• Archives

  • Topics

  • Meta

  • Escort Duty

  • Via Serica

    Via Serica
  • Tales of the Minivandians

    Tales of the Minivandians
  • Join the NRA

    Join the NRA!

A Year of Poetry – Day 184

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.

— Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay

A Year of Poetry – Day 183

“Oh, look at that great ugly spider!” said Ann;
And screaming, she brush’d it away with her fan;
“‘Tis a frightful black creature as ever can be,
I wish that it would not come crawling on me. ”

“Indeed,” said her mother, “I’ll venture to say,
The poor thing will try to keep out of your way;
For after the fright, and the fall, and the pain,
It has much more occasion than you to complain.

“But why should you dread the poor insect, my dear?
If it hurt you, there’d be some excuse for your fear;
But its little black legs, as it hurried away,
Did but tickle your arm, as they went, I dare say.

“For them to fear us we must grant to be just,
Who in less than a moment can tread them to dust;
But certainly we have no cause for alarm;
For, were they to try, they could do us no harm.

“Now look! it has got to its home; do you see
What a delicate web it has spun in the tree?
Why here, my dear Ann, is a lesson for you:
Come learn from this spider what patience can do!

“And when at your business you’re tempted to play,
Recollect what you see in this insect to-day,
Or else, to your shame, it may seem to be true,
That a poor little spider is wiser than you. ”

— Jane Taylor, The Spider

A Year of Poetry – Day 182

What counsel has the hooded moon
Put in thy heart, my shyly sweet,
Of Love in ancient plenilune,
Glory and stars beneath his feet — –
A sage that is but kith and kin
With the comedian Capuchin?

Believe me rather that am wise
In disregard of the divine,
A glory kindles in those eyes
Trembles to starlight. Mine, O Mine!
No more be tears in moon or mist
For thee, sweet sentimentalist.

— James Joyce, What Counsel Has The Hooded Moon

A Year of Poetry – Day 181

O happier half of days decreed to me,
My early years, so soon you passed away:
Few were the flowers that blossomed on that tree,
And they, scarce budded, fell into decay.
Few were the rays of hope that I could see,
And storms would often rage in wild array;
Still, for my youth, dark though thy dawn may be,
My heart will ever cry, God be with thee!

Too soon the fruits of knowledge did I eat!
Where dripped their poison, faded all delight:
I saw how honesty and truth could meet
Among the human kind with scorn and spite.
I sought true love – an empty dream and fleet,
Which disappeared as dawn broke into light!
And wisdom, justice and the learned mind
Were dowerless maids – no suitors could they find.

I saw how those who are not loved by fate
Their ship in vain against the wind may steer;
The one who is not born to high estate
Shall see no Fortune at his cradle appear;
I saw how fame is purchased at the rate
Of current cash – no price too high, too dear;
I saw in glory’s and in honour’s seat
All that beguiles men’s minds with lies, deceit.

These sights and others uglier by far
Burned in my heart till cruelly it bled;
Yet thoughts like these the joys of youth will bar
And quickly drive them out of heart and head;
Fair cloud-born castles glimmer from afar,
Green lawns arise where desert places spread,
Hope kindles many a wanton, beckoning light,
To lure the young and tempt them in the night.

They know not of the sudden storm that blows,
Dispelling phantom shapes that cannot last,
And all too soon forget misfortune’s woes,
Forget the wounds once they are healed and past –
Until the changing years show how life flows
Into a vessel that is leaking fast.
Still, O my youth, dark though thy dawn may be,
My heart will ever cry, God be with thee!

