..... from a few years back, here's something to listen to...... A Poem......

...... damn, I need to post more R. W. Service poems, folks...... I have lapsed.......

..... back in September of 2003, I declared this place to be a sanctuary of Service's works......... and lo, how I have backslid!.......

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...... I was reminded of a Robert Service poem today, and it struck a chord on lots of levels..... it is, and always has been, one of my favorites........

.... "Maternity"......

..... it has been one of those days where I should have stayed in bed......... but still, the poem is worth a listen.........

.... and once upon a time?..... this little blog was all about The Robert Service.......... I think I should resurrect that aspect around here......... hell, I miss him........ I didn't realize until today just how much I missed him......

..... if the .wav file doesn't play, then just trust me and read the poem......... it is worth the effort.....

.... "Maternity", by R. W. Service.....

There once was a Square, such a square little Square,
And he loved a trim Triangle;
But she was a flirt and around her skirt
Vainly she made him dangle.
Oh he wanted to wed and he had no dread
Of domestic woes and wrangles;
For he thought that his fate was to procreate
Cute little Squares and Triangles.

Now it happened one day on that geometric way
There swaggered a big bold cube,
With a haughty stare and he made that Square
Have the air of a perfect boob;
To his solid spell the Triangle fell,
And she thrilled with love's sweet sickness,
For she took delight in the breadth and height--
But how she adored his thickness!

So that poor little Square just died of despair,
For his love he could not strangle
While the bold Cube led to the bridal bed
That cute and acute Triangle.
The Square's sad lot she has long forgot,
And his passionate pretensions . . .
For she dotes on her kids -- Oh such cute Pyramids
In a world of three dimensions.

..... as for me?....... I just love it....

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...... nothing says 'Happy Christmas" like a tale of a selfless act of bravery, friendship, privation, perseverance, humor, and cremation....... and having said that - and since to day is Christmas Day and I'm off to make pancakes for The Missus - I will leave you with a poem - a small part of which takes place on some long ago (and fictitious) Christmas Day..... way, way up in the Yukon..... a heluva lot closer to Santa Claus than I am down here in Tennessee......

..... so if you feel inclined, give this a listen..... I posted it originally back in October of 2004...... but hey, my voice hasn't changed all that much in the past four years...... so just pretend that this is the FIRST time that I've posted it....

..... I hope that my reading put you all in the proper festive, thankful, giddy, and joyous mood needed for a proper celebration of The Holidays.....

..... and as Tiny Tim often says this time of year - and rightly so, "God Bless Us, Every One." ...

.... Merry Christmas, blogworld...... I'm off to watch Scrooged and eat blueberry pancakes......

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.... I wonder if Amdro has a use-by date..... I rained bloody murder down upon two fire ant mounds last week and I just strolled out there and poked one with a stick (you know, as you do), and forty-seven billion fire ants blew out the top of the mound like mighty Vesuvius..... I do believe that I'm in with some faulty bug-killer...... heh...... whatever I was raining the other day, it most certainly wasn't 'bloody murder'....

... good god, never mind.... I guess that another trip to the local hardware store is in order..... man, what a shock it was to see that nest erupt..... I could have sworn that they'd all be dead inside there...... dammit, when I kill something, I expect it to STAY dead!...... that is just one of the many reasons that I hate damnable Zombies so much......

..... anyhoo, speaking of ants, as I watched those little brown bastards boil out of their hole-in-the-ground, I was suddenly reminded of one of Robert Service's lesser-known poems..... I originally posted back in October of 2003, but hey, I'm all about recycling......

.... and remember, check and make sure that no one is nearby and then read it out loud.... trust me, Service was meant to be read out loud...... enjoy....

The Ant Hill by Robert W. Service

Black ants have made a musty mound
My purple pine tree under,
And I am often to be found,
Regarding it with wonder.
Yet as I watch, somehow it's odd,
Above their busy striving
I feel like an ironic god
Surveying human striving.
Then one day came my serving maid,
And just in time I caught her,
For on each lusty arm she weighed
A pail of boiling water.
She said with glee: "When this I spill,
Of life they'll soon be lacking."
Said I: "If even one you kill,
You bitch! I'll send you packing."

Just think - ten thousand eager lives
In that toil-worn upcasting,
Their homes, their babies and their wives
Destroyed in one fell blasting!
Imagine that swift-scalding hell! . . .
And though, mayhap, it seems a
Fantastic, far-fetched parallel -
Remember . . . Hiroshima.

..... unlike Mr. Service though, I plan to lay waste to their home, their babies, AND their wives..... just as soon as humanly possible.......

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.. there is something about the poet Robert Service that just draws me inI read and re-read him at least once a week whether I need it or not yes, yes, he is just that gratifying to the soul.

and on occasion, I've laid my collection of Services works aside and simply recited one as I went about my daily chores hey, it keeps the noggin nice and loose and ready for action..

. This morning started off honestly enough but ended with one helluva weird set of coincidences.

