April 10th, 2006

speed limit

Happy Birthday, stryck!

Happy Birthday, O Happy Birthday!
Pain and sorrow and despair,
people dying everywhere;
Happy Birthday, O Happy Birthday!
One step closer to the grave,
think of all the food you'll save;
Happy Birthday, O Happy Birthday!
-- Russian Happy Birthday Song

Practicing her innocent look.

Thirteen-year-old going places.

All grown up with hubby anher and mother collinsmom

Twenty-seven years ago, I called my parents at three o'clock in the morning on this day to wish my father a Happy Birthday. What do you get the man who has everything?

A grand-daughter.

stryck was born on this date. We celebrated her and Grandbear's birthday together for many years, till he died in 1998.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. I love you.
-- Dad
compass rose

Harp Song of the Dane Women

What is a woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker?

She has no house to lay a guest in --
But one chill bed for all to rest in,
That the pale suns and the stray bergs nest in.

She has no strong white arms to fold you,
But the ten-times-fingering weed to hold you --
Out on the rocks where the tide has rolled you.

Yet, when the signs of summer thicken,
And the ice breaks, and the birch-buds quicken,
Yearly you turn from our side, and sicken --

Sicken again for the shouts and the slaughters.
You steal away to the lapping waters,
And look at your ship in her winter-quarters.

You forget our mirth, and talk at the tables,
The kine in the shed and the horse in the stables --
To pitch her sides and go over her cables.

Then you drive out where the storm-clouds swallow,
And the sound of your oar-blades, falling hollow,
Is all we have left through the months to follow.

Ah, what is Woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker ?
-- Rudyard Kipling

Quote of the Day

" . . . writers like to tell the story of the German actor who was booed when he played Hamlet and stopped mid-soliloquy to turn to the audience and say, 'Don't blame me, I didn't write this shit!' . . ."
-- Peggy Noonan, in What I Saw at the Revolution

"When the Rudyards cease from Kipling, and the Haggards Ride no more"

The top greeting card of all time has a boy asking a girl if she likes Kipling. She replies, "I don't know, you naughty boy; I've never kippled."

Well, I like Kipling. (It's my low-brow-ness coming through.) And here is a poem appropriate for National Poetry Month

In the Neolithic Age (1895)

In the Neolithic Age savage warfare did I wage
For food and fame and woolly horses' pelt.
I was singer to my clan in that dim, red Dawn of Man,
And I sang of all we fought and feared and felt.

Yea, I sang as now I sing, when the Prehistoric spring
Made the piled Biscayan ice-pack split and shove;
And the troll and gnome and dwerg, and the Gods of Cliff and Berg
Were about me and beneath me and above.

But a rival, of Solutre, told the tribe my style was outre--
'Neath a tomahawk, of diorite, he fell
And I left my views on Art, barbed and tanged, below the heart
Of a mammothistic etcher at Grenelle.

Then I stripped them, scalp from skull, and my hunting-dogs fed full,
And their teeth I threaded neatly on a thong;
And I wiped my mouth and said, "It is well that they are dead,
For I know my work is right and theirs was wrong."

But my Totem saw the shame; from his ridgepole-shrine he came,
And he told me in a vision of the night:
-- "There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
"And every single one of them is right!" . . . . . . .

Then the silence closed upon me till They put new clothing on me
Of whiter, weaker flesh and bone more frail;
And I stepped beneath Time's finger, once again a tribal singer,
And a minor poet certified by Traill!

Still they skirmish to and fro, men my messmates on the snow
When we headed off the aurochs turn for turn;
When the rich Allobrogenses never kept amanuenses,
And our only plots were piled in lakes at Berne.

Still a cultured Christian age sees us scuffle, squeak, and rage,
Still we pinch and slap and jabber, scratch and dirk;
Still we let our business slide--as we dropped the half-dressed hide--
To show a fellow-savage how to work.

Still the world is wondrous large,--seven seas from marge to marge--
And it holds a vast of various kinds of man;
And the wildest dreams of Kew are the facts of Khatmandhu
And the crimes of Clapham chaste in Martaban.

Here's my wisdom for your use, as I learned it when the moose
And the reindeer roamed where Paris roars to-night:
-- "There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, And--every--single--one--of--them--is--right!"