The Trout, by Franz Schubert
at river source
tiny egg hatches
tiny fish swims around
grows and eats
eats and grows
it’s time to go
The fish finally reaches the bay
where it stays and changes
adapts to salty ocean water,
grows silver scales
and in late Spring
enters the ocean
joins other smolt
in a school
to swim and eat
after four years
finds the bay again
enters and begins the
hard journey upstream
bears, otters, people
and the cycle
When you’re feelin’ blue,
When you’re feelin’ down,
And the usual just won’t do,
Just erase your frown.
Get up out of bed,
Make yourself just rise,
Jump up, touch your toes,
Go outside, open up your eyes.
See the sun and the blue sky,
Stop your constant asking why,
It’s clear now after the rain,
Why should you complain?
Get to work then right away,
Go out to face a new day.
Don’t just stew inside and sit,
Go out and just grab it.
Chase those blues away,
Yeah, chase those blues away.
Clear your head, open your eyes,
Today is a brand new day.
Baby, chase those blues away.
Song of the Tugboat
Tugger was a little tugboat
With a pretty light blue coat.
Tugged and towed the livelong day
Up and down the Richmond Bay
One day she grew tired and said,
“Oh, my poor aching head.
Why must I work every day,
While the sailboats lazily play?
People cheer when the cruise ship
Glides into its narrow slip,
They ignore that I was the one
Led it there during their fun.
They don’t even know my name,
The cruise ship has all the fame.
And the tanker, even barge
Are respected ‘cuz they’re large.”
Later, Tugger had finished her day
When she saw a sailboat on the Bay.
As she slowly chugged past
She saw it on a sandbar, stuck fast.
“I must go help them”, she said,
“Even though it’s time for bed,
For that is what tugboats do
Help whenever help is due.”
Tugger went to offer a line
But the people said, “You are so kind
Can’t we ride with you instead?
That sailboat now fills us with dread.”
“Of course,” Tugger then replied,
As her heart near burst with pride.
So the people boarded the tug
As each one gave the boat a hug.
And they partied all the way back,
As Tugger gamely took up the slack,
There was food, drink, music too,
Provided by the tug’s great crew.
When they reached land, they all shouted “Yay,
Hooray for Tugger who saved the day.”
“They knew my name,” Tugger said with pride,
She was so glad she had given them a ride.
And no longer angry, no longer sad,
The next day she worked quite glad,
Now the people knew her name,
And she was a boat of some fame.
The Choice is Yours and Mine
We are weak and frail,
Life is struggle and pain,
Such are our givens, out lost.
We have a mind and will,
And where there's thought and resolve
Our givens need not prevail.
The choice is yours and mine,
Not act and do not whine!
Je Suis d'Accord
Immer höher muss ich steigen,
Immer weiter muss ich sehen.
Das leicht Errungene widert mir,
Nur das Erzwungene ergötzt mich schier."
So did Goethe write in rhyme,
Far away and once upon a time.
My renditions's feeble, limp and tame,
But the gist is really quite the same:
"Ever higher must I clamber,
Ever farther must I peer.
The easily wrestled leaves me undone,
Only the challenging accords me fun."
To Do or Not To Do
Worm and squirm or Sit and spit
Toil and roil or Mutter and sputter
Nurse and curse or Grumble and bumble
Give and live or Name and blame
Prevail and sail or Blink and sink
The choice is yours!
Achievers are a restless lot, strivers who are never content and doers who never achieve enough and never stop trying to achieve. They are our makers and shakers and they never stop worming and squirming and/or flailing and thrashing.
Achievement is the achiever's way of life!
This can be a blessing or a curse or both.
See, feel, think and do,
As focussed and as tense as possible.
Accept and celebrate, reject and castigate,
Don't just sit and vacantly stare,
Don't just sigh an awful day.
Don' just wince and find a chair,
Don't just yearn for sleep and oblivion,
Don't turn your back upon life and self.
Savor being and spend yourself!
Better to burn your candles at both ends
Than to have no flame at all!
What did you make of yourself?
What did you do for society?
What will you bequest posterity?
Word of Wisdom from JM
Everybody can do better, even the best.
Some plants grow best in rocky soils, as do some humans in bitter toil.
To stoke or to damp? The choice is yours.
Persistence is a lever for every endeavor.
Hard won, thoroughly appreciated.
Píccola practices persistence, keeping at it until she finally reaches the treat. Persistence brings rewards.
May: Swimming Upstream
The poets are both moralists at heart. So the next few posts will be moralistic. This month features focus and persistence in the face of challenges, two qualities often necessary for success. JM particularly has shown these qualities as he rose up from the steel company town to go to the University, then Harvard, then become a professor. In retirement, his persistence continued as he wrote five books and he is still at it. Animals know persistence. The journey upriver of the salmon is nothing short of amazing. And the tugboat, while not alive, embodies the work ethic, a life of toil and service.
Gail W. MacDonald
5/21/2018 06:02:13 pm
Midi - what an inspiring topic this month! Life is indeed filled with difficulties but we must soldier on. JM has accomplished an amazing life - surmounting obstacles through hard work (plus brains, obviously). And spawning fish, like migrating birds, are certainly one of Nature's miracles and not yet totally understood.
12/16/2018 08:23:30 pm
Swimming is the best thing to do, especially since the summer season has become. I think that this year's summer has been the hottest one yet. I have heard on the news that it has risen to an unimaginable level of heat, which is unheard of. It is really a struggle to stay hydrated in this time of the year. I believe the swimming is one of the many recreational activities that we can do to fend of the hot summer.
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