words by Mr. Wystan Hugh Auden (and pictures by teamgloria)

darlings

we felt words from Auden would do Well today.

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Grateful, I slept till a morning that would not say
How much it believed of what I said the storm had said
But quietly drew my attention to what had been done
—So many cubic metres the more in my cistern
Against a leonine summer—, putting first things first:
Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.

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Woken, I lay in the arms of my own warmth and listened
To a storm enjoying its storminess in the winter dark
Till my ear, as it can when half-asleep or half-sober,
Set to work to unscramble that interjectory uproar,
Construing its airy vowels and watery consonants
Into a love-speech indicative of a Proper Name.

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It was late, late in the evening, The lovers they were gone; The clocks had ceased their chiming, And the deep river ran on.

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Beauty, midnight, vision dies: Let the winds of dawn that blow Softly round your dreaming head Such a day of welcome show Eye and knocking heart may bless, Find the mortal world enough; Noons of dryness find you fed By the involuntary powers, Nights of insult let you pass Watched by every human love.

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We must love one another or die.

have you ever heard Mr. Auden speak? it’s glorious. 

SUCH an Imperious and Perceptive and sly voice……the way he says “sacred” (say-crud.) and “beautiful” (be-yo-ti-ful – lyrical and slipping over the Vowels elegantly and trippingly).

what news from Your part of the world, darlings?

*lookscuriouslyintotheinterweb*

 

five photographs (ours) and a poem (from Sir. J. Betjeman)

darlings

we’re RUSHING out the door ever so soon – but wanted to leave you a moment of reverie  in the meantime – five photographs from the past day and a Poem that we read as the sun dipped behind the Palm Trees while sipping tea-with-lemon.

enjoy.

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A Subaltern’s Love Song

poem by John Betjeman

Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn,
Furnish’d and burnish’d by Aldershot sun,
What strenuous singles we played after tea,
We in the tournament – you against me!

Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
How mad I am, sad I am, glad that you won,
The warm-handled racket is back in its press,
But my shock-headed victor, she loves me no less.

Her father’s euonymus shines as we walk,
And swing past the summer-house, buried in talk,
And cool the verandah that welcomes us in
To the six-o’clock news and a lime-juice and gin.

The scent of the conifers, sound of the bath,
The view from my bedroom of moss-dappled path,
As I struggle with double-end evening tie,
For we dance at the Golf Club, my victor and I.

On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and shorts,
And the cream-coloured walls are be-trophied with sports,
And westering, questioning settles the sun,
On your low-leaded window, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

The Hillman is waiting, the light’s in the hall,
The pictures of Egypt are bright on the wall,
My sweet, I am standing beside the oak stair
And there on the landing’s the light on your hair.

By roads “not adopted”, by woodlanded ways,
She drove to the club in the late summer haze,
Into nine-o’clock Camberley, heavy with bells
And mushroomy, pine-woody, evergreen smells.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
I can hear from the car park the dance has begun,
Oh! Surrey twilight! importunate band!
Oh! strongly adorable tennis-girl’s hand!

Around us are Rovers and Austins afar,
Above us the intimate roof of the car,
And here on my right is the girl of my choice,
With the tilt of her nose and the chime of her voice.

And the scent of her wrap, and the words never said,
And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.
We sat in the car park till twenty to one
And now I’m engaged to Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

 

palm springs: pictures by us, words by e e cummings.

darlings

it’s beautiful here.

and so desirous of poetry – so here is our (imaginary) companion, mr. e e cummings, to help us illustrate the delicious feelings here present betwixt and between (worlds).

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”
e. e. cummings

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“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit”
e.e. cummings

the poetic pre-nightfall: Sean Thomas Dougherty, Pam Ayres, Jeff Buckley and Noel Coward.

darlings

you’ll know why the title caught our eye – but the poem made us stay and listen for a while and we wanted to leave it here, for you to see it, whenever you dropped by to visit, perhaps while we’re asleep ————-[it’s 23:00 hours on This Coast and we really should apply night cream and remove the mascara, and not in that order either]

Dear Tiara
by Sean Thomas Dougherty

I dreamed I was a mannequin in the pawnshop window
of your conjectures.

I dreamed I was a chant in the mouth of a monk, saffron-robed
syllables in the religion of You.

