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Friday, August 29, 2008

Slurpilicious Friday Fixins

Its another extemely warm and sunny Friday that heralds in the the Labor Day weekend. The day has skulked away aimlessly wandering away two steps backward to every one forward. I have been carpooling much more since gas has become unreasonably priced. I am sure there are several blogs there; but some other time. This Friday, I will focus on something more siptuous. Alas on to the...Friday Fixins!


Friday Fixin's!


Blood Orange Margaritas


Blood Orange Margaritas


Ingredients:
1 quart fresh blood orange juice or fresh orange juice
1 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cup Cointreau or other orange liqueur
3 1/2 cups silver tequila
Coarse salt
1 blood orange wedge or orange wedge PLUS"PLUS" means this ingredient in addition to the one on the next line, often with divided uses
12 thin blood orange slices or orange slices
Ice
12 small sage sprigs or leaves
Turn this recipe into a puzzle! [click]
 

Directions:

In a large pitcher, mix the juices, Cointreau and tequila. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
Spread a small mound of salt on a small plate. Moisten the outer rim of martini glasses with the orange wedge, then dip the rims into the salt to lightly coat.
Add ice to the pitcher and stir well, then strain into prepared glasses. Garnish each drink with a blood orange slice and sage sprig.
Serve immediately; repeat as desired.


This recipe from CDKitchen for Blood Orange Margaritas serves/makes 12
More great drink recipes...


Its a long weekend. Abort all labor and relax....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

failure REQUIRED!

stuck in the mud




It seems funny that the longer we live, the worse we might feel before its over. It is certain that there will be something that doesnt turn out like we planned or something that we didnt handle well or even worse, we have been mishandled by someone else. Lets face it; nobody's perfect. We tend to judge everyone else on what they said but ourselves on what we intended. Hmmm...what if Ted Bundy only meant to knockout a few people....but thats not what he did, was it...I see you understand. Even knowing that fact about ourselves; we still despise anyone who crosses us. We hate to see ourselves in a bad light. We hate to fail or at least for ANYONE ELSE to see us fall short. Imagine being an olympian dropping a stick in a relay.... Someone once said "A lesson earned is a lesson learned." Thats a powerful statement and earned aint necessarily pleasant. In fact, typically it isnt! Failure is required for our improvement. Through failure we discover so much more about ourselves and the people we have casually surrounded ourselves.

That may sound bleak; but I assure you it isnt. Think of the seed that dies only to give birth to a beautiful flower. Think about how many failures occurred before Bell or Tesler were successful with the telephone or the light bulb.... Its ok if you fail; make sure you take the lesson you earned and keep moving. Mud only hardens with time; locking the print in time and the mind in prison. Its much easier to get out of the mud while its wet.

never give up
Momma said dont touch the stove a thousand times; but I only had to burn my hand once!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Spudlicious Friday Fixins

Its another extemely warm and sunny Friday that heralds in the weekend. Its gonna be another good one ... you know when you can feel it coming like an approaching welcomed summer shower. The day has sauntered away like a careless feather on a gently teasing breeze. Life is good. But alas the return of one of my favorites...Friday Fixins!

Deviled Potatoes


Deviled Potatoes (Low-Sodium)

An unusual, delicious take on the traditional stuffed appetizer. The filling can be prepared several hours or a day in advance. Makes 30–35

* 30–35 very small creamer (redskin) potatoes

Filling
* 1 clove garlic
* 4 ounces Walnut pieces
* 1 ounce Anchovies, (about 4)
* 1/2 pound dried figs
* Tabasco
* 2 ounces Parmesan, finely grated
* 1/4 cup chopped parsley
* freshly ground black pepper

Soak dried figs in warm water for an hour to soften.

Cut the bottom off each potato slightly so it sits flat. With a melon baller, scoop out the other side of each potato to make a little cup. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil potatoes for 10–15 minutes until just tender, and then plunge into ice water to cool. Set aside.

In a food processor, chop the garlic, walnuts and anchovies. Cut the ends off the figs and add to walnut mixture. Pulse until it forms a coarse but thick paste. Stir in parmesan and add Tabasco to taste, about 10 shakes.

Drain potatoes. With the melon baller or small spoon, stuff each potato with the fig mixture. Place on a large platter and sprinkle with parsley and a few grinds of black pepper.


