Why so serious, Mr. FT? Be Happy, be a Gay, be an Obama Democrat Today!
"History repeats. first as tragedy, second as farce". - Karl Marx, "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte"
Our lives, FJ, are what we MAKE of them by dint of Faith enforced and reinforced by Will. Knowing the Truth is ALL the battle –– the work of a lifetime. Faith, if you want to call it that, in Cynicism, Negativity, Sarcasm, Depravity, Ruin, Decay and Denigration sends us reeling and staggering farther and farther AWAY from TRUTH and ever closer towards the ABYSS.
_______ Only A Decade Ago _______One bright morning, now ten years ago,No one dreamt, while going off to work,Lunatics had planned to go berserkYielding fury like a lava flow.A scant ten years –– an amplitude of woe ––Denial since that demons near us lurkEnraptured by sheer rage –– sharp like a dirk ––Craftily whetted in hellfire’s glow.A grim corrosion followed the attack.Demented perverts scheme to have us thinkEuro-centric values are at fault ––American prosperity is black ––Greed and gall have brought us to the brinkOf seeing all we have come to a halt.~ FreeThinke - 9/11/11
__________ SONNET XXX __________When to the sessions of sweet silent thoughtI summon up remembrance of things past,I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,And moan the expense of many a vanished sight:Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,And heavily from woe to woe tell o’erThe sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,Which I new pay as if not paid before.But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,All losses are restored and sorrows end.~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
_______ The Paradigm Shift _______To start where everyone would love to goExerts a pressure on the one so blest,Nurtured in privilege, sheltered from the lowAnd desperate, untoward struggling of the rest. Foisted on us, guilt at our good luckLets loose a sense of deep unworthinessYielding urges to immerse in muckOur untried selves, and live on earth with less.Unravelling the stitches parents sewedReleased a spring propelling downward thrustHelping once safe havens to implode.Our heritage betrayed then turned to dust.Maniacally would our forebears laugh to seeEverything they won lost –– willfully.~ FreeThinke
I measure every Grief I meetWith narrow, probing, eyes –– I wonder if It weighs like Mine –– Or has an Easier size.I wonder if They bore it long ––Or did it just begin –– I could not tell the Date of Mine ––It feels so old a pain –– I wonder if it hurts to live –– And if They have to try –– And whether –– could They choose between –– It would not be –– to die –– I note that Some –– gone patient long –– At length, renew their smile –– An imitation of a LightThat has so little Oil –– I wonder if when Years have piled –– Some Thousands –– on the Harm –– That hurt them early –– such a lapseCould give them any Balm –– Or would they go on aching stillThrough Centuries of Nerve –– Enlightened to a larger Pain –– In Contrast with the Love –– The Grieved –– are many –– I am told –– There is the various Cause –– Death –– is but one –– and comes but once –– And only nails the eyes –– There’s Grief of Want –– and grief of Cold –– A sort they call “Despair” –– There’s Banishment from native Eyes ––In sight of Native Air –– And though I may not guess the kind –– Correctly –– yet to meA piercing Comfort it affordsIn passing Calvary –– To note the fashions –– of the Cross –– And how they’re mostly worn –– Still fascinated to presumeThat Some –– are like my own ––~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
_______ RELUCTANCE _______
Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.
The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.
And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question 'Whither?'
Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?~ Robert Frost (1874-1963)"The end of a love, a season," –– a COUNTRY, a WAY of LIFE, a FAITH, an IDENTITY!
