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Post by burdick » Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:42 am

<a name="#thirty one"> religion </a>

The price of faith and hope is religion
In the same way “the price of love is grief”*.
It is quite true, that there is no free lunch
And no rich man is without a thief.


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Post by burdick » Mon Jun 09, 2003 6:01 am

<a name="#thirty two"> A Fable of Cosmology </a>

Once upon a time long ago there was Nothing.
Then, suddenly, exnihilo, SOMETHING!
A lot of something in a small space/time
Which expanded with a loud Word.

The Word flowed , with time, outward,
Weaving elements in the snarls of fire
And playing with all types of matter.
(we call these fabrics “stars” and “planets”)

Into some weavings it whispered life
And the desire to outlast time.
But the flood of time exhausted life
And it felt the need to renew.

Elements were joined into new life
Which was directed by an awaking consciousness.
As a flower turns into a seed,
The consciousness ripened and needed to be sowed.

As a seedpod imprisons the seed
So a planet was also limited.
The storms could not reach high enough,
Nor even mighty volcanoes.

So the Word formed into thought,
And thought into knowledge.
And knowledge sought the fruit of the tree of life.
And found it.

We call it a poem.

Originally posted at: A Fable of Cosmology

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<a name="#thirty three"> the tree of life </a>

James felt somewhat out of place as he entered the church of St Mary’s in Addis Ababa with Dr. Simons. Dr Simons acted as the head of the theological seminary. It was strange that an Indian theologian traveled here to Ethiopia by the order of His Imperial Majesty. True, the two churches (of Ethiopia and India) had some things in common. More to the point, however he planned an ongoing effort to remove the church in Ethiopia from the Coptic one in Egypt. Simons (obviously a son of Shem, not Ham) was a much darker color of brown than the Amharas about him. James, on the other hand, wore western clothes and being fair, both of hair and skin (which had greeted the African sun only recently) and his eyes showed blue, with some green and gray.
He jumped at the chance when the invitation to go to an Ethiopian church service came up in his conversation with Dr. Simons. The church of St Mary’s was not the most grand in the city, but it had close ties with the seminary that Simons headed. The congregation stood during the service in a large open central room with an alter and no seating at all. Since the service was several hours long everyone used “resting sticks” so they could rest one leg at a time. The one given to James was tipped with silver and fitted nicely under the arm. He was placed in place reserved for the Duke of Harer ,and because of this ,was seen by the congregation as their honored guest.. All appeared to be Amharas. The lay people wore a fine graceful white cloth (the Shama) that looked similar to the roman toga. People stood apart , without conversation. Among those slender white clothed bronzed people were priestly figures that could easily pass as Coptic.
Some priests moved about the altar. James was looking about the quiet and dark interior while the service began, almost unnoticed. The priests pulled a heavy curtain about the altar, hiding it and the priests from view. After a time , some members of the congregation (lay and priests) went singly forward and received the host from the priests behind the curtain.
Dr. Simons whispered: “Only those who had fasted and prepared themselves for communion are allowed to go to the altar.”
Slowly, one by one, the people went to the altar and received communion. At the end altar priests went behind the curtain to eat the entire host that was unconsumed. They washed the vessels with water. The curtain was opened, and a priest with a vessel of this water moved toward the honored guest. Dr Simon said to drink this water! Now ,living in the tropics, James knew that to do this was complete madness. He could almost see the lively little amoebas in the water!
Ah well, with a fervent prayer, he drank some and then passed the cup back to the solemn man. Then the priest repeated the offer to Dr.Simon, who also drank with apparently more ease .The service being over, and in the courtyard outside music began. Walking from the dark quiet chapel out into the sunlit courtyard almost blinded James. The courtyard was full of people in lively conversation. There was a group of priests in a corner (in shade) playing instruments and singing the songs of Solomon in Geez. There were several types of drums. One man, with a drum tucked under his arm, danced as he played. The stringed instruments moved in joyful sound with flutes, punctuated by the sistra . The result, pleasing, yet alien, awoke a memory deep in James’ mind of alternative, (perhaps rejected and lost) Christian traditions.
Singing in a fine tenor, one of the men wore the dark leather cape and clothes of a Galla. His hat was a Coptic crown, but also of leather. His eyes were that clear gray that many of the Amhara have. James thought he would like to know more about the theology that formed the basis of this man’s religion. Basic ethical considerations were radically different from his own Yet these traditions had been dominant in the past, and still were a living dogma today. For example, this man believed a different story of creation completely!
‘Who is the man in the leather cape?”, James asked Dr. Simons.
“He is a holy man (an Afa Nebura’ed,sometimes called Abba Hasan) from the Macca Gamati region. He has taken the name of ‘Brother Hasan’. Hasan lived about 1850 and converted the Galla in that region to Islam. Brother Hasan is welcomed into both Islamic prayers and Christian gatherings. The Amhara count him as Christian , mainly because he fasts as a Christian , not as a Moslem.”, Dr. Simons explained.
“Would you like to talk with him after the songs? I will have one of the students translate for us if you do.”
And so, presently, Dr. Simons, his student, Brother Hasan, and James gathered into a small alcove. Brother Hasan spoke in Amharic and his eyes danced with glee when he started to tell the story of creation.
The morning chill, cold enough at this altitude to merit leather, Now the day warmed in the bright sun, and the personal odor of the monk was apparent. James caught and removed a biting flea from his white sock and crushed it between his thumbnails. The monk started to chant (in a way very much like an Imam) this tale:

