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Ashley Tisdale

Zac Efron is like a brother who's just goofy and crazy. He plays a lot of practical jokes.

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Oh Brother, Who Knows!

She could be doing anything right now—
She could be making love,
But she’s probably serving domestic beers
To the undergraduate boys who come in
To get drunk on her.
They don’t have a chance….

She could be doing anything right now—
She could be on her pink tricycle
Ringing her bell up and down frat row,
Trying to draw the attention of the ice-cream truck,
Because she has a craving for praline….

She could be doing anything right now,
But who knows….
She said I shouldn’t feel this way toward her,
Or anyone, who I haven’t seen for most of a decade;
I shouldn’t think about the ways she goes
But, brother, how can she know—

Oh Brother,
How can she know the ruby fire
She ignites in your soul?
How can she know the singing rivers
Of sunlight her name brings when spoken out loud—
Even God sings when he walks into her bar
To sit down and buy a round after a hard day’s hangover
For all the good Catholic boys who bat their eyes
At her in choreographed Christianity?

Oh Brother,
How can she know
The way her amber hair flows—
Oh, the way her amber hair flows
Curling, curling like lovers around
Lips, fingers, and toes….
So when we just look at her,
Around, around the world goes….

Oh Brother,
How can she know
The way my heart goes, swimming
Silently around her too afraid to approach—
I’ve unbuttoned my shirt for her and stood there bared
Waiting for her stare to tattoo my heart,
But she’s a mighty fare Clair
Running about in the world,
Changing to water and trees whenever no one is looking,
Whenever she fancies,
But I’m not supposed to think of these things
Because I don’t know her….

But, Oh Brother,
Who knows!

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To My Brother Who Looks Different Than Me

The first time, we met; you treated me,
Like a sibling, like a brother.
It was friendship; it was love at first sight;
In a very short time, you became my faithful mentor,
The good shepherd despite your prestigious might.

You do not discriminate against anybody;
You are the man that I yearn to emulate:
The consummate professional, the prelate,
Who fights the right battle, and who, eventually,
Won justice for your sanity and for others.

When we worked together, you were not perfect,
However, I could rely in you and trusted your ways;
You had a way of dealing with the imperfect
World, you had a way to warn me of the dangers.

A man can love another man for his good character,
For good morale, and unblemished behaviors.
Even now, you are still a brother, not an actor;
You remain frank and truthful with me all the time.

My brother, you were the perfect employer,
You stood by me in good time and in bad time.
When things got tough with the impostors,
I stood by you, because I knew that you were innocent;
Because I knew that you had strong work ethics
God has a way of protecting people, who are decent;
Family men like you and me,
Quality men like you and me.
Even though that we look very different
From each other;
You will forever
Remain my beloved brother.
I thank you for your understanding,
You are my star; I thank you for everything.

Copyright © February 2009 Hebert Logerie, All rights reserved
Hebert Logerie is the author of two poetry books: “Sparkles of Love” and “Etincelles de l’Amour”

Hébert Logerie is the author of “Mounts And Valleys of Love”
https: // bookid=58359

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Who Are You?

Yes I know the secret
Thats within your mind
You think all the people
Who worship you are blind
Youre just like big brother
Giving us your trust
And when you have played enough
Youll just cast our souls
Into the dust
Into the dust
You thought that it would be easy
From the very start
Now Ive found you out
I dont think youre so smart
I only have one more question
Before my time is through
Please I beg you tell me
In the name of hell
Who are you?
Who are you?

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My kin, my brother

Hello brother, my kin,
my morning star,
my protector of
my single life,
be wise and take that wife,
for she will hold you dear.
My kin, my brother,
my radiant soldier
of my ancestors grace,
be filled with love
and walk on high,
bring forth young spirits
for your lineage sake.

My brother, my kin,
my shoulder of strength,
where tears have fallen
and etched your skin,
be bold and brave
cause days will come
where life may change
and depth of spirit
may wane and falter,
have faith like the ones
who have passed before
and hail the triumph
with songs of life
and songs of peace.

My kin, my brother,
my morning star,
my protector of
my single life.

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Love You Like A Brother

It was always you and me and him
A whiskey sour, beer and gin
We were having fun
When the night was over
Youd go off together leaving me alone,
All alone
I stayed up every night, I had to find a way
I had to get to you
So I told you he was stepping outside
I said when you broke down and cried
Why dont you come to me
* she said I love you like a brother
And thats how its got to stay
Because I dont need no reminder
Of the love that went away
And the more I desire,
The less it does inspire
Because she says I remind her
Of the love she left behind
I found myself in the same old place
In the bar, another lonely night to spend
But the first thing I saw when I walked in
Was my almost lover, and my ex best friend
She was drinking all alone
And he was on the telephone
They wouldnt look at me
I went outside, I wanted to cry
Its a lonely life, aint what it used to be
(* repeat 2 times and fade)

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Louis Farrakhan

But if I thought on it, I would like to be remembered as a brother who loved his people and did everything that I knew to fight for them, the liberation of our people.

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For Those Who Drift Just to Follow

Closed eyes awaken,
As dawn breaks.
A replacement shakes up misunderstandings.
And all that 'was'...
Is erased.

Like today...
Has gone away!
And will not be like yesterday.

Tomorrow has taken a leap.
And all who have 'chosen' to stay asleep...
Notice they are without shadows!
In a world that they've been bleeped.
Like a dream no one keeps.
If none were kept to seek!
And souls are lost!

As souls are lost,
For those who drift...
Just to follow with hollow beliefs!

