davidbrucehaiku: Yin-Yang

yin-yang-99824_1280

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YIN-YANG

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Dark mingles with light

Dark and light know each other

Light mingles with dark

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David Bruce: William Shakespeare’s 1 HENRY VI: A Retelling in Prose — Act 5, Scenes 1-2

— 5.1 —

In the palace in London, King Henry VI was meeting with the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Exeter.

He asked the Duke of Gloucester, “Have you perused the letters from the Pope, the Holy Roman Emperor, and the Earl of Armagnac?”

“I have, my lord,” the Duke of Gloucester replied, “and their purpose is this: They humbly petition your excellence to have a godly peace brought into existence between the realms of England and of France.”

“How does your grace like their proposal?”

“I like it well, my good lord, and I think it is the only way to stop the spilling of our Christian blood and establish peace on every side.”

“Yes, that is true, by the Virgin Mary, uncle,” King Henry VI said, “for I always thought it was both impious and unnatural that such inhuman, atrocious savagery and bloody strife should reign among professors of one faith. The English and the French are Christian.”

“In addition, my lord, the sooner to effect and the surer to bind this knot of amity, the Earl of Armagnac, who is closely related to Charles the Dauphin and who is a man of great authority in France, offers his only daughter to your grace in marriage, along with a large and sumptuous dowry. This is a marriage that will advance peace between England and France.”

“Marriage, uncle!” King Henry VI said. “Alas, my years are young! And it is more suitable for me to devote myself to my study and my books than to engage in wanton dalliance with a paramour.

“Yet call the ambassadors, and as you please, let every one of them have their answers. I shall be well content with any choice that tends to God’s glory and my country’s well-being.”

The Bishop of Winchester had officially become the Cardinal of Winchester. Dressed in the clothing of a Cardinal, he entered the room, along with the three ambassadors representing the Pope, the Holy Roman Emperor, and the Earl of Armagnac. The ambassador representing the Pope was a Papal Legate.

Seeing the Cardinal of Winchester, the Duke of Exeter said to himself, “Has my Lord of Winchester been officially installed as a Cardinal and been given a Cardinal’s rank? Then I perceive that what King Henry V once prophesied will be verified as true: ‘If once Winchester comes to be a Cardinal, he’ll make his Cardinal’s cap equal to the crown.’”

King Henry VI said, “My lords ambassadors, your several petitions have been considered and debated. And therefore we are for certain resolved to draft the conditions of a friendly peace, which we intend shall be transported immediately to France by my Lord of Winchester.”

The Duke of Gloucester said to the ambassador of the Earl of Armagnac, “And as for the offer to my lord from your master, I have informed at length his highness of it, and as he likes the lady’s virtuous gifts, her beauty, and the value of her dowry, he intends that she shall be his wife and the Queen of England.”

King Henry VI said, “As evidence and proof of this marriage contract, take to her and give her this jewel as a pledge of my affection, and so, my Lord Protector, see them safeguarded and safely brought to Dover, where after they board a ship, commit them to the fortune of the sea.”

Everyone exited except for the Cardinal of Winchester and the Papal Legate.

“Wait, my lord Legate,” the Cardinal of Winchester said. “You shall first receive the sum of money that I promised would be delivered to his holiness for clothing me in these grave ornaments — this habit of a Cardinal.”

“I will attend upon your lordship’s leisure,” the Papal Legate said. “I am ready when you are ready.”

The Cardinal of Winchester said to himself, “Now I, Winchester, will not submit, I think, or be inferior to the proudest peer. Duke of Gloucester, you shall well perceive that, neither in birth nor in authority, I the Bishop will be put down or overruled by you. I’ll either make you stoop and bend your knee to me, or sack this country with a mutinous rebellion.”

Although he had become a Cardinal, he had not ceased being a Bishop.

— 5.2 —

On the plains of Anjou, France, Charles the Dauphin was meeting with the Duke of Burgundy, the Duke of Alençon, the Bastard of Orleans, Reignier, and Joan la Pucelle. Soldiers were present. Charles the Dauphin held a letter in his hand.

Charles the Dauphin said, “This news, my lords, may cheer our drooping spirits. It is said that the brave Parisians are revolting against the English and are turning again into the warlike French.”

The Duke of Alençon said, “Then march to Paris, royal Charles of France, and don’t keep back your armies in dalliance.”

Joan la Pucelle said, “May peace be among the Parisians, if they turn to us and join us; otherwise, let devastation battle against their palaces!”

A scout arrived and said, “Success to our valiant General, and happiness to his accomplices!”

“What news do our scouts send?” Charles the Dauphin said. “Please, speak.”

The scout said, “The English army, which was divided into two parties, is now joined into one, and it intends to fight you soon.”

“Somewhat too sudden, sirs, the warning is,” Charles the Dauphin said, “but we will soon provide for them.”

The Duke of Burgundy said, “I trust that the ghost of Lord Talbot is not there. Now that he is gone, my lord, you need not fear.”

“Of all base passions, fear is the most accursed,” Joan la Pucelle said. “Command the conquest, Charles, it shall be yours. Let Henry VI fret and all the world complain.”

She sounded positive that the French would defeat the English.

“Then let’s go on, my lords,” Charles the Dauphin said, “and may France be fortunate!”

***

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David Bruce: Politics Anecdotes

When Norman Mailer ran for Mayor of New York, his running mate was Jimmy Breslin. Their rallying cry was “Vote the rascals in!” Both writers were known for hard living, and when they spoke at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to police students, they ran into a police officer who asked Mr. Mailer, “If you and Breslin go ape on the same evening, who will run the city?” Mr. Mailer, of course, was an original (as was Mr. Breslin). Mr. Mailer had a column in the Village Voice for a while, but he quit after four months because a mistake in copy-editing had changed his nuance into nuisance. Obviously, Mr. Mailer’s beliefs, whether in literature or politics, were strong. After deciding to vote for Bobby Kennedy, whom he thought had a prep-school arrogance but was capable of greatness, Mr. Mailer wrote, “To vote for a man who is neuter is to vote for the plague. I would rather vote for a man on the assumption he is a hero and have him turn into a monster than vote for a man who can never be a hero.”

Syndicated columnist Susan Estrich wonders about the effect that pollution is having on our lives; many doctors wonder the same thing. She also wonders why politicians aren’t doing more to clean up pollution; many doctors wonder the same thing. After finding a lump in her breast, she consulted a doctor—fortunately, the lump wasn’t cancer. However, she did ask her doctor if she wasn’t too young to be worried about contracting breast cancer—wasn’t that a disease for women older than herself? He asked her if she knew anything about politics. When she replied that she knew a little, he asked her to consult people who were knowledgeable about politics and ask them why he was spending more and more time treating more and more young women who were contracting a disease that used to attack mostly older women. Her doctor said to her, “We need political leadership.” Ms. Estrich agrees.

Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese Consul-General in Bordeaux, rescued thousands of Jews from the Holocaust by directly disobeying his country’s orders and giving visas to Jews so that they could escape to freedom. A devout Roman Catholic, Mr. Mendes knew that he was risking his career, his reputation, and his own money by rescuing Jews. However, he said, “I cannot allow these people to die. Our constitution says that the religion or the politics of a foreigner shall not be used to deny refuge in Portugal. I have decided to follow this principle. Even if I am discharged, I can only act as a Christian, as my conscience tells me. If I am disobeying orders, I would rather be with God against men than with men against God.” The Jews used the Portuguese visas to escape to neutral Spain.

Populist Presidents can be extremely popular. Bill Moyers’ father, Henry Moyers, knew that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was on the side of the people. And because Henry Moyers was one of the people, he knew that President Roosevelt was on his side. Bill once asked his father why he had voted for President Roosevelt four times—only President Roosevelt’s death had kept Henry Moyers from voting for him a fifth, sixth, or even more times. Mr. Moyers—who had never met President Roosevelt—replied, “Because the President’s my friend.” Bill remembers the first time that he saw his father cry—it was the day that President Roosevelt died.

Actor Eli Wallach was born and raised in Brooklyn, but he attended the University of Texas at Austin because out-of-state tuition was only $30 for his first year. His professors often called on him in class. Why? Mr. Wallach explains, “Because they wanted to hear my Brooklyn accent.” Mr. Wallach became interested in Texas politics when he was at Austin. The governor at the time of his first year at the college was a woman, Ma Ferguson, whose husband had been Texas governor but had been impeached. Ma Ferguson ran for governor and was elected, and her husband kept on running the state just like he had before being impeached.

