The Special Category

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An optional explanation about the anagram in green, the subject is in black, the anagram is in red.

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[Herman Hesse's famed poem is anagrammed from the original German into another poem also entirely in German. English translations of each are provided thereafter.]


Wie jede Blüte welkt und jede Jugend
Dem Alter weicht, blüht jede Lebensstufe,
Blüht jede Weisheit auch und jede Tugend
Zu ihrer Zeit und darf nicht ewig dauern.
Es muss das Herz bei jedem Lebensrufe
Bereit zum Abschied sein und Neubeginne,
Um sich in Tapferkeit und ohne Trauern
In andre, neue Bindungen zu geben.
Und jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber inne,
Der uns beschützt und der uns hilft, zu leben.

Wir sollen heiter Raum um Raum durchschreiten,
An keinem wie an einer Heimat hängen,
Der Weltgeist will nicht fesseln uns und engen,
Er will uns Stuf' um Stufe heben, weiten.
Kaum sind wir heimisch einem Lebenskrise
Und traulich eingewohnt, so droht Erschlaffen,
Nur wer bereit zu Aufbruch ist und Reise,
Mag lähmender Gewöhnung sich entraffen.

Es wird vielleicht auch noch die Todesstunde
Uns neuen Räumen jung entgegen senden,
Des Lebens Ruf an uns wird niemals enden...
Wohlan denn, Herz, nimm Abschied und gesunde!

Hermann Hesse


As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.

Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slave of permanence.

Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.

Für immer so, nach oben

Blumen wurden welk und faul, wir junge Burschen
Wurden älter. Und fest im Leben stehend
Wiesen sie gute Eigenschaften auf,
'ne Zeit lang in Fülle, jedoch nicht für immer.
Sei beherzt, ruft jedem das Leben zu:
Bitte verabschieden, um neu zu beginnen.
Kühn und nicht traurig begeben
Wir uns in andere, neuartige Richtungen.
Und über jede Phase weht eine Hand,
Die uns das Leben untermauert. Fleht euch an!

Während wir durch's Zimmer gehen,
Soll kein Mensch aus Unwissen was machen!
Die geistige Welt engt und bindet uns - nein -
Eher uns fall- und stufenweise zu erheben.
Kriselt's im Leben, sind wir manchmal zu stumm,
Einschlafen ist Drohung und daher wende just ab!
Jedweder, der zum Reisen aufbricht,
Kann sich leidigen Gewohnheiten entziehen.

Echte Mühe bereitet uns nur die Stunde des Todes,
Sendet uns Jungen in neue Zimmer.
Endlich ruft uns das Leben, nie endend...
Auf dein Wohl, Herr! Ade! Juhu, werde heil und gesund!

Jason Lofts

Forever so, upwards

Flowers withered and went putrid, we young fellows
Grew older. And firmly fixed in life
They displayed good qualities
For a while in abundance, but not for ever.
Be courageous, life calls to every one:
Take leave, please, to start anew.
Valiant and not sorrowful
We go in different new directions
And over each phase wafts a hand
Which underpins our life. Beseech yourselves!

As we wander across the room,
No man shall do anything out of ignorance!
The spiritual world constricts and fetters us - no -
Rather it raises us stage by stage, case by case.
In life's crises, we are at times too silent,
Slumber is a threat and hence simply turn away!
Whoever sets out on a journey
Can escape from vexatious habits.

Only the hour of death gives us real difficulty,
Propels us youths into new chambers.
At last Life calls us, never-ending ...
Good health, Sir! Adieu! Hurrah, be healed and whole!

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The Super Salesman

A keen country lad applied for a salesman's job at a an upmarket department store in Indianapolis. It was one of those stores that has every department imaginable. In fact, it was possibly the biggest store in the whole wide world. You could get almost everything you can imagine in that particular shopping emporium.

The boss asked him, 'Firstly, have you ever been hired as a salesman before?' 'Yes, indeed I have. I was a salesman in the country,' said the lad. The boss liked the cut of him and said, 'Right. You can start tomorrow morning, the sixth, and I will come and see you when we finish work and close up.'

