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The Night Her Blackest Sables Wore

at 1:30 am
(Other Writ, Poetry)

Ise Shrine Priestess:
My mind is dazzled —
Did you come to vis­it me ?
Did I go to you ?
Was our night a dream ? Real­ity ?
Was I sleep­ing ? Or was I awake ?

Through the black­est shad­ow
Of the dark­ness of the heart I wander
In bewil­der­ment —
You who know the world of love, decide:
Is my love real­ity or dream ? —

The Kokinshu

Night Sky and Moon



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Heaven Taken By Storm

DARK to me is the earth. Dark to me are the heavens.
Where is she that I loved, the woman with eyes like stars ?
Desolate are the streets. Desolate is the city.
A city taken by storm, where none are left but the slain.

Sadly I rose at dawn, undid the latch of my shutters,
Thinking to let in light, but I only let in love.
Birds in the boughs were awake; I listen'd to their chaunting;
Each one sang to his love; only I was alone.

This, I said in my heart, is the hour of life and of pleasure.
Now each creature on earth has his joy, and lives in the sun,
Each in another's eyes finds light, the light of compassion,
This is the moment of pity, this is the moment of love.

Speak, O desolate city ! Speak, O silence in sadness !
Where is she that I loved in my strength, that spoke to my soul ?
Where are those passionate eyes that appeal'd to my eyes in passion ?
Where is the mouth that kiss'd me, the breast I laid to my own ?

Speak, thou soul of my soul, for rage in my heart is kindled.
Tell me, where didst thou flee in the day of destruction and fear ?
See, my arms still enfold thee, enfolding thus all heaven,
See, my desire is fulfill'd in thee, for it fills the earth.

Thus in my grief I lamented. Then turn'd I from the window,
Turn'd to the stair, and the open door, and the empty street,
Crying aloud in my grief, for there was none to chide me,
None to mock my weakness, none to behold my tears.

Groping I went, as blind. I sought her house, my beloved's.
There I stopp'd at the silent door, and listen'd and tried the latch.
Love, I cried, dost thou slumber ? This is no hour for slumber,
This is the hour of love, and love I bring in my hand.

I knew the house, with its windows barr'd, and its leafless fig-tree,
Climbing round by the doorstep, the only one in the street;
I knew where my hope had climb'd to its goal and there encircled
All that those desolate walls once held, my beloved's heart.

There in my grief she consoled me. She loved me when I loved not.
She put her hand in my hand, and set her lips to my lips.
She told me all her pain and show'd me all her trouble.
I, like a fool, scarce heard, hardly return'd her kiss.

Love, thy eyes were like torches. They changed as I beheld them.
Love, thy lips were like gems, the seal thou settest on my life.
Love, if I loved not then, behold this hour thy vengeance;
This is the fruit of thy love and thee, the unwise grown wise.

Weeping strangled my voice. I call'd out, but none answer'd;
Blindly the windows gazed back at me, dumbly the door;
See whom I love, who loved me, look'd not on my yearning,
Gave me no more her hands to kiss, show'd me no more her soul.

Therefore the earth is dark to me, the sunlight blackness,
Therefore I go in tears and alone, by night and day;
Therefore I find no love in heaven, no light, no beauty,
A heaven taken by storm, where none are left but the slain !

Wilfred Scawen Blunt : The Desolate City

pale snowy buildings



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And Have You Ever Seen How Passionately A Black-Cock In Love Utters The Mating Call To His Gray Hen ?


Was it long ago that you met sunrise watching the crimson sun jumping quickly right from a lake depth accompanied with a deafening songs of birds ? And when was it last time that you purposelessly wandered around a green-golden forest inhaling a dizzy smell of herbs with pleasure and cutting off tough mushrooms on the way ? And have you ever seen how passionately a black-cock in love utters the mating call to his gray hen ? Or have you experienced admiration mixed with fear when something suddenly cracked in the nearest bush and then you see a striped side of a wild piglet ?

