Bloody Valentines Poem

Image result for bloody valentine

The Church stories about St. Valentine are a mish-mash of the lives of up to three different clerics who were martyred at any given time.  This is reflected in the relics of St Valentine, with bones from him in Santa Maria Cosmedin in Rome, Whitefriar St. Church in Dublin and St John Duns Scotus in Glasgow.

The most widely accepted version of the story is that he was a Bishop of Terni who was imprisoned on a visit to 3rd Century Rome during the reign of Claudius Gothicus.  The judge, Asterius,  had a blind adopted daughter and Valentine invoked the power of Christianity to cure her.  Asterius then had all his family converted and released his Christian prisoners instead of feeding them to the lions.

On his way home Valentine continued evangelising and was again arrested and this time he was beaten to death with clubs.

While in captivity he penned the first ever Valentines Poem to the formerly blind girl who of course could not read.  She brought it to Asterius who was horrified by the low quality of the poetry he had unleashed upon the world.  In a desperate attempt to right his wrong he had Valentine beaten to death.  But too late.  The story of the tormented poem to unrequited love circulated in the girls schoolyard and then every girl wanted one.

As a result generations of awkward callow youths have been condemned to the practice of translating their inchoate emotions into execrable verse ever since.

Amongst genuine Roman scholars the events described are referred to as “The Crisis of the 3rd Century” and they represent the beginning of the decline and fall of Roman Classical Poetry.

 

First Gay Novelist?

Image result for james bayard taylor

James Bayard Taylor was born Jan 11th 1825.  A poet, a writer, travel writer, diplomat and a most fantastically travelled man.  Many of his travels were made on foot.  He explored the White Nile, he reported on the Californian Gold Rush and he was at the opening of Japan with Perry’s fleet.  Mark Twain was envious of the quality of Taylors German when they travelled together to Prussia.

A highly successful writer in his own lifetime he has seen a rebirth of sorts.  His book “Joseph and his friend: a story of Pennsylvania” is by many considered to be the first American Gay Novel.

Storm Song; by James Bayard Taylor

The clouds are scudding across the moon;
a misty light is on the sea;
the wind in the shrouds has a wintry tune,
and the foam is flying free.

Brothers, a night of terror and gloom
speaks in the cloud and gathering roar;
thank God, He has given us broad sea-room,
a thousand miles from shore.

Down with the hatches on those who sleep!
The wild and whistling deck have we;
good watch, my brothers, to-night we’ll keep,
while the tempest is on the sea!

Though the rigging shriek in his terrible grip,
and the naked spars be snapped away,
lashed to the helm, we’ll drive our ship
in the teeth of the whelming spray!

Hark! how the surges o’erleap the deck!
Hark! how the pitiless tempest raves!
Ah, daylight will look upon many a wreck
drifting over the desert waves.

Yet, courage, brothers! we trust the wave,
with God above us, our guiding chart.
So, whether to harbor or ocean-grave,
be it still with a cheery heart!

Happy Birthday Rudyard Kipling

Kipling in 1895

Despite being a nobel prize winning author Rudyard Kipling is a divisive figure in the modern world.  Many of his poems, novels and short stories are schoolboy classics.  But he represents the most obnoxious, biased and jingoistic elements of British Imperialism.   One thing is certain; he was a prolific writer and he has left us a wealth of poetry, not all of which is doggerel.  Born in India, December 30th, 1865, in the days when the sun did not set on the British Empire, and when the world map was a sea of pink, the colour used to pick out the Empire.

 

My Boy Jack? ; by Rudyard Kipling

‘Have you news of my boy Jack? ‘
Not this tide.

‘When d’you think that he’ll come back? ‘
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

‘Has anyone else had word of him? ‘
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
not with this wind blowing and this tide.

‘Oh, dear, what comfort can I find? ‘
None this tide,
nor any tide,
except he did not shame his kind –
not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.
Then hold your head up all the more,
this tide,
and every tide;
because he was the son you bore,
and gave to that wind blowing and that tide!

A Christmas Wish

Family Stone

The Family Stone: A tale of Christmas Dysfunctionality

Everybody thinks they are right.  If you asked Hitler, Stalin, Ivan the Terrible or Robert Mugabe about their records they would explain to you why they were right and what they did was right and there is a good chance that after an hour with any of them you would begin to accept that they had a valid position.

Everybody thinks they are right.

Christmas is time for families.  If anyone knows how to push all your emotional trigger buttons it is your close family.  This makes Christmas a time of stress and tension for many.  Old arguments bubble to the surface.  Kind words and gestures are over-analysed and misinterpreted and rejected.

If you have stress in your relationships here is some sage advice from John Greenleaf Whittier.  Just forgive. Whittier is one of the “Fireside Poets” and born this day in 1807.  I like to think of the Fireside poets in terms of life before TV, when you might spend a cold winters evening by the fire sharing poetry and stories.  Time spent with family and friends, like Christmas.

Forgiveness is hard, because if you mean it then it must be unconditional.  You are not offering an olive branch to begin peace talks.  You are giving it away, opening your own heart with no expectation of any reciprocal action on the other side.  That is real forgiveness.

