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Well, all these stars have their houses swept quite regularly by people who work in the surveillance security business. They come in and they look for bugs and things.

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The Emigrants: Book II

Scene, on an Eminence on one of those Downs, which afford to the South a view of the Sea; to the North of the Weald of Sussex. Time, an Afternoon in April, 1793.

Long wintry months are past; the Moon that now
Lights her pale crescent even at noon, has made
Four times her revolution; since with step,
Mournful and slow, along the wave-worn cliff,
Pensive I took my solitary way,
Lost in despondence, while contemplating
Not my own wayward destiny alone,
(Hard as it is, and difficult to bear!)
But in beholding the unhappy lot
Of the lorn Exiles; who, amid the storms
Of wild disastrous Anarchy, are thrown,
Like shipwreck'd sufferers, on England's coast,
To see, perhaps, no more their native land,
Where Desolation riots: They, like me,
From fairer hopes and happier prospects driven,
Shrink from the future, and regret the past.
But on this Upland scene, while April comes,
With fragrant airs, to fan my throbbing breast,
Fain would I snatch an interval from Care,
That weighs my wearied spirit down to earth;
Courting, once more, the influence of Hope
(For "Hope" still waits upon the flowery prime)
As here I mark Spring's humid hand unfold
The early leaves that fear capricious winds,
While, even on shelter'd banks, the timid flowers
Give, half reluctantly, their warmer hues
To mingle with the primroses' pale stars.
No shade the leafless copses yet afford,
Nor hide the mossy labours of the Thrush,
That, startled, darts across the narrow path;
But quickly re-assur'd, resumes his talk,
Or adds his louder notes to those that rise
From yonder tufted brake; where the white buds
Of the first thorn are mingled with the leaves
Of that which blossoms on the brow of May.
Ah! 'twill not be:---- So many years have pass'd,
Since, on my native hills, I learn'd to gaze
On these delightful landscapes; and those years
Have taught me so much sorrow, that my soul
Feels not the joy reviving Nature brings;
But, in dark retrospect, dejected dwells
On human follies, and on human woes.----
What is the promise of the infant year,
The lively verdure, or the bursting blooms,
To those, who shrink from horrors such as War
Spreads o'er the affrighted world? With swimming eye,
Back on the past they throw their mournful looks,
And see the Temple, which they fondly hop'd
Reason would raise to Liberty, destroy'd
By ruffian hands; while, on the ruin'd mass,
Flush'd with hot blood, the Fiend of Discord sits
In savage triumph; mocking every plea
Of policy and justice, as she shews
The headless corse of one, whose only crime
Was being born a Monarch--Mercy turns,
From spectacle so dire, her swol'n eyes;
And Liberty, with calm, unruffled brow
Magnanimous, as conscious of her strength
In Reason's panoply, scorns to distain
Her righteous cause with carnage, and resigns
To Fraud and Anarchy the infuriate crowd.----
What is the promise of the infant year
To those, who (while the poor but peaceful hind
Pens, unmolested, the encreasing flock
Of his rich master in this sea-fenc'd isle)
Survey, in neighbouring countries, scenes that make
The sick heart shudder; and the Man, who thinks,
Blush for his species? There the trumpet's voice
Drowns the soft warbling of the woodland choir;
And violets, lurking in their turfy beds
Beneath the flow'ring thorn, are stain'd with blood.
There fall, at once, the spoiler and the spoil'd;
While War, wide-ravaging, annihilates
The hope of cultivation; gives to Fiends,
The meagre, ghastly Fiends of Want and Woe,
The blasted land--There, taunting in the van
Of vengeance-breathing armies, Insult stalks;
And, in the ranks, "1 Famine, and Sword, and Fire,
"Crouch for employment."--Lo! the suffering world,
Torn by the fearful conflict, shrinks, amaz'd,
From Freedom's name, usurp'd and misapplied,
And, cow'ring to the purple Tyrant's rod,
Deems that the lesser ill--Deluded Men!
Ere ye prophane her ever-glorious name,
Or catalogue the thousands that have bled
Resisting her; or those, who greatly died
Martyrs to Liberty --revert awhile
To the black scroll, that tells of regal crimes
Committed to destroy her; rather count
The hecatombs of victims, who have fallen
Beneath a single despot; or who gave
Their wasted lives for some disputed claim
Between anointed robbers: 2 Monsters both!
"3 Oh! Polish'd perturbation--golden care!"
So strangely coveted by feeble Man
To lift him o'er his fellows;--Toy, for which
Such showers of blood have drench'd th' affrighted earth--
Unfortunate his lot, whose luckless head
Thy jewel'd circlet, lin'd with thorns, has bound;
And who, by custom's laws, obtains from thee
Hereditary right to rule, uncheck'd,
Submissive myriads: for untemper'd power,
Like steel ill form'd, injures the hand
It promis'd to protect--Unhappy France!
If e'er thy lilies, trampled now in dust,
And blood-bespotted, shall again revive
In silver splendour, may the wreath be wov'n
By voluntary hands; and Freemen, such
As England's self might boast, unite to place
The guarded diadem on his fair brow,
Where Loyalty may join with Liberty
To fix it firmly.--In the rugged school
Of stern Adversity so early train'd,
His future life, perchance, may emulate
That of the brave Bernois 4 , so justly call'd
The darling of his people; who rever'd
The Warrior less, than they ador'd the Man!
But ne'er may Party Rage, perverse and blind,
And base Venality, prevail to raise
To public trust, a wretch, whose private vice
Makes even the wildest profligate recoil;
And who, with hireling ruffians leagu'd, has burst
The laws of Nature and Humanity!
Wading, beneath the Patriot's specious mask,
And in Equality's illusive name,
To empire thro' a stream of kindred blood--
Innocent prisoner!--most unhappy heir
Of fatal greatness, who art suffering now
For all the crimes and follies of thy race;
Better for thee, if o'er thy baby brow
The regal mischief never had been held:
Then, in an humble sphere, perhaps content,
Thou hadst been free and joyous on the heights
Of Pyrennean mountains, shagg'd with woods
Of chesnut, pine, and oak: as on these hills
Is yonder little thoughtless shepherd lad,
Who, on the slope abrupt of downy turf
Reclin'd in playful indolence, sends off
The chalky ball, quick bounding far below;
While, half forgetful of his simple task,
Hardly his length'ning shadow, or the bells'
Slow tinkling of his flock, that supping tend
To the brown fallows in the vale beneath,
Where nightly it is folded, from his sport
Recal the happy idler.--While I gaze
On his gay vacant countenance, my thoughts
Compare with his obscure, laborious lot,
Thine, most unfortunate, imperial Boy!
Who round thy sullen prison daily hear'st
The savage howl of Murder, as it seeks
Thy unoffending life: while sad within
Thy wretched Mother, petrified with grief,
Views thee with stony eyes, and cannot weep!--
Ah! much I mourn thy sorrows, hapless Queen!
And deem thy expiation made to Heaven
For every fault, to which Prosperity
Betray'd thee, when it plac'd thee on a throne
Where boundless power was thine, and thou wert rais'd
High (as it seem'd) above the envious reach
Of destiny! Whate'er thy errors were,
Be they no more remember'd; tho' the rage
Of Party swell'd them to such crimes, as bade
Compassion stifle every sigh that rose
For thy disastrous lot--More than enough
Thou hast endur'd; and every English heart,
Ev'n those, that highest beat in Freedom's cause,
Disclaim as base, and of that cause unworthy,
The Vengeance, or the Fear, that makes thee still
A miserable prisoner!--Ah! who knows,
From sad experience, more than I, to feel
For thy desponding spirit, as it sinks
Beneath procrastinated fears for those
More dear to thee than life! But eminence
Of misery is thine, as once of joy;
And, as we view the strange vicissitude,
We ask anew, where happiness is found?------
Alas! in rural life, where youthful dreams
See the Arcadia that Romance describes,
Not even Content resides!--In yon low hut
Of clay and thatch, where rises the grey smoke
Of smold'ring turf, cut from the adjoining moor,
The labourer, its inhabitant, who toils
From the first dawn of twilight, till the Sun
Sinks in the rosy waters of the West,
Finds that with poverty it cannot dwell;
For bread, and scanty bread, is all he earns
For him and for his household--Should Disease,
Born of chill wintry rains, arrest his arm,
Then, thro' his patch'd and straw-stuff'd casement, peeps
The squalid figure of extremest Want;
And from the Parish the reluctant dole,
Dealt by th' unfeeling farmer, hardly saves
The ling'ring spark of life from cold extinction:
Then the bright Sun of Spring, that smiling bids
All other animals rejoice, beholds,
Crept from his pallet, the emaciate wretch
Attempt, with feeble effort, to resume
Some heavy task, above his wasted strength,
Turning his wistful looks (how much in vain!)
To the deserted mansion, where no more
The owner (gone to gayer scenes) resides,
Who made even luxury, Virtue; while he gave
The scatter'd crumbs to honest Poverty.--
But, tho' the landscape be too oft deform'd
By figures such as these, yet Peace is here,
And o'er our vallies, cloath'd with springing corn,
No hostile hoof shall trample, nor fierce flames
Wither the wood's young verdure, ere it form
Gradual the laughing May's luxuriant shade;
For, by the rude sea guarded, we are safe,
And feel not evils such as with deep sighs
The Emigrants deplore, as, they recal
The Summer past, when Nature seem'd to lose
Her course in wild distemperature, and aid,
With seasons all revers'd, destructive War.
Shuddering, I view the pictures they have drawn
Of desolated countries, where the ground,
Stripp'd of its unripe produce, was thick strewn
With various Death--the war-horse falling there
By famine, and his rider by the sword.
The moping clouds sail'd heavy charg'd with rain,
And bursting o'er the mountains misty brow,
Deluged, as with an inland sea, the vales 5 ;
Where, thro' the sullen evening's lurid gloom,
Rising, like columns of volcanic fire,
The flames of burning villages illum'd
The waste of water; and the wind, that howl'd
Along its troubled surface, brought the groans
Of plunder'd peasants, and the frantic shrieks
Of mothers for their children; while the brave,
To pity still alive, listen'd aghast
To these dire echoes, hopeless to prevent
The evils they beheld, or check the rage,
Which ever, as the people of one land
Meet in contention, fires the human heart
With savage thirst of kindred blood, and makes
Man lose his nature; rendering him more fierce
Than the gaunt monsters of the howling waste.
Oft have I heard the melancholy tale,
Which, all their native gaiety forgot,
These Exiles tell--How Hope impell'd them on,
Reckless of tempest, hunger, or the sword,
Till order'd to retreat, they knew not why,
From all their flattering prospects, they became
The prey of dark suspicion and regret 6 :
Then, in despondence, sunk the unnerv'd arm
Of gallant Loyalty--At every turn
Shame and disgrace appear'd, and seem'd to mock
Their scatter'd squadrons; which the warlike youth,
Unable to endure, often implor'd,
As the last act of friendship, from the hand
Of some brave comrade, to receive the blow
That freed the indignant spirit from its pain.
To a wild mountain, whose bare summit hides
Its broken eminence in clouds; whose steeps
Are dark with woods; where the receding rocks
Are worn by torrents of dissolving snow,
A wretched Woman, pale and breathless, flies!
And, gazing round her, listens to the sound
Of hostile footsteps---- No! it dies away:
Nor noise remains, but of the cataract,
Or surly breeze of night, that mutters low
Among the thickets, where she trembling seeks
A temporary shelter--clasping close
To her hard-heaving heart, her sleeping child,
All she could rescue of the innocent groupe
That yesterday surrounded her--Escap'd
Almost by miracle! Fear, frantic Fear,
Wing'd her weak feet: yet, half repentant now
Her headlong haste, she wishes she had staid
To die with those affrighted Fancy paints
The lawless soldier's victims--Hark! again
The driving tempest bears the cry of Death,
And, with deep sudden thunder, the dread sound
Of cannon vibrates on the tremulous earth;
While, bursting in the air, the murderous bomb
Glares o'er her mansion. Where the splinters fall,
Like scatter'd comets, its destructive path
Is mark'd by wreaths of flame!--Then, overwhelm'd
Beneath accumulated horror, sinks
The desolate mourner; yet, in Death itself,
True to maternal tenderness, she tries
To save the unconscious infant from the storm
In which she perishes; and to protect
This last dear object of her ruin'd hopes
From prowling monsters, that from other hills,
More inaccessible, and wilder wastes,
Lur'd by the scent of slaughter, follow fierce
Contending hosts, and to polluted fields
Add dire increase of horrors--But alas!
The Mother and the Infant perish both!--
The feudal Chief, whose Gothic battlements
Frown on the plain beneath, returning home
