Thursday, April 5, 2012

The More Things Change...

As is my custom, I'm off the grid 'till next Monday out of respect for the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I'll have posts, but they are short, each commemorating an even of Jesus Christ's passion, and after this one the comments will be turned off.

Meanwhile, here's something to think about.  Pop it out to full screen for maximum effect...


Anonymous said...


by Amy Lowell (1874-1925)

I walk down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden paths.
My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whalebone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime-tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the plashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden-paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles
on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover,
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon --
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
"Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday se'nnight."
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
"Any answer, Madam," said my footman.
"No," I told him.
"See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer."
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, "It shall be as you have said."
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down,
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

Submitted by FreeThinke

Always On Watch said...

Such a sad poem.

War is THE pattern of humanity.

And before humanity, war was a pattern in heaven as well: the rebellion of Lucifer.

Anonymous said...

Yes, AOW, Infinitely sad -- and a timeless indictment of war from a distinctly feminine point of view. The poignant emotions -- heartbreak, thwarted passion -- are framed in the elegant period trappings that make the horror and futility of war seem all the more apparent.

The following –– by Wilfred Owen, who experienced trench warfare firsthand in Word War One –– is even sadder -- like the video offered today by SilverFiddle.

~ FT

Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!--An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

~ Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

Submitted by FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Lanarkshire Mill Pond - December 1913

Heavy bundled sweaters dwarf the child within,
Jaunty caps obscure each face save giant grins,
Two cousins balance on their skates,
Link mittened hands and pose
Mid glide in the cold Scottish winds.

A brilliant radiant Edwardian December,
Proud grandfather skating backwards
Points his new Christmas camera
To catch young lads and carefree smiles
Skating in the brisk Lanarkshire air.

Six months to the day, a vast continent away:
Mistaken chauffeur driving backwards,
Gavrilo Princip points a borrowed pistol
To catch minor royalty and feint-grins
Waving in the sultry Sarajevo air.

Heavy brutal bombardments decimate battalions,
Once-jaunty teenagers from mill towns and crofts
Huddle in torrid Turkish trenches, link quivering hands,
Recall when younger joyful hands had gathered purple heather,
“Queen daisies growing in the tall red grass…
And bluebells tossing in transparent fields.”

Before going over the top. Up, up
An exposed rocky cliff in remote Gallipoli.

~ Kathy Sanderson Zwick (born 1941)

“I came back with an idée fixe – never again should men be made to suffer as in these years of war.”

(Annals, 89) Hugh MacDiarmid - 1918

Submitted by FreeThinke

Anonymous said...


I am singing to you
Soft as a man with a dead child speaks;
Hard as a man in handcuffs,
Held where he cannot move:

Under the sun
Are sixteen million men,
Chosen for shining teeth,
Sharp eyes, hard legs,
And a running of young warm blood in their wrists.

And a red juice runs on the green grass;
And a red juice soaks the dark soil.
And the sixteen million are killing. . . and killing
and killing.

I never forget them day or night:
They beat on my head for memory of them;
They pound on my heart and I cry back to them,
To their homes and women, dreams and games.

I wake in the night and smell the trenches,
And hear the low stir of sleepers in lines
Sixteen million sleepers and pickets in the dark:
Some of them long sleepers for always,

Some of them tumbling to sleep to-morrow for always,
Fixed in the drag of the world's heartbreak,
Eating and drinking, toiling. . . on a long job of killing.
Sixteen million men.

~ Carl Sandburg

Submitted by FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Springtime in the park.
Then, the bullets hit.
A lovely life ––
Wasn't it?

~ Myanmar Shave!

Shaw Kenawe said...