Belarus is cool... Belarusian Ecotours

Belarus is famous for its Belarussian Internet Brides, its 'dictator' and, umm.... Arriving into Minsk you are greeted by stony-faced passport control officers who pore in grim silence and with painstaking detail over each and every passport. When passport officers retire they go on to work at hotel reception, internet cafes, and as checkout chicks. They are spectacularly good at saying "Niet" and turning their back on you with a hrmmph when you ask if they speak any English. Maybe this isn't so very different from Paris, but it was a world away from Colombia.

Mammal watching in Belarus Personal site.

There are perhaps more obnoxious customs officers in the world...

But maybe it would be best to not get too hung up on human rights; the Belarusians manage not to....

Fields of Minsk

Minsk in the past



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Yet Not For An Hour

at 2:23 am
(Art, Norse, Other Writ, Poetry)

Or ever the knightly years were gone
With the old world to the grave,
I was the King of Babylon
And you were a Christian Slave.

I saw, I took, I cast you by,
I bent and broke your pride.
You loved me well, or I heard them lie,
But your longing was denied.
Surely I knew that by and by
You cursed your gods and died.

And a myriad suns have set and shone
Since then upon the grave
Decreed by the King of Babylon
To her that had been his Slave.

The pride I trampled is now my scathe,
For it tramples me again.
The old resentment lasts like death,
For you love, yet you refrain.
I break my heart on your hard unfaith,
And I break my heart in vain.

Yet not for hour do I wish undone
The deed beyond the grave,
When I was a King in Babylon
And you were a Virgin Slave.

W. E. Henley : "Or Ever The Knightly Years Were Gone"

Rackham - Brunhilde considering

Arthur Rackham - Brünnhilde unregretting the loss of her valkyriehood



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Die Dreigroschenoper 1931

Following the Moritat, here are excerpts from the 1931 Georg Wilhelm Papst film, Die Dreigroschenoper

Die Moritat

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Das Lied von der Unzuläglichkeit

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Die Dreigroschenfinale

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Mackie, Rudolf Forster, looks just like my father; particularly leering over Polly during the murder-ballad; Polly was played by Carol Neher, who died in a soviet camp in 1942. Ernst Busch plays the street-singer who narrates; Lotte Lenya, Kurt Weill's wife, sings Pirate Jenny.



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Parrots of Mexico


Illegal Parrot Trade
Source: Defenders of Wildlife
From press release:

In one of the most detailed examinations ever of any illegal animal trade, the report estimates that Mexican parrot trappers illegally capture roughly 65,000 to 78,500 parrots annually. About 75 percent of these die from stress, disease, rough handling, crushing, asphyxiation or dehydration during capture and transport before reaching the consumer. In many instances, 50 parrots are stuffed in a shipping container barely larger than a shoe box for days on end until they reach the market. Estimates for the number of parrots smuggled into the United States are as high as 9,400 each year. Many of these are sick, injured, dying or severely traumatized. None of these birds have proper legal documentation and are sold without the required health examination and quarantine to identify potential disease risks.

Populations of high-demand parrot species have decreased by 25 percent to 30 percent and have disappeared entirely from many regions. For example, the yellow naped parrot has not been found in the Mexican state of Oaxaca for several years.

Defenders’ report identifies several different routes frequented by parrot smugglers to get the birds across the border into the United States. The most common routes are the Gulf Coast trade route, which ends in southern Texas in Brownsville, Eagle Pass, El Paso, Laredo or McAllen. Smugglers who choose to take the Pacific route, which hugs the coastline, are most commonly destined for Tijuana or Tucson, Ariz. Parrots are trafficked through airports across the nation as well. The main ports of entry are Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City and San Francisco.