From distant lands, alone and in disguise,
Gains at the fall of night his Castle walls,
But, at the vacant gate, no Porter sits
To wait his Lord's admittance!--In the courts
All is drear silence!--Guessing but too well
The fatal truth, he shudders as he goes
Thro' the mute hall; where, by the blunted light
That the dim moon thro' painted casements lends,
He sees that devastation has been there:
Then, while each hideous image to his mind
Rises terrific, o'er a bleeding corse
Stumbling he falls; another interrupts
His staggering feet--all, all who us'd to rush
With joy to meet him--all his family
Lie murder'd in his way!--And the day dawns
On a wild raving Maniac, whom a fate
So sudden and calamitous has robb'd
Of reason; and who round his vacant walls
Screams unregarded, and reproaches Heaven!--
Such are thy dreadful trophies, savage War!
And evils such as these, or yet more dire,
Which the pain'd mind recoils from, all are thine--
The purple Pestilence, that to the grave
Sends whom the sword has spar'd, is thine; and thine
The Widow's anguish and the Orphan's tears!--
Woes such as these does Man inflict on Man;
And by the closet murderers, whom we style
Wise Politicians; are the schemes prepar'd,
Which, to keep Europe's wavering balance even,
Depopulate her kingdoms, and consign
To tears and anguish half a bleeding world!--
Oh! could the time return, when thoughts like these
Spoil'd not that gay delight, which vernal Suns,
Illuminating hills, and woods, and fields,
Gave to my infant spirits--Memory come!
And from distracting cares, that now deprive
Such scenes of all their beauty, kindly bear
My fancy to those hours of simple joy,
When, on the banks of Arun, which I see
Make its irriguous course thro' yonder meads,
I play'd; unconscious then of future ill!
There (where, from hollows fring'd with yellow broom,
The birch with silver rind, and fairy leaf,
Aslant the low stream trembles) I have stood,
And meditated how to venture best
Into the shallow current, to procure
The willow herb of glowing purple spikes,
Or flags, whose sword-like leaves conceal'd the tide,
Startling the timid reed-bird from her nest,
As with aquatic flowers I wove the wreath,
Such as, collected by the shepherd girls,
Deck in the villages the turfy shrine,
And mark the arrival of propitious May.--
How little dream'd I then the time would come,
When the bright Sun of that delicious month
Should, from disturb'd and artificial sleep,
Awaken me to never-ending toil,
To terror and to tears!--Attempting still,
With feeble hands and cold desponding heart,
To save my children from the o'erwhelming wrongs,
That have for ten long years been heap'd on me!--
The fearful spectres of chicane and fraud
Have, Proteus like, still chang'd their hideous forms
(As the Law lent its plausible disguise),
Pursuing my faint steps; and I have seen
Friendship's sweet bonds (which were so early form'd,)
And once I fondly thought of amaranth
Inwove with silver seven times tried) give way,
And fail; as these green fan-like leaves of fern
Will wither at the touch of Autumn's frost.
Yet there are those , whose patient pity still
Hears my long murmurs; who, unwearied, try
With lenient hands to bind up every wound
My wearied spirit feels, and bid me go
"Right onward 7 "--a calm votary of the Nymph,
Who, from her adamantine rock, points out
To conscious rectitude the rugged path,
That leads at length to Peace!--Ah! yes, my friends
Peace will at last be mine; for in the Grave
Is Peace--and pass a few short years, perchance
A few short months, and all the various pain
I now endure shall be forgotten there,
And no memorial shall remain of me,
Save in your bosoms; while even your regret
Shall lose its poignancy, as ye reflect
What complicated woes that grave conceals!
But, if the little praise, that may await
The Mother's efforts, should provoke the spleen
Of Priest or Levite; and they then arraign
The dust that cannot hear them; be it yours
To vindicate my humble fame; to say,
That, not in selfish sufferings absorb'd,
"I gave to misery all I had, my tears 8 ."
And if, where regulated sanctity
Pours her long orisons to Heaven, my voice
Was seldom heard, that yet my prayer was made
To him who hears even silence; not in domes
Of human architecture, fill'd with crowds,
But on these hills, where boundless, yet distinct,
Even as a map, beneath are spread the fields
His bounty cloaths; divided here by woods,
And there by commons rude, or winding brooks,
While I might breathe the air perfum'd with flowers,
Or the fresh odours of the mountain turf;
And gaze on clouds above me, as they sail'd
Majestic: or remark the reddening north,
When bickering arrows of electric fire
Flash on the evening sky--I made my prayer
In unison with murmuring waves that now
Swell with dark tempests, now are mild and blue,
As the bright arch above; for all to me
Declare omniscient goodness; nor need I
Declamatory essays to incite
My wonder or my praise, when every leaf
That Spring unfolds, and every simple bud,
More forcibly impresses on my heart
His power and wisdom--Ah! while I adore
That goodness, which design'd to all that lives
Some taste of happiness, my soul is pain'd
By the variety of woes that Man
For Man creates--his blessings often turn'd
To plagues and curses: Saint-like Piety,
Misled by Superstition, has destroy'd
More than Ambition; and the sacred flame
Of Liberty becomes a raging fire,
When Licence and Confusion bid it blaze.
From thy high throne, above yon radiant stars,
O Power Omnipotent! with mercy view
This suffering globe, and cause thy creatures cease,
With savage fangs, to tear her bleeding breast:
Refrain that rage for power, that bids a Man,
Himself a worm, desire unbounded rule
O'er beings like himself: Teach the hard hearts
Of rulers, that the poorest hind, who dies
For their unrighteous quarrels, in thy sight
Is equal to the imperious Lord, that leads
His disciplin'd destroyers to the field.----
May lovely Freedom, in her genuine charms,
Aided by stern but equal Justice, drive
From the ensanguin'd earth the hell-born fiends
Of Pride, Oppression, Avarice, and Revenge,
That ruin what thy mercy made so fair!
Then shall these ill-starr'd wanderers, whose sad fate
These desultory lines lament, regain
Their native country; private vengeance then
To public virtue yield; and the fierce feuds,
That long have torn their desolated land,
May (even as storms, that agitate the air,
Drive noxious vapours from the blighted earth)
Serve, all tremendous as they are, to fix
The reign of Reason, Liberty, and Peace!

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Ch 01 Manner Of Kings Story 16

One of my friends complained of the unpropitious times, telling me that he had a slender income, a large family, without strength to bear the load of poverty and had often entertained the idea to emigrate to another country so that no matter how he made a living no one might become aware of his good or ill luck.

Many a man slept hungry and no one knew who he was.
Many a man was at the point of death and no one wept for him.

He was also apprehensive of the malevolence of enemies who would laugh behind his back and would attribute the struggle he underwent for the benefit of his family to his want of manly independence and that they will say:

"Behold that dishonourable fellow who will never
See the face of prosperity,
Will choose bodily comfort for himself,
Abandoning his wife and children to misery."

He also told me that as I knew he possessed some knowledge of arithmetic, I might, through my influence, get him appointed to a post which would become the means of putting his mind at ease and place him under obligations to me, which he could not requite by gratitude during the rest of his life. I replied: "Dear friend! Employment by a padshah consists of two parts, namely, the hope for bread and the danger of life, but it is against the opinion of intelligent men to incur this danger for that hope."

No one comes to the house of a dervish
To levy a tax on land and garden.
Either consent to bear thy anxiety or grief
Or carry thy beloved children to the crows.

He replied: "Thou hast not uttered these words in conformity with my case nor answered my question. Hast thou not heard the saying? 'Whoever commits treachery let his hand tremble at the account'."

Straightness is the means of acceptance with God.
I saw no one lost on the straight road.

Sages have said: "Four persons are for life in dread of four persons: a robber of the sultan, a thief of the watchman, an adulterer of an informer, and a harlot of the muhtasib. But what has he to fear whose account of the conscience is clear?"

Be not extravagant when in office, if thou desirest
On thy removal to see thy foes embarrassed for imputations against thee.
Be thou pure, O brother, and in fear of no one.
Washermen beat only impure garments against stones.

I said: "The story of that fox resembles thy case, who was by some persons seen fleeing with much trouble and asked for the cause of his fear replied: I have heard that camels are being forced into the service." They said: "O fool, what connection hast thou with a camel and what resemblance does the latter bear to thee?" The fox rejoined: "Hush. If the envious malevolently say that I am a camel and I am caught, who will care to release me or investigate my case? Till the antidote is brought from Eraq the snake-bitten person dies." Thou art a very excellent and honest man but enemies sit in ambush and competitors in every corner. If they describe thy character in a contrary manner, thou wouldst be called upon to give explanations to the padshah and incur reproof. Who would on that occasion venture to say anything? Accordingly I am of opinion that thou shouldst retire to the domain of contentment and abandon aspirations to dominion. Wise men have said:

"In the sea there are countless gains,
But if thou desirest safety, it will be on the shore."

My friend, having heard these words, became angry, made a wry face and began to reproach me, saying: "What sufficiency of wisdom and maturity of intellect is this? The saying of philosophers has come true, that friends are useful in prison because at table all enemies appear as friends."’