“And when Ormuzed, Ahura Mazda, and the others were defeated, Ashaklum who was the son of the King of Darkness, killed and ate half of them and gave the rest to Nekbael, who ate them with greed. The defeated beings were not truly dead for they contained a soul (nefesh)m within a spirit (ruah) and a supersoul (neshamah). Then did Ashaklum and Nekbael join together in lust, and from that pairing came, first Adam and then Havva. The nefresh of the beings of light, as well as the ruah, were passed totally on by this action to Adam and Havva, and would be passed on undiluted to the flesh of their children. The neshamah, on the other hand, departed from them and started a seemingly endless and goalless search.

….and after Demiurge ,who some know as YHWH, had allowed Adam to tell the angles their names He said:
‘Bow down to Adam
and all did.
But there was Iblis and number of Jinn that heard God and said:
We were first and made of fire, not dust .We will not bow down, for dust is nothing, and fire is light.’
And God said:
‘ Oh foolish ones, you are mischievous and you know not. My spit was mixed with that dust…and there is no “first”and no “last”, for both are the same. Go and teach Adam by learning your fault.’
Now Iblis said to his two elder brothers: ‘Go into the land outside of Eden and rule the heat.’ The first Jinn went into the dry land and there ruled a heat that would kill man by stealing his water. The second went to places of water, and there created a heat that would torment man with sweat.”
Stopping at this point, Brother Hasan asked if we understood him. Simons said “yes” and thanked the student for such a quick and accurate translation. James wondered if Dr. Simons could really judge this as his Amharic was not all that good and the chanting was Geez.
Dr. Simons, turning to James, his dark eyes filled with the zeal of a teacher, said:
“This is a creation myth that is almost at odds with every point that you find in your King James Bible! It is a very early Jewish account, probably brought to Axum in the first wave at the time of Menelik. Given the Gnostic turn during the time of Jeremiah when a second group of Jews joined the first. There was a third and final migration about 70AD from Saba.
The story points out the strong differences between the Eastern Church and those that developed in the West. It was the grace of God that had us choose gnosis (in India we call it ‘bodhi’ …wisdom). The West followed ‘pistis’ (faith). The relationship between God and man in the East was an either/or condition, not a process, as it so often is in the West. “
James watched Brother Hasan as Simons spoke. The student was translating into Amharic for him as both squatted, African style, on the floor. Hasan was interested but seemed content to listen to Dr.Simons without needing to comment or correct.
Dr.Simons continued:
“to an Amhara Christian the desired condition between God and himself is more a personal one than a social one. Ethics and social law or custom are not the center of theology as they seem to be to a protestant. In the West, one becomes a Christian, joins a church…starting a process where the Christian life is gradually revealed. Ethiopia is a country that is about equally divided between Islam and Christianity , with many tribes still pagan and speaking their own language. War has been common here, but it fails to have, for the most part, religious justification.
I give that as a background.
The creation myth that Brother Hasan gave was not one of any one theological position, but a good example of the basic difference of opinion that existed in the early church. This difference has reappeared through out its history. In the one view, the god of creation was a good and all powerful one. This would lead logically (for example) to such dogma as the resurrection of the body. In most Gnostic traditions, the god of creation is one of two or more gods.He wars with the god of light by capturing and imprisoning pieces of the Word in flesh. This makes the practice of celibacy and the withdrawal of self from the community consistent.”
After some social niceties, the group broke up, and James went back to his father’s compound driven by the driver who brought him. The day was beautiful. The little rains had just passed, leaving the country green and lush. The drive back from the road to the compound was lined with banana trees. The compound itself overlooked the deep canyon formed by the Great Rift and the Awash River. While troops of baboons sometimes invaded from the canyon , it appeared no humans lived between the compound and the river. The main house was a single story with the houses for the servants along the back wall. Ethiopia claimed to be the home of man, where he made tools for perhaps the first time. It stirred ancient memories in the deepest part of James’ mind, a beautiful land haunted by too much past.