+ Full Report (PDF; 10.5 MB)
+ Determining if Your Parrot Is Legal Before You Buy (PDF; 355 KB)
+ Is U.S. Demand Driving Mexican Parrots to Extinction? (PDF; 275 KB)

Grayson Parrots
Andrew Jackson Grayson - Parrots

( Grayson was appointed to the Imperial Academy of Scence and Literature of Mexico, by his admirer, the Emperor Maximilian. Then came the revolution... )



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The Men Who Built The House You Live In, Ate Bread

at 4:14 pm
(Generalia, Other Writ)

Well, the men who built my house are DEAD now; ergo what ? The men who built my house also drank whiskey that had been filtered through hobo’s socks, and they had furtive shameful sex with pox-scarred doxies behind the tavern --- a sin they could never quite wash away no matter how many times they went to church. You could see the steeple from the alley, after all. One night when the moon was bright, the clouds seemed to snag on the steeple, rip open and spill out a thousand stars. And there he was with his back on a brick wall, a barmaid gnawing away with no joy or love ---

Then the cloud passed over the moon, and the steeple receded back into the blackness of the night. A sign. If it wasn’t, it could be.

But we digress. Eat some BREAD !

The Story of Bread


Not to mention... Gyrenes

'This could be page one in the Golden Book of How Not To Be A Sniper.'

Or the lamp made from retired tin-cans, by cheapskates for cheapskates.

And all of these have excellent writing in them as well...



Steeple Alley



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Nonchalantly Unimpressed

Die Moritat von Mackie Messer - Manheim-Willett translation


See the shark --- has teeth like razors.
All can read his open face.
And Macheath has got a knife, but
Not in such an obvious place.

See the shark --- how red his fins are
As he slashes at his prey.
Mac the Knife wears white kid gloves which
Give the minimum away.

By the Thames's turbid waters,
Men abruptly tumble down.
Is it plague, or is it cholera,
Or a sign Macheath's in town ?

On a beautiful blue Sunday,
See a corpse stretched on the Strand.
See a man dodge around the corner...
Mackie's friend's will understand.

And Schul Meier, who is missing
Like so many wealthy men:
Mack the Knife acquired his cashbox,
God alone knows how or when

Jenny Towler turned up lately
With a knife stuck through her breast,
While Macheath walks the embankment,
Nonchalantly unimpressed.

Where is Alfred Gleet the cabman ?
Who can get that story clear ?
All the world may know the answer,
But Macheath has no idea.

And the ghastly fire in Soho ---
Seven children at a go.
In the crowd stands Mack the Knife, but
He's not asked and doesn't know.

And the child bride in her nightie,
Whose assailant's still at large,
Violated in her slumbers ---
Mackie, how much did you charge ?



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A Handful of Ashes

(Generalia, Self Writ, War)

Sub­sequent to his enforced decision to relo­cate to Elba, Gen­er­al Bona­parte held a last reunion with his Guard. He spoke with his usu­al grandi­loquent mix­ture of sen­ti­ment and hard lying, then left his audi­ence in tears, want­ing more.

Nap says farewell to his Guard

After­wards the sol­diers burnt the flags under which they had so many vic­tor­ies, which was semi-noble.

Then they swal­lowed the ashes.

They nev­er knew quite when to stop.



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Touring St. Petersburg

at 9:24 pm
(Music, The King of Terrors, Videos)

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DDT - Belaya Notch



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A Convenient Truth

So how did An Inconvenient Truth become required classroom viewing ?

First it was his world history class. Then he saw it in his economics class. And his world issues class. And his environment class. In total, 18-year-old McKenzie, a Northern Ontario high schooler, says he has had the film An Inconvenient Truth shown to him by four different teachers this year.

"I really don't understand why they keep showing it," says McKenzie (his parents asked that his last name not be used). "I've spoken to the principal about it, and he said that teachers are instructed to present it as a debate. But every time we've seen it, well, one teacher said this is basically a two-sided debate, but this movie really gives you the best idea of what's going on."

But Mr. Gore's filmed climate-change lecture is showing up in classrooms across Canada, frequently unaccompanied by critical analysis or a discussion of competing theories. "One of the teachers at my kid's school showed it and he even said ahead of time, 'There is some propaganda in this,' " says Tim Patterson, a Carleton University earth sciences professor. "I said to him, 'You even knew this was a propaganda film, and you still showed it in your classroom ?' " The weirdest part: It was the gym teacher.
As usual, people overcomplicate simple truths; there is no concept of propaganda here: whether or not the teachers consider Mr. Gore's effort to be made of whole cloth or not, that is not their purpose. Put gently, what bitterly resented lost powers did teachers use to possess that they possess no longer ? The desire, ability and legal right to whale small dumb kids senseless. Either because the students annoyed them, or they looked at them funny, or because the teacher felt like it.

Now forbidden to practise their ancient art as in the brave old days, they will make do with repetition as many times as is humanly possible before the children collapse into sought for comas.

When you haven't got what you want; you make do with what you've got.

Titanic's Iceberg

Sulkily awaiting the return of the Titanic



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Love Insatiate Instanter

(High Germany, Other Writ, Poetry)

All cold was gone
a merry sun pale hung to light the hope­ful morn­ing
to the fair we strolled.
My thought was ever of the prize
in sil­ver wrought
from Augs­berg town:
last ful­some per­fec­tion of the cre­at­or
the Mas­ter of all work­ers before he left us.
The baby bear, a hands-breadth high
curled cun­ning with her paws
out­stretched; soft little haunch
firm-placed side­ways;
t’other leg straight out.
The sil­vern fur tricked
dizzy­ingly over-wrought;
dainty curved
the muscled frame as in nature;
The little face sweet and pure
star­ing as chil­dren in beatitude.

Saint Ursu­la was ever my favor­ite
And to Köln a few years back
My pil­grim­age was entered;
Yet though won­ders there were plen­ti­ful
to the country-bred
How­ever wars had pressed upon the town
a half-century before
T’was redol­ent now enough
None such as this little sil­ver bear was got.
This mar­vel hon­ey sweet,
cul­min­a­tion of all He made
now the peer­less prize
for send­ing a bolt
through the brazen simil­it­ude
a poll on the tallest pole
the ragged pop­in­jay.

Read the rest of this entry »



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He Who Sleeps In A Silver Bed Has Golden Dreams

at 3:25 pm
(Art, High Germany, Other Writ, Poetry)

Men all, and birds, and creeping beasts,
When the dark of night is deep,
From the moving wonder of their lives
Commit themselves to sleep.

Without a thought, or fear, they shut
The narrow gates of sense;
Heedless and quiet, in slumber turn
Their strength to impotence.

The transient strangeness of the earth
Their spirits no more see:
Within a silent gloom withdrawn,
They slumber in secrecy.

Two worlds they have --- a globe forgot,
Wheeling from dark to light;
And all the enchanted realm of dream
That burgeons out of night.

Walter de la Mare : Sleep

Sulamith Wulfing painting 'Sleeping'

Sulamith Wülfing - Sleeping



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The Perils of Earthly Affection

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Richard Wagner - Venusberg Music



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You Are All Æthereal

(Art, Other Writ, Poetry)

If you refuse me once, and think again,
I will complain.
You are deceiv'd, love is no work of art,
It must be got and born,
Not made and worn,
By every one that hath a heart.

Or do you think they more than once can die,
Whom you deny ?
Who tell you of a thousand deaths a day,
Like the old poets feign
And tell the pain
They met, but in the common way ?

Or do you think't too soon to yield,
And quit the field ?
Nor is that right, they yield that first entreat;
Once one may crave for love,
But more would prove
This heart too little, that too great.

Oh that I were all soul, that I might prove
For you as fit a love
As you are for an angel; for I know,
None but pure spirits are fit loves for you.

You are all æthereal; there's in you no dross,
Nor any part that's gross.
Your coarsest part is like a curious lawn,
The vestal relics for a covering drawn.

