31 May 2011


Another item lifted from a friend's Facebook feed, this time a Scottish friend.  This was apparently on a shop door in Glasgow:

30 May 2011


One of my cousins posted this video on Facebook.  It's from a church in Little Rock, Arkansas -- a church that, I suspect, has a lot of views that I would find repugnant.  However, this video doesn't even mention 'God' or 'Jesus' or anything religious and the message is a good one for anyone.  (The cousin who posted it has roughly the same political & religious views as I, so I was surprised at the end of this to see that it was from a church.  The link he used was from someone else's FB.)

28 May 2011


Gil Scott Heron 1949 - 2011

27 May 2011


From News of the Weird (www.newsoftheweird.com):

The Montana House of Representatives passed a tough drunk-driving bill in March to combat the state's high DUI rate, but it came over the objection of Rep. Alan Hale (and later, Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy). Hale, who owns a bar in Basin, Mont., complained that tough DUI laws "are destroying small businesses" and "destroying a way of life that has been in Montana for years and years." (Until 2005, drinking while driving was common and legal outside of towns as long as the driver wasn't drunk.) Furthermore, Hale said, people need to drive home after they drink. "(T)hey are not going to hitchhike." Sen. Windy Boy said such laws put the legislature on "the path of criminalizing everyone in Montana." [Billings Gazette-AP, 4-1-2011]

24 May 2011


Something from my childhood for your viewing pleasure:

23 May 2011


Esbjörn doing his homework - Carl Larsson

21 May 2011

20 May 2011


Today's offering is a poem from thaumaturge.


The elevator car in the elevator shaft,
Complained of the buzzer, complained of the draught.
It said it felt carsick as it rose and fell,
It said it had a headache from the ringing of the bell

‘There is spring in the air,’ sighed the elevator car.
Said the elevator man, ‘You are well-off where you are.’
The car paid no attention but it frowned an ugly frown
                up       it
          going          should
      started               be
    it                            going
and                                  down.

Down flashed the signal, but up went the car.
The elevator man cried, ‘You are going much too far!’
Said the elevator car,’ I’m doing no such thing
I’m through with buzzers buzzing, I’m looking for the spring!’

Then the elevator man began to shout and call
And all the people came running through the hall.

The elevator man began to call and shout
‘The car won’t stop! Let me out! Let me out!’

On went the car past the penthouse door.
On went the car up one flight more.
On went the elevator till it came to the top.
On went the elevator, and it would not stop!

Right through the roof went the man and the car.
And nobody knows where the two of them are!
(Nobody knows but everyone cares,
Wearily, drearily climbing the stairs!)

Now on a summer evening when you see a shooting star
Fly through the air, perhaps it is – that elevator car!

19 May 2011


Today's contribution is courtesy of PeterJ.

The Man that Waters the Workers’ Beer

Paddy Ryan
I’m the man, the very fat man, that waters the workers’ beer.
Yes, I’m the man, the very fat man, that waters the workers’ beer.
What do I care it makes them ill, or it makes them terribly queer?
I’ve a car, a yacht, and an aeroplane and I water the workers’ beer.
Now when I makes the workers’ beer I puts in strychinine;
Some methylated spirits and a drop of pariffine.
But since a brew so terribly strong might make them terribly queer;
I reaches my hand for the water tap and I waters the workers’ beer!
Now, ladies, fair, beyond compare, and be ye maid or wife.
Oh, sometimes lend a thought for me who leads a wand’ring life.
The water rates are shockingly high, and the ’meth’ is shockingly dear.
And there isn’t the profit there used to be in wat’ring the workers’ beer!

18 May 2011


Today we have a stat-shot from the Onion:

17 May 2011


Aurora Borealis over Iceland by Stephane Vetter 

16 May 2011



Afar away the light that brings cold cheer
Unto this wall, -- one instant and no more
Admitted at my distant palace-door:
Afar the flowers of Enna from this drear
Cold fruit, which, tasted once, must thrall me here:
Afar those skies from this Tartarean grey
That chills me: and afar; how far away,
The nights that shall be from the days that were.

