And shares our bed and eats at our own table …
Brightening brightness, alone on the road, she appears,
Crystalline crystal and sparkle of blue in green eyes,
Sweetness of sweetness in her unembittered young voice
And a high colour dawning behind the pearl of her face.
Ringlets and ringlets, a curl in every tress
Of her fair hair trailing and brushing the dew on the grass;
And a gem from her birthplace far in the high universe
Outglittering glass and gracing the groove of her breasts.
News that was secret she whispered to soothe her aloneness,
News of one due to return and reclaim his true place,
News of the ruin of those who had cast him in darkness,
News that was awesome, too awesome to utter in verse.
My head got lighter and lighter but still I approached her,
Enthralled by her thraldom, helplessly held and bewildered,
Choking and calling Christ’s name: then she fled in a shimmer
To Luachra Fort where only the glamoured can enter.
I hurtled and hurled myself madly following after
Over keshes and marshes and mosses and treacherous moors
And arrived at that stronghold unsure about how I had got there,
That earthwork of earth the orders of magic once reared.
A gang of thick louts were shouting loud insults and jeering
And a curly-haired coven in fits of sniggers and sneers:
Next thing I was taken and cruelly shackled in fetters
As the breasts of the maiden were groped by a thick-witted boor.
I tried then as hard as I could to make her hear truth,
How wrong she was to be linked to that lazarous swine
When the pride of the pure Scottish stock, a prince of the blood,
Was ardent and eager to wed her and make her his bride.
When she heard me, she started to weep, but pride was the cause
Of those tears that came wetting her cheeks and shone in her eyes;
Then she sent me a guard to guide me out of the fortress,
Who’d appeared to me, lone on the road, a brightening brightness.
Calamity, shock, collapse, heartbreak and grief
To think of her sweetnes, her beauty, her mildness, her life
Defiled at the hands of a hornmaster sprung from riff-raff,
And no hope of redress till the lions ride back on the wave.
Birmingham railway cutting between Five Ways and New Street stations
by Thurston Hopkins
British Colour Conflict, January 1955: A recent emigrant from Jamaica arrives in Birmingham looking for work and lodgings.
(via Burned Shoes)
disproof of what we thought possible
failures of medication
doubts of another’s existence
—-tell it over and over, the words
get thick with unmeaning—-
yet never have we been closer to the truth
of the lies we were living, listen to me:
the faithfulness I can imagine would be a weed
flowering in tar, a blue energy piercing
the massed atoms of a bedrock disbelief.
FOLK NEUROSCIENCE Popular misconceptions
■ The “left-brain” is rational, the “right-brain” is creative
The hemispheres have different specialisations (the left usually has key language areas, for example) but there is no clear rational-creative split and you need both hemispheres to be successful at either. You can no more do right-brain thinking than you can do rear-brain thinking.
■ Dopamine is a pleasure chemical
Dopamine has many functions in the brain, from supporting concentration to regulating the production of breast milk. Even in its most closely associated functioning it is usually considered to be involved in motivation (wanting) rather than the feeling of pleasure itself.
■ Low serotonin causes depression
A concept almost entirely promoted by pharmaceutical companies in the 1980s and 90s to sell serotonin-enhancing drugs like Prozac. No consistent evidence for it.
■ Video games, TV violence, porn or any other social spectre of the moment “rewires the brain”
Everything “rewires the brain” as the brain works by making and remaking connections. This is often used in a contradictory fashion to suggest that the brain is both particularly susceptible to change but once changed, can’t change back.
■ We have no control over our brain but we can control our mind
The mind and the brain are the same thing described in different ways and they make us who we are. Trying to suggest one causes the other is like saying wetness causes water.
No feeling is final
The Wanderer and his Shadow
The beauty of the whole was awe-inspiring and induced to a mute worship of the moment and its revelation. Unconsciously, as if nothing could be more natural, you peopled this pure, clear world of light (which had no trace of yearning, of expectancy, of looking forward or backward) with Greek heroes. You felt it all as Poussin and his school felt it at once heroic and idyllic. So individual men too have lived, constantly feeling themselves in the world and the world in themselves, and among them one of the greatest men, the inventor of a heroico-idyllic form of philosophy Epicurus.
Et in Arcadia ego
Who, now, seeing Her so
Housewife, helpmate to Man,
Can imagine the screeching
Virago, the Amazon,
Earth Mother was?
Her jungle growths
Her exorbitant monsters abashed,
Her soil mumbled,
Where crops, aligned precisely,
Will soon be orient:
Levant or couchant,
Graze on mead and pasture,
A church clock subdivides the day,
Up the lane at sundown
Geese podge home.
As for Him:
What has happened to the Brute
Epics and nightmares tell of?
No bishops pursue
Their archdeacons with axes,
In the crumbling lair
Of a robber baron
Who carry no daggers.
I well might think myself
Could I manage not to see
How the autobahn
Thwarts the landscape
In godless Roman arrogance,
The farmer’s children
Tiptoe past the shed
Where the gelding knife is kept.