EASTER 1916 – YEATS

EASTER 1916

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman’s days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our winged horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road.
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone’s in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven’s part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse –
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

To hear Ted Hughes read EASTER 1916, please go to the following URL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhcVn5dUZWU

HELLBOUND by Peter Nolan Smith

TS Eliot wrote that April was the cruelest month of all in his epic poem THE WASTELAND.

Those words rang harsh and true in 2011, as Passover and Easter combined to devastate business in the Diamond District. On Good Friday I waited for two customers to come back as promised. I had three Burma sapphires for an English broker and a quartet of GIA certified 2 carat diamonds for a Korean girl. Richie Boy insisted that I call the both.

We needed the sales.

“No one is coming out today.”

The Hassidim were celebrating the last days of Passaich.

“Can you do what I ask for once?” Richie Boy was growing weary of my attitude.

A raise in salary and a bump in my commission rate would elevate my elan, however Richie Boy considered my continued employment at his diamond booth enough of a reward for my hard work. This feeling is not mutual.

“I’ll call, but both these sales are dead issues,” I complained and picked up the phone.

Neither customer answered the phone and I slumped at my desk.

Scratchy music itched the air.

My co-worker at the diamond exchange on West 47th Street was a born-again Christian and Ava was listening to Brazilian Jesus music at a low-volume.

I didn’t understand the lyrics, but the word ‘Jesus’ was repeated throughout the choruses. Ava fervently believed in the 2nd Coming of the Messiah and the Judgment Day was a tangible date in the near-future.

I tapped her shoulder and Ava turned around to face me.

“Do you think I’m heading to heaven?” I was joking with her, for I hadn’t worshiped a God since the early 60s.

“No.” Ava shook her head vehemently without condemnation. “You’re not going to heaven?”

“I’m not?” My concept of the afterlife consisted of coming back as a skinny blonde go-go dancer, so I can control the destiny of men. Ava’s version of heaven was the more traditional kneeling in prayer to the Lord, a boring forever without pain and suffering. Hell was lots of both and I said, “What if I repent at the last moment?”

“Then you go to purgatory after you die?” Ava’s congregation believed more in black and white than the gray. It was either heaven or hell without a middle road.

“That’s better than hell.” The fiery pit was legendary for its lack of cold beer, although the only beverage in limbo was a gray flagon of regrets and heaven’s fountains are spraying the ambrosia of .

“Only if you truly repent.” Ava was asking a lot from an old reprobate.

“And who decides that?” I had a feeling that the arbiter of eternal salvation would not be fooled by my last-minute re-conversion to my old faith.

“God.”

My old nemesis.

“He has to have too much on his plate than to bother with me.”

“That attitude will send you to hell. God is all-caring.”

“What about the Palestinians? He doesn’t seem to care for them and they’re living on the Promised Land.”

“The damnation of your soul is no laughing matter.” Ava harbored no sense of humor on this subject.

“Well, could you tell me when the Day of Judgment is coming?” My sins broached the majority of the Ten Commandments, although I honored my parent and have never killed a soul, save my own, and none of my neighbors’ wives are desirable.

“What is so important about when?” The Brazilian was puzzled by this question.

“So I can drink cold beer for a month before I go burn in Hell.”

“Damned. You’re damned, but I’ll still pray for your soul.”

“Thanks.”

Ava was a good girl and a man like me needed a good girl to pray for his soul, for in Hell there will only be bad girls.

Go-Go girls, whores, sluts, trannys et al.

It will be a Hell of an Eternity and I will be in bad company.

So how bad can it be?

Roger Casement Martyr

Once a Knight of the British Empire Roger Casement was led to his death before a firing squad.

His crime was treason.

He had plotted to have weapons delivered to the IRA to fight against the English during WWI.

The Germans had failed to supply the arms.

A lover sold him out to the Brits.

His friends rejected the revolutionary after the English published his Black Diaries professing his homosexuality.

He was hung dead and thrown naked into a grave to be covered with limestone.

A traitor and a queer.

In 1965 his remains were returned to Free Ireland and according to Wikipedia after a state funeral the corpse was buried with full military honors in the Republican plot in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. An estimated half a million people filed past his coffin. The President of Ireland, Éamon de Valera, who in his mid-eighties was the last surviving leader of the Easter Rising, defied the advice of his doctors and attended the ceremony, along with an estimated 30,000 Irish citizens.

Casement’s last wish, to be buried at Murlough Bay on the North Antrim coast has yet to be fulfilled as Harold Wilson’s government released the remains only on condition that they not be brought into Northern Ireland.

The BBC reported on his death. They tried to debunk his struggles against oppression in Brazil, the Congo, and Ireland. One thing remains true.

Free the world.

Roger Casement would have waned it that way.

Traitor, but only to end injustice.

The Difference of Three Days

According to the New Testament the Hebrew legal council surrendered Yeshua bar Yosef to the Roman Prefect of Judaea. The Sanhedrin accused the citizen of Galilee of the blasphemy of claiming to be the King of the Jews. Pontius Pilate concluded that the healer was innocent of these charges, however the Passover crowd before the Prefect’s palace cried for blood and the Roman offered them a choice; their ‘king’ or Barrabas, a violent insurrectionist. The mob led by the Pharisees and Sadducees, the two most powerful political forces in Judea, clamored for Barrabas. Pontius Pilate washed his hands and ordered his garrison troops to crucify their Yeshua.

The date was supposedly the 14th of Nissan and the year ranged from 28AD to 36AD, although the Vatican determined Good Friday and Easter according to the ancient calculations of the Council of Nicaea, which declared Easter to be celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox as was the pagan holiday honoring Isthar, the Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex.

Her temples were infamous for their prostitution cults.

The early church was adept at kidnapping the traditions of other religions, but not so good with arithmetic.

The priests and nuns taught the faithful that Jesus rose from the dead after three days. He died on a Friday. He stayed dead on Saturday. He rose on Sunday. Three different days, yet a time span of only 43 hours or less than two days, then again the time between the Immaculate Conception and the Birth of Christ is only four months.

Maybe I’m too picky.

Clocks didn’t exist in 33AD.

The hours were either sunrise, noon, sunset, or night.

Calendars were also hard to find in 787 AUC (Anno Urbis Conditae or the founding of Rome).

A long, long time ago.

Before I was born into this lifetime.

And I couldn’t care less, because for me Easter is simply a day for chocolate and wearing a new suit and tie.

The former is for kids and the latter for my beloved departed Mother. She liked to dress up on Easter and even atheist shall honor the old traditions for their mother.

Happy Easter Eggs.

Beermas Vs. Easter

I’m no longer religious, but I am spiritual, so I celebrate Beermas.

Often.

And I don’t drink to make women more beautiful.

I drink to improve my looks.

Oh, you dog.