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In the Depths of a Forest

In the depths of a Forest secluded and wild,
The night voices whisper in passionate numbers;
And I’m leaning again, as I did when a child,
O’er the grave where my father so quietly slumbers.
The years have rolled by with a thundering sound
But I knew, O ye woodlands, affection would know it,
And the spot which I stand on is sanctified ground
By the love that I bear to him sleeping below it.

Oh! well may the winds with a saddening moan
Go fitfully over the branches so dreary;
And well may I kneel by the time-shattered stone,
And rejoice that a rest has been found for the weary.

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That Time Has Been Found

No one will ever be praised,
For being outspoken...
Or giving an honest assessment.
That strips away all pretense.
Not in places,
Where people become embarrassed...
And take offense to them given.
People show their reaction,
By becoming irate and belligerent.

And for whatever the reason,
In these same places...
People will come together,
In planned meetings to discuss...
Their disgust with the downslide,
Of their once valued quality of life.
And will argue amongst themselves,
About no one caring enough to speak up.
Or express their concerns from their gut!

'You and a few others,
Were not at the last community meeting.
And we issued notices to everyone,
Regarding the importance of attending.
Why weren't you there? '

~If I remember correctly,
It was you who told us where we could go.
And what we could kiss before we did it!
And I personally decided,
I can find a better use if I choose to waste my time.
And I am happy to acknowledge,
That time has been found.~

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I Love That Dirty Water! (The Standells)

The eastern world, it is exploding
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin'
Eve of Destruction-- Barry McGuire

The Standells sang about the dirty water in the Charles River in Boston

Well I love that dirty water
Oh, Boston you're my home
Oh, you're the number one place
(This observation is not about a soulful, cut time, melodious affirmation about the singer's affinity to polluted water in Massachusetts. However, it is about a river who Christians, Jews and Muslims hold very dear in their hearts.)

Well maybe the Jordan River is not a aqueous cemetery
But if you drink the water,
even touch the water- let alone be baptized,
You could be in trouble,
the water is polluted,
That should make you leery
It appears that the population is going up
And the water level is going down,
In that geographical region
Many turds of goats
or donkeys
or humans are washed away by rain
or by flushing*
-eventually ends in Jordan River
Not to mention the pesticides and fertilizer
That should makes you quiver.

St. John, if you were alive today,
Then you would not make it though a year**
Baptizing people in the Jordan River

Instead people being baptized in Jordan River water
They should possibly get baptized in more purer fluid,
Like Aquafina, Dasani, or wine, soda, liquor, or beer.


Israeli-controlled side of the site, Gidon Bromberg, of Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) , talks about the dangers.

*'In the middle of the desert we continue to flush our toilets with fresh water rather than using gray water (water that has been used for washing dishes or showering) , and we continue to grow tropical fruits for export, ' Bromberg told AOL. 'We can do much better in reducing water loss, and we need to treat and reuse all of the sewage water that we produce.'

** 'If you drink the water, you're likely to get diarrhea or stomach problems, and if you have a cut, you will probably get a rash. Israel bans people from being baptized here, and the Jordanians advise against it, but it's still hard to stop people.'

http: // isms-are-health-risk/19462155? icid=main|main|dl1|link6|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aolnews .com%2Fworld%2Farticle%2Fjordan-river-baptisms-ar e-health-risk%2F19462155

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William Cowper

The Task: Book II. -- The Time-Piece

Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war
Might never reach me more! My ear is pained,
My soul is sick with every day's report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is filled.
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart,
It does not feel for man. The natural bond
Of brotherhood is severed as the flax
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interposed,
Make enemies of nations who had else
Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And worse than all, and most to be deplored
As human nature's broadest, foulest blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes, that mercy with a bleeding heart
Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast.
Then what is man? And what man seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That sinews bought and sold have ever earned.
No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's
Just estimation prized above all price,
I had much rather be myself the slave
And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.
We have no slaves at home. - Then why abroad?
And they themselves, once ferried o'er the wave
That parts us, are emancipate and loosed.
Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free,
They touch our country and their shackles fall.
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through every vein
Of all your empire! that where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.

Sure there is need of social intercourse,
Benevolence and peace and mutual aid
Between the nations, in a world that seems
To toll the death-bell of its own decease,
And by the voice of all its elements
To preach the general doom. When were the winds
Let slip with such a warrant to destroy?
When did the waves so haughtily o'erleap
Their ancient barriers, deluging the dry?
Fire from beneath, and meteors from above
Portentous, unexampled, unexplained,
Have kindled beacons in the skies; and the old
And crazy earth has had her shaking fits
More frequent, and foregone her usual rest.
Is it a time to wrangle, when the props
And pillars of our planet seem to fail,
And nature with a dim and sickly eye
To wait the close of all? But grant her end
More distant, adn that prophecy demands
A longer respite, unaccomplished yet;
Still they are frowning signals, and bespeak
Displeasure in his breast who smites the earth
Or heals it, makes it languish or rejoice.
And 'tis but seemly, that where all deserve
And stand exposed by common peccancy
To what no few have felt, there should be peace,
And brethren in calamity should love.

Alas for Sicily! rude fragments now
Lie scattered where the shapely column stood.
Her palaces are dust. In all her streets
The voice of singing and the sprightly chord
Are silent. Revelry and dance and show
Suffer a syncope and solemn pause,
While God performs upon the trembling stage
Of his own works, his dreadful part alone.
How does the earth receive him? - with what signs
Of gratulation and delight, her king?
Pours she not all her choicest fruits abroad,
Her sweetest flowers, her aromatic gums,
Disclosing paradise where'er he treads?
She quakes at his approach. Her hollow womb
Conceiving thunders, through a thousand deeps
And fiery caverns roars beneath his foot.
The hills move lightly and the mountains smoke,
For He has touched them. From the extremest point
Of elevation down into the abyss,
His wrath is busy and his frown is felt.
The rocks fall headlong and the valleys rise;
The rivers die into offensive pools,
And charged with putrid verdure, breathe a gross
And mortal nuisance into all the air.
What solid was, by transformation strange
Grows fluid; and the fixed and rooted earth
Tormented into billows heaves and swells,
Or with vortiginous and hideous whirl
Sucks down its prey insatiable. Immense
The tumult and the overthrow, the pangs
And agonies of human and of brute
Multitudes, fugitive on every side,
Migrates uplifted, and with all its soil
Alighting in far distant fields, finds out
A new possessor, and survives the change.
Ocean has caught the frenzy, and upwrought
To an enormous and o'erbearing height,
Not by a mighty wind, but by that voice
Which winds and waves obey, invades the shore
Resistless. Never such a sudden flood,
Upridged so high, and sent on such a charge,
Possessed an inland scene. Where now the throng
That pressed the beach, and hasty to depart
Looked to the sea for safety? They are gone,
Gone with the refluent wave into the deep,
A prince with half his people. Ancient towers,
And roofs embattled high, the gloomy scenes
Where beauty oft and lettered worth consume
Life in the unproductive shades of death,
Fall prone; the pale inhabitants come forth,
And happy in their unforeseen release
From all the rigours of restraint, enjoy
The terrors of the day that sets them free.
Who then that has thee, would not hold thee fast,
Freedom! whom they that lose thee, so regret,
That even a judgement making way for thee,
Seems in their eyes, a mercy, for thy sake.

