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I'm usually working on eight or 10 things at once.

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Robert Frost

By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.

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Robert Frost

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.

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Robert Frost

By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.

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I'm usually working on my own mythology, my own realm of created characters. Stories in mythology inspire me, though I may not be conscious of it.

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I think having eight kids evens things out a bit. You learn about the world; you learn about the world; you learn you've got to get along. We're all - if anything - very adjustable.

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Bradley Whitford

John Wells let me write a couple of West Wings, which was an incredible gift. I loved it once I got past the brain injury part of it, and so I'm working on a couple of things that are far from fruition, but what I want to pursue.

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I Ask Mother Nature To Take A Rest

I ask mother nature to take a rest
offering the comfort of my mind for her to lull
mother nature who has been working here
working there making sure ll things bloom
she must be tired through and through
i spread out my mind with all its space in the universe
and as she rests it becomes so calm
and peaceful with her restfulness

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A Beautiful World Life!

Creation of beauty is for attracting each and everyone;
Appreciation of beauty develops love between hearts!
Outer and inner beauty reflects real personality of one;
Mutual attraction of beauty leads to procreation ever.

Beauty, love and life are unique aspects of man’s world;
Those are not detected in other planets of the Universe.
Colourful beauty of life thriving on love is a wonder here
Depends on the preservation of Nature and culture ever!

Beauty lies in thinking, speaking and working in the world;
Doing things to perfection makes beauty and brings joy!
Intellectual thinking, gentle doing and spiritual meditation
Are all adding beauty to man’s nature to divine nature!

Nature is the mother of Earth fostering beauty and love
To enrich life with joy and pleasure leading to divine bliss!

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Universal Religion

Your forefathers great
lived in huts or caves
wearing rags and barks
and roaming like dogs.
But you are in flats.

Your grandmothers
wore bangles of ironand copper.
But the Japanese now
dared to make 'bras'
worth eight and a half crores.

Once People went by
rumbling noisy slow carts.
But now they fly in cars
and flights laugh at distance.

Your parents heard songs from
valve radios and then transistors.
But you play now on a keyboard
as you have multimedia computers.

Once you began to rely on
the Vedhas, Bible, Koran, Grandha, ...
But still you bear one in a hand
and a gun in the other to scare.

When people of all the cults
live side by side in this world,
you don't have a broad mind
to merge them into a single,
simple, peace preaching holy book.

A lone prophet in ancient days
got light to design a cult for his clan.
But several prophets sit idle in UNO
without finding a religion universal.

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She Is His Only Need

Billy was a small town loner
Who never did dream
Of ever leaving southern arizona
Or ever hearing wedding bells ring
He never had a lot of luck with the ladies
But he sure had a lot of good working skills
Never cared about climbing any ladder
He knew the way in a small cafe, found the will
He met miss bonnie
And a little bit of her was a little too much
A few movies and a few months latter
The feeling got strong enough
They didnt own a car
So it must have been love
That drove him uptown for a diamond
Thats when he started goin?
(chorus)
Over the line
Working overtime
To give her things just to hear her say she dont deserve them
But he loves her and he just kept going overboard
Over the limit to afford to give her things he knew she wanted
cause without her where would he be?
See, its not for him
She is his only need
Ring on her finger and one on the ladder
A new promotion every now and then
Bonnie worked until she couldnt tie her apron
Then stayed at home and had the first of two children
And my, how the time did fly
The babies grew up and moved away
Left em sitting on the front porch rocking
And billy watching bonnies hair turn gray
And evry once in a while you could see him get up
And hed head downtown
cause he heard about something she wanted
And it just had to be found
Didnt matter how simple or how much
It was love
And, boy, aint that love just something
When its strong enough to keep a man goin? p> (repeat chorus)
Over the line
Working overtime
She is his only need
His only need
Overboard
Over the limit
Just for her
She is his only need
His only need

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Alexander Pope

Farewell to London

Dear, damn'd distracting town, farewell!
Thy fools no more I'll tease:
This year in peace, ye critics, dwell,
Ye harlots, sleep at ease!

Soft B-- and rough C--s adieu,
Earl Warwick made your moan,
The lively H--k and you
May knock up whores alone.

To drink and droll be Rowe allow'd
Till the third watchman's toll;
Let Jervas gratis paint, and Frowde
Save three-pence and his soul.

Farewell, Arbuthnot's raillery
On every learned sot;
And Garth, the best good Christian he,
Although he knows it not.

Lintot, farewell! thy bard must go;
Farewell, unhappy Tonson!
Heaven gives thee for thy loss of Rowe,
Lean Philips, and fat Johnson.

Why should I stay? Both parties rage;
My vixen mistress squalls;
The wits in envious feuds engage:
And Homer (damn him!) calls.

The love of arts lies cold and dead
In Halifax's urn:
And not one Muse of all he fed
Has yet the grace to mourn.

My friends, by turns, my friends confound,
Betray, and are betrayed:
Poor Y--r's sold for fifty pound,
And B--ll is a jade.

Why make I friendships with the great,
When I no favour seek?
Or follow girls, seven hours in eight?
I us'd but once a week.

Still idle, with a busy air,
Deep whimsies to contrive;
The gayest valetudinaire,
Most thinking rake, alive.

Solicitous for others' ends,
Though fond of dear repose;
Careless or drowsy with my friends,
And frolic with my foes.

Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell,
For sober, studious days!
And Burlington's delicious meal,
For salads, tarts, and pease!

Adieu to all, but Gay alone,
Whose soul, sincere and free,
Loves all mankind, but flatters none,
And so may starve with me.

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Counting Dollars Clocked For My Efforts

I've heard it said,
But not as often these days.
How I had it made.
And others 'have' to work.
Although today,
There is an economic crisis.
And many passing their judgements,
Are not so free to critique.
With a shutting done of their lips.

And I use to let these comments upset.
But I stopped recently to think to myself...
They could not be referring to me.
Because I've been working all my life.
Doing things that I like.
And not having the benefit to call in sick.

None of which,
Affords me the time to sit doing nothing.
Or to complain to anyone,
About getting no pay!
As they...
Those in positions to complain AND get paid,
Take money and run on their pay day.
With the doing of one thing most of their lives.
And have the time to mind someone else's business!

Well...
With many today hoping those pink slips given,
From them look the other way!

And if I wished to have a position like that,
I wouldn't be spending sleepless nights...
Toiling as I do something I like.
I'd be spending time entertaining myself.
Or find the time to dine.
Ruining my diet with an unnecessary appetite.
Sitting to gossip about someone's life.

And here I am after many years...
Without the benefit,
Of lunch breaks and two weeks of paid vacations.
While doing fourty five minutes of daily labor!
To then say how easy someone else has it!