 

Forgiveness; by John Greenleaf Whittier

My heart was heavy, for its trust had been
abused, its kindness answered with foul wrong;
so, turning gloomily from my fellow-men,
one summer Sabbath day I strolled among
the green mounds of the village burial-place;
where, pondering how all human love and hate
find one sad level; and how, soon or late,
wronged and wrongdoer, each with meekened face,
and cold hands folded over a still heart,
pass the green threshold of our common grave,
whither all footsteps tend, whence none depart,
awed for myself, and pitying my race,
our common sorrow, like a mighty wave,
swept all my pride away, and trembling I forgave!

They also serve.

Famous Quotes John Milton. QuotesGram

Born Dec 9th 1608 John Milton grew up in Stewart England at a time of religious fervor.  The King James Version (KJV) Bible was published when he was an infant.  Milton studied for Aglican religious orders and attended Cambridge for his Bachelors and Masters degrees.   He then delved further into personal study and left England on a Grand Tour of Europe.  At Naples he cancelled his plans to travel onwards to Sicily and Greece due to the outbreak of Civil War in England.

He was a committed supporter of the Commonwealth and Oliver Cromwell and he worked as a civil servant in that administration.  He fought the English Civil War with his pen while Cromwell wielded his sword.  In the dying days of the commonwealth he lost his sight to blindness.  Once Cromwell passed away the commonwealth was doomed and Milton found himself in mortal danger.

He was saved by the pleas of influential friends and lived the remainder of his life in relative poverty, writing poetry by dictation, including his Magnum Opus “Paradise Lost”.

Many consider him to be a writer to match Shakespeare and he was hugely influential to his contemporaries like Andrew Marvell, and subsequent critics and writers such as Samuel Johnson, William Blake, William Wordsworth and Thomas Hardy.

 

On his blindness; by John Milton

When I consider how my light is spent
‘ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
and that one talent which is death to hide
lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
to serve therewith my Maker, and present
my true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
that murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
and post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Immaculate

HD Jim Morrison Wallpapers – HdCoolWallpapers.Com

December 8th is the feast of the immaculate conception in the Roman Catholic tradition, and happens to be the birthday of Jim Morrison, the Christ-Like frontman of the 1960’s sensation that was The Doors.

The immaculate conception as a concept was invented in the 11th Century by a gang of men who liked nothing to do with womens body parts, wombs leaking blood and period pains.  They always felt that Christ Jesus had to be born in a special womb that was pure and spotless.  But in the 11th Century the church leaders decided that they needed to go back another generation.  It was not enough that Jesus was magically born without the corruption of the flesh (normal sexual activity) but the mother of Jesus, Mary, also had to be born of immaculate conception.

So Mary was conceived in the absence of an erection, and to celebrate this nonsense all Irish people mark this day by erecting their Christmas Tree.

 

 

Stoned Inmaculate; by Jim Morrison

I’ll tell you this…
no eternal reward will forgive us now
for wasting the dawn.
Back in those days everything was simpler and more confused.

One summer night, going to the pier
I ran into two young girls
the blonde one was called Freedom
the dark one, Enterprise
we talked and they told me this story
now listen to this…

I’ll tell you about Texas radio and the big beat
soft driven, slow and mad
like some new language
reaching your head with the cold, sudden fury of a divine messenger.
Let me tell you about heartache and the loss of god
wandering, wandering in hopeless night.

Out here in the perimeter there are no stars
out here we is stoned
Immaculate.

 

Light My Fire (Live at Felt Forum, New York CIty, January ...

Happy Birthday Ismail Joubert

Leopard Wallpapers and Background Images - stmed.net

Shaman; by Ismail Joubert

The leopard lay,
long and dappled, under the leaves.
He saw me when
I still saw only the leaves.
His eyes, alerted, flamed
with more of wonderment than rage.
He had sheathed his claws and, once,
he swiped a paw across his nose.

‘I know you’, he said,
looking at me through the mask of shadows round his eyes.
I saw him wholly, then
his languid grace and power, yet
was not afraid, his voice being mild
as any mewing kitten’s, which meant
that I could love him if not yet trust,
and I dared to tremblingly scratch an ear.

He closed his eyes and roaringly purred,
frightening my hand, then grinned
a little, baring the black
slobber of his gums, the fangs
whiter than the white bones of the hill,
then again looked at me, a daze
of pleasure drawing back from his eyes, and thanked
me with a leathern tonguing of my skin.

‘Yes’, he said, ‘it was a long time ago.
This hill was then a living thing.
You, shaman, danced on it till you dropped
as one dead and a leopard leapt
from your ruin and ran,
slavering, under the holy moon.
What has become of you, brother man?
Does the magic herb no longer grow among these stones?’

I wept, then, huddled on
the rigid hinges of my knees,
hearing only silence thrum
through the shattered pipelines of my bones.
Below the alien city threshed
and howled and he looked
at me as at a wounded beast and slid
out the filial pity of his claws.

‘No!’ I shouted. ‘No!’
stammering like a frightened child.
‘You exceed your station; it is I
that flow and flower under a moon.’
He looked at me with sorrowing eyes.
‘But it is leopards that die
as shamans should,’ he said and crashed
out of the leaves as out of an ice of time.

 

Names for this poet

Mogamed Fu’ad Nasif (Born Dec 7th 1920)

John Carlton

Jozua Joubert

Ismail Joubert

Tatamkhulu Afrika