Bess’s fine messes, at cost….

Ffolkes,

“Arguments derived from probabilities are idle.”

~~ Plato ~~

portobello market

An alley market on Portobello Road, London


Hajime…. Had I known yesterday, when beginning to put this Pearl together, that the intro would end up being the most contentious section to get done, I would have done it first. Since I’m doing it last, so to speak, it seems to have taken it personally, now refusing to coalesce into anything worth putting on screen, This isn’t to say we haven’t encountered this issue previously, though it’s not a frequent problem at all. No, the empty mind is our biggest issue in this section, as it usually occurs pre-coffee, or, nearly so. Since I’m about to go pour my second cup, that isn’t a factor…. Yet, here it sits, ugly, and relatively empty, save for this single paragraph of almost pure blather.

I wonder if they give refunds…. Nah, probably not, since nobody’s paying, and posting is free. Oh, well, another opportunity lost through lack of any comparatively sane thought processes as needed for basic comprehension. As we’re fond of saying around here in such situations, c’est la fucking vie. We’re going on in spite of our complete lack of talent, or intent, or even coherence. Of course, we could employ one of the Tardis toys to distract and discombobulate, (what a fine word!….), but, we’re not IN the Tardis yet. I suppose I could quit fooling around with this, and get on with it, but, what fun would that be?….

Oh…. okay. Well, since that’s the case, there’s nothing left to but this…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“Once you’ve seen the face of god,
You see that same face on everyone you meet.”

~~ Deng Ming-Dao ~~


********************************

Yield_Logo

    I’ve used this in the past, but, I’m running a bit late today, so, we’ll go with it, as when it’s done, you can choose from a large number of other numbers from Playing For Change artists, from the suggestions that You Tube gives after each video. Enjoy, ffolkes; this one is one of my favorites…. It’s hot!….

********************************

Gimme Shelter

********************************

********************************

********************************


********************************

About Hopi Indian Symbols

    The rant for this section turned epic on me; it’s not quite done yet. To take it’s place, here is a discussion from 2012, on one of our most frequent subjects, to wit, politicians, the BRC, and Asininnies in general. It’s a bit long, but, there’s some humor involved, so, it won’t hurt too bad. I find it ironic to note how relevant many of the old rants I wrote have remained over time… I guess it goes to show we humans are a bit slower learners than we’d like to believe…. Enjoy!…..

From 10/2/2012:

This old-school pearl started off in one direction, then veered off into another…. and I don’t blame it a bit. I’m just as tired of all the political bullshit being flung around as the next guy, and the election can’t get here quick enough to suit me, that’s for sure. What with the amount of crap flying around, I feel like I’ve got to shower it off at least once or twice a day……

Any who, I was collecting the pearls for this, when I noticed that each one of them, from the first to the last, make a pointed statement that could easily be applied to this election, and most specifically, to the Republican party’s platform and candidates…. As far as I can see, they fail at every one of these, and this then becomes an indictment of their failings, all without intent, but with great accuracy….

“The majority never has the right on its side. Never, I say! That is one of the social lies that a free, thinking man is bound to rebel against. Who makes up the majority in any given country? Is it the wise men or the fools? I think we must agree that the fools are in a terrible overwhelming majority, all the wide world over.” — Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

“The honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.” — G. K. Chesterton (gigoid sez: There being none of those, to wit: honest rich, in this election, we can pretty much take this as gospel, or at least accept it at face value……)

“It is the edge and temper of the blade that make a good sword, not the richness of the scabbard; and so it is not money or possessions that make man considerable, but his virtue.” — Seneca (B.C. 3-65 A.D.) (gigoid sez: This could NOT be clearer…. since Mitt the Twitt feels compelled to rattle his scabbard at every opportunity…..)

“I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie.  I can lie, but I won’t.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)   (gigoid sez: In modern times, the concept of a politician lying is not merely common, it is expected, and, sadly to say, empowered by the voting public, by their passive acceptance of same….)

“It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” — Noel Coward

“Intemperate speech is a distinctive characteristic of man. Hotheads blow off and release destructive energy in the process. They shout and rave, exaggerating weaknesses, magnifying error, viewing with alarm. So it has been from the beginning; and so it will be throughout time. The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for the restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.” — Justice William O. Douglas

“When they took the fourth amendment, I was silent because I don’t deal drugs.  When they took the sixth amendment, I kept quiet because I know I’m innocent.  When they took the second amendment, I said nothing because I don’t own a gun.  Now they’ve come for the first amendment, and I can’t say anything at all.” — Tim Freeman

“It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.” — Aeschylus (525-456 BC) — Frag. 385

Yep, it’s going to be a real dust-up this year, as the forces of evil have gathered all of their minions and myrmidons, ready to sally forth on election day and try to lie and cheat their way into office. The degree of illegal, ill-advised voter suppression efforts that the Republicans have made are coming to light on a daily basis, with the money they’ve paid to companies dedicated to blocking the votes of seniors, poor people, and veterans being exposed as well. It’s truly a disgusting development, although it isn’t new to them; they’ve managed to steal two elections already, for the junior shrub, in 2000 and 2004, once in Florida, and once in Ohio.

They also managed to distract the public away from looking at those election results, by talking a bunch of Islamic militants into attacking New York City, right at the time when the Shrub’s chicanery in Florida was about to be investigated by an independent commission…… I always thought the timing there was a bit suspicious, and it couldn’t have been better for the Shrub, even though he probably wasn’t in on the planning of it himself…. his daddy never trusted him THAT far…..

