Category Archives: BADLY DONE

Hell, There ain’t no notes on a banjo. You just play it.

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The Song of the Banjo

BY RUDYARD KIPLING

1894

You couldn’t pack a Broadwood half a mile—
   You mustn’t leave a fiddle in the damp—
You couldn’t raft an organ up the Nile,
   And play it in an Equatorial swamp.
I travel with the cooking-pots and pails—
   I’m sandwiched ’tween the coffee and the pork—
And when the dusty column checks and tails,
   You should hear me spur the rearguard to a walk!
       With my ‘Pilly-willy-winky-winky-popp!’
          [Oh, it’s any tune that comes into my head!]
       So I keep ’em moving forward till they drop;
          So I play ’em up to water and to bed.
In the silence of the camp before the fight,
   When it’s good to make your will and say your prayer,
You can hear my strumpty-tumpty overnight,
   Explaining ten to one was always fair.
I’m the Prophet of the Utterly Absurd,
   Of the Patently Impossible and Vain—
And when the Thing that Couldn’t has occurred,
   Give me time to change my leg and go again.
       With my ‘Tumpa-tumpa-tumpa-tumpa-tump!’
          In the desert where the dung-fed camp-smoke curled.
       There was never voice before us till I led our lonely chorus,
          I—the war-drum of the White Man round the world!
By the bitter road the Younger Son must tread,
   Ere he win to hearth and saddle of his own,—
’Mid the riot of the shearers at the shed,
   In the silence of the herder’s hut alone—
In the twilight, on a bucket upside down,
   Hear me babble what the weakest won’t confess—
I am Memory and Torment—I am Town!
   I am all that ever went with evening dress!
       With my ‘Tunka-tunka-tunka-tunka-tunk!’
          [So the lights—the London Lights—grow near and plain!]
       So I rowel ’em afresh towards the Devil and the Flesh
          Till I bring my broken rankers home again.
In desire of many marvels over sea,
   Where the new-raised tropic city sweats and roars,
I have sailed with Young Ulysses from the quay
   Till the anchor rumbled down on stranger shores.
He is blooded to the open and the sky,
   He is taken in a snare that shall not fail,
He shall hear me singing strongly, till he die,
   Like the shouting of a backstay in a gale.
       With my ‘Hya! Heeya! Heeya! Hullah! Haul!’
          [Oh, the green that thunders aft along the deck!]
       Are you sick o’ towns and men? You must sign and sail again,
          For it’s ‘Johnny Bowlegs, pack your kit and trek!’
Through the gorge that gives the stars at noon-day clear—
   Up the pass that packs the scud beneath our wheel—
Round the bluff that sinks her thousand fathom sheer—
   Down the valley with our guttering brakes asqueal:
Where the trestle groans and quivers in the snow,
   Where the many-shedded levels loop and twine,
Hear me lead my reckless children from below
   Till we sing the Song of Roland to the pine!
       With my ‘Tinka-tinka-tinka-tinka-tink!’
          [Oh, the axe has cleared the mountain, croup and crest!]
       And we ride the iron stallions down to drink,
          Through the cañons to the waters of the West!
And the tunes that mean so much to you alone—
   Common tunes that make you choke and blow your nose—
Vulgar tunes that bring the laugh that brings the groan—
   I can rip your very heartstrings out with those;
With the feasting, and the folly, and the fun—
   And the lying, and the lusting, and the drink,
And the merry play that drops you, when you’re done.
   To the thoughts that burn like irons if you think.
       With my ‘Plunka-lunka-lunka-lunka-lunk!’
          Here’s a trifle on account of pleasure past,
       Ere the wit that made you win gives you eyes to see your sin
          And—the heavier repentance at the last!
Let the organ moan her sorrow to the roof—
   I have told the naked stars the Grief of Man!
Let the trumpet snare the foeman to the proof—
   I have known Defeat, and mocked it as we ran!
My bray ye may not alter nor mistake
   When I stand to jeer the fatted Soul of Things,
But the Song of Lost Endeavour that I make,
   Is it hidden in the twanging of the strings?
       With my ‘Ta-ra-rara-rara-ra-ra-rrrp!’
          [Is it naught to you that hear and pass me by?]
       But the word—the word is mine, when the order moves the line
          And the lean, locked ranks go roaring down to die!
The grandam of my grandam was the Lyre—
   [Oh, the blue below the little fisher-huts!]
That the Stealer stooping beachward filled with fire,
   Till she bore my iron head and ringing guts!
By the wisdom of the centuries I speak—
   To the tune of yestermorn I set the truth—
I, the joy of life unquestioned—I, the Greek—
   I, the everlasting Wonder-song of Youth!
       With my ‘Tinka-tinka-tinka-tinka-tink!’
          [What d’ye lack, my noble masters! What d’ye lack?]
       So I draw the world together link by link:
          Yea, from Delos up to Limerick and back!

