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Poetry Category: 90 Entries


August 27, 2010

Everlasting Love?

Our love will last
So long as
The good it does for each of us
Outweighs the bad.
—Lois Wyse

Source: Lois Wyse poem Long-lasting Love in her book of poetry Who but me? American Greetings 1971
> Sadly, that's what happened in one of my earlier relationships.

Posted by niganit at 7:26 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Love | Poetry | Sadness

March 14, 2010

Give Yourself a Daily Gift

Some teachers (and trainers, too) turn to poetry for inspiration and encouragement. I certainly do.
Here are some links that can provide a daily fix of poetry. Try them, you'll like it!
> Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac,
    http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/
> Poetry Daily, http://poems.com/
> Poetry 180: A poem a Day for American High Schools,
    http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/
> Robert Pinsky’s Favorite Poem Project includes videos of poems being read,
    http://www.favoritepoem.org/videos.html.
> Poetry readings from Bill Moyer’s Fooling with Words
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/foolingwithwords/main_video.html
> The Academy of American Poets has a listening booth where you can hear poets read their work http://www.poets.org/booth/booth.cfm

Source: Teaching with Fire: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Teach Sam M. Intrator & Megan Scribner, editors. Jossey-Bass 2003 ISBN: 0-7879-6970-2
See also: The Courage to Teach programs

Posted by niganit at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Inspirational | Poetry | Teaching

February 10, 2010

while I think on thee, dear friend

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear times' waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unus'd to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor'd and sorrows end.

—William Shakespeare: Sonnet XXX

Source: The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor for Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010.

Posted by niganit at 9:05 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Love | Poetry

December 30, 2009

You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink", sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone --
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
—Rudyard Kipling in his poem Gunga Din

Source: Everypoet.com's Poetry of Rudyard Kipling Gunga Din.
> it is the birthday of Rudyard Kipling who was born in Bombay, India in 1865. He died on January 18, 1936 in London England.

Posted by niganit at 7:08 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Poetry | Profound

December 23, 2009

Waiting for Sunday?

Some masters say our life lasts only seven days.
Where are we in the week? Is it Thursday yet?
Hurry, cry now! Soon Sunday night will come.
—Robert Bly from his unpublished poem Call and Answer

Source: New and Unpublished Poems by Robert Bly: Call and Answer
> It is the birthday of Robert Bly, born on this day in 1926 in Madison, Minnesota.
> See also The Chesapeake Men's Gathering.

Posted by niganit at 7:47 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Poetry | Profound

December 9, 2009

Ah, Life!

Never, my heart, is there enough of living.
—Leonie Adams

Source: The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor for Wednesday, December 9, 2009.
> It's the birthday of the American poet Leonie Adams. She was born on this day in 1899 in Brooklyn, New York. She died on June 27, 1988 in New Milford, Connecticut.

Posted by niganit at 7:06 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Poetry | Profound

November 24, 2009

The Snipes' Lament

The Snipes Lament
Now each of us from time to time, have gazed upon the sea.
We watched the warships pulling out, to keep this country free.
Most of us have read a book, or heard a lusty tale,
about the men who sail these ships, through lightning, wind and hail.
But there’s a place within each ship, that legend fails to teach.

It’s down below the waterline, it takes a living toll...
A hot metal living hell, that sailors call the “hole.”
It houses engines run by steam, that makes the shafts go round.
A place of fire, noise and heat that beats your spirit down.
The engines are molded by gods without remorse, that are nightmares in a dream.
Whose boilers threat that from the fires roar and superheated steam.
Makes the "hole" like living hell, that at any minute, with tormented scorn, escape the pipes and crush you out.

Where turbines scream like tortured souls, alone in the ships bowels,thinking of being lost in hell.
As ordered from Bridge above, to the Snipes a duty to answer every bell.
The men who keep the fires lit, and make the engines run,
are strangers to the world of day light, and rarely see the sun.
They have no time for man or God, no tolerance for fear.
Their aspect pays no living thing, the tribute of a tear.

For there’s not much that men can do, that these men have not done.
Beneath the decks deep in the hole, to make the engines run.
And every hour of every day, they keep the watch in hell.
For if the fires ever fail, their ship’s becomes a useless shell.

When ships converge to make war upon the sea.
The men below just grimly smile, at what their fate might be.
They’re locked in below like men for doomed, who hear no battle cry.
It’s well assumed that if they’re hit, the men below will die.
For every day’s a war down there, when the gauges all read red,
Twelve hundred pounds of heated steam, can kill you mighty dead.

So if you ever write their sons, or try to tell their tale.
The very words would make you hear, a fired furnace’s wail.
And people as a general rule, don’t hear of men of steel.
So little’s heard about the place, that sailors call the “hole.”

But I can sing about this place, and try to make you see.
The hardened life of men down there, cause one of them is me.
I’ve seen these sweat soaked heroes fight, in superheated air,
To keep their ship alive and right through no one knows they’re there.

And thus they’ll fight for ages on, till warships sail no more.
Amid the boiler’s mighty heat, and the turbines hellish roar.
So when you see a ship pull out, to meet a warlike foe,
Remember faintly if you can, THE MEN WHO SAIL BELOW,
that call the HOLE their home.
—Author unknown shared by a commenter "Black Shoe Snipe."

Source: From the deep bowels of the USS Donald B Beary FF-1085 "Mission Sailors Always" offered by a commenter, "Black Shoe Snipe" on my blog entry Snipes A Poem and Tribute for April 10, 2006. Thank you, Black Shoe Snipe! Remember, 30 and NO smoke! Only economy haze!

Posted by niganit at 7:04 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Poetry | Profound

August 11, 2009

My Absent Child

Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
Then, have I reason to be fond of grief?
Fare you well: had you such a loss as I,
I could give better comfort than you do.—
I will not keep this form upon my head,
When there is such disorder in my wit.
O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son!
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!
My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure!
—William Shakepeare as spoken by Constance in The Life and Death of King John

Source: The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor for Tuesday, August 11, 2009
>> On this day in 1596, William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway buried their only son, Hamnet, who died at the age of 11 of unknown causes. At that time in England, about one third of children did not survive past the age of 10. Hamnet was named after Shakespeare's close friend, a baker, Hamlet Sadler. ("Hamnet" and "Hamlet" were virtually interchangeable names.) Hamnet had a twin sister Judith, named after the baker Hamlet's wife, Judith.

Posted by niganit at 7:25 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Love | Poetry | Sadness

August 2, 2009

Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it
And spills the upper boulder in the sun,
And make gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there,
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there,
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."
—Robert Frost Mending Wall.

Source: Published in Robert Frost's book of poems North of Boston in 1915.
> Found on the Web at Jeff Ketzle's Mending Wall

Posted by niganit at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Poetry | Profound

May 7, 2009

Grow old along with me!

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made.
—Robert Browning

Source: The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor for Thursday, May 7, 2009.
> It is the birthday of Robert Browning born in London, England in 1812. He died on December 12, 1889 in Venice, Italy.

