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RAJ NANDY Sep 2018
Dear Poet Friends, Torin Galleshaw from Charlotte NC, a Member of this Site, had requested me to compose about the Rise of Third *****. Therefore, I have commenced with the causes for its Rise in my Part One posted below. Planning to compose Part Two with ******’s Blitzkrieg campaign of Poland later. It is unfortunate that I am unable to post related Maps & Photos for better appreciation of my Readers! Such options are not available for us here! However, I have managed to post a copy with maps & photos in the E-mail ID of my friend Torin!  Kindly give comments only after reading this researched work of mine, during your spare time.  Thanking you, - Raj, New Delhi.

            STORY OF SECOND WORLD WAR – PART ONE
                            RISE OF THE THIRD *****
                                       By Raj Nandy

                                  INTRODUCTION
In this part I shall mainly deal with the causes leading to the Second World War,
Which had also created favourable conditions for the rise of Third ***** under ******.
The word ‘*****’ derives from old German word ‘rihhi’ meaning ‘realm’;  
But is also used to designate a kingdom or an empire in a broader sense.
Historically, the First ***** was the Medieval Holy Roman Empire which lasted till the end of the 19th Century.
While the Second ***** was the First German Empire from 1871 to 1918, when dynamic Otto Von Bismark had united all of Germany,
Which ended with its defeat in World War One and birth of the Weimar Republic.
The Third ***** refers to the **** German Empire under ******, Which lasted from 1933 till 1945, for twelve traumatic eventful years!
Historians opine that the ending of a war is equally important as
its beginning;
Since the causes for the start of a war is often to be found embedded in its ending!
The First World War came to an end on 28th of June 1919 as we all know.
With the signing of the Treaty at Versailles by the German Foreign Minister Hermann Muller and the ‘Big Four’.  (Britain, France, America, & Italy)
Yet it is rather ironical, that this Peace Treaty of Versailles, considered as President Woodrow Wilson’s ‘brain child’,
Had sowed the seeds of discontent resulting in the outbreak of the Second World War, and Adolf ******’s dramatic rise!

Though several causes are attributed for the outbreak of the Second World War by our Military Historians.
Let me try to summarise those causes which are considered to be more relevant.
Commencing with the harsh Treaty of Versailles, the British and French Policy of Appeasement, followed by Hyperinflation and the Great Depression of 1929, and failure of The League of Nations to maintain peace;  
Are relevant factors which collectively combined resulting in the outbreak of the devastating Second World War, scarring human memories for all time!
But not forgetting ******’s forceful and persuasive eloquence which mesmerised the Germans to rise up as a powerful Nation once again.
Since ****** promised to avenge the humiliation faced by Germany following the Treaty of Versailles,
Which was drawn up with vengeance, and dictated by the victorious Allies!

THE  ARMISTICE  AND TREATY OF VERSAILLES:    
Armistice means a truce for cessation of hostilities, which provides a breathing space for negotiating a lasting peace.
Now the Armistice ceasing the First World War was signed inside the railway carriage of the Allied Supreme Commander Marshal Foch, in the Forest of Compiegne,
On the 11th of November 1919, sixty km north of Paris, between the victorious Allies and vanquished Germany.
But in the meantime naval blockade of Germany had continued, and the German Rhineland was evacuated and partly occupied by the combined Allied troops!
Release of Allied POWs interned civilians followed subsequently; And the Reparations Clause of monetary compensation was strictly imposed on Germany!
Now, following a wide spread German Sailor’s Revolt towards the end of October 1918, Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm-II had abdicated;
And on the 9th of November Friedrich Ebert, as the new Social Democrat President of Germany, authorised his representative to sign the Compiegne Armistice.
We should remember here that this Armistice seeking cessation of hostilities did not stipulate any unconditional surrender;
And the signing of the Armistice by the German Social Democrats, was considered as ‘a stab in the back of the German army’ by majority of the Germans!
These issues get repeatedly mentioned by Adolf ****** in his eloquent speeches subsequently,
To arouse the spirit of German Nationalism, and resurgence of the ‘Master Aryan Race’ of the Germans, - in Germany!

The Versailles Treaty was signed on 28th of June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand which had sparked World War One.
Let me mention few aspects of this Treaty which was detested by the Germans!
Germany lost 13% of its land, 12% of its people, 48% of its iron resources, 15% of its agricultural production, and 10% of its coal, following its implementation!
German army was reduced to 100,000 men, its Navy reduced to 36 ships with no submarines, its Air Force banned, and its union with Austria forbidden.
Now to use a Shakespearean phrase the ‘unkindest cut of all’ came in the shape of Article 231,  the ‘War Guilt Clause’ of the Versailles Treaty,
Which provided the legal basis for the payment of war reparations by Germany.
The reparation amount of 132 billion gold marks (US $33 billion) to cover the civilian damage caused during the war, now had to be paid by Germany!
Thus the humiliation, resentment, and the virtual economic strangulation following the Versailles Treaty,
Was exploited by extremist groups such as ******’s **** Party.
And in the decades to follow, ******’s Nazis would take full control of Germany!

NOTES: Following Versailles Treaty, Alsace-Lorraine captured by Germany in 1870 was returned to France. The SAAR German coalfield region was give to France for 15 yrs. Poland became independent with a corridor to the sea dividing Germany into two. Danzing, a major port in East Prussia, became a free city under the League of Nation. Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, & Czechoslovakia became independent. Industrial area of German Rhineland, forming a buffer zone between Belgium &France,was
demilitarised.

WOODROW WILSON’S  14 - POINT PEACE INITIATIVE  & THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS:
American President Wilson was an idealist and a visionary, who in a speech to the US Congress on 8th Jan 1918,
Introduced a 14 Point Charter as a platform for building global peace, based on the principles of transparency, self-determination, and Democracy.
But for the first time in US history, the Republican-led US Senate rejected this Peace Treaty, and prevented America from joining the newly created League!
The US Senate wanted to retain its sovereignty without external entanglements;
Free from the League of Nation’s political dictates in its foreign commitments!
The Irish immigrants refused to support Wilson's Fourteen Points because Wilson was concerned about stopping WWI, rather than forcing the British to set Ireland free.
Many Jews also refused to back Wilson, since he was paying too much attention to the War, and not enough to the Balfour Declaration of 02 Nov 1917, -
Which promised an Independent Jewish State with a distinct Jewish identity.

The League of Nations had emerged from Wilson’s 14 Points on the 10th Jan 1920, with its HQs at Geneva, Switzerland, but it had no peacekeeping forces those days!
The League had failed to prevent invasion of Chinese Manchuria in 1932 by Japan;
Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1935; annexation of Sudetenland and Austria by Germany!
The Axis countries Germany, Italy, and Japan, withdrew from the League subsequently.
Thus the League of Nations was disbanded in 1946 officially!
But President Wilson’s ceaseless efforts for global peace did not go unrecognised,
Since on the 10th of December 1920, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!
While his disbanded League of Nations, as the first global humanitarian organisation,
Continued to survive in spirit with the establishment of United Nations Organisation on the 24th October, 1945.

ECONOMIC CAUSES - FOLLOWED BY THE GREAT DEPRESSION OF 1929 :
Germany emerged from the First World War with loss of 25,000 square miles of territory;
Loss of seven million inhabitants, and a staggering debt imposed by the Versailles Treaty!
The Wiemar Republic, after abdication of Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm-II  to Holland,
For the first time in German history, established a Democratic Constitution with Friedrich Ebert as its first President.
But The Republic first had to consolidate itself by squashing the Spartacist Revolt of January 1919 led by the extreme Leftists, and inspired by the Russian Bolshevik Communists!
The Freikorps, in March 1920, an Ex-Soldiers Rightist Group, tried to overthrow the Wiemar Republic with support of their Rightist allies and their own veteran troops!
This was soon followed by a Communist attempt to takeover of the Industrial Rhur;
But fortunately, all these uprisings against the Republic were effectively subdued!
But the 33 Billion Dollars of Reparations hung over the Wiemar Republic like the legendary ‘Sword of Damocles’, followed by the Great Depression of 1929;
Coupled with the ‘Policy of Appeasement’ practised by the British and the French;
Became the most important causes for ******’s expansionist ambition and his short- lived meteoric rise to fame!

GERMAN PAPER CURRENCY & HYPERINFLATION:
Gold Mark was the currency used by the German Empire from 1873 to 1914 only.
But to pay for the costs of the ongoing First World War, Germany suspended the gold standard, and decided to fund the war by Borrowings entirely,
Hoping to pay back the loans after Germany achieves Victory.
But having lost the war, and faced with a massive debt imposed by the Allies,
Exchange rate of the Mark against the US Dollar steadily devalued and declined!
Papiermark became the German currency from 04th August 1914 onward, when link between the Mark and gold reserve was abandoned,
In order to pay for the ongoing expenses of the First World War with paper marks, which was constantly being printed!
But later after the war, when the London Ultimatum of May 1921 demanded payment of war reparations in gold or in foreign currency only,
Even more paper marks got printed by the Republic to buy those foreign currency !
By December 1922 hyper-inflationary trends emerged, when the US Dollar became equivalent to 7,400 German Marks, with a 15-fold increase in the cost of living !
By the fall of 1922 when it became impossible for Germany to make further payments,
The French and Belgium armies occupied Germany’s Ruhr Valley area, its prime industrial region!
French and the Belgians hoped to extract payment in kind, but a strike by the workers of the Ruhr area their hopes belied!
The Wiemar Republic printed more paper notes to pay and support the workers of the Ruhr area,
When hyperinflation had peaked at 4,210,500,000,000 German Marks, to a US Dollar!
Paper currency having become worthless, some form of ancient barter system began to be used instead!

STABILISATION OF GERMAN ECONOMY WITH ONSET OF  THE GREAT DEPRESSION:
Following the hyperinflation Chancellor Josef Cuno’s cabinet resigned in August 1923,
When Gustav Stresemann became the new Chancellor of Germany.
Stresemann’s Government had introduced the Rentenmark as a new stable currency,
To end the hyperinflation which had plagued Wiemar Germany.  
Rentenmark was backed by real goods, agricultural land and business,
Since gold was not available in a beleaguered German economy those days!
When One Rentenmark was equivalent to One million, million, old German Mark;
While One US Dollar was equivalent to only 4.2 Rentenmarks.
Though Stresemann’s Government lasted for 100 days only, Stresemann continued to serve as the Foreign Minister in successive Coalition Governments of the Republic,
Till his death in the month of October 1929, but working for the betterment of Germany all the while!
His ‘Policy of Fulfilment’ stabilised German economy with a 200 Million Dollars loan from America under the Dawes Plan in 1924,
Which had also ensured the evacuation of France from the occupied Ruhr area, with their future reparations payments ensured.
Stresemann’s signing of the Locarno Pact in London on 1st Dec 1925 with France, Belgium, Great Britain, and Italy, was considered as his achievement and a feat!
Since it made Germany to enter the League of Nations ensuring stability and peace;
While the Noble Peace Prize was awarded to Stresemann for his efforts in 1926!
Later, the Young Plan of 1929 further reduced German reparations payment by 20%, while extending the time frame for the payments to 59 years!
But following a sudden Wall Street Stock Market Crash in late October of 1929,
The American Banks were forced to recall money from Europe and the Young Plan;.
Which created acute financial distress when unemployment soared to 33.7%  in Germany in 1931, and quickly rose to 40% during the following year!
Lausanne Conference was held in Switzerland in 1932 by Great Britain, Germany, and France, to further reduce the War Debts imposed by the Versailles Treaty.
But in Dec 1932, the US Congress had rejected this Allied War Debt Reduction Plan completely.
However, no further payments were made by Germany due to the Great Depression;
And by 1932, Germany had paid only 1/8 of the total sum required to be paid as per their pending wartime reparations!

NOTES: Rentenmark was issued on 15 October 1923 to stop the hyperinflation in Wiemeer Germany. Reichmark was the currency in Germany from 1924 to 20 June 1948 in West Germany , when it was replaced by the Deutsche Mark; but had continued in East Germany until 23 June when it was replaced by East German Mark.
During the Stresemann Years of Stability from 1924 to 1929, (prior to the onset of the Great Depression), with help of American financial aid, created more housing & production in Germany. Dada & Expressionist Art forms flourished, followed by modern architecture; also the Philosophy of Existentialism of Thomas Mann – influenced the Western culture. Paul Whiteman's Band for the first time brought in American Jazz to Germany, and Jazz signified the liberation of German youth and women folks of the younger generation generally. But the US Stock Market Crash had unfortunately ended this short lived euphoria, and as it soon became a global phenomena!                                


FAILURE OF THE WIEMAR REPUBLIC & THE GREAT DEPRESSION WHICH BENEFITED THE NAZIS:
Last Days of Wiemar Republic:
Ever since Otto Von Bismarck that ‘Man of iron and steel’, united Germany into a single Empire in the year Eighteen Hundred & Seventy One,
For the first time a Constitution for a Parliamentary Democracy was drawn up in August 1919, in the eastern German city of Wiemar.
Wiemar was the intellectual centre of Germany associated with musicians like Franz List, and writers like Goethe and Schiller.
The Wiemar Republic of Germany which had lasted from 1919 till 1933 had seen,
20 different Coalition Governments, with frequent elections and changing loyalties!
Due to a system of proportional representations, and the presence of very many political parties those days,  
No single party could obtain absolute sole majority in the Reichstag Parliament!
The longest Coalition Govt. was under Chancellor Bruning, which had lasted for only 2 years and 61 days!     (From 30 March 1930 to 30 May 1932)
Now, to understand the reasons for the failure to maintain a Democratic form of Government by the Wiemar Republic,
It becomes necessary to monitor its ‘dying gasps’ during its closing years so to speak!
Since faced with the economic depression Chancellor Bruning had worsened the unemployment situation by adopting stringent and unpopular measures!
Thereby having lost popular political support, Bruning with the approval of President Hindenburg, invoked emergency powers under Article 48, to survive his last few months and years!
During the years 1931 and 1932  it is seen, Bruning had used this Emergency Clause 44 and 66 times respectively!
Thus his so-called ‘Presidential form of Govt.’ had undermined Wiemar Democracy!
If Burning was the ‘Republic’s Undertaker’, now remains a debatable issue of History!
But Burning’s vigorous campaign made Hindenburg to get re-elected as the President;
Thereby he had removed the defeated Adolf ****** out of the Presidential race!
Therefore, later when ****** became the Chancellor on 30 Jan 1933, Bruning had very wisely fled from Germany!

Following Bruning’s resignation in May 1932 came Chancellor Papen’s ‘Cabinet of Barons’ consisting of individuals who were not members of the German Reichstag!
While in the election of July 1932 ******’s **** Party won 230 seats, making it the largest party in the Reichstag.
But ****** refused to form a coalition with Papen, because he wanted to become the Chancellor himself !
Now General von Schleicher advised President Hindenburg that the German Army,
Would not accept Papen’s use of Article 48 to remain as the Chancellor of Germany!
Therefore following Papen’s resignation, Schleicher took over on the 04th of December 1932 as the new German Chancellor.
Schleicher tried to restore a democratic form of government to get the Wiemar Republic back on its feet.
But in the ensuing political power struggle Papen wanted to take revenge on Schleicher for his removal from power and defeat.
So Papen persuaded Adolf ****** to become the Chancellor, and retain for himself the post of Vice-Chancellor.
In doing so, Papen mistakenly thought that he would be able to reign in the self-assertive Adolf ******!
Papen finally made President Hindenburg agree to his proposal, and on 30th of Jan 1933,
****** became the New Chancellor, with approval of the President!
A month later a sudden fire in the Reichstag made ****** invoke Article 48, in order to squash the suspected Left Wing Communists;
But while doing so, the Press was muzzled, and many Civil Rights of the German people were abolished, inclusive of their right of assembly and free speech!
****** acted swiftly, and by passing the Enabling Act on 23 March, 1933, armed himself  with dictatorial powers for enacting laws without the approval of the Reichstag whenever necessary!
Thereby ****** threw Democracy to History’s wasteland most unfortunately!
Following the death of Hindenburg on 29 June 1934, ****** combined the powers of the President and the Chancellor, and became known as the FUHRER!
Historians generally agree the Enabling Act of 1933, as the date for establishment of The German Third *****.

THE POLICY OF APPEASEMENT AND GERMAN AGGRESSION:
The horrors of trench warfare with the rattling of machine guns and bursting of poisonous nerve gas shells,
Even after 20 years remained fresh, in the minds of all World War One participants!
Therefore, it was natural for British and French Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier initially,
To grant political and material concessions to an aggressive Germany, for the sake of peace and stability.
Thus the diplomatic stance of Appeasement between 1935 and 1939 followed by the French and the British, was mainly to avoid another dangerous armed conflict!
But the trusting Mr. Chamberlain had underestimated ******, who had served in the German Army as a Corporal, winning the Iron Cross during the last Great War!
****** was not afraid of war, but wanted to avenge the Treaty of Versailles and its punitive dictated peace;
And also establish for the superior German Aryan race a lasting Third *****!
Therefore, having consolidated his power as the Fuhrer along with his trusted **** Party cronies, he withdrew from the League of Nations in October 1933.
Introduced conscription in March 1935 in Germany, and embarked on a mission to rebuild a new modernised German Army for combat on land, air, and sea!
In March 1936, in another open violation of the Versailles Treaty, ****** re-occupied the demilitarised Rhineland, followed by a Treaty of Alliance with Japan and Italy.
The much desired Anschluss (or merger) with Austria, the country of birth of ******,
Saw the German Army in March 1938, triumphantly and peacefully marching into Vienna!
Now with the Munich Conference of 19 September 1938, this Policy of Appeasement is said to have reached its climatic peak!
The Sudetenland area, consisted of 3 million Germans were made
to join Czechoslovakia when the frontiers were drawn in 1918-19,
Much against the wishes of the Germans!
When ****** wanted to annex this Sudetenland area, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, met at Munich to diffuse an explosive situation peacefully.
It was agreed at Munich that once Sudetenland joins Germany, ****** will not invade Czechoslovakia and honour the terms of peace.
But on 15th March 1939, in violation of the Munich Agreement, ******’s army invade and occupied Czechoslovakia, thereby openly flouting the Policy of Appeasement!

NOTES: ******’s desire for ‘LEBENSRAUM’ or ‘increase of living space’ for the Germans, commenced with his ‘Border Wars’, which soon turned into a Global War because of the ‘appeasement policy’ of the Allies. ****** had secured his Eastern Front with a treaty with the Stalin, since fighting on two fronts would have been very difficult for the Germans.

Now when ******’s army invaded Poland on 1st of September 1939, it became ‘the last straw on the camel’s back’ for the Western Allies!
Committed to the Anglo-Polish Defence Pact of 25 August, 1939, both Britain and France declared war on Germany,
Which I propose to narrate in Part Two of my Second World War Story.  
The Policy of Appeasement no doubt gave some time for Britain, to regain its depleted military strength,  but Adolf ****** had viewed it as a sign of weakness!
With Russia and America initially as non-participants, ****** became more confident and arrogant!
Thereby turning his border wars into a global conflagration lasting six long years.
When the use of advanced technology, resulted in greater loss and casualties;  
Which was followed by the holocaust and unprecedented human suffering!
I would like to conclude my present narration with a poem by English soldier-poet Seigfried Sassoon, who participated in the First World War on the Western Front.

DREAMERS  -  by Siegfried Sassoon
Soldiers are citizens of death's gray land,
Drawing no dividend from time's to-morrows.
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win
Some flaming, fatal ****** with their lives.
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
They think of firelit homes, clean beds, and wives.

I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,
And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,
Dreaming of things they did with ***** and bats,
And mocked by hopeless longing to regain
Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,
And going to the office in the train.
…………………………………………………………………………
Thanks for reading patiently, from Raj Nandy of New Delhi.
  *ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR ONLY
Matt Feb 2015
Form is emptiness
Emptiness is form

1. Sunyata (Emptiness) is the profound meaning of the Mahayana Teaching.

Two thousand five hundred years ago, the Buddha was able to realise "emptiness" (s. sunyata). By doing so he freed himself from unsatisfactoriness (s. dukkha). From the standpoint of enlightenment, sunyata is the reality of all worldly existences (s. dharma). It is the realisation of Bodhi — Prajna. From the standpoint of liberation, sunyata is the skilful means that disentangle oneself from defilement and unsatisfactoriness. The realisation of sunyata leads one to no attachment and clinging. It is the skilful means towards enlightenment and also the fruit of enlightenment.

There are two ways for us to understand this concept of sunyata in the Mahayana context. One way is to try to understand the explanation about its true nature. The other way is the realisation through practice. What we are going to discuss now is about its true nature.

Mahayana teachings have always considered that the understanding of sunyata is an attainment which is extremely difficult and extraordinarily profound.

For example, in the Prajna Sutra it says "That which is profound, has sunyata and non-attachment as its significance. No form nor deeds, no rising nor falling, are its implications."

Again in the Dvadasanikaya Sastra (composed by Nagarjuna, translated to Chinese by Kumarajiva A.D. 408) it says: "The greatest wisdom is the so-called sunyata."

This sunyata, no creation, calmness and extinction (s. nirvana) is of a profound significance in the Mahayana teachings. Why do we see it as the most profound teaching? This is because there is no worldly knowledge, be it general studies, science or philosophy, that can lead to the attainment of the state of sunyata. The only path to its realisation is via the supreme wisdom of an impassionate and discriminating mind. It is beyond the common worldly understanding.

2. The Significance of Sunyata and Cessation

The Buddha always used the terms void, no rising and falling, calmness and extinction to explain the profound meaning of sunyata and cessation. The teachings of the Buddha that were described in words are generally common to worldly understandings. If one interprets the teachings superficially from the words and languages used, one will only gain worldly knowledge and not the deeper implication of the teachings. The teachings of the Buddha have their supra-mundane contexts that are beyond the worldly knowledge.

For example, sunyata and the state of nirvana where there is no rising nor falling, are interpreted by most people as a state of non-existence and gloom. They fail to realise that quite the opposite, sunyata is of substantial and positive significance.

The sutras often use the word "great void" to explain the significance of sunyata. In general, we understand the "great void" as something that contains absolutely nothing. However, from a Buddhist perspective, the nature of the "great void" implies something which does not obstruct other things, in which all matters perform their own functions. Materials are form, which by their nature, imply obstruction. The special characteristic of the "great void" is non-obstruction. The "great void" therefore, does not serve as an obstacle to them. Since the "great void" exhibits no obstructive tendencies, it serves as the foundation for matter to function. In other words, if there was no "great void" nor characteristic of non-obstruction, it would be impossible for the material world to exist and function.

The "great void" is not separated from the material world. The latter depends on the former. We can state that the profound significance of sunyata and the nature of sunyata in Buddhism highlights the "great void’s" non-obstructive nature.

Sunyata does not imply the "great void". Instead, it is the foundation of all phenomena (form and mind). It is the true nature of all phenomena, and it is the basic principle of all existence. In other words, if the universe’s existence was not empty nor impermanent, then all resulting phenomena could not have arisen due to the co-existence of various causes and there would be no rising nor falling. The nature of sunyata is of positive significance!

Calmness and extinction are the opposite of rising and falling. They are another way to express that there is no rising and falling. Rising and falling are the common characteristics of worldly existence. All phenomena are always in the cycle of rising and falling. However, most people concentrate on living (rising). They think that the universe and life are the reality of a continuous existence.

Buddhism on the other hand, promotes the value of a continuous cessation (falling). This cessation does not imply that it ceases to exist altogether. Instead, it is just a state in the continuous process of phenomena. In this material world, or what we may call this "state of existence", everything eventually ceases to exist. Cessation is definitely the home of all existences. Since cessation is the calm state of existence and the eventual refuge of all phenomena, it is also the foundation for all activities and functions.

