Tuesday 30 October 2007

Just a thought...

Red Dirt Girl left a comment on my pic of a chariot of fire, a burning bicycle, that
it thus means Elijah went heavenward on a burning bicycle, and Jesus may return on one. Quite a thought... I thought he might come back on his horse.

Monday 29 October 2007

Warpath, by Ario Farin


Autumn comes late in the mountains.
The transmission cables connecting
the cottages and the farms,
the solitary skyscrapers and frozen churches,
are set ablaze for a day or two
by the singeing wings of scouting kestrels,
swallows flying below radar in the pink glow.
No one is injured, bunkers remain intact,
but we skulk in the furrows,
set trap after trap.

Then the renditions began, first from the cities,
chalky white cliffs in the first long night,
to Babylon, to Qom, to Amsterdam, to London:
Paris no longer exists it is said in the papers
that lie spread along the green hillsides
among the trumpet chanterels and the imploding toadstools.
Extraordinary scenes: canals luminous with ghosts,
the motorways silent for weeks except for
the rotating blades of military hovercraft,
cutting the empty road ahead into slices of routes.

Then, amid the last blue flash
of headlights, the fading glint
of a cat’s eye burrowed into the molten tarmac,
she dances, snapping her fingers
amid the flurry of fog and exhaust gases
from God knows where, she dances
to a delusional beat, half asleep
and half howling to a sonar beep,
falling like a raindrop
On a brown-red leaf.

I mentioned this poem, a couple of posts back, as the one that spurred me to look up 'The Horses', by Edwin Muir.

It was on a blog called Scribblings and Sketches, and is the work of one Ario Farin, who says:-

"My actual name is Arioborzine Farin. I was born in Isfahan in 1977 to a Dutch mother and Iranian father. I have lived in Iran, the Netherlands, the UK and now in Germany. English is not my native language. I am not sure I have one. My nationality is Dutch though. I work as an English teacher for adults and translator in Leipzig."

I, a native speaker of english can not write anything in any way as accomplished as this poem, yet Ario is almost apologetic about placing these poems before us, as if feeling them unworthy.

I asked permission to post this, when I posted 'Horses', The reply only just got to me, giving permission to do so. I was going to add it to the Edwin Muir post, but thought again.

The poem deserves a post of its own.

Please comment, you poetry readers and poets, I really would like to hear your views, lurkers, take a chance, step out of the shadows and speak, it won't hurt, I promise.

Click on the links, go visit Ario Farin at Scribblings and Sketches.

My meanderings on the internet have led me to many rewarding discoveries. So many self-publishing writers and poets, I feel humbled.

And jealous.

Friday 26 October 2007

Bring Me My Chariot of Fire


Seven Angels on a Bicycle,
Carrie Rodriguez, with Chip Taylor.

Go get what you want my love
Go get what you need my love
I am with you
I am with you
Go get what you want my love
Go get what you need my love
I am with you
I am with you
This will not turn me away
This will not turn me away
I am with you
I am with you
Go get what you want my love
Go get what you need my love
I am with you

Brooklyn Bridge on a bicycle
Brooklyn Bridge on a bicycle
Don’t he look good
Don’t he look good
Follow him right into town
Follow him right into town
Don’t this feel good
Don’t he look good

Taking pictures on a subway
Enchiladas on a Sunday
Lets get drunk
We’ll all play
Your fancy guitar
Don’t this feel good
Don’t he look good

Seven angels on a bicycle
Seven angels on a bicycle
I am with you
I am with you
Seven angels on a bicycle
Seven angels on a bicycle
I am with you
I am with you

Go get what you want my love
Go get what you need my love
I am with you
I am with you

Go get what you want my love
Go get what you need my love

I am with you

Deep Cleansing. Ed Reiss

Found in the hospital, -a poem.

Wednesday 24 October 2007

The Horses - Edwin Muir

I remember reading this poem many years ago. -I grew up in the shadow of the cold war.
I remember the great V-Bombers, Vulcans thundering down the valley, practising, always practising that low level flight, infiltration under the radar, a suicide mission to drop their bombs on Russian landscapes, where at the same time, Russian crews were practising the same thing.
The Distant Early Warning Line. Global war was real. Expected, even.
Nobody knew what the aftermath would be. Who might survive. What sort of life might there be.
I read science fiction.
Then at college, I read Muir.
This poem, which says so much.

A few days ago, I read a poem called 'Warpath', which I liked, on a blog called Scribblings & Sketches.
Do go over there, and read, if you like poetry.
After reading, I wondered for some days what old memory that poem was tugging at.
Here it is,

The Horses, By Edwin Muir.