After Our War

by: John Balaban (1943- )

After our war, the dismembered bits
-- all those pierced eyes, ear slivers, jaw splinters,
gouged lips, odd tibias, skin flaps, and toes --
came squinting, wobbling, jabbering back.
The genitals, of course, were the most bizarre,
inching along roads like glowworms and slugs.
The living wanted them back but good as new.
The dead, of course, had no use for them.
And the ghosts, the tens of thousands of abandoned souls
who had appeared like swamp fog in the city streets,
on the evening altars, and on doorsills of cratered homes,
also had no use for the scraps and bits
because, in their opinion, they looked good without them.
Since all things naturally return to their source,
these snags and tatters arrived, with immigrant uncertainty,
in the United States. It was almost home.
So, now, one can sometimes see a friend or a famous man talking
with an extra pair of lips glued and yammering on his cheek,
and this is why handshakes are often unpleasant,
why it is better, sometimes, not to look another in the eye,
why, at your daughter's breast thickens a hard keloidal scar.
After the war, with such Cheshire cats grinning in our trees,
will the ancient tales still tell us new truths?
Will the myriad world surrender new metaphor?
After our war, how will love speak?

Anonymous said...

How does it feel to be cut in half by a sudden burst of machine gun bullets?

What does it feel like at the precise moment when a bullet enters your eye, and smashes your brain?

Can you imagine having your lower jaw smashed by bullets and then see its bloody splintered fragments drop to the ground ?

What is it like to take a direct hit to the skull? Do you know that you are dead?

What sensations must a person feel as his body is being consumed by fire?

What would be the thoughts of someone just thrown to the ground and kicked, whose hands have been tied behind his back, who then gets chained by his heels to the rear end of a vehicle about to drag his still-healthy, still-unbroken young body over stones, gravel, dirt and thorny stubble?

How does it feel to have the flesh ripped off your cheeks? To have all the flesh on your hands torn off exposing bones and tendons? How does it feel to have grit and gravel embed themselves in your eyes? How does it feel to be torn limb from limb by a jeering mob.

Exactly how does it feel to have your head stomped to jelly by hobnailed boots? Or your genitalia ripped out by the roots and stuffed into your screaming mouth?

How does it feel to be smart enough to realize you are suffering and dying for the sole purpose of lining the pockets of international bankers, global industrialists and the suppliers of war materiel with gold?

Exactly how would you react to being held down and having your teeth kicked down your throat, your eyes gouged out, your ears and your nose sliced off, or hot rods shoved up your rectum?

How would you feel when you are forced to eat ground glass or drink hydrochloric acid?

How would you feel if you were sodomized by barbarians then buried up to your neck in sand and systematically stoned and kicked to death?

How does it feel to be held down and deliberately blinded by acid?

How does it feel to be maimed by “Friendly Fire?

How does it feel to be flayed alive and then slowly cut to ribands?

How? How? How?

But much more important is




~ FreeThinke

Bunkerville said...

All was said.

Anonymous said...

After being arrested, tried, mocked and Crucified Lord Jesus has just been laid to rest. The Resurrection will not come for three days, and these devoted followers heartbrokenly assume that their Lord is dead.

Willem Mengelberg conducts the Final Chorus of The St. Matthew Passion by J.S. Bach


We sit down in tears
And call to thee in the tomb:
Rest softly, softly rest!
Rest, ye exhausted limbs!
Your grave and tombstone
Shall for the unquiet conscience
Be a comfortable pillow
And the soul’s resting place.
In utmost bliss, dear Lord, rest there thine eyes, and sleep.


Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder
Und rufen dir im Grabe zu:
Ruhe sanfte, sanfte ruh!
Ruht, ihr ausgesognen Glieder!
Euer Grab und Leichenstein
Soll dem ängstlichen Gewissen
Ein bequemes Ruhekissen
Und der Seelen Ruhstatt sein.
Höchst vergnügt schlummern da die Augen ein.

No other music has ever evoked such empathy with the agony that Jesus endured for our sake or expressed any deeper sympathy for the human condition.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

what a juxtaposition.

SF...Happy Easter to you and your family. I'm half way through Jesus of Nazareth now and thank you so much for having suggested it...great way to spend this Holy Week.

Always On Watch said...