In keeping with the name Addis Ababa (“new flower”) were the newly established groves of Eucalyptus trees giving the thin air a pleasant smell of Vicks.
His father was the Director of the Imperial Highway Authority and had learned that Ethiopia was indeed an empire with Haile Sallasie as “king of kings”. Each Ras of a region could aid or stop the projected highway, and sometimes did. One of the ways of producing good will was to have a Western doctor, with medicines, travel on the highways giving free treatment to all that asked for it. Later, in the house, his father said to James:
“I have arranged for you to travel south with Dr. Walh tomorrow on the roads. It will be a three day trip and you will stay with Mr. Pajoli overnight as his guest. I wouldn’t bother asking Walh about the war. The same goes for Mr. Pajoli. He was a very rich man when the Italians took over the country. I do know that the Galla kept him from the British and the Amharas when the Italians left. He still has a lot of influence there and runs a sawmill now.”
On a bright and clear morning James met Dr. Wahl. He was blond and blue-eyed, tall, straight ,and thin. He drove the cream-colored VW van that was his field hospital into the compound. He exchanged polite conversation with James and his mother, and then drove James out of Addis, on the blacktop road south. The two lane blacktop soon became a one lane gravel road which wandered through the uplands.
“We will stop for a picnic lunch next to lake Shala. When we stop , I’ll let you carry the 22 rifle. You’re in the country controlled by the Oromo peoples now, and here, in the bush, a man is not seen as a man if he doesn’t carry some sort of weapon. The 22 wouldn’t stop much of anything , but it has good symbolic value.”, said Dr. Wahl as he turned off the gravel road into a landscape bare of any sign of humans.
The VW bus threaded its’ way about islands of trees and bush, surrounded by lush grass.
Lake Shala suddenly came into view, crystal clear and a shocking blue under the noon-day African sun. They were still on the high plateau and it was not hot. The air, heavy with the smells of earth and lake, had a musky, mildly fishy smell. The most striking feature of the place, however, were the flocks of birds of all kinds and sizes that were on the lake, shore, and trees.
Taking the 22, James went around a clump of trees to relieve himself. As he pulled up his pants, a young leopard lopped around a near by clump, and disappeared into the bush, leaving a shaken James. Just as he reached for the 22 a very large mongoose followed the cat leisurely. There was no thought of shooting! Both animals looked at him with some mild interest so there seemed little danger.
After lunch, as they returned to the van, disturbing a noisy flock of tiny green parrots that flew into the tree above them. A beautiful place, full of life.
Pajoli’s house within a walled compound, had plaster/concrete walls. The walls were an Italian combination of white and soft pastel shades. A formal garden grew in the center. Papaya trees stood along one wall, heavy with ripe fruit. A mango stood green and tall, over the entrance. The sawmill was over a mile away, near a Galla village.
The round thatched houses of the Orono tribe are very different from their Amaha neighbors to the north. There seemed to be an agreement that no roads should go through a village here.
The evening meal was of wot and enjarha. Enjara is a flat sour gray bread that is quite moist. It is dipped into the wot , which is a spicy meat sauce, usually made with chicken. The fiery nature of wot is truly amazing. The wot , made “mild” for James, found that it still burned his mouth badly. The meal ended, however, with a sideboard of European cheeses and fresh tropical fruit, so he didn’t go to bed hungry and cooled the burning.
That night,,with the window open to the night sounds of Africa, James thought. What a beautiful and strange country! The conflict between the story of creation as presented by Brother Hasan and the story of creation he learned in Sunday School were impossible to fit together. It reminded him of the differences in the right/left structure of the brain which were so difficult for him to see as useful. He fell asleep.
Given the gift (?) of seeing the future, he would have seen the Pajolis sent into “reeducation camps” and then to disappear as so many did during the Red Terror. Ah ,but perhaps there is a merciful God, he had no such foreshadowing.
Many years later, on a bright early Sunday morning, as the cabin gazed out over mudpuddle lake , James closed his eyes and listened to the clear sound of a horn.
All appeared lost, but the Word raised Adam unto the tree of life, and he picked a fruit which was like a peach, and from it he did eat.

