Since Nov 18, 2004

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NOT the famous one from Toronto; NOT a published author; NOT as a crocodile. I've lurked here for years. I blog books.

I Blog Books
About me: I am a Geological Engineer (Colorado School of Mines) who has worked underground on two continents, worked "on the local economy" in two foreign countries for more than three years, written letters to the editor in three different languages, taught technical classes in seven countries, raised children, learned to dance well enough to perform on-stage, lived in a tent, ghost-written and edited books as well as writing my own (still unpublished, alas), and stayed married and in love 34 years (and counting); all while maintaining a life-long love affair with books. My personal library is well over 4000 volumes, some 200 of which I reread on a -regular- basis.

| The Sons of Martha
| | | --Rudyard Kipling

| The Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part;
| But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the careful soul and the troubled heart.
| And because she lost her temper once, and because she was rude to the Lord her Guest,
| Her Sons must wait upon Mary's Sons, world without end, reprieve, or rest.

| It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock.
| It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that the switches lock.
| It is their care that the wheels run truly; it is their care to embark and entrain,
| Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by land and main.

| They say to mountains "Be ye removèd." They say to the lesser floods "Be dry."
| Under their rods are the rocks reprovèd---they are not afraid of that which is high.
| Then do the hill-tops shake to the summit---then is the bed of the deep laid bare,
| That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly sleeping and unaware.

| They finger Death at their gloves' end where they piece and repiece the living wires.
| He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry behind their fires.
| Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into his terrible stall,
| And hale him forth like a haltered steer, and goad and turn him till evenfall.

| To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till death is Relief afar.
| They are concerned with matters hidden---under the earthline their altars are---
| The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to restore to the mouth,
| And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again at a city's drouth.

| They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose.
| They do not preach that His Pity allows them to drop their job when they damn-well choose.
| As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand,
| Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren's days may be long in the land.

| Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path more fair or flat;
| Lo, it is black already with the blood some Son of Martha spilled for that!
| Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness to any creed,
| But simple service simply given to his own kind in their common need.

| And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessèd---they know the Angels are on their side.
| They know in them is the Grace confessèd, and for them are the Mercies multiplied.
| They sit at the feet---they hear the Word---they see how truly the Promise runs.
| They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and---the Lord He lays it on Martha's Sons!

| |High Flight
| --John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

| Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
| And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
| Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
| Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
| You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
| High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
| I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
| My eager craft through footless halls of air.
| Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
| I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
| Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
|  And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
| The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
| Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

|   Invictus

|    --William Ernest Henley. 1849–1903

|  OUT of the night that covers me,
|   Black as the pit from pole to pole,
|  I thank whatever gods may be
|   For my unconquerable soul.

|  In the fell clutch of circumstance          5
|   I have not winced nor cried aloud.
|  Under the bludgeonings of chance
|   My head is bloody, but unbow'd.

|  Beyond this place of wrath and tears
|   Looms but the Horror of the shade,          10
|  And yet the menace of the years
|   Finds and shall find me unafraid.

|  It matters not how strait the gate,
|   How charged with punishments the scroll,
|  I am the master of my fate:          15
|   I am the captain of my soul.

|   Ozymandias

|    --Percy Bysshe Shelley

|  I met a traveller from an antique land
|  Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
|  Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
|  Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
|  And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
|  Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
|  Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
|  The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
|  And on the pedestal these words appear:
|  "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
|  Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
|  Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
|  Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
|  The lone and level sands stretch far away.

|   my sweet old etcetera

|    --e. e. cummings

|  my sweet old etcetera
|  aunt lucy during the recent

|    war could and what
|  is more did tell you just
|  what everybody was fighting

|  for,
|  my sister

|  isabel created hundreds
|  (and
|  hundreds) of socks not to
|  mention shirts fleaproof earwarmers

|  etcetera wristers etcetera, my
|  mother hoped that

|  i would die etcetera
|  bravely of course my father used
|  to become hoarse talking about how it was
|  a privilege and if only he
|  could meanwhile my

|  self etcetera lay quietly
|  in the deep mud et

|  cetera
|  (dreaming,
|  et
|    cetera, of
|  Your smile
|  eyes knees and your Etcetera)