9.30.2020 – it carried away

it carried away
everything – there was no more
the end of something

The setting for Ernest Hemingway’s short story, The End of Something, is the little town of Horton’s Bay in the wonderfully located upper, lower Michigan.

The story is a story of a couple’s breaking up.

As a warning to what is coming for the couple, Mr. Hemingway opens the story with a short description of Horton’s Bay.

Mr. Hemingway wrote, “In the old days Hortons Bay was a lumbering town. No one who lived in it was out of sound of the big saws in the mill by the lake. Then one year there were no more logs to make lumber. The lumber schooners came into the bay and were loaded with the cut of the mill that stood stacked in the yard. All the piles of lumber were carried away. The big mill building had all its machinery that was removable taken out and hoisted on board one of the schooners by the men who had worked in the mill. The schooner moved out of the bay toward the open lake, carrying the two great saws, the travelling carriage that hurled the logs against the revolving, circular saws and all the rollers, wheels, belts and iron piled on a hull-deep load of lumber. Its open hold covered with canvas and lashed tight, the sails of the schooner filled and it moved out into the open lake, carrying with it everything that had made the mill a mill and Hortons Bay a town.

The trip taken by the ship loaded with the workings of the sawmill was a one way trip.

The ship, the machinery, the lumber, the trees, everything that made the mill a mill and the town a town, was not coming back.

It was the end of something.

I watched the first debate of the 2020 Election last night.

I had feelings to be sure.

But mostly I was sad and am sad this, the morning of the day after.

I had never seen nor had I imagined I would ever see such a display at what I thought was a showcase of what made the United States the United States.

Maybe I WAS seeing what makes the United States the United States.

It was not what I knew.

And in my heart of hearts I also know that the place I knew is not coming back.

Very sad.

I sat and I watched as if a crew was dismantling everything about the United States and loaded it on a schooner.

I watched as the crew lashed it all down tight.

And I watched as the sails of the schooner filled and it moved out into the open lake, carrying with it everything.

It hurt to watch.

It hurt to watch and realize what was leaving.

It hurts this morning.

It hurts to read that some folks felt the same.

It hurts to read that some folks did not notice.

It hurts to read that some folks noticed and did not care.

It was the end of something.

9.28.2020 – any good to talk

any good to talk
about voting, you sit, too
lazy to turn out

The 1st stop in the famous Truman Whistle stop Campaign in 1948 in Grand Rapids, Michigan – what is now Rosa Parks Circle.

Harry S Truman delivering a presidential campaign speech on Monroe Avenue at Campau Square in Grand Rapids, MI. A make-shift speech platform was set up in front of the F.W. Woolworth Five and Dime Store there.

Today’s Haiku is adapted from the line “Doesn’t do any good to talk about voting, if you sit around on election day, too lazy to turn out.” from a speech made by President Harry S Truman when he started his famous whistle stop campaign across the country with a 9AM stop in Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Most folks will remember DIME STORE row and the WT Grant store behind the President in what is now called Rosa Parks Circle.

Here is the text of the speech.

September 6, 1948

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (Rally, 9:10 a.m., E.D.T..)

My, what a wonderful crowd at 8:15 in the morning. I wonder what it would have been at 8:15 in the evening! I don’t see how it could have been any greater. I am looking at three solid blocks of people spread out in three different directions from this square. It is remarkable. I never thought you could do it. It just goes to show that you are interested in the welfare of this great Nation, and that you want to hear some of the facts in connection with the coming campaign.

It is a great day for me. It is a great day for you. I am just starting on a campaign tour that is going to be a record for the President of the United States, and when I get through you are going to know the facts.

I can’t tell you how very much I appreciate this welcome. It is a wonderful thing. It warms your heart–makes you feel like going out and making a fight for the people, when they turn out to see you like this.

I appreciate very much that key to the city which Acting Mayor Davis has given me, and I shall treasure it along with several more that I have. I appreciate it just as highly as I do the others. In fact, I have two keys to the city of Grand Rapids and that is a wonderful thing. That is the only city I have ever been in where I got two keys.

Your Mayor Welsh wrote to me that he was sorry he couldn’t be present as he had to go abroad. He has been in to see me on several occasions with the mayors organization in the country and I have had some very pleasant talks with him.

This also is the hometown of my good friend and former colleague when I was in the Senate, Senator Arthur Vandenberg. The Senator and I have spent 10 years in the Senate. While we didn’t always agree on domestic problems, I will say this to you, that Senator Arthur Vandenberg is intellectually honest and I like him.

I understand that there are three Congressional Medal of Honor men on this platform with me this morning. You know, that is a wonderful thing. That is a real record for one city, to have three Congressional Medal of Honor men. It was my privilege to hand the medals to these young men. They made wonderful records. If you haven’t read those citations, I hope everyone of you will make it a point to read the citations which accompany these medals for these young men.

You know, that is the greatest honor that can come to any man. I have said it time and again, and I don’t mind repeating it, that I would rather have that Congressional Medal of Honor than to be President of the United States. And I mean every word of it, and I know what I am talking about.