. I arose at an early hour and washed, dressed, and commenced drinking coffee on the patio you know, as you do the tee-shirt which I chose to wear was my AMGA tee... a fine garment, as far as tees go, it was gifted to me by my good friend Matthew who lives up in Alaska and shoots machine guns all the time.. anyway, my tranquil morning of communing with nature and hot java was interrupted by a phone-call from Mr. Dax Montana.

he and I chatted pleasantly for a while and then he mentioned that RSM had taken him on an interesting tour recently things got a bit weird after he described some of the things that he noticed during the tour, but we still ended our phonecon on an upbeat and brotherly note.

at this point in my day, and after I had hung up, I simply went about my business of pulling weeds, whacking wasps, and just generally enjoying the hell out of being a live human on the face of a pollen-encrusted planet.

and then, straight out of the blue, I get an email from my ole buddy Matthew up in Alaska talking about shooting machine guns and stuff. we chat back and forth for a while and then he sends me a link to this pub/hotel in Dawnson City, Yukon Territory where you can buy a drink with a frostbitten human toe bobbing in it

yeah, no shit. Thats what I thought too..

. Wheels within wheels, rubberneckers. You just never know what is going to happen around here next. One thing is for sure, though. I simply HAVE to get myself up to Dawson City before I die. Both to pay homage to Robert Service and to sample myself one of those drinks. They say that they even give you a certificate after youve sipped one correctly now, honestly who could refuse an offer like that?.... perhaps I could even stand on the porch of that hotel, with drink in hand, and recite "The Ballad of The Iceworm Cocktail.

Ill bet that stranger things have been done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for blogfodder..

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..... I took my dog-eared copy Robert Service poems with me to Austin this past weekend, but only opened it twice.... once in the airport as I was coming... and once in the airport as I was leaving... I had intended to torture everyone with a recitation, but I just couldn't find the time or the motivation... there was too much activity.. too many friendly faces to chat with... and it was not a time for poems....

... as I was leaving Austin, I flipped through the pages and found one of my favorites... I read it and re-read it quietly out at Gate 22 as the jets took off and landed....

... in a few hours I will be off to a resort near the slopes of Lochnagar... resting myself in a cozy cottage with the mountain framed in the bay window.... sipping hot tea and eating blood pudding.. trying my very damnedest to act civilized...

... you guys know I'm gonna miss you, right?...

... anyway, here is what I accidentally turned to this past Sunday at Gate 22...

... "The World's All Right", by R.W. Service.... from the 1912 publication of "Rhymes of a Rolling Stone" ......

Be honest, kindly, simple, true;
Seek good in all, scorn but pretence;
Whatever sorrow come to you,
Believe in Life's Beneficence!

The World's all right; serene I sit,
And cease to puzzle over it.
There's much that's mighty strange, no doubt;
But Nature knows what she's about;
And in a million years or so
We'll know more than to-day we know.
Old Evolution's under way --
What ho! the World's all right, I say.

Could things be other than they are?
All's in its place, from mote to star.
The thistledown that flits and flies
Could drift no hair-breadth otherwise.
What is, must be; with rhythmic laws
All Nature chimes, Effect and Cause.
The sand-grain and the sun obey --
What ho! the World's all right, I say.

Just try to get the Cosmic touch,
The sense that "you" don't matter much.
A million stars are in the sky;
A million planets plunge and die;
A million million men are sped;
A million million wait ahead.
Each plays his part and has his day --
What ho! the World's all right, I say.

Just try to get the Chemic view:
A million million lives made "you".
In lives a million you will be
Immortal down Eternity;
Immortal on this earth to range,
With never death, but ever change.
You always were, and will be aye --
What ho! the World's all right, I say.

Be glad! And do not blindly grope
For Truth that lies beyond our scope:
A sober plot informeth all
Of Life's uproarious carnival.
Your day is such a little one,
A gnat that lives from sun to sun;
Yet gnat and you have parts to play --
What ho! the World's all right, I say.

And though it's written from the start,
Just act your best your little part.
Just be as happy as you can,
And serve your kind, and die -- a man.
Just live the good that in you lies,
And seek no guerdon of the skies;
Just make your Heaven here, to-day --
What ho! the World's all right, I say.

Remember! in Creation's swing
The Race and not the man's the thing.
There's battle, murder, sudden death,
And pestilence, with poisoned breath.
Yet quick forgotten are such woes;
On, on the stream of Being flows.
Truth, Beauty, Love uphold their sway --
What ho! the World's all right, I say.

The World's all right; serene I sit,
And joy that I am part of it;
And put my trust in Nature's plan,
And try to aid her all I can;
Content to pass, if in my place
I've served the uplift of the Race.
Truth! Beauty! Love! O Radiant Day --
What ho! the World's all right, I say.

.... I'll yell at you guys next Sunday and let you know what I've been up to in the Motherland... until then, I'll let Jimbo keep you entertained...