Afar from mine own self I seem, and wing
Strange ways in thought, and listen for a sign:
And still some heart unto some soul doth pine,
(Whose sounds mine inner sense is fain to bring,
Continually together, murmuring,)
"Woe's me for thee, unhappy Proserpine!"

Dante Gabriel Rosetti

15 May 2011


From AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com:

14 May 2011


The only/closest thing to poetry Dot knows all the words to:

Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable

Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table

David Hume could out-consume
Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel

And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel

There's nothing Nietzche couldn't teach ya
'Bout the raising of the wrist
Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill

Plato, they say, could stick it away
Half a crate of whiskey every day

Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle
Hobbes was fond of his dram

And René Descartes was a drunken fart
I drink, therefore I am

Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed
A lovely little thinker
But a bugger when he's pissed

13 May 2011

12 May 2011


A poem by Hillaire Belloc, selected by Spike:


Who ran away from his Nurse and was eaten by a Lion 

There was a Boy whose name was Jim;
His Friends were very good to him.
They gave him Tea, and Cakes, and Jam,
And slices of delicious Ham,
And Chocolate with pink inside
And little Tricycles to ride,
And read him Stories through and through,
And even took him to the Zoo -
But there it was the dreadful Fate
Befell him, which I now relate.

You know - or at least you ought to know,
For I have often told you so -
That Children never are allowed
To leave their Nurses in a Crowd;
Now this was Jim's especial Foible,
He ran away when he was able,
And on this inauspicious day
He slipped his hand and ran away!

He hadn't gone a yard when - Bang!
With open Jaws, a lion sprang,
And hungrily began to eat
The Boy: beginning at his feet.
Now, just imagine how it feels
When first your toes and then your heels,
And then by gradual degrees,
Your shins and ankles, calves and knees,
Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.
No wonder Jim detested it!
No wonder that he shouted "Hi!"

The Honest Keeper heard his cry,
Though very fat he almost ran
To help the little gentleman.
"Ponto!" he ordered as he came
(For Ponto was the Lion's name),
"Ponto!" he cried, with angry Frown,
"Let go, Sir! Down, Sir! Put it down!"
The Lion made a sudden stop,
He let the Dainty Morsel drop,
And slunk reluctant to his Cage,
Snarling with Disappointed Rage.
But when he bent him over Jim,
The Honest Keeper's Eyes were dim.
The Lion having reached his Head,
The Miserable Boy was dead!

When Nurse informed his Parents, they
Were more Concerned than I can say:
His Mother, as She dried her eyes,
Said, "Well--it gives me no surprise,
He would not do as he was told!"
His Father, who was self-controlled,
Bade all the children round attend
To James's miserable end,
And always keep a-hold of Nurse
For fear of finding something worse.

11 May 2011


From the Oxford English Dictionary:

pietn. and adj.

Pronunciation:  Brit. /ˈpʌɪət, U.S. /ˈpaɪətSc. /ˈpaɪət/
Forms:  ME–16 piot, 16 pyet, 19– pyat , 19– pyot ; Eng. regional (north. and midl.) 17– pyat, 18– piat, 18– piet, 18– piot, 18– pyatt, 18–pyet, 18– pyot; also Welsh English (Pembrokeshire) 18– pyatt, 19– piat, 19– pyat, 19– pyetSc. pre-17 poyatt, pre-17 poyit, pre-17 pyit, pre-17 pyote, pre-17 pyott, pre-17 17–18 piot, pre-17 17– pyat, pre-17 17– pyet, pre-17 17– pyot, pre-17 18 piet, 17 peyet, 17–18 piat, 18peat, 18 peiot; also Irish English (north.) 18– pyot, 19– piet, 19– pyet.
Etymology:  < pie n.1 + -ot suffix; in many later forms showing remodelling of the ending after -et suffix1. Compare Old French, Middle French, French piot (second half of the 13th cent.), Middle French, French piat (c1393), both in sense ‘young of the magpie’.
The literal meaning at sense A. 2 is likely to be the original sense in English. Earlier currency of the word in Older Scots in this sense is perhaps implied by the surname or nickname Willelmo Pyote (1381).
Now Brit. regional and Irish English (north.).
 A. n.

