Curiosity

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Following  new leads from blogs is pleasurable especially when taken to half remembered   old loves. Reading Ricardo Blanco does that : a yen for travelling, things Spanish and the curious mysteries of translation are a rich a rich seam. Add poetry and prose and bobs your uncle or should that be santas pascuas?

And so to Alistair Reid. A brief acquaintance from the Albermarle Book of Modern Verse at school and lo! a much richer, deeper quest begins.  Thanks Señor Blanco.

And when I check the book, certain to find Alastair Reid, I am mistaken.  Just because I remembered it was there, does not mean it’s true

Curiosity

may have killed the cat; more likely
the cat was just unlucky, or else curious
to see what death was like, having no cause
to go on licking paws, or fathering
litter on litter of kittens, predictably.

Nevertheless, to be curious
is dangerous enough. To distrust
what is always said, what seems
to ask odd questions, interfere in dreams,
leave home, smell rats, have hunches
do not endear cats to those doggy circles
where well-smelt baskets, suitable wives, good lunches
are the order of things, and where prevails
much wagging of incurious heads and tails.
Face it. Curiosity
will not cause us to die–
only lack of it will.
Never to want to see
the other side of the hill
or that improbable country
where living is an idyll
(although a probable hell)
would kill us all.
Only the curious
have, if they live, a tale
worth telling at all.

Dogs say cats love too much, are irresponsible,
are changeable, marry too many wives,
desert their children, chill all dinner tables
with tales of their nine lives.
Well, they are lucky. Let them be
nine-lived and contradictory,
curious enough to change, prepared to pay
the cat price, which is to die
and die again and again,
each time with no less pain.
A cat minority of one
is all that can be counted on
to tell the truth. And what cats have to tell
on each return from hell
is this: that dying is what the living do,
that dying is what the loving do,
and that dead dogs are those who do not know
that dying is what, to live, each has to do.

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Song for Peace

We learned a new, old song with our  a cappella choir mistress, Roxanne: the Song for Peace to Sibelius’ tune  Finlandia!  The four part harmonies were lush, as we say.  Lloyd Stone’s lyrics brought tears to the eyes.   If only we would listen and take heed.

This is my song, O God of all the nations
A song of peace for lands afar and mine
This is my home, the country where my heart is
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine
But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean
And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine
But other lands have sunlight too and clover
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations
A song of peace for their land and for mine

 

Going away and coming back again

We have been away for weeks.  Long enough to have forgotten how it feels to be us, to be at home with our little routines.  We have even forgotten what we look like.

We have walked  to sun soaked villages perched high on rugged mountain passes. Not strictly true as I have a mortal fear of narrow paths and long drops, but we nearly did.

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We have seen such sights and done such things, such that life will not be the same ever again.

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And yet, pretty soon the couch slouches the same old way, sagging to the  shapes of of our butts. The TV overheats from overuse and as the fire warms us to a stupor, the memory of the bright times reflect in the fire’s flames in our eyes.

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