Don't we all make choices?
I can't be the only one who remembers this!

So fortunate I am to count my blessings.
Even though there has been times I wished,
I was counting dollars clocked for my efforts.
I'd have a condo on Jupiter by now!
But...
God has my back.
And so grateful I am for that!

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Isaac and Archibald

(To Mrs. Henry Richards)


Isaac and Archibald were two old men.
I knew them, and I may have laughed at them
A little; but I must have honored them
For they were old, and they were good to me.

I do not think of either of them now,
Without remembering, infallibly,
A journey that I made one afternoon
With Isaac to find out what Archibald
Was doing with his oats. It was high time
Those oats were cut, said Isaac; and he feared
That Archibald—well, he could never feel
Quite sure of Archibald. Accordingly
The good old man invited me—that is,
Permitted me—to go along with him;
And I, with a small boy’s adhesiveness
To competent old age, got up and went.

I do not know that I cared overmuch
For Archibald’s or anybody’s oats,
But Archibald was quite another thing,
And Isaac yet another; and the world
Was wide, and there was gladness everywhere.
We walked together down the River Road
With all the warmth and wonder of the land
Around us, and the wayside flash of leaves,—
And Isaac said the day was glorious;
But somewhere at the end of the first mile
I found that I was figuring to find
How long those ancient legs of his would keep
The pace that he had set for them. The sun
Was hot, and I was ready to sweat blood;
But Isaac, for aught I could make of him,
Was cool to his hat-band. So I said then
With a dry gasp of affable despair,
Something about the scorching days we have
In August without knowing it sometimes;
But Isaac said the day was like a dream,
And praised the Lord, and talked about the breeze.
I made a fair confession of the breeze,
And crowded casually on his thought
The nearness of a profitable nook
That I could see. First I was half inclined
To caution him that he was growing old,
But something that was not compassion soon
Made plain the folly of all subterfuge.
Isaac was old, but not so old as that.

So I proposed, without an overture,
That we be seated in the shade a while,
And Isaac made no murmur. Soon the talk
Was turned on Archibald, and I began
To feel some premonitions of a kind
That only childhood knows; for the old man
Had looked at me and clutched me with his eye,
And asked if I had ever noticed things.
I told him that I could not think of them,
And I knew then, by the frown that left his face
Unsatisfied, that I had injured him.
“My good young friend,” he said, “you cannot feel
What I have seen so long. You have the eyes—
Oh, yes—but you have not the other things:
The sight within that never will deceive,
You do not know—you have no right to know;
The twilight warning of experience,
The singular idea of loneliness,—
These are not yours. But they have long been mine,
And they have shown me now for seven years
That Archibald is changing. It is not
So much that he should come to his last hand,
And leave the game, and go the old way down;
But I have known him in and out so long,
And I have seen so much of good in him
That other men have shared and have not seen,
And I have gone so far through thick and thin,
Through cold and fire with him, that now it brings
To this old heart of mine an ache that you
Have not yet lived enough to know about.
But even unto you, and your boy’s faith,
Your freedom, and your untried confidence,
A time will come to find out what it means
To know that you are losing what was yours,
To know that you are being left behind;
And then the long contempt of innocence—
God bless you, boy!—don’t think the worse of it
Because an old man chatters in the shade—
Will all be like a story you have read
In childhood and remembered for the pictures.

And when the best friend of your life goes down,
When first you know in him the slackening
That comes, and coming always tells the end,—
Now in a common word that would have passed
Uncaught from any other lips than his,
Now in some trivial act of every day,
Done as he might have done it all along
But for a twinging little difference
That nips you like a squirrel’s teeth—oh, yes,
Then you will understand it well enough.
But oftener it comes in other ways;
It comes without your knowing when it comes;
You know that he is changing, and you know
That he is going—just as I know now
That Archibald is going, and that I
Am staying.… Look at me, my boy,
And when the time shall come for you to see
That I must follow after him, try then
To think of me, to bring me back again,
Just as I was to-day. Think of the place
Where we are sitting now, and think of me—
Think of old Isaac as you knew him then,
When you set out with him in August once
To see old Archibald.”—The words come back
Almost as Isaac must have uttered them,
And there comes with them a dry memory
Of something in my throat that would not move.

If you had asked me then to tell just why
I made so much of Isaac and the things
He said, I should have gone far for an answer;
For I knew it was not sorrow that I felt,
Whatever I may have wished it, or tried then
To make myself believe. My mouth was full
Of words, and they would have been comforting
To Isaac, spite of my twelve years, I think;
But there was not in me the willingness
To speak them out. Therefore I watched the ground;
And I was wondering what made the Lord
Create a thing so nervous as an ant,
When Isaac, with commendable unrest,
Ordained that we should take the road again—
For it was yet three miles to Archibald’s,
And one to the first pump. I felt relieved
All over when the old man told me that;
I felt that he had stilled a fear of mine
That those extremities of heat and cold
Which he had long gone through with Archibald
Had made the man impervious to both;
But Isaac had a desert somewhere in him,
And at the pump he thanked God for all things
That He had put on earth for men to drink,
And he drank well,—so well that I proposed
That we go slowly lest I learn too soon
The bitterness of being left behind,
And all those other things. That was a joke
To Isaac, and it pleased him very much;
And that pleased me—for I was twelve years old.

At the end of an hour’s walking after that
The cottage of old Archibald appeared.
Little and white and high on a smooth round hill
It stood, with hackmatacks and apple-trees
Before it, and a big barn-roof beyond;
And over the place—trees, house, fields and all—
Hovered an air of still simplicity
And a fragrance of old summers—the old style
That lives the while it passes. I dare say
That I was lightly conscious of all this
When Isaac, of a sudden, stopped himself,
And for the long first quarter of a minute
Gazed with incredulous eyes, forgetful quite
Of breezes and of me and of all else
Under the scorching sun but a smooth-cut field,
Faint yellow in the distance. I was young,
But there were a few things that I could see,
And this was one of them.—“Well, well!” said he;
And “Archibald will be surprised, I think,”
Said I. But all my childhood subtlety
Was lost on Isaac, for he strode along
Like something out of Homer—powerful
And awful on the wayside, so I thought.
Also I thought how good it was to be
So near the end of my short-legged endeavor
To keep the pace with Isaac for five miles.

Hardly had we turned in from the main road
When Archibald, with one hand on his back
And the other clutching his huge-headed cane,
Came limping down to meet us.—“Well! well! well!”
Said he; and then he looked at my red face,
All streaked with dust and sweat, and shook my hand,
And said it must have been a right smart walk
That we had had that day from Tilbury Town.—
“Magnificent,” said Isaac; and he told
About the beautiful west wind there was
Which cooled and clarified the atmosphere.
“You must have made it with your legs, I guess,”
Said Archibald; and Isaac humored him
With one of those infrequent smiles of his
Which he kept in reserve, apparently,
For Archibald alone. “But why,” said he,
“Should Providence have cider in the world
If not for such an afternoon as this?”
And Archibald, with a soft light in his eyes,
Replied that if he chose to go down cellar,
There he would find eight barrels—one of which
Was newly tapped, he said, and to his taste
An honor to the fruit. Isaac approved
Most heartily of that, and guided us
Forthwith, as if his venerable feet
Were measuring the turf in his own door-yard,
Straight to the open rollway. Down we went,
Out of the fiery sunshine to the gloom,
Grateful and half sepulchral, where we found
The barrels, like eight potent sentinels,
Close ranged along the wall. From one of them
A bright pine spile stuck out alluringly,
And on the black flat stone, just under it,
Glimmered a late-spilled proof that Archibald
Had spoken from unfeigned experience.
There was a fluted antique water-glass
Close by, and in it, prisoned, or at rest,
There was a cricket, of the brown soft sort
That feeds on darkness. Isaac turned him out,
And touched him with his thumb to make him jump,
And then composedly pulled out the plug
With such a practised hand that scarce a drop
Did even touch his fingers. Then he drank
And smacked his lips with a slow patronage
And looked along the line of barrels there
With a pride that may have been forgetfulness
That they were Archibald’s and not his own.
I never twist a spigot nowadays,”
He said, and raised the glass up to the light,
“But I thank God for orchards.” And that glass
Was filled repeatedly for the same hand
Before I thought it worth while to discern
Again that I was young, and that old age,
With all his woes, had some advantages.
“Now, Archibald,” said Isaac, when we stood
Outside again, “I have it in my mind
That I shall take a sort of little walk—
To stretch my legs and see what you are doing.
You stay and rest your back and tell the boy
A story: Tell him all about the time
In Stafford’s cabin forty years ago,
When four of us were snowed up for ten days
With only one dried haddock. Tell him all
About it, and be wary of your back.
Now I will go along.”—I looked up then
At Archibald, and as I looked I saw
Just how his nostrils widened once or twice
And then grew narrow. I can hear today
The way the old man chuckled to himself—
Not wholesomely, not wholly to convince
Another of his mirth,—as I can hear
The lonely sigh that followed.—But at length
He said: “The orchard now’s the place for us;
We may find something like an apple there,
And we shall have the shade, at any rate.”
So there we went and there we laid ourselves
Where the sun could not reach us; and I champed
A dozen of worm-blighted astrakhans
While Archibald said nothing—merely told
The tale of Stafford’s cabin, which was good,
Though “master chilly”—after his own phrase—
Even for a day like that. But other thoughts
Were moving in his mind, imperative,
And writhing to be spoken: I could see
The glimmer of them in a glance or two,
Cautious, or else unconscious, that he gave
Over his shoulder: … “Stafford and the rest—
But that’s an old song now, and Archibald
And Isaac are old men. Remember, boy,
That we are old. Whatever we have gained,
Or lost, or thrown away, we are old men.
You look before you and we look behind,
And we are playing life out in the shadow—
But that’s not all of it. The sunshine lights
A good road yet before us if we look,
And we are doing that when least we know it;
For both of us are children of the sun,
Like you, and like the weed there at your feet.
The shadow calls us, and it frightens us—
We think; but there’s a light behind the stars
And we old fellows who have dared to live,
We see it—and we see the other things,
The other things … Yes, I have seen it come
These eight years, and these ten years, and I know
Now that it cannot be for very long
That Isaac will be Isaac. You have seen—
Young as you are, you must have seen the strange
Uncomfortable habit of the man?
He’ll take my nerves and tie them in a knot
Sometimes, and that’s not Isaac. I know that—
And I know what it is: I get it here
A little, in my knees, and Isaac—here.”
The old man shook his head regretfully
And laid his knuckles three times on his forehead.
“That’s what it is: Isaac is not quite right.
You see it, but you don’t know what it means:
The thousand little differences—no,
You do not know them, and it’s well you don’t;
You’ll know them soon enough—God bless you, boy!—
You’ll know them, but not all of them—not all.
So think of them as little as you can:
There’s nothing in them for you, or for me—
But I am old and I must think of them;
Im in the shadow, but I don’t forget
The light, my boy,—the light behind the stars.
Remember that: remember that I said it;
And when the time that you think far away
Shall come for you to say it—say it, boy;
Let there be no confusion or distrust
In you, no snarling of a life half lived,
Nor any cursing over broken things
That your complaint has been the ruin of.
Live to see clearly and the light will come
To you, and as you need it.—But there, there,
Im going it again, as Isaac says,
And I’ll stop now before you go to sleep.—
Only be sure that you growl cautiously,
And always where the shadow may not reach you.”

Never shall I forget, long as I live,
The quaint thin crack in Archibald’s voice,
The lonely twinkle in his little eyes,
Or the way it made me feel to be with him.
I know I lay and looked for a long time
Down through the orchard and across the road,
Across the river and the sun-scorched hills
That ceased in a blue forest, where the world
Ceased with it. Now and then my fancy caught
A flying glimpse of a good life beyond—
Something of ships and sunlight, streets and singing,
Troy falling, and the ages coming back,
And ages coming forward: Archibald
And Isaac were good fellows in old clothes,
And Agamemnon was a friend of mine;
Ulysses coming home again to shoot
With bows and feathered arrows made another,
And all was as it should be. I was young.

So I lay dreaming of what things I would,
Calm and incorrigibly satisfied
With apples and romance and ignorance,
And the still smoke from Archibald’s clay pipe.
There was a stillness over everything,
As if the spirit of heat had laid its hand
Upon the world and hushed it; and I felt
Within the mightiness of the white sun
That smote the land around us and wrought out
A fragrance from the trees, a vital warmth
And fullness for the time that was to come,
And a glory for the world beyond the forest.
The present and the future and the past,
Isaac and Archibald, the burning bush,
The Trojans and the walls of Jericho,
Were beautifully fused; and all went well
Till Archibald began to fret for Isaac
And said it was a master day for sunstroke.
That was enough to make a mummy smile,
I thought; and I remained hilarious,
In face of all precedence and respect,
Till Isaac (who had come to us unheard)
Found he had no tobacco, looked at me
Peculiarly, and asked of Archibald
What ailed the boy to make him chirrup so.
From that he told us what a blessed world
The Lord had given us.—“But, Archibald,”
He added, with a sweet severity
That made me think of peach-skins and goose-flesh,
Im half afraid you cut those oats of yours
A day or two before they were well set.”
“They were set well enough,” said Archibald,—
And I remarked the process of his nose
Before the words came out. “But never mind
Your neighbor’s oats: you stay here in the shade
And rest yourself while I go find the cards.
We’ll have a little game of seven-up
And let the boy keep count.”—“We’ll have the game,
Assuredly,” said Isaac; “and I think
That I will have a drop of cider, also.”

