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Showing posts from January, 2014

The Sunday Posts/ A Man's A Man.

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Is there for honest Poverty
That hings* his head, an' a' that;        {hangs}
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that.
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd* for a' that.       {gold}

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin* grey, an' a that;         {coarse material}
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man's a Man for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that;
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie*, ca'd a lord,     {fellow}
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof * for a' that:           {fool}
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that:
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a&#…

Thoughts of Long Days

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I close the car door, lift the small camera pack to my shoulder and turn to face the sea. The wind off the water is blowy and cold and makes me glad I've several layers on beneath a good anorak and that I took a moment to stick an old woollen hat on my head. It's one that I bought for my late father years ago when he complained of feeling the cold because his hair had thinned so much. I have it in the car all the time so it's there when needed, like on a cold day when I decide on a whim that I'm going to go and take a few photos. A mix of sentimentality, familiarity and rare forward planning perhaps.

I step over the low wooden barrier rail of the car-park, stopping a moment with a raised foot on the bare tree trunk to check the laces of a boot before stepping onto the rough grass between me and the water. The grass is knee high and bleached blonde, perhaps from the long gone sun of last summer, perhaps scoured of green by sand and wind or just possibly because it'…

The {late} Sunday Post/ Wild Geese

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You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
In the family of things.

Mary Oliver.
Photo by Alistair.

The Sunday Posts 2013/ Dreams

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Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.      

Langston Hughes.
Photo by Alistair.

The Sunday Posts/ The Day of Battle

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Far I hear the bugle blow
To call me where I would not go,
And the guns begin the song,
'Soldier, fly or stay for long.'

"Comrade, if to turn and fly
Made a soldier never die,
Fly I would, for who would not?
'Tis sure no pleasure to be shot.

"But since the man that runs away
Lives to die another day,
And cowards' funerals, when they come,
Are not wept so well at home,

"Therefore, though the best is bad,
Stand and do the best, my lad;
Stand and fight and see your slain,
And take the bullet in your brain.

A.E. Houseman





A Small Expression Of Disgust.

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Don't even look at him.

Jess butts her head against my fingers as I rub her neck and shoulders, gently massaging a loud purr of appreciation from her as we spend a companionable minute or two together. She's been restless this morning, repeatedly wandering in and out of the kitchen and its attached utility room where Jess has her bed, food and litter tray. Her litter tray is one of those big covered ones with a flap so she can get in and out. We bought it after noticing that if she was using her tray and either of us went in to the utility room or even passed by the door, Jess would immediately get back out. Obviously she's a sensitive wee soul and, being somewhat the same myself when it comes to privacy, I felt sympathy. The covered litter tray has worked a treat for a few years now and she's been much more relaxed.

If there is a down side it is - how should I put it? Maybe "out of sight, out of mind" would best cover the occasional slip between The Lovely …