Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween is my favorite holiday after Christmas!

Another sad death by a big Cat

An animal sanctuary worker died after attack by a ‘liger’today.
Against protocol the handler entered the lion-tiger hybrid’s space during feeding. Once more a foolish human has ended up dead for not following the rules. I ranted about The bear that killed the guy so I won't go on too much here but honestly this is so stupid. These hybrids have no purpose either, they are not an endangered species. They are bred by shooting farms and by idiotic fools who think its OK to breed big cats for sport. Texas has over 4000 tigers kept by private individuals because the laws are so loose.

Halloween Greetings to You All!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., written while he was living in Birmingham, England, and first published in 1820. With Irving's companion piece "Rip Van Winkle", "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is among the earliest examples of American fiction still read today.
(1858) by John Quidor

Headless Horseman. Here are the lyrics to that timeless song written by Don Rage and Gene De Paul.

When the spooks have a midnight Jamboree
They break it up with fiendish glee
Ghosts are bad, but the one that's cursed
It's the Headless Horseman, he's the worst

That's right, he's a fright, on Halloween night

But when he goes a-joggin' 'cross the land
Holdin' his noggin in his hand
Demons take one look and groan
And hit the road for parts unknown

Beware, take care, he rides alone

And there's no spook, like a spook who's sporned
They don't like him, and he's really burned
He swears to the longest day he's dead
He'll show them that he can get a head

They say he's tired of his flamin' top
He's got a yen to make a swap
So he rides one night each year
To find a head in the hollow here

Now he likes them little, he likes them big
Part in the middle, or a wig
Black or white or even red
The Headless Horseman needs a head

With a hip-hip and a clippity-clop
He's out lookin' for a top to chop
So don't stop to figure out a plan
You can't reason with a headless man

Now if you doubt this tale is so
I met that spook just a year ago
No, I didn't stop for a second look
For once you cross that bridge, my brook friends

The ghost is through, his power ends

So when you're riding home tonight
Make for the bridge with all your might
He'll be down in the hollow there
He needs your head, look out, beware

With a hip-hip and a clippity-clop
He's out looking for a head to swap
So don't try to figure out a plan
You can't reason with a headless man

Jonathan Eastman Johnson

"Corn Husking at Nantucket,"

Eastman Johnson is one of American’s greatest mid-century genre painters and "Corn Husking at Nantucket," is a study for a larger work now in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Hag

The hag is astride
This night for to ride,
The devil and she together;
Through thick and through thin,
Now out and then in,
Though ne'er so foul be the weather.

A thorn or a burr
She takes for a spur,
With a lash of a bramble she rides now;
Through brakes and through briars,
O'er ditches and mires,
She follows the spirit that guides now.

No beast for his food
Dare now range the wood,
But hush'd in his lair he lies lurking;
While mischiefs, by these,
On land and on seas,
At noon of night are a-working.

The storm will arise
And trouble the skies;
This night, and more for the wonder,
The ghost from the tomb
Affrighted shall come,
Call'd out by the clap of the thunder.

-Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

The Witch of Fife by James Hogg

May everilike man in the land of Fife

Read what the drinkers dree;

And never curse his puir auld wife,

Right wicked although she be!

For the whole Poem see this webpage

Halloween Postcard

Halloween called ALL HALLOWS' EVE or ALL HALLOWS' EVENING: a holy or hallowed
evening observed on October 31, the eve of All Saints' Day. In modern times,
it is the occasion for pranks and for children requesting treats or
threatening tricks.

In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic festival of Samhain eve was
observed on October 31, at the end of summer. This date was also the eve of
the new year in both Celtic and Anglo-Saxon times and was the occasion for
one of the ancient fire festivals when huge bonfires were set on hilltops to
frighten away evil spirits. The date was connected with the return of herds
from pasture, and laws and land tenures were renewed. The souls of the dead
were thought to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival
acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black
cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the
time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature.
In addition, Halloween was thought to be the most favourable time for
divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

William Sidney Mount

William Sidney Mount (1807-1868) was the first American-born painter to achieve widespread fame for his depictions of everyday life. Mount's images penetrated 19th-century American culture and his vision of culture in the formative decades of the country helped shape the way the nation sees itself today.

