Monthly Archives: January, 2014

The Clock Of Life

The clock of life is wound but once,
And no one has the power,
To say just when the hands will stop,
At late or early hour.

To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one’s health is more.
To lose one’s soul is such a loss,
As no man can restore.

The present only is our own,
Live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in tomorrow,
For the clock may then be still.

~Robert H. Smith~

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Martyrdom Day

In remembrance of Mahatma Gandhi who was assassinated in 1948. He believed in non violent protest against the injustices in religion and race. This belief initiated the fast he undertook in an effort to bring an end to violent uprisings…

Peace is the most powerful weapon of mankind.  It takes more courage to take a blow than to give one.  It takes more courage to try and talk things through than to start a war.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

The weak can never forgive, forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Even as wisdom often comes from the mouths of babes, so does it often come from the mouths of old people.  The golden rule is to test everything in the light of reason and experience, no matter from where it comes.

 

 

 

 

One Set of Footprints

 One night a man had a dream.  He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.  Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.  In each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand – one belonging to him and the other belonging to the Lord.  When the last scene flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints and noticed that many times along the path there was only one set of footprints in the sand.  He also noticed that this happened during the lowest and saddest times in his life.  This bothered the man and he questioned the Lord and he said, “Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, you would walk beside me all the way but I noticed that during the most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints.  I don’t understand why when I needed you most, you deserted me?”

The Lord replied, “My precious child.  I love you and will never leave you.   During your times of trial and sufferings when you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

~Margaret Fishback Powers~

Discordants

I. (Bread and Music)
Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread;
Now that I am without you, all is desolate;
All that was once so beautiful is dead.
Your hands once touched this table and this silver,
And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.
These things do not remember you, belovèd,
And yet your touch upon them will not pass.
For it was in my heart you moved among them,
And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes;
And in my heart they will remember always,–
They knew you once, O beautiful and wise.

II
My heart has become as hard as a city street,
The horses trample upon it, it sings like iron,
All day long and all night long they beat,
They ring like the hooves of time.
My heart has become as drab as a city park,
The grass is worn with the feet of shameless lovers,
A match is struck, there is kissing in the dark,
The moon comes, pale with sleep.
My heart is torn with the sound of raucous voices,
They shout from the slums, from the streets, from the crowded places,
And tunes from the hurdy-gurdy that coldly rejoices
Shoot arrows into my heart.

III
Dead Cleopatra lies in a crystal casket,
Wrapped and spiced by the cunningest of hands.
Around her neck they have put a golden necklace,
Her tatbebs, it is said, are worn with sands.
Dead Cleopatra was once revered in Egypt,
Warm-eyed she was, this princess of the South.
Now she is old and dry and faded,
With black bitumen they have sealed up her mouth.
O sweet clean earth, from whom the green blade cometh!
When we are dead, my best belovèd and I,
Close well above us, that we may rest forever,
Sending up grass and blossoms to the sky.

IV
In the noisy street,
Where the sifted sunlight yellows the pallid faces,
Sudden I close my eyes, and on my eyelids
Feel from the far-off sea a cool faint spray,–
A breath on my cheek,
From the tumbling breakers and foam, the hard sand shattered,
Gulls in the high wind whistling, flashing waters,
Smoke from the flashing waters blown on rocks;
–And I know once more,
O dearly belovèd! that all these seas are between us,
Tumult and madness, desolate save for the sea-gulls,
You on the farther shore, and I in this street.

~Conrad Aiken~

The Camps

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Lest we forget…

The Holocaust was the systematic, state-organized persecution and murder of at least six million Jews – as well as other targeted groups – by Nazi Germany and its collaborators.  They slaughtered two-thirds of Europe’s Jews and one-third of the world’s Jewish population.  In addition, Nazi Germany’s genocidal policies destroyed  millions of other defenseless people, including Roma and Sinti (Gypsies), Polish citizens, Soviet prisoners of war, homosexuals, the handicapped, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other political and religious dissidents within Germany itself.

The Camps
I never saw the blood,
Like a river of red coursing through the countryside,
I never smelled the smoke, thrust from the chimney,
Its stench nauseating and suffocating.
I never heard the tortured cries of pain, terror and despair,
But I visited the camp,
Its scarf of barbed wire encircling the ghosts within.
I looked into the tiny black holes,
Where life had survived without light.
I listened to stories,
And was told tales of a truly terrible time.

