Four Hummingbirds

Charmed Chaos

Photo byJames WainscoatonUnsplash

I watched four hummingbirds bathe before the sun arose
swimming in the fountain, with fluttering wings and toes
they sailed into the air, returned and took a deep dive
chirping to each other, drowning in ecstasy’s throes

Their innocence of being, in the moment alive
sent my heart leaping and brought joyous tears to these eyes
I saw true happiness with their feathers gleaming wet
they illuminated my day, infused with delight

Author’s note: I was blessed to actually see this little miracle first thing the other morning. I was so struck by their pure joy, it stayed with me all day, and even nowbringsasmile.My attemptataRubaiyat.

dVerse Poets MTB:

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Morning Tea

Charmed Chaos

for his morning tea
a monk sits down in utter silence-
confronted by chrysanthemums    

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. unknown)

sacred serene ritual
steeped in solitude of peace

©2019 Linda Lee Lyberg

This month at Carpe Diem, we have a Tan Renga challenge. A Tan Renga is typically written by two poets. The first three lines are written by one poet, and the last two by another.

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David Bruce: Fights Anecdotes

• John L. Sullivan used to fight all comers barefisted for a $1,000 purse; because he was such a great fighter, the person who lasted the longest in the ring with him got a consolation prize of $50. Once, a first-year student at MIT named Alfred I. du Pont showed up to fight Mr. Sullivan — not for any glory, but because he needed the money. Mr. Sullivan was sympathetic to the student’s plight and made sure to spar with Mr. du Pont long enough for him to pick up the consolation prize money. The two men became friends, and after Mr. Sullivan had retired and spent all the money he had earned prizefighting, Mr. du Pont gave him a monthly stipend and a small farm to live on.

• Jack Dempsey was merciless in the boxing ring, battering his opponents senseless as they tried to do the same to him. He believed, “When you get between the ropes you’re supposed to take it.” Once, he decided to go easy on Bill Brennan, whom he called “a nice fellow and a good fighter.” In the 3rd round, Mr. Brennan hit him hard, and Mr. Dempsey didn’t become fully conscious until the 12th round. When he came to, he knocked out Mr. Brennan and refused to show pity in the boxing ring ever again.

• During the Avengersepisode “Mandrake,” Honor Blackman, who played Mrs. Cathy Gale, accidentally knocked out pro wrestler Jackie Pallo during a fight scene, kicking him in the face and knocking him backward into an open grave. He remained unconscious for six or seven minutes, and the newspapers had a field day with the story. For a while, Ms. Blackman was afraid that she had ruined his career.

• Lord Buckley was a 1950s comedian who said pretty much whatever he wanted, whether the audience wanted to hear it or not. Once, a big man started to heckle him, so Lord Buckley asked him to step outside. They did, and a few minutes later, the two men returned. The heckler was unharmed, but Lord Buckley had been stomped. Lord Buckley then continued his act as if nothing had happened.

• Kato-Dewanokami-Yasuoki revered the martial arts. One day, Zen master Bankei visited him, and Yasuoki picked up his spear and pointed it at Bankei. However, Bankei merely used his rosary to flick the point of the spear aside, then told Yasuoki, “No good. You’re too worked up.” Eventually, Yasuoki became a master of the spear and spoke of Bankei as having been his greatest teacher in that art.

• Orestes A. Brownson (1803-1876), a Unitarian minister, once became angry at Mr. Trask, an anti-tobacco crusader, and knocked him down, then apologized for it. Mr. Trask accepted the apology, but kept saying “I forgive you,” which made Mr. Brownson angry enough to tell Mr. Trask, “I have knocked you down, and I apologize for it. If you say anything more about forgiving me, I will knock you down again.”

• Sir Thomas Buxton (1786-1845) noticed in the Election of 1818 that his supporters were engaging in physical violence against the supporters of the opposing candidate. Sir Thomas told his supporters, “Beat them; beat them in the generous exercise of high principles; beat them in disdain of corruption, and the display of pure integrity; but do not beat them with bludgeons.”

• Early in his career, Lenny Bruce worked in burlesque. This can be a hard place for a comic to work, as the patrons go there to see the strippers, not to hear the comedians. When patrons cried out “Bring on the broads” during Mr. Bruce’s act, he responded, “I’d like to, but then you wouldn’t have any company at the bar.” This comment occasionally caused fights to break out.

• Alfred Davis, a Quaker, once saw a fight in which a large woman was sitting on a small man and hitting him. He tried to stop the fight, only to have the small man tell him, “If you won’t allow us to settle our family affairs in our own way, I’ll change places with you.” Mr. Davis decided to allow the family quarrel to continue without interference.

• Sports writers Joe Williams and Heywood Broun were watching the Baer-Carnera fight, in which Baer knocked Carnera down several times, yet Carnera kept getting up. Mr. Williams said, “Gosh, but the big fellow certainly can take it.” Mr. Broun replied, “Yes, but he doesn’t seem to know what to do with it.”

• In 404 C.E., the gladiatorial contests in the Roman Coliseum came to an end. Telemachus, a monk, ran into the arena and commanded the gladiators in the name of God to stop. The audience howled for Telemachus’ blood, so the gladiators killed him. This murder brought an end to the gladiatorial contests.

• In the early 20th century, Mr. Fyfe, the Caddie Superintendent at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews in Scotland, had an interesting way of dealing with disputes between caddies. He simply told them, “Go to the bandstand and fight as long as you can stand, then come back and I’ll find you work.”

• Lord Justice Harman once had to judge at a trial between two men — both were fighters who claimed to be the welterweight champion of Trinidad. The Lord Justice said, “It occurred to me for the first time during the hearing to regret the desuetude of ordeal by battle as a matter of trial.”

• In 1942, Robert Trias, the United States Navy’s middleweight boxing champion, got into the ring with a kung fu master and discovered that the kung fu master was so quick that he couldn’t hit him. After the “fight,” Mr. Trias began to study kung fu.

• In 1966, in London’s Albert Hall, young ballet dancer Natalia Makarova fell down while performing Giselle. As she lay on the floor, her dance partner, Onoshko, pretended he was a referee in a boxing match and started counting, “One … two … three ….”

• Famous actor Rudolph Valentino once walked into the offices of the Chicago Tribuneand offered to fight anyone at the newspaper because a reporter had said in print that he was a sissy because he wore a wristwatch.