Such evil sin hath wrought; and such a flame
Kindled in heaven, that it burns down to earth,
And in the furious inquest that it makes
On God's behalf, lays waste his fairest works.
The very elements, though each be meant
The minister of man, to serve his wants,
Conspire against him. With his breath, he draws
A plague into his blood, and cannot use
Life's necessary means, but he must die.
Storms rise to o'erwhelm him: or if stormy winds
Rise not, the waters of the deep shall rise,
And needing none assistance of the storm,
Shall roll themselves ashore, and reach him there.
The earth shall shake him out of all his holds,
Or make his house his grave: nor so content,
Shall counterfeit the motions of the flood,
And drown him in her dry and dusty gulfs.
What then, - were they the wicked above all,
And we the righteous, whose fast anchored isle
Moved not, while theirs was rocked like a light skiff,
The sport of every wave? No: none are clear,
And none than we more guilty. But where all
Stand chargeable with guilt, and to the shafts
Or wrath obnoxious, God may choose his mark,
May punish, if he please, the less, to warn
The more malignant. If he spared not them,
Tremble and be amazed at thine escape,
Far guiltier England! lest he spare not thee.

Happy the man who sees a God employ'd
In all the good and ill that chequer life!
Resolving all events, with their effects
And manifold results, into the will
And arbitration wise of the Supreme.
Did not his eye rule all things, and intend
The least of our concerns (since from the least
The greatest oft originate); could chance
Find place in his dominion, or dispose
One lawless particle to thwart his plan;
Then God might be surprised, and unforeseen
Contingence might alarm him, and disturb
The smooth and equal course of his affairs.
This truth Philosophy, though eagle-eyed
In natur's tendencies, oft overlooks;
And, having found his instrument, forgets,
Or disregards, or, more presumptuous still,
Denies the power that wields it. God proclaims
His hot displeasure against foolish men,
That live an atheist life: involves the heaven
In tempests; quits his grasp upon the winds,
And gives them all their fury; bids a plague
Kindle a fiery boil upon the skin,
And putrefy the breath of blooming Health.
He calls for Famine, and the meagre fiend
Blows mildew from between his shrivell'd lips,
And taints the golden ear. He springs his mines,
And desolates a nation at a blast.
Forth steps the spruce philosopher, and tells
Of homogeneal and discordant springs
And principles; of causes, how they work
By necessary laws their sure effects;
Of action and re-action. He has found
The source of the disease that nature feels,
And bids the world take heart and banish fear.
Thou fool! will thy discovery of the cause
Suspend the effect, or heal it? Has not God
Still wrought by means since first he made the world?
And did he not of old employ his means
To drown it? What is his creation less
Than a capacious reservoir of means
Form'd for his use, and ready at his will?
Go, dress thine eyes with eye-salve; ask of him,
Or ask of whosoever he has taught;
And learn, though late, the genuine cause of all.

England, with all thy faults, I love thee still -
My country! and, while yet a nook is left
Where English minds and manners may be found,
Shall be constrain'd to love thee. Though thy clime
Be fickle, and thy year most part deform'd
With dripping rains, or wither'd by a frost,
I would not yet exchange thy sullen skies,
And fields without a flower, for warmer France
With all her vines; nor for Ausonia's groves
Of golden fruitage, and her myrtle bowers.
To shake thy senate, and from heights sublime
Of patriot eloquence to flash down fire
Upon thy foes, was never meant my task:
But I can feel thy fortunes, and partake
Thy joys and sorrows, with as true a heart
As any thunderer there. And I can feel
Thy follies too; and with a just disdain
Frown at effeminates, whose very looks
Reflect dishonour on the land I love.
How, in the name of soldiership and sense,
Should England prosper, when such things, as smooth
And tender as a girl, all essenced o'er
With odours, and as profligate as sweet;
Who sell their laurel for a myrtle wreath,
And love when they should fight; when such as these
Presume to lay their hand upon the ark
Of her magnificent and awful cause?
Time was when it was praise and boast enough
In every clime, and travel where we might,
That we were born her children. Praise enough
To fill the ambition of a private man,
That Chatham's language was his mother tongue,
And Wolfe's great name compatriot with his own.
Farewell those honours, and farewell with them
The hope of such hereafter! They have fallen
Each in his field of glory; one in arms,
And one in council: Wolfe upon the lap
Of smiling Victory that moment won,
And Chatham heart-sick of his country’s shame!
They made us many soldiers. Chatham still
Consulting England's happiness at home,
Secured it by an unforgiving frown,
If any wrong'd her. Wolfe, where’er he fought,
Put so much of his heart into his act,
That his example had a magnet's force,
And all were swift to follow whom all loved.
Those suns are set. Oh, rise some other such!
Or all that we have left is empty talk
Of old achievements and despair of new.

Now hoist the sail, and let the streamers float
Upon the wanton breezes. Strew the deck
With lavender, and sprinkle liquid sweets,
That no rude savour maritime invade
The nose of nice nobility! Breathe soft,
Ye clarionets; and softer still, ye flutes;
That winds and waters, lull'd by magic sounds,
May bear us smoothly to the Gallic shore!
True, we have lost an empire - let it pass.
True; we may thank the perfidy of France,
That pick'd the jewel out of England's crown,
With all the cunning of an envious shrew.
And let that pass; 'twas but a trick of state!
A brave man knows no malice, but at once
Forgets in peace the injuries of war,
And gives his direst foe a friend's embrace.
And, shamed as we have been, to the very beard
Braved and defied, and in our own sea proved
Too weak for those decisive blows that once
Ensured us mastery there, we yet retain
Some small pre-eminence; we justly boast
At least superior jockeyship, and claim
The honours of the turf as all our own!
Go then, well worthy of the praise ye seek,
And show the shame ye might conceal at home
In foreign eyes! be grooms and win the plate,
Where once your nobler fathers won a crown!
'Tis generous to communicate your skill
To those that need it! Folly is soon learn'd:
And under such preceptors who can fail!

There is a pleasure in poetic pains
Which only poets know. The shifts and turns,
The expedients and inventions multiform,
To which the mind resorts, in chase of terms
Though apt, yet coy, and difficult to win -
To arrest the fleeting images that fill
The mirror of the mind, and hold them fast,
And force them sit till he has pencill'd off
A faithful likeness of the forms he views:
Then to dispose his copies with such art,
That each may find its most propitious light,
And shine by situation, hardly less
Than by the labour and the skill it cost;
Are occupations of the poe's mind
So pleasing, and that steal away the thought
With such address from themes of sad import,
That, lost in his own musings, happy man!
He feels the anxieties of life denied
Their wonted entertainment, all retire.
Such joys has he that sings. But ah! not such,
Or seldom such, the hearers of his song.
Fastidious, or else listless, or perhaps
Aware of nothing arduous in a task
They never undertook, they little note
His dangers or escapes, and haply find
Their least amusement where he found the most.
But is amusement all? Studious of song,
And yet ambitious not to sing in vain,
I would not trifle merely, though the world
Be loudest in their praise who do no more.
Yet what can satire, whether grave or gay?
It may correct a foible, may chastise
The freaks of fashion, regulate the dress,
Retrench a sword-blade, or displace a patch;
But where are its sublimer trophies found?
What vice has it subdued? whose heart reclaim'd
By rigour? or whom laugh'd into reform?
Alas! Leviathan is not so tamed:
Laugh'd at, he laughs again; and, stricken hard,
Turns to the stroke his adamantine scales,
That fear no discipline of human hands.

