Friday, June 28, 2013

Great Poems of the Past

Ah...tis Friday again and time for poetic thoughts. A reprise from the past.

One of my favorite poems is Edward Rowland Sill's The Fool's Prayer. Perhaps you'll like it too. He was born in 1841 and died in 1887.

The royal feast was done; the King
 Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
 Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"
The jester doffed his cap and bells, 
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile 
Behind the painted grin he wore.
He bowed his head, and bent his knee
 Upon the Monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!
"No pity, Lord, could change the heart
 From red with wrong to white as wool;
The rod must heal the sin: but Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!
"'T is not by guilt the onward sweep
 Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
'Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.
"These clumsy feet, still in the mire, 
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.
"The ill-timed truth we might have kept--
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
 The word we had not sense to say--
Who knows how grandly it had rung!
"Our faults no tenderness should ask.
The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
But for our blunders -- oh, in shame
 Before the eyes of heaven we fall.
"Earth bears no balsam for mistakes; 
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
 That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!"
The room was hushed; in silence rose
 The King, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low,
"Be merciful to me, a fool!"

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Which Side?

On which side of life do we choose to see the profound?

On which side of the train do I see the truth and light?

The one where beauty presents.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

When Old Friends Meet

I met an old friend for lunch the other day. We had not seen each other for many years. He’s an active 86, a semi-retired college professor of biology and a scientist with a spiritual passion for exploring and understanding the other sides of mortality.

We talked about quarks and quantum science, alternate dimensions, DNA discoveries and the new findings on what scientists call junk pairs. We exchanged thoughts on the energy and vibration of words and phrases and how to save humanity from itself.

We also talked of mutual friends, some of who had passed to the other side, but whose presence dotted the mystical periphery of our shared awareness.

My friend speaks several languages fluently and with a slight Latvian accent his country of birth. It was so good to see him  and reconnect. We vowed to do so again and soon.

And we did conclude on how to save humanity from itself. It’s simple. All of us must embrace and embody unconditional love as the evidence of our being.

I told you it was simple.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hot Again

It's hot again. 90-degrees yesterday. 91 predicted for today. So in the hades vernacular of warmth, it's hot, and it's gonna be hot tomorrow, but, of course, it's summer. What can we expect.

It reminds me of when I was a child. In the forties we did not have air conditioning. I remember going to bed in an upstair bedroom with one window. It was hot. I didn't even know the word "oppressively" in those days, but it was oppressively hot in that upstairs bedroom.

My folks would sit out in the back yard until it got cooler, but I was a child and I needed to get to bed earlier or so it seems. I'd sit by the window and let a gentle zephyr or two waft pass me to cool off, but in my memory, it didn't seem to help.

My Mother would say run some cold water over your wrists and that will cool the blood and you'll feel better. For the longest time I thought that worked, but then science told me that was an illusion. Oh well, it worked for my Mother.

One time it was so summer hot that my Dad moved a mattress out on the back yard lawn and we slept there for the night. I loved it. It was the first time I could see the universe in the totality of a nine year old. The stars, oh the stars, what a magnificent sight. Billions and billions of stars, as Carl Sagan would later say on his television programs. To a nine-year old looking up lying on a mattress in the middle of the back yard in a rural area that sight was awesome. I saw shooting stars. I saw the Milky Way. I saw the beginning of time all in my sleepy stare at the stars.

Would that all children could experience that revelation.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Steve Martin

I had the pleasure last night of attending a sold out Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers concert that also featured singer Edie Brickell.

What a delightful evening. Martin is currently in his fifth decade of a varied and accomplished career as the program notes indicate. He’s been a stand-up comedian, an actor, and author and playwright, a composer and a phenomenal bluegrass banjo musician.

Martin is 69 years old and has reinvented himself into totally what he loves. Music and the banjo. He still does comic lines in the act, but his talent personifies in his music. His pickin’ style is both Earl Scruggs and claw hammer.

The evening amplified for me a profound truth. If you do what you love, you will be both happy and successful.

Thank you Steve Martin and all the fine musicians in The Steep Canyon Rangers group.

 I give you all six stars out of five.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Midnight Storm

Since I seem to be on a storm bent these last few posts. Here’s one from another time and how I embraced it into my memory.

It was a time a storm moved through in the middle of the night. The weather department called it severe. There were fiercely strong gusts, pelting rain and lots of lightening and thunder. I loved it. The Muse came out again. Have a great weekend.

Night Storm
© 2009, 2013 Rolland G. Smith

The joy of rain came passing through
My elemental sphere of life.
A type of storm though known, but new
That set, for some, a passing strife.

With falling limbs from gust and strike
And tearing heaves of nature’s breath,
The thundered sound of lightning’s might
Delayed by many miles of depth.

Each storm is like an Escher paint
Complete with knowing its return,
But I embrace with no complaint
The fury’s force without concern.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Karzai's Arrogance

As of Yesterday a total of 3-thousand three hundred and forty military coalition deaths have occurred in Afghanistan.

The cost of the war in Afghanistan rises every second, but, as of yesterday at noon time is was $635 billion, 889-million, 800 thoussand and rapidly counting.

Here is a New York Times news bulletin from yesterday.


Less than 24 hours after the Taliban opened an office for peace talks in the Gulf emirate of Qatar, the Afghan government backed away on Wednesday from even starting discussions with its adversaries and broke off talks on future military cooperation with the United States.

In one statement, signaling his anger at how the Americans had negotiated the opening of the Taliban office, President Hamid Karzai suspended talks on a bilateral security agreement with the United States which would allow American troops to stay after 2014."

The United States government continues to funnel cash to Karzai and his cronies and at every opportunity Karzai criticizes, rejects and obstructs every effort to stabilize his country.

It is time to end it.
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