Category Archives: BASICS

“A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it’s better to be thoroughly sure.” — Bohemian proverb

 

 

The Cuckoo in the Middle of the Wood

Cuckoos lead bohemian lives,
They fail as husbands and as wives,
Therefore, they cynically dispariage
Everybody else's marriage.

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The Muswellbrook Chronicle (NSW : 1898 – 1955), Saturday 15 February 1919,

1 1 1 1 1 The Muswellbrook Chronicle (NSW - 1898 - 1955), Saturday 15 February 1919,

The end of the end was the best place to begin.

 

 

 

 

The Elephant’s Nostalgia

This is the door.

http://redroomcompany.org/poem/lindsay-tuggle/elephants-nostalgia/

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The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), Friday 10 February 1956,

1 1 1 1 1 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. - 1848 - 1957), Friday 10 February 1956,

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John Godfrey Saxe’s ( 1816-1887) version of the famous Indian legend,

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach’d the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -“Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he,
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

MORAL.

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

http://www.noogenesis.com/pineapple/blind_men_elephant.html

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“The whole thing’s illusion, [Jacob], and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s what people want from us. It’s what they expect.”
― Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants

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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!

When spiders’ webs unite, they can tie up a lion. Ethiopian

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“Every morning an impala wakes up knowing that it must outrun the fastest lion if it wants to stay alive. Every morning a lion wakes up knowing that it must outrun the slowest impala or it will starve. It makes no difference if you are a lion or an impala, when the sun comes up in Africa you must wake up running” 
~ anonymous, Zambia

http://www.glimpsesofafrica.com/african-quotes–proverbs.html1 1 1 1 1 1 f2ilmfun322333lesl_0204

The Break O’Day Lion

 

©Wilfred Blake (1934) 

There’s a rumour going round the town
As I’ve heard people say –
That a wild animal is at large
Out there at Break 0’day.

The woodcutters saw this tawny shape
Slinking ‘thru the scrub
Up there on the hillside
Near the derelict old pub.

Peter Jackson’s gang, who saw this beast
Declare it was a lion –
And that they are men of integrity
There’s certainly no denyin’.

They say that it’s a man-eater –
And women too, presuming:
That’s why some blokes took their wives
To Break O’ Day mushrooming.

The farmers of the district
Were suddenly in shock;
If this creature isn’t soon destroyed
It will decimate our stock.

Bill Fry’s party then went out
On Big Game Hunting bent.
The tracked it ’round the water race
Past Charlie Walsh’s tent.

They followed it across the bridge
That spans the water race.
And of paw marks on the other side
There was not a trace.

Then someone spotted further on
A patch of muddy bog
But the critics say those tracks were made
By Tommy Marshall’s dog.

Now Tommy’s dog is very large
And he is tawny grey
And was known to wander far and wide
Even out to Break O’ Day.

It has never been seen again
‘Cept by a bloke who was on the grog
And it’s thought that what the woodmen saw
WAS Tommy Marshall’s dog.

http://simplyaustralia.net/poetry-wb-lion.html

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It is not the horse that draws the cart, but the oats. Russia.

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1 1 1 1 1 1 aQueenscliff Sentinel, Drysdale, Portarlington & Sorrento Advertiser (Vic. - 1885 - 1894), Saturday 26 July 1890,

Queenscliff Sentinel, Drysdale, Portarlington & Sorrento Advertiser (Vic. : 1885 – 1894), Saturday 26 July 1890,1 1 1 1 1 1 Fotor0206182852

 

I’ve finally reached the age where my Wild Oats have turned into All-Bran!

 

TOM WILSON, Ziggy, Nov. 19, 1999

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Wild Oats

BY PHILIP LARKIN

About twenty years ago
Two girls came in where I worked—
A bosomy English rose
And her friend in specs I could talk to.
Faces in those days sparked
The whole shooting-match off, and I doubt
If ever one had like hers:
But it was the friend I took out,
And in seven years after that
Wrote over four hundred letters,
Gave a ten-guinea ring
I got back in the end, and met
At numerous cathedral cities
Unknown to the clergy. I believe
I met beautiful twice. She was trying
Both times (so I thought) not to laugh.
Parting, after about five
Rehearsals, was an agreement
That I was too selfish, withdrawn,
And easily bored to love.
Well, useful to get that learnt.
In my wallet are still two snaps
Of bosomy rose with fur gloves on.
Unlucky charms, perhaps.
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I won’t let anybody take a drink out of this barrel of tears I’ve collected from you.

Barrels

BY BARBARA GUEST

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/238236

 

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There’s nothing as heartening as the sight of an empty pub in the morning, the shelves full and everything spick and span before the barbarian hordes come in. Them that drinks bottles spoil the look of the shelves but draught is a different story – you never see the barrel going down.

Patrick McGinley

 

http://infohost.nmt.edu/~armiller/beer/beersay.htm

I was never the girl who walked down the centre of the hallway snapping people out of her way. Piper Perabo

http://www.litera.co.uk/hallway/

image

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

 
― Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Never ruin an apology with an excuse.

~Kimberly Johnson

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The spot check inventory. Steps one through nine have sensitized us to see the truth about our own behaviour and the manner in which the rest of the world, especially people, respond to our actions. Having developed this awareness, we come to see, during each moment of each day, what is really going on. In other words, we are living in the truth of the moment. We have, in addition to a new awareness, also developed some measure of ability to actually control our actions. No longer are we simply sleep-walking under the direction of old habits—habits, the way we think and act when we are not thinking about what we are doing, and our elaborate delusions. The process of exchanging good habits for destructive old habits is, unfortunately, laborious.

http://www.sober.org/Step10.html

Those colourful denizens of male despair, the Bowery bum and the rail-riding hobo, have been replaced by the bag lady and the welfare mother. Women have even taken over Skid Row.

— Florence King
1936-, American Author, Critic

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Every house should have a Christ’s room. The coat which hangs in your closet belongs to the poor. If your brother comes to you hungry and you say, Go be thou filled, what kind of hospitality is that? It is no use turning people away to an agency, to the city or the state or the Catholic Charities. It is you yourself who must perform the works of mercy. Often you can only give the price of a meal, or a bed on the Bowery. Often you can only hope that it will be spent for that. Often you can literally take off a garment if it only be a scarf and warm some shivering brother. But personally, at a personal sacrifice, these were the ways Peter used to insist, to combat the growing tendency on the part of the State to take over. The great danger was the State taking over the job which our Lord Himself gave us to do, “Inasmuch as you did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.

http://www.catholicworker.org/dorothyday/daytext.cfm?TextID=155

Dragons beget dragons, and phoenixes, phoenixes; and the offspring of mice will know how to chew holes. Chinese

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May you touch dragonflies & stars, dance with fairies & talk to the moon. May you grow up with love and a gracious heart and always know how loved you are.

I tell her all the time,’whiskey is risky and it makes girls frisky.”

― Laura Anderson Kurk, Glass Girl

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“As adults we try to relax from the never-ending quest for reason and order by drinking a little whiskey or smoking whatever works for us, but the wisdom isn’t in the whiskey or the smoke. The wisdom is in the moments when the madness slips away and we remember the basics.”

― Willie Nelson, The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart