw,
Tho' three times doubl'd fairly,
That happy night was worth them a',
Amang the rigs o' barley.
Corn rigs, an' barley rigs

..... Burns was, after all, a fawn for the lasses.........

Read the Bullshit »

Autumn...

.... today has been a Robert Frost kind of day, and I have picked up a book of his poetry at least five times as I went about my chores.... a slow, steady, bone-chilling rain has soaked everything all day long...... and autumn is definitely in The Air...... you can smell the coming of the season.........

..... orginally I had been searching for my book of Nash's stuff, but failed....... and then I found a poem that I have loved since forever.... and I SWEAR, I just went to my archives and checked...... good god, folks...... life truly does spin in circles...... check this out......

.... originally posted January 14th, 2008....

Fumbling

.... I went searching for an old copy of an Ogden Nash collection that I had been gifted with a few years ago and ran completely out of luck in my search......I know that it is in the bookcase somewhere, but I just couldnt find it today in my fumbling....
.... instead, my fingers found a likely substiture for afternoon reading material, and I began reading...... an old collection of Robert Frost....... and it wasnt long until I came to a page where I had nipped the corner down for further reading years and years ago...... it was called "The Generations of Men", and I instantly remembered parts of it as soon as I scanned the first few words..... I'm not exactly a Frost fan, but I do love this poem....

... and since I have spent my day reading and cooking, I have nothing else to post about this evening...... so I guess I should share his beautiful writing with you..... here it is.... oh, and if you can, read it out loud..... don't mind Frost's linebreaks and capitalizations, just read it as if it were smply sentence after sentence...... that'll help..... trust me.....

... Frost, like many poets, was truly meant to be read out loud......

.... and personally, the last two lines of the poem just do it for me......


The Generations of Men, by Robert Frost

A governor it was proclaimed this time,
When all who would come seeking in New Hampshire
Ancestral memories might come together.
And those of the name Stark gathered in Bow,
A rock-strewn town where farming has fallen off,
And sprout-lands flourish where the axe has gone.
Someone had literally run to earth
In an old cellar hole in a by-road
The origin of all the family there.
Thence they were sprung, so numerous a tribe
That now not all the houses left in town
Made shift to shelter them without the help
Of here and there a tent in grove and orchard.
They were at Bow, but that was not enough:
Nothing would do but they must fix a day
To stand together on the crater's verge
That turned them on the world, and try to fathom
The past and get some strangeness out of it.
But rain spoiled all. The day began uncertain,
With clouds low trailing and moments of rain that misted.
The young folk held some hope out to each other
Till well toward noon when the storm settled down
With a swish in the grass. "What if the others
Are there," they said. "It isn't going to rain."
Only one from a farm not far away
Strolled thither, not expecting he would find
Anyone else, but out of idleness.
One, and one other, yes, for there were two.
The second round the curving hillside road
Was a girl; and she halted some way off
To reconnoitre, and then made up her mind
At least to pass by and see who he was,
And perhaps hear some word about the weather.
This was some Stark she didn't know. He nodded.
"No fte to-day," he said.
"It looks that way."
She swept the heavens, turning on her heel.
"I only idled down."
"I idled down."
Provision there had been for just such meeting
Of stranger cousins, in a family tree
Drawn on a sort of passport with the branch
Of the one bearing it done in detail--
Some zealous one's laborious device.
She made a sudden movement toward her bodice,
As one who clasps her heart. They laughed together.
"Stark?" he inquired. "No matter for the proof."
"Yes, Stark. And you?"
"I'm Stark." He drew his passport.
"You know we might not be and still be cousins:
The town is full of Chases, Lowes, and Baileys,
All claiming some priority in Starkness.
My mother was a Lane, yet might have married
Anyone upon earth and still her children
Would have been Starks, and doubtless here to-day."
"You riddle with your genealogy
Like a Viola. I don't follow you."
"I only mean my mother was a Stark
Several times over, and by marrying father
No more than brought us back into the name."
"One ought not to be thrown into confusion
By a plain statement of relationship,
But I own what you say makes my head spin.
You take my card--you seem so good at such things--
And see if you can reckon our cousinship.
Why not take seats here on the cellar wall
And dangle feet among the raspberry vines?"
"Under the shelter of the family tree."
"Just so--that ought to be enough protection."
"Not from the rain. I think it's going to rain."
"It's raining."
"No, it's misting; let's be fair.
Does the rain seem to you to cool the eyes?"
The situation was like this: the road
Bowed outward on the mountain half-way up,
And disappeared and ended not far off.
No one went home that way. The only house
Beyond where they were was a shattered seedpod.
And below roared a brook hidden in trees,
The sound of which was silence for the place.
This he sat listening to till she gave judgment.
"On father's side, it seems, we're--let me see----"
"Don't be too technical.--You have three cards."
"Four cards, one yours, three mine, one for each branch
Of the Stark family I'm a member of."
"D'you know a person so related to herself
Is supposed to be mad."
"I may be mad."
"You look so, sitting out here in the rain
Studying genealogy with me
You never saw before. What will we come to
With all this pride of ancestry, we Yankees?
I think we're all mad. Tell me why we're here
Drawn into town about this cellar hole
Like wild geese on a lake before a storm?
What do we see in such a hole, I wonder."
"The Indians had a myth of Chicamoztoc,
Which means The Seven Caves that We Came out of.
This is the pit from which we Starks were digged."
"You must be learned. That's what you see in it?"
"And what do you see?"
"Yes, what do I see?
First let me look. I see raspberry vines----"
"Oh, if you're going to use your eyes, just hear
What I see. It's a little, little boy,
As pale and dim as a match flame in the sun;
He's groping in the cellar after jam,
He thinks it's dark and it's flooded with daylight."
"He's nothing. Listen. When I lean like this
I can make out old Grandsir Stark distinctly,--
With his pipe in his mouth and his brown jug--
Bless you, it isn't Grandsir Stark, it's Granny,
But the pipe's there and smoking and the jug.
She's after cider, the old girl, she's thirsty;
Here's hoping she gets her drink and gets out safely."
"Tell me about her. Does she look like me?"
"She should, shouldn't she, you're so many times
Over descended from her. I believe
She does look like you. Stay the way you are.
The nose is just the same, and so's the chin--
Making allowance, making due allowance."
"You poor, dear, great, great, great, great Granny!"
"See that you get her greatness right. Don't stint her."
"Yes, it's important, though you think it isn't.
I won't be teased. But see how wet I am."
"Yes, you must go; we can't stay here for ever.
But wait until I give you a hand up.
A bead of silver water more or less
Strung on your hair won't hurt your summer looks.
I wanted to try something with the noise
That the brook raises in the empty valley.
We have seen visions--now consult the voices.
Something I must have learned riding in trains
When I was young. I used the roar
To set the voices speaking out of it,
Speaking or singing, and the band-music playing.
Perhaps you have the art of what I mean.
I've never listened in among the sounds
That a brook makes in such a wild descent.
It ought to give a purer oracle."
"It's as you throw a picture on a screen:
The meaning of it all is out of you;
The voices give you what you wish to hear."
"Strangely, it's anything they wish to give."
"Then I don't know. It must be strange enough.
I wonder if it's not your make-believe.
What do you think you're like to hear to-day?"
"From the sense of our having been together--
But why take time for what I'm like to hear?
I'll tell you what the voices really say.
You will do very well right where you are
A little longer. I mustn't feel too hurried,
Or I can't give myself to hear the voices."
"Is this some trance you are withdrawing into?"
"You must be very still; you mustn't talk."
"I'll hardly breathe."
"The voices seem to say----"
"I'm waiting."
"Don't! The voices seem to say:
Call her Nausicaa, the unafraid
Of an acquaintance made adventurously."
"I let you say that--on consideration."
"I don't see very well how you can help it.
You want the truth. I speak but by the voices.
You see they know I haven't had your name,
Though what a name should matter between us----"
"I shall suspect----"
"Be good. The voices say:
Call her Nausicaa, and take a timber
That you shall find lies in the cellar charred
Among the raspberries, and hew and shape it
For a door-sill or other corner piece
In a new cottage on the ancient spot.
The life is not yet all gone out of it.
And come and make your summer dwelling here,
And perhaps she will come, still unafraid,
And sit before you in the open door
With flowers in her lap until they fade,
But not come in across the sacred sill----"
"I wonder where your oracle is tending.
You can see that there's something wrong with it,
Or it would speak in dialect. Whose voice
Does it purport to speak in? Not old Grandsir's
Nor Granny's, surely. Call up one of them.
They have best right to be heard in this place."
"You seem so partial to our great-grandmother
(Nine times removed. Correct me if I err.)
You will be likely to regard as sacred
Anything she may say. But let me warn you,
Folks in her day were given to plain speaking.
You think you'd best tempt her at such a time?"
"It rests with us always to cut her off."
"Well then, it's Granny speaking: 'I dunnow!
Mebbe I'm wrong to take it as I do.
There ain't no names quite like the old ones though,
Nor never will be to my way of thinking.
One mustn't bear too hard on the new comers,
But there's a dite too many of them for comfort.
I should feel easier if I could see
More of the salt wherewith they're to be salted.
Son, you do as you're told! You take the timber--
It's as sound as the day when it was cut--
And begin over----' There, she'd better stop.
You can see what is troubling Granny, though.
But don't you think we sometimes make too much
Of the old stock? What counts is the ideals,
And those will bear some keeping still about."
"I can see we are going to be good friends."
"I like your 'going to be.' You said just now
It's going to rain."
"I know, and it was raining.
I let you say all that. But I must go now."
"You let me say it? on consideration?
How shall we say good-bye in such a case?"
"How shall we?"
"Will you leave the way to me?"
"No, I don't trust your eyes. You've said enough.
Now give me your hand up.--Pick me that flower."
"Where shall we meet again?"
"Nowhere but here
Once more before we meet elsewhere."
"In rain?"
"It ought to be in rain. Sometime in rain.
In rain to-morrow, shall we, if it rains?
But if we must, in sunshine." So she went.

...... good lord..... but if we must, in sunshine...... and so she went........

..... that is just amazing...... and I LOVE it......

.... mercy, deja vu?........ well, either that, or I am one boring, predictable book loser.....

Read the Bullshit »

Roadside....

.... you know, I do so love me some poetry...... and I am always just that little bit happy when I stumble across another poet that I'd never heard of before and find myself mystified by their words.......

..... and that very situation played itself out just yesterday lunchtime..... for lo, I discovered the art of Sam Walter Foss....... I mean, just check this out.....

The House by the Side of the Road

THERE are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the place of their self-content;
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze the paths
Where highways never ran-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner's seat
Nor hurl the cynic's ban-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife,
But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish - so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

... when I first read it, I was in absolute awe......... isn't it just beautiful, no?....... "to live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man"....... how hopeful!...... how optimistic!...... how, how.... how, well, what?.......

...... while I admire his sentiment & the beauty of his intention, I am torn....... and in the end - at least lately - well..... I'm fairly damned sure that I'm glad I live in a sub-division.....

Read the Bullshit »

Time.....

..... I received a beautiful phone call from a great Scottish friend of mine tonight........ and I caught three lightning bugs with my bare hands and presented them to Fiona after the rainstorm lifted after dinner........ and both things were brilliant......

... how many folks have ran out and caught lightning bugs with their bare hands - unharmed - once they were past fifteen years of age?.......

.... too few, if you ask me........ we're all too damned old...... old beyond our years - and way, way too early........ but it isn't a date........ it is a mindset......

... live a little, folks...... paint, write, read, faint (if the occasion is right.)..... catch, feel, speak, talk, listen.........bite, stroke, slide, and taste....... it is all part of the same animal........ and Life is that animal..........

.... we all need to enact more poetry, if you ask me......... read it?.... sure...... understand it?...... yeah.......but LIVE it?........ we should all be so fucking lucky.......

...... breathing every day is poetry, if you look at it the right way..........

..... sadly though, it has taken me years and years to fully realize that......

Read the Bullshit »

Dragonfly....

Spring

We humans see Spring as renewal
Life abounding in flowers and fledglings
New Life, green fields, birth, and daffodils
A welcome colorization from the bleak, deadness of Winter
But Our Position in this World is unique

I've happily watched my grapevine's leaves
Steadily unfold from buds - growing larger each day
The sleeping, woody vine awakening from the sunshine in the east
And my peach tree's flowers expanding, glowing
As the pink petals fell away in the warm April wind
To reveal the pregnant promise of Summerfruit to come

Yet I have watched the Death of Spring today
And it quite caught me out of sorts
Shocked, actually, to see The Survivors
Breathe their last
It was something that I had never noticed in the past
And it drove home to me just how lucky
We human beings truly are

I witnessed a dragonfly - fully grown
Swoop drunkenly from blooming azalea to grass
And I wondered why such a majestic, nimble, gossamer-winged creature
Could barely maintain pitch and yaw on such a beautiful evening
And then I realized that it was dying
A Survivor - an insect - tiny & fragile
Had found safe haven during the long months of Winter
Emerged, planted her young, and sputteringly fought for the last minutes of life

Spring is birth, just as The Poets say
But we are the lucky ones to be able to enjoy it
Bulbs and blooms and pollen are only the beginning
And some beginnings begin with an ending
I'd never thought of that until today
Now? I doubt that I will ever truly look at Spring
The Same Way Again


Eric

Read the Bullshit »

Find......

..... find the rhyme....... listen closely........ and FIND the rhyme.........

..... and really, his recorded stuff is MUCH better........

..... but still....... THIS is modern poetry....... so enjoy....... and let it disturb you....... that is what is meant to do.......

....."no more dreams"......

Read the Bullshit »

Lub.....

..... poetry is sublime, folks..... it truly is..... check this out from a decade or so ago.....

.... Lub...... Lub, rubberneckers......... is there anything better on the planet?.......

.... I think not......

Read the Bullshit »

January.....

.... tonight is Rabbie Burns' birthday..... and for those of you who don't know who he is, here is a sample of one of his finest.......... I wrote once of my first Burns Night at The Montrose Burns Club's annual gathering........ and to this day, that night still stands as one of my most memorable nights spent abroad..........

.... still, here you go....... The Bard Lives...... at least tonight.....

Read the Bullshit »

Poems....

... the snow that has visited us for the past week is dying... slowly, steadily, it is ebbing slightly with each passing day....

... in the North, this would be no bid deal at all - but down HERE, 8 inches of snow and a week of sub-freezing weather has given me an opportunity that I haven had in decades - to watch Time......

... The snow first fell eight days ago - two Sundays ago.... crisp and clean, it greeted me Monday morning with an electric shine that made the dawn seem to glow as The Sun crept out..... it was perfect.... the drifts that lay against trees and bushes softened the hard lines of humanity... manmade structures were covered in a blanket that wiped away all influence...... driveways were erased.... careful borders were consumed.... roadways were humbled...... God had visited in the night, and Monday was clean, fresh, and unmovable.....

.... I made snowcream...... but the disturbance I created in the snow as I scooped it off the deck bothered me...... every time I passed the glass door that led to the deck I would see it - and it was wrong on a level that cracked my heart..... each trip to the kitchen screamed to me, "I was there. I changed that. What was once perfection is now destroyed." ...... my hands had blemished The World.....

... on day two, I ventured out into the whiteness for only a bit - relishing the unfamiliar crunch that came from underfoot with each step.... it was a sound that I once knew too well in a different life - and yet here, it was alien...

.... on day three, I built a snowcreature in the front lawn... it was fun, and yet turned out quite hideous... but it was at that point that my view of the snow changed.... as I rolled giant ball of snow across the lawn the Earth was revealed , and it was ugly.... dank brown grass, discarded leaves, random twigs.... the icing, once removed, revealed an unhappy cake of Southern Winter - cold, soggy, and yearning for Spring.....

.... I stopped by Dax's site that day and re-read Robert Frost's poem..... ahhhh, how the metaphors flow sometimes when you read a poem written by someone with a Heart and a Clever Mind.... snow, snow, snow..... how many poems can I think of that include snow?..... fifty, at least..... "ice, white ice, like a winding sheet sheathed each smoke-grimed wall."...... "talk of your cold, through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail.".......

.... Robert Service was the king, of course.......

.... on days four, five, and six?..... I shoveled...... and on day seven, The Melt began in earnest........

... as of right now, morning is here and she's cold..... noon will usher in another afternoon of steady melt, and tonight will re-freeze what little snow is left..... gray & brown patches dot the lawn..... the roads are clear..... the driveway remains cluttered here and there with piles of snow and ice from my efforts with the shovel.... but the strangest thing to me is the deeper snow outside my blogroom window....... shaded, it is still deep..... deep, wet, and pock-marked by the clumps of snow that had hung from the tree limbs having fallen.....

.... I can't quit thinking about the disturbed that blanket of fresh, virgin snow on my deck...... it seems that even without my hand, it would have faded all too fast..... that Creation that I felt so guilty for upsetting?.... well, in just a few days, Nature did it herself.....

.... it has been interesting to watch this little storm unfold....

... speaking of metaphors, this poem did seep to the surface as I was manning the shovel - fighting the 8-inch blanket of snow a few days ago....... I hope you enjoy some Nash....

Very Like a Whale, by Ogden Nash

One thing that literature would be greatly the better for
Would be a more restricted employment by the authors of simile and
metaphor.
Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons or Celts,
Can't seem just to say that anything is the thing it is but have to
go out of their way to say that it is like something else.
What does it mean when we are told
That that Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold?
In the first place, George Gordon Byron had enough experience
To know that it probably wasn't just one Assyrian, it was a lot of
Assyrians.
However, as too many arguments are apt to induce apoplexy and
thus hinder longevity.
We'll let it pass as one Assyrian for the sake of brevity.
Now then, this particular Assyrian, the one whose cohorts were
gleaming in purple and gold,
Just what does the poet mean when he says he came down like a
wold on the fold?
In heaven and earth more than is dreamed of in our philosophy
there are great many things.
But I don't imagine that among them there is a wolf with purple
and gold cohorts or purple and gold anythings.
No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this Assyrian was
actually like a wolf I must have some kind of proof;
Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red
mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof Woof?
Frankly I think it is very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say,
at the very most,
Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian
cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host.
But that wasn't fancy enough for Lord Byron, oh dear me no, he
had to invent a lot of figures of speech and then interpolate them,
With the result that whenever you mention Old Testament soldiers
to people they say Oh yes, they're the ones that a lot of
wolves dressed up in gold and purple ate them.
That's the kind of thing that's being done all the time by poets,
from Homer to Tennyson;
They're always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to venison,
And they always say things like that the snow is a white blanket
after a winter storm.
Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of
snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical
blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm,
And after that maybe you'll begin to comprehend dimly
What I mean by too much metaphor and simile

Read the Bullshit »

Mail....