When the boss looked up the young man the next day at closing time, he saw him shaking hands with a beaming customer. After they parted, he walked over and asked, 'Well, that looked good! And how many sales did you make today?' 'That was the only one,' said the young salesman. 'Only one!?!' blurted the boss. 'Most of my staff make twenty or thirty sales each day. You will have to do much better than that, son ! Well, how much was it worth, then, this single sale?'

'Two hundred and twenty seven thousand, three hundred and thirty four dollars ... plus change,' said the young man.

The boss paused for a moment, blinking a few times. 'H... H... How on earth did you manage that?!?'

'Well, when the guy came in this morning, and I sold him a small fish hook. Then a really large hook. Then I sold him a little fishing line ... then a larger one. I then sold him a spear-gun, a wetsuit, scuba gear, nets, coolers, and a keg of beer.

I asked him where he was planning to go fishing, and he said down the coast. We thought that he'd probably need a new boat, and so I took him to buy the 'Europe' schooner, a twenty-foot, twin engine type.

But he said his Volkswagen wouldn't possibly be able to pull that, so then I took him swiftly to the car department and demonstrated a marvelous new investment, a Supreme Deluxe Cruiser with a storage rack, rustproofing, and a fridge as standard. And sold it to him. Oh, and some contemporary, heavy-duty floor mats.'

The boss, astounded, stepped smartly back, and said 'My my! Pretty damn impressive, I must say! You sold all that, unwarranted, to someone who only came in for a fish hook?'

'No,' answered the salesman. 'Truth is, he came in to buy a navy blanket.'

'What? He wanted a navy blanket? Why?'

'An extra one ... for the couch in the study. He admitted he was stressed. Seems that he'd just that day had a massive argument with his wife, and he had to sleep on the lumpy couch.

I said, 'Oh well, it seems that your weekend's ruined anyway, so you may as well go fishing...'

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

It's daytime and the wee young lamb
Delights over the brambles;
Overtired is the big grey ram,
That long wool wad in shambles.

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A small zoo in Georgia obtained a rare species of gorilla. After a few days the gorilla, a female, became very difficult to handle.

Upon examining her, the vet determined the problem. The gorilla was in heat. To make matters worse, there was no male gorilla available.

While pondering the problem, the zoo keeper suddenly thought of Bobby Lee Walton, a redneck casual-worker responsible for cleaning the animal cages. Bobby Lee, like most rednecks, had little sense but possessed considerable ability to satisfy a female of any species. The zoo keeper thought they might have the solution.

Bobby Lee was approached with a proposition. Would he be willing to mate with the gorilla for five hundred dollars?

Bobby Lee showed interest, but said he'd have to think things over carefully.

The following day, he announced that he would accept their offer, but only under five conditions:

"First," Bobby Lee said, "I'm not gonna kiss her on the lips." The keeper quickly agreed to this.

"Second," he said, "She's gotta wear a 'Grand Ole Opry Forever' T-Shirt." The keeper agreed.

"Third," he said, "you can't never tell no one about this." The keeper agreed to this condition also.

"Fourth," "I want all the children raised Southern Baptist." Once again this was agreed.

"And last," Bobby Lee said...

"I'll need another week to come up with the five hundred dollars."

Belle and her friend Debbie were visiting a small, private zoo in Georgia.

After looking around for a while, they decided to sit on a seat to eat the packed lunches they'd brought along.

They were sitting opposite a large, African silverback gorilla's enclosure at the time and the two women couldn't help but notice how the big gorilla was looking at them all the time and licking its lips hungrily.

"I feel really bad about eating in front of that poor gorilla when he is obviously starving," said Belle; "so I think I'll give him some of my sandwiches."

"Please do be careful," retorted Debbie, "that is a seriously moody looking ape."

Belle laughed off her friend's protests as she went over to the enclosure and then proceeded to poke a cheese sandwich between the bars.

Immediately, the gorilla grabbed Belle's hand, yanked her over the fence, and carried her off, kicking and screaming, to a spot between the trees. There, he proceeded to ravish and make passionate love to her for about two hours until the ape was finally tranquilized by a member of the zoo's staff, and Belle was taken to hospital.

The following day, a deeply concerned Debbie went to visit her pal. "Oh, Belle, I was really sorry to see what happened to you; so horrible! Are you hurt?" she asked.

"Am I hurt? Of course I'm hurt!" sobbed Belle; "he hasn't texted, he hasn't phoned..."