NY 30th Festival of Traditional Music

Join the Folk Music Society of New York, Inc. for the 30th Festival of
Traditional Music, Eisteddfod, in Jackson Heights, New York City on
November 14-16, 2008. The festival features local, national and
international performers who are steeped in living ethnic traditions.
It has programs ideal for the whole family, and provides a very rare
chance in New York to hear such diverse, and such high quality,
performers all in a single venue. Listen, tap your feet, or sing
along to ballads, fiddle tunes, southern mountain and country songs,
humorous & serious songs, and much more.

The festival has concerts, 20+ workshops, participatory sessions, a
marketplace, and a free family concert, all with a spirit of warmth
and openness. It is being held in Jackson Heights, at the Renaissance
Charter School, 35-59 81st Street. It begins with a concert Friday
night at 7:30, runs all day Saturday, Sunday morning, and ends with a
concert Sunday afternoon, finishing at 5:30. A special free family
concert will be on Saturday, 12:30 -1:30 PM. Information can be found
at or by calling
718-429-3437 or 718-672-6399. Tickets are available online at

This year among the featured performers are:
Old Time Southern Mountain: Norris Bennett, Pat Conte, Phil
Zimmerman & more
Irish: Len Graham, Donal Maguire, Dan Milner, and Barry Oneill
New York State: Colleen Cleveland, Dave Ruch, and George Ward
English: John Roberts & Tony Barrand, Dave Webber & Annie Fentiman,
David Jones, & more
International: Atl-Tlachinolli (Aztec), DisCanto (Italian), Bill &
Livia Vanaver (Balkan), Toby Weinberg (Norwegian)

Monday, October 27, 2008

House Sparrow in Winter Coat

This House Sparrow comes back from time to time and sits on the bird house outside my window. It is hung from a limb of the apple tree which still has all its leaves. I think this is daddy but maybe it's one of his chicks all grown up wondering where everyone went. It was cold when I took this, in the 40sF. He was all puffed up and sat there for about an hour. I took the picture though the window glass so it's a bit fuzzy. Click on the photo and it will enlarge so you can see the bird better. House Sparrows will raise a number of clutches in one summer. This house was full much of the summer. I know they are a non native species and some of you would have me chase them away but they are here to stay so we might as well except them. The House Sparrow is not a true sparrow as are the dozens of less-familiar North American sparrows, but a weaver finch, one of a family of old world birds known for weaving their nests. House Sparrows are ubiquitous in North America. They are also common in many parts of South and Central America as well as Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. House Sparrows have such a long and interwoven history of consorting with mankind that it is thought that the species actually abandoned its previously-migratory behavior with the advent of agricultural civilizations in the Middle East, choosing instead to remain with a new and steady source of food.

Bo's last Rest

June 1993-October 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tip O' Derwent by Gerald Short

Edward Frederick Brewtnall (1846-1902)

Joe Tagg come tramping over the moor
One cold December day
To gather in his tups and yows
And bring them safe away
But snow lay thick on heather and moss
And more were coming fast
As man and dog worked on and long
All in the icy blast

Ch: Oh, Tip, come by, now Tip, come by
Why dost tha linger so?
Now old Joe's gone, tha'rt all alone
Out in the wind and snow

Old Joe now feeling tired and weak
Sat down a rest to take
But soon he slept that long cold sleep
From which you canna wake
For old Joe died there high on the moor
With Tip close by his side
And still the snow came falling down
And still the cruel wind sighed

Soon darkness spread its shadows about
O'er Howden's shoulders bare
While down below the village folk
Lay snug with never a care
And when Joe's absence was remarked
Folk thought but little of this
For hadn't Joe full many's the time
Been caught in worse than this?

But soon alarm began to spread
Folk searched by night and day
For maybe he had broke a bone
And couldna make his way
And though they searched the hills abroad
By clough and windy slough
No sign of Joe, nor Tip his dog
Was seen to give them hope

Soon the days passed into weeks
Old Joe could ne'er be found
Through weeks and months of frost and snow
Still brave Tip stood her ground
And how she lived, no one can tell
It canna be explained
Wi'out a bite, save what she caught
That faithful dog remained

The twelfth day of a December so cold
Old Joe Tagg breathed his last
And Tip, his sheepdog, stayed by him
Till fifteen weeks had passed
And when the twenty-seventh day
Of March it come around
Upon the heights of Howden Moor
Joe's corpse and Tip were found

They laid a stone to this brave dog
It stands by Derwent's shore
It tells the tale and it names the names
I canna do no more
So as you sit by a blazing fire
Both warm and full of cheer
Think on the ties that kept Tip there
All through that winter drear

This song is set in Derbyshire, England
and was writen by by Gerald Short.
It was recorded by Ram's Bottom.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

George Orwell Speaks to George Bush from the Grave.

All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.
-George Orwell


The Old Oak Tree. Painted in the 1860s

Eulogy of Old Drum

“Gentlemen of the Jury, the best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.”

“Gentleman of the Jury, a man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and the sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert he remains. When riches take wings and reputation fall to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens. If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.”

-George Graham Vest
(December 6, 1830–August 9, 1904

Window on my World

This is how it looks now as the ash trees drop their leaves and Halloween fast approaches. Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year". Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.

In North America, Christian attitudes towards Halloween are quite diverse. In the Anglican Church, some dioceses have chosen to emphasize the Christian traditions of All Saints Day, while some other Protestants celebrate the holiday as Reformation Day, a day of remembrance and prayers for unity. Celtic Christians may have Samhain services that focus on the cultural aspects of the holiday, in the belief that many ancient Celtic customs are "compatible with the new Christian religion. Christianity embraced the Celtic notions of family, community, the bond among all people, and respect for the dead. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry (hodgepodge) of celebrations from October 31 through November 5, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery.

Beautiful Downtown Stedman

New York Times Co

Reuters - Standard & Poor's slashed its ratings on the New York Times Co into junk territory and cited concerns about the newspaper publisher's revenue outlook, after it posted a third-quarter loss. Moody's Investors Service also said it may follow the move, adding the publisher faces risks in refinancing its debt.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Don't Tread on Me!

Gadsden's flag

In December 1775, Benjamin Franklin published an essay in the Pennsylvania Journal under the pseudonym American Guesser in which he suggested that the rattlesnake was a good symbol for the American spirit:

I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids—She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance.—She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage.—As if anxious to prevent all pretentions of quarrelling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenceless animal; and even when those weapons are shewn and extended for her defence, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal:—Conscious of this, she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her.—Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America?

Foresee the future?

All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.
-George Orwell

Another big Woops!

The Dow Jones industrials fell more than 500 points soon after trading began following the pattern of recent sessions, recovering ground only to fall sharply again. The day ended with a loss of 312 points.

Hardwood to stack

Thursday, October 23, 2008

John Kenneth Galbraith

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;
that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

- John Kenneth Galbraith

Lovely Hot Air Balloon Over Stedman...

I photographed this cool hot air balloon over the field behind my house today. It was just a lovely sight to behold!

Women By a Forest Stream

Adolf Kaufmann (Austrian, 1848-1916)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

When the Frost is on the Punkin

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock— 15
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

James Whitcomb Riley. 1853–1916

Snow Today

It's snowing a bit here. There are still colored leaves on the trees but snow is coming down right now. The show went well in Rhinebeck but I could do without this actually.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Video for the Passing of a Best Friend.

The music is Howl at the Moon by Cheryl Wheeler.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Palin Talks out her A- -!

Good Bye Bo

We lost our Border Collie Bo last night he died at the age of 15 years, 4 months. He was the best dog and we will miss him so much. He died at home with Dani there giving him some love and attention. It was so heartbreaking we tried to get home from the show before he passed but he died about 8:00 last night. He was our first Border Collie. This is the last photo I took of him on the 19th of Sept.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

John Maynard Keynes

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.

They offer me neither food nor drink - intellectual nor spiritual consolation... [Conservatism] leads nowhere; it satisfies no ideal; it conforms to no intellectual standard, it is not safe, or calculated to preserve from the spoilers that degree of civilization which we have already attained.

Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back

John Maynard Keynes

We Look to See You in Rhinebeck at the Sheep Show!

The New York Sheep and Wool show in Rhinebeck is this weekend and we will be there. The weather looks great. The rain is not sticking around and we should have sunshine most of the weekend both here and down there. It's a wonderful show with great animals and booths of handcrafted wool products. Our wool and sheep related jewelry and buttons will be on display as usual!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Anni Fentiman & Dave Webber on tour, a must see folks!

I got this lovely email today and thought some of you might try to see Anni & Dave:

We are coming over to the American continent and actually performing in Canada for the first time in many years. We usually tour in October but decided to come over after the US election!

The full list of gigs is below, sorry if we aren't going to your area, your continent is mighty big!

8 November Acoustic Harvest Concert email

9 November Cuckoos Nest Club in London Ontario email

10 November House Concert in Mississauga Toronto for Bob Biderman

11 November Concert Ottawa Old Town Hall, Main Street
email Nev Miller after 1/11 (otherwise he will be out of the country)

14-16 November New York Eisteddfod

18 November Music by the Bay House Concert
Gary Martin G1martin@umassd-edu

19 November House Concert Branford Connecticut
Contact Marc & Willa

22 November Folk Song Society of Greater Boston Concert

We hope we will see some of you at one other of these dates!

Best wishes,
Anni & Dave

Still looking a bit rough on Wall Street!

Milkweed in October by James Boyle

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Beggar's Velvet!

This album is a digital re-mastering of the LP recorded in 1990 released as DRGN901. The final track "Parting Song" was not included on the original release but is the last recording of Beggars Velvet who stopped performing in 1993 after eight successful and happy years together. The group comprised of Cathy & Charley Yarwood and Dave Webber & Anni Fentiman. This is one of my favorite folk albums of all time! I am glad it can be bought again! You can get this on CD Baby!


CH: My Lady of Autumn, sing me your song
Play me your tune; tell me I'm wrong
Tell me you don't mean the things that you say
Tell me that we'll find a way.

Your eye clear as winter, your touch fresh as spring
You weigh like the summer, free as birds on the wing
The seasons are changing, it's time you were gone
The colors of you will go on.

Fields that were golden are changing to brown
Leaves that were green now tumble to the ground
The warm sun of summer makes way for the snow
I know it's time; you must go.

The light, it is changing, the sky's overcast
Winter is here now, autumn is past
Deep in this dark world some warmth I must find
Though it's winter in the valley, it's still autumn in my mind.

- © Dave Webber

Royal Meltdown in Scotland

The global financial meltdown has claimed a major scalp. As part of the government's rescue of the faltering Royal Bank of Scotland Sir Fred Goodwin has vacated the chief executive's chair.

Monday, October 13, 2008

From the NY Times by MAUREEN DOWD

Are We Rome? Tu Betchus!
Published: October 11, 2008

The decline and fall of the American Empire echoes the experience of the Romans, who also tumbled into the trap of becoming overleveraged empire hussies.

As our sand-castle economy washes away under the tide of bad gambles and debts, this most self-indulgent society lurches toward stoicism (even bankrupt Iceland gives us the cold shoulder and turns to a solvent superpower). It’s going to require more than giving up constant infusions of stocks, Starbucks and Botox.

As Seneca, the Roman Stoic who advised treating the body “somewhat strictly,” wrote in a letter: “Avoid whatever is approved of by the mob, and things that are the gift of chance. Whenever circumstance brings some welcome thing your way, stop in suspicion and alarm ...They are snares. ... we think these things are ours when in fact it is we who are caught. That track leads to precipices; life on that giddy level ends in a fall.”

The study of Latin and Greek, with illuminations on morality, philosophy, mob rule and chariot races, reached a nadir in the greedy ‘80s and ‘90s, when it seemed irrelevant for kids who yearned to be investment bankers and high-tech millionaires. But now we’ve learned the hard way that greed is bad — avaritia mala est — and the classics have staged a comeback. Amo Latinam, so I was happy to see last week’s Times story about the soaring enrollment for Latin classes in New York.

In high school, I translated swatches of Julius Caesar’s “The Battle for Gaul” from Latin to English while nibbling cheese crackers. To boost the felicitous new trend toward Latin, I enlisted Gary D. Farney, an associate professor of history at Rutgers University, to translate (loosely and creatively) from English to Latin “The Battle of Gall,” my take below on why the hyperventilating Republicans are not veni, vidi, vici-ing.

Bellum Gallium

Manes Julii Caesaris paucis diebus aderant — “O, most bloody sight!” — cum Ioannes McCainus, mavericus et veteranus captivusque Belli Francoindosinini, et Sara Palina, barracuda borealis, qui sneerare amant Baracum Obamam causa oratorii, pillorant ut demagogi veri, Africanum-Americanum senatorem Terrae Lincolni, ad Republicanas rallias.

Rabidi subcanes candidati, pretendant “no orator as Brutis is,” ut “stir men’s blood” et disturbant mentes populi ad “a sudden flood of mutiny,” ut Wilhelmus Shakespearus scripsit.

Cum Quirites Americani ad rallias Republicanas audiunt nomen Baraci Husseini Obamae, clamant “Mortem!” “Amator terroris!” “Socialiste!” “Bomba Obamam!” “Obama est Arabus!” “Caput excidi!” tempus sit rabble-rouseribus desistere “Smear Talk Express,” ut Stephanus Colbertus dixit. Obama demonatus est tamquam Musulmanus-Manchurianus candidatus — civis “collo-cerviciliaris” ad ralliam Floridianam Palinae exhabet mascum Obamae ut Luciferis.

Obama non queretur high-tech lynching. Sed secreto-serventes agentes nervosissmi sunt.

Vix quisque audivit nomen “Palinae” ante lunibus paucis. Surgivit ex suo tanning bed ad silvas in Terram Eskimorum, rogans quis sit traitorosus, ominosus, scurrilosus, periculosus amator LXs terroris criminalisque Chicagoani? Tu betchus!

“Caeca ambitio Obamana,” novum rumorem Palina McCainusque dixit. “Cum utilis, Obama laborat cum amatore terroris Wilhelmo Ayro. Cum putatus, perjuravit.” McCainianus bossus maximus Francus Keatinx vocat Obamam, “plebeium,” et ut iuvenum snifferendum cocaini minimi (“a little blow.”)

Cum Primus Dudus, spousus Palinanus, culpari attemptaret “Centurionem-Gate,” judices Terrae Santae Elvorumque castigat gubernatricem Palinam de abusu auctoritatis per familiam revengendum.

Tamen Sara et Ioannes bury Obama, not praise him. Maverici, ut capiunt auxilium de friga-domina, hench-femina, Cynthia McCaina Birrabaronessa, (quae culpat Obamam periculandi suum filum in Babylonia), brazen-iter distractant mentes populares de minimissimis IV 0 I K.ibus, deminutione “Motorum Omnium,” et Depressione Magna II.0. Omnes de Georgio Busio Secundo colossale goofballo. “V” (because there’s no W. in Latin) etiam duxit per disastrum ad gymnasium.