..... fresh from the mailbag, I give you an original piece of poetry...... I actually found it quite moving...... then again, he IS my brother.....

Mail Call by Joshua

Darkness and loneliness fill my cell
With pain and fear too great to yell
I wait for the mailman to deliver to me
As I wipe away tears that no one will see

I pray so sincere with head raised above
"Please, God, soon send a letter of love."
I long to look upon pages so dear
With riches to bring my loved ones so near.

Words of diamonds on pages of gold
A message from heaven as their story is told
"We love you, we miss you, we pray you'll be free."
A treasure-filled envelope just for me.

Please bring memories of joys I once knew
Family, friends, and the things I would do.
The darkness and pain of my cell will prevail
As my name, again, was not called for mail.

..... nice note for a Christmas card, no?...... ahhh, Life teaches us all different things, you know?....... and hey, he has never been accused of being subtle before..... perhaps he finally found my Achilles Heel.....

.... after all, I do love me some poetry......

Read the Bullshit »

Archie....

.... whilst sipping on a Scotch two nights ago, the Father-in-Law broke out an antique copy of "Archie and Mehitabel" and read a few poems aloud..... and since the writings of Don Marquis were fairly foriegn to me, I listened intently as he read.....

... here's one of my favorites from the evening....

the robin and the worm
by don marquis

a robin said to an
angleworm as he ate him
i am sorry but a bird
has to live somehow the
worm being slow witted could
not gather his
dissent into a wise crack
and retort he was
effectually swallowed
before he could turn
a phrase
by the time he had
reflected long enough
to say but why must a
bird live
he felt the beginnings
of a gradual change
invading him
some new and disintegrating
influence
was stealing along him
from his positive
to his negative pole
and he did not have
the mental stamina
of a jonah to resist the
insidious
process of assimilation
which comes like a thief
in the night
demons and fishhooks
he exclaimed
i am losing my personal
identity as a worm
my individuality
is melting away from me
odds craw i am becoming
part and parcel of
this bloody robin
so help me i am thinking
like a robin and not
like a worm any
longer yes yes i even
find myself agreeing
that a robin must live
i still do not
understand with my mentality
why a robin must live
and yet i swoon into a
condition of belief
yes yes by heck that is
my dogma and i shout it a
robin must live
amen said a beetle who had
preceded him into the
interior that is the way i
feel myself is it not
wonderful when one arrives
at the place
where he can give up his
ambitions and resignedly
nay even with gladness
recognize that it is a far
far better thing to be
merged harmoniously
in the cosmic all
and this confortable situation
in his midst
so affected the marauding
robin that he perched
upon a blooming twig
and sang until the
blossoms shook with ecstacy
he sang
i have a good digestion
and there is a god after all
which i was wicked
enough to doubt
yesterday when it rained
breakfast breakfast
i am full of breakfast
and they are at breakfast
in heaven
they breakfast in heaven
all s well with the world
so intent was this pious and
murderous robin
on his own sweet song
that he did not notice
mehitabel the cat
sneaking toward him
she pounced just as he
had extended his larynx
in a melodious burst of
thanksgiving and
he went the way of all
flesh fish and good red herring
a ha purred mehitabel
licking the last
feather from her whiskers
was not that a beautiful
song he was singing
just before i took him to
my bosom
they breakfast in heaven
all s well with the world
how true that is
and even yet his song
echoes in the haunted
woodland of my midriff
peace and joy in the world
and over all the
provident skies
how beautiful is the universe
when something digestible meets
with an eager digestion
how sweet the embrace
when atom rushes to the arms
of waiting atom
and they dance together
skimming with fairy feet
along a tide of gastric juices
oh feline cosmos you were
made for cats
and in the spring
old cosmic thing
i dine and dance with you
i shall creep through
yonder tall grass
to see if peradventure
some silly fledgling thrushes
newly from the nest
be not floundering therein
i have a gusto this
morning i have a hunger
i have a yearning to hear
from my stomach
further music in accord with
the mystic chanting
of the spheres of the stars that
sang together in the dawn of
creation prophesying food
for me i have a faith
that providence has hidden for me
in yonder tall grass
still more
ornithological delicatessen
oh gayly let me strangle
what is gayly given
well well boss there is
something to be said
for the lyric and imperial
attitude
believe that everything is for
you until you discover
that you are for it
sing your faith in what you
get to eat right up to the
minute you are eaten
for you are going
to be eaten
will the orchestra please
strike up that old
tutankhamen jazz while i dance
a few steps i learnt from an
egyptian scarab and some day i
will narrate to you the most
merry light headed wheeze
that the skull of yorick put
across in answer to the
melancholy of the dane and also
what the ghost of
hamlet s father replied to the skull
not forgetting the worm that
wriggled across one of the picks
the grave diggers had left behind
for the worm listened and winked
at horatio while the skull and the
ghost and prince talked
saying there are more things
twixt the vermiform appendix
and nirvana than are dreamt of
in thy philosophy horatio
fol de riddle fol de rol
must every parrot be a poll
archy

... pretty interesting stuff from a cockroach, eh?..... perhaps there is some writing left in my old bones yet!...

Read the Bullshit »

Moons.....

.... while out in search of nachos this past Friday, I flipped on the car radio and was surprised to find it tuned to the University of Tennessee's station....... obviously allowing The Missus to pilot Blanche every so often is a bad, bad thing.... since I am SURE that my little ride is a fan of ZZ Top and AC/DC...... anyway, after a few snippets of classical music finished, a caramel-voiced fellow lit into some poetry... it was one that I had not heard before, and I enjoyed it very much..... so much so that, when I pulled Blanche into the driveway, I sat in the car contentedly listening until the gentleman finished his reading.....

.... so, since I am in a sharing mood today, here it is..... it seems to be meant to be read aloud... and slowly.... quietly, almost...... I do hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.......

Complaint by James Wright

She's gone. She was my love, my moon or more.
She chased the chickens out and swept the floor,
Emptied the bones and nut-shells after feasts,
And smacked the kids for leaping up like beasts.
Now morbid boys have grown past awkwardness;
The girls let stitches out, dress after dress,
To free some swinging body's riding space
And form the new child's unimagined face.
Yet, while vague nephews, spitting on their curls,
Amble to pester winds and blowsy girls,
What arm will sweep the room, what hand will hold
New snow against the milk to keep it cold?
And who will dump the garbage, feed the hogs,
And pitch the chickens' heads to hungry dogs?
Not my lost hag who dumbly bore such pain:
Childbirth at midnight sassafras and rain.
New snow against her face and hands she bore,
And now lies down, who was my moon or more

.... I don't know.... it just struck me as earthy honest, and heartfelt....... and that most of us truly don't know what we have until it is gone..... or, perhaps instead, that we should spend more time telling those that are our moons just how much we care for them while they are still orbiting..... so to speak.....

.... either way, I enjoyed it...... and it is always nice to learn something new... .

Read the Bullshit »

Rain....

Watermelons and June
Cantaloupes in July
Gathering clouds, hot skin, and exquisite anticipation
Cool rain, naked bodies, and laughter
Wishing it would never stop
Falling heavy and loud amid the rush
Washing the dust of innocence away
Leaving only damp, happy children
Who wanted more

Read the Bullshit »

Five...

..... I spent the largess of yesterday dodging sporadic rainstorms, sweatily grooming a decrepit rosebush, and pouring over the latest reconnaissance photos that my Father in Law has been sending me.....

.... evidently this September's vacation shall be spent in the Tuscany region of Italy, and he is busily searching for a villa that is suitable enough for us to sip gins and tonics in... fine work if you can score it, I suspect....... but me?..... well, I am contenting myself in the arms of amateur horticulture and slowly perfecting my ability to swat errant horseflies whist dressed as a Sandanista gardener...... actually, I am probably the only gentleman in my neighborhood who dons combat boots and olive drab to battle Nature's Horde....... but then, well, I've never really been much of a flip-flop kind of guy.......

..... anyway, since today promises more of the same that the last few days has offered - and since there truly IS no rest for the proverbial wicked - I'm off to sweat in the lawn once again....... but I shall leave you with a poem that has been on my mind while I toiled with hand-trowel and sweaty brow........

...... enjoy, gentle rubberneckers....... and may your day be filled with iced drinks and foot massages.......

Thus sang the uncouth swain to th'oaks and rills,
While the still morn went out with sandals gray;
He touch'd the tender stops of various quills,
With eager thought warbling his Doric lay;
And now the sun had stretch'd out all the hills,
And now was dropp'd into the western bay;
At last he rose, and twitch'd his mantle blue:
To-morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.

.... anyone care to guess the author of the above?........

.... I'm off...... for the wages of a lawn-slave await.....

Read the Bullshit »

Four....

.... tonight, well, poetry is music, and vice versa..........

...... if you don't enjoy YouTube clips, then please walk on...... however, I would invite you to listen to each of my choices before comment......... and then, try to see the vein that I am tryin to tap...... they are all beautiful on their own, but as with poetry, there is always a theme........

...... firstly, a Paul Simon favorite.....

.... and next?..... well, give me a munite......

... yes, here we go........ 'Thrasher'.... one I love to sing to myself as I play guitar........ I love the poetry in it....

..... and now, let me see what I can find........ perhaps I will "burn my credit cards for fuel.."......

.... ahhh, yes...... a Buffett tune..... and my absolute favorite.......

...... listen closely to the lyrics, rubberneckers........ they are ALL important......... trust me on that.......

...... poetry is something that touches our souls....... not just words, but ideas and feelings.......... and whether it is with music or lines printed on a page, it is still poetry.........

.... part five will be arriving tomorrow........

Read the Bullshit »

Three

.... quiet night around The Compound here, folks..... I managed to break the lever that engages the blades on my lawnmower yesterday, so that afforded me the perfect opportunity to hire, once again, a lawn fairy to miraculously cut my grass whilst I sipped an evening gin.....

.... even with all that, I still managed to fit in the grilling of a few gigantic slabs of baby back ribs for dinner tonight, and it seemed to please my dinner guests palate just fine...... ribs, a sweet sauce, cole slaw, and deviled eggs....... hey, it's hard to have fun in a place like this, but I do so sorely try......

.... anyway, since I am still tingling on this latest poetry jag (and since Marcus mentioned limericks), I shall acquiesce...... so, here are a few of my favorite limericks in honor of Oom Keesie's request.......

..... and of course, where best to start than with Ogden Nash's famous contribution to The Limerick...... I love how he bends words to his comic will....... check this out.....

There once was a man from Calcutta
Who coated his tonsils with butta,
Thus converting his snore
From a thunderous roar
To a soft, oleaginous mutta.

.... as a fellow who has been known to snore on occasion, perhaps I should give Nash's antidote a try, eh?......

... and you may be shocked to know that many famous writers have often looked to the limerick to express themselves fully..... like, say, for instance, H.G. Wells...... here's his....

Our novels get longa and longa,
Their language gets stronga and stronga,
Theres much to be said,
For a life that is led,
In illiterate places like Bonga,

... or even Dixon Merritt....

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill can hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak,
Food enough for a week,
But Im damned if I see how the helican,

.... see, aren't these fun?..... and finally, I will leave you with one that always makes me smile...... it's from Mr. Updike.......

There was an old poop from Poughkeepsie, ,
Who tended, at night, to be tipsy. ,
Said he, ''My last steps ,
Aren't propelled by just Schweppes!''
That peppy old poop from Poughkeepsie!

..... and for the record, I have found myself in Limerick, County Claire...... and I did find a pub...... and I did make up a limerick which I quoted out loud to all that would listen to me at the time....... but, unfortunately, I cannot recall exactly what I said to the bemused Irishmen at the time.........

.... but hey, thus is Time Spent In Irish Pubs, no?.......

Read the Bullshit »

Two

..... tonight's poetry theme is Love, rubberneckers....... have you a favorite?.. one that you know by heart?.... perhaps one that was sent to you or even written for you?.... then please do share, if you will....... me?.... never had a poem written for me as best I can recollect.... but I have written a few in my time......

... but tonight's post isn't on what I may have written..... tonight I want to introduce you to a few "love" poems that I have read and enjoyed well before the day that I ventured off to high school to become a large, freckled, red-headed wall flower....

..... Love, eh?... isn't that what most of us think of first when someone mentions poetry?...... anyway, for Keesie, here are a few of my favorites.....

Love Without Hope, by Robert Graves

Love without hope, as when the young bird-catcher
Swept off his tall hat to the Squire's own daughter,
So let the imprisoned larks escape and fly
Singing about her head, as she rode by.

.... marvelous, no?.... and for those males reading this who are 'challenged' when it comes to spending time reading poetry, that one was a SHORT one!...... read, recite, repeat, and tell it to your lady if you get the chance..... who knows, she might like it......

... and this one, too, by Pushkin?..... anyone who has ever had a relationship where it ended with a "ya know, you used to be pretty, but now you're just pretty fucked up" type of thing, well, you'll likely dig this poem big-time...... then again, perhaps I am just being a bit jaded.... the poem is, after all, quite sensitively phrased.....

I loved you even now I may confess, by Alexander Pushkin

I loved you; even now I may confess,
Some embers of my love their fire retain,
But do not let it cause you more distress,
I do not want to sadden you again.
Hopeless and tonguetied, yet I loved you dearly
With pangs the jealous and the timid know;
So tenderly I loved you, so sincerely,
I pray God grant another love you so.

.... and lastly for tonight, a true 'oldie'..... and I say 'oldie' as in it was most likely written between 400 and 600 AD by an Indian fella named Bhartrhari....... and this poem truly goes to show that this whole "love" thing has been a mess since we first wandered out of the jungle and began clubbing wimmens and dragging them off to our cave for a bit of the ole whoopee........ check it out....

She who is always in my thoughts prefers
Another man, and does not think of me.
Yet he seeks for another's love, not hers;
And some poor girl is grieving for my sake.
Why then, the Devil take both her and him; and love; and her;
And me.

Bhartrhari

.... damnation, Bhartrhari, I feel ya, brother.......

..... so, "love poetry", anyone?....... I'd be interesting in what type twangs your proverbial strings, so please share.........

Read the Bullshit »

One.....

.... we live in tremulous times, boys and girls..... and tonight is more tremulous than most....... but, hey!........ poetry tomorrow, OK?....... directed straight towards Mr. Keesie...... deal?.......

... until then, I suggest you have a listen to this instead........ it should give you an idea of where I'm heading for tomorrow......

.... as poetry goes, I have a wide and varied taste..... so......... expect this theme to go on for at LEAST the next five days..........

.... for the man who does not enjoy poetry, does not truly enjoy Life......... and I stand by that..... and I will stand by that forever....

Read the Bullshit »

Cohen....

I've heard that there was a secret chord That David played and it pleased the Lord but you don't really care for music, do ya?

It goes like this -
The Fourth, The Fifth, The Minor fall, The Major lift
the baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong, but you needed proof
you saw her bathing on the roof
her beautify and the moonlight overthrew you

She tied you to a kitchen chair
she broke your throne, she cut your hair
and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I've been here before,
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you

I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you let me know
what's really going on below
but now you never show it to me, do you?

and remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
and every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there 's a God above,
All I ever learned from love
was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you

and its not a cry you can hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

..... the work of Mr. Leonard Cohen that I read today for the first time - after having listened to the song many, many times....... odd how I never caught the full power of the lyrics until today..... and wow..... they're beautiful....

... if you fancy singing along, then I highly recommend this version...... enjoy....

.... and with that?.... well, Hallelujah, folks... ......

Read the Bullshit »

Porlock....

.... for T1G.... who just happens to be in a Coleridge kinda mood lately...... behold...


..... the story goes that he was busily penning the above poem whilst completely bombed on opium when a certain "person from Porlock" came along and snapped him out of his concentration/vision/dream/hallucination and the rest of the poem was lost..... thus the secondary title of "A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment"......

... still, though..... pretty rich imagery for a stoner..... and hey, lately?... it seems that a person from Porlock is camping out by the woodpile behind my house..... and they've worn a grove in the path from the patio to my back door to ask about basketball scores...... after all, if IS March......

Read the Bullshit »

Rashes....

... on this day in 1756, The Bard was born..... and as such, tonight, I feel the need to offer up a bit of his poetry for the occasion........ and it is one of my favorites......

.... if, like me, you feel the need to sing along, well, here are the lyrics...... I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.....

... here's Robert Burns' original with lots of Scots dialect thrown in.......

Green Grow The Rashes, O

Chorus
Green grow the rashes, O;
Green grow the rashes, O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent among the lasses, O.

There's nought but care on ev'ry han',
In every hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life o' man,
An' 'twere na for the lasses, O.

The war'ly race may riches chase,
An' riches still may fly them, O;
An' tho' at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.

But gie me a cannie hour at e'en,
My arms about my dearie, O,
An' war'ly cares an' war'ly men
May a' gae tapsalteerie, O!

For you sae douce, ye sneer at this;
Ye're nought but senseless asses, O;
The wisest man the warl' e'er saw,
He dearly lov'd the lasses, O.

Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice han' she try'd on man,
An' then she made the lasses, O.

.... and for those of you who have questions, here's a rough English translation......

Green grow the rushes, O; Green grow the rushes, O; The sweetest hours that ever I spend, Are spent among the girls, O.

There is nothing but care on every hand,
In every hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life of man,
And it were not for the girls, O.

The worldly race may riches chase,
And riches still may fly them, O;
And though at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can never enjoy them, O.

But give me a quiet hour at evening,
My arms about my dearie, O,
And worldly cares and worldly men
May all go topsy-turvy, O!

For you so grave, you sneer at this;
You are nothing but senseless asses, O;
The wisest man the world ever saw,
He dearly loved the girls, O.

Old Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her apprentice hand she tried on man,
And then she made the girls, O.

....... I've been to many a Burns Supper during my short time on Earth, and I enjoyed every single one......

.... and really, who can't love a man that'd write that last stanza?........ "Her apprentice hand she tried on man, and then she made the lasses."...... more true words have never been written, folks......

.... so, Happy Birthday, Rabbie Burns...... you were a cad, but you were an artist as well.....

Read the Bullshit »

Action....

.... a happy, happy birthday to Edgar Allan Poe, born on this day in 1809..... stoned, drunk, published, widowed, and dead by the age of 40..... mercy....

.... requiescat in pace, sir.....

.... I shall stand, respectfully peering into the darkness of the woods behind the house tonight, and recite a chunk of "Annabel Lee" in your honor while holding my Edgar Allan Poe action figure.......

Read the Bullshit »

Macallan....

..... spent the latter part of the afternoon searching the woods behind the house for those two missing rockets to no avail........ and then I finally took the time to retire indoors to a home-cooked meal and a gigantic tome of poetry accompanied by a rather large 15 year old Macallan with a tad of water for my efforts........

...... but anyway, since I don't want to bore you fine boys and girls, I will leave you all tonight with a test.........

..... no googling, of course....... any guesses as to the author of these words?.........


Oh dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,
Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,
Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet;
Where thirsting longing eyes
Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.

.... as a hint, I will tell you that I bought their Victorian book in Limerick last month.....

.... and her brothers weren't exactly slouches either, if I recall.....

Read the Bullshit »

Goblins....

.... sadly, the weather in Ireland was neither "bright", nor "sunshiny"...... but it was quite tolerable for October........ we even managed a few days of kayaking out on the private lake that bordered the property without freezing to death, so that is something.....

.... this song on the other hand?....... it was the earworm that everyone was humming the day that we all departed....... two bottles of champagne and 1/2 a bottle of gin could not scrub it from our innocent little heads that next morning........

..... but hey, in other news, I bought a volume of Christina Rosetti's poetry in a bookshop in Limerick the day before we left and spent most of the lay-over time reading and re-reading her words from the late 1800s... and in a word?.... it is amazing to me that such a "devout" woman could be so downright kinky when she writes certain poems........

.... then again, I guess that most true writers surprise us from time to time......

Read the Bullshit »

Snoring....

.... in honor of yesterday's quick roadtrip over The Shannon to Limerick, I humbly offer you a beautiful ditty from Mr. Ogden Nash......

ARTHUR

There once was a man from Calcutta,

Who coated his tonsils with butta,

Thus converting his snore,

From a thunderous roar,

To a soft, oleaginous mutta.

.... and this time tomorrow I will be waiting for take-off.....

.... what an unusual trip this has been.....

Read the Bullshit »

Limericks....

.... weeeeeeellll, it's just about that time, boys & girls........ time for the Annual Autumn Excursion, and this time it's County Clare, Ireland.......

.... so if anyone needs me, I'll be in the stables at Mount Cashel....

.. in the mean time, I will soon be presented with an opportunity of a lifetime.... that's right, folks.... I shall recite a limerick on the streets of Limerick..... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, of course...... the winning entry might even end up here as a video in a couple of weeks....

.... so.... y'all know any good limericks??..... preferably ones without the word "Nantucket" in them?......

... next year?.... a hamburger in Hamburg!....

Read the Bullshit »

Harrison....

.... fresh from the mailbag this morning, a poetic gem sent to me from a friend of mine in Alaska.....

Larson's Holstein Bull by Jim Harrison

Death waits inside us for a door to open.
Death is patient as a dead cat.
Death is a doorknob made of flesh.
Death is that angelic farm girl
gored by the bull on her way home
from school, crossing the pasture
for a shortcut. In the seventh grade
she couldn't read or write. She wasn't a virgin.
She was "simpleminded,"we all said.
It was May, a time of lilacs and shooting stars.
She's lived in my memory for sixty years.
Death steals everything except our stories.


..... absolutely beautiful..... "Death steals everything except our stories."...... you know, I'd never thought of it like that before, but I suppose it is very sound wisdom.......

... and with that?..... well, I'm off to mow the lawn and think deep thoughts......

Read the Bullshit »

Rita.....

...... it is no secret that I am a huge fan of Mr. Robert W. Service's poetry...... hey, he moves me........ but I happened to watch this scene on television earlier today and was quite shocked........

...... although, I must say that I'm glad Mr. Service lived long enough to see Rita Hayworth mentioning one of his characters whilst seductively peeling off a glove & shaking her groove thang during a burlesque'ish Hollywood production...... don't believe me?.... well, check this out...

..... if that doesn't want to make you zip off to Amazon.com and buy "The Collected Poems of Robert Service", well, I figure you're already likely beyond much hope........

Read the Bullshit »

Plans.....

..... the old rifle is clean..... and the camo is hanging in the garage to air itself out..... plans are afoot, it seems...... and with that, I give you a poem......


Dread, by Eric

On Sunday I hunt the coyote.
And the thought sends exquisite chills of glee
That makes me waggle my hairy knee
With anticipation of what's to be.

Oh How I would not want to be
A coyote.

On Sunday-ee.... (with any luck)......

... me, that is, rather than the coyote having any luck...... but hey, I'm sure you catch my drift.....

Read the Bullshit »

Afghanistan......

.... during my most recent visit to Scotland, I was happy to be gifted a book that was owned by my brother-in-law, Alasdair.... he and I share a common love of poetry, and when I saw the book, I immediately became covetous..... he, knowing the Look of Covetousness as well as any fine Scottish man might, knew right off that he would earn serious favor-points if he should offer the book to me as a gift......

..... and, canny fellow that he is, he did just that....... it sits here on the table before me now, actually, and I have been reading sporadically most of the day.......

....... I must say, though, that most of you will never have heard tell of this particular poet....... and that is quite alright, for he is indeed a dire, dire poet...... not for the faint of heart, I'm afraid...... and most definitely not for those who lack a deep-seated love for The Written Verse....or, indeed, a hearty sense of humor......

.... I speak, of course, of the works of Mr. William Topaz McGonagall.....of Dundee, Scotland......... and the book that I salivated over so covetously?...... William McGonagall - Collected Poems....... and brothers & sisters?.... it is a MUST for anyone who considers themselves a Connoisseur of The Written Word......

.... Mr. McGonagall is noted, mainly, for being the worst poet in the English language....... but his poems are not just bad...... they are so bad that they actually come into themselves as satire - which he most definitely did not intend...... which only adds to the comedic effect of the poem........ as an example?.... upon the death of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (the sitting Poet Laureate), McGonagall actually walked 60 miles from Dundee to Balmoral to ask Queen Victoria if he could have the job........ that, dear friends, is chutzpah........

..... but yes, I know that I am boring you...... blah, blah, blah, history, poetry, blah, put up or shut up!........ indeed....... so I shall endeavor to cut to the chase and find a suitable location for myself out of doors for the rest of the evening.......... and simply leave you with an absolute beauty from Mr. William Topaz McGonagall to chew upon tonight......

General Roberts in Afghanistan, by William McGonagall

'Twas in the year 1878, and the winter had set in,
Lord Roberts and the British Army their march did begin,
On their way to Afghanistan to a place called Cabul;
And the weather was bitter cold and the rivers swollen and full.

And the enemy were posted high up amongst the hills,
And when they saw the British, with fear their blood thrills;
The savages were camped on the hillsides in war array,
And occupying a strong position which before the British lay.

And viewed from the front their position was impregnable,
But Lord Roberts was a general of great skill;
Therefore to surprise the enemy he thought it was right,
To march upon the enemy in the dead of night.

Then the men were mustered without delay,
And each man of them was eager for the fray;
And in the silent darkness they felt no dismay,
And to attack the enemy they marched boldly away.

And on they marched bravely without fear of doubt,
And about daybreak the challenge of an Afghan sentinel rang out,
And echoed from rock to rock on the frosty biting air;
But the challenge didn't the British scare.

The the Highlanders attacked from left and right,
And oh! it was a gorgeous and an inspiring sight;
For a fierce hand to hand struggle raged for a time,
While the pibrochs skirled aloud, oh! the scene was sublime.

Then the Ghoorkas did the Afghans fiercely attack,
And at every point and turning they were driven back;
And a fierce hand to hand struggled raged for a time,
While in the morning sunshine the British bayonets did shine.

And around the ridge or knoll the battled raged for three hours,
And British bullets fell amongst them in showers;
For Captain Kelso brought up his mountain battery,
And sent his shells right into the camp of the enemy,
Then the left of the Afghans was turned, and began to flee.

Meanwhile, on the enemy's strong position Lord Robertson launched an attack,
And from their position they could hardly be driven back
Because the Afghans were hid amongst the woods and hills,
Still with undaunted courage, the British blood thrills.

And the Afghans pressed the British hotly, but they didn't give way,
For the 8th Ghoorkas and the 72nd kept them at bay;
And the mountain guns shells upon them did fire,
The the 8th Punjaub, bounding up the heights, made them retire.

Then Major White seized a rifle from on of his men and did retire,
And leveled the piece fearlessly and did fire;
And with a steady and well-timed shot,
He shot the Afghan leader dead on the spot.

The the British with a wild cheer dashed at them,
And on each side around they did them hem;
And at the bayonet charge they drove them down the hill,
And in the hundreds they did them kill.

Then in a confused mass they fled down the opposite side of the hill,
In hundreds, driven by sheer force sore against their will;
And helter-skelter they did run,
For all their positions were carried and the victory won.

Then on the 8th of August again Lord Roberts' march began,
For to fight the rebel Ayoob Khan;
And with an army about seven thousand strong
On his way to Candahar he fearlessly marched along.

And the battle that followed at Candahar was a complete victory.
And Lord Roberts' march to Candahar stands unrivalled in history;
And let's thank God that sent Lord Roberts to conquer Ayoob Khan,
For from that time there's been no more war in Afghanistan.

Success to Lord Roberts; he's a very brave man,
For he conquered the Afghans in Afghanistan,
With an army about seven thousand strong,
He spread death and desolation all along.

........ see what I mean?....... damn.... that was so bad, that it was actually pretty good!......

Read the Bullshit »

Vietnam.....

...... good evening, rubberneckers...... I hope that you are all well....... as for me, I'm tolerable lately..... and quite pleasant at other times........ but all in all, overall, I'm idling down quite nicely considering that I spent most of the day batting insects & re-working flower beds.....

..... having said that, I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to toss out here for you wonderful people....... so, I shall simply choose a few hard words from a book I've been reading off and on for the past few days....... I hope that you enjoy.....

OK Corral East

Brothers In The Nam

Sgt. Christopher and I are
in Khanh Hoi down by the docks
in the Blues Bar where the women
are brown and there is no Saigon Tea
making our nightly HIT - 'Hore Inspection Tour
watching the black - digging night sights
- soul sounds - getting tight

the grunts in the corner raise undisturbed hell
the timid white MP has his freckles pale
as he walks past the high dude
in the doorway in his lavender jump-suit
to remind the mama-san quietly of the curfew
- he chokes on the weed smoke
- he sees nothing his color here
and he fingers his army rosary - his .45

but this is not Cleveland or Chicago
he can't cringe any one here and our
gazes like brown punji stakes impale him

we have all killed something recently
we know who owns the night
and carry darkness with us

.... a poem by Mr. Horace Coleman

..... I don't know about you guys, but I thought that pretty much rocked...... and that ole Horace would have been a helluva guy to share a beer with.....

Read the Bullshit »

Burns....

.... well, I'll be damned..... that was FAST......

.... no sooner are we back from a nearly 10,000 mile bone-crushing round-trip, we find via email that the next expedition is already booked..... and it appears that County Clare, Ireland will be host to a September invasion by our combined Scots/Americano/Bangladeshi forces..... mercy, folks......

.... anyhoo, I shall begin tossing up some photos shortly.... but in the mean time, I'll share this little tidbit that was waiting in my inbox this morning from Ms. Cheese...... check this out....

The Scottish Military Field Hospital


The new commander in Iraq hears that a Scottish regiment has a specialized field hospital that's doing fantastic things with the troops. He wants to know what is so special about the place, so he arranges a tour.

When he gets to the ward, it's full of patients with no obvious sign of injury or illness. He's perplexed, so goes up to the first bed and greets the soldier there.

The patient replies:

"Fair fa your honest sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin race,
Aboon them a ye take yer place,
Painch, tripe or thairm,
As langs my airm."

The general is confused, so he just grins and moves on to the next patient.
That soldier responds:

"Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat an we can eat,
So let the Lord be thankit."

Even more confused, and his grin now rictus-like, the commander moves on to the next patient, who immediately begins to chant:

"Wee sleekit, cowerin, timorous beasty,
O the panic in thy breasty,
Thou needna start awa sae hastie,
Wi bickering brattle."

Now seriously troubled, the general turns to the accompanying doctor and asks, "Is this a psychiatric ward?"

"No, not at all," replies the doctor. "This is the Serious Burns unit."

.... heh heh heh...... I don't care who you are, that right there was funny......

Read the Bullshit »

Jean Shepherd, At Your Service

Eric is a trusting soul, yes he is... here he goes off for a lengthy trip around the sacred home of Scotch whisky, leaving the keys to his Bloggity Crib in my grubby mitts... trusting? Nay, brave...

Perhaps I give him too much credit for bravery, though. After all, there are limits to the desecrations a guest poster will permit himself on a site owned by someone who carries a Big, Sharp Knife... and who owns a small arsenal of Projectile Dispensers...

Anyway, having done with all this preamble, what I wanted to share with you rubberneckers is something I discovered quite by accident a couple of months ago...

Those of you who read my site will know that I am a long-time admirer of Jean Shepherd, the writer/raconteur/radio host whose collected stories, cobbled together, became the beloved Seasonal Fillum, A Christmas Story. A few months back, I found a few old photographs I had taken of Shep at the Overseas Press Club back in March of 1970, which in turn impelled me to do a little Internet Research...

...during the course of said research, I uncovered something about Shep that I had not known... that he had recorded, sometime back in the 1970's, a collection of Robert W. Service poems...

...now, rubberneckers, the plot thickens... because we all know that poetic recitations in general, and poetic recitations involving the works of Robert W. Service in particular, hold a special place in Eric's heart of hearts...

...and so I am happy to share with you Jean Shepherd's inimitable renditions of Service's fine poetry... enjoy... and think of our red-headed friend, traipsing about the Grampian Hills as you do so...

Read the Bullshit »

Assyrian......

.... no posting tonight, boys & girls...... it's been a busy day..... instead?....a fellow that I found on YouTube doing some Nash........ and since I was reading ole Ogden just the other day while the puff pastry rose, I thought I'd share...... and hey, poetry is always welcome around here!....... so, enjoy....

...... I love that line about the Assyrian, though....... cracks me up every single time........ but he's right, you know?...... sometimes writing truly, truly sucks......

.... kinda like tonight...... "very like a whale"?....... that doesn't half do it justice....... ahh..... tomorrow is another day.....

Read the Bullshit »

Burns.....

... tomorrow is The Day, boys and girls......... and there will be more than a little celebration here...........

.... once upon a time - four years ago - I left a bit of a statement here........

..... but tonight?...... well, this version just stirs my soul........ and I hope that you enjoy....

...... Happy Birthday, Big Guy, wherever you are.......... you were - and continue to be - an inspiration..........

Read the Bullshit »

Voices.....

..... my Mother came over for a chat last night and ended up staying quite late.... spurred on by a bit of a family emergency, I did my very best to distract her from her woes & put on my usual brave face..... and it worked, too - to an extent.....

... good lord, never underestimate the curative powers of poetry, reading to one another, old photographs, and a few waltzes down Memory Lane courtesy of YouTube, ladies and gentlemen......

.... it's odd, I suppose, but reading out loud to someone seems to be a dying art these days.... and that is a monumental tragedy, if you ask me...

.... you gather so much more when you listen to someone read....... there is a tangible feel that vibrates through your soul when someone who can read well actually takes the time to read to you.... you see the writer's world through not only their words, but through the voice, tone, timbre, and inflection of the reader..... you don't paint your own picture - you let their interpretation paint it for you.... you give yourself over to them.... you surrender yourself to their view.....it is a beautiful and intimate glimpse for the reader AND the listener, I think..... and it struck me last night as I read to my Mother just how rarely it is that we take the time to read to one another......

.... words are often cold and static.... phrases - no matter how cleverly written - are crippled by being kept in the silence of your imagination.... in the end, that's why we enjoy music so readily..... for what is music if not poetry expressed by a voice?.....

...... then again, maybe I'm just frustrated, tired, depressed, and a being a bit melodramatic this morning..... but I do know that there IS a core of truth to what I've been mulling over this morning..... there is nothing like sitting back, closing your eyes, and focusing on a pleasant voice while it reads to you - for you.....

... for me?..... well, it's one of the most amazing kinds of 'sharing' that one can perform.....

Read the Bullshit »

Body.....

.... damn, I'm tired...... a bit out-of-sorts, too, now that I think about it..... I need a roadtrip & a hotdog with chili, cheese, and diced onions...

.... then again, maybe I just need to get in some quality range-time..... make small holes and lots of noise..... God knows all of these push-ups I've been doing for the past three days havent helped much.....

.... this time of year just makes me a bit testy, I guess.....

..... but enough of all that......

... in a hopeful bid to ward off the lurking demons, I've spent a bit of time this morning combing through my Whitman - and I found a true beauty.....

.... check this out, boys & girls..... the last stanza of I Sing the Body Electric...... behold a thing of amazement......


"O my body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women, nor the likes of the parts of you,
I believe the likes of you are to stand or fall with the likes of the soul, (and that they are the soul,)
I believe the likes of you shall stand or fall with my poems, and that they are my poems,
Mans, womans, childs, youths, wifes, husbands, mothers, fathers, young mans, young womans poems,
Head, neck, hair, ears, drop and tympan of the ears,
Eyes, eye-fringes, iris of the eye, eyebrows, and the waking or sleeping of the lids,
Mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, roof of the mouth, jaws, and the jaw-hinges,
Nose, nostrils of the nose, and the partition,
Cheeks, temples, forehead, chin, throat, back of the neck, neck-slue,
Strong shoulders, manly beard, scapula, hind-shoulders, and the ample side-round of the chest,
Upper-arm, armpit, elbow-socket, lower-arm, arm-sinews, arm-bones,
Wrist and wrist-joints, hand, palm, knuckles, thumb, forefinger, finger-joints, finger-nails,
Broad breast-front, curling hair of the breast, breast-bone, breast-side,
Ribs, belly, backbone, joints of the backbone,
Hips, hip-sockets, hip-strength, inward and outward round, man-balls, man-root,
Strong set of thighs, well carrying the trunk above,
Leg fibres, knee, knee-pan, upper-leg, under-leg,
Ankles, instep, foot-ball, toes, toe-joints, the heel;
All attitudes, all the shapeliness, all the belongings of my or your body or of any ones body, male or female,
The lung-sponges, the stomach-sac, the bowels sweet and clean,
The brain in its folds inside the skull-frame,
Sympathies, heart-valves, palate-valves, sexuality, maternity,
Womanhood, and all that is a woman, and the man that comes from woman,
The womb, the teats, nipples, breast-milk, tears, laughter, weeping, love-looks, love-perturbations and risings,
The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud,
Food, drink, pulse, digestion, sweat, sleep, walking, swimming,
Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening,
The continual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes,
The skin, the sunburnt shade, freckles, hair,
The curious sympathy one feels when feeling with the hand the naked meat of the body,
The circling rivers the breath, and breathing it in and out,
The beauty of the waist, and thence of the hips, and thence downward toward the knees,
The thin red jellies within you or within me, the bones and the marrow in the bones,
The exquisite realization of health;
O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul,
O I say now these are the soul!"

Walt Whitman

...... amazing....

Read the Bullshit »

Congo.....

.... I've been sunk deep into my Vachel Lindsay today ever since I got whipped at Scrabble around noontime at the kitchen table....... I tried heading out and raking a few leaves, but it just didn't scratch the itch properly...... but Mr. Lindsay seemed to do the trick..... at least for a while anyway...... but now that that's over, I guess it is time to blog......

... do you guys like Vachel Lindsay's stuff?.... some of it is pretty damned good...... don't bother reading "Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, Bryan", though....... it'll ruin everything else he ever wrote.... trust me on that one, folks..... it's easy to shade some people some of the time.... but once you read that poem, you'd realize that Lindsay was a complete and utter hammerhead........ just trust me on that...... don't go there....

..... but does anyone remember "The Congo"?.... hey, it was killer....... and it's another of those interesting poems that's meant to be read out loud in a rhythmic, chanting kind of way......

.... hey, it's good for the soul to chant rhythmically every once in a while, right Jimbo?.......

..... that said, I shall keep you no longer....... enjoy "The Congo"...... or not..... but it is one amazing piece of onomatopoeia.... so, hey.... treat yourself..... go ahead!..... recite along and enjoy.......

I. Their Basic Savagery

Fat black bucks in a wine-barrel room,
Barrel-house kings, with feet unstable,
Sagged and reeled and pounded on the table,
Pounded on the table,
Beat an empty barrel with the handle of a broom,
Hard as they were able,
Boom, boom, Boom,
With a silk umbrella and the handle of a broom,
Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, Boom.

THEN I had religion. THEN I had a vision.
I could not turn from their revel in derision.

THEN I SAW THE CONGO, CREEPING THROUGH THE BLACK,
CUTTING THROUGH THE JUNGLE WITH A GOLDEN TRACK.

Then along that river-bank a thousand miles
Tattooed cannibals danced in files;
Then I heard the boom of the blood-lust song
And a thigh-bone beating on a tin-pan gong.
And "BLOOD" screamed the whistles and the fifes of the warriors,
"BLOOD" screamed the skull-faced, lean witch-doctors,
"Whirl ye the deadly voodoo rattle,
Harry the uplands,
Steal all the cattle,
Rattle-rattle, rattle-rattle,
Bing!
Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, Boom,"

A roaring, epic, rag-time tune
From the mouth of the Congo
To the Mountains of the Moon.
Death is an Elephant,
Torch-eyed and horrible,
Foam-flanked and terrible.

Boom, steal the pygmies,
Boom, kill the Arabs,
Boom, kill the white men,
Like the wind
Hoo, Hoo, Hoo.
Listen to the yell of Leopold's ghost
Burning in hell for his hand-maimed host.
Hear how the demons chuckle and yell.
Cutting his hands off, down in Hell.
Listen to the creepy proclamation,
Blown through the lairs of the forest-nation,
Blown past the white-ants' hill of clay,
Blown past the marsh where the butterflies play: -
"Be careful what you do,
Or Mumbo-jumbo', God of the Congo,
And all of the other Gods of the Congo,
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you,
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you,
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you."


II. Their Irrepressible High Spirits
Wild crap-shooters with a whoop and a call
Danced the juba in their gambling-hall
And laughed fit to kill, and shook the town,
And guyed the policemen and laughed them down
With a boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, Boom....

THEN I SAW THE CONGO, CREEPING THROUGH THE BLACK,
CUTTING THROUGH THE JUNGLE WITH A GOLDEN TRACK.

A Negro fairyland swung into view,
A minstrel river where dreams come true.
The ebony palace soared on high
Through the blossoming trees to the evening sky.
The inlaid porches and casement shone
With gold and ivory and elephant-bone.
And the black crowd laughed till their sides were sore
At the baboon butler in the agate door,
And the well-known tunes of the parrot band
That trilled on the bushes of that magic land.

A troupe of skull-faced witch-men came
Through the agate doorway in suits of flame,
Yea, long-tailed coats with a gold-leaf crust
And hats that were covered with diamond-dust.
And the crowd in the court gave a whoop and a call
And danced the juba from wall to wall.
But the witch-men suddenly stilled the throng
With a stern cold glare, and a stern old song: -
"Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you." . . .
Just then from the doorway, as fat as shotes,
Came the cake-walk princes in their long red coats,

Shoes with a patent-leather shine,
And tall silk hats that were red as wine.
And they pranced with their butterfly partners there,
Coal-black maidens with pearls in their hair,
Knee-skirts trimmed with the Jessamine sweet,
And bells on their ankles and little black feet.
And the couples railed at the chant and the frown
Of the witch-men lean, and laughed them down.
(O rare was the revel and well worth while
That made those glowering witch-men smile.)

The cake-walk royalty then began
To walk for a cake that was tall as a man
To the tune of " Boomlay, boomlay, Boom,"
While the witch-men laughed with a sinister air,
And sang with the scalawags prancing there:
"Walk with care, walk with care

Or Mumbo-jumbo, God of the Congo,
And all of the other Gods of the Congo,
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you.
Beware, beware, walk with care,
Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, boom,
Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, boom,
Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, Boom."
Oh, rare was the revel, and well worth while
That made those glowering witch-men smile.


III. The Hope of Their Religion

A good old Negro in the slums of the town
Preached at a sister for her velvet gown.

Howled at a brother for his low-down ways,
His prowling, guzzling, sneak-thief days.
Beat on the Bible till he wore it out,
Starting the jubilee revival shout.
And some had visions, as they stood on chairs,
And sang of Jacob, and the golden stairs,
And they all repented, a thousand strong,
From their stupor and savagery and sin and wrong
And slammed their hymn books till they shook the room
With " Glory, glory, glory," And "Boom, boom, Boom."

THEN I SAW THE CONGO, CREEPING THROUGH THE BLACK,
CUTTING THROUGH THE JUNGLE WITH A GOLDEN TRACK.

And the gray sky opened like a new-rent veil
And showed the apostles with their coats of mail.
In bright white steel they were seated round
And their fire-eyes watched where the Congo wound.
And the twelve apostles, from their thrones on high,
Thrilled all the forest with their heavenly cry: -
"Mumbo-jumbo will die in the jungle;
Never again will he hoo-doo you,
Never again will he hoo-doo you."

Then along that river-bank, a thousand miles,
The vine-snared trees fell down in files.
Pioneer angels cleared the way
For a Congo paradise, for babes at play,
For sacred capitals, for temples clean.
Gone were the skull-faced witch-men lean.
There, where the wild ghost-gods had wailed
A million boats of the angels sailed

With oars of silver, and prows of blue
And silken pennants that the sun shone through.
'Twas a land transfigured, 'twas a new creation,
Oh, a singing wind swept the Negro nation;
And on through the backwoods clearing flew: -

Mumbo-jumbo is dead in the jungle.
Never again will he hoo-doo you.
Never again will he hoo-doo you."

Redeemed were the forests, the beasts and the men,
And only the vulture dared again
By the far, lone mountains of the moon
To cry, in the silence, the Congo tune: -
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you.
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you,
Mumbo ... jumbo ... will ... hoo-doo ... you.

.... you know, I tend to think that Mumbo-jumbo wasn't exactly laid low by those apostles back in The Congo...... and no, this is not a racist post.... and this is not a post about politics.... it is simply a post about a poem that was written a long, long time ago..... and one that sounds GREAT when you try to actually GET what Lindsay was trying to do with lyricism, sound, and words..... and besides..... it's fun to say 'Mumbo-jumbo".....and "Hoo-doo you".....

.... and for the record?..... I STILL need a pith helmet........ I mean, you can't read poems like this without a bible, a big bore game-gun, a gin and tonic, and a pith helmet...... and, hell, I already own everything but the helmet......

Read the Bullshit »

Monde.....

..... tonight has been interesting..... I've spent quite a while getting reacquainted with a few ancient Buffett albums that I've recently rediscovered....... and then, in the comments to my last post, Tbird had to go and bring up Thoreau & Frost....... good lord.....

..... and since way does seem to somehow lead on to Way, I figure that I should share a tidbit of life-changing verse with all of those knowledgeable poetry-types out there who stop by from time to time.......

.... behold Mr. Buffett's "The Wino and I Know"....... it really is a beauty if you can make out what he's saying....... but anyway, here's the whole thing..... give it a listen if you feel so inclined......

.... and for those of you who weren't paying attention, couldn't make out ole Jimmy's lyrics, or just plain didn't want to hear any music right now, here's a snippet from mid-track that you can read instead of listening to......

Coffee as strong as the Cafe Du Monde
Donuts that's too hot to touch
Just like a fool when those sweet goodies cool
I eat 'till I eat way too much

'Cause I'm livin' on things that excite me
Be they pastries, lobster, or love
I'm just trying to get by being quiet & shy
In a world full of pushin' and shove

And the wino and I know the pain of back-busting
Like the farmer knows the pain of his pickup truck rustin'
Strange situation, wild occupation
Living my life like a song.

..... see that?..... that right there is Poetry For The Masses, folks.... oh yeah.... y'all can trust Uncle Eric on THAT one....... well, at least it is for this mass sitting here typing this...... but I do so digress....

... aren't words just amazingly beautiful things?..... especially when used incorrectly over a consistent period of time?.....

..... damn, I'm suddenly hungry for a beignet.....

Read the Bullshit »

Autumn....

..... my goodness, what a day...... hours of honest toil on Hell's Half acre produced a fairly substantial - yet patchy - sheen of perspiration just above my left eyebrow..... and the backyard is beginning to shape up.....

.... Autumn may not be here yet, but she's already started the drive.... oh yeah....

.... anyway, after scrubbing up & knifing the soil out from under my fingernails, I settled on the deck for a bit...... and while cooling myself, I remembered a bit of my Yeats..... partly because a gaggle of geese flew over while I was contemplating heading in for a gin and tonic..... and partly because I had watched the video of Jerry's Dad the other day.......

..... in any case, parts of this poem popped into my mind as the geese honked by this afternoon...... here you go....

The Wild Swans at Coole, by William Butler Yeats

THE TREES are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.


I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
Alls changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.


Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.


But now they drift on the still water
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lakes edge or pool
Delight mens eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

..... Autumn is often viewed symbolically as death or old age...... many poets have done just what Yeats did...... but I don't agree completely.......

.... I think that Autumn is the perfect season...... with Spring as a close tie......

..... see, I imagine Autumn as that moment when the air starts to get crisp and you bury yourself just that little bit deeper into your flannel sheets before falling asleep..... finding the perfect comfort & temperature for your nap...... and then, of course, Winter is The Sleep...... and with Spring, the world wakes up again.... only to dream again of a relaxing Autumn after a fierce Summer of exertion.....

.... but thinking of it as death or old age?.... that just seems wrong to me.......

.....but hey, the geese DID fly overhead today...... I suspect that they're all headed south in search of an avian version of flannel sheets......

.... and Jerry?..... thanks for the video of your Father...... there was a lot of humanity displayed in that short video clip if you look for it...... we should all be so lucky as your Father.....

Read the Bullshit »

Writing......

..... my goodness......

...... browsing through my library today I stumbled upon this little gem....... check it out..... and yes, read slowly....... it was meant to be read slowly.......

Nuptial Sleep by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

At length their long kiss severed, with sweet smart:
And as the last slow sudden drops are shed
From sparkling eaves when all the storm has fled,
So singly flagged the pulses of each heart.
Their bosoms sundered, with the opening start
Of married flowers to either side outspread
From the knit stem; yet still their mouths, burnt red,
Fawned on each other where they lay apart.

Sleep sank them lower than the tide of dreams,
And their dreams watched them sink, and slid away.
Slowly their souls swam up again, through gleams
Of watered light and dull drowned waifs of day;
Till from some wonder of new woods and streams
He woke, and wondered more: for there she lay.

..... absolutely remarkable, if you ask me...... absolutely.....

..... but the real kicker?...... he buried this (and many of his other unpublished works) with his wife when she died....... when she died, His Love died..... and he interred the poems that he'd written for her with her corpse....... but years later he dug them up so that they could be published........

.... reading this stuff now?.... I'm torn..... while his poems are irreplaceable, I still imagine that the idea he first had of burying them with his dead wife was probably spot on..... after all, they were written FOR her and ABOUT her...... and letting her "take them with her" was probably deeply imbedded in his psyche....... and I get that.... I do.......

..... but now?..... we read compilations of his poems..... we sigh.... we rub our foreheads..... we might smile..... and then we turn the page....

...... but what is better?.... that we read of Love, Life, and Lust long ago lost?....... or that we merely read a few rhyming lines about a Love that we never knew - about a Life we never knew - and take it out of context?.....

...... Rossetti kicks ass...... but he made a mistake, I think...... he never should have dug up those poems......

.... once he buried them, they were meant to be hers for eternity...... but he changed his mind........

..... see, we read them now, and we can't grasp, truly, from where he was coming from........ there is a relationship there that is transparent for us....... we just don't get it......

..... am I glad to read them?.... of course....... but think on it for a minute or two...... what is more important in the long run?..... that you know that you poured out your heart to your Great Love and then sent every word that you ever wrote to her/for her to her grave with her?..... or is it better to share your artistic outpourings with strangers and critics long after your love is dead?........

.... I think Mr. Rossetti made a bad, bad move.......and that he should have left his writings where they lay and found a new muse...

.... but hey, that's just me.... then again, perhaps Rossetti is like a lot of us bloggers...... what is the point in creating beautiful things - regardless of the object - if you are going to bury it in the ground so that no one ever sees it?......

Read the Bullshit »

Bugs...

Oh! Japanese Beetle!
You vile little creature!
Leave my Crape-myrtle alone!
You munch and you crunch
Using her for your lunch
'til her leaves are down to the bone!

I've heard it reported
That you are imported
But that does not give you free reign
To rise from the grass
And chap my white ass
By causing my Crape-myrtle pain!

I sit in my house
Knowing soon I will douse
Your body while caught in mid-mate
While your date and you writhe
In buggy-pleasurable sighs
My dish detergent ponders your fate.

Over coffee I plot
To remove your foul blot
From my garden that strives to survive
I may just be a man
But I'll do what I can
To hell, your black souls I'll drive

I don't understand
With all the trees in the land
Why you harbor a grudge for MY herbage
But I promise you thus
With a squirt and a cuss
There is truth in the form of my verbiage.

Read the Bullshit »

Burns....

.... on this blessed day 249 years ago, The Bard was born in a meek farmhouse near the Scottish village of Ayr..... and in his short life - which is still celebrated by hundreds of thousands of upstanding gentlemen every year - he woo'd many lasses, shared many glasses, and penned some of the most memorable Poetry & Song that has ever been put to paper....

.... as a young and impressionable Tennessean abroad for the first time, my initial introduction to Mr. Burns was courtesy of the Montrose Burns Supper back in 1992.... I wrote of that night (badly) right here, in case you are curious..... hey, it was quite a party.....

... tonight there will be no whooping it up, though..... instead, I am just going to kick back with a nice tumbler of The Water of Life and re-read some of Burns' stuff.....

..... and hey, I happily offer a tip of my un-bejeweled pith helmet to The Maximum Leader this evening.....as he is celebrating the life of Burns as well......

Read the Bullshit »

Smiths......

..... long, long ago, I wrote about an earworm once....... and today, I found a more true version of it...... and for the life of me, I cant get it out of my noggin......... smiths, folks, they are one unruly bunch.......

...... gaze upon this youtube video and wonder, rubberneckers..........

.... those two lasses are having WAY too much fun with that favorite song of mine........

Read the Bullshit »

Fumbling....

.... I went searching for an old copy of an Ogden Nash collection that I had been gifted with a few years ago and ran completely out of luck in my search......I know that it is in the bookcase somewhere, but I just couldnt find it today in my fumbling....

.... instead, my fingers found a likely substiture for afternoon reading material, and I began reading...... an old collection of Robert Frost....... and it wasnt long until I came to a page where I had nipped the corner down for further reading years and years ago...... it was called "The Generations of Men", and I instantly remembered parts of it as soon as I scanned the first few words..... I'm not exactly a Frost fan, but I do love this poem....