But, you may remember, the senior Shrub was the head of the CIA for many years, before he was President, and is considered by most to be  personally responsible for the establishment of the cocaine trade in this country; see the book “The Cocaine Papers” written in the 1980’s, if there are still copies around. There may not be; I’m sure the dark-side operatives snap them up for destruction whenever they come across one…. This man would suffer no ethical restraints, and would not even hesitate, to have some of his operatives clandestinely trick terrorists into attacking when and where he wished it…. Civilian casualties are always more compelling when trying to distract the public…. And, it is funny how nobody ever investigated where the money for the 9/11 attacks came from…. Usually, in any such event, finding out who paid for it is a primary goal of the investigating teams…. but, nobody ever did that for 9/11…. Kind of makes one wonder, doesn’t it?……

Ah well, conspiracy theories aside, this election is seeing every dirty trick the two parties can think of between them, with the most egregiously immoral actions taking place on the conservative side…. voter suppression efforts in swing states, outright lying, misinformation spreading, magical bean platforms, all are being employed with gusto…. The upcoming debate tomorrow promises to be quite a show for the American public, and it will be interesting to see the contortions that the Republicans go through to try to show their man to their advantage, when every time he opens his mouth, he drops another bomb that indicates just how clueless and uncaring he is…. I’m almost looking forward to it, if it didn’t promise to be so bloody…. c’est la vie, I guess, and we’ll have to see how time will tell the tale…..

********************************

Comedy_Tragedy

    While researching yesterday in SB, I came across this, which I remember hearing live, watching TV with my kids & family, many years ago, on a show called The Muppet Show, in which characters from Sesame Street performed with live actors & artists, as well as performing solo, as Kermit did once in a while; generally, he, or another, or, occasionally all the Muppets on the show also did a duet with the live guest. I like this one, a lot, which is why it graces our poetry section today…. Enjoy, ffolkes; it’s a bit soft compared to our usual fare, but, hey, as noted, I like it, so, deal….

Rainbow Connection

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions
rainbows have nothing to hide.

So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it
I know they’re wrong, wait and see.
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thoughta’ that and someone believed it
 — look what it’s done so far.

What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

All of us under its spell
we know that it’s probably magic.
Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I hear them calling my name.

Could it be the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice may be one and the same.
Well I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it
it’s somethin’ that I’m s’posed to be.

And someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

~~ Kermit the Frog ~~

********************************

buddah-out-to-lunch_s

    This, ffolkes, is an odd pearl. For me to say that is, well, unprecedented, if only in its stark simplicity. It’s also quite cogent, in its own weird way, for it wanders around quite drunkenly, almost randomly, yet, still manages to fulfill whatever it is trying to say. The exact nature of that is, of course, left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader, though, as always, you may decline the mission. It will, however, at least partially, probably end up on the Quiz….Ya never know what ya might need to know…. Pay attention, now; some of it is tricky…. In fact, it begins with a bit of subtlety many might get stuck on, but, trust me, and keep going…. You’ll be fine.

“Avoid fried foods which angry up the blood.” — Satchel Paige

“We all carry it within us; supreme strength, the fullness of wisdom, unquenchable joy. It is never thwarted and cannot be destroyed. But it is hidden deep,
which is what makes life a problem.” — Huston Smith

“We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.” — Virginia Satir

“Watches are a confidence trick invented by the Swiss.” — Chiun, in “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins…”

“For water continually dropping will wear hard rocks hollow.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of the Training of Children

“Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball bat.” — from Observations on Life From Children

“In a full heart there is room for everything, and in an empty heart there is room for nothing.” — Antonio Porchia, Voces

“Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“The flesh surrenders itself. Eternity takes back its own. Our bodies stirred these waters briefly, danced with a certain intoxication before the love of life and self, dealt with a few strange ideas, then submitted to the instruments of Time. What can we say of this? I occurred. I am not… yet I occurred.”
— Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah

********************************

“..  bleakness….  desolation….  plastic forks…”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~


Now, now, don’t fret; it doesn’t mean anything, other than I’m a strange person. Well, I guess, if you really enjoyed today’s Pearl, it might have some relevance for you; other wise, it’s where it is simply because I thought it was damn funny. Hell, I could fill most of a ranting section with it, but, I just figured I’d add it here at the end, sort of like a, what? Oh, how, ’bout, an innovation. That works; we’ll go with innovation. Don’t worry, I won’t try this again. Zippy just hit the right note, so, there he sits. Now, as noted below, it’s time for me to go sits…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, Zippy or no Zippy….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
and everyone else, too…

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

Illusion, adeptly applied, as an ointment….

Ffolkes,
Pillows, soft with feathers light, pound the walls and floors in flabby anger, until only the linens in the hall remain unsullied. Vast differences plagued the malodorous jack o’knapes, forgotten in all the noise. But the platoon of badgers gave a good golly, in honor of their fallen comrades, and the absentee butler stocked his pantry with everything from Forsythe and Spritz, not Dumbry. It was a real stand-up, as far as it went….. and the critics were struck speechless for once, missing deadlines, on the phone to their liaison with the Pope, losing bonus minutes by the truckload….. but, then, it’s only April.

