Archive for September, 2006

Memories – ten years old

Finding words that rhyme with “at”
  (The fat cat sat on the mat.
    The rat ate my flat hat.)

Ten year old me,
perched in a tree.
Writing poetry.


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Lobster Quadrille

“Will you walk a little faster?”
 said a whiting to a snail,
“There’s a porpoise close behind us,
and he’s treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters
and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle —
will you come and join the dance?

“You can really have no notion
how delightful it will be
When they take us up and throw us,
with the lobsters, out to sea!”
But the snail replied “Too far, too far!”
and gave a look askance —
Said he thanked the whiting kindly,
but he would not join the dance.

“What matters it how far we go?”
his scaly friend replied.
“There is another shore, you know,
upon the other side.
The further off from England
the nearer is to France —
Then turn not pale, beloved snail,
but come and join the dance.” …

                                       Lewis Carroll

I memorized the last verse of this the first time I read it.
Many, many years ago.

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I don’t take your words

Merely as words.

Far from it.

I listen

To what makes you talk-

Whatever that is-

And me listen.

       Shinkichi Takahashi

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The birds have vanished into the sky,
and now the last cloud drains away.

We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.

Li Po (701-762) Translated from the Chinese by Sam Hamill

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People travel to wonder

 at the height of the mountains,

 at the huge waves of the seas,

 at the long course of the rivers,

 at the vast compass of the ocean,

 at the circular motion of the stars,

 and yet they pass by themselves

 without wondering.


                                    Saint Augustine

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What would happen if people devoted the same discipline and self-sacrifice to nonviolent peacemaking that armies devote to war?


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hour of dawn

There is an old story about a Teacher who was asked by his disciples: “How can we determine the hour of dawn, when the night ends and the day begins? Is it when from a distance you can distinguish between a dog and a sheep?”

“No,” said the Teacher.

“Is it when you can distinguish between a fig tree and a grapevine?” asked the disciples.

“No,” said the Teacher.

“Tell us then,” said the disciples.

“It is,” stated the Teacher, “when you look into the face of another human being and you have enough light to recognize that person as your brother or sister.

 Until then it is night, and the darkness is still with us.”

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