The Amitabha Buddha who was, and is, revered and praised by Buddhists around the world, radiates indefinite light and life from this "state of cessation". This state is a continuous process of calmness. It will be the eventual refuge for us all. If we think carefully about the definitions of calmness and extinction, then we can deduce that they are the true natural end-points of rising and falling. The true nature of the cycle of rising and falling is calmness and extinction. Because of this nature, all chaos and conflicts in the state of rising and falling will eventually cease. This is attainable by the realisation of prajna.

3. Contemplating the Implications of Sunyata and Stillness (Nirvana) by Observing Worldly Phenomena

All existences exhibit void-nature and nirvana-nature. These natures are the reality of all existence. To realise the truth, we have to contemplate and observe our worldly existence. We cannot realise the former without observing the latter. Consider this Heart Sutra extract, "Only when Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva practised the deep course of wisdom of Prajna Paramita did he come to realise that the five skandhas (aggregates, and material and mental objects) were void."

Profound wisdom leads us to the realisation that all existences are of void-nature. The sutras demonstrate that the profound principle can be understood by contemplating and observing the five skandhas. We cannot realise the truth by seeking something beyond the material and mental world. The Buddha, using his perfect wisdom, observed worldly existence from various implications and aspects, and came to understand all existences.

In summary, there are three paths to this observation:

a) We should observe the preceding state and the current state of conditions. i.e., Observation according to the concept of time.

b) We should observe existences according to their interrelationships. i.e., Observation via the concept of space (either two or three-dimensions).

c) We should observe the true nature of all myriad beings. This is like observing the worldly existences of a point, a line and an area. Those with supreme wisdom understand the true nature of all worldly existences by observing vertically the relationships between the preceding and current conditions, and horizontally the interrelationships. Then we can understand the true meaning of void-nature and nirvana-nature.

3.1 By observing the preceding-stage and the current-stage conditions, we can verify the Law of Impermanence of all worldly existences. All existences, be they material or mental, be they the material world, or the physical or mental states of sentient beings, are subject to continuous change.

The world may have certain states of beings where they stay static or are in equilibrium on a temporary basis (for example hibernation). But when we observe them with supreme wisdom, we will find that not only do they keep changing on a yearly basis, but also that this change applies to even every briefest moment. After the current state of conditions have ceased to exist, the newly-formed state materialises. This is the state of rising and falling. The rising and falling of each small moment reveals that all existences are ever-moving and ever-changing.

Conventional scholars have a very good explanation of these ever-changing worldly conditions. However they, including the practitioners of dharma, try to make sense of the reality from the ever-changing worldly existences. That is, they are fooled by the material existences and are not able to understand the deeper truth of all existences.

Only those with the supreme wisdom of the Buddha and Mahabodhisattvas realise and understand that all existences are illusions. They understand that existences are not real from the observation of the flow of changing existences. The numerous illusionary existences may well be diverse and confusing, arising and decaying. But when we look into their true nature, we will find them void and of nirvana-nature.

On the other hand, since all existences are of nirvana-nature, they appear from the perspective of time, to be ever-changing. They never stay the same even for the briefest moment. Impermanence implies existences do not have a permanent entity. This is another implication of the nature of sunyata and stillness.

3.2 From observations of existence via inter-relationships, we can conclude that nothing is independent of the Law of Causation, and that everything is without ego. For example, the Buddha explains that the individual sentient being is composed of physical, physiological and psychological phenomena. The so called ego is a deluded illusion which does not exist in reality. Its existence depends on the combination of both physical and mental factors. It is a union of organic phenomena. Thus we call it the empirical ego. It is a mistake to cling to it as an infatuated ego.

The Indian concept of the supreme spirit implies someone who rules. The spirit is the ruler who is independent of is self-dependent and all causes. In other words, the spirit is the one who is free from all primary and secondary causes (for physical and mental aspects). The spirit is the one who has the soul of his own body and mind. This is the ego or supreme spirit that the theologists cling to. From their view point, the only way to avoid physical and mental decay is to be self-determined and self-sovereign. In this way, the supreme being can stay permanent in the cycle of reincarnation, and return to the absolute reality by liberating himself from life and death.

But from the profound contemplation and wisdom of the Buddha and Mahabodhisattvas, we know there is no such reality. Instead, egolessness (non-self) is the only path to understand the reality of the deluded life. All existences are subject to the Law of Causes and Conditions. These include the smallest particles, the relationship between the particles, the planets, and the relationship between them, up to and including the whole universe! From the smallest particles to the biggest matter, there exists no absolute independent identity.

Egolessness (non-self) implies the void characteristics of all existence. Egolessness (non-self) signifies the non-existence of permanent identity for self and existence (Dharma). Sunyata stresses the voidness characteristic of self and existence (Dharma). Sunyata and egolessness possess similar attributes. As we have discussed before, we can observe the profound significance of sunyata from the perspective of inter-dependent relationships. Considering dharma-nature and the condition of nirvana, all existences are immaterial and of a void-nature. Then we see each existence as independent of each other. But then we cannot find any material that does exist independent of everything else. So egolessness also implies void-nature!

3.3 From the observation of all existences, we can infer the theory of nirvana and the complete cessation of all phenomena. From the viewpoint of phenomena, all existences are so different from each other, that they may contradict each other. They are so chaotic. In reality, their existence is illusionary and arises from conditional causation. They seem to exist on one hand, and yet do not exist on the other. They seem to be united, but yet they are so different to one another. They seem to exist and yet they do cease! Ultimately everything will return to harmony and complete calmness. This is the nature of all existence. It is the final resting place for all. If we can understand this reality and remove our illusions, we can find this state of harmony and complete calmness.

All our contradictions, impediments and confusion will be converted to equanimity. Free from illusion, complete calmness will be the result of attaining nirvana. The Buddha emphasised the significance of this attainment and encouraged the direct and profound contemplation on void-nature. He said, "Since there is no absolute self-nature thus every existence exhibits void-nature. Because it is void, there is no rising nor falling. Since there is no rising nor falling, thus everything was originally in complete calmness. Its self-nature is nirvana."

From the viewpoint of time and space, we can surmise that all existences are impermanent, all existences have no permanent self, and nirvana is the result of the cessation of all existences - the Three Universal Characteristics. But there are not three different truths. Instead, they are the characteristics of the only absolute truth and the ultimate reality. This is the explanation of Dharma-nature and the condition of nirvana. The three characteristics are the one characteristic, and vice versa!

We may cultivate our meditation, contemplating the impersonality of all existences. This will lead us to enlightenment via the path of voidness. Contemplating nirvana and complete calmness leads to enlightenment by the path of immaterial form. Contemplating the impermanence of all existences, leads us to enlightenment by the path of inactivity (no desire).

The Three Universal Characteristics are the other implications of Dharma-nature and nirvana. The paths to enlightenment are also the same cause of absolute reality. All of them return to the Dharma-nature and the condition of nirvana. In short, the teachings of the Buddha start from the observation and contemplation of all worldly phenomena. They are like thousands of streams of water competing with each other, and flowing from the top of the mountains to the bottom. Eventually, all of them return to the ocean of voidness and nirvana.

4. Sunyata and Cessation is the Truth (Nature) of All Existences.

All existences that are recognised by worldly understanding, whether materially, spiritually or intellectually, have always been misunderstood by us. We cling to them as real, physically existing and permanent. Actually, they are only unreal names.

The more precise meaning of the term "unreal name" is "assumption" or "hypothesis". It is an empirical name. It is formed by the combination of various causes and effects. (These include the effects of mental consciousness.) It does not exist by itself. Everything exists relatively. Thus, what is the ultimate truth? If we investigate existence further, we realise that all existences are empty. This is the fundamental characteristic and reality of all existence. It is ultimate and absolute. But we should not think that empty means nothing. It implies the disentanglement from the worldly misunderstanding of the existence of self, identity, and the realisation of the absolute.

In the Sutras and Abhidharma, the worldly understandings are sometimes referred to as all phenomena (Dharma). Sunyata is referred to as "Dharma-nature", and hence there is a distinction between "phenomena" and "Dhamma-nature". However, this is only an expedient explanation that helps us to realise the truth of sunyata through the phenomena of all existences.

We should not think that "existence" and "nature"; or the "phenomena of Dharma" and "Dharma-nature" are something contradictory. They are just concepts needed to understand the implication of sunyata.

We may analyse the exp
O, for that warning voice, which he, who saw
The Apocalypse, heard cry in Heaven aloud,
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down to be revenged on men,
Woe to the inhabitants on earth! that now,
While time was, our first parents had been warned
The coming of their secret foe, and ’scaped,
Haply so ’scaped his mortal snare:  For now
Satan, now first inflamed with rage, came down,
The tempter ere the accuser of mankind,
To wreak on innocent frail Man his loss
Of that first battle, and his flight to Hell:
Yet, not rejoicing in his speed, though bold
Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
Begins his dire attempt; which nigh the birth
Now rolling boils in his tumultuous breast,
And like a devilish engine back recoils
Upon himself; horrour and doubt distract
His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir
The Hell within him; for within him Hell
He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
One step, no more than from himself, can fly
By change of place:  Now conscience wakes despair,
That slumbered; wakes the bitter memory
Of what he was, what is, and what must be
Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue.
Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view
Lay pleasant, his grieved look he fixes sad;
Sometimes towards Heaven, and the full-blazing sun,
Which now sat high in his meridian tower:
Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began.
O thou, that, with surpassing glory crowned,
Lookest from thy sole dominion like the God
Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminished heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
Of Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere;
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down
Warring in Heaven against Heaven’s matchless King:
Ah, wherefore! he deserved no such return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
What could be less than to afford him praise,
The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks,
How due! yet all his good proved ill in me,
And wrought but malice; lifted up so high
I sdeined subjection, and thought one step higher
Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burdensome still paying, still to owe,
Forgetful what from him I still received,
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharged; what burden then
O, had his powerful destiny ordained
Me some inferiour Angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised
Ambition!  Yet why not some other Power
As great might have aspired, and me, though mean,
Drawn to his part; but other Powers as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations armed.
Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand?
Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to accuse,
But Heaven’s free love dealt equally to all?
Be then his love accursed, since love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe.
Nay, cursed be thou; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threatening to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven.
O, then, at last relent:  Is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the Spirits beneath, whom I seduced
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
The Omnipotent.  Ay me! they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
While they adore me on the throne of Hell.
With diadem and scepter high advanced,
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery:  Such joy ambition finds.
But say I could repent, and could obtain,
By act of grace, my former state; how soon
Would highth recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feigned submission swore?  Ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void.
For never can true reconcilement grow,
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep:
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
And heavier fall:  so should I purchase dear
Short intermission bought with double smart.
This knows my Punisher; therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging, peace;
All hope excluded thus, behold, in stead
Mankind created, and for him this world.
So farewell, hope; and with hope farewell, fear;
Farewell, remorse! all good to me is lost;
Evil, be thou my good; by thee at least
Divided empire with Heaven’s King I hold,
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;
As Man ere long, and this new world, shall know.
Thus while he spake, each passion dimmed his face
Thrice changed with pale, ire, envy, and despair;
Which marred his borrowed visage, and betrayed
Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld.
For heavenly minds from such distempers foul
Are ever clear.  Whereof he soon aware,
Each perturbation smoothed with outward calm,
Artificer of fraud; and was the first
That practised falsehood under saintly show,
Deep malice to conceal, couched with revenge:
Yet not enough had practised to deceive
Uriel once warned; whose eye pursued him down
The way he went, and on the Assyrian mount
Saw him disfigured, more than could befall
Spirit of happy sort; his gestures fierce
He marked and mad demeanour, then alone,
As he supposed, all unobserved, unseen.
So on he fares, and to the border comes
Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,
Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green,
As with a rural mound, the champaign head
Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides
Access denied; and overhead upgrew
Insuperable height of loftiest shade,
Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
A sylvan scene, and, as the ranks ascend,
Shade above shade, a woody theatre
Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops
The verdurous wall of Paradise upsprung;                        

Which to our general sire gave prospect large
Into his nether empire neighbouring round.
And higher than that wall a circling row
Of goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit,
Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue,
Appeared, with gay enamelled colours mixed:
On which the sun more glad impressed his beams
Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow,
When God hath showered the earth; so lovely seemed
That landskip:  And of pure now purer air
Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
All sadness but despair:  Now gentle gales,
Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
Those balmy spoils.  As when to them who fail
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
Mozambick, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabean odours from the spicy shore
Of Araby the blest; with such delay
Well pleased they slack their course, and many a league
Cheered with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles:
So entertained those odorous sweets the Fiend,
Who came their bane; though with them better pleased
Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume
That drove him, though enamoured, from the spouse
Of Tobit’s son, and with a vengeance sent
From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound.
Now to the ascent of that steep savage hill
Satan had journeyed on, pensive and slow;
But further way found none, so thick entwined,
As one continued brake, the undergrowth
Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplexed
All path of man or beast that passed that way.
One gate there only was, and that looked east
On the other side: which when the arch-felon saw,
Due entrance he disdained; and, in contempt,
At one flight bound high over-leaped all bound
Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within
Lights on his feet.  As when a prowling wolf,
Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,
Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve
In hurdled cotes amid the field secure,
Leaps o’er the fence with ease into the fold:
Or as a thief, bent to unhoard the cash
Of some rich burgher, whose substantial doors,
Cross-barred and bolted fast, fear no assault,
In at the window climbs, or o’er the tiles:
So clomb this first grand thief into God’s fold;
So since into his church lewd hirelings climb.
Thence up he flew, and on the tree of life,
The middle tree and highest there that grew,
Sat like a cormorant; yet not true life
Thereby regained, but sat devising death
To them who lived; nor on the virtue thought
Of that life-giving plant, but only used
For prospect, what well used had been the pledge
Of immortality.  So little knows
Any, but God alone, to value right
The good before him, but perverts best things
To worst abuse, or to their meanest use.
Beneath him with new wonder now he views,
To all delight of human sense exposed,
In narrow room, Nature’s whole wealth, yea more,
A Heaven on Earth:  For blissful Paradise
Of God the garden was, by him in the east
Of Eden planted; Eden stretched her line
From Auran eastward to the royal towers
Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,
Of where the sons of Eden long before
Dwelt in Telassar:  In this pleasant soil
His far more pleasant garden God ordained;
Out of the fertile ground he caused to grow
All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
And all amid them stood the tree of life,
High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit
Of vegetable gold; and next to life,
Our death, the tree of knowledge, grew fast by,
Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill.
Southward through Eden went a river large,
Nor changed his course, but through the shaggy hill
Passed underneath ingulfed; for God had thrown
That mountain as his garden-mould high raised
Upon the rapid current, which, through veins
Of porous earth with kindly thirst up-drawn,
Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill
Watered the garden; thence united fell
Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood,
Which from his darksome passage now appears,
And now, divided into four main streams,
Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm
And country, whereof here needs no account;
But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,
How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks,
Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold,
With mazy errour under pendant shades
Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not nice Art
In beds and curious knots, but Nature boon
Poured forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain,
Both where the morning sun first warmly smote
The open field, and where the unpierced shade
Imbrowned the noontide bowers:  Thus was this place
A happy rural seat of various view;
Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm,
Others whose fruit, burnished with golden rind,
Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,
If true, here only, and of delicious taste:
Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks
Grazing the tender herb, were interposed,
Or palmy hillock; or the flowery lap
Of some irriguous valley spread her store,
Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose:
Another side, umbrageous grots and caves
Of cool recess, o’er which the mantling vine
Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps
Luxuriant; mean while murmuring waters fall
Down the ***** hills, dispersed, or in a lake,
That to the fringed bank with myrtle crowned
Her crystal mirrour holds, unite their streams.
The birds their quire apply; airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan,
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
Led on the eternal Spring.  Not that fair field
Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flowers,
Herself a fairer flower by gloomy Dis
Was gathered, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world; nor that sweet grove
Of Daphne by Orontes, and the inspired
Castalian spring, might with this Paradise
Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian isle
Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham,
Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Libyan Jove,
Hid Amalthea, and her florid son
Young Bacchus, from his stepdame Rhea’s eye;
Nor where Abassin kings their issue guard,
Mount Amara, though this by some supposed
True Paradise under the Ethiop line
By Nilus’ head, enclosed with shining rock,
A whole day’s journey high, but wide remote
From this Assyrian garden, where the Fiend
Saw, undelighted, all delight, all kind
Of living creatures, new to sight, and strange
Two of far nobler shape, ***** and tall,
Godlike *****, with native honour clad
In naked majesty seemed lords of all:
And worthy seemed; for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure,
(Severe, but in true filial freedom placed,)
Whence true authority in men; though both
Not equal, as their *** not equal seemed;
For contemplation he and valour formed;
For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
He for God only, she for God in him:
His fair large front and eye sublime declared
Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
She, as a veil, down to the slender waist
Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Dishevelled, but in wanton ringlets waved
As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied
Subjection, but required with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best received,
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay.
Nor those mysterious parts were then concealed;
Then was not guilty shame, dishonest shame
Of nature’s works, honour dishonourable,
Sin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind
With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure,
And banished from man’s life his happiest life,
Simplicity and spotless innocence!
So passed they naked on, nor shunned the sight
Of God or Angel; for they thought no ill:
So hand in hand they passed, the loveliest pair,
That ever since in love’s embraces met;
Adam the goodliest man of men since born
His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve.
Under a tuft of shade that on a green
Stood whispering soft, by a fresh fountain side
They sat them down; and, after no more toil
Of their sweet gardening labour than sufficed
To recommend cool Zephyr, and made ease
More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite
More grateful, to their supper-fruits they fell,
Nectarine fruits which the compliant boughs
Yielded them, side-long as they sat recline
On the soft downy bank damasked with flowers:
The savoury pulp they chew, and in the rind,
Still as they thirsted, scoop the brimming stream;
Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance, as beseems
Fair couple, linked in happy nuptial league,
Alone as they.  About them frisking played
All beasts of the earth, since wild, and of all chase
In wood or wilderness, forest or den;
Sporting the lion ramped, and in his paw
Dandled the kid; bears, tigers, ounces, pards,
Gambolled before them; the unwieldy elephant,
To make them mirth, used all his might, and wreathed
His?kithetmroboscis; close the serpent sly,
Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine
His braided train, and of his fatal guile
Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass
Couched, and now filled with pasture gazing sat,
Or bedward ruminating; for the sun,
Declined, was hasting now with prone career
To the ocean isles, and in the ascending scale
Of Heaven the stars that usher evening rose:
When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood,
Scarce thus at length failed speech recovered sad.
O Hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold!
Into our room of bliss thus high advanced
Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,
Not Spirits, yet to heavenly Spirits bright
Little inferiour; whom my thoughts pursue
A Masque Presented At Ludlow Castle, 1634, Before

The Earl Of Bridgewater, Then President Of Wales.

The Persons

        The ATTENDANT SPIRIT, afterwards in the habit of THYRSIS.
COMUS, with his Crew.
The LADY.
FIRST BROTHER.
SECOND BROTHER.
SABRINA, the Nymph.

The Chief Persons which presented were:—

The Lord Brackley;
Mr. Thomas Egerton, his Brother;
The Lady Alice Egerton.


The first Scene discovers a wild wood.
The ATTENDANT SPIRIT descends or enters.


Before the starry threshold of Jove’s court
My mansion is, where those immortal shapes
Of bright aerial spirits live insphered
In regions mild of calm and serene air,
Above the smoke and stir of this dim spot
Which men call Earth, and, with low-thoughted care,
Confined and pestered in this pinfold here,
Strive to keep up a frail and feverish being,
Unmindful of the crown that Virtue gives,
After this mortal change, to her true servants
Amongst the enthroned gods on sainted seats.
Yet some there be that by due steps aspire
To lay their just hands on that golden key
That opes the palace of eternity.
To Such my errand is; and, but for such,
I would not soil these pure ambrosial weeds
With the rank vapours of this sin-worn mould.
         But to my task. Neptune, besides the sway
Of every salt flood and each ebbing stream,
Took in by lot, ‘twixt high and nether Jove,
Imperial rule of all the sea-girt isles
That, like to rich and various gems, inlay
The unadorned ***** of the deep;
Which he, to grace his tributary gods,
By course commits to several government,
And gives them leave to wear their sapphire crowns
And wield their little tridents. But this Isle,
The greatest and the best of all the main,
He quarters to his blue-haired deities;
And all this tract that fronts the falling sun
A noble Peer of mickle trust and power
Has in his charge, with tempered awe to guide
An old and haughty nation, proud in arms:
Where his fair offspring, nursed in princely lore,
Are coming to attend their father’s state,
And new-intrusted sceptre. But their way
Lies through the perplexed paths of this drear wood,
The nodding horror of whose shady brows
Threats the forlorn and wandering passenger;
And here their tender age might suffer peril,
But that, by quick command from sovran Jove,
I was despatched for their defence and guard:
And listen why; for I will tell you now
What never yet was heard in tale or song,
From old or modern bard, in hall or bower.
         Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape
Crushed the sweet poison of misused wine,
After the Tuscan mariners transformed,
Coasting the Tyrrhene shore, as the winds listed,
On Circe’s island fell. (Who knows not Circe,
The daughter of the Sun, whose charmed cup
Whoever tasted lost his upright shape,
And downward fell into a grovelling swine?)
This Nymph, that gazed upon his clustering locks,
With ivy berries wreathed, and his blithe youth,
Had by him, ere he parted thence, a son
Much like his father, but his mother more,
Whom therefore she brought up, and Comus named:
Who, ripe and frolic of his full-grown age,
Roving the Celtic and Iberian fields,
At last betakes him to this ominous wood,
And, in thick shelter of black shades imbowered,
Excels his mother at her mighty art;
Offering to every weary traveller
His orient liquor in a crystal glass,
To quench the drouth of Phoebus; which as they taste
(For most do taste through fond intemperate thirst),
Soon as the potion works, their human count’nance,
The express resemblance of the gods, is changed
Into some brutish form of wolf or bear,
Or ounce or tiger, hog, or bearded goat,
All other parts remaining as they were.
And they, so perfect is their misery,
Not once perceive their foul disfigurement,
But boast themselves more comely than before,
And all their friends and native home forget,
To roll with pleasure in a sensual sty.
Therefore, when any favoured of high Jove
Chances to pass through this adventurous glade,
Swift as the sparkle of a glancing star
I shoot from heaven, to give him safe convoy,
As now I do. But first I must put off
These my sky-robes, spun out of Iris’ woof,
And take the weeds and likeness of a swain
That to the service of this house belongs,
Who, with his soft pipe and smooth-dittied song,
Well knows to still the wild winds when they roar,
And hush the waving woods; nor of less faith
And in this office of his mountain watch
Likeliest, and nearest to the present aid
Of this occasion. But I hear the tread
Of hateful steps; I must be viewless now.


COMUS enters, with a charming-rod in one hand, his glass in the
other: with him a rout of monsters, headed like sundry sorts of
wild
beasts, but otherwise like men and women, their apparel
glistering.
They come in making a riotous and unruly noise, with torches in
their hands.


         COMUS. The star that bids the shepherd fold
Now the top of heaven doth hold;
And the gilded car of day
His glowing axle doth allay
In the steep Atlantic stream;
And the ***** sun his upward beam
Shoots against the dusky pole,
Pacing toward the other goal
Of his chamber in the east.
Meanwhile, welcome joy and feast,
Midnight shout and revelry,
Tipsy dance and jollity.
Braid your locks with rosy twine,
Dropping odours, dropping wine.
Rigour now is gone to bed;
And Advice with scrupulous head,
Strict Age, and sour Severity,
With their grave saws, in slumber lie.
We, that are of purer fire,
Imitate the starry quire,
Who, in their nightly watchful spheres,
Lead in swift round the months and years.
The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove,
Now to the moon in wavering morrice move;
And on the tawny sands and shelves
Trip the pert fairies and the dapper elves.
By dimpled brook and fountain-brim,
The wood-nymphs, decked with daisies trim,
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep:
What hath night to do with sleep?
Night hath better sweets to prove;
Venus now wakes, and wakens Love.
Come, let us our rights begin;
‘T is only daylight that makes sin,
Which these dun shades will ne’er report.
Hail, goddess of nocturnal sport,
Dark-veiled Cotytto, to whom the secret flame
Of midnight torches burns! mysterious dame,
That ne’er art called but when the dragon womb
Of Stygian darkness spets her thickest gloom,
And makes one blot of all the air!
Stay thy cloudy ebon chair,
Wherein thou ridest with Hecat’, and befriend
Us thy vowed priests, till utmost end
Of all thy dues be done, and none left out,
Ere the blabbing eastern scout,
The nice Morn on the Indian steep,
From her cabined loop-hole peep,
And to the tell-tale Sun descry
Our concealed solemnity.
Come, knit hands, and beat the ground
In a light fantastic round.

                              The Measure.

         Break off, break off! I feel the different pace
Of some chaste footing near about this ground.
Run to your shrouds within these brakes and trees;
Our number may affright. Some ****** sure
(For so I can distinguish by mine art)
Benighted in these woods! Now to my charms,
And to my wily trains: I shall ere long
Be well stocked with as fair a herd as grazed
About my mother Circe. Thus I hurl
My dazzling spells into the spongy air,
Of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion,
And give it false presentments, lest the place
And my quaint habits breed astonishment,
And put the damsel to suspicious flight;
Which must not be, for that’s against my course.
I, under fair pretence of friendly ends,
And well-placed words of glozing courtesy,
Baited with reasons not unplausible,
Wind me into the easy-hearted man,
And hug him into snares. When once her eye
Hath met the virtue of this magic dust,
I shall appear some harmless villager
Whom thrift keeps up about his country gear.
But here she comes; I fairly step aside,
And hearken, if I may her business hear.

The LADY enters.

         LADY. This way the noise was, if mine ear be true,
My best guide now. Methought it was the sound
Of riot and ill-managed merriment,
Such as the jocund flute or gamesome pipe
Stirs up among the loose unlettered hinds,
When, for their teeming flocks and granges full,
In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan,
And thank the gods amiss. I should be loth
To meet the rudeness and swilled insolence
Of such late wassailers; yet, oh! where else
Shall I inform my unacquainted feet
In the blind mazes of this tangled wood?
My brothers, when they saw me wearied out
With this long way, resolving here to lodge
Under the spreading favour of these pines,
Stepped, as they said, to the next thicket-side
To bring me berries, or such cooling fruit
As the kind hospitable woods provide.
They left me then when the grey-hooded Even,
Like a sad votarist in palmer’s ****,
Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phoebus’ wain.
But where they are, and why they came not back,
Is now the labour of my thoughts. TTis likeliest
They had engaged their wandering steps too far;
And envious darkness, ere they could return,
Had stole them from me. Else, O thievish Night,
Why shouldst thou, but for some felonious end,
In thy dark lantern thus close up the stars
That Nature hung in heaven, and filled their lamps
With everlasting oil to give due light
To the misled and lonely traveller?
This is the place, as well as I may guess,
Whence even now the tumult of loud mirth
Was rife, and perfect in my listening ear;
Yet nought but single darkness do I find.
What might this be ? A thousand fantasies
Begin to throng into my memory,
Of calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire,
And airy tongues that syllable men’s names
On sands and shores and desert wildernesses.
These thoughts may startle well, but not astound
The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended
By a strong siding champion, Conscience.
O, welcome, pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope,
Thou hovering angel girt with golden wings,
And thou unblemished form of Chastity!
I see ye visibly, and now believe
That He, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glistering guardian, if need were,
To keep my life and honour unassailed. . . .
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err: there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.
I cannot hallo to my brothers, but
Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest
I’ll venture; for my new-enlivened spirits
Prompt me, and they perhaps are not far off.

Song.

Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv’st unseen
                 Within thy airy shell
         By slow Meander’s margent green,
And in the violet-embroidered vale
         Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well:
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair
         That likest thy Narcissus are?
                  O, if thou have
         Hid them in some flowery cave,
                  Tell me but where,
         Sweet Queen of Parley, Daughter of the Sphere!
         So may’st thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all Heaven’s harmonies!


         COMUS. Can any mortal mixture of earthUs mould
Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment?
Sure something holy lodges in that breast,
And with these raptures moves the vocal air
To testify his hidden residence.
How sweetly did they float upon the wings
Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night,
At every fall smoothing the raven down
Of darkness till it smiled! I have oft heard
My mother Circe with the Sirens three,
Amidst the flowery-kirtled Naiades,
Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs,
Who, as they sung, would take the prisoned soul,
And lap it in Elysium: Scylla wept,
And chid her barking waves into attention,
And fell Charybdis murmured soft applause.
Yet they in pleasing slumber lulled the sense,
And in sweet madness robbed it of itself;
But such a sacred and home-felt delight,
Such sober certainty of waking bliss,
I never heard till now. I’ll speak to her,
And she shall be my queen.QHail, foreign wonder!
Whom certain these rough shades did never breed,
Unless the goddess that in rural shrine
Dwell’st here with Pan or Sylvan, by blest song
Forbidding every bleak unkindly fog
To touch the prosperous growth of this tall wood.
         LADY. Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that praise
That is addressed to unattending ears.
Not any boast of skill, but extreme shift
How to regain my severed company,
Compelled me to awake the courteous Echo
To give me answer from her mossy couch.
         COMUS: What chance, good lady, hath bereft you thus?
         LADY. Dim darkness and this leafy labyrinth.
         COMUS. Could that divide you from near-ushering guides?
         LADY. They left me weary on a grassy turf.
         COMUS. By falsehood, or discourtesy, or why?
         LADY. To seek i’ the valley some cool friendly spring.
         COMUS. And left your fair side all unguarded, Lady?
         LADY. They were but twain, and purposed quick return.
         COMUS. Perhaps forestalling night prevented them.
         LADY. How easy my misfortune is to hit!
         COMUS. Imports their loss, beside the present need?
         LADY. No less than if I should my brothers lose.
         COMUS. Were they of manly prime, or youthful bloom?
         LADY. As smooth as ****’s their unrazored lips.
         COMUS. Two such I saw, what time the laboured ox
In his loose traces from the furrow came,
And the swinked hedger at his supper sat.
I saw them under a green mantling vine,
That crawls along the side of yon small hill,
Plucking ripe clusters from the tender shoots;
Their port was more than human, as they stood.
I took it for a faery vision
Of some gay creatures of the element,
That in the colours of the rainbow live,
And play i’ the plighted clouds. I was awe-strook,
And, as I passed, I worshiped. If those you seek,
It were a journey like the path to Heaven
To help you find them.
         LADY.                          Gentle villager,
What readiest way would bring me to that place?
         COMUS. Due west it rises from this shrubby point.
         LADY. To find out that, good shepherd, I suppose,
In such a scant allowance of star-light,
Would overtask the best land-pilot’s art,
Without the sure guess of well-practised feet.
        COMUS. I know each lane, and every alley green,
******, or bushy dell, of this wild wood,
And every bosky bourn from side to side,
My daily walks and ancient neighbourhood;
And, if your stray attendance be yet lodged,
Or shroud within these limits, I shall know
Ere morrow wake, or the low-roosted lark
From her thatched pallet rouse. If otherwise,
I can c
494

Going to Him! Happy letter!
Tell Him—
Tell Him the page I didn’t write—
Tell Him—I only said the Syntax—
And left the Verb and the pronoun out—
Tell Him just how the fingers hurried—
Then—how they waded—slow—slow—
And then you wished you had eyes in your pages—
So you could see what moved them so—

Tell Him—it wasn’t a Practised Writer—
You guessed—from the way the sentence toiled—
You could hear the Bodice tug, behind you—
As if it held but the might of a child—
You almost pitied it—you—it worked so—
Tell Him—no—you may quibble there—
For it would split His Heart, to know it—
And then you and I, were silenter.

Tell Him—Night finished—before we finished—
And the Old Clock kept neighing “Day”!
And you—got sleepy—and begged to be ended—
What could it hinder so—to say?
Tell Him—just how she sealed you—Cautious!
But—if He ask where you are hid
Until tomorrow—Happy letter!
Gesture Coquette—and shake your Head!
Late, my grandson! half the morning have I paced these sandy tracts,
Watch'd again the hollow ridges roaring into cataracts,

Wander'd back to living boyhood while I heard the curlews call,
I myself so close on death, and death itself in Locksley Hall.

So--your happy suit was blasted--she the faultless, the divine;
And you liken--boyish babble--this boy-love of yours with mine.

I myself have often babbled doubtless of a foolish past;
Babble, babble; our old England may go down in babble at last.

'Curse him!' curse your fellow-victim? call him dotard in your rage?
Eyes that lured a doting boyhood well might fool a dotard's age.

Jilted for a wealthier! wealthier? yet perhaps she was not wise;
I remember how you kiss'd the miniature with those sweet eyes.

In the hall there hangs a painting--Amy's arms about my neck--
Happy children in a sunbeam sitting on the ribs of wreck.

In my life there was a picture, she that clasp'd my neck had flown;
I was left within the shadow sitting on the wreck alone.

Yours has been a slighter ailment, will you sicken for her sake?
You, not you! your modern amourist is of easier, earthlier make.

Amy loved me, Amy fail'd me, Amy was a timid child;
But your Judith--but your worldling--she had never driven me wild.

She that holds the diamond necklace dearer than the golden ring,
She that finds a winter sunset fairer than a morn of Spring.

She that in her heart is brooding on his briefer lease of life,
While she vows 'till death shall part us,' she the would-be-widow wife.

She the worldling born of worldlings--father, mother--be content,
Ev'n the homely farm can teach us there is something in descent.

Yonder in that chapel, slowly sinking now into the ground,
Lies the warrior, my forefather, with his feet upon the hound.

Cross'd! for once he sail'd the sea to crush the Moslem in his pride;
Dead the warrior, dead his glory, dead the cause in which he died.

Yet how often I and Amy in the mouldering aisle have stood,
Gazing for one pensive moment on that founder of our blood.

There again I stood to-day, and where of old we knelt in prayer,
Close beneath the casement crimson with the shield of Locksley--there,

All in white Italian marble, looking still as if she smiled,
Lies my Amy dead in child-birth, dead the mother, dead the child.

Dead--and sixty years ago, and dead her aged husband now--
I this old white-headed dreamer stoopt and kiss'd her marble brow.

Gone the fires of youth, the follies, furies, curses, passionate tears,
Gone like fires and floods and earthquakes of the planet's dawning years.

Fires that shook me once, but now to silent ashes fall'n away.
Cold upon the dead volcano sleeps the gleam of dying day.

Gone the tyrant of my youth, and mute below the chancel stones,
All his virtues--I forgive them--black in white above his bones.

Gone the comrades of my bivouac, some in fight against the foe,
Some thro' age and slow diseases, gone as all on earth will go.

Gone with whom for forty years my life in golden sequence ran,
She with all the charm of woman, she with all the breadth of man,

Strong in will and rich in wisdom, Edith, yet so lowly-sweet,
Woman to her inmost heart, and woman to her tender feet,

Very woman of very woman, nurse of ailing body and mind,
She that link'd again the broken chain that bound me to my kind.

Here to-day was Amy with me, while I wander'd down the coast,
Near us Edith's holy shadow, smiling at the slighter ghost.

Gone our sailor son thy father, Leonard early lost at sea;
Thou alone, my boy, of Amy's kin and mine art left to me.

Gone thy tender-natured mother, wearying to be left alone,
Pining for the stronger heart that once had beat beside her own.

Truth, for Truth is Truth, he worshipt, being true as he was brave;
Good, for Good is Good, he follow'd, yet he look'd beyond the grave,

Wiser there than you, that crowning barren Death as lord of all,
Deem this over-tragic drama's closing curtain is the pall!

Beautiful was death in him, who saw the death, but kept the deck,
Saving women and their babes, and sinking with the sinking wreck,

Gone for ever! Ever? no--for since our dying race began,
Ever, ever, and for ever was the leading light of man.

Those that in barbarian burials ****'d the slave, and slew the wife,
Felt within themselves the sacred passion of the second life.

Indian warriors dream of ampler hunting grounds beyond the night;
Ev'n the black Australian dying hopes he shall return, a white.

Truth for truth, and good for good! The Good, the True, the Pure, the Just--
Take the charm 'For ever' from them, and they crumble into dust.

Gone the cry of 'Forward, Forward,' lost within a growing gloom;
Lost, or only heard in silence from the silence of a tomb.

Half the marvels of my morning, triumphs over time and space,
Staled by frequence, shrunk by usage into commonest commonplace!

'Forward' rang the voices then, and of the many mine was one.
Let us hush this cry of 'Forward' till ten thousand years have gone.

Far among the vanish'd races, old Assyrian kings would flay
Captives whom they caught in battle--iron-hearted victors they.

Ages after, while in Asia, he that led the wild Moguls,
Timur built his ghastly tower of eighty thousand human skulls,

Then, and here in Edward's time, an age of noblest English names,
Christian conquerors took and flung the conquer'd Christian into flames.

Love your enemy, bless your haters, said the Greatest of the great;
Christian love among the Churches look'd the twin of heathen hate.

From the golden alms of Blessing man had coin'd himself a curse:
Rome of Caesar, Rome of Peter, which was crueller? which was worse?

France had shown a light to all men, preach'd a Gospel, all men's good;
Celtic Demos rose a Demon, shriek'd and slaked the light with blood.

Hope was ever on her mountain, watching till the day begun--
Crown'd with sunlight--over darkness--from the still unrisen sun.

Have we grown at last beyond the passions of the primal clan?
'**** your enemy, for you hate him,' still, 'your enemy' was a man.

Have we sunk below them? peasants maim the helpless horse, and drive
Innocent cattle under thatch, and burn the kindlier brutes alive.

Brutes, the brutes are not your wrongers--burnt at midnight, found at morn,
Twisted hard in mortal agony with their offspring, born-unborn,

Clinging to the silent mother! Are we devils? are we men?
Sweet St. Francis of Assisi, would that he were here again,

He that in his Catholic wholeness used to call the very flowers
Sisters, brothers--and the beasts--whose pains are hardly less than ours!

Chaos, Cosmos! Cosmos, Chaos! who can tell how all will end?
Read the wide world's annals, you, and take their wisdom for your friend.

Hope the best, but hold the Present fatal daughter of the Past,
Shape your heart to front the hour, but dream not that the hour will last.

Ay, if dynamite and revolver leave you courage to be wise:
When was age so cramm'd with menace? madness? written, spoken lies?

Envy wears the mask of Love, and, laughing sober fact to scorn,
Cries to Weakest as to Strongest, 'Ye are equals, equal-born.'

Equal-born? O yes, if yonder hill be level with the flat.
Charm us, Orator, till the Lion look no larger than the Cat,

Till the Cat thro' that mirage of overheated language loom
Larger than the Lion,--Demos end in working its own doom.

Russia bursts our Indian barrier, shall we fight her? shall we yield?
Pause! before you sound the trumpet, hear the voices from the field.

Those three hundred millions under one Imperial sceptre now,
Shall we hold them? shall we loose them? take the suffrage of the plow.

Nay, but these would feel and follow Truth if only you and you,
Rivals of realm-ruining party, when you speak were wholly true.

Plowmen, Shepherds, have I found, and more than once, and still could find,
Sons of God, and kings of men in utter nobleness of mind,

Truthful, trustful, looking upward to the practised hustings-liar;
So the Higher wields the Lower, while the Lower is the Higher.

Here and there a cotter's babe is royal-born by right divine;
Here and there my lord is lower than his oxen or his swine.

Chaos, Cosmos! Cosmos, Chaos! once again the sickening game;
Freedom, free to slay herself, and dying while they shout her name.

Step by step we gain'd a freedom known to Europe, known to all;
Step by step we rose to greatness,--thro' the tonguesters we may fall.

You that woo the Voices--tell them 'old experience is a fool,'
Teach your flatter'd kings that only those who cannot read can rule.

Pluck the mighty from their seat, but set no meek ones in their place;
Pillory Wisdom in your markets, pelt your offal at her face.

Tumble Nature heel o'er head, and, yelling with the yelling street,
Set the feet above the brain and swear the brain is in the feet.

Bring the old dark ages back without the faith, without the hope,
Break the State, the Church, the Throne, and roll their ruins down the *****.

Authors--essayist, atheist, novelist, realist, rhymester, play your part,
Paint the mortal shame of nature with the living hues of Art.

Rip your brothers' vices open, strip your own foul passions bare;
Down with Reticence, down with Reverence--forward--naked--let them stare.

Feed the budding rose of boyhood with the drainage of your sewer;
Send the drain into the fountain, lest the stream should issue pure.

Set the maiden fancies wallowing in the troughs of Zolaism,--
Forward, forward, ay and backward, downward too into the abysm.

Do your best to charm the worst, to lower the rising race of men;
Have we risen from out the beast, then back into the beast again?

Only 'dust to dust' for me that sicken at your lawless din,
Dust in wholesome old-world dust before the newer world begin.

Heated am I? you--you wonder--well, it scarce becomes mine age--
Patience! let the dying actor mouth his last upon the stage.

Cries of unprogressive dotage ere the dotard fall asleep?
Noises of a current narrowing, not the music of a deep?

Ay, for doubtless I am old, and think gray thoughts, for I am gray:
After all the stormy changes shall we find a changeless May?

After madness, after massacre, Jacobinism and Jacquerie,
Some diviner force to guide us thro' the days I shall not see?

When the schemes and all the systems, Kingdoms and Republics fall,
Something kindlier, higher, holier--all for each and each for all?

All the full-brain, half-brain races, led by Justice, Love, and Truth;
All the millions one at length with all the visions of my youth?

All diseases quench'd by Science, no man halt, or deaf or blind;
Stronger ever born of weaker, lustier body, larger mind?

Earth at last a warless world, a single race, a single tongue--
I have seen her far away--for is not Earth as yet so young?--

Every tiger madness muzzled, every serpent passion ****'d,
Every grim ravine a garden, every blazing desert till'd,

Robed in universal harvest up to either pole she smiles,
Universal ocean softly washing all her warless Isles.

Warless? when her tens are thousands, and her thousands millions, then--
All her harvest all too narrow--who can fancy warless men?

Warless? war will die out late then. Will it ever? late or soon?
Can it, till this outworn earth be dead as yon dead world the moon?

Dead the new astronomy calls her. . . . On this day and at this hour,
In this gap between the sandhills, whence you see the Locksley tower,

Here we met, our latest meeting--Amy--sixty years ago--
She and I--the moon was falling greenish thro' a rosy glow,

Just above the gateway tower, and even where you see her now--
Here we stood and claspt each other, swore the seeming-deathless vow. . . .

Dead, but how her living glory lights the hall, the dune, the grass!
Yet the moonlight is the sunlight, and the sun himself will pass.

Venus near her! smiling downward at this earthlier earth of ours,
Closer on the Sun, perhaps a world of never fading flowers.

Hesper, whom the poet call'd the Bringer home of all good things.
All good things may move in Hesper, perfect peoples, perfect kings.

Hesper--Venus--were we native to that splendour or in Mars,
We should see the Globe we groan in, fairest of their evening stars.

Could we dream of wars and carnage, craft and madness, lust and spite,
Roaring London, raving Paris, in that point of peaceful light?

Might we not in glancing heavenward on a star so silver-fair,
Yearn, and clasp the hands and murmur, 'Would to God that we were there'?

Forward, backward, backward, forward, in the immeasurable sea,
Sway'd by vaster ebbs and flows than can be known to you or me.

All the suns--are these but symbols of innumerable man,
Man or Mind that sees a shadow of the planner or the plan?

Is there evil but on earth? or pain in every peopled sphere?
Well be grateful for the sounding watchword, 'Evolution' here,

Evolution ever climbing after some ideal good,
And Reversion ever dragging Evolution in the mud.

What are men that He should heed us? cried the king of sacred song;
Insects of an hour, that hourly work their brother insect wrong,

While the silent Heavens roll, and Suns along their fiery way,
All their planets whirling round them, flash a million miles a day.

Many an aeon moulded earth before her highest, man, was born,
Many an aeon too may pass when earth is manless and forlorn,

Earth so huge, and yet so bounded--pools of salt, and plots of land--
Shallow skin of green and azure--chains of mountain, grains of sand!

Only That which made us, meant us to be mightier by and by,
Set the sphere of all the boundless Heavens within the human eye,

Sent the shadow of Himself, the boundless, thro' the human soul;
Boundless inward, in the atom, boundless outward, in the Whole.

                                                *

Here is Locksley Hall, my grandson, here the lion-guarded gate.
Not to-night in Locksley Hall--to-morrow--you, you come so late.

Wreck'd--your train--or all but wreck'd? a shatter'd wheel? a vicious boy!
Good, this forward, you that preach it, is it well to wish you joy?

Is it well that while we range with Science, glorying in the Time,
City children soak and blacken soul and sense in city slime?

There among the glooming alleys Progress halts on palsied feet,
Crime and hunger cast our maidens by the thousand on the street.

There the Master scrimps his haggard sempstress of her daily bread,
There a single sordid attic holds the living and the dead.

There the smouldering fire of fever creeps across the rotted floor,
And the crowded couch of ****** in the warrens of the poor.

Nay, your pardon, cry your 'forward,' yours are hope and youth, but I--
Eighty winters leave the dog too lame to follow with the cry,

Lame and old, and past his time, and passing now into the night;
Yet I would the rising race were half as eager for the light.

Light the fading gleam of Even? light the glimmer of the dawn?
Aged eyes may take the growing glimmer for the gleam withdrawn.

Far away beyond her myriad coming changes earth will be
Something other than the wildest modern guess of you and me.

Earth may reach her earthly-worst, or if she gain her earthly-best,
Would she find her human offspring this ideal man at rest?

Forward then, but still remember how the course of Time will swerve,
Crook and turn upon itself in many a backward streaming curve.

Not the Hall to-night, my grandson! Death and Silence hold their own.
Leave the Master in the first dark hour of his last sleep alone.

Worthier soul was he than I am, sound and honest, rustic Squire,
Kindly landlord, boon companion--youthful jealousy is a liar.

Cast the poison from your *****, oust the madness from your brain.
Let the trampled serpent show you that you have not lived in vain.

Youthful! youth and age are scholars yet but in the lower school,
Nor is he the wisest man who never proved himself a fool.

Yonder lies our young sea-village--Art and Grace are less and less:
Science grows and Beauty dwindles--roofs of slated hideousness!

There is one old Hostel left us where they swing the Locksley shield,
Till the peasant cow shall **** the 'Lion passant' from his field.

Poo
Sara May 2015
I bet we're going to kiss like addicts hungry for a hit and I'm sorry I'm not made of much except bruises and bleeding knuckles. Your words mostly touch me but I'm begging for your hands to instead. My mind used to be made up of cemeteries and all I thought about was writing eulogies to how dead I felt inside.
I want you to stain my teeth and leave your taste in my mouth permanently. I want you to swallow me whole and take me daily like I'm apart of your well being like you are for me.
A lot of the time I want you naked and quivering for me and a lot of the time I want you wrapped around me so tightly that nothing could tear you apart from me like this ******* distance is right now. I want my name bruised down your spine so you don't leave yourself in ruins.
This is messy and scattered but so are we and I love you more that I know how to breathe.
The Wicca Man Jul 2013
I could answer your questions with a simple, off-the-cuff explanation but have ended up writing this essay: the more I thought about what you’d asked, the more the I felt it warranted a fuller explanation so I will try to explain why I call myself a Wiccan and how I come to be following the Wicca Path. And apologies in advance for the length of this!

As well as my love of Literature, I love History with a similar passion. My degree was in English and History and although I specialised in Shakespearian and post-Shakespearian literature and Modern History, I have a long held fascination with Celtic and pre-Celtic history, beliefs and spirituality. It is the mysticism of the Old Religion that seemed to attract me most and I found myself drawn particularly to the Celtic and Welsh mythology and have read extensively about it: Cornwall and Wales (mid Wales in particular) are my two favourite places in the world. I have read a lot about Celtic and pre-Celtic history, beliefs and religion over the years, both fiction and non-fiction.