— France Preseren, A Farewell to my Youth


Here are a few things that folks seem to have had hit them unawares in the past few weeks:

  • A serial felanderer and tabloid baiter, who has never seemed to have much use for other humans except as tools, is caught on tape describing how he believes his wealth and status protect him from repercussions when he sexually harasses, and possibly assaults, members of the fairer sex.
    • I’ve got news for you, sparky – Donald Trump is now, and has been, a waste of good amino acids for my entire life.  It will tell you something that, in the unlikely event that my family were ever to meet him, I would make absolutely certain that he was never in the presence of my wife and daughter without my presence, preferably armed.
  • A woman who has made a lifetime career out of skating right at the ragged edge of legality, and when she slips over the edge, adroitly outliving investigations into her behavior, has built an organization that acts in a similar manner.
    • Have you not been paying attention for the past 25 years? Bill and Hillary Clinton have spent decades learning how to do whatever they want and not get thrown into jail for it.  Nobody should be shocked to learn that Mrs. Clinton was the brains of the operation, complete with monocle and white cat.
  • A political candidate that dipped himself in luminescent paint and started doing the chicken dance on the 50 meter berm during this night live fire exercise of a political campaign, is shocked to learn that the media is biased against him.
    • No kidding.  The media, the vast majority of whom publicly support Democratic candidates and causes, has been against just about anyone with an (R) after their name since about 1973, at least.  Just because they fell over each other trying to be the first in line to kiss his ring during the primary, Trump is either stupid or naive if he’s surprised they’re running truthful stories which are burying him a couple weeks prior to the general election.
  • Hillary Clinton is for abortion!  Oh my stars and garters!
    • Seriously, have you been under a rock for the past few decades or something?  I’ve never heard or seen anything that doesn’t persuade me from believing that Mrs. Clinton resents not having the power to terminate her daughter’s life TODAY, much less when she was still in the womb.  Say it with me now:  99.999% of all elected officials who have a (D) after their name are pro-choice, to some degree or another.  How the Catholic Church can get away with supporting them is what people should be pondering.
  • Donald Trump wrote off a huge business loss and didn’t pay taxes for years!  He’s a freeloader and a tax cheat.
    • Donald Trump is a businessman, same as Hillary Clinton.  He’s just in a business where it’s possible to lose almost a billion dollars one year and show a profit the next.  The law says that he can write off that loss, so he did.  The law says you can deduct a whole bunch of stuff, and I’ll bet a lot of the people whinging about this take advantage of most of them.

Look, Donald Trump is a small, conceited, overbearing, conniving, boorish, disrespectful little political and social chameleon who, were it not for his father’s money, would have spent his pathetic, miserable life as either the laziest pimp in Times Square or as the most annoying street performer ever conceived.

Hillary Clinton is a scheming, oily, two-faced, shrewish fishwife who rode her way to the top of the political food chain on the back of her husband, Donald Trump’s brother from another mother.  In a just world, she would have ended up as the madam at a failing brothel located in a trailer park south of Chicago.

The third, fourth, and nth party candidates, with the possible exception of a former CIA dude, can’t seem to figure out how to pour piss out of a boot without the instructions printed on the heel.

If you’re surprised that we’re hosed this year, and for the foreseeable future, you haven’t been paying attention.  The time to wake up was last year, so if you’re just now rubbing the political sleep from your eyes and trying to figure out what in the name of Cthulhu is going on, I’ve got nothing for you.  It’s time for all of us to take a nice bite out of this sandwich, and I’m pretty sure nobody is going to like the filling.

A Year of Poetry – Day 180

HUMANITY, delighting to behold
A fond reflection of her own decay,
Hath painted Winter like a traveller old,
Propped on a staff, and, through the sullen day,
In hooded mantle, limping o’er the plain,
As though his weakness were disturbed by pain:
Or, if a juster fancy should allow
An undisputed symbol of command,
The chosen sceptre is a withered bough,
Infirmly grasped within a palsied hand.
These emblems suit the helpless and forlorn;
But mighty Winter the device shall scorn.

For he it was–dread Winter! who beset,
Flinging round van and rear his ghastly net,
That host, when from the regions of the Pole
They shrunk, insane ambition’s barren goal–
That host, as huge and strong as e’er defied
Their God, and placed their trust in human pride!
As fathers persecute rebellious sons,
He smote the blossoms of their warrior youth;
He called on Frost’s inexorable tooth
Life to consume in Manhood’s firmest hold;
Nor spared the reverend blood that feebly runs;
For why–unless for liberty enrolled
And sacred home–ah! why should hoary Age be bold?