... and since I have spent my day reading and cooking, I have nothing else to post about this evening...... so I guess I should share his beautiful writing with you..... here it is.... oh, and if you can, read it out loud..... don't mind Frost's linebreaks and capitalizations, just read it as if it were smply sentence after sentence...... that'll help..... trust me.....

... Frost, like many poets, was truly meant to be read out loud......

.... and personally, the last two lines of the poem just do it for me......


The Generations of Men, by Robert Frost

A governor it was proclaimed this time,
When all who would come seeking in New Hampshire
Ancestral memories might come together.
And those of the name Stark gathered in Bow,
A rock-strewn town where farming has fallen off,
And sprout-lands flourish where the axe has gone.
Someone had literally run to earth
In an old cellar hole in a by-road
The origin of all the family there.
Thence they were sprung, so numerous a tribe
That now not all the houses left in town
Made shift to shelter them without the help
Of here and there a tent in grove and orchard.
They were at Bow, but that was not enough:
Nothing would do but they must fix a day
To stand together on the crater's verge
That turned them on the world, and try to fathom
The past and get some strangeness out of it.
But rain spoiled all. The day began uncertain,
With clouds low trailing and moments of rain that misted.
The young folk held some hope out to each other
Till well toward noon when the storm settled down
With a swish in the grass. "What if the others
Are there," they said. "It isn't going to rain."
Only one from a farm not far away
Strolled thither, not expecting he would find
Anyone else, but out of idleness.
One, and one other, yes, for there were two.
The second round the curving hillside road
Was a girl; and she halted some way off
To reconnoitre, and then made up her mind
At least to pass by and see who he was,
And perhaps hear some word about the weather.
This was some Stark she didn't know. He nodded.
"No fte to-day," he said.
"It looks that way."
She swept the heavens, turning on her heel.
"I only idled down."
"I idled down."
Provision there had been for just such meeting
Of stranger cousins, in a family tree
Drawn on a sort of passport with the branch
Of the one bearing it done in detail--
Some zealous one's laborious device.
She made a sudden movement toward her bodice,
As one who clasps her heart. They laughed together.
"Stark?" he inquired. "No matter for the proof."
"Yes, Stark. And you?"
"I'm Stark." He drew his passport.
"You know we might not be and still be cousins:
The town is full of Chases, Lowes, and Baileys,
All claiming some priority in Starkness.
My mother was a Lane, yet might have married
Anyone upon earth and still her children
Would have been Starks, and doubtless here to-day."
"You riddle with your genealogy
Like a Viola. I don't follow you."
"I only mean my mother was a Stark
Several times over, and by marrying father
No more than brought us back into the name."
"One ought not to be thrown into confusion
By a plain statement of relationship,
But I own what you say makes my head spin.
You take my card--you seem so good at such things--
And see if you can reckon our cousinship.
Why not take seats here on the cellar wall
And dangle feet among the raspberry vines?"
"Under the shelter of the family tree."
"Just so--that ought to be enough protection."
"Not from the rain. I think it's going to rain."
"It's raining."
"No, it's misting; let's be fair.
Does the rain seem to you to cool the eyes?"
The situation was like this: the road
Bowed outward on the mountain half-way up,
And disappeared and ended not far off.
No one went home that way. The only house
Beyond where they were was a shattered seedpod.
And below roared a brook hidden in trees,
The sound of which was silence for the place.
This he sat listening to till she gave judgment.
"On father's side, it seems, we're--let me see----"
"Don't be too technical.--You have three cards."
"Four cards, one yours, three mine, one for each branch
Of the Stark family I'm a member of."
"D'you know a person so related to herself
Is supposed to be mad."
"I may be mad."
"You look so, sitting out here in the rain
Studying genealogy with me
You never saw before. What will we come to
With all this pride of ancestry, we Yankees?
I think we're all mad. Tell me why we're here
Drawn into town about this cellar hole
Like wild geese on a lake before a storm?
What do we see in such a hole, I wonder."
"The Indians had a myth of Chicamoztoc,
Which means The Seven Caves that We Came out of.
This is the pit from which we Starks were digged."
"You must be learned. That's what you see in it?"
"And what do you see?"
"Yes, what do I see?
First let me look. I see raspberry vines----"
"Oh, if you're going to use your eyes, just hear
What I see. It's a little, little boy,
As pale and dim as a match flame in the sun;
He's groping in the cellar after jam,
He thinks it's dark and it's flooded with daylight."
"He's nothing. Listen. When I lean like this
I can make out old Grandsir Stark distinctly,--
With his pipe in his mouth and his brown jug--
Bless you, it isn't Grandsir Stark, it's Granny,
But the pipe's there and smoking and the jug.
She's after cider, the old girl, she's thirsty;
Here's hoping she gets her drink and gets out safely."
"Tell me about her. Does she look like me?"
"She should, shouldn't she, you're so many times
Over descended from her. I believe
She does look like you. Stay the way you are.
The nose is just the same, and so's the chin--
Making allowance, making due allowance."
"You poor, dear, great, great, great, great Granny!"
"See that you get her greatness right. Don't stint her."
"Yes, it's important, though you think it isn't.
I won't be teased. But see how wet I am."
"Yes, you must go; we can't stay here for ever.
But wait until I give you a hand up.
A bead of silver water more or less
Strung on your hair won't hurt your summer looks.
I wanted to try something with the noise
That the brook raises in the empty valley.
We have seen visions--now consult the voices.
Something I must have learned riding in trains
When I was young. I used the roar
To set the voices speaking out of it,
Speaking or singing, and the band-music playing.
Perhaps you have the art of what I mean.
I've never listened in among the sounds
That a brook makes in such a wild descent.
It ought to give a purer oracle."
"It's as you throw a picture on a screen:
The meaning of it all is out of you;
The voices give you what you wish to hear."
"Strangely, it's anything they wish to give."
"Then I don't know. It must be strange enough.
I wonder if it's not your make-believe.
What do you think you're like to hear to-day?"
"From the sense of our having been together--
But why take time for what I'm like to hear?
I'll tell you what the voices really say.
You will do very well right where you are
A little longer. I mustn't feel too hurried,
Or I can't give myself to hear the voices."
"Is this some trance you are withdrawing into?"
"You must be very still; you mustn't talk."
"I'll hardly breathe."
"The voices seem to say----"
"I'm waiting."
"Don't! The voices seem to say:
Call her Nausicaa, the unafraid
Of an acquaintance made adventurously."
"I let you say that--on consideration."
"I don't see very well how you can help it.
You want the truth. I speak but by the voices.
You see they know I haven't had your name,
Though what a name should matter between us----"
"I shall suspect----"
"Be good. The voices say:
Call her Nausicaa, and take a timber
That you shall find lies in the cellar charred
Among the raspberries, and hew and shape it
For a door-sill or other corner piece
In a new cottage on the ancient spot.
The life is not yet all gone out of it.
And come and make your summer dwelling here,
And perhaps she will come, still unafraid,
And sit before you in the open door
With flowers in her lap until they fade,
But not come in across the sacred sill----"
"I wonder where your oracle is tending.
You can see that there's something wrong with it,
Or it would speak in dialect. Whose voice
Does it purport to speak in? Not old Grandsir's
Nor Granny's, surely. Call up one of them.
They have best right to be heard in this place."
"You seem so partial to our great-grandmother
(Nine times removed. Correct me if I err.)
You will be likely to regard as sacred
Anything she may say. But let me warn you,
Folks in her day were given to plain speaking.
You think you'd best tempt her at such a time?"
"It rests with us always to cut her off."
"Well then, it's Granny speaking: 'I dunnow!
Mebbe I'm wrong to take it as I do.
There ain't no names quite like the old ones though,
Nor never will be to my way of thinking.
One mustn't bear too hard on the new comers,
But there's a dite too many of them for comfort.
I should feel easier if I could see
More of the salt wherewith they're to be salted.
Son, you do as you're told! You take the timber--
It's as sound as the day when it was cut--
And begin over----' There, she'd better stop.
You can see what is troubling Granny, though.
But don't you think we sometimes make too much
Of the old stock? What counts is the ideals,
And those will bear some keeping still about."
"I can see we are going to be good friends."
"I like your 'going to be.' You said just now
It's going to rain."
"I know, and it was raining.
I let you say all that. But I must go now."
"You let me say it? on consideration?
How shall we say good-bye in such a case?"
"How shall we?"
"Will you leave the way to me?"
"No, I don't trust your eyes. You've said enough.
Now give me your hand up.--Pick me that flower."
"Where shall we meet again?"
"Nowhere but here
Once more before we meet elsewhere."
"In rain?"
"It ought to be in rain. Sometime in rain.
In rain to-morrow, shall we, if it rains?
But if we must, in sunshine." So she went.

...... good lord..... but if we must, in sunshine...... and so she went........

..... that is just amazing...... and I LOVE it......

Read the Bullshit »

Watching....

..... last night the Missus asked me to break away from blogroom duties and take in a re-viewing of "The Shawshank Redemption" with her..... she is a huge fan of Morgan Freeman and never misses a chance to see one of his movies....

.... it is one of my favorite movies, actually, so I didn't put up too much of a fight... instead, I just closed down the email, grabbed up my drink, and wandered through to the living room.... and all was going well until the scene where Brooks hung himself and it cut to the boys back in prison reading the letter that he had sent to them.... we began a fairly in-depth conversation about The Idea of 'hope'..... which, of course, is the main theme that runs throughout the film..... how Red lost it and re-found it..... how - through it all - the beatings, rapes, and corruption, Andy never lost it......

.... I wrote about hope once before in regards to the mythical Pandora and her famous box.... and how hope is what saved humanity from all the evils of the world.... it's here if you'd care to see it.....

.... I bring this up for no real reason, actually.... except that I was catching up on a little reading today and found this poem by Walt Whitman that I had long-forgotten, and it got my mind to working..... here it is....

I Sit and Look Out, by Walt Whitman

I SIT and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all oppression and shame;
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with themselves, remorseful after deeds done;
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt, desperate;
I see the wife misused by her husband - I see the treacherous seducer of young women;
I mark the ranklings of jealous and unrequited love, attempted to be hid - I see these sights on earth;
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny - I see martyrs and prisoners;
I observe a famine at sea - I observe the sailors casting lots who shall be kill'd, to preserve the lives of the rest;
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;
All these - All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out upon, see, hear, and am silent.

.... good god, folks...... what a poem.....

.... here..... right now, I sit and look out..... just like Walt must have done when he wrote that way back in the great mists of time...... and so much has changed.... and so much has remained the same....

..... but sure, I do have to disagree - respectfully - with Mr. Whitman now...... for those things are still around, and that is a fact.... and they'll likely always be around just as long as there are human beings...... but there are other things to see as well.... just as when Andy slipped on that recording from Marriage of Figaro and blasted it to every loud speaker in Shawshank prison... later - at the chow hall - none of his friends could understand why he did it.... well, they were dead....... DEAD.......

.... Mr. Whitman is right and he is wrong..... those things exist, sure.... but so do beauty, love, faith, hope, kindness, patience, brotherhood, and charity...... they're just a bit harder to see sometimes...... and that is all part of the grand scheme of things.... isn't it?.....

... good God...... now that I've gotten that little bit of triviality off my chest, I'm off to dive back into Leaves of Grass a bit more before cocktail hour arrives...... y'all play nice.... it is what is intended, after all.....

Read the Bullshit »

Doubt....

..... wow..... this is amazing........ it absolutely and completely is........

... and quite disturbing, too........ but art, nonetheless.... disturbing and scary, yes..... but art.....

.... Goblins, indeed.... Laura and Lizzie.... they are so incredible....... hey, if you want to read, read....... it is nothing like you have ever read before, I promise.... but read up and down...... not right to left........ it is how it was meant to be read..

Read the Bullshit »

Cremation....

..... been reading again, folks..... terribly sorry...... Robert Service again..... spent most of the afternoon going through his Red Cross collection from back during WWI.....

... anyhoo, for your viewing pleasure, here is a fine recitation of one of his most famous works....

... I'm off to watch the National Geographic Channel.... I hear they've recently collected DNA samples from Bigfoot up near Vancouver somewhere..... better than blogging, no?.....

.... UPDATE!... this version is ten times better..... they guy REALLY has it going on.... hell, it scared ME!... AND he does a Tennessee accent.... well, his version of a Tennessee accent.....

.... I tell ya, folks.... art is all in the delivery.... and in the interpretation..... a poet writes, sure.... but it is the consumers of his works that truly bring it alive with their own imaginations........

Read the Bullshit »

Character....

. It has been a long while since I posted any of Robert Services words. and that is a shame hes one of the men on my Theoretical Shortlist that Id love to have many, many drinks with over a fine meal..

so tonight Im taking a wee break from computer-sitting, and will instead firmly settle myself in a cushioned chair to read I highly suggest that yall do much the same.

the poem below is from his Carols of an Old Codger that was published in 1954. And hey, even used ellipses in the title!..... rock on, Mr. Service!.... behold..


How often do I wish I were..., by Robert W. Service

How often do I wish I were
What people call a character;
A ripe and cherubic old chappie
Who lives to make his fellows happy;
With in his eyes a merry twinkle,
And round his lips a laughing wrinkle;
Who radiating hope and cheer
Grows kindlier with every year.

For this ideal let me strive,
And keep the lad in me alive;
Nor argument nor anger know,
But my own way serenely go;
The woes of men to understand,
Yet walk with humour hand in hand;
To love each day and wonder why
Folks are not so jocund as I.

So be you simple, decent, kind,
With gentle heart and quiet mind;
And if to righteous anger stung,
Restrain your temper and your toungue.
Let thought for others be your guide,
And patience triumph over pride . . .
With charity for those who err,
Live life so folks may say you were--
God bless your heart!--A Character.


. It is a good poem and I like it a lot.. but the true characters that I know around here?.... well, theyre a lot of fun to hang around with but cherubic they most certainly aint. devilish is a much more enjoyable trait in a character, if you ask me. but I do see Robbies point..

. We just have a different set of friends, I suspect.

Read the Bullshit »

Oscar....

you guys ever watch House with Hugh Laurie?.... good stuff, no?..... yeah, he may be a bit fleabitten, but he has character out the ying-yang

. how about the second, third, and fourth seasons of Blackadder?..... ever seen those pieces of brilliance?.... (you are exempt, Jimbo. I know that youve seen a season or two already on DVD).

.. well, tonight has been spent watching one of the DVD collections that I received for Christmas Jeeves and Wooster ala P.G. Wodehouse.. cunning, cunning stuff.. I suggest that any fan of the now infamous House go out, forthwith, and buy Blackadder AND Jeeves and Wooster..

. oh, and speaking of Hugh Laurie, one must also mention his co-star in "Blackadder" and Jeeves and Wooster, Stephen Fry you might remember him as the actor who also played Oscar Wilde in the film Wilde. Anyway, I bring him up only in passing and to mention that The Missus advised me the other day that one of our new lifegoals is to spend the night here. in room 16....

. As for me, Im not totally downtown with the idea of hoisting my dusty bones into the same rack that some guy popped his clogs in, no matter HOW famous he is/was yeah, call me strange, but I prefer my choice places to bed-down to be virginal when it comes to death..

but I do have to admit, the whole thing is pretty damn intriguing..

so, what do yall think?.... should my next adventure be to plod off - bedroll in hand - towards a hotel in Paris where ole Oscar met his maker?.....

or would the fact that a straight, white guy from the backwoods of Tennessee was fouling those immortal linens by his heterosexual presence totally skew the juju of the joint and deny myriads of other rubberneckers the pleasure of feeling the prickly, ghostly presence of Mr. Wilde in those darkest Parisian nights?......

.. after all, while I would hate to be awakened from a vacation-snooze by a ghostly visit from Oscar Wilde, I most certainly dont want to be the gargantuan kill-joy who would mess it up eternally for the REST of the hammerheads who wanted to visit

. So, thoughts?..... yes or no?....

. Then again, with enough liberal application of Scotch before bedtime, perhaps I could scare a publishable conversation out of the old haint while The Missus snoozed..

. Its definitely something to chew on, folks.. pros and cons, and all that

Read the Bullshit »

Views....

. as random chance would have it, I woke this morning and picked up my dog-eared copy of Andrew Boyds Daily Afflictions for a quick mental jog with my coffee.. let me tell you, friends, old Brother Void is a wise & learned fellow.. I highly recommend the book.. anyway, I later found myself wandering over to Elissons crib and found a lovely poem by A. E. Housman

however, I was quite shocked by the disparity of viewpoints shared by the two authors Housman in Elissons interpretation seems to believe that poetry has greater virtues in the longer-run of things than does getting three-sheets-to-the-wind in your cups.

. As for me, I will completely withhold judgment on the matter as 1.) I am too uneducated to be relied upon for sound debunking of anything even remotely literary, and 2.) I have a huge propensity to dive headfirst INTO poetry once Im getting my slash on. especially bad poetry. personally, I blame the Marine Corps and my Great Uncle Rob....

but be that as it may, I figured that you rubberneckers might enjoy a tidbit of Brother Voids wisdom today regarding drinking, life, love, children, and drinkingespecially since the blogmeet in Helen is just around the corner. behold..

Nothing has a stronger influence. on. children, than the unlived life of the parent. Carl Jung


Some of us have children too early in life. Invariably, we lay our thwarted dreams and toxic disappointments upon their heads, hoping they will live the life we neglected to live. The rest of us figure, why not have our life first and then have the kids? We soon find, however, that this is not so easy. As the world grows more complex and the possibilities for experiencing things multiply, it becomes ever more difficult to work in enough living before the close of our baby-making years. Eventually, you realize that the only way to beat the clock is to live your life as furiously as possible which means starting earlier, moving faster, and holding out longer. Youve got to crank through travel fantasies, fringe lifestyles, multiple careers, extreme sports, and designer drugs and gorge yourself on liquor and sex as fast and as hard as you can. How else can you expect to get over yourself enough to really be there for your kids when it counts? So the next time you find yourself power partying, remember to ratchet it up another notch because only when you live your unlived life will your children be free to live theirs.

I binge for my kids

.... hey, it certainly makes sense to me.... but then, I don't have children......

Read the Bullshit »

Bob....

Oh little toad-frog out on my grass
If youd been born with wings youd not bump your ass
Your hopping and jumping gave me great glee
But beware of Black Bob there scratching his fleas!
And when young Bobs keen eyes you caught
Little did you know the farm youd just bought
If winged and intelligent, then surely youd have soared
Instead of globbing through his cat-guts and making them sore meowie

yeah, yeah, I know..

. So, as you do, let me beg your leave and begin sallying forth towards Knoxville for an evening of fun.

. Yall behave yourselves & have a good night. and just remember that in this day and age, well, theres probably a curious Bob out there for each of us. metaphorically, of course.

Read the Bullshit »

Re-reading...

I got up and about quite early this morning and settled on the patio with coffee, my cigarettes and a book Ive been meaning to re-read and my, oh my, I rediscovered a true wonder

. Id been given the book as a Christmas present back in 1992 and as I thumbed through the pages, I noted one poem with numerous lines of dialogue underlined a bad habit that I once had that helped me to refocus on lines that I loved..

. anyway, I give you for your mornings reflection The Generations of Men, by Robert Frost.

A GOVERNOR it was proclaimed this time,
When all who would come seeking in New Hampshire
Ancestral memories might come together.
And those of the name Stark gathered in Bow,
A rock-strewn town where farming has fallen off,
And sprout-lands flourish where the axe has gone.
Someone had literally run to earth
In an old cellar hole in a by-road
The origin of all the family there.
Thence they were sprung, so numerous a tribe
That now not all the houses left in town
Made shift to shelter them without the help
Of here and there a tent in grove and orchard.
They were at Bow, but that was not enough:
Nothing would do but they must fix a day
To stand together on the crater's verge
That turned them on the world, and try to fathom
The past and get some strangeness out of it.
But rain spoiled all. The day began uncertain,
With clouds low trailing and moments of rain that misted.
The young folk held some hope out to each other
Till well toward noon when the storm settled down
With a swish in the grass. "What if the others
Are there," they said. "It isn't going to rain."
Only one from a farm not far away
Strolled thither, not expecting he would find
Anyone else, but out of idleness.
One, and one other, yes, for there were two.
The second round the curving hillside road
Was a girl; and she halted some way off
To reconnoitre, and then made up her mind
At least to pass by and see who he was,
And perhaps hear some word about the weather.
This was some Stark she didn't know. He nodded.
"No fte to-day," he said.
"It looks that way."
She swept the heavens, turning on her heel.
"I only idled down."
"I idled down."
Provision there had been for just such meeting
Of stranger cousins, in a family tree
Drawn on a sort of passport with the branch
Of the one bearing it done in detail--
Some zealous one's laborious device.
She made a sudden movement toward her bodice,
As one who clasps her heart. They laughed together.
"Stark?" he inquired. "No matter for the proof."
"Yes, Stark. And you?"
"I'm Stark." He drew his passport.
"You know we might not be and still be cousins:
The town is full of Chases, Lowes, and Baileys,
All claiming some priority in Starkness.
My mother was a Lane, yet might have married
Anyone upon earth and still her children
Would have been Starks, and doubtless here to-day."
"You riddle with your genealogy
Like a Viola. I don't follow you."
"I only mean my mother was a Stark
Several times over, and by marrying father
No more than brought us back into the name."
"One ought not to be thrown into confusion
By a plain statement of relationship,
But I own what you say makes my head spin.
You take my card--you seem so good at such things--
And see if you can reckon our cousinship.
Why not take seats here on the cellar wall
And dangle feet among the raspberry vines?"
"Under the shelter of the family tree."
"Just so--that ought to be enough protection."
"Not from the rain. I think it's going to rain."
"It's raining."
"No, it's misting; let's be fair.
Does the rain seem to you to cool the eyes?"
The situation was like this: the road
Bowed outward on the mountain half-way up,
And disappeared and ended not far off.
No one went home that way. The only house
Beyond where they were was a shattered seedpod.
And below roared a brook hidden in trees,
The sound of which was silence for the place.
This he sat listening to till she gave judgment.
"On father's side, it seems, we're--let me see----"
"Don't be too technical.--You have three cards."
"Four cards, one yours, three mine, one for each branch
Of the Stark family I'm a member of."
"D'you know a person so related to herself
Is supposed to be mad."
"I may be mad."
"You look so, sitting out here in the rain
Studying genealogy with me
You never saw before. What will we come to
With all this pride of ancestry, we Yankees?
I think we're all mad. Tell me why we're here
Drawn into town about this cellar hole
Like wild geese on a lake before a storm?
What do we see in such a hole, I wonder."
"The Indians had a myth of Chicamoztoc,
Which means The Seven Caves that We Came out of.
This is the pit from which we Starks were digged."
"You must be learned. That's what you see in it?"
"And what do you see?"
"Yes, what do I see?
First let me look. I see raspberry vines----"
"Oh, if you're going to use your eyes, just hear
What I see. It's a little, little boy,
As pale and dim as a match flame in the sun;
He's groping in the cellar after jam,
He thinks it's dark and it's flooded with daylight."
"He's nothing. Listen. When I lean like this
I can make out old Grandsir Stark distinctly,--
With his pipe in his mouth and his brown jug--
Bless you, it isn't Grandsir Stark, it's Granny,
But the pipe's there and smoking and the jug.
She's after cider, the old girl, she's thirsty;
Here's hoping she gets her drink and gets out safely."
"Tell me about her. Does she look like me?"
"She should, shouldn't she, you're so many times
Over descended from her. I believe
She does look like you. Stay the way you are.
The nose is just the same, and so's the chin--
Making allowance, making due allowance."
"You poor, dear, great, great, great, great Granny!"
"See that you get her greatness right. Don't stint her."
"Yes, it's important, though you think it isn't.
I won't be teased. But see how wet I am."
"Yes, you must go; we can't stay here for ever.
But wait until I give you a hand up.
A bead of silver water more or less
Strung on your hair won't hurt your summer looks.
I wanted to try something with the noise
That the brook raises in the empty valley.
We have seen visions--now consult the voices.
Something I must have learned riding in trains
When I was young. I used the roar
To set the voices speaking out of it,
Speaking or singing, and the band-music playing.
Perhaps you have the art of what I mean.
I've never listened in among the sounds
That a brook makes in such a wild descent.
It ought to give a purer oracle."
"It's as you throw a picture on a screen:
The meaning of it all is out of you;
The voices give you what you wish to hear."
"Strangely, it's anything they wish to give."
"Then I don't know. It must be strange enough.
I wonder if it's not your make-believe.
What do you think you're like to hear to-day?"
"From the sense of our having been together--
But why take time for what I'm like to hear?
I'll tell you what the voices really say.
You will do very well right where you are
A little longer. I mustn't feel too hurried,
Or I can't give myself to hear the voices."
"Is this some trance you are withdrawing into?"
"You must be very still; you mustn't talk."
"I'll hardly breathe."
"The voices seem to say----"
"I'm waiting."
"Don't! The voices seem to say:
Call her Nausicaa, the unafraid
Of an acquaintance made adventurously."
"I let you say that--on consideration."
"I don't see very well how you can help it.
You want the truth. I speak but by the voices.
You see they know I haven't had your name,
Though what a name should matter between us----"
"I shall suspect----"
"Be good. The voices say:
Call her Nausicaa, and take a timber
That you shall find lies in the cellar charred
Among the raspberries, and hew and shape it
For a door-sill or other corner piece
In a new cottage on the ancient spot.
The life is not yet all gone out of it.
And come and make your summer dwelling here,
And perhaps she will come, still unafraid,
And sit before you in the open door
With flowers in her lap until they fade,
But not come in across the sacred sill----"
"I wonder where your oracle is tending.
You can see that there's something wrong with it,
Or it would speak in dialect. Whose voice
Does it purport to speak in? Not old Grandsir's
Nor Granny's, surely. Call up one of them.
They have best right to be heard in this place."
"You seem so partial to our great-grandmother
(Nine times removed. Correct me if I err.)
You will be likely to regard as sacred
Anything she may say. But let me warn you,
Folks in her day were given to plain speaking.
You think you'd best tempt her at such a time?"
"It rests with us always to cut her off."
"Well then, it's Granny speaking: 'I dunnow!
Mebbe I'm wrong to take it as I do.
There ain't no names quite like the old ones though,
Nor never will be to my way of thinking.
One mustn't bear too hard on the new comers,
But there's a dite too many of them for comfort.
I should feel easier if I could see
More of the salt wherewith they're to be salted.
Son, you do as you're told! You take the timber--
It's as sound as the day when it was cut--
And begin over----' There, she'd better stop.
You can see what is troubling Granny, though.
But don't you think we sometimes make too much
Of the old stock? What counts is the ideals,
And those will bear some keeping still about."
"I can see we are going to be good friends."
"I like your 'going to be.' You said just now
It's going to rain."
"I know, and it was raining.
I let you say all that. But I must go now."
"You let me say it? on consideration?
How shall we say good-bye in such a case?"
"How shall we?"
"Will you leave the way to me?"
"No, I don't trust your eyes. You've said enough.
Now give me your hand up.--Pick me that flower."
"Where shall we meet again?"
"Nowhere but here
Once more before we meet elsewhere."
"In rain?"
"It ought to be in rain. Sometime in rain.
In rain to-morrow, shall we, if it rains?
But if we must, in sunshine." So she went.

.. But if we must, in sunshine. how marvelous.

Read the Bullshit »

Recycled, again...

.... originally posted in 2003, here it is again.... it was first recycled last year........ but, you know?.... it really is worth reading again... and reading slowly.....

... because I just found this post while trolling my archives for stories about Aunt Betty, I'm going to recycle it... it was originally posted on December 7th, 2003...

E.V. Lucas and Betty

A few years ago, my wife's Great Aunt Betty died... She had never married, and had doted on my wife as if she were her Grandmother... When she died, I helped gather up all of her things from her house in Glasgow, and among her many possessions was a large collection of antique books.

Being a lover of books, my Father-in-law gave me one from her collection that I had been leafing through... it is a tiny little thing...a school primer.... entitled "Modern Poetry"... it was printed around 1920... after we finished clearing out her home, we drove back to Montrose in a gloomy mood. We sat around the dinner table that night talking about Betty and her life, and I began turning the pages of that little primer.... and I found this poem... I read it out loud to everyone at the table as we finished our meal... I don't know why I just remembered this.... but, here it is...

Jack

Every village has its Jack, but no village ever had quite so fine a Jack as ours:
So picturesque,
Versatile,
Irresponsible,
Powerful,
Hedonistic,
And lovable a Jack as ours.

How Jack lived none knew, for he rarely did any work.
True, he set nightlines for eels, and invariably caught one,
Often two,
Sometimes three;
While very occasionally he had a day's harvesting or hay-making.
And yet he always found enough money for tobacco,
With a little over for beer, though he was no soaker.

Jack had a wife.
A soulless, savage woman she was, who disapproved voluably of his idle ways.
But the only result was to make him stay out longer.
(Like Rip Van Winkle).

Jack had a big, black beard, and a red shirt, which was made for another.
And no waistcoat.
His boots were somebody else's;
He wore the Doctor's coat,
And the Vicar's trousers.
Personally, I gave him a hat, but it was too small.

Everybody liked Jack.
The Vicar liked him, although he never went to church.
Indeed, he was a cheerful Pagan, with no temptation to break more than the Eighth Commandment, and no ambition as a sinner.
The Curate liked him, although he had no simpering daughters.
The Doctor liked him, although he was never ill.
I liked him too - chiefly because of his perpetual good temper, and his intimacy with Nature, and his capacity for colouring cutties.
The girls liked him, because he brought them the first wild roses and the sweetest honeysuckle;
Also, because he could flatter so outrageously.

But the boys loved him.
They followed him in little bands:
Jack was their hero.
And no wonder, for he could hit a running rabbit with a stone.
And cut them long, straight fishing-poles and equilateral catty forks;
And he always knew of a fresh nest.
Besides, he could make a thousand things with his old pocket-knife.

How good he was a cricket too!
On the long summer evenings he would saunter to the green and watch the lads at play, and by and by someone would offer him a few knocks.
Then the Doctor's coat would be carefully detached, and Jack would spit on his hands, and brandish the bat, and away the ball would go, north and south and east and west, and sometimes bang into the zenith.
For Jack had little science:
Upon each ball he made the same terrific and magnificent onslaught,
Whether half volley, or full pitch, or long hop, or leg break, or off break, or shooter, or yorker.
And when the stumps fell he would cheerfully set them up again, while his white teeth flashed in the recesses of his beard.

The only persons who were not conspicuously fond of Jack were his wife, and the schoolmaster, and the head-keeper.
The schoolmaster had an idea that if Jack were hanged there would be no more truants; His wife would attend the funeral without an extraordinary show of grief; And the head-keeper would mutter, "There's one poacher less."

Jack was quite as much a part of the village as the church spire;
And if any of us lazied along by the river in the dusk of the evening - Waving aside nebulae of gnats,
Turning head quickly at the splash of a jumping fish, Peering where the water chucked over a vanishing water-rat - And saw not Jack's familiar form bending over his lines,
And smelt not his vile shag,
We should feel a loneliness, a vague impression that something is wrong.

For ten years Jack was always the same,
Never growing older,
Or richer,
Or tidier,
Never knowing that we had a certain pride in possessing him.
Then there came a tempter with tales of easily acquired wealth, and Jack went away in his company.

He has never come back,
And now the village is like a man who has lost an eye.
In the gloaming, no slouching figure, with colossal idleness in every line, leans against my garden wall, with prophecies of the morrow's weather;
And those who reviled Jack most wonder now what it was they found fault with.
We feel our bereavement deeply.

The Vicar, I believe, would like to offer public prayer for the return of the wanderer.
And the Doctor, I know, is a little unhinged, and curing people out of pure absence of mind.
For my part, I have hope; and the trousers I discarded last week will not be given away just yet.

E.V. Lucas.

... the world needs more people like E.V. Lucas in it, ladies and gentlemen..... it truly does......

Read the Bullshit »

NSFW.....

.... there has never been - nor will there EVER be - one who cuts to the chase like the Goose.....

... no.... not EVER.....

... I am sure that much of our active duty military could squeeze out much of the same story as he reports........

... did you hear his first remark at the beginning??.... "second place is a fucking joke"....

... I could not agree more...

Read the Bullshit »

Common....

. A woeful gloom has descended upon my humble manor in the form of The Common Cold. Yes, sir, Is got one and its a good one. wheezing, sneezing, headache, runny nose. Its a bit odd really, since I seldom get the Dreaded Lurgies (as they are known in the Scottish tongue)

so instead of complaining about my aches and pains, I am choosing to relish in the new sensations gifted to me by this humble bug sure, they are unpleasant and unwanted, but they are here and I might as well try to enjoy them after all, alive is still alive even if you are sick.... and alive is a good thing...

.. and besides, it gives me a fine opportunity to introduce yall to a wonderful poem by Mr. Ogden Nash a favorite of mine.

Common Cold, by Ogden Nash.

Go hang yourself, you old M.D,!
You shall not sneer at me.
Pick up your hat and stethoscope,
Go wash your mouth with laundry soap;
I contemplate a joy exquisite
In not paying you for your visit.
I did not call you to be told
My malady is a common cold.

By pounding brow and swollen lip;
By fever's hot and scaly grip;
By those two red redundant eyes
That weep like woeful April skies;
By racking snuffle, snort, and sniff;
By handkerchief after handkerchief;
This cold you wave away as naught
Is the damnedest cold man ever caught!

Give ear, you scientific fossil!
Here is the genuine Cold Colossal;
The Cold of which researchers dream,
The Perfect Cold, the Cold Supreme.
This honored system humbly holds
The Super-cold to end all colds;
The Cold Crusading for Democracy;
The Fhrer of the Streptococcracy.

Bacilli swarm within my portals
Such as were ne'er conceived by mortals,
But bred by scientists wise and hoary
In some Olympic laboratory;
Bacteria as large as mice,
With feet of fire and heads of ice
Who never interrupt for slumber
Their stamping elephantine rumba.

A common cold, gadzooks, forsooth!
Ah, yes. And Lincoln was jostled by Booth;
Don Juan was a budding gallant,
And Shakespeare's plays show signs of talent;
The Arctic winter is fairly coolish,
And your diagnosis is fairly foolish.
Oh what a derision history holds
For the man who belittled the Cold of Colds!

the man had it going on, people.truly.

so, Peace Out, gentle rubberneckers. Im off to daub a lotiond tissue at my dripping nose for a while and ponder 'bacteria as large as mice'..

Read the Bullshit »

Birthdays.....

today marks 248 years that the world has known the genius of Robert Burns, the Immortal Bard.. he was born on this day in 1759 in Ayrshire, Scotland, and his poetry has touched the hearts of millions. including my blackened, shriveled ticker..

one of my fondest memories of Burns poetry happened nearly ten years ago. I sat on my sofa in Scotland and heard his song A Mans A Man being sung at the opening of the first session of the new Scottish Parliament back in 1999..

A Mans A Man For A That

Is there for honest poverty
That hings his head, an a' that?
The coward slave, we pass him by -
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an a' that,
Our toils obscure, an a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an a' that?
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine -
A man's a man for a' that.
For a' that, an a' that.
Their tinsel show, an a' that,
The honest man, tho e'er sae poor,
Is king o men for a' that.

Ye see you birkie ca'd 'a lord,'
What struts, an stares, an a' that?
Tho hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a cuif for a' that.
For a' that, an a' that,
His ribband, star, an a' that,
The man o independent mind,
He looks an laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an a' that!
But an honest man's aboon his might -
Guid faith, he mauna fa' that!
For a' that, an a' that,
Their dignities, an a' that,
The pith o sense an pride o worth.
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may
[As come it will for a' that],
That Sense and Worth o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree an a' that.
For a' that, an a' that,
It's comin yet for a' that,
That man to man, the world, o'er
Shall brithers be for a' that.

. Happy birthday, Rabbie.. you were a man that Id like to meet.. oh, and a happy birthday shout-out to Matty of Blackfive as well

Read the Bullshit »

Spiders...

I spent the early morning in the kitchen reading and drinking coffee. and as I read, I rediscovered a gem. Lookit.

A Noiseless Patient Spider

A noiseless patient spider,
I markd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Markd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launchd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be formd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the goassamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Walt Whitman

how marvelous

yall enjoy your day. Im off to read a bit more and then eat biscuits with bacon and jam.

Read the Bullshit »

Mutual.....

this past Spring as I was visiting Scotland, my Father-in-Law and I found ourselves embroiled in a deep, philosophical discussion regarding poetry.. he had just bought me a wonderful antique copy of an old Kipling book while we had day-tripped to St. Andrews, and we spent that evening in his conservatory with a sherry-casked Glenmorangie.

. we passed the book around and took turn reading aloud to each other he in his age-softened Glasgow accent and me in my jumbled Hillbillyese. we had a whale of a time we really did. it is amazing to me how good company, a nice Scotch, and the turn of phrase from a fine mind can help a blustery evening just fly by.

as we laid the book aside and talked more, he brought up an ancient poem from his childhood he wasnt sure of the author, but he did remember the two principle characters Abdul and Ivan. and he regaled me with tales of he and his schoolmates bantering the poem back and forth when he was a child standing and shivering on a freezing Spring day waiting for rugby practice to begin and the 13 year old hellions of Glasgow High School chanting the whimsical lines of Epic Battle..

.. the next morning after coffee, I was presented with a printed copy of the poem. he had downloaded it from the Internet earlier and was genuinely excited that he had found it. I tell you truly, people the marvel that is The Internet is one amazing creation.

anyway, I read the poem with great enthusiasm over a breakfast of smoked cheese and toast for not only did it have a family history of a kind, it also had a moral, color, and a rhythmic progression that I was already addicted to. after all, once you have read Longfellow, Service, Coleridge, and Tennyson, well, you seriously start to dig some rhymes. (and yes, I know that by lumping Robert W. Service in with those three I am committing some kind of word-smithing deadly sin, but I dont really give a flying shit. Service is in and he stays.)

. so it was with a solemn and great mischievousness that I contacted my dear friend Elisson yesterday. he is, as we all well know, a fine, fine poet himself and I just knew that he would get a kick out of the story of Ivan and Abdul..

and, boys and girls, he has outdone himself with this recitation..

for more information on the poem written by Percy French check out the wikipedia entry. I was pleased to find that he had also written another of my favorites (made famous by Don McLean) The Mountains of Mourne. to the tune of which Elisson performed a blogmeet-satire while I accompanied him on guitar this past October in my living room.. small world, no?.....

in any case, here is the text of the poem. use it to follow along as Elisson tells the tale of Abdul and Ivan..


Abdul Abulbul Amir by William Percy French

The sons of the Prophet are many and bold
and quite unaccustomed to fear,
But the bravest by far in the ranks of the Shah,
Was Abdul Abulbul Amir.

If you wanted a man to encourage the van,
Or harass the foe from the rear,
Storm fort or redoubt, you had only to shout
for Abdul Abulbul Amir.

Now the heroes were plenty and well known to fame
in the troops that were led by the Czar,
And the bravest of these was a man by the name
of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

One day this bold Russian, he shouldered his gun
and donned his most truculent sneer,
Downtown he did go where he tred on the toe
of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

"Young man," quoth Abdul, "has life grown so dull
That you wish to end your career?
Vile infidel know, you have trod on the toe
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

So take your last look upon sunshine and brook
And send your regrets to the Czar
For by this I imply, you are going to die,
Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar."

Then this bold Mameluke drew his trusty chibouk,
Singing, "Allah! Il Allah! Al-lah!"
And with murderous intent he ferociously went
for Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

They parried and thrust, they side-stepped and cussed,
Of blood they spilled a great part,
The philologist blokes, who seldom crack jokes,
Say that hash was first made on the spot.

They fought all that night neath the pale yellow moon;
The din, it was heard from afar,
And huge multitudes came, so great was the fame,
of Abdul and Ivan Skavar.

As Abdul's long knife was extracting the life,
In fact he was shouting, "Huzzah!"
He felt himself struck by that wily Kalmuck,
Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

The Sultan drove by in his red-breasted fly,
Expecting the victor to cheer,
But he only drew nigh to hear the last sigh,
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

Czar Petrovich, too, in his spectacles blue
Rode up in his new crested car.
He arrived just in time to exchange a last line
With Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

There's a tomb rises up where the Blue Danube rolls,
And graved there in characters clear,
Is, "Stranger, when passing, oh pray for the soul
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir."

A splash in the Black Sea one dark moonless night
Caused ripples to spread wide and far,
It was made by a sack fitting close to the back,
of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

A Muscovite maiden her lone vigil keeps,
'Neath the light of the cold northern star,
And the name that she murmurs in vain as she weeps,
is Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

Read the Bullshit »

Poem...

... "Dark, But Not Quite Dark Enough", a poem....

ahhhh.

dusk approacheth quietly

the sounds of small arms fire peppers the calmed, darkening air.

sucks to be a deer around here.

yea, verily....

... from the comfortable cushions of the blogroom chair, my world is caressed by the sound of Bambi buying it...

... damn, I should probably try to get more of a flow started...... or bust a rhyme or something....

Read the Bullshit »

RWS...

.. no one does blogmeet recaps like The Elisson. no one. The Man is a genius with poetry. and I am absolutely humbled by this latest outstanding effort.

I mean, one of the reasons I started this blog to begin with was to extol the virtues of Robert W. Services poetry. and now such a tribute has been penned for me and all my friends. I am truly not worthy. go forth now and read, children you won't regret it....

... and the original poem that he is spoofing is here, by the way...

Read the Bullshit »

Filtration...

.... in a sweeping charge of Shock and Awe yesterday to impress the Missus, I actually did something obliquely useful around the house.... I screwed up the courage, set my shoulders back, and changed the refrigerator's water filter... you guys would have been so proud of me... it was awesome....

... no small task, actually, as it is set deep back in a remote corner of the fridge - just beside the bottle of Goldschlager...... but I persevered and won that day... I owe it all to my years of military training and a bloodline chocked with ancient Pioneers.... It's all about The Spirit, you see....

... anyway, as I was standing there reading the box that the filter came in, I was amazed to find a truly excellent word.... Turbidity....

... you know, turbidity is a word that just isn't used in conversation enough... in fact, I do believe that - apart from yesterday - I have only heard it once.... And even then it wasn't actually turbidity'... but turbid'....

... so I was standing there enjoying the feel of how the word turbidity just rolls off one's tongue when I remembered my Robert Service.... particularly a line from "The Law of The Yukon"....

... "and it swept like a turbid torrent" ....

.... marvelous, no?....

... hey, language, people.... use it, or lose it... now go ahead and say it with me.... turbid... tuuuuurbid... TURbid..... goodness, how absolutely wonderful....

Read the Bullshit »

Remember....

.... what a small, small World we live in... where parallels meet...... it is amazing... and today - it is sad....

.... I have been reading this evening the tale of Captain Nolan of the 11th Hussars.... and his subsequent demise during the Crimean War..... the movie came on first - the version from 1968 - and it piqued my interest.... So I began researching...

... good God... being an amateur student of history, it was a shocker..... a rude awakening yet again, like revisiting Chickamauga....

... the scene is so famous and yet so incredibly horrible... immortalized by Tennyson AND Kipling... but with two totally different slants....

... blame... fame... death... immortality.... futility... glory.... art... poetry... and in the end, beggars.... starving beggars..

... The Charge of The Light Brigade.... The Charge of The Heavy Brigade... and the almost-mythic stand of The Thin Red Line at Balaclava....

... all within the space of 24 hours of battle... all in the blinking of one man's eyes... or a hundred men's heartbeats....

.... Sevastopol... yes, Sevastopol was the key to the battle, as always.... at least that is what the history books tell us... but damnation, people.... what a price to pay to not even take the city.... What a loss of life.... And what a terribly sick ending for the veterans - according to Rudyard.....

... case in point, and pay attention.... I was on the phone with Elisson earlier today and we were talking about Tennyson's classic poem of the battle... (which I just re-read it in its entirety, I might add).... and afterwards I kept following link upon link regarding the clash... and therein was my downfall..... for after a while, well, I re-discovered my Kipling.....

... sure, sure.... We all remember the "cannons to right of them, cannons to left of them, cannons to front of them.... Volley'd and thunder'd.... "... but what a fucking crock.....what bravery, courage, sacrifice, loss, and complete and utter bullshit....

.. Tennyson's lines are carved onto our psyche... and they will be forever recited and memorized as odes to the stiffness of men... Duty, Honor, and the Original Tale of Valor.... The consummate tale of fuck you, my enemy, here I come.'.... and the words will continue to ring with the Truth of Ages..... but we should not forget our Kipling, dear reader.... Not ever.... Not ever, ever, ever...... because the men who fight our battles and bleed on foreign fields come home.... and even though the poems stop being written, the soldiers live on....

... behold....

The Last of the Light Brigade, by Rudyard Kipling

There were thirty million English who talked of England's might,
There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four !

They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, "Let us go to the man who writes
The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites."

They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
And, waiting his servant's order, by the garden gate they stayed,
A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

They strove to stand to attention, to straighen the toil-bowed back;
They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and "Beggin' your pardon," he said,
"You wrote o' the Light Brigade, sir. Here's all that isn't dead.
An' it's all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin' the mouth of hell;
For we're all of us nigh to the workhouse, an' we thought we'd call an' tell.

"No, thank you, we don't want food, sir; but couldn't you take an' write
A sort of 'to be continued' and 'see next page' o' the fight?
We think that someone has blundered, an' couldn't you tell 'em how?
You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now."

The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with "the scorn of scorn."
And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

O thirty million English that babble of England's might,
Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
Our children's children are lisping to "honour the charge they made - "
And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!

... we are in a War now.... and I swear that I will do everything in my power to support the troops... especially when they return home.....

Read the Bullshit »

Poetry...

... El Capitan has outdone himself.... and while his poetic genius is evident, I sure hope that his interpretation of the after-events of me smashing those two evil red spiders last week are off.... way off.... way, way off...

Read the Bullshit »

juice....

.... upon further reflection, the swatting of the occasional gnat, and the sipping of some gin, I suddenly remembered my darling Christina's fine words....

.... hey, perhaps I should follow Lizzie's cue and whip some Rosetti on this evening's funk.... I don't have a silver penny, no... but I have a sizeable stack of gold sovereigns in the safe... and these days, well, you never know... the goblins might just be game...

... hey, at least it would be something different..... now all I have to do is sit back and wait for the voices...

... and you people thought reading 100 year old poetry was pointless... you guys have absolutely no idea....

... oh, and as an aside... it IS raining here now.... storming, actually.... which might have scuttled the plans anyway.... I doubt even goblins would venture out in weather like this... sheesh.... it figures....

Read the Bullshit »

Heat....

... a thunderstorm is rolling in.... and the sky has taken on that strange shade of grey that you only see when a storm approaches near dusk... the wind is up a bit as well... the trees swaying outside my window with a gentleness that hides the coming theatrics....

... even the rain is slow... fat drops landing hard but with ample time in between each strike on the leaves and stones....

... it's a strange moment.... seeing the trees move and the dry soil suck up each drop of moisture as it lands... as if the limbs are happy to be dancing again and the Earth is thirsty... but in a while, the full force will be here.... and it will be violent....

... noise and lightning... wind and rain.... limbs will be lost and dirt washed away.... ferocity will be visited upon this acre soon.... and I can see it coming... you can smell it in the air... feel the heaviness of it as it weighs down upon you through the heat....

.... but right now, it is quiet... calm... I don't imagine it will last much longer though....

Read the Bullshit »

Fog...

.... It is foggy here.... 7:30 in the morning and a fine mist is hanging in the tree tops out back.... it's warm and the air feels heavy with moisture... sitting on the patio a few minutes ago, I noticed that the fog doesn't quite meet the ground.. and instead, it is hovering up around fifteen or twenty feet.... up where the limbs and branches tangle.. up where the canopy converges over my chair....

.. stunning, really.... and the world is still asleep....

... just another Wednesday... but not just another Wednesday....things are different now....

... later today I will be polishing up the long-underused wingtips and packing my bags.... and I'll be up early on Thursday for a roadtrip.... meeting old friends (and some new ones) in a beautiful city... tipping back a few jars and listening to some tales of a life spent....

... I wish the world were awake to see my patio this morning.... It isn't much, but it is mine... but really, all you have to do is look at it the right way and it will amaze you....

.... quiet and warm.... with just a hint of a breeze... and a train whistle sounding off in the distance.... fresh coffee in hand.... and bare feet on cool stones....

.... everyone should be here at least once in their life....

Read the Bullshit »

Asleep...

... this afternoon I will be having dinner with my Mother and various other relatives... sitting around the swimming pool with hotdogs and iced tea... watching an uncle man the grill and an aunt or two attempting to herd their grandneices and nephews from pool to towel to picnic table... it shoud be a nice time...

... I was talking to a great friend of mine yesterday about Memorial Day... and how important it is to recognize the sacrifices laid down on our behalf... I come from a family of Veterans, and as I was rolling their names off during the conversation, it ocurred to me that only two of us who served never saw combat... myself and Greatuncle Art... I served during time of war, but was not in theatre... and he served between Korea and Vietnam... but the rest of my family - every one of them - saw combat....

... most of them have passed on now, including my Father... and while none were killed in battles, I am sure they bore the scars of war in their own ways.... and today while we cook our hotdogs and watch the kids splash around in the pool, we'll be remembering them all...

... and as I did last year, I give you a poem from Wilfred Owen....

Asleep

Under his helmet, up against his pack,
After the many days of work and waking,
Sleep took him by the brow and laid him back.
And in the happy no-time of his sleeping,
Death took him by the heart. There was a quaking
Of the aborted life within him leaping...
Then chest and sleepy arms once again fell slack.
And soon the slow, stray blood came creeping
From the intrusive lead, like ants on track.

Whether his deeper sleep lie shaded by the shaking
Of great wings, and the thoughts that hung the stars,
High pillowed on calm pillows of God's making,
Above these clouds, these rains, these sheets of lead,
And these wind's scimitars;
- Or whether yet his thin and sodden head
Confuses more and more with the low mould,
His hair being one with the grey grass
And finished fields of Autumn that are old...
Who knows? Who hopes? Who troubles? Let it pass!
He sleeps. He sleeps less tremulous, less cold
Than he who must awake, and waking, say Alas!

Read the Bullshit »

Poetry...

Ode To The Frog Whom I Dislodged Unceremoniously By Accident From The Outdoor Light Fixture With The Garden Hose Yesterday While Washing The Deck In The Cool Of The Evening And Nursing A Large Aberlour

Wee little froggie who camps in my lamp
I am so very sorry for making you damp
The jet of water was positioned to wash away crud
Not bring you to Earth with a squeak and a thud

Had I known where you rested, I'd have tread more lightly
But didn't the house gleam and glow spotless and brightly?
We each have to give in our own little ways
To ensure the Good Service in these halcyon days

Much like Rabbie Burns' to his Mouse, I invaded your space
And indeed, I am sorry, but you should have seen your face!
Bug-eyed and beautiful, you croaked loud with surprise
And I am so very sorry I scared away all your flies

The End

Read the Bullshit »

Another Waits scene....

... sitting here attempting to relax, I thought about how Tom Waits might describe a scene from a Robert Service poem.... and yeah, I know it sucks... but it was fun to imagine... so bite me... here goes....

.. he smelled of gin when he came in and sat himself at the bar...the man in the back and One-Eyed Jack were playing a hand of cards.. the door opened again and a guy with a spin strolled in and looked for The Hustler... with his back to the door and his eyes on the floor, his hands were in his pockets... he'd ordered a highball with notes from a roll and the bartender had taken his cash... "Mister", said he, with a nudge to his knee, "Are you the Mr. McCrash?"

... "I am," said the man as he reached out his hand to greet the young man at his side.... ""That's good", spoke the Blood as he swept back his hood and pulled the .38 from its hide...

... heh heh... *bang*...

... see?... everyone dies in the end, people... everyone.... but some of us just see it coming from farther away....

Read the Bullshit »

The Immortal Memory...

... well, it is that time of year again...

... so a heart-felt Happy Birthday goes out to Robert Burns... Rabbie, you magnificent bastard, cheers...

... even though you died long ago and are now crumpled into a musty heap somewhere, you still make me want to be a better man.... below is a poem for the lasses... and it's one of my most favorite... I've sung it many a time in the past... hell, I still sing it occasionally now... anyway, enjoy..


Green Grow The Rashes, a song by Robert Burns, 1783


Chor. - Green grow the rashes, O;
Green grow the rashes, O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent amang the lasses, O.

There's nought but care on ev'ry han',
In ev'ry hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life o' man,
An' 'twere na for the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c.

The war'ly race may riches chase,
An' riches still may fly them, O;
An' tho' at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.
Green grow, &c.

But gie me a cannie hour at e'en,
My arms about my dearie, O;
An' war'ly cares, an' war'ly men,
May a' gae tapsalteerie, O!
Green grow, &c.

For you sae douce, ye sneer at this;
Ye're nought but senseless asses, O:
The wisest man the warl' e'er saw,
He dearly lov'd the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c.

Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice han' she try'd on man,
An' then she made the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c.

... for further celebratory readings.. here is my post from a few years ago... and The Maximum Leader is weighing in too...

Read the Bullshit »

by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(2) | TrackBack (1)
» Naked Villainy links with: Robert Burns - Happy 246th

Upon Awakening...

Damn.

I'm depressed.

Read the Bullshit »

Candygram...