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For Bill - My Brother

Who was aged five when I was born
My brother
Who hid my toys and broke my dolls
My brother
Who avoided his sister at school all day
My brother
Who tolerated my teenage years
My brother
Who as an adult became a friend
My brother
Who mellowed with each passing year
My brother
Who supported my desire to immigrate
My brother
Who was there when others weren't
My brother
Who buried our parents while I was gone
My brother
Who cherished every visit I made
My brother
Who had his ticket to visit me here
My brother
Who unexpectedly died this year
My brother

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Who's To Say

Cars pull in beside tombs and who should
Get out but the silhouettes of movie stars,
And soccer girls from high school,
And the night is so heady with their atmosphere that
It sways as if being tugged like a table cloth,
Like the sea by the moon:
And even the souls of the dying radiate like the flagella
Of maypoles,
And the water near the shore is so shallow that it brings
All together such wildlife in rapacious harmony;
And Amanda has been to Africa,
But I have seen the corpulent tortoise under the bus,
Tugging out the engine of orchids like a child who is
Not bashful,
And even though I leapt away like a little girl over the
Heads of the disinterested alligators,
Whos to say now that I don’t care, or that I wont once
Again be beautiful,
Or that my mother isn’t weeping over the walky-talky
Because I am bivouacked so far up I diadem
You subconscious, and even though it is much too late for
Me- Whos to say I won’t once again be beautiful.

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Released For Repeated Processing

Not into subservience!
Or failed belief systems.

Nor do I tolerate those...
Who impose their insecurities on others.

You know the kind...
Who talk about the disadvantaged.
While they make sure,
They are kept that way...
At a disadvantage!

Not into those,
Who allow this to happen either.
Like those preachers who leach their congregations...
And brag about their Phd's from pulpits.
To insure a cure for devilment...
With a percentage of all earnings,
That will ease an ignorance...
They sermonize can be managed.
At their living tax free 'advantage'.

Deceptions like these,
To further the cause of fear...
Only results in the advancement of decadence.
And that is very clear!

Where there is a church...
Crime is close and near.

'That is blasphemous! '

Explain that in your next 911 call!
Maybe to you the police will rush.
Or maybe your minister will show up...
If it is not an inconvenience.

~Yes, my brother...
I'll be there as soon as I can.
Oh, by the way...
Did you tithe this past Sunday?
You know the church is short on funds! ~

It doesn't take a spy,
To wonder why!

And not far away are diseases from hospitals.
That is the reason there are so many of them.
To make sure people are treated...
And released for repeated processing.
For a fee!

Leaving those who live,
In the profligating of their 'sins'...
The least likely,
To benefit from their ailments.

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Like a girl

Like a girl whose feet are bleeding and swollen
From walking a long,
Long distance to school
Like a girl who pants in pangs and pains
Because she works tirelessly
Doing this and that
You know these domestic chores.
Like a girl whose clitoris is protruding
Not because she is longing for the stick
But because someone has forced himself into her
Like a girl whose genitalia leak blood
Not because she is in 'time'
But because she has been raped
Like a girl who sings alone
In melancholia, a girl who cries alone
Because she remembers her dead parents
Who cries and curses AIDS
Like a girl who sits alone in the dunes
In secluded spaces and prays much
Because she has lost hope in life
Like a girl who sits in the staircase
And looks at the horizon and ponders over her burdens
Over her thousand predicaments
Like a girl who looks at the sky
At night, who counts stars hoping that one day
The One who created those amazing stars
Will answer her prayers
Like a girl who dances in the darkness
Who listens to the music to soothe the pains
Like a girl who wants no man
Because she believes men bring curses with them
Like a girl who plays alone
A young girl who plays alone in the yard
Like a girl who cannot go to school
Because she has to take care of her siblings
Like a girl who will survive no matter what
Who will continue achieving unachievable goals in life
Like a girl who has a soldiers’ courage

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Friendship poem

Chris you beast,
your love never ceases,
it keeps expanding and growing like yeast,

your an awesome friend,
someone i truly commend,
your always so nice to me,
your someone i look up to be,

i don't care if your mexican, spanish or dutch,
i just want to be your bestie and someone who you can clutch,
someone who is there for you,
just as you are for me,
someone who your are happy to see,
and someone who makes you good as new,

i know you are very hansom,
yet i am very plain,
you are easy on the eyes,
and i can cause some pain, xD

you will always seem like a brother,
who protects and keeps me safe,
but we can play and have fun together,
just as an energetic youngster,

me and you might not see each other as often as we should,
but i would spend my time and money,
just to see you if i could.

i miss you buddy more than you could know,
so i write and i write to try to let my feelings flow,
i hope that i can be a part of your life,
even though it is quite full,
because you have bitten off more than you can chew,
and what you have is quite a mouthful.

but i think these writtings have come to an end,
i have expressed myself and shown the love that i send,
i hope i can see you soon,
because i long to meet you and act like a bafoon.
we have great memories,
and much more to come,
we will have many more and much more fun,

one thing that i miss the most,
is not the things we say and boast,
but i miss my big brother i miss my besar saudara,
because this friendship no sin will ever smother..

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The Man Who Wrote Danny Boy

It happened one night
At three in the morning
The devil appeared in my studio room
And he said Im your pal
And Ill make you a deal
Blow away your struggle
And Ill take your soul for a toy
After rubbing my eyes
I looked all around me
At the half-finished drivel Id worked on for days
And I told him my dream
Was to live for all time
In some perfect refrain
Like the man who wrote danny boy
And I said if youre real, then Ill ask you a question
While most of us turn into ashes or dust
Just you and that other guy go on forever
But who writes the history
And who do I trust?
He gave me a wink
And he said it was funny
How mortals would pour all their blood, sweat and tears
Onto tape, onto paper
Or into the air
To be lost and forgotten
Outside of his kind employ
Then I thought I could hear a great sound in the distance
Of whiskey-soaked singing
And laughter and cheers
And theyre saying, that song could bring tears to a glass eye
So pass me the papers, Ill sign them in blood
And the smell of the brimstone was turned into greasepaint
And the roar of the crowd like the furies of hell
And I hear the applause and I hear the bells ringing
And the sound of a womans voice from the next room
Saying come to me now
Come lay down beside me
Whatever youre doing youre too gone to see
You cant hold onto shadows, no more than to years
So be glad for the pleasures
Were young enough to enjoy
So maybe Im drunk
Or maybe a liar
Or maybe were all living inside a dream
You can say what you like
When Im gone, then youll see
Ill be down in the dark
Down underground
With shakespeare and bach
And the man who wrote danny boy

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The Men Who Made Bad Matches

'Tis the song of many husbands, and you all must understand
That you cannot call me coward now that women rule the land;
I have written much for women, where I thought that they were right,
But the men who made bad matches claim a song from me to-night.
Oh, the men who made bad matches are of every tribe and clime,
And, if Adam was the first man, then they date from Adam’s time.
They shall live and they shall suffer, until married life is past,
And the last sad son of Adam stands alone—at peace at last.

