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Alyssa Underwood Jul 2016
Can it love you like God loves you, with a love that is better than life?
Can it connect you to eternal beauty? Can it save you? Can it redeem you? 
Can it lift you out of the miry pit? Can it make you clean enough to finally feel acceptable?

Can it delight your soul to the core? Can it take your breath away with its faithfulness to you? Can it paint both sunrise and sunset across the sky to beckon your attention? Can it cause the breeze to blow and gently caress your cheeks? Can it send hummingbirds and wildflowers across your path to romance your heart? Can it parade before you the starry host and call them each by name?

Can it probe you to the depths and fill you with itself?
Can it rush to your aid riding on the wings of the wind?
Can it satisfy your hunger and thirst with bountiful things?
Can it give to you feet like a deer that you might dance upon the heights?
Can it arrange every detail of your life to draw you and drive you to itself?
Can it pursue you with all the resources of the universe?
Can it know you through and through and still desire you?

Can it raise you up and seat you in the heavenly realms and bless you with every spiritual blessing? Can it supply your every need out of its glorious riches? Can its grace be sufficient for you and its mercy help you in your greatest temptation? Can it pour overflowing comfort into you through all of your troubles? Can it reach down to draw you out of deep waters? Can it set you on an unshakable foundation? Can it bound across the mountains to come to your rescue? Can it make you lie down in green pastures and lead you beside still waters?
Can it walk with you through the darkest wilderness and never leave you or forsake you? Can it carry you when you are weak or have fallen? Can it let you rest between its shoulders when you are weary or burdened?

Can it escort you to heaven’s banqueting table
and spread its banner of love over you?
Can it hide you in the shelter of its wing?
Can it be your daily portion and immerse you in the boundlessness of itself?
Can it clothe you in robes of righteousness and garments of salvation? 
Can it give to you praise in exchange for mourning?
Can it bestow on you a crown of beauty for ashes?
Can it turn your wailing into dancing?
Can it flood you with peace like a river?
Can it fill your heart with joy in the worst of afflictions?
Can it know the way to lead you home?
Can it refine you in its fire and bring you forth as gold? 
Can it capture you fully even as it sets you fully free?

Can it ever truly be your Everything?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeKgfUGtcI0
V. TO APHRODITE (293 lines)

(ll. 1-6) Muse, tell me the deeds of golden Aphrodite the
Cyprian, who stirs up sweet passion in the gods and subdues the
tribes of mortal men and birds that fly in air and all the many
creatures that the dry land rears, and all the sea: all these
love the deeds of rich-crowned Cytherea.

(ll. 7-32) Yet there are three hearts that she cannot bend nor
yet ensnare.  First is the daughter of Zeus who holds the aegis,
bright-eyed Athene; for she has no pleasure in the deeds of
golden Aphrodite, but delights in wars and in the work of Ares,
in strifes and battles and in preparing famous crafts.  She first
taught earthly craftsmen to make chariots of war and cars
variously wrought with bronze, and she, too, teaches tender
maidens in the house and puts knowledge of goodly arts in each
one's mind.  Nor does laughter-loving Aphrodite ever tame in love
Artemis, the huntress with shafts of gold; for she loves archery
and the slaying of wild beasts in the mountains, the lyre also
and dancing and thrilling cries and shady woods and the cities of
upright men.  Nor yet does the pure maiden Hestia love
Aphrodite's works.  She was the first-born child of wily Cronos
and youngest too (24), by will of Zeus who holds the aegis, -- a
queenly maid whom both Poseidon and Apollo sought to wed.  But
she was wholly unwilling, nay, stubbornly refused; and touching
the head of father Zeus who holds the aegis, she, that fair
goddess, sware a great oath which has in truth been fulfilled,
that she would be a maiden all her days.  So Zeus the Father gave
her an high honour instead of marriage, and she has her place in
the midst of the house and has the richest portion.  In all the
temples of the gods she has a share of honour, and among all
mortal men she is chief of the goddesses.

(ll. 33-44) Of these three Aphrodite cannot bend or ensnare the
hearts.  But of all others there is nothing among the blessed
gods or among mortal men that has escaped Aphrodite.  Even the
heart of Zeus, who delights in thunder, is led astray by her;
though he is greatest of all and has the lot of highest majesty,
she beguiles even his wise heart whensoever she pleases, and
mates him with mortal women, unknown to Hera, his sister and his
wife, the grandest far in beauty among the deathless goddesses --
most glorious is she whom wily Cronos with her mother Rhea did
beget: and Zeus, whose wisdom is everlasting, made her his chaste
and careful wife.

(ll. 45-52) But upon Aphrodite herself Zeus cast sweet desire to
be joined in love with a mortal man, to the end that, very soon,
not even she should be innocent of a mortal's love; lest
laughter-loving Aphrodite should one day softly smile and say
mockingly among all the gods that she had joined the gods in love
with mortal women who bare sons of death to the deathless gods,
and had mated the goddesses with mortal men.

(ll. 53-74) And so he put in her heart sweet desire for Anchises
who was tending cattle at that time among the steep hills of
many-fountained Ida, and in shape was like the immortal gods.
Therefore, when laughter-loving Aphrodite saw him, she loved him,
and terribly desire seized her in her heart.  She went to Cyprus,
to Paphos, where her precinct is and fragrant altar, and passed
into her sweet-smelling temple.  There she went in and put to the
glittering doors, and there the Graces bathed her with heavenly
oil such as blooms upon the bodies of the eternal gods -- oil
divinely sweet, which she had by her, filled with fragrance.  And
laughter-loving Aphrodite put on all her rich clothes, and when
she had decked herself with gold, she left sweet-smelling Cyprus
and went in haste towards Troy, swiftly travelling high up among
the clouds.  So she came to many-fountained Ida, the mother of
wild creatures and went straight to the homestead across the
mountains.  After her came grey wolves, fawning on her, and grim-
eyed lions, and bears, and fleet leopards, ravenous for deer: and
she was glad in heart to see them, and put desire in their
*******, so that they all mated, two together, about the shadowy
coombes.

(ll. 75-88) (25) But she herself came to the neat-built shelters,
and him she found left quite alone in the homestead -- the hero
Anchises who was comely as the gods.  All the others were
following the herds over the grassy pastures, and he, left quite
alone in the homestead, was roaming hither and thither and
playing thrillingly upon the lyre.  And Aphrodite, the daughter
of Zeus stood before him, being like a pure maiden in height and
mien, that he should not be frightened when he took heed of her
with his eyes.  Now when Anchises saw her, he marked her well and
wondered at her mien and height and shining garments.  For she
was clad in a robe out-shining the brightness of fire, a splendid
robe of gold, enriched with all manner of needlework, which
shimmered like the moon over her tender *******, a marvel to see.

Also she wore twisted brooches and shining earrings in the form
of flowers; and round her soft throat were lovely necklaces.

(ll. 91-105) And Anchises was seized with love, and said to her:
'Hail, lady, whoever of the blessed ones you are that are come to
this house, whether Artemis, or Leto, or golden Aphrodite, or
high-born Themis, or bright-eyed Athene.  Or, maybe, you are one
of the Graces come hither, who bear the gods company and are
called immortal, or else one of those who inhabit this lovely
mountain and the springs of rivers and grassy meads.  I will make
you an altar upon a high peak in a far seen place, and will
sacrifice rich offerings to you at all seasons.  And do you feel
kindly towards me and grant that I may become a man very eminent
among the Trojans, and give me strong offspring for the time to
come.  As for my own self, let me live long and happily, seeing
the light of the sun, and come to the threshold of old age, a man
prosperous among the people.'

(ll. 106-142) Thereupon Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus answered
him: 'Anchises, most glorious of all men born on earth, know that
I am no goddess: why do you liken me to the deathless ones?  Nay,
I am but a mortal, and a woman was the mother that bare me.
Otreus of famous name is my father, if so be you have heard of
him, and he reigns over all Phrygia rich in fortresses.  But I
know your speech well beside my own, for a Trojan nurse brought
me up at home: she took me from my dear mother and reared me
thenceforth when I was a little child.  So comes it, then, that I
well know you tongue also.  And now the Slayer of Argus with the
golden wand has caught me up from the dance of huntress Artemis,
her with the golden arrows.  For there were many of us, nymphs
and marriageable (26) maidens, playing together; and an
innumerable company encircled us: from these the Slayer of Argus
with the golden wand rapt me away.  He carried me over many
fields of mortal men and over much land untilled and unpossessed,
where savage wild-beasts roam through shady coombes, until I
thought never again to touch the life-giving earth with my feet.
And he said that I should be called the wedded wife of Anchises,
and should bear you goodly children.  But when he had told and
advised me, he, the strong Slayer of Argos, went back to the
families of the deathless gods, while I am now come to you: for
unbending necessity is upon me.  But I beseech you by Zeus and by
your noble parents -- for no base folk could get such a son as
you -- take me now, stainless and unproved in love, and show me
to your father and careful mother and to your brothers sprung
from the same stock.  I shall be no ill-liking daughter for them,
but a likely.  Moreover, send a messenger quickly to the swift-
horsed Phrygians, to tell my father and my sorrowing mother; and
they will send you gold in plenty and woven stuffs, many splendid
gifts; take these as bride-piece.  So do, and then prepare the
sweet marriage that is honourable in the eyes of men and
deathless gods.'

(ll. 143-144) When she had so spoken, the goddess put sweet
desire in his heart.  And Anchises was seized with love, so that
he opened his mouth and said:

(ll. 145-154) 'If you are a mortal and a woman was the mother who
bare you, and Otreus of famous name is your father as you say,
and if you are come here by the will of Hermes the immortal
Guide, and are to be called my wife always, then neither god nor
mortal man shall here restrain me till I have lain with you in
love right now; no, not even if far-shooting Apollo himself
should launch grievous shafts from his silver bow.  Willingly
would I go down into the house of Hades, O lady, beautiful as the
goddesses, once I had gone up to your bed.'

(ll. 155-167) So speaking, he caught her by the hand.  And
laughter-loving Aphrodite, with face turned away and lovely eyes
downcast, crept to the well-spread couch which was already laid
with soft coverings for the hero; and upon it lay skins of bears
and deep-roaring lions which he himself had slain in the high
mountains.  And when they had gone up upon the well-fitted bed,
first Anchises took off her bright jewelry of pins and twisted
brooches and earrings and necklaces, and loosed her girdle and
stripped off her bright garments and laid them down upon a
silver-studded seat.  Then by the will of the gods and destiny he
lay with her, a mortal man with an immortal goddess, not clearly
knowing what he did.

(ll. 168-176) But at the time when the herdsmen driver their oxen
and hardy sheep back to the fold from the flowery pastures, even
then Aphrodite poured soft sleep upon Anchises, but herself put
on her rich raiment.  And when the bright goddess had fully
clothed herself, she stood by the couch, and her head reached to
the well-hewn roof-tree; from her cheeks shone unearthly beauty
such as belongs to rich-crowned Cytherea.  Then she aroused him
from sleep and opened her mouth and said:

(ll. 177-179) 'Up, son of Dardanus! -- why sleep you so heavily?
-- and consider whether I look as I did when first you saw me
with your eyes.'

(ll. 180-184) So she spake.  And he awoke in a moment and obeyed
her.  But when he saw the neck and lovely eyes of Aphrodite, he
was afraid and turned his eyes aside another way, hiding his
comely face with his cloak.  Then he uttered winged words and
entreated her:

(ll. 185-190) 'So soon as ever I saw you with my eyes, goddess, I
knew that you were divine; but you did not tell me truly.  Yet by
Zeus who holds the aegis I beseech you, leave me not to lead a
palsied life among men, but have pity on me; for he who lies with
a deathless goddess is no hale man afterwards.'

(ll. 191-201) Then Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus answered him:
'Anchises, most glorious of mortal men, take courage and be not
too fearful in your heart.  You need fear no harm from me nor
from the other blessed ones, for you are dear to the gods: and
you shall have a dear son who shall reign among the Trojans, and
children's children after him, springing up continually.  His
name shall be Aeneas (27), because I felt awful grief in that I
laid me in the bed of mortal man: yet are those of your race
always the most like to gods of all mortal men in beauty and in
stature (28).

(ll. 202-217) 'Verily wise Zeus carried off golden-haired
Ganymedes because of his beauty, to be amongst the Deathless Ones
and pour drink for the gods in the house of Zeus -- a wonder to
see -- honoured by all the immortals as he draws the red nectar
from the golden bowl.  But grief that could not be soothed filled
the heart of Tros; for he knew not whither the heaven-sent
whirlwind had caught up his dear son, so that he mourned him
always, unceasingly, until Zeus pitied him and gave him high-
stepping horses such as carry the immortals as recompense for his
son.  These he gave him as a gift.  And at the command of Zeus,
the Guide, the slayer of Argus, told him all, and how his son
would be deathless and unageing, even as the gods.  So when Tros
heard these tidings from Zeus, he no longer kept mourning but
rejoiced in his heart and rode joyfully with his storm-footed
horses.

(ll. 218-238) 'So also golden-throned Eos rapt away Tithonus who
was of your race and like the deathless gods.  And she went to
ask the dark-clouded Son of Cronos that he should be deathless
and live eternally; and Zeus bowed his head to her prayer and
fulfilled her desire.  Too simply was queenly Eos: she thought
not in her heart to ask youth for him and to strip him of the
slough of deadly age.  So while he enjoyed the sweet flower of
life he lived rapturously with golden-throned Eos, the early-
born, by the streams of Ocean, at the ends of the earth; but when
the first grey hairs began to ripple from his comely head and
noble chin, queenly Eos kept away from his bed, though she
cherished him in her house and nourished him with food and
ambrosia and gave him rich clothing.  But when loathsome old age
pressed full upon him, and he could not move nor lift his limbs,
this seemed to her in her heart the best counsel: she laid him in
a room and put to the shining doors.  There he babbles endlessly,
and no more has strength at all, such as once he had in his
supple limbs.

(ll. 239-246) 'I would not have you be deathless among the
deathless gods and live continually after such sort.  Yet if you
could live on such as now you are in look and in form, and be
called my husband, sorrow would not then enfold my careful heart.

But, as it is, harsh (29) old age will soon enshroud you --
ruthless age which stands someday at the side of every man,
deadly, wearying, dreaded even by the gods.

(ll. 247-290) 'And now because of you I shall have great shame
among the deathless gods henceforth, continually.  For until now
they feared my jibes and the wiles by which, or soon or late, I
mated all the immortals with mortal women, making them all
subject to my will.  But now my mouth shall no more have this
power among the gods; for very great has been my madness, my
miserable and dreadful madness, and I went astray out of my mind
who have gotten a child beneath my girdle, mating with a mortal
man.  As for the child, as soon as he sees the light of the sun,
the deep-breasted mountain Nymphs who inhabit this great and holy
mountain shall bring him up.  They rank neither with mortals nor
with immortals: long indeed do they live, eating heavenly food
and treading the lovely dance among the immortals, and with them
the Sileni and the sharp-eyed Slayer of Argus mate in the depths
of pleasant caves; but at their birth pines or high-topped oaks
spring up with them upon the fruitful earth, beautiful,
flourishing trees, towering high upon the lofty mountains (and
men call them holy places of the immortals, and never mortal lops
them with the axe); but when the fate of death is near at hand,
first those lovely trees wither where they stand, and the bark
shrivels away about them, and the twigs fall down, and at last
the life of the Nymph and of the tree leave the light of the sun
together.  These Nymphs shall keep my son with them and rear him,
and as soon as he is come to lovely boyhood, the goddesses will
bring him here to you and show you your child.  But, that I may
tell you all that I have in mind, I will come here again towards
the fifth year and bring you my son.  So soon as ever you have
seen him -- a scion to delight the eyes -- you will rejoice in
beholding him; for he shall be most godlike: then bring him at
once to windy Ilion.  And if any mortal man ask you who got your
dear son beneath her girdle, remember to tell him as I bid you:
say he is the offspring of one of the flower-like Nymphs who
inhabit this forest-clad hill.  But if you tell all and foolishly
boast that you lay with ric
Jason Leimer Dec 2010
The hills over this rocky strech of road are greener,
that contain the things I want in life.
Success, a happy family, you name it.
I am wanting greener pastures. But it is going to take some time like a press conference for Obama
announcing his latest economic plan. Yes the greener pastures are coming its just tough right now to wait for it.
Jack May 2014
What if life
was filled with greener pastures
and their fragrance
came rolling down like summer breeze
Would you smile
and lie right here beside me,
hold me close,
make true my wildest dreams

In these fields
of vibrant greener pastures
close your eyes
and hear the trees upon the hill
Sunny skies
and everything that matters,
here I lie with you
and I always will
Marco Buschini Dec 2016
Into the wonderment of your autumnal mind.
Where the skin of your grief sheds its leaves.
Is the song of your sea bound into colourful light?
The Shepherd breaches the flock of your dreams,
And the pastures breathe a sigh of relief,
As your tears of morning dew
Glisten the parched landscape.
Does your bouquet of *****
Lay wistfully in the wilderness?
The skies of blue that reside in your eyes
Serenades the coming of the tide,
Harvesting the fruit of our labour of love.
Is this a wind of smile that turns into a voyage of valiancy?
A flock of thoughts liberated with a cry of exclamation
As your fears of autumn blue
Are exiled into the rapacious wind.
Lilly Gibbons Nov 2014
Today a thought or two sped into center stage,
Disguising the space that surrounds the seas,
What if the lands we ran from were where we ought to be?
What if the green leaves of summer could no longer be seen,
Autumn colors only reminders of pastures in a dream.
Birds singing unfamiliar songs, ones we had never heard,
Yes, it is great to be part of the new but it isn't as new as it seems.
Dave, John and Mary have been here before,
Sure didn't they talk about it in the times?
No, that was some other folk, turning memories into sweet rhymes.
You weren't the first to open the door, spreading wisdom, giving new hope.
Remember all lands were founded so play in them how you may,
All of these pastures were built for your pleasure,
New characters created each day.
Its not that you are less special then all who have gone before.
No, you have a purpose, so use it, adding blocks to the core.
In memory of Seamus and Thomas, sing out to all who will listen,
Give them your whole hearted vision
Explain that a pasture isn't a prison.
DEW Jun 2016
I've cried here...
haven't we all?
Did the tears dry on the
face?
Were they swept away by shaking
hands?
Were they evidence of void
plans?
Relax... come here and
walk these moonlit pastures.
The galaxy swirling above
swallows not only our planet,
but our disappointments, too,
if only for a night.
Think of how
tears aren't always the martyrs of
tragedy;
they can be the heroes of a
celebration.
Maybe... that's what we always cry
about.
In those moments when time does
stop,
as our hearts threaten to
pop,
maybe it's all the joy
bottlenecked.
The release of agony into
elation,
or the release of love into
transcendence.
As the sun invades the night,
carrying with him wondrous light,
watch the pastures transform.
The waters will sparkle.
The flowers will bloom and
the grass will glow green with envy.
The sky will turn a joyous blue.
When you cry, this also will happen to
you.
Sometimes (very rarely) films make me shed a tear.
It's usually at that moment of the ******, where the hero/protagonist has just achieved their dream or have been shattered by a realization of their own tragedy.