When the war ended there were some 12,500,000 young men and young women in the Armed Forces of the United States, and they were a cross section of the country, just as these three young men are a cross section of the country. I am not alarmed about the future of the United States as long as we have young men and young women like that.

Now these young men, and all those who were under arms when the war ended, were fighting for a principle. They were fighting for peace in the world, and they were fighting for the freedom of the individual.

We are still making that fight, and we are still making a fight for an honorable peace, and a just peace in the world. And I am here to tell you we are going to get it before we get through.

The working people of this country have demonstrated time and again that they are devoted to freedom and to world peace. They had an essential part in winning this war. Organized labor has been a leading force in international cooperation. Working people are also interested in building a better United States of America.

For the most part, workers have the same kind of problems that everybody else has-high prices, housing, schools for their children. In recent years, labor has become strong enough to have real influence. This is a development that I am very happy to see. Some people are not.

In November you will have a chance to use your influence in a manner that will be the determination of your destiny for years to come.

Now the necessity that faces us is one of voting on November 2d. You must register, you must vote, if you expect to get a square deal in this great Nation. Doesn’t do any good to talk about voting, if you are not on the books. Doesn’t do any good to talk about voting, if you sit around on election day, too lazy to turn out. The interests of this great Nation are such that every man and woman of voting age in this country ought to turn out and vote on November 2d.

If you will do that, I am perfectly willing to abide by these results, because I know it will be right.

You just have two parties to choose from in this election: the Democratic Party which stands for the peace and the welfare of the people and the little man, and the Republican Party which stands for special interests.

The record proves conclusively that the Republican Party is controlled by special privilege; and that the Democratic Party is responsive to the needs of the people.

Let us look at some of the instances of how that works and what it means to you. One of the things that worries you is high prices. During the war we were able to control prices, keep them at a fairly reasonable level. We could help rising prices now. It would be just as easy as it was to do it during the war. But the Republican Both Congress would not pass a price control law, although I recommended that they do that time and time again. As a result many of you and millions of other Americans are not able to buy the things you need, because prices are far higher than you can afford.

Another thing that troubles you in Grand Rapids is the housing shortage, and the shortage of school facilities. School facilities are short all over the Nation. Not only are we short in facilities, we are short in teachers and people to guide the young people through the lower grades in the schools. I tried every way within my power to get the Congress to do something about that. The Senate passed the bill. Most of the Democrats in the Senate voted for that bill, and some of the Republicans did. In the House that bill died along with the housing bill. I am told that within sound of my voice there are 62 veterans and their families with small children living in what was formerly a furniture factory, here in the heart of this city, subject to all the noise and confusion that goes on in a busy city.

There are other veterans in this community who are housed in temporary buildings with no early prospects of anything better. I have been doing everything within my power to get that Republican Both Congress to pass a housing bill to help meet the housing shortage. But the real estate lobby did not want low-rent housing, and did not want slums replaced by decent housing. That real estate lobby is one of the most powerful lobbies that ever came to Washington, and along later in this campaign I am going to tell you about a lot of other lobbies that came to Washington and got just what they wanted out of that 80th Congress–and the people didn’t get a thing!

The housing bill passed the Senate in the 80th Congress and was voted out of the House committee by 11 Democrats and 3 Republicans against 13 Republicans on the other side. But the Republican leadership wouldn’t even let the full membership of the House vote on that bill.

Finally the special session of Congress in July–after I had made things so hot for them; it looked for a while like we might get some action on that bill–still managed to kill it in the Rules Committee of the House. In fact, Senator Taft ran out on his own bill. You know, the bill in the first instance was called the Wagner-Ellender-Taft bill. That is the bill that passed the Senate and died in the House. Along came the 80th Congress in 1947 and it passed the bill again. This time it was called the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill–a slight change. But when it was time for that bill to be pushed through the House, the Republicans voted against it, and Senator Taft ran out on his own bill. I am sorry to say that.

The veteran who needs a home is not greatly interested in the quarrel between the Congress and the President. What he wants to know is if he is going to have a place to live. The record shows that the Democrats want to use the full power of Congress to help provide homes. The Republicans do not want to do that.

Now you make your choice. You are going to have a chance in November.

There are many other ways in which the Republicans have proved that they serve special privilege and the privileged few at the expense of the people. I am going to talk about them a lot in this campaign, and I hope you will learn all about them. The fact that we have had a Republican Congress for 2 years has at least given you a chance to see what they are like and what they will do.

I call it the worst Congress, except one, this country has ever had. Because I was in the White House, however, they didn’t get to walk backwards quite as fast as they wanted to. They have interrupted the progress which we have made, though, since 1932. If you want to resume the progress to go on as we have been going on, under this administration that believes in the welfare of the whole people and not just in the welfare of the real estate lobbies and a few other great lobbies, you will send the Democrats back to power on November 2, 1948.

Thank you very much.

9.26.2020 – moment when all hear

moment when all hear
the alarm bell as call to
action, not the knell

On November 7, 1938, The House of Commons in Great Britain took up the sixth day of debate on the response of the House to King George VI after a recent message from the King to the house.