They marched away together towards the house
And left me to my childish ruminations
Upon the ways of men. I followed them
Down cellar with my fancy, and then left them
For a fairer vision of all things at once
That was anon to be destroyed again
By the sound of voices and of heavy feet—
One of the sounds of life that I remember,
Though I forget so many that rang first
As if they were thrown down to me from Sinai.

So I remember, even to this day,
Just how they sounded, how they placed themselves,
And how the game went on while I made marks
And crossed them out, and meanwhile made some Trojans.
Likewise I made Ulysses, after Isaac,
And a little after Flaxman. Archibald
Was injured when he found himself left out,
But he had no heroics, and I said so:
I told him that his white beard was too long
And too straight down to be like things in Homer.
“Quite so,” said Isaac.—“Low,” said Archibald;
And he threw down a deuce with a deep grin
That showed his yellow teeth and made me happy.
So they played on till a bell rang from the door,
And Archibald said, “Supper.”—After that
The old men smoked while I sat watching them
And wondered with all comfort what might come
To me, and what might never come to me;
And when the time came for the long walk home
With Isaac in the twilight, I could see
The forest and the sunset and the sky-line,
No matter where it was that I was looking:
The flame beyond the boundary, the music,
The foam and the white ships, and two old men
Were things that would not leave me.—And that night
There came to me a dream—a shining one,
With two old angels in it. They had wings,
And they were sitting where a silver light
Suffused them, face to face. The wings of one
Began to palpitate as I approached,
But I was yet unseen when a dry voice
Cried thinly, with unpatronizing triumph,
I’ve got you, Isaac; high, low, jack, and the game.”

Isaac and Archibald have gone their way
To the silence of the loved and well-forgotten.
I knew them, and I may have laughed at them;
But there’s a laughing that has honor in it,
And I have no regret for light words now.
Rather I think sometimes they may have made
Their sport of me;—but they would not do that,
They were too old for that. They were old men,
And I may laugh at them because I knew them.

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Talent is usually

Talent is usually
Twenty percent inspiration
Thirty percent chance
And fifty percent hard working
It's a matter of trial
Error and trying again
Providing the ideal, the image
Is already in one's mind
And possible according
To the given light

People tend to think
They have you in your pigeonhole
And then are so surprised
To find there is another element
In your life

It is always difficult
To transcribe or describe
Emotion and understanding
Rather than giving
A sufficient logical resume
This quest has lead me
To pass through many rhymes
Of esoteric thoughts
Each of which has left its trace
Not so much in what I could see
There is only one piece of words
Make sure you ask the right question
To get a right answer
The brighter the light
The darker the shadow

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Early Works - Day In The Life Of A Working Man

Every morning Im up at seven
eat the breakfast I’ve been makin’,
it might smell like dried wood,
but it tastes mighty good.
By then the postman comes to call
another bill through the letterbox does fall.
It is no good tearing it in two;
they’ll only send a reminder through.

Everyday at eight I clock in,
that’s when my daily work begins.
Lifting boxes up and down
and shifting things round an round.
Ten o’clock and tea break arrives,
time for a smoke and look alive.
Ten fifteen the whistle goes again
to let us know its time to begin.

Twelve thirty to the café across the road
to sit down and unburden your load,
to eat food that looks so fine,
but tastes like sludge from the river Tyne.
Your hours nearly up,
then its back again to work.
From here on its slogging it out
until home going time at five o’clock

Reaching home, you feel half-dead
so you go upstairs to bed.
Under the covers to sleep
only to find yourself counting sheep.
Tomorrow it starts all over again,
another day in the life of a working man.


Date Written Unknown

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Working On It

Oh how Id love it girl, just you and me
Take the day and fly
But oh this job, its got the best of me
Tell you why, tell you why
Somebody above is in a desperate state
Some kind of urgency, the kind that wont wait
I say tomorrow, he say today
And the man in my head well he tell me no way
Keep working
I got eight little fingers and only two thumbs
Will you leave me in peace while I get the work done
Cant you see Im working
Oh, oh Im working on it
Oh, oh Im working on it
Well theyre coming from above me
And theyre coming from below
Yea theyre in there right behind me
Everywhere that I go
And my buddy, hes screaming down the telephone line
He say gimme, gimme, gimme
I say I aint got the time
Oh, oh cant you see Im working on it
Oh, oh Im working on it
Yea, yea, oh tell em
How Id love it girl, just you and me
Take the day and fly
But oh, this job its got the best of me
Tell you why
Well theyre coming from above me
And theyre coming from below
Yea theyre in there right behind me
Everywhere that I go
My buddy, hes screaming down the telephone line
He say gimme, gimme, gimme
I say I aint got the time
Oh, oh cant you see Im working on it
Oh, oh Im working on it
Oh, oh Im working
Oh, oh cant you see Im working on it

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Working Out of a Corner Office

I thought I started out strong
After taking many body blows
My guard began to drop

It felt like - -my head being snapped back
I keep moving while holding on
Waiting for the bell

Once seated in my corner
My cut man
Goes to work

Cotton swabs and alum
Attempting to stem the red flow
From above my right eye

He presses on my face
With a piece of ice-cold steel
Trying to keep the swelling down

My manager is moving around
In front of me waving an ice-bag
Replaying his advice from all my fights

The crowd has their opinions too
If I could turn and challenge them
To step inside the ring

That would get them
To back off
That and standing up and spitting

Water and blood in their direction
Into a bucket that sits on the apron
Near the ringside seats

Instead my mouthpiece is slid back in
Past swollen lips while I wait in my corner
For the bell that will start the next round

==================================== ==================

[I dont' usually make comments on my poems. That's up to the readers to do. However, I've heard from so many readers that can't get past the controlling image of this poem; boxing. I wrote this poem long ago. Long before I saw the movie, 'Michael Clayton.' For some of the other facets to work for the reader of this poem, I have two suggestions: 1) it's out on DVD now so you can rent the movie 'Micheal Clayton.' Think about the character Arthur working out of a corner office, and 2) like any poem, my title is trying to give you a hint of what direction the poem is going to take. a) metaphor of 'working out' - - trying to take care of yourself and b) the stress, grind and responsibility of working in middle or upper business managemnt.

I put this after the end of my poem. I don't want to spoil it for a first time reader. I hope they got, on their own; that this poem is not just about boxing. The same way that Coleridge's 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is not about the cruelty to an Albatross, nor is Virgina Wool's 'The Death of the Moth' about lepidopterology.]

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Patrick White

Late Spring Snow

Late spring snow on its way.
Dead ochres and colourless greys
that have never heard of the impressionists.
It's a landscape
it's a mindscape
but it behaves like a still life.
I've been staying up late
trying to paint my way
out of my life
until dawn every morning.
The windowpane a ripening phthalo blue.
It's compositionally deranged
to hear the birds singing
when you're totally exhausted.
Mentally physically spiritually emotionally financially
gone gone gone altogether gone beyond.
All my happy endings orphaned.
A sum of depletions.
I'm living this creative life
scribbling down the notes of the picture-music
that doesn't just run through my mind
but is my mind
colours and words
down on canvas and paper.
When I'm writing
when I'm painting
when I've wholly disappeared into what I'm doing
for a few holy hours of life
immensities open up like the multiverse
and I've got a window a wormhole
I can fly through
and out out out among the starfields
with the evanescence of smoke
or a bird
putting itself in the picture
as a finishing touch to the sky.
And I am free to explore the intensities
of my own creative peace
as I keep saying to myself
one eureka moment after another
turning into a mantra
no no I can't leave that.
I've got to bring that back and show them.
They'll be delighted with that.
They won't believe it.
You've got to write and paint with an open hand.
Let the brush hold you.
Let the pen.
Then you're the meaning
of what the words are trying to say
and it's o.k.
you don't have to look any further than that.
Sublimity slips into the mundanities of the world
by creative accident
and you stand down from bliss
and spend a reverential moment
in its presence
just looking at it
not knowing where it came from
or whose work it is.
And it's the wonder of that depth of ageless being
expressing itself as a gesture of time
that's kept me at it
for forty-eight excruciating years.
I get off this chain gang
where I've broken down more rocks than a junkie
or saxifrage in the rain
and the pain the labour
the enervating futilities
and terminal successes
of all those ambitions
that run counter to the flow of life like salmon
disappear from my bloodstream
like apparitions in the morning.
And I am more me
the less I grow aware of it.
When I consider the chronic agony of life
I sometimes think that God created the world
not because she was a hidden secret
that wanted to be known
but because she wanted to forget she was God
and lose every cosmos and atom of herself wholly in it.
Paint till dawn and you'll know what that means.
As the great Zen master sort of said
you can swallow the whole of the river you're painting
with a single gulp.
You can chug the well of the muses
with every drop.
And just when you think
you're working in a medium of illusions
that are playing you like a gravedigger
that likes to get to the bottom of things
they all begin to taste of life.
The mirages water the flowers
in this desert of stars
and everything blooms.
You're back in the garden again
before anybody knew anything but the names of things
to distinguish them from the angels
and life was too vital to need an explanation.
As you go to write
you can take all your dark energy
and intensifying it
by letting it empower you
bend space into a gravitational eye
that gives you a deep insight into
how even a blackhole can be creative.
How what's been left out of the shadows and lights
says as much as that which was included.
Who you are not
is just as much of an artist
as the one who signs the painting.
And don't think you can do things by half measures
one foot in the boat
and one foot on the shore.
Talent knows the tear
but genius knows what hurt
the feelings of the watershed that let it fall.
It's the same in art poetry love enlightenment life.
You've got to let a mask every now and again
wear your face just to play fair
and see how things look from the inside out.
You've got to let the fireflies
make up stories about the stars
that haven't got anything to do with shepherds.
You got to be free enough
to let the world be all kinds of things it isn't.
You can only hex yourself
by taking a voodoo doll out of the arms
of a sleeping child
like the new moon out of the arms of the old
because you deny the darkness within you
its return to innocence
and try to separate the roses from the thorns.
Living your life
as if you were always
applying yourself to the world
like the task of the business at hand
is as destructive
as trying to pry the petals of a flower open
with a crowbar
because you haven't got the time to wait.
Paradise is effortless.
It doesn't have a gate.
It doesn't have a custodian.
It doesn't maintain a teacher.
Adam was born knowing the names of things.
Not how to keep books
on the comings and goings
of the saints and the miscreants.
The first lie out of a tempter's mouth
is to ask Eve if she believes
she's worthy of the truth
as if it were something that could be acquired
without her.
There's more innocence
in running the risk of being left out
than there usually is among the deluded
who play it safe by dissing their doubt
to be included.
You've got to take your church your mosque
your zendo your synagogue off at the door
as if they were hats and shoes
when you enter a holy place
or you'll track the world in
like starmud at your heels
and desecrate it with religion.
And this is as true of Druidic birchgroves
in an abandoned Westport field
with the wild geese flying overhead
just as the stars are coming out
as it is of a poet climbing burning ladders
up to his beloved
as if every rung were the vertical threshold
of a mutable transformation
that estranges and illuminates her face like water
as it changes his eyes.
Don't add your feather of flame to the fire
like the flightplan of a faint-hearted phoenix
with ambulances standing by
in case things get out of hand
but light yourself up like a Buddhist monk in Vietnam
or a filial vegetable seller in the souks of Tunisia
who set the Middle East on fire
and consume yourself wholly
until there's nothing left of the geni but the lamp.
When you let the way come to the end of you
how can you say you're lost?
That's where your freedom begins.
When the object of your quest
can't find anyone to look for it
and there's no one there to know,
King Lear writes Shakespeare.
David sculpts Michelangelo.

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Lewis Carroll

The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits

Fit the First.
THE LANDING

"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide

By a finger entwined in his hair.
"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:

What I tell you three times is true."
The crew was complete: it included a Boots—
A maker of Bonnets and Hoods—
A Barrister, brought to arrange their disputes—

And a Broker, to value their goods.
A Billiard-marker, whose skill was immense,
Might perhaps have won more than his share—
But a Banker, engaged at enormous expense,

Had the whole of their cash in his care.
There was also a Beaver, that paced on the deck,
Or would sit making lace in the bow:
And had often (the Bellman said) saved them from wreck,

Though none of the sailors knew how.
There was one who was famed for the number of things
He forgot when he entered the ship:
His umbrella, his watch, all his jewels and rings,

And the clothes he had bought for the trip.
He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed,
With his name painted clearly on each:
But, since he omitted to mention the fact,
They were all left behind on the beach.

The loss of his clothes hardly mattered, because
He had seven coats on when he came,
With three pairs of boots—but the worst of it was,
He had wholly forgotten his name.