Gubernatrix (prope Russia) Palina, spectans candidaciam MMXII, post multam educationem cum Kissingro et post multam parodiam de Sabbatis Nocte Vivo atque de Tina Feia, ferociter vituperat Obamam, ut supralupocidit (aerial shooting of wolves) in Hyperborea.

Vilmingtoni, in Ohionem, McCain’s Mean Girl (Ferox Puella) defendit se gladiatricem politicam esse: “Pauci dicant, O Jupiter, te negativam esse. Non, negativa non sum, sed verissima.” Talk about lipsticka in porcam! Quasi Leeus Atwater de oppugnatione Busii Primi ad Dukakem: “non negativus, sed comparativus.”

Milkweed by Philip Levine

Remember how unimportant
they seemed, growing loosely
in the open fields we crossed
on the way to school. We
would carve wooden swords
and slash at the luscious trunks
until the white milk started
and then flowed. Then we'd
go on to the long day
after day of the History of History
or the tables of numbers and order
as the clock slowly paid
out the moments. The windows
went dark first with rain
and then snow, and then the days,
then the years ran together and not
one mattered more than
another, and not one mattered.

Two days ago I walked
the empty woods, bent over,
crunching through oak leaves,
asking myself questions
without answers. From somewhere
a froth of seeds drifted by touched
with gold in the last light
of a lost day, going with
the wind as they always did.

by Philip Levine

October Poem


O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the wall.

by Robert Frost

Fern in the Goldenrod

This is lovely Fern the pinto donkey that lives across the road on the nice old 50 acre farm there.

Sara Teasdale

Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer
Shadowy fields that are senseless but full of singing.
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
Ceaseless, insistent.

The grasshopper's horn, and far off, high in the maples
the wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
Under a moon waning and worn and broken,
Tired with summer.

Let me remember you, voices of little insects,
Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,
Let me remember you, soon will the winter be on us,
Snow-hushed and heartless.

Over my soul murmur your mute benediction
While I gaze, oh fields that rest after harvest,
As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to,
Lest they forget them.

Sara Teasdale - from Rivers to the Sea

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ellen P. Allerton, Indian Summer Poem

Indian Summer

Again the leaves come fluttering down,
Slowly, silently, one by one__
Scarlet, and crimson, and gold, and brown,__
Willing to fall, for their work is done.

And once again comes the dreamy haze,
Draping the hills with its filmy blue,
And veiling the sun, whose tender rays
With mellowed light come shimmering

Softly it rests on the sleeping lake
This filmy veil__and the distant shore,
Fringed with tangles of bush and brake,
Shows a dim blue line and nothing more.

The winds are asleep, save now and then
Some wandering breeze comes stealing by,
Softly rises, then sinks again,
And dies away like an infant's sigh.

You feel the spell of these dreamy days
I know__for your heart is in tune with
You love the stillness, the tender haze;
I know for your thoughts with my own

But this dreamy calm, this solemn hush,
The sleeping winds, and the mellow glow,
Only foretell the tempest's rush,
The icy blast, and the whirling snow.

We__you and I must bow to the frost,
When our locks are white with its hoary
Our last rose scattered, its petals lost;
May our Indian Summer be calm__like this.

-Ellen P. Allerton.


These are the days when birds come back,
A very few, a bird or two,
To take a backward look.

These are the days when skies put on
The old, old sophistries of June, --
A blue and gold mistake.

Oh, fraud that cannot cheat the bee,
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief,

Till ranks of seeds their witness bear,
And softly through the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf!

Oh, sacrament of summer days,
Oh, last communion in the haze,
Permit a child to join,

Thy sacred emblems to partake,
Thy consecrated bread to break,
Taste thine immortal wine!

by Emily Dickinson

Who do you want in your baby's future I ask?

Geese in the Autumn Sun.

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