There should be those among whom we can sit and weep and still be counted as warriors. Native American.

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I have spent too long
telling the world the world is the world
and poetry is made of language.
Today on the Bedford platform, I began
the great poem: weeping openly on the public
telephone—the way some were staring
as they swirled past, the way some
weren’t—yes: it was truth
at last.

—Jan Zwicky

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one of my favourite poems

LES MURRAY

An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow

The word goes round Repins,
the murmur goes round Lorenzinis,
at Tattersalls, men look up from sheets of numbers,
the Stock Exchange scribblers forget the chalk in their hands
and men with bread in their pockets leave the Greek Club:
There’s a fellow crying in Martin Place. They can’t stop him.

The traffic in George Street is banked up for half a mile
and drained of motion. The crowds are edgy with talk
and more crowds come hurrying. Many run in the back streets
which minutes ago were busy main streets, pointing:
There’s a fellow weeping down there. No one can stop him.

The man we surround, the man no one approaches
simply weeps, and does not cover it, weeps
not like a child, not like the wind, like a man
and does not declaim it, nor beat his breast, nor even
sob very loudly—yet the dignity of his weeping

holds us back from his space, the hollow he makes about him
in the midday light, in his pentagram of sorrow,
and uniforms back in the crowd who tried to seize him
stare out at him, and feel, with amazement, their minds
longing for tears as children for a rainbow.

Some will say, in the years to come, a halo
or force stood around him. There is no such thing.
Some will say they were shocked and would have stopped him
but they will not have been there. The fiercest manhood,
the toughest reserve, the slickest wit amongst us

trembles with silence, and burns with unexpected
judgements of peace. Some in the concourse scream
who thought themselves happy. Only the smallest children
and such as look out of Paradise come near him
and sit at his feet, with dogs and dusty pigeons.

Ridiculous, says a man near me, and stops
his mouth with his hands, as if it uttered vomit—
and I see a woman, shining, stretch her hand
and shake as she receives the gift of weeping;
as many as follow her also receive it

and many weep for sheer acceptance, and more
refuse to weep for fear of all acceptance,
but the weeping man, like the earth, requires nothing,
the man who weeps ignores us, and cries out
of his writhen face and ordinary body

not words, but grief, not messages, but sorrow,
hard as the earth, sheer, present as the sea—
and when he stops, he simply walks between us
mopping his face with the dignity of one
man who has wept, and now has finished weeping.

Evading believers, he hurries off down Pitt Street.
from
The Weatherboard Cathedral, 1969

http://www.lesmurray.org/pm_aor.htm

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“Hallo, Rabbit,” he said, “is that you?” “Let’s pretend it isn’t,” said Rabbit, “and see what happens. “A.A. Milne

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he is unlike the other customers. They sense it too, and look at him with hard eyes, eyes like little metal studs pinned into the white faces of young men. In the hush his entrance creates, the excessive courtesy the weary woman behind the counter shows him amplifies his strangeness. He orders coffee quietly and studies the rim of the cup to steady the sliding in his stomach. He had thought, he had read, that from shore to shore all America was the same. He wonders, Is it just these people I’m outside or is it all America?

― John Updike, Rabbit, Run

A cup of tea would restore my normality. Douglas Adams

 

 

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), Saturday 15 September 1928,

1 1 1 1 1 1 The Brisbane Courier (Qld. - 1864 - 1933), Saturday 15 September 1928,

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I don’t want tea,” said Clary, with muffled force. “I want to find my mother. And then I want to find out who took her in the first place, and I want to kill them.”
“Unfortunately,” said Hodge, “we’re all out of bitter revenge at the moment, so it’s either tea or nothing.

― Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

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   Lee Emmett, Australia
 
HIGH TEA

‘give me beverage,’ says mrs average
‘make mine green tea,’ responds mcphee
‘coffee’s my drink,’ asserts dolly pink
‘fuchsia and lemon,’ quips jack devon
‘who wants apple cake?’ asks lambert lake
‘or strawberry jam tart?’ adds doris dart
‘scones and cream cheese,’ mad simon pleads
‘chocolate meringue,’ smiles su-lin chang

 

http://www.voicesnet.org/displayonepoem.aspx?poemid=121885

A boy’s will is the wind’s will, And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.

 

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow   ‘My LostYouth’, in Putnam’s Monthly Magazine, vol.6,  Aug. Collected in The Courtship of Miles Standish and Other Poems, 1858. In his diary Longfellow notes that these lines are from an ‘old Lapland song’.

http://quotes.yourdictionary.com/wind

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But an old age serene and bright, and lovely as a Lapland night,
shall lead thee to thy grave.

