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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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Richard Walker

Clerihew

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 23 Aug 2015, 04:24

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti

Refused to use his potty.

When he began scribbling on the ceiling

His parents considered that more appealing.


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Richard Walker

A Messenger from Inside

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 20 Aug 2015, 01:25

John Hull wrote "Touching the Rock”.

If you want to feel blindness, read this book. We can never understand anything by covering our eyes.


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Richard Walker

On a hot day, the door being open

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 19 Aug 2015, 01:02

On a hot day, the door being open

A Robin flew briefly into my kitchen.

Perched on the back of a chair.

I froze. From where I sat its legs were so slender

That I wondered how they could support even that tiny weight.

When my Robin glanced around, I even (stupidly),

Thought it might see me as a friend.

And not be afraid as it flew away.

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Richard Walker

Existence

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Peeing in a corner,

A cat.

Or a Buddhist.

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Richard Walker

Sigmund and I

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015, 00:42

Recently I've had a bad spell of Meralgia paresthetica (from? Greek meros=thigh + algos=pain + para=around + aistheme=I feel. I guessed some bits but that's the idea.)

It's a very strange and uncomfortable sensation on the outside of the thigh. For me, it's like having something very heavy and clunky in your pocket, always weighing on the thigh, not exactly hurting -- but sort of -- even though the pocket is completely empty.

It's caused by a particular nerve being pinched as it radiates from the spinal chord to the thigh itself. I've had this from time to time since the 70s but it flares up now and then.

Poor me. But then I read that Sigmund Freud had the same condition, so I am in illustrious company.

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Richard Walker

Pavlova's dogs

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 17 Aug 2015, 02:44
The feet of a famous ballerina

I couldn't resist this.



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Richard Walker

A Week of Pundays

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 16 Aug 2015, 02:13

Munchday
Cheeseday
Wafflesday
Thirsty
Friesday
Snacksday
Bunday

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Richard Walker

A Walled Garden

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Oh Mrs Rib and Mr Dust

How shall we know who we can trust?

When the gardener standing by

Has set a trap for you and I.

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Richard Walker

About 'The Fair Queen'

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This poem brings together the dream marriage scene from Roy Andersson's "You, the Living" and an ancient legend and ballad "Thomas the Rhymer".

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Richard Walker

The Fair Queen of Elfland

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015, 01:12
There I was, waiting, as a pilgrim.
For the procession to cross the rainbow bridge.

      To my astonishment.

You picked me from the crowd. Ran down and drew me up.
Kissed me on the lips. Everyone clapped and cheered.

      They wished us so much happiness.

But I must never speak again.
Except as a blind prophet.
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Richard Walker

On The Rainbow Bridge

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015, 02:20

Last night at sunset I saw a beautiful iridescent cloud, the best example I have ever witnessed.

Sunset sky with a bright iridesent cloud

The photo was taken from my mobile phone and gives no idea at all really, but I hope you can just about see that the shiny cloud in the middle displays a range of bright pastel colours, rather like mother-of-pearl.

These clouds are quite rare. They are caused by sunlight shining through clouds whose water droplets (or ice crystals) are all the same size in any small part of the cloud but vary in size between one part of the cloud and another. They act a bit like an oil-slick on a puddle.

Atmospheric optics are an interest of mine. The most familiar example is a rainbow, but there are many others. Sun dogs are commoner than rainbows, but less conspicuous so many people have never noticed one. But as soon as you become aware of them, perhaps just from a single example, you learn to recognize the cloud conditions when it's worth trying to spot a sun dog.

Here is a gallery of remarkable photos of iridescent clouds.

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Richard Walker

Autumn

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 10 Aug 2015, 02:12

Leaves, why look back

Shouldn't we look forward?

Homesickness.
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Richard Walker

Death and Transfiguration

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 10 Aug 2015, 01:01

When the head stuck out of the glacier
There was consternation
But looking into the records carefully preserved
Carefully preserved by the bureaucracy of the time.

They had an inkling of who it might be
So they sent down in to the valleys for ideas.

After time and search they found me.
Did I want to come up there or them to me?
They thought it was my father. I ascended. He was so young.


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Richard Walker

Gone

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A very mild man

So polite

Always drank the weakest beer and

never bitter.

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Richard Walker

Report on migrant 0425

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 9 Aug 2015, 04:27
About 0425

Iraheta Guardado, 37, from Honduras (murder rate 45 x US). Husband killed in cross-fire some years ago, mother supports two young children.

Tired of violence, hoping to send money home, Iraheta decides to emigrate to the USA, to join her sister working in New York. Chooses risk of crossing the border illegally to escape violence and help family.

Crossing 15 June 2012

Group of immigrants enter Texas. Iraheta faints after 75 miles, others press on.

Remains found 13 days later, scattered by predators. Some possessions recovered from vicinity: backpack, toothbrush, Doritos, can insect repellent. No ID. Unidentified body number 0425 buried in nearest town.

Identifying Iraheta

Many immigrants die crossing borders. In the Texan county where this death occurred, over a third of its population live below the poverty line. Authorities don't have the resources to identify all the bodies and many are buried anonymously.

However Lori E. Baker from Baylor University was appalled by this and instigated an effort by forensic anthropologists to help identify the people concerned.

Various different people and agencies were involved in the team. The group exhumed 75 migrants and attempted to identify them.

The story of how they identified 0425 is a triumph of humanity and science. It's an extraordinary detective story as well. It filled me with sadness but hope. It's been on my mind a lot.

If you are logged into the Open University you can download the Scientific American article here. I hope you will. It is very moving.

If you can't access the article there is summary here.

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Richard Walker

Grove Made Silly

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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 7 Aug 2015, 04:30
Sample definitions from our upbeat Musipedia

Accent: A mishtake.
Baroque: Badger (Or in US pronunciation: having no money.)
Barcarolle: Bundle of notes.
Breve: Inhale.
Clef: Precipice.
Dissonance: Insult to aunts.
Gong: Departed.
Keyboard: Fed up with key.
Lute: See viol.
Madrigal: Cross royal.
Metronome: Underground dweller.
Piu: Blind character in Treasure Island.
Spinet: Make it rotate (Alt: already consumed.)
Viol: Nasty.



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