Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I CRY
Tupac Shakur 1971-96

Sometimes when I'm alone
I Cry,
Cause I am on my own.
The tears I cry are bitter and warm.
They flow with life but take no form.
I Cry because my heart is torn.
I find it difficult to carry on.

If I had an ear to confiding,
I would cry among my treasured friends,
but who do you know that stops that long
to help another carry on.


The world moves fast and it would rather pass by.
Then to stop and see what makes one cry,
so painful and sad.
And sometimes -
I Cry
and no one cares about why.

-o=0=o-

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806-61

What was he doing, the great god Pan,
       Down in the reeds by the river?
Spreading ruin and scattering ban*,
Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,
And breaking the golden lilies afloat
       With the dragon-fly on the river.

He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,
       From the deep cool bed of the river:
The limpid water turbidly ran,
And the broken lilies a-dying lay,
And the dragon-fly had fled away,
       Ere he brought it out of the river.

High on the shore sat the great god Pan
       While turbidly flowed the river;
And hacked and hewed as a great god can,
With his hard bleak steel at the patient reed,
Till there was not a sign of the leaf indeed
       To prove it fresh from the river.

He cut it short, did the great god Pan,
       (How tall it stood in the river!)
Then drew the pith, like the heart of a man,
Steadily from the outside ring,
And notched the poor dry empty thing
       In holes, as he sat by the river.

"This is the way," laughed the great god Pan
       (Laughed while he sat by the river),
"The only way, since gods began
To make sweet music, they could succeed."
Then, dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed,
       He blew in power by the river.

Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan!
       Piercing sweet by the river!
Blinding sweet, O great god Pan!
The sun on the hill forgot to die,
And the lilies revived, and the dragon-fly
       Came back to dream on the river.

Yet half a beast is the great god Pan,
       To laugh as he sits by the river,
Making a poet out of a man:
The true gods sigh for the cost and pain, -
For the reed which grows nevermore again
       As a reed with the reeds in the river.

*ban - an archaic word meaning a curse
-o=0=o-




Monday, August 29, 2016

THE LAST ROSE OF SUMMER
Thomas Moore 1779-1852

'Tis the last rose of summer left blooming alone,
All her lovely companions are faded and gone,
No flower of her kindred, no rosebud is nigh
To reflect back her blushes and give sigh for sigh.

I'll not leave thee, thou lone one, to pine on the stem
Since the lovely are sleeping, go sleep thou with them,
Thus kindly I scatter thy leaves o'er the bed
Where thy mates of the garden lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow when friendships decay
And from love's shining circle the gems drop away,
When true hearts lie withered and fond ones are flown,
Oh, who would inhabit this bleak world alone.

JOHN'S SCRAPBLOG
This and that (especially things of the past) from a nonagenarian
returns on Friday 2nd September.

-o=0=o-

Sunday, August 28, 2016

THE HAIKU PAGE

on the clothes line
feathers fluffed up in the wind
a line of sparrows

in the gutter
a bouquet of flowers
still in wrapping paper

letting the cat out
we welcome a visitor -
a little robin

early morning mist
across the loch trees take shape
the promise of sun

at the refuse dump
an escort of seagulls
for the cleansing truck

JOHN'S SCRAPBLOG
which ran for 6 weeks last year has been given a make-over and returns on Friday 2nd September.

-o=0=o-

Saturday, August 27, 2016

These are the first 14 lines of an very long poem

THE DESERTED VILLAGE
Oliver Goldsmith 1730-74

Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain, 
Where health and plenty cheared the labouring swain, 
Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid, 
And parting summer's lingering blooms delayed, 
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease, 
Seats of my youth, when every sport could please, 
How often have I loitered o'er thy green, 
Where humble happiness endeared each scene! 
How often have I paused on every charm, 
The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm, 
The never-failing brook, the busy mill, 
The decent church that topped the neighbouring hill, 
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade, 
For talking age and whispering lovers made! 

JOHN'S SCRAPBLOG
which ran for 6 weeks last year has been given a make-over and returns on Friday 2nd September.

-o=0=o-

Friday, August 26, 2016

ABOU BEN ADHEM
James Henry Leigh Hunt 1784-1859

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold -  
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said
"What writest thou?" - The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still, and said "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men."
The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

-o=0=o-

Thursday, August 25, 2016

ONE ART
Elizabeth Bishop 1911-79

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three beloved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

— Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) a disaster.