Originally posted at:
the tree of life

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<a name="#thirty four"> first nations </a>

Aleut ,Algonquin, Arapaho,
Blackfoot, Beothuk, Biloxi,
Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, Cheyenne,
Dakota, Eyak, Fox, Garielino,
Hopi, Illinois, Kansa
Luiseno, Miwok, Nanticoke,
Omaha, Pima, Sarsi, Tano,
Ute, Yuki, Zuni.
Theses are the names of some first nations
Which are honey to the tongue,
And light for the land.

Originally posted at:
first nations

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Post by burdick » Sun Jul 13, 2003 4:00 pm

<a name="#thirty five"> Lakesong </a>

The songs that lakes sing let me now unfold.
Different tunes and colorful rhythms.
Some, like Lake Winnipeg, are clear and cold
With cutting blue sky and white sand beach.

Warm,dark, and punctuated with bird songs
Is Tana. Where Gala float on reed boats
And the leopard hunts where his prey belongs.
Hear the slow, strong, liquid beat of the drum!

Superior, lonely, home of the loon
With unseen quiet distant bolder rocky shores.
A solo flute is playing summer’s ruin
round rocks have been loved by ice and water.

Our cabin listens to mud puddle lake
A drowned river valley in wooded hills.
Catfish, bluegill and bass are there to take
A folksong sung in simple harmony .

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A song to First Nations

Post by burdick » Thu Jul 31, 2003 4:59 pm

<a name="#thirty six"> A song to First Nations </a>

Why are you angry, my people?
The bitter bile of despair poisons.
Point upwards like a churches’ steeple
Rejoice, as at a birth of a first son.

Wail not for the old days
They are gone with the stink of the dead.
Bath with pride in the sun’s rays
And look upon those who have wed.

Who can go to a pow-wow
Without seeing the rainbow crowd?
Wise woman has had the know-wow
To make copper and silver proud.

All things change, the best survives.
Know that we are yet the best.
The practice of “coup” revive!
We have changed, but not for the less.

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Post by burdick » Fri Aug 22, 2003 10:22 am

<a name="#thirty seven"> Shadowfall </a>

When the sunset paints the sky fiery red,
Turn your back on it. Look! The shadowfall.
Blue flows to indigo. Black, purple spead.
Venus comes quietly at darkness call.

As the sun retires, comes a cool moist breeze.
The flowers close, the cat stretches awake.
Mysterious movement among the trees.
Renewal of souls for all to partake.

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a hard rain

Post by burdick » Sat Aug 23, 2003 9:04 am

<a name="#thirty eight"> a hard rain </a>

For four weeks the sun ruled the world.
The land became parched, the leaves turned brown.
The dust rose from the road and swirled.
No water, too far from town!

To save the tomatoes water was carried.
The cabin a fort, guarded by AC.
All life became increasingly harried.
Storms went by with no rain to see.

A tight, strained, waiting need for rain!
Hot and heavy hung the air.
Still and silent stood the grain.
Darkness grew. Thunder answered our prayer.

A cool breeze with a few drops fell.
Then more, and more the winds did blow.
The cats ran to the basement for this spell!
Lightening hit too close.

A hard rain fell.
The land renewed.
All life did swell,
And peace extrude.

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Sestina a la Chat

Post by burdick » Fri Aug 29, 2003 10:57 am

<a name="#thirty nine"> Sestina a la Chat </a>

Early in the morning we greet the light.
The sun comes over the trees,
And dances upon the lake.
Later the back porch becomes warm,
And the favorite place for the cat.
The owl sleeps, and waits for dark.

By noon we are too warm
And seek the shade of the trees.
Our lazy ageing cat
Also seeks the dark.
The world is full of light
And fishers come off the lake.