In 1903, union organizer Mother Jones led a group of child laborers from Philadelphia mills to New York City in a march designed to bring attention to the existence of child labor in the United States and to improve the lives of the working children. She even attempted to meet with President Theodore Roosevelt and have him see the mill children, but he resisted her attempts, saying that he believed in states’ rights and therefore child labor was the concern of states, not of the United States. Years later, Mother Jones said of President Roosevelt, “He had a lot of secret service men watching an old woman and an army of children. You fellows do elect wonderful Presidents.”

Back in 1956, a year when Yugoslavia was under the control of the dictator Josef Broz Tito, a Yugoslav consul-general confessed to theatrical guru Danny Newman that he never missed a performance at the Chicago Civic Opera by the baritone Tito Gobbi. Mr. Newman said that he understood that because Mr. Gobbi was a truly great baritone, but the consul-general replied, “Yes, but that’s not the real reason I love him so much. You see, Mr. Newman, Yugoslavia is a communist country and not very popular here. So your Civic Opera House is the only place in this country where I can publicly yell my head off with “BRAVO Tito! BRAVO Tito!”

Chuck Close took photographs of President Bill Clinton during a photo session in which he learned something about the former President that most people don’t know—that in at least one way, he is sensitive about his appearance. When Mr. Close showed up for the photo session, Mr. Clinton said, “Damn, look at those bags under my eyes. I forgot to take my water pills.” The water pills help to reduce the size of the bags under a person’s eyes, and evidently Mr. Clinton is sensitive about the bags under his eyes.

Fred W. McDarrah, long-time photographer for New York’s Village Voice, enjoyed taking photographs of the double-chinned movers and shakers of the predator class at fundraising dinners. He would take a photograph, and if the subject of the photograph angrily waved him away, he would take another photograph. Mr. McDarrah had a satiric streak; in 1960, he even started a small business known as “Rent-a-Beatnik.”

***

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Edgar Lee Masters: Rosie Roberts (Spoon River Anthology)

I WAS sick, but more than that, I was mad
At the crooked police, and the crooked game of life.
So I wrote to the Chief of Police at Peoria:
“I am here in my girlhood home in Spoon River,
Gradually wasting away.
But come and take me, I killed the son
Of the merchant prince, in Madam Lou’s
And the papers that said he killed himself
In his home while cleaning a hunting gun—
Lied like the devil to hush up scandal
For the bribe of advertising.
In my room I shot him, at Madam Lou’s,
Because he knocked me down when I said
That, in spite of all the money he had,
I’d see my lover that night.”

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davidbrucehaiku: blind rich people

yacht-1040850_1280

https://pixabay.com/en/yacht-yacht-exterior-superyacht-1040850/

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Blind people exist

Forty-million-dollar yachts

Also exist — why?

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NOTE: A $50 donation to the charity SEVA FOUNDATION will pay for a cataract operation that will allow a blind person in a third-world nation to see. Since this is true, how can anyone own a $40 million yacht as long as even one curable cataract-blinded person in a third-world nation exists?

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David Bruce: William Shakespeare’s 1 HENRY VI: A Retelling in Prose — Act 4, Scenes 6-7

— 4.6 —

The battle started, and the English fought bravely. At one point, the Frenchmen came close to killing John Talbot, but Lord Talbot rescued him.

“Saint George and victory!” Lord Talbot shouted. “Fight, soldiers, fight! The Regent of France — the Duke of York — has broken his word to me, Lord Talbot, and left us to the rage of France’s swordsmen.

“Where is John Talbot?”

Seeing him, he said, “Pause, and take your breath; I gave you life, and I rescued you from death.”

“Oh, twice my father, twice am I your son!” John Talbot said. “The life you gave me first was lost and done, until with your warlike sword, in spite of fate, to my allotted time of life you gave me a new, later date to die.”

“When from the Dauphin’s crest on his helmet your sword struck fire, it warmed your father’s heart with proud desire of bold-faced victory. Then I, despite my leaden age, quickened with youthful spirits and warlike rage, beat down the Duke of Alençon, the Bastard of Orleans, and the Duke of Burgundy, and from the pride — the best soldiers — of Gallia, aka France, rescued you.

“The angry Bastard of Orleans, who drew blood from you, my boy, and had the maidenhood — the first blood — of your first fight, I soon encountered, and exchanging blows with him I quickly shed some of his bastard blood, and insultingly said to him, ‘I am spilling your contaminated, base, and misbegotten blood, which is mean, ignoble, and very poor, for that pure blood of mine that you forced from Talbot, my brave boy.’ Then, as I moved to destroy the Bastard and end his life, strong reinforcements came in to rescue him.

“Speak, your father’s care and concern. Aren’t you weary, John? How do you fare? Will you now leave the battle, boy, and flee, now that you are sealed and confirmed to be the son of chivalry?

“Flee in order to revenge my death when I am dead. The help of one person stands me in little stead — one person can help me very little. Too much folly is it, well I know, to hazard all our lives in one small boat!

“If I don’t die today from the Frenchmen’s rage, tomorrow I shall die with great old age. The Frenchmen gain nothing by my death if I stay: It is only the shortening of my life by one day. If you die, your mother dies, as does our household’s name, my death’s revenge, your youth, and England’s fame. All these and more we hazard by your stay; all these are saved if you will flee away.”

John Talbot replied, “The sword of the Bastard of Orleans has not made me smart, but these words of yours draw life-blood from my heart. To gain those benefits, bought with such a shame, would save a paltry life and slay bright fame. Before young Talbot from old Talbot flees, may the coward horse that bears me fall and die! And compare me to the peasant boys of France, to be shame’s scorn and subject of mischance! Surely, by all the glory you have won, if I flee, I am not Talbot’s son. So then, talk no more of flight, it does no good. If I am Talbot’s son, I will die at Talbot’s foot.”

Lord Talbot said, “Then follow your desperate sire of Crete, you Icarus.”

Icarus was the son of Daedalus, who designed the labyrinth at Crete to house the Minotaur, the half-bull, half-human man-eating monster. After Daedalus and his son were imprisoned on the island of Crete, Daedalus designed wings made of feathers and wax so that he and his son could fly over the sea to freedom. The wings worked, but Icarus flew too close to the Sun, the heat of which melted the wax, causing the feathers to molt. Icarus fell into the sea and drowned. Icarus could have lived, but his exuberance caused his death.

Lord Talbot continued, “Your life to me is sweet. If you must fight, then fight by your father’s side, and now that you have proven yourself to be commendable, let’s die proudly and with honor.”

— 4.7 —

The battle continued. A servant helped Lord Talbot, exhausted by age and combat, to walk.

Lord Talbot asked, “Where is my other life? My own life is gone. Where’s young Talbot? Where is valiant John? Triumphant Death, smeared with the blood of slain captives, young Talbot’s valor makes me smile at you. When young Talbot saw me shrink down on my knee, he brandished his bloody sword over me, and like a hungry lion, he began to perform rough deeds of rage and stern impatience. But when my angry guard stood alone, tending to my ruin and assailed by none, dizzy-eyed fury and great rage of heart suddenly made him run from my side into the clustering battle of the French, and in that sea of blood my boy drenched his mounting-too-high spirit, and there died my Icarus, my blossom, in his pride.”

The servant said, “My dear lord, look, your son is being borne here!”

Some soldiers arrived, carrying the corpse of John Talbot.

Lord Talbot said, “You grinning jester Death, who laughs at and scorns us here, soon, away from your insulting tyranny, coupled in bonds of perpetuity, two Talbots, winging through the yielding sky, shall spite you and escape mortality.”

He then said to his son’s corpse, “Oh, you, whose honorable wounds make handsome even the appearance of ugly death, speak to your father before you yield your breath! Defy death by speaking, whether or not he will allow you to speak. Imagine that Death is a Frenchman and your foe.

“Poor boy! He smiles, I think, as one who would say, ‘Had Death been French, then Death would have died today.’”

He then ordered, “Come, come and lay him in his father’s arms. My spirit can no longer bear these harms.”

The soldiers brought John Talbot’s corpse over to Lord Talbot, who hugged it and said, “Soldiers, adieu! I have what I want, now that my old arms are young John Talbot’s grave.”

Lord Talbot died.

Fighting broke out, and the servant and soldiers exited, leaving the two corpses behind.

After the battle was over and the French had won, Charles the Dauphin, the Duke of Alençon, the Duke of Burgundy, the Bastard of Orleans, Joan la Pucelle, and some soldiers entered the scene.

Charles the Dauphin said, “If the Duke of York and the Duke of Somerset had brought in reinforcements for the English, this would have been a bloody day for us.”

The Bastard of Orleans marveled, “How the young whelp of Talbot’s, raging-mad, fleshed his puny sword in Frenchmen’s blood!”

