"Autobiographies of great nations are written in three manuscripts – a book of deeds, a book of words, and a book of art.
Of the three, I would choose the latter as truest testimony." - Sir Kenneth Smith, Great Civilisations

"I must write each day without fail, not so much for the success of the work, as in order not to get out of my routine." - Leo Tolstoy

I have never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think the pleasures of not writing are so
great that if you ever start indulging them you will never write again. - John Updike

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour
is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it." - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Thursday, October 22, 2015

R.E. Slater - A Soulful Solaris





Hang Massive - Once Again, 2011
(hang drum duo ) ( HD )




A Soulful Solaris
by R.E. Slater


Unbeing's ensnaring folds slip silently by
spanning vast churning emptied voids
filling tymphonous timelike strands
like so many aethereal filaments haunting
endless infinity's dread immortal hands
hollowed of praise but not of glory.

Heedless we rise to time's weary laments
unconsciously awakening body with soul
feeding frail spirits' spiritual hungers
too easily sated ruined pains and cheap wines
eucharist to gallowed death's spinning wheels
connecting nothingness to present hopelessness.

Refusing release to neverland's turbulent colors
painted on canvases rupturing prismatic dreams
swirling warily around aethers bursting with life
lived eons ago devoid burdensome burdens
affixed solaris' gentle rhythms wooing home
before toxic trances formed our hypnotic selves.

A solaris promising deep glorious peace
against chafing ills presently bourne
become nether haven to worn spirits within
seeking soul's rest nigh long journey's trek
emptied of life but not of its stubborn will
nor of hope nor fairest love's bursting songs
sirens to life everlasting without start or end.


- R.E. Slater
October 22, 2015; rev. October 26, 2015

@copyright R.E. Slater Publications
all rights reserved



Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Edgar Allan Poe - The Raven



Edgar Allan Poe
1809–1849



Christopher Walken reads "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe
with English subtitles.





The Raven
BY EDGAR ALLAN POE


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
            Nameless here for evermore.

    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
            This it is and nothing more.”

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
            Darkness there and nothing more.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
            Merely this and nothing more.

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
            With such name as “Nevermore.”

    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
            Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
            Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
            She shall press, ah, nevermore!

    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
    Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
            Shall be lifted—nevermore!



References

Wikipedia - "The Raven"


Poetry Foundation - Biography of Poet







Thursday, October 15, 2015

Chinese Book of Songs - Ripe Plums Are Falling





ripe plums are falling
now there are only five
may a fine lover come for me
while there is still time

ripe plums are falling
now there are only three
may a fine lover come for me
while there is still time

ripe plums are falling
I gather them in a shallow basket
may a fine lover come for me
tell me his name

- Chinese Book of Songs




Here is a poem sung to the measured rhythms of harvest where plums drop one by one from the vines of birth until, at the last, each as died, full of age and days of youth. So then is a young lover's wistfulness spent upon the measures of the day wooing the plums, the trees, the air, to tell her where she might find her lover. A love which aches in her heart ripened to the point of being tasted, eaten, devoured, until heart and soul are betrothed in time and being and satisfaction. But with each passing youthful wist wished upon the hands of time the young lover's aching prayer is not answered. The lover's name not known. And there, alone, heaves the lover's broken, heavy heart torn in the throes of love with none to love but only whispers upon the wind settling upon the dying echoes of day's dusks. And as night falls so does love's hopes and dreams spent of wasted passion withered upon the vine with none to love in the imaginations of the heart broken of hope and dream. - r.e. slater


References

Dr. Robert Churchill's Handbook for the Study of Easter Literatures: Book of Songs -


Crossing Delancey: Ripe Plums Are Falling






One of the five Confucian classics, The Book of Songs (Shijing) is the oldest collection of poetry in world literature and the finest treasure of traditional songs left from antiquity. Where the other Confucian classics treat “outward things: deeds, moral precepts, the way the world works,” as Stephen Owen tells us in his foreword, The Book of Songs is “the classic of the human heart and the human mind.” - Amazon Book Description