He would answer to "Hi!" or to any loud cry,
Such as "Fry me!" or "Fritter my wig!"
To "What-you-may-call-um!" or "What-was-his-name!"
But especially "Thing-um-a-jig!"

While, for those who preferred a more forcible word,
He had different names from these:
His intimate friends called him "Candle-ends,"
And his enemies "Toasted-cheese."

"His form is ungainly—his intellect small—"
(So the Bellman would often remark)
"But his courage is perfect! And that, after all,
Is the thing that one needs with a Snark."

He would joke with hyænas, returning their stare
With an impudent wag of the head:
And he once went a walk, paw-in-paw, with a bear,
"Just to keep up its spirits," he said.

He came as a Baker: but owned, when too late—
And it drove the poor Bellman half-mad—
He could only bake Bridecake—for which, I may state,
No materials were to be had.

The last of the crew needs especial remark,
Though he looked an incredible dunce:
He had just one idea—but, that one being "Snark,"
The good Bellman engaged him at once.

He came as a Butcher: but gravely declared,
When the ship had been sailing a week,
He could only kill Beavers. The Bellman looked scared,
And was almost too frightened to speak:

But at length he explained, in a tremulous tone,
There was only one Beaver on board;
And that was a tame one he had of his own,
Whose death would be deeply deplored.

The Beaver, who happened to hear the remark,
Protested, with tears in its eyes,
That not even the rapture of hunting the Snark
Could atone for that dismal surprise!

It strongly advised that the Butcher should be
Conveyed in a separate ship:
But the Bellman declared that would never agree
With the plans he had made for the trip:

Navigation was always a difficult art,
Though with only one ship and one bell:
And he feared he must really decline, for his part,
Undertaking another as well.

The Beaver's best course was, no doubt, to procure
A second-hand dagger-proof coat—
So the Baker advised it—and next, to insure
Its life in some Office of note:

This the Banker suggested, and offered for hire
(On moderate terms), or for sale,
Two excellent Policies, one Against Fire,
And one Against Damage From Hail.

Yet still, ever after that sorrowful day,
Whenever the Butcher was by,
The Beaver kept looking the opposite way,
And appeared unaccountably shy.

Fit the Second.
THE BELLMAN'S SPEECH.

The Bellman himself they all praised to the skies—
Such a carriage, such ease and such grace!
Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise,
The moment one looked in his face!

He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land:
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.

What's the good of Mercator's North Poles and Equators,
Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?"
So the Bellman would cry and the crew would reply
"They are merely conventional signs!

"Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
But we've got our brave Captain to thank"
(So the crew would protest) "that he's bought us the best—
A perfect and absolute blank!"

This was charming, no doubt but they shortly found out
That the Captain they trusted so well
Had only one notion for crossing the ocean,
And that was to tingle his bell.

He was thoughtful and grave—but the orders he gave
Were enough to bewilder a crew.
When he cried "Steer to starboard, but keep her head larboard!"
What on earth was the helmsman to do?

Then the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes:
A thing, as the Bellman remarked,
That frequently happens in tropical climes,
When a vessel is, so to speak, "snarked."

But the principal failing occurred in the sailing,
And the Bellman, perplexed and distressed,
Said he had hoped, at least, when the wind blew due East,
That the ship would not travel due West!

But the danger was past—they had landed at last,
With their boxes, portmanteaus, and bags:
Yet at first sight the crew were not pleased with the view,
Which consisted of chasms and crags.

The Bellman perceived that their spirits were low,
And repeated in musical tone
Some jokes he had kept for a season of woe—
But the crew would do nothing but groan.

He served out some grog with a liberal hand,
And bade them sit down on the beach:
And they could not but own that their Captain looked grand,
As he stood and delivered his speech.

"Friends, Romans, and countrymen, lend me your ears!"
(They were all of them fond of quotations:
So they drank to his health, and they gave him three cheers,
While he served out additional rations).

"We have sailed many months, we have sailed many weeks
(Four weeks to the month you may mark),
But never as yet ('tis your Captain who speaks)
Have we caught the least glimpse of a Snark!

"We have sailed many weeks, we have sailed many days
(Seven days to the week I allow),
But a Snark, on the which we might lovingly gaze,
We have never beheld till now!

"Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again
The five unmistakable marks
By which you may know, wheresoever you go,
The warranted genuine Snarks.

"Let us take them in order. The first is the taste,
Which is meagre and hollow, but crisp:
Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist,
With a flavour of Will-o-the-wisp.

"Its habit of getting up late you'll agree
That it carries too far, when I say
That it frequently breakfasts at five-o'clock tea,
And dines on the following day.

"The third is its slowness in taking a jest.
Should you happen to venture on one,
It will sigh like a thing that is deeply distressed :
And it always looks grave at a pun.

"The fourth is its fondness for bathing-machines,
Which it constantly carries about,
And believes that they add to the beauty of scenes—
A sentiment open to doubt.

"The fifth is ambition. It next will be right
To describe each particular batch:
Distinguishing those that have feathers, and bite,
From those that have whiskers, and scratch.

"For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm,
Yet, I feel it my duty to say,
Some are Boojums——" The Bellman broke off in alarm,
For the Baker had fainted away.

Fit the Third.
THE BAKER'S TALE.

They roused him with muffins—they roused him with ice—
They roused him with mustard and cress—
They roused him with jam and judicious advice—
They set him conundrums to guess.

When at length he sat up and was able to speak,
His sad story he offered to tell;
And the Bellman cried "Silence! Not even a shriek!"
And excitedly tingled his bell.

There was silence supreme! Not a shriek, not a scream,
Scarcely even a howl or a groan,
As the man they called "Ho!" told his story of woe
In an antediluvian tone.

"My father and mother were honest, though poor—"
"Skip all that!" cried the Bellman in haste.
"If it once becomes dark, there's no chance of a Snark—
We have hardly a minute to waste!"

"I skip forty years," said the Baker, in tears,
"And proceed without further remark
To the day when you took me aboard of your ship
To help you in hunting the Snark.

"A dear uncle of mine (after whom I was named)
Remarked, when I bade him farewell—"
"Oh, skip your dear uncle!" the Bellman exclaimed,
As he angrily tingled his bell.

"He remarked to me then," said that mildest of men,
" 'If your Snark be a Snark, that is right:
Fetch it home by all means—you may serve it with greens,
And it's handy for striking a light.

"'You may seek it with thimbles—and seek it with care;
You may hunt it with forks and hope;
You may threaten its life with a railway-share;
You may charm it with smiles and soap—'"

("That's exactly the method," the Bellman bold
In a hasty parenthesis cried,
"That's exactly the way I have always been told
That the capture of Snarks should be tried!")