Ah thats gonna be a good one. Have a great weekend, try something new, appreciate something old and by all means, treasure each moment.







Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Meat of Lunch

dilbert lunch

It isnt about what you eat; its about leaving to eat — heavy on the leaving...




You know, as a nerd, life can be pretty fun and extra funny. Yeh, I know, not everyone has to be born on a keyboard; but ignorance is hardware issue. I love lunch time. Its a moment that is not valued enuf. By that I mean I am an advocate of physically leaving the building and typically going places you wouldnt normally go, meeting people you would otherwise never have seen; take a walk, go away. Its great for the mind and it allows the backside or "cache" of your mind to unravel the day's riddles. Dilbert has some great moments of enlightenment; hence, I defer to his greatness.

As geek, one grows to expect a great number of seemingly "no brainer" questions and situations. In reality, we get just that ... no brainers. But I do know this, anyone presented with an issue if willing to walk away and detox from the stress miraculously comes up with some very cool ideas and solutions; at the very least, a different, more comfortable perspective. Lunch was good. The wind blew across my skin. The air was just the right temperature and for an hour, four previous hours had vanished. With another great workout night ahead, the approaching four hours will equally disentegrate to greater efforts.

By the way, I ran accross another great podcast for all you iPODers who are labor-intensive and need some heavy concentration powers without the headache; I STRONGLY reccommend this one. Binaural Beats!
Binaural Beats is a weekly ambient & experimental music radio program airing live at 8PM EST each Friday evening on 89.7 WITR in Rochester, NY. You can listen live online with any MP3 compatible streaming player. Its excellent because most of it is wordless; just sounds, noises and oddities that keep your mind free to take on whatever daunting task might lay before it. Creatives understand "geekspeak" for "mind lubricant." Ahhh...I see you understand. Otherwise: leave the office now.

de-stress

...know when you need a break
and/or when you are about to break.
You may only have a moments notice;
but evacuate the location.
You'll be glad you did
and so would every one else
if they knew...

5 simple destress steps.





Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Endless Boundaries

Endless Boundaries





Its a beautiful Wednesday in sunny Nashville, Tennessee. I am working on a newspaper spread and a magazine layout while the muse of groovy music lactates into my sonal canals...all courtesy of Jaybird! Yes, I said Jaybird. Jaybird is the DJ on one of my favorite podcasts, Endless Boundaries!



Endless Boundaries, besides being a totally cool name and a great personal creed, is a radio station in New Jersey. For music lovers, it's the best podcast for everything from jam bands to reggae. I like variety, classics and suprises; Endless Boundaries never fails to deliver. I have never personally met Mr. "Jaybird" or been to Jersey, but his wit and music knowledge are only surpassed by his passion to infuse the world with new and old music it just might have dismissed and overlooked oh so carelessly. Jaybird has a way of not saying too much; the music does all his talking! There is something for everyone at Endless Boundaries (EB); tune in, subscribe and get addicted. Jaybird, keep up the great work! You make the days slip from Mondays to enjoyables. Here's looking at ornithologists everywhere; all hail Jaybird!


Now, back to some tunes. Ah PHISH in the famous VA Beach '98 performance and a tribute to Jerry Garcia.....wow! (EB 549) Working is much easier with just the right tunes...besides, it makes me more creative sometimes, too. I noticed that practically everyone in the Olympics was wearing an iPOD too...so why wasnt Apple advertising? The other oddity might lend credence to "technology making the world smaller but "we" as people farther apart;" since you tend to ignore the people right around us and stay inside ourselves or anywhere but here. But thats a different blog. The Odd Normal But really, I, "we" just use it for "focus".....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Two Wheels Are Better Than One, TOO!

Life and Bicycles


Albert Einstein once said, "life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving." Trying to manage every important aspect of your life might sometimes make you feel like your bicycle is traveling downhill and the brakes have quit. Balancing your commitments at work and home can be extremely stressful, but some simple tips can help put you in control of your busy life and help you regain your sanity.

einstein


There are 5 Tips to Relieving Your Stress:

Stress Reduction Technique #1: Know Your Multitasking Capability

Stress Reduction Technique #2: Stop The Complaining Habit

Stress Reduction Technique #3: Agree With Criticisms

Stress Reduction Technique #4: Stay Away From Stress

Stress Reduction Technique #5: Appreciate Those Who Help

...more detail...


