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Poem for the Day

Posted: 7 August 2013

Lament him Mauchline husbands a',
He aften did assist ye;
For had ye staid whole weeks awa'
Your wives they ne're had miss'd ye.

Ye Mauchline bairns as on ye pass,
To school in bands thegither,
O tread ye lightly on his grass,
Perhaps he was your father.

Epitaph on a Wag in Mauchline
Robert Burns 1759 - 1796

Poem for the Day

Posted: 6 August 2013

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose heards with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me dye;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lye.

Ode On Solitude
Alexander Pope 1688 - 1744

Poem for the Day

Posted: 5 August 2013

Never fall in love with a poet
for their words are sometimes lies
on occasions they're a shield
on occasions a disguise

They will take you on a journey
upon which they bare their soul
in a bid to ease your burdens
in a bid to make you whole

But in every word they choose
for the stories that they tell
lies a little piece of heaven
and a little piece of hell

Tormented souls we poets are
sometimes quite broken and despaired
in search of lost expressions
missed by others who once cared

Never fall in love with a poet
unless you're prepared to share their pain
to hold them close on the darkest nights
over and again

Never Fall In Love With A Poet
A. Thomas Hawkins 1969 -

Poem for the Day

Posted: 4 August 2013

The dreadful news this week about Daniel Pelka prompted me to use this poem today. Sometimes there are things we don't see simply because we don't look hard enough.

If it wasn’t for the houses what do you think you would see?
Would you see a loving family as they all sit down to tea?
Holding hands and thanking Jesus, plenty on their plates today,
But you’d see more of it wasn’t for the houses in the way.

If it wasn’t for the houses you would see the poor as well,
Nothing shared and nothing given, that’s the side we never tell.
No such thing as hungry children with a welfare state to pay,
But you’d see them if it wasn’t for the houses in the way.

If it wasn’t for the houses you might see the battered wife,
Living every day in terror, struggling through her shattered life.
Without hope, her spirit broken, one more beating on the way,
And you’d see her it if it wasn’t for the houses in the way.

If it wasn’t for the houses you would see them growing old,
No one caring how they manage so they die alone and cold.
Hypothermia on a pension’s what we offer them today
And we’d notice if it wasn’t for the houses in the way.

You would see them if it wasn’t for the houses in the way,
The hungry, scared and lonely people struggling every day.
Are we blind and deaf to see and hear the things that they all say?
But we’d see and hear them if there weren’t houses in the way.

The Houses In The Way
Bill Adair

Poem for the Day

Posted: 3 August 2013

An old favourite of mine. It's a little longer than my usual posts but I think it's worth it.

A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that's known as Lou.

When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and the glare,
There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog-dirty, and loaded for bear.
He looked like a man with a foot in the grave and scarcely the strength of a louse,
Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks for the house.
There was none could place the stranger's face, though we searched ourselves for a clue;
But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.

There's men that somehow just grip your eyes, and hold them hard like a spell;
And such was he, and he looked to me like a man who had lived in hell;
With a face most hair, and the dreary stare of a dog whose day is done,
As he watered the green stuff in his glass, and the drops fell one by one.
Then I got to figgering who he was, and wondering what he'd do,
And I turned my head — and there watching him was the lady that's known as Lou.

His eyes went rubbering round the room, and he seemed in a kind of daze,
Till at last that old piano fell in the way of his wandering gaze.
The rag-time kid was having a drink; there was no one else on the stool,
So the stranger stumbles across the room, and flops down there like a fool.
In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;
Then he clutched the keys with his talon hands — my God! but that man could play.

Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear,
And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear;
With only the howl of a timber wolf, and you camped there in the cold,
A half-dead thing in a stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold;
While high overhead, green, yellow and red, the North Lights swept in bars? —
Then you've a haunch what the music meant. . . hunger and night and the stars.

And hunger not of the belly kind, that's banished with bacon and beans,
But the gnawing hunger of lonely men for a home and all that it means;
For a fireside far from the cares that are, four walls and a roof above;
But oh! so cramful of cosy joy, and crowned with a woman's love —
A woman dearer than all the world, and true as Heaven is true —
(God! how ghastly she looks through her rouge, — the lady that's known as Lou.)

Then on a sudden the music changed, so soft that you scarce could hear;
But you felt that your life had been looted clean of all that it once held dear;
That someone had stolen the woman you loved; that her love was a devil's lie;
That your guts were gone, and the best for you was to crawl away and die.
'Twas the crowning cry of a heart's despair, and it thrilled you through and through —
"I guess I'll make it a spread misere", said Dangerous Dan McGrew.

The music almost died away ... then it burst like a pent-up flood;
And it seemed to say, "Repay, repay," and my eyes were blind with blood.
The thought came back of an ancient wrong, and it stung like a frozen lash,
And the lust awoke to kill, to kill ... then the music stopped with a crash,
And the stranger turned, and his eyes they burned in a most peculiar way;
In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;
Then his lips went in in a kind of grin, and he spoke, and his voice was calm,
And "Boys," says he, "you don't know me, and none of you care a damn;
But I want to state, and my words are straight, and I'll bet my poke they're true,
That one of you is a hound of hell. . .and that one is Dan McGrew."

Then I ducked my head, and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark,
And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark.
Pitched on his head, and pumped full of lead, was Dangerous Dan McGrew,
While the man from the creeks lay clutched to the breast of the lady that's known as Lou.

These are the simple facts of the case, and I guess I ought to know.
They say that the stranger was crazed with "hooch," and I'm not denying it's so.
I'm not so wise as the lawyer guys, but strictly between us two —
The woman that kissed him and — pinched his poke — was the lady that's known as Lou.

The Shooting of Dan McGrew
Robert W. Service 1874–1958

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