Monthly Archives: May, 2014

Highway 109

A drunk man in an Oldsmobile
They said had run the light
That caused the six-car pileup
On 109 that night.

When broken bodies lay about
And blood was everywhere,
The sirens screamed out eulogies,
For death was in the air.

A mother trapped inside her car
Was heard above the noise;
Her plaintive plea near split the air:
“Oh, God, please spare my boys!”

She fought to loose her pinned hands;
She struggled to get free,
But mangled metal held her fast
In grim captivity.

Her frightened eyes then focused
On where the back seat once had been,
But all she saw was broken glass and
Two children’s seats crushed in.

Her twins were nowhere to be seen;
She did not hear them cry,
And then she prayed they’d been thrown free,
“Oh, God, don’t let them die!”

Then firemen came and cut her loose,
But when they searched the back,
They found therein no little boys,
But the seat belts were intact.

They thought the woman had gone mad
And was travelling alone,
But when they turned to question her,
They discovered she was gone.

Policemen saw her running wild
And screaming above the noise
In beseeching supplication,
“Please help me find my boys!”

“They’re four years old and wear blue shirts;
Their jeans are blue to match.”
One cop spoke up, “They’re in my car,
And they don’t have a scratch.”

“They said their daddy put them there
And gave them each a cone,
Then told them both to wait for Mom
To come and take them home.”

“I’ve searched the area high and low,
But I can’t find their dad.
He must have fled the scene,
I guess, and that is very bad.”

The mother hugged the twins and said,
While wiping at a tear,
“He could not flee the scene, you see,
For he’s been dead a year.”

The cop just looked confused and asked,
“Now, how can that be true?”
The boys said, “Mommy, Daddy came
And left a kiss for you.”

“He told us not to worry
And that you would be all right,
And then he put us in this car with
The pretty flashing light.”

“We wanted him to stay with us,
Because we miss him so,
But Mommy, he just hugged us tight
And said he had to go.”

“He said someday we’d understand
And told us not to fuss,
And he said to tell you, Mommy,
He’s watching over us.”

The mother knew without a doubt
That what they spoke was true,
For she recalled their dad’s last words,
“I will watch over you.”

The firemen’s notes could not explain
The twisted, mangled car,
And how the three of them escaped
Without a single scar.

But on the cop’s report was scribed,
In print so very fine,
An angel walked the beat tonight
On Highway109.

Still I Rise

We lost a great lady yesterday. Maya Angelou had wisdom that she imparted in beautiful poetry. It will be a long time before we 

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

~Maya Angelou~

Always

I am not jealous
of what came before me.

Come with a man
on your shoulders,
come with a hundred men in your hair,
come with a thousand men between your breasts and your feet,
come like a river
full of drowned men
which flows down to the wild sea,
to the eternal surf, to Time!

Bring them all
to where I am waiting for you;
we shall always be alone,
we shall always be you and I
alone on earth
to start our life!

~Pablo Neruda~

War

It was Memorial Day in the USA yesterday, and yet so much conflict still in the world…

Everyone has a different war. We all see our own little slice; no one sees it the same.  Dispatches from the Edge, Anderson Cooper

Freedom is never given; it is won.  A. Philip Randolf

History is written by the victors. Winston Churchill

In many a war it has been the vanquished, not the victor, who has carried off the finest spoils. Havelock Ellis

-it was the nation………….that had the lion’s heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.  Winston Churchill on his 80th birthday In 1954

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. Winston Churchill

The worst barbarity of war is that it frees men collectively to commit acts against which individually they would revolt with their whole being.  Ellen Key

Some voices are still here. I think the souls are here, I think that they listen …they cry…they warn. Elie Wiesel during his last trip to Auschwitz.

The beginning, the end: all the world’s roads, all the outcries of mankind, lead to this accursed place. Here is the kingdom of night, where God’s face is hidden and a flaming sky becomes a graveyard for a vanished people. An excerpt from Pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Night, Elie Wiesel

The next war will be fought with atom bombs and the one after that with spears. Harold Urey

The Teak Forest

Whether I loved you who shall say?
Whether I drifted down your way
In the endless River of Chance and Change
And you woke the strange
Unknown longings that have no names,
But burn us all in their hidden flames,
Who shall say?

Life is a strange and a wayward thing:
We heard the bells of the Temples ring,
The married children, in passing, sing.
The month of marriage, the month of spring,
Was full of the breath of sunburnt flowers
That bloom in a fiercer light than ours,
And, under a sky more fiercely blue,
I came to you!

You told me tales of your vivid life
Where death was cruel and danger rife–
Of deep dark forests, of poisoned trees,
Of pains and passions that scorch and freeze,
Of southern noontides and eastern nights,
Where love grew frantic with strange delights,
While men were slaying and maidens danced,
Till I, who listened, lay still, entranced.
Then, swift as a swallow heading south,
I kissed your mouth!

One night when the plains were bathed in blood
From sunset light in a crimson flood,
We wandered under the young teak trees
Whose branches whined in the light night breeze;
You led me down to the water’s brink,
“The Spring where the Panthers came to drink
At night; there is always water here
Be the season never so parched and sere.”
Have we souls of beasts in the forms of men?
I fain would have tasted your life-blood then.