I've read that if a character goes through a trauma and doesn't cry, you will cry for them, but if they do cry, you don't feel the empathetic urge to do so.

The one tear rolls down my face and such sorrows capture my soul. It has to be a good movie, though, like almost perfect, at which point, it's more than just the moment that motivates the tear, it's the entire symphony of the movie. The movie "Jack", featuring Robin Williams, about a boy who ages 4 times faster than a normal human always comes to mind. I saw it when I was a kid and I don't want to see it again because it's so sad.

I don't know if it's because I'm brought to such powerful emotion, or if it's because my tear-ducts are so weak/sensitive, because in the winds of winter, or if I rub my eye, I end up tearing up for an hour, or until I wash my eyes. It really *****. If not the tear-ducts, I suppose I'm a very empathetic person.

Anyway, thank you for reading.

Enjoy!

DEW
Alyssa Underwood Nov 2015
Can it love you like God loves you, with a love that is better than life?
Can it connect you to eternal beauty? Can it save you? Can it redeem you?
Can it lift you out of the miry pit? Can it make you clean enough to finally feel acceptable?

Can it delight your soul to the core? Can it take your breath away with its faithfulness to you? Can it paint both sunrise and sunset across the sky to beckon your attention? Can it cause the breeze to blow and gently caress your cheeks? Can it send hummingbirds and wildflowers across your path to romance your heart? Can it parade before you the starry host and call them each by name?

Can it probe you to the depths and fill you with itself?
Can it rush to your aid riding on the wings of the wind?
Can it satisfy your hunger and thirst with bountiful things?
Can it give to you feet like a deer that you might dance upon the heights?
Can it arrange every detail of your life to draw you and drive you to itself?
Can it pursue you with all the resources of the universe?
Can it know you through and through and still desire you?

Can it raise you up and seat you in the heavenly realms and bless you with every spiritual blessing? Can it supply your every need out of its glorious riches? Can its grace be sufficient for you and its mercy help you in your greatest temptation? Can it pour overflowing comfort into you through all of your troubles? Can it reach down to draw you out of deep waters? Can it set you on an unshakable foundation? Can it bound across the mountains to come to your rescue? Can it make you lie down in green pastures and lead you beside still waters? Can it walk with you through the darkest wilderness and never leave you or forsake you? Can it carry you when you are weak or have fallen? Can it let you rest between its shoulders when you are weary or burdened?

Can it escort you to heaven’s banqueting table
and spread its banner of love over you?
Can it hide you in the shelter of its wing?
Can it be your daily portion and immerse you in the boundlessness of itself?
Can it clothe you in robes of righteousness and garments of salvation?
Can it give to you praise in exchange for mourning?
Can it bestow on you a crown of beauty for ashes?
Can it turn your wailing into dancing?
Can it flood you with peace like a river?
Can it fill your heart with joy in the worst of afflictions?
Can it know the way to lead you home?
Can it refine you in its fire and bring you forth as gold?
Can it capture you fully even as it sets you fully free?

