Monthly Archives: March 2016

What’s a Picture Worth?

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They say “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but what does that actually mean? And where did the expression come from?

This phrase emerged in the USA in the early part of the 20th century. Its introduction is widely attributed to Frederick R. Barnard, who published a piece commending the effectiveness of graphics in advertising with the title “One look is worth a thousand words”, in Printer’s Ink, December 1921. Barnard claimed the phrase’s source to be oriental by adding “so said a famous Japanese philosopher, and he was right”. A picture is worth a thousand words

Printer’s Ink printed another form of the phrase in March 1927, this time suggesting a Chinese origin:

“Chinese proverb. One picture is worth ten thousand words.”

The arbitrary escalation from ‘one thousand’ to ‘ten thousand’ and the switching from Japan to China as the source leads us to smell a rat with this derivation. In fact, Barnard didn’t introduce the phrase – his only contribution was the incorrect suggestion that the country of origin was Japan or China. This has led to another popular belief about the phrase, that is, that it was coined by Confucius. It might fit the Chinese-sounding ‘Confucius he say’ style, but the Chinese derivation was pure invention.

Many things had been thought to be ‘worth ten thousand words’ well before pictures got in on the act; for example:

“One timely deed is worth ten thousand words” – The Works of Mr. James Thomson, 1802.

“That tear, good girl, is worth, ten thousand words” – The Trust: A Comedy, in Five Acts, 1808.

“One fact well understood by observation, and well guided development, is worth a thousand times more than a thousand words” – The American Journal of Education, 1858.

The idea that a picture can convey what might take many words to express was voiced by a character in Ivan S. Turgenev’s novel Fathers and Sons, 1862:

“The drawing shows me at one glance what might be spread over ten pages in a book.”

A similar idea was seen very widely in the USA from the early 20th century, in adverts for Doan’s Backache Kidney Pills, which included a picture of a man holding his back and the text “Every picture tells a story”.

Neither of the above led directly to ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. Who it was that married ‘worth ten thousand words’ with ‘picture’ isn’t known, but we do know that the phrase is American in origin. It began to be used quite frequently in the US press from around the 1920s onward. The earliest example I can find is from the text of an instructional talk given by the newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane to the Syracuse Advertising Men’s Club, in March 1911:

“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.”

This little essay clocks in at almost 500 words. Perhaps I should have posted half a picture instead?


Wentworth Miller

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As someone who himself has struggled with issues of depression, sexuality, and weight, I find this statement by Wentworth Miller particularly inspirational. I saw it on Wicked Gay Blog and knew I wanted to share it here also. This is what Miller wrote:

Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time.

This one, however, stands out from the rest.

In 2010, semi-retired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, I was suicidal.

This is a subject I’ve since written about, spoken about, shared about.

But at the time I suffered in silence. As so many do. The extent of my struggle known to very, very few.

Ashamed and in pain, I considered myself damaged goods. And the voices in my head urged me down the path to self-destruction. Not for the first time.

I’ve struggled with depression since childhood. It’s a battle that’s cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights.

In 2010, at the lowest point in my adult life, I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction. And I turned to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating became the one thing I could look forward to. Count on to get me through. There were stretches when the highlight of my week was a favorite meal and a new episode of TOP CHEF. Sometimes that was enough. Had to be.

And I put on weight. Big f–king deal.

One day, out for a hike in Los Angeles with a friend, we crossed paths with a film crew shooting a reality show. Unbeknownst to me, paparazzi were circling. They took my picture, and the photos were published alongside images of me from another time in my career. “Hunk To Chunk.” “Fit To Flab.” Etc.

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My mother has one of those “friends” who’s always the first to bring you bad news. They clipped one of these articles from a popular national magazine and mailed it to her. She called me, concerned.

In 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed.

Long story short, I survived.

So do those pictures.

I’m glad.

Now, when I see that image of me in my red t-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without.

Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.

Anyway. Still. Despite.

The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe. But as with everything in life, I get to assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/my image is Strength. Healing. Forgiveness.

Of myself and others.