Posted by niganit at 6:59 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Love | Poetry

February 17, 2009

Happy 114th Birthday, Banjo Paterson

I have gathered these stories afar
In the wind and the rain,
In the land where the cattle-camps are,
On the edge of the Plain.
On the overland routes of the west,
When the watches were long,
I have fashioned in earnest and jest
These fragments of song.

They are just the rude stories one hears
In sadness and mirth,
The records of wandering years --
And scant is their worth.
Though their merits indeed are but slight,
I shall not repine
If they give you one moment's delight,
Old comrades of mine.
—A. B. "Banjo" Paterson Prelude

Source: University of Queensland (Australia) online edition of Prelude from The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses first published in 1895.
See:
> It is the birthday of the poet, journalist, and songwriter Banjo Paterson born Andrew Paterson in Narrambla, Australia in 1864. He passed away on 5 February 1941 in Sydney, Australia. See Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009
> The biography of Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson by the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition
> A wonderful article about Banjo online in the National Geograohic Magazine by Roff Smith Australia's Bard.
> He is one of my most favorite poets and I have a number of entries devoted to him here on my blog, "Consider this."
  • Clancy of the Overflow
  • Banjo's 'The Man from Ironbark'
  • Happy Birthday, Banjo Paterson (2008)
  • The Old Australian Ways
  • Flowing Beards are All the Go
  • When My Hair is Grey?
  • Mulga Bill's Bicycle
  • Happy Birthday, Mom

February 12, 2009

Presidential Leadership

Roosevelt's point was plain: Government counts, and in the right hands, it can be made to work. Strong federal action, not just private voluntary efforts and the invisible hand of the marketplace, was required to help those stricken in an emergency. The American people expected and deserved leadership in addressing their hardships, not just from state and local authorities, but from the White House. This fundamental insight would guide politicians and help millions of people in the years ahead, but it was lost on others, who ignored the lessons of Franklin Roosevelt at their peril.
—Jonathan Alter

Source: The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope by Jonathan Alter page 299 Simon & Schuster Paperbacks 2006 ISBN-13: 978-0-7432-4600-2.
See also:
> The White House.
>: The White House.gov > Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt Thirty-Second President of the United States.

Posted by niganit at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Inspirational | Poetry | Profound | Teaching

February 9, 2009

The Sweetest Woman There

From bank to bank the water roars Like thunder in a storm
A Sea in sight of both the shores Creating no alarm
The water-birds above the flood Fly o'er the foam and
spray And nature wears a gloomy hood On this October day

And there I saw a bonny maid That proved my heart's delight
All day she was a Goddess made An angel fair at night
We loved and in each other's power Felt nothing to
condemn
I was the leaf and she the flower And both grew on one stem

I loved her lip her cheek her eye She cheered my midnight gloom
A bonny rose 'neath God's own sky In one perrenial bloom
She lives 'mid pastures evergreen And meadows ever fair
Each winter spring and summer scene The sweetest woman there

She lives among the meadow floods That foams and roars away
While fading hedgerows distant woods Fade off to naked spray
She lives to cherish and delight All nature with her face
She brought me joy morn noon and night In that low lonely place
—John Clare in his poem The Sweetest Woman There

Source: Garrison Keilor's The Writer's Almanac for Monday, Feb. 9, 2009
See also:
> A list of poems by John Clare on the Writer's Almanac.
> Wikipedia's page about John Clare (13 July 1793 to 20 May 1864).

Posted by niganit at 6:51 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Love | Poetry

January 27, 2009

Lewis Carroll's Birthday

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.
—Lewis Carroll JABBERWOCKY (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

Source: David Shaw's Jabberwocky.com, and specifically his quoting of Carroll's poem The Jabberwocky.
See also: on Wikipedia, Jabberwocky
> It is Lewis Carroll's birthday. He was born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson in Cheshire, England in 1832, the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1871). He died at Guildford, England on 14th January 1898.
> This is a repeat, of sorts, of an entry previously published in Consider This as Twas Brillig
> This entry is dedicated to my friend, Kit, who loves this poem, jumps with glee when I have recited in from my heart at our men's gatherings, and who was stricken down by a seizure of unknown cause on January 20, 2009. We send him tons of prayers and positive energies so that he may fully recover.

mark lewis doing his rendition of the CS Lewis poem on YouTube.com.

Posted by niganit at 7:01 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Humorous | Memorized Poetry | Poetry | Silly

December 9, 2008

Take His Pot-Shot, Please!

I'm not getting paid much for staying alive but it's good experience.
— Ashleigh Brilliant

Source: The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor for Tuesday, December 9, 2008
See also:
> Today is the birthday of cartoonist, humorist, and poet Ashleigh Brilliant, born in London (1933). He's best known for his "Pot-Shots," sayings and one-liners that are never more than 17 words. He illustrates them with pen-and-ink drawings. You can buy his illustrated pot-shots from him online at AshleighBrilliant.com.

Posted by niganit at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Humorous | Inspirational | Poetry | Teaching

October 13, 2008

The Monkeys Stand for Honesty

Somethin' tells me
It's all happening at the zoo.
I do believe it,
I do believe it's true.

The monkeys stand for honesty,
Giraffes are insincere,
And the elephants are kindly but
They're dumb.
Orangutans are skeptical
Of changes in their cages,
And the zookeeper is very fond of rum.
Zebras are reactionaries,
Antelopes are missionaries,
Pigeons plot in secrecy,
And hamsters turn on frequently.
What a gas! You gotta come and see
At the zoo.
—Paul Simon from the lyrics of At the Zoo

Source: PaulSimon.com's lyrics online of At the Zoo
> It is the birthday of Paul Simon born in Newark, New Jersey in 1941.
> See also "The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor for Monday, October 13, 2008

Posted by niganit at 7:57 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Humorous | Poetry | Profound

September 5, 2008

Too Many Daves

Source: The Sneetches: And Other Stories by Dr. Seuss 1989 Random House ISBN: 0-394-80089-3 (trade)
> Read Too Many Daves online.

Clancy of the Overflow

Source: Clancy of the Overflow by A. B. Banjo Paterson, the wonderful Australian poet. This recitation is dedicated to my Mum, Minna, an Australian War Bride to the USA.

Posted by niganit at 9:07 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Australia | Memorized Poetry | Poetry

August 9, 2008

The Cremation of Sam McGee

Source: A poem by Robert W. Service.

Posted by niganit at 3:13 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Poetry

July 25, 2008

Banjo's 'The Man From Ironbark'

This is me, Rich Wersinger, reciting The Man From Ironbark (4m21s) by A. B. Banjo Paterson, the beloved Australian poet and author.
See:
> The biography of Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson by the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition
> Online edition of The Man From Ironbark

July 10, 2008

How Sweet It is To Love Someone...

How right it is to care...

John Denver sings "Poems, Prayers and Promises."
How we miss you so, John.

Lyrics: Poems, Prayers and Promises

Posted by niganit at 9:17 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Love | Poetry | Profound

July 2, 2008

Your Wild and Precious Lfe

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver from her poem, The Summer Day

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Monday, June 30, 2008.