Can it ever truly be your Everything?
~~~
Woody Jun 2018
I still dream of my father
crossing the pastures
on his one-eyed tractor
mowing acres of sorrow
heading east of a moon
that'll be gone tomorrow
turning one last time as
if to say: so long my son
there’s going to be days
of sunshine and plenty
more of rain as he went
along his way, and my
sadness waved back like
grain in fields of long past
summers and summers
before that, so long a time
ago I can remember only
on lonely nights of heat
lightning and the low
rumble of distant thunder.
A nice surprise on this Monday evening.  Thank you all very much for your reading and very nice comments. Please know that I appreciate all of you and your kind words. Thank you.

* To Ravinder Kumar Soni: Opinion entitled to and noted. Thanks for taking the time to read.
Rolling down St. John's Heritage Highway
after Sean, my grandson's birthday party
I belt out my pioneer song with vigor
echoing across the vast beauty,
wide open, sacred spaces
pristine vistas

Norman Rockwell cows grazing
in bygone pastures happily
moo along

Driving past the yellow deer crossing sign
Florida woodlands giddyap near the edge of the road
long brown antlers prancing to
a timeless rhythm

I hope and pray that I can somehow
kindle a spark of appreciation
in my niece and grandsons
so that they may behold
the baffling greatness
and mystery that is our universe

These young'uns are mighty attached to the
virtual reality, world and landscape
of computer technology

A sprinkling of cowboy stars flash
an omnipresent wink
Sunset bonfire explodes across
the frontier horizon

Turning the corner onto Emerson Drive
smoldering scarlet orange embers
reflecting lights
shoot fireworks, launch rockets
through an ever expanding field of vision
Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries - roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time's measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay - how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
She said, ‘You are funny, the way you set yourself up the moment we arrive. You look into every room to see if it’s suitable as a place to work. Is there a table? Where are the plugs? Is there a good chair at the right height? If there isn’t, are there cushions to make it so? You are funny.’
 
He countered this, but his excuse didn’t sound very convincing. He knew exactly what she meant, but it hurt him a little that she should think it ‘funny’. There’s nothing funny about trying to compose music, he thought. It’s not ‘radio in the head’ you know – this was a favourite expression he’d once heard an American composer use. You don’t just turn a switch and the music’s playing, waiting for you to write it down. You have to find it – though he believed it was usually there, somewhere, waiting to be found. But it’s elusive. You have to work hard to detect what might be there, there in the silence of your imagination.
 
Later over their first meal in this large cottage she said, ‘How do you stop hearing all those settings of the Mass that you must have heard or sung since childhood?’ She’d been rehearsing Verdi’s Requiem recently and was full of snippets of this stirring piece. He was a) writing a Mass to celebrate a cathedral’s reordering after a year as a building site, and b) he’d been a boy chorister and the form and order of the Mass was deeply engrained in his aural memory. He only had to hear the plainsong introduction Gloria in Excelsis Deo to be back in the Queen’s chapel singing Palestrina, or Byrd or Poulenc.
 
His ‘found’ corner was in the living room. The table wasn’t a table but a long cabinet she’d kindly covered with a tablecloth. You couldn’t get your feet under the thing, but with his little portable drawing board there was space to sit properly because the board jutted out beyond the cabinet’s top. It was the right length and its depth was OK, enough space for the board and, next to it, his laptop computer. On the floor beside his chair he placed a few of his reference scores and a box of necessary ‘bits’.
 
The room had two large sofas, an equally large television, some unexplainable and instantly dismissible items of decoration, a standard lamp, and a wood burning stove. The stove was wonderful, and on their second evening in the cottage, when clear skies and a stiff breeze promised a cold night, she’d lit it and, as the evening progressed, they basked in its warmth, she filling envelopes with her cards, he struggling with sleep over a book.
 
Despite and because this was a new, though temporary, location he had got up at 5.0am. This is a usual time for composers who need their daily fix of absolute quiet. And here, in this cottage set amidst autumn fields, within sight of a river estuary, under vast, panoramic uninterrupted skies, there was the distinct possibility of silence – all day. The double-glazing made doubly sure of that.
 
He had sat with a mug of tea at 5.10 and contemplated the silence, or rather what infiltrated the stillness of the cottage as sound. In the kitchen the clock ticked, the refrigerator seemed to need a period of machine noise once its door had been opened. At 6.0am the central heating fired up for a while. Outside, the small fruit trees in the garden moved vigorously in the wind, but he couldn’t hear either the wind or a rustle of leaves.  A car droned past on the nearby road. The clear sky began to lighten promising a fine day. This would certainly do for silence.
 
His thoughts returned to her question of the previous evening, and his answer. He was about to face up to his explanation. ‘I empty myself of all musical sound’, he’d said, ‘I imagine an empty space into which I might bring a single note, a long held drone of a note, a ‘d’ above middle ‘c’ on a chamber ***** (seeing it’s a Mass I’m writing).  Harrison Birtwistle always starts on an ‘e’. A ‘d’ to me seems older and kinder. An ‘e’ is too modern and progressive, slightly brash and noisy.’
 
He can see she is quizzical with this anecdotal stuff. Is he having me on? But no, he is not having her on. Such choices are important. Without them progress would be difficult when the thinking and planning has to stop and the composing has to begin. His notebook, sitting on his drawing board with some first sketches, plays testament to that. In this book glimpses of music appear in rhythmic abstracts, though rarely any pitches, and there are pages of written description. He likes to imagine what a new work is, and what it is not. This he writes down. Composer Paul Hindemith reckoned you had first to address the ‘conditions of performance’. That meant thinking about the performers, the location, above all the context. A Mass can be, for a composer, so many things. There were certainly requirements and constraints. The commission had to fulfil a number of criteria, some imposed by circumstance, some self-imposed by desire. All this goes into the melting ***, or rather the notebook. And after the notebook, he takes a large piece of A3 paper and clarifies this thinking and planning onto (if possible) a single sheet.
 
And so, to the task in hand. His objective, he had decided, is to focus on the whole rather than the particular. Don’t think about the Kyrie on its own, but consider how it lies with the Gloria. And so with the Sanctus & Benedictus. How do they connect to the Agnus Dei. He begins on the A3 sheet of plain paper ‘making a map of connections’. Kyrie to Gloria, Gloria to Credo and so on. Then what about Agnus Dei and the Gloria? Is there going to be any commonality – in rhythm, pace and tempo (we’ll leave melody and harmony for now)? Steady, he finds himself saying, aren’t we going back over old ground? His notebook has pages of attempts at rhythmizing the text. There are just so many ways to do this. Each rhythmic solution begets a different slant of meaning.
 
This is to be a congregational Mass, but one that has a role for a 4-part choir and ***** and a ‘jazz instrument’. Impatient to see notes on paper, he composes a new introduction to a Kyrie as a rhythmic sketch, then, experimentally, adds pitches. He scores it fully, just 10 bars or so, but it is barely finished before his critical inner voice says, ‘What’s this for? Do you all need this? This is showing off.’ So the filled-out sketch drops to the floor and he examines this element of ‘beginning’ the incipit.
 
He remembers how a meditation on that word inhabits the opening chapter of George Steiner’s great book Grammars of Creation. He sees in his mind’s eye the complex, colourful and ornate letter that begins the Lindesfarne Gospels. His beginnings for each movement, he decides, might be two chords, one overlaying the other: two ‘simple’ diatonic chords when sounded separately, but complex and with a measure of mystery when played together. The Mass is often described as a mystery. It is that ritual of a meal undertaken by a community of people who in the breaking of bread and wine wish to bring God’s presence amongst them. So it is a mystery. And so, he tells himself, his music will aim to hold something of mystery. It should not be a comment on that mystery, but be a mystery itself. It should not be homely and comfortable; it should be as minimal and sparing of musical commentary as possible.
 
When, as a teenager, he first began to set words to music he quickly experienced the need (it seemed) to fashion accompaniments that were commentaries on the text the voice was singing. These accompaniments did not underpin the words so much as add a commentary upon them. What lay beneath the words was his reaction, indeed imaginative extension of the words. He eschewed then both melisma and repetition. He sought an extreme independence between word and music, even though the word became the scenario of the music. Any musical setting was derived from the composition of the vocal line.  It was all about finding the ‘key’ to a song, what unlocked the door to the room of life it occupied. The music was the room where the poem’s utterance lived.
 
With a Mass you were in trouble for the outset. There was a poetry of sorts, but poetry that, in the countless versions of the vernacular, had lost (perhaps had never had) the resonance of the Latin. He thought suddenly of the supposed words of William Byrd, ‘He who sings prays twice’. Yes, such commonplace words are intercessional, but when sung become more than they are. But he knew he had to be careful here.
 
Why do we sing the words of the Mass he asks himself? Do we need to sing these words of the Mass? Are they the words that Christ spoke as he broke bread and poured wine to his friends and disciples at his last supper? The answer is no. Certainly these words of the Mass we usually sing surround the most intimate words of that final meal, words only the priest in Christ’s name may articulate.
 
Write out the words of the Mass that represent its collective worship and what do you have? Rather non-descript poetry? A kind of formula for collective incantation during worship? Can we read these words and not hear a surrounding music? He thinks for a moment of being asked to put new music to words of The Beatles. All you need is love. Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away. Oh bla dee oh bla da life goes on. Now, now this is silliness, his Critical Voice complains. And yet it’s not. When you compose a popular song the gap between some words scribbled on the back of an envelope and the hook of chords and melody developed in an accidental moment (that becomes a way of clothing such words) is often minimal. Apart, words and music seem like orphans in a storm. Together they are home and dry.
 
He realises, and not for the first time, that he is seeking a total musical solution to the whole of the setting of those words collectively given voice to by those participating in the Mass.
 
And so: to the task in hand. His objective: to focus on the whole rather than the particular.  Where had he heard that thought before? - when he had sat down at his drawing board an hour and half previously. He’d gone in a circle of thought, and with his sketch on the floor at his feet, nothing to show for all that effort.
 
Meanwhile the sun had risen. He could hear her moving about in the bathroom. He went to the kitchen and laid out what they would need to breakfast together. As he poured milk into a jug, primed the toaster, filled the kettle, the business of what might constitute a whole solution to this setting of the Mass followed him around the kitchen and breakfast room like a demanding child. He knew all about demanding children. How often had he come home from his studio to prepare breakfast and see small people to school? - more often than he cared to remember. And when he remembered he became sad that it was no more.  His children had so often provided a welcome buffer from sessions of intense thought and activity. He loved the walk to school, the first quarter of a mile through the park, a long avenue of chestnut trees. It was always the end of April and pink and white blossoms were appearing, or it was September and there were conkers everywhere. It was under these trees his daughter would skip and even his sons would hold hands with him; he would feel their warmth, their livingness.
 
But now, preparing breakfast, his Critical Voice was that demanding child and he realised when she appeared in the kitchen he spoke to her with a voice of an artist in conversation with his critics, not the voice of the man who had the previous night lost himself to joy in her dear embrace. And he was ashamed it was so.
 
How he loved her gentle manner as she negotiated his ‘coming too’ after those two hours of concentration and inner dialogue. Gradually, by the second cup of coffee he felt a right person, and the hours ahead did not seem too impossible.
 
When she’d gone off to her work, silence reasserted itself. He played his viola for half an hour, just scales and exercises and a few folk songs he was learning by heart. This gathering habit was, he would say if asked, to reassert his musicianship, the link between his body and making sound musically. That the viola seemed to resonate throughout his whole body gave him pleasure. He liked the ****** movement required to produce a flowing sequence of bow strokes. The trick at the end of this daily practice was to put the instrument in its case and move immediately to his desk. No pause to check email – that blight on a morning’s work. No pause to look at today’s list. Back to the work in hand: the Mass.
 
But instead his mind and intention seemed to slip sideways and almost unconsciously he found himself sketching (on the few remaining staves of a vocal experiment) what appeared to be a piano piece. The rhythmic flow of it seemed to dance across the page to be halted only when the few empty staves were filled. He knew this was one of those pieces that addressed the pianist, not the listener. He sat back in his chair and imagined a scenario of a pianist opening this music and after a few minutes’ reflection and reading through allowing her hands to move very slowly and silently a few millimetres over the keys.  Such imagining led him to hear possible harmonic simultaneities, dynamics and articulations, though he knew such things would probably be lost or reinvented on a second imagined ‘performance’. No matter. Now his make-believe pianist sounded the first bar out. It had a depth and a richness that surprised him – it was a fine piano. He was touched by its affect. He felt the possibilities of extending what he’d written. So he did. And for the next half an hour lived in the pastures of good continuation, those rich luxuriant meadows reached by a rickerty rackerty bridge and guarded by a troll who today was nowhere to be seen.
 
It was a curious piece. It came to a halt on an enigmatic, go-nowhere / go-anywhere chord after what seemed a short declamatory coda (he later added the marking deliberamente). Then, after a few minutes reflection he wrote a rising arpeggio, a broken chord in which the consonant elements gradually acquired a rising sequence of dissonance pitches until halted by a repetition. As he wrote this ending he realised that the repeated note, an ‘a’ flat, was a kind of fulcrum around which the whole of the music moved. It held an enigmatic presence in the harmony, being sometimes a g# sometimes an ‘a’ flat, and its function often different. It made the music take on a wistful quality.
 
At that point he thought of her little artists’ book series she had titled Tide Marks. Many of these were made of a concertina of folded pages revealing - as your eyes moved through its pages - something akin to the tide’s longitudinal mark. This centred on the page and spread away both upwards and downwards, just like those mirror images of coloured glass seen in a child’s kaleidoscope. No moment of view was ever quite the same, but there were commonalities born of the conditions of a certain day and time.  His ‘Tide Mark’ was just like that. He’d followed a mark made in his imagination from one point to another point a little distant. The musical working out also had a reflection mechanism: what started in one hand became mirrored in the other. He had unexpectedly supplied an ending, this arpegiated gesture of finality that wasn’t properly final but faded away. When he thought further about the role of the ending, he added a few more notes to the arpeggio, but notes that were not be sounded but ghosted, the player miming a press of the keys.
 
He looked at the clock. Nearly five o’clock. The afternoon had all but disappeared. Time had retreated into glorious silence . There had been three whole hours of it. How wonderful that was after months of battling with the incessant and draining turbulence of sound that was ever present in his city life. To be here in this quiet cottage he could now get thoroughly lost – in silence. Even when she was here he could be a few rooms apart, and find silence.
 
A week more of this, a fortnight even . . . but he knew he might only manage a few days before visitors arrived and his long day would be squeezed into the early morning hours and occasional uncertain periods when people were out and about.
 
When she returned, very soon now, she would make tea and cut cake, and they’d sit (like old people they wer
Marian Apr 2015
Down a peaceful, quiet lane
The two-story farmhouse awaits
Bathed in evening hues
Of rich lavenders, pinks,
And dusty apricot
The lilac scented breezes blow
Whispering stories of summer
Let me dance in pastures
Of buttercups and wild daisies
Where horses graze contentedly
And Virginia bluebells sway
Where time becomes stuck
And lets me live this golden moment
Just once more

**~Marian~
Dedicated to a farmhouse I saw
For sale today online...I really liked it,
So I wrote this poem about it!! :)
It's been awhile, guys,
So I thought I would write something
Today and post it!! ~~~<3
Enjoy!! :)
Francis Duggan Aug 2010
It's cold in Duhallow this morning and the fields that were green yesterday
Lay chilled to the frost that the night brought a cover of silvery gray
And the little dunnock on bare hedgerow too cold and too hungry to sing
On **** branch he perch sad and silent the hardship that January can bring.

The robins and sparrows by back door like beggars they wait to be fed
In hope that when breakfast is eaten the housewife might throw out some bread
With no thought for song or for nesting their battle is to stay alive
How many will live to see April the Winter so hard to survive?

The first heavy snows of the Winter have fallen on the higher ground
On Clara, Shrone and Caherbarnagh the hills are so white all around
The blackbird and thrush on the bare branch their feathers fluffed against the chill
And hare has come down to the lowland there's nothing to eat on the hill.

But I can remember the bright days when sun shone on the leafy tree
And robins and thrushes and finches piped in the woods of Knocknagree
And to her nest on barn rafters the sparrow brought feathers and hay
And out on the dandelion meadow the pipit sang all through the day.

Young calves and young lambs in green pastures were full of the frolics of Spring
And joy too had come to the river the song of the dipper did ring
And moorhen was out with her babies and she chirped loud if human was near
Her first lesson to them survival to teach them the meaning of fear.

It's cold in Duhallow this morning the thrush silent on the bare tree
And gray on the fields and the hedgerows and gray over all Knocknagree
But I can remember the bright days when nesting birds piped all the day
And hedgerows and woodlands and meadows smelt sweet with the blossoms of May.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
A thousand peaks: no more birds in flight.
Ten thousand paths: all trace of people gone.

In a lone boat, rain cloak and hat of reeds.
An old man’s fishing the cold river snow.

I am alone in this mountain fastness, on a steep downward path in the deepest shadow. I play with the twelve characters of Lui Tsung-yaun’s poem. How few poems tell of the desolation of winter. The coming of Spring, the passing of Autumn? Yes. But the onset of Winter? Even my sharp memory only recalls a meagre handful of poems to this season: the time of the first snows. Against all good sense I set out from Stone Village too late in the year: now I search for comforting word images to accompany me on this journey. Just below the snowline I pass through a stunted forest of ancient walnut trees almost leafless; the unrelenting wind has dispatched them crinkled brown into the valley below. I see there a winding river. I see its distant lake. I think of this poem known since my teenage years, puzzled over that one could see in one sweep of the horizon a thousand peaks. Here are that thousand and more if the ranks of limestone pillars in these mountains can be counted as peaks. I count them as peaks. And those thousand paths? At every turn there is some fresh way falling into the valley, or a faint trail rising to the heights. But this path I tread asserts itself on the traveller. Its stones are worn and the excrement of passing pack animals sticks to my boots.

Last night a cave, tonight I will reach the village of Psnumako. My former guide provided its name with a disdain he could not hide. When questioned he warned me not to enter without a stout staff against the mastiffs that guard each house, supposedly ******* during the day but apt to break their bonds at the smell of a stranger.

The steep and ever steeper descent brings pain to my knees. At this hour of the day my body would prefer to climb to the heights, but descend I must. The cold, the damp cold begins to stiffen weary limbs. I am tired from a day’s travel, tired from three hard climbs, two descents and this, my third, to complete before nightfall. I enter a narrow gorge loud with clamour of running water, cascade upon cascade flowing from the heights, falling fast to the river soon to interrupt my path. I shall have to force a crossing. What passed for a bridge were two fallen pines lashed together.  Now they lie akimbo a little distant, thrown apart like sticks by the spring flood as the deep snows melt. I must divest myself of boots and lower garments and wade across, stumbling on stones up to my waist in swift waters, terrified under the weight of my pack that I will fall and be swept under and along. To travel alone at such moments is foolhardy, but on this cold afternoon I have no choice.