If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They’re waiting to hear from you. Much love. – W.M. #koalas #inneractivist#prisonbroken

http://www.afsp.org
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
http://www.activeminds.org
http://www.thetrevorproject.org
http://www.iasp.info

http://www.facebook.com/notes/wentworth-miller/flour-or-wheat/1653559881523614


Headaches

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Headaches
Marilyn Hacker, 1942

Wine again. The downside of any evening’s
bright exchanges, scribbled with retribution :
stark awake, a tic throbs in the left temple’s
site of bombardment.

Tortured syntax, thorned thoughts, vocabulary
like a forest littered with unexploded
cluster bombs, no exit except explosion
ripping the branches.

Stacks of shadowed books on the bedside table
wall a jar of Tiger Balm. You grope for its
glass netsuke hexagon. Tic stabs, dull pain
supercedes voices,

stills obsessive one-sided conversations.
Turn from mouths you never will kiss, a neck your
fingers will not trace to a golden shoulder.
Think of your elders —

If, in fact, they’d died, the interlocutors
who, alive, recede into incoherence,
you would write the elegy, feel clean grief, still
asking them questions

— though you know it’s you who’d provide the answers.
Auden’s Old People”s Home, Larkin’s The Old Fools
are what come to mind, not Yeats. In a not-so
distant past, someone

poured a glass of wine at three in the morning,
laid a foolscap pad on the kitchen table,
mind aspark from the long loquacious dinner
two hours behind her,

and you got a postcard (a Fifties jazz club)
next day across town, where she scrawled she’d found the
tail-end of a good Sancerre in the fridge and
finished the chapter.

Now she barely knows her friends when you visit.
Drill and mallet work on your forehead. Basta!
And it is Màrgaret you mourn for.. Get up,
go to the bathroom.

You take the drugs. Synapses buzz and click.
You turn the bed lamp on, open a book :
vasoconstrictor and barbiturate
make words in oval light reverberate.
The sky begins to pale at five o’clock.

Since this tooth began to ache, I have been having pretty awful headaches. They come and go, but when they come they come with a vengeance. There are a lot of parts of this poem that speak to how I feel with a headache.


Rough Weekend

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It appears that I most likely have an abscessed tooth, which hurts really fucking bad. Of course any type of head pain leads to a bad headache, so add a massive headache on to the pain in my tooth. I’ll have to call a dentist and see if I can find one that will actually take me and then deal with a dreaded dental appointment. Overall, it’s just a pain in the ass.

UPDATE: The tooth is not abscessed but instead is a major cavity and broken tooth that was causing the pain. I go back in two weeks to get a filling.


“He’s Alive”

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Dolly Parton – He´s alive (Full song)

The gates and doors were barred
And all the windows fastened down
I spent the night in sleeplessness
And rose at every sound
Half in hope of sorrow
And half in fear the day
Would find the soldiers breakin’ through
To drag us all away

And just before the sunrise
I heard something at the wall
The gate began to rattle
And a voice began to call
I hurried to the window
Looked down into the street
Expecting swords and torches
And the sound of soldiers’ feet

But there was no one there but Mary
So I went down to let her in
John stood there beside me
As she told me where she’d been
She said they’ve moved Him in the night
And none of us know where
The stone’s been rolled away
And now His body isn’t there

We both ran towards the garden
Then John ran on ahead
We found the stone and empty tomb
Just the way that Mary said
But the winding sheet they wrapped Him in
Was just an empty shell
And how or where they’d taken Him
Was more than I could tell

Oh something strange had happened there
Just what I did not know
John believed a miracle
But I just turned to go
Circumstance and speculation
Couldn’t lift me very high
‘Cause I’d seen them crucify Him
Then I saw Him die

Back inside the house again
The guilt and anguish came
Everything I’d promised Him
Just added to my shame
When at last it came to choices
I denied I knew His name
And even if He was alive
It wouldn’t be the same

But suddenly the air was filled
With a strange and sweet perfume
Light that came from everywhere
Drove shadows from the room
And Jesus stood before me
With His arms held open wide
And I fell down on my knees
And I just clung to Him and cried

Then He raised me to my feet
And as I looked into His eyes
The love was shining out from Him
Like sunlight from the skies
Guilt in my confusion
Disappeared in sweet release
And every fear I ever had
Just melted into peace

He’s alive yes He’s alive
Yes He’s alive and I’m forgiven
Heaven’s gates are open wide
He’s alive yes He’s alive
Oh He’s alive and I’m forgiven
Heaven’s gates are open wide
He’s alive He’s alive
Hallelujah He’s alive
He’s alive and I’m forgiven
Heaven’s gates are open wide
He’s alive He’s alive He’s alive
I believe it He’s alive
Sweet Jesus

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.

