Wake up, True Believers

Once in every four years we have a little show
We do it often so everyone would know
How free we are to lightly throw away
What we have earned; and to unthinkingly obey

The verdict of the mob that can’t be seen,
That can’t be heard; it’s a mean machine
That turns a human being ‘nto a wheel
Spins its lies and casts its steel.

For a people deceived, there can never be a choice
Those who toil in bondage rarely have a voice
Wake up, true believers, things are not okay,
Wake up, and throw your chains away.

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Published in: on Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 11:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Humor

A Platitude

Humor means
different things
to different people
at different times.

Published in: on Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 2:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Ballad of a Prince

(Work in Progress)

Once there was a prince who liked to gallop on his horse
Among the grassy hills and fragrant valleys;
One morning he rode early to the river all alone,
To look at his reflection in the water.
And there he met his princess and there she took his heart in thrall,
And on the river’s bank they lay together.

Her skin was brown like nutmeg and her hair was black as space,
Her eyes were green like meadows in the summer;
They lay and watched the blue sky and the sunset and the stars,
And the moon, she cast no shadow behind them.
And then he knelt and begged her to come with him and be his bride,
She knelt down by him and looked in his eyes and embraced him.

The sun was pink and rising over distant rolling hills
He picked her up and sat her in his saddle;
They galloped over hill and over dale and under tree,
Their hair streamed ever brightly in their wake.
And then they reached the great gates of the keep where he was born,
They halted and he cried for the gates to open.

Courtiers watched in wonder from the castle’s looming walls,
With narrow eyes they looked down on the figures
Of their noble prince who stood tall beside his horse,
And of the strange girl sitting in the saddle.
The old men sighed and shrugged — oh, they have seen such things before,
And long ago they learned also how to solve them.

The marriage went ahead amid the trumpets and the flutes,
The fiddlers whined and dancers made their figures;
The sun shone many smiles upon the prince and his fair bride,
As they waited breathless at the altar;
In front of them the priest stood with his ancient magic words,
Behind them slunk the murmur of retainers.

Published in: on Friday, November 28th, 2008 at 1:20 am  Leave a Comment  

The Spindle

Woman spinning flax using a drop spindle and distaff. MS Fr. 599, f. 40, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris 15th c. France

The ancient Greeks believed that life was like to a thread, and that the three Moirai, or Fates, spun it, measured it, and cut it. The destination in all cases is the same: an empty spool. And the rest? Story of our lives: how well or badly they are spun, in colors pale or bright; and in the end, what we make together: a tapestry or a rag.

Spin, thou Spindle, tell thy tales —
Of gaiety and sadness, inexplicably entwined;
Of threads and curtains, sweat and blood;
Though threads be cut, the Spindle spins anon
Another yarn or tall tale for the cat to play with.

Published in: on Thursday, September 18th, 2008 at 18:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Rambler’s Dream

A ballad:

This is a tale I heard of a man who rode
Far and wide across the sunset field
His heart still trembled with a story yet unwritten
Full of tall windmills past the wild frontier.

He rode past meadows green full of cottage boxes
And ruminants with dull and mournful eyes
Past shining new cities full of silent towers
And roads as straight as surveyors allow.

And he said to his weary horse, one day all this will end,
The checker-box lanes and the closely cropped grasses
One day we will find the edge of the wild and be free.
So he turned his hopeful head at many dusky maidens
And stopped to drink at lonesome country bars
He pitched his little tent in model straight-edged forests
To listen to his wild and rambling dreams.

But the storms and sunny days were all so well predicted
And every turning of the road ahead
Was laid down on the map with such cool precision
And all the vacant faces were well fed.

And he said to his weary horse, one day all this will end,
The checker-box lanes and the closely cropped grasses
One day we will find the edge of the wild and be free.

And when at last he met the stormy ocean
His broken heart still full of ancient dreams
He took his last sad steps towards the crimson sunset
And the black waves of the ocean wept with him.

And he said to his weary horse, one day all this will end,
The checker-box lanes and the closely cropped grasses
One day we will find the edge of the wild and be free.

Published in: on Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 at 4:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Waterlilies

I perched alone on a windswept and sea-battered cliff,
The day was dark;
The black and salty sea rose and broke on the rock,
It smelled so fresh./
Behind me the storm, ahead was the sea,
Its bolts were bright and swiftly they lit up the world,
A painful flash.

I sat on a moonbeam on top of the world’s highest peak,
The air was thin;
The world was encased in a glass and put far away,
I could see far.
Stars shone above, snow shone below,
The frozen night blew up in a million beautiful shards;
All not quite alike.

I Lightly stepped on three water lilies on the lake,
I walked, so light;
Not quite like walking on water, but who wants to be a saint?
Not I, no sir.
Just give thanks, says I, to the bright sun in the sky —
Whose sparkling light can dance on water better’n a holy man;
And look better too.

Published in: on Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 at 4:47 am  Leave a Comment