I am so intent on preparing for this crossing it is only when I reach the end of the path that I notice snow is falling, its flakes sharp and white against the dark-water flow. The whirl and turn of the water mesmerises. Fatigue, fatigue embraces me, a day’s fatigue holds me fast on the river’s stony side. I close my eyes and hear the water rush and place myself into the protection of a mountain charm learnt from a passing traveller. Dwarfed by the size of his burden I see him negotiate a narrow path high above a chasm; he walked trance-like to the intoning of this charm.

It is soon done, the cold crossing, and with a lighter step I walk the remaining leagues to the lake-side and sight of the village. There are the faintest sparks of light amongst the silhouettes of houses. Animals are being brought in from the home fields against the night. A sudden shout, the barking of dogs, and now the snow falls thick and fast.

The guttural dialect here is barely discernable as speech. We are from different worlds this shepherd and I who meet at the stupa guarding the village entrance. This is not a Buddhist shrine but an acknowledgement of some mountain giant of terrifying aspect. The shepherd sees my official insignia and nods, knowing I will require shelter. He utters what may be a welcome, but could be a warning, and leads me forth. The mastiffs leap and bay as I pass between the primitive two-storey houses, animals below, humankind above. He disappears. I stop and wait. He returns with a woman who beckons me to climb the ladder to what may be her home. A widow perhaps? She is alone unless the rank darkness hides a man or child. But there is none. I hear animals move and grunt under the floor, a mat of dirt and straw. There is a sleeping loft, a cooking corner. I can see little else. But I am out of the snow, the biting wind, the cold. She pulls at my cloak, wet and caked with ice. There is a bowl placed in my hands; a rough tea. I speak a greeting, but there is no reply just a rustle of straw as she moves across the room.

The stupor of a journey’s pause is upon me. After three days on the trail to the heights I am numb with fatigue. I need food and sleep. I need rest before a final trek into the wilderness. Beyond Psnumako Lake known paths end. Except for the tracks used by shepherds to move their flocks to different seasonal pastures, there is wilderness. I hope for guidance, for the whereabouts of the sages who, in the winter months I am told, leave their reed huts on the heights for caves in the lower valleys. I shall be patient, remain here a little while. I am now immune to the discomfort and dirt of travel. That is how it is. That is how is must be. I miss only the mental absorption of writing, the caress of the brush on a scroll. In my home in Louyang I keep brush and paper close to hand; wherever I may be I can write, even in, especially in, the privy. If a line comes to me I can write it down. Here there is only the comfort of memory.

To think that in the past I wrote of this mountain wilderness out of my imagination and the descriptions of others. I once thought of these remote places as havens of spiritual liberation.

In the hills there is the sound of zither.
White clouds stay over shaded peaks,
Red flowers shine in the sunlit woods
Rocks are washed in the stream like jade;

How very different is the reality of it all; in this emerging winter world of mist, where the sun rarely visits and most living things have departed, where wind colours silence and one’s footfall becomes consolation. The sound of stone rubbing stone on the path is the eternal present. There have been days when only a distant crow moves in the landscape. Lammergeyers are known in these parts, but I have yet to see one. If there are wild beasts, they shun me.

As this bowl of tea cools in my hands but warms my frozen fingers I form pictures of the past day on its dark surface. Before dawn from the mouth of a river cave I sensed changes in the qualities of darkness that have hidden the heights above me. Then a perceptible line appeared and divided the mountain from the sky. That line became variegated; there were trees bristling on the highest rocks. It appears that at this hour the prevalent mist settles in the valleys leaving the sky clear.

The woman comes to me. She kneels to untie my boots. She looks with a curious innocence at my strangeness, the distortion of my face, the cleft palette, the deformed upper lip, the squint of my left eye. She is kindly as I give her my best smile though my face seems frozen still. There is a whisper, a prayer of welcome possibly. Then she bows her head, unravels a long scarf to reveal a mane of oiled hair, and sets about removing my boots. I see only the top of her head, a severe parting, hair held tightly in wooden combs. I close my eyes to bring to mind the image of Xaoli, so slight in comparison, her butterfly hands flittering into and around my sleeves, her seeing touch mapping out the extent of me, each piece of clothing, only later my face.

My reverie is broken by the entrance of two men. They squat behind the woman and, after taking in my ugliness and my hairpins of office, patiently wait for her to finish and retire. We stand and bow, then sit again amongst the straw.

‘Honoured Lord, I am Yun. You have travelled from Stone Village? And beyond?’

I pass him the Emperor’s seal he cannot read, but remain silent.

‘You are seeking those who live in the heights? The village only sees their servants, young boys sent for a goat or flasks of barley spirit. They bring herbs our women favour. Some have seen their huts when seeking lost animals. Now it is said they are gathered in the caves like animals waiting for the spring moon.’

‘When was the village last visited by their kind?’

‘ Hanlu, my Lord, the time of cold dew, two boys appeared with a pony. There was trading. They brought Chrysanthemum flowers and herbs for two geese and wine. They left scrolls for passage to Stone Village. Now the snows fall we may not see them until the Spring’

‘How far are your summer pastures? Have you any who would guide me there ?’

‘We do not seek these places after the first snows. The sages haunt the region beyond Chang Mountain. Before the 11th moon you might pass into the valley of Lidong where it is believed their caves lie, but to return before the Spring will not be possible.’

‘How many days there?’

‘Allow four. A difficult way, unmarked, rarely trodden, much climbing. There is one here who we could send with you – part of the way, and at a price, My Lord. Dahan travelled two seasons since as groom to a party of six with ponies, but then in late Spring.’

‘I will stay three days.’

‘Just so My Lord. Xiu Li will see to your wishes.’

And they depart, Yun’s companion has remained silent throughout, though searched my face continually. By the door he places his hand against the stout bag that carries my lute. ‘Guqin’, he says tenderly.

This instrument is my pass to the community of the reclusive. I am renown for my songs and their singing. My third-best guqin has not left its bag since Stone Village and I fear damage despite all my care on the path.

Later, as the village mastiffs gradually cease their baying as the quarter moon rises I take this instrument and place it across my lap. Its seven silk strings I wipe with a cloth and gently tune with its tasselled pegs. I then prepare myself through meditation to avoid the intrusion of distracting thoughts. With my eyes closed I allow my hands to seek out and name each part of guqin: from the Forehead of the Top Board, to the String Eyes, the Dew Collector, The Mountain, Shoulder and Phoenix Wings, past the Waist, the Hat Lines and the Dragon’s Beard, to the Dragon’s Gums and thence to the Inner Top Board. I can feel the Pillar of Heaven – the sound post – has moved a little in my recent travels. So too the Pillar of Earth – but with care I move both to their rightful positions. And so on naming the inner and outer parts of each of the two boards that make up the guqin. I begin to regulate my breathing and allow the fingers of my left hand to stroke and touch, to press and oscillate in the manner of vibrato. Zhoa Wenji describes twenty-three kinds of vibrato. I feel in turn each of the hui, the thirteen gold studs that mark the harmonic nodes and allow me to play the guqin by touch alone. In these moments of preparation I hear the words of my teacher: a good player makes sounds that are plentiful but not confused. As the moon reflecting on water, so the sounds are together but not combined. Like wind in the pines, they are combined but also spread out. Such sounds are valued for their lightness. Avoid the addition of inappropriate  "guest" sounds. This is the refined theory of the guqin. To be knowledgeable about music, one must seek this, then one can realize its beauty.

I have tuned to the Huangzhong mode. The song *Amidst Mountains Thinking of an Old Friend
I have brought to mind. I recall the words of The Slender Hermit who says of this piece that its interest lies in holding cherished thoughts, but having no way to tell these to anyone. There are emotions about the present time, longings and laments for the past, but there is no way to express any of this. And so this piece.

In this poor reed hut the room is filled with mist and haze,
how far away are the things I love;
the old plum tree seems exhausted, its flowers about to die,
the mountains are lonely and I am nostalgic for past times.
The moon shines brightly on this lovely evening,
from this distance I think of my old friend and wonder where he is.
The green of the mountains never fades,
but before I know it my hair will turn white;
the moon is waning and flowers wither,
Old friend, I dream constantly of meeting you.
How hard it is to recall the joy of our last meeting!
With the many mountain ranges,
and its hidden tigers and coiled dragons,
I am unable return to you in Chang An.
The road is distant, the tall trees make the road dark,
and the world is vast.

I mourn Aquila and Lyra
separated by the Milky Way like the cowherd and weaving girl,
on the ground we are separated by 1,000 li
in the sky we are each in a separate place,
though our passions remain strong
There has been no warm correspondence,
there is restraint to the bright harmony,
and the flowing streams are swallowed by the setting sun.


The thought of this song of mid autumn touches me before its words have issued from my lips. I play the last two lines in harmonics and sing.
Zuo Si was the brother of the courtesan and poet Zuo Fen. This short story is based on a chapter from my novel Summoning the Recluse. The opening poem appears in a translation by David Hinton from his collection Mountain Home.
On the green pastures of tranquil peace
And prosperity may my soul famished
Ever be laid, to be fed and sated . . .

May my heart parched find solace
Beside the brook of goodness still
And cool, and my emptiness refill . . .

Serenity for trouble, joy for sorrow:
Let singing boughs bear the barren
Figs--bringing forth fruit of wren . . .

Arrow aimed at a flying sparrow,
Man must live not by bread alone.
He gains heaven that hell doth disown.
Lilly Gibbons Apr 2015
Today a thought or two sped into centre stage,
Disguising the space that surrounds the seas,
What if the lands we ran from was where we were supposed to be?
What if the green leaves of summer could no longer be seen?
Autumn colours were only reminders of pastures in a dream.
The birds singing unfamiliar songs, ones we had never heard,
Yes, it is great to be part of the new but it isn't as new as it seems.
Dave, John and Mary have been here before,
Sure didn't they talk about it in the times.
You weren't the first to open the door,
Spreading wisdom to foreign kinds.
Remember all lands were founded so play in them how you may,
All of these pastures were built for your pleasure,
New characters created each day.
Its not that you are less special then all who have gone before.
No, you have a purpose, so use it, adding blocks to the crumbling core.
In memory of seams and Thomas, sing out to all who will listen,
Give them your whole hearted vision,
Explain that a pasture isn't a prison.
Stu Harley Jan 2013
large herds of caribou
as much as one million strong
spooked and frighten
by the seasonal changes and
being triggered
by their intincts
flow across the frozen tundra
organic life in full bloom
while the weak old and young
become prey for the meat eaters
finally we merged into greener pastures
Madouc Oct 2014
When I in foreign pastures lay,
Upon the soft and starlit ground
Cradled softly in the arms
Of night and all she brings along.
I watched the silent creatures fly
Carried high in summer's breath
Gently rocked from side to side
Forever carried in the wind.
Tonight reminds me yet again
Of that fair night so long ago
When drifting through sleeps gentle grasp
I dreamt of angels wings and followed
Their voices soft as child's play
Until upon your fair brow fastened
My eyes. You took my breath away.
I stood and stared for minutes. Hours!
Until the gentle light of dawn
The waking sun began to glow
And stole from me, so bittersweet
The memory of your sleeping face.
But now before me in the flesh
Shining you stand, fully awake
Your face in changed, but heart remains.
Just like that night in foreign pastures
As I counted the stars within your eyes.
CK Baker Apr 2017
i had a dream
i was flying
in the arms
of this grande old kite
and we drifted through canyons
and across flowered fields
over endless pastures
and restless seas

i looked down
somewhere near
the haldimand half-point
and saw friends
and patrons
smiling
while the busy keepers
of oasis
were singing
and loosening their vowels

familiar faces
were everywhere
and it was warm
and serene
they were charting courses
and building dreams
laying praise
untarnished by imposing views
and as much as i tried
i couldn’t express my gratitude

when i woke
i was lying
with an angel
at my back
whose eyes
were wide
and blue
and her words came crystal clear;
kindness will not be sold

and as i turned
to reach her hand
the rain had gathered
and washed away
a stain
For Jack and May
Show me the other side
Where the grass grows wild,
Over the fence
I go hunting,
For the rainbow
Fresh after the rain,
Washed away
The stains
From my jeans,
Faded tattered
One more hole
Not my pocket
Frayed cuffs
Come undone
I'm running,
Into the thick
Muddy rivers
Splashing happy,
There's no *** of gold
But I'm still golden;
Blue skies
Color me
Into the sloping hills
I've come to frolic
These are
Greener pastures...
© okpoet
Julian Mar 2019
Tantalized by the fractious limerence of a vestigial habiliment of the old order, we conclude that hypertrophy leads to a limbo where random permutations alloyed by the rickety limits of concatenation subsume concepts that are equivocal but populate the imaginations of newfangled art forms that jostle the midwives of rumination to lead to unique pastures that are intuitively calibrated to correspond to definitive unitary events in conceptual space that sprawl unexpectedly towards the desultory but determinative conclusion of a meandering ludic sphere of rambunctious sentiments cobbled together to either rivet the captive audience or annoy the peevish criticaster when they dare to inseminate the canvassed and corrugated tract of intellectual territory created ad hoc to swelter the imagination with audacious ingenuity that is an inevitable byproduct of lexical hypertrophy. In this séance with the immaterial realm of concept rather than the predictable clockwork reductivism of a perceptual welter that is limited by the concretism circumscribed by spatiotemporal stricture we find that an extravagant twinge of even the smallest tocsin in the interstitial carousel of conscientious subroutines compounding recursively to pinprick the cossetted smolder of potentiality rather than extravagate into the vacancy of untenanted nullibiety can spawn a progeny of utilities and vehicles for dexterous abstraction that poach the exotic concepts we fathom by degrees of sapience malingering in lifeless bricolages of erratic abstraction in manners useful to transcend the repose of abeyance and heave awakening into the slumberous caverns of still-life to make them dynamically animated to capture ephemeral events that defy the demarcations of wistful indelicacy of the encumbered bulk of insufficient precision.

Today we embark on a quest to defile the anoegenetic recapitulation of canon that litters the dilapidated avenues of miserly contemplation that has a histeriological certainty and feeds the engines that enable novelty but ultimately remain rancid with the stench of the idiosyncratic shibboleths of synoptic alloyed impoverishment that leads to the vast wasteland of cremated entropy that is a stained foible of misappropriated context interpolated usefully as botched triage for daunting problems that require a nimble legerdemain of facile versatility that we easily adduce to conquer the present with the botched memorial of a defunct salience. Despite the travail of scholars to retreat from the frontier into the hypostatized hegemony of recycled credentialed information, we often are ensnared by the solemn attrition of decay as we traverse the conceptual underpinnings of all bedrock thought only to dangle precariously near the void of lapsed sentience because of transitory incontinence that is contiguous to the doldrums of crudity but nevertheless with mustered mettle we purport that the very self-serious awakening to our hobbling limitations is akin to a prosthetic enhancement of ratiocination capable of feats that stagger beneath the lowest level of subtext to elevate the highest superordinate categorization into heightened scrutiny that burgeons metacognitive limber. Marooned in the equipoise of specifiable enlightenment countermanded by the strictures of working memory we can orchestrate transverse pathways between the elemental quiddity of impetuous meaning and the dignified tropes of transitivity that bequeaths entire universes with feral progeny that modulate their ecosystems with both a taste of approximated symmetry and a cohesive enterprise for productivity that rests on the granular concordance of the highest plane to the indivisible parcels of atomic meaning that solder together to exist as intelligible if strained by the primordial frictions guaranteed by the brunt of motion incipient because of the metaphorical inertia created within insular universes to inform sprawling conurbations of mobilized thoughts designed to reckon with the breakneck pace of the corresponding reality to which they explicitly and precisely refer to.

We must singe surgically the filigrees that amount to the perceptible realities that transmute temperaments into the liturgy of routine conflated with the rigmarole of neural dragnets of reiterative quips in an elegant game of raillery with our supernal contumacy against the rigid authority of aleatory vagaries mandated by a dually arbitrary universe in a probabilistic terpsichorean dance with the depth of our dredge for subliminal acuity or the shallow bellicosity of common modes of glib contemplation characteristic of the basic nobility of improvisation. This basic interface with the world can either be mercurial or tranquil based on the interactionism of the enfeebled trudge of surface senses or blunt intuitions and the smoldering impact of the vestigial cloaks that deal gingerly with the poignant subtext evoked in the cauldron of immediacy rather than pondered with the portentous weight of imperative singularities of uniqueness derived from the plunge into the arcane citadel of microscopic introspection so refined that the ineffable drives we seek to fathom become amenable to the traipse of transcendental time that rarefies itself by defying the brunt of compartmentalized bureaucracies administered by the fulcrum of stereotypical notions of acquired gravitas imputed to mundane pedestrian quidnunc concerns that defile humanity rather than embolden the subaudition of gritty punctilios that show the supernal powers of the axiomatic divinity of sharpened sentience to reign with supremacy over the baser ignoble components of bletcherous nescience that leads to knee-**** platitudes that provoke folksy peevish divisions. We should rather orchestrate our activity by heeding the admonishment about the primogeniture of poignant sabotage buffered by the remonstration of innate tranquility and finding a whipsawed compromise of rationalization with true visceral encounters with the fulgurant quips of brisk emotions that grind industriously into amorphous retinues of the trenchant human imagination to either equip or hobble the leapfrogged interrogation of veracity and more consequently our notions of truth and fact.

When we see the hackneyed results of default ecological dynamics, we find ourselves aloof from purported transcendence because the whimpered bleats and cavils of the importunate masses result in a deafening din of cacophony because we strive throbbing with sprightliness towards the galloped chase of tantalization without the luxury of a terminus for satiation. Obviously a growth mindset is the galvanic ****** that spawns the imaginative swank of the pliable modulations of our perceived reality that, when protean, showcase the limitless verve of our primordial cacoethes for epigenetic evolution rather than the stolid and staid foreclosure of impervious sloth that memorializes the gluttony of speculation about fixed entities rather than imperative jostling urbanity that dignifies the brackish dance with dearth and the exuberant savory taste of momentary excess because it engages the animated pursuit of limerence rather than the exhumed corpse of wistful regret. Nature is a cyclical clockwork system of predatory instinct met with the clemency of the prosperous providence enacted by the travailing ingenuity of successive cumulative generativities that compounded unevenly and unpredictably to predicate a fundamental zeitgeist calculated to engorge the fattened resources of the resourceful and temper the etiolated dreams of the fringed acquiescence of a hulking prejudiced population of dutiful servants that balk at the diminutive prospects of a lopsided distribution of talent and means but slumber in irenic resolve created by the merciful hands of defensive designs that configure consciousness to relish comparative touchstones rather than absolute outcomes that straggle beyond a point of enviable reference to shield the world of the barbarism of botched laments clamoring for an uncertain grave from the gravity of the orbiting satellites of apportioned wealth both sunblind and boorish but simultaneously inextricable from the acclimated fortune of heaped nepotism and herculean opportunism. The intransigence of the weighted destiny of inequity is a squalid enterprise of primeval abrasive and combative tendencies within the bailiwick of the indignant compass inherent to the system that fathoms its deficiencies with crabwise and gingerly pause but airs a sheepish grievance like a bleat of self-exculpation but simultaneously an arraignment of fundamental attribution erroneously indicted without the selfsame reflexiveness characteristic of a transcendent being with other recourses to clamber an avenue to Broadway without malingering in the slums of opprobrious ineffectual remonstration against the arrangement of a blinkered metropolis of uneven gentrification.

