Monday, 27 August 2007

time for a hiatus

i think as matters of the lawn, car parking and the general stupidity of my fellows gets on top of me. people ask why i like the nightshift. i give many reasons but i suspect one of them is that it provides insulation from all those people at the weekends. who are they, that can't walk the length of themselves to park their cars, who drive so badly and risk so much just to get ahead that extra wee car length, who occupy the DIY centres and the garden centres like culture bottles, who trail litter behind them like locusts, nest foulers, loutish and loud. and that's before the drinking...

as for the drinking what's the deal with a country that defines itself through football (read sectarian violence) and getting out of its collective tits? i shall reserve this for another soapbox post

before i finished work last week i was given a pleasant lesson in the british penchant for girning when i was looking after some american holiday maker who'd landed herself in hospital. in amongst the many complaints i was getting (based around the fact you can't get 32 people into a ward designed for 30, especially when most of those are full!) here was this woman who expressed disbelief that she would be seen at home by a doctor and wasn't at all bothered by hr three hour wait to see me because back home it would've been much longer. and it's free! (at point of delivery) which is more a comment on the american health care system or lack thereof than a defence of the nhs but at least she could recognise what she was getting. myself i think i'd rather be sick in germany if i had to be

anyway it's off to places nordic for the household of swiss. sure it may be full of badly dressed people whose views on immigration make the daily mail seem like the socialist worker and yes there's a certain something lacking in their sense of humour but we'll be arriving into something that feels like community, where i can walk the streets without bumping into members of my client group out cold with booze/drugs or howling up the streets in a st vitus dance tirade against invisible enemies and where the sight of a book doesn't lead to mystification as to quite how the strange object fits into the video/dvd

back in a couple of weeks...

Tuesday, 21 August 2007


if we have retained an element of dream in out memories, if we have gone beyond assembling exact recollections, bit by bit the house that was lost in the mists of time will appear from out of the shadow. we do nothing to reorganise it; with intimacy it recovers its entity, in the mellowness and imprecision of the inner life. it is as though some fluid had collected our memories and we ourselves were dissolved in the fluid of the past

from the poetics of space, 1994 eddition (trans maria jolas)

Monday, 20 August 2007

revenge on the lawn and other (petty) vengeances

perhaps i should include mowing in the warm down routine of cycling. or perhaps i shouldn't. today i do and it's another hour or so of emotional deadness spared only by my leaving clumps of wild grass to annoy the neighbours with.

it strikes me that in amongst the clamour for energy saving in this time of climate change something is missing. how much energy do we expend on our little squares of green, our tonsured, billiard smooth lawns? too much surely. i blame the english and the french (i could construct an argument as to why but i haven't the breath).

near where i live there's a roundabout unremarkable for anything except that it's been seeded with a profusion of wildflowers and is currently a riot of colour. in a town marked (and given prizes for) its overly ornate, immaculately maintained yet still horrendous victorian style horticulture his roundabout is a corner (sic) of delight. i propose a campaign to eradicate the lawn, to replace it with the meadow, planted yes, but then left to its own devices. i propose that all government funding for horticulture, outside of historic gardens and playing fields, should immediately be cut and those areas left to become more biodiverse. those wishing to maintain their gardens as they are should be discouraged, even taxed, in favour of wild gardens or areas that actually produce food (hurrah for permaculture)

tear hanging baskets from public buildings, kick down the manicured hedges, flamethrower all fences. don't like urban graffiti - let the ivy do its work. as the weeds reclaim our cities i guarantee a more chilled out populace, free from the electronic whine of mowers, strimmers, where people travel by bike and prefer, instead of wasting in front of the TV, to lie back in the wild grasses, read a book or maybe even just look at the clouds

lawns. i hate them. yes, i do

boris johnson!

i never thought i'd be posting anything by boris johnson but this fulmination on the iniquity of bike theft hits close to home. in memoriam of my old raleigh technium (which after stealing the thieves tried to burn down the shed it was kept in. nice). much loved and much missed

Swifter than eagles. And stolen
By Boris Johnson
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 02/08/2007

First there was shock. Then there was grief. Then rage. There was a moment of shock when I rounded the corner the other night because, no matter how often it has happened to you, it is always a gulp-making thing to look at the railings where you left your bike, and see that for the seventh time in as many years some cowardly little fiend has used a combination of violence and ingenuity to steal it.