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Yours Truly

Every Friday, me, Alec and Neville
Meet at a café called 'Old Copper Kettle',
Where they serve the best fry-ups with mugs of hot tea,
We've done this for forty-five years, just we three.

We met when we worked at the Highwayman Bank,
Writing figures in ledgers (a job without thanks)
We soon hit it off and remained lifelong pals,
Got married, had families, but stuck to our vow.

We had vowed that each Friday we'd meet for a chat
And a drink and to generally just chew the fat,
And sip some cold ale in an inn called 'The Duck',
(But abandoned that pub when Al's liver cracked up).

So now, in retirement, we meet Friday morn
In that small Cotswolds café in Cob-on-the-Corn.
Where we sit by the window, around the same table,
Trading banter and chat with a waitress named Mabel.

Nowadays, meetings don't go with a zing,
Conversation's run thin, 'cause we've said everything!
And so, to instil the odd note of surprise,
Nev has lately been known to tell porky pies.

This morning, for instance, while munching his toast,
He said, "Guys, you both know that I'm not one to boast,
"But I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned to you
"That I've starred in the odd porno movie or two?"

Now, Nev in the past has told some real whoppers,
But this one was truly his biggest jaw-dropper!
Al choked on his sausage, I spilled my Earl Grey,
And, as one, we both snorted, "You're kidding; no way!"

"Oh, every word's true, guys, I swear on my life,
"This all happened before I met Meg, my late-wife,
"I was good at it, too, a right bedroom fox;
"They called me 'The Man in the Red Dragon Socks'."

"It began when I saw a strange classified ad,
"Saying: 'Want To Do Porn'? in a sleazy man-mag;
"I applied for this very unusual position,
"And next thing I knew I was in an audition!"

"They were simply amazed at my great staying power,
"I could literally grind on for hour after hour!
"But, as you both know, my looks aren't that good
"So they made me do all of my scenes in a hood!"

"Much worse than that was the state of my feet,
"They looked like two pieces of bad, condemned meat;
"The director said, 'Ooh, they're a terrible shock!'
"So the cameraman lent me his red-dragon socks."

"Strangely, he never did ask for them back
"So I wore them in every hot flick after that;
"And all the porn movie fans raved, 'This guy rocks!'
" 'We'll call him The Man in the Red Dragon Socks'."

"Although I performed with a number of dames,
"We didn't speak much and we did not ask names,
"There were Dutch girls and Danish girls, Spanish girls, Scotch...
"And that Florida girl with the Mickey Mouse watch...

"She came from Orlando, a platinum blonde,
"And right from the start we just had this, well... bond.
"It wasn't the sex (though of that we had plenty!)
"I guess it was love, I was in my mid-twenties."

"Together, on screen we just burned up that bed,
"The porno equivalent of Ginger and Fred,
"She wore a cute watch with a Mickey Mouse face,
"She wore nothing else but she did it with... grace."

"And we achieved fame in the world of porn flicks,
"A dynamic duo, a magical mix,
"She was The Girl with the Mickey Mouse Watch,
"And I was The Man in the Red Dragon Socks.

"I was truly in love, though I never did say,
"We just did our scene-shooting and went our own way,
"But one day she just quit, and then it was too late,
"I'd been too shy, too nervous, to ask for a date."

Al and I were spellbound by this bitter-sweet tale,
Was he telling the truth? Ah, well that's hard to tell.
But when he lifted his leg up to show us those socks,
On his shin was a tattoo - a Mickey Mouse watch.

Yours Truly.

Howdy, my name is Ms. Beverley Byfore,
Platinum blonde and a figure to die for;
Well... not any more, but I had in my prime,
And that was... er, how long? A very long time!

I was born in Orlando, Florida State,
My family were poor but the weather was great.
As I grew into teenhood, I wasn't the brightest,
But my breasts were the best and my sweaters the tightest.

That's when I learnt: to manipulate guys
All you need's a low cleavage and cute Bambi eyes.
I used these quite shamelessly, never had doubts,
And willingly went to my first casting couch...

I progressed to posin' for full, nude photography;
From there I went straight onto good ol' pornography.
I wasn't exploited, in fact I was willin';
The money was great and the sex was fulfillin'.

The guys? They meant zilch, neither lovers nor friends,
They were all nothin' more than the means to an end.
But that was to change when true love came to knock
And I starred with a man wearin' red dragon socks...

When Disneyworld opened in 'seventy-one,
I was first through the gates to enjoy all the fun,
And I bought me a souvenir Mickey Mouse watch
In a magical, pink velvet Disneyworld box.

I've worn the same watch every day of my life,
As a mistress, a mother, a widow, a wife;
I wore it in every porn movie I made,
That watch was my trademark when filmed, gettin' laid.

Then the man in the red dragon socks came along,
And I realised makin' porn-movies was wrong;
Until then I'd viewed guys with scorn and rejection,
But I looked at this man with a real, deep affection.

Did he feel the same? Well, I never did know,
We just went through our scenes with the grunts and the groans,
But with him it was different, like it was for real,
Like this was how makin' love truly should feel?

Porn cheapened the sex act and made it a sin,
It changed my whole view of the trade I was in;
I am sure my dragon-sock man felt the same,
But we never discussed it, and that's a darn shame.

It was then I decided my porn days were through,
I'd fallen in love and that just wouldn't do;
In porn there's no love, it's a rule of the game,
But the sad thing? We never asked each others names.

I had to get out and go back to my roots,
(And I don't mean hair-color, although it's the truth!)
So I took off for Florida, followin' day.
I wouldn'ta gone if he'd asked me to stay...

His actions spoke volumes when he rocked the sack,
But, a man of few words was my... Jess? Jake? or Jack?
Two husbands and three kids have since eased the pain,
But I yearn to meet my red-socks Brit guy again.

I know it won't happen, we're both old and grey,
But I'm now on vacation, back in the UK.
So, what are the chances we'll meet? Zero. Nil;
No - not in these sad, green Cotswolds hills.

Today I went on the 'blue-rinsers' coach trip,
With a bunch of old duffers, like me, with
screwed hips.
As we passed through a village named Cob-On-The-Corn,
I thought, 'What a blast! This place rhymes with "porn"!'

But then, as we stopped at a red traffic light,
I casually looked at a shop on my right,
'Old Copper Kettle - Café and Tearooms'
Read the sign, though it shoulda read 'God's Waiting Room'!

But as I looked on, I observed to my shock,
In the café, some old guy with... red-dragon socks!
I banged the coach window and brandished my watch!
But the lights turned to green and the coach... just breezed off.

My stressed heart was thumpin', what do I do?
Ask the driver to stop and cause a street queue?
My head said, "Y'old fool, it's not him... ok?"
I said, "Course not," and slept for the rest of the way.

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by Langston Hughes

This is for the kids who die,
Black and white,
For kids will die certainly.
The old and rich will live on awhile,
As always,
Eating blood and gold,
Letting kids die.

Kids will die in the swamps of Mississippi
Organizing sharecroppers
Kids will die in the streets of Chicago
Organizing workers
Kids will die in the orange groves of California
Telling others to get together
Whites and Filipinos,
Negroes and Mexicans,
All kinds of kids will die
Who don't believe in lies, and bribes, and contentment
And a lousy peace.

Of course, the wise and the learned
Who pen editorials in the papers,
And the gentlemen with Dr. in front of their names
White and black,
Who make surveys and write books
Will live on weaving words to smother the kids who die,
And the sleazy courts,
And the bribe-reaching police,
And the blood-loving generals,
And the money-loving preachers
Will all raise their hands against the kids who die,
Beating them with laws and clubs and bayonets and bullets
To frighten the people -
For the kids who die are like iron in the blood of the people -
And the old and rich don't want the people
To taste the iron of the kids who die,
Don't want the people to get wise to their own power,
To believe an Angelo Herndon, or even get together

Listen, kids who die -
Maybe, now, there will be no monument for you
Except in our hearts
Maybe your bodies'll be lost in a swamp
Or a prison grave, or the potter's field,
Or the rivers where you're drowned like Leibknecht
But the day will come -
Your are sure yourselves that it is coming -
When the marching feet of the masses
Will raise for you a living monument of love,
And joy, and laughter,
And black hands and white hands clasped as one,
And a song that reaches the sky -
The song of the life triumphant
Through the kids who die.