Oh, the men who made bad matches, and the Great Misunderstood,
Are through all the world a mighty and a silent brotherhood.
If a wife is discontented, every other woman knows—
But the men who made bad matches keep the cruel secret close.

You may say that you can tell them, by their clothing, if you will,
But a man may seem neglected, and his home be happy still.
You may tell by their assumption of conventional disguise—
But, the men who made bad matches, I can tell them by their eyes!

I have seen them by the camp-fire, where a child’s voice never comes,
I have seen them by the fireside, in their seeming happy homes—
Seen their wives’ false arms go round them, and the kisses that were lies—
Oh, the men who made bad matches! I can tell them by their eyes.

I have seen them bad in prison—seen them sullen, seen them sad;
I have seen them (in the mad-house)—I have seen them raving mad.
Watched them fight the battle bravely, for the children’s sake alone,
Like a father who has wronged them, and who lives but to atone.

But it’s cruel, oh! it’s cruel, for the husband and the wife,
Who have not one thought in common, and are yoked for weary life.
They must see it through and suffer, for the children they must rear—
Oh, the folk who made bad matches have a heavy cross to bear.

There is not a ray of comfort, in the future’s gloomy sky,
For the children of bad matches will make trouble by-and-bye.
And though second wives be angels, while the first wives were the worst,
No second wife yet wedded makes a man forget the first.

Ah! the men who made bad matches think more often than we know,
Of the girls they should have married, in the glorious long ago,
And there’s many a wife and mother thinks with bitter pain to-day,
Of her giddy, silly girlhood, and the man she sent away.

Life is sad for men and women, but the thoughts are bitter sad
Of the girls we should have married, and the boys we should have had.
But we’ll part now with a handshake, if we cannot with a kiss,
And bad matches may be mended in a better world than this.

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I saw an old man the other night
Who just didn't seem right,
So weary and beaten
Not mean nor bad,
Just looked like he'd had
All any man could stand.
Rough and rugged
Yet worn and gentle,
Like a person who'd truly care
And perhaps be even a bit sentimental.
When he looked up
From where he had fallen,
I saw a tear in his eye
And even a little fear upon his face,
A worried soul with a troubled mind-
Too many burdens, not enough time-
So many forgotten dreams, lost in ungrace.
I gazed upon this moment to see...
What looks alot like me.
The way we look, the way we view,
One to another, sister to brother,
Sometimes we stand, sometimes we fall,
We're not so far apart after all.

Now when I look at others
I peer much closer, and try to see:
What is in them,
Is also within me.

A friend of God
Is indeed a friend of mine;
Brothers to others
Throughout all time.

For, above cloudy skies
The sun does shine, and
Somewhere out there, the amatuer poet writes grand words...
Whether they do or do not rhyme.
The human story
Is full of much glory
That the world cares not to notice,
For human kind
Is littered with self inflicted crime, and
Tis a twisted, sordid affair
As so much evil takes its share.
God alone knows
The way it all goes
When life knocks any of us down
So hard to the ground;
May we with compassion
Truly try to understand,
The lost, afraid, and lonely
Child, woman, and man.
And thereby begin to comprehend
The things people do
Are not at all perfect, nor nearly always right,
Just needs be to make it through
The darkness of another fearful night.

-Judgement is not anyones to assert,
For no mortal is able to fully understand
The degree of personal pain in the hurt.
God alone, sits on Heaven's justice throne.
Mercy and grace arrive in so many ways
Across a multitude of lives and days;
Who then is qualified to truly decide
The magnitude of evils treacherous lies,
Or the pain therein
Endured by any one human?
Upon such angels dare not even glance,
Lest they also fall into a worldly trance.
For God has already forgave
All mistakes made,
The heavy cost
Nailed long ago on a wooden cross.
Therefore, ignorant human endeavor
Is left not at all too clever;
Rather than kick-em-when-they're-down
Bend low, and lift a ' friend ' up, off the ground.
Because all it would take for Christ's sake,
To show love and compassion has already been done
By God's own son.
So dare to look ahead
Far beyond this the land of the dead,
And despise not others
Nor judge the 'different', our sisters and brothers.
We all have our burdens to bear
Pressing upon the wounds we wear;
How much better 'twould be
In love and with care
The heavy load to share,
While trying earnestly to understand why
For some 'to live is to die'.

A friend of God
Is indeed a friend of mine;
In God we are all friends,
Into and right on through
The very end of time.
When all together, forever
We shall live and dance,
And everyone is a true friend...
With a God given chance.

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About My Very Tortured Friend, Peter

he lives in a house with a swimming pool
and says the job is
killing him.
he is 27. I am 44. I can’t seem to
get rid of
him. his novels keep coming
back. “what do you expect me to do?” he screams
“go to New York and pump the hands of the
“no,” I tell him, “but quit your job, go into a
small room and do the
“but I need ASSURANCE, I need something to
go by, some word, some sign!”
“some men did not think that way:
Van Gogh, Wagner—”
“oh hell, Van Gogh had a brother who gave him
paints whenever he
needed them!”

“look,” he said, “I’m over at this broad’s house today and
this guy walks in. a salesman. you know
how they talk. drove up in this new
car. talked about his vacation. said he went to
Frisco—saw Fidelio up there but forgot who
wrote it. now this guy is 54 years
old. so I told him: ‘Fidelio is Beethoven’s only
opera.’ and then I told
him: ‘you’re a jerk!’ ‘whatcha mean?’ he
asked. ‘I mean, you’re a jerk, you’re 54 years old and
you don’t know anything!’”

