Monday, May 31, 2010

Music Monday ~ Patty Griffin & That Mountain

Patty Griffin isn't on today's musical "A-List" - as far as celebrity status is concerned, though she has always been highly regarded by her peers. Perhaps it's part of the Sun in Pisces nature to remain in the background of things, while still contributing a lot. I had prepared a draft of this post back in March, near to her birthday, but didn't post it because I decided that readers would likely never have heard of this singer/songwriter. Perhaps that was my own ignorance coming to the fore!

Ms Griffin came to mind again last week when, in the American Idol final Crystal Bowersox chose one of her songs for her last performance: Up To The Mountain.

Rolling Stone calls Patty Griffin "One of the better-kept secrets of American music." Her performances are described in words such as pure, raw, sparse, stripped-down. Her songs have been covered by numerous well-known artists, often melancholy stories, or gospel themed songs, folk-ish, but also categorised as "Americana", though the appeal is universal.

On her website she writes that she was the youngest of a family of 7, and shy. Music afforded her a way of expressing herself. She didn't get into the music business proper until around age 30, though she'd been singing and playing guitar from her teens.

While her songwriting catalog has unexpectedly garnered much praise and income from successful covers of her material, Griffin recognizes the challenge of aging in a youth-dominated industry. She muses, “Getting older as a woman, especially as a performer, the doors start to close. Unless you’re willing to plow people down for help, there’s a sense that it’s ridiculous to ask for any attention at all. It’s a really strange experience. I just sort of decided, ‘What the hell? I’m going to keep on going anyway (laughs).’ You feel like you’re up against an ocean when you’re still doing this, but there are a lot of older women still hanging in there. I think that’s a fairly new thing, too. It’s rare, but it’s getting less and less rare.” Link.

Born on 16 March 1964 in Old Town, Maine.

I don't have much to say about Patty's natal chart, beyond what I wrote in the first paragraph. A time of birth is unavailable so we don't know whether her natal Moon was in Taurus or Aries, and rising sign remains a mystery. Venus, planet of the arts is in its home sign Taurus, and opposite creative Neptune in Scorpio. Neptune is also in helpful trine to Mars, reflecting, perhaps her energetic determination to "keep going", keep being creative.

Up To The Mountain is my favourite of all her songs. It's a tribute to Martin Luther King. The song lends itself to a variety of treatments. I've chosen the writer's own version, & the one by Crystal Bowersox, 2010's American Idol runner-up.
Up To The Mountain

I went up to the mountain
Because you asked me to
Up over the clouds
To where the sky was blue
I could see all around me
I could see all around me

Sometimes I feel like
I've never been nothing but tired
And I'll be walking
Till the day I expire
Sometimes I lay down
No more can I do
But then I go on again
Because you ask me to

Some days I look down
Afraid I will fall
And though the sun shines
I see nothing at all
Then I hear your sweet voice, oh
Oh, come and then go, come and then go
Telling me softly
You love me so

The peaceful valley
Just over the mountain
The peaceful valley
Few come to know
I may never get there
Ever in this lifetime
But sooner or later
It's there I will go
Sooner or later
It's there I will go

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Future Verdict ~ Ada Cambridge

Ada Cambridge - not one of poetry's most familiar names, but a prolific poet and novelist of late 19th early 20th century. She was born in Norfolk, England into a fairly well-to do and deeply religious family, married a minister of the Church of England, Rev. George Frederick Cross. They emigrated to Australia soon afterwards. As a clergyman's wife in the Australian Bush, in those days, life was hard. They moved home frequently. Several of her children died in childhood, or later. There's an interesting piece, her obituary, re-printed from the Sydney Morning Herald of July 1926.

In spite of all her duties, her griefs and travails, Ada Cambridge still found time to write. Though a dutiful wife, she developed many misgivings about religion, and about married life, some of which eventually spilled out into her poetry as Unspoken Thoughts, much to the distress of her husband.

After her husband's death she returned to England for a time, but eventually went back to Australia and her remaining family. She died in 1926.

Born on 21 November 1844, with Sun in late Scorpio (emotional and intuitive), Mercury in early Sagittarius. Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius was in harmonious trine to Sun from Pisces. This blend of Jupter/Sagittarius/Pisces reflects well her connection to religion and long-distance travel - both connect strongly to Jupiter and Sagittarius. With no time of birth known, Moon's exact position isn't clear, but it'd be in Aries and more than likely opposing Mars and/or Venus in Libra: a reflection, perhaps, of her unspoken discontent.