Thank you, very much… it is an honor and a privilege to be recognized by the Academy….. oh, wait, that’s for a different speech…. sorry, forgot where I was, thanks to the disorienting paragraph that started this menagerie today….. That stuff builds up, like plaque on the teeth, and if I don’t get it out of my head, it can cause all sorts of trouble, especially if I try to talk to anyone else…. I get some funny expressions, you betcha….. It almost makes it worthwhile getting up….. 🙂

I’m feeling giddy today, in full-on waiting mode…. I’ve done all I can do, and all you can do is all you can do…. yabba dabba do.  See, it even rhymes! To say that I am hopeful of a positive outcome is to say the very least; I am TOO hopeful. It’s enough to make me look around furtively to see if Murphy is hanging about….. though I don’t know which would make me more nervous…. having him standing here looking at me with that fatuous smirk, or not seeing him at all, and knowing he is just waiting for the proper moment to deliver his coup de grace….. rather a poor choice, eh what? Sort of like the choice between two sisters…. whichever you choose is going to hurt, no matter how hard one tries to be fair… and in Murphy’s case, he doesn’t care a whit about being fair…. as long as he causes the maximum of hassle for his victims, he’s happy….

Rather than tempt him too much, by mentioning his name more than twice, I believe we should get on with the day’s business…. yes, I think that would be wise….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“Someone asked someone who was about my age: “How are you?” The answer was, “Fine. If you don’t ask for details.” — Katharine Hepburn
__________________________________

“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” — Clarence Buddinton Kelland

I am a fortunate son, and have known so for many years; it is a source of quiet joy to me that I was given, and took, the opportunity to let my father know how I felt about him, and how much I appreciated what he had given me, before he died. The year he died, 1984, is still sort of hard for me to think of, and there are still moments, even now, at 61, when I wish I could ask him his advice. But, then I realize he already gave it to me, and I know what to do…. In fact, most of my life, if I was confronted with a question of what was right to do, I would imagine that he was standing behind me, watching me, as I did him as a boy…. that usually helped me to remember what the right thing was, and made clear the choice to the honorable path….

My dad’s own father died when he was 14, whereupon he left school, and went to work to support his mother and two younger brothers. He never would talk much about those years of his life, saying only that he did what he needed to do to survive, and ensure the same for his family. To give you an idea of how difficult it must have been, the 1929 Crash, and subsequent Great Depression, took place when he was 17, and had been the family’s source of support for three years already when it happened….. He got everyone through it well enough that he and his brothers were all able to marry, with my father meeting and marrying my mother in 1939….. and my grandmother was still alive to celebrate the event…..

“The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

“Excellence is its own reward.” — Axiom # 4, Peruaosophy, c. 1990 ~~ by gigoid (1950-????)

As a result of what I learned from my father, I have always known the rightness, and the real joy of acting honorably. He also taught me that doing one’s best, at whatever one turned their mind, and hands, to, was, in both the short and the long run, the most effective, and ultimately the most satisfying  method of approaching life. Paying attention to detail, observing alertly, reading with attention, thinking about what is learned, applying what is learned in practice, all were brought home to me as important elements needed to be successful at anything. When used conscientiously, these become habitual, and excellence becomes not just a desirable outcome, but one that is completely achievable on a regular basis. And, having done it well, it does indeed become a reward unto itself….

“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me.  That means nothing.  People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” — Albert Einstein

My dad died, as I said, in 1984, and I still miss him (as I do my mother, too, who passed on last year; apples and oranges, and another post, for another time….). But, as I said, I saw him just before he passed on. I brought my 3 year old son, and almost one year old daughter, with me to see him in the hospital, after he had decided not to go to any lengths to stop the spread of the disease, to save the expenses, which would then be available for my mother when he was gone…. it was just the way he was…. He got to play with the kids, and had the biggest goofy smile on his face, as my daughter Kelly pushed and pulled on his nose, babbling at him in toddlerese….. I asked him to leave me some trail sign wherever he went in the next dimension, and he said he would do so, so I am content. I know he will always be there, behind me, watching me, as I do my best to make sure I live up to his standards, and his memory….. and am therefore providing the same example for my children…..

How happy is he born or taught,
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!
— Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639) — The Character of a Happy Life

“When someone loves you for a long time, really loves you, then you become Real. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, your eyes drop out, but this doesn’t matter . . . when you are Real you can’t be ugly.” — The Velveteen Rabbit
__________________________________

I’ve been waiting to fill this space, hoping a poem was percolating on one of my back burners…. alas, nothing has surfaced, so you’ll just have to settle for one of the classics…. hmm, let’s see….. whom should we choose today?…… How about….. Keats? It’s been awhile, and he IS one of the best…. I’ll see what I can do about finding one I’ve heard quoted often, The Eve of St. Agnes…..

Hmm…. well, so be it…. having found it, it turns out to be about three days long…. well, almost. It’s a long one…. but, you know what? I don’t care…. it’s beautiful, and I loved every line of it. So, you’ll have to just put up with the entire poem, epic read though it be….. I’m not afraid, are you?….. Don’t feel bad if it takes more than one sitting… it is indeed, a long one…

The Eve Of St. Agnes

ST Agnes’ Eve—Ah, bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
The hare limp’d trembling through the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold:
Numb were the Beadsman’s fingers, while he told
His rosary, and while his frosted breath,
Like pious incense from a censer old,
Seem’d taking flight for heaven, without a death,
Past the sweet Virgin’s picture, while his prayer he saith.

