I like the old house tolerably well,
Where I must dwell
Like a familiar gnome;
And yet I never shall feel quite at home.
I love to roam.
Day after day I loiter and explore
From door to door;
So many treasures lure
The curious mind. What histories obscure
They must immure!
I hardly know which room I care for best;
This fronting west,
With the strange hills in view,
Where the great sun goes,—where I may go too,
When my lease is through,—
Or this one for the morning and the east,
Where a man may feast
His eyes on looming sails,
And be the first to catch their foreign hails
Or spy their bales
Then the pale summer twilights towards the pole!
It thrills my soul
With wonder and delight,
When gold-green shadows walk the world at night,
So still, so bright.
There at the window many a time of year,
Strange faces peer,
Solemn though not unkind,
Their wits in search of something left behind
Time out of mind;
As if they once had lived here, and stole back
To the window crack
For a peep which seems to say,
“Good fortune, brother, in your house of clay!”
And then, “Good day!”
I hear their footsteps on the gravel walk,
Their scraps of talk,
And hurrying after, reach
Only the crazy sea-drone of the beach
In endless speech.
And often when the autumn noons are still,
By swale and hill
I see their gipsy signs,
Trespassing somewhere on my border lines;
With what designs?
I forth afoot; but when I reach the place,
Hardly a trace,
Save the soft purple haze
Of smouldering camp-fires, any hint betrays
Who went these ways.
Or tatters of pale aster blue, descried
By the roadside,
Reveal whither they fled;
Or the swamp maples, here and there a shred
Of Indian red.
But most of all, the marvellous tapestry
Where such strange things are rife,
Fancies of beasts and flowers, and love and strife,
Woven to the life;
Degraded shapes and splendid seraph forms,
And teeming swarms
Of creatures gauzy dim
That cloud the dusk, and painted fish that swim,
At the weaver’s whim;
And wonderful birds that wheel and hang in the air;
And beings with hair,
And moving eyes in the face,
And white bone teeth and hideous grins, who race
From place to place;
They build great temples to their John-a-nod,
And fume and plod
To deck themselves with gold,
And paint themselves like chattels to be sold,
Then turn to mould.
Sometimes they seem almost as real as I;
I hear them sigh;
I see them bow with grief,
Or dance for joy like any aspen leaf;
But that is brief.
They have mad wars and phantom marriages;
Nor seem to guess
There are dimensions still,
Beyond thought’s reach, though not beyond love’s will,
For soul to fill.
And some I call my friends, and make believe
Their spirits grieve,
Brood, and rejoice with mine;
I talk to them in phrases quaint and fine
Over the wine;
I tell them all my secrets; touch their hands;
Perhaps. How hard he tries
To speak! And yet those glorious mild eyes,
His best replies!
I even have my cronies, one or two,
My cherished few.
But ah, they do not stay!
For the sun fades them and they pass away,
As I grow gray.
Yet while they last how actual they seem!
Their faces beam;
I give them all their names,
Bertram and Gilbert, Louis, Frank and James,
Each with his aims;
One thinks he is a poet, and writes verse
His friends rehearse;
Another is full of law;
A third sees pictures which his hand can draw
Without a flaw.
Strangest of all, they never rest. Day long
They shift and throng,
Moved by invisible will,
Like a great breath which puffs across my sill,
And then is still;
It shakes my lovely manikins on the wall;
Squall after squall,
Gust upon crowding gust,
It sweeps them willy nilly like blown dust
With glory or lust.
It is the world-ghost, the time-spirit, come
None knows wherefrom,
The viewless draughty tide
And wash of being. I hear it yaw and glide,
And then subside,
Along these ghostly corridors and halls
Like faint footfalls;
The hangings stir in the air;
And when I start and challenge, “Who goes there?”
It answers, “Where?”
The wail and sob and moan of the sea’s dirge,
Its plangor and surge;
The awful biting sough
Of drifted snows along some arctic bluff,
That veer and luff,
And have the vacant boding human cry,
As they go by;—
Is it a banished soul
Dredging the dark like a distracted mole
Under a knoll?
Like some invisible henchman old and gray,
Day after day
I hear it come and go,
With stealthy swift unmeaning to and fro,
Ceaseless and daft and terrible and blind,
Like a lost mind.
I often chill with fear
When I bethink me, What if it should peer
At my shoulder here!
Perchance he drives the merry-go-round whose track
Is the zodiac;
His name is No-man’s-friend;
And his gabbling parrot-talk has neither trend,
Beginning, nor end.
A prince of madness too, I’d cry, “A rat!”