Her poem, below, isn't one of her unspoken thoughts, but it's one which uncannily echoes the spoken and unspoken thoughts of many today:

The Future Verdict
by Ada Cambridge

How will our unborn children scoff at us
In the good years to come —
The happier years to come —
For that, like driven sheep, we yielded thus,
Before the shearers dumb!

I know the words their wiser lips will say; —
“These men had gained the light,
These women knew the right;
They had their chance and let it slip away.
They did not when they might.

“They were the first to hear the gospel preached,
And to believe therein —
Yet they remained in sin;
They saw the Promised Land they might have reached,
And dared not enter in.

“They might have won their freedom, had they tried;
No savage laws forbade —
For them the way was made.
“They might have had the joys for which they cried;
And yet they shrank, afraid.

“Afraid to face an honourable shame,
The most they had to pay —
Of what the world would say —
Not of the martyr's portion, rack and flame.
Great God! what fools were they!”

And oh! could we look backward from those years
When we have ceased to be,
This wasted chance to see,
Should we not also cry, with bitter tears,
“Alas! what fools were we!”

Saturday, May 29, 2010


The Sun is travelling through zodiac sign Gemini now, the sign depicted by twins or pairs. So... a look at a couple of pairs, as astrological atmosphere is right for it:
1)a pair who look (a little) like twins - or at least brothers
2) a pair who are astrological twins.

1) We noticed this look-alikeness when watching a DVD of the movie 21 Grams recently - argued all the way through: "is it---isn't it?" Too lazy to get up, put on the light and reading glasses to look at the DVD jacket, of course. It was, actually, Benicio del Toro, and not Brad all dirtied up.

Brad Pitt & Benicio del Toro

In the movie~

2) A pair who were astrological twins, and married too. Christo & Jean-Claude, creators of environmental art. If you've watched much TV recently you'll have noticed an AT&T advert where architecture is being draped with orange silks - that's not the work of these two, but it's based upon it - plagiarised, some say.

Jean-Claude sadly died last year. Both were born on 13 June 1935, he in Bulgaria, she in Morocco. A matched pair born with Sun in Gemini.

Samples of their work~
The Wrapping of the Reichstag (former German parliament building)

Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Arty Farty Friday ~ Walter Sickert & Jack the Ripper

Walter Sickert, German-born painter, teacher and art critic, raised in England, was born 31 May, 1860. He has been suggested as responsible for the Jack the Ripper murders in London, mainly by novelist Patricia Cornwell who spent gobs of money obtaining DNA from his paintings, having it compared to DNA from a letter allegedly writter by "the Ripper". Result has been proved inconclusive. Details in a 2005 piece by James Parker at Boston Globe.

Sickert is certainly a seductive candidate for the Ripper role. An evasive, protean man, with a taste for squalor and a habit of skulking around London's East End, he took a keen interest in the Ripper murders.
He painted a series of crepuscular Ripper-themed works, including one titled "Jack the Ripper's Bedroom," and liked to spook his models by wearing a red Ripper scarf. And Cornwell established, at vast expense, a far-from-conclusive DNA link between Sickert and one or two letters allegedly written by the Ripper.

The twin pillars of her argument however, were psychological and circumstantial. Sickert, in her rendering, was a bohemian psychopath born with a genital fistula "requiring surgeries when he was a toddler that would have left him disfigured if not mutilated" (and driven to murder as a consequence). Additionally, she claimed that it couldn't be proved that Sickert was not in London in August 1888, when the Ripper was at the bloody peak of his activities.
In his postscript, however, Sturgis quietly produces evidence that those childhood "surgeries" were not, in fact, for a genital fistula, and that far from stalking the gaslit alleys in August 1888, Sickert was holidaying in France with his mother. So Sickert passes into the realm of purely fantastical Ripperology, where he will dwell alongside fellow "suspects" Prince Albert and Lewis Carroll.
Theorising on crimes so long past, and using persons so long gone as potential culprits, might provide conspiracy theorists with hours of fun, but to my mind this is neither a healthy nor admirable pastime - but it probably sells books!