His prayer he saith, this patient, holy man;
Then takes his lamp, and riseth from his knees,
And back returneth, meagre, barefoot, wan,
Along the chapel aisle by slow degrees:
The sculptur’d dead, on each side, seem to freeze,
Emprison’d in black, purgatorial rails:
Knights, ladies, praying in dumb orat’ries,
He passeth by; and his weak spirit fails
To think how they may ache in icy hoods and mails.

Northward he turneth through a little door,
And scarce three steps, ere Music’s golden tongue
Flatter’d to tears this aged man and poor;
But no—already had his deathbell rung
The joys of all his life were said and sung:
His was harsh penance on St. Agnes’ Eve:
Another way he went, and soon among
Rough ashes sat he for his soul’s reprieve,
And all night kept awake, for sinners’ sake to grieve.

That ancient Beadsman heard the prelude soft;
And so it chanc’d, for many a door was wide,
From hurry to and fro. Soon, up aloft,
The silver, snarling trumpets ‘gan to chide:
The level chambers, ready with their pride,
Were glowing to receive a thousand guests:
The carved angels, ever eager-eyed,
Star’d, where upon their heads the cornice rests,
With hair blown back, and wings put cross-wise on their breasts.

At length burst in the argent revelry,
With plume, tiara, and all rich array,
Numerous as shadows haunting fairily
The brain, new-stuff’d, in youth, with triumphs gay
Of old romance. These let us wish away,
And turn, sole-thoughted, to one lady there,
Whose heart had brooded, all that wintry day,
On love, and wing’d St Agnes’ saintly care,
As she had heard old dames full rnany times declare.

They told her how, upon St Agnes’ Eve,
Young virgins might have visions of delight,
And soft adorings from their loves receive
Upon the honey’d middle of the night,
If ceremonies due they did aright;
As, supperless to bed they must retire,
And couch supine their beauties, lily white;
Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require
Of Heaven with upward eyes for all that they desire.

Full of this whim was thoughtful Madeline:
The music, yearning like a God in pain,
She scarcely heard: her maiden eyes divine,
Fix’d on the floor, saw many a sweeping train
Pass by—she heeded not at all: in vain
Came many a tiptoe, amorous cavalier,
And back retir’d; not cool’d by high disdain,
But she saw not: her heart was otherwhere;
She sigh’d for Agnes’ dreams, the sweetest of the year.

She danc’d along with vague, regardless eyes,
Anxious her lips, her breathing quick and short:
The hallow’d hour was near at hand: she sighs
Amid the timbrels, and the throng’d resort
Of whisperers in anger, or in sport;
‘Mid looks of love, defiance, hate, and scorn,
Hoodwink’d with faery fancy; all amort,
Save to St Agnes and her lambs unshorn,
And all the bliss to be before to-morrow morn.

So, purposing each moment to retire,
She linger’d still. Meantime, across the moors,
Had come young Porphyro, with heart on fire
For Madeline. Beside the portal doors,
Buttress’d from moonlight, stands he, and implores
All saints to give him sight of Madeline,
But for one moment in the tedious hours,
That he might gaze and worship all unseen;
Perchance speak, kneel, touch, kiss—in sooth such things have been.

He ventures in: let no buzz’d whisper tell:
All eyes be muffled, or a hundred swords
Will storm his heart, Love’s fev’rous citadel:
For him, those chambers held barbarian hordes,
Hyena foemen, and hot-blooded lords,
Whose very dogs would execrations howl
Against his lineage: not one breast affords
Him any mercy, in that mansion foul,
Save one old beldame, weak in body and in soul.

Ah, happy chance! the aged creature came,
Shuffling along with ivory-headed wand,
To where he stood, hid from the torch’s flame,
Behind a broad hall-pillar, far beyond
The sound of merriment and chorus bland.
He startled her; but soon she knew his face,
And grasp’d his fingers in her palsied hand,
Saying, “Mercy, Porphyro! hie thee from this place;
“They are all here to-night, the whole blood-thirsty race!

“Get hence! get hence! there’s dwarfish Hildebrand;
He had a fever late, and in the fit
He cursed thee and thine, both house and land:
Then there’s that old Lord Maurice, not a whit
More tame for his gray hairs—Alas me! flit!
Flit like a ghost away.”—“Ah, gossip dear,
We’re safe enough; here in this arm-chair sit,
And tell me how”—“Good saints! not here, not here;
Follow me, child, or else these stones will be thy bier.”

He follow’d through a lowly arched way,
Brushing the cobwebs with his lofty plume,
And as she mutter’d “Well-a—well-a-day!”
He found him in a little moonlight room,
Pale, lattic’d, chill, and silent as a tomb.
“Now tell me where is Madeline”, said he,
“O tell me, Angela, by the holy loom
Which none but secret sisterhood may see,
“When they St Agnes’ wool are weaving piously.”

“St Agnes! Ah! it is St Agnes’ Eve—
Yet men will murder upon holy days:
Thou must hold water in a witch’s sieve,
And be liege-lord of all the Elves and Fays
To venture so: it fills me with amaze
To see thee, Porphyro!—St Agnes’ Eve!
God’s help! my lady fair the conjuror plays
This very night: good angels her deceive!
But let me laugh awhile, I’ve mickle time to grieve.”

