Watching the smoke dance out of a cigarette is like watching a girl dance out of her dress.
– D.H. Mondfleur
last week, I think on Tuesday,
just gave up breathing
a big smashed doll
with the needle still in her arm
I made a funeral of leaves
and sang the Book of Questions
to her face as white as hailstones
to her eyes as closed as heaven
‘For Ann so still and dreamy’
The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 – 1954), Saturday 7 February 1953,
The paper dolls
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 21 January 1928
“Neighbours bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
The Kiama Independent, and Shoalhaven Advertiser
Dr Hake. 1876.
A PIPE OF TOBACCO
Little tube of mighty power,
Charmer of an idle hour,
Object of my warm desire,
Lip of wax, and eye of fire;
And thy snowy taper waist,
With my finger gently braced;
And thy pretty swelling crest,
With my little stopper pressed,
And the sweetest bliss of blisses,
Breathing from they balmy kisses.
Happy thrice and thrice again,
Happiest he of happy men.
Who when again the night returns,
When again the taper burns;
When again the cricket’s gay
(Little cricket, full of play),
Can afford his tube to feed
With the fragrant Indian weed;
Pleasure for a nose divine,
Incense of the god of wine.
Happy thrice, and thrice again
Happiest he of happy men.
-Isaac Hawkins Browne (1736)
Nishu Mathur, India
The old wizened wrinkled snake charmer, with a red turban on his head,
A khaki bag across his shoulders, a dhoti wrapped around his legs.
He traces his ancestors path, makes his way through dusty lanes,
Calling out through his flute, hoping to cast his spell again.
A coiled cobra wrapped in a basket… his livelihood he carries around,
No doubts, no fear, with his snake the snake charmer walks the town.
Curious chatter, a fascinated child yearns to see the snake rise,
Dancing to the charmer’s tune, a cobra or a viper mesmerized.
With the basket a distance away, the charmer sits crossed leg, his tune to play,
The snake slowly uncoils serpentine, moving to the flute, it starts to sway.
A crowd gathers and like the snake, it stands entranced with widened eyes,
The cobra dancing to the flute …with it’s movement, hypnotized.
The snake raises it’s head and lunges forward with a menacing hiss,
The snake charmer unperturbed plays his flute, and gives death a miss.
Coins, notes, come the charmer’s way…sighs, cheer, clear and loud,
A prayer in humble gratitude, the snake charmed, so the crowd.
I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
― Sarah Hina, Plum Blossoms in Paris
WHENEVER I WENT OUT TO PLAY, MY MOTHER WANTED TO KNOW EXACTLY WHERE I WAS GOING TO BE
When I’d come in, she’d call me into her bedroom, take me in her arms, and cover me with kisses. She’d stroke my hair and say, ‘I love you so much,’ and when I sneezed she’d say, ‘Bless you, you know how much I love you, don’t you?’ and when I got up for a tissue she’d say, ‘Let me get that for you I love you so much,’ and when I looked for a pen to do my homework she’d say, ‘Use mine, anything for you,’ and when I had an itch on my leg she’d say, ‘Is this the spot, let me hug you,’ and when I said I was going up to my room she’d call after me, ‘What can I do for you I love you so much,’ and I always wanted to say, but never said: Love me less.”
― Nicole Krauss, The History of Love
“Modern civilization has made woman a little wiser, but it has increased her suffering because of man’s covetousness. The woman of yesterday was a happy wife, but the woman of today is a miserable mistress. In the past she walked blindly in the light, but now she walks open-eyed in the dark. She was beautiful in her ignorance, virtuous in her simplicity, and strong in her weakness. Today she has become ugly in her ingenuity, superficial and heartless in her knowledge. Will the day ever come when beauty and knowledge, ingenuity and virtue, and weakness of body and strength of spirit will be united in a woman?”
― Kahlil Gibran, Broken Wings
"I still had this idea that there was a whole world of marvelous golden people somewhere, as far ahead of me as the seniors at Rye when I was in the sixth grade; people who knew everything instinctively, who made their lives work out the way they wanted without even trying, who never had to make the best of a bad job because it never occurred to them to do anything less then perfectly the first time. Sort of heroic super-people, all of them beautiful and witty and calm and kind, and I always imagined that when I did find them I’d suddenly know that I Belonged among them, that I was one of them, that I’d been meant to be one of them all along, and everything in the meantime had been a mistake; and they’d know it too. I’d be like the ugly duckling among the swans."
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
If you want to become a rich man, you are desiring. But if you want to become a sannyasin, it is a longing. Desiring depends on others: in longing there is no need to depend on anybody else. It is your own flowering. It is already there — just it needs the right soil and the right time It is waiting for the spring to come. OSHO.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help little men by tearing down big men. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.
Rev. William John Henry Boetcker
It is human nature to stand in the middle of a thing.
foto – ulmarra 2010