Posted by niganit at 7:00 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Motivating | Poetry | Profound

June 13, 2008

You Tread on My Dreams

He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
—William Butler Yeats

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Friday, June 13, 2008.
> It's the birthday of Irish poet William Butler Yeats, born 1865 in Sandymount, Ireland, a suburb of Dublin. Yeats died in 1939 at the Hôtel Idéal Séjour, in Menton, France.

Posted by niganit at 7:38 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Love | Poetry

June 9, 2008

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

A Spitfire like the one flown by John Magee

He was flying Spitfire VZ-H, serial number AD-291 on Dec. 11, 1941.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds,—and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor ever eagle flew—
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
— JOHN G. MAGEE, JR., “High Flight,” September 3, 1941.

Source: Bartleby.com's Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations 603.John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (1922–41)
See also:
> It is the birthday of John Gillespie Magee, Jr. He was born in 1922 in Shanghai, China, of missionary parents—an American father and an English mother—and spoke Chinese before English. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in late 1940. In Britain he flew in a Spitfire squadron and was killed on a routine training mission on December 11, 1941. He wrote the above sonnet and sent it to his parents on a back of a letter.

Posted by niganit at 8:27 AM | Comments (0)
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May 31, 2008

Joy, Shipmate, Joy

JOY, shipmate, joy!
(Pleas'd to my soul at death I cry,)
Our life is closed, our life begins,
The long, long anchorage we leave,
The ship is clear at last, she leaps!
She swiftly courses from the shore,
Joy, shipmate, joy.
—Walt Whitman

Source: The Walt Whitman Archive, Leaves of Grass (1881–1882) JOY, Shipmate, Joy
See also:
> Walt Whitman was born on this day in 1819 in West Hills, Long Island, New York. He died on March 26, 1892 in Camden, New Jersey.
> Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Saturday, May 31, 2008.

Posted by niganit at 7:30 PM | Comments (0)
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April 23, 2008

Happy Birthday William Shakespeare

The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation; we do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea,
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
—Portia in Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice Act 4, scene 1, 180–187

Source: Shakespeare Quotes at enotes.com The quality of mercy is not strained.
> Also: The Merchant Of Venice Act 4, scene 1, 180–187
> It is the believed to be birthday of William Shakespeare, born in Stratford-on-Avon, England in 1564. He died on April 23, 1616.
> See: Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac for Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Posted by niganit at 8:01 AM | Comments (0)
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March 9, 2008

They Shall Not Grow Old

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
— Laurence Binyon, from his poem For the fallen

Source: Australian War Memorial page: Commemoration
See also:
> Laurence Binyon's For the Fallen.
> ANZAC Day (25 April) is the most important national day of commemoration for Australians. This poem is one poem traditionally read on ANZAC Day commemorations. See the Australian War Memorial's ANZAC Day.

WashingtonPost.com's Faces of the Fallen: By age: 59-year-olds
U.S. Service members who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom

Posted by niganit at 5:06 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Australia | Poetry | Profound | Sadness

March 3, 2008

Who, if not I?

I am the wind on the sea.
I am the ocean wave.
I am the sound of the billows.
I am the seven-horned stag.
I am the hawk on the cliff.
I am the dewdrop in sunlight.
I am the fairest of flowers.
I am the raging boar.
I am the salmon in the deep pool.
I am the lake on the plain.
I am the meaning of the poem.
I am the point of the spear.
I am the god that makes fire in the head.
Who levels the mountain?
Who speaks the age of the moon?
Who has been where the sun sleeps?
Who, if not I?
—The Song of Amergin

Source: Speaking of Faith Public Radio show of Feb. 28, 2008 (and repeated on Sunday, Mar. 2, 2008) The Inner Landscape of Beauty | Program Particulars, a program interviewing the late Celtic poet John O'Donohue.
See also:
> Amergin, Amirgin, Amairgen by Dedanaan: Myth Is What We Call Other People's Religion.
> Short biographical sketch of John O'Donohue.

Posted by niganit at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Inspirational | Love | Poetry | Profound

February 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Banjo Paterson

I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just on spec, addressed as follows, "Clancy, of The Overflow"

And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
"Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are."

* * * * * * * * *

In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving "down the Cooper" where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars.

* * * * * * * * *

I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all

And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

And I somehow rather fancy that I'd like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal
--But I doubt he'd suit the office, Clancy, of The Overflow.
—A. B. (Andrew Barton) "Banjo" Paterson

Source: A.B. Paterson: Selected Poems published 1992 by Angus & Robertson Book ISBN 0-207-1726-4
> Today, Sunday, February, 17, 2008, I recited this poem to my Mom, Minna, whilst on a visit with her (and my sister, Sue and Dave) in Houston, Texas. She was filled with emotion and was well pleased. I also recited Paterson's The Man From Ironbark and Mulga Bill's Bicycle
> Today, February 17th, is "Banjo" Paterson's birthday. He was born Andrew Barton Paterson in Narrambla, New South Wales, Australia in 1864. He died in Sydney, New South Wales Australia on February 5, 1941.
See also:
> Garrison Keillor's The Wrtier's Almanac for Sunday, February 17, 2008
> University of Queensland, Australia "Banjo" Paterson's Cancy of the Overflow First published in the The Bulletin in 1889.

Posted by niganit at 5:01 PM | Comments (0)
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January 18, 2008

Who is What and What is Who

On Wednesday, when the sky is blue,
And I have nothing else to do,
I sometimes wonder if it's true
That who is what and what is who.
—Pooh (from Winnie-the-Pooh)

Source: books and writers bio of A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956
It is the birthday of A.A. Milne born London, England on this day in 1882. He died in Hartfield, Sussex, on January 31, 1956.
See also:
> Garrison Keillor's The Wrtier's Almanac for Friday, January 18, 2008

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January 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Robert W. Service, 2008 Anniversary

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.
—Robert W. Service

Source: Extract from The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service in his collection poems The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses published 1907
Today is the birthday of Robert W. Service, born in Preston, England in 1874 and died in Lancieux, C�tes-d'Armor, in Brittany, France on September 11, 1958.
It has been a tradition and an honor of mine to recite this poem (from the heart) at the campfire during our Annual Men's Gatherings, for the last 15 years at Buffalo Gap Camp, Capon Bridge, West Virgina.

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December 2, 2007

In The Yukon Wild

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.
—Robert W. Service in The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill

Source: Online copy of The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill by Robert W. Service

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August 24, 2007

Gather Rosebuds While You May

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying,
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
—Robert Herrick

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Friday, August 24, 2007
⇒ Today is the birthday of Robert Herrick, born in London in 1591. He was buried at Devon on October 15, 1674.

