I assume it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake – as almost all hats are.

~Nikolaus Laszlo, Nora Ephron, and Delia Ephron, You’ve Got Mail

http://www.quotegarden.com/butterflies.html

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Under My Hat

 

Under my hat is a horse

I rode when I was ten

Under my hat is a house

Or five or six or seven.

 

Under my hat is a story

Half-true or true or false

Of nights of booze and poetry

Of songs and a sweet slow waltz.

 

Under my hat are opinions

That have made me friends or foes

When you march to insistent drums

It depends how the current flows.

 

I’m a hoarder, a keeper, a snail

That needs a pile to crawl under

My hat shields a regular haul

Of trivia, jetsam and plunder.

 

And what of the secret places

Where you and you cannot tread

The dark and the dismal traces?

They’re under the hat on my head.

BARRY BREEN

http://www.australianpoetry.org/2013/09/18/18-september-under-my-hat/ 

Breac à linne, slat à coille is fiadh à fìreach – mèirle às nach do ghabh gàidheal riamh nàire. A fish from the river, a staff from the wood and a deer from the mountain – thefts no Gael was ever ashamed of.

http://www.hp.europe.de/kd-europtravel/gaelic/proverb.htm

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THE DEER

by Helen Mort

The deer my mother swears to God we never saw,
the ones who stepped between the trees
on pound-coin coloured hooves,
I brought them up each teatime in the holidays

and they were brighter every time I did;
more supple than the otters that we waited for
at Ullapool, more graceful than the kingfisher
that darned the river south of Rannoch Moor.

Then five years on, in the same house, I rose
for water in the middle of the night and watched
my mother at the window, looking out
to where the forest lapped the garden’s edge.

From where she stood, I saw them stealing
through the pines, and they must have been closer
than before, because I have no memory
of those fish-bone ribs, that ragged fur

their eyes, like hers, that flickered back
towards whatever followed them.

Winner of the Cafe Writers Open Poetry Competition 2009, Norwich

 

http://polyolbion.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/poetry-and-plagiarism.html

“Wolves fear humans for good reason. Humans fear wolves out of misunderstanding. Jogn Theberge

http://silentwolfspirit.webs.com/poemsquotessayings.htm

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The Tantanoola Tiger

There in the bracken was the ominous spoor mark,
Huge, splayed, deadly, and quiet as breath,
And all around lay bloodied and dying,
Staring dumbly into their several eternities,
The rams that Mr Morphett loved as sons.

Not only Tantanoola, but at Mount Schanck
The claw welts patterned the saplings
With mysteries terrible as Egypt’s demons,
More evil than the blueness of the Lakes,
And less than a mile from the homestead, too.

Sheep died more rapidly than the years
Which the tiger ruled in tooth and talk,
And it padded from Beachport to the Border,
While blood streamed down the minds of the folk
Of Mount Gambier, Tantanoola, of Casterton.

Oh this tiger was seen all right, grinning,
Yellow and gleaming with satin stripes:
Its body arched and undulated through the tea-tree;
In this land of dead volcanoes it was a flame,
It was a brightness, it was the glory of death,

It was fine, this tiger, a sweet shudder
In the heath and everlastings of the Border,
A roc bird up the ghostly ring-barked gums
Of Mingbool Swamp, a roaring fate
Descending on the mindless backs of grazing things.

Childhoods burned with its burning eyes,
Tantanoola was a magic playground word,
It rushed through young dreams like a river
And it had lovers in Mr Morphett and Mr Marks
For the ten long hunting unbelieving years.

Troopers and blacks made safari, Africa-fashion,
Pastoral Quixotes swayed on their ambling mounts,
Lost in invisible trails. The red-faced
Young Lindsay Gordons of the Mount
Tormented their heartbeats in the rustling nights

While the tiger grew bigger and clear as an axe.
‘A circus once abandoned a tiger cub.’
This was the creed of the hunters and poets.
‘A dingo that’s got itself too far south’
The grey old cynics thundered in their beers,

And blows were swapped and friendships broken,
Beauty burst on a loveless and dreary people,
And their moneyed minds broke into singing
A myth; these soured and tasteless settlers
Were Greeks and Trojans, billabong troubadours,