He referred to John Talbot’s sword as “puny” because its wielder had been untested in battle before this day.

Joan la Pucelle said, “Once I encountered him, and I said to him, ‘You maiden — virgin — youth, be vanquished by a maiden.’ But, with a proud and majestically high scorn, he answered, ‘Young Talbot was not born to be the pillage of a giglot — harlot — wench.’ Then, rushing into the midst of the French, he left me proudly, considering me unworthy for him to fight.”

The Duke of Burgundy said, “Doubtless he would have made a noble knight. Look at him. On the ground he lies, as if in a coffin, in the arms of the most bloodthirsty nurser of his harms!”

He felt that Lord Talbot had nursed — encouraged — his son to inflict wounds. In doing so, Lord Talbot had also made it possible for his son to suffer wounds.

The Bastard of Orleans said, “Hew them to pieces, hack their bones asunder. Their life was England’s glory, and Gallia’s wonder — France’s object of astonishment.”

Charles the Dauphin said, “No! Don’t! Those whom during their life we have fled, let us not wrong them once they are dead.”

Sir William Lucy arrived with some attendants. Walking in front of him was a French herald.

Sir William Lucy, who had arrived too late to participate in the battle, said, “Herald, conduct me to the Dauphin’s tent, so I can learn who has obtained the glory of the day.”

“On what submissive message have you been sent?” Charles the Dauphin asked. He expected Sir William Lucy to be carrying a message that what was left of the English army was surrendering to him.

“Submission, Dauphin!” Sir William Lucy said. “It is entirely a French word; we English warriors don’t know what it means.”

Sir William Lucy was aware that the English army had lost, but he was putting up a bold and brave front as he sought to learn the fate of Lord Talbot.

He added, “I have come to learn what prisoners you have taken and to survey the bodies of the dead.”

“You ask about prisoners?” Charles the Dauphin said. “Our prison is Hell. We kill our prisoners. But tell me whom you seek.”

Sir William Lucy asked, “Where’s the great Alcides — Hercules — of the battlefield, valiant Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, who was given many titles as a reward for his rare success in arms? He is the great Earl of Washford, Waterford, and Valence. He is Lord Talbot of Goodrig and Urchinfield, Lord Strange of Blackmere, Lord Verdun of Alton, Lord Cromwell of Wingfield, Lord Furnival of Sheffield, the thrice-victorious Lord of Falconbridge; knight of the noble order of Saint George, a worthy of Saint Michael and the Golden Fleece. He is also the great commander-in-chief to King Henry VI in all his wars within the realm of France. Where is he?”

“Here is a silly stately style indeed!” Joan la Pucelle said, mocking the list of titles. “The Sultan of Turkey, who has fifty-two Kingdoms, does not write as tedious a style as this. He whom you magnify with all these titles lies stinking and fly-blown here at our feet.”

Already flies were buzzing around Lord Talbot’s corpse.

Sir William Lucy said, “Has Lord Talbot been slain, the Frenchmen’s only scourge, your kingdom’s terror and black Nemesis?”

Nemesis was an ancient goddess who punished humans who were guilty of pride and arrogance against the gods.

He continued, “I wish that my eyeballs would turn into bullets so that I in rage might shoot them at your faces! I wish that I could call these dead English warriors to life! It would be enough to frighten the realm of France. Even if only Lord Talbot’s picture were left among you here, it would terrify the proudest of you all. Give me their bodies, so that I may bear them away from here and give them burial as befits their worth.”

Joan la Pucelle said, “I think this upstart is old Talbot’s ghost — he must be because he speaks with such a proud commanding spirit. For God’s sake let him have the bodies; if we kept them here, they would only stink and putrefy the air.”

Charles the Dauphin said, “Go and take their bodies away from here.”

“I’ll bear them away,” Sir William Lucy said, “but from their ashes shall be reared a phoenix that shall make all France afraid.”

In the Arden Shakespeare edition of King Henry VI, Part 1, editor Edward Burns writes, “According to myth there is only ever one phoenix bird at any one time, but it regenerates itself from the ashes of its funeral pyre, in the deserts of Arabia, so it is an emblem of the survival of individual worth in defiance of the logic of natural survival.”

Charles the Dauphin replied, “As long as we are rid of them, do with them what you will.”

He then said to the others, “And now to Paris, in this conquering vein. All will be ours, now bloodthirsty Talbot’s slain.”

***

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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