Category Archives: DARKNESS AND LIGHT

only the wind and a river know the way to his hut in the woods, and sometimes only the wind. the moon, who is his lady, calls him from the orchard . Michael Dransfield

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For Edward Said
He stands outside the walls
with a torch. To the courtiers

his light is a novelty; something quaint
flickering like a distant star

amusing, at best, but often
trivial and dismissible. He stands there

in the rain, in the midst of wars
his beard grows long and white

his torch burning night and day.
The empire’s nobles and courtesans

occasionally remark on his perseverance
and almost always mock his passions. But

to us, the homeless peasants
his torch is an oracle

the beacon of survival
during the onslaughts of storm and pillage.

We gather around like moths
warm our eyes on his flames

thanking our goddesses and gods
that he’s here to shed light

on our forgotten lives. O, how
lost we’ll be without him.

Sometimes it’s better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. Terry Pratchett

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“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”

― T.S. Eliot

“No clowns were funny. That was the whole purpose of a clown. People laughed at clowns, but only out of nervousness. The point of clowns was that, after watching them, anything else that happened seemed enjoyable” Terry Pratchett, The City Watch Trilogy

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“Kill you all!” The clown was laughing and screaming. “Try to stop me and I’ll kill you all! Drive you crazy and then kill you all! You can’t stop me!”

― Stephen King, It

“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” ― Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man

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. “We’re in hell right now gentlemen. Believe me. And we can stay here, get the shit kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb outta hell…one inch at a time.”

Tony D’Amato – Any Given Sunday

Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships. Charles Simic

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Nanny Ogg’s voyages on the sea of intersexual dalliance had gone rather further than twice around the lighthouse, […]”

A popular way of staving off boredom at typical British seaside holiday resorts is to take a trip in a small boat, which will often journey out as far as the local lighthouse and circumnavigate it. Hence the above colloquialism, implying that Nanny’s experiences were not limited to the inshore waters of male/female relationships.

I looked around, and I don’t know why, but I assure you that never, never before, did this land, this river, this jungle, the very arch of this blazing sky, appear to me so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness.” Charlie Marlowe

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“I am she who lifts the mountains
When she goes to hunt,
Who wears mamba for a headband
And a lion for a belt.
I swallow elephants whole
And pick my teeth with rhinoceros horns,
I drink up rivers to get at the hippos.
Let them hear my words!
Nhamo is coming
And her hunger is great.

I am she who tosses trees
Instead of spears.
The ostrich is my pillow
And the elephant is my footstool!
I am Nhamo
Who makes the river my highway
And sends crocodiles scurrying into the reeds!” 

― Nancy FarmerA Girl Named Disaster

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“Something or other lay in wait for him, amid the twists and turns of the months and the years, like a crouching beast in the jungle. It signified little whether the crouching beast were destined to slay him or be slain. The definite point was the inevitable spring of the creature, and the definite lesson from that was that a man of feeling didn’t cause himself to be accompanied by a lady on a tiger-hunt.”

James Henry
The Beast in the Jungle

“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.” ― H.L. Mencken, A Book of Burlesques

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Many a flower regretfully
Exhales perfume soft as secrets
In a profound solitude.


The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 4 September 1937,

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It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone. John Steinbeck,

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Children don’t say his name or try to find him.

Dad is not a word they use. His absence is a thin

Erratic line through the years. At five, his own

Father left, and never returned. Call it a pattern.

The Welfare Of My Enemy by Anthony Lawrence

Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors.

The Journey

by Second Grade Sailors
(Baton Rouge, LA)

A nice stream flowing
Carrying leaves on a trip
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Red sails in the sunset, way out on the sea
Oh, carry my loved one, home safely to me

She sailed at the dawning, all day I’ve been blue
Red sails in the sunset, I’m trusting in you

Swift wings we must borrow, make straight for the shore, oh yeah
We’ll marry tomorrow and you go sailing no more

Red sails in the sunset, way out on the sea
Oh, carry my loved one, home safely to me

Oh yeah
We’ll marry tomorrow and you go sailing no more

And red sails in the sunset, way out on the sea
Oh, carry my loved one, home safely to me




Read more: Fats Domino – Red Sails In The Sunset Lyrics | MetroLyrics


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Los trapos sucios se lavan en casa

Dirty clothes are washed at home

If you have issues to sort out with your spouse or other family members, do it in the privacy of your home. No need to let other people on!