The pulpit, therefore (and I name it fill'd
With solemn awe, that bids me well beware
With what intent I touch that holy thing)-
The pulpit (when the satirist has at last,
Strutting and vapouring in an empty school,
Spent all his force, and made no proselyte)-
I say the pulpit (in the sober use
Of its legitimate, peculiar powers,)
Must stand acknowledged, while the world shall stand,
The most important and effectual guard,
Support, and ornament of Virtue's cause.
There stands the messenger of truth: there stands
The legate of the skies! His theme divine,
His office sacred, his credentials clear.
By him the violated law speaks out
Its thunders; and by him, in strains as sweet
As angels use, the Gospel whispers peace.
He 'stablishes the strong, restores the weak,
Reclaims the wanderer, binds the broken heart,
And, arm'd himself in panoply complete
Of heavenly temper, furnishes with arms
Bright as his own, and trains, by every rule
Of holy discipline, to glorious war,
The sacramental host of God's elect!
Are all such teachers? - would to heaven all were!
But hark - the doctor's voice! - fast wedged between
Two empirics he stands, and with swoll'n cheeks
Inspires the news, his trumpet. Keener far
Than all invective is his bold harangue,
While through that public organ of report
He hails the clergy; and, defying shame,
Announces to the world his own and theirs!
He teaches those to read, whom schools dismiss'd,
And colleges, untaught; sells accent, tone,
And emphasis in score, and gives to prayer
The adagio and andante it demands.
He grinds divinity of other days
Down into modern use; transforms old print
To zigzag manuscript, and cheats the eyes
Of gallery critics by a thousand arts.
Are there who purchase of the doctor's ware?
Oh, name it not Gath! - it cannot be
That grave and learned clerks should need such aid.
He doubtless is in sport, and does but droll,
Assuming thus a rank unknown before -
Grand caterer and dry-nurse of the church!

I venerate the man whose heart is warm,
Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life,
Coincident, exhibit lucid proof
That he is honest in the sacred cause;
To such I render more than mere respect,
Whose actions say that they respect themselves,
But loose in morals, and in manners vain,
In conversation frivolous, in dress
Extreme, at once rapacious and profuse;
Frequent in park with lady at his side,
Ambling and prattling scandal as he goes;
But rare at home, and never at his books,
Or with his pen, save when he scrawls a card;
Constant at routs, familiar with a round
Of ladyships - a stranger to the poor;
Ambitious of preferment for its gold,
And well prepared, by ignorance and sloth,
By infidelity and love of world,
To make God's work a sinecure; a slave
To his own pleasures and his patron's pride:
From such apostles, O ye mitred heads,
Preserve the church! and lay not careless hands
On skulls that cannot teach, and will not learn.

Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul,
Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own -
Paul should himself direct me. I would trace
His master strokes, and draw from his design.
I would express him simple, grave, sincere;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste,
And natural in gesture; much impress'd
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds
May feel it too; affectionate in look,
And tender in address, as well becomes
A messenger of grace to guilty men.
Behold the picture! Is it like? Like whom?
The things that mount the rostrum with a skip,
And then skip down again; pronounce a text;
Cry hem; and reading what they never wrote,
Just fifteen minutes, huddle up their work
And with a well-bred whisper close the scene!

In man or woman, but far most in man,
And most of all in man that ministers
And serves the altar, in my soul I loathe
All affectation. 'Tis my perfect scorn;
Object of my implacable disgust.

What! will a man play tricks? will he indulge
A silly fond conceit of his fair form,
And just proportion, fashionable mien,
And pretty face, in presence of his God?
Or will he seek to dazzle me with tropes,
As with the diamond on his lily hand,
And play his brilliant parts before my eyes,
When I am hungry for the bread of life?
He mocks his Maker, prostitutes and shames
His noble office, and, instead of truth,
Displaying his own beauty, starves his flock!
Therefore, avaunt all attitude, and stare,
And start theatric, practised at the glass
I seek divine simplicity in him
Who handles things divine; and all besides,
Though learn'd with labour, and though much admired
By curious eyes and judgments ill inform'd,
To me is odious as the nasal twang
Heard at conventicle, where worthy men,
Misled by custom, strain celestial themes
Through the press'd nostril, spectacle-bestrid.
Some, decent in demeanour while they preach,
Their task perform'd, relapse into themselves;
And, having spoken wisely, at the close
Grow wanton, and give proof to every eye,
Whoe'er was edified, themselves were not!
Forth comes the pocket mirror. First we stroke
An eyebrow; next compose a straggling lock;
Then with an air most gracefully perform'd
Fall back into our seat, extend an arm,
And lay it at its ease with gentle care,
With handkerchief in hand depending low:
The better hand more busy gives the nose
Its bergamot, or aids the indebted eye,
With opera glass, to watch the moving scene,
And recognise the slow-retiring fair.
Now this is fulsome; and offends me more
Than in a churchman slovenly neglect
And rustic coarseness would. A heavenly mind
May be indifferent to her house of clay,
And slight the hovel as beneath her care;
But how a body so fantastic, trim,
And quaint, in its deportment and attire,
Can lodge a heavenly mind - demands a doubt.

He that negotiates between God and man,
As God's ambassador, the grand concerns
Of judgment and of mercy, should beware
Of lightness in his speech. 'Tis pitful
To court a grin, when you should woo a soul;
To break a jest, when pity would inspir
Pathetic exhortation; and to address
The skittish fancy with facetious tales,
When sent with God's commission to the heart!
So did not Paul. Direct me to a quip
Or merry turn in all he ever wrote,
And I consent you take it for your text,
Your only one, till sides and benches fail.
No: he was serious in a serious cause,
And understood too well the weighty terms
That he had taken in charge. He would not stoop
To conquer those by jocular exploits
Whom truth and soberness assail'd in vain.

O popular applause! what heart of man
Is proof against thy sweet seducing charms?
The wisest and the best feel urgent need
Of all their caution in thy gentlest gales;
But, swell'd into a gust - who then, alas!
With all his canvas set, and inexpert,
And therefore heedless, can withstand thy power?
Praise, from the rivell'd lips of toothless, bald
Decrepitude, and in the looks of lean
And craving Poverty, and in the bow
Respectful of the smutch'd artificer,
Is oft too welcome, and may much disturb
The bias of the purpose. How much more,
Pour’d forth by beauty splendid and polite,
In language soft as Adoration breathes?
Ah, spare your idol! think him human still.
Charms he may have, but he has frailties too!
Dote not too much, nor spoil what ye admire.

