Words I love


Catching the Tide

 In memoriam John Clark, lost at sea)

I didn’t join the search party;
watched it gathering at the cruising club;
came to watch the fishing boats instead.

I better be careful you don’t become our Lycidas,
you silly old bugger, John,
seems like you’ve done it this time –
you tried hard enough last year,
drove your yellow Triumph Stag
north up the railway line,
met the Northerner travelling south.
The car – I never did like Triumphs –
the inevitable write-off.
I forget what happened after that
except that you walked away laughing
pissed beyond caring.

the NZR sign reads.
Or is it
                    GAZING AT THE FISHING BOATS
                        GRAZING HEAVY MOORINGS
                        NO DREAMING OF OPEN SEAS
Cook Strait is deeper than coffin or urn.

I didn’t join the party.
Join yours instead,
the Big One that never ends;
come to catch the tide, Clarkie,
turning as the fishing boats turn.

Sam Hunt

by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)
      URNING and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.
      Surely some revelation is at hand;
      Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
      The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
      When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
      Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
      A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
      A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
      Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
      Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
      The darkness drops again; but now I know
      That twenty centuries of stony sleep
      Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
      And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
      Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
~ Alan Cohen

The one thing that the racist can never manage is anything like discrimination: he is indiscriminate by definition.
~ Christopher Hitchens 

Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.
~'The Road' Cormac McCarthy

I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets. It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day. It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful. Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear the coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me - I am happy.
~Hamlin Garland, 1899

Everywhere's within walking distance, if you've got the time - Steven Wright

If you could get rid
of yourself just once,
The secret of secrets
Would open to you.
The face of the unknown,
Hidden beyond the universe
Would appear on the
Mirror of your perception.

Appearances are a glimpse of the unseen.
~ Anaxagoras

There is no abstract art.
You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.
~ Pablo Picasso

There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness
~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

The glaciers came and went, the granite boulders littered the shores of the lakes; the lakes froze during Solovki winter nights, the sea howled under the wind and was covered with an icy sludge and in places froze; the northern lights blazed across half the sky; and it grew bright once again and warm once again, and the fir trees grew and thickened, and the birds cackled and called, and the young deer trumpeted - and the planet circled through all world history, and kingdoms fell and rose, and here there were still no beasts of prey and no human being.

~ Alexander Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago