This is so true. Night is the time I remember all the dumb things I’ve done.
We are all virtual prisoners of time
guarded by ticking hands of the clock
trapped in flashbacks gnawing at our minds
that feed our fears as we take useless stock
A vapid predator in the night they stalk
when we are most vulnerable and weak
under cloak of darkness with stealth they walk
in the mid-watch hours when all seems bleak
Into our quagmire of self-doubt they creep
prodding at the tenderest pink scars
in a whining voice they ardently speak
preying on our imaginary horrors
But then through the portal comes hope; a golden dawn
for all worries vanish in the healing light of dazzling sun.
Author’s Note: I worked on a revision to this sonnet, so the last couplet is a resolution. Many Thanks for the feedback!
dVerse Poets Pub: https://dversepoets.com/2019/01/03/poetry-forms-the-sonnet/
1 THE WORDS OF KING LEMUEL: The prophecy which his mother taught him.
2 What my son! and what ye son of my womb! and what, O son of my desires!
3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways, which is to destroy Kings.
4 It is not for Kings, O Lemuel, it is not for Kings to drink wine nor for princes strong drink,
5 Lest he drink and forget the decree, and change the judgment of all the children of affliction.
6 Give ye strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto them that have grief of heart.
7 Let him drink, that he may forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all the children of destruction.
9 Open thy mouth: judge righteously, and judge the afflicted, and the poor.
10 Who shall find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above the pearls.
11 The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good, and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool and flax, and laboreth cheerfully with her hands.
14 She is like the ships of merchants: she bringeth her food from afar.
15 And she riseth, while it is yet night: and giveth the portion to her household, and the ordinary to her maids.
16 She considereth a field, and getteth it: and with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She feeleth that her merchandise is good: her candle is not put out by night.
19 She putteth her hands to the weave, and her hands handle the spindle.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor, and putteth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She feareth not the snow for her family: for all her family is clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself carpets: fine linen and purple is her garment.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth with the Elders of the land.
24 She maketh sheets, and selleth them, and giveth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honor is her clothing, and in the latter day she shall rejoice.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and the law of grace is in her tongue.
27 She overseeth the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up, and call her blessed: her husband also shall praise her, saying,
29 Many daughters have done virtuously: but thou surmountest them all.
30 Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vanity: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Read the Contemporary English Version:
Find discomfort in the hem
of your occasion dress
zips on the side–
boys left behind
gawking at the sheer sight
of your lacy best.
Have you ever entered
a room filled,
but not acquainted enough to
strike the ice?
All dressed up, nowhere to go
you arrive and yet
feel uninvited before
opening your lipstick mouth.
Surface-level small-talk: to
ask questions of others, to
keep conversation alive
I wonder if they sense my
mild polite engagement
as attention nonetheless.
My discomposure like
a child nagging at my leg
pulling the sewn thread
and unravelling until I look
as naked as I feel.
1 THE WORDS OF AGUR THE SON OF JAKEH. The prophecy which ye man spake unto Ithiel, even to Ithiel, and Ucal.
2 Surely I am more foolish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man in me.
3 For I have not learned wisdom, nor attained to the knowledge of holy things.
4 Who hath ascended up to heaven, and descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fist? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the world? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?
5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield to those, that trust in him.
6 Put nothing unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
7 Two things have I required of thee: deny me them not before I die.
8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me not poverty, nor riches: feed me with food convenient for me,
9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor and steal, and take the Name of my God in vain.
10 Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, when thou hast offended.
11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doeth not bless their mother.
12 There is a generation that are pure in their own conceit, and yet are not washed from their filthiness.
13 There is a generation, whose eyes are haughty, and their eye lids are lifted up.
14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their chaws as knives to eat up the afflicted out of the earth, and the poor from among men.
15 The horseleach hath two daughters which cry, Give, give. There be three things that will not be satisfied: yea, four that say not, It is enough.
16 The grave, and the barren womb, the earth that cannot be satisfied with water, and the fire that saith not, It is enough.
17 The eye that mocketh his father and despiseth the instruction of his mother, let ye ravens of the valley pick it out, and the young eagles eat it.
18 There be three things hid from me: yea, four that I know not,
19 The way of an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent upon a stone, ye way of a ship in ye midst of the sea, and the way of a man with a maid.
20 Such is ye way also of an adulterous woman: she eateth and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have not committed iniquity.
21 For three things the earth is moved: yea, for four it cannot sustain itself:
22 For a servant when he reigneth, and a fool when he is filled with meat,
23 For the hateful woman, when she is married, and for a handmaid that is heir to her mistress.
24 These be four small things in the earth, yet they are wise and full of wisdom:25 The pismires a people not strong, yet prepare they their meat in summer:
26 The conies a people not mighty, yet make their houses in the rock:
27 The grasshopper hath no King, yet go they forth all by bands:
28 The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in King’s palaces.
29 There be three things that order well their going: yea, four are comely in going,
30 A lion which is strong among beasts, and turneth not at the sight of any:
31 A lusty greyhound, and a goat, and a King against whom there is no rising up.
32 If thou hast been foolish in lifting thyself up, and if thou hast thought wickedly, lay thine hand upon thy mouth.
33 When one churneth milk, he bringeth forth butter: and he that wringeth his nose, causeth blood to come out: so he that forceth wrath, bringeth forth strife.