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July 24, 2007

Serve and Thou Shall Be Served

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself ... Serve and thou shall be served.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Source: The Power of Intention: Learning to Co–create Your World Your Way by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. Hay House 2004 ISBN 13: 978-1-4019-0216-2 (tradepaper)

WashingtonPost.com's Faces of the Fallen: By age: 37-year-olds
U.S. Service members who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

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June 20, 2007

To Attempt Tetrameter

Why, asks a friend, attempt tetrameter?
Because it once was noble, yet
Capers before the proud pentameter,
Tyrant of English. I regret
To see this marvelous swift meter
Deamean its heritage, and peter
Into mere Hudibrastic tricks,
Unapostolic knacks and knicks.
But why take all this quite so badly?
I would not, had I world and time
To wait for reason, rhythm, rhyme,
To reassert themselves, but sadly,
The time is not remote when I
Will not be here to wait. That's why.
—Vikram Seth in his The Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse

Source: Rice University's Minstrels Why, Asks a Friend, Attempt Tetrameter?
⇒ British Council: Arts, ComtemporaryWriters Vikram Seth Biography
⇒ Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Wednesday, June 20, 2007

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May 24, 2007

Smoke Rings of My Mind

Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.
—Bob Dylan in Mr. Tambourine Man

Source: Bob Dylan: Mr. Tambourine Man lyrics.
See also: It is the birthday of Bob Dylan, born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota (1941).
⇒ Wikipedia's bob Dylan.
⇒ Sony Record's BOBDYLAN.COM

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May 23, 2007

Letters We Should Have Burned

'Lives' of great men oft remind us as we o'er their pages turn,
That we too many leave behind us –
Letters that we ought to burn.
—Thomas Hood

Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Wednesday, May 23, 2007.
See also:
⇒ Wikipedia's Thomas Hood who was born on this day in London in 1799. He died on May 3, 1845 in Camberwell, England.
⇒ Consider This March 10, 2004 entry Lives Sublime quote by Longfellow.

WashingtonPost.com's Faces of the Fallen: By Age / 23-year-olds
U.S. Service members who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom

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April 25, 2007

ANZAC Day, 2007

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
—John McCrae

Source: Australian War Memorial's Commemoration customs of ANZAC Day, April 25th.
⇒ ANZAC Day - 25 April - is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and the pride they soon took in that name endures to this day.

When war broke out in 1914 Australia had been a federal commonwealth for only fourteen years. The new national government was eager to establish its reputation among the nations of the world. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies. The plan was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. They landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders.
See: Australian War Memorial The Anzac Day Tradition [Australian War Memorial]

⇒ On this Anzac Day, April 25, 2007, I honor the memory of my Uncle Fred, my Mom's brother, who served in the RAAF during World War II and his service to Australia. Years later on a visit to the states, Uncle Fred and my Dad (who served in the US Army in the Pacific Theater) comparing notes discovered that they had been in the same place in New Guinea at the same time during the War. A small world indeed!
⇒ I also honor the service of all the men and women who served in the defence of Australia, particularly the RAN naval officers and RAN public servants I had the privilege of serving with in the late 1980's at Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC.

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April 17, 2007

Oh, Such Sorrows

All sorrows can be borne, if you put them into a story.
—Isak Dinesen

It's all I have to bring today (26)

It's all I have to bring today—
This, and my heart beside—
This, and my heart, and all the fields—
And all the meadows wide—
Be sure you count—should I forget—
Some one the sum could tell—
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.
—Emily Dickinson

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Tuesday, April 17, 2007.
See also:
⇒ Online biography of Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen.
⇒ Poets.org's Emily Dickinson.

WashingtonPost.com's Faces of the Fallen: Navy Reserves
U.S. Service members who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom

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March 29, 2007

Toot a Flute

A tutor who tooted the flute,
Tried to teach two tooters to toot;
Said the two to the tutor:
“Is it harder to toot, or
To tutor two tooters to toot?”
—Anonymous

Source: Unknown
⇒ This is, however, one of my favorite limericks.

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March 20, 2007

Nothing Constant

There's nothing constant in the world,
All ebb and flow, and every shape that's born
Bears in its womb the seeds of change.
—Ovid

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Tuesday, March 19, 2007.
⇒ Ovid was born on this dayin 43 B.C. in the village of Sulmo, just east of Rome. He died in Tomis, now Constanţa AD 17.
See also:
Ovid's Metamorphosis.
⇒ On WikiPedia: Ovid's biography.

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February 27, 2007

Let Us, Then, Be Up and Doing

A Psalm of Life

What The Heart Of The Young Man Said To The Psalmist.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
    Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
    And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
    And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
    Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
    Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
    Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
    And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
    Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
    In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
    Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
    Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, act in the living Present!
    Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
    Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
    Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This is my tribute to the great American poet, Henry Wadsworth Lonfellow. Today is the 200th anniversary of his birth, having been born on February 27, 1807, in Portland, Maine. Longfellow died in Cambridge on March 24, 1882. In London his marble image is seen in Westminster Abbey, in the Poet's Corner.
⇒ See: Books & Writers short biography of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807–1882
⇒ Also: PoetryFoundation.org's Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that includes links to many of his works, including the above, A Psalm of Life.
⇒ It is also the birthday of my sweet Mother-in-Law, Ruth, who was born in Sweetwater, Oregon in 1918. Happy Birthday, Mom. I am honored to be your son-in-law.

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February 14, 2007

The Ultimate Happiness

To find a person who will love you for no reason, and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness.
—Robert Brault

Source: On Valentine's Day, 2007 on the counter at:
Java House
210 W Evergreen Blvd # 400
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 737-2925
See also:
Bob Brault, American Poet
⇒ Dedicated to my soulmate, love of my life, and Bride; Carol: my Consider This entry When My Hair is Gray? of August 12, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day to my Sweetheart, Carol, and to all my family and friends (living and dead), and to all my enemies, too! I pray you find in your life the meaning of real, true LOVE.
—Rich Wersinger, Niganit/Golden Retriever

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February 11, 2007

Twas Brillig

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.
—Lewis Carroll JABBERWOCKY (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

Source: David Shaw's Jabberwocky.com, and specifically his quoting of Carroll's poem The Jabberwocky.
See also: on Wikipedia, Jabberwocky

mark lewis doing his rendition of the CS lewis poem on YouTube.com.

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February 8, 2007

Success: A Definition

To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Source: The Best Liberal Quotes Ever: Why the Left is Right by Wlliam Martin. Sourcebooks, Inc. 2004 ISBN: 1-4022-0309-8
See also: The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

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February 1, 2007

Advice

Folks, I'm telling you,
Birthing is hard
And Dying is mean
So get yourself
Some loving in between.
—Langston Hughes &ndash Advice

Source: February 1st is the birthday of poet and novelist Langston Hughes, born in Joplin, Missouri in 1902. He died of cancer on May 22, 1967.
⇒ See: FamousPoetsandPoems.com's Langston Hughes Biography

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January 16, 2007

Happy Birthday, Robert W. Service (1874-1958)

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar
And he wore a smile you could see a mile,
and he said: "Please close that door.
It's fine in here, but I greatly fear you'll let in the cold and storm --
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee,
it's the first time I've been warm."
—Robert W. Service

Source: Extract from The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service in his collection poems The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses published 1907
Today is the birthday of Robert W. Service, born in Preston, England in 1874 and died in Lancieux, Ctes-d'Armor, in Brittany, France on September 11, 1958.
It has been a tradition and an honor of mine to recite this poem (from the heart) at the campfire during our Annual Men's Gatherings, for the last 14 years at Buffalo Gap Camp, Capon Bridge, West Virgina.