We flicker sometimes between the strategic drivel of appeasement and the candor of audacious imprecation of the culprits of indignity or considerate nutritive encomium of the beacons of ameliorated enlightenment because we often masquerade a half-witted glib consciousness lazily sketched by the welters of verve alloyed with the rancid distaste of squalor and slumber on the faculty of conscientious swivels of prudential expeditions with an avarice for bountiful considered thought and wily contortions of demeanor that issue the affirmative traction of adaptive endeavor to cheat a warped system for a reconciled peace and a refined self-mastery. We need to traduce the urchins that sting the system with pangs of opprobrious ballyhoo and the effluvia of foofaraw that contaminate with pettifoggery and small-minded blather the arenas better suited for the gladiatorial combat of cockalorums tinged with a dose of intellectual effrontery beyond the span of dogmatism rather than the hackneyed platitudes that infest the news cycle with folksy backwardation catered to the fascism of a checkered established press that urges insurrection while tranquilizing dissent against the furtive actions of consequence hidden behind the draped verdure of pretense whose byproduct is only a self-referential sophistry that swarms like an intractable itch to devolve the spectator into a pasquinaded spectacle of profound human obtuseness that pervades malignantly the system of debate until the reductionists outwit themselves with the empty prevarication of circular logic that deliberately misfires to miss the target of true importance because of the pandered black hole easily evaded by creatures of high sentience but inevitably ensnaring the special kind of dupe into a cycle of bellicose ferocity of internecine balkanization. The vainglory of the omphalos of entertainment is also another reckoning because it festers a cultural mythos of glorified crapulence parading a philandered promiscuity with half-baked antics that gravitate attention and the lecheries of gaudy tenses of recycled tinsel alloyed by debased aberrations of seedy grapholagnia that magnetize as they percolate because of the insidious catchphrases embedded in pedestrian syncopation that ignite retention and acclimate to mediocrity the sounds of generations discolored by faint pasty rainbows rather than ennobled by majestic landscapes of ignipotent mellifluous sound that stands a supernal amusement still for the resourceful trainspotter.

Despite the contumely aimed in the direction of contrarians for deviating from the lockstep clockwork hustle of stooped pandered manipulation that peddles the wares of an entirely counterfeit reality, I stand obstinately against the melliferous stupefaction of entire genres of myth and subcultures huddled around the sentimental tug of factitious sophistries regaled by thick amorphous apostates that cherish the vacuous sidetracked spotlight with fervor rather than pausing on the enigmatic querulous inquisition about the penumbras that lurk with strained effort beneath or above the categorical nescience of the shadowy unknown that often coruscates with elegance even in obscurity. I fight with labored words to spawn a psychological discipline that invokes the incisive subaudition of the pluckily pricked exorcism of true insight from the husk of buzzwords that constellate auxiliary tangential distractions from the art form of psychological discernment that predicates itself on the concept that the rarefaction of rumination by degrees of microscopic precision enables the introspective hindsight of conscious events that can be parsed without the acrimony of cluttered conflations of the granular prowess of triumphant ratiocination that earns a panoramic perch with the added luxury of perspicacious insight into the atomic structure of the rudiments of our phenomenological field and the abstractions that linger beyond perceptual categorization. When we analyze the gradients of anger, for example, we can either be ****** into a brooded twinge of wistful resentment or we can decipher that through heuristics designed to cloister the provenance of subconscious repose with ignorance there exists a regimented array of tangential accessories embedded deep within the cavernous repository of memory that designates a cumulative trace of compounded symmetries of concordant experience immediately perceptible because of the tangible provocateur of our gripes and the largely subliminal tusk that protrudes because of primal instinct that squirms with peevishness because of the momentary context preceded by the desultory churn of smoldering associations swimming with either complete intangible sputtered mobility through the tract of subconscious hyperspace or rigidly fixated by an arraignment of circumstances with propinquity to the deep unfathomed flicker of bygones receding or protruding because of the warped and largely unpredictable rigmarole of constellated spreading activation.  
When we examine the largesse of the swift recourse of convenience we forget by degrees the travail that once bridged the span of experience from patient abeyance in provident pursuit to now the importunate glare of inflated expectations for immediacy that stings the whole enterprise of societal dynamics because it vitiates us with a complacency for the filigrees of momentary tinsel of a virtualized reality divorced from the concretism that used to undergird interaction and now stands outmoded as a wisp beyond outstretched hands straggling beyond the black mirror of a newfangled narcissistic clannishness that shepherds the ostentation of conceit to a predominant position that swaddles us with fretful diversion that operates on a warped logic of lurid squalor and pasty trends becoming the mainstays of a hypercritical linguistic system of entrapment based on the apostasy of candor for the propitiation of fringed aberration because of the majoritarian uproar about touchy butthurt pedantic criticasters with a penchant for persnickety structuralism. With the infestation of entertainment with the ubiquitous political cavils engineered by the ruling class to have a common arena of waggish irreverence we forget that sometimes the impetuous ****** of propaganda is cloaked by the fashionable implements of a rootless time writhing in a purported identity crisis only to gawk at the ungainly reflection of modernity in the mirror and remain blissfully unaware about the transmogrified cultural psyche that feeds the lunacy of endless spectacle based on the premise that one singular whipping post can unite an entire generation of miscegenated misfits looking for commonality to team up against the aging generations that cling to the sanctity of cherished jingoism against the intentionality of a revamped system that malingers with empty promises using exigency and legerdemain to obscure the mooncalves among their ranks that march on with quixotic dreams that tolerate only the idea of absolute tolerance and moderate only when feasibly permitted by the anchored negotiation of the fulcrum of totemic governmental responsibility between factions that wage volleys of invective at each other to promote a binary choice of vitiated compromises of mendaciloquence that ultimately endanger the republic with either the perils of hidebound conventionalism and nativist fervor or the boondoggles of fiscally irresponsible insanity cloaked with rainbows and participation trophies. Reproach can be distributed to both sides of the aisle because ironically in a world where gender is non-binary the most important reproductive ***** in the free world is a binary-by-default despotism that polarizes extremely ludic fantasies on the left met with the acrimony of the traditionalisms on the right that staunchly resist the fatuous confusions of delegated order only to the sharp rebuke of the revamped political vogue that owes its sustenance to a manufactured diplomacy of saccharine lies and ubiquitous lampoons that are lopsided in the direction of a globalist neoliberal bricolage of moderately popular buzzwords and the trojan horse of insubordinate flippant feminism that seeks to subvert through backhanded manipulation the patriarchy so many resent using lowbrow tactics and poignant case studies rather than legislating the egalitarian system into law using the proper channels. I myself am a political independent who sides with fiscal conservatism but libertarianism in most other affairs because the pettifoggery of law-and-order politics is a diatribe overused by sheltered suburbanites and red meat is often just as fatuous as blue tinsel and sadly in a majoritarian society the ushers of conformity demand corporate divestiture in favor of an ecological system of predictability rather than an opinionated welter of legitimate challenges to a broken system of backwards partisanship and wangled consent. Ultimately, I remain mostly apolitical, but I am a fervent champion of the mobilization of education to a statelier standard that demands rigor and responsibility rather than the chafe of rigmarole that understates the common objectives of humanity and rewards conventional thinking and nominal participation to earn credentialed pedigree when the bulk of talent resides elsewhere.
Jessie Nov 2012
I find that
Freckles seem to make the strangest shapes.

I find that I lose myself
With the connect the dots game
On your face.
I count three on your neck
Below your soft forest of hair.
A pointed constellation.
I imagine inside the freckle triangle,
It says: kiss here.
And kiss you I do.

I find that
Your freckles tell me where to travel with my lips.
I am going down down down
And now there's goosebumps.
Ah, the land is not fallow yet.
Further and further.
One dot, two dots, small dots, big dots.

I find that
My mouth is growing warm with
The taste of your pastures
Enveloping it.
I am hungry.

I find that
The land further down is bare.
A desert.
No more freckles to follow.
I look up for the first time,
And there you are,
Gasping for air.

My turn.
ryn Jan 2015
I feel your heart's heavy
and your mind trailing off to places
I'm not allowed to go...
- Dajena M


My body...
Lays battered under unforgiving weather
I amble forth with unsure
In search of pastures much greener

My face...
Wears my despair
Mirrors wouldn't recognise
Reflecting back a faceless stare

My eyes...
Stung red with tears
Conveying the murmurs from my soul
Clouded by despondence that never clears

My limbs...
Bent awkward with time
Arms hang lifeless; legs sore from bearing
Load of my past of crime

My mind...
Trails in the wake of fallen dreams
Searching for an oasis
Instead finding only brackish streams

My soul...
Holds the weight of an anvil
Still I trudge to the farthest reaches
Through barren lands where all is still

My heart...
Yet beats with rhythm so true
It keeps me alive
It gifts to me...

**you...
Line take off Dajena M's "I... is hier", for Frank Ruland's, "Let's Do A Line!" challenge.

I am big fan of Dajena's poems and very much inspired by the depth of her writes.

I chose the line I did because I could relate to the message being conveyed. More often than not, we get caught in a place where we're left with only questions. We know the "what" but not the "why", "when" and "how". We only know so much therefore we can only afford to speculate. Then poem just wrote itself.

Thank you so much Ms. D for your continuous support and being such an inspiration!
Styles May 2014
Dreadlock Rasta;
No like informa,
No like imposta,
**** smoke; burning da trees
Mango scented leaves,
Burnt grapefruit scented breeze.
Wolly mammoth size locks,
Steal wool, *****, tied in a knot,
Jamaican colors wrap tie; sitting on top.
I and I, believe it or not.
No woman no cry,
No problem;
Him cool as a rock.
Charles Dickens by his side,
Studying stanzas, deciphering plots.
Prayer's meeting;
meditation- never stop.
Water’s blue waves,
Fresh fish after 12’o clock.
Under the bridge, find my spot.
By his sweet Sugarcane from,
Miss Parker Sugarcane shop
Burning a spliff, because the ****
is his only green; pastures plot.
Mary Jane, his only queen be,
Never leaving he; love him or not.
Hal Loyd Denton Nov 2012
We know not the times or the gifts that are ours specifically and unequally you see someone at a
Distance walking through a pastoral scene away and down a hill at first by voice recognition you
Know who he is this grandfatherly figure brings a flood of feelings and moods to brush your soul
With the telling of wonder of intimate days and moments you have shared so often you smile as
He naps quietly and then a night comes where for one reason or another you get involved and the
Whole night is used for this activity the next day being Saturday you relax and in the late afternoon
You at first just set for what you think is a moment but the previous night delightfully and pleasantly
Catches up with you sleep affords you this non cumbersome trip of ease and you awaken and it is dark
At first groggy disoriented just like in a dream this logical but off answer is provided then you finally
Figure out what is going on what surprise and pleasure to know you have been ambushed by a slight
Tiredness that robed you in sweet bliss then trimmed it in solace you stir yourself and do minor things
Until it’s the bed time hour but instead of the normal lights out its turn away from the computer shut off
The television **** all the lights but one and then just purposely luxuriate in the soft amber glow it
Provides set the rudder to take you to sweet wonder as you drift to unspoken destinations these are
Truly simple joys where the need to be careful comes in we know even creation and all its splendors are
Fragile a great rush of water with four feet of foam froth and power charges down it has a twin that is
Separated by this mass of rock that rises upwards of fifty feet the water falls over it in a different way
These strings of water that cover the face from one side to the other and they are accompanied with the
Sweetest mist so you have this forked water show on both sides of powerful water all this glory of white
Power rushing then falling and then the center piece contrasted to this sense such power and mass and
The water is shear as it tenderly descends the mist is truly natures kiss the sound is the embrace the
Engulfing privilege we possess and own as humans but this could be harmed and ruined in so many sad
Ways thats why we are extraordinarily careful we want to preserve it for all times as human beings my
Friends we also can by indifference and lack of understating can harm friends that in their own right
Are spiritual streams that come from great spiritual head waters that were pristine and then one greater
Than all of us caused such harm and destruction in the purist place a garden I wrote and posted Fertile
Ground the great mind of Lincoln said in his day and he meant it for all of our history a nation as great as
Ours can and must be sustained yes our armies and navy are a part but in his speech He says if
“Destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher as a nation of freemen we must
Must live through all time or die by suicide what constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and
Independence it is not our frowning battlements our bristling sea coasts the guns of our war steamers
Or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army these are not our reliance against the resumption of
Tyranny in our fair land all of them may be turned against our liberties without making us stronger
Or weaker for the struggle our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms our
Defense is in the preservation of the spirit that prizes liberty as the heritage of all men in all lands
Everywhere destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around you own doors
Familiarize yourselves with the chains of ******* and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them
Accustomed to trample on the right of those around you you become the fit subjects of the first cunning
Tyrant who rises” sound words of wisdom that benefit all men we can’t release our responsibility and
Expect a continuance of our freedom this is careful part of this piece Thomas Jefferson had this to say “I
Tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and his justice cannot sleep foe ever” what more
Prized possessions do you own than family and friends but if we deny and ignore our duty to be men
And women of righteousness how can we complain when civil authority in all manners deteriorates it
Can stand on no higher moral ground than we the people ourselves maintain we are the streaming
Waters of good or bad that flows through relationships ungodliness is a reproach to any nation by their
Fruits they will be known like it or not eat sins treats fine but know this the soul that sins it shall surely
Die it is a law an all living and loving father died to make sure no one could be a tyrant over you only
Yourselves hold that power every devil in hell can assault you but never can he claim victory until he
Sees the white flag of righteousness flying and it is saying I surrender my life of freedom bought by the
Pure sacrificial lamb God’s own son you could practically tell he was human they whipped him with a cat
Of nine tales with metal and bone he struggled down the Via Dolorosa each step declared your freedom
The song says He could have called ten thousand angels and it wasn’t nails that held your Savior to that
Cruel cross he had the ability to see everyone of us he knew how bitter and hard life would be if you
Walk it without him He said my burden is light and my yoke is easy it might sound obscure today but it is
Just as real walk beyond his love in disobedience and you will be punished by the god of this world and
Then he will take you to his fiery home as his subject I wrote before you are his greatest trophy he has
You on display in his lair because you are the greatest treasure God has not golden streets
You fist loved me and my brothers and sisters the tears that I cry in private it says this is doing the work
Of the savior increase my tears and sorrow because too many of them are hurting and know not your
Comfort lost in a savage world not any longer their own a usurper took them captive love replaced by
Cruelty is their lot if they could only see your painful longing as you look for them to come home every
Day they would truly break ties to this fallen world and fly to your presence they believe the lie that they
Have it figured out what sadness they are left with and they never have tasted your sweet spirit they
Mistake the boundless love they feel as if it were your spirit of intimacy outward love doesn’t reach
Inner depths satisfying to the point one person who cried stop no more I will die his love is truly deeper
Than the sea even the universe and Carl Sagan a man of science he was an American astronomer
Astrophysicist cosmologist author science popularizer science communicator sounds impressive but the
Reality he had an assistant and she had to be brilliant to a degree to be working with him but she was
More she was a born again Christian many were the years she loved and sought to help him not to just
Love the Cosmos but love the one who made them her persistence was to no avail you can make a god
Of many things even science how tragic he can be a warning guard your heart and you will preserve your
Soul

Going to include Fertile Ground that includes Streaks of Jefferson and Most Hated Twins I put on there
Lincoln said we should read such things

This important if you haven’t read it

Fertile Ground
O thou great Jefferson in whom dwelled the fidelity of a nation of free men.
Thy secretes can be viewed as we watch you live and breathe the life of a grand Virginia planter
When one is a student of nature and observes its subtle lessons becomes its master and ally. The next
Step of going to lead men is reasonable when taken into count the natural gifts that were refined in
Quiet fields and hills in lengthy times of treasured solitude that is not to say there won’t be difficulties
But to a merchandiser of lofty thoughts this is of little consequence. There are issues that must be
Divined through the protracted business of hard arduous study. Man’s soul drifts in and out of the valley
And hills taking unconsciously truths that exist they are everywhere but can be buried in life’s clamor.
To purposely walk across a field with your with your senses open will usher you into a place quiet
Unsettling if you are one who is uneasy in your own thoughts because the vistas will allow your mind to
Extend it to the far reaches ordinary thoughts will jump over conventional restraints and give you
Profound insights Jefferson graduated from this school of higher learning for this very important time
This man of stature arose he flung freedom’s door wide open walked through set down at his desk and
Masterfully penned immortal words, to this day time hasn’t diminished any of their importance or there
Revered excellence this document would go unparalleled in type and execution, in forming the basis for
Human conduct it would forever alter the landscape that that had existed before its grand arrival.
The stinginess of former centuries were at long last over the mind had finally
Liberated the body the willingness to do for one’s self had taken the lead there was no
Turning back, these actions would recommend them as a people. Their credentials intact now they were
Ready for the world stage a new birth of nobility walked into the human condition and it wasn’t
In the least bit hesitant to speak thoughts that had long been silenced.
The trouble today stems from the lack of understanding we have about the truth,
Of what oppression would be unleashed if our form of government would be allowed to be dissolved we
Love the dream but deplore the reality. That this system will only work when we are involved. It has a
Built in detection device, you can’t use its rewards without paying it back with service.
The results will be contagious you will be left with a weak sickly government.
The remedy simple everyone has to be its central guardian.
This does not mean that it is weak this was the way it was created it is as strong as you
Are willing to have it know this it will always be dependent on human involvement.
We might not like it but we are making a choice freedom will be loosed or bound by our decision.
The product that we deal with is very supple and ever changeable it becomes whatever form you pour it
Into this is in accordance with its nature it also is a gauge of those that handle its virtues and shows if
You have had reverence or contempt. You will be left with honor or disgrace did you carry forth the gift
Or allow it to waver the children of the next generation are watching.
Streaks of Jefferson
In freedom’s blessed glorified sky through streaks of immortal gold his visage we behold
He looks upon the fields of liberty that he and the founding fathers sowed he sees the