Account him not a friend who knocks at the door of prosperity,
Boasts of amity and calls himself thy adopted brother.
I consider him a friend who takes a friend’s hand
When he is in a distressed state and in poverty.

Seeing that he had thus changed and ascribed my advice to an interested motive, I paid a visit to the President of the State Council and, trusting in my old acquaintance with him, explained the case of my friend whom he then appointed to a small post. In a short time my friend’s affable behaviour and good management elicited approbation so that he was promoted to a higher office. In this manner the star of his good luck ascended till he reached the zenith of his aspirations, became a courtier of his majesty the sultan, generally esteemed and trusted. I was delighted with his safe position and said:

"Be not apprehensive of tangled affairs and keep not a broken heart
Because the spring of life is in darkness."
Do not grieve, O brother in misery,
Because the Ill-merciful has hidden favours.
Sit not morose on account of the turns of time; for patience,
Although bitter, nevertheless possesses a sweet fruit.

At that time I happened to go with a company of friends on a journey to Mekkah and on my return he met me at a distance of two stages. I perceived his outward appearance to be distressed, his costume being that of dervishes. I asked: "What is the matter?" He replied: "As thou hast predicted, some persons envied me and brought against me an accusation of treason. The king ordered no inquiry on its truthfulness and my old well-wishers with my kind friends who failed to speak the word of truth forgot our old intimacy."

"Seest thou not in front of the possessor of dignity
They place the hands on their heads, praising him;
But, if fortune’s turn causes his fall,
All desire to Place their foot on his head."

"In short, I was till this week undergoing various persecutions, when the news of the pilgrims' approach from Mekkah arrived, whereon I was released from my heavy bonds and my hereditary property confiscated." I replied: "Thou hast not paid attention to my remarks when I said that the service of padshahs is like a sea voyage, profitable and dangerous, so that thou wilt either gain a treasure or perish in the waves."

The khajah either takes gold with both hands to the shore
Or the waves throw him one day dead upon the shore.

Not thinking it suitable to scratch the wound of the dervish more than I had already done and so sprinkle salt thereon, I contented myself with reciting the following two distichs:

Knewest thou not that thou wilt see thy feet in bonds
If the advice of people cannot penetrate into thy ear?
Again, if thou canst not bear the pain of the sting
Put not thy finger into the hole of a scorpion.

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Patrick White

You Don't Come

You don't come. Your absence is a guillotine. My heart
plummets from the altitude it risked in looking forward
to a day with you outside of time and circumstance, jumps
from the edge of paradise, the flat earth, the back
of a winged horse. You don't come and such
is the nature of love
I go out of the plane not knowing
if I've got a parachute on and my heart
pulls the rip cord to see if there's any salvation in the fall,
any flowers for me in the bag, morning glory
or dandelion seed, or this is just another
mode of acceleration to death. You don't come
and my heart candles without a reserve,
I haven't packed a spare dawn
and though I will make every effort to understand
there's a grave waiting down below like an open mouth
and the void is laughing at the persistent folly
of my believing you would come,
and my fear of not being worthy of love anymore
sends my mendicant self-image out
wandering over thirteenth century Europe like some flagellant
on a pilgrimage of flogging, ribbons of blood running down my back
from salted wounds, and though I know
the expectation and the disappointment are both delusions,
birdshit on the claws of a sphinx, and I will try to be
intelligent and wise about the whole thing,
tugging my heart out like a garbage-scow into deep space
where it will be laced with explosives and scuttled once again,
and I will be awarded another paradoxical brownie-badge
by another scout-master Tibetan rinpoche
for knowing how to survive alone in this empty wilderness,
a tiger of will, a Viking of resolve,
an aging clown without children or laughter, a jester-king
officiating from the throneless butt of his own joke,
a poet with nothing to praise, a painter
with cataracts in the eye and flowers in the sky, I
know there is nothing I can tell myself, no spiritual weed
I can poultice over the vacancy that goes on forever
to draw out the infection from my heart, the gangrene
from the broken pillar of the foolish temple I erected
to serve the goddess in any of her lunar phases,
and though I struggle like a diminished thing to accept my dejection,
to imbibe the toxins from the left tit of the Medusa
while trying not to turn into stone, while trying
not to avert my eyes from this crone-form of the moon, let
Kali drink my blood, in the name of insight, clarity and courage,
good wolf, I know this, too, is delusion, another
projected holograph from the third eye of the pineal gland,
and kick the chair from under
the useless fruit of my head in a noose. Back to earth
without a heat shield. Impact. You don't come
and your absence is filling up with people I like as far as I know
but don't want to see, people who walk into
the sad forests of my solitudinous melancholy with chain-saws
for conversation, stupid lost bored people who just can't help it,
looking for cigarettes and companionship in the life-boat,
the leper-colony, stars on the Titanic, and I am compelled up
from the depths of my cosmic despair like a white whale in a holding pen
to jump for the tourists, make a big splash, make
anything happen to amuse them, and I try, I honestly try, regretting
even the shabby sincerity of my own incapacitated efforts to love them
by pulling something out of the guts
of my own anonymous dismemberment, a hand or an eye or a smile,
and it all feels like the work of a tired ox grinding social corn
on the zodiacal millstone of its own heart
but everyone leaves like a gray day anyway, the sun eclipsed
and I am returned to myself like polluted water
running like a desert flashflood through the dry creekbed
of your undeniable absence. You don't come. You have forgotten me
as you said you wouldn't and all the promises
of intimacy and vivid affection
are unleashed like a plague of locusts on the moon
to devour the open-faced swordless clocks of the flowers
I planted there for you to know eternity in the hour.
I am eaten alive by a million mouths
and even yesterday's demons banished from the feast
are called back from lean exile
to this jubilant feeding-frenzy that consumes without mercy.
You don't come. And I don't blame you. I understand
the flux of time and circumstance, I understand
how a man goes to bed at night thinking
he'll be drinking wine in the morning
and winds up being offered vinegar on a cross,
I understand that there are events that appear like sharks
in this water droplet of a world, that there are crossroads
that baffle the journey with traffic cops
and starless unknowns, with roadkill and dangerous vagrants,
that there are off road shortcuts across the far fields
that seem to take forever to return us to where we began. Alive
fifty-four years, I understand what it is to walk this road of ghosts, a refugee,
carrying your own body to a shower in a concentration camp,
to mistake the apocalypse of a nuclear explosion
for the advent of dawn, to mistake the knot in a river of wood
for a ship on the horizon, an island in the stream. Castaway again
on the cold rocks of some extraterrestrial shore
to follow my own footprints back to me, every life form on the planet,
including myself, a fossil of nirvanic spontaneity,
some indecipherable glyph broken off
the loaf of some lost continent like a crumb of stale bread, a bone-fragment,
a dead civilization, to feed the curiosity of time-travellers
who fix like junkies on the mystery of their passage
through empty alien rooms, though I burn like a library of reasons,
and mock my own scholarship, mustering arguments against myself
to excuse your absence and justify another fleet of coffins
sailing to the rescue, I do understand. You do not come. This negligence
is unintentional. You are young, free, a gust of wind and a leaf
that flares up in a back-alley throwing gold-dust in your eyes,
fire-fly north that can't be constellated, a dolphin off the bough,
and I am no fisherman with a net, no obvious lures,
who's trying to draw you up on deck out of your element,
but a captain going down with the ship, his hands at the wheel out of habit.
You have not come and I am a thousand years older and more correct
than I was on this delirious bird-mad morning,
lyrically awaiting you, than I am now looking upon all these sad eggs
smashed like a junkyard of embryo suns and broken crowns
at the foot of a nest in the bent axle of the cosmic tree
where I hang like the pagan god, Wodin, a sacrifice unto myself,
one pathos to another, inaudibly whispering last words
into the ineffable silence of a non-existent ear.
You have not come and all your reasons are valid. Brutally,
I understand the firewalk of this excruciation on crutches,
limping over hot coals to transcend myself for clarity's sake,
for poetry's sake, your sake, my sake, love's sake, the seeing's sake,
I have worn out the road and the bridges of my feet
with my walking across the rivers of hell to understand:
I am aging and the ignorant insane children of this black spring,
brought up on logos and T.V. only come to look through
the rubble of Tintagel for the lost jewels of Merlin,
for any heart-stone they could pull the sword out of
to establish their own thrones once again
in the fields of glory beyond the round table of the calendar.
I have drunk from the cup and passed it on and all the shining skies
that I have ever walked under, all the legends of my stars,
my former radiance, in their eyes, are cemeteries of dead stars,
black dwarfs and the holes of exhausted graves in space, the blue-white
of their ingathered light that once could stir a planet into life,
now the braille of an effaced epitaph runed on a poet's tomb.
And it's not as if they don't come bearing gifts when they do come,
flowers and compliments to the green patina on my erudition,
small obeisances at graveside, gratitude
for my gray-haired kindness, token offerings to the dead,
to the prophetic skull of one of their ancestors
consulted like the weather or Moses
on the future of the promised land that I'm forbidden to enter. No blame
in their approach to the disembodied, no fault
on either side. I understand. You do not come. No word
to allay the silence, no sword to fall upon in the stoic shadows
of your portentous eclipse, no way to scry, haruspicate, divine
the meaning of the darkness that overtakes me
like Herculaneum under the canning-jar ash of a volcanic heart
putting up preserves. My dick falls off at forty. At thirty
the colour runs from my hair like a sunset. At fifty
I'm a desert in an hourglass. Fifty-four and my blood chips off
like flakes of paint from a dry rose. Two thousand a.d.,
at the turn of the millennium, my eyes turn into clouds,
my tongue, the spent autumn of a leaf on the wind. By forty-nine
all that I remember is on display in a museum, my eviscerated heart
sinks through a convenient tar-pit and my brain, cracked mud,
orders a modest sarcophagus and rents a small room under an affordable pyramid
close to the valley of the kings. Today
I shed a few tears tinged with acid that die
like rain looking for roots on rock and bury my riddle of bones and vertebrae
under the snuffed fire-pit of a cave floor
for an archaeologist not yet born to guess at what I was.
You do not come. I understand. Tired of scratching at my coffin lid,
I must get out, I go to the Perth Restaurant and call to see
if you need a ride even though the wheel
is ten thousand years in the future, fire hasn't been discovered yet
and I'm back in the Jurassic, a tiny mammal, trying not
to be stepped on by a stampede of doomed dinosaurs.
Wrong number. Wrong life. You do not come. I understand,
the flag of my heart at half-mast on the pole of my spine,
and no one but strangers and hired mourners,
mirages and self-inflicted nightmares
to carry me out of my hapless resignation into a waiting hearse.

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Fra Lippo Lippi

I am poor brother Lippo, by your leave!
You need not clap your torches to my face.
Zooks, what's to blame? you think you see a monk!
What, 'tis past midnight, and you go the rounds,
And here you catch me at an alley's end
Where sportive ladies leave their doors ajar?
The Carmine's my cloister: hunt it up,
Do—harry out, if you must show your zeal,
Whatever rat, there, haps on his wrong hole,
And nip each softling of a wee white mouse,
Weke, weke, that's crept to keep him company!
Aha, you know your betters! Then, you'll take
Your hand away that's fiddling on my throat,
And please to know me likewise. Who am I?
Why, one, sir, who is lodging with a friend
Three streets off—he's a d'ye call?
Master—a...Cosimo of the Medici,
I' the house that caps the corner. Boh! you were best!
Remember and tell me, the day you're hanged,
How you affected such a gullet's gripe!
But you, sir, it concerns you that your knaves
Pick up a manner nor discredit you:
Zooks, are we pilchards, that they sweep the streets
And count fair prize what comes into this net?
He's Judas to a tittle, that man is!
Just such a face! Why, sir, you make amends.
Lord, I'm not angry! Bid your hangdogs go
Drink out this quarter-florin to the health
Of the munificent House that harbors me
(And many more beside, lads! more beside!)
And all's come square again. I'd like his face—
His, elbowing on his comrade in the door
With the pike and lantern—for the slave that holds
John Baptist's head a-dangle by the hair
With one hand ("Look you, now," as who should say)
And his weapon in the other, yet unwiped!
It's not your chance to have a bit of chalk,
A wood-coal or the like? or you should see!
Yes, I'm the painter, since you style me so.
What, brother Lippo's doings, up and down,
You know them and they take you? like enough!
I saw the proper twinkle in your eye—
'Tell you, I liked your looks at very first.
Let's sit and set things straight now, hip to haunch.
Here's spring come, and the nights one makes up bands
To roam the town and sing out carnival,
And I've been three weeks shut within my mew,
A-painting for the great man, saints and saints
And saints again. I could not paint all night—
Ouf! I leaned out of window for fresh air.
There came a hurry of feet and little feet,
A sweep of lute-strings, laughs, and whifts of song—
Flower o' the broom,
Take away love, and our earth is a tomb!
Flower o' the quince,
I let Lisa go, and what good in life since?
Flower o' the thyme—and so on. Round they went.
Scarce had they turned the corner when a titter
Like the skipping of rabbits by moonlight—three slim shapes,
And a face that looked up…zooks, sir, flesh and blood,
That's all I'm made of! Into shreds it went,
Curtain and counterpane and coverlet,
All the bed-furniture—a dozen knots,
There was a ladder! Down I let myself,
Hands and feet, scrambling somehow, and so dropped,
And after them. I came up with the fun
Hard by Saint Laurence, hail fellow, well met—
Flower o' the rose,
If I've been merry, what matter who knows!
And so as I was stealing back again
To get to bed and have a bit of sleep
Ere I rise up tomorrow and go work
On Jerome knocking at his poor old breast
With his great round stone to subdue the flesh,
You snape me of the sudden. Ah, I see!
Though your eye twinkles still, you shake your head—
Mine's shaves—a monk, you say—the sting's in that!
If Master Cosimo announced himself,
Mum's the word naturally; but a monk!
Come, what am I a beast for? tell us, now!
I was a baby when my mother died
And father died and left me in the street.
I starved there, God knows how, a year or two
On fig skins, melon parings, rinds and shucks,
Refuse and rubbish. One fine frosty day,
My stomach being empty as your hat,
The wind doubled me up and down I went.
Old Aunt Lapaccia trussed me with one hand
(Its fellow was a stinger as I knew),
And so along the wall, over the bridge,
By the straight cut to the convent. Six words there,
While I stood munching my first bread that month:
"So, boy, you're minded," quoth the good fat father
Wiping his own mouth, 'twas refection time—
"To quit this very miserable world?
Will you renounce"…"the mouthful of bread?" thought I;
By no means! Brief, they made a monk of me;
I did renounce the world, its pride and greed,
Palace, farm, villa, shop, and banking house,
Trash, such as these poor devils of Medici
Have given their hearts to—all at eight years old.
Well, sir, I found in time, you may be sure,
'Twas not for nothing—the good bellyful,
The warm serge and the rope that goes all round,
And day-long blessed idleness beside!
"Let's see what the urchin's fit for"—that came next.
Not overmuch their way, I must confess.
Such a to-do! They tried me with their books:
Lord, they'd have taught me Latin in pure waste!
Flower o' the clove,
All the Latin I construe is "amo," I love!
But, mind you, when a boy starves in the streets
Eight years together, as my fortune was,
Watching folk's faces to know who will fling
The bit of half-stripped grape bunch he desires,
And who will curse or kick him for his pains—
Which gentleman processional and fine,
Holding a candle to the Sacrament,
Will wink and let him lift a plate and catch
The droppings of the wax to sell again,
Or holla for the Eight and have him whipped—
How say I?—nay, which dog bites, which lets drop
His bone from the heap of offal in the street—
Why, soul and sense of him grow sharp alike,
He learns the look of things, and none the less
For admonition from the hunger-pinch.
I had a store of such remarks, be sure,
Which, after I found leisure, turned to use.
I drew men's faces on my copy-books,
Scrawled them within the antiphonary's marge,
Joined legs and arms to the long music-notes,
Found eyes and nose and chin for A's and B's,
And made a string of pictures of the world
Betwixt the ins and outs of verb and noun,
On the wall, the bench, the door. The monks looked black.
"Nay," quoth the Prior, "turn him out d'ye say?
In no wise. Lose a crow and catch a lark.
What if at least we get our man of parts,
We Carmelites, like those Camaldolese
And Preaching Friars, to do our church up fine
And put the front on it that ought to be!"
And hereupon he bade me daub away.
Thank you! my head being crammed, the walls a blank,
Never was such prompt disemburdening.
First, every sort of monk, the black and white,
I drew them, fat and lean: then, folk at church,
From good old gossips waiting to confess
Their cribs of barrel-droppings, candle-ends,—
To the breathless fellow at the altar-foot,
Fresh from his murder, safe and sitting there
With the little children round him in a row
Of admiration, half for his beard and half
For that white anger of his victim's son
Shaking a fist at him with one fierce arm,
Signing himself with the other because of Christ
(Whose sad face on the cross sees only this
After the passion of a thousand years)
Till some poor girl, her apron o'er her head,
(Which the intense eyes looked through) came at eve
On tiptoe, said a word, dropped in a loaf,
Her pair of earrings and a bunch of flowers
(The brute took growling), prayed, and so was gone.
I painted all, then cried "’Tis ask and have;
Choose, for more's ready!"—laid the ladder flat,
And showed my covered bit of cloister-wall.
The monks closed in a circle and praised loud
Till checked, taught what to see and not to see,
Being simple bodies,—"That's the very man!
Look at the boy who stoops to pat the dog!
That woman's like the Prior's niece who comes
To care about his asthma: it's the life!"
But there my triumph's straw-fire flared and funked;
Their betters took their turn to see and say:
The Prior and the learned pulled a face
And stopped all that In no time. "How? what's here?
Quite from the mark of painting, bless us all!
Faces, arms, legs and bodies like the true
As much as pea and pea! it's devil's-game!
Your business is not to catch men with show,
With homage to the perishable clay,
But lift them over it, ignore it all,
Make them forget there's such a thing as flesh.
Your business is to paint the souls of men—
Man's soul, and it's a fire, smoke…no, it's not…
It's vapor done up like a new-born babe—
(In that shape when you die it leaves your mouth)
It's…well, what matters talking, it's the soul!
Give us no more of body than shows soul!
Here's Giotto, with his Saint a-praising God,
That sets us praising,—why not stop with him?
Why put all thoughts of praise out of our head
With wonder at lines, colors, and what not?
Paint the soul, never mind the legs and arms!
Rub all out, try at it a second time.
Oh, that white smallish female with the breasts,
She's just my niece…Herodias, I would say,—
Who went and danced and got men's heads cut off!
Have it all out!" Now, is this sense, I ask?
A fine way to paint soul, by painting body
So ill, the eye can't stop there, must go further
And can't fare worse! Thus, yellow does for white
When what you put for yellow's simply black
And any sort of meaning looks intense
When all beside itself means and looks naught.
Why can't a painter lift each foot in turn,
Left foot and right foot, go a double step,
Make his flesh liker and his soul more like,
Both in their order? Take the prettiest face,
The Prior's niece…patron-saint—is it so pretty
You can't discover if it means hope, fear,
Sorrow or joy? won't beauty go with these?
Suppose I've made her eyes all right and blue,
Can't I take breath and try to add life's flash,
And then add soul and heighten them three-fold?
Or say there's beauty with no soul at all
(I never saw it—put the case the same—)
If you get simple beauty and naught else,
You get about the best thing God invents:
That's somewhat: and you'll find the soul you have missed,
Within yourself, when you return him thanks.
"Rub all out!" Well, well, there's my life, in short,
And so the thing has gone on ever since.
I'm grown a man no doubt, I've broken bounds:
You should not take a fellow eight years old
And make him swear to never kiss the girls.
I'm my own master, paint now as I please—
Having a friend, you see, in the Corner-house!
Lord, it's fast holding by the rings in front—
Those great rings serve more purposes than just
To plant a flag in, or tie up a horse! 230
And yet the old schooling sticks, the old grave eyes
Are peeping o'er my shoulder as I work,
The heads shake still—"It's art's decline, my son!
You're not of the true painters, great and old;
Brother Angelico's the man, you'll fine;
Brother Lorenzo stands his single peer:
Fag on at flesh, you'll never make the third!"
Flower o' the pine,
You keep your mistr…manners, and I'll stick to mine!
I'm not the third, then: bless us, they must know!
Don't you think they're the likeliest to know,
They with their Latin? So, I swallow my rage,
Clench my teeth, suck my lips in tight, and paint
To please them—sometimes do and sometimes don't;
For, doing most, there's pretty sure to come
A turn, some warm eve finds me at my saints—
A laugh, a cry, the business of the world—
(Flower o' the peach,
Death for us all, and his own life for each!)
And my whole soul revolves, the cup runs over,
The world and life's too big to pass for a dream,
And I do these wild things in sheer despite,
And play the fooleries you catch me at,
In pure rage! The old mill-horse, out at grass
After hard years, throws up his stiff heels so,
Although the miller does not preach to him
The only good of grass is to make chaff.
What would men have? Do they like grass or no—
May they or mayn't they? all I want's the thing
Settled forever one way. As it is,
You tell too many lies and hurt yourself:
You don't like what you only like too much,
You do like what, if given you at your word,
You find abundantly detestable.
For me, I think I speak as I was taught;
I always see the garden and God there
A-making man's wife: and, my less learned,
The value and significance of flesh,
I can't unlearn ten minutes afterwards.