And lunge thereat,—
Let out at one swift thrust
The cunning arch-delusion of the dust
I so mistrust,
But that I fear I should disclose a face
Wearing the trace
Of my own human guise,
Piteous, unharmful, loving, sad, and wise
With the speaking eyes.
I would the house were rid of his grim pranks,
Moaning from banks
Of pine trees in the moon,
Startling the silence like a demoniac loon
At dead of noon.
Or whispering his fool-talk to the leaves
About my eaves.
And yet how can I know
‘T is not a happy Ariel masking so
In mocking woe?
Then with a little broken laugh I say,
The curtain where he grinned
(My feverish sight thought) like a sin unsinned,
“Only the wind!”
Yet often too he steals so softly by.
With half a sigh,
I deem he must be mild,
Fair as a woman, gentle as a child,
And forest wild.
Passing the door where an old wind-harp swings,
With its five strings,
Contrived long years ago
By my first predecessor bent to show
His handcraft so,
He lay his fingers on the aeolian wire,
As a core of fire
Is laid upon the blast
To kindle and glow and fill the purple vast
Of dark at last.
Weird wise, and low, piercing and keen and glad,
Or dim and sad
As a forgotten strain
Born when the broken legions of the rain
Swept through the plain—
He plays, like some dread veiled mysteriarch,
Lighting the dark,
Bidding the spring grow warm,
The gendering merge and loosing of spirit in form,
Peace out of storm.
For music is the sacrament of love;
He broods above
The virgin silence, till
She yields for rapture shuddering, yearning still
To his sweet will.
I hear him sing, “Your harp is like a mesh,
Woven of flesh
And spread within the shoal
Of life, where runs the tide-race of the soul
In my control.
“Though my wild way may ruin what it bends,
It makes amends
To the frail downy clocks,
Telling their seed a secret that unlocks
The granite rocks.
“The womb of silence to the crave of sound
Is heaven unfound,
Till I, to soothe and slake
Being’s most utter and imperious ache,
Bid rhythm awake.
“If with such agonies of bliss, my kin,
I enter in
Your prison house of sense,
With what a joyous freed intelligence
I shall go hence.”
I need no more to guess the weaver’s name,
Nor ask his aim,
Who hung each hall and room
With swarthy-tinged vermilion upon gloom;
I know that loom.
Give me a little space and time enough,
From ravelings rough
I could revive, reweave,
A fabric of beauty art might well believe
Were past retrieve.
O men and women in that rich design,
Dew-tenuous and free,
A tone of the infinite wind-themes of the sea,
Borne in to me,
Reveals how you were woven to the might
Of shadow and light.
You are the dream of One
Who loves to haunt and yet appears to shun
My door in the sun;
As the white roving sea tern fleck and skim
The morning’s rim;
Or the dark thrushes clear
Their flutes of music leisurely and sheer,
Then hush to hear.
I know him when the last red brands of day
And when the vernal showers
Bring back the heart to all my valley flowers
In the soft hours.
O hand of mine and brain of mine, be yours,
While time endures,
To acquiesce and learn!
For what we best may dare and drudge and yearn,
Let soul discern.
So, fellows, we shall reach the gusty gate,
Early or late,
And part without remorse,
A cadence dying down unto its source
In music’s course;
You to the perfect rhythms of flowers and birds,
Colors and words,
The heart-beats of the earth,
To be remoulded always of one worth
From birth to birth;
I to the broken rhythm of thought and man,
The sweep and span
Of memory and hope
About the orbit where they still must grope
For wider scope,
To be through thousand springs restored, renewed,
With love imbrued,
With increments of will
Made strong, perceiving unattainment still
From each new skill.
Always the flawless beauty, always the chord
Of the Overword,
Dominant, pleading, sure,
No truth too small to save and make endure.
No good too poor!
And since no mortal can at last disdain
That sweet refrain,
But lets go strife and care,
Borne like a strain of bird notes on the air,
The wind knows where;
Some quiet April evening soft and strange,
When comes the change
No spirit can deplore,
I shall be one with all I was before,
In death once more.
“WHAT THE . . . ” a poem a.k.a.: “Wedding Song!” Feb. 6, 2019 (Wednesday)
You wanna fall in love?! Well, THAT’S-JUST so INSANE! EVEN IF it works out A LITTLE BIT, there’ll-be a lotta pain, And people will cry; dogs will howl! Jilted lovers – will-be on the prowl! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND? Do you wanna end up in a real bind?