All truth is from the sempiternal source
Of light divine. But Egypt, Greece, and Rome
Drew from the stream below. More favour'd, we
Drink, when we choose it, at the fountain-head.
To them it flow'd much mingled and defiled
With hurtful error, prejudice, and dreams
Illusive of philosophy, so call'd,
But falsely. Sages after sages strove
In vain to filter off a crystal draught
Pure from the lees, which often more enhanced
The thirst than slaked it, and not seldom bred
Intoxication and delirium wild.
In vain they push'd inquiry to the birth
And spring-time of the world; ask'd, Whence is man?
Why form'd at all? and wherefore as he is?
Where must he find his Maker? with what rites
Adore him? Will he hear, accept, and bless?
Or does he sit regardless of his works?
Has man within him an immortal seed?
Or does the tomb take all? If he survive
His ashes, where? and in what weal or woe?
Knots worthy of solution, which alone
A Deity could solve. Their answers, vague
And all at random, fabulous and dark,
Left them as dark themselves. Their rules of life,
Defective and unsanction'd, proved too weak
To bind the roving appetite, and lead
Blind nature to a God not yet reveal'd.
'Tis Revelation satisfies all doubts,
Explains all mysteries, except her own,
And so illuminates the path of life
That fools discover it, and stray no more.
Now tell me, dignified and sapient sir,
My man of morals, nurtured in the shades
Of Academus - is this false or true?
Is Christ the abler teacher, or the schools?
If Christ, then why resort at every turn
To Athens or to Rome, for wisdom short
Of man's occasions, when in him reside
Grace, knowledge, comfort -an unfathom'd store?
How oft, when Paul has served us with a text,
Has Epictetus, Plato, Tully preach'd!
Men that, if now alive, would sit content
And humble learners of a Saviour's worth,
Preach it who might. Such was their love of truth,
Their thirst of knowledge, and their candour too!

And thus it is. - The pastor, either vain
By nature, or by flattery made so, taught
To gaze at his own splendour, and to exalt
Absurdly, not his office, but himself;
Or unenlighten'd, and too proud to learn;
Or vicious, and not therefore apt to teach;
Perverting often, by the stress of lewd
And loose example, whom he should instruct;
Exposes, and holds up to broad disgrace
The noblest function, and discredits much
The brightest truths that man has ever seen.
For ghostly counsel - if it either fall
Below the exigence, or be not back'd
With show of love, at least with hopeful proof
Of some sincerity on the giver’s part;
Or be dishonour'd in the exterior form
And mode of its conveyance by such tricks
As move derision, or by foppish airs
And histrionic mummery, that let down
The pulpit to the level of the stage.
Drops from the lips a disregarded thing.
The weak perhaps are moved, but are not taught,
While prejudice in men of stronger minds
Takes deeper root, confirm'd by what they see.
A relaxation of religion's hold
Upon the roving and untutor'd heart
Soon follows, and, the curb of conscience snapp'd,
The laity run wild. But do they now?
Note their extravagance, and be convinced.

As nations, ignorant of God, contrive
A wooden one, so we, no longer taught
By monitors that mother church supplies,
Now make our own. Posterity will ask
(If e'er posterity see verse of mine)
Some fifty or a hundred lustrums hence,
What was a monitor in George's days?
My very gentle reader, yet unborn,
Of whom I needs must augur better things,
Since Heaven would sure grow weary of a world
Productive only of a race like ours,
A monitor is wood-plank shaven thin.
We wear it at our backs. There, closely braced
And neatly fitted, it compresses hard
The prominent and most unsightly bones,
And binds the shoulders flat. We prove its use
Sovereign and most effectual to secure
A form, not now gymnastic as of yore,
From rickets and distortion, else our lot.
But, thus admonish'd, we can walk erect.
One proof at least of manhood! while the friend
Sticks close, a Mentor worthy of his charge.
Our habits, costlier than Lucullus wore,
And by caprice as multiplied as his,
Just please us while the fashion is at full,
But change with every moon. The sycophant
Who waits to dress us arbitrates their date;
Surveys his fair reversion with keen eye;
Finds one ill made, another obsolete,
This fits not nicely, that is ill conceived;
And, making prize of all that he condemns,
With our expenditure defrays his own.
Variety's the very spice of life,
That gives it all its flavour. We have run
Through every change that Fancy, at the loom
Exhausted, has had genius to supply;
And, studious of mutation still, discard
A real elegance, a little used,
For monstrous novelty and strange disguise.
We sacrifice to dress, till household joys
And comforts cease. Dress drains our cellar dry,
And keeps our larder lean; puts out our fires;
And introduces hunger, frost, and woe,
Where peace and hospitality might reign.
What man that lives, and that knows how to live,
Would fail to exhibit at the public shows
A form as splendid as the proudest there,
Though appetite raise outcries at the cost?
A man of the town dines late, but soon enough,
With reasonable forecast and despatch,
To ensure a side-box station at half-price.
You think, perhaps, so delicate his dress,
His daily fare as delicate. Alas!
He picks clean teeth, and, busy as he seems
With an old tavern quill, is hungry yet!
The rout is Folly's circle, which she draws
With magic wand. So potent is the spell,
That none, decoy'd into that fatal ring,
Unless by Heaven's peculiar grace, escape.
There we grow early grey, but never wise;
There form connexions, but acquire no friend;
Solicit pleasure, hopeless of success;
Waste youth in occupations only fit
For second childhood, and devote old age
To sports which only childhood could excuse.
There they are happiest who dissemble best
Their weariness; and they the most polite
Who squander time and treasure with a smile,
Though at their own destruction. She that asks
Her dear five hundred friends contemns them all,
And hates their coming. They (what can they less?)
Make just reprisals; and, with cringe and shrug,
And bow obsequious, hide their hate of her.
All catch the frenzy, downward from her grace,
Whose flambeaux flash against the morning skies,
And gild our chamber ceilings as they pass,
To her, who, frugal only that her thrift
May feed excesses she can ill afford,
Is hackney'd home unlackey'd; who, in haste
Alighting, turns the key in her own door,
And, at the watchman's lantern borrowing light,
Finds a cold bed her only comfort left.
Wives beggar husbands, husbands starve their wives,
On Fortune's velvet altar offering up
Their last poor pittance. Fortune, most severe
Of goddesses yet known, and costlier far
Than all that held their routs in Juno;s heaven.
So fare we in this prison-house, the world;
And 'tis a fearful spectacle to see
So many maniacs dancing in their chains.
They gaze upon the links that hold them fast
With eyes of anguish, execrate their lot,
Then shake them in despair, and dance again!

Now basket up the family of plagues
That waste our vitals; peculation, sale
Of honour, perjury, corruption, frauds
By forgery, by subterfuge of law,
By tricks and lies as numerous and as keen
As the necessities their authors feel;
Then cast them, closely bundled, every brat
At the right door. Profusion is the sire.
Profusion unrestrain'd, with all that's base
In character, has litter'd all the land,
And bred, within the memory of no few,
A priesthood such as Baal's was of old,
A people such as never was till now.
It is a hungry vice: it eats up all
That gives society its beauty, strength,
Convenience, and security, and use:
Makes men mere vermin, worthy to be trapp'd
And gibbeted, as fast as catchpole claws
Can seize the slippery prey: unties the knot
Of union, and converts the sacred band,
That holds mankind together, to a scourge.
Profusion, deluging a state with lusts
Of grossest nature and of worst effects,
Prepares it for its ruin: hardens, blinds,
And warps the consciences of public men,
Till they can laugh at Virtue; mock the fools
That trust them; and in the end disclose a face
That would have shock'd Credulity herself,
Unmask'd, vouchsafing this their sole excuse
Since all alike are selfish, why not they?
This does Profusion, and the accursed cause
Of such deep mischief has itself a cause.