My Great Uncle Bill served in the trenches in WW1. He was gassed and otherwise wounded, as well -- and unable ever to work again. Disabled for life -- and screwed out of the pension he should have had because, unable to read or write, he signed away his rights to a wounded veteran's pension!

Nonetheless, I've never known a stauncher patriot and committed Christian than my Uncle Bill. As both of my biological grandfathers died long before I was born, Uncle Bill served as my surrogate grandfather until his untimely death of the wounds he suffered all those years ago in the trenches on the front lines of WW1.

Silverfiddle said...

Z: You're welcome. I love spreading good news when I can. We are about done watching it at our house as well.

Always On Watch said...

A blessed Easter to you.

Jersey McJones said...

Have a happy Easter, Silver!


Anonymous said...


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Truncated by FT)

by Dalton Trumbo

Johnny Got His Gun is an anti-war novel written in 1938 by American novelist and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo[2] and published September 1939 by J. B. Lippincott.[1] It won one of the early National Book Awards: the Most Original Book of 1939.[3]

Joe Bonham, a young soldier serving in World War I, awakens in a hospital bed after being caught in the blast of an exploding artillery shell. He gradually realizes that he has lost his arms, legs, and all of his face (including his eyes, ears, teeth, and tongue), but that his mind functions perfectly, leaving him a prisoner in his own body.

Joe attempts suicide by suffocation, but finds that he had been given a tracheotomy which he can neither remove nor control. At first Joe wishes to die, but later decides that he desires to be placed in a glass box and toured around the country in order to show others the true horrors of war. After he successfully communicates with his doctors by banging his head on his pillow in Morse code, however, he realizes that neither desire will be granted; it is implied that he will live the rest of his natural life in his condition.

As Joe drifts between reality and fantasy, he remembers his old life with his family and girlfriend, and reflects upon the myths and realities of war. He also forms a bond, of sorts, with a young nurse who senses his plight.

Though the novel was a pacifist piece published in wartime, it was well reviewed and won an American Booksellers Award in 1940."(It was published two days after the declaration of war in Europe, more than two years before the United States joined World War II.)


Serialized in the DAILY WORKER in March 1940, the book became "a rally point for the political left" which had opposed involvement in World War II during the period of the Hitler-Stalin pact.

Shortly after the 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union, Trumbo and his publishers decided to suspend reprinting the book until the end of the war.

After receiving letters from right-wing isolationists requesting copies of the book, Trumbo contacted the FBI and turned these letters over to them. Trumbo regretted this decision, which he later called "foolish", after two FBI agents showed up at his home and it became clear that "their interest lay not in the letters but in me."

Submitted by FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Dalton Trumbo’s Involvement with Communism:

Trumbo aligned himself with the Communist Party USA before the 1940s, although he did not join the party until 1943.

After the outbreak of World War II in 1939, American communists argued that the United States should not get involved in the war on the side of the United Kingdom, since the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of nonaggression meant that the Soviet Union was at peace with Germany.

In 1941, Trumbo wrote a novel The Remarkable Andrew, in which, in one scene, the ghost of Andrew Jackson appears in order to caution the United States not to get involved in the war.

In a review of the book, Time Magazine wrote, "General Jackson's opinions need surprise no one who has observed George Washington and Abraham Lincoln zealously following the Communist Party Line in recent years."

Trumbo was a member of the Communist Party USA from 1943 until 1948. The scholar Kenneth Billingsley found that Trumbo wrote THE DAILY WORKER about films which he said communist influence in Hollywood had prevented from being made: among them were proposed adaptations of Arthur Koestler's anti-totalitarian works Darkness at Noon and The Yogi and the Commissar, which described the rise of communism in Russia.

~ Edited, Truncated and Submitted by FreeThink

Ducky's here said...

Children of Our Era
by Wislawa Szymborska
translated by Joanna Trzeciak

We are children of our era;
our era is political.

All affairs, day and night,
yours, ours, theirs,
are political affairs.

Like it or not,
your genes have a political past,
your skin a political cast,
your eyes a political aspect.

What you say has a resonance;
what you are silent about is telling.
Either way, it's political.

