Ukali wa jicho washinda wembe


An eye is sharper than a razor

A look can be extremely effective in sending a desired message across. It can be a friendly and inviting look or a threatening one.

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As Long As Your Eyes Are Blue

by Banjo Paterson (1864-1941)

Australian writer

“Will you love me, sweet, when my hair is grey
And my cheeks shall have lost their hue?
When the charms of youth shall have passed away,
Will your love as of old prove true?
“For the looks may change, and the heart may range,
And the love be no longer fond;
Wilt thou love with truth in the years of youth
And away to the years beyond?

Oh, I love you, sweet, for your locks of brown
And the blush on your cheek that lies—
But I love you most for the kindly heart
That I see in your sweet blue eyes.

For the eyes are signs of the soul within,
Of the heart that is real and true,
And mine own sweetheart, I shall love you still,
Just as long as your eyes are blue.

For the locks may bleach, and the cheeks of peach
May be reft of their golden hue;
But mine own sweetheart, I shall love you still,
Just as long as your eyes are blue.

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If I’m judged, it’s by sadness: how much more to do, how much time gone

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Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Have you ever been alone in a crowded room? – Jack’s Mannequin (Dark Blue)

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The House of Four-X

Something over ten thousand
Beer bottles went to build
A house, once, in Queensland.

Something over ten thousand
Mullions of glitter and gloom
Fixed and cemented

And every one of them drained
As a point of honour
By the solitary owner.

Picture, in midsummer shade,
The static yet ripple-cool sheen
Of ten thousand leadlights.

Picture, when lamps burned inside,
A shadowy, manifold bee
In his shrine of light-cells,

Vast, torpid and festive at once
Singing Christmas jinks and hooray!
In the heart of Queensland,

So that when he went courting at last
And brought home a bride for his house
(Picture that darkly)

There must have been almost excess
Even for those tropic parts
Of fullness, of wholeness,

Pharaoh and Israel at sport,
Bricks heaped to dry in the sun,
Straw by the paddockful.

And I hope it survives yet, their priesthood,
It would be drear loss to us all,
Not only Queensland,

Considering chill glass houses now
Which bewilder many
And have nourished no one,

If jealous time and the world
Had shattered those honeydew grilles
And the wind grown jagged,

And there were no strong sons to shout
Through sleepouts of radiance and chink,
Bearing high dozens.


The chains of addiction are too light to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.

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The Wilderness

for Peter Barden

Penury in Sydney had grown stale
And, at twenty-two, my childhood was in danger
So I preceded you, in all but spirit,
To the far-back country
Where the tar roads end.

In the silent lands
Time broadens into space.
Approaching Port Augusta, going on,
Iron-brown and limitless, the plains
Were before me all day. Burnt mountains fell behind
In the glittering sky.

At dawn, the sun would roll up from his lair
In the kiln-dry lake country, fire his heat straight through
The blind grey scrub, awaken me beside wheeltracks
And someone’s car, and I would travel on.

At noon, far out in a mirage, I would brew
Tea with strangers, yarn about jobs in the North
And, chewing quietly, watch maybe an upstart
Dust-devil forming miles off, going high
To totter, darken
And, quite suddenly, vanish
Leaving a formless, thinning stain in the heavens.

Where the spirits of sea-cliffs
Hovered on the plain
I would remember routines we had invented
For putting spine into shapeless days: the time
We passed at a crouching trot down Wynyard Concourse
Tell each other in loud mock-Arunta and gestures
What game we were tracking down what haunted gorge . . .
Frivolous games
But they sustained me like water,

They, and the is-ful ah!-nesses of things.

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Euroa Advertiser (Vic. : 1884 – 1920), Friday 20 February 1885,

1 1 1 1 1 Euroa Advertiser (Vic. - 1884 - 1920), Friday 20 February 1885,

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The chains of addiction are too light to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. SWAHILI.

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He was seventy-two, and yet there was still time for this dream to change to a nightmare. C. S. Forester, Hornblower and the Crisis

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He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts, for support rather than illumination.

Andrew Lang, a gentle needle



take the will for the deed

We must  always give people credit for their good 
intentions, even if they fail to carry them 
through: Take the will for the deed — she
would have come to visit you at the hospital if 
there hadn't been a railroad strike.

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Blame the Railways

Reprinted from the Staff, 20 May, 1924

If you read the caustic fudge
Printed in the ‘Daily Smudge’,
You’ll conclude it has a grudge
On the Railways.
Every day another growl,
It’s a squeal or else a howl,
Or some language almost foul
Re the Railways.

When the tragedies are light,
And there’s nothing else in sight,
That’s the time to have a bite
At the Railways.
So reporters off they trot
(Sometimes there are quite a lot)
Probing for some tender spot
Of the Railways.

Though it knows like you and I,
It demands the reason why
Fares are still ‘so very high’
On the Railways.
Readers of ‘ The Smudge’, ‘tis clear,
Must be taught to jibe and jeer,
Or must live in mortal fear
Of the Railways.

So, if Mr Newlywed
Comes home later than he said,
Then he has to ‘use his head’ –
Blames the Railways.
Or if Mr Like-a-lot
Stays to have a final ‘spot’,
What excuse d’ye think he’s got?
Why – the Railways.
If a tramway can’t be built
(Cos the State is short of ‘gilt’)
Still, ‘The Smudge’ must have a tilt
At the Railways.

If the traffic’s blocked by fogs
Or it’s raining cats and dogs,
And the line gets fouled by logs
Curse the Railways.
‘Praps, upon a scorching day,
There’s a fire in someone’s hay;
Though it may be miles away,
Pick the Railways.

