31 October 2009

The Bells




The Bells

Hear the sledges with the bells--
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells--
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

Hear the mellow wedding bells
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes,
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells--
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

Hear the loud alarum bells--
Brazen bells!
What tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now--now to sit or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!

How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour

On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear, it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows ;
Yet, the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells--
Of the bells--
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells--
In the clamour and the clangour of the bells!

Hear the tolling of the bells--
Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy meaning of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people--ah, the people--
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All alone,
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone--
They are neither man nor woman--
They are neither brute nor human--
They are Ghouls:--
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls, rolls,
Rolls
A pæan from the bells!
And his merry bosom swells
With the pæan of the bells!
And he dances, and he yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the pæan of the bells--
Of the bells:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells--
Of the bells, bells, bells--
To the sobbing of the bells;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells--
Of the bells, bells, bells--
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells--
Bells, bells, bells--
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

Edgar Allan Poe

30 October 2009

When the Frost is on the Punkin





WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

James Whitcomb Riley

An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you




























LITTLE ORPHANT ANNIE

by: James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)

INSCRIBED WITH ALL FAITH AND AFFECTION

To all the little children: -- The happy ones; and sad ones;
The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;
The good ones -- Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.

LITTLE Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!

Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,--
An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wuzn't there at all!
An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press,
An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an' roundabout:--
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!

An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin;
An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there,
She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!

An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
You better mind yer parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' dear,
An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!

29 September 2009

18 September 2009

The Owl and the Pussy Cat







The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?'
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.'
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Edward Lear


art by Margie Van Auken

10 September 2009

The Lost Chord



The lost chord

Seated one day at the organ,
I was weary and ill-at-ease;
And my fingers wandered idly
Over the noisy keys.

I know not what I was playing
Or what I was dreaming then,
But I struck one chord of music
Like the sound of a great Amen.

It flooded the crimson twilight
Like the close of an angel's psalm,
And it lay on my fevered spirit
With a touch of infinite calm.

It quieted pain and sorrow
Like love overcoming strife;
It seemed the harmonious echo
From our discordant life.

It linked all perplexèd meanings
Into one perfect peace,
And trembled away into silence
As if it were loth to cease.

I have sought, but I seek it vainly,
That one lost chord divine,
Which came from the soul of the organ
And entered into mine.

It may be that death's bright angel
Will speak in that chord again;
It may be that only in heav'n
I shall hear that grand Amen.

Adelaide Anne Procter

08 September 2009

Haniwa Figure 埴輪 (Reproduction)


Birdcatcher Figure

Kamakura Raku Chawan 鎌倉楽茶碗



Kamakura Raku Chawan

鎌倉楽茶碗

circa 1982

Koryo Celadon (Reproduction) 高麗靑磁器

Koryo Celadon 高麗靑磁器

Reproduction

The crane symbolized longevity

The color is called 'pisaek' 翡色 or "kingfisher blue," like the color of the sky after a rain.




06 September 2009

Karatsu Yaki Fugu Plate 唐津焼河豚皿



唐津焼河豚皿

Mashiko Ware Teacup Set  益子焼湯飲み



Mashiko Ware Teacup Set  益子焼湯飲み

Mashiko Ware Teacups 益子焼湯飲み #6













Mashiko Ware Teacups 益子焼湯飲み #6

Mashiko teacup 益子焼湯飲み #5







Mashiko teacup 益子焼湯飲み #5

Mashiko teacup 益子焼湯飲み #4







Mashiko teacup 益子焼湯飲み #4





Mashiko teacup 益子焼湯飲み #3







Mashiko teacup 益子焼湯飲み #3

Mashiko Ware Teacups 益子焼湯飲み #1&2





Mashiko teacup 益子焼ゆのみ
#1




Mashiko teacup 益子焼茶碗
#1&2

04 June 2009

Democracy


Democracy


Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.
I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
And own the land.
I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow's bread.
Freedom
Is a strong seed
Planted
In a great need.
I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

Lest We Forget! Twenty years ago!



Waiting for You to Come

I waited for you the other day,
But you did not come.
Knowing that you would not come,
I only hoped that you would come.
Until now, you still haven’t come,
Yet I am still hoping that you could come.
Eventually, you will come,
And I will always wait for you to come.
(1989.12)

translated by Lucy Lin

等你來
(1989.12)
那天等你來
你卻沒有來
知你會不來
我只盼你來
至今你未來
我仍盼你來
終究你會來
永遠等你來
(注: 这里的那个”你”是指什么来这儿的朋友应该是心照不宣了, 快二十年过去了, 我还在等.)
知名不具 2009.2

12 May 2009

Yeats' Crazy Jane & Jack the Journeyman


Crazy Jane And Jack The Journeyman

I know, although when looks meet
I tremble to the bone,
The more I leave the door unlatched
The sooner love is gone,
For love is but a skein unwound
Between the dark and dawn.