Although Jewish by birth, I was brought up by my father who was a confirmed atheist so I lost out on any formal religious influence as I was growing up. Perhaps because of his views, I developed a distrust of formal, mainstream religion. That’s not to say I felt I had no spiritual beliefs at all, it’s just they were untapped and unidentified; I felt I was reaching out for something but it never took on any tangible form, rather like in a dream when you cannot see clearly the faces or forms of the inhabitants of your dreams.

By the time I got into my forties, I realised there was something seriously lacking in the spiritual side of my life. These beliefs were compounded by three events:

    * reading James Lovelock's Gaia theory [which inspired me to write one of my favourite stories, Gaia's Last, published here];
    * my discovery of Jean Auel's Earth's Children series of books , Clan of the Cave Bear, etc. which go into extraordinary detail of Cro-Magnon peoples' belief in nature spirits, worship of The Mother and Shamanism;
    * a sudden change in my circumstances that forced me to re-evaluate every aspect of my life and my existence.

It was at this time I began to research the Old Religion: paganism, nature-worship, whatever you want to call it, and this led me to discover Wicca.

The more I read about it, the more I realised it fitted in with my current state of mind and outlook on life. Maybe there is a sense of escapism inasmuch as the roots of Wicca look backward to a simpler time and as I was having difficulty coping with the complexities of the changed circumstances in my life at the time. Wicca seemed to offer exactly the spiritual needs I was lacking.

That is not to say that Wicca is old-fashioned and out of date. Rather the contrary in fact. Whilst its roots acknowledge the Old Religion, Wicca is relatively modern having been developed by a guy called Gerald Gardner who published a book called Witchcraft Today in the 1940s I believe which re-established in the public eye the old pagan beliefs that have been around since the dawn of man. These beliefs never really disappeared even through the worst of the atrocities perpetrated against followers of the Old Religion [The Burning Times ]. (And just to make an important point about the title of the book and Wicca in general, Witchcraft in the pagan and Wicca context is NOT Black Magic or Satanism as the tabloid press or mainstream religion would have you believe; it could not be further from them. It is simply an acknowledgement of the existence of natural forces that can be used or channelled by those who choose to learn these ancient skills).

I have seen Wicca [and other forms of Paganism] referred to as Green Magic and that seems the perfect definition; it is immensely comforting to work so closely with the natural world and to feel such a part of it.

So for me, Wicca is an ideal spiritual antidote for the impossibly fast-paced, self-serving lifestyles we all seem to be caught up in these days, often through no choice of our own. It is as valid a belief system as any other practised throughout the world and is nothing like the forms of Wicca popularised in the media with TV shows like Charmed and its ilk!

Wicca is it is not something to be taken on lightly - Wicca practices should be treated with the same reverence as those in any other belief system. It requires study, practice and dedication.’

I have to confess to have been lacking in all three since I originally wrote this so have vowed to myself to rectify these shortcomings. I feel excited about my rekindled sense of spirituality and more at peace with myself for making this decision.

Go in Love & Light!
I hope people don't object to my posting this; I am a passionate believer in freedom of speech and of expression. I hope people here are open to these views, which are mine and in no way do I want to foist my views on anyone or indeed, cause offence.
INSTEAD OF A PREFACE

During the frightening years of the Yezhov terror, I
spent seventeen months waiting in prison queues in
Leningrad. One day, somehow, someone 'picked me out'.
On that occasion there was a woman standing behind me,
her lips blue with cold, who, of course, had never in
her life heard my name. Jolted out of the torpor
characteristic of all of us, she said into my ear
(everyone whispered there) - 'Could one ever describe
this?' And I answered - 'I can.' It was then that
something like a smile slid across what had previously
been just a face.
[The 1st of April in the year 1957. Leningrad]

DEDICATION

Mountains fall before this grief,
A mighty river stops its flow,
But prison doors stay firmly bolted
Shutting off the convict burrows
And an anguish close to death.
Fresh winds softly blow for someone,
Gentle sunsets warm them through; we don't know this,
We are everywhere the same, listening
To the scrape and turn of hateful keys
And the heavy tread of marching soldiers.
Waking early, as if for early mass,
Walking through the capital run wild, gone to seed,
We'd meet - the dead, lifeless; the sun,
Lower every day; the Neva, mistier:
But hope still sings forever in the distance.
The verdict. Immediately a flood of tears,
Followed by a total isolation,
As if a beating heart is painfully ripped out, or,
Thumped, she lies there brutally laid out,
But she still manages to walk, hesitantly, alone.
Where are you, my unwilling friends,
Captives of my two satanic years?
What miracle do you see in a Siberian blizzard?
What shimmering mirage around the circle of the moon?
I send each one of you my salutation, and farewell.
[March 1940]

INTRODUCTION
[PRELUDE]

It happened like this when only the dead
Were smiling, glad of their release,
That Leningrad hung around its prisons
Like a worthless emblem, flapping its piece.
Shrill and sharp, the steam-whistles sang
Short songs of farewell
To the ranks of convicted, demented by suffering,
As they, in regiments, walked along -
Stars of death stood over us
As innocent Russia squirmed
Under the blood-spattered boots and tyres
Of the black marias.

I

You were taken away at dawn. I followed you
As one does when a corpse is being removed.
Children were crying in the darkened house.
A candle flared, illuminating the Mother of God. . .
The cold of an icon was on your lips, a death-cold
sweat
On your brow - I will never forget this; I will gather

To wail with the wives of the murdered streltsy (1)
Inconsolably, beneath the Kremlin towers.
[1935. Autumn. Moscow]

II

Silent flows the river Don
A yellow moon looks quietly on
Swanking about, with cap askew
It sees through the window a shadow of you
Gravely ill, all alone
The moon sees a woman lying at home
Her son is in jail, her husband is dead
Say a prayer for her instead.

III

It isn't me, someone else is suffering. I couldn't.
Not like this. Everything that has happened,
Cover it with a black cloth,
Then let the torches be removed. . .
Night.

IV

Giggling, poking fun, everyone's darling,
The carefree sinner of Tsarskoye Selo (2)
If only you could have foreseen
What life would do with you -
That you would stand, parcel in hand,
Beneath the Crosses (3), three hundredth in
line,
Burning the new year's ice
With your hot tears.
Back and forth the prison poplar sways
With not a sound - how many innocent
Blameless lives are being taken away. . .
[1938]

V

For seventeen months I have been screaming,
Calling you home.
I've thrown myself at the feet of butchers
For you, my son and my horror.
Everything has become muddled forever -
I can no longer distinguish
Who is an animal, who a person, and how long
The wait can be for an execution.
There are now only dusty flowers,
The chinking of the thurible,
Tracks from somewhere into nowhere
And, staring me in the face
And threatening me with swift annihilation,
An enormous star.
[1939]

VI

Weeks fly lightly by. Even so,
I cannot understand what has arisen,
How, my son, into your prison
White nights stare so brilliantly.
Now once more they burn,
Eyes that focus like a hawk,
And, upon your cross, the talk
Is again of death.
[1939. Spring]

VII
THE VERDICT

The word landed with a stony thud
Onto my still-beating breast.
Nevermind, I was prepared,
I will manage with the rest.

I have a lot of work to do today;
I need to slaughter memory,
Turn my living soul to stone
Then teach myself to live again. . .

But how. The hot summer rustles
Like a carnival outside my window;
I have long had this premonition
Of a bright day and a deserted house.
[22 June 1939. Summer. Fontannyi Dom (4)]

VIII
TO DEATH

You will come anyway - so why not now?
I wait for you; things have become too hard.
I have turned out the lights and opened the door
For you, so simple and so wonderful.
Assume whatever shape you wish. Burst in
Like a shell of noxious gas. Creep up on me
Like a practised bandit with a heavy weapon.
Poison me, if you want, with a typhoid exhalation,
Or, with a simple tale prepared by you
(And known by all to the point of nausea), take me
Before the commander of the blue caps and let me
glimpse
The house administrator's terrified white face.
I don't care anymore. The river Yenisey
Swirls on. The Pole star blazes.
The blue sparks of those much-loved eyes
Close over and cover the final horror.
[19 August 1939. Fontannyi Dom]

IX

Madness with its wings
Has covered half my soul
It feeds me fiery wine
And lures me into the abyss.

That's when I understood
While listening to my alien delirium
That I must hand the victory
To it.

However much I nag
However much I beg
It will not let me take
One single thing away:

Not my son's frightening eyes -
A suffering set in stone,
Or prison visiting hours
Or days that end in storms

Nor the sweet coolness of a hand
The anxious shade of lime trees
Nor the light distant sound
Of final comforting words.
[14 May 1940. Fontannyi Dom]

X
CRUCIFIXION

Weep not for me, mother.
I am alive in my grave.

1.
A choir of angels glorified the greatest hour,
The heavens melted into flames.
To his father he said, 'Why hast thou forsaken me!'
But to his mother, 'Weep not for me. . .'
[1940. Fontannyi Dom]

2.
Magdalena smote herself and wept,
The favourite disciple turned to stone,
But there, where the mother stood silent,
Not one person dared to look.
[1943. Tashkent]

EPILOGUE

1.
I have learned how faces fall,
How terror can escape from lowered eyes,
How suffering can etch cruel pages
Of cuneiform-like marks upon the cheeks.
I know how dark or ash-blond strands of hair
Can suddenly turn white. I've learned to recognise
The fading smiles upon submissive lips,
The trembling fear inside a hollow laugh.
That's why I pray not for myself
But all of you who stood there with me
Through fiercest cold and scorching July heat
Under a towering, completely blind red wall.

2.
The hour has come to remember the dead.
I see you, I hear you, I feel you:
The one who resisted the long drag to the open window;
The one who could no longer feel the kick of familiar
soil beneath her feet;
The one who, with a sudden flick of her head, replied,

'I arrive here as if I've come home!'
I'd like to name you all by name, but the list
Has been removed and there is nowhere else to look.
So,
I have woven you this wide shroud out of the humble
words
I overheard you use. Everywhere, forever and always,
I will never forget one single thing. Even in new
grief.
Even if they clamp shut my tormented mouth
Through which one hundred million people scream;
That's how I wish them to remember me when I am dead
On the eve of my remembrance day.
If someone someday in this country
Decides to raise a memorial to me,
I give my consent to this festivity
But only on this condition - do not build it
By the sea where I was born,
I have severed my last ties with the sea;
Nor in the Tsar's Park by the hallowed stump
Where an inconsolable shadow looks for me;
Build it here where I stood for three hundred hours
And no-one slid open the bolt.
Listen, even in blissful death I fear
That I will forget the Black Marias,
Forget how hatefully the door slammed and an old woman
Howled like a wounded beast.
Let the thawing ice flow like tears
From my immovable bronze eyelids
And let the prison dove coo in the distance
While ships sail quietly along the river.
[March 1940. Fontannyi Dom]

FOOTNOTES

1 An elite guard which rose up in rebellion
   against Peter the Great in 1698. Most were either
   executed or exiled.
2 The imperial summer residence outside St
   Petersburg where Ahmatova spent her early years.
3 A prison complex in central Leningrad near the
   Finland Station, called The Crosses because of the
   shape of two of the buildings.
4 The Leningrad house in which Ahmatova lived.


First published Sasha Soldatow Mayakovsky in Bondi
BlackWattle Press 1993 Sydney.
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2017
there's ethical idealism:
where ethics is discussed...
there's ethical relativism:
where ethics is practised...
there's ethical realism...
where ethics is quantified
as an improbability;
and then there's ethical
absolutism,
where we supposedly
"progress" -
in this scenario are
the laws of physics actually
suspended:
whereby oculus qua oculus
is replaced -
a loss of an eye is "relative"
to 10 years in a cage...
really?!
           ethics is
ideal, realistic, absolute or relative...
we're encouraged to live
in "realistic relativism"...
      never in an absolute realism,
since realistic relativism
only compares itself
  to ideal absolutism...
and nothing more...
          ever watched that film
secrets in their eyes?
you ever wonder what
ethical idealism is to the ethnical
consequence that can absorb
a realistic libra?
    i can only believe in
ethical absolutism,
  ethical relativism is horrid to me...
relativism adorns idealism,
absolutism adorns realism...
          a life sentence is worse than
a death sentence,
whether justified or not,
prison is sadism,
but at least ****** is simply ******...
a space-time intact,
           a ****** penalty is not
inhumane, nor a ouija board...
      it's time for time,
space for space,
  the actual punishment comes
with the missing adrenaline rush
of the unexpected reception of the wielded
weapon...
          either send these jealous plonkers to
siberia, or sentence them to death,
for you are no more than they are,
nay, you are more...
  you're akin to cats toying,
playing a sadistic games with half-mutilated
mice...
             this is why i abhor
ethical relativism of the crucifix...
           hence my belief in ethical
absolutism in the paragraph of realism,
  which is perfected, by
being exacted, and never, ever,
being leisurely discussed,
  on a farcical palette with a grimace
to boot: ******* a lemon;
compensating the horrors within
minutes, is never compensated
  with ordeals that last years...
which is why i find the death penalty
an act of authentic humanity,
and not this quasi-humanitarian
act of pardon, ******* hypocrites -
       i abhor the caged rat
more than the rat gladly nibbling
on a dead corpse...
        at least there was passion
in the ******...
waiting for death penalty is like killing
a vermin with poison,
disposing them with nonchalantly...
the wise maxim states:
  ledo ferrum sicut id est calidi -
strike the iron while it's hot...
       death is the dawn-broker -
a new tomorrow promise -
              left intact, the fermenting process
of ethical dynamism takes over...
      then again,
the supposedly "evolved"
preferred moral relativism to moral
absolutism,
          because there was no
moral realism to speak of,
                       since morality could only
be talked about in ideal terms of
the supposedly so, supposedly
fashioned via: it ought to never happen to
me...
and then it might, and then:
oops... argument sinks like a wet fatty ****
into shambles of keeping up with
the presupposed pillar of argument
being "impenetrable";
hey, genius, back to the blackboard!
Nigel Morgan May 2014
She opened the door of the gallery and there it was, there it lay, before her, nearly perfect: her exhibition. The opening was an hour or so away and there were, naturally, a few adjustments to make, but in essence it was right, and as she walked to the middle of the rectangular space (to survey the full effect ) she felt held by the quiet wonder of it all; that she had made all this and with ‘the quality control of nature’s accidents’. He’d written those words some years previous when a solo show was but a dream she would enter between sleep and wakefulness, when she would think of the west coast of Scotland and the poetry of its seashore, the infinite variety in the seashore strand between sand and sea. It was such natural accidents of form and transformation by nature’s hand that had guided her imagination into rightness and towards this exhibition.

At breakfast that morning she had come to the table dressed to greet her audience, and for the first time as a featured artist in a festival of some repute. She had felt the quiet joy of choosing the right combination of clothes to be the public person she had now become. He had loved the new dress she had bought to clothe her gallery persona. She had been conscious of his eyes following the lines this frock so generously drew around her body’s shape and form, the way the material fell across her *******, lay smoothly on her thighs.  It was a very grownup frock and with the jacket and scarf made her look purposeful, confident. His looking made such confidence possible, his admiration and what she could tell was that coming together of love and passion that, her being dressed in this formal way, so often evoked.

In the gallery she had worried over the lighting, climbed up the metal ladder with the fluffy green glove thoughtfully provided to enable those small adjustments of direction to be made on a hot spotlight. There were four large pieces flanking a corner that had embossed lines running across their surfaces, lines that needed oblique light to reveal the shadowing of this effect of swirls and marks of a retreating tide on sand.  Two smaller pieces needed rearranging; she’d placed them, late the evening before, in the wrong sequence. Poster boards were to be filled with her poster and put outside on the pavement by the gallery entrance. She opened the main door, a very green door with its top and bottom bolts and black-painted handle ring. The street outside was a welcoming mix of 18th and 19th C buildings, hardly one the same, the sort of three storey buildings that had simple plaques prominently placed into the brickwork from a distant past when proud builders would describe a structure’s use or ownership with a title and date. By ten o'clock this one-way street was lined with parked cars, but now there was little traffic. It was a quiet sunny morning in a market town.

‘Don’t mind the dog, ‘ he said. ‘He’s used to coming in here.’ It was a long-haired verging on the side of scruffy sort of dog, used to keeping its own counsel, probably used to being taken to exhibitions. ‘Just popping in,’ he said, this man who, and she couldn’t help noticing this, seemed to hold much in common with his dog; the long, but retreating on the forehead, hair, slightly scruffy from the want of a comb or a good brush (like his dog), he had dressed without much thought (because who dressed thoughtfully to walk a dog?), and that’s what he was doing, walking the dog and, seeing the Gallery open, thought he ought to look in.

Giving him her brightest smile, she embarked on performing the artist’s music of conversation, that score holding gentle melodies and welcoming harmonies. Although she had become quite practised in talking to her audience there was always the challenging inquiry that would catch her off guard.

‘Well, are you finished with the seashore now?’ said the man with the look-alike dog. For a moment a half dozen possible answers seemed possible. ‘Could one ever finish with something so extraordinary and various as that hinterland between land and sea?’ No, that was seemed a mite critical and clever. ‘Oh, I’ve hardly started’ was tempting, but rather smug and too confident by half. ‘I just love the seaside’ would probably do, as no one else was listening. ‘Merleau-Ponty says the complexity of the seashore is a metaphor in the search for self-identity’. She did wonder what he’d make of that, but finally decided on ‘It’s such a rich source of ideas and images I’m sure there’s a lot more I want to do with the subject.’

”It’s all the same colour”. She’d had that one a few times. ‘When I’m on the beach I’m fascinated as much by the texture and shape of what I see  and feel than the colour. I like the subtlety of the colours in the sand. I think my pieces – and she waved her hand towards what she had titled her Sand Marks pieces – show so many of the different shades of colours you find on the seashore.’

Those Sand Marks, a collection of variously dyed and marked two metre plus linen-lengths, dominated one wall of the gallery. They floated a few centimetres from the white wall, and when people moved past them the slight shadows cast by the linen lengths seemed to ripple in the human-made breeze. She could never look at them without thinking how their very accidental making – binding a linen cloth with inner placed objects and using the natural dye of tea – could create such absorbing results. She would follow with her gaze one of the linen-lengths from bottom to top (or top to bottom) and find herself walking on the wet sand of a Scottish beach, overwhelmed by the clear light and space with only the sea sound surrounding. He would tell her, had told her often, how moved, how affected he had been when he first saw them hung. To him, these ‘marks’ carried an essence of this aesthetic she now owned and for which had become recognised.

Even on this, her first day, she had been visited by a small number of admirers and supporters, some travelling distances to see her work with the aura of the original, a truer view than that possible on the back-lit screen of their computer monitors. Ladies who loved textiles, the containment and privacy to sew and stitch secured in their busy lives. These friendly and smiley women (the comfortable side of sixty) understood something of what she was doing here, and perhaps imagined themselves as thirty-somethings walking Scottish beaches free from children and the relentless list-making of house and home and occupation, able to create imaginary worlds of marks and folds, pleats and textures. Full of enthusiasm for the medium, what they perhaps didn’t have was the skill of seeing, a skill she had grown up with, had always owned to some degree: found, fostered, honed, developed into a second-nature activity of always looking.

There would be the occasional brief lull when the gallery was empty or close to empty, as though needing the space to come up for breath after being occupied by people and their movement. She would then walk slowly around the long well-lit room viewing her pieces and her arrangements of pieces from different angles. She would look at his poems placed antiphonally between her work, commissioned for her catalogue, her book of images of the sea shore paired with, incorporating even, her made pieces. She’d chosen a favoured few she’d felt caught the essence of being in the sea’s company, in the sand and shore’s domain. Like everything he did it had been undertaken with the utmost intensity of purpose. She saw him now in her mind’s eye with his notebook sitting against rocks, paddling in the great shallow pools, walking head down along the tide line, those bright days on a Scottish island and before, before on that ellipse of beach by the fishing station.

He would tease out an idea formed from a little motif of words, perhaps like the very music that was his private territory: here, alone, apart we are marked by the tide’s turn. Yes, we are marked by being solitary in such unconfining space, the marks at our feet become the lines, the mounts, the fingers, those interruptions, breaks and blockages found in the tridents, chains and crosses of the art of palmistry. We read the seashore as a psychic oracle reads the hand, hoping, as Kathleen Jamie so rightly says, for the marvellous. And marvellous it so often is.

Standing in this gallery was like being gathered about by the seashore. It was a short jump in the imagination’s miracle to hear the soft breathing of the sea, the wind caressing the face, the warmth of the afternoon sun on the freckled cheek.

See how those we love are transformed
when the sea is their only boundary

a figure stands before a sand bar
in a crescent of water left by the tide
an affecting geometry of solitude
. . .