... just sitting here reading and I thought I'd share a bit... here's a small selection from "How Pleasant to Ape Mr. Lear", by Ogden Nash... gaze upon his rhyming genius and tremble, rubberneckers...

A crusader's wife slipped through the garrison
And had an affair with a Saracen.
She was not oversexed
Or jealous or vexed
She just wanted to make a comparison.

A novelist of the absurd
Has a voice that will shortly be heard.
I've learned from my spies
He's about to devise
An unprintable three-letter word.

... there... that's enough... google is your friend for finding the rest of the poem... I'm off to watch Blazing Saddles and attempt to channel Sheriff Bart...

Read the Bullshit »

Pages...

... an eight hour road-trip with my mind wandering the whole time.... what a way to spend a day...

... I now believe that I wrote this for a very, very good reason...

... I sure as hell needed it today....

Read the Bullshit »

Recycled...

... because I just found this post while trolling my archives for stories about Aunt Betty, I'm going to recycle it... it was originally posted on December 7th, 2003...

E.V. Lucas and Betty

A few years ago, my wife's Great Aunt Betty died... She had never married, and had doted on my wife as if she were her Grandmother... When she died, I helped gather up all of her things from her house in Glasgow, and among her many possessions was a large collection of antique books.

Being a lover of books, my Father-in-law gave me one from her collection that I had been leafing through... it is a tiny little thing...a school primer.... entitled "Modern Poetry"... it was printed around 1920... after we finished clearing out her home, we drove back to Montrose in a gloomy mood. We sat around the dinner table that night talking about Betty and her life, and I began turning the pages of that little primer.... and I found this poem... I read it out loud to everyone at the table as we finished our meal... I don't know why I just remembered this.... but, here it is...

Jack

Every village has its Jack, but no village ever had quite so fine a Jack as ours:
So picturesque,
Versatile,
Irresponsible,
Powerful,
Hedonistic,
And lovable a Jack as ours.

How Jack lived none knew, for he rarely did any work.
True, he set nightlines for eels, and invariably caught one,
Often two,
Sometimes three;
While very occasionally he had a day's harvesting or hay-making.
And yet he always found enough money for tobacco,
With a little over for beer, though he was no soaker.

Jack had a wife.
A soulless, savage woman she was, who disapproved voluably of his idle ways.
But the only result was to make him stay out longer.
(Like Rip Van Winkle).

Jack had a big, black beard, and a red shirt, which was made for another.
And no waistcoat.
His boots were somebody else's;
He wore the Doctor's coat,
And the Vicar's trousers.
Personally, I gave him a hat, but it was too small.

Everybody liked Jack.
The Vicar liked him, although he never went to church.
Indeed, he was a cheerful Pagan, with no temptation to break more than the Eighth Commandment, and no ambition as a sinner.
The Curate liked him, although he had no simpering daughters.
The Doctor liked him, although he was never ill.
I liked him too - chiefly because of his perpetual good temper, and his intimacy with Nature, and his capacity for colouring cutties.
The girls liked him, because he brought them the first wild roses and the sweetest honeysuckle;
Also, because he could flatter so outrageously.

But the boys loved him.
They followed him in little bands:
Jack was their hero.
And no wonder, for he could hit a running rabbit with a stone.
And cut them long, straight fishing-poles and equilateral catty forks;
And he always knew of a fresh nest.
Besides, he could make a thousand things with his old pocket-knife.

How good he was a cricket too!
On the long summer evenings he would saunter to the green and watch the lads at play, and by and by someone would offer him a few knocks.
Then the Doctor's coat would be carefully detached, and Jack would spit on his hands, and brandish the bat, and away the ball would go, north and south and east and west, and sometimes bang into the zenith.
For Jack had little science:
Upon each ball he made the same terrific and magnificent onslaught,
Whether half volley, or full pitch, or long hop, or leg break, or off break, or shooter, or yorker.
And when the stumps fell he would cheerfully set them up again, while his white teeth flashed in the recesses of his beard.

The only persons who were not conspicuously fond of Jack were his wife, and the schoolmaster, and the head-keeper.
The schoolmaster had an idea that if Jack were hanged there would be no more truants; His wife would attend the funeral without an extraordinary show of grief; And the head-keeper would mutter, "There's one poacher less."

Jack was quite as much a part of the village as the church spire;
And if any of us lazied along by the river in the dusk of the evening - Waving aside nebulae of gnats,
Turning head quickly at the splash of a jumping fish, Peering where the water chucked over a vanishing water-rat - And saw not Jack's familiar form bending over his lines,
And smelt not his vile shag,
We should feel a loneliness, a vague impression that something is wrong.

For ten years Jack was always the same,
Never growing older,
Or richer,
Or tidier,
Never knowing that we had a certain pride in possessing him.
Then there came a tempter with tales of easily acquired wealth, and Jack went away in his company.

He has never come back,
And now the village is like a man who has lost an eye.
In the gloaming, no slouching figure, with colossal idleness in every line, leans against my garden wall, with prophecies of the morrow's weather;
And those who reviled Jack most wonder now what it was they found fault with.
We feel our bereavement deeply.

The Vicar, I believe, would like to offer public prayer for the return of the wanderer.
And the Doctor, I know, is a little unhinged, and curing people out of pure absence of mind.
For my part, I have hope; and the trousers I discarded last week will not be given away just yet.

E.V. Lucas.

Read the Bullshit »

The Brunette...

... because Contagion asked, I suppose I should share... see, he asked via commenting about The Brunette I mentioned in a previous post...

... fine, I'll play.... a description is in order...

... well, she was young... too young for me... but budding into womanhood... seventeen or eighteen years old.... small... maybe 5'2"... chestnut hair pulled into a ponytail.... thin too, her physique... maybe a bit too thin.... And she had her hair colored to lighten it.... those strange strands of blonde and cherry that the young ones add to create a softer shade of black... her eyes were dark... deep brown behind her black-rimmed eyeglasses... and she wore pink lipstick...

... her complexion, despite her dark hair and eyes, was not olive or tanned... and yet she was not pale either.. a soft cream color that brought out the mahogany of her eyes...

.. she wore a long-sleeved v-neck that accentuated the willowy pubescence of her arms and chest... gray, as I remember it... and it fit tight and was tucked into her blue jeans... her breasts were small and high.. again, giving away her youngness...

... and she smiled as she poured me coffee with happiness of being a live, bouncing young lass with her whole life in front of her..

... and in spite of her attractiveness, there was no lust in my heart... no desire.. only a gentle sense of pleasure.. the joy of watching someone so full of life... sure, she was beautiful... and if I had been 15, there is no doubt that I would have held her up as a Goddess and secretly written sonnets about her... dreaming of the day when I would make her mine... imagining the frantic minutes in the back seat of my car when I'd make her toes curl... but hey, times change... I'm not fifteen..

... and really, looking back now, her breasts were too small.... although that really isn't her fault...

Read the Bullshit »

Nature...

.... this morning sees the return of an old and missed friend... blue skies... and with it, a heavy sheen of frost on everything outdoors... the past few days have been gray with rain... makes a nice change, it does...

... the day's work - a fresh metric ton of Kentucky's finest horse dung - lies amidst the glinting ice crystals... waiting for my labored and smoky breath as I lunge at it in the frigid temperature with scoop and shovel later today... all for the good...

...sipping my coffee and mentally girding myself, hundreds of sparrows flit across the hard ground outside my window... using their tiny beaks to delicately pick up the fescue seed I scattered days ago, no doubt.. using the small sustenance to fuel their inner boilers.. save themselves from Winter's embrace... but still, in all the serenity that nature can muster this fine morning... one truth stands above all else...

... the little bastards are eating my grass seed...

Read the Bullshit »

Ogden's tired...

... metaphors, people... they can be a real bitch sometimes... and I really can't fault old Nashie for getting a little fuddled... lately I have been trying to camouflage certain things and replace them with more appropriate images... it's been a lot of fun, and I have enjoyed it immensely... but as of yesterday I had reached mental meltdown in my offline playings... too many metaphors bog you down... stickier than the funkiest Louisiana mud, they were, and less sweet smelling....

... anyway, in between watching Navy crush Army and Georgia bitch-slap LSU, I started making a graph of my troubles... pen and ink replacing the tapping of a keyboard for a day... and while it shed some light, some tangles remain knit... solid... but, hell, at least I see them more clearly now... and today, I mush on....

...with that, I give you a wonderful Nash poem to chew on this sleepy Sunday morning...

"Somewhat like a Whale"

One thing that literature would be greatly the better for
Would be a more restricted employment by the authors of simile and metaphor.

Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons or Celts,
Can't seem just to say that anything is the thing it is but have to go out of their way to say that it is like something else.

What does it mean when we are told
That that Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold?

In the first place, George Gordon Byron had enough experience
To know that it probably wasn't just one Assyrian, it was a lot of Assyrians.

However, as too many arguments are apt to induce apoplexy and thus hinder longevity.
We'll let it pass as one Assyrian for the sake of brevity.

Now then, this particular Assyrian, the one whose cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold,
Just what does the poet mean when he says he came down like a wold on the fold?

In heaven and earth more than is dreamed of in our philosophy there are great many things.
But I don't imagine that among them there is a wolf with purple and gold cohorts or purple and gold anythings.

No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this Assyrian was actually like a wolf I must have some kind of proof;
Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof Woof?

Frankly I think it is very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say, at the very most,
Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host.

But that wasn't fancy enough for Lord Byron, oh dear me no, he had to invent a lot of figures of speech and then interpolate them,
With the result that whenever you mention Old Testament soldiers to people they say Oh yes, they're the ones that a lot of wolves dressed up in gold and purple ate them.

That's the kind of thing that's being done all the time by poets, from Homer to Tennyson;
They're always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to venison,

And they always say things like that the snow is a white blanket after a winter storm.
Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm,

And after that maybe you'll begin to comprehend dimly
What I mean by too much metaphor and simile.

.. indeed...

Read the Bullshit »

Gunshots...

... Thanksgiving weekend is many things to many people.... to most, it is an occasion for spending time with family and friends... with feasting, drinking, and football.... but around these parts, it means one thing most of all... putting lead down range in the hopes of causing massive trauma to a whitetail buck...

... and across the country, bloggers are talking about it... for instance, we have a tale of an old (and little known) Illinois/Wisconsin sport being talked about.... tree stand base-jumping...

... sitting here with the early morning light showing a thick frost on the ground, sounds of small arms fire is echoing in the distance... so far, five shots... all varying in tone and direction... the woods behind my house are crawling thick with huntsmen... me?... coffee and chores... coffee and chores...

.. one hell of a way to spend a Saturday....

Read the Bullshit »

The Crew...

... Mr. Montana has done it again.... the man is a friggin genius.... but casting me as Nice Guy Eddie is bullshit... that Penn guy just pisses me off... that whole "quit pointing your gun at my DADDY" thing... what's up with a grown man saying "Daddy"... use Dad or Father... Hell, even "Pop" or "Pa" is better than screaming "DADDY" like a little squealing girlie-man...

... oh, and by the way, Dax.. payback is on the way...

Read the Bullshit »

by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(4) | TrackBack (1)
» RedNeck Ramblings links with: Dax, ReLoaded.

Rain...

... the dear Princess Cat wrote about rain a few days ago, and it is beautiful... go now and have a look.. a short, sharp shock type of post.. marvelous...

Read the Bullshit »

Still in Service

So we figure Eric should be back soon and there's nothing better than a little tribute to his wanderlust.

One of the things that first brought me to this website was a posting on Robert Service. See, I've traveled a bit myself only I tend to not go to those places most people do, and I remember a lot of moments thanks to the food and drinks I had there.

More Straight talk »

Read the Bullshit »

Handmaidens...

... truth in poetry... inspired by Michelle Malkin.. great, great stuff...

Read the Bullshit »

Downtime...

... sometimes I read a poem and I'm amazed at how the intricate use of language conveys such simple ideas... especially when the message of the author is brought out so clearly... take the poem below, for instance... I have a feeling that Dax knows how old Oggie was feeling when he wrote it... Hell, I guess we all want to be that lama from time to time... oh, and read it out loud... it's just better that way...

I Will Arise And Go Now... by Ogden Nash

In far Tibet
There live a lama,
He got no poppa,
Got no momma,

He got no wife,
He got no chillun,
Got no use
For penicillun,

He got no soap,
He got no opera,
He don't know Irium
From copra,

He got no songs,
He got no banter,
He don't know Hope,
He don't know Cantor,

He got no teeth,
He got no gums,
Don't eat no Spam,
Don't need no Tums.

He love to nick him
When he shave;
He also got
No hair to save.

Got no distinction,
No clear head,
Don't call for Calvert;
Drink milk instead.

He use no lotions
For allurance,
He got no car
And no insurance,

No Alsop warnings,
No Pearson rumor
For this self-centered
Nonconsumer.

Indeed, the
Ignorant Have-Not
Don't even know
What he don't got.

If you will mind
The box-tops, comma,
I think I'll go
And join that lama.

... Ogden Nash was a genius...

Read the Bullshit »

Humbled..

... by beholding pure genius whilst reading on my back porch...

The Kangaroo by Ogden Nash - 1942

O Kangaroo, O Kangaroo,
Be grateful that you're in a zoo,
And not transmuted by boomerang
To zesty tangy Kangaroo meringue.

.. I am not worthy...

Read the Bullshit »

Context...

... I was just sitting on my deck reading... and wow... people, poetry is a funny, funny thing... many times, a writer places their words in form and stanza and verse, and they are interpreted differently by every reader... it's one of the greatest appeals of the written word, after all... this "allowing" of the imagination to run rampant... but sometimes a writer names a poem, and in the naming gives it further meaning... just like this little ditty by Geary Hobson...

My words are tied in one
with the great mountains,
with the great rocks,
with the great trees.
in one with my body
and my heart...
And you, day,
and you, night!
All of you see me
one with the world.

... there... what did you see?... nothing?... anything?.. now, check out the name of the poem..

..."BUFFALO POEM #1 (or) ON HEARING THAT A SMALL HERD OF BUFFALO HAS "BROKEN LOOSE" AND IS "RUNNING WILD" AT THE ALBUQUERQUE AIRPORT - SEPTEMBER 26, 1975 - roam on, brothers....

... not exactly what you were expecting, eh?... man, I love that..

Read the Bullshit »

Slave Labor...

yesterday was hot and humid
today is hot and humid
yesterday I started building a flowerbed
at noon
I really, really hate gardening
especially when it is hot and humid
I have to finish it today
it's almost noon again
dammit

Read the Bullshit »

Ogden again...

... brothers and sisters.... another gem has just been found by yours truly...

More About People... by Mr. Nash... 1931...

When people aren't asking questions
They're making suggestions
And when they're not doing one of those
They're either looking over your shoulder or stepping on your toes
An then as if it weren't enough to annoy you
They employ you.
Anybody at leisure
Incurs everbody's displeasure.
It seems to be very irking
To people at work to see other people not working,
So they tell you that work is wonderful medicine,
Just look at Firestone and Ford and Edison,
And they lecture you till they are out of breath or something
And then if you don't succumb they starve you to death or something.
All of which results in a nasty quirk:
That if you don't want to work you have to work to earn enough money so that you won't have to work.

... indeed...

Read the Bullshit »

Asleep...

... to all veterans who have helped to give me the peace and prosperity I enjoy, you have my sincere gratitude... and as such, I offer, humbly, a poem by Wilfred Owen..

Asleep

Under his helmet, up against his pack,
After the many days of work and waking,
Sleep took him by the brow and laid him back.
And in the happy no-time of his sleeping,
Death took him by the heart. There was a quaking
Of the aborted life within him leaping...
Then chest and sleepy arms once again fell slack.
And soon the slow, stray blood came creeping
From the intrusive lead, like ants on track.

Whether his deeper sleep lie shaded by the shaking
Of great wings, and the thoughts that hung the stars,
High pillowed on calm pillows of God's making,
Above these clouds, these rains, these sheets of lead,
And these wind's scimitars;
- Or whether yet his thin and sodden head
Confuses more and more with the low mould,
His hair being one with the grey grass
And finished fields of Autumn that are old...
Who knows? Who hopes? Who troubles? Let it pass!
He sleeps. He sleeps less tremulous, less cold
Than he who must awake, and waking, say Alas!

Read the Bullshit »

by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(3)
» Yippee-Ki-Yay! links with: Memorial Day Around the 'Sphere

Ode to Wednesday...

... hey, shut up... I took all of 45 seconds to write... personally, I think it is some of my finest work...

... behold... A Very Quick Ode to Wednesday, by Eric...

... Wednesday evening approaches..
.. and I am dead on my feet...
.. a garage will be filled with coaches...
... aiming to cheat defeat...
.. but stern as death is my sway...
.. and my cue is as chalked as ever...
... I'll endeavor to show dismay...
.. to these pricks who think they're clever..

.. heh heh.. time to shoot some pool, children.... let the good times roll...

... good God, I love the Eagle Glen Social Club...

UPDATE:

... Acidman kicked my ass in the "write a shitty poem in under a minute category"... check it out....

Wednesday crept on little cat feet
But slapped me down and left me beat.
All I wanted was something to eat...
But it's Wednesday.

I'm picking up good vibrations
I'm feeling no hesitations
With the aid of adult libations
I'm ready for Wednesday.

So chalk your cue and rack the balls
I'm gonna show you, one and all
Which dog here is walking tall
It's Wednesday.

... let us just hope the Gods of Pool shine on me more favorably than the Gods of Quick Poetry just did.... in any case, I'm off to play... so, if any of you other retards want to try to best Acidman, have at it... gotta be under a minute, though... and no cheating, you bastards.. the Gods of Quick Poetry are a smite-happy bunch...

Read the Bullshit »

Ecclesiastes was wrong...

... I was just reading a poet's beautiful view of humanity over at Annika's place.. the poet was Yehuda Amichai, and I had never heard of him.. again, it just proves that in writing, there are millions of undiscovered gems yet to be found...

....And his soul is seasoned, his soul
is very professional.
Only his body remains forever
an amateur....

... great stuff... give it a read...

Read the Bullshit »