“what happened
“I walked out.”
“you mean you left him there with

“I can’t quit my job,” he said. “I always have trouble getting a
job. I walk in, they look at me, listen to me talk and
they think right away, ah ha! hes too intelligent for
this job, he won’t stay
so there’s really no sense in hiring
now, YOU walk into a place and you don’t have any trouble:
you look like an old wino, you look like a guy who needs a
job and they look at you and they think:
ah ha!: now here’s a guy who really needs work! if we hire
him he’ll stay a long time and work

“do any of those people,” he asks “know you are a
writer, that you write poetry?”
“you never talk about
it. not even to
me! if I hadn’t seen you in that magazine I’d
have never known.”
“that’s right.”
“still, I’d like to tell these people that you are a
“I’d still like to
tell them.”
“well, they talk about you. they think you are just a
horseplayer and a drunk.”
“I am both of those.”
“well, they talk about you. you have odd ways. you travel alone.
I’m the only friend you
“they talk you down. I’d like to defend you. I’d like to tell
them you write
“leave it alone. I work here like they
do. we’re all the same.”
“well, I’d like to do it for myself then. I want them to know why
I travel with
you. I speak 7 languages, I know my music—”
“forget it.”
“all right, I’ll respect your
wishes. but there’s something else—”
“I’ve been thinking about getting a
piano. but then I’ve been thinking about getting a
violin too but I can’t make up my
“buy a piano.”
“you think

he walks away
thinking about

I was thinking about it
too: I figure he can always come over with his
violin and more
sad music.

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The Dalai Lama Who Loved Wine, Women and Song

Here the May lilacs blossom in the garden
Their fragrance sprawls in the air of spring.

Yet my mind drifts on wings of a daydream
To a far away land of peach-treed valleys
Embraced by snow-capped mountains.

One night there on the Roof of the Earth
A young man in the holy city of Lhasa
Listened to the chanting of mantras
Not for the sake of enlightenment
But in order to sense her breath.

That month he span all the pray wheels
Not for the sake of freeing his soul
But in order to touch her finger prints.

That year he prostrated on the ground
With his hands clasping the earth
Not for the sake of adoring Buddha
But in order to sense her warmth.

That incarnation he crossed green forests
He passed through farmlands and deserts
He climbed a hundred thousand mountains
Not for the sake of afterlife
But in order to meet her on the road.

Who was this young man?

Descending from the Monpa Tribe
He was born in 1683 at Urgelling
In the Monastery near Tawang in India.

His parents gave him the name
Losang Rigdzin Tsangyang Gyatso
In the Tibetan language it means
Ocean of Melodious Songs.

His trunk of life was cut short though
Just a child yet and he became
Like an uncrowned king in the land
And even so he remained modest
Humble and unassuming.

He traveled about on foot
He kept no personal servants
He brewed his own tea
And served his guests himself.

And he wrote magnificent poems
They are still loved and revered
And sung throughout Tibet and China.

He loved women, friends and wine
Although he was chosen as His Holiness
The Sixth Dalai Lama of Tibet!

But he had no plans to accept the role
Renounced the vows of a novice monk
And then asked the forgiveness
Of the Panchen Lama
For refusing to accept the duties
Of full ordination.

He had rather lived his life
As a rake and stud.

He gambled and practiced archery
Grew a long hair embellished with jewels
Called himself the Turquoise Bee
Acting as a playboy and dressing as a layman
A gadabout debaucher in blue silk brocade.

He roamed through the countryside
Reveling with his friends
In the parks in daylight
And then spent the dark hours
In the taverns of Shol-town.

Drinking barley beer stuffed in bamboo barrels
Or enjoying the intoxicating rice chang
White and sweet and pungent in taste.

He had 'never slept a night
Without a sweetheart'
He wrote in one of his love poems
To the indignation of the opulent Potala palace
As servants traced back his footprints
In the fresh snow leading to the brothels.

However, the Dalai Lama had a broken heart
He wanted to wed his beloved lady
The sweetheart who truly loved him
But she “has been stolen to wed another”
And he became sick with hankering sorrow.

That night in the holy city of Lhasa
He listened to the chanting of the mantras
Not for the sake of enlightenment
But in order to sense her breath.

That month he span all the pray wheels
Not for the sake of freeing his soul
But in order to touch her finger prints.

That year he prostrated on the earth
With his hands clasping the soil
Not for the sake of adoring Buddha
But in order to sense her warmth.

That incarnation he crossed green forests
He passed through farmlands and deserts
He climbed a hundred thousand mountains
Not for the sake of afterlife
But in order to meet her on the road.

Then turbulence shook the Roof of the World
It was now the fragile year of 1706
And a Mongol army invaded Tibet
Their leader Lhasang Khan did not believe
That the Dalai Lama was the real one
And he wanted to depose him.

A foreign army besieged Lhasa
And Lhasang Khan ordered the Dalai Lama
To relocate at the Mongol military camp
In Lhalu Garden.

Soon afterwards, on June 27,1706,
The Mongol warlord ousted
The Head of Tibetan Buddhism.

And since the Chinese Emperor Kangxi
Approved it the Mongols took the Dalai Lama
On a journey to the east to banish him
To the imperial court
Of the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty in Beijing.

It was a long voyage, joyless and exhausting
Escorted by a group of Mongolian soldiers
In the fall of 1706 he reached Gunga-Nor Lake
On the road to the Chinese capital.

However, the Dalai Lama did not want
To spend the rest of his life in humiliating exile
And on the night of November 14,1706
He escaped under the veil of darkness.

A Mongol sentry noticed the fleeing figure
And placed a fir arrow on his birch bow.

The archer aimed his weapon
At the running target, he drew the curved bow
Gripping the string
Between his horn-ringed thumb and index finger
Until his left arm was fully extended
And then released the metal-bladed projectile.

The arrow took to the air
With a sharp snapping sound.

A moving shadow emitted
A subdued moan of pain
But vanished away
On the nightly lake shore.

White crane, lend me your wings
I go no further than Lithang
And thence, return again.

While in Mongol captivity
At Lithang Monastery in Kham
Tsangyang Gyato, the Sixth Dalai Lama
Predicted his own rebirth.