These words had always stopped her in her perambulating tracks. She thought of her son, far distant on the beach, at rest for once, still, motionless within the confluence of the elements of the beach, at the epicentre of her gaze, all things flowing to and from his tiny, far-away figure.
Now when Dawn in robe of saffron was hasting from the streams of
Oceanus, to bring light to mortals and immortals, Thetis reached the
ships with the armour that the god had given her. She found her son
fallen about the body of Patroclus and weeping bitterly. Many also
of his followers were weeping round him, but when the goddess came
among them she clasped his hand in her own, saying, “My son, grieve as
we may we must let this man lie, for it is by heaven’s will that he
has fallen; now, therefore, accept from Vulcan this rich and goodly
armour, which no man has ever yet borne upon his shoulders.”
  As she spoke she set the armour before Achilles, and it rang out
bravely as she did so. The Myrmidons were struck with awe, and none
dared look full at it, for they were afraid; but Achilles was roused
to still greater fury, and his eyes gleamed with a fierce light, for
he was glad when he handled the splendid present which the god had
made him. Then, as soon as he had satisfied himself with looking at
it, he said to his mother, “Mother, the god has given me armour,
meet handiwork for an immortal and such as no living could have
fashioned; I will now arm, but I much fear that flies will settle upon
the son of Menoetius and breed worms about his wounds, so that his
body, now he is dead, will be disfigured and the flesh will rot.”
  Silver-footed Thetis answered, “My son, be not disquieted about this
matter. I will find means to protect him from the swarms of noisome
flies that prey on the bodies of men who have been killed in battle.
He may lie for a whole year, and his flesh shall still be as sound
as ever, or even sounder. Call, therefore, the Achaean heroes in
assembly; unsay your anger against Agamemnon; arm at once, and fight
with might and main.”
  As she spoke she put strength and courage into his heart, and she
then dropped ambrosia and red nectar into the wounds of Patroclus,
that his body might suffer no change.
  Then Achilles went out upon the seashore, and with a loud cry called
on the Achaean heroes. On this even those who as yet had stayed always
at the ships, the pilots and helmsmen, and even the stewards who
were about the ships and served out rations, all came to the place
of assembly because Achilles had shown himself after having held aloof
so long from fighting. Two sons of Mars, Ulysses and the son of
Tydeus, came limping, for their wounds still pained them; nevertheless
they came, and took their seats in the front row of the assembly. Last
of all came Agamemnon, king of men, he too wounded, for **** son of
Antenor had struck him with a spear in battle.
  When the Achaeans were got together Achilles rose and said, “Son
of Atreus, surely it would have been better alike for both you and me,
when we two were in such high anger about Briseis, surely it would
have been better, had Diana’s arrow slain her at the ships on the
day when I took her after having sacked Lyrnessus. For so, many an
Achaean the less would have bitten dust before the foe in the days
of my anger. It has been well for Hector and the Trojans, but the
Achaeans will long indeed remember our quarrel. Now, however, let it
be, for it is over. If we have been angry, necessity has schooled
our anger. I put it from me: I dare not nurse it for ever;
therefore, bid the Achaeans arm forthwith that I may go out against
the Trojans, and learn whether they will be in a mind to sleep by
the ships or no. Glad, I ween, will he be to rest his knees who may
fly my spear when I wield it.”
  Thus did he speak, and the Achaeans rejoiced in that he had put away
his anger.
  Then Agamemnon spoke, rising in his place, and not going into the
middle of the assembly. “Danaan heroes,” said he, “servants of Mars,
it is well to listen when a man stands up to speak, and it is not
seemly to interrupt him, or it will go hard even with a practised
speaker. Who can either hear or speak in an uproar? Even the finest
orator will be disconcerted by it. I will expound to the son of
Peleus, and do you other Achaeans heed me and mark me well. Often have
the Achaeans spoken to me of this matter and upbraided me, but it
was not I that did it: Jove, and Fate, and Erinys that walks in
darkness struck me mad when we were assembled on the day that I took
from Achilles the meed that had been awarded to him. What could I
do? All things are in the hand of heaven, and Folly, eldest of
Jove’s daughters, shuts men’s eyes to their destruction. She walks
delicately, not on the solid earth, but hovers over the heads of men
to make them stumble or to ensnare them.
  “Time was when she fooled Jove himself, who they say is greatest
whether of gods or men; for Juno, woman though she was, beguiled him
on the day when Alcmena was to bring forth mighty Hercules in the fair
city of Thebes. He told it out among the gods saying, ‘Hear me all
gods and goddesses, that I may speak even as I am minded; this day
shall an Ilithuia, helper of women who are in labour, bring a man
child into the world who shall be lord over all that dwell about him
who are of my blood and lineage.’ Then said Juno all crafty and full
of guile, ‘You will play false, and will not hold to your word.
Swear me, O Olympian, swear me a great oath, that he who shall this
day fall between the feet of a woman, shall be lord over all that
dwell about him who are of your blood and lineage.’
  “Thus she spoke, and Jove suspected her not, but swore the great
oath, to his much ruing thereafter. For Juno darted down from the high
summit of Olympus, and went in haste to Achaean Argos where she knew
that the noble wife of Sthenelus son of Perseus then was. She being
with child and in her seventh month, Juno brought the child to birth
though there was a month still wanting, but she stayed the offspring
of Alcmena, and kept back the Ilithuiae. Then she went to tell Jove
the son of Saturn, and said, ‘Father Jove, lord of the lightning—I
have a word for your ear. There is a fine child born this day,
Eurystheus, son to Sthenelus the son of Perseus; he is of your
lineage; it is well, therefore, that he should reign over the
Argives.’
  “On this Jove was stung to the very quick, and in his rage he caught
Folly by the hair, and swore a great oath that never should she
again invade starry heaven and Olympus, for she was the bane of all.
Then he whirled her round with a twist of his hand, and flung her down
from heaven so that she fell on to the fields of mortal men; and he
was ever angry with her when he saw his son groaning under the cruel
labours that Eurystheus laid upon him. Even so did I grieve when
mighty Hector was killing the Argives at their ships, and all the time
I kept thinking of Folly who had so baned me. I was blind, and Jove
robbed me of my reason; I will now make atonement, and will add much
treasure by way of amends. Go, therefore, into battle, you and your
people with you. I will give you all that Ulysses offered you
yesterday in your tents: or if it so please you, wait, though you
would fain fight at once, and my squires shall bring the gifts from my
ship, that you may see whether what I give you is enough.”
  And Achilles answered, “Son of Atreus, king of men Agamemnon, you
can give such gifts as you think proper, or you can withhold them:
it is in your own hands. Let us now set battle in array; it is not
well to tarry talking about trifles, for there is a deed which is as
yet to do. Achilles shall again be seen fighting among the foremost,
and laying low the ranks of the Trojans: bear this in mind each one of
you when he is fighting.”
  Then Ulysses said, “Achilles, godlike and brave, send not the
Achaeans thus against Ilius to fight the Trojans fasting, for the
battle will be no brief one, when it is once begun, and heaven has
filled both sides with fury; bid them first take food both bread and
wine by the ships, for in this there is strength and stay. No man
can do battle the livelong day to the going down of the sun if he is
without food; however much he may want to fight his strength will fail
him before he knows it; hunger and thirst will find him out, and his
limbs will grow weary under him. But a man can fight all day if he
is full fed with meat and wine; his heart beats high, and his strength
will stay till he has routed all his foes; therefore, send the
people away and bid them prepare their meal; King Agamemnon will bring
out the gifts in presence of the assembly, that all may see them and
you may be satisfied. Moreover let him swear an oath before the
Argives that he has never gone up into the couch of Briseis, nor
been with her after the manner of men and women; and do you, too, show
yourself of a gracious mind; let Agamemnon entertain you in his
tents with a feast of reconciliation, that so you may have had your
dues in full. As for you, son of Atreus, treat people more righteously
in future; it is no disgrace even to a king that he should make amends
if he was wrong in the first instance.”
  And King Agamemnon answered, “Son of Laertes, your words please me
well, for throughout you have spoken wisely. I will swear as you would
have me do; I do so of my own free will, neither shall I take the name
of heaven in vain. Let, then, Achilles wait, though he would fain
fight at once, and do you others wait also, till the gifts come from
my tent and we ratify the oath with sacrifice. Thus, then, do I charge
you: take some noble young Achaeans with you, and bring from my
tents the gifts that I promised yesterday to Achilles, and bring the
women also; furthermore let Talthybius find me a boar from those
that are with the host, and make it ready for sacrifice to Jove and to
the sun.”
  Then said Achilles, “Son of Atreus, king of men Agamemnon, see to
these matters at some other season, when there is breathing time and
when I am calmer. Would you have men eat while the bodies of those
whom Hector son of Priam slew are still lying mangled upon the
plain? Let the sons of the Achaeans, say I, fight fasting and
without food, till we have avenged them; afterwards at the going
down of the sun let them eat their fill. As for me, Patroclus is lying
dead in my tent, all hacked and hewn, with his feet to the door, and
his comrades are mourning round him. Therefore I can take thought of
nothing save only slaughter and blood and the rattle in the throat
of the dying.”
  Ulysses answered, “Achilles, son of Peleus, mightiest of all the
Achaeans, in battle you are better than I, and that more than a
little, but in counsel I am much before you, for I am older and of
greater knowledge. Therefore be patient under my words. Fighting is
a thing of which men soon surfeit, and when Jove, who is wars steward,
weighs the upshot, it may well prove that the straw which our
sickles have reaped is far heavier than the grain. It may not be
that the Achaeans should mourn the dead with their bellies; day by day
men fall thick and threefold continually; when should we have
respite from our sorrow? Let us mourn our dead for a day and bury them
out of sight and mind, but let those of us who are left eat and
drink that we may arm and fight our foes more fiercely. In that hour
let no man hold back, waiting for a second summons; such summons shall
bode ill for him who is found lagging behind at our ships; let us
rather sally as one man and loose the fury of war upon the Trojans.”
  When he had thus spoken he took with him the sons of Nestor, with
Meges son of Phyleus, Thoas, Meriones, Lycomedes son of Creontes,
and Melanippus, and went to the tent of Agamemnon son of Atreus. The
word was not sooner said than the deed was done: they brought out
the seven tripods which Agamemnon had promised, with the twenty
metal cauldrons and the twelve horses; they also brought the women
skilled in useful arts, seven in number, with Briseis, which made
eight. Ulysses weighed out the ten talents of gold and then led the
way back, while the young Achaeans brought the rest of the gifts,
and laid them in the middle of the assembly.
  Agamemnon then rose, and Talthybius whose voice was like that of a
god came to him with the boar. The son of Atreus drew the knife
which he wore by the scabbard of his mighty sword, and began by
cutting off some bristles from the boar, lifting up his hands in
prayer as he did so. The other Achaeans sat where they were all silent
and orderly to hear the king, and Agamemnon looked into the vault of
heaven and prayed saying, “I call Jove the first and mightiest of
all gods to witness, I call also Earth and Sun and the Erinyes who
dwell below and take vengeance on him who shall swear falsely, that
I have laid no hand upon the girl Briseis, neither to take her to my
bed nor otherwise, but that she has remained in my tents inviolate. If
I swear falsely may heaven visit me with all the penalties which it
metes out to those who perjure themselves.”
  He cut the boar’s throat as he spoke, whereon Talthybius whirled
it round his head, and flung it into the wide sea to feed the
fishes. Then Achilles also rose and said to the Argives, “Father Jove,
of a truth you blind men’s eyes and bane them. The son of Atreus had
not else stirred me to so fierce an anger, nor so stubbornly taken
Briseis from me against my will. Surely Jove must have counselled
the destruction of many an Argive. Go, now, and take your food that we
may begin fighting.”
  On this he broke up the assembly, and every man went back to his own
ship. The Myrmidons attended to the presents and took them away to the
ship of Achilles. They placed them in his tents, while the
stable-men drove the horses in among the others.
  Briseis, fair as Venus, when she saw the mangled body of
Patroclus, flung herself upon it and cried aloud, tearing her
breast, her neck, and her lovely face with both her hands. Beautiful
as a goddess she wept and said, “Patroclus, dearest friend, when I
went hence I left you living; I return, O prince, to find you dead;
thus do fresh sorrows multiply upon me one after the other. I saw
him to whom my father and mother married me, cut down before our city,
and my three own dear brothers perished with him on the self-same day;
but you, Patroclus, even when Achilles slew my husband and sacked
the city of noble Mynes, told me that I was not to weep, for you
said you would make Achilles marry me, and take me back with him to
Phthia, we should have a wedding feast among the Myrmidons. You were
always kind to me and I shall never cease to grieve for you.”
  She wept as she spoke, and the women joined in her lament-making
as though their tears were for Patroclus, but in truth each was
weeping for her own sorrows. The elders of the Achaeans gathered round
Achilles and prayed him to take food, but he groaned and would not
do so. “I pray you,” said he, “if any comrade will hear me, bid me
neither eat nor drink, for I am in great heaviness, and will stay
fasting even to the going down of the sun.”
  On this he sent the other princes away, save only the two sons of
Atreus and Ulysses, Nestor, Idomeneus, and the knight Phoenix, who
stayed behind and tried to comfort him in the bitterness of his
sorrow: but he would not be comforted till he should have flung
himself into the jaws of battle, and he fetched sigh on sigh, thinking
ever of Patroclus. Then he said-
  “Hapless and dearest comrade, you it was who would get a good dinner
ready for me at once and without delay when the Achaeans were
hasting to fight the Trojans; now, therefore, though I have meat and
drink in my tents, yet will I fast for sorrow. Grief greater than this
I could not know, not even though I were to hear of the death of my
father, who is now in Phthia weeping for the loss of me his son, who
am here fighting the Trojans in a strange land for the accursed sake
of Helen, nor yet though I should hear that my son is no more—he
who is being brought up in Scyros—if indeed Neoptolemus is still
living. Till now I made sure that I alone was to fall here at Troy
away from Argos, while you were to return to Phthia, bring back my son
with you in your own ship, and show him all my property, my
bondsmen, and the greatness of my house—for Peleus must surely be
either dead, or
Sean Hunt Feb 2016
Mother Nature broke her water
But the baby never came
Our inundated world
Will never be the same

We watched slowly
With a growing sense of impotence
As an elemental army
Took our innocence

Some  left their homes and died
In another place
They never did return
To their own space

Politicians waded 'round
In their wellingtons
What nerve they had to even show
Their sorry skeletons

Pontificated platitudes
Filled the element of air
And those who had been flooded
Didn't really care

To hear the sly sermon
Those words were barely heard
Though so well-written
Practised and rehearsed

Mother Nature has retreated now
To her slumber state
One day soon she'll wake again
We do not know the date

Windermere 2016 February 14th
There has been extensive flooding in the district where I live.  My flat is in a two-story block and nearly all the first floor residents had to relocate.  One died shortly after.  Another became ill enough to need specialized care and will never return.  All those flats had to be completely renovated.  I can only imagine the slow torture that they all experienced as the relentless water invaded their homes.  The drama was overdue a poem :)
ENDNOTES:

(1)  ll. 1-9 are preserved by Diodorus Siculus iii. 66. 3; ll.
     10-21 are extant only in M.
(2)  Dionysus, after his untimely birth from Semele, was sewn
     into the thigh of Zeus.
(3)  sc. Semele.  Zeus is here speaking.
(4)  The reference is apparently to something in the body of the
     hymn, now lost.
(5)  The Greeks feared to name Pluto directly and mentioned him
     by one of many descriptive titles, such as 'Host of Many':
     compare the Christian use of O DIABOLOS or our 'Evil One'.
(6)  Demeter chooses the lowlier seat, supposedly as being more
     suitable to her assumed condition, but really because in her
     sorrow she refuses all comforts.
(7)  An act of communion -- the drinking of the potion here
     described -- was one of the most important pieces of ritual
     in the Eleusinian mysteries, as commemorating the sorrows of
     the goddess.
(8)  Undercutter and Woodcutter are probably popular names (after
     the style of Hesiod's 'Boneless One') for the worm thought
     to be the cause of teething and toothache.
(9)  The list of names is taken -- with five additions -- from
     Hesiod, "Theogony" 349 ff.: for their general significance
     see note on that passage.
(10) Inscriptions show that there was a temple of Apollo
     Delphinius (cp. ii. 495-6) at Cnossus and a Cretan month
     bearing the same name.
(11) sc. that the dolphin was really Apollo.
(12) The epithets are transferred from the god to his altar
     'Overlooking' is especially an epithet of Zeus, as in
     Apollonius Rhodius ii. 1124.
(13) Pliny notices the efficacy of the flesh of a tortoise
     against withcraft.  In "Geoponica" i. 14. 8 the living
     tortoise is prescribed as a charm to preserve vineyards from
     hail.
(14) Hermes makes the cattle walk backwards way, so that they
     seem to be going towards the meadow instead of leaving it
     (cp. l. 345); he himself walks in the normal manner, relying
     on his sandals as a disguise.
(15) Such seems to be the meaning indicated by the context,
     though the verb is taken by Allen and Sikes to mean, 'to be
     like oneself', and so 'to be original'.
(16) Kuhn points out that there is a lacuna here.  In l. 109 the
     borer is described, but the friction of this upon the
     fireblock (to which the phrase 'held firmly' clearly
     belongs) must also have been mentioned.
(17) The cows being on their sides on the ground, Hermes bends
     their heads back towards their flanks and so can reach their
     backbones.
(18) O. Muller thinks the 'hides' were a stalactite formation in
     the 'Cave of Nestor' near Messenian Pylos, -- though the
     cave of Hermes is near the Alpheus (l. 139).  Others suggest
     that actual skins were shown as relics before some cave near
     Triphylian Pylos.
(19) Gemoll explains that Hermes, having offered all the meat as
     sacrifice to the Twelve Gods, remembers that he himself as
     one of them must be content with the savour instead of the
     substance of the sacrifice.  Can it be that by eating he
     would have forfeited the position he claimed as one of the
     Twelve Gods?
(20) Lit. 'thorn-plucker'.
(21) Hermes is ambitious (l. 175), but if he is cast into Hades
     he will have to be content with the leadership of mere
     babies like himself, since those in Hades retain the state
     of growth -- whether childhood or manhood -- in which they
     are at the moment of leaving the upper world.
(22) Literally, 'you have made him sit on the floor', i.e. 'you
     have stolen everything down to his last chair.'
(23) The Thriae, who practised divination by means of pebbles
     (also called THRIAE).  In this hymn they are represented as
     aged maidens (ll. 553-4), but are closely associated with
     bees (ll. 559-563) and possibly are here conceived as having
     human heads and ******* with the bodies and wings of bees.
     See the edition of Allen and Sikes, Appendix III.
(24) Cronos swallowed each of his children the moment that they
     were born, but ultimately was forced to disgorge them.
     Hestia, being the first to be swallowed, was the last to be
     disgorged, and so was at once the first and latest born of
     the children of Cronos.  Cp. Hesiod "Theogony", ll. 495-7.
(25) Mr. Evelyn-White prefers a different order for lines #87-90
     than that preserved in the MSS.  This translation is based
     upon the following sequence: ll. 89,90,87,88. -- DBK.
(26) 'Cattle-earning', because an accepted suitor paid for his
     bride in cattle.
(27) The name Aeneas is here connected with the epithet AIEOS
     (awful): similarly the name Odysseus is derived (in
     "Odyssey" i.62) from ODYSSMAI (I grieve).
(28) Aphrodite extenuates her disgrace by claiming that the race
     of Anchises is almost divine, as is shown in the persons of
     Ganymedes and Tithonus.
(29) So Christ connecting the word with OMOS.  L. and S. give =
     OMOIOS, 'common to all'.
(30) Probably not Etruscans, but the non-Hellenic peoples of
     Thrace and (according to Thucydides) of Lemnos and Athens.
     Cp. Herodotus i. 57; Thucydides iv. 109.
(31) This line appears to be an alternative to ll. 10-11.
(32) The name Pan is here derived from PANTES, 'all'.  Cp.
     Hesiod, "Works and Days" ll. 80-82, "Hymn to Aphrodite" (v)
     l. 198. for the significance of personal names.
(33) Mr. Evelyn-White prefers to switch l. 10 and 11, reading 11
     first then 10. -- DBK.
(34) An extra line is inserted in some MSS. after l. 15. -- DBK.
(35) The epithet is a usual one for birds, cp. Hesiod, "Works and
     Days", l. 210; as applied to Selene it may merely indicate
     her passage, like a bird, through the air, or mean 'far
     flying'.
__
The Homeric Hymns in the Hello Poetry collection are provided by:
Online Medieval and Classical Library.
Source site: http://omacl.org/Hesiod/hymns.html
Nigel Morgan Apr 2013
It took him a week to master thought-diversion. He would leave home to walk to work and the moment the door was shut it was as though she followed him like a shadow on snow. If he wasn’t careful the ten-minute walk would be swallowed up in an imagined conversation. He had already allowed himself too many dark thoughts of tears and silences. He saw her befreckled by weeks in a light he had only read about. She would be a stranger for a while, a visitor from another world (until she gradually lost the glow on her skin and the smell of Africa became an elusive memory). He was frightened that he would be overwhelmed by her physical grace enriched by   southern summer and the weight of her experience, having so little to offer in return. So he practised thought diversion: as her shadow entered his consciousness he would divert his attention to China of the Third Century and what he would write next about Zuo Fen and her illustrious brother.

Sister and brother Zou gradually took on a fictional life. This he fuelled by reading poetry of the period and his daily beachcombing along the shores of the Internet. He built up an impressive bibliography for his next visit to the university library. Even in the Han Dynasty there was so much material to study, though much of it the stuff of secondary sources.

One morning he took down from his library shelf Max Loehr’s The Great Painters of China and immediately became seduced by the court images of Ku Kai’chih. This painter is the only artist of this period of Chinese antiquity to be represented today by extant copies. There was also a possible original, a handscroll in The British Museum. It is said Ku was the first portrait artist to give a psychological interpretation of the person portrayed. Before him there seems in portraiture to have been little differentiation in the characterization of figures. His images hold a wonder all their own.

As David looked at the book’s illustrative plates, showing details from The Admonitions of the Instructress to the Palace Ladies, the world of Zuo Fen began to reveal itself. A ‘palace lady’ she certainly was, and so possibly similar to the image before him: a concubine reclines in her bamboo screen and silk-curtained bed; her Lord sits respectively at right-angles to her and half-way down her bed. The artist has captured his feet deftly lifting themselves out of square-toed slippers, whilst Zuo Fen drapes one arm over the painted bamboo screen, her manner resolute and confident. Perhaps she has taken note of those admonitions of her instructress. Her Lord has turned his head to gaze at her directly and to listen. Restless hands hide beneath his gown.

        ‘Honoured Lord, as we have talked lately of flowing water and the symmetry of love I am reminded of the god and goddess of Xiang River’.
       ‘In the Nine Songs of Qu Yaun?’
       ‘Yes, my Lord. The opening verse has the Prince of Xiang say: You have not come; I wait with apprehension / And wonder who makes you prevaricate on your island / When I am so splendidly and perfectly attired in your honour?
       ‘Hmm. . . so you favour this new gown.’
       ‘It is finely made, but perhaps does not suit the light of this hour’.
       ‘Let the Yangzi River flow calmly, / I look for you, but you have not come.’
      ‘I gaze at the distance in a trance, /  Only to see the grey green waters run by.

        ‘Honourable Companion, I fear you feel my mind lies elsewhere . ‘
       ‘I know you ride the cassia boat downstream.’
       ‘Indeed, my oar is of cassia and my rudder of orchid’.
        ‘I fancy that you build a house underwater, thatching it with a roof of lotus leaves . . .’
       ‘Well, if that is so, drop your sleeves into the Yangzi River and present the thin dress you wear to the bay of Li.’
       ‘I am in awe of my Lord’s recall of such verses . . . I love the Lady of Xiang’s description of the underwater house . . . with its curtains of fig leaves and screens of split basil.’
      ‘But will you send me all the spirits of Juiyi mountains to bring me to your side . . . will they come together as numerous as clouds?’
      ‘My Lord, my nose perspires . . .’
      ‘I offer my jade ring to the Yangzi River / and yield my jade pendant to the bay of Li. / I gather galingale fronds on an islet of fragrant grasses, / still hoping to present them to you. / If I leave, I might not have another chance. / So I’d rather stay here and linger a little longer.’
        ‘I gather the powerful roots of galingale / hoping to offer them to you who are still far away. / If I leave, I might not have another chance. / So I’d rather stay here and linger a little longer
.’
      ‘Even though your nose perspires and your ******* harden . . .’
        ‘Kind Lord, you have taken the wrong role in the dialogue. Surely it is the Plain Girl who gives such advise to the Yellow Emperor.’
        ‘And I thought only men read the Sunujing . . .’
        ‘You forget I have a dear brother . . .’
       ‘With whom you have read the Sunujing! . . and no I have not forgotten . . . he sought permission to travel to the Tai mountains, some fool’s errand my minister states.’
         ‘He may surprise you on his return.’
        ‘Only you can surprise me now.’
       ‘My Lord, you know I lack such gifts . . . I hear your sandals dropping to the floor’.
      ‘I sail my boat ever closer to the wind / and the waves are
stirred like drifting snow.’
     ‘I can hear my beloved calling my name. / I shall hasten so that I can ride beside him.



She seemed so child-like in that singular room of the garden annex. Her head had buried itself between the two pillows so only her ever-curling hair was visible. Opening a small portion of the curtains drawn across the blue metalled-framed French windows, he gazed at her sleeping in the dull light of just dawn. Outside a river-mist lay across the autumnal garden where they had walked yesterday before their tour of the estate. Unable to sleep he had sat in their hosts’ kitchen and mapped their guided walk in the rain, noting down his observations of this remote valley in a sprawling narrative. On the edge of moorland it was a world constrained and contained, with its brooding batchelor-owned farms and the silent legacy everywhere of a Victorian hagiographer and antiquarian. As he wrote and drew, snapshot-like images of her intervened unbidden. She both entranced and purposeful in a physical landscape she delighted in and knew how to read. Although longing to lie next to her he had sat gently for a moment on her bed, feeling the weight of her sleeping form move towards him as the mattress sagged, his bare feet cold on the stone floor. He placed his poem on the empty companion pillow, and returned through the chill of unheated rooms to the desert warmth of the Agared kitchen.


Lying in your arms
I am surprised to hear a voice
That seems in the right key
To sing what is in my heart.

After so many dark
inarticulate hours
I,  desperate
To express this love
That drowns me,
Suddenly come up for breath
(after floundering in
the cold water of night)
to find there were words
like little boats of paper
carrying a tea light,
a vivid yellow flame
on the black depths,
floating gently towards you . . .

Oh log of memory
record these sailing messages
So carefully placed, rehearsed,
Launched and found complete.

Knowing I must not talk of love,
Knowing no other word
(feeling the shape of your knee
with my right hand),
knowing this time will not
come again, I summon
to myself one last intimacy
before the diary of reason closes.


