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Poem for the Day

Posted: 22 February 2013

I remember, I remember
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon
Nor brought too long a day;
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away.

I remember, I remember
The roses red and white,
The violets and the lily cups--
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,--
The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then
That is so heavy now,
The summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow.

I remember, I remember
The fir-trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm farther off from Heaven
Than when I was a boy.

I Remember, I Remember
Thomas Hood 1789 - 1845

Poem for the Day

Posted: 19 February 2013

You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
He was "Din! Din! Din!
"You limpin' lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
"Hi! Slippy hitherao!
"Water, get it! Panee lao
"You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din."

The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a piece o' twisty rag
An' a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted " Harry By!"
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
"You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
"You put some juldee in it
"Or I'll marrow you this minute
"If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

I sha'n't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead,
An' he plugged me where I bled, An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water green.
It was crawlin' and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
"'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen"
"'E's chawin' up the ground,
"An' 'e's kickin' all around:
"For Gawd's sake git the water, Gunga Din!

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink" sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone
Where it's always double drill and no canteen.
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

Gunga Din
Rudyard Kipling 1865 - 1936

Poem for the Day

Posted: 17 February 2013

Today's poem is very personal so I hope no one minds me sharing this with you. My mother passed away three years ago and in April last year I returned to the family ranch in Patagonia to scatter her ashes. Today would have been her 100th birthday. To her friends she was a lively, kind lady with an accent that was hard to place but, she was so much more. An Argentinian rancher, an expert horsewoman, a nurse, a political activist and a friend of Eva Peron but, more than all of that she was, my mother, and I miss her terribly. Today's poem is for her and dedicated to her.

She was a nurse on a hospital ward; he was a sailor at sea,
And they met in the land where Evita was queen, and they sang the harmony.
She was a nurse on a hospital ward; he came on a merchant line,
And they met in the Plaza de Mayo in the heart of the Argentine.

His father came from Irish stock to work in a Scottish mine,
But cutting coal was not for him, he had dreams of a different kind.
So he served his time as an engineer, then he joined a merchant line,
And with his papers in his pocket he sailed away for the heart of the Argentine.

Her family came from the heart of Wales; they’d sailed across the sea,
For a better life in an unknown land, away from tyranny.
And with pure Welsh blood running in their veins, and the valleys far behind,
They settled down in a farming town in the heart of the Argentine.

And in a Buenos Aries bar, across miles of sea and land,
With unfamiliar, strange new words, a future there they planned.
And neither thought to break the spell, as hearts and hands entwined,
In a tango bar, far from all they knew, in the heart of the Argentine.

She was a nurse on a hospital ward; he was a sailor at sea,
And they met in the land where Evita was queen, and they sang the harmony.
She was a nurse on a hospital ward; he came on a merchant line,
And they married one day, and then sailed away, from the heart of the Argentine.

In the Heart of the Argentine
Bill Adair

Poem for the Day

Posted: 13 February 2013

One for all your romantics out there. A stunning poem written written by the poet for his wife on the eve of his departure to serve in the Second World War.


So we must say Goodbye, my darling,
And go, as lovers go, for ever;
Tonight remains, to pack and fix on labels
And make an end of lying down together.

I put a final shilling in the gas,
And watch you slip your dress below your knees
And lie so still I hear your rustling comb
Modulate the autumn in the trees.

And all the countless things I shall remember
Lay mummy-cloths of silence round my head;
I fill the carafe with a drink of water;
You say ‘We paid a guinea for this bed,’

And then, ‘We’ll leave some gas, a little warmth
For the next resident, and these dry flowers,’
And turn your face away, afraid to speak
The big word, that Eternity is ours.

Your kisses close my eyes and yet you stare
As though god struck a child with nameless fears;
Perhaps the water glitters and discloses
Time’s chalice and its limpid useless tears.

Everything we renounce except our selves;
Selfishness is the last of all to go;
Our sighs are exhalations of the earth,
Our footprints leave a track across the snow.

We made the universe to be our home,
Our nostrils took the wind to be our breath,
Our hearts are massive towers of delight,
We stride across the seven seas of death.

Yet when all’s done you’ll keep the emerald
I placed upon your finger in the street;
And I will keep the patches that you sewed
On my old battledress tonight, my sweet.

Goodbye
Alun Lewis 1915 - 1944

Poem for ther Day

Posted: 12 February 2013

A marvellous, romantic poem which shows how shows how time can stand still for those in love. Maddy Prior sings a wonderful version of this on her album "Maddy and the Girls".

Time was away and somewhere else,
There were two glasses and two chairs
And two people with the one pulse
(Somebody stopped the moving stairs):
Time was away and somewhere else.

And they were neither up nor down;
The stream's music did not stop
Flowing through heather, limpid brown,
Although they sat in a coffee shop
And they were neither up nor down.

The bell was silent in the air
Holding its inverted poise—
Between the clang and clang a flower,
A brazen calyx of no noise:
The bell was silent in the air.

The camels crossed the miles of sand
That stretched around the cups and plates;
The desert was their own, they planned
To portion out the stars and dates:
The camels crossed the miles of sand.

Time was away and somewhere else.
The waiter did not come, the clock
Forgot them and the radio waltz
Came out like water from a rock:
Time was away and somewhere else.

Her fingers flicked away the ash
That bloomed again in tropic trees:
Not caring if the markets crash
When they had forests such as these,
Her fingers flicked away the ash.

God or whatever means the Good
Be praised that time can stop like this,
That what the heart has understood
Can verify in the body's peace
God or whatever means the Good.

Time was away and she was here
And life no longer what it was,
The bell was silent in the air
And all the room one glow because
Time was away and she was here.

Meeting Point
Louis MacNeice 1907 - 1963

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