You'll be amazed what you can do with LESS Stress!!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Til the Soil; Render Luscious Fruits

thriving plants



I don't know about you; but there is something magical about working in the garden or planting flowers. It's probably my maternal side coming out somehow. I love working in the thick moist soil, pulling the fresh dirt apart as that magnificient aroma permiates your mind, painting pictures of the beautiful blooms yet to come while your fingers register the texture and richness of dirt. Some say the soil will speak to you if you are actually listening through its smell, taste, touch and appearance. Its important to come to the job prepared. There are some required tools or sensibilities that must not be rushed or skipped. Of course you want to be successful; who doesnt. Time and wisdom go hand in hand. I have lived long enuf to realize that the fundamentals are ALWAYS important; the process is part of the magic. Keep it slow, take your time and by all means, pay attention to the small details. Soon you will be surrounded full, beautiful, radiant blooms; doesnt that always make a gorgeous smile! Whether you like the rich greens, the butterflies, the sweet aroma or the fresh clean air; tilling the soil always rewards.

Do it Yourself:
Start with planting them correctly, and move on to feeding them well. Cost is minimal; in fact, you can fertilize your plants with items you already have in your house. But first, put them into the right pots. For most flourishing houseplants, clay pots (those burnished red colored pots you can buy in any house and garden store) are best. They are porous enough to breathe, and yet they are heavy enough to hold large plants and keep them sturdy. Clay pots have a tendency to dry out quickly, though, so you must keep your eye on the amount of moisture the plant needs.


To transplant a plant to a clay pot, first put a layer of pebbles or pieces of broken clay pottery into the bottom of the container. This aids in drainage and helps to prevent root rot which can occur from over-watering. Fill the pot about half-full of planting medium (potting soil). Hold the root of the transplant in the center of the pot and fill around it with more planting medium. Tamp the soil down lightly, leaving some room at the top of the layer of soil to feed and water the plant.


To plant a seedling or a cutting which has grown its roots in water, choose a plastic pot well-sized for the plant. Plastic holds the moisture better which is essential to maintain the growth of a cutting or seedling. For a cutting, a good rule of thumb is to measure the across the top of the pot and then measure the size of your seedling from the visible growing section to the top. The pot size should be no bigger than about one and one half times the length of the cutting. Err on the side of choosing a small pot rather than a too-large one. If the pot is too big for a houseplant, the plant runs the risk of drowning when watered. Cramped pots make them put out lusher foliage.


Potting soil is a main consideration of any house gardener. Once you’ve potted your plant, you need to take care of it to keep it thriving. To do this, research the variety and place it in a spot conducive to its growing likes. Potted plants purchased at a garden center usually come with a tab inserted in the side of the container telling you what you need to do for the plant to help it thrive. Bright lights arent for every plant. Do yourself and your plants a favor. Follow the tips given. Water your plants only when the soil feels dry to the touch. Over-watering kills.


Save money, use natural fertilizer. Some favorites include black coffee or tea--cooled to room temperature, egg shells dried in the oven and crushed in your blender or dried used coffee grounds, which adds acid to the soil. Treating your houseplants well takes a bit of time and care. But, making them happy will give you years of lovely, healthy foliage right inside your home.
...great gardening sites: Mr. Brownthumg | Garden Hacker | Houseplant Care Tips


Isnt it funny that most people are transplanted from somewhere else or some other situation put them where they are? Ironicly, the same rules apply for ideal growing conditions....




Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Silence is Golden; but NOT now!




Its Tuesday and its another skillet burner here in Music City. All and all its been a rather average day. Nothing strange has happened and nothing truly noteworthy either. In fact, the one thing that eventually happened wasnt that spectacular either.

There is a beauty in silence. I am a student of less is more. In a culture so hyped up on over doing, over achieving and over criticising its easy to lose track of oneself. The beauty of the symphony is the silence in between the writhing notes and cords. If given a choice, silence is probably my first opt. As with most things, there are exceptions. One sure fire exception is silence when I turn my car key in the ignition.... That is a silence that roars volumes of despair; especially when its plus ninety degrees outside and you're the last to leave. My 2003 Mercury Mariner didnt utter a sound when I turned the key. In fact it ran fine when I went out for lunch. Somewhere between lunch and four pm; something changed. Either way, silence is golden; having your battery tested and discovering its fine is priceless. Unfortunately getting to the bottom of the problem wont be.