The official title of the debate in the history books is: Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [8th November]: That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty as followeth:

“Most Gracious Sovereign, We, Your Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Majesty for the Gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both Houses of Parliament.”

This preamble was not in debate.

What was in debate was whether or the order thanks would also include some wording that would take advantage of the message to the King to acquaint the King with the recent developments in Europe.

Most of these developments concerned Nazi Germany and Hitler’s threats to take over the continent.

The six days of debate were over was the threat real or had the recent Munich Agreement satisfied Mr. Hitler.

Many members of the House thought so.

Mr. Winston Churchill, Member of Parliament for Epping did not.

Mr. Churchill entered into the debate with the full weight of his words several times over those six days.

Mr. Churchill closed his main speech with these words.

Is not this the moment when all should hear the deep, repeated strokes of the alarm bell, and when all should resolve that it shall be a call to action, and not the knell of our race and fame?

Oddly for me to write and has hard it is for me to see how there could have been two sides to the Munich debate, I can see how in today’s political climate, either side can use this quote.

History is written by the winners.

Which side was correct on using this quote will be decided in Novemeber.

9.25.2020 – what matters after

what matters after
destruction of human trust
in society
?

What matters after the destruction of human trust in society?

Terror?

Manic suspicion?

Arbitrary injustice?

Yes, yes and yes again.

At least these are the terms used by Max Hastings in his book, Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945 (Vintage, October 18, 2005)

Mr. Hastings was describing the Soviet Union in 1941.

Mr. Hastings wrote, “Stalin had contrived the destruction of human trust in society now ruled by terror, manic suspicion and arbitrary injustice.”

When I read that the other day it hit how much a democracy needed human trust in society.

I cannot get my arms around why anyone would want to destroy that human trust.

Once that is gone, what else can matter?

9.24.2020 – common sense of most

common sense of most
shall hold fretful realm in awe,
kindly earth slumbers

Another haiku adapted from Tennyson’s Locksley Hall.

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain’d a ghastly dew
From the nations’ airy navies grappling in the central blue;

Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,
With the standards of the peoples plunging thro’ the thunder-storm;

Till the war-drum throbb’d no longer, and the battle-flags were furl’d
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.

There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law.

Reportedly a clipping with this passage on it was kept by President Harry S Truman in his wallet for a good part of his official life.

Locksley Hall
BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

Comrades, leave me here a little, while as yet ‘t is early morn:
Leave me here, and when you want me, sound upon the bugle-horn.

‘T is the place, and all around it, as of old, the curlews call,
Dreary gleams about the moorland flying over Locksley Hall;

Locksley Hall, that in the distance overlooks the sandy tracts,
And the hollow ocean-ridges roaring into cataracts.

Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest,
Did I look on great Orion sloping slowly to the West.

Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro’ the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid.

Here about the beach I wander’d, nourishing a youth sublime
With the fairy tales of science, and the long result of Time;

When the centuries behind me like a fruitful land reposed;
When I clung to all the present for the promise that it closed:

When I dipt into the future far as human eye could see;
Saw the Vision of the world and all the wonder that would be.—

In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin’s breast;
In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;

In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish’d dove;
In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.

Then her cheek was pale and thinner than should be for one so young,
And her eyes on all my motions with a mute observance hung.

And I said, “My cousin Amy, speak, and speak the truth to me,
Trust me, cousin, all the current of my being sets to thee.”

On her pallid cheek and forehead came a colour and a light,
As I have seen the rosy red flushing in the northern night.

And she turn’d—her bosom shaken with a sudden storm of sighs—
All the spirit deeply dawning in the dark of hazel eyes—

Saying, “I have hid my feelings, fearing they should do me wrong”;
Saying, “Dost thou love me, cousin?” weeping, “I have loved thee long.”

Love took up the glass of Time, and turn’d it in his glowing hands;
Every moment, lightly shaken, ran itself in golden sands.

Love took up the harp of Life, and smote on all the chords with might;
Smote the chord of Self, that, trembling, pass’d in music out of sight.

Many a morning on the moorland did we hear the copses ring,
And her whisper throng’d my pulses with the fulness of the Spring.

Many an evening by the waters did we watch the stately ships,
And our spirits rush’d together at the touching of the lips.

O my cousin, shallow-hearted! O my Amy, mine no more!
O the dreary, dreary moorland! O the barren, barren shore!

Falser than all fancy fathoms, falser than all songs have sung,
Puppet to a father’s threat, and servile to a shrewish tongue!

Is it well to wish thee happy?—having known me—to decline
On a range of lower feelings and a narrower heart than mine!

Yet it shall be; thou shalt lower to his level day by day,
What is fine within thee growing coarse to sympathize with clay.

As the husband is, the wife is: thou art mated with a clown,
And the grossness of his nature will have weight to drag thee down.

He will hold thee, when his passion shall have spent its novel force,
Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse.

What is this? his eyes are heavy; think not they are glazed with wine.
Go to him, it is thy duty, kiss him, take his hand in thine.

It may be my lord is weary, that his brain is overwrought:
Soothe him with thy finer fancies, touch him with thy lighter thought.

He will answer to the purpose, easy things to understand—
Better thou wert dead before me, tho’ I slew thee with my hand!