 1. A talkative or impertinent person; a gossip. Now rare.See also tale-piet n. at tale n. Compounds 2.

?a1289    Ancrene Riwle (Cleo.: scribe D) (1972) 71   Me seið up on ancre þet [e]uch an mest haueð an old quene to feden hire earen, þet maðeleð alle þe tale þe me telleð ilonde, An kikelot [glossed] piot.
1574    in J. H. Burton Reg. Privy Council Scotl. (1878) 1st Ser. II. 372   Archie Crosar callit the Pyott.
1774    Dumfries Weekly Mag. 21 June,   A perfect pyat!—clink for clink!—Where has the villain learn'd to think?
1814    T. Chalmers Let. in W. Hanna Mem. T. Chalmers (1851) I. 340   From the great officers of State at St. James's,‥down to the little female piets who were taught to squall what they did not understand, ‘No fanatics!’
1855    F. K. Robinson Gloss. Yorks. Words (at cited word),   ‘A pawky young pyet’, a saucy young person.
1920    D. Mackenzie Pride o' Raploch 30   The pyots ca'ed her ‘Raploch's quean’.
1996    C. I. Macafee Conc. Ulster Dict. 265/2   Pyot,‥a chatterbox.

 a. The magpie, Pica pica. Cf. pianet n. 1pie n.1 1a.jay-piet: see the first element.

a1525  (1448)    R. Holland Bk. Howlat (Asloan) 176 in F. J. Amours Sc. Allit. Poems (1897) 53   Thar was Pyotis and Partrikis and Pluwaris.
1568  (1513)    W. Dunbar Poems (1998) 225   The pyat‥Feynȝeis to sing the nychtingalis note.
a1600    A. Montgomerie Sonn. v,   The pratling pyet matchis with the Musis.
1663    in C. S. Romanes Sel. Rec. Regality of Melrose (1915) II. 61   The said John Scot had climed ane pyet nest in his yaird and spoyled his trees.
1707    in A. W. C. Hallen Acct. Bk. Sir J. Foulis (1894) 470   To david and Ja. ȝets for takeing doun the pyot nest‥2s. 0d.
1745    Scots Mag. June 275/1   The scrieching pyets daubed a' our barn.
1819    Scott Ivanhoe III. ii. 61   Here cometh the worthy prelate, as pert as a pyet.
1829    A. Cunningham Magic Bridle in Anniversary 138   Words specked and spotted like a pyat.
1900    J. G. Campbell Superstitions Highlands vi. 227   Magpie. The pyet‥is called ‘the messenger of the Campbells’.
1965    Jrnl. Lancs. Dial. Soc. Jan. 7   Magpie.‥ Piet, Pyot.
1996    Herald (Glasgow(Nexis) 12 Oct. 8   The whaup and the mavis, the peesie and the pyat are woven into the plaid of our heritage.

 b. The oystercatcher, Haematopus ostralegus. More fully sea piet. Cf. pianet n. 3sea-pie n.1 Nowrare.

1710    R. Sibbald Hist. Fife & Kinross ii. iii. 46   Hæmatopus Bellonii, the Sea-Piot.
1880    W. Black White Wings xx,   There is no screaming sea-pyot to give warning.
1885    C. Swainson Provinc. Names Brit. Birds 188   Oyster catcher.‥ From its deep black and pure white plumage, resembling that of the magpie, are derived the names Pienet. Sea pie.‥ Sea piet.
1996    C. I. Macafee Conc. Ulster Dict. 265/2   PyotPietPyet, a bird: (a) the magpie Pica pica; (b) the oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus.

 c. The dipper, Cinclus cinclus. Also water piet. Now rare.