Plucking their themes at the picnic races
Around the kegs in the flapping canvas booths.
On the waist-coats shark’s teeth swung in time,
And old eyes, sharply seamed and squinting,
Opened mysteriously in misty musical surprise,

Until the day Jack Heffernan made camp
By a mob of sheep on the far slope of Mount Schanck
And woke to find the tiger on its haunches,
Bigger than a mountain, love, or imagination,
Grinning lazily down on a dying ewe,

And he drew a bead and shot it through the head.
Look down, oh mourners of history, poets,
Look down on the black and breeding volcanic soil,
Lean on your fork in this potato country,
Regard the yellowed fangs and quivering claws

Of a mangy and dying Siberian wolf.
It came as a fable or a natural image
To pace the bars of these sunless minds,
A small and unimpressive common wolf
In desperately poor and cold condition.

It howled to the wattle when it swam ashore
From the wreck of the foundered Helena,
Smelt death and black snakes and tight lips
On every fence-post and slip-rail.
It was three foot six from head to tail.

Centuries will die like swatted blowflies
Before word or wolf will work a tremor
Of tenderness in the crusty knuckles
Around the glasses in the Tantanoola pub
Where its red bead eyes now stare towards the sun.

 

Max Harris

http://www.ernmalley.com/harris_poetry.html

A crow Perched on a withered tree In the autumn evening. Basho

 

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As The Crow Flies

There’s a place not far, as the crow flies,
In the desert, so hot and so dry
It holds memories so dear and so close,
That I can see it in my mind’s eye
It doesn’t have towns or a city,
It doesn’t have trains or a tram.
It does have wide open spaces
And I see it wherever I am
There are many things to see and do there
But they’re not the ones that are here.
No matter what I find myself doing now
There are times when I journey back there
Where the moon is so large and so brilliant
That it lights up the night time sky
And I find myself reminiscing
About all the times that have gone by

Stella P. Bell

– See more at: http://www.australian-information-stories.com/as-the-crow-flies.html#sthash.5F79Cy5j.dpuf

Let us reach together, touch the monster’s face, decipher the walls of the cave. I will be calling your name. Call back to me. There is always space for courage.

http://www.hotsdots.com/poetry/author/mduwell/

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虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず。

(Koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu)

If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

You can’t do anything without risking something.

Read more: http://www.linguanaut.com/japanese_sayings.htm#ixzz2rDRojSxE

Warriors should suffer their pain silently.” Erin Hunter, Into the Wild

 

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Warrior’s Journey

Father dies
mother leaves
sisters taken away.
Helpless, defenceless.
No hand to cling to,
Welfare Property
Ward number 77318
another number, another mouth,
another body, another untouched soul,
another heart to be healed,
another shadow in the dark of night.
She is two years old.
From one dwelling to another she is sent.
Disconnected, her child’s heart broken, the need for love
Unquenched.
A vacuum for her confidence and sense of self;
anxiety and anger her constant companions
she struggles to belong, she doesn’t belong.
Hands shake, body trembles,
cries unheard, muffled under bed covers.
She is ten years old.

She thinks of death to escape the anguish.
She believes she has no right to take up space,
to breathe air.
She believes there will be rejoicing at her passing,
a problem solved.
She releases the genie in the bottle,
life goes on about her,
she closes her eyes and waits.
She is marked. She is spared.
Like the first born of the Israelites, the Angel of Death passes her by.
She is twelve years old.

Tormented by anger, a prisoner of rage.
Her cries for justice, she fights to be heard.
They say, ‘she’s a psychiatric case’
and needs to be medicated.
Silence her voice, dull her mind, and inhibit her strong emotions.
She must endure the rash, the itch, the weight gain, the hand tremors, and the sluggish thoughts.
Now they say ‘she’s boring with no powers of conversation’.
In school she sits, eyes heavy; she drops her head – just for a moment.
She sleeps her days away.
She is fourteen years old

She hears the call of the warrior soul.
She resists sedation; the murder of her spirit.
Pills hurtle across the fence, a cry goes out
‘I won’t do what you want any more!’
Strong male hands force her down, inject her into submission.
They say ‘it’s for her own good and for the good of others’.
She is ‘disturbed’, ‘mad’, emotionally retarded’.
She is fifteen years old.