A lonely ghost the ghost is
That to God shall come;
I - love's skein upon the ground,
My body in the tomb -
Shall leap into the light lost
In my mother's womb.

But were I left to lie alone
In an empty bed,
The skein so bound us ghost to ghost
When he turned his head
passing on the road that night,
Mine must walk when dead.

William Butler Yeats

08 April 2009

Yet Another Nursey Rhyme from Grandma Tess


I went downtown
to buy a penny drum
I knocked on the door
but nobody come
So I up with a brick,
broke a pane of glass
And out come baby
Slidin' on her
Ask me no questions

More Rhymes from Grandma Tess



Mikkel one day
He shlept in the hay
The rats and the mice
Jumped over

When he awoke
His dúidíns was broke
And nary-a schmoke
Had Mikkel the Moler

Nursery Rhymes from Grandma Tess


Thundermug


Taffy was a Welshman
Taffy was a thief
Taffy came to my house
And stole a leg I beef

I went to Taffy's house
Taffy wasn't home
Taffy came to my house
And stole a leg of bone

I went to Taffy's house
And Taffy was in bed
So I up with the thundermug
And hit him on the head

07 April 2009

College Basketball Officiation--a Downward Spiral?



Every year it seems to me that the mayhem permitted on the college basketball court is more vicious and flagrant. The officials seem to ignore the most flagrant fouls and call the little touch fouls. The 2009 NCAA tournament reminded me of nothing so much as the inept officiation the last soccer World Cup tournament.

Get in control of the game and bring back skill--leave the combat to the gridiron! One man's opinion!

28 March 2009

Beautiful, beautiful brown eyes . . .


Please read this revealing report from the LA Times:

click me for the LA Times Story



Beautiful Beautiful Brown Eyes

Beautiful beautiful brown eyes
Beautiful beautiful brown eyes
Beautiful beautiful brown eyes
I'll never love blue eyes again.

Last night I staggered in the bar room
Fell right down on the floor
These were the words that I uttered
I'll never get drunk anymore.

Oh Willie oh Willie I love you
Love you with all of my heart
Tomorrow we were to be married
But liquor has kept us apart.

For seven long years I've been married
Wish I was single again
A girl doesn't know half her troubles
Until she has married a man.

Beautiful beautiful brown eyes
Beautiful beautiful brown eyes
Beautiful beautiful brown eyes
I'll never love blue eyes again.



20 February 2009

For the Dismal Scientists


It was six men of Indostan, to learning much inclined,
who went to see the elephant (Though all of them were blind),
that each by observation, might satisfy his mind.

The first approached the elephant, and, happening to fall,
against his broad and sturdy side, at once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the elephant, is nothing but a wall!"

The second feeling of the tusk, cried: "Ho! what have we here,
so very round and smooth and sharp? To me tis mighty clear,
this wonder of an elephant, is very like a spear!"

The third approached the animal, and, happening to take,
the squirming trunk within his hands, "I see," quoth he,
the elephant is very like a snake!"

The fourth reached out his eager hand, and felt about the knee:
"What most this wondrous beast is like, is mighty plain," quoth he;
"Tis clear enough the elephant is very like a tree."

The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, Said; "E'en the blindest man
can tell what this resembles most; Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an elephant, is very like a fan!"

The sixth no sooner had begun, about the beast to grope,
than, seizing on the swinging tail, that fell within his scope,
"I see," quothe he, "the elephant is very like a rope!"

And so these men of Indostan, disputed loud and long,
each in his own opinion, exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong!

So, oft in theologic wars, the disputants, I ween,
tread on in utter ignorance, of what each other mean,
and prate about the elephant, not one of them has seen!

John Godfrey Saxe (1816 - 1887)

26 January 2009

Mom, me, and the unknown hangman?

THE HANGMAN (circa 1959)


By Maurice Ogden

Into our town the hangman came,
smelling of gold and blood and flame.
He paced our bricks with a different air,
and built his frame on the courthouse square.

The scaffold stood by the courthouse side,
only as wide as the door was wide
with a frame as tall, or a little more,
than the capping sill of the courthouse door.

And we wondered whenever we had the time,
Who the criminal? What the crime?
The hangman judged with the yellow twist
of knotted hemp in his busy fist.

And innocent though we were with dread,
we passed those eyes of buckshot lead.
Till one cried, "Hangman, who is he,
for whom you raised the gallows-tree?"