I dreamed I was a lament to hear the deep sorrow places
of your lungs.

I dreamed I was your bad instincts.

I dreamed I was a hummingbird sipping from the tulip of your ear.

I dreamed I was your ex-boyfriend stored in the basement
with your old baggage.

I dreamed I was a jukebox where every song sang your name.

I dreamed I was in an elevator, rising in the air shaft
of your misgivings.

I dreamed I was a library fine, I’ve checked you out
too long so many times.

I dreamed you were a lake and I was a little fish leaping
through the thin reeds of your throaty humming.

I must’ve dreamed I was a nail, because I woke beside you still
hammered.

I dreamed I was a tooth to fill the absences of your old age.

I dreamed I was a Christmas cactus, blooming in the desert
of my stupidity.

I dreamed I was a saint’s hair-shirt, sewn with the thread
of your saliva.

I dreamed I was an All Night Movie Theater, showing the
flickering black reel of my nights before I met you.

I must’ve dreamed I was gravity, I’ve fallen for you so damn hard.

Sean Thomas Dougherty

don’t you love to hear poets read their own work?

or sing.

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actually anything written by the dark and brooding and wonderful Mr. Cohen is poetry in motion.

too melancholic?

let’s have an uplifting moment of Pam then.

Don’t lay me in some gloomy churchyard shaded by a wall
Where the dust of ancient bones has spread a dryness over all,
Lay me in some leafy loam where, sheltered from the cold
Little seeds investigate and tender leaves unfold.
There kindly and affectionately, plant a native tree
To grow resplendent before God and hold some part of me.
The roots will not disturb me as they wend their peaceful way
To build the fine and bountiful, from closure and decay.
To seek their small requirements so that when their work is done
I’ll be tall and standing strongly in the beauty of the sun.

or Edna

Cold wind of autumn, blowing loud
At dawn, a fortnight overdue,
Jostling the doors, and tearing  through
My bedroom to rejoin the cloud,
I know—for I can hear the hiss
And scrape of leaves along the floor—
How may boughs, lashed bare by this,
Will rake the cluttered sky once more.
Tardy, and somewhat south of east,
The sun will rise at length, made known
More by the meagre light increased
Than by  a disk in splendour shown;
When, having but to turn my head,
Through the stripped maple I shall see,
Bleak and remembered, patched with red,
The hill all summer hid from me.

another Pastoral moment, this time from Mary Oliver:

At Great Pond

 At Great Pond
the sun, rising,
scrapes his orange breast
on the thick pines,
and down tumble
a few orange feathers into
the dark water.
On the far shore
a white bird is standing
like a white candle —
or a man, in the distance,
in the clasp of some meditation —
while all around me the lilies
are breaking open again
from the black cave
of the night.
Later, I will consider
what I have seen —
what it could signify —
what words of adoration I might
make of it, and to do this
I will go indoors to my desk —
I will sit in my chair —
I will look back
into the lost morning
in which I am moving, now,
like a swimmer,
so smoothly,
so peacefully,
I am almost the lily —
almost the bird vanishing over the water
on its sleeves of night.

– Mary Oliver

but we will leave you with Noel.

a true poet in our eyes.

Life today is hectic.
Our world is running away.
Only the wise can recognize
The process of decay.
All our dialectic
Is quite unable to say
Whether we’re on the beam or not,
Whether we’ll rise supreme or not,
Whether this new regime or not
Is leading us astray.

We all have Frigidaires, radios,
Television and movie shows
To shield us from the ultimate abyss.
We have our daily bread neatly cut,
Every modern convenience but
The question that confronts us all is this:

What’s going to happen to the children
When there aren’t any more grown-ups?
Having been injected with some rather peculiar glands
Darling Mum’s gone platinum
And dances to all the rumba bands.
The songs that she sings at twilight
Would certainly be the highlight
For some of those claques that Elsa Maxwell
Takes around in yachts.
Rockabye, rockabye, rockabye my darlings,
Mother requires a few more shots.
Does it amuse the tiny mites
To see their parents high as kites?
What’s, what’s, what’s going to happen to the tots?

