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Richard Walker

Chess and Loss Haiku

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 20 Sept 2015, 02:04

Scritch scratch at my window.

A sharp clawed one seeking entry.

I must brush up my endgame first.


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Richard Walker

New blog post

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 20 Sept 2015, 01:30

Shit.

I dropped some poems in the lane.

Where I hope someone finds them.

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Richard Walker

Chariots of Freya

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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 18 Sept 2015, 02:04

Somehow I came upon this fascinating cat-lore.

Norse deity Freya rode in a chariot drawn by two cats: "kõttum tveim" in Old Icelandic. The illustration captures their robust spirit well, I feel.

No necessary

Credit: Ludwig Pietsch, 1865

In the Old Icelandic literature Freya's team are also called "fressa", which probably means "tomcats", who don't piss about. But "fressa" may also mean "bears" though, big guys, and so there was a scholarly debate in the mid 1800s (involving people like Jakob Grimm, of the fairy tales, for example). The modern view supports cats (of course).

I wondered if Freya's cats had names (like Santa's reindeer). One source claimed they were called "Bygul" and "Trejgul" and that may be: I haven't read the Icelandic Eddas. I was doubtful though, because in Latin there are names "Biga" and "Triga": which mean—guess what?—nothing to do with cats. It's the number of wheels on a wagon (i.e. chariot), 2 or 3.

So maybe "Bygul" and "Trejgul" are just a clever joke. I don't know. But then you see the idea that of a Goddess in a chariot pulled by big cats goes back further than the Norse sagas. There are illustrations from Greek and Roman times that show what are plainly leopards and tigers pulling the chariots of the goddesses and gods.

Some of the 19th scholars suggested that Freya's chariot may not have been pulled by north European cats (not even the awesome Norwegian Forest Cats) but by big cats, based on rumors passed on by traders and storytellers who moved between the Mediterranean and northern Europe. It's a long journey but cat power may have made it possible.

Freya's chariot of cats still lives today, as you can see in the clip. This would be a "Quintiga".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lceSo10_d9Q





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Richard Walker

Clerihew

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 16 Sept 2015, 00:15

Renee Descartes

Awoke with a start.

"I need a pee,

Donc je suis!"


READ MORE

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-philosophical-implications-of-the-urge-to-urinate/

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Richard Walker

Autumn Wind Haiku

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The wind in my hair

And one group of stars.

Hard to get home this autumn.

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Richard Walker

The Ascent of Snail

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 14 Sept 2015, 02:12

Go snail, go!

I've superglued the message to your shell.

"Respectfully, Olympians,

We are not impressed."

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Richard Walker

Clerihew

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 14 Sept 2015, 02:23

Sigmund Freud

Was easily annoyed.

Such a big grouch

When he had you on the couch.

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Richard Walker

Hesiod

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Edited by Richard Walker, Saturday, 12 Sept 2015, 00:29

Wanting to write about autumn I thought: that many haiku are written in a simple and forthright way. That reminded me of Hesiod. Of course my grasp of Ancient Greek is very little but I have often read "Works and Days" in translation, and thought I'd try to capture something of the style he uses. This is a rather free version of one of his verses.

Skip that shitwreck

Don't fly off under sail

When autumn is late, dark

Our wine a thin no-hoper.



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Richard Walker

Leaf Haiku

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 10 Sept 2015, 03:30

When I'm burned

All the winds will fight

over my ashes.


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Richard Walker

T.S. Eliot's Cookery Year

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 9 Sept 2015, 02:38


1. THE WASTE LAMB

SOUPTEMBER is the gruellest month, brothing     

Lentils up with the dead lamb, mixing     

Mulligatawnny and dhal, stirring     

Dull stews with autumn grain.


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Richard Walker

Blurred

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Reading glasses

Expand your horizons.


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Richard Walker

Mad Rainbow Haiku

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 7 Sept 2015, 03:43

The rainbow's like

The work of a mad painter.

Who always gets it right.

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Richard Walker

Chicken Haiku

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Don't laugh at the chicken

It knows best.