Barely a twelvemonth after
The seven days war that put the world to sleep,
Late in the evening the strange horses came.
By then we had made our covenant with silence,
But in the first few days it was so still
We listened to our breathing and were afraid.
On the second day
The radios failed; we turned the knobs, no answer.
On the third day a warship passed us, headed north,
Dead bodies piled on the deck. On the sixth day
A plane plunged over us into the sea. Thereafter
Nothing. The radios dumb;
And still they stand in corners of our kitchens,
And stand, perhaps, turned on, in a million rooms
All over the world. But now if they should speak,
If on a sudden they should speak again,
If on the stroke of noon a voice should speak,
We would not listen, we would not let it bring
That old bad world that swallowed its children quick
At one great gulp. We would not have it again.
Sometimes we think of the nations lying asleep,
Curled blindly in impenetrable sorrow,
And then the thought confounds us with its strangeness.
The tractors lie about our fields; at evening
They look like dank sea-monsters crouched and waiting.
We leave them where they are and let them rust:
"They'll molder away and be like other loam."
We make our oxen drag our rusty plows,
Long laid aside. We have gone back
Far past our fathers' land.
And then, that evening
Late in the summer the strange horses came.
We heard a distant tapping on the road,
A deepening drumming; it stopped, went on again
And at the corner changed to hollow thunder.
We saw the heads
Like a wild wave charging and were afraid.
We had sold our horses in our fathers' time
To buy new tractors. Now they were strange to us
As fabulous steeds set on an ancient shield
Or illustrations in a book of knights.
We did not dare go near them. Yet they waited,
Stubborn and shy, as if they had been sent
By an old command to find our whereabouts
And that long-lost archaic companionship.
In the first moment we had never a thought
That they were creatures to be owned and used.
Among them were some half a dozen colts
Dropped in some wilderness of the broken world,
Yet new as if they had come from their own Eden.
Since then they have pulled our plows and borne our loads,
But that free servitude still can pierce our hearts.
Our life is changed; their coming our beginning.

Edwin Muir

Friday 19 October 2007

Tankchair:- An Engineer's token of Love.

Awesome! Tankchair
Built by a very talented man, after his wife was injured in an accident, he sought to make a chair that would enable her to enjoy the woods, hiking, the places she had loved when she was able to walk. It can cope with mud, streams, snow, gravel, soft ground, all those things that are impossible for an ordinary wheelchair.
It can even climb stairs!
(though I bet that's scary for the pilot)

Their website says "For every 10 chairs sold, TankChair is going to donate one to a fire department in a rural area so that they can give it away to someone who would not normally be able to afford one. The first is going to go to Parker Fire Department in Arizona. This is our hometown and they were the ones who rescued my wife, my kids, and myself when we got in the accident that put her in the chair."

When I read their website I was so impressed at how he has striven to give his wife back the freedom of the outdoors.
If ever I need a wheelchair, I'll beg for one of these.

I Was driving to Work When......

Warning:-Technobabble and boys toys follow.
I was driving to work, a bit mentally vacant and stuck in slow traffic when I spotted a man in a yellow jacket fiddling with a radio control box. How strange, thought I. A group of business suited onlookers watched.
Up the embankment slope above the road a bizarre yellow thing was pirouetting, weaving between trees.... and cutting the deep grass. WOW! I WANT ONE! was the first thought..... Then an angry beep from behind forced me to notice the hundred yards of clear road ahead... That was a couple of years ago, The city bought, I think, four of these supertoys, to cut steep bankings by roads and in parkland. Ride-on mowing machines can be very hazardous on steep slopes, and fatalities are not unknown. Hand held brushcutters, (strimmers, weed whackers) are very labour intensive, and again, operator injuries are common.
The machine in question is a Ransomes Spider, an awesome machine, powered by a seventeen horse-power kawasaki engine, four wheel drive, four wheel steer..... Hydrostatic drive.
As far as I can tell it was designed by a Czech inventor, Mr Lubomir Dvorak, who founded a company to build them, and is the holder of the patents.
However, they're being made by Ransomes in England, under licence I assume.
What makes me think of this just now? Well I was sent a link to Dave Mows Grass, his most recent post, in which he is running short of blog materials, so loads up his pick-up with what might be well rotted horse-sh*t, and promptly gets it bogged on a perfectly innocent flat patch of grass.

A-ha, I thought... Dave NEEDS a Spider...

(The Spider would not do the pick up's job, I know, but a man with a stuck truck needs something else to do.)

Elsewhere, Warwick University has been experimenting with robotic self control of these, and the use of artificial intelligence to allow a group, or 'swarm' of spider-bots to co-operate.
Not slow to see that they need not be confined to mowing, another team, in Denmark, calling its Spider-based device 'Hortibot' has worked on building an autonomous machine to carry out tilling, seed planting, spraying, and much more.