     But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”-and that he had said these things to her.

John 20:1-18

The song above is one of the most powerful Easter songs I know.  It never fails to bring tears to my eyes. It’s a Dolly Parton song, and it’s one of her most beautiful.  As you listen or read the words to the song, you can almost put yourself in the position that the disciples of Christ found themselves. Not only was there great sadness in the death of their savior but also there was fear of what the authorities would do to them. It must have been agonizing for them. Then He appears to them and 

He’s alive and I’m forgiven 

Heaven’s gates are open wide

For Jesus’ mother, his disciples and his followers, Jesus’ death was a tragedy. You can imagine that all hope was naturally gone. We today can face the same feeling. Many times in life, with homophobic politicians, the increasing rise of anti-gay homophobic groups, and everything that is going on in the world — war, famine, disease, natural disasters, discrimination, and hate — there can be a loss of hope and faith. Yet the resurrection gives us hope that no matter what has happened in our lives, no matter how much faith and hope we have lost, we can experience hope, we can overcome and regain whatever we have lost in our lives.

Our hope includes the knowledge that evil does not win. – Sometimes today, it seems that the bad guy often wins. Sometimes it seems that the one who cheats, the one who lies, the one who steps on others to get ahead, is the one who prospers. Far too often, I read of this person cheating or that one (or catching a student cheating) or another kid, gay or otherwise, who has been bullied, lost hope, and committed suicide. How often do we read of politicians cheating, or working to make sure their businesses get the good contract? It seems there is no hope for the little guy, the one who lives right, to ever get ahead.

With a positive attitude that through God we can accomplish anything, we truly can make the world a better place. With hope that springs eternal, just as the flowers in spring show the rebirth of the earth, we can be assured that God’s promises will deliver a better day, a rebirth our faith. The promise that Jesus would rise from the grave on the third day is remembered every Easter Sunday, it is the greatest sacrifice God could give for our sins. When we are baptized, it is done in symbolic reverence as our old body dies in its watery grave to be reborn and rise from the dead as Christ did for our sins.

Easter has always been the major religious holiday at my old church in Alabama. It is a day which has a date for us to celebrate, and it has the most meaning for Christians. It is the day when the Old Testament prophesies of the Messiah were ultimately fulfilled. It is the day that Christ rose from the dead. The resurrection is the most important of the miracles. When I was a child, our church had dinner on the grounds, and everyone brought a dish and the kids had an Easter egg hunt. It was always a wonderful day of fellowship. We no longer have dinner on the grounds because we once had a preacher (he didn’t last long with us) who was extremely hardcore and did not believe in having dinner on the grounds. I think he believed the only meal that should be taken at church was communion. Though he is long gone, we never revived the tradition of dinner on the grounds. I find it quite sad, since early Christian services were often centered around the dinner table where fellowship, worship, and food were part of the gathering.
I hope that all of you have a wonderful Easter. I, also, hope that each of you feels the hope of the rebirth that Easter brings to us today. May God’s love eternally bless you.


Moment of Zen: Easter Lilies

  


Good Friday

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Last night, I was a bit blue. I’m not sure why it’s hit me last night, but it did. I’d had a good day at work, but it was one of those days when I felt lonely. I feel like my family has forgotten about me. My mother rarely calls. Even when Mama calls, it’s rarely a pleasant conversation. I haven’t heard from my aunt in what seems like forever. I know I could call them but when I’m in a mood like this I don’t want to talk to anybody. I also miss my kitties something terrible. I love my apartment and would hate to give it up, and even if I did, I’m not sure the cats would do well up here. They’d be taken away from their familiar surroundings and the other cats. Once cats make a feline family, it’s hard to take them away from it. My aunt’s cats are what they grew up with and I don’t think they’d like being taken away at this point. So I’m kind of torn about taking them away from their home, even if I found an apartment that would allow cats.