Read the Contemporary English Version:
WALL AND ROOF
First we need a wall
— or so Trump is telling us —
Next we need a roof?
• Eric Carle, author and illustrator of many children’s books, remembers when some apples fermented in a wood, producing apples with alcohol. Two brown bears smelled the apples, and they enjoyed a feast — a feast that made them tipsy. Being tipsy, they did what bears —and lots of human beings — do. They took a nap to sleep it off. Soon, the human beings in the area learned about the tipsy bears, and a hunter realized that it would easy (but of course not sporting) to kill the two sleeping bears. However, someone had telephoned the police, who sent two police officers in a patrol car to keep an eye on the bears. The hunter arrived first and left his truck, carrying a gun to shoot the bears. Immediately after the hunter had gotten out of his truck, the police officers arrived. The hunter jumped back in his truck and drove off. The police officers kept an eye on the bears until they woke up, shook themselves, and safely wandered away.
• The Hasidim loved Israel. Rabbi Yohanan of Rachmistrivska once owned a bottle of wine that had been bottled in Israel, but he declined to drink the wine, “I do not know whether I will like this particular bottle of wine. Since I do not want, heaven forbid, to disparage something that comes from Eretz Israel, I would rather not drink the bottle.” Rabbi Avraham Hazan immigrated to Eretz Israel from Uman, and each year he would travel to Uman to celebrate Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New York). He always took a bottle of Israeli wine with him, and he always made sure it lasted him until he returned to Israel. Whenever he drank wine, he drank wine bottled from outside of Israel, but he put just a little of the Israeli wine in the glass so that the wine would have some of the sanctity of Eretz Israel.
• Tenor Jussi Bjoerling and conductor Nils Grevilius enjoyed having a drink together—and another drink, and another, and on and on. During one debauch, they traveled together to Stockholm, where to take a break from their drinking, they decided to go to the opera house and see whatever was being performed. They got to their seats and waited and waited, and were about to leave and get some more drinks when the opera house general manager came on stage and announced that that evening’s performance was being canceled because “tenor Jussi Bjoerling and conductor Nils Grevilius are missing.” A very surprised Mr. Bjoerling and Mr. Grevilius stood up and announced, “We’re here! We’re here!”
• Kingsley Amis had much experience with drinking way too much, and if any man was an expert on hangovers, he was. One of the things his excessive experience with excessive drinking taught him was to “not take an alkalizing agent such as bicarbonate of soda” when he had a hangover. One dreadful morning he took some bicarbonate of soda, which he chased with some hair of the dog: vodka. His companion decided to do an experiment: “Let’s see what’s happening in your stomach.” The companion poured what was left of the vodka into what was left of the bicarbonate of soda. Mr. Amis writes, “The mixture turned black and gave off smoke.”
• One of Frank Sinatra’s gifts to Sammy Davis, Jr., was an enormous gold Cartier watch. When Sammy knew that he was dying, he told his kids about the watch, “It goes with me.” As he had requested, he was buried with that memento of a great friendship. (As happens to many friends, Sammy and Frank sometimes got angry at each other. Once, Sammy got outrageously drunk and cursed Frank, who ignored the outburst. The next day, Sammy went to Frank to apologize, but Frank simply told him, “Look, we’ve all done exactly what you did last night, but if you can’t handle it, don’t do it. Now, what exactly are we going to do today?”
• The family of William Warren Woollcott, the older brother of famous drama critic Alexander Woollcott, was at times unconventional. During the time of Prohibition, when alcoholic beverages were forbidden, Billy Woollcott made his own beer. On special occasions, he would bring up an extra bottle and let his very young daughters have a little beer along with the adults. This beer was a special treat to them. Of course, their father was a good parent. He would sometimes tell his two youngest daughters, “Drink your milk. The one who doesn’t finish her milk won’t get any beer tonight.”
• Russian bass Fyodor Chaliapin enjoyed nights out on the town, and often the next morning his throat was totally unsuited for singing. By the time the curtain rose that evening, he was able to hit high and middle notes, but not the soft notes. Still, he was known for his pianissimonotes, even after a night of drinking. How did he do it? He opened his mouth, concentrated, and raised his hand as if guiding very low notes toward the heavens. Through his considerable acting ability, he was able to convince the audience that they were hearing very soft notes although he was making absolutely no sound.
• As usual, the dancers of the Robert Joffrey Ballet arrived on time for a performance at Greensboro, North Carolina. Not as usual, the crew of the Robert Joffrey Ballet went to Greensboro, SouthCarolina, instead. However, the show went on, and en route to their next performance, the dancers celebrated by filling the water cooler not with water, but with champagne.
• Harpo Marx once visited W.C. Fields, who showed him around his home. The pool table had a cushion because on nights when he couldn’t sleep in bed he would sleep on the pool table, and his cellar was stocked with hundreds of cases of different kinds of alcohol because, Mr. Fields explained, “Never can be sure Prohibition won’t come back, my boy.”
• A very popular tonic for women in the 1800s was Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Tonic for Female Problems. No wonder it was popular — it was 18 percent alcohol!
• Ethel Barrymore’s father, Maurice, enjoyed drinking to excess, and he once stated, “Staggering is a sign of strength. Weak men are carried home.”
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
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