... and speaking of poetry... if you're gonna write about a blogmeet, well, Elisson has set the standard... the man is incredible....

Read the Bullshit »


... tonight's pleasantry is from my homeboy Mr. Service.... one of the reasons I started this blog to begin with, he is...and I have been sorely negligent over the past few months in not visiting with him often enough... he's plain and he has a sense of humor... I'm down with that... as usual, feel free to read it out loud... you'll enjoy it more if you do... I promise...

... from Songs of a Sun Lover.. published in 1949...

Inspiration, by R. W. Service....

How often have I started out
With no thought in my noodle,
And wandered here and there about,
Where fancy bade me toodle;
Till feeling faunlike in my glee
I've voiced some gay distiches,
Returning joyfully to tea,
A poem in my britches.

A-squatting on a thymy slope
With vast of sky about me,
I've scribbled on an envelope
The rhymes the hills would shout me;
The couplets that the trees would call,
The lays the breezes proffered . . .
Oh no, I didn't think at all -
I took what Nature offered.

For that's the way you ought to write -
Without a trace of trouble;
Be super-charged with high delight
And let the words out-bubble;
Be voice of vale and wood and stream
Without design or proem:
Then rouse from out a golden dream
To find you've made a poem.

So I'll go forth with mind a blank,
And sea and sky will spell me;
And lolling on a thymy bank
I'll take down what they tell me;
As Mother Nature speaks to me
Her words I'll gaily docket,
So I'll come singing home to tea
A poem in my pocket.

... nice, no?.... hey, I like it.... but the problem is, there seems to be a shortage of thymy slopes around these parts...

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... since it is a sleepy Sunday evening here on the ranch... and since it is also the eve of my dear Mother's departure towards her home... I feel that the mood of my homely hearth is settling down easy into a Robert Service kind of night... old Robert, good lord... a sturdy man if there ever were one - and yet a man who struggled with his work at times... but, hell, he never let that bother him... he'd just write a poem about having nothing to write about... you just have to admire that, people...

... anyway, the ditty below is called "Laziness"... and it fairly sums up where my Monday seems to be headed... well, at least that is the plan... see, one never knows how their muse will waver.. for me, there is nothing... for Service, well, the last lines of this one sum it up perfectly.... so read happily on, dear rubberneckers... as I always say, everyone should read more Service....

Laziness, by Robert W. Service

Let laureates sing with rapturous swing
Of the wonder and glory of work;
Let pulpiteers preach and with passion impeach
The indolent wretches who shirk.
No doubt they are right: in the stress of the fight
It's the slackers who go to the wall;
So though it's my shame I perversely proclaim
It's fine to do nothing at all.

It's fine to recline on the flat of one's spine,
With never a thought in one's head:
It's lovely to lie staring up at the sky
When others are earning their bread.
It's great to feel one with the soil and the sun,
Drowned deep in the grasses so tall;
Oh it's noble to sweat, pounds and dollars to get,
But - it's grand to do nothing at all.

So sing to the praise of the fellows who laze
Instead of lambasting the soil;
The vagabonds gay who lounge by the way,
Conscientious Objectors to toil.
But lest you should think, by this spatter of ink,
The Muses still hold me in thrall,
I'll round out my rhyme, and (until the next time)
Work like hell - doing nothing at all.

... and with that, I bid you goodnight... it's been a long week....

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Breaking records...

... you know... people really, really are amazing critters... and not just because of all those faculties that Shakespeare and other poets have rambled on about... all that "how like an angel" stuff...

... no... people are amazing critters because they do stuff like this and then get their faces slathered all of the internet... Jimbo, my man... good God... I do believe that is the strangest shit I have ever seen.... you should be ashamed of yourself...

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... back when I started this site, one of my foremost intents was to force-feed the poetry of Robert Service to the google-surfing masses at the very best of my ability... and from time to time, I managed that task fairly well... but lately I have found myself despondent... I take the book off the shelf to pick a poem or song and end up just sitting on the couch and reading instead of sharing... I know you guys don't miss those posts... and, hey, that's cool... but still, it was an original function I imagined for this blog... that said, I've been reading and re-reading a good one over this sleepy afternoon... and I think it is time to share...

... besides, Army Wife asked for a Service poem the other day...

.. it is titled simply as "Dreams are Best", and was penned in 1912.... and I like it...

I just think that dreams are best,
Just to sit and fancy things;
Give your gold no acid test,
Try not how your silver rings;
Fancy women pure and good,
Fancy men upright and true:
Fortressed in your solitude,
Let Life be a dream to you.

For I think that Thought is all;
Truth's a minion of the mind;
Love's ideal comes at call;
As ye seek so shall ye find.
But ye must not seek too far;
Things are never what they seem:
Let a star be just a star,
And a woman -- just a dream.

O you Dreamers, proud and pure,
You have gleaned the sweet of life!
Golden truths that shall endure
Over pain and doubt and strife.
I would rather be a fool
Living in my Paradise,
Than the leader of a school,
Sadly sane and weary wise.