Even when you head for the hills
you're taking political steps
on political ground.

Even apolitical poems are political,
and above us shines the moon,
by now no longer lunar.
To be or not to be, that is the question.
Question? What question? Dear, here's a suggestion:
a political question.

You don't even have to be a human being
to gain political significance.
Crude oil will do,
or concentrated feed, or any raw material.

Or even a conference table whose shape
was disputed for months:
should we negotiate life and death
at a round table or a square one?

Meanwhile people were dying,
animals perishing,
houses burning,
and fields growing wild,
just as in times most remote
and less political.

Anonymous said...

While contemplating Easter this Passion Week, please remember that no Resurrection –– and no "Easter Joy" –– would have been possible without the treachery of the Scribes and Pharisees, the betrayal of Judas Iscariot, the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and the horror of Golgotha.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Like it or not Szymborska's poem is more polemical than political -- more agenda-driven than universal -- more accusatory than compassionate -- more of an invitation to share despair than a vehicle to inspire hope and build confidence.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Tenebrae factae sunt (Darkness fell upon the earth when He was crucified)

A cappella motet by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

Historic Latin Test

Tenebrae factae sunt, dum crucifixissent Jesum Judaei:
et circa horam nonam exclamavit Jesus voce magna:
Deus meus, ut quid me dereliquisti
Et inclinato capite, emisit spiritum.
Exclamans Jesus voce magna ait:
Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum.
Et inclinato capite, emisit spiritum.

English Translation

There was darkness over the earth when the Jews crucified Jesus:
and about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice:
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
And he bowed his head and gave up the ghost.
Jesus cried with a loud voice and said,
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.
And he bowed his head and gave up the ghost.

Appropriately somber Good Friday composition. Complex chromatic harmonies in Poulenc's unique, twentieth-century style evoke the pain and sorrow while lifting our thoughts to a high plane glorifying Christ Jesus and His great Sacrifice.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

If you want to read a [lengthy] paean of hate against our country that masquerades as an “anti-war” poem, try the following:

It received a lot of attention in its day, and was even considered praiseworthy by the leftists who have always been determined to discredit, deracinate and destroy Western Christian Civilization.

Like most things from sources of this ilk it lacks nobility, dignity, compassion, and the faintest hint of constructive, conciliatory, healing sentiment.

Instead it acts like the very bomb it pretends to despise in its disquieting, infuriating, despicable desire to insult, upbraid and wound.

One may be anti-war, and still be Patriotic, Conservative and Christian, but one cannot harbor and spew treasonous hatred designed to undermine confidence in one’s own native land and not deserve to lose the respect of all decent people.

This man -- like so many of his eternally abrasive, alienated, disaffected ilk -- has earned and richly deserves our loathing and contempt.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

A Song On the End of the World
by Czeslaw Milosz
translated by Anthony Milosz

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels' trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he's much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
No other end of the world will there be,
No other end of the world will there be.

Ducky's here said...

A Discourse on war and empire

America’s wars are very expensive. Bush and Obama have doubled the national debt, and the American people have no benefits from it. No riches, no bread and circuses flow to Americans from Washington’s wars. So what is it all about?

The answer is that Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America. The military-security complex, Wall Street, agri-business and the Israel Lobby use the government to extract resources from Americans to serve their profits and power. The US Constitution has been extracted in the interests of the Security State, and Americans’ incomes have been redirected to the pockets of the 1 percent. That is how the American Empire functions.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the Czeslaw Milosz -- very lovely -- a welcome ray of sunshine and affability suggesting that while life may end for us as mortal individuals, the world, itself, will doubtless go for countless aeons more -- if not for Eternity.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...


If you have read the countless references I and others have to "The Oligarchs" -- for want of a better term, we must call them something, –– you would realize that my views -- and those of SilverFiddle, unless I very much misunderstand him -- are remarkably similar to those you just set down.

One would have to be hopelessly naive -- not to say "dense" -- not to realize that something illegitimate, under-handed, lethally ambitious, self-serving, shadowy and sinister is "pulling strings" behind the scenes making things develop in ways that no ordinary citizen who thinks at all wants to see happen.

I get tired of being told to put on my tin foil hat, and shut up about it.

It just stands to reason that those who happen to own and control the supply of natural resources, the means of production and the means to finance commerce on a global scale are going to wind up controlling the rest of us -- almost by default.


Anonymous said...


I have no idea what could be done to stop the evil. The world's population has grown so large, and our dependence on mass production and "modern conveniences" so acute a return to a simpler, less interdependent, more localized, agrarian lifestyle is a physical impossibility -- UNLESS -- tensions rise so high that worldwide Nuclear Holocaust becomes inevitable, God forbid.

That would, you must admit, give the few survivors a chance to start all over again.

Given the human propensity for forgetting -- or blithely ignoring -- the lessons of history, however, chances are that in several millennia we would wind up just where we are now all over again.


Anonymous said...


One can't help but wonder how many times this mega-cycle has already repeated itself?





Maybe all of human history really has been just one gigantic, unending vicious cycle?

So Life is a Ferris Wheel!

Might as well sit back, admire the view and enjoy the ride, because you and I –– and all the rest of us -- ain't goin' nowhere.

Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me.
The carriage held but just ourselves ––
And Immortality.

We slowly drove ––
He knew no haste,
But I had put away
My labor and my leisure too
For His civility

We passed the school
Where children played ––
Their lessons scarcely done --
We passed the fields of gazing grain ––
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house
Which seemed a swelling
Of the ground ––
The roof was scarcely visible ––
The cornice but a mound.

'Tis centuries since then,
But each feels shorter
Than the day
I first surmised
The horses' heads
Were towards –– Eternity!

~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

I committed that to memory long ago, though I cannot vouch for accuracy of the punctuation. I've repeated it and shared hundreds of times, and every time I think of it I never fail to get goosebumps.

May Easter, when it arrives on Sunday, put us all in closer touch with the Holy Spirit, who lives in all of us -- ignore Him though we try.

His kingdom is not of this world. The thought does much to remove any morbid fear of death.

~ FreeThinke

viburnum said...

SF: Happy Easter to you and yours.

MathewK said...

Enjoy the break Silver, it is a time to reflect.

KP said...

Peace. I don't remember if I heard the Turtles or McGuire do that song first, but it was McGuire's version that made me understand that gravity of the situation circa 1965. I was only ten. I don't imagine it has gotten much easier for today's ten year olds to understand. Let alone us adults. Crap. It saddens me.

Happy Easter, SF.

Anonymous said...

O, Sacred Head Now Wounded

Kings College Chapel Choir, Cambridge, directed by Sir David Willcocks

O sacred Head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, thine only crown:
how pale thou art with anguish,
with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish
which once was bright as morn!

What thou, my Lord, has suffered
was all for sinners' gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
'Tis I deserve thy place;
look on me with thy favor,
vouchsafe to me thy grace.

What language shall I borrow
to thank thee, dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end?
O make me thine forever;
and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
outlive my love for thee.

Submitted by FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer's art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam's curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.

The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good

~ T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets (East Coker)

Submitted by FreeThinke

Anonymous said...


1. Could one actually be a Christian without identifying himself as such?

2. Could one in truth not be a Christian, despite regular church attendance, extensive knowledge of the Scriptures, overt profession of faith, daily prayer, frequent at Bible Study Groups, and the performance of a lot of "good works" in service to the community?

~ FreeThinke

Trekkie4Ever said...

God bless you, Silver.

Anonymous said...

May God bless you, Leticia, –– and every single one of us, His children, –– especially those who do not know or cannot believe in the one true God whose infinite Love, eternal Truth and limitless Creativity are synonymous with Life, itself.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Maybe this thread was supposed to be about the horror and futility of war, but it soon -- appropriately enough, I think -- turned its attention to the Passion of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Here is yet-another way of expressing the sadness that comes with grief and loss associated with sacrifice for the sake of others.

