Dharam Khalsa

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Jabberwocky

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

`Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!'

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

`And has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

The author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson,
Better known by the name Lewis Carroll,
Though vehement mathematician, church theologist, logician,
Misbehaved, exhibiting bawdy photos controversial.

By the way, he suffered mammoth headaches
Thought to have befuddled consciousness,
Blackout, even stem hemorrhage, that led to a wobbly shake,
And baffling bouts of jittery nervousness.

By the way, that man was the Father of Wordplay;
When with brain whims he'd dabble,
He'd outwit mates at what's known as 'Word Ladder' today,
Then hatched that jolly new game - 'Scrabble'.

Meanwhile, the gem 'Alice in Wonderland,
The jewel 'Through the Looking Glass',
Brimming with bedtime sojourns to a new distant land,
Mummy's Mother Goose habit had by far surpassed.

By the way, the through-the-bedchamber-mirror book
Awakened high joyous jubilation,
Though the jibber-jabbered gobbledygook
Just stalemated clarification!

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I Hear America Singing
(Walt Whitman)

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics--each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat--the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench--the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter's song--the ploughboy's, on his way in the morning,
or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother--or of the young wife at work--or of the girl sewing or washing--
Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day--At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.

I Thought I Heard America Moan in Anguish
(A Thinker's Insights)

With her Senate kowtowing to hawkish hankerings,
Kowtowing to lobbyists' earmarked ambitions,
Washington big shots falsifying statements,
Many men losing wages and money or pensions,
The schoolteacher losing her health benefits,
Manufacturing, technology - anything - offshored to Asia,
Neighborhood businesses, merchant markets shrinking,
Whole boomtown neighborhoods falling in poverty,
Salaries the lowest share of the nation's GDP since the nineteen-twenties,
Home mortgage foreclosures per month the highest on record,
Beginning earnings of college and high school graduates downgraded,
Savings hit the lowest since the height of the Great Depression,
This tough nation's highways, harbors, subways soon disintegrating,
I thought I heard America moan in anguish.

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A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever
(John Keats)

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old, and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast
That, whether there be shine or gloom o'ercast,
They always must be with us, or we die.

Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
Will trace the story of Endymion.
The very music of the name has gone
Into my being, and each pleasant scene
Is growing fresh before me as the green
Of our own valleys: so I will begin
Now while I cannot hear the city's din;
Now while the early budders are just new,
And run in mazes of the youngest hue
About old forests; while the willow trails
Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails
Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
My little boat, for many quiet hours,
With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
Many and many a verse I hope to write,
Before the daisies, vermeil rimmed and white,
Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
I must be near the middle of my story.
O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
See it half finished: but let Autumn bold,
With universal tinge of sober gold,
Be all about me when I make an end!
And now at once, adventuresome, I send
My herald thought into a wilderness:
There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress
My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed.

Prayer of a Woman Walking Barefooted in the Sand
(Anonymous)

Oh Lord, please allow me, even for a lone moment,
To ponder the perfect rhythm of thy harmonious Creation.
Provide me, a poor barefooted woman,
With the key to unlock the mysterious secret of oneness
Hidden in everything and in every ordered movement.
In the depths of my own soul,
Where it meets with the one Universal Soul,
May I gratefully acknowledge
The obedient surrender of the sandy shore,
As each new bejeweled wave breaks,
Washing away all traces of yesterday's burdens.
The seashore vulnerably offers a lifetime of shoreline trophies obtained -
Bright shells, starfish, shiny little stones, polished pebbles and seahorses -
Obediently back to the boundless sea,
Dashed under the indelible impact of
Hurtling element molecules forming an unending
Wall of water...water...water...Water...WATER -
That transformed liquid essence of the furthest reaches
Of the feminine earth mother and the masculine sky father.
The youthful shore-bride unquestioningly surrenders
To her insatiable sea-groom's vigorous waves washing over her,
Submerging her, and breathlessly heaves a vast and sensuous sigh,
Whereupon, her sandy heart is thoroughly cleansed and thoroughly purified,
And subsequently is metamorphosed into a beautified manifestation
Of the timeless and infinite Eternal Now.

Oh, Lord, please allow me to observe the sweet symbiotic play of nature -
The splendid blazing red sunset hues, the seasonally violent weather,
The insistent circling shore birds, the agitated swooping seagulls,
The remarkable fish and other sea life;
To share, spellbound, a vision: the idea of perfect harmonious peace,
Which is wrought of acquiescence to the mystifying greater force
That shapes nature's destiny, and without which none of this would have any form.
Just as the good Lord speaks to us in this remarkable way,
Giving us tangible clues to our own means of rejoining with Him,
Similarly, allow this woman's admittedly foolish monkey-mind to always remember
The loyal unwearying humility of the devoted shore-bride to her groom,
And just as every moment another formidable white-headed wave breaking shoreward
Washes away the obsolete debris of her yesterdays past,
Please permit a polished illuminated reflection of purity
To shine upon this barefooted woman's weary soul.
Furthermore, oh Lord, allow me then to always be thankful
For thy abundant and generous Grace,
To awaken my mind to the blissful joy of total absorption in Thee,
And to ultimate Enlightenment.

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To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.
-- Ogden Nash

Vow to turn nagging to higher praise,
Even where it might not be due;
Winking, provide the cure phrase,
Warmly murmur, "Honey, I love you."

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Spring
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is so beautiful as spring
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

May is coming to my humble little abode;
Swallows inevitably appearing in the portal;
A resolute dandelion thrives, as if immortal;
New growth encroaching the walkway, to be mowed.

Birds garnish the budding thorny branch,
Releasing hatchlings reluctant to leave their nest.
To till his land in the thirsty southwest,
The neighbor harnesses a horse on his ranch.

My husband and I enjoy the lengthening days,
Tending the garden in the blinding sun;
Then, unhurriedly, when the work is done,
Relishing twilight on an outdoor chaise.

The highlight is observing our grandchild,
As each astonishing miracle is assessed.
Giving joyful thanks for being so blessed,
His sun-kissed face fleetingly profiled.

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Something old;
Something new;
Something borrowed;
Something blue.

Oh, I brought:
Mom's modest gown;
Lewd nightie;
Noble's gem;
Rhinestone.

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Updated: May 10, 2016


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