Truth be told, I haven’t felt good this week. Wednesday I went home sick from work because of a backache and a headache. I felt better yesterday, but not 100 percent. Today though is Good Friday. Nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus was crucified. It was the darkest day for his followers. They did not understand that on the third day he would rise again and bring  hope to the world. I wish people could actually see and understand the loving nature of Christ. He wanted us to live in a world without prejudices or greed, a world with hope and inspiration. I honestly think that Christ weeps at the site of the world today. I believe that Jesus is saddened by the state of what many call Christianity today. Today, it is a religion of prejudice, hatred, and greed, when it should be a religion of hope, faith, inspiration, and charity.

Remember that Good Friday is a day to contemplate the suffering that Jesus endured for our salvation. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”


The Hanky Code

Adult male with back tattoo reading believer.

The Hanky Code is a traditional form of signaling to others what your sexual preferences and interests are. Gay men used this code to communicate with each other in the noisy and distracting environment of gay bars. Although not as widely used these days, it is still a worthwhile resource and is, among those who know, a great conversation starter. Hankies can also be worn around the wrist, ankle, or leg (at the thigh, above the knee), or around the neck with the tie going either right or left. Other objects such as keys, key chains, watch fobs, or even handcuffs can also be used to let people know if you’re a “top” or “bottom.” If worn in the back on the center belt loop, it translates as “versatile.”

The wearing of various colored bandanas around the neck was common in the mid- and late-nineteenth century among cowboys, steam railroad engineers, and miners in the Western United States. It is thought that the wearing of bandanas by gay men originated in San Francisco after the Gold Rush, when, because of a shortage of women, men dancing with each other in square dances developed a code wherein the man wearing the blue bandana took the male part in the square dance, and the man wearing the red bandana took the female part (these bandanas were usually worn around the arm or hanging from the belt or in the back pocket of one’s jeans). It is thought that the modern hanky code started in New York City when a Village Voice journalist is credited with the birth of the modern hanky code in 1970, jokingly suggesting that instead of wearing keys to indicate whether someone was a top or a bottom, it would be more effective to announce a particular sexual desire by wearing different colored hankies in their back pockets. There were only a few colors suggested—red, navy, light blue, green and black—because that was all that Levi’s produced at the time.
Today, wearing color-coded handkerchiefs (bandanas) is the manner in which communication of desires and fetishes is achieved. Wearing a handkerchief on the left side of the body typically indicates one is a “top” (one considered active in the practice of the fetish indicated by the color of the handkerchief), while wearing it on the right side of the body would indicate one is a “bottom” (one considered passive in the practice of the fetish indicated by the color of the handkerchief). This left-right reality is taken from the earlier practice of tops wearing their keys on the left belt loop and bottoms on the right to indicate being a member of the leather subculture. Bandanas might be worn in the front or back pocket, tied around the neck (with the knot positioned on either the left or right side); around the ankle (when wearing boots or when undressed); or on other parts of the body.

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Levi’s & Harvey Milk Foundation Pride Collection 2016

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Levi Strauss & Co. is launching a Harvey Milk collection of gender-neutral clothing for pride season. Levi’s has paired up with a number of LGBT charities over the years that create a yearly pride collection. They are one of the first major companies to announce a new range of Pride-related merchandise for this year’s Pride season.

The San Francisco-headquartered organization has teamed up with the Harvey Milk Foundation to produce a range of gender-neutral T-shirts, tank tops and shorts. The shorts feature a rainbow watch pocket. The range also includes a denim jacket emblazoned with the Milk quotation ‘Hope will never be silent’ and rainbow embellishments, and an evergreen Pride T-shirt and hat featuring the Levi’s rainbow batwing.

A portion of proceeds from the sale of the items will go to the Foundation. ‘The Levi’s x Harvey Milk Foundation Pride 2016 collection is the physical representation of Levi’s belief in equality for all people while continuing the legacy of one outspoken, courageous and pioneering individual whose inspiring example will never be forgotten,’ said a company spokesperson.

