I will give you a poem when you wake tomorrow.
It will be a peaceful poem.
It won’t make you sad.
It won’t make you miserable.
It will simply be a poem to give you
When you wake tomorrow.
It was not written by myself alone.
I cannot lay claim to it.
I found it in your body.
In your smile I found it.
Will you recognise it?
You will find it under your pillow.
When you open the cupboard it will be there.
You will blink in astonishment,
Shout out, ‘How it trembles!
Its nakedness is startling! How fresh it tastes!’
We will have it for breakfast;
On a table lit by loving,
At a place reserved for wonder.
We will give the world a kissing open
When we wake tomorrow.
We will offer it to the sad landlord out on the balcony.
To the dreamers at the window.
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“The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn’t; he can go away to New Guinea on his yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats were always anarchists.”
G.K. Chesterton, English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, lay theologian, biographer, literary and art critic.
mass followed by a party
she is now fifteen
NOTE: QUINCEAÑERA is a celebration in Latin American countries (and in Latino cultures) of a female becoming fifteen years ago. The celebration marks the transition of a child to an adult.
Buy the Paperback here: DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY: A RETELLING IN PROSE
• When he was a young man acting in England, Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) played a practical joke on his friends when they came to see him in a play in which his role was very brief and unremarkable. First, he informed his friends that since he was now a master of makeup and of changing his voice, they would find it difficult to tell who he was on stage. He also told his friends that he had taken a stage name — but the name he gave them was that of an old actor in his troupe who specialized in playing old men. He then hinted to his friends that in the play his character would be concerned about long-lost children. Finally, he bought a cane similar to that used by the old-man character in the play, and he made sure that his friends saw it. The joke worked. Mr. Jerome’s friends thought that the old actor was Mr. Jerome, and they applauded his every move.
• Impressionist George Kirby put his talents to use in 1956 when he and several other black entertainers performed in Miami Beach at the Beachcomber. This was during the Jim Crow era, and the Miami Sunprinted an article with the headline “We Don’t Want Niggers on the Beach!” As the black entertainers were in their dressing rooms nervously preparing for their performance that evening, they heard a mob, including voices that shouted, “Let’s get dem niggers!” Everyone opened their doors and looked outside, and then they heard the laughter of Mr. Kirby, who had put his talents to use in a practical joke that broke the tension before the performance.
• Judi Dench’s co-stars enjoy teasing her. While John Miller was researching his biography of her, he witnessed a fluff by Ms. Dench while she was acting in a TV series. Geoffrey Palmer told Mr. Miller loudly, so Judi would hear, “Make sure you put this in your book, John — she isn’t always perfect!” On another occasion, Mr. Miller was talking with Billy Connolly, who also spoke loudly so she could hear, “Sssshh, she’s coming — I’ll finish telling you later.” In addition, once when Ms. Dench was being interviewed, she laughed when she heard Mr. Connolly tease her by screaming in the next room, “She was a nightmareto work with.”
• During World War II, some of Walter Winchell’s friends pulled a practical joke on him. Immediately following his radio broadcast, Mr. Winchell was handed a telegram that said: “The Berlin radio reports that Adolf Hitler has been killed while inspecting Eastern Front defenses.” Mr. Winchell screamed, “Damn the luck! Hitler’s dead and I’m off the air!” However, after learning that the telegram was a fake, he said, “I’d go off the air forever if no more bombs were dropped on babies, if no more people were shot because they believed in something different, if there would be no more prejudice with a gun in its hand.”
• In 1916, Casey Stengel bet Brooklyn Dodger manager Wilbert Robinson that he couldn’t catch a baseball thrown out of an airplane. Wilbert accepted the bet, and Casey got an airplane with an open cockpit. As Wilbert stood in the field wearing a baseball mitt, Casey and the pilot flew over the field. At this time, one of the greatest practical jokes in baseball occurred. Casey didn’t throw a baseball from the plane — he threw a grapefruit which splattered all over Wilbert’s chest. Wilbert was so angry that Casey was forced to stay in hiding until he was forgiven.
• Occasionally, practical jokes are played during operatic performances. In a performance of Bohemein Philadelphia, Frances Alda was surprised when her fellow singers turned toward her on stage with monocles in their eyes. When snow fell on stage, mixed with it were such items as buttons that hit the top of the bonnet she was wearing. A glass of water turned out to be a glass of ink. And when De Segurola put on a hat on stage, he discovered that it was filled with powder that cascaded over his shoulders.
• Operatic bass singer Lablache was a huge man. One day, he was in Paris at the same time as the little person known as Tom Thumb. A couple of men wished to see Tom Thumb, but they were directed by a practical joker to knock at Lablache’s door. Lablache opened the door, and the two men told him they wished to see Tom Thumb. Lablache replied, “I am Tom Thumb.” the two men expressed surprise, saying, “But we thought you were quite small!” Lablache replied, “Before the public, yes! But at home I prefer to be comfortable.”
• John Salkeld was an English Quaker as well as a man who enjoyed humor. This worried his more serious Quaker friends, who decided to talk to him about what they felt was his joking to excess. They stayed at his house a long time to talk to Mr. Salkeld, who left them for a few minutes, then hurried back to tell them excitedly, “Friends, come at once. My wife is speechless.” They ran into the room where she was, only to discover that she was sound asleep.
• Knowing that yawns are infectious, a group of Quaker girls once played a joke at meetings while at school. Whenever a person of authority — a teacher, an elder, a minister, an overseer — looked at them, one or more of them would yawn. Then they watched with delight as the yawn passed from one person of authority to another. The girls felt that there was nothing wrong with this game, as they played it only when a meeting went past its normal closing time.
• During Word War II, Spike Milligan and his fellow soldiers used to set saluting traps for unsuspecting officers. One would see an officer coming, then pass the word to the others, who arranged themselves in a line spaced at 10-second intervals so they could wear out the officer’s saluting arm.
• Senator Russell Long, a Democrat from Louisiana, once noted that there weren’t any Republicans on the floor of the United States Senate. Therefore, he made a motion that the Senate vote unanimously to abolish the Republican Party.