Whose broad stripes and bright stars,
Through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly streaming.
A rampart is a high wide wall of stone or earth with a path on top, built around a castle, town, encampment, etc., to defend it.
Shedding years again,
as if newborn, shiny pink,
I act innocent
and offer myself
molted and muted standing
on the high stony
top of your rampart,
if a gift, then brass moistened
by blown melody,
me the young trumpet
of my renewed hope for love
while I hold your heart.
He would head northward
and settle somewhere
around Vancouver B.C.
where he has duties
July 18, 2011 1:44 PM
When I wrote this poem I had no conscious knowledge of this
Henderson the Rain King is a 1959 novel by Saul Bellow. The book's blend of philosophical discourse and comic adventure has helped make it one of his most enduringly popular works.
It is said to be Bellow's own favorite amongst his books.
It was ranked number 21 on Modern Library's list of the 100 Best Novels in the English language.
PLot Summary: Eugene Henderson is a troubled middle-aged man. Despite his riches, high social status, and physical prowess, he feels restless and unfulfilled, and harbors a spiritual void that manifests itself as an inner voice crying out I want, I want, I want. Hoping to discover what the voice wants, Henderson goes to Africa.
Upon reaching Africa, Henderson splits with his original group and hires a native guide, Romilayu. Romilayu leads Henderson to the village of the Arnewi, where Henderson befriends the leaders of the village. He learns that the cistern from which the Arnewi get their drinking water is plagued by frogs, thus rendering the water "unclean" according to local taboos. Henderson attempts to save the Arnewi by ridding them of the frogs, but his enthusiastic scheme ends in disaster.
Henderson and Romilayu travel on to the village of the Wariri. Here, Henderson impulsively performs a feat of strength by moving the giant wooden statue of the goddess Mummah and unwittingly becomes the Wariri Rain King, Sungo. He quickly develops a friendship with the native-born but western-educated Chief, King Dahfu, with whom he engages in a series of far-reaching philosophical discussions.
The elders send Dahfu to find a lion, which is supposedly the reincarnation of the late king, Dahfu's father. The lion hunt fails and the lion mortally wounds the king. Henderson learns shortly before Dahfu's death that the Rain King is the next person in the line of succession for the throne. Having no interest in being king and desiring only to return home, Henderson flees the Wariri village.
Although it is unclear whether Henderson has truly found spiritual contentment, the novel ends on an optimistic and uplifting note.
What is this about
that you would know my old ways,
that you curled my truth
to match my curly
youth when I'm all straightened up,
a good and true masque
for an old actor
with larceny in his heart
and a yen for you?
by Rutherford G. Montgomery, Jerome D. Nenninger (Illustrator)
Far back in the wildest of the mountain country hides Yellow Eyes, the great mountain lion, the most cunning and powerful of his hunted kind. Beautiful and cruel, like all big cats, Yellow Eyes and his mate, The Golden One, are tawny shadows lurking in the forest. Rutherford Montgomery is known for his honesty in the portrayal of animal life. In his stories animals are animals, not beasts playing the parts of human beings in a false drama of the wilderness.
Paperback, 253 pages
Published May 1st 1937 by Caxton Press
Original Title: Yellow Eyes (Caxton Classics)
ISBN 0870044176 (ISBN13: 9780870044175)
Lord God I shall sing
and lift the edges of me
all because someone
saw me and said so.
This is the life You chose me
to live, all twined up
with someone who sees,
eyes like bright hollow needles,
twin streams of Your love.
July 17, 2011 9:17 AM
This children's book was part of my early reading. I love cats as much because of this book as anything else in my life.
Oh Sweet Christ, my love,
I am scattered by your eyes
and by the long spell
they cast upon me,
upon my salt shore before
I dive deep, otter
shaped, for shells you need,
and live fish for food and scales
to adorn your masks.
My joy is scattered
like seed and it sprouts, then fruits
before the moon sets.
Some years ago my poetry took on a mythic flavor and I became a character in my own poems, a mage, "the man of the Northern Wall". This apellation is not completely fictional. My middle name is Noordwal, a Dutch term for north wall, though in current Dutch it mainly means north bank as in riverbank. I was told that an ancestor, a Portugese Jew escaping the Inquisition, settled in a small Dutch town and took this name from where he settled, near the north wall of the town. I have thought for a long time that -wal meant wall, think my mother told me that. A linguist might say that my usage is no longer common, is an older usage, but then the Inquisition happened in Portugal a few centuries ago, right around the time the Moors lost control of the Iberian Peninsula and the Jews lost the modest protection given them by Islam. Now I write as this mage, my poetry persona.