It is performed by a high school choir the likes of which I thought had ceased to exist. This recording, which in my professional opinion is extraordinarily fine music-making by even the highest standards in the profession, was made in 1971. At my high school our choir performed this same piece at our annual Spring concert in 1957.

I've never forgotten it, and was pleased to see several version appear on YouTube. This one was far and away the best.

Madame Jeanette by Alan Murray

Calhoun High School Choir (1971)
Merrick, Long Island, New York

Directed by S. Talbot Thayer

Madame Jeanette, when the sun goes down
Sits at her door in the rush of the town
Waiting for someone each close of the day ––
Someone who fell at St. Pierre, they say.

Madame Jeanette, when the sun shines bright
Sits at her window and looks through the night
Listening for someone to pass down the way
For someone who sleeps at St. Pierre, they say.

Madame Jeanette, she will wait there, I know
Till her eyes have grown dim,
And her hair white as snow ––
Wait there, and watch there, till one of these days,
They take her to slumber in Pere la chaise ––
In Pere la chaise.

In case no one knows -- or has forgotten -- Pere la chaise is famous cemetery in France.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

And I didn't spell it right. It's Pere Lachaise -- all one word. Beautiful place! One of the most "visited" cemeteries in the world.

~ FT

tha malcontent said...

I just wanted to wish you and your readers
a very Happy Holiday, may it be Easter or Passover, all my best to you all.
And please continue to Keep up the fight.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, and HAPPY EASTER! to all, whether you believe in the miracle of our Lord's Resurrection or not.

Johann Sebastian Bach understood the significance of Jesus Christ very probably better than anyone else who has ever lived. What The St. Matthew Passion brought to the expression of guilt, empathy, compassion and deepest grief, the Mass in B-Minor brings to the resurgence of joy and energy filled with a quivering eagerness to embrace Life wholeheartedly with boundless optimism. LISTEN!

J.S. BACH: Mass in B-Minor - ET RESURREXIT

"...And He rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures;
And He ascended into heaven where He sits at the Father's right hand.
And He will one day return in glory to judge the living and the dead.
And His kingdom will have no end."

1. Helmuth Rillng conducting Gaechinger Kantorei and Bach Collegium of Stuttgart:

2. Philippe Herreweghe; Collegium Vocale Gent, University of Ghent, Belgium

3. A stately interpretation by Otto Klemperer conductung the BBC Chorus and the New Philharmonia:

4. Indiana University Pro Arte Ensemble:

5. A Whimsical, Charming, Light-Hearted Twist on the Original by the Swingle Singers


~ FreeThinke

Teresa said...

Loved the video! God Bless our troops.

Silverfiddle, wishing you and yours a Blessed and Happy Easter.

Anonymous said...


____________ Crucifixion _________
He was a man who came to show the way.
It never was for him an easy task.
Sadly, politicians of His day
Cruelly sought His death. They’d never ask
Revealing questions in pursuit of Truth.
Undermining good they sought to hold
Crookedly to Power. Their uncouth
Initiatives to godliness were cold.
Freedom from corruption causes fear
In those who by coercion seek to rule.
Xiphoid, ego kills what should endear,
Instead of letting Self die to renewal.
On tiptoe oft we creep and hold our breath,
Not challenging the ones who cause His death.

____________ Resurrection ____________

Cold He lay behind the heavy stone,
Hidden there with broken hands and feet.
Ruthless powers crushed His flesh and bone.
It looked to be the ultimate defeat.
Sadly, in the dawn Saint Mary’s three
Trudged toward the tomb wherein He lay.
Instead of death, an angel helped them see,
Startled, that the stone was rolled away!
A risen Jesus stood! He still drew breath!
Radiance around Him warmed the air.
In banks of lilies sweet we now see death
Stripped of terror. Life, eternal, fair,
Enjoins us all to claim His victory.
Naught could stop us save our vanity.

~ FreeThinke, The Sandpiper - Spring 1996