Better thou and I were lying, hidden from the heart’s disgrace,
Roll’d in one another’s arms, and silent in a last embrace.

Cursed be the social wants that sin against the strength of youth!
Cursed be the social lies that warp us from the living truth!

Cursed be the sickly forms that err from honest Nature’s rule!
Cursed be the gold that gilds the straiten’d forehead of the fool!

Well—’t is well that I should bluster!—Hadst thou less unworthy proved—
Would to God—for I had loved thee more than ever wife was loved.

Am I mad, that I should cherish that which bears but bitter fruit?
I will pluck it from my bosom, tho’ my heart be at the root.

Never, tho’ my mortal summers to such length of years should come
As the many-winter’d crow that leads the clanging rookery home.

Where is comfort? in division of the records of the mind?
Can I part her from herself, and love her, as I knew her, kind?

I remember one that perish’d; sweetly did she speak and move;
Such a one do I remember, whom to look at was to love.

Can I think of her as dead, and love her for the love she bore?
No—she never loved me truly; love is love for evermore.

Comfort? comfort scorn’d of devils! this is truth the poet sings,
That a sorrow’s crown of sorrow is remembering happier things.

Drug thy memories, lest thou learn it, lest thy heart be put to proof,
In the dead unhappy night, and when the rain is on the roof.

Like a dog, he hunts in dreams, and thou art staring at the wall,
Where the dying night-lamp flickers, and the shadows rise and fall.

Then a hand shall pass before thee, pointing to his drunken sleep,
To thy widow’d marriage-pillows, to the tears that thou wilt weep.

Thou shalt hear the “Never, never,” whisper’d by the phantom years,
And a song from out the distance in the ringing of thine ears;

And an eye shall vex thee, looking ancient kindness on thy pain.
Turn thee, turn thee on thy pillow; get thee to thy rest again.

Nay, but Nature brings thee solace; for a tender voice will cry.
‘T is a purer life than thine, a lip to drain thy trouble dry.

Baby lips will laugh me down; my latest rival brings thee rest.
Baby fingers, waxen touches, press me from the mother’s breast.

O, the child too clothes the father with a dearness not his due.
Half is thine and half is his: it will be worthy of the two.

O, I see thee old and formal, fitted to thy petty part,
With a little hoard of maxims preaching down a daughter’s heart.

“They were dangerous guides the feelings—she herself was not exempt—
Truly, she herself had suffer’d”—Perish in thy self-contempt!

Overlive it—lower yet—be happy! wherefore should I care?
I myself must mix with action, lest I wither by despair.

What is that which I should turn to, lighting upon days like these?
Every door is barr’d with gold, and opens but to golden keys.

Every gate is throng’d with suitors, all the markets overflow.
I have but an angry fancy; what is that which I should do?

I had been content to perish, falling on the foeman’s ground,
When the ranks are roll’d in vapour, and the winds are laid with sound.

But the jingling of the guinea helps the hurt that Honour feels,
And the nations do but murmur, snarling at each other’s heels.

Can I but relive in sadness? I will turn that earlier page.
Hide me from my deep emotion, O thou wondrous Mother-Age!

Make me feel the wild pulsation that I felt before the strife,
When I heard my days before me, and the tumult of my life;

Yearning for the large excitement that the coming years would yield,
Eager-hearted as a boy when first he leaves his father’s field,

And at night along the dusky highway near and nearer drawn,
Sees in heaven the light of London flaring like a dreary dawn;

And his spirit leaps within him to be gone before him then,
Underneath the light he looks at, in among the throngs of men:

Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something new:
That which they have done but earnest of the things that they shall do:

For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;

Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight dropping down with costly bales;

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain’d a ghastly dew
From the nations’ airy navies grappling in the central blue;

Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,
With the standards of the peoples plunging thro’ the thunder-storm;

Till the war-drum throbb’d no longer, and the battle-flags were furl’d
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.

There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law.

So I triumph’d ere my passion sweeping thro’ me left me dry,
Left me with the palsied heart, and left me with the jaundiced eye;

Eye, to which all order festers, all things here are out of joint:
Science moves, but slowly, slowly, creeping on from point to point:

Slowly comes a hungry people, as a lion, creeping nigher,
Glares at one that nods and winks behind a slowly-dying fire.

Yet I doubt not thro’ the ages one increasing purpose runs,
And the thoughts of men are widen’d with the process of the suns.

What is that to him that reaps not harvest of his youthful joys,
Tho’ the deep heart of existence beat for ever like a boy’s?

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and I linger on the shore,
And the individual withers, and the world is more and more.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and he bears a laden breast,
Full of sad experience, moving toward the stillness of his rest.

Hark, my merry comrades call me, sounding on the bugle-horn,
They to whom my foolish passion were a target for their scorn:

Shall it not be scorn to me to harp on such a moulder’d string?
I am shamed thro’ all my nature to have loved so slight a thing.