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January 8, 2007

Gotta Move

Music should be something that makes you gotta move, inside or outside.
—Elvis Presley

Source: Elvis Presley Quotes on ThinkExist.com.
Elvis was born on this day in 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. He died in Memphis, Tennessee on August, 16, 1977.
It is also the birthday of physicist, Stephen Hawking, born in 1942 in Oxford, England.

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December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve, Bandung, Indonesia

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.
—Clement Clarke Moore [or, perhaps, Major Henry Livingston, Jr.] The Night Before Christmas

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Sunday, December 24, 2006
The original title of the poem, published anonymously in a New York City paper in 1823, was Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas.
See also:
The Definitive Bibliography of the Night Before Christmas
Children world-wide track Santa Claus [English language version]as he makes his journey across the globe.
Mama and I are spending Christmas with our two Grandsons, Alex and Asher, in Bandung, Indonesia.

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December 10, 2006

After Great Pain

After great pain, a formal feeling comes
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone

This is the hour of Lead
Remembered, if outlived
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow
First Chill then Stupor then the letting go
—Emily Dickinson in her poem After great pain, a formal feeling comes

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Sunday, Dec. 10, 2006
Note: Emily Dickinson was born on this date in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1830 and died there on May 15, 1886. See Modern American Poetry's Emily Dickinson's Life

Our daughter, Mary, sings Cecak, an Indonesian lullaby

powered by ODEO and STUDIO ODEO

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October 20, 2006

Rhythmical Words

The longer I live, the more I see there's something about reciting rhythmical words aloudit's almost biologicalthat comforts and enlivens human beings.
—Robert Pinsky

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Friday, October 20, 2006

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September 4, 2006

The Old Australian Ways

US Navy photo by PH1 Bruce McVicar

PREBLE and JOHN PAUL JONES visit Portland, Oregon (Jun 10, 2006)

AEGIS Arleigh Burke class Guided missile destroyers USS John Paul Jones (DG 53) and USS Preble (DDG 88) moored in Portland for the 99th Rose Festival.

I am proud to say thatI helped build these ships when I worked at the AEGIS Program Office in the 1990's.

The London lights are far abeam
Behind a bank of cloud,
Along the shore the gaslights gleam,
The gale is piping loud;
And down the Channel, groping blind,
We drive her through the haze
Towards the land we left behind --
The good old land of `never mind',
And old Australian ways.

The narrow ways of English folk
Are not for such as we;
They bear the long-accustomed yoke
Of staid conservancy:
But all our roads are new and strange,
And through our blood there runs
The vagabonding love of change
That drove us westward of the range
And westward of the suns.
 .......
So throw the weary pen aside
And let the papers rest,
For we must saddle up and ride
Towards the blue hill's breast;
And we must travel far and fast
Across their rugged maze,
To find the Spring of Youth at last,
And call back from the buried past
The old Australian ways.

When Clancy took the drover's track
In years of long ago,
He drifted to the outer back
Beyond the Overflow;
By rolling plain and rocky shelf,
With stockwhip in his hand,
He reached at last, oh lucky elf,
The Town of Come-and-help-yourself
In Rough-and-ready Land.

And if it be that you would know
The tracks he used to ride,
Then you must saddle up and go
Beyond the Queensland side --
Beyond the reach of rule or law,
To ride the long day through,
In Nature's homestead -- filled with awe
You then might see what Clancy saw
And know what Clancy knew.
—A.B. "Banjo" Paterson, excerpted from THE OLD AUSTRALIAN WAYS

Source: A.B. Paterson: Selected Poems published 1992 by Angus & Robertson Book ISBN 0-207-1726-4
See the online version at THE OLD AUSTRALIAN WAYS

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August 28, 2006

Hear a Little Song, Every Day

One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Monday, August 28, 2006
It is the birthday of Goethe, born this day in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 1749. Goethe died in Weimar on March 22, 1832.
Read a short biographical sketch of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Posted by niganit at 7:19 AM | Comments (0)
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August 25, 2006

Give Me A Kiss

Give me a kiss, and to that kiss a score;
Then to that twenty, add a hundred more:
A thousand to that hundred: so kiss on,
To make that thousand up a million.
Treble that million, and when that is done,
Let's kiss afresh, as when we first begun.
—Robert Herrick, English Poet (1591–1674)

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Thursday, August 24, 2006
See also: Luminarium.org's Life of Robert Herrick

Posted by niganit at 8:20 AM | Comments (0)
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August 17, 2006

Sad Words

For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been.'
—John Greenleaf Whittier

Source: My wonderful bride, Carol, shared this one with me today!
See also: Selected Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) on the University of Toronto's Representative Poetry Online (RPO).
Wikipedia's article, John Greenleaf Whittier.

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August 8, 2006

I Have a Friend

Around the corner I have a friend
In this great city that has no end
Yet the days go by and the weeks rush on,
And before I know it a year has gone.

And I never see my old friend's face
For life is a swift and terrible race.
He knows I like him just as well
As in the days when I rang his bell and he rang mine.
We were younger then.

And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game;
Tired of trying to make a name.

"Tomorrow, "I say, I will call on Jim,
Just to show that I'm thinking of him."
But tomorrow comes, and tomorrow goes;
And the distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner—yet miles away—
"Here's a telegram, Sir, Jim died today."
And that's what we get and deserve in the end;
Around the corner, a vanished friend.
—Henson Towne

This poem usually appears on the Web with the following sage advice:

Remember to always say what you mean. If you love someone, tell them. Don't be afraid to express yourself. Reach out and tell someone what they mean to you. Because when you decide that it is the right time, it might be too late. Seize the day. Never have regrets. And most importantly, stay close to your friends and family, for they have helped make you the person that you are today.
—Unknown

Source: The Men's Council of Greater Washington, sponsors of the Annual Men's Gathering in 2006, at Buffalo Gap Camp in Capon Bridge, West Virginia Friday, Sep. 29—Sunday, Oct. 1.
Through the mid-1990's The Men's Council met every month (except October) in the Washington Ethical Society hall. We distributed cards with the above poem at those wonderful programs. Each meeting included a profound greeting tradition, drumming, as well as a moving and challenging program. I do so miss those endearing experiences that helped me discover the courage to find myself and reach out to men.
See also: Lori MacBlogger: Around the Corner

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August 1, 2006

Do You Prefer Fire or Ice?

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those that favor fire.
But if I had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
—Robert Frost in his poem Fire and Ice

Source: The Road Not Taken: A selection of Robert Frost's Poems with an Introduction and Commentary by Louis Untermeyer Owl Books 1985 ISBN 0-8050-0528-5 (An Owl Book: pbk.)
See also: Rice University's [minstrels] Fire and Ice -----Robert Frost with comments.

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June 13, 2006

Among Substantial Things

Could we but give us wholly to the dreams,
And get into their world that to the sense
Is shadow, and not linger wretchedly
Among substantial things.
—William Butler Yeats, from his poem The Shadowy Waters, written in 1900

Source: W. B. Yeats Dead; Famous Irish Poet NY Times obituary January 30, 1939. Yeats was born in Dublin, Ireland on this date, June 13, in 1865.
See also: Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac for Tuesday, June 13, 2006

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May 28, 2006

Memorial Day, May 2006

Dick Wersinger 1944 photo

Source: Wersinger Family Archives

DIck Wersinger: 1944 World War II in the Pacific

My Dad, Dick Wersinger, sent this photo from somewhere in the Pacific Theater to his then fiancee, Minna, in Sydney, Australia. Dad survived the war and Minna emigrated to the US in 1946. They were happily married from November 1946 until February 1992 when he passed on.

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
—Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

Source: From his poem In Flanders Field on a Web site (unofficial) devoted to Arlington Cemetery
See also the official Arlington National Cemetery Web site.

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April 10, 2006

SNIPES A Poem and Tribute

USS Stribling (DD-867) photo

Joseph Rachel Destroyer Photo Archive

USS STRIBLING (DD-867) Enters Monaco, June 1972

I served in USS STRIBLING (DD-867) from August 1970 through July 1972 as Main Propulsion Assistant. I was aboard STRIB when this picture was taken. View another photo of STRIB, with "bone in her teeth."


USS Capodanno (FF-1093) photo

US DoD

USS Capodanno (FF-1093) Underway during a MED deployment, 1988

I served in USS CAPODANNO (FF-1093) from July 1975 through July 1977 as Engineer Officer.


USS BAGLEY (FF-1069) photo

Destroyers Online

USS BAGLEY (FF-1069) Underway departing San Diego harbor, circa mid-1979

I served in USS BAGLEY (FF-1069) from July 1977 through January 1979 as Engineer Officer.

Many a poet have written sailor tales
About South Sea Isles and furious gales
So, I'll not waste your time with a tale of this type
Rather, I'll write of the sweaty, greasy snipe.

He works in his hole when the temperature is right
When the thermometer reads one twenty Fahrenheit.
There's no salt water in his blood,
Just stinking fuel oil and slimey bilge crud.

He goes to sea with visions of bright sun, and wind swept spray
But there are no hours of this in his working day.
Four hours on and eight hours off, and between, turn to and watch relief
No matter whether a boot FA or a salty Chief.

He works all hours and never tires.
And he can fix anything wih permatex and bailing wire.
When the ship pulls into port with the crew all in whites
There's a standing order for him to stay out of sight.

No bronze skin for this oily stud,
He's only time for a soggy butt and a cup of mud.
He's got a leak to fix, and a pump to pack
Before he can hit his long empty rack.

When the ship's inport and the crew's ashore
He's still in his hole sweating from very pore.
While deckapes and radiogirls are filled with glee
He must again get his engines ready for sea.

But, he's not mad, and he don't cry
He's just glad that cows don't fly.
For the fact is known both far and near
That this is the life of an engineer.
—Author Unknown

Source: I can't remember who shared this poem with me so very long ago. To this day the sweet smell of diesel engine exhaust is comforting, as it signals that the Emergency Diesel Generator has started and will soon be on the line. It means we'll have a fighting chance to recovery from yet another "drop the load" and bring the main plant back on the line and the ship underway again.
This entry is in honor of all the "Snipes" [marine engineers] who ever served at sea in a US Navy ship.
See also: USS CAPODANNO.org

 

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March 7, 2006

Busy About?

It is not enough to be busy—
So are the ants.
The question is:
What are we busy about?
—Henry David Thoreau

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March 1, 2006

Flowing Beards Are All the Go

And now while round the shearing floor the listning shearers gape,
He tells the story oer and oer, and brags of his escape.
Them barber chaps what keeps a tote, By George, Ive had enough,
One tried to cut my bloomin throat, but thank the Lord its tough.
And whether hes believed or no, theres one thing to remark,
That flowing beards are all the go way up in Ironbark.
—A.B. "Banjo" Paterson from The Man From Ironbark

Source: THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER AND OTHER VERSES e-text online by OzLit@Vicnet
The poem was first published in The Bulletin (a weekly published in Sydney, Australia) on Dec. 17, 1892.

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January 19, 2006

Nevermore Said the Raven!

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting-
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!
—Edgar Allan Poe The Raven

Source: Selected Works, The Raven at the Poemuseum.org
It is the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, born January 19, 1809 in Boston, MA, and died on October 7, 1849 in Baltimore, MD.

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August 12, 2005

When My Hair is Grey?

Wilt thou love me, sweet, when my hair is grey
And my cheeks shall have lost their hue?
When the charms of youth shall have passed away,
Will your love as of old prove true?

For the looks may change, and the heart may range,
And the love be no longer fond;
Wilt thou love with truth in the years of youth
And away to the years beyond?

Oh, I love you, sweet, for your locks of brown
And the blush on your cheek that lies --
But I love you most for the kindly heart
That I see in your sweet blue eyes.

For the eyes are signs of the soul within,
Of the heart that is real and true,
And mine own sweetheart, I shall love you still,
Just as long as your eyes are blue.

For the locks may bleach, and the cheeks of peach
May be reft of their golden hue;
But mine own sweetheart, I shall love you still,
Just as long as your eyes are blue.

As Long as your Eyes are Blue by A.B. (Banjo) Paterson

Source: Saltbush Bill, J.P. and Other Verses on WorldWideSchool.org by A.B. (Banjo) Paterson
This poem, As Long as your Eyes are Blue, was first published in the Sydney Australia newspaper, "The Bulletin," 7 Nov 1891.

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August 6, 2005

The Earth is Full of Breathless Whisperings

Only of thee and me the nightwind sings;
        Only of us the lovers speak at sea;
The earth is full of breathless whisperings
        Only of thee and me.

Only of thee and me the forests chant;
        Only of us the stir in bush and tree;
The rain and sun inform the blossoming plant
        Only of thee and me.

Only of thee and me till all shall fade;
        Only of us the world's first thought can be
For we are love, and heaven itself is made
        Only of thee and me.
—Louis Untermeyer

Source: Love Lyrics selected and edited by Louis Untermeyer Second Printing 1967 The Odyssey Press

This entry dedicated to Emily and Tim who were married this day in the Hood River valley in the shadow of Oregon's Mt. Hood. Your family and friends witnessed and affirm your love and your future.
With all our love, Rich

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July 31, 2005

In The Mutilation Mill

Oh, it isn't cheerful to see a man, the marvelous work of God,
Crushed in the mutilation mill, crushed to a smeary clod;
Oh, it isn't cheerful to hear him moan; but it isn't that I mind,
It isn't the anguish that goes with him, it's the anguish he leaves behind.
For his going opens a tragic door that gives on a world of pain,
And the death he dies, those who live and love, will die again and again.
—Robert W. Service

Source: Only A Boche poem by Robert W. Service included in Rhymes of a Red Cross Man by Robert W. Service 1916 published by Barse & Hopkins
Service is writing about World War I from the Allies point of view.