In colleges and halls, in ancient days,
When learning, virtue, piety, and truth
Were precious and inculcated with care,
There dwelt a sage call'd Discipline. His head,
Not yet by time completely silver'd o'er,
Bespoke him past the bounds of freakish youth,
But strong for service still, and unimpair'd.
His eye was meek and gentle, and a smile
Play'd on his lips; and in his speech was heard
Paternal sweetness, dignity, and love.
The occupation dearest to his heart
Was to encourage goodness. He would stroke
The head of modest and ingenuous worth,
That blush'd at its own praise; and press the youth
Close to his side that pleased him. Learning grew
Beneath his care a thriving vigorous plant;
The mind was well-inform'd, the passions held
Subordinate, and diligence was choice.
If e'er it chanced, as sometimes chance it must,
That one among so many overleap'd
The limits of control, his gentle eye
Grew stern, and darted a severe rebuke:
His frown was full of terror, and his voice
Shook the delinquent with such fits of awe
As left him not, till penitence had won
Lost favour back again, and closed the breach.
But Discipline, a faithful servant long,
Declined at length into the vale of years:
A palsy struck his arm; his sparkling eye
Was quench'd in rheums of age; his voice, unstrung,
Grew tremulous, and moved derision more
Than reverence in perverse rebellious youth.
So colleges and halls neglected much
Their good old friend; and Discipline at length,
O'erlook'd and unemploy'd, fell sick, and died.
Then Study languish'd, Emulation slept,
And Virtue fled. The schools became a scene
Of solemn farce, where ignorance in stilts,
His cap well lined with logic not his own,
With parrot tongue perform'd the scholar's part,
Proceeding soon a graduated dunce.
Then Compromise had place, and Scrutiny
Became stone blind; Precedence went in truck,
And he was competent whose purse was so.
A dissolution of all bonds ensued;
The curbs invented for the mulish mouth
Of headstrong youth were broken; bars and bolts
Grew rusty by disuse; and massy gates
Forgot their office, opening with a touch;
Till gowns at length are found mere masquerade,
The tassell'd cap and the spruce band a jest,
A mockery of the world! What need of these
For gamesters, jockeys, brothellers impure,
Spendthrifts, and booted sportsmen, oftener seen
With belted waist and pointers at their heels
Than in the bounds of duty? What was learn'd,
If aught was learn'd in childhood, is forgot;
And such expense as pinches parents blue,
And mortifies the liberal hand of love,
Is squander'd in pursuit of idle sports
And vicious pleasures; buys the boy a name
That sits a stigma on his father's house,
And cleaves through life inseparably close
To him that wears it. What can after-games
Of riper joys, and commerce with the world,
The lewd vain world, that must receive him soon,
Add to such erudition, thus acquired,
Where science and where virtue are profess'd?
They may confirm his habits, rivet fast
His folly, but to spoil him is a task
That bids defiance to the united powers
Of fashion, dissipation, taverns, stews.
Now blame we most the nurslings or the nurse?
The children, crook'd, and twisted, and deform'd,
Through want of care; or her whose winking eye
And slumbering oscitancy mars the brood?
The nurse, no doubt. Regardless of her charge,
She needs herself correction; needs to learn
That it is dangerous sporting with the world,
With things so sacred as a nation's trust,
The nurture of her youth, her dearest pledge.

All are not such. I had a brother once -
Peace to the memory of a man of worth,
A man of letters, and of manners too!
Of manners sweet as Virtue always wears,
When gay good-nature dresses her in smiles.
He graced a college, in which order yet
Was sacred; and was honour'd, loved, and wept
By more than one, themselves conspicuous there.
Some minds are temper'd happily, and mix’d
With such ingredients of good sense and taste
Of what is excellent in man, they thirst
With such a zeal to be what they approve,
That no restraints can circumscribe them more
Than they themselves by choice, for wisdom's sake.
Nor can example hurt them; what they see
Of vice in others but enhancing more
The charms of virtue in their just esteem.
If such escape contagion, and emerge
Pure from so foul a pool to shine abroad,
And give the world their talents and themselves,
Small thanks to those, whose negligence or sloth
Exposed their inexperience to the snare,
And left them to an undirected choice.

See then the quiver broken and decay'd,
In which are kept our arrows! Rusting there
In wild disorder, and unfit for use,
What wonder, if, discharged into the world,
They shame their shooters with a random flight,
Their points obtuse, and feathers drunk with wine!
Well may the church wage unsuccessful war,
With such artillery arm'd. Vice parries wide
The undreaded volley with a sword of straw,
And stands an impudent and fearless mark.

Have we not track'd the felon home, and found
His birthplace and his dam? The country mourns,
Mourns because every plague that can infest
Society, and that saps and worms the base
Of the edifice that Policy has raised,
Swarms in all quarters; meets the eye, the ear,
And suffocates the breath at every turn.
Profusion breeds them; and the cause itself
Of that calamitous mischief has been found:
Found too where most offensive, in the skirts
Of the robed pedagogue! Else let the arraign'd
Stand up unconscious, and refute the charge.
So when the Jewish leader stretch'd his arm,
And waved his rod divine, a race obscene,
Spawn'd in the muddy beds of Nile, came forth,
Polluting Egypt: gardens, fields, and plains
Were cover'd with the pest; the streets were fill'd;
The croaking nuisance lurk'd in every nook;
Nor palaces, nor even chambers, 'scaped;
And the land stank, so numerous was the fry.

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Grind Me In The Gears

Im holding my last breath
Its burning in my lungs
Clenching up my eyes
Bloody up my tongue
For the words that might escape
Are ringing in my ears
Grinds me to a pulp
Grind me in the gears
My frozen spirit aches
I slip another day
Start to lose my grip
Find another way
For the life that might escape
Has been echoing for years
Grinds me to a pulp
Grind me in the gears
Ive seen all the faces
They mirror me
And Ive felt the tearing tearing of the teeth
Ive given up my ghosts
Barely breathe your name
Offer up myself
Pray youll do the same
For the love that might escape
Well thats the biggest fear
Grinds me to a pulp
Grinds me in the gears

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Erica Jong

The Keys

Broken ivories
the blue piano
of the sea.

We have come
from the bitter city
to heal ourselves.
We have come
looking for a patch of beach
not yet built into a fortress
of real-estate greed,
a coral reef
not yet picked clean
of buried treasure,
not yet bare of birds.

The first night in the Keys,
I dreamed I was a bird
soaring over a hilly city,
soaring & dipping
like a gull or egret.
& I thought:
'Ah- this is a flying dream!
Enjoy it.'

But I really think
that my soul
has been transported
for a night
into the body of
a bird
& I was flying.

I woke up
arms weary,
eyes red.
The beach was dazzling
with its white sand,
the sun blinding,
& I seemed to know the palm trees
from above
as well as below.

They root in the sand
with elephant feet,
yet they also root
their delicate fronds
in air.
& these are a comfort
as you fly
half bird, half human
through a dream of sky.

Everything was new
to a spirit
so divided
between two kingdoms.
The water was alive
with fish,
the air with birds
& palm fronds,
clouds, thunderous presences
of rain
gathering & parting,
& fiery sun playing through.