Weakness to be wroth with weakness! woman’s pleasure, woman’s pain—
Nature made them blinder motions bounded in a shallower brain:

Woman is the lesser man, and all thy passions, match’d with mine,
Are as moonlight unto sunlight, and as water unto wine—

Here at least, where nature sickens, nothing. Ah, for some retreat
Deep in yonder shining Orient, where my life began to beat;

Where in wild Mahratta-battle fell my father evil-starr’d,—
I was left a trampled orphan, and a selfish uncle’s ward.

Or to burst all links of habit—there to wander far away,
On from island unto island at the gateways of the day.

Larger constellations burning, mellow moons and happy skies,
Breadths of tropic shade and palms in cluster, knots of Paradise.

Never comes the trader, never floats an European flag,
Slides the bird o’er lustrous woodland, swings the trailer from the crag;

Droops the heavy-blossom’d bower, hangs the heavy-fruited tree—
Summer isles of Eden lying in dark-purple spheres of sea.

There methinks would be enjoyment more than in this march of mind,
In the steamship, in the railway, in the thoughts that shake mankind.

There the passions cramp’d no longer shall have scope and breathing space;
I will take some savage woman, she shall rear my dusky race.

Iron-jointed, supple-sinew’d, they shall dive, and they shall run,
Catch the wild goat by the hair, and hurl their lances in the sun;

Whistle back the parrot’s call, and leap the rainbows of the brooks,
Not with blinded eyesight poring over miserable books—

Fool, again the dream, the fancy! but I know my words are wild,
But I count the gray barbarian lower than the Christian child.

I, to herd with narrow foreheads, vacant of our glorious gains,
Like a beast with lower pleasures, like a beast with lower pains!

Mated with a squalid savage—what to me were sun or clime?
I the heir of all the ages, in the foremost files of time—

I that rather held it better men should perish one by one,
Than that earth should stand at gaze like Joshua’s moon in Ajalon!

Not in vain the distance beacons. Forward, forward let us range,
Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.

Thro’ the shadow of the globe we sweep into the younger day;
Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay.

Mother-Age (for mine I knew not) help me as when life begun:
Rift the hills, and roll the waters, flash the lightnings, weigh the Sun.

O, I see the crescent promise of my spirit hath not set.
Ancient founts of inspiration well thro’ all my fancy yet.

Howsoever these things be, a long farewell to Locksley Hall!
Now for me the woods may wither, now for me the roof-tree fall.

Comes a vapour from the margin, blackening over heath and holt,
Cramming all the blast before it, in its breast a thunderbolt.

Let it fall on Locksley Hall, with rain or hail, or fire or snow;
For the mighty wind arises, roaring seaward, and I go.

9.23.2020 – Knowledge comes, wisdom

Knowledge comes, wisdom,
sad experience, lingers
toward stillness of rest

Adapted from:

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and I linger on the shore,
And the individual withers, and the world is more and more.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and he bears a laden breast,
Full of sad experience, moving toward the stillness of his rest.

From the poem –

Locksley Hall
BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

Comrades, leave me here a little, while as yet ‘t is early morn:
Leave me here, and when you want me, sound upon the bugle-horn.

‘T is the place, and all around it, as of old, the curlews call,
Dreary gleams about the moorland flying over Locksley Hall;

Locksley Hall, that in the distance overlooks the sandy tracts,
And the hollow ocean-ridges roaring into cataracts.

Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest,
Did I look on great Orion sloping slowly to the West.

Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro’ the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid.

Here about the beach I wander’d, nourishing a youth sublime
With the fairy tales of science, and the long result of Time;

When the centuries behind me like a fruitful land reposed;
When I clung to all the present for the promise that it closed:

When I dipt into the future far as human eye could see;
Saw the Vision of the world and all the wonder that would be.—

In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin’s breast;
In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;

In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish’d dove;
In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.

Then her cheek was pale and thinner than should be for one so young,
And her eyes on all my motions with a mute observance hung.

And I said, “My cousin Amy, speak, and speak the truth to me,
Trust me, cousin, all the current of my being sets to thee.”

On her pallid cheek and forehead came a colour and a light,
As I have seen the rosy red flushing in the northern night.

And she turn’d—her bosom shaken with a sudden storm of sighs—
All the spirit deeply dawning in the dark of hazel eyes—

Saying, “I have hid my feelings, fearing they should do me wrong”;
Saying, “Dost thou love me, cousin?” weeping, “I have loved thee long.”

Love took up the glass of Time, and turn’d it in his glowing hands;
Every moment, lightly shaken, ran itself in golden sands.

Love took up the harp of Life, and smote on all the chords with might;
Smote the chord of Self, that, trembling, pass’d in music out of sight.

Many a morning on the moorland did we hear the copses ring,
And her whisper throng’d my pulses with the fulness of the Spring.

Many an evening by the waters did we watch the stately ships,
And our spirits rush’d together at the touching of the lips.

O my cousin, shallow-hearted! O my Amy, mine no more!
O the dreary, dreary moorland! O the barren, barren shore!

Falser than all fancy fathoms, falser than all songs have sung,
Puppet to a father’s threat, and servile to a shrewish tongue!

Is it well to wish thee happy?—having known me—to decline
On a range of lower feelings and a narrower heart than mine!

Yet it shall be; thou shalt lower to his level day by day,
What is fine within thee growing coarse to sympathize with clay.