HOWEVER! STOP THE PRESS! Even so,
Even-IF – it doesn’t work out VERY well, Even-if you two-together- land -up-in-Hell, Even-if The World turns against you – and you’ve got to flee into exile, Well, YEAH! YOU’RE RIGHT!! (of course!) Love’s-worth-it, all the while, Despite any torturous yearning – and the fear of loss, Some jealousy that’s burning – and – IT’S-ALL A-BIG COIN TOSS, But, by GOD! If-it works-out – or even – just a little, It’s what makes “life” tolerable – IT sends us to “The Middle,” To THE CALM, SERENE, DIVINE – UNION OF THE CROSS, Where Jesus Christ WAS crucified, BUT – NEVER SUFFERED “LOSS!” For, when fire and water – across-and up-and-down, Intercept in PERFECTION, well – There’s NO adjective or noun, To describe IT – Call it: Heaven! or, maybe, Sweet Nirvana! The crossing of “the opposites?” – is The Bridegroom plus Madonna, Which creates THE NOW, so, for-God’s-sake, GO-FOR-“THE-BROKEN-RULE,” ‘Cause, IF you don’t, you will have become, the biggest, gosh-darn “fool!” For, when the chance of True-Love arises, it’s-NOT “some-chance-of-a-lifetime!” IT’S-ETERNITY-AND-STELLAR-BLISS, “The Perfect, Ultimate Rhyme!” 🙂 – Whoa!
I love all your posts congratulations on your ability to be inspirational and thoughfull 💙
“WONDERS!” a poem a.k.a.: “Cloistered Positions!” February 5, 2019 (Tuesday)
While THEY-were-in – their secluded, and-protected?-“cloistered state,” Watching TV – sipping beers – and hoping on the hopeful fate, Of favorite teams – and , of course, in-vest -o- ments, A ROAD RUNNER ran-right-into-our-yard!!! with hardly a-lick of sense, And grabbed a couple bread crumbs! Some that I had placed, In The Yard for “the-usual-suspect”-birds, who also came and graced, THESE PREMISES! Yet, I wondered: “Who shall ever see, Wonders! such as this and that – Well, at least – maybe me!? And IN AN INSTANT, my-road-runner’s gone! Perhaps-never-again – will she bless our lawn! BUT, WAIT! THERE! a praying mantis! shelling some pecans, And a baby skink – and an EXTINCT hummingbird!!!! not-seen for-many e-ons! Plus, OTHERS! all (amazingly) “extinct!” crawled! and-flew! around-our-grass, While-cloistered-folks-did-work-&-worry, hoping-to-better-“their-class!” They’ll check their phones, I think! to -enhance their wireless strat-e-gies, As wonders all around them, scamper – on the periph-er-ies, Of our property – and-on-all “World Stage Menageries,” Doing strange, miraculous things-and-speaking! Forgotten!? “DISTANT PROPHECIES!”
“HEART OF HEARTS!” a poem for M. January 24, 2019 (Thor’s Day)
I’m such a simple chap, with some-poetry-and-art, To offer YOU! It is not much, but you have touched my HEART, And – What that means, I am not sure I Since I met-you, I’m in “a blur,” .
THINKING OF YOU ALL THE t i M e,
Penning THIS, and OTHER r h y M e,
In LOVE, and, Lord, it is so sweet; I cast my HEART there, at your feet, And, when you ask me WHY-I-love- Y O U, I say: “I HAVE NO CLUE!” “Well, that’s-just-the-answer-I-needed-to-hear, ’cause-HONEY-I-love-you-too!
Are you wondering how you can cope with a drunk mother during the holidays, or how you can help her? Have friends told you that you are an enabler for your spouse? Do you find yourself suffering the consequences of a loved one’s alcohol problem? It can be hard to hear that you need to change yourself when a loved one is living with alcoholism. After all, it’s their problem, isn’t it? Unfortunately, you can only change yourself, and the only way you can interrupt and change the current course of your interactions with people with substance abuse disorders is to change your reactions.
Those who live or have lived with active alcoholics or anyone struggling with addiction find that they have been deeply affected by the experience. Many times, the frustration and stress can be caused by your own actions and choices. By adjusting your approach and your attitude toward the problem, you can place it in a different perspective so that it no longer dominates your thoughts and your life. In some ways, knowing that you can change your approach and attitude is empowering. You no longer need to continue doing some of the things you do in your dance with a person with an addiction.
Here are 10 things that you can stop doing that may help relieve the pressure.
1 Blaming Yourself
South_agency / Getty Images It’s typical for alcoholics to try to blame their drinking on circumstances or others around them, including those who are closest to them. It’s common to hear an alcoholic say, “The only reason I drink is because you…”
Don’t buy into it. If your loved one is truly an alcoholic, he is going to drink no matter what you do or say. It’s not your fault. He has become dependent on alcohol, and nothing is going to get between him and his drug of choice.