– William Wordsworth

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Linnaeus in Lapland

BY LORINE NIEDECKER

Nothing worth noting
except an Andromeda
with quadrangular shoots—
            the boots
of the people
wet inside: they must swim
to church thru the floods
or be taxed—the blossoms
            from the bosoms
of the leaves
Fog-thick morning—
I see only
where I now walk. I carry
            my clarity
with me.
Hear
where her snow-grave is
the You

            ah you
of mourning doves
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The Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser (Toowoomba, Qld. : 1858 – 1880), Monday 3 May 1880
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But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren’t alone] In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry] An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promised joy. Robert Burns

 

 

 

Bush poetry by Andrew Hull

 

All night a noisy little mouse was keeping me awake,
With that irritating little squeaky scratchy noise they make.
And then at breakfast time there was mouse pooh on my flakes,
And at lunchtime there was mouse pooh on my chocolate cake.

 

“I’ll snare him”, I decided, “when he finishes his nap”.
And I used a bit of cheese with a drop of mango sap.
Then I set the apparatus just outside his little flap,
But he just ate the cheese, and left mouse pooh on the trap !

http://bushroots.com/wp/category/bourke-tails-recipes-poetry/bush-poetry/poem-mouse-poo/

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The Mouse on the Barroom Floor
Some Guinness was spilled on the barroom floor
when the pub was shut for the night.
Out of his hole crept a wee brown mouse
and stood in the pale moonlight.
He lapped up the frothy brew from the floor,
then back on his haunches he sat.
And all night long you could hear him roar,
‘Bring on the goddam cat!’

http://www.islandireland.com/Pages/folk/sets/sayings.html

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The Urana Independent and Clear Hills Standard (NSW : 1913 – 1921), Friday 29 December 1916,

1 1 1 1 1 1 The Urana Independent and Clear Hills Standard (NSW - 1913 - 1921), Friday 29 December 1916,

Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words. Rumi

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He could see plainly that she was not herself. That is, he could not see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.

― Kate Chopin, The Awakening

A girl should be two things: who and what she wants. Coco Chanel.

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When you meet a man who is broken, pick him up and carry him. When you meet a woman who’s broken, put her all into your arms. Cause we don’t know where we come from … we don’t know where we are. ”

― Laurie Anderson

The lizard brain only wants to eat and be safe. Seth Godin, Linchpin

 

 

From it’s heights, the lizard on the wall,
Like a super hero, leaps and  fall,
I jump on the chair, stand, stunned,
And watch it move..slither and run.

 Nishu Mathur, India

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The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 25 March 1933

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Phillip Seymour Hoffman did not have choice or free will and neither do you.

debbie bayer blog

In the wake of the tragic loss of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, a great artist, partner, father, brother, and son, I offer the following facts about the neurological disease of addiction.

The overwhelming majority of adults in the western world have passed through experimental stages in their lives where they have dabbled with some kind of brain altering addictive substance, i.e., cigarettes, alcohol, prescriptionpain killers, ADHD medication, anti-anxiety medication, and yes, even marijuana (save the ‘it’s not addictive” arguments for later, please).  And the overwhelming majority of these adults will emerge from their experiments unscathed, believing that their free will and good choices are what saved them from becoming addicted.

The problem with this thinking is that it is factually incorrect.  In other words, they are all wrong.

What saved them (you) from becoming addicted is that their brains did not respond in the same way that an addict’s brain does…

View original post 3,108 more words

Stolen, Lost And Found | The Global Mail

Stolen, Lost And Found | The Global Mail.

via Stolen, Lost And Found | The Global Mail.

The face is a little fuller, movement comes slower. A small tremor ripples across his hands. A slight cough betrays a recent illness. But the old presence is here, the gentle dignity that comes to a man who knows more loss and pain than men should; who found not rage nor bitterness but forgiveness and gratitude.

Along the way Archie Roach nearly gave up. In 2010, his partner Ruby Hunter died; she’d been his music soul mate and the mother of the couple’s two boys. The next year a stroke felled Roach just as he was resuming his musical career at Turkey Creek, near Broome. Last year he was told he had lung cancer.

Who could not understand his desolation? The stroke was as cruel as the loss of Ruby. The pair, who had been together almost 40 years, met as teenagers on the streets of Melbourne; both were homeless then and heading for addictions. Children came. So did more alcohol. Ruby left with the kids and Archie had to make a decision: the bottle or the family? She’d told him: “Alcohol — I can’t do that anymore and see my children suffer.”

Archie remembers: “Ruby took the kids and left me. So it was a choice I had to make. Either keep drinking alcohol or have my children with me. So it wasn’t really a hard choice.”