Life today’s neurotic, a ceaseless battle we wage;
Millions are spent to circumvent
The march of middle age.
The fact that we grab each new narcotic
Can only prove in the end

Whether our hormones gel or not
Whether our cells rebel or not,
Whether we’re blown to hell or not,
We’ll all be round the bend
From taking Benzedrine, Dexamyl,
Every possible sleeping pill
To knock us out or knock us into shape.
We all have shots for this, shots for that,
Shots for making us thin or fat,
But there’s one problem that we can’t escape.

What’s going to happen to the children
When there aren’t any more grown-ups?
Thanks to plastic surgery and uncle’s abrupt demise,
Dear Aunt Rose has changed her nose
But doesn’t appear to realize
The pleasures that once were heaven
Look silly at sixty-seven,
And youthful allure you can’t procure
In terms of perms and pots.
So lullaby, lullaby, lullaby my darlings,
Try not to scratch those large red spots,
Think of the shock when mummie’s face
Is lifted from its proper place,
What’s, what’s, what’s going to happen to the tots?

What’s going to happen to the children
When there aren’t any more grown-ups?
It’s bizarre when grandmamma, without getting out of breath
Starts to jive at eighty-five and frightens the little ones to death.
The police had to send a squad car
When daddy got fried on vodka
And tied a tweed coat round mummie’s throat
In several sailor’s knots.
Hushabye, hushabye, hushabye my darlings,
Try not to fret and wet your cots.
One day you’ll clench your tiny fists
And murder your psychiatrists.
What’s, what’s, what’s going to happen to the tots?

it’s really superb to Listen to Noel sing it himself, darlings.

Screen shot 2013-03-05 at 10.59.04 PMisn’t he just deliciously brilliant?

we used to play that track while driving a large minivan (sigh, So Not Glam) of little darlings around [during the dotcom crash aka “Our Sabbatical”we became something of a Mary Poppins figure to Troubled Teens] – they loved it – we all sang along merrily.

their parents were Most surprised after they finished their time in residential care.

a good education is Never Wasted.

Poetry, haunting music and the lyrical personages of our day are the true soul-enhancers of society – discuss.

*yawns*

night, darlings.

 

antidote to a tiny disappointment

darlings

we had a Tiny Disappointment today.

just a little bruised feeling, tis all.

You understand, we know.

So – what is to be Done to cheer ourselves up?

well, let’s see.

how about twilight in the library?

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and pausing on the corner of La Brea and Melrose to watch the sunset before reading a collection of short stories by sylvia townsend-warner in a small cafe?

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and learning more about precious people who love Piaf and Robert Palmer and lusty espressos in Paris and American art magazines back home (D – the responses are splendid!)

while Other wonderful friends are walking the dog(s) in soft pale olive groves

a beauteous friend is Juicing Art in Berlin.

while someone Brave and glorious across town from The Juicer is starting a revolution.

and we have some new poetry to examine and relish and adore from Your Comments to an Earlier Post

there was a Long Chat with someone delicious in Manhattan to Talk and laugh and giggle a little into the back cushions on the soft sofa.

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so – disappointing news?

Quelle disappointment?

*smiles*

all. gone/

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sweet dreams, darlings.

 

 

distracted by lines of poetry and pretty shoes.

darlings

we are Meant to be Working.

*wistfulLookOutOfTheWindow*

Tasks To Do.

(nice ones. but sometimes one just wants to go next door and lie down and read because there’s a Delicious pile of books by the bed. you know how it is.)

but just wanted to share something we came across while surfing-the-interweb working.

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams

W.B. Yeats

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isn’t that divine?

someone (many moons ago) once gave us a palest pink scent bottle with a translucent glass stopper in it with the last line engraved in tiny gold script as a gift.

no idea what happened to it……

or them.

but such is the ephemeral nature of gifts and exchanges and experiences……

*lookintomiddledistance*

we had a lovely business-yet-pleasurable breakfast this morning with someone who had shoes like those perhaps worn by Scheherazade.

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the kind people at Project Gutenberg have made the whole story (or the thousand and one nights of them) available here.

will you indulge us with one more poetic reference?

when we walked to our breakfast this morning the birds were singing boldly in the trees and our hands brushed on lavender plants which always makes us think of another poet – this time Keats (and you know we adore Keats).

tt0810784Bright Star
Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art —
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors —
No — yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft swell and fall,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever — or else swoon to death.