1804    T. Bewick Hist. Brit. Birds II. 16 (heading   Water Ouzel. Water Crow, Dipper, or Water Piot.
1839    W. Jardine Brit. Birds II. 67   The common Water Crow, or Pyet, as it is familiarly termed in Scotland.
1885    C. Swainson Provinc. Names Brit. Birds 30   Dipper (Cinclus aquaticus).‥ The white breast and blackish upper plumage have caused it to be called Piet.‥ Water piet (Scotland).
1999    Western Morning News (Plymouth(Nexis) 11 May 26   Local names for the dipper include Piet, River Pie, Benny Ducker, Water Colly, [etc.].

3. A piebald horse. Obs. rare.

1756    M. Calderwood Journey in Eng. & Low Countries (1842) ii. 117   The Duke of Marlborough had a sett of peyets, very prettily marked.
1788    W. Thomson Mem. Late War Asia II. 37   Piats, or small horses, were given for our conveyance.
 B. adj. Chiefly Sc. Now rare.

 1. Resembling a magpie in appearance; pied, piebald.In quot. c1638: wearing black and white clothes.

1508    in J. B. Paul Accts. Treasurer Scotl. (1902) IV. 114   Ane pyot hors giffin to the King.
1594    in C. Innes Black Bk. Taymouth (1855) 299   Ane brown pyat meir.
c1638    in J. Maidment Bk. Sc. Pasquils (1868) 56   Pyet preachers with shoulder ruffes.
1723    Caledonian Mercury 7 Nov.,   A little Pyot White and Brown Shelty.
1772    'H. Clinker' Folly Witless Women 4   They ware a rugh lang hair like a pyet horse.
c1843    T. Carlyle Hist. Sketches (1898) 256   Thirteen score of volunteer guards-royal‥all in‥beautiful pyet plumage.
1887    Trans. Banffshire Field Club 67   When assailed with the usual formula—‘Man on the piet horse fat's guid for the kinkhost?’ he used to snappishly reply ‘butter an' bear caff’.
1924    Swatches o' Hamespun 81   A peer pyot mixter, they're far fae pic black.

 2. Chattering, talkative, gossipy; (of words or speech) glib.

1573    in J. Cranstoun Satirical Poems Reformation (1891) I. xlii. 82   Quhen ȝe ȝourselfis ar daft and ȝoung, And hes nocht but ane Pyat toung.
a1578    R. Lindsay Hist. & Cron. Scotl. (1899) I. 225   Werielie brother ȝe haue fyne poyit wordis I wald nocht haue trowit that ȝe had sic wordis.
1578    J. Rolland Seuin Seages (1932) Prol. 89   Her pyat toung, hir poet toung I suld say, Micht suffice weill to preiche in barne or byre.
1820    Scott Monastery II. ii. 52   ‘Brave words—very brave words—very exceeding pyet words,’ answered the Miller.
1862    R. Sim Legends of Strathisla 73   He‥made a fair speech‥and sae he gat him freed, wha was sae weel content that, in his ain blunt way, he said, ‘Verily, brither, ye hae fine pyet words.’
1913    J. Service Memorables Robert Cummell 115   And then quo' she, wi pyet partle

10 May 2011


I may do the word-a-day thing, I haven't decided yet.  In the meantime, here's a Kitler for your amusement:

09 May 2011


No poem today.  I know, I know.  I can hear the cries of disappointment already.    It might not be readily apparent, but choosing a daily poem has been really time-consuming for me.

I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do as a replacement.  Suggestions are welcome.

08 May 2011


A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

07 May 2011


There is a Gentle Thought

There is a gentle thought that often springs
to life in me, because it speaks of you.
Its reasoning about love’s so sweet and true,
the heart is conquered, and accepts these things.
‘Who is this’ the mind enquires of the heart,
‘who comes here to seduce our intellect?
Is his power so great we must reject
every other intellectual art?
The heart replies ‘O, meditative mind
this is love’s messenger and newly sent
to bring me all Love’s words and desires.
His life, and all the strength that he can find,
from her sweet eyes are mercifully lent,
who feels compassion for our inner fires.’

Dante Alighieri

06 May 2011


Worm Either Way

If you live along with all the other people
and are just like them, and conform, and are nice
you're just a worm --

and if you live with all the other people
and you don't like them and won't be like them and won't conform
then you're just the worm that has turned,
in either case, a worm.