2 Taking It Personally When alcoholics promise they will never drink again, but a short time later they are back to drinking as much as always, it is easy for family members to take the broken promises and lies personally. You may tend to think, “If she really loves me, she wouldn’t lie to me.” But if she has become truly addicted to alcohol, her brain chemistry may have changed to the point that she is completely surprised by some of the choices she makes. She may not be in control of her own decision making.
3 Trying to Control It Many family members of alcoholics naturally try everything they can think of to get their loved one to stop drinking. Unfortunately, this usually results in leaving the alcoholic’s family members feeling lonely and frustrated. You may tell yourself that surely there is something that you can do, but the reality is that not even alcoholics can control their drinking, try as they may.
Even knowing that you may still want to help your addicted loved one when he is in the middle of a crisis. In reality, that is usually the time when the family should do nothing. When an alcoholic or drug abuser reaches a crisis point, sometimes that’s the time the person finally admits he has a problem and begins to reach out for help. But if friends or family members rush in and “rescue” the person from the crisis situation, it can delay the decision to get help. Let a Crisis Happen For those who love an addict, it is very difficult to sit back a let the crisis play out to its fullest extent. When addicts reach the point in their substance abuse when they get a DUI, lose their job, or get thrown in jail, it is a difficult concept for their loved ones to accept that the best thing they can do in the situation is to do nothing. It seems to go against everything they believe. Unfortunately, this causes the cycle to repeat…indefinitely.
You don’t have to create a crisis, but learning detachment will help you allow a crisis—one that may be the only way to create change—happen.
4 Trying to Cure It Make no mistake about it, alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is a primary, chronic, and progressive disease that sometimes can be fatal. You are not a healthcare professional, and even if you are, you should not carry the responsibility for treating friends or family members. You are not a trained substance-abuse counselor, and again, even if you are, your role should not be a counselor. You just happen to love someone who is probably going to need professional treatment to get healthy again. That’s the alcoholic’s responsibility, not yours. You can’t cure a disease. No matter what your background happens to be, you need outside help.
Alcoholics usually go through a few stages before they are ready to make a change. Until an alcoholic begins to contemplate quitting, any actions you take to “help” her quit will often be met with resistance.
Even though it is not your responsibility to “cure” your loved one’s alcoholism, you may be interested in knowing some of the things that make drinkers want to stop, as well as some of the things which get in the way of an alcoholic getting sober. You may wish to consider a family intervention. Before looking into ways ofstaging an intervention, take a moment to read further about how to care for yourself—not only for yourself but because it’s often the only way a person with an addiction will get the help they need.
5 Covering It Up There is a joke in recovery circles about an alcoholic in denial who screams, “I don’t have a problem, so don’t tell anyone!” Alcoholics typically do not want anyone to know the level of their alcohol consumption because if someone found out the full extent of the problem, they might try to help. If family members try to “help” (enable the alcoholic) by covering up for their drinking and making excuses for her, they are playing right into the alcoholic’s denial game. Dealing with the problem openly and honestly is the best approach.
Accepting Unacceptable Behavior Accepting unacceptable behavior usually begins with some small incident that family members brush off with, “They just had too much to drink.” But the next time, the behavior may get a little worse and then even worse. You slowly begin to accept more and more unacceptable behavior. Before you realize it, you can find yourself in a full-blown abusive relationship. Abuse is never acceptable. You do not have to accept unacceptable behavior in your life. You do have choices.
It’s important to protect your children from unacceptable behavior as well. Do not tolerate any hurtful or negative comments addressed towards your children. These comments can result in lasting damage to a child’s psyche. Protect your children, and don’t hesitate to keep your child away from someone who drinks and does not respect your boundaries. Growing up in an alcoholic home can leave lasting scars.
7 Having Unreasonable Expectations One problem of dealing with an alcoholic is that what might seem like a reasonable expectation in some circumstances, might be totally unreasonable with an addict. When alcoholics swear to you and to themselves that they will never touch another drop, you might naturally expect that they are sincere and they won’t drink again. But with alcoholics, that expectation turns out to be unreasonable. Is it reasonable to expect someone to be honest with you when the person is incapable of even being honest with himself or herself?
8 Living in the Past The key to dealing with alcoholism in the family is staying focused on the situation as it exists today. Alcoholism is a progressive disease. It doesn’t reach a certain level and remain there for very long; it continues to get worse until the alcoholic seeks help. You can’t allow the disappointments and mistakes of the past to affect your choices today because circumstances have probably changed.
9 Enabling Often, well-meaning loved ones, in trying to “help,” will actually do something that enables alcoholics to continue along their destructive paths. Find out what enabling is and make sure that you are not doing anything that bolsters the alcoholic’s denial or prevents them from facing the natural consequences of their actions. Many an alcoholic has finally reached out for help when they realized their enabling system was no longer in place. Take a moment to take this quiz to see if you are enabling an alcoholic.
What happens when you enable an alcoholic? The exact answer depends on the specific situation, but what usually happens is that:
The alcoholic never feels the pain It takes the focus off of the alcoholic’s behavior
For example, if your loved one passes out in the yard, and you carefully help him into the house and into bed, only you feel the pain. The focus then becomes what you did—moved him—rather than what he did, which is passing out. If in this situation, he wakes up on the lawn in the morning with neighbors peeking out the window, and comes into the house while you and the children are happily eating breakfast, he is left to face the pain. The only thing left for him to face is his own behavior. In other words, his behavior, rather than your reaction to his behavior, becomes the focus. It is only when he experiences his own pain that he will feel a need to change.
Natural consequences may mean that you refuse to spend any time with the alcoholic. This is not being mean or unkind to the alcoholic, but instead is being protective of yourself. It is not your job to “cure” your loved one’s alcoholism, but allowing natural consequences to occur is one factor which can push a person from the pre-contemplative stage to contemplative stage of overcoming addiction. The contemplative stage ends with the decision to make a change, yet further steps such as preparation, action, and later maintenance and likely relapse are usually needed before the addiction is controlled.
10 Putting off Getting Help After years of covering up for the alcoholic and not talking about “the problem” outside the family, it may seem daunting to reach out for help from a support group, such as Al-Anon Family Groups. But millions have found solutions that lead to serenity inside those meetings. Going to an Al-Anon meeting is one of those things that once you do it, you say, “I should have done this years ago.”
Healing yourself involves being able to say several things including:
You no longer have to deny the presence of addiction in your family. You no longer have to control the addict’s using. You no longer have to rescue the addict. You no longer have to be interested in the addict’s reasons for using. You no longer have to accept or extract promises. You no longer have to seek advice fromthe ill-informed.
You no longer have to nag, preach, coax, or gesture. You no longer need to allow the addict to abuse you or your children. You no longer have to be a victim of addiction.
Look After Yourself There may be very little you can do to help the alcoholic until he or she is ready to get help, but you can stop letting someone’s drinking problem dominate your thoughts and your life. It’s okay to make choices that are good for your own physical and mental health.
Alcohol is used more than any other addictive drug in Australia. If you suspect that you drink too much, or someone you live with might have a problem, then it might be helpful to know the warning signs and where to find help.
What is alcoholism? If you drink a lot of alcohol, you might become dependent on it to make you feel good. Your drinking behaviour could tip over into alcoholism, a type of substance abuse.
The signs of alcoholism You or someone you know might be drinking too much if they:
have a strong urge to drink cannot control how much they drink feel physical effects like nausea, sweating, shakiness and anxiety if they stop after a period of heavy drinking I need to drink more overtime to get the same good feeling drink while alone, or hide alcohol from members of the household struggle with work, education or relationships for no obvious reason lie about how much they drink drink early in the day or are anxious about when they will be able to drink forget what they said or did while they were drinking
Effects of alcoholism If you drink too much alcohol, you are at increased risk of illnesses such as heart disease and liver disease, cancer, diabetes and damage to the brain. It can also have a bad effect on those around you as it is a key player in car accidents, family violence and crime.
Although it seems to make you feel good, alcohol can increase the risk of depression and anxiety and also can make these worse if they are already present.
If you are a family member or friend living with an alcoholic you are likely to feel upset, angry, anxious, guilty, stressed, disappointed and helpless at various times.
Treatment for alcoholism The most important starting point for treatment is to talk to your doctor about how to control your alcohol consumption. You can search for a doctor in your region here.
Treatment options depend on the strength of alcohol dependence. For low-level dependence, your doctor might discuss the problem with you and suggest changes you can make or recommend counselling.
Stronger dependence will need different treatments to manage the effects of alcohol withdrawal. The treatments might include:
behavioural treatment to improve coping skills medication peer support through groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Smart Recovery spending time at a detoxification facility Preventing alcoholism and harm Becoming familiar with the Australian guidelines for low-risk drinking habits can help guard against alcoholism. If you have children, you should talk to them about drugs, alcohol and mental health, including binge drinking.
Animal beings are not objects to be owned or used. Animal beings do not exist to serve human beings. Animals should have the right to their own lives, to their own families, and to be free in the natural world the way nature intended.