There was grief as I remembered what a lovely bike it was. It was swifter than eagles, it was stronger than lions. It was a silver-grey Marin Sausalito with featherlight wishbone struts and, with tyres pumped and a following wind, it was a two-wheeled Desert Orchid, capable of surging from Highbury to the House of Commons in less than 20 minutes.

And after the mourning the rage kicked in: rage at the epidemic of bike theft that is gripping London and the rest of the country - and rage at our society for the lax, passive, apathetic way in which we are dealing with that epidemic.

We treat bike theft as though it were a kind of natural event, like catching a cold or succumbing to some other morally neutral phenomenon.

When someone's bicycle is stolen the discussion is entirely about what he or she could have done to prevent it. The police talk about the need for tougher locks, and special serial numbers, and the cycling experts give out various bits of anti-theft advice. Don't have a bike that's too flash, they say. Try painting it some depressing colour, like orange or purple. Try having a basket at the front, they say, or mudguards, or anything to make your bike look a bit grungy and unappealing.

All of which advice may be well meant, but somehow makes me pop with rage, because we seem continually to be ascribing responsibility for the event to the victim, and ignoring the critical point. It wasn't some supernatural agency that nicked your bike, or nicked my bike. It wasn't oompa-loompas or fairies or bike elves. It was thieves.

It was a bunch of cynical little sods who don't care a toss for private property, and it so happens that, on this occasion, I had taken just about every possible precaution. It was no ordinary lock I used to immobilise my machine: it was a huge steel thing made in Germany, as thick as a baby's arm, and I locked it to some railings and, as I stood back to admire my handiwork, I noted that both were far too thick to saw through.

So what did they do? They uprooted a large stake that was being used to encourage the growth of some sapling, and they jemmied it into the railings and heaved and heaved until they snapped the bar, and then scarpered with my bike and left their wreckage contemptuously on the pavement; and yes, it is true that this city needs more Sheffield stands to park our bikes, but you ought to be able to lock your bike to London railings, with a drop-forged German mega-lock, and not come back to find that someone has nicked it with an audacity that can only be described as insolent.

There were 80,000 bicycle thefts in London last year, and that figure is probably a gross underestimate. Why? Let me quote the words of a passer-by who came upon me, as the emotions of shock-grief-rage were flashing across my face like a traffic light. "Bastards!" he said. "That happened to me last year, but it's no use reporting it to the police, because they won't do a thing about it."

And even if he is wrong, even if there is occasionally an effort to take bike theft seriously, you can see - on the face of it - why the police do not put it top of their priorities. The scale of the problem is appalling. There are only a million regular cyclists in this country, and yet there were 439,000 bicycles stolen last year, and that is just the ones reported stolen. One cycling expert told me he sometimes hoped the thieves would just give up in exhaustion, overwhelmed by the scale of their booty, unable to find any more punters for their ripped-off merchandise.

But they don't give up: the internet offers huge new markets; Brick Lane is bursting on a Sunday. The plunder intensifies, and every bike stolen is not just a bout of shock-grief-rage for the victim; every theft is a deterrent to cycling, since it is estimated that 25 per cent of victims decide not to bother investing in a new bicycle.

These are dismal statistics, and yet for the victims of bike theft the police seem to take the attitude of the Amsterdam cops played by Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse: they have solved the problem by decriminalising it.

Suppose they were to find a 15-year-old in possession of my Marin Sausalito, or a roomful of Marin Sausalitos. What could the perp expect? A caution? A stiff talking-to? Some unenforceable ASBO? The double-standards are unbearable, because we all know perfectly law-abiding citizens who have allowed their offside front wheel to stray an inch outside the white line of the residents' parking bay and boom!

Their car is towed away by the state, and they can end up paying hundreds of pounds to get it back. But when a thief nicks your bicycle, the state just seems to shrug its shoulders and advise you to get more locks. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could change the odds, and wipe the confident smirk off the faces of these varmints? Isn't it time we investigated the uses of new cheap tracking technology, to fill these thieves with the terror of getting caught? Wouldn't it be fine to hunt down the middlemen - often drug-dealers - who encourage kids to go on their nicking sprees?

