davidbrucehaiku: legacy






Leave something behind

To benefit Humankind

The challenge of life


NOTE: This is something that scientific-minded and artistic-minded people, along with so many others, have attempted to do.


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Free eBooks by David Bruce (pdfs)





If our story came with footnotes,
may we never refer to them.
A spine, crackling
cover to cover overflowing,
documenting everyday:
a weather forecast
a ticket stub

Our first kiss tasted just like
the next decades of my life
flashing before my eyes.

When the sun shines
peeking through, peach tones
that’s the lightness I feel
coming home to you.
You told me once that the freckles on my cheeks
were proof of every time the sun
kissed my face.

When the time comes
and the sky opens up and we’re swallowed whole
I pray I enter empty-handed, with nothing to show.
“I have gifted all the love you afforded me,”
and the universe would laugh,
“While you have none of what I gave you
all those years ago,
you are still adorned
with someone who has offered his
back to you.”

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Top of the mountain

Green leaves, soft light, steady breeze

Forest of Eden


NOTE: We think of the Earthly Paradise as a garden; it is a forest at the top of the Mountain of Purgatory.




David Bruce: William Shakespeare’s CYMBELINE: A Retelling in Prose — Act 3, Scenes 6-7

— 3.6 —

Imogen, wearing the clothing of a young man, stood in front of Belarius’ (Morgan’s) cave in Wales.

She said to herself, “I see a man’s life is a tedious one. I have attired myself in men’s clothing, and I have tired myself by walking, and for the past two nights I have made the ground my bed. I should be sick, but my determination to be near my husband helps me. Milford Haven, when Pisanio showed you to me from the mountaintop, you were within sight. By Jove, I think places where help can be found flee from the wretched — such people, I mean, who deserve to be relieved from their distress. Two beggars told me that I could not miss my way. Will poor folks lie in order to get alms, although they know that their afflictions are a punishment or test sent from Heaven? Yes, and it is no wonder then that beggars lie when rich people will scarcely tell the truth. To sin when one is prosperous is worse than to lie because of need, and falsehood is worse in Kings than it is in beggars.

“My dear husband: Posthumus! You are one of the false ones! Now that I am thinking about you, my hunger’s gone; but just a moment before, I was ready to sink to the ground because of lack of food.

“But what is this? Here is a path to a cave: It is some stronghold for savages. It would be best if I did not call to whoever is here. I dare not call, yet famine, before it wholly overthrows a person’s nature, makes that nature valiant and courageous. Plenty and peace breed cowards: hardship is always the mother of courage.

“Hey! Who’s here? If you are anyone who is civilized, speak; if savage, act — take my money and life or lend me aid. Hey! No answer? Then I’ll enter.

“I had best draw my sword. If my enemy fears a sword like I do, he’ll scarcely look on it. May the good Heavens give me such a foe!”

She entered the cave.

Belarius (Morgan), Guiderius (Polydore) and Arviragus (Cadwal) arrived, carrying the game they had hunted.

Belarius (Morgan) said, “You, Polydore, have proved to be the best hunter and so you are the master of the feast. Cadwal and I will play the cook and servant; that is the agreement we made. The sweat of industry would dry and die, except for the end it works to. We would not do the hard work of hunting except for the necessity of feeding ourselves. Come; our stomachs will make plain and simple food savory and delicious. A weary person can snore while lying upon flinty ground, while a lazy and slothful person finds a down pillow hard. Now may peace be here, poor cave and home, that we left all alone!”

“I am thoroughly weary,” Guiderius (Polydore) said.

“I am weak with toil, yet strong in appetite,” Arviragus (Cadwal) said.

“There is cold food in the cave,” Guiderius (Polydore) said. “We’ll nibble on that while what we have killed is being cooked.”

Belarius (Morgan) looked into the cave and said to the others, “Stay outside; do not come in. Except that it eats our food, I would think here is a creature of enchantment.”

“What’s the matter, sir?” Guiderius (Polydore) asked.

“By Jupiter, I see an angel!” Belarius (Morgan) said. “Or, if not, an earthly paragon! Behold divineness no elder than a boy!”

Imogen came out of the cave and said, “Good masters, don’t hurt me. Before I entered the cave here, I called, and I intended to have begged or bought what I have taken. Truly, I have stolen nothing, nor would I, even though I had found gold strewn on the floor.”