Zou Fen often wrote about herself as a rustic illiterate, country-born in a thatched hut, but given (inexplicably) the purple chamber at the Palace. As the daughter of a significant officer of the Imperial Court she appears to have developed a fictional persona to induce and taste the extremes of melancholy. Otherwise she is mind-travelling the natural world from her courtyard garden, observing in the growth of a tiny plant or the flight of distant bird, the whole pattern of nature. These things fill her rhapsodies and fu poems.

As a young man Zuo Si had wild flights of fantasy. He imagined himself as a warrior. In verse he recalls reading Precepts on the Art of War by Ssu-ma Jang Chu. With a scholar’s knife he writes of quelling the barbarian hordes (the Tibetans) in their incursions along the Yang-tze. When triumphant he would not accept the Emperor’s gift of a title and estate, but would retire to a cottage in the country. Then again, as a student scholar, he describes failure, penury and isolation ‘left stranded like a fish in a pond, without – he hasn’t a single penny in his account: within – not a peck of grain in the larder.’ He was never thus.

Like all good writers sister and brother Zou were the keenest observers. They took into and upon themselves what they saw and gathered from the lives of others, and so often their playful painted characters hide the truth of their real lives. David looks at his dishevelled poetry and wonders about its veracity. He always thought of Rachel as his first (and only) reader; but what if she were not? What would he write? What would his poems say?

*I lie on my back in her bed.
On her stomach, her arm on my chest,
She props herself against me
so that I see her face in close up.
She gazes
out of the window

I don’t think I have slept at all,
My own bed was so cold.
She warms me for a while.

All night
I’ve been thinking
what to say to her,
and now I am too weary
to speak.

I am in despair,
Yet I ache with joy
At having her so close.

I wish I knew who I was,
What I could be,
What I might become.

A voice tells me
that such intimacy
will not come again.
st64 Jul 2013
such a powerful voice
thank heavens
he used it so well



1.
“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong.”
― John Lennon


2.
“I'm not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I've always been a freak. So I've been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I'm one of those people.”
― John Lennon


3.
“How can I go forward when I don't know which way I'm facing?”
― John Lennon


4.
“We all shine on...like the moon and the stars and the sun...we all shine on...come on and on and on...”
― John Lennon


5.
“I'm not afraid of death because I don't believe in it.
It's just getting out of one car, and into another”
― John Lennon


6.
“My role in society, or any artist's or poet's role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”
― John Lennon


7.
“there's nothing you can do that can't be done.....”
― John Lennon


8.
“Time wounds all heels.”
―John Lennon


9.
“Love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep on watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it.”
― John Lennon


10.
“We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practised in broad daylight.”
― John Lennon


11.
“People like me are aware of their so-called genius at ten, eight, nine. . . . I always wondered, ''Why has nobody discovered me?'' In school, didn't they see that I'm cleverer than anybody in this school? That the teachers are stupid, too? That all they had was information that I didn't need? I got ******' lost in being at high school. I used to say to me auntie:
''You throw my ******' poetry out, and you'll regret it when I'm famous, '' and she threw the ******* stuff out. I never forgave her for not treating me like a ******' genius or whatever I was, when I was a child. It was obvious to me. Why didn't they put me in art school? Why didn't they train me? Why would they keep forcing me to be a ******' cowboy like the rest of them?
I was different.
I was always different. Why didn't anybody notice me? A couple of teachers would notice me, encourage me to be something or other, to draw or to paint - express myself. But most of the time they were trying to beat me into being a ******' dentist or a teacher."
― John Lennon


12.
“When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.”
― John Lennon


13.
“Love is the greatest refreshment in life.”
― John Lennon


14.
“I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.”
― John Lennon


15.
“I was feeling insecure you might not love me anymore”
― John Lennon


16.
“Nobody loves you when you're down and out.”
― John Lennon


17.
“You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one.”
― John Lennon


18.
“Please don't wake me, no, don't shake me, leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping...”
― John Lennon


19.
“paranoia is just a heightened sense of awareness”
― John Lennon


20.
“Living is easy with eyes closed; misunderstanding all you see.
It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out.
It doesn't matter much to me.”
― John Lennon



john…forever*


S T, 26 July 2013
John Winston Ono Lennon, (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of the Beatles.
Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, writing, drawings, on film and in interviews. Controversial through his political and peace activism, he moved to New York City in 1971; criticism of the Vietnam War.
In 1970, Lennon and Ono went through primal therapy with Dr. Arthur Janov in Los Angeles, California (designed to release emotional pain from early childhood).
"Mother", Lennon confronted his feelings of childhood rejection, and the Dylanesque "Working Class Hero", a bitter attack against the bourgeois social system.

In September 1980, Lennon commented about his family and his rebellious nature:
Part of me would like to be accepted by all facets of society and not be this loudmouthed lunatic poet/musician. But I cannot be what I am not ...
I was the one who all the other boys' parents—including Paul's father—would say, 'Keep away from him'... The parents instinctively recognised I was a troublemaker, meaning I did not conform and I would influence their children, which I did. I did my best to disrupt every friend's home ... Partly out of envy that I didn't have this so-called home ... but I did...
There were five women that were my family. Five strong, intelligent, beautiful women, five sisters. One happened to be my mother. [She] just couldn't deal with life. She was the youngest and she had a husband who ran away to sea and the war was on and she couldn't cope with me, and I ended up living with her elder sister. Now those women were fantastic ...
And that was my first feminist education ... I would infiltrate the other boys minds. I could say, "Parents are not gods because I don't live with mine and, therefore, I know.’


This is such an intensely beautiful song…hope ye enjoy this particular video….very uplifting!
It helps to see this level of inspiration.

Be blessed :)





Sub-entry :  Across The Universe – Lennon / McCartney


Words are flying out like
endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass
They slip away across the universe

Pools of sorrow waves of joy
are drifting thorough my open mind
Possessing and caressing me

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Images of broken light which
dance before me like a million eyes
That call me on and on across the universe

Thoughts meander like a
restless wind inside a letter box
they tumble blindly as
they make their way across the universe

Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world x2

Jai guru deva
Jai guru deva
Jai guru deva om


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKtk3bK5yTk
Mateuš Conrad Jul 2016
having applied myself to two languages with different parameters of execution: writing in primarily in English, reading fiction and poetry primarily in English enabled me to gain strength in reading philosophy and conjuring up white-rabbits from a top-hat in Polnisch - i can't read philosophy in English - which explains why few interests in philosophy exist - the English have undermined the worth of philosophy, oh sure, David Hume is the rave in Scotland, because he's Scottish - but the English took to solely understanding the world via Darwinism - image deciphering accounts of how the natural order of things is attached to inanimate materials propelled by falling apples - the continental procedure is less concerning Darwinism and more akin to a mental fashion statement, as in: what's vogue these days? what's the cognitive vogue? the English "philosophers" with their rigid Darwinism are like priests - which is why they attracted biblical literal interpretation - the creationists - there's no other explanation why the creationists emerged - it was because of militant atheism, atheism without individual originality - invoked by a sense of herding the sheep to the grazing hills of nihilism - the pillar that became the crutch - of course i admire and know it's true - no Genesis story that's merely a p.s. in history is ever going to undermine the naturalist's fascination with the world in every minute detail - i'm not against that... but at this moment i was thinking of a cult idea for a naturalist - take a pornographic movie, and give it to a naturalist to assess - after all... we're just mammals - i think this could turn out to be a real daytrip for a naturalist - oh sure, it must be ease with organism that apparently do not derive any pleasure from procreation... give two beings that apparently do derive pleasure from procreation... to later debase it with the malignant forces at work in the Encyclopedia that's 120 days of *****... the naturalist narrating a pornographic scene would be bewildered as to why these highly evolved creatures are exponentially higher-up the tiers of evolution, needing so many complex adaptive techniques - boredom for one, people have created more distractions than they have created tools of necessity - but perhaps they're equal - our evolutionary drive? the thing that makes us tick is not necessarily physical discomfort - we exercise for the pleasure of physical discomfort - the drive is boredom, the fear of it drives us mad with constant ingenuity taking form - like a ballerina in a salsa bar... sadism in the aura of hot-sweat-and-coconut-***-shaking as if playing dice in Las Vegas... Don Quixote (the ballet on three days away)... we're done with the empirical satisfaction of Darwinism, we know it, we need a humanistic approach to it, something that goes against the English priesthood - Darwinism will never be vogue in continent Europe, continent Europeans just say: Egyptology is as far back as is necessary to go... our lives are more important and more complex than those of primates... our lives are more important and more complex than those of primates... we want to write history, not look at history as a burden and therefore try to erase it, placing ourselves in a garden of awe and glass; honestly? Darwinism is a bit like creationism - it all starts with a garden, awe, and the grand spectacle - only the other includes a need to procrastinate by doing some ritualistic mumble and Hosanna Hallelujah in the highest - and the other tries not to yawn.

so onto my favourite topic... rich boy's slang -
do you really think a *prince
of Egypt would speak
slave tongue Hebraic?
do you think **** & 'arry could speak Bulgarian
or Romanian? let me think... no.
they might speak French... maybe German...
but certainly not the eastern tongues -
now, whoever wrote that book wrote it in ancient
Egyptian, the chronologically speaking
yes, female genital mutilation was practised first
in Africa, notably Egypt, prior to male genital
mutilation being instigated by frustrated Abraham -
the collision was bound to happen -
see how pretty prince slang looks?
it's poetic - the rich boys call it poetry, the poor
boys call slang - which is why poor boy raps
and over uses rhyme - or perhaps rhyme is easier
to remember than free verse poetry -
rich boy brings a page on stage and recites because
he's too lazy or not bothered to memorise,
poor boy says yeah a lot in between his lyrics
without a page so he can the the bowling aisle
movement as if he's rolling in a convertible Cadillac -
sing ***! yo! ***! yo! so the chronology matches,
Eve first, Adam second - but not as in: they did it first -
later down the line they cut off the precious skin
and hence felt naked, they fell, they revised was not
to be revised - sure, the man got the favour right -
he was the winner - but at the same time, the loser -
hence the good & evil bit - we don't really know -
is it really necessary to have good *** to later have
a fickle partner and laws being in her favour via what's
called the missed prenup thought? to me it's just a literal
reading of the text - looking for laurel leaves to cover
the revision of the genitalia - not the actual genitalia per se,
just the revised versions - so if the female variation is
whatever it is - less pleasure from *** and what not,
for man that also means counting the stars and weeks
and having no pleasure from ******* when her period
arrives and you have to try a diet of **** or something -
well of course it's slightly uncomfortable with it -
but at the same time you increase your endurance with it -
a slight sadomasochism, no whips no ******* women,
no leather, no adventure, just raw meat and raw meat -
no fantasy no role play - just a little bit of skin making all
the difference - can you imagine Marquis de Sade writing
as frankly as this? well... every time i revise my thought
on the book of genesis, i obviously become a covert literal
reader of it, deciphering the eloquent slang of a prince of
Egypt would use on such "delicate" matters -
but with that being said: it becomes all the less fascinating
a myth-making engine, and given he was forced out of
his comfort zone (and i mean a comfort zone) he would
cite God as the word (reason), but by word alone and
the word only - the reasoning behind what entered the land
of Egypt as being the same as what entered the Garden
of Eden... and tempted... the temptation came with the pyramids -
oddly enough only the Eiffel Tower was higher than
the pyramids - look at the time it took man to become so bold again!
look at it! massive - and in some weird quantum physics
interpretation of the mythological past becoming the actual
future - the tower of Babel... and... yep, you guessed it:
the Burj Khalifa (or the Khalifa Tower) is its equivalent;
but ****, only the Eiffel Tower overshadowed the pyramids -
something must have happened back then then,
if man was so shy in rising his structures too far up into
the sky - but i guess the Enlightenment spurred him on...
later to crash back down with the atom phobia of the second
part of the 20th century, which in the 21st century morphed into:
well, how will wars be profitable if we drop a nuke?
e'oh! no, sorry, one nuke will make us bankrupt -
we need tanks, guns, bullets... huge bulks of them!
stockpiling nukes ended up a bit like stockpiling too much...
ah crap... don't have a good analogy - just started thinking
of a desert of sugar - sugar dunes... imagining a desert
like that... well, partially true - with the Arabs not drinking
alcohol and eating too many sweets, diabetic amputees throughout
the desert land.
Tommy Randell Nov 2016
Now -

It feels like if I loved you half as much as you deserve you wouldn’t eat chocolate until it comes out of your ears.

It feels like if I had been there for you for more time than I have spared of late in my rush to be your lover I would have seen more truly what loving you could mean.

It feels like if I had practised only part of what I preach I would be better off for your love toward me and not feel nearly so alone or far away.

It feels like if I understood that giving back to you in equal measure is only all that is required and of what beginnings this would not be the end.

Then -

It feels like if I had remembered about myself the open-handed have the tighter fist sometimes I wouldn’t be such a ****** friend.

It feels like I should be sorry for something as the moments pass now between our searching but disconnected eyes.

It feels like a glossary of Me stacked up like synonyms in a book of self condemnation and righteous self-focus.

It feels like I am falling backwards into a cloud with the air being ****** out of me with the mountains of hard truths jaggedly jaggedly just waiting to say they told me so.
His name was David.
I sat next to him in primary school.
He wasn't like the other boys, he had an accent, was sarcastic, really funny;
We laughed together all the time, I thought of him at night in bed.
I remember freckles, and a giant smile,
He moved to America, and I missed him terribly,
Thought I was in love.

I was fifteen and he was twenty-nine.
I wrote his name in schoolbooks, spent hours making mixtapes,
Wrote an overblown and sentimental poem
Which I later showed him, covered my eyes
As he read it; he let me down gently,
I was awkward and chubby but probably endearing,
And it's always nice to be adored.
I didn't mind ego-stroking,
I'd tried no other sorts of stroking, back then.
*** wasn't on my agenda, I don't think I even felt a stirring down below.
Was I a late starter?
Let me know.

He was gay. Well and truly gay.
And he practised flirtation on me.
Theatre school was where I found myself, and blossomed,
We indulged in drama together,
And there was lust, finally;
He made my body boil and churn.
Licked my neck as he walked past me to tap practice:
I melted. A friend, dear friend, my **** gay friend.
I wanted, really wanted a man for the first time,
Did he want me, even a little? Or was it all theatricals for him?
I haven't seen him for years, but I found him on Facebook,
Maybe I should ask?

Tom was a philanderer,
Lived with him and two other girls at university;
He got one pregnant, dated the other,
Secretly had **** fun with me.
I'm not proud, I betrayed a friend for my body's demands,
And not for the last time.
But I was insane for that funny little man.
Now I remember unwashed hair and drunken despair,
Now I remember what destroyed me, for a while.
I should have learned my lesson.
She's still a friend; she still doesn't know.

Andy adored me for months
And I was fully aware, found it thrilling,
But didn't feel the same, I was settled.
He was welsh, weathered and wonderful.
He crushed then got over me,
And suddenly I was smitten.
Agonised for two years, then I was over him.
We're still friends, it is possible
To keep them in your lives,
It is possible to move on,
To have something different together,
To be somewhere inbetween lovers and friends.

I reread those last five lines,
And wish I could apply them to the last man on my list.
Feelings came out of the blue, grasped me roughly
And stole me away from my life, from happiness, from calm contentment.
Intimacy of our era;
Messages in the dead of the night,
Stolen kisses, dark despair.
I. Have. Never. Wanted. Anybody. More.
I'm not over him.
But it's just another crush, right?
it's just another crush?
They hail me as one living,
But don’t they know
That I have died of late years,
Untombed although?

I am but a shape that stands here,
A pulseless mould,
A pale past picture, screening
Ashes gone cold.

Not at a minute’s warning,
Not in a loud hour,
For me ceased Time’s enchantments
In hall and bower.

There was no tragic transit,
No catch of breath,
When silent seasons inched me
On to this death …

—A Troubadour-youth I rambled
With Life for lyre,
The beats of being raging
In me like fire.

But when I practised eyeing
The goal of men,
It iced me, and I perished
A little then.

When passed my friend, my kinsfolk,
Through the Last Door,
And left me standing bleakly,
I died yet more;

And when my Love’s heart kindled
In hate of me,
Wherefore I knew not, died I
One more degree.

And if when I died fully
I cannot say,
And changed into the corpse-thing
I am to-day,

Yet is it that, though whiling
The time somehow
In walking, talking, smiling,
I live not now.
Big Virge Jul 2016
London Has Been Said ...
In A .... " City Guide " ....    
  
To Be A PLACE TO SEE ... !!!!!  
    
But You Should Recognise ...    
That ... Prices Are HIGH ... !!!  
Even For A Short Train Ride ... !!!  
    
EVERYONE Can Expect ...    
To See .... " Tolerance " .... !!!!!!!!  
    
Well There Are ...    
Quite A Few Ways To Define ... TOLERATE ... !!!!!  
    
It Can Mean ...    
    
ENDURE, PERMIT and ALLOW TO EXIST ...  
    
Further Definitions INCLUDE ...    
    
To .....    
    
"Allow to be practised, without interference, or, molestation !"  
    
We'd ... Better NOT Mention ...  
    
School Education ...  
Or Problems Caused Because of Racism ... !!!  
    
Some DO TOLERATE A Foreign Face ...  
But NOT Always In ... RESPECTFUL Ways ... !!!  
    
Some Racists PRETEND That We're ALL FRIENDS ... !?!  
    
But Would NEVER Let A FOREIGNER ...    
.............. In Their Bed ............... !!!!!  
    
If Words Like THOSE Cause You OFFENCE .... !!!  
    
Try To ... " TOLERATE MATE " ... !!!!!  
    
Because I've Got MORE I .... NEED TO SAY .... !!!!!    
    
I Don't EXIST For You To Sit ...    
And Just PERMIT MY RIGHT To LIVE ... !?!  
And TOLERATE ... The Things I Say ... ?!?  
WHO TOLD You To Think THAT WAY ... !?!  
    
So MANY HATE A Darkened Face ... !!!  
And Seem To THINK That's NO DISGRACE ... ?!!!?  
    
And Is ... OKAY ... !?!  
How Can This Be ... EVEN TODAY ... !?!?!  
    
From .....  
    
NEW AGE SLAVES To ... Yesteryear ........................................    
MANY BLACKS Have Lived IN FEAR ... !!!!!  
of ... Facing ATTACKS That May Bring TEARS ... ?!!!?  
    
When MURDERS Come We Hear .... " OH DEAR ... !!! "  
    
While Words We Say Are QUICKLY CLAIMED ... !!!  
    
To ...    
    
"Deserve a place, penned in, and caged !"  
    
Where We're THEN TOLD ...  
    
"You're going to pay !  
Your wordplay we, won't tolerate !"  
    
South Africans KNOW ...    
How THAT ONE Goes ... !!!!!  
    
Mandela Was Sent To CLEARLY ROT ... !!!  
DEEP INSIDE A ... " PRISON Hole " ... !!!!!  
    
London Can Be REALLY COLD ... !!!!!!!!  
And CLEARLY Has ... NO STREETS of Gold ... !!!!!!!  
    
Unless You ENTERTAIN The ... " Corporate Fold " ...    
    
Well Wherever I Go .... !!!  
I Make It KNOWN By The Way I Move ...    
    
I ... TOLERATE Views From RACIST Crews ... !!!!!  
Who CLEARLY CHOOSE To Act Like I'm NOT In The Room ... ?!?  
    
But Let Them KNOW ...  
Be COOL And ... " Shrewd "  ...  
And Try YOUR BEST To NOT BE Rude ... !!!  
    
And ... DON'T Presume That I'm A FOOL ... !!!!!!!!  
I've Been WELL SCHOOLED By TRUTHFUL CREWS ....    
    
And STUDY YES ... Your Daily News ... !!!  
    
BELIEVE In THIS ... !!!  
I KNOW About ... YOU ... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
    
DON'T MESS With Me And I'll TOLERATE YOU ...    
And Find The Few Who ... CLEARLY Choose ...  
To ... SEE Me As A HUMAN TOO ... !!!    
    
Now Governments' View ...  
    
ZERO TOLERANCE Is The Best Defence Against Terrorist Sects ... !!!  
    
Whose Words THEY CLAIM ... !!!  
    
Clearly Suggest A Need For Them To Make Violent Acts ...    
    
But Surely This Will Cause PROBLEMS ... ?!?  
When INNOCENT MEN Become Victims of FALSE Arrest ... !?!  
    
And Then Are KEPT for ... " PUNISHMENT " ...    
And TORTURE Til' They're ... Almost DEAD ... !!!!!  
    
They Say TOLERATE But Then DETAIN ... ?!?  
Those Whose Words Spread ANGER And HATE ... !!!  
    
They ...    
CLEARLY Are Willing To TOLERATE ... !!!  
But Only Those Who DON'T Complain ...  
    
But The Ku Klux **** And BNP ... ?!?!?  
Have PREACHED RACE HATE Since The ... " Good Ol' Days " ... !!!!!  
    
But STILL EXIST ... EVEN TODAY ... !?!  
    
Does That Seem FAIR ... ???  
Do You ... REALLY CARE ... !?!  
    
LET THEM Say What They WANT TO SAY ... !!!  
A Pendulum DOESN'T Stop ... " Halfway " ... !!!!!  
    
These Double Standards FILL The Air ...    
What Makes Them Think TEMPERS WON'T Flare ... !?!  
    
The Air We Breathe WE ALL Should SHARE ... !!!!!  
I Hope You People ... Are PREPARED .... !?!?!?!  
    
Because HATRED NOW Is Climbing Stairs ... !!!  
Words Like THOSE AREN'T Meant To SCARE ... !!!  
But IGNORANCE ... May Take You There ... ?!?  
    
To THAT PLACE That's NOT SO GREAT ... !!!!!  
So TOLERATE Or ... " ACCOMMODATE " ... ?!?  
    
NEITHER Folks ... And That's NO JOKE ... !!!  
    
WELCOME'S The Word That Gets MY VOTE ... !!!  
    
Try WELCOMING ... With OPEN ARMS ... !!!  
And STOP These Fights With GUNS IN PALMS ... !!!!  
    
HARMONY Breeds ENERGIES ...    
That May Just Bring ... MORE UNITY ... !!!!!!!!!  
That Helps MORE AGREE To DISAGREE ...    
And DISMISS ....................................... Negativity ... !!!!!!!  
    
I'd LIKE That Folks ... PLEASE BELIEVE Me ... !!!  
TRUTHFULLY  ... And ... HONESTLY ... !!!!!  
    
But CLEARLY Peace May Now Be Lost .......................  
    
To Society's Streets ...    
NO UNITY For Humanity ... !!!  
    
Those Who Choose To ... TOLERATE THAT ...    
Have Minds Now LOST And ETERNALLY TRAPPED ... !!!!!  
    
I'm A PEACEFUL MAN But I'll Be ****** ... !!!!!  
Before I'd Let Racists ... ATTACK ...    
And NOT Attempt To FORCE THEM BACK ... !!!!!!  
    
God Gave Me LIFE For Me To LIVE ... !!!  
    
Let Me Take You Back To My First Page ...    
TOLERATE Can Mean ... " ALLOWED To Exist " ...    
    
So WHO OVERSEES THIS ... !?!  
    
Those Who'd Like To See Blacks ... " LYNCHED " ... ?!?  
Does ... White Supremacy STILL Exist ... ?!?  
    
BELIEVE If You Like DISMISS If You Don't ...  
Slave Masters CLEARLY ... STILL Have HOLD ...  
of Many Blacks Who've LOST Their Souls ... !!!!!!  
    
Blacks Who Choose To Take Black Lives ...    
Are WORSE Than Racists Who Are WHITE ... !!!!!!!    
    
London Lights Do STILL SHINE BRIGHT ... !!!  
While Blacks STILL DIE From STUPID FIGHTS ... !!!!!!!!!  
    
"So, listen black, don't even try !  
Killing each other, is just not right !  
Whoever you ****, had a Black Mother !"  
    