Monday, August 04, 2008

Butt Its Monday?



Its sweltering here in Music City. Thats not a bad thing if you like sunny skies and I do! Its been an easy day considering my counterpart is on vacation. Mondays are always a question mark; you never know whats going to happen. The minutes and hours have skipped off hand in hand until the final moments of the day. I am looking forward to picking up wifey and heading to the gym. Actually I could probably skip; but thats how it starts....

The best part of the day will be getting back together and doing things together. I would have thought I would have been tired of that by now; but luckily I am waaaayy wrong. Nothing says tickle like a pickle.

fighting lover

Friday, August 01, 2008

Ruminations of Readings

the other shore


Its a rather fascinating work. Many have noted and commented on its mysteries. It was a favorite of my late father-in-law's, Alfred Taylor Keil; of which, he could recite extensive stanzas without hesitation. Sometimes in the cool of the California day parked in chairs in front of the garage just as the sun winked from sight and ice cubes melted in our glasses tinted by his drink of choice, it would begin. Each time the words would flow like an ancient historian recanting how it all unfolded very mater-of-factly; no pauses, no hesitations.

A glance at this poem might get the "hungh?" reaction. Sometimes we take reality too seriously or our own perceptions to liteal. The truth hides between perception and reality. How else could such a poem have survived in the minds of men for so long. I was once asked what it meant and why did he like it so much; my response was watered down; such a question would not be briefly answered given the circumstances and its illuminations ability to tint the day. Al was a man of certain ideas. The Road Less Traveled; there lies the greater challenge to which only fortitude can atest. That was his other poem by Robert Frost. It was something we shared...an understanding of the power involved in choices, the irrelevance of feelings in the face of cold hard fact; the duty to dare. It was/is a notion that both my fathers share and I continue to hold true to by way of them both.

my two dads


Even now, I can hear the ice cubes rattle as the elixer disappeared among the stanzas. I can still see his resolute posture as he would always conclude with "...at any rate..." That was his "phrase;" which I made him aware of several times by counting how often he used it in a single hour; he would always chuckle; unable to reply without using it again---which made us chuckle some more before retiring for the evening.



The Rubaiyat
By Omar Khayyam; Written 1120 A.C.E.

I

Wake! For the Sun, who scatter'd into flight
The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heav'n, and strikes
The Sultan's Turret with a Shaft of Light.

II

Before the phantom of False morning died,
Methought a Voice within the Tavern cried,
"When all the Temple is prepared within,
Why nods the drowsy Worshipper outside?"

III

And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted--"Open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more."

IV

Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the White Hand Of Moses on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.

V

Iram indeed is gone with all his Rose,
And Jamshyd's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no one knows;
But still a Ruby kindles in the Vine,
And many a Garden by the Water blows,

VI

And David's lips are lockt; but in divine
High-piping Pehlevi, with "Wine! Wine! Wine!
Red Wine!"--the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That sallow cheek of hers t' incarnadine.

VII

Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time bas but a little way
To flutter--and the Bird is on the Wing.

VIII

Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one.

IX

Each Morn a thousand Roses brings, you say;
Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?
And this first Summer month that brings the Rose
Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away.

X

Well, let it take them! What have we to do
With Kaikobad the Great, or Kaikhosru?
Let Zal and Rustum bluster as they will,
Or Hatim call to Supper--heed not you

XI

With me along the strip of Herbage strown
That just divides the desert from the sown,
Where name of Slave and Sultan is forgot--
And Peace to Mahmud on his golden Throne!

XII

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread--and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

XIII

Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!

XIV

Look to the blowing Rose about us--"Lo,
Laughing," she says, "into the world I blow,
At once the silken tassel of my Purse
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw."

XV

And those who husbanded the Golden grain,
And those who flung it to the winds like Rain,
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.

XVI

The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes--or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face,
Lighting a little hour or two--is gone.

XVII

Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Portals are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
Abode his destined Hour, and went his way.

XVIII

They say the Lion and the Lizard keep
The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep:
And Bahram, that great Hunter--the Wild Ass
Stamps o'er his Head, but cannot break his Sleep.