Your other parts, part of the purest fire
That e'er Heav'n did inspire,
Makes every thought that is refin'd by it
A quintessence of goodness and of wit.

Thus have your raptures reach'd to that degree
In love's philosophy,
That you can figure to yourself a fire
Void of all heat, a love without desire.

Nor in divinity do you go less;
You think, and you profess,
That souls may have a plenitude of joy,
Although their bodies meet not to employ.

But I must needs confess, I do not find
The motions of my mind
So purified as yet, but at the best
My body claims in them an interest.

I hold that perfect joy makes all our parts
As joyful as our hearts.
Our senses tell us, if we please not them,
Our love is but a dotage or a dream.

How shall we then agree ? you may descend,
But will not, to my end.
I fain would tune my fancy to your key,
But cannot reach to that obstructed way.

There rests but this, that whilst we sorrow here,
Our bodies may draw near;
And, when no more their joys they can extend,
Then let our souls begin where they did end.

Sir John Suckling : If You Refuse Me Once, And Think Again

L Lotto - Angel fr Madaonna and Child detail

Lorenzo Lotto - Detail from Madonna and Child with Saints and an Angel



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Modus et Ordo

at 1:39 am
(Correctitude, Royalism, Self Writ, The King of Terrors, War)

On the 21st of May, 1471, that most excellent prince, King Edward IV, again entered London to regain his patrimony. The wretched usurper Henry died two days later of pure mortification.

Falcon badge Edward IV

Falcon & Fetterlock Badge of Edward IV



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Tragic — Doctor of Souls

It's a fairly rare occurrence that we delete a user, but sadly a recent sign-on from Russia has had to go: admittedly this is only a gut reaction, yet I'm certain that purveyors of high quality Tramadol have no place here; So Farewell, DrSoulinder whose email is the delightfully Finnish sounding, and may you be happy in a better world.

Uburen Mountain

Uburen - The Troll Mountain



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Gardener of Human Happiness

(Music, Self Writ, The Enemy)

Was not Children of the Revolution a great film ?

film - children of the revolution

Having just been studying this page on Russian Anthems Museum through the ages ( it comes out as 1.27 GB in download weight ), in addition to their renowned page for The Internationale, I rather think the Welsh Guards version of God Save The Tsar is the stateliest, despite the fact that they play it as the hymn, 'God, the Omnipotent ! King who Ordainest, Thunder thy Clarion, Lightning thy Throne !' with a distinct Valleys type intonation...

Simon Sebag Montefiore continues his excursions into Russian History with the hopefully ironic title Young Stalin, not omitting the tyrant's better points:

Inspired by a hunger for learning and an instinct to teach, he feverishly studied novels and history, but his love of letters was always dominated by his drive to command and dominate, to vanquish enemies and avenge slights. Patient, calm and modest, he could also be vainglorious, pushy and thin-skinned, with outbursts of viciousness just a short fuse away... He cultivated the coarseness of a peasant, a trait that alienated comrades, but usefully concealed his subtle gifts from snobbish rivals.

A review relates a Bolshevik party prior to their seizure of power where each was asked the finest pleasure life offers --- from recollection, I believe it was a hunting-party and Lenin was the cynosure of attention as always --- after each had related their undoubtedly trite and tawdry aspirations, Koba gave his ideal:

"My greatest pleasure is to choose one's victim, prepare one's plans minutely, slake an implacable vengeance, and then go to bed. There's nothing sweeter in the world."

There's good in every one of us.

Stalin Morning poster

Stalin. Morning of our Motherland


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Avid Poison

at 1:43 am
(Other Writ, Poetry)

I love you for the grief that lurks within
Your languid spirit, and because you wear
Corruption with a vague and childish air,
And with your beauty know the depths of sin;

Because shame cuts and holds you like a gin,
And virtue dies in you slain by despair,
Since evil has you tangled in its snare
And triumphs on the soul good cannot win.

