Friday, May 31, 2013


 At dusk I came down from the mountain, 

The mountain moon as my companion,

And looked behind at tracks I’d taken

That were blue, blue below the skyline :

You took my arm, led me to your hut

Where small children drew hawthorn curtains

To green bamboos and a hidden path

With vines to brush the traveller’s clothes;

And I rejoiced at a place to rest

And good wine, too, to pour out with you :

Ballads we sang, the wind in the pines,

Till, our songs done, Milky Way had paled ;

And I was drunk and you were merry,

We had gaily forgotten the world !


Note:  In anticipation of June 1st, obviously.  Kevin once told me that Jimi Hendrix particularly liked Soon, Soon, Soon.  Marvelous portrait of two great artists, no?

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Well I'm free again to do what I want again

Free again to sing my songs again

Free again to end my longing

To be out on my own again

Well I made a mistake and thought I could settle down

Thought I could take a leash on my neck around

But now I'm gonna make my way to a better town

My feet are back on the ground

Well I'm free again to do what I want again

Free again to sing my songs again

Free again to end my longing

To be out on my own again  

Alex Chilton: Free Again (Link)

Paintings by Benjamin West (1738-1820):

Top:  The Incredulity of St. Thomas, 1790.

Bottom:  The Ascension, 1801. 

For Davia Temin on the occasion of her election to the Swarthmore College Board of Managers.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


     It's easy and, I think, quite normal to have mixed feelings about war memorials.  Often these come to the fore during national remembrance days, such as this past weekend’s Memorial Day holiday in the U.S.  We honor, we mourn, and often we deeply regret;  the combination of these emotions tends to confuse us and sometimes it rises up and shames us. 

     A war memorial exists, seemingly improbably, in the cemetery at the Quaker Meeting we belong to in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York (which is the hometown, incidentally, of the famous American General David Petraeus).  At one time, it was a cause of great consternation and controversy in the Meeting.  The memorial, erected following World War I, bears an inscription, “Heroes.”  I was surprised to learn, during the period when the matter was “hot” with some of us, that Cornwall’s Quaker war memorial is by no means unique.  People with differing views sometimes are able to find ways to co-exist and respect, if not honor, the "other side’s" humanity. That sort of thing is central to Quakerism in theory, at least, and long since deceased Friends and local veterans once sealed accommodations and compacts permitting ceremonial visits, holiday decoration and funerary observances.  

     All that being said, whoever it was who defaced London’s Animals In War memorial, the most profoundly moving monument I have ever seen and experienced, must be the Devil Incarnate.

   "All the horses had been commandeered for the war, he said; and though he was certain that some had been kept back and hidden away, he could not get on their track. The second day he returned with two—miserable screws and deplorably short in the wind from a diet of beans. There was no decent corn or hay left in the countryside. The third day he picked up a nice little Arab stallion: in poor condition, it is true, but perfectly sound. For these beasts we paid good money, for Blenkiron was well supplied and we had no time to spare for the interminable Oriental bargaining."  

              -- John Buchan, Greenmantle

Time Will Tell -- Bob Marley and the Wailers (Link)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Down into Golders Green and out to Hendon, the miles drummed out at fifty to the hour on the great curved road, down to the roadhouse by Huntonbridge.  

They had lunch there, and he nearly told her everything.

But the waiter brought the cheese and the waiter brought the coffee and somehow there was no time to tell her that they were going to be married and live in Dean Street and have a wedding breakfast in the café's private room.

Graham Greene:  It's A Battlefield (1934)

The Move: No Time (Link) 

Monday, May 27, 2013


state of grace
the milk state
state room
state of anxiety
hazy state
Rugby Kissick state
the empire state
disaster state
the lightbulb state
soup state
Statue of Liberty
state of no return
the White Bear state
doped state
recoil state
Please state your name, address, occupation
the German shepherd state
bent on destruction
the farmer state
state of no more parades
the tobacco state

state prison
station wagon
state flower
state of innocence


ambition state
North Carolina
Jasper’s state
the united state
big state
state your cause
income state
jump the gun state
Roman nose state
manic depression state
hospital state
speed state
calculated state
gone forever state
the body state

the death body state   

From Ted Berrigan & Anne Waldman, Memorial Day (1971)


1. Caspar David Friedrich, The Wanderer Above The Sea of Fog, oil on canvas, 1818.

2. Rudolph Steiner, Second Goetheanum,  Dornach, 1924-28.

3. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Liberty Pole at the French Border at the Moselle, watercolor and pencil, 1793. 

4. Nirvana: Smells Like Teen Spirit (Link)