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in US history. He joined the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco in 1977 but was assassinated whilst in office in 1978. ‘Harvey was a true leader, whose passion was palpable and has expanded the decades since his untimely assassination,’ said Grant Barth, chief merchandising officer at Levi Strauss & Co. ‘He brought not only the LGBTQ community forward, but he fought for the visibility of all minorities.’

The collection has the support of Stuart Milk, nephew of Harvey and founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation. ‘It is a simple message, marked by dignity and respect, that we embrace all without exception, and keep alive Uncle Harvey’s promise of equality for all people, everywhere.’

This is the third time that Levi Strauss has produced a Pride collection. The Fortune1000 company has consistently scored the top mark of 100 on the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index – a ranking of LGBTI-friendly US businesses. Major companies are increasingly commemorating Pride season. In 2015, adidas, Nike and Target all produced Pride collections, while Lush made headlines with its #GayIsOK soap and social media campaign.

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I love the rainbow tag on these jeans. Bonus points for the person who tells what the black handkerchief is a code for, and I’ll give even more credit if you tell me  the significance of the pocket.


World Poetry Day

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The rhythm of the tongue brings wordless music into the air; it is in poetry that the human essence is refined to such ritualistic purity. It’s in the steady beats, the sonorous rise-and-fall of speech; for a moment it appears as if all the mysteries of the world have unlocked themselves to our private view.

It’s these works which are celebrated on World Poetry Day, falling on 21 March (yesterday), in which UNESCO recognizes the moving spirit of poetry and its transformative effect on culture.

In honor of these celebrations, below is a small collection of parts of poems from 25 of the greatest poets and some of the most powerful words written in poetic form in history.

Emily Dickinson
‘Because I could not stop for Death’

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

Oscar Wilde
‘To My Wife’

And when wind and winter harden
All the loveless land,
It will whisper of the garden,
You will understand

Gwendolyn MacEwen
‘Dark Pines Under Water’

But the dark pines of your mind dip deeper
And you are sinking, sinking, sleeper
In an elementary world; There is something down there and you want it told

T.S Eliot
‘The Hollow Men’

This is the way the world ends
not with a bang but a whimper

Sylvia Plath
‘Lady Lazarus’

Out of the ash I rise
With my red hair
And I eat men like air

‘Daddy’

At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.
But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue

Wilfred Owen
‘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 our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Neruda
‘Sonnet XVII’

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

Margaret Atwood
‘Variation on the Word Sleep’

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary

e e cummings
‘the boys i mean are not refined’

they speak whatever’s on their mind
they do whatever’s in their pants
the boys i mean are not refined
they shake the mountains when they dance

Walt Whitman
‘O Captain! My Captain!’

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won

‘Leaves of Grass’

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles

Allen Ginsberg
‘Song’

The weight of the world
is love
Under the burden
of solitude,
under the burden
of dissatisfaction
the weight,
the weight we carry
is love

‘Howl’
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night

Maya Angelou
‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’

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

‘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

William Butler Yeats
‘The Second Coming’

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity ‘

Edna St. Vincent Millay
‘Dirge Without Music’

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned

Alexander Pope
‘Eloisa to Abelard’

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d

William Shakespeare
‘Sonnet 116’

Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shake

Ezra Pound
‘A Girl’

Tree you are,
Moss you are,
You are violets with wind above them.
A child – so high – you are,
And all this is folly to the world

Charles Bukowski
‘The Unblinking Grief’

you are much more than simply dead
I am a dish for your ashes
I am a fist for your vanished air
the most terrible thing about life
is finding it gone

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
‘Sonnet 43’

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.

Shel Silverstein
‘Masks’

She had blue skin,
and so did he.
He kept it hid
and so did she.
They looked for blue
their whole life through.
Then passed right by—
and never knew

Dylan Thomas
‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where
Nor any drop to drink

Langston Hughes
‘Let America Be America Again’

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek –
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak

Siegfried Sassoon
‘Suicide in the Trenches’

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go

Robert Frost
‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’

So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

‘The Road Not Taken’

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


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