Category Archives: MYSTERY

wanton kittens make sober cats

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Macavity: The Mystery Cat

Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw—

For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.

He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:

For when they reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,

He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.

His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,

And when you reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!

You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air—

But I tell you once and once again, Macavity’s not there!

Macavity’s a ginger cat, he’s very tall and thin;

You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.

His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed;

His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.

He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;

And when you think he’s half asleep, he’s always wide awake.

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,

For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.

You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square—

But when a crime’s discovered, then Macavity’s not there!

He’s outwardly respectable. (They say he cheats at cards.)

And his footprints are not found in any file of Scotland Yard’s

And when the larder’s looted, or the jewel-case is rifled,

Or when the milk is missing, or another Peke’s been stifled,

Or the greenhouse glass is broken, and the trellis past repair

Ay, there’s the wonder of the thing! Macavity’s not there!

And when the Foreign Office find a Treaty’s gone astray,

Or the Admiralty lose some plans and drawings by the way,

There may be a scrap of paper in the hall or on the stair—

But it’s useless to investigate—Macavity’s not there!

And when the loss has been disclosed, the Secret Service say:

It must have been Macavity!’—but he’s a mile away.

You’ll be sure to find him resting, or a-licking of his thumb;

Or engaged in doing complicated long division sums.

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,

There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.

He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare:

At whatever time the deed took place—MACAVITY WASN’T THERE!

And they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known

(I might mention Mungojerrie, I might mention Griddlebone)

Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time

Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Crime!

            T.S. Eliot

“When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she always had been. But she had wings.” ― Dean Jackson

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When she was fourteen, she says,
she ran away from home, at sixteen
she bought a big bike and hit the road,
moving from town to town, looking for
something she can’t explain.




In the wild Fleeting grace Glides Innocence brims Fawn-eyes

© HasiWick

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“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

“The piano ain’t got no wrong notes.” ― Thelonious Monk

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Little Noah came into the house with a new harmonica. “Grandpa, do you mind if I play this in here?”

“Of course not, Noah. I love music. In fact, when your grandma and I were young, music saved my life.”

“What happened?”

“Well, it was during the famous Johnstown flood. The dam broke and when the water hit our house it knocked it right off the foundation. Grandma got on the dining room table and floated out safely.”

“How about you?”

“Me? I accompanied her on the piano!” Quotes

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I’m an optimist, but an optimist who carries a raincoat. Harold Wilson.

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“Ah, the last time we saw you you looked so much older
Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder.”

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A bicycle does get you there and more…. And there is always the thin edge of danger to keep you alert and comfortably apprehensive. Dogs become dogs again and snap at your raincoat; potholes become personal. And getting there is all the fun. ~Bill Emerson, “On Bicycling,” Saturday Evening Post, 1967 July 29th

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Life is not always fair. Sometimes you get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow.

2 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW - 1842 - 1954), Saturday 29 August 1936,

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You slip the latch
and come to me across the ice.
A mouth is a circle lit
up, tapped out, departed.
Electrical haloes, we are
clairvoyant as soft gods,
sliding in boots, red stars on our soles.
We beckon dampness
into our woollens, swoop
in an inner corona to the sheet iron.


The memorial clock has no carillon.
There’s a thread of you
on my collar when the nightwatchman
appears at the edge of the ice
to shout: off, off,
it won’t hold you.

Pinetorch, by Ainslee Meredith

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“The pale stars were sliding into their places. The whispering of the leaves was almost hushed. All about them it was still and shadowy and sweet. It was that wonderful moment when, for lack of a visible horizon, the not yet darkened world seems infinitely greater—a moment when anything can happen, anything be believed in.” 

― Olivia Howard DunbarThe Shell of Sense

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls. George Carlin

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The Wolves

Five wolves went hiding in the corners of the island,
each with stripes across their spines just like the newly-
arrived men’s, who also wore faces darkened with the
desire to kill and devour whatever might present itself
as an indication that life

had come before them, and would go on long after they
had gone. The wolves: they made homes for themselves
in the ridges of the mountains or the entanglements of
trees, or roamed from rainforest to altiplano snapping
their teeth and howling out

the hard words the visitors refused to learn. The hunting
parties set out from Hobart Town. And the governor may
have put up posters warning that the bushrangers were
fleet-footed and flash and on the loose, but no-one seemed
to have the foresight to

anticipate what would be lost if those scared men so longed
to wage war against whatever anomaly would swell from
the slender form of what they wished reality was. They were
homesick, and they would strike every gum and every ghost,
every wolf and every tongue

from the land, if they only had a musket and some shot. So
that’s what they got. They formed a long line across the island,
a cord to strangle out the voice that held the words of so many
thousand years of wisdom; they put a broad, pale curtain over
the colours that cannot help

but spring up from the earth; they chased down those five wolves
that wandered, self-willed amidst the wilderness, and pulled their
teeth out, stuffed their throats with cloth, stripped them of their skins
and left them die, of exposure to the cold; and though the island
still throws up the dark and fatal

shadows of a beauty that could break through the walls of paradise,
and though our men are still afraid of the forests that loom everywhere
over us, let’s give these blokes their credit – they had made an impact.
Some things, you see, are replaceable. Others, though, such as languages,
species, and races, are not.

“When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.” ― Bette Davis



Chagrah v’oz motneiha vat’ametz zro’oteiha

She girds her loins in strength, and makes her arms strong.
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The Women of the West

by George Essex Evans

They left the vine-wreathed cottage and the mansion on the hill,
The houses in the busy streets where life is never still,
The pleasures of the city, and the friends they cherished best:
For love, they faced the wilderness – the Women of the West.

The roar, the rush, and fever of the city died away,
And the old-time joys and faces – they were gone for many a day;
In their place the lurching coach-wheel, or the creaking bullock chains,
O’er the everlasting sameness of the everlasting plains.

In the slab-built, zinc-roofed homestead of some lately taken run,
In the tent beside the bankment of the railway just begun,
In the huts on new selections, in the camps of man’s unrest,
On the frontiers of the Nation, live the Women of the West.

The red sun robs their beauty, and, in weariness and pain,
The slow years steal the nameless grace that never comes again;
And there are hours men cannot soothe, and words men cannot say-
The nearest woman’s face may be a hundred miles away

The wide Bush holds the secrets of their longings and desires,
When the white stars in reverence light their holy altar-fires,
And silence, like the touch of God, sinks deep into the breast-
Perchance He hears and understands, the Women of the West.

For them no trumpet sounds the call, no poet plies his arts-
They only hear the beating of their gallant, loving hearts.
But they have sung with silent lives the song all songs above-
The holiness of sacrifice, the dignity of love.

Well have we held our father’s creed. No call has passed us by.
We faced and fought the wilderness, we sent our sons to die.
And we have hearts to do and dare, and yet, o’er all the rest,
The hearts that made the Nation were the Women of the West.


Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened. Thomas Hardy

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Tess Driver

Climb inside, comfort me
with lush imaginings as I
walk the tightrope of your lines.

I caress the lips of your knowing.
Read to me poet, soothe my imaginings,
massage my longing with thoughts
that cling to every pore.

I shiver at your rhyme;
it is dark outside, poet,
fill me with light and laughter
so the moon grows full and stars
caress the nippled dawn.

Poet, lust after me
with your singing verse:
wash the sharp word edges,
drown me in the flesh of your verse.

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“Love is a possible strength in an actual weakness.”
― Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd

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Party Dress

Fragile as the truth
it hangs on a crocheted hook
covered in white blossom,
a gossamer memory.

All that time,
season to season
green embroidered petals
now pale and frayed,
danced on cream silk,
styled with tucks for secrets.

So slim, two large hands
could fit around the waist.
Kisses flutter moth-like
from the neck-line
once softly curved
over quivering breasts.

A million silken threads
to create a dream.
Touch it gently
or it will unravel
in your hands.

From Blue: Friendly Street No. 27



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Belbela, you live by the movements of others.

 Belbela, the paddy bird of India; it is always seen  near cattle  and feeds off the ticks. 1 1 1  11 1 d2ancingforstreng00scot_0262

If the owner of a goat is not afraid to travel by 

night, why should the owner of a hyena 
be ?
(seeing that night is the usual time for 
a hyena to move about)?

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Movement never lies.  It is a barometer telling the state of the soul’s weather to all who can read it.  

Martha Graham

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Not everything is a mermaid that dives into the water. Russia

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Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1930), Sunday 7 July 1929,

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Heard the Mermaids Singing

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
T. S. Eliot.

I heard the mermaids singing
and wished I had not heard.
I heard the mermaids singing
a song that has no words.
I heard the mermaids singing
“Come, walk into the sea,”
and all the waves that break are like
white horses sent for me.

I heard the mermaids singing
and wished I could forget.
I heard the mermaids singing
and walked away, and yet
I heard the mermaids singing
and hear them singing still.
As water to a wall of sand
their singing to my will.

What are men to rocks and mountains ? ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 16 July 1932,

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW - 1842 - 1954), Saturday 16 July 1932,

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written by the very alcoholic Australian Poet Henry Kendall


    By channels of coolness the echoes are calling,


    And down the dim gorges I hear the creek falling:


    It lives in the mountain where moss and the sedges


    Touch with their beauty the banks and the ledges.


    Through breaks of the cedar and sycamore bowers


    Struggles the light that is love to the flowers;


    And, softer than slumber, and sweeter than singing,


    The notes of the bell-birds are running and ringing.

The silver-voiced bell birds, the darlings of daytime!
They sing in September their songs of the May-time;
When shadows wax strong, and the thunder bolts hurtle,
They hide with their fear in the leaves of the myrtle;
When rain and the sunbeams shine mingled together,
They start up like fairies that follow fair weather;
And straightway the hues of their feathers unfolden
Are the green and the purple, the blue and the golden.