Feebly she laugheth in the languid moon,
While Porphyro upon her face doth look,
Like puzzled urchin on an aged crone
Who keepeth clos’d a wondrous riddle-book,
As spectacled she sits in chimney nook.
But soon his eyes grew brilliant, when she told
His lady’s purpose; and he scarce could brook
Tears, at the thought of those enchantments cold
And Madeline asleep in lap of legends old.

Sudden a thought came like a full-blown rose,
Flushing his brow, and in his pained heart
Made purple riot: then doth he propose
A stratagem, that makes the beldame start:
“A cruel man and impious thou art:
Sweet lady, let her pray, and sleep, and dream
Alone with her good angels, far apart
From wicked men like thee. Go, go!—I deem
Thou canst not surely be the same that thou didst seem.”

“I will not harm her, by all saints I swear,”
Quoth Porphyro: “O may I ne’er find grace
When my weak voice shall whisper its last prayer,
If one of her soft ringlets I displace,
Or look with ruffian passion in her face:
Good Angela, believe me by these tears;
Or I will, even in a moment’s space,
Awake, with horrid shout, my foemen’s ears,
And beard them, though they be more fang’d than wolves and bears.”

“Ah! why wilt thou affright a feeble soul?
A poor, weak, palsy-stricken, churchyard thing,
Whose passing-bell may ere the midnight toll;
Whose prayers for thee, each morn and evening,
Were never miss’d.” Thus plaining, doth she bring
A gentler speech from burning Porphyro;
So woeful, and of such deep sorrowing,
That Angela gives promise she will do
Whatever he shall wish, betide her weal or woe.

Which was, to lead him, in close secrecy,
Even to Madeline’s chamber, and there hide
Him in a closet, of such privacy
That he might see her beauty unespied,
And win perhaps that night a peerless bride,
While legion’d fairies pac’d the coverlet,
And pale enchantment held her sleepy-eyed.
Never on such a night have lovers met,
Since Merlin paid his Demon all the monstrous debt.

“It shall be as thou wishest,” said the Dame:
“All cates and dainties shall be stored there
Quickly on this feast-night: by the tambour frame
Her own lute thou wilt see: no time to spare,
For I am slow and feeble, and scarce dare
On such a catering trust my dizzy head.
Wait here, my child, with patience; kneel in prayer
The while: Ah! thou must needs the lady wed,
Or may I never leave my grave among the dead.”

So saying, she hobbled off with busy fear.
The lover’s endless minutes slowly pass’d;
The Dame return’d, and whisper’d in his ear
To follow her; with aged eyes aghast
From fright of dim espial. Safe at last
Through many a dusky gallery, they gain
The maiden’s chamber, silken, hush’d and chaste;
Where Porphyro took covert, pleas’d amain.
His poor guide hurried back with agues in her brain.

Her falt’ring hand upon the balustrade,
Old Angela was feeling for the stair,
When Madeline, St Agnes’ charmed maid,
Rose, like a mission’d spirit, unaware:
With silver taper’s light, and pious care,
She turn’d, and down the aged gossip led
To a safe level matting. Now prepare,
Young Porphyro, for gazing on that bed;
She comes, she comes again, like dove fray’d and fled.

Out went the taper as she hurried in;
Its little smoke, in pallid moonshine, died:
She closed the door, she panted, all akin
To spirits of the air, and visions wide:
No utter’d syllable, or, woe betide!
But to her heart, her heart was voluble,
Paining with eloquence her balmy side;
As though a tongueless nightingale should swell
Her throat in vain, and die, heart-stifled, in her dell.

A casement high and triple-arch’d there was,
All garlanded with carven imag’ries
Of fruits, and flowers, and bunches of knot-grass,
And diamonded with panes of quaint device,
Innumerable of stains and splendid dyes,
As are the tiger-moth’s deep-damask’d wings;
And in the midst, ‘mong thousand heraldries,
And twilight saints, and dim emblazonings,
A shielded scutcheon blush’d with blood of queens and kings.

Full on this casement shone the wintry moon,
And threw warm gules on Madeline’s fair breast,
As down she knelt for heaven’s grace and boon;
Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together prest,
And on her silver cross soft amethyst,
And on her hair a glory, like a saint:
She seem’d a splendid angel, newly drest,
Save wings, for heaven:—Porphyro grew faint:
She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint.

Anon his heart revives: her vespers done,
Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees;
Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one;
Loosens her fragrant bodice; by degrees
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees:
Half-hidden, like a mermaid in sea-weed,
Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees,
In fancy, fair St Agnes in her bed,
But dares not look behind, or all the charm is fled.

Soon, trembling in her soft and chilly nest,
In sort of wakeful swoon, perplex’d she lay,
Until the poppied warmth of sleep oppress’d
Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued away;
Flown, like a thought, until the morrow-day;
Blissfully haven’d both from joy and pain;
Clasp’d like a missal where swart Paynims pray;
Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.

Stol’n to this paradise, and so entranced,
Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress,
And listen’d to her breathing, if it chanced
To wake into a slumbrous tenderness;
Which when he heard, that minute did he bless,
And breath’d himself: then from the closet crept,
Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness,
And over the hush’d carpet, silent, stept,
And ‘tween the curtains peep’d, where, lo!—how fast she slept!