-o=0=o-

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

IN FOUNTAIN COURT
Arthur Symons 1865-1945

The fountain murmuring of sleep,
A drowsy tune;
The flickering green of leaves that keep
The light of June;
Peace, through a slumbering afternoon,
The peace of June.
A waiting ghost, in the blue sky,
The white curved moon;
June, hushed and breathless, waits, and I
Wait too, with June;
Come, through the lingering afternoon,
Soon, love, come soon.

-o=0=o-

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

THE TAVERN
Edna St.Vincent Millay 1892-1950

I'll keep a little tavern
Below the high hill's crest,
Wherein all grey-eyed people
May set them down and rest.
There shall be plates a-plenty,
And mugs to melt the chill
Of all the grey-eyed people
Who happen up the hill.

There sound will sleep the traveller,
And dream his journey's end,
But I will rouse at midnight
The falling fire to tend.
Aye, 'tis a curious fancy -
But all the good I know
Was taught me out of two grey eyes
A long time ago.

-o=0=o-

Monday, August 22, 2016

MILD THE MIST UPON THE HILL
Emily Bronte 1818-48

Mild the mist upon the hill
Telling not of storms tomorrow;
No, the day has wept its fill,
Spent its store of silent sorrow.
O, I'm gone back to the days of youth,
I am a child once more,
And 'neath my father's sheltering roof
And near the old hall door
I watch this cloudy evening fall
After a day of rain;
Blue mists, sweet mists of summer pall
The horizon's mountain chain.
The damp stands on the long green grass
As thick as morning's tears,
And dreamy scents of fragrance pass
That breathe of other years.

-o=0=o-

Sunday, August 21, 2016

THE HAIKU PAGE

freed from his tack
the pony rolls on the grass
hoofs punching the air

early visitor
a slimy trail on the path
our dog checks it out

bitter cold dawn
four young deer on the golf course
synchronised leaping

evening shadows creep
over the pond - the ducks leave
one
by
one
by
one


self-assembly kit
proud of the finished bookcase
but what's this thing for?

-o=0=o-






-o0o-


Saturday, August 20, 2016

UP ON THE DOWNS
John Masefield 1878-1967

Up on the downs the red-eyed kestrels hover, 
Eyeing the grass.
The field-mouse flits like a shadow into cover 
As their shadows pass.

Men are burning the gorse on the down's shoulder; 
A drift of smoke
Glitters with fire and hangs, and the skies smoulder, 
And the lungs choke.

Once the tribe did thus on the downs, on these downs burning 
Men in the frame.
Crying to the gods of the downs till their brains were turning 
And the gods came.

And to-day on the downs, in the wind, the hawks, the grasses, 
In blood and air,
Something passes me and cries as it passes. 
On the chalk downland bare.

Now online
PAINTINGS - A PERSONAL CHOICE

-o=0=o-

Friday, August 19, 2016

THE PESSIMIST
B.J.King (dates not known)

Nothing to do but work,
Nothing to eat but food,
Nothing to wear but clothes
To keep one from going nude.

Nothing to breathe but air,
Quick as a flash 'tis gone;
Nowhere to fall but off,
Nowhere to stand but on.

Nothing to comb but hair,
Nowhere to sleep but in bed,
Nothing to weep but tears,
Nothing to bury but dead.

Nothing to sing but songs,
Ah, well, alas! alack!
Nowhere to go but out,
Nowhere to come but back.

Nothing to see but sights,
Nothing to quench but thirst,
Nothing to have but what we've got.
Thus through life we are cursed.

Nothing to strike but a gait;
Everything moved that goes.
Nothing at all but common sense
Can ever withstand these woes.

The new Blog PAINTINGS - A PERSONAL CHOICE began today
http://paintings-apersonalchoice.blogspot.com

-o=0=o-

Thursday, August 18, 2016

 SHE DWELT AMONG THE UNTRODDEN WAYS
William Wordsworth 1770-1850

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
- Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me! 

A new Art Blog PAINTINGS - A PERSONAL CHOICE begins tomorrow

-o=0=o-

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The following three verses have been taken from a much longer poem.