O you Cynics with your sneers,
Fallen brains and hearts of brass,
Tweak me by my foolish ears,
Write me down a simple ass!
I'll believe the real "you"
Is the "you" without a taint;
I'll believe each woman too,
But a slightly damaged saint.

Yes, I'll smoke my cigarette,
Vestured in my garb of dreams,
And I'll borrow no regret;
All is gold that golden gleams.
So I'll charm my solitude
With the faith that Life is blest,
Brave and noble, bright and good, . . .
Oh, I think that dreams are best!

... from "Rhymes of a Rolling Stone", by Robert W. Service....

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... you know, that kilt post started the old noggin percolating... and this being a rainy Monday morning, I thought I should explore a little.. after all, a little introspection from time to time does a body good... and that is just what I was thinking about... The Body... and more specifically, nudity...

... see, here's the duality of it all... I'm as bashful as the next guy... sure, there are things that embarrass me... situations that are taboo... but nudity doesn't phase me one little bit... not even in the slightest... and I enjoy being naked too... Hell, I even designed the logo for the Nekkid Bloggers... it's down there on the sidebar somewhere....

... and I do consider myself modest, don't get me wrong.. so, of course there are times when I am timid.. especially in regards to public speaking or playing guitar in front of a group of people... but as far as whipping out my boys, skinny-dipping, or flashing bystanders while wearing a kilt, my shyness is nonexistent..

... I mean, a body is a body... we're all just human.... I really don't see what the big deal is... besides, when you think about it, isn't blogging kinda like dropping your drawers anyway?...

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... after playing around outside yesterday, I enjoyed a brief siesta on the couch before The Gang arrived... I woke from my nap with Robert Service in my head... it happens sometimes for no reason at all... well, at least for no reason that I can think of... it's always different poems, too... yesterday it was the steady plod of "The Law of the Yukon" that I found myself mumbling as I awoke...

Swift as the panther in triumph, fierce as the bear in defeat,
Sired of a bulldog parent, steeled in the furnace heat.
Send me the best of your breeding, lend me your chosen ones;
Them will I take to my bosom, them will I call my sons;
Them will I gild with my treasure, them will I glut with my meat;
But the others -- the misfits, the failures -- I trample under my feet.
Dissolute, damned and despairful, crippled and palsied and slain,
Ye would send me the spawn of your gutters -- Go! take back your spawn again.

... and then it went on further in my head... bits and pieces...

Drowned them like rats in my rivers, starved them like curs on my plains,
Rotted the flesh that was left them, poisoned the blood in their veins;
Burst with my winter upon them, searing forever their sight,
Lashed them with fungus-white faces, whimpering wild in the night;

... it kept coming...

In the camp at the bend of the river, with its dozen saloons aglare,
Its gambling dens ariot, its gramophones all ablare;
Crimped with the crimes of a city, sin-ridden and bridled with lies,
In the hush of my mountained vastness, in the flush of my midnight skies.

.... here's the whole poem if you care to indulge... I posted it a while back.... it's a powerful piece of writing, to be sure, but I still can't understand why I woke up with fragments of it oozing from my noggin... the rhythm of the words almost like footsteps hitting pavement... addictive... still, it could have been worse... I suppose it could have been Seuss...

... see, rubberneckers?... there is always a bright side...

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Poetry Day II...

... more recordings are at the bottom of the post below.... others, though not requested, will be placed in this post at various times during the evening as I see fit... of course, once the Bushmills kicks in, things might get difficult...

... one of my all-time favorites... The Pullman Porter... "a humble bard of boys and barmen"... that is why I love Robert Service...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(3) | TrackBack (1)
» The Laughing Wolf links with: A Public Service

Poetry Day...

...Requested poems are at the bottom.. it'll be updated all day...

... this time one year ago, I was reading Robert Service to y'all.... it seems like forever since I've sung his praises... times change, I suppose... and I'm not sure that's a good thing... back when I started this blog, Service was a staple.. and I still read his poems once or twice a week.... but back in the day, you'd find something posted about him here nearly every week.... since then, I have ventured down other roads... and come to love the works of other poets... Tom Waits... Frost... and the incredible Ogden Nash.. they continually humble me...

... so today shall be a day of Robert Service... one of my heroes... and one of the inspirations for starting this damn blog to begin with...

... I will be recording myself reading and/or reciting Service works all day as I feel so inclined... so this is your chance.. if you have a favorite, let me know and I'll give it a shot and post it later..

... if no one wants to play, that's cool too.. it's not going to keep me from playing with poems all day long... you've been warned...

UPDATE... as requested... My Madonna... and one of Robert Service's fine WWI poems.. Victory Stuff....

UPDATE 2... by email request... Maternity... no, it's not really what you think..

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(9) | TrackBack (2)
» Bad Example links with: STUFF THAT YOU MIGHT LIKE
» The Laughing Wolf links with: A Public Service

Service on War...

... I have been sorely remiss in keeping up with my Robert Service postings... between Zevon, Nash, and Tom Waits, I've had a lot to chew on recently... but for those of you who know me, you'll remember that Mr. Service is my favorite...

... anyway, tonight's selection is one of his "War Poems"... taken from the tome, "Rhymes of a Red Cross Man"... written in 1916... the same time that Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, etc, were writing their wonderful verses... Service, however, takes on the typical WWI poetical viewpoint with "Bill The Bomber"... a man - who although hating War - could not wait to exact his revenge upon the Enemy... yes, children, there is a certain bloodlust in this poem.. but, isn't that same seed present in each of us?... the only difference is if we decide to water the seed or not... so, I give you... "Bill The Bomber".... oh, and remember to read it out loud... Service is meant to be enjoyed that way....

Bill The Bomber by Robert W Service

The poppies gleamed like bloody pools through cotton-woolly mist;
The Captain kept a-lookin' at the watch upon his wrist;
And there we smoked and squatted, as we watched the shrapnel flame;
'Twas wonnerful, I'm tellin' you, how fast them bullets came.
'Twas weary work the waiting, though; I tried to sleep a wink,
For waitin' means a-thinkin', and it doesn't do to think.
So I closed my eyes a little, and I had a niceish dream
Of a-standin' by a dresser with a dish of Devon cream;
But I hadn't time to sample it, for suddenlike I woke:
"Come on, me lads!" the Captain says, 'n I climbed out through the smoke.
We spread out in the open: it was like a bath of lead;
But the boys they cheered and hollered fit to raise the bloody dead,
Till a beastly bullet copped 'em, then they lay without a sound,
And it's odd -- we didn't seem to heed them corpses on the ground.
And I kept on thinkin', thinkin', as the bullets faster flew,
How they picks the werry best men, and they lets the rotters through;
So indiscriminatin' like, they spares a man of sin,
And a rare lad wot's a husband and a father gets done in.
And while havin' these reflections and advancin' on the run,
A bullet biffs me shoulder, and says I: "That's number one."

Well, it downed me for a jiffy, but I didn't lose me calm,
For I knew that I was needed: I'm a bomber, so I am.
I 'ad lost me cap and rifle, but I "carried on" because
I 'ad me bombs and knew that they was needed, so they was.
We didn't 'ave no singin' now, nor many men to cheer;
Maybe the shrapnel drowned 'em, crashin' out so werry near;
And the Maxims got us sideways, and the bullets faster flew,
And I copped one on me flipper, and says I: "That's number two."

I was pleased it was the left one, for I 'ad me bombs, ye see,
And 'twas 'ard if they'd be wasted like, and all along o' me.
And I'd lost me 'at and rifle -- but I told you that before,
So I packed me mit inside me coat and "carried on" once more.
But the rumpus it was wicked, and the men were scarcer yet,
And I felt me ginger goin', but me jaws I kindo set,
And we passed the Boche first trenches, which was 'eapin' 'igh with dead,
And we started for their second, which was fifty feet ahead;
When something like a 'ammer smashed me savage on the knee,
And down I came all muck and blood: Says I: "That's number three."

So there I lay all 'elpless like, and bloody sick at that,
And worryin' like anythink, because I'd lost me 'at;
And thinkin' of me missis, and the partin' words she said:
"If you gets killed, write quick, ol' man, and tell me as you're dead."
And lookin' at me bunch o' bombs -- that was the 'ardest blow,
To think I'd never 'ave the chance to 'url them at the foe.
And there was all our boys in front, a-fightin' there like mad,
And me as could 'ave 'elped 'em wiv the lovely bombs I 'ad.
And so I cussed and cussed, and then I struggled back again,
Into that bit of battered trench, packed solid with its slain.

Now as I lay a-lyin' there and blastin' of me lot,
And wishin' I could just dispose of all them bombs I'd got,
I sees within the doorway of a shy, retirin' dug-out
Six Boches all a-grinnin', and their Captain stuck 'is mug out;
And they 'ad a nice machine gun, and I twigged what they was at;
And they fixed it on a tripod, and I watched 'em like a cat;
And they got it in position, and they seemed so werry glad,
Like they'd got us in a death-trap, which, condemn their souls! they 'ad.
For there our boys was fightin' fifty yards in front, and 'ere
This lousy bunch of Boches they 'ad got us in the rear.

Oh it set me blood a-boilin' and I quite forgot me pain,
So I started crawlin', crawlin' over all them mounds of slain;
And them barstards was so busy-like they 'ad no eyes for me,
And me bleedin' leg was draggin', but me right arm it was free. . . .
And now they 'ave it all in shape, and swingin' sweet and clear;
And now they're all excited like, but -- I am drawin' near;
And now they 'ave it loaded up, and now they're takin' aim. . . .
Rat-tat-tat-tat! Oh here, says I, is where I join the game.
And my right arm it goes swingin', and a bomb it goes a-slingin',
And that "typewriter" goes wingin' in a thunderbolt of flame.