Walter Sickert was born in Germany, his father and grandfather were artists, his mother, said to be the illegitimate daughter of English astronomer Richard Sheepshanks, was in receipt of monies from a relative, and was likely the family's mainstay financially. The Sickerts moved to England in 1868. Walter's sister Helena became a writer and champion of women's rights. His own first choice of career was the theatre, but this seemingly didn't take off. He began studying art as assistant to James McNeill Whistler. Later, in Paris he met and was strongly influenced by, Edgar Degas.

Sickert's best known style depicts sombre indoor scenarios, aspects of theatre, or of London's Camden Town's sleazier, seedy corners, featuring prostitutes or showgirls. His general style is classed as British Impressionism.


Born on 31 May 1860 in Munich, Germany. No time of birth available, so 12 noon chart shown below.

Walter Sickert is reported to have been "cosmopolitan and eccentric...favored ordinary people and urban scenes as his subjects". It's not hard to identify "eccentric" in this natal chart! Uranus, planet of eccentricity sandwiched between Sun and Mercury (at the very center of his self and the way his mind worked, forming a stellium (cluster) in Gemini the communcation sign.

Venus, planet of the arts is conjunct Jupiter in Cancer, sign of sensitivity and sentimentality. Being translated in this context = Jupiter's exaggerating tendencies coming through Sickert's painting style. Jupiter is normally thought of as bright and benign though. In his case I'd say there's a exaggeratedly dismal quality to much of his painting. Cancer also connects to a tendency to withdraw into a home base - in much of his work, Sickert has depicted this - albeit a rather seedy home scene peopled by ladies who "did what they had to do" to get by.

I'm a bit surprised not to find Pluto more closely involved. Moon at 12 noon was in late Libra - if Sickert were born after 4pm Moon would have moved into Scorpio, which seems to me to be quite apt for the dark atmosphere he often portrayed.

Images of Sickert's paintings don't tranlate too well on-line. I guess this is one instance where "you have to be there" - at an exhibition, I mean. Here are a few examples:





Thursday, May 27, 2010

Astrologers' Words of Wisdom

Words of wisdom from Robert Hand, one of today's most highly respected astrologers, from his book Essays on Astrology (published 1982). The following brief quote closes essay number 13, and the book. The essay is titled The Age and Constellation of Pisces.

We have masses of people in both the Islamic and Christian world who have reverted to the oldest, least rational and probably least conscious form of religious expression that their religions have to offer. They do so out of a sense that the new order has undermined basic human values that they hold important. And they are right. But at the same time they unleash forces of aggression, intolerance and inhumanity as they seek to preserve an aspect of their humanity from new forces............

We need a new way of looking at the world that trancends the limitations of the entire Piscean age, not merely the latest part of it. It must go beyond Good and Evil, beyond the limited idea of history and beyond the terrible split between Humanity and Nature. The goals must be consciousness and love. The first allows us to see what truly is and the second allows us to embrace it joyfully. If we have nearly nine hundred years of the era of the west fish (Pisces) to go through before we completely reach the Age of Aquarius, then we have nothing better to do than to infuse history with love and consciousness.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wenesday Woo-Woo ~ Jacques Vallee

Blog buddy, Anthony North of Beyond the Blog suggested I take a look at Jacques Vallee for this Woo series. So......

Jacques Vallee (in a nutshell from UFO Watchdog's UFO Hall of Fame):

Astro Physicist, Author, Investigator, Silicon Valley computer scientist, author of numerous UFO books including Anatomy of a Phenomenon, Passport to Magonia, Challenge to Science, Messenger of Deception, and Dimensions among other historical UFO books. Testified at UN hearings stating that serious study was needed regarding UFOs, was reportedly the model for the government scientist in the move Close Encounter of the Third Kind, worked closely with Dr. Hynek.
Vallee initially supported the extraterrestrial hypothesis on the origin of UFOs, but was one of the first to change his mind. In Passport to Magonia he suggests the UFO Phenomenon has much in common with fairies, angels, ghosts, and other paranormal issues and that the sheer number of UFO sightings argues against their extra-planetary origins. In fact, he seems to believe in an Inter or Multi dimensional aspect to UFOs which would indicate they co-exist with us.