She held out some money and said, “Here’s money for my food. I would have left it on the table as soon as I had finished my meal, and parted with prayers for the provider.”

Guiderius (Polydore) said, “Money, youth?”

Arviragus (Cadwal) said, “All gold and silver should turn to dirt! Gold and silver are not thought to be better than dirt except by those who worship dirty, repulsive gods!”

Imogen said, “I see you’re angry. Know, if you kill me for my fault, I would have died had I not committed the fault of eating your food without first getting permission.”

“Where are you going?” Belarius (Morgan) asked her.

“To Milford Haven.”

“What’s your name?”

“Fidele, sir.”

Fideleis French for “the faithful one.”

Imogen (Fidele) continued, “I have a relative who is bound for Italy; he embarked at Milford Haven. I was going to him, when almost exhausted with hunger, I committed this offence.”

“Please, fair youth,” Belarius (Morgan) said. “Don’t think that we are brutes, and don’t judge our good minds by this rude cave we live in. It is good that you encountered us! It is almost night. You shall have better entertainment before you depart, and we will thank you to stay and eat our food.”

He then said, “Boys, make him welcome.”

Guiderius (Polydore) said, “Were you a woman, youth, I would woo you hard so I could be your legal bridegroom. I would bid for you as if I intended definitely to buy you.”

Arviragus (Cadwal) said, “I am glad that he is a man. I’ll love him as I love my brother, and such a welcome as I would give to my brother after a long absence, I give to you, Fidele. You are very welcome here! Be cheerful because you have fallen among friends.”

Imogen (Fidele) thought, Among friends, as long as we are brothers. I wonder if you would still be friends if you knew that I am a woman. Being a lone woman among strange men is dangerous. I wish that you really were my brothers — my father’s sons. If you were my father’s sons, then I would not be heir to my father’s kingdom, and so I would be more equal to you, Posthumus, and I would be much more likely to be allowed to be married to you.

Imogen (Fidele) did not know it, but these two young men — Guiderius (Polydore) and Arviragus (Cadwal) — really were her brothers, whom Belarius had kidnapped when they were very young.

Belarius (Morgan) said, “He wrings his hands because of some distress.”

“I wish that I could free him of that distress!” Guiderius (Polydore) said.

“As do I,” Arviragus (Cadwal) said, whatever that distress is, and whatever pain it would cost me, and whatever danger it would put me in. Gods!”

“Listen to me, boys,” Belarius (Morgan) said to Guiderius (Polydore) and Arviragus (Cadwal).

He whispered to them.

Imogen (Fidele) thought, Great men who had a court no bigger than this cave, who served themselves instead of having others serve them, and who had the virtue that their own conscience ratified in them — disregarding that worthless gift of the adulation of fickle multitudes of people — could not surpass these two young men. Pardon me, gods! I would change my sex to be companions with them, since Leonatus is false to me.

Belarius (Morgan) said to his two “sons,” “It shall be done. Boys, we’ll go prepare our game for cooking.”

He said to Imogen (Fidele), “Fair youth, come in. Conversation is difficult to make when we are hungry; when we have eaten, we’ll politely ask you to tell your story, as much as you are willing to tell of it.”

“Please, come near,” Guiderius (Polydore) said to Imogen (Fidele).

Arviragus (Cadwal) said, “The night to the owl and the morning to the lark are less welcome than you are to us.”

“Thanks, sir,” Imogen (Fidele) replied.

“Please, come near,” Arviragus (Cadwal) said to her.

— 3.7 —

Two Senators and some Tribunes met in a public place in Rome.

The first Senator said, “This is the substance of the Emperor’s command: That since the common men are now in action fighting against the Pannonians in Hungary and the Dalmatians on the Adriatic Sea, and since the legions now in France are too weak to undertake our wars against the rebelling Britons, that we summon the gentry to go to war against the Britons. Caesar Augustus makes Caius Lucius Proconsul, and he delegates to you the Tribunes his complete authority to raise this immediate levy of soldiers. Long live Caesar!”

“Is Caius Lucius the general of the armed forces?” the first Tribune asked.

“Yes,” the second Senator said.

“Is he still in France?” the first Tribune asked.

The first Senator replied, “He is with those legions of soldiers that I have spoken of, whereunto your levy of soldiers must be the reinforcements. The words of your commission will stipulate the numbers of the soldiers you will draft and the time they will be dispatched to France.”

“We will do our duty,” the first Tribune said.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved