Category Archives: Poetry

It is not enough these days to “Question Authority,” you gotta speak with it too

Taylor Mali at a Def Poetry Jam talking about talking, about talking like you mean it, like you know what you’re talking about, like you are not making a joke or asking a question.

Money quote:

“As society just becomes so filled with these conflicting feelings of ngggggh, that we’ve just gotten to the point where we’re the most aggressively inarticulate generation to come along, since, you know, a long time ago.”

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Trackposted to Rosemary’s Thoughts, Alabama Improper, Online Gym, Faultline USA, third world county, The World According to Carl, DragonLady’s World, The Pink Flamingo, Big Dog’s Weblog, Cao’s Blog, Chucjk’s Place, Democrat=Socialist, Right Voices, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Mayday Poem and Open Trackbacks

Open Trackbacks. The stealth communist holiday of Mayday deserves a poem that exposes the rotten, hollow heart of Russian Communism and the mass murder and tyranny that beat at the heart of the Mayday celebration.

Here is a good poem. “The Ballad of Lenin’s Tomb” by Robert W. Service from Bar-Room Ballads.

This is the yarn he told me
As we sat in Casey’s Bar,
That Rooshun mug who scrammed from the jug
In the Land of the Crimson Star;
That Soveet guy with the single eye,
And the face like a flaming scar.

Where Lenin lies the red flag flies, and the rat-grey workers wait
To tread the gloom of Lenin’s Tomb, where the Comrade lies in state.
With lagging pace they scan his face, so weary yet so firm;
For years a score they’ve laboured sore to save him from the worm.
The Kremlin walls are grimly grey, but Lenin’s Tomb is red,
And pilgrims from the Sour Lands say: “He sleeps and is not dead.”
Before their eyes in peace he lies, a symbol and a sign,
And as they pass that dome of glass they see – a God Divine.
So Doctors plug him full of dope, for if he drops to dust,
So will collapse their faith and hope, the whole combine will bust.
But say, Tovarich; hark to me . . . a secret I’ll disclose,
For I did see what none did see; I know what no one knows.

I was a Cheka terrorist – Oh I served the Soviets well,
Till they put me down on the bone-yard list, for the fear that I might tell;
That I might tell the thing I saw, and that only I did see,
They held me in quod with a firing squad to make a corpse of me.
But I got away, and here to-day I’m telling my tale to you;
Though it may sound weird, by Lenin’s beard, so help me God it’s true.
I slouched across that great Red Square, and watched the waiting line.
The mongrel sons of Marx were there, convened to Lenin’s shrine;
Ten thousand men of Muscovy, Mongol and Turkoman,
Black-bonnets of the Aral Sea and Tatars of Kazan.
Kalmuck and Bashkir, Lett and Finn, Georgian, Jew and Lapp,
Kirghiz and Kazakh, crowding in to gaze at Lenin’s map.
Aye, though a score of years had run I saw them pause and pray,
As mourners at the Tomb of one who died but yesterday.
I watched them in a bleary daze of bitterness and pain,
For oh, I missed the cheery blaze of vodka in my brain.
I stared, my eyes were hypnotized by that saturnine host,
When with a start that shook my heart I saw – I saw a ghost.
As in foggèd glass I saw him pass, and peer at me and grin –
A man I knew, a man I slew, Prince Boris Mazarin.

Now do not think because I drink I love the flowing bowl;
But liquor kills remorse and stills the anguish of the soul.
And there’s so much I would forget, stark horrors I have seen,
Faces and forms that haunt me yet, like shadows on a screen.
And of theses sights that mar my nights the ghastliest by far
Is the death of Boris Mazarin, that soldier of the Czar.

A mighty nobleman was he; we took him by surprise;
His mother, son and daughters three we slew before his eyes.
We tortured him, with jibes and threats; then mad for glut of gore,
Upon our reeking bayonets we nailed him to the door.
But he defied us to the last, crying: “O carrion crew!
I’d die with joy could I destroy a hundred dogs like you.”
I thrust my sword into his throat; the blade was gay with blood;
We flung him to his castle moat, and stamped him in its mud.
That mighty Cossack of the Don was dead with all his race….
And now I saw him coming on, dire vengeance in his face.
(Or was it some fantastic dream of my besotted brain?)
He looked at me with eyes a-gleam, the man whom I had slain.
He looked and bade me follow him; I could not help but go;
I joined the throng that passed along, so sorrowful and slow.
I followed with a sense of doom that shadow gaunt and grim;
Into the bowels of the Tomb I followed, followed him.

The light within was weird and dim, and icy cold the air;
My brow was wet with bitter sweat, I stumbled on the stair.
I tried to cry; my throat was dry; I sought to grip his arm;
For well I knew this man I slew was there to do us harm.
Lo! he was walking by my side, his fingers clutched my own,
This man I knew so well had died, his hand was naked bone.
His face was like a skull, his eyes were caverns of decay . . .
And so we came to the crystal frame where lonely Lenin lay.

Without a sound we shuffled round. I sought to make a sign,
But like a vice his hand of ice was biting into mine.
With leaden pace around the place where Lenin lies at rest,
We slouched, I saw his bony claw go fumbling to his breast.
With ghastly grin he groped within, and tore his robe apart,
And from the hollow of his ribs he drew his blackened heart. . . .
Ah no! Oh God! A bomb, a BOMB! And as I shrieked with dread,
With fiendish cry he raised it high, and . . . swung at Lenin’s head.
Oh I was blinded by the flash and deafened by the roar,
And in a mess of bloody mash I wallowed on the floor.
Then Alps of darkness on me fell, and when I saw again
The leprous light ’twas in a cell, and I was racked with pain;
And ringèd around by shapes of gloom, who hoped that I would die;
For of the crowd that crammed the Tomb the sole to live was I.
They told me I had dreamed a dream that must not be revealed,
But by their eyes of evil gleam I knew my doom was sealed.

I need not tell how from my cell in Lubianka gaol,
I broke away, but listen, here’s the point of all my tale. . . .
Outside the “Gay Pay Oo” none knew of that grim scene of gore;
They closed the Tomb, and they they threw it open as before.
And there was Lenin, stiff and still, a symbol and a sign,
And rancid races come to thrill and wonder at his Shrine;
And hold the thought: if Lenin rot the Soviets will decay;
And there he sleeps and calm he keeps his watch and ward for aye.
Yet if you pass that fram of glass, peer closly at his phiz,
So stern and firm it mocks the worm, it looks like wax . . . and is.
They tell you he’s a mummy – don’t you make that bright mistake:
I tell you – he’s a dummy; aye, a fiction and a fake.
This eye beheld the bloody bomb that bashed him on the bean.
I heard the crash, I saw the flash, yet . . . there he lies serene.
And by the roar that rocked the Tomb I ask: how could that be?
But if you doubt that deed of doom, just go yourself and see.
You think I’m mad, or drunk, or both . . . Well, I don’t care a damn:
I tell you this: their Lenin is a waxen, show-case SHAM.

Such was the yarn he handed me,
Down there in Casey’s Bar,
That Rooshun bug with the scrambled mug
From the land of the Commissar.
It may be true, I leave it you
To figger out how far.

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Robert Service: The Other One

Robert Service dedicated this very sad poem to his friends, who must go on to have other children, to help heal their hearts after their child died young.

The Other One
by Robert Service
from Ballads of a Bohemian

“Gather around me, children dear;
The wind is high and the night is cold;
Closer, little ones, snuggle near;
Let’s seek a story of ages old;
A magic tale of a bygone day,
Of lovely ladies and dragons dread;
Come, for you’re all so tired of play,
We’ll read till it’s time to go to bed.”
Continue reading

Sowell on Liberal Fascism

Young Jonah Goldberg wrote a thoughtful book,
And Thomas Sowell thinks that you should look
Within its leaves, where what’s supposed as fact,
A guess at how the fascists think and act,
That follows the theorems of old Karl Marx,
From Darwin to progressive futurist arcs,
That blames the free market for fascist course,
And seeks the cure by means of government force,
A lyric from a good old Weavers’ song,
Revealed as lies one eighty degrees wrong.

As Sowell sums up:

The left may say that they are not racists or anti-semites, like Hitler, but neither was Mussolini or Franco. Hitler, incidentally, got some of his racist ideology from the writings of American “progressives” in the eugenics movement.

Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” is too rich a book to be summarized in a newspaper column. Get a copy and start re-thinking the received notions about who is on “the left” and who is on “the right.” It is a book for people who want to think, rather than repeat rhetoric.

In the meantime, or if you’ve already read Liberal Fascism, try this comic, my posts on fascism and everything at Skarbutts.

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Trackposted to Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Big Dog’s Weblog, Dumb Ox Daily News, A Newt One, Right Voices, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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An Archbishop of Canterbury Tale

Thee Hawke of Io-wa hath spake hyss minde.
Hee told in fair amusynge rhythmic kynde,
A tayle of a twice-daft bishoppe of Cant,
Who warpeth truthe wythe hyss peculiar slaunt.
Get thee to Iowahawke, and tarry thaire,
Partake thee of the jongleur’s comick flaire.

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Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Rosemary’s Thoughts, third world county, The World According to Carl, Shadowscope, Stuck On Stupid, The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, Cao’s Blog, Big Dog’s Weblog, A Newt One, Pursuing Holiness, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Over the Parapet Open Trackbacks

Send your finest trackbacks to this terrific Robert Service poem with its amusing concluding joke.

Over the Parapet
Robert W. Service

All day long when the shells sail over
I stand at the sandbags and take my chance;
But at night, at night I’m reckless rover
And over the parapet gleams Romance.
Romance! Romance! How I’ve dreamed it, writing
Dreary old records of money and mart,
Me with my head chuckful of fighting
And the blood of vikings to thrill my heart.

But little I thought that my time was coming,
Sudden and splendid, supreme and soon;
And here I am with the bullets humming
As I crawl and I curse the light of the moon.
Out alone, for adventure thirsting,
Out in mysterious No Man’s Land;
Prone with the dead when a star-shell, bursting,
Flares on the horrors on every hand.
There are ruby stars and they drip and wiggle;
And the grasses gleam in a light blood-red;
There are emerald stars, and their tails they wriggle,
And ghastly they glare on the face of the dead.
But the worst of all are the stars of whiteness,
That spill in a pool of pearly flame,
Pretty as gems in their silver brightness,
And etching a man for a bullet’s aim.

Yet oh, it’s great to be here with danger,
Here in the weird, death-pregnant dark,
In the devil’s pasture a stealthy ranger,
When the moon is decently hiding. Hark!
What was that? Was it just the shiver
Of an eerie wind or a clammy hand?
The rustle of grass, or the passing quiver
Of one of the ghosts of No Man’s Land?

It’s only at night when the ghosts awaken,
And gibber and whisper horrible things;
For to every foot of this God-forsaken
Zone of jeopard some horror clings.
Ugh! What was that? It felt like a jelly,
That flattish mound in the noisome grass;
You three big rats running free of its belly,
Out of my way and let me pass!

But if there’s horror, there’s beauty, wonder;
The trench lights gleam and the rockets play.
That flood of magnificent orange yonder
Is a battery blazing miles away.
With a rush and a singing a great shell passes;
The rifles resentfully bicker and brawl,
And here I crouch in the dew-drenched grasses,
And look and listen and love it all.

God! What a life! But I must make haste now,
Before the shadow of night be spent.
It’s little the time there is to waste now,
If I’d do the job for which I was sent.
My bombs are right and my clippers ready,
And I wriggle out to the chosen place,
When I hear a rustle . . . Steady! . . . Steady!
Who am I staring slap in the face?

There in the dark I can hear him breathing,
A foot away, and as still as death;
And my heart beats hard, and my brain is seething,
And I know he’s a Hun by the smell of his breath.
Then: “Will you surrender?” I whisper hoarsely,
For it’s death, swift death to utter a cry.
English schwein-hund!” he murmurs coarsely.
“Then we’ll fight it out in the dark,” say I.

So we grip and we slip and we trip and wrestle
There in the gutter of No Man’s Land;
And I feel my nails in his wind-pipe nestle,
And he tries to gouge, but I bite his hand.
And he tries to squeal, but I squeeze him tighter:
“Now,” I say, “I can kill you fine;
But tell me first, you Teutonic blighter!
Have you any children?” He answers: “Nein.”

Nine! Well, I cannot kill such a father,
So I tie his hands and I leave him there.
Do I finish my little job? Well, rather;
And I get home safe with some light to spare.
Heigh-ho! by day it’s just prosy duty,
Doing the same old song and dance;
But oh! with the night — joy, glory, beauty:
Over the parapet — Life, Romance!

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Such a joker that Service.

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