what to do when the to do list gets too long?
write down a few words, of course. RT
i should have been smarter. not
that the moment was easy. i was
avoiding her, as i usually do, or at
least the possibility of happiness.
which isn’t always so pretty.
not to mention the guilt,
which pursues me like a poem…
but this was about her, wasn’t it?
insipid, some might say, but
the beginning keeps repeating itself,
longing to distend into a middle.
distill itself still? that can’t be
right… Milton, million? weathercocked or not,
it’s up and striding among the billions. horse marine.
copyright © 2015, The Rag Tree
Drawing: The Mermaid (1887). Frederick Stuart Church, WikiCmns; Public Domain.
RT never managed to visit Spain while his family was posted in France; the deal was that he got to go to Russia, and his younger brother visited Spain the following year. RT has always been satisfied with the trade-off.
But this marvelous early-modern view of Madrid makes him wonder. The seat of the Spanish government pretty much continuously since 1561, Madrid boasts an impressive inventory of architecture, museums, and Bohemian venues. And then there is the rest of Spain; RT at the moment wouldn’t mind spending a few days in Toledo, Spain’s “City of Three Cultures.”
RT has heard that an intense, spiritual beauty is to be found throughout the Iberian peninsula, in part the gift of a long, complex, and passionate history.
Drawing: View of Madrid from the west, facing the Puerta de la Vega (1562). Artist: Anton van den Wyngaerde (called in Spain Antonio de las Viñas). WikiCmns; Public Domain.
Politics is the art of the possible. This old rubric takes on special intensity when we consider how to undo, to the extent possible, the damage to the native peoples done by the arrival and expansion of the European peoples in North America. Surely patience and goodwill (of the extraordinary kind) are required.
RT ran across this superb portrait of an Osage Indian Chief while doing research on the history and status of Indian reservations. He offers it here as a tribute to the pride, beauty, and native gift of America’s first inhabitants.
Portrait: Chief of the Little Osages; bust-length, profile showing hair style. (c. 1807) Artist: Charles B.J. de Saint-Memin. WikiCmns; Library of Congress. Public Domain.
for some reason, the cartoon character Krazy Kat sprang up in RT’s mind yesterday. between the cubist graphics and the zany plot and words, the cartoon strip remains one of America’s great (or at least funny) artistic achievements. RT
Sunday Cartoon Page: Krazy Cat, published 1/21/22 in the New York Evening Journal. Author: George Herriman. WikiCmns; Public Domain.
something fun…enjoy! RT
Drawing: Two Figures (by 1926); Albert Muller. Crayon on paper. WikiCmns; Public Domain.
Way back in 2007, RT had just moved into new digs in Martinsburg and was feeling his oats. Bored during lunch hour, he began to read around on Wikipedia’s pages dealing with religion, an exercise that taught him much and led to the acquisition of Marvin Meyer’s The Unknown Sayings of Jesus, which is a marvelous book. The book’s compact size and its scores of Jesus’s teachings you might not have run across before are worth the purchase price by themselves. But the endnotes, in RT’s opinion, are even better, including sayings from the Manichean Psalm Book that, well, kind of blew RT away. Talk about gorgeous poetry!
Well, with all this inspiration, a poem had to be in the offing. Here it is, with Jesus’s shortest known saying as the title:
The heart is a dog dead
the children might venture
*******the self a bridge
********of what teeth;
****plausible answers, and
****honored, if not by
time, then by interpretation.
Then let us translate
*******he would correct
****as death translates the body:
****peeling off the vestments of flesh
*******to walk as naked light
through the word
impeaching the brief flower
****with its glory.
From the storm
****of questions, sarcastic remarks,
*******people taking notes, eating,
***************in the autumn mud,
something sensible would finally emerge–
“What about the dog?”
****or stiff and dumb
at Gabriel’s command
****to chase the weeping sisters
**********************and their dove
****to climb as
*the milk of trees towards
the supple body
We are words, he said,
*******that have been burnt.
Copyright © 2013, The Rag Tree
Engraving: The Star from the Vieville Tarot Deck, France, c. 1650. WikiCmns;
Wowzaah…what a map! RT
RT’s Related Posts: 1) Hereford Mappa Mundi
Image: Sarmatia and Scythia, Russia and Tartaria (17th cent.); User: Nasz. WikiCmns; Public Domain.