"'But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
And never be met with again!'

"It is this, it is this that oppresses my soul,
When I think of my uncle's last words:
And my heart is like nothing so much as a bowl
Brimming over with quivering curds!

"It is this, it is this—" "We have had that before!"
The Bellman indignantly said.
And the Baker replied "Let me say it once more.
It is this, it is this that I dread!

"I engage with the Snark—every night after dark—
In a dreamy delirious fight:
I serve it with greens in those shadowy scenes,
And I use it for striking a light:

"But if ever I meet with a Boojum, that day,
In a moment (of this I am sure),
I shall softly and suddenly vanish away—
And the notion I cannot endure!"

Fit the Fourth.
THE HUNTING.

The Bellman looked uffish, and wrinkled his brow.
"If only you'd spoken before!
It's excessively awkward to mention it now,
With the Snark, so to speak, at the door!

"We should all of us grieve, as you well may believe,
If you never were met with again—
But surely, my man, when the voyage began,
You might have suggested it then?

"It's excessively awkward to mention it now—
As I think I've already remarked."
And the man they called "Hi!" replied, with a sigh,
"I informed you the day we embarked.

"You may charge me with murder—or want of sense—
(We are all of us weak at times):
But the slightest approach to a false pretense
Was never among my crimes!

"I said it in Hebrew—I said it in Dutch—
I said it in German and Greek:
But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much)
That English is what you speak!"

"'Tis a pitiful tale," said the Bellman, whose face
Had grown longer at every word:
"But, now that you've stated the whole of your case,
More debate would be simply absurd.

"The rest of my speech" (he explained to his men)
"You shall hear when I've leisure to speak it.
But the Snark is at hand, let me tell you again!
'Tis your glorious duty to seek it!

"To seek it with thimbles, to seek it with care;
To pursue it with forks and hope;
To threaten its life with a railway-share;
To charm it with smiles and soap!

"For the Snark's a peculiar creature, that won't
Be caught in a commonplace way.
Do all that you know, and try all that you don't:
Not a chance must be wasted to-day!

"For England expects—I forbear to proceed:
'Tis a maxim tremendous, but trite:
And you'd best be unpacking the things that you need
To rig yourselves out for the fight."

Then the Banker endorsed a blank check (which he crossed),
And changed his loose silver for notes.
The Baker with care combed his whiskers and hair,
And shook the dust out of his coats.

The Boots and the Broker were sharpening a spade—
Each working the grindstone in turn:
But the Beaver went on making lace, and displayed
No interest in the concern:

Though the Barrister tried to appeal to its pride,
And vainly proceeded to cite
A number of cases, in which making laces
Had been proved an infringement of right.

The maker of Bonnets ferociously planned
A novel arrangement of bows:
While the Billiard-marker with quivering hand
Was chalking the tip of his nose.

But the Butcher turned nervous, and dressed himself fine,
With yellow kid gloves and a ruff—
Said he felt it exactly like going to dine,
Which the Bellman declared was all "stuff."

"Introduce me, now there's a good fellow," he said,
"If we happen to meet it together!"
And the Bellman, sagaciously nodding his head,
Said "That must depend on the weather."

The Beaver went simply galumphing about,
At seeing the Butcher so shy:
And even the Baker, though stupid and stout,
Made an effort to wink with one eye.

"Be a man!" said the Bellman in wrath, as he heard
The Butcher beginning to sob.
"Should we meet with a Jubjub, that desperate bird,
We shall need all our strength for the job!"

Fit the Fifth.
THE BEAVER'S LESSON.

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

Then the Butcher contrived an ingenious plan
For making a separate sally;
And fixed on a spot unfrequented by man,
A dismal and desolate valley.

But the very same plan to the Beaver occurred:
It had chosen the very same place:
Yet neither betrayed, by a sign or a word,
The disgust that appeared in his face.

Each thought he was thinking of nothing but "Snark"
And the glorious work of the day;
And each tried to pretend that he did not remark
That the other was going that way.

But the valley grew narrow and narrower still,
And the evening got darker and colder,
Till (merely from nervousness, not from goodwill)
They marched along shoulder to shoulder.

Then a scream, shrill and high, rent the shuddering sky,
And they knew that some danger was near:
The Beaver turned pale to the tip of its tail,
And even the Butcher felt queer.

He thought of his childhood, left far far behind—
That blissful and innocent state—
The sound so exactly recalled to his mind
A pencil that squeaks on a slate!

"'Tis the voice of the Jubjub!" he suddenly cried.
(This man, that they used to call "Dunce.")
"As the Bellman would tell you," he added with pride,
"I have uttered that sentiment once.

"'Tis the note of the Jubjub! Keep count, I entreat;
You will find I have told it you twice.
'Tis the song of the Jubjub! The proof is complete,
If only I've stated it thrice."

The Beaver had counted with scrupulous care,
Attending to every word:
But it fairly lost heart, and outgrabe in despair,
When the third repetition occurred.

It felt that, in spite of all possible pains,
It had somehow contrived to lose count,
And the only thing now was to rack its poor brains
By reckoning up the amount.

"Two added to one—if that could but be done,"
It said, "with one's fingers and thumbs!"
Recollecting with tears how, in earlier years,
It had taken no pains with its sums.

"The thing can be done," said the Butcher, "I think.
The thing must be done, I am sure.
The thing shall be done! Bring me paper and ink,
The best there is time to procure."

The Beaver brought paper, portfolio, pens,
And ink in unfailing supplies:
While strange creepy creatures came out of their dens,
And watched them with wondering eyes.

So engrossed was the Butcher, he heeded them not,
As he wrote with a pen in each hand,
And explained all the while in a popular style
Which the Beaver could well understand.

"Taking Three as the subject to reason about—
A convenient number to state—
We add Seven, and Ten, and then multiply out
By One Thousand diminished by Eight.

"The result we proceed to divide, as you see,
By Nine Hundred and Ninety and Two:
Then subtract Seventeen, and the answer must be
Exactly and perfectly true.

"The method employed I would gladly explain,
While I have it so clear in my head,
If I had but the time and you had but the brain—
But much yet remains to be said.

"In one moment I've seen what has hitherto been
Enveloped in absolute mystery,
And without extra charge I will give you at large
A Lesson in Natural History."

In his genial way he proceeded to say
(Forgetting all laws of propriety,
And that giving instruction, without introduction,
Would have caused quite a thrill in Society),

"As to temper the Jubjub's a desperate bird,
Since it lives in perpetual passion:
Its taste in costume is entirely absurd—
It is ages ahead of the fashion:

"But it knows any friend it has met once before:
It never will look at a bribe:
And in charity-meetings it stands at the door,
And collects—though it does not subscribe.