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July 17, 2005

Why Do Human Beings Kill and Injure?

Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today...

Imagine there's no countries,
It isnt hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...

Imagine no possesions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say Im a dreamer,
but Im not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will live as one.
—John Lennon

Source: Merseyworld.com's Imagine : LyricsWritten by: John Lennon Bag productions inc

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June 24, 2005

Somebody Cares

Somebody cares! What a world of woe
Lifts from our hearts when we really know
That somebody really and truly cares,
That we're in somebody's thoughts and prayers.
I want you to know, and I feel you do,
That somebody always is caring for you.
—Unknown

Source: My wonderful, caring Bride, Carol, shared this with me on Thursday, June 23, 2005, ILYWAMHAS, IAYLADHASRich

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June 8, 2005

Poetry: A Definition

If I read a book [and] it makes my whole body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.
—Emily Dickinson to Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Source: Writer's Almanac: Wednesday, June 8, 2005 by Garrison Keillor
It was on this day in 1862 that Emily Dickinson wrote to Thomas Wentworth Higginson asking him to be her friend and her advisor.

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February 15, 2005

Ants in the Lunchroom

Appearing this morning at quarter past nine
they entered our lunchroom and mustered a line.
They seemed to be dancing, or whistling a tune,
then ran out the door with a fork and a spoon.

They quickly came back for a knife and a plate,
not bothered at all by the size or the weight.
They grabbed all the glasses and cups they could find.
They bagged every bowl, leaving nothing behind.

They worked through the morning, 'til mid-afternoon,
and carried off every last saucer and spoon.
They searched every shelf and they emptied each drawer,
then pilfered the platters and dashed out the door.

They put on a truly impressive display
until they were finished and wandered away.
Although we were puzzled, we had to conclude
those ants were no dummies; they left all the food.

Source: Kiddie Thoughts: Thoughtful Poems Ants in the Lunchroom

This entry is dedicated to my friend and fellow poetry lovers Tucker and Hannah.
Tucker's Mom, Krista, shared with me the other day about how Tucker memorized this poem, and recited the entire poem at his school's poetry workshop, parents and schoolmates all. His Mom told me how splendidly he did, and that he got tremendous laughs and applause.
Hannah's Mom told me about Hannah's original poem and that she confidently and proudly recited her poem at the poetry program.
I am inspired by these two wonderful children's deep love of poetry.
Aho, Tucker and Hannah

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December 24, 2004

A Visit From Saint Nicholas

Source: NORAD's Santa Tracking 2004

Santa seen Christmas 1959

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse,
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their bed,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads,
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap...
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled -- his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his teams gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

---Clement C. Moore A Visit From Saint Nicholas

Source: A Visit From St. Nick on the New York Institue for Special Education Web site.
Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863) was the only son of Benjamin Moore, president of Columbia College and bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in New York. He was a graduate of Columbia College and got a Masters Degree from there in 1801.
Moore married Catherine Elizabeth Taylor in 1813, and they settled at Chelsea, in what was then a country estate outside New York City. "A Visit From Saint Nicholas" (1822) was written as a Christmas gift for his children.
From 1840 to 1850, he was a member of the board of managers of The New York Institution for the Blind. The school was then know as The New York Institution for the Blind. The school was located on 34th Street and 9th Avenue during that era. The school moved to Pelham Parkway in the Bronx in 1922 and it is known as The New York Institute for Special Education.

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December 4, 2004

An Instrument of Your Peace

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
---St Francis of Assisi

Source: CatholicWomen.com's Kitchen Catechism St. Francis' Prayer

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November 11, 2004

In Flanders Fields

DDG83 in heavy sea way 29 Aug 04
USS HOWARD (DDG-83) in heavy sea way
29 Aug 04, South China Sea, RAS approach
US Navy photo

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
---by LTC John McCrae, M.D. May 1915

Source: Sheryl's Holiday Site: Veterans Day
For an explanation of the poem and the significance of the poppies

This entry, made on November 11th, 2004 is to honor of all my brothers and sisters who are serving and have served honorably in defense of these United States.
In particular, I honor:
My Dad, Richard C., who served in the US Army in the Pacific Campaigns of World War 2;
My Father-in-Law, Earl, who served with the US Air Force's Eighth Air Force in the European Theater of World War 2;
My Brother-in-Law, Bill, who served in the US Navy aboard aircraft carriers during the Viet Nam era;
All my Brothers of our Men's movement and Buffalo Gap;
My late Father-in-Law, Thomas (Doc), who served in the US Navy in Alaskan waters during World War 2;
My late Mother-in-Law, Doris, who served in the US Navy Nurse Corps during World War 2. Her specialty included caring for Navy and Marine Corps amputees in the Naval Hospital, Philadelphia.
All my former shipmates with whom I served through my service in the US Navy from 1970 through 1994
And I honor my own service in the US Navy and the Naval Reserve

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October 31, 2004

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cell.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
---John Keats (1795-1821)

Source: To Autumn at About.com

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October 21, 2004

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quite sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
----John Masefield (1878-1967) (English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967)

Source: Elise's Wonderful, Inspirational Collection of Quotes, and Poetry, and Sayings

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October 2, 2004

No Man Is An Island

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
---John Donne (1572-1631)
from Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
MEDITATION XVII

Source: Wisdom of the Ages: A Modern Master Brings Eternal Truths into Everyday Life by Wayne W. Dyer
ISBN = 0-06-019231-3

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September 27, 2004

Mulga Bill's Bicycle

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;
He turned away the good old horse that served him many days;
He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen;
He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine;
And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride,
The grinning shop assistant said, "Excuse me, can you ride?"

"See here, young man," said Mulga Bill, "from Walgett to the sea,
From Conroy's Gap to Castlereagh, there's none can ride like me.
I'm good all round at everything as everybody knows,
Although I'm not the one to talk -- I hate a man that blows.
But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight;
Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a wildcat can it fight.
There's nothing clothed in hair or hide, or built of flesh or steel,
There's nothing walks or jumps, or runs, on axle, hoof, or wheel,
But what I'll sit, while hide will hold and girths and straps are tight:
I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern right straight away at sight."

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that sought his own abode,
That perched above Dead Man's Creek, beside the mountain road.
He turned the cycle down the hill and mounted for the fray,
But 'ere he'd gone a dozen yards it bolted clean away.
It left the track, and through the trees, just like a silver steak,
It whistled down the awful slope towards the Dead Man's Creek.

