Sunday, December 25, 2016

Poet of the Day (Eliot)

With Christmas carols telling us tales of three educated fellas - dare I say, Three Wise Men or Three Kings, even - I thought it would be interesting to put TS Eliot's fictional 1927 poem Journey of the Magi against some visual terrain. 

No offence intended.

"A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.

And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.

Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night fires going out, and the lack of shelters,

And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:

A hard time we had of it.

At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,

And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.

Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins,

But there was no information, and so we continued

And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.”

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Thought of the Day (King)

"I have decided to stick to love; 
hate is too great a burden to bear."
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Surf Check

So many orange clouds trapped in little boxes 
containing films of various sizes.

So many surf checks at dawn.
When the wind is yet to awaken.
When the world is washed anew again.

Me and my thoughts treading over crispy cold sand.

Shaking the nightmares out of my beard with that first duck dive.
Some quiet time before the hubbub of the working day kicks in.