The afternoon finds the cat
Hunting among the trees.
We go for our swim in the lake
And lay on the dock to warm.
The water is cool and dark
Unchanged by mid-day light.

Evening comes to our lake
And slumber comes to the trees.
Red and purple rule the light.
My lap draws the cat
Who seeks anything warm.
Crickets sing in the coming dark.

Night has come and all is dark.
There is no moon nor light.
A cradle of trees
Surrounds the lake.
The bed awaits our bodies to warm,
And we will be followed by the cat.

The owl is now king of the dark,
And needs no light.
Where is the cat?
She seeks the warm.
Forgotten by all are the trees
That surround the lake.

There is no light to warm
Our lake and old cat.
Just trees in dark,

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Post by heinzs » Wed Jun 02, 2004 1:42 pm

<a name="#forty"> Five by Five </a>

Vinegar is sharp
Cotton brightly white
Sunset sings softly
Touching wet cold earth.
The smell of freedom!

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<a name="#forty one"> Stray Dog </a>

A vagabond dog and a learned man
Shared a simple plot of land separately.
The dog (Lady) lived outside in this plan
And the man lived inside a warm cabin.

A bony black stray from disunity,
With no reason, full of joy and energy.
She met him at each opportunity,
Tongue out, tail wagging, all one movement.

Books had dried him to indifference,
Indifference failed to even affect her!
A strange unmatched pair, so much different.
In trusting, loving, she was living !

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<a name="#forty two"> to a cat </a>

My cat lies upon my lap quietly.
She is grows old and sleeps most of the day.
Now she walks about the house painfully
But her warm purr remains quite unaffected.

When the weather outside is wet and fey
She looks out the door and then turns to me,
Waiting for me to create a sunny day…
A contrary god is a bore!

It is clear that we demigods have been
Damned by the fruit of the tree of knowledge
Cats live in the eternal now and win!
Unconcerned with death and pain and sorrow.

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<a name="#forty three"> Al-Amal </a>

The butterfly floats into the courtyard..
An orange and black visitor
Through the rubble,
It finds the flower.

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<a name="#forty four"> Answer in 7/6 Time </a>

Red, yellow, green, wind and frost.
Bright sun with little heat.
Summers’ fled and swimming lost.
This is October’s feat.

Softly minor is the song,
Cranes flying south so high.
Flying to where summers gone,
In a bright blue open sky.

This is the month of my birth!
Strange to be born , ending.
Puts all growth in pending.
A minor wobble of earth

My marriage, too, started here
And autumn crocus bloom.
Take cheer and hold your life dear.
A warm fireplace and some room.

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<a name="#forty five"> Butterflies </a>

Butterflies have always delighted me, near or far!
As a child I hunted them and caught them,
Put them into a killing jar,
Then crucified them upon a drying board.

Their precious bodies I carefully stored
And looked upon them continually.
I sought out collections of bodies to adore,
And in my mind’s eye, saw lush tropical forests.

With age, both mind and body turned.
The life, not the body of the butterfly was seen.
When I thought of the past regret returned,
The cruelty of childhood repented.

Poems are like the dried remains of thought.
True, they reveal the forest of another’s life,
But they are stored now in dry books, caught!
A museum of our life.

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<a name="#forty six"> Thoughs in a crowd, on a hot day. </a>

An old Amish man passed me in a crowd.
Suddenly, his piety was replaced,
By a manly scent very much too loud!

I thought, “perhaps God wants us to retain
Our past distinctive smell, in humility.”
Then heaven and hell might smell much the same!

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<a name="#forty seven"> We won! We won! </a>

The battle’s over. The evildoers gone
We showed all of them who was wrong.
Just like Japan with lots less civil mess.
So really, there’s no need to be depressed.

But there’s saying in that Japan,
That “winning through losing” is wise knowledge.
So that a schoolboy still asks his teacher..
“Did we win the war?”…teacher, acknowledge!

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<a name="#forty eight"> A Sonnet* for George W. </a>

Yes! He gave us the “axis of evil”
As soon as we said, “hail to the chief”
(after a prolonged election grief)
711 followed, then Wall Street upheaval.

Then too, no need for evolution belief,
Creationism got a purple retrieval
And words like “evil doers” sound medieval!
(have you noticed his sentences are brief?)

