Blue Spider's Coffee House

Truth, Love, Beauty and all things Virtuous


May 2015

To My Progeny #1: Hold Steady

mountains-snow-moon-845023-printDear Progeny,

When things are going south, when you can’t sleep and tomorrow will be long because you are still wide awake, don’t fall into self-destruction. Have character, have integrity, for goodness sakes! Don’t give into your weaknesses, hold steady the stormy riot in your heart, stay the guns of Doubleday, my young ones, as you go late into the night wrapped in pained silence as the winds play soft on the treetops. Be strong, fearlessly somber, still and silent. Sometimes we have to wait and listen in order to earn the stars and bars of the quiet hero.

Hardly a person is alive who has not had a day, a week or two of the blues, even the good ones go through melancholy periods. But, whatever bugaboos have gotten to you know that they will fade away and you will come through the other side alright, and when you do know that you still have to live with you. Don’t madly throw your world way for cheap. Don’t get lost in the din of Babylon that says all is well, do a little here and little there for tomorrow we die. Don’t give into this damnable subtlety for our pilgrimage does not have such a grim end and goes beyond a thousand tomorrows. Always seek to do yourself good and not evil and may God keep you.

The Faith of Our Mothers: The Greatest Battles That Ever Were Fought

The greatest battle that ever was fought–
Shall I tell you where and when?
On the maps of the world you will find it not:
It was fought by the Mothers of Men.

Not with cannon or battle shot,
With sword or nobler pen;
Not with eloquent word or though
From the wonderful minds of men…

No marshalling troops, no bivouac song,
No banner to gleam and wave;
But, Oh, these battles they last so long–
From babyhood to the grave…

Ho! ye with banners and battle shot,
With soldiers to shout and praise,
I tell you the kingliest victories fought
Are fought in silent ways.

-Joaquin Miller

Longfellow and Excerpts from Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride

Paul Revere

Listen, MY CHILDREN, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town tonight,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,-
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm…”

The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar….

Then, he climbed the tower of the Old North Church…

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell…

On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,-
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats…

Paul Revere Ride

Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere
Now he patted his horse’s side….

Mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the Old North Church…

A glimmer and then a gleam of light…..
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
Stuck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet…
The fate of a nation was riding that night…

He left the village and mounted the steep…

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog.
And felt the damp of the river fog.

It was one by the village clock
When he galloped into Lexington…
It was two by the village clock
When he galloped into Concord town…

Who at the bridge would be the first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled,-
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane…

Battle of Lexington

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,–
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
A word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hours of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoofbeats of that steed
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Lyrics to Old Songs: Waters of March

Waters of March (Aguas de Marco) is considered to be one of the greatest Brazilian songs ever. This song was written in 1972 by Antonio Carlos Jobim. According to Wikipedia (yes, I am quoting Wikipedia because I don’t know a bleeping thing about music):

“The inspiration for “Águas de Março” comes from Rio de Janeiro‘s rainiest month. March is typically marked by sudden storms with heavy rains and strong winds that cause flooding in many places around the city. The lyrics and the music have a constant downward progression much like the water torrent from those rains flowing in the gutters, which typically would carry sticks, stones, bits of glass, and almost everything and anything. The orchestration creates the illusion of the constant descending of notes much like Shepard tones.”

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

Waters of March

A stick, a stone, it’s the end of the road
It’s the rest of a stump, it’s a little alone
It’s a sliver of glass, it is life, it’s the sun
It is night, it is death, it’s a trap, it’s a gun

The oak when it blooms, a fox in the brush
The knot in the wood, the song of a thrush
The will of the wind, a cliff, a fall
A scratch, a lump, it is nothing at all

It’s the wind blowing free, it’s the end of the slope
It’s a beam, it’s a void, it’s a hunch, it’s a hope

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It’s the end of the strain, it’s the joy in your heart

The foot, the ground, the flesh and the bone
The beat of the road, a slingshot’s stone
A fish, a flash, a silvery glow
A fight, a bet, the range of a bow

The bed of the well, the end of the line
The dismay in the face, it’s a loss, it’s a find
A spear, a spike, a point, a nail
A drip, a drop, the end of the tale

A truckload of bricks in the soft morning light
The sound of a shot in the dead of the night
A mile, a must, a thrust, a bump,
It’s a girl, it’s a rhyme, it’s a cold, it’s the mumps

The plan of the house, the body in bed
And the car that got stuck, it’s the mud, it’s the mud
A float, a drift, a flight, a wing
A hawk, a quail, the promise of spring

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It’s the promise of life, it’s the joy in your heart

A snake, a stick, it is John, it is Joe
It’s a thorn on your hand and a cut in your toe
A point, a grain, a bee, a bite
A blink, a buzzard, a sudden stroke of night

A pass in the mountains, a horse and a mule
In the distance the shelves rode three shadows of blue

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It’s the promise of life in your heart, in your heart

A stick, a stone, the end of the road
The rest of a stump, a lonesome road
A sliver of glass, a life, the sun
A knife, a death, the end of the run

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It’s the end of all strain, it’s the joy in your heart

Mothers At the Center of History

カーネーションの花束を持つ子供“When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses?”-Neal A. Maxwell

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