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bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:47 PM
Original message
Poems for Kheph/Scott
Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever; I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood,
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W. H. Auden

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost
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nostamj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. an original | probably not 'final' but....
tsunami/scott (khephra)

We are shocked by the suddenness.
Can I boil today's rice
With more joy,
Respecting that it may be
The last bowl?
Most of us will not be warned
Before we are swept out
Of this life.

Will we hold to hope
And spit the bitter out?

That's the daily test.

Most of us will not be warned.
We should not be shocked by the suddenness.

Warning or challenge,
We should not be shocked.

January 8, 2005
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. For Kef
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

- Horace

===

Foe unvanquished, I won't perish in the field;
I'll be born again, to take up the halberd seven more times.

- Kuribayashi Tadamichi, 'Poetry of the Samurai'

===

Thanatopsis

To him who in the love of nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty; and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy that steals away
Their sharpness ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;--
Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around--
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air--
Comes a still voice. Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix forever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mold.

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world -- with kings,
The powerful of the earth -- the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun, -- the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods -- rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste,--
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. -- Take the wings
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings -- yet the dead are there:
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep -- the dead reign there alone.

So shalt thou rest -- and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glides away, the sons of men--
The youth in life's fresh spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man--
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
By those, who in their turn, shall follow them.

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

- H. W. Longfellow
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Thanks, Will.
:(
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CornField Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. The Invitation
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 10:55 PM by CornField
This was something I had shared with Khephra several weeks ago. Since it was something that seemed to touch him, I thought I would also share it here tonight.

The Invitation

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting in your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit in pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own,if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tip of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you're telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.

I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from God's presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.

I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn't interest me who you are, how you came to be here.

I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.

I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

------

I think Scott was content in the quiet moments and he definitely held a strength to get him through the not so quiet times. I'm glad that I was given the opportunity to know him and only wish there had been more time.
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:49 PM
Response to Original message
5. Some prose to mark the passing of a kind spirit and friend...
Sending my warmest thoughts
Here I am writing once again
Hoping I can lift your spirits
Or perhaps ease your pain

Saved is the place in my heart
That you can always depend
Given for all the tomorrows
Where love shall never end

I am writing these words today
Because I am thinking of you
As I send my heart to yours
With love timeless and true

Set aside is this place for you
Far across the distant shores
Heart on the wings of hope
Where my love forever soars

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Into the secluded, barely lit space of my mind,
You entered my world objectively,
Bringing life and light to it,
Very beautiful words, simply breath-taking.
The wittiness and charming personality,
And with merciful care you added warmth to my life.
Vivid images of scenarios you paint for me,
I look upon them kindheartedly.
Being thankful and appreciative
That our friendship has become a part of my universe
Now has its special place, within my mind, body and soul.
Remembering just how drab my world had been,
I have to thank you for the bright light, my friend.

RIP Scott :loveya:
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #5
28. ~*~
:cry:
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LeftPeopleFinishFirst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
6. ... just a little something
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 11:07 PM by LeftPeopleFinishFirs
Here I am
I am sitting at the bend of a deep river
Do I take it downstream or fight?
You have been here before
But I, I am still learning

As you go,
Don't get caught up in the rapids
Don't let your arguments die
As you battle the current, look up
Cause I have been here before
But we are all still learning

****
I wrote this poem for Kef just now, I hope he sees it wherever he may be.
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antigone382 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
7. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
--Dylan Thomas

I guess in some ways it doesn't really fit. But somehow it does, at least to me.



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auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:12 AM
Response to Original message
8. Because I could not stop for Death
Because I could not stop for Death


BECAUSE I could not stop for Death--
He kindly stopped for me--
The Carriage held but just Ourselves--
And Immortality.

We slowly drove--He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labour and my leisure too,
For His Civility--

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess--in the Ring--
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain--
We passed the Setting Sun--

Or rather--He passed Us--
The Dews drew quivering and chill--
For only Gossamer, my Gown--
My Tippet--only Tulle--

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground--
The Roof was scarcely visible--
The Cornice--in the Ground--

Since then--'tis Centuries--and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses Heads
Were toward Eternity--

Emily Dickinson
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Tom Yossarian Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Thanks, that's the piece I was thinking of for Keph and was getting
ready to dig through my poetry books to find dear Emily.

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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:24 AM
Response to Original message
10. The Dash...it's a bit corny but true
The Dash

by Linda Ellis 1999

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning...to the end.
He noted that first came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth...
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars...the house...the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard...
Are there things youd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider whats true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like weve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile...
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogys being read
With your lifes actions to rehash...
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?


::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Keph very much embodied that to me...always able to keep his cool...I'm gonna miss him
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DeposeTheBoyKing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:28 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Tennyson's "Ulysses" is a favorite of mine.
I didn't know Khephra well, but am touched by everyone's kind words about him and was inspired to post this poem. He sounded like a sensitive and wonderful person.



It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vest the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour'd of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers;
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breath were life. Life piled on life
Were all to little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle-
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me-
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads- you and I are old;
Old age had yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in the old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal-temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:30 AM
Response to Original message
12. Beautiful guys, I wish I could think of one at the moment
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Wonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:39 AM
Response to Original message
13. haiku
Edited on Sun Jan-09-05 03:40 AM by Wonk

Ahead of your time
Wisdom far beyond your years
You'll be sorely missed


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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:44 AM
Response to Original message
14. One of my favorites, also by Robert Frost, decicated to Khephra
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:46 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Thats one of my faves too
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DeposeTheBoyKing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:47 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Mine too
Another favorite from Frost:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:58 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. That's my favorite although I have both of the above memorized
since I was 10 and can recite them still
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 05:16 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. Me, too. I can recite them both, since they are among his best
When I had to take my NY State Regents Exam, for English, back in high school, my essay was based on "The Road Not Taken." I just wrote it out on a piece of scrap paper, so I could use it to refer to. I got the second highest grade in my class. But both of these are favorites of mine, and most appropriate to the occasion. ;(
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 04:04 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. I love the last part of it "And miles to go before I sleep"
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 05:12 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. I also thought of this one, another favorite of mine
This one is also appropriate to honor Khephra. Great choice. :-(
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:47 AM
Response to Original message
16. "We are such stuff as dreams are made on"
Our revels are now ended. These our actors,
as I foretold you, were all spirits and
are melted into air, into thin air.

And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
the cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
the solemn temples, the great globe itself...
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,

and like this insubstantial pageant faded,
leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
as dreams are made on, and our little life
is rounded in a sleep. - Shakespeare
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DeposeTheBoyKing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:48 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. I love that one
I read it over my sister's grave at her service.
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:58 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. That's lovely....
Very very sorry about your sister. I'm glad we both chose this excellent reading.
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
24. After A Death
Once there was a shock
that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail.
It keeps us inside. It makes the TV pictures snowy.
It settles in cold drops on the telephone wires.

One can still go slowly on skis in the winter sun
through brush where a few leaves hang on.
They resemble pages torn from old telephone directories.
Names swallowed by the cold.

It is still beautiful to hear the heart beat
but often the shadow seems more real than the body.
The samurai looks insignificant
beside his armor of black dragon scales.


- Tomas Transtromer
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fluffernutter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
25. for Khephra
He was a convectioner of feelings
The day we all heard
And said goodbye
Tears
Questioning sorrow
How?
How does a life end so quickly?
So young
So smart and spirited
So full of life
And passion for his country
I think thats why he let us all in
To his thoughts
So that his life could affect so many
The way it did
Because he touched us all...
We are all on this train of life
That takes us where we are meant to go
The longevities may vary and
His trek was intercepted too soon
But he went where he was
Meant to go
Its those he left behind
That will continue to search
So many lives now changed
Because of him
Because of their friend
Scott
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nuxvomica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
26. One of Khephra's favorites
He posted this around Halloween once with a note that went something like "if you love me, you'll keep this kicked until Saturday."
Read it again for a little touch of Khephra in the night:

The Raven
by Edgar Allen Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
" 'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door;
Only this, and nothing more."


Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore,.
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore,
Nameless here forevermore.


And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me---filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
" 'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door,
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.
This it is, and nothing more."


Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is, I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you." Here I opened wide the door;---
Darkness there, and nothing more.


Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word,
Lenore?, This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word,
"Lenore!" Merely this, and nothing more.


Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping, something louder than before,
"Surely," said I, "surely, that is something at my window lattice.
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore.
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore.
" 'Tis the wind, and nothing more."


Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven, of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door.
Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door,
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.


Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly, grim, and ancient raven, wandering from the nightly shore.
Tell me what the lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore."
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."


Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning, little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door,
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."


But the raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered; not a feather then he fluttered;
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before;
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."


Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster, till his songs one burden bore,---
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never---nevermore."


But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore --
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

Thus I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl, whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er
She shall press, ah, nevermore!


Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee -- by these angels he hath
Sent thee respite---respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, O quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore!"


"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil!
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted--
On this home by horror haunted--tell me truly, I implore:
Is there--is there balm in Gilead?--tell me--tell me I implore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."


"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil--prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that heaven that bends above us--by that God we both adore--
Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name Lenore---
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."


"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting--
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! -- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."


And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming.
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted---nevermore!
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. How lovely that you remembered his post of this poem
We can all post our favorites, which we think may apply to or honor him, but you remembered his favorite poem, so this one is special, since Khephra posted it, himself. Thank you for remembering. :-)
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Tom Yossarian Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
27. There are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who prey upon them with IBM eyes
And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon.
There are men too gentle for a savage world
Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween
And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who anoint them for burial with greedy claws
And murder them for a merchant's profit and gain.
There are men too gentle for a corporate world
Who dream instead of candied apples and ferris wheels
And pause to hear the distant whistle of a train.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who devour them with eager appetite and search
For other men to prey upon and suck their childhood dry.
There are men too gentle for an accountant's world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And search for beauty in the mystery of the sky.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who toss them like a lost and wounded dove.
Such gentle men are lonely in a merchant's world,
Unless they have a gentle one to love.

James Kavanaugh.

Posted earlier, but it feels right for the occasion.

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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 02:01 AM
Response to Original message
30. From too much love of living, from fear and pain set free,
we thank with brief thanksgiving whatever gods may be, that no one lasts forever, that dead men rise up never and that even the weariest river winds somewhere safe to sea.
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