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  • FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY WE WERE WED

    I am returning to the poets of the Harlem Renaissance with this tender romantic poem by the Jamaican-American writer Claude McKay (1889 - 1948)

    roses


    A MEMORY OF JUNE

    When June comes dancing o'er the death of May, 

    With scarlet roses tinting her green breast, 

    And mating thrushes ushering in her day, 

    And Earth on tiptoe for her golden guest,
    

I always see the evening when we met--
    
The first of June baptized in tender rain-- 

    And walked home through the wide streets, gleaming wet, 

    Arms locked, our warm flesh pulsing with love's pain.
    

I always see the cheerful little room, 

    And in the corner, fresh and white, the bed,
    
Sweet scented with a delicate perfume, 

    Wherein for one night only we were wed; 


    Where in the starlit stillness we lay mute, 

    And heard the whispering showers all night long, 

    And your brown burning body was a lute
    
Whereon my passion played his fevered song.
    

When June comes dancing o'er the death of May,
    
With scarlet roses staining her fair feet, 

    My soul takes leave of me to sing all day 

    A love so fugitive and so complete.

    Claude McKay

  • PICNIC

    Today - the last of my childhood songs:

    bears


    THE TEDDY BEAR'S PICNIC

    If you go down in the woods today you're sure of a big surprise
    If you go down in the woods today you'd better go in disguise
    For every bear that ever there was will gather there for certain
    Because today's the day the Teddy Bears have their picnic

    Every Teddy Bear who's been good is sure of a treat today
    There's lots of marvellous things to eat and wonderful games to play
    Beneath the trees where nobody sees they'll hide and seek as long as they please
    That's the way the Teddy Bears have their picnic
    Picnic time for Teddy Bears
    The little Teddy Bears are having a lovely time today
    Watch them, catch them unawares and see them picnic on their holiday
    See them gaily gad about
    They love to play and shout
    They never have any cares
    At six o'clock their Mummies and Daddies will take them home to bed
    'Cause they're tired little Teddy Bears

    If you go down in the woods today you better not go alone
    It's lovely down in the woods today but saver to stay at home
    For every bear that ever there was will gather there for certain
    Because today's the day the Teddy Bears have their picnic

    A.A. Milne

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxFIGWm9M6w

  • CHANGING GUARD

    More from my childhood:

    guards


    BUCKINGHAM PALCE

    They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
    Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
    Alice is marrying one of the guard.
    "A soldier's life is terribly hard,"
    Says Alice.

    They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
    Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
    We saw a guard in a sentry-box.
    "One of the sergeants looks after their socks,"
    Says Alice.

    They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
    Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
    We looked for the King but he never came.
    "Well, God take care of him, all the same,"
    Says Alice.

    They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
    Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
    They've great big parties inside the grounds.
    "I wouldn't be King for a hundred pounds,"
    Says Alice.

    They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
    Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
    A face looked out, but it wasn't the King's.
    "He's much too busy a-signing things,"
    Says Alice.

    They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
    Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
    "Do you think the King knows all about me?"
    "Sure to, dear, but it's time for tea,"
    Says Alice

    A.A. Milne

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_Z5LpHuXVE

  • REMINISCING

    As I grow older I hark back to my childhood, where the memories are stronger - and I remember every word of this much-loved children's song.

    It was a different world back then!

    christopher

    VESPERS

    Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
    Droops on the little hands little gold head.
    Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!
    Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.

    God bless Mummy. I know that's right.
    Wasn't it fun in the bath to-night?
    The cold's so cold, and the hot's so hot.
    Oh! God bless Daddy - I quite forgot.

    If I open my fingers a little bit more,
    I can see Nanny's dressing-gown on the door.
    It's a beautiful blue, but it hasn't a hood.
    Oh! God bless Nanny and make her good.

    Mine has a hood, and I lie in bed,
    And pull the hood right over my head,
    And I shut my eyes, and I curl up small,
    And nobody knows that I'm there at all.

    Oh! Thank you, God, for a lovely day.
    And what was the other I had to say?
    I said "Bless Daddy," so what can it be?
    Oh! Now I remember it. God bless Me.

    Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
    Droops on the little hands little gold head.
    Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!
    Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.

    A.A. Milne

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vShR9RsFPns

  • COME - LEAVE YOUR BOOKS

    07_reading

    The Summer Rain

    My books I'd fain cast off, I cannot read,
    'Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large
    Down in the meadow, where is richer feed,
    And will not mind to hit their proper targe.

    Plutarch was good, and so was Homer too,
    Our Shakespeare's life were rich to live again,
    What Plutarch read, that was not good nor true,
    Nor Shakespeare's books, unless his books were men.

    Here while I lie beneath this walnut bough,
    What care I for the Greeks or for Troy town,
    If juster battles are enacted now
    Between the ants upon this hummock's crown?

    Bid Homer wait till I the issue learn,
    If red or black the gods will favor most,
    Or yonder Ajax will the phalanx turn,
    Struggling to heave some rock against the host.

    Tell Shakespeare to attend some leisure hour,
    For now I've business with this drop of dew,
    And see you not, the clouds prepare a shower--
    I'll meet him shortly when the sky is blue.

    This bed of herd's grass and wild oats was spread
    Last year with nicer skill than monarchs use.
    A clover tuft is pillow for my head,
    And violets quite overtop my shoes.

    And now the cordial clouds have shut all in,
    And gently swells the wind to say all's well;
    The scattered drops are falling fast and thin,
    Some in the pool, some in the flower-bell.

    I am well drenched upon my bed of oats;
    But see that globe come rolling down its stem,
    Now like a lonely planet there it floats,
    And now it sinks into my garment's hem.

    Drip drip the trees for all the country round,
    And richness rare distills from every bough;
    The wind alone it is makes every sound,
    Shaking down crystals on the leaves below.

    For shame the sun will never show himself,
    Who could not with his beams e'er melt me so;
    My dripping locks--they would become an elf,
    Who in a beaded coat does gayly go.

    Henry David Thoreau

    Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state. (Wiki)

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