Would You Want YOURS To LOSE You Over ...  
    
......... " POINTLESS WARS " ........ ?!!!?  
    
You NEED TO Take A ... PAUSE ...............................................................  
And HELP THE CAUSE .... !!!!!!!!!    
    
USE YOUR BRAIN And Stake A CLAIM ... !!!  
Show LOVE And PATIENCE It's EASY To HATE ...  
    
But ... HARD To TRUST ... !!!!!  
So Do Your BEST To ... RISE ABOVE ...  
    
Those Who CLAIM To ...........  
    
......... " TOLERATE " ........
The article I read started this piece, however, the black experience in England was the REAL Inspiration, by the time it was finished !
He thought he saw an Elephant,
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
'At length I realise,' he said,
The bitterness of Life!'

He thought he saw a Buffalo
Upon the chimney-piece:
He looked again, and found it was
His Sister's Husband's Niece.
'Unless you leave this house,' he said,
"I'll send for the Police!'

He thought he saw a Rattlesnake
That questioned him in Greek:
He looked again, and found it was
The Middle of Next Week.
'The one thing I regret,' he said,
'Is that it cannot speak!'

He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk
Descending from the bus:
He looked again, and found it was
A Hippopotamus.
'If this should stay to dine,' he said,
'There won't be much for us!'

He thought he saw a Kangaroo
That worked a coffee-mill:
He looked again, and found it was
A Vegetable-Pill.
'Were I to swallow this,' he said,
'I should be very ill!'

He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four
That stood beside his bed:
He looked again, and found it was
A Bear without a Head.
'Poor thing,' he said, 'poor silly thing!
It's waiting to be fed!'

He thought he saw an Albatross
That fluttered round the lamp:
He looked again, and found it was
A Penny-Postage Stamp.
'You'd best be getting home,' he said:
'The nights are very damp!'

He thought he saw a Garden-Door
That opened with a key:
He looked again, and found it was
A Double Rule of Three:
'And all its mystery,' he said,
'Is clear as day to me!'

He thought he saw a Argument
That proved he was the Pope:
He looked again, and found it was
A Bar of Mottled Soap.
'A fact so dread,' he faintly said,
'Extinguishes all hope!'
RAJ NANDY Jul 2016
Dear friends , this is an old poem of mine which was composed after I learnt that one of my favourite Hollywood actor Richard Gere had become a Buddhist and believed in Zen Philosophy. So having read about Zen, I composed in a simple format about the same. Hope you like it. Thanks, - Raj.


                    ZEN PHILOSOPHY
With roots buried deep in soils of Ancient India,
And watered by the exotic blend of three different
cultures;
Reflecting the mysticism of India, the pragmatism
of the Confucian mind, and the Taoist’s love of
naturalness and spontaneity,
Buddhism bloomed and blossomed into an exotic
flower called 'Zen Philosophy'!

In 475 AD a pupil of Buddha called Bodhidharma
went to China.
There the Mahayana School of Buddhism mingled
with Chinese Taoism, which evolved into Chan
Philosophy!
'Chan ' derived from the Sanskrit  word 'dhyana',
which meant 'silent meditation',  -
Through which the Buddha attained enlightenment
and salvation!
Later, in 1200 AD this Chan philosophy travelled to
the shores of Japan,
Where 'Chan' got translated to 'Zen' by its many
followers and fans!
ZEN is the art of meditation to achieve inner awakening,
To gain intuitive knowledge, highlighting the inadequacy
of logical reasoning!
It therefore advocates the practice of 'zazen' or 'sitting
meditation',
For acquiring inner awakening through silent
contemplation!

ZEN could be practised in our daily life,
Without entering a hermitage, leaving behind your
family or wife!
'Gain the naturalness of your original true nature',
-  preaches the Zen Teacher through meditation,
'Rather than through mere faith and devotion,
which is contrary to Zen notion.'
'One must awaken to this present moment to feel
this life,
And not waste time in speculations of an Elusive
After-Life’!
The 'Enso' or the ‘circle’, is the Zen symbol which is
often deployed,
Symbolising Enlightenment, Strength, the Universe,
and the Void!
With this 'expression of the moment ' the Zen Philosophy
starts,
And today the ‘Enso’ is also the symbol of Expressionist
Art!
Never ask the Zen Master 'What is Zen, when, or how? ',
For he will always tell you, - 'Zen Is The Instant Now'!
                                                      - Raj Nandy, New Delhi.
Mahayana in Sanskrit means 'Great Vehicle', and is the largest major tradition of Buddhism existing today. The other branch is called Hinayana meaning the 'Lesser vehicle'.
He thought he saw an Elephant
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
"At length I realize," he said,
"The bitterness of life!"

He thought he saw a Buffalo
Upon the chimney-piece:
He looked again, and found it was
His Sister's Husband's Niece.
"Unless you leave this house," he said,
"I'll send for the police!"

he thought he saw a Rattlesnake
That questioned him in Greek:
He looked again, and found it was
The Middle of Next Week.
"The one thing I regret," he said,
"Is that it cannot speak!"

He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk
Descending from the bus:
He looked again, and found it was
A Hippopotamus.
"If this should stay to dine," he said,
"There won't be much for us!"

He thought he saw a Kangaroo
That worked a Coffee-mill:
He looked again, and found it was
A Vegetable-Pill.
"Were I to swallow this," he said,
"I should be very ill!"

He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four
That stood beside his bed:
He looked again, and found it was
A Bear without a Head.
"Poor thing," he said, "poor silly thing!
It's waiting to be fed!"
There it sits
Waiting
Watching

It's a Yamaha
With a Union-Jack back
The last of it's
Kind

It's been a faithful companion
It came to me
When I was six
Not brand new
But second hand

Through all the tears
All the humiliation
All the pain
All the scoldings
All the belittlings
It stuck through with me
With sweat and blood
Shed on the keys
It didn't complain
When I threw
My tantrums
Banging the keys
Even kicking it once
Or twice
It just waited
And watched me
Till I calmed down
And felt
Stupid
After
I practised
Everyday
And not once
Did it
Complain

It has a really bright
Crystal clear
Sound
With this certain
Energy
And depth

I took great pride
In taking care of it
Polishing it
Every other day
Till it shone
Like a mirror

As time went by
One grade after the other
The practises became
Less and
Less
I didn't care for it
As much as I did
Before
A year passed
Then another

Now I'm fourteen
It's twenty eight
Or more
I've had my share
Of performing
On stage
With all types of pianos
But there was this
One thing
That was different
With my piano
Something it
Lacked

The sound is there
The energy is there
But somehow
When I compare the recordings
My dear piano
Just sounds
Tired...
The touch stickier
The keys start failing
On some days
It sounds
Muted
Always slightly off key
No matter how many times
The piano man comes
This is one patient
The doctor can't treat

Is it possible
That emotions
Can be transferred
To objects?
Has my raging
Over the keyboard
Tired it out
By having to
Express
What I play
And what I
Put
Into the pieces?

It's a piano
Of memories
Of thoughts
Of an inexpressable phenomenon
Called feelings
"Where words fail, music speaks"
I salute you
Dear piano
For allowing me
To express myself
Through the written pieces
You help
Materialize

We have grown together
Walked this long journey together
And with all the memories
Sweat
Blood
Tears
That has made me today
I won't part with
Till the very end,
Dear piano

So shall we continue?
Bathsheba Dec 2010
Rob the ***’s an ignorant man
Ill educated
Illiterate
A
chancer’s dripping pan

The day he fell in lust with a Roman Catholic *****
He entrapped her as his prisoner
So men could not gaze at her no more

Within a month
A life was spawned
Up the aisle they did flee
This is
my friend
Just the start
Of the
???????? dynasty

Deserted by their families
Cast out
To breed alone
Rob was dictatorial
A king upon his throne

No longer would she work for Smedleys up the road
Her life to now be governed by her husband’s crazy code

First came a boy  “1”
Followed by a girl  “2”
Followed by a girl  “3”
Followed by a girl  “4”
Followed by a girl  “5”
Followed by a boy  “6”
Followed by a boy  “7”

Now “I” stand in this pecking order
somewhere at the top
The inheritance of madness
Nobody can stop
The boys were brainwashed daily
Taunted with being gay
Withdrawal kicked in very quick
And with them it did stay
The girls were ****** and *****
Irrespective of attire
Educated so very young to
Suppress
all natural desires

After the birth of the firstborn
Rob decided to no longer work
His job was in the house now
In shadows he would lurk
Rules and regulations
Beaten with a stick
Quite an achievement really

FOR    A    MAN    SO    *******    THICK

Do you remember No1?
How you practised with your fists
Smashed his ******* head in
Til he was shrouded in a mist
He wore 4 jumpers every day
Because you told him he was puny
Are you proud of your inheritance?
You raving ******* loony

Note: No1’s best friend turned out to be a *******
but that’s a whole new chapter



Do you remember No2?
What happened when she was seven?
I don’t know what’s wrong or right
The truth lies in the vaults of heaven
She cut a blackbird’s head off
And danced with manic glee
You created all of us
One great big ****** up family
Proud?

Note: No2 ended her marriage after falling in love with
her 15 year old baby sitter



Do you remember No3?
How you decided she was loose
So she crawled inside a bottle
of alcoholic juice
Every day she went out thieving
just to feed her habit
Rob do you remember the day that
you made her eat her rabbit?
Could not put down roots
So roamed from town to town
Keeping her head above the sewer
For fear that she might drown

Note: No3 is happy and leaves the past in the past where
it belongs ... for now



Do you remember No4?
That must have been some job
for her to have been sectioned so many times
When you stand before your maker
Will you admit
to all of your crimes?
Or will you shrivel up?
Try to pass the buck?
Well … listen up here Rob
You’re running out of ******* luck

Note: No4 is now living with another fellow loony and
trying to normalise her existence



Do you remember No5
The girl now thinks that every man is a *******
Can you imagine anything that really is more vile?
You turned the girl into a cunning compulsive liar
Lost forever behind the shield of the constant surface fire
Are you proud of all your children?
Does your heart not swell with pride?
Is this what you envisaged?
On that day you took your bride

Note: No5 is on the lookout for a rich farmer to impregnate
her so that she can live of off his money



Do you remember No6
Oh yes, of course, he lives on the same estate
But he won’t give you the time of day
Is it time yet to contemplate?
He keeps his family separate
Tries to keep them pure
Antidote was easy
Separation from you was this man’s cure
Feeling any guilt yet?
Shame for what you’ve done?
Or do you still think that we are all *******
Each and every one

Note: No6 lives on happily with his family and has
had no contact for 15 years ... for now



Do you remember No7
The 7th child of the 7th child
Now where do I begin?
Fed him sweets and biscuits
Smirking with that evil grin
Kicked him out the house all day
Come the rain or shine
No wonder that he ended up
With a mind that’s much maligned
Paranoid
Delusional
This man was surely worth a punt?
But not by you
Apparently
You
****** up ******* ****

Note: No7 continues trying to slay the dragon and is more
grounded due to the love of his son



So ******* Rob and **** your ways
I will hate you til the end of days
You had no right to **** up the lives
Of your children
Or your ***** of a wife
And when you die
When the time is right
When Beelzebub has you in his sight
That’s the point the cork will blow
Time slows down and you will know
Your wicked ways were not a given
You will never ever be forgiven
Into the bowels of hell you’ll burn
To late for lessons to be learned


**ROT IN HELL YOU WICKED EVIL MAN
ROT IN HELL YOU WICKED EVIL MAN
ROT IN HELL YOU WICKED EVIL MAN
This poem has become deeply personal to me because as a consequence of penning this ..... my loving parents decided in their wisdom to divorce me and my brother Jack .... Oh ... how we laughed !!!
Raj Arumugam Sep 2012
grotesque old Tomon-go
in that corner he holds in the market
he looks angry, fierce and his open mouth
inside as red as the feet of a fighting ****
Ah, his words fly like arrows helter-skelter
some miss, some strike – he does not know
what missiles he sends, what he throws
and in turn anything he receives he throws back
with quadrupled energy

He looks fierce, he looks mean
all relatives say in hushed tones -
but he’s really nice, a softie with a hard exterior


at the market his face is convoluted
there are a hundred writhing beings that make
up his countenance
(each a contortionist)
the energy of the practised old grumpy men
live in his hands
and he unleashes words that make everyone recall
the last tsunami

He looks fierce, he looks mean
all the women and men in the market say
in whispers -
but he’s really nice, a softie with a hard exterior


Ah, poor Tomon-go, his words and manner isolate him
he hurts others and is hurt in turn
Poor Tomon-go, poor all who come in contact with him
though they might whisper to one another:
*He looks fierce, he looks mean
but he’s really nice, a softie
with a sharp tongue and grotesque exterior
based on caricature art by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川 国芳?, January 1, 1797[1] - April 14, 1862
Mateuš Conrad Jul 2016
i get to be ridiculous, i'm an artist, it's only that my ridiculousness doesn't border with the Vatican City, or Switzerland that it's deemed "weird" (symbol use, also know as passing on misnomers, ~ - that's ambiguity, a stranger punctuation construct from the hyphen), it's weird because i'm attired in familiar clothing to an Essex loafer, i don't have the currency to buy fancy Pompidou mascara or lipstick and stroll with other drag queens at gay pride... i'm back-of-the-woods type of guy, on the Cartesian Libra heavyweight to the side of 'i think' than on the pigeon-**** weight side of 'i am' - mathematically speaking that's like 2 + 1 = 3 - "schizoid" thinking coupled to non-schizoid behavioural patterns therefore means... an increased threshold capacity for experiencing pain.

the first time i smoked marijuana
(and i didn't know how to roll
a joint of marijuana and tobacco)
was the happiest time of my life,
i exercised a lot, practised Roman bulimia
unconsciously - no pills, nothing,
******* down my throat, later
i trained the *suprahyoid
and the infrahyoid
muscles so well that
i could just throw the chocolate bars up,
trained them so well as if i was gagging
on a *****... but to keep a body image,
well, you know, to look **** (add sarcasm
with the italics) you have to do what women
do, for me it was a Roman Bulimia,
for them, dieting - it was weird owning
a different body from the one i own now,
c.c.t.v. Narcissus-shadow stalker was all a craze back then,
too much self-conscious ******* wrapped in
a ***** and sent to a daycare centre -
it feels great these days, drinking 70cl of whiskey
a night, and why would i be bragging without
a bowler hat and a cane a butterfly prim
on my neck and a neat suit?
i read Bulgakov, that'll do, i have an operatic
cat at this moment, i've never heard so many variations
of meow after the doors to the garden are closed
and he's told to remain indoors after 9p.m.,
he sits on the bathroom windowsill and wants
to be nannied in the lap while someone smokes
downstairs... 'fella, same fresh air down here as up there'...
it's more of a fox than a cat...
he matured to be ~10 kilograms, and so's a mature fox,
i know, i weighed one, cutting a work's pay for
some sanitary worked one night
when i was eager to buy a few beers... mature foxes
~10 kilograms minus 21 grams (you know, the
Higgs' boson of soul, alejandro gonzález iñárritu -
but why add ñá so close? it's -nia- anyway,
so Mexico or e ** ** **, the Mexican Hew, huh?
ah... Habana!)
swear to god, never heard so many variations...
where was i? ah, adapting Bach's polyphony within
poetry, could have been a king david, but i smashed
my lyre... i never liked the cheap one-man tennis
and a brick wall of poetry within claim of stiffening repeats:
rhyme... bounce... rhyme... Bunsen! rhyme... bounce...
rhyme... Bunsen! ya-d'ah ya-d'ah ya-d'ah...
a carousel in Golders Green where all the payots
flew off and made french pastry curls... cinnamon... mm.
and two books i wish i'd written -
closed society and it's allies, the alt. to Popper's
antonym based yawn-epic - Karl, falsifier -
and anger and restlessness, the alt. to a Danish
epic by Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling -
alt. say it as it is - ******* is like a bow-tie event,
a moth a butterfly event - the ******* was
there for a reason, pleasure from *******
when your *** partner was "feeling tired",
men and women are both libido struck sometimes
to extremes, they mentioned f.g.m. but didn't mention
m.g.m., with ******* you ain't chasing, you ain't
playing the dating game - circumcision gave
women the upper hand, the toy machine of manhood,
you have ******* for a reason, it's not in line with
ancient Hebraic laws where you have to do 613 things
to obey... and with ******* you're less likely to
go Boko Haram cuckoo and steal girls for their ******* -
i believe the fabled conversation between Zeus and
Hera is necessary - women derive more pleasure
from ***... but men derive more pleasure from life -
well, if you have *******, see the image problem?
i'm dressed... you're undressed... i have two capacities
and a tool to curb my libido, you have jack and a stockpile
of nukes - with a cigar smoking duke on percussion
that only takes one press and the whole orchestra starts
up with a crescendo rather than a build-up.
oh right... the first time i started smoking marijuana i
was 21... i remember it clearly, i don't know how i managed
to roll a joint... Edinburgh 2007, Montague Street,
i rolled one... smoked it... lay on the floor...
and giggled my way through Daft Punk's album human
after all
- giggled and danced horizontally...
solipsism at it's finest... later i met a girl who said that
*** after marijuana was so much better than sober...
i beg to disagree... given that solo moment,
and ******* prostitutes drunk, esp. in Amsterdam,
where i don't have to feel any English sensibilities on the matter.
Mateuš Conrad Jan 2017
prelimenary coordinates - a blindman playing chess.

well... you either drink, and write sparingly,
     or you don't drink, and you write
a novel...
    but who would have thought, that there
would be poetic odes involving coffee...
     it's staggering how many women write
poems and have to concern themselves with
coffee...
  i down a litre of whiskey a night, don't know
what a hangover is anymore,
        and i can beat out more words
than women, who use a stimulant and write
   crumbs... when i expect a loaf of bread...
if not this website, then another, and the scenario
is the same: the glorification of coffee...
           it just shows you how barricaded the human
narrative is, of the soul...
        poetry merely nibbles, and i know it's
flaws... write without paragraphs,
or care for punctuation marks... and it's immediately
a poem...
   or... oh god forbid! there's something profound
being said with a few words...
      and it has to be profound...
                      yes, i'm the Gargamel and those
are my smurfs...
                             strange that Freud didn't think up
the man-child complex...
                         which is the opposite of the madonna-*****
complex, which he actually did...
           Edward Hopper was also bemused by
these two mental pharmacologists...
                did a little sketch holding Freud as pillar 1,
and Jung as pillar 2.
    but coffee and poetry: i'd expect more from this
latitude...
        and it's still a case of:
                   people cling to the raft that's their
mental narrative mondus operandi...
                Kant tried to say something as concrete
with 5 + 7 = 13... and read any philosophy book...
    Kant isolates the ''i think'', and Hegel isolates
    the i = i, or i am i...
                              and these are serious thinkers...
but Descartes has said a limit...
                       thinking defines subjectivity...
      thinking the essential component of what's
   not thought about: the existential compromise of
   being per se...
                    and how i always seem to find philosophy
as a stumbling block concerning everything i write...
    it's almost as if i can't escape the world of
abstracts...          a degree in chemistry didn't help either...
     am i truly so un-realistic?
               not that i'm afraid of being drawn toward
the un-real...          it's that humanity seems only like
an infertile groundwork speeding toward a forgivable
promise...
    i just wanted to say: you drink and write poetry...
or you don't drink, and write a novel...
      and true to a heart's cause i will say:
that straitjacket of what poetry is...
                           whether rhyme... or other technique...
    hanging over it...
                           it can't do:
      i abhor Nietzsche for making poetry a science...
  and it is: too scientific...
              i'd never think so little can be deemed
so perplexing... or having that essence...
                    so yes... Kant
                         really does struggle to say something
profound, but he actually does...
                     over and over again... namely:
i'd never could think of so many faculties of my mind...
    not that's what i call a plastic saying...
      ****-licking brown-nosing, call it what you like...
it's just so terrible that philosophy cannot reach
toward being a humanism, like a novel always can...
     which is why i could eat a historical novel
        by Kraszewski in three weeks in between allocating
that time to the festive season,
                     and it took me 2 years to read Kant's
critique... until i let go of that post-scriptum necessity
of having to stop at every setence and do a rubick's cube...
     a bit like: well... aren't those electron-migration
   schematics they teach you in chemistry, a little bit pointless?
   who give's a badger's nut-sack about how electrons migrate
when a a cabron to oxygen bond forms?
                         but they do teach that...
           which is why you can take a novel to bed,
on the train... but so much focus is needed for that other novel,
the scientific one... the grandeur of... philosophy...
                and that's when i let go...
   the last part of the critique does allow you to read
piece of work... like a novel... unless of course that was my
need to do so...
                    so yes: transcendental methodology in Kant's
critique: does read like a novel... at some point
you just have to let go.

ii. ...

and you do... try saying philosophy without saying
something pretentious....
               and i dare say: as long as the fewest number
of people concern themselves with it:
  the more chances we have for electricity,
plumbing, food on the table...
               but by now there's this talk of a curse...
premature Socratic antics... mind you: he was an old man...
but Plato be ******, he wrote down what the old man
spoke: and a clear number of them succumbed to
      the tumble-**** effect...
                      no real prospects for life...
        and, evidently, the dead gods philosophised,
while the rest remained: prone to throwing a show of
macho, and worshipped the body...
Olympus shone...  
   by now you should know that i don't know what
i'm doing...
                  give me the killer-switch to launch a nuclear
strike and i'd probably say: maracas!
shake shake shake...     fidgety in the brothel...
shake shake shake...
             that's the weird thing, every time i went to
a brothel i became over-heated...
      i sat there, the whole **** place always reminded me
of a perfume... jack daniels...
   and i could feel myself over-heating...
  i don't known if that was the angel conscience talking
to me... but i always felt those eyes of scrutiny...
       mind you, once the whole "naughty'' escapade
took off... i forgot those relationships where
                    an impotence was crowned...
   don't know: maybe prostitutes just know my pin-number
and hold to say to little richard: off to the crusades with you!
     phenomenal...
                                         well... thank god for
the north african imports! i'd start thinking all european
women are bound to be: neglected.
               and was it ever, not only about ***?
    it's nice to doubt it...
                           next time i'll woodpecker a grave.
but hey! the promised land!
                           at least you'll have someone to cry
over your grave...
   and did i tell you how there's this cult of the grave
in Poland? yep, that's not a personal reality,
it's a populist manifesto... i'm starting to see it
as a hell where people sort of forgot to state their emotion
to the people, now lying in those tombs...
         give me a Hindu wedding with fire!
  i wanna become elemental!
and look, libido on fire... a billion vishnu-******* in
Bangladesh...   it's this thirst for fame in western
societies that's going to be a downsize...
                                 over there that's like a **** in
a tornado...              ha ha! it really is!
   but then again, here i am, a graveyard hyenna...
walking in Liberace's talk of style...
  most of these graves, really are: tacky...
    just like Liberace, the greatest showbiz conman of
the 20st century... i love the fact that he fooled so many
women... i mean... that guy was almost as good
as ****** when it came to mesmerising people...
but Liberace had a nieche audience... so...
                 no khaki for the ss...
                                           and i dare to hold
an ethnicity? in tune with bob marley: one love, one people...
it has never been so painful to strategise globalisation...
         it's this ethnic cleansing that everyone agreed to
provided they received a smart-phone...
                   or a McDonald's fetish... and that's saying it cheap...
but that's how it feels on the periphery of H'america...
little ol' England boycots Europe...
                     and it's like: huh?
                                           presto! dum-dum.
    sometimes i start thinking that i have a hydra for a tongue...
and the more i drink, the more i start to see
       it splintering up into a polyphony construct,
but more a case of: polyphony of subjects...
   and yes, aren't we all those internet losers...
when the most powerful man in the world...
     uses twitter. bastions of respectable comment!
yes, i.e. newspapers... we're riding this meteor to the end...
          does anyone still consider newspapers to be
the pledges of a free society? i must have been asleep for
the past 20 years then...
                      someone switched on this chaos-turbine,
and we're all shoving our two cents of opnions'-worth into it...
and it's not stopping...
            and yet you still read in newspapers, this underlining
feeling of being condescended... as if they are the sole
authority... they have to behave like little despots...
                           social media's power is invested in its
shock reverberation... think: Marx in the 21st century...
           but can you? is this some pseudo Marxism?
             i might have bypassed all the king-makers and
walls... but i have no leverage... my opinions are
     as cheap as chips... well: we got ourselves a unison converson...
   i still don't see how the television zeitgeist still thinks
that the internet zeitgeist is no connected with ''real life''...
i mean... **** me! where's the highstreet with all the shops?
on the internet. where is the frontline of wars? on the internet.
  where do suicides take place? on the internet,
from all the cyber bugs that people start to represent...
    if this isn't real life... then i guess i must be sitting,
and writing this in some medieval castle in transylvania,
    and my computer is powered by a legion of
hamsters on exercise-wheels, in a damp room, lit by a candle.