Richness America has become he also beheld her struggles catastrophic wars abroad
And the most painful the one that divided the nation marred it with southern and northern
Blood saw the affable the sad giant Lincoln take the reins of discontent hold them by
Shear will and with uncommon sagacity guided it back in line to fulfill its destiny as the
Powerful fount that would always pour forth waters of freedom for all of earths peoples
Total unconditional acceptance of liberty and all the fruit it bears to establish a
Government like no other this golden grain has waved under bluest skies and brightest
Sun light its rich harvest has gone to darkest prison cells Mandela was sustained by it
For twenty nine years and by its moral purity it fed the lives of those that over threw
Apartied and Mandela finally freed by principals it avows rose from prison clothes
To wear the mantle of president of his country and the honor of the man instilled
Quality that transcended political office Jefferson not to be disrespectful to his progeny
Whispers today’s politicians could do well to look on this African model of good
Stewardship of public trust with that Jefferson faded back into the mist pray that’s
Not the fate of this country
Most hated twins
Who are these two desperate characters revered but feared by all
To make their acutance few will volunteer those who know them well
All can tell by the drawn face and the tears that swell the pool where wisdom has her rule
Achievers welcome them as honored guest they withstood the test now they the richest blest
At mornings first blade of light they strike with all their might they the quickest to fight
Timorous to afraid how many have dwelt by waters undying well only to die unfulfilled
But others tried and they fell the well is to deep its where darkest shadows creep
We will be lost in these new surroundings the familiar there will be water there too
Yes stagnant unmoved guarded for naught its benefit was for the traveler going places
For you it will be your grave marker he talked and talked but venture on never
He said he was the clever one as his countenance slowly turned to stone killed by apathy
Green pastures call to find them in yourself health you will install
Few are they that were meant and born to reside in the same place you must go
If you stay rebuild the common and ordinary your monument then they will admire
Who stood to long and with all intention he gave it only words action was the wonder that was missing
Treading a narrow path in the end if you buried or squandered your talent divine wrath you will face
Cast your seed far and wide how can you not see the need sorrow has them tied
Push back the encircling darkness with the light in your heart that God did endow
Go and answer the door your guides are here I want you to meet two friends Pain and Adversity
Two finer companions you will never know Washington and his men befriended them at Valley Forge Concord, York town. Lincoln met them first at Bull Run Antietam I think he gave a little speech at Gettysburg. One birthed a nation the other saved a divided one.
RecklessMagic Sep 2013
They said we’re on to better pastures,
But we’re circling the field,
Running track but the team never lasted cause,
No training- we just deal,
With the things we hold inside us,
Insecurities and doubt,
Say nothing on the outside and,
Inside we cry and we shout,
For the hope of fulfilment,
A miracle to begin,
Never been to the land where dreams come true,
But don’t they start from within?
Or are we hopeless and deluded?
Too optimistic to see,
That dreams never come true
In the earths reality,
So what am I to do now?
Broken heart, shattered desires,
What’s the point of this uncertainty?
That’s got us on edge all the while,
There’s confusion in the illusion that we have it all figured out,
We stray and take matters into our own hands,
And we end up with knout,
So what am I to do now?
Broken heart, shattered desires,
What’s the point of this uncertainty?
Am I too optimistic to see?
That His plan is bigger,
Than what we imagine,
Dream or believe.
There are who lord it o'er their fellow-men
With most prevailing tinsel: who unpen
Their baaing vanities, to browse away
The comfortable green and juicy hay
From human pastures; or, O torturing fact!
Who, through an idiot blink, will see unpack'd
Fire-branded foxes to sear up and singe
Our gold and ripe-ear'd hopes. With not one tinge
Of sanctuary splendour, not a sight
Able to face an owl's, they still are dight
By the blear-eyed nations in empurpled vests,
And crowns, and turbans. With unladen *******,
Save of blown self-applause, they proudly mount
To their spirit's perch, their being's high account,
Their tiptop nothings, their dull skies, their thrones--
Amid the fierce intoxicating tones
Of trumpets, shoutings, and belabour'd drums,
And sudden cannon. Ah! how all this hums,
In wakeful ears, like uproar past and gone--
Like thunder clouds that spake to Babylon,
And set those old Chaldeans to their tasks.--
Are then regalities all gilded masks?
No, there are throned seats unscalable
But by a patient wing, a constant spell,
Or by ethereal things that, unconfin'd,
Can make a ladder of the eternal wind,
And poise about in cloudy thunder-tents
To watch the abysm-birth of elements.
Aye, 'bove the withering of old-lipp'd Fate
A thousand Powers keep religious state,
In water, fiery realm, and airy bourne;
And, silent as a consecrated urn,
Hold sphery sessions for a season due.
Yet few of these far majesties, ah, few!
Have bared their operations to this globe--
Few, who with gorgeous pageantry enrobe
Our piece of heaven--whose benevolence
Shakes hand with our own Ceres; every sense
Filling with spiritual sweets to plenitude,
As bees gorge full their cells. And, by the feud
'Twixt Nothing and Creation, I here swear,
Eterne Apollo! that thy Sister fair
Is of all these the gentlier-mightiest.
When thy gold breath is misting in the west,
She unobserved steals unto her throne,
And there she sits most meek and most alone;
As if she had not pomp subservient;
As if thine eye, high Poet! was not bent
Towards her with the Muses in thine heart;
As if the ministring stars kept not apart,
Waiting for silver-footed messages.
O Moon! the oldest shades '**** oldest trees
Feel palpitations when thou lookest in:
O Moon! old boughs lisp forth a holier din
The while they feel thine airy fellowship.
Thou dost bless every where, with silver lip
Kissing dead things to life. The sleeping kine,
Couched in thy brightness, dream of fields divine:
Innumerable mountains rise, and rise,
Ambitious for the hallowing of thine eyes;
And yet thy benediction passeth not
One obscure hiding-place, one little spot
Where pleasure may be sent: the nested wren
Has thy fair face within its tranquil ken,
And from beneath a sheltering ivy leaf
Takes glimpses of thee; thou art a relief
To the poor patient oyster, where it sleeps
Within its pearly house.--The mighty deeps,
The monstrous sea is thine--the myriad sea!
O Moon! far-spooming Ocean bows to thee,
And Tellus feels his forehead's cumbrous load.

  Cynthia! where art thou now? What far abode
Of green or silvery bower doth enshrine
Such utmost beauty? Alas, thou dost pine
For one as sorrowful: thy cheek is pale
For one whose cheek is pale: thou dost bewail
His tears, who weeps for thee. Where dost thou sigh?
Ah! surely that light peeps from Vesper's eye,
Or what a thing is love! 'Tis She, but lo!
How chang'd, how full of ache, how gone in woe!
She dies at the thinnest cloud; her loveliness
Is wan on Neptune's blue: yet there's a stress
Of love-spangles, just off yon cape of trees,
Dancing upon the waves, as if to please
The curly foam with amorous influence.
O, not so idle: for down-glancing thence
She fathoms eddies, and runs wild about
O'erwhelming water-courses; scaring out
The thorny sharks from hiding-holes, and fright'ning
Their savage eyes with unaccustomed lightning.
Where will the splendor be content to reach?
O love! how potent hast thou been to teach
Strange journeyings! Wherever beauty dwells,
In gulf or aerie, mountains or deep dells,
In light, in gloom, in star or blazing sun,
Thou pointest out the way, and straight 'tis won.
Amid his toil thou gav'st Leander breath;
Thou leddest Orpheus through the gleams of death;
Thou madest Pluto bear thin element;
And now, O winged Chieftain! thou hast sent
A moon-beam to the deep, deep water-world,
To find Endymion.

                  On gold sand impearl'd
With lily shells, and pebbles milky white,
Poor Cynthia greeted him, and sooth'd her light
Against his pallid face: he felt the charm
To breathlessness, and suddenly a warm
Of his heart's blood: 'twas very sweet; he stay'd
His wandering steps, and half-entranced laid
His head upon a tuft of straggling weeds,
To taste the gentle moon, and freshening beads,
Lashed from the crystal roof by fishes' tails.
And so he kept, until the rosy veils
Mantling the east, by Aurora's peering hand
Were lifted from the water's breast, and fann'd
Into sweet air; and sober'd morning came
Meekly through billows:--when like taper-flame
Left sudden by a dallying breath of air,
He rose in silence, and once more 'gan fare
Along his fated way.

                      Far had he roam'd,
With nothing save the hollow vast, that foam'd
Above, around, and at his feet; save things
More dead than Morpheus' imaginings:
Old rusted anchors, helmets, breast-plates large
Of gone sea-warriors; brazen beaks and targe;
Rudders that for a hundred years had lost
The sway of human hand; gold vase emboss'd
With long-forgotten story, and wherein
No reveller had ever dipp'd a chin
But those of Saturn's vintage; mouldering scrolls,
Writ in the tongue of heaven, by those souls
Who first were on the earth; and sculptures rude
In ponderous stone, developing the mood
Of ancient Nox;--then skeletons of man,
Of beast, behemoth, and leviathan,
And elephant, and eagle, and huge jaw
Of nameless monster. A cold leaden awe
These secrets struck into him; and unless
Dian had chaced away that heaviness,
He might have died: but now, with cheered feel,
He onward kept; wooing these thoughts to steal
About the labyrinth in his soul of love.

  "What is there in thee, Moon! that thou shouldst move
My heart so potently? When yet a child
I oft have dried my tears when thou hast smil'd.
Thou seem'dst my sister: hand in hand we went
From eve to morn across the firmament.
No apples would I gather from the tree,
Till thou hadst cool'd their cheeks deliciously:
No tumbling water ever spake romance,
But when my eyes with thine thereon could dance:
No woods were green enough, no bower divine,
Until thou liftedst up thine eyelids fine:
In sowing time ne'er would I dibble take,
Or drop a seed, till thou wast wide awake;
And, in the summer tide of blossoming,
No one but thee hath heard me blithly sing
And mesh my dewy flowers all the night.
No melody was like a passing spright
If it went not to solemnize thy reign.
Yes, in my boyhood, every joy and pain
By thee were fashion'd to the self-same end;
And as I grew in years, still didst thou blend
With all my ardours: thou wast the deep glen;
Thou wast the mountain-top--the sage's pen--
The poet's harp--the voice of friends--the sun;
Thou wast the river--thou wast glory won;
Thou wast my clarion's blast--thou wast my steed--
My goblet full of wine--my topmost deed:--
Thou wast the charm of women, lovely Moon!
O what a wild and harmonized tune
My spirit struck from all the beautiful!
On some bright essence could I lean, and lull
Myself to immortality: I prest
Nature's soft pillow in a wakeful rest.
But, gentle Orb! there came a nearer bliss--
My strange love came--Felicity's abyss!
She came, and thou didst fade, and fade away--
Yet not entirely; no, thy starry sway
Has been an under-passion to this hour.
Now I begin to feel thine orby power
Is coming fresh upon me: O be kind,
Keep back thine influence, and do not blind
My sovereign vision.--Dearest love, forgive
That I can think away from thee and live!--
Pardon me, airy planet, that I prize
One thought beyond thine argent luxuries!
How far beyond!" At this a surpris'd start
Frosted the springing verdure of his heart;
For as he lifted up his eyes to swear
How his own goddess was past all things fair,
He saw far in the concave green of the sea
An old man sitting calm and peacefully.
Upon a weeded rock this old man sat,
And his white hair was awful, and a mat
Of weeds were cold beneath his cold thin feet;
And, ample as the largest winding-sheet,
A cloak of blue wrapp'd up his aged bones,
O'erwrought with symbols by the deepest groans
Of ambitious magic: every ocean-form
Was woven in with black distinctness; storm,
And calm, and whispering, and hideous roar
Were emblem'd in the woof; with every shape
That skims, or dives, or sleeps, 'twixt cape and cape.
The gulphing whale was like a dot in the spell,
Yet look upon it, and 'twould size and swell
To its huge self; and the minutest fish
Would pass the very hardest gazer's wish,
And show his little eye's anatomy.
Then there was pictur'd the regality
Of Neptune; and the sea nymphs round his state,
In beauteous vassalage, look up and wait.
Beside this old man lay a pearly wand,
And in his lap a book, the which he conn'd
So stedfastly, that the new denizen
Had time to keep him in amazed ken,
To mark these shadowings, and stand in awe.

  The old man rais'd his hoary head and saw
The wilder'd stranger--seeming not to see,
His features were so lifeless. Suddenly
He woke as from a trance; his snow-white brows
Went arching up, and like two magic ploughs
Furrow'd deep wrinkles in his forehead large,
Which kept as fixedly as rocky marge,
Till round his wither'd lips had gone a smile.
Then up he rose, like one whose tedious toil
Had watch'd for years in forlorn hermitage,
Who had not from mid-life to utmost age
Eas'd in one accent his o'er-burden'd soul,
Even to the trees. He rose: he grasp'd his stole,
With convuls'd clenches waving it abroad,
And in a voice of solemn joy, that aw'd
Echo into oblivion, he said:--

  "Thou art the man! Now shall I lay my head
In peace upon my watery pillow: now
Sleep will come smoothly to my weary brow.
O Jove! I shall be young again, be young!
O shell-borne Neptune, I am pierc'd and stung
With new-born life! What shall I do? Where go,
When I have cast this serpent-skin of woe?--
I'll swim to the syrens, and one moment listen
Their melodies, and see their long hair glisten;
Anon upon that giant's arm I'll be,
That writhes about the roots of Sicily:
To northern seas I'll in a twinkling sail,
And mount upon the snortings of a whale
To some black cloud; thence down I'll madly sweep
On forked lightning, to the deepest deep,
Where through some ******* pool I will be hurl'd
With rapture to the other side of the world!
O, I am full of gladness! Sisters three,
I bow full hearted to your old decree!
Yes, every god be thank'd, and power benign,
For I no more shall wither, droop, and pine.
Thou art the man!" Endymion started back
Dismay'd; and, like a wretch from whom the rack
Tortures hot breath, and speech of agony,
Mutter'd: "What lonely death am I to die
In this cold region? Will he let me freeze,
And float my brittle limbs o'er polar seas?
Or will he touch me with his searing hand,
And leave a black memorial on the sand?
Or tear me piece-meal with a bony saw,
And keep me as a chosen food to draw
His magian fish through hated fire and flame?
O misery of hell! resistless, tame,
Am I to be burnt up? No, I will shout,
Until the gods through heaven's blue look out!--
O Tartarus! but some few days agone
Her soft arms were entwining me, and on
Her voice I hung like fruit among green leaves:
Her lips were all my own, and--ah, ripe sheaves
Of happiness! ye on the stubble droop,
But never may be garner'd. I must stoop
My head, and kiss death's foot. Love! love, farewel!
Is there no hope from thee? This horrid spell
Would melt at thy sweet breath.--By Dian's hind
Feeding from her white fingers, on the wind
I see thy streaming hair! and now, by Pan,
I care not for this old mysterious man!"

  He spake, and walking to that aged form,
Look'd high defiance. Lo! his heart 'gan warm
With pity, for the grey-hair'd creature wept.
Had he then wrong'd a heart where sorrow kept?
Had he, though blindly contumelious, brought
Rheum to kind eyes, a sting to human thought,
Convulsion to a mouth of many years?
He had in truth; and he was ripe for tears.
The penitent shower fell, as down he knelt
Before that care-worn sage, who trembling felt
About his large dark locks, and faultering spake:

  "Arise, good youth, for sacred Phoebus' sake!
I know thine inmost *****, and I feel
A very brother's yearning for thee steal
Into mine own: for why? thou openest
The prison gates that have so long opprest
My weary watching. Though thou know'st it not,
Thou art commission'd to this fated spot
For great enfranchisement. O weep no more;
I am a friend to love, to loves of yore:
Aye, hadst thou never lov'd an unknown power
I had been grieving at this joyous hour
But even now most miserable old,
I saw thee, and my blood no longer cold
Gave mighty pulses: in this tottering case
Grew a new heart, which at this moment plays
As dancingly as thine. Be not afraid,
For thou shalt hear this secret all display'd,
Now as we speed towards our joyous task."

  So saying, this young soul in age's mask
Went forward with the Carian side by side:
Resuming quickly thus; while ocean's tide
Hung swollen at their backs, and jewel'd sands
Took silently their foot-prints. "My soul stands
Now past the midway from mortality,
And so I can prepare without a sigh
To tell thee briefly all my joy and pain.
I was a fisher once, upon this main,
And my boat danc'd in every creek and bay;
Rough billows were my home by night and day,--
The sea-gulls not more constant; for I had
No housing from the storm and tempests mad,
But hollow rocks,--and they were palaces
Of silent happiness, of slumberous ease:
Long years of misery have told me so.
Aye, thus it was one thousand years ago.
One thousand years!--Is it then possible
To look so plainly through them? to dispel
A thousand years with backward glance sublime?
To breathe away as 'twere all scummy slime
From off a crystal pool, to see its deep,
And one's own image from the bottom peep?
Yes: now I am no longer wretched thrall,
My long captivity and moanings all
Are but a slime, a thin-pervading ****,
The which I breathe away, and thronging come
Like things of yesterday my youthful pleasures.

  "I touch'd no lute, I sang not, trod no measures:
I was a lonely youth on desert shores.
My sports were lonely, 'mid continuous roars,
And craggy isles, and sea-mew's plaintive cry
Plaining discrepant between sea and sky.
Dolphins were still my playmates; shapes unseen
Would let me feel their scales of gold and green,
Nor be my desolation; and, full oft,
When a dread waterspout had rear'd aloft
Its hungry hugeness, seeming ready ripe
To burst with hoarsest thunderings, and wipe
My life away like a vast sponge of fate,
Some friendly monster, pitying my sad state,
Has dived to its foundations, gulph'd it down,
And left me tossing safely. But the crown
Of all my life was utmost quietude:
More did I love to lie in cavern rude,
Keeping in wait whole days for Neptune's voice,
And if it came at last, hark, and rejoice!
There blush'd no summer eve but I would steer
My skiff along green shelving coasts, to hear
The shepherd's pipe come clear from aery steep,
Mingled with ceaseless bleatings of his sheep:
And never was a day of summer shine,
But I beheld its birth upon the brine:
For I would watch all night to see unfold
Heaven's gates, and Aethon snort his morning gold
Wide o'er the swelling streams: and constantly
At brim of day-tide, on some grassy lea,
My nets would be spread out, and I at rest.
The poor folk of the sea-country I blest
With daily boon of fish most delicate:
They knew not whence this bounty, and elate
Would strew sweet flowers on a sterile beach.

  "Why was I not contented? Wherefore reach
At things which, but for thee, O Latmian!
Had been my dreary death? Fool! I began
To feel distemper'd longings: to desire
The utmost priv
Amitav Radiance Apr 2015
A solitary wanderer
Guided by the winds
Through lonely valleys
Sipping from streams
Sleeping under stars
Night’s canopy as tent
Rolling on soft grass
Lay supine, dreaming
Of the sparkling stars
Holding them in the eyes
Life sparkles with glee
Solitary wanderer
Waylaid from the crowd
Greener pastures
Greets the wanderer
Solitude is bliss
Wanderer finds meaning
Finding ones purpose
Turning away from the crowd
I WAS born on the prairie and the milk of its wheat, the red of its clover, the eyes of its women, gave me a song and a slogan.

Here the water went down, the icebergs slid with gravel, the gaps and the valleys hissed, and the black loam came, and the yellow sandy loam.
Here between the sheds of the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians, here now a morning star fixes a fire sign over the timber claims and cow pastures, the corn belt, the cotton belt, the cattle ranches.
Here the gray geese go five hundred miles and back with a wind under their wings honking the cry for a new home.
Here I know I will hanker after nothing so much as one more sunrise or a sky moon of fire doubled to a river moon of water.

The prairie sings to me in the forenoon and I know in the night I rest easy in the prairie arms, on the prairie heart..    .    .
        After the sunburn of the day
        handling a pitchfork at a hayrack,
        after the eggs and biscuit and coffee,
        the pearl-gray haystacks
        in the gloaming
        are cool prayers
        to the harvest hands.

In the city among the walls the overland passenger train is choked and the pistons hiss and the wheels curse.
On the prairie the overland flits on phantom wheels and the sky and the soil between them muffle the pistons and cheer the wheels..    .    .
I am here when the cities are gone.
I am here before the cities come.
I nourished the lonely men on horses.
I will keep the laughing men who ride iron.
I am dust of men.

The running water babbled to the deer, the cottontail, the gopher.
You came in wagons, making streets and schools,
Kin of the ax and rifle, kin of the plow and horse,
Singing Yankee Doodle, Old Dan Tucker, Turkey in the Straw,
You in the coonskin cap at a log house door hearing a lone wolf howl,
You at a sod house door reading the blizzards and chinooks let loose from Medicine Hat,
I am dust of your dust, as I am brother and mother
To the copper faces, the worker in flint and clay,
The singing women and their sons a thousand years ago
Marching single file the timber and the plain.

I hold the dust of these amid changing stars.
I last while old wars are fought, while peace broods mother-like,
While new wars arise and the fresh killings of young men.
I fed the boys who went to France in great dark days.
Appomattox is a beautiful word to me and so is Valley Forge and the Marne and Verdun,
I who have seen the red births and the red deaths
Of sons and daughters, I take peace or war, I say nothing and wait.

Have you seen a red sunset drip over one of my cornfields, the shore of night stars, the wave lines of dawn up a wheat valley?
Have you heard my threshing crews yelling in the chaff of a strawpile and the running wheat of the wagonboards, my cornhuskers, my harvest hands hauling crops, singing dreams of women, worlds, horizons?.    .    .