Fleet the Tartar’s reinless steed,
But fleeter far the pinions of the Wind,
Which from Siberian caves the Monarch freed,
And sent him forth, with squadrons of his kind,
And bade the Snow their ample backs bestride,
And to the battle ride.
No pitying voice commands a halt,
No courage can repel the dire assault;
Distracted spiritless, benumbed, and blind,
Whole legions sink–and, in one instant, find
Burial and death: look for them–and descry,
When morn returns, beneath the clear blue sky,
A soundless waste, a trackless vacancy!

— William Wordsworth, The French Army in Russia, 1812-13

A Year of Poetry – Day 179

Set the foot down with distrust upon the crust of the
world—it is thin.
Moles are at work beneath us; they have tunneled the
With separate chambers; which at an appointed knock
Could be as one, could intersect and interlock. We walk
on the skin
Of life. No toil
Of rake or hoe, no lime, no phosphate, no rotation of
crops, no irrigation of the land,
Will coax the limp and flattened grain to stand
On that bad day, or feed to strength the nibbled root’s of
our nation.
Ease has demoralized us, nearly so, we know
Nothing of the rigours of winter: The house has a roof
against—the car a top against—the snow.
All will be well, we say, it is a bit, like the rising of the
For our country to prosper; who can prevail against us?
No one.
The house has a roof; but the boards of its floor are
rotting, and hall upon hall
The moles have built their palace beneath us, we have
not far to fall.

— Edna St. Vincent Millay, Underground System


  • Credit where credit is due.  The folks over at Twitter are making a heroic effort to keep the lights on long enough that Donald Trump can complete his mission to usher in the dark reign of Hillary Clinton.
  • Southern phrase of the day – “Like a scalded squirrel in a mop bucket.”
  • Irish Woman learned this week that a chocolate donut shoved into your mouth by an old friend helps a lot when you are weeping in the checkout at the grocery store.
    • 2016 needs to just end, and soon.
  • The good news is that I figured out why the numbers given to me by one of my applications made no sense to me.
    • The bad news is that the reason the numbers didn’t make sense to me is that I didn’t understand how the application was coming up with them.  Once I touched the monolith, I saw their wisdom.
    • The really bad news is that this means I have to rip out a couple days worth of work and re-do it.
  • Breakfast conversation the other day included the words “Trumpism,” “panspermia,” and “teets on a boar hog.”  Not sure what to make of that.
  • The rough, and I mean rough, draft of the second Minivandians book is complete.
    • Trouble is, it’s long.  As in “How in the name of all that is holy did I get so many words into one document?” long.
    • Even if I take a pruning hook to it, it’s too much.  The solution, of course, is to break it up.
    • I’m going to cut it into three chunks.  Each chunk will contain a novella and a few short stories.
    • I plan to publish the first chunk as an ebook on Amazon in December.  I’m giving it a read through and improvement pass now, and hope to have it out to alpha readers next week.
    • After that, the other two chunks will come out every six to eight weeks, with a final “Holy crap is that thing long!” collection edition in ebook and printed versions in the spring.  By then, I should have a couple new short stories to add to it.
  • Research for the second Via Serica novel continues.  I finally found a source that discusses the necessary time and place for more than a page and a half.

A Year of Poetry – Day 178

Leucon, no one’s allowed to know his fate,
Not you, not me: don’t ask, don’t hunt for answers
In tea leaves or palms. Be patient with whatever comes.
This could be our last winter, it could be many
More, pounding the Tuscan Sea on these rocks:
Do what you must, be wise, cut your vines
And forget about hope. Time goes running, even
As we talk. Take the present, the future’s no one’s affair.
— Horace, Ode I, 11

A Year of Poetry – Day 177

I dug, beneath the cypress shade,
What well might seem an elfin’s grave;
And every pledge in earth I laid,
That erst thy false affection gave.

I pressed them down the sod beneath;
I placed one mossy stone above;
And twined the rose’s fading wreath
Around the sepulchre of love.

Frail as thy love, the flowers were dead,
Ere yet the evening sun was set:
But years shall see the cypress spread,
Immutable as my regret.

— Thomas Love Peacock, I Dug, Beneath The Cypress Shade

%d bloggers like this: