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random word of the moment:
quincunx |'kwin•k∂ngks| noun ( pl. quincunxes )
1 an arrangement of five objects with four at the corners of a square
or rectangle and the fifth at its center, used for the five on dice
or playing cards, and in planting trees.
DERIVATIVES quincuncial |kwin•'k∂n•sh∂l| adjective
quincuncially |kwin•'k∂n•sh∂le¯| adverb
• nothing like having one's own website to enable
a scrabble addiction.
• weekly poem, from the montfort academy
• goodnight, and have a pleasant tomorrow...
from a series in the nytimes (1/4/05), asking scientists, "What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?"
Psychologist, University of Texas; author, "The Evolution of Desire"
I've spent two decades of my professional life studying human mating. In that time, I've documented phenomena ranging from what men and women desire in a mate to the most diabolical forms of sexual treachery. I've discovered the astonishingly creative ways in which men and women deceive and manipulate each other. I've studied mate poachers, obsessed stalkers, sexual predators and spouse murderers. But throughout this exploration of the dark dimensions of human mating, I've remained unwavering in my belief in true love.
While love is common, true love is rare, and I believe that few people are fortunate enough to experience it. The roads of regular love are well traveled and their markers are well understood by many - the mesmerizing attraction, the ideational obsession, the sexual afterglow, profound self-sacrifice and the desire to combine DNA. But true love takes its own course through uncharted territory. It knows no fences, has no barriers or boundaries. It's difficult to define, eludes modern measurement and seems scientifically woolly. But I know true love exists. I just can't prove it.
• Walt Whitman, "A Noiseless Patient Spider," 1900:
A noiseless patient spider,
I marked where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Marked how to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself.
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them.
Till the bridge you will need be formed, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.
• Thomas Hardy, The Dynasts, Part 2, VI, v (1903-1908):
The tears that lie about this plightful scene
Of heavy travail in a suffering soul,
Mocked with the forms and feints of royalty
While scarified by briery Circumstance,
Might drive Compassion past her patiency
To hold that some mean, monstrous ironist
Had built this mistimed fabric of the Spheres
To watch the throbbings of its captive lives,
(The which may Truth forfend), and not thy said
Unmaliced, unimpassioned, nescient Will!
• Thomas Gray, from "Elegy written in a country churchyard," 1751:
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
• Lucille Clifton, "blessing the boats (at St. Mary's)," 2001?:
may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that
• Carl Sandburg, "The Hangman at Home," 1922:
What does the hangman think about
When he goes home at night from work?
When he sits down with his wife and
Children for a cup of coffee and a
Plate of ham and eggs, do they ask
Him if it was a good day’s work
And everything went well or do they
Stay off some topics and talk about
The weather, baseball, politics
And the comic strips in the papers
And the movies? Do they look at his
Hands when he reaches for the coffee
Or the ham and eggs? If the little
Ones say, Daddy, play horse, here’s
A rope—does he answer like a joke
I seen enough rope for today?
Or does his face light up like a
Bonfire of joy and does he say:
It’s a good and dandy world we live
In. And if a white face moon looks
In through a window where a baby girl
Sleeps and the moon gleams mix with
Baby ears and baby hair—the hangman—
How does he act then? It must be easy
For him. Anything is easy for a hangman,
• here's one of mine, from my pre-happy days (2002):
i am a bag of flesh.
and the dumb, slow violence of trees—
gradually rending earth, sky, stone, cloud—
erodes me like the air aches.
but i like the trees:
parched, ancient, brutal.
• and a more recent one, in the medium of magnetic poetry on refrigerator (2004):