October, the maiden of bright yellow tresses,
Loiters for love in these cool wildernesses;
Loiters, knee-deep, in the grasses, to listen,
Where dripping rocks gleam and the leafy pools glisten:
Then is the time when the water-moons splendid
Break with their gold, and are scattered or blended
Over the creeks, till the woodlands have warning
Of songs of the bell-bird and wings of the Morning.

Welcome as waters unkissed by the summers
Are the voices of bell-birds to the thirsty far-comers.
When fiery December sets foot in the forest,
And the need of the wayfarer presses the sorest,
Pent in the ridges for ever and ever
The bell-birds direct him to spring and to river,
With ring and with ripple, like runnels who torrents
Are toned by the pebbles and the leaves in the currents.

Often I sit, looking back to a childhood,
Mixt with the sights and the sounds of the wildwood,
Longing for power and the sweetness to fashion,
Lyrics with beats like the heart-beats of Passion; –
Songs interwoven of lights and of laughters
Borrowed from bell-birds in far forest-rafters;
So I might keep in the city and alleys
The beauty and strength of the deep mountain valleys:
Charming to slumber the pain of my losses
With glimpses of creeks and a vision of mosses.



The mind Is so hospitable, taking in everything Like boarders, and you don’t see until It’s all over how little there was to learn Once the stench of knowledge has dissipated. JOHN ASHBERY, “Houseboat Days”


Read more at World's News (Sydney, NSW - 1901 - 1955), Saturday 5 March 1910,  2 The World's News (Sydney, NSW - 1901 - 1955), Saturday 5 March 1910,


The World’s News (Sydney, NSW : 1901 – 1955), Saturday 5 March 1910, 28024-pdf_0026

His voice was cloves and nightingales, it took us to spice markets in the Celebs, we drifted with him on a houseboat beyond the Coral Sea. We were like cobras following a reed flute.”

― Janet Fitch, White Oleander

Leprechauns, castles, good luck and laughter.Lullabies, dreams and love ever after. Poems and songs with pipes and drums. A thousand welcomes when anyone comes… That’s the Irish for you!

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And her red lips he fondly kissed
    Beside the castle door,
And he rode away in the morning mist,
    And he never saw her more!


The Feud: A Border Ballad

by Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833 – 1870)

I assume it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake – as almost all hats are.

~Nikolaus Laszlo, Nora Ephron, and Delia Ephron, You’ve Got Mail

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Under My Hat


Under my hat is a horse

I rode when I was ten

Under my hat is a house

Or five or six or seven.


Under my hat is a story

Half-true or true or false

Of nights of booze and poetry

Of songs and a sweet slow waltz.


Under my hat are opinions

That have made me friends or foes

When you march to insistent drums

It depends how the current flows.


I’m a hoarder, a keeper, a snail

That needs a pile to crawl under

My hat shields a regular haul

Of trivia, jetsam and plunder.


And what of the secret places

Where you and you cannot tread

The dark and the dismal traces?

They’re under the hat on my head.


We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows. Robert Frost (1875-1963)

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I have always known the mystery. It is not the wind, though it is the flow of it, and it is not the waves, though it is their force and colour, and it is not the roar of bushfires or the ache of earthquakes, though these things give voice to it, and it is not the silence between lovers, though it might be what brought them to that silence, and it is not the drive of the ambitious man, or the obsession of the vigilante, though it might be the path that delivers them to their fate. I have known the mystery through the sacred lines of poets set down since the beginning in prayers, vedas, sutras, hymns, incantations, chants—all poems in the conversation between us and the mystery, a conversation that continues regardless of whether we construct the world as sacred or secular, a conversation that insists itself upon those who have the button.


For the sense of smell, almost more than any other, has the power to recall memories and it is a pity that you use it so little. – Rachel Carson


Listen to the people who love you. Believe that they are worth living for even when you don’t believe it. Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; be strong. Exercise because it’s good for you even if every step weighs a thousand pounds. Eat when food itself disgusts you. Reason with yourself when you have lost your reason.”

― Andrew Solomon, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

“We don’t see many fat men walking on stilts.” Bud Miller

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When I was twenty-one, I wrote in
‘The Problem of Evil’ of how the partisans
always rather feared an odd
irrelevance of farce – and that today
a thin dog like a sphinx on stilts
would follow them forever aimlessly.
Jennifer Maiden

“Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged” Rumi


foto of wide river cafe sign in ulmarra on the clarence river of nsw

And at night as I lay a-dreaming, I woke, and a silver moon
Shone fair on a dancing river and laughed to a broad lagoon,
And the grass turned over the fences and rippled like ripening grain,
And clouds hung low on the hilltops, and earth smelt sweet with the rain.

The Last Muster

    William H Ogilvie