Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Scarlett's musings

All her life she had heard sneers hurled at the Yankees because their pretensions to gentility were based on wealth, not breeding. But at this moment, heresy though it was, she could not help thinking the Yankees were right on this one matter, even if wrong in all others. It took money to be a lady. ... She shrugged in irritation. Perhaps these people were right and she was wrong but, just the same, these proud fools weren't looking forward as she was doing, straining every nerve, risking even honor and good name to get back what they had lost. It was beneath the dignity of many of them to indulge in a scramble for money. The times were rude and hard. They called for rude and hard struggle if one was to conquer them. Scarlett knew that family tradition would forcibly restrain many of these people from such a struggle -- with the making of money admittedly its aim. They all thought that obvious money-making and even talk of money were vulgar in the extreme. ... But she was going to be poor all her life. She wasn't going to sit down and patiently wait for a miracle to help her. She was going to rush into life and wrest from it what she could. Her father had started as a poor immigrant boy and had won the broad acres of Tara. What he had done, his daughter could do. She wasn't like these people who had gambled everything on a Cause that was gone and were content to be proud of having lost that Cause, because it was worth any sacrifice. They drew their courage from the past. She was drawing hers from the future.
-Margaret Mitchell (Gone With The Wind)

All men are equal

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?...
If you prick us, do we not bleed?
If you tickle us, do we not laugh?
If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.

-William Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Twins

They never did look much like each other, Estha and Rahel, and even when they were thin-armed children, flat-chasted, wormridden and Elvis Presley-puffed, there was none of the usual "Who is who?" and "Which is which?" from oversmiling relatives or the Syrian Orthodox bishops who frequently visited the Ayemenem House for donations.

The confusion lay in a deeper, more secret place.

In those early amorphous years when memory had only just begun, when life was full of Beginnings and no Ends, and Everything was Forever, Esthappen and Rahel thought of themselves together as Me, and separately, individually, as We or Us. As though they were a rare breed of Siamese twins, physically separate, but with joint identities.

Now, these years later, Rahel has a memory of waking up one night giggling at Estha's funny dream.

She has other memories too that she has no right to have.

-Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Another Lost Sailor

Lost Sailor

They were the perfect couple,
Everyone knew their love,
but one day in April, he had to go away,
he set his ship and left.
Eternal love he promised, I'll come back he said,
giving her a kiss, with tears on her face,
good bye she said to him.

Ship by ship were coming, none of them brought her, her love, as the weeks passed by, she waited on that port,
wearing the same dress, so in case he came,
he wouldn't be confused, but that day never seemed to come,
alone she stayed.

Her hair grew long, her pain grew more,
her smile vanished from her face, her hopes were short,
her dreams were gone, the ocean took her love,
and never got it back, never saw him again,
her lost sailor was her eternal love, in the sea she lost her soul.

Alone she stayed, she never got any news from him,
as the years passed by, reflected in her eyes,
the time and pain she felt, her tears went to the ocean,
in vain she cried for him, she became part of the sand,
another love she never got, they called her the widow of the ocean, the sun dried her hair, the time on her eyes were, her love never saw again, she didn't want to give up,
believing he would come, but the ocean took her love,
and never got it back, never saw him again,
her lost sailor was, her eternal love,
in the sea she lost him.

- Cesar A. Miranda

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the win
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hillfor the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Maya Angelou

Monday, November 13, 2006

Lost Sailor

The compass card is spinnin'.
The helm is swingin' to and fro.
Ooh, where's the Dog Star?
Ooh, where's the moon?

You're a lost sailor. You've been too long at sea.
Now the shore lights beckon. Yeah, there's a price for bein' free.

Some days the gales are howlin'. Some days the sea is still as glass.
Ooh, reef the mainsail.
Ooh, lash the mast.

You're a lost sailor. You've been too long at sea.
Now the shore lights beckon. Yeah, there's a price for bein' free.

Yeah, the sea bird's cryin',
And there's a ghost wind blowin'.
It's callin' you to that misty swirlin' sea.
Till the chains of your dreams are broken,
No place in the world you can be.

You're a lost sailor. You've been too long at sea.
Now the shore lights beckon. Yeah, there's a price for bein' free.

Driftin'. Yeah, driftin'. Yeah, driftin' and dreamin'.
There's a place you've never been.
Maybe a face you've never seen.
You can hear 'em callin' on the wind.

Go on and drift your life away, driftin' and dreamin'.
Drift your life away, maybe goin' on a dream.
Maybe goin' for a feelin', goin' for a feelin' --
Drift your life away.

John Perry Barlow

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust,
I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air,
I'll rise.

- Maya Angelou

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Remembrance Day

"Please wear a poppy," the lady said
And held one forth, but I shook my head.
Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there,
And her face was old and lined with care;
But beneath the scars the years had made
There remained a smile that refused to fade.

A boy came whistling down the street,
Bouncing along on care-free feet.
His smile was full of joy and fun,
"Lady," said he, "may I have one?"

When she'd pinned it on he turned to say,
"Why do we wear a poppy today?"
The lady smiled in her wistful way
And answered,
"This is Remembrance Day,
And the poppy there is the symbol for
The gallant men who died in war.
And because they did, you and I are free -
That's why we wear a poppy, you see."

"I had a boy about your size,
With golden hair and big blue eyes.
He loved to play and jump and shout,
Free as a bird he would race about.
As the years went by he learned
and grew and became a man - as you will, too.
"He was fine and strong, with a boyish smile,
But he'd seemed with us such a little while
When war broke out and he went away.
I still remember his face that day
When he smiled at me and said,
Goodbye,I'll be back soon,
Mom, so please don't cry.
"But the war went on and he had to stay,
And all I could do was wait and pray.

His letters told of the awful fight,
(I can see it still in my dreams at night),
With the tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire,
And the mines and bullets, the bombs and fire.
"Till at last, at last, the war was won -
And that's why we wear a poppy son."

The small boy turned as if to go,
Then said, "Thanks, lady, I'm glad to know.
That sure did sound like an awful fight,
But your son - did he come back all right?"

A tear rolled down each faded cheek;
She shook her head, but didn't speak.
I slunk away in a sort of shame,
And if you were me you'd have done the same;
For our thanks, in giving, if oft delayed,
Thought our freedom was bought - and thousands paid!

And so when we see a poppy worn,
Let us reflect on the burden borne,
By those who gave their very all
When asked to answer their country's call
That we at home in peace might live.
Then wear a poppy!
Remember - and give!
~~By Don Crawford

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Children are like Jam

Children are like jam: all very well in the proper place, but you can't stand them all over the shop - eh, what?'

These were the dreadful words of our Indian uncle. They made us feel very young and angry; and yet we could not be comforted by calling him names to ourselves, as you do when nasty grown-ups say nasty things, because he is not nasty, but quite the exact opposite when not irritated. And we could not think it ungentlemanly of him to say we were like jam, because, as Alice says, jam is very nice indeed - only not on furniture and improper places like that. My father said, 'Perhaps they had better go to boarding-school.' And that was awful, because we know Father disapproves of boarding-schools. And he looked at us and said, 'I am ashamed of them, sir!'

- E.Nesbit (The Woodbegoods)