There's much more at Wikipedia. In an even smaller nutshell though, Vallee thinks UFOs could be looked on as windows to other dimensions, manipulated by intelligent, often mischievous, always enigmatic beings - as yet unknown to us, of course. As Vallee puts it himself, "I will be disappointed if UFOs turn out to be nothing more than spaceships."

I've oft surmised that UFOs could be visitors not from outer space, but from another dimension about which we currently know nothing. Vallee's theory is rather more subtle though. He had this to say in his book Passport to Magonia - reported at UFO Evidence

When the underlying archetypes are extracted," he wrote, "the saucer myth is seen to coincide to a remarkable degree with the fairy-faith of Celtic countries … religious miracles… and the widespread belief among all peoples concerning entities whose physical and psychological descriptions place them in the same category as the present-day ufonauts.

When I speak of a control system for planet earth," he says, " I do not want my words to be misunderstood: I do not mean that some higher order of beings has locked us inside the constraints of a space-bound jail, closely monitored by psychic entities we might call angels or demons. I do not propose to redefine God. What I do mean is that mythology rules at a level of our social reality over which normal political and intellectual action has no power….

Yes....well, I'm lost already! A little further investigation turned up the theories of another scientist, Nick Bostrom who suspects that we may be living in some kind of simulation - computer simulation. I'm not surprised that some other UFO researchers, scientists also, became so disoriented as to commit suicide:
From the interview with Vallee at UFO Evidence, linked above:

Vallee:For another thing you don't want to go around chasing every UFO that's reported. If a sighting gets a lot of publicity, you should stay the hell away from it. Instead you should go after cases that you select yourself, ones that have received very little publicity and you've heard about through personal channels...........
Clark: Are you suggesting that the investigator should attempt to experience the phenomenon himself?

Vallee: Yes, I think that's sound scientific practice.

Clark: But isn't that rather dangerous - in the sense that there's a real risk the investigator, even if he is emotionally stable and intellectually sophisticated, might be overwhelmed by the experiences involved?

Vallee: Yes, there are dangers. Witness what happened to Morris Jessup or to Jim McDonald. But I think that now we're more aware of what the dangers are. Once you realize the phenomenon may be deliberately misleading, then you can use certain safeguards. I'm not saying that safeguards are always going to work. There is an element of danger you really can't avoid. There's no way to do that kind of study just by reading books.

It's a little bit like the study of volcanoes. You can learn a lot about them by watching them from a distance but you certainly learn a lot more when you can be right there - even if it's somewhat risky.

I called up Wikipedia's pages on the two names mentioned, Jessup and McDonald and find that both men, serious scientists, interested in UFO research and/or The Philadelphia Experiment committed suicide.

This is getting a little weird, even for my tastes! Let's look at Vallee's natal chart.

Jacques Vallee was born in Pontoise, France on 24 September 1939. A 12 noon chart must suffice as no time of birth is available.

Why am I not surprised to see Neptune so close to Vallee's natal Sun, Mercury and Venus? Granted it's not in Libra as they are, it's in adjacent sign Virgo, but within orb (acceptable limit) of 7 degrees, to be considered conjunct Sun. Sun conjunct Neptune is often found in the charts of creative people - artists and writers especially. Neptune is planet of creativity, illusion, dreams, imagination, fog, delusion. Close to the Sun (essence of the personality) Neptune's characteristics are going to be clearly prominent in that person's nature. In Vallee's case, as in the case of his whole generation Uranus lay in harmonious trine to Neptune, drawing in Uranian traits of the avant garde, everything futuristic, inventive, quirky, whacky, rebellious to the already creative blend of Neptune/Sun.

Whatever time of day Vallee was born Moon would have been in Aquarius.
Add to the above Sun/Neptune/Uranus mix a natal Moon in Aquarius, Fixed sign of Airy intellect rulership of Uranus - and you have potential for exactly what we read about Jacques Vallee.

Remembering that, as well as a UFO theorist, Vallee is well-respected in science, astronomy, physics and computer technology, as well as in venture capitalism, I need to see what Saturn is doing in his chart. Saturn represents all the sciences, mathematics and business matters. Saturn here is in the last degree of Aries, in square (challenging) aspect to both Mars and Pluto, these two planets being in opposition. Astrologers call a configuration such as this a T-square. It's thought to indicate tension, obstacles and challenges as a way of life for the native, but - on the bright side - it also provides abundant drive and energy with which to overcome those challenges. Saturn, being the planet at the apex of this configuration is a particularly potent driving force in the life of Jacques Vallee.

