Let's talk about the pleasures and puzzles of the smaller mystery--mystery novels and other fiction--and the bigger one--life.
Even the mountainsNo matter how tall or wideHide behind the clouds.
A Slice of Wedding Cakeby Robert GravesWhy have such scores of lovely, gifted girlsMarried impossible men?Simple self-sacrifice may be ruled out,And missionary endeavour, nine times out of ten.Repeat 'impossible men': not merely rustic,Foul-tempered or depraved(Dramatic foils chosen to show the worldHow well women behave, and always have behaved).Impossible men: idle, illiterate,Self-pitying, dirty, sly,For whose appearance even in City parksExcuses must be made to casual passers-by.Has God's supply of tolerable husbandsFallen, in fact, so low?Or do I always over-value womanAt the expense of man?Do I?It might be so.
Out Among the Big Thingsby Arthur Chapman--1917Out among the big things — The mountains and the plains —An hour ain’t important, Nor are the hour’s gains;The feller in the city Is hurried night and day,But out among the big things He learns the calmer way.Out among the big things — The skies that never end —To lose a day ain’t nothin’, The days are here to spend;So why not give ‘em freely, Enjoyin’ as we go?I somehow can’t help thinkin’ The good Lord means life so.Out among the big things — The heights that gleam afar —A feller gets to wonder What means each distant star;He may not get an answer, But somehow, every nightHe feels, among the big things, That everything’s all right.
Photo by JimF.Although I wrote this long ago and for a different philosopher king, it's like I knew George W would show up. So in honor (read this dripping with sarcasm) of his imminent departure ...The Philospher King Makes a Valid SyllogismOnce upon a time there was a rabbiname Hillelwho did trickslike standing one footand explaining Judaism.And once he said,"If am not for myself, who will be for me?"which is very wise.But then he said,"But if I am only for myself, what am I?"which is a trick.And then he said,"If not now, when?"which is crazy.And only goes to showthat if you are someonewho is wiseand does tricksyou'll end up crazy.
Nice haiku, Farf.Perfect choice for the picture, Lisa.That's an interesting choice Mary -- the poem seems to hate both men and women and both sexes might hate it right back. Still working on my reaction.
Thanks Jim for the picture.Poem Please!!!Less is often so good, yeah Farf.MaryB, your blog explained a bit of the slant of this poem. A different slice of life.Andi--Life mirrors art, twisting it a step further.I went looking at Cowboy poetry last night and picked several pieces. Several talked of mountains so I was on the right wavelength.Look forward to many more poems today.On your mark,get set,Almost Weekend!!
Lyrics count, right? I can't get this Melissa Etheridge song out of my head lately.I'm feelin' kinda looseI'm feelin' kinda meanI've been feelin' kinda wild since I turned seventeenOrIs it madnessTell me where can a woman find any kind of peaceWhen does the fury and the agony ceaseHow long have I got to say pleaseThere's a hole in my jeans I only wanted to fadeI've been ripping out seams somebody else madetonightHeavyain't it heavyain't the night heavy
Just over those majestic mountains, nestled in a hidden valley lies...The Goblin Marketby Christina RossettiMorning and eveningMaids heard the goblins cry:'Come buy our orchard fruits,Come buy, come buy:Apples and quinces,Lemons and oranges,Plump unpecked cherries,Melons and raspberries,Bloom-down-cheeked peaches,Swart-headed mulberries, Wild free-born cranberries,Crab-apples, dewberries,Pine-apples, blackberries,Apricots, strawberries;--All ripe togetherIn summer weather,--Morns that pass by,Fair eves that fly;Come buy, come buy:Our grapes fresh from the vine,Pomegranates full and fine,Dates and sharp bullaces,Rare pears and greengages,Damsons and bilberries,Taste them and try:Currants and gooseberries,Bright-fire-like barberries,Figs to fill your mouth,Citrons from the South,Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;Come buy, come buy.'MORE HERE @ Project Gutenberg(in other news, interview with yours truly is up at Lori Devoti's blog for her 30 Days of Vampires blog series.
I'm nobody! Who are you?Are you nobody, too?Then there's a pair of us--don't tell!They'd banish us, you know.How dreary to be somebody!How public, like a frogTo tell your name the livelong dayTo an admiring bog.Emily Dickinson.
Mornin' all!Mary, my take on the Wedding Cake poem was that the @$$holes always get the girls… seems like that's how it works all too often.Lisa, that one fits really well… and rings quite true over 90 years later.Andi, I've always been partial to Hillel. Nice one.Jen, I get songs stuck in my head sometimes too. I can think of worse than that though. My remedy is to play them a few times.Maria, I like that one! But do the goblins sell true fruit, or something tainted (by magic or other)?Ghost, that reminds me of the man on the stairs. Did ED write that too?
Hokay. I don't have many books of poetry kicking around the manor. But I have one. A hardbound (but paperback-size) copy of Sir Walter Scott's Marmion… one book, one poem. But the opening, titled "Introduction to Canto First," is appropriate for this rainy November morning:November's sky is chill and drear,November's leaf is read and sear :Late, gazing down the steepy linn,That hems our little garden in,Low in its dark and narrow glen,You scarce the rivulet might ken,So thick the tangled green-wood grew,So feeble trilled the streamlet through :Now, murmuring hoarse, and frequent seenThrough bush and brier, no longer green,An angry brook, it sweeps the glade,Brawls over rock and wild cascade,And, foaming brown with double speed,Hurries its waters to the Tweed.In the flyleaf is written:Frank Leauer,Aug. 31, 1916.Steelville, Mo.S.H.S.(Steelville is SW of St. Louis, off I-44.)I don't remember how I came by this book.
Romanceby Edgar Allan PoeRomance, who loves to nod and sing.With drowsy head and folded wing,Among the green leaves as they shakeFar down within some shadowy lake,To me a painted paroquetHath been -- a most familiar bird--Taught me my alphabet to say--To lisp my very earliest wordWhile in the wild wood I did lie,A child -- with a most knowing eye.Of late, eternal Condor yearsSo shake the very Heaven on highWith tumult as they thunder by,I have no time for idle caresThrough gazing on the unquiet sky.And when an hour with calmer wingsIts down upon my spirit flings--That little time with lyre and rhymeTo while away-- forbidden things!My heart would feel to be a crimeUnless it trembled with the strings
P.S. I love the awesome picture!
Jen, I get songs stuck in my head sometimes too. I can think of worse than that though. My remedy is to play them a few times.lol, I love that song, so this is not a situation that requires a remedy. :)that the @$$holes always get the girls… seems like that's how it works all too often.Wow, ime that's not even a little bit true. Perspective is a curious thing, I suppose.
Here's one of mine, originally published in Weird Tales:Cry WerewolfDon’t you pity the werewolf’s plight?A man by day, a beast by night.Alone in his office cube he waits, Cursing heaven and the fates.For they’ve decreed the full moon’s rise,When he must don his lupine guise,Is of a month of nights but one.And it’s only then he’s free to run.For the office worker’s oft neglected,While wolves are all by law protected.
Wrong time of year but this one always makes me laugh:Da spring has sprungDa grass is rizI wonder where dem boidies is?Da little boid is on da wing -Ain't that absoid?Da little wing is on da boid.
For Olivia & my daughterHockey Haiku:"you go to the box, you know, feel shame, two minutes,and den you get free"Denis Lemieux, Slap Shot
Sorry, no poem from me today - off to the beach. But I'll enjoy the ones y'all come up with! Heading home tomorrow to cold, wind and rain. Calling for mid 80's here today - I got burned at the beach yesterday - anyone feeling sorry for me?Stay dry and warm, and thanks for the intellectual stimulation!
FaR and Lisa and Maria - I'm glad you decided to use the picture as inspiration. Good choices.Andi - I love that poem. Very appropriate. Jen, love Melissa Etheridge. I think her lyrics are underrated - and I say that as someone who seldom notices lyrics. So when I do, I know he or she has a real way with words. Kelly - that last line made me laugh, I loved it. Kimberly, I always forget how much I like Poe. On my poem, I like it because it is ambiguous. I think I interpreted it that men always THINK that the unworthy men get the good women and nice guys always finish last. Because they always think they are the worthy, nice guy. When you know the life story of Robert Graves - you know he wasn't such a nice guy and could be a bit of a jerk, which sorta puts the poem in a different perspective. Especially that last phrase where he tries to let himself off the hook. :)
This grim thing is my very favorite Emily Dickinson poem:After great pain, a formal feeling comes--The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs--The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,And Yesterday, or Centuries before?The Feet, mechanical, go round--A Wooden wayOf Ground, or Air, or Ought--Regardless grown,A Quartz contentment, like a stone--This is the Hour of Lead-Remembered, if outlived,As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow-First-Chill-then Stupor-then the letting go-
Hmmm... I believe I've shared this once before with a few of you elsewhere. It's a not exactly poetry... but it's about my writing (yes, dyslexics are capable of writing... when they want to LOL) and putting off writing, my fear of sharing what I write and that dark, quiet time when I find the words spilling out of me that I then later criticize. For me, writing and sharing poetry is a form of intimacy. Here goes: Caught myself... drifting along the playground of the "What?" section of my Azure galaxy. A dandylion parachuting into and through my grey matter.No. That's just too much thought. Let's drift deeper. Let's fall away into a mindpuddle. Ker-plop. Feels better. Languid. Warm. ... Free. Clarity at just 6 after midnight. Clarity the consistency of mud perhaps but much clearer than the past few days. Why? I've been pushing, pulling, prying. Pretending... naw too strong of word. It means malice; some dastardly intent. I've been... inhibited. Still too intense a term. I've been... forcing myself. I can almost bite into that. The nooks and crannies of my mind that I like most come out in this hour of shuffle of snores