As the husband is, the wife is: thou art mated with a clown,
And the grossness of his nature will have weight to drag thee down.

He will hold thee, when his passion shall have spent its novel force,
Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse.

What is this? his eyes are heavy; think not they are glazed with wine.
Go to him, it is thy duty, kiss him, take his hand in thine.

It may be my lord is weary, that his brain is overwrought:
Soothe him with thy finer fancies, touch him with thy lighter thought.

He will answer to the purpose, easy things to understand—
Better thou wert dead before me, tho’ I slew thee with my hand!

Better thou and I were lying, hidden from the heart’s disgrace,
Roll’d in one another’s arms, and silent in a last embrace.

Cursed be the social wants that sin against the strength of youth!
Cursed be the social lies that warp us from the living truth!

Cursed be the sickly forms that err from honest Nature’s rule!
Cursed be the gold that gilds the straiten’d forehead of the fool!

Well—’t is well that I should bluster!—Hadst thou less unworthy proved—
Would to God—for I had loved thee more than ever wife was loved.

Am I mad, that I should cherish that which bears but bitter fruit?
I will pluck it from my bosom, tho’ my heart be at the root.

Never, tho’ my mortal summers to such length of years should come
As the many-winter’d crow that leads the clanging rookery home.

Where is comfort? in division of the records of the mind?
Can I part her from herself, and love her, as I knew her, kind?

I remember one that perish’d; sweetly did she speak and move;
Such a one do I remember, whom to look at was to love.

Can I think of her as dead, and love her for the love she bore?
No—she never loved me truly; love is love for evermore.

Comfort? comfort scorn’d of devils! this is truth the poet sings,
That a sorrow’s crown of sorrow is remembering happier things.

Drug thy memories, lest thou learn it, lest thy heart be put to proof,
In the dead unhappy night, and when the rain is on the roof.

Like a dog, he hunts in dreams, and thou art staring at the wall,
Where the dying night-lamp flickers, and the shadows rise and fall.

Then a hand shall pass before thee, pointing to his drunken sleep,
To thy widow’d marriage-pillows, to the tears that thou wilt weep.

Thou shalt hear the “Never, never,” whisper’d by the phantom years,
And a song from out the distance in the ringing of thine ears;

And an eye shall vex thee, looking ancient kindness on thy pain.
Turn thee, turn thee on thy pillow; get thee to thy rest again.

Nay, but Nature brings thee solace; for a tender voice will cry.
‘T is a purer life than thine, a lip to drain thy trouble dry.

Baby lips will laugh me down; my latest rival brings thee rest.
Baby fingers, waxen touches, press me from the mother’s breast.

O, the child too clothes the father with a dearness not his due.
Half is thine and half is his: it will be worthy of the two.

O, I see thee old and formal, fitted to thy petty part,
With a little hoard of maxims preaching down a daughter’s heart.

“They were dangerous guides the feelings—she herself was not exempt—
Truly, she herself had suffer’d”—Perish in thy self-contempt!

Overlive it—lower yet—be happy! wherefore should I care?
I myself must mix with action, lest I wither by despair.

What is that which I should turn to, lighting upon days like these?
Every door is barr’d with gold, and opens but to golden keys.

Every gate is throng’d with suitors, all the markets overflow.
I have but an angry fancy; what is that which I should do?

I had been content to perish, falling on the foeman’s ground,
When the ranks are roll’d in vapour, and the winds are laid with sound.

But the jingling of the guinea helps the hurt that Honour feels,
And the nations do but murmur, snarling at each other’s heels.

Can I but relive in sadness? I will turn that earlier page.
Hide me from my deep emotion, O thou wondrous Mother-Age!

Make me feel the wild pulsation that I felt before the strife,
When I heard my days before me, and the tumult of my life;

Yearning for the large excitement that the coming years would yield,
Eager-hearted as a boy when first he leaves his father’s field,

And at night along the dusky highway near and nearer drawn,
Sees in heaven the light of London flaring like a dreary dawn;

And his spirit leaps within him to be gone before him then,
Underneath the light he looks at, in among the throngs of men:

Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something new:
That which they have done but earnest of the things that they shall do:

For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;

Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight dropping down with costly bales;

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain’d a ghastly dew
From the nations’ airy navies grappling in the central blue;

Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,
With the standards of the peoples plunging thro’ the thunder-storm;

Till the war-drum throbb’d no longer, and the battle-flags were furl’d
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.

There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law.

So I triumph’d ere my passion sweeping thro’ me left me dry,
Left me with the palsied heart, and left me with the jaundiced eye;

Eye, to which all order festers, all things here are out of joint:
Science moves, but slowly, slowly, creeping on from point to point:

Slowly comes a hungry people, as a lion, creeping nigher,
Glares at one that nods and winks behind a slowly-dying fire.

Yet I doubt not thro’ the ages one increasing purpose runs,
And the thoughts of men are widen’d with the process of the suns.

What is that to him that reaps not harvest of his youthful joys,
Tho’ the deep heart of existence beat for ever like a boy’s?

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and I linger on the shore,
And the individual withers, and the world is more and more.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and he bears a laden breast,
Full of sad experience, moving toward the stillness of his rest.

Hark, my merry comrades call me, sounding on the bugle-horn,
They to whom my foolish passion were a target for their scorn:

Shall it not be scorn to me to harp on such a moulder’d string?
I am shamed thro’ all my nature to have loved so slight a thing.

Weakness to be wroth with weakness! woman’s pleasure, woman’s pain—
Nature made them blinder motions bounded in a shallower brain:

Woman is the lesser man, and all thy passions, match’d with mine,
Are as moonlight unto sunlight, and as water unto wine—

Here at least, where nature sickens, nothing. Ah, for some retreat
Deep in yonder shining Orient, where my life began to beat;

Where in wild Mahratta-battle fell my father evil-starr’d,—
I was left a trampled orphan, and a selfish uncle’s ward.

Or to burst all links of habit—there to wander far away,
On from island unto island at the gateways of the day.

Larger constellations burning, mellow moons and happy skies,
Breadths of tropic shade and palms in cluster, knots of Paradise.

Never comes the trader, never floats an European flag,
Slides the bird o’er lustrous woodland, swings the trailer from the crag;

Droops the heavy-blossom’d bower, hangs the heavy-fruited tree—
Summer isles of Eden lying in dark-purple spheres of sea.

There methinks would be enjoyment more than in this march of mind,
In the steamship, in the railway, in the thoughts that shake mankind.

There the passions cramp’d no longer shall have scope and breathing space;
I will take some savage woman, she shall rear my dusky race.

Iron-jointed, supple-sinew’d, they shall dive, and they shall run,
Catch the wild goat by the hair, and hurl their lances in the sun;

Whistle back the parrot’s call, and leap the rainbows of the brooks,
Not with blinded eyesight poring over miserable books—

Fool, again the dream, the fancy! but I know my words are wild,
But I count the gray barbarian lower than the Christian child.

I, to herd with narrow foreheads, vacant of our glorious gains,
Like a beast with lower pleasures, like a beast with lower pains!

Mated with a squalid savage—what to me were sun or clime?
I the heir of all the ages, in the foremost files of time—

I that rather held it better men should perish one by one,
Than that earth should stand at gaze like Joshua’s moon in Ajalon!

Not in vain the distance beacons. Forward, forward let us range,
Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.

Thro’ the shadow of the globe we sweep into the younger day;
Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay.

Mother-Age (for mine I knew not) help me as when life begun:
Rift the hills, and roll the waters, flash the lightnings, weigh the Sun.

O, I see the crescent promise of my spirit hath not set.
Ancient founts of inspiration well thro’ all my fancy yet.

Howsoever these things be, a long farewell to Locksley Hall!
Now for me the woods may wither, now for me the roof-tree fall.

Comes a vapour from the margin, blackening over heath and holt,
Cramming all the blast before it, in its breast a thunderbolt.

Let it fall on Locksley Hall, with rain or hail, or fire or snow;
For the mighty wind arises, roaring seaward, and I go.

9.22.2020 – ordinary moment

ordinary moment
before everything changed
nothing then the same

Very tentatively I am reading The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.

It may be too much to attempt to read at this time.

Just the first page discussing why or how or if using the word ordinary before the word moment was appropriate or even necessary more or less froze me into suspended animation for a long time and my mind worked on the issues.

So many times the moment before change is so ordinary.

But is it so ordinary when thrown into relief against the change?

Ms Didion recalls the stories from the past.

Of the quiet morning of December 7, 1941 in Hawaii.

Of the beautiful fall morning on September 11, 2001.

I can the throw the innocent excitedness of the Kennedy advance team when the sun came out and chased away early morning rain in Dallas and the car top could be removed.

The other day I passed the entrance to i85 that I had used for the last couple of years to get to work.

Since covid work at home started, we moved to a new location.

I will never use that freeway entrance again.

Something so ordinary as a way to work.

Before everything changed.

Then nothing is the same.

9.19.2020 – milk fed lambs kidney’s

milk fed lambs kidney’s
tongue, chipirones, salt cod
six kinds canned cheese

The Manchester Guardian runs a weekly feature called Blind Date.

Two people are picked to meet at a restaurant in London and then answer questions about their ‘date.’

What I find most interesting is the article links them to the ‘posh’ restaurants where the date took place and I enjoy looking at the menus.

I don’t know but I have always heard that one of the shortest books in the world is Great Recipes from Great Britain.

Maybe its just that the Brits say they can’t believe they ate the whole thing, they really mean they eat the whole thing.

The latest blind date took place at barrafina @ adelaide in downtown London.

Their menu lists such wonders as Salt Cod Fritters, Ox tongue and the ever popular milk fed lamb’s kidneys.

I think of an interview I saw once with the Famous Chef Paul Bocuse, who died in 2018.

He was asked when was the best time to be a Chef?

Without hesitation he blurter out, “1946, right after World War 2, people ate anything!”

By chance today I had one hour to kill and found myself in Walmart and I said to myself, Mike, I said, we are going to see all the food you can get at Walmart.

Have you ever done that?

I mean go through the groceries just to look?