Then a twinkle grew in his buckshot eye
and he gave a riddle instead of reply.
"He who serves me best," said he
"Shall earn the rope on the gallows-tree."

And he stepped down and laid his hand
on a man who came from another land.
And we breathed again, for another's grief
at the hangman's hand, was our relief.

And the gallows frame on the courthouse lawn
by tomorrow's sun would be struck and gone.
So we gave him way and no one spoke
out of respect for his hangman's cloak.

The next day's sun looked mildly down
on roof and street in our quiet town;
and stark and black in the morning air
the gallows-tree on the courthouse square.

And the hangman stood at his usual stand
with the yellow hemp in his busy hand.
With his buckshot eye and his jaw like a pike,
and his air so knowing and business-like.

And we cried, "Hangman, have you not done,
yesterday with the alien one?"
Then we fell silent and stood amazed.
"Oh, not for him was the gallows raised."

He laughed a laugh as he looked at us,
"Do you think I've gone to all this fuss,
To hang one man? That's the thing I do.
To stretch the rope when the rope is new."

Above our silence a voice cried "Shame!"
and into our midst the hangman came;
to that man's place, "Do you hold," said he,
"With him that was meat for the gallows-tree?"

He laid his hand on that one's arm
and we shrank back in quick alarm.
We gave him way, and no one spoke,
out of fear of the hangman's cloak.

That night we saw with dread surprise
the hangman's scaffold had grown in size.
Fed by the blood beneath the chute,
the gallows-tree had taken root.

Now as wide, or a little more
than the steps that led to the courthouse door.
As tall as the writing, or nearly as tall,
half way up on the courthouse wall.

The third he took, we had all heard tell,
was a usurer..., an infidel.
And "What" said the hangman, "Have you to do
with the gallows-bound..., and he a Jew?"

And we cried out, "Is this one he
who has served you well and faithfully?"
The hangman smiled, "It's a clever scheme
to try the strength of the gallows beam."

The fourth man's dark accusing song
had scratched our comfort hard and long.
"And what concern," he gave us back,
"Have you ... for the doomed and black?"

The fifth, the sixth, and we cried again,
"Hangman, hangman, is this the man?"
"It's a trick", said he, "that we hangman know
for easing the trap when the trap springs slow."

And so we ceased and asked now more
as the hangman tallied his bloody score.
And sun by sun, and night by night
the gallows grew to monstrous height.

The wings of the scaffold opened wide
until they covered the square from side to side.
And the monster cross beam looking down,
cast its shadow across the town.

Then through the town the hangman came
and called through the empy streets...my name.
I looked at the gallows soaring tall
and thought ... there's no one left at all

for hanging ... and so he called to me
to help take down the gallows-tree.
And I went out with right good hope
to the hangman's tree and the hangman's rope.

He smiled at me as I came down
to the courthouse square...through the silent town.
Supple and stretched in his busy hand,
was the yellow twist of hempen strand.

He whistled his tune as he tried the trap
and it sprang down with a ready snap.
Then with a smile of awful command,
He laid his hand upon my hand.

"You tricked me Hangman." I shouted then,
"That your scaffold was built for other men,
and I'm no henchman of yours." I cried.
"You lied to me Hangman, foully lied."

Then a twinkle grew in his buckshot eye,
"Lied to you...tricked you?" He said "Not I...
for I answered straight and told you true.
The scaffold was raised for none but you."

"For who has served more faithfully?
With your coward's hope." said He,
"And where are the others that might have stood
side by your side, in the common good?"

"Dead!" I answered, and amiably
"Murdered," the Hangman corrected me.
"First the alien ... then the Jew.
I did no more than you let me do."

Beneath the beam that blocked the sky
none before stood so alone as I.
The Hangman then strapped me...with no voice there
to cry "Stay!" ... for me in the empty square.

THE BOTTOM LINE: "...I did no more than you let me do."

Dr. Otto Loewi & Me--Woods Hole, 1955

22 January 2009

Where's the Important Job for this Man??


Disclosure: My ninth cousin, once-removed


Our Duty

Yet what were Love if man remains unfree,
And woman's sunshine sordid merchandise:
If children's Hope is blasted ere they see
Its shoots of youth from out the branchlets rise:
If thought is chained, and gagged is Speech,
and Lies Enthroned as Law befoul posterity,
And haggard Sin's ubiquitous disguise
Insults the face of God where'er men be?
Ay, what were Love, my love, did we not love
Our stricken brothers so, as to resign
For Its own sake, the foison of Its dower:
That, so, we two may help them mount above
These layers of charnel air in which they pine,
To seek with us the Presence and the Power?

Bernard O'Dowd (1866 - 1952)