and thoughtless patterns - or is that patternless thoughts(?). I think it will be more of me if I write this time. It's like I'm channeling when I can accomplish that ... how can it be termed? That "zone"? That moment when you realize the fingers have stopped and something is before your eyes. Be it a poem. A recollection given substance, weight. Tossing out cobwebs of thoughts and seeing them materialize into shimmers that slowly spin into another creation. Either of their own. Of mine. Or neither. Just another path that might call to your curiosity than the route you had intended. Right now if I continue on this thought train trampoline, it will be not what it could be. Sometimes I can almost hear it breathing. Did it just roll over as I assumed it was asleep? Can it be as fun as I dream it and still be appropriate? As I watch it change and turn, regress, expand, and change again? Also, I'm scared. I throw too much of my heartsongs heartstrings heartclings, take your pick, into it. I could fall away. You are touching the face of my dream as I watch you peer or skim. You are mouthing my secrets, my hidden thoughts, my courageous cowardliness of this little imaginary cove of isolation. Falling away. Let's fall away again. Slide. I'm slowly approaching the foamy tide as it sweeps closer to my moon drenched toes. The wind prickling my skin. My hair slapping into tangles. I know it's cold. I know it's taste. Salt. I know it's beckoning me. I know I could forever be satisfied standing at this moment, at this place. But I know the frustrations it unleashes and unfurls. The angular anger. The sharpness of it's spray. Chaos can be coy and clever in it's clawing ways of lulling you into submission. Comforting chaos. Why? because it's known. It's around. Focus. That's my fear. Direction. Purpose... these call up expectations that can bludgeon me before I begin. Or maybe I don't need to "swim" but instead need to succumb. To let it funnel out like a typhoon. Let it rush out. Let it spiral, undulate, ... let it take over? Maybe I'm just afraid of the "under toad" that will pull me out past my liking? Maybe I just need to drown. Feel the control bubble out of me. Let the reigns fall away fall away fall away. Maybe in letting it go it won't turn into a stranger you didn't expect but instead you will evolve into something you've always loved and wanted more of? Maybe I can just for now let myself feel the water come up to my temples, my lips. Feel the coldness wander over my eyelids as my hair streaks outward. As I float along the shallow end, just for now, all the while magically keeping my toes out of the water.See? The clarity of mud. Fumbling. Stumbling. Bumbling. But it's okay. It's known. I know where the sand sifts, and where the pebbles pinch. I've walked here before. Again. Always? I am my own drug of choice. I'm addicted to my own limits. I can just barely taste the limitlessness that only I can offer myself.
(I removed a duplicate post--even though it was equally wonderful the second time.)
Forgotten Languageby Shel SilversteinOnce I spoke the language of the flowers,Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,And shared a conversation with the houseflyin my bed.Once I heard and answered all the questionsof the crickets,And joined the crying of each falling dyingflake of snow,Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .How did it go?How did it go?
An old favorite:Frost's Fire and Ice Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice,I think I know enough of hate To know that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.
Good reading here today! Thanks for the offerings. I planned to present something from Billy Collins' new book but found it rather depressing - many poems about death, separation and divorce. Although, I still love the imagery. For example, in the one on divorce he writes of spoons turning into forks with lawyers depicted as knives. I found one in an earlier book that reminds me of blog friends. Here's an excerpt. See if you agree.You Reader Billy Collins...I wondered if they had become friendsafter all these years or if they were still strangers to one anotherlike you and Iwho manage to be known and unknownto each other at the same time--me at this end of the table with a bowl of pears,you leaning in a doorway somewherenear some blue hydrangaes, reading this.
Oh, bono, that's lovely. I had forgotten that poem. But I'm sorry to hear his new book is dreary.
Just wanted to thank everybody for their contributions -- lots to enjoy and think about.
The thing I love most about poetry day is the variety. Some words bring fond memories, others are new introductions. All entertaining!! Thanks guys and gals for all the great words today.
Thanks for Poetry Day, Nancy. I love these. Always take something away from them.
Another beautiful photo!
Thanks for the comments on the photo. It was a spring trip to southern Utah. We'd spent the day hiking through 6" of snow where we'd hoped to be hiking in shorts. We pulled out of the tunnels on the east side of Zion valley to clouds, light, and rocks putting on a show for us. Here in Indiana the leaf show is over so here's one of my favorite poems.NOVEMBER DAYBY Eleanor AverittOld haggard wind hasplucked the treeslike pheasants, heldbetween her knees.In rows she hangs them,bare and neat,their brilliant plumage ather feet.
I have no poetry, but Jim I have to say that is one of the most beautiful photos I've ever seen.Everyone's poetry and haiku has been wonderful. I look forward to the next.
Thanks Janet ... :)
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