It shaved a stump by half an inch, it dodged a big white-box:
The very wallaroos in fright went scrambling up the rocks,
The wombats hiding in their caves dug deeper underground,
As Mulga Bill, as white as chalk, sat tight to every bound.
It struck a stone and gave a spring that cleared a fallen tree,
It raced beside a precipice as close as close could be;
And then as Mulga Bill let out one last despairing shriek
It made a leap of twenty feet into the Dead Man's Creek.

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that slowly swam ashore:
He said, "I've had some narrer shaves and lively rides before;
I've rode a wild bull round a yard to win a five-pound bet,
But this was the most awful ride that I've encountered yet.
I'll give that two-wheeled outlaw best; it's shaken all my nerve
To feel it whistle through the air and plunge and buck and swerve.
It's safe at rest in Dead Man's Creek -- we'll leave it lying still;
A horse's back is good enough henceforth for Mulga Bill."
---A. B. "Banjo" Paterson
First Published in The Sydney Mail, 25 July 1896

Source: University of Queensland (Australia) online rendition of  Mulga Bill's Bicycle
From Paterson's collection of poetry Rio Grande's Last Race and Other Verses, 1902
Placed in my heart during the weekend of Sep. 24 - 26, 2004

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September 11, 2004

Happy Birthday, Mom

Clancy of the Overflow

I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just on spec, addressed as follows, "Clancy, of The Overflow"

And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
"Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are."

* * * * * * * * *

In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving "down the Cooper" where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars.

* * * * * * * * *

I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all

And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

And I somehow rather fancy that I'd like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal
--But I doubt he'd suit the office, Clancy, of The Overflow.
---A. B. (Andrew Barton) "Banjo" Paterson

Source: University of Queensland, Australia "Banjo" Paterson's Cancy of the Overflow First published in the The Bulletin in 1889.

Posted by niganit at 12:31 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Love | Poetry | Profound

September 10, 2004

How Many Deaths?

Yes'n how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind...
---Bob Dylan

Source: An email signature that I received today, September 10, 2004
See also: Blowin' in the Wind, Lyrics

Posted by niganit at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Poetry | Profound | Sadness

September 7, 2004

Poetry and Our Soul

Poetry is the language your soul would speak
if you could teach your soul to speak.
---Jim Harrison

Source: Seen on the back of a T-Shirt in the La Terrazza restaurant, Sep. 7, 2004, Portland, Oregon, USA
See also, University of Mississippi's offering: Conversations with Jim Harrison, and
See also, Salon.com's Interview with Jim Harrison

Posted by niganit at 6:51 PM | Comments (0)
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September 2, 2004

The Parsnip

The parsnip, children, I repeat
Is simply an anemic beet.
Some people call the parsnip edible;
Myself, I find this claim incredible.
---The Parsnip by Ogden Nash

Posted by niganit at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Poetry | Silly | Teaching

August 28, 2004

Song for Kilts

How grand the human race would be
     If every man would wear a kilt,
A flirt of Tartan finery,
     Instead of trousers, custom built!
Nay, do not think I speak to joke:
     (You know I'm not that kind of man),
I am convinced that all men folk.
     Should wear the costume of a Clan.
     
Imagine how it's braw and clean
     As in the wind it flutters free;
And so conducive to hygiene
     In its sublime simplicity.
No fool fly-buttons to adjust,--
     Wi' shanks and maybe buttocks bare;
Oh chiels, just take my word on trust,
     A bonny kilt's the only wear.

'Twill save a lot of siller too,
     (And here a canny Scotsman speaks),
For one good kilt will wear you through
     A half-a-dozen pairs of breeks.
And how it's healthy in the breeze!
     And how it swings with saucy tilt!
How lassies love athletic knees
     Below the waggle of a kilt!

True, I just wear one in my mind,
     Since sent to school by Celtic aunts,
When girls would flip it up behind,
     Until I begged for lowland pants.
But now none dare do that to me,
     And so I sing with lyric lilt,--
How happier the world would be
     If every male would wear a kilt!

---Robert W. Service

Source: Robert W. Service's page on Poetry Archive | plagiarist.com

This entry dedicated to my dear, loving friend and Brother, Tom. Tom's a grand Scotsman, with a deep love of the kilt, and is undergoing back surgery in late August 2004. We wish him well, a swift recovery, and a wonderful life.
We love ye, Tom!

Posted by niganit at 10:56 AM | Comments (0)
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August 19, 2004

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead,
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
---William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Source: Bartleby.com's Great Literature Online The Oxford Book of English Verse: 12501900, When You Are Old

This entry is dedicated to my Sweet , Beautiful, and Wondrous Bride, Carol, as she celebrates her "thirty-second" birthday today. She has this Yeats poem posted on her PC monitor at home. I am joyous and grateful we share our lives together. Happy, Happy Birthday, my Sweet Bride.

Posted by niganit at 9:11 AM | Comments (2)
More like this: Poetry

July 18, 2004

If Thou Kiss Not Me?

The sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What are all these kissings worth
If thou kiss not me?
---Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet

Source: The Kiss 1992 Running Press Book Miniature Edition ISBN 1-56138-149-7
from Shelley's poem Love's Philosophy

Posted by niganit at 9:57 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Inspirational | Poetry | Profound

July 13, 2004

I Forgive You

And throughout all Eternity
I forgive you, you forgive me.
---William Blake from his poem Broken Love

Source: poemhunter.com's Broken Love by William Blake

Posted by niganit at 9:34 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Inspirational | Poetry

July 8, 2004

The Invitation

It doesnt interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your hearts longing.

It doesnt interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesnt interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by lifes betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
remember the limitations of being human.

It doesnt interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
Yes.

It doesnt interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesnt interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesnt interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

---- Oriah Mountain Dreamer, from the book The Invitation published by HarperSanFrancisco, 1999

Source: Author's Official Web site Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Posted by niganit at 7:09 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Poetry | Profound | Spiritual

July 2, 2004

Advice

Folks, I'm telling you ....
birthing is hard
and dying is mean
So get yourself
a little loving
in between.
---Langston Hughes

Source: The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes Ediors Rampersad & Roessel 1994 ISBN 0-679-76408-9

Posted by niganit at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Poetry | Profound

July 1, 2004

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
----Robert Frost

Source: Teaching with fire: poetry that sustains the courage to teach Sam M. Intrator and Megan Scribner, editors-- 1st edition 2003 published by Jossey-Bass ISBN 0-7879-6970-2 see: the Center for Teacher Formation

Posted by niganit at 2:21 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Poetry

May 12, 2004

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
The grasshopper, I mean----
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down----
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
---Mary Oliver

Source: Teaching with fire: poetry that sustains the courage to teach Sam M. Intrator and Megan Scribner, editors-- 1st edition 2003 published by Jossey-Bass ISBN 0-7879-6970-2 see: the Center for Teacher Formation

Posted by niganit at 9:51 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Poetry | Profound

March 10, 2004

Lives Sublime

Lives of Great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
----Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Posted on MrWteaches.net on Sept. 12, 2001 in honor of the heroes of that horrific day


Posted by niganit at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Famous People | Poetry