*sighs*

the interweb is Awfully distracting isn’t it?

back to the Work at hand, darlings.

but just in CASE we need to come and check in with you and find out what your favo(u)rite lines of poetry (or movies about Poets) are – would you let us know?

we truly appreciate you stopping by.

*smiling*

ok.

*shufflesPapers*

grown-up attention span required again.

*lookslonginglyoutofthewindow*

perhaps we need a walk mid-afternoon – with the Grown Up Camera……..

keats_letters_pullquote_1 one more?

of course *smilesIndulgently*

glad you’re still reading……..

do you remember when we had to chose to conform and wear a ballgown to an Establishment Event? 

we thought of nothing less than Larkin and Whitsun Weddings and it gave comfort (when the ballet shoes rubbed a little at the ankle being an unfamiliar covering on our feet therein).

so we end with Larkin.

Whitsun Weddings – Philip Larkin

That Whitsun, I was late getting away:
Not till about
One-twenty on the sunlit Saturday
Did my three-quarters-empty train pull out,
All windows down, all cushions hot, all sense
Of being in a hurry gone. We ran
Behind the backs of houses, crossed a street
Of blinding windscreens, smelt the fish-dock; thence
The river’s level drifting breadth began,
Where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet.

All afternoon, through the tall heat that slept
For miles inland,
A slow and stopping curve southwards we kept.
Wide farms went by, short-shadowed cattle, and
Canals with floatings of industrial froth;
A hothouse flashed uniquely: hedges dipped
And rose: and now and then a smell of grass
Displaced the reek of buttoned carriage-cloth
Until the next town, new and nondescript,
Approached with acres of dismantled cars.

At first, I didn’t notice what a noise
The weddings made
Each station that we stopped at: sun destroys
The interest of what’s happening in the shade,
And down the long cool platforms whoops and skirls
I took for porters larking with the mails,
And went on reading. Once we started, though,
We passed them, grinning and pomaded, girls
In parodies of fashion, heels and veils,
All posed irresolutely, watching us go,

As if out on the end of an event
Waving goodbye
To something that survived it. Struck, I leant
More promptly out next time, more curiously,
And saw it all again in different terms:
The fathers with broad belts under their suits
And seamy foreheads; mothers loud and fat;
An uncle shouting smut; and then the perms,
The nylon gloves and jewellery-substitutes,
The lemons, mauves, and olive-ochres that

Marked off the girls unreally from the rest.
Yes, from cafés
And banquet-halls up yards, and bunting-dressed
Coach-party annexes, the wedding-days
Were coming to an end. All down the line
Fresh couples climbed aboard: the rest stood round;
The last confetti and advice were thrown,
And, as we moved, each face seemed to define
Just what it saw departing: children frowned
At something dull; fathers had never known

Success so huge and wholly farcical;
The women shared
The secret like a happy funeral;
While girls, gripping their handbags tighter, stared
At a religious wounding. Free at last,
And loaded with the sum of all they saw,
We hurried towards London, shuffling gouts of steam.
Now fields were building-plots, and poplars cast
Long shadows over major roads, and for
Some fifty minutes, that in time would seem

Just long enough to settle hats and say
I nearly died,
A dozen marriages got under way.
They watched the landscape, sitting side by side
—An Odeon went past, a cooling tower,
And someone running up to bowl—and none
Thought of the others they would never meet
Or how their lives would all contain this hour.
I thought of London spread out in the sun,
Its postal districts packed like squares of wheat:

There we were aimed. And as we raced across
Bright knots of rail
Past standing Pullmans, walls of blackened moss
Came close, and it was nearly done, this frail
Travelling coincidence; and what it held
Stood ready to be loosed with all the power
That being changed can give. We slowed again,
And as the tightened brakes took hold, there swelled
A sense of falling, like an arrow-shower
Sent out of sight, somewhere becoming rain.
Philip Larkin, “The Whitsun Weddings” from Collected Poems. Used by permission of The Society of Authors as the Literary Representative of the Estate of Phillip Larkin.

Source: Collected Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux)

and now we Promise to get back to Work.

but only if You promise to leave us some poetry lines (your own would be delicious and very clever indeed) in the comment fields below.

*smiles*

*wavingfromlosangeles*

and now *concentratingVeryHard*

back. to. work.