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Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 – 1954), Thursday 6 January 1944,

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the beauty of boys
in a morning-frost, white
skin running between white

sheets snagged by wooden
the kind that have no wire,
are solid, inescapable. Gods.

my stepson,
watching as the world cracks open,
stubble yet to scar his lip,
but lines of man-muscle on the boy-bones.

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Where there is love there is no darkness.

Burundian proverb


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© 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
Family Friend Poems



Once burned by milk you will blow on cold water. Russian.

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Kenneth Slessor

The Night Ride

Gas flaring on the yellow platform; voices running up and down;
Milk-tins in cold dented silver; half-awake I stare,
Pull up the blind, blink out – all sounds are drugged;
the slow blowing of passengers asleep;
engines yawning; water in heavy drips;
Black, sinister travellers, lumbering up the station,
one moment in the window, hooked over bags;
hurrying, unknown faces – boxes with strange labels –
all groping clumsily to mysterious ends,
out of the gaslight, dragged by private Fates,
their echoes die. The dark train shakes and plunges;
bells cry out, the night-ride starts again.
Soon I shall look out into nothing but blackness,
pale, windy fields, the old roar and knock of the rails
melts in dull fury. Pull down the blind. Sleep. Sleep
Nothing but grey, rushing rivers of bush outside.
Gaslight and milk-cans. Of Rapptown I recall nothing else.

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Give him a fishing lesson and he’ll sit in a boat drinking beer every weekend. Alex Blackwell



foto – bucklands boat hire in mallacoota in victoria aust

Stephen Nguyen 

In 1982, one of MG99 group leader Stephen Nguyen’s sisters, a Catholic nun, was lost at sea while fleeing Vietnam. He wrote this haunting poem in her honour.

Painful are the memories of those who perished out at sea,

Desperate for a better fate,

In search of freedom where the sea await,

As darkness hides the tiny boat

full of people filled with hope.

It seems to be such an endless night,

With freedom nowhere in sight.

A window of opportunity won’t open itself. Dave Weinbaum


Jill Jones

in the distance on the verandah

having said yes too many times and become loaded,
i believe you, “all doors lead to busy rooms”,
the darkness can roll in while you’re not looking
so that afternoon sprouts night outside your window
when you were turned away by talk and didn’t notice,
they say you can’t predict the tide accurately,
or turn back the future, but the telephone is continuous,
suddenly it occurs to me
that i have moved from being just a prisoner
to a more debatable shadowland
within which i am circling but not holding
or closing

from The Mask and the Jagged Star

A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.”

― Leonardo da Vinci




Shared Sunset

Shared Sunset by Jonathan Hill, Old Erowal Bay, NSW

Driving home along the old wool road

Not long now to our humble abode

The groceries from Bilo on the back seat

Beside the restless hungry dogs who are wet from the beach

A synchronised sigh as we peer up ahead

Clouds apricot gold sharply outlined in red

Bold columns of light explode through the clouds

that float amidst a lilac and smooth silver shroud

I reach for your hand our palms gently kiss

I truly do treasure moments like this. 

Read more:

“You scour the Bowery, ransack the Bronx,/ Through funeral parlours and honky-tonks./ From river to river you comb the town/ For a place to lay your family down.”

Ogden Nash

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Bowery Blues

The story of man
Makes me sick
Inside, outside,
I don’t know why
Something so conditional
And all talk
Should hurt me so.

I am hurt
I am scared
I want to live
I want to die
I don’t know
Where to turn
In the Void
And when
To cut

For no Church told me
No Guru holds me
No advice
Just stone
Of New York
And on the cafeteria
We hear
The saxophone
O dead Ruby
Died of Shot
In Thirty Two,
Sounding like old times
And de bombed
Empty decapitated
Murder by the clock.

And I see Shadows
Dancing into Doom
In love, holding
Tight the lovely asses
Of the little girls
In love with sex
Showing themselves
In white undergarments
At elevated windows
Hoping for the Worst.

I can’t take it
If I can’t hold
My little behind
To me in my room

Then it’s goodbye
For me
Girls aren’t as good
As they look
And Samadhi
Is better
Than you think
When it starts in
Hitting your head
In with Buzz
Of glittergold
Heaven’s Angels


We’ve been waiting for you
Since Morning, Jack
Why were you so long
Dallying in the sooty room?
This transcendental Brilliance
Is the better part
(of Nothingness
I sing)


Kerouac Jack