______ Death to Defeatism ______Has life defeated you? I rather hopeDefeatist rhetoric will die aborning,Though seen by many merely as a warning,Each bitter word will serve to weave a ropeBy which we’ll hang ourselves when the despairWe manufacture with denunciationOf all the grievous faults that plague the nationConvinces us our world’s beyond repair.What good could we expect to come from that?Affirmation is the only answerTo the questions posed by social cancer.Get up and dance –– don’t bellow through your hat.Although The Axe inevitably must fall,Cringing will produce no good at all.~ FreeThinke
__________ BANQUET __________Generously spread with gracious livingThe table beckons. Lace and candlelight Mingle with fine chine. I am divingInto the tureen, which is a sightAll white and warm while guarding snowy chowder.Savory is a casserole of brains.Sparkling wine has made our talk much louder ––Louder than the voices of our pains.Drink has numbed our virtues and our faultsWhile food has warmed our anxious, craving hearts.Later, we will step into a waltz ––Whose cycle whirls till every fear departs Leaving us quite buoyant –– out of breath ––Saddened that this night must end in death.~ FreeThinke - New York 1963
____________ THE HILL ____________Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom and Charley, The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown, the boozer, the fighter? All, all, are sleeping on the hill. One passed in a fever, One was burned in a mine, One was killed in a brawl, One died in a jail, One fell from a bridge toiling for children and wife— All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill. Where are Ella, Kate, Mag, Lizzie and Edith, The tender heart, the simple soul, the loud, the proud, the happy one?— All, all, are sleeping on the hill. One died in shameful child-birth, One of a thwarted love, One at the hands of a brute in a brothel, One of a broken pride, in the search for heart’s desire, One after life in far-away London and Paris Was brought to her little space by Ella and Kate and Mag— All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill. Where are Uncle Isaac and Aunt Emily, And old Towny Kincaid and Sevigne Houghton, And Major Walker who had talked With venerable men of the revolution?— All, all, are sleeping on the hill. They brought them dead sons from the war, And daughters whom life had crushed, And their children fatherless, crying— All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill. Where is Old Fiddler Jones Who played with life all his ninety years, Braving the sleet with bared breast, Drinking, rioting, thinking neither of wife nor kin, Nor gold, nor love, nor heaven? Lo! he babbles of the fish-frys of long ago, Of the horse-races of long ago at Clary’s Grove, Of what Abe Lincoln said One time at Springfield. ~ Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950). .. Spoon River Anthology, 1916.
Where I come fromNobody knowsWhere I'm goingEveryone goes.The wind blows.The sea flows,And nobody knows.~ Robert Nathan - *Portrait of Jenny)
When the time has passed to prune the rose or caress the cat,When the sunset torching the lawn and the full moon icing it downNo longer appear, not every man knows what he’ll discover instead.When the weight of the past leans against nothing, and the sky
Thank you, Jessie. Are these words you wrote, or were you quoting someone else?PS: I thought your limerick was very funny, but not appropriate for this solemn post. (I've saved it, however, and will put it in my permanent Funny File. ;-)
Thanks, It's by Mark Strand
Thank you, Jessie. I found the entire poem, and posted it below. It well befits the the Tragic Event of 9/11/01. thank you again for bringing it to my attention. Now that you've discovered him for me, I'm looking forward to exploring much more of Mr. Strand's work.
Magnificent tone control and interpretation by this pianist!The piece is so plaintive. Suits our post 9/11 era.
There is an epic grandeur, a noble solemnity, an infinite sadness and an aura of wistful resignation in that the most singular of Chopin's Nocturnes. I thought it especially fitting for this occasion.There are many wonderful performances of the work available on YouTube. Some I like even better than Lisitska's fine version. I chose this particular video for two reasons: 1. Lisitska's face beautifully mirrors the pensive, broken-hearted quality, and reckless abandon to despair that characterizes the piece.2. Because it was one of the few versions available not besmirched by hideous, nerve jarring commercials most of which completely defeat the purpose of the music involved.
___________ THE END ___________Not every man knows what he shall sing at the end,Watching the pier as the ship sails away, _____ or what it will seem likeWhen he’s held by the sea’s roar, motionless, _____ there at the end,Or what he shall hope for once it is clear _____ that he’ll never go back.When the time has passed to prune the rose _____ or caress the cat,When the sunset torching the lawn and the full moon _____ icing it downNo longer appear, not every man knows _____ what he’ll discover instead.When the weight of the past leans against nothing, _____ and the skyIs no more than remembered light, _____ and the stories of cirrusAnd cumulus come to a close, and all the birds _____ are suspended in flight,Not every man knows what is waiting for him, _____ or what he shall singWhen the ship he is on slips into darkness, _____ there at the end.~ Mark Strand (1934-2014)
IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING, YOU DON'T BELONG HERE, SO KINDLY GET OUT AND STAY OUT.We welcome ConversationBut without Vituperation.If your aim is Vilification ––Other forms of Denigration ––Unfounded Accusation --Determined Obfuscation ––Alienation with Self-Justification ––We WILL use COMMENT ERADICATION.IN ADDITIONGratuitous Displays of Extraneous Knowledge Offered Not To Shed Light Or Enhance the Discussion, But For The Primary Purpose Of Giving An Impression Of Superiority are obnoxiously SELF-AGGRANDIZING, and therefore, Subject to Removal at the Discretion of the Censor-in-Residence.