iii.

for me, this is how reading a philosophy book looks like:

| | |
     fig. 1
                                          /   \
                                            _
                 ­                                 fig. 2
    Δ
       fig. 3
                                           A
                                               fig. 4

it's like i want to see something with some clarity;
there is clear movement
      concerning a book like that,
              but unlike a standard novel:
there is clearly nothing concerning the: any given
  hope to disperse the mist.
                you're given the blunt truth:
the use of language...
                     again, it would be easier to call forward
a use of a tomahawk... or a guillotine...
            philosophy books never establish civilisations,
they break them.
                and do i think that the crucifix is a profanity
of the tetragrammaton? yes.
                do i feel Spinoza's anguish? probably.
when you read philosophy to start to waver,
it's almost necessary to unlearn language, and with
each philosophy book: learn it over again.
     you can't remain strapped to this culture
of emphasis of singled-out words...
              we can't find a constructive basis if we're
about to start any mechanism from such a dynamic,
isolating certain words and weighing them
                       obstructs language...
                 i can't even begin to fathom a pledge
to using a language, if there are these plebian obstructions...
i did write some notes when i spent these past 3 weeks
in Poland, but i'm scared of rewriting them...
                    i can claim to have understood
their content at the time,
but the context disparity is too much for me...
                 i'm rereading them in England
and i can only see England as a nightmarish construct
of such grandeour... that i might only be seen
speaking truth in the north of it...
                nor do i like the tri-tier categorisation
of man... if you read Kant, you'd be afraid of
man's laconic approach to the mind, stating
the three boundaries, and literally no faculty interactions...
  consciousness (the artist), denoting the overly-sensitive,
the subconscious (the worker), denoting the athletic construct
   and liberation from the daily toils of pure physical
    disposition...
and the unconscious (the zombie)...
   if you read Kant and explore the faculties...
and then turn toward the Freudian populism:
   there's enough reason to be concerned...
                  i can't be saying someone anti-vogue:
and that was my proper concern, that i might be saying
someone not recountable in any sort of realism...
          that mine is an isolated case...
         ditto alongside: why are we juggling the tri-tiers,
and so bombastic and even celebratory in huddling
toward these safety-nets of being human?
    thus said: the reflective man has died...
       in his place came the reflexive man...
                             and if there really is a worthwhile
stance to be a: **** sapiens...
   then all hope for a bewildered man is gone...
                 when the potency of robotics escaped science
fiction, and all trodden paths of orthodox science were
      fed to science fiction, humanity could begin
the process of discarding the offshoots...
          
iv.

the new testament... a book riddled with metaphors...
no wonder the greeks exploited the hebrew literalism...
and yes, plato the precursor made this very real...
by testifying that poetry had no place in the republic,
the new testament had to become solely poetic...
   the new testament is a rebellion against plato's republic...
it's a book wholly compromised on metaphor...
culminating in a book that's founded on imagery...
the gosepls are, once again, arithmetically speaking,
resembling the crucifix... which damns the concept
of the tetragrammaton...
                      as a book: it's only gibberish in
its final circumstance of revelation as a book of imagery...
   and in its preceding case: a book of metaphors...
who wouldn't be apprehensive to be born human
with such a thing being rampant?!
                    imagery is gibberish, given that we
have compentent painters out there...
and metaphor is metaphysics, given that we have
competent magicians out there...
   so how far apart are the words: qua             and
                   quo?
   as good a question as: how far apart are the words
                          phor               and phren?
       φoρ                       &                            φρην?
        so in the congregation of μετα, how are they
so apart?  looking at language from an alphabetical
perspective... it's hard to see anything inspirational...
    nor the tangens divergence of words
that are nonetheless so proximate in their construct...
a bit like the genetic proximity of man and ape,
or man and a banana...
   φoρ (the bearer of the beyond) -
                φρην (a mind concerned with things
under the curtain) -
                        and so: the futility of looking for
        a soul... became translated as the new found feudalism
of looking for a mind:
  given the common consensus: we're all mad....
so too looking at mythology could be revised:
  that myth of narcissus and echo...
or narcissus and psyche...
                         or φρην & πσιχη -
                we already know that there's an aesthetic
in Greek, at least they showed us
      that it can be σimple, when acknowledged
  and practised -
which means transcribing the ease of handwriting
   into a digital format, can be seen as an unnecessary
complexity - as if me currently looking for a word
that ends, and showcases the most obvious Grecian
aesthetic (without mention ο, ε, ω, η, œ)...
but with due mention: so where the second variant
of α, given there's æ?
                           it really is hard to find coherency
in human language... i'm still trying to conjure up
the second sigma... unless i hit the plural noteς...
there... i hit them... as simple as that.
  and yes: the father of the french hooked c
in garçon, came from this: the sigma used at the end
of wordς... i suspect that how things were denoted
to be possessed in english, also came from it.
once again: handwritting is bewildering on this digital canvas.

v.*

i don't have an atheistic argument, or a theistic argument,
i'v
The year stood at its equinox
  And bluff the North was blowing,
A bleat of lambs came from the flocks,
  Green hardy things were growing;
I met a maid with shining locks
  Where milky kine were lowing.

She wore a kerchief on her neck,
  Her bare arm showed its dimple,
Her apron spread without a speck,
  Her air was frank and simple.

She milked into a wooden pail
  And sang a country ditty,
An innocent fond lovers' tale,
  That was not wise nor witty,
Pathetically rustical,
  Too pointless for the city.

She kept in time without a beat
  As true as church-bell ringers,
Unless she tapped time with her feet,
  Or squeezed it with her fingers;
Her clear unstudied notes were sweet
  As many a practised singer's.

I stood a minute out of sight,
  Stood silent for a minute
To eye the pail, and creamy white
  The frothing milk within it;

To eye the comely milking maid
  Herself so fresh and creamy:
"Good day to you," at last I said;
  She turned her head to see me:
"Good day," she said, with lifted head;
  Her eyes looked soft and dreamy,

And all the while she milked and milked
  The grave cow heavy-laden:
I've seen grand ladies plumed and silked,
  But not a sweeter maiden;

But not a sweeter, fresher maid
  Than this in homely cotton,
Whose pleasant face and silky braid
  I have not yet forgotten.

Seven springs have passed since then, as I
  Count with a sober sorrow;
Seven springs have come and passed me by,
  And spring sets in to-morrow.

I've half a mind to shake myself
  Free just for once from London,
To set my work upon the shelf
  And leave it done or undone;

To run down by the early train,
  Whirl down with shriek and whistle,
And feel the bluff North blow again,
  And mark the sprouting thistle
Set up on waste patch of the lane
  Its green and tender bristle,

And spy the scarce-blown violet banks,
  Crisp primrose leaves and others,
And watch the lambs leap at their pranks
  And **** their patient mothers.

Alas, one point in all my plan
  My serious thoughts demur to:
Seven years have passed for maid and man,
  Seven years have passed for her too;

Perhaps my rose is overblown,
  Not rosy or too rosy;
Perhaps in farm-house of her own
  Some husband keeps her cosey,
Where I should show a face unknown.
  Good by, my wayside posy.
337

I know a place where Summer strives
With such a practised Frost—
She—each year—leads her Daisies back—
Recording briefly—”Lost”—

But when the South Wind stirs the Pools
And struggles in the lanes—
Her Heart misgives Her, for Her Vow—
And she pours soft Refrains

Into the lap of Adamant—
And spices—and the Dew—
That stiffens quietly to Quartz—
Upon her Amber Shoe—
Olivia Kent May 2014
Her bed wouldn't release her,
Despite the alarm clock's vicious bite,
had a late one last night,
hey, Jenna,
Mother called,
time to get up honey,
get your *** moving,
and I'll chuck you some money,
maybe get you fast food breakfast,
won't tell you again,
that time was the last.
Jenna fell out of bed,
chucked on her clothes,
looked like a clothes horse,
with a pierced nose,
She wiped on her daily slap,
told the world that school was crap,
wiped on a phoney grin,
Mamma said she must go in,

In a very loud voice,
She spouted,
only thing worth having,
was not education,
but  in her classes gangs of boys.
Had enough of dictatorial teachers,
she could still hang out in bed,
learning from dreams,
instead,

She  so hated mother's nagging,
practised in old bagging,
She had no yearning for  learning,
all she wants to do is sleep!
(C) Livvi
Fond memories...Laura...LOL
Mateuš Conrad Mar 2017
war took mine, i was sold  playing tenchu
on level 6... just before i was to
assassinate this ***, and he practised all
his bow skill in private, then it was made public
by a ninja... i only completed final
fantasy 7
with a walk-through...
i hate the fact that i stuck to
the schooling narrative...
  but hose were the PS1 days,
those days are gone, gone gone gone,
bye bye gone...
                 the **** was that?!
an oscar for best actor at the gladiator premier?!
why isn't more gaming mentioned in poetry?
where is raziel, and the the legacy of cain:
soul reaver, and the story about how he
squashed his brothers:
dumah, melchiah, rahab, and zephon?
oh look: the geek in me!
                 100 years from a youtube video...
i'm bound to do the bristol d'uh and say:
i've never been to south america...
nor ever...
                        me go sort out this avalanche
if that's o.k. with you, hmm?
this is the thrill you get when seeing peoiple
play a reincarnation of gameboy,
i.e. candy-crush saga... if you moved beyond
the PS1 universe you won't get it...
if you remember PS1 games, you'll probably
remember SEGA and sonic,
and age of empires 2, and sim city 3000...
**** me! but you won't probably remember the
weathergirl... who was becky mantin
when this was written...
           odd, that little gray box of saturdays
and sometimes sundays, but definitely
saturday mornings...
                    it gone... and i don't feel like owning
an update of it, because games have become
overtly narrative prone, they only allow thise gameplay
that's too narrated... i switch on the console
and i want mario bros. calculator type of dynamism...
instead i get this really complex story
when i should be reading a book...
   no, really, when did gaming become so
****** engrossing that i try to become distracted by
brick walls?
           when did i or when didn't i take to playing
chess? well... when i started playing dominos
with 6 cigarette stumps and a black hardcover
philosophy book... maybe around then.
books i great, believe me...
but this nook of counter-arcade games?
i woke up at 9am as if about to go to school
and played that japanese fetish for hours...
so much if our culture in nearing the post-20th
century culture was axis... it was almost all japanese...
you can't take that fact out and replace it
concerning: god intervened at Giza and yawned
at chichén itzá...
because you would... still, i thankfully retired
from the gaming experience (when did PS2 come out?
i wanted it for about 2 years and still didn't
get it)...
    1998? 1997?
                      thankfully i get to mention computer
games like novels... SEGA mega drive?
yep, owned that.
                   and yes, i can cite an ATARI,
and ****, **** **** me!
   that original NINTENDO?!
              and that shooting mallard simulation
against a screen of televisions that could
still issue you with van der graaf static
   of "levitating" hair?
(when televisions were still 3D and played
you remnants of the big bang
       in televised black and white khrrr sound,
all dicta fidgety, like looking through the eyes
of a bluebottle fly)... or
    the original prince of persia?
     those two dimensional ferns rotating round and
round when approached in the original tomb raider?
oh forget the cone-****-madonna...
shaid the ish cream van man to shaun shoonery...
cheap ****: said the dead with charlie
at the head of their horde of entertainment's flops.
i retired from the gaming world though,
left it when PS1 expired...
and morphed into PS2...
           i'm half sad and half saying: i can understand
candy crush, because i can understand
the origin: TETRIS.
like i can understand why i can't do crosswords,
my father just said: even i can't do them,
the clues are all a bit of a wanking to comprehend...
it's as if they only based them on the thesaurus...
   we're good on sudoku though, that can be solved
without problems...
        i miss those games though,
i finished final fantasy 7 with a walkthrough
though... tenchu was also fun to complete,
crash bandicoot? anyone remember him?
           now for not faking it...
                                     i'm glad that's over,
i'd hate the gaming experience as i hate interactive
t.v. thesedays... all this pause and rewind?
  thanks to it i sometimes press the STOP
button when listening to the radio and wonder
why it just keeps running... oh right: this isn't
a c.d. transmission... funny though, the gaming experience
translated into t.v. really has made advertising
ultra competative or utterly useless....
   you just end up pausing before a break, and then
scrolling past the advertisers' airtime...
next thing i'll be buying is when they make
an advert for shoepaste.
"OH, when I was a little Ghost,
A merry time had we!
Each seated on his favourite post,
We chumped and chawed the buttered toast
They gave us for our tea."

"That story is in print!" I cried.
"Don't say it's not, because
It's known as well as Bradshaw's Guide!"
(The Ghost uneasily replied
He hardly thought it was).

"It's not in Nursery Rhymes? And yet
I almost think it is -
'Three little Ghosteses' were set
'On posteses,' you know, and ate
Their 'buttered toasteses.'

"I have the book; so if you doubt it - "
I turned to search the shelf.
"Don't stir!" he cried. "We'll do without it:
I now remember all about it;
I wrote the thing myself.

"It came out in a 'Monthly,' or
At least my agent said it did:
Some literary swell, who saw
It, thought it seemed adapted for
The Magazine he edited.

"My father was a Brownie, Sir;
My mother was a Fairy.
The notion had occurred to her,
The children would be happier,
If they were taught to vary.

"The notion soon became a craze;
And, when it once began, she
Brought us all out in different ways -
One was a Pixy, two were Fays,
Another was a Banshee;

"The Fetch and Kelpie went to school
And gave a lot of trouble;
Next came a Poltergeist and Ghoul,
And then two Trolls (which broke the rule),
A Goblin, and a Double -

"(If that's a *****-box on the shelf,"
He added with a yawn,
"I'll take a pinch) - next came an Elf,
And then a Phantom (that's myself),
And last, a Leprechaun.

"One day, some Spectres chanced to call,
Dressed in the usual white:
I stood and watched them in the hall,
And couldn't make them out at all,
They seemed so strange a sight.

"I wondered what on earth they were,
That looked all head and sack;
But Mother told me not to stare,
And then she twitched me by the hair,
And punched me in the back.

"Since then I've often wished that I
Had been a Spectre born.
But what's the use?" (He heaved a sigh.)
"THEY are the ghost-nobility,
And look on US with scorn.

"My phantom-life was soon begun:
When I was barely six,
I went out with an older one -
And just at first I thought it fun,
And learned a lot of tricks.

"I've haunted dungeons, castles, towers -
Wherever I was sent:
I've often sat and howled for hours,
Drenched to the skin with driving showers,
Upon a battlement.

"It's quite old-fashioned now to groan
When you begin to speak:
This is the newest thing in tone - "
And here (it chilled me to the bone)
He gave an AWFUL squeak.

"Perhaps," he added, "to YOUR ear
That sounds an easy thing?
Try it yourself, my little dear!
It took ME something like a year,
With constant practising.

"And when you've learned to squeak, my man,
And caught the double sob,
You're pretty much where you began:
Just try and gibber if you can!
That's something LIKE a job!

"I'VE tried it, and can only say
I'm sure you couldn't do it, e-
ven if you practised night and day,
Unless you have a turn that way,
And natural ingenuity.

"Shakspeare I think it is who treats
Of Ghosts, in days of old,
Who 'gibbered in the Roman streets,'
Dressed, if you recollect, in sheets -
They must have found it cold.

"I've often spent ten pounds on stuff,
In dressing as a Double;
But, though it answers as a puff,
It never has effect enough
To make it worth the trouble.

"Long bills soon quenched the little thirst
I had for being funny.
The setting-up is always worst:
Such heaps of things you want at first,
One must be made of money!

"For instance, take a Haunted Tower,
With skull, cross-bones, and sheet;
Blue lights to burn (say) two an hour,
Condensing lens of extra power,
And set of chains complete:

"What with the things you have to hire -
The fitting on the robe -
And testing all the coloured fire -
The outfit of itself would tire
The patience of a Job!

"And then they're so fastidious,
The Haunted-House Committee:
I've often known them make a fuss
Because a Ghost was French, or Russ,
Or even from the City!

"Some dialects are objected to -
For one, the IRISH brogue is:
And then, for all you have to do,
One pound a week they offer you,
And find yourself in Bogies!
William Lewis Feb 2019
Why
Did you have to be so ******* talented
The way you walked showed your swagger
The confidence the happiness
I could watch you walk all day

The way you smile
For years I thought you practised
Because a glimpse was all I needed
Before my heart melted for you

I've seen you playing games
The perfectness
The way you seem to never lose
How your eyebrows centre and
your forehead wrinkles
It seems my eyes are trained on you

You look so **** good
all the time
I've seen you grow
As has my love

My eyes may only see you
But your eyes only see them
Mateuš Conrad Dec 2016
i find that the only time it's permissible to think
is at acute times, when something turns
heroism awry -
  we live in times when toiling in a field of
potatoes would be considered a heroism -
     because something has soured our attempts
at heroism...
    and i can't stress enough how modernity  
has nibbled at ancient feats of heroism
                       with such a bravado and inactivity,
    yes: tautology is the curse awaiting us all...
       what is revelatory about ontology?
some would say that oncology says much more
concerning man with a doubly impeding
temporality than ontology could ever fashion
a man with prescription: dogmatism -
    for one can only ask: can philosophy ever
contain a medical property?
can philosophy be medicine? i ask because i dare
not believe that writing per se is universally adequate
in being prescribed -
                      well... biology compared to medicine
is a feeble argument, its blunder was attracting
a theological posit for an argument to be practised
because: it found itself feeble before medicine.
the "thinkers" of biology attacked theology
after realising biology (a specified conglomerate
of words with the vector indicating a
                  depersonalisation of a biography) -
but both biology and theology are entrenched
with their respective vocabulary caging -
   no one would win the debate...
                     it became a comparative scenario of
first world war trench-warfare on the Belgian plateau...
    this was an attack on medicine...
    or what's useful given that biology can be rather
useless... i've never seen such desperation
               of a field of interest: that didn't simultaneously
argue from the perspective of jealousy...
         biology cannot replace theology -
   but that's beside the point... philosophy is more
akin to medicine than any -logy compound specifying
limits... auto-suggestive of the convenience that
says: man is born stupid, he dies stupid, and he "thinks"
   he knows everything that's happening in-between.
and no... i would never write a populist celebration
of war or Achilles... had i not engaged with an actual
conflict, i'd write nothing of this sort...
           and there is a crisis in heroism these days,
   hardly a reason to equate thinking as a heroic act...
  but compared with modern heroism,
namely what's defined by losing weight and gaining
protruding muscular patterns...
     what's nothing more than paying the gas bill
or simply: bringing home the bacon...
                 thinking has become a heroic act in a way,
eased to such a conclusion with
        stalinist obstruction of thought in the first place...
we call it political correctness and to be heroic
these days means: transcending what is but zoological
humanism...         because the counterpart of heroism
in the purely physical realm is but running a marathon,
rather than walking one...
       attracting bothersome flies of charity,
                 gluttony's reversal...
             what sort of heroics are these? what's to be
celebrated by such feats... if it all culminates into
nothing but a pat-on-the-back and not a statue?
            and by god... don't you think that people
who still rummage in language and can't see trilling
the R as unfashionable require a diacritical distinction
to be added to the letter? but of course, German
can sound soft too... but given the English hollowed-out
the R and lost the trill, or that the French hark the ******
letter... i'm thinking of how to represent the trill
   of the R... as the rolling and ravaging roulettes
                 embedded in the comparison of enacted
damage, with the stiletto shoe doing more damage than
an elephant's stomp.
nivek Feb 2015
vulnerability is practised
each night sleep takes over

you are not in control of your dreams
and the body is on tick over

yet you always manage to escape
the clutches of your nightmares

yes you practise vulnerability
each night sleep takes over
I

Now that we're almost settled in our house
I'll name the friends that cannot sup with us
Beside a fire of turf in th' ancient tower,
And having talked to some late hour
Climb up the narrow winding stair to bed:
Discoverers of forgotten truth
Or mere companions of my youth,
All, all are in my thoughts to-night being dead.

                  II

Always we'd have the new friend meet the old
And we are hurt if either friend seem cold,
And there is salt to lengthen out the smart
In the affections of our heart,
And quatrels are blown up upon that head;
But not a friend that I would bring
This night can set us quarrelling,
For all that come into my mind are dead.

                  III

Lionel Johnson comes the first to mind,
That loved his learning better than mankind.
Though courteous to the worst; much falling he
Brooded upon sanctity
Till all his Greek and Latin learning seemed
A long blast upon the horn that brought
A little nearer to his thought
A measureless consummation that he dreamed.

                  IV

And that enquiring man John Synge comes next,
That dying chose the living world for text
And never could have rested in the tomb
But that, long travelling, he had come
Towards nightfall upon certain set apart
In a most desolate stony place,
Towards nightfall upon a race
passionate and simple like his heart.

                  V

And then I think of old George Pollexfen,
In muscular youth well known to Mayo men
For horsemanship at meets or at racecourses,
That could have shown how pure-bred horses
And solid men, for all their passion, live
But as the outrageous stars incline
By opposition, square and trine;
Having grown sluggish and contemplative.

                  VI

They were my close companions many a year.
A portion of my mind and life, as it were,
And now their breathless faces seem to look
Out of some old picture-book;
I am accustomed to their lack of breath,
But not that my dear friend's dear son,
Our Sidney and our perfect man,
Could share in that discourtesy of death

                  VII

For all things the delighted eye now sees
Were loved by him:  the old storm-broken trees
That cast their shadows upon road and bridge;
The tower set on the stream's edge;
The ford where drinking cattle make a stir
Nightly, and startled by that sound
The water-hen must change her ground;
He might have been your heartiest welcomer.

                  VIII

When with the Galway foxhounds he would ride
From Castle Taylor to the Roxborough side
Or Esserkelly plain, few kept his pace;
At Mooneen he had leaped a place
So perilous that half the astonished meet
Had shut their eyes; and where was it
He rode a race without a bit?
And yet his mind outran the horses' feet.

                  IX

We dreamed that a great painter had been born
To cold Clare rock and Galway rock and thorn,
To that stern colour and that delicate line
That are our secret discipline
Wherein the gazing heart doubles her might.
Soldier, scholar, horseman, he,
And yet he had the intensity
To have published all to be a world's delight.

                  X

What other could so well have counselled us
In all lovely intricacies of a house
As he that practised or that understood
All work in metal or in wood,
In moulded plaster or in carven stone?
Soldier, scholar, horseman, he,
And all he did done perfectly
As though he had but that one trade alone.

                  XI

Some burn dam *******, others may consume
The entire combustible world in one small room
As though dried straw, and if we turn about
The bare chimney is gone black out
Because the work had finished in that flare.
Soldier, scholar, horseman, he,
As 'twere all life's epitome.
What made us dream that he could comb grey hair?

                  XII

I had thought, seeing how bitter is that wind
That shakes the shutter, to have brought to mind
All those that manhood tried, or childhood loved
Or boyish intellect approved,
With some appropriatc commentaty on each;
Until imagination brought
A fitter welcome; but a thought
Of that late death took all my heart for speech.

— The End —