I knew
that I stood
on a patch of earth
connected to the sky,
that my heart beat
with the sea,
that my arms moved
with the clouds,
that my flesh
was finally irrelevant
though it surrounded me
as the case of a piano
surrounds its strings,
while the fingers play
on the ivory keys
& the human music
rises to the sky.

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Alan Dugan Telling Me I Have A Problem With Time

He reads my latest attempt at a poem
and is silent for a long time, until it feels
like that night we waited for Apollo,
my mother wandering in and out of her bedroom, asking,
Haven't they landed yet? At last
Dugan throws it on the table and says,
This reads like a cheap detective novel
and I've got nothing to say about it. It sits,
naked and white, with everyone's eyes
running over it. The week before
he'd said I had a problem with time,
that in my poems everything
kept happening at once. In 1969,
the voice of Mission Control
told a man named Buzz
that there was a bunch of guys turning blue
down here on Earth, and now I can understand
it was with anticipation, not sickness. Next,
Dugan says, Let's move on. The attempted poem
was about butterflies and my recurring desire
to return to a place I've never been.
It was inspired by reading this
in a National Geographic: monarchs
stream northward from winter roosts in Mexico,
laying their eggs atop milkweed
to foster new generations along the way.
With the old monarchs gone (I took this line as the title)
and all ties to the past ostensibly cut
the unimaginable happens--butterflies
that have never been to that plateau in Mexico
roost there the next winter. . . .I saw this
as a metaphor for a childhood I never had,
until Dugan pointed out
that metaphor has been dead for a hundred years.
A woman, new to the workshop, leans
behind his back and whispers, I like it,
but the silence is seamless, as deep
as outer space. That night in 1969
I could turn my head from the television and see
the moon
filling the one pane over the bed completely
as we waited for Neil Armstrong
to leave his footprints all over it.

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Fifty Years (1863-1913)

O brothers mine, to-day we stand
Where half a century sweeps our ken,
Since God, through Lincoln's ready hand,
Struck off our bonds and made us men.

Just fifty years - a winter's day -
As runs the history of a race;
Yet, as we look back o'er the way,
How distant seems our starting place!

Look farther back! Three centuries!
To where a naked, shivering score,
Snatched from their haunts across the seas,
Stood, wild-eyed, on Virginia's shore.

This land is ours by right of birth,
This land is ours by right of toil;
We helped to turn its virgin earth,
Our sweat is in its fruitful soil.

Where once the tangled forest stood, -
Where flourished once rank weed and thorn, -
Behold the path-traced, peaceful wood,
The cotton white, the yellow corn.

To gain these fruits that have been earned,
To hold these fields that have been won,
Our arms have strained, our backs have burned,
Bent bare beneath a ruthless sun.

That Banner which is now the type
Of victory on field and flood -
Remember, its first crimson stripe
Was dyed by Attucks' willing blood.

And never yet has come the cry -
When that fair flag has been assailed -
For men to do, for men to die,
That we have faltered or have failed.

We've helped to bear it, rent and torn,
Through many a hot-breath'd battle breeze
Held in our hands, it has been borne
And planted far across the seas.

And never yet, - O haughty Land,
Let us, at least, for this be praised -
Has one black, treason-guided hand
Ever against that flag been raised.

Then should we speak but servile words,
Or shall we hang our heads in shame?
Stand back of new-come foreign hordes,
And fear our heritage to claim?

No! stand erect and without fear,
And for our foes let this suffice -
We've bought a rightful sonship here,
And we have more than paid the price.

And yet, my brothers, well I know
The tethered feet, the pinioned wings,
The spirit bowed beneath the blow,
The heart grown faint from wounds and stings;

The staggering force of brutish might,
That strikes and leaves us stunned and dazed;
The long, vain waiting through the night
To hear some voice for justice raised.

Full well I know the hour when hope
Sinks dead, and 'round us everywhere
Hangs stifling darkness, and we grope
With hands uplifted in despair.

Courage! Look out, beyond, and see
The far horizon's beckoning span!
Faith in your God-known destiny!
We are a part of some great plan.

Because the tongues of Garrison
And Phillips now are cold in death,
Think you their work can be undone?
Or quenched the fires lit by their breath?

Think you that John Brown's spirit stops?
That Lovejoy was but idly slain?
Or do you think those precious drops
From Lincoln's heart were shed in vain?

That for which millions prayed and sighed,
That for which tens of thousands fought,
For which so many freely died,
God cannot let it come to naught.

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Waiting For A Girl Like You

So long
Ive been looking too hard, Ive waiting too long
Sometimes I dont know what I will find
I only know its a matter of time
When you love someone
When you love someone
It feels so right, so warm and true
I need to know if you feel it too
Maybe Im wrong
Wont you tell me if Im coming on too strong?
This heart of mine has been hurt before
This time I wanna be sure
Ive been waiting for a girl like you
To come into my life
Ive been waiting for a girl like you
A love that will survive
Ive been waiting for someone new
To make me feel alive
Yeah, waiting for a girl like you
To come into my life
Youre so good
When we make love its understood
Its more than a touch or a word we say
Only in dreams could it be this way
When you love someone
Yeah, really love someone
Now, I know its right
From the moment I wake up till deep in the night
Theres no where on earth that Id rather be
Than holding you, tenderly
Ive been waiting for a girl like you
To come into my life
Ive been waiting for a girl like you
And a love that will survive
Ive been waiting for someone new
To make me feel alive
Yeah, waiting for a girl like you
To come into my life
Ive been waiting, waiting for you, ooh
Ooh, Ive been waiting
Ive been waiting, yeah
Ive been waiting for a girl like you
Ive been waiting
Wont you come into my life?
My life?

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Soundtrack To A Generation

The smell of trees. can only be that way. on a sunny day.
Floating through the open window. to the cool inside.
Where we lay side by side. how can anything we feel. ever
Mean so much. as a summer love? how can anything we
Need. ever get in touch. with the meaning of.
A whole life waiting? wishing suddenly. that its going to be
The real thing. or separating. try your luck again. its just
Part of the adventure.
Holy cow. you do it to me now. the soundtrack to a
Generation. oh, wow. youre getting to me now. the
Soundtrack to a generation.
Another tune. before the light has gone. and well be on
Our way. the sounds and smells. will always linger on.
Theyre in my heart today.
We feel so lucky then. the worlds a massive place. but we
Run into each other. just one small happening. an accident
Of fate. or the work of co-conspirators? but if we knew.
What could it do. to help us now?
Holy cow. you do it to me now. the soundtrack to a
Generation. anyhow. just give it to me now. the
Soundtrack to a generation. oh wow. you really got me
Now. the soundtrack to a generation. holy cow. youre
Getting to me now. the soundtrack to a generation.
Years have gone on in between. but all I knew at
Seventeen. is all I know now now. through times of joy and
Suffering. the music flavours everything. thats all I know
Holy cow. you do it to me now. the soundtrack to a
Generation. oh wow. you really got me now. the
Soundtrack to a generation. anyhow just give it to me
Now. the soundtrack to a generation.
Just give it. youre getting. you do it you really got me now.
The soundtrack to a generation. oh wow. just give it.
Youre getting. you do it.
You really got me now. the soundtrack to a generation.
Oh wow. you really got me now. the soundtrack to a

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Do Not Fear....