(for the family of Trayvon Martin)
by Tara Skurtu

This poem wants to write itself backwards.
Wishes it were born memory instead, skipping

time like a record needle stuck on the line
of your last second. You sit up. Brush not blood,

but dirt from your chest. You sit up. You're in bed.
Bad dream. Back to sleep. You sit up. Rise and shine.

Good morning. This is the poem of a people united
in the uniform of your last day. Pockets full

of candy, hooded sweatshirt, sweet tea. This poem
wants to stand its ground, silence force

with simple words, pray you alive, anyone's
son -- tall boy, eye-smile, walk on home.


What do the investigative reporters in newspapers know?

Who at the Dr. Michael M. Krop High School wrote W.T.F. on a wall?
Enlightening? So what!
The Miami-Dade School Police Department handled the odd screwdriver?
Hid the marijuana in the bag? Withheld the exhibit?

Does Seven-Eleven sell bags of Skittles and cans of Arizona Iced Tea?
Where is the Retreat at Twin Lakes?
Who dwells in that loved gated neighborhood wonderland?

Harsh killing: Black male teen wearing a dark colored hoodie
On top of the Hispanic person in the drizzling rain?
Who was shrieking for help? Not a case of self-defense?

What do the investigative newshens in broadsheets know?

Swirling rhetoric on hand. Legal gobbledegook highlighted in indelible ink.
Exchanging lenghthened tales and theories.
Breeding, engendering hate within.

Like his Facebook page now. He'll hold the hollowed protests.
Shed the allegations of racial bias -- even when wanted.

The hoodie, the trigger.
The spic, the nigger
Lived in intelligible world headlines.
In all likelihood, libelled in interviews.

What do investigative writers in tabloids know?

Saddened, I do think.
Old dark world.
And in the end, where is Hell?

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[For the 7th month, Shakespeare's sonnet about fault and grace is anagrammed into another sonnet about sins and virtues, and their role in the soul's judgement in the afterlife. It also contains a relevant visual constraint, detailed below it:]

Sonnet XCVI by William Shakespeare

Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness;
Some say thy grace is youth and gentle sport;
Both grace and faults are lov'd of more and less:
Thou mak'st faults graces that to thee resort.
As on the finger of a throned queen
The basest jewel will be well esteem'd,
So are those errors that in thee are seen
To truths translated, and for true things deem'd.
How many lambs might the stern wolf betray,
If like a lamb he could his looks translate!
How many gazers mightst thou lead away,
If thou wouldst use the strength of all thy state!
But do not so; I love thee in such sort,
As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report.


That Next Stage After Death

How shall a slothful soul dodge Satan's fires?
A great asylum must be Heaven's gates
Though, when it's vying for those robes and lyres,
There is an urge to right those broken traits.
So how impure its many flaws may seem there?
A lot of pride won't ease the sky's blind forum;
Unshaken avarice snares no fans either -
But holy diligence does, with that quorum;
And zero moderation angers it:
The Holy Court destroys those that are loathsome.
No way to charm its eyeless staff with wit;
It lets no glutton eye that gentlest blossom.
Just follow modestly, be meek and humble
To reach that peace - and not Hell's noted rumbles.

[The constraint: Each of the sonnet's 14 lines contains either a word that pertains to one of the 7 Sins [Sloth, Lust, Envy, Anger, Pride, Avarice & Gluttony] or a word that pertains to one of the 7 Virtues [Purity, Diligence, Moderation, Courtesy, Charity, Modesty & Peace]. However, these words are dispersed in each line in a very specific way:]

That Next Stage After Death

How shall a slothful soul dodge Satan's fires?
A great asylum must be Heaven's gates
Though, when it's vying for those robes and lyres,
There is an urge to right those broken traits.
So how impure its many flaws may seem there?
A lot of pride won't ease the sky's blind forum;
Unshaken avarice snares no fans either -
But holy diligence does, with that quorum;
And zero moderation angers it:
The Holy Court destroys those that are loathsome.
No way to charm its eyeless staff with wit;
It lets no glutton eye that gentlest blossom.
Just follow modestly, be meek and humble
To reach that peace - and not Hell's noted rumbles.

[...The pattern ultimately creating a symbol that also deals with our inner duality. Here it is again, resized:]