In 1708, two years after his disappearance
The Seventh Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyatso
Was born in Lithang in Kham.

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Patrick White

Even When The Road Is Missing

Even when the road is missing
like the absence of God, or a woman I love,
I praise that emptiness for the freedom it accords me
to create a way of my own like a river of stars
and for the universe it's left me
like a travelling companion I couldn't improve upon.

The gate shut, the door closed, the window locked,
I slip a key to a poem under the welcome mat
and say my house is your house anytime you call
and then go get drunk with the moon down by the lake.

And after awhile we're laughing at ourselves,
rolling in the leaves like the groundswell
of two happy vagrants with homeless hearts
making off with our lives for free as if
we'd just pulled off some cosmic B and E.
without leaving any sign of culpability behind,
except for the joy of our felicitous crime.

And when my moonboat's in port for repairs
like bedsheets in a backyard fleet of laundry on the line,
I don't mind being land locked for awhile.
I just take a walk along the shore of the lake
and gather moonlit feathers
from the scales of the waves
that have evolved from raptors into swans,
and binding them together
like Daedalus did for Icarus,
take a joy ride into the sun at midnight
not really caring too much about whether
I'm at zenith or nadir as long
as I'm transiting something akin to a threshold.

The sun can hold Venus on a short leash,
and me on the chain of my spine
like a barnyard dog barking at wolves
trying to tempt it deeper into the night
but the last crescent of the moon
will cut right through them both
like the umbilical cords of a new life
where we can both roam free
like rogue planets from star to star.

Empty-handed and full-hearted I come by day
to a low place looking for fire
from the daylilies with a bucket and an urn,
because I'm so tired of what I've had to do
to stay alive for the past fifty years as a serf of poetry
to keep it a calling, instead of a career,
and suffer the consequences of not attending to it
as a business that makes a profit off the stars,
but by night I'm a starling of creosote in a chimney
singing my heart out as if I wanted to eat it
because it has all the virtues of a noble enemy
and there's no poetry or protein in the junkfood of fame,
though I think that might be a trifle ingenuous.

Impoverished Druid, you lean on a crutch for a tree,
as a flying buttress to your sacred folly,
and running out of time to avoid
a head-on collision with eternity
all your devotions the ghosts of yesterday,
you kick the stool from out under your feet
and garotte yourself from the bough of an oak,
like the berry of a single moon of mistletoe
and the last crescent of a golden sickle just out of reach
of the harvest season of the King of the Waxing Year.

Poor heart, what a battered shoe
of a vital organ you've become, a bone box
for the sacred skeletons of hummingbirds and elephants,
a Burgess Shale for the creative fossils and footprints
we both had to evolve through to come to this
inconceivable moment without a time scale
to measure how far it is from then to now
like the last leap of faith of the waterclock of life
into the abyss without a bucket for a safety net
or any deep assurance of even having a bottom anymore
to fall out of the ongoing over the edge of a precipice
as if even the rivers of Eden sometimes
had to seek release from it all and fall
even without a parachute to candle
like an exclamation mark all the way down,
a descent into hell creatively much to be preferred
than stagnating in paradise with nothing but apples to eat.

But still you know you won't do it, given
the number of times now I've come running
with a chair and a rope to let you down
out of the window of a burning building
not knowing whether we were committing suicide
or I was running to your rescue as I always have.

Your daring has always said feathers and falling
has always taken wing like Pegasus before,
and what a wild strange radiant white water ride it's been
across the high unbounded starfields of the shining
with Vega and Deneb goading us on
ever further like spurs of Spanish silver
just you and me, my blood brother, together
in the vastness of a mutual solitude.

My God, when I think of the flights we've taken.
When I think of the things we've seen,
and the orchards of sorrow that found more bliss
in the fruit than they did in the blossom.
And what did we ever write about all those stars
that didn't declare how impossibly illiterate we are
compared to the lyrics of light and time and wonder
they've been singing all these lightyears
since I first opened my eyes to why I'm conceivably here,
though here can be anywhere by now like a bird
that loses its bearing under the stars everytime
it tries to get a fix on where it's going like a photon
jumping orbitals like tree rings in a flash of insight.
When you're light, when you're foolhardily alive
you don't need to pay heed to where you're going
because there isn't a single stage, place, or phase
that isn't the destination of what you're shining up at.

And I never thought the day would ever come
when sadness would sweeten into wisdom enough
to take pity on the mirrors like the eyes under our lifemasks
when we went down to the river to drink
our own reflections like faces from the lifeboat of our hands,
like a rain of mercy far out at sea far from the sight of land,
when we first began to understand how clarity like unity
can be broken down into little pieces of sand
that reflect the whole universe as readily
in their mystic particularity
as the stars and the sun and the moon do
when they lay their swords and feathers
and flying carpets like wavelengths of light
down in tribute to our third eye weeping its way to the sea.

And you were surprised, admit it, weren't you,
to find so many white horses like you running ashore,
mustangs from the waves, to check out the new guy's wings.
And me standing there like an avalanche of winged heels
wondering why I didn't make as big a splash
and if all we walked away with was a detailed starmap
who could say the journey really wasn't worth it?
Let the shore-huggers do what they want with it
to find their way around in the dark like fireflies.
Leave it to them. We were ever explorers
from the beginningless beginning to the endless end,
and we'll rise up again on a gust of stars
caught up like a dust-devil at the crossroads of earth
and ascend on a thermal of the sun, the stairwell
of a star-studded chromosome that could
take a coil of flypaper and turn it into a poem.

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Michael Oaktree

Under an arch of glorious leaves I passed
Out of the wood and saw the sickle moon
Floating in daylight o'er the pale green sea.

It was the quiet hour before the sun
Gathers the clouds to prayer and silently
Utters his benediction on the waves
That whisper round the death-bed of the day.
The labourers were returning from the farms
And children danced to meet them. From the doors
Of cottages there came a pleasant clink
Where busy hands laid out the evening meal.
From smouldering elms around the village spire
There soared and sank the caw of gathering rooks.
The faint-flushed clouds were listening to the tale
The sea tells to the sunset with one sigh.
The last white wistful sea-bird sought for peace,
And the last fishing-boat stole o'er the bar,
And fragrant grasses, murmuring a prayer,
Bowed all together to the holy west,
Bowed all together thro' the golden hush,
The breathing hush, the solemn scented hush,
The holy, holy hush of eventide.

And, in among the ferns that crowned the hill
With waving green and whispers of the wind,
A boy and girl, carelessly linking hands,
Into their golden dream drifted away.
On that rich afternoon of scent and song
Old Michael Oaktree died. It was not much
He wished for; but indeed I think he longed
To see the light of summer once again
Blossoming o'er the far blue hills. I know
He used to like his rough-hewn wooden bench
Placed in the sun outside the cottage door
Where in the listening stillness he could hear,
Across the waving gilly-flowers that crowned
His crumbling garden wall, the long low sigh
Of supreme peace that whispers to the hills
The sacred consolation of the sea.
He did not hope for much: he longed to live
Until the winter came again, he said;
But on the last sweet eve of May he died.

I wandered sadly through the dreaming lanes
Down to the cottage on that afternoon;
For I had known old Michael Oaktree now
So many years, so many happy years.
When I was little he had carried me
High on his back to see the harvest home,
And given me many a ride upon his wagon
Among the dusty scents of sun and hay.
He showed me how to snare the bulky trout
That lurked under the bank of yonder brook.
Indeed, he taught me many a country craft,
For I was apt to learn, and, as I learnt,
I loved the teacher of that homely lore.
Deep in my boyish heart he shared the glad
Influence of the suns and winds and waves,
Giving my childhood what it hungered for--
The rude earth-wisdom of the primal man.

He had retained his childhood: Death for him
Had no more terror than his bed. He walked
With wind and sunlight like a brother, glad
Of their companionship and mutual aid.
We, toilers after truth, are weaned too soon
From earth's dark arms and naked barbarous breast.
Too soon, too soon, we leave the golden feast,
Fetter the dancing limbs and pluck the crown
Of roses from the dreaming brow. We pass
Our lives in most laborious idleness.
For we have lost the meaning of the world;
We have gone out into the night too soon;
We have mistaken all the means of grace
And over-rated our small power to learn.
And the years move so swiftly over us:
We have so little time to live in worlds
Unrealised and unknown realms of joy,
We are so old before we learn how vain
Our effort was, how fruitlessly we cast
Our Bread upon the waters, and how weak
Our hearts were, but our chance desires how strong!
Then, in the dark, our sense of light decays;
We cannot cry to God as once we cried!
Lost in the gloom, our faith, perhaps our love,
Lies dead with years that never can return.

But Michael Oaktree was a man whose love
Had never waned through all his eighty years.
His faith was hardly faith. He seemed a part
Of all that he believed in. He had lived
In constant conversation with the sun,
The wind, the silence and the heart of peace;
In absolute communion with the Power
That rules all action and all tides of thought,
And all the secret courses of the stars;
The Power that still establishes on earth
Desire and worship, through the radiant laws
Of Duty, Love and Beauty; for through these
As through three portals of the self-same gate
The soul of man attains infinity,
And enters into Godhead. So he gained
On earth a fore-taste of Nirvana, not
The void of eastern dream, but the desire
And goal of all of us, whether thro' lives
Innumerable, by slow degrees, we near
The death divine, or from this breaking body
Of earthly death we flash at once to God.
Through simple love and simple faith, this man
Attained a height above the hope of kings.

Yet, as I softly shut the little gate
And walked across the garden, all the scents
Of mingling blossom ached like inmost pain
Deep in my heart, I know not why. They seemed
Distinct, distinct as distant evening bells
Tolling, over the sea, a secret chime
That breaks and breaks and breaks upon the heart
In sorrow rather than in sound, a chime
Strange as a streak of sunset to the moon,
Strange as a rose upon a starlit grave,
Strange as a smile upon a dead man's lips;
A chime of melancholy, mute as death
But strong as love, uttered in plangent tones
Of honeysuckle, jasmine, gilly-flowers,
Jonquils and aromatic musky leaves,
Lilac and lilies to the rose-wreathed porch.

At last I tapped and entered and was drawn
Into the bedroom of the dying man,
Who lay, propped up with pillows, quietly
Gazing; for through his open casement far
Beyond the whispers of the gilly-flowers
He saw the mellow light of eventide
Hallow the west once more; and, as he gazed,
I think I never saw so great a peace
On any human face. There was no sound
Except the slumbrous pulsing of a clock,
The whisper of the garden and, far off,
The sacred consolation of the sea.

His wife sat at his bed-side: she had passed
Her eightieth year; her only child was dead.
She had been wedded more than sixty years,
And she sat gazing with the man she loved
Quietly, out into that unknown Deep.

A butterfly floated into the room
And back again, pausing awhile to bask
And wink its painted fans on the warm sill;
A bird piped in the roses and there came
Into the childless mother's ears a sound
Of happy laughing children, far away.

Then Michael Oaktree took his wife's thin hand
Between his big rough hands. His eyes grew dark,
And, as he turned to her and died, he spoke
Two words of perfect faith and love--_Come soon_!

O then in all the world there was no sound
Except the slumbrous pulsing of a clock,
The whisper of the leaves and far away,
The infinite compassion of the sea.
But, as I softly passed out of the porch
And walked across the garden, all the scents
Of mingling blossoms ached like inmost joy,
Distinct no more, but like one heavenly choir
Pealing one mystic music, still and strange
As voices of the holy Seraphim,
One voice of adoration, mute as love,
Stronger than death, and pure with wedded tones
Of honeysuckle, jasmine, gilly-flowers,
Jonquils and aromatic musky leaves,
Lilac and lilies to the garden gate.

O then indeed I knew how closely knit
To stars and flowers we are, how many means
Of grace there are for those that never lose
Their sense of membership in this divine
Body of God; for those that all their days
Have walked in quiet communion with the Life
That keeps the common secret of the sun,
The wind, the silence and the heart of man.
There is one God, one Love, one everlasting
Mystery of Incarnation, one creative
Passion behind the many-coloured veil.

