sarahndipity and more dang poems

I ran across a little serendipity (“Sarah”ndipity) this morning. I discovered that T. S. Eliot worked for as short time in High Wycombe as a teacher. This is the same UK city where my daughter Sarah went to college.

I have made it to Friday of my first week of my Winter Schedule which is quite strenuous. It looks like Thursday will be my hump day this Winter. Coming on the heels of a long day (Wed 8:30 Class, 11:30 conference with boss, 5:45 – 9 PM at church attending a meal, playing a short prayer, doing two choir rehearsals), Thursday is another long day: two ballet classes and a string trio rehearsal. Yesterday I also needed to make a trip to the grocery store.

By the end of the day I was quite tired. We decided not to go to eat because I’m working on moderating my diet and drinking to lose a bit of weight. Instead I whipped up some food for us and we sat down to watch some silly TV online (Game of Thrones season two).

In between all this I continue to practice and exercise.

The ballet classes have had some pretty good moments of musical improv in my estimation. I do enjoy this work and it is a good outlet for my creative notions since I’m not doing much composition these days.

I am finding myself drawn a bit deeper into the poetry of Ursula K. Le Guin and Lucille Clifton. LeGuin’s work seem to use form and convention to convey a cool irony and critical mind:


When I was young, the soldiers filled
The streets with khaki brown,
And sailors too in white and blue.
The glory of my town.

My elder brothers all had gone
To wear a uniform.
I feared for them, but never feared
They would do any harm.

I knew them brave and kind, I new
Them good, and nothing more.
How should a child conceive the wrong
That is the soul of war?

Noe of them killed, and none was killed.
And when their job was done
In hope and pride we welcomed them
And said the war was won.

When I had children of my own,
Soldiers were dressed like clowns
In camouflage, and no parades
Went thumping through the towns.

No, it was we who marched instead,
And we who beat the drum:
Women and old men, motley, wild,
All shouting, “Bring them home!”

They brought them home; some were alive,
But all had come to grief.
And silence met each one and shame
As coward or thief.

We failed them, in righteousness
Withdrawing our goodwill
From the blind courage that obeyed
The blind command to kill.

Yet in all truth they failed us,
As young men ever have,
Who take the order from old men
To dig our common grave.

So now my children’s children see
Their brothers in the mud,
And tortured prisoners, and streets
A marsh of human blood.

And it will be in years to come
As in the years before:
The innocent accept the wrong
That is the soul of war.

And soldiers still will fill the towns
In blue or khaki clad,
The brave, the good, who march to kill
What hope we ever had.

from Finding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems by Ursula K. Le Guin

i come to read them poems,
a fancy trick i do
like juggling with balls of light.
i stand, a dark spinner,
in the grange hall,
in the library, in the
smaller conference room,
and toss and catch as if by magic,
my eyes bright, my mouth smiling,
my singed hands burnin.

from “in white america” in The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010

“… As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated.”

T. S. Eliot “East Coker” V. , Ash Wednesday


Freebook Sifter – A Resource for Free eBooks

My only bookmark for today (I did read the paper, just didn’t read anything worth bookmarking). Thank you to Sarah for this. Someone sifting the free ebooks on Amazon. Very helpful.


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