Then by the bed-side, where the faded moon
Made a dim, silver twilight, soft he set
A table, and, half anguish’d, threw thereon
A doth of woven crimson, gold, and jet:—
O for some drowsy Morphean amulet!
The boisterous, midnight, festive clarion,
The kettle-drum, and far-heard clarinet,
Affray his ears, though but in dying tone:—
The hall door shuts again, and all the noise is gone.

And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep,
In blanched linen, smooth, and lavender’d,
While he from forth the closet brought a heap
Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd
With jellies soother than the creamy curd,
And lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon;
Manna and dates, in argosy transferr’d
From Fez; and spiced dainties, every one,
From silken Samarcand to cedar’d Lebanon.

These delicates he heap’d with glowing hand
On golden dishes and in baskets bright
Of wreathed silver: sumptuous they stand
In the retired quiet of the night,
Filling the chilly room with perfume light.—
“And now, my love, my seraph fair, awake!
Thou art my heaven, and I thine eremite:
Open thine eyes, for meek St Agnes’ sake,
Or I shall drowse beside thee, so my soul doth ache.”

Thus whispering, his warm, unnerved arm
Sank in her pillow. Shaded was her dream
By the dusk curtains:—’twas a midnight charm
Impossible to melt as iced stream:
The lustrous salvers in the moonlight gleam;
Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies:
It seem’d he never, never could redeem
From such a stedfast spell his lady’s eyes;
So mus’d awhile, entoil’d in woofed phantasies.

Awakening up, he took her hollow lute,—
Tumultuous,—and, in chords that tenderest be,
He play’d an ancient ditty, long since mute,
In Provence call’d, “La belle dame sans mercy:”
Close to her ear touching the melody:—
Wherewith disturb’d, she utter’d a soft moan:
He ceased—she panted quick—and suddenly
Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone:
Upon his knees he sank, pale as smooth-sculptured stone.

Her eyes were open, but she still beheld,
Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep:
There was a painful change, that nigh expell’d
The blisses of her dream so pure and deep,
At which fair Madeline began to weep,
And moan forth witless words with many a sigh;
While still her gaze on Porphyro would keep;
Who knelt, with joined hands and piteous eye,
Fearing to move or speak, she look’d so dreamingly.

“Ah, Porphyro!” said she, “but even now
Thy voice was at sweet tremble in mine ear,
Made tuneable with every sweetest vow;
And those sad eyes were spiritual and clear:
How chang’d thou art! how pallid, chill, and drear!
Give me that voice again, my Porphyro,
Those looks immortal, those complainings dear!
Oh leave me not in this eternal woe,
For if thou diest, my Love, I know not where to go.”

Beyond a mortal man impassion’d far
At these voluptuous accents, he arose,
Ethereal, flush’d, and like a throbbing star
Seen mid the sapphire heaven’s deep repose
Into her dream he melted, as the rose
Blendeth its odour with the violet,—
Solution sweet: meantime the frost-wind blows
Like Love’s alarum pattering the sharp sleet
Against the window-panes; St Agnes’ moon hath set.

Tis dark: quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet:
“This is no dream, my bride, my Madeline!”
‘Tis dark: the iced gusts still rave and beat:
“No dream, alas! alas! and woe is mine!
Porphyro will leave me here to fade and pine.—
Cruel! what traitor could thee hither bring?
I curse not, for my heart is lost in thine
Though thou forsakest a deceived thing;—
A dove forlorn and lost with sick unpruned wing.”

“My Madeline! sweet dreamer! lovely bride!
Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest?
Thy beauty’s shield, heart-shap’d and vermeil dyed?
Ah, silver shrine, here will I take my rest
After so many hours of toil and quest,
A famish’d pilgrim,—saved by miracle.
Though I have found, I will not rob thy nest
Saving of thy sweet self; if thou think’st well
To trust, fair Madeline, to no rude infidel.

“Hark! ’tis an elfin-storm from faery land,
Of haggard seeming, but a boon indeed:
Arise—arise! the morning is at hand;—
The bloated wassailers will never heed:—
Let us away, my love, with happy speed;
There are no ears to hear, or eyes to see,—
Drown’d all in Rhenish and the sleepy mead:
Awake! arise! my love, and fearless be,
For o’er the southern moors I have a home for thee.”

She hurried at his words, beset with fears,
For there were sleeping dragons all around,
At glaring watch, perhaps, with ready spears—
Down the wide stairs a darkling way they found.—
In all the house was heard no human sound.
A chain-droop’d lamp was flickering by each door;
The arras, rich with horseman, hawk, and hound,
Flutter’d in the besieging wind’s uproar;
And the long carpets rose along the gusty floor.

They glide, like phantoms, into the wide hall;
Like phantoms, to the iron porch, they glide;
Where lay the Porter, in uneasy sprawl,
With a huge empty flagon by his side:
The wakeful bloodhound rose, and shook his hide,
But his sagacious eye an inmate owns:
By one, and one, the bolts fill easy slide:—
The chains lie silent on the footworn stones,—
The key turns, and the door upon its hinges groans.

And they are gone: ay, ages long ago
These lovers fled away into the storm.
That night the Baron dreamt of many a woe,
And all his warrior-guests, with shade and form
Of witch, and demon, and large coffin-worm,
Were long be-nightmar’d. Angela the old
Died palsy-twitch’d, with meagre face deform;
The Beadsman, after thousand aves told,
For aye unsought for slept among his ashes cold.

John Keats

Well, there you have it, in all its glorious entirety….. good luck, and enjoy!…..
__________________________________

This old-school pearl started off in one direction, then veered off into another…. and I don’t blame it a bit. I’m just as tired of all the political bullshit being flung around as the next guy, and the election can’t get here quick enough to suit me, that’s for sure. What with the amount of crap flying around, I feel like I’ve got to shower it off at least once or twice a day…… Any who, I was collecting the pearls for this, when I noticed that each one of them, from the first to the last, make a pointed statement that could easily be applied to this election, and most specifically, to the Republican party’s platform and candidates…. As far as I can see, they fail at every one of these, and this then becomes an indictment of their failings, all without intent, but with great accuracy….

“The majority never has the right on its side. Never, I say! That is one of the social lies that a free, thinking man is bound to rebel against. Who makes up the majority in any given country? Is it the wise men or the fools? I think we must agree that the fools are in a terrible overwhelming majority, all the wide world over.” — Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

“The honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.” — G. K. Chesterton (gigoid sez: There being none of those, to wit: honest rich, in this election, we can pretty much take this as gospel, or at least accept it at face value……)

“It is the edge and temper of the blade that make a good sword, not the richness of the scabbard; and so it is not money or possessions that make man considerable, but his virtue.” — Seneca (B.C. 3-65 A.D.) (gigoid sez: This could NOT be clearer…. since Mitt the Twitt feels compelled to rattle his scabbard at every opportunity…..)

“I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie.  I can lie, but I won’t.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)   (gigoid sez: In modern times, the concept of a politician lying is not merely common, it is expected, and, sadly to say, empowered by the voting public, by their passive acceptance of same….)

“It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” — Noel Coward

“Intemperate speech is a distinctive characteristic of man. Hotheads blow off and release destructive energy in the process. They shout and rave, exaggerating weaknesses, magnifying error, viewing with alarm. So it has been from the beginning; and so it will be throughout time. The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for the restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.” — Justice William O. Douglas

“When they took the fourth amendment, I was silent because I don’t deal drugs.  When they took the sixth amendment, I kept quiet because I know I’m innocent.  When they took the second amendment, I said nothing because I don’t own a gun.  Now they’ve come for the first amendment, and I can’t say anything at all.” — Tim Freeman

“It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.” — Aeschylus (525-456 BC) — Frag. 385

Yep, it’s going to be a real dust-up this year, as the forces of evil have gathered all of their minions and myrmidons, ready to sally forth on election day and try to lie and cheat their way into office. The degree of illegal, ill-advised voter suppression efforts that the Republicans have made are coming to light on a daily basis, with the money they’ve paid to companies dedicated to blocking the votes of seniors, poor people, and veterans being exposed as well. It’s truly a disgusting development, although it isn’t new to them; they’ve managed to steal two elections already, for the junior shrub, in 2000 and 2004, once in Florida, and once in Ohio.

They also managed to distract the public away from looking at those election results, by talking a bunch of Islamic militants into attacking New York City, right at the time when the Shrub’s chicanery in Florida was about to be investigated by an independent commission…… I always thought the timing there was a bit suspicious, and it couldn’t have been better for the Shrub, even though he probably wasn’t in on the planning of it himself…. his daddy never trusted him THAT far…..

But, you may remember, the senior Shrub was the head of the CIA for many years, before he was President, and is considered by many to be personally responsible for the establishment of the cocaine trade in this country; see the book “The Cocaine Papers” written in the 1980’s, if there are still copies around. There may not be; I’m sure the dark-side operatives snap them up for destruction whenever they come across one…. This man would suffer no ethical restraints, and would not even hesitate, to have some of his operatives clandestinely trick terrorists into attacking when and where he wished it…. Civilian casualties are always more compelling when trying to distract the public…. And, it is funny how nobody ever investigated where the money for the 9/11 attacks came from…. Usually, in any such event, finding out who paid for it is a primary goal of the investigating teams…. but, nobody ever did that for 9/11…. Kind of makes one wonder, doesn’t it?……

Ah well, conspiracy theories aside, this election is seeing every dirty trick the two parties can think of between them, with the most egregiously immoral actions taking place on the conservative side…. voter suppression efforts in swing states, outright lying, misinformation spreading, magical bean platforms, all are being employed with gusto…. The upcoming debate tomorrow promises to be quite a show for the American public, and it will be interesting to see the contortions that the Republicans go through to try to show their man to their advantage, when every time he opens his mouth, he drops another bomb that indicates just how clueless and uncaring he is…. I’m almost looking forward to it, if it didn’t promise to be so bloody…. c’est la vie, I guess, and we’ll have to see how time will tell the tale…..
__________________________________

So be it…. since I don’t have the access time I’d like to have, the Pearls will just have to go out without major editing, or they won’t get done at all in the allotted time frame. I didn’t realize that the last section would turn on me, and become a mini-rant…. Romney/Ryan just lends itself to that process naturally, with every ill-considered lie they drop into the public well…. too bad it’s all toxic…. All will be well, though; that the Universe is proceeding as it should is perhaps my only point of faith. Therefore, let us get on with the day, such as it is, in full wait-mode…. toodle loo….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Political rhetoric for sale or lease: Entropy spoken here….

Ffolkes,
I’ve been bitten by a tsetse fly….in the past three days, I have slept as much as I’ve been awake, but not in a normal pattern. About every 5 hours I start yawning and looking for my pillow, and go down for a 2-3 hour nap. Then I’m up to almost midnight, and up again at 5 AM, wide awake. It’s a bit strange, almost like some of the weird hours I kept when studying for finals at Berkeley.