If a colt takes sudden fright
At an engine in the night –
Smashes things up left and right –
Swat the Railways.
From some drummer’s sample box –
‘Spite of straps and ‘spite of locks –
There are mising ties and socks,
Charge the Railways.

Though we show in point of fact,
That the locks are quite intact,
Surely someone should be sacked
From the Railways.
If a lady sent a cat,
In a box made for a hat,
And it gets clean out of that,
Blame the Railways.

If some silk for Mrs Datch
Doesn’t just exactly match,
Who gets hauled up to the scratch?
Why – the Railways.
When there’s something ‘big’ in Town
(Like the Fleet – or the ‘Renown’),
‘Smudge’ says, ‘Service quite breaks down
On the Railways.

In hotels it’s just the same,
And the restaurants go ‘lame’,
And ther’s no one gets the blame
‘Cept the Railways.
Then a traveller, on the spree
(He’s been making rather free),
Finds a ‘spider’ in his tea,
On the Railways.

‘Course it isn’t there at all,
Isn’t even on the wall,
But it gives a chance to bawl
At the Railways.
So ‘twill be right to the last;
Be the service ne’er so fast,
People still the blame will cast
On the Railways.

And St Peter at the gate,
When he asks them why they’re late,
May expect the answer straight:
“Please, the Railways”.

We make a ladder for ourselves out of our vices when we trample them. St. Augustine



1 1 1 1 1 Liverpool Herald (NSW - 1897 - 1907), Saturday 4 March 1899


Liverpool Herald (NSW : 1897 – 1907), Saturday 4 March 18991 1 1 1 1 drawfinec00erns_0151


The Best Cigarette

by Billy Collins

There are many that I miss
having sent my last one out a car window
sparking along the road one night, years ago.
The heralded one, of course:
after sex, the two glowing tips
now the lights of a single ship;
at the end of a long dinner
with more wine to come
and a smoke ring coasting into the chandelier;
or on a white beach,
holding one with fingers still wet from a swim.
How bittersweet these punctuations
of flame and gesture;
but the best were on those mornings
when I would have a little something going
in the typewriter,
the sun bright in the windows,
maybe some Berlioz on in the background.
I would go into the kitchen for coffee
and on the way back to the page,
curled in its roller,
I would light one up and feel
its dry rush mix with the dark taste of coffee.
Then I would be my own locomotive,
trailing behind me as I returned to work
little puffs of smoke,
indicators of progress,
signs of industry and thought,
the signal that told the nineteenth century
it was moving forward.
That was the best cigarette,
when I would steam into the study
full of vaporous hope
and stand there,
the big headlamp of my face
pointed down at all the words in parallel lines.

I will aid any kid anytime That’s what real men do. Paolo.

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you’d never forget the pelicans
because it was their home too
and that occasional one who’d try and swallow your baited hook
while we cast out into an endless mould of brown and blue skin
sometimes catching our line in its enormous and clumsy wingspan
floating around the jetty constantly boasting that huge gullet
so close to the pylons covered in poinson oyster shells
that waited for the bare flesh within our gait,
inviting our bare flesh to dance
Mum worried that we’d get sick from eating them
Day saying the sewage from the caravan park
would sometimes flow near where we fished
and that they oysters bathed in it too

little buckets of a few bream
silver catch of a meal
and the persistent cats at our ankles
lapping up the smell
running up past the shop
a front window necropolis of stonefish in vegemite jars
suspended in a vault of clear alcoholic brine
still deadly in death
and us in bare feet all the time
three kids in stonefish-infested mud
playing Russian roulette –
one good pair of running shoes between us

Source:  Smoke Encrypted Whispers  by Samuel Wagan Watson Univ. of Queensland Press, 2004

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I’m That Old Guy

I’m the guy who parents do not trust
The one that would help a child who has fallen
A kid in danger
A child who is short five cents at the lolly shop
A child that just wanted a hug or a chat
Some kids like old men’s stories
They learn from listening to old men like me
I am not a sinister man I am just what I should be
An old man with a story
Who helps any kid?
I am not perverted like the do gooders say
Because I spoke to their child miserably wrapped in cotton wool
I am not a paedophile
I am not a risk
I’m that old guy who must leave a child in trouble
Because some idiot says that’s the wisest thing
Pigs Arse
I will aid any kid anytime
That’s what real men do

This was published on December 29, 2013 

But the men were still full of drink at Sæbol and did not know what ought to be done; this caught them unawares, and because of this nothing was done that was either fitting or useful.

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People who drink to medicate their pain are bad enough, but ‘party’ drinkers who get drunk for ‘fun’ are the worst because they only think of their own pleasure. That would be fine if they were alone, but they almost always involve someone else. They don’t really care what they do to their children, spouses, lovers, relatives, friends or total strangers they may maim or kill on the roads, as long as they’re having fun.

Duane Alan Hahn


There’s a special kind of freedom sisters enjoy. Freedom to share innermost thoughts, to ask a favour, to show their true feelings. The freedom to simply be themselves

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Portrait of the Autist as a New World Driver”, from the 1974 collection,Lunch & Counterlunch:


. . . . .
they simplify
who say the Artist’s a child
they miss the point closely: an artist
even if he has brothers, sisters, spouse
is an only child

among the self-taught
the loners, chart-freaks, bush encyclopedists
there are protocols, too; we meet
gravely as stiff princes, and swap fact:
did you know some bats can climb side on?