        Rivers cut a path on flat lands.
        The mountains stand up.
        The salt oceans press in
        And push on the coast lines.
        The sun, the wind, bring rain
        And I know what the rainbow writes across the east or west in a half-circle:
        A love-letter pledge to come again..    .    .
      Towns on the Soo Line,
      Towns on the Big Muddy,
      Laugh at each other for cubs
      And tease as children.

Omaha and Kansas City, Minneapolis and St. Paul, sisters in a house together, throwing slang, growing up.
Towns in the Ozarks, Dakota wheat towns, Wichita, Peoria, Buffalo, sisters throwing slang, growing up..    .    .
Out of prairie-brown grass crossed with a streamer of wigwam smoke-out of a smoke pillar, a blue promise-out of wild ducks woven in greens and purples-
Here I saw a city rise and say to the peoples round world: Listen, I am strong, I know what I want.
Out of log houses and stumps-canoes stripped from tree-sides-flatboats coaxed with an ax from the timber claims-in the years when the red and the white men met-the houses and streets rose.

A thousand red men cried and went away to new places for corn and women: a million white men came and put up skyscrapers, threw out rails and wires, feelers to the salt sea: now the smokestacks bite the skyline with stub teeth.

In an early year the call of a wild duck woven in greens and purples: now the riveter's chatter, the police patrol, the song-whistle of the steamboat.

To a man across a thousand years I offer a handshake.
I say to him: Brother, make the story short, for the stretch of a thousand years is short..    .    .
What brothers these in the dark?
What eaves of skyscrapers against a smoke moon?
These chimneys shaking on the lumber shanties
When the coal boats plow by on the river-
The hunched shoulders of the grain elevators-
The flame sprockets of the sheet steel mills
And the men in the rolling mills with their shirts off
Playing their flesh arms against the twisting wrists of steel:
        what brothers these
        in the dark
        of a thousand years?.    .    .
A headlight searches a snowstorm.
A funnel of white light shoots from over the pilot of the Pioneer Limited crossing Wisconsin.

In the morning hours, in the dawn,
The sun puts out the stars of the sky
And the headlight of the Limited train.

The fireman waves his hand to a country school teacher on a bobsled.
A boy, yellow hair, red scarf and mittens, on the bobsled, in his lunch box a pork chop sandwich and a V of gooseberry pie.

The horses fathom a snow to their knees.
Snow hats are on the rolling prairie hills.
The Mississippi bluffs wear snow hats..    .    .
Keep your hogs on changing corn and mashes of grain,
    O farmerman.
    Cram their insides till they waddle on short legs
    Under the drums of bellies, hams of fat.
    **** your hogs with a knife slit under the ear.
    Hack them with cleavers.
    Hang them with hooks in the hind legs..    .    .
A wagonload of radishes on a summer morning.
Sprinkles of dew on the crimson-purple *****.
The farmer on the seat dangles the reins on the rumps of dapple-gray horses.
The farmer's daughter with a basket of eggs dreams of a new hat to wear to the county fair..    .    .
On the left-and right-hand side of the road,
        Marching corn-
I saw it knee high weeks ago-now it is head high-tassels of red silk creep at the ends of the ears..    .    .
I am the prairie, mother of men, waiting.
They are mine, the threshing crews eating beefsteak, the farmboys driving steers to the railroad cattle pens.
They are mine, the crowds of people at a Fourth of July basket picnic, listening to a lawyer read the Declaration of Independence, watching the pinwheels and Roman candles at night, the young men and women two by two hunting the bypaths and kissing bridges.
They are mine, the horses looking over a fence in the frost of late October saying good-morning to the horses hauling wagons of rutabaga to market.
They are mine, the old zigzag rail fences, the new barb wire..    .    .
The cornhuskers wear leather on their hands.
There is no let-up to the wind.
Blue bandannas are knotted at the ruddy chins.

Falltime and winter apples take on the smolder of the five-o'clock November sunset: falltime, leaves, bonfires, stubble, the old things go, and the earth is grizzled.
The land and the people hold memories, even among the anthills and the angleworms, among the toads and woodroaches-among gravestone writings rubbed out by the rain-they keep old things that never grow old.

The frost loosens corn husks.
The Sun, the rain, the wind
        loosen corn husks.
The men and women are helpers.
They are all cornhuskers together.
I see them late in the western evening
        in a smoke-red dust..    .    .
The phantom of a yellow rooster flaunting a scarlet comb, on top of a dung pile crying hallelujah to the streaks of daylight,
The phantom of an old hunting dog nosing in the underbrush for muskrats, barking at a **** in a treetop at midnight, chewing a bone, chasing his tail round a corncrib,
The phantom of an old workhorse taking the steel point of a plow across a forty-acre field in spring, hitched to a harrow in summer, hitched to a wagon among cornshocks in fall,
These phantoms come into the talk and wonder of people on the front porch of a farmhouse late summer nights.
"The shapes that are gone are here," said an old man with a cob pipe in his teeth one night in Kansas with a hot wind on the alfalfa..    .    .
Look at six eggs
In a mockingbird's nest.

Listen to six mockingbirds
Flinging follies of O-be-joyful
Over the marshes and uplands.

Look at songs
Hidden in eggs..    .    .
When the morning sun is on the trumpet-vine blossoms, sing at the kitchen pans: Shout All Over God's Heaven.
When the rain slants on the potato hills and the sun plays a silver shaft on the last shower, sing to the bush at the backyard fence: Mighty Lak a Rose.
When the icy sleet pounds on the storm windows and the house lifts to a great breath, sing for the outside hills: The Ole Sheep Done Know the Road, the Young Lambs Must Find the Way..    .    .
Spring slips back with a girl face calling always: "Any new songs for me? Any new songs?"

O prairie girl, be lonely, singing, dreaming, waiting-your lover comes-your child comes-the years creep with toes of April rain on new-turned sod.
O prairie girl, whoever leaves you only crimson poppies to talk with, whoever puts a good-by kiss on your lips and never comes back-
There is a song deep as the falltime redhaws, long as the layer of black loam we go to, the shine of the morning star over the corn belt, the wave line of dawn up a wheat valley..    .    .
O prairie mother, I am one of your boys.
I have loved the prairie as a man with a heart shot full of pain over love.
Here I know I will hanker after nothing so much as one more sunrise or a sky moon of fire doubled to a river moon of water..    .    .
I speak of new cities and new people.
I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes.
I tell you yesterday is a wind gone down,
  a sun dropped in the west.
I tell you there is nothing in the world
  only an ocean of to-morrows,
  a sky of to-morrows.

I am a brother of the cornhuskers who say
  at sundown:
        To-morrow is a day.
Jonathan Firmin Aug 2013
My friends were all off on their own adventures
No more evenings tearing up the town
Boyhood days would never be forgotten
But cops and buzzards were all they left around.

So I set out from my home for greener pastures
Where I could work and rest my troubled head
I spent my days just trying to fill my table
And spent my nights just trying to fill my bed.

Then time began to move on oh so quickly
The women they sure seemed to do the same
Work got slow, it seemed that my green pasture
Had taken light and sprung to orange flame.

So I packed a bag and left that town this morning
The road rises up to meet me where I tread
My mind is free of cares, I'll worry when I'm there
But I'll be rambling till the day I'm dead.
F C G
F C G
F C G Am
F C G
And indeedst, thou mourneth once more
When th' lover who is to thine become
Returneth not, in thy own brevities-of love and hate,
As t'is chiding ruthlessness might not be
thy just fate.

Cleopatra, Cleopatra
Shalt thy soul ever weepest for me?
Weep for t'ese chains of guilt and yet, adorable clarity
T'at within my heart are obstreperously burning
I thy secret lover; shrieks railing at my heart
Whenever thou lurchest forwards
and tearest t'is strumming passion apart.

And t'ere is one single convenience not
As I shalt sit more by northern winds; and whose gales
upon a pale, moonlit shore.
Cleopatra, play me a song at t'at hour
Before bedtime with thy violin once more
And let us look through th' vacant glasses;
at clouds t'at swirl and swear in dark blue masses.

Ah, my queen, t'ese lips are softly creaking
and swearing silently; emitting words
of which I presume thou wouldst not hear.
On my lonely days I sat dreamily
upon t'at hard-hearted wooden bench,
and wrote poems of thee
behind th' greedy palm trees;
They mocked me and swore
t'at my love for thee was a tragedy;
and my poem a menial elegy
For a soldier I was, whom thy wealth
and kingdom foundeth precisely intolerable.
How I hate-t'ose sickly words of 'em!
Ah, t'ose unknowing, cynical creatures!
I, who fell in love with thee
Amongst th' giggling bushes,
stomping merrily amongst each other
and shoving their heads prettily on my shoulder
As I walked pass 'em;
I strapped their doom to death,
and cursed their piously insatiable wrath
Until no more grief was left attached
To th' parable summer air; and rendered thou as plainly
as thou had been,
but bleak not; and ceremoniously unheeded
Only by thy most picturesque features, and breaths.
Thou who loved to wander behind th' red-coated shed,
and beautiful green pastures ahead
With tulips and white roses on thy hand,
And with floods of laughter thou wouldst dart ahead
like a summer nightingale;
'fore stretching thy body effortlessly
amongst th' chirping grass
Ah, Cleopatra, thou looketh but so lovely-
oh, indeedst thou did; but too lovely-too lovely to me!
A figure of a princess so comely,
thou wouldst but be th' one
who bringst th' light,
and fool all t'ose evils, and morbid abysses;
Thou shalt fill our future days with hopes,
and colourful promises.

And slithered I, like a naive snake
Throughout th' bushes; to swing myself into thee
Even only through thy shadow,
I didst, I didst-my love, procured my satisfaction
By seeing thee breathe, and thrive, and bloom.
I loveth her not, t'is village's outrageous,
but sweet-spirited maiden;
a dutiful soldier as I am,
my love for thee is still bountiful,
ah, even more plentiful t'an t'is cordial one
I may hath for my poor lover. Not t'at I despise
her poorness, but in my mind, thou art forever my baroness;
Thou art th' purest queen, amongst all th' virgins
Ah, Cleopatra!
To me, if rejection is indeedst misery,
thine is but a glorious mystery;
for whose preciousness, which is now vague,
by thy hand might come clear,
for within my sight of thee
All t'ese objections are still ingenious,
within thy perilous smile,
t'at oftentimes caresses me
With relief, whenst I am mad,
and corrupts my conscience-
whenst I am sad;
Even only for a second; and even only
for a while.
But if thy smile were all it seemeth,
and thy perfection all t'at I dreameth,
Then a nightmare could be mirth,
and a bitter smile could be so sweet.
Just like everything my eyes hath seen;
if thy innocence was what I needest,
and thy gentleness th' one I seekest,
then I'd needst just and ought, worry not;
for all thy lips couldst be so meek
and thy glistening cheeks
wouldst be so sleek.

Oh, sweet, sweet-like thee, Cleopatra!
Sweet mournful songs are trampling along my ears,
but again, t'ey project me into no harmony-
I curse t'em and corrupt t'em,
I gnaw at t'em and elbow t'em-
I stomp on t'em and jostle t'em-
th' one sung by my insidious lover,
I feel like a ghost as I perch myself beside her.
Whilst thou-thou art away from me!
Thou, thou for whom my breath shalt choke
with insanity,
thou who wert there and merrily laughed with me-
just like last Monday,
By yon purple prairie and amber oak trees
By my newest words and dearly loving poetry.
Oh, my poetry-t'at I hath always crafted so willingly,
o, so willingly, for thee!
For thee, for thee only, my love!
Ah, Cleopatra, as we rolled down th' hoarse alley t'at day,
and th' silky banks by rueful warm water-
I hoped t'at thou wouldst forever stay with me,
like th' green bushes and t'eir immortal thorns,
Thou wouldst lull me to sleep at nights,
and kiss me firmly every dewy morn.

Cleopatra, Cleopatra
Ah, and with thy cherry-like lips
Thou shalt again invite me into thy living gardens,
With thy childish jokes and ramblings and adventures
To th' dying sunflowers, thou wert a cure;
and thy crown is even brighter t'an their foliage,
For it is a resemblance of thy heart, but
thy vanity not;
Thou art th' song t'at t'ey shalt sing,
thou art th' joy t'at no other greatness canst bring.

Ah, Cleopatra, look-and t'is sun is shining on thee,
but not my bride;
My bride who is so impatiently to withdraw
her rights; her fatal rights-o, I insist!
And so t'is time I shall but despise her
for her gluttony and rebellious viciousness.
T'at savage, unholy greed of hers!
How unadmirable-and blind I was,
for I deemed all t'ose indecipherable!
How I shalt forever deprecate myself,
for which!
Ah, but whenst I see thee!
As how I shall twist my finger into hers,
(Oh! T'is precocious little harlot!)
Thou art th' one who is, in my mind, to become my lover,
and amongst tonight's all prudence and marriage mercy
I shall dreameth not of my wife but thee;
Whilst my wife is like a cloaked rain doll beneath,
and her ******* shall be rigid and awkward to me-
unlike thee, so indolent but warm and generous
with unhesitant integrity;
Ah, I wish she could die, die, and be dead-by my hands,
But no anger and fury could I wreak,
for she hath been, for all t'ese years,
my single best friend.
Or she was, at least.
Oh Cleopatra, thou art my girl;
please dance, dance again-dance for me in thy best pink frock,
and wear thy most desirous, fastidious perfume;
I shall turn thee once more, into a delicious nymphet,
and I standing on a rock, a writer-soldier husband to thee-
Loving thee from afar, but a nearest heart,
my soul shalt become tender; but passionately aggravated
With such blows of poetic genuinity in my hands-
by t'ese of thee-so powerful, and intuitive sonnets.

Oh, my dear! T'is is a ruin, ruin, and but a ruin to me-
A castle of utmost devastation and damage and fear,
for as I looketh into her eyes behindeth me,
and thine upon thy throne-
so elegant and fuller of joy and permanent delight
Than hers t'at are fraught with pernicious questions,
and flocks of virginal fright,
I am afraid, once more-t'at I am torn,
before thy eyes t'at pierce and stun me like a stone,
an unknown stone, made of graveyard gems, and gold
Thou smell like death, just as dead as I am
On my loveless marriage day
And as I gaze into th' dubious priest
And thee beside him, my master-o, but my dream woman!
Oh, sadly my only dream woman!
Th' stars of love are once more
encompassing thine eyes,
and with wonder-oh Cleopatra, thou art seemingly tainted
with sacrifice, but delightfully, lies-
As I stareth at thee once more,
I knoweth t'at I loveth thee even more
just like how thou hath loved me since ever before
And thy passion and lust rooted in mine
Strangling me like selfish stars;
and th' moon and saturated rainbows
hanging up t'ere in troubled, ye' peaceful skies, tonight.

I want her not, as thou hath always fiercely,
and truthfully known,
so t'at I wriggle free,
ignoring my bride's wise screams
and cries and sobs uttered heartbreakingly-
onto th' gravel-and gravely chiseled pavement outside,
'fore eventually I slippeth myself out of my brownish
soldier's uniforms.
Thou standeth in surprise, I taketh, as I riseth
from my seat-my fictitious seat, in my mind,
for all t'is, pertaining to my unreal love for her,
shalt never be, in any way, real-
All are but th' phantom and ghost
of my own stories; trivial stories
Skulking about me with unpardonable sorries
Which I hate, I hate out of my life, most!
As to anyone else aside from thee
I should and shalt not ever be-married,
and as I set my doleful eyes on thee once more,
curtained by sorrow and unanswered longings,
but sincere feelings-I canst, for th' first time,
admire thy silent, lipped confession
Which is so remarkably
painted and inked throughout
thy lavish; ye' decently translucent face;
t'at thou needst me and wouldst stick by me
in soul, though not in flesh;
but in heaven, in our dear heaven,
whenst I and thou art free,
from all t'ese ungodly barriers and misery,
to welcome th' fierceness of our fate,
and taste th' merriment of our delayed date.
Oh, my love!
My Cleopatra! My very own, my own,
and mine only-Cleopatra!
My dear secret lover, and wife; for whom
my crying soul was gently born, and cherished,
and nurtured; for whose grief my heart shall be ripped,
and only for whose pride-for whose pride only,
I shall allow mine to be disgraced.
Cleopatra! But in death we shall be reunited,
amongst th' birds t'at flow above and under,
To th' sparkling heavens we shall be invited,
above th' vividly sweet rainbows; about th' precious
rainy thunder.
Ian Cairns Feb 2014
To finish anything in entirety requires a full circle- and goodbye is a picky eater. Good is the pieces of pie fully enjoyed already- don't forget the fingertips good. The ones licked crisp and clean from the plasticware every time. While bye remains the uneaten slices spoiling silence in the kitchen. Crumbs too stubborn to move along, to move anywhere at all. Notice these slices never once greeted each other on a dinner plate- and there is no place for distance during dessert.

2. Goodbye is invisible ink scribbled too quickly for certainty. Proper sendoffs deserve the type of visibility that billboards form. So if you have the audacity to send seven letters my way disguised as our final embrace- I will unwrap your formality, like 5am Christmas morning, and pretend I'm on the naughty list. Hidden messages lack a sense of transparency that leaves only second guessing and farewells should need no crystal *****.
Goodbyes are as good as guesswork- and we are not fortune tellers.

3. Goodbye implies loss or rejection, but well wishes are meant for times
when loss is undeniably absent. Wishing wells bathe separation with good intentions- each copper coin anointed an underwater masterpiece.
While goodbye addresses detachment with partial reflections, splitting waves too strict for clarity. So all I see are the ripples of me spread too thin, the pieces of me scattered in every direction. Goodbye wishes no one well.

4. Goodbye is simply one word. Goodbye is not naturally destructive. Goodbye is no vocal cord villain.
Words are neither inherently good nor bad because we ascribe their significance, but evidence suggests a one word farewell serves innocent ears unjust death sentences.

5. The moment you allow I love you to skydive from your tongue, the word goodbye steals the parachutes mid-launch causing fatal free fall to artificial grass your hands never actually planted. This land is lunar rock rare- desolate when day breaks.
Goodbye is not fertilizer for greener pastures- rather an open invitation for wildfire to reduce the cosmos to ashes.

6. Endings are inevitable and sometimes quite necessary. And I'm not suggesting we prolong foregone conclusions. But our parting words need not necessarily be regrettable. Goodbyes are often stressed in tragic spectacles only designed for Broadway stages and sometimes all that's needed
is a genuine platform to stand on to say something like-- I'll miss you or I'm not ready for this or I can't do this anymore.


7. Goodbye is not a last resort.
Last resorts lead to final destinations you never come home from and you were never home, you were never home for me, you were always goodbye. Goodbye was your one way ticket to paradise, the kingdom your words worshiped and call me a traitor if you must, but the paradox you fundamentally found comfort in is tyranny trapped in one breath.
And that's never been comforting enough for me to believe in, never been real enough for me to hold.
Goodbye is sweet sorrow- one hollow word that makes your smile hurt.
It's solid rain on sunny days, stolen hearts on lay away. It's two syllables that were forced to hold hands that were never ever friends to begin with.
Goodbye is an oxymoron- and it will never justify your warm hello.
Mary Bolton Mar 2013
As I walk down my driveway, past the seemingly endless field of
green,
sprinkled with little purple weeds, dotted with clumps of yellow
daffodils,
I think about how much I love flowers.
Roses are my favorites, but daisies and wildflowers are a close
second, I think.
I like to think of myself as a flower.  Maybe I’m a wildflower .
. .
It would make sense, seeing as my spirit is as free
as the wind that blows the petals across the fields of green.
I am a wildflower.
I am the flower, firmly rooted to the ground, unable to escape.
My roots, they are tangled, and mangled, and torn, and broken,
but strong . . . they refuse to move.
Like chains, they keep me here where the seed was planted.
I am a wildflower,
trapped in a garden of weeds . . .
none of them wildflowers.  We are not meant for the garden.
Oh no! Not when there are fields, and pastures, and valleys, and
hills, and mountains out there.
Here in the garden, we get food and water, and daily care.  But
there in the world!
That is where I am meant to be!  When I see the birds flying
overhead I shake with jealousy.
I feel the wind swaying me back and forth, as if it is calling
me.  “Come with me, oh sweet wildflower.  Let the world see your
beauty, while you see the beauty of the world.”
I want to touch the mountains.  I want to sing with the sky.  I
want to hear the wind saying,
“Look, I told you it was beautiful.”  I want to dance with it,
as it carries me everywhere.
But when their flight had taken them past the trench and the set
stakes, and many had fallen by the hands of the Danaans, the Trojans
made a halt on reaching their chariots, routed and pale with fear.
Jove now woke on the crests of Ida, where he was lying with
golden-throned Juno by his side, and starting to his feet he saw the
Trojans and Achaeans, the one thrown into confusion, and the others
driving them pell-mell before them with King Neptune in their midst.
He saw Hector lying on the ground with his comrades gathered round
him, gasping for breath, wandering in mind and vomiting blood, for
it was not the feeblest of the Achaeans who struck him.
  The sire of gods and men had pity on him, and looked fiercely on
Juno. “I see, Juno,” said he, “you mischief—making trickster, that
your cunning has stayed Hector from fighting and has caused the rout
of his host. I am in half a mind to thrash you, in which case you will
be the first to reap the fruits of your scurvy knavery. Do you not
remember how once upon a time I had you hanged? I fastened two
anvils on to your feet, and bound your hands in a chain of gold
which none might break, and you hung in mid-air among the clouds.
All the gods in Olympus were in a fury, but they could not reach you