I love you since you know remorse and tears,
And in your troubled loveliness appears
The spot of ancient crimes that writhe and hiss:

I love you for your hands that calm and bless,
The perfume of your sad and slow caress,
The avid poison of your subtle kiss.

Theodore Wratislaw : Sonnet Macabre


Konstantin Vasiliev : Rusalka



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Right On

If you want it, Ebay has it.

google fascists

google women

google 11-yr-olds



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Death to the Bourgeoisie !

(Art, Correctitude, High Germany, Royalism, Self Writ, The King of Terrors)

A use­ful cor­rect­ive to the fact that great French lines­men, such as Daumi­er and Grand­ville, put their tal­ents to the revolu­tion­ary cause, may be that Alfred Reth­el rather out­did them in bit­ing mor­bid­ity for the oppos­ite team.

His Auch ein Todtentanz [ Set here ] may have been inspired by merely the Bel­gian suf­fer­ings, but since pub­lished in 1849 it seems more likely to be a gen­er­al com­ment on the van­ity of revolu­tion…

Death sets off on his mis­sion:

Death on horse

Even more pleas­ing might be his Nemes­is, espe­cially since the fierce lovely lass is not only pur­su­ing a wretched mal­efact­or, but that the paint­ing was won in a lot­tery by a secret crim­in­al and that this joy­ous serendip­ity sent him insane…

From the Galer­ie St. Etien­ne
Reth­el had long been inter­ested in the sub­ject of death, and at one point even began a series of gen­re scenes – among them Death as Friend and Death as Enemy –that echo Holbein’s anec­dot­al approach. How­ever, his Dance of Death of the Year 1848 dif­fers from its Medi­ev­al pro­to­types in sev­er­al key respects. Unlike Holbein’s cycle of dis­creet vign­ettes, Rethel’s six wood­cuts form a cohes­ive nar­rat­ive, where­in Death first dupes the work­ers into rebelling and then leads them to their doom. Far from being the great equal­izer, Rethel’s Death fig­ure reveals the ideal of equal­ity to be illus­ory. Moreover, where­as Medi­ev­al depic­tions stressed the uni­ver­sal­ity and inev­it­ab­il­ity of death, Rethel’s Death is highly select­ive: those who fail to heed its siren call are spared. The implic­a­tion is that the vic­tims are to blame, for they have, how­ever inad­vert­ently, chosen their fate.

Quite right too.



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Ten Sorrowful Things

at 12:58 am
(Other Writ, Poetry, The Enemy)

Deviants boasting
Lack of Courage of
the Sameness of Stagnated Being
The Modernistic Urban Landscape
Sodium Flaring Lights
arcing to hell
Plastic Anime
The Death of Deference
to favor
Achievement of Celebrity
Sounds of Common English Biting Daily
in monotones in
Simple values

Beware of loud crusaders: yet shun the unformed ordinary.

Keith Marshall : Ten Sorrowful Things

Tokyo by night



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Edward Elgar would be 150 on the 2nd of June. Regarding World War I, he said:

"The men and women can go to hell --- but my horses ! Let God kill his human beings but --- how can he ? Oh, my horses."

The Vogelherd Horse

The Vogelherd Horse

Introduction and Allegro --- [ NCO Moldavia ]



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Celtic Brooding

(Other Writ, Poetry)

In the black season of deep winter
A storm of waves is roused
Along the expanse of the world.
Sad are the birds of every meadow-plain
Except the ravens that feed on crimson blood
At the clamour of harsh winter -
Rough, black, dark, smoky;
Dogs are vicious in cracking bones;
The iron pot is put on the fire
After the dark black day.

Amergin mac Míled --- 11th Century

Celtic Ring

Celtic Ring 50 BC



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The Rented World

at 2:21 am
(Other Writ, Poetry)

I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
--- The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused -- nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel
, not seeing
That this is what we fear --- no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anaesthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can't escape,
Yet can't accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

Philip Larkin : Aubade

Gibbet Montfaucon




Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
This work by Claverhouse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
This work by Claverhouse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.