She is released, pushed out into a world of strangers.
They don’t understand or care about her sorrow.
She must find work, forge relationships, and build a life. There is no help, there is no social net to catch her, and there is no family to
give her connection.
She must find her own way.
She is lost, jobs are transient, and relationships unravel.
Booze is her solace, drugs her respite, madness her rescuer.
The streets her home.
She is seventeen years old.

She is a mother;
frightened, solitary,
how can she care for the infant in her arms?
She needs help, she reaches out,
her children are removed.
She can’t be trusted, she can’t trust herself.
It’s for her own good ‘in the best interest of the children’.
She seeks the comfort of death,
but death rejects her plea.
The ‘Warrior Soul’ calls her to life.
She yearns to be a mother, she craves to do it right,
Her children are ‘restored’,
She is twenty-four years old.

A single mother, living in poverty.
She hears the call of her warrior soul
She needs to dream, she needs to believe,
She needs to hope.
However, she is mad.
Her mind has betrayed her,
what can she anticipate?
The pills, the booze, the violence.
How can she break the will to self-annihilate?
She is determined.
She must find a way.
She is twenty-seven years old.
She treads the road of trials,
She cries out ‘there is no God!’
Lost within her madness,
admitted to the Clinic.
‘What is wrong with me?’ she pleads.
She is thirty-three years old.

The warrior soul is stronger
than the darkness, that binds her.
She heeds its call.
Is there a God? She prays to believe.
She dares for more than mere survival,
she crawls out from within the sewage of her life.
She is thirty-six years old.

Her untaught soul greets the morning.
She discovers she is far more than all her experiences.
More than her illness.
She knows now, in each one of us
there is a gold of great worth.
There is a warrior soul of strength and courage.
Compelled to transform her suffering.
she studies, she learns, she grows,
finds enduring love, personal value.
She connects.
Passes on her hope,
helps others finds their way.
Sometimes death still whispers her name,
however, she grips the hand of the warrior within,
she has learnt to trust.
She has found power and strength within,
She is forty-five years old.

copyright Margaret Spivey 2003

We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows. Robert Frost (1875-1963)

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I have always known the mystery. It is not the wind, though it is the flow of it, and it is not the waves, though it is their force and colour, and it is not the roar of bushfires or the ache of earthquakes, though these things give voice to it, and it is not the silence between lovers, though it might be what brought them to that silence, and it is not the drive of the ambitious man, or the obsession of the vigilante, though it might be the path that delivers them to their fate. I have known the mystery through the sacred lines of poets set down since the beginning in prayers, vedas, sutras, hymns, incantations, chants—all poems in the conversation between us and the mystery, a conversation that continues regardless of whether we construct the world as sacred or secular, a conversation that insists itself upon those who have the button.

DONNA WARD

http://www.australianpoetry.org/2013/10/09/editorial-6/

Where there is love there is no darkness.

Burundian proverb

http://afritorial.com/the-best-72-african-wise-proverbs/

 

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Riches

© Jeanne D. Rhein
They say that times were tough then
That money was very tight
But I remember my childhood
And I know that can’t be right

Mom would cook our dinner
Dad came home at five
We were all sitting at the table
Waiting for him to arrive

We wouldn’t eat from a microwave
Or a restaurant down the street
We all ate Mom’s home cooking
And boy that can’t be beat

We didn’t eat in front of the TV
Or with a phone in our hand
We weren’t plugged into a stereo
bopping to the latest band

We would all sit at the table
Everyone in their place
There were never any surprises
We recognized every face

Brothers to the left of me
Sisters to the right
That’s the way we ate dinner
Every single night

We laughed we joked we talked we ate
We were a family don’t you see
Though some may have been raised poor
You can see it wasn’t me

We ate collards we ate biscuits
We ate fatback and blackeyed peas
We said yes sir we said no sir
We said thank you ma’am and please

So when you talk of family life
Or how it used to be
Though many had more money
None were as rich as me

Source: Poem About A Loving Family Eating Together, Riches http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/riches#ixzz2rD8gkHlt
Family Friend Poems