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My Country Too - new Oysterband song

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a favorite quote for Earth Day

"An infinite universe will always have the capacity to surprise. The Earth moves, and stones fall from the heavens. Tonight, perseids clatter to earth like hailstones. They embed themselves in arctic ice caps, they sprinkle the forests of the Amazon with a fine cometary dust. Meteors clatter at my feet and I dance in the road.

'Up, noble soul' cried Eckhart. "Put on your jumping shoes which are intellect and love."

I put on my jumping shoes and go leaping between the hedgerows. "

- Chet Raymo

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All I did in my last post was *suggest* I might write a little, and I ended up with food poisoning 4 hours later. So, I am going to keep my mouth shut and just post

When we were coming down the highway from the new doctor last week, we were behind a flatbed truck with two objects on it. One of them had a long white streamer of some kind flapping behind it.

I said to Jim - look, that truck has a tile comet (that is, when you come out of the bathroom trailing a long tail of toilet paper, usually from your shoe, but occasionally tucked into your underwear or pantyhose)

As we got close enough to pass the truck, I could see that the objects were two port-a-potties.....


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Every time I promise myself that I will post here more often - I am always happier and more creative when I do - something derails me.

I was sure the simplicity of poetry month would focus me, but as I settled in Jim had to have emergency eye surgery to (hopefully) prevent his retina from detaching.

I had to enlist the help of my excellent friends to drive us to our doctors and hospitals, since I am still having symptoms from radiation (like dizziness) that keep me from driving. Also I've never driven the new car and this didn't seem like the time to try.

My excellent friends not only drove us to appointments, they showed up repeatedly with frozen custard, Chinese food, date nut cookies, and other unexpected treats, including their most excellent company.

I have an appointment tomorrow with a surgeon I may switch to, and after I hear her opinion, I have to decide how to proceed.

And I am going to make an effort to write. If nothing else, I have notes for two stories from when I first came on here that I'm considering dusting off. But I'm not going to make myself any promises, because it's just tempting fate.

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William Allingham

The Fairies

UP the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And a white owl's feather!

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
He's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back,
Between the night and morrow,
They thought that she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake,
On a bed of flag-leaves,
Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hill-side,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn-trees
For pleasure here and there.
Is any man so daring
As dig them up in spite,
He shall find their sharpest thorns
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And a white owl's feather!

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for poetry month:

"A great poet, a really great poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the more picturesque they look. The mere fact of having published a book of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible. He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize."

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

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Today is national Draw A Bird day, so:

Jacques Prévert
To Make A Portrait Of A Bird

First paint a cage
with an open door
then paint
something pretty
something simple
something beautiful
something useful
for the bird
then place the canvas within a tree
in a garden
in a wood
or in a forest
hide behind the tree
without saying anything
without moving an inch…
Sometimes the bird arrives quickly
but he can also take many years
before deciding
do not become discouraged
wait for years if you have to
the speed or the sluggishness of the bird’s arrival
has no effect
on the outcome of your painting
When the bird arrives
if it arrives
keep the most profound silence
wait for the bird to enter the cage
and when he is inside
gently close the door with the paintbrush
erase all of the bars one by one
while taking care not to touch any of the bird’s feathers
then do the tree’s portrait
choosing the most beautiful branch
for the bird
paint the greenery and the freshness of the wind as well
the spray of the sun
and the noise of the animals in the grass in the heat of summer
and then wait for the bird to decide to sing
If the bird doesn’t sing
it’s a bad sign
it’s a sign that your painting is bad
but if it sings it’s a good sign
it’s a sign that you can sign
Then you very gently pluck
one of the bird’s feathers
and you write your name in a corner of the canvas.

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Although limericks are so seldom good if they are clean, I have 2 favorites to share:

Said Francesca, "My lack of volition
Is leading me straight to perdition;
But I haven't the strength
To go to the length
Of making an act of contrition."
(Edward Gorey)

Of much more dubious quality, I have always loved this one

There once was a pretty young miss
who went down to the river to read
but a man in a punt
stuck his oar in her eye
and now she has to wear glasses

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Home By Morning

Whatever the Valar intend me to do
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you
Whatever I grieve for, whatever I rue
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you

No giant spider, no bodiless rider,
no terror by fire that crosses the land
no dark, no bright, no perilous fight
can come between us when I reach for your hand

I stand on the line when the shadow creeps in
But I will be with you before day begins
We harry the dark and we weep for our sins
But I will be with you before day begins

No orcs that creep, no nightmare sleep
No fathomless deep, no wizard’s scheme
No endless hour can raise the power
To keep us apart when you’re in my dreams

A hand on a swordhilt, a hand on a bow
A kiss that consoles me wherever I go
One more day of fighting, one more day of woe
A kiss that consoles me wherever I go

No black spell singers, no death that lingers,
No icy fingers that reach for the soul
No hiss, no bark, no wings in the dark
Can touch my heart when you keep me whole

No time, no chance, no circumstance
No wave that carries me over the foam
No winter’s breath, no fear, no death
Can keep my heart from coming home

Whatever the Valar intend me to do
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you
Whatever I long for, whatever I rue
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you...

I wrote this when I first found HASA.
I don't think it's my best, but I think I love it the best
I wrote this as a sort of mantra, a promise and a focus as we struggle to reach home.

It was written for the nursery rhyme challenge, but that's really not what it means to me.

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April is national Poetry Month and Happy Birthday, Maya Angelou

Still I Rise
By Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod 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 backyard.

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.

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