THE CRY OF THE CHILDREN
Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806-61

Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers, 
      Ere the sorrow comes with years ? 
They are leaning their young heads against their mothers, -
      And that cannot stop their tears. 
The young lambs are bleating in the meadows ; 
   The young birds are chirping in the nest ; 
The young fawns are playing with the shadows ; 
   The young flowers are blowing toward the west - 
But the young, young children, O my brothers, 
      They are weeping bitterly ! 
They are weeping in the playtime of the others, 
      In the country of the free. 

Do you question the young children in the sorrow, 
      Why their tears are falling so ? 
The old man may weep for his to-morrow 
      Which is lost in Long Ago  -
The old tree is leafless in the forest  - 
   The old year is ending in the frost  -
The old wound, if stricken, is the sorest  - 
   The old hope is hardest to be lost : 
But the young, young children, O my brothers, 
      Do you ask them why they stand 
Weeping sore before the bosoms of their mothers, 
      In our happy Fatherland ? 

They look up with their pale and sunken faces, 
      And their looks are sad to see, 
For the man's grief abhorrent, draws and presses 
      Down the cheeks of infancy  - 
"Your old earth," they say, "is very dreary;" 
   "Our young feet," they say, "are very weak !" 
Few paces have we taken, yet are weary -
   Our grave-rest is very far to seek ! 
Ask the old why they weep, and not the children, 
      For the outside earth is cold -
And we young ones stand without, in our bewildering, 
      And the graves are for the old !" 

A new Art Blog PAINTINGS - A PERSONAL CHOICE begins this week on Friday
http://paintings-apersonalchoice.blogspot.com

-o=0=o-

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

ALL THAT'S PAST
Walter de la Mare 1873-1958

Very old are the woods; 
And the buds that break 
Out of the brier's boughs, 
When March winds wake, 
So old with their beauty are - 
Oh, no man knows 
Through what wild centuries 
Roves back the rose.

Very old are the brooks; 
And the rills that rise 
Where snow sleeps cold beneath 
The azure skies 
Sing such a history 
Of come and gone, 
Their every drop is as wise 
As Solomon. 

Very old are we men; 
Our dreams are tales 
Told in dim Eden 
By Eve's nightingales; 
We wake and whisper awhile, 
But, the day gone by, 
Silence and sleep like fields 
Of amaranth lie. 

A new Art Blog PAINTINGS - A PERSONAL CHOICE begins this week on Friday
http://paintings-apersonalchoice.blogspot.com

-o=0=o-

Monday, August 15, 2016

SOMETHING ABOUT MR. HENDERSON
Anon

It was 2 am at the Blue Parrot Club,
I was tired - I was dead on my feet.
Then he walked in and gave me his coat
And my heart seemed to miss a beat.
I checked his hat - that was usually that,
Then he said "Can I walk home with you?"
Of course when a customer starts to get fresh
I usually know what to do.

But -
There was something about Mr. Henderson,
You know the feeling I guess,
I'm a girl who knows all of the answers,
But he made me feel like a princess.
Now a check girl gets plenty of chances
And I'd heard the old routine before.
There was something about Mr. Henderson
That I thought was worth waiting for.

We took a little apartment way up on the seventh floor.
We hadn't much money but I did my best
And I couldn't have asked for more.
We were happy alone up there on our own,
Just we two in our little flat.
I figured some day we'd get married
But we just didn't get round to that.

Still -
There was something about Mr. Henderson
Soon his career reached the heights
And he knew oh such elegant people
That we dared not be seen out at nights.
So I guess that I just didn't blame him
When he told me one day we were through.
There was something about Mr. Henderson,
If he said it was best - well, he knew.

Now, it's 2 am at the Blue Parrot Club
And I'm back where I started again,
But those years have made quite a difference
And I don't have much trouble with men.
This evening he came, he looked just the same,
And he smiled the same smile I had known.
There was nothing about him changed one little bit
Except that he wasn't alone.

And -
There was something about Mrs. Henderson
That seemed familiar to me,
I had somehow the feeling I knew her
Though she wasn't my sort I could see.
Then I glanced at us both in a mirror
And I realised why I felt so.
The was something about Mrs. Henderson,
She looked like me -  ten years ago.
Mr. Henderson, you were nice - to know.

-o=0=o-

Sunday, August 14, 2016

THE HAIKU PAGE

in the Japanese garden
just the whispering 
of running water

memory failing
and no one left to confirm
how things used to be

in grandpa's garden
held together by creepers
an old wooden hut

on the branch 
a gull cleaning its beak -
on the ground
a broken eggshell

now the gentle breeze
releases a tiny leaf
to the flowing stream

-o=0=o-

Saturday, August 13, 2016

SATURDAY WITH THOMAS HARDY

THE DARKLING THRUSH

I leant upon a coppice gate 
      When Frost was spectre-grey, 
And Winter's dregs made desolate 
      The weakening eye of day. 
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky 
      Like strings of broken lyres, 
And all mankind that haunted nigh 
      Had sought their household fires. 

The land's sharp features seemed to be 
      The Century's corpse outleant, 
His crypt the cloudy canopy, 
      The wind his death-lament. 
The ancient pulse of germ and birth 
      Was shrunken hard and dry, 
And every spirit upon earth 
      Seemed fervourless as I. 

At once a voice arose among 
      The bleak twigs overhead 
In a full-hearted evensong 
      Of joy illimited; 
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small, 
      In blast-beruffled plume, 
Had chosen thus to fling his soul 
      Upon the growing gloom. 

So little cause for carolings 
      Of such ecstatic sound 
Was written on terrestrial things 
      Afar or nigh around, 
That I could think there trembled through 
      His happy good-night air 
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew 
      And I was unaware. 

-o=0=o-

Friday, August 12, 2016

A BAY IN ANGLESEY
John Betjeman 1906-84

The sleepy sound of a tea-time tide
Slaps at the rocks the sun has dried,

Too lazy, almost, to sink and lift
Round low peninsulas pink with thrift.

The water, enlarging shells and sand,
Grows greener emerald out from land

And brown over shadowy shelves below
The waving forests of seaweed show.

Here at my feet in the short cliff grass
Are shells, dried bladderwrack, broken glass,

Pale blue squills and yellow rock roses.
The next low ridge that we climb discloses

One more field for the sheep to graze
While, scarcely seen on this hottest of days,

Far to the eastward, over there,
Snowdon rises in pearl-grey air.

Multiple lark-song, whispering bents,
The thymy, turfy and salty scents

And filling in, brimming in, sparkling and free
The sweet susurration of incoming sea. 

-o=0=o-

Thursday, August 11, 2016

WHEN FIRST I SAW YOUR FACE, LOVE
Dollie Radford 1858-1920

When first I saw your face, love,
I knew my search was done,
You passed my lonely place, love,
The light I sought was won,
When your steadfast eyes looked down on me,
And I arose to follow thee.
And something in your smile, love,
I knew to be a part
Of joy that for a while, love,
Had slumbered in my heart:
To what sweet music it awoke,
When first you turned to me and spoke! 

-o=0=o-

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN
Cole Porter 1891-1964

I've got you under my skin,
I've got you deep in the heart of me,
So deep in my heart that you're really a part of me,
I've got you under my skin.

I'd tried so not to give in,
I said to myself this affair never will go so well,
But why should I try to resist when baby I know so well 
I've got you under my skin.

I'd sacrifice anything come what might 
For the sake of having you near 
In spite of a warning voice that comes in the night 
And repeats, repeats in my ear,
Don't you know little fool
You never can win, 
Use your mentality, wake up to reality, 
But each time that I do just the thought of you 
Makes me stop before I begin ,
'Cause I've got you under my skin.

-o=0=o-

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A WHITE ROSE
John Boyle O'Reilly 1844-90

The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.

-o=0=o- 

Monday, August 8, 2016

WARNING
Jenny Joseph b.1932

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple. 

-o=0=o-

Sunday, August 7, 2016

THE HAIKU PAGE

the little girl
tries to escape her shadow
midday sunshine

to reach the suet
a crow on the bird feeder
does acrobatics

sudden downpour
the bouncy castle empties
and fills with puddles

at our store of nuts
for the birds, a tiny mouse
scurries away

in the newsagent's
the Daily Sport always racked
upside down

-o=0=o-

Saturday, August 6, 2016

SATURDAY WITH THOMAS HARDY

THE MAN WHO FORGOT

At a lonely cross where bye-roads met
I sat upon a gate;
I saw the sun decline and set,
And still was fain to wait.