It would be a huge advance for civility and decency on the streets, because little crimes lead to greater crimes, and if you can casually smash a railing to steal a bike, then you are well on the way to burglary and worse. Decoy bikes will be part of the answer; but the first step is to recondition society to grasp this elementary fact, that the problem is not caused by bad locks or weak railings. It's caused by thieves, and they need to be deterred.

Boris Johnson is MP for Henley

Sunday, 19 August 2007


then i decided that this disorder and this dilemma, revealed by my desire to write on Photography, corresponded to a discomfort i had always suffered from: the uneasiness of being a subject torn between two languages, one expressive, the other critical; and at the heart of this critical language, between several discourses, those of sociology, of semiology, and of psychoanalysis - but that, by ultimate dissatisfaction with all of them, i was bearing witness to the only sure thing that was in me (however naive it might be) : a desperate resistance to any reductive system

from lucida camera (trans Richard Howard)

philip larkin

as i make a brief foray into day time working i think of larkin and smile. i may just scribble it up on the white board to see what they say


What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007


haven't read any H.D. for a while and as my thoughts are turning to getting away again here's this

Wash of a cold river

Wash of cold river
in a glacial land,
Ionian water,
chill, snow-ribbed sand,
drift of rare flowers,
clear, with delicate shell-
like leaf enclosing
frozen lily-leaf,
camellia texture,
older than a rose;

that keeps the breath
of the north-wind
these and none other;

intimate thoughts and kind
reach out to share
the treasure of my mind,
intimate hands and dear
drawn garden-ward and sea-ward
all the sheer rapture
that I would take
to mould a clear
and frigid statue;

rare, of pure texture,
beautiful space and line,
marble to grace
your inaccessible shrine.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Andrew Marvell

and for instant comparison here's the original

To His Coy Mistress

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love's day;
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood;
And you should, if you please,
refuseTill the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv'd virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am'rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapp'd power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

A. D. Hope

andrew marvell's to his coy mistress has been a bit of a favourite for some time but as with many of his compatriots you're always left with the voiceless of those to whom these type of poems are addressed. hope provides an answer

His Coy Mistress to Mr Marvell

Since you have world enough and time
Sir, to admonish me in rhyme,
Pray Mr Marvell, can it be
You think to have persuaded me?
Then let me say: you want the art
To woo, much less to win my heart.
The verse was splendid, all admit,
And, sir, you have a pretty wit.
All that indeed your poem lacked
Was logic, modesty, and tact,
Slight faults and ones to which I own,
Your sex is generally prone;
But though you lose your labour, I
Shall not refuse you a reply:

First, for the language you employ:
A term I deprecate is "coy";
The ill-bred miss, the bird-brained Jill,
May simper and be coy at will;
A lady, sir, as you will find,
Keeps counsel, or she speaks her mind,
Means what she says and scorns to fence
And palter with feigned innocence.

The ambiguous "mistress" next you set
Beside this graceless epithet.
"Coy mistress", sir? Who gave you leave
To wear my heart upon your sleeve?
Or to imply, as sure you do,
I had no other choice than you
And must remain upon the shelf
Unless I should bestir myself?
Shall I be moved to love you, pray,
By hints that I must soon decay?
No woman's won by being told
How quickly she is growing old;
Nor will such ploys, when all is said,
Serve to stampede us into bed.

When from pure blackmail, next you move
To bribe or lure me into love,
No less inept, my rhyming friend,
Snared by the means, you miss your end.
"Times winged chariot", and the rest
As poetry may pass the test;
Readers will quote those lines, I trust,
Till you and I and they are dust;
But I, your destined prey, must look
Less at the bait than at the hook,
Nor, when I do, can fail to see
Just what it is you offer me:
Love on the run, a rough embrace
Snatched in the fury of the chase,
The grave before us and the wheels
Of Time's grim chariot at our heels,
While we, like "am'rous birds of prey",
Tear at each other by the way.

To say the least, the scene you paint
Is, what you call my honour, quaint!
And on this point what prompted you
So crudely, and in public too,
To canvass and , indeed, make free
With my entire anatomy?
Poets have licence, I confess,
To speak of ladies in undress;
Thighs, hearts, brows, breasts are well enough,
In verses this is common stuff;
But - well I ask: to draw attention
To worms in - what I blush to mention,
And prate of dust upon it too!
Sir, was this any way to woo?

Now therefore, while male self-regard
Sits on your cheek, my hopeful bard,
May I suggest, before we part,
The best way to a woman's heart
Is to be modest, candid, true;
Tell her you love and show you do;
Neither cajole nor condescend
And base the lover on the friend;
Don't bustle her or fuss or snatch:
A suitor looking at his watch
Is not a posture that persuades
Willing, much less reluctant maids.

Remember that she will be stirred
More by the spirit than the word;
For truth and tenderness do more
Than coruscating metaphor.
Had you addressed me in such terms
And prattled less of graves and worms,
I might, who knows, have warmed to you;
But, as things stand, must bid adieu
(Though I am grateful for the rhyme)
And wish you better luck next time.

the calgarian rhinemaiden

so at last the long week of work drew to a close. burberry finished her three weeks work in a week and slumped off exhausted leaving me with an enervated 3jays for the last night. it may have been that the dark magic of the swiss/burberry pairing was finished or it could've been the lucky legware of dr socks but whatever the last night was mercifully quiet. i would've liked to have create more audit material but my brain was cheese and i was left to ponder quite what we're going to do in winter seeing as the hospital is full now at our traditionally quiet time. also quite what the defense of the consultant who was 'looking after' our last successful resuscitation guy would have, given that he'd never seen the patient. one presumes there'll be an investigation but, as is usual with such things, he's too high up the nhs food chain for anything to happen. with surgeons it was ever thus.

anyhow the only answer, given work going on in the house, was heavy drinking. in my defense it wasn't just heavy drinking. there was reading, some harmonica practise, some guitar and even painting, yes painting, with rather lovely results. afterwards tho, with the arrival of geo, we committed to our intent of a long night of only drinking white russians.we start slowly but work our way into it, party time is happening across the street so we're unconcerned about the noise. The normally clean living T eschews the slow start and accelerates past us before startling geo with a declaration of 'i want all the drugs', explaining that drugs really are for old people and that she's just preparing herself. or somesuch. before she slides gracefully into unconsciousness. i suspect the morning will be messy for her. and it is.

me and geo stay up. for once we avoid any philosophical discussion and surprise, surprise there's no discord. we discover in the morning we've been watching coffee and cigarettes on youtube and i've told mmoneypenny, while describing her as a calgarian rhinemaiden. no memory of this survives. we finish the weekend with perfect sunday fodder - groundhog day - the irony of which doesn't escape us. i don't paint, or write, or even read that much, such is the hangover, but unlike T, i do get out of bed

but the painting, from which i'm having a brief pause, it's so lovely to get back to the painting. i'm trying out my new easel for the first time and finding it really quite comfy, as well as a nice change from working on the floor

Friday, 3 August 2007

don marquis

i've only got acquainted with archy and mehitabel, the poetry writing cockroach and the cat who believes she's a reincarnation of cleopatra, very recently. and i'm glad to have done so. in some ways like listening to an old record but in others nothing really seems to have changed at all. and archy a roach after my own heart, uses no capitals, unlike me he has to use his head to push the keys of his typewriter (so no apostrophes either). anyway here he is on the disappointments of some guy called shakespeare

pete the parrot and shakespeare

i got acquainted with
a parrot named pete
recently who is an interesting bird
pete says he used
to belong to the fellow
that ran the mermaid tavern
in london then i said
you must have known
shakespeare know him said pete
poor mutt i knew him well
he called me pete and i called him
bill but why do you say poor mutt
well said pete bill was a
disappointed man and was always
boring his friends about
what he might have been and
done if he only had a fair
break two or three pints of
sack and sherris and the tears
would trickle down into his
beard and his beard would get
soppy and wilt his collar
i remember one night
when bill and ben johnson and
frankie beaumont
were sopping it up

here i am ben says bill
nothing but a lousy playwright
and with anything like luck
in the breaks i might have been
a fairly decent sonnet writer
i might have been a poet
if i had kept away from the theatre
yes says ben i ve often
thought of that bill
but one consolation is
you are making pretty good money
out of the theatre

money money says bill
what the hell
is money what i want is to be
a poet not a business man
these damned cheap shows
i turn out to keep the
theatre running break my heart
slap stick comedies and
blood and thunder tragedies
and melodramas say i wonder
if that boy heard you order
another bottle frankie
the only compensation is that i get
a chance now and then
to stick in a little poetry
when nobody is looking
but hells bells that isn t
what i want to do
i want to write sonnets and
songs and spenserian stanzas
and i might have done it too
if i hadn t got
into this frightful show game
business business business
grind grind grind
what a life for a man
that might have been a poet

well says frankie beaumont
why don t you cut it bill
i can t says bill
i need the money i ve got
a family to support down in
the country well says frankie
anyhow you write pretty good
plays bill any mutt can write
plays for this london public
says bill if he puts enough
murder in them what they want
is kings talking like kings
never had sense enough to talk
and stabbings and stranglings
and fat men making love
and clown basting each
other with clubs and cheap puns
and off color allusions to all
the smut of the day oh i know
what the low brows want
and i give it to them

well says ben johnson
don t blubber into the drink
brace up like a man
and quit the rotten business
i can t i can t says bill
i ve been at it too long i ve got to
the place now where i can t
write anything else
but this cheap stuff
i m ashamed to look an honest
young sonneteer in the face
i live a hell of a life i do
the manager hands me some mouldy old
manuscript and says
bill here s a plot for you
this is the third of the month
by the tenth i want a good
script out this that we
can start rehearsals on
not too big a cast
and not too much of your
damned poetry either
you know your old
familiar line of hokum
they eat up that falstaff stuff
of yours ring him in again
and give them a good ghost
or two and remember we gotta
have something dick burbage can get
his teeth into and be sure
and stick in a speech
somewhere the queen will take
for a personal compliment and if
you get in a line or two somewhere
about the honest english yeoman
it s always good stuff
and it s a pretty good stunt
bill to have the heavy villain
a moor or a dago or a jew
or something like that and say
i want another
comic welshman in this
but i don t need to tell
you bill you know this game
just some of your ordinary
hokum and maybe you could
kill a little kid or two a prince
or something they like
a little pathos along with
the dirt now you better see burbage
tonight and see what he wants
in that part oh says bill
to think i am
debasing my talents with junk
like that oh god what i wanted
was to be a poet
and write sonnet serials
like a gentleman should

well says i pete
bill s plays are highly
esteemed to this day
is that so says pete
poor mutt little he would
care what poor bill wanted
was to be a poet



off the back of the lao tzu post and continuing my slow paced wandering through gaston bachelard...
is the need for isolation a genuine withdrawal or just a chance to recharge the batteries? bachelard views the house as a retreat, a redoubt, a repository for the daydream, the reverie but finds contrast with rilke, whose view in letters to a musician i am more in accord..

do you know when i am in a city i am frightened by hurricanes at night. it is as though, in their elemental pride, they did not see us. but they do see a lonely house in the country, they take it in their powerful arms and, in that way, they inure it, and when you are there, you would like to be out of doors, in the roaring garden, or at least, stand at the window and applaud the infuriated old trees that twist and turn as though possessed by the spirits of the prophets

Thursday, 2 August 2007

kenneth white

some more kenneth white...
reading white in english, especially the poems about scotland, i hear a much more genuine voice. maybe it's in the names - all those hard g's and ch's - that somehow give it more of a sense of place. but i think there's more than that. in english, just occasionally, scots words, scots formations, creep in and there's a certain scottishness that's never left him. white himself talks about stravaiging, a great scots word that encompasses strolling, a bit of swagger, wandering bit also the notion of seeking. i owe the concept of the waybook to white because of this.
reading scotia deserta though i recalled the opening of muriel spark's classic jean brodie -

The boys, as they talked to the girls from Marcia Blaine School, stood on he far side of their bicycles holding the handlebars, which established a protective fence of bicycle between the sexes, and the impression that at any moment the boys were likely to be away

white, i think, would recognise those boys wanting to be away.

Scotia Deserta

All those kyles, lochs and sounds...


And the gulls at Largs pier:
sitting in that cafe
at the big window full of wind and light
reading and watching

Thinking back to the ice
watching it move
from the high middle spine
out into the Atlantic

feeling it gouge out lochs
and sculpt craggy pinnacles
and smoothe long beaches

the land emerges
bruised and dazed
in the arctic light

gannets gather on the islands
eagles on the piney hills
cotton grass tosses in the wind

men come
gazing around them
what name shall be given to it?