We have obscured God's face with partial truths,
The cause of all our sorrow and sin, our wars
Of force and thought, in this unheavened world.
Yet, by the battle of our partial truths,
The past against the present and the swift
Moment of passing joy against the deep
Eternal love, ever the weaker truth
Falls to the stronger, till once more we near
The enfolding splendour of the whole. Our God
Has been too long a partial God. We are all
Made in His image, men and birds and beasts,
Mountains and clouds and cataracts and suns,
With those great Beings above our little world,
A height beyond for every depth below,
Those long-forgotten Princedoms, Virtues, Powers,
Existences that live and move in realms
As far beyond our thought as Europe lies
With all its little arts and sciences
Beyond the comprehension of the worm.
We are all partial images, we need
What lies beyond us to complete our souls;
Therefore our souls are filled with a desire
And love which lead us towards the Infinity
Of Godhead that awaits us each and all.

Peacefully through the dreaming lanes I went.
The sun sank, and the birds were hushed. The stars
Trembled like blossoms in the purple trees.
But, as I paused upon the whispering hill
The mellow light still lingered in the west,
And dark and soft against that rosy depth
A boy and girl stood knee-deep in the ferns.
Dreams of the dead man's youth were in my heart,
Yet I was very glad; and as the moon
Brightened, they kissed; and, linking hand in hand,
Down to their lamp-lit home drifted away.

Under an arch of leaves, into the gloom
I went along the little woodland road,
And through the breathless hedge of hawthorn heard
Out of the deepening night, the long low sigh
Of supreme peace that whispers to the hills
The sacrament and sabbath of the sea.

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Improvisatore, The

Scene--A spacious drawing-room, with music-room adjoining.

Katharine. What are the words ?

Eliza. Ask our friend, the Improvisatore ; here he comes. Kate has a favour
to ask of you, Sir ; it is that you will repeat the ballad [Believe me if
all those endearing young charms.--EHC's ? note] that Mr. ____ sang so

Friend. It is in Moore's Irish Melodies ; but I do not recollect the
words distinctly. The moral of them, however, I take to be this :--

Love would remain the same if true,
When we were neither young nor new ;
Yea, and in all within the will that came,
By the same proofs would show itself the same.

Eliza. What are the lines you repeated from Beaumont and Fletcher, which my
mother admired so much ? It begins with something about two vines so close
that their tendrils intermingle.

Friend. You mean Charles' speech to Angelina, in The Elder Brother.

We'll live together, like two neighbour vines,
Circling our souls and loves in one another !
We'll spring together, and we'll bear one fruit ;
One joy shall make us smile, and one grief mourn ;
One age go with us, and one hour of death
Shall close our eyes, and one grave make us happy.

Katharine. A precious boon, that would go far to reconcile one to old
age--this love--if true ! But is there any such true love ?

Friend. I hope so.

Katharine. But do you believe it ?

Eliza (eagerly). I am sure he does.

Friend. From a man turned of fifty, Katharine, I imagine, expects a
less confident answer.

Katharine. A more sincere one, perhaps.

Friend. Even though he should have obtained the nick-name of
Improvisatore, by perpetrating charades and extempore verses at
Christmas times ?

Eliza. Nay, but be serious.

Friend. Serious ! Doubtless. A grave personage of my years giving a
Love-lecture to two young ladies, cannot well be otherwise. The
difficulty, I suspect, would be for them to remain so. It will be
asked whether I am not the `elderly gentleman' who sate `despairing
beside a clear stream', with a willow for his wig-block.

Eliza. Say another word, and we will call it downright affectation.

Katharine. No ! we will be affronted, drop a courtesy, and ask pardon for
our presumption in expecting that Mr. ___ would waste his sense on two
insignificant girls.

Friend. Well, well, I will be serious. Hem ! Now then commences the
discourse ; Mr. Moore's song being the text. Love, as distinguished
from Friendship, on the one hand, and from the passion that too often
usurps its name, on the other--

Lucius (Eliza's brother, who had just joined the trio, in a whisper to the
Friend). But is not Love the union of both ?

Friend (aside to Lucius). He never loved who thinks so.

Eliza. Brother, we don't want you. There ! Mrs. H. cannot arrange the
flower vase without you. Thank you, Mrs. Hartman.

Lucius. I'll have my revenge ! I know what I will say !

Eliza. Off ! Off ! Now, dear Sir,--Love, you were saying--

Friend. Hush ! Preaching, you mean, Eliza.

Eliza (impatiently). Pshaw !

Friend. Well then, I was saying that Love, truly such, is itself not
the most common thing in the world : and that mutual love still less
so. But that enduring personal attachment, so beautifully delineated
by Erin's sweet melodist, and still more touchingly, perhaps, in the
well-known ballad, `John Anderson, my Jo, John,' in addition to a
depth and constancy of character of no every-day occurrence, supposes
a peculiar sensibility and tenderness of nature ; a constitutional
communicativeness and utterancy of heart and soul ; a delight in the
detail of sympathy, in the outward and visible signs of the sacrament
within--to count, as it were, the pulses of the life of love. But
above all, it supposes a soul which, even in the pride and summer-tide
of life--even in the lustihood of health and strength, had felt
oftenest and prized highest that which age cannot take away and which,
in all our lovings, is the Love ;----

Eliza. There is something here (pointing to her heart) that seems to
understand you, but wants the word that would make it understand itself.