LAST night you panicked
about the tsunami news

that is real
you have seen the video on the news
at BBC

THIS thing does not
shake me
i have trust on the earth
where we live

The earth will always be a big thing
and we are its miniatures
My body is like the earth
and the Earth is my body

Thus when the earth shakes
it is because it is feverish
on a certain infection
its sea must have been polluted
with nuclear waste

Thus when the earth moves its belly
and creates the tsunami
it is because
it is bathing
to cleanse itself
from accumulated dirt
and other extraneous
destructive matters

Or it is only
doing this on a routinized
self-checking and
its Own State of Affairs

has a mind and body of
its own

It heals itself too
Every moment
in Every movement

The Law of Nature
Removes what destroys Itself
It vomits what poisons It
It excludes what pains it
It expels what it does not

That is basic

Everything happens
because it is Good

Last night
You wrap your whole body
with that thick blanket
You hardly had a
good breathing

I know
You never really had that
nice sleep
that I am always enjoying

You bet

Now wake up early
Open the Windows of your House
Witness the unfolding of Light before your very eyes
How nature dresses and undresses itself
INTO such a beauty

Charming and magical
Its poise
The way how light bends and
Walks the isles
and Leaves and Fades
and Comes back again
IN another set of hues
and freshness of its
her hairs caressing
all of us

The rising sun
the glamorous sea
The white dots of seagulls dotting the sky blue sea
The boats afloat
and the children jumping for their
usual dives and baths

On a little ponderous moment like this
Feel the love that this Earth has given us for free
Because after it has cleansed itself
It becomes another scented Lady
or Mother or Lover
or Friend

Ready to embrace you Again
To show how lovely you too has become
In all Mutuality.

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What Bells & Sex Have To Do With Each Other, A Mythic Rendering From Ancient Texts & Dreams, circa 1981

'The bells, I say, the bells outbreak their towers...
- Hart Crane, from 'The Broken Tower'

For Marianne Annur

...I will tell you of Fatima.

She is the bell,
The tintinabulum,
The veil and the will.

Then take me to her.
You can have the tapestry of streets,
The bowls of tint.

Shade the surface black
And she will emerge
The river,
The bead upon the throat,
The bread swelling,
Lifting up,

The Fertile Crescent...


Between the breasts and
Most of the moving parts
While she crossed the threshold
She was quite badly torn

Fatima had clusters
Mounted solidly of bronze

She said it hurt terribly


Fatima opened her dark eyes

...If they were with the tide
From top to lip...

She escorted me to an inner room
Where was an intricate carillon music
It is the inevitable accompaniment
She said pointing below
Come in here, my little eye
I did where she remembered, ululating
With plump cushions where it rotates
Of the tintinabulum
A change of waist
Iron or steel bars
To the edge of the lip

At the advent
I nibbled salted melon seeds
For this is the Lailet el Henna


In the towers are the reproducers

Within the clean bronze
Their walls were stood
Ready to receive her
And later became all
Of the intricate trills

She pushed her way through
The pivot points
A deep lactation
In the most ravishing shades

Simulate the Pleiades
The rich magenta

Running water is much the best
Whether she wept as she then drew out
Watering the date gardens

She stepped over warm spurting blood

You should have heard her cry
'Ya Ali' and her loud hell-hella


A sheep was slaughtered

The physical vibrating movements
For anything tinkling
On the palms and the fingernails
At the point of clapper impact

And on the pillow
She drew out
For the rhythmic accompaniment
And then put it while it was hot
Up inside

A folded piece of bread


What did she vow at the Saint's tomb?


The Henna Night was celebrated

Metal was added to the lip
Placenta and puella runs
And full harmony that are familiar to lovers

Before Fatima's face
A knife had been placed
Between the upper and
Lower big sprigs of myrtle

The waist almost became
Through the flattening of the crown
Similarly beautiful
And took out of the outside skin
Alone in thousands of towers
Between legs
A tiny triangle where several seams met
Variations in the walls thickness
When the bride's hands were hennaed
Had very slow pains
Prayers were said while the metal was
Poured into the molds
An opaque black veil over
The bells of Nimrud

This thickening of the lip
Straight and pot like
To the chanting
Gave it rhythm and balance


Fatima was propped up on pillows
On her big bed
She had a large round silver box
Heavily embossed
The shape of the bell
The same thickness
A push button that rings arpeggios

Carelessly she pulled out
Before I went into
...Joining in refrains...
Into the modern bell
Recast it for tuning again
Thick and ornamented with gold
Paint and Flowers
As it unfolded her pains
Delicately through the dark and silent
Just as the rope that swings
Scarely noticed


Did you have a hard time of it, Fatima?


The large brass bedstead

Lighted candles

Their walls were
All primitive forms
Although she put on the veil
A delight to the senses


Mohammad came
As fast as the
Vibrating bars that
Generate blows
I kept on my ornaments
I rubbed her abdomen with a knife
Tore in two a flap of bread
Pink gauze curtains

Wheat and salt were scattered
None has been found
Fatima had donned the veil

Iron, steel, gold
Silver, zinc and lead
Which is formed by the squaring
Of the shoulders

Small bells began
Were shortened
Reduced the muscular effort
Needed to swing...


And then went in to his bride
With mounds of henna paste
All from silver containers

Plus hundreds of single bells and peals
A time indicator
Anything set with precious stones
I put this on his navel
All with small finger loops on top

The idea of the clapper
To fall back into position
To crack
The thickness of the lip


A call to worship was lost
When rings were cast around
The hinges and locks
The soles of her feet
A beehive in shape
Close to the vibrating
Enveloped in a black coat

And my dear whispered
It must be completely consumed
Must be in the open
From the top

There bury it face up
With votive rags
Of the Tigris and Euphrates
The opal and the navel

Watched with deep
Or Henna Night


The only remedy is to melt it down

Fatima to me as she lifted the heavy lid

A naked sword was laid
Came into being

As a warning signal
There would be a loud burst of
The piercing, high pitched
Trilling ululation
Into tiny handle-less cups

A deep lactation
Fatima's milk

The gradually inward sloping sides

Fatima to me as she lifted the heavy box


It is the Henna Night


It is the parting of veils

She pointed downward,

Disrobing in the darkness,

The lantern light of the street

Rubbing against her

Fatima to me as she lifted the heavy box

...To dip your fingers in seven colors...