I don’t know if they still do this, but one schedule I tried, thought up by a friend in the cooperative dorm I lived in, was perfect for finals week. One would go to bed (for the day) at about 3 PM, getting up at 10 or 11 PM, to start studying all night. At dawn, with the study material still fresh in the mind, one goes to take the final exams for that day. Afterward, a small meal, engage in a bit of business or recreation, then back to bed for the day, and up again at 10. A reverse cycle, as it were, and once accustomed to it, one became almost used to working in the quiet of the early morning hours, and always having an open seat wherever one went, as everyone else in the world was asleep.

But it got kinda lonely, too….it’s not a good schedule for anyone who wants a social life……thank goodness for no more final exams (except, of course, the ultimate final exam, requiring no study, and which everyone passes…..)
___________________________________

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H. L. Mencken

Mr. Mencken’s insight was first published back in the early twentieth century, and was actually less of an insight as it was an eerily accurate observation of American politics in the last hundred years. Since the end of the World War II, (the last time Congress actually declared war, as justified in the Constitution) our country’s leaders have involved us in at least five “police actions” (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq again), all supposedly necessary to protect us from the evils of communism, tyranny, or terrorism. Hundreds of thousands of young Americans have been sent to their deaths in far away places, all to make the old men back at home feel more comfortable in their insulation from reality.

I’m not the first to take note that young men die because of what old men believe, and hopefully I won’t be the last. This country has been hijacked by the 1%; they are no longer even trying to conceal their control over the rest of us. They have forgotten what one of their own said about 50 years ago: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” — John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963), 12 March 1962  For myself, I intend to enjoy watching the 1% reap the whirlwind they are creating……. which is a cleverly disguised euphemism for helping the whirlwind spin faster…..
___________________________________

“It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor  of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.” — H.L. Mencken

Some days, H. L. just makes a lot of sense. I admire his perspicacity, and his unadulterated courage to say exactly what he believed, without compromise. A hundred years from now, his words will have the same weight, but hopefully, won’t be a common response to what is real. It would be nice to make this sort of joke a thing of the past, but I don’t see much chance of human nature changing anytime soon, so common virtues will probably remain uncommonly sparse among the denizens of human society…..
___________________________________

What happens to your fist when you open your hand? — Zen Buddhism

In one sense, this koan is but a simple puzzle; the answer, obviously, is that the fist goes to the same place that our lap goes when we stand up. Now, you may ask, exactly where is that? Good question…..so, what do you think the answer might be? Another response might be, the fist is transformed, changed from a state of limited purpose to one of unlimited possibility. A fist can only be used in a small number of ways, but the open hand has few limits to its utility.  Perhaps one might say that the fist moves from the realm of reality to the confines of memory, abiding there until needed again.


This is the beauty of a Zen koan; it poses a question that sends the mind on a journey toward illumination, suggesting little-known paths in our own minds that can lead us to deeper knowledge of ourselves, and of reality. It is not the easiest path to self-improvement or self-growth, but then, the human mind gets lazy if things are too easy. We do better if we  push ourselves, at least a little, and goodness knows we all can find ways to do better in life…..anyone who doesn’t think so is only fooling themselves…..
___________________________________

Farewell, Love, and all thy laws forever:
Thy baited hooks shall tangle me no more;
Seneca and Plato call me from their lore,
To perfect wealth my wit for to endeavor.
In blind error when I did persevere,
Thy sharp repulse that pricketh aye so sore
Hath taught me to set in trifles no store
And scape forth, since liberty is liefer.
Therefore, farewell: go trouble younger hearts,
And in me claim no more authority;
With idle youth go use thy property
And thereon spend thy many brittle darts:
For hitherto though I have lost all my time,
Me lusteth no longer rotten boughs to climb.
— Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542), Farewell, Love

Sir Thomas must have had a really bad break-up to get this despondent and cynical. But he sure made a good poem out of it; I hope that was solace for him in his despair……
___________________________________

“When they took the fourth amendment, I was silent because I don’t deal drugs.  When they took the sixth amendment, I kept quiet because I know I’m innocent.  When they took the second amendment, I said nothing because I don’t own a gun.  Now they’ve come for the first amendment, and I can’t say anything at all.” — Tim Freeman

I sincerely hope that y’all don’t get tired of hearing about this, because I have every intention of harping on it until the Bill of Rights has been restored. If you weren’t able to figure it out before now, I’ll make it clear…. I’m pissed. I’m royally and truly pissed off at our so called leadership; they have led us straight into voluntary slavery, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. I’d be glad to discuss this with anyone who can present a logical argument, or even an illogical one; we all have to find our fun somewhere.

If you don’t think you’ve lost any of your freedoms, try saying the word “bomb”, in any context, while standing in line in public. And get ready to spend the next hours in police custody, trying to convince them you’re not a terrorist about to blow up a bank. Think I’m kidding? Read the news……

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
___________________________________

Well, here’s another fine mess I’ve created. I’ll have to start handing out brooms with each day’s offering…..ah, me, “.. 

I think I’d better go back to my DESK and toy with a few common MISAPPREHENSIONS…” — Zippy the Pinhead

T’would be best for all, methinks…..y’all take care out there…..


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!