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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Break From Politics

(For politics, please scroll down)

One of my Facebook finds and particularly appropriate for Labor Day Weekend, which, here in the Northeast, traditionally marks the end of summer:


  1. I could go for a whole bottle or two... ;)

  2. Peter Quince at the Clavier

    __________ I __________

    Just as my fingers on these keys
    Make music, so the self-same sounds
    On my spirit make a music, too.

    Music is feeling, then, not sound;
    And thus it is that what I feel,
    Here in this room, desiring you,

    Thinking of your blue-shadowed silk,
    Is music. It is like the strain
    Waked in the elders by Susanna;

    Of a green evening, clear and warm,
    She bathed in her still garden, while
    The red-eyed elders, watching, felt

    The basses of their beings throb
    In witching chords, and their thin blood
    Pulse pizzicati of Hosanna.

    __________ II __________

    In the green water, clear and warm,
    Susanna lay.
    She searched
    The touch of springs,
    And found
    Concealed imaginings.
    She sighed,
    For so much melody.

    Upon the bank, she stood
    In the cool
    Of spent emotions.
    She felt, among the leaves,
    The dew
    Of old devotions.

    She walked upon the grass,
    Still quavering.
    The winds were like her maids,
    On timid feet,
    Fetching her woven scarves,
    Yet wavering.

    A breath upon her hand
    Muted the night.
    She turned —
    A cymbal crashed,
    And roaring horns.

    __________ III __________

    Soon, with a noise like tambourines,
    Came her attendant Byzantines.

    They wondered why Susanna cried
    Against the elders by her side;

    And as they whispered, the refrain
    Was like a willow swept by rain.

    Anon, their lamps' uplifted flame
    Revealed Susanna and her shame.

    And then, the simpering Byzantines
    Fled, with a noise like tambourines.

    ___________ IV __________

    Beauty is momentary in the mind —
    The fitful tracing of a portal;
    But in the flesh it is immortal.

    The body dies; the body's beauty lives.
    So evenings die, in their green going,
    A wave, interminably flowing.
    So gardens die, their meek breath scenting
    The cowl of winter, done repenting.
    So maidens die, to the auroral
    Celebration of a maiden's choral.

    Susanna's music touched the bawdy strings
    Of those white elders; but, escaping,
    Left only Death's ironic scraping.
    Now, in its immortality, it plays
    On the clear viol of her memory,
    And makes a constant sacrament of praise.

    ~ Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)

  3. _______ SEPTEMBER _______

    Der Garten trauert,
    kühl sinkt in die Blumen der Regen.
    Der Sommer schauert
    still seinem Ende entgegen.

    Golden tropft Blatt um Blatt
    nieder vom hohen Akazienbaum.
    Sommer lächelt erstaunt und matt
    in den sterbenden Gartentraum.

    Lange noch bei den Rosen
    bleibt er stehen, sehnt sich nach Ruh.
    Langsam tut er die großen
    müdgewordnen Augen zu.

    __________ ~ § ~ __________


    The garden saddens
    Cool rain sinks into the flowers.
    Summer shudders
    ___ as it quietly meets its end.

    Golden leaf by leaf drops
    down from the tall acacia tree.
    Summer smiles astonished and exhausted
    ___ in the dying garden dream

    Lingering still by the roses
    it remains standing, longing for peace
    Slowly it closes its great
    ___ weary-laden eyes.

    ~ Hermann Hesse (1877-1953)

  4. ________ Verse For a Certain Dog _________

    Such glorious faith as fills your limpid eyes,
    Dear little friend of mine, I never knew.
    All-innocent are you, and yet all-wise.
    (For Heaven's sake, stop worrying that shoe!)
    You look about, and all you see is fair;
    This mighty globe was made for you alone.
    Of all the thunderous ages, you're the heir.
    (Get off the pillow with that dirty bone!)

    A skeptic world you face with steady gaze;
    High in young pride you hold your noble head,
    Gayly you meet the rush of roaring days.
    (Must you eat puppy biscuit on the bed?)
    Lancelike your courage, gleaming swift and strong,
    Yours the white rapture of a winged soul,
    Yours is a spirit like a Mayday song.
    (God help you, if you break the goldfish bowl!)

    "Whatever is, is good" - your gracious creed.
    You wear your joy of living like a crown.
    Love lights your simplest act, your every deed.
    (Drop it, I tell you- put that kitten down!)
    You are God's kindliest gift of all - a friend.
    Your shining loyalty unflecked by doubt,
    You ask but leave to follow to the end.
    (Couldn't you wait until I took you out?)

    ~ Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

    [That, of course, is the REAL Dorothy Parker, an incredibly brilliant, rather dear soul who hid her true self behind a fusillade of brittle repartée -- because in truth she was tremendously vulnerable -- and knew it -- poor dear!]

  5. "Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country."

    So we take the long weekend off. After summer vacations.
    I can dig it.

    1. Ed,
      Not all of us get summer vacations. **sigh**

  6. _________ Dooryard Gardens _________

    Happy times when done within your means.
    Overspending can, of course, bring grief.
    Mendacious workmen too, who play the thief,
    Erode faith when they act like feckless teens.
    Raging at injustice makes them laugh.
    Expect integrity and you will weep.
    Not many have a conscience that would keep
    Outrageous overreaching down by half.
    Value in the process is still great.
    A transformation from a dreary hovel
    To a jewel-like place where soon we’ll shovel
    Inspiring garden beds due to await
    Our joy in planting shrubbery and flowers
    Nestled in the dooryard’s leafy bowers.

    ~ FreeThinke

  7. _________ Contained Gardens _________

    I have a special love for container gardens.
    ____ Something about clustering pots
    of varying sizes to best advantage ––
    ____ and portability –– adds great appeal.

    I also love raffishly untidy herbaceous borders.
    ____ Formal parterres fascinate,
    ________ but frankly make me nervous,

    Yet long-established espaliered fruit trees
    ____ on ancient stone, brick or stuccoed walls
    ________ make a notable exception.

    Courtyard gardens
    ____ in old European monasteries
    ________ and collegiate quadrangles
    ____________ at Oxford and Cambridge
    Have about them an unmistakable aura
    ____ of eternal renewal, and of
    ________ Eternity, itself.

    Growing things beautifully
    ____ indicates –– to me ––
    ________ a love and a reverence
    ____________ for Life.

    ~ FreeThinke

  8. ___ COULD IT BE ___

    Could it be
    We need our fantasies
    And fond illusions
    More than we need
    Mundane reality?

    Did ancient astronauts
    Visit Earth aeons ago,
    Plant Colonies - perform
    Wondrous Feats of Engineering

    Still unexplained?

    The eternal Mystery of
    The Pyramids - The Sphinx
    Stonehenge - Gigantic Chalk Figures,
    Discernible only from great heights -
    Easter Island - Machu Pichu?

    The Origin of Man -
    The miracles of Music -
    Painting - Sculpture -
    Poetry and Thought.

    The Star of Bethlehem -
    The Virgin Birth - The Magi -
    Betrayal, Death and Resurrection?

    Patterns of Migration?
    Courtship Rituals?
    Attachment - Dependency -
    Illness - Abandonment -
    Grief - Tedium -
    Decline - Decay -

    The eternal Search
    For Acceptance - Appreciation -
    Affection - Understanding -


    ~ FreeThinke

  9. __________ Picking Berries _________

    Parked beside a lane with lilies lined
    Instinct drives us to the fragrant fields
    Carrying buckets to our task resigned.
    Keeping up with Nature’s bounty yields
    In summer morning’s warm, earth-scented mist
    Nostalgic sweet refreshment from the soil.
    Gleefully we gather berries kissed
    By sunshine, plump with rain before they spoil.
    Edible, these gems that fill our pails
    Remain, once tasted, as a lifelong treat.
    Remembrance fond at “Realism” rails.
    It knows behind our stated urge to eat,
    Each one of us who picks collects delights
    Stored to ease the future’s endless nights.

    ~ FreeThinke - The Sandpiper - Summer 1995

  10. ______ TO THOSE WHO HELP ______

    May God bless the practical women and men,
    Who rise from the hay every day, and then
    Produce what we need
    Without rancor or greed,
    Make things run,
    Get things done,
    Keep things clean,
    So they're fit to be seen,
    And continuously smooth the way
    So that we may live comfortably every day.

    ~ FreeThinke

  11. _______ COME, LABOR ON _______

    Come, labor on.
    Who dares stand idle on the harvest plain
    while all around us waves the golden grain?
    And to each servant does the Master say,
    "Go work today."

    Come, labor on.
    The enemy is watching night and day,
    to sow the tares, to snatch the seed away;
    while we in sleep our duty have forgot,
    he slumbers not.

    Come, labor on.
    Away with gloomy doubts and faithless fear!
    No arm so weak but may do service here:
    by feeblest agents may our God fulfill
    his righteous will.

    Come, labor on.
    Claim the high calling angels cannot share:
    to young and old the gospel gladness bear.
    Redeem the time its hours so swiftly fly
    the night draws nigh.

    Come, labor on.
    No time for rest, till glows the western sky,
    till the long shadows o'er our pathway lie
    and a glad sound comes with the setting sun:
    "Servants, well done."

    ~ T. Tertius Noble

  12. _____ COLLOQUIAL QUIP _____

    He who strives to be respected
    Probably will be rejected.
    If his mood become dejected,
    He don't deserve to be elected.
    One who hopes for Recognition
    Soon will end up in Perdition.

    In other words if you don't do good things based on Love, you are not doing good things at all. You are only massaging your ego, instead.

    Or as Duke Ellington put it:

    "It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing. ..."

    St. Paul said it best in his famous letter to the Corinthians which begins, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not Love (Charity) ...

  13. Commenters: please note that THIS is not a political thread.

  14. ________ PRIMARY SOURCES ________

    Look well upon the men who dig in mines,
    And work machines in mills and factories grim.
    Be aware that those who tend the vines
    Or till the soil give much for wages slim.
    Reaping sowing, weeding, hoeing make
    Full the nation’s store of nutriment.
    Overland the burly truckers take
    Rich provisions and accoutrement
    Coast to coast. The teamsters load and haul
    Enormous hordes of stuff that we’ve empowered,
    Shipped in freighters, stored in silos tall,
    Delivered, well-displayed, and then devoured.
    Awards are due the goods and who supplies them,
    Yet the wise despise the guys who advertise them.

    ~ FreeThinke - The Sandpiper, Summer, 1996

  15. _______ THE BOOMBOX _______

    Nestled in a quiet glad so still
    One could hear a fluttering sparrow’s wing,
    Immersed in prayerful thought, I’d like to kill that
    Squawking, howling, growling, thumping thing
    Engrossing –– eating up –– my sacred space,
    Projecting Social Cancer at my head.
    Overtaking prayer it chokes like mace.
    Like mace it stings then stuns. My mind, well-fed,
    Leaps to battle the Invading Force,
    Usurping all my rights to meditate.
    The minions of the militantly coarse
    Idolize the fiends who violate
    Our right to think and feel from deep within
    Negating all that’s good with fearful din.

    ~ FreeThinke - The Sandpiper

    1. FT & Duck,
      One good thing about iPhones. They've replaced the boom box so that the listeners are disturbing only themselves.


      ______ A Soul in Torment ______

      Foul-minded, ill-intentioned –– your
      Ugly disposition longs to battle.
      Caring only to distress not cure,
      Kicking at the sky you shake your rattle

      In defiance of Propriety.
      Noxious noise is all that you produce ––
      Grotesque behavior seeking notoriety ––
      Bad smelling like a long-uncleansed prepuce.

      A soul in torment must be what you are ––
      Suffering with the fear you are inferior.
      Too bad! A fine intelligence you mar
      Assaulting with produce from your posterior.

      Redemption might be earned should you relent,
      Desist your endless insults, and repent.

      ~ FreeThinke

    3. AOW, your point is well taken, –– IF the poem is to be interpreted in a strictly LITERAL basis ––, which of course my stuff never is.

      The willful obtusity of leftists in striving always to miss the point when someone of whom they don't approve attempts to communicate is simply stunning. I have to accuse these types of being disingenuous, because I can't believe any reasonably intelligent person could be THAT stupid.

      The habitual stance of leftists never fails to be thoroughly dishonest. The only thing these people are capable of being ABOUT is their HATRED of TRUTH.

  16. Replies
    1. Bunkerville,
      My Chinese client and her husband took us to an Asian buffet today for lunch. Both Mr. AOW and I have been in a food coma ever since.

  17. I haven't participated much in this thread -- or anywhere else on the web -- the past several days. Here's why...

    Alarming bruising of the skin around my right eye popped up on Saturday morning. No itch, no pain (except for a dull headache above the eyebrow, but the headache could be unrelated).

    The eye itself is fine: no change in vision, no redness, no tearing.

    My ophthalmologist of the past eight years retired on August 31, and my primary care doctor is on vacation. And, of course, it's a holiday weekend!

    Thanks to my beloved Chinese client, I had an immediate phone consult with a urologist in NYC. His best guess? Skin hemorrhage due to all the ibuprofen I've been taking as part of my pain-management regimen. The doctor on call from my urologist's group concurred. So, no more ibuprofen for a while.

    It's been rough not having ibuprofen in my pain-management regimen. Pain to the point of nausea between the doses of the other medication for pain.

    To top it all off, I've been having trouble with controlling my blood pressure. Dangerously low with severe edema of the ankles and feet! However, the primary care doc and I came up with a solution just before he left on vacation.

    If our helper TJP, a former student of mine from some 30 years ago, weren't here, I don't know Mr. AOW and would manage this Summer of Suffering.

    I should start a blog called "My Summer of Suffering." Heh.


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