This way to unending war!
(God, what an insufferable bore)
self-righteousness with smirk!

The nation has always endured,
Perhaps he’s not such a jerk,
As this sonnet obtusely infers.

*French of course,”la disposition des rimes”
abba abba ccd ede

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<a name="#forty nine"> Random thoughts of an old man </a>

Let us begin by starting here
To see and hear and feel, without fear.
Let us be like children in lively play…
Be interested in only this one day.

To see and hear and feel, without fear.
Greeting rain and sun with similar cheer.
Let us be like children in lively play
And neither past nor future will we crave.

Greeting rain and sun with similar cheer,
Let us begin by stopping here.
And neither past nor future will we crave!
Let us begin by stopping here.

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<a name="#fifty"> Safari Hunter </a>

I dreamed I was a safari hunter
In 1952 in Ethiopia.
When I was the pampered son
Of an Imperial Director.

I went from Amhara land
To those dry plains of the Gala,
And there, on the back of a van
I stood with a rifle.

First into a screaming flock of Guineas
For our evening meal,
And then to the leaping Impala
Full of life and beauty.

A shot!
One ran after the others with
Three legs whole …and one gone.
And so again!

At last the truck could stop
The dust could blow away
And the once citizen of the plains
Could lay,broken and still.

She gave me a gift that day.
As I looked into her brown dead eye
There was one less to fear or pay,
For I was never to hunt again.

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<a name="#fifty one"> grandm' </a>

She wus born in 1876
In bleedn frontier kansus.
Hur pah fough fur stats rights.
He dyed, lose’n with um.

She married when 14
And wus lucky fur hit!
Five child’n, two boies,two girls.
All done well, thank God!

She dyed in 1978
In the elefants’ grave yard*
A long hared but gute life
As wif, midwif, and momma.


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<a name="#fifty two"> Walking in Winter</a>

We wake in winter darkness,
Lacking bird song or trite sound.
Dull gray the morning light dawns,
Wet slush on the porch is found.

I age even faster now,
Joints are stiff, my back is bent.
Fruit trees bear no promises
Branches from the oak are rent.

Oh woe! Time flees but still drags.
Tasks undone wait unattended,
Thought to be done in winter,
My work ethic offended.

Too little light, sound or hope
Too much procrastination.
Here’s a weary melody,
Gloom solely without ration.

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<a name="#fifty three"> A walk in my garden </a>

My garden grows within a sunny place,
In a clearing surrounded by deep woods.
A path of flowers does not seem misplaced
Among the clumps of bluebeard and mockorange.

From balcony of trees a wood thrush chimes
While the sunlight warms orange and gold daylilies,
And the red rose on the crabapple climbs.
Ah, To tarry in a moment divine!

But what’s this? A hole where my phlox was!
My serenity and peace is shattered
A shovel has dug deep without the law.
as I see the garden ruined and tattered.

I should behold Karma or dharma here.
In my youth, many are the things I “found”!
The almighty offers new frontiers.
And whatever you do, surely comes around.

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<a name="#fifty four"> Endings </a>

The still darkness of death is also peace.
The river of time flows always downward.
Rivers never seem to even decrease,
Being reborn in white on the mountains.

Some rivers find a resting home too small
And become salty, bitter, and lifeless.
Some gather streams and heed ocean’s call
Which fuels the cloud that rise over the plain.

The snow , cold. The ocean, deep.
They are different, yet are still the same.
In both, one finds an eternity of sleep.
This body , mostly water, lost in them.

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<a name="#fifty five"> A Modest Eschatology </a>

Have you considered those parts of your body
That have been dropped off in various places?
You know, the haircut in the city, that was shoddy,
The pit stop on the way there?

When the trumpet sounds, what will arise?!
I bet there have been bits of me shared
With others on the way to Jerusalem’s’ skies.
Undoubtedly a cosmic traffic jam.

However…let’s say that the Bang ends
With time running backwards!
I would jump from my grave, my friends,
And collect parts on the way to the womb.

The future would be open to all
And the past a closed book.
The alpha would become the omega scrawl
The end of this poem…a new beginning.

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<a name="#fifty six"> Questions </a>

The frantic youthful quest of the word “who”
Is painfully real, pushing the words out.
Much is found in relationships to rue
And life as an isolate leads to doubt.