Then these Boches, wot was left of 'em, they tumbled down their 'ole,
And up I climbed a mound of dead, and down on them I stole.
And oh that blessed moment when I heard their frightened yell,
And I laughed down in that dug-out, ere I bombed their souls to hell.
And now I'm in the hospital, surprised that I'm alive;
We started out a thousand men, we came back thirty-five.
And I'm minus of a trotter, but I'm most amazin' gay,
For me bombs they wasn't wasted, though, you might say, "thrown away".

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Diversions of Eric...

... last night, whilst conjuring Bacchus in preparation for The Gathering, I attempted a new recipe... Manicotti and Cannelloni ala Eric... truly, I was breaking new ground.. who knew that the seemingly innocuous cannelloni pasta grew to 10 times its pre-cooked size once boiled properly?... not I, that's for sure.... those bastards got HUGE...

... anyway, I stuffed 8 with a nice, rich ricotta cheese, garlic, and black pepper mix... and another 8 with my Ultra-Mega-Multi-Maxiwonderful bolognaise mixture... covered all of those puppies with tomato sauce, and baked them for half an hour... easy peasy..

... I managed to scarf down 1 cheese, and 2 meat-filled tubes by the time the ravenous pool-hustlers descended... and in a flurry of teeth gnashing, I was left with nothing but a pile of dirty dishes and a solitary manicotti.. trust me on this... if you have never witnessed a redneck feeding frenzy, you just haven't lived... slopping the hawgs, rubberneckers.... so anyway, I guess you could say that my cooking skills met the bill... either that, or the Wednesday night gang will well and truly eat anything set in front of them...

... oh, and tomorrow I'm baking a pineapple upside-down cake just because I can... heh... idle hands, people... idle hands...

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Losing your way...

... sitting here with a giant tome of Ogden Nash on my lap, I was just suddenly reminded of an old Robert Service poem.... so, I wandered through to the living room to fetch it.... you know, this is one that I have thought about posting before... but I never found the niche... it's a strange little poem really... in a way, I suppose some people might even find it mildly offensive... which is odd for any work of Service.... it's called "The Joy of being Poor".... and as of late, the circumstances of a few Friends has brought this to the fore... I feel like I should be pointing them to the message hidden in the poem....

... I posted quite a while back about that double-edged sword... complacency... in particular, the question of when, if ever, you should be allowed to rest upon your laurels... when should you sit back and enjoy the life you've created for yourself through hard work?.. after all, isn't that the point of working hard in the first place?... fruits of your labors, and all that?.... still, others believe that once you stop striving... you lose your hunger... and without struggle, you are dead to this world... Hell, with enough Scotch, I could probably argue both points equally well... but I'm not going to do that now... today is Christmas, and I am content... on many, many levels...

... so, regardless of how wealthy or poor you are... you are probably richer than you know.. take note of Mr. Service's sentiment... happiness lies in friendship... not necessarily in success.... and remember, children... read this slowly... and read it out loud... it'll do no harm, I can assure you of that....

... Merry Christmas, my Friends...

The Joy of Being Poor
by Robert W. Service

Let others sing of gold and gear, the joy of being rich;
But oh, the days when I was poor, a vagrant in a ditch!
When every dawn was like a gem, so radiant and rare,
And I had but a single coat, and not a single care;
When I would feast right royally on bacon, bread and beer,
And dig into a stack of hay and doze like any peer;
When I would wash beside a brook my solitary shirt,
And though it dried upon my back I never took a hurt;
When I went romping down the road contemptuous of care,
And slapped Adventure on the back - by Gad! we were a pair;
When, though my pockets lacked a coin, and though my coat was old,
The largess of the stars was mine, and all the sunset gold;
When time was only made for fools, and free as air was I,
And hard I hit and hard I lived beneath the open sky;
When all the roads were one to me, and each had its allure . . .
Ye Gods! these were the happy days, the days when I was poor.

Or else, again, old pal of mine, do you recall the times
You struggled with your storyettes, I wrestled with my rhymes;
Oh, we were happy, were we not? - we used to live so "high"
(A little bit of broken roof between us and the sky);
Upon the forge of art we toiled with hammer and with tongs;
You told me all your rippling yarns, I sang to you my songs.
Our hats were frayed, our jackets patched, our boots were down at heel,
But oh, the happy men were we, although we lacked a meal.
And if I sold a bit of rhyme, or if you placed a tale,
What feasts we had of tenderloins and apple-tarts and ale!
And yet how often we would dine as cheerful as you please,
Beside our little friendly fire on coffee, bread and cheese.
We lived upon the ragged edge, and grub was never sure,
But oh, these were the happy days, the days when we were poor.