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Richard Walker

please embrace autumn

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autumn (now)
   makes any reasonable person
cry
   (a little anyhow)

still its sadness
can make us
happier. (a bit)
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Richard Walker

Epitaph for an Actor

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 2 Sept 2015, 00:30

You're on.

Then you're gone.

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Richard Walker

Epitaph for a Novelist

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 31 Aug 2015, 23:40
"THE END",

He penn'd.

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Richard Walker

The Relic

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 31 Aug 2015, 01:50
It's true, I collected words.
From the last living speaker of Giant.
Who remembered the stories well.

Each morning I swam to the island.
From far off I heard her rumble
"Come ashore, little one".

"I will tell you more greedy words,
Then our people shall not entirely die.
Your people at least will know something."

I sorted the fragments like seashells,
So now you are welcome to read them.
With your glass case eyes.
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Richard Walker

Cobweb Haiku

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 30 Aug 2015, 02:35

Entering an old house,

Cobwebs tug at you.

Like memories.

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Richard Walker

Tiny Poems

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The shortest poem I know is "Be happy", in ancient Greek "Xere". This is inscribed on many tombstones from the Hellenistic era, and I admire the way the dead person passes their blessing to the living.

This made me think about the meaning of the word "Verkënnen" that I mentioned a post or two back. I like it because of the emphasis on gradualness and because I have always liked the idea that time may bring us better understanding.

In itself it is a poem.

But can it be translated into other languages, as a poem, rather then literally as in the earlier post?




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Richard Walker

Consolation

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This blogging platform is very limited and that's an irritation quite often.

But some of my favorite watercolorists used a basic palette and working within those constraints made the artists concerned more creative.

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Richard Walker

Lingo the book

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I'm reading a Lingo: Language Spotter's Guide, by Gaston Dorren.

(Aside: I think we word spotters should be called worders.)

I like the book very much. It taught me a word I've been missing lately. It's from Luxembourgish.

Verkënnen - "to gradually experience the effects of old age in body and mind".

Isn't that rather beautiful?

PS Verkënnen means something related but a bit different in German and Dutch.



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Richard Walker

Double decker

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While I think of it:

"Of course I won't marry you!", she bridled unengagingly.

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Richard Walker

Croakers

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 26 Aug 2015, 01:03

A Croaker is similar to a Tom Switfie but with a verb instead of an adverb.

The form gets its name from this example, which was invented by Mr and Mrs Bongartz.

"I'm dying", Tom croaked.

Croakers seem hard to invented but I came up with these.

"The divorce was very costly!", Tom exclaimed.
"Me, addicted to cocaine?", Tom snorted.
"I've got a red-hot tip for the 2:30", Tom asserted.
"Smile for the camera!", Tom snapped.
"This soft toy is totally under my control", Tom ranted.

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Richard Walker

Tom Swifties

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Tom Swifties are a form of humorous wordplay. For example:

Go to the rear of the ship at once", said Tom sternly.

"Who left the toilet seat down?", asked Tom peevishly.

Here's a few I came up with:

"I marked your answer wrong", said Tom crossly.

"Life itself is a game of chance", explained Tom winsomely.

"One day all this will be yours", Tom stated willingly.

"Calculate the average for yourself!", snarled Tom meanly.

"They insist on keeping me in overnight", Tom snapped impatiently.

"I think I've sprained my ankle", muttered Tom disjointedly.

"I prefer to live in an apartment", answered Tom flatly.

"I'm counting how many pots of tea you lot make", Tom pointed out brutally.

"What's for afters?", asked Tom sweetly.

"Sorry, your answer was correct after all", Tom remarked.

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Richard Walker

Freedom air

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 24 Aug 2015, 02:58

Cod: Found in compounds such as: 'Codwrangle', 'Codratic Seaquation", etc.
Crab: Seas.
Crevette: Posh necktie.
Eel: Dickensian: See cure.
Fish: Dickensian: Aspiration.
Herring: Sounds like.
Lobster: Lember of a lob.
Mussel: Likely to do well on eBay.
Plaice: Pretentious dramas.
Ray: Limp cheer.
Scampi: Deceitful pee.
Shad: Abbr. She formerly had.
Trout: Doh reh.
Whelk: Informal: No thanks expected.
Whiting: A form of communication.

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