You understand me: I'm a beast, I know.
But see, now—why, I see as certainly
As that the morning-star's about to shine,
What will hap some day. We've a youngster here
Comes to our convent, studies what I do,
Slouches and stares and lets no atom drop:
His name is Guidi—he'll not mind the monks—
They call him Hulking Tom, he lets them talk—
He picks my practice up—he'll paint apace,
I hope so—though I never live so long,
I know what's sure to follow. You be judge!
You speak no Latin more than I, belike;
However, you're my man, you've seen the world
The beaty and the wonder and the power,
The shapes of things, their colors, lights and shades,
Changes, surprises—and God made it all!
For what? Do you feel thankful, ay or no,
For this fair town's face, yonder river's line,
The mountain round it and the sky above,
Much more the figures of man, woman, child,
These are the frame to? What's it all about?
To be passed over, despised? or dwelt upon,
Wondered at? oh, this last of course!—you say.
But why not do as well as say,—paint it these
Just as they are, careless what comes of it?
God's works—paint any one, and count it crime
To let a truth slip. Don't object, "His works
Are here already; nature is complete:
Suppose you reproduce her—(which you can't)
There's no advantage! You must beat her, then."
For, don't you mark? we're made so that we love
First when we see them painted, things we have passed
Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see;
And so they are better, painted—better to us,
Which is the same thing. Art was given for that;
God uses us to help each other so,
Lending our minds out. Have you noticed, now,
Your cullion's hanging face? A bit of chalk,
And trust me but you should, though! How much more,
If I drew higher things with the same truth!
That were to take the Prior's pulpit-place,
Interpret God to all of you! Oh, oh,
It makes me mad to see what men shall do
And we in our graves! This world's no blot for us,
Nor blank; it means intensely, and means good:
To find its meaning is my meat and drink.
"Ay, but you don't so instigate to prayer!"
Strikes in the Prior: "when your meaning's plain
It does not say to folk—remember matins,
Or, mind you fast next Friday!" Why, for this
What need of art at all? A skull and bones,
Two bits of stick nailed crosswise, or, what's best,
A bell to chime the hour with, does as well.
I painted a Saint Laurence six months since
At Prato, splashed the fresco in fine style:
"How looks my painting, now the scaffold's down?"
I ask a brother: "Hugely," he returns—
"Already not one phiz of your three slaves
Who turn the Deacon off his toasted side,
But's scratched and prodded to our heart's content,
The pious people have so eased their own
With coming to say prayers there in a rage:
We get on fast to see the bricks beneath.
Expect another job this time next year,
For pity and religion grow i' the crowd—
Your painting serves its purpose!" Hang the fools!

—That is—you'll not mistake an idle word
Spoke in a huff by a poor monk, God wot,
Tasting the air this spicy night which turns
The unaccustomed head like Chianti wine!
Oh, the church knows! don't misreport me, now!
It's natural a poor monk out of bounds
Should have his apt word to excuse himself:
And hearken how I plot to make amends.
I have bethought me: I shall paint a piece
…There's for you! Give me six months, then go, see
Something in Sant' Ambrogio's! Bless the nuns!
They want a cast o' my office. I shall paint
God in the midst, Madonna and her babe,
Ringed by a bowery flowery angel-brood,
Lilies and vestments and white faces, sweet
As puff on puff of grated orris-root
When ladies crowd to Church at midsummer.
And when i' the front, of course a saint or two—
Saint John, because he saves the Florentines,
Saint Ambrose, who puts down in black and white
The convent's friends and gives them a long day,
And Job, I must have him there past mistake,
The man of Uz (and Us without the z,
Painters who need his patience). Well, all these
Secured at their devotion, up shall come
Out of a corner when you least expect,
As one by a dark stair into a great light,
Music and talking, who but Lippo! I!—
Mazed, motionless and moonstruck—I'm the man!
Back I shrink—what is this I see and hear?
I, caught up with my monk's-things by mistake,
My old serge gown and rope that goes all round,
I, in this presence, this pure company!
Where's a hole, where's a corner for escape?
Then steps a sweet angelic slip of a thing
Forward, puts out a soft palm—"Not so fast!"
—Addresses the celestial presence, "nay—
He made you and devised you, after all,
Though he's none of you! Could Saint John there draw—
His camel-hair make up a painting-brush?
We come to brother Lippo for all that,
Iste perfecit opus!" So, all smile—
I shuffle sideways with my blushing face
Under the cover of a hundred wings
Thrown like a spread of kirtles when you're gay
And play hot cockles, all the doors being shut,
Till, wholly unexpected, in there pops
The hothead husband! Thus I scuttle off
To home safe bench behind, not letting go
The palm of her, the little lily thing
That spoke the good word for me in the nick,
Like the Prior's niece…Saint Lucy, I would say.
And so all's saved for me, and for the church
A pretty picture gained. Go, six months hence!
Your hand, sir, and good-bye: no lights, no lights!
The street's hushed, and I know my own way back,
Don't fear me! There's the gray beginning. Zooks!

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Have They None Of Their Words?

have been lookin'
for words, they, those who love
the words, those that assume the
silver color of the river
and the golden sheen of the moon,
many, many
they look for your words, their hearts
thirst, their minds drowning and
their souls wanting to rise from the
ruins of their bodies, many, many,
are looking for you,
for you are so kind as the tree giving fruits
for light as the cloud shaping its faces
for you are as wide in patience as the ocean
green as the grass, coolness as refreshing as the
river, many, many shall look for you
for you have ears of the corn
and wings of the winds,
for you have their emotions and then you
put them in place

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All That I Have Left

The Apostle Paul recommended women should
not seek beauty in hairstyles, ornaments, jewellery
and expensive clothes, true beauty lies in character;
I say: Thank you, the hairstyle is easily done due to
the thin feathers on my head, as for the clothes

I have to wear something, the clothes I have is ugly
enough - I cannot find pretty clothes in my size - and
now I find none that fits, neither pretty or ugly; at least
Paul said clothing is required, my only option is to mail-
order a burka as the clothes in our Western shops

Are an unqualified flop - for me at least, I comply with
the requirements for looking ugly; working on character
is all that I have left - Paul, you did not recommend
anything, you simply stated the state of affairs!

1 Timothy 3: 9 & 10

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Both Feet

Do not curse the deaf or,
Put a stumbling block in front of the blind!
But the fool does not understand this and,
This world has seen much of its mistakes.

The fathers shall not be put to death because of their children,
Nor shall the children be put to death because of their fathers!
For, a person must be put to death of his or her own sins.

Watch your steps! !
For there is life in the blood!
And a judge must not show pity to the guilty.

Do not harden your heart when the truth comes to you,
For the fool tests the depth of the water with both feet;
And this world is all that we have to learn from.

Muse, moose, mouse!
Anyone who says you can't see a thought simple doesn't know Art;
For you now have both feet in the water and,
You can easily be drawn!

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Who are you?

Who are you?
Where are you going?
Where have you been?

I often wonder as people pass me in the street,
fly above me in planes,
and out deep in space,
I steady my own pace,
And stop to stare at the stars,
Not only mine but ours,

Who are you?
Where are you going?
Where have you been?

As I lay down and stare straight up,
The dark doesn't frighten me,
But the cold bites,
The stars twinkle,
As my face begins to wrinkle,
I'm a million in thought years,
And newly born in light,

Who are you?
Where are you going?
Where have you been?
Where have you been all my life?
Plain in sight?

