May 152018
 

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

-Excerpt From: The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin

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May 082018
 

For believe me! — the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is: to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships into uncharted seas! Live at war with your peers and yourselves! Be robbers and conquerors as long as you cannot be rulers and possessors, you seekers of knowledge! Soon the age will be past when you could be content to live hidden in forests like shy deer! At long last the search for knowledge will reach out for its due: — it will want to rule and possess, and you with it!

The Gay Science

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May 072018
 

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.

Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

1923

Excerpt From: “The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats Volume I: The Poems.” Scribner.

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Apr 232018
 

A quiet valley with no man’s footprints,
An empty garden lit by the moon.
Suddenly my dog barks and I know
A friend with a bottle is knocking at the gate.

-17th Century
Trans. Kim Jong-gil

from Poems of Gratitude.

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Apr 122018
 

At this moment in time we’d like to invite
First Class passengers only to board the aircraft.

Thank you for waiting. We now extend our invitation
to Exclusive, Superior, Privilege and Excelsior members,
followed by Triple, Double and Single Platinum members,
followed by Gold and Silver Card members,
followed by Pearl and Coral Club members.
Military personnel in uniform may also board at this time.

Thank you for waiting. We now invite
Bronze Alliance members and passengers enrolled
in our Rare Earth Metals Points and Reward Scheme
to come forward, and thank you for waiting.

Thank you for waiting. Accredited Beautiful People
may now board, plus any gentleman carrying a copy
of this month’s Cigar Aficionado magazine, plus subscribers
to our Red Diamond, Black Opal or Blue Garnet promotion.
We also welcome Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald members
at this time, followed by Amethyst, Onyx, Obsidian, Jet,
Topaz, and Quartz members. Priority Lane customers,
Fast Track customers, Chosen Elite customers,
Preferred Access customers, and First Among Equals customers
may also now board.

On production of a valid receipt travelers of elegance and style
wearing designer and/or hand-tailored clothing
to a minimum value of ten thousand U.S. dollars may now board;
passengers in possession of items of jewelry
(including wristwatches) with a retail purchase price
greater than the average annual salary
of a mid-career high school teacher are also welcome to board.
Also welcome at this time are passengers talking loudly
into cellphone headsets about recently completed share deals,
property acquisitions, and aggressive takeovers,
plus hedge fund managers with proven track records
in the undermining of small-to-medium-sized ambitions.
Passengers in classes Loam, Chalk, Marl, and Clay
may also board. Customers who have purchased
our Dignity or Morning Orchid packages
may now collect their sanitized shell suits prior to boarding.

Thank you for waiting.
Mediocre passengers are now invited to board,
followed by passengers lacking business acumen
or genuine leadership potential, followed by people
of little or no consequence, followed by people
operating at a net fiscal loss as people.
Those holding tickets for zones Rust, Mulch, Cardboard,
Puddle, and Sand might now want to begin gathering
their tissues and crumbs prior to embarkation.

Passengers either partially or wholly dependent on welfare
or kindness: please have your travel coupons validated
at the Quarantine Desk.

Sweat, Dust, Shoddy, Scurf, Feces, Chaff, Remnant,
Ash, Pus, Sludge, Clinker, Splinter, and Soot:
all you people are now free to board.

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