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

If you are being attacked in a dream or in person by a demon, devil, incubus, succubus, Satan, unclean spirit, unclean bird or alien, immediately cry out

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“I used to think I knew what was right and what was wrong, and who the good guys are, and who the bad guys are. Then the world got very grey, and I didn’t know anything for a long time”
― Laurell K. Hamilton, Incubus Dreams

“Repentance won’t cure mischief.”

Gaelic.

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He raised his brows. “You’re drunk.” “Am not!” He gave me a bland look. “A drunk’s famous last words before they fall flat on their face.”

― J. Lynn, Wait for You

Weaving a net is better than praying for fish at the edge of the water.

CHINESE.

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You carry your snare everywhere and spread your nets in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment, and much more effectively than you could by your voice. When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent? Tell me, whom does this world condemn? Whom do judges in court punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You have prepared the abominable cup, you have given the death-dealing drink, and you are more criminal than are those who poison the body; you murder not the body, but the soul. And it is not to enemies that you do this, nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride. ~St. John Chrysostom

 

Mothers’ Excuses: Mother for me made excuses When I was a little lad; Found some reason for my conduct When it had been very bad. Blamed it on a recent illness Or my nervousness and told Father to be easy with me Every time he had to scold.

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Edgar Albert Guest

1881-1959, written in 1920

http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/32079-Edgar-Albert-Guest-Mothers—Excuses

Francois De La Rochefoucauld.
Nothing is impossible; there are ways that lead to everything, and if we had sufficient will we should always have sufficient means. It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible.

http://quotations.about.com/cs/inspirationquotes/a/Excuses1.htm

foto- raleigh bamboo 2010

"The whisperer’s tongue is worse than the serpent’s venom.” (Latin).

"Curiosities in Proverbs: A Collection of Unusual Adages, Maxims, Aphorisms, Phrases and Other …"

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I wonder why it is, that young men are always cautioned against bad girls. Anyone can handle a bad girl. It’s the good girls men should be warned against.
David Niven

foto – lunch

This is the right thing, and the other is the wick of the candle. (Spanish). Applied to a blunderer as a taunt when he mistakes one thing for another.

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To say " I " is the devil’s affair. (Osmanli). An egotist is the product of the devil.

"Curiosities in Proverbs: A Collection of Unusual Adages, Maxims, Aphorisms, Phrases and Other …"

foto – at the table workers’ cottage 2010

Turkish. No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back.

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Every way. or at every end, there are three leagues of heart-breaking. (Spanish). When a man’s affairs are in bad condition and he is unable to extricate himself from difficulty, every way leads to further complications; at every end he finds an obstacle and he is near disaster.

"Curiosities in Proverbs: A Collection of Unusual Adages, Maxims, Aphorisms, Phrases and Other …"

foto – burra’s tree

Death is a black camel which kneels at every man’s gate. (Turkish). The camel kneels to receive its burden. Here death is represented as a camel that is sure at some time to stop before every man’s door to receive and bear away his body for burial.

"Curiosities in Proverbs: A Collection of Unusual Adages, Maxims, Aphorisms, Phrases and Other …"

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The poison of a scorpion is in his tail; the poison of a fly is in his head; the poison of a serpent is in his fang; the poison of a bad man is in his whole body. (Sanskrit).