XIX

I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in her Lap from some once lovely Head.

X

And this reviving Herb whose tender Green
Fledges the River-Lip on which we lean--
Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!

XXI

Ah, my Belov'ed fill the Cup that clears
To-day Past Regrets and Future Fears:
To-morrow!--Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n Thousand Years.

XXII

For some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That from his Vintage rolling Time hath prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to rest.

XXIII

And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in new bloom
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend--ourselves to make a Couch--for whom?

XXIV

Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and--sans End!

XXV

Alike for those who for To-day prepare,
And those that after some To-morrow stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
"Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There."

XXVI

Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd
Of the Two Worlds so wisely--they are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to Scorn
Are scatter'd, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.

XXVII

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same door where in I went.

XXVIII

With them the seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with mine own hand wrought to make it grow;
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd--
"I came like Water, and like Wind I go."

XXIX

Into this Universe, and Why not knowing
Nor Whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing;
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not Whither, willy-nilly blowing.

XXX

What, without asking, hither hurried Whence?
And, without asking, Whither hurried hence!
Oh, many a Cup of this forbidden Wine
Must drown the memory of that insolence!

XXXI

Up from Earth's Centre through the Seventh Gate
rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate;
And many a Knot unravel'd by the Road;
But not the Master-knot of Human Fate.

XXXII

There was the Door to which I found no Key;
There was the Veil through which I might not see:
Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
There was--and then no more of Thee and Me.

XXXIII

Earth could not answer; nor the Seas that mourn
In flowing Purple, of their Lord forlorn;
Nor rolling Heaven, with all his Signs reveal'd
And hidden by the sleeve of Night and Morn.

XXXIV

Then of the Thee in Me works behind
The Veil, I lifted up my hands to find
A Lamp amid the Darkness; and I heard,
As from Without--"The Me Within Thee Blind!"

XXXV

Then to the lip of this poor earthen Urn
I lean'd, the Secret of my Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmur'd--"While you live
Drink!--for, once dead, you never shall return."

XXXVI

I think the Vessel, that with fugitive
Articulation answer'd, once did live,
And drink; and Ah! the passive Lip I kiss'd,
How many Kisses might it take--and give!

XXXVII

For I remember stopping by the way
To watch a Potter thumping his wet Clay:
And with its all-obliterated Tongue
It murmur'd--"Gently, Brother, gently, pray!"

XXXVIII

And has not such a Story from of Old
Down Man's successive generations roll'd
Of such a clod of saturated Earth
Cast by the Maker into Human mould?

XXXIX

And not a drop that from our Cups we throw
For Earth to drink of, but may steal below
To quench the fire of Anguish in some Eye
There hidden--far beneath, and long ago.

XL

As then the Tulip for her morning sup
Of Heav'nly Vintage from the soil looks up,
Do you devoutly do the like, till Heav'n
To Earth invert you--like an empty Cup.

XLI

Perplext no more with Human or Divine,
To-morrow's tangle to the winds resign,
And lose your fingers in the tresses of
The Cypress--slender Minister of Wine.

XLII

And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press
End in what All begins and ends in--Yes;
Think then you are To-day what Yesterday
You were--To-morrow You shall not be less.

XLIII

So when that Angel of the darker Drink
At last shall find you by the river-brink,
And, offering his Cup, invite your Soul
Forth to your Lips to quaff--you shall not shrink.

XLIV

Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside,
And naked on the Air of Heaven ride,
Were't not a Shame--were't not a Shame for him
In this clay carcase crippled to abide?

XLV

'Tis but a Tent where takes his one day's rest
A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest;
The Sultan rises, and the dark Ferrash
Strikes, and prepares it for another Guest.

XLVI

And fear not lest Existence closing your
Account, and mine, should know the like no more;
The Eternal Saki from that Bowl has pour'd
Millions of Bubbles like us, and will pour.

XLVII

When You and I behind the Veil are past,
Oh, but the long, long while the World shall last,
Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
As the Sea's self should heed a pebble-cast.

XLVIII

A Moment's Halt--a momentary taste
Of Being from the Well amid the Waste--
And Lo!--the phantom Caravan has reach'd
The Nothing it set out from--Oh, make haste!

