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Thought for the day January 23, 2000

katlaughing 23 Jan 00 - 12:58 AM
DonMeixner 23 Jan 00 - 01:37 AM
TheMuse 23 Jan 00 - 01:47 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 23 Jan 00 - 01:49 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 23 Jan 00 - 02:00 AM
Peter T. 23 Jan 00 - 11:17 AM
Áine 23 Jan 00 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Neil Lowe 24 Jan 00 - 09:40 AM
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Subject: Thought for the day January 23, 2000
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jan 00 - 12:58 AM

For Áine & JAB: this is from the John A. & Alan Lomax book I was talking about, Cowboy Songs and other Frontier Ballads re-released in 1986 by Macmillan Publishing. ISBN # 0-02-061260-5

WAY OUT WEST

'Twas good to live when all the range,
Without no fence and fuss,
Belonged in partnership with God,
The Government, and us.

With sky-line bounds from east to west,
With room to go and come,
I liked my fellow man best
When he was scattered some.

When my old soul hunts range and rest
Beyond the last divide,
Just plant me on some strip of West
That's sunny, lone and wide.

Let cattle rub my headstone round,
And coyotes wail their kin,
Let hosses come and paw the mound
But don't you fence it in.

From A Lone Star Cowboy, by Charles A. Siringo.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the day January 23, 2000
From: DonMeixner
Date: 23 Jan 00 - 01:37 AM

When I'm tired and my days are over,

And my soul is called, at last to rest.

I'll have an old sail for my final cover,

A compass rose upon my breast.

I'll have my memories all behind me,

one guide to lead me homeward, one port with in my heart

One course through that final ocean,

one destination on my chart.

Don


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Subject: RE: Thought for the day January 23, 2000
From: TheMuse
Date: 23 Jan 00 - 01:47 AM

Good one, Don, very good.

TheMuse


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Subject: RE: Thought for the day January 23, 2000
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 23 Jan 00 - 01:49 AM

I wrote this as a paragraph a month or so ago, thought it felt kinda like a poem, so I broke it into lines and polished the language a bit, and it now seems to fit here:

West and East from Vallejo

I thought I¹d disguise my earlier post as poetry

When I first migrated to California
the drive from Vallejo to San Francisco
wound through hills that in winter and spring
were lush green emblazoned with wildflowers,
through tiny towns: Hercules, Rodeo, Pinole.
In summer, months after the last rains,
The hills were golden brown and the divine sculptor-- the late afternoon sun--shaped them into voluptuous flesh,
as Edward Weston did to green peppers.
Now the hills are pimpled with houses and shopping centers
and the stench of smog hides
the lowtide smell of the bay¹s remaining wetlands.
Head northeast out of Vallejo:
there are yet miles of such hills stretching
to the Sacramento valley at Vacaville:
There, once glorious farms are now Factory Outlets,
subdivisions, gas stations, and chain cafes.
At long last, after Davis, the farms appear again--
but for only the few short miles to the Sacramento River.
Across the bridge is the state capitol:
It shares the river¹s name, but while the river¹s waters
stayed safe for swimmers the city¹s sprawl and merging highways
stopped traffic dead.
Cars sat, maybe inched forward, then sat again,
motors running, belching noxious fumes.
Freeway bypasses let the traffic move again
helping rid the air of poisons
that made L. A. air seem sweet.
But moving freeways mean malignant growth:
You continue east: another fifty miles of pustulent suburbia then you reach the foothills of the Sierra Nevada
where the forests are recycled
into newspapers and Christmas catalogs.

--seed


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Subject: RE: Thought for the day January 23, 2000
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 23 Jan 00 - 02:00 AM

oh, krapp, kratz: think before you post. I missed a couple or three line breaks and all the apostrophes which come out as 1's when I copy from Claris Works and paste into a thread. Oh, well, you get the idea. In the old days I would have reposted the damned thing--then discovered and corrected another couple of errors and reposted again...oh, to be Joe Offer, who can go in and destroy all evidence of his mistakes. Hi, Joe. Hope to see you tomorrow.

--seed


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Subject: RE: Thought for the day January 23, 2000
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Jan 00 - 11:17 AM

Well, a fine sunday morning explosion of prairie flower bouquets, brickbats, and a sailor's broad expanse of sea. Nice place this Mudcat.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the day January 23, 2000
From: Áine
Date: 23 Jan 00 - 11:25 AM

Thank you, kat. That's a song for the soul, indeed. Means a lot to me, I tell ya.

-- Á.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the day January 23, 2000
From: GUEST,Neil Lowe
Date: 24 Jan 00 - 09:40 AM

--seed.....

Your poem stirred some grey matter and what floated to the surface were impressions of that part of the country made on me some twenty years ago when I was out there satisfying my wanderlust. I never was any farther north than San Francisco, however, and in any event my remembrances were inevitably spawned from the grit and grime of the streets in my eye, having been confined primarily within the bowels of the so-called Grapevine and Tenderloin districts downtown. The once pastoral scenes your poem evokes are indicative of a sacrificed perspective when it is deemed preferable to enjoy the conveniences of living encased in concrete, rather than to be unduly reminded of what real scenery looks like. Then it's as if there never were a time when the gas station and the fast food restaurant weren't there where the meadow used to be.

Neil Lowe


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