But now,

When I breathe the air, it is fresh and clean,
As if all had been a gruesome nightmare.
Yet the memories are fresh scars on the souls of the survivors,
And the lesson they lived is their testament,
A lesson too terrifying to repeat,
Which the world must never forget.

~HelenSzafer~

I Love This Land Australia

In acknowledgment of the Aussies who are celebrating Australia Day…

I love this Land Australia of gum and wattle tree
This vast and sunlit Continent is home from home for me
And though I come from a distant Land when I have had my day
Than underneath Australian soil where better place to lay.

I love this Land Australia home of the kangaroo
Of echidna and wombat, platypus and cockatoo
Of lorikeet and rosella, koala, possum and emu
And other unusual birds and animals as I’ve mentioned just a few.

I like Australian people if poor man make good they say
The man he is a battler, good on him anyway,
In Land of wedge tailed eagle there’s rooom to spread one’s wings
And in the lucky country the battler is a king.

I love this Land Australia it’s home from home for me,
Home of the kookaburra and gum and wattle tree
And bell bird and bell magpie who through the Winter sing
A Winter oft times milder than Ireland in the Spring.

I love this Land Australia of sunshine and bird song
And with each passing day my love for this great Country grow more strong
And though I come from a distant Land when I have had my day
Than underneath Australian soil where better place to lay.

~Francis Duggan~

My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose

January 25th is Rabbie  Burns Day in Scotland. Robert Burns was the national bard, a Scottish poet and lyricist celebrated by Scots throughout the world…

My love is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June.
O my love is like a melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

As fair thou art my bonnie lass
So deep in love am I
And I will love thee still my dear
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear
Till a’ the seas gang dry,
And I will love thee still my dear
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

~Robert Burns~

Death Waits Not For Storm Nor Sunshine

This eloquent passage with no comma or period was often used as an example of grammar and punctuation in 1894…

Death waits not for storm nor sunshine. Within a dwelling in one of the upper streets, respectable in appearance, and furnished with such conveniences as distinguish the habitations of those who rank among the higher classes of society, a man of middle age lay on his last bed, momently awaiting the final summons. All that the most skilful medical attendance – all that love, warm as the glow that fires an angel’s bosom, could do, had been done; by day and night, for many long weeks, had ministering spirits, such as a devoted wife and loving children are done all within their power to ward off the blow. But there he lay, his raven hair smoothed off from his noble brow, his dark eyes lighted with un-natural brightness, and contrasting strongly with the pallid hue which marked him as an expectant of the dread messenger.

An Irish Friendship Wish

May there always be work for your hands to do;
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May the sun always shine on your window pane;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Imagery

It goes without saying that every successful writer is a good storyteller. However, I don’t believe there is a writer who can beat Ann Marie MacDonald with her skill at selecting the perfect words to create a picture in your mind…

From Fall On Your Knees by  Ann Marie MacDonald
Her heart starts making a racket in an effort to wake up her mind.

His eyes had turned younger, bluer, or maybe that was only an illusion created by his face having got older.

I wanted to live in that music, no, to wear it loose around me instead of skin.

Do you believe that there are people whose bodies are still alive here on earth but whose souls are already in hell?

From The Way The Crow Flies by Ann Marie MacDonald
Apart from the fact that her writing still looks too much like printing, no matter how hard she tries she always runs out of room at the end of each line and winds up with words scrunched in the verbal equivalent of a pile up on the highway.

They have both prayed throughout the night but they have yet to pray together.  They have swallowed the retch of emptiness that lunges from the gut, swallowed it back, the howl of something bottomless.  Be careful, it smells your despair.

Fresh sorrows reactivate old ones.  We go to the same well to grieve, and its fuller every time.

When is it morning?  Is it morning when you can see the dew on the grass?  When the paper lands on the front step?  When the lamp by the small bed is drowned in the tepid light from the window?  Turn it off.  The bedspread remains unwrinkled.  Already life is ebbing from the room.  All that was posed, just put down or about to be picked up, appears a little more static; the afterimage of movement fading from objects, the leaves of books exhaling softly, clothes hanging more quietly in the closet.  Like a multitude of small scarves flowing from the sleeve of a magician, the room and everything in it is being gently deserted by the spirits and currents that move things.  The earth wants it.  When is it morning?  

Paul Dobraszczyk

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