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Clerihew

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Sherlock Holmes

Detested combs.

When the game was afoot he didn't care

About having unruly hair.

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Funeral haiku

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015, 00:43

Dead three years

We dug my grandad up

And washed his bones in wine.

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Fers Igiles

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 12 Jul 2015, 03:22

Here's my attempt at an Old English translation. It's probably a bit ungrammatical (comments welcome!) but perhaps Alfred the Great would have a rough idea what I meant.

'igil' is the same as modern German 'igel' = hedgehog, and the online Anglo-Saxon dictionary only knew about snails.

igil
gepíled dom-bana snægles
fære sped on þín burgweg ofer-forþgang

I was very surprised to find this very small exercise made Anglo-Saxon look somehow look much more familiar.

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An Anglo-Saxon Haiku for a Hedgehog

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Hedgehog

Spiked doom-slayer of the slug

Fare well on your road-crossing.

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Clerihew

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Charles Dickens

Kept several chickens.

One pecked him on the wrist

While he was writing 'Oliver Twist'.

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A Hedgehog Crosses the Road

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Edited by Richard Walker, Saturday, 11 Jul 2015, 01:48

Tonight - just a few minutes ago - I saw a hedgehog cross the road near my home.

These little animals used to be common but now seem quite rare, so I was really pleased to see it. But what amazed me was that it knew where to cross. I heard a rustling in the undergrowth and I was pretty sure it was a hedgehog. So I stood stock still. Pretty soon it emerged, and scuttled across the verge towards the pavement, as though it was going to cross the road. It was late and there was very little traffic but still I felt anxious.

Then the hedgehog retreated to the verge and ran off quite a way. I quite thought it had given up the thought of crossing. But no! It was looking from the right place to cross.

There's a crossing for wheelchairs. Not a textured pavement for people with low vision, simply a dropped kerb on each side of the road. The hedgehog clearly knew about this, and when it found the spot across it went as fast as its little legs could carry it. I was really surprised. I guess I shouldn't have been. A four inch kerb is tough if you have two inch legs, and hedgehogs are smart little beasts.

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New blog post

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A moon is never lonely

But people can be.

So where are you hiding.

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Cold Hands Transfiguration

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 9 Jul 2015, 03:43

My hand on the left was warm

Where I held Time at first

On the right I held the orb of Beauty but jumped then

Thrown up into the sky

But willing to go.


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Come on Time

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 9 Jul 2015, 01:45

Time.

You'll win.

We will have a good fight first.

No mercy of course.

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Consolation

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If we had never had been, you and I

We would still have loved.

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Richard Walker, Saturday, 11 Jul 2015, 17:10)
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Bee Orchid

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 9 Jul 2015, 00:41

Here's a Bee Orchid I photoed on my iPhone last Friday in Milton Keynes UK.


These plants are beautiful and fascinating. The photo is a little blurry but pretend you are a bee, it will lend allure.

The Bee Orchid is one a genus of orchids which try to trick insects of a particular kind into trying to have sex with them.

They visually mimic a female of the insect species concerned and even produce the identical pheromone to attract the male insect.

When the male insect visits the flower and engages in "pseudo copulation" some pollen sticks to its knees and is carried off to pollinate another plant.

At least that's what happens in the Mediterranean, which is where these orchids first evolved.The Bee Orchid has spread northwards though, but without the bee.The one in the pic above almost certainly had a parent that was self-pollinating.

Because of this adaptation the Bee Orchid seems to be expanding its territory in Britain. Look out for it - from mid June to mid July, if you pass a patch of waving grasses with two or three different wildflowers visible, see if you can spot an orchid.

In history orchids have associations even more sordid than their subversion of bees. The name orchid means testicle in ancient (and I think modern) Greek. This is because the plants when dug up apparently have two tubers. Is it true? I don't know, I've never dig these plants up.

This probably influenced the astonishing Anthanasuis Kircher [1] when he suggested that Bee Orchids grew from bulls' semen, because bees grew from bulls' corpses. The writer was a massive scholar, seldom if ever exceeded, and I would never detract from that. I've always loved scholarship and piling up information and knowledge. I'm doing it now.

But I don't go for the bull.

One counterexample always shows a theory is wrong.

There were absolutely no bulls, either dead or alive, anywhere even remotely near where I saw these orchids in Milton Keynes.

All the same bees are implicated in Bee Orchids and there have been studies of whether male bees that hit on orchids reduce their chances of passing on their genes. It's a delicate  evolutionary balance. But the consensus is the male bees do waste semen.

The plot thickens. If you know about the 'Doctrine of Signatures' from my previous posts about plants, or from elsewhere, you can probably work out what bodily part orchid tubers were once considered good for. But it's all a load of orchids.

[1] Kirchner's work is a sort of Wikipedia for its time. Online at http://ouhos.org/2011/09/14/athanasius-kircher-mundus-subterraneus-1665/

[2] The uses and misuses of orchids in medicine. Online at http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/98/9/625





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Clerihew

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Edited by Richard Walker, Saturday, 4 Jul 2015, 13:26

Che Guevara

Always wore mascara.

He used to say

It went with his beret.

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The Snail

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 2 Jul 2015, 00:26
a snail
on the gangplank of existence
just keeps moving
so do we all



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Haiku for the tall and straight

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015, 00:37

In summer when the corn is tall

And sunset seen through poplars

I wish.



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Rose in Summer Haiku 2

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And again

Passing these roses in the streetlight

You would be the stolen one, 

And not only your heart.

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Summer and Rose Haiku

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summer is very bad for us.

tonight, coming home

a stolen rose.

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She Kissed Me

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 24 Jun 2015, 00:21

When we met, she kissed me.

I was quite surprised. It seems

She'd read last Summer's poems.

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Winter in Summer Haiku

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 23 Jun 2015, 02:20

Talking. Warm breaths blow.

Over empty glasses. The sound.

Suddenly reminds us of winter.

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Summer Bridge Crossing

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 22 Jun 2015, 02:22

Truth to me then was,

I felt the bridge ironwork

warm in my hand.

In the millstream,

I saw two differently colored lights.

In the distance

I heard one dog barking.

Now I relished this summer night

And made it my truth.


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We Are Honourable After All

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Suppose you were told

You were dying.

You'd still feed the cat.

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Clerihew Newton #2

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Sir Isaac Newton

Slept on a futon.

He gave gravitation

As his explanation.

 

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Clerihew

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 16 Jun 2015, 01:30

Sir Isaac Newton

Slept on a futon.

He felt strong indignation

Concerning gravitation.

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Clerihew

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 15 Jun 2015, 00:33

King John

Had far too much on.

He decided it was smarter

To sign the Magna Carta.

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Show No Summer Favourites

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 14 Jun 2015, 02:56

Show no summer favourites

Not even the heavy white lilacs dipping in the stream.

Even though your mother loved them best

Show no summer favourites.

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Cats 'n Wolves

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Edited by Richard Walker, Saturday, 13 Jun 2015, 00:26

Are dogs and wolves the same species?

Yes, in a sense, because dogs and wolves can interbreed.

But the story is more complex. It's long been thought that the grey (or timber) wolf is the ancestor of dogs.

Controversial new research suggests that dogs and grey wolves are probably both descended from a common ancestor wolf, now extinct. They had the same grand parents, n times removed.

Modern dogs and wolves share 99% of their DNA (I think it is), but that small difference seems to be responsible for (amongst other things) a big change in behavior.

Dogs want to be ordered. Wolves make up their own mind.

Tell a dog 'no' and it may obey.

Tell the most human-friendly wolf 'no' and it will ignore you.

Like a cat, in fact.

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