The night fell swiftly; this sudden land
Can never lend us a twilight strand
‘Twixt the daylight shore and the ocean night,
But takes-as it gives-at once, the light.
We laid us down on the steep hillside,
While far below us wild peacocks cried,
And we sometimes heard, in the sunburnt grass,
The stealthy steps of the Jungle pass.
We listened; knew not whether they went
On love or hunger the more intent.
And under your kisses I hardly knew
Whether I loved or hated you.

But your words were flame and your kisses fire,
And who shall resist a strong desire?
Not I, whose life is a broken boat
On a sea of passions, adrift, afloat.
And whether I came in love or hate,
That I came to you was written by Fate
In every hue of the blood-red sky,
In every tone of the peacocks’ cry.

While every gust of the Jungle night
Was fanning the flame you had set alight.
For these things have power to stir the blood
And compel us all to their own chance mood.
And to love or not we are no more free
Than a ripple to rise and leave the sea.

We are ever and always slaves of these,
Of the suns that scorch and the winds that freeze,
Of the faint sweet scents of the sultry air,
Of the half heard owl from the far off lair.
These chance things muster us ever. Compel
To the heights of Heaven, the depths of Hell.

Whether I love you? You do not ask
Nor waste yourself on the thankless task.
I give your kisses at least return,
What matter whether they freeze or burn.
I feel the strength of your fervent arms,
What matter whether it heals or harms.

You are wise; you take what the Gods have sent.
You ask no questions, but rest content
So I am with you to take your kiss,
And perhaps I value you more for this.
For this is Wisdom; to love, to live,
To take what Fate, or the Gods, may give,
To ask no question, to make no prayer,
To kiss the lips and caress the hair,
Speed passion’s ebb as you greet its flow,–
To have,-to hold,-and,-in time,-let go!

And this is our Wisdom: we rest together
On the great lone hills in the storm-filled weather,
And watch the skies as they pale and burn,
The golden stars in their orbits turn,
While love is with us, and Time and Peace,
And life has nothing to give but these,
But, whether you love me, who shall say.
Or whether you, drifting down my way
In the great sad River of Chance and Change,
With your looks so weary and words so strange,
Lit my soul from some hidden flame
To a passionate longing without a name,
Who shall say?
Not I, who am but a broken boat,
Content for a while to drift afloat
In the little noontide of love’s delights
Between two Nights.

~Laurence Hope~

When

When you’re lonely,
I wish you love.
When you’re down,
I wish you joy.
When you’re troubled,
I wish you peace.
When things are complicated,
I wish you simple beauty.
When things are chaotic,
I wish you inner silence.
When things look empty,
I wish you hope.

The Laws Of God, The Laws Of Man

The laws of God, the laws of man,
He may keep that will and can;
Not I: let God and man decree
Laws for themselves and not for me;
And if my ways are not as theirs
Let them mind their own affairs.
Their deeds I judge and much condemn,
Yet when did I make laws for them?
Please yourselves, say I, and they
Need only look the other way.
But no, they will not; they must still
Wrest their neighbor to their will,
And make me dance as they desire
With jail and gallows and hell-fire.
And how am I to face the odds
Of man’s bedevilment and God’s?
I, a stranger and afraid
In a world I never made.
They will be master, right or wrong;
Though both are foolish, both are strong.
And since, my soul, we cannot fly
To Saturn nor to Mercury,
Keep we must, if keep we can,
These foreign laws of God and man.
~A.E. Housman~

Scandal – Live it Down!

Should envious tongues some malice frame,
To soil and tarnish your good name,
Live it down!

Grown not disheartened, ’tis the lot
Of all men, whether good or not:
Live it down!

Rail not in answer, but be calm,
For silence yields a rapid balm:
Live it down!

Go not among your friend and say,
Evil hath fallen on my way:
Live it down!

Far better thus yourself alone
to suffer, than with friends bemoan
The trouble that is all your own
Live it down!

What though men evil call your good!
So  Christ himself, misunderstood,
Was nail’d unto a cross of wood!
Live it down!

And now shall you, for lesser pain,
Your inmost soul forever stain,
By rendering evil back again?
Live it down!

Atalanta in Calydon

An excerpt from the verse of Greek Style Drama…

Before the beginning of years
There came to the making of man
Time, with a gift of tears;
Grief, with a glass that ran;
Pleasure, with pain for leaven;
Summer, with flowers that fell;
Remembrance, fallen from heaven,
And madness risen from hell;
Strength without hands to smite;
Love that endures for a breath;
Night, the shadow of light,
And Life, the shadow of death.
~Algernon Charles Swinburne~

The Dictators

Cambodia’s National Day of Hatred commemorates the more than 2.7 million people who died during the reign of terror by the Pol Pot regime…

An odor has remained among the sugarcane:
a mixture of blood and body, a penetrating
petal that brings nausea.
Between the coconut palms the graves are full
of ruined bones, of speechless death-rattles.
The delicate dictator is talking
with top hats, gold braid, and collars.
The tiny palace gleams like a watch
and the rapid laughs with gloves on
cross the corridors at times
and join the dead voices
and the blue mouths freshly buried.
The weeping cannot be seen, like a plant
whose seeds fall endlessly on the earth,
whose large blind leaves grow even without light.
Hatred has grown scale on scale,
blow on blow, in the ghastly water of the swamp,
with a snout full of ooze and silence.

~Pablo Neruda~

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