The High Seas

January 27, 2006 at 12:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments


As a child, my best travel experiences were undoubtedly experienced on ships. we used to board at at Mombasa or Dar es Salaam and cross the Indian Ocean, passing the Seychelles, Mauritius and “Ceylon” too on the way to Madras. Then back again. Weeks of travelling either way – but what glorious fun!

Nowadays, when thinking of the oceans, our concerns are more about el nino, la nina and the global warming that melts ice caps, raising sea levels. Vague fears of sudden, devastating tsunamis lurk in the corners of our imagination.

But, if I had my druthers I would still prefer to sail in search of magical islands and pristine lagoons on the ever mysterious high seas.

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LOVE

January 23, 2006 at 7:26 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not; love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13 (King James Version, modified by SLC)

Student Suicides

January 16, 2006 at 2:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

HendrixIt’s getting to be that time of year in my country. The school final exam ‘season’ starts towards the end of February and the carnage begins. So much pressure, so much hope and for some such a weight of despair that many of these little ones resort to death as the only escape from the hell on earth that we have created for them. We have placed such a terrible burden on our children; by our society, our family, our friends, our classmates, our teachers and our whole rotten “system of education”.

Let us pray that each child will have the fortitude to withstand and that each one will find at least a single friend to tell him or her that all is not lost…

But every year we see them fall, plucked from life.
Then follows only the quietest of bewailings and helpless wringings of hands – and for such a little while – lest any should find out that we all share the blame.

I’m reminded of:
A MODEST PROPOSAL
FOR PREVENTING THE CHILDREN OF POOR PEOPLE IN IRELAND FROM BEING A BURDEN TO THEIR PARENTS OR COUNTRY, AND FOR MAKING THEM BENEFICIAL TO THE PUBLIC
By Jonathan Swift, 1729
look it up!

ON POETRY

January 15, 2006 at 4:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Facsimile reproductions of Emily Dickinson’s writings can be found at http://www.emilydickinson.org
My English 101 professor suddenly asked us, just as we were nearing the end of term, “Why poetry?” and we were startled to find that we didn’t have a ready answer. I still don’t know…it is more than communication, language, beauty, symmetry or feeling.

Here’s one by Drayton: “How Many Paltry Foolish Painted Things”

How many paltry foolish painted things,
That now in coaches trouble every street,
Shall be forgotten, whom no poet sings,
Ere they be well wrapped in their winding-sheet!
Where I to thee eternity shall give,
When nothing else remaineth of these days,
And queens hereafter shall be glad to live
Upon the alms of thy superfluous praise.
Virgins and matrons, reading these my rhymes,
Shall be so much delighted with thy story
That they shall grieve they lived not in these times,
To have seen thee, their sex’s only glory:
So shalt thou fly above the vulgar throng,
Still to survive in my immortal song.

and one by Chesterton: “The Strange Music”

Other loves may sink and settle, other loves may loose and slack,
But I wander like a minstrel with a harp upon his back,
Though the harp be on my bosom, though I finger and I fret,
Still, my hope is all before me: for I cannot play it yet.

In your strings is hid a music that no hand hath e’er let fall,
In your soul is sealed a pleasure that you have not known at all;
Pleasure subtle as your spirit, strange and slender as your frame,
Fiercer than the pain that folds you, softer than your sorrow’s name.

Not as mine, my soul’s annointed, not as mine the rude and light
Easy mirth of many faces, swaggering pride of song and fight;
Something stranger, something sweeter, something waiting you afar,
Secret as your stricken senses, magic as your sorrows are.

But on this, God’s harp supernal, stretched but to be stricken once,
Hoary time is a beginner, Life a bungler, Death a dunce.
But I will not fear to match them-no, by God, I will not fear,
I will learn you, I will play you and the stars stand still to hear.

As i find time, i will try to add a few more to the sidebar (lower down) but if you really want poetry try visiting http://plagiarist.com/poetry/poets/ it’s free online and has a goldmine of stuff. For the wiki fans there is the sister project http://wiki.poetryx.com/Main_Page

ENJOY!

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