Katharine. I, too, seem to feel what you mean. Interpret the feeling for

Friend. ---- I mean that willing sense of the insufficingness of the
self for itself, which predisposes a generous nature to see, in the
total being of another, the supplement and completion of its own
;--that quiet perpetual seeking which the presence of the beloved
object modulates, not suspends, where the heart momently finds, and,
finding, again seeks on ;--lastly, when `life's changeful orb has
pass'd the full', a confirmed faith in the nobleness of humanity, thus
brought home and pressed, as it were, to the very bosom of hourly
experience ; it supposes, I say, a heartfelt reverence for worth, not
the less deep because divested of its solemnity by habit, by
familiarity, by mutual infirmities, and even by a feeling of modesty
which will arise in delicate minds, when they are conscious of
possessing the same or the correspondent excellence in their own
characters. In short, there must be a mind, which, while it feels the
beautiful and the excellent in the beloved as its own, and by right of
love appropriates it, can call Goodness its Playfellow ; and dares
make sport of time and infirmity, while, in the person of a
thousand-foldly endeared partner, we feel for aged Virtue the
caressing fondness that belongs to the Innocence of childhood, and
repeat the same attentions and tender courtesies which had been
dictated by the same affection to the same object when attired in
feminine loveliness or in manly beauty.

Eliza. What a soothing--what an elevating idea !

Katharine. If it be not only an idea.

Friend. At all events, these qualities which I have enumerated, are
rarely found united in a single individual. How much more rare must it
be, that two such individuals should meet together in this wide world
under circumstances that admit of their union as Husband and Wife. A
person may be highly estimable on the whole, nay, amiable as a
neighbour, friend, housemate--in short, in all the concentric circles
of attachment save only the last and inmost ; and yet from how many
causes be estranged from the highest perfection in this ! Pride,
coldness, or fastidiousness of nature, worldly cares, an anxious or
ambitious disposition, a passion for display, a sullen temper,--one or
the other--too often proves `the dead fly in the compost of spices',
and any one is enough to unfit it for the precious balm of unction.
For some mighty good sort of people, too, there is not seldom a sort
of solemn saturnine, or, if you will, ursine vanity, that keeps itself
alive by sucking the paws of its own self-importance. And as this high
sense, or rather sensation of their own value is, for the most part,
grounded on negative qualities, so they have no better means of
preserving the same but by negatives--that is, but not doing or saying
any thing, that might be put down for fond, silly, or nonsensical
;--or, (to use their own phrase) by never forgetting themselves, which
some of their acquaintance are uncharitable enough to think the most
worthless object they could be employed in remembering.

Eliza (in answer to a whisper from Katharine). To a hair ! He must have
sate for it himself. Save me from such folks ! But they are out of the

Friend. True ! but the same effect is produced in thousands by the too
general insensibility to a very important truth ; this, namely, that
the MISERY of human life is made up of large masses, each separated
from the other by certain intervals. One year, the death of a child ;
years after, a failure in trade ; after another longer or shorter
interval, a daughter may have married unhappily ;--in all but the
singularly unfortunate, the integral parts that compose the sum total
of the unhappiness of a man's life, are easily counted, and distinctly
remembered. The HAPPINESS of life, on the contrary, is made up of
minute fractions--the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss, a
smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment in the disguise of a
playful raillery, and the countless other infinitesimals of
pleasurable thought and genial feeling.

Katharine. Well, Sir ; you have said quite enough to make me despair of
finding a `John Anderson, my Jo, John', with whom to totter down the hill
of life.

Friend. Not so ! Good men are not, I trust, so much scarcer than good
women, but that what another would find in you, you may hope to find
in another. But well, however, may that boon be rare, the possession
of which would be more than an adequate reward for the rarest virtue.

Eliza. Surely, he, who has described it so well, must have possessed it ?

Friend. If he were worthy to have possessed it, and had believingly
anticipated and not found it, how bitter the disappointment !

(Then, after a pause of a few minutes),

ANSWER, ex improviso

Yes, yes ! that boon, life's richest treat
He had, or fancied that he had ;
Say, 'twas but in his own conceit--
The fancy made him glad !
Crown of his cup, and garnish of his dish !
The boon, prefigured in his earliest wish,
The fair fulfilment of his poesy,
When his young heart first yearn'd for sympathy !
But e'en the meteor offspring of the brain
Unnourished wane ;
Faith asks her daily bread,
And Fancy must be fed !
Now so it chanced--from wet or dry,
It boots not how--I know not why--
She missed her wonted food ; and quickly
Poor Fancy stagger'd and grew sickly.
Then came a restless state, 'twixt yea and nay,
His faith was fix'd, his heart all ebb and flow ;
Or like a bark, in some half-shelter'd bay,
Above its anchor driving to and fro.

That boon, which but to have possess'd
In a belief, gave life a zest--
Uncertain both what it had been,
And if by error lost, or luck ;
And what is was ;--an evergreen
Which some insidious blight had struck,
Or annual flower, which, past its blow,
No vernal spell shall e'er revive ;
Uncertain, and afraid to know,
Doubts toss'd him to and fro :
Hope keeping Love, Love Hope alive,
Like babes bewildered in a snow,
That cling and huddle from the cold
In hollow tree or ruin'd fold.

Those sparkling colours, once his boast
Fading, one by one away,
Thin and hueless as a ghost,
Poor Fancy on her sick bed lay ;
Ill at distance, worse when near,
Telling her dreams to jealous Fear !
Where was it then, the sociable sprite,
That crown'd the Poet's cup and deck'd his dish !
Poor shadow cast from an unsteady wish,
Itself a substance by no other right
But that it intercepted Reason's light ;
It dimm'd his eye, it darken'd on his brow,
A peevish mood, a tedious time, I trow !
Thank Heaven ! 'tis not so now.

O bliss of blissful hours !
The boon of Heaven's decreeing,
While yet in Eden's bowers
Dwelt the first husband and his sinless mate !
The one sweet plant, which, piteous Heaven agreeing,
They bore with them thro' Eden's closing gate !
Of life's gay summer tide the sovran Rose !
Late autumn's Amaranth, that more fragrant blows
When Passion's flowers all fall or fade ;
If this were ever his, in outward being,
Or but his own true love's projected shade,
Now that at length by certain proof he knows,
That whether real or a magic show,
Whate'er it was, it is no longer so ;
Though heart be lonesome, Hope laid low,
Yet, Lady ! deem him not unblest :
The certainty that struck Hope dead,
Hath left Contentment in her stead :
And that is next to Best !

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