to set you free; when I caught any one of them I gripped him and
hurled him from the heavenly threshold till he came fainting down to
earth; yet even this did not relieve my mind from the incessant
anxiety which I felt about noble Hercules whom you and Boreas had
spitefully conveyed beyond the seas to Cos, after suborning the
tempests; but I rescued him, and notwithstanding all his mighty
labours I brought him back again to Argos. I would remind you of
this that you may learn to leave off being so deceitful, and
discover how much you are likely to gain by the embraces out of
which you have come here to trick me.”
  Juno trembled as he spoke, and said, “May heaven above and earth
below be my witnesses, with the waters of the river Styx—and this
is the most solemn oath that a blessed god can take—nay, I swear also
by your own almighty head and by our bridal bed—things over which I
could never possibly perjure myself—that Neptune is not punishing
Hector and the Trojans and helping the Achaeans through any doing of
mine; it is all of his own mere motion because he was sorry to see the
Achaeans hard pressed at their ships: if I were advising him, I should
tell him to do as you bid him.”
  The sire of gods and men smiled and answered, “If you, Juno, were
always to support me when we sit in council of the gods, Neptune, like
it or no, would soon come round to your and my way of thinking. If,
then, you are speaking the truth and mean what you say, go among the
rank and file of the gods, and tell Iris and Apollo lord of the bow,
that I want them—Iris, that she may go to the Achaean host and tell
Neptune to leave off fighting and go home, and Apollo, that he may
send Hector again into battle and give him fresh strength; he will
thus forget his present sufferings, and drive the Achaeans back in
confusion till they fall among the ships of Achilles son of Peleus.
Achilles will then send his comrade Patroclus into battle, and
Hector will **** him in front of Ilius after he has slain many
warriors, and among them my own noble son Sarpedon. Achilles will ****
Hector to avenge Patroclus, and from that time I will bring it about
that the Achaeans shall persistently drive the Trojans back till
they fulfil the counsels of Minerva and take Ilius. But I will not
stay my anger, nor permit any god to help the Danaans till I have
accomplished the desire of the son of Peleus, according to the promise
I made by bowing my head on the day when Thetis touched my knees and
besought me to give him honour.”
  Juno heeded his words and went from the heights of Ida to great
Olympus. Swift as the thought of one whose fancy carries him over vast
continents, and he says to himself, “Now I will be here, or there,”
and he would have all manner of things—even so swiftly did Juno
wing her way till she came to high Olympus and went in among the
gods who were gathered in the house of Jove. When they saw her they
all of them came up to her, and held out their cups to her by way of
greeting. She let the others be, but took the cup offered her by
lovely Themis, who was first to come running up to her. “Juno,” said
she, “why are you here? And you seem troubled—has your husband the
son of Saturn been frightening you?”
  And Juno answered, “Themis, do not ask me about it. You know what
a proud and cruel disposition my husband has. Lead the gods to
table, where you and all the immortals can hear the wicked designs
which he has avowed. Many a one, mortal and immortal, will be
angered by them, however peaceably he may be feasting now.”
  On this Juno sat down, and the gods were troubled throughout the
house of Jove. Laughter sat on her lips but her brow was furrowed with
care, and she spoke up in a rage. “Fools that we are,” she cried,
“to be thus madly angry with Jove; we keep on wanting to go up to
him and stay him by force or by persuasion, but he sits aloof and
cares for nobody, for he knows that he is much stronger than any other
of the immortals. Make the best, therefore, of whatever ills he may
choose to send each one of you; Mars, I take it, has had a taste of
them already, for his son Ascalaphus has fallen in battle—the man
whom of all others he loved most dearly and whose father he owns
himself to be.”
  When he heard this Mars smote his two sturdy thighs with the flat of
his hands, and said in anger, “Do not blame me, you gods that dwell in
heaven, if I go to the ships of the Achaeans and avenge the death of
my son, even though it end in my being struck by Jove’s lightning
and lying in blood and dust among the corpses.”
  As he spoke he gave orders to yoke his horses Panic and Rout,
while he put on his armour. On this, Jove would have been roused to
still more fierce and implacable enmity against the other immortals,
had not Minerva, ararmed for the safety of the gods, sprung from her
seat and hurried outside. She tore the helmet from his head and the
shield from his shoulders, and she took the bronze spear from his
strong hand and set it on one side; then she said to Mars, “Madman,
you are undone; you have ears that hear not, or you have lost all
judgement and understanding; have you not heard what Juno has said
on coming straight from the presence of Olympian Jove? Do you wish
to go through all kinds of suffering before you are brought back
sick and sorry to Olympus, after having caused infinite mischief to
all us others? Jove would instantly leave the Trojans and Achaeans
to themselves; he would come to Olympus to punish us, and would grip
us up one after another, guilty or not guilty. Therefore lay aside
your anger for the death of your son; better men than he have either
been killed already or will fall hereafter, and one cannot protect
every one’s whole family.”
  With these words she took Mars back to his seat. Meanwhile Juno
called Apollo outside, with Iris the messenger of the gods. “Jove,”
she said to them, “desires you to go to him at once on Mt. Ida; when
you have seen him you are to do as he may then bid you.”
  Thereon Juno left them and resumed her seat inside, while Iris and
Apollo made all haste on their way. When they reached
many-fountained Ida, mother of wild beasts, they found Jove seated
on topmost Gargarus with a fragrant cloud encircling his head as
with a diadem. They stood before his presence, and he was pleased with
them for having been so quick in obeying the orders his wife had given
them.
  He spoke to Iris first. “Go,” said he, “fleet Iris, tell King
Neptune what I now bid you—and tell him true. Bid him leave off
fighting, and either join the company of the gods, or go down into the
sea. If he takes no heed and disobeys me, let him consider well
whether he is strong enough to hold his own against me if I attack
him. I am older and much stronger than he is; yet he is not afraid
to set himself up as on a level with myself, of whom all the other
gods stand in awe.”
  Iris, fleet as the wind, obeyed him, and as the cold hail or
snowflakes that fly from out the clouds before the blast of Boreas,
even so did she wing her way till she came close up to the great
shaker of the earth. Then she said, “I have come, O dark-haired king
that holds the world in his embrace, to bring you a message from Jove.
He bids you leave off fighting, and either join the company of the
gods or go down into the sea; if, however, you take no heed and
disobey him, he says he will come down here and fight you. He would
have you keep out of his reach, for he is older and much stronger than
you are, and yet you are not afraid to set yourself up as on a level
with himself, of whom all the other gods stand in awe.”
  Neptune was very angry and said, “Great heavens! strong as Jove
may be, he has said more than he can do if he has threatened
violence against me, who am of like honour with himself. We were three
brothers whom Rhea bore to Saturn—Jove, myself, and Hades who rules
the world below. Heaven and earth were divided into three parts, and
each of us was to have an equal share. When we cast lots, it fell to
me to have my dwelling in the sea for evermore; Hades took the
darkness of the realms under the earth, while air and sky and clouds
were the portion that fell to Jove; but earth and great Olympus are
the common property of all. Therefore I will not walk as Jove would
have me. For all his strength, let him keep to his own third share and
be contented without threatening to lay hands upon me as though I were
nobody. Let him keep his bragging talk for his own sons and daughters,
who must perforce obey him.
  Iris fleet as the wind then answered, “Am I really, Neptune, to take
this daring and unyielding message to Jove, or will you reconsider
your answer? Sensible people are open to argument, and you know that
the Erinyes always range themselves on the side of the older person.”
  Neptune answered, “Goddess Iris, your words have been spoken in
season. It is well when a messenger shows so much discretion.
Nevertheless it cuts me to the very heart that any one should rebuke
so angrily another who is his own peer, and of like empire with
himself. Now, however, I will give way in spite of my displeasure;
furthermore let me tell you, and I mean what I say—if contrary to the
desire of myself, Minerva driver of the spoil, Juno, Mercury, and King
Vulcan, Jove spares steep Ilius, and will not let the Achaeans have
the great triumph of sacking it, let him understand that he will incur
our implacable resentment.”
  Neptune now left the field to go down under the sea, and sorely
did the Achaeans miss him. Then Jove said to Apollo, “Go, dear
Phoebus, to Hector, for Neptune who holds the earth in his embrace has
now gone down under the sea to avoid the severity of my displeasure.
Had he not done so those gods who are below with Saturn would have
come to hear of the fight between us. It is better for both of us that
he should have curbed his anger and kept out of my reach, for I should
have had much trouble with him. Take, then, your tasselled aegis,
and shake it furiously, so as to set the Achaean heroes in a panic;
take, moreover, brave Hector, O Far-Darter, into your own care, and
rouse him to deeds of daring, till the Achaeans are sent flying back
to their ships and to the Hellespont. From that point I will think
it well over, how the Achaeans may have a respite from their
troubles.”
  Apollo obeyed his father’s saying, and left the crests of Ida,
flying like a falcon, bane of doves and swiftest of all birds. He
found Hector no longer lying upon the ground, but sitting up, for he
had just come to himself again. He knew those who were about him,
and the sweat and hard breathing had left him from the moment when the
will of aegis-bearing Jove had revived him. Apollo stood beside him
and said, “Hector, son of Priam, why are you so faint, and why are you
here away from the others? Has any mishap befallen you?”
  Hector in a weak voice answered, “And which, kind sir, of the gods
are you, who now ask me thus? Do you not know that Ajax struck me on
the chest with a stone as I was killing his comrades at the ships of
the Achaeans, and compelled me to leave off fighting? I made sure that
this very day I should breathe my last and go down into the house of
Hades.”
  Then King Apollo said to him, “Take heart; the son of Saturn has
sent you a mighty helper from Ida to stand by you and defend you, even
me, Phoebus Apollo of the golden sword, who have been guardian
hitherto not only of yourself but of your city. Now, therefore,
order your horsemen to drive their chariots to the ships in great
multitudes. I will go before your horses to smooth the way for them,
and will turn the Achaeans in flight.”
  As he spoke he infused great strength into the shepherd of his
people. And as a horse, stabled and full-fed, breaks loose and gallops
gloriously over the plain to the place where he is wont to take his
bath in the river—he tosses his head, and his mane streams over his
shoulders as in all the pride of his strength he flies full speed to
the pastures where the mares are feeding—even so Hector, when he
heard what the god said, urged his horsemen on, and sped forward as
fast as his limbs could take him. As country peasants set their hounds
on to a homed stag or wild goat—he has taken shelter under rock or
thicket, and they cannot find him, but, lo, a bearded lion whom
their shouts have roused stands in their path, and they are in no
further humour for the chase—even so the Achaeans were still charging
on in a body, using their swords and spears pointed at both ends,
but when they saw Hector going about among his men they were afraid,
and their hearts fell down into their feet.
  Then spoke Thoas son of Andraemon, leader of the Aetolians, a man
who could throw a good throw, and who was staunch also in close fight,
while few could surpass him in debate when opinions were divided. He
then with all sincerity and goodwill addressed them thus: “What, in
heaven’s name, do I now see? Is it not Hector come to life again?
Every one made sure he had been killed by Ajax son of Telamon, but
it seems that one of the gods has again rescued him. He has killed
many of us Danaans already, and I take it will yet do so, for the hand
of Jove must be with him or he would never dare show himself so
masterful in the forefront of the battle. Now, therefore, let us all
do as I say; let us order the main body of our forces to fall back
upon the ships, but let those of us who profess to be the flower of
the army stand firm, and see whether we cannot hold Hector back at the
point of our spears as soon as he comes near us; I conceive that he
will then think better of it before he tries to charge into the
press of the Danaans.”
  Thus did he speak, and they did even as he had said. Those who
were about Ajax and King Idomeneus, the followers moreover of
Teucer, Meriones, and Meges peer of Mars called all their best men
about them and sustained the fight against Hector and the Trojans, but
the main body fell back upon the ships of the Achaeans.
  The Trojans pressed forward in a dense body, with Hector striding on
at their head. Before him went Phoebus Apollo shrouded in cloud
about his shoulders. He bore aloft the terrible aegis with its
shaggy fringe, which Vulcan the smith had given Jove to strike
terror into the hearts of men. With this in his hand he led on the
Trojans.
  The Argives held together and stood their ground. The cry of
battle rose high from either side, and the arrows flew from the
bowstrings. Many a spear sped from strong hands and fastened in the
bodies of many a valiant warrior, while others fell to earth midway,
before they could taste of man’s fair flesh and glut themselves with
blood. So long as Phoebus Apollo held his aegis quietly and without
shaking it, the weapons on either side took effect and the people
fell, but when he shook it straight in the face of the Danaans and
raised
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2013
You Sir, Are An Electrician!


technocrat
— noun
a proponent, adherent, or supporter of technocracy.



This city boy was expert at
Turning the lights on,
Unlocking the front door,
Putting new batteries in flashlights,
And calling the handyman to
"Please come upstairs"
When the degree of diving difficulty was a
Positive number.

Also,
Freezing the semi-permanently the DVR,
Triggering alarms,
Killing car batteries,
Making laptops question
Human sanity,
Tearing up when reading,
"Some Assembly Required!"

Raised in a city of experts,
He was unskilled in things electric,
Becoming apoplectic,
When a device had an
On/off switch that ignored him.

Somewhat famous he was,
For engaging the inanimate,
In a verbal dialectic,
Which included words highly phonetic,
But unsuitable for children's ears.

She was raised in rural pastures,
Corn fields used for hide n' go seek,
Riding goats after school
Just for fun,
Familiar with innards of
Deus ex machina, a/k/a
Minor engine repairs, and
Doing what he called,
Making reparations.

IOS7, heaven.
Cabling laptop to external devices,
Icing on the cake,
Dis and reassembling a German coffee maker,
Did not require calling an 800 number.
She never read an instruction sheet
Without pleasurable laughing at
Japanese English.

He was unashamed of his skilled
Unskilled characteristics,
For such is the way of the world
In the human kingdom,
Some of us two handed,
some of us, bi-standers.

But upon occasion,
He would bemoan his fate,
Decry his inability to survive
On a post-apocalyptic Earth,
Like the people on tv and movies.

Periodically he would grow morose,
Listless, at his inability to adapt to a
Point Oh world.
Uncomprehending
Icons and symbols whose meaning
Were wholly unintuitive,
He secretly ashamed of his need for
technological ******.

She would sense his frustration,
Wipe away his inner condensation,
Climbing into his lap,
Whispering the following:

You sir, are an electrician
of words, a verbal technocrat,

Plumber of the depths where
Few fear to tread, explorer of the head,
Restorer of human paintings unmatched,
Without your ilk,
this world would be unbearable,
Your heart's warming silk
Comforts bodies and souls,
Speaking from experience personal.

Then, she flicked his
On/Off switch,
On.
Don't  believe a word of this, except for the downloading of IOS7.
Michael S Davis Feb 2013
Grandma read her Bible every day. She cherished those words of Psalm Twenty-three. With delight, I find that she provided a way for us to physically cling to those words in the days and weeks and months and years to come.
Grandma loved flowers, she loved her church, she loved her dogs, she loved her family and she loved to sew. For each of her children and their children, and their children, and other family and friends she made dolls, potholders, and… quilts. Each one pieced together by her hand. She worked on her last quilt at age 96.
Into each of those quilts we find the words of that psalm symbolically emblazoned. Those words were part of all she did, as God so lovingly knit them into her heart over the years; with every fresh sunrise and stunning sunset, with each beaming smile and falling tear, every sparkling joy and shadowing sorrow, each blossoming flower and obstinate ****, every delightful birth and parting death, and each victory and defeat.

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”
So she takes some cloth - scraps from favorite dresses of sunshine yellow, powder blue and rose pink, and with experienced hands stitches patches of provision and contentment into the heart of that quilt that is ours.    

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures...”
In go some bits of green with a little floral print and we have something to wrap up in for moments of rest in the midst of our tumultuous lives.

“He leadeth me beside still waters...”
She picks up some clear bright blue strips and with them provides some satisfaction amidst all of our frustrations.

“He restoreth my soul...”
She understands that so, she makes sure the quilt is just the right size and lets us know that we are worth the effort and time and love that God focused on her throughout the years.  

She stitches and sews the words...
“He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for His name sake...”
As she joins each piece to another and then to another until they make a square, and one square to another until she has a block, and one block to another until the quilt needs a border; and with that border, she frames for us a picture of what happens when there is a plan. She wants us to know that God has a plan for each of us, that there is a right way.

With the words...
“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me...”
She adds piece upon piece until that quilt is part of who she is, and then she gives it to us, each one, and we have a part of her that tells us who we are. That she is with us, as God is with her. No matter where we go or how far we range, how high we soar or how low we fall, her quilt reminds us that she is part of who we are. She wants us to know that she found her security in her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Grandma wants each of us to be that secure.

“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me...”
It is amazing how soft and full and pleasant Grandma’s quilts are to the touch. They are quilts of substance.  All those many different pieces of cloth of diverse sources and materials come together to make a quilt that brings us comfort while laying across our lap, or when we curl up in it when a chill is in the air.  Her quilt comforts us because it gives us a boundary that is safe. We are wrapped up safe and warm in here, and the cold world is out there. In the same way Grandma found that God gives that same sense of comfort - boundaries that we are safe within. Comfort comes for each of us when we wrap ourselves up within the boundaries that God has prepared for us.

“You prepareth a table before me in the presence of my enemies,
you anoint my head with oil, my cup runneth over,
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life...”
Grandma learned long before she began her hundredth year that, as bad as things often got and as bleak as the future often seemed; in proper perspective, God had abundantly and mercifully blessed her. In all those years that she lived alone and independently, she found that God was ever present with her. He was her constant companion. Her quilt provides us now with that sense of her abiding love and presence in our lives, and points to God’s constant presence in hers.  When we wrap ourselves up in our quilts made by Grandma’s own two hands, we can put things into perspective; realizing anew that we, indeed, have been blessed. If nothing else, we can know that we have been touched in such a special way as to have someone who loves us make us each our own personal quilt.

“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Alleluia! To know that Grandma today is safe and secure in the arms of God is a comfort that we cherish. That body, worn down by a century of living here on earth, God will make fit for eternity.
How does that relate to her quilts? It’s all about belonging. She has an eternal home. She belongs there, now. Having been given a quilt by someone who made it especially for you, you can know a little about the sense of belonging that she is experiencing with the saints today. It says that you are part of the person who made it and that they are part of you. You belong.
     There are many, many people in this world who do not know and will never know what it means to belong. Your mama, grandmother, great grandmother has given you that gift; the gift of belonging. She also wants you to know that only God, through Jesus Christ, can give you that gift for eternity.
     More than anything else today Grandma’s prayer for you is that you will find the quilt of God’s love that is found in Jesus Christ. Her hope for you, in the days, weeks, months and years to come, is that you will find contentment, rest, satisfaction, renewal, security, perspective, comfort - and belonging; as you curl up with the quilt she made, just for you.

©2001 Michael S. Davis, An Eulogy by her Grandson
In Memory of Grandma,
Mrs. Beulah Bachman Bradley
December 29, 1901 - August 2, 2001
I think this fits in as poetic in broadly defined way. It is an eulogy using a poem (Psalm) of David as a framework that I did for my grandmother. Tell me what you think.

— The End —