The conforming worm stays just inside the skin
respectably unseen, and cheerfully gnaws away at the heart of life,
making it all rotten inside.

The unconforming worm -- that is, the worm that has turned --
gnaws just the same, gnawing the substance out of life,
but he insists on gnawing a little hole in the social epidermis
and poking his head out and waving himself
and saying: Look at me, I am not respectable,
I do all the things the bourgeois daren't do,
I booze and fornicate and use foul language and despise your honest man.--

But why should the worm that has turned protest so much?
The bonnie bonnie bourgeois goes a-whoring up back streets just the same.
The busy busy bourgeois imbibes his little share
just the same
if not more.
The pretty pretty bourgeois pinks his language just as pink
if not pinker,
and in private boasts his exploits even louder, if you ask me,
than the other.
While as to honesty, Oh look where the money lies!

So I can't see where the worm that has turned puts anything over
the worm that is too cunning to turn.
On the contrary, he merely gives himself away.
The turned worm shouts. I bravely booze!
the other says. Have one with me!
The turned worm boasts: I copulate!
the unturned says: You look it.
You're a d----- b----- b----- p----- bb-----, says the worm that's turned.
Quite! says the other. Cuckoo


05 May 2011


My internet is running
just as slow as maple syrup.
It's time for me to go to bed
Although it's morning o'er in Europe.

My poem really ought to have
More than one pathetic verse.
But if I sit here very long,
It will only get much worse.

04 May 2011


When All My Five and Country Senses See

When all my five and country senses see,
The fingers will forget green thumbs and mark   
How, through the halfmoon’s vegetable eye,   
Husk of young stars and handfull zodiac,
Love in the frost is pared and wintered by,
The whispering ears will watch love drummed away   
Down breeze and shell to a discordant beach,   
And, lashed to syllables, the lynx tongue cry   
That her fond wounds are mended bitterly.   
My nostrils see her breath burn like a bush.

My one and noble heart has witnesses
In all love’s countries, that will grope awake;
And when blind sleep drops on the spying senses,   
The heart is sensual, though five eyes break.

Dylan Thomas

03 May 2011


To a Small Boy Standing on My Shoes While I Am Wearing Them

Let's straighten this out, my little man,
And reach an agreement if we can.
I entered your door as an honored guest.
My shoes are shined and my trousers are pressed,
And I won't stretch out and read you the funnies
And I won't pretend that we're Easter bunnies.
If you must get somebody down on the floor,
What in the hell are your parents for?
I do not like the things that you say
And I hate the games that you want to play.
No matter how frightfully hard you try,
We've little in common, you and I.
The interest I take in my neighbor's nursery
Would have to grow, to be even cursory,
And I would that performing sons and nephews
Were carted away with the daily refuse,
And I hold that frolicsome daughters and nieces
Are ample excuse for breaking leases.
You may take a sock at your daddy's tummy
Or climb all over your doting mummy,
But keep your attentions to me in check,
Or, sonny boy, I will wring your neck.
A happier man today I'd be
Had someone wrung it ahead of me.

Ogden Nash 

02 May 2011


When Stretch'd on One's Bed

When stretch'd on one's bed
With a fierce-throbbing head,
Which precludes alike thought or repose,
How little one cares
For the grandest affairs
That may busy the world as it goes!

How little one feels
For the waltzes and reels
Of our Dance-loving friends at a Ball!
How slight one's concern
To conjecture or learn
What their flounces or hearts may befall.

How little one minds
If a company dines
On the best that the Season affords!
How short is one's muse
O'er the Sauces and Stews,
Or the Guests, be they Beggars or Lords.

How little the Bells,
Ring they Peels, toll they Knells,
Can attract our attention or Ears!
The Bride may be married,
The Corse may be carried
And touch nor our hopes nor our fears.

Our own bodily pains
Ev'ry faculty chains;
We can feel on no subject besides.
Tis in health and in ease
We the power must seize
For our friends and our souls to provide.

Jane Austen

01 May 2011


Happy May Day, everyone!