"Skeptics, who flatly deny the existence of any unexplained phenomenon in the name of 'rationalism,' are among the primary contributors to the rejection of science by the public. People are not stupid and they know very well when they have seen something out of the ordinary. When a so-called expert tells them the object must have been the moon or a mirage, he is really teaching the public that science is impotent or unwilling to pursue the study of the unknown." (Vallee, J., Confrontations, New York: Ballantine Books, 1990.)
Jacques Vallee writes occasionally at Boing Boing website. Here's a link to his piece from earlier this year on the topic of crop circles.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TODAY IS......

25 May - Towel Day and American Idol finale competition day...both! American Idol needs no further explanation from me, other than a sigh of extreme relief that it'll soon be over. Towel Day might not be as well-known in the USA (or maybe it is?) Wikipedia will explain.

I can't allow this 25 May to go by without remembering one of my favourite authors: Douglas Adams on his special day, created by fans in 2001, a couple of weeks after his untimely death.
"A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough"(Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Douglas Adams had Sun in imaginative Pisces, Venus in Aquarius, and Aquarius's ruler: whacky Uranus right on his ascending degree in Cancer, the strongest point in the chart. His whacky imaginings knew no bounds!

How to amalgamate these two entities though? American Idol and Douglas Adams? I feel certain he'd have found a way to do it, and would've been able to write a whole book about the manic wonderland that is American Idol.

Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyse compete for the crown tonight. Crystal has led the field from the start, Lee has come up from way outside, spurred and whipped on by judges and producers. In previous posts, accessible by clicking on American Idol in the Label Cloud (sidebar @ right), I've looked at their natal charts and assessed their chances. It's impossible to guess tonight's outcome, bearing in mind some obvious manipulation by the programme's producers. So.... "Break a leg, y'all."

Crystal has Sun in Leo, and Lee has Sun in Aries (if Wikipedia is correct on both counts), both Fiery Suns, both competitive and wanting to lead. Both have a planet close to an angle of the chart for tomorrow night's announcement of the winner - they are well-matched.

In honour of Towel Day, I'll bring in Douglas Adams, via quotation, to leave messages for American Idol:

"Everybody has their moment of great opportunity in life. If you happen to miss the one you care about, then everything else becomes eerily easy."

"And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before--and thus was the Empire forged."

To Casey James So long - and thanks for all the fish!(the message left by the dolphins when they departed Planet Earth just before it was demolished to make way for a hyperspatial express route). And see below for more on
Casey who is all set to zoom along that express route to success, unfettered by the Idol crown.

Lee: He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.
Everything was ready, everything was prepared. He knew where his towel was.

She had a look at herself in the mirror in the elevator lobby while she was waiting. She looked cool and in charge, and if she could fool herself she could fool anybody. If life had taught her anything it was this: Never go back for your bag.
"There," he said. "Three-leaf clover. Good luck you see." He peered at it closely to check that it was a real three-leaf clover and not just a regular four-leaf one that one of the leaves had fallen off.

To the judges: "Shee, you guys are so unhip it's a wonder your bums don't fall off."

And at the end of the finale results show - tomorrow night, when Ryan Seacrest is about to announce the winner:
There was a long silence, during which they thought they could feel the Universe age a little.

More from Casey James:

And before American Idol

Monday, May 24, 2010

Music Monday ~ Dr. Hook & Shel Silverstein

There was so much more to enjoy musically in the 1970s, and '80s. What happened? I got older, then old, I guess. Even allowing for that inevitability, and trying hard to be objective, today's music scene is anaemic and limp, at best, compared to back then. Lady Gag-Ga's shenanigans may be engaging enough to watch, but who's going to be humming her tunes on the way to work - eh? Nowadays we are expected to watch music as well as listen. Lyrics, as well as melody, have gone by the board (that should be bored!)Have all the good songs already been written?

Time for a little nostalgia.

Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, later known as just Dr Hook - a fun rock band who, with the help of many songs written by the late Shel Silverstein, became internationally famous during the 1970's until mid '80s when the band broke up. The two vocalists pursued solo careers.

The band originated in the pubs and clubs of Union City, New Jersey. Names of founding member George Cummings, Billy Francis (keyboards), Rik Elswit (guitar), Joey Oliveri (drums) have been lost in the mists of time, but vocalist Ray Sawyer (the one with the eye patch - result of a car accident) and Dennis Locorriere - he of the wistful voice on Sylvia's Mother, both retain solo careers - though with nothing like the acclaim they received in their Dr. Hook days. Dennis now lives, and still tours, in the UK. Ray tours in the USA and Canada.

Dr Hook, the band was first known for crazy on-stage antics and whacky humor . No doubt this is why Shel Silverstein felt a certain rapport with them and their style. Shel wrote a string of rather bawdy songs for the boys e.g. Roland The Roadie, Gertrude The Groupie, and better known The Cover Of Rolling Stone which later materialised! Soon though, both band and Shel(left) calmed down and produced some beautiful love songs and ballads - my personal favourites: songs such as More Like the Movies, A Couple More Years, Ballad of Lucy Jordan, and Sylvia's Mother. The band had other, non-Silverstein hits, of course, but without Shel's genius, I doubt we'd still recall Dr. Hook today.

There's more on Shel Silverstein in an archived post of mine:
"Man & Star....."

Ray and Dennis as they look now:

No times of birth available, so charts below are set for 12 noon.

Astrology throws up a strong hint of the compatibility between these two vocalists and the songwriter: all have Sun in Air signs - one from each, as it happens. Shel - Libra; Ray Aquarius; Dennis Gemini.

As well as easy rapport via Airy Suns, each has Venus, planet of music and the arts in a Water sign (Dennis: Venus in Cancer, Ray: Venus in Pisces, Shel: Venus in Scorpio)- Water signs are the most emotionally driven and creative of the signs, so no surprise that these three were often on the same wavelength. Interpreting Shel's songs seemed to come as second-nature to the vocalists of Dr Hook.

Ray's Moon would be in Libra whatever his birth time, and very compatible with Shel's natal Sun. Dennis's natal Moon could be in Capricorn, or in Aquarius if born in the evening, 7 PM or later - I'd bet on Aquarius, compatible with both Ray's natal Sun and Moon, and Shel's natal Sun.

MORE LIKE THE MOVIES by Shel Silverstein - performed by Dr. HOOK

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Supplement ~ Sandburg on People

Carl Sandburg's natal chart can be viewed HERE. He's a blend of Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces: common-sense intellectual with a love of humanity and boundless creativity. His astrology comes through well in these two pieces. The first, an excerpt from a 300-page long poem which also contains the well-remebered line: "Someday they'll give a war and nobody will come."

Excerpt from a long poem,
THE PEOPLE, YES by Carl Sandburg.

The people know the salt of the sea
and the strength of the winds
lashing the corners of the earth.
The people take the earth
as a tomb of rest and a cradle of hope.
Who else speaks for the Family of Man?
They are in tune and step
with constellations of universal law.
The people is a polychrome,
a spectrum and a prism
held in a moving monolith,
a console organ of changing themes,
a clavilux of color poems
wherein the sea offers fog
and the fog moves off in rain
and the labrador sunset shortens
to a nocturne of clear stars
serene over the shot spray
of northern lights.

The steel mill sky is alive.
The fire breaks white and zigzag
shot on a gun-metal gloaming.
Man is a long time coming.
Man will yet win.
Brother may yet line up with brother:

This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.
There are men who can't be bought.
The fireborn are at home in fire.
The stars make no noise,
You can't hinder the wind from blowing.
Time is a great teacher.
Who can live without hope?

In the darkness with a great bundle of grief
the people march.
In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people march:
"Where to? What next?"

MASSES by Carl Sandburg

Among the mountains I wandered and saw blue haze and red crag and was amazed;

On the beach where the long push under the endless tide maneuvers, I stood silent;

Under the stars on the prairie watching the Dipper slant over the horizon’s grass, I was full of thoughts.

Great men, pageants of war and labor, soldiers and workers, mothers lifting their children—these all I touched, and felt the solemn thrill of them.

And then one day I got a true look at the Poor, millions of the Poor, patient and toiling; more patient than crags, tides, and stars; innumerable, patient as the darkness of night—and all broken, humble ruins of nations.