XLIX

Would you that spangle of Existence spend
About the Secret--Quick about it, Friend!
A Hair perhaps divides the False and True--
And upon what, prithee, may life depend?

L

A Hair perhaps divides the False and True;
Yes; and a single Alif were the clue--
Could you but find it--to the Treasure-house,
And peradventure to The Master too;

LI

Whose secret Presence, through Creation's veins
Running Quicksilver-like eludes your pains;
Taking all shapes from Mah to Mahi; and
They change and perish all--but He remains;

LII

A moment guess'd--then back behind the Fold
Immerst of Darkness round the Drama roll'd
Which, for the Pastime of Eternity,
He doth Himself contrive, enact, behold.

LIII

But if in vain, down on the stubborn floor
Of Earth, and up to Heav'n's unopening Door
You gaze To-day, while You are You--how then
To-morrow, You when shall be You no more?

LIV

Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute;
Better be jocund with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.

LV

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

LVI

For "Is" and "Is-not" though with Rule and Line
And "Up" and "Down" by Logic I define,
Of all that one should care to fathom,
Was never deep in anything but--Wine.

LVII

Ah, but my Computations, People say,
Reduced the Year to better reckoning?--Nay
'Twas only striking from the Calendar
Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday.

LVIII

And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,
Came shining through the Dusk an Angel Shape
Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder; and
He bid me taste of it; and 'twas--the Grape!

LIX

The Grape that can with Logic absolute
The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute:
The sovereign Alchemist that in a trice
Life's leaden metal into Gold transmute:

LX

The mighty Mahmud, Allah-breathing Lord
That all the misbelieving and black Horde
Of Fears and Sorrows that infest the Soul
Scatters before him with his whirlwind Sword.

LXI

Why, be this Juice the growth of God, who dare
Blaspheme the twisted tendril as a Snare?
A Blessing, we should use it, should we not?
And if a Curse--why, then, Who set it there?

LXII

I must abjure the Balm of Life, I must,
Scared by some After-reckoning ta'en on trust,
Or lured with Hope of some Diviner Drink,
To fill the Cup--when crumbled into Dust!

LXIII

Oh, threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing at least is certain--This Life flies;
One thing is certain and the rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.

LXIV

Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
Before us pass'd the door of Darkness through,
Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
Which to discover we must travel too.

LXV

The Revelations of Devout and Learn'd
Who rose before us, and as Prophets burn'd,
Are all but Stories, which, awoke from Sleep,
They told their comrades, and to Sleep return'd.

LXVI

I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that After-life to spell:
And by and by my Soul return'd to me,
And answer'd "I Myself am Heav'n and Hell:"

LXVII

Heav'n but the Vision of fulfill'd Desire,
And Hell the Shadow from a Soul on fire,
Cast on the Darkness into which Ourselves,
So late emerged from, shall so soon expire.

LXVIII

We are no other than a moving row
Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go
Round with the Sun-illumined Lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the Show;

LXIX

But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays
Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days;
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

LXX

The Ball no question makes of Ayes and Noes,
But Here or There as strikes the Player goes;
And He that toss'd you down into the Field,
He knows about it all--He knows--HE knows!

LXXI

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

LXXII

And that inverted Bowl they call the Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop'd we live and die,
Lift not your hands to It for help--for It
As impotently moves as you or I.

LXXIII

With Earth's first Clay They did the Last Man knead,
And there of the Last Harvest sow'd the Seed:
And the first Morning of Creation wrote
What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.

LXXIV

Yesterday This Day's Madness did prepare;
To-morrow's Silence, Triumph, or Despair:
Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why:
Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.

LXXV

I tell you this--When, started from the Goal,
Over the flaming shoulders of the Foal
Of Heav'n Parwin and Mushtari they flung
In my predestined Plot of Dust and Soul.

LXXVI

The Vine had struck a fibre: which about
If clings my being--let the Dervish flout;
Of my Base metal may be filed a Key,
That shall unlock the Door he howls without.

LXXVII

And this I know: whether the one True Light
Kindle to Love, or Wrath-consume me quite,
One Flash of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.

LXXVIII

What! out of senseless Nothing to provoke
A conscious Something to resent the yoke
Of unpermitted Pleasure, under pain
Of Everlasting Penalties, if broke!