After a mate is found, the question is “what”,
Choices unlimited and confusing…
Seek safety and money, or let it rot?
Leaves one often thoughtful and bemusing.

When the days of our life shorten, it is “why”.
Is there really a reason to seek the light,
When the good and the bad both are to die?
At the end, we are left alone to fight.

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<a name="#fifty seven"> Epistemologically, one more than eight </a>

(sans justified belief)

All knowledge does not require learning,
And may ,or may not, lead to action.
All knowledge is not wisdom burning,
And knowledge by itself is useless.

Contrary wise, all wisdom is knowledge
And knowledge can be false or incorrect…
Can be lost or acquired by mileage,
And is more a process than a goal.

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<a name="#fifty eight"> James Paul Donahue, Jr. (1915-1966) </a>

If Jimmy didn’t have friends on Monday
He did have unlimited wealth,
Francis Spellman and late mass on Sunday,
And a Duchess, not quite to himself.

His anthem was “Hello Dolly”
And mischief was his game.
No children from his follies
And few came to his grave.

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<a name="#fifty nine"> The Gaedhil and the Gaill* </a>

Brian Boru

valiant champions, soldierly, brave,
active, nimble, bold, full of courage, quick.
Doing great deeds, hot, strong, swelling, to save.
Bright, pompous, beautiful, aggressive, thick,
fresh, never weary , terrible, brave.
Valiant, victorious heroes quick!


Blue-green piratical foreigners,
Bold, without reverence, hard-hearted, pagan.
Fatal, murderous, stout swords leave mourners.
Sharp, swift, bloody, keen, crimsoned, begun
Wounding. Bitter, bounding, barbed, foreigners,
fierce terrible, piercing, surly, pagan!

Such were the natures of long ago foes,
as sung by the bards of those who won.
Ah! While death has brought all equally low,
no one will really know how it was done.

*the Irish with the Gauls.
Most terms used here are reported to be used by mac Liag (eleventh century)

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<a name="#sixty"> **The Battle of the Quicken Trees** </a>

Colga of the Hard Weapons
Invaded Erin in dark dragon ships,
Landing at Ulster, where all were
Killed by Finn MacCool and his
Grandson , Oscar.

Midac , the son of Colga, alone survived
And was treated well by Finn in his own house.
Sure and when the time arrived,
Finn gave Midac the rich cantreds
Of Kenri and the Islands.
Midac withdrew hence from the Fena
And build two wondrous palaces there,
One on the Islands, and one in a grove
Of Mountain Ash.

To the last named place
He lured Finn and his heroes, posing
As a ferdana, he spoke this riddled poem:

“I saw a house by a river’s shore,
famed through Erin in days of yore,
I saw to the south a bright-faced queen,
With couch of crystal and robe of green.”

Thusly, he enchanted then in the Palace of Quicken Trees.
Three times did the invaders come in attack
To the ford from the islands, and
Three times were they defeated while Finn sat enchanted.
At last Dermat O’Dyna slayed
The Three Kings of the Islands
And taking their bloody heads
Broke the Enchantment, and with Fatha
Held off the foes until the sun did rise.

With the rising sun
Finn MacCool and a host of Fena
Fell upon them who were from Lochlann.
And, like a lion maddened by dogs,
Oscar drove though the battle and
With a single blow struck the head
From the King of the World.
And so
The blood of the danes
Was drunk by the thirsty earth of Erin.

Admin note:
Nominated for Poem of the Week on 2/24/2004

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Seafoam Poet
Posts: 274
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2003 12:01 am
Location: McDaniels,KY

Not Today*

Post by burdick » Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:23 am

<a name="#sixty one"> Not Today* </a>

I watched the rain clouds drifting by,
but we stayed dry.
It has been long
since a rain song,
and flowers die while crops whither.
Rain come hither!
See our poor land,
it is dry sand;
while dust from the road invades all,
a grey dry pall.
It moves this way!
(but not today)

* a “minute”

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Posts: 575
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Location: Dislocated

Post by GoddessErika » Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:15 pm

<center>Edit complete 08/14/2005 ~GoddessErika</center>

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The Fat Cat
Posts: 8364
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2001 12:01 am
Tag line: Do no harm
Location: Novato, CA

Post by heinzs » Sat Apr 21, 2007 5:17 pm

An' it harm none, do what ye will. Blessed Be.
My Poet's Page Archive | Topics I've started

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