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Poem for the Day

Posted: 17 August 2013

Do you remember an Inn,
Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the spreading
Of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark veranda)?
Do you remember an Inn, Miranda,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
Who hadn't got a penny,
And who weren't paying any,
And the hammer at the doors and the din?
And the hip! hop! hap!
Of the clap
Of the hands to the swirl and the twirl
Of the girl gone chancing,
Glancing,
Dancing,
Backing and advancing,
Snapping of the clapper to the spin
Out and in--
And the ting, tong, tang of the guitar!
Do you remember an Inn,
Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?

Never more;
Miranda,
Never more.
Only the high peaks hoar;
And Aragon a torrent at the door.
No sound
In the walls of the halls where falls
The tread
Of the feet of the dead to the ground,
No sound:
But the boom
Of the far waterfall like doom.

Tarantella
Hilaire Belloc 1870 - 1953

Poem for the Day

Posted: 16 August 2013

'Who stuffed that white owl?' No one spoke in the shop,
The barber was busy, and he couldn't stop;
The customers, waiting their turns, were all reading
The 'Daily,' the 'Herald,' the 'Post,' little heeding
The young man who blurted out such a blunt question;
Not one raised a head, or even made a suggestion;
And the barber kept on shaving.

'Don't you see, Mr. Brown,'
Cried the youth, with a frown,
'How wrong the whole thing is,
How preposterous each wing is,
How flattened the head is, how jammed down the neck is --
In short, the whole owl, what an ignorant wreck 't is!

I make no apology;
I've learned owl-eology.
I've passed days and nights in a hundred collections,
And cannot be blinded to any deflections
Arising from unskilful fingers that fail
To stuff a bird right, from his beak to his tail.
Mister Brown! Mr. Brown!
Do take that bird down,
Or you'll soon be the laughingstock all over town!'
And the barber kept on shaving.

'I've studied owls,
And other night-fowls,
And I tell to you
What I know to be true;
An owl cannot roost
With his limbs so unloosed;
No owl in this world
Ever had his claws curled,
Ever had his legs slanted,
Ever had his bill canted,
Ever had his neck screwed
Into that attitude.
He cant do it, because
'Tis against all bird-laws.
Anatomy teaches,
Ornithology preaches,
An owl has a toe
That can't turn out so!
I've made the white owl my study for years,
And to see such a job almost moves me to tears!

Mr. Brown, I'm amazed
You should be so gone crazed
As to put up a bird
In that posture absurd!
To look at that owl really brings on a dizziness;
The man who stuffed him don't half know his business!'
And the barber kept shaving.

'Examine those eyes
I'm filled with surprise
Taxidermists should pass
Off on you such poor glass;
So unnatural they seem
They'd make Audubon scream,
And John Burroughs laugh
To encounter such chaff.
Do take that bird down;
Have him stuffed again, Brown!'
And the barber kept on shaving!

'With some sawdust and bark
I could stuff in the dark
An owl better than that.
I could make an old hat
Look more like an owl
Than that horrid fowl,
Stuck up there so stiff like a side of coarse leather.
In fact, about him there's not one natural feather.'

Just then, with a wink and a sly normal lurch,
The owl, very gravely, got down from his perch,
Walked around, and regarded his fault-finding critic
(Who thought he was stuffed) with a glance analytic,
And then fairly hooted, as if he should say:
'Your learning's at fault this time, anyway:
Don't waste it again on a live bird, I pray.
I'm an owl; you're another. Sir Critic, good day!'
And the barber kept on shaving.

The Owl Critic
James Thomas Fields 1817 - 1881

Poem for the Day

Posted: 15 August 2013

When summertime has gone and autumn winds are threatening
To blow our love away 'tis then love will be tested
Arm in arm we'll stand, side by side together
To face the common foe who would tear our love asunder


All ye fairweather friends, where are you now we need you?
Gone like the Autumn rains on dark December mornings
When hard times come around like dark and stormy weather
There's only you and I, my love, to shelter one another

Now there's a time to fight and there's a time for healing
As the sun will melt the snow on clear bright April mornings
Our fight has run its course, now's the time for healing
So let us both embrace sweet reconciliation

Reconciliation
Ron Kavana

Poem for the Day

Posted: 14 August 2013

Man's Life is laid in the loom of time
To a pattern he does not see,
While the weavers work and the shuttles fly
Till the Dawn of eternity.

Some shuttles are filled with silver threads
And some with threads of gold,
While often but the darker hues
Are all that they may hold.

But the weaver watches with skillful eye
Each shuttle fly to and fro,
And sees the pattern so deftly wrought
As the loom moves sure and slow.

God surely planned the pattern:
Each tread, the dark and fair,
Is chosen by His master skill
And placed in the web with care.

He only knows its beauty,
And guides the shuttles which hold
The threads so unattractive,
As well as the threads of gold.

Not till each loom is silent,
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God reveal the pattern
And explain the reason why

The dark threads were as needful
In the weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
For the pattern which He planned.

The Loom of Time
Anonymous

Poem for the Day

Posted: 13 August 2013

One of my favourite poems by Burns. Not the most affectionate, but great fun.

Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed,
The spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie;
Willie was a wabster guid,
Could stown a clue wi' ony body:
He had a wife was dour and din,
O Tinkler Maidgie was her mither;
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wad na gie a button for her!

She has an e'e, she has but ane,
The cat has twa the very colour;
Five rusty teeth, forbye a stump,
A clapper tongue wad deave a miller:
A whiskin beard about her mou',
Her nose and chin they threaten ither;
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wadna gie a button for her!

She's bow-hough'd, she's hein-shin'd,
Ae limpin leg a hand-breed shorter;
She's twisted right, she's twisted left,
To balance fair in ilka quarter:
She has a lump upon her breast,
The twin o’ that upon her shouther;
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wadna gie a button for her!

Auld Baudrans by the ingle sits,
An’ wi' her loof her face a-washin;
But Willie's wife is nae sae trig,
She dights her grunzie wi’ a hushion;
Her walie nieves like midden-creels,
Her face wad fyle the Logan Water;
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wadna gie a button for her!

Willie Wastle
Robert Burns 1759 - 1796

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