"Its flavor when cooked is more exquisite far
Than mutton, or oysters, or eggs:
(Some think it keeps best in an ivory jar,
And some, in mahogany kegs:)

"You boil it in sawdust: you salt it in glue:
You condense it with locusts and tape:
Still keeping one principal object in view—
To preserve its symmetrical shape."

The Butcher would gladly have talked till next day,
But he felt that the Lesson must end,
And he wept with delight in attempting to say
He considered the Beaver his friend.

While the Beaver confessed, with affectionate looks
More eloquent even than tears,
It had learned in ten minutes far more than all books
Would have taught it in seventy years.

They returned hand-in-hand, and the Bellman, unmanned
(For a moment) with noble emotion,
Said "This amply repays all the wearisome days
We have spent on the billowy ocean!"

Such friends, as the Beaver and Butcher became,
Have seldom if ever been known;
In winter or summer, 'twas always the same—
You could never meet either alone.

And when quarrels arose—as one frequently finds
Quarrels will, spite of every endeavour—
The song of the Jubjub recurred to their minds,
And cemented their friendship for ever!

Fit the Sixth.
THE BARRISTER'S DREAM.

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

But the Barrister, weary of proving in vain
That the Beaver's lace-making was wrong,
Fell asleep, and in dreams saw the creature quite plain
That his fancy had dwelt on so long.

He dreamed that he stood in a shadowy Court,
Where the Snark, with a glass in its eye,
Dressed in gown, bands, and wig, was defending a pig
On the charge of deserting its sty.

The Witnesses proved, without error or flaw,
That the sty was deserted when found:
And the Judge kept explaining the state of the law
In a soft under-current of sound.

The indictment had never been clearly expressed,
And it seemed that the Snark had begun,
And had spoken three hours, before any one guessed
What the pig was supposed to have done.

The Jury had each formed a different view
(Long before the indictment was read),
And they all spoke at once, so that none of them knew
One word that the others had said.

"You must know —" said the Judge: but the Snark exclaimed "Fudge!
That statute is obsolete quite!
Let me tell you, my friends, the whole question depends
On an ancient manorial right.

"In the matter of Treason the pig would appear
To have aided, but scarcely abetted:
While the charge of Insolvency fails, it is clear,
If you grant the plea 'never indebted.'

"The fact of Desertion I will not dispute;
But its guilt, as I trust, is removed
(So far as relates to the costs of this suit)
By the Alibi which has been proved.

"My poor client's fate now depends on your votes."
Here the speaker sat down in his place,
And directed the Judge to refer to his notes
And briefly to sum up the case.

But the Judge said he never had summed up before;
So the Snark undertook it instead,
And summed it so well that it came to far more
Than the Witnesses ever had said!

When the verdict was called for, the Jury declined,
As the word was so puzzling to spell;
But they ventured to hope that the Snark wouldn't mind
Undertaking that duty as well.

So the Snark found the verdict, although, as it owned,
It was spent with the toils of the day:
When it said the word "GUILTY!" the Jury all groaned,
And some of them fainted away.

Then the Snark pronounced sentence, the Judge being quite
Too nervous to utter a word:
When it rose to its feet, there was silence like night,
And the fall of a pin might be heard.

"Transportation for life" was the sentence it gave,
"And then to be fined forty pound."
The Jury all cheered, though the Judge said he feared
That the phrase was not legally sound.

But their wild exultation was suddenly checked
When the jailer informed them, with tears,
Such a sentence would have not the slightest effect,
As the pig had been dead for some years.

The Judge left the Court, looking deeply disgusted:
But the Snark, though a little aghast,
As the lawyer to whom the defense was entrusted,
Went bellowing on to the last.

Thus the Barrister dreamed, while the bellowing seemed
To grow every moment more clear:
Till he woke to the knell of a furious bell,
Which the Bellman rang close at his ear.

Fit the Seventh.
THE BANKER'S FATE.

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

And the Banker, inspired with a courage so new
It was matter for general remark,
Rushed madly ahead and was lost to their view
In his zeal to discover the Snark.

But while he was seeking with thimbles and care,
A Bandersnatch swiftly drew nigh
And grabbed at the Banker, who shrieked in despair,
For he knew it was useless to fly.

He offered large discount—he offered a check
(Drawn "to bearer") for seven-pounds-ten:
But the Bandersnatch merely extended its neck
And grabbed at the Banker again.

Without rest or pause—while those frumious jaws
Went savagely snapping around—
He skipped and he hopped, and he floundered and flopped,
Till fainting he fell to the ground.

The Bandersnatch fled as the others appeared
Led on by that fear-stricken yell:
And the Bellman remarked "It is just as I feared!"
And solemnly tolled on his bell.

He was black in the face, and they scarcely could trace
The least likeness to what he had been:
While so great was his fright that his waistcoat turned white—
A wonderful thing to be seen!

To the horror of all who were present that day.
He uprose in full evening dress,
And with senseless grimaces endeavored to say
What his tongue could no longer express.

Down he sank in a chair—ran his hands through his hair—
And chanted in mimsiest tones
Words whose utter inanity proved his insanity,
While he rattled a couple of bones.

"Leave him here to his fate—it is getting so late!"
The Bellman exclaimed in a fright.
"We have lost half the day. Any further delay,
And we sha'n't catch a Snark before night!"

Fit the Eighth.
THE VANISHING.

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

They shuddered to think that the chase might fail,
And the Beaver, excited at last,
Went bounding along on the tip of its tail,
For the daylight was nearly past.

"There is Thingumbob shouting!" the Bellman said,
"He is shouting like mad, only hark!
He is waving his hands, he is wagging his head,
He has certainly found a Snark!"

They gazed in delight, while the Butcher exclaimed
"He was always a desperate wag!"
They beheld him—their Baker—their hero unnamed—
On the top of a neighboring crag.

Erect and sublime, for one moment of time.
In the next, that wild figure they saw
(As if stung by a spasm) plunge into a chasm,
While they waited and listened in awe.

"It's a Snark!" was the sound that first came to their ears,
And seemed almost too good to be true.
Then followed a torrent of laughter and cheers:
Then the ominous words "It's a Boo—"

Then, silence. Some fancied they heard in the air
A weary and wandering sigh
That sounded like "—jum!" but the others declare
It was only a breeze that went by.

They hunted till darkness came on, but they found
Not a button, or feather, or mark,
By which they could tell that they stood on the ground
Where the Baker had met with the Snark.

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away—
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

THE END.

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Eight Letters Symmetry For Cage

A haiku for me
Eight letters for the poet
and a song for you

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