Month: February 2015

A Cold Night

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A snowy icy night, painted hill tops all are white,
all the rivers flow like ice, and raindrops fall as hail,
from so very, very high, above.
Whispered breath, a smoky kind of grey,
as I wander in the coldness of my winter dreams,
trees stretching skywards hold distant memories
of rustled leaves and a lazy warming friendly breeze.
I so much love you and I want you by my side
in the coldness of this dark and lonely frozen hour.
Your lips are all I ever miss,
as I stand here cold and with a sense of helplessness
waiting for your kiss to bring back love and summertime
to the chilled and bitter darkness, that I often find.
On this snowy icy night of my winter dreams
please hurry, come back home to me
and bring that warm and gentle loving face,
the one that I do miss so very much.
How I wish that you were always here
then nothing would we ever fear
and even in the cold and dark
our love will keep us safe and warm
until the coming of the calm and gentle, warming, dawn.

– David Taylor

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coldevening

Friday

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Friday.

The golden child of the weekdays.

The superhero of the workweek.

The welcome wagon to the weekend.

The famous F word we thank God for every week.

Unknown

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homer

Tommy

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I went into a public- ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,

The publican ‘e up an sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”

The girls behind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,

I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:

O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy go away”;

But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play-

The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,

O it’s “Thank you Mr Atkins,” when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,

They gave a drunk civilian roo, but ‘adn’t none for me;

They sent me to the gallery or round the music-’alls,

But when it comes to fighting’, Lord! They’ll shove me in the stalls!

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy wait outside”;

But it’s “Special train for Atkins,” when the trooper’s on the tide-

The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,

O it’s “Special train for Atkins,” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep

Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;

An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit

Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy ‘ow’s yer soul?”

But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll-

The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,

O it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes,” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,

But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;

An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,

Why single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;

While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy fall be’ind,”

But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind-

There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,

O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:

We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.

Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face

The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck ‘im out, the brute!”

But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;

An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;

An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!

– Rudyard Kipling

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vc

Summary Wednesday

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Half the girls in this train car wear gold earrings, large and oval, bisected
by their names in script. They are yours because you name them,
your Lekenya, your Mirellie, your Yesenia.

Excessively ornate, almost illegible, like your grandmother’s cramped
handwriting in a Hallmark card with loopy golden cursive relaying
every detail of the rest home in Orlando

where her former pastor now resides—the year of establishment,
the founder’s name, what the food is like, how once someone moves in,
they have no plans of ever moving again.

Tomorrow, you settle on a plan for breakfast, you settle on banana. You are
not hungry. It sits there on the desk still in peel, nervous for inevitable
disrobing. Stare at Banana. You sit there. It is afraid.

– Matthew Pennock

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wednseday

The Vulture

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The Vulture eats between his meals,
And that’s the reason why
He very, very, rarely feels
As well as you and I.

His eye is dull, his head is bald,
His neck is growing thinner.
Oh! what a lesson for us all
To only eat at dinner!

– Hilaire Belloc

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vulture

Forty Days and Forty Nights

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Forty days and forty nights
Thou wast fasting in the wild;
Forty days and forty nights
Tempted, and yet undefiled.

Sunbeams scorching all the day;
Chilly dew-drops nightly shed;
Prowling beasts about Thy way;
Stones Thy pillow; earth Thy bed.

Should not we Thy sorrow share
And from worldly joys abstain,
Fasting with unceasing prayer,
Strong with Thee to suffer pain?

Then if Satan on us press,
Jesus, Savior, hear our call!
Victor in the wilderness,
Grant we may not faint nor fall!

So shall we have peace divine:
Holier gladness ours shall be;
Round us, too, shall angels shine,
Such as ministered to Thee.

Keep, O keep us, Savior dear,
Ever constant by Thy side;
That with Thee we may appear
At the eternal Eastertide.

– George H Smyttan (1856)

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Christ%20in%20the%20Wilderness,%20by%20Ivan%20Nikolaevich%20Kramskoy%20(1837-1887)

Those Winter Sundays

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Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

– Robert Hayden

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wintersundays

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

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Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

– Robert Frost

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snowy evening

It’s Finally Friday

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It’s finally Friday—I’m so glad.
It’s been a crazy week.
I got chewed out on Monday,
and since then it’s all been bleak.

I lost my lunch on Tuesday,
and a parent went insane,
which shocked me so completely
that I almost popped a vein.

I poked my eye on Wednesday,
and the nurse gave me a shot.
She sent me to the doctor
when I fainted on the spot.

On Thursday I was tardy
’cause I kinda overslept.
And the snack that I was craving
came up missing in a theft.

And so it’s finally Friday.
No more pencils, no more books.
No more sitting in detention,
no more teachers’ dirty looks.

By Friday I’m exhausted,
out of energy and breath.
But that’s the day you’ll hear me shout,
“Rejoice, TGIF!”

And twice a month on Friday,
I remember why I stay:
You see, I am the principal—
that’s when I get my pay.

– Paul Orshoski

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friday1

Chinese New Year

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The dragon is in the street dancing beneath windows
   pasted with colored squares, past the man
who leans into the phone booth’s red pagoda, past
   crates of doves and roosters veiled
until dawn. Fireworks complicate the streets
   with sulphur as people exchange gold
and silver foil, money to appease ghosts
   who linger, needy even in death. I am
almost invisible. Hands could pass through me
   effortlessly. This is how it is
to be so alien that my name falls from me, grows
   untranslatable as the shop signs,
the odors of ginseng and black fungus that idle
   in the stairwell, the corridor where
the doors are blue months ajar. Hands
   gesture in the smoke, the partial moon
of a face. For hours the soft numeric
   click of mah-jongg tiles drifts
down the hallway where languid Mai trails
   her musk of sex and narcotics.
There is no grief in this, only the old year
   consuming itself, the door knob blazing
in my hand beneath the lightbulb’s electric jewel.
   Between voices and fireworks
wind works bricks to dust—hush, hush
   no language I want to learn. I can touch
the sill worn by hands I’ll never know
   in this room with its low table
where I brew chrysanthemum tea. The sign
   for Jade Palace sheds green corollas
on the floor. It’s dangerous to stand here
   in the chastening glow, darkening
my eyes in the mirror with the gulf of the rest
   of my life widening away from me, waiting
for the man I married to pass beneath
   the sign of the building, to climb
the five flights and say his Chinese name for me.
   He’ll rise up out of the puzzling streets
where men pass bottles of rice liquor, where
   the new year is liquor, the black bottle
the whole district is waiting for, like
   some benevolent arrest—the moment
when men and women turn to each other and dissolve
   each bad bet, every sly mischance,
the dalliance of hands. They turn in lamplight
   the way I turn now. Wai Min is in the doorway.
He brings fish. He brings lotus root.
   He brings me ghost money.
 – Lynda Hull
sheep