27 kinds of tea?

Honey from around the world.

Breakfast food I never heard of.

It is truly amazing this country of ours.

The wine and beer section has been expanded and even here in North Georgia you can now buy Bell’s Ale.

They even had bottles of wine that cost over $100.

Wow!.

Those bottles are kept under lock and key just like the iPhones.

They also have cans of wine.

I have to say that again.

They also have cans of wine.

I am not sure if that something you say out of pride or disbelief.

20 kings of bacon.

That is very important.

Canned goods and frozen foods beyond measue.

And cheese.

They also have cheese in a can.

They also have 6 kinds of cheese in can.

They would have had seven but the seventh one was sold out.

Cheese in a can.

Maybe I will try the milk fed lamb’s kidney.

9.18.2020 – not like in the states

not like in the states
the athletic rivalry …
here its academics

Forever and ago I was in the wonderful city of Toronto for a weekend.

My friend Scott and I went up for the bookstores and the ambience of being in a big city that you could walk downtown at 1AM and the biggest problem was that Canada closed around 6.

If you can remember the Toronto of the ’80s and ’90s you have to remember the WORLD BIGGEST BOOKSTORE which I think was 4 or 5 floors and each floor the size of a football field.

FI-BIGGEST For story on the World’s Biggest Bookstore at 20 Edward st. which may be closing next year when lease expires June 20, 2012 DAVID COOPER/TORONTO STAR

I thought this was where I would go when I died.

And so many of the books were from European Publishers I had never heard of.

I was told that due to tariffs, it was cheaper to ship books from Britain that to order them from the United States.

We also went to the fabulous Ontario Science Center.

Pre WORLD WIDE WEB technology but who knew.

You could test the stress on a bridge beam.

You could land a moon lander.

And you could use an Electron Microscope.

Scott and I stayed in that exhibit for quite a while.

It might have had something to do with the electron miscroscope.

It also might have had something to do with the very cute young lady who was running the exhibet.

We engaged her in engaging conversation.

Mostly us making derogatory comments about the other to the young lady.

But she found us engaging – maybe even enduring – and she endured our comments and we talked for some time.

She told us she was from Toronto.

She told us she went to the University of Toronto.

She told us that had created ‘quite the little scandel’ in her family as her family all went to York University.

She had a sister right now enrolled at York she said.

It was ‘quite the rivalry’ you know she said.

Then she stopped.

Then she said its not like the in the states.

You know with your athletic rivalries.

Here its a rivalry based on academics.

Scott and I both assured her that as Michigan Grads, we knew just what she meant when talking about academics over athletics.

Oh yes, we knew.

We knew all about that.

But she went.

You in the states, your atheltics.

I just don’t know.

I mean there was a band here just recently for a concert at UT.

She smiled and shook her head, ‘They told us that over 100,000 people go to their football games.”

Oh yes, we knew.

We knew all about that.

Yep, lined us right up with the wrong side of the argument.

And to prove the point how thick we were, when she asked if we had had lunch, we blurted out that we had just eaten.

DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP.

Sometimes you hit a road not taken and its so dark you never even knew it.

But here I am in Georgia.

I wear I mask.

And now if anyone, ANYONE dares ask me why, I can say, “I suffer from HARBAUGH … and it might be catching.”

9.17.2020 – Hurricane Sally

Hurricane Sally
Rained all night, rained all day, please
Sally go away

I remember back in the early days of online news, we would have lengthy conference calls with the web teams from multiple TV stations to discuss issues and latest options for online news.

It seems like a good deal of our conversations were about online school closings.

I have a very clear memory of the first fall WZZM13 had a website and I was told that the station needed a way to post school closings online.

I had been in news just long enough (the station website had launched in July) to know what questions to ask.

Who?

YOU!

What?

List of all schools closed by weather!

Where?

Online!

When?

Tonight!

Why?

It’s what we do here!

How?

That’s why we hired you!

So I got to work and repurposed my High School Football Scoreboard so that school names and closing information could be added and posted online.

It was just a simple write to text file.

Someone had to type in names and hit upload.

It wasn’t great but it worked.

And I knew we had to do better.

The newsroom wanted bells, whistles, times, dates and most importantly, a way for someone else to enter the information.

A system were school administrators could log in and enter information was develped.

And whenever those people entered information like School & Events Cancelled, or School Support Team # 2, was entered those & and # symbols crashed the system.

But we learned.

All the web teams at all the stations learned.

And we all talked about it on our calls.

At least the people who worked up North.

I remember how the web people who worked in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida all laughed at us.

WINTER STORMS?

SNOW?

SCHOOL CLOSINGS?

They claimed they never used them.

They claimed they didn’t need to.

They claimed that if winter was bad enough, people in the South were smart enough to stay home.

A few months later the first Hurricane Season hit.

Then those people all screamed for school closing tools.

A few years later we moved south.

The first fall we lived in Georgia it started to rain on Labor Day and it seemed to rain until Halloween.

The local lakes that experts said wouldn’t fill up for 20 years filled up and overflowed in 20 days.

My wife called me at work.

Did you know, she asked, they close school down here because … of RAIN?

I did.