I’ve just realized that it’s been far too long since I just sat and read e. e. cummings.
pity this busy monster, manunkind,
not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)
plays with the bigness of his littleness
— electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
A world of made
is not a world of born — pity poor flesh
and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical
ultraomnipotence. We doctors know
a hopeless case if — listen: there’s a hell
of a good universe next door; let’s go
— e. e. cummings
This is one of my very favorite poems. It’s from When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne (who wrote about Winnie-the-Pooh). I have shamelessly plundered the scans of Ernest H. Shepard’s decorations from here.
by A. A. Milne
Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
Down to the streams where the king-cups grow –
Up to the hill where the pine-trees blow –
Anywhere, anywhere, I don’t know
Where am I going? The clouds sail by,
Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
Where am I going? The shadows pass,
Little ones, baby ones, over the grass
If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,
You’d sail on the water as blue as air,
And you’d see me here in the fields and say:
“Doesn’t the sky look green today?
Where am I going, The high rooks call:
“It’s awful fun to be born at all,”
Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:
“We do have beautiful things to do.”
If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You’d lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You’d say to the wind when it took you away:
“That’s where I wanted to go today!”
Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow –
Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.
This is in Macomb, IL. Pawn shops are neat and all, but. . . The People’s Bank?
So, now that I’ve figured out how to get pictures from my telephone to the internet, I think that I’ll start sharing them. I can’t think of a better place to start than this:
Here’s a good favorite… I’ve noticed lately that more of my friends than ever identify themselves as “mad farmers” in some way or other.
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Wendell Berry
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.