Alas! old man, we're wealthy now, it's sad beyond a doubt;
We cannot dodge prosperity, success has found us out.
Your eye is very dull and drear, my brow is creased with care,
We realize how hard it is to be a millionaire.
The burden's heavy on our backs - you're thinking of your rents,
I'm worrying if I'll invest in five or six per cents.
We've limousines, and marble halls, and flunkeys by the score,
We play the part . . . but say, old chap, oh, isn't it a bore?
We work like slaves, we eat too much, we put on evening dress;
We've everything a man can want, I think . . . but happiness.
Come, let us sneak away, old chum; forget that we are rich,
And earn an honest appetite, and scratch an honest itch.
Let's be two jolly garreteers, up seven flights of stairs,
And wear old clothes and just pretend we aren't millionaires;
And wonder how we'll pay the rent, and scribble ream on ream,
And sup on sausages and tea, and laugh and loaf and dream.

And when we're tired of that, my friend, oh, you will come with me;
And we will seek the sunlit roads that lie beside the sea.
We'll know the joy the gipsy knows, the freedom nothing mars,
The golden treasure-gates of dawn, the mintage of the stars.
We'll smoke our pipes and watch the pot, and feed the crackling fire,
And sing like two old jolly boys, and dance to heart's desire;
We'll climb the hill and ford the brook and camp upon the moor . . .
Old chap, let's haste, I'm mad to taste the Joy of Being Poor.

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Sam McGee

.... no blogging tonight.. I just finished chatting with the blogdaughter... and, I'm all out of creative juice.... so, here is a small treat for you... yeah, yeah... more Robert Service.... hey, it's that time again.... here is The Cremation of Sam McGee.... listen, I know you rubberneckers don't actually READ it... so, I have to SPOON feed it to you... anyway, I love this one.... deal with it...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(8)
» Mamamontezz's Mental Rumpus Room links with: BlogtoberFest

Robert Service again...

... ok, you tards... prepare for a treat.. or not.... in any case, here is a friggin enormous file of me reciting a poem.... quit laughing, you bastards... Service kicks it.... he was in the Yukon before GoreTex was even dreamt of... besides, I KNOW that you people don't follow my directions.. reading it out loud?... yeah, lie to me... uh huh.... I know you don't... still, if you are not an aficionado of R.W. Service, you probably won't enjoy it... which, much like my Porn Vs. Pony quiz, is a good yardstick of whether you should be reading this or not... anyway, here goes... hell, even if you don't like Service, you'll get to hear my drunken rendition of it... which should be mildly entertaining... that is surely worth the price of admission here...

.. enough talking.... here it is... my recitation... beware, she's a large download...

... oh, and if you care to follow along, here are the words...

The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill...

I took a contract to bury the body of blasphemous Bill MacKie,
Whenever, wherever or whatsoever the manner of death he die--
Whether he die in the light o' day or under the peak-faced moon;
In cabin or dance-hall, camp or dive, mucklucks or patent shoon;
On velvet tundra or virgin peak, by glacier, drift or draw;
In muskeg hollow or canyon gloom, by avalanche, fang or claw;
By battle, murder or sudden wealth, by pestilence, hooch or lead--
I swore on the Book I would follow and look till I found my tombless dead.

For Bill was a dainty kind of cuss, and his mind was mighty sot
On a dinky patch with flowers and grass in a civilized bone-yard lot.
And where he died or how he died, it didn't matter a damn
So long as he had a grave with frills and a tombstone "epigram".
So I promised him, and he paid the price in good cheechako coin
(Which the same I blowed in that very night down in the Tenderloin).
Then I painted a three-foot slab of pine: "Here lies poor Bill MacKie",
And I hung it up on my cabin wall and I waited for Bill to die.

Years passed away, and at last one day came a squaw with a story strange,
Of a long-deserted line of traps 'way back of the Bighorn range;
Of a little hut by the great divide, and a white man stiff and still,
Lying there by his lonesome self, and I figured it must be Bill.
So I thought of the contract I'd made with him, and I took down from the shelf
The swell black box with the silver plate he'd picked out for hisself;
And I packed it full of grub and "hooch", and I slung it on the sleigh;
Then I harnessed up my team of dogs and was off at dawn of day.

You know what it's like in the Yukon wild when it's sixty-nine below;
When the ice-worms wriggle their purple heads through the crust of the pale blue snow;
When the pine-trees crack like little guns in the silence of the wood,
And the icicles hang down like tusks under the parka hood;
When the stove-pipe smoke breaks sudden off, and the sky is weirdly lit,
And the careless feel of a bit of steel burns like a red-hot spit;
When the mercury is a frozen ball, and the frost-fiend stalks to kill--
Well, it was just like that that day when I set out to look for Bill.

Oh, the awful hush that seemed to crush me down on every hand,
As I blundered blind with a trail to find through that blank and bitter land;
Half dazed, half crazed in the winter wild, with its grim heart-breaking woes,
And the ruthless strife for a grip on life that only the sourdough knows!
North by the compass, North I pressed; river and peak and plain
Passed like a dream I slept to lose and I waked to dream again.

River and plain and mighty peak--and who could stand unawed?
As their summits blazed, he could stand undazed at the foot of the throne of God.
North, aye, North, through a land accurst, shunned by the scouring brutes,
And all I heard was my own harsh word and the whine of the malamutes,
Till at last I came to a cabin squat, built in the side of a hill,
And I burst in the door, and there on the floor, frozen to death, lay Bill.

Ice, white ice, like a winding-sheet, sheathing each smoke-grimed wall;
Ice on the stove-pipe, ice on the bed, ice gleaming over all;
Sparkling ice on the dead man's chest, glittering ice in his hair,
Ice on his fingers, ice in his heart, ice in his glassy stare;
Hard as a log and trussed like a frog, with his arms and legs outspread.
I gazed at the coffin I'd brought for him, and I gazed at the gruesome dead,
And at last I spoke: "Bill liked his joke; but still, goldarn his eyes,
A man had ought to consider his mates in the way he goes and dies."

Have you ever stood in an Arctic hut in the shadow of the Pole,
With a little coffin six by three and a grief you can't control?
Have you ever sat by a frozen corpse that looks at you with a grin,
And that seems to say: "You may try all day, but you'll never jam me in"?
I'm not a man of the quitting kind, but I never felt so blue
As I sat there gazing at that stiff and studying what I'd do.
Then I rose and I kicked off the husky dogs that were nosing round about,
And I lit a roaring fire in the stove, and I started to thaw Bill out.

Well, I thawed and thawed for thirteen days, but it didn't seem no good;
His arms and legs stuck out like pegs, as if they was made of wood.
Till at last I said: "It ain't no use--he's froze too hard to thaw;
He's obstinate, and he won't lie straight, so I guess I got to--saw."
So I sawed off poor Bill's arms and legs, and I laid him snug and straight
In the little coffin he picked hisself, with the dinky silver plate;
And I came nigh near to shedding a tear as I nailed him safely down;
Then I stowed him away in my Yukon sleigh, and I started back to town.

So I buried him as the contract was in a narrow grave and deep,
And there he's waiting the Great Clean-up, when the Judgment sluice-heads sweep;
And I smoke my pipe and I meditate in the light of the Midnight Sun,
And sometimes I wonder if they was, the awful things I done.
And as I sit and the parson talks, expounding of the Law,
I often think of poor old Bill--and how hard he was to saw.

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(4)
» Bad Example links with: GODDAMN TELEMARKE... ERIC!

Robert Service again...

... well, it has been a while since I put up any poetry... yeah, yeah.. I know you don't like it... but, that is exactly why I put it up here.. just because you don't like it... doesn't mean you don't need it.... yesterday, I spent quite a while sitting on the deck alone with my thoughts... Memorial Day always puts me in a mood... and, usually I want to be alone.. so, I spent the better half of yesterday evening sipping a Scotch.. sitting in the sunshine... and, just thinking... I kept recalling lines from Robert Service... unrelated lines... from different poems... I found myself saying them out loud as they came into my mind... I suppose that if I were a more educated man, Wilfred Owen... or Sassoon would have been more appropriate... but, "Lyrics of a Low Brow" was present instead... Low Brow, indeed..., I leave you today with the foreward of "Rhymes of a Red Cross Man"... penned in 1916... by ambulance driver R.W. Service... once again, people... read it out loud..

I've tinkered at my bits of rhymes
In weary, woeful, waiting times;
In doleful hours of battle-din,
Ere yet they brought the wounded in;
Through vigils of the fateful night,
In lousy barns by candle-light;
In dug-outs, sagging and aflood,
On stretchers stiff and bleared with blood;
By ragged grove, by ruined road,
By hearths accurst where Love abode;
By broken altars, blackened shrines
I've tinkered at my bits of rhymes.

I've solaced me with scraps of song
The desolated ways along:
Through sickly fields all shrapnel-sown,
And meadows reaped by death alone;
By blazing cross and splintered spire,
By headless Virgin in the mire;
By gardens gashed amid their bloom,
By gutted grave, by shattered tomb;
Beside the dying and the dead,
Where rocket green and rocket red,
In trembling pools of poising light,
With flowers of flame festoon the night.
Ah me! by what dark ways of wrong
I've cheered my heart with scraps of song.

So here's my sheaf of war-won verse,
And some is bad, and some is worse.
And if at times I curse a bit,
You needn't read that part of it;
For through it all like horror runs
The red resentment of the guns.
And you yourself would mutter when
You took the things that once were men,
And sped them through that zone of hate
To where the dripping surgeons wait;
And wonder too if in God's sight
War ever, ever can be right.

Yet may it not be, crime and war
But effort misdirected are?
And if there's good in war and crime,
There may be in my bits of rhyme,
My songs from out the slaughter mill:
So take or leave them as you will.

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(0)
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