I forgot I was blind,
But blind only means I see with my mind,
The stupid must've intercepted the cosmic wavelengths,
Damn the pathetic,
Praise the poetic,
I thought I knew you in a glance
The odds against me I don't, but could, give me the chance.

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People who work on the user interface side need to have empathy as a key characteristic. But if you are writing device drivers you don't really need to understand humans so well.

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The 2 million people who work in the NHS and social care are also themselves patients and users. I know they all want to treat patients and users the way they and their families would want to be treated and that is the purpose of our reforms.

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Loneliest Conversations

The loneliest conversations
are the ones we have
to ourselves when no one is there.
The empty space does not answer
with an argument or a kind voice.
All we hear is our own whispers,
which only our ears hear.
Even our yells are muted,
as they look for someone else
who cannot be found.

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A T - O N E - M E N T

‘Atonement’ – for me, it has a solemn,
lifetime, deathtime, this-is-final
ring to it – spoken in the severest tones
in some headmaster’s study in the skies…

and you, feeling that this is the last chance
to rake up all your worst, your very worst
memories that still chill your heart after all these years,
so you try not to think about them…

so, to ease the sense that fate’s about to pounce
and is it really true about hellfire…

you look it up in the dictionary ….

no, it must be some clever pun…
no, it’s there in black and white
and Oxford blue…

at…one…ment… oh,
how pure upon the page the words here rest –
look now upon this book, sweet masters –
see how the angels smile at human guilt…
there’s joy in heaven today…

just… that… you mean,
it’s really that simple, and
all that stuff from the past…?
so I can just… oh wow…

‘Sorry, I can’t come to the phone right now,
please leave a message and I’ll ring you back..
I’m having my daily at-one-ment…’

and maybe one day, if I work at it,
someone will say to someone else,
seeing me walking down the street,

'Just look at him, or if you're lucky,
talk to him - don't you admire his cool,
his here-and-now, and his at-one-ment...? '

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A bright tomorrow

I don’t know how to work for better tomorrow
What are the rules that I have to follow?
How the thing to be allowed and grow?
No disturbances in life still nicely to flow

Mind doesn’t work in that direction
I wish to take no hasty action
Life seems full of uncertainties
One has to remain contended with varieties

It is always fine to move with great speed
You must remain healthy with good food and feed
Honest approach without any greed
Certainly to grow a fine plant from quality seed

No one is sure of what is in store
There should be no let up in efforts to explore
Even in difficulties try to salvage and land at shore
Think of another stage and try to act before

Result may not be fruitful or sign of encouragement
Life should be made full of movements
Ready to strike at any given time or moment
To accept the fate smilingly without offering any comment

I may not yield to pressure and allow the things to worsen
The difficulties may come on the way unforeseen
I may wish to cry by hiding the face under pillow
I shall be prepared for worst situation and bitter pills to swallow

Sun was blazing all the way
Striking heat waves with direct rays
Forcing people to find shelter on the way
but not letting any opportunity to pass or giving away

Have you learned about people who work under the sun?
They work continuously but don’t ask for anything or run
it is difficult o stand under direct waves at afternoon
They think it may pass off very soon

I had learnt about one farm laborer,
He looked to me as torch bearer
Sun was on top but he was sweating and singing
He has all the joy while digging;

I dared not to ask him “Will you eat some food? ”
It is nicely prepared, fresh and good,
”No dear sir” I am very sorry,
I earn sufficient and food is no worry,

I am able to make it today and so no need to accept or borrow
Today you are there but who will offer me tomorrow?
The reply saddened me for the moment and sent shock wave
what an answer or gesture? I really felt shame and couldn’t believe

Who can be considered as an ideal philosopher?
The person who has no knowledge of others
Or who consider themselves as great personality?
We can think positively about the fine blend and quality

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Today I have 35 people who work in the club and associated businesses.

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Amanda Seyfried

It's really easy to avoid the tabloids. You just live your life and don't hang out with famous people who are in the tabloids. Don't do anything controversial and be a normal person. Have friends. And get a job and keep working.

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The Republican Party is bringing out here onto the floor of Congress an all-out assault on the protection of the rights of people who work in the fields of our country, in the factories of our country, in the offices of our country.

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People's Indifference

people who pass
by the house

always stop a while
taking time

to look at the window
which is closed
the whole day

the stairs still have
dry leaves

at the back of the house
a boy is screaming

the fence is closed
and a white dog is yelping

wanting to go inside
as people pass by the house

stop a while take time to
have a glimpse

and then leave
doing nothing about it

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Erica Jong

People Who Live

People who live by the sea
understand eternity.
They copy the curves of the waves,
their hearts beat with the tides,
& the saltiness of their blood
corresponds with the sea.

They know that the house of flesh
is only a sandcastle
built on the shore,
that skin breaks
under the waves
like sand under the soles
of the first walker on the beach
when the tide recedes.

Each of us walks there once,
watching the bubbles
rise up through the sand
like ascending souls,
tracing the line of the foam,
drawing our index fingers
along the horizon
pointing home.

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Poets, You Are All Stars!

Stellar objects in the sky,
Brighter and visible to naked eyes,
All twinkle and smile with naughty winks,
A few are brighter than other kinds,
Own luminosity determines its brightness,
Proximity to the observers can alter it,
Brightest star are at the first magnitude,
The faintest at the sixth magnitude,
Standard stars stays brighter always,
Variable stars have different brightness,
These stars change their magnitude as they wish,
You are all the stars in the sky,
Can be seen smiling at me with white rays,
Every one of you, have your own brightness,
Reigning the poetical sky in togetherness,
I may be the faintest star in the sixth magnitude,
Yet to be seen and mapped in your gentle hearts,
From that distance, I can see you all twinkling steep,
Singing the songs of love, sorrow, loneliness and hope.

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These Jewels Have Been Misused

Sometimes in the back winds that blow...
I can hear my ancestors voices.
I sense their struggles and pain to maintain.
I see those same strains on faces of my color!
And I think of how these jewels have been so misused.
And it is said I am embittered.
I carry anger on my back like an overnight pack!
Pacing to dump it somewhere.
Disliking what my choices are!

I never saw my mama or my poppa jumping with glee
Wiping beads of sweat from their brows!
Their parents capture that picture!
I heard my daddy and mother saying what wasn't right.
And at Christmastime they would argue and fight...
Over why too much was to give with too little to none!
How I reminisce the fun years.

I admit I see injustice.
I admit I have to wade through a pool of ignorance.
I agree what I see I have taken personally.
I agree when folks stare at me I get a little annoyed...
Especially when I say hello and they say 'NO THING'!
That slightly gets me nudged to the 'edge'
And I agree hearing young people calling themselves
Out of their names and bring their mamas in it...
Kinda stands the hair on my back straight up!
I do agree,
I have a lot to work on controlling my tolerance for BS!
It's at an all time low!
And I'm not going to go crazy about it.

I am alot like my grandfather.
He would go outside to the garage,
And begin to fix the engine of a truck he had,
For years!
At least for fifteen or twenty years,
I saw my grandfather work on the same engine.
I saw that truck move one time!
My uncles, cousins and I were pushing it...
And he was behind the wheel!

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