At the moment they seem fearsomely expensive. Like about the same price as a BMW 1Series,
And I only have a tiny patch of flat grass.

Somewhat cheaper, and not quite as fun-looking is the Goat Hybrid Mower.

Now I look, I see all manner of geeks designing radio controlled lawnmowers... Anyway.... The growing season is over. I'll forget it all until next year....

Sunday 14 October 2007

A Reply to Mildred X,

Mildred X, writing over at Red Dirt Scribbles, (where she borrows blogspace from the Red Dirt Scribbler, a known sympathiser, and, some have suggested, undercover officer of the Sisterhood of the Pointy heels), sent me this message, by mulepost.

"Sigh. Do you truly believe you are aiding us in advancing our cause ?? We DO know how to have fun .... all work and no play make us sistahs very dull indeed .....and we KNOW how to play, don't we Soubriquet ??"

The mule declined a return message so I post it here in the knowledge that Mildred will eventually see it.

Grit in the Gears is not about advancing the Sisterhood's cause. Rather, we serve as a monitoring instrument, keeping abreast, as it were, of the Sisterhood's activities.

However, in a spirit of non proliferation, I shall now disclose some of the activities of The Brotherhood of the Besmirched Countenance, a secret organisation which is trained to resist any attempt by the Sisterhood to abolish male activities, such as D.I.Y. and beer drinking, and any further attempts to demolish The Shed, traditional retreat for men.

I shall furthermore reveal, that I am he who was once was hailed as The Knight of the Besmirched Countenance.

I refer you to the Chronicles of the Bogus Cognomen, yet to be published in blog form.

A rapid response, lightweight airforce unit. note we have wheels, not pointy heels.
A sisterhood traffic officer attempted to book the squadron for speeding on the runway...

A Naval Vessel.

Remember these crack forward Can-Can Troopers?
At the time of my previous post they were unstoppable.
Enjoy it while you can, ladies.

Our latest units are all being reconfigured for Can-Can abilities.

The official caption on this was "First Stealth Buses Under Test" However, it is now revealed that the stealth vehicle story may be being used to cloak our new levitation abilities.

Hogwarts graduates are being recruited as rapid forward broomstick patrols.

Spidermen in training.

And the Aquatic Cavalry.

I think is enough revealed, for now.


Thank you, Mildred X, for that feedback. Gerty the Mule has now retired on a full pension and has been awarded the DSMM (Distinguished Service Medal for Mules).
Gert started life as Gerald the mule, and at an early age, volunteered for Brotherhood training.
He was a master of disguise even before he could walk, and frequently masqueraded as a donkey, becoming fluent in Donkish. Seen here as a foal, you can see his disguise was really quite excellent.

I am also reminded as I write of his infiltration of a training camp dressed as a large dog.
It was a little later, after training in special tactics and the advanced application of stubbornness that he approached high command and asked to be assigned special, and arduous duty.
His first special forces assignment was with the underwater cavalry, but he did have problems with mane care, and applied for Intelligence Corps training.
There had long been a draft plan to infiltrate sisterhood riding schools, and Gerald volunteered.
Although various prosthetic disguises were tried, Gerald was clearly, um, overendowed.
But, ever brave, he underwent surgery, and after recuperation and voice training, re-emerged as 'Gertie', under which pseudonym 'she' joined the Sisterhood's ranks.
Equipped with a phenomenal photographic memory, 'Gertie' provided many of the pics I have previously shown. Still more are kept in our archives, some too saucy to print. Yes Mildred, the Jacuzzi incident?
Now after long and distinguished sevice, 'Gertie' has returned, and for a while acted as a double agent for us, 'leaking' information that we chose to 'leak'.
We are currently defrosting Gerald's artifacts, ready for the restore studliness operation, and (s)he is looking forward to a good deep bray again.

Meanwhile others of our squad take up the baton.... You'll never know, sisters, which mouse to trust, which cat conceals, beneath its purr a satellite uplink....

Oh. And, Ladies..... glad to see you took in the Trojan Shoes, our chocolatier will be delighted.

Troops of The Sisterhood of the Pointy Heels:- Undergoing Advanced Training

Saturday 13 October 2007

Rhinocratic Oaths

Ladies, I think you'll find it's the little things that mean a lot.

Or "Say it With Ears".

Saturday 6 October 2007

Semiotic Confusions

A music video, from Poland, by Masala Soundsystems, featuring DJ Spox, Cinque G (Mista Pita, Pan Duże Pe), Yerba Mater, Lakszmi.

It's a mashup of Bollywood movie style, with influences of jamaican reggae, ragga, bhangra, hip-hop, tuvan throat-singing, oh and more besides, roti-scratching even. All from Poland.
I'm not sure how I happened across it, it's out there on other sites, though...

Here it is:


Comments please....