Poem for the day

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost, 1915

the great escape…

Have you ever felt like breaking out, packing a bag and running away? Most people at one time of another feel like doing this, rarely does anyone do it. Well, I’ve decided to light out for the territory. I’m going to be 34 next week. I’m giving myself 1 year and 1 week to leave home, ditch my job, stash some cash, rent a house in the Highlands (there’s a place in Torlundy that’s perfect) and write a book. If I don’t manage a completed novel in that time, I will take up the best challenge that anyone offers (the more humiliating the better) and will post it on YouTube.

Ok world, HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT.

A poem to share

Ulysses

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.

I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle–
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me–
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads–you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

– Alfred Lord Tennyson

Poem for the day

The Enemy

My youth was nothing but a black storm

Crossed now and then by brilliant suns.

The thunder and the rain so ravage the shores

Nothing’s left of the fruit my garden held once.

I should employ the rake and the plow,

Having reached the autumn of ideas,

To restore this inundated ground

Where the deep grooves of water form tombs in the lees.

And who knows if the new flowers you dreamed

Will find in a soil stripped and cleaned

The mystic nourishment that fortifies?

—O Sorrow—O Sorrow—Time consumes Life,

And the obscure enemy that gnaws at my heart

Uses the blood that I lose to play my part.

– Charles Baudelaire

What a waste…

I’ve been cleaning my office this morning in an attempt to regain some sort of control over my life. I feel calmer and more focussed when I throw away clutter and I’ve filled a black bin liner with all of the notes, files and documents that I always said I’d get to reading sooner or later. It’s like having a huge wardore full of “nothing to wear”. I’m pulling out everything I don’t use on a regular basis and putting it on the biggest ebay clearout you’ve ever seen. I just feel like making my life as simple as possible and this is step 1, orgainsation. Step two is using everything in my kitchen cupboards and not going to Tesco’s until every last bit of food in there is used up. When I think of the amount of money I spend on things I don’t use or need, I get angry with myself. Does anyone really need 40 pairs of shoes? Do I really need three wardrobes and a kitchen full of condiments? NO!

So, today’s prompt: Keeping it simple

If you had to cut out all of things that weren’t working in you life, would anything be left?

Staring at the Sun

There is a point in the sky between the sun and the horizon where it’s safe to look. If you draw your eyes from the ground slowly little by little towards the sun, it’s safe, until suddenly, it isn’t.

Some people are the same. When you look at them out of the corner of your eye, you gain an overall impression, but their blemishes remain unnoticed. It’s only after to look for a long time, straight ahead that the flaws emerge. Inevitably this happens to us all.

I’ve had some people in my peripheral vision for some time now and I’ve only just begun to lift the shades and take in all of the details. I still maintain the warmth I had before, but now I’m seeing the whole picture, warts and all. I guess I just have to ask myself, can I keep looking and risk the burn or do I turn away from anything the isn’t perfect? I guess if I do, I’m in for a lonely ride.

Today’s Prompt: Look Closer

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