A trotting boy passed up the way
And roused me from my thought;
I called to him, and showed where lay
A spot I shyly sought.

"A summer-house fair stands hidden where
You see the moonlight thrown;
Go, tell me if within it there
A lady sits alone."

He half demurred, but took the track,
And silence held the scene;
I saw his figure rambling back;
I asked him if he had been.

"I went just where you said, but found
No summer-house was there:
Beyond the slope 'tis all bare ground;
Nothing stands anywhere.

"A man asked what my brains were worth;
The house, he said, grew rotten,
And was pulled down before my birth,
And is almost forgotten!"

My right mind woke, and I stood dumb;
Forty years' frost and flower
Had fleeted since I'd used to come
To meet her in that bower.

-o=0=o-
No.12

Friday, August 5, 2016

TEWKESBURY ROAD
John Masefield 1878-1967

It is good to be out on the road, and going one knows not where,
Going through meadow and village, one knows not whither or why; 
Through the grey light drift of the dust, in the keen cool rush of the air,
Under the flying white clouds, and the broad blue lift of the sky.

And to halt at the chattering brook, in a tall green fern at the brink
Where the harebell grows, and the gorse, and the foxgloves purple and white; 
Where the shifty-eyed delicate deer troop down to the brook to drink
When the stars are mellow and large at the coming on of the night.

O, to feel the beat of the rain, and the homely smell of the earth,
Is a tune for the blood to jig to, and joy past power of words; 
And the blessed green comely meadows are all a-ripple with mirth
At the noise of the lambs at play and the dear wild cry of the birds.

-o=0=o-

Thursday, August 4, 2016

SHADOWS
Richard Monckton Milnes 1809-85

They seemed, to those who saw them meet,
The casual friends of every day;
Her smile was undisturbed and sweet,
His courtesy was free and gay.

But yet if one the other's name
In some unguarded moment heard,
The heart you thought so calm and tame
Would struggle like a captured bird:

And letters of mere formal phrase
Were blister'd with repeated tears,
And this was not the work of days,
But had gone on for years and years!

Alas, that love was not too strong
For maiden shame and manly pride!
Alas, that they delay'd so long
The goal of mutual bliss beside!

Yet what no chance could then reveal,
And neither would be first to own,
Let fate and courage now conceal,
When truth could bring remorse alone.

-o=0=o-

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

PERHAPS LOVE
John Denver 1943-97

Perhaps love is like a resting place,
A shelter from the storm;
It exists to give you comfort,
It is there to keep you warm.
And in those times of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home.
Perhaps love is like a window,
Perhaps an open door;
It invites you to come closer,
It wants to show you more.
And even if you lose yourself
And don't know what to do,
The memory of love will see you through.

Oh, love to some is like a cloud,
To some as strong as steel,
For some a way of living,
For some a way to feel;
And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go,
And some say love is everything
And some say they don't know.

Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of pain,
Like a fire when it's cold outside
Or thunder when it rains.
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true,
My memories of love will be of you.

-o=0=o-

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

THE MARKET GIRL  
Thomas Hardy 1840-1928

Nobody took any notice of her as she stood on the causey kerb*,
All eager to sell her honey and apples and bunches of garden herb;
And if she had offered to give her wares and herself with them too that day,
I doubt if a soul would have cared to take a bargain so choice away.

But chancing to trace her sunburnt grace that morning as I passed nigh,
I went and I said "Poor maidy dear! - and will none of the people buy?"
And so it began; and soon we knew what the end of it all must be,
And I found that, though no others had bid, a prize had been won by me.

*causey - a paved pathway

-o=0=o-

Monday, August 1, 2016

HUSH, LITTLE BABY, DON'T SAY A WORD
Mother Goose

Hush little baby, don't say a word, 
Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird. 

And if that mockingbird won't sing, 
Papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring. 

And if that diamond ring turns to brass, 
Papa's gonna buy you a looking glass. 

And if that looking glass gets broke, 
Papa's gonna buy you a billy goat. 

And if that billy goat won't pull, 
Papa's gonna buy you a cart and bull. 

And if that cart and bull turn over, 
Papa's gonna buy you a dog named Rover. 

And if that dog named Rover won't bark, 
Papa's gonna buy you a horse and cart. 

And if that horse and cart fall down, 
You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town!

-o=0=o-