Fatima opened her dark eyes

Fatima to me

She lifted it up

The heavy hennaed night ringing


**************** ********************************************

'Sympathizing with an experiment, we yet need not venerate the result.'
- Marianne Moore, The Complete Prose of Marianne Moore (Penguin,1987) , p.586

[This poem arrived literally out of a shoe box. Experimenting with cut-up poetic technique as propounded by William Burroughs, in the mid-1970's in my little cabin on Huckleberry Mountain in the North Carolina mountains I cut up phrases from several dreams I'd had along with xeroxed (photo copied) essays from an encyclopedia on the history of bells and bell making, and one on the rituals and traditions of Henna night in Islamic countries. My choices of essays were random. I just opened the encyclopedia and these were the essays I opened to. I cut up phrases from each, added them to the shoe box along with my dream fragments, and thoroughly shaken (not stirred) pulled out phrase by phrase what became this poem. This was my most successful attempt of many with this technique. What I found was that, especially when seized up in writer's block, the 'accidental' or chance juxtaposition of images, phrases, caesuras in content, contexts and voicings along with disparity of logical connection between topics (bells, metalurgy, Henna rituals for women, wedding nights, sexual attraction and consumation) sometimes created not only astonishing images and poetry but re-tuned my own consciousness to function in this non-linear associative way as a poet and now, importantly, in my creative work as a psychotherapeutic counselor with others. I recommend this technique for all poets or aspiring poets for much is to be learned with perhaps the greatest discovery being that there is another Mind/Hand/Source involved in the craft of poetry, of all writing, guiding the quotidian course of our lives, paying attention first and foremost with a willingness to leave known territory while not devaluing that territory at all. Immediate and tangible foundations are supported by unseen and assumed greater, deeper, older and stronger ones. From this rich arche-techtonic structure, hold and mold our lives and our creativity rise.]

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Their Time To Do Has Been Done

Those who have made their false appearances,
Need not to be mentioned with a giving to them...
That kind of attention.
Their time to do has been done.
With a doing to others that has been shown...
To leave what has been exposed,
Eventually known.
Their time to do has been done.
With a doing not soon to undo...
That proves there has been any integrity intended.

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Dear Deborah,

They tell me that your heart
has been found in Iowa,
pumping along Interstate 35.
Do you want it back?

When the cold comes on
this fast, it's Iowa again--
where pollen disperses
evenly on the dented Fords,

where white houses sag
by the town's corn silos,
where people in the houses
sicken on corn dust.

Auctions sell entire farms.
It's not the auctions that's upsetting
but what they sell, the ragged towel
or the armless doll, for a dollar.

I hear they've found
an eye of yours in Osceola
calling out to your mouth in Davis City.
That mouth of yours is in the bar,

the only place left in town,
slow dancing and smoking.
It's no wonder you look so pale.
Ever wish you'd done more

with your thirty years?
Seeing you last week I wonder
if you crave that sky
filled with the milky way

or the sight of Amish girls in blue
at sunset against wheat-colored prairie grass.
Here, the trees are full of gossip.
They're waiting to see what you'll do next.

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You're Not Around

[Verse One]
I was gonna take my life where I wanted to go
Which was with your life, more then you'll ever know
Now I can't do that , new info has been found
Cause when I was ready you were no where around
Said I wanna be with you
Why you have to go and run away
Is it cause you were not true
And you never had plans to stay
Or is it cause you had a girl
On the other side of town
Made plans to be with you
Why the hell are you not around?
[Verse Two]
Said I was special, special to the world
And made you special cus I was your girl
Now I can't do that, new info has been found
Thought I was special, where are you now?
Said I wanna be with you
Why you have to go and run away
Is it cause you were not true
And you never had plans to stay
Or is it cause you had a girl
On the other side of town
Made plans to be with you
Why the hell are you not around?
And when my dad called, you said I was yours
And when I was ready, you heart had open doors
So I gave up the biggest smile
For your voices sound
But can't smilin now
Cause your not around
Chorus: x2
Said I wanna be with you
Why you have to go and run away
Is it cause you were not true
And you never had plans to stay
Or is it cause you had a girl
On the other side of town
Made plans to be with you
Why the hell are you not around?
Run away, Run away, Run away
Run away, Run away, Run away
Run away, Run away, Run away
Run away, Run away, Run away
Run away, Run away, Run away

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The Long Love That in My Thought Doth Harbour

The longë love that in my thought doth harbour
And in mine hert doth keep his residence,
Into my face presseth with bold pretence
And therein campeth, spreading his banner.
She that me learneth to love and suffer
And will that my trust and lustës negligence
Be rayned by reason, shame, and reverence,
With his hardiness taketh displeasure.
Wherewithall unto the hert's forest he fleeth,
Leaving his enterprise with pain and cry,
And there him hideth and not appeareth.
What may I do when my master feareth
But in the field with him to live and die?
For good is the life ending faithfully.

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The Long Love That in My Thought Doth Harbour

The long love that in my thought doth harbour
And in mine hert doth keep his residence,
Into my face presseth with bold pretence
And therein campeth, spreading his banner.
She that me learneth to love and suffer
And will that my trust and lustës negligence
Be rayned by reason, shame, and reverence,
With his hardiness taketh displeasure.
Wherewithall unto the hert's forest he fleeth,
Leaving his enterprise with pain and cry,
And there him hideth and not appeareth.
What may I do when my master feareth
But in the field with him to live and die?
For good is the life ending faithfully.

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The Love That You Have

The love that you had
In your heart is gone
Any touch of sincerity
Any trace of compassion
What hardened your heart?
What turned it to stone?
What made you forget?
You were in love with someone
Your hands dont reach out
Your voice doesnt call me
I know youve stopped listening
Your eyes look straight through me
If nights are like this
Id rather be alone
Who said you could forget
You were in love with someone?
Tell me what hardened your heart
Tell me what turned it to stone
Tell me what made you forget
You were in love with someone
Was I wrong to forgive
Your indiscretions?
Should I have been more hysterical
Less understanding?
If youre looking for a villain
Go on assume the role
But dont say that its my fault
That youre not in love with someone
Tell me what hardened your heart
Tell me what turned it to stone
Tell me what made you forget
You were in love with someone
Tell me theres someone in your life
Ill fight to keep your for my own
Tell me because I really want to know
Why you cant be in love with someone

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The Love That I Have For You....

outside i watch you

you are inside yourself
a room
a wall but there is window still
that allows light
to come in
and dress you like
a night without the armor

i am the light
and i like the way things are going with us
you just do not know
what is it
to be just light
without a body
what is it to have so many fingers
& yet
without a hand

the room is darker
but i know what it is to be a tiny sun

you fan yourself with your
your hands are callous
and it is a little bit colder
when by chance you touch my
rays and sheen

when i meet you
like i am water bathing your body

as i dress you once again
with the cloth
of my silk
i quiver like a soft wind
on the reeds
of the moonlit night

i love it this way
this invisible presence
this nameless light
this desire that fulfills itself
without you
feeling it

must i be selfish?
or must i be the one that does not let you suffer
because you cannot love
because your coldness is uncertain about the gift
of warmth
its truth beyond all truths

when i am done with you
i summon the rain
& bathe myself again
to wash away
the dirt of guilt
the scars of pain

look at me
i am the morning light that spreads on the garden
of your thighs and

as you watch
with all delight
you only see the wonder of light
and its accompanying music

and then
satisfied with all the caresses of thoughts that i have always loved you
i go with the herds of rain
and what is left to please me more
is your own
fading face
like those ripples on the pond
that the lonely leaf
had given

the shape of love that i carry with me
as air embracing the heavens

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The Love That Binds

The woman, who is beloved
By the man whom she loves,
And the man, who is loved
By the woman whom he loves
Can experience real love
That would bind them for long.

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You and The Rain That You Have Been Praying For

the rain that you
ask has arrived

do you love the
sonorous sound
on the grass?

do you think much
clearly now?
does the rain make
you feel luckier?

look at the rest of the
creatures they are looking
for a place
where they do not get
where they can have
a little warmth
where they can
for another moment

do not ask for meaning
the rain cannot give it to you for now

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