White beach meditations
mountain contemplations
inprinted on the mind


One left traces of his presence
out there in Bute and the Garvellach Isles
and in Kilbrannan Sound -
the holy voyager, Brandan

Brandan was maybe a believer
but that's neither here nor there
first and foremost
he was a navigator
a figure moving mile by mile
along the headlands
among the islands
tracing a way
between foam and cloud
with an eye to outlines:

Sound of Islay
the Firth of Lorn
Tiree passage
Skerryvore and Barra Head
Loch Alsh, Kyle Rhea
Sound of Raasay

Ah, the clear-sounding words
and a world
opening, opening!


Other figures cross the scene
like this one:
Kentigern they cried him

in he church i attended
around the age of nine
was that stained glass window
showing a man
with a boook in his hand
staniding on a seashore
preaching to the gulls

I'd be gazing at the window
and forgetting the sermon
(all about good and evil
with a lot of mangled metaphor
and heavy comparison)
eager to get back out
on to the naked shore
there to walk for hours on end
with a book someimes in my hand
but never a thought of preaching in my mind

trying to grasp at something
that wanted no godly name
something that took the form
of blue waves and grey rock
and that tasted of salt


A rocky walk
and the smell of kelp
Between Faielie and Largs

Drifting smoke
the glint of autumn leaves
on Loch Lomondside

Ghostly gulls in the greyness
keeya, keeya, keeya, keeya
september at Applecross

on a march morning
the kingdom of the wind

Seven islands
in the august light
Islay, Jura, Scarba, Lunga, Luing, Shuna, Seil


Walking the coast
all those kyles, lochs and sounds

sensing the openness
feelin out the lines

order and anarchy
chaos and cosmology

a mental geography


Have you heard Corrievreckan
at Spring flood
and a westerly blowing?

the roaring's so great
you can hear it twenty miles
along the mainland coats

admiralty charts
show a 9-knot race

to the senses
that do no calculations
but take it all in
it's a rushing white fury

of a wave-and-windphilosophy


Let the images
go bright and fast

and the concepts be extravagant
(wild host to erratic guest)

that's the only way
to say the coast

all the irregular reality
of the rocky sea-washed West


Pelagian discourse
atlantic poetics

from first to last

lao tzu

the scouser king puts it best when he says: you know, really, i just don't like people. and we agree that it's true, that sometimes we talk so much that we come to hate the sound of our own voices even after we've returned home, sit in quiet rooms doing whatever it is we do, TV or radio kept off, not going out, just to stay away from the press of humanity. but not not for long, just a break, a hiatus, a lacuna, breathing space

verse 57

If you want to be a great leader,
you must learn to follow the Tao.
Stop trying to control.
Let go of fixed plans and concepts,
and the world will govern itself.

The more prohibitions you have,
the less virtuous people will be.
The more weapons you have,
the less secure people will be.
The more subsidies you have,
the less self-reliant people will be.

Therefore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
and people become honest.
I let go of economics,
and people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
and people become serene.
I let go of all desire for the common good,
and the good becomes common as grass.

ronald koertge

if i ever get an actual day off ever again i feel the need to write a longer post about some of the disillusionment that seems to be plaguing me these days. in the meantime here's a monkey poem which more or less does the trick

an infinite number of monkeys

After all the Shakespeare, the book
of poems they type is the saddest
in history.

But before they can finish it,
they have to wait for that Someone
who is always

looking to look away. Only then
can they strike the million
keys that spell

humiliation and grief, which are
the great subjects of Monkey

and not, as some people still
believe, the banana
and the tire.

mrs reynold's cat

me and burberry resuscitate a man who's really too old to be resuscitated but has been so active prior to his current admission it'd have been unethical not to. born before the first world war and old enough to remember it as he lies in his bed, being kept comfortable now, i wonder at the century he's seen.

I've been thinking about keats lately, beauty, truth and all that but for the above fellow i think mrs reynold's cat is far more appropriate

To Mrs Reynold's Cat

Cat! who hast pass'd thy grand climacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy'd? -- How many tit bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick
Those velvet ears -- but pr'ythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me -- and upraise
Thy gentle mew -- and tell me all thy frays
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.

Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists --
For all the wheezy asthma, -- and for all
Thy tail's tip is nick'd off -- and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a maul,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enter'dst on glass-bottled wall.