LXXIX

What! from his helpless Creature be repaid
Pure Gold for what he lent him dross-allay'd--
Sue for a Debt he never did contract,
And cannot answer--Oh, the sorry trade!

LXXX

Oh, Thou, who didst with pitfall and with gin
Beset the Road I was to wander in,
Thou wilt not with Predestined Evil round
Enmesh, and then impute my Fall to Sin!

LXXXI

Oh, Thou who Man of baser Earth didst make,
And ev'n with Paradise devise the Snake:
For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
Is blacken'd--Man's forgiveness give--and take!

LXXXII

As under cover of departing Day
Slunk hunger-stricken Ramazan away,
Once more within the Potter's house alone
I stood, surrounded by the Shapes of Clay.

LXXXIII

Shapes of all Sorts and Sizes, great and small,
That stood along the floor and by the wall;
And some loquacious Vessels were; and some
Listen'd perhaps, but never talk'd at all.

LXXXIV

Said one among them--"Surely not in vain
My substance of the common Earth was ta'en
And to this Figure moulded, to be broke,
Or trampled back to shapeless Earth again."

LXXXV

Then said a Second--"Ne'er a peevish Boy
Would break the Bowl from which he drank in joy,
And He that with his hand the Vessel made
Will surely not in after Wrath destroy."

LXXXVI

After a momentary silence spake
Some Vessel of a more ungainly Make;
"They sneer at me for leaning all awry:
What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?"

LXXXVII

Whereat some one of the loquacious Lot--
I think a Sufi pipkin-waxing hot--
"All this of Pot and Potter--Tell me then,
Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?"

LXXXVIII

"Why," said another, "Some there are who tell
Of one who threatens he will toss to Hell
The luckless Pots he marr'd in making--Pish!
He's a Good Fellow, and 'twill all be well."

LXXXIX

"Well," Murmur'd one, "Let whoso make or buy,
My Clay with long Oblivion is gone dry:
But fill me with the old familiar juice,
Methinks I might recover by and by."

XC

So while the Vessels one by one were speaking,
The little Moon look'd in that all were seeking:
And then they jogg'd each other, "Brother! Brother!
Now for the Porter's shoulder-knot a-creaking!"

XCI

Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,
And wash the Body whence the Life has died,
And lay me, shrouded in the living Leaf,
By some not unfrequented Garden-side.

XCII

That ev'n my buried Ashes such a snare
Of Vintage shall fling up into the Air
As not a True-believer passing by
But shall be overtaken unaware.

XCIII

Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
Have done my credit in this World much wrong:
Have drown'd my Glory in a shallow Cup
And sold my Reputation for a Song.

XCIV

Indeed, indeed, Repentance of before
I swore--but was I sober when I swore?
And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand
My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore.

XCV

And much as Wine has play'd the Infidel,
And robb'd me of my Robe of Honour--Well,
I wonder often what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the stuff they sell.

XCVI

Yet Ah, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!
That Youth's sweet-scented manuscript should close!
The Nightingale that in the branches sang,
Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows!

XCVII

Would but the Desert of the Fountain yield
One glimpse--if dimly, yet indeed, reveal'd,
To which the fainting Traveller might spring,
As springs the trampled herbage of the field!

XCVIII

Would but some wing'ed Angel ere too late
Arrest the yet unfolded Roll of Fate,
And make the stern Recorder otherwise
Enregister, or quite obliterate!

XCIX

Ah, Love! could you and I with Him conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits--and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!

C

Yon rising Moon that looks for us again--
How oft hereafter will she wax and wane;
How oft hereafter rising look for us
Through this same Garden--and for one in vain!

CI

And when like her, oh, Saki, you shall pass
Among the Guests Star-scatter'd on the Grass,
And in your joyous errand reach the spot
Where I made One--turn down an empty Glass!


One of the best discussions I have found comes from here toward the meaning of such a poem. In the end; the answer is dust in the wind....that is the short of the long. A goodbye is always a hello in reverse. Typically our impact on those around is becomes far more apparent in their absense. Both of my fathers prefer to smell their flowers. Always say "I love you" and always say "I'm sorry" and "do the right thing"....all